Things I’m excited about: A spring style challenge!

Last week was quite the week (in the busiest and productive of ways!). I’ll write about it tomorrow or maybe the next day or… well, hopefully I get around to it at all. You know how it goes.

PMT Spring Style Challenge

Before I forget, I really want to tell you about the challenge I’m doing starting in April. Do you remember the style challenge I did in the winter? I mentioned it a few times. Anyway, it was such a hit that Audrey (of Putting Me Together) is creating another one for the spring, and I am THRILLED because I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get dressed by myself again. I may have been tempted to wear the same winter outfits over and over again no matter what the season was/is and people would have wondered why I was wearing puffy vests in July.

Suffice it to say that Audrey has saved me from 365 days of winter-wear with this challenge. 

Putting Me Together Spring Style Challenge

If you haven’t heard of Audrey or her spring style challenge yet, go here to read the details, but I’d like to encourage you to check it out especially if…

  • You have a closet of too much stuff. I had to buy a few things for the winter challenge but they’re staples that I now wear all of the time, even after the challenge. And, I actually ended up getting rid of more things than I brought in, since after the challenge I was able to quickly see which items in my closet weren’t serving a purpose and weren’t great for mixing and matching.
  • You hate picking out what to wear. I have a lot of things happening in my mornings (I am not one of those moms who wakes up before her kids, so my morning always starts with me running around, serving the needs of mini-crazy people) and picking out an outfit is not something I want to deal with. When left to my own devices I generally throw on a t-shirt and leggings. Yikes. However, with this challenge I was able to look at the email each morning (or night before) telling me what I would wear the next day. I followed the directions exactly and was always super pleased with how I looked. I loved having one less decision to make!
  • You’ve always wanted to have a capsule wardrobe but can never seem to figure it out. This goes along with the first bullet point, but essentially this challenge will help you put together a capsule wardrobe that will last an entire season! I haven’t achieved true ‘capsule wardrobe’ status, but am closer than I was before!
  • You need a shopping list of what to buy for the season. I tend to just buy whatever the  heck looks good at the time without even considering what I already own and what I could wear the piece of clothing (or accessory) with. Needless to say, this has cost me a lot of money. With the challenge’s shopping list, however, I stick to what I ‘need’ and then I’m done shopping for the season. I estimate that this has saved me hundreds of dollars.

OK that about sums it up. As a SAHM who doesn’t put enough effort into how she looks anymore (so sad, right?!) I can’t recommend this enough. I think if I was still working in a casual corporate environment I’d love this as well. I just need a little kickstart to put more energy and effort and thought into what I look like each day, and this definitely helps to organize and motivate me! Plus, the private Facebook group is amazing and supportive and is really fun to participate in. Audrey has some amazing readers!

Definitely check it out (sign up here) and let me know if you’re going to participate! You still have about a week to get your closet ready for the first day of the challenge.

*Sidenote: Audrey is a friend of mine but she doesn’t know I’m writing this post and definitely isn’t compensating me to promote her! I just truly love this challenge and think many readers of this blog could have fun with it, too. Plus, Audrey is (really, really) awesome and if nothing else, you should be reading her blog.

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Our last snowshoeing adventure of the year. And maybe ever.

Remember when I went snowshoeing with my family and it went horribly (on Christmas, no less) and I vowed never to go on another adventure again with them – ever?

Another Snowshoeing Adventure

Well, I must have some sort of amnesia because we attempted snowshoeing with kids again, a little over two short months later.

‘Uncle Bert’ and ‘Aunt Jodie’ (my BIL and his girlfriend) were in town and we wanted to show them the mountains, so off to Snoqualmie Pass we went (like the optimistic fool I evidently am)!

Another Snowshoeing Adventure

I won’t bore you with all of the details, but it was more of the same. Clara decided she wanted nothing to do with the snow and needed to be carried the entire time (even though we brought her a pair of children’s snowshoes), then she whined for hours because she was too cold,needed snacks, wanted to go home, wanted to find our car, etc. Meanwhile, Isabelle overheated and started screaming and then REALLY overheated and screamed for about an hour.

