Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Making Over My Evenings {Day 13}

The links below are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

I'm working my way through Crystal Paine's new course, Makeover Your Evenings- 14 days of videos, reading, and projects designed to bring more order, rest, and productivity into your life. If you'd like to grab the course and work through it right along with me, you can do so here. Each weekday night I'll be posting my takeaway from the day's coursework. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and how you are making over your own evenings!


Dear friends, I think that Day 13 of Makeover Your Evenings is my favorite day so far. You might remember that last night, we created our evening routine. That special little plan of 3-5 basic tasks designed to have maximum life impact, that we are supposed to commit to following for three weeks.

Today Crystal says to go ahead and make evening routine plans B and C. Her reasoning is that life happens- people get sick, unexpected circumstances fall into our lap, and sometimes a day just doesn't work out the way we plan.

Are we going to allow those obstacles to completely sideline our carefully curated goals and ideals? Not if we have reasonable back up plans in place!

I love this, because right now I am living in the Plan C zone. Which means I should really make a Plan C to fall back on! I've been really sick, two of my kids have been really sick, and life at home as we know it has become UNHINGED. Maybe you can relate??

I think my evening routing plan B will be for the rare nights I'm out late, and evening routine C will be for days that I just can't seem to get all three kids tucked in on time, the house is falling in tatters around me, and I'm wiped out beyond belief.

This plan B and C idea could be even more helpful when applied to my morning routine. My ideal morning involves getting up before my children so I can have some time in the Word, shower, and get dressed.

Lately with being sick and being up constantly in the night with sick babies, I am rolling out of bed later and later- kids already running wild, rushing to get my late husband out the door for work, and feeling totally defeated before I even begin. Which often leads to wasting more time on my iPhone because I've already failed anyway, so wouldn't a little escapism be nice...

Well, if I had a plan for those terribly rushed, got up way too late kind of mornings, I could just ease into it. I might be a lot less inclined to waste my time putzing. This sounds pretty appealing, so I'm going to go ahead and make one ;).

Anyone else relate to constantly falling behind in the ideal routines camp? Hoping I'm not alone here ;). What sort of contingencies help you to keep things together when it's so much easier to just fall apart?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Making Over My Evenings {Day 12}

The links below are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

I'm working my way through Crystal Paine's new course, Makeover Your Evenings- 14 days of videos, reading, and projects designed to bring more order, rest, and productivity into your life. If you'd like to grab the course and work through it right along with me, you can do so here. Each weekday night I'll be posting my takeaway from the day's coursework. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and how you are making over your own evenings!


Tonight is the night on which we finally construct an evening routine! In the course work, Crystal walks us through 5 steps to formulate a simple, doable evening routine. She challenges us to commit to following through with it for 3 weeks and to see what kind of difference it makes in our lives.

This is my evening routine, in accordance with her instructions:

7:00 Clean kitchen and finish tidying up the house.
8:00 Get in pajamas, wash face, brush teeth. Hang out with Niall, or do computer work.
9:00 Grab a cup of herbal tea and head to bed with a book. Plan out the next day in my bullet journal.
10:00 Lights out.

I go through phases of observing this closely, and other times not so much. When I do follow through on this, I adore the sense of order and peacefulness it brings to my life. Extra time to read? Glorious! Taking time to wind down slowly and properly helps me to sleep better too. And waking up to a tidy home and clean kitchen really sets the next day up like a breeze.

What 3-5 actions could you form into a consistent evening routine for yourself? Try to pick those that would have the greatest positive impact on your life. Attempt to be reasonable and keep the steps small and simple.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Making Over My Evenings {Day 11}

The links below are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

I'm working my way through Crystal Paine's new course, Makeover Your Evenings- 14 days of videos, reading, and projects designed to bring more order, rest, and productivity into your life. If you'd like to grab the course and work through it right along with me, you can do so here. Each weekday night I'll be posting my takeaway from the day's coursework. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and how you are making over your own evenings!


Priorities, priorities. We all have them- but often times the way we order our lives doesn't match what we would declare our priorities to be. Tonight, take a look at your schedule. Consider how you are spending your days, and decide- am I spending myself on what matters most to me?

When pressed, I would say that my priorities are knowing, loving, and serving Christ, my husband, and my children. My home is a priority because as I care for it properly, it better serves my family and others. As a family we are committed to our local church body. I enjoy connecting with and encouraging other moms. Also, I like to spend time in my little online space here.

Family before blog has come into play recently as we've been battling a super nasty virus for the last week. While I'd love to post more, social media more, and connect more, I've been holding sick babies, trying to catch up on lost sleep from oft interrupted nights, and just keeping my head above water. Now the bug has hit me, so I'm laying extra low.

