Posted in family, summer tips, Uncategorized

How about that spare tire!

Summer Car tips

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Photo by Jacob Owen

Are you going on a driving vacation? You really must prepare your car before loading up the family and heading off into the wild blue yonder. This post may not be sexy but if you have ever been on the side of the road with kids, pets and parents you really will appreciate the words of wisdom. If you haven’t, you really don’t want to have stranded roadside memories.

Ditch the junk in the trunk – Clean the clutter out. You will need all the space you can for the kiddie gear. Plus extra weight means lower gas mileage.

Power up – Did you know that your battery could leave you stranded in the hot summer months? The heat and overcharging can shorten the life of your battery. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery.

Kick the Tires – Do you really want to have a flat tire on the side of the road? Properly inflated tires are important to both your fuel economy and to the life of your tires. Don’t forget to check the spare if you have one.

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Photo by Mason Jones

Remember that you can check the tread by taking a penny and insert it upside down along your treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, those treads are dead and you need new tires.

According to Edmunds.com even if you have sufficient tread but your tires are older than say six-years you may need to replace your tires.

Carmakers such as Nissan and Mercedes-Benz who tell consumers to replace tires six years after their production date, regardless of tread life. Tire manufacturers such as Continental and Michelin say a tire can last up to 10 years provided you get annual tire inspections after the fifth year. The Rubber Manufacturers Association says there is no way to put a date on when a tire “expires,” because such factors as heat, storage and conditions of use can dramatically reduce the life of a tire. Here’s more on each of these factors.

How To Determine the Age of a Tire

  1. The sidewall of a tire is full of numbers and letters. They all mean something, but deciphering them can be a challenge. This Edmunds article about reading a tire’s sidewall goes into greater detail, but for the purposes of determining the age of a tire, you’ll just need to know its U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number.

  2. Tires made after 2000 have a four-digit DOT code. The first two numbers represent the week in which the tire was made. The second two represent the year. A tire with a DOT code of 1109 was made in the 11th week of 2009. To read all the details go to http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/how-old-and-dangerous-are-your-tires.html

Check the Juice – You can easily check your fluids like coolant, motor oil and windshield washer fluid also. I recommend you take your vehicle and have the oil changed and checked out by a professional before you begin a car trip.

The future is so bright you need shades – Purchasing a $10 sunshade that keeps sunlight from coming in the windshield can reduce fading, drying and cracking inside your vehicle, and keep you cooler when you sit down behind the wheel. If you happen to live in Arizona you will find that a sunshade is necessary. Believe me you don’t want to sit on a leather seat that has been baking in the sun. We really can bake cookies in our vehicle in the summer.

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Photo by Caleb Whiting

Preparation is a key to handling harsh summer heat. That certainly beats being stranded in the heat. But if this happens make sure you have signed up for a roadside assistance program. Your cell phone provider may offer roadside or there is always AAA.

Failure to plan is a plan to fail. A little organization goes a long way.  What are you summer plans?

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#Vacation #family #kidsfun #cartrip #Momslife #Dadslife # maintenance

Posted in family, summer tips, Uncategorized

Tips to Take Your Summer Entertaining to the Next Level

Since we are celebrating everything USA weekend. What is more patriotic than Apple Pie?

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Photo by Stephanie McCabe

So how about apple pie sangria! Because this is summer time I recommend you use a sweet and light Moscato. Click here for the recipe is from the Cookie Rookie.

Are you grilling? How about adding something unexpected to the grill? Try adding some sweet potatoes, avocados, peaches or watermelon as they all grill extremely well.

Freeze blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries in ice cubes to flavor your beverages

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Photo from Elegant Wedding Invites

Use a kiddie pool filled with ice for your drinks and beverages. If you are having a picnic the adding ice to a kiddie pool makes a perfect to put all the chilled foods into making a cold buffet.

Are you looking for an easy way to tote all your plates, napkins, utensils and condiments? Put them all in a Plastic Tote Caddy. You know the kind you use to keep your cleaning products together. It works great for picnics too. You could also use one for your sunscreen, baby wipes, bug spray and other stuff you need close at hand.

