Cleaning + Purging Before You Move

If you’re anything like me, having a handy to-do list can be helpful, and overwhelming at the same time.
I’ve moved 4 times in the last 4 years, and every time I make a to-do list. And then I get overwhelmed and avoid it like that one ex you can’t stand to see. I want to look, so I can be updated on their status, but I’m scared that looking will force me to have to come to terms with what I need: closure.



There’s another reason I’m scared of creating a to-do list for moving. Reality begins to set in that I will no longer be living in this place, and where I’m going is unfamiliar to me. Change isn’t always easy. But it’s also one of the best times to clean house and purge your life and home of things you no longer want (and maybe never wanted at all).

As a frequent reader of all things Danielle LaPorte, the first thought that pops into my head while preparing for our move is, how do I want to feel??

So, I made a list of feelings I want to experience while I’m packing, cleaning, and purging:

I want to feel:

  • Peace – freedom from or the cessation of war or violence; freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
  • Excited – very enthusiastic and eager; of or in an energy state higher than the normal or ground state
  • Stable – firmly established
  • Inspired – of extraordinary quality, as if arising from some external creative impulse; (of air or another substance) that is breathed in.
  • Pure – without any extraneous and unnecessary elements.
  • Abundant – existing or available in large quantities; plentiful; having plenty of something.
  • Purged – to free someone from (an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition)

I then starting thinking about what I could do to feel this way; what tasks would make me feel pure and abundant? What tasks would make me feel inspired enough to keep going, and crossing things off my to-do list?

And this is what I came up with:

  • Cleaning the bathroom – peace
  • Throwing/giving away old clothes – purged/abundant
  • Organizing my files – stable
  • Cleaning out my blue and clear drawers – purged
  • Washing all of my clothes – pure
  • Helping the boys clean their room – stable/excited
  • Packing up my fall/winter clothes – pure

Just looking at that list makes my heartbeat slow down and the corners of my mouth turn up.
I’m not seeking to overachieve, or get a gold star for being the “Best Step-Mom Ever!” I’m not trying to impress my friends, readers, or even myself.
I’m just doing what makes me feel good.

All is well.

I am not overwhelmed. I know what I need to do over the next seven days.

I am at peace.

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5 Masculine Graduation Gifts – Etsy

Hey, y’all! It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Between working on the new partnership with IAM-OSH, and starting a marketing class, I’ve been super busy. Still, it doesn’t excuse not sharing with you all every now and then. For that I apologize!


Today’s inspiration comes from my need to buy a graduation gift before May 3…yikes!

I have a hand in helping plan a graduation party by providing my design services to the graduate, but I still want to give a small token to my dear friend.

This gift needed to be more masculine centered, with a mix of classic modern style, and very personalized to his tastes. When searching for gifts, I tend to stray away from anything that is generalized. Gifts are personal, and special care should be taken to make sure the recipients will enjoy them.



what would you do - studioclaire - 15

 Studio Claire$15

Nothing evokes personalized more than a quote that speaks to the graduate’s experience. It’s also a very balanced piece.


Tech Accessories

iphone dock fitzwoodys furniture

FitzWoodys $160

Tech accessories are always a fab gift for Millennials and even their GenXer friends and families. The above is a more multi-functional gift, providing organization and a little help in the technology department.


Desktop Accessories

Genuine Leather Handmade Journal

Crafty Leather$38

As a writer, my graduating friend would use this to write down notes, and maybe even document his journey from student to working professional.

Practical Gifts

desk organizer - scandalaskan - $65

Scandalaskan $65

A part of being an adult is making sure that we stay organized. A clear space can do wonders for brainstorming sessions, and even “what-the-hell-am-I-doing-with-my-life” sessions.

soviet watch vintage - Soviet Watches - 32.18

Soviet Watches $33

Buying an amazing one-of-a-kind watch can never go wrong.

It’s practical and personalized.


Although graduation comes around every year, and there’s usually at least one person you know that would appreciate the gift, putting it off until the last minute is very common. If you’re waiting until the week of–like myself–giving them a card the day of can keep any awkwardness away. You could even include a note with an estimated date of arrival for their package.  Remember, what graduates need most is the assurance that you’re in their corner, rooting them on to even greater success.

I hope you all are having a fabulous week!

Ms. Jones Tag

Pinning Purple

 My home feed on Pinterest is really smoking hot right now.

purple dresses




purple 2
It’s flooded with luscious purple wedding details by Joyful Joinings, an inclusive wedding company in Maryland. Their Pinterest boards are all stock full of gorgeous wedding inspiration. My favorites? The Lighting, Modern, Retro, and Vintage boards. Absolutely stunning.

Are you ready for some joy?

