On Using Our Best

My mom went to Sweden last year and (among other things) brought back some beautiful linen dish cloths for me. The first thing she said was “you just need to use them and enjoy them!” Ah. She knows me too well.

It is easier said than done, right? Using those things that seem precious and special? The lovely dish cloths stared at me for a few weeks. I knew it would only be a matter of time before they were marked with who-knows-what baby food. It’s not that we are careless with our things—a kitchen just gets messy with two young children afoot.

I finally bit the bullet after about a month, and you know what? Every single time I use those cloths to dry my dishes or some sweet chubby little hands, they bring me joy. These cloths are soft and beautiful and exactly what I love. A simple pleasure. They make washing my dishes more pleasant and they remind me of my thoughtful, sweet mother.

And yes. After a year, they are showing signs of wear. But just think of they joy they’ve brought me in the mean time—totally worth it.

Are you saving anything in a drawer or closet for a better time? Maybe today is the day to break them out and celebrate this wonderful world we live in.

If you’d like more inspiration for using your best, check out a favorite blog of mine here and here.

Fog linen dish cloth

Dish cloths similar to the ones my mom bought me can be found here. When mine bite the dust, I’ll be buying these.
(Do you know about Fog Linen? One of my favorite stores!)

4 Tips for Doing Less to Have More

I spend a lot of timing talking with young mothers. No matter how different another mother may seem, there are still so many similarities and areas of common ground. I think many mothers would say that theirs hearts are bursting with joy and love for their children and simultaneously they are dog tired and maxed out.

When I am listening to these sweet mamas who are trying so dang hard—not to be the best, not to be perfect, just to be normal-pretty-darn-good-moms—it always seems to come back to wanting less. Less to do, less to clean, less to fulfill, less to juggle, less to find, less to worry about. Less!

So … what to do?

It is not an easy answer and it totally depends on your life, but to me, we can never go wrong simplifying. Simplify our homes. Simplify our schedules. Buy less. Admire less. Pin less. Have less.

This is very easy and very hard at the same time. I totally get it. And I know reading these words can seem like more (!!!) to do. So here are some suggestions if you find yourself wanting to make a change.

4 Tips for Doing Less to Have More copy

1. Limit Commitments. Think of your commitments that are negotiable. If there is any wiggle room at all and it doesn’t bring you incredible amounts of joy, remove it from your calendar or to-do list. Maybe not forever, but at least for now. Things like the extra unnecessary project at work, the birthday party way across town, the board seat you don’t really believe in or coffee dates with a friend who just brings you down. There are some things in life we have to do—everything else is a choice. Find the things you don’t really enjoy and don’t have to do and drop them like a bad habit. There might be some guilt with this, but it will be so worth the time and mental space gained.

2. Reduce Clutter. Our stuff drags us down. With fewer things, we have less to clean. Our houses feel more spacious. We have fewer decisions to make. It is easier to find something we lose. We have less to maintain. We have more in our bank account. Are you noticing a trend here? Have less to have more.

3. Remove Little Aggravations. We used to have a kitchen garbage can with a broken lid. It wasn’t the biggest deal, but I only realized how much it aggravated me once I finally replaced it. Little annoyances like these pile up throughout the day. How many of them do you have in your life? How is it affecting your mindset? Make a list and commit to ridding your life of these small but impactful aggravations. Maybe even bring in the pros to help (see #4). It will do more for your sanity than I can say.

4. Bring In The Pros. Even if it isn’t in your budget, where might it be beneficial to get help? Housekeeper? Lawn service? Handyman? Painter? Professional organizer (I couldn’t resist :))? Date night babysitter? It might feel indulgent or too expensive, but consider it an investment in your mental health. It will be cheaper than therapy! And if you can totally afford it, stop trying to do it all yourself. Who needs that gold medal? That’s a race I have no interest in winning.

Hang in there, mamas! You are doing the best you can!

Decluttering Technique: This or That

There are all kinds of suggestions for how to declutter your belongings, but so often I feel like they fall short of telling you exactly how to decide on an item-by-item basis. I’ve shared my own rule of asking whether it brings you joy, but even that can be tricky for some people to incorporate. So, I thought I’d share with you my second strategy, in case you are looking for other ideas.

This or That

When I encounter a client really struggling to part with anything, I start breaking it down into very small categories. From there, I let each item battle for a spot. For example, if sorting clothes, I’ll gather all of the black blouses (this assumes someone has far too many black blouses, which is often the case).

