Finding joy in simple things :)

Ahh Sunday night. I’ve got a batch of cookies in the oven (Valentine M&M), the Grammys on TV, and Lola sleeping on the couch next to me, so I thought it seemed like a great time to blog. It’s been another low-key, yet lovely weekend here in Greenville. In 2011, we’ve really been trying to focus on making sure we’re making the best use of our money and time. This means being better about getting a routine in place to make sure that “have to do” tasks gets accomplished, so that way we have more time to relax and get to do fun stuff, knowing everything that needs to get done has been taken care of.

One way we’ve done this is by switching up when we do things like cleaning and grocery shopping. I used to always go grocery shopping on Sunday, and then cleaning just got done whenever there was time. However, inevitably every Sunday afternoon, I’d procrastinate about getting to the store, then next thing I know, it would be 8pm, and since we live in the South where things either aren’t open or close early on Sunday, I’d be stuck going to the 24 hr Bi-Lo (ugh) or waiting until Monday to get to Whole Foods. Then it seemed like the apartment was never as clean as I’d like, but I’d never feel like cleaning it during the week after work. Cam is usually pretty busy with homework for work during the week, and it always seemed to get put off on the weekends.

So, in order to remedy this problem, we’ve put a little schedule in place. On Friday nights, Cam and I are generally both kind of tired from the week and usually do something low-key, so we’ve decided to make this our cleaning night. If we both work together for about an hour or so, we can usually tackle any messes that have accumulated over the course of the week, and get the apartment pretty spotless before watching a movie or doing whatever else we might have planned. This way, no matter what we’re doing on Saturday and Sunday, we know that the apartment is clean, and we’ve also been making a more concerted effort to keep things picked up during the week. It’s so nice to do things on the weekend and not have a messy apartment hanging over our heads, and then it really alleviates a lot of stress from both Cam and I to come home to a clean apartment during the week. I don’t know why, but it seriously makes me so happy when I’m at work and I just know that the apartment is neat and tidy 🙂

Another thing we’ve done is moved our grocery shopping day from Sunday to Saturday. We’re usually out running errands on Saturday anyway, so this way we can just get it done together, and have our Sundays completely free to relax. I know this sounds kind of lame…cleaning on Friday and grocery shopping on Saturday? But it’s really helped us stay more organized, and not feel stressed during the week; obviously, depending on our weekend plans, things can change, but for now this is what works for us. Some of the recent posts on Passionate Homemaking have been focusing on the importance of having order in the home, and while I definitely don’t claim to have things figured out yet, I’m learning as I go!

We’re also trying to focus on taking pleasure in doing simple things on the weekends in an attempt to continue to grow our savings. If you’ve read this blog, you know that Cam and I both love traveling and going out to eat. However, as great as it is to do this stuff, having a nice weekend doesn’t have to involve spending crazy amounts of money, and doing things like baking, reading, spending time with friends, hiking, volunteering, and playing with Lola can be just as, if not more, fulfilling as traveling and spending tons of money. (Although I still really love doing that stuff…) This weekend, we did some volunteering and took an awesome hike in North Carolina with some friends. I also made some blueberry scones to use up the huge carton of yummy bluebs I found at Trader Joes yesterday. I haven’t really made scones before because a lot of recipes I’ve found seem bland, but these have a yummy streusel topping (why does streusel make everything better?), and I was really pleased with how well they came out!

Give them a try 🙂

Comforting cinnamon and sugar is perfect for winter, while fresh blueberries remind me that spring is on it’s way! Yum 🙂