Monday, August 31, 2015

Vintage Chick's CHERRY Finds & Birthday Goodies

A cherry towel and soap gift
from an old high school friend
Awwww, look what Mom
got me for my b-day!
Where are we going next?!

In case you hadn't noticed already, I love collecting cherry items. While I usually purchase only frugal finds, I admit I've been splurging a little on one-of-a-kind cherry items and red & white gingham miscellaneous. For my birthday, I also received a few cherry gifts (oh, joy!). Just couldn't wait to share my growing collection with y'all . . .

My prize cherry skirt from a
favorite vintage shop,
DeeLux, in Claremont
This brand new cherry sweater was
a $15 deal at DeeLux. 
This purse is a really frugal find for $1 at Goodwill. Yippeee!
A matching gingham sundress to go with the purse,
thank you very much, for $3.99 at the same Goodwill. 
And, last but not least, a girl
needs her very own ruby red slippers.
Don't leave Kansas without them.  
Linking to: Katherine's Corner

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Take a Time-out Today {Just for You!!!}

Whether you are single, married, and have kids or not, as a busy woman you deserve to pencil in a time-out for yourself on your overwhelming to-do list. Despite His amazing ministry on earth, even Jesus went off alone to spend time in solitude with the Father in prayer. His example shows how quiet time is essential for balance and well-being.

*What do you enjoy? 
*What refreshes your spirit? 
*What do you need to do to take care of yourself today? 

Take some time out for you, not only today but every day, to do those things that will bring rest to your soul. "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28

Friday, August 28, 2015

SuperEasy PINK LEMONADE, CHOCOLATE CHERRY & CARAMEL APPLE Cookies {plus dairy-free version}

To my surprise, I opened up this box last weekend to find some beautiful homemade cookies (made by my very own sis) for my b-day. To replicate this SUPEREASY recipe, just use a box each of Pillsbury Pink Lemonade, Chocolate Cherry, and Caramel Apple cookie mixes. For the dairy-free version, my sister substituted flax seed for the egg and dairy-free butter. What a sweet gift!!!

Linking to: Pink Saturday

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Make Mornings Easier with a Back-to-School Breakfast Bar

Let’s face it. As a busy mom and bus driver for your children in the mornings, you are too rushed to gather 'round the table to eat a hot breakfast. Let go of the weekday guilt and plan a nice family breakfast for Sunday mornings. To simplify the Monday through Friday morning rush, think continental style. Make things easier on yourself by setting up a breakfast bar at home that you can leave out (for the most part) the entire week so the kids can help themselves in the morning.

  • Clear off an area on a side table, a shelf on your baker’s rack, or an out-of-the way counter space. 
  • Stock the space with non-perishables like small cereal boxes, peanut butter cups, oatmeal packages, trail mix, and applesauce containers.
  • Situate your Keurig, k-cups, sweetener packets, tea bags, and hot chocolate packages at the breakfast bar. Show older kids how the coffee machine can provide hot water for instant oatmeal.
  • Don’t forget to include paper plates or bowls, napkins, and plastic utensils.
  • Prepare perishables ahead of time on a tray in the fridge that you can easily pull out in the morning to place at the breakfast bar. Include items like hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, and milk for cereal, oatmeal, and coffee.
  • Lean back, sip your coffee, and start the day with some peace-of-mind!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

{Hang onto Summer!!!} and Beat the Back-to-School Blues

Now, these lunchboxes are the REAL DEAL . . . bringing back memories, anyone?
It's that dreaded time of year again where the fun comes to a screeching halt, the kids go back-to-school and busy moms trudge into work after relaxing vacations. Leaving the carefree poolside in exchange for school or work when the weather is still hot and steamy is an annual drag for everyone. Insomnia typically sets in the night before the new school year and tempers flare in the a.m. while the entire family readjusts to the morning rush. Since the summer to fall transition is such an abrupt adjustment, rethink the fall routine and manage the changes more smoothly by easing into fall this year. Set aside the organizational guides until after Labor Day and HANG ONTO SUMMER AS LONG AS POSSIBLE with some simple strategies that will help you and your children beat the back-to-school blues.

Start with a monthly calendar. Place a desk-sized calendar with big squares in an area the entire family can see at a glance. Have children write down important school dates and extracurricular commitments on the family calendar. Plug those dates into your smart phone calendar or personal planner and double check for overlap with your own activities and commitments. Simplify your fall schedule by planning a manageable amount of weekly activities per child. This may mean cutting back on quantity in order to create more quality time in the back-to-school schedule.

Establish a new weekly routine. Streamline the fall routine by establishing different days of the week for certain tasks and activities. Building daily and weekly habits into the new plan is a time saver since you will be less likely to procrastinate by mulling over choices. For example, if you tend to put off grocery shopping, commit to planning your meals on Tuesdays when the weekly ads arrive and shop for groceries on Wednesdays when some stores offer double ads or mid-week bargains. Be as consistent as possible since that will enable the whole family to quickly move into the new routine and everyone will know what to expect.

