Celebrating Weekends

The festivities of summer have come to an end, and the holidays are just around the corner! Why not steal a few of these precious in-between moments, and make something special out of them?

Weekends. We celebrate them every 5 days. A time to rest, regroup, reconnect. A break from our work-a-day lives. Sometimes though, those wonderful “bonus days” can zoom by our heads at warp speed, with nary a moment to savor. But let me encourage you to carve out a free weekend every now and then on your calenders. No commitments. No running around. No company. And just celebrate your time of restful togetherness! With just a little planning ahead, you can make these days stand out from the ordinary — and life is just too short not to take every opportunity to celebrate!

Here are a few simple tips for making your weekend extra special:

1. Set the tone.

Before your family arrives home on Friday, go outside and cut some flowers/greenery/herbs for a small bouquet to place on each bedside table. Bonus points for adding a short handwritten note! Let each member of the family know that they are special, and that you can’t wait to spend the weekend with them!

2. Make a “treat” for breakfast!

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This can be as simple as pancakes or eggs (the goal is just to make something you don’t typically make every other day of the week), but if you want breakfast to be even more of a special event, cook something fun and desert-like. This apple crisp is a great example of getting some fruit and healthful oatmeal into your morning, but still feeling like you’re splurging! Add some plain Greek yogurt with maple syrup drizzled over top, and you’ve got breakfast fit for a king.

3. Encourage pampering.

Whether you take time to paint your nails, offer to give your hubby a back rub, or draw a bubble bath complete with candles (kids and teens love this too – of course, for younger children just either supervise the bath, or make sure candles are safely out of reach), these simple pampering activities will help you unwind, de-stress, and breathe a little more deeply.

4. Serve appetizers and snacks.

Usually just reserved for company, why not kick your weekend snacking up a notch with a bit more than the usual bag of Cheetos. Often just reserved for guests, simple appetizers take just minutes to whip up, and yet will make your family feel fussed over for sure! Whether it’s hummus and pitas, guacamole and chips, or a simple cracker/cheese/nut plate as pictured above – start your meal, or refuel after activities with this tasty touch.

5. Disconnect to Reconnect.

Designate certain hours of your weekend as “unplugged” hours, where everyone turns off their computers, ipods, phones, tablets, etc. and just enjoys each others company. Take a hike, rake the yard, play board games. It doesn’t matter what you do, it just matters that you do it together — with no technological distractions.

I hope this post has inspired you to make an ordinary weekend into one full of simple little touches that can help foster an atmosphere where memories are created, weary bodies and minds are truly refreshed, and families take time to reconnect with one another.

 

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If You Knew Me Part 2

Thought it was high time for another installment of “If You Knew Me”. I just love these!!! And what makes it so great, is when you leave your own fun facts in the comment section below ;-). If you missed Part One, you can find it HERE. Ok, ready?

If you really knew me, you would know that I:

+ Must end a Mexican meal with a York Peppermint Patty

+ Have an irrational fear of air nail guns

+ Dream about all my teeth falling out…often

+ Also have an irrational fear of steps (and escalators, and revolving doors…let’s just get them all out in the open…)

+ Have a very low tolerance for loud noise – including voices and laughing

+ Prefer to use small forks and spoons to eat

+ Think that I was born with a soul that is meant to live in Europe…just not at all into the American way of life

+ Am typically a sophisticated foodie, but have also been known to happily eat refried beans straight from the can (husband thought I needed to throw that one in)

+ Love, love, love this time of the year. You just have no idea. Everything gives me a thrill: the cool air, the smell of hot cider, picking apples, picking pumpkins, fires in the fireplace, falling leaves, crunching leaves, leaf covered yards, turning on the heat, putting on a cozy sweater, baking pumpkin desserts… I’m really quite obnoxious to be around, since I’m in a constant state of ecstasy!

+ Still feel like a rather insecure person much of the time. Hence the need for constant “Words of Affirmation” from those who love me

+ Have a thing for bathrooms. I just love them, and will often judge the quality of an establishment (or home) by the attention they pay to their bathroom decor and the softness of their toilet paper…deep, I know-

Aaand here ends this installment of “If You Knew Me”. Now it’s your turn! Can’t wait to hear some fun facts about you in the comments below!

The Pumpkin Patch

 

Truly. Is there anything more fallish than a trip to the pumpkin patch? I think not. Throw in a corn maze (my first one!), a hayride, some hot apple cider, a fellow blogger, and you’ve got the makings of one delightful October afternoon!

