Summer Goals

* Bake a loaf of bread.
I realize some of you probably have this as part of your weekly routine but I've never done this myself successfully. (any tips or recipes can be left in the comment section!)

* Visit both the St. Louis and Springfield zoos.
We're taking Sebastian to the St. Louis zoo on his birthday but I've got a whole month to fill with activities so we don't notice how much we miss Brett while he's at ROTC camp.

* Declutter each room.
We're at the point where we need to implement the One In, One Out rule. I've already gotten rid of two of my least favorite wooden chairs (although our cool neighbor adopted them) and seem to always have at least two bags ready for Goodwill in our car trunk.

* Throw a special party.
I'm not the best at parties but I've always wanted to be. I'm going to try to put a lot of thought and energy into the details of Sebastian's fourth birthday party without making myself crazy. And maybe throw another kind of party if such an occasion calls for it.

* Successfully teach my son a morning routine.
We're starting preschool in the Fall so we're all going to have to get used to getting up early and looking presentable before 9:00 a.m. (or sometimes 10:00)! We've started a sticker chart that has pictures of each thing he has to do before he's free to do whatever he wants.

* Make friends with Jillian Michaels again.
I lost about six pounds in a month doing her work out and then lost ALL motivation as soon as I got back from Florida. Hello three pounds! It's time to make it a priority again.

* Take the kids to the local pools and parks.
Even when it's so humid and hot that we're all likely to be cranky before we get there.

* Make 11:00p.m. lights out time.
No exceptions.

* Obtain headboards for both beds in our home. Finish Sebastian's quilt and make pretty pillows to finish ours.
Because it's been eight years now and I think it's about time.

What's on your list?



mymcmlife said...

For bread I recommend trying Irish Soda Bread. It doesn't require yeast or kneading (just a little shaping … I always end up with messy hands.) Easy and tastes great - kind of like ciabatta. I have a copied recipe from an Irish woman. If you can't find one online, let me know and I'll type it up.

RachelDenbow said...

Thanks! I'll see what Google offers.

miss indie said...

Great goals!
I am definitely de-cluttering as much as possible and getting organized again. I really want to make this summer about trying new things and getting out of this rut that I'm in.
Good luck on the bread-making! :] XO.

Nichole Contente said...

I want to start more family traditions, like home made pizza night, and setting a day a week that I can bake a treat with my little ones.

I too need to make nice with Jillian, but she is brutal.

I need to find more time to get in God's word, and spend more time involving our playtime with the Word so my children are more fluent in it.

Thats my little summer list, with 3 children...5, 2 & 1, it's seems like a big list :)

Abi Porter said...

you should check out "artisan bread in five minutes a day". its the easiest, no-knead, best tasting french bread EVER. the master recipe is on youtube.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFJZPm-_2-M

it really doesn't get much easier than that.

Amy said...

I'm with abi...that bread is the bomb. I went from being bread phobic (never made a good bread in my life) to making that bread, bagels, soft pretzels, and excelent honey yeast rolls.
You can do it!!!

Amy said...

oh and my goal is 5k every other day this summer. So far so good! i'm learning to love my treadmill and walking outside.

RachelDenbow said...


Thanks! And good for you, Amy! It's no easy feat!

Rae said...

Google the NY Times' no-knead bread- totally my favorite. And I'm really impressed by your being presentable at 10. I didn't have any clean maternity pants and was in jammies at 12 waiting for them to dry :/.

Summer goals around here are survive a family reunion and the last 10 weeks of pregnancy in summer without any fatalities, and to enjoy the last weeks of being a family of three before we become a family of four.

kelley brown said...

St Louis zoo is nice and free... if you are looking for other cool things in st. louis I have a whole list! Lots of great photo ops, like the sculpture park... I love being a new St Louisan and still be able to be a tourist in my own town!

happy owl erin said...

Hi doll,
As a teacher and mamma, I agree with you. Get your little man into a routine early for the fall!
Ebay has some really adorable night lights/ alarm clocks out there for kiddies. That might help with nightime and wake up routine.
Good luck mamma...
p.s. let me know if you're up to doing my Rockstar Mom Series. :)

thebiggerbangtheory.com said...

I think the most important thing about baking bread is making sure the water you use to proof the yeast is not too hot, but not too cold. If it's too cold, it won't do anything and if it's too hot it'll kill the yeast. But if you have to err on one side, I'd say it's ok if it's a bit too cool. I've made bread before where the yeast didn't do a whole lot of foaming but it still turned out ok. Just make sure it isn't too drafty or cold in the kitchen (if it is summer time I don't think this should be a problem).