First I’ll ask the client to pick her least favorite. Then another least favorite. Then another. I keep going until she gets stuck. Then I let the clothes duke it out: holding up two shirts I’ll say “which one—shirt A or shirt B.” If she keeps shirt A, I put it up against a new shirt that we’ll call shirt C. So now it is shirt A vs. shirt C. She might choose shirt C this time, so up next it will be shirt C vs. shirt D. I keep this process going until we reduce that category to a reasonable amount for her lifestyle and closet space. A client has never disliked this technique and it always seems to work!

If you find yourself really struggling to reduce your belongings, break them down into narrow categories and pit each item against one another. May the best man win!!

Blouses from Isabel Marant and Band of Outsiders.

 

Our Favorite Baby Toys

We do our best to keep the toys to a minimum, but it really is hard isn’t it? I’ve found babies don’t need many toys to be entertained—if given the opportunity, the world around them is interesting enough! But we do have a few in our arsenal that babies seem to love year after year. If you are looking for some new ideas, here are a few my family really likes:

Favorite Baby Toys

 

1. Anatex roller coaster: Babies and big kids alike (honestly, adults too) love this toy. I suppose it is a classic for a reason!

2. Plan stacking toy: The green stick from this toy was our daughter’s favorite for a few months. For whatever reason it fascinated her. There are so many ways to play with this toy. Our whole family loves it.

3. Manhattan Toy skwish: I try to avoid noisy toys, but this one has the gentlest rattle when shaken. It is also very easy for even the youngest babies to grasp. Older babies seem thrilled when they learn they are strong enough to squish it!

4. Wood bowls: My husband turns wood as a hobby (like this wood spoon), and we have small wood bowls that he has made all over our house. The kids adore them. Young babies love the texture and chewing them, older babies like to bang on them like a drum and toddlers have so much fun filling them up and dumping them out (like with the eggs below). Also, my husband finishes the bowls with organic beeswax and only uses non-toxic, local found wood (mostly pine), so they are completely safe. Win-win for everyone!

5. Sophie: This was probably unnecessary to mention. What baby doesn’t love Sophie? The hype is real, as you probably know!

6. Wood eggs: These eggs were bought on a whim, but I am so pleased we did. They are the perfect size for a baby to grasp (and gnaw!) but far too big to be a choking hazard. Babies feel like they are getting away with playing with something small :) and big kids love to gather and dump them. I find these eggs all over our house (and my purse ha).

7. Blabla dolls: Incredibly soft, no parts that can be choked on, very washable, not to mention super adorable. Our son’s blabla is part of the family. We like the mini size, although the big size is fantastic, too.

8. Books. Another one I probably didn’t need to mention, but we love love love books. Can’t get enough! (It is the one category that I do let get out of control ha.)

Some of these items are more expensive, but they last. Seriously. And we don’t have many toys. A few more than what you see here, but not by much. We’ve saved by buying fewer but really investing when we do.

 

 

Keeping It Simple: Our Toxin-Free Coffee Routine

About two years into our toxin-free journey, I realized our old coffee maker was not as healthy as I thought. Sure the carafe was glass, but I never considered the water well (where the water is heated), was full-on plastic. How frustrating is that? If you are interested in making your own coffee routine more toxin-free, here are some ideas:

Non-Toxic Coffee Routine

How you brew the coffee: Our solution: A percolator. It is completely stainless steel throughout and very simple to use. I am not sure why they went out of fashion! We absolutely love ours—going on four years strong. Ours doesn’t even require filters, although you can easily find them at the grocery store if you’d like. For us, it is one less thing to think about.

Where you store the grounds: I use a glass canister from Target. We’ve had it for years. We also use a wood scoop that my husband turned himself (those plastic scoops can’t be made of anything good, right?)

What you drink it out of: We use ceramic or porcelain mugs. Never, ever drink a hot beverage out of styrofoam or plastic. We use extra tall mugs for taking it in the car—I’ve yet to find a travel mug that I trust. On the rare occasion we do buy coffee out, we make sure it is in a paper cup and we remove any plastic lid.

Coffee itself: Whenever possible, we buy fair trade organic coffee. We are not picky about which kind—whatever is on sale!

