Last week, Chad and I went to Costa Rica!
Remember how I asked you guys for vacation ideas? Well, I was listening. About a week after getting so many amazing suggestions from y’all, I cancelled the trip that I’d planned (to the same spot in Mexico we’d gone to in October) and decided we were heading someplace new.
And it was such an awesome trip. Costa Rica has been on our list of places we’d like to visit since around our honeymoon, but somehow we never made it there, even though it’s less than three hours from Houston. But as I was thinking about where we liked to go, a few of you chimed in about it, and I decided that this was our chance.
One thing I really love about Houston is that it’s amazingly easy to travel from here as a home base. In about three hours, I can be in Manhattan, Los Angeles, or sitting on a beach in Mexico. It’s sort of a pipe dream because spending even a few days away from Bear is hard, but I also try to remind myself that someday soon, he can come with us. He’s too little to appreciate it now, but one of my biggest dreams for him is to have him experience different cultures around the world, and I can’t wait to get started.
I have a few more pictures (all from my iPhone, which is a story of its own) that I’ll share later this week, but for now let me say: Happy Monday!
One of the biggest things I’ve learned in the last year is how to be more efficient at everything. From my job to our errands to even this blog, I’m constantly looking for ways to make everything on my plate more streamlined and easier to handle.
So I thought I’d share a few of my favorite high-efficiency spring cleaning tips with you guys, in case any of you are struggling with how to re-organize and streamline your homes this season! From bills to laundry to taking care of our son, I’ve found a few ways to make everything go a little smoother, and I’d love for you guys to chime in with any of your own as well.
Multitask: You’ll almost never find me doing just one thing. I’ve constantly juggling a to-do list that’s a mile long, so when I have a few extra minutes, I try to find small things I can knock off quickly. My phone is terrific for this! Waiting for the laundry to finish? Order paper towels from the Amazon app. Sitting in traffic on the way to a meeting? Perfect time for a chat with my mom. Instead of letting everything pile up until it’s unmanageable, I knock small items off my list every time I have a spare minute.
Set Short, Incremental Time Limits: Over time, I’ve noticed that I’m exceptionally productive right at the end of the day. After a while, I learned to put this habit to use, and it’s honestly changed my life. If I need to do something, I give myself a reasonable, but small, window to do it in, and tell myself I’ll only do it for that long. Folding laundry? Ten minutes. Prepping dinner? Twenty. I even use the timer on my phone sometimes. I build in breaks along the way so that I’m not rushing from task to task, but setting time limits means that I don’t end up wasting an hour procrastinating about something that only takes ten minutes. It’s a game-changer!
Thing Big: There’s a limit to the projects that you can get done in ten or twenty minutes, no matter how efficient you are. So I also set aside time for bigger projects, every few months or so. Things like re-organizing the pantry or researching home improvement projects that I want to put more time and thought into before tackling them. Springtime is the perfect reminder for projects like this, and I have a few on my plate right now that I’m making some good progress on.
All About Efficiency: Our house was built a few years ago and one of the big luxuries in a new house is that you find new, energy-efficient appliances, including our beloved washing machine and dryer. (And, yes, I’m not exaggerating at all when I call our washing machine “beloved” — living in a walk-up apartment in New York for years without a washing machine made me learn that a washing machine is not something you ever, ever take for granted. Oh, New York real estate. Good times.) But even a high-efficiency machine can use a boost to save you some time, water, and money. Tide’s HE Turbo Clean™ detergent is brand new and is the #1 recommended detergent by leading HE washer manufacturers. Conserving energy is a big plus in our house, particularly as we start to teach our son about the importance of conserving water and natural resources.
How does it work? Good question. HE Turbo Clean™ detergent saves time and water to make sure your machine is running at peak performance. It uses quick-dissolving Smart Suds™ technology to help prevent HE Machines from running additional rinse cycles. Skipping those additional cycles can save you up to 25 minutes and 10 gallons of water! And the best part is that it’s faster and more efficient than the usual laundry process, leaving you with more time for everything else in your day.
What are your favorite spring cleaning tips? To learn more about the new Tide® HE Turbo Clean™ formula, visit Tide.com/HE!
Disclosure: I partnered with Tide® to bring you this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Tags: home · sponsored
Dear Baby Bear,
This weekend, we celebrated your first birthday.
I know. I can’t believe it either.
How is it possible that you’re a year old already? It feels like moments ago when I was was nine months pregnant and couldn’t wait for you to arrive, so nervous and scared and naive about the year we were about to be thrown into.
And now you’re a year old. You’re not an infant anymore, and you’re hardly a baby. You’re just on the border of toddlerhood, the same person you’ve always been, and different every day. It’s been a year of watching you grow and change in so many ways, with me just trying to just hold on and keep up.
The night of your birthday party, we sat in your rocking chair before bed, like we always do. And for a moment, I thought about those early days, when you were too tiny to even hold your head up and all you wanted was to snuggle and feel safe and warm in my arms. And I hugged you closer, because you’re so much bigger now but you’re still that same baby to me. You always will be.
This year has been so incredibly wonderful And it’s also been so incredibly hard. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if having a baby was hard or wonderful, like it had to be one or the other. But it’s always been both. Every single day, it’s been both at the exact same time. It was the toughest year I’ve ever had. And it was also the best year of my life.
There were nights holding you in my arms when I wanted to just stop time forever, to pause that moment and spend eternity there. The joy of watching you grow up is impossible to even describe, and even now, after a year, it all felt like it went by too fast. Some days felt like they’d never end, but this year passed in the blink of an eye.
More than anything, though, I’m so grateful that you’re part of our family. Your entry in our lives was like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and the best way I can explain it is this: The love that I have for you is so immense that it’s made me love everything in the world a little bit more. You opened up my heart in a completely new way, and I will forever be grateful for it.
At your party, some of my friends with older kids told me that a baby’s first birthday is for the parents to celebrate making it through the first year. And we did. We made it, and we celebrated.
It was the toughest year.
It was the best year.
Happy birthday, Baby Bear. We love you so much.
Tags: baby · life