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Hi Friends!


Joining me today is Ashley Brown. Ashley is the creator and owner of Routine and Things, a product based company which equips women to consistently live their happiest life one routine at a time. 

Ashley and I met when we were both speakers at the Purpose Driven Mom Summit, and I instantly knew that I wanted her to share her story with my TOL community!

Ashley strongly believes routines are a form of wellness and can be a beautiful springboard for improving your home, yourself, and your life. (Can I get an Amen?!) 

She hosts the Routine and Things Podcast, a space to learn and become inspired on all things routine. She’s on a mission to see as many women as possible live life with ease by starting, maintaining, and enjoying fun and freeing routines!

During our conversation we talked about how routines grow and change throughout the stages of our lives. She also shared tips for her 5 categories of routines:

    • Cooking
    • Cleaning
    • Kids
    • Self-Care
    • Planning 

We talked about why some people have trouble sticking to routines, and what to do about it. Ashley also talked about her free Routine Assessment Quiz and what it reveals about our habits.

I loved my conversation with Ashley and I hope you do too!  Make sure to check out the links below for everything we mentioned during the show.

One more thing, If you haven’t already heard, The Enneagram & Clutter Course is available now! It’s a self-paced digital course connecting the dots between Enneagram Types and the different types of Clutter. The feedback has been great, and I’d love for you to check it out.

For a limited time, I am offering a special promo for all of my TOL listeners:

To learn more, please visit: https://simplyborganized.com/enneagram-clutter-course/

Enter promo code TOL30 at checkout to receive 30% off the course price. 

Links Mentioned in this Episode


Connect with Ashley


Ashley’s Book Recommendations


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Connect with Me


ANNOUNCER 1: Welcome to This Organized Life. If you're a mom, wife or coffee lover seeking advice on how to reduce clutter and reclaim time, look no further than your host, Laurie Palau, founder of Simply B Organized and author of Hot Mess: A Practical Guide to Getting Organized. For a lot of people, clutter is their dirty little secret, but it doesn't have to be. Each week we will share practical tips, chat with experts, and provide strategies on how to keep you organized. I hope that by sharing our stories, you feel a little less alone and more empowered to tackle the areas that are holding you back. So let's get started.

LAURIE PALAU: Hi everybody, and welcome to today's episode of This Organized Life. I am your host, Laurie Palau, and I am really excited. I know I say this every week, but I am! I'm super excited for our guests because I get to talk to these amazing people that are doing really great things and we can all learn from them. And so I am going to give you a quick little bio about today's guest and then I'm going to bring her on out to the show. So joining me today is Ashley Brown and Ashley is a creator and the owner of a company called Routine and Things and of course we're going to link up to it. Routine and Things is a product based company that helps people, her audience is primarily women, as is ours, but she helps all people consistently live their happiest life, one routine at a time. You know, I'm all about routines. She, herself, is a huge proponent of routines in her daily life and we're going to talk all about that, and how routines can really springboard you in all areas of your professional life, of your personal life, and of course in your home. She hosts the Routine and Things podcast and she's got an incredible line of print as well as digital products to help you get and stay organized. But that's not all, she's also a nurse educator. Like she has a whole other career on top of this, and we're going to, and she's a mom. And so we're going to talk all about life and career and following your passion and of course routines. So without further ado, let me bring out Ashley to the show. Welcome, Ashley.

ASHLEY BROWN: Hi, Laurie, thank you for having me. I'm super excited to be here.

LAURIE PALAU: Oh, I am very excited for this conversation. And just to let our listeners know, so I was actually introduced to Ashley, we've a mutual friend, my friend Kara Harvey, who's been on the show, and she runs A Purpose Driven Mom, the platform, and Ashley and I are both speakers at the Purpose Driven Mom summit. And I was talking about enneagram and clutter and she was of course talking about routines, and I just started doing like a little bit of a stalking of her social media and her website and all of her things and was like, I can't wait to share you with my audience. And so that's how we connected.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yeah, no, I know. I'm super excited to be a speaker at the Purpose Driven Mom summit. It's my first time, you know, being a part of this summit, but I'm very excited. And I was super excited when you reached out to me because I was like, ooh yes, love it, love what you do. I love anything that deals with organization because I just feel like it's really good for your mind. Oh, yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: It is. Well, I love it because you're speaking my language. So obviously I just gave our listeners a snapshot of who you are, read a little bit from your bio, obviously gave my own commentary. But, in your own words, can you just walk us through a little bit about who Ashley is just personally, professionally?

ASHLEY BROWN: Yeah. Ashley. Oh my gosh, who am I? I would say I'm, like just to sum me up, I'm from down south, so I'm a down south girl, born and raised in South Carolina.

LAURIE PALAU: What part of South Carolina?

ASHLEY BROWN: A small town. Bennettsville, South Carolina. Very small town. Yeah, we had to drive like 45 minutes to get to the Wal-Mart. So yeah, very small town. So that gives you some perspective about how I was born and raised like in the church, good food, very fattening but very good.

