Let’s Talk About Routines

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A few weeks ago, I shared how I plan out my days. While this has been working well for me the last couple of months, a change in schedule requires a look at my current system. If you missed my post yesterday, my work hours have been cut back. While the daily docket works well for work days, it simply leaves too much wiggle room for my days when I’m home.

One of the best ways to maximize time during the day is to get into a routine. If you’re looking for some good material on how to build a routine, I highly suggest this series from Money Saving Mom. I’m going to be trying out a different morning routine for work/non-work days, but otherwise my afternoon/evening routines will be the same. I’ll be checking back in next week to report on how these went. It takes 3 weeks to build a habit, so I’m planning on checking in for at least 4 weeks of trying the same thing before I attempt to add any more. The more you do a routine, the more streamlined your actions will be, thus creating more time for other things!

Work Days:

Morning routine

  • 5am Wakeup
  • Exercise
  • Shower, Dress
  • Coffee, Bible, Breakfast
  • Leave for work by 6:20

Afternoon routine

  • Lunch
  • BeachBody work
  • Housecleaning
  • Blog/Writing
  • Afternoon tasks/to-do list
  • Read

Evening routine

  • Pack lunch (if working the next day)
  • Tidy kitchen
  • Take pills
  • Lay out clothes
  • Fill out tomorrow’s daily docket

Home Days:

Morning routine

  • 6:30am Wakeup
  • Exercise
  • Coffee, Bible, Breakfast
  • Shower, Dress
  • Dishes/Housecleaning
  • Blog/Writing

Do you have a routine that works for you?

 

Menu Plan Monday

I’m back to meal planning! I did plan out our meals for last week, though I never posted about it. We’re going out of town this weekend, so we’re eating out of the freezer/pantry.

Here’s the plan for this week:

Breakfasts:

Cereal

Shakeology Mocha Frappuccinos

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Snacks:

Homemade Energy Bites

Banana Bread

Greek Yogurt

Fruit

Lunches:

Homemade Freezer Hot Pockets

Pasta with Broccoli Alfredo

Leftovers

Dinners:

Monday – Tex Mex Lasagna

Tuesday – Easy Baked Ziti, homemade freezer garlic twists

Wednesday – Chicken Soft Tacos

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – Sunday – Cabin trip!

6 Weekly Goals

This past week ushered in a new schedule for me. I’m down to working only 3 mornings a week. Needless to say, those two extra days threw me for a loop. One day off, I spent 15 hours doing a freezer cooking day (which I’ll post about later this week). The other day off, I spent the entire day on the couch, taking naps and binge-watching Friends. I made some progress on my goals, but I failed to complete many of them. I’m starting to implement more organization into my daily life to help me be more productive. Check back tomorrow for how I plan to do this!

I’m scaling down my goals this week to just 6 goals to keep it simple while I implement new routines.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Plan a freezer cooking day
  4. Sign up for a childbirth class

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 1 Samuel
  2. Exercise 4 days
  3. Schedule a dental appt

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 2 blogs
  2. Finish my BeachBody coach training
  3. Read 1 chapter of Drama Ministry

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 1 Samuel
  2. Exercise 2 days
  3. Take a mini vacation

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Plan next month’s blogging schedule

What are your goals for the week?

 

10 Weekly Goals

I’m still recovering from my blogging hiatus over the last few weeks. My hours at work have been cut back as of this week, so I have some more time to dedicate to blogging.

I need to get back to my weekly goals. They keep me motivated throughout the week so I don’t just eat gallons of ice cream while watching Friends or take naps all day.

Since I haven’t posted my goals in a while, I’m starting with a fresh slate. I’m focusing on progress, not perfection.

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Plan a freezer cooking day
  4. Sign up for a childbirth class

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 1 Samuel
  2. Exercise 4 days
  3. Schedule a dental appt

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 2 blogs
  2. Finish my BeachBody coach training
  3. Read 1 chapter of Drama Ministry

What are your goals for the week?

 

20 Weeks

07-18-14 20 weeks 02

Hello, it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve updated. Since I blogged so heavily in June, I decided to take a short break (which turned into a 2.5 week break). I used to blog all the time, but I have a habit of burning myself out. While my goal is to blog more regularly, I’m still working on finding a pace that works well for me. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

How far along: 20 weeks! I can’t believe I’m halfway done already!

Gender: BOY!

Weight gained: This is one of my main frustrations this week. A month ago, the nurse told me I wasn’t gaining enough weight. The other day, she said I was gaining weight too rapidly. I’ve officially surpassed my highest weight ever. I need to monitor my weight gain extremely carefully over the remainder of my pregnancy in order to make sure I’m still healthy.

