A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Category: Fun w/ Mimi & Pappy (Page 1 of 3)

Blackberry Festival Family Date Night

Are you trying to squeeze the last bit of family fun into the remaining days of summer?  Why not plan a family date night?  Our family headed out to Wild Blackberry Farms for the inaugural Blackberry Festival.   While it can be difficult (but oh so worth it!) to find a night that works in everyone’s schedule, this was so worth the planning of our Blackberry Festival family date night!

I’ve had many people ask me how we knew about this particular festival.  I agree that it is hard to know about every fun event around you, but it led me to look into festival informational sites.  Each state has many local resources, but I also found a couple of sites that you can search all 50 states….

Blackberry Festival Family Date Night Activities ~

U-Pick Blackberries ~

This particular festival was a smaller fare, but not short on fun family activities.  We started out with the U-pick blackberries.  I wasn’t sure how much the younger ones would enjoy this part, but they loved it!  We had a quick lesson on which berries were ready to pick and everyone headed out with their buckets.  They had so much fun searching the rows for the ripest berries!  Also important here is that it kept them entertained for quite a long time!

What was even better was they could pick down low on their own while also enjoying a little help up from the family members.

Face Painting ~

This is the part of the festival that the littles were looking forward to the most.  In fact, it was so much fun that kids AND adults got in on the fun.  Aunt Karleigh and Pappy had their faces painted to match the kids, which made them so happy!

Food Trucks, Family Games, Petting Zoo, Photo Opps ~

Whether you are on a diet or not, you HAVE to eat the festival food!  Am I right?   So many yummy choices from lemon shakeups to bbq sandwiches of all kinds!  Of course, if you look closely at this picture you will see that some blackberries were definitely enjoyed along the way as well!

Other Family Date Night Ideas ~

While I definitely recommend festivals for a fun family date night, don’t let that keep you from planning other fun activities.  Plan a family date night once a month.  This a routine that will defnitely help to forge strong family bonds.  **On these special nights, be sure to put those phones out of place and concentrate on the family unit!

Family Date Night Ideas ~
  • Park Hopping – take a bit of time to map out local parks and go to several of them in one day.  It’s so much fun to see what equipment each park has to offer and discover which is each child’s favorite.
  • Splash Party – Put those bathing suits on…you too parents…and have some good old water fun.  Have plenty of squirt guns, water balloons, maybe a slip and slide and a small kids pool (for both swimming and refilling those water guns) on hand.
  • Bowling – Have you done this in a while?  For some reason we had ventured away from bowling and recently got back to it….the kids LOVE to bowl!
  • Scavenger Hunt – You can plan a scavenger hunt in your own house or yard or better yet, break off into teams and run around the neighborhood looking for items.
  • Glow in the Dark Fun – Purchase some glow sticks and glow jewelry (they almost always have them at the Dollar Store) and turn out all the lights for some fun family glow in the dark fun!  Add in some dancing or hide and seek!
  • Backyard Movies – There is a large assortment of video projectors available.  I do suggest going ahead and purchasing one with a screen as well.  I tried the cheaper route at first and tried to use a white sheet…the image wasn’t sharp enough with that.  Check out this video projector with screen for outdoor family fun!

  • Family Cooking – Plan, Cook and Eat the meal together.  Be sure to let the little ones help with the cooking…they will love it.  For extra fun, add some fun candles and pick some flowers from the yard for a beautifully set table.
  • Dance Party – You guys, this is a win-win here!  Not only will there be lots of giggles, but it’s a good workout too!
  • Family Puzzle – My all-time favorite puzzles are the ones that have different size pieces so everyone can take part in the puzzle.  Check out this fun family puzzle with small, medium, and large sized pieces! 

  •  Family Room Sleepover – Gather ALL of the blankets and pillows and make a big living room fort…but you also ALL have to sleep in it!  Have fun!

These are just a few fun ideas to create family fun.  The most important part of all of it is that everyone engages, you add in some good munchies and put down those phones.  Have some laugh until your belly aches fun with those kids!

Back To Those Yummy Blackberries ~

The fun continues as we decide what yummy recipes we are going to make with our buckets of blackberries.  Of course, we head straight to Pinterest!  Wow!  Seriously, do a quick search on blackberry recipes!  How do you decide on what you want to make?  I think I may have to figure out how to succesfully plant our own blackberry patch because I want to make SO MANY of these recipes!

This time around we are going with the Old Fashioned Blackberry Cobbler.  I prefer the cobblers where you cook the berries like this recipe from Saving Room for Dessert…Old Fasioned Blackberry Cobbler by Saving Room for Dessert.  I will be sure to let you know how it turns out!

Cheeres to each of you enjoying the rest of your summer and some good family fun!

