Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Christmas in July ♥

Hello Friends!

Is it hot where you are? Over here we've officially entered the dog days of summer! 

When the weather gets too hot to bear, it can only mean one thing...

It's time for Christmas in July! 

A yearly tradition John and I have is celebrating Christmas in July.  We take one summer day and play our favorite Christmas music, make cookies, and watch holiday movies.  It's a fun way to escape the sweltering heat and get that holiday feeling....and who doesn't love a holiday feeling?! ♥

I have a little 4' tree that takes no time to put up.  Honestly the worst part was going into the attic to get it.  It's not hard to access, it's just hot and scary up there.
(the things I do for the sake of tradition : )  

We added a few decorations, lit a candle, and viola! It's Christmas!  ♥

We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and exchanged  smalls gifts.   After that I put on A Christmas Story and on the couch we stayed until.....

It was cookie time!

I used this sugar cookie recipe (and the frosting too).  I made the dough yesterday so it could be refrigerated overnight.  It rolled out and took shapes so easily.  I will definitely be making these again. It was a good test run for real Christmas!  : ) 

We had the most fun decorating the cookies. There is something very relaxing about decorating Christmas cookies when it's NOT Christmas. There's no pressure.  Nothing needs to be perfect because they are just for us.  We laughed the whole time ♥

It doesn't take a lot of money or effort to make a fun day and memories that your kids will always remember.  Christmas in July is one of John's favorite days of summer.  I hope one day he will carry on this tradition with his kids (or at least send them to grandma's for the day : ) 

By tomorrow Christmas will be packed up and it will be summer once again!  We'll be back to the beach this weekend, but it was nice pretending for one day and a little preview of days to come. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

I'm 45 Today!

Hello Friends! Today I turned 45 years old! Wow.  

This is me this morning, sitting in my car right before going to work.  Yes, when you are an adult you have to work on your birthday. I know.  Luckily it was a good day and I had a cupcake for breakfast (a positive perk of being an adult :) so overall it wasn't that bad.  

I was thinking about how there was a time in my life when I was in my 30's that I truly dreaded my birthday.  Really.  I hated it.  I hated the thought of another passing year and being another year older.  Now, at 45, I see how silly that was.  First of all no matter what we do, the years are going to pass.  As much as we try to slow them down, it's gonna happen. So rather than dreading it, embrace it. Enjoy the journey because we never know what's around the corner.  Secondly, I realized what a gift each and every year is.  So many people have been deprived of the gift of life.  Too soon.  So celebrate your birthday.  I woke up this morning happy to be alive. Hug your loved ones.  Reach out to your friends and say hello. Make them laugh. They don't care if you have gray hairs or lines on your forehead.  It happens.  And I"m ok with it.  

My birthday festivities actually started on Sunday.  We had a lovely beach day with my in laws.  My mother in law brought her famous homemade pizza to the beach to celebrate me and my sister in law, whose birthday is a week before mine.  We had a great afternoon!  On Monday night my Dad made my all time favorite meal - turkey with all the fixings. YUM! Who makes a turkey dinner in the dead of summer? My family, that's who!  And I love them for it. 

Tonight, my actual birthday, Rob and John took me out for a delicious boiled lobster dinner.  (Clearly my birthday is revolving around food.) I LOVE lobster and for the last few years it's been a tradition to get it on my birthday.   I've been looking forward to it all year! It was so good! I was in up to my elbows!  I had the plastic bib on and everything! Well, if I'm only gonna get something once a year I'm going to enjoy it! LOL  

After dinner we went to our favorite place for ice cream and a nice long walk.  It was a beautiful summer night and we had fun! 

Enjoying my beach day and practicing self care :)

Making my birthday wishes! 

Today's breakfast.  Yes I did. 

Felt so blessed for family and friends who reached out and wished me a happy birthday! 
(thank you everyone!! : ) 

My birthday treat! 

So that's 45.  Food, family, friends.  That's all I need.  And a little ice cream with rainbow sprinkles! 

How do you feel about birthdays? Love them? Hate them?  I used to hate them but now I love them.  
It's much better this way. 

Now it's time to crawl in bed, watch a Hallmark movie, and get a good night sleep.  People my age need their beauty rest...or maybe I just love sleeping! 

Have a great day friends!  Count your blessings today!  You are one of mine! xoox 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Kindred Spirits ♥

We can't remember if it were Instagram or our blogs but somewhere along the road, several years ago,  Billie Jo and I met online.  We started leaving comments on each others posts which lead to emails, which lead to us meeting for the first time last year in Disney World.  From the first moment of us meeting face to face I knew I was meeting my life long friend.  And not only that, our families got along together as much as we did!  

