Spring Cleaning Your Life || Guest Post

**This piece is a guest post from Katrina Gleason, the founder of Katrina Gleason Coaching.**


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Think of your life as a garden.

For a garden to survive, plants need the basic necessities, such as water, sunlight, and solid rooting. But for each plant to thrive, it needs space and an abundance of nutrients. If you prepare a small garden and pack it full of seeds, none of the plants grow very well. They compete for resources and tear each other down. The same concept applies to your life. When you have too many ‘plants’ in your ‘garden’, they rival each other for your precious time and energy. You end up with unhealthy plants and depleted soil. However, if you were to select specific plants and spread them out in your garden, they will all thrive! Examine the three areas of your life below. You get to choose which plants should stay and which plants aren’t the right fit for your garden.

Friendships/Relationships

We all have toxic people in our lives. Forcing yourself to interact with those who make you constantly unhappy is a waste of your time and theirs. You could be investing that time into so many different endeavors. Why spend special moments with a person or group that makes you miserable?

If you’re feeling guilty about distancing yourself from someone, please consider this. Do you add more value to the world by being around them? If not, there’s a good chance you’re far more irritable and negative after spending time together. It isn’t fair to the people closest to you when you take this negative energy out on them.

Human connection is powerful and it should never be taken lightly. Find the friends that mean the most to you and invest in them with your time and energy. There is always a give and take in friendship, but when someone is only taking and never giving, you need to examine your relationship.

Commitments

We all have commitments. Whether these commitments are to people, companies, or organizations, everyone is constantly taking on MORE. The best way I can illustrate this is with my own story.

For years I had been a teacher at my church’s Wednesday night program. My schedule was already packed with work and courses I was taking, but I signed up anyway because I had done so in the past. I felt obligated, even though no one was making me do it. The first evening, I had no time to prepare and I was so frazzled that something enjoyable became a very stressful night. At the end of my lesson, I decided I couldn’t teach on Wednesday nights anymore.

I felt like a failure for not being able to uphold my commitment, but when I really thought it through, the problem wasn’t letting go; the problem was saying yes in the first place. My initial reaction was that this would just be another plate to spin. If I’d just listened to myself from the start, it would have saved everyone involved a lot of stress.

If your commitments are draining you then do what you have to do to let them go.  Have those tough conversations, I promise it will all be worth it. And next time someone asks you to make a commitment, big or small, go with your gut on accepting. You don’t owe anyone a yes.

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Habits

We all have bad habits. Most of us are 100% aware of unhealthy habits, yet choose to do nothing about them. Look at your habits and pinpoint the ones that don’t serve you well. Maybe your bad habits are drinking too much, overeating, sleeping in late, binge watching Netflix, or playing mindless games on your phone; these habits have consequences! They STEAL your time and energy. It’s easy to view these as no big deal, but they are the weeds of your garden. You can never get back the hours wasted on silly endeavors, but you can change your habits so that you make the most of the time you have left.

I recommend replacing these bad habits with new, better, and healthier ones. Maybe you start getting out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off. Maybe you strive to do at least 5 minutes of exercise every day. A small step in the right direction is all it takes to get your positive momentum going.

Removing weeds from your garden will leave you with so much extra time and energy. Now, the key is to say NO to the things that you don’t want in your life. Take that free time and start doing the things you’ve been wanting to do for yourself! Take up a new hobby, learn a new skill, or just have some nice alone time.

A Sustainable Spring Lookbook with EcoVibe Apparel

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That is one good thing about this world...there are always sure to be more springs.
— L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Spring is a tricky temptress here in the Rocky Mountain tundra. And dressing for her isn't a simple feat. As I mentioned in a recent post, outfits can change as quickly as a cloud can cover the sun and a sunny day can turn into a snowy one. 

Nevertheless, I've been slowly transitioning my closet - replacing snow coats, sweaters, and flannels, for jean jackets, layering tops, and (a bold move) spring-y dresses. 

EcoVibe Apparel has been one of the brands making my "transition to Spring" a bit more bearable. This "lookbook", similar to the one I wrote with Toad & Co. for Fall/Winter, is a conglomeration of looks using multiple pieces from a single brand, worn over a longer period of time. It's meant to show the versatility of the pieces, as I wear them in my real life, and not just for a single photo shoot. 

It's also, hopefully, meant to inspire a bit of Spring-full-ness, if you, like me, are trapped in a teeter-tottering ecosystem. 

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EcoVibe Apparel is a Portland-based "boutique" style shop, melding eco-friendly fabrics, trendy silhouettes, and thoughtfully sourced apparel. The husband and wife owned shop brings a powerful force to the table. With more than 30 years experience in the fashion industry and experience in the ethics/marketing realm, there's no better due to take fast fashion by storm. 

The shop offers a "comprehensive" range of pieces - everything from basics, to outerwear, to statement pieces. You can also shop by value (vegan, fabric), type (sweater, leggings, jackets), and more.  

The Pieces: 

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Alisha Modal Keyhole Back Dress: ($72)

This dress is silky soft, made of Modal, one of my all-time favorite fabrics. It has the perfect drape, is flattering, and has a unique keyhole detail that's perfect for Spring. Plus, it's one of the few "open backed" dresses that is bra-friendly ;)


Brynn Sweater in Ash Rose: ($79)

Incredibly soft, this dolman sweater is perfect for travel or cozy days at home. I wore it on both plane rides during my trip to the U.K. It's easy to layer pieces underneath, and makes a great starting point for any outfit. 

