My New Favorite Way to Make Brussels Sprouts

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Who knew brussels sprouts could be this delicious? This easy grilled brussels sprouts recipe makes a perfect side dish!

There's two things I know for sure: 1, I thought I hated brussels sprouts until I tried them as an adult and 2, my husband always appreciates when I cook them outdoors because of (shall we say) their unique aroma. I'm sad I didn't give these little guys a try earlier in life, because unique fragrance or not boy was I missing out! Brussels sprouts have a wonderful taste and can really pick up the flavors around it. You haven't lived until you've had brussels roasted with BACON, let me tell you. I … [Read more...]

How to Fake a Clean Home in Minutes Flat! {Speed Cleaning 101}

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Company coming? Quick, here's how to speed clean your home in minutes!

In my dreams, my home is immaculate. When company drops in unexpectedly, they'll never find a dust bunny or dirty dish, just some fresh cookies in the oven and a sparkling clean home. But let's be real-- when you live with two young kids, a cat, and a husband this is an impossible dream because LIFE HAPPENS.  We have LEGOs, dishes, and books... all currently spread across my kitchen table, I might add. So what to do when your phone rings and unexpected company is on its way? Or if you only have … [Read more...]

All the Feels: Summer, Working at Home, & an Update

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Staying present in the moment: photos of summer from the heart

As this summer started to unfold, I made a conscious decision to live in the moment-- run around in bare feet, eat as many popsicles as my body would allow, and get my hair wet in the pool.  You see, even though summer is by far my favorite season (and even though as a blogger I was technically my own boss), in the past I put tremendous pressure on myself to keep blogging all summer long. I'd play with the kids all day, and stay up until 1AM squeezing in as much work as I could before passing … [Read more...]

20 Unexpected & Delicious Ways to Use Balsamic Vinegar

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20 Unexpected & Delicious Ways to Use Balsamic Vinegar for Easy Recipes

Oh hai! Where have you BEEN all summer? ;-) Just kidding, I know I've been somewhat sporadic in posting but this has been such a fun-filled rollercoaster-ride of a summer, a "we're-moving-no-we're-not" type summer, that I don't even know where to begin. I'll explain more after the weekend, but suffice it to say we're soaking up every last ray of sunshine and splash of the pool before school starts next week. Which has nothing to do with balsamic vinegar, but I digress. Where was I? Right. … [Read more...]

Free Printable Back-to-School Checklist

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Handle back-to-school with no stress thanks to this handy back-to-school free printable checklist for moms and parents!

No more pencils, no more books... wait... wrong season. It's BACK to school time, my friends! Whether you're sad to see summer end or think this is the most wonderful time of the year, being prepared ahead of time makes the transition much smoother. I've found checking off a few to-do's each week from this back-to-school printable checklist means no stress during what can be a hectic season. We're ready to go 3 weeks ahead of schedule, actually, thanks to this handy list! Which means a little … [Read more...]

Make a DIY No-Sew Kids’ Play Canopy Tent… in an hour!

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Check out how she made this DIY kids' no-sew play canopy tent in under an hour-- I can't believe what she used!

"Give me two shower curtains, a hula hoop, and a drill!" I yelled, channeling my inner MacGyver.  But under an hour later, we had a DIY Kids' Canopy Play Tent and my kids went bananas!  This isn't some crazy feat of mad DIY skillz, the truth is I'll do anything to avoid sewing or spending a lot of time (and money) on a DIY project.  While making the play canopy is easy, your kids will love the outcome and you'll feel like a superhero for pulling it off so quickly-- and on budget for wayyyyy … [Read more...]

12 Proven Ways to Survive Back to School LIKE A BOSS

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Love these 12 helpful back-to-school tips and ideas for starting off the school year with a smooth and budget-friendly transition! these 12 proven back-to-school tips and ideas!

August is like one long Sunday night, isn't it? Technically it's still summer, but the former teacher in me still feels the Back to School season creeping up and infringing on these wonderful sunny, ice-cream filled days! Apparently some of your kids have already gone back to school in July- wow! Regardless of WHEN school starts for your family, you can handle it like a boss. No need to panic or stress, here's some tools and tips to help you transition from lazy days to the more full school year … [Read more...]

Our Outdoor Living Room & DIY Deck Makeover Reveal!

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Check out the BEFORE and AFTER of this resort inspired DIY budget-friendly deck makeover-- outdoor living at it's finest!

I have to confess there’s a problem with our DIY deck makeover. You see, we’ve been enjoying it so much that I’ve come down with a full case of ‘The Summers’—characterized by intense laziness, a craving for cold drinks, and spending as much time cuddled on that outdoor couch as possible.  So instead of writing about this resort inspired deck makeover, we’ve been living on it! Our poor indoor living room is getting lonely as we spend as much time enjoying our OUTDOOR living room as … [Read more...]

School’s Out, Play is IN: Summer Playtime On-The-Go!

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Love this solution for on-the-go play! These LEGO toys will go everywhere your kids do: the pool, roadtrips, vacations, restaurants, picnics-- plus they store easily in a carrying case. BRILLIANT.

We are full-on, all-out LEGO maniacs over here in the Lemonade house lately. LEGO is a brand in which I don't hesitate to invest because I know this isn’t a short-lived stage. It’s a screen-free activity that promotes imagination, sharing, and creativity that BOTH my kids (girl and boy) adore. LEGO bricks are classics! The routine this summer has been that the kids wake up and head downstairs and play quietly with their LEGO sets for a good hour before we make them get ready for the day. … [Read more...]

Favorite Natural Beauty Products

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I never knew how many terrible chemicals were in traditional beauty products; try these natural alternatives instead!

