It’s been a bit hectic getting back into our routines after Christmas break. Alarm clocks. Schedules. Homework. Being on time. Choosing outfits. Figuring out dinner.
But I’ve made a conscious decision to be more intentional with my family – especially at the end of the day before rushing into evening routines. So yesterday I park the car, take a deep breath in the garage to clear my head, come inside, set my stuff down and see the kids snuggled in front of the fireplace.
Before I get the first word out, my son says, “Hi Mommy! Did you have a good day at work?” Funny, that’s the same question I was going to ask him about school. It instantly brought a smile to my face to realize that there are moments like these where I feel like my children care more than I do. Or that they are reading my mind and staying one step ahead. Or that they are teaching me a lesson for a change.
I kinda like when that happens.
It’s only after I had some quality time off to myself that I realized how cluttered and difficult life can be. With 12 more days off in my 28-day between-job hiatus, I’ve been thinking about how my routines, purchasing habits and tasks can be tweaked ever-so-slightly in an effort to simply simplify. Here are 9 recent discoveries.
Word to the wise.
- Super shiny tinted lip gloss. It used to be full-blown lip liner, lipstick and a top coat of gloss. But why? A super shiny tinted lip gloss in a tube creates less mess in the purse/make-up bag and is a 3-in-1 no brainer.
- Dishwasher gel packs. No more messy, flip-top gel detergent. I explained them to my kids using the solid versus liquid science analogy and they got excited to help me do the dishes. WOW!
- No iron. No dry clean. No hand wash. No explanation necessary. Shop smart.
- Few or no throw pillows. There are days I just want to fall into bed without any more hassles. But I always have to clear away throw pillows first – which are only there for decoration anyway.
- Electric candle warmer. A good friend bought me one last year and when I think about it, I use it. NOW I’M SOLD!! No wicks, no smoke, no flame, less danger. Plus, constant scent management.
- Indoor griddle/grill combo. Perfect for our 2nd home out on the lake where space is tight but we always have time for great food and good friends.
- Organized linen closet. Roll the towels. Sheets inside pillow cases. Baskets for the little stuff. All thanks to Pinterest!
- Try the magic eraser first. Not sure how, but 99.8% of the time, this wizard of a product can get the job done – including ink pen on a sweatshirt.
- 12 uses for Vicks VapoRub. One jar can do all this? Can’t wait to try this on mosquitos and headaches.
Not sure what has happened to the simple act of replying and responding to event invitations in this world. It does not matter if it’s my non-profit charity banquet fund raising gala, a cul-de-sac BBQ, my 5 and 6-year old tae kwon do and skatepark birthday parties or a simple voicemail request wondering, “are you coming or not”.
I have always been taught (and still practice today) common courtesy. There’s a ton of time, effort and, most importantly money, that go into planning events of every size. Yes, I understand everyone is busy. But someone thought highly enough of you to invite you in the first place, so you should at least extend the favor of a reply. Is this crazy??
I will admit that online e-vites tend to get responses and it’s a bit easier to send reminders electronically than via snail mail. Maybe people feel more compelled to respond since often times all invitees can see who is coming, considering or declining the invitation. Peer pressure sets in. Maybe I need to do more inviting online, but to me it seems so less personal.
Really people. Please RSVP for heaven’s sake. It doesn’t take much and small things make a big difference. Yes or no. Your friends and family are counting on you.