What My Parents Have Taught Me About Marriage

As my parents celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary today, I was thinking about the significance of this event. Fifty-eight-years. That means they’ve been married for 73% of their lives so far. (Can you believe I just did math?)

Honestly, that sounds like a long time to wake up and look at the same person each day, but my parents have met this milestone with grace, love and gratitude. I believe they’ll be in this marathon until the finish line, and I couldn’t feel more honored to witness this relationship.

Anniversaries that reach double digits, let alone almost six decades worth, are incredibly rare these days. Not all marriages are created equally, and I’ve wondered what contributed to my parent’s years of success?

I imagine they’ve had many rough spots along the way, although they’d never let us see it. And when I say “us” I’m referring to my two brothers and two sisters. Yes, my parents have not only managed a strong marriage all these years, but also raised five kids through it all. They’re certifiable saints.

They’re also fairly private with their feelings. They never sat me down and gave detailed instructions on how to be in a relationship, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything from them. It’s quite the opposite. I’ve been a keen observer and quiet witness to their patience, humor, frustration, forgiveness and unending love for at least 43 years of their marriage.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents from when I was younger. (Look at the cute bow in my mom's hair!)

I’ve always liked this picture of my parents. Look at the cute bow in my mom’s hair. <3

As I thought about how to celebrate them today, I decided to shine a light on a few things I’ve secretly learned from them so far. I know there are many more, but these were top of mind.

{Know your strengths}

There was a period of time when my mom was busy raising us kids while my dad was serving our country in the war. I have a feeling this was a time of tension and worry for everyone. I was just a baby during this stage in their marriage, but I think the lessons remained forever. My mom realized she had more endurance than she thought, and my dad grew in his appreciation for life back home. They each had to be strong on their own – and in turn, they became a stronger couple.

This is something deep and real for me to think about. Having a solid marriage doesn’t mean Brandon and I always have to be side-by-side wearing the same team colors. Now, I say this lightly, as “quality time” is my major love language. I make the entire family go with me to Walmart for groceries, for pete’s sake. But sometimes, when life throws us a curve…a tough job, an illness, a friend in need…where we can’t always be together 24/7, maybe one of the best gifts I can give my husband is to stand strong. Let him know not to worry. I can be okay on my own, and I believe he can, too.

{Pray together}

Prayer is something my parents have held dear to their hearts for many years. They raised us as a good Catholic family and showed us how to start each morning, begin each meal, and close each day with a prayer of gratitude. (I’m sure my parents had all kinds of other prayers in between, but that’s between them and God.)

All I know is that I learned prayer is a sacred and special part of the day that you can share with others – especially your family. I also learned prayer keeps us humble and kind. And I don’t know about you, but those are two qualities I could love in a person for 58+ years.

{Have your own hobbies}

My mom is a Master Gardener who loves digging in the dirt, sewing, and keeping the cookie jar full, while my dad loves volunteering and playing golf with his buddies. They share the love of the outdoors, but I believe having their own distinct passions – and being supportive of each other’s time away doing them – has helped them remain strong as a couple.

This is a very good thing for me to remind Brandon as I slowly take over the garage with my craft supplies and spend evenings (like right now) writing entries in my blog. He’s allowing me to follow my passion for creative living. Thank you, honey. 😉

Actually, he’s probably watching a Jason Bourne movie or checking Husker football pre-season stats at the moment. It’s all good. See?

{When in doubt, laugh it out}

My dad is a complete pro at this. Anytime things get stressful, he’s quick with a joke, pun or some other twist of language that makes you laugh out loud. He knows how to keep things in perspective, and I think he has taught my mom to do the same. Maybe she has always been this way, too? She just allows my dad to tell his classic dad jokes? All I know is that I love to watch her laugh at him.

{Be financially responsible}

This may be one thing my parents sat down and explained. We may not have talked about the birds and the bees (as I was provided books for that kind of thing), but we did discuss the importance of being smart with money. And this tip alone can be enough to save a marriage.

It was explained to me that marriage is about having three types of relationships with a person: You’re friends, lovebirds and also business partners. Many people don’t realize this third role, but it’s important to realize you’re the president and CEO of the household. You have to talk about money, never hide things from each other (including those shoe purchases you stashed in the trunk), and have annual meetings where you map out your family finances and dreams. It doesn’t matter how much money you do (or don’t) have in your account, you still have to talk about it – and be a team. Lesson noted.