LAURIE PALAU: I love it.

ASHLEY BROWN: Right? And so that's like my roots is I'm a southern girl so I'm very, I feel like I'm very down to earth. I'm a very kind person, kind hearted. I love helping people. So I'm a nurse educator, a nurse, you know, just helping people with their routines. I'm a helper for sure. But then also just someone who loves anything like creativity. I love being creative and although I am somewhat type A, as people would say, I still love creativity and I love movies and hanging out with my family. I'm a huge family person just in terms of like my mini family of me, my husband and my two daughters, and I'm a homebody mostly. So you will usually catch me at home. I love going out too, but it really just depends on my mood. I would rather stay home if you asked me and everybody just come over, have a little, you know, having some wine, something to eat and I'm good.

LAURIE PALAU: That's me. Oh my, you're singing my song. I love it. I love it. Now how old are your girls?

ASHLEY BROWN: They are one and three. My babies, they're so sweet. And I'm saying one and three but they're like one and a half and three and a half. But yeah, my baby girls, they are like night and day though, very different, night and day. One is super spunky, a lot of, they both have a lot of personality I feel like but one is like really super spunky and I feel like and like we always like talk about them in terms of their emotions. So like my one daughter, she's a crier, so she will just cry anytime she gets to a level where it's like, this is too much, she'll cry, right? Very big emotion that way. But then my other daughter, she gets me, so she will try to hit you and I'm like, oh, you have the anger, okay, we're going to have to work on this.

LAURIE PALAU: It's so funny because I also have two girls, my audience knows this, but mine are bigs, they're 17 and 20. So it's like part of me misses those ages, because they're just so cute and lovable but it's so much like work. Like it's so much work. And I feel like I've climbed that mountain and I'm like on, I'm on the other side. So a part of me is like, oh my gosh, I couldn't imagine being back in that. But of course, my girls are very different and I personally am that like anger lash out. Like, I'm not the crier. And I remember I was talking to my therapist, and I'm a grown woman, and I was talking to my therapist, like a year ago and she was like she, I forget exactly how she phrased the question but she said something about tell me about like your feelings or how do you, something about emotions. And I was like, I'm not emotional. And she goes, you are, but you're like rage emotion. Like I was equating emotion with tears or sadness, or, you know, drama, and I'm not any of that. And she goes, Oh, you're emotional. It's just not how you're defining it. So I can totally relate to that.

ASHLEY BROWN: Oh my gosh, yeah. So it is so funny. I was listening to someone on Instagram, and they were like, yeah, everyone has a home emotion. Everyone's home emotion is very different. So like, I'm the crier. I'm like the sad. I will go to sad very easily, while my other daughter is like no, anger, and that's my husband too, like anger, both of them, like that's their home motion. They're going to get mad.

LAURIE PALAU: Are you an enneagram person?

ASHLEY BROWN: I am. Well, somewhat. I know I'm an enneagram one.

LAURIE PALAU: You are? Okay.


LAURIE PALAU: You probably have a strong two then, with that emotion.

ASHLEY BROWN: Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah, I'm going to have to, I'm definitely going to check out your talk on that because I think it's going to be so good because I love anything, like personality tests, I love all of that. Yeah, it's really nice. But yeah, so those are my girls and that's a little bit about me. I'm also a really huge coffee drinker. I love coffee. So I prefer coffee over tea. I love anything from Target, anything from Trader Joe's. Those are my favorite stores, and I'm a huge foodie too. I love to eat.

LAURIE PALAU: I love it. I love it. Give me some backstory. So obviously you love routines. How did you create your business? Because obviously from, your background is as a nurse educator, which you're in the science field and you are, you know, that's a lot of work. That's, you know, very, you're obviously using the routine and the skills of what your other business is, but what made you decide to start this business? Walk us through that, because I think it's fascinating, and then talk a little bit about what routines and things really is, kind of what your passion is.

ASHLEY BROWN: This business got started. I didn't even know, I wish somebody would have told me this business was going to get started because I would have went through a less amount of challenge and frustration at a certain point. But anyway, so this all started back when I went from being a working mom. So like you said, I'm a nurse educator, but I left my job as a nurse educator to come be a stay at home mom with my one daughter at the moment and I made that decision. I never thought I would be a stay at home mom, I didn't know anyone that was a stay at home mom, I grew up with a single mom in the home. So somebody's talking about staying home, I'm like who has, who can do this? Like so that was a really good opportunity that I was able to get to be at home with my daughter. And I was super excited about it. When I first came home, I'm so excited, so ready, and probably like a couple of months in, I don't know, like stuff hit the fan a couple of months in. Like I really thought, I was that type, I was like well-being a stay at home mom has to be easier than being a working mom, like hands down. Oh, please, please.

LAURIE PALAU: You're in for a rude awakening.

