A Little Honesty for your Everyday

Let’s have a little honesty here for a minute…not that I’m ever dishonest, but let’s get really real. My life feels like a mess. This past week has been a disaster from start to finish in terms of just getting things done and it has made me crazy! I’m about to show how insane I can be with this post, so hopefully it doesn’t freak you out…

I am someone who likes things to be clean, put away, organized and handled. Mess causes stress. Clutter is no good in our home. I talked about my cleaning routine at the start of last week, which is ironic because all of last week I ended up getting very little cleaning done, which has caused me quite the panic.

*facepalm* right about now.

As I get later and later into this pregnancy (4 weeks to go if Little Bear comes when he is supposed to) I am finding it harder and harder to get things done. Not because I have a huge honking belly, or because I’m exhausted at the end of a long day chasing a toddler around, nor is it because I have been having contractions on and off. It is simply because there has been so much on my list of to do’s that I then end up feeling like I’m never going to get anything done.

This list is ever growing as we are counting down our days and some days it just seems like I add more to it than I cross off. The list was overwhelming me, the mess was overwhelming me, the general busyness of my days was overwhelming me. Normally I can barrel through just about anything, but nope I just hit the brakes. Which in any reasonable person would single a “hey- take a step back, breathe, realize that you can’t do it all.” thought or even a “it can be handled another day” though. Not for me. My brain immediately went into panic mode causing even more disarray. Not only was my house a mess and cluttered, but now so was my mind.

Thankfully when I have my moments, I have an incredible husband who steps up and helps clean up around the house, is an amazing father, and really steps in when I am drowning in my own mind. This has been a huge help lately as things start to change in our family with a new addition coming. Also, with him stepping in I have actually been able to cross some things off of my list and I’m heading into this week feeling more like myself than last week.

Household Chores: Weekly Cleaning

It’s the household chores that not many like or want to do, but yet they have to get done. The chores like vacuuming, laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, every day things that need to be done no matter how much we don’t want to do them. On the whole, I am not a huge fan of cleaning, rather I like the results after I clean. I like having a clean, put together, presentable home and I find that our household generally runs better when it is clean. For us, mess leads to stress. Clutter is something we don’t like and when things are up and put away we are a happier family.

When you are tidying and doing regular every day cleaning, I find that the “bigger” things such as vacuuming or dusting or chores that are more “intensive” than just picking up toys and putting dishes away, tend to be put off. It turns into a “It can wait till tomorrow” or “It’s not that bad right now, we can wait another week”. Then those chores that may not have been at the top of the list, tend to become urgent later on. I have found a way to clean that not only works for myself, but allows me to have a clean house 99% of the time and doesn’t make me feel like I am just doing everything.

I figured this routine out by trial and error and a little bit of self reflection. I realized that if I was assigning myself one “chore” a day, such as dusting it was much easier for me to put it off to another day. For some reason in my mind, having one chore (even if it is for the entire house) is easier to put off, rather than having to do all of the chores for one room. In the end I was either missing chores throughout the week, or having to do do everything for the whole house on one day. Neither option was working. So, I came up with a new approach.

Every day (except Saturday and Sunday) I clean a room from top to bottom. For example, on Monday’s I clean the kitchen. I windex the windows, dust everything, clean and sanitize all of the counter spaces (which is something I do every day irregardless), clean the microwave and oven, sweep the floors(which I also do several times throughout the week in the evening) , and clear out our fridge and pantry. These are all tasks that are easily completed within about an hour and when done every week, keep our kitchen and dining area free of clutter and mess.

This routine ensures that I am not only keeping the house clear of dust and dirt, but also that those chores that I was putting off get done. Approaching it in a room by room situation seems to work better for me and helps me keep a more manageable approach to cleaning. Some days I do combine rooms as it is either simpler or not as much to do in each room. For example, I combine both Boy’s rooms and their bathroom, because they are smaller and require a little less attention than say, our Kitchen or Master Bedroom that has more items. I also do a mop of all of the wood and tile floors every other week, and wash blankets, sheets, etc every other week as well.

This is on top of just my standard everyday things that need to be done, such as picking up toys that have become scattered throughout the day, dishes, and just general tidying of our home. I like to wake up with a clean home, so every evening I try to make sure that everything has been picked up, dishwasher has been started, counter tops and kitchen table is clean and the house just has a generally clean state. I find that this allows my mornings to be so much less stressful (I mean who wants to deal with dishes first thing in the morning?!) and I get a much better start to my day. It may seem like a lot to do, but like I said when you look at the chores for each room, it only takes about an hour each day, with some days being less than that, and it seems much easier to say, today I am going to clean our Living Room and then just do it, rather than today I am going to dust and vacuum the entire house. The same chores get completed in the same timeline (each room is dusted, vacuumed, etc once a week), but taking it room by room seems to me to be less daunting.