{Serve others}

If you combined my parents’ hearts into one, it would be the size of Texas. They have a fondness for helping the poor and have been involved with countless organizations over the years that have provided food, clothing, Christmas gifts, counseling, and even shelter for those in need. I truly admire their dedication to humankind.

We haven’t specifically talked about their “why”, but I imagine it has a little something to do with being grateful for the many blessings in their own lives. And I have to believe the fact they volunteer and do this hard work together (both physically and emotionally) has to be another ingredient to their lasting marriage.

{Never give up}

Through the years, my parents have shown fierce dedication to each other. It has never crossed my mind that they would ever give up. Again, I’m sure they’ve had rough patches and will continue to have bad days. After all, they’re people, like you and me. The one thing that’s special about them is they know how to keep a promise. A promise they made before family, friends, God and each other 58 years ago today. One that included holding each other from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health.

And you know who wants to thank them for being the best role models and parents a girl could have? I do.

This is a picture of my parents dancing at my wedding.

This is a picture of my parents dancing at my wedding. They’re showing us how it’s done 😉

As Brandon and I celebrate our sweet 16 this year, I promise to cherish each of these lessons and carry them with me for many years to come. Happy anniversary, mom and dad. Here’s to many more years of love, laughter and lessons ahead.

Love you the world full,

Kate

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Five Things I Learned While Camping

As you may know, our family just had our first official campout. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised how it all went down. I was expecting sweltering heat and vast amounts of insects. While we had a bit of both, it wasn’t obnoxious.

The kids were super-troopers and willing to risk life beyond air conditioning and electricity. I think all of those episodes of Man vs. Wild may have helped in this department. Needless to say, we were all in.

campsite1

Campers at work <3

The moment we pulled into our campsite, I felt ready to take on nature. The Girl Scout force was strong with this one. I was armed with glow sticks, homemade bug spray, a Swiss Army knife, battery-operated personal cooling devices, and a slew of other camping hacks.

What I didn’t realize is that nature would take hold of me, and teach me that not everything I needed could be neatly tucked into a backpack.

Here are five things to prove that…

{Resourcefulness}

What’s the quote about “best laid plans…?” Well, inevitably we didn’t have everything we needed for our trip. As much planning and list-making as I had done, we forgot a few fairly important things.

One of them being a pot holder to remove food from the fire. Yikes. We also didn’t pack enough bottled water or a rain tarp for the tent. Triple yikes. Once we heard thunder, I started to panic. Then my husband reminded me that…

a) It wasn’t raining, yet, and the clouds could blow over, and

b) We were fairly smart people who could figure things out. (We also held keys to a car that could drive us back home, if needed.)

Not wanting to wimp out, we fired up our adventurous spirit and started tackling each issue at a time. We had metal skewers that could double as tongs. There was a water fountain by the restrooms to fill our bottles. We had plenty of trash bags that could stretch across the top of our tent. Check, check and check!

Later that night, when we realized we needed more kindling for the fire, Clara quickly said, “We could use these dry leaves over here!” Atta girl. We may not have packed enough gear, but we had our resourcefulness. And nothing, including a little rain, could ruin our camping parade.

lets go

The girls loved exploring this dried up creek bed. They were looking for hiking sticks, cool rocks – and probably a few leaves to burn.

{Patience}

Right after we unloaded the car, we took a dip in the campground pool, checked out the scenery, and eventually got back to our campsite for the evening. That’s when we realized our mistake. We started the charcoals too late.

As we sat staring and waiting for those damn bricks to turn gray so we could cook our dinner, I realized I left my patience at home. We all did. The kids were getting grumpy as the sun was setting on our hungry faces. We tried to distract ourselves with music on our phone, only to discover we had no service. Not even one bar.

We found ourselves with a choice: sit with our impatience or enjoy this beautiful evening, which turned out to have little to no rain and a gorgeous moon.

100% thanks to my husband, we chose the second option. We made up our own version of frisbee golf, and even caught a few fireflies, while we patiently waited for our food. And when it was finally ready, it never tasted so good.

The same lesson showed up in the morning. As I waited…and waited…for the eggs to cook and the water to boil for my coffee, I invited a little patience to join me. I picked up a book to read, but I ended up just sitting in the quiet with my family listening to the crackling fire. For the first time in at least 24 hours, I didn’t feel the need to rush around. I was healed for a moment from my lifestyle of constant movement. And it felt really nice.

finally coffee

My sweet B and I tasting our delicious morning coffee. (Which, by the way are those Starbucks instant packets!!)

