The holidays have officially ended and now it is time to prep for spring. February is my “pre-spring” and the to do list is lengthy. This is when I plan to save a lot of money by buying seeds for those spring flowers that will be triple the price if you purchase them later in the spring. Ive added my February calendar to give you a look at how I prepare for the the season.
Monthly meds for pets DIY Call Blanc & White Call Cardio
So spring break is here and we were planning to take off to parts unknown for a week of fun but due to the recent state of things in the world we decided to postpone this trip and just enjoy our new home. As I began thinking of activities that are fun and will also keep us out of harms way I realized I am a genius! Ok so maybe I didn’t come up with this from sheer intuition but I did come up with a great plan. Spring break is the time for us to come out of hibernation and get a new pep in our step.
We usually spend five days somewhere on the planet for spring break and return to our home exhausted needing a break from our break. I begin planning a week or so before we leave by ironing uniforms for the kids, setting up boarding and grooming for the dogs, having the housekeepers scheduled to arrive as we are packing the car etc. This year there was none of that. I just strolled into spring break. I spent the Friday before having a lunch with a bunch of friends and then I picked my excited little ones up from school and swept them away to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. We returned home at 10pm something we have never done. We loaded up on cotton candy, turkey legs, popcorn and funnel cakes with no regrets. We got in the house and crashed only to wake up to a lazy Saturday with no plans at all. We spent the whole day eating and napping. So far we are in the midst of the best spring break ever.
This day got me to thinking about what the plan for the next eight days should be. I looked around at the piles of laundry and clothes that need to be donated, the flowers that need to be repotted, the seeds that need to be started, the pantry that needs to be organized, the recipes I’ve been planning to try, the blogs I’ve been planning to write, they hot tub I want to sit in, the toys from Christmas the kids have yet to use outside due to the weather, the beach house in Galveston we have not been to since November, the friends we’ve been planning to hang out with, the cattle at my brothers ranch we’ve been planning to visit, my car that has at least a months worth of stuff piled in it, the shows I need to catch up on I mean shall I go on? That made me think. I have eight whole days to enjoy my space and possible enjoy the journey of getting ready for spring. Catching up with my life so I can finally do all of the things I have been putting off for when I have some real time to dedicate to them. My kids sewing room has not been touched in months I need to get them back sewing!
This new revelation has led me to believe I may no longer take the five plus day trips during spring break. We may take a quick trip for the first weekend of spring break if we have the travel bug but I think from now on I want to use this time as a moment to renew my home, my spirit and my bond with my family and friends.
Well its official, I finally hit the big 4-0! I must say I actually feel different. I feel renewed! I spent the last year trying to prepare for this one day. I had a few items on my “to-do” list to accomplish before the big day and luckily for me they were completed, the biggest being our move. I needed the move completed because I wanted to jet set and not have to look back (and jet set I did)
I told my husband I wanted to spend my last days in my 30’s and my first days in my 40’s in my favorite city, The City of Lights. Upon arrival we were greeted by a transportation strike and a week of expected rain, none of the things I love about Paris. Luckily for me I enjoy a challenge! If youre planning to enjoy a Paris and you find yourself in my situation, below I have a few ways to still make the most of this amazing city when you can’t sit in a park, eat from the stands and sip wine while catching a few rays.
Winter in Paris packing list
Stylish and warm coat Most of your photos will have this coat as a focal point so make sure its one worthy of a fashion week and not a museum lol
Stylish and warm walking boots Again, this will be a staple in all of our photos not to mention the weather can have sunshine for 5 minutes then a downpour so being somewhat waterproof would be a plus.
A backpack As you walk the streets of Paris you will need a place to store all of your things. Having a way to take photos and get your tax benefits require more stuff than your pockets can handle and holding it all in a handbag will get daunting
A compact umbrella to fit in your backpack As I said before, one moment it will look like a pretty day is heading your way and then the next you will wonder if it is ever going to stop raining.
Gloves Stylish gloves are great but you will be using your hands a lot (especially when its time to whip out that umbrella) so be sure they will protect your fingers from frostbite
A Scarf This is another one of those things that will appear in all of your photos so make sure it is camera worthy. I always wondered why you would see people with a collection of scarves and I now see why! Walking away from the wind can feel like the day is tolerable but as soon as you turn a corner and begin walking into the wind, it will feel as though the wind monster is trying to rip your clothes off starting at your neck and working its way down. The wind was the most brutal part of the weather, in my opinion, so you will need to make sure there is no entryway into your coat for it.
Thermal undergarments So if you’re from a cold weather place this may not be that big of a deal, but if your a Texas or warm weather gal like me then these will be the difference between enjoying your vacation and not wanting to go outside.
A hat that covers your ears I spent days using a ear cover with no hat (after all my coats were to stylish to have attached hoods) and finally one day I put on my hat for fashion reasons and it cover3e my ears. This was the most amazing discovery ever. My head never experienced another cold moment.
Socks Socks Socks!!! Bring as many socks as you can fit. You may even want to pack a pair a day in your backpack. When those downpours come our shoes can get a little damp and dry socks will keep you from losing your pinky toe.
