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Managing Mondays – Finding Inspiration and Motivation

It is another week and I am eagerly sipping coffee after a short, brisk walk before the sun was brightly shining and heating up the pavement. Although it is September and many folks are starting to see signs of fall, those of us in Phoenix are still facing high temperatures around 100°. That means getting up early to beat the heat if you want to walk outside.

I put my weekly plan together last night while watching Sunday Night Football. It took longer than usual because I couldn’t take my eyes off of the fourth quarter madness as Green Bay made their way back to claim the win. Did you know I love football? No? Well, surprise! I had so much to think about this week because I have some lofty goals. I am working my side hustle hard this week and making some time to sharpen my saw. Me time includes reading because, well, to be honest I just haven’t been doing that much lately. And I have been looking at this book for weeks. I never put it on my bookshelf. No. I keep moving it from surface to surface through the house. That tells me how much I want to read it. So, I am planning for it. One chapter a day. I deserve that much me time. I know if I don’t write it in my plan I will keep putting it off and moving the book to, yet again, another surface. What book? This one…

The book is broken into 5 parts. My goal is to read a part each day and plan to add a little Badassery into my future planning. So excited!

My plans this week are pretty loose and functional with some key goals and important activities. The most important activities are the weekend. My son turns 23 on Sunday and I aim to make any free time we have as a family about him and his special day.

It seems lately that I am on the go and running on all cylinders from the moment I wake up until I crawl back into bed. I am making a point to have quality reading time to take my mind and my eyes away from screens. When I crawl into bed I want to sleep easy knowing my plans are clear and my mind is sharpened to be the absolute best person God made me to be.

I challenge each of you to plan the following into your week:

  • Sharpen your mental saw (read a book, learn something new, meditate)
  • Celebrate something or someone
  • Love everyone

Have a great week. Back to sipping coffee.

Family

Weekend Warrior – Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning

For the past several weeks I have been picking one morning of coffee sipping alone time to plan my weekly menu and make my shopping list. What is great is I have turned my adult son and his girlfriend on to this strategy. As an observer of their process I now find myself inspecting and adapting my own methods.

I have been using my Erin Condren Petite Planner. It is perfect for me because it is simple and fits nicely into my favorite Vera Bradley hipster.

And as you can see it lays nicely in the cart for me to check off as I shop. I have three goals.

  1. Stick to the list.
  2. Stay within budget.
  3. Never buy more than what fits in my allotted shopping bags.

Recently I entertained my local store by testing their Scan and Go concept. Twice.

I was trying to understand what might be in it for me. Here is what I learned:

  • I was slow (even the second time).
  • It stressed me to scan and bag and check off my list.
  • I accidentally put an item or two in without scanning (I did catch myself and was worried I would do it again.)
  • I missed the check out lane experiences of reading the magazine covers and chatting with people.
  • You still have to go to self check out. While there, the system couldn’t find my “scanned items”. It took the help of the employee and trying at more than one check out to finish up and get out of the store.

Honestly, I do not see myself doing that again. It was added stress and it did not save me time. And I just am not okay with taking jobs away. I prefer chatting and getting to know the employees. If I didn’t want to talk to folks and be in line I could just order for delivery.

Have you done this? I don’t mind self check out when I only need a couple of things. I do not like it for my regular weekly shopping.

Okay. I digressed a bit on my rant. I really wanted to share how easy meal planning and grocery shopping is for me when I use the right tools. You can acquire your own Erin Condren products through the link.

Happy Friday and Happy Planning!

Family · movies · Planning · Reflection

Managing Mondays-Back to School Edition

Last night was a very long planning time. As I sip my coffee this morning, I am feeling a bit more at ease with today as well as the week ahead. It is back to school week. Not just any back to school week either. My youngest is starting her Freshman year in high school and that is a milestone. Makes me a bit sad.

We finished our clothes shopping on Saturday. Yay! That is quite a chore. We took in a final summer movie too: Eighth Grade. It was perfectly appropriate in its timing and its message to me as a parent and to my daughter. See it!