 


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Sophie Off-the-Shoulder Top: ($68)

100% cotton and a beautiful twist on a classic denim chambray top, this top is the perfect transition piece. It features a longer silhouette and sweet little bows on the sleeves. I've worn it tucked into to pants or loose with skinny jeans and it works perfectly either way. 


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EcoVibe truly has a beautifully curated selection of pieces conscious consumers can feel good about buying. Whether Spring decides to show her face in Colorado or not, my wardrobe will give her a run for her money with these three pieces. 

What's your favorite look of the bunch? I can't wait to style each piece throughout the season. 


*This post is sponsored by EcoVibe Apparel. All opinions, words, and photos are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this site running!*

Transitioning to Spring with 144 Stitches

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Spring (or "mud season" as locals tenderly refer to it) is a strange season in Colorado. In some places, Spring comes in smoothly. Flowers bloom, clouds clear, and temperatures rise. But here, it could be t-shirt weather one day, and the next morning, you wake up to a blizzard. 

I've been tempted to bring out my warmer weather pieces, only to have my hopes for tank tops and pastels dashed by a snowstorm. And so I've been forced, by necessity, to hold on to my cold weather clothes and get creative for a little while longer. Warm weather is inevitable, but for now, my "transition to Spring" wardrobe has been almost identical to my Winter wardrobe, but with the occasional color thrown in and layer taken off. 

Although I wore my VETTA Capsule cardigan over the top during a chilly morning, I was excited to find that all I needed was my Gema top from Mimi Miller. 

My boots, from Alice + Whittles, have served me so well this "mud season". They're such high quality, and can go with almost anything - I've worn mine with everything from legging to dresses.  

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Lastly, my beanie. 144 Stitches, a NY based brand creating hand-made knitwear from ethically sourced wool and yarn, reached out to me earlier this Winter, and I've had so much fun incorporating her pieces into my wardrobe. Functional, yet stylish, Michele's pieces can withstand a Colorado winter but are still fashionable enough to wear in the Spring, when they're more accent than fashionable-furnace. 

There's a fine line between practicality and fashion, living in the mountains, and I'm grateful for brands like 144 Stitches that make it possible to choose both. 

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Top: Mimi Miller, Pants: Thrifted, Boots: Alice + Whittles, Beanie: 144 Stitches, Watch: Berg + Betts


*This post is sponsored by 144 Stitches. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible! This post also contains affiliate links.*

7 Mother's Day Gift Ideas for New Moms

Growing up, I remember agonizing over Mother's Day. And mom, since I know you're reading this, I know it probably didn't seem that way, since we defaulted to breakfast in bed every year I can remember- but I did. I wanted it to be special. Somehow, even as a child, I knew the strength, courage, love and selflessness it took to parent my brothers and I was worth celebrating- even if the only way I knew how to do so was by cooking the same breakfast of eggs and toast each Mother's Day morning. Thanks for eating it, mom. 

And now, as a mother myself, I'm in her place. The strong, sleepless, courageous, loving place of motherhood where everyone else comes first- and it's hard. And it (not me specifically, but motherhood in general) deserves to be celebrated, in all its hard, raw, unglamorous, beauty. And though my girls are still too young to cook me breakfast in bed every Mother's Day for ten years straight (husband, that's on you) I know the heart-melting feeling of a gift that came straight from another heart to yours. 

So in honor of that heart-melting motherhood feeling,  I want to share a few gift ideas for new mamas, or any age of mama for that matter, that will go a bit deeper than signing your name on a card. 

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 1. Alone Time

Sometimes all a mama wants it to be with no one except herself. No one pulling on her clothes or yelling or asking for food (husband or child...those are all appropriate examples...). Just tell her you'll watch the kids for a day so she can go do whatever the heck she wants. She'll love it.

2. Relaxation

This one doesn't have to be pricey, but it can be if you want to go all out. Pay for a pedicure or facial, or better yet a massage. Know a pregnant mama? Get her a prenatal massage. I guarantee she needs it.

3. A Meal

Offer to cook her a meal one night. Cook for the whole family, or just her, either way it will be a treat. You can even take her out to dinner for some one on one time, if your wallet allows.

4. A Gift Card For Free Coffee

Because she's a mom, that's why.

5. Something Handmade

Even if you're not crafty per se, you can still make something she will love. Print off some photos of her and her kid(s), or you and her, frame it with something pretty, wrap it, and write a note about how she is the best thing you've ever met. Moms love the mushy gushy stuff.

6. If you must stick with a card

At least hand make the card ;) Or do something a little more non-traditional like this mini succulent gift box and a handmade card.

7. Breakfast in Bed

If you live with her. If not, that could get a little weird. It's an oldie, but a goodie. Also, sorry to my mom who endured many (probably too many) years of the same breakfast in bed because we weren't creative enough to think of anything new....if that's you, try something different this year!

Monthly Snapshot // March

Monthly Snapshot // March

Spring is in full force, friends! Despite the random blizzards that seem to be plaguing the mid-west. I'm choosing to ignore them and carry on with all things Spring. 

March was a busy month as usual- I blogged a little bit less here, but had a few guest posts other places as a way to (shamelessly) promote my Capsule Consulting. I also started officially re-working my old blog posts to update them and make sure I wasn't accidentally misusing other people's content (after reading this super informative post from my friend Leslie). 

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