Sunday, July 05, 2015

Sunday's Best - #27

Welcome to Week 27 of  Mother 2 Mother's Sunday's Best Linkup This will be the last week of our Hail To The Red, White & Blue theme. I thought this would be a great time to share festivities from your backyard BBQ this week-end, recipes that you created, fireworks, cocktails, games and fun activities. Any crafts and decorating ideas would be great so we can PIN them for next year's inspiration or for those who like the Red, White and Blue theme all year.  

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover and gardening tips, SEO and blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeovers, spring organization tips, and ideas for indoor flower arrangements and more.   

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tips For Planning Your 4th of July Festivities

The 4th of July is one of the biggest summer celebrations. If you're like me, you want to serve great food, plenty of drinks, games for the kids, games for the adults and delicious fruits to refresh everyone after the games. Hosting gatherings can get overwhelming. 

I have learned over the years to plan my summer celebrations and make lists to ensure I don't forget anything. Here's a few other tips:

Plan Your Menu -

Meats - If you're serving food that will take longer to cook, you should start cooking those foods on your grill or smoker at least an hour before the guest are scheduled to arrive. Burgers, hot dogs and sausages can be started shortly after guests start arriving, they don't take as long to cook. You will find these items on my grill/smoker: 
  • Burgers 
  • Hot Dogs
  • BBQ Chicken
  • BBQ Ribs
  • Sausages
  • Buns
  • Condiments - ketchup, mustard, relish
  • Fixing - lettuce, tomatoes, onions 
Side Dishes - I fix as many of the cold dishes as I can the night before and refrigerate. I start anything that I can fix in the crockpots on low the night before. The house smells great in the morning. I love getting everybody excited about the day and their mouth watering for great food.  Here's a few ideas for side dishes:
  • Potato Salad
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Pasta Salads
  • Baked Beans
  • Corn On The Cob
  • Green Beans & Corn
  • Greens 
  • Grilled squash and zucchini 
  • Salad -(I set out various bottles of salad dressing for guests to choose from). 

Veggies/Chips and Dip - I make a dip for veggies and a dip for chips. If I serve a salad, I don't do a veggie tray and dip.  

Fruits - Everybody likes something refreshing on a hot summer day. I love to put a fruit salad together or do fruit skewers. 

Desserts - Be as simple or elaborate as you would like. I'm going to do several trifles this year using fresh strawberries, but I have been known to do a tray of brownies or cupcakes and the little cups of ice cream. 

Drinks - Make sure you have plenty of water, drinks for the children (I buy the little jugs), soda and if you're serving alcohol plenty of beer and cocktails. 

Plan Your Games - I make sure I have plenty of activities for the kids and adults. Here's a few ideas that I have used: 

  • Patriotic Crafts for the kids
  • Sack Races
  • Turn on the sprinkler
  • Hang water balloons
  • Use printables/coloring pages for the kids
  • Horseshoes
  • Badminton
  • Bingo
  • Cards
  • Charades
Solicit Co-Hosts - I have learned that I can't do everything and do it well, so I ask my family to help with keeping the food flowing, grilling, assisting with children's crafts, games, music etc. Things go much smoother and it takes some stress off me.  

Decorations - I like to decorate on a budget, so I head to the Dollar Stores to buy items that I didn't pick up on clearance the prior year. If your crafty make your own center pieces and luminaries to add festive touches. The Dollar Store sells festive plates, napkins, mini flags etc. Head to Michael's or AC Moore for craft paint and other supplies that you can't find at the Dollar Stores.  

I hope these ideas will help you remove some of the stress of entertaining and helps you plan a great backyard BBQ with family and friends. What are some of the dishes you prepare or activities you use to entertain guests?  

You may also like: 9 Kid's Patriotic Craft Ideas

Sunday, June 28, 2015

How To Host A Great Baby Shower

hosting a baby shower, planning a baby shower

Thinking of hosting a baby shower for a relative or friend and don't know where to start or proper etiquette on how to host the event? Taking on the responsibility of hostess requires time, energy and creativity. It can become stressful if you're not organized or plan effectively.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sunday's Best - #26

Welcome to Week 26 of  Mother 2 Mother's Sunday's Best Linkup We're continuing our Hail To The Red, White & Blue theme this week. It's the time of year to celebrate the Indepedence of our great country. There will be backyard BBQs, fireworks, cocktails, games and fun with family and friends. We would love for you to share your 4th of July recipes, cocktails, decorations, crafts and other patriotic ideas on Sunday's Best. 

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover and gardening tips, SEO and blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeovers, spring organization tips, and ideas for indoor flower arrangements and more.   

Beach Scrapbook Pages

Friday, June 26, 2015

How To Improve Your Decision Making Skills


Decisions, decisions, decisions. Do you find yourself being indecisive with things in your life, and you don't know what direction to go in? Does the simplest tasks become monumental?  If going in circles has become a way of life or you find yourself throwing up your hands and dealing with the matter later, you may be suffering from indecisiveness.  