Workouts:  
Monday: Taught Zumba
Thursday: Taught Zumba
I just received the PiYo program in the mail yesterday, so I’m anxious to get started on that! Want to join me? Click here!

Clothing Choices:  Dresses, shorts & tanks, and pajamas when I’m at home.

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: I’m usually up at least once in the middle of the night, sometimes more. I’m also taking afternoon naps more often.

Best moment this week:  I officially became a BeachBody coach! I’m so excited to share my story with others and help them reach their fitness goals! Want to know more? Visit my coach website!

Hardest moment this week:  Other than the weight struggle, I was in a minor car accident last week, and I’ve been having a rough time dealing with the insurance company.

What I’m missing: Wine, bubbly, and raw cookie dough.

Movement: Feeling my baby move is literally my favorite thing in the entire world. I wait all day to feel those flutters!

Cravings:  I’m actually starting to have some food aversions. I did acquire some free pie pumpkins this week, so I’m excited to start making some pumpkin muffins and pancakes! I can’t wait for fall.

Queasy or sick: I’ve experienced some mild nausea every day over the past 5 days. I think it’s weird that it took until halfway through my pregnancy to start experiencing some of these symptoms. I think it might have something to do with my diet recently, but I can’t stand the smell/thought of eggs, chicken, or most meats lately. I still haven’t been sick, but the idea of these foods has almost put me over the edge a few times in the last few days.

Looking forward to: Having some quality alone time with my husband, settling down on a name for the baby, and seeing our baby again at my prenatal appt next week!

Strange Dreams:  Lots of weird dreams lately. My favorites were:
1) I was back in New Zealand. I was naked. I was completely okay with that.
2) I was in a talent show. My talent was making & eating raw cookie dough.

17 Weeks

How far along: 17 weeks

Gender: Unknown

Weight gained: Holding steady at my current weight

Workouts:
Saturday: attended a Zumba class
Monday: Taught Zumba
Tuesday: Bikini Arms, Sunset Stretch from the Beach Babe 2 DVD
(I did as much as I could)
Thursday: Taught Zumba, worked on choreography afterwards

Clothing Choices:  Dresses!

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: I wake up a lot now, mostly due to nocturnal sciatica.

Best moment this week: Doing an impromptu photoshoot with JMP Photography & celebrating our anniversary!

Hardest moment this week: Dealing with nocturnal sciatica and back pain

What I’m missing: Sleeping painlessly through the night

Movement: Can’t feel anything yet – I can’t wait!

Cravings: All kinds of things – FRESH MINT, frozen yogurt, holiday flavors (pumpkin, peppermint, salted caramel mocha), onion/garlicky things, tea, etc.

Queasy or sick: Still feeling great!

Looking forward to: The holiday weekend & a trip to the beach with my hubby!

Strange Dreams:  Here’s screenshots of a text I sent the morning after I had my strange dream this week. Haha!

photo 1 photo 2

 

Here’s some more pictures from this week. I was home a lot this week, so there’s lots of pictures!

"Fancy" updo for my photoshoot

“Fancy” updo for my photoshoot

Whole wheat chocolate chip pumpkin protein pancakes

Whole wheat chocolate chip pumpkin protein pancakes

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

One of my favorite pictures from my bachelorette party 4 years ago - Love you, Lizz!

One of my favorite pictures from my bachelorette party 4 years ago – Love you, Lizz!

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Fresh strawberry mint lemonade

Fresh strawberry mint lemonade

Brown butter fish & zesty quinoa salad

Brown butter fish & zesty quinoa salad

I've been waiting for this sale for 3 months!

I’ve been waiting for this sale for 3 months!

My Tuesday morning

My Tuesday morning

My husband "missed seeing me," so I sent him this selfie.

My husband “missed seeing me,” so I sent him this selfie.

Sunset over the river

Sunset over the river

Baked pumpkin oatmeal with dark chocolate chunks and vanilla bean swirled cream cheese frosting

Baked pumpkin oatmeal with dark chocolate chunks and vanilla bean swirled cream cheese frosting

Rosie!

Rosie!

A clean car & an oil change for my hubby

A clean car & an oil change for my hubby

It's official!

It’s official!

Lemon, cucumber, raspberry, mint infused water

Lemon, cucumber, raspberry, mint infused water

Surprise anniversary trip to the beach for the holiday weekend!

Surprise anniversary trip to the beach for the holiday weekend!

The spoils of our "gift card" date

The spoils of our “gift card” date

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Also, my friend Kelly and I think we invented a new meme. It’s called “Or else.”

OR ELSE

OR ELSE

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4 Year Anniversary

Yesterday, we celebrated 4 years of marriage!  It’s hard to believe that it was 4 years ago, we were dancing the night away with friends and family after months of planning.

