Once upon a time about two years ago, I had a free night with no kids and no husband (I think the kids were off at friends’ houses and David was working), so I decided to go to a movie. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever gone to a movie solo…but you should definitely try it if you haven’t (when all this COVID-19 mess is over)! Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the movies with friends and family, but there’s something therapeutic about going to a movie solo–the movie selection is all yours, you get an entire section to yourself, you don’t have to share popcorn or snacks, and you can cry and laugh at the stupid parts without judgement.
Anyways…on this particular night, I decided to go see a movie called Book Club starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen. It was a total “chick-flick”, but that’s right up my alley. To make a long story short, it was about this group of older women that had a book club and they decided to read the Fifty Shades of Grey series. They would take a month to read one book and then meet up, have some drinks, and discuss the book and their lives (basically an excuse to have a girls’ night once a month).
This got me thinking…so the next day while having coffee at my friend Christy’s house, I told her that I wanted to start a book club. I explained to her the movie I had seen and asked her if she’d be interested. And that was the birth of our book club! We initially invited two other women in our neighborhood and Christy chose our first book Little Fires Everywhere By: Celeste Ng
Two years and counting…and we are still going strong! We have added members and sadly lost one (she moved away). We’re currently at six members. We’ve read a total of 18 books since we began, each unique in their own way. Here are the ones that I can recall at the moment that we’ve already read:
All the books our club has read (hope I’m not leaving one out…)
If you want to start up a book club, there is no right or wrong way to do it. You just need a couple close friends that enjoy reading and getting together with friends. When starting a book club, you might wanna think about things like who you’d like to invite, how often you’d like to meet, how your club will select the book, and where/when you guys will meet for book club.
Me (being the teacher that I am) and my book club established early on that we would rotate the book selection in order from member-to-member each month. The person that selects the book that month, is also in charge of hosting book club once it’s been read. That person decides if book club will be held at their house or a restaurant (we’ve met at both). Sometimes the host asks for each person to bring a food item, and sometimes they provide it all. For each meeting, we have dinner and drinks and discuss the book. After we eat, we usually begin the book discussion. I usually read aloud the discussion questions (many books have discussion questions in the back of the book, or you can usually find some online) and many times we veer off topic and discuss our own lives. At the end of the night, the next member reveals the upcoming book to be read and we set a date for the next meet. This is how we have operate, but it can operate however you and your friends like.
Here’s the thing about book club…while reading the books and discussing them is a big part of it, it’s the fellowship with friends that make book club so much fun! Friendships are like marriages…you have to make time for each other and be intentional in doing that or they will fizzle out. Catching up with these ladies once a month keeps us very much apart of each other’s lives. I’m so glad that I had this idea over two years ago. I really believe that we’ll continue on this journey for many years to come. If you decide to start your own book club, let me know how it turns out! Also, I’d love any suggestions on great reads that you’d like to share! Happy reading 🙂
Hi Friends, Whew! I have been painting… and painting… and painting! Which is why I’ve gone a week without a single blog post (ugh). My old lady back is pretty mad at me at the moment (really needing a massage about now–stupid COVID)! Lol, these days I blame everything on COVID-19.
Anyways, I’ve always said that once we got ready to paint our kitchen or living room that we would hire it out…but me and my inner “take charge” voice had a brilliant idea that I’d tackle it myself. After all…I was only going to paint the trim and small wall space. Most of our kitchen is cabinets, so I didn’t think it to be too big of a job. WRONG!! The wall space and trim wasn’t too bad, but once the walls and trim were painted, the cabinets stuck out like a sore thumb! Y’all knowing me…I HAD to paint them too! I mean just look at them:
They had like a yellowy look to them. So I set out to remove all the hardware and paint. Changing the color of our cabinets really brightened up our kitchen! I love the results!
