Hey Everyone! Another month has come to a close, so I thought it was a good time for another “Coffee Break.” I was so super excited to see how much you guys liked this new approach to my monthly round-up…and honestly, I really love having this fun, informal, catch-up-style post to on my schedule to look forward to at the end of each month. Soooo…grab a cup of coffee (or whatever suits you!) and let’s catch up on random thoughts and life happenings this month!
As of today, I am 32 weeks pregnant! Thanks in part to the One Room Challenge and a few other things I have on my plate, time seems to be flying faster than ever. When Henry started school back in August, it felt like I had all the time in the world to knock out a million projects and other life-related things before baby arrived. Yet here we are at the beginning of November, and I’ve hardly cracked away at any of them! What’s even crazier is that Henry was 3 weeks early, so it feels like we could be as close as 5 weeks out from having this baby – eeek! BUT – with each passing day and each baby-related project that gets crossed off our list, all three of us grow more and more excited! We ordered Henry this book and besides having his name in it, it’s also a super cute story that does a pretty good job of describing both the fun and not-so-fun parts of being a Big Brother. Henry is pretty much obsessed with the book, and we read it at least once a day. If you are prepping a little boy to become a big brother, I definitely recommend checking it out!
Aside from the insomnia that seems to hit me at 3am each and every day and the exhaustion which now sets in at about 8:45 every single night….I’m feeling pretty good! Admittedly, Greg and I have started to mentally freak out a bit as the reality of this huge life change starts to come into focus. Henry has really become so independent in the last few months, that we’re struggling a bit to wrap our brains around what it will be like to start back at the very beginning again…and more so what that means for our life as we know it right now. As you guys know, we wouldn’t trade it for anything, but man there is A LOT you forget about in 5 years! I know a lot of you out there have kiddos with a big age gap between them – any advice for getting back into the baby groove OR things we might not yet be tracking on would be very much appreciated!
Do You Use a Cleaning Routine?
So…one thing I have been reeeeaaallllyyy struggling with in recent months is keeping our house clean. And when I say clean…I mean BOTH picked up AND clean. I don’t know what my problem is – well, bigger house and bigger belly are two good guesses! Usually, I can keep a pretty good handle on our house-related chores, but lately it feels like both our cleaning and picking-up routines have pretty much gone AWOL, and we all-too-often find ourselves with a house completely out of control. So much to the point that we had to stop everything and dedicate an entire day earlier this month to get everything put away and freshly cleaned. Both Greg and I acknowledge that we are in major need of some sort of “Clean Routine” – and of course, my obvious solution is to create a system/printable/project out of it – but before I do so, I wanted to check-in with you all! When I mentioned our laundry routine during last month’s coffee break, you guys chimed in with some great advice and tips! So…I would LOVE to hear what kind of cleaning tips, tricks, and ideas you guys lean on regularly to keep your house tidy and your sanity in check.
Another area I have been really struggling with lately is keeping on top of my email. It’s not that I get a TON of email; but I’ve gotten into the habit of checking my email on my phone (because I don’t like that little red number telling me how many un-read emails I have), but then I forget/run out of time to ultimately respond and/or act on the emails. In an effort to find a better system, I stumbled upon THIS super helpful post by my friend Natalie of Refined Rooms. I’m still working on finalizing a system that will work for me (and you better bet I will share it here once I do!), but one of her recommendations has been such a game changer for me, I wanted to share it now!
Natalie introduced me to Unroll.me which is a free service that allows you to not only see but also unsubscribe to all of your mailing list emails in a single swoop. Seriously, you guys. I’m obsessed. All you do is enter your email address. It scans for all your subscriptions, and then you can choose to either “Keep in Inbox, ” “Add to Roll-Up,” or “Unsubscribe” for each and every one. Sure, the one-click unsubscribe function is awesome…but it’s actually the daily “Roll Up” emails I am loving the most. There are some email subscriptions that I want to read, but I don’t want to be distracted by them throughout the day. I’ve designated all these emails to come to me at the end of the day, rolled up into a single email. While I’m sitting on the couch or at soccer practice, I can go through the emails and read/digest/act on anything that is important/interesting. This simple unsubscribe+roll-up combo already has me feeling like I can better control my Inbox! I highly recommend you check it out…just don’t unsubscribe from my mailing list, okay 😉
A Comment on Comments
While I’m on the topic of emails, I did want to make a quick comment on comments. I love, love, love getting comments from you guys, whether it’s on social media or here on the posts themselves. Seriously. It really helps me remember that you guys are out there…reading, engaging, enjoying, etc; as well as gauge what you guys really like and find most helpful. I realize it takes time and effort for you to leave comments, so I also try to make the time and effort to respond to them. BUT…I am having a tough time keeping on top of comments. At one point, I was spending between 3-5 hours a week replying to comments, which was honestly sucking me a bit dry. Hopefully once I get my email system in better order, I can also identify a quicker and easier way to respond to you guys. Until then, please know that I read, love and cherish every single comment you make, and I am trying to do my best to answer/respond, especially when there is a very specific question. Also, I’m just curious – do you guys have any strong feelings about the platform Disqus for leaving comments? It certainly makes responding to comments much easier on my end, but I know some avid blog readers don’t like it. Feel free to chime in if you care either way!
A Quick Wreath Hack I’m Loving Right Now
When I was shopping for props for my Apple Cart project, I came across a super simple, oversized straw wreath at HomeGoods. I didn’t end up using it in the photo shoot and was planning on returning it; but then I realized it was a pretty great “neutral” wreath to have for this time of year. See…I am realizing that I don’t really LOVE seasonal decorating – am I even allowed to admit that as a decor/DIY blogger?!? I love decorating my house, but seasonal stuff tends to stress me out and leads to an accumulation of more stuff around the house. When I realized I could hang this simple straw wreath in September and with a few simple tweaks, leave it up until I put up a Christmas wreath, I felt like finally found a holiday decorating strategy that works for me! All of September, the wreath was just plain on our door. Up until last night, my wreath looked like this for all of October (by the way, you can see how to make the cute spider bow here!):
Today, I am going to swap out the spider bow for a Fall plaid bow for November/Thanksgiving (I’ll share on Instagram once I do!). I love that I can now store one, simple wreath (at least for this time of year!) and make a new/seasonal bow as I desire, rather than trying to come up (and store) something for my door every month/holiday!
THIHM Around the Web
Last but not least, I wanted to close out this month’s Coffee Break with a round-up of my posts and projects that have been featured around the world wide web this month. As usual, keep in mind that these posts will never appear here on THIHM; so to visit the post, just click right on the pictures!
I hope you all had a fantastic and safe Halloween celebration last night! I’ll be back here on Thursday with our next One Room Challenge installment – a look at our finished closet! See you then!Posted In California '16, Coffee Breaks, I Write For, Personal Post