Category Archives: Starting Successful on Mondays

Happy Homemaker Monday, Back To School Week

I’m actually getting a jump on this post by starting it on Saturday!

I anticipate it taking all weekend to finish.

This is back to school week for the boys and I guess, for me.  Somehow, I find myself working the first two days of preschool and part of the last few days of freedom for my boys.  The boys don’t actually return to school until Thursday.

Our week does, however, return to school year busy with a bang starting today (Saturday) with the parent preview of the marching band performance.

In addition to working Monday afternoon, I’m spending the morning taking the car for much overdue service. Tuesday will find me working again. Wednesday may be a free day (she whispers). Thursday will find my boys starting 7th and 11th grades plus an evening band practice for G. Friday will be the first official football game and band performance of the new school year.  Saturday, we will all take a breath (hopefully!).

Time to work on the Sunday night part of my Happy Homemaker Monday post. Don’t forget to check out the wonderful blogs linked up over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom.

The Weather This Week

It’s very dark this Monday morning  but no rain is in the forecast until after midnight.  Highs in the mid-80s all week, quite nice for August.  Big chance of thunderstorms on Wednesday but looks like they’ve changed the rest of the week to have minimal chances.

Right Now I Am

Drinking coffee, finishing up this post, and wondering why the fan in our bedroom seems so noisy.  I noticed it last night.  I’m also wondering how the weekend went by so fast. 

Where did the weekend go?

On My Reading Pile

Hey, I read a book! It’s been much too long.  P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy was a romantic tale with a few twists along the way.  Not something I’d typically pick for my Kindle First selection (one of my favorite perks of having an Amazon Prime account) but I really enjoyed it.

Now, I really must add paying what are probably exorbitant library fees to my to-do list so I can get back to some serious reading.

Movies or Shows I Watched This Weekend

I’m trying to stretch out Madam Secretary since I’m already on season 3 and so I started in on The Great British Baking Show.  May or may not have watched the entire first season of that in 2 days and may or may not have pondered getting the ingredients to make one of those Victoria’s sandwich cakes while grocery shopping last night.

On My TV

Probably just the two shows listed above.

My Menu For The Week

Not exactly exciting stuff…once the fall weather hits, I anticipate being a bit more inspired to plan meals.  Our meals usually end up looking more like this in the summer, no matter what I plan:

No lettuce, so cucumbers had to stand in and no clear table either, so this little corner had to do.

Also, going to link up my menu to Menu Plan Monday, a great place hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie to get a bit of meal planning inspiration.

MONDAY: Chicken Legs *I work until 4:30*

TUESDAY: Hamburgers and hot dogs, chips, watermelon *I work until 4:30*

WEDNESDAY: Tacos *Is it really going to be a free day?*

THURSDAY: Frozen pizza? *First day of school* *G has evening band practice*

FRIDAY: We usually have Subway on Football game Friday nights (Leftovers for anyone not wanting Subway)

On My To-Do List

  1. Go to grocery store
  2. Take car to get oil change and tires rotated (this morning)
  3. Try, try, try again with the Fly lady missions
  4. Clean out freezer
  5. Finish up project in J’s room
  6. Get us, YAWN!, back on a proper schedule
  7. Renew teenager’s driving permit, he’s not quite ready for a license test
  8. Renew car tags
  9. Write a few blog posts
  10. Go somewhere and practice with camera
  11. Get myself some new tennis shoes (this needs to be a higher priority on the list)

What I Am Creating

A corner in J’s room where he can practice his baritone.  Forgot to take a before picture. I’ll try to remember to share an after at least.

Looking Around The House

Not sparkling, not disgusting.  Looks like an office store supply fairy visited as we’re getting ready for back to school.

From The Camera

I saw quite a few butterflies yesterday including a few Monarchs, my favorite kind.  One of the Monarch butterflies even stopped briefly at my front porch garden area. I was very excited. Hoping to see more and maybe get a picture of one.

This little yellow guy was on the begonias but I scared him off to the front porch when I came around with the camera.

What I’m Wearing Today

I’m in my pajamas right now but will change into a short-sleeved blue top with gold sparkly dots and navy Capri pants after I shower.

Simple Pleasure (s)

Three for this week just because…

When our house unexpectedly becomes the teenage hang out for G’s high school friends and they decide to hang out in the upstairs living room as opposed to the basement. It’s so fun to hear tidbits of their conversations as I’m passing through. They are all great friends and great kids.