Now that our cabinets are brightened…the back splash and counter tops are screaming at me for a change…but that’s gonna have to wait. The results of our kitchen (for now) have me feeling pretty satisfied. I especially love the accent color I chose for our pantry door! Check out the before and after:
In case any of you are wondering, that’s Sherwin Williams “peppercorn” color. My other favorite thing about the kitchen refresh is how we added faux shiplap along the side of our kitchen island. Check out this before and after:
To do faux shiplap you need: *thin plywood cut into your desired widths (I used 4 inch widths here) *sand paper *nail gun
So we bought a $25 piece of plywood (that’s right..this project only cost $25), and I used a yardstick to draw out the lines I needed David to cut along. He cut up the strips of wood and sanded off the rough edges.
Next, we used a piece of the plywood to space out how they needed to be nailed along the wall of the island, and worked our way up. Thank GOD for his help in this project (large saws intimidate me)! See time-lapse video below (the breaks in the video were the times David had to go out and cut the parts to fit around the plug)…
So…I hope this explains why I’ve been MIA from the blog for the last week! Love the results, but boy am I glad it’s over! Hope you picked up something you liked or could use from today’s post! Have a fabulous day:)
Some of you may be thinking, “This girl has way too much time on her hands!” I guess you could say that you’re right to an extent, but what better time to clean and organize than times like these! I mean, we’re still in quarantine (at least my household is until a COVID-19 vaccine surfaces).
Actually, cleaning and organizing my fridge has been on my list of “to-dos” for a while now. Due to my heavy amount of OCDs, adding labels to things is calming for me. When I told my mom that I was working on the project of creating labels for our fridge, her response was, “Who does that!?” Well…judge all you want, but I think you’ll agree that the before and after pics show that the task was well worth it.
This is a pic of what the inside of our fridge looked like before I began the task of cleaning out and organizing:
Not too too bad, but still in need of some decluttering and organizing. Now in preparing to do this project, I was under the impression that it might take me an hour or so, and I’d have it done….WRONG! This was an all-day affair! The act of cleaning out and organizing the fridge did only take about an hour, BUT the making of the labels and application of them was the time consuming part.
Tip: Go ahead and make your labels and have everything ready to go before you begin cleaning out and organizing.
Below is the way it looked after all was cleaned and organized!! I LOVE it!!
If you’re wanting to achieve this in your own fridge, follow these 5 simple steps:
Step 2: Decide on how you’d like to categorize the sections in your fridge (i.e. I categorized by fruits, veggies, deli items, condiments, sauces, cooking items, snacks, etc), and create labels for each category. If you do not have a Cricut to cut them out, you could buy chalk sticker labels and a chalk marker to hand-write your labels.
Step 4: Start cleaning out your fridge…shelf by shelf. Take everything off one shelf and check all the expiration dates. Toss all items that have expired or have been left in the fridge too long (time for that 2 week old lasagna to go ;)) Then, get a warm rag and wipe down the sides of your fridge. If your shelf is removable, take it out and wash it in the sink with warm soapy water. Be sure to towel dry the shelf and insides of the fridge before you place food back.
As you begin clearing out the food, start grouping it into groups that you have made labels for. If you would like to label your organizing containers, begin applying labels to them.
Continue to go shelf, by shelf, until you’ve cleaned and cleared away all expired food items and wiped up any residues and spills.
Step 5: Add your labels. When adding labels using vinyl from Cricut, you definitely want to use some type of transfer tape. This helps apply the labels straight and centered. You also want to make sure that the surface area is clean and dry before application. I actually applied labels as I went to each shelf, but you can do this step last as well.
…and there you have it! 5 Easy steps to creating a clean organized fridge! Don’t forget to like this post. Hope you enjoyed this it and please subscribe to this blog so you can get more helpful insights to make your home better!
Okay, so let’s face…virtual learning is tough for everyone involved (students, parents, and teachers). I have been on the receiving end of each role and worked to navigate virtual learning and teaching over the past year. This got me thinking…I should create a blog post with tips for each person involved in virtual learning to help those (like me and my fam) cope with the daily demands of virtual learning/teaching.
