Weekend Vibes

It was nice that Brooke had Friday off, even though I didn’t realize it until a few days prior! Haha.  #momlife  Which later that day I saw this meme and it was perfect because I seriously thought I was on top of my game!!  Luckily my neighbor Katie kept me up to speed.

 

After we dropped Bradley off at Preschool she wanted to have a girls’ day.  We hit up Starbucks and then headed over to Target for some birthday gifts, as she has a few parties to attend in the next few weeks.

She brought her doll and set her up like this and I about died when I came over and saw her sitting like this.

Brooke’s favorite treat at Starbs:  Kiddie Hot Cocoa and the confetti sugar cookie.  Nice choice girlfriend!!

Saturday morning was such a gorgeous sunrise!! The pinks and purple mixed with the orange glow were simply stunning!

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We had out last day of gymnastics, which was fun and a little sad!  It’s about an hour drive and we would usually go visit my dad and step-mom after their session, but with the impending Winter weather, it is not a commitment I want to make.  I hate driving in the snow, so I’d rather wait it out until Spring or Summer.

My sister asked if we wanted a babysitter Saturday night, so of course we said yes!! It was a little chilly so I did a basic grey bell sleeved sweater with my favorite pair of jeans from American Eagle.  They fit like a glove!

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We went to Village Gate in downtown Rochester and hit up the restaurant Lento.  They serve everything fresh, the menu changes daily and it’s all locally sourced.  It’s in a funky building with lots of crazy art pieces. He wanted me to take a picture of this fish.  Speaking of fish, we had some amazing Oysters and I had the BEST Salmon dinner with roasted brussels and bacon and apple. I can’t stop thinking about it! I also had some to die for brie and goat cheese….yum!

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Joe loved this mural and it looks like some of the “amazing art” we have hanging in our room.  Our artistic preferences may differ slightly…

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Sunday I spent some time talking with the contractor and checking out shower tile ideas for the house that burned down.  We like the bigger tiles, like this look minus the extra small tiling. I want to keep it simple and clean looking.

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Photo Via Pinterest

 

Sunday we had our neighbor’s birthday party at a YMCA.

The kids played in the jungle gym and swam in the pool.

Well, all but one did.

SO hard to get a still shot! I love that Bradley is covered in vanilla cake frosting.

Brooke picked out her presents all by herself…

Lily turned 9 and yes, our daughter who’s 6 is taller than her. They wear the same size! They are so sweet together and we are very grateful to have good neighbor friends.

I finished this book and it was full of good gems! I’ll share a few later on.

I had “the house shut down” (Joe makes fun of me, but seriously, I say this all the time! I think because my mom used to!) by 8pm and I think I was asleep before the Patriots game, it may have just started. I got up to use the bathroom, and I had taken a Nyquil a little earlier so I could sleep well and try to get this cold/allergy whatever out of my system and when I stood up I had this feeling/flash/premonition and I told Joe, “The Ravens win.”  When we got up this morning, he said hey, by the way you’re right! I’m a tad freaked out by this but find it cool as well.  I felt like I was in that state of semi-consciousness and half awake, which I bet if I meditated on a regular basis I could tap into more.  I may have lost you at this point, but yes, I do believe in psychic ability and a little voo doo.  Joe says if I hone in my skills he’ll start betting. Hahaha!

 

Happy Monday friends!

Day of Rest?

Working for yourself is the best and craziest thing ever at times.  I love the flexibility of it, but if I am being totally honest, I struggle with time management.  When I was a teacher, my day was scheduled for me.  I ate when it was “lunch time.” I started class when the bell rang, and then ended when it rang again.  Every 42 minutes (or 85 in the HS block schedule) I knew exactly which students would walk into my classroom and exactly what we’d be doing that day.

Enter motherhood and all ‘scheduling’ went right out the window!! Baby’s dictated everything and as soon as we seemed to settle into a nice routine, a leap or growth spurt would happen and it all went to heck.  I survived it, like all mothers do, and really just became adapt at ‘bobbing and weaving’ as my husband so lovingly calls it.

