Home Maid Simple

Monday, July 21, 2014

Beating the Summer Blues


The days are filled with sunshine, everyone is outside playing and mingling, scents of watermelon and funnel cake linger in the air—and yet you’re sad. Summer is a happy time for most people, but it can be a difficult time as well. Sadness and challenges can be with you no matter what season, and summer has its particular set of difficulties. But, you can beat the summertime sadness with the help of these suggestions.

Beating the Exhaustion
Your kids are on their summer break from school and you have to find ways to entertain them all day. As much as you love to watch them run and play, it may leave you feeling exhausted both physically and mentally. It’s important especially in this season, as in all seasons, to make time for you. Allow yourself opportunities to take part in your favorite activities that lend to a peaceful atmosphere such as yoga, walking with friends, or even taking a nice bubble bath. Rather than feeling guilty for setting aside this time for yourself, recognize that recharging your own batteries will allow you to give your best time and efforts to those tasks and people who are most important in your life.

Sleeping the Sad Away
One of the great things about the summer months is that daytime hours are longer, giving you more time each day to work and play. Unfortunately, these longer days also mean shorter nights, which oftentimes result in you getting less sleep during the summertime. Not getting enough sleep can cause the body to release increased amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. Keep your cortisol in check by striving to get a full 7-8 hours of sleep each night, no matter how strongly the sun may be calling your name. If necessary, invest in some heavy curtains or an eye mask to create a nighttime atmosphere.

Overcoming Depression
There may come a point where you feel as though you are constantly living in a mental fog, so to speak. You can’t think clearly and your hobbies don’t interest you anymore. You withdraw from your friends and family and feel hopeless and even angry. Depression is a real issue and can affect you in any season. Depression can be due to a lot of different factors: stress, a traumatic event, your genetics, or even unbalanced hormone levels. More and more studies are showing that depression can be due to a hormone deficiency. Check out this article to learn more. A doctor can test you for hormone and chemical imbalances and get you on the right track with treatment. With the right blend of diet, lifestyle choices, and medical treatment, your depression will diminish and you will start feeling like yourself again. 

Making Fun Inexpensive
Summertime is vacation season for many people. Your friends might be going on exotic expeditions through the jungle, on fancy cruises to the Caribbean, or on a backpacking trip through Europe. You may feel left out if you can’t afford to go anywhere this year. But, you can still get a big bang for your buck doing simple things as a family. For example, you could go to the movies to escape the heat or have a family game night in your backyard. You could even take a day trip to a local place you’ve never been like hiking in the mountains. All you have to pay for on a day trip like this is gas and snacks. You can still have fun this summer without shelling out large amounts of money on expensive plane tickets.

Dealing with Body Image    
Summertime, also known as swimsuit season, can be hard for those who struggle with body image. You may feel uncomfortable and self-conscious at the beach and the pool and may want to avoid those places altogether. In order to build yourself up and create a positive body image, keep a list of the top 10 things you like about yourself and repeat them anytime a negative thought comes to mind. Also surround yourself with positive people like family and friends who love you unconditionally and make you feel like a million bucks. In your moments of weakness, find gratitude for the functions your body performs and appreciate all that your body does for you. Using these helpful tips, you should find yourself feeling confident in your own skin.

Some summertime difficulties may seem hard to overcome. You may be overwhelmed physically, emotionally, and mentally. You may have depression, even in the midst of a schedule full of pool parties and summer night barbecues. It is possible to beat these summer blues by making time yourself, getting enough sleep, understanding the physical causes, doing fun activities with your family and loving your body. No matter how difficult things may seem at times, you can triumph over summertime sadness. 

About the Author: Victoria Candland

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Back to School Shopping

* This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Home Maid Simple*

I keep seeing my friends and other bloggers on facebook talking about Back to School. Hey, I even have a banner up there advertising Back to School! But truth be told I'm not really ready for it. So I've avoided looking at when our school goes back. Come on now, it's still July. Summer is just getting started. 

But then I caved, and I looked. My kids go back August 19th. That's 1 month away. Not bad, but 1 month usually flies by pretty quick. So of course that got me thinking about what they might need for school. We've already had to buy a new swimsuit for the summer, which means clothes are probably being outgrown as well. 
It feels like just yesterday we were taking First Day of 1st grade photos!

When I was a kid, one of our favorite things to do was back to school shopping with my mom. We always got 1 new outfit for the year. It's a tradition I really want to keep with my kids, not because of anything extremely special about it - but kids do grow and need new clothes that fit - and the beginning of the school is a perfect time to let them get one outfit that's not a hand-me-down, that expresses who they are, and for the very practical reason that they've outgrown the old clothes. 

Living on a budget however, means just one new outfit, and at the best deal we can find!  I've been browsing Zulilly a lot lately (even made my first purchase for Princess V's birthday coming up), and noticed they've got some great sales on back to school clothes - like Jelly The Pug! Seriously, these are some of the cutest outfits I've ever seen, and they've got something that would fit both personalities for my girls. 

Turquoise Kira Dress - Infant, Toddler & Girls
This right here the Turquoise Kira Dress - is totally and utterly Princess V! It's a dress, it's long enough, and it's simple just like she is. I just know she would love wearing this on the first day of school.

