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Your Weekly Brew

It’s so hard to believe that our time here in lovely Southern France is coming to a close.

In just under a week, we check out of the 300-year old stone house we’ve called home this past month, return our rental car, validate our Eurail passes, and hop on a train to Italy (the land of la dolce vita, good espresso, even better food and wine, and late trains).

Our time here has been a joy, though, especially as we’ve found better balance between our work-school-family life balance than we have in such a very long time. Next week, I hope to share a post with you about exactly what that has looked like, and open up a conversation about how we structure our days and weeks as EntreFamilies.

But for now, the weekly brew… plenty of reads on diverse topics as you head into your weekend (apparently I was in a reading mood this week). Enjoy and a bientôt!

Read::

The Most Important Things in Seventeen Years @ The Art of Simple

I’m not even sure if this post is new or from the archives, but it is extremely relevant for any couple that works together. Such good encouragement for your marriage.

You Don’t Have to Go to Grad School to Have a Life of the Mind @ Carrots for Michaelmas

Yes! We totally agree with this. Particularly entrepreneurs, it’s simply not necessary. There are so many ways to grow and develop without going back to school (either grad school or even university in general). For a bit of full disclosure, I have a BA degree (that is fairly useless to me these days) and along with it I racked up a whole bunch of debt.

My husband, on the other hand, avoided college/university because he a) didn’t have enough money to do it debt-free and b) wasn’t sure it was the right direction for him at that time, and today he is so glad he didn’t go the conventional route. Neither of us would say that formal post-secondary education is wrong. Sometimes it’s the necessary path for a particular skill or career. BUT, it’s not the only way to educate yourself, as Hailey clearly articulates in this well-written post. It is also not necessary to be a fabulous entrepreneur or business person. I’ve already asked Ryan to write a series on this topic in the future because he has a lot to say on the topic.

Why Fewer Toys Will Actually Benefit Your Kids @ Becoming Minimalist

I have been reminded of this once again by traveling, as we go very minimal with just one backpack or bag per person and that means we carry very few toys or playthings with us. Yes, there is definitely a struggle in the beginning as they adapt. There is boredom and our kids do need at least some things to play with. But still… what Joshua says in this post is such good food for thought, not just for traveling, but for everyday life at home with kids.

What’s worth learning in school? @ Harvard Ed. Magazine

As homeschoolers, one of the things that drives us is a desire for our kids to learn things we feel are important, relevant and truly applicable for their lives (especially to their process of becoming creative, productive, responsible adults). In the school system, a lot of focus goes to requiring kids to retain unimportant information, rather than on understanding why that information is relevant or how to apply it in the real world (not to mention, a lack of emphasis on developing and measuring foundational skills, not just testable knowledge that comes out in sound bites and multiple choice responses). This article is very thought provoking on the essence of what children ought to be learning, and how as our world and society evolves, education ought to be evolving along with it. (hat tip to The Art of Simple for this link)

One Word: Intentional (Part 1: Life) @ Kitchen Stewardship (about one family’s transition to being a full time EntreFamily)

Though Katie is a dear friend of mine, I don’t typically link up to food or homemaking blogs in the Weekly Brew. However, just this winter, she (a blogger and online marketer for the past 6 or so years) and her husband, Kris (who I believe is a web developer – correct me if I’m wrong, guys!) have just made the transition to both of them being at home, full-time, completely supporting themselves as entrepreneurs. First of all, wahoo! Secondly, this can be a hard transition and it may be interesting for other couples to read what Katie has written about how it’s been going for them so far. I loved reading about their experience.

Asian Efficiency

This blog is Ryan’s recommendation, as he loves the productivity/efficiency hacks they share. A good chunk of his current morning routine (which he is finding very effective lately) was inspired by what he learned here.