From Our Family to Yours ~

~Mimi

 

 

The Buzz on Cicadas

I walked outside this morning and heard birds singing.  So cliche, right?   If you had the surge of Cicadas 2021 in your yard, you understand.  It’s truly the first time I have heard several birds sing at once this month.  While I am happy to have the birds and bees back in our yard, I honestly have learned a lot about cicads this time around.  Follow along for the buzz on cicadas ….and maybe some really goofy videos!

The first thing you hear anyone say about the cicadas is, “Gross!”  They are such an annoyance as well as being so very ugly…and THOSE CREEPY EYES!

Put those thoughts aside and what you actually have is a pretty cool phenomena!  Think about it!  These little critters are underground for 17 years!  Contrary to popular belief, they are not hibernating.  Cicadas keep busy feeding off the sap of trees, digging tunnels and aerating the soil while we cannot see them.  Isn’t it intersting that just as we are emerging from our homes after COVID, they too are emerging from their homes?

Nutrition for Nature ~

Aside from the noise, one of the biggest things I have noticed is my bird feeders have been empty.  Not empty of birdseed, but empty of birds.  It took me a couple of days to realize that my seed isn’t quite the delicacy that the cicadas are.  I’m assuming that after they fill up on that special appetizer they just don’t want dinner at the feeder anymore.  Now we know why parents always tell us not to ruin our appetite on chips and snacks before dinner! 😏

Basically almost every wildlife creature you can think of feasts on cicadas.  Heck, even while they are underground, “rodents” like moles eat them as well.  Afterall, while moles may be considered a rodent to many, they are actually insectivores (thus eating insects!)  As you can see, cicadas are a postive benefit to society right there just as food alone!

Slug feeding on dead cicada

Nutrition for Humans ~

Seriously?  People eat those nasty things?  The astounding answer is yes!  In this Keto diet loving world, cicadas appeared just at the right time.  They are high in protein and low in fats and carbs.  Did you create any fun cicada recipes this year?  While I think these little guys are pretty awesome, I will admit that my family had NO interest in chomping on them!

Cicada Life Cycle ~

  • Rice shaped eggs are deposited in small grooves of tree limbs
  • Young cicadas feed on tree fluids of those grooves they are in
  • Cicadas crawl from groove and fall to ground
  • 17 year cicadas are active underground for the whole amount of time
  • Cicadas emerge by digging up through ground and creating small holes

  • The outer shell of the cicada is shed

  • Wings of the cicada are inflated with fluid

  • They live their very short lifespan above ground
  • Wash, Rinse, Repeat as the saying goes!

Can you even imagine working for 17 years with no credit?  No awards, no pay raise, no pat on the back with a “good job!”  When I think of it that way, I start realizing that cicadas are pretty awesome creatures!  Keep in mind that this is the 2021 Brood X cicadas I am talking about.  There are other cicada broods, some come out every summer and some every 13 years.

90 Decibels ~

The buzz on cicada sound is that they reach up to 90 decibels.  If you did not get to experience it, let me tell you, with a yard full of cicadas, it is LOUD!

The following video was taken a week before they got to their loudest.  You will notice you can hear one or two birds in the background.  Our backyard is usually filled with the melody of many birds.  TURN YOUR VOLUME UP and listen to the video ➡➡Cicada music at 90 decibels.

So what makes that sound?  These guys are pretty big as far as insects go, but how are they SO LOUD?  I was surprised to hear that only the males make the sound.  Obviously, this is a mating call.  They flex organs in their abdomens, just under their wings.  Pretty cool!

Cicada Attack ~

What is not cool, is if you make a loud sound similar to their mating call, they will FLOCK to you!  Seriously!  I figured that out by accident.  I am a gardener and yard person by nature so I am outdoors a lot.  While cutting the grass I would have to swat away a crazy flying cicada every once in awhile.  However, when I started the leaf blower to clean up the grass clippings, I was SWARMED!  Kid you not!

I have to assume now that it was all females coming at me since I have learned that only males make the noise.  Mind you, they do not sting, but when there are bunches of them flying at you at once, you get a little stinging feeling as they all hit you at the same time.  I truly felt like I was in a new version of the Alfred Hitchhock movie, The Birds.  If only someone had been home to video me.

I immediately turned the blower on the little buggers to get them away from me.  Have you seen how long the attachments on most leaf blowers are?  They are pretty darn long, thus making it hard to get at the cicadas that are already all over me.  I turned the blower off thinking I was insane (and secretly hoping none of my neighbors were watching me!)  They all flew away.

Next, I did what everyone laughs about when watching scary movies.  You know what I ‘m talking about.  The lady walks by herself down the long dark hallway where she knows someone is hiding out to kill her.  Everyone watching the movie is saying, “You idiot, don’t go down the hallway…run!”  Well, I turned that lovely blower back on…yes I did!  Guess what happened?

