Team Wharton

Oh, for the love of toddlers! Surely they must take the cake for being at once the cutest and most exasperating creatures on the Earth. Our lives have been steeped in Maeve's toddlerness for the past year and a half which has brought so much sweetness, and put our patience to the test (often multiple times a day). Although it feels like we've had a toddler for a long time (and honestly we've had a toddler almost continually for about nine years so no wonder) I know that suddenly this season will be behind us. Lately, I've felt myself looking... Read more →


My brain is in holiday mode. I feel like I have many tabs open, from thinking about Thanksgiving cooking and shopping for gifts to what festive things I want to enjoy with my family. In case you're feeling the same, I thought I would share my holiday thoughts and plans. Maybe it'll give you some ideas for your holiday season, or at least you'll know you aren't alone in trying to keep track of all the holiday planning. Without further ado, here’s everything holiday-related on my mind right now… Pie Friendsgiving: for the past few years I've bought a couple... Read more →


Let's talk about dinner, shall we? That daily meal that can be – at least to me – both a satisfying comfort and a source of unresolved stress. Of all my routines in life, dinner seems to be the one I cannot figure out how to optimize. And for someone who loves to optimize and to cook that can leave me feeling quite frustrated. Not to mention that dinner comes around every. single. day. Last year I wrote about our current dinner situation, its challenges, and some ideas for simplifying. More recently I've been revisiting our dinner routines again, possibly... Read more →


Earlier this week I shared what daily routines, camps, and summer fun we have planned for the kids. I'd love to continue the conversation today and share more about summer camp days for Chris and me, what I'm looking forward to cooking + eating this summer, and the summer capsule wardrobe pieces that I'll be wearing. Let's get into it! Summer camps days for the parents A few times this summer all of the kids will be out of the house at camps or daycare. We'll take advantage of Chris's laid-back summer schedule and are declaring those days our own... Read more →


The boys finished school last Thursday so it's officially summer for us! Given that summer is my least favorite desert weather and I don't typically love the lack of routine, I'm feeling surprisingly excited and optimistic for this summer. Hey, I'll take it! Chris and I spent some time this spring brainstorming around "designing our summer" (a term from Gretchen Rubin that I fell in love with years ago) and then we had a summer planning coffee date to make concrete plans. We made plans for how we'll keep the kids busy, what family fun we can look forward to,... Read more →


Today I have three simple parenting recommendations to share. All are no-tech and require only pen, paper, and a sharpie marker. Here are three parenting things that I'd love to recommend: Write a chore checklist A while ago I shared that we were using an app called Chore Pad that lets you customize chore lists for different kids and accumulates star rewards when chores are checked off. This worked really well for a while and did accomplish our goal of nagging the boys less in the morning. Instead of asking, "Did you brush your teeth yet?" We could just say,... Read more →


In February I shared a post with a snapshot of how we currently manage our personal finances. Today I'm sharing a budget breakdown with actual numbers. I know I find it so helpful to see how other people allocate their money and what they actually spend on things, so I hope this will be helpful to see. Being transparent about our money also motivates me to spend and save well. Not reflected in this budget are any expenses related to The Girl Next Door podcast or our home in Eau Claire. This is because both of those endeavors have their... Read more →


It's time to say goodbye to 2022. I'm in an end-of-year contemplative mood and am enjoying listening to podcast episodes and reading blog posts reflecting on the year. There are so many highlights and changes to celebrate from this past year. Some of the good changes brought challenges too, like relocating to a new city for a month and being out of our routines, living through a whole-home renovation, and keeping up with an ever-changing toddler and our big boys. Reflecting on the past year helps me to see and celebrate growth and accomplishments, big and small. This practice also... Read more →


September 2016 / April 2020 / September 2022 Chris and I love to plan for and talk about the future. But whenever we talk about a certain year and what we might be doing then I'm always asking, "So what grades will the kids be in then?" or "How old will we be?" Knowing those things gives me an anchor when peering into the future. Because otherwise all I can see are my 9, 7, and 2 year olds and I just picture myself older but still in the same season of parenting: playground sand dumped from shoes onto the... Read more →


Hello from the other side of a two-week fall break for the boys and from the downhill side of October! Just this week we can open the doors in the morning to let the cool air in and I pulled my favorite golden yellow cardigan from the closet. Instead of trying to catch up on October goals I thought I'd write a post in the style of the coffee date posts that Lindsay on Pinch of Yum shares occasionally and which I always enjoy. A coffee date is best started with coffee. Currently I'm brewing about 6 cups of coffee... Read more →