The Ultimate Summer Series: Call in Reinforcements

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Hey friends. I’m multitasking today’s post to share with you my 5 favorite summer podcasts and also to show you my new top I sewed up last week!

First, let’s talk podcasts. Do you listen to them?? If not, let me throw some game changers your way! I wasn’t into podcasts until about 4-5 months ago and now I am literally starting most conversations with “I just listened to this amazing podcast and they were talking about…” I like to listen to them while running, cleaning, sewing, or during kid-free drives. Most podcast episodes are from 20-60 mins so I feel a good sense of accomplishment when I can fit in a task and listen to something encouraging! I mostly listen to mom-themed podcasts so today I’m sharing my 5 fave episodes that have helped me to lay out the Ultimate Summer with my kiddos. After all, mommin’ aint easy so when you can pull in some reinforcements via a quick podcast full of helpful summer tips and tricks, you’ll feel SO much better!!!

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My 5 Fave Summer Podcasts

5 Steps to Plan an Awesome SummerThis is an excellent starter podcast from Your Life Rocks. Jenny gives quick, easy tips to help structure your summer and to get the most out of our days together at home! If you only have time for one podcast this entire summer, make this the one!

Which Type of Rest Do You Need?: This podcast is from the God Centered Mom podcast. Heather brings on her special guest, Saundra Dalton-Smith: a doctor, wife and mother who shares her story of a breaking point and realization about the true need for rest in our lives. This was a great one to listen to as a reminder to set aside the time and energy to reach the various types of rest in our day to day to keep us well rounded and healthy from an emotional, physical and mental standpoint.

Making Magical Summer Moments Around Your Work Schedule: This podcast is another from Your Life Rocks. I found great encouragement as a work-from-home mom in how to gain balance and keep family time a priority while my children are home this summer. She gives great practical tips and suggestions in how to hold onto the magic of a great childhood!

How to be Inspired, Live Intentionally and Breakup with Your T.V.This podcast is from Mandy Arioto, CEO of Mops International. She brings on a guest, Francie, who gives encouragement and inspiration to ditch the screen and reconnect with your kids. This is a great one to listen to as you strive to gain balance between the screen-suck and fun of summer!

How to Simplify HospitalityThis episode is from the Simply Joyful podcast. The host, Kristi Clover, brings on guest Jen Schmidt who debunks the myth behind elaborate hospitality. It was so encouraging to hear how simple, hospitable moments can create amazing summer memories. I am not a chef, I don’t have a fancy house, and I had a slew of excuses why I didn’t invite people into my home often. After this podcast, I feel encouraged and equipped to be a hostess with the mostest! 

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While you’re queuing up your new podcast playlist, let’s talk about my new top!!! My sweet design-sister Maya just released this fantastic summer pattern, Riley, for tweens and girls. I fit into the bust of a size 16 tween so I thought I would give it a try and now I am obsessed!!!!

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The bodice has bust darts that give it a great fit for maturing tweens or for old ladies like me! I love the length and how it flares just lightly at the hip.

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And how about the split back detail with that gorgeous scoop neckline??? Super figure flattering and great for showing off contrasting fabrics.

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Speaking of fabrics, I wanted to give a big shout-out and thank you to Fibers to Fabric, a sweet Etsy shop who reached out and asked if I’d like to use some of their fabrics for a blog feature! How could I say no to fabric?!?! I picked this gorgeous red Ikat with a beautiful Indian cotton in blue floral. I love how this combo is a subtle fourth of July look that I can pull off all summer long! Their prices are great, often have free shipping codes and the selection is truly one-of-a-kind!

 

 

The Ultimate Summer Series: Planning Phase

Ahhh the days of summer! When time slows down, the temperatures warm up and the moms start scrambling for ideas of what to do now that their kids are home all day! Kidding. Kind of. But, in all seriousness, I am longing for the Ultimate Summer- one full of relaxation, good memories and lots and lots of family fun. I thought I would share how I am prepping for the Ultimate Summer, share some tips and tricks along the way, and hopefully encourage and motivate you to soak up the moments this summer instead of letting the days pass by or trying to simply endure.

The first phase of the Ultimate Summer takes some intentional planning and some open conversations with your family. I recently listened to this awesome podcast from Your Life Rocks about 5 steps to plan an awesome summer. I was instantly inspired and put her tips into practice. If you haven’t heard the episode, please give it a listen! You’ll be so glad you did.

The Summer Dump List vs. The Summer Bucket List

Before you start making plans, saying all the yeses to everyone’s invites and signing your kids up for every sport, camp and vbs in your area, it’s critical to get a big picture plan and pick just a few solid ideas or you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels in the midst of chaos.

One way to envision it would be to start with a few solid rocks (summer must dos), then add a few pebbles (easy get togethers and quick moments), and then as time allows fill the rest of your bucket with the everyday things. If you fill the bucket first with all the yeses to the everyday invites and such, you’ll not have any room for the big moments you’ve been craving. Think: family vacations, learning a new skill, taking on a new hobby, making a big change, etc.

One easy way to sort through the various layers of activities is to create a simple “Dump List.” This is where you and your family simply write down any and every thing they could possibly want to do this summer. Keep writing, write some more and then jot down some more ideas. Dump it all out onto paper. If you’re stuck, check out my Pinterest board of ideas.

I added two crucial rhythms that I’d like to incorporate this summer to remind myself of: one hour of technology free time each day, and one day each week of no plans. I know myself (total yes-man) and that my family will function best if we just take that time daily and weekly to reset.

One of the tips from Your Life Rocks podcast was to ask your kids, spouse and self two simple questions:

  • What is your favorite summer memory?
  • How do you feel most loved?

Then, work together to partner the Dump List with the answers from the two key questions to create the Ultimate Summer Bucket List. If you didn’t catch the answers on our IG stories, you can see them in the Summer Ideas highlight reel!!

I used these two pages of the Daily Action Planner to help move ideas from our Dump List into our Ultimate Summer Bucket List. The prompts of creating my “Savor Daily,” “Savor Life” and “Get Connected” lists helped me frame our priorities and be sure to nail those big rock moments.

After you create your Ultimate Summer Bucket List, go ahead and start filling in your weekly plans to include a few of those must do, big rock moments. If you’re creating that rhythm of rest like we are, don’t forget to block out one hour a day and one day a week for just quiet, tech-free, family bonding. More on that in a future post!

I love this opening page of the DAP to doodle my inspiration of each week. You can see my priorities that week were to release my two new patterns, Finley and Daisy, and to squeeze as much QT with my two girls! Let’s just pretend I’m really good at drawing and doodling ok?????

Come back next week for another post from the Ultimate Summer series!! In the meantime, be sure to check out our Instagram feed and stories for daily Summer #momhacks!

Big thanks to our new friends at Savor Success for the awesome Daily Action Planner!!! We are so thrilled to be able to use it in creating our Ultimate Summer!!