MY NEW MORNING RITUAL

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL - This Wild Home

A few things I’ve learned about myself:

  • I’m definitely a morning person

  • I really value alone time

  • I crave peace in my environment and day

All pretty standard stuff I’d say.

Really what it comes down to is, I like for my day to be predictable. I like having a purpose behind the things I do. And I like feeling like I have the time to do everything I want to do.

I’m always working to create some kind of normalcy to the day. Our lives shift a lot with a toddler who has needs and sleep schedules that are constantly changing. We just moved into a new home and Ian has moved into a new position at work which means his schedule will change up a bit and our environment is totally different. Plus, we’re about to totally change up our whole dynamic with the birth of our second child.

With all of this in mind, I’ve been trying to add a few moments of peace to the day. Some kind of activity to look forward to. Having these little rituals helps to stay on some kind of schedule and keep our days fairly predictable. It’s nothing huge or complicated. Just little things to look forward to so we can all stay on track.

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL

I have discovered mornings are very important to me. I never realized how much I love starting the day all by myself. Recently, Ian and I started waking up earlier than normal so he can be ready for work at a good time and since alarms wake me up on the first ring and I can’t go back to sleep after that, I decided to try this early morning thing too.

This has given me about an hour all to myself while Ian gets ready and starts his work day and Oliver sleeps or talks to himself. It’s amazing and is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the day.

GETTING READY

This part has stayed pretty much the same. I learned much later in life the value of getting out of bed and getting fully ready for the day, even if you plan on spending all day at home. It’s motivating being ready for anything. It gets me in motion, helps wake me up, and honestly give me an extra sense of purpose for my day.

Here’s how I get ready for my day:

  • Check my phone - weather, social media, etc.

  • Make the bed

  • Brush my teeth

  • Wash my face

  • Get Dressed

I try to not overload myself on getting ready. My wardrobe is small and my morning skincare routine is pretty simple so it doesn’t take me much longer than 15 minutes to get all of that done.

PREP

It may sound silly to “prep” for just 30 minutes of your day, but the last 30 minutes of this ritual are extremely sacred to me. I’ve recently learned the value in getting little things out of the way now so you don’t have to do it later. And that is the most important part of this little morning routine: starting my day peacefully. So this prep is pretty crucial to the whole system.

Prepping my morning:

  • Turn on coffee for Ian (prepped the night before) and start a pot of water for tea

  • Set up tea pot with peppermint tea

  • Empty dishwasher while water boils

  • Steep tea

  • Turn on diffuser (prepped the night before) - or light a candle when I’m in the mood

  • Open blinds to let in the sunrise

  • Share my first tea pour and the weather on instagram (I don’t know, I just like doing it)

Once the mood is set, it’s time to indulge in my favorite part of the morning.

My ME Time

Ah yes. This is what makes me hop out of bed every morning with urgency. Not stressful urgency, but excitement!

This is the part of my day that I have been missing basically my whole life. A peaceful, slow start to everyday. I’ve never been good about waking up at the same time everyday and once I started having kids I tried to take full advantage of all the sleep I could get. But this new routine has taught me the true value in going to sleep early and waking up early. It’s not for everyone, but for me it’s the perfect way to structure my day.

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL - This Wild Home

Here’s what I do for me-time:

  • Drink tea

  • Journal

  • Spend some time drinking tea and coffee with Ian

For all the hype, it may seem simple. But it’s exactly what I need. A moment to reflect on life, how I’m feeling. To get my thoughts in order and get a good idea of what I have to do and want to do with my day and life in general. I can get out any negativity, let in some positivity and all while I sip on something cozy and good.

When I’ve finished my journalling, Ian and I will take a few minutes to talk about anything. What we’re doing that day, how we’re feeling, politics, current events, the drama from The Bachelor, you name it.

Around 8 - 8:15am I’ll start breakfast while Ian lets the dog out and gets the boy ready for the day (aka slippers and a clean shirt) and then we all have breakfast together.

It’s a quick little ritual. I don’t need much time, but I definitely have found this is something I’ve been missing from my day and I’m so glad to be making time for it now.

MONEY TALK: JANUARY DEBT DIARY

MONEY TALK: JANUARY DEBT DIARY - This Wild Home

January has been a crazy month. We moved, somewhat unexpectedly, which added a lot of expenses we wouldn’t normally have. But even in the craziness, I was able to get a good idea of where the bulk of our money is going on an average week which was my big financial goal for this month.

We wound up spending close to $1000 on extra expenses from the move. I wish I could say every single purchase was 100% necessary. I can at least say that every purchase was at least 60% necessary. In the name of comfort and ease, there were a few changes we knew we would need to make in our new place and we figured tacking all of our home purchases on at the beginning made the most sense.

