Get It Together

Blissful times are ahead as I prepare, with gladness, for that handsome hubby of mine to come on home after a long leave of absence for work.
To help make the reintegration of two busy lives as smooth as possible, I felt like it was time to update some of our organization systems. IMG_6111.JPGThis little write-on, wipe-off frame is used for evening meal planning. I simply doodled the text with a gold paint pen, used white chalk to highlight the letters, and popped it into the frame.
After trying a system in which I wrote every meal and snack on a complicated grid, I’ve realized that, for the two of us, simply having a detailed plan for dinner is plenty of meal planning.
I use a wet erase marker for writing and clean it off with a damp paper towel.

IMG_6125.JPGThis daily/weekly/monthly cleaning schedule sits below it and keeps me on track where cleaning is concerned. Having a visual checklist has always been very motivational to me, and it actually lets me spend less time cleaning by helping me to stay more efficient. I got it from The Art of Simple here and modified it a few years ago to meet our needs.

IMG_6128.PNGI snagged these wire drawers at Target and they help me to stay on top of all the mail and paperwork for work.

IMG_6129.PNGI decided it was time to make our cork board both prettier and more functional. I don’t know about you, but beauty really does inspire me in my day-to-day. This pretty brass clock, a favorite family photo, some fresh flowers, and a special necklace all bring me happiness as I pay bills and make plans.
I keep a personal planner for my schedule, but I’ve decided we’d benefit from a combined family schedule, too. I hope the calendar on the cork board will do just that. I like when I know things like whether Mr. S has to appear in court in the a.m., if there is an upcoming drill weekend or military special school, if we have social/church church commitments, etc.

IMG_6127-0.JPGThe last improvement around here is my favorite! Brother took the time to come over and build me a shelf above or washer/dryer. I cannot even express how nice it has been to have cleaning products off the washer/dryer! I finally have a flat surface for folding. Heaven! How blessed am I?
Hooray for making preparations for precious homecomings.
This heart is overflowing with praise!

Fall Around Here

Friends, I am yearning for Autumn to arrive. It has been a long, sometimes difficult Spring and Summer (whose lessons I wouldn’t trade for the world), but good things are in store, Lord willing, in this season.

Before Mr. S came along, this summer-loving “brown” girl couldn’t stand Fall. It meant the end of summer, no more of that sunblock smell (the best perfume there is), and the beginning of Tennessee winters. You may laugh if you’re from the North and think our winters are mild, but my Southern California roots couldn’t disagree with you more. Over 15 years in Tennessee and I still don’t like the cold.

My fair-skinned, blue-eyed man, though, LOVES a crisp chill in the air. He enjoys jeans, jackets, blankets, bonfires, s’mores, hot chocolate, and homemade pumpkin anything. Somehow, his adoration of the season has totally changed my mind.

Sorry for the dark pictures. In low light, my iPhone just doesn’t cut it.

IMG_4308.JPGI resisted going full-out Fall until mid September, but caved today and picked up these pretty little pumpkins. IMG_4310.JPGI swung by Mom and Dad’s on the way home to lop off some Japanese Maple and Magnolia branches for my little wooden “toolbox.”IMG_4306.JPGI nestled the pumpkins into the foliage. I love the slight tinge of purple just being revealed in a few of the maple leaves and the lovely rust on the underside of the magnolia leaves.

Magnolias are truly a favorite of mine. I adore driving by Vanderbilt’s campus downtown and admiring the majestic, giant ones lining the streets. IMG_4312.JPGIMG_4314.JPGIMG_4316.JPG

IMG_4196.JPGIMG_4318.JPGIMG_4304.JPGLooking forward to scarves, boots, plaid, cozy sweaters, knit throws, nature walks, cooler afternoon runs, apple cider, and all that loveliness.