I know, I know..it's not even Halloween yet and I'm over here making Christmas lists. While I've grown up in a home of procrastinators, and am a true procrastinator myself, Dane and his family are not. My mother-in-law asks for my Christmas list shortly after Halloween each year. -Maybe because she knows I'll be waiting until December 20th to give it to her. Well, this year I may surprise her and have a few things ready in my back pocket.
Last Spring I got into gardening. I've always wanted to get into gardening because my Grandpa was super into it and it looked so rewarding! But the only thing I've been able to keep alive is the aloe plant I've had since middle school. Her name is Vera. Original, I know.
Well, I've been practicing, studying, and researching, and feel that because my landscape plants haven't all died, I'm ready for a very large, surely complicated vegetable garden this Spring.
So here are a few ideas for Christmas presents for gardeners I will be adding to my list this year.
I've read that a garden journal is an absolute must for all gardeners, new and experienced. This allows you to keep track of what you've planted, where you've planted it, any problems you had with it, and how you can fix it next year. It's a great learning tool to see what works for you in your area and what doesn't.
I say that you can never have too many coffee mugs -especially if they're as cute as this garden mug from Anthropologie. My cupboard (and Dane) may disagree, but it'll be on my list anyway. Maybe I'll take it to work and let it brighten my day.
I don't know about you, but my skin gets super dry in the winter. Gardener's salve is the perfect stocking stuffer for your friends and family because it'll help cure their dry winter skin as well. Perfect for their hands and elbows! But if you're looking for more of a DIY Christmas present idea, you can learn how to make your own salve here.
Part of what I'm looking forward to the most with my vegetable garden, is being able to share what I've harvested. My Mom has already shared a bunch of her dry herbs with me, and I hope I can return the favor. How cute would a little harvest basket be with this personalized garden stamp?!
And if you plan on harvesting more than a few things at a time (or even carrying an arm-full of veggies a bit of a ways), this garden hod is essential. I look forward to going bed by bed and harvesting what we plan to eat for dinner that night. How cool would that be? And knowing how they were grown and how safe (and healthy) it is for my family!
Set of Garden Markers
These I'd like to use on a covered herb garden wall I plan to build in the next few months. We have this wall outside that connects our house to Dane's wood workshop. It's just an awkward space and is perfect for an herb garden since it's so close to the kitchen!
Well, that's all I have for now. I'll add items to this list as I come up with more ideas. Let me know if you have any suggestions!
Whether you're trying to keep up with a new side hustle, you're a parent with a full-time job, or even someone just trying to fit in a workout once a week, time management issues are something a lot of us face.
Sometimes it feels like there just aren't enough hours in the day. And it's easy to point the finger or place blame on the ones around you when your commitments become overwhelming.
If there's one thing you do now, take an evaluation of yourself and how you spend each day. Scroll down for four ways to have more time, and remember to be open-minded.
Use a Digital Calendar
This one can hurt a little if you're a huge fan of handwriting your schedule in beautiful planners.
Trust me, I get it. I've been a huge fan of Day Designer planners for years. It's actually the Christmas gift I look most forward to each year. #nerdalert
But after I took a step back to reflect, I realized that I wasn't filling it out everyday, and most of my to-do's weren't yet checked off. I was writing them down and then not looking back at my schedule to remind myself of the things I needed to get done.
When I heard how much more effective
a digital calendar was,
I was intrigued.
I don't know about you, but I hardly go anywhere without my phone. And on that phone is a digital calendar. No app needed.
I created my to-do's as 'appointments' on my calendar so that when that time came, I knew what it was I wanted to be doing. For example, I would block out my lunch time each day at work. In the notes of that 'appointment', I would list all of the things I wanted to get done in that time frame.
And as a bonus, if anything changed, it was super easy to move the day or time without any scribbles or wasted paper. I hate nothing more than a messy planner page.
You'll never find the time to work out, or start a blog, or whatever it is you want to do but can't 'find' time for. You have to make the time.
Most time management experts recommend waking up one hour earlier each day.
It's important to recognize now
that you will never 'find' the time
to do what you want to do.
On a typical weekday, I was getting out of bed at 6am. So I've started getting up at 5am. I make myself a cup of coffee, feed the dogs, and head downstairs for my daily gratitude. Sometimes I'll start a load of laundry, but usually I sit down in front of my computer and work on this website.
Which leads me to my next point..
Find Your Peak Time
Before all of this self reflection, I would stack on all of my to-dos in the evenings. But after a long day at work, all I wanted to do was relax and spend time with my family.
I've realized that I am the most productive in the morning. So I've adjusted my time accordingly, and make sure I'm getting to bed at a reasonable time so that waking up early isn't so hard.
This is probably the most important of them all. Especially if you're the caregiver of a child. Sometimes Lenna wakes up before I'm ready for her. Or one morning she somehow managed to open a giant bottle of baby oil 15 minutes before we needed to leave. So I had to clean the floor and give her a bath. It all happened so quickly.
Things will come up.
The key to being successful is to know when to ask for help.
Asking for help is hard. We don't want to admit we can't do something ourselves. But it's not about not being able. It's about being able to recognize when we can be more efficient just by asking for a little help.
I don't decorate for Halloween. Well, I didn't before now.
These bats are making their way all over the internet and for good reason. We've seen them in both indoor and outdoor spaces, wall mounted, and even suspending from the ceiling. Either way, we wanted to jump in on this action sooner rather than later.
They're cute, classic, and so easy to make!
I knew the second I saw them that they were the best way for me to decorate for Halloween without going to corny town. It's something I fear -being too corny too soon. My mom and I tease about it, but these are pretty cute, right?!
These are the easiest Halloween craft I've found to date, although I haven't looked hard. Like I said, I don't decorate for Halloween. Heck, it's even a great craft to keep your kiddos busy! For this craft, I used a template I found here, black construction paper, scissors and a pencil. If you don't have a printer or ink, you could probably find bat stencils online to trace.
After printing, I cut out the single bat template with my scissors and then cut it down the middle, giving me half of a bat.
I then folded a page of black construction paper in half, and traced my half bat template against the fold with a pencil. This way, when I cut it out and unfolded it, I'd have a full bat, perfectly mirrored to its other side.
Due to the size of the bats in this template, I was only able to fit 2 bats per page. But really, that was okay for me.
I used Scotch tape and attached them at the belly to my DIY Board and Batten wall. The added dimension of the bats is so stunning! I'll probably have to re-tape them a few times, but I'm too afraid glue dots would mess up my paint. We'll see how annoying it becomes to keep replacing them. I may change my mind.
I also went through the bats and folded in a few wings so that a few looked in flight. Ya know, to mix things up a bit. Just be sure to match the folds up to a dip in the wing. It looks more realistic that way.
Of course Lenna is too little to understand how cool this Halloween decoration is, but I plan to store them and use them again next year. Fun fact -her Halloween costume will play into this. Stay tuned on that front. What are you going to be for Halloween this year?