All of this chaos started about halfway through our adventure – so when we were the furthest from the car we could possibly be.

Sigh.

Another Snowshoeing Adventure

This picture pretty much sums up life as a family of four.:Trying to convince Clara to wear gloves while Tim gets her the snack she’s been whining about while Isabelle is along for the ride seemingly saying “WHY ME?!”

At least this time I could laugh about it and I didn’t cancel Christmas and vow to never celebrate a holiday with my family again. Therefore, because my bar is really that low, I’m considering it a win.

And really, it was a beautiful adventure and my legs were sore afterwards so I guess it was also decent exercise (for my un-muscled out of shape body)! I’m happy we were able to spend one more day in the snow and that we were able to show Robbie and Jodie a little slice of the PNW outside of the city of Seattle.

And seriously, it was a gorgeous day. The snow was falling slowly and the flakes were huge and it wasn’t windy at all and (contrary to Clara’s complaining) it wasn’t very cold.

Another Snowshoeing Adventure

If only it was as peaceful as the pictures suggest…

Seriously. No more snowshoeing. This year, at least.

The Benroeck girls are ready for warm weather and sunshine please and thank you.

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How To Be Awesome at Monday-ing

Everyone seems to hate on Mondays and I just don’t get it. I’ve always loved Mondays! They’re still my favorite day of the week (aside from weekends, obviously), and I even love them more than Fridays.

My reasoning is simple: On Mondays I have more energy and enthusiasm and feel like I can absolutely conquer the week. By Friday I feel a bit defeated, and more often than not my to-do list is super long because everything I didn’t accomplish on the other days is piled up before the weekend.

Now, before I get to the point of this post (which is to tell you how to conquer Mondays), I should note that I’m not an especially organized person. And I am most definitely a reluctant housewife at best. SO, if I can do Mondays, you can too.

How To Have Better Monday Mornings

Here’s how to start the week off on the best foot possible:

1) Drink your coffee. Mondays are not the time to decide to give up caffeine.

2) Send your kid to school. A lot of parents send their kids to preschool on Tuesdays & Thursdays (if they’re doing a 2 day schedule for a younger child). However, I’ve chosen to send Clara to school on Mondays and Wednesdays so I can have a productive Monday morning. I consider this one of my better parenting decisions.

3) Write a to-do list for your entire week using a planner of your choosing.

4) Meal plan for the week and update your grocery list. In our house this looks a bit different than in most, probably. I meal plan and then send Tim recipes and links and he updates our Amazon Fresh grocery list. This method works best for us because I hate nothing more than grocery shopping, even online.

5) Prep a meal. I do not prep food on weekends, nor do I think I’ll be starting. Ever. In our house weekends are for adventuring and socializing and napping and running childfree errands and baking treats, and I just can’t see myself ever being able or motivated to plan ahead a week’s worth of meals. BUT, if I plan that Monday night will be a meal o’ leftovers and then prep a meal on Monday morning for Tuesday night… I’ve almost gotten through half a (work) week of dinner’s by lunchtime on Monday! WIN.

Honestly, I think that’s all you’re going to have time for on a Monday morning before your little one wakes up from her nap and your older one needs to be picked up from preschool. I also suggest listening to a few Podcasts (NPR One and The Longest Shortest Time) while accomplishing this list.

And if you’re wondering if this post is a list of what I did this morning… Yes. Yes it is. This is also the first Monday morning I’ve EVER meal prepped for the next day, but I’m really going to try to make it a habit if I can find enough recipes I can make a day ahead of time.

Notice that showering, putting on real pants, doing my makeup/hair was not on this list. I can’t do it all, friends, but there’s always hope for naptime…

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Feel free to come over and make me soup.

Over the weekend Clara blew her nose directly into my hand, so at that instant I knew it was only a matter of time before I got sick. And sick I am. Although, thankfully, I tend to only get 48 hour colds, so I’m fighting through the end of it and I have full confidence I’ll be back to full-speed tomorrow.

Hopefully. (But famous last words, right?)

