I’m a people watcher. I’m really not trying to be rude… I’m simply intrigued by the personalities various people have and the way they interact with others. So, not surprisingly, I found myself people-watching in the slow-moving check out line at Wal-Mart one day. Directly in front of me was a mother and a couple of her teenage daughters. As they emptied their overflowing carts onto the conveyer belt, the following conversation ensued: “Ugh! Look at all of this crap food. It’s embarrassing!” You could tell they felt that the food they were buying wasn’t the best and regretted the effect on their health, but likely their reasoning would be the belief that it costs much less than healthier options.
Next to the belief that a gigantic bowl of “whole grain” cereal is a healthy breakfast, I think the greatest myth we believe when it comes to food is that eating healthy means added expense. Eating well does not have to cost you any more – and with a little work, will likely cost less. Case in point: Three years ago we made some pretty major eating changes. As I piled my cart with more protein and produce and fewer packages, I really anticipated my grocery bill to be higher. Instead my bill was less on average. What?!
So, what are some easy tips to follow to make eating healthy a possibility on your budget?
Choose your store wisely. Shopping at Aldi has been the single best decision for our grocery budget. On average my grocery shops are about 30% less than I would spend for the same thing at any other grocery store. Obviously, not everyone has one located conveniently, so consider your local options for budget friendly shopping.
Shop in season. It’s not new advice, but it can save a lot of money to enjoy produce that’s currently in season
Shop the ads. Plan your weekly menu around the weekly specials where you shop. Remember: the goal is eating healthy food. Focus on those produce and protein pages of the flyers.
Cut the junk food. Junk food isn’t good for you, doesn’t truly fill you up, and it’s expensive.
Consider shopping at Sam’s or Costco on a regular basis. Prices for meats, fruit, and veggies can be hard to beat at these stores. Let me advise you to make a list before you go and really stick with it! It’s super easy to get sidetracked and overly attached to seasonal gift sets, beautiful (and giant bottles) of shampoo, etc. That kind of shopping won’t save you money.
Take an honest look at your fridge and pantry and determine whether you NEED to go shopping or not. How often have you (or I!) stared into the refrigerator and bemoaned the fact that there was nothing to eat… when really there was. Before you go shopping, look through the food you already have and honestly evaluate what you have to work with. You’ll most likely find that you have plenty of meals waiting for you to put together.
Comment below and tell us your favorite grocery budget-slashing, health-increasing tip!
For years, I had been wanting to create a vision board before I bit the bullet and created mine. I don’t know why I waited so long- it is something I love having in my office every day, reminding me of why I do what I do and inspiring me to keep at it. There were some very helpful things that made my vision a reality (pun intended) and today I want to share those with you.
What is a vision board and why should you make one? A vision board is some sort of board you can hang things on to serve as inspiration and reminders of the “why” behind the “what” you are a part of and working towards! It can sometimes be called a dream board, inspiration board, or mood board, but I most prefer vision board because I found in the project something I could connect my vision with for each area of my life in a visible way. This serves as a tangible reminder each day for the vision behind these activities.
Throughout my long process, I’ve collected a lot of tips and information! Find below some of the best tips and tutorials I’ve discovered and come across!
Just buy a board that works- don’t overthink it. I searched and searched and searched for the “perfect” board for almost a year before going with a black-rimmed cork board. It has worked wonderfully and in retrospect, I think I kept putting off buying the board so as to not feel guilty about not starting it because I was making it too hard.
Don’t make it too hard. Sacrificing on the cutesy factor a bit for the sake of getting it done isn’t a bad thing if you won’t do it otherwise! (Case in point: I put mine off for almost a whole additional year after buying my board(!!!)- and only got it done when I decided to just start with the basics and not try to do something I didn’t have time for.)
Make time to get it done. It’s worth it!
Make sure to include inspiration for all of the things you have your hands to. For me, that was school, work, ministry, personal development, future, and relationships! Now, when I’m in the midst of a busy season across all areas, I have inspiration that serves to remind me of any I’m doing what I’m doing!
