Pumpkins, apples, Halloween, THANKSGIVING! It’s my favorite time of year.
I love waking up on a chilly morning with coffee in my hand, taking the pups out for a morning run (the dogs, not me!). I go check on the chickens, and Pauly our rooster let’s put his cock-a-doodle-doo!
Fall mornings seems like everything moves a little slower for me.
My youngest had me print out our fall bucket list! I’ll insert it below!
I created my own bucket list for fall. Mine is going to look a bit different.
Enjoy the little things. Enjoy the way the leaves turn, and enjoy how the air gets more crisp. Enjoy family time with the hubby and my daughters. They grow so quick, so enjoy the little moments.
Make time for my husband.
We get so lost in taking care of the kids. We do everything we can to make sure they are happy and healthy. We often lose sight of what started it all, our love. Making time to enjoy each other is essential. Wether it’s date night, or just a quiet night on the couch.
Prepare for Winter
Winter is dark and depressing, honestly. It is not my most favorite time of year. I’m going to enjoy and mentally prepare for the dark ahead. Start taking care of my body, and my mental health. Do things for me, to make winter a little more bearable.
Get more organized
I can’t stand clutter! My goal this fall is to get more organized. That should always me my goal, but like I said, I hate winter. Hopefully being more organized will make me enjoy the winter months a little bit more!
Little changes can make a big difference. Hopefully my bucket list for fall will help me enjoy it just a little bit more!
Don’t get me wrong, my youngest girls bucket list sounds fun too!
It’s been tough not surrounding ourselves with the many people we love, but also trying to find things to keep our girls occupied!
I’m gonna share some of the things we’ve enjoyed doing.
Painting, modeling clay, slime making, bracelet making! You name it, we’ve done it! We love doing crafts, it’s been something the whole family can enjoy. Our favorite has been the clay, though. The girls love making little sculptures, and painting them. I’ve already gotten a few new jewelry dishes. 😉
Lots of Reading
Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? I know we have really enjoyed it. A lot of our summer reading is done outside in our hammocks. It’s our favorite spot to chill. My youngest (A) loves the Mercy Watson series, written by Kate DiCamillo. My oldest (C) loves The Never Girls series! I will read anything, but I’m a true die hard Twilight series fan. I know 🙈
I know what you’re thinking, video games?! Really?! But we honestly enjoy playing so many video games as a family. Minecraft is one of our all time favorites. We also enjoy all of the Super Mario games: Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Mario Party, etc. I also started getting the girls into Animal Crossing, although that’s not a multi player so we don’t play it often.
Sprinklers and pools were a huge part of our summer fun! Riding bikes, scooters, roller blading, swinging on the tree swing, playing fetch with the pups! So much fun stuff to do outside, and the fun is honestly endless when you’re outside. We also have a wooded area on our property which is fun for nature hikes and scavenger hunts! In September all the mushrooms around the yard pop up, and it’s fun to go around and identify some of them.
It’s definitely been an interesting year for us all. Trying to find things for the whole family to enjoy can be challenging.
Hopefully this gave you some ideas if you needed them! ❤️
Let’s chat about how to find 2 extra hours in your day! That is right, 2 extra hours! And you are going to be able to use that extra time to do all those amazing things you set out to do this week! These are 10 things that I do throughout the day that if you do a quick time audit, will easily save you 2 hours or more.
The #1 question I get asked is how do you fit in all the things. So I thought this would be a fun way to share.
STOP SCROLLING. Despite managing my business on social media, I am not online very much. I do it very strategically. I set aside time to connect on social media and then get off. And I do it in 20-50 minute increments. Otherwise, while I am working on other tasks my phone is in airplane mode! Crazy concept, I know. But it works. There are also a few browser apps that you can load that block you from social media sites after a certain amount of time. And most importantly, do not scroll first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed. Do you want others to influence the most important times of your day?