I’m sure you have all seen the tip to use a muffin pan for your condiments. I suggest you use cupcake liners to cut down on the cleanup.

You can use a garden flag holder to put paper towels anywhere you need them in the back yard. Add a cute bucket or container with wet wipes and hand sanitizer and you are ready to clean up those fingers.

Kiddie fun:

To cool off make a water balloon piñata!

Have stick horse races by making Pool Noodle Ponies from the pool noodles you can get at the Dollar store.

Not near the beach? You can still build a castle out of Life size Lincoln Logs made out of pool noodles~ 15 to 20 pool noodles from the dollar store cut in half cut notches out easily with scissors = hours and hours of fun playtime! AWESOME!!!

Make a Squirt Gun Station by filling a bucket with water and put squirt guns in it.

I have camping tips from a recent post Click here to see them.

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Photo By Kelly Bozarth

What are you planning for this weekend?

 

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#picnic #BBQ #outdoorparty #july4 #applepie #USA #family #kidsfun #cookout

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing, summer tips, Uncategorized

Want free stuff and party with friends.

Well who wouldn’t!!  Right.

Summer Closet Purge

&

Summer Clothing Swap

Do you feel like you need a bigger closet? You don’t have anything to wear? Want to add something new your closet without spending a dime? Have a party!

Want to make a fun girls night in? Tell your gals what you are doing, have them bring their donations and host a clothing swap party.

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Photo by Abigail Keenan

So before you can have a party you and your gal’s have to purge your closets and determine what can and needs to go.

When did you last empty your closet? When you moved in? Well that’s too long.

First you need to get a trash bag and a box.

Everything will go in one of 3 places trash, keep or donate. The box is the donation box. Your “keep” goes in a pile on the bed.

Time to clear your closet. You are going to take everything out and decide to donate, trash or keep.

Now be honest with yourself. What size are you? Will you be able to fit in this soon? If not donate it.If you were shopping today, would you buy this now? No ~ then donate it.  When did you wear it last? Has it been over one year? Why? Donate it.

Now that you have sorted everything and your closet is empty it’s a good time evaluate your keep pile. If you couldn’t decide to donate or keep, then you can put it back in the keep. BUT you have to commit to re-evaluate in six months.

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Photo by Jeff Sheldon

Hang everything you are keeping neatly on hangers but turn the hangers backwards so that when you actually wear something you remove the hanger and you will flip it around. Six months later you will be able to see what you did not wear. Those need serious thought as to if you should donate them.

I understand I have a LBD in my closet that may not see the light of day for over 6 months but that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the skinny jeans you can have not worn in years or the jacket you loved years ago and you now live in a climate that you never wear a jacket.

OK now that you have cleared your closet and determined what to donate. You are ready to host a clothing swap party.

There are lots of places to get details on hosting the party. Here is what Oprah.com says:

  1. Include friends of all sizes and shapes—and don’t leave out your pregnant friends who could be looking for larger items. Because some pieces can be easily adapted to fit various figures by adding a belt, have one on hand the day of so that guests can see if cinching a roomy top or dress will make it work for them.

  2. Host your swap at the end of the season when people are more likely to be cleaning out their closets and looking for new pieces to freshen up their wardrobes. Send out an Evite or Facebook invitation (both save trees and help you track RSVPs) a month in advance to give guests time to prepare and let go of the too-tight, too-short skirt or neon blouse they haven’t been bold enough to wear. If you’re not opposed to a few extra houseguests, ask friends to spread the word to a stylish friend outside your circle to increase the pot and better everyone’s chances of walking away with a good find.

  3. Note a minimum and maximum number of items each person should bring, especially if you do choose to open up the guest list. This ensures there are plenty of quality things to trade but not so much stuff that it becomes overwhelming for you or your friends. And encourage everyone to bring any unwanted clothing, regardless of the weather outside. Tank tops and T-shirts make great layering pieces year round, says Nichelle Stephens, founder of the Fashion Swap and Meet blog.

