Five in February Challenge Update

Good morning, friends!! I hope y’all had a great weekend. We had a busy one full of soccer.

Our girl and her team did an amazing job this weekend at their tournament.

Because of the way the cards fell, they were placed in the bracket with the top teams in the state. We were set to play the #4, #6 and the #10 team in the state. Our girls were 24th.

Our girls showed up and played amazing!! We lost 2 out of 3 games. But we beat the #10 team and my girl made two goals!

Our final game we lost 4-0 to the #4 team but the last time we played them, they beat us 9-0. So that was a win for us!! Our girls are getting better and better. Many of those teams have played together for years and our girls are just beginning their journey.

We actually just learned that our girls moved up TEN spots and now sit at #14 in the state!! So very proud of our girls!!

In other news, ha! Today is the final week of my challenge! I’ve been at it for 22 days! It hasn’t gone perfect, but it’s gotten me back on track and that’s exactly what I needed.

If you’re new to my blog, you can read about the challenge, here!

1. I’ve continued to make my bed everyday.

2. I’m staying caught up on my laundry by using a method I learned years ago. You can read about that here.

3. Cleaning up the kitchen at night is going well. I’ve had a couple of nights where I leave the dishes in the sink because it’s late or I’m ready to go to bed. But I’ve been good about waking up the next morning and cleaning it all up as soon as I can.

4. Lists! I am making my lists and keeping up with all of our things on my planner. I wrote a post on how I do lists last week. You can read it, here.

5. And finally, as far as eating at home. We are trying, but haven’t been perfect with this either. We are, however, doing a lot better than before. We ate out more than we wanted due to not having a kitchen for a couple of days and travelling. But for the most part, we are eating at home throughout the week.

Here are a couple of things that work for me when I’m trying to eat at home.

Make it a non-negotiable. Do not give yourself the option to eat out. Unless, justified of course. Like for example, today I will get the kiddos take out because Jojo has a golf match this afternoon in Homer. The clock works against us here and we are better off to eat out. But I will still eat at home because I’m prepared for the week with grilled chicken and veggies.

Which brings me to my next tip. Prep, prep and prep. Now, I’m a little different when it comes to food prep. I will cook my meats ahead, but that’s it. I can’t stand soggy leftover veggies the next day. For me, prepping involves making sure I know what I’m eating each night, having all of my ingredients on hand and planning my day ahead to make sure I have enough time to cook each night. I also cook simple meals throughout the week that do not take long to prep and make.

Here are a couple of meals that I make each week.

Grilled Chicken, Rice and Veggies

This marinade is my favorite! It’s super easy to do. You can put your chicken breasts in a ziploc and let them marinade all day.

I can make a good pot of rice, but it takes more time so I use these instead.

Super easy, takes two minutes!

For veggies I rotate between broccoli and baby carrots or squash, zucchini and onions or brussel sprouts. I season them all the same. I spray them with oil, seasoning salt and if you like spicy then add a little bit of crushed up red pepper.

For the broccoli and carrots and brussels, I heat the oven to 400 degrees and then cook them for 20-25 minutes. Super easy!

For my squash, zucchini and onions, I cut it all up and stir fry it. You can bake these, too but Joseph likes them stir fry so that’s what we do, ha!

Taco Tuesday Taco Bowls

Having an assigned day for a meal, always helps when planning.

For my taco bowls, I put my chicken in a crock pot with a jar of green salsa and a taco seasoning packet. It cooks for 4-6 hours. Then we make our taco bowls which include the following:

Rice, Lettuce, black beans, corn, sour cream, shredded cheese, limes squeeze, avocado or guac…. honestly you can add whatever you want!

Spaghetti Squash

We use ground turkey instead of ground beef. I use this sauce and we love it. For the kids I do a pot of noodles and for Joseph and I spaghetti squash. Super easy to make, but it does take more time. Here’s a recipe that I found if you’ve never made one.

Oven Baked Mahi Mahi with Rice and Veggies

Super easy and quick! I season the mahi mahi with whatever I have on hand. Here’s a quick recipe if you need one. And then we do the veggies and rice I listed above.

