Ack! Only one more month to go. (a bucket list check in)

I’m telling myself to think of it as having a whole third of the summer left, rather than that 2/3 of the summer is over.

A month is a niiiiice long time, right??

1. Declutter the house from top to bottom, one room at a time.


I’ve made more progress on this…I’ve just got the closet and bookshelf left before Joshua’s room is finished, and I organized the coat closet this week too.

And in the coat closet, I came up with some storage solutions that will hopefully help it to stay more organized. I’ll take a photo and show you.

I really, really need to tackle Sonia and Lisey’s room this coming week. And it will be a doozie. Dear me.

2. Go swimming or have waterplay (sprinkler, slip n slide) more than once a week.

3. Arrange sleepovers, since this is easier to do in the summer.

I think everyone has had a friend here for an overnight except for Sonia. So I should work on that!

4. Make homemade slushies with the kids.


5. Visit the library at least every other week.

Yup again…we’ve been faithful library patrons.

6. Go camping again (since our new air mattress was so comfy!)

7. Write an ebook about keeping Christmas simple.

I changed my mind about this. And since there’s a lot more to say about that, I’ll explain it all in a post soon.

8. Order school curriculum for the coming school year.

Nope. But I did print out the forms that list all the required subjects, so I’m a leetle bit closer to getting started on this.

9. Make a fire in our backyard fire pit and roast marshmallows over it.

10. Sell/give away the extra electronic junk we have in our office.

I did list two things but only one sold.

11. Teach Zoe to ride her bike without training wheels.

I’m thinking maybe this should be a fall goal. ;) #kristenthinksitstoohot

12. Figure out a new chore assignment plan for the kids now that Sonia and Zoe are old enough to do more around the house. Must delegate more.

13. Write a letter to my grandpa each month (he doesn’t have the internet, so I have to do this the old-fashioned way.)

Check. And when my dad talked to my grandpa on the phone, my grandpa mentioned that he’s enjoying my letters. So, yay.

14. Visit Mr. FG’s grandma and go for a swim in her rooftop pool (we keep wanting to do this but it’s never worked out so far!)

We did do this and I’m so happy it finally worked out.

It’s odd (but fun!) to stand at a pool fence and look straight out into the sky.

15. Make a spur-of-the-moment trip to go get ice cream cones.

16. Eat breakfast at the pier.

Too hot.

17. Visit a pick-your-own farm.

Too hot.

18. Maaaaybe paint my kitchen cabinets. Still hemming and hawing on this one.

I’m pretty sure I’ve decided I want to do this. The question is, can I get it done in August?

19. Tackle my pile of clothes that need to be mended/modified/dyed.


I worked on this a little more…I sewed missing buttons on two pairs of pants and turned two hole-y pairs of jeans into shorts.

Because I’m sure some of you are wondering, the match is there to hold the threads up so I can make a shank, which gives the button a little bit of wiggle room. I pull the match out out, wrap the thread around between the button and the fabric a few times, then tie the thread off.

That sounded way more confusing than it actually is. I should probably take pictures of the process or something.

20. Get outside to enjoy lovely summer evenings.


We had one of these this week, and we did indeed go outside for a walk.

And since then it’s been miserably hot. Oh well.


How’s your summer been going? Are you spending your time mindfully?

Today’s 365 post: I made some more chocolate zucchini bread. And I took pictures.


  1. Margaret says

    Love reading your to-do lists. Makes me feel better about mine. :-)

    Could you please do a post about the electronic junk? I think a lot of people have a pile of electronic junk, and I’m wondering what to do with ours. Is any of it valuable? If so, where can it be sold? Can the rest be recycled? Is it hazardous to just throw it in the trash?

    • Renee CA says

      Our city has periodic e-waste disposal days. Not sure how you would check on this. They put it in our paper.

