Beat the heat: how to keep cool and still have fun!

Beat the heat: how to keep cool and still have fun!

keeping cool this summer


My family lives in central North Carolina. The American South is known  for its heat and humidity, and our home town is certainly no exception.  Just this week, the coolest temperature has been 84 degrees, with almost 100% humidity.  We love to be outdoors, but it’s not very pleasant these days. We’ve had to get a little creative when trying to find entertainment.


1. Buy a big enough kiddie pool you can all fit in!

Who says just because you’re a parent and an adult, you can’t have fun too? And while you may feel a little silly getting in a kiddie pool, your kids are going  to love it, and you’ll cool off. There are a number of inflatable “family pools” on the market. This one is a H2O Go! Lagoon Family Pool from Dollar General. It was $25 and is surprisingly durable and large for the price. There are a number of family sized inflatable pools available at Target, Big Lots and Walmart for $20 to $50. Our pool easily fits my husband and I and both our kids. It’s also deep enough that the water comes up to my ribs when I sit in it.


2. Play in the sprinkler!

We have an agricultural sprinkler we use for watering our vegetable garden, but we also have this:


Banzai Wiggling Water Pillar

My kids love playing in the water and running and turning cartwheels through the sprinkler. It’s a blast and it waters our yard, too 🙂

food snack popcorn movie theater
Photo by Pixabay on

3. Have a movie day

Maybe water play isn’t your thing. Visit a local movie theatre, or rent or buy a few movies and have a movie day at home. Pop popcorn, take turns manning the remote, and enjoy the air conditioning.

architecture bar blur boutique
Photo by Pixabay on

4. Visit a museum

If you live near any museums, visit them when the weather is too hot to be outside. If you have museums within an hour drive, make a day trip of it and make the drive.

woman pouring down a brown paint
Photo by on  

5. Take a class at an art gallery or museum

We have a sizable population of artists in our community, and all sorts of art galleries. Sometimes these galleries offer classes or camps for kids. If you don’t have galleries or artists, check with your local recreation department, or your local library. They often carry a list of summer activities for kids.

blueberries bokeh celebration cold
Photo by Pixabay on

6. Make popsicles.

Did you know you can make your own popsicles? Popsicle molds are inexpensive and you can really get creative with them. You can find them almost anywhere, but we really love this one from Amazon:

popsicle molds.jpg


We’ve put yogurt into our popsicle molds. We’ve put ice cream into our molds. We have even put water mixed with those Crystal Light packs. Then, you just pop them into the freezer for 12 hours and you’ve got yourself some popsicles.

I hope you have enjoyed this list for beating the heat! Stay cool and have fun!

I hope you



I apologize for the light posting schedule lately. I am finally out of school for the summer. I was hoping to resume regular schedule today, but I am currently doing this. I am taking some time to decompress and just enjoy my children and life. Regular posting to resume soon 🙂

Kids’ Reading nooks: a Pinterest Roundup



Reading nooks are all the rage, for both kids and adults. After all, we as adults love cozy places, and kids are no exception.  Why not give the little kiddos in your life somewhere to kick back with a good book? Today, I’m sharing my favorite reading nooks for kids.

  1. I love the one pictured above. The patterns and colors work together perfectly, and those wall-mounted shelves are actually picture ledges. They’re inexpensive to purchase or DIY, and they’re such a nice, decluttered look. The wall decals and that little garland are too cute for words!


Momo Design

2. I just really love this teepee with its cozy pillows, rug and cute little star lights. You could always add picture ledge shelves to the wall behind it if you wanted.


Project Nursery

3. Here’s a reading nook for the smallest of readers. This toddler reading nook features low shelves for little hands to choose their own books, and a comfy bean bag.


Maternida De Colorida

4. Have a dormer in your kiddo’s room? Why not stretch a curtain across it and make a “reading room?” I love these curtains and the idea of a “private” reading area. My kids would absolutely love this.



5.  Repurpose a Billy bookcase into a handy window seat in your reading nook. Add a long cushion and lots of pillows, and you’ll surely want to curl up with a good book and stay there. I love the colors, the extra storage and the cuteness of this reading nook.

I hope you have truly enjoyed our Pinterest roundup today! Come back Friday for summer home decor tips.



Happy birthday, Emorie!!

Today, we have a birthday in our house. A certain little mermaid turned 7.

It certainly does not feel like it’s been seven years. Our sweet girl graced us with her presence one June afternoon, the day before Father’s Day and three weeks early.

