A trick to having a smooth weekend (with kids).

zack maxwell maggie whitley

natalie maggie whitley

natalie maggie whitley

I’ve found a helpful trick to help our weekends go smoothly, while adding in a bit of fun: once the kids go down for their afternoon nap I get the diaper bag ready. It takes me less than a minute to add a couple water bottles, some snacks, check the diaper stack, and add in a blanket for Natalie. Then we have about two hours to ourselves while they sleep, which can be spent individually or together. When nap time is over we change diapers and get in the Jeep — and head off to a little adventure.

We usually go to the park to play, but splash pads, the Santa Monica promenade, or a family-themed errand (visiting “the camping store”), is also fun. Knowing we have a destination in mind, and we aren’t wasting minutes trying to figure out what we should do, is so helpful. Like, so very helpful. The kids are young, and while I don’t want that to be an excuse for not going out and doing fun things with them, I know it’s a little impractical to try to do too much with the time frames we have. (Every once in a while we skip Natalie’s morning nap and do something totally different, and I’m grateful she’s so flexible.)

Once we’re back home, dinner is on the table within 20 minutes because I’ve done some prep work beforehand. On Saturday we had crockpot chicken fajitas, so I made some Mexican rice while Zack bathed the kids. Then it was dinner, story time/quiet play, and bed.

That’s my plan: tire them out and feed them well, before sending them off to bed ;)

It works every time, and we all go to bed feeling so happy.

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Babies, books, and going on dates!

Natalie Maxwell maggie whitley

Where in the world have the last two years and four months GONE? Max and Natalie are growing like adorable weeds (comparison photo from last month) and more & more often at night I find myself choking up while putting them to bed. They are so precious and fun to be around, I am loving their current ages so much. I don’t know what’s better, seeing Max walk over to Natalie so he can cup her cheeks and coo in her face, or watching her eyes light up as Max talks to her. They are both absolutely amazing.

Natalie Maxwell maggie whitley

We’ve been going to the park in the morning nearly every day, which I’m all HELLO, three hour naps — for both of them! (#momwin) Their long naps mean I can sit down with a book and basically watch the clock tick by, a dream! I put together a list of recent books I’ve read, but I’d love to know in the comments below any suggestions you have for me to read next. For our August book club read we’re reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I started listening to this via audio book and it’s pretty darn great. I can’t wait to go through our apartment and make some changes ;) Watch out Zack.

date zack maggie whitley

And speaking of Zack, he took me on a super fun date last weekend. We stopped for burgers & beer before grabbing an order of ice-cream and eating it on the beach. And you guys, what a treat it was to be alone with him for three hours! (We do babysitting/date swaps with friends.) During that time there were no diaper changes, no one ate sand, and no one fought over beach toys. But we did laugh a lot, and it felt like we were 18 again ;) I loved our date so much, SO MUCH HAPPY!

This weekend we’re heading to the beach as a family (any bets on who’ll eat sand first?), and I’m going on a solo run Saturday morning, which I’ve been looking forward to all week. How about you?

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Life around here.

kids swings maggie whitley

Work and play, that’s pretty much been our focus all week. Monday we played all day long as a family since Zack had the day off work #bonus. We had a great time at the beach Tuesday with friends. I always look forward to our weekly adventures to the ocean.

We switched things up this week and Wednesday was my designated work day. That was a crazy productive day, oh my goodness :) My stash of sewn handmade products is piled high, which is great since I’m nearly sold out of Caroline-made. (Did you see I sewed for the Gussy Sews shop this week? SO much fun.)

Yesterday I completed a 4.12 mile run in the morning. And, multiple times this week we went to the park to play. Like, multiple multiple times this week. Summer is the best time to have a full schedule doing the things we love best, I can think of nothing better as a child than feeling zapped of energy come bedtime. I hope my kids appreciate that feeling, too ;)

I’ve been stealing minutes here and there to put away the evidence of this week’s work and play. Sweeping and vacuuming and laundry and fabric de-stashing (I’ll have a bundle of scraps to list for sale) and eating family meals together and goal setting and packaging orders and material purchasing and sewing. Bubble baths and reading on the couch and morning coffee and making my grocery list. All of these things happen when we re-prioritize our time and wow, that’s a direct road to productivity.

TGIF, friends. It’s time to relax!

PS. I mentioned sharing a DIY project this week, but after I saw how full my posting schedule was I decided to save it for next week. (I promise it’s worth the save!)

caroline-made maggie whitley

PPS. this specific colorway of Hip Pouches is almost sold out. If you want one, better snag one now…

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Life around here.

natalie maggie whitley

It has been a great week! Monday greeted me with a fresh carafe of coffee brewed just for me (I think running is making my body reject non-decaf coffee; has this happened to you?), along with a custom message on my coffee cup thanks to Zack. We had a little hiccup a few days ago with Natalie not wanting to nurse, but I think I figured out the problem so we’re back on track! ;) And oddly, this little hiccup is (fingers crossed) helping her to now sleep through the night, so there’s the silver lining of that situation.

muffins maggie whitley

We are off on a camping adventure this weekend with friends! I’m so excited! I think we’re all ready for some time outdoors without any thoughts of work or TV or phone cords. Yesterday, Max helped me bake some banana muffins to take with us.

maxwell sink maggie whitley

As a reward for doing such a great job listening while we baked, I let him play with a bowl of soapy water in the kitchen sink. In all honesty, it’s his dream activity :)

natalie maggie whitley

And this girl, seriously, she melts us all. She is so generous with her smiles, she’s so happy, and so expressive with her feelings. Natalie, we adore you (and your great hair)!

maxwell maggie whitley

SQUINTY SMILES — give me all of them! Plus: elephants!, climbing stairs!, finding leaves!, and telling me everything he sees! Max is definitely our little blonde explorer.

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

“Mama, pick up Bauer, put in here.”

Ummm, no.

hand-painted lyric art maggie whitley

Next week I’ll be sharing a handpainted DIY, one of my very favorite home projects to date! Next time we move across the country, you can bet I’ll find room in our Jeep for this piece of art. I love it. Have a great weekend, friends!

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