This is the recipe I use for regular ol' white bread (not the healthiest stuff, but I try to make up for it by having something else really full of fiber to eat).


It has never disappointed me.

Good luck!

Roxanne said...

ROTC camp huh? Don't feel obligated to post here, but feel free to email me about where Brett's headed. If it's the same places my husband went, you must go visit him! There are some super sweet places to be seen!

My goal is to spend as much time with my husband as possible and not plan anything :)

diane said...

we just moved to st. louis, thanks for the recommendation for Nonna;s in springfield btw, we stopped there, on our way here. we have been exploring st. louis these past 2 weeks. there are so many free things to do with kids. I am happy to share any info with you.

Sonya said...

We are starting preschool in the fall too! It is a great idea to get my daughter into a routine before that. We need to be at the school at 8am! It does not even seem possible to me right now!!

I have never liked running (it seemed too boring, painful and repetitive for my liking) but the Couch to 5K program looks doable and *gasp* fun. It is on my to do list for the summer.


Jenn said...

Great Goals indeed! I wonder if I go have lights out at 11pm... so much harder on the weekends and in the summer! Way to go with Jillian Michaels, you can do it!


xxoo Klara said...

Onion bread is delicious. Yummmmm!!
I don't have any Summer goals because it's Winter on my side of the world! My Winter goal is to save enough money for our half-kitchen renovation... it's the dream...

Rachel M said...

Here's a link to an easy bread recipe. http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/basic-bread-recipe

Have fun! :)

Kim said...

Fabulous list!!!
1. I cheat on my bread-I mix it in the bread machine :)
2. I haven't been to a zoo in too long :(
3. I am also constantly decluttering
4. my big party is 4th of July-my fave!!
5. children & routines are wondeful!
6. Jillian definatly gets results!
Made me want to make a fun list for summer too....

cocosparkle said...

ahhhh Jillian Michaels and I have a love/hate relationship. The workouts are insane!

Brianna! said...

Your summer goals sound SUPER awesome!
I've always wanted to bake my own bread as well:)


Emily said...

I bake all our bread. Here's link to my recipe. It's easy!


Oh, I love, love the St. Louis Zoo. If you really take your time, you could go there every day for a week and see new stuff! Plus it's free. Yippee! :)

Big Yellow Dog said...

Great goals! The St. Louis zoo is great! And if you are in St. Louis, you HAVE to take your kiddos to City Museum and the Magic House! They will LOVE it! There are even exhibits at the magic house for tinies like your Ruby.We've taken our son twice (he'll be two in August) and we all had so much fun. And good luck on baking bread.There is nothing better than homemade bread!

Meg said...

jillian michaels is definitely on my list too. we were such great friends for awhile but then i got lazy and started sleeping in that extra half hour. good luck!

amy D said...

oh jillian...she is a butt-kicker, but i love her. this is definitely on my summer goal list as well, only i'm with holly on the 60-day shred. every day is too much for me.
let us know what bread tricks worked for you! best of luck!

Tami said...

try this recipe.


it makes three small-ish loaves, one i normally put cinnamon or something else in and the others I just leave plain. i recently made cinnamon rolls with the dough and they came out great.

when i first made this bread, it was so easy i thought for sure i did something wrong, i was surprised at how great it tastes.

Kristen Michelle said...

Haha I would LOVE to go to the goodwill where all the stuff you donate is. You have cool stuff and goodwills around here SUUUUCCCK.

Kyla Roma said...

I love the idea of throwing a perfectly styled little party, I think that's being added to my list :)

Good Girls Studio said...

Good luck with your list! I need some motivation to even think about making a list ;) Off the top of my head I would like to make myself a skirt before the summer is out & purchase some herb plants. Very hard to reach goals ...hahha

peppermint*tea said...

love this list!

Naomi said...

Hi Rachel.
About bread: I LOVE homemade bread but am not so much a fan of the time, the mess & the kneading. Really - I'm lazy. But I found a recipe for three loaves (I forget from where) but its so simple & fool proof, now I make bread about every other week.
Here is goes:

1 cup warm water
8 TBSP sugar (or a little less)
4 TBSP quick yeast
(Dissolve sugar in water in a bowl that'll hold at least 3 cups - stir in the yeast & let rise until doubled in size.)

In a large bowl mix:
4 TBSP oil (I use extra virgin)
4 tsp salt

Add the yeast mix once doubled & then 3 more cups of warm water.

Add 7-9 cups of flour, whole wheat, white, rye, a mix...whatever. I even add a few TBSP of ground flax seed.

When it becomes hard to stir in the bowl pour it out on a floured surface & knead just a little until its not sticky. Cut the dough in three equal parts & let rise for 15 mins.
Place dough in three greased loaf pans & let rise for another 15.
After that bake em at 350 for 45 min. & voila! done! 3 loaves that freeze well.