I do take Saturday’s “off” of my chore cleaning as we are typically out of the house on those days and just enjoying our family time together and Sunday’s are devoted to the never ending chore called Laundry. Overall though, I really like this routine and while I am cleaning I blast some music – in my headphones because…nap time. Dare I say it- cleaning actually becomes enjoyable!

Let’s Talk About Planning!

I am such a pen and paper kinda girl – I always have been. There is something so calming to me about writing down what I need to do, ticking it off when I’ve done it, and just having notes to reference throughout the day. I find it really helps me stay sane when life can be crazy and it lets me keep my tasks and things that I want to accomplish straight.

I’ve had a planner for a long time, but never really found a planner that truly worked for me. I’ve had to just kind of work around what I’ve been using or have a notebook of some sort in addition to my planner. Those are all options, but I’ve been constantly trying to find or try something new.

This past year I have been really interested in consolidating. I really only want to be using one or two notebooks and my journal rather than spreading everything out through a planner, business notebook, journal, and brainstorming papers. I reached a point early this year that I just felt like nothing was really working for me and it started to bother me. I started doing some research.

I’ve known about bullet journaling for quite a long time, but I’ve never really considered it due to time constraints. I wanted to try it out, but felt a little daunted at the fact that I would be creating a planner, calendar and everything by myself from scratch. I didn’t realize that in reality that was the best thing for me.

Over the next few posts about Bullet Journaling I am going to share several things from what I use to create my Bullet Journal, some of my favorite pages, as well as little tips that I have realized as I have gone a long.

If you are curious to get a good overview of Bullet Journaling you can check out Ryder Carroll’s website HERE and see what it is all about. I will say- don’t get overwhelmed by everything that is listed and explained on the site. You don’t have to have a fancy key system or anything like that, but it will give you a good overview of what Bullet Journaling is.

Starting the Road to Change- One Daily Thing

I’m going to start doing some posts about making changes in your life and being more productive and positive in your day to day life and interactions. This is a change that I have been working on and just trying to be the “best me”. I promise you it won’t be too cheesy or self-help. I just found some of these things really worked for me and they may work for you if you are wanting to make a change or just read some positive!

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret to you success is found in your daily routine.”

I’ve always realized that if you try and make a slew of changes all at once, you are bound to fail to an extent. A change or two is bound to fall through the cracks, or it gets overwhelming and they all fall to the wayside. I don’t know about you but when I am feeling like I need or want a change, I do a whole bunch at once rather than one thing at a time. Every time I do this, I fail at everything I’ve tried to change. This is a much better approach, that will lead to results.

When I had just gotten through the “newborn” stage with our Little Fox and had been able to settle up a routine with him that worked for both of us, I had a bit of a reality check. Let’s have a little story time…

I posted recently about Bad Habits as a Stay At Home Mom. I’ve done all of them at one point or another, but the one that this post is relating to is the not getting properly dressed every day. I was in sweats all day everyday and my hair was usually brushed and thrown up in a ponytail or bun. One afternoon one of our neighbors stopped by to bring us some honey as a little “Welcome” gift. I answered the door and to them I probably looked like a complete mess. I could see in their faces that they were a little surprised and as we continued to talk and they realized what all I did, I could just see them still being a little…taken aback. That’s when it hit me.

What would I think if I saw someone out and about in the same clothing that I was wearing? Albeit, I wasn’t leaving the house (I always made sure that I was dressed when I left the house), but the concept remained the same to me. I found myself realizing that my attitude and productivity were also being affected. I just felt like more of a “slob” than I should have.

So, I decided to change ONE thing at a time.

The first thing I changed was my wardrobe. I made myself put on jeans, a skirt, a dress, something other than sweatpants. I started by focusing solely on what I was wearing. I didn’t worry about hair or makeup at this time, just on clothes. I found that this way I was able to  I made sure to wait at least 2 weeks before I started to make another change. For me, 2 weeks is a good amount of time for a new habit is formed and I find that after a full month, if I go back to something different or pre habit it is “odd” to me.