A few tips about using a percolator: Some people think it makes weaker coffee. That’s easy to fix—just grind the beans finer and use a little bit more. To turn it on or off, just plug or unplug (might be obvious to some people, but it took me a good five minutes to figure this out ha!). You cannot program it, and it doesn’t automatically shut off, so you will have to remember to do that. Bonus: It has a small footprint, so you can easily store it in a cabinet when not in use.

A final thought: consider ditching the artificial sweeteners. I know it can be so hard, but if you have to add something sweet, try using organic sugar.

How to Handle a Pack Rat Partner

A friend recently asked how to handle her husband’s pack rat tendencies. This is a wonderful guy, but he has a hard time parting with things, particularly memorabilia and old books. I saw the loot, and I agreed it was quite a lot. Unless you find yourself in a dire situation (see #3 below), I would never recommend cleaning out someone’s things without their knowledge. It is unfair and a recipe for hurt feelings. However, I understand the frustration you feel living with their mess. Here are my suggestions for how to tackle a situation like this:

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1. Set a size limit. Allow him to keep only what fits in a certain size or number of containers. This permits a reasonable amount of junk to stay while still drastically reducing the stockpile. Don’t criticize or micromanage what he wants to keep—let him decide. The photo above still has far too many containers for my taste, but at least it is neatly sorted and stored.

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2. Garage sale profits are all his. If your partner has things that are of potential value, have a garage sale (or craigslist them) and tell him he can buy whatever indulgent thing he wants with the money (as long as it isn’t more clutter!). A new driver or perhaps a bottle of Pappy might provide just the right encouragement. Set a time limit on this, though—that the sale has to be completed within X weeks (or then you get to choose how to spend the money!)

3. Give negative notice. Sometimes there are desperate situations where one person refuses to cull their belongings—to the detriment of the family. In these extreme cases, I would suggest taking a page from your attorney’s book and give negative notice. This means you say something like “whatever is not cleaned out in X weeks will go to goodwill. If there is anything you want to keep, pull it out and organize it before then.” This will be a tough one to pull off peacefully, and I don’t recommend it lightly, but if someone won’t budge, it might be the only option left.

A final note: Be sure your partner has an area in the home that is all his own and he can keep however he pleases. My husband has a drawer that is stashed full of who knows what, but I never look in there and I never complain. Everyone needs at least a small place that is hassle free. Above all, choose an ideal time to discuss this and try to be as kind as possible. And … good luck!!

My Morning Skin Care Routine

Just before I became pregnant with our first child, I really started paying attention to the products I used. I was surprised to learn many of them contained harsh ingredients. I’ve been learning and altering my routine and products ever since. Before buying anything, I check the product on EWG’s Skin Deep database. It is free to use, and reviews thousands of products. I try to only buy products rated 0-2, which is the least toxic, with a 3 sneaking in there every once in a while. If a product is not on EWG, I will create a custom report, which is super easy.

Everybody’s skin needs and budgets are so different, but this is what I have found works for me (for now!). In case it helps, I have somewhat dry, very fair skin. Here is the breakdown:

Non-Toxic Morning Skincare Routine

1. Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Cream Olive + Mint. This face wash is gentle, creamy and smells like a spa. (EWG 2)

2. Acure Organics Argan Oil. I love using argan oil on my face and my hair. It has almost no scent, goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly. I apply this before my moisturizer. (EWG 0)

3. First Aid Beauty Dual Repair Eye Cream. I have circles under my eyes no matter what. This product really does help with that—the best I’ve ever used. (EWG 3)

4. Devita Solar Block SPF 30. This sunscreen is not too thick or white and moisturizes very well. Even though it is meant for body use, I like to use it on my face and neck, too. (Devita has a face formula, but I don’t like the consistency). Don’t pile it on too heavily or it will leave white patches. (EWG 1)

5. Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. This isn’t skin care of course, but I brush my teeth after applying moisturizer so it has time to soak in before applying make up. (EWG 1)

6. DeodoMom cream deodorant. I’ve tried so many kinds of natural deodorant and none of them work for me—until now. This is a miracle product. You apply it like a cream, which takes a few days to get used to, but now I love it. It also seems to moisturize and soften your underarms. I’ve yet to use it during a hot Florida summer, so I’ll let you know if I feel differently then. It also comes in a roll-on version, but I have not tried it. Worth every penny. (EWG 0).
 

