How I Prep for the Week

Three years ago I thought I had my Sunday prep all figured out. I shared my process and referenced my own post over and over again as a checklist for the week. I spent a few hours prepping for the week every Sunday and it worked for me.

But then, like most things, my process changed when I became a Mom and especially after I went back to work. I got a bit more laid back and streamlined my process since time is precious and my weekend is my time to be with my family and have time to myself.

Here are my updated things that I do to prepare for the week. They truly do make my week SO much easier!

1. I map out my week– I do this on Friday when I’m closing out my work week so that I can end the work day feeling prepared for the upcoming week. This allows me to let go and enjoy my weekend, which is so key. I shared my process here.

2. I run my errands on Friday– I used to spend a good chunk of my weekend running errands but now I try to do all the necessary errands on Friday during lunch or in the evening. It magically frees up time on the weekend and gives me one less thing to “have to do.”

3. We have a Sunday morning ritual– We go to church as a family and then usually grab coffee and sometimes breakfast. It gets us up and out and sets up for the week.

4. I am intentional with my weekend plans- I have become very aware with how I spend my time in general and especially on the weekends. These days I try to maintain a balance of busy weekends and ones that are free and clear. If we’re traveling I always keep a free calendar before and after so we don’t get overwhelmed.

5. We check in as a family on the upcoming week- I try not to check my planner too much on the weekends and no longer use my time to check off my to-do list, but I do take a quick look on Sunday evening and check in with Rich. It helps make sure we’re on the same page and gives me a bit of peace of mind.

6. We make an indulgent dinner on Sunday night- Our Sunday dinners are usually something a bit more indulgent or more tedious than a typical weeknight meal. It makes the night a bit special and helps us to enjoy our last few hours before we’re back to the grind. I keep a Pinterest board of ideas and I enjoy either picking out a new recipe to try or falling back on one of our favorites.

7. I spend 20 minutes setting things up for Monday morning- I do very minimal prep on Sundays but I do spend about 20 minutes total prepping for the week to begin. This involves prepping something for breakfast while I cook our dinner, getting Buel’s things for daycare ready, packing my gym bag, laying out my workout clothes and packing my lunch.

8. I do not do any work on Sunday- Beyond the 20 minutes of prep for Monday, I do zero work on Sundays. I value my downtime more than every before and everything else can wait. My clean laundry can be stored in the dryer for the time being, my email can be answered on Monday. Sunday is my time to relax and enjoy time with my family!

9. I wind down with a new book or a treat- Keeping with the theme of the indulgent Sunday night, I try to give myself something to look forward to as I wind down for bed. A lot of times I’ll start a new book, do a face mask or have a little treat after dinner. Enjoying the time I have is so key before the week and it helps keep my mind on the present vs worrying about what the week will bring.

10. I leave time for flow, fun, productivity and downtime- These four things are the things I’ve found make for a weekend that make me feel good come Monday morning. Of course every week is different, but I try my best to be mindful of my time. It makes a huge difference.

What do you do to prepare for the week?

How We Manage Our Shared Calendar & To Do Lists

How We Manage Our Family Calendar

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of requests to share how we manage our schedule as two full-time working parents. After over four years of marriage and one year of parenthood, we’ve found a way to manage our family calendar in an easy, collaborative and stress-free way.

One day, Rich and I decided we were sick of him having to call me to check my planner to make plans. With his work schedule being all over the place and Buel going between daycare and his grandparents we decided that there had to be a better way. So we went digital.

Family Calendar

We went with Google Calendar since it was easy to sync with our phones and email. I liked the option to add multiple calendars and set up one for myself, Rich, Buel, Penny and our family. Now we all have our only color coded schedule that makes it easy to see what we all have going on. And yes, our Dog needs her own calendar because she goes to the doctor, daycare and gets monthly medicine.

Having a shared calendar helps us to map out our week and communicate our priorities. Since Rich’s work schedule varies, he puts any exceptions on the calendar so I know if I’ll be flying solo at night. On the same vein, I can add any work events to the calendar so he knows when he’s scheduling if he needs to be home.

