One of my favorite things, as I approach the weekend, is knowing I am going to have free time to relax and make my own schedule. Sunday, in particular, is a day I want to make sure is free of commitment so I can mentally prepare for the work week ahead. When I came across this post for “Eleven things to do on a Sunday to prepare for a better week” I knew I wanted to share it with you in my mission to help make Monday the best day of the week — not your least favorite.
Here’s a recap (for the full article visit here and you can also find it on my Pinterest board).
Create a to-do list writing down everything you need to get done for the week.
Once you know what you need to do prioritize your to-do list so you accomplish what’s most important first. The rest is easy which will give you confidence to complete the remainder of the list.
Go grocery shopping for the week. Or, in my case, I use Shipt grocery delivery. I make my list at Target (depending on your area you have several grocers to choose from), send it to Shipt and they do the shopping, delivery and drop off on my kitchen counter or porch. Here’s a coupon code to use for $50 off your annual delivery fee (with unlimited deliveries as long as they are $35). I haven’t been grocery shopping in over two months and it’s been a huge time saver. You can also use their service to have groceries delivered to a friend or college student.
Spend time decluttering. I go through unopened mail, tidy up the house, take out the trash, stack up books and magazines from my weekend reading.
Do meal prep. This is when I place my Shipt delivery order for the week. I have my groceries delivered on Monday after I get home from work and I have everything I need for meals for the week.
Do laundry. No one wants to run out of underwear mid-week and the weekend is a perfect time to look through your closet to determine what you will be wearing based on what you have put on your to-do list. Have a funeral to attend on Tuesday, make sure your dress is clean and pressed. This is also when I put on a new set of clean sheets for the week ahead.
Clean out your email inbox. I delete, delete and delete all those emails I don’t need or have already read. Also sort into folders to save important emails for later reference.
Get outside. Right now it is cool in my area and I have really been enjoying sitting on the patio, sipping coffee and reading books. Hazel loves to go for walks with me on the weekends because we aren’t rushed to get home.
Take a look at your budget. Do your mobile banking, check balances and make deposits for the week.
Get enough sleep. Weekends are perfect for napping — my favorite hobby. It’s not indulgent to take naps. There’s a whole lot of science out there to support the important of getting rest. I think of a nap equal to how we re-charge our devices: It’s necessary to operate.
Enjoy the time off. Monday will be here before you know it.
What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend? Have a great week ahead!
I found this Monday checklist from Business Insider. You can find the full description and suggestions for each task on their site.
I was intrigued by number 13 — “blanket of humanity” on your emails.
“It’s tempting to power through all your emails in the most efficient way on Monday mornings. But before you hit send, read them over to ensure that they’re friendly and clear. “Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. It’s relatively easy to appear curt when you’re in a hurry, along with the impersonal nature of emails and texts. You want to mitigate false starts and misinterpretations,” Taylor says. One way to do this: Start the email by saying “Hi” and “I hope you had a great weekend.”
Want to know what successful people do on Sunday nights? They have a post on that, too here.
Another idea I like to plan for Monday is to make time to leave a little early for work and stop at the grocery for a bouquet of flowers to enjoy on my desk for the week.Lastly, everyone needs a mantra. Years ago, we made the life changing decision to be caregivers for my parents when they came to live with us. During that time I met with a therapist to help me work through the transition of adding this new role to my already busy life as a wife, mother and employee. One of the best take-aways she suggested for me to try at night before I go to bed was to say to myself “life won’t always be like this.” It was a positive message for me to imprint in my brain so that it would hear a message of hope and relief. We tell ourselves everyday negative messaging and as a result our brain hears nothing else and we start to believe we aren’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough… This Monday morning message from Empowering Women Now is the perfect mantra. Print it off and put it in a prominent place.
I am really excited to learn I have been featured in a recent issue of Voyage Dallas as one of their trailblazers! Their goal is to help hard-working, inspiring people tell their stories authentically and in their own words.
You can find the story on line here. And, recapped below.
Melissa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began my first blog, Buzz In Around the Hive, about six years ago as a way to journal my experience as a caregiver to my parents. Sprinkled in between stories of the joys and challenges of caring for aging parents, I shared recipes, ideas for home decor and entertaining, the milestones of being Miss Bee’s mother and a few stories including, Mr. Bee, my husband.
My mother, Earnie, was a big inspiration for my blog material. With her permission, I would share comical things she said or did. She always laughed and found the funny in most everything, even heartache. When Mother died very suddenly in 2013 from a brain aneurysm, my world stopped turning. I missed her daily presence in my home where we lived together as a family for six wonderful years. She was my “zip.” It took me a LONG time to find any reason to write. I had no motivation. My muse was gone. About two years later, I slowly found the desire to write. But, even then, it didn’t seem like anything I was sharing was interesting.