The Buzz on Cicada Aftermath ~

Ok, I will tell you what happened.  Yes, they returned.  I was the idiot we all scream at and I paid the price.  However, I promptly turned it back off and the grass clippings remained on my driveway until a storm hit.

June 2021 is coming to a close and the cicadas have almost disappeared from our area.  I have to admit I actually kind of miss the little creepy guys.  Afterall, it is truly a a pretty miraculous lifecycle that is fun to learn about and teach to your children and grandchildren.   We can use their story to teach children about “coming out of their shell.”  Maybe even, “make noise when you need to be noticed.”

Some of the houses around me that got hit pretty hard may not miss them quite as much as me though.  Some of my neighbors were literally using snow shovels to clean off their driveways.   And the smell of rotting cicada carcasses leaves something to be desired.

 

So yes, they are creepy and loud, but they are really pretty amazing, regardless of the downside.  Besides, haven’t we always learned to look at the glass half full?  Find the beauty in all of God’s amazing creations!

The Promised Goofy Video ~

I’m letting you all in on the goofy side of Mimi….well those of you who know me know I’m usally always pretty goofy.  I decided we needed a little update to The Birds movie with my version of The Cicadas 2021…click the link and enjoy! Cicadas attacking

And if you want to have a little memento from this special time, Check out these cool cicada earrings!💚

Hugs~

Mimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Kids STILL Love Action Figures

I marvel at the different types of toys available for kids.  Let’s face it, there are some pretty amazing toys out there.  However, kids are the same today as they have always been…and kids STILL love action figures.  They are a pretty basic toy compared to what we normally see at the top of their wish lists, but if you put a set of action figures in front of a kid, I’m guessing 9 times out of 10 you will see their imagination flourish.

Kids also love sports.  What do you get when you merge action figures and sports?  You get sports action figures of course!  Kaskey Kids sent me a set of their Soccer Guys to give an honest review.  You already know I am all about finding awesome toys, books and crafts for my grandkids and this one did NOT disappoint!

The set includes two full teams, a referee, goals, ball, playing “field” and great storage container (with a handle for easy carrying…some times it’s the small things that make all the difference).   Our Max is a very busy guy who loves action.  This set has been awesome while we are at big sister’s soccer games.

KASKEY KIDS SOCCER SET ~

They have a variety of different sports available:

  • Soccer Guys and Girls Sets
  • Basketball Guys Set
  • Football Guys Set
  • Hockey Guys Set
  • Baseball Guys Set

Kids Using Imagination ~

Playing with action figures is a great way for kids to use their imagination.  Kids have to give a voice to each of the characters and decide how the scene is going to play out.  Without realizing it, they are learning about winning and losing as they are responsible for both sides in these sport sets.

I know I may ruffle a few feathers, but I am not a big fan of the idea that kids should always win.  While I want nothing more than for all children to be happy, I will always believe it is very important for kids to learn how to handle every situation they are going to face throughout life.  So how cool that they can accomplish this during play?!?!

Adding Another Player ~

Whether it’s a friend, sibling or parent, adding in other players is also a lot of fun.  As a parent, it is a great idea to let the child lead how the play is going to take place as then this helps the child learn some leadership skills.  However, when another child is playing it will most likely not go the same way.  Of course, this is yet another great learning opportunity for all kids involved here as well.

Someone can be the referee while others are the players.  They can choose their team names or for that matter, choose the player’s name.  As kids get a little older, you can even add in a scoreboard.  Why not add in some geography lessons and let the kids decide what country their team is from.  The ideas are endless when you use your imagination!

Toys On The Go ~

How many different events do you go to throughout the year that you need “on the go” toys to entertain younger siblings.  Soccer has just started up for my grandchildren, so there is no doubt these sets will go a long way with the family activities.  Do you do a lot of tailgating?  Maybe planning a trip to the beach?  Does an older child have some extra-curricular classes they go to weekly that you want to watch but are always entertaining the younger ones so you miss out?

Maybe you want to plan just certain times that they get this set out.  I wrote about quiet boxes a while back.  Put special toys and activities in a box that they only get to play with during quiet time.  If certain toys are only available at special times, that makes them desired even more.  Check out my earlier post on how awesome QUIET BOXES FOR KIDS are!  I keep quiet activity boxes for Addi and Max in our office and replenish items in there every once in awhile.

Variety of Sets Available ~

As mentioned earlier, they have several sports available.  There are also smaller tower packs that are a great package topper, party favor or even nice for a cake topper set.  The newest set is a Football Single Pack in Pink.  Kaskey Kids is donating 10% of the proceeds from this pink pack to support the Boys & Grils Clubs of America.  Getting great toys while also helping out important causes is a definite Win-Win!