I have found myself in this position more than once. My livelihood is made from managing people. There are times when I have to step away and make a decision at a later time because I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed. I know that I couldn't continue managing in that way, so I had to reassess my decision making skills.        

I have found that stress plays a major role in my indecisiveness at times, but you may be feeling something different. There are 4 major areas that keep us from being able to make a decision. If you're finding yourself wavering on things ask yourself if you are feeling:  

1.  Fear - Are you afraid of making the wrong decision?  If you're not making a major purchase and nobody will get hurt go ahead and make the decision.  I do a pros and cons list.  If the pros outweigh the cons, I have learned to live with my decision.  

2.  Over Analyzing -  Do you spend time gathering information and reviewing it over and over? At some point we have to make a decision. Set a date and time, when it arrives make your decision and stick with it.  It's okay to reassess your decision later and make adjustments.   

3.  Lack of Confidence - Are you confident with our skill set?  If you know that you have the skills to accomplish your endeavor, believe in yourself.  We're not perfect beings and we won't always make the right decisions, but we must learn to make them confidently.  

4.  Stress - Are you stressed out all the time? Take time to relax and breath a little.  A walk with the children, your husband or a friend could be just what the doctor ordered.  Take time to soak in the tub, sip a cup of tea or give yourself  a home manicure.  When you feel good about yourself, you feel good about life.

As leaders in our homes, businesses, and social influencers, decision making is a way of life for today's woman. We must lead not only with confidence, we must lead with conviction. Especially if we want others to follow. How do you handle indecisiveness?  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

9 Kid's Patriotic Craft Ideas

9 Kid's Patriotic Craft Ideas

We will be celebrating Independence Day next week-end. I love celebrating with family and friends and I'm expecting 20 - 30 family members for my backyard BBQ. I've been thinking of games and activities for the kids and decided to do a round up and share with my readers.  I selected various activities for different ages, so I hope you will find 1 or 2 that you can use at your festivities:

1.  Patriotic Dish Brush Fireworks from Crafty Morning - A different twist on making firework crafts. If you don't have old brushes around, a trip to the Dollar Store for a few dish brushes and the crafting can begin. It looks like this craft calls for a round brush. 

2.  Patriotic Tee Shirt from Crafty Morning - This is a cute idea for the kids to make when they need a break from running and jumping or after drying off from the pool or sprinklers. Grab a few white tees, red and blue fabric paint, and a medium width paint brush from Michael's.  

3.  Patriotic Foot and Hand Print Flag from Sewing for Sanity - This is an adorable idea using the kids hand and footprints.  This particular example uses a 16 x 20 artist canvass which you can purchase from your local craft or art supply store. Decide how large you want the end result to be. I wish I had room for this project. 

4. Patriotic Hand Print Wreath from Decorating With Dodi - This little hand print wreath is adorable. The blogger doesn't have instructions on her blog, but it seems fairly simple to make. The background is white and various degrees of paint was used to make some of the prints darker than others. Also, it looks like the fingers are spread a little so you can cut between them when you're cutting out the hands. I'm going to use a circle made out of cardboard to glue the hand prints to and regular printer paper to make the prints on. This is a good idea for 2 or 3 year olds.   

5. Patriotic Hand Print from B-Inspired Mama - This is a cute craft for kids of any age. I love placing the name and year on the finished product. Great way to remember 4th of July fun with family.  

6. Patriotic Bean Toss from Sugar Bee Crafts - I love this idea for my grandson and his cousins. This will be a nice break from tossing the football. I'm going to find a shady spot in the yard, use a piece of cardboard to ensure the plates are stable and make the bean bags out of felt. 

7. Patriotic Luminaries from For The Love Of - I'm going to use these luminaries for my table center pieces. I have a ton of mason jars in my cabinets from my canning sessions and a few bottles of Modge Podge in the craft corner. I'll be pick up the tissue paper and flags at the Dollar Store.  Cute, Patriotic and Budget Friendly.  Just the way I like it. 

8. Patriotic Word Search from Crayon Freckes - Great idea to use when you want the kids to get out of the sun and relax a little. Have one of the older children assist them in finding the words. They can feast on a treat of watermelon or a fruit salad while they're searching for the words. This can be fun for the adults too.  

9. Patriotic Fork Fireworks from Crafty Morning - I love this idea or the kids and the little ones with a little help. Simply dip a fork into red and let the firework making begin. Clean off the fork, dip it into the blue paint and fill in the blank areas or go over the red.  Just have fun. 

Bingo is a favorite at my backyard gatherings for adults and of course the good old sprinkler and water guns for the kids. Do you plan to use any of the above crafts?  What are some of your favorite 4th of July activities?  We may want to adopt a few of your activities.  

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