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...]

  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...]

  This year my cozy apartment is living large with a stunning new blue and silver Christmas tree courtesy of Balsam Hill.  Here are some tips for decorating a tree beautifully filled with sparkle, color, and a touch of the dramatic.     Growing up, decorating for Christmas was a big deal in my home.  My dad was all about hanging lights on our front porch and creating gorgeous swags filled with miniature lights. My mom always had a DIY Christmas decor project and could be counted on to cover our tree with lights and ornaments and garland until it looked like one huge sparkly Christmas … [Read more...]

  You might be surprised to learn this about me... but I rarely go to movies.  In fact, I rarely watch movies on TV. My husband will suggest we go to different movies, but somehow I manage to wiggle my way out of going.  I think it might be because I have to just sit and watch a screen. Asking me to go and sit in a movie theater is like asking me to go sit in a closet for 2 hours.  Yeah, I know, I'm different. All that being said, I do enjoy a good movie. (Up until now, the last movie I watched was Les Mis, which I thoroughly enjoyed, by the way.)  You've just got to get me to sit down for … [Read more...]

  Adventuring... it's my very favorite springtime activity.  There's nothing like the exhilaration of discovering tiny whorls of spring green pushing through the thick decaying blanket of brown covering the woodland floor or spying the first marsh marigolds in the wetlands or catching sight of the elusive Baltimore oriole that beckons us with his melodious song. My husband and I love to get out in the early light of the morning.  It's the best for picture taking, but it also feels like we are on a holy adventure.  There's something extraordinary about the world waking up for the day and being a part of … [Read more...]

  Last spring I picked up a part time sewing gig.  A friend of a friend has a small Etsy shop and wholesale business and she needed someone to help with some of the sewing and stuffing of pillows.  I was happy to help out and the extra money comes in handy too.   Our little workshop is on the second floor over a little retail business. It's fun listening to the hustle and bustle down on the street and in the shop as I work.   It's a fairly bright space with two super tall windows and a couple of skylights which makes it quite pleasant. We positioned my sewing machine right in front of … [Read more...]

  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All experiences and opinions are mine alone. #SandwichWithTheBest #CollectiveBias Each year from May through October you can be sure to find me, bright and early, every Saturday morning at my local farmer’s market. It's the high point of my week. Every just-picked fruit or vegetable is waiting for me. So much goodness and I didn't have to sweat in the sun nor pull a single weed to enjoy the bounty. I confess, everything looks and smells so wonderful, that I sometimes get a little carried away with my … [Read more...]

  Are you faced with a small space in your home or apartment? These simple and do-able small space decorating tips will help you look at decorating your space in a fresh new way.     Since getting married, I've been moving around the country.  It's provided a great opportunity for learning to overcome space and decorating challenges which every home has. Our most recent move to a small two bedroom apartment has been the most challenging.  In order to make my new small space feel spacious and inviting, I implemented a few easy small space decorating tips I've learned through my many … [Read more...]

  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Bananamazing #CollectiveBias Yummy Banana Snacks Kids and Moms will Love Growing up... my dad was determined that I would eat foods that were good for me.  Bananas were high on his list of nutritious foods and fortunately for me, I loved bananas.  Many of my after-school snacks and suppertime desserts included bananas.  Because my dad was generally the main cook at our house, he made easy to prepare snacks and desserts.... a small bowl of sliced bananas with a little sugar sprinkled over the … [Read more...]

Will you be hosting a Super Bowl party? Whether you're hosting or invited to watch the game with friends or family, you will LOVE these delicious and savory recipes that are sure to please. The next question is.... which team will you be rooting for?   28 Winning and Savory Game Day Foods   Shrimp Pesto Pizza :: Cooking With Curls Crock Pot Turkey Chili by Art From My Table via Carrie Elle Baked Tequila Lime Chicken Taquitos :: Happy and Blessed Home Asian BBQ Pork Taco Boats :: Lemons for LuLu Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Fries :: Grace and Good Eats Stromboli - Baked Italian Sandwich :: … [Read more...]

  This year, will you be missing the comforts from home at the holidays?   Most of us want to be home at the holidays... but it isn't always possible.  We rarely made it home for Thanksgiving or Christmas when we lived in New York, but the 4th of July, you betcha we were there! Living far from home, we developed a strategy for the holidays...     Tips for Celebrating the Holidays Away from Family Invite friends and acquaintances to join you for the holiday. It's amazing how many people are away from home or alone for the holidays. Don't do everything yourself. Ask … [Read more...]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DonVictorHoney #CollectiveBias Hospitality is my thing. There isn't anything I enjoy more than having people over for a meal. And hosting weekend guests... that's even more special for me.     It's so fun preparing for them, making sure their room is cozy, planning out all the meals for their stay, and making the table look inviting. Probably my favorite meal to plan is breakfast. Especially as most of us hurry out the door in the morning with something like a slice of toast … [Read more...]

This is a sponsored post for Parrot Uncle for which I received compensation. All opinions are my own.   Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the interior of your favorite farmhouse style home. Doesn't it feel warm and homey? As you picture in your mind your ideal farmhouse style home, you are likely seeing a bright open space, filled with things you love in your favorite colors.  Though you are aware of the brightness and charm, you may not necessarily be seeing light fixtures.  That's because when a room or home is well lit with natural light from windows and beautiful artificial lighting, … [Read more...]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EffortlessMeals #CollectiveBias   Family time is a high value for most of us.  But, sometimes the wheel of life spins so quickly... even the most important people and times in our lives get away from us... despite our desires or best intentions. We all know the value of sitting around the table for family meals... yet more often than not the drive-thru seems like the only option on a hectic day. With that in mind, here's a Super Easy 7 Ingredient Southwest Chicken Supper that will nourish … [Read more...]

Do you have any rituals in your daily routine? For some of us, a daily ritual might include fluffing all the pillows in the family room and pushing the start button on the dishwasher before going to bed, or picking up a personal electronic device and checking email first thing upon waking.  Those rituals are important to keeping our daily lives moving in a rhythmic fashion.  We need them to help us function effectively in our super busy, fast-paced lives. As much as we need those functional rituals, we also need personal rituals too.     Most of us don't take time for ourselves.  As women, we … [Read more...]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChangingPrepaid #CollectiveBias   I used to think that having a smart phone for personal use and blogging was an extravagance. But today, I'm enjoying my new Simply Prepaid™ plan from T-Mobile and Samsung Galaxy Avant phone.   It wasn't all that long ago I had this conversation with my husband... Are you crazy?! $129 a month for one cell phone? Do you realize what we could do with that money? I confess, my wonderful sweet husband got quite an earful.  And then he said... … [Read more...]

I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Plaid Crafts, Michaels and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.   DIY Decorative Wood Tray :: Wall Art for Spring with Hope Quote   I love birds!  This time of year, backyard feeders are busy with countless songbirds feasting. Just like me... I'm sure our feathered friends cannot wait for spring!  But, until spring comes, we can have fun creating beauty for our living spaces with Spring Wood Surfaces from Michaels.   Recently I was blessed to be selected to participate in the Plaid: Michaels Spring Wood Run Challenge. … [Read more...]