Happy Friday from the front porch sweet friends. Thanks so much for making us a part of your day!
How are you?
If there’s one thing I’ve heard over and over again these past few weeks, it’s a version of this…
“How are we halfway through the year already?”
“Where has the time gone?”
So, when July 2 rolled around and we officially began marching towards 2023, I have to admit, it was pretty crazy to think that half of 2022 was already in the books.
I know most people don’t keep a diary nowadays and some of you might not keep a calendar either.
But I want to encourage you to keep track of how you’re spending your days. That way, at the end of the week, month, or year you’ll know exactly how you prioritized your life.
One really quick way to keep track of special moments, milestone events, or things you found encouraging is to attach a piece of brown kraft paper to your office wall or the back of a door.
If you don’t have kraft paper on hand you can also use a foam core board or a poster board. Either way, just be sure you use pens or markers that won’t bleed through your paper and tape that won’t take your paint off the door.
Once you have everything secure, start listing the highlights from the day, week, month, or year.
They can be as big as “Survived One Year of Cancer” to “Dream Trip to Paris” to “Completed Half Marathon.”
I want to also encourage you to write down things you might consider small like “Lit Candles at Dinner Every Night This Week,” “Hiked a New Trail,” “Tried a New Red Lipstick and Loved It,” “Surprised My Spouse With a Babysitter and a Spontaneous Dinner Out.”
While I’ve always held the small things dear it wasn’t until I started this exercise that I realized the significant role they play in our lives.
Truth be told, I’ve had a lot more milestone moments (shown in marker) than I thought I would and I’m incredibly grateful for each and every one of them.
But as I look across the canvas, I immediately appreciate all the small changes, the tiny tweaks, the healthy choices, setting boundaries, being intentional with our time, money, and energy so that we could be fully present, the invitation to slow down and give ourselves what we really needed even when it was hard that I know made the biggest difference.
If the first half of the year hasn’t looked like what you expected, please know you can make a change at any time.
You don’t have to wait for Monday or January 1st.
All you have to do is decide how you want to spend the rest of 2022 and get started.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, it simply needs to be your priority.
PS: A peek at our Summer Porch which I’ll share next week.
PPS: I was this close to editing out the bruise on my arm, but if you have a dog that is extremely fearful and overstimulated by loud noises you get it – 4th of July with Piper was no joke!
On a side note, she “helped” plant the container gardens on the porch 😆 What can I say, she wants to be good, I can feel it, she just can’t figure out how to be good quite yet but she’s trying.
A Few of Our Favorite Things From Around the Web This Week…
This small farmhouse-style cottage on a Swedish allotment looks like the perfect way to slow down and celebrate summer.
Everything about this stone cottage is amazing!
A master cottage that has such a South Florida vibe.
I’m pretty sure I just found my dream breakfast nook in this beautiful home tour.
James Farmer’s birthday dinner is just as amazing as you would expect it to be.
This Gingerberry Lemonade looks so good!
Every inch of this cottage container garden is fabulous!
Can you even with these stunning New Dawn Roses?
Little Things That Aren’t That Little (this is a great post if you’re looking for simple ways to bring bits of joy into each day)
Did you know J Crew Factory has a Today’s $10 Deals page?
You’ll definitely need this dress if you want to channel your inner Kate Middleton.
Have you seen this trailer for Persuasion yet?
Words to Live By…
Third Quarter Books of the Month and Devotional…
(Amazon affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
- July: How Are You, Really? by Jenna Kutcher (I’ve highlighted SO many parts of this book. If you need a post-pandemic reset, a friendly nudge, or a no-nonsense pep talk – read this book!)
- August: Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life by Shira Gill
- September: A More Beautiful Life: A Simple Five-Step Approach to Living Balanced Goals with HEART by Whitney English
- Quarter 3 Devotional: Courageous Joy: Delight in God in Every Season by (in)courage
On the Menu this Week…
Week of July 8th July 15th
- 07/08 Friday: Caprese Sandwich with potato salad and side of field greens
- 07/09 Saturday: Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa
- 07/10 Sunday: One Pan Balsamic Steak and Veggies
- 07/11 Monday: Green Power Bowl
- 07/12 Tuesday: Doritos Chicken Casserole
- 07/13 Wednesday: Chopped Salad with Garlic Dill Ranch Dressing
- 07/14 Thursday: Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho with Shrimp
- 07/15 Friday: Old Bay Grilled Lime Tuna Steak
- 07/16 Saturday: Chicken Fried Steak with steamed veggies and cauliflower mash
- 07/17 Sunday: Mushroom Ravioli with Spinach
Sweet Treat to Try This Week…
Neutral Summer Inspired Finds We Spotted Online at Amazon and Target This Week…
(Amazon and Target affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon and Impact Media Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
If You’ve Missed Anything from the Blog Recently or the Archives, Here’s a Peek At What We’ve Been Up To…
Summer Cottage Inspired Porch Tour (our porch tour from 2020)
July Bucket List…
- Celebrate Independence Day
- Prepare the Porch for Summer
- Make Peach Ice Cream
- Take Piper to the Beach
- Sparklers with the Littles
- Family Picnic at the Farm
- Attend a Summer Yard Sale
- Christmas in July Activities
- Begin Summer Routines
- Begin Quarter 3 Challenge
- Plan Fall and Winter Content
- Post a Blog Video
- Read the Book of the Month
- Start Quarter 3 Devotional
- Keep Sundays Sacred
July Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…
Focus of the Month: Kids Rooms or Guest Rooms & Bathrooms
- 07/02 – Kids Room or Guest Room
- 07/09 – Kids Room or Guest Room Closet & Drawers
- 07/16 – Kids Room or Guest Room Bathroom & Cabinets
- 07/23 – Back to School Supplies/ Toys & Games
- 07/30 – Clean Out/Organize Your Car
TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts
- 07/06 – 07/31 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (*Nordstrom members have the earliest access)
- 07/09 – National Sugar Cookie Day
- 07/11-07/13 – Target Deal Days
- 07/12 – National Simplicity Day
- 07/12 & 07/13 – Amazon Prime Days
- 07/14 – Bastille Day
- 07/17 – National Ice Cream Day
- 07/18 – Amazon Prime Day
- 07/20 – National Hot Dog Day
- 07/31 – National Mutt Day
As always, we appreciate you more than you could ever know, and we hope your weekend is peace-filled and relaxing. We can’t wait to share even more with you next week!