Happy Thursday creatives! The lovely Kacey Gilpin is our guest today! She is a mama and creative whose passion for photography (her pics of her children are the sweetest) and her love for simplicity made me want to reach out to her immediately. Her interview is full of good stuff and I am pretty sure you will love her too!! Enjoy!
Where do you live? Describe your home to us.
We live in Tulsa, OK in a gray, 1950’s colonial that we bought three years ago. We’ve slowly but consistently been working on it (it hadn’t been updated for about 25 years) so there is always an ongoing project. It’s got a lot of original brass hardware, too many windows to count, and more than a few imperfections. My favorite part is that it’s always full of light.
What makes you a creative?
I’m really not sure. I’ve always loved creating- stories, spaces, experiences. I’m a part-time adult English as a Second Language teacher and while I use some measure of creativity in the classroom, most of my creativity is not expressed professionally, but rather through small bursts of everyday life. Sometimes I think that if I had an unlimited budget and schedule I would be able to put all of my ideas and wishes about our house or photography or my wardrobe or our travels into being. But I think I’ve learned over the last five years or so that being creative has nothing to do with resources. It has more to do with the way we live and the way I see things around me. Most of my creativity comes out in our home or lately through photographs of our daily life. I also love working with my hands and can be a fearless DIYer.
Where does simplicity show up in your life?
[In my wardrobe] I have a very casual, no fuss style and keep things minimal. The other day I realized I went all week without wearing any jewelry. I kind of liked it.
[With our schedule] We don’t have a problem with saying no. It’s very important to us that our schedule isn’t overrun and that our life isn’t filled with unnecessary obligations. We commit to the important things and then protect the rest of our time to focus on family and rest.
[With our stuff] I’m still working on simplifying this area of our lives even more, but I love nothing more than a good closet purge. I do it several times a year.
[Technology and social media] There are so many devices and so many apps and so many games demanding our attention these days. We own phones, a kindle, a desktop computer, and Canon camera, (still seems like a lot). Even though I feel like an Instagram fiend now and then, we both pay scant or no attention to other social media or games on our phones. I think that technology and social media complicates our life in ways we couldn’t have imagined 10 or 15 years ago. At a certain point you have to cut it off and say enough is enough.
What is your personal style?
Sometimes I feel like it’s all over the place. I asked my fashion and design expert bestie what she thought and she said, “All American. Laid back, but slightly funky when needed.” I liked it. As for our home, “Classic with a nod to comfort and nostalgia.”
Have any daily habits or routines?
Lots! I would say my daily habits and routines consist of things that I love and enjoy. Things that make me feel good and are mostly geared toward my emotional well-being.
[Essential Oils] I love aromatherapy and most days begin and end with oils.
[Coffee] I literally go to bed at night excited to have my daily cup in the morning.
[Music] Everyday. I don’t think I can live without it. In the house or in the car or on a walk with the girls, I usually have my favorite playlist or iTues radio on.
[Reading] I read almost everyday, most usually right before I go to sleep.
[Photography] I spend at least 20 minutes a day practicing with my camera on different basics- light, motion, composition, etc.
[Exercise] I learned the very hard way that I’m just NO GOOD without exercise, mentally or physically. It gives me energy and a sense of calm. Whether it’s a run or a stroll with my family after dinner, I try to get a bit of exercise in each day.
How do you approach living well?
I’ve come to view living well through a long term lense. Creating healthy habits that are like daily investments into our long term health and well being. For our family it hasn’t happened all at once or all that easily. What works best for us is changing or introducing one thing at a time. Over the course of a year I’ve detoxified our home almost completely and we’re slowly but successfully changing our our rote meal plan to eliminate processed foods. I’ve also had to put my big girl pants on when it comes to doing things I don’t want to do: exercise and sleep. I learned the really hard way that I’m a horrible person, spouse, and mother when I don’t dedicate the necessary time and effort to these two line items. The balance of discipline and enjoyment is another thing that I think is essential to living well. Living well isn’t always about being 100% perfectly disciplined in all things health. I think it’s also about enjoying things like food and experiences and places and smells and art (I type this as I’m eating a double dip choco chip cookie dough ice cream).
What does balance look like for you in your daily life with being a creative + mama?
Some days it means setting aside the laundry pile to focus on a project. Some days it means putting the paint or the camera or the list away to focus on my responsibilities around the house or at work. Honestly and most importantly it means scrapping the huge long list of to-dos so I can just play with my girls and give them attention. Or letting them help with something I’m working on and letting go of my expectations. This is when the best of life and learning happens. I don’t want them to remember me distracted always worried about the house or our appearance or my agenda. When they are full-grown I want them to be able to say “my mom taught me that” about a thousand different big and little things.
When/how do you feel most beautiful and most aligned with yourself?
Oooooh. Good question. I think when I’ve had enough exercise and sleep. And a good haircut.
What are some of your imperfections and how do you embrace them?
I start too many things at once. It can take much longer than necessary for me to get each task, project, etc. accomplished because when I’m on a roll it usually breeds new ideas and dreams and then turns into this huge spiral of chaos. This happens to me at home and in the classroom. Is it okay to be nearly 30 years old and still learning how to prioritize? I’ve embraced it by being okay with the chaos (sometimes). Also, I can be a very, very frazzled person for a variety of reasons. Daydreaming, lack of planning, absentmindedness... I am constantly losing things, forgetting dates, missing appointments. It can be a problem, but instead of feeling down on myself, I’ve learned to laugh and keep a better paper calendar.
We are constantly growing and working on ourselves.
What are you working on right now? I’m working on being a good wife. After seven years, one dog, two houses, two kids, and one marriage therapist, I’m trying and praying as hard as I can to be a real friend and loving partner to the most important person in my life. And I’m trying to be transparent about that because Lord knows it’s hard to tell people your marriage isn’t perfect or that you’re not as put together as it appears. I’m working on giving Grace everyday. I’m working on thinking about how I’m thinking, what my real heart issues are. I’m working on letting the Lord scrape out all the nasty and change it into something much more beautiful.
What is your beauty regime?
I try to keep it really, really simple: water, sunscreen, sleep. Do you see a re-emerging theme here with the sleep?
What are 5 things you are loving right now?
iTunes Country Radio
The public library. It’s like I’m a book addict and the library is my supplier.
15k Running Group
@thealbumsco #instaprompt photography community on Instagram
What advice do you have for mothers looking to find balance in both being healthy and staying creative?
Ah! I don’t really feel like I should be giving advice. I should be taking it! But honestly, what helps me stay balanced is surrounding myself with people that are encouraging and honest. My husband is probably the most important person for me when it comes to this. As for the creative juices, my advice would be to be inspired by others! I’m constantly inspired through connecting with others on blogs or Instagram.
Thanks so much Kacey for being a guest here on C + W! Please go check out her hangouts below and say hello. Until next time... xx