ASHLEY BROWN: Right. And that's what I got. I got a rude awakening and got woken up so quickly to like, no, this actually is harder for me than being a working mom. And I think it was also a bit of an identity crisis in there too because I was used to working and then now I'm at home and I'm cleaning and I'm cooking and I'm talking to my daughter that was like one at the time, like, huh, yeah, she's sweet, but I was like, I don't know about this. So it was an identity crisis, it was a huge shift. But then also, let me share this with you as well, because I think some people may be able to relate to this. I was also the mom, when I came at home that was like, you know what, I can't just clean and cook, I need to be doing something else to stimulate my mind. So then I started a food blog. So here is me doing all the things, thinking that I can handle all of that, while this huge transition happened and yep, things went left very quickly and I started to feel like life was in shambles. I started to not feel like myself, I got super depressed at a certain point in time, because I put way too much on myself. I had this identity crisis that came up, I wasn't myself, because I'm usually like that go getter and my house is organized, things are in place and that was not the case at all. And my husband was looking at me like, what did you do today? And I'm like, absolutely nothing and I don't know why. So it just was, it was just crazy and chaotic in my life at that point. And I'm a huge God girl, so I prayed, you know, so I prayed to God, and I asked God to help me and I felt like God said, lean into who you are. And I'm naturally routine oriented so I went with that. I was okay, we got to get some routines in this home and my life. And one by one, I started to create routines and a lot of trial and error, a lot back and forth, changing them up, this, that and the third, but I started to recognize what really helped. And then I got to a certain point, like months later, so it did take months, okay, it takes time. Months later, I got to a point where I felt really good being at home. I remember staring out of my back window, washing dishes, and I was like, oh, I'm at peace. And then I asked myself, how did you get here? And I'm like, oh, shoot, these routines actually work. And I knew from that moment, I needed to share this with women, with the moms, with just the world because I think routines, you know, we hear that word often but I don't think we really understand how impactful they are until they totally shift our life. So that's what I want to share. And so routine and things is all about equipping women, the world, to consistently live your happiest life, one routine at a time, and to have fun and flexible routines, not boring and stiff and rigid routines, but routines that meet you where you are, that work with you, the type of person you are and the lifestyle that you have. That's what we're all about, just giving you resources, products that can really help you to start and enjoy and maintain your routines.

LAURIE PALAU: I love everything that you are saying. I feel our stories are so similar in so many ways because I too was a working mom, took time off to be a stay at home mom and I kind of planned for that, like thinking, this is something that my husband and I talked about and I know that so many women can relate to this, all of a sudden, you have this shift, because you're not getting that validation, you're not getting that, even if it's like great job, like, okay, great. I did the laundry, I fed the kid, I changed the kid, like, all of these things that are important. I mean, let's be honest, you're keeping a human being alive, okay? Like there's no bigger job than keeping another human alive. And that's what my husband used to joke around and say, if I came home and I was having like a bad day and he's like, are the kids alive? Is everybody, like, healthy and in one piece? Then it was a good day. We put these expectations, and especially when we're so used to getting like, oh, great job, or you're getting a promotion, or you're going out to lunch, or you're getting just whatever, you're interacting, like you said with adults, and then you're kind of isolated and here you are and I think that so many women can relate to this. And I too, and I've told this story before but I'll tell it to you, routines, my business was born out of just me, my own sanity, me developing these routines and looking at myself, intentionally saying, okay, you're the CEO of this house, like you have to, this is not going to just run itself. You have to be intentional about it. And like you said, it's not about the rigidity of the routine, it's about the freedom that comes with having routines. So give us some like examples of and I don't mean this as like a sales pitch for people, but obviously we want to promote what you're doing, but talk about a little bit about what is your actual like products do, like walk us through that a little bit. If somebody comes to your website and wants to learn more, get involved in what you're offering, what does that look like for people?

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes, so you can, when you come to the website and when you're looking, if you're thinking to yourself, you know what, I need to improve my routines, I feel like I have no routines or you're just like I have routines, but I just want some things that maybe can help, what you're going to see and what you're going to get is one, we have free offerings on the website. So we do have a routine assessment that you can take if you're struggling to figure out which routine you need to start, we have that. We also have, I did a mini audio course about routine building that you can listen to, its free, it’s through Listenable, it’s an app, but if you get the app is like seven days free, and you can listen to it, it's only a 21 minute chorus, it’s like a podcast.

