Hitting a Road Block

Like any other person, I have my moments. I have my days, sometimes even my weeks. No one’s life is always perfect and I DO NOT want to even begin to portray that. I have always said that the biggest thing that I strive for (in all aspects of my life) is honesty. Always authentic and always 100% honest in what I share. This is my real life and when I have a hard time I don’t want to sugarcoat that or fake those very real bits of life. Sharing those moments is hard, but I feel like it is so so important so that we don’t get caught up in the wave that can be portrayed everywhere you look of perfection.

Life is a roller coaster ride. Some points are really low. Sometimes you have quite a hill to climb to get out of those low moments. This past week was that low point. 

I am a person who thrives on organization almost across the board (fun fact, the only exception to this is when we go on vacation). I can “go with the flow” at times, but mostly I thrive on having a general/rough outline of what is going on. I thrive on writing down my to do list every morning and checking off each thing as I go along. I thrive when I have a plan of action and when I can move forward with that plan of action. It is something that can be such a positive and something that I have really worked to my benefit over my life. 

Now, you may be wondering how this can be a downfall. Being organized, able to create a plan of action and get s*** done is a positive, right?

Not always.

For me, I struggle when I get a wrench thrown into things. When my rough outline of a day gets messed up due to whatever happened. And sometimes, that wrench that can really just mess with my head. Depending on what happens and how much it effects (what I have in my head as) my rough outline will depend on what my reaction level is. 

This is so hard for me to admit because I work really hard to balance so many different things in my life. To balance them perfectly so that every part of my life, and myself, gets what it needs. I’ve touched before about how hard, almost impossible, it is and how at some points things are going to go to the wayside. I didn’t take my own advice this past week to just let one thing go so I could be successful all around. 

So, what happened to make this a low point? It almost seemed like just everything was set against the week. Computer issues, Internet issues, getting caught up after a vacation, getting sick, and then the kids getting sick. I think around Wednesday, my positive attitude started really slipping and then by Thursday it was completely gone. I had pretty much given up on the week come Thursday afternoon. 

Giving up that positive attitude and that attempt to get all the things handled may have been a really hard decision (for me personally), but it is what saved my weekend. I wallowed and just sat in that misery for all of Thursday. Sometimes that is exactly what is needed in order to get to the climb to get out of the low point. And honestly, I did feel a little bit better when Friday morning came around. 

I took the weekend to just relax and just be in the moment. Since I had “given up” on the week, I took all that extra time to snuggle with the kids, obsess over the Royal Wedding (although I was going to that regardless), and just enjoy the sensation of “letting go”. To remember the advice that I’ve said time and time again about taking time to not have to do everything. 

I’ve learned some hard lessons this past week. I’ve had some lessons re affirmed, some new lessons learned, and have just had a chance to remember what I really want from my everyday.

My Morning Routine: Spring 2018

I thought I would finish out this whole Spring/Morning series with a little look at what my own morning looks like. My mornings are very strategically planned out so that I get a chance to get a little “me time” along with a healthy start and outlook to my day. I find that when I get to have that extra little bit of time, I have a much better day and a clearer mindset. 

So to start off my day, I tend to wake up around 5:45-6:00am. This gives me about 2 1/2 hours before the kids are up. The first thing I do is grab a bit of water and head down for a workout. Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 10.10.13 AMI like to start my morning off with a workout because I feel like it releases those endorphins, gets my blood and body moving, and I get one of my priorities out of the way. Typically this is about a 30 minute workout and then I’m done.

Once I finish my workout, I get a shower and get ready for the day. Some people think that it is crazy to put on jeans/regular clothes and makeup when I typically don’t leave the house. For me, it is simply a mental change. If I am wearing a full outfit and such, then I will actually get things done for the day. If I stay in sweats, I have a much less productive day. It’s just a personal choice. 

At this point it is typically around 7:30am and it is time to get breakfast. For breakfast I will have anything from cereal, to a bagel, to what I had today, which was a scrambled eggs mixture. I think this is probably one of my favorite meals to make as it satisfies everything I want in the morning- eggs, carbs, and spiciness. I also make my first cup of tea of the day. 

While I eat my breakfast I typically read whatever book that I am reading currently and I look over my to-do list and schedule for the day. I like to take this time to just enjoy my food, tea, and the peace and quiet of the house. This is my morning ritual. The ritual of making my tea, breakfast and then getting to sit down and enjoy it with my book and planner. More than anything, this is what sets my day on the right track. Everything else just helps. Once the boys are up, there is no such thing as quiet, so I like to enjoy it when I get it. 

The boys are typically up around 8:30 at that ends the little bit of quiet and relaxation I get until bedtime! I do love waking them up though because they both always wake up with a smile on their faces. The happiness just radiates and is perfect! 

Do you have any morning ritual? What does your morning look like?

Plan With Me : April

I’ve always said that I am a paper and pen person. I may overcomplicate the process, but to be honest, my brain works better when I am able to look at things on paper. To be able to not only look at an overview of what the next bit of time looks like for me, but then to break it down into manageable actions really helps me to not feel overwhelmed when I am trying to juggle everything.