Random and unexpected hugs from the boys.

When a neighbor/friend texts me unexpectedly after taking J on an outing to say how polite and how they think he is such a great kid.

Quote For The Week

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.  (Aristotle)


What’s on your agenda for the week?

Happy Homemaker Monday, The After Work Edition

An early morning text sent me to work this morning. I was glad to go although tired since I stayed up a little too late last night.

And a bit sad that I didn’t get to work on my post this morning. However, I have a bit of time now. It’s not like I need to feed these kids dinner or anything like that.  Well, I do but I’m going to do this first.

Be sure and check out the weekly link up of our host, Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom.

On to the planning of the week ahead!

The Weather This Week

It spit rain at us today although I didn’t think the weather people thought it would happen. It’s only in the low 70s right now although humid so it feels a little (not much) warmer. We’re supposed to hit the mid 80s later in the week with a chance of thunderstorms on Thursday. I’m hoping for at least one day warm enough to go swimming!

Right Now I Am

Working on this post after having relaxed a bit after work. I got home about 4:30 and still can’t decide whether to have tacos or spaghetti for dinner. *Update: We had tacos and I’m now finishing my post at 9:00p.m.

On My Reading Pile

I have no idea why I’ve hit a reading slump at the end of summer. I’ve been glancing at magazines and that’s it. G has to read The Disappearing Spoon for his chemistry class so maybe I’ll borrow that when he’s done.  I also want to add The Glass Castle to my list as I saw a CBS This Morning segment about it yesterday that left me a bit intrigued. *Update* I just started reading my son’s chemistry book and it’s actually really interesting! Guess I’m going to read that when he’s not reading it.

Movies Or Shows I Watched This Weekend

Last week Pamela from Lady Of The House Speaking suggested that I might really enjoy Madam Secretary on Netflix. She was right! I’m about halfway through season 2.

On My TV

I’ll probably just watch the rest of Madam Secretary when I can get a turn.

My Menu For The Week

The theme of my menus the past few weeks has been carry-over and probably if I’m honest, carry-out as well.  Once school starts in a couple of weeks, I know we’ll do better so I’m not too concerned.

MONDAY: Tacos and Yellow Rice *I worked 8:30-4*

TUESDAY: Roast in the crock pot *just found out I’m working 8-4 tomorrow as well*

WEDNESDAY: French Toast (need to go buy the bread)

THURSDAY: Leftovers *G has band practice at 6* *J wants to go to some Yu-Gi-Oh tournament at 5:30*

FRIDAY: Chicken in some form, maybe chicken legs.

On My To-Do List

Maybe carry-over can just be the theme of the week! At least, I did get a few things done last week…

  1. Make Dr. appointments for the boys
  2. Vote on Tuesday (one local issue here)
  3. Pay bills
  4. Call and make appointment to get car serviced/extend warranty
  5. Go to grocery store Did that one last night at least!
  6. Mail a few cards
  7. Whole house cleaning plan thing
  8. Plan some end of summer fun things to do
  9. Write some blog posts, actually have one done that just needs finishing touches
  10. Practice with Camera, watch videos about it

What I Am Creating

Pretty pictures (hopefully) with the camera

Looking Around The House

You can walk through it without endangering your life so there is that. Usual chaos minus the bit I tidied up on Friday.

From The Camera

My latest batch of camera practice. Butterflies (okay, moths) and the sky.

Playing with a camera filter on this one.

What I’m Wearing Today

short-sleeved blue shirt with sparkly gold dots and black Capri pants (oops, should have grabbed the navy ones), tennis shoes

Simple Pleasure

Simple serendipity. Heard this song on the way to work this morning.

Quote For The Week

Collect Beautiful Moments

(source unknown, found on Pinterest)


So have you had yet another Manic Monday?

Mine really wasn’t too bad until dinner time when I managed to mess up our yellow rice.  It’s hard to simmer the rice if you turn the burner completely off.  Oops.

Happy Homemaker Monday, After The Storm

Can you believe it’s Monday again already?  It’s hit that time of year when time is moving much too fast. And it’s already been such a fast-moving year!

What do you mean it’s Monday again?

It’s definitely the time of year when I rely on these Happy Homemaker Monday posts to keep me motivated. Make sure to check out Sandra, our host, over at her blog, Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom,!

