*Proud to partner with Nordstrom on this post. Affiliate links used.
Good morning. Back when Nordstrom and I decided to partner on this post, the plan was to bring you Spring fashion and sandals. That sounds dreamy but highly unrealistic right now. In light of all that is going on, I thought it made more sense to focus on comfy slippers and jammies. But more importantly, I am sharing 5 things that we find ourselves doing to stay well. Maybe they will spark an idea or two for your own family.
1 | We’ve Got a Handle on Snacks & Meals
Do you remember this sign? Not sure about you, but there seems to be a revolving door into our kitchen. The first couple of weeks it was really frustrating because it was a constant stream of snacks and meals. And all at different times. What has helped us immensely is just putting a couple of loose routines in place.
lounge pants (favorite) | similar button down | slippers
My children are older and capable of making their own breakfast, especially because they are such early risers, so that part is easy. I step in to make lunch for everyone at noon. It just makes me calmer to do one meal for the family (and I keep it super simple). That way the prep and clean up are a one-time deal. I’ve eased up on policing their snacks, too. It’s more about what you keep in the house but they are free to handle their morning snack on their own.
The turnaround has been my putting out an “appetizer” around 4:00 pm every day. It’s never anything fancy but every single person seems to come running because it’s their natural “I need a snack!” time. Whether it’s chips and salsa or veggies and humus, it doesn’t really matter. It just makes life easier to quickly set something out to take away the hunger pains before dinner.
We love the Tandoori Naan bread from Costco. I cut it into bite size pieces and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt and Italian Seasonings. Bake in a 375˚ oven for about 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.
Getting ahead of the afternoon snack train by doing this has really helped. Sometimes the kids offer to make the appetizer, too, which has been fun. I’ve stayed on top of meal planning our dinners Monday-Friday. Saturday and Sunday are days to eat what is left in the fridge or support local restaurants.
These lounge pants have been a favorite of mine for years. I was so happy to see the Nordstrom brought them back. They wash and dry beautifully, are soft and a great price. I have them in the gray, too. Highly recommend.
2 | Dedicated Family Time
I know. There’s a lot of family time going on. But what I realized is that it’s great for everyone to do their own thing and have that personal time. Our son is often working out in the late afternoon and my daughter is chatting with friends or doing something creative. But no matter what we all reconvene for dinner and then show up to watch a show or play a game at 8:00 pm. We all look forward to it and it ends the night doing something together.
3 | Don’t Sweat the Medium Stuff
When this all began, I had grand ideas of a well-oiled machine over here. That’s out the window and we are far better for it. Because the children are independent now, they don’t need us to be next to them for their school work. They are both diligent and once their work is done we are not sweating the medium stuff, as I like to call it. Back in the day we were pretty strict about screen time. Now, not so much. It’s more important than ever for my daughter to stay connected to her friends. We are really trying to look at the big picture and their overall health and happiness. As long as they are being productive and are happy, we are happy.
We’ve kept the expectations super simple: make your bed, get fresh air, move your body and finish your school work. My son always gets dressed in the morning whereas my daughter switches it up based on her mood. And I certainly can’t blame her because some days I rock jammies all day and some days I like to get dressed in something cute. At the end of the day, that isn’t important to us.
When the kids are bored it’s all about tossing out ideas to be creative. Every household is different and that is a beautiful thing. Backing off has allowed things to fall into place over here. Maybe it will be the opposite for you and your family. It’s all about trying new things until it feels a bit more doable.
4| Evening Routine With Hubby
No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t snap a selfie that didn’t look awkward. Working from home has always had its advantages and disadvantages. It’s easy to never turn it off and keep the work day going. That can be exhausting. We’ve realized that we like something to look forward to every day. After I put out a snack for the family, Ryan and I sit down in the family room and relax. We check in with the news, pour a glass of wine or sparkling water, and just hang out.
This time has given our day some structure and allows me to push through work, chores, and laundry to get to this point. We just check in with each other and the world. We have always been big proponents of date nights and because that isn’t happening, this together time is really key.
I may not be out running around in cute sandals, but I can still rock a cozy pair of flip flops. These slippers are so incredibly comfortable. They feel like pillows for your feet and are under $40. They also come in a slide version.
MORE CUTE SLIPPERS
These cute jammies are super soft. When the top is tucked in it almost looks like a jumpsuit. I love anything with a feminine lace detail. And while most days a bra isn’t happening, when it does it’s this one. You forget you’re even wearing it.
5 | Everyone is Pitching In
Lastly, everyone pitches in. Look, we are not winning any parenting awards for their list of chores. It is actually ridiculously short but baby steps over here. After dinner my son unloads and loads the dishwasher and my daughter vacuums the downstairs floors. It’s a good system for now.
If you like those Honeydew lounge pants, you’ll love this pajama set for Spring. Soft and adorable.