{Adventure}

One of the reasons we chose to camp at Devil’s Den was because of its hiking trails. There are several to choose from, so we went with the one named Devil’s Den. I figured it would be like a restaurant…you can’t go wrong ordering the item named after the joint. Well, it lived up to my expectations. This trail was filled with crazy rock formations, tons of native vegetation and plenty of scurrying creatures.

At one point we were met with a fork in the road. As cliché as it sounds, we took the road less traveled. We decided to be adventurous, and look what we found!

stacked stones3

The tiny winding path led us right to this spot where there were hundreds of stacked stones along the creek. Maybe it wasn’t so “less traveled” after all? Regardless, we stopped to take pictures and add our contribution before we were on our way.stacked stones1

And I left feeling thankful we were bold enough to take this path in the first place. We could have easily blown past it and missed this delightful landscape – which would have been a shame. Adventure for the win.
stacked stones2

{Awareness}

Being outdoors, you have to be aware of your surroundings for safety reasons. You could come upon a poisonous snake or even a bear in some parts around here, and you need to know how to handle the situation. That goes without saying. It’s also nice to just look around every now and then and be aware of how beautiful things are.

When I took time to notice, I saw all kinds of friendly creatures just doing their thing. It reminded me that these woods are their home, and I was merely a guest.

nature

We saw bunnies, beavers, bumbles and butterflies!!

{Togetherness}

The idea of being out in the wilderness without access to texting, gaming or any form of electronic communication sounded scary to my kids. I even freaked out for a bit when we couldn’t even get music. But once we started exploring and playing games that required frisbees and a deck of cards, we started to realize how much we needed this.

family walk

Look at those trail blazers. I love that they’re walking in birth order. I don’t think they even realize it. Although, Clara  is only 1-minute younger than Avery, so she should be following a little closer 😉

family pic

My world…standing on a bridge to happiness.

I hope you have a chance to go camping, or at least spend time in the great outdoors soon. It can be life changing – if you let it all in.

finding yourself

That’s my awesome Evan trekking across the creek.

Love and hugs,

-Kate

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How to Beat Summer Boredom

According to the Farmer’s Almanac and other trusty sources, today is pretty special because it’s not only a full moon (the strawberry moon, to be exact), but also summer solstice. Yay for summer!

Apparently the last time these two occasions landed on the same day was nearly 70 years ago, so enjoy that little piece of trivia.

Now that summer is (officially) in full swing, and we’re experiencing the longest day of the year, I thought I’d share an activity I started doing with my kids.

My intention is to keep them feeling motivated, so summer boredom doesn’t set in.

While a little boredom can be good…

I also think it’s helpful to provide some guidance every now and then so total chaos doesn’t ensue. That’s how I landed on this simple activity.

I decided to ask four questions each day.

{One} What can you do to learn?

{Two} What can you do to help others?

{Three} What can you do that’s active or healthy?

{Four} What can you do that’s fun?

We found these to be the most well-rounded questions that spark all kinds of ideas and support good habits. We also think it’s funny that it spells LOAF. With that said…

Our no-loafin’ list has included these activities.

{Learn} Going to the library, reading, researching places to visit on our trip to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, and running a lemonade stand.

Side note: Lemonade stands are full of life lessons…making change, marketing, balancing supply and demand. All good stuff.

{Others} Helping each other slather on sunscreen, taking a baby gift to our next door neighbor, giving fresh flowers to a stranger at our campsite, and feeding the ducks behind our house.

{Active} Making healthier choices with snacks, drinking plenty of water, swimming laps, running, biking around the neighborhood, and taking our puppy Leo for a walk.

{Fun} Having lots of sleep overs and play dates, going to the Farmer’s Market on the weekends, playing games at the pool, going to movies, swinging in the hammock, and camping!!

During dinner, we check in to see how it’s going. Have we been able to answer our questions? Whatever is left on the list provides ideas for what to do in the evening.

Now, this isn’t a mandatory list of questions. I didn’t want this to become a chore. We simply use it as a guide to help answer, “Mom, what can we do now?” And hopefully prevent, “…I’m soooo bored.”

So far it’s working, although it’s only just the beginning.

pineapple with sunglasses

Stay cool! {source}

What are some things you’re doing this summer to stay busy and have fun?