When I was with my three best friends on a getaway, I shared all these feelings I had and, with their help, I realized that my blog had revolved around a life I didn’t have anymore. I had moved on to the next chapter of my life – a life yet to be lived with infinite opportunities to redefine who Melissa is and will be next. However, it is really important to me that I stay close to those ties I had with Mother and the inspiration she gave me throughout her lifetime.
Hence, Home with a Twist. A daughter’s twist on her mother’s traditions. I will still share the same ideas with you on cooking, home keeping, entertaining, my spiritual growth and whatever else I may find interesting. It’s my twist in the tale.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As fun as social media can be, it can also be a burden to always feel like you are not good enough. I love the quote by Steven Furtick, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” On the days when I share quick, personal stories about me and my life, they seem to get more “likes” than the beautifully staged photos of something I’ve spent a lot of time on. People want authentic.
We’d love to hear more about Home with a Twist.
I have had such a wonderful professional career as an event producer for almost 20 years. Being able to blend my gifts of hospitality and creativity with my “day job” has been very fulfilling. But, I do look forward to retirement someday when I can blog full time.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
My mother is my inspiration. Growing up pulling on my mother’s apron strings, I learned to prepare fabulous food, entertain guests with style and design a traditional home with a retro twist. She taught me to always be kind, gracious and practice empathy. My sister is also important to me. She was fifteen when I was born, so she has always been more of a Mother figure in my life. She taught me to tie my shoes, count and do multiplication tables. She is very creative and has great personal style.
I love this letterboard quote from the Culinary Bee, Anna Mae H. Worth.
Here are some ideas to inspire you for the first day of the week…
Start a daily journal with this new book I got:
This past weekend my church hosted a program from their Women at the Well series for our women’s ministry. It was facilitated by author, counselor and life coach Kelly Johnson. She has a new book entitled Being Brave: A 40-day journey to the life God dreams for you. I can’t wait to start day one tomorrow.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
God has made us brave, not fearful beings. In a forty-day devotional format, author and blogger Kelly Johnson invites you to consider a new way of thinking about what it means to be brave and challenges you to seek a greater intimacy with God and the people God has placed in your life.
Through Scripture, stories, prayers, and thought-provoking questions, you will recognize the seeds of divinely inspired bravery and learn the strength found in community. Using letters of the word brave as a guide, Being Brave highlights what God’s Word has to say about the characteristics of bravery: Bold, Resilient, Authentic, Vulnerable, and Engaged and Empowered by the Spirit. Banish the fear that holds you back.
Eat pancakes this week.
National Pancake Day is September 26. One of my favorite memories of cooler weather was when Mother would make breakfast for dinner. This weekend I bought a bottle of Trader Joe’s vanilla bean infused maple syrup. There are two big vanilla bean pods floating in the bottle and when you pour it out over your pancakes, you can see the flecks of vanilla bean. Drop whatever you are doing this week and stock up on these bottles. I bought the last one on Friday, it’s that good folks. Even the butter on my cakes formed a heart shape! A bottle of this and TJ’s Pumpkin Spice Pancake Mix would make a wonderful gift this season.
Listen to this podcast:
The Simple Sophisticate podcast is from the Simple Luxurious Life blogger and author Shannon Ables. Do yourself a favor this week and take a coffee or hot tea break and listen to her podcasts or read her blog. It’s beautiful. “If you are someone who is trying to live their best life, reach their full potential if only you could figure out which one of your many strengths to tap into, all the while love and appreciate simplicity, but a welcoming home and well-stocked kitchen are a must, oh and don’t forget the style quotient: if you are someone who loves to dress well, but could do without the fuss and confusion with the trend, let’s just say it, if you could dress like the French women that appear effortlessly chic, yep, life would be complete, then this blog is for you.”
This is Shannon walking her dogs….
This is Shannon’s breakfast…
I want to be Shannon for a day and dip my toast points in a poached egg…
I’ve rounded up three ideas for inspiration to get you motivated for the week.
First, take a bath…I’ve blogged about the positive effects of using Epsom salts for foot soaks here, but let’s also add it to your tub.
Roasted garlic. It makes the house smell like you have been cooking for days. It is super easy to do and you can use it for so many recipes, including spreading it all over french bread, or on the base of your pizza dough. Simply Recipes has the step-by-step directions and a video tutorial, too.
Lastly, how about a self-care checklist. One of our readers, Stacy, said she printed last week’s “night before Monday” checklist and taped it to her bathroom mirror. Maybe this will inspire you as well.