She’s sweet, funny and has one of the biggest hearts around. She loves animals, little children and elderly people.

She loves to make other people smile. She draws pictures and writes notes for people at church.

She’s a great big sister and Aubrey loves her so much.

…even though they are typical siblings who fight. They are also dress up partners, gymnastics buddies and best friends.

Emorie is athletic, intelligent and she loves to read.

She loves sparkly necklaces and big hair bows. She loves nail polish, high heels and pretty dresses.

Happy birthday sweet Emorie. You fill our lives with laughter and love.

5 Instagram-worthy Outdoor Kitchens: a Pinterest round-up

5 Instagram-worthy Outdoor Kitchens: a Pinterest round-up

outdoor kitchens


Looking to spoil your husband or father this Father’s Day? One easy way to do that is with an outdoor kitchen. While some outdoor kitchens are hugely expensive, there are several low-cost ways to build an attractive outdoor kitchen your whole family will love.

This Pinterest round up will include five beautiful outdoor kitchens you can build yourself without breaking the bank.

  1. Cinder block outdoor kitchen via Cool Creativity 


Cinder blocks are inexpensive and easy to work with. This outdoor kitchen looks like it cost  a pretty penny, but didn’t.


2. Small cinder block cook space


Maybe you don’t want a full on galley kitchen outdoors, but you want just a little more counterspace. This small footprint outdoor kitchen, also made from cinderblocks, fits the bill. Besides, isn’t it cute?

3. Modern wooden outdoor kitchen


Have a stack of scrap wood or pallets you’d like to repurpose? Use some of that wood to build a counter and outdoor kitchen space. You may want to make sure the area around your grill is cinderblock, though.

4. Rolling outdoor kitchen cart


Maybe you love the idea of an outdoor kitchen, but you want some flexibility in its location. If so, then this easy to build rolling barbecue cart might be for you!

Lastly, you guys know how much I love anything rustic. I fell in love with this rustic farmhouse outdoor kitchen. The blogger wrote very specific, easy to follow building plans, too. I just might have to try this one.

5. Rustic industrial outdoor kitchen



I love this so much- that galvanized metal and the wooden counter top. It also would be easy and cheap to build.

I hope you have enjoyed this Pinterest roundup. Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. Regular posting schedule will resume next week.




Kid spaces: a fun printable for your kids’ bathroom!!

My kids’ bathroom is actually our hall bath, so they have to share it with our guests and visitors.

It’s still pretty much a blank slate but we are not entirely finished with it yet.

We had this awkward space on the shelf we needed to fill.

While I like the B jar there, I need something with a little more color and height. But I didn’t want anything too cutesy.

I love those farmhouse signs you see everywhere these days and decided to try my hand at one.

I came up with this:

I love the broken font on the letters. It’s cute without being vulgar or overly cutesy in our guest bath. I’m going to pop it in a frame like this one for an even more simplistic look.

To download, click on the picture below. Right click on it, save it to your device, and print. For best results, do not print larger than 8X10.

Have a wonderful week! I can’t wait to show you our next redecorating project!!

What can you do in Tryon, NC?

What can you do in Tryon, NC?

Tryon, NC (1)

Last month, my husband and I visited the towns of Landrum, South Carolina; Saluda, NC, and Tryon, NC. I’ve already briefly written about our trip once, but wanted to write a little more detailed post for you about our experience.

Tryon is a small town, but there is a lot you can do. There are a number of stores, galleries and shops downtown you can visit.



Photo via The Laurel of Asheville

There are also some truly wonderful restaurants you can try. Our favorite was Harper Eatery and Pub, where we had a delightful dinner of maple bacon meatloaf and potatoes.


We also visited a cute coffee shop and a bookstore where I would have happily spent all day.



Photo courtesy of Tryon Bookshelf

Tryon and Polk County are famous for being horse country.



You can also visit the famous Tryon International Equestrian Center.


Photo via Romantic Asheville

And of course, you can make the short drive to Pearson Falls for a lovely hike that ends at a 100 foot waterfall.


And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a $25 Visa Gift Card. To be eligible, you must comment below with the activity you’d most be interested in in Tryon: shopping and dining downtown, hiking, or visiting the Tryon International Equestrian Center; follow Organized and Simplified on Facebook, and enter the raffle.

Click here to access the raffle

Good luck! Winner to be announced at midnight.