If so, spending some time perusing their boards will leave you giddy as a newborn baby 😉


Happy pinning!




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Open Back Wedding Dresses: Katie May Bridal

What makes Katie May’s bridal collections so irresistible to me are how graceful and feminine her dresses are..and the fact that every single dress is backless

I’m a busty girl, yet I can’t help but imagine myself in a wedding dress shows off my incredible back muscles, smooth skin, and round bum 😉

Aren’t these just lovely?


katie may Katie-May-Wedding-Dress-Collection-101

The laced edges; the scooped back. The trumpet hemline and the simple yet gorgeous trains. Everything is so very feminine and delicate…I love it!

Perfect for a beach or garden wedding or barn wedding or destination wedding or lake wedding or summer wedding–the list can go on.

Do these dresses making you swoooon?

check out more dresses here

I AM SAFE + New Year Resolutions = Preparation

Have you made your new year’s resolutions yet?
I have, and I’ve been preparing for them since September. Planning comes easy for me. In fact, I make resolutions every single year, even if the list is only 3 bullet points long.

What makes resolutions so difficult is that we often don’t put the time in to prepare for the changes we desire to make.

When I realized that my lack of execution in some areas wasn’t about how great or detailed my plans were, but more connected to the “lack of preparation”, I jumped on the opportunity to try something I’d never done before.

I not only laid out my plans, I also asked myself how I could best prepare for what I wanted to experience, do, and feel in 2014.  (I talked a little bit about that here.)

Preparation doesn’t just mean ordering supplies, talking to vendors, and making lists. 

Making significant changes in your life often requires a change of environment. Even if you cannot leave the place where you reside, work, or socialize, adding little design elements that remind you of the internal change you’re seeking to make can bring much needed peace.

Often times, it’s the lack of support from others that deters us from preparing for our dreams to manifest themselves. If your environment doesn’t support how you most naturally create,  and you need a reminder that your creative genius is safe, the    I AM SAFE shop by I AM THE LAB was made just for you. (Brett’s having a sale, so you should head over to the blog and check out more of his work!)


These stationary cards really make my day. They resound with a post I wrote on my personal blog last year, and are the perfect way to bring my mind and heart into focus during a creative slump. I tend to internalize my creative insecurities, and a lot of mental chatter can distract from finding solutions that are right in front of me.

i am wanted loveable whole tote bag

Words like, “This isn’t good enough…does this mean I’m not good enough? Maybe I should pass this project along to someone who has more experience. Maybe I should quit doing this all together…” But like I said, most of it is just mental chatter. The moment I focus on “I WANTED. I AM LOVABLE. I AM SAFE.”, I’m reminded that my creativity is a safe place. I am a safe place. Quickly, trust of self returns, and I get back into the flow of creating.

What are some of the ways you’re preparing for the awesomeness of 2014? Do they include design elements? Share in the comments below!

Ms. Jones Tag

Home Decor: Painted Floors

Smoothness. Cool to the touch. If you hold still enough you just might feel the earth spinning on its axis.

Similar to my youngest son (he’s almost 4), I spent many moments  as child on the floor trying desperately to feel the earth move beneath my body. I also preferred sleeping on the floor more than sleeping in my bed–especially if it was with a good book. Give me a nice blanket and pillow, and I’ll easily make a hardwood floor my sleeping pallet.

Thanks to Jocellyn from I Dream of Poutine I’ve got a new-found love for…painted floors!

black and white diamonds - house that lars built

Although the and white diamond pattern reminds me more of my grandmother’s kitchen floor than a contemporary 20-something’s home, I think that’s what draws me to it. Pairing the flooring with light and fresh foliage keeps it on the younger side. I’m sure having ample storage would help, too.

orange and white diamonds - mav

This look is a little more refreshing and modern. The almost orange wood and white makes me think of a creamsicle, and keeps the cheery mood of the floor flowing. I would, once again, pair the floor with light foliage. There’s just something about adding a little green to the mix that tones down the vintage feel and keeps it from feeling..well…outdated.

triangle - smitten studio

Of course, this is my favorite and something I would die to my floors if 1) I was allowed to paint my hardwood floors and 2) our studio area didn’t have carpet. How fun are the triangles? It’s like having an eternal “after-the-party” moment. There’s a little champagne left, and you’ve waved goodbye to the last guest. The leftover hors d’oeuvres happen to include your favorites, and the last song on your Spotify playlist is the one you’ve been wanting to hear all night.

Yep! All that in a few triangles sprinkled over painted hardwood.

Are you just as in love with floors as I am? If so, leave a quick note with a link to your favorite floors. I’d love to see what floor details make your heart swell!

Sweet dreams and happy Monday!

Ms. Jones Tag