Every year, we’ve scheduled a photo shoot for our anniversary. It’s so much fun to see how we change each year. This year, our friend Scot Woodman did our anniversary photos. He also shot our first and third anniversaries for us, and he’s going to be doing our maternity/newborn photoshoots. We love Scot!

I try to do something different each year. (Update: I added a page of us through the years!) This year we went around downtown Modesto, but we went to different locations than we have in the past. Here’s our photos from this year!

My favorite

Building a Housecleaning Routine

For the last few weeks, my goal has been to begin and establish a daily cleaning routine. I’m embarrassed to say that when I’m in school, I don’t clean regularly. Dishes and laundry got done, but I was lucky to vacuum once a month. Tasks like cleaning the bathroom or dusting were even more seldom (I know, I know… it’s disgusting). Starting a new cleaning routine for the first time since last summer seemed intimidating at the very least. Overwhelming is more like it. The sad thing is, I have an app with a PAID subscription with a cleaning list already on my phone. I’ve had it since January. It’s called Motivated Moms, and I love it. It’s a wonderful app. It even has an option for adding in a daily Bible reading plan. The funny thing is, once I got behind on my Bible reading plan, I stopped using the app completely! Isn’t it ridiculous that I stopped using my cleaning app because I fell behind in Bible reading?! Sometimes it’s sad the way the simplest things can throw off our entire routine.

The cleaning list in the app is broken into two main categories – daily and today. The “today” tasks rotate weekly/monthly, and they’re usually bigger tasks. You can add your own tasks as you need. My daily tasks include:

  • Empty trash
  • Feed pets
  • Wipe out bathroom sinks
  • Make beds
  • Change kitchen dishcloths/towels
  • Clear/wipe kitchen counters
  • Dry/put away dishes
  • Plan/cook dinner
  • Sweep kitchen & entryway
  • Wash dishes
  • Do laundry

This past week, I decided this was the week to begin. I started with the goal of spending 30 minutes a day dedicated to housecleaning. Many SAH/WAH moms are able to do their daily cleaning tasks build into their regular schedules. I wanted to do the same, but since I work in the mornings, I decided to do my housecleaning as soon as I got home from work. As with all of my goals, my focus is on progress, not perfection.

MONDAY

Monday was the day I implemented this new routine. After going months without any semblance of regular cleaning, I severely underestimated how much work it would be to start out. I spent about an hour cleaning, instead of the 30 minute goal I had. I also had met my mom for lunch that day, so I didn’t get started until after I returned home. Here’s how my routine looked:

1:39pm – arrive home, sort mail, answer texts, open blinds

1:43pm – make bed, put away clean laundry, feed cats

1:49pm – put on music, put away clean dishes, wash dishes, clean kitchen sink, change kitchen towels

2:12pm – sweep kitchen & living room

2:21pm – rest

I didn’t even come close to finishing my cleaning list, but I decided that progress was better than nothing!

TUESDAY

On Tuesday, I had lunch with a friend, followed by running some errands. I didn’t arrive home until later in the afternoon. I still did my cleaning after I arrived home, but I was determined to finish my entire list. This time, I was able to accomplish the entire cleaning list in just under an hour!

3:07pm – arrive home, sort mail, open blinds, check social media, put on music

3:12pm – empty trash, wipe bathroom sink, (Spencer made the bed!)

3:15pm – put away clean dishes, wash dishes, wipe sink/counters

3:27pm – sweep kitchen & living room

3:34pm – rest to pet kitty (Pippin was whining)

3:36pm – pick up dirty clothes, return shoes to closet (done with daily tasks!)

3:38pm – clean out purse/wallet, dust ceiling fans, clean bathroom mirrors

3:48pm – sweep bedroom, vacuum rug

4:01pm – rest

WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday, I came straight home from work, and I was RAVENOUS. It was also watering day, and we only have one sprinkler. So making/eating lunch and moving the sprinkler every 10-15 minutes lengthened the cleaning process by quite a bit.

12:18pm – arrive home, open blinds, start lunch, change into shorts, sort mail, start sprinkler

12:29pm – continue cooking lunch, put away clean dishes (cleaning up as I cook), move sprinkler

12:39pm – eat lunch while watching 15min of Doctor Who, move sprinkler 2x

12:59pm – wash dishes, change kitchen towels, declutter kitchen table & counters, wipe down kitchen surfaces, wipe sink, move sprinkler

1:17pm – make bed, wipe bathroom sink & front of shower door, feed cats, pick up laundry, put away sprinkler

1:23pm – sweep kitchen & living room, start a load of laundry

1:30pm – rest for a few minutes

1:37pm – clean shower (I only cleaned one wall because the shower is FILTHY and I was tired)

2:03pm – declutter top & front of fridge, dust top of fridge, dust bedroom

2:10pm – rest

THURSDAY

On Thursday, I had a lunch date with a friend at 1, so I wanted to get all of my daily tasks finished before she came to pick me up. I was in a frenzy to get things done as fast as possible. I did the rest of the “today” tasks after I arrived home.