Check out their website, not only for the fun sport sets that they have, but they also have a Kid’s Corner tab with “Good Reads” and “Party Ideas.”  I can tell you that Mimi has absolutely fallen in love with this company.  For those of you who have kids that I love to buy for….don’t be surprised when your sweet babe receives one of these cool sets! 😉

Check out Kaskey Kids Website HERE!!!!!

With Love~

Mimi

 

Summer Bookworm Programs for Kids

Reading should NOT be a “chore” for kids!  Instead, books should open up a world of adventure.  When reading, your child may sail the ocean and dig treasures with those pesky pirates.  Perhaps they will dress in fancy dresses and dine on french pastries with Fancy Nancy.  Maybe they prefer to dress in scuba gear and do some deep sea diving to discover all of the unusual fish and corals.  How else can children do so many things in one day, one week, one summer?  It’s looking like we need to look into summer bookworm programs for kids!

Summer reading programs not only entice children to keep reading, but they offer different awards for their achievements.  While we may not want to admit it, everyone has discovered that bribery is a great motivator for kids.  Ok, maybe it’s not bribery, but it is a great way of rewarding them for setting goals and reaching them.  I’ve compiled a list of programs…and what’s even better is that they are free!

 Wait a minute….did you say FREE????

Types of Summer Bookworm Programs for Kids ~

Pizza Hut’s Book-It Program ~

It’s super easy to sign up for this fun program.  Set reading goals and once reached head on over to Pizza Hut for some FREE pizza!  Click here for easy access to register for the Pizza Hut Summer Reading Program…..  You will have 3 options to register:

  1. Homeschool parent for kids ages 4 to 12
  2. Enroll classs from PreK to 6th grade for public, private or charter school
  3. Parent of student(s) grades PreK to 6th

Once you are registered, there is a plethora of free resources such as activities, printables and reading trackers.  Seriously, this program is amazing and this Mimi thinks you would be crazy to not take advantage of all the stuff they have to offer.  We are all signed up in our family and just waiting for June 1 to roll around so we can get started!

Public Library Program ~

There are so many wonderful things about this program that has been around for…ever!  Let’s put it this way, I’m a Mimi and I enrolled my kids in this program every year when they were young.  You do the math!  😳

The INDYPL program is open to any resdient of Marion County and once again it is FREE!  (If you live outside of Indiana, be sure to look up fun programs at your local library!)  It runs from June 7, 2021 to July 31, 2021 and they provide 3 easy ways to register and track reading time of kids AND adults.  Yes, I said adults!  They offer special offerings for us big kids too!  How awesome is that?  Here are the options for registering:

  1. Create an account on Beanstack through the Apple App or Google Play Store
  2. Use the Beanstack website to register.  The link to Beanstack is right here….what are you waiting for?
  3. Sign up at your local IndyPL branch

Once you are registered for this summer bookworm program for kids (& adults), start reading and tracking the time of books read.  Older kids and adults who read to younger kids get credit for those minutes to.  The library even provides a colorful tracker that you can pick up at the library or download for free and print yourself.  They are offering a fun Discovery Bag…go check them out to learn more!

Barnes & Noble Program ~

Kids in grades 1 through 6 enroll in this program to earn free books!  A total of eight books need to be read to complete this awesome program.  The books can be borrowed or purchased.  Once they have finished reading each book, they are asked to write about their favorite part in the Reading Journal that Barnes & Noble provides.  Bring the completed journal into Barnes & Noble between July 1 and August 31, 2021 to choose a free book from the list provided.  Here is a convenient link to Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program!

Scholastic Summer Reading Program ~

Get started with this super exciting program by registering with Home Base.  Here is an easy link to the Home Base page for Scholastic!  I will say that it took me a few minutes to move around the Scholastic website to completely understand their program…but it is going to be so worth it.  I highly suggest you watch the short informative videos.  Once your child has registered with a fun avatar name he/she will be ready to go.

This program has really been updated to coincide with how our children learn today.  They can add to their own personal avatar by reading more books…I truly believe the kids will LOVE this program.  An added incentive is all of the fun games and reading they can do on site and watch their characters come to life.  I seriously think this is going to be an excellent reading source this summer!

Other Summer Programs ~

While researching all of these fun options, I have come across several others that I am still waiting to see if they are going to do a summer program this year.  They may or may not be available in your area, but if you are familiar with them, check them out.  I was surprised to see a bank offers a program for the kids.  This particular bank doesn’t exist in my area, but it helped me to realize I should check out others around me to see if they too have something available.  A list is provided for you so that you can look into them as well:

  • Books-A-Million
  • Tails & Tales
  • TD Bank
  • Lifeway
  • Half Price Books
  • Chuck E Cheese
  • H-E-Buddy
  • Amazon

I am sure there are many more than what I have shared, so now that you know there are so many options available, I hope you will check out some of the programs I have written about or look into what is available in your community.

