Neat Living Monthly #3

Happy mid-February! Is that a thing? The weeks have gone so fast that January and these past two weeks of February all blend in a blur for me. In the months of January and February, I usually get slammed with new design requests or tweaks of existing designs for First Communions coming up this spring. So, lately, I have been busy creating new Religious designs in my Etsy shop.

Being busy with Etsy makes me feel guilty about pushing other tasks important for my blog’s growth. So, in this monthly recap of what I’ve done and been through, I’d like to touch on a subject I know is important for many of us.

On Balance and Planning

Every January, I create a schedule and decide which days I will work on which business. On paper, it looked something like this:

  • Monday, Tuesday, and Friday – Blog
  • Wednesday – Stairs Business
  • Thursdays – Etsy Shop

And then my inbox tells me: I am sorry to burst your bubble. Even though it’s a Monday, the staircase contract needs to be sent out ASAP, and this Etsy customer wants a new design.

Every day, I find myself fighting mentally with my plans and what the day throws at me. If I don’t send the contract, I will jeopardize our stairs business and make customers very unhappy. If I don’t gracefully reply to my Etsy customers, Etsy will literally penalize my store’s rating if I do not respond to a message within 24 hours.

This is to say that planning with so much structure and detail doesn’t work for me right now. It’s not practical in this season of my life when I have to run three separate businesses that are all important to my family and me. If anything, being so strict with my plans causes me to panic (and feel guilty) when I drop one of the balls.

And then I remember that balance is overrated.

I dropped the word balance from my vocabulary a long time ago. In the words of my mentor Ruth Soukup, ‘balance doesn’t always mean dividing my time equally between worthy endeavors, but instead learning how to focus all my attention on the top priority at any given time.

So, there’s my little nugget of wisdom for you this month!

Organize This

Last week, as I was unloading the dishwasher, I finally ‘had it’ with my cluttered cabinet. You guys, you might think that I am very organized, but we live here. Every day I play giant Jenga inside this cabinet. So out of desperation, I stopped everything I was doing and cleared out the clutter.

Purging process

Sometimes, all you need is 15 minutes. I pulled everything out, and as I emptied the cabinet, I sorted it all into three main categories: keep, donate (or toss), and relocate. I mean, how many food storage containers do I need? The truth is, I kept them all. I thought about Thanksgiving and all the leftovers, and I knew that come November, I would regret not having this many.

But, I tossed old cutting boards, relocated the turkey (red) roasting pan, and reorganized the food storage containers and prep bowls for easier access. The silly board dividing the cabinet drives me up a wall! I wasn’t going to write about a rather simple process, but I think I have a few tips I’d love to share with you in a future post. So stay tuned for the after!

UPDATE: Check out the functional kitchen cabinet organization.

Things That Caught My Eye

So, here are a few things that caught my eye this past month. No affiliate links here; just spreading the news and sharing the love!

  1. Etsy Revealed the Colors of the Year – I could not be happier with this reveal since Indigo -my favorite color- is one of them! I can already see many indigo and navy blue home decor items in the stores! I’ll soon share with you my spring bookcase.
  2. Embracing a Collected Home – As I redecorated my bookcase for spring, I realized there were many things I did not want to swap or remove at all. They are dear to me. Unknowingly, I am creating a collected home. Joanna Gaines explains it better!
  3. The Great Courses – I received a (physical) catalog in the mail from The Great Courses. I snagged a photography course for $30. Ok, I haven’t started it yet! But the reviews are great, and I think this website is a good resource for those looking to expand their knowledge on anything!
  4. The Catechism in a Year Podcast – Oh, my goodness. Not to get overly religious here, but if there’s anything I can say about the last six weeks, my faith and knowledge of God and His Creation have been enriched ten-fold in the last 43 days. I listen to it on my commute to and from school. It’s free. Also available on Apple Podcasts.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. For more information, please read my Affiliates Disclosure.

Things I Am Loving Lately

As usual, my ‘things I am loving lately’ section is a collection of my current obsessions and why I share them with you.

  • BRB Purple Shampoo and Conditioner – If you are blonde, have highlights or ombre, and like me, hate brassy tones, this set of shampoo and conditioner is your savior!
  • Great Barrier Heat Protectant Hair Spray – This is from the same company that makes the BRB shampoo. I love this hairspray, it holds my beachy waves for days without weighing my hair down. And it smells amazing!
BRB purple shampoo
  • Short Sleeve Dress from Target – I love a flowy dress, especially living in South Florida. With the exception of today being an abnormal 66 degrees, we have already hit the high 80s this year. I could not let these pass.
  • Manuka Honey Immunity Gummies – I don’t know what took me so long to share these. Since the pandemic, I switched to these, and believe me when I tell you, I have never been healthier in my adult life.
  • Olly Women’s Multivitamin Gummies -Along the same lines, I think this multivitamin is the reason I feel healthier, focused, and energetic.
  • Worn Gold and Brushed Brass Drop Earrings – I think you’ve seen my face enough around here to realize that I LOVE dangling earrings. I am always on the hunt for new ones. These are my favorite pair – right now! LOL
in-drawer makeup storage
  • Skinny Laundry Hamper With Wheels – Sometimes, you must bite the bullet and pay a higher price for good quality. There’s a very tight space between the vanity and the toilet in my boy’s bathroom. I purchased this skinny laundry hamper in the summer of 2021. After almost two years, it broke because of its flimsy frame. I searched high and low for something sturdy to fit the space and had to pay a higher price. But I KNOW that it will withstand the use and abuse of a teenage boy.
  • Transparent Sticky Notes – I am using these on my wall calendar. I love how I can plan my editorial calendar but still have the flexibility to move things around. Tasha at Kaleidoscope Living (where you can get the calendar from) gets credit for this brilliant idea!

Shop Things I Am Loving Lately

Have a wonderful rest of the month and week!


  1. I’m listening to Fr. Mike’s Catechism in a year too, I am enjoying as well. Learning so much. Love the transparent sticky notes!! Will have to get some. Have a great day!

    1. Hi, Zobbie! The Catechism in a Year is truly a gift. I am happy to hear you are listening to it too. Thank you for sharing your experience, too! And yes, those sticky notes are great. Thanks for reading XO

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