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My Sunday Night Prep Routine For A Busy Week

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I mentioned last week in my How to Simplify a Busy Life post a bit about my nightly routine. Today I thought I would share some about my Sunday night prep routine to prepare for the busy week. See those pictures up there? Those are the reason that I now have a Sunday night prep routine. Because I cannot live like that anymore. I try to get as much done on Sunday night as possible to make life easier during the week. It’s the only way to keep this household running smoothly.

1. Update planners and bullet journal. I check my paper planner, add reminders, and then transfer the info to my phone planner. I don’t like having to take my paper planner out of the house with me because if it gets lost of damaged my life is over. Dramatic? Yes. But also true. So I use an app on my phone called Picnic to keep track of appointments and schedules when I’m out of the house. Then I create my bullet journal page for the week. Do you use a bullet journal? Mine is a bit different than the artsy ones you see on Pinterest. Mine is basically a running to do list for the week. I’ll share more about how I do it in an upcoming post. 

2. Refill main pantry and fridge/freezer. I have 2 pantries- the main one in the kitchen and the second large one in the hallway. I keep all the extra snacks and food items in the second pantry. I have 3 fridge/freezers- the main one in the kitchen and 2 in the garage. On Sunday night I go through the main pantry first and refill any of the canisters, baskets, and drawers that need to be refilled for the week. For example- this week the fruit roll-ups were low, the Goldfish, White Cheddar Cheese crackers, and the yogurt covered raisins containers were empty. I pulled more from the second pantry and refilled them all. I also restocked the poptarts, refilled the cereal containers, and switched out the empty peanut butter jar. I do the same with the fridge and freezer. I refilled the fruit and snack drawer and made sure there were enough water and gatorade bottles in the outside fridge. It just makes life easier and it definitely makes lunch prep easier at night.

3. Check meal plan. I check my master list to see what dinners are on tap for the week and I fill them in on my paper planner. I like to schedule crockpot meals on the nights when I know I’ll be busy picking up Tyler from football weights in the afternoon.

4. Place Walmart pick up order. After I finalize my meal plan I can place my weekly Walmart order. I love this service so much. I place the order every Sunday night, pick it up for free on Monday morning, and never have to set foot inside the store. It’s Heaven. 

5. Finish the laundry. I always do the kids laundry on Saturday’s but I hang dry most of their tops and all of their uniform items. So Sunday evening is when I make sure everything is put away and ready for the week. I also make sure everyone has their uniform pieces ready for the week. 

Doing these simple things on Sunday night has made all the difference in my week. My stress levels have gone way down and I feel much lighter. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with everything we need to get done as moms so any kind of routine that lightens that load is fabulous!

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3 Things Thursday {3.16.17}

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I finally got a few house projects done this last week including hanging these amazing botanical prints on the stairway wall. They’ve literally been sitting in the shipping box for months waiting for me to get around to hanging them. I love them so much more now that I have them in place. They are the perfect compliment to the room. I can’t wait to show you the whole room with all the changes.

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Zoey lost yet another tooth this last week. Ironically she lost it on a Friday just like last time. She even asked for an advance on her tooth fairy money so she could buy ice cream at school. I’m starting to get suspicious of her losing teeth only on Friday’s. Ha! I did give her the advance and she did buy ice cream. All is right in her world.

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We actually got snow on Sunday. Snow. In mid-March. What is going on? The weather is insane. The kids were wearing shorts and playing outside in the sunshine on Saturday afternoon and then we woke up to a few inches of snow on Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon it was completely melted and gone as if it never even happened. I’m so confused. But that’s the kind of snow I love. Pretty to look at, gone in a few hours. 

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How To Simplify A Busy Life

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We are in a season of life that is extremely busy. There’s not a lot of free time and my to do list is longer than the hours in the day. A few months ago I found myself snapping at the kids all the time, scrambling to make dinner, forgetting appointments, and just feeling overwhelmed and miserable on a daily basis. I cannot live like that. So I made some changes to help simplify our busy life. 

1. Meal Planning. I’ve seriously simplified my meal planning over the last few months. I asked the kids to make me a list of their favorite dinners and I plugged them into a 2 week meal plan. That filled up 9 days since most of their favorite meals overlapped and I filled in the other 5 days with easy, fast dinners. Then I just repeat the same meal plan for the next 2 weeks. The change has been amazing. Everyone eats dinner, nobody whines, and life is easier. I also keep the staples on hand for a few easy dinner for those crazy nights. My go to dinners to keep on hand include homemade macaroni and cheese, BBQ chicken sandwiches, and loaded baked potato soup. 

2. Monthly Purge. I’m in the middle of my 40 bags in 40 days challenge but I don’t limit purging to big challenges. I do a smaller purge every month. I take a big garbage bag, walk through the entire house, and pick at least 30 things to get rid of. It might be as simple as a few pairs of outgrown shoes, or some old books, or outdated decor. The house is so much easier to keep picked up when there is less in it. The kids have gotten into the habit as well and often choose items from their own rooms to donate each month.

3. Family Calendar. I use the Plum Paper Planner that you see above in the picture. It stays open on the kitchen counter at all times and is color coded for each family member. Every single thing goes in this planner- all appointments, all school activities, all sports schedules, all reminders…our whole family operation runs out of this planner. Having everything in one place makes it easy to schedule stuff.

