Not sure how you and yours are getting through these days at home, but we are living the magical life. Our love for everything Potter has kept us entertained and grown over the past months. Harry Potter marathons have kept us grounded, connected to eachother.
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” ― Albus Dumbledore
We can start at the beginning or turn one on midway through and just settle in for mischief and magic. I love that these films are something we all enjoy. Finding family fun can be a challenge at times. We started out positive and were great at keeping busy, but as time has gone on, we have settled into a new normal and thankfully that includes Harry and friends.
“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ― Albus Dumbledore
Seems only right to post and share how much these stories are getting us through, on Harry Potter’s birthday.
Friday night family fun…boarding the Hogwarts Express! Not sure which film we will choose, but the popcorn with be popped and house colors will be on. If you are a Potter fan, I hope you take a few minutes today and spend some time with the Gryffindor trio.
“And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” — Albus Dumbledore
This has been a busy week prepping for a party. It was a very socially distant and sort of differently planned party, which required alot of thought and physical labor. Thankfully I have a fabulous hubs who made our yard look fresh and pretty. I am also an excellent online shopper, so party planning was just a few clicks. Thankfully our guests seem to have had a good time and respected the new dynamic of getting together, so I am calling that a win for this emotionally drained teacher/mom.
I am still waiting to see what is going to happen with school, so I feel like I can only focus on what is in front of me. Which happens to be my family and house! Taking this summer day by day.
I know I am not alone with feeling anxious and conflicted about the upcoming, new school year. I have had ideas of what I want to write about and tips to share, but without knowing what I will be doing come September, I can’t write about something that isn’t authentic, so I hope you can just scroll and enjoy some pictures from a great week, where the focus was on things one can control and make nice.
Breathe in. Breathe out. This is heavenly in a field of lavender with the sun setting and the good vibes flowing.
Being outside, doing yoga, was something I have always been shy about. I hate being hot and do not love bugs, but this summer I am embracing it. Inside yoga is not an option, so I stepped out of my comfort zone and I am so happy I did.
My beautiful yoga teacher held a class outside in a lavender field. This was a ticketed event. Worth every penny! So many wanted to attend, she opened a second session. She is a lovely human and the farm we were at was equally as giving.
We picked before we flowed. This was lovely and relaxing. Everyone seemed at peace. Conversations were quiet and appeared to be happy. I think many were happy to be in a tranquil location and able to socialize.
Masks were required for check in and close group socialization, but when it was time to flow mats were 6 feet or more apart. The field offered natural barriers. This made it easy to find a spot to practice.
I left feeling and smelling fabulous. I hope she makes this and annual event. With the sun setting and the lavender breeze filling my lungs, it is yoga like no other.
Just another way I am trying to enjoy summer and practice some selfcare.
Summer is here and enjoying the season is a priority. Winter seems incredibly long-with spring feeling like a blip on the calendar, so getting out into sunshine that does not have an icy glare is at the top of my summer to do list. Making the most of summers off is always important to me. Finding ways to recharge before September is vital for me and my students.
Being outside in the heat and humidity can be overwhelming, but being cooped up for months during a pandemic has proved to be more overwhelming and I am trying to embrace all summer has to offer. One way I like to chill out is basic gardening. I plant flowers and veggies every summer, this summer is no different. That actually feels good to write-up considering nothing about the last quarter of school felt normal! My semi green thumb is exactly like it was last summer and all the summers before.
I say semi green because I love the look and feel a garden brings, but I am not willing to weed and roast for it. We keep a garden that is easy and comes back every year. I like low maintenance plants the older and busier I get. Before our daughter I had more time to putter and fuss, but in the last few years her summer schedule has kept me busy, so easy peasy plants are right up my alley. I am not running around for camps and playdates, but that seemed to be validate my rational even more for a peaceful, zen like summer.
I look forward to my perennials. They are consistent and I love those first signs of spring/summer when they start to pop out of the soil. This year many of my hostas have been night time snacks for the deer….possibly other critters as well. I think we need to invest in some sort of repellent next summer and take pics before there is nothing but stems!
We planted a few new things in late May. We are hoping all of the new plant babies will flourish and provide a colorful border between us and our neighbors.
I always get potted flowers for pops of color. I know many people plant annuals, but I stopped doing that a handful of years ago. It looks pretty, but with a busy schedule and summer trips it is difficult to maintain….especially water, so I just do pots and hope for the best.
This summer we decided to keep veggies to a minimum. We are only growing tomatoes. I can always snag some herbs if I want, but as for other veggies we decided to just not. We have grown beans, peas, onions and peppers in the past. It is fun to watch everything progress, but we are keeping it super simple this summer.
Tomato plants are very low maintenance and we plant ours in containers, so there is zero weeding. I can’t wait until these little babies are full grown and ready to be picked. We sort of went a little tomato plant crazy, so I think our neighbors will be getting a homegrown taste of summer.
My summer garden is a wonderful, visual way to decompress through the summer months. Taking the time to plant, weed (a little) and water gives me a clam purpose before I start running and following the school schedules in September. Also having a low maintenance garden gives me time to do other things that I consider summer fun.
Sparklers, fireworks and bbq. The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays to celebrate with friends and family. 2020 has proved to me a most interesting year and because of social distancing this holiday is not our typical event, but we are embracing the new normal with all the red, white & blue we can muster.
This snack mix has been on my summer to do list. I needed a sweet treat with a splash of red, white & blue. I looked to Pinterest for some ideas and I found a few different versions of this mix. My version is gluten free, of course!
Gluten free pretzels
White chocolate wafers
Super simple to toss together. I didn’t measure. I just poured what I wanted in a large bowl, added melted wafers, tossed and spread out on wax paper lined pans. I left it to firm up for about an hour. I first put it into a container, but then I remembered we are living in covid times, so I decided to bag it into individual portions. The bags I used are super easy to use and affordable on Amazon. They self seal and are food safe, bakery bags. Here’s to patriotic calories!
