Wow. November was a month packed full of activity for us. It sure was busy, but we also enjoyed plenty of down time during Thanksgiving week, so I count that as a win! This month I have been focusing on slowing down and savoring small moments with my kids, like bubble baths, baking cookies, and doing silly voices before bed.
I've also been looking to consistently hit small goals for my health. I know I won't be able to fit 5 workouts per week every single week, so I aim to clock. 10,000 steps each day, and consume 100 oz of water. Those are doable goals that set me up to make healthier decisions throughout the day.
Finally, I've been wanted to read more, and finally made the decisions to have 3 or more books on my library app on the Nook. Now whenever I'm nursing, I try to read a few pages instead of scrolling mindlessly on my phone.
Honestly, November has been a great month, and I'm now looking forward to seeing what's in store for December! Let's finish the year strong!
And now, here are my favorite things from this past month:
Good Dough Donuts
The kids and I went to Jacksonville one weekend in November, and met a friend at Good Dough. The craft donuts were out of this world! Pippa chose the Molly Ringwald donut simply because it was pink, and Teddy and I shared a Vanilla Bean with Edible Cookie Dough.
We loved the setup, too! High ceilings, long tables, and a toy kitchen with lots of toy donuts made for the perfect experience (aside from my children each having individual meltdowns). Highly recommend you check it out if you're ever in Jacksonville!
Cinnamon Protein Oatmeal
I've been so hungry lately, since I'm still nursing and adding in extra workouts during the week. Instead of rifling through my cabinets for a quick and nutritionally-bankrupt snack, I've been cooking up a pot of oatmeal, then I add in a drop of cinnamon essential oil and a scoop of chocolate protein. Very filling and great for my milk supply!
We had the most laid back Thanksgiving dinner this year. We hosted Friendsgiving, and with two new babies in the mix, we decided to keep it as simple and low key as possible. We did a turkey breast in the oven, mashed potatoes, Grands rolls, green bean casserole, and cranberry. It was delicious, and we spent the entire day lounging around the house. Perfection!
Daily Budget App
Ok, let me preface this by saying that I am in no way affiliated with this app, just a raving fan girl! This is yet another thing I've discovered from the Lazy Genius podcast, and it's the only budget app I've found so far that works for my personality type. I'm very big picture, and hate details, so the Daily Budget app works for me.
How it works is that you enter your recurring bills at the beginning of the month, and any variables (groceries, toiletries, gas, etc) you don't put in. It then subtracts your recurring bills from your income, and divides the remaining money up by day. You get a set amount of money to spend each day, and if you don't spend any, it adds it on to the next day. Kendra from the Lazy Genius explains it much better than I do, so go listen to her budgeting episode.
Oh yeah - one more thing. You can also enter any big purchases, trips, or savings, and it will subtract that from each day's spending money. I love that I set it up once, and I don't have to think or do any math throughout the month. I just manually enter each purchase.
We've been on-the-go a lot this month, and I found myself reaching for the baby carrier more than usual. I cannot stress enough how amazing this carrier is. I can wear it for hours at a time while walking around (a zoo, exploring a city, going for walks) and have zero back pain. 3 of my friends have already purchased their own, and they can't stop raving about it either! This is my third child, and third baby carrier, and it is by far my favorite and most used. Love my Lillebaby!
Essential Oil Starter Kit
My essential oil starter kit finally arrived in the mail, and I'm so excited to start switching to more natural products in our home. Next on the "to buy" list are glass bottles, and Castille soap to make our own cleaners and personal care products. We've also been diffusing some yummy smells and using them in our laundry and vacuum. What are your favorite ways to use EOs?
Old Navy Leggings
For some reason the kids have been really into bubble baths lately. I found it when I was out shopping, and I loved that it was a cleaner version of the typical kids' bubble bath brands. It's chamomile scented, and I can't stop smelling the kids after their bath! They will play in the tub for an hour if I let them, making bubble crowns, beards, and hats. So cute.
- 10% Happier by Dan Harris
- The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
- My TravelPulse article about my beloved hometown of Milwaukee
- All the Thanksgiving episodes of How I Met Your Mother
- Cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies while writing or wrapping Christmas presents
At the beginning of the month, the kids and I made the trek up to Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, the Riverside Arts Market, and Good Dough. We met up with my friend Emily and her two kids, and it was such a fun (chaotic, but fun) day. I'll be recapping things to do in Jax with kids in an upcoming post!
My parents arrived in Florida on a Sunday, and the very next day we headed north for Savannah, GA with my mom and the kids. We really only spent a day there, and didn't even stay overnight, but we managed to squeeze quite a bit into our trip! I will definitely be going back to see more.
My parents came to visit in the middle of the month, and Pippa created a whole list of things to do with them while they were here. We did lots of baking, shopping, and exploring. Any time with family is time well spent!
Friendsgiving was another highlight of the month. Our friends from Sarasota drove across the state to stay with us for a few days, and we had a very relaxing time, since neither of us got to be home with our families over the holiday. We even ventured out to the outlet malls on Black Friday, though we didn't really do any shopping.
We set aside the Saturday after Thanksgiving for Christmas decorating, and it was such a fun day with the family. Pippa was so excited to set up the tree, and even got to put the star on top! We also baked, decorated, and sampled copious amounts of Christmas cookies, and ended the night with a family Christmas movie.
LOOKING FORWARD TO
- More visitors! My mother and father-in-law are coming into town today to celebrate Christmas with us, and we have a lot of fun things planned!
- Christmas traditions! Since we're not going back home to be with family this year, we're being more intentional about starting some traditions of our own! I'll be writing a post about that soon.
- $200 of free groceries! I finished my first 16 week challenge in awhile, and everyone who completes the challenge gets a voucher for $200 worth of product. I'm excited to sit down and pick out what I'll order from the healthiest online grocery store on the planet!
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