Years, and years ago, my Sunday night ritual was to watch the television show Murder, She Wrote. Jessica Fletcher was my routine for easing into the work week solving the lastest crime in Cabot Cove (frankly, if that many murders happened in that little fishing town, I’d move). When the show was canceled, it threw my globe off its axis. This weekly bonding with Jessica helped me prepare for the Monday morning blues. According to a study conducted by the University of Vermont, Monday was named the worst day of the week with moods improving through the rest of the week and peaking on Saturday.
But, on the flip side, according to a study conducted by The Association for Psychological Science Monday is the best day of the week for setting new goals. It’s referred to as the “Fresh Start Effect.” New research in Psychological Science suggests that we may be more likely to actually follow through with our professional and personal goals if we start on a Monday rather than a Thursday.
I am seeking the positive route — Motivation Monday! Here is a terrific idea I saw on Pinterest that I think could inspire us daily, but especially on a Sunday evening if we are facing a busy professional and personal week ahead. I have pinned it to my Joie de Vivre board (a collection of ideas to help me find “Joy in Life” in 2018).
This really could be adapted for everyday, but I think particular care should be focused the night before on a day you are worried about facing. I love the last two suggestions. “Pray” – for gratitude of what your day did afford you and pray for grace to get through to the next day. “Read” – you can start reading the book from Mrs. Twist Reads This!
I’d love to hear your ideas on how you can transform Monday to be the best day of your week!
I came across a journal from 2016 when I was doing a “30-day prompt” challenge. Across the top of the page was “Don’t judge me, but…” I thought my responses were funny…and not surprising…
I’d rather spend the day in my pjs, in bed watching TV than doing anything else. (Still true, especially if it’s raining).
I hide cake in my room from other people in the house (Not currently true, however I will not deny that it has happened recently…)
I hate to get my teeth cleaned. (Still do. I have no trauma related to visiting the dentist when I was little, and I have a great dentist now. I think it’s the scraping and the buzzing that bother me.)
I only use sunscreen intentionally when I know I am going to be out in the sun for extended periods of time, but I don’t wear it everyday. (Still true.)
I’d rather putter around my house than go to a party or out with friends. (I LOVE being in my house. It’s like a big phone charger for me. I get my energy and creativity from being around my things, cooking, baking, reading and being with my family).
I buy books then don’t read them. (Now it’s false. I have really enjoyed reading again. I have read more books this year than I ever have. Yay me!).
I keep everything in the house neat and organized, but my own desk and dresser top, why? (Ugh. Still true. It’s my nemisis. Why?)
Today is the day. A day I have been prepping myself for since she said “yes” to going to college. Full disclosure: Miss Bee is going to college 15 minutes from home and also where I have worked for the past 21 years. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if I were dropping her off hundreds of miles away.
But, this is my story. For the past 18 years, my first thought of each new day has been her and the day we have ahead together. My last thought at night, as my head hits the pillow and I drift off to sleep, has been of her and thanking God for the day He gave us. We now will have new rituals and routines as I wake up in a house without her presence.
The way I have been approaching this day is similar to how I felt when I dropped her off for the first day of Kindergarten. I am excited for her because she is ready for a shiny, new experience. She is so pretty and has carefully shopped for new school clothes, books and dorm room decor. And while all of that fills me with joy and excitement, the part pulling at my heart is leaving her to fend for herself. Will she make friends, will people see how special she is, will she feel safe and treasured the way I have been trying to make her feel for 18 years? What if she needs me and I am not there? Like I did for Kindergarten drop-off, I’ll grab my muffin with other moms, smile, then go home. I hope to choose happy. But, likely I will go home, stare into space, gaze into her empty room and cry. Happy tears.
Follow me along today for an on-line journal of how the day progresses. I’ll try to post at different times and let you know what and how we are doing.
We will start with yesterday…
Tuesday, August 7:
2 p.m. Miss Bee texts: “I want my last meal at (insert our address) to be Daddy’s homemade pizza.” I responded with crying emojis.
6:30 p.m. Miss Bee wanted to see the movie Christopher Robin. The very first movie I ever took her to see as Winnie the Pooh’s Springtime with Roo. She was two. I cried then. I cried again now.
9 p.m. She’s packing everything in the van for move-in tomorrow.
1 a.m. Miss crawls into bed with me and sleeps. We don’t spoon. But I smell her and hear her breathing. It’s like when she was little.
Wednesday, August 8:
6:40 a.m. Alarm goes off. I kiss my baby and whisper in her ear I love her.
6:45 a.m. I bake her favorite coffee cake — I rename it “Off to College Coffee Cake.”