My biggest take away would be to start with something small and easy every day. It is true that changing ONE thing in your daily routine will lead to more changes and eventually lead you to change your life. Choose something that you find is really taking away from your outlook, your productivity or that you want to change in your life. For me, it was my clothing, for you it may be getting up before your kids or husband, or doing the dishes before bed. Whatever it is, make sure that it is something manageable and something that you can commit to. Don’t try and change your everyday clothing, getting up earlier, and breakfast routine all at the same time. It will only lead to you either feeling overwhelmed or one of those tasks falling to the wayside.

Once you’ve got one task set up and you have done it every day for a few weeks, implement another small change. Once I was getting dressed properly everyday, I started making a full breakfast in the mornings. More followed and I found that not only did I feel better about myself, but my productivity really started to increase. Things around our house started getting done and not only am I happier, but I’ve noticed a huge change in our family dynamic.

Once you’ve got a solid foundation throughout your day, everything changes.

I Had A Moment: Storytime

*Mini Confession time…this was not the post that was supposed to go up today. I had planned to do a post about a daily change, but something happened this week and I really wanted to write and share about it. It was an incredible thing and the post that was supposed to go up today will go up on Monday 🙂

Ya’ll, I had my moment. That moment that everything just falls into place and something gently nudges you and reminds you- everything is going to be alright. Everything is exactly as it should be. You were given the life you were meant (and strong enough) to live.

Let me go backwards. This week has just been a tough week. We’ve all been there. This past week I was questioning a lot; everything from what to make for dinner during my meal planning to whether I would really be able to handle two children. I let the best get to me and started to wonder if I was truly capable to be all that I wanted to be and all that I was setting up for myself.

It’s not easy at times to manage it all. I try not to harp on about how busy I am because I know that there are those that are even busier, but I have quite a bit going on as it is. From running my own business, to working part time, to being a wife and mom- it adds up quickly. Then realizing that you’ve also got to squeeze some time in there for yourself while holding everything else together. It almost sent me on a tailspin this week and it sure put a little edge on how I handled myself.

This led me to wonder if I could not only handle two children, but if I could or would want to have more children after our little Bear is born. Albeit we have plenty of time to make that decision and things change all the time, but I’ll be honest- I did quite a bit of self reflection throughout the week. I always thought we would have 3 or 4 children, but part of my week was wondering if I couldn’t handle one or two and everything else, how would I do with more?

Then, I just had a moment. I had just finished my daily cleaning and decided instead of turning on the television, I would plug in some music, get my little Fox out of his crib and we would have some sort of creative time. Our son is a constantly moving child and it is very rare that he will just sit and chill for longer than a few seconds – maybe a minute if you’re really lucky. He just loves to be moving and be on his feet. This afternoon was out of the norm for him. He decided that he just wanted to climb up on my lap and sit with me for a little while.

IMG_5502So, we sat in this incredibly comfy chair staring out the window watching the wind rustle the tree branches and leaves outside. The music playing around in the background and everything just clicked. I experienced the most amazing sense of calm that I hadn’t felt in a little while and in my mind I got that gentle nudge. In that moment I instantly knew that everything was perfect and I was exactly where I was supposed to be. That I was and can handle anything that is thrown at me. I can and will do it all because I am not doing more or less than what I want for myself and my family.

This is the moment that I needed and the moment that I will hold onto whenever I am experiencing those moments of self doubt or wonder.

Chatting about Even More Excitement!

Hi everyone! So much has happened this past week and I have so much that I want to talk about, that I am not quite sure what or where to even start! I think I am just going to kind of free write and see what happens. These type of posts often become my favorites to write and read because I find that you get a true sense of a person when you just let them chat and chat with them.

So, let’s see…where to begin…

I started to get heavily into my spring/summer day cooking and baking. That meant that we had a full Potato Salad ready to go for the week for lunches and dinner sides, rolls, smoothies and all sorts of yummy treats in the house! That is all good and dandy, but I’ve also made this past week the start of my return to healthier options. I find that summer time can either be a healthy time of year with fruit salads and salads, or it can be the completely opposite with soda’s and chips to complete barbecues. I’ve already been making healthier meals for my family during the week, but I have a big problem with snacking. This past week I’ve been trying to make a conscious decision to pick up fruit or veggies over grabbing a handful of chips or the chocolate bar that I like in the afternoon. I indulge once a week and I am hoping to keep that up!

This past week also meant the return of my husband from the school that he was attending! He had been gone for around 3.5 weeks and while we have said “See you soon” and “Hello!” numerous times before, the sadness of see you later and the excitement of a hello never fades. It is even more special each time now that we have children. Not only do I have my excitement and happiness, but to watch our son’s face light up when Daddy comes home makes everything even more exciting. He ran over to greet daddy and gave him a huge hug! It’s been great to have him home and to feel “complete” in our family once again.