Time to get to the plan and let you quit wondering why I titled this post after the storm. Hint: It’s related to the weather we had over the weekend.

Speaking of the weather…

The Weather This Week

Much better than last week! It’s a lot nicer to wake up to a slightly cool 72 degrees than to wake up to 85 degrees.  We’re just barely going to hit the low 90s this week with a good chance of thunderstorms on Thursday.

After all our super hot, heat advisory weather at the end of last week, a big cooling thunderstorm rolled into town on Saturday night.  Unfortunately, it brought lots of high winds with it.

We were among the lucky ones who kept power and just had a few tree limbs down in our yard.

Some of our neighbors were not as fortunate, losing power and not getting it back until late last night.  One of G’s good friends actually stayed over last night so he could get a good night’s sleep before band practice today.

Other neighbors had entire trees fall into their back yard. This was a backyard 2 houses down from us, not sure the photo does the size of the tree justice:

Thankfully, the falling tree didn’t do any damage

I took this photo when my husband, J, & I walked around the block last night:

This tree fell on the road near the end of the street, luckily it’s not blocking traffic

Right Now I Am:

Still trying to wake up while working on this post.  Kind of funny since the cat woke me up at 5:30, then I woke up around 7, made 2 kids breakfast and took them to band camp. The phone has rung no less than 3 times since then, and yet I’d still like to just go back to bed. I’m also drinking my coffee and thinking about how I really need to get to the grocery store!

On My Reading Pile

Ugh, nothing. I did download The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien to the Kindle app on my phone.  Maybe some magazines…

Movies Or Shows I Watched This Weekend

I watched Terminator Genisys, my other $5 Wal-Mart bin find from our vacation by myself on Friday night and enjoyed it.

I did also finally catch a small bit of Star Crossed on Saturday night. Hopefully, they’ll put it on Netflix at some point and I can just watch it that way as I was totally lost after not watching for a few weeks.

On My TV

No idea.  Summer TV is not the best and my TV is usually occupied by kids playing games or watching their things.  My boys favor Japanese anime, hoping reading subtitles can count as summer reading?

My Menu For The Week

I don’t know and they don’t care.  I guess we could call that the usual? Since fish and tacos were the only two meals I followed off last week’s plan, look for lots of repeats.

Technically, I’m not available to my work all week either (there are some wonderful joys to being a substitute!) though they’ve already called once this morning, so I should try to make some better meals.  Perhaps things that could be doubled and frozen for busier weeks.

This whole menu is subject to change after I go to the store later today.

MONDAY: ham, cornbread, potatoes *carry over*

TUESDAY: roast in crock pot *carry over*

WEDNESDAY: chicken enchiladas for J & I (leftover tacos for my husband & G)

THURSDAY: No idea…maybe pork chops or if the right bread is on sale, French Toast

FRIDAY:  OUT maybe or pizza.

On My To-Do List

Quite a bit of carry over from last week though I did get a few things done at least…

  1. Go through boys’ clothes and rooms to clear things out before donation truck comes Wednesday morning.
  2. Register boys for school
  3. Make doctor’s appointments for boys
  4. Try to talk husband into going camping this weekend since the weather will be decent
  5. Get book for G’s summer class, talk to him AGAIN about not waiting until last-minute (apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, SIGH)
  6. Add all of the band dates to all calendars plus all school year day off dates
  7. Still need to make house-cleaning plan, practice with camera, and write trip advisor reviews
  8. Go to the Grocery store
  9. Go to Target, Get G a water bottle for band camp (has to happen today)
  10. Call and make time to get car serviced, may need to extend service contract

What I Am Creating

Still working on that clean, organized house idea.  Would like to re-do J’s room but he needs to be on board with the idea…

Looking Around The House

I may need to create a few chore charts!  The kitchen sink is full of dishes yet again.  Rest of it needs a thorough cleaning.

From The Camera

I need to start making time to practice with my camera every day.  I am figuring out how to do some minor editing on the computer to make my pictures slightly better so there’s that I suppose.

Unedited photo of last night’s sky: A different photo of the sky last night where I played with some of the settings:

What I’m Wearing Today:

Pink tee-shirt with a very faded flamingo design, black shorts, and crocs. I’ll probably change later as I haven’t even hopped in the shower yet today and just threw this outfit on to run the kids to band camp.