Because there is nothing worse than being sick and stuck at home with an energetic toddler and a clingy baby and dishes piling up on my counter.

In other news, I wrote my last currently post about a month ago, so I’m back at it again.

Snowshoeing in March

The definition of insanity is me thinking it’s a good idea to go snowshoeing with my children. Again. More on this in a later post when I’ve recovered from the trauma.

At this moment I’m…

// Working on: Getting rid of all of the clothes and jewelry I don’t wear anymore. It’s more of a task than it should be as I decide what to sell and what to gift and what to donate. I’m probably overthinking all of this.
// Eating: Those darn Girl Scout Cookies that keep finding their way into my house.
// Drinking: Champagne. And lattes. I make one every morning and now Clara makes her own little (imaginary, obviously) lattes, too.
// Reading: I just finished “Today Will Be Different” but I prefer “Where’d You Go Bernadette” (same author).
// Wanting: My old butt back. But alas, I haven’t been in the gym enough to make that happen, so instead I finally bought a new pair of jeans in a size that will be much more flattering. Because it turns out that wearing too-big jeans with a belt just isn’t a flattering look. (I bought my new favorite jeans from ThredUp for about $30 and am in love. Use this link for $10 off your purchase!)
// Listening to: The Modern Love podcast. I love it.
// Planning: I don’t think I’m even planning anything right now! How is that possible?! Tim’s brother and his girlfriend were just in town so I planned that weekend, and now I’m relaxing my brain before thinking about the next adventure.
// Loving: How social I’ve been lately! So many playdates and a few nights out and seeing friends and family in town… I’ve loved it! I feel most like myself when I’m with loved ones. (There’s not an introverted bone in my body.)
// Feeling: A little bit sick and drained and tired of being tired. Do you know the feeling? I don’t like the unenergetic and unmotivated version of myself!
// Watching: A dang pregnant giraffe. C’mon April, you need to have this baby already.
// Looking forward to: March Madness! It’s one of my very favorite times of the year. Bring on round one!

What are you up to?!

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I’m finally able to sit down and write a blog post! Phew.

+ I’m thankful for sunshine yesterday. It’s been dreary here the past few days and everyone is talking about how it’s affecting their moods. Friday had blue skies and views of the mountains – so life is good once again. Although supposedly we’re going to see rain for the next ever soooo, yeah. PNW in the spring, I guess!

a naptime update

+ Speaking of thankful, I’m able to write this blog post because Clara and Isabelle BOTH went to bed before 9:30pm tonight! For those of you who don’t know or forgot, let me just recap that Clara has been completely resisting bedtime until about 11pm each and every night, and it has been making us crazy people. But lately, very lately she’s been going to bed earlier and earlier, as she used to a few months ago. Is my daughter “cured” from this complete sleep aversion?! Gosh do I hope so. I feel like I’ll get my whole life back if she goes to bed by 8:30pm every night!

+ Tim’s brother & his girlfriend are in town from Chicago and the girls are just loving the extra attention and I’m loving having 3 extra sets of hands! (Since Tim is taking off work while they’re here.) I can’t decide whether I want to get shit stuff done or relax. This is probably dependent on how much caffeine I drink on any given day.

+ I was so underwhelmed with this last episode of The Bachelor. I mean, of course Rachel was going to go home. She’s the next Bachelorette. Duh. And Vanessa wins the whole thing, I’m sure. Let’s move onto Bachelor In Paradise. (Also, I’m thrilled that Rachel gets to be the Bachelorette, but isn’t she too normal? I feel like the most likable people are also the most boring on TV.)

+ This week I had drinks with a girlfriend, got together for playdates, went to a marriage conference with Tim, volunteered (by doing taxes), went to MOPS, and watched The Bachelor with our old roommate. And of course, because my social life was great, the rest of my life kind of fell apart and I didn’t get anything done around the house or online. Maybe next week I’ll be a different kind of productive – or maybe not – this past week was pretty fun.

… a scattered list from an even more scattered mind. Phew. Now I’m off to bed. Before midnight! I hope your weekend is off to a great start.

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