April is very rapidly coming to an end and it is going out with a lot of rain! I am hoping that I can really let you know if the phrase “April Showers bring May Flowers” really rings true. It has so far with a lot of the month having days of rain. I am loving it as I am a huge rain fan and it is really helping out all of our flowers! Everything is really starting to come into bloom and I am hoping for a sunny, floral, May!

With April coming to an end, I am starting to look at what posts I want to be doing in May and all of the brainstorming and ideas I’ve got for upcoming blog posts. I think I am going to be incorporating some more posts about how I stay organized, how I manage to handle everything I do, how I stay positive, some self help type stuff, and of course, the transition from one child to two and anything to do with our family!

How have you been? How has April shaped up for you?

Take A Moment…

Do you ever just sit in awe of the world around you? I am sitting out on our back porch and just watching and listening as the world turns around me. I’ve got a mommy bird in the hanging candle behind me laying on her eggs. I’ve got a woodpecker somewhere in the trees off our back deck, pecking away at a tree trunk. The fox just ran through our backyard (and no I am not making any of this up, this is what really happens in my backyard) heading to his home. Here I am, sitting and enjoying a hot cuppa whilst birds are singing, flowers are blooming and a perfectly blue sky is up above. It is such a magnificent sight to take in.

When the weather turns nicer, I love to sit out on our back deck whenever I can and take these moments and views in. It’s a little reminder to stop my busy life and just take a moment to really enjoy the world we live in. There is beauty everywhere you look- if only you take a moment to look.

I want to encourage you to do the same thing at some point every day or as often as you can. It really changes your whole outlook on not only your everyday, but your life. I know it may sound cheesy, but when you take a minute to come out of your own life and view something in nature it changes everything. If you can make it a part of your every day or weekly routine you will start to notice a change. A more positive outlook, a little more relaxation and on the whole just a happier approach to your days.

What a Week!

Gosh, it’s been a week! It started busy and ended with a little domesticity and a little relaxation.

The week started off with my Mother In Law leaving (after being in town for 2 weeks helping me out after a little fall) and a visit from my best friend, Aleta. We’ve been close friends for a couple of years now and she not only wanted to come and visit us, but also bring her daughter to the city (D.C.). It was such a lovely time! I can’t speak enough about how amazing she is and how much I truly cherish our friendship. We not only did some sight seeing, but we also did some tea drinking and A LOT of talking.

Her daughter also took some photo’s of us for The Cosy Book Shoppe (business), but also managed to capture some of me in all my pregnant with #2 glory. I wasn’t planning on doing any maternity photo’s this time around, just kind of capture some moments here and there, but nothing too formal. While we were taking the business photo’s she took a little time out to capture some of me that turned out really well (if I do say so myself).

With all of the excitement of having people in town for 2 1/2 weeks, I really needed some time to decompress and relax. I took a day to just take it easy and then took a little time towards the end of the week to do some cooking, baking, and reading! The weather has been warming up, which means I start making Potato Salad a lot- maybe a little too much sometimes LOL. The warmer weather also means a lot more time on our back deck and a lot of cold beverages and colder treats like smoothies, and cheesecakes/silk/satin pies.

I can’t believe that we only have a little less than 9 weeks to go before #2’s due date, although if he is anything like his brother it’ll be closer to 10-11 weeks! This pregnancy has really just flown by and as we are nearing the end, we are starting to get things for a new nursery. We don’t have to get too much, it’s more rearranging furniture and then a new theme/wall decor/bedding items. The biggest shift is moving our Little Fox (Little Man #1) to his new room. The room that he is moving into was our home library, so we had a lot of books to move! The books have all been moved, it is just the last bit of furniture that needs to be moved and then we can start figuring out what we want to do. I am trying to keep Little Fox in his crib for as long as possible (as close to two as we can possible get it to work) without having to buy another crib. Little Bear (Little Man #2) will not being going into a crib in his own room for a little while after birth, so we’ve got some wiggle room.

I’m starting to order some items and things are starting to once again, become real in the fact of us becoming a family of 4! It will be quite a change and I am trying to prepare us as best as I can for it. The biggest thing that I learned with Little Fox that I will be taking into this new chapter is to just “go with the flow”. We fell into a routine the first time around fairly quickly and while I know it will be different with two instead of one, I know that as soon as we get things established everything else will fall into place. The biggest thing is just going to be going with it until we get there.

That’s all I’ve got for today- it became a little more chatty than I intended, but sometimes that is just what happens.