LAURIE PALAU: I was just going to say it's similar to a podcast.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes, is like a podcast episode but it's really direct, specific information versus like so much of the chitchat, which is beautiful, but it just gets straight to the point. So we have that on the site as well. And then I have a freebie, that's a morning routine roadmap. So you will see those throughout the website, but then also when it comes down to the products, so we have different types of products, we have physical products that you can purchase, our signature products, our notepads, and that's really intentional, because I wanted products that mimic routines in a certain sense and so I feel like every time you go to fill out your notepad, you're like seeing that same layout, which gives you the same routine. So I wanted that to be incorporated into the product. So we have notepads there are specific to the five or 10 categories I always talk about and there's cooking, cleaning, children, self-care and planning. And so those are the products. And in terms of these products, I intentionally made sure that they were created with flexibility so that they will be versatile. You could use them in different ways depending on who you are, and what you, you know, what you vibe with as a person. And so those are the physical products, notepads. They're really cute too. I love the colors and everything. And then we have digital products. So our digital products include things that can help you with cleaning, like we have a home cleaning list, we have a five day meal plan, because like I said, I was a food blogger, I love to cook, so I created a five day meal plan that can help you within your cooking routine. We have routine templates. So these templates kind of help you to, it's kind of like checklists that can help you to create your own routine, like a daily, we have a daily children's routine template, we have a work from home routine template, we have some that's for if you are a mom and you're a creative or have a business. I have one that deals with podcasting, like a podcast template, and then also a pitch routine template, which I think is really helpful. We have those things on the site. Like I said, digital products, physical products, they're really good if you want to start routines. Oh, I forgot to mention this too. So I have a certain framework that I do to help women learn how to create routines and so I packaged this framework into a workbook. And so we have the rocket routine workbook that is there for you as well and it will take you through creating a routine from start to finish. And it's really, really good. People have seen really good results with this workbook. Lastly, I was going to share, I was going to share something else, but I forgot. But yeah, it's a bunch. It's a bunch of things and stuff.

LAURIE PALAU: It's a lot of stuff. It is a lot. I mean, I'm like sitting here listening and again, I, you know, in addition to working one on one with people getting organized, I also coach and mentor other entrepreneurs, specifically in the professional organizing business. I'm always talking in life about routines, like instead of recreating the wheel every time, sometimes I think, you know, again, as women, we make our lives harder in certain ways. Like sometimes it's, we think if something's easy, or like if we've mastered it, that we have to go back to the beginning and make it hard again, where it's like, no, maybe you found a really good way and we can always tweak things through whatever season we're in, but templates saved my life, like with everything, you know, and I love that you broke it down and into such digestible little categories. We're going to take a quick break and then when we come back, I'd love for you to just unpack those five categories a little bit deeper, because I know you rattled them off and it's great, but I think that they're going to be really important for people to kind of look at each one of those and see maybe some specific strategies for each one of them. Alright guys, we'll be right back.

LAURIE PALAU: Hi guys, I am so excited to share with you that after months of planning, my first ever enneagram and clutter course is here. The framework looks at how our motivations, not just our behavior, play a role in how we deal with clutter. So if you're interested in the psychology of clutter, or why some people struggle while other people are more naturally organized, this course is for you. It's a self-paced, fully digital course that includes over 20 video lessons, downloadable PDFs, journal prompts, you can watch a little at a time or binge all the lessons at once. To learn more, visit simplyborganized.com, click on the courses tab, and make sure that you enter code TOL 30, that's T-O-L 30, at checkout, to receive 30% off your purchase price. Now, back to our show.

LAURIE PALAU: Okay, Ashley, before the break, you were talking about the different kinds of categories and types of routines, the templates that you have, and just kind of how we break things down. And I think again, we know that our routines are going to be organic, just like our lives, and things that I did when my kids were one and three are very different than the things that I do now that my kids are, you know, teenagers. Walk us through the different categories that you broke things down, and maybe just give us some actionable examples that people can have for each one, like things to think about and takeaways.

ASHLEY BROWN: So the five routine categories, and personally I came up with these categories because I saw that many of my routines fit into them and I was like, oh, why not just, you know, think about some categories and put them into this box. So it's helpful for me, I love to compartmentalize like things so I'm, that's my brain. The five routine categories, I'm going to just, you know, rattle them off is cooking, cleaning, children, self-care and planning. So when we're thinking about cooking, so the cooking routine category is pertaining to things that you do in order to feed yourself and /or your family. That's really what you're looking for in that category. And so for example, I have personally a meal planning routine that I do every single week, that helps me know what we are eating, at least four days out of the week. Fridays are always freestyle for us so we get takeout or we just try to figure out.