DO NOT HIT SNOOZE. Do not hit snooze. I repeat. Do not hit snooze. Snooze is the worst. And actually makes you MORE tired. (Because you aren’t getting into that deep restful sleep again). II know from prior experience this will save you 30-40 minutes alone! Go to bed the night before with intention. Map out what you want to do first thing in the morning and then do it! I heard a quote earlier this week that inconvenience exposes commitment. If you are committed as in truly dedicated. Snooze won’t be an issue. You gotta find something that makes you jump out of bed in the am!
SAY NO. UNLESS IT IS ONE OF YOUR TOP 3 PRIORITIES.Only say YES, to what is going to support your goals. My girls and I use this when it relates to healthy choices. All the time (eat your veggies). Cupcakes (sometimes). Netflix at 9pm? Maybe a sometimes task instead of all the time? See what I am saying? I talk about this a lot in my podcasts, but you should only pick 1-3 priorities a day. And sometimes even that is too much. If you know your priorities than it is way easier to say no to something that doesn’t support them.
As an example, on Friday nights we have a family movie night. So when a friend asks me to a girls night on the same night, I typically will say no, OR I will make adjustments so that movie night is on Saturday and my priorities are intact. Use your schedule to your advantage to help you make decisions.
SINGLE TASK WITH A SINGLE FOCUS. Don’t multi-task. This one is pretty straight forward, but the days of multi-tasking are over. Even if you are just focused on one thing for 10 minutes, you will get WAY more done in that 10 minutes than you will be doing 3 different things at one time.
I also use this to set boundaries. As an example. When I am in my office, my kids know that I am working, so, for the most part, they are aware that it isn’t time to ask me a million questions. When I am in the kitchen and trying to work as an example, they think I am available. So I try to focus my work time on one task in one area where I can knock it out and be done. It isn’t to say I don’t check my phone while in other areas, but when I am in “shared” areas, it isn’t my priority.
TIME BLOCK – You guys. I chat about this EVERY DAY. It works. And it works. I have a template in my WFH guide that is attached and also in my Systems Shop. You have to do it.
One thing I will add is to watch your energy levels with this. As an example, I come out the gate strong on Monday but I leave time for planning and strategizing. Tuesdays are almost interview and podcast days along with other meetings but by Friday. I try not to schedule meetings so I can “catch up”. I know I will be tired. And ready for a break. So don’t save your biggest task for Friday night! Just as your energy fluctuates throughout the day and week so does your attention.
I also almost always schedule a “maintenance” day, which is usually Friday or Saturday AM depending on the week. Clear out your inbox. Review your projects. Re-look at your to-do list. Do the laundry 🙂 Clean house. Organize. It helps. And sometimes is my most creative time. As a note, you don’t want to have your “maintenance day” on the same day you have 5 meetings.
In addition to time blocking you can also do a few fun things to motivate you to be super focused during the day by bookending your day. I pick the first two hours of the day to focus on my self-care and my VIP tasks as I call them. Don’t leave the hardest tasks for when you are the most unproductive. Then at the end of the day, I block out time for family and a least one hour before bed relax!
DON’T COMPARE. Your schedule isn’t going to look like anyone else’s. Just because I get up at 5am, doesn’t mean you need to. You have to play around with what works for you and when it feels good and you feel fulfilled, stick with it!
BLOCK TIME TO CHECK EMAILS. Only check email 1-2 times a day. This will probably save you an hour alone!! You want to say NO to busy work as much as possible. And if possible even automate repetitive tasks. As an example, when I have a new client sign up for our wellness package, I have a welcome email I send. I tweak it a little for each client but it is the same information. I don’t need to re-write it every time.
STOP EATING LIKE CRAP.Don’t eat sugar. Or at least limit it when you are trying to knock out some deadlines. Fuel your body with nutrients that are going to help you thrive!