DSC_0006

Since we are starting “fresh” with a new quarter, a new season and a new month, I figured I would break it down and share I organize my brain with you! If that interests you, continue on!

So, for my blog and business, I like to look at things on a quarterly basis. I like to list out my goals and priorities, as well as the action steps to complete those. I do this in Moleskine Notebooks (one for business, one for blog) and have a separate sheet of paper that lives in my planner with an overall look at the four quarters in the year. I have one page dedicated to each quarter and I’ll write out (typically in pencil until about a week before the month starts) what blog posts I am thinking of for the month and where they should fall. This helps give me an overview of the entire quarter and if I have an idea of a tips blog post or have found another topic I want to touch on, I can quickly look and see where it will fall into place. I typically have 4 scheduled blog posts a month and the rest are just as they happen.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 5.09.16 PMOnce I have my overview handled, I look at the first month of the quarter. I have switched planners, sort of. I am still in a Day Designer, but I am using their full on planner, rather than the weekly only. As things started to get busier, I found that I needed a little bit more space in my day to day to keep track of everything.

In the month view, I will write out everything that is planned for that month, whether it is blog posts, videos, appointments, birthdays, days off, whatever it is. This gives me a little bit more of an in depth look at what that specific month holds in our schedules. A lot of times this will change as we go through the month, but it’s good at least have a good starting point.

The final thing I do is plan out the first week of the month. I will mark down the times that I am working as time blocks and then mark in the times that blog posts or videos are going live. I also mark down any appointments that I may have. Once the time is blocked out, I will fill in a couple of the to-do boxes. I have a couple of days that are set aside for specific things for my job, or for cleaning purposes, so I will “auto-fill” those tasks in on the relevant days. The final thing I’ll do is look at my previous week, the new month, and the upcoming week to see if there are any tasks that I have not done, or things that I need to get done. This could be anything from making sure the scheduled blog posts are all uploaded and scheduled, to checking on different supplies in our home.

So, that is my April Plan With Me! I hope that you enjoyed getting a little insight into how I organize my brain to start a new month off. Let me know what you do! Are you an electronic planner type of person? A paper and pen person? Or maybe just a fly by the seat of your pants? Let me know!

Spring is Right Around the Corner…

4315430272_IMG_0546Seriously. Our first blooms have popped through on the bushes and even though the weather may not be full “spring” beauty and warmth, the first official day of spring is tomorrow! First off, where is this year going? I feel like already the time is just flying by. Second off, spring seems to be a season similar to the new year. An almost “out with the old, in with the new” type of vibe to it.

We start to shed all of the layers of winter, not just in our clothes, but in our homes, our meals, our everyday life. Spring seems to bring a new lightness to everyday. It appears slowly, with a massive Spring Cleaning to start off with. A purge of the old, of what no longer works in the home, of what is no longer needed. Then comes the cleaning of spaces. A whole house and self scrub down you could say. Then, finally, it is in with the new.

Spring is a season of change. If you would have asked me just a few short years ago if I liked it, I would have shrugged my shoulders; “I’m more of a fall type of gal”. While I am still a “fall type of gal”, I have started to see the love of Spring. When the worst of winter starts to fade away, and a glimpse of summer peaks through. I thoroughly enjoy the idea of clearing away and cleaning out our wardrobes, home, and meal ideas. I also LOVE the fact that spring brings the “cool warm” temperatures that allow me to open our windows all day long.

Following along with the start of Spring, you will start to see the scheduled Wednesday blog posts following along with the concept of purge, clean, refresh for the month of April. It is really easy to do the spring overhaul in April as the weather is still finding its way and it really is just a transition month to the full warmth of spring in May. It’s a good time to look at how your year has started off, what you want to change and keep from the first few months, and what you want to do moving forward. I will be doing this myself in our own home, so I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!

Planning in 2018

I’m a paper and pen kinda gal. I firmly believe in writing down goals, plans, to do’s and believe that it helps organize not only your life, but your mind. Once it’s written down, you are more than likely not only going to get whatever it is done, but you’ll feel better just by writing whatever it is down. I am not someone who really uses my phone as a main calendar, but rather as a back up system. I like to be able to disconnect and disengage from technology and by using a physical planner and journal, just makes it that much easier.

So, what am I using for this year? Excellent question. I tend to switch things up throughout the year, but one of my intentions last year was to stick through one single planner. This year I want to carry through with that same intention. I spent the better portion of the year in a bullet journal and considered that intention a success. While I love the bullet journal and think that it is great, this year I have decided to go back to a pre filled planner. At this point I really would like the bare bones of my planner already filled in and I can just write in my specifics.