24 Hours With … Deena

Deena is one of those people you immediately love. I met her a few years while volunteering for the Art & Antiques Show. She is so warm and welcoming to everyone, and you feel like you’ve known her forever after one conversation. Thankfully Deena and her family recently moved just down the road from us, so I get to see her a lot more! Brace yourself for a brilliant take on dinners. I can’t wait to try her technique! Please say hello to Deena:
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Deena and fam BW
1. Do you work inside or outside of the home? If outside of the home, what are your hours? I work outside of the home and I’m so grateful to have very regular hours from 8-5!

2. What is your childcare/schooling situation?
Our daughter, Grace, has been home with a nanny since she was 4 months old (now 21 mo.) and started going to a mother’s morning out program 2 mornings a week when she was 19 months.  I pick her up from school on those days and bring her home to be with the Nanny the remainder of the day.

3. What is breakfast, lunch and dinner like in your family? It totally depends on the day!  My husband travels for most of the week, just about every week, so our week days usually go like this:Breakfast – Nanny is out our house and has breakfast made for Grace before Grace even wakes up (She’s a keeper!!), I usually make a protein shake for the road, and when John is in town, he usually works from home for a little in the mornings and will make whatever he feels like. On Saturdays we have a big breakfast all together at the table!Lunch:  I usually bring a lunch to work and every few weeks I like to go out to lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in awhile.  One of the perks of working is the ability to schedule childless lunch dates.  It’s one of the few occasions I get to eat out without having to chase/entertain a toddler so I really look forward to these lunches out!  When John is in town, he will usually try to do lunch with a friend or colleague.  Grace either eats the lunch I pack for her at school or eats at home with the nanny. Dinner:  When John is in town, we do our best to eat like civilized people at a table and together.  When he’s gone, I’m usually chasing Grace around the house with a fork full of food crossing my fingers she will take the bite.  We start off at the table, but after a few minutes, she’s throwing food all over the place and climbing out of her chair, and that’s when the great food chase begins.  I’ve actually resorted to feeding her in the tub a few times (2 birds, 1 stone) since she’s perfectly distracted while she’s in there and doesn’t even realize I’m feeding her.  I’m praying this is a stage she will grow out of because I really prefer the civilized way of eating.  When John is gone, I’ll usually eat once Grace is asleep or I’ll pick on my meal during the great food chase.

4. Do you meal plan or wing it? Do you like that? I meal plan, but not in the way you may think.  I typically decide what we will eat for dinner for the week on Saturday and then I grocery shop on Sundays.  Our nights are too hectic for any real cooking, so I usually make two meals on Sunday.  We eat one meal on Sunday night and the other meal on Monday night.  I make enough for left overs, so then we eat Sundays left overs on Tuesday and Mondays left overs on Wednesday.  Thankfully my family doesn’t mind leftovers!  If I can’t make two meals on Sunday, I’ll only make one and then make another meal on Monday night after Grace goes to bed, that we will eat on Tuesday and we will eat Sunday’s leftovers on Monday.  I usually have the Nanny cook on Thursday (she’s Cuban and her food is incredible…did I mention she’s a keeper??) and then we usually have dinner plans on either Friday or Saturday so we eat the leftovers on whatever night we don’t have plans.  

5. What is most challenging part of your day? Dinner Time!!

6. What is the easiest part of your day? Bedtime and the free time after that!  I’m so fortunate to have a child who loves to sleep and goes down very easily!

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. In terms of running a house with a family, what do you feel like you have figured out? Finding great help!  Like most woman and moms, I want to do it all.  We all want to do it all and do it perfectly!  The only way I’ve somewhat been able to find a work/home life balance is by bringing on a wonderful Nanny, who not only loves and takes great care of Grace, but also keeps up with the daily chores.  This allows me to be able to fully focus on my family when I am home.  Once I realized I couldn’t do it all and get it all done perfectly, we brought on the Nanny, who has been such a blessing!   

8. Does anything still stump you?  What doesn’t still stump me??  I would love to know how to cook a great meal while simultaneously watching a toddler – I know tons of you do it and I’m amazed!  I seriously only cook when my daughter is asleep!!  I’m also still struggling to get back on a regular workout routine.  With a traveling husband, early mornings and after-work workouts aren’t possible, so for now I’m sporadically fitting it in at lunchtime.   

9. How do you take care of yourself and recharge? If I can’t get to the gym during the day, I try to at least go for a walk or jog with my daughter in the evenings and always on the weekends!  I’m recharged through bi-weekly Bible Study meetings with a great group of girls.