Megan said...

I'm preggo with #2 and there will be room sharing. So I'll be tuning in to see how integrating R & S while sleeping goes! Good luck!

Laura said...

I have not tried this particular bread recipe, but I know several people who have and found it incredibly easy!


Coates Family said...

check out my post http://nccoatesfamily.blogspot.com/2009/12/dear-wifey.html about an easy yummy bread. My list is plaguing me http://nccoatesfamily.blogspot.com/2010/06/2010-to-do-list.html. Thanks again for being such an inspiration!

emily said...

I just realized that BOTH my daughters were born so closely to your kids...my oldest will be 4 on June 29th and my youngest was born on Nov9, right around Ruby...no wonder I like your blog so much....I ALSO need to reacquaint myself with Jillian, her video has been sitting, gathering dust, since we got back from Hawaii...I think we would get a long nicely :)

Brigide said...

Best bread I've ever made comes from thehungrymouse.com. Her recipes are absolutely no fail and the pictures that go with them are absolutely awesome. I'm one of those people who needs to see what "light and fluffy" looks like to really get it, so her recipes are perfect for me. I've never made any of her dishes and didn't love them. I wish I had half of your motivation for doing things around the house :) My husband has been gone for 16 days for military training and we have some more to go yet so I know what you mean about filling the time.

Elizabeth said...

I love reading your blog. It is full of so many great ideas- many of them budget friendly which I totally appreciate. I have had great luck making bread using the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". It is easier than using a bread machine and tastes like you bought it at a gourmet grocery store. Happy Baking!

Christine said...

yeast bread isn't all that scary - Just make sure your water is warm, add the yeast (and sugar if the recipe calls for it) and whisk. You can let it sit for bit to proof - you'll smell the yeasty smell and there will be bit of a foam that will build if it sits long enough. then comes the oil and the rest of ingredients. Also, the salt should go AFTER the flour. no idea why, but it will affect the taste.

洪筱婷 said...
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saganaga said...

your beach blanket in the photo is so lovely :)

Maggie Whitley {Gussy} said...

were you doing The Shred?

the whyte's said...

i am also putting together a daily plan for when my husband is away at his annual training(navy). however, we now have a potential deployment in a year looming over us and it's gonna be a little more challenging planning a year's worth of activities!!
i'm doing photography, so my goals are photo related: find props for vintage alice in wonderland shoot.
read more about photo techniques. experiment with different models, as my kids now run from the camera. haha.
love the work you're doing with s for school time prep. mine hits pre-k this yr. sigh.

Angela said...

For the bread you could always try the no-knead dutch oven bread. This is my favorite http://www.motherearthnews.com/Easy-No-Knead-Bread-Video.aspx

MonetPaisley said...

i am trying to bake bread at the moment, hahaha, my daughter thought it was funny to squish it all down after it was in the tin, not funny. But i laughed nefore when i popped my head in the oven and looked at my cobb loaf that is now shaped like a mushroom. I will persist....

RachelDenbow said...

yes, the Shred. Hard but effective!

Sarah said...

Sorry, a bit late to post this... There was a great article about morning routines in one of the fall issues of Real Simple magazine. It offered different family's approaches to mornings and was full of great ideas. Here's the link: http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/efficient-morning-routines-00000000020716/index.html

Sarah said...

Oh, also, for the - HANDS DOWN - easiest bread to make, watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Ah9ES2yTU

in company with sparkles said...

That's a really good list! Ambitious but do-able.

Mine includes:

- finish most of the DIYs for my wedding in September
- find the perfect shoes
- cook more
- read more
- beautifully balance family and fiancee and wedding errands during my month in the US
- find an apartment
- scrapbook!
- make a pinhole camera (fat chance with no free time but I'll keep it on the list because I really want to!)


in company with sparkles said...

Oh, and on the working out note; I don't need to lose weight for my wedding, but I'd certainly like to tone a bit on the treadmill!!! I look forward to walks and running (trying) in the cooler US.

zarah said...

dear, what a lovely summer list :)

i have a very simple to follow bread recipe that you can find in my foodie blog, here: http://mwlcooking.blogspot.com/2009/12/lovely-basic-bread-recipe.html

Kate said...

This will change your (culinary) life!

I, similarly, had tried many times to bake break and it never turned out well. And, not to brag, but I'm pretty good in the kitchen. Just make sure that the water is 120 degrees and you'll be set! Good luck!

Lindsay Road said...


I posted a bread recipe here


on my blog. It works really well, and tastes really good!