Wasting Mental Energy and Space

Gosh.  Who knew?  Who knew that I was doing something that affected my mental energy?  Who knew that I was doing something for 8 months that I didn’t actually like?  It was always hanging over my head, and I never … Continue reading

How Balance 365 Fits into Our Family Finances

We have been flooded in (again).  So I decided to process through some things and spend time getting organized. No makeup Monday! I have been struggling to figure out what habit to focus on next in my program.  I was … Continue reading

Being the Best Me I Can Be

I used to think that was dumb.  I mean, I am ENOUGH where I am.  Jesus loves me, my family loves me, and I don’t HAVE to change to prove that I am worthy.  I know all of these things. … Continue reading

Doing Hard Work

Routine.  It’s so necessary for my mental health.  While I try really hard to implement it during the summer, it’s not built in so it’s hard. I tend to stay up too late.  Sleep too late.  Sit around drinking coffee … Continue reading

Meal Planning Sundays, March 19th-25th

Meal Planning Sundays

Whew.  Like I said in my last post, this past week has been a whirlwind! So crazy busy!  It was fantastic, but I’m reading for routine again.  I’m pretty worn out!

One part of routine is meal planning!  I have so much food here that meal planning should be a breeze!

Here’s my plan:

Breakfasts

  • Eggs in tortillas with cheese (and Cholula)
  • Green smoothie (I use cashew milk now and collagen for protein to cut down on dairy… I might also use some of my homemade Greek yogurt) and toast
  • English muffin with fried egg and cheese
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Granola and homemade Greek yogurt

Lunches

  • Sandwich (ham and cheese or peanut butter and raw honey), veggies and hummus (or ranch), and Triscuits or Flaxseed and Quinoa chips
  • Cottage cheese, boiled eggs, veggies and hummus, Triscuits or Flaxseed and Quinoa chips
  • Quesadillas with sour cream and salsa
  • Bean and cheese burritos
  • Dining hall
  • Leftovers

Dinners

  • Monday- Homemade meat sauce (though I don’t have squash and zucchini so it will have less veggies), pasta, and steamed broccoli
  • Tuesday- Tacos
  • Wednesday- Burrito bowls (pinto beans, brown rice, cheese, sour cream, guac, hot sauce)
  • Thursday- Dining hall
  • Friday- Pizza (homemade or frozen… not sure yet)
  • Saturday- Dining hall (lunch and dinner unless we decide to take a day trip somewhere)
  • Sunday- Leftovers

Snacks

  • Veggies (carrots, broccoli, and celery) and hummus
  • Fruit (apples, apple sauce, and oranges at the moment)
  • Triscuits and cream cheese
  • Flaxseed and Quinoa chips
  • Tortilla chips
  • Mixed nuts/almonds
  • String cheese
  • Triple Zero yogurt (or Simply Gogurt for the kids)
  • Boiled eggs
  • Goldfish
  • Peanut butter/cheese crackers
  • Pop Tarts (I love them)

As always, there are a mix of “whole foods” and processed foods.  I have learned a great balance with this and feel content with this.

I hope you have a great week ahead!

Simple Living

Simple Living

Over the years, due to my mental illness, I have had to simplify my life so much.

I have tried working so many times and can’t; I’ve tried homeschooling (many times) and can’t.

These cause severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.  Also, with my bipolar 2, I never know if I’m going to be able to function from one moment to the next.  I haven’t been stable for more than a month at a time for years.

Because of this, I am working towards getting disability.  I have a hearing soon and I’m using a lawyer.

Simple Schedule and Routine

Recently, I decided to get rid of a lot of things and truly simplify.  I organized well in order to keep things easy to keep up with.  I take one day at a time.  I try not to over-plan because I know that that usually means anxiety.

The only things on my plate are:

  • Time with family (though the kids are gone from 6:30 till 4:30 every day, so that means I’m alone a lot)
  • Self care
  • Bible study (personal daily and women’s once a week) and Church (a few times a month)
  • AA (twice a week, at one hour each time)
  • Counseling (sometimes) and kids’ counseling (every other week)
  • Coffee with friends (when I can handle it)
  • Cleaning (I have a daily routine that I keep up with so things don’t get out of control)
  • Cook/make simple meals
  • A few small hobbies as I can handle it (mostly blogging and baking)

That’s it.

Our kids also have very simple lives.

  • Chores (daily they make their bed, fold and put away laundry, and clean up their rooms and living room if they leave things there)
  • School (of course, they are gone a long time every day for school)
  • Homework (very little… reading for 20-30 minutes and math and/or spelling)
  • Play (they spend a lot of time outside and with friends)
  • Play games and read
  • Counseling
  • Church
  • Electronics, limited

Karis does choir (one hour a week), and Ethan does some mountain biking (a few races a year).  No large amount of time doing sports or other extra curricular activities.  This isn’t for everyone, but it’s best for our family.

Simple Planning

I basically just sit down with my Happy Planner the night before or the morning of and plan my day.  It tends to be a lot of the same each day and I’m good with that.  Other than that, I go by my daily/weekly routine.

Simple Eating

We typically eat a lot of the same things consistently.  I try to mix it up sometimes, but pretty much every meal I do is simple.  I use my instant pot a lot, and I usually make meals that don’t take very long.

I have a weekly routine to do some food prep so that things are simple through the week.  I fill my veggie tray to pull out for lunches and sometimes for dinners.  I sometimes make homemade Greek yogurt, but this time around I just bought some.

I try to buy some things that are convenience to be easy to use/eat.  For example, I buy already cut broccoli and baby carrots.  I buy some granola bars and peanut butter crackers.  I LOVE buying pre-boiled and peeled boiled eggs (I hate boiling and peeling them).  The boys just grab a bag and eat a few for snacks. And I eat them at lunches often.  Sometimes I buy pre-made salads but they are much more expensive than buying leaf lettuce.  So sometimes I buy leaf lettuce, tear/cut it, and add some bagged spinach to it.  I have taken a break from salads for a while, though.

