Even if you don’t have kids at home, back-to-school season seems to kick everyone’s schedule into high gear. That’s why the Idea Specialists™ at The Retreat at Mountain Brook in Birmingham, Alabama, have put together this timely online care package for residents of their upmarket apartment community, complete with tips for getting organized and making the most of your commute.
Some days it can be hard enough keeping up with yourself, right? That’s why online calendars and organizer apps are so wildly popular, especially the easy-to-use Google Calendar. Whether it’s just you and your partner trying to avoid scheduling conflicts—or you’re figuring out how to get your eldest to soccer practice at the same time the middle child has an orthodontist appointment and the toddler has ballet—having all the info easily accessible from your phone is a modern day-must! Others to check out? Greenlight, a relatively new debit card app for kids, and “electronic corkboard” Trello, a long-time professional project management that can be used for collaborative meal planning and so much more.
Plan On It
While The Retreat at Mountain Brook Idea Specialists™ are all about the mod cons, they are also all about a good solid hard copy planner; sometimes it’s just quicker and easier to jot down notes and times and dates by hand. FindThisBest did the work for us and provides the details on a range of academic year planners ranging in price from $4 to $27.
Make your mornings go more smoothly by establishing—and sticking to—a set routine. Deciding on the next day’s clothes, setting the coffee to come on automatically, and having easy breakfast options ready to go are a few things you can do to get a jump on the day ahead. Mommy Nearest has more suggestions for those with little ones to manage. Our favorite? “Wake yourself up early.”
Make The Most Of Your Commute
Living at The Retreat at Mountain Brook just off Montevallo Road means you’re conveniently located to so many things. Ferrying schoolchildren to-and-fro? Public and private are both in easy proximity: Grantswood (K-2), Irondale Community (3-5), Irondale Middle School (6-9), Shades Valley High School (10-12), the Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School (located at Shades Valley High School), Highlands Day School, The Altamont School, and St. Francis Xavier Catholic School.
And it’s a quick trip from home to UAB and the city medical and business districts, which makes commuting to work easy most of the time.
For those other times? There’s always the radio (commercial, public, subscription), and audio books—Audible offers many of its Top 100 best sellers free with a 30-day trial. You can also spend some quality time with the rave-reviewed Ten Percent Happier Podcast with Dan Harris, who describes himself as “a fidgety, skeptical journalist who had a panic attack on live national television, which led him to try something he otherwise never would have considered: meditation. He went on to write the bestselling book, 10% Happier.” Recent shows have covered topics like being present, how a Buddhist monk deals with anxiety, five ways to be less distracted, and what sadness can be good for.
Meal Management Made Easy
Getting food on the table every night can pose a challenge even when schedules aren’t hectic, no matter how well-appointed your Retreat at Mountain Brook gourmet kitchen. Here are some ideas from the Idea Specialists™ about making mealtime a little easier to manage.
- Take advantage of Birmingham’s incredible local restaurant scene without ever leaving home by subscribing to GrubHub+ and having dinner delivered at your convenience. com does a good job of breaking down the benefits of paying the monthly fee, and makes this important note: “With a GrubHub+ membership, GrubHub matches donations to No Kid Hungry through Donate the Change to feed food-insecure children around the country.”
- Go to one of the convenient area Publix locations and pick up some of their tasty Publix Aprons® premades: Meal Kits, Ready to Cook Meals for One, and Ready to Cook Entrées.
- Try a meal delivery service that offers pre-made and DIY meal kits. There are many options to consider; one that’s very popular is Home Chef. You can read a review of it
Sidewalk Film Festival & More Upcoming Events
Looking for something fun to do sometime soon? As usual, the Magic City does not disappoint when it comes to offering up a little something for everyone.
Of course the biggie this month is the 24th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival, which will run from Monday, August 22, through Sunday, August 28, 2022, with lots of associated festivities to take part in—Opening Night pre- and after-parties on Friday and Saturday Night Roller Disco look especially fun!
Because The Retreat at Mountain Brook is such a pet-friendly community, we’re also excited about another event happening earlier in the month: Picasso Pets, a fundraiser to benefit Hand in Paw, which provides animal-assisted therapy for those who need it most. This highly anticipated gala will celebrate its 21st year Saturday, August 13, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Harbert Center. Plan to enjoy a fabulous cocktail reception featuring a silent auction, diamond drop, wine pull, craft beer, specialty cocktails, and the official debut of this year’s Picasso Pets paintings. Woof!
And, plan on making the scene when Luke Bryan hits the stage at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, a major stop on his Raised Up Right Tour. Set for Thursday, August 18, 2022, the show will start at 7 p.m. with Mitchell Tenpenny.
For more ideas, check out this roundup of August events by StyleBlueprint.