Category: Kinfolk.

Our Kinfolk is our community. Those people who hold us up, share in our joys and sorrows. Support us when we need it. Laugh with us when we’re filled with joy. Cry with us when we’re in the trenches.

This is Kinfolk.

Community. Friendship. Long-distance or close by, they are our support. Read the collection of blog posts about community, supporting one another, and the importance of sister-friends.

Join the community here at chasing wonderment! A group of women seeking community, friendship, and living a life full of wonder, freedom, and simplicity. Life is good… let’s live it well.

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Letting go of People-Pleasing. (It's impossible to make everyone happy!)

Letting Go of People-Pleasing

You feel it hanging over you like a heavy weight. The worry. The stress. You have guilt over decisions that should be simple, or you constantly second-guess each interaction you have. What if you said the wrong thing? It’s like there’s a constant, people-pleasing radar in your head, trying to figure out what everyone else thinks about you.

It’s the lot of highly sensitive, empathetic people everywhere; we desperately want to make everyone happy. We’re plagued by the worries of every single thing we could’ve said wrong. How do we let go of the weight of these supposed expectations?

Whole Living Tank Top

Well, here’s some truth: Some of these expectations are real, and some aren’t. Some of the stress we feel isn’t even necessary! They’re things our wild imaginations have dreamed up due to stress, overwhelm, or just misunderstanding people. But there ARE real expectations. Expectations of how you’re supposed to act, or how others want you to respond in certain situations. There are those people who think you’re supposed to drop everything to wait on them hand and foot (aka: TODDLERS. 😂).

The problem with real (or false) expectations is that we’re stressing out over the unknown, not the actual problem. I don’t worry about actually saying “no” to someone… I worry about hurting or upsetting them. The truth is: I want to make EVERYONE happy. 

The desire to make everyone happy is not only exhausting, it's downright impossible. (For real.)

 

So, how can we stop people pleasing?

 

To be perfectly honest, I’m still trying to figure this out. I struggle every day with people-pleasing. To make life perfect for my family. When I feel like I’ve failed, I want to curl up and become a professional couch potato. I’e spent days contemplating what I said or did wrong (for days!), or what I could’ve possibly done to get a different outcome.

I have found that there are a few things that help me stay focused on the truth as I try to combat my tendency to people-please.

Letting go of People-Pleasing. (It's impossible to make everyone happy!)

 

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize:

No matter what someone else may (or may not!) expect from you, their ideals for life are different from yours, Do you know what your dream life would look like? If other people have their goals lined up for their life, it’s up to them to make it happen. Not You. Keep your eyes on your own ideal of living well, because that’s what your goal is.

Remember the Season You’re in:

Life has ebbs and flows. Sometimes it’s busy, sometimes it’s restful. Other times, it’s downright stressful. Don’t allow someone else’s season of life to make you feel guilty or less-than because you’re in a different stage right now. If you’re taking time to rest, and they’re asking you to add more commitments, it’s okay to say No.

Realize That Everyone is Different:

If you’re a “feeler” surrounded by friends and family who are “thinkers,” you’re going to have some major differences. It’s no fault of theirs, that just base their decisions on logic instead of feelings! They may logically ask you to do something, without realizing that you’re looking at the situation from a totally different (emotional) angle.

Have you ever taken the Meyer’s Briggs personality test? Click Here to find our if you’re a thinker or a feeler! (You’ll see a T or an F in your answer!)

Don’t OWN everyone else’s expectations:

Just because someone expects something from you doesn’t mean that you have to do it. Their ideas and goals are probably different from yours! If their expectations don’t match your to-do list, it’s not your job to fit it in. Your job isn’t to make everyone happy; it’s to chase down the dreams that God has tucked away inside your heart.

It IS possible to stop People-Pleasing:

Lastly, know that it IS possible to find a balance between loving on people you care about, and knowing when to say “No”. It’s also possible to say no and not second-guess that decision! For me, it takes a lot of journaling, wisdom from those who know me best, pep-talks, and a LOT of prayer… but it IS possible to live guilt-free! It’s a daily process.

 

Letting go of People-Pleasing. (It's impossible to make everyone happy!)

I hope you know, dear friend, that you are not alone. It is a HUGE blessing to be an empath, because we can tune in to emotions and feelings in an incredible way. It’s also really hard for those of us who struggle with people-pleasing. We have to learn how to put up boundaries & make definitive decisions. It’s something that takes a lot of time and experience to learn!

 

How can you let go of people-pleasing Today?


Only More Love.