8:10 a.m. I kiss her goodbye and tell her I will meet her at 1 p.m. for move-in.
9 a.m. I write her a card to leave on her pillow after move her in…
“Wow!! What an amazing, joyful journey watching you grow into the young woman you are today. I admire your tender heart, your quick wit, your self discipline, your love for your family, friends and God, and your ability to see the best parts of all kinds of people.
I know it’s been a challenge to feel like you belong when everything is new. But, if you are always true to yourself and you believe in yourself you will be just fine.
Being your mother has been the best thing I’ve ever done in life! You make me laugh everyday. Now, my heart is in two places — with you and at home. You are never alone. There is nothing we can’t solve together. Life is not intended to be a solo experience. I love you dearly. You are going to soar! Momma”
9:29 a.m. Co-worker gives me a beautiful succulent arrangement and a card. I cry.
11 a.m. My friend and personal trainer, Jess, stops by to tell me I am amazing and what an important person I am in her life and gifts me with the cutest flip flops that say Queen Bee. I accept her compliments, and cry some more.
2:05 p.m. Miss Bee was planning on checking in at 1 p.m. Apparently she had more stuff she packed in Mr. Bee’s pickup so now we have two cars full of stuff. Was supposed to meet me at my office, have a sandwich then walk over to check in to get her key card. Instead, she and her dad went over without me. I’m okay. I’m happy in my air conditioned office right now. This plan saves her the embarrassment of me wanting to take selfies and tell everyone I know she’s my daughter.
2:26 p.m. I get to eat my sandwich in her dorm room! We are taking a load of stuff over now. I’ll get pictures and share them on facebook. (Looking back.on this was highly ambitious).
3:30 p.m. Cancel the tuna sandwich. It’s locked in Mr. Bee’s truck. Of all days, he doesn’t have his phone with him. It’s hot. Why did I wear jeans? I’m in her room unpacking things. The heat was on. Did I say it was hot?
4:18 p.m. I’m eating my sandwich. I don’t care if it’s rancid. Things are looking up now. Rearranging furniture. Miss Bee scolded me for making friends with her RA Olivia…and for offering an open invitation to our house anytime they want. I can’t help it. I’m so hot. Maybe it’s a blessing so I won’t cry when I leave.
4:38 p.m. Okay, I think we’ve turned a corner. I rigged a fan up from my office so I think the temp might be dropping to 92 in here. Getting ready to make her bed. Feeling good. No tears.
5:14 p.m. it’s still hot. I think with 700 people moving into the dorm all at once has shocked the system. Right now Miss Bee is applying faux marble peel and stick contact paper to her desk top. It looks super chic. I’m on her bed. I was going to get out of their way and sit outside her room, but she insisted I stay on the bed. Positive gesture. I think God makes you dislike moving in so you won’t focus on the end.
5:33 p.m. I think it’s starting to cool down, or maybe my brain is liquid and I don’t feel it. Everything is put together and in its place. We are now hanging stuff on the walls. Her theme is Boho chic. She purchased a gorgeous tapestry for wall behind her bed. Crisp white linens and pillows on the bed. I think I’ll get some fresh flowers for her desk.
6:45 p.m. We are exhausted. So we are seeking cool air, chips and salsa to build up our strength. Then, it’s to Target for a few things and back for phase two.
6:55 p.m. This morning when I woke up I wondered if Mother would make her usual appearance on days like today (she appears as a cardinal). On the way to the car, I heard her in the distance and suddenly she appeared right above us in the trees, singing the most beautiful song to Miss Bee. It was a sign. She will be fine…Mother’s got this.
7:45 p.m. At Target. Asked Miss Bee if she wanted to pick out some flowers. She said only if there were sunflowers – my daddy’s favorite flower. They didn’t, but I made a mental note to find some for her this weekend. I don’t have to look very far. We have a whole bunch of them growing in the flower bed in our front yard. The summer after Daddy died, sunflowers started growing everywhere and to this day, every summer, we see him in our garden. This was his own doing, as we never planted any seeds.
8:30 p.m. We are back home packing up little things and a BIG fat fan for her room. Lordy, I hope it’s cooler in her dorm room by the time Miss Bee makes it back there or she is quitting school. I am going to say my goodbyes here at home. I think the last little bit of time should be with her Daddy putting together a rolling cart.
I am really okay. Better than I thought I would be. I have spent the last 18 years preparing her for this very moment. When God blessed me with a child after years of losses, I promised Him I would put my heart and soul into raising a woman He would be proud of. With God’s help, Mr. Bee and I have met that goal ten-fold. She’s ready. I’m ready. It’s time.