These are my quick and simple go to meals. We also do burgers from time to time and my dad’s pizza of course. But if I need a quick meal, these four are my tried and true. I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over. It helps me when I’m trying to count macros.

Being prepared is so important when you are trying to eat healthy and eat at home. So just make sure you start each week with what you need and you will be set. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself. We can’t all be gourmet cooks. I sure am not so I just do what I can do. Thankfully, we are not super picky around my house!

And that’s all I have for today and for my Five in February Challenge! It technically ends on the 28th, but now that I’ve been working on my habits for over 21 days, I hope they are here to stay!

Have a great Monday!!

XO

Let’s Look & Five in February Challenge Update

Morning, friends! Today is Let’s look with Fancy Ashley and Erika. It’s a monthly link up where you can talk about anything!

So today, I’m updating you on this little challenge I made up to help me get my life back in order by implementing five habits.

You can catch up on this challenge by reading post one and post two

Each week, my plan was to update you and then share how I do certain things. Last week we talked about laundry and how I keep ourselves caught up and organized.

This week, I’m sharing how I plan my months, days and how I create lists to keep me on track.

I am a list maker. I’m visual and like to see what I have to do. And I’m old school and love a pen and paper.

So here are a couple of ways that I stay organized.

1. General calendar

Y’all. I have tried every planner you can try. Just ask my husband. In one year, I bought about 10 different planners. I just struggled to find one that worked for me. I swore that year, that I was just going to design my own!

But here’s one that I’ve kept the entire time and honestly, I think it’s “the one.”

Its from Target and runs July 2020 to June 2021. I love it because it has a monthly view.

But it also has one page dedicated to the day. This is why I love this planner.

I work best when I can see my day in one place. This one has the day broken down in 30 minute increments. It has a space for your top three to-do items and then a place for your to-do list.

I write everything down. From quiet time to making my bed to working out to laundry, I write it down. This helps me see my tasks that I need to complete. And I love crossing things off so this helps keep me motivated and productive.

In the box where it says tonight, I write down our dinner menu. And in the notes section, I’ll write down things to add to the next day or things that I need to keep in mind for some reason.

Joseph and I also keep a calendar on our phone. I am working on this. I’m trying to be more deliberate about putting it all in our phone calendar so that he can stay updated on all of our events.

I do love that I can have everyone down as a certain color!

I also have a dry erase calendar in our pantry. Again, just visual to keep everyone informed. I just started using this one…not sure if it will stay but I think it helps the kiddos more than it does Joseph and I. They like to see what’s ahead for the week, too.

2. Daily List

So I showed you how I have a place to make my lists on my planner. And I try and do my list every night or first thing in the morning.

But my planner is pretty bulky and stays in my work bag or on my kitchen counter throughout the day. So I like something that I can carry with me. I know that I could use the notebook app on my phone…but again I love paper!

I found this at Walmart one day and loved how it was similar to my planner. So I write it all down here and if I have specific things to buy like groceries, I write the list on the back. And it comes with me and I mark off as I go.

I am trying to use my phone more…we will see how that goes.

3. Master List

For years I would write tasks on my planner that were unrealistic. I would write down something like “organize master closet” on a random Thursday and then I’d feel defeated when I would have to keep moving that fast over each day.

So I decided that I would do a “Spring Cleaning” list instead. It’s a master list of all of the things that I would like to get down around the house. Joseph and I normally update this every couple of months.

This list includes things like, install irrigation system to clean out the junk drawer. It’s tasks that I can do when I have time. It helps me keep a visual of it and know that I need to do it. But it doesn’t make me feel like I have to add it to an already crazy day!

Seriously, this list has been great for my mental health, ha!

4. Shared Lists with Joseph

Joseph loves lists, too but he has them on his phone. So when we have something that we are working on together, we used the notes app and create a shared list there.

5. Specific Lists

These I keep in my notes app. If we are traveling and I need a list of items we need. I put it in the notes app. Or if we are working on a project, I normally do it on my notes app because that way it is always with me.

If there are books I am wanting to read, I create a list. If there are items around the house that I need to buy here and there, I create a list. I know, I’m crazy haha! It just keeps me able to visualize and creating separate lists keeps my stress level down.