Thankfully we could go out and get our annual schools out/holiday pedicure. Typically we select a more Americana look, but we were feeling the bright colors and a bit of nail art. It was super nice to get out and have some self care, even if we were wearing masks. Anything a little normal is a mood lifter these days.
A day at the lake is always a nice invite. We had a great time taking in the sunshine and lake breeze. A day of taking it easy and enjoying the company of family and friends can almost make a person forget how stressful things have been.
We decided to take an afternoon walk…to enjoy our surroundings and tire our four legged princess out a bit. While we walked I spotted this adorable gnome situation. We have a little gnome garden, but this was so cute and a great way to embellish a tree stump. Our gnomes need an upgraded location! This little scene made my day.
There Will Be Fireworks
The typical fireworks displays that we normally attend were not happening this year, so we luckily saw many home displays on our drive back from the lake. People really put on good shows. All of the home shows inspired us to dig out some fireworks we had…that were sort of old, but they did not disappoint.
Even though we had a modified, socially distant celebration it was surprisingly festive. This was our first big holiday embracing the new normal with modifications and positive attitude. Star spangled fun was had by all….looking forward to what the rest of summer will bring.
Fairytales can be fun ways to teach and entertain students. I personally love to use them for listening and teaching compare and contrast. I love looking for different versions, so we can break down the similarities and differences, but often titles are told with animals or caucasian characters. I am going to be looking for titles that represent and offer diversity.
Of course I decided to head to Pinterest to see what books might be options to add to my library or wishlist. I love that I can always tap the app and find what I am searching for. If you are looking to expand your fairytale collection I reccomend checking out pins and start a list.
These adorable books seem to be popular. I saw multiple pins and posts about these. I love the illustrations and I know we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but these are beautiful. I checked these out on Amazon. Each book seems to cost about 8-9$. There is the option to purchase them as a boxed collection…which saves money and I love to save. All of these appear to be board books. I love that these books are intended to be read by and to little ones. Starting our youngest readers looking at these is where small changes can start. I would totally use these with school age kids. Going in an out of my itinerant bag can be brutal on paperback books, so these would represent what I want to instill and be incredibly durable.
Our Beautiful World
These are stories that are have African characters and an African setting, as opposed to the typical European tale. Rachel Isadora is an award winning author and illustrator. I found these titles on Amazon, but I know I will be looking for these in my local book store. I would love to turn all the pages before I buy.
Why does Little Red Riding Hood have to be a girl?
I love that these stories have children of color, are fairytales with boys and look modern. Jack and the bean stalk is typically set long ago, but with this version it is set in a city which is most likely more relatable to kids these days. I think that flipping the gender for a fairytale is equally fantastic.
I have never read this story where she wasn’t a girl. Frederico and the Wolf is a refreshing change. A boy with a bike trying to get to grandma. I find there are more stories told with a female main character, maybe more authors will flip the gender, so boys can see themselves in the pages.
This Mexican-American version also has a salsa recipe included. How fun would this be as a math or cooking extension? Students could use the same ingredients Frederico brings to his Abuela?! I am sure that with some research you can also find activities to support and connect to the culture depicted on the pages of these diverse tales.
Not the Same Old Story
There are so many fantastic titles out there. I am going to continue to search for titles that tell classic tales with a twist and diverse representations. I am sure there are titles I will love and ones I won’t. I think checking the book out, cover to cover, is key and be sure the books will engage your students. I’m not just going to get books that look different-they have to be quality stories. My hope is the more students see stories with characters that might not look or look like them, so we can build a more inclusive and open minded school community. I am excited to start doing my part. I know I will make mistakes and I have things to learn, but moving forward is how we grow!
***Most of these titles I found when searching on Amazon. Check out the reviews and summaries to see if they would work in your classroom.
If you have any recommendations I would love it! Share away!!!! You can send a comment.
Last thing-I started a books for kids board on Pinterest. If you want you can always look there or follow my Pinterest to see what I have most recently discovered. My Pinterest can be found under The Listening Ladybug❤
As an educator I find myself always looking for was to grow and expand what I know and how I can better serve my students. Watching the news and seeing posts on social media has compelled me to dig a bit deeper and search for new tools to broaden my teaching scope. One place I always like to go for ideas is Pinterest.
I love how I can always find ideas and perspectives to add to my boards. The picture/pin above summed up what I was looking for. If you follow this pin you will see it leads to a simple and clear post about building ones home or classroom library with diverse titles. She offers up 8 tips to think about when adding to your shelves. I say thank you…well done.
This pin caught my eye because I have some of the titles shown. I am going to be looking further into the others and determine what ones might be helpful for my collection. I very much enjoy how each book has a mini review. I recommend looking at this collection and reading the blog post.
Seeing that this is pride month I couldn’t ignore looking for a collection of books that would support and educate my students and myself about people and families that wave all of the colorful flags. I know I do not have any books on this subject matter in my collection….my basement library, so I will definitely be looking at the above highlighted titles. I appreciate that the pin has summarized all of the books. Hopefully when I get out to my local bookstore I can see and touch the pages before I purchase.
The collections in this post are mostly unfamiliar titles and with this unfamiliarity comes an obvious lack of full understanding and knowledge. This is where I need to do the work and put my summer days to good use, exploring and expanding my knowledge base. I know I have so much to learn and my hope is with this knew knowledge I will be a better teacher.
One thing I have always loved and appreciated about education is we are a group of sharers. We pass on our knowledge and experiences not just with our students, but with eachother. We can support and lift eachother. I very much recommend exploring these collections and searching for others. As I state this I am also generating a to do list for myself.
