simple shui | the gift well guide

hello, sugar plums + happy december!

’tis the season of packages tied up with string, right? and because i LOVE the thrill of merry-making + joy-riding, i have a few suggestions that are sure to feel good giving.

when it comes to gifting with peace of mind and plenty of purpose, keep yours in one of these sweet spots – Edibles, Education, Experience, Expendables, and Entertainment – and your gift is forever safe from becoming forgotten, recycled, or banished to the clutter pile!

so, let’s get your gifting on and start with EDIBLES-ish:

it takes some serious WOW to WOO me, but once i fall, i am loyal for life. and these showstoppers are always within reach around here because they are just.so.good.

  • Olive Oil + Balsamic Vinegar – since my trip to Santa Fe a few years ago, i can’t get enough of how slurp worthy this stuff is. i inhaled my fair share of it in the store, so trust me: you can’t go wrong with any pairing. however, if the choices are too overwhelming, give them a call and you’ll get a personalized recommendation!
  • Pecan Lodge BBQ sauce – this place is Don Henley’s favorite, just so y’know. also, justin + diane are good friends of mine, and their genius is simply beyond words. they never disappoint + this stuff won’t either.
  • Golden Boy Pizza Sauce – we pizza here every Friday night, and this stuff is quickly becoming legendary.
  • Syrup – a steady + ready staple in our repertoire!
  • Sea Salt because it works anywhere – a little on the salad, a sprinkle on hot bread, a dash on chocolate ice cream, a scoop in the bath, a quick toss here and there around the house, a line at the doorstep…basically, this is EVERYTHING!

also.

i LOVE a soup pot because it suggests nourishment, comfort, and company. it caters well to hospitality always + in all ways – it pulls us into the kitchen to stoke our money maker (the oven!). and if you’re going to put a pot o’delish on, invite a few friends to break bread with you, and you’ll stir up good vibes in your space. it’s a gift-win-win!

a spot of warm is always a favorite, so consider a teapot. and when i say it is the gift that keeps on giving, hear this: moving water represents prosperity, so when you put water on to boil, you’re speaking the language of abundance. holla at the dollah!

a water pitcher is both utilitarian and an act of self-expression. whether used as a vase for fresh blooms; a utensil holder; or a water carafe during meals, it is an unfussy way to instill beauty – a scrumptious life force – in a home. and it really is such an unexpected gift! my suggestion? bring it filled with greenery + a pop of holiday color, and it becomes 2 gifts in 1, smartie!

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anything that suggests EDUCATION – like stacks of books – leaves me singing fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-LOVE! here are a few high-voltage reads that won’t disappoint.

for that boss lady (or laddie) ready to slay 2018, how about Year of Yes, Why Not Me?, You are a Badass at Making Money, and Yes Please.

for those who love being romanced by gorgeous words and hypnotic writing, Shadow of the Wind, The House of the Spirits, The Sun and Her Flowers, and Heart Talk.

for the memoir junkie (which i am all the days of my life!), The Journal of Best Practices, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Born to Run, I’m Judging You, Something to Declare, and Swimming With Elephants.

for someone who insists on a book that refuses to be put down, Kindred, The Historian, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Tiny Beautiful Things, and The Book Thief.

for that darling of a designer, how about Absolutely Beautiful Things, The Things That Matter, Morning Noon Night, and The New Bohemians Handbook?

and for someone wanting a little shui in her life (wink, wink), my simple shui workbooks…naturally!

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as for EXPERIENCE, i can’t even begin to tell you how much i <HEART> these women! each of these foxy fresh ladies has an irrefutable presence + smoking confidence, so you won’t go wrong getting in their world. and if you ever feel those self-doubts getting too much real estate, these are the women whose torches never dim so let them light yours!

kristen finch – i call her little Bu(ddha) because she is the steadiest hand in the game of LIFE. if you (or a lovie) need an encouraging shove into really showing up + taking up all the space, 8 days a week she is forever your girl.

jenn lederer is equal parts everygirl’s girlfriend + unapologetic coach + breakthrough whisperer – basically, a triple scoop treat!

flora bowley, pixie lighthorse, susannah conway: i am a front row fangirl of these women + the beauty they bring to the table – whether it is a book; an e-course; or their social media musings, their inspiration seduces and satiates the soul.

the tarot lady is a badass boss babe who over-delivers the goods in her forecasts (if you can get one!). and her coloring books are creative catnip for tarot lovah-lovahs!

the voluptuous witch – holy smokes, i LOVE this woman! she is an astrologer + activist + straight up truth teller who teaches me something new every single day. she is brilliant at calling out the excess (fear) so we can get into the life (love) we all deserve.

i *met* heidi rose this summer, and my reading made me run to the mountaintop and tell everyone about it! for real. FOR REAL.

and if you’re more of something-to-hold-onto giver, these cards are a house favorite. like, dipping back into all the feels from yesteryear while getting a cosmic fist bump!

