Goals · Uncategorized

Friday/Summer Favorites

Hello, September!  You kind of snuck up  on me!

Were you prepared to wake up and find that today is September 1st?  I have to admit that I’m sad to see summer go – I always am.  I will enjoy fall, but oh, those long, sunny days, beach walks, late sunsets, and Dollywood days are hard to say Goodbye to!

With the coming of September also comes an end to my blog vacation on Tuesday – Thursday.  I’ll be back each day with a fresh post!

Let’s end the summer with a look back at a FEW of my favorite Summer 2017 memories!

Summer 2017 2

 

Summer 2017.jpg

 

One great thing about this summer was that I set some goals for myself that required making a schedule for my week.  I accomplished many of those goals and feel like these were really productive months!

  1. Finish 9-patch quilt squares and have ready to sew together by August 31.
  2. Write three chapters in reference to Proverbs 31 before Aug 21.
  3. Write Tuesday – Thursday from nine to noon.
  4. Begin a cooking ministry for others.
  5. Finish Adorned. – Still want to finish this by Sept 29.

As I look to the fall, I’m going to be setting new goals for myself and giving a timeline in which to get things accomplished.  Here are a few:

  1. Finish Christmas shopping by October 31. (I’m about half way there now!)
  2. Work on hand quilting at least one day a week (Monday?).
  3. Walk each morning at 7:00.
  4. Use Tuesday’s to serve others from my home.
  5. Invite one family over each week.

If you could make three goals for fall, what would they be?

Refresh yourself for fall!

home · Home decor · Refreshment · refreshment at home · seasonal decor · summertime

Refreshing Ideas for Summer

beach 3a.jpg

My blog’s purpose is to refresh women in their hearts, homes, and lives.  This week I want to focus my posts on specific ways to refresh you and your home this summer!  Here are a list of ideas to get you started!

This wonderful warm weather and sunshine is a sweet reminder that summer is here!  Woo-hoo!  It’s time to add some summer charm to your home and your life.  Here are a few suggestions to refresh you this summer!

  • Gather all the old issues of magazines from the summer months.  Scour through them and get some fresh ideas for your yard, a summer wreath, refreshing and cool treats for the summer, and places to visit.
  • Plan to head to your Farmer’s market this weekend for fresh berries and see what other goodies they may have to offer!
  • Pick up some pieces of china at a yard sale.  Fill a basket with mismatched china, vintage tablecloth and napkins and have it ready for an impromptu picnic.
  • If you have a clothesline, hang your sheets outside.
  • Fix up your back deck or patio so it’s inviting for summer breakfast, lunch and/or dinners!  Set out some containers of flowers, add party lights, add pillows to your chairs and porch swing, add a blanket for an evening view of the summer sky!
  • Add some pretty ribbon or twine to your hand-held garden tools so you can hang them in a convenient place.
  • Put a cotton quilt on the grass in the shade and read to your children.  Enjoy lunch out there too!

I hope one or more of these ideas will refresh these summer days for you!  Which one spoke to you?

Denise Signature 150 px

baking · children · Crafts · Family life · home · memories · Motherhood · summertime · Uncategorized

Summer Fun Series (Day Two)

Here we go – another list of fun things for children to enjoy during summer months:

front porch2a

This clever treasure box, which is organized around the principle that anything goes, has ample room for plastic bags of beach sand, seed packets, subway tokens, maps, sea glass, photos, finger paintings, invitations or even a tiny book of best friends’ autographs.

box

Start with a sturdy cardboard box (one with a lid), which your child can label with his name and the date. As he amasses odds and ends, he can tuck them inside or, if he prefers, glue some onto the outside of the box. To give the box a durable finish, brush on a coat of white glue thinned with water or cover with Con-Tact paper.