Simple Pleasure

Going to work when I want and sometimes when I don’t want to go as well.  I’m fortunate to have a job I love and being around all those preschool kids brings me such joy even on miserable heat advisory days.  Even on days when I come home covered in blood, sweat, and tears (not necessarily all my own), I still love it. That said, I’m also glad to be mostly OFF work this week 😉

Quote For The Week

Since I pinned this twice with in the last two weeks, perhaps it better be my quote for the week…

Let all that you do be done in love ( I Corinthians 16:18)


Did yet another Monday sneak up on you as well?  What’s on your agenda for the last full week in July?

Happy Homemaker Monday, Right Back To Busy

We were away last week on a trip, I suppose you could call it a vacation.  I’m not sure I would call it that.

Sometimes trying to make the best of things still leaves you feeling a bit flat.  We had an unexpected death in the family the week before we left.  Going to a funeral the day before leaving for an extended trip was a bit rough.

It was the kind of vacation that left me needing a vacation but not because we did too much. In fact, it was if anything the opposite.

We cut our trip a bit short to come home earlier for a family member’s birthday.  I wanted to be selfish and go on our entire and probably much too long trip but the teenager encouraged us to do the right thing so we skipped the mountains and arrived home on Friday as opposed to Sunday evening.

Now, it’s back to the reality of a busy week.  I am glad though to be back to blogging. Once again, I’m joining in the Happy Homemaker Monday link up hosted by Sandra over at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom.

The Weather This Week

Funny, we went to the desert last week only to return to heat advisory weather here this week.  Mid to upper 90s all week.  Add in the humidity and it’s going to feel lots hotter out there.

Right Now I Am

Barely awake, drinking my coffee with almond milk and trying to get this post together before the boys wake up and I lose my computer to J.

On My Reading Pile

Returned all my overdue books to the library before we left on our trip.  J did want to read with me last night (hardly ever happens!) so I grabbed an old favorite off the shelf. I’m now re-reading A Wrinkle In Time.

Movies Or Shows I Watched This Weekend

I did watch one of my favorite movies on the way home from our trip.  The Martian will get you from Oklahoma City to El Dorado, Kansas if you are traveling the turnpike.  Yesterday, I also watched Interstellar, a $5 Wal-Mart bin find. And yes, I do have a weird obsession with incredibly long space movies (especially ones with Matt Damon ;)).

The only other things I watched over the weekend were a few episodes of Orange Is The New Black with my husband. And The Candy Crush game show, it was okay.

On My TV

I’m not really sure. It’s going to be so hot that I’m sure we’ll be watching a bit of it.

Menu For This Week

I’ve been told summer weather and spaghetti do not go together so I guess that’s off the menu until cooler days arrive.  Our record for choosing quality restaurants on this trip was a little sad so I’m going to try to make things I know we all like this week.

MONDAY:  Tacos

TUESDAY:   Ham (in freezer), potatoes, and cornbread  *I have Bunco*

WEDNESDAY:  Chicken legs

THURSDAY:   Roast in the Crock Pot *I work 12-6* *Mom’s Night Out* (it’s usually not the same as Bunco week except for this month)

FRIDAY:  Hoping my husband will cook fish  *I work 12-6*

On My To-Do List

Um, everything!

  1. Pay bills
  2. Mow the lawn
  3. Finish up laundry (thankfully, this is mostly done)
  4. Make Doctor appointments for the boys
  5. See if there is a way to squeeze a weekend trip in before school starts
  6. Register boys for school
  7. Put batteries in the kitchen clock
  8. Clean out fridge before Tuesday
  9. Get Summer materials for a couple of G’s classes
  10. Make some plans for J next week since G has band practice
  11. Look up driver’s ed course times for G
  12. Figure out plan for de-cluttering and cleaning the whole house
  13. Practice more with camera, I didn’t get enough practice before our trip and it shows
  14. Write a few trip reviews for trip advisor
  15. Break down and make a summer bucket list for our last 4 weeks of summer (!!)

What I Am Creating

I’d like to create a clean, organized house in time for back to school.  We’ll see how that goes…

Looking Around The House

It’s been worse but for some reason I’m in a spring cleaning mood.  I think it started when I realized house-keeping doesn’t follow you home from your hotels.

From The Camera

I was a bit obsessed with the skies in New Mexico and Texas. The first two are New Mexico skies. The second photo is the sky at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas.