Digging Deeper Research Tips
Look for more collections and individual titles online
Ask other teachers for recommendations
Revisit and dig through my personal books
Make a trip out to local bookstores
Look for new titles and authors
Actually read the books…not just gloss over
Keep questions written down
Recognize this is a process
Be a learner
Think about how I can infuse new titles organically into my lessons
I am very thankful to all of the people who have put together all of these pins/collections. Sometimes when I think about researching anything I am looking for I have a moment or two of feeling overwhelmed, but I know there are smart and helpful people out there that have had the same questions….and have done great work. A friend of mine keeps reminding me Pinterest is a search engine, which I often forget. It can be so much more than a way to relax or fill time, so I will put my scrolling fingers to work and do my homework.
Our little lady is bringing joy to the streets. Taking our daily walk has turned into a totally different experience. We are loving this change.
Walking fast and easy is a temporary thing of the past. Our pint size princess needs leash training. She walks and stops to smell everything she can! This exploration if the neighborhood is cute, but not burning the quarantine calories. As you can see below she has a deep love of sticks, so finding the perfect one is essential. If she can carry it….she will.
The next thing I have noticed is we have a little celebrity. Because of the current situation more neighbors are outside walking and in their front yard. So many people are moving family fun from the back yard to the front yard and because of this social shift we have seen more of our neighbors in three months than we have seen in three years! We have always said hello or made pleasant eye contact, but now there is 6 feet of leash, social distancing conversation happening.
There is no denying she is adorable, but once we answer puppy questions we are talking about more….actually getting to know eachother. We have some very lovely neighbors who seem to be doing their best getting through this unprecedented time. From the outside, the only thing we are allowed to see, yards look beautiful, cars are getting washed, and celebrations are happening, but because we are stopping to chat we are learning more about them and their experiences.
It is totally great how Little Miss Maisel has spiraled into so much more. We are definitely taking this time to care and train her, but I love how such joy and happiness can be felt and seen from such a tiny creature. I feel more at home now, in my neighborhood, than I ever expected. The hustle and bustle of our old normal lives never really gave us time to do more than a power walk….no time gotta race to the next scheduled thing.
With slowing down, staying in and adding to our family we have grown so much. I love how happy our newest member makes us, but I think it is priceless how much happiness has been spread by four tiny paws. Seeing the smiles on peoples faces during a sort of scary, crappy and bleak time has made me rethink about this time and why we are going through this period of isolation.
If this wasn’t happening, being at home, I do not know if I would have felt confident in adding to our family. I am glad I listened to my gut. This whole experience just reaffirms my belief that everything happens for a reason and good things come in small packages!
You can always drop me a line, comment, follow me here or on Instagram. ❤
I don’t know about you, but I miss my yoga teacher and studio. Being at home all these months has been challenging on so many different levels. Since I started this blog I have written many posts about how yoga is my jam….how it has enhanced my life since going gluten free. How it balances me and has given me a new sense of accomplishment.
Going to class is something I very much enjoy and look forward to. With the current changes due to the pandemic, going to the studio and interacting with all of lovely people that attend classes has been put on pause. My teacher, like many others, has tried to still teach classes and connect with her students. Logging into a Zoom yoga class has been ok. I love that she adapted to the changing times and offered something. Everyone has been on a learning curve, using different platforms to connect and do their job.
With all the positives of taking an online class….I still miss going to class. Taking class in my family room is not as fulfilling. I can hear her voice, follow her instructions and turn up the playlist, but with all of that it is not as motivating. I used to tell people I loved a home workout. Home was easier. I could have flexibility, I don’t have to go out in the winter, and I didn’t have to feel self conscious.
I believed that until I started to make time and show up for myself. I discovered I truly enjoy being surrounded by like minded people and I need to be present to push myself. Being at home is fine, but I think I am not doing as good a job as I was in studio. Yoga, in my opinion, is for the self. There isn’t a level of competition or who can be better than another. So with that being said why am I not pushing as hard during a Zoom class??
I think it is the vibe and energy that happens in a class. This level of engagement that supports and encourages is not present in my family room. I typically focus on myself when I go to class, but I love it when I see another student doing something incredible with their body. Maybe it is not cool, but I have quietly clapped and cheered people on for trying something new or take a pose to a personal new best. I find it inspiring.
I miss that level of support and community. I am counting the days until we can all practice together….in the same space. Until then, I will show up on my mat and try. I will continue to support my yoga tribe via a screen and microphone.
I have created a home yoga checklist to keep myself accountable.
Plan to attend class
Register for class in advance
Get dressed for class…no pjs
Turn my camera on
Use the playlist
This list can apply to any home workout. If you Zumba, dance or attend a pilates class maybe these tips will keep you on track until you can go to class and interact with your tribe.
The world is in a place of uncertainty due to the pandemic. America is definitely in a place of uncertainty and civil unrest today. This blog was never intended to be something to express political concerns or opinions….and with this post I am staying true to myself. So, no matter where you live or what political affiliations you have I hope you read on with an open mind and accepting heart.
I above all things promote positivity and compassion….love and peace….kindness and respect for all things living, so with my voice I am hoping and praying that people can come together, because what is happening in the streets is so far from anything I believe in. I have words, but at this moment I don’t have the words about what I am seeing and feeling, if that makes any sense. Violence is always difficult for me to process.
With this I say……
Choose to live in the light.
Be the light for others who are struggling.
Use your voice for the good.
Speak up for the oppressed and the powerless.
Educate, reflect and reevaluate how you participate as a citizen of the world.
To me everything here is just human….basic life foundations. These foundations need to be taught, promoted and internalized inorder to make real change. As a teacher I think I am doing ok at teaching and supporting my students. I need to do even more….we all can do more…be better. As a mother I know I do a solid job at teaching and instilling these basic fundamental principles, but I know I can do more, explain more and expose my child to more realities of the world. We always want to protect the children in our life, but age appropriate exposure to reality might help educate and foster a deeper understanding of real issues and struggles.
With the light comes the dark…we can not close our eyes and hope that everything will be ok. Let’s open ourselves up to being that bright light…and know there will be dark days where we need to shine our light a little more for others. It may be difficult, all the more reason to press on. It will be worth it. How could it not?