SET ASIDE TIME FOR YOU! Reward yourself at the end of the day for working on those goals! (Or the beginning! Move your body. Meditate. Take a walk. Give yourself time to think! Your best ideas will come from this time and save you more time later!) And you know I am going to say this. But block off your calendar. Hit pause right now. Block out “ME TIME” for 30 minutes every day for the next month. See how it goes.
DO MORE WITH LESS. CLEAR YOUR SPACE. Work from a state of inspiration! Clean your desk. Go work in a coffee shop. Surround yourself with an environment that supports you!
Think about where you can outsource! I recently started a whiteboard in my office where I write down all the tasks weekly that I could outsource. Some of these are business tasks but some of them are basic tasks that you might not think of when you think to outsource….Outsourcing is really just saving you time!!!
Dry Cleaning pick-up
Meal kits / delivery
Outsourced Shopping (Such as Stitchfix or other services)
Proofreading (I use an app on my laptop)
Other apps that help with Time Management – Asana, Loop Habit Tracker, Trello, Calendly, Google Keep etc.
So tell me. Which one are you going to do this week? Or are you going to be a rockstar and do them all?
Sitting at dinner the other night, and we were talking about how fast this year has gone by.
It could be because of COVID, and most of our year was “wasted” by “quarantine” or simply because our littles aren’t so little anymore and they are growing SO fast!
It’s hard to sit back some time and REALLY enjoy these little moments.
I’m not going to lie, I had a mini breakdown last week. Full blown toddler tantrum…
I finally had some time off of work, to enjoy my 10 year wedding anniversary (holy shit, how has it been 10 years?!).
Day 1 of vacation and I start getting texts from work (I can’t get away from this place). I really wanted to get away for the big decade anniversary, but let’s face it, two kids and a global pandemic later, and no one has the time or money for that shit!
To top it all off, my kids we’re making me INSANE with their constant arguing and pestering about every… little… thing!!!
I finally broke down, and LITERALLY called my mama crying!
She talked me down, and we laughed and cried. Finally she asked me if I remembered going to my aunts house for the weekend every other month or so… because she too had the same moments I had. Every mom, or dad, NEEDS time to be an adult, and enjoy alone time wether it’s with a spouse or by yourself.
Then she said, get yourself a Starbucks (or whatever over priced coffee you like), get home, and get on with your day because you are going to remember the time spent with your family, more then you’ll remember this breakdown.
That women was so right! We had an AMAZING day exploring Frankenmuth, MI (see picture below)!
Then on our ACTUAL anniversary, we shipped the kids to my hubs mom’s house for the night, we ordered take out, and watched ALL the bad TV we could fit into the 16 hours we had ALONE!!!
It was HEAVENLY!
ANYWAYS, Back to my original thought about how FAST time is moving… I just wanted to share that story because it was raw and real, and it is not all sunshine and rainbows here!
I am in the trenches of motherhood. I am at war with myself because these are their most formative years, and I want to make sure they look back on their childhood and say, ‘wow, I was respectful and respected, but we also had a GREAT childhood.’
I’m definitely not one to give advice. You will not see me at any baby shower telling that new mama-to-be how she should only breastfeed, and use cloth diapers because it’s better for the environment, etc.
However, I’m passing along advice from my mama who raised 6 kids…
“Take time for yourself. It is one thing to be so in love with your child and do everything for the baby, but you have to not lose sight of yourself as a woman to balance out motherhood.”
Sounds simple right?!
But how many days have gone by since you’ve last taken care of YOU?!
Let’s just try harder. Every day is a new day for growth and opportunity.
You hear it all the time, “self care”, but do you really do it?!
WOW! How many cliches can I put into one blog?! 😂
But, thanks for hearing my heart! ❤️
Amanda (the boss bitch that keeps me motivated) and I, want to do a Q&A with all our readers! So if you have a question for us, leave it in the comments below!
We want to keep this page fun, but there is a big fat elephant in the room, and I’m here to talk about it and share my thoughts and feelings!