  4. Only things in good condition (washed and ironed) should be welcome. Gently remind guests on the invitation to clean out their pockets (tracking down an ID card someone mistakenly left in their old jeans is a nuisance worth avoiding) and reserve anything they’d be embarrassed to loan to a friend (stained clothes, moth-eaten sweaters and underwear) for the garbage—not your swap

  5. Add accessories to the mix (like gently worn shoes, handbags, jewelry, scarves and unopened beauty products). This will ensure that everyone—regardless of size—can find something that fits.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/style/clothing-swap-how-to-host-a-clothing-swap#ixzz4CiChP0X5

You will find you have so much more space. Plus maybe you found some treasures you had forgotten about or new treasures from your friends.

Congratulations you did it!! Enjoy a party with your friends.

By the way this can be done for your kids stuff (clothing, toys and gear) too.

So did you schedule a party?

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#beeorganized #overwhelmed #disorganized #family #realmom #motherhood # truelife #mom #kids #girlsnightin #onetouch, #clutter #reallife

 

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Don’t put that down!

 

Look around? Do you see coffee mugs on the table, your desk, or dishes on the counter? How about are you using your treadmill as an extra valet? Do you want an easy tip to cut that clutter out?

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Photo by Alejandra Parejo

You need to implement the one touch rule.

What is the one touch rule?

 

Easy. If you have something in your hand ~  take it where it belongs. Don’t put it down.

We recently talked about laundry. Fold it when you take it out of the dryer and put it away. How about when you and come home from work  or school and you change clothes? Hang them up or put them in the laundry basket. Don’t throw them on the bed or your exercise equipment. Touch them one time. It you toss them on the bed you have to come back a second time and put them away.

Let’s talk about dishes. Don’t leave them sitting around. Don’t put them in the sink, immediately put them in the dishwasher.

Who is guilty of leaving an unfinished craft project on the table? How about ingredients all over the kitchen when cooking or baking?

When you use something ~ put it back. Touch it one time.

This applies to your entire family. Kids too.

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Photo by  Danielle MacInnes

The Parent Coach, Susan Stiffelman at the Huffington Post suggests the following:

  • “Establish that no new toys can be taken out until whatever has been played with has been put away. Kindly remind your daughter if she forgets. And by all means, do not clean up her messes. If you cave in and do the job for her, you will have taught her that if she whines or procrastinates long enough, she won’t have to take responsibility. Acknowledge that you understand that she’d rather not put away her paints, or that it looks like it will take forever. By letting her feel heard and understood, you’ll ensure that her upset will dissolve more quickly — and help her accept that she simply has to get the job done.”

  • Start by resetting the rules. Explain to your kids that you’ve made some new decisions about cleaning up, and you want to share them so that everyone knows what to expect. “When you’re finished playing with something, it’s important that you put it away completely before you move on to something else. If you forget, I’ll remind you once. If you still forget, that particular toy will go in a special box for a month.” Some parents tell their children that toys that are left out will be given away. Decide how harsh you want to be — but make sure that you follow through. If you deliver meaningless threats in the heat of the moment, your child won’t take you seriously.

  • Break a big job down into bite-sized steps. Help your children work in manageable increments if they have a lot to clean up. “Start by putting away anything with red on it … or anything made of plastic … or whatever is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.” This will help them learn that, little by little, they can get a big job done — whether it’s cleaning up a physical mess, working on a complex report or organizing a research project.”

For more of Susan’s tips click here

If  only I could get the fur babies to put back their toys.

You should have better luck with your kids.

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Photo by Aaron Burden

Only Touch an Item Once

I love your feedback.

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#beeorganized #overwhelmed #disorganized #family #realmom #motherhood # truelife #mom #kids #laundry #onetouch, #clutter #reallife

 

Partners

Posted in family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Do you have a monster in your house?

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Laundry!

Many of you have expressed to me that Laundry is your nemesis. It piles up and becomes a monster.

Is this case in your house?

Of course the secret is to stay on top of it. Not allow laundry to pile up.

In our house there are 2 laundry baskets in each room. When any basket is full laundry is done.

This works in two ways.

One – No sorting. It’s either white or colors. Also, no sorting whose clothes it is.

Two –When the laundry comes out of the dryer it is folded and placed back in the basket. Basket taken to the room it came from and the clothes are put away immediately.