Close to My Heart presents a streamlined process for creating the content of your vision board, and ultimately I very much copied the entire look of the vision board presented here! Check it out here to find out how to get started with the plan for your vision board.
Cover a cork board in fabric for a lovely look that adds beauty to any space! Homemaking Rebel provides all of the info on how to do this here.
Go simple and chic with a monogrammed board. Landeelu does a spectacular job of making a beautiful board very simple here.
Get fancy with fine frames. Bachelors Way has a great tutorial on an easy way to upgrade your board here.
Go for another type of frame with this one from the House of Smiths. Find out step by step instructions here.
Get burlapped! Learn how to create this rustic look curtesy of All Things Heart & Home here.
Use printables- Dawn Nicole Designs has some beautiful ones that easily add inspiration to your board! Check those out here.
Set practical content in front of you with this fabulous example from The Fit Switch- find that here.
Take a look at this formula for inspirational success from Studio McGee to take your board to the next level. Find that here.
Go more simplistic and understated with this beautiful example from Nicole at the Odyssey Online here.
Which of these is your favorite? Have you done a vision board before? Tell us in the comments below!
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The great outdoors. Sleeping under the stars.Hiking.Cooking on an open fire. S’mores. Crisp nighttime air. Two toddlers.
Whoa, Nelly. Hold it right there. Toddlers? Camping? Are you crazy?
Yep. And we’ve been crazy three times. That is, we’ve taken three camping trips with our little brood. Our first trip as a family was just a weekend away at a nearby state park with my husband’s family. Our boys were 6 months old and 2 1/2 years old. The second trip was a weekend away – just the four of us – for my husband’s birthday. Our most recent camping trip was a 9 DAY event – it was an organized retreat of sorts. For perspective, our definition of camping is tent camping at a water/electric site.
We’ve learned a lot from each trip and today I want to share those things with you, so that you can also enjoy successful camping trips with your youngsters.
–Pack extra flexibility. Expect overtired kiddos, early naps, a restless night here and there, and lots of memories. Pull out the flexibility to make them good memories. Your camping trip will be different from your pre-kid trips, but they’ll be fantastic if you come with the right expectations.
–Careful campsite selection. If you have potty trained littles, pick a spot within just a short walk of a bathhouse. I prefer clearer spots away from water and brushy areas…. just for peace of mind. We also try to avoid busier areas if possible. Toddlers are going to wander a little – even under close supervision – and if we can avoid them wandering to busy streets, we can all rest a little bit.
-Which brings me to another point… Take a sharpie and write your camp site location on your toddler’s hand. That way – God forbid – should they wander off, they can easily be returned to their family.
–Dirty kids. This is something we’ve got to improve our game in. Expect your kiddos to get grimy – and enjoy letting them have the opportunity to do so. Just bring along a plan for a way to wash them. Both of my boys are gun-shy around showers – which is about all you’ll find in a bathhouse. My plan of attack next time is to bring a simple plastic bin to prepare some warm (an electric kettle really simplifies the camping life!) soapy water and a big stack of clean wash cloths and towels so we can make sponge baths happen nightly and have clean kids without the unpleasant shower experience. Also, bring SEVERAL changes of clothes. I can’t count how many times our boys have gotten muddy or wet to the point that a change of clothes was mandatory.
-Bring a collapsible high chair or a booster that will securely strap to a picnic table or folding chair. This most recent camping trip, we had some major issues with our youngest (21 months) playing the old popcorn game (up and down, up and down…just sit down and eat already!) during just about every meal. It dawned upon me – too late- that he’s used to being confined in a highchair during meal time and he’s just not ready for the freedom of sitting in a chair without straps during meals. Also, think through a plan for a table of some sort (If your child is in a booster, they’ll have a tray of some kind). My 3 1/2 year old’s lap isn’t big enough to balance a large paper plate. We found it helpful to drag an ice chest over next to his camp chair to make a little table for him.