10. If you had an extra hour in your day, how would you spend it? I’d read for fun!11. Any other organizing tips you’d like to share? I love schedules and structure, and have found that I accomplish the most when my entire day is mapped out.  I schedule almost everything I do in my calendar.  This ensures I don’t forget all the countless “to-do’s” always running through our minds.  It not only gets the to-do’s off my mind and on paper, but everything get’s it’s own time-slot (and a reminder alarm) so that every day is hopefully a productive day.  It also ensures my to-do list doesn’t get too long and unmanageable.     


12. What does a usual 24 hours look like in your house?
6:30 AM Wake up; get dressed & ready for work
7:30  AM – Nanny arrives and gets breakfast started for Grace
7:45 AM – Grace wakes up – eats breakfast
8:00  AM – leave for work (School Days we leave at 8:45AM)
1:00 PM  (school days) – Pick Grace up from School and take her home
5:30 PM – Get home from work
6:15 PM – Dinner Time/Bath time
7:00 PM – Begin Bedtime routine
7:30 PM – Bed Time
8:00  PM – Freedom for the night!!Thank you, Deena, for sharing your day with us! Truly, I love your dinner ideas. We are all about the leftovers in our house too! And workday lunches are so amazing—no babysitter to schedule! Grace is a lucky girl to have such a sweet mama!

Shoes On or Off? 8 Tips.

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Do you take off your shoes in your house? We started doing this a few years ago. Aside from how much cleaner it keeps things, the real reason we do it is that it significantly reduces toxins in the home—some studies claim by up to 60%. Just by taking off your shoes! What could be easier or more effortless? And if Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Goop and the Honest Company are all on board, the concept is definitely gaining popularity. And toxins really are no joke—especially for children and pregnant women. If you need an extra nudge, check out this very compelling article from The Atlantic.

I will admit it takes some time getting into the habit of taking off your shoes, but the trickiest part is asking guests to do the same. For a while I felt very badly asking, almost embarrassed. So here are eight tips if you’d like to consider implementing this in your house:

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1. Leave a basket at the front door. And have a place to sit if you can. We pile all of our shoes in this basket when we come in (if they are nicer shoes, they get set next to the basket). When we are tidying up at the end of the day, I take the nice shoes back to our closets (gym shoes, boat shoes and flip flops all live in this basket).

2. When a guest arrives, you can say something like “Oh, you can leave your shoes here, if you don’t mind!” No one has ever put up a fight.

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3. Offer socks or slippers. We offer clean pairs of socks, especially in colder months.

4. Carry your shoes to the front door. Once I’m dressed and ready to leave the house, I get my shoes from my closet and carry them to the front door and put them on there. At first it seems a little kooky but it doesn’t take long to forget you ever wore them in the house.

5. Have a pair of slip-ons. When you need to run out to the car really fast (or water the plants etc), it is helpful to have a pair of slip-ons at every major door.

6. Have disposable shoe covers for workmen. It would be a major pain for them to take off their boots so much.

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7. Roll up the rugs for parties. Fortunately, we have wood floors throughout the house, so for really big parties, we just roll up the rugs. Everyone can keep on their shoes and the floors are just thoroughly washed afterward.

8. Accept the exceptions. There are some people who should not have to take off their shoes. My husband’s 94-year-old grandmother was one of them. I just couldn’t ask!

MAJOR MOM BONUS: You always know where your kids shoes are!! And your house is seriously so much cleaner.

I know this is a touchy subject for some people. I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but ultimately my family’s health will always trump awkward moments. In other counties throughout the world (Sweden!), it is considered rude to not remove your shoes. Get with the times, America!

24 Hours With … Lucy

Have you ever met a mom that makes being a mother of three look like a total blast? Lucy is that friend for me. She and her husband Phil have three young girls ages 5, 3 and 1, and somehow manage to have an amazing social life, too. Lucy is always game for a new adventure, and her girls are just as fun to be around. Here is a glimpse into how Lucy gets it done.
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Lucy fam BW
1. Do you work inside or outside of the home?
I work inside the home.

2. What is your childcare/schooling situation? My oldest daughter goes to preschool. She’s in an afternoon class from 11:45am-3pm. I know it seems pretty crazy but it actually works out really well for us. It gives me back a nap time break!