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let’s talk EXPENDABLES, baby!

this candle is my new favorite thing because i adore pairing an intention with lighting a WHITE candle, so get one and let’s light 2018 up up up!

i have to give credit to my SIL for turning me onto these candles – and if you have the same response i did, good luck choosing just one!

my heart swoons for this company and i intend to collaborate + concoct a Simple Shui blend soon. like, really really really soon. until then, this and that are my favorites. but you can’t and won’t go wrong with any selection! (p.s. i like to buy these in batches for quick hostess gifts + client thank yous.)

as for lighting those candles, these babies make for clever coffee table conversation.

palo santo sticks: i love them; buy them by the bundle; light one on the daily; and methinks you should, too!

there are a couple things i firmly believe in keeping well-stocked, and this is one. i have been in the Juniper Ridge orbit since for-like-ever, and they keep getting better. bravo, team juniper, bravo!

front door swag is some seriously good shui AND no one ever expects it as a gift, so be someone’s front porch squad! give them a mat, splurge on an eye(and energy)-catching wreath, or sweep them off their feet with a pretty (it exists!) broom.

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finally, it is all about the ENTERTAINMENT. and for me, that distills down to what is happening around me because my kinda evening is Netflix + a bulky blanket + something to sip. so, here are few accents to make your home feel just as entertaining as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

follow her on insta and then, you know, find a way to bring a little of her ethereal magic home. because that is what she spins all the days.

her mala beads leave me obsessed. OBSESSED. (i am working on a wall of them.)

kantha quilts are all the rage in our house – i use them outside to get my hygge on, but i also love draping them over a table, piling them on a stool for visual texture, or pooling them into the nook of a chair for that “come hither” vibe.

a hefty dose of inspo + something delish? i’ll drink to that!

i am still pinching myself that we have an original portrait of hers – squeee! but if portraits aren’t your thing, how about commissioning a favorite quote? because something made just-for-me is gifting genius at its best.

and in the spirit of lovely things on the wall, how about visual motivation that looks as good as it feels?

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so, here’s to those lucky ladies and lads on your lists – any one of these gifts are simply the best. go for the things you like for the people you LOVE and you’ll have the holiday muses swooning in the air! xo

simple shui | happy halloween

if you haven’t joined the simple shui™ party happening on alexa + amazon, it’s time to moonwalk over and join me! i am sharing shui tricks + treats + truths you want! you need!! you can’t live without – haha!!! so, how about a whiff of the shui being served daily  – and just in time for Halloween!

this ditty i found in my notes from a call years ago with my mentor and friend, ellen. once upon a time, my lovelies would be so scared to go out on Halloween night, so she told me to send them trick-or-treating with a favorite piece of clothing underneath their costumes. simple and it reinforces feeling safe from all the things going bump in the night! if you want to mom-ify this a little more, encourage yours to choose something in a light color to balance out the dark palette and gestures of this holiday.

salt is one of nature’s most yang elements – and it offers protection from unwanted energy. so, whether it is at a festive party or on Halloween night, salt is a good thing to have on hand when good and questionable energies collide. instead of simply leaving bowls of salt out, however, let’s make this more glamorous. use himalayan salt candle holders to set the mood and keep negative ions (nature’s feel good vibes!) floating through the air! #winwinwin

wealth begins with a consciousness of abundance. you have to see it to receive it, so use the excuse of candy season to stock up on + hand out gold covered chocolate coins! how’s that for delicious and auspicious?

yang energy creates movement and action – so, it can speed up what we are seeking to manifest in our lives. and if you’re a destination spot for trick-or-treaters, your house will be the lucky recipient of super duper yang energy. however, if there is clutter in your space, it will absorb that reinvigorated energy that knows how to move you in new directions – opportunities + adventures + LOVE. what to do? give your house a quick clean before the doorbell rings and the good energy bling will be all yours!

finally, this simple shui™ tip has mileage all year long, lovies! after any holiday travel or vacation, you want to yank up (yang up) energy in your house. when we are away, the energy in our space gets quiet, settled, and a little too still because nothing is happening. upon your return, make like a gust of wind and turn the faucets on; open the windows; tune into some music; and stoke the stove or oven to get energy back on her feet and moving on your behalf. a quick on + off is all you need to wake the space up! remember, moving energy equals prosperous energy, so this shui guarantees high fives + smiles 8 days a week!

xo

simple shui | how it all began + a BIG announcement

because my current home is what got me into all of this in the first place, how about we begin there?

