December 21, 2022

Merry Christmas! We’re Taking a Week Off

If you’ve been following us for long, you know that we are passionate about encouraging and empowering women to craft lifestyles that fuel their most life-giving goals. Our productivity driven culture likes to tell us that we can either have a thriving business or be home-loving women, but not both. We simply don’t buy this. We believe we can honor the business responsibilities we’ve been given, and also serve our families by being fully present, especially this Christmas week.

That’s why every year we choose to shut things down and take the next week off business activities so we don’t have the pressure of being on our phones, pulling out our laptops, or cramming in work blocks into our holiday plans. Instead, we’re going to cozy up with our families, slow down to soak in the goodness of the season, and fully celebrate the joy of the birth of Christ.

What does “off” mean?

  • The shop is still open! You can place orders at any time, but those orders won’t be packed up and shipped until Wednesday, December 28th.
  • We won’t be checking our inboxes regularly. If you’ve interacted with us, you know we place a high value on serving our customers well. If there is any issue with a product, we will make it right. If you have a question, we want to give you answers. But, we won’t be checking our inboxes and responding until Wednesday, December 28th.

As we head toward Christmas, we find ourselves so incredibly thankful for how the business has grown this year. Thank you for all the ways you have supported us in 2022! You all have really blown us away this holiday season. We are so grateful we can take a week off to be with our families, and encourage you to do the same.

We wish you and your family the Merriest Christmas!

December 14, 2022

4 Practical Tips for a Peaceful Christmas

The days before Christmas are quickly slipping away. If you’re feeling a crushing sense of overwhelm at everything left to do before now and then, take a deep breath. Grab something warm to drink, and cozy up for some words of encouragement and practical tips before you launch into frenzied action.

We could never outdo Zechariah’s Canticle when he proclaims in the first chapter of Luke, “…through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

It is right to long for peace, to want to shut out the noise around you, and just sit with your family and revel in awe of the fact that God is with us, that a Savior is born, that “a weary world rejoices.”

You want to stay focused on what matters most. But with a hundred things on the to-do list, it’s can be difficult to transpose the message of “peace on earth” to “peace within.” Here are some practical tips you can utilize today to step out of your frenzied hurry and into the stillness of peace.​

Practical Tips to Cultivate Peace This Week

  • Declutter your brain. You cannot expect to have the space to relax if your brain has a hundred tabs open and trying to load all at once. Get every single task and detail that’s weighing on your mind down on paper. And then sort them according to their priority. What absolutely has to happen? What is important, but not essential? What is fun, but not important? Having absolute clarity on the things that are most essential, will automatically bring a sense of peace to your to-do list. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed and have some time to commit to really sorting through the overwhelm, it could be a great week to download our Taming Your To-Do List Guide (use the code TAMETHATLIST to get this resource for free). One evening of coming to grips with your list may be just the ticket to a peaceful week leading up to Christmas.
  • Envision what you really want this Christmas. Be specific. It helps to journal this out in the flex space of your planner, incorporating and highlighting core value words in your description. Here are some ideas: reverent, calm, cozy, mindful, delightful, deep, warm, centered, focused, together, anticipation, hope.
  • Be willing to cut the nonessential. If your vision is a festive and delicious Christmas dinner—stressing yourself out to add variety to your cookie selection will minimally add to the warmth of togetherness. In fact, it could actually be counterproductive as you will struggle to have the presence of mind to relax and infuse peace into your family’s dinner with your own still spirit. The idea that the host has to be stressed out of her mind every Christmas as she slaves to make everything flawless is a LIE. Your family needs your joy more than they need a Pinterest-perfect dinner. Ruthlessly edit your to-do list so that you can show up for what’s truly essential this week.
  • Take moments to be still. When you feel your stress levels rising, don’t just push through. Take a deep breath and remember Who this season is all about! Jesus welcomed Mary to sit at His feet, even while Martha was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. It’s so tempting to say, “I’ll find my center in Christ after _____.” That doesn’t have to be your story this Christmas season. Christ came for you to lay down your burdens, too. He’s not worried if you forgot to order your Advent calendar in time, or if your kids have their matching pajamas clean on Christmas morning. So every time you feel your Martha coming on, choose a Mary moment. Take a long drink of water, settle the kids, and then take a moment by yourself to just Abide. Don’t get on Instagram, but instead set a timer for 5 minutes. Put on a playlist that ministers to you. Breathe deeply, keep your eyes closed, and lean into a conversation with God until the timer goes off. It doesn’t take much to recenter on what matters—but it does take intention.

Christmas is eleven days away. That’s eleven days to cultivate peace in your home. Eleven days to knock out the essential things and let the rest fall away. Eleven days to prepare to celebrate the greatest moment the world has ever known.

November 30, 2022

The Evergreen Planner System

Planner season is in full swing, and during this time of year, we always find ourselves reflecting as a team about the origin of the Evergreen Planner system. There are so many planner systems out there, so why did we decide to jump into this business? What is it that keeps us going year after year?

The answer is simply that we created a product that has drastically transformed our daily lives by giving us a planner system that enables us to stay on track with what matters most to us even in the most mundane of daily choices. And we care deeply about making sure this product is available to other women who care about intentional living in the same way we do.

We created a product that helps you translate your vision for life into strategic, daily choices and it’s been incredible to see it become a tool that not only helps us, but one that women around the world are using to make intentional living intuitive.

A Planner to Declutter Your Mind

There are so many details to manage in our modern lifestyles. Even the simplest of lifestyles often include a small business (or three), school schedules, household tasks, hospitality, travel itineraries, etc. That’s a lot of information bogging down your valuable attention reserves!

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November 16, 2022

My Favorite Time-Management Hack for Managing the Mundane as a Creative

The Pomodoro Method

Tonight, I (Shelby) am using what’s called The Pomodoro Method—but with my own twist (which I’ll get to in a minute).

The method was developed by a university student who had a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato (pomodoro means tomato in Italian). With his original time-management technique, you use a kitchen timer to discipline yourself to short, focused bursts of work, with short breaks in between.

Typically, the breakdown is four rounds of 25 minutes working with 5 minute breaks in between (which equals about 2 hours of focused work). Then after the four rounds you get a longer break (around 25 minutes) before repeating the process. My shorthand for this particular application of the technique is 25-5 x4.

I used this technique a lot when I was freelancing. The work I was doing would often get very granular and repetitive. Sometimes the monotony would make me throw in the towel—especially when I thought about needing to do eight hours of the same tasks. The Pomodoro Method kept me on track, while also legitimizing the need for breaks.

How This Hack Came in Clutch Today

I mentioned at the beginning that I’m using this hack right now—with a twist. Here’s what’s happening: I ended up unexpectedly having a free night. The kids are at the grands, the husband is working late, and the house is blissfully quiet.

It’s also a royal mess. Shortly before being ushered out the door, mine were just two of the nine kiddos running around the place. The “event” wasn’t planned—we just live in a tight-knit community with a lot of cousins. I typically do not let my children leave behind a mess for others to clean up (and neither do the other parents involved), but I happily prioritized more time for a leisurely visit over our normal habits this time.

I figured I could whip the place back into shape as soon as they were out the door.

But as I was tying on my apron and rolling up my sleeves, inspiration struck. I wanted to write more than I wanted to clean my house. (I know there are other creatives out there who resonate with this dilemma.)

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