We had another blissful get away to the lake this summer.
The perfect reprieve from the hot and sticky week we had back home.
The weather was glorious and although it is so very hard to leave we all feel rested and renewed.
creating space for beauty & simplicity
Recently I was inspired by an article a friend posted on Facebook about a mother who limits screen time by essentially giving her kids unlimited screen time. It’s all accomplished with a list and once that list is completed they are free to stare at a screen all day long if they like.
The list is comprised of 4 or 5 “must dos” each day such as reading, keeping a tidy room, making one’s bed, homework and to engage in something creative for at least 45 minutes. Her children also have to complete one chore each day. The idea was that through these daily expectations, her kids might get wrapped up in some of the items on the list and that screen time may not even happen at all some days.
I decided to create our own modified version of this approach (with the help of my girls) and for the most part it is working for us. To be honest we don’t spend a ton of time on screens but I thought it might be a good way to encourage team work around the house and to instill a sense of routine and accomplishment each day. I love a good list and my girls seem to as well.
Not long after creating their list I began to ask myself why should this apply to just my girls?
Although I tend to not be the most consistent person in the world, I do appreciate some routine in my life. I have created some daily rituals that I truly appreciate and thought a few more were in order.
And so my own list was created. It’s a short and simple list, just the way I like things. My only rule was to choose things that brought me complete joy.
I have titled my list Just a Little Bit because I have found that if I don’t put any expectations on the items on my list other than to “just do a little bit of…..” , I tend to enjoy them more and find that sometimes I will spend a bit more time doing them than if I had a specific time limit or goal. Even if I only spend just 10 minutes in the garden or knitting just a few rows, it all adds up in the end. A little bit of something can lead to a lot. And with all of the other things that need to fit into a day, doing just a little bit of something feels more achievable and less overwhelming.
Today I set out with the intention of doing just a little bit of weeding. Before I knew it an hour had flown by and I had the entire front garden weed free!
I have been keeping to my list almost every day and even though we went away this past weekend I was able to keep to all but one item since most of them are portable.
I like how all of the items on my list are both enjoyable and lead to an accomplishment of some sort. Although I guess you can argue that all things enjoyable lead to joy and happiness which is a fine sort of accomplishment in my book.
My list is as follows.
Every day try to do just a little bit of…..
Reading (a book)
Playing music (piano and/or ukelele)
What are you doing just a little bit of each day?
Side note: My garden is happier than ever this summer!
We had a lovely holiday weekend at home full of festivities, food, fireworks and an outdoor cinema all right in our own backyard.
Not a day goes by where I don’t appreciate our community, our town, our neighborhood and the wonderful traditions we have created around them.
If I won the lottery I wouldn’t change a thing.
I would stay put right where we have so luckily landed.
Life is good.
A few days before we left for the lake we had a little “Pie on the Porch” party. I like to host monthly pie parties in the summertime for an excuse to bake with seasonal fruits and to eat it with friends. May and June flew by too fast so before July left us we invited some of our favorite people over to eat peach/cherry crumble and calflouti. Yep no pie. But there was sangria so all was forgiven.
How to host a “pie on the porch party”
Don’t have a porch? No worries! The idea is to get outside on a summer night. A patio, balcony, deck or backyard will suffice just fine.
Don’t have enough time to make a pie? Pie crust just isn’t your thing? Don’t fret! Crisps and crumbles take no time at all and are just as yummy if not more. Or how about a calflouti. a tart, brown betty or trifle? It’s all about enjoying fresh seasonal fruit in some form or fashion so how about just fruit atop whipped or iced cream.
To make things simple serve a featured drink of the evening. Making a pitcher or punchbowl of something like sangria or mojitos can allow the host to sit back and enjoy. Highlight what’s growing in your garden by using fresh herbs like mint,lemon verbena, or basil. There are so many delicious summertime cocktail recipes out there. Ice is key for many drinks so make sure your freezer or cooler is stocked with it!
Serve a few savory things to nibble on to balance the sweet. I made the watermelon-basil-feta cubes I wrote about a few weeks back.
Make a playlist of your recent favorite tunes. Or break out the record player and vinyl.
String some twinkle lights around tree branches to make things a bit festive.Scatter votives about and have a lighter in your pocket ready for sundown.
Keep bugs at bay. Have a few bottles of natural bug spray on hand for guests. Light a few citronella candles. Bring out an oscillating fan. (we have found this to be the most effective way to keep bugs away!)
For the younger folk offer a basket of flashlights for flashlight tag, sparklers, or mason jars to collect fireflies.
At some point in the evening tuck a little pie or crisp away for breakfast in the morning!