There’s a quote I love from Nanny McPhee…
“There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go.”
One last thing before she left was to say, “Can we have breakfast together in the morning, Momma?” Yes, my darling girl. Always.
I had the BEST time this past Saturday hosting what hopes to be the annual Mrs. Twist Baking for Change fundraiser. Friends, old and new, gathered with me to eat biscuits, sip coffee and mimosas and raise money for the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI).
Let me start first with my story on why I did this. Earlier this summer, I was saddened by the back-to-back suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Two, young and gifted people who didn’t feel their talents or lives mattered. I lost my own brother, Jim, to suicide. And, there are thousands more people who suffer from suicide every day. It’s a very helpless feeling. But, I know I can do small things on my own to make a big difference for someone else. And, if it does help just one person in their suffering, then I’ve accomplished my goal. Baking has always been a stress reliever for me. I can easily put my energy into that.
So, I hosted a fun event where we could eat biscuits dripping with butter and sip mimosas while benefiting a worthy cause. Proceeds from the Biscuit Showdown will benefit the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, they are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in our community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.
The event sold out, and the response of support was overwhelming! Many people who could not attend donated money to NAMI and one sweet friend, Jean, who lives in Wisconsin, purchased a ticket so someone who wanted to attend could. Many of the guests had been personally affected by suicide, either a son, nephew, brother or just came to support their friends affected by loss. The conversations were electric and so many common connections were made. Truly, God orchestrated the perfect day which exceeded my expectations!
Guests checked in and on their name tag were asked to write their first name and in place of their last name, replace it with their favorite biscuit topping. The name combinations were hilarious, some channeled their inner exotic dancer! We also had door prize tickets for a copy of Magnolia Table.
I baked two biscuit recipes — my own personal recipe and the recipe from Joanna Gaines and her cookbook Magnolia Table. Guests did not know which recipe they were tasting — they were only marked as “A” and “B”.
I covered my dining table with butcher paper and drew fun directions on where to start on their journey to judge the best biscuits in town!
I set down trays of biscuits and the judges went to work. We had tons of topping options –plates of real butter, apricot, strawberry, raspberry, fig, blackberry and peach jams, Texas and English honey, and I made a batch of Texas Roadhouse copycat cinnamon butter. After each sampling of the entries, guests filled out their ballots. While the results were tabulated, we gathered for a group photo on the patio with signs we made that said #bakingforchange
Even my little three year old niece Amelia, got into the action sampling all her Aunt Mizmee’s biscuits. I think she gave both a thumbs up!
Then, the results were in! 14 to 6 Biscuit A was the winner — Mrs. Twist wins the challenge! I couldn’t believe it. Now that’s a happy looking face to know that, this time, I beat out Joanna Gaines.
At the end of the event almost $600 was collected from ticket sales, donations and additional gifts given after the event. All those proceeds will be mailed this week to NAMI. God is good!
I can’t wait for next summer! Thanks for all your support, it means the world to know we touched the lives of people who need it the most!
I found this 30-day summer self-care countdown on Pinterest recently and I really liked it. It’s from the website Blessing Manifesting. She has alot of fun, useful tools to practice self care including this July Self-Care Checklist. Summer can relieve certain stressers of getting all the kids ready for school and packing lunches, but it also brings with it “the kids are home all summer, what do I do with them?” and “I need a break from shuttling them from camp to camp everyday.”
For me, my stressors are different. I have an 18-year old ready to go to college, so we’ve been attending orientations, signing papers, shopping for dormroom stuff and the internal preparation I have been going through for the day we leave her at school and we go home as empty nesters. Check back with me in August on that one.
What do you need right now? A nap or to go out to dinner so you don’t have to cook. This could be anything, but you have to ask yourself this.
How is your body feeling? Are you tight in your shoulders, is your lower back sore, etc…
What boundaries do you need to enforce? Are you saying “no” to the things you don’t want to do? Communicate.
Have you taken care of basic needs today? Are you drinking enough water. When was the last time you had a meal that was healthy and delicious. Do you need an afternoon nap?
What are you holding on to that you need to let go of? Are you a member of the Not-Good-Enough Club?
My big take-away is practicing grace on myself. Speak to ourselves in a way we would want others to relate to us. Reframe a situation — instead of big goals like “I am going to work out five days this week” how about trying “I am going to focus on taking my vitamins everyday and drink more water.” That’s doable. Once you achieve that success, move to the next thing on your list. Give yourself a summer vacation from demands and expectations and just try to enjoy the next five weeks before the madness ensues. Maybe by then you’ll have a some healthier habits in place that will make easing into the school year a little easier.