“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you are responding to what’s happening. That’s where the power is.” -Anonymous
Tips for Parents
Be patient with your children and your children’s teachers. Easier said than done (I know), but by taking some deep breaths, and having patience when things get frustrating, you will save not only your stress level but theirs as well.
Leave your child be during their live sessions with the teachers. When your child is at school, you’re not there sitting beside them while they are learning. Why should virtual learning be any different?
Establish and maintain daily routines. Your child needs a daily schedule and should be expected to follow it. Print and post the daily schedule the teacher shared for both you and your child to see. If your child’s teacher did not share a daily schedule, create one! Be sure to include everything from breakfast, class times, breaks, lunch, outside time, etc.
Ask to be added to your child’s google classroom (or other learning platform) so that you can see and be notified of assignments to ensure that they are being completed.
Praise your child for their successes! Times are hard and virtual learning is hard!! The more praise and positivity you can give your child, the better!!
Express your worries and ask for advice. Your child’s teacher will appreciate and see how invested you are in your child’s education. This will also build good rapport between you and the teacher.
Listen to your child read daily if your child is a struggling reader (and even if they aren’t)! The more you read with your child, the better they will get.
Tips for Students
Ask for help when you do not understand. You’re teachers are there for this reason. Chances are they will be glad that you ask and will make sure that you understand.
Participate in live sessions and answer questions when they are asked. This shows you are interested in your learning and paying attention.
Read carefully directions to daily tasks and pay attention to details.
Get plenty of rest at night and eat a good breakfast. When you are tired and hungry, you can not listen and understand what’s being taught.
Make a daily list of assignments and check each one off as you finish.
Gather all needed supplies and keep them close and accessible.
Work in a comfortable, well-lit and distraction-free room. No background noises should be present. Keep the televisions off and phones put away. If you wouldn’t be allowed to have it in a regular classroom setting, you shouldn’t have it during your virtual learning day either. Doing this will ensure success when virtual learning.
Tips for Teachers
Have compassion and empathy for what families are facing with navigating virtual learning within their homes. Putting yourself in your students’ families shoes, will allow you to think from other perspectives. Give grace and understanding.
Hold your students to high standards. Let them know that just because they are learning from home, you still have rules and expectations that should be followed.
Tell them you care! Both the students and their parents. We all know that if teachers did not care, they would not be doing what they are doing. Lord knows it’s not a profession one goes into for money! Now more than ever, students and parents need to hear that we care. Let them know you see them, and their efforts to make virtual learning work.
Reach out to those that are MIA. When you notice one (or five) of your students not completing assignments and/or not showing up to virtual live sessions, reach out and find out why. Offer help and work with those struggling to keep their heads above water. Sometimes having a one-on-one chat with a student and letting them know the expectations, that you believe in them, that they are too smart not to do what they are expected, and that you are there for them ALWAYS can go a long way.
Be creative and think outside the box! Just because you are not able to be face-to-face with your students, does not mean learning has to be dull. Make it fun! Dedicate one session a week to a fun activity. You might have show and tell, a scavenger hunt, virtual charades, dress-up days, etc. This will give your students something to look forward to.
Grow in your ability to be tech savvy. Some teachers think technology and cringe because of the unknowns. Technology is your friend…you just have to get to know it better. Take some online tech courses, google, and watch YouTube videos. The possibilities are endless and just think of how impressed your students will be!
Happy 4th of July!! In case you missed this on my Instagram stories, I wanted to add this quick and simple recipe that’s a perfect edition to your patriotic celebration.
You will Need:
* 2 1/4 cups of milk * 2 packs of instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz) * thinly sliced strawberries * pack of fresh blueberries *1 box of graham crackers *16 oz. container of whipped topping
Mix the instant pudding packs with the milk in a large bowl. Stir until the mixture thickens.