Did you miss that key point; I’ll say it again.

Fold laundry as it comes out of the dryer. WHAT!!

Right – No wrinkles, No procrastination and PILES of clothes.

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Photo from Flicker.com

You put the FOLDED clothes back in the basket to take it back to the room it came out of. Absolutely, your kids can do help do this.

I have colorful laundry baskets that are just the right size for a load of laundry. I also keep my empty hangers in a specific spot so when I take the basket of dirty clothes I grab the hangers.  I know that I will have the right amount of hangers for the clothes when they are dry. Remove from them from the dryer and place them on hangers. We have placed a hanging bar in our laundry room.

Another thing at our house is we keep a spot pre-treat in the closet. When you have a spot. I treat it went I take if off. I don’t have to remember or search for spots. (This works for adults and older kids but of course not for little’s.)

Do your towels smell even after you have washed them? What can you do? According to Good Housekeeping, saving your towels is as simple as running them through two hot loads. Skip the detergent on both loads. Run them through once with hot water and a cup of vinegar and then again with hot water and a half-cup of baking soda. Your goal, whether washing brand new towels or old towels, is to strip the softener and detergent reside from the fibers of the towel and get them as absorbent as possible. I do this and I can say it works.

Did you know bras, rayon fabrics, silk, wool sweaters, camis and lace items should never be put in the dryer?

Use a dry erase marker to write on the top of your dryer and list those special items to prevent accidental dryer mishaps.

So what are your laundry tips? How about your biggest laundry mishap?

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#beeorganized #overwhelmed #disorganized #family #realmom #momblog #momblogger #motherhood # truelife; #mom #kids #laundry

 

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Did you get Stacked?

 

WHAT!!!!

Ha! Got your attention.  This is a “G” rated blog.

Now lets deal with your stacks.

In many houses there are stacks of stuff that accumulate in certain areas.

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Photo from Huffpost.com

Do you have stacks of stuff on the dining table? Do you have to unearth your washer to do the laundry? You know there is a desk under there but you haven’t seen the top of it since you don’t know when?

You are not alone. To solve this problem we have to determine what is the root cause of the problem.

The why, Where and What if?

  • Where do your stacks start?
  • Why does that particular spot that attract stacks of stuff?
  • What if we changed that spot by making it easy to put stuff away or out of sight?

Let’s look at why things stack up where they do.

We had a problem at one house because the kitchen was connected to the garage and the kitchen table was right there. That table was our where as it was Perfect landing spot for mail, jackets, keys and work stuff..

Why did that happen? Because it was the first flat surface when we walked thru the door everyday. ARGH!!

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Photo from Pixabay.com

Our what if was solved by placing an antique dresser with lots of drawers in the kitchen area. We had a drawer for mail. A drawer for work papers and folders, one was perfect for keys and Mr. Man’s wallet. We added a charger station in one and that is where all the electronics went. Our stacks when in a drawer and were out of sight but easy to access every morning. It was perfect and we still had drawers for kitchen linens.

Also, in our office we strategically placed a trashcan and a shredder. I always knew where the mail was and when I was ready to deal with it. I pulled it mail out of the dresser drawer and dealt with it. Sensitive stuff was shredded immediately; trash and junk mail was easy to dispose of. We added file folders so that when those things came in we needed to keep there was a place to file them away immediately. By having a folder ready I had no excuse not to file it. I kept supplies in the file drawer so when I needed to add a folder it was easy.

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Photo by Lisa Zoe

The secret to not having piles around is to find out why they happen. Then fix it. Make it easy to deal with those piles and they will not stack up on you.

Were are your Stacks and Why do thing stack up there?

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#family, #challenge, #letitgo #Organized, #clutter

 

 

Posted in Organizing

Happy Father’s Day

Dad  young on a horse.Let me tell you a little about my Dad.

He is a veteran of the Navy, Cowboy, Farmer, Rancher, Computer programmer and Systems analysis, Deacon in the Church, and Friend to many.

The baby of 8, Father of 4, Grandfather of 6 & 1/3.

Husband of one amazing woman for over 50 years.

