Life is busy right now. Not just average busy, but run-all-day-and-still-not-get-it-all-done kind of busy. Last night after we cleaned up from dinner, I suggested we get in bed and watch TV instead of sit in the family room, because I was that tired. And then I legit fell asleep at 7:30, and slept like a log until my alarm went off at 5:30am.
I hit the ground running again today and seriously didn’t get to stop moving all day long. There’s no end in sight for at least another 2 weeks.
When life is like this, I start pulling out all my coping strategies.
I make lists and prioritize things. Non-essential things get cut. I’ve been meaning to dust in my house for two full weeks now, but it keeps falling to the bottom of my to-do list, because it’s not critical at the moment. Is it driving me nuts? Yes! But, there are other things taking priority, so it has to wait.
Use Delivery Services
When I don’t have time to go to the store myself, I rely on Target Restock and Amazon Prime to deliver the essentials.
When life is in high gear, I simplify meals, both for lunch at work, and dinner at home.
For lunch, I take things that are quick to toss in my bag in the morning, and can be eaten on the move, like fruit, crackers with peanut butter, trail mix/ nuts, or veggies dipped in hummus. I don’t have a regularly scheduled lunchtime anymore, because my schedule is different every day. When I’m extremely busy at work, I like to have things that I can nibble on in between groups of kids or meetings, since I rarely have time to sit down for a full 30 minute lunch break.
When it comes to dinner, I almost always would rather stay home and prepare something than go out to eat, or bring home take-out. Especially when life is busy. I mean, after a day of rushing around, the last thing I want to do is sit in a restaurant. I’d much rather put my comfy clothes on, pour a glass of wine, and make a relaxing dinner at home. Now, I’m not talking about a fancy 4-course masterpiece. I save that for special occasions or date nights.
When we have a busy and exhausting week, we choose a menu that is easy to put together, but still satisfying and far more healthful and tasty than almost any take-out we could bring home.
Let It Go
For example, I set this pretty St. Patty’s table several days ago, with plans to make a full-fledged Shepherds Pie for dinner one night this week. But as the week started to unfold and get busier and busier, I realized that I just didn’t have the time or the energy to pull it off.
Instead, we opted for an alternate, much easier meal to prepare at home– Reuben Sandwiches and baked fries. We could (and have) ordered this meal at any number of restaurants, but making our own was cheaper, better, and more relaxing.
It doesn’t get much easier than toasting bread, layering it with corned beef, sliced Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut from a can, and then baking it in the oven until it’s warmed through and melty. Even better, it’s so easy to customize for all the eaters in your house. We used marbled rye, which our son doesn’t prefer, so we made his on regular white bread. We put the traditional Thousand Island dressing on ours, and he used Ranch dressing. It’s no big deal to customize it for different tastes. A bonus was that we toasted our bread in the oven rather than slathering it with unnecessary butter and toasting on a grill like most restaurants would do, so ours was more healthful and less greasy.
Finally, we got to eat in the relaxed and quiet atmosphere of our own home rather than a noisy, crowded restaurant. And as it turns out– it ended up being a beautiful evening, so for the first time this spring, we picked up our meal took it out to the screened porch to enjoy dining with a view. We didn’t even end up sitting at the St. Patty’s table I set up. And you know what? I’m okay with it.
We did manage to have one of the Baileys Irish Cream Brownies I made a few days ago for dessert though, so in the end we still had our “Irish” dinner, right? 😂
In case you’re planning a St. Patty’s Day dinner for your family, I will share with you that mine was super simple and economical to put together. Several of the components came from the Dollar Store!
- Gold Chargers– Dollar Tree (left over from Christmas several years ago, but you can still find them at Dollar Tree).
- Green plaid table runner– A scarf from Dollar Tree, on top of a lace runner.
- Gold coins– Dollar Tree. I placed them in a white antique tulip bowl that I already had. I attached two of them to napkin rings with double-sided tape.
- Glittery Shamrocks– Dollar Tree. I just laid them on top of white plates to add some festive color.
- Brass Candles Sticks– antiques that I’ve owned for years
- Farmhouse Metal Pitcher– from Hobby Lobby but similar to this ONE.
- White Faux Tulips. These are seriously the best and most realistic faux tulips. So versatile and perfect for spring decorating!
Here’s to wishing you better luck than we’ve had for a relaxing March.
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