While we’ve been out of school for two weeks now, this week felt like the true start of summer. After a week away at the Dominican Republic, and then a handful of days after to catch up around the house, I was ready for my daycare girls to come back this week so that we could get settled into somewhat of a summer routine. While I want summer to be relaxed and fun, kids (and I) do best with routine and some structure. Things were still a bit “off” this week…Brad was home sick the first day they came back, and the girls seem to be having trouble settling into play (rather they’re flitting from one thing to the next every 5-10 minutes…agh!)…but day-by-day I think we’re adjusting to a new schedule. At any rate, there was plenty to be grateful for this week…
These girls. They were so excited to see each other and I was excited to see them! While things are busy and it seems like they aren’t actually playing anything, they help me keep summer about what summer should be about. Already this week they decorated ball caps, made slime, had ice cream, and yesterday we had fun at the local library summer kick-off party! As awful as it is to think or say, if it was just Faith and me in the summer, she would have no one to play with and it would be way to easy to fall into a routine of me working at the computer and her playing alone or being on the tablet or TV. These girls are like her sisters. This will be the first year that we’ll spend nearly every day at the pool, and we have passes to visit the zoo and the animal safari. It’s going to be a great summer!
This doll house has been in the plans for a while now, and we finally got it completed as Faith’s (belated) birthday gift. It took Brad two days to build it and me one day to paint it, but it’s done and in her room! This photo was taken before painting began. I’ll be sharing the full project on the blog soon! I’m glad it got done in time for daycare to resume…I hope they have many days of fun with their American Girl dolls!
Also in anticipation of daycare beginning, I did some reorganization in the living room and my office space. When I took my job at school last year and “quit” daycare, I got rid of almost all of my daycare supplies and toys. Honestly they probably outgrew a lot of the toys anyway, but when I decided to take kids again this summer I needed to figure out a way to provide them with entertainment and things to do that wasn’t too much of an investment for the not-quite three months they’d be here. I purchased this shelf with the intention to put it in the living room with their supplies (and possibly have it double as a TV cabinet), but the nearly grey wood tone didn’t fit as well as I expected, and I decided instead to use this in my office and move the white cube shelves that I was using in the office to the living room. Since this photo I got larger cube bins that better fit the openings, and have been having fun organizing and styling it! I’m so glad it’s part of my office now, and I have so much more storage! Once I’m done I’ll share the finished product!
If you follow me on Instagram you saw that I’m back to enjoying cold brew coffee at home now that it’s warming up. (Well, a bit. It’s actually been pretty cool here this week.) Last year I figured out how to make cold brew using my Pampered Chef batter bowl, the coffee filter out of my coffee maker (or cheesecloth), and patience. This year I decided I needed to simplify the process and finally invested in an (inexpensive) cold brew pitcher. I enjoyed my first pitcher this week and it was so easy! This pitcher took some figuring out to take apart, but because of how it comes apart it is easy to clean all the nooks and crannies. Best part: It’s takes a lot less time to make than my old method and I don’t waste half of it spilling on the counter as I try to dump the batter bowl into a pitcher! The pitcher itself is tall and narrow, so it doesn’t take up a lot of room in my fridge, and I can even use it for infusing herbs or fruit into tea! If you’ve been looking for an easy way to make cold brew, hop over to Amazon and try this one out!
One thing that’s been a bit of a game-changer for my life lately is daily journaling. One of my biggest goals this summer is to find a routine that allows me not only to enjoy summer with my family and daycare girls, but that helps me devote more time to the blog. I have several personal and professional goals that revolve around building my business, so this is really important to me. I’ve enlisted the help of a coach, thanks to a referral from one of my friends. Michele Edwards started a business coaching faith-based entrepreneurs and she has been such an amazing blessing for my business and my life! One of her suggestions was to journal every morning about what I want to accomplish that day. It’s been a great place to brain dump, and I have even had blog post ideas pop up as I’ve written. The main purpose was to make a list of the top things I’d like to accomplish that day. I’m trying to just limit to a few so that I can feel successful rather than like I failed to complete tasks every day. I also work through potential obstacles in my day, and remind myself of accomplishments from the day prior. Sometimes I add a prayer in my writing, asking for God’s guidance with specific things for my business. While I don’t write a lot about personal things, I do include them a bit because the bottom line is that my personal life very much affects my business and how much I accomplish. But if I identify those things and have a plan for my day, they’re a lot less likely to keep me from doing what I want to do!
The above photo was taken on a morning that I journaled later than usual in the morning, and therefore was able to enjoy writing outside with my coffee. Bliss!
In addition to journaling, I sat down for the first time with my meal list and planned out meals for the rest of May and all of June. (In case you haven’t been following, I set out to simplify meal planning by creating a monthly meal-plan here.) It was exciting to see how much simpler planning meals was by having a core list of things to make, and I think it took less time to plan a month than it typically does for me to plan a week! I expect the more I do it, the easier and faster it will become!
I also started Rosemarie Groner’s 90 Day Budget Bootcamp. I’m striving to get our meals, our health, our schedule, our budget and my business in order!
That’s a lot to tackle and I’ve learned enough to know that I can’t expect to do it all right away. I’m taking baby steps, making sure that I remember my word-of-the-year and just START doing something. I try to focus and use the time I have, do little bits at a time, and celebrate my achievements…
…and then I give myself time off, like this holiday weekend! I hope you have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend! Check in Monday…I hope to have my summer decor finally up and share it with you then!