My husband considers him Dad and I am proud to share him. He never meets a stranger and if you meet him you will instantly like him too.

He always is in my corner and not just mine.  He encouraged me to always try to be better by treating all with courtesy and kindness.  I am truly blessed to have him as my dad.

Dad ~ Happy Father’s Day.  I love you.

Pamela.

 

So tell me about your Dad?

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#fathersDay, #family, #blessed, #Dad, #youtheman

 

 

 
Curve

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing, Uncategorized

To Bee or not to Bee

That is the question ~

What the heck does this have to do with being organized?

Do you procrastinate?  Do you sometimes vacillate on making choices?overwhelmed 5-1 a

Juli Huffman from Roundabout Forty recently wrote a great post on procrastination.  I am sharing it today with you.  Enjoy!!

Source: Q is for Question #atozchallenge

A Procrastinator’s Guide From A to Z “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ― Dr. Seuss Q is for Question. Procrastinators aren’t lazy.  They aren’t…

Procrastinators aren’t lazy.  They aren’t stupid.  They think about things.  They worry about things.  They don’t wander through life expecting everyone else to take care of them and their problems.  Oh no!  Quite the contrary.  They don’t live a simple life, putting things off until the last possible minute.  It may seem like they don’t care, but they do,  In fact, I would wager that they care more than most people.  That’s the problem.  They care too much!

I’ve said this before in previous posts, but I’ll say it again; most procrastinators are perfectionist at heart.  It’s all or nothing.  Do it the right way, or don’t bother trying.  They’re afraid of not being enough.  Not good enough.  Not smart enough.  Never enough!  Fear keeps the perfectionist from moving forward.  Perfectionism and Fear are MAJOR players in Depression.

The Procrastinator wants to move forward with their life, but they can’t.  They’re afraid that they’ll make the wrong choices.  They question things.  They question EVERYTHING.

They question the little stuff:

What should I wear this morning?

What are we eating for dinner?

What color should I paint this room?

Should I get a haircut?

What are we doing this weekend?

They question the BIG stuff:

What am I supposed to be doing with my life?

Where am I supposed to be?

Should I work at this job or that one?

Should I live in this city or another one?

Is there a God out there?

What happens when we die?

I’d venture to say that EVERYONE has asked these questions at some time or other.  But not everyone is paralyzed with trying to come up with an answer.  Procrastinators have a difficult time answering the simple questions in life.  What if they’re wrong?  What if they make a mistake?  What if they make a bad choice?  A wrong choice!  Their perfectionism keeps them from seeing past what’s in front of them.  Think about it.  So what if you’re wrong?  You paint your room a hideous color…then what?  Does the world come to an end?  The fate of the universe rests on your entree decision?  Or do you you make another choice and move on?  Move forward.  Most people realize they can make new decisions, that they can change their minds.  Most people realize that nothing is written in stone.  The Procrastinator…yeah, they’re not so sure.  They want to make ONE decision, the right one, and never have to do it again.  One and done!

If a simple decision is enough to derail a Procrastinator, then a BIG choice is near impossible!  If Perfectionism makes it difficult to decide on what side dish to get with a meal, how in the world are they supposed to pick the “right” major in college.  What if they pick the wrong career?  What if they ruin their life?  They see the world in black and white, a million questions with only ONE right answer.  They can’t fathom multiple paths…all of them “right.”  They can’t understand living in a world where they could become a nurse OR a teacher, and be happy in either career!  That either choice might work out okay, or not.  That everything is fluid.  That you might have more than one career in your life, or the same career—straight out of school until retirement—and BOTH scenarios are okay!  It boggles the mind of a Procrastinator.  Their Perfectionism blinds them from the truth.  Fear clouds their judgement.

Sometimes, it seems like it’s easier to let go, to let the outside world make the decisions for us.  Procrastinators like this.  It works!   ALL out of fries?  I’ll order the mashed potatoes.  WHEW!!!!  That was easy.  Classes are full?  YAY!!!  It’s not my fault.  I guess I’ll have to pick a different major.  A loved one dies?  I guess it must have been “God’s plan.”  Never mind that they did NOTHING to take responsibility for their health over the course of their life.  If the situation is obviously out of the Procrastinator’s hands, they can let it go. They can move forward.  They can move on.