LAURIE PALAU: Can you share what that is. I'm always curious to hear people's, because I think that's one of the biggest things I hear from people that the meal planning is like the bane of their existence, of always looking for new meal planning ideas.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes. So for meal planning, how I figure that out is, I have it right here and I'm not going to pull it out. But every time I go to meal plan, I have like 20 meals already that I have thought about in advance and I just pick from there. Now, if I feel like you know what, I want a little bit of variety, then I will go to Pinterest, or majority of the time I don't go to Pinterest, I will ask my friends, what are you having, because it's easier because sometimes you'll get in the rabbit hole down Pinterest and you're like, okay, I spent 30 minutes on here and didn't find anything. So I love using my friends and my family to help me to decide if I want to enter in something new. So I will do that. But I usually have like a list of 20 meals that I choose from and it makes meal planning a lot easier. And then just in terms of, you know, the freestyle that we do, we love takeout and the major things we get are pizza and maybe some Chinese food or something like that. But yeah, so that's my meal planning. But that's inside the cooking category. But then another routine that I will do from time to time is a meal prep routine. And so my meal prep routine is super simple. I always shoot, I always cook two proteins, two vegetables, and two carbohydrates. And so, like super simple, so that we can mix and match the foods as we go along the week. That's my meal prep routine when I do and I'll do it from time to time just depends on when I'm up for it and when I have the time for it. But a lot of things can fit into that cooking category. Like if you need something, like if you have children, and maybe your children don't really sit well at the table to eat, maybe you can create some type of routine that helps them to more so focus on eating or like maybe you know a way that you can get them to really be engaged while they're at the table more so that so they can stay focused. You can create whatever type of routine in this category that you would like, I know people have dinner routines that they do, they have, like, what is it, like table setting routines and just I mean, the sky's the limit for routines. Let's be real, like you make the rules for your routines. If you have never heard of a routine, you can definitely create it if you need it. Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: I think that's the beauty. I don't mean to interrupt, but it doesn't have to be complicated like and I think for so many people the routine was developed just when you started reflecting, when you took a pause and you said what do I do? Like for me I'll give a perfect example. I started doing a lot of cooking on Sundays. This is going back to when my kids were young. My husband and my older daughter are huge sports fan so Sunday's like we would always have football on and like I'm not a huge football fan, like I like the whatever but I'm not like invested and glued to the TV, but we would be around and sometimes we would have friends over and sometimes it would just be them and I enjoy cooking. So I just started doing a lot of cooking on Sundays because I was home and I had time. During the week I was working or doing other stuff. All of a sudden, I was like, this is enjoyable for me, I found it like because I didn't have to rush through it like I do during the week where I'm like trying to quick throw some skillet meal together. I was like, oh, well, now I'm going to start to create like Sunday is meal prep day. I now tend to cook a bunch of stuff and I'd like you kind of cook in parts. So I'll cook a bunch of stuff that you can mix and match through the week as opposed to doing like, here's a full recipe, I'll grill some chicken, I'll roast some vegetables, I'll make rice and beans. My husband's Spanish, so a lot of rice and beans at our house. You know, but I'll do all of that batched when I have time, and then that at least gets me through to like Tuesday, and it automatically relieves the stress knowing that the first half of the week, if we're crazy running around, I don't have to worry about dinner.

ASHLEY BROWN: Mm hmm, exactly. So you've really make your routines work for you and you already are in some type of rhythm, per se. So just you have to really take a step back and really digest like what rhythm are you actually in because you don't have to strip everything away when you're creating routines, use what you have and use what's working for you and then add to it if you need to right. If you see that something isn't working, just take that out and just continue doing the things that are working, it doesn't have to be a huge overhaul of your entire life or your entire or the thing that you're doing, right. So that was cooking, going on to cleaning. So cleaning category just includes things that you're going to do to clean your home. So you've heard of probably laundry routines, I have a really good one I want to share. So for a laundry routine, because I had this was a routine that I struggled with so much until I started doing this one routine that I do now. And so it is I call it the three day laundry routine. So on day one, I will wash all of our clothes, this does not include bedding. I will wash all of our clothes, and of course dry them. Day two, I will fold all of the clothes and day three, I will put them all away. And that has legitly been able to help me keep my laundry to the point where I don't have much to do and I keep it up, which is so helpful. So that was a routine that was helpful for me. So hopefully it's helpful for someone else.

LAURIE PALAU: I love that. My husband, who's the laundry freak, like that's his jam, like we call him laundry loving Josh, he would go crazy with that, because he'd be like you're letting laundry sit in the bed. Like I would be fine with that, I'd be like that sounds great. He would start to twitch because laundry would be wrinkling. I don't know, if that suits you, but I think that's great.

ASHLEY BROWN: I love it.

LAURIE PALAU: I love it. Yeah, yeah.

ASHLEY BROWN: Exactly. Exactly. No, I know people like your husband, for sure. They're like, no, I could not do that. So they're like the one load a day because they need to get it done. Yeah, that's right.

LAURIE PALAU: That's it, he does start to finish.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes. So that's the thing is like you have to find what works for you. That's why I love routines, because you have to really kind of pick out what is vibing with you. So that's cleaning, you can have other cleaning routines, like I have a home refresh routine that I do, where I will go through and like vacuum and tidy a little bit and like our bedrooms, and then I'll clean the bathrooms, and I'll sweep and that's like our week, that's my weekly home refresh routine, I do that weekly. You can have other routines, like a kitchen routine. What else can fit into this? It can be whatever, a tidy routine, you know, whatever you need in order to keep your home looking the way that you want it to look, right? This is where you have to really understand what type of person you, are because I'm the type where things don't need to be like sparkling clean, I just need everything I have to be in its place. Like that's the type of person I am. So with that, I don't clean, like I don't mop every week, like I mop when it needs to be done. Like that's when we're, that's when I'm mopping, when the floor gets really bad. That's when I'm going to mop. So right you have to decide what you need and so that's the cleaning routines and really for cleaning, one tip I do have for this that you have absolutely more than likely heard from Laurie is that, you know, keeping things simple and like minimizing what you have can be really helpful when it comes to cleaning.

