13 May

Summer To Do’s

I’m at the point in the school year where I’m going in a lot earlier, staying a lot later, and generally just under a lot more stress.  You’ll be seeing me a whole lot less for the next month as I prepare my students to totally beast the EOGs.

When I’m not dancing with my kids and singing this this song (it’s our graduation song this year), I’m trying really hard to just enjoy the spring.  To eat more popsicles, spend more time throwing toys for my pup in the backyard, and eat more meals outdoors.  This week’s meal plan features three evenings out on our back patio.

Fajitas Outside

These fajitas are courtesy of the Homesick Texan.  We added some queso we picked up from costco and some refried beans to the mix.  The recipe is super simple and gets prepared in the morning, so all I have to do after work is throw stuff on the grill and heat packaged foods (tortillas, beans, queso) up.

Also, check out our totally rad garden in the background.  It includes 6 different varieties of tomatoes, 1 sweet pepper plant which is always thirsty, 1 cucumber bush, and some herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary).  The meal sitch this summer is going to be incredible!

And I am starting to plan for the summer.  Plans beyond just eating a ton of fresh tomatoes from our garden.  So here’s the to do list I’m creating for summer… because worrying about any of it right now is just too much.  I’ve broken it down into categories:

1) Hard Core Decluttering

Clothes: My husband likes to keep clothes with holes in them.  This needs to change.  I also have loads of clothes that I just don’t like.  If I haven’t worn them in the past year, they’ve got to go.

Kitchen: My husband and I got married less than 3 months after we got engaged.  I was traveling a lot that summer, and the moving in sitch was a lot of throwing kitchen utensils into a big drawer.  Since a lot of our old stuff isn’t even gluten free, I need to go through this and donate.

Cleaning Supplies: I created all homemade/nontoxic household cleaners, and we’ve begun using these exclusively.  It’s time for the chemicals to go.

2) Organization

Flours: I love my kitchen chemistry set that comes with being a gluten free baker.  But I need more containers, bigger containers, and a space to neatly put all of said containers.  I want to clear out a shelf in the cabinet to be exclusively for all of my baking mixes, flours, etc.

Craft Supplies: We have a substantial amount of space in our guest room closet for me to organize all of my sewing/crafting supplies so there’s really no reason for them to be up in the attic.  I’d like to start sewing a whole lot more since it really helps relax me.  And I’ve got quite the fabric stash, but it’s in so many different places, wadded up and stuffed in containers, that I don’t know what I have.  This needs to change.

Comic Books: My husband has quite the collection, and I actually would be interested in reading quite a few of them.  We managed to develop a nice storage system in a cool green legal filing cabinet, but we were so excited to have them stored in something other than boxes, that we just kind of threw them in there.  I want them organized and labeled so we can find comics worth reading.

3) Becoming a Little Crunchier

Shampoo: I’m pretty sure I want to go homemade and nontoxic here.  I’ve been listening to The Art of Simple podcast a lot lately, and her ideas are making a lot of sense to me.  It helps that my mom has also switched over to a baking soda shampoo and loves it.  I know a lot of people talk about going gluten free with shampoo, and while I’ve never really felt the need (no skin irritation or the like), it seems like a great added bonus.

Body Wash: I’ve always prefered body wash to soap.  Currently, I have a Costco (it’s a unit of measurement that means “a lot”) of Dove body wash that was on sale a few months ago.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to use it all up before the end of the summer, but I’m going to get us ready to switch over when we’re ready.  I like this recipe.

4) Health/wellness

Exercise: I want to establish more regular exercise routines around here.  I’m thinking I might try to get back into pilates.

Food: This is a big one for me because I’ve started eating organic when it makes the most sense to.  I’m eating real ingredients with veg and meat from the farmer’s market, and I really love this.  But then when I come home from a 10+ hour day at school and I didn’t prep the evening meal that morning, out come the frozen whatever.  This needs to stop.  Establishing this habit while I have plenty of time will make it easier when I get crunched for time during the school year.

Mind: I’ve got to start meditating again.  And reading.  A lot more.  The stress this year has really gotten to me, and I’ve got to get better at managing it.  I plan on finishing the Pretty Little Liars series this summer (don’t judge).  And I think I’m going to do some reading on stress management given this crazy profession I’ve gotten myself into.

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