Back-to-school idea: Get excited about the fall
with some unique supplies!!! 
Make things easier on yourself. In the first few weeks of the fall schedule, ease back into the grove with paper plates, rotisserie chicken, packaged salads, and protein lunch kits. Set up a continental style breakfast bar next to the kitchen table with mini cereal boxes, oatmeal packages, peanut butter cups, and fruit so the entire family can help themselves in the morning rather than rely on you to be a short order cook. After dinner, have each child make his or her own balanced lunch, including a portion of protein, fruit, and veggie. Let the dishes and laundry pile up so you can do a big batch at once and create more time for signing permission slips, helping with homework, and getting to bed earlier. Check out my back-to-school breakfast bar for easy mornings: At-home continental style breakfast

Declutter quickly with shortcuts. While most fall organizational guides will suggest cleaning closets and setting up household command centers, you can take a detour by decluttering and discarding in a matter of hours rather than days. Carve out two hours the weekend or day before school starts to throw out old papers, organize each room, and put the house in order. In the following weeks, set a timer for 15 minutes a day to declutter one area of the house at a time. Motivate yourself with an inexpensive reward like a latte or bubble bath—and see how much more quickly you will finish your chores! Likewise, new back-to-school clothing can be an incentive for kids to clean out their closets.

Celebrate the last fruits of summer. Transition from summer to fall by leaving margin room for fun. Incorporate outdoor activities into the daily grind that will allow you and your kids to hang onto summer a little longer. Before putting away the grill, plan hamburger and hot dog dinners on the patio and s’mores in the evening. Lift everyone’s spirits once the homework is done by playing card games after dinner, having a water gun fight, blowing bubbles, stargazing in the backyard, or coloring with those bright new markers from the school supply stash. Soon enough, pumpkin lattes, autumn d├ęcor, and apple picking will entice everyone into the splendors of fall, and you and the kids will be ready since you seized every moment of summer. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Seven Scriptures to Help You Stay Encouraged

Need to stay encouraged? Choose a Scripture for every day of the week:

  1. For Comfort: “He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” ~2 Corinthians 1:4 
  2. For Uplifting: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” ~1 Thess. 5:11 
  3. For Building Others Up: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” ~Ephesians 4:29
  4. For Making Time for Fellowship: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” ~Hebrews 10:24-25 
  5. For Dwelling on the Positive: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” ~Philippians 4:8 
  6. For Team-Building: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
  7. For Positive Talk: “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” ~1 Thessalonians 4:18

Monday, July 27, 2015

Encouraging Yourself and Others

In our busy, chaotic, and stressful world, we can make the mistake of going so fast that we merely think about our own agenda: getting to the next place, checking the next item off the list, or meeting only the immediate needs of ourselves and our children. Living in our fast-paced society with tunnel vision like this, we tend to lose focus on others and go blind to the needs around us. That’s why it’s important to slow down long enough to listen to the prompting of the Spirit and follow that tugging on our hearts that may be leading us to minister others who might be going through a tough time.

But how can we effectively help others if our own wells are dry? The honest answer is we can’t keep giving on empty without doing detriment to ourselves or our children. As busy moms, we need to be vigilant about how we spend our time, making room in our schedules not only for the basics of self-care like getting at least 7 hours of sleep, eating right, and exercising, but also carving out a moment or two each day for doing something we enjoy like journaling, knitting, yoga, or reading. Once our own cup is full, we need to stay encouraged by taking time out for God, praying, and meditating on our favorite Scriptures. Of course, God can give us the strength and power to do His will at any time, but if we make a consistent effort at caring for ourselves first, I believe He can more effectively use us to care for others as well.

What can you do to keep yourself encouraged so you can give back to others?

  • Make a list of your favorite scriptures to keep in a place where you will see on a daily basis.  
  • Write down a habitual negative thought and then write down the opposite and start affirming that instead.
  • Examine those places where you are not taking good care of yourself and make a 21 day effort towards more positive self-care habits,
  • Carve out 15 minutes (or more if you can!) each day for a Mom’s time-out.

What simple act can you do today to encourage someone else?
  • An uplifting text, phone call, note, or card with a positive Scripture or prayer is an easy, yet
    meaningful way to show you care.
  • An act of service such as bringing a casserole for dinner, sweeping the yard, or running errands for someone who is ill really means a lot.
  • A small basket of bath salts or bubble bath is a gift that encourages your recipient to take time for self-care.
  • A goodie bag of baked treats or snacks can sweeten someone’s difficult day.
You don’t have to spend a lot to show you care—just a bit of your time and effort!


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