Journal Notes… If I die today, What will be my biggest regret?

In the beginning of the new year I was thumbing through my 2016 journal and reflecting on all the thoughts I had collected through the year…  It’s always neat to look back at memories and events in life.  I made a promise that I’d do better this year at putting my journal thoughts on my blog and just talk as if I were visiting with a close friend over tea.  So here we are the first month of Spring and what better time to bring something like this to life right?

I’m planning to write one post from my journal each month over here… journaling is essentially what lead me to blogging and also what gives me insight for how I want to live.  Without journaling I would have never recogized the mission that leads my life and blog…  “Living For The Most” would not even exist.  I will share more of that story on another post and maybe some reasons why I think every person should have a journal, but for now, let’s focus on some thoughts that have come up lately…

Currently in my life, I’m involved in a women’s bible study called “Crazy Love”- by Francis Chan, a church bible study on Marriage by Francis Chan, and I recently finished the book “Entreleadership” with Dave Ramsey.  I’ve watched a couple of excellent movies, The Shack, and Pete’s Dragon.  I’ve listened to some super inspiring podcasts like Dale Partridge’s Startup Camp, and Wild and Free for mothers.  I adore any email I get from Maria Forleo, Terrain, Magnolia Homes, and Anthropologie.   I love Pinterest, Instagram, and the Outdoors, and I’m obsessed with art quotes from Sugarboo Designs.

These are all places I draw inspiration from!  A question or idea that keeps reocurring in all these facets is this…

If I die today, what will be my biggest regret?

Wow, I know, a huge question right?  It’s overwhelming and big I know, but it’s sooooo worth chewing on.  Luckily it’s something I’ve already been pondering on for the last few years of my life and so I’ve already thought some thought’s here.

The thing I’m most afraid of personally in life is that I’m too distracted and not living in the moment or “living for the most!”  As humans we are selfish, and it’s so irritating!  I’m sure I’ll forever be beating myself up about this because statistically it’s what most people on their death bed’s think about… Did I spend enough time with my family?  Did I act when it could have made a difference?  Did I focus too much on my own plans, agenda, or work?  

It’s something that is so important to me that I’ve made it my life’s mantra and my personal mission as well as the mission behind my blog.  It guides my decisions daily.  I want to be a person who see’s the bigger picture, a higher perspective than my own.  I want to live for the most, making each moment matter.  I want to put others before myself and be a helper of men and a servant of GOD.  

Be present, a good listener, a learner, a dreamer, a doer, a risk taker, a fun maker, an encourager, a light, a lover, compassionate, caring, open minded, hard working, committed, loyal, diligent, responsible, disciplined, adventurous!  

I think you get the idea.  I have said this line before and it pretty much sums it up…  

“Stay simple, stay true, remember what matters too!”

 It’s the best way I can explain it.  I don’t need to be famous, or super successful.  To me success would mean doing the right things when it mattered.  For having integrity and good character.  For being a person who represents wholeness and for inspiring others to be that too.  I think if I am able to accomplish this my purpose will be fulfilled and I’ll likely be lead down a lot of really cool paths.  

I’m dedicated to “Live For The Most”  I know I’ll fail a thousand times trying. but I’ve come to know the difference is when I make myself aware and responsible for my actions, when I humble myself to this standard and remind myself continually why this matters it naturally starts owning itself.  I am slowly but surely becoming who I desire to be more like.    I’ve come full circle to realize that I began this thought about how I wanted to live my life as just a thought, -live for the most.  It was simple, just make the most of everyday.

 There’s that great quote by Marden,

“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities.  Seize common occasions and make them great.”  

It seems now to be taking on a bolder shape.  Now “Living for the Most” means living for God.  It means being careful with, and giving my attention to what he wills ,and gifts me with in my life.   

Have you thought this deep lately?  Take some time to take note of what would be your biggest regret in life and do something today to work towards restoring it.  

kc

 

Adventures in the Ozarks…

If you’ve ever been to the Ozarks, then you know that Spring and Fall are gorgeous here.  They are the seasons we live for in these parts.  One of our favorite adventures to look forward to in the Spring is mushroom hunting.  It’s a big deal where we come from.  Everyone waits for the first big rain and the first big sunshine and then it’s on!  A race to see who can find the most!  It’s hard tellin with us cause we cook em up almost before we can count em ;P  They’re delicious!!

