Streamlining + Coffee

I’ve decided to do away with my paper calendar system.

Years and years ago when Jared and I first got married, I wholeheartedly admired a mom we knew who kept track of all of her family’s events and plans in a binder. I wanted to be that mom.

I’ve tried, and I’ve failed at that experiment, in various forms. Some years I kept elaborate homemade binders, some years I kept track of everything in expensive planners purchased online, some years I just went to Walmart and bought something off the shelf.

Jared tried to convince me years ago to use Google Calendars on my phone and computer.  I tried it but it always seemed so fumbley and awkward. So back to the paper solutions I always went.

More recently, I’ve been using this for the past year and a half or so. It has worked well enough, particularly in conjunction with using this for daily plan writing along with a Moleskine notebook which is about the same size for shopping lists. It’s a convoluted system but it worked well enough.

However, it was getting complicated to keep track of photo sessions along with doctor appointments and kid events. It was particularly more complicated when I needed to write extra information in that perpetual calendar, since it only has one line for each date. So, a new system it had to be.

I currently have two calendars, a photography calendar and a personal calendar, both under the same account. Those calendars are linked to my Google Keep, which allows me to still make my task lists which make me happy and will send me reminders. We’ll see how the new system works.

And because it is morning, I wanted to sing the praises of my coffee system.

A little over a year ago my old traditional 5-cup coffee maker went on the fritz. What’s more, as I unplugged it and started examining it more, I discovered there was mold growing in some of the tubing. Gross! I didn’t want to give up my morning wonderful-ness but I needed a new solution. I’d seen pour over systems but I was leery. Decided to give it a go, though, when I found this at Target. I figured I could try it. A dear friend gave us a tea pot for our wedding so I had the boiling water solution already.

The Bodum system has, for the most part, worked for me. I love that I can move my coffee maker wherever I want to as I need more room on the kitchen counter. I would not willingly go back to an electric coffee maker. The only complaint I really have is that I still find myself using paper filters. I tried it for the first few weeks without the paper filters and just using the permanent filter and I found too many of the grounds seeped through into my coffee. I will say though, that using paper filters has meant for much easier clean-up since the grounds shouldn’t go down the drain of the sink.

Organization and coffee. They make me happy.

A Declaration

I’m in the mood for serious changes around here, and the next one I am going to tackle is my weight.

I have roughly 50 pounds to lose and I’ve been carrying the extra around for roughly 7 years or so. It’s time for it to go away.

I’m starting by snacking less and drinking more of my smoothies. Less snacking will go a long way, I know. Yesterday, Day 1, was a success.

After school starts for Oliver in September, I will hit up the fitness center more often. For now, diet changes will have to do. Yoga is an option here at home and I will try to work it in as often as possible, but I don’t want to get too ritualistic in that, as I am prone to do.

I had the house in order but I have let things slide seriously this week, so it’s also time to hop back on that bandwagon again today.

That’s all for now.

Capsule Wardrobe Time

I decided yesterday to go ahead with the capsule wardrobe idea. I piled all my closet contents on the bed and if I didn’t love it, it’s going. For now, “going” means piled into garbage bags destined for the attic, in case this change doesn’t stick. But they are for sure going out of sight, today.

I was inspired by this post from Project 333. I ended up with closer to probably 40-45 items including jewelry, purses, and shoes. Still, the purge felt good and what I was drawn too actually coordinated, which surprised me.

I hope it sticks. I am tired of new clothes. I have plenty of serviceable items that will last for years, assuming there are no major weight changes. For my own sake, I hope there are sometime in the next couple of years…I would love to lose some weight and plan to work toward that goal. That would be an occasion for new clothing items. Otherwise, it’s time for some serious money-saving.

Maintenance Mode Miscellany

The house is in maintenance mode. I mostly did it by doing a crap-ton of laundry over several days, starting with while the boys were out of town. I also did other cleaning tasks, not stressing over whether the job was done up to somebody else’s standards. For several days, I was down to 2 loads a day– towels and clothes from the day before– but I am a day behind at the moment. I will catch up today.

It also helps that the boys are each making their beds, and I’ve got the cleaning down to a quick Swiffer of all the non-carpeted floors, as well as quick disinfecting of the toilets and the sinks. Dishes mostly get done immediately after each meal.

I feel like I have re-claimed my house.

We’ve also emptied the house of the clothes each of the boys cannot wear. Oliver’s outgrown clothes went to good friends, and the big boys clothes are boxed up for when Liam and Oliver each grow into Porter and Liam’s old things.

Capsule wardrobes are on my mind, for myself. I have a closet jam-packed full of stuff that mostly fit, that I mostly don’t hate, but I would like to simplify just a bit. So, I may go through stuff at some point in the next few days and just put away– not get rid of– some of the lesser worn items. Then they can be re-discovered later. I did this last Fall with some of my jewelry items and it worked like a charm….I pulled just one old item out last week and it was like having something new all over again.

No progress on the paint in the formal room. I am okay with that. It will all happen someday, somehow.

The kids start school in less than two weeks so we have started getting up earlier and going to sleep earlier. I am compartmentalizing all our time now too into schedules, so we can get used to following one again. Most of the summer was spent just lazing around doing exactly what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. I don’t want the early mornings to come as a shock for any of us. And selfishly, I like getting up early anyway. The days feel more complete and I feel far more prepared if I’ve gotten up early. The boys seem to like it, too.