Friday, I’m in Love

Friday, I'm in...

Welcome to Friday!  I plan to do a “Friday, I’m in Love” post each Friday (you children of the 80s may recognize The Cure reference in that title – it is purposeful).  Please feel free to add some of your own loves in the comments or provide a link to your own Friday, I’m in Love post!

LOVE #1:  FRIENDS AND HOLIDAYS!  This Friday is a holiday in our little corner of the world – Cesar Chavez Day.  My daughter is going kayaking with a friend so I have the whole day to catch up with housework, work work and do some relaxing.  I’m incredibly excited about that.  There aren’t many days that I don’t have to go to work AND I don’t have her home with me!  Glorious!

LOVE #2: TRADER JOES! This week, I’ve really been living a Trader Joe’s life and it tastes quite good.  The day I got home late and exhausted from work we had Trader Joe’s Turkey Chili.  Another night, we had Trader Joes White Tortilla Chips and Guacamole.  So, yummy!  We’ve also snacked on Trader Joes Movie Style Popcorn.  They are reasonably priced, easy snacks and meals and I love their little cooking station where I get a ton of ideas to make meals.

LOVE #3: JESSICA FISHER!  I’ve followed Jessica Fisher (affiliate link) for a while now and I’ve bought a few of her products.  I am currently getting her Digital Goodie Box:

and I love it.  There are a few things I love about Jessica Fisher – she is a real mom who gives real mom advice. Sometimes blogs I read give advice or offer a recipe and I think, “there is no way I’m going to be able to do that.”  It just isn’t realistic to me as a mom with little-to-no creative or cooking talents.  I have to be realistic and face facts and Fishmama gets that.  Her recipes are totally doable even for a cook like me and as a former school teacher, I feel like she gets me and my lack of motivation to do all the things all the time.  Check her out!

That’s it for this week’s Friday, I’m in Love!  I would LOVE to hear what you are loving this week too!


Monday Lessons


Why, yes, it is basically!  Today was a busy, busy Monday.  It is always hard jumping back into a regular schedule after Spring Break and this one was no different. I have a hard time prepping what needs to be prepped far enough in advance to actually have everything done well.  Today was no different in that aspect either.  I am trying to not just recognize these struggles, but actually learn lessons from them.  So, what’s the lesson here?  Plan! Plan! Plan!

I have lost my ability to plan (if I ever had it).  I think with all of my daughter’s health issues, I became a little afraid of planning and then I became almost resistant to it and then I became unable to do it effectively.  One thing I love about Girl Scouts is that the organization does a lot of the planning for me.  They not only schedule events, but they have deadlines and planning documents and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions with checklists and suggestions for what to do and what to bring.  I feel like Girl Scouts gives me the ability to look and feel organized beyond my capabilities.  I want that for the rest of my life, but it is hard to find planning documents with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions with checklists and suggestions for what to do and what to bring to everyday life.  I’ve looked.  Trust me.  But, I have found a few things that seem to be working relatively well for me in a few areas.  I thought I would share those with you today:

  1. Stephanie O’Dea’s Calendar Pages.  These little gems are so reasonable and they give me a list of daily to-dos that keep my home out of total chaos (e.g. make the beds, keep the sink clean of dishes, wipe down the bathrooms, etc.) as well as a few “extras” each day that get parts of my house clean and/or organized.  I love the tone of the calendar pages and the encouragement they give me to do what I can do each day.
  2. Amazon Prime Shopping.  I am an impulse shopper.  I will go to the store to buy running shoes for my daughter and end up coming home with two loaves of bread, coffee creamer, another pair of shoes, disinfecting wipes, toothbrushes and more.  True story.  That was my trip to Target yesterday.  Amazon Prime shopping keeps me out of the store and I am not as likely to “browse” around throwing things in my shopping cart on Amazon.  I just go in, get what I want and get out.  And shipping is fast and reasonable.  If you don’t have it, Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial!
  3. Teachers Pay Teachers. Although I teach college and many of the materials on this site are designed for K-12, some of the materials for high schools work well for my classroom.  This gives me planning documents and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions with checklists and suggestions for what to do and what to bring to my classroom.  Sometimes I come up with my own things as well, but it sure is nice to have something of real quality to fall back on when I can’t come up with my own ideas.

It isn’t nearly enough to get my life on track, but those three things have been helping me along.  I really need to use my calendar in a more meaningful way.  Although this article was written for Real Estate agents, I think it is a helpful perspective I can adopt.  I remember watching Devil Wears Prada and thinking, I need to be that organized in life.  I also need a personal assistant to get me coffee and do my bidding each and every day.  I would be nicer than Meryl Streep though.  But I do love her look.


What about you?  Did you learn any lessons on this Monday?

Let’s start with a Spark!

What a better way to kick off this blog than with a Spark of positivity?  I am joining McGuffy’s Reader in posting a positive quotation that can become a weekly meditation.  This week, she shared a beautiful photo and a simple reminder to just breathe.  In honor of my inspiration for this blog, which is my being a leader of my daughter’s Brownie troop, I will use a famous Juliette Low quotation (she was the founder of Girl Scouts for those who don’t know):

The work of today is the history of tomorrow and we are its makers.

I sometimes often start a day with the thought, “I’ll just get through today,” thinking that it is the absolute best I can do.  But, the ramifications of that are a loss of meaning in the work that I do that day, which is a loss of history for tomorrow and a loss of making the most of the day I have in front of me.  So, this week, I’m going to focus on bringing my best self to my work each day (whatever that work may be – actual paid work, or doing things around the house, or leading my Girl Scout troop).  But, as another step, I think I need to be better at recording that work somewhere.  After all, how do we access history if no one is remembering?

I have so many journals.  I have an Erin Condren Gratitude Journal and a Two Minute Mornings: A Journal to Win Your Day Every Day and I’ve used both intermittently, but not consistently.  So, this week, I’m going to make an effort to use the Two Minute journal in the morning and the Gratitude Journal in the evening each and every single day.  I am going to put a reminder in my phone to help me remember to do each of them every day.  Research shows that gratitude increases happiness and I definitely want to “win” my day every day, so this seems like a relatively simple thing to do that can really SPARK something larger.

What about you?  What’s your SPARK this week?