Monday, May 19, 2014

Get Organized for Summer

Happy Monday, friends!! Can you believe it…my SECOND post for May?! I told you I would get better :-)

Now that my finals are done and my grades have been submitted, my summer break has officially begun!! The kids still have a couple more weeks, but they will be out before we know it. This weekend is Memorial Weekend and we will be heading out in the old camper for some fun in the sun. I am so ready to get this summer started!!!!

In case some of you don't follow along with our shop blog, we have been trying to do a monthly Organization series. So far we have tackled budget planning, office and workspace organization, spring cleaning and more! This month, we are focusing on getting organized for summer and I am sharing my review of 100 Days of Summertime by my friend Jennnifer Tankersley. I am also showcasing some of the fun new planner sets we are offering in the shop, as well as a great summer FREEBIE!! I am including the post below.

Enjoy and I will see you all soon with my March-May in a Nutshell post!

Post from ThePolkaDotPosie

After the winter we've had, I didn't think summer would ever arrive. But here we are…a week away from Memorial Day!!

To most, Memorial Day is the official kick-off to summer. For us, Memorial Day is the official kick-off to CAMPING SEASON!! And party season. And beach season. And enjoying-every-minute-of-sunshine season.

I feel like summer breaks get shorter and shorter every year. It doesn't help that my kids have several snow days to make up too. We already have a list a mile long of summer activities, camping trips, parties and cookouts and I just know this summer is going to fly by.

So before all of the summer chaos begins, and before the kids are out of school, I think it's time to...

I know, I know…Summer is about RELAXING! Taking it easy, being spontaneous, throwing our schedules and routines out the door. Trust me…I can't wait to turn off our alarm clocks and take a break from school pick-up lines and homework. But at the same time, I'm a planner. I like having things in order (or at least as close to "order" as I can get). I want to be organized for our camping trips and the parties/cookouts we plan to host. I also want to keep up with meal planning and household chores and projects. I also need to keep the kid's summer activities straight and still schedule time for all the fun little things we want to do together.

Luckily…I have a bunch of GREAT tools and resources to help us get organized for the summer craziness. 

First up…a book to add to your summer reading list :)

For the last few years, I have had the privilege of reviewing all of the books in the 100 Days series by Jennifer Tankersley. Her newest book, 100 Days of Summertime, begins THIS SUNDAY and is packed full of fabulous inspiration, motivational tasks and activities, printables and more! Here is a little excerpt from the book:

What I have always loved about these books is the way that Jennifer not only helps you manage the chaos of summer (or the holidays), but also reminds you to slow down and enjoy the season. It's great to spend your break organizing your home and preparing for the school year ahead (which this books helps you do), but don't forget to celebrate the little summer holidays like National Ice Cream Day and create new traditions with your family, like Olympics Day in your own backyard.

And speaking of your backyard, don't forget that June 28th is the Great American Backyard Campout! I had no idea this was actually a "holiday" until I read this book last summer. Camping holds a special place in my heart…it's been one of the greatest bonding experiences for our family and we have already made some of the best memories together. If you haven't ever taken your kids camping…make this one of your summer goals. Whether you stay at a national park or pitch a tent in your own backyard…I promise it will be one of the highlights of your summer {Special Camping Post Coming Soon!}. 

100 Days of Summertime comes with 34 different lists and planning pages, including monthly calendars. And if you aren't a paper person, the ListPlanIt app will help you keep all of your lists right on your smartphone!

Now, since I have no idea what it means to NOT be a paper person, here are a few of our NEW printables planners!!

This first one is our Happy Camper Planner, NEW in the shop this month! It comes in Large (8.5 x 11) and Small (5.5. x 8.5).

And for all of your summer party planning needs, here is our new Party & Events Planner! This set also comes in Large (8.5 x 11) and Small (5.5 x 8.5).

The beginning of 100 Days to Summertime is all about getting your summer schedule in order. Deciding when you will travel and what parties and holidays you plan to host are important details. But what about your days at home with your kids? We all know how loooooooong some days can be when everyone is "bored" and looking for something to do.

Last summer, when I was struggling to come up with something fun to do with not only my two kids, but also my niece and nephew, I followed Jennifer's plan from 100 Days and set up a Day Camp at home! I planned out different weekly themes like "Ocean Week" and "Space Week" and then every Tuesday, we would have Day Camp!

The Internet and your local library are the BEST resources for setting up your own Day Camp. Our library already had themed "Vacation Bags" filled with books and a DVD. I also found some fantastic websites that have FREE printable worksheets, games and activities for a variety of different themes and grade levels. My three favorites are RoyalBaloo...

Jump In to Learning Ocean Theme - Week 2   A summer learning program for toddler, preschool, kindergarten, and first grade.

Printables Packs from 1plus1plus1equals1

Having one day a week to spend on "school practice" made such a huge difference for us, and the kids really looked forward to each new theme (and so did I). It did take some prep each week to get the activities together, but having it planned out in advance made things run a lot smoother.

In fact, I found that planning out our entire week each Sunday night was helpful for all of us. The kids and I would talk about what we wanted to do that week, what camps or activities we had scheduled, and then I would decide what errands and to dos I needed to accomplish. Lately I have been doing the same type of weekly planning and it has been working out well. I currently use the Working Mom Weekly Docket that we have available in our shop, but I decided to make a fun, summer-themed weekly docket as this month's FREEBIE!!!