During everything that has been happening…or better yet not been happening, we decided to add a new level of happiness to our family. We were ready to move forward and let the pint sized chaos begin.
There has been a lot of conversation going on for the last couple of months. Do we? Don’t we? Are we ready? How will this change us?
That was Then
We used to have dogs. After last spring and the passing of our second dog we were in no rush to get a new dog. There was no replacing him. It was very hard watching our 13 almost 14 year old pet pass- it was life changing. We needed a bit of time to ourselves, to just be pet free for a while. If you have a dog you know it is almost like having a child and there is a level of responsibility that is your normal.
We needed to embrace a bit of emotional freedom-get a new normal. In the end he was a little aging grandpa and he took up alot of mental space, but with time we mourned and moved into a level of freedom we hadn’t had in a decade plus. We went on vacation without a dog sitter plan. We just became people with fish.
While we have been home and taking daily walks it became apparently obvious that we were ready. We were missing something….four paws. So, with a bit of reaching out to friends and online looking we found a little girl(from a litter that was living a home) that seemed to be a perfect fit for our family, especially now with plenty of time to train.
This is Now
This tiny little girl has completely adjusted our daily routine in a blink of an eye. We are puppy people! We are doing all of the things…..it’s almost like having an infant. We maybe sleep deprived, but it will all be worth it once she is house trained and acclimated to our family.
We are embracing this new normal with gusto and coffee. I will definitely be sharing more of our journey and plenty of pics! This is our unofficial kick off to a summer of puppy love.
I think now more ever it is very important to shop local. Supporting small businesses in the community is essential.
Every Saturday we do a local produce box. I order it Monday and we grab it Saturday. Well, we don’t actually grab it, someone who is gloved and masked puts it in the back of our vehicle. It is a you get what you get kinda of situation. Every week is different and no substitutions. I like it. I have been getting creative with the weekly selections.
Essential for the Soul
When life gives you lemons….well or when you buy the two little cuties! These were a happy little must. A local store has really been using Instagram to promote their merchandise. These two caught my eye and I knew they needed a home.
The online ordering and curbside pick up was easy, germ free and stress free. They have made a home on a shelf that we all see everyday. Super cute visual reminder that we got this and there will be an upside.
Essential for a Sweet Tooth
These are heavenly. If you read my posts you know I am celiac. This gluten free bakery makes me happy. They had a promotion I jumped on. These little beauties were wrapped in plastic wrap and popped into our freezer.
I recently took one out for Mother’s Day and it was very good. So happy this store was able to stay open and provide GF options. I love baking, but I also love easy, so this fits the bill!
I ordered this cookie kit from another local bakery. These were not for me…sadly, because they were made with regular flour, but my people had fun decorating and munching a sweet treat. Cookies for days!
Essential Self Care
I ordered this really great facial kit from a local spa. Everything was labeled with complete and simple instructions. I love how I was able to order and she dropped it off on my porch. So many small businesses are going the extra mile to keep customers or get new customers.
This is a tee I ordered from a local boutique. I think this message is very important right now. So many people are trying their best. The owner of the shop had these designed by a local tee shirt maker and then she posted them in her store.
Buying just a few things from local places or even online etsy shops has made me feel like I am helping out a small business. It is very easy to shop from bigger online retailers….and don’t get me wrong I do, sometimes that’s needed, but don’t forget about the little retailers and entrepreneurs. Buying small and local has made me feel good and hopefully helped those businesses during this very odd time are living in.
Since things are a bit different now, I wanted to write a quick post today about our most recent visit to Star Wars Galaxies Edge in Disney World. It was a fun experience-as usual and we are very blessed that we visit Disney annually. Not sure how a 2021 trip will look like if any, but is was fun to do a little look back this morning and how perfect on May 4th.
I love how this calendar day is now connected to a little bit of fun and fantasy. I have been a lover of Star Wars since I was a wee person. I am not an over the top fan, but it is enjoyable and I have good memories watching the movies with my brother. I even had those blue star wars sheets as a kid. Not exactly sure where they are now….my Mom’s linen closet or long gone, funny how that works.
On our trip my hubs and I had fun looking at all of the details and what Disney Imaginers create. This isn’t a Disney review, so I won’t overshare what we saw. You can see from out pics that is was well done, fun and crowed. We enjoy Star Wars, but our little lady tolerates it….or so she says. I think she secretly loves it, but it is fun being oppositional sometimes. Jedi mind tricks for sure.
Just needed to add some whimsy to this day as I work from home and attempt to do some 5th grade math!
I feel a family movie night in our future! In these quarantined times I am glad we have eachother.
I don’t know about you, but since life has changed a bit, I am trying to keep up and keep going. Teaching is definitely not what it looked like months ago and because it is such a drastic change I have had mixed feelings about everything.
Trying to to the best I can for my students has been a driving force. I am obviously not seeing them face to face. Being one to one with my students is vital and because of where we are…home, I can not deliver the same level of instruction.
Meeting goals and keeping my kiddos engaged has been a focus. In the beginning I was sending home paper based activities. I also had website suggestions and app ideas for my students and parents to support my goals and what the classroom teachers are doing. It has been wonderful that many online companies offered free subscriptions.
After a few weeks of teaching I started to settle in and so did my students. This is a great thing, but I still felt like I needed to do more. A good friend dipped her toe in the Boom Cards pond and I was intrigued and inspired by her process, so I decided to look into making some.
My objective is to make materials that will help my students grow, practice skills and have fun. I focus on listening in a typical session, this is something that is not happening with distance, so I wanted to create decks that focused on listening-hearing my voice.
I decided to jump in with both feet. I needed to figure it out, which thankfully Boom is easy to navigate and I am blessed I have a friend who is willing to answer my calls for help. Putting my decks together was fun and got me pumped for distance learning. With this platform I feel I am spicing it up, meeting IEP goals, offering variety and providing interaction.
