Let’s just pretend it hasn’t been a few months since my last post. 😉
I didn’t intend to take the summer off from blogging – it just sort of happened. I think I needed a break from anything resembling responsibility – writing, gardening, homeschooling, cleaning my house – so it was all kind of ignored this summer. We spent a lot of time at the pool, and a lot of time just chilling at home, and it was fabulous.
But now. NOW it’s time to get back into a routine. We’re all ready to have a little bit of structure back into our days.
So I’m blogging! And what better way to jump back into it than to share a few of my favorites from the past few months? Maybe you need a little bit of encouragement to get back into a routine of your own as summer winds down. I’m going to share a few things I’m loving lately in case they encourage you, as well. 🙂
Grab some coffee and settle in, because this post will be full off goodness.
Selling on Etsy
Lately I’m ALL ABOUT paying down our debt. We’re TENTATIVELY thinking about doing some work on our house next year, and I want to have as much debt paid off as possible. That means I am throwing myself into life as a reseller of vintage goods on Etsy.
What I’ve finally admitted to myself this summer is that I love old stuff. I love finding old stuff and selling old stuff. So I re-branded my Etsy shop (YES! AGAIN!), started hitting up thrift stores and garage sales like CRAZY, and have been reselling vintage goodies all summer long. It’s been so much fun!
It’s great to have something I enjoy doing that’s also contributing to our family’s finances. I’m also selling a little bit on eBay again (though it is definitely NOT my selling favorite platform) and Poshmark. Between the three of these, I’ve been making some pretty good progress toward our debt. Woot woot!
Back with my Traveler’s Notebook
A while ago, I shared that I switched from my faithful traveler’s notebook planner to a bullet journal. I tried and tried and TRIED to love that bujo but just never fell into a groove with it. I basically stopped using it completely in May, and my life has felt a bit out of whack ever since.
So….I’ve reunited with my trusty TN. I just love this planning system so much. I should have never switched.
Part of the reason I got burned out with my TN last time was because I was buying blank inserts and having to draw out/design my pages. Listen. I just do not have the energy for that right now.
So this time I went the easy route: I bought inserts from Hobby Lobby (when they were 50% off, so it was $4 for two inserts!) – they have weekly, monthly, and annual inserts available, as well as lined, blank and dot inserts. AND they’re cute.
So I’m reunited with my TN at last and we’re all happy again. I’m ready to get my planning on.
Homeschool Plans for 2019-20
It’s crazy to me, but Riley will be in 1st grade this year, and Abby will be in 3rd. HOW ARE THEY THIS OLD?!
We are back with using Ambleside Online this year. For many reasons. I used this curriculum with Abby for 1st grade, but we switched to something else last year – and we didn’t love it. After LOTS of prayer, I felt like going back to AO was what we needed to do this year, so Abby will be doing their Year 3 and Riley will do Year 1.
I love that AO is a free curriculum plan that incorporates GOOD, classic books.
Here’s the key I’ve learned since doing this curriculum with Abby two years ago: we have the freedom to NOT use the books we don’t enjoy. We struggled with some of the AO books IMMENSELY our first time around, so we just stopped altogether for a while…and then I felt guilty about getting behind….and it just got to be too much. We don’t need that. So I’ve eliminated the books that were a struggle for us and I’m really looking forward to using AO this year again. Making the curriculum work for you (as opposed to being a slave to the curriculum) is such a huge thing in homeschooling.
We’ll continue to use Beautiful Feet Book’s Early American History and Around the World programs for both kids this year.
Abby is switching from Right Start Math to Math Lessons for a Living Education, which she is very excited about.
So within the next few days we’ll be taking our back to school pictures and officially starting the 2019-20 school year!
Favorite Bible Study/Journaling Resources
Listen. I rarely do this…but at the recommendation of my cousin, I spontaneously bought a new study Bible this summer and I am LOVING it. I love the NLT translation and it’s been a while since I’ve had a study Bible in that translation, so I feel a little bit like I’ve come back home.
I love the study notes, the word studies, the indexes, the charts, the maps, the focus on the Holy Spirit – it’s all just what I need in a Bible right now. Highly recommended.
Also, I grabbed a new journal at Hobby Lobby that I love, and these Papermate pens that are a joy to write with. They make journaling time my happy time. Keeping my kids from running off with them is a full-time job, though. 😉
Meal Planning Made Easy
Do you know what happens when someone who loves to meal plan stops using her planner? Meals don’t get planned.
And do you know what happens when someone who loves to meal plan gets in a recipe rut? Meals don’t get planned, AND we end up eating a LOT of PB& J’s, hamburgers, and quesadillas. Sigh.
So since I’m getting back into the groove of having a (somewhat) organized life, and since meal planning has been a real burden lately, and since I’m homeschooling two kids instead of one, and SINCE I’m having a horrific time even coming up with meals for my people…
I decided to up my meal planning game and do something I’ve never done before: I signed up for a meal planning subscrition.
Eat At Home Cooks is having a big sale right now, so if you’ve ever thought about trying a meal planning service, this is might be the perfect time to try it.
Use the code YES at checkout to save 30% on whatever plan you choose. Basically, for the price of one dinner out you can pay to have all your dinners planned and grocery lists made for the whole year!
Now that’s what I call a deal. 🙂
I used the discount code and signed up for their three month plan, which came to about $1.75 a week. I am definitely on board with paying $1.75 a week to have meal planning and shopping lists done for me. Especially this time of year.
Here’s what I really like about the recipes: they are from scratch. For instance, if the recipe calls for teriyaki sauce, she tells you how to make teriyaki sauce from scratch, as opposed to just having you buy teriyaki sauce at the store. Or, if it’s a recipe for waffles, she lists the ingredients to make waffles from scratch, instead of just saying to use Bis-quick or pancake mix. You absolutely CAN buy the sauces or mixes at the store if you want to; she just gives you the option of making them from scratch if you prefer that route…which I do, because it’s usually cheaper than buying them at the store. I REALLY like that the recipes are set up this way.
Also, she gives you recipes for side dishes, which are my arch-nemesis. I’m TERRIBLE about coming up with side dishes. Like, the worst ever.
The meals look to be pretty “normal,” which is great for our family since we live in a rural area and don’t have access to unique/exotic ingredients. Also great for my family since my hubby and son are “meat and potatoes” kind of men. They don’t do “fru-fru” meals.
I’ve used a recipe from the site every day this week, and they are easy and tasty and I’m a huge believer in this plan.
So. If you’re looking to simplify the process of meal planning, you may want to give this one a try. I’m really excited about using it this year.
Anyhoo. There you have it. A little run-down on some of the little things that are bringing me much joy and happiness these days.
What’s going on with you? Leave me a note in the comments – I’d love to hear from you! 🙂