As you know, I am a mom to two amazing school aged daughters. My oldest is in the 4th grade, and my youngest is going into first. We love our school so much!
We had just gotten back from a spring break trip March 13. We had so much fun, but little did we know, we’d be coming home to pure chaos.
The night we got home, our Governor held a press conference stating she was shutting down our schools. What were we going to do with our two daughters while my husband and I work full time hours?!
If there’s a will, there’s a way.
A week after the schools shut down, my boss decided to shut down my work. It was scary, but also really great because we were able to focus on getting a routine established for “remote learning”. There were still SO many fears and concerns.
I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it, but it was rough. It was so new to the teachers, the students, and for most parents. We sort of had a good idea on what to expect as we had done online school for our oldest daughter in the past (that is another story for another time…).
Honestly, our girls did not handle the shut down well. At. All. For the first few weeks, there was little to no routine.
My oldest hates school. She is so smart, and she knows it. However, that doesn’t mean school comes easy to her on all subjects. She loves using the computer, and prefers learning through apps, and online videos and instruction. She was THRIVING once we figure out what apps were “OK’d” by her teacher and the school. Getting her to sit down and read, was a challenge, but she loved having books read to her via Audible. (That was a Godsend.)
Now, my youngest is completely opposite. She loves sitting down in her bean bag chair with her books, and journals. She loves using flash cards and doing her work sheets. The online stuff was cool, because it was a little more interactive, but she definitely is a pencil and paper kind of learner.
By the end of the school year, we had established that we were going to keep our girls learning, but we did it in our own way. We used materials given to us as a guide, but really built our own methods.
SO, Summer is wrapping up here this month, and that leaves us with a HUGE decision. What in the H-E-L-L are we going to do about the 20-21 school year?!
Who the hell knows!
As of right now, we are definitely leaning towards online learning. It will be hard to find a balance, between work, school and home life, but I truly feel in my heart, this will be in the best interest for my family.
I know my daughters more then anyone else, and I know they did NOT do well with the shut down. It took a lot of persistence to get my kids going on a good schedule. There was a lot of yelling and tears, not going to lie!
I know that if I can get my kids on a good schedule right at the beginning of the year, it will make having another “shut-down” a lot easier IF we end up having one. If not, and COVID “goes away” then we won’t be behind, and my kids can jump right back into the school year in the classroom in January.
I understand there are A LOT of different opinions about school, and COVID. I’m not trying to make a political statement by any means. I’m truly doing what I feel is best for my family during these unprecedented times. No one understands what we are facing, and no one is making a right or wrong decision wether you are doing virtual, or not.
Amanda and I truly appreciate all of our followers, and we hope you enjoy our blog!
Thank you so much for reading, and if you feel like throwing your opinions in the comments, by all means, please do!
Next week, I’ll keep things a little more light and fun! 😉
I love summer! The sunshine and being outside all day truly does the body good.
The kids are out of school, and I FINALLY took some vacation time to enjoy these long summer days, and these warm summer nights. But what are you going to do with your vacation?
I love when we all go camping as a family. We have done a trip to St. Ignace to visit Mackinac Island, Port Austin to kayak around Turnip Rock, we even took a trip to our most favorite spot, Great Wolf Lodge in Ohio!
Summer Time is the best time to make lasting memories with your family. Some of my most favorite memories as a kid would be camping with my mom and my siblings, or showing animals at the local 4-H fair.
I wanted to share with you all some of my families favorite summer activities!
We love to swim! We are surrounded by so many beautiful bodies of water, and we are so fortunate to live just miles from Lake Huron. We love a good beach day. Just us on our “secret” beach and some snacks. It’s like heaven on earth!
We love to camp! Just last weekend for Father’s Day, we decided to pitch the tent in the back yard. We love going to different camp grounds here in MI too! Michigan is so beautiful and there is so much to explore, camping can be a good low cost way to travel and see your home state. Our favorite part would probably be the s’mores though!