–Pack snacks. Lots of snacks. Camping usually involves a LOT more physical activity than most of us are used to at home… which means ravenous appetites. Granola bars, yogurt cups, applesauce pouches, and crackers all make quick and easy snacks. I’d also advise packing some juice boxes. My boys are great water drinkers, thankfully, but I still find it helpful to have something extra (and tempting for them!) to encourage them to stay hydrated. If you’re concerned about the extra sugar, the Honest juice boxes can be a good option, as they’re not nearly as sugary.
-We enjoy picking out a special camping chairs and sleeping bags (for those old enough to not sleep in a pack-n-play) for our kiddos. It makes it fun for them and makes them more likely to sit/sleep in their designated spot. We found some cute patterned items at Walmart for great prices and they’ve held up over several trips.
–Pick your season wisely. We’d take a chilly fall camping trip over a warm spring/summer trip any day. It’s darker sooner, which means greater bedtime success and it’s cooler, which means our boys sleep better/later because their warm, snuggly blankets feel so good.
–Camping with little ones isn’t the time to go hardcore and really rough it. Don’t hesitate to pack a small space heater to warm your tent up before bedtime, if you expect cold nights.
–Take a sound machine. It can drown out so much noise – cars driving by, new arrivals setting up camp, or the loud card game going down at the campsite next to you.
–Prepare for the elements and unexpected, like rain or bug bites. Rain boots, Crocs, or flip flops can really help if there are puddles to splash in or mud to run through. A lightweight hoodie is going to be a lot more practical and effective to keep heads dry, rather than trying to keep an umbrella over them. As far as unexpected ouchies and itchies, I make sure to pack my most used, diverse essential oils. Quick, easy, and they don’t take up much room.
-Just like any out-of-town trip, make sure you set your kiddo up for success by packing their favorite (and most critical) routine items… this is not the time to leave the paci, bottle of warm milk, or special lovey behind.
–One thing that we’ve found challenging up until our last camping trip was naptimes! It can be so challenging to young children to halt play and be stuck in a sleeping bag or play pen in broad daylight. I’m not sure I’d sleep very well, either. This last time, I finally found something that works (at least for our kiddos). We buckled our child (only our youngest naps at the moment) into the stroller, laid the seat all the way pack, gave him his nap time usuals (paci, milk, and stuffed puppy), and went on a shaded walk. Each time he was out cold within minutes. You can continue the walk or go back to camp and park in the shade at your campsite for the remainder of the nap. Obviously, this is what worked for one baby…. and the solution for your child might be different, but think about your plan before your ever leave home and set your toddler up for success.
-If you plan to do some light hiking, come prepared with either a good stroller or baby carrier.
-For two of our camping trips, we had a baby who was not yet walking. Having a pack-n-play for the baby to play in helped keep him happy while hanging out at the camp site. Also, bringing along a cushy picnic blanket to put on the grass helps give them a clean and protected area to crawl around on.
-For us big people, sitting around and drinking a cup of coffee might be enough entertainment, but little ones need variety. I pack a variety of outdoor toys when we camp… a ball to kick, trucks to roll around, and something to dig in the dirt with will all be helpful.
–My in-laws are awesome campers. Seriously. They’ve spoiled me forever. One of my favorite things they do is set up a large tent to be the kitchen. It’s a great place to store ice chests, prepare a cup of coffee (again – an electric kettle will be your friend!), contain kiddos while you tackle food prep, etc.
– Danielle C. tells me that when they go camping they have a small tent (2 person size) that is the designated game tent. They clean up the kids, get them ready for bed, and then let them go to town with games, flashlights, coloring books, etc.
-Rachel reminded me of a great tip… Pack a TON of baby wipes. They’ll make clean hands and freshening up before PJs so much easier.
-Holly and Rachel both suggested keeping a toddler potty at your campsite. That sounds like a really great and simple solution if you’d rather not venture out for 2 am potty trips with your kids.
-Ashley suggests the following, “As for bathroom issues, we camped close to the trees and the boys just went and did their business there during the night. I have a woman’s funnel that I bought off Amazon called a P-Easy that [my daughter] and I use. I know! Weird! BUT it works Amazingly well! I would just use an empty water jug with a lid to use the bathroom in and keep a Thieves cleaner bottle close to clean everything. I don’t like getting up during the night so it saved me from having to make a lot of noise leaving the tent .”