Nordstrom is hosting a Spring Sale and you can save 60%. That is the biggest mark down I’ve seen.
- My snakeskin booties are under $60.
- I LOVE this dress and I can’t believe it’s now $35
- Darling Zella jumpsuit is 40% off.
That’s a bit of what is working for us right now. None of it is perfect and we are not strangers to the meltdowns, but these five things are definitely keeping us stay well and smiling over here. Would love to hear some of what you’ve adopted as you acclimate to this current normal. Have a great day, everyone.
I love that you are making the best of this time with your family. I’m sure it’s not always easy! I am a retired widow and live alone so I’m living vicariously through others that have family under one roof with them.
Oh gosh, Connie. Sending you love. We know how fortunate we are, even when it gets challenging. Giving you a virtual hug from California.
Connie, I can relate – I too am retired and alone, so I vicariously live through others as well! Since Courtney is my daughter-in-law, I can virtually follow my son and grandchildren too!
Love you!!! xo
I like how you said don’t sweat the medium stuff. Yep! I too had grand plans for a tighter schedule but soon realized it wasn’t realistic. Anything out of the ordinary is a win. The Easter bunny brought water balloons for them and they had a water balloon fight on the trampoline today. Yay for that one!
That sounds like so much fun. I am envious. And yes. . .isn’t it funny how we have these ideas and then reality looks entirely different. But it’s all about pivoting and figuring out as we go. Enjoy the day. Well done, Easter bunny.
Love all of your tips! The appetizer plan is genius! We have been more relaxed with bedtimes and screen time. Allowing kids to stay on their phones and gaming systems to connect with their friends and family is a top priority. Having a relaxed family dinner each evening, watching online Sunday church service and taking a daily walk are must-dos for us. We are all in this together! Hugs from Texas!
Thank you. And yes to all of this. Good for you guys. Online church has been really great for us, too. We all feel so good after it. Have a wonderful week, Dawn.
Jane Flynn says
What a thoughtful comment your mother-in-law made. Kindness goes a long way during these difficult times.
Could not agree more. Hope you all are staying safe and healthy. xo
Tami from SD says
I never comment here, sorry!, but I just had to say how much I appreciate your common sense approach to so many things. I think your post was all about moderation, and I agree. My youngest is the same age as your daughter, and we are also not too concerned about screen time, etc. She’s very social and it’s very important for her to stay in touch with friends. Stay well and safe!
Well, I am so happy to hear from you! Thank you for taking a moment to comment. I really appreciate it and your kind words. Yes . . . so many other things that are more important right now to be sure everyone is staying in touch and mentally healthy. Sending the best to you family.
Your days look so much like ours! My kids are similar ages and I have to be honest, I’m so thankful for it because a shift younger or older right now would more than likely be more difficult. The appetizer idea is brilliant! Have a great week!
Love that. I do think we are in an easier spot with their ages. Very grateful. And thank you. Wishing you a wonderful week as well.
I really like how you’re approaching this.
I’m working from home and my job involves government covid support so my head is so full! I’m grateful to be employed but sometimes I feel it would be nice to be furloughed to get to do all the life sorting the internet is encouraging us to do!
I have always enjoyed following your blog! I came across it many years ago and love checking in daily. After reading your blog for over a year, I realized that you and your husband are Notre Dame alums. My dad, brother, and husband all attended N.D. We are fortunate to have our daughter attending ND this year as a freshman. Unfortunately, this spring has not gone as planned, but everyone is in the same boat. She is dearly missing her friends and the campus right now. I do have one question, are the succulents on your kitchen island (next to the appetizer board) and on your coffee table real or faux? If they are faux, do you have a source for them? They look quite real, and I’m looking for something similar. Unfortunately I don’t have a green thumb so I am looking to go the artificial route. Go Irish!
Grandma Sue says
Courtney’s husband (my son) actually attended Allegheny in Meadville, PA, but he loves ND as much as Courtney and her family!
Just love you! You’re spot on with the ‘don’t sweat the medium stuff” and realizing perfection just isn’t going to happen right now. I, too, quickly had to alter my expectations on what 2 parents working from home and a middle schooler & high schooler distance learning was going to look like in our house. We now focus on grace & understanding. My family’s mental & emotional well being is top priority for me right now.
Love how you put this. I found that the kitchen needed some parameters too, or else the cupboard and fridge were opened almost every 5 minutes! I told my kids (14, 11 and 4) that they need to decide if they are actually hungry or just plain bored. And moving the body is key – for all of us! With both parents here working from home, I think setting the expectation helps a lot. Te loose schedule/routine has been good for us here too. It’s not perfect, but we are making do.
And those people on the internet who say they are picking up new hobbies or organizing all the things? They must not work from home and have children. I have even less time than I did before when I had 2 kids in traveling sports!