    • Virginia Dare says

      Margaret, many localities do have e-waste recycling events or sites. Many companies also have take-back programs or events, some of which are mail-in and other which are at retail locations. Sometimes a company will run an event or deal where they do charge a fee, but then they give you a coupon. Check out to find a program you can access.
      E-waste can have toxic materials in it, depending on what it is. The old-style monitors and tvs have a significant amount of lead in them. Many electronics contain friable component, and many contain precious metals.
      Many of the components can leach into air, water, or soil if not properly managed and impact human and animal life. There are precious metals, which are elements–and if you remember, an element can be neither created nor destroyed, so why bury them under the ground?!? The plastics are highly recyclable and are a good commodity. If you have access to e-waste recycling, it’s a good one to put effort into!

  2. says

    Our summer list has a lot left to do too!!! My big project has been removing the gross carpet and scraping my concrete porch (check) and repainting — I bought the paint and every day since there has been a thunderstorm…. or at least one forecast, thus other plans made, and the storm never materializes. We got one thin coat down though! I’m sure it’ll be done in time for the weather to be nice enough to actually sit outside :)

    Hasn’t it been uncomfortable? I am glad we didn’t get around to buying a pool pass because it’s raining every afternoon when the pool is open!

    But Kristen, PLEASE — please do your cabinets. I want to learn how and I know you’ll do a sensibly written post about how to do it!!!

  3. says

    Margaret, most towns have a place for recycling electronics, and it’s free for a limited amount of items per visit. Do a google search for free electronic recycling and your town’s name.

    One month is still a long time to go. A lot can get done. And Kristin, you have gotten a lot done so far.

    I’ve gotten through much of my list, and continue with trying to spend a lot of time with my 3 kids. We’ve played croquet, horseshoes, gone swimming, gone to the beach, had cook outs, entertained guests, and now finally, our family getaway is all arranged.

    What I haven’t done is paint the garden furniture, and sew some cushions for that same garden furniture. But those things can wait for another year. My kids will only be young and want to hang out with me for so long.

  4. Stef says

    Good job Gurl! :) I should have done a list too! I sometimes do but it isn;t for like a 3 month planned things to do*. It is more of a daily task chore thingy. I still have a stack of clothes (2ft tall) to mend, to bleach-remove stubborn stains, shorten etc. OH and let loose a uniform dress for the fall! ( I have never done before! We have till September 5 for the first day of school though! And yes it has been very HOT here too and can’t really think of things to do with the kids that won’t require $$$. I am also glad we didin’t get a summer pass because it has been too hot with having a 10mo old too. I found more time for baking with the kids though and calling friends over to be nice…. I wish to paint the girls room though (one room) but don’t know how to remove the stickers….Any ideas???? Some of the stickers are like freesbie sizes… And we need to get back to reading before school… Oh and we managed to drive to my moms (who has cancer) so that was a big or biggest achievement for us!

    • says

      Stef, I had to remove stickers from my daughters’ walls a few years back. (what is it with girls and stickers?!) This is what I did. I used a steam iron, held it about an inch from the sticker and let the steam blast for a few minutes. Some of the stickers came off entirely with this. Then I rubbed baby oil over the remaining gummy stuff, and let sit for about 20 minutes. Used a rag with warm water and detergent on it, to remove the oil and gummy stuff. I had to repeat the oil and detergent a couple of times. But it eventually all came off. Good luck!

      • Virginia Dare says

        yeah, if you’re going to re-paint, i’d be careful with the oil or else you’ll have to prime, too. My SIL steadied herself against my wall with a lotion-y hand that was printed on there for years and years. When I re-painted the room last summer, the hand print kept coming through the paint–i finally had to use primer, and that worked.