What I have also discovered from my research is that summer bookworm programs for kids have gone above and beyond from when my kids were young.  Not only are they offering incentives for reading, but they now also offer so many other amazing resources.  They have done a lot of the legwork to make reading fun for your kids….so take advantage of all the FREE resources they are offering!

Happy reading!

Mimi

 

 

 

Freshen Up Your Home!

Do you have a specific decor style?  I don’t!  That’s part of my problem….I love so many different styles!  I change my mind often because there are SO many beautiful things out there to decorate with.  Do you have the same problem?  Or are you content with your style but looking for some new piece(s) to freshen up your home?

I am LOVING this new website I recently discovered…Antique Farm House.  Not only do I love their products, but their website is so user friendly.  You can shop by room, sale event, department or style.  How’s that for helping you narrow things down quickly!  If you are thinking, “This post isn’t for me…I’m not an antique farm house girl,” think again!

Their style and shipping is similar to Decor Steals, which I posted about last year.  I have added several of their awesome pieces to my home and am in love with their products.  Be sure to look back at my earlier blog on home decor by clicking right here!!!  You need to pay attention to their shipping notes, which they clearly post…and remember…good things come to those who wait.  It is not an overnight shipping but it does come in a timely manner!

Mixing Decor Styles ~

I am not an interior designer, but I do love decorating!  Because of this, I read many articles (I also love reading 😉).  While I am sure some will disagree, there are many articles out there that state that some of the most beautiful and inviting homes actually mix different home decor styles.  There you have it….don’t be afraid to try new things!

If you are mixing design styles though, be sure to create unity between the different styles with things such as color or linking the two with various pieces of each.  You can also use a beautiful piece of wall art to help combine your interests.  Make your home cohesive and beautiful while still showing off your own individual personality.

When my daughters and I are shopping, we many times will state, “Oh, this piece looks like so and so,” (filling in the so and so with whoever comes to mind).  Have you ever found yourself doing this?  Does it make you wonder what people say when they slide your name into that slot?  Do you fall into any of the decorating styles listed below?

Rustic Decor ~

This has to currently be one of my favorite decorating styles.  Judging from what is out in stores, I believe there are many others who feel the same way.  Check out some of these fun ideas for new additions to your cozy home!

Create interest and depth in your decor by staggering heights.  These beautiful round display pedestals by Antique Farm House are made of metal & composite wood! They are perfect for creating different heights!  The versatility is amazing as well.  They can be used to display your delicious foods or for fun decor as shown in the picture.

Round Display Pedestal, 12 Inch Diameter

This wall canvas full of a variety of pots and vases in soft, natural colors coordinates effortlessly with many styles!

Pots and Plants Botanical Art

The next one is one of my current favorites….the ideas for this are endless.  What would you use this repurposed brick mold display rack for? What room could it add some extra charm to?

Repurposed Brick Mold Display Rack

***I would love to hear back from all of you on fun ideas you have to use for this beautiful piece?  Flowers, Jars, Office Supplies, Candles???  Share them in the comments below…please!

Shabby Chic Decor ~

Have you ever purchased a new lamp and been just amazed at how much of a difference it makes in a room?  I have searched high and low at times for that perfect lamp to freshen up my home.

Could any chandelier be more rustic and elegant at the same time???

Wood Beaded Chandelier

Maybe you are looking for more of a statement piece like this turquoise beaded chandelier! WOW!

Turquoise Beaded Chandelier

Nestle this adorable bunny fluffle lamp with that stylish drum shade into any arrangement!

Adorable Bunny Fluffle Lamp

This set of 2 square footed pedestal risers are a must for your decorating needs!

Square Footed Pedestal Risers, Set of 2

Vintage Decor ~

Display this weathered Found Wood Wall Decor with 3 Forged Hooks for many different uses: purses, kitchen towels, bath towels, coats, aprons…the ideas are endless!

Found Wood Wall Decor With 3 Forged Hooks

Beautiful and timeless Reclaimed Wood Candle Holders – Be sure to order different sizes for that perfect balance!

Reclaimed Wood Candle Holder

Farmhouse Decor ~

These Folk Art Crows Water Fountain just make me SMILE!

Folk Art Crows Water FountainThese are crows you don’t mind having in your yard!  They come with pump and spash screen AND the beaks open and close with the flow of the water!  How perfect is that!

This generously sized Acanthus Leaf Wall Decor Set can be used to bookend a display or side by side to display their rustic beauty!

Acanthus Leaf Wall Decor, Set of 2STUNNING!

Beautiful pillows like these Striped Lumbar Pillows are the perfect touch to cozy up any room!

Striped Lumbar Pillow With Tassels And what’s even better is that they have fun striped blankets to coordinate!