Sometimes we share our collection, but we never share our secret spot 😉  Oh no, nobody tells where they find their mushrooms, every family has to venture out and find a spot of their own.  That’s what’s so fun about keeping it secret because each year you have to get to your spot before anyone else finds it!!  It’s a fun tradition to get outdoors and explore together.  It warms the heart and the belly.

What’s an adventure your planning this spring?

A Bit Of Irish Luck …


I’m so lucky to be part of an Irish brood and its fun to make the little things special for them… I’m preparing an Irish celebration for our family and making some traditional Irish food.  One of my favorite things is dessert, so I had to share this pistachio cake!  I don’t know for sure if pistachio cake is traditional, but it’s GREEN!!!  I’m pretty sure I’ll be holding a piece in my hand all day so nobody better pinch me!

Click here to find the recipe on my pinterest  ST PATRICKS board !

 

Destination Big Wide World…With Denim & Ruffles

As I watched the sunrise this morning I thought to myself, “How big is this and how small am I?”

I used to think I liked majestic scenery simply because I appreciate design and beautiful visuals, but while studying my bible this week I discovered a new thought…  The question was asked, “What makes you think there is a God and creator?”

After pondering on it, I realized I feel most peaceful and assured of God when I’m outdoors and taking notice of the grand design of things.  It makes a person awfully humble to know they are next to nothing in this big wide world.  I even found some insight that I wasn’t looking for…

I have always loved to travel.  I’ve almost felt guilty for liking it so much, as if it’s selfish and discontent to want to see and do more!  However, this week I recognized that the main reason I love traveling is because It helps me absorb how much is out there and how small I am in comparison.

I believe that after salvation comes sanctification (1 peter : 1-2 ) which is basically the process of becoming less about us and more about God.  I know there are plenty of hard things to see in this world, but there is beauty for those who believe…

“Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.  Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” -Roald Dahl

I am looking at the beauty around me a little differently now, and trying to add more time for the things that make me feel small and in awe of God.  What is something that draws you closer to God?

Are you traveling soon?  Tell me your favorite places!!!  I’ve included some of my favorite spring destination pieces below!

 Live For The Most!

KC

Women Living For The Most… Featuring Veronica Partridge

Today’s post is the beginning of a new series featuring interviews with women who are living for the most!  I’m so excited to see how this series will be used!  I love to hear from inspiring women and learn what’s working and helping them be successful in their journey.  I also love bringing women together and believe there is something powerful in introducing those with common endeavors.  We can all glean goodness from someone else’s story.  One of the most valuable things I appreciate in life is relationships and people who are willing to share their life lessons.  My heart for this series is that each woman’s story is used for good, and that each reader is offered encouragement and something valuable to apply to their own life.  

The first beauty we will begin with is my friend, Veronica Partridge.  She is an awesome woman doing some amazing things in her life!  She is the wife of Dale Partridge, and together they have two children with a third on the way!  They reside in Bend, Oregon where they are pursuing their calling of an honest and simple life.  They care deeply about people, and their life’s work is based on teaching other’s to spread this message too!  Veronica and Dale have recently written His and Her books titled Find Your Calling.  Dale also has an incredible business called Startup Camp, where he leads entrepreneurs to develop themselves, their families, and their brands.  

Veronica is the less famous face of the Partridge family, but she likes it that way.  She feels most comfortable behind the scenes, but don’t let that fool you.  She is a critical and key cornerstone to their life’s success.  One thing she highlights in our interview is her role as the woman of the household and how she has grown to take it very seriously.  

 Get ready to be inspired to apply some successful insight to your own life….. Let’s get started!

Why is “Living For The Most” important to you?

Andy Stanley once said, “What if the greatest thing you’ve ever achieved wasn’t something you did but someone you raised?”  I love that question.   For me, my greatest calling in life is to embrace the husband and children God has given me and steward to those relationships well.  Ultimately, living for the most means to take every day as it comes and do my best to set my family up for success.  For example, I wanted our home to be a place of rest, restoration, and healthy relationships—yet for too long I fumbled through my days overwhelmed and stressed out.  For too long I found myself asking at the end of each day, “what did I even do?”  Personally, I thrive off of both structure and order and not having either of those in place (mainly for selfish reasons) had finally caused me enough pain to change.  Today, I feel back in control to succeed in our home, in our marriage, and as a mother.

How are you accomplishing this right where you are?

For the past two years, I have sought out wisdom from scripture and Godly women to help guide me in what this culture has called “homemaking.”  Through submitting to counsel, scripture, and reading material I recently developed the “Partridge Family Home Management Handbook” which helps guide the duties required from me each day, week, and month.  Most of the handbook contains things I have been doing, however, I noticed I operate best when I can see in writing what I need to do next instead of storing everything in the back of my mind.  While my husband is the leader of our home, I am the manager of its operations.  I take the goals and principles we have discussed together and execute them by teaching and living them out each day as best as I can.

