Category: Summer

Spending Time with Ana!

The leaves are falling in my part of the world like crazy, so before the snow falls, I want to share a special time I had at the end of summer with my niece Ana.

Ana with water dropsI have written before on the joys over the years of spending special time with all my nieces.  Since God blessed me with only one son, my nieces were gifts that allowed me the fun of shopping, buying dolls, dresses for special events, crafts, all the things you just don’t do with boys!

During our few days together we shopped, for clothes, some extra school supplies, including a silver glitter notebook, and some neon colored pencils.  Ana loves “bling”.

I let her pick out her favorite treats, cereal, donuts, Sun Chips, nothing healthy of course, I did say treats.  This is something my Grandma would do when I would visit her as a little girl. Such a sweet memory for me even to this day.

We played “Crazy Eights” until I thought I was going crazy, decorated a large wooden “A”, painting it glow in the dark hot pink with black glitter dots, and put together an outdoor place for Ana.

Our days were perfect, warm and sunny, so we set up our “swimming pool” in the backyard.

Ana with beachballCartwheelsWe came up with a game where I gave her actions to complete around and over the flowing water, so many cartwheels, jumping jacks, and such.

The morning we decided to build Ana a special outdoor place, we first needed to shop for fabric. Ana picked a black and white zebra like print.

Once we were home, we found a rope in our garage, attached it to two branches on the large maple tree in our backyard, and using some bricks we secured the fabric across the rope.

Ana's Crazy EightsWe added a quilt and lots of pillows, and finished up with a chalkboard paper banner, “Ana’s Place”, which added the final touch.  Perfect!

Just Ana

Our finished placeWe did laugh together and enjoyed our creation all day. I felt like a kid again.

Although Ana also loved time spent on my tablet, playing games, and working with my touch screen computer, watching movies, listening to music, I thank her for spending time with me doing creative things and spending silly time with her aunt.

As this second part of my life is playing out, and Ana is growing up, I thank her so much for being with me for a few days this past summer.

Life has a way of keeping us from our love ones, jobs, relationships, just life and living it our way, good or bad.

I so regret the years that passed and I did not keep in touch with Marissa, Amanda, Dawn, Amber, Carrie, and now Ana.  Those years are gone.

Please make time to connect and be with your family as much as you can, even if it is just a call, or text.   “I love You’s” mean so much, especially the unexpected ones!

Blessings and love to all!

 

Sunshiny, lemony…..it’s the color Yellow!

Simple lemonade recipe

Most of my life I have loved the color yellow!

In the past, I have had a yellow front door, and when country decorating was so popular, I had a yellow and white checked, wallpapered kitchen.

Even with changing styles, I have not let go of it!

A pop of yellow!I now have settled for using yellow in my living room and dining area.  The white sofa with the yellow drapes works happily, for me, especially with the floral print on my dining chairs and matching toss pillows.

I think I have mentioned and shown you in the past that I absolutely love toss pillows.  Pillows are an inexpensive way to change and update any room.

Bright yellow pillowsI like to bring other simple yellow things into the room when I can find them.

Found this distressed yellow clock at Hobby Lobby when all clocks were 50% off!

Our home is small and our budget, even smaller! I really cannot do a bunch of decorating and updating in every room, but oh how I have learned to embrace what I have in my home, even the messes.  There is beauty in taking care of what you have, and of course, in appreciating what you have!  It took me a long time to realize that!

Yellow flowering plantDuring my growing process, I know that everything doesn’t have to be perfect in life, or in our homes. Much work to be done on the rest of this life of mine, but today I took a big step by sharing with everyone a bit of my home, feeling proud of it….it is beautiful to us!

Today was a perfect summer day, hot and humid, so I made a pitcher of lemonade, photo above. Tall glasses, filled with ice, and garnished with “yellow” lemons. So refreshing, and a treat for us when taking a break from our yard work.  I have included my favorite lemonade recipe at the end of this post. Invest in a wonderful glass pitcher!

Yellow will always be somewhere in my home, it’s brightness, joyfulness, like bringing sunshine into our lives!

Love you all so much, enjoy some lemonade today!

 

Simple lemonade recipe:

Ingredients:

Bag of lemons squeezed to 1-1/2 cups of lemon juice

1-3/4 cups of sugar

8 cups of water

Directions:

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and one cup of water.  Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to chill.

Remove seeds from the lemon juice, but leave the pulp.  In pitcher stir together chilled sugar syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 7 cups of water.

Enjoy!

Celebrating the 5th!

4th of July tableWe were invited to my sweet niece’s new home for the 4th.  Just being with my sister and her family is always a reason to celebrate for me.  They are all so dear and such an important part of my life!

On Sunday, July 5th, I decided to bring out my red, white, and blue for a small celebration with “my family”.  Of course, we had another reason to celebrate, looking forward to watching our USA women’s soccer team playing in the final game later that evening.

I set a small table on our back porch with a few special colorful, holiday items.

The utensil bags were easy to put together using a cut off small brown bag and adding a band of star paper and a glitter star.

I love the red and white dotted ice cream cups which were perfect for our dessert, Greater’s chocolate chip ice cream. Greater’s is a famous ice cream shop in our Cincinnati area, and now famous across the country.

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Greater’s is also a candy maker and uses the broken chocolate pieces for the “chips” in their ice cream selections.  Some of the “chips” are small candy bars!

If any of you ever visit the Cincinnati area, stop for some ice cream at Greater’s.  They not only offer chocolate chip, but also chocolate-chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, and the cherry cordial chip is one of the most popular.

I brought out the beverage tub I recycled last year at this time, and tried a Martha Stewart idea, filling balloons with water and freezing, using to surround the drinks.

IMG_0550[1]It worked great.  They froze hard and did not break!  I like the idea that you can choose any color of balloons for the occasion.

Our day was fun, peaceful, and most of all, “my family”…… me, my husband, and our son, were together for another 4th and 5th of July!

The day ended with our USA women’s soccer team winning!  What joy!

Love and joy to all!

Happy summer!