I don’t understand. I don’t understand how anyone can kill people, just because they’re mad about something. It doesn’t make sense that good friends can become enemies overnight. It saddens me to hear of siblings having an argument, & never talking to each other again. Maybe it’s because I’m a peacemaker at heart, & I avoid arguments at ALL costs. Or perhaps it’s because I’m really good at seeing both sides of a disagreement. This morning, I heard about another shooting. In Florida, this time… a disgruntled employee looking to get revenge on his old company, or something like that.

I just don’t understand.

I DO understand this:

Life is short. It’s too short to be spent arguing over silly things. It’s too sweet to spend my life fighting people when I could be loving on everyone I meet. Life is too precious to be wasted on senseless hatred & anger. Last year, I read & wept over a story of of young man getting cancer & having to leave his beautiful family. I’ve heard stories of people who have regrets over relationships lost, because they were young & quick-tempered. I’ve lashed out so many times at my Hubs, because I was angry & didn’t think before I used words like a sword.

Today, I hope you draw those closest to you & hold them tight. Remember that we’re not promised tomorrow… so treat each day like it’s the last, BEST day ever. Do random acts of kindness, take care of someone who needs help when you can. If you disagree with someone, remember this: the greatest commandment is LOVE. Love no matter what. No matter how much it hurts, no matter how tough it might be. No matter how many times you have to give & give & give.

LOVE. 

 

 

That is all.

 


Spending time together. It seems to be getting harder & harder for our current generation to have face-to-face relationships.

5 Simple Ways to Spend Time Together.

Spending time together. It seems to be getting harder & harder for our current generation to have face-to-face relationships. We so easily get sucked into the swirling vortex of social media, smart phones, & whatever game happens to be trending. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Instagram, or playing a game. My bestie & I love to look at Pinterest together, & will often send each other pins while we’re sitting in the same room! 😂

However: I’m attempting to re-learn the art of sitting with a friend… without feeling the need to check my notifications. For me, that “ding!” of a notification is just soooo alluring. I have a hard time tuning out my text message beep, & I’ve found myself holding a conversation with someone else (via text) when the whole point of date night is to grow my relationship with Hubs! Can I get an amen? Tell me I’m not the only one that struggles with this!

In my efforts to put my phone on silent & invest in some face-to-face relationships, I’ve started a list of ideas for connecting better with family & friends!

Spending time together. It seems to be getting harder & harder for our current generation to have face-to-face relationships.

  1. Cozy Up.

    We’re almost out of time to get cozy & “hygge”! Snuggle up with your Hubs & your kids. Light a fire, some candles, & turn out the lights. Ask the kids fun questions, or maybe play a game by the firelight! Make hot soup, a pot of coffee, & eat in the living room. Now it the perfect time to enjoy all things cozy.

  2. Breakfast Out.

    We all meet girlfriends for coffee, or have a dinner date with our Significant Other. But what about having breakfast out? Hubs & I love to get the (rare!) chance to go to the local diner & order a short stack or french toast. I tend to be a lot more energized & focused in the morning, & it’s a great time to connect, chat about ideas, or discuss our new business goals.

  3. Movie Night.

    No good list is complete without a movie night. Even with all the technology talk above… I absolutely love sharing a good story line with Hubs. He’s not much of a movie fan, so if I can get him sitting down, it’s a treat! We love a good action-adventure, nature documentaries, & historic films. Movie nights are great for lot of snuggles, too. ☺️

  4. Backyard Campfire.

    There’s nothing quite as a nice as a good blaze, friends, & a few marshmallow sticks. Put your technology in “time-out” & enjoy some good ol’ fashioned community. Invite the neighbors that you’ve always wanted to say hi to, your best friends, & that guy who plays guitar really well. You’ll smell like campfire smoke & your face will have that warm, glowy feeling after the evening… & you’ll want to have another one.

  5. Cook Together.

    We don’t get to do this very often, since Hubs usually works through our normal dinner prep time. But when we do get the chance to cook dinner together, we have so much fun! Hubs has a pun (or ten) every few minutes, which has rolling my eyes & laughing the entire time. After dinner clean up includes me washing dishes & Hubs dries. Life is good when you can make a mundane task fun!

I hope some of these ideas will get you inspired to spend more time face-to-face! I can get so distracted by all the bells & whistles on my phone that I forget to put it down. I want to put some effort into building my community, & watching it grow. I hope you’ll use one of these ideas as a spring board to help find ways to better connect with the amazing people in your life!

What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family & friends? I’d love to hear more community-building ideas!


