what to do when you've had a long day at work

We’ve all been there. No matter how much you love your job, you’re going to have those days that make you want to throw in the towel, to come home and flop down on the couch or eat your emotions (wait, or is that just me?! 😂)

Here are a few of my best tips for bouncing back from a tough day at the office:

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Turn off work email notifications.

I rarely check my work email after 5 p.m. or on the weekends, because most anyone that really needs to get in touch with me for any work “emergency” has my cell phone number. If you’ve had a long day, turn off email notifications from your work account, or better yet, leave your phone in a different room so you’re not tempted to check. I know not everyone has the luxury of doing this, but when possible, I think it’s super important to set these kind of boundaries between work and home life.

Do something that fills you up.

My first piece of advice? Spend time with people you love, who will build you up. If you know you’re going to have a crazy week, make plans to grab dinner with a friend so you have something to look forward to. I love to decompress by walking the dog with my husband. If you have to talk about work, try not to talk the other person’s ear off— instead, allow them to offer encouragement and advice. And accept it. Or, maybe you enjoy running, reading a good book, painting, etc. No matter what it is, do what brings you joy.

Practice gratitude.

For each crappy thing you’re dealing with, you probably have at least a handful of things to be grateful for. Take a moment to look around you and name the good things. Write it out, pray it out, make a mental note— whatever works best for you.

Remember: you are NOT defined by what you do.

Your identity does not lie in your job. You do enough. You are enough. And you’re loved and important and all the good things. And tomorrow is a new day. :)

What are some of your tricks & tips for getting back in the swing of things after a long day? Let me know!


my monthly meal planning routine

I will be the first to admit to you that I am NOT a cook. And honestly, I'm okay with it. 

At our house, Andrew kind of takes the lead on cooking, because he actually likes to do it (lol). I am happy to be his sous chef, helping with the prep, setting the table, and then loading the dishwasher and washing pots and pans after our meal. It works out well for us.

Another part of my role is doing the meal planning each month and pulling together our grocery list for the week. Yes, I said monthly meal planning. I started sitting down at the beginning of each month to plan our meals and it has really simplified our grocery routine. I've had a few people ask me about it, so I figured it might be useful to share a bit about my process here!

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I love monthly meal planning for a few reasons:

  1. Honestly, meal planning isn't my favorite. But, when you do it monthly, you only have to do it once every few weeks!
  2. When I create my grocery list each week, I have an easy menu to refer to and don't have to spend brain power EVERY week (see #1) deciding what we're going to eat for the week AND what we need to buy.
  3. I'm a very visual person, and it helps me to see the month as a whole and plan our meals out so we don't get tired of a particular dish by repeating a few weeks in a row, or something like that. 

Curious to try out monthly meal planning? Here's my process:

Step 1: Print out a monthly calendar & fill in what you have going on that would affect dinner.

Oftentimes I just go to Pinterest or Google and type in "monthly *insert name of the upcoming month here* calendar" and print off the first one I see. Next, I pull out my agenda and write down anything we have planned for the month that might affect dinner plans. For example, as you can see below, we have plans to watch a few football games (insert praise hands that college football is back!) and I have a few things during the week which will affect whether we need to cook at home. 


Step 2: Explore new recipes and refer to old favorites.

Flip through your favorite cookbooks, scroll Pinterest, refer to your recipe binder, or wherever you prefer to look for recipes. I personally love to scroll Pinterest and have two boards I pull from-- one with "tried and true" recipes we've tried and like, and another board with pins of recipes that I put into our rotation to try.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes that you'll see on our calendar monthly:

Step 3: Fill out your calendar based on your favorite recipes and your schedule for the month. 

For evenings that we have plans, I'll decide if that either entails us having dinner out or just cooking something quick and simple, and put that down on the calendar first. We usually eat dinner out on the weekends, so I put that on the calendar. Then, I fill in the rest of the days of the week with the recipes I chose in step 2, varying the protein from night to night. You'll notice I repeat recipes, too- there's nothing wrong with that!


The key here is to give yourself a whole lotta grace here, my friends. More often than not, we have to shift days around because I forgot to take meat out of the freezer or we've just had a long day and "need" to go out for tacos. (Ya feel?!) And it's totally okay. Remember, a meal plan is a tool to help you, not something that should stress you out. Flexibility is key!

What do you think about monthly meal planning? Also... do you have any go-to recipes I need to add to next month's plan? I'd love to hear! 


my favorite podcasts

For a long time, I never understood all the hype around listening to podcasts. I listened to the occasional podcast here and there (who didn't listen to Serial when it first came out?!) but originally I reserved podcasts for long road trips to pass the time. 

That all changed at the beginning of this year. I am now a self-declared podcast junkie. I listen to them while I'm cleaning, on the way to work, while getting ready in the morning... basically, all the time. I've realized that podcasts are a way for me to learn, "meet" new people, hear their stories, learn skills that I can apply to my work and life, and just generally get inspired. 

