It's not too early to start making your own natural Christmas tree ornaments.  May these fabulous ideas inspire you to get your craft on.      My rustic nature-inspired Christmas decorations are my most popular posts. The best part of using the fruits of Mother Nature in your Christmas decor other than the beauty is that it is usually inexpensive. Take some time now to create without the pressure of the season and enjoy the process.  We all have good intentions, I don't want you to get caught on Thanksgiving weekend wishing you'd had a bevy of handmade natural ornaments. Use … [Read more...]

  Do you talk to yourself?     I will admit that sometimes I talk to myself. Talking to yourself can be a good thing. Some might think it's a little quirky, but if they really knew what you were doing when you talked to yourself, they would want to follow your lead and pick it up too. What? Maybe you're thinking... children learning to tie their shoes with rhymes and little old ladies who are trying to not forget things... they talk to themselves... not me. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you too will want to talk to yourself, regularly. If you become a … [Read more...]

  Don't overlook that clearance item because it's not quite your style.  Here's how I gave a rustic farmhouse metal sign a makeover and turned it into casual coastal wall decor.     Have you ever been shopping and discovered something on a super sale that caught your eye, but it wasn't just right for you? When that happens don't dismiss the item... look at it again to see if you can tweak it or paint it or personalize it in some way to make it just right. Not long ago I was in Hobby Lobby when they were marking all kinds of home decor items down and I came across this metal farmhouse … [Read more...]

  Once the calendar rolls over from spring to summer, I have this heavy awareness that nearly half the year has passed and we're on the bullet train to the end of the year.  That realization usually sparks an evaluation of where I've been and what I've accomplished.  And frankly...  right now... I'm not pleased.     From my work to my health to my relationship with God I want to be in a better place. The first thing I do is analyze why... Why am I in this spot? You know what my biggest challenge is? It's my thinking. My success in all of these areas begins and ends in my … [Read more...]

  Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans!     To celebrate, I dressed up a small sideboard in my dining room.  You might have seen glimpses of it in the background of the photos where I shared how to set a star-studded 4th of July table. It's funny how I didn't think I had much that was red, white, and blue with which to decorate.  Surprisingly I had plenty. The festive red, white, and blue banner was given to me by my blogging pal, Mary Beth from The How to Home.  It sets the perfect backdrop to the vignette.     If you wonder how to easily … [Read more...]

  I love the American flag and all things red, white, and blue. Right down to my dining table.     Yet, this patriotic tablescape almost didn't happen. This summer my focus changed from the blog to my personal health and wellness.  I'm making some strides, although it seems that it's two steps forward and one step back.  But, I decided to not stress over it.  Instead, I'm giving myself grace to let go of a few things.  I'm good at pushing through... not at receiving grace... especially from myself.     So, even though I love decorating for the 4th of … [Read more...]

  Do you need a safe place? Maybe the better question to ask is, "What does a safe place mean or look like to you?"     When we had cats, we used to take them to the vet in a picnic basket. A picnic basket is cute and handy for short trips.  But, once we started moving, we purchased official cat carriers for those long state-to-state trips. I'm not sure why, but our cats liked their carriers.  If we were to leave the carriers somewhere in the house, with the doors open, they would go there to take naps. Whenever we had an open house or outdoor parties or needed a … [Read more...]

  The weather is beautiful and the beach is whispering, "Come!" Seize the moment with 9 EASY tips for a simple beach picnic that will be the perfect setting for fun and memories.   While standing in line at the checkout counter I opened up a popular magazine.  My eye was drawn to pictures of people picnicking in a meadow. There were heaps of food and beverages and pillows and lanterns and so much more.  So much goodness that by the time the picnic was set up I'd be too exhausted to enjoy it.  Summer is the time for a simple picnic on the beach. Don't become overwhelmed with trying to make it … [Read more...]

  I love the morning....especially the first light of the morning. A few days ago I awoke very early and looked out the window where I was greeted with a most beautiful sight. Imagine the sky as I saw it, still colored in twilight while being gently blushed with a transparent orange cast rising ever so gently from the horizon.   And to my right...a huge brilliant star sparkled.  At that moment, I was in awe and humble adoration of Creator God. In the morning, O Eternal One, listen for my voice; in the day’s first light, I will offer my prayer to You and watch expectantly for Your answer. Psalm … [Read more...]

