A Hectic Morning

This is going to be a quick check in to say that today’s exercise is done and done.  Instead of elliptical I went for a walk to my friends house and back.  It was a bit of a disaster of a morning – baby screaming, toddler hanging off my leg crying, laundry piled on the couch…you know, typical ‘I have two small children’ scene.

It was actually incredibly stressful.  I hate when my sweet baby girl cries and I can’t get to her. Or when my son needs my attention and I have to tend to a screaming baby.  And I feel it all so much more when the house is a mess.

But we did it.  We managed to leave the house.  A half hour later than planned, but we did it!

Oh and it was only once I got to my friends house that I noticed I had completely neglected my appearance.  No makeup, hair a disaster.  I was wearing pants though, so that’s something.

And it’s a beautiful day.  It was a nice walk there and back – total 50 minutes of walking.  I’m thinking I’ll get out for another walk once the babies wake up from their naps.

That’s right – they are both napping at the SAME TIME right now.  Well, my son is currently babbling in his room, but he’ll fall asleep soon.  Point is, I have no one screaming at me or hanging off my leg.

Sorry, I realize this is quickly turning into a ‘mom blog’ but yeah, that’s kind of my life right now.

Oh I also wanted to say that I’m pretty sore from yesterday’s workout.  Just goes to show how out of shape I am.

As for tomorrow…the plan is:

BENT OVER ROW (with weights)
DEADLIFT (with weights)

Ugh that does not sound like a good time.  Not sure when I’ll fit it in seeing as it’s a holiday and Danny and Nathan will both be home in the morning.  Maybe we’ll all do a workout together 🙂

Until tomorrow…


The Spring Clean Challenge Starts Today

I’m so excited for this challenge!  So far there are over 200 people who have joined/are interested, which is pretty amazing.

It’s so weird to get excited about a cleaning challenge, but what better way to get stuff done!  Each day I not only look forward to doing the task (they are, afterall only 10 minutes) but I look forward to posting it and seeing everyone else post theirs too.

It’s not too late to join.  Each day for 14 days I’ll give you a cleaning task to do.  Each task is very manageable – they have to be otherwise I wouldn’t do them!

I did the first task last night when I got home from work. It took only 9 minutes and I really noticed a difference.



Join now and let the cleaning begin!

The Spring Clean Challenge is Back!

This Saturday, April 9th, I’m going to start a 14 day Spring Clean Challenge and I would love for you to join me.

Last time I did this (two years ago) over 300 people joined me and it was really quite amazing.  Not only did my house get super clean, but I had fun doing it with such a great group of people.

The Spring Clean Challenge

Here’s how it’ll work:  Every day for 14 days I’ll post a small task for you to do.  It will only take 10 minutes, I promise.  I’ll also post a more ambitious task if you’re up to it.  You’ll then post to say you did it and at the end of 14 days we all have super clean homes!

So are you in?

All you have to do is join the Spring Challenge Facebook Event.  Each morning, beginning April 19th,  I will post the task.  You do it, and then comment on the event to say that you did it.

Here’s what people said about the last Spring Clean Challenge:

  • This has been such a great push to get stuff done feels great! Thanks Mary Kathryn !- Meaghan
  • Thank you so much for the spring cleaning boost I had so much fun! – Susan
  • It was much needed in my world and got the ball rolling. Thanks MK! It was nice having someone else do the planning for me for a change.  – Jenna
  • Thank you so much for this. Even with an infant of now four months old I was able to complete ALL the ambitious tasks except one. – Grace
  • Kitchen is 100% clean and organized! What a great feeling – Darla
  • My kitchen is completely done, can’t wait to start the next room bring it on lol – Ann
  • I have to say I am honestly loving this challenge, my house is feeling cleaner by the day! – Michelle
  • I’m loving the challenges and so far my fridge is looking great, pantry and junk drawer is fully organized along with most of the cupboards. – Jamie
  • All I can said wow! That  was desperately needed! – Bonnie
  • I might sound like a dork but I’m excited for what we get to do tomorrow hahaha – Stephanie
  • Thanks for this awesome challenge MK – Samantha
  • Sad the cleaning challenge is over, though my mother probably won’t believe it! I need a cleaning challenge every month lol! Thanks – Meghan

I’m excited to do this again!  Join the challenge now.

Clear the Clutter Challenge Days 5 and 6: Keeping at it

I have to say, I’m pretty proud of myself for keeping up with this challenge.  I know it’s only been 6 days, but honestly, these have been the hardest 6 days with Nathan yet.  This whole waking up every 2 hours and fussing from 2 – 6 is wearing on me.  I keep telling myself it’s just a phase and it will pass, but in the present it’s very hard.

