Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vacation Packing Check List

As I've mentioned before, I love a good checklist. If I don't have one I'm liable to get distracted and forget something. It's bad when you pack for vacation and forget something important like underwear or PJs. Not that I've ever done something like that (ahem).

It's almost vacation time for me (yay!!, so I'm making my packing list.   I thought I would share in case some of you are as organizationally challenged as I am.
  • Swimsuit
  • beach towel
  • camera and memory card
  • cell phone and charger
  • sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Facial cleanser
  • toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
  • makeup
  • SPF Lip balm
  • Razor
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • PJs
  • Deodorant
  • Body Wash
  • Unmentionables ;)
  • Brush
  • Blowdryer
  • Kindle (I never leave home without it.  It's all charged and ready to go)
  • Hair products
  • Pillow
  • First Aid Kit
  • Money
  • Assorted family members

Am I forgetting something?

Monday, June 27, 2011


Two words about the weekend: the heat! My word, the heat! I don't like cold weather, but I have to admit I'm not a fan of living on the surface of the sun either.

I've given up on trying to fix my hair.  I'm not going to use any appliance that puts out heat when I break out in a sweat as soon as I step out of the shower.  I just want it out of my eyes and off my neck.  Summer has defeated me and it's not even July.

So other than the pool and church, we went absolutely nowhere and felt extremely grateful for the miracles called central A/C and ceiling fans.

I actually turned on the oven to make muffins. I think they were worth it.  A little cinnamon and sugar makes everything better.

Most of my time Saturday was spent at the pool and in the water, but I did manage to drink a smoothie and read some of The Enchanted April on my Kindle.  When we got out of the pool we had to walk across the concrete to our chairs as fast as possible (while saying ow! ow! ow!) to avoid burning the bottoms of our feet. Of course it also helps to keep the lounge chairs that aren't in the shade covered with your beach towel so you aren't branded with stripes as soon as you sit down.

By the time we got home from church Sunday it was way too hot to do anything outside so the girls and I worked on making a hobo bag for Marcia. We found a kit with all the fabric and instructions on sale for half price at Hobby Lobby. It turned out really cute! The polka dot fabric is the lining. We're going to make one for Cindy next with a zebra print lining.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friendship Bracelets

The girls and I worked on another 100 Days of Summer project today. We've had a great time making friendship bracelets.

This version is made with yarn instead of DMC floss so they're actually a little easier to make, plus if you're like me you have lots of yarn scraps lying around. I feel like I'm at summer camp. :) Now we're off to the pool.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Daily Cleaning Checklist

I LOVE a good checklist! There are some areas in my life where it's more fun to go with the flow, but there's nothing like a checklist to help me stay motivated in cleaning my house and being more organized.

I like to have cleaning lists printed out so that I can check things off (so satisfying) and so that the kids can help. For some reason it works much better to give them a list than it does to tell them what I want them to do.

Here's what I try to get done every morning:

  • Make beds (the kids make their own)
  • Empty dishwasher and put away dishes (I usually run the dishwasher at bedtime)
  • Clear clutter from living room, entryway and kitchen (for some reason things tend to pile up in the entryway and on the bar in the kitchen)
  • Take out trash (this is usually one of the kids' job and sometimes happens at night)
  • Wipe kitchen countertops and stove (just a quick wipe, not a full clean)
  • Sweep kitchen
  • Clean any spots on the kitchen floor
  • Put out fresh kitchen dish towels
  • Clean glass storm door (it drives me crazy when there are fingerprints and doggy nose prints all over it)
  • Clean splatters off of bathroom mirrors
  • Wipe bathroom sink, counters and toilet (if I have them on hand, I use Clorox wipes for this - they are so handy)
  • Make sure clothes, jewelry, brushes, makeup, etc. are put away
This looks like a lot, but I usually get it done in less than 30 minutes.

Do you use checklists?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Perfect for Summertime: Iced Coffee

Is it wrong to drink iced coffee out of a Coca-Cola glass?

I made PW's Perfect Iced Coffee and it is delicious!  I love iced coffee year round, but it's especially good when it's so hot the farmers are feeding the chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs. (sorry about that - I have a lame sense of humor, or so my kids tell me)  It really is hot though, even in the morning.  I like to open my windows every morning to let in a little fresh air, but by 7:30 it's already hotter outside than it is in the house.

I'm not a fan of drinking something hot when I'm already having to keep the ceiling fans on high, so iced coffee it is.  I've made it before with hot coffee that I later chilled, but this is better.  Plus the convenience of having it already cold in the fridge can't be beat.  While I'm sure it's best with half &half and sugar, I used 1% milk and Splenda in mine.  Still pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Do you like iced coffee?

Friday, June 10, 2011

100 Days of Summer

I've you've been needing ideas for entertaining your family this summer I found a great resource! 100 Days of Summer

One of the ideas is to create a colorful pair of canvas tennis shoes for less than $10. I HAD to try it! I dyed mine yellow and my girls want purple and orange. This is a great project for teenagers to do themselves.

I sewed elastic inside so that they don't need laces.

I think they turned out so cute! I'm going to wear them all summer.

Click for Shoe makeover directions

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You Never Know Until You Ask

I've been wanting a bread machine for ages. I love homemade bread as much as I love chocolate (and that's a lot), but I often don't have time to make it anymore. Plus in the summer I hate to turn on the oven.When it's approaching the triple digits outside, who wants an additional heat source in the house?

So I decided that I had a few bucks to spend on a used one. Instead of actually getting in the car and going to a garage sale or thrift shop like a normal person, I just posted on Facebook that I was interested in buying a bread machine. I kid you not, within 5 minutes I had two friends offering to give me one! For FREE!  That's my kind of deal. I picked up the first one offered later that day and I've already used up an entire bag of bread flour.

Yesterday I decided to venture into new bread machine territory and make homemade bagels. They have to be shaped, boiled and baked by hand, but the bread machine makes them so easy! They take a lot of time for the rising, etc., but not a lot of effort. Now that my family knows I can make bagels at home, I'm sure the bread machine will be working overtime.

If you're interested you can find the recipe here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Projects

One thing I love about summer is that I actually have a little time to work on projects that I dream about all winter.

I'll tell you more about this one when I finish it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Favorite Way to Spend a Summer Day!

I know we'll get tired of it before the summer is over, but hanging out at the pool with my family and a library book is just so relaxing and enjoyable!

Now If I could just learn to apply my sunscreen correctly so that I don't have random sunburned spots...

Oh and by the way, I'm reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel.  I'm about halfway through and really enjoying it so far.  I'm a sucker for novels set in England. :)

Hope you're all having a wonderful, sunburn free weekend!