I meal plan each week so that we all know what we will be eating.  It helps keep the guess work out of it, and I am able to do any prep ahead of time (like thawing meat, etc).

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We also eat in the dining hall when we can because it’s free, and I don’t have to cook and clean up.  Sometimes I can’t handle being in a loud dining hall, but I’m getting to where I can these days.

The Little Things

I try really hard to enjoy the little things each day.  I have learned to be content with what we have and where we are in life.  I am at peace with where we live and know that this is life from now on (unless God has us move on, but I highly doubt it to be honest).  I light candles every day, and start out with a good cup of coffee.  I have been slowly decorating our home (on a tight budget) because I want to enjoy being here.  Having coffee with friends has helped me to grow closer to others here and it has given me a ministry (other than AA).  I enjoy getting up in the morning now and watching the sun rise.

I love hiking and am so glad that we have the hiking trails right outside our door.  We live on 1400 acres.  We try to take family hikes on weekends as we can.  It doesn’t always work out.  This is basically the only form of exercise that I like :-).

Our Home

I love our home.  It’s not very big (about 1300 sq ft), but it’s perfect for us.  The boys share a room, Karis has her own room (that is so fun and perfect for her), and our bedroom has a comfy love seat in it (that I got for $30 from a Thrift Store).  I have an amazing “bonus room” with my office area, a couple of shelves with books, a chair with side table and books, my guitar (that my brother gave me and I want to learn how to play), curtains (that were $20 for 4 panels), a fun rug ($30 on Amazon), and a bunch of art that I already had or got for $1 at Dollar Tree.  It’s my favorite room in the house.  I also have a succulent plant on the windowsill by my desk :-).

Our living room is so great.  The tree wall was here when we moved in.

I spent a lot of time working on the kids’ rooms recently and it’s so much easier to keep clean.

I love our kitchen and our food storage.  It makes me happy.  I spend a lot of time in there.

This is the view from our back windows/back porch.

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My office and bedroom are my sanctuary.  I just love them.

I just love life and feel at peace with where we are.  I am also excited about our future and what that looks like.

Self Care Sunday

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Usually on self care days, I still do some chores.  The reason is that having a clean house is self care for me.  I like to keep up with everything so I don’t get behind and start to have anxiety and depression.  I mean, anxiety and depression still happen (hello mental illness), but if I can prevent it, I will try :-).

So basically that means keeping up with the daily chores: one load of laundry (from start to finish), sweep/vacuum, make my bed, pick up things that are laying around (and the kids will clean up their things), and keep up with dishes.

I need to do a bit of food prep.  This means cutting veggies for my veggie tray, and I will make an instant pot breakfast casserole.  It won’t take very long.  I also need to make dinner.  Pasta and sauce in the instant pot and steamed veggies.

The self care things that I’m doing are: sleep in (till 9!), morning meds (buspirone, lithium, propranolol, lipitor, lexapro, and birth control that I take for my moods) and supplements (B-complex and Vitamin D3), blog (self care and meal plan), plan my week (in my Happy Planner!), and maybe nap :-).  I am trying to drink more water so I have that with me through the day.

I also hope to play some games with the kids.  I might go for a short walk.

Typically we go to church on Sundays, but when Robert works (every third Sunday), the kids and I stay home to rest and play.  I have worship music playing all day.

What are your plans for self care today?

Pursuing What Sets My Soul on Fire (Jesus)

Being in a constant state of worship and adoration, service, gratitude, prayer, and confession are what set my heart on fire. Unfortunately my life has been just one struggle after another and my spirit has gotten lost in all of … Continue reading

More Organization and Update

This weekend and yesterday I worked a little more on my bonus room.  It is where I want it for now :-).  I want to eventually do some painting in there but it’s fine at the moment.  It’s cozy and practical all in one.  I spent a total of $39 on the room.  Curtains ($20, Walmart), desk lamp ($6, Family Dollar), curtain rods ($8, Family Dollar), and prints ($5, Dollar Tree)

I also changed a few things around in my bedroom and moved some canvases from my room to Karis’ room because it fits better in there.

I want to get some curtains for my bedroom :-).  One thing at a time.

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On another note…

Robert shot another deer last week.  So we have gotten about 70lbs of axis venison in the past couple of months.  Of course, we have gone through it pretty fast :-). We currently have 26lbs of ground, 3 roasts (10lbs worth), a package of tenderloin (about a pound), 3 large backstraps (at least 9lbs worth), and 4lbs of stew meat.

I love my food storage :-).

 

I am worn out.  I have been going, going, going for weeks now and the night before last I only got 3 1/2 hours of sleep.  Today I slept a lot.  I hate sleeping during the day.  I’m so worried that I’m going to be depressed again.  I try to fight it.  But sometimes I just can’t.  So I allowed myself to rest today.  I’m hoping I sleep well tonight and that tomorrow is better.

I just cannot go back to sleeping all day every day.

I’m a little worried that maybe I’ve been hypomanic and that I’m headed back down again.  But I cannot base anything on one bad day.  So tomorrow I will try to get up early again (when they kids get up) and see how I do!

I am still struggling to come up with things to write about.  I have a beautiful space now to write in, and I just stare at my computer.  I want to type up a bunch of my recipes, write about my journey/story, talk about sobriety, discuss mental illness, friendship, loving who I am, self care, etc and I just can’t seem to get started!  I guess I’ll try again tomorrow!

What are some things that you would like to see more of?  That might help give me some inspiration/motivation!