-Danielle P. agrees that bringing an abundance of outdoor toys will be helpful. She says her kids especially enjoy having every kind of sports ball available for play time. As a bonus tip, she suggested making sure each child has their own flashlight. (We’ve found some good little ones for $1 each at Walmart.)
-Camarell suggests simplifying your trip by doing as much food preparation ahead of time as possible. Some tips she offers are premixing pancake batter or cracking eggs into a container before you ever leave for your trip.
–But will my children sleep? Yes. They will! Just remember to set them up for success – don’t leave behind their normal bedtime routine, pack a sound machine, bring favorite blankies and lovies to make their sleeping bed or pack-n-play feel as much like home as possible. We’ve had a cumulative two weeks or so of nights spent camping with our sons and have had maybe two rough nights. Your children are going to play SO hard that they will be completely wiped out come bed time.
–What about campfire safety? We teach our boys to not go near the fire pit, even if there is no lit fire. While on our most recent camping trip, however, I saw a family that have built a barrier – a short fence of sorts – out of scrap wood (it wasn’t this sophisticated, but here’s an idea to get you started). Just be sure to do enough to prevent little ones from toppling over and getting hurt. But ultimately, if you’re nervous about this aspect of camping, skip the fire. There is not set-in-stone law that requires a campfire and there’s nothing that says that you won’t have a fun trip without the campfire.
Leave a comment below and tell us YOUR best tips for camping with toddlers!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Should you order through these links, we will receive a small commission off your purchase from Amazon. Don’t worry- this does not affect the purchase price of the product. Thank you for helping support this blog so that we are able to continue bringing you fresh content!
There’s something that’s been on my heart all year long: there is a time to say “yes” and a time to say “no” to everything. Early this year, God started drawing my attention to a level of over-commitment in my life that was creating an atmosphere of stress & busyness in my life that was unhealthy spiritually, mentally, emotionally, & physically. While some changes were immediate, others have taken the course of the year and others have started migrating from a “yes” to a “no”. Today I want to share my journey with you.
Saying “no” isn’t something new to me- I’ve always managed to be fairly straight-forward and bold in what I allow into my life. However, after ending the year last year in a state of exhaustion, it became apparent to me that while I had my hands to many good things, they weren’t all God things. What’s the difference?
A good thing is just that- it’s a good thing to do. You believe in it, and you think it’s a wonderful activity, but the grace isn’t there to do it. It isn’t what you were created specifically to do, at least for this season of your life, and it isn’t something you feel God has directed you to be a part of.
A God thing is something you’ve specifically seen God lead you into and not lead you out of. It’s something that goes towards your “why” in life, and for which you’ve been specifically anointed & set apart to be a part of in your life. This can include your vocation- not just “super-spiritual” activities.
I don’t know about you, but when I started looking at my life in that light this year, I could see where there was no grace, where there was abundant grace, and the places where God was beginning to lead me out of in my life.
I’m writing this today because I think there are a lot of us doing good things that cause us to neglect the God things. The God things are those things that make up your purpose, those things you should be doing in this season of life. The good things are those things that sound good, but that you know you’re only doing at this point because they are just good things to do. And there is a difference.
God things connect to your core while good things tire you on a deep inner level. This all has to do with grace. If you have three children, God has given you the grace to deal with them, and while it may be tiring, it’s purposeful. If you’ve decided to help your neighbor with her three kids and this isn’t something you’ve seen God lead you to do, you are going to be a different type of tired, because the grace isn’t there for doing it- it is literally just a “good thing” you are doing, not a God thing.
I challenge you today to consider the activities that make up your schedule. Walking away from good things can be difficult, especially when you feel as if you are leaving a hole behind for someone else to fill and when you really care about the way that good thing affects others. Yet, when you pray about it and have peace about leaving that activity behind, trust that God will fill that hole with the person to fill it for the new season. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been there, and He does it every time.
