I mentioned yesterday in my Father’s Day Gift Guide post that we are already into our first official week of summer vacation, but I feel like it still hasn’t quite sunken in yet. I’m still in “go-mode”, partly because I’ve got six weeks to go on my bikini contest prep, and also since we’ve not really settled into those long, lazy summer days yet. I know they’re coming and I welcome them!! It takes us awhile to get used to not having to be go, go, go . . .
Since I don’t want our summer to be stressed with rigid schedules, I’m just incorporating a few simple routines into our day that will, hopefully, get us started on the right foot and end the day in a peaceful way. I’m all for unstructured, play-it-by-ear summer days, but I also know that I get stressed out if things are too out of control for too long. Finding the right balance for my family is what works over here.Right now, three days a week, my son is going to day camp for part of the day and I head out to train with my trainer, so we need to be out the door at 8 a.m. Which leads me to our morning routine . . .
Good Morning Coffee
Not a day goes by that I don’t start my morning off with a great cup of coffee. I’m an admitted coffee lover and enjoy that early morning quiet time so much. We’ve ended up with two awesome coffee makers, a Nespresso for a blog review and a fancy Jura as a Christmas gift my husband came home with a couple years ago. Both are just awesome and make delicious coffee. The only downside with the Nespresso is that the pods are $1.10 each and I found myself going broke ordering them, so I’ve slowed way down on them. You can’t beat the quick convenience of them though!
I usually wake up somewhere around 6:00 a.m., and after making my coffee, head to my home office and do some work on the computer for about an hour. I respond to/write emails, take care of loose end correspondence, and situate my calendar for the day, noting the things I need to do that day. Doing this each morning makes for a much more productive day.
At about 7:00 a.m., my son wakes up on his own, so we have morning cuddles and go downstairs together to start making breakfast. He’s such a morning person, and I’m so thankful he wakes up in a good mood. I always make myself a protein pancake, and sometimes one for my son (his with peanut butter and syrup), or he’ll have raisin toast and milk.
While my pancake is cooking, I unload the dishwasher from the dishes I washed the night before. Or put away the hand-washed dishes if they were left out to dry.
If I’m heading to the gym and my son is going to camp, the next thing to do is pack my gymbag and James’ camp bag. In my gym bag, I make sure I have a full water bottle with my BCAA, a fresh towel, a charged iPod, and heart rate monitor.
James’ lunch and snack is made the night before, so I just have to pull it out of the fridge and put it in his bag.
After I eat and have the bags packed, I go upstairs to get myself dressed and ready for the morning. I only wash my face quickly with Cetaphil, brush my teeth, pull my (short!) hair into a low pony tail (since top knots are now out of the question), and put on a bit of mascara.
James also gets dressed and brushes his teeth while I’m getting ready. We recently put a second toothbrush and toothpaste in our downstairs half-bath so he can do this downstairs, instead of having to go back up stairs.
Before heading out the door, I make sure to slather James in sunscreen. And we are out the door by 8:00 a.m.
This routine stays the same for a good three days a week, the days I train with my coach at 8:30 a.m., but on the other two days, our schedule will be more relaxed because we don’t have to be out the door at anytime in particular.
We usually eat dinner as a family at the breakfast table around 6:00 p.m. My son loves to ring the dinner bell to announce that dinner is ready. We have a no t.v./no electronics at the table policy, but we’ve only recently started being firm about this and eating dinner as a family again. It seemed like our schedules were all over the place before now, but I love eating together and just talking.
Dad and son had just went to their first Astros game that day!
Our dinners are pretty leisurely, especially since it takes James a long time to eat. After dinner, it’s time to wash the dishes and quick clean the kitchen. My husband and I both do dishes, but I’m always the counter wiper and floor sweeper.
After dinner and with the kitchen mostly clean, we just hang out until it’s time for James to get ready for bed around 8:00 p.m. We might play toys with James or do a family board game or cards, or even watch videos on the iPad or TV.
10 Minute Pick-Up
Our 10-Minute pick-up is new this week and I love it! James uses my iPhone to start the timer app and we make it a “race” to see how much we can clean up before the timer goes off. Now that we’ve labeled the Target bins in the living room, he knows exactly where to put everything. If something is “miscellaneous”, he can just put it in the big toy box. We have a toy box on either side of our media center.
Clear Kitchen Counters
While James is cleaning up his toys, I’m tidying up the dumping ground that is also known as the kitchen counters. Try as I might to keep it clear, it usually needs a good clean-off every other day. We have a drop zone for mail that we actually use, but then I use the counter to actually sort through the mail.
I find that if I put fresh flowers on this counter, it’s less likely to become the dumping ground or at least I’m more motivated to get it all put away.
I usually pack James lunch and snack for the next day at this time too.
As we head upstairs to start the bedtime routine, we have to carry up whatever has accumulated there throughout the day and via the counter clean-up. The picture below actually looks tame compared to most days! Keeping a bin or basket to corral those small things that need to go upstairs is pretty handy.
We have a pretty specific bedtime routine that our son likes to follow and it takes a good while because it’s one of my favorite parts of the day, since it includes time for lots of ‘pillow talk.’
Adult Nighttime Relaxing
It’s really nice to come back downstairs to a tidy living room, so we’ll definitely be keeping the 10 Minute Pick-Up in place.
At night, we typically watch TV (currently catching up on old Orange Is The New Black as the next season is about to be released) or we might be working on our computers or hanging out on the iPad. I’m a night-owl by nature, but while prepping for this bikini contest, I try to get in bed by 10 p.m.
Do you have a similar routine at your house?
What helps you stay on track during the summer?
If you want to see how I’ve organized our Summer Mudroom, head over to my good friend Jen’s Blog, I Heart Organizing for my contributor post today! I’m giddy I’ll be getting to see this girl when we share a room with Cassie again at the Haven Blog Conference next month!
P.S. I didn’t forget about my #HWHLovesBloggers series! I’ve been having so much fun peeking inside your homes and featuring your spaces! I plan to continue the series on Thursdays, every other week. See the past features: BEDROOMS, LIVING ROOMS, KITCHENS, and BATHROOMS.
Thank you so much for tagging #HWHlovesbloggers and keep tagging for a chance to be featured here and on my Instagram! I’m looking for your Nurseries/Kids Rooms next!