It’s 2018. Whoa. How’s it going for you thus far? Did you make some resolutions, pick a word of the year, or create a gratitude journal? I made a little notebook in my Notes app for 2018 goal setting, and I’ve been listening to a ton of podcasts to keep me inspired and motivated. So far I’m batting 9/10 most days. It is pretty amazing, but yet I’m totally obsessed with one of the things on my list I can’t seem to do: write everyday.
Maybe it wasn’t realistic to create an all or nothing kind of goal when it comes to writing. But when I made that goal I thought I could totally do it. I did write every day in November through about December 23. So what is stopping me from having perfect 10/10 days?
I decided to use Gretchen Rubin’sChecklist for Habit Change to pinpoint where I went wrong, and I think I figured out some areas of my goal that need improving. If you’re having a hard time getting and staying motivated about a goals/resolutions/intentions for 2018, hopefully this post will resonate with you. Regular listeners of the Happier podcast will definitely recognize these tips.
I shared previously that I’ve been listening to the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Usually I’m obsess over a blog or a book to get my inspiration or motivation fix, but I love the portability of a self-help podcast. It feels extra efficient! I also really like the sisterly banter between Gretchen and her sister, Hollywood writer/producer Elizabeth Craft. I think it can be very discouraging when you’re trying to work on yourself and the people you’re reading/listening to are preaching and make it seem like they have it all figured out, but Gretchen and Elizabeth don’t do that. In fact, they give themselves demerits and gold stars at the end of each episode, and I find that very relatable.
Here are my five favorite lessons I’ve learned from Happier with Gretchen Rubin:
This week I wrote about the importance of date nights with your partner, and also why couple friends and your girlfriends are important, too. Our go-to (and very irregular) date nights include a movie and dinner out, but generally our outings with friends always include our son. Last weekend my friends Maria and Laurent hosted us and cooked a Spanish lunch for us.
I need to think of a better name for these posts. I’m digging doing “themed” posts. I think this works better for me since I don’t have anything too exciting to report. Last week I included some links about how to be a good guest/how to host, and this week I’m going to share some brunch links! I love brunch so much. It’s probably my favorite meal to host for friends.
Summer is in full swing. We’ve had a first slew of really hot days, and I’ve pretty much just been a melty pile of goo. Today I decided to forgo an afternoon walk and went in the morning instead. Afterward I took a bath! A BATH. WHAT? I am not generally a bath person, but I have three or four Lush bath bombs sitting in my cabinet and I decided what the hell. So I had a tepid soak with a Blackberry bath bomb. It was so pretty!
Well, Friday came and went, and I didn’t get a chance to do my weekly write up. This week I hosted family and family friends who came for an extended visit. I have a hard time balancing writing with family commitments, but then, who doesn’t? Here it is a day late.
I sometimes question myself for starting a lifestyle blog when there are so many big issues going on in the world right now. I made a career out of helping students find their path, and while I didn’t give it up lightly, being a stay at home mom makes me wonder at the end of each week if I could be doing more. I struggle to feel like I’m enough. I think we all do.
I am a feminist and I support social justice movements for gender, sexual, racial, ethnic and class equality. While I don’t write about these subjects, I have to believe that what I am writing about is worthwhile. Self-care, living well within your means, feeding and clothing yourself and your family, managing your time and your home, creating and appreciating art and culture, and dreaming big is universal. I’m going to keep working on this blog, reaching out, and connecting. Writing and sharing is what keeps us connected to the world, it’s what helps us make sense of it.
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Another hectic week has flown by. Are there any other kind? Since my last week in review, there have been some big changes and a lot of firsts. I toured 20 houses for sale; bought the first swimsuit I picked up off the rack at Macy’s so I could go swimming with Rory for the first time in his little life; wore a swimsuit for the first time since childbirth, and swam for the first time since 2009; celebrated Father’s Day with my family for the first time since 2003. FYI, I can’t find the suit online at Macy’s but here it is at Amazon if you are curious. Sad face because it’s cheaper there than what I paid in the store.
I have to say, despite the stress of house hunting and having to wear a bathing suit in front of people, it was an awesome time. I actually really like the swimsuit and refused to feel bad about myself in any way when I was in the dressing room, and I kept any negative self-talk at bay while I was poolside. The important thing is that I got to spend time with my family and experience swimming with Rory. It was nothing short of special. I have finally learned to be gentle with myself…it only took 35 years.