Now that I have one child in full time school and one in 3 half day pre-school classes, and a real estate business to run, I find myself sometimes going a little batty.  As I sat in on an another amazing Serve Sell Live Well class with Sam Sagot, she had a guest speaker present on time management.  I believe I have gotten better, but man I feel like I am still not always finishing what I started, as I get so distracted easily! She said that our brains take 23 minutes to focus back on the original task at hand, and that multi-tasking is BAD (which I know) but gosh, it’s so hard to break this habit!  I feel like kids (who are 4, little and still quite needy) constantly interrupt my flow–whatever it may be.  I could be working on marketing, book-keeping, renovation details, talking to a contractor, paying taxes, you name it!  I could also be folding laundry, doing the dishes or trying to vacuum.  As I sit here and type this blog I just realized I have a pile of wet laundry behind me that needs to be hung.

I guess the point is, as much as I love giving tips, help a mama out!! I am working on “time blocking” but how do you stay on task?  How do you make sure that you finish what you started?  Working from home can be tricky–hello, I cannot leave my kitchen a mess and just walk by it without cleaning it!? How do you do all the housework, cook, take care of kids and get all your work done and still find time every day or week for you?

I also listened to the girls talk about having one day where they do not work.  Day of rest.  I know that Sunday should be that, but sometimes that the only day Joe & I can catch up and talk about business stuff without other work interfering. So, this week I think I will take Tuesday off…maybe my “Day of rest” will be Saturdays.  And mamas, by rest I don’t mean my feet are up all day and I’m not hustling around the house, but I mean one day off from “WORK.”  I LOVE what we are doing with our real estate company and I truly feel empowered to step into my role better each day, but I am sensing a little burnout and I simply can’t help but wonder if it’s because every day I “do” a little real estate work.

What are your thoughts, do you take a day of rest from your “job”?  Do you work every day and never feel a burn out? What do you enjoy doing on your day off?  I would like to use my Saturdays to catch up around the house, play with the kids, write, workout and let my mind take a mental break.  At the same time, I realize that we all have seasons of work, and I feel like right now maybe it’s more of hustle season, and it’s hard to break because we have a lot going on right now.   Maybe it’s okay to work a little every day, as long as you build in ‘down time’ every day and stick to it…

Maybe this blog makes zero sense, but I felt like getting my thoughts out of my jumbled mind, so feel free to chime in!  I feel like it applies to stay at home moms, work at home moms, working moms—all the moms! We take care of SO many things in a day, in a week–and don’t get me wrong, I know men do a lot too, but I’m just speaking about myself who’s a work at home mama…

Happy Sunday!

Weekending

Happy Monday!

Is it me, or did I blink and the whole thing was gone?!

I finally grabbed these snacks for the kiddos and their “Fall Treat.”  They love it! I just mix it together in a small bowl or bag and they thought it was the coolest thing ever.

Meanwhile, mama is trying to keep the balance with lots of roasted veggies.  PSA– after these are roasted, they are so good with fried eggs on top!

Friday Joe hunted, Bradley had Pre-K and Brooke had a half day. I got to go to Zumba!

By noon, we all were back home and gearing up for a little family fun day!  We grabbed lunch and then had to check on some of our properties that are being rehabbed. This was the home with the fire in it.  Down to bare bones!

We took a drive down one of Joe’s favorite roads and the scenery did not disappoint!

After working a bit, we made sure to have fun and stopped to grab some pumpkins!

Saturday is our gymnastics day and we’ve been stopping by my Dad & Stepmom’s afterwards.  She begged me to take her photo!

That night I came home to a new Advanced Reader’s copy of this book–it’s a thriller!

Sunday was spent mostly tidying up the house and catching up on laundry.  We were going to do up some chicken wings, but they were still a little frozen! That’s okay, we’ll have them tonight.  I ended up with pasta (aka butter noodles for the kids) and I did some chicken up in a pan and slathered some Thai Peanut Sauce on the chicken & pasta.  It was actually quite good! We did carve our two pumpkins too!  The perfect ending to our weekend.

The the crazy, spooky madness of Halloween week commence!