-Kate

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Friday Wrap: Father’s Day Campout

friday hugs

First and foremost, I want to say how excited I am to be the featured blogger this week at High Five for Friday. The gracious hosts, Katie, Della and Tif, extended the invitation, and I said “yes” faster than I could sneeze. (Be sure to check out each of their blogs!)

I’m so glad it’s finally Friday. I have loved meeting so many amazing bloggers through H54F so far, and I can’t wait to meet more of you today. <3

If you’re new to The Neat Nook, welcome! I’m honored you’re here and invite you to read more about me or click through a few previous posts.

You’ll quickly see that my family is at the heart of my soul.

This weekend we’re taking our first camping trip (outside of our own backyard) to celebrate Father’s Day.

As much as we love the outdoors, it kind of floors me we haven’t done this sooner. We’re headed to a gorgeous place called Devil’s Den here in Northwest Arkansas.

devils den

I can’t wait to hike to this view. See more pictures here!

I’d love for this trip to be easy, fun and comfortable, so I’m pulling out a few camping tricks. Here are five ideas that I hope pull through for us this weekend. Crossing fingers here.

{ONE} The Hamper Hack

hamper hack

Presenting…the laundry hamper, two ways.

I love foldable laundry hampers because I can easily get them down to the size of a pancake and store them next to my washer between loads. They’re also handy for carrying beach towels to a camping trip. Don’t you think?

Once we get unpacked at the campground, I’m going to transition the hamper into a portable trashcan. Yay! No slouchy trash bags sitting next to our picnic table.

{TWO} Natural Bug Deterrents

daisies

This is a closeup of a citronella leaf. It has a nice citrusy fragrance.

Okay, y’all. I can’t resist decorating our camping space just a smidge. So I’m bringing a Mason jar of flowers from the garden (which I’ll transport in the cup holder of our car) to fancy up the picnic table. I clipped some shasta daisies, and for the greenery I added sprigs of my citronella plant to help keep mosquitoes away. How’s that for some double-duty daisies?

sage bundles

Another way I plan to keep the bugs at bay (in addition to my natural, homemade bug repellent) are these sage bundles. I wrapped several bunches of sage with yarn – so it’s all easy to burn. Then we’ll just toss them right into our campfire. Apparently mosquitoes and other flying insects don’t like the smell of smoky sage. Good thing we do.

{THREE} Instant Fire Starter 

pencil sharpener for tinder

Look at that pile of tinder. The great outdoors, here I come!

We’re bringing plenty of firewood, but sometimes it can get tricky to get the fire started. I plan to take a hand-held pencil sharpener in case I need to make some tinder with shavings from a twig. Even if I don’t need this, I’m totally using it so I can feel like Bear Grylls for a day.

{FOUR} Glow Stick Night Lights

glow bottle

What’s more fun than flashlights at dusk? Glow sticks!! I bought several colors to light up our campsite. I’ll put them inside empty water bottles to make a runway outside of our tent, and I’ll also drop a few inside of the cooler so we can see which flavor of Capri Sun we’re grabbing once the sun goes down.

{FIVE} Campfire Coffee

starbucks via

This is potentially a camp-saver.

Brandon (my sweet hubs) and I can’t imagine a morning without coffee. We panicked a bit when we realized we won’t be anywhere near a coffee shop AND we don’t have a camp stove percolator OR any contraption like it. Although this set is pretty adorable, and I should totally order it for our next trip. 😉

Once I realized Starbucks has instant coffee, life was good. Has anyone tried it?! We like fairly bold flavor, so I’m hoping we’ll be happy campers with this situation. I guess all you do is pour boiling water over the packet? I’m taking a few bottled mochas just in case all of this goes south. #firstworldproblems

starbucks

His & hers backup plan.

Now that my hacks are all packed, I’m off to load the family truckster.

Let me know if you have any must-try camping tricks. I love learning new things. I also love meeting new people, so introduce yourself in the comments. It will be like a little guest book for the day.

Have a wonderful weekend, and be sure to hug those sweet daddy bears out there!

-Kate

PS. Check out all of these fun blog parties if you can!

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Eating & Drinking with Fresh Herbs

My herbs are growing like mad in the garden! There’s so much more than I can personally consume, so I decided to share some lemon thyme and sweet mint with my co-workers. I left large mason jars full of herbs in the kitchen area, and it was fun walking through the building and seeing so many people enjoying the harvest.

It appeared most people were quick to snatch up the mint, putting it in their ice water and teas, but no one took the thyme. They kept saying, “ I wouldn’t know what to do with it.” I’ve also heard this about lemon balm, sage, oregano and dill.