Add the whipped topping to the pudding and blend together. Set aside.
In a 9×13 glass baking dish, cover the bottom with graham crackers.
Spread a thin layer of whipped mixture over the graham crackers.
Add the remaining graham crackers in a gallon sized ziploc bag and crush them.
Add a layer of crushed graham crackers on top of the whipped mixture.
Add another layer of whipped mixture and then a layer of strawberries.
Continue to layer the dish with graham cracker crumbs, whipped mixture, and fruit. Be sure to end with whipped mixture for the top layer.
Use the remaining strawberries and blueberries to create a flag on the top of your parfait.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.
This is a super easy and inexpensive dessert to enjoy in the hot summer months. If you make this recipe, be sure to share it with me and your thoughts! Adding a video tutorial as well below if you’d like to make this alongside me!
Have an amazing day and don’t forget to like this post:) Sincerely, Sunny
Being a woman is a hard job! Am I right ladies!? I mean…we have so much maintenance that goes along with being a woman. From skin care, hair care, makeup etc. there is a lot of money, time, and effort that goes into being us!!
Today, I want to share with you some of the products that I have found over the years to be my go to products. Some of these products I have found online through various recommendations from others, and some of them are spur-of-the-moment products I bought and tried myself. The products that I’ll mention are in the categories of hair, makeup, and self-tanning.
#1 Hair Product
When I first learned how to flat-iron my hair, I was so excited! I would always make sure I built in time to flat iron my hair for school each morning. After awhile, I began to notice that my hair started to get extremely dry! The ends would split and the overall look was NOT flattering (no pun intended).
I have learned the hard way, and I CANNOT stress enough how important it is that we take care of our skin! When you’re younger, you think that baking in the sun won’t hurt your skin, and all you care about its turning tan. You opt for tanning amplifiers, baby oil, products with zero SPF, etc. The next thing you know, you’re thirty and freaking out at the spots showing up on your face, wondering what to do to get rid of them. It’s a lot harder to erase sun damage than it is to prevent it! Sun spots and wrinkles are not cute!! Once they being appearing, all that tanning you did before suddenly seems like not such a great idea. Ladies (trust me)…please wear your sunscreen everyday! In fact, try to make sure your foundation has an SPF in it too.
So, now that I’ve jumped off my soap box…let me share with you a couple products that will give you a sun-kissed glow while saving your precious skin. The first one is a self tanning face lotion. I usually apply it to my face once I’ve cleansed (right before bedtime).
The next self-tanning product that I’m going to share is for the rest of the body. I have used several self-tanners over the years, and this product is BY FAR my fav! It is a little pricey(most self-tanners are), but so worth the results. People always think that my tan is natural when in fact it’s completely fake thanks to this product!
It’s called Loving Tan 2 Hr Express Mousse and goes for $39.95 off amazon (but, you can also get it from Ulta). For this product, you MUST have a tanning applicator mit to avoid staining the palms of your hands. I love that this product is a foam-like mousse consistency and instantly gives you a glow with the first application. It has a quick 1 minute dry time and lasts for up to a week before you need to apply more. I usually continue to apply each day until my desired hue is reached. After that, I only have to apply every two to three days. It has no bad smell and is a perfect alternative to baking in the sun and damaging your skin. To get yours off amazon go to this link: https://www.amazon.com/Loving-Tan-Express-Deluxe-Bronzing/dp/B00BOXSEBE/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=loving+tan&qid=1593788395&sr=8-3
#3 Makeup Products
The makeup products that I want to share with you today are mainly for prepping for makeup and eyeliner products. I could go on and on about other makeup products that I use, but I just wanted to pick out a couple that are especially helpful in the areas of long-wear for your makeup. For the longest time, I could not get my makeup to last past the lunch hour. I would apply it before work, and then by lunch time I looked like I had never had any on. The process of re-applying got on my nerves, and I began thinking, “there’s got to be something out there that will last throughout the day”. Sooooo, I took my problem to the fixer of all makeup woes…the M.A.C. counter. The lady there helped me discover two products that really do keep my makeup on all day long!