Because I'm a yes woman, I have a really hard time saying no to others. I tend to say yes to everything, and come up with wonderful project ideas...sometimes at the expense of my best things. I'm so thankful my husband is a solid voice of sanity in my life! He is quick to point it out when I'm overly optimistic, and to encourage me to say no to plenty so that I can say yes only to the best.

What are your most important priorities in your current life season? Does the way you spend your time reflect them? Do you have a voice of sanity to help you discern when to say yes and when to say no? I'd love to hear what you're learning as we finish up this course!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Making Over My Evenings {Day 10}

The links below are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

I'm working my way through Crystal Paine's new course, Makeover Your Evenings- 14 days of videos, reading, and projects designed to bring more order, rest, and productivity into your life. If you'd like to grab the course and work through it right along with me, you can do so here. Each weekday night I'll be posting my takeaway from the day's coursework. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and how you are making over your own evenings!


It's been said a lot already; but mamas need to take care of themselves so that they have the wherewithal to care for their families. In Day 10 of Make Over Your Evenings, Crystal encourages us to do just that. To rest and refuel our own bodies so that we can meet the needs of others.

I definitely take care of myself to a degree. "Me time" is guarded, sometimes too zealously, I have to admit. I almost never use my children's nap/quiet time for housework. Instead I might have a snack, take a power nap, read, and most days, work on this blog.

While I naturally look out for my own interests, sometimes my self-care is more harmful than beneficial. For example, in child-free moments I'm quick to reach for chocolate or a bag of potato chips. Tasty at the time they may be, but these choices are doing little to sustain my long-term health, energy, and well-being. I'd be better off sticking with fresh fruit and veggies!

I'm also more likely to plop on the couch with a book than I am to take it onto the treadmill. And I stay up way later than I should, glutting myself on as much kid free time as possible instead of resting properly so that I have the energy to give them my best in the morning.

Looks my "self-care" isn't proper care at all. This is definitely an issue!

Today's "homework" is to pick one area of self-care to improve in, and then come up with one small change you could make to progress in it. For me, fueling my body with better food choices is at the top of my list. The small change I'd like to make is to eat a large salad each day at lunch. Even if I stay away from the worst foods, I often fall short of the helpful 5 servings a day suggestion. I like salads, so this shouldn't be to taxiing on my will power ;).

What area of self-care do you most need to improve in? And what's one small change you'd like to make in that area?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Making Over My Evenings {Day 9}

The links below are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

I'm working my way through Crystal Paine's new course, Makeover Your Evenings- 14 days of videos, reading, and projects designed to bring more order, rest, and productivity into your life. If you'd like to grab the course and work through it right along with me, you can do so here. Each weekday night I'll be posting my takeaway from the day's coursework. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and how you are making over your own evenings!


One of the biggest ways to make mornings smoother is to prepare for them the night before. When I lay out clothes for me and my kids, have identified what we'll eat for breakfast {and maybe even started prepping ingredients!}, and tidied up the house, I wake up feeling peaceful and energized. It's so much easier to face the day when I'm prepared!

The ninth day of this course is all about making those little preparations the night before.

At times I am super organized and enjoy all the fruits of planning ahead, but plenty of mornings have dawned with my house a disaster, the cupboards bare, and more clothes dirty on the floor than clean and ready to wear. This was a good reminder to get back on track with spending my evenings well and preparing for my day the night before.

When we are extra busy and tired and find ourselves sleeping in later than we ought to, we usually just scarf down bowls of cold cereal. I know that this isn't really a healthy option, and cereal can also get expensive! I'd like to get back to making healthier, simpler breakfasts. This requires foresight and working ahead.

One of the simplest, healthiest and easiest breakfasts we eat around here is oatmeal and hard boiled eggs for a bit of extra protein. If I soak the oats in the pan on the stove top the night before, I'm far more likely to serve it for my family in the morning. So for the rest of the week I plan to do so! That way getting breakfast rolling in the morning is only a matter of flipping the burner on.

We also have plenty of yogurt and greens right now that we need to use up in smoothies. I'm going to put the ingredients into the blender the night before also. Super easy, for a much smoother morning.

If I want to make a slightly fancier breakfast, I often whip up muffin or pancake batter the night before. Then either throw the muffins in, or flip pancakes when I first get up. Little steps ahead of time make all the difference!



What preparations the night before are a life-saver for your mornings? Do you have any great breakfast strategies to share with the rest of us?

P.S: The most crucial part of your day.