{You can download this fun freebie in 3 sizes HERE}

I realize that 5 paragraphs ago I said that I understood that summer was about RELAXING, and yet all I have done is talk about planners and schedules and day camp :-) I know I am not alone in this, right? Maybe what all of us type-A planners need to do is set some goals that do NOT include organizing. I'll go first. Here are my Five R&R goals for summer:


2. GARDEN (and by garden I mean grow a tomato plant).



5. UNPLUG (at least a few hours every day).

So…once all of your summer planning and organizing is done, what will your Five R&R goals for summer be?

100 Days of Summertime ends with a quote from Henry Rollins…

We know that in September,
we will wander through the
warm winds of summer's wreckage.
We will welcome summer's ghost.

We wait so long for summer…and it's gone in a blink of an eye. Above all else this year, be sure to enjoy every moment with your friends and family. Read good books, eat ice cream for dinner, swing in a hammock, cook some s'mores over a fire, and make lots and LOTS of memories :)


{Purchase your digital copy of 100 Days of Summertime HERE}

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Sacrifices We Make

When I first started this blog almost 6 years ago, I didn't let a day go by without a fun little update about our family. Hence the name A Daily Dose of Davis. I was busy navigating my way through the first year of motherhood and I loved being able to hop on this blog at night and talk about the day we had. It was a way for me to journal those long, sleep-deprived days that went by far to quickly. I cherish each and every one of those posts and look back on them all the time. I am so happy I have those memories…my words from a time in my life when I thought things couldn't get crazier or more wonderful.

These last 6 years have gone by so fast and I have not only watched my children grow on this blog…but also myself. When I quit my job to stay home with my babies in 2008, I didn't exactly know what I was getting myself into. But what I did know is that I would never regret one moment home with them. These last 6 years I have been present for every milestone, for every cold or sniffle, for every boo boo, for every field trip, for every Mother's Day tea, for every dance practice or library story time. I got to spend my days at the park, playing in the backyard, taking trips to the zoo, going on playdates, napping on the couch, having picnics, playing baby dolls or Ninja Turtles. The three of us got to spend our days together…and that is something I did not take for granted.

Obviously, some days at home were hard. Like…bang your head against the wall repeatedly, hard. Some days just the melody of the "Hot Dog" song from Mickey Mouse clubhouse would set me over the edge. I remember calling Eric's phone, even though I knew I would get his voicemail, just so I could leave a fake message and he could hear the kids screaming and crying in the background. I wanted him to feel my misery those days. 

But every time I had a bad day and complained about it to someone with order children, they would beg me to slow down and enjoy it. They would tell me to take the hard days with the good and remember that they are only little for a short time. Before I know it, they will be in school and activities and have friends that are way more important that their silly old mom. And I will be wishing I could have these days back.

And I feel like I am already there. 

Our lives and our schedules have changed so much this year and I feel like I've watched the kids grow before my very eyes. A few weeks ago, we had a garage sale and sold the last of our baby items. As I watched a mom push away my last stroller I got big tears in my eyes. It happened again at Target a week later when I realized that Blake is on the last size in the Toddler section. Soon both my babies will be in the big kid section and I am just not ready to accept that! It's all happening so fast and I can't make it slow down.

But at the same time, I don't want to go back to diapers and 3am feedings. I LOVE the ages my kids are right now. I think 4 and 6 are magic numbers.

Right now, I am Addie's best friend and Blake's favorite girl. The two of them want to be with me all the time, but still like to have their independence to play with friends and enjoy school and activities. They still want to cuddle and kiss me goodnight and best of all…they never so much as leave the room without telling me they love me.

Eric and I have this very small window of time where these two want to be everywhere we are and I am trying so hard to take advantage of that. It's why we have a camper. It's why we've booked our next trip to Disney. It's why I save all of my shop and school work for after bedtime. It's why I've never put them in daycare. It's why I never turn down a volunteer opportunity at their schools. It's even why I have sacrificed this blog over the last year, and especially over the last two months. There simply aren't enough hours in a day to do and be everything I want. At this stage in life, where my kids need me, I can't give 100% to anything other then them. I can't give 100% to my career. I can't give 100% to my friends. I can't give 100% to Eric. And I especially can't give 100% to myself. Sacrifices have to be made sometimes and I have to choose where and how I spend my time. 

Some day it won't be like that. My kids won't need 100% of me and I'll be able to do all the things I simply can't find time for right now. And I will probably be sad about it. 

At first. Ha! 

So please forgive me friends…for being so absent around here lately. This blog was not an easy thing to sacrifice. I missed writing so very much and even though I won't be able to post as frequently as I used to, I feel I need to make this space a bigger priority again. Sharing pics on Facebook and Instagram is great and all…but I want stories to look back on. I want my words and my thoughts at this stage in life too. The kids make me laugh on a daily basis with their funny little attitudes and personalities and I want to remember them this way.

So after final exams are over this evening and I get all of my gardening done this week, I am going to attempt a little March-May in a Nutshell post to get things back up to speed. Stay tuned, my friends :-)

P.S. Nicole…thank you for encouraging me to post today. It's because of you that I finally sat down to write…and I am so happy I did :-)