  Life is not perfect, except in dreams. And today, on Father's Day, there can be all kinds of feelings... For some... good feelings automatically surface. For others... just the mention of "father" causes a flood of negative feelings and memories.     My husband's father did the best he could.  I'm sure he loved his kids, but having six kids under the age of 10 was no doubt challenging to him. I'm guessing he thought if he showed kindness or told his children he loved them that he would lose his authority or control.  And then there was the alcohol … [Read more...]

  Do you ever long for a quieter life?  A more fruitful life?  A joyful life?     Do some days, weeks, maybe even months seem to breeze by? Do you ever feel like those days are... not great... nothing special... just okay? Are you tired of the ho-hum?  Do you want more? The only way I know for us to have more quiet, fruit, and joy in our lives is to choose it. We need to be purposeful. Oh great!" you're thinking.  "Just heap on my to-dos. Make me feel inadequate when I already don't feel like I measure up." Actually, that isn't my intention. Summertime is a … [Read more...]

  Do you start your day with a spring in your step and a happy expression on your face? Maybe you find yourself plodding through the day with a fake smile awkwardly affixed to cover what you're really feeling? No matter where you are on the spectrum, I'm sure you want to know... How to Put More Joy in Your Day     Each week here at An Extraordinary Day we observe JoyDay! For six years I've chatted with you about joy and living a joy-filled life.  But, what I haven't done is put some of those thoughts together in one spot so that you would have an easy reference point when you … [Read more...]

  Do you remember seeing a movie where the butler walked into a room holding a silver platter upon which there was a slip of paper for someone in the room? At that moment when the butler offered the note and the recipient took the paper, everyone else seemed to pause. Trying to fain disinterest, others in the room were keenly interested to learn what was on the paper and how the individual would respond. The slip of paper required a response.     Each day we are presented with all numerous things that require our response. We could call them silver platter opportunities. … [Read more...]

      Most Friday nights as Tim works, my good friend and I go out on the town.  We live it up big.  This time we split a huge plate of chicken nachos and she did a little shopping for a Mother's Day gift as we talked and laughed nonstop. In between bites at the restaurant, we chat about all kinds of things. Often my friend talks about her sons and her grandchildren.  A real prayer warrior, she covers her family with prayer daily, sometimes even asking me to pray for them, too. I'm impressed with her practical love for them, how she exercises wisdom in staying out of her adult … [Read more...]

    Sunday was a day of rest for me as I was growing up. After church in the summer, my dad and I would often stop at the drive-in restaurant with those huge golden arches.  He always went to the screened window and ordered the same thing, a burger and fries for each of us.  And then, we'd eat lunch in our car in the parking space pushed up against the tall arborvitae bushes with our windows wide open and the breeze blowing in.  Our next stop was always the lake.  Sometimes we'd watch the sailboats race, or a ship come in, or just sit and look at the water. I guess that was my dad's idea of … [Read more...]

  Do you ever think about your love life? No, not that kind of love life!     Nearly every night before we snuggle into our pillows, Tim has been reading to me this great book written by Bob Goff, Everybody Always. (affiliate link)  The book is funny, poignant, and sometimes pokes me where it hurts.  I suggest you read it.  It's got me thinking about HOW I live and love.  The real important stuff in life. Oh, how I'd love to say that I live and love well.  But, I don't.  Lately, I've been grumpy and a bit critical.  I could blame my thyroid and pass it off to not feeling well … [Read more...]

  Make a small space live large through the seasons with a beautiful container garden.     Have you ever gone to one of those events where they wanted you to get to know all the other attendees with some crowd breakers?  I know, it's awkward. How would you like it if they asked you to run to one side of the room if you love a particular season and the other side of the room for another season? That was easy, a least it wasn't running while trying to balance a balloon on my nose.  However, I did learn something about myself.  I'm a stand alone.  I don't remember what season spring … [Read more...]