activities

How To Organize Your Week

When a new week begins, and we've had our Sunday fun I sit down at the kitchen table and plan the weeks activities and to-do's out! 

I couldn't live without my planners, I think if anything happened to them I would have a full blown panic attack.

I love to write things down. I hate using the calendar on my phone. There's just something wonderful about putting all that I need to get done on a piece of actual paper!! I think I remember things better too when I write it all down. I was that college student who wrote their notes in class in their binder and then re-wrote them once she got back to her dorm so they looked beautiful and well thought out. Maybe that was just me. :) 

Anyways, now there are two other schedules to be in charge of, plus myself and my husbands crazy schedule! 

To keep it all straight I have a to-do and scheduling planner and a financial planner. Let's start with the to-do planner, shall we? 

I got this amazing family planner for $7 at Barnes and Noble! Always try and get your planner for the year mid-January. Everything will be on clearance! 

I got this amazing family planner for $7 at Barnes and Noble! Always try and get your planner for the year mid-January. Everything will be on clearance! 

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I have a to-do side of everything I want to accomplish that week, and all appointments, play dates, and things we are going to make their way in their designated day! It's the best, because it's all right there for me to be productive that week.  

My financial planner is even better. Isn't it cute? I got it from Mardels Christian Bookstore here in Cedar Park for $2!  

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I apparently didn't pay any bills the month of March or had any budget whatsoever. 😂 I'm not showing you May silly, that's none of your business.  

I apparently didn't pay any bills the month of March or had any budget whatsoever. 😂 I'm not showing you May silly, that's none of your business.  

This planner has only monthly views which is perfect for making sure to pay all of those bills on time! I write down at the beginning of every month what is due when, and cross it off as it is paid. The space on the right I use to make my list of maintenance expenses that need to happen that month, hair cuts, bday presents, how much will we try to put into savings. All of that info goes there.

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And then that nifty little pocket is where I store my stamps, paid bills, and receipts. At the end of every month I go through this stack of paper and either throw it away, or if it is a paid bill I file it away for the year.

I've also started to do my grocery shopping online so Sunday evenings when I'm paying bills and planning the week. I'll also plan my meals for the week, and order my groceries so that I can go pick them up the next morning. Which makes me feel super #momfamous ladies.

I also try to plan out fun things to do with the kids each day of the week. I found this super cute print out for weekly planning! http://cf.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/weekly-schedule-color.pdf

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Isn't it cute?!

Meal planning printables are everywhere online. I really love having one that offers a space for breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. I try to stick to a meal plan. It helps me not to be tempted to go spend money at Chickfila so I don't have to make lunch or dinner. I save money writing things down and making it to where I have to look at these plans constantly throughout the day. Keeps me accountable! Just google "meal plan free printables" and you'll find so many fun things to print for your meal planning!

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When I'm done doing my part of planning, Will usually joins me and we have a sync meeting of sorts. I write his schedule on my planner, he writes mine down on his, and we stay connected during the week so much better because of this. We also plan out what we'll do the following weekend as a family and that's my favorite part of the meeting of course! :) 

If you aren't a natural planner, that's okay. Take baby steps. I promise you'll feel more productive, happier, and ready to face the day. Because on that morning when you dread to wake up, you can at least know that you have a plan for that day! 

Ready, Set, Get Organized!! 

 

Share the ways you keep you and your family organized by commenting below! Share your knowledge!!!  

 

Xoxo- 

Amber  

Things To Do With Your Little Ones - Austin, TX

I'm pretty sure Austin, Texas is the most family friendly city in our country. There are so many things to do... all the time! 

I don't know about you, but I love doing things for FREE .... (or as cheap as possible). So, I have made a list of things that I have taken L&L to on a normal basis. 

Story Times - 
There are many to choose from, and all of them are always free.

 

1. Barnes & Noble - story time + craft of some kind that goes with the story books that are read for that day. 

TIME: 11:00AM
DAYS: Every Wednesday and Saturday
TIP: Barnes & Noble opens at 10:00AM. We usually get here right at opening so we can take advantage of the quiet atmosphere and have the train table, and lego table to ourselves for just a bit of time. Once we've played the train table, the lego table, mom's got her coffee, and we've read and explored all of the books on the shelves it's time for story time! Sometimes I'll pack a lunch and head to a park nearby for a picnic and playtime. (also, free I might add) :) 

Bear Check up at our local library.  

Bear Check up at our local library.  

2. Visit Your Local Library!! - Austin, Round Rock, & Cedar Park Libraries all have monthly event calendars for toddlers and preschoolers. Check them out monthly and plan your trips. Super easy, super free. 

TIP: If you think "Listen, my kid won't sit still for story times, crafts, etc." How are they going to learn how to have these skills if you don't give them the opportunity to learn them? Suck it up, pray for patience, don't have any expectations, but at least try... and keep trying. Your child is just being a child, they're not an adult like you. They're going to do fine. The best thing to remember is we've all been there, if we aren't right there with you. 

3. Austin Nature & Science Center - 2389 Stratford Drive Austin TX 78746 -

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Completely FREE and there's so much to explore. My kids favorite is the dinosaur area where you dig for bones. The scenery is beautiful, and it's an awesome place to have a picnic. We love the Nature & Science Center. 

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4. Visit a Museum in downtown Austin - did you know our local museums have free admission on certain days of the month for families? Look up all of our awesome museums and see which days have free admission. They also always have something fun for the kids to do on these free admission days. 

TIP: just make sure to bring some cash for parking!

5. During the Summer - there are so many splash pads and natural pools / springs to visit! Just google these for your area and tons of options will pop up. There are so many beautiful places to swim or play in the water with little ones here in Austin... it's the best!

6. Lastly, check out DO512Family.com - I visit this site weekly, see what Austin has to offer for little ones in my area for free and plan my week accordingly! This might be my favorite website ever. It has everything that's going on in our area for families.. love it!

The Spontaneous Mom

I want to let you know that you can have the freedom to do fun things on a whim with kids. YES, I said with kids. You just have to do a little 'pre-planning'. Here's what I have in the mini van at all times: 

• sunscreen
• swim dipes
• change of clothes
• towels
• picnic blanket
• extra pair of shoes 
• maybe even a snack or two 

Have these things ready in the back of your vehicle and if you're out with the family, and you want to find something fun to do. Then go to the park and have a picnic, or go to the pool or splash pad, let the kids get dirty wherever you are and if you need to go to dinner afterwards or have to do a chore like grocery shopping all together... no big deal, you gotta an extra pair of clothes in the back just waiting for you. 

I go through my stash of stuff that's in my van once a month. With little ones you'll have to replace the clothing that often, cause they grow so fast! 

Don't not have a fun and exciting, spontaneous day with your kids just because it's a lot of work to get out the door. Just do it... even if you don't want to. I have the most fun with my kids and husband when we're out doing fun things with them, even if it is a lot of work getting out the door.

Ready... set... go be spontaneous with your family!