The One with Summer!

Summer summer summer.

A time for sunburns, lightning bugs and evenings that last forever.

Joy joy joy.

I am officially a week into summer break and today marks the official start of the summer season. Can’t say that I am not thrilled. It is my favorite time of year in that I get a break from work/school and I get to focus all my time on good habits. Much like when I was a student, as a teacher the school year often gets so busy that I don’t have time for things that are important like exercise, eating right, taking care of myself..etc.etc.etc. so every year I’m given an 8 week break to spend time developing good habits and working on something that I feel like needs a change. Last summer’s feat was cutting down on unhealthy foods/drinks (really hard, since the family I nannied for had a serious donut addiction) and I emerged from the summer with a love for drinking water cutting soda out almost completely. Last summer was also spent wedding crafting/planning and playing referee for my newly divorced parents, so I am thrilled that neither of those things are happening this summer. I’m so excited to spend the summer with my husband, my puppies (Lobo is coming soon!) and OUR house. (Cue Joy dance again). (Sidenote: DIYing a wedding is serious fun, but also serious fun that one should only have once in a lifetime) 

In the past year or so I’ve been able to keep up with some good things like drinking water, exercising semi-regularly (a wild husky puppy really helps with that) and making good food choices, but this summer I am stepping it up. At work I am always on my A-game, organized, enthusiastic, innovative but in my natural habitat (read: home) I am pretty lazy and okay with mediocrity. But I want a change! Per inspiration of my friend (and mother of the cutest kids ever that I babysit) I was inspired to put my plan in writing to hold myself accountable. This is the third draft in about a month (after correcting some serious unrealistic expectations for myself) and once I get some ink the printer, it will be posted on the fridge for me to see every day.

This plan encompasses key areas of what I deem to make a well-balanced life. Obviously, exercise & eating right is a big one (seriously, women gain weight after marriage: be informed.) but chores and overall good habits (bedtime, taking care of my freaky eczema skin, Jesus time, budgeting) are good habits I want to get the hang of daily NOW so that when work starts back it is second nature and I can focus on being good at work. And maybe eventually I won’t need a chart 🙂 I’m not going to lie though, checking off each day as I complete something is seriously satisfying. Can’t wait to go a whole week with everything checked off… three weeks in and it hasn’t happened yet, nor have I come close! 

Another thing that I’m working on is meal planning. When we first got married I didn’t really see myself assuming the  "wifey" role and being soley responsible for dinners and meal planning, but it got super stressful trying to cook meals moments before dinner or waiting for Marshall to get home at 7 or 8 and deciding then what to do for dinner and I also discovered that cooking is seriously FUN. And you can make some seriously delicious things really easily and on the cheap. It’s also so nice to be driving home from work knowing that dinner is either cooking (crockpot, FTW) or defrosted ready to be cooked. 

There is a definite learning curve to healthy and inexpensive meal planning, but we are getting the hang of it for sure. My love for planning, fun fonts and now cooking have me super stoked for this summer. We have already found a few easy meals that we love and maybe if I can get my act together I’ll share these on here? Maybe? Or maybe just follow me on Pinterest because that has been the best resource. How did people do life without Pinterest before? How?

Here’s the month planned out. I’ve sent it to myself as a PDF and will open it on iBooks and each recipe (that I’m unfamiliar with) is linked to the tutorial online. We tend to shop bi-weekly anyway, so I’ll just gather ingredient lists prior to shopping and maybe make a weekly trip for fruit? Another goal is being sure to incorporate way more veggies and fruits into each meal… which I’m finding is way easy with, you guessed it, planning. And also going to ALDI.

Here’s to a fun and productive summer! And let me know if you see anything up there that looks good and you want to come over for dinner. I’m definitely a newbie in the kitchen, but I’m getting pretty good. So good, it really surprises me. And I love having people over! Anywho, let the summer plan accountability commence! 

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