Last week we took a family trip to Santa Barbara. Nick had to do some work at his office, and we wanted a getaway and a chance to catch up with family and friends. We ate well, laughed a lot, and spent quality time with loved ones. In short, it was awesome. I want to bottle up the feeling of vacation and bring it home with me, which is why I’ve been mulling over the idea of creating a bucket list of summer activities.
Part of me hates the idea of committing to yet another list. I’ve been listening to the Happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft for a bit, and Gretchen’s idea of designing your summer really spoke to me. You can listen to her talk about it here and here. Rather than create a list of things I have to do, I’m making a plan to do some things I can’t wait to do.
I listen to a lot of podcasts. I feel like I have mentioned that a time or two on this blog and in conversation with friends. I may sound like a broken record, but I thought I’d take the chance to share with you my favorite podcasts that I listen to weekly. I think it’s a timely post since this month NPR is promoting #trypod, a social media campaign to introduce people to podcasts.
How To Get Started Listening to Podcasts & My Current Favorites
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?