  5. Becca says

    I am REALLY looking forward to you painting your kitchen cabinets. Like – really. I have been wanting to do mine for a few years, but am chicken. Inspire me! :D

  6. says

    I’d be curious to hear how you decide to delegate chores to your kids. Is there a book you have that suggests age-appropriate activities? I need to do this (my oldest is 4, then 2, and almost 1), but I haven’t taken the time to think through my list and delegate. Just doing it myself since it’s faster! But I want to teach more responsibilities than just feeding the dog and clearing the table. I love your blog – you have so many wonderful ideas, and it’s always so encouraging to read…thank you! (and you’ve almost got me convinced to home-school, something I thought I’d never do but am now really excited about!)

  7. Jennifer says

    Being just one state south of you I can vouch for the heat. This summer has certainly been HOT! And I can hardly blame you for not wanting to be out in it. My to-do lists take much longer to check off (must take a stay-cation soon) so you should be proud! I need to make a list like this and post it on the fridge… it seems like when I do get downtime, I forget about all the “out-of-sight” chores, like mending clothes, that should be done. My husband and I also want to go camping, but we’ll probably go for September since the weather should cool off. We love camping in the NC mountains. The hubby wants to do “real” camping (i.e. hike to some random spot, pitch a tent, no bathrooms.) With a 3 year old, I’m thinking, uh, no.

  8. says

    We are just 1 week into our 6-week-school holidays. I can cross off the camping one! We are just back from 4 days under canvas (is it still called canvas? probably not… more like polyester?) near Cheddar Gorge (Think British Cheese…Cheddar…apparently many years ago it was matured in the caves). It was our first camping holiday as a family. Fantastic! A proper back to basics. We’ve had such wet weather here in the UK, we timed it just right (well kind of – twas 40C/100+F in the tent when pitching it! and as for trying to keep the food cool that was very difficult). I can concur about air mattresses. I’ve been having a lot of problems with my lower back (probably due to pounding the pavements 3 times a week with my running buddies) and the day we arrived I was really struggling. 3 nights on an airbed and I feel like a new woman! Think it might be time to change the mattress on our bed at home! Hope you get some cooler weather so you can get some more crossed off the bucket list but it looks as though you’ve been having a fantastic summer… love the image of the girls looking out to the sky.

    • says

      p.s – we tried toasted marshmallows for the first time over the gas-burner (not quite an open-fire, but they weren’t allowed where we camp!). I’d wanted to do this with the Kids since I’d seen one of your photos. It was a resounding success. So much so, even though we arrived back home today I’ve promised one last toasting tonight to round the holiday off. Good job I’ve a gas-hob.

  9. says

    If it is at all humid where you live, I would put off painting the kitchen cupboards until it cools down a bit and the humidity drops. I find with kitchen cabinets its hard to do them indoors, since you have to spread them out, so I tend to use a big inexpensive blue tarp put over the back yard, and since paint does not set well in humid and hot climates, its best to wait till the hot humid weather is over, otherwise you risk it flaking prematurely (believe me I found that out the hard way!!!)

    • says

      Hi Victoria
      That’s good to know. And could explain why when we painted out deck railing a few years ago (when it was super hot/humid) the paint peeled badly the next winter (despite using quality primer and paint). The next year, we sanded and repainted the railing using same brand paint/primer. This time in a cooler summer, and it has done well. Maybe that explains why.

  10. Kate says

    We just checked off “Take the kids to New York City” for a weekend, and man, are my legs sore from all the walking! We had a rather frugal weekend for NYC, too – the only entry fee we paid was for the Central Park Zoo, where the smiles on my son’s face as he watched the penguins made the fee utterly worth it. :)

  11. Lisa H says

    About the training wheels…
    My boyfriend’s daughter was ab-so-lutely certain that she couldn’t do it and a friend of his made a suggestion. He said to take off the pedals as well as the training wheels. This way the only thing the child is thinking about is pushing the bike with their feet. Oddly enough, it seems to help them “feel” the balance better without the distraction of pedaling. After a couple of hours of just propelling with feet, replace the pedals and see how it goes. Our child got it figured out in less than a day! And off she went…no training wheels!
    Give it a try!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *