Pour a cup of coffee and let’s dive into some questions I received from my coffee talk poll, as well as some random thoughts I’d share if we were having coffee together!
Winding Down Summer
We are down to our last three weeks of summer and I’ve got such mixed feelings. We have truly had our very best summer yet and I’m honestly just so grateful for (most of) the moments and memories we’ve made together. I vividly remember wishing summer away previously but it’s been different this year. I did a lot of prep work personally, mentally, in therapy, with my business, etc. to truly embrace and enjoy summer this year and it’s paid off. In addition, we are in a really sweet spot with our kids ages (8 yo & 9 yo) and I am acutely aware of this being the best season of life yet for our family.
So while a part of me is looking forward to a new school year, fall weather, routine, new sports and activities, getting my work schedule back, etc., I’m also trying to soak up our last few days of summer!
Can you share more easy weeknight meals?
YES! I will absolutely be ramping up my easy weeknight recipes once we’re back in school. I’m currently working on an easy crockpot recipe round-up too that I’ll share soon. In the meantime, I recommend checking out this post: 12 Quick Family Dinners for Busy Weeknights.
Also, I usually gravitate towards crockpot or sheet pan meals, but recently fell in love with one-pan skillet meals! I don’t know why I’ve skipped over skillet meals all these years but after making the most delicious Unstuffed Pepper Skillet, I am on a mission to serve more skillet dinners. It’s so nice to make an entire meal in only one pan and clean-up is a breeze!
What does your workout routine look like right now?
I am still loving Burn Bootcamp and just celebrated my one year anniversary last month! Burn has been such a good fit for me for so many reasons — it’s consistently a great workout that pushes me every time, there is childcare available which has come in handy this summer, lots of class time options, and more.
I usually try to make it to Burn 3-4 mornings a week, but realistically it’s usually 2-3 times. Most of the kids’ summer camps have started around 9 am, so I usually workout right after I drop them off. Then I typically stay in my gym clothes so I don’t waste any work time before I pick them back up. However, if they are home with me I bring them and they watch the iPad and play Nintendo while I workout.
Additionally, I try to play tennis 2 times a week whenever I can squeeze it in. My neighborhood offers tennis clinics, but most of them are evening clinics that start right in the middle of dinner time so they are harder to get to.
However, I joined a Charlotte tennis ladder earlier this summer and LOVE it because it allows me to set my date, time, and location (then anyone at my skill level can accept my match). My girlfriend Abby also participates in the ladder so we usually try to play with each other once a week, which is my favorite tennis date!
And then usually 1-2 times a month, Matt and I get a date night sitter and we’ll play a match (he’s really good and beats me every time) and then grab sushi afterward which is really fun!
Have you heard of “glimmers?”
Glimmers are the opposite of “triggers” and are the recognition of small things that bring you joy or micro-moments that calm your nervous system and give you a sense of peace and happiness.
I learned about glimmers a few months ago and have been embracing and appreciating them more and more with practice.
A glimmer can be any small thing that makes you feel good inside, kind of like a hug. Some of my glimmers include blooming flowers, a pretty sky, the way the light hits our bedroom in the morning, our crown molding, watching the kids play outside from my kitchen window, painted nails, watching my herbs grow, the first few sips of a sparkle water, my kids’ tan lines, a spritz of my favorite perfume, Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac songs, etc.
The more intentional you are at looking for glimmers around you, the easier you will begin to find them!
How do you plan your content?
This was a really popular question I received two coffee talk polls ago and I had intended to write a separate, more detailed post, but since it’s taking me forever I figured I’d answer it succinctly here since I know it’s a smaller audience that is interested in reading this.
Here’s my process:
- Timing: I loosely plan my content out a month in advance (although the industry experts recommend 3 months in advance — which is too hard for me right now)! Then each week, usually on Sunday night or first thing Monday morning, I will finalize my post topics for the week. During the school year, I publish a post every weekday, and during summer I’ve been shooting for 3-4 posts each week.
- Digital Calendar: I use a monthly calendar that I created in an Excel spreadsheet (you can download my template here), but you can easily find downloadable and customizable versions on Etsy for a few dollars.
- Re-Occurring Content: The first thing I do each month is fill in my calendar with my re-occurring posts like Five on Friday, a monthly Amazon finds post, a recipe each week (that’s my goal anyway), monthly book review, Weekend Rewinds (if we have any extra fun weekends I know I’ll want to cover), a monthly coffee talk, etc. At this point, I’m not planning the detailed content, just creating placeholders.
- Sponsorships: If I have any sponsored posts, I’ll add those to the calendar according to the campaign timing.
- Reader Requests: Next, I poll y’all! This is always so fun and gives me creative inspiration. I love reading your responses and write down all the requests in a separate app (I use Notion). For content that doesn’t require a full post, I’ll add it to my Coffee Talk list. And if there’s a highly requested topic (ex: back to school, weeknight meals, etc.), I’ll see where I can plug it into my content calendar as a separate post.
- Review Old Posts: The last thing I do each month is review the past few years of blog posts (for the month I’m planning) to see if I’m missing anything or identify a post that I can update and republish (usually holiday content or seasonal recipes)!
Mental Productivity Hack
I recently shared one of my mental hacks for productivity on Instagram and wanted to re-share it here in case you missed it. This mental shift has been hugely helpful to me over the past few years.
Here’s how it works: If you dread doing a task or chore at work or home, time it to see how long it takes to complete. Then find holes in your day to knock them out. I hate unloading the dishwasher, but knowing it only takes 6 minutes motivates me to do it before I run out the door. Same for work. If inputting your time, updating a spreadsheet, submitting expenses, or any other task you hate completing, time it and see how long it takes. Then look for time between calls or meetings to tackle.