August 2018 - Dimples and Tangles


Occasionally I have several things to tell you that aren't necessarily post worthy by themselves, so I throw them all together to keep you updated on what's happening around here.  Here are a few things that we've done over the Summer at our house!

Our first big Summer project was that we had the exterior of the house painted.  Since we have a brick house that mostly just means painting trim around the house.  We went from a brownish tan on all of the trim to a creamy white.  These are just quick iphone pics and it was getting dark when I snapped them, but you get the idea.  We had already painted the patio ceiling and trim white when we did that addition, so we used the same color on the rest of the exterior.  (Sherwin Williams Simple White #7021)

We would like to get new garage doors at some point, but for now I'm considering painting them a darker complementary color.  I need to check out some options and get some samples.

It seems we've been spending all of our money outside this year... after living in this home for over 11 years, we finally had a sprinkler system installed!

You can see where they dug to put the lines in.  I'm so excited about being able to water now while we're out of town, and not to be dragging a hose and sprinkler around all Summer!  In the past it seems like I would just get all of my summer planting done, and then we would go on vacation for a week and I'd pray for rain the whole time we were gone!  (My sweet sister would stop by and water pots for me, but that's a big chore to ask someone to cover!)

The best thing about our new system is... it's all run by wi-fi!  We can access it from our phones or computer.  All of the zones are displayed and we can set up our watering schedule, turn it off or on at the touch of a button no matter where we are, and monitor our water usage and zone timing. Pretty cool!

One more recent exterior project... We used to have a gas post lantern in our front flowerbed, but several years ago the bottom rusted out because it had not been mounted in concrete.  We removed it but turned the gas line off and kept it in place, hoping to replace the lantern in the future.  Since then we came across another lantern that someone in the neighborhood was throwing out that was in great condition (other than needing a paint job) so we scooped it up. Fast forward a few years and we finally got it re-installed!  We needed a plumber to clean out the line and he basically had to re-build the light but I'm so happy to have it back.  The concrete base is still curing so in a day or two I'll get it painted black and put the glass back in.  I could have shopped for a new one but I like the simple, traditional design of this one.  This is just a quick progress pic, in addition to painting the light I need to get the bed cleaned up and re-mulched after all the work they've done.  Can't wait to have that gas flame burning this Fall!

I never shared our summer vacation with you here, but we had a great time in Florida!  I would venture to say the sugar sand beaches and brilliant waters along Highway 30A rival some of the most beautiful anywhere.  We stayed in a beachfront condo about a mile outside of Seaside.  We cooked all of our meals in our condo and didn't venture out too much other than some leisure time later in the evenings.  The town of Seaside is absolutely quaint and darling but also quite crowded, so I was glad we weren't waiting in lines for dinner each night.  Since we spent most of our time on the beach and not in Seaside proper, I did not write a post about it but if you're interested in the area Mallory has a great Seaside post here.

One tip I will give... if you travel through Pensacola to get to the area beaches, check to see if the Blue Angels happen to be doing a practice run on the day you're passing through.   Or, if you're staying close to Pensacola, it's worth driving into town to see the show especially if you have airplane fanatics in your family!  Check here for more details and their practice schedule.  It refers to where you can view the show on the Naval Aviation Museum grounds, but the jets fly up and down the beach for miles around the area, so you'll likely be able to see them if you're anywhere along the beach.  We just found a random waterfront spot to stop and park and hopped out and watched them.   There are so many air bases all along the coast of Florida that even in Seaside, it was cool to see all kinds of planes doing fly-bys along the coastline each day.

Many of you know that my husband is a minister.  He has a heart for leadership too and has recently taken up blogging again.  You might enjoy his recent post regarding marriage that he wrote after we celebrated his parents' 60th anniversary.

We turned around a few times and the Summer was over.  The kids are back in school, Caleb is a Senior this year and Emily is a Sophomore.

On his first day of school for his senior year, he came home to find he received his first (and only since it's the only school he was interested in) college acceptance letter in the mail... what a big day! 

He is looking forward to his last year in High School Marching Band and loving every minute.

