Archive of ‘Health & Wellness’ category

13 in 31 // A Birthday Bucket List

I turned thirty-one last Friday and as a gift to myself, I created a Birthday Bucket List. As a mom, I spend 99% of my time focusing on Harper and not enough time focusing on myself. I haven’t finished a book in months. I only get my hair and nails done when I’m looking so rough that I can’t even stand it anymore. And I can’t even talk about the lack of writing I’ve done lately. I have a list of things I want to write, and blog posts I want to share, but I can never find the time (or the brain power) to actually sit down and do it. So, my overall goal this year, especially with a new baby on the way, is to get back to doing things that I enjoy. Not that I don’t enjoy raising Harper or being Sam’s wife. Those are my two most important roles and I love them so much. But I deserve, and need, a little time for myself too.

When creating my bucket list, I decided to flip my birthday number around and choose 13 things I wanted to do this year.  Some of them are specific things I can check off the list and others are goals that I want to work on throughout the year. Some are things for me to do by myself and others are things for us to do as a family. I know my list is specific to me, but I wanted to share it anyway because it may inspire some of you to create your own Birthday Bucket Lists. So here it is! (I’ve included a description or reason behind each one if you’re interested as well.)

1 // Read my Bible every day. – I have always been terrible at making this a daily habit. Sam ordered me a new Bible for my birthday and my #1 goal is to dive into it

2 // Blog more and launch a coordinating YouTube channel. – I love this blog so much and I hate that it has taken such a backseat in the last couple of years. I’ve also been wanting to start a YouTube channel for a while now, but I’ve been so nervous about it! I’m a major YouTube junkie though and I know that I would have so much fun with it so I’m just going to jump into it and see what happens. (More on that soon!)

3 // Visit the Kennedy Museum in Boston. – I’ve had a fascination with the Kennedy family ever since I was a kid and discovered that Jackie Kennedy and I share a birthday. I’ve been wanting to visit this museum for years and I’m definitely going to do it this year.

4 // Bring scrapbooking back! – I am so guilty of never printing pictures. Nearly all of the photos I’ve taken of Harper are on my iPhone or computer. I know that everything is digital now and that’s great, but I still love going through old pictures at my parents’ house and I want that for my kids. My plan is to go all the way back to the beginning of our marriage and start scrapbooking our little family. I think it’ll be a great creative outlet for me.

5 // Get “ready” everyday. – This should be a no-brainer, but it’s very easy as a stay-at-home mom to stay in your pajamas or sweats all day long. I’ve actually been pretty good about this lately, but I know it’s going to be tough again once the baby is born so I’m adding it to the list.

6 // Meal plan and cook at least 5 nights per week. – I’m trying to be more budget-conscious when it comes to feeding our family so I’ve started meal planning and cooking at home most nights. It’s already going really well and I want to challenge myself to keep it up all year.

7 // Treat writing like it’s my job (even if no one ever reads it). – I love to write and I’ve always dreamed of making a career out of it. I’ve spent a lot of time letting fear and self-doubt stop me. This year, I want to change that by “faking it til I make it.” I have no idea if I’ll ever be published outside of this blog, but it definitely won’t happen if I never actually write anything!

8 // Launch a foundation benefitting NICU families. – After Harper was born, I had this idea to start a foundation that creates care packages for NICU families. When Harper was in the NICU, we were given so many items (Halo SleepSacks, a quilt, etc.) that made that time so much easier and I want to do the same for other families. I have no idea how to start a foundation, but I’m going to figure it out and make it happen this year.

9 // Exercise regularly. – This isn’t about weight loss or fixing my body. Losing a little weight would definitely be a bonus, but it’s not my priority right now. I just want to be healthier and have more energy. My goal is to walk daily with my girls, start doing yoga again, and get back into spinning.

10 // Read at least one new book every month. – I love love love to read and I miss it so much. Reading is such a simple thing that I can do for myself that will simultaneously relax me and keep my brain from turning into mush.

11 // Make some new mom friends. – There is only one thing that I miss about living in the small town of Harrisonburg, Virginia: my mom friends. We went on walks, we did park playdates, and they’re all still there raising their babies without me. I have my sister-in-law and cousins here, and they are all invaluable to me, but I really need to get outside of my comfort zone and meet some new moms.

12 // Pick a weekly date night (and stick to it!) – I can count the number of dates Sam and I have been on since Harper was born and that is just not right. It’s not even because we’re afraid of leaving her with someone. We’re just guilty of not making the time. It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant, and we technically don’t even have to leave the house, but we need to make time, at least once a week, to remember that we are husband and wife first, parents second.

13 // Visit every museum in DC. – Sam is still new to the DC area and I love watching (forcing) him fall in love with my hometown. Showing him around also reintroduces me to all of the wonderful places I grew up visiting. I thought it would be fun to challenge ourselves as a family to visit every single museum in DC as a way to spend quality (and educational!) time together as a family.

And that’s my bucket list! I know it’s long, but these are all things that are important to me and I’m excited to take on this challenge. Someone remind me to check in with myself on my next birthday to see how many I accomplished. I hope it’s all 13! 

What would you put on your Birthday Bucket List?


Adventures in Meal Planning

tumblr_mz96fvlgMs1rqj2w5o1_500When I was engaged, I spent hours dreaming about all of the dinner parties and brunches (like the fabulous one pictured above) we would host in our new home together. I knew what our dining table would look like, how I would style our bar cart, and I registered for every kitchen gadget you can think of. Unfortunately, I forgot about one major marriage detail: I am now in charge of feeding another human every single day. I went from being a single law student who started cooking (or ordering) dinner no earlier than 7pm to a wife who has to make sure her husband eats something other than a burger and fries or pizza for dinner every night. I’m also lucky enough to be married to a man who has a BIG appetite. He also loves to workout, so he needs big meals to replenish all of those calories burned.

For the last two months I’ve tried to get by with my old “plan dinner at dinnertime” routine and it has not been working at all. Not only do we end up eating dinner far too late, but I’m still left with the rest of the week to figure out. I have a bunch of friends who plan their meals out at the beginning of the week (or even month) and I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon. We’re also trying hard to clean up our diets since we’ve been eating like college students ever since we got married (pizza, kraft mac and cheese, wayyyy too many desserts). So I’m especially focused on adding more real, unprocessed foods into our meals and getting rid of the junk.

I’m currently surrounded by all of my cookbooks, a notebook, and a planner, but I need your help: Do you plan out your family’s meals? How do you stay on budget while still eating whole, unprocessed (and preferably organic) foods? Do you prep your meals at the beginning of the week or cook everyday? What are your favorite food/recipe blogs? I need all of the tips I can get!