I created my classroom, made the activities and BOOM….learning is happening. I love that there are options to track progress and assign decks for specific students. It is very customizable.
If you are looking for something to enhance what you are doing from home I recommend looking into Boom Cards. I created a store once I had a handful of activities made. My store is under my blog name and my TpT store. There are lots of resources out there to support you as you are trying to support your distance learners.
I know this can be hard and sometimes frustrating. We are teaching in unprecedented times. None of us are perfectly getting this right, but my hope is as a community we can support and share what is working for us!
I haven’t been super motivated to write this past week. Times are strange, I miss my typical routine and the weather has been iffy. However today is looking up!
The weather is beautiful and it was easy to head outside for fresh air and sunshine.
I have some ideas I am working on for school. Distance teaching has been very interesting. It has been an adjustment, but I am trying to roll with it! My hope is this week I will post my new resources and strategies for distance teaching and itinerants.
Until the words hit the page…I am wishing you a week of peace, positive vibes and productivity. Remember we are in this together and there is strength in numbers!
The sun is out! Thought I would try to motivate myself and finish a project I started….well purchased a while ago. These are organizational bins for a little crafter I know. My mini and I shopped for the items in February, when we could push a cart in peace and safety.
Today we finally added the vinyl labels. She picked the font and colors. I used my Cricut to cut them. That might be one of my favorite techie items.
Now that these are packed and ready they just need to be dropped off!!! Seeing that we can still do drive bys and leave something on a porch, I figure it is now or….June when we can take them over.
These should help keep him organized and busy!!! Finding things to do can be a struggle these days. Kids need things that are not screen time.
I hope you are finding ways to fill all of the home time.
30 days. 30 days of social distancing. It has been an experience and it continues to be an adjustment. One thing that seems to be a weekly take away is people need people.
A small message can mean so much. I have been trying to reach out and be present with my tribe. Some people I naturally communicate with more, but for people I would typically see at my schools and places I frequent I am making a concerted effort to check in.
Ways to Check-in
Be that person who makes an effort to connect.
I know it is tough to be positive, to be present, and to be productive when you are staying safe and staying home. Maybe you can’t be that ray of sunshine everyday, but if you can…shed your inner light on your tribe, your people. Doing good feels good. You’ll be feeding two souls at once.
Something to consider. I hope you are well. I hope this makes you stop and say hmmmmm??
Wishing you and yours a blessed and peaceful day. I am looking forward to online church, a good meal and maybe a nap!!! This is a very different day of celebration, but we are making the most of it. HOPPY EASTER!
Since work and home are not exactly normal these days I am trying to find a balance in how to make this the time positive, productive and peaceful. As a mother and a wife I am looking for things to do and ways to stay grounded for my people and myself. In this post I really wanted to focus on the five things I feel are working and pulling me through these weeks.
In my last post I shared my newly reorganized closet. It took up some time to do and now when I step in, to put on a clean pair of yoga pants, I feel calm and can see everything. I am not getting dressed for work everyday, so putting things I am wearing, at home, in easier places to reach has been a help.
I recommend starting small. Try one cupboard or drawer. Maybe that junk drawer needs a tidy. Even just rearranging the refrigerator can help. Seeing things the same day after day can be mind numbing. Switch up what your looking at.
So many of us are finding ways to get fitness in. If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know yoga is my jam. I have been doing my own home practice and hopping online to take a classes from my teacher. This has been great for my mental health more than my physical. If yoga isn’t your thing maybe search to see what local gyms or studios are doing to keep going forward in this bizarre time.
Netflix and Chill
I am trying to take this time at home in daily bits. Some days I have the energy to clean and organize. Some days the only thing I want to lift is the remote and a snack to my mouth. While trying to resist the snacks I will indulge in a bit of binging. Time clearly goes by and seeing that I was a bit behind on watching TV- finding the silver lining here, I am happily catching up on suspense and drama.
Here are a few things I am watching ….
Harry Potter Marathons
This has become our family exercise. We try, weather dependent, to get out and walk. It is basic, we are blessed we can still do this simple activity and it seems normal. It is not unusual for us to get out and walk together. My hubs likes to make sure he has gotten his steps in, so he is usually the catalyst for this time. We typically just do 1-2 miles in our neighborhood.
Since this staying in, staying home and staying safe situation has become our new normal, we have been trying to kick it up a notch. I think many other people have been too. I have always thought we lived in a quiet and dull neighborhood, but with this current situation I have seen more people out than ever. Families with kids, couples, dogs and even a cat are getting as much fresh air as they can. Step counts are up!
This is the thing that I think is important. So many of us are attached to our phones. We mindlessly scroll Instagram or Facebook. We use our phones to do work-emails, research and video calls/meetings.
I was almost getting really sick of my phone and I definitely think a daily timeout is healthy, but another thing I find to be helpful at this time is making sure I text or call atleast two people everyday….and not about work. I want to know how they are doing and possibly hear something funny. I have had a few great conversations lately, that made me laugh and remember why I love my tribe. Normally we are to busy to invest that amount of time, but we have time, so I’m using it!
Ways to Connect
Video calls…whatever format works for you. Facetime, Skype or Zoom.
Cards and letters
Send a gift or package
However you are getting through this time, I hope you are doing well and able to see the light at the end of this tunnel. Take time to breathe and do what feels right. If you feel like a mass purge or just sitting and hibernating know both of those things are okay. We are all in this together and there is no right way to feel or react. Be well and stay safe.
How many of us are trying to make the most of this very weird time off??? I know as I am walking in my neighborhood, to get a daily dose of air and steps, and while out I see the curb loaded with trash on garbage night. People seem to be taking advantage of the hours at home and are filling them with mass purging.