Erica, from Caught On A Whim, and I (and our men) met up for another blate this past weekend, and here are a few pics from our time together:

All fun fall frolicking aside, those of us here in the mid-atlantic are bracing for the megastorm which is due to make landfall tomorrow. The rain and frigid high winds have already begun here in VA, so if I fall off the map for a few days, you’ll know our power is out. Say a prayer for all of us on the east coast, will you?

P.S. To end on a lighter note, check out this beeeYEWtiful lace candle tutorial Erica just posted. The girl’s got talent. Love it!

Friday’s Foto Felicity

We’re almost to the weekend girls, woohoo!!!! Got any fun plans? Ours include some family hang-out, a pumpkin patch, and a JCrew Sample Sale :-). It promises to be a good time. Have you entered The Sisterhood’s Handmade Giveaway yet? The prize pack includes the wonderful quote-embellished pillow from Tina, some darling chalkboard picture frames from Sheila, and a fallish hand-stamped candle from me! Get your name in the pot before it’s too late!

If you enjoy your time here at Vignettes, why not consider following via Facebook, Bloglovin’ or Twitter?

And now onto our quote for this Friday -featuring the words of the wise Benjamin Franklin:

Some Things To Remember Along The Way

Nobody’s life is all roses. Everyone is fighting in their own kind of battle. So give people a break.

A true lady is kind and gracious both to your face, and most importantly, behind your back.

A simple warm smile can brighten up the darkest of days.

You can’t expect everyone to think like you do. Your passions are not their passions… and that’s ok.

Imagine what it would be like to have the “ideal friend”…then make it your mission to be that friend.

Maturity is found in peaceably disagreeing with someone, and yet still respecting them.

Each day is filled with gems…but you only uncover them when you set out purposefully to treasure hunt.

Be slow to speak and quick to listen (empty kettles make the most noise).

There won’t be room for flowers to grow in your life, unless you pull up all the weeds.

Be stingy with criticism and lavish with praise.

Gratitude is the fertilizer of joy.

Handmade Gift Ideas for the Holidays!

Listen…

Can you hear it?? That’s the sound of the holiday season tiptoeing up behind us! I’m one that’s all for planning/shopping/cooking early so that when the holidays are upon us, we are much more free to ride the joyful wave of festivities stress-free!

So in the spirit of planning ahead, today I have a simple, fun little craft idea for you that would make an excellent gift for friends, family, secret santas, and hostesses alike:

For you visual learners, you’ll find step by step photos if you keep scrollin’ on down. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

What you’ll need:
A white pillar candle
Tissue paper
Wax paper
A rubber stamp
Ink
A heat gun
Scissors

Stamp your image onto the tissue paper, and cut it out – fairly close to the image, but no need to cut all the way up to the lines. Place your tissue paper image onto the candle. Tear a piece of wax paper roughly the height of the candle and wrap it around the candle tightly, holding it taut (and covering your image). Using a heat gun, heat the image and wax paper until you see it starting to “melt” into the candle. The image will become more vivid, and the tissue paper will disappear. Slowly peel off the wax paper to reveal your image! If you can still see some tissue paper, you can re-cover and re-heat it until it’s all gone.~

I would buy a candle from the Dollar store to practice on a little bit before you do the real thing. It’s not hard, but takes a little while to get the hang of how much heat is too much heat (which then creates drips in the candle). It’ll only take you a couple of tries though – then you’ll be a pro!


Ta-da!!! Is that not too cool for school?!


You girls all inspired to get crafty yet? 🙂 Hope so! And have I got a treat for you today:
more inspiration!!!!
The other gals in The Sisterhood have been cookin’ up some handmade goodness today too, so head on over to The Failte House to see Sheila’s beautiful chalkboard frame creations:


And to Like Ordinary Life to ooh and ahhh over Tina’s darling pillow:


But wait!!! There’s more!!!!! Drumroll please….

WE’RE ALL GIVING AWAY OUR CRAFTS TO YOU!!!!!!

That’s right! If you’d like to win all three of our crafts, head on over to THIS post to put your name in the hat. Run, don’t walk!!!

 

The Sisterhood Fall Giveaway!!!

Today you have the opportunity to win not one, not two, but THREE gifts, handmade with love by your favorite sisterhood of bloggers ;-): Sheila from The Failte House, Tina from Like Ordinary Life, and Yours Truly! If you click on those links <—- you’ll be taken to some fabulously easy-to-follow tutorials, should you be in the market for some handmade decor or gift ideas of your own for the upcoming holiday season!

Here are the spoils:

 And your opportunities to win are as follows:
a Rafflecopter giveaway