I just came across these monogram stickers at Hobby Lobby.  There are 2 sets of each letter and lots of different frames in every pack, so you can mix and match the initials you want to use.  They happened to be on clearance at my store so I snatched them up!  They're great for the front of my planner, labeling special notecards for a friend, my daughter's school notebooks... tons of things!  I found them in the scrapbook section with all of the other letter stickers, just thought I'd share in case you want to try to find some too! 

Alright, I think that's all of my random updates for today! 

P.S.- My email for yesterday's post mistakenly didn't get delivered until super late last night.  If you missed it and a recipe for Homemade Butterfinger Ice Cream interests you, be sure to check it out!  :)

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Earlier this year I posted My Five Favorite Summer Essentials, and one of the things on my list was a homemade ice cream maker.  After sharing that our family's favorite is homemade Butterfinger ice cream, I had several requests for the recipe.  With a holiday weekend and family gatherings right around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to share that with you today. 

 (*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Read my full disclosure policy here.)

You'll just need a few simple ingredients-

1 cup peanut butter
3 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar (I usually decrease to about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons flour
whole milk (about 8 cups)
Ice Cream Salt (rock salt)

This recipe is for a standard 4 quart ice cream maker.  This is the one we have used for years and it gets the job done.

butterfinger ice cream recipe

Start by whisking the eggs and peanut butter together.  I've found that this is an important first step to incorporate the peanut butter well and get it smoothly mixed in with the rest of the ingredients.  Then add in each of the other ingredients (except the whole milk, butterfinger and rock salt),  whisking together well after each addition. This is my mixture before adding the milk.

Fill the rest of the container with whole milk, up to fill line marked on the side of the canister.  It should be about 8 cups. I usually make the ice cream up to this point earlier in the day, then just store the canister in the fridge until we're ready to freeze it.

Meanwhile, crush up some Butterfinger candy bars.  I use about 12 fun size bars, or 4 regular size bars but use your own judgement here!  It helps to freeze them before hand so the chocolate doesn't stick to the wrapper.  I like mine to be a little more chunky instead of pulverized so I just give the bar one whack with a mallet and that's sufficient.  Set your pieces aside in a bowl to add later.

It will take about 30 minutes for the freezer to do it's job, so plan accordingly.  After loading the canister in place, surround it with ice and rock salt.  We add a layer of ice then sprinkle with rock salt, then repeat until the bucket is full so that the salt gets distributed through the ice (the salt helps keep the ice get stay cold and freeze better).  Keep an eye on it and add more ice and salt as necessary as the ice melts down (and stop motor and drain water as necessary, too.).

After about 20 minutes start paying attention and listen for when the motor seems to be slowing down a bit.  This means the ice cream is getting thicker.  At this point we stop it, remove the lid, and add in the Butterfinger pieces.  Put the lid and motor back on and let it continue until it's finished. (Sometimes you have to give the canister a little help getting started again.)

When the motor stops, it's ready!  Remove the lid and paddle and stir a bit, it will be thicker and more frozen at the bottom.  Scoop out and serve!

Bamboo Flatware here or here  ||  Gingham napkins here or similar here  || Blue WIllow

When our extended family is together we have about 15 people and this makes a good amount to serve everyone.  Any extra left over doesn't really freeze well, so it's best to share this right away with lots of friends!

By the way, if you omit the peanut butter and Butterfinger, this is a good plain vanilla recipe.  Be creative and add your own toppings!

Do you have plans for Labor Day?  We were just discussing ours last night... we'll stay in town but are trying to decide on a few fun things to do.  Just having no schedule and a few days together is the best part (or virtually together, I know the kids will be wanting to spend time with their friends)!

homemade ice cream, dessert, summer recipe, butterfinger candy bar

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I only have four favorite things to share with you today rather than my regular Five Friday Favorites, but they're good ones!  (*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Read my full disclosure policy here.)

Mules are definitly the "it" shoe this year for transitioning from Summer into Fall.  I bought this leopard pair several weeks ago and have already worn them multiple times.  You know that leopard is a neutral in my book so they go with almost anything! (rug here)

These are my exact pair, but scroll back and forth through the photos below for more options, click on photo for details.