I know we have things in our basement that need to find a new home, but seeing that we are living a life of social distancing, none of the places we typically donate to are currently taking donations. With that reality we had to pump the breaks on purging, but reorganizing is still very doable. There are many areas in my house that I am reevaluating.
Are you reassessing things in your home?
I am not a professional organizer, but there are a few rules I try to follow when reorganizing. Questions to keep me going.
When was the last time I used this??
This is a question I first ask myself. I am a bit of a saver by nature, but as I have gotten older I find it is easier to part with things because I try to take the emotion out of things. If I haven’t used it in over a year I think about how likely I will use it in the future. If I pause and hesitate too long….time to rehome!
Sometimes this can be difficult if I think about who gave it to me or when I got it. There is that emotional part. I have learned that I need to stop and really think about how important it is to hold onto an item. I struggle at times because I know if someone gave me something they put in thought and care…that is the tricky part.
No matter who bought an item, including myself, I try to think about the need, the purpose and the value it holds in the grand scheme of my house and life. If I can not find solid, nonhoarder reasons -I need to let go. Hiding things in a closet, drawer or cupboard is not giving items a purpose or value. Guilt is not a reason to keep items. I am sure I could fill a page listing items I currently have or clung onto for this reason alone! It is okay to make room, release and move on from “things”.
Who could use this??
This is another question I ask myself or my people. I love passing things onto friends or family. As I have stated in previous posts I very much like variety, but our walls can’t contain all my phases and style mood swings. We pass on kid stuff all the time. It makes us feel good knowing we could give away things we enjoyed, and we hope they bring joy to friends as well.
Donate or Sell?
When getting ready to purge we often have this common conversation: Do we still need this? Who can use this? Do we donate? Do we sell it?
I can say more than 99% of the time we donate or give away. I know people who are very good at selling items they no longer need or want. I think it is great how they use different online outlets to post and sell. I am actually a little envious of how they manage it, but to my core I am not that person. I know I am not going to take the time to photograph, post, comment and set up a pick up. It is just easier to box up and donate. However if you do want to sell there awesome options online and local consignment stores.
Ignoring the Basement and Opening Closets
One of the easiest places to start reorganizing or purging is my closet. I am terrible at keeping it looking tidy and reorganizing happens biweekly, but a purge is another story. I did a massive overhaul 2 summers ago and it was liberating. I think most of us hold onto clothing items because we think:
I will fit this again.
I got this on sale.
This was expensive.
I could wear this again.
What if I “need” this.
All of these statements we tell our selves can be true. You might wear it again or fit into those sale pants, but what are they doing for you now? Taking up space? Adding to physical and mental clutter? Stressing you out?
If you are ever like me and do the I have nothing to wear or I hate everything in my closet battle, it is time to reevaluate. Time to take a hard look at what gets worn and what gets removed. Seeing that many of us have extra time at home these days it is a perfect opportunity to edit closets and drawers.
Keep, Toss Or Donate
My closet is no different than other parts of my house I ask myself the same questions and start to refold, rehang or pitch items. If I know I really love a piece, it fits great, it is still in good condition or it is fairly new, it stays. Items that hit these categories are easy to keep physically and mentally, it is the items I pause on that go in piles on the floor.
I am sure professional organizers would agree with the first two, but wonder why a need for storage. Well, because. Because I still do battle with myself over items and don’t want to part with them. I get a storage container and pack them away. I have a basement and space isn’t an issue, so I carry down my questionable pieces, however I do set a time limit. I give the bin 1 year. If I don’t think about it, look for something or revisit the bin-that is my answer. Time to donate.
Once all of these steps are completed, my hope is I feel better, lighter and have a sense of accomplishment. Sort of seems silly in the grand scheme of things, but it works for me! Hopefully I can look in my closet and easily select something to wear…no more closet battle.
During this very odd and unique time finding the good in everyday can be a struggle. Finding mini projects helps me cope with this new, unwanted, restrictive freetime. I am moving on to my mini’s closet next and then maybe some cupboards and drawers that have been begging for a reboot.
I hope you are finding positive and uplifting ways to get through this time of staying home.
Since many of us are staying in, staying home, and practicing social distancing there have been a lot of changes happening. Like I stated in my last post…I am going to look on the bright side, so because I am walking the path of positivity I have been taking real walks in my neighborhood. It is not like I don’t normally walk in my neighborhood, but it is a bit more regular these days.
I’ve seen alot more people walking too. It is nice to see families out. Dogs and kids are getting their steps in. One thing I have seen is so many chalked sidewalks and driveways. I love how kids and adults are coloring my world.
My hope is if you are out and about….6 feet away from strangers or even friends, that you are seeing colorful creativity. We decided to get into the chalk game too. I sort of wish we could have had a Poppins moment, but this is our new reality-no carousel races and tea time with penguins are happening anytime soon.
However, we got this. We can get through this blip on our timeline. Seeing people’s positive pictures and phrases puts pep in my step. It gives me hope that maybe after all of this is over there will be a long lasting effect of community and kindness. An appreciation for simple, basic joy.
If you are inspired to color your outside world I would recommend chalk paint. We only had two colors, but after using it we want to make more colors. It was easy and less messy. We especially loved how it was vibrant and a bit more long lasting.
This could totally be a diy project. Crush or grind up colored chalk into a powder. Add water. Our store bought was very liquidy. I would think maybe a 2 parts water to 1 part chalk.
Whether you use traditional sidewalk chalk or try some chalk paint I am sure any cheerful pictures or messages will be welcomed and uplifting to those who walk by. We are in this together, stay safe!
Right now we are living in an unprecedented time. With all of the changes and restrictions I want my next few posts to be positive and easy breezy. I am not going to school, I am not in my regular routine and I am trying my best to see or feel all the positive take aways from virus, restricted living.
In preparation for our containment or house bound lifestyle I did some food shopping. Most of us were stocking up on things we might need or want to make the foreseeable future enjoyable. Seeing that we are typically a prepared and stocked household, I did not need to involve myself with the TP frenzy. Thankfully. I tried to think of some fun and yummy things to buy.