What is a good idea, tool, or resource that’s helping you in family life, home, or womanhood?

Definitely our Home Management Handbook.  Using the handbook is still new to me but ever since I put the time and energy into putting it together it has given me so much peace of mind.  To have the scripture, the schedules, the cleaning routine, and our home goals that were once floating around in my head on paper to reference, has been such a breath of fresh air.  It provides the structure and order my soul craves which naturally lifts my spirits and energizes me to serve my husband and children well.

What is a favorite book or quote that has offered you knowledge or inspiration?

Well, there are so many, the very first page in our handbook is a page of scriptures I read daily to remind me why I am doing what I am doing.  The book I read that inspired me to create our handbook in the first place is called Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman.  I’d also like to add, you do NOT need to have a large family to apply the principles this book offers :).

What advice would you give your younger self?

Veronica, never underestimate the power and goodness of God.  You are far more capable than you think.  Always be willing to learn and grow, no matter how difficult the circumstance may be.

A big thanks to Veronica for taking the time for this interview, and thank You for reading!

Be on the lookout for the next feature.  Coming soon!

live for the most,  

kc

Simple Spring Updates… A Change Of Scenery

When a new season approaches I look forward to the change of scenery.  The change outdoors usually ushers a change indoors too!   Each month of the year I choose a specific design project or room to work on, but during the transitional  months (March, June, Sept, and Dec), I focus on seasonal updating.

As you know, I stay pretty neutral with most decor which allows me to have a change of scenery with the seasons.  I have room to play with some color, pattern, and texture.  I like to think of my home as a white canvas where I can have space to be creative and make changes as needed.  I keep it super simple and choose something within each of these guidelines to bring into our home.

color 

pattern 

texture

That being said, I do this using…

 rugs / doormats

throws / pillows

 plants / greenery


These are the 3 simple updates I use to usher in a new season, but you can change these to anything you want.   As long as you have an update in these 3 categories your going to notice that special touch of change that gives your home a fresh and inviting look.

On a side note, I love design and decor so that is typically where I can go overboard.  When stores and marketing campaigns promote their new seasonal lines it can make you want it all!  Take notice of that, and don’t get caught in that trap.  Not many of us have the funds to have it all, and we sure don’t need it all, so be a wise shopper and stay focused on what you can afford and what brings your home and all of those in it happy.  You can carry a few pieces all around your home and interchange things here and there.  The images above show how I’ve done that with a couple pieces I added this spring.  It can be done with rugs, doormats, wreaths, and plants too!  Think outside the box.  I’m still on the hunt for a wreath and doormat…

I’ve included some of my favorite pieces below so have a look and get inspired…  Happy Spring!

Live For The Most,

KC

Time Together + A Giveaway!!!

When it comes to finding time together without the littles, it’s tough.  We’ve learned through the years to just take advantage of any time we can get.  Whether it’s a date night with friends or a walk down to the river to cast a fishing line and take in the view, it’s a refreshing time to just enjoy each other’s company and relax for a bit.  It’s important to have time together.

We live on the creek so that’s often where we end up.  Jared loves to fish and I adore the peace of nature.  With my folks living down the road sometimes in the evenings we can send the little wild ones over and sneak away to watch the sunset.  It speaks to both of our love languages… What are some things you do to spend time together?

Speaking of  “time” Jared’s watch is from Jord wood watches.  They make the most perfect watches inspired by nature and the outdoors.  Jord is offering a giveaway exclusive to my readers this week!  Be sure you enter!  

One of my lucky readers will win big… the $100 gift code, but everyone who enters will receive a gift code worth $25!  

It’s a very generous giveaway and your gauranteed a gift code so please do yourself a favor and take a minute to enter!  They have the most beautiful  women’ s watches as well!!!  You will love these quality time pieces so go win you or your hubs something gorgeous from Jord’s collection.  

Fill out this simple form to enter: GIVEAWAY

contest closes Sunday, March 12 at 11:59 p.m. 

 

Luxury Wooden Watch

Making A Little Music…

 

The cold months are a challenge with children.  The kids get a little stir crazy, the mama’s get a little stir crazy… then everyone gets a little crazy!!!  We are always looking for ways to keep boredom at bay and do something fun and creative!  I’ve talked a lot lately about our family taking a liking to music and instruments.  We have discovered another great resource for starters to learn and play some easy and classic songs that brighten all the bad moods.