These gorgeous Wide Stripe Room Darkening Curtain Panels bring beauty and class to any room!

Wide Stripe Room Darkening Curtain Panel, Set of 2

This Rustic Round Dining Table is AMAZING!!!

Rustic Round Pedestal Dining Table

This Loloi II Grand Canyon Area Rug is sure to be the perfect focal point…and it comes in 3 sizes!

Loloi II Grand Canyon Collection Camel/Beige Area Rug

You KNEW I couldn’t pass up sharing this beauty….🥰

Dog In Sunglasses Tee Shirt

Let your personality SHINE with this gorgeous Upscale Animal Pring Rug!

Upscale Animal Print Rug

This set of 8 Decorative Wire Handled Seashell Spoons are the absolute perfect touch to coffee or tea with friends!

Decorative Wire Handled Seashell Spoons, Set of 8

French County ~

Create a peaceful display with this stylish Dried Lavender Bundle.

Dried Lavender Bundle

You can never have enough decorating easels..this 23″ Elegant Metal Plate Display is perfect for plates, pictures, books and much more!

Elegant Metal Plate Display, 23 Inch

This unique Keepsake Key Wall Art made of canvas and wood can add the finishing touch!

Keepsake Key Wall Art

This Dark Leaping Rabbit on Stand is sure to add springtime charm to any decorating grouping!

Dark Leaping Rabbit on Stand

Industrial Decor ~

OK…this is just AWESOME…am I right??? A whimisical sign to freshen up any room!

Ask Your Dad Sign

This Metal Bucket Divided Caddy can be used for silverware when entertaining, flowers to add a special touch to any area, or office supplies on your desk!

Metal Bucket Divided Caddy

This Dark Tiered Tray can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, lving room….

Dark Tiered Tray

LOVING this Wheeled Rustic Laundry Basket…think out of the box…it can be used for SO MUCH MORE than laundry…blankets, toys displayed nicely in family room, etc.

Wheeled Rustic Laundry Basket

Bedding ~

We CAN’T forget bedding!! From Classic Ticking Stripe…

Classic Ticking Stripe Bedding Set

To French Country Toile….

3 Piece Reversible French Country Toile Quilt Set

To Bohemian Strip Quilting…and everything in between!

3 Piece Bohemian Stripe Quilt Set

Whether you are preparing to redecorate an entire room,  just add a couple of fun new pieces, or buy a unique gift, you need to check out Antique Farm House to help freshen up your home!

Happy Shopping!

P.S. ~ *Don’t forget to share your fun ideas for the repurposed brick mold display rack!  Can’t wait to see everyone’s thoughts!

Mimi

Social Media Fasting

I’m sitting here literally laughing at myself as I just typed the title of this post.  I have been diligently working and learning all about blogging….and I LOVE it!  As you all know, blogging is all about writing about what you love and sharing it with others.  In order to share, you have to make yourself known…and this of course mostly happens through social media.  So WHY am I writing an article about Social Media Fasting???

As much as I truly love technology and everything social media, I also love everything family!  I have had many debates with others over the years about the positives vs. the negatives of social media.  Both sides have very valid points, but for me it’s a good thing.  I have reconnected with so many people I had lost touch with…followed family fun of others…enjoyed seeing pictures…celebrated milestones with my children’s friends that have grown up and started work and now have families of their own.  This list goes on and on.

WHY???

However, I do think taking a break from social media…short, intermittent breaks….can bring many positives into your world.  Try this for 24 hours.  Then try it once a week or once a month.  I’m betting you will be very surprised.  I just finished a 24-hour fast from social media and game apps.  I surrounded myself with blank paper and books.  Every time I went to pick up my phone to check the latest updates, I set it down and picked up a book or paper instead.  Those books were about prayer and positive writings.  I then prayed after I read each time.

I have been following a local family that has gone through a great tragedy with their children.  I tried this fasting upon the request from a large following that asked everyone to give up something and pray in return for the family.  I am a strong believer in the power of prayer, but I have gained more from this than what I expected.  You, too, can follow this family on Facebook ~ Light for Levi and Lainey.

What I Gained From Social Media Fasting ~

  • More time in prayer, not only for this very precious family, but for my own!
  • Relaxation – my brain relaxed!
  • Sleep – Ahhhh, this was amazing and I’m assuming it was because of the above bullet point!
  • Time to read – something I love but tend to put off to play “just one more game!”
  • More time to communicate with my family….talking and LISTENING!  I have been working on listening lately.  Really listening.  My mind is so often moving on to the next thing that I have realized I do listen, but I’m not always fully “hearing”…or my head is buried in my phone too much to listen intently.