Back to the week at hand…

I spent my evening going through the papers we received from school and instead of inserting all the pages into my planner, I used my Erin Condren Purple color dots to mark all of the important dates for the school year.

Instead of this…

With the support of my fur babies I went from month to month placing purple dots like this…

Why purple? School colors are purple and black so I thought that would be easy to identify.

Did you notice my new planner? Yes. I changed from Happy Planner to Erin Condren. I am just in love with my new Erin Condren. I have been test driving it in July and really have found that I want to use it for my go to master planner. Watch for an upcoming post where I compare and contrast my old and new planning systems.

Am I ready for back to school week? I think so…

See my before the pen pages…

I spent yesterday shopping and sorting meals and am all set with simple fixings for an extremely busy week. I adore my new meal planning petite planner from Erin Condren. I love the smaller handy size because it slips right into my purse.

Wednesday will be a crazy day and in the tradition of every first day of school, the kids and I are going out to breakfast. I have taken the day off from work. I know the morning will be hectic and traffic flow will be annoying. And that evening will be filled with paperwork and syllabi and getting the school supplies from every teacher procured and organized.

My planner is ready. I am ready. My Freshman? Maybe. No matter what… I have planned to be there for her to help her be ready, for the first day and the whole year. I will be present to hear all about her first day as a Freshman. I have planned to spend my time where it matters the most. Now…if I can just manage to get through Monday.

Family

Resetting plans – June Reset, Ready for July

I know. I know. I haven’t written in a while. I have used the month of June as a mental reset month. It may have seemed like I spent the entire month on vacation. Far from it. June has been a roller coaster. Since coming home from South Carolina, our family has been experiencing highs and lows and everything in between.

One of our three pups hasn’t been feeling well. And as she is “my” dog, I have been feeling a bit fenced in with worry and care to get her back in good health.

Mystery, my girl, is not happy with the cone of shame nor does she like being isolated to one room all day. She is definitely enjoying quality time with me because I have spent nearly all of my time at home in that room being HER faithful companion. I believe she has enjoyed binge watching The Crown and helping me get through my playlists on Hulu and Netflix.

Luckily we have reached the mid-point of her convalescence. Starting tomorrow she can resume a near normal routine but the cone…well, that stays on another 7 days.

The one benefit is that it afforded me time to spend reading and contemplating on my vision board.

I have decided to make a few changes for the balance of the year in how I plan and prioritize. I am still struggling with balance. And need to find a big NO to put on my board. I agree to do too much too often.

How about you?

Family

Managing Mondays – June Reset, Ready for July

I know. I know. I haven’t written in a while. I have used the month of June as a mental reset month. It may have seemed like I spent the entire month on vacation. Far from it. June has been a roller coaster. Since coming home from South Carolina, our family has been experiencing highs and lows and everything in between.

One of our three pups hasn’t been feeling well. And as “my” dog, I have been feeling a bit fenced in with worry and care to get her back in good health.

Mystery, my girl, is not happy with the cone of shame not does she like being isolated to one room all day either. She is definitely enjoying quality time with me because I have spent nearly all of my time at home in that room being HER faithful companion. I believe she has enjoyed binge watching The Crown and helping me get through my playlists on Hulu and Netflix.

Luckily we have reached the mid point of her convalescence. Starting tomorrow she can resume a near normal routine but the cone…well, that stays on another 7 days.

Family · Planning · Reflection · travel · vacation

Resetting – Low Country Makes it So Easy

I am enjoying every morning this week sipping my morning coffee as well as every evening cocktail or glass of wine while sitting in a rocking chair like this and seeing these views: rain, shine, dawn, or dusk.

Phoenix just doesn’t have as much green as South Carolina. We can try to manufacture it but it just will never reach this beautiful level of green. My

Our gracious host has encouraged us to treat his home as if it was ours. Being so blessed to have this sweet retreat is immeasurable. I spend my quiet moments remembering the fun time exploring the Low Country and thinking of the next path of a new day’s journey. Living in the moment is not always easy for me because I love to plan. I promised myself that our days would be slow starting and gently flow from one thing to the next with no sense of urgency. In fact, yesterday was rainy and my daughter was, in typical teen fashion, disappointed that it wasn’t a good day for the beach. She stayed inside and I went traipsing in the rain to explore local shops and brought home trinkets and treats. I even cooked dinner for everyone with some fresh shrimp I bought at the local fish market. Our host did say to make ourselves comfortable and cooking shows I am all in on that invitation.