LAURIE PALAU: Remove the decision fatigue, you don't need 50,000 products, you know?

ASHLEY BROWN: No, exactly Yes, exactly. So yeah, minimizing what you have can really helping your cleaning routines. And then we have children's routines. Of course these are routines that your kids are going to be doing, like my girls, they have a daily routine that they do with their caregiver. I'm usually more relaxed when they're with me so we don't do it like the tee but when they're with their caregiver they definitely do their daily routine. And then my girls, of course, have a morning routine and bedtime routine, like they need to have especially that bedtime, you need to be in bed by 7:30, 8 o'clock at the latest because I need my time.

LAURIE PALAU: That was me. That was me when they were little, it was yeah, I had to. Yeah.

ASHLEY BROWN: You had to.

LAURIE PALAU: I love that your kids are one and three and a halve, like they have and they're learning that, like that I could, because that's how I was and people thought I was like crazy and I was like, no, they need, they need this routine, they need this structure.

ASHLEY BROWN: They need it.

LAURIE PALAU: Crazy. So I'm glad that you.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes, you have to. I mean, you don't have to but it's really helpful if your kids are on routines, because it just helps them, it helps them learn, it helps them also feel safe and secure and like they kind of know what's going on. We feel better when we or feel more comfortable when that's the case. So yeah, my girls, they are really good. They know that little morning routine, we go to the bathroom, brush their teeth, wash their faces. They're so cute. I love my babies. But yes, so those are their routine. So that's children’s routines. Anything can fit into this, if you want to have a homeschool routine for your kids, maybe you want to have a nap routine, because your kids don't nap as well so maybe you want to start one of those routines, whatever you feel like can be helpful for your kids, do it. I have a learning routine that we do, which is very simple, where I do flashcards and my oldest will do her learning binder during that time. But it really depends, like I'm one when I think about routines I don't like to get super specific with to the point where I know exactly what they're going to do. I just call it a learning routine and whatever learning includes for that day, that's what we're doing. I'm not going to like-

LAURIE PALAU: I love it.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yeah, I'm not one to really pre plan what they're doing. I like it to be more so what are you in the mood for? What about this? You know, which can be really helpful. And then moving on to a planning routine. So of course, this is for you to plan what you are doing. I am a huge planner, if I did not plan, I would not be able to do half of the things that I'm doing in my life, not even a quarter. So I have to plan my day. So you can have a daily planning routine, you can have a weekly planning routine, meal planning can fit into this as well if you want to move meal planning into this routine, I mean into this category. What else? If you are working and like maybe you want a work routine where you plan out what you're going to be doing before you get started with your work, that could be something that you create. Whatever is going to help you feel prepared for your day, for your week, for your month, this is really what this category is about.

LAURIE PALAU: It's about being proactive.

ASHLEY BROWN: Proactive.

LAURIE PALAU: Is what I keep thinking, it's just trying to get ahead of the curve ball.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes, I mean-

LAURIE PALAU: It fits any category.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes, that's the thing, like being proactive, your future self will thank you every single time. Be proactive, do not be reactionary to what is going on in your life because that's when we stress ourselves out and we get super overwhelmed when we're reacting. Be proactive. This is what routines really help you do as well. And then the last category is self-care. Oh, were you going to say something Laurie?

LAURIE PALAU: I was just going to say one thing. And I'm sorry to just interject-


