Friday 5

Friday 5: Christmas to-dos, time blocking and meals

1. I am feeling pretty good about my progress on my “Christmas To Do List”! I am especially happy that I think we’re in solid shape on gift buying- I think better than we have been on December 9th in past years.

I’d say we’re almost done with the boys, minus maybe a couple of smaller filler items. I’m also just about set on my parents. Ivan bought himself several nice things and informed me that he would like them for Christmas. 🤣 I’m not complaining- he is impossible to buy for!! I have a couple ideas in the works though for “surprise” gifts for him.

My biggest outstanding gift task is to figure out what to do for my nieces/nephew/sister/BIL in Ireland. This is always an exasperating task, because….. how?! For the price it costs to ship a box over there, I could probably pay for my oldest niece’s first semester of college. I can sometimes task my sister with picking up certain things for the kids and then exchanging money, but that’s a hassle for her. The “easiest” route is trying to buy stuff on Amazon UK and have it shipped directly to them. But then my gifts are dependent on being available on Amazon UK- which can be limiting. Anyway. We’ll see how that goes.

Last night I crossed another item off the list: buying gift wrapping supplies! I stocked up on tape, tissue paper and a couple more rolls of paper. (I have some leftovers, too.)

2. I have returned to “time blocking” my days this week, and I forgot how great that can be!! The last few weeks have felt sort of chaotic in a bad way. I realized that I was sort of floating through too many days, just taking the moments as they came. Which is fine, I guess, if you’re retired. But I have a lot of things to make happen- and a lot of things I simply want to do. I KNOW that time blocking my days actually allows me to do more of what I want to do, and always makes my work days more productive too.

I have been very intentional this week about “scheduling” my workouts, breaks, deeper work blocks, free time, etc. and it has been SO refreshing! I have had a seriously productive week, and also have just felt a lot more balanced. At the same time, I’ve been able to fit in a lot of extras, like Christmas shopping, workouts every day, and even a little reading.

My biggest win of the week was on Wednesday. I had my day all time block scheduled, including all of my work, plus a chunk of time off from 11-12:30 to take the boys to the dentist. Well, at 10:00 the dentist’s office called and had to cancel! Since I already had my day nicely scheduled (with plenty of time for my work tasks), I decided to repurpose that time and use it to write my yearly Christmas letter instead. Checked that off the list! I was so happy.

3. I made this not-super-appetizing looking but actually-really-tasty dinner the other night:

It’s ground turkey, onion, diced potatoes, peas and finely diced carrots, simmered in a mild tomato based salsa. (Sort of my own made up version of picadillo?) We ate it over rice and it was warm and easy and flavorful.

4. I then re-purposed its leftovers for a couple high protein breakfasts this week:

Skipped the rice and instead fried two eggs and ate them over the lean ground turkey mix.

5. I ran across this funny photo I saved at some point:

Haha!! Good point. Now I am regretting that we didn’t take a gondola ride when we were in Venice in 2017. Shoot. Maybe the next time I get there I won’t be able to stay awake. 😉

And now, it’s Friday and we have a snowstorm underway! Supposedly we will get 2-4 inches in our area. It just started about 45 minutes ago and it’s really coming down. SO GRATEFUL TO WORK FROM HOME on days like these….. in my cozy sweater and slippers. Hallelujah.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for my Google calendar. I’ve listed this before, and I love it for so many reasons (especially the ability to keep and view various different calendars), but today it gets a shout-out for being a really great tool for time blocking! It’s so easy to move blocks or delete them if needed, and I always have it accessible on my computer OR my phone.

10 thoughts on “Friday 5: Christmas to-dos, time blocking and meals”

  1. The snow! It came JUST at the morning commute. I spent a good chunk of the morning shoveling it and it was so heavy. I was grateful I’ve been lifting more weights recently! There IS a reason to exercise.


    1. O.m.g that was the heaviest snow I’ve ever experienced!! We actually lost power for 3 hours today, crazily enough, so I went out and shoveled during that time since I didn’t have internet. I was dripping sweat and my back was hurting by the end! Haha. Sooo heavy!! I totally counted that as my workout for today.


  2. Shopping for people in another country would be SUPER tricky! I can’t imagine how expensive postage is. When I was in my Canadian friend’s wedding 10 years ago, we ended up getting the bridesmaid dresses here since they were so much cheaper in the US and then I shipped them to her and oof that was expensive, but even with the cost of shipping it was still way cheaper to get them here!! I don’t even like shipping gifts domestically! So I am glad my Chicago niece that we drew for the gift exchange will be here over Christmas so I could leave her gifts for her at my parents instead of shipping them!

    I am glad that time blocking is working so well for you! Work has been nutty for me this week. And then there is so much to do before we go to my parents so I am feeling a bit stressy but am thinking about how we will be laying on the beach by Monday afternoon!! 🙂


    1. Yes the shipping is so frustrating! My mom loves to send boxes of little things to the grandkids over there but usually the stuff in the box costs less than the shipping! It can be hundreds to get an average sized box over there…. Ugh. Sucks because I’d much rather pick out gifts here and just send a box, but that’s just crazy.

      Have so much fun on your trip!!! It will be amazing.


  3. why your food always look so yummy and creative??? can I be invited over for dinner? hahhaha…
    congrats for getting most of the gifts done. I’m still on my way getting there.


  4. Shipping KILLS me. So often it’s more than the gift itself!
    I don’t send anything internationally, so it’s not too bad…but still, I always hold my breath and then wince when I hear shipping totals…


  5. I know I am super-late with commenting… I got behind the last few weeks. I hope you figured something out in re: to gifts for your nieces/nephews. I have the same problem but usually end up ordering from a German website or have my sister buy something for the kids. It’s really outrageous how much it costs to send a package overseas these days.


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