Farm Days: Planning

Farm Days: Planning - Small Farm Life in Alberta - Organic Flower Farm

 

Farmers talk about an “off season” and a “growing season”. And yes, it’s true that there is an “off season” of sorts, I’m finding with each year that our off season is still busy. Busy planning & prepping for the next growing season. In part, it might be because we have been starting our small farm from the ground up. Quite literally. There was nothing already in place to begin our farm except for the land. Not even perimeter fencing or a road. And don’t get us started on the soil itself…

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Mom Life Organized

Mom Life Organized - Helpful Apps, Calendars, and Planners for Busy Moms

January is the perfect time to examine how you organize your days, weeks, and months! Not only what you do, but the actual tools for helping achieve that organization. Today, Shauna and I are sharing some of our favourite tools to use, from printables and calendars to helpful apps. From two real moms in the thick of daily life, here are ways we get & stay organized {and also, achieve some inspiration & sanity}:

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In the Garden: Garden Planning

Gardening Planning ~ Blog post by Bubblegum Sass ~ Garden journals from Taproot Magazine
Seeds from West Coast Seeds and garden journals from Taproot Magazine

There might still be the occasional snowflake falling from the sky these days, but it is time to turn some attention to garden planning & prep. My hubby is truly the brains behind the operation, while I lend my hands & time to the work in the spring, summer & fall. He comes up with our garden plan each year, while he plans out the other yards for his urban farming business. Even the seeds for our own garden get lumped into orders for Happiness By The Acre.

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Best Intentions

Green and Yellow Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass

It’s funny how quickly the best intentions can go awry. I dedicated a full day and several more hours (that’s a lot of time to a mama) to business brainstorming and planning for the New Year, including a production schedule, goals for social media, and areas to re-vamp & improve. I was feeling excited and energized for 2015, with big goals & even lofty dreams.

And then it hit me this past weekend. I was doing it again; falling into the same trap I have stumbled into each year. Not the trap of “too many expectations” or even “too few”.

I was planning MY year, as though it were my OWN. Here was page upon page of brainstorming & notes, even some of the tactics I would employ to make these goals a reality. It NEVER crossed my mind that the first step should be to turn to the Lord, the source of life & light. He didn’t even have a foot note in all these grand plans. I was completely missing the point. Again.

Here it is January 6th and I haven’t picked up my Bible since Christmas or come up with a reading plan or been praying regularly & intentionally. And yet, “I have made plans for 2015.” How absurd & impossible that seems now.

Blue & Yellow Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass

Realistically, I’m not throwing all *my plans* out the window, but I’m asking for a re-do to the beginning of the year. Shifting priorities, and mindsets so that the first thing I do is put HIM first.

What would you have me (& us) do, Lord?
My life is not my own.
Mostly, I long to be useful to you.
Show me how to do that each & every day.
Thank you for being patient with me, yet again,
and for your gentle reminders.
Help me to pull back, slow down,
and walk alongside you, instead of racing ahead.
You first. All else will follow.

I wish you all much clarity and patience along your own paths this year.

Commit your way to the Lord ~ Pslam 37:5 ~ Bubblegum Sass Blog

Countdown to Disney Vacation

We're actually only THREE days away now!!
We’re actually only THREE days away now!!

Yes, we are firmly in the countdown to our Disney Vacation! This week has been entirely dedicated to getting ready for the trip. So much to organize for both our stay at Disney World and our week-long Disney Cruise. It’s a little overwhelming, when the basics include pirate and Halloween costumes, plus we’ve never taken a beach-type vacation before AND Sam has never flown before. A lot of firsts packed into this trip.

I’m hoping to post more about our trip after we get back (with plenty of photos), in case you’re dreaming about your own Disney vacation. In the meantime, I thought I would share a couple of pre-trip tips with you. I’ve been collecting tips, cruise secrets, packing list suggestions, and the like on Pinterest, so head over there to get a helpful links to other blog posts.

One of the best suggestions I came across was pre-ordering baby & toddler items from Babies Travel Lite. What a stress-relieving solution for mamas (and papas)! Our little (ok, not so little) Sammy is not yet potty trained. In my mind, that meant we had two options: packing all the diapers, wipes & such we would need for an almost two week trip in his suitcase (including swim diapers) OR bringing just enough for a couple of days & trying to get to a store during our short Disney World stay to purchase the rest. Both options seemed a bit stressful. Who really wants to use any of their precious time at Disney World to go diaper shopping?! And that’s when I came across Babies Travel Lite. They’ve got diaper packages based on the number of days of your vacation. The packages are very customizable (choose your sizes, brand & type preferences). And it’s not just diapers, they have lots of stuff for meal time, bath time, and sun time. Even little potties for those that are in the potty training process. Place your order, and they will deliver it to your Disney hotel or cruise. We put together a diaper order and included some handy toddler snacks that we can bring along on our port adventures (since prepackaged snacks on cruises cost extra anyway). The beauty of it all is that now, we just walk onto our cruise and our box of goodies will be waiting in our stateroom.

We didn’t book our trip waaaaay in advance like a lot of families, but I’m sure it’s felt like a looong time for Sam. When a single day can feel like two or three to a toddler (and his mama), waiting four months for an oh-so-special Disney trip might as well be a year. As the day of departure grew closer though, I really wanted to do a simple countdown calendar, so Sam could have a more tangible way of seeing the passing of time and experience the excitement building up. I found several options, but went with free, printable design from 505 Design Inc. Just pick your design (Disney World or Disneyland), print, and cut. We hung ours in the kitchen and each morning we put up the new number and then count to it. Sammy can only count to 12, so I didn’t start the countdown until day 13. I think it’s a pretty fun pre-trip activity to do with kids!

That's little 'ol me with my big brother during our first trip to Disneyland, 1986 (I was 5 years old). I still have those mouse ears.
That’s little ‘ol me with my big brother during our first trip to Disneyland, 1987 (I was 6 years old). I still have those mouse ears.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got time for right now. Gotta get back to making lists, checking things off, and getting packed. Also still have boxes of tomatoes ripening in the basement that need to be made into sauce. See you when we get back from what will be an awesome family adventure!!!