The sweet baby smiles at 7 am almost make the nights bearable.  Almost.

Oh, did I keep you up all night?  Oops!
Oh, did I keep you up all night? Oops!

If only he would nap like a “normal” baby – as in not his carrier (in which I need to be moving at all times – like right now, he’s sleeping in the Ergo while I bounce on my exercise ball. It’s a little ridiculous really..).  If he napped in say, oh I don’t know, his crib, then I could nap when the baby naps.  That’s what they all say to do right?  Just nap when the baby naps.  HA.  If only.

Here he is yesterday, we tried out the Boba wrap.  I prefer the Ergo, and so did he.  But how adorable is he, really!?

I feel, as trying as things are right now, it’s important for me to do and keep up with this challenge. I need something else to focus on right now besides being tired.  It’s like when you’re having a bad day.  Reinforcing how badly the day is going is not going to make the day any better.  In fact it can make it worse because you’re not giving yourself a chance to change things.

Not that being exhausted is a state of mind, but I like to think that I can trick myself into thinking that I’m not that tired.

But oh my god I’m so tired.

And keeping up with this challenge!  So ya, yay me.

Mind you, I’m really doing the bare minimum here.  Like I said in my last post, I’m doing what I can.

Yesterday was a good declutter day.  it took minimal effort, very little time, and I feel made a big difference.  I decluttered our tupperware drawer which always, for some reason, gets really out of control really fast.  Here’s the before and after, with Hermes supervising my work.

And today I took a stab at the entry way closet, which also is a bit out of control.  Now that spring is here (yay!!!) the winter jackets needed to hibernate.  So I moved them all up to – get this – the nursery closet.  I know!!  Terrible, but that’s kind of the only space we have right now!  I put them in there in a way that it didn’t re-clutter the space, so I”m OK with it.  Here’s the before and after:

I’ll tackle the top and bottom on another day.

Clear the Clutter Challenge Days 3 and 4 – Doing What you Can

So it took me two days to clear the clutter from our entry way shelf.  As you can see in the picture below, it’s so tiny you can’t even really call it a shelf.  More like a perch.  And yes, that’s right, it took me two days.

You see, I’m pretty sure Nathan is going through yet another growth spurt right now which means he’s a little fussy, clingy, and I’m nursing him pretty much every hour and a half to two hours.  Last night it was two hours, on the hour.  So ya, been kind of busy with that.

Also, I think it’s now safe to say that spring has finally come.  And who wants to stay in the house cleaning and decluttering when there’s some sunshine to be had!

And so what if it took two days.  The important thing is that i did it.

Sometimes when I’m working on a habit and I miss a day I’m so tempted to just say forget it.  I’ll miss a day, and then a second day and then the whole thing just goes out the window.  This happens a lot when I try to establish my meditation habit for some reason.  The more days I miss the harder it is to get back into the groove.  And if I miss days at the beginning then I’m pretty much screwed.

I’ve decided to not let that happen with this challenge.  I didn’t exactly miss yesterday as I did a little.  I did what I could which was put away the mittens and hats that had accumulated in that small space.  And then today I made a conscious decision to complete the task.

And here we are!  Perch successfully decluttered!

As you can see in that first picture I’m wearing the Ergo carrier.  That’s Nathan in there, fast asleep.  It’s pretty much the only place where he’ll nap these days.  Some days this is great – allows me to do work around the house, go for walks, or watch a show (albeit while bouncing on my exercise ball).  Some days I actually really hate it.  He’s getting heavier and sometimes I just want to sit and relax while he naps.  Or better yet, nap myself.  Before starting this post I decided to let him try to nap in his car seat.  I don’t love doing this as his neck kind of goes in a funny way, but I figure a few hours isn’t the end of the world.

Aaaaand he’s waking up.  Well that lasted a whole 15 minutes.

If you want to follow along with this challenge, why not take 10 minutes or however much time you have today, to declutter a shelf, or perch, in your home.  Or don’t and get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  There’s always tomorrow!

Spring Clean Challenge Begins Today

For 21 days I’m taking a real, genuine go at some serious spring cleaning. But not just the cleaning kind.  And if you haven’t already, I’d love for you to join me!

Every week we’ll focus on an area of the house and each day I will post a specific task for you to do. I’ll give you a bare minimum task (most will only take 10 minutes) along with an ambitious task if you feel on a roll. Some tasks will be aimed at cleaning your house, some at cleaning your life.

This week’s intention, as we make our way through the kitchen, is to stay focused on the task at hand. It’s easy to want to tidy as we go, moving from one room to another. What happens, at least for me, is the initial task often gets neglected. Each day give the task your full and complete attention.  Be present, treat it as a meditative practice and take pride in the work you’re doing.

