I wanted to take a quick second and thank you for visiting the blog, or if you’ve already visited, welcome back! I launched this website a few weeks ago and I am so enthusiastic about this initiative!! I wrote an “about us” page when we launched, but I think this is a good time to explain a little more about sugar & succulents as a lifestyle brand and what our motto means.
I created sugar & succulents as a way to find my truest self and live a more authentic life. That statement might prompt questions like “were you some sort of cool secret agent?” or “are you an untrustworthy con-artist?” Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is no, but let me explain a little about what my goals are:
To me, being my truest self means letting go of certain social norms and stereotypes. Ignoring roles I am supposed to fill. Redefining how I present myself to the world. I think as young adults, particularly women, we are typecast based on factors out of our control. Our background, race, gender, religion, or financial status sanctions others to pigeonhole us into a mold. I want to break out of that mold, and live a life that I’m proud of.
When I left my career and couldn't find the next “dream job” I kept asking myself what I was supposed to do and where I was expected to work. Understandably, these questions weren't leading me to the next dream job, or the answers I yearned for. Answering them, would tell me what others would expect me to do, but didn't do a thing for helping me to figure out my own desires. I was stuck: jobless with an abundance of ambition and motivation, but no path to follow.
I started making lists. Lots and lots of lists. I listed books I thought would help me. Three of the most beneficial were: The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg and The Confidence Code by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay. These books helped me to organize my home and thoughts, then to better understand my interests as a professional, and how to stimulate my own self-confidence.
I list ideas of crafts to make, abilities to master, and restaurants to enjoy. I am better understanding my own likes and dislikes through these small experiments. I love Asian spices, but can’t take the heat of Mexican ones. I taught myself to knit. I refinished a bunch of furniture pieces (which you can read about and DIY here). I am cultivating activities I excel in, while disregarding any that are unsatisfactory. I don't believe self-development ever really ends, rather I am ceaselessly adapting and reassessing my plans for the future, growing my interests, and focusing on my passions. I expect you’ll notice this change as this blog evolves.
I’m using this platform as a way to test new ideas, to write down recipes and thoughts, projects and reviews. This experience is a very public one and as I find my own voice, I hope my journey inspires you to consider your own.
I’d also like to provide a more in depth analysis of our motto. If you order something from sugar & succulents, you’ll receive a “taylored” (ha: get it?) note from me, along with one of my favorite quotes. The quote reads:
The first time I read this sentence, the words found a home in my heart. I’ve never forgotten them, and the phrase has become a daily mantra for me. I’ll be the first to admit that I loved my habits. They were comfortable, they were continuous, they allowed me to exist on autopilot. But I’m giving them up because existing and thriving are two very different worlds.
I am trying to start each day with a list of intentions. These objectives are sometimes tasks, sometimes behaviors, but always my own. I’m not saying “do whatever you want all the time,” or guiding a hippie chant of “let your body speak to you,” but I think it’s important to have control over your day, your life, your actions. Don't routinely complete the same tasks because you're expected to, or simply because you always have.
I think Marie Kondo’s book really resonated with me: the book teaches how to keep things in the home that spark joy. But why stop there? I aspire to keep thoughts in my head and perform actions that do the same thing.
I recognize that there are certain things, like working Monday to Friday, that might not be able to change. But there are ways to add joy to the mundane, to be present, and to live those moments. One small change I’ve made is that I’ve started listening to podcasts instead of music. Some of my favorites include: This American Life, Stuff You Should Know, and Serial. Whenever I had music on, I wasn't really listening. It was just background noise, something to fill empty space. So, I replaced that time with podcasts. Adding just one podcast to my day increases my knowledge in various subjects and allows me to feel like I’m doing something useful with time otherwise wasted. Maybe podcasts aren't your thing; thats okay! But the real question is- Do you know what is?
I'm encouraging you to think outside your box. if you normally go to the gym before work everyday- Why is that? iIs it just a habit you've decided on? Is it actually beneficial to the way you structure your day? If the answer is yes, be content in that. You've deliberately organized your day to support your other responsibilities. If not, what can you do differently to assemble a better framework? Perhaps you can join a gym class or go after work.
Constructing positive changes may allow you to feel more fulfilled and purpose driven; who knows what could happen next? Take some time now to intentionally decide who you want to be, and how you want to live. Download my free printable to help. We’re on this journey together!
Ways I’m choosing to live more out of intent.
• Choosing happiness. It’s so easy to get caught up in drama or frustration or anger; I'm trying to let it go. Finding happiness in small things- Charlotte the bulldog snoozing, my husband's kind words or eating my favorite foods.
• Living simply. This is a big core component of the lifestyle I hope to achieve for myself. I want to eat meals at the dinner table, not in front of the TV. I want to put my phone away and notice the morning dew, or spring flowers, or crisp air. I want to stop buying things for the sake of buying things, and make choices based on items that truly bring me joy.
• Trying new things. Nail polish colors. A new route to an old location. Books. Recipes. Anything and everything.
• Engaging. Just in life: travel. eat good food. interact with my community.
• Being Thankful: my husband and I list the things we are grateful for at dinner before we eat. It’s a simple way to remind ourselves how much good we have. The people in our lives, the home we are building, the love we share, and the food we are eating.
• Being kind: Because why not? It’s easy to project negative feelings onto someone when I'm having a bad day, but why not purposefully shine good vibes onto someone else? Who knows how that could change their day? I'm about to find out.
Tell me about your intentions in the comments, I'd love to hear how you're implementing them!