I wanted to take some time to share some of my favorite podcasts with you-- let me know if you listen to any of these, too, and if you have any I should add to my list!


That Sounds Fun with Annie Downs

Y'all. I just want to be best buddies with Annie Downs-- her podcast, That Sounds Fun, is one of my all-time favorites. If you're not familiar, Annie Downs is the author of hilarious, beautiful and inspiring memoirs like "Let's All Be Brave" and "Looking for Lovely". I read her books before listening to her podcast, but since have gone back and re-read each of them, now that I really have a "feel" for Annie's voice, humor and style. Each podcast is a conversation with one of Annie's friends-- including some super-cool people you've probably heard of, like musicians Dave Barnes and Ellie Holcomb, author Bob Goff, and so much more. I've also really enjoyed "discovering" new authors, musicians, and artists through the podcast. Some episodes I find myself laughing by myself in the car, some make me reflect, and some inspire me. Sounds pretty fun, right?

Behind the Bliss

Behind the Bliss is a relatively new podcast, but I'm already such a huge fan. Besties and hosts Rachel and Mary Scott describe this podcast as a place for women to "encourage and inspire, storytell and share." I love this podcast because you find true encouragement and authenticity weaved into each episode. Rachel and Mary Scott recognize the power of vulnerability and the importance of sharing our stories-- both the beautiful and messy parts of friendship, marriage, waiting, grief and so much more. If you're looking for a safe space to say "me too, friend," then this podcast is for you. 

Young House Love Has a Podcast

You may have heard of John & Sherry Petersik, design and DIY bloggers at Young House Love. Well, guess what? Young House Love Has a Podcast... and it's awesome. John and Sherry share practical tips about organization, decorating and life at home through interviews with experts, stories about their own renovation adventures and mishaps (they're currently renovating a duplex in Cape Charles, VA!) and tips and tricks they've learned all the way. Y'all know I love design and decor, and John & Sherry make it super fun!

Christy Wright's Business Boutique

Ever since I was little, I've had quite a few "businesses"-- I've created and sold jewelry, art, door hangers, and more. I've always been interested in entrepreneurism and I still dream of owning my own business one day. Christy Wright's mission is to inspire women to make money doing what they love, and the author, business coach and Dave Ramsey personality inspires and equips women to do just that through her Business Boutique podcast. Through sharing her own experiences and interviewing successful businesswomen, Christy teaches her listeners about practical business concepts such as building your brand, utilizing digital marketing and setting goals, as well as general topics such as practicing gratitude, stepping into your gifts, knowing your worth and more. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious and so inspiring. Be sure to follow her on Instagram, too-- her Instastories are so entertaining!

The Business Life & Joy Podcast

I can't remember how I first found Shunta Grant, host of The Business Life & Joy Podcast, but I was immediately hooked by her story. Not only does she live in Greenville, SC (where I  grew up), but only a few years ago she took the leap from the corporate world as a lawyer and went full-time with her first online business, Because of Zoe Designs, where she sells unique, hand crafted hair bows for girls. She also serves as a business educator, teaching women how to maximize their time in order to move beyond busy and build an impactful business and a joyful life. In a world that glorifies busy, Shunta is a breath of fresh air and the wisdom she shares (fo' free!) on her podcast weekly offers a unique perspective and practical tips-- no matter if you're a business owner or not! 

What podcasts do you love to listen to? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

xo, Ryann

why I started blogging again

Welcome, friends. Some of you may be new faces around here, and some of you may have been around since my “early” blogging days. Either way, I’m so glad you’re here!


I started blogging in college, but I think blogging is probably too formal of a word for what it was- I was mostly sharing what I was up to, what was on my mind, what I was reading, etc. My blog evolved over four years and I ended up sharing about my wedding planning process and our life in Raleigh after getting married.

I really enjoyed blogging, but started slowing down and eventually quit about four years ago. Instead of being something that was life-giving, writing my blog became a burden, an obligation.

However, earlier this year, I realized the need for “recreation” in my life. While digging into my Powersheets, I realized that I was lacking room in my life for hobbies that fill me up and fire me up. Writing has always been that for me, and I realized that I was ready to start blogging again.

Blogging has changed a lot since I started my first blog, Unspeakable Joy, which I later renamed Meet the McCalls. Today's blog world is full of sponsored posts, styled shoots, perfectly curated bookshelves and the like.

You won't find that here at Ryann Writes. Here, in my little corner of the internet, is where I'll share bits of real life. I'll share tips and tricks that have made my life easier, how I'm decorating my home, my travels, books and products I'm loving, what's weighing on my heart, what inspires me, and more.

 I want this space to be one that's both encouraging and transparent, welcoming and vulnerable. 

I'm so happy you're here. I hope you'll grab a cup of coffee from your favorite mug and stay a while. 

xo, Ryann 

PS- Click here to learn a bit more about the gal behind Ryann Writes!