Basically, it allows us to divide and conquer as parents and allows us to manage our busy work schedules and still fit in work out, social plans, dates and time to ourselves. We also share Buel’s calendar with his Grandpa so he can plan ahead and it’s been working very well!

Google Keep

When it comes to our shared to-do list, we recently found a much better way than the piece of paper that always seemed to get lost. We’ve been using Google Keep where we’ll keep a weekly list that we both have access to at any time. And the best part? It syncs with our calendar so that we can set reminders!

This system is not mind blowing, but it’s working extremely well for us. It’s allowed us to streamline our communication so that we spent much less time discussing the logistics of our day and more time enjoying each other’s company, which is the best reward!

How do you manage your family calendar? 

Why I Stopped Writing To Do Lists

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Good Morning!

I’m excited to continue my Work Life and Mom Life series in 2017 and look forward to continuing to share my story as a working Mom. If there are any topics you’re interested in hearing more about, please send the ideas my way!

I spent a lot of time in 2016 building out routines that work for me and my family. As the year ended, I couldn’t help but feel that I finally found the balance I’ve been looking for the past several years. Ironically, I have more on my plate than ever and I think finding this balance was because I had to. Nevertheless, the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some things that have been working for me. (no pun intended…)

Today I’m sharing the main thing that has helped me be more mindful with my time at work the past few months. I’ve made a considerate effort to keep my work within the 9-5 hours over that past year and consequentially I’m getting more done in less time. This has forced me to have systems in place that allow me to get stuff done and this is one of them.

It may surprise you, but I stopped writing to-do lists and started doing this instead. [Read more…]

My Grand Thanksgiving Plan: 2016

thanksgivingThis year will be the fourth year that we’ve hosted Thanksgiving. I’m an extremely organized person and we now have things down to a science. Every year I share my plans (you can read my previous ones here, here and here) as I tend to mix things up a bit. This year I’m mixing up the appetizers and trying a new sweet potato recipe. I’m looking forward to the day, as Thanksgiving has become one of the most relaxing days of the year due to my preparation. [Read more…]

Running on Fumes

img_2957Good Morning!

I’m coming to you from my kitchen table this morning with my weekly accountability post. I’m thankful it’s Friday and happy that it’s my work from home day. This week has me feeling burnt to a crisp, so as always I’m using this day to get caught up. [Read more…]

Being Grateful for the Process

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Good Afternoon!

This week felt noticeably easier which was a pleasant surprise. On paper it was just as hectic as last week but somehow we found a bit more calm in our week.

We’re starting to see noticeable progress in our home remodel. This week the roof and landscaping outside were finished which and things are looking great! We have about six weeks to go so it looks like my dream of watching Gilmore Girls in our new family room and then Netflix binges all winter long in our finished house will be a reality.

[Read more…]

Learning to Be Patient

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Good Morning!

This week has been filled with a lot of stress out of my control. I tried my best to be patient throughout living in a construction zone, a broken oven/microwave, family issues and my work busy season in full speed. I took the reigns yesterday and made self care non-negotiable. [Read more…]

Adventures of Solo Parenting

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Finding Peace Amongst Chaos

img_2563Good Afternoon!

Another “work from home” Friday, another coffee shop morning! We currently have three work crews at our house, so instead of my usual day of work on my couch, I’ve switched up the location a bit. I’ll admit last week I was annoyed I could not work at home, but I’m embracing it.

The general theme of this week was embracing my current season of life. Things are hectic, but it’s all good things. After last week’s post, I realized how much all of the things that are creating chaos are my choice and that immediately made me feel better. This week felt a lot more calm mentally and while I’m still feeling exhausted, it’s a happy exhausted. [Read more…]

Weekly Wrap-Up 8/19

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Good Afternoon!

Thank goodness it’s Friday! It’s been a week for me. This bug has hit me hard and I’m getting close to better but still not 100%. Hopefully this weekend I’ll get some rest and feel like myself again on the other side, but first time to check in and plan for the week ahead.
[Read more…]