4. Lower Expectations. The hardest thing for me to learn was to just say no. I like to think that I can pack everything into my day but I can’t and I would be so stressed out. I was so stressed from everything I was trying to do outside of this house that I was short tempered with everything happening inside this house. I stopped volunteering for a lot of things, I trimmed my commitments back to a manageable level, and I declined opportunities that would take up a lot of time. It’s made all the difference to not be over-committed. 

5. Manageable Routine. One of the biggest things that has helped in our house is to do the morning prep at night. Our days start tragically early and I am not a morning person. So anything that can be done at night gets done including packing lunches, signing agendas, packing book bags, laying out clothes, gathering sports gear, etc. I also have started doing a 15 minute pick up before I go to bed. The kitchen is clean, the dining table is cleaned off, and anything lying around is put away. It has made such a difference for me. 

Doing these 5 things has made our household so much more peaceful and happy. There’s less arguing and nagging, there’s more laughter, and we’re all happier. We only get one life to live and the years of having our kids at home are very short. We should enjoy them!

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3 Things Thursday {3.9.17}

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This little sassy girl of mine is such a pistol. She’s dressed up for Book Character Day at school and chose to go as Pete the Cat. She’s a huge fan of those books and she got to wear her Halloween costume again so it was a total win for me. Let me tell you what she did one night last week. She asked me for $1 to buy ice cream at school (Kindergarten is allowed only on Fridays) and I told her she had to use her own money. Well she spent her money on something stupid so she got mad and stomped up to bed. An hour later she stomped back downstairs and flung her tooth at me. The tooth had been loose but not THAT loose, if you know what I mean. She yanked that sucker out anyway! With hands on her hip she declared “that tooth fairy better deliver cause I’m getting ice cream tomorrow”. Then she stomped back up to bed. The tooth fairy did indeed deliver. She was too afraid not to. Haha!

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I’ve made so much progress on my 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge! I started in Zoey’s room. I filled up 2 big bags, 2 big boxes, and 2 big tubs to donate. I filled 3 bags with trash. I filled 1 bag going to a family friend with a daughter who is 2 years younger than Zoey, 1 bag of toys going to another friend’s little girl, and then I pulled a big bag of toys out of Mason’s room for our nephew. That was 12 bags and boxes gone! And we got rid of it the same day instead of letting it linger in the house for weeks. 

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Then we moved into the garage. Oh the garage. My nemesis. I cannot stand how messy and cluttered our garage has become. The goal for Saturday was to move Tyler’s weight bench into the garage to free up some space in his room. We hauled a total of 12 bags of donate/trash out of the garage in addition to a big cabinet going to the trash. It feels SO good! Next up is the master bedroom!

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Tyler’s charter school had the Spring used uniform sale this week and I cleaned up. I was so good. I made a list of every item I need for Zoey and Mason for Fall and Winter uniforms plus the stuff I need to replace for Tyler. I shopped strictly from my list and did great. I spent $100 and came home with 20 items. Zoey is pretty much done- 4 short sleeve uniform polos, a short sleeve polo dress, 3 pairs of shorts, a skirt, 3 long sleeve polo shirts, 2 hoodies, a long sleeve polo dress, 2 pairs of pants, and a cardigan! Boom. She just needs a couple more pairs of pants that I’ll get when they go on sale. Mason has 2 short sleeve polos, 2 long sleeve polos, 2 hoodies, a hoodie jacket, 4 pairs of shorts, and his 3pc PE set. He needs a bit more but not much. Having them in uniforms is going to be amazing for my budget!

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3 Things Thursday {3.2.17}

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Last week was rough. Thursday morning started bad and only got worse. Maia called me from school to say she was throwing up. I was on my way to pick her up when Tyler texted me telling me he was really really sick and needed to leave. He went to school not feeling good because he had a English test, a math test, and a Chemistry lab that day. But he couldn’t make it the whole day. And so it began…

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Mason wasn’t feeling good by Friday night but he was adamant that he was going to play in his basketball championship game. Since he didn’t have a fever we left it up to him to make the decision. It was a rough game. Mason and 2 other boys were sick and then one of our best shooters injured his ankle in the first half and had to sit out. The boys played so hard and gave it their best but they came up just a little bit short. I was extremely proud of them for pushing through and trying their hardest. 

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Sunday afternoon they had their end of season party at a restaurant. Mason still was sick but no fever so we went. It was fun- I really enjoy this year’s group of parents. Nobody is obnoxious or pushy, they all just genuinely enjoy watching the kids play. The coach pulled me aside after the party and asked if Mason would want to join their Nike Select team in the Fall. Even though Mason is not big on offense, he is a beast on defense and the coach wants more time to work with him and develop those skills. Mason is stoked!

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And then Sunday night came. And Mason spiked a fever of 104. Awesome. I kept him home on Monday and it took work to keep his fever down under 101. When the fever was still requiring a Tylenol/Advil rotation every 3-4 hours to keep it in check I went ahead and took him to urgent care. I wanted to get him a flu test but they were out. How? I don’t understand. It’s flu season, shouldn’t you keep enough in stock? Anyway, the doctor said he was 100% sure Mason has the flu and didn’t need the test anyway. Poor kid. He’s miserable. He’s home for the rest of the week and I’m sanitizing every surface of our house in the hopes that the rest of us don’t get it too. 

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