LAURIE PALAU: Because I was listening to a podcast the other day and it was, I always do, I mean, a bunch of different genres but this particular one happened to be about entrepreneurship and leadership. And I know we have a lot of entrepreneurs that listen to our show, people who own businesses, and they were talking about the importance of planning. And so many times, especially when you're an entrepreneur, you're obviously concerned about the bottom line and bringing in revenue and all that which is important and great, but how like the one area where small business owners probably spend the least amount of time is in the planning phase, they're so busy executing because they want to do, do, do, but the importance of planning and being intentional about blocking off, whether it's a certain time a day, or a month or a quarter, whatever that looks like, to do those strategic planning, and I think whether you're at home or in the workplace, like there is such value. And again, it was just another reminder, it wasn't anything that I was like, oh, I didn't know this, but it was again, this reminder of the importance of that. I think sometimes when we slow down and plan, we have this like false narrative that we're not really being productive, but there is, because you're not doing, it's more of that intellectual part of it, but that does help us move the needle. So I just, again, want to stress the importance of developing that muscle, that routine muscle.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes, no, it's so needed. Planning is so needed, and I always say, when you plan, yes, it's important for you, one: to think about how you're using your time and is, you know, and really evaluating, you know, the things that you're doing, do it really align with the values that you have for your life? But like, you know, when you're planning, don't just take into account your time, also take into account your energy and like what energy is going to be expended with the things that you're doing throughout your day, because some of us, we can get to planning and then the next thing you know we have like 20 things on the list and it's like, Oh, is that really feasible? How much energy is this going to take out of you and also the time as well. So take into account both of those things when you plan. But then the last category is self-care. This is a huge one, especially for moms. I'm saying this because this is a struggle for many moms is the self-care piece. So self-care routines can be a range of things. Morning routine can fit into this, evening routine, bedtime routine, I know I have a really beautiful bedtime routine that I do that includes me journaling and prayer and also meditation that has been really beautiful for my life. You can also have in this category, and you know, like a movement routine or exercise routine, you can do a skincare routine to care for yourself. I love any type of routine that really digs into your mindset, that's something that's huge for me, because I think we all struggle with mindset things and sometimes we need to make those shifts in order to see that come into play when it comes to us even managing the things outside of us. So mindset things like I used to have a really like, especially when I first started self-care routines, I used to have a morning routine where I would, when I instantly when I woke up, I would instantly say three things I was grateful for and so like that was a huge piece that helped me.

LAURIE PALAU: I love that, I love it.

ASHLEY BROWN: I mean, it helped me so much and I know that maybe you all have heard that but like when you start doing it and start implementing and practicing that, it will change you, for sure. With these self-care routines, I just always say, you know, do things that are going to fill you up no matter what anybody else has to say, you have to do what works for you. But definitely make sure that you have some time for yourself. Another self-care routine that I've been working on is a rest routine, because I'm a busy body, like I'll just go, go, go. And I have to be like sit down actually, like you're going to wear yourself out. So I've been working on my rest for sure.

LAURIE PALAU: That's awesome. I love all that. I mean, and the beauty of all of these is you don't have to do them, yes, you should have one for all of them, but like they don't always have to look the same all year long. Like you could have a specific routine for a season, for a period of time, and it's, again, it's just getting into that habit. And for me, what's saved my life, for as long as I've been a mother at least, which is 20 years, almost 21 years, is having a morning routine. And it's the routine itself may have morphed a little bit over time, obviously, but having, at minimum, you know, in those days when my kids were early risers, at least a 15 minute window to just like I said, to have a devotional, just have quiet time, have my cup of coffee, just plan my thoughts, like just whatever that was, and for me that was so, it has been like completely life changing. If I don't have that for some reason, like that just immediately sets the tone for my day and I think it's really important to set these examples, not just for your kids, but even for other people in your life. I think it really helps you establish these routines and you share them with your spouse or whoever, you know, your coworkers, whatever it is, and you're leading by example. And I think it's really, really, like I love everything that you're doing.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes, thank you.

LAURIE PALAU: I feel like I could talk to you forever. I do want to talk really briefly about your podcast, because you're a podcaster and obviously we have podcast listeners, tell us a little bit because again, that's another huge hat to wear. Like running a podcast is like a full time job. Talk to us a little bit about the show.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes. So the podcast is Routine and Things podcast and it's really all about inspiring, you know, people to start and maintain their routines. But it's really a hub, if you're looking for information that deals with routines, like this is where you need to go. Like I talk about a lot of different things on here, we go through all of the five categories in more detail, it's podcast episodes about how to talk to, you know, how to get your spouse on board with routines, how to juggle multiple routines, like all of those things that you have questions about, many times when you go to my podcast, you will see that that question is being answered. So it's a really good place to get inspired with routine building and to learn how to build routines. And, you know, it's some really good episodes coming up soon as well, but it's a bunch, I have over 50 episodes for you. So you can definitely binge.

LAURIE PALAU: I love it.

ASHLEY BROWN: Definitely binge.

LAURIE PALAU: I am going to absolutely subscribe to it and I can't wait and we're obviously, we'll link up to it. You've got a bunch of podcast listeners and they've gotten a sneak peek of who you are and your style here so hopefully everyone will just click, you know, just hop on over after this episode and subscribe to your show. We are going to take one more quick break and then we're going to just wrap up by putting you in the hot seat. But again, let our listeners know before we go to break, what is the best place for them to find you, connect up with, you learn all the things about any of your offerings?

ASHLEY BROWN: The best place to find everything is Instagram, that's where I'm at, @RoutineandThings. I hang out there a lot. So definitely, if you're looking for all of the things, Instagram is the place to go @RoutineandThings.

LAURIE PALAU: Gotcha. Perfect. And of course, we'll link up to your website and the podcast and all that good stuff. So sit tight everybody, we'll be right back and Ashley is going into the hot seat.