Make Homemade balls:

balls
CRAFT MATERIALS:
9 (11-inch) balloons (for 3 balls)
Funnel
2 1/4 cups of dried lentils
Scissors
Time needed: Under 1 Hour
1. Stretch the first balloon by inflating it halfway, holding it closed for about 30 seconds, and deflating it. 2. Place a funnel in the balloon’s neck and gradually pour in 3/4 cup of lentils, pushing them in as you go. The balloon should be firm but squeezable. 3. Snip off the balloon’s thick rubber lip. Cut the neck off a second balloon and gently stretch the opening. 4. Ease the second balloon over the filled balloon, tucking in the neck as you go. 5. Cut the neck off the third balloon, stretch the opening, and ease it over the other two. Repeat this process to make a set of three balls, or however many you’d like.
How about making some cute cupcakes on the day your grass gets cut? What a yummy reward!  Or make these for a great Father’s Day treat! This idea was on Family Fun web site.

lawn mower cupcake
RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
Chocolate-frosted cupcakes
Coconut, flaked
Green food coloring
Hershey’s Nuggets
M&M’s
Frosting
Black licorice laces
1. For each cupcake, mix a handful of flaked coconut with a few drops of green food coloring. Press a chocolate-frosted cupcake into the coconut to cover. 2. The mower is made with a dark chocolate Hershey’s Nuggets body, brown M&M’s wheels, and a red M&M’s engine, held in place with dabs of frosting. 3. Shape the handle from a piece of black licorice lace, then insert the ends into the cupcake.

Make a simple version of homemade ice cream –

What you’ll need:
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk or half & half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons rock salt
1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)
1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag
Ice cubes

How to make it:
Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.
Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!

Tips:
A 1/2 cup milk will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. But don’t increase the proportions more that that — a large amount might be too big for kids to pick-up because the ice itself is heavy.

Don’t forget some of the good ol‘ standby summer fun things, such as:

  • Hopscotch on the driveway
  • Hula hoops
  • Sprinkler or water hose jump rope
  • Cardboard boxes – find a refrigerator box and let the kids make a playhouse or puppet stage
  • Make Popsicles
  • Play hide and seek just as it’s getting dark. Use flashlights to tag!
  • Don’t forget the library. There are so many fun things to do there!

Enjoy…summer’s going to be gone before we know it and we’ll be pulling out the sweaters!

Denise Signature 200 px

children · Family life · home · Motherhood · summertime

Summer Fun Series (Day One)

front porch2a

Hello friends, this week’s series is concerning summer ideas.  On Friday I’ll have a suggestion and a fresh post for couples’ summer ideas.  Each day this week will be posts with great lists of things to do with children during the summer months, especially.  So, whether you’re a mom, a babysitter or a grandparent who will be hosting grandchildren during the summer, these posts will give you TONS of great ideas to have at your fingertips!  Enjoy!

Winter.jpg

Does this picture put a chill in your spine? This was last winter – a snowy winter for East Tennessee. I thought summer would never get here! Well, we’re now experiencing mid-summer weather with temps in the 90’s, but I am not complaining!

I love going outside with no coat on, having flowers blooming in my yard, and the fact that it’s still light outside at 9:00! I love having local fresh vegetables and fruits that are sweet and tender. I love the sight of lightening bugs at night and the sound of the cicadas in the trees. I love swinging on my swing on the deck early in the morning or late in the evening. I just love summer! I hope you’re enjoying it too.

Psalm 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

Just in case you’re a mom who needs some ideas to keep your children busy this summer, I thought I would post some great suggestions I found in a home and garden publication.

  1. Make a summer scrapbook. Include everything–even the little stuff. The price tag from your fave sundress, amusement park ticket stubs, photo booth pics of you and the crew and vacation postcards are all awesome additions to your book. It’ll be a summer you’ll never forget.

 

  1. Grow a green thumb! Purchase some packets of flower seeds–cosmo, poppy, sunflower (unsalted, of course!)–and plant them in your own garden patch. Tending to your sprouts will keep you super-busy, and it’s oh-so satisfying to watch as your blooms blossom.

 

  1. Rent a tandem bike for a day. It’s a bicycle built for-two. Grab a pal, hop on and pedal off for some good laughs: Yeah, it’s goofy…. So what?

 

  1. Head for the nearest gumball machine. Now, get four gumballs for a buck for you and each of your girls, and have a contest to see who blows the biggest bubble.

 

  1. Hit the kiddie section of the dollar store, and buy a few bottles of soapy bubbles. You’re never too old to blow bubbles!

 

  1. Buy some zany sunglasses and wear them in public. They can be ultra-glam, ultra-goofy, ultra-big, ultra-anything! The trick is to find a pair that really attracts attention. You’re guaranteed to have an ultra-hilarious day!