Waiting- none of us like it but all of us do it. It’s something that crosses racial boundaries, income lines, and affects people of all age. It’s something that’s literally as old as time- Adam himself had to wait for Eve to be created- but something all people still struggle with now and again. Waiting creates an emotion when the period of waiting lasts longer than we think it should. Ask any impatient person in a line and they will tell you something is happening (the line is moving too slowly, the checker should be working faster) that is causing them to wait longer than they believe to be necessary.
Certain days of the year highlight waiting that has become downright painful. Valentine’s Day is a very uncomfortable day to some singles, while Mother’s Day & Father’s Day can carry a very heavy emotion for couples struggling with infertility. A myriad of other circumstances, from buying or selling a house to waiting on an adoption or organ transplant, carry with them some very real emotions tied to a period of waiting that anyone who has gone through them could relate about. A common expression in these times of waiting is the feeling of “if only that thing were here, how well could I steward that gift or spend my time!”. Singles that feel they would make a loving spouse, adults that feel they would make wonderful parents….yet there they still are are, waiting.
I’m currently in a big, huge season of “wait” of my own- one that has far outlasted any other previous seasons of waiting I have been through. There are some hard-learned lessons God has taught me- and through the past few years, I have been reminded of the other times I waited for things I deeply desired, and how each and every one taught me something very specific. While most times I could even see the reasons for the wait on the other side, even in the ones which I still can’t understand why I needed to go through the waiting season, I know God taught me some invaluable lessons through the process. I’m sharing with you some of the lessons from my wait, and I hope it encourages you and equips you for how to spend your wait.
Live in the present. One of the most difficult hurdles to get over in times of waiting, in my experience, has been to choose to be all-here in the present, even when I deeply desire a future that has yet to arrive. This has meant choosing to redirect my thoughts, spending time considering the blessings of this season, purposely planning activities that make the most of this time, and choosing to enjoy it as long as it may last. Embracing this is so incredibly freeing, and while it won’t eliminate the emotions of waiting, it does enable you to not dwell on the things you have yet to come into in your life with an unhealthy amount of time spent thinking about the things that have yet to pass in your life. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Philippians 4:11
Trust in the Lord. Waiting isn’t a popular activity for a reason- it can leave you feeling dejected, uninspired, & with a sense of purposelessness. Yet, God has allowed you to be in that season for a reason, and trusting His reasons for the wait and purposing to be the best version of yourself in the season can serve to inspire and encourage you as you delve in to the Word of God, choose to be a good friend, and care about what others care about despite what seems to you to be a less-than-perfect circumstance. “Trust in the Lord and do good.” Psalm 37:3
Do good. The second part of Psalm 37:3 is often overlooked- it is a partnership; a related relationship between trusting in the Lord and doing good. Depending on what you’re going through, you might not want to be very involved in the lives of others. Whether you’re waiting to get married, to have a baby, to go to school, for that transplant to come through, or in a season of painful emotions you are waiting to pass, it can be very easy to decide to stay away from places that remind you of others that have those things you wish you had. I have found that following God in obedience and doing good among those whose circumstances can remind me of what I’m waiting for can be the most profound “good work” of faith in my season of waiting. I would challenge you to make the decision to stop shielding yourself from what makes you uncomfortable and discover the way acting in faith actually serves to sooth your heart during your wait, when you are doing it unto the Lord and not for how man is going to react to your actions. “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:17
I’ve made this graphic of Psalm 37:3 to share with you below. It very much impacted me when I spent time considering the impact of this verse & James 2:17 on my life- that without faith and works of faith, my trust in the Lord was dead. I encourage you to save the image, make it your phone screensaver, and walk in trust while doing good in Christ and find your purpose in the waiting!
I wanted to note that I am not implying that there is not a need to process the emotions of waiting- or diminish how deep those emotions may be. I encourage you to find your safe people- people you can share your journey with, be honest with about the emotions, cry with, laugh with, and have the safety in which to share the ups & downs of your journey. If you have no idea where to find these people, pray for people who will pray with you, pray for you, and encourage you to walk forward in faith & good works. Wherever you’re at, I encourage you to leave a comment below- I would love to be praying for you, too!