What I’m Wearing Today

Still in my nightshirt at the moment.  Will probably go change into a tee-shirt and jean shorts and tennis shoes to mow and then, a new tee-shirt and shorts  and sandals after that.

Simple Pleasure

The sights and sounds of home.  I love to travel but (for me) nothing beats sitting on my own front porch with the cat enjoying the flowers, green grass, and tall trees as the lightning bugs start dotting the sky in time to the cicadas’ chorus along with the background noises of distant lawn mowers and light traffic.

Quote For The Week

Do you have a busy week on your horizon?

Happy Homemaker Monday, Fourth of July Week

I’m getting my post together on Sunday evening as I’d like to break my current trend of posting so late in the week.  While I’m at it, I’d like to break the current trend of hardly posting each week.  No promises.

Let’s just move on and get to the categories.  Don’t forget to go check in on all the other great bloggers linked up with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom.

The Weather This Week

Temps in the high 80s to low 90s with chances of thunderstorms most days this week.

Right Now I Am

Drinking a cup of Chai green tea with a splash of almond milk and working on this post.

On My Reading Pile

*Hanging my head in shame* The same stack of overdue library books as last week.  They MUST go back tomorrow.

Movies or Shows I Watched This Weekend

Not sure if it was officially the weekend when we watched it but J and I both enjoyed BFG on Netflix very much.  He said it did not quite follow the book. I also watched The Matrix (We own it!) and several episodes of That 70s Show (So funny but absolutely not for the kiddos!) and a bit of a documentary series about the Galapagos islands.

Who was that person last week saying something about not watching so much TV and focusing on reading and cleaning house?

On My TV

If at first you don’t succeed…

Menu For The Week

Summer means I hardly follow my menu plans so lots of carry overs week to week. This week I’m trying to use mostly what we have on hand.

MONDAY:  Pork Chops and baked potatoes

TUESDAY:*Fourth of July*  Going to a party at a friend’s house.  Taking Crunchy Coleslaw per my husband’s request plus probably some sort of dessert.

WEDNESDAY: Breakfast for dinner, bacon and pancakes

THURSDAY: Rotisserie Chicken probably *I work 10 to 6*

FRIDAY: Not sure…maybe fish & chips *Coffee with a friend in the a.m.*

On My To-Do List

  1. Go to the grocery store
  2. Go to Target
  3. Take the books back to library (This should be first on the list!)
  4. Laundry, must be caught up by end of the week
  5. Experiment with making some snacks
  6. Clean whole house, room each day perhaps.

What I Am Creating

Not much.  I could change the title to what I am battling in my flower garden and say Japanese beetles which are swarming my boxwood plants and bud worms which have discovered my geraniums and probably the petunias as well.

Ugh. Any gardeners out there with advice for me? Don’t want to use anything that might hurt bees or other caterpillars.

Looking Around The House

It’s not too awful.

From The Camera

Exciting news on the camera front.  I finally just yesterday, got a new one! I wasn’t quite ready (and neither was our budget) for a full on DSLR camera so I went with a bridge camera.  Since my little Nikon Coolpix S6100 has served me very well since 2010, I stayed brand loyal and bought a Nikon Coolpix B500.

A few pictures from my new camera practice…no editing except a tiny bit of cropping on the cat photo. Let me apologize now for the photo overload.

The macro setting fascinates me.  Funny, I couldn’t even have told you what that was a year ago and now I know it’s for close-up photos. Then, there’s this 40x zoom function.  I still need to practice with it.  These creatures were on the far edge of the neighbor’s driveway. I zoomed in on this Mimosa tree branch from my back deck.  The tree is on the next block in a neighbor’s front yard. I can’t take credit for the next photo.  J took it.  He captured her personality perfectly. Finally, I must share a photo of the camera that’s been behind the blog previously.  Still functions despite the messed up lens cover.

What I’m Wearing Today

Since it’s Sunday night, I’m about to change into my pajamas.  No idea what I’ll wear tomorrow but today I wore an old tee-shirt sporting the boys’ elementary school and black shorts.

Simple Pleasure

Trying to learn a new skill (playing with my new camera!).

Quote For The Week

Keep your face always toward the sunshine-and the shadows will fall behind you.  (Walt Whitman)


Just in case I don’t get back to posting this week, hope everyone who celebrates it has a wonderful, safe, and happy Fourth of July!



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