Tomorrow is Valentine's Day ❤️. Let's be honest: you either love it, or hate it. I've always loved Valentine's Day... but mostly because it was a family affair in our home. Click to tag somebody you love!

Elevate Monday: Family.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day ❤️. Let's be honest: you either love it, or hate it. I've always loved Valentine's Day... but mostly because it was a family affair in our home. Click to tag somebody you love!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day ❤️. Let’s be honest: you either love it, or hate it. I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day… but mostly because it was a family affair in our home. I remember waking up on Valentine’s morning to a sweet card & box of candy from my parents. My grandfather brought me a bouquet of flowers when I was a teen. For Valentine’s Day this year… love on your family. (And remember; your family doesn’t have to be related by blood! You can bake some cookies for your sister-friends 😉)

Head over to Instagram & tag somebody you love! 


Simple Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut Outs

Loving on Others.

Last week I wrote about my views on Valentine’s Day. Namely, that it’s about more than romance, & that my family use it as a day to show our family & friends that we love them. This is the first year that the kids will be old enough to begin to understand Valentine’s Day festivities, & I really want to show our friends & family some extra love. It seems like there’s a lot of hate & violence going around in our world, in our country. We could all use a little bit of extra love, right?

I decided to bake some cookies. I went to my Mom’s (she has a fabulously large counter!), & we alternated watching the kids, switching from “Bob the Builder” to “Thomas the Tank Engine” episodes, & rolling out cookie dough. It was so nice to work alongside her. I even brought my essential oil diffuser & we enjoyed the spicy smell of Thieves, Black Pepper, & Nutmeg.

Simple Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut Outs

There’s something therapeutic to me about rolling out dough. I’ve always loved dough. I love the softness, how it moves in my hands. There’s something so relaxing about rolling it out, feeling the old rolling pin squeak a little as it goes back & forth, back & forth.

Simple Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut Outs

This is the recipe my Mom used when she was a kid. We ended up making “healthier” sugar cookies, because I forgot all I had was white whole wheat flour. They’re definitely a little more tan & have a more unique taste than your typical pure white sugar cookies. But they’re actually pretty good!

Simple Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut Outs

I colored the icing pink by adding cranberry juice (& a lot of extra powdered sugar to thicken it up!) It made a lovely ballet pink, & the flavor it added to the icing is absolutely delicious!

Simple Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut Outs

We’ll be delivering these to our friends throughout this week. We bought cheap little bags from the Dollar Tree to tuck the cookies in, & we might cut out little heart valentines to tuck inside. Mostly, I’m looking forward to showing Z-man & Miss T how much fun it is to love on the people we care about.

Would you like to make some sugar cookies for your loved ones?
Download my family’s recipe here!


You know when you meet someone & you instantly feel like you've known them your whole life? This quote just sums it all up. Like our hearts have known each other forever. "Kindred Spirits," as Anne would say. Click to tag your kindred spirits!

Elevate Monday: Old Friends.

You know when you meet someone & you instantly feel like you've known them your whole life? This quote just sums it all up. Like our hearts have known each other forever. "Kindred Spirits," as Anne would say. Click to tag your kindred spirits!

You know when you meet someone & you instantly feel like you’ve known them your whole life? This quote just sums it all up. Like our hearts have known each other forever. “Kindred Spirits,” as Anne would say. I love it when I meet new friends, & they instantly feel like old ones. I have met so many dear friends that I have instantly felt a connection with… sometimes we share a favorite tea, & sometimes we both love the writing of a mysterious poet.

Hop over to Instagram & tag your kindred spirit(s)!


Valentine's Day is much more than celebrating romance between couples. As a child, my family reminded me that Valentine's Day isn't just about having a significant other. Click to read 3 way to make Valentine's Day a celebration that will make everyone you love feel included!

Valentine’s Day: About More Than Romance.

Valentine’s Day is almost here! I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day… perhaps because I’m a total romantic, but I think it’s mostly due to my family. To me, Valentine’s Day is much more than celebrating romance between couples. As a kid, the 14th was very much looked forward to… my sister & I always got a special card & box of candy hearts from our parents. (Of course, we giggled at my parents when they got all “mushy” & kissed.) I remember when my grandfather brought me a bouquet of beautiful flowers. Each year, my family reminded me that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about having a significant other.

To me, Valentine’s Day is about showing a teenage girl that she doesn’t need a boyfriend to feel fulfilled. It’s about caring for someone that everybody else ignores. Bake cookies for the garbage pickup men. (Who ever thinks to thank them for the dirty job they do?) For the mail lady. The homeless staying in a shelter so they don’t freeze. Valentine’s Day should be about the forgotten people, the ones who need Jesus-love. You know, the unconditional, real-life kind of love.

