Inspiration Interview: Sarah Von Bargen from Yes & Yes.

Inspiration Interview: Sarah Von Bargen from Yes & Yes.Sarah Von Bargen, 35, blogger/ghost writer/internet awesome-i-fier, usually in St. Paul, Minnesota (though she travels three months a year)

Over the years, the blogs that I read have changed a lot. As I’ve changed and grown, the things I’m interested in reading about are a lot different than they were way back when. And the people whose work I found helpful when I was younger, isn’t necessarily what resonates with me at this stage of my journey. But one of the blogs that has constantly been in my reader since I discovered it in 2011 is Sarah Von Bargen’s Yes & Yes. Perhaps it’s because Sarah doesn’t pretend to have it all figured out, yet she’s still plenty inspiring and wicked knowledgable. She’s incredible at helping people be more awesome online and showing how to make life more fun and adventurous. Sarah’s amazing at curating guest posts on everything from incredible real life stories and travel to style and food. More recently she launched a small business blog and helps people take their online lives to the next level. From starting her own business to travelling for three months a year and peppering her life with everyday adventures (she also inspired my birthday list!), Sarah is pretty rad at making her dreams come true. I’m so excited to have her here today for our next Inspiration Interview.

How would you sum up what you do?
I write things that help us all remember that yes is more fun than no – in life, online, and in your business.

What unconventional career path brought you from there to here?
I’ve been doing writing-related jobs for 15+ years … all those things you do when you know how to string a sentence together: public relations, newspaper, ad agency, English teacher. When I started Yes & Yes I’d been living abroad and working as an ESL teacher for five years. I wanted to read a lifestyle blog that was funny and smart, helpful and flippant. I wanted to read a blog that acknowledged that humans can’t be pigeon holed and sometimes adulthood looks a bit different than we expected.

I couldn’t find a blog like that so I created one.

After about three years of daily blogging, people started asking for my help. They wanted advice on navigating social media, content marketing, how to write blog posts people actually read. So I hung out my proverbial shingle and I’ve been self-employed ever since!

Inspiration Interview: Sarah Von Bargen from Yes & Yes.What does self-love mean to you and what role does it play in your life?
It means making the choices that are right for you. Sometimes these choices aren’t particularly popular with your family, your friends, your clients, your employer, or your partner but if they’re right for you, they’re worth pursuing.

My self-love takes the form of professional boundaries (no business emails after 6 pm and never on the weekends) and telling people what I need rather than devotedly hoping they’ll figure it out.
Boyfriend, could you please do those dishes?
Sister, could you bring wine and dessert to Easter brunch?
Friend, could you meet for lunch and give me advice about That One Thing?

Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere! Most often I get my best ideas from conversations with my painfully clever friends. I also get a lot of good ideas when I’m out and about or when I’m moving my body. Inspiration rarely occurs when I’m sitting in front of a screen.

Inspiration Interview: Sarah Von Bargen from Yes & Yes.What advice would you give for someone with a monumental dream looking to make it a reality?
Work backwards and break your big goals into tiny steps. Let’s say you want to move across the country in six months. What needs to be ready at the five month mark? The three month mark? The two month mark? How can you break that down even further into little steps that won’t overwhelm you? I love using Trello for big projects – you can assign tasks, deadlines, even give yourself checklists and see how much you’ve got left!

Thank you, Sarah!

You can find Sarah being awesome all over the Internet on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. And if you sign up for her newsletter, she’ll take a look at your website and give you three suggestions to improve it – for free!

How do you keep yourself inspired? And who’s inspiring you these days?

Mega love & chocolate kisses,

Calibrating Your Internal Compass.

invisible-wingsIf there’s one thing I took away from Saturday’s Liberation and Love Urban Retreat it’s that we know.

We know what we need.

We know what we want.

We know what to do next.

We know what’s right and what’s best for us.

But if we know, why has being “lost” become an epidemic?

Because we all have so much crap sitting on our internal compass that it could never stay calibrated. There’s other people’s expectations and the things we think we should be doing and the fears and the doubts and the things from the past that we’ve been dragging into our present. It’s all weighing down on us and creating fog and clutter so that we’ve become disconnected from that deep inner knowing.