Which leads me to our next favorite activity…
We probably have a fire going in our little pit 3-5 times per week. We don’t always have s’mores at the campfire, and maybe we’re just burning up some sticks after we picked up the yard, but we’ve made some great memories around the fire. We like to play little games like “Would you Rather?” or “Never have I Ever” while we sit around the fire. It’s such a good way to bond with our girls!
Our girls are little chemists, I’m telling you! Slime is the messiest, grossest, and hardest thing to clean, but the girls LOVE it! I need to buy stock in Elmers glue, and food dye. LOL! We are constantly making it, and most recently the girls found “Slime Baff”. Yes, you read that right. It’s a slime bath, and they can’t get enough of it!
I went to Five Below, and picked up some fun outdoor activities! We got Velcro ball, a new basketball, a giant checker board, and a frisbee game. It’s not super expensive, but it keeps them occupied. We even made our own paper airplanes, and had a little race. Dad won of course!
Summer comes and goes so fast, so we really try to make the best of it. It’s hard during the week since both my husband and I work out of the home, but what ever time we do have with them, we make it count!
What are some of your favorite activities you do with your kids? Or if you don’t have kids, what do you enjoy doing?
This is always something I personally have struggled with.
Just think about it, a person that is going through the same thing you are at the moment. It’s 3 AM, and this is the fourth time you’ve been awake with the baby. You just WISH there was someone you could reach out to, someone that would understand the total body exhaustion you feel. Messy bun, yesterday’s makeup running down your cheeks because the tears streamed down your face, wet t-shirt from the spilled milk.
This is something that we STRIVE for. The perfect friend.
I’ve surrounded myself with so many people, it’s hard to say that I have that BEST friend. The person I tell all my secrets to.
For some people it’s your mom or sister. Someone you that has known you from the beginning of your life. Some one that understands every thing that has made you, you.
It could be the friend you met at the Mommy & Baby music class, at the downtown library. Kids who are the same age, and you know they would make a great long time friend to your daughter.
Maybe it’s your husbands coworkers wife. They are the couple who is older and wiser, and will always give you the best advice. Someone who you became friends with their whole family, and know that your village is getting bigger, and stronger.
Your high school best friend, that even though is worlds away, and when her world is completely different, you know she is always just a text or phone call away.
It could be a new friend. An unexpected friend. You know that she would never judge you, and would do anything to keep you and your family safe and happy.
The sister in law that is always there for your children no matter what. Someone you can share all of the best memories together. Watch each other’s kids grow up. Enjoy big life moments, like marriage, child birth, birthday’s and so much more.
And, your person. The person that chose you and you choose over and over. The one you know has seen all your darkest days, but will easily brighten them. The one you will do life with in the bad, and the good.
These are crazy times, and we all need that friend. So when I say “mom” friend, I don’t mean a friend that IS a mom. I mean any friend that you know you would never want to do life without.
These are my true friends. This is what my village is made of.
Howdy, y’all! I reckon I’m ‘bout to show you my chicken farm!
Hahah, just kidding! I’m having too much fun with my chickens, sometimes I wish I had my own farm.
Fun fact: when I was growing up, my grandpa and great grandpa had a Hereford Farm. I actually showed steers at the 4-H Fair growing up! That was an experience on it’s own. It’s definitely something I wish my kids would be able to participate in if they wanted too.
Anyways, my chickens are now officially HOME! They enjoy their little house so much. It’s not 100% complete, as we are still deciding what we’d like to cover the coop in, and we have to paint it, but other then those cosmetic details it’s DONE!
Have I said on here that my husband is a genius, yet?! I kept showing him all these elaborate, chicken palaces, that were quite expensive, and he just would smile and nod. He knew that no matter what prefab coop I bought, in the end I wouldn’t truly be happy. He asked me what I’d want out of a coop, and he made it happen.
The first thing I wanted was a run that I could walk into to interact with my girls! He made it 8’ tall in the front, and 6’ tall in the back, so no matter where I go, I won’t be bumping my head!