If a Procrastinator can find a way to move past their Fear and Perfectionism, there’s space for other possibilities, proactive ones.  They can follow their dreams.  Make plans. Screw up.  Make new choices.  Lather, rinse, and repeat.  If they can’t?  They’re forced to live reactively, allowing others to make the choices for them.  I’ve done both, probably more years reacting than making my own choices.  Both cases are scary!  But…I think I’d rather make my own mistakes than live in the shadows of others and their choices.  I can screw up just as easily as anyone else.  I don’t need someone else to do my thinking for me.

Take care and live your dreams!  xo Juli   

Thank you Juli!

To the Bee Hive:

If you are ready to move on. I can help.  

Small steps lead to big changes.

Lindsay-Henwood Upsplash photo-1448387473223-5c37445527e7
Photo by Lindsay Henwood ~ Unsplash

Every day there are little things you can do which will lead you to control your chaos and add organization to your day.

Take the first step.

I love your comments.

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#Procrastinator #Family #profectionist #Justdoit #letgo #organized #clutter
Perfection

Posted in family, Organizing, summer tips, Uncategorized

The Happiness Tag

So here goes – thanks to Wendy Brilliance Within for nominating me to complete this ‘happiness tag’ the rules are easy. Write about 5 things that make me happy, 5 songs that make me happy and nominate 5 ‘happy’ bloggers to complete the tag too if they are willing to share a bit of happiness..

5 Things that make me happy:

Must have Coffee 5-13

No1: Is my husband. We have been together for 30 years. All those years ago he ask me to, “come grow old with me as the best is yet to be.” I accepted and he was right. The amazing journey of our life continued to get better and better with each passing year. My kids have 4 legs and are fur babies. They give unconditional love. They never ask for money or wreck the car. They are not the best at picking up their toys but they will we are working on that.

No2: My family. I am blessed to have amazing parents who instilled into my siblings and me that we could do anything we wanted to do. Plus they supported each and every one of our endeavors. They are supporting my niece right now by traveling over 2 states to cheer her on as  she competes in gymnastics. We all support each other and when we do get together it is a grand time.  We have made the most of every bit of time we are together.  We camped for over 50 years with extended family and those memories are things we still talk about to this day. Sandra, I’m sorry about the strawberry Sunday.  How was I to know it would fly back in and go all over you.

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No3: Great friends. In 2010 we moved half way across the US to Arizona. We knew no one here.  That soon changed and we have made great friends from all over. Plus we retain our friends from Oklahoma. Anytime we are together is a grand time with lots of laughter and food.  (Eating makes me happy too.)

 

Jenny's Bee
Jenny’s bee!

No4: Nature – We live in an amazing state that is incredibly diverse. I can be in the mountains in 2 hours or at the sea in 5. We can play golf almost every day. Many think the desert is empty but they would be wrong. Birds winter here. Year round we have hummingbirds, doves, quail, roadrunners the list goes on and on. I enjoy seeing mountains from my back yard and watching the birds. Plus our sunsets are fabulous. Then our night sky, oh my don’t get me started. But until you have watched meteor dart across the crystal clear night from your back yard in December in your PJ’s you haven’t  lived.

 

No5: Reading – I believe if you can read you can go anywhere.  I read all the time.

 

5 songs that make me happy right now:

No1: Pharrell Williams “Happy”

No2: Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

No3: DNCE Cake by the Ocean – If you have not seen the Kai sing this on Ellen you should look it up.- Adorable now every time I hear this song I see this adorable little boy and smile.

No4: Justin Timberlake “Can’t stop the feeling”

No5: Megan Trainor “All about that Bass

I nominate the following because they make me happy. – I hope you don’t mind but I’d love to read your Happiness Tag’s..

ellen best

art travel eat repeat

Amie at becoming a wild family

change is possible blog

lynz real cooking

P.S.  Meeting new friends by reading your blogs is another thing that makes me happy.

So what makes you happy?

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#behappy, #smile, #tag, #organized, #clutter, #dontworry