Our main home purchases included:

  1. WASHER + DRYER | This was one of those things you don’t really expect to have to buy when you’re renting, especially for an apartment so I’m sad to say we had to charge this one to the credit card. We got the cheapest we could but we also looked at it as an investment since we can now take these bad boys anywhere. We looked into apartments that had washers and dryers that came with the unit, but that doesn’t seem to be the trend here in Amarillo. Of course, there’s always a laundromat or finding a place with a laundry facility. But I’ll be honest, with two little kids, I know I’ll never do laundry unless I can walk to it within my own home. Plus, when you think about the long term cost, it’s definitely better just having our own.

  2. DESK | We didn’t go all out and get something extravagant, but we definitely learned we needed a designated work space for Ian. Our last apartment was our first experience having all of us home all of the time. Ian got a position that is a work from home position. We thought we could get away with having him work at the dining table but very quickly learned we would need a desk because the dining table is used too often through the day and it’s not quite big enough for all of us to fit while Ian is working. So there you have it, a desk was purchased.

  3. RUG | For under the dining table. We moved from a full on laminate apartment to a full on carpet apartment. Given that we have a toddler and a baby on the way who will both eat very messily for the unforeseeable future, we decided it would be best to get a small rug for under the table because, in the long run, having a rug to cover the carpet in the dining space would save us from having to pay to replace the whole carpet if any stains or spills occur in our time here.

  4. VACUUM | We wound up getting a robot vacuum. It wasn’t a super fancy one. I found one that was about the same price as a regular vacuum and thought, “Hey, I need a vacuum anyway. Why not get one that does the work for me?” We only had a broom before which was fine to sweep a rug and laminate floors with, but for a whole apartment of carpet I knew I needed a little help.

  5. HUMIDIFIERS | The climate we moved to is much more dry than anywhere we’ve ever lived. That, along with the colder weather and a need for a heater 24/7 left us all with dry skin and bloody noses. So we got some little humidifiers to run at night in each of our rooms.

  6. EXTRAS | You know, move in fees, storage solutions, command strips and hooks, a plant or two because we had the room and I found a fiddle leaf fig tree for $16. There weren’t too many extra things we needed but I’m sure they added up more than I really know. There were definitely many trips to Target.

All in all, I don’t think we went crazy on home purchases. I tried to be as resourceful as possible and turn to what we already had before buying something new, but with a new home comes new necessities.

Other one-time expenses:

The second thing that added to our one time purchases was my birthday. I kept the budget low. My actual birthday was 4 days after our move so I just wanted to sit at home and hang out with my boys. My husband had a small budget for some decorations (because decorating the dining room for each other is a tradition) and I got Chinese food and watched movie. I was gifted some birthday money and I used that for a sweater and shirt from Target along with my official tea set up to get started on one of my new year intentions. I’m happy to say my tea pot and the tea I bought is getting used daily!

Otherwise, a lot of money was spent on fast-food, gas to get here, and restocking our fridge.

JANUARY FINANCIAL OVERVIEW

CHECKING

Made - 4612.21

Spent - 4346.1

  • one-time expenses (not including washer + dryer) - 968.5

  • rent - 999

  • groceries - 710.83

  • restaurants/coffee/fast food - 247.23

  • debt - 906.44

  • bills - 361.34

  • hobbies - 35.4

So this month my only real focus was simply getting a good look at what’s coming in and what’s going out. I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of wiggle room for adding more to debt this month, but a big part of being able to pay off debt is knowing how much you really have and where you can make cuts.

Obviously, there’s a big chunk from this past month that was just extra expenses that we won’t normally have now that we’re settled in which is a good feeling.

WHERE WE’RE OVER SPENDING:

Our food expenses. They may look a little worse simply because of all the eating out we did while transitioning from one home to another, but about half way through this month our spending regulated and I got a good look at what it looks like on an average week.

Just to give a little insight on an average two weeks:

  • groceries - 402.11

  • fast food/restaurants/coffee - 97.5

  • bills - 227.32 (power/internet/spotify)

  • loans/debt - 394.43

  • hobbies - 35.4

  • kids - 

  • home goods - 156.23

You guys. That’s an average of $500 every two weeks on food alone which is way too much for 2 adults and 1 baby.

So I did some digging. The nice thing about some of these order online places is that you get an electronic receipt, and since I never take paper receipts, this made it so I could go back and get a good look at what I was actually buying.

I think the kicker was our meal plan subscription. We signed up a few months ago to help with meal planning and found a fairly inexpensive service that we really love using, but at $40 a week for only 3 of our meals, we found that it’s just not practical right now. Besides that, there are definitely places in our groceries that we can cut back on. Namely fancy beer and those snacks that you buy on a whim because you really need to eat a whole birthday cake right now.

DEBT

While we did pay our minimums on everything, we weren’t able to make too many strides this month. After purchasing a few baby things in February I’m hoping to start putting more into the credit card!

GOING INTO FEBRUARY

Our plan for this month is pretty simple. The main focus is to cut our spending a little bit. We do need to buy a few little things to get ready for our son who will be born early March and we have some things to prepare for guests coming in town.