Over the past couple of years, we’ve been a part of some fun, themed potluck dinners with a ministry we serve with. As the weeks have gone by, coming up with a solid list of dinner theme ideas can serve to stump some, but I have loved it! If you’re looking to hold a themed potluck-style dinner, look no farther for an extensive list of affordable, simple, fast, & fun ideas. We have you covered!
Let this list get the ideas rolling in your head. Pinterest serves as a great way to provide meal ideas to go along with these themes. There’s no limit to how creative you can be and how much fun you can have with friends and family!
Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages has been a huge help to so many, helping us all discover the languages of Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
Here’s a list of five simple ways to communicate in each of these universal languages, and what to be aware of as you do:
Speak life. Let the people in your life know they are loved and appreciated. Take the time to encourage and affirm them. Listen to what they have to say and speak to them based on the words coming from their heart. If this is their top love language…say everything- a LOT. Make sure you are telling them often not just that they mean a lot to you, but why they do. Don’t just tell them you love them, tell them things you love about them. Describe your feelings when saying “thank you”. Use lots of descriptives when talking to something who ranks high in words of affirmation! Practical ways to speak life: Cards, notes, text messages, letters
Be kind. Go out of your way to do nice things for the people in your life. Hold the door open, wash the dishes, give a foot rub, and generally be available to help in the everyday with things that will make the lives easier of the people you love. If this is their top love language…make sure you’re not lacking follow-through. If you say you’re going to help with something, be sure to help, consistently. Give acts of service without being asked- this is very important to the person who receives love this way. Someone who ranks high in acts of service sees helpful, cement acts as love in action- and nothing else says “I love you” to them the way actually doing things with and for them does. Practical ways to be kind: Performing a chore, making a meal, cleaning a car (all without being asked)
Go out of your way to bring joy to someone else’s day. Who doesn’t enjoy getting little gifts now and again? Find little ways to bless the people in your life- whether by bringing coffee or breakfast to the office for your coworkers, flowers to your mom, a gift card for your dad, or a personalized gift for your spouse. If this is their top love language…make gift-giving a top priority. Someone who ranks high in receiving gifts can feel a bit taken for granted when they keep speaking their language (by giving gifts) and don’t see their loved ones acting in kind. Be aware that it isn’t about how big the gift is (although this may not be as true with birthdays and anniversaries), as much as it is about the fact that you know how to buy a gift they will like and you are willing to spend the money & time to get it and give it to them. Practical ways to bring joy to someone else’s day: Gift card, present, coffee, flowers, book, that thing they’ve been wanting
Spend time doing something meaningful. One of the universal ways many people feel loved is by knowing someone else takes the time to do things that interest them. Put away your phone (unless it’s required for the activity) and spend intentional time with your loved ones doing things that mean something to them. This might be as simple as watching a movie or taking a walk and as complex as going to a museum or gun show. If this is their top love language…your attitude will matter more than it already would. If you’re spending time with them and you don’t seem happy, it won’t mean nearly as much as it would otherwise. Be sure that you aren’t spending more quality time with someone else other than your spouse, if this is their love language. Be sure to be “all there” and give them your undivided attention. Practical ways to spend time: Create a “day out” or “day in” itinerary, go on a coffee date, go on a weekend getaway, eat a meal at a quiet table together (all one-on-one)
Share the love. A hug, a high-five, and any kind of physical act of affection mean a lot to most people. As you discover how your loved ones want to be loved on and find the appropriate balance for your relationship, find non-verbal ways to show affection to the people in your life. If this is their top love language…it’s important to recognize that these people usually feel like they need hugs the way they need air. A bear hug, deep kiss, or warm embrace probably means more to them than any of the other above-mentioned actions. Holding hands, spontaneously hugging, and taking any sort of initiative to show affection (and receive affection) physically means a great deal to anyone with this language. Practical ways to share the love: Hugs, kisses, hand-holding, stroking one’s hair
What are some ways you love to be shown love? Comment below!
Not sure which love language you speak? You can find how your love languages rank here.
