Happy Friday, friends! These past couple of weeks have found us with continuously dirty fingernails and seemingly non-stop mosquito bites, so that must mean summer is in full swing over here. 🙂
I’m in full “get organized for back-to-school” mode and I love it. I learned quite a few years ago that all the best lunch pails and backpacks are sold out by the time we’re ready for back to school shopping around the end of August and that’s because we go back to school in September whereas in the U.S. of course a lot of place go back much, much earlier. So I made a tradition of shopping for those things right away after school is out and it was fun! And then I thought “Hmm, what else could I get now?” and now it’s a whole thing. I’m making lists for clothing and school supplies and lunch packing accessories and snack ideas. I can’t tell you how personally thankful I felt when I discovered that Jack’s school is now organized enough to send out their list of recommended supplies for the following year at the end of the previous year instead of waiting until the last minute like before. Type A people unite! Anyway, this is the kind of thing that’s fun for me and I’m loving it. 🙂
Along those same lines, I’ve been indulging in a lot of cleaning therapy lately and it honestly always brightens my mood right away. The added bonus is that it even brightens my mood the following day when I wake up and see that there are so many little things that have been taken care of around the house and things are so sparkly clean. Here’s my favorite little cleaning game that I’ve been playing lately. It’s actually one of the methods that I listed in my book The Cleaning Ninja that was published back in 2017 and it’s really stood the test of time for me because it’s just so easy, so quick, and I feel so accomplished afterward. I walk around the house and make list of 10 little tasks/things to clean that are bugging me right now, or that have been bugging me in the last little while. Things like “wipe down the coffee table”, or “clean the pets’ water dishes”. Then I set the timer on my phone for 2 minutes and I tackle the first task. When the timer goes off, I hit “repeat” on the timer and move onto the next thing. Sometimes the task isn’t quite done, but progress has definitely always been made and it’s amazing the number of times that a task that I’ve been kind of putting off only actually takes about 30 seconds. It’s a really eye-opening experience and I always just feel like all is better in the world once I’m done with all 10 of my tasks. Give it a try on days where you feel a little frustrated or like things just aren’t going the way you’d like them to. 🙂
P.S. See how my wood counters are a little scratched up there? People always ask me about how they hold up to everyday wear and tear, water next to the sink, etc. I answered all those questions in this old post here and this is still what I do today! It doesn’t matter how scratched up the counters get, this technique restores them pretty much instantly.
OK, saying this is definitely going to backfire, but I feel like I’m doing a pretty stellar job of family summer fun so far this summer. I know it’s only juuuust begun, but there have been a few instances where I’ve managed to get us all out of the house together. Jack was thrilled every time of course, because he just likes to be doing anything, Chris was happy enough to go along, and Kennedy came along and didn’t outright refuse the invitation, even if she did seem like she may have regretted saying yes once we were out. I’m counting it as a win. 🙂 There was one of those semi-lame parking lot fairs in town a couple of weeks ago and I discovered that Jack and I are the only family members who like fair rides, but we had the most fun time. Then I got everyone out for strawberry picking followed by a celebratory lunch on a patio overlooking the water for the first official day of summer vacation. So the summer memories are coming along over here, slowly but surely.
Chris has about a million projects on the go so far this summer. He’s been helping his mom with a few things like fixing a deck and building a little shed, and while he was at it, he started tearing our back deck apart too. And of course there’s the ongoing back stairwell project. He’s made some pretty impressive headway back there in the last couple of weeks with framing out and insulating all the concrete foundation walls so we can do the drywall. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to feel like back there with everything so clean and finished. It’s always just been kind of a crumbling pit. 🙂 Things are happening!
This has nothing to do with anything, we just caught a really pretty sunset one night over the wheat field when we were out on a walk along the creek path.
The pieces are falling into place in the living room and it’s just so, so satisfying in every way. Remember this time last year when I was just agonizing over whether or not to replace our old, worn out grey sectional in the living room? It really needed to be done but it just seemed like such an impractical idea with Jack being only seven at the time and with pets and busy, messy lives, etc. So I got the white velvet curtains that I wanted anyway as a consolation prize to brighten up the room and I’m still so, so happy with them. I think I’d put them all over the house if I could. I did actually use them in our bedroom and dining room as well. 🙂 Then remember in the spring when we decided to just go for it and we found our new sofas in stock in the exact perfect color and only had to wait a few days for them to be delivered. Clearly, it was a sign that it was time. So the last two pieces of the puzzle that I need to make happen, now that the new wall art is here, and the marble side table, are new lamps for the desk, and then some new frames for the wall where we currently have our homemade tree slice art. It doesn’t really make a different mathematically, but I’ve been ordering a new piece for this room every week or two and I feel like it kind of lets me enjoy and savour the process more and also keeps Chris from having a heart attack when he sees the receipts coming through all at once. 🙂 It’s actually been really fun and I think I’ll keep this going when I’m adding new pieces to other rooms in our home too.
Pictured above: Ruggable | Marble topped table | Sunday Suppers book | Coffee table | Block print pillow cover
NEWS AND FINDS
Gardening season is definitely going strong over here. Lots of clean up and ongoing maintenance to do, but I also find myself a little more inspired to move plants around and add new things at this time of year when the weather is so warm and calm. Spring is usually the typical time for that but it’s usually windy and a bit chilly here in the spring so I’m not usually in a creative mood when I’m out in the garden. 🙂 Here are a few of my most popular summer gardening posts from the past that seem to really get a lot of traffic at this time of year.
–How to Rescue an Overgrown Garden
–How to Fix Leggy Petunias and Make Them Fuller
–Summer Garden Equipment Maintenance
–Three Ingredient Chocolate Zucchini Cake
-Would you ever use those fancy patterned lampshades? You know I love the super affordable Home Depot linen-y shades that I’ve been updating my lamps with, but I think these block print fern lampshades are beautiful and would be simple enough to stand the test of time. Check out the whole Etsy shop here for all the different patterns available.
-Well, this is just getting ridiculous. Our all-weather Adirondack chairs sold out yet again and they’re now due for a restock on December 25th! That’s just not going to help anyone. I normally prefer the classic look of more slats on the back of Adirondack chairs, but they did an awesome job of the design of these and they have great reviews. Also, they’re currently in stock in aaall the colors including white. I don’t see this lasting for long once people discover them because they’re actually currently a few dollars cheaper than the ones we have. Get these ordered if you’ve been waiting for your chance to get some classic all-weather porch chairs!
-A few fun things I tried out and liked recently: This super inexpensive flutter sleeve top is surprisingly petite-friendly and great to have on hand for so many summer vacations. After my success with trying the gap teen denim, I decided to try some shorts and a tank as well. Their teen line comes in kids sizes, but with a bit of a more grown up fit and I find that the size 14 has been a pretty perfect equivalent to a size 00 petite in overall size and in length. So that’s a fun trick. 🙂
-Love this blue and white outdoor rug! Great deal for a large size and I like that the colors are a bit more muted.
-This style of armchair always catches my eye but I love the soft coloration of this one. I don’t think I’ve seen one quite as inexpensive as this one and I can’t believe it’s an Amazon find!
-Follow along on Instagram for all my daily updates between blog posts!
MORE RECENT POSTS
- How to Make a Cheap Pillow Look Expensive
- Favorite Recent Purchases and Finds
- My Favorite Trick for Filling Garden Beds Quickly and Inexpensively
- Five Things on a Friday 6/24/22
- Our Front Porch This Year
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