This xylophone from Hudson Co. has been a ball for the kids to play.  It comes with a perfect songbook collection of simple songs that the kiddos recognize and love.  It’s been a great addition to our music collection.  As you know, I love quality kid’s toys, and this one is a timeless treasure 😉

Hudsons and I are offering a 25% discount for anyone that would like to purchase one!  Click HERE and use the code OBRIEN25.   The code is for this month only!  It runs through March 31st.

Live for the most and make a little music loves!

kc

Encouraging Positivity In Our Home

 

 

Postive words in your life can do a lot of good.  We all know reading and hearing inspiring quotes can motivate us big in life.  As homemakers it’s our job to care for the people in our home.  We typically think of caring for our people with the obvious necessities, but don’t forget about the things that aren’t as obvious.  Don’t forget about the power of feelings.  Making someone feel good and positive goes way beyond caring for their basic needs.  It fosters confidence, wisdom, and maturity.  Never underestimate the power that wise words and good vibes can create.  Our families may forget many things we do for them, but they will always remember the way we made them feel.  Foster encouragement and positivity in your home.  Pay close attention to the little ways you can care for those you love.  Surround them with love and kindness.

I discovered a great resource for this in Sugarbooandco.  I fell in love with their mission of putting good into the world by first putting good into our home.  They are decor artisans that have come to be a favorite of mine!

I have added some of my favorite pieces here and there along the way.  Don’t be intimidated by their large pricier items because they have recently created some smaller scale pieces with their best work on them at just the right price range!  Their paper products, poetry sticks, and love notes are beautiful and reasonable!!!

If purchasing an art piece is not something your able to squeeze in the budget just yet, then grab a cheap chalkboard and write your own favorite quote, verse, or poem.  I started with chalkboards and love the personalization they allow and add.

Live For The Most,

KC

How To Achieve A Simple Wardrobe

I have heard the word “capsule” thrown around a lot in the past couple of years in reference to clothing and having a curated wardrobe, but I just never quite got on board, until now…

Over the past few years I’ve been simplifying things and just getting a better overall idea of what works best for me and my family.  I’ve been spring cleaning lately, and going through everyone’s closets so when Joanna Gaines and her Magnolia Journal landed in my lap it was perfect timing!  She had a piece in the most recent print about creating the perfect capsule and since I adore her and everything she does, maybe her influence won me over to the capsule realm.  I got busy organizing each person in my family their own capsule wardrobe!  Maybe I went overboard 😉  I’m loving it though!

This is the process I followed…

Think about your weekly lifestyle.  What do you do?  What type of clothes do you need?

(Since I don’t work a 9-5, I don’t need many dress clothes… I typically only dress up for special occasions and church.  I wear a lot of casual clothing and some active wear.)

Think about set numbers…  

(I likely need a few pairs of jeans, one light, one dark, and one colored.  Five to seven tops, a few casual and a few detailed in the mix.  A few dresses, a few jackets/cardigans, a couple active outfits, a few sets of pj’s, and then some shoes… In spring and summer I can get by with a pair of booties, wedges, flip flops, tennis shoes, and some flats of some type… oops can’t forget my rubber boots for chores 😉  I even went through my jewelry and lessoned the choices there too!  Once you have a rough idea of the amount of clothes you actually need for the things you do in life it is super clear.)

Lay out all clothes on the bed or floor.  Now pile them in three piles.  One for yes, one for no, and one for seasonal clothing.

(Don’t hold on to anything that has holes or stains, an unflattering shape, or you haven’t worn in forever.  Let it GO!  Like the song.  Go ahead,  sing it.)

As you add things back into your closet take notice of what style is you and fits your lifestyle.  grasp it, and remember it.  This will help you when making future purchases.

(I don’t get distracted looking at things we don’t need now, and I have a focus for what I’m looking for to fill those gaps I mentioned you will likely have when transitioning into a new season.  If I only have one dress then I know I’m on the hunt for a dress this spring!  If the kiddos outgrew their light weight jacket from last year, then I need to replace that in their capsule.  Super easy right? It should be very simple to see what you have to work with now and also where some gaps are too!

Make a list of what items you need to purchase or replace.

Organizing and minimizing this way helped me tremendously in shopping for my household for spring.  It was clear what we each needed individually and as a family!)

 

Hope this helps you live for the most babes!  You should be walking into spring organized and confidant now;)

xx, kc