I also wanted a door on the coop, so I would have easy access to the eggs when it’s time for them to start laying. Also, it will make cleaning A LOT easier!
Last thing that was a must was the slanted roof! It is eventually going to have a gutter system that will collect rain water for the birds! It’ll really help so I don’t have to drag the hose over every time I need to give them more water!
The process was actually quite simple. We started out buying just 20 2×4’s, four sheets of plywood, four metal roof panels, and chicken wire. All and all this cost around $250, and honestly is WAY better and more sturdy then any of the prefab models I saw online.
We started out with the bottom frame. We wanted as little waste as possible. The 2×4’s we got were 8’ long, so that’s what the bottom is, 8×8. Then we just worked our way up. With the slanted roof we cut down the back posts to 6’! Don’t worry, those 2’ we cut off, were definitely used!
After we had it all framed out, we started working on the actual “barn” part of the coop/run. Cody thought it was a good idea to raise it up, allowing the girls to have a spot under the coop to lay and get out of the sun! We used the two 2’ pieces we cut off and made a nice base for the coop, and then we enclosed it. This is where the nesting boxes will be. A nice quiet place to lay eggs!
Then we added the chicken wire! ALL THE CHICKEN WIRE! I think this was the worst part! It was just tricky making sure it was all straight. The staple gun broke mid way through, so I had to make ANOTHER Lowe’s trip!
The final step was predator proofing the coop! We couldn’t waste all our hard work on our ladies, to have them eaten by a critter. Now, we don’t live in a rural area, but we aren’t in the middle of a city either. We have raccoons and opossums for sure and they will kill the chickens if they get to them, so to combat that, we dug a “trench” a foot wide, and just a few inches deep, and we buried chicken wire. That way critters can’t try and dig under the fence!
We have to add a few finishing touches, and we definitely have to paint, but all in all, I think it turned out great! It was a lot of work, but I love it! That is truly all that matters, right?!
I love doing DIY’s, and you will probably read a lot about my little home projects! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Thursday! (:
We were bored in the house, and in the house bored. So we decided to get CHICKENS!!!
I went, alone, to Tractor Supply to get dog food, and I walked out with four chicks! I think Cody just about died when I called him. Oops!
We got two Silver Laced Wyandotte’s, Lacey and Ella (or Kylo Hen as we like to call her), and two Ameracauna chicks, Lucy and Emily. Both breeds are known for being calm, and good overall family farm birds. Unfortunately, one of our Ameracauna’s, Emily, didn’t make it.
Here is one of our babies, Lacey, when they first came home! So tiny and fluffy!
Becoming a chicken owner is definitely something you should think about BEFORE you get them. We really had so much to learn, but over time, and after losing one, we definitely learned a lot!
These babies grow SO FAST!
With in a few weeks they had doubled in size. From a little fluff ball that would fit in the palm of my hand, to an almost full sized bird who wanted to roost on my arm, we knew we needed to get working on our chicken coop! Here is Lacey at 3 weeks old:
She started getting her feathers which meant we could start to lower the temp in the brooder. The brooder is the little bin that they stay in until they are fully feathered.
Not long after they started getting their big bird feathers, did they begin to want to fly. Yes, I said fly. I didn’t realize they could get as much air as they did. We didn’t initially keep a lid on the brooder, because when they’re not feathered, they don’t even attempt to “fly”. Right around 5 weeks is when they were ready to get out and explore!
I went back to work after having these babies for a few weeks, but my flock was about to get bigger! We added three Silkie chicks! They’re names are Piper, Penny and Fancy. Fancy is actually a showgirl Silky, so her neck and her bum is naked.
I could go on and on about their cute little faces, but I would never stop writing.
On my next post, I’m going to show you our next step in “chicken farming”, the coop!
I’ll share more about my other birds in the next post, because my flock just keeps growing!