Valentine's Day is much more than celebrating romance between couples. As a child, my family reminded me that Valentine's Day isn't just about having a significant other. Click to read 3 way to make Valentine's Day a celebration that will make everyone you love feel included!

Here are a few ideas for spreading love to EVERYONE on Valentine’s Day!

  1. Galentine’s Day:

    Use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to get out with your sister-friends & pamper yourselves! Get manicures, go for coffee, or just hang out & watch movies together. If you’re not in the mood for romance, then make Jane Austen off-limits, & watch a super-hero movie instead. 😉

  2. Family Love Day:

    Make the 14th an extra-special day where you show love to your family… include the kids! Bake special cookies, & make (or buy) the kids their own special cards. Make special decorations, & help siblings make cards for each other. Spend time as a family, & teach your children that Valentine’s Day is about showing love! ❤️

  3. Love On Others Day:

    Turn Valentine’s Day in a random acts of kindness day! Bake cookies & share them with friends & strangers. Take them to your local library, the post office, or even a local homeless shelter! Include your family or friends in the opportunity to share some love with others. ☺️

For Valentine’s Day this year, I’m planning on giving Z-man & Miss T a special cookie. (They’re a bit too young to care about cards!) Hubs & I may schedule a date sometime around the weekend, & I’m hoping to make some surprise treats for our family & friends!


Challenge: Create a Valentine’s Day celebration that will make everyone you love feel included! Share your ideas in the comments below!


Sister-Friends: Long Distance.

I have a lot of friends. Many of them live close to me, but some live far away. It’s hard to stay closely connected with someone when they live on the other side of the continent (or globe)! Kids keep you immersed in diapers, & you forget to call. Or e-mail. Or do anything for that matter, because “STOP FIGHTING RIGHT NOW OR ELSE!”. Wait… Bunny trail. Where was I?

Oh yeah. Cross-country friendships. My sister, Jordan, lives in SoCal. We’ve not always stayed as close as I would like, which is sad, since we make awesome creative stuff happen as a team. In our efforts to be more mindful about staying connected, we’re using a variety of technology these days! Maybe these will help you keep up with your long-distance friends, too!

4 ways to stay connected with long-distance sister-friends!

  1. Group Texts:

    If you have a phone & a few close friends, start a group text! This is my absolute favorite thing EVER. My mom, sister & I keep a group text going at all times. It has been a super fun way to keep our mama/sister/daughter bond, & it’s super fun when two of us blow up the other one’s phone! (Which happens often due to a time difference…)

  2. Secret (Shared) Pinterest Boards:

    My sister & I love to talk business, creativity, & anything inspiring. We’ve started a secret board on Pinterest so we can share whatever strikes our fancy. Funny memes, new projects to make, or tips on how to become the next Anthropologie are on the board. 😆

  3. Shared Folders:

    We’ve tried using several different apps, starting out with Evernote, & just recently we moved over to having shared folders on Trello. Since we often talk about our businesses, we can share ideas, brainstorm together, & anything else we want to.

  4. Video Chats:

    A lot of my friends have some type of video-chat option. You can use Facebook, Skype, or FaceTime (to name a few!) Often, it’s just a matter of being more intentional about using the amazing technology we are blessed with. My sister & I have been aiming to FaceTime more regularly, & while it doesn’t always happen, it’s made a BIG difference in how much we talk!

What is one way you keep in touch with a long-distance friend?


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You need a village- 3 TIPS to help build the community you NEED!

Watch Each Other Grow.

I’m surrounded by an incredible group of women. Some are near, some are far away; but the support system I have is a gift. It’s also something I have often neglected to be a part of. Part of the reason is that I don’t like asking for help. I like to do it all by myself. Part of the reason is that I’m afraid of what others will think… what will Suzy-Homemaker say when she realizes I’m really struggling to keep up with the housework? Part of it is also that I don’t like to burden others, so I’ll struggle on alone, rather than ask for help in the areas that I’m weak, & offer help to others where I’m talented. There are many days when I just need help. Maybe a listening ear, a friend to do yoga with, or someone to meet me at Target just to get out of the house. Instead, I automatically shell up & shy away from my community because I don’t want them to see my imperfections.

The TRUTH is: I don’t have it all together. 

And you know what? Neither does anyone else. I’ve felt like some women have got ‘it” all together, only to sit down with them over a cup of tea & realize: They’re HUMAN. Just like me. We all secretly thought she was Elastigirl or Wonder Woman… but she’s a human. Drop. The. Mic.

