Weekly Challenges: Day by Day

Hey, y’all!

I hope you had a great weekend! I did. I made strawberry jam for the first time with some sweet Florida strawberries. (Thanks to the Girls Scouts here Aiken who got them here somehow.) Twelve half-pints of them even. I made some homemade tortillas which were quite the bomb. (At least in my estimation.) Sunday was busy with church, a nap (duh!) and then our last week of FPU.

I’ve been contemplating weekly challenges and this week – because it will be easier for me 🙂 – I’m given (issuing?) four challenges. There would have been fine but clearly, I’m posting late (during commercial breaks during Dancing with the Stars), so there’s really not time for a challenge today. Please accept my humblest apologies for giving you a day off. So, here are the four things that I’m challenging you to this week. I would love to hear from you and get some progress reports. Pictures would be even better.

Challenge #1: Make a menu plan for dinner. Plan 4-5 dinners per week. Have leftovers two other nights (or sandwiches or let the family fend for themselves). That still leaves a night to order pizza or eat out if you choose. I posted last week a four meal plan along with a grocery list. All four meals utilize the slow cooker (Your BEST friend in the kitchen, I kid you not. Unless you have a chef.) Here’s the link to that post:


I followed that post with four additional posts with step-by-step instructions for each meal including what to do in the morning (as in, put things in the slow cooker) and what to do to complete the meal. Easy peasy. You can’ find those posts on the blog or on the Facebook page under “Notes.”

Challenge #2: Get some exercise. It’s not a dreaded word. Be not afraid! I’m not expecting you to go run a 5K this weekend. (But, hey, that’s entirely up to you!) But – gasp! – summer is just around the corner and that means swimsuits! Yikes!! I shudder. If you don’t have an exercise regimen (I said that in my mind in a serious voice), it’s time to get with the program. If you are not an exercise-r, start slow and easy. (Disclaimer: Consult you doctor before beginning an exercise program.) Walk the dog. Walk around the block. Take a class. If you moving from your couch for the first time in a long time, walk to the mailbox and back. Based on all that I’ve read – and that’s a lot – you need to be exercising 3-5 times per week for 20-30 minutes per session. The key to continuing with exercise is finding something you enjoy (and you will find it) and do that. You won’t go back to the gym if you hate the gym. (I hate the gym. Just saying.) I like doing my walking and running outside as opposed to on a treadmill and I really enjoy Zumba and yoga. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Challenge #3: Get together with a friend. Someone you haven’t seen in a while or haven’t had a real conversation with in a while. (K, I’ll be in touch!) Life gets crazy and we let this go. But friendships are important and you have to tend them to maintain them…just like a garden. If you can, spend 30 minutes over a cup of coffee or tea just catching up. Hey…you can do challenge #2 while catching up. In fact, that’s an awesome idea. Walking and talking is GREAT! Did that just today with my buddy Kathryn. If you can’t physically get together, there’s Facetime (I’ve done that now!) and Skype. But in person is always best. Find 30 minutes. It’s one sitcom or reality show. You can do it. (That’s why we have DVRs.)

Challenge #4: Do something for YOURSELF. Take a nap. Get a massage. (I’m doing that Wednesday.) Pick up and read a book you’ve had your eye on. Take a bubble bath. Do all of these things. Watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see. Do all of these things. Just do something that’s just for you that makes YOU happy. It’s not being selfish. Sometimes you just have to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of the people in your life. If you don’t, it will catch up with you eventually. Anything that can “catch up with you eventually” is never good. Never.

And try to remember to do one or two of these things for 15 minutes a day. Just 15…no longer. Little by little does the trick. The tortoise always beats the hare. You know the drill.

  • Purge something (a bookshelf, a drawer, a closet, a cooking magazine collection…ahem!) and separate things into the give, donate, and toss categories. And then give, donate or toss them.
  • Straighten up the area you see first thing in the morning before you go to bed at night. What a relief to have an area free of clutter to wake up to.
  • Make your bed. It really does make a difference in how your room looks and feels.
  • Put away your laundry. (I’m working on this one.) I do mean the clean laundry, not the dirty stuff.

Let someone you love know that you love them every day! Smile at the cashier at the grocery store. Do something nice for your hubby or wife “just because.” And have a GREAT week!






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