Otherwise, I’m going to keep doing my weekly reports for our bills. But I’m also going to start doing weekly reports on food and groceries specifically to really get a good idea of what we’re buying and what we may be able to cut back on.

TWO SIMPLE VALENTINE'S GIFTS FOR THE ONE YOU LOVE

TWO SIMPLE VALENTINE'S GIFTS FOR THE ONE YOU LOVE - This Wild Home

In my five years with my husband, I have learned that the most underrated gift is sharing how you feel. Telling the person you love why you love them and how much they mean to you can become a last priority. Whether you’re in the very beginning or you’ve been together for decades, it can seem like simply being with the person you love is enough to show them how you feel.

When it comes to gift giving, simply saying how you feel can seem cheap or too small, but I’ve figured out that sometimes it means more than you could ever know. Everyone wants to be loved and when they are loved, there are still going to be moments where it may not be as obvious. Moments where life happens or you simply forget to remind them of all the reasons why you love them.

So if you’re not sure what to get someone or you just want to get something really special, don’t forget that the most important thing you can give is love and acceptance to the one you care for most. Reassurance that, even in the ups and downs, you care for them and reminding them that you see all the little things that make them the wonderful person they are.

SIMPLE VALENTINE’S GIFTS

A JAR OF ALL THE LITTLE THINGS

The little things may seem so unimportant. Maybe you feel like you say it too much or that it’s just too obvious or cliche that it’s not even worth saying. Let me tell you, the little things are still nice to hear.

Each person is made up of all kind of little things. Maybe they have a specific smell that you can’t get enough of. Maybe there are details in their face that are unlike any others. When you sit down and really think about all the things that make a person unique and loved by you, you’ll find that the little things may not be so cliche. Yes, you may find your loved one beautiful, but this is all about the things that make them beautiful inside and out.

I think this is a gift that keeps on giving. Anytime your person feels down or needs a little extra love they can turn to this jar for some words of affirmation. It’s a simple way to make them feel extra special anytime they need it.

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • All you need is paper and a jar. I used an old Prego spaghetti sauce jar and paper from around the house.

  • You can make a label for it if you want. Maybe include a nickname, a poem, something to set this jar apart from the rest. My label simply says, “Dingus, I love you. Dingus, I do. Here are somethings I love about you.” (cause that’s our dorky nickname)

  • Then sit and write down all the things you love about the person you are with. Big, small, one word, ten sentences. Whatever comes to mind.

  • Cut out each thing and fold it up.

  • You can add to it over the years or just let it be a capsule of how you felt in that moment (I put the year on my jar but I may add to it every once in a while).

LOVE LETTERS

But not just a plain old love letter. Maybe one or two of those, but I’m talking love letters for special circumstances. Something you can write for them to open in specific moments. Not letters for them to read all right away, but for the moments when they truly need a little extra love.

I know for me, when things get busy or times get tough, I’m not always the best at reminding my husband that he is loved. Again, it’s one of those things you assume they know and think they understand, but there are so many moments where our loved ones may need a little more affection than we, or even they, think.

So for these letters, I have a few ideas of times when our significant others may need a little extra support. Moments where we may not be emotionally capable of portraying how we really feel. Moments where they may be feeling down and just aren’t quite ready to talk about it yet. Any moment that could occur where some kind words from us written in a moment of pure admiration is just what they need.

IDEAS FOR LOVE LETTERS

I like to include a “one for now” letter so they have something to open immediately. Just a quick little, “Here’s your gift and some nice things about you.”

Ultimately, you know your person the best and you know yourself the best. You know the moments that can occur where you may become unavailable and the moments that come around where they need a little extra encouragement.

Keeping those things in mind, here are some ideas for letter you can write:

  • For when you’re sad

  • For when you’re mad

  • For when you need a boost

  • For when you’re feeling down

  • For when I’m not around

  • For when you need some love

  • For when you feel forgotten

  • For when things get busy

  • For when you’re feeling insecure

  • For when I’m being grumpy  

  • If things get bad

THE TRIANGLE FOLD

If you want to fold them all fancy, here’s how I did it:

  1. After you’ve written the letter, fold it in 3 “hot dog” style.

  2. Starting from one end, fold one corner to the opposite side, making a triangle shape.

  3. Keep folding, keeping edges taut, until you have a little left at the top.

  4. Fold those corners to the middle to make a point and fold that under the flap to close.

TWO SIMPLE VALENTINE'S GIFTS FOR THE ONE YOU LOVE - This Wild Home
TWO SIMPLE VALENTINE'S GIFTS FOR THE ONE YOU LOVE - This Wild Home
TWO SIMPLE VALENTINE'S GIFTS FOR THE ONE YOU LOVE - This Wild Home
TWO SIMPLE VALENTINE'S GIFTS FOR THE ONE YOU LOVE - This Wild Home