The Time Between

We’re in the week between Christmas and New Year’s and it’s always a happy haze of playing, organizing, and planning for the year ahead.

Monday was a fairly normal day around the Zottola Zoo. Jimmy worked, I worked, homeschooled Sadie, and us girls went on a coffee and cake pop date 🙂

Mom and toddler with Starbucks

Toddler sitting in back of car with milk

We may not be able to go in coffee shops to hang out, but we can still have special time together in the parking lot. These little moments are my favorite ❤

I started a new Bible study on the book of Hebrews and it’s proving to be very enlightening. Hebrews is one of those books that’s deep and sometimes hard for me to grasp everything going on in it, so I’m excited to be learning more.

I met the author of the study when he visited our church for a revival, so it’s kind of neat to know a bit of his personality and see it come through in his writing.

Hebrews Bible study book and commentary by Jason Cole

Sadie and I have been doing lots of playing so far this week. She was gifted some really fun toys for Christmas. Not going to lie, I’m having just as much fun as her with all the toys 😉

Homeschool has been happening this week because some sense of normalcy is nice! Yesterday Sadie learned about the letter “J” and painted a jaguar.

Abeka homeschool

Another thing that’s been happening this week for me is learning about essential oils. Ever since the melatonin incident, I’ve been so thankful that what she and Niva got into was a natural product and not something super dangerous.

I want to try and have all of our household products (like cleaning, medication, laundry, etc.) be as non-toxic as possible, so I’m working on learning more about essential oils and the role they can play in that!

Also of note: I ordered my 2021 planner and got it in the mail yesterday! Does anyone else just love a fresh new planner? This will be my second year using this planner. I really like that it has a pocket, tear-out shopping lists, and budgeting pages.

How do you feel about the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day?

A Relaxing Staycation

Jimmy and I took Thursday and Friday off of work last week and sent Lola and Mavis to my parents’ so we could have a little staycation! We weren’t sure if we would be out of the house for long stretches of time, so we figured it’d be good to have the girls stay with my mom and dad. Plus dogs = extra responsibility and we wanted our time together to feel like a vacation.

I was definitely starting to feel burnt out from the busyness of life lately, so it was wonderful to take some time to relax and rejuvenate with my main man.

Husband and wife black and white picture smiling in car

I missed the girls so much and literally felt guilty for having them stay with my parents (even though I knew they were having a blast and were in good hands). Jimmy and I had such a wonderful time, though!

At first, we had these grand plans to go to a hunting and fishing store in West Virginia, or to visit the National Aviary here in Pittsburgh, but we didn’t do much of anything and it was honestly perfect.

What we actually did

  • Slept in until sometime between 7:30 and 8:30 each morning
  • Got coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks each day
  • Walked/rode bikes on a local trail
  • Did a little Christmas shopping for Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch
  • Washed Jimmy’s truck
  • Cooked HomeChef meals

Starbucks holiday cups 2017

I’m usually team Dunkin’ when it comes to plain coffee, but I tried the Starbucks Christmas Blonde Roast coffee and was a big fan. Jimmy got the salted caramel mocha and said he highly recommends it!

HomeChef pork tenderloin

We had fun testing out three meals from HomeChef as part of our little experiment with meal delivery kits! Spoiler alert: we liked HelloFresh more than HomeChef. I’ll definitely blog more about this as we try other companies. We are looking into Plated and Sun Basket next!

May Designs planner for BlueSky with accessories and coffee

I also grabbed some accessories for the planner I bought for 2018! Is anyone else obsessed with all things planner-related? For 2017, I had an Erin Condren planner and liked it, but wasn’t a fan of the price tag. I decided to go with a planner from Target for 2018 and bought some binder clips with tabs, washi tape, page flags, and color coding labels to gussy it up!

My sister and I always talk about how much we love looking for the perfect planner. My mom used to get annoyed with us during back to school shopping because we would spend at least 30 minutes looking at planners. We have yet to find the perfect planner and agree it’s because we are destined to create our own. Someday 😉

Brown and white cocker spaniel puppy

After a restful staycation, Jimmy and I met my parents to pick up Lola and Mavis this afternoon (Saturday) and we’re all back home. Mavis fell asleep on the way home and is currently crashed out on our bathroom rug (aka the only patch of carpet-like material in our all hardwood flooring house). It’s safe to say she and Lola had a great time with my parents and Jimmy and I had a great staycation!

Two questions today:

If you use a planner, are you loyal to a certain brand?

Have you ever done a staycation?