Back to School Routine

With back to school literally around the corner, I cannot help but think of routines.  I’ve never been one to follow a super strict schedule, but I do believe in the power of routines.  Babies thrive with them, children do well with them and I must say as an adult, I too crave routines.  It doesn’t mean you have to do the same exact thing every single day at the same exact time, but doing the same things daily do propel us further to success.

I thought I would share a few of my ‘routines’ with you!

Our morning routine was rather relaxed and I loved it that way.  We really had no obligations first thing in the morning other than getting Joe out the door to work on time and that was so very nice!  Next week will be an adjustment as Brooke will be out the door by 8:30, Bradley needs to be to school by 9 MWF and of course Joe works.  I take my job as a mama/wife pretty seriously, so I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to start my day, so that I can meet everyone else’s needs.

I know that for my day to be ‘successful’ and for me to feel at ease when my head hits the pillow, I wan to know that I did the very best I could.  Was I an exceptional wife?  An amazing mom?  Did I work on our business?  Did I prepare healthy meals? Did I do something that makes ME happy? Did I break a sweat? Did I do something special for someone else? We are never promised tomorrow, so I always try to make each day, my very best day.

Ideal Day:

6:00 Wake up! Drink pre-workout, journal, planner, blog, read (fill my cup!)

6:30/6:45 Iron clothes, let dogs out, feed them breakfast.

7:00 Push play on a workout.  I’m currently working through Morning Meltdown 100. They are all 30 minutes and under.

7:30 Wake up Brooke & Bradley, Get breakfast ready & make sure backpacks are good for the day.

8:00 Get Joe’s lunch/waters/vitamins/meds/breakfast ready. Make sure Brooke’s brushing hair, teeth, dressed well, etc.

8:25 Brooke outside to catch the bus, Joe leaves, Bradley brushes teeth/gets dressed.

9:00 drop off Bradley to school MWF

9:15-11:15 — Do I go grocery shopping? Shower? Work on our real estate business? Run errands? Walk the dogs?  Clean the house? Laundry?  I could also see me using this as some “do you time” — mani/pedi,  read a little, blog, if I feel myself needing a little something extra. There are also days where I go in and volunteer to be the helper at Preschool.

11:30 Pick up from Pre-K

12:00 lunch

12:30 Bradley quiet time/ABC Mouse, movie etc. while I work on our business or catch up around the house.

3:30 Tea Time — I brew a cup of tea and breathe!

4:00 Brooke’s off the bus, followed by after school snacks, homework, chores, play with neighbor friends, or dance class (one night a week.)  We may sign the kids up for a sport or swimming too, so this is just a rough idea of what life is like!

5:00/5:30 I typically start dinner. (I try so hard to meal plan to keep myself on track!)

6:30 Bath/shower

7:00 start bedtime routine, which consists of: Using the bathroom, brushing teeth, pjs on, quietly read books, I try to read books, and singing two songs before lights out.

The kids do best with about 11 hours of sleep per night it seems. 

My schedule is so wonky since I don’t have a 9-5, I have one kid mostly home, we run a real estate business that comes and goes with work to do.  I think sometimes I stress myself out because I have such a different lifestyle, but I do love it!  It’s just a lot different than what other people’s lives look like and that’s okay. I have learned to ‘bob and weave’ as Joe calls it, like when he needs a meal brought up to him or something! There are days when I feel like all I do is make call after call, or am at my desk for awhile. You just never know what pops up, like house fires, evictions, new buyers, new sellers, marketing, bookkeeping, it ebbs and flows so much!

What helps?

Once you figure out what your overall day looks like, find tools that work for you.

Planner. I am still a hardcore paper planner user.  I live by my calendar on the fridge, but I also write down nightly/daily what needs to happen throughout the week.   I am loving the Emily Ley Simplified Planner this year, and adore the new styles for 2020!  The daily planner has hour slots which has been super helpful for me to literally write out what and when I’m doing all the things.

Take a break! My daily “tea time” has been amped up since my bestie Ann sent me a Sipscription for my birthday!  It came with 4 different kinds to try.  You take a quick quiz and they send out teas they think you’ll enjoy, based on your answers. Check it out here! 