This weekend we’re headed out of town again for a family birthday party, but on Sunday I’m hopeful to get down to the nursery to pick up some more plants. We have a bunny population that apparently loves succulents!? Two of my succulents in my planter look eaten, and my lavender plant is all wilted and dry even though I’ve been watering it. Last fall we went to Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs and it gave me grand dreams of having a beautiful patio full of planties. I really need to up my game if we’re going to put our condo on the market.
For your reading pleasure:
Summer treats you can enjoy on a budget from Invented Charm: A quick plug for myself. Can I just ask if blogging ever feels like it gets easier? Don’t get me wrong, I’m really enjoying it. I just wonder because I plan posts and think they will take a certain amount of time to execute, and I’m nearly always wrong by a lot. Case in point, I finally managed to publish this piece late last night only after channeling Tiffany Han’s advice on letting go of perfection…
How to Give Back When You’re Trying to Save from The Everygirl: I haven’t put much thought into creating a budget for charitable giving, but I do let my heart speak to me. A friend was seeking contributions for her Relay for Life campaign and shared her personal connection to the cause and it touched me. It was easy to hit the donate button and select an amount that I could make work with my means. If you’re waiting to get rich before giving, don’t. Give, give, give–what you can, when you can. You will never regret sharing.
No TV recs this week. Remember last week when I talked about wanting to cut back on my shows? I did fairly well since we were traveling and our server was down. Did any of you challenge yourself to cut back on TV this week?
This has been an exhausting week! I can’t believe it’s finally Friday. We decided to take a semi-spur of the moment trip up to my hometown to visit family and friends, and also because we are considering a move! So we’ve been checking out houses and seeing if this will be a good fit for us. I gave up on trying to post three times this week. There was just no way I could manage it with packing for a trip, a very long drive on Wednesday night with a toddler, and touring houses all day today. Here is what I did do this week…
What I Ate:
Turkey Bolognese with pasta adapted from Life is But a Dish and Penney Lane: I made this last Friday and we feasted on the leftovers for several days. I even hosted an impromptu dinner with a friend on Tuesday night! It’s quick and easy and doesn’t call for anything too complicated. It paired nicely with a Pinot Noir and a Rosé, FYI. Added bonus: my kid loves homemade bolognese and ate it all up.
For your reading pleasure:
5 Reasons You Should Take a Break from Watching TV from A Beautiful Mess: I read this and said YES aloud and then told my friend Maggie. She had already read this post and we made a pact to cut TV (and then I think we both kind of failed, oops). But we are definitely down for cutting TV this summer. I’m thinking of limiting my TV to just the shows I actually look forward to each week and cutting the ones that I just let play in the background while I mess around on my iPad. I could use that time more effectively elsewhere.
Want to Change the World? Be a Writer. from Helene In Between: I was struck by these lines, “As bloggers, we have a platform, even if it sometimes seems like a small one. Our articles do have an impact. We actually can make a difference.” That’s how I felt in my previous job in higher education. I think that’s all I’ve ever wanted out of my life–to make a difference–and it’s exciting to think that I don’t have to give that up even though I’m a full-time mom and part-time blogger.
Cherry Blackout Brownies from Mouth Half Full: Cassie asked for help on a name via Twitter and I obliged. I am super curious about brownies with black beans! I’ve made chocolate chip cookies with chickpeas before, so I’m totally game for this dessert/legume combo!
On the tube:
Angie Tribeca on TBS: “Why does a baby need a music class? What, is he going to start a band?” #tooreal #mykidtakesbabymusicclasses
Tegan & Sara and the Scott Brothers team up for a video: I love Tegan & Sara, and I watch all things Property Brothers. Therefore, I think this is a match made in heaven.
I’ve made this chimichurri recipe once before and now there’s no other way I want to eat lamb. This time around I forgot to add the rosemary, but I figured it wasn’t a big deal since the lamb was seasoned with it before grilling.
On the first night we ate this, I paired dinner with Chateau Mourgues du Grès 2012 Costièere de Nimes Galet Rouges. It was Ah-mazing, and a super reasonably priced pick from our wine club at The Winehound. When we ate this for leftovers, my husband picked a 2012 Saracina Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. It really stood up to all the flavors and even tasted great after my son fed me strawberries!