One evening a few months ago, a dear friend opened up her home to me for an evening of fellowship. We drank tea & bounced from topic to topic. I found out something that made me laugh out loud: she had felt like I had it all together at times. ME? Really? I had felt the same about her. She gently reminded me that nobody is perfect, & reminded me that it actually takes a strong person to admit that they need help from others.

It’s not weakness to need help. It’s LIFE.

The truth is: it does take a village. If you’re a mom with little kids running around at home… or a single woman on her own, struggling to handle an impossible job & bills. Maybe you’re a single mom with kids to get ready for school, while needing to be at work at the same time. If you’re a human, you need a village. Our community should build up our strengths, gently cover our weaknesses, & gives us the help we all need to do life. If you’re community isn’t doing that (or you’re not asking for what you need)… keep reading.

Let's root for each other & watch each other grow.

Here’s what I’m learning in my search to build up the community around me, so we all have the support that we need.

1. Community Isn’t Equal.

We often make up an imaginary “point system” in our hears. You do me a favor, I “owe” you something similar in return. When you’re in the trenches of motherhood, or dealing with a difficult job, the last thing we need is the pressure of of self-imposed point system. Here’s the thing: WE’VE CREATED THE SYSTEM. It’s a broken system… because nobody is blessed with the exact same talents, has the same personality, or does life the same way. When I get to help a friend in the ways I’m good at… I don’t want anything in return. It’s a joy. Let’s get back to that.

2. Talk with your sister-friends.

Seriously. Just as quickly as we created the point system, we can dismantle it. Get together with one (or a few!) of your best friends, & see if they’ve been keeping points. Drink several pots of coffee or tea, & laugh about how silly it is that they’ve wished they could “keep it all together” like you do. Then drop a bomb on them: NO. MORE. POINTS. Instead just be a bunch of amazing women, seeking to help each other with their God-given talents. You all have to mentally DROP the system in order for this to work. It can work.

3. Know your strengths.

I’ve often hesitated to ask a friend to watch my kids for an evening… because right now, I can’t imagine having any more running around this tiny house! It’s okay that I’m not ready for extra kids at this stage in my parenting. However, if someone wants help organizing, clearing clutter, or talking through any cool ideas: I’m your girl. I can sit there & talk about ideas like a live version of Pinterest. (Pinterest searching will also be involved. Because, Pinterest. 😍) I’m always up talking about organization, natural health remedies, small business, mama-hood… those are some of my strengths. I’m also ALWAYS up for a coffee date. Always. That’s a definite strength, right? 😆

You need a village- 3 TIPS to help build the community you NEED!


Here’s my challenge to you:

Seek out your friends, & set a date. Drink tea. Eat cookies. Open up, & see if they’ve been keeping track of points. Then, ask them to dismantle it with you & start something new. It’s incredibly freeing. If y’all love making lists, write down some of your strengths, & some of your weaknesses. See if there are overlaps, & offer help. Begin to build a village, instead of an island.

Comment with one thing you are AWESOME at when it comes to helping others!

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Live It Well.

There’s a song out right now that I love, & part of the chorus is “Life is short I wanna live it well; one life, one story to tell…” Every time I hear it I’m reminded of why I chose this life. Why I wake up & write blog posts, soothe baby woes, & wash loads of laundry & do the dishes. It reminds me what a life well-lived looks like (to me). To me, a life well-lived is full of:

Love –

Loving on those around me… taking the time to stop & snuggle when my tiny people seem to be extra cranky. Resting & chatting with dear friends. Showing love in all it’s forms to those around me.

Family –

Close, & extended. Having the grands & great-grands over to lay with the kids. Taking the kids to an ice cream parlor just because. Making the time to document life, so we don’t forget these days that seem to fly by so fast.

Live It Well: What's your idea of a life well-lived?

Friends –

I have so many dear friends, & many more I’d love to get to know better! I really want to focus on hospitality & investing in the community around us. From one-on-one time with dear friends to large gatherings with new friends, I hope to help our family strengthen ties with those around us.

Creativity –

Living a creative life is essential to me. I know I always need to make time & space for creativity, for myself & others. I love having a mix of personal projects, products, for new collections, & things that are just to give away.

Contentment –

The kind of life I want to live doesn’t require lots of stuff or money. Rather; contentment. Being happy with the sweet, simple things of life, & learning to find joy & peace in everyday moments.

What is your idea of a life well-lived?


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