Today ends phase one of our visit, experiencing Charleston and Summerville. We have done so much already.

We spent a day exploring Summerville, the homes of sweet tea and two of the greatest people I have the privilege to know. Historic downtown is full of small local businesses and charming sidewalks that are fun to explore. It is also the home of the oldest pharmacy in the state that still exudes a small town charm while honoring the history of the generations who have been serving the locals over the years.

Our day downtown in Charleston was relaxing. We spent most of the day exploring its history contemplating the history and wondering how women in hoop skirts ever walked these narrow sidewalks We wandered in and out of the famous Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto festival events including

We grabbed lunch at the famous dive bar near Waterfront Park and left our mark on the walls like so many other patrons have done over the years. I can’t wait to visit again and find our moment in history. While we ate, we read the numerous dollars that lined the walls talking about the girl weekends, anniversaries, and family trips that have been memorialized by countless others. How cool is it to think that someone else may be doing the same when they read about our mother-daughter trip?

We enjoyed the peaceful spaces at the park on swings and benches. We quietly evesdropped on conversations that floated around us and tried to guess where folks were visiting from by focusing on languages and accents and stories.

We loved the trees and memorials in every park. Each stop was a history lesson just waiting to be discovered.

We visited Dock Street Theater, the oldest theater in the country. It has been standing and operating since the mid 1700s. It is beautiful inside. Our host works here and gave us the back stage tour before treating us to Chamber Music sponsored by the Spoleto Festival. What an amazing piece of history. While sitting there I thought of all of the plays and operas that must have been performed here and all of the historically significant folks who may have sat in the same seat as me.

Speaking of history…

We also visited St. Peter’s and in the West Cemetery discovered Vice President Calhoun’s resting place. Very cool find.

Charleston is rich in beauty and history and just walking to discover what we found was much more resetting and relaxing than making a list and schedule and pushing us to see so much. This wasn’t our first visit to this lovely city and likely not to be our last. Why rush to take it all in. Our slow roll really let us just take in the beauty and digest a little at a time. I loved it.

In our down time we spent the past few days just driving around with no destination. We found ourselves looking at the homes and imagining ourselves in them. We even stopped in some of the new developments and toured a couple of model homes.

A writer can dream. Heck this girl can dream any day of the year. And I do. Every time I visit this place I can easily picture living here. This time my daughter seemed to see it too. We may have to visit Clemson and some of the other schools in the area during our next visit. Always planning…

Now off to explore vacation phase two – Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Beach day. Yay!

Family · lists · Planning · Reflection · travel · vacation

Managing Mondays – Holiday Style

I am not sipping coffee in my normal spot today and it is not really Monday. Here is my morning quiet place.

What nonsense is This? It is called vacation. I am taking the week off from my weekly spread. (And work.) What? I know. Call me crazy. No planner in sight! I left it at home. Instead of planning the week I left it blank. When I get home I plan to make those pages memories instead. I bet you are wondering how I will survive a week with no planner or no plan, even. Ha! I am not that nuts.

I am in Charleston, South Carolina for the week. We got here yesterday which is why my Monday post is a day late. And while sipping coffee this morning, I have my notebook, pens, stickers, highlighters, and my one pager.

See! I have a loose plan. I left behind the hustle and the structure because I want to relax. So, I have goals. And whatever shape each day takes is what it is. I plan to take lots of photos, videos, and note down in my journal what I saw, felt, and thought about my experiences.

Did I mention my daughter is with me? Oh, yes, she is!

I have my journal page ready and we are heading out to explore in a bit.

I am excited to make lists about today. If you haven’t started following me on Instagram or Twitter find me. I would love to have you along on our adventures.