Top 4 Resources that Changed My 2018 | Intentional + Simplicity

January 10, 2019

Emily Ley’s A Simplified Life

Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner

Cultivate What Matters’ Power Sheets

Cultivate What Matters’ Write the World Journals

Guys, 2018 was one of my best years for many reasons—

One of them being: it felt more simple. And that allowed for so many more purposeful things in my life.

I said, “yes”, to more of what was important. And I said, “no”, to those that fell further on the list.

And I have 4 main resources that truly helped “change my life” and perspective this past year.

After moving to Dallas in 2015, trying to start a new life in a new city with new friends, working two jobs, taking on a fixer upper, having Luke, going full time with photography and amongst many other transitions, I just remember saying and thinking, “I just can’t get ahold of things. If only I had organization, a routine, a schedule—anything.” I felt like I was constantly trying to keep up, but my world around me was doubling me in speed.

And while I’ll spare you the deeper, introspective lessons learned from my need for comfort or routine, I’ll say that most all of us are the same in this.

But where I was in life at this point, my brain just could NOT, for the life of me, organize our households or the things around us. I hit bottom a time or two (like that time I missed my flight home because I “didn’t have my wallet” but got home to find it actually in my backpack) until I knew something HAD to change.

  1. Cue: A Simplified Life by Emily Ley.

I know, I know. It’s going to sound so cheesy to say it “changed my life”, but after reevaluating last year, it did. I jumped on the “January/new year” band wagon, and I ATE UP every wise word and suggestion Emily had to say in her book. Heck, I even bought it for a few of my friends, because I was like, “HEY PEEPS, THIS BOOK IS AMAZE!”

*Ya know, when you find something you love and are convinced everyone will have the same experience, so you must shout*

The ideas of organization and her basis behind simplicity just clicked with me. She wrote them so…simply (haha), and it was everything my mouse-on-a-treadmill-self needed at the time.

I decluttered my home, my electronics, my car, my most everything.

I implemented systems and routines to help myself out.

I took away simple nuggets on how to host well (like always having creamer [duh though] and cookie dough to pop in the oven)

And the biggest of it all was that as I decluttered the spaces around me, I felt as though my spiritual life decluttered, as well. Going deeper here y’all—it was like my soul was decluttered and so much more open to hearing, absorbing and receiving. It just felt good.

If there’s ONE book I could recommend to you this year, it’s absolutely Emily Ley’s A Simplified Life.

I’ll leave you with a snippet that just fires me up..

I want my home to be a place of comfort and joy. I want my children to feel completely loved and accepted here—that they can be whoever God has called them to be. I want my front door to be a beacon for friends and neighbors, a place where they feel drawn and invited. I want my home to smell delicious and be lit in a way that makes guests and family want to curl up with a blanket to enjoy a treat and share stories. I want my space to be tidy, neat and organized so our days run as smoothly as possible and our minds are free from distractions. I want my decor to reflect the history, tradition and deeply connected life that happens inside it. More than anything, I want my home to be welcoming, inviting and a place of warmth, both to my family and to others.

Emily Ley, A Simplified Life

2. The Simplified Planner: and if you are on board with what this book is about, then you might as well purchase her simplified planner, as well! I’ve loved mine this year, and I have the DAILY version (there’s weekly too)!

Cultivate What Matters

3. In tandem with reading this book, I also set goals in my Power Sheets. But not only set goals—I like dug deep into my heart. Dug deep into what makes it beat faster, harder and ultimately what I felt led to accomplish this past year, thanks to inspiration and guidance from Lara Casey in her amazing resource, the Power Sheets.

4. And in addition to BOTH of these, I also picked up one of Cultivate What Matter’s resources for journaling—it’s called a Write the Word journal, and there are 5 different ones you can purchase, depending on what area you feel drawn to cultivate.







I grew up journaling, and as life kept on, I slowly made time for less and less of it, although I always felt it was a way that I was made to really connect with the Lord and grow in my faith. Diving back into journaling through these journals was JUST what I needed, because it was so simple yet guided.

It has a verse or verses on one side that it asks you to simply write down on the lines below (“Write the Word” journals), and on the next, it has you reflect/comment/vent/etc.

If you’re looking for a way to dive back into journaling, I highly recommend this resource. for structure and inspo.

I hope that 1 or all of these resources can meet you right where you are and not only fill in the gaps like they did for me but pave a sweeter, more intentional 2019 for you.



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Lindsay Davenport is a newborn and motherhood photographer + educator based in Dallas and available for travel worldwide.

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