We all have those times that, try as we might, we end up at this point where there’s a lot of work to be done and not a lot of free time to be had. Yet, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, so if this summer you aren’t able to go on one of those vacations to some beach on a coast, try these ideas on for size to keep your summer awesome.
Make a list of the fun things you want to do that are feasible this summer. My sister and her kids started doing a “summer fun list” a few years ago after finding the idea somewhere on Pinterest. This encapsulates the goal here- think of some ideas that are fun that you want to do this summer. Going somewhere new in your state, planning a movie weekend, or trying out that restaurant you’ve been driving by for years are all acceptable things to get down on your list!
Be intentional about your free time. A big key to having a great summer when you have no epic vacations planned is to plan fun into your free time! No epic vacation planned probably means no vacation time, so you’ll have to redeem the time when you aren’t working for some of those fun things on your list.
Make up your mind that your summer at home can be amazing. If you’re a summer vacation kind of guy or gal, it might be a big bummer that you aren’t traveling. What’s more, if you’re at home because money is tight, for health-related reasons such as surgery, or with a new baby, you might be tempted to be a bummer about it. However, if you decide your summer is going to be great and go about trying to make it wonderful, with family and friends that are close by, you can have an amazing summer! What kind of time you are going to have is heavily dictated by the mindset you have, but that’s something you can control.
Now, go ahead, make that list! My hubby & I usually stick to our Alphabetical Date Nights plan, so for us, a summer with no travels is a time to be spontaneous and unique and deviate from that. Try organizing friend outings, trips to the lake, an overnight trip to somewhere nearby, and movie nights to start with. Make the most of those three summer holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day) and aim for doing something fun on a weekly basis (at least 😉 ). Some of the ideas on this list might be a great place to start!
What things do you love doing during your summers at home? Comment below!
We are almost halfway to Christmas now, can you believe it? These hot summer days make the cold and wintry nights that typically surround Christmastime feel so far away. Yet, I’ve come to you today to share one of the things I started doing early in my marriage that has made gift giving much easier- especially at Christmastime.
I love figuring out the type of gift someone wants. If I don’t have them on my Pinterest feed, then I do my best to figure out the type of personality they are and what they enjoy. I feel like I am a pretty good gift giver, as such, and one fallacy I refuse to believe is that to give a great gift, you have to go out and custom-buy everything for that single person.
That’s why I love having a gift stash. Besides being absolutely perfect for those Christmastime Dirty Santa parties, a gift stash gives you a little pile of gifts to choose from for that birthday party that just came up or that person you just want to cheer up a bit. This stash may come from different places- maybe a fun deal at the store that seems like it would be a perfect gift for someone, maybe even a (*gasp*) regift.
Building a gift stash gives a base to choose gifts from. In the instances when there is no right or “perfect” gift, I still buy gifts for people, yet quite often I have the perfect gift in my stash. This makes the holidays easier, not to mention those months that seem to have a bazillion birthdays easier.
Keep your gift stash organized by creating a shelf or a bin you can keep these gif tables stashed away in- and watch your life get easier!
We are coming up on our one-year anniversary next week, and are celebrating with a “Top 5” posts covering the 73 blog posts we have published year to date. Of course, what else would we look at other than the posts that have gotten us on the map- without further ado, here are our top 5 viral blog posts:
Alphabetical Date Nights Our Alphabetical Date Nights post was published just a few weeks into the lifetime of this blog, and it immediately took off. To date, this post regularly continues to come in at first or second for daily views, attracting readers with it’s long list of unique date ideas for significant others, family, or friend dates.
DIY Laundry Scent Booster This laundry scent booster pic took Pinterest by storm with practically no help, popular for the beauty and ease of this recipe. It was months after this post was published that it started popping up on our daily stats, but since it has shown up, it hasn’t slowed down.
8 Fun Ways To Celebrate Leap Day The concept of this post really resonated with viewers, quickly gaining popularity by taking that one day we have to remember every four years and turning it into an opportunity to make memories.
Luscious Locks Spritz Another post to gain popularity months after it was published, this recipe is an especial favorite of Essential Oils users who are looking for an easy, practical DIY recipe that really packs a punch!