A Simplified Summer seems to be the mantra of 2012. For me, however, since we live where is seems like summer all year, it’s more like simplifying my life. It’s one of those where you don’t realize how complicated you are making life until you step back and ask: Why am I doing this??
Our complications do not arise from over scheduling or too many activities… on the contrary, the girls are in ZERO activities. Our complications come from the fact that this mama seems to have a hard time keeping focus. DH says that I remind him of “Dug” from the movie “Up.” You know… SQUIRREL!
So, my personal solution? Schedules, Routines and Lists.
There are Chore Charts in our apartment, not just for the girls, but for Mama as well. Meals are planned out and placed on the calendar. But to be honest… it’s still not enough! Because this summer we will be traveling during the month of August and we would like to get the girls into an activity, I need to get myself in order.
- Re-write the chore chart. I’ve been doing the “One Load a Day” Laundry method and it’s not working. It’s time to switch to having a dedicated laundry day (in addition to the bathrooms day, dusting day and mopping day.) In addition, I’m adding a small task to laundry day: Sort Clothing. Because I wash everything in cold water (except sheets and towels) I never sort clothes. This leads to huge loads of laundry that are total PITA to fold (so I don’t fold it.) Sorting the laundry will result in more loads, but they will be smaller and easier to fold right out of the dryer.
- Begin teaching the girls to help more with cleaning. They have their daily chores, but they right now revolve solely around them: Brush teeth, make bed, etc. Nony the Slob from A Slob Comes Clean has an E-book out about teaching your kids to clean, from a fairly young age. It’s been a great resource for me… especially her pictures for pre-readers!
- Streamline dinners. We love to try new foods and I love to cook. But honestly, it’s getting to be a wee bit stressful. Especially when I have to remember to get things started at 4p for a 6p dinner! I already menu plan, but I hate repeating meals. For the summer, I am tossing that rule to the wind and I will embrace the meal repeat. Our meals will become simpler while keeping the focus on quality, healthy ingredients. This will hopefully save on our grocery bill as well…
- Plan breakfast and lunch. This sounds almost counter-intuitive, but we tend to get into a breakfast rut. DD1 loves oatmeal. DD2 loves Toasted Os. From which we dare not deviate. Mama says: It’s time to deviate. Lunch is even more of a hot mess. We tend to be out and about in the morning and by the time lunch rolls around, we are in no mood to wait, so that leads to take out or heading to Whole Foods for the hot/cold bar… which is not good for saving $$.
- Get back into CSA mode. We were part of a CSA in MO and I loved it. Every other week we’d get a great sampling of produce that I had to incorporate into meals. That lead to our eating simpler meals because your produce was not up to you, you had to make due with what you had.
- Time to cut the snacks. Read this from Jennifer Fulwiler. Because that is seriously where I am. It seems like just as we are heading out of the house, I’ve realized that I forgot the snacks. Honestly, I am tired of the snacks. When we head to the park, the girls will play for 5 minutes before asking for a snack… and it will be 45 minutes after we’ve finished breakfast! Plus in cutting the snacks, I will guarantee that lunch and dinner will be consumed.
Here’s to making a simpler summer all around!
What are your simple summer tips? What about simple summer recipes?