I recently bought a case of chips for my child’s school. I made cute labels and popped a case of crunchy snacks in the faculty room for Valentine’s Day. Because I was so busy I ordered them from Amazon and because Amazon loves to remind me of purchases for reorder, these chips popped into my feed a couple of weeks ago. Perfect timing when you are dooms day food shopping.
I decided to grab another chip selection. Click, click, done! Mini chip bags were on their way. Upon their arrival I thought I might hear a comment to two from my hubs, because I am very sure he does not eat one of the flavors. I figured I would just eat them. Ever since going gluten free I love chips, so the sour cream and onion chips were going to be consumed eventually.
I have discovered a new love for this flavor. Before last week I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a sour cream and onion chip….but since our home stay I have had a few bags. This leads me to my first positive coronavirus take away.
Sour Cream and Onion Chips
I tried something that I wouldn’t normally eat. A reintroduction to something I thought I had an opinion about. This got me thinking about how I need to retry, redo or reexamine things in my life.
These are very deep, thought provoking chips!!!
It got me thinking…”What else am I closed off too?“
So for the upcoming weeks I am going to try to look for the possible positives. Try to take time to reflect on how this current crisis is shaping me. Think of ways to make the most of this unwelcomed internment.
If you are at home and just chilling…maybe take a look at my site, read some older posts?! I always welcome feedback. You can follow and like this post , if you are so inclined.
I hope you are following the safety precautions and keeping yourself mentally and physically well.
Today is my Yogaversary!!! I started my path to self care and wellness one year ago. I am so surprised at how I have stuck with this. I have tried things on and off over the years….like most of us, but this is my jam.
I am happy to roll out my mat and do the work!
I love seeing my progress. I sometimes shock myself, because I was a workout serial killer. I would try something for a bit….and then I would let it die:
There was nothing wrong with any of these ways to get fit, except they didn’t feed my soul. I know many of the options out there are effective and people who are consistent look and feel great. I think the key to sticking with anything or having passion about something you do, is it needs to speak to you.
That first vinyasa class spoke to me and I still hear the call.
I love the yoga community I have found. I love cheering on others who grow and improve their practice. I am now practicing in a new place with different faces and the above statements ring true for my new classes. Feeling supported and pushed at the same time is essential for growth.
I almost thought that I was just going to do home yoga because my first teacher left. This was a bit heartbreaking, but I continued on. It almost felt like a break up, which I know seems a tad crazy to say, but upon reflection, I think it was a fear of loosing something that sparked something inside me I was totally unaware of.
The replacement instructor was lovely but nothing spoke to me or fed my soul, so I went searching….thank goodness I did. I did not give up looking for the right fit (instructor and class), even though I was nervous to try again, to be the new person in class or to open myself up to strangers. I have found my tribe-my vibe tribe.
I can do hard things!
I love who and where I practice now. I hear what I need. I feel what I need to feel. I show up to class (in all kinds of weather) and I show up for myself. I even did a 15 day challenge, as I was recovering from the flu! I say this not because I think I am this amazing yogi, but because I am committed to myself.
There is a January post if you are interested. I apologize for all the poses in pajamas. I was just not motivated to worry about how I looked. I was determined to get in the pose intagame…even if I did hack and wheeze between every attempt. I would never have done this with other forms of exercise before-that flu would have permanently derailed one of the above mentioned workouts.
I love this path I am on. It is exciting to think about where I will be next year. I am hoping, in this very interesting climate we are living in, that you are on a beautiful path of discovery. Doing something that is filling you up and keeping you motivated. Self care is important.
If you want to stay updated with my progress, you can check out my Instagram stories. I post weekly. It keeps me accountable and I love to promote my studio.
On a funny side note…when I was previewing this I laughed at the pictures, not the poses, but the outfit!!! I seem to love it. Haha. Those camo leggings. Anyways, if you enjoyed this post please like or follow me here on my page OR you can always check out what I am doing on my social media accounts.
How do you drive??? My new obsession, while I’m accumulating milage, is listening to books. I used to listen to a book every once in a while, via CD. I have know about Amazon Audibles for a while now, but I didn’t really embrace it until we decided to get unlimited data. Now I am an audio book eating machine.
Oh and I am getting nothing from Amazon…I am just genuinely pumped how this is making my work day better.
I first started with a book club book because I thought I could get those “pages” completed while I drive from school to school. I totally thought this was awesome mom juggling, but unfortunately our book selection was Where the Crawdads Sing. This book is a fantastic story, but not one for the school day. I found it to be a very emotional story. I was sort of bummed out going from school to school. I recommend this highly praised and purchased book if you are not a total over thinker like me. I let myself get lost in books and characters, sometimes to a fault, so my lack of desire to push play is no reflection on the text.
As someone recently pointed out to me I like being a problem solver, so giving up audio books was not an option. I needed to find the right stories for my stop and go school day. I have been selecting titles that range from sweet and sentimental Hallmark-ish stories to nail biting, gasping out loud thrillers. I am finding these types of titles fill my rides with pure delight.
The Dutch House was a fantastic book. I love the cover and once I pressed play, I couldn’t get enough. I was incredibly delighted to realize Tom Hanks narrates the book….he is the perfect voice to tell the ups and downs of this unique family. Being a sister to a younger brother I could very much connect to the characters codependent relationship and struggle for survival among adults who seems to make interesting life choices.
This thriller was very good. The two women who narrated this web of lies and deceit were perfect. I could not relate to either of these characters…well except for they are women, but regardless this was a book I could get lost in and it made the routine itinerant drive spicy!
I was on a thriller/mystery kick for a bit and this book did not disappoint. This was my first book by Lisa Jewell. I do not think it will be my last. I very much enjoyed the British narrator. It took me a few beats to get used to her tone, rhythm and inflection, but once I was channeling my inner Mary Poppins or Eliza Doolittle, I couldn’t wait to see where this story was going to go. If you enjoy reading about messy, less than perfect characters…give this a listen or read.