up until a few weeks past my 32nd birthday, i leaned into decisions cerebrally. i had a thing for hard proof – it furnished me a sense of control. so when we stepped into our new home and nothing felt right, i heaped blame on the recent move. months later, though, those swishy whispers were screaming. our home catered well to our needs, but i couldn’t get comfortable. even worse, i felt stuck. and as a stay-at-home mama to full-throttle 3-year-olds, i couldn’t muster the energy to combat crawl my way onto higher ground.

like so many others, i had read The Secret and wanted to believe i could change my life with a few, well-rounded affirmations. but in this particular moment of need, i was coming up short. on the edge of a really bad day, i grabbed my copy and treated it like an oracle – superstitiously summoning an answer.

letting the book fall open, i saw two words: FENG SHUI.

i’d heard those words before, although i’d never put my fingerprints on them. the whole idea sounded too good to be true and totally woo. i required logic and solid facts. but i sensed something was different about us in this new house. since the move, our financial obligations had increased, leaving our resources without any elasticity. the stress was strangling all hope, and our marriage bore the marks.

so, in that precise moment, i paused, “what could it hurt if i tried feng shui?”

with a healthy skepticism, i began a search online.

my house is already in a state of feng shui? what the. . .i don’t even *do* feng shui. this makes no sense.

my utter lack of understanding delivered a curious surge of energy, and with it, i read my first feng shui book. and with our financial “cushion” threadbare, my focus was easy: money, money, money.

first on my feng shui list: buy fresh flowers. it felt incredibly self-indulgent, so i bought the cheapest blooms i could find. a few weeks later, i purchased a water fountain. i had steep reservations about the cost, but this feng shui “cure” promised quick results. my final touch was adding purple – the color feng shui associates with wealth – in our kitchen. i put purple Sharpies in a drawer; i kept African violets on the dining table (still do); and i taped purple construction paper on the underneath side of our kitchen table.

(yes, i am totally serious about the construction paper.)

i continued making home improvements. i replaced burned out lightbulbs, pruned our front yard, and threw away incriminating clutter. feng shui was an addictive distraction – there was always something to do. within a few months, my husband had accepted a new job with a reassuring raise, and we found a preschool with openings for the girls. best of all – our home was feeling less like a stranger in our lives.

full stop.

was this a lucky coincidence or. . .

was feng shui actually working?

success leaves clues. and every shui suggestion i followed was acknowledged with synchronicity – like love winks from the Universe. the kind of woo-woo that left me wondering if i was maybe interpreting everything as a sign. good vibes were hatching in our nest, but we still had an overhaul of fixes. so, i threw myself into reading more and forecasting another round of changes.

we painted walls.

we hung photos and artwork on those freshly lacquered walls.

and, we finally agreed on a plan for our still unpacked office. as we were putting those affairs in order, my attention was still tangled up in our finances. sitting at my new desk, i sent three “cold” emails to local PR companies. within a week, those three responses blossomed into three interviews. a few weeks later, i had a part-time freelance gig i could do from home.

feng shui appeared bulletproof, and i wanted in.

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this is an excerpt from my workbook LIVE WITH WHAT YOU LOVE. a year later, i am still celebrating it along with CLUTTER IS NOT LOVE and CREATING SACRED SPACE. i wrote them for me. for you. and for our homes. they’re progressive. practical. and pitch perfect for wherever you are in life because simple shui is an everyday way of being. and the curated ideas + suggestions are *the* starter kit for anyone looking to confidently shui.

as for that BIG announcement. . .

three new workbooks are swirling, and i can barely contain the details + delights that await! these workbooks delve deeper into shui, but their magic will be most potent when you have an understanding of the LOVE, CLUTTER, and SPACE CLEARING fundamentals. so, get your starter kit + follow its thread so you can step into the sheer velocity of these new workbooks! and for those of you who already have your bundle, thank you! it makes me light up like a thousand suns having your support + feeling that LOVE!

xo

 

simple shui | a few bedroom moves everyone should know

if you’re not getting along famously with your bedroom, it’s time. everything is energy + everything is connected. and when we desire any improvement in our lives – that coveted promotion, a little extra va-voom to workout, a thick-as-thieves social circle, or even establishing beyoncé-like boundaries for ourselves – this space deserves to be your main squeeze.

as a practitioner, i know how protective we are about our private spaces and not wanting to reveal what’s behind the closed door:

i didn’t make my bed this morning.

it is a laundry/work/clutter minefield in there.

the kids built a fort and moved in – we still haven’t cleaned it up.

if chaos is loose in the bedroom, it’s likely there are disruptions percolating in your life. why? a bedroom is where we are most vulnerable. this is where we sleep; express ourselves sensually; and if we are lucky, seek refuge when we need an escape from the battalion of daily demands.

however, when we funnel our resources exclusively to the social areas of our home, it’s a good indicator we care more about the people around us than we do ourselves. and if we don’t prioritize ourselves, why should others?

we all are familiar with airplane etiquette – put on your mask first; then your child’s, right? same scenario. we cannot possibly attract twice as nice circumstances if we don’t give ourselves the necessary attention {and compassion} of being fully refreshed. and guess what? you cannot multi-task your own well-being.

so, my smart cookie, here are a few of my favorite gang changers. and instead of looking at this list as what shui expects in a room, simply rock what works for you. because a happy YOU leaves little room for anything else!