And that ladies, is how I organize my planner, calendar and lists! I hope that this helps you in someway. I know I always love to see how others do things

I don’t always implement everything others do, but I take away things that work for me.

So a quick update on how the challenge is going….

Well this morning I made my bed! And y’all, last night I unpacked my suitcase and I put all of my clothes alway. All of them! I’m so proud of myself.

Joseph unpacked and put everything away, too!

Here’s my clean bench! No clothes laying in it like last week 🤪.

Laundry is currently caught up 🙌🏼. Trying hard to keep it that way.

I’m making my lists!

Eating at home has been a struggle because we were out of town this week. And last night we had to eat out because our kitchen is currently under construction.

So that answers my next habit….keeping my kitchen clean….well. Here is how it looks right now…

There is dust everywhere! I’m so ready for it to be put back the way it belongs.

When we moved in almost two years ago, this was a project we wanted to do. Since then, we’ve worked on our investment properties but after we sold the condo I told Joseph I wanted to finally update our counters. So here we are!

New countertops and backsplash are being installed today! We are trying to decided on new pulls and light fixtures above the island and we are ordering new chairs for the island. I can’t wait!!

Next up, we are adding a fireplace to our back porch! I’m so excited for that, too.

We were so blessed when we moved in and didn’t really need to do anything other than paint the entire inside of the house. So these projects have just been on our “master list” waiting to be marked off.

And that’s all I have babes! If you’ve joined me on this challenge, tell me how it’s going for you!

I hope y’all have the BEST day!!

XO

Five in February Challenge Update {Day 8}

Hi there! So this morning was a bit crazy. I sat down to write my blog post, finished it and went to save it. It tried to save for almost an hour until it finally just stopped and my entire post was deleted. Ugh!

So here I am trying it again and if you are reading this then it was successful!

I wanted to check in with you guys and see how you are doing with the Habits Challenge. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can read my original post here.

Basically, I set out to take my life back one habit at a time. It takes 21 days to create a habit and February has 28 days so it’s a perfect month to do it.

All of my five habits are habits that I’ve already mastered at one time or another, but after the holidays and being sick with covid for what felt like a month….I’ve fallen behind.

So how’s it going? Well let me tell you…

1. Make my bed everyday.

I’ve successfully made my bed every single day of February! Woot woot!!

Y’all, I love a bed that’s made. It’s a little task that makes me feel accomplished and puts a pep in my step.

Have y’all read the book, Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven? Here’s a quote that I love,

“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.” 

Isn’t it true? Accomplishing a task at the start of the day just makes you feel good and ready for the day. In the book Atomic Habits it says, “changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years.”

2. 1-2 loads of Laundry 6/7 days each week. Fold and put away immediately.

Ok… so this one I am still struggling with a little. But, I am doing better than I was. Here’s a tip that changed my whole world a couple of years ago.

I always sorted my laundry by whites, colors, darks….etc. But then one day a friend shared that as long as you wash with COLD water, you can put it all in together. What?!!! And y’all, I’ve been doing this ever since and I’ve only had a couple of oops. But most of the time, I’ve sprayed some SHOUT and it’s been ok.

This was a game changer for me because I could do 1-2 loads each day without worrying about sorting it all. Another tip to add to this is to use your washer machine as your laundry basket. Throughout the day as you take off your dirty clothes, put them straight in the washer. As soon as everyone showers and puts on their pajamas for the night, start your washer so that the load is ready to be switched to the dryer the next morning. This keeps the loads small and manageable.

I do sort towels, sheets and jeans. And I may wash some reds and clothes that may bleed separately.

Make sure you fold and put away/hang immediately. This is the key and what I fail at the most. Let me show you how my morning is going with this…

This is the foot of my bed. One pile are the clothes that I folded for the girls to put away while I was in Hilton Head last week….yeah, it didn’t get done. The other pile are the clothes that Joseph took out of the dryer and didn’t fold. He laid them on the bed because we were in a rush yesterday morning. When I came to bed after the Super Bowl game and having family and friends over, the last thing I wanted to do was fold clothes much less put away. So I just laid them in the floor. And then the basket full of clean towels that I have not gotten to and Joseph’s suitcase from last week.