Being with so many amazing women on Saturday made it clear that we can all recalibrate our internal compass and find that true north. Here are a few simple places to start.

Move your body. Moving wildly and freely gets us out of our heads and into our hearts. This is why I love qoya. It’s a practice in feeling our truth in our bodies. In trusting that we already know and creating a structure for connecting with it. You might have another form of movement that brings you this kind of serenity but if you’re still searching for one, I highly recommend visiting Rochelle’s site and signing up for the free “10 Days to Love Qoya” mini course.

Sit in stillness. Whether it’s a a formal meditation practice or just the daily ritual of walking somewhere without any music or electronic devices distracting you, find ways to connect with the present moment. Don’t focus on trying to force all thoughts out of your mind, just notice what you’re thinking without attachment. Our thoughts don’t have to take us anywhere. When we allow our minds to be still, we make room for our intuition to be heard.

Give yourself space to dream. We can’t create a life we love until we know what that looks like. So often we’re caught up in chasing the things we’re supposed to want or used to want, instead of connecting with what truly lights us up – the dreams that are based on our strongest values and deepest yearnings.

TitlePage-smallAppropriately, I’ve been working on a gift for you that I hope will give you clarity on your heart’s deepest wishes and bring you into alignment with the person you want to become.

It’s called Define Your Dreams and it’s a 30-page workbook for getting clear on what you really want so that you can create a life you love.

Just sign up for my weekly love letters and once you’ve confirmed your subscription, it will pop into your inbox. Easy peasy.

I hope you love it.



Photograph by Luis Montemayor.

Savvy Spender: Find the Best Deal with Beat My Price.

IMG_0315I’ve always been pretty good at stretching a dollar. When my parents would give my brother and I money to spend on vacation I’d always save mine to spend on the very last day after carefully surveying all of the options, whereas Heath usually spent all of his right out of the gate. Once when my dad gave me some money to buy a new pair of shoes for our holiday my grandma joked that, knowing me, I’d probably find a sale and manage to buy two pairs with the money. I bought three. 

I’m glad that my post on creating a champagne life on a lemonade budget resonated with so many people. With an intentional approach to spending and a bit of know-how, you really don’t need a lot of money to live a life that’s full of luxury, adventure, and fun. So I thought I’d start a new series of posts to share practical ways that you can make the most of your cash by bargain hunting, budgeting creatively, and making your own. 

I hate paying full price for anything. I’m constantly scouring the sale racks and before I make any online purchase, I do a quick Google search for a promo code. But it’s so annoying to later find out that it’s available for a lower price or even on sale on another website. 

Enter Beat My Price – anew bespoke shopping service that allows you to find the best deals on almost any products, from homewares and tech gadgets to fashion and entertainment. 

You set up a search on the Beat My Price website by entering the URL of the item you want to buy. Within 48 hours you’ll get an email from them letting you know whether they were able to find a better price for you. And because this is a personalised deal for you (usually a discount up to 10% off but sometimes more), you’ll have a limited amount of time (generally 24 hours) to take advantage of it.   IMG_0316Because we’ve just moved house, I used Beat My Price to look for a few household items. You can have up to five price searches on the go at once so I looked up a schmancy blender, coffee grinder, chef’s knife, rubbish bin (the glamour!), and Instax camera that were all on our wish list – okay, the Instax camera is just on my list and has nothing to do with our new flat. 

Within an hour Beat My Price deals started rolling into my inbox and in less than 12 hours, all 5 had turned up. In the case of the blender and the chef’s knife, the service couldn’t find a better deal so I could make my purchases knowing I was getting the best price on the Internet (can I get a hell yeah?!) 

The other three items came back with discounts ranging from 7.8% to 13% less than the prices I found, which I was quite impressed by. And the e-mails make it easy to click and purchase the products directly. 

 For any savvy bargain hunters and avid online shoppers looking to save a penny without the need for neurotic Googling, I’d definitely recommend using the new Beat My Price website. 

And if you decide to give it a go, be sure to leave a comment and let us all know about the great deals you find! 

Love, honeysuckle tea, & fists full of flowers,

This post was sponsored by Beat My Price and was written in accordance with my disclosure policy, which you can read here.
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