I bought this blender on Prime Day, and it is life changing!  ;)  Not really, but we've never had anything but the most basic $30ish blender and there's a night and day difference.  It's so fast, powerful, and has a huge capacity.  Highly recommend, it's worth every penny! 

Did you know that Kendra Scott gives you 50% off an item of your choice during your birthday month?  It so happens to be MY birthday month (today in fact!) so I dropped by the store to pick out my bargain.  This time I bought this simple bangle bracelet.  The details are so pretty and I'm always looking for another good piece to add to my bracelet stack, or it is just as pretty standing on it's own.   I really had a hard time deciding between that and this classic set of earrings or these cute hoops, but am super happy with my choice. I believe you have to visit a store to get the birthday discount, they require proof through some sort of ID.  Bonus... your husband can go during his birthday month and buy something 1/2 off, and your children can during their birthday month too (bring their birth certificate if they have no other proof of birth date)!  Now that my daughter is a KS fan too we definitely use up allll of our birthday month discounts!

Starting today take 20% off storewide at Anthropologie, in store and online!  This sale doesn't happen very often, and it's always a good opportunity to pick up something new that's normally not on sale. 

I popped by our local store yesterday and this lucite knob caught my eye.  Just seeing it on the website I would never have guessed how gorgeous or large it is, and it's super heavy!  I can totally see it being a showstopper on a piece of furniture that just has one or two knobs, on furniture cabinet doors where the hardware is in the center of the panel, or even for a pantry or closet door that just requires a "dummy" knob.  I can't tell you how stunning this piece is!

A few other things that caught my eye in the store...  the gold shears are such a chic desktop accessory, the dog whisk and cat grater are quirkiness at it's best, they always have some great Rifle products, that dish towel is so much more vibrant in person, and I suddenly need a gold rabbit handled pizza cutter in my life!  It's also the perfect time to pick up my very favorite Volcano candles.

Have a great weekend, friends!  I'm getting back in the swing of some projects again since the kids are back in school and am anxious to start sharing with you next week!

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Now that we're back to school, obviously the kids aren't home as much... our schedules are busier and we're all going different directions more often.  So, on the occasions we are all home in the evenings at the same time, we find ourselves playing one of our favorite family board games.  Whether we have 20 minutes or several hours, it's always a good way to reconnect (without screens!). And knowing that dark, cold winter evenings will be here before we know it, we always welcome fun new game suggestions so I thought you might enjoy seeing some of our favorites if you want to add to your collection too!

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Read my full disclosure policy here.

Designed to simulate train routes across the U.S., players collect cards of various colors which they can trade in for a "route" they want to claim between cities, scoring points as they go for the difficulty of their route.  There is strategy involved for choosing your routes, and the player with the most points at the end wins.  This one is probably best for ages 8 and up, and especially fun for the train lovers in your family!

Stack the round cards in a deck face down, then use the color on the previous card played to determine what color "ring" you're playing.  Decipher a word from the letters in the ring, whoever gets it first collects the card, and the first player with 10 cards wins.  You must think fast, this one is super fun!  (Example- top left card... black ring: COMPUTER, red ring: FRAGILE, blue ring: ?? guess!)

A strategic game where you collect "gems", develop them by collecting various cards, then acquire more to create beautiful pieces of jewelry.   This is a newer game for us but we've enjoyed playing, probably best for middle elementary ages and up.

Hands down, our favorite party or extended family gathering game.  Think fast to describe a word displayed on the screen while your team tries to guess (without saying any part of the word!), all while a timer is running.  Really best played with a larger group, but even little ones can join in and play with a partner if needed.  The kids love to play it when there's a bigger group of their friends gathered, too.

A classic... it's our biggest go-to game when we only have a few minutes here or there.  In fact, we keep the dice and score cards right by our kitchen table and pull them out for a quick round when we can or to play during a casual breakfast or lunch.

Fun for family or for the kids to play with their friends.  When it's your turn, read a question.  All other players write their answer on a dry erase card.  The question asker then chooses their favorite answer while players try to guess which one they chose.  We have the original version but the Family Edition would be fun too!