12:26pm – sort mail, open blinds, put clean dishes away, wash dishes, pick up laundry, change kitchen towels, wipe kitchen & bathroom sinks, wipe down kitchen surfaces, set out beans to defrost for dinner

12:36pm – empty trashes, fold/put away 1 load laundry

12:43pm – sweep kitchen, living room, and bathroom

12:51pm – rest/lunch date

2:27pm – arrive home, open blinds, clean mop pad, mop kitchen, dust living room & all light fixtures

2:42pm – clean microwave & inside of fridge door

3:11pm – rest

FRIDAY

On Friday, I was exhausted when I came home from work. It was watering day again, so once I finished with that, I took a nap. I didn’t get everything on my list done for the day, but I’m proud of the work I accomplished.

12:35pm – arrive home, open blinds, sort mail, start sprinkler, put lunch in oven

12:37pm – pick up laundry & shoes, put away clean dishes, wash dishes, set stubborn dishes to soak, move sprinkler

12:49pm – change sheets, make bed, refill soap dispensers, move sprinkler

12:59pm – lunch, put away sprinkler, nap

4:08pm – sweep porch & walkway, feed cats

4:14pm – rest

Overall, I count this week of housecleaning as a success. I’m still working on my housecleaning tasks on a daily basis when I get home from work. The apartment looks a million times better than it did, even though it’s just little things that get done each day. It’s the little things that count.

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday! I worked on planning menus for a few hours yesterday. I got this week’s and part of next week’s menus finished. I’m trying to go back to healthier choices, concentrating on more whole foods and recipes from the Tone It Up Nutrition plan for 75% of each day. I consciously choose dinners that are healthier, but still are meals that my husband would enjoy.

We also have lots of special events this week, which made planning dinners easy!

Here’s the plan for this week:

Breakfasts:

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

Bikini Smoothie

Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding with mangoes and mint

Protein Pancakes

Snacks:

Peanut Butter & Jelly Balls (TIU Beach Babe edition)

Fresh juice

Rocky Road Greek yogurt parfaits

Lunches:

Brown Butter Fish

Zesty Quinoa Bowl (TIU Beach Babe edition)

Sweet Meadows Spinach Salad with Balsamic Citrus dressing (TIU nutrition plan)

Fried rice/quinoa

Dinners:

Monday – Pigs in a Blanket, fruit salad

Tuesday – College Group pool party/cookout

Wednesday – Anniversary date night!

Thursday – Chicken alfredo lasagna roll ups, Caesar salad

Friday – Crockpot Tuscan chicken & beans, whole wheat pasta

Saturday – Family summer swim party/bbq

Sunday – leftovers

 

What’s on your menu plan this week?

10 Weekly Goals

I did much better with my goals overall this week.

I’m really enjoying Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Gary Chapman. I already want my husband to read it, too. The Color of Tea is interesting, but it’s not omg-i-need-read-it-all-today good. I did start Drama Ministry this week, but since it’s for my drama leadership training, I’m taking it slowly.

I was able to begin a daily cleaning routine this week. I plan on reporting back on it later this week. I worked on cleaning out the nursery for about 4 days this week. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes! Now I’m only waiting on my husband to take a load of stuff out to storage before I’ll have room to move around in there again. I did get rid of a huge box of books, several DVDs, and two large boxes of clothes. It’s coming along! We haven’t fixed the broken dresser drawer yet because the wood glue and clamps are lost somewhere in the nursery. It will happen soon, but probably not this week.

I slacked in my water goal because I forgot to track my intake on my app. I’m hoping to do better this week. I didn’t get out to go walking this week, but I did go to an extra Zumba class and had some unexpected work tasks to do that involved a lot of walking up and down stairs this week. So even though I didn’t WALK, I did exercise 4 days this week.

These next few weeks are going to look a little different for me. My boss is on a business trip, so I’m only working a few days at the office. I’m going to attempt to start doing some freelance work in writing/editing with my extra time.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 2 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  5. Begin a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 2x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Color of Tea

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  4. Continue with daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Read Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Follow my exercise plan for the week

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Spend at least 5 hours working from home
  3. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Color of Tea

What are your goals for the week? Do you have any tips for starting freelance work as a writer/editor?