 

  1. Play the claw machine two times for a buck. You know–the one in which you try to pluck prizes with a mechanical crane. Yeah, it’s usually a waste of money… but it’s sooo irresistible!

 

  1. Fly a kite on a windy day. Haven’t flown a kite since you were a tot? You’re missing out! It’s not easy to keep that thing gracefully floating up there–but that’s what makes it challenging! Fly your kite on the beach or in an open field, where the wind is often at its strongest mph.

 

  1. Go backyard camping. Call your pals, pitch a tent, grab some sleeping bags, and head out your back door. OK, you’ll have to forget about the campfire, but that’s no reason to forgo the traditional campfire songs and tales. Have a blast sleeping under the stars-while enjoying the indoor plumbing just steps away!

 

  1. Become a bookworm. Make it a goal to finish off a certain number of books this summer. Pick a genre you’ve never tried before–biographies or historical fiction–and then stake out a few reading spots. Climb a tree, stretch out on the porch swing, or even curl up on the couch on a rainy day.

 

  1. Visit the library for the afternoon; it’s cool in there and you can occupy yourself with books, magazines, computers, story time, etc.

 

  1. Have a water fight. Get all your pals together, and designate teams. Then grab your water guns, water balloons, buckets, hoses and whatever else you’ve got…and ATTACK!

 

  1. Catch fireflies in a jar. Make yourself an all-natural lightning-bug strobe-light lantern for the evening. Don’t forget to throw in a few blades of grass and poke holes in the lid. Just be sure to let them go after a few hours!

 

  1. Become a volunteer at your local nursing home. Your electric smile and enthusiastic personality will have folks at the local home uplifted in no time. Spending even an hour a week playing board games or just talking with residents whose families can’t (or don’t) visit makes a big difference in their lives. Oh, and the stories they tell!

 

  1. Start a  cool collection. It doesn’t matter what you collect–just pick something you like, and go for it! Sea glass, shells and bottle caps are popular summer collectibles. Or be a collector of something totally unique, like ceramic cats, cute bandannas or vintage buttons. To get into the collecting groove, visit a local museum and check out its collections for inspiration.

 

  1. Play tag–in the rain. Why stay indoors just because the sun’s not shining? Nothing screams summer like a game of soggy tag. Running around in the rain (um, as long as there’s no thunder and lightning!!!) is a great way to cool down.

 

  1. Set up a lemonade stand.

 

  1. Make homemade play dough.

 

  1. Get a cardboard appliance box and turn it into a playhouse.
  1. Go bowling. Some lanes have special rates on certain days of the week.

What other things are you doing to have a great summer?  Make some memories today, remember, you’re not promised tomorrow.

Happy summer memories to you!

Denise Signature 150 px

Family life · Parenting

Finishing Out the Summer Without Boredom!

wpid-wp-1438041996527Maybe summer vacation is over for you, but if your children are still out of school, why not make sure these last few weeks are full of fun?! Don’t let the boredom bug bite them (or you!). Keep things hopping and full of great activities while they can enjoy the beauty of summertime!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Don’t forget some of the good ol’ standby summer fun things. Such as:

  1. Hopscotch on the driveway
  2. Hula hoops
  3. Sprinkler or water hose jump rope
  4. Cardboard boxes – find a refrigerator box and let the kids make a playhouse or puppet stage.
  5. Make Popsicles
  6. Play hide and seek just as it’s getting dark. Use flashlights to tag!
  7. Don’t forget the library. There are so many fun things to do there!
  8. Wash bicycles in the driveway. Spruce them up with crepe paper and           streamers!
  9. Bowl in the driveway with water bottles as the pins.
  10. Make a fort outside.
  11. Put a blanket out under a shady tree and have lunch.
  12. Go to Sonic for half price beverages from 2-4! Take a book to read while sipping!
  13. Have a late night “pajama run” to get ice cream. After the children have just gotten into bed, go through the house calling, “Pajama run! Pajama run! Everyone in the car!” Go through the drive through at Dairy Queen or McDonald’s and enjoy a sweet treat while everyone’s (well, the kids) in their p.j.’s!
  14. Go out and catch fireflies after dark.
  15. Go to the Farmer’s market and buy fresh produce.

Here’s another post with ideas and links.

What great ideas could you add to this list?

Loving summer,