This was a light, quick chic flick “read”. I laughed, caught myself talking outloud and could genuinely relate to this modern day busy mom. Amy Blyer’s life is a tad different from mine, but I think any working mom can relate to the struggle to be super mom, super wife and still hold onto a bit of who you think your are or once were, before acquiring new titles. I really liked this book and was very happy to see I could pick up a free book from Kelly Harms.
This was my freebie with my Amazon Audibles membership. It is a quick little novella. The story was not as funny as The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, but I kept listening. It tugged at heart strings, without taking me down a overthinkers rabbit hole. It took a day or 2 of driving to zip through.
I think because this is something I am loving and because I am pumped every time I listen to a new selection, I am going to start to post smaller posts…easier to read and digest, about my ever growing library. If you are a reader or a listener I hope you look for my posts. I’ll also take recommendations.
You can always like or comment to a post. And if you wanna follow me there is a link to follow as well. If you are reading this on your phone…scroll to the bottom. If you are on a computer the side menus have all the ways to connect, plus updates to my photo gallery.
I saw this little pin and thought to myself this is a funny but true statement. I am not sure who thought of this phrase, but thank you. This is spot on for how I feel most Sundays.
Do you ever get a case of the Smondays?
I clearly do and I think I need to find some sort of remedy for this feeling. I know exactly when it starts to kick in…4:30ish every Sunday night. Just before the reality of making dinner. Just before I start the Sunday night routine. There is no getting out of dinner or the Sunday night checklist, but I started to think about how I could small changes, that might reset my mind and alleviate that Smonday feeling.
Start with Saturday
I love Saturday. No alarm. Morning yoga. These two things make me happy and kick off the weekend with a smile. A cozy cup of coffee in peace and quiet is also a relaxing way to get my Saturday started.
While I was enjoying my bit of caffeinated peace and quiet, I started thinking what can I do on Saturday that I would typically do on Sunday. What chores or activities can I do a day early to mentally fake myself out.
Set out/plan outfit for Monday
Put stuff in the car for my work week
Tidy up my car
I try to make a nice make a nice dinner on Sunday. I typically have more time and feel like it is a way to set us up for a good week, however this often backfires. Many a roasted chicken has had to listen to cranky conversations, a child who doesn’t want to eat the meal I have slaved over or it is eaten quickly because one of us is feeling pressured to do something in preparation for Monday!
Also, because I usually try to make it nice….because I enjoy cooking and setting a nice table, it has started to look and feel like our last meal. Zero pressure….right?
Last, we talk about the upcoming week. The upcoming activities, meetings, appointments and logistics in chauffeuring the child around for the weekend. It seems perfectly reasonable and a good use of time, but in reality I think it adds a cloud of stress over the dining table.
So, I think Sunday night dinners need a reboot.
No weekly planning pow wow.
No elaborate meal or new recipes…I have time for this in the summer.
No expectations-just eating
Sunday Night Chilling
Once dinner is over and cleaned up I think it is time to chill out. Whatever that might look like, my hope is it will feel amazing. Ending the weekend doing nothing or something fun with my peeps seems like heaven.
Possible Ways to Chill/ Decompress:
Watch a movie
Home spa treatments
My hope and wish is to get into a new Sunday routine and never have a case of the Smondays again. Nobody wants a case of the Smondays! Here’s to sensational Sundays. Sundays that sooth the soul and set us up for our week.
I can’t remember if I even thought about leap year four years ago, but as I am writing this I can say I don’t think I did. I am very sure I gave it a few seconds thought and was looking forward to March 1st.
Where were you four years ago?
My home and family are pretty much the same as they were four years ago. I take great comfort in knowing we are overall happy and healthy. We were and still are doing all of the things that young families do: work, school, church, activities, family functions, and planning for the future.
Even with all of our blessings and happiness, four years ago I was in a much different place….mentally. I was sick all the time and very stressed. I spent alot of time being angry and frustrated with myself.
It is hard to be happy or support others when you can barely feel good about yourself.
Since the last leap year alot has changed. I am feeling great. My body and mind has gone through alot of positive changes and growth. Now that I know I have Celiac and how to live with it, I have alot more mental free space to focus on things other than how crappy I feel/felt. I still have days where I throw a pity party for myself….like when I smell and see something I can not eat, but typically I am becoming used to my new life style. This is a good thing….actually an amazing thing.
I am now moving-yoga.
I am now working harder-TpT store and blogging.
I have made new friends and connexions, while still staying connected to old friends.
I really couldn’t rank these three things in any specific order. They are sort of all equally important and significant at this stage of my life and they all sort of came about in the same window of time. There is a commonality they all share…something I have been thinking about alot lately.
Growth and Support
I have been trying to support the new friends I have made through new endeavors. I have been trying to support friends I have had for years. I now have the headspace to really think about how I can lift other people up. I want to be a mini cheerleader for all of the women I know who are making things happen in there professional life, as well as their personal life.
These lady hustlers are awesome. Some are starting new businesses, going back to school, and making mini shifts in their career. Others are growing their side hustles. I think it is very interesting how many women I know have a main job and a side job….which I suspect might bring them more personal fulfillment.
I find their risk taking inspiring.
I am loving this phase of life right now. I feel more open and ready for possible and positive changes. I am definitely looking before I leap this year. Not with fear or hesitation, but with a purposeful, conscious, and grateful heart.
I am excited to think about what life will bring until the next leap year.
Until then I am going to keep on this path of positivity. I am going to continue to promote and fly the flags of all the hard working women I know. I am going to try to keep myself open to new adventures.
Happy Leap Day!
I you like this post you can always officially like it, follow or share.
I also wanted to add that I adore these illustrations. I find them on Pinterest and she has an Instagram page as well.