Workouts. I know I needed an under 30 workout for me to make these morning workouts happen, so I did commit to this.  I am currently on workout 30/100.  I don’t love the cardio ones, but I really enjoy the weighted workouts and the yoga flows.  My girl Lindsay and her crew keeps me accountable.  If you’re still looking for a good routine to sweat, check it out!

I hope a glimpse into my day may help some of you as you get ready to go back to school.  As you can see, I don’t give myself much ‘down time’ but I do best keeping busy my why is so engrained in me I don’t ever want to quit! I do enjoy podcasts or audiobooks while doing dishes/laundry etc.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we get to choose how we spend it.  I get it, some moms have to go to work outside of the house and some moms are in the newborn/infant stages, and if that’s the case, just worry about eating, sleeping & surviving!

Every new season of motherhood brings a new set of challenges but so many new blessings and experiences too.  If I’m being honest, this season is wonderful to me, but I also feel so weird because my babies don’t ‘need’ me so much any more!! I am getting more and more ‘free time’ because they’re becoming independent little souls who can do so much for themselves.  Of course, I fill the time up with working, cleaning, etc, but it’s an odd feeling to not be needed so much.  I’m also so excited for this new school year, but a twinge of sadness comes over my heart, as I love having them both home with me all the time.  Life is truly such a crazy beautiful ride and I am so blessed to enjoy these moments with my family.

What does your back to school routine look like?  Anything I should add or try out this upcoming school year?

Tea (and cookies) with Me

I figured we’d sit down and have a little tea together, shall we?  I’m having a cup of English Breakfast, with a splash of vanilla soy milk.  You?

 

July rushed right past us, although I thoroughly enjoyed all of its glory.  The weather has been literally, too good to be true and I am not sorry that I have spent most of my days outside breathing in this fresh air.  The sun feels glorious, the pools have been refreshing and I just LOVE Summer so much!

I slacked in my reading a bit in July; I was in a bit of a reading funk, but I think it’s safe to say I’m in the clear.  I’ve just finished several books that I do recommend! Class Mom was hilarious.  Evie Drake Starts Over was simply adorable, heartwarming and just a good old fashioned good read.  I literally finished my book club read hours before our meetup and it was quite the page turner towards the end, Watching You.

I’ve been studying, watching videos and really working more on our real estate business.  I am such a learner that it is half annoying (to me or my husband more, I’m not sure) that I can’t just dive into things without really giving it a hard go at researching.  I know success means sometimes you throw yourself into it, fail along the way and figure it out (I feel like that’s how we got here so far on my end!) Some of the biggest lessons were mistakes that were made.

I’m still riding in my ‘flow of authentic energy’ and am crafting my final blog post regarding my work with my life coach Lindsay Preston and two of her courses that I finished.

Other than that, we’ve eaten our weight in soft serve ice cream, delicious cheeseburgers and all the tasty Summer eats.  Of course I’ve been balancing it all with my daily workouts and eating clean mostly 80% of the time.  I know that life is too short to not enjoy the delicious food!

It’s hard to believe this will be my last year as an official “Stay at home mom” and while I’m aware that I work at home too, I can’t help but feel such a twinge of excitement and sadness all at once.  The other day I sat on our front porch as Brookie ran around, in her 6.5 year old glory.  I could feel the pull of years past, when she was only a 6 month old baby girl.  Her goofy grin, her bright shiny blue eyes and bald baby head–my heart ached for a quick moment, as I held that thought tight, knowing full well how beautiful it was to be with her every step of the way.  Bradley too, but this gift of motherhood is so amazing.  Time flies way too fast and while you’re in the midst of it, it sometimes feels like a never-ending carousel ride of bottles, diapers, bath and bedtime, sticky kisses, potty training, “mommy” this and “mommy” that… and yet I can see the quiet future, not so far off in the distance.  I see the quick kiss, if I’m lucky, and the running out the door.  The days where friends will be cooler than parents, and activities will take more of their days.  So I settle in, quietly here, with this small cup of tea.  I let them bake M&M cookies with me and make the hundredth peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the Summer.  I stop and cuddle with them if they ask.

I know babies don’t keep, but I am so very grateful that the memories of them do.

 

(P.S. These cookies really are perfection!! Follow the recipe below.)