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Refreshing Ideas for Summer

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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:

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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

Dinner · Uncategorized

Refreshing Summertime Pasta Dish

In the summertime I love eating light pasta dishes.  To me that means sauces with fresh veggies that require little or no cooking.  

This recipe today is a new one from a recent Southern Living Magazine.  We loved it!  The marinated tomatoes take the longest amount of time, but that’s only to let them sit and absorb the flavors.  You could add grilled chicken to this dish if you wanted to add some protein.   

spaghetti 2

Spaghetti with Marinated Tomatoes

Ingredients

8 ounces thin spaghetti
1/2 cup small mozzarella balls

Preparation

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and return to pot. Spoon in Mouthwatering Marinated Tomatoes and desired amount of vinaigrette; add mozzarella balls. Serve immediately.

Marinated Tomatoes

Ingredients

2 pounds assorted tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves

Preparation

Gently stir together tomatoes, minced shallot, crushed garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and set aside for 1 hour and 45 minutes, tossing occasionally. Stir in basil leaves and Italian parsley leaves. Serve immediately.

I added a popover and a green salad and it was a delicious and satisfying meal!

spaghetti 3

 

On a hot day when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen, this is the perfect recipe!  Add toasted garlic bread and you’ll have the perfect summer meal!

What dish do you love to fix when it’s hot outside?

With love from my country kitchen,

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