Wednesday, November 15, 2017

DIY Zippered Pouches (and Thoughts on Being Instead of Doing)



This year I decided to make presents for my closest colleagues. I used to be that kind of person, but motherhood kind of erased it from my muscle memory. 

I had to make 11 in all, so I wanted something that was manageable. 

I decided on this zippered pouch. I find that "Batch Processing" helps a lot. I cut all the fabric at the same time, ironed everything at the same time, sewed on all the zippers, etc. The process of only focusing on one thing at a time makes the process more efficient. 

In retrospect, I should not take on a project like this in October/November. It's a time of year that gets too busy. I'm doing a good job of staying ahead of things (like holiday cards--which are ready to mail after Thanksgiving!), but there are too many things on my to-do list, and it's pushing me into "to do" mode instead of allowing me to be a person who can just be.  

I recently teared up while watching this video, entitled, If I Were a Young Woman Now...

It's about modern womanhood and the pressures we put on ourselves to be the perfect mother, the perfect friend. I think a lot about how I'm part of that pressure (which comes so heavily from the emergence of the blogging community). I also run e-courses about trying to have the best possible pregnancy and how to be the most purposeful parent possible. 

There's such a fine line between trying to intentionally and purposefully live your best life and frittering it away by overly focusing on all the wrong things. 

These kinds of lines really stuck out to me: 
If I had my time again, I wouldn't create a to do list. I'd create a "to don't do" list...If I were a young woman now, I'd spend less time doing and more time being. 
The truth is, I do want to be the kind of person who makes handmade gifts for friends but not because I feel pressure to be the perfect friend. I want to do it because making things with my hands feels good to me and gives me a deep sense of accomplishment. It's meditative to cut and iron and sew. I want my boys to see me start with a small nugget of an idea, research how to make it happen, work hard, make mistakes, demonstrate resilience, and feel successful in the end. It's a great way to spend long, Sunday afternoons while the boys just want to play creatively around the house. 

So next time I'll start earlier in the year. And not in any pressure-kind-of-way. No, I'll just start making handmade gifts and collecting them so that I can use them at the right moment. 






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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Magnolia Makers Market

Our school is organizing a makers market this year. I'm so excited! Our young Entrepreneurs for Change will donate a portion of their profits to the non-profit organization of their choice. 

Henry is making keychains. It's been a fun lesson in micro-loans, comparing the prices of materials in order to find the most inexpensive options, planning our your time, etc.

If you're in Austin, you should stop by and see us! You can get your free tickets below...




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Monday, November 13, 2017

Family Goals: Update


Yikes! 

The new year is almost upon us. It has caused me to go back to our Family Goals to see if we are on track. We have volunteered more than twice, read more than three chapter books, gone on more than three vacations, saved money for new deck railings (but not a hot tub), hosted 10 events at our home, and hung out at a creek in the summer. 

I realized we only went to one instead of two performances, so I quickly found a random aerial performance in East Austin. It looks quirky and has definitely piqued my interest! 

We also never went camping. So camping it is! We are so unprepared for camping. We don't even have a cooler. But we are going camping! 

I've started a project plan because that always helps to calm me down. 

It's weird. I have camped a lot in my life, but there's something about family camping that gives me pause. I think it's the fact that my degree of responsibility has gone up so much. I used to just have to worry about myself.

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Living Our Best Life


This year my intention was to get to the end of the year and be able to say:

I feel:

  • Balanced
  • Connected
  • Full of vitality
  • and at peace.
I want to keep my bucket full so I can interact with others from a place of PATIENCE + LOVE + JOY. 

In retrospect, that was quite ambitious! 

I feel like I have made progress on the "balanced" component. I've worked really hard to bring more balance between my professional and my personal life. I've gotten to a place where I can stop working at 8pm nearly every night. 

I also feel like I have made progress on the Vitality front. I have been regularly running two times per week (for the whole year!). I have also been eating in a more healthy way and taking supplements that match up to my needs. 

I feel like I haven't done as much toward the connection and the joyful piece, but I'm not going to be too hard on myself, considering the fact that the goal was already ambitious. 

Now that the new year will be upon us soon, I'm back to thinking about what my focus will be for the new year. 

A lot of different things come to mind. One is "Savor." 

Another is that I want to focus on my emotional development. I feel like for several years I have been so focused on "doing" that I have lost sight of "being" the very best person that I can be. 

Another thing that comes to mind is "Sustain" as I work to consolidate everything I've put in place: home, marriage, family, career. 

Another thing blaring in my mind is: Fast to say "no"; slow to say "yes." 

I'm glad I still have another two months to officially kick off 2018. It will be good to have time to think about this stuff.

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram

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JOIN US!: Registration is currently open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 8! Register now! We'd love to have you join us!



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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Thanksgiving Project Planning




You guys know me: I love planning and I love reducing stress whenever possible. Enter the Thanksgiving Project Plan. 

My aunt and I started brainstorming what our meals are going to be for the week we are all together. We are going to have different family members sign up to take on the preparation and the clean-up of each meal. 

We are going to do a fondue night, which I'm really excited about: cheese (with bread), meat, and chocolate (strawberries, pretzels, and rice krispie treats). 

Our project plan has multiple tabs: the schedule with the meals (along with who's responsible for prep and clean-up) + the events for the week; a list of things to bring from home; grocery list; and a detailed breakdown of who is doing what the prep which parts of our bigger meals. 

I recognize that there are folks out there saying, "Thank goodness this woman is not part of my family." Luckily, my family appreciates having a plan! My hope is that it will reduce stress all around (and minimize trips to the grocery store during a stressful time).

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram

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JOIN US!: Registration is currently open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 8! Register now! We'd love to have you join us!



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Monday, November 6, 2017

Print Your Own Holiday Cards


Close your eyes if you are expecting a holiday card from me; I don't mean to ruin the surprise! (As a side note, you should e-mail me if you think we are kindred spirits and we should start exchanging holiday cards. Anna and I started doing that and became friends in real life after we took a road trip to Oklahoma to meet her family!). 

I wanted to share a breakdown of how we did our cards this year and how much it cost:

Total cost per card = $0.70

I did a quick search on Minted.com and it looks like something comparable would have cost about $1.67 per card. Phew! I'm glad our cost ended up cheaper (since I didn't do the calculations in advance...)

Let me know if you have any questions! 

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram

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JOIN US!: Registration is currently open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 8! Register now! We'd love to have you join us!



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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

New Meal Planning Website


Have you all seen this new meal planning website yet? I got a free subscription because I work in education, and I love it! It lets me specify what kind of restrictions and preferences we have (not only related to ingredients but also about how much we want to spend and how long we want the meals to take). And then you can order the ingredients via Instacart, if you want (which you know I already love).

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram

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JOIN US!: Registration is currently open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 8! Register now! We'd love to have you join us!



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