LAURIE PALAU: Okay, guys, I know we're all struggling being stuck inside, so hopefully this offer is going to cheer you up. You might remember my conversation with my friend, Jeannie Stith-Mawhinney, from Your Color Guru. We spoke back in Episode 163, and if you listened to the episode, you will remember me talking about how she completely rocked my world by doing a color analysis on me and proving that basically 90% of the items in my closet are not the right color for me. Shocking! But the good news is that she made it so easy for me to know exactly what colors I should be wearing. So now, when I go shopping, something that I dread to begin with, it's so much less painful because I can immediately go to the colors that she recommends based on my specific colorings. Well after that episode aired, Jeannie was flooded with people wanting their own color analysis, so I asked her if she would offer something special for our TOL community. So here you go. Jeannie is offering 10% off any of her consulting services to any TOL listener with the code, organized life. So whether you're looking to fill in gaps in your wardrobe, or maybe you just need some guidance and permission on what items to donate, Jeannie is a great resource. We're going to have specific links in our show notes for you, but if you can't wait, hop on over to yourcolorguru.com and enter the code 'organizedlife', that's one word, 'organizedlife' to receive 10% off any consultation package. And when you talk to her, you're going to love her as much as I do, so make sure that you tell her that I said hi, all right? And make sure to also post your pics in our Facebook group, This Organized Life Podcast, because I want to see. Now, back to our show.

LAURIE PALAU: Okay, Ashley, this has been super fun. I could talk to you about routines till the cows come home because this is like my jam, but I always wrap up our episodes by asking our guests a few questions. First of all, you are inspiring so many people, what books or podcasts have inspired you throughout your life? And it doesn't have to be about routines, it could be just anything that's been really transformational that you could share with our listeners.

ASHLEY BROWN: The book that I will always share, because I'm not a huge reader for one, so that's one, but I have read books and the one book that I have read, I've read it multiple times, I absolutely love, is The Alchemist.

LAURIE PALAU: Oh yeah, yeah.

ASHLEY BROWN: Oh my gosh.

LAURIE PALAU: I write down all the books just that everybody says, so.

ASHLEY BROWN: Yes, The Alchemist that book, oh, so beautiful. I love that book because every time I've read, I've read it three times, every time I read it, I get something new from that book and I just love how it just, I feel like, well, I'm not going to give it away. The Alchemist. The Alchemist, read it.

LAURIE PALAU: Alright, everybody, we got to go read it. And then the our last final two questions that we ask every guest is where in this particular season of your life do you feel the most organized? And where do you feel like a little bit of a hot mess?

ASHLEY BROWN: So I would say where I feel the most organized is definitely with my routines and maintaining and managing my home, that is where I feel the most organized. And also managing myself and everything that goes on with me. And where I feel a little bit of a hot mess, is like I said, I need to work on resting, this girl needs to like I really do. Like that's the place, like slowing down and really taking time to rest. I'm getting better at it little by little, but I'm still a little bit of a hot mess with it. I have to really catch myself many times.

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, I got you. I think a lot of us struggle with that. I know I do and it just really, I think for me, it's also a little bit about kind of redefining what rest is and maybe rest is just going to take a leisurely walk, not like because I'm trying to hit my exercise goal or whatever, but like, take a leisurely walk and, you know, maybe just not even, you know, listen to anything, just like commune and quiet down, like it doesn't have to be rest that you're sitting there slothy on the couch. I mean, it can be. Yeah, it's really, I think a really important thing that a lot of us just don't do or neglect. So, yeah, I think that's a challenge for everybody is focusing on rest.


LAURIE PALAU: So, I love it. Ashley, thank you so much for coming on our show, for sharing all of your energy and your wisdom and your knowledge with us. We will make sure that we connect up to all things Routine and Things. I can't wait to meet you in person so we could like hang out and drink coffee.

ASHLEY BROWN: I know, I know. Thank you so much for having me Laurie, you were amazing. I truly appreciate you.

LAURIE PALAU: Well, thanks for allowing me to share you with our people. So I am Laurie Palau, if this is your first time tuning into our show, welcome. Please don't forget to click the subscribe button so you won't miss any episodes. You could of course follow along with us on social media and it's Simply B Organized. We are on Facebook, we have a Facebook group for the podcast called This Organized Life, you can post questions, comments, we'll also link up to some of Ashley's amazing products there. Anything that we talked about in the show you can find in our show notes on our podcast page so make sure that you check that out as well. Until next week, I'm Laurie Palau. Peace out.

LAURIE PALAU: Thanks for tuning in. If you liked this episode, make sure to click the subscribe button wherever you're listening so that you never miss an episode. And while you're there, go ahead and leave us a review. A special shout out to our amazingly talented Podcast Producer, Don Jackson, of the Raven Media Group, for all of his hard work. And finally, if you want to connect with me, visit simplyborganized.com or find me all over social media at simplyborganized. I'll see you next week for another episode of This Organized Life.