Bad Habits as a “Stay at Home-r”

Good afternoon everyone and Happy Friday!! The week has come to an end and what a week it has been!! This weekend is also Easter, so a very exciting weekend! Today I am going to talk about something that I have noticed since becoming a person who is home more than not. I’ve always been a homebody, but it is different when you are truly a Stay at Home Mom/Employee/Wife/Whatever. It is very easy to fall into some bad habits when you stay at home most of the time and are busy-ing yourself with things around the house.

I work part time, own my own business and am a mom, wife, and homemaker. I blog as a hobby and enjoy it! With all of that, I found myself going down the rabbit hole with some of these habits. I’m hoping that I can help you identify these habits too.

1.) Staying in your pajamas all day. Get out of your pajamas! I don’t care if you just get out of your sleep clothes and put on sweatpants, just doing this one thing will change a lot in your mindset. It is so easy to fall down a rabbit hole when you stay in the same pajamas or clothes all day and all night long (even if you are changing your pajamas frequently it’s the mindset of being in clothes that you sleep in that makes a difference). For me, I actually put on a full outfit every morning that involves jeans, a skirt or a dress. You will automatically be more productive and feel better when you change your clothes after getting up in the morning.

2.) Eat and Drink Appropriately. Another one that I just can’t stress enough. A lot of times when we stay at home we fall into two different categories; eating everything or eating nothing. Neither one of these options is a good option. Try to space out your meals and/or snacking and make sure that if nothing else- you get a good breakfast to start your day off. I find that when I eat a good healthy breakfast in the morning, I snack less throughout the day. Another big thing to make sure you are doing is hydrating. Drinking plenty of water is a big thing and will also help motivate you to be healthier and make healthier choices throughout the day.

3.) Staying in the House Too Much. It is really easy to just stay in the house and stay where you are comfortable. It is even easy to say, I’ve got too much going on to fit in time to run out without it being errands or necessary. It is essential to leave the house a couple of times a week just to change your environment and scenery. I will be the first to admit that I don’t do this very well. I find that even taking a walk through the park and out in the neighborhood halfway through the week works wonders for our attitudes and our outlook. In our home we try to take a walk halfway through the week or run out to a store or do something and then our weekends tend to be filled with seeing new sights and running errands. It breaks up the monotony of the week and helps it you to not feel like you are stuck in Groundhog Day.

These are the three biggest things that I have discovered, although keep an eye out because I’ll be talking more and more about some other habits to get into and how to break some of the bad habits that we may have! What bad habits have you noticed if stay at home?

My Evening Routine

Good afternoon everyone and Happy Monday! I hope that this week is getting off to a great start for you! It’s been fantastic here in our home as my nearest and dearest friend is in town visiting for a couple of days. It’s already been a whirlwind of a couple days and I can’t wait to see how the next couple days go!

Today I’m excited to share a little glimpse into my evening routine. You can find my morning routine HERE and while I get a lot done in the mornings and have some “me” time, I feel like my evenings are where the real relaxation is. It’s a great time for us to spend together as a family and when we get to just enjoy the coziness that is our home.

I work from home and then once I’m done with work, I typically do my daily chores around the house. I consider my day “over” around 4:00-4:30pm. At this time our little man is typically waking up from his nap, so I’ll get him out of the crib and we will enjoy a little bit of time together in the living room. I’ll grab his leftover milk out of the fridge and we just relax for about 30-45 minutes with a little TV or playing on the floor.

Around 5:15-5:30pm I start on dinner. I make home made dinners every night, except for a Friday or Saturday night, when we either do something easy or order in for our date night. Because I am making dinner almost completely (and completely in some cases) from scratch it can take upwards of an hour to cook. I enjoy cooking and typically during this time, my husband will arrive home from work. I try to clean as I go, rinsing out dishes and doing what needs to be done.

Dinner time is typically around 6:30pm in our home and we like to sit around the table and just chat about our days. This is our time to catch up with each other and just chat. After dinner, I’ll get the kitchen and dining room cleaned up and my husband will either play with our little man in the living room or head down and do homework. One way or the other we will all end up on the floor in the living room playing until it is little man’s bed time.

We start getting little man ready for bed at around 8:30pm and my husband actually handles bed time for the most part. While he is getting little man ready for bed, I am taking my make up off and washing my face. I occasionally change into my pajamas at this time, but more than likely not. Once little man is in bed, we either catch up on some television or read in our living room until we are ready to go to bed. This is the time that we get to just relax and spend a little one on one time with each other, without little man.

So that is what our evening looks like! What is your evening routine like?