Culinary herbs have been a staple in my kitchen since I was a little girl. I owe that to my master gardener mom, who is also affectionately called The Herb Lady by her gardening friends. So maybe I’ve come to take my understanding of herbs for granted?

Herbs are pretty miraculous, really.

They not only spice up a dish or sweeten a drink, but also soothe stomaches, heal wounds and calm emotions. Once you understand their flavors and properties, they can become an essential part of your home.

While I have a decent understanding of basic culinary herbs, I’m definitely no expert. I ask my mom questions all the time. I also lean on google. In my searches, I found a few charts and recipes I thought were perfect for printing and posting in the kitchen.

In the spirit of sharing, I though you might enjoy them, as well…

If you want to dive right into heaven, try making herb butters. These are one of the items listed on the chart above, and they’re super easy to make. Here’s a an incredible recipe from a fellow blogger…

You can find 29 more butter herb recipes here!

As the saying goes, “I cook with wine. And sometimes I even add it to the food.” That’s me to a T. Check out this amazing chart that shows how to pair wine with herbs. Yes! I’ve never seen it laid out quite so nicely. Get a full look here.

Still on the topic of drinking herbs, here’s a lovely recipe for Summer Herbal Tea.

herbal teas

summer herbal tea recipe

Get the full recipe here.

Hopefully some of these charts and recipes give you a few ideas. (I promise to keep sharing.) And if a neighbor offers fresh goods from the garden, you can take full advantage of this flavorful gift.

Also, feel free to leave a comment with any additional tips or even questions you might have. If I don’t know the answer, I bet my mom does. 😉

Happy growing (and sipping) season, my friends.

-Kate

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Flag Day Etiquette

Today is national Flag Day, and I’m excited to participate now that we have a flag pole installed on the front of the house. (Special thanks to my sweet B who took on this project over Memorial Day weekend.)

American flag on house

I was quick to raise our American flag as soon as I could, and even did a little research to be sure I was flying it correctly. I know the basics about not letting it touch the ground, but there are many more ways to honor our flag. I thought I’d share in case anyone else was a little rusty on the rules.

Displaying the American Flag

Feel free to download this printable, or pass the image along and encourage others to join in the spirit of Flag Day, the 4th of July or any other day you’d like to raise the Stars and Stripes in support of our country and all those who live here.

With liberty and justice for all,

Kate

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Friday Wrap: Work It

I’m in major workout mode these days. I think it’s a combination of the sun rising earlier, making it much easier to get up and go, and the fact that it’s full on swim suit season. Yikes.

Unfortunately, the many weeks (okay, probably months) of not working out have made their mark in the shape of a donut around my waist. Instead of being bummed or frustrated, I decided to lace up my shoes and get moving.

Here are five things I’ve started doing on my recent health kick. I’d love to know your workout secrets, too. Help a momma out.

{ONE} Taking Notes

workout journal

My goal was to start a food journal so I could see everything I was eating and spot any red flags. Well, that lasted for about two days. It was so time consuming! At this point in my life, I pretty much know my weaknesses: sugar, beer and not enough water to wash it all down. So I vowed to make some adjustments in the food department. Check.

When it came to working out, though, I thought it would be interesting to write down what I was doing and how it made me feel. It’s way more reasonable in terms of a time commitment, and it’s helping me realize how much I like exercising. I don’t have to sweat it out at the gym every day. A hike around the lake counts, too.

Tip: I use the notes section in my Day Designer for this.

Here are the things I jot down each day:

  • Type of exercise
  • Duration/distance
  • Weather conditions
  • Scale of 1-5 (5 being awesome) how do I feel

{TWO} 7-Minute Workout

7 min workout app

These are screen shots from the app on my phone.

My biggest excuse for not working out is time. I never seem to have enough of it. I honestly think I have a leak in my schedule where minutes and hours slowly spill out as I cruise through the day. The next thing I know, it’s time to make dinner, and I really don’t want to workout on a full stomach.

Enter the 7 Minute Workout Challenge. As the name implies, this app gives you a full body workout in just 7 minutes. It’s genius. According to the website, “It’s backed by actual research. The app can transform your body for a mere 7 minutes a day.” I’m totally doing this. How hard can it be to find 7 stinkin’ minutes, right?

{THREE} Listening to Podcasts

podcast

On the rare days I do find time to jump on the elliptical or jog through the neighborhood, I love listening to audiobooks and podcasts. Brandon got me started on this kick.