M.A.C. cosmetics has an AMAZING line of prep and prime products that help makeup last. There are more than what I am going to list here, but these are the main ones I use.
The first one is their Skin Base Visage it is a foundation primer that goes on after your sunscreen but before your foundation to keep you covered all day. This is a little pricey at $33, but I promise that it works! When I go to take my makeup off before bed, I still have all of it on because of this product! You can purchase it anywhere M.A.C. cosmetics are sold.
Their next Prep and Prime product that I adore is to keep your eye shadows on all day. It’s called Prep+Prime 24 Hr Extend Eye Base and goes for $24.50 (which is again a little pricey)…but it’s SO worth it!! Your eye shadow will stay put all day long! When I was first handed this little tube and was told that it was $24.50 I was like, “WHAT!!??” But, the lady reassured me that it only took a tiny bit for each application and that it would last a long time. I will have to say that she was right! I’m going on six months (…and counting) with the same little tub so it’s worth the price considering how long it lasts.
The last products that I want to mention today are both eyeliners. I don’t know about you, but eyeliner is my go-to makeup item. Without it, I feel naked. Like I mentioned earlier, I have struggled in the past with finding a long lasting line of makeup. Eyeliner is the worst about rubbing off and fading throughout the day. I have tried several lines of eyeliner and the only one that I have found to last all day is called WUNDER2 Super-Stay Liner.
The next eyeliner that I want to share with you is a liquid eyeliner. To be honest, I’ve never been big on liquid eyeliner simply because I’m not good a putting it on. With the cat eye look that became popular a few years back, I began searching for a way to copy it that wouldn’t make me look crazy. So I decided to look on amazon, and I discovered that they actually make cat-eye stamp liquid eyeliners!! WHAT?!!!
These liners are very inexpensive and there are lots of options out there. I have tried several of the ones on Amazon and they all work great! All you do is stamp first, and then go back with the liner pen to fill in the rest of the upper lid.
SUPER EASY! If you’re wanting to achieve the cat-eye look, and know that you’re not going to be able to free-hand draw one on your eyes, I highly recommend giving these products a try.
I hope this has been insightful to those of you looking to try new products. If you happen to try one of these, please comment below and let me know! I’d love to hear your feedback! Hope you all have an amazing day!!
We have the prettiest hydrangeas growing outside our bedroom window right now.
That got me thinking… “I should cut some and make an arrangement or two.” And that’s just what I did! In this post, I’m going to share the process with you so that you can add some flowers to your home. You may even decide to give them to someone to brighten up their day!
The first thing you need to do is find a vase, pitcher, or even a mason jar that you would like to arrange the flowers in. I chose to use this pitcher that I saved from a bouquet that I received awhile back from David.
Next, you want to bring a pair of garden scissors (or really any scissors that are sharp enough to cut stems) with you to choose and cut your flowers. I point out in a video tutorial here: https://youtu.be/aMx1Mf57pS0 that when you’re cutting your flowers, you want to make sure that you’re cutting them almost longer than you might need so that you can trim then down to the needed size when you begin adding them to your vase.
Once you have your desired amount of flowers (the more the better), you’re ready to create your floral arrangement.
Next you’ll want to pick off the leaves on your flowers that will be down in the water and might crowd up your vase. I like to leave some of the leaves toward the top of the flowers to add greenery to the arrangement. Another tip that I recommend is to vary your flowers in length to give your arrangement depth and various height levels in the flowers. This will create a fuller look for the arrangement.
Once all your flowers are in your vase and you’re happy with the arrangement, you have a beautiful floral arrangement!
Now I have to find the perfect place for them! They usually last for a good week before I have to replace them.