A flexible attitude nothing for my trip went as planned (and I’m a planner). although I am a planner I kept an open mind about our plans for the day and I went with the flow. The strike made a lot of things difficult but the weather also made sticking to a set plan rough. We found ourselves planning to go to one restaurant and there was a 45 minute wait and the only waiting space was outside in the the rain. Obviously that was not going to work so we had to make adjustments, and we did!
If you’re looking for a winter vacay there’s still time to enjoy the chill of the Paris air for Valentines Day.
So as I sit here looking out at the beauty that is my new life, after the sell of our home, I get ancy. To most people this is the most relaxing space on earth but for me its inspiration. If I were a kid in todays times I would be on every “sit still” drug on the market…..because I can’t sit still. I have kids, a husband, four dogs and a partridge in a pear tree. Yet I decided it was a good idea to build my own home (yep, I’m the builder) promise my kids bunnies and a guinea pig, I’m building a 1200 sqft garden, I’ve committed to the school board, my kids are in their respective sports and activities, I cook 3 meals a day, I volunteer for everything etc…. and now I just took on another building project that will begin as soon as we move into our new home.
I sometimes get frustrated that I cannot find peace in stillness like others, but I’m learning how to harness this superpower. I know it seems crazy to hear that someone cannot be still but I assume we as a society have established one “norm” and anything outside of that is deemed “odd”. I’ve managed to change mine from odd to being to being coveted. If you are in the struggle of feeling like you’re empty or you have a little one that seems to struggle with the inability to focus I’ll share with you what has and is currently helping me.
All of the busiest people like the Oprahs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos wake up each morning to a list of to-do’s. They could probably tell you exactly what they have to do hour by hour six months from now. I’ve learned the power of being my own admin with a little help from a bunch of planners with a bunch of lists. No one planner will do! The goal is twice a year I make an in-depth daily calendar. I have my standard things that will happen year round and I have spaces to fill in for those “pop-up” items. This keeps me on task because when my little mind begins to explore, and I catch myself, I can get right back on track versus spending two hours trying to figure out what I was doing and what I was supposed to do. This also works for kids. When (us) kids know there is an end in sight for the unpleasant tasks they (we) tend to knock them out, especially when the task that follows is something they love.
For example a good list in my home looks like
rise and shine
Have breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed
Pack backpack with lunch, snacks and reusable waterbottle
after school snack and activity to wind down from a day of sitting
homework and dinner
unpack backpack lunch and snacks, get uniforms out for the next day and pack anything you need for tomorrow
bath, before bed snack, brush teeth, bedtime reading and prayers
The kids have these check lists hanging. I let them decorate them and this is how they stay on track. I can always ask, did you finish you after school list and its a simple yes or no. This year now that they are 8 and 6 I will add more chores (yayyyy)
Keeping the kids busy keeps them from having that built up energy that we all get from sitting. we are active social animals and when we don’t get the stimuli our bodies and brains need we begin to act in ways we were not meant to. Everyone has different energy levels. My sons after school activity has to be high intensity like riding his bike around the track 20 times whereas my daughter wants to ride around once and then sit on a park bench and color. This being said, I bring my daughters bike and markers to a park that is safe for my son to ride to his hearts content. I can supervise both while sitting taking some forced down time which I typically use to walk one of the 4 pooches we have.
So a sample of my schedule is just as basic with a lot more content
Rise and shine
Have coffee, prep kids lunch, prep breakfast, feed pups, get dressed to the shoes, look at to-dos for the day, get kids up and out
depending on day first stop is for me gym, nail shop, massage, lashes, coffee or breakfast with friend, at 8am nothing is open so it is a good time to take for yourself until the rest of the world opens and you can get going (if you don’t have a traditional clock in career)
9am-noon work work work work work (in my Rihanna voice) for me this is emails, running the city checking on projects, dinner plans, blogging and planning features, budgeting and managing our real estate, managing my garden, setting appointments, managing our household, following up on investments, updating my husbands calendar so he doesn’t miss any of the kids activities, planning, planning, planning, planning, planning did I mention planning? Maybe Rihanna should make a plan plan plan plan plan song lololol
noon LUNCH! I love food and it loves me back because it keeps me going. If I’m having a productive week I may call up a friend and pair my lunch with a nice drink 🙂
after lunch YEP this is a real time of the day, because lunch needs to happen and it is the time of day that makes or breaks you. This is the hour that will set your tone for the afternoon that brings kids and spouses or partners back together with you and if you have not stayed nourished nothing else in your life will flourish (TM) its not really trademarked but I think I should (#idea) see how quickly I stray lol. So this is my wrap up time. I close out everything I have done in a good way so I can return to it and pick up where I left off. I also start dinner depending on what we’re having. If its something fancy, its probably half way finished but if its something quick I may just wait until the kids are home.
2-5pm I grab snacks for the kids car ride, choose what were doing after school then pick up have snacks and have some fun!
The end of the day we do dinner, tv and follow the kids list. Then violá the day is complete.
Summer is a completly different beast. I like to fill the days with a great work fun ratio.
Rise and shine, breakfast, take the dogs out, coffee
Chores and work
Water activity and snack because this is Texas
Movie at home or in the theater and a nap
After dinner fun
Bathtime, bedtime and crash lol
This is why I love summer because the schedule is so simple.
I hope this helps to manage those days when it seems as though you can sit still yet you can’t get going. You were meant to move!