Today’s task is…

Creating a Habit of Cleaning Every Day

The 21 Day Spring Clean Challenge starts next week and I’m really looking forward to it.  Not only because I have a wonderful group of people joining me (yay!), but because my house really is in need of a good spring clean.

My personal goal in this challenge is to develop a habit that goes beyond 21 days.  It’s to create a habit of cleaning a little every day.  My house has got a bit out of control these past few weeks and cleaning it has turned into a ghastly one hour commitment. I know that if I can just get into the habit of doing a little every day, keeping my house in order won’t be a big deal.

For every habit that I’ve cultivated I go through three stages before I actually do it: I think about what I want to do and why I want to do it (done), I decide to do it (done and done), and then I start planning how I’m actually going to do it.

The formula for cultivating a habit is pretty simple.  Essentially there’s a trigger, an activity, and a reward.  And for it to be extra powerful, there’s an underlying craving or anticipation.  This is called the habit loop.

I want to be successful in this challenge (obviously) and I want those who are participating in it to be successful too.  So I’ve designed it around this formula  Here’s what it’s going to look like:

1. Anticipation/Craving

21 Day Spring Clean Challenge Facebook

First thing every morning, beginning April 1st, I will post on the 21 Day Spring Clean Challenge Facebook event page telling you exactly what you need to do.  You probably won’t do it right away.  I know I won’t.  Instead this serves as a means to get you thinking about it, hopefully anticipating it (yes! can’t wait to clean my fridge kind of thing haha).

2. Trigger

time to clean

A trigger is simply the thing you do right before you do the activity.  The trigger is up to you.  It’s best if you schedule to do the activity right after something you’re already doing.  So for me, it will be as soon as I get home from work.  Maybe for you it will be as soon as the kids go to bed.

3. Activity

lady cleaning

Here you actually do it.  Start with doing the bare minimum task (I will tell you exactly what that would be).  You may stop there,  or you might find that once you get started you’ll get on a roll and keep going with the more ambitious task (I’ll also tell you exactly what that would be).  Oh, and put on some music!  Have fun with it!

4. Reward

spring clean accountability

The fact that you’ve made something sparkle might be enough of a reward, but if not there’s posting on the Facebook event page.  This works well for me based on my experiences with this blog.  Posting will give me the satisfaction of doing it and allow me to share my success with all of you.

So basically, you check the Facebook page in the morning to see your daily task.  You think about doing it.  You start doing it right after something you’re already doing every day.  You do it for 10 minutes.  Maybe longer.  Then you admire your work and post your success on the Facebook page.  Every time you post your name is entered into a draw to win an awesome thing.

If you miss a day, don’t sweat it.  Do what you can!  But if you do find you’re tired, or miss it because you just don’t want to do it (I gotta warn you, not all of the challenges will be sexy!), just remind yourself that you only have to do the bare minimum and that it will only take 10 minutes.  Getting started is the hard part.  And remember, I’m there with you!

And if that’s not enough to motivate you, remember that there’s a prize to be won at the end of all this!

I know I may not have actually sold it here by going into the nitty gritty, but I promise, it will be fun!  Oh and it’s won’t all be cleaning – we’ll be doing some spring cleaning for your life too!  We have such a great community forming and I can’t wait to get started!

21 day spring clean

New Month, New Habit

March is melting away into April and I am excited.  I’m excited for:

  1. Winter to be over.
  2. My next habit.

March was a rough month for cultivating my habits.  I didn’t do yoga every day, but I did read everyday (made my way through three and a half books) and I did drink water.

So that’s something.

In March my commitment to this project was tested, and I like to think that I passed and am ready to  move on.

So bring it on April.

What habit to cultivate next?

January was yoga (physical/mental/health), February was read (mental) and March was water (health).  So I think I’ll circle back to something physical/mental/health related.

Seeing as spring is (finally!) on its way, I think April is a good month to get outside.

More specifically, I want to get outside for a consistent length of time, every day.

  • It’s physical – walking around.
  • It’s mental – perhaps explore new areas with my new DSLR camera in tow.
  • It’s healthy – sunshine and fresh air.

Not to say that I don’t go outside.  Obviously I get to work and I walk my Hermes.

Like Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project, I enjoy the odd day spent entirely indoors.  Days spent indoors with a great book and a cozy blanket can be a wonderful thing – especially when there’s a blizzard outside.  But when the sun in shining and you don’t go out because of laziness, well, that’s just not good.

I really want to go out.. I really want to outside..

Today is a beautiful day.  The sun is shining, the snow is melting and the air smells fresh and amazing  I took Hermes for a long walk (he’s such a prancer) and it felt to nice to feel the warm sun on my face.

It’s time to get out of hibernation and get outside!