Funny story…I was telling Sophie that I was going to make her friend’s mom a little bouquet because she’s always having her over to their house and is so sweet to her. She wanted to know where I got them from and when I told her I cut them down out of the backyard, she was like, “Oh…I thought they were fake!” Lol…I’ll take that as a compliment 😉
Well, I’m on to the next project…decided to paint the kitchen walls and trim this upcoming week. Stay tuned for the updates. Thanks for reading! Bye for now…
Let me just say, “Pressure washing is not for the faint of heart!” Yesterday I posted that I love pressure washing…well I take that back! After almost six total hours, a couple blisters, hurt toe, and aching back…I’ve decided that pressure washing is VERY HARD work! My hat’s off to those that do it for a living!
However, what I can say is that though the act of pressure washing is hard work, the result of it is the part that gets me excited! This is what our carport looked like just shy into pressure washing…
…and this is what it looked like when I finished it today:
I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!! This just goes to show that hard work pays off!! Even though I have an aching back, I also have a sense of accomplishment that makes it all seem worth it.
I also did my first video home tour of our dining room on Instagram today. If you haven’t seen it, check it out my Instagram story. Each day this week I will be sharing a different room of our home with you guys.
Thanks to all of you that have subscribed to this blog and my other platforms! Lots more to come!!
My name is Sunny Flowers, and…yes, that’s my REAL name (I get asked that question all the time). I’m so glad to share my life with you. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest on this blog that you can use in your own life.
Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I’m married to my wonderful husband David (it’ll be 7 years of marriage on June 22nd)! We have owned our Georgia home for just two short years. Our blended family consists of my two children Skylar (12) and Sophie (10, going on 16…j/k) and David’s three adult children Sarah (25), John (23), and Thomas (21). We also have one fur baby cat (Lucy) who is probably the most spoiled member of the fam!
In addition to writing this blog, I’m also an elementary school teacher. This is my tenth year of teaching. I currently teach 3rd grade and absolutely LOVE what I do. To get a glimpse of my life inside the teaching world you can follow me sunnyin3rdgrade on Instagram.
Because I’m EXTREMELY OCD (just ask my husband)…I get excited about all things organized! I believe that everything has it’s own place. I can NOT stand clutter and have been known to get rid of “perfectly good” things when they begin to clutter up my space. I also love for things to be clean!! I could probably secretly be related to Monica Gellar on Friends. When I see things that need cleaning, I can not relax. It’s a problem really…I find myself constantly making lists in my head of things that need to be done. In the words of Taylor Swift, I really “need to calm down”…but I just can’t. With every newly cleaned window or freshly painted room I feel a sense of peace and happiness wash over me…don’t judge!!
With all that being said, I’m excited to launch this blog to include a melting pot of projects that I undertake in my life! Some of the things that I see off the top of my head include:
DIY Home makeover Before and After pics
Weekly projects on a budget
Organization Tips and Tricks
These are just a few ideas…there will be lots more as time progresses. I want to connect with others all over the world that share the same passions as I do. I look forward to hearing your feedback and answering any questions. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!!
With summer here, I have a lot of time on my hands (especially with these crazy times in our world with COVID-19). Quarantining has been a time of reflection for all things that need to be done around here. I recently did some major cleaning and updating on our front entry and porch. I’ve been utilizing our pressure washer and not sure what it is, but I LOVE pressure washing! Watching the dirt and grim wash away makes me so happy. As with most projects…one project leads to ten others. I begin with one and realize that something else needs fixing/cleaning and before I know it, I’m ten projects in. Does this happen to anyone else besides me??
After pressure washing the front, I then realized that our main carport needs washing and also the back patio…I also (after lots of back and forth talking) convinced David to move one of our porch swings to the front of our home. Let me just say, I LOVE the way it turned out! There’s something about a front porch swing that makes life so much better. See before and after pics below.
Anyways…today I am working on the HUGE job of pressure washing the carport. I’ll post pics when I’m finished. Hope you have a great day and stay tuned for more updates to the outside of our home.