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.

***

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 fall feeling

i fall for fall, especially in october. every year.

where i live, we wait a little longer for the leaves to change colors.

but eventually. . .

when we have almost given up hope for autumn’s good tidings. . .

the air around us gets crispy.

twilight beckons earlier.

cozy sweaters and bulky blankets nestle into nooks around our home, easily within reach for layering.

rustling leaves begin blanketing the sidewalk.

the billowing smell of a burning fireplace fills the night sky.

and, of course, there is the harvest of pumpkins.

in shui, pumpkins are regarded as very lucky charms — there is an auspicious belief they attract material goods + wealth.

they are also revered as protectors against negative energies so a few by the front door is simply smart shui.

but the very best part is pumpkins are elementally balanced, which is why they seem so vibrant + alive in their promenade around town.

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their orange-ish and sometimes neutral hues represent both fire and earth. and since orange is often considered a social color, pumpkins are a perfect pairing to halloween + thanksgiving since orange promotes lively conversation and communication. the fire element makes us feel warm + gracious while earth is grounding + comforting.

the gourds’ round shapes embody the metal element which helps us stay focused + mentally clear-headed.

and since they bloom from a plant, pumpkins hold the wood element, too. this is the element that gives us flexibility + opportunity for new growth.

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should your pumpkin have a glossy sheen, water is also being expressed. and when we incorporate water into our space, we connect with the flow of life.

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remember, when all the elements are expressed around you, it nourishes a restorative sense within you.

so, as autumn lights wherever you are, stitch her fully into your space with a plump pumpkin or two.

xo

 

simple shui | mum's the word

october simmers in delicious reds, pumpkin oranges, olive greens, dusty golds and varied hues of black mahogany.

just contemplating these colors creates an eruption of bliss inside me.

and one of the simplest ways i delight in autumn’s harvest is to bring as many of her rich colors to my front door.

so, a quickie reminder to fetch some mums right now.

i recently bought two of the biggest red mums i could find at a local nursery.

they were inexpensive. the buds were still snug and tight. and the color oozed warmth despite any chill in the air.

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i placed them in urns we’d spray painted aztec gold.

now, it comes as no surprise i fancy my front door as something special, right?

but it makes this mama glow when i see people walking their dogs and pointing at our front door. and when delivery people drop me a box while commenting on the bright beauties anchoring the door. and how friends and family can’t keep their hands from touching the luring abundance of flowers.

because it tells me those flowery ladies are doing exactly what i intended — greeting the world joyfully and welcoming all her good life energy right into our home.

so, consider your options this season: wreaths, pumpkins + gourds, mums, lanterns + candles. and if it draws your eye into delight, that is considered some seriously good shui.

and good shui makes me happy. so very happy.

xo