This past weekend Billie Jo and her amazing family hosted Rob, John, and I for 3 whole days! 
We had the best time doing what we love most...just being together!  We laughed, told stories, watched TV in our comfy clothes, made s'mores (which were epic! :) and drank a lot of coffee!  

They treated us like part of the family.  I felt it everywhere!  

We were totally spoiled by their beautiful home!  

I mean....look at this deck!  So lovely and comfortable!  

They boys had as much fun as the girls!!  

We also ate some really great food!!!  I only thought to photograph this delicious breakfast.  I should have taken more photos of Steve's steak dinner and famous omelets.... which were totally blog worthy!  I guess I was too busy eating!  That's a good thing! 

On Monday all of us spent the afternoon at Del Grosso's Amusement Park - a yearly tradition for them that they let us horn in on!  It was SO MUCH FUN!  

I had the best lemonade I've ever had! 

Rides, famous food, games, cotton candy, and more laughs! 

I love this picture of me and Madison!!! 

Some of us did thrill rides and some of us sat on benches in the shade, ate ice cream, and talked. 

We got home that night tired, but full of memories that will last a lifetime! 

Sadly, on Tuesday we had to say goodbye.  As you can see, my new friends Mocha and Kirby were sad to see us go.... : ) 

With tears in my eyes I hugged my friends goodbye and headed home.  We can't thank you enough for such a wonderful time and we are so grateful for your hospitality! It's not easy to find lasting friends and kindred spirits these days.  I feel so blessed to have this family in my life!  

Thank you Billie Jo and the Stoltz family!!!  We miss you all so much!!!  

You can visit Billie Jo's lovely blog here and also her daughter Madison's blog here.   

Have a great day everyone!!! Remember to enjoy the little things in life.  They are the most important! 

Friday, July 12, 2019

In the good old summertime! ♥

Hello Friends!!!  How is your summer going?  We've been doing well.  Here's a little catch up of our summer so far...  

My plan for this summer was to follow no particular schedule.  Since John did not want to sign up for any camps, that left our days open.  He's been wonderful, keeping himself busy at home making movies for his YouTube channel, spending time with my parents, and getting together with his cousins and friends.  We are trying to get in as much beach time as possible on the weekends and eating our weight in ice cream. 

On my days off I've been planning little things for us to do together like picnics, which he complains about, but I think secretly enjoys.  Once night I convinced him to paint rocks with me.  Which was not an easy task, but I finally got him to agree : )   

And it was fun! 

A strawberry (or is it a watermelon slice???)  and a flip flop...my art skills need work! 

This past  Monday we brought breakfast and our art supplies to a small beach/marina by our house and had a breakfast picnic.  It was my favorite day so far this summer!  

This past week my friend Julie invited us to visit a beach nearby to where she works.  It was only about a half hour from my house but I had never been before.  We went about 5pm and stayed until 8:30pm.  John swam in the ocean with his friends Michael & Sean and then we got to see the sunset.

While he was swimming I was thinking to myself that THIS IS SUMMER and I'm so happy he's able to experience these little moments.  We had so much fun that night! 

* Julie also took us to the most darling Danish Ice Cream Shop where I had the most delicious homemade ice cream!!! 

I chose peppermint stick because (don't be mad at me) even though I'm dedicated to living summer to it's fullest, I've been watching Christmas movies all month on the Hallmark Channel because of Christmas in July, so I just had too....sorry/not sorry! 


Old fashioned summer fun! 

Love it!!!  

Back at home there's been board games and TV watching while keeping cool in the a/c.  Only venturing out occasionally to see a movie or two. Most recently the new Spider-Man movie which we all LOVED!  I haven't been cooking big meals lately (too hot : ) so we've been keeping things simple - grilled chicken, burgers, salads, pasta salads...whatever is quick and easy.  We are also a little obsessed with sweet potatoes fries right now! 10 minutes in the toaster and DONE!  

These summer days are going by too fast, but we are trying to enjoy them as easily and slowly as possible 

This weekend we have something very special planned.  We are packing up the car and heading out early Saturday morning on a road trip to visit our very special friends in Pennsylvania!  They are hosting us for the entire weekend and I couldn't be more excited (and grateful!!!). 
We've been looking forward to this trip for a long time and now it's finally here. 
My heart is full! 

I'm in charge of packing snacks for the car and Rob assures me we will be making plenty of coffee stops along the way!

Off we go!  ♥ 

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!  I'll be back soon! 

I hope you are enjoying everyday of this beautiful summer!