What I Expect to Gain Long Term ~

I am setting a date on my calendar to do a 24-hour fast each month.  Eventually it may be each week, but I want to take it slow so I can make it stick.  I have no intention of giving up social media…I love it too much!  Just taking time once a month to make myself enjoy the other things in life I have put on the back burner.  Once you start letting those other important elements back into your life, you may find how much you miss them.

What to Do While Fasting ~

  • Read!  Read passages in the Bible, self help books or that novel you have been wanting to dig in to!  Did you know that you can do a quick search on Amazon of New York Times current best sellers….it doesn’t get any easier than that!!!  I’ve put a quick link in for you here to check it out:    New York Times Best Sellers
  • Write!  Jot down what is in your head, write poetry, write a letter (remember snail mail???), write a story…just write!  I love to have loads of different pens and paper available for this.  I have recently become an affiliate of a couple of really cool stationery companies..I hope you will check them out!
  • Yoga!  Whether you have done yoga before or not, it is something everyone should look into.  So take that social media break and spend some time stretching and destressing!  I wrote about this in an earlier blog post.  You can do yoga as a family too…Yoga with Meddy Teddy!
  • Get Outdoors!  There is nothing like fresh air…whether it’s hot or cold!  Take a walk, do some yard work or just sit and get some natural vitamin D.  Leave the phone inside for a bit!
  • Cook!   Ok…you can use your phone but ONLY if it is to look up a recipe…don’t cheat….no social media or games!
  • Pray and Meditate!  It’s just good for your soul!  Mark 10:27 ~ All things are possible with God!
  • Call Someone!  Reach out and catch up with a friend or family member.

Whether it is something from the list above or another favorite hobby, try a little social media fasting and see what a mere 24 hours can do.  Seriously, 24 hours doesn’t seem like a long time but I know I sure was amazed by it!  I slept better and woke up with a fantastic start to my day feeling good about what I had read the night before!

It’s Time for A Challenge!

Are you up for it?  Subscribe to my page and work along with me!  Let’s do a 24 hour challenge once a week for the next 4 weeks.  #SMFChallengewithMimi.  Respond in the comments or click on the subscribe button (at the right on desktop or at the bottom of the blog on phone) so we can support each other.  What are you waiting for????

Loving Life ~ Shelly (Mimi)

 

Positivity and Pumpkins!

I am absolutely positive I love pumpkins!  How about you????  Do you love fall and pumpkins?  We are on the downslide of 2020 and everyone is ecstatic to close out this crazy year of 2020!  While I cannot agree more, I am also very excited about these next three months and all of the fun with family and friends….whether it has to be with masks or not!  Right now I just want to think about positivity and pumpkins….so let’s celebrate the good times ahead in the months to come!

Look at these faces⬆⬆⬆….they are living life to the fullest!!!  That’s what we all need to try to focus on…trying to find the positive and fun in every situation!  I mean, even the jack-o-lanterns have a constant smile, right?  How can you not smile when you look at those toothy (or lack of thereof) grins of the jack-o-lantern?

Positivity Challenge ~

Who’s with me???  I am challenging each of you to print out the attached Pumpkin Positivity Challenge and complete the task listed for each day!  It’s only for one week!!!  Let’s do this together and see how much better we feel.  It’s amazing how small things can make a big impact…on you as well as on others you interact with!

Positivity Jar ~

You can take it a step further and cut the pumpkins out to place in a jar.  (Of course, ignore the Daily # titles).  Tie a cute little ribbon around the top of the jar.  Voila…you have a colorful and festive fall decoration on your desk.  Pull a pumpkin out each day and follow the challenge listed.

Whichever way you choose to join the challenge, just click the green link below to get your printable copy.

Print Your One Week Pumpkin Positivity Challenge!

The image above  is a sample of what you will be printing when you click the green link above!

I know we all just want to make some good memories in 2020 before this year comes to an end.  Let’s get started doing that!  Have a super weekend and remember….smile…it’s contagious!

Meet Meddy Teddy ~ Meditation for Kids!

I AM BEYOND EXCITED TO HAVE DISCOVERED THIS AMAZING AND ADORABLE FLUFFY FRIEND!!!!!  We all strive to raise happy and healthy children.  Likewise, we all struggle with these very things at times as well.   Every parent witnesses tantrums, stress, and anxiety that we so desperately seek to alleviate for our kids, as well as for our own sanity!  Meet Meddy Teddy to help your kids with meditation and yoga!

MEET MEDDY TEDDY ~ YOGA & MEDITATION BEAR

***Coupon code down below ⬇⬇⬇

                         

This cute little guy is 100% poseable.  As your children learn different poses, they can mimic the same poses on Meddy Teddy.  He’s a perfect little yoga buddy with a great big heart!

BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS MEDITATION FOR KIDS~

  • Improves academic performance, learning & memory
  • Reduces anger & anxiety
  • Increases self-esteem
  • Fosters calmness & compassion
  • Improves self control
  • Boosts confidence
  • Enhances focus
  • Increases social skills

 

Do you now or have you ever done Yoga and/or meditation?  Can  you remember the benefits you received from it…or are still receiving?  Studies show that the earlier you introduce this concept to children the better the benefits.  Children actually have a natural feel for it because their minds are not yet biased or stressed with all of the things we adults deal with.  Now more than ever is a great time for extra help on raising happy and compassionate kiddos.

Code:  Mimi15

Use this link to check out Meddy’s website…..Meddy Teddy – the Original Yoga Bear!  Even better, use this code for 15% off!!!

This code expires Wednesday, September 30 ….SO ACT FAST!

Accessories & Free Yoga Classes ~

Of course there are accessories too….you knew that was coming right?  But a yoga mat and yoga clothes????  How adorable.  EVEN BETTER THOUGH..they provide a schedule on their website for FREE YOGA CLASSES!  Here is the link…..  FREE Yoga classes! All Times PST – perfect for kids of all ages (and adults too!)

This is updated monthly with available class times.  BUT WAIT….. They also provide FREE “Meddytations” to help calm and relax your kiddos!  Seriously, I am so loving EVERYTHING about this adorable guy and all he has to offer.

Mimi’s Favorite Toy of 2020 ~

Are you feeling as obsessed as I am with this little guy and all of the fun and benefits he offers?  I actually placed my order today (with that awesome code MIMI15) for Addi and Max.  Without a doubt, they will love him!   I also can’t wait to see how it helps Lauren with bedtime routines.  Updates coming soon…..

Until then….Namaste! 🧘‍♀️

 

 

Get Outside!

Well hello weekend….and what a beautiful weekend it is!  What is on your agenda?  Laundry, housework, cleaning the garage, paying bills?  Put all of these chores aside, if only for a while, and get outside!!!

It’s Good For Your Health!

Everyone “knows” it’s good for your health to get outside.   Why is it that so often we simply “forget” just how good it actually is for us?

  • Vitamin D boosts your mood AND your immune system
  • Nature helps lower cortisol levels and reduce stress
  • Natural environments improve mood
  • Nature helps improve memory and attention
  • Fresh air increases your energy level

It’s Good For Your Family!

Whether you plan a day trip or a weekend getaway, hiking creates wonderful family memories for years to come.  It’s just a bonus that it also provides so many health benefits.  Sit and think for a moment…how long has it been since you decided to do an impromptu family fun day?   The unplanned activities are many times some of the best!

Do you find yourself always going to the same one or two parks?  I am sad to admit that we have not taken advantage of all of the amazing places available to us, some less than a half hour away!  I don’t know if I would call it a bucket list, but I decided that our family needs to branch out and try some new spots.  Included below is a small list of some of the parks of various sizes that have hiking trails as well as other amenities.

  1. Broad Ripple Park
  2. Brookside Park
  3. Brown County State Park
  4. Clifty Falls
  5. Eagle Creek
  6. Fort Harrison State Park
  7. Holliday Park
  8. Indiana Dunes State Park
  9. McCormick’s Creek
  10. Mounds State Park
  11. Pokagon State Park
  12. Shades Park
  13. Spring Mills Sate Park
  14. Turkey Run State Park

Let’s Talk Food!

I absolutely love the ideas that sweetcharli.com shares here…Creative picnic lunch ideas….CLICK HERE!

  Sandwich kebobs, apple sandwiches and banana rollups…sounds delish!

Lilluna.com also has some fun and healthy ideas…Check out these easy picnic lunch ideas!

Lots of protein and veggies!

Extra Activities For When You Get Outside!

Hiking and picnicking definitely make for a fun-filled day, but since we are on a roll, let’s add some extra fun.  Why not add in a little scavenger hunt for the kids?  Print out as many copies as you need of the activity sheet I created to help enjoy the day further.   Download and print outdoor scavenger hunt!

So get outside…and don’t forget to take pictures of this fun-filled day!  I would love for you to share other parks your family goes to so we can add them to the list!  Happy Weekend!!!!

Everything pumpkin!

Can you smell it?  The pungent smell of firewood burning with marshmallows toasting.  The spicy aroma of cinnamon.  The sweet yet tart fragrance of apples.  The sweet creamy buttery scent of caramel.  And of course, everything pumpkin!   Are you as excited as I am that we are entering the beautiful season of fall?

We were blessed with a volunteer pumpkin harvest of mini pumpkins this year.  The result of leaving our pumpkins around a little too long last year.  So while I hate to admit I was negligent in cleaning up my fall decor in a decent amount of time, I am now excited that I did so.  However, I now am nervous that our little beauties will rot before the end of this season.  Interestingly enough, I mistakenly came upon an article regarding preserving pumpkins and gourds.

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