If you haven’t listened to Serial, which is completely captivating, you should definitely give it a go. Brandon and I listened to Season One on our drive to the beach over spring break. We missed two exits because we were so engrossed in the story.

For more ideas, I found this jackpot of podcasts that really do make your workouts fly. I’m always looking for more ideas, though. So let me know what you’d add to the list!

{FOUR} Drinking Sassy Water

sassy water

I love treating myself to a big glass of sass right when I wake up and also after a good, sweaty workout. Here’s the original recipe…

Sassy Water Recipe

This classic recipe is featured in the Flat Belly Diet book. For more variations, check out this list of 25 different recipes!

{FIVE} Morning Motivation

alarm motivation

This last idea was actually inspired by my son. He showed me how to add messages to the alarm on my phone. Now when I wake up, the first thing I see is a happy message.

I discovered that when I wake up with the right mindset, I’m more likely to make healthy choices during the day. Simple, yet powerful stuff.

That’s a wrap for this post, now I feel like I should lace up!

sweat, smile and repeat artwork

If you want to hang this motivational mantra in your home, you can get it here.

Happy friday and I’ll see you next week!

-Kate

I’m linking up again with some amazing, talented people. Be sure to check them out.

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Friday Wrap: Summertime

love of summer

Summer is gettin’ real in this house. We’ve been to the neighborhood pool pretty much every day; we’ve eaten on the patio more times than indoors this week; we’ve had sleepovers on a weeknight; and we whipped up a batch of our homemade ice pops. Summer has arrived.

Here are a few other signs of summer around this place…

{ONE} Lemonade Stands

Lemonade Stand

The girls opened their first lemonade stand this week. They made an adorable sign, shared plenty of friendly smiles, and served their drinks with fun umbrellas. Based on the number of selfies taken by the teenagers who stopped by, and all of the sweet neighbors we got to meet, I’d say it was quite a success.

{TWO} A No Sew Craft Mat

craft mat up close

L: This is the full vinyl mat; R: This shows the soft underside

craft mat in use

Ready to get craftin’

The girls and I absolutely l.o.v.e. a summer crafternoon filled with painting, drawing, or Play Doh-ing. In preparation of the season, I decided to make this craft mat to protect the completely impractical white kitchen table I bought from Pier One. Within weeks, this thing had permanent marker stains that had to be scraped off with nail polish remover. Anyway, this no-sew mat was super easy to make.

Here’s all it took:

  • A piece of vinyl fabric large enough to cover the table
  • A pencil to trace around the fabric once it was spread out on the table
  • A pair of scissors to cut along the pencil mark

I chose vinyl fabric, but you could use oilcloth or laminated fabric. Anything that’s covered with a plastic coating that can be easily wiped off will work.

{THREE} DIY Umbrella Stand

diy umbrella stand

Summers in our area can bring scattered rain showers. In fact, we’re expected to have rain throughout the weekend. The girls still have their personalized umbrellas I made them, and I recently bought a bright colored umbrella for myself. Now I just need a better place to store them (other than leaning on a wall in our garage.)

This project looks like something I could easily tackle. It’s a galvanized flower bucket – like many I’ve seen at Hobby Lobby. The bottom was taped off and then painted with an accent color. This is entryway worthy for certain. I’m on it.

{FOUR} Homemade Pup Pops

As I mentioned earlier, we made a big batch of ice pops for the kids. Well, I decided our furry baby needs cool treats, too. I found this recipe and plan to make these sweet pup pops for Leo this weekend. I love how the stick is a Milkbone, so he can eat the entire thing. No choking on sticks.

yoga with Leo

Speaking of Leo, I had to share these funny pics…

I rolled out my mat to do some yoga on the back porch, and this little guy was all up in my business. He camped out on the edge for quite some time, and then he kept inching closer until he had commandeered the entire mat. #sillypuppy #needabiggermat

{FIVE} Road Trip Planning

We officially booked our hotel in South Dakota for our Griswold-style road trip to Mount Rushmore in July. Since the girls are still officially fourth graders, we get free admission into all of the national parks and monuments this summer. Cool, right?

I’m really looking forward to exploring the Black Hills and soaking up everything the area has to offer. If anyone has tips on where to eat or other must-see, must-do activities, please share. I’m in total planning mode right now.

Have an incredible, summery weekend. In the meantime, I think this is gonna be my kind of night.

XoXo,

-Kate

Fiveonfriday

The Diary of a Real Housewife

 

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