I seriously get sick to my stomach thinking about all the things I used to smear on my skin, which just so happens to be your body's largest organ (and absorbs everything that touches it like a sponge!)  Products that contain harmful chemicals such as parabens, phylates, and FD&C color and pigments-- many of which have been linked to cancers and other horrible afflictions. And I would put these toxins ALL OVER MY FREAKING SKIN. I'm so thankful I started making the switch to natural … [Read more...]

Salted Caramel S’Mores Recipe… yes, I went there.

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The perfect summer dessert gets an upgrade: how to make Salted Caramel S'Mores, on the grill!

Yes, I went there-- I jumped aboard the salted caramel bandwagon and came up with a grilled S'mores recipe that will knock your socks off. Because S'mores. And Salted Caramel. And grilling season. Seriously, does life get better than this? In mere minutes you can put a few simple ingredients together and come up with the dessert that most epitomizes summer campfires, gatherings, and BBQs.  Plus I figured out how to make S'mores on the grill for those of us who don't have access to a firepit. … [Read more...]

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights (The Deck Diaries, Part 3)

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How to hang outdoor lights WITHOUT walls! What an easy and inexpensive way to add magic to your deck or patio.

There's something about the glow of strings lights that can make even the most ordinary space feel magical. Doesn't it make your heart skip a beat when you see them? Plus the glow is incredibly flattering, so I can't be held responsible for what magic may happen when you install these outdoor patio and deck lights at home. What? You don't have enough walls to hang them outdoors? Pshhhh, no worries! Here's an EASY (duh, it's me) and CHEAP (of course) way to hang string lights on your deck, patio, … [Read more...]

Vertical Herb Garden Update (The Deck Diaries, Part 2)

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What a great way to create a vertical herb container garden on your patio or deck, green thumb not required!

You guys, you know it's time to stop blogging at midnight when you spell diaries as 'dairies', right? And it took me an entire 24 hours to realize I'd done it on my last post about staining the deck. Someone needs to revoke my blogging license. ;-) Anywho, a few years ago I did a little post about how to create a vertical herb garden on the deck, right outside our kitchen doors.  Each summer we've continued to plant our vertical container garden and use the herbs in our cooking all summer long! … [Read more...]

Deck Stain 101 & The Perfect Outdoor Couch (Deck Diaries, Part 1)

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Wow, a tutorial on how to stain a deck took this old deck from scary to looking like a resort! I WANT this in my house!

Okay, I can't tell you HOW DARN EXCITED I am to kick off The Deck Dairies today! You may remember our deck was showing a lot of wear and tear after such a brutal winter.   Those winter weary brains of ours decided to create a 'vacation at home' feel on our deck to truly enjoy outdoor living this summer (because as much as we love vacations, we can't go on them forever).  Our dream was to bring a resort feel to our home, minus the resort fees. BUT. We can't spend any more on our home so we had … [Read more...]

Essential Oils Housewarming Gift Basket Ideas

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Oooooh, I want someone to make this Young Living housewarming gift basket with essential oil gift ideas for me too. Great ideas for using essential oils around your home!

One of my favorite ways to use essential oils is around my home-- to clean, cook with, and make my home smell like a spa. Which got me thinking about what I'd give to someone who is moving to a new home.  It's hard to put together the perfect housewarming gift these days: food is fun but with all the various special diets out there it can be tricky; candles are pretty but hello allergies; soaps and cleaners are handy but yikes, chemicals! Don't worry, I've got your back-- here's an allergy … [Read more...]

Simple Tip for Quickly Cleaning Vinyl Fences (and Outdoor Furniture)

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The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!

Hey hey! Summer is here and we're in MASSIVE outdoor cleaning mode! Next week I'm sharing our new deck makeover (eeek! can't wait!), but today I wanted to let you in on a little secret I discovered. You see, I had been dreading cleaning our vinyl fence. Occasionally I've hosed it down but the mildew and dirt started to build up and I envisioned hours of elbow grease to scrub it off. After 4 years of ignoring it, I finally got into my scrubby clothes and pulled out every cleaning product I had to … [Read more...]

7 Popular Yard Sale Items That Sell Like Crazy!

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These 7 popular yard sale items are selling like crazy! Do you have any in your home? Check out what they are so you can mention them in your ads as well as put them in prime locations at your sale!

We are in MAJOR cleaning mode around here and gearing up for our bi-annual yard sale. Looking over the (massive) garage sale pile it occurred to me there's several popular items that almost always sell quickly. These make great items to advertise in your online garage sale ads as well as strategically place to attract buyers to your sale.  They also do really well in the online yard sale groups that have popped up all over Facebook. Here's 7 popular yard sale items that seem to sell like … [Read more...]

Best Places to Eat in Charleston, South Carolina

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The best restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina-- known for it's incredible food and Low Country cooking, here's the 'must' list of where to eat and drink in Charleston, SC!

There's plenty to love about Charleston, South Carolina-- the history, the shopping, and the sightseeing to name a few. But let's be real, the reason I fell in love with this city that adores bacon and smells like pralines is THE FOOD. Charleston is an eating (and drinking) city, a place where it's best to pack your 'pancake eating pants' because you may leave with a little extra baggage then when you arrived. In a city with so many dining choices, finding the best restaurants can be … [Read more...]

The Perfect Summer Reading List (25 Must Read Books!)

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The perfect summer reading list-- 25 must read books this summer! Perfect for beach, pool, airplane, and snuggled in bed reading way past your bedtime.

  RELAX, I'm not ordering you to read 25 books this summer (though, if you want to, by all means use this title as an excuse!) However, knowing the diverse ranges of most people's reading preferences, I wanted to provide a list of the 25 best books I will personally be reading this summer-- with some wiggle room that includes a few classic favorites, controversial picks, and the much-loved beach reads. Truth be told, this list is paralyzing to me. I've written summer reading lists the past few … [Read more...]