Things I love – Weekly Breakfast Date

Have you ever started something for fun and it quickly became a long-standing tradition?  I love it when that happens! Years ago, my daughter’s birthday fell on a school day.  To make it special, I had her invite her two friends (neighbors) to breakfast before school.  I bought donuts at the grocery and we stopped at our local coffee shop for hot chocolates.  It was fun and a special way to start the day. Next birthday I had the same request. After that visit, it dawned on me that we could be having a fun breakfast before school more often.  “Coffee Shop Day” was born.  Once a week I’d wake the kids up twenty minutes earlier and tell them it was coffee shop day.  It was always a fabulous way to start the day and a terrific break in a busy week. After a few years of this, my daughter moved on to middle school and a much earlier start time.  Coffee shop day with her had to end.  My son was still in elementary so we started branching out.  Now we rotate between three different restaurants (two of them are local!) once a week before school. Early morning breakfasts have been a fun way to connect, spend quality time together and slow down even in the midst of the school year. What fun traditions have you created by accident?  I’d love to hear all about them in the comments, so please...

Summer Entertaining

It’s finally warm enough here in the Midwest to have dinner outside.   My screened-in porch is one of my favorite places to be when the weather is nice, and it’s definitely my favorite place to enjoy meals and have fun with friends. If you struggle with entertaining, summer entertaining might be just what turns things around.  Summer entertaining is expected to be way less elaborate because if the weather is nice, aside from serving a bit of food, there isn’t much more you need to do. No need to deep clean the house, just set up a table and some chairs outside, turn on some music and enjoy a much more casual atmosphere than a standard dinner party. I also love impromptu summer entertaining – which happens often around our house.  We’ll be off doing whatever we do on the weekends – at the soccer field, a swim meet, farmer’s market, etc. and we run into friends.  It feels natural to invite them to come over afterwards for a drink or game of cards.  Right? Spending time with others is the BEST way to deepen relationships, and it can be tons of fun too.  Strong relationships are a key to a happier and healthier life. Here are a few of my favorite outdoor/summer entertaining tips:  Keep it simple. Throw together a cheese and cracker plate with whatever is in the fridge and pantry.  Add a few fresh veggies, pickles or even fruit and it can be lovely and tasty. Bring your own.  Not sure if you have enough drinks on hand?  Enjoy tastings with friends where everyone brings a...
Adventure Everywhere

Adventure Everywhere

“We live in the middle of nowhere – there is nothing to do!” If you’ve ever uttered those words, then this post is for you.  When I was younger, that was my attitude.  However, after living in a few different states, traveling to places all over the world and then coming right back to Indiana, I no longer feel that way.  In fact, I truly believe that if you look hard enough, you will find something to do or something interesting to check out (within driving distance), no matter where you are.  Doing new things and exploring can add a lot of happiness and enjoyment to your life. I’ve made it my mission, wherever I am, to find those places.  Now I want to share them with you. Several times a month, I’ll be sharing my finds within a short drive of where I live or where I’m traveling.  I suspect some will be quirky, some might be delicious, and some might not be your cup of tea.  However, hopefully these posts will inspire you to do something new or find something fun where you live.  I’d love to hear about your adventures too.  Please share your finds and experiences in the comments or on my Facebook page. Ready to begin?  Me too! We are entering the dreaded (and well-loved) soccer and swim seasons.  My kids both participate in sports year-round, but Spring and Fall are still definitely busier.  Great for them, exciting sometimes for us, but also time-consuming.  As in, I can’t even find a night in the next month to use a FREE hotel room!  How sad...
How do YOU Want to Learn?

How do YOU Want to Learn?

Hopefully I’ve convinced you to learn something new this Fall – that it can be fun and improve your life.  What’s great about our lifestyles today is that we don’t neccesarily have to go to a physical building to learn something new.  For people who weren’t fans of traditional schools this can be a lifesaver. There are so many different ways we can learn – truly something for everyone. It can also be really fun to learn with others.  Got some girlfriends who are up for fun?  Why don’t you get together and take a cooking or painting class?  Or create a book club or wine tasting club?  There are dozens of fun ideas for learning with friends. Maybe you feel the need to spend more quality times with your kids (hello working mom guilt!!!).  Find out what they are interested in and research that topic – check out books from the library or attend an event or museum together to learn more. Date night fallen by the wayside?  Learning something new as a couple would be a fantastic way to spend quality time together, have something fun to talk about and plan, and it would ensure you get out regularly. Might be that travel and learning combined would get you excited.  All you need to do is type in your topic and the world travel or tourism and see what you find.  I’ve seen trips for cooking, history and even some our local zoo offers around animal or ecotourism education.  Fun stuff! Of course there is also the good old traditional school.  Most colleges and universities offer adult...
Spring Cleanse Your Wardrobe

Spring Cleanse Your Wardrobe

This is an extra in the Spring Cleansing line up, but the timing is perfect so I had to share it with you!   Like many busy women, I used to have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.  I’d wear the same old outfits every week.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have great clothes, it’s just that I didn’t have time to figure out new ways to combine them, or how to add fun accessories to make the outfits look fresh. A few years ago I discovered Alison Lumbatis and her very fun Style Challenges.  I’ve been a huge fan ever since.  They are so.much.fun. When you join (and the challenges are super affordable), you get a shopping list for the upcoming challenge along with multiple suggestions on where to purchase each item.   Now before you get all worried about spending a fortune, I’ve found that most of the items I already had in my closet (or at least something similar I could substitute).  For example, for the last challenge I bought one pair of white jeans, a striped t-shirt and a pair of sandals.  That’s it.  I definitely spent less and bought less than I would have if I’d gone out to buy some new spring clothes on my own. When the challenge starts, each evening you’ll receive an email with the outfit for the next day.  Simply go to your closet, pull together the pieces and voila, you are ready to get dressed the next morning guaranteed to look cute and stylish.  There are tips for small changes if you need a casual or...
Happiness Challenge

Happiness Challenge

Ready to end this month of improving our satisfaction with life with a bang?  Hopefully by now you’ve created a happiness jar and you are using it daily.  If not, go do it right now, or at LEAST grab your list from earlier this month and get ready to use it. Next week I’ll be hosting a 5 day Happiness Challenge starting Monday March 27th.  I’m so excited for this as it will be a fantastic way for you to practice adding happiness to your days.  I want it to become a habit.  A happy habit 🙂 This is how it will work.  Below is a list of daily ideas.  You can do these OR you can pull from your happiness jar or draw from your list – doesn’t matter to me so much WHAT you do as that you are doing something to increase your satisfaction with life every day. Each day you participate, post on Instagram, Facebook or even below in the comments.  I’d love to see a picture or a description of what you did.  Make sure and tag me so I see it (links to my pages below), and add #happyhabit.  Each time I see a post, picture or comment, you’ll get an entry – and at the end of the week, I’ll randomly draw a name – winner will receive a bottle of Young Living Lemon oil so they can enjoy all the projects and ways we learned to use it this month.  Participate each day, you’ll get five entries!  And you’ll have had a week of fun too, so really EVERYONE wins! Daily ideas: Enjoy...

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