Easy to learn, strategically connect different patterned blocks of your color together on the board.  Fit as many as you can on the board to gain the most points.

My personal favorite, I've played since I was a child... it's an oldie but a goodie!  Work your marbles around the board from base to home, but watch out for other players who might knock you out and send you back to base.

A super strategic adventure game.  We have this and are still learning to play (Youtube tutorials rock for new games!) and I want to get it down so this can be our cold winter nights game this year.  I have so many friends that rave about this one as their family favorite, I'm excited to get the hang of it.

A simplified version of the original where you work around a collection of islands to build hideouts and gather ships and resources.  We've played this one for several years, lots of fun for even young ones (5+) and it builds strategic skills.

This is a box full of cards containing discussion starters.  Some are silly and light hearted, some are deeper and might encourage kids to talk about issues that they normally wouldn't bring up. This is technically #11 on my list and I didn't include this in our favorite top 10 because the kids groan and roll their eyes when we pull it out, but I think it can be a useful tool in starting discussions with your kids.  Our kids don't "play" this together, we use it as a family discussion tool.  Some versions have a board, but the pocket version is just a set of cards/questions, and I see no need for the board since we just use the cards for discussion topics.  We have the  Teen Version, and I will say that I filter through the questions depending on my purpose (some deal with issues like abuse, teen sex, etc. which definitely have a time and place to be discussed, but maybe not in a lighthearted moment around the dinner table) but in general there are some good conversation starters.  It's nice to stick a few in the car to use from time to time while driving back and forth too!  There are several different versions available (Christian, kids, teens, families, couples, seniors...) depending on the age of your kids or your purpose.

So does your family have a favorite that's not on my list?  I'd love to hear about it!

best board games, family games, family activities, yahtzee, catan, aggravation, splendor, word a round, blokus, ticket to ride, catch phrase

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*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Read my full disclosure policy here.

If you didn't buy these bow gingham wedges yet this Summer, you really should check them out before they're gone!  They're the perfect fun pattern to mix and match with so many outfits.  I also really love this linen popover shirt, it's on sale too and I got a "tall" for a little extra length.  My necklace was from the Dillard's clearance sale a few weeks ago.

If your size is out, they also come in solid black or blush which will carry nicely into early Fall.  They're all under $30 (probably even less with codes at checkout) and super comfy to wear!

Although we're beginning to maybe start thinking about Fall, I know I still have plenty of time left to wear my Summer dresses this season.  I got a few new ones recently that you might like too. 

I actually noticed this blue and white cute pin striped dress on some cute lady shopping in Old Navy one day and thought it might be a J. Crew dress or some other pricey brand.  I was shocked at the source when I came across it online soon after that!  It comes with a belt, but I like to wear it without the belt sometimes too.  I wore it to church a while back with a jacket layered over it and liked the belt with that look to add some structure.

(Our "Back to School" lunch earlier this week)

I also ordered these two dresses... I can't get enough easy to wear, flowy dresses for Summer!

For size reference, I'm 5'7" and this black and white dress is right on the border of my comfort zone on the length.  I wear it with flat sandals and it's fine, but if you're much taller it will likely be a shorter style for you.  If you're in between sizes you can size down, but I got my regular size M and am happy with it.

This is such a fun dress, how could I resist the color?  It comes in a gorgeous royal blue too and was also true to size for me.  It could be worn with a jean jacket or belt to break up the bulk a bit, but I love it as is with a big chunky necklace too.  Sizes in stock are pretty slim, but you might still be able to find one in store if not online.

A while back I shared that I had ordered this tassel, but it has since arrived and I'm smitten!  I was surprised at how substantial and large it is for the price (and have since seen it on one of my favorite accessory sites for about 3 times the price!)  Clipped on a lamp, drawer handle, basket, or handbag, this thing will be making it's way around my house!

This Staffordshire Dog Nightshirt could not be cuter!  Check out all of the items in the shop here, I love them all!

These $20 sandals just arrived at Target.  They're a knock off of a more expensive pair that I've had my eye on all Summer (which are a knock off of these high dollar designer sandals!).  There's a price point here for everyone if you like the look!

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