 

COUNT BY TWOS.

even if you’re not in a relationship or seeking some sizzle between the sheets, bedrooms are synonymous with all relationships. back to the beginning of this post, when we are in pursuit of something we really want – a business venture or a social opportunity – we can anchor the concept of partnership easily + eloquently in the bedroom by keeping things in even numbers. so, a pair of nightstands, a pair of lamps, or an even assortment of pillows – you know, it takes two to make a thing go right. . .

feng shui + bedrooms + love (3)

 

CONTENT MATTERS.

if your walls are adorned with kids’ photos, all eyes are on you. almost like you are being watched – a-hem. so, if your love life is barely flickering, try taking those precious faces down for 9 days. see what happens. and if things heat up, replace the family portfolio with something that brews romance.

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CREATE BALANCE.

i’m talking yin and yang, black and white. they are not mutually exclusive – an excellent metaphor for relationships. so, a touch of these colors in a bedroom is a worthy nod to equality and balance in our partnerships. plus, it’s fun to play with this unexpected detail! and the options available will tickle your idea box: art prints, photography, books, jewelry boxes, lamps, rugs, vases. . .

feng shui + bedrooms + love (7)

our focus determines so much of where we end up, and given that the bedroom bookends our days, it matters. so do something to dress your room with LOVE and watch how the universe shows up spectacularly, scattering sunshine + stars all around you.

and, if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, whoa! you’re missing out BIG. this week i’m sharing a glimpse into my refuge and how shui works for me! plus, i’ll share a few more tips + tricks to keep your retreat cozy + cooing! so, hop over + sign up!!!

xo

simple shui | house love

i busied myself all weekend nesting.

when the temps {finally} start dipping, it’s less about the places to go + people to see and more about cozy comfort. for me, anyway.

and since my benedictions have shui roots, it seems a few might fancy you + your space in coming weeks.

{1} FLIP THE RUGS.

come into my space + you see rugs. everywhere. why? they soften our steps + provide a clear path into our home + hold boundaries. not a bad metaphor for life, eh? but to keep the path from getting too well-worn and familiar, i flip them around when things get stale. the same idea applies to anything that sits in the same spot for a good stretch.

{2} REFRESH THE SOIL.

if you garden outside, you know turning + tending the dirt keeps soil nutrient dense. however, our indoor plants often don’t relish that same TLC. which is why i say boost potted dirt with fresh soil. when a plant has a healthy root system, you can almost rest assure it’ll grow, right? it’s a great reminder {and analogy} for us to tend the things we can’t see as well as the things we do. so, if you have any goals you’re nurturing or feel like the creativity well is dried up, get your hands dirty.

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{3} ADD ELEMENTS OF FIRE.

fire has long been associated with survival, so it’s no surprise we naturally gather in the hearth of a kitchen or around a fireplace. especially as the winter months move in. lucky for us, fire itself is not the only expression of fire in shui. animals are symbolic of fire, too, because of their energy + radiance + life. and to warm things up around here, i cover a few dining room chairs with faux sheepskins. simple + soft + totally stylish. you say sheepskin isn’t your bag? consider other animal textures – wool or cashmere would be brilliant, too!

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{4} PURIFY THE AIR.

when we congregate indoors because of cooling temps outdoors, the air quality gets wonky. two words: beeswax candles. they are mighty magic makers – they have a long burn time; they are hypo-allergenic because there are no additives; and they generate negative ions which make you feel more positive. keep the vibes high, and pepper a few of these around your space during the hibernating months ahead.

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{5} GROUND YOURSELF.

i often tell clients a bowl of rocks near the front door will help slow things down. while i adore the revelry of the holidays – school performances + winter parties + endless shopping for gifts + groceries + glitterati – i also crave a sustainable beat to the hustle. so, to ensure we are all grounded as the season gears up, i placed a collection of rocks in the center of our house. since this sacred space feeds into all the other areas of our home {and lives}, it is the most practical place for anchoring any dose of merciful support. plus, i LOVE seeing my rocks every day. and you know what i say about LOVE. . .

as we careen into the weeks ahead, it’s a good reminder to be selective + intentional about what is happening in our space. whether these ideas work for you or inspired something even better, remember your house is a reflection of everything happening right now. so, show your space a little extra LOVE and it’ll be more than enough! xo