And then there’s my closet….

I didn’t have time to hang and put away my clothes before we left for Hilton Head last week and then we were on the go all weekend so they are on my bench. Ugh.

And then my bag from our trip is still on the ground. We leave again on Wednesday, so is it even worth putting away? Ha!

My goal this week is to get caught up before we leave for the beach. And then when I get back, it’ll be easy to keep it going.

My laundry room still looks better than it has in the last few months so I will take it!

3. Clean up the kitchen every evening.

I’ve been doing pretty good with this one. I have left the dishes on the counter to dry overnight instead of doing that right away. But I’ve put them up first thing in the morning.

A clean kitchen and sink just helps me feel less frustrated in the mornings.

My advice here is to just do it. Don’t let the sink pile up, wash the cup or plate right then or put it in the dishwasher right away. I put my dirty dishes in the dishwasher as I go throughout the day and then start it at night. Unload in the morning and start over the next day.

4. Make my to do lists each night.

I have not done this one. And it’s surprising because I am a list maker. I live and breathe lists and I’ve been terrible about planning my days lately. So this is one that I am going to work on this week. I will give you all the tips next Monday on how I do to do lists and what kind of lists I make that have helped me throughout the years so stay tuned!

I did find this notepad at Walmart and love it! I normally do a similar breakdown of this on a plain sheet of paper so it’s nice to have it all on a small notepad.

Are you a list maker? Do you use paper and pen or an app on your phone? If you have any good suggestions for a good list making app, let me know!

5. Eat at home as much as possible.

Oh my goodness, we did this one! We ate at home every single night except for a couple of meals on the weekend which is fine with us. This is a must when you are trying to count macros and eat healthier. The final Monday of the month, I am going to share with you tips on meal planning and what we do each week to eat at home.

And that’s all I have today. I hope that you are doing this with me. It’s not too late to start. Pick five habits that you want to work on. And if five is too much then start with one and then add a habit each week. Let’s take our life back, one habit at a time!

I hope you have a marvelous Monday!!

XO

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Five in February Challenge

Happy Monday, friends!! Can you believe it’s February 1st? I feel like January flew by.

I am staying in today and getting caught up on laundry. The chore that never ends, ha!

I wanted to invite y’all to do a challenge with me this month. I’m calling it the Five in February Challenge.

I’m thinking of five habits that I want to work on this month.

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with everything we want to work on or get better at. Choosing five habits helps you narrow it down to what’s most important.

Some of these habits, I’ve mastered before but over the last couple of months, I’ve struggled to get back to doing them.

For instance, I am a bed-maker. I make my bed every single day, but for the last few months I haven’t done it. Also, I have a great laundry system to keep me caught up but I haven’t followed it the last couple of months.

Sometimes we just need a restart. Something to get us back on track and I am choosing this month to get my habits back!

It takes 21 days to form a habit and February has 28 days so that is perfect.

Let’s do this, girls! Let’s get our habits back or create new ones that will help us be more productive with our days.

Here are my Five for February:

1. Make my bed everyday.

2. 1-2 loads of Laundry 6/7 days each week. Fold and put away immediately.

3. Clean up the kitchen every evening.

4. Make my to do lists each night.

5. Eat at home as much as possible.

I’m not going to feel sorry for myself as you shouldn’t either. Life is busy!

But I also know that for me, I can’t be productive in chaos. I need order. And routine helps me stay productive. These five habits will help me get back on track and help me begin and end my days well.

What are you working towards this month? Your habits may be geared towards your health goals or maybe towards your financial goals. Whatever it may be, let’s do it together! Every Monday I will give you an update on how mine are going and I would love to hear from you, too!

Now doing five at once may be overwhelming to you. List all five, but start with one. Do only one for a couple of days and then add a second for a couple of more days and then a third and so on and so on. This will help you baby step it through February. You can do this!

Let’s keep each other accountable while encouraging one another.

We can do this!

Let’s take back our life, babes! One habit at a time!

Here’s an old post I wrote that may help you get started!

Have a fabulous Monday, friends!!

XO