Use::

Shave 10 Hours Off Your Workweek (ebook) @ Michael Hyatt

(OK, technically this is a Read, but the whole point of it is for you to Use it to better manage your time, so I’m going with Use…)

If you already subscribe to Michael Hyatt’s email list, this ebook is free for you (if you don’t subscribe, that’s the only way to get access to the book – still free, just requires a sign up). I haven’t read it in depth yet but I’ve skimmed it and my impression is that, although some of the ideas are things we’ve seen or read before (yes, even from Michael), they’re put together in a very coherent, useful manner, and he provides some excellent examples and wisdom from his own life. It’s a fairly short read (50 pages), but it looks worth it to me.

Watch/Strategize::

A closer look at making great pins and boards @ Business.Pinterest.com

A short video and post with some helpful tips for making your pins and boards more effective for garnering Pinterest traffic, right from the horse’s mouth (ie. the Pinterest business blog).

What caught your attention this week?

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Your Weekly Brew

There is something so powerful about finding a schedule or routine that works for you.

Although yes, we’re traveling right now, we’ve put in a lot of effort the past couple weeks to implement a new schedule for our family, making time for meals, chores, work, homeschool and family time (you can see our previous schedule here).

It actually feels like the best one we’ve ever had since we began learning to juggle these aspects of our life more collaboratively the last few years (as opposed to the clearly defined and differentiated roles we had in the earlier years of our marriage).

It’s tricky, this balance as an EntreFamily, and just as we know that many of you are constantly tweaking and changing and trying new things in your own families, so are we.

We’ll make sure to share it in the next week or two, along with some other great posts and podcasts we’ve got in the funnel. But for now, on to the Weekly Brew…

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Your Weekly Brew

Do you ever just love what you do?

Coming back from a couple weeks off, the first vacation we’ve taken in quite some time, has been invigorating. It’s such a blessing to realize that for all that can be hard about it, I (and Ryan, as well) really, truly enjoy my work and feel grateful to get up and do it each day.

Perhaps that’s one of the best parts of being an entrepreneur. Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Now, I don’t think that’s entirely true (when we’re committed to pursuing excellence in everything we do, we can do great work even in areas we aren’t passionate about it), but I do agree that our very best work bubbles up from a deep love for what we’re doing.

What about you? Are you doing work that you love? (Or perhaps, working your tush off to bring you closer to the goal of being able to do that?)

I hope that some of these links inspire you this coming week in whatever work you’re doing!

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Your Weekly Brew

As you may or may not have realized, Ryan and I have been offline the past 2+ weeks, as we launched into 11 weeks of travel with our family.

Thing is… we’re really bad at taking time off. I mean, really bad. We have a hard enough time shutting down for the evening, let alone on weekends or even holidays (for example, at Christmas, we took the actual day of Christmas off and that was about the extent of it – terrible, right?).

But we knew that as we threw ourselves into these first few weeks of traveling and working, it was necessary to sever those online ties and give ourselves a true break. For one thing, it had just been way too long for both of us. For another, the initial weeks of travel and being in a new culture can often be overwhelming (not to mention the jet lag), and we thought it best to give ourselves some adjustment time.

We’re so glad we did it. It made the last couple weeks of our trip preparations more stressful, for sure. But once we were on the road and those laptops were tucked away? It was just what we needed and so refreshing.

What about you? Do you struggle with taking time off when you need it? Have you ever taken a sabbatical, whether it’s a week or two, or maybe even a full month? (Check out the podcast I linked to under Listen).

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Your Weekly Brew

Hello from Ireland!

We’re on week two of our time in England and Ireland with our kids. We began exactly one week ago this morning, jet-lagged and bleary-eyed from our overnight flight, but we were determined to make it to Stonehenge on our first day (gotta fight that jet lag!) and we did. It was freezing cold, but spectacular.

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After a couple days in the Cotswolds (think rolling green hills, adorable stone villages, thatched roof houses, lots of sheep, scones and clotted cream), half a day in Birmingham visiting with friends, and a too-short day in the fantastic city of York, we moved on to Ireland. Below is a photo of Johanna, our 5 year old, playing around on the Rock of Cashel amidst the Celtic crosses.

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