3. What is breakfast, lunch and dinner like in your family? I morph into a short order cook for breakfast. Everyone seems to eat something different. Oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, fruit, waffles and then Phil usually has coffee and a Cliff bar. On the weekends breakfast is like a social event. We do eggs, bacon, pancakes – someone plays DJ, there’s a dance party. It gets crazy!
I usually pack a lunch to eat in the car on the way to school – PB&J, turkey and cheese wraps, fruit, veggie chips. Phil goes out to lunch every day. He claims it’s a work thing. Dinner is at 6. Phil is usually walking in the door as we’re sitting down to eat. Some days he misses it. Other days, I wait and eat with him after the kids are in bed.

4. Do you meal plan or wing it? Do you like that? I mostly wing it. And yes, I like the flexibility. I like to eat hot meals on a cold/rainy day and cold meals on a warmer day. The weather changes all the time so it’s nice to whip up a crock pot meal when the day turns nasty. I also like holding off on the grocery store until I really need to go (you try shopping with 3 kids – they don’t even make a cart to hold them all! Also it saves money). This means I create meals out of what we already have. It can be awesome or terrible.

5. What is most challenging part of your day?
It’s most challenging when 2 or more children are throwing a temper tantrum at the same time. This usually happens in the twilight zone (AKA 4pm-6pm).

6. What is the easiest part of your day? I don’t think any of it is easy. But, I am used to the pace, maybe? I love our daily adventures. We always have something fun planned: zoo, beach, story time, play dates, museums, parks, or even just playing around our house. It is awesome to do something fun every day. So, I guess it’s “easy” when we’re all having fun.

7. In terms of running a house with a family, what do you feel like you have figured out? This is a dangerous question…just when you think you have it figured out – BAM, another milestone or blow out (see #5). I think I’m fairly good at balancing. Phil and I are social and like to go out a lot (with each other on dates and with friends). We do things to keep our relationship first and fresh. I am blessed to stay home with the girls so I get to pour so much into them during the day. I have an awesome network of supportive mom pals. My family is close so we get to see them a lot. With Elizabeth in pre-school at our church’s school – we’re finally making church friends. I train to run 2 big races a year (half marathons this year) so I even find time to burn some calories. It’s a juggling act!

8. Does anything still stump you? How do you get a 2/3 year old to keep her seat belt on while you’re driving? Can someone please create a potty training boot camp, where I can send you a child and they come back potty trained? Why is there no restaurant in town that serves alcohol and has a kid play area?

9. How do you take care of yourself and recharge? My MOPS group has really been a saving grace. The kids go to a nursery while the moms have breakfast together and listen to a speaker. It’s wonderful to have a supportive group of mom friends and have someone tell you you’re doing a good job. We have play dates, girls nights and parties with husbands, too. I’m also in a book club and my husband and I are not afraid of hiring a babysitter.

10. If you had an extra hour in your day, how would you spend it? Would or should? I would probably be on Facebook or watching one of our junk TV shows. I should be doing one of the many projects laying on my dining room table.

11. Any other organizing tips you’d like to share? Pre-planning helps a lot. Our diaper backpack (I need 2 hands) could keep us alive for a while in a desperate situation. A box (or 3) of raisins can prevent/stop a meltdown. Also, Phil gets grouchy when I’m booking babysitters and sending him calendar invites (he’s thinking in $). But Saturdays are so much better when we know we have a fun night planned for us.
 
12. What does a usual 24 hours look like in your house? There is no start time – sometimes it just feels like a continuation of yesterday. But, breakfast happens. Phil flees to work. We pack a lunch and head out on our morning adventure. We get back in the car and have lunch and drop Elizabeth at school. The younger 2 take a nap. I eat girl scout cookies and watch Sex in the City reruns. We pick up Elizabeth from school and go to a park or a pm play date or host friends at our house. Dinner happens. Phil plays wrestle-mania with the kids, we go for a walk, boat ride or ride bikes. Bath, stories and bed for the kids. (Hopefully now it’s 7:30-8pm-ish) Phil and I watch our junk TV shows, eat dinner (if we didn’t with the kids). Maybe I go for a run, blog, monogram/sew, read, do a project on my dining room table, baby books, organize pictures & videos, work on MOPS stuff, etc. It could be 9pm or 2am and then I go to sleep.
Thank you so much, Lucy, for sharing your day. I love that you have an adventure planned every morning. What a great way to get everyone up and out of the house. And I totally agree that scheduling date nights in advance is the best way to make sure it actually happens. We send calendar appointments, too! Love your family life, Lucy!