IMG_7327This year I have picked out a Blue Sky and Day Designer collaboration planner from (big surprise) Target. I have used Day Designer planners before and I love them! I may actually end up going back to a full size Day Designer planner, but for now I have gotten this simple month and week layout going. I typically spend about 15 minutes or so Sunday Evening or Monday Morning mapping out my week and then about 5-10 minutes each morning with any specifics I want to mark down.

The other item that I have is my own personal journal. Once again, I am a firm believer in the paper and pen method and I write down 95% of everything. Some things I do not, but if something is bothering me or I’m having a rough time, I find that sitting down and writing it out helps so incredibly much. I try to write regularly and typically do about once a week (if not even more than that). It is just so helpful in getting things out of your head, off your plate, and a lot of times it helps me sort through my own thoughts.

This year I have a feeling I’ll be filling more than one journal, but I am starting with, yet another Target find, a Pink Light Design Notebook. It’s not what I typically go for, but I really liked it and I feel like it fit what I was hoping for for the beginning of my year.

So that is that! Those are the paper items I am using this year to help me stay on track for my year. Are you a pen and paper person? What are you using to keep organized this year?

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.

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?

I Hit a Wall…

I feel like it is an age old situation: Dispense good advice, don’t take a word of it yourself. This past week has been so hectic and at times just felt discombobulated. Side note- I’m super proud of that word choice 🙂 I’m very much a organized and have become a routine based person and this past week has just been crazy where that is concerned.

I feel like I say a lot that I am a routine based person. I can do spontaneous and I can have my days/weeks where it is off, but on the whole I love the way that I have my days and weeks planned out and I have found that it works really well for our family. This past week has pushed the “spontaneous” side of me a little too far and by the end of the week, I had firmly hit that wall of DONE.

We had a couple of appointments this week, which normally wouldn’t be so bad, except this week I had anticipated one appointment that was 30 minutes away. I had planned for just that one appointment and had figured that I could get everything else done around that. Then, it turned into two appointments on two different days both 30 minutes away. I also had a couple other errands to get done while we were out that added to the time.

My part time job picked up quite a bit in terms of being busy and having A LOT to do, so that was a factor. It’s tough when you feel like you are accomplishing quite a bit while working, but when you look at the numbers, nothing has changed. You clear out x amount of tasks to have y amount just added back to the mix. So, I know that that played a lot into my feeling of busyness and discombobulation.

Our sweet little man has been teething this week as well. I’m not sure what teeth are coming in, but it’s been a rough one for him. Normally he has a very happy sweet temperament, but with teething he goes hot and cold between smiling and crying. He typically wants to sleep more and has no interest in eating/food. He also becomes very clingy when he is teething due to the pain. He only wants to either be held or be in my lap. This is not a bad thing until things are not getting done. I still soak up the time for the most part because these moments are starting to become few and far in between.

So add together: extra appointments, extra large work load, irritable, clingy toddler, and a snowstorm at the start of the week and you get a mom who feels like she isn’t getting anything done! Normally I have a good handle on things and can pretty much handle whatever is thrown at me, but this past week just felt like so much at once. I hit a wall and actually ended up doing as little as possible on Saturday. We did a simple breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and ordered in for dinner. I did a little work, but overall just tried to relax and enjoy my time with my toddler.

It was exactly what I needed after the week felt like it was falling apart!

Week In Pictures – A Family Visit and Shopping!

Hello everyone! Gosh, it is already 5-6 days into March! This past week has been a whirlwind as my husband went out of town for most of it for work and my mother came into town for a visit. We did quite a bit of shopping and just got to spend some time together. This was also my first full week in a new planner set up as well as adding some more to my journal. The week ended with some more shopping for the new baby as well as our little man.

I had a few things that I needed to pick up, some more spring/summer maternity clothes, some books and I had a few appointments throughout the week as well. This kept us plenty busy for the week and it seemed every day we had to do something!

I was able to get quite a bit of some new tops to gear up for the warmer weather (of course now that I have, it’s getting cold again) and I’m very much looking forward to spring and summer outfits that I can put together! Sweet Little Man and #2 also got some new clothes for summer as well. We’ve got everything saved from when Little Man was a baby, but with them being born at opposite ends of the year, there are some clothing items that we need to have. I also want to do a different theme for his nursery than we did for Little Man as they are different.

Little Man had a “woodland” animal/fox theme with Oranges and Browns in his nursery and I think #2 is going to have a mountain animal/bear theme with Blues for his nursery. I love what we have picked out so far and I think it is going to come together really well! We’ve still got to move quite a bit of furniture around and switch rooms around before I can decorate the new room, but I’m definitely in a nesting mode and think I will be for a long time still.

One other big thing that I did this week was to get my eyes re checked out. I’ve had glasses for a long time for when I’m reading/working at the computer/watching TV and when I was in school, but I’m one of those people that doesn’t typically wear them. I just strain through the situations and work through it. It has been steadily getting worse and I think it has some to do with the amount of migraines I deal with. I got a new prescription and some new glasses to go along with it. So far, it’s been such a difference! To be able to clearly see things has been so nice! No more straining to see for me.

How was your week?