Princess C on the other hand, is a bit more of a wild child. She's got her own sense of fashion, and wouldn't go for something quite as plain. No no, this fits her much better. 
Petals Shawna Dress & Leggings - Infant, Toddler & Girls
The Petals Shauna Dress and Leggings are more like Princess C with big bold colors, and lots of them!  Plus with the way she plays, leggings are a must.

Do you shop Back to School clothes with your kids?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Foodie Friday Featuring A New York Foodie

This weeks Featured Blogger is 

I love Sandi's tag line "Eat Foods with lots of Colors"! It makes eating sound more fun, don't you think?  Especially if you're trying to eat healthier, and feel like it might be a bit dull. On a New York Foodie you will find a large collection to fit every flavor you might want. 

Sandi has no formal training, but loved to watch her mom and grandma cook, watch the Food Network and read cooking magazines. She is a native New Yorker, and as she says "I certainly have the accent".  I'm really excited to spend a bit more time on A New York Foodie, and I hope you are too!

Connect with A New York Foodie

Last week Sandi shared this Easy Guacamole with us. 
Easy Guacamole

While browsing A New York Foodie I came across this yummy looking recipe for Ginger Potatoes
Ginger potatoes

I would love it if you took a moment to visit my co-host Diane at Simple Living and Eating

If you're new to Foodie Friday, here's the run down
1. Link up your recipe or any food related post below
2. Browse the linky, visit some new blogs, and share if you feel so inclined. 
3. Please only link up 3 posts. This lets us visit as many of you as possible.
4. By linking up you give me permission to feature your photos on Home Maid Simple (always linking back to you of course!)
5. Each month I send out a newsletter with the most popular links from that month - you may be featured!!  This is a once a month newsletter, every first Friday of the month, no spamming involved. Sign up over there ------>
If you missed July's newsletter, or want to see what you could be missing out on - check it out Here

Missed last weeks party? Check out fan favorites
Orange Creamsicle Mini Shakes | Cooking on the Front Burner #milkshake
Orange Creamsicle Mini Shakes from Cooking on the Front Burner

Ginger Shrimp and Apricot Salsa
Ginger Shrimp with Apricot Salsa from Simply Fresh Dinners

Monday Morning Brunch with Lifeway Kefir #KefirCreations #shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KefirCreations #CollectiveBias

#KefirCreations #shop #cbias

Most people hate mondays. I never really got that, because I look at Mondays as a day to start fresh. Yeah you've got to go back to work, or school, the weekends over - but it's a BRAND NEW WEEK! I fully believe it's all in the attitude, so let's beat the Monday doldrums with a little brunch starring probiotics.  

Now you may be wondering if I got my days mixed up, because I know I know, it's not Monday. Hello! You've got to have time to prep your attitude before Monday hits. So plan now, get your extremely simple ingredients, invite someone special, and mark this coming Monday on your calendar! 

#KefirCreations #shop #cbias

My handsome date this week was Prince L. I left the Princesses inside with a show and he and I took to the back patio. It's something I am looking forward to more of when school starts again. 

Kefir Fruit Salad and Pomegranate Kefir 8 grain muffins were the perfect compliment for our bonding time - yummy flavors packed full of probiotics from the Lifeway Kefir. Little Prince, I kid you not, eats more than any of my other kids combined, so a brunch just made sense for us. 

#KefirCreations #shop #cbias

Pomegranate Kefir 8 Grain Muffins
From Home Maid Simple

1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup 8 grain cereal (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 1/4 cup Lifeway Pomegranate Kefir*

Mix cereal and Kefir, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F. 
Cream the egg, sugar, and margarine together. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Add Kefir/cereal and mix well. 
Grease a muffin tin, or use cupcake liners, and fill 3/4 full with mixture. Bake 15 minutes. 

*There are SO many different flavors of Lifeway Kefir. If you don't like Pomegranate try another one. 

#KefirCreations #shop #cbias

Kefir Fruit Salad
From Home Maid Simple

1 Red D'anjou Pear, chopped
1 Granny Smith Apple, chopped
1 cup sliced Strawberries
1/2 cup sliced Bing Cherries
1 Banana sliced
3/4 cup Lifeway Kefir, Plain*
1 TBS Peach Honey

Slice all the fruit, and mix together. Mix Kefir and honey. Drizzle over the fruit. Refrigerate for an hour or two, or even overnight. Serve with Kefir Fruit Salad.

*If you can find the Lifeway Honey-Fig Kefir, I would suggest giving that a try and omitting the Peach Honey. Sadly my stores didn't carry that flavor, so I improvised for the flavor I wanted. 

#KefirCreations #shop #cbias

Prince L decided he preferred the Kefir straight from the bottle, and that was just fine with me. We had a lot of fun, and it really has set the tone for the rest of our week. I think we may make it tradition - Mother Son Brunch on Mondays; Anyone want to join us?

#KefirCreations #shop #cbias

What do you do to beat the Monday blues?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Family Room Makeover with Bassett Furniture

*This is a sponsored post

Have you ever looked at your house and wondered, where do I start? How do I make this reflect my family, without just becoming a cluttered mess?  I've been feeling that way a lot over the past year. Especially after we moved back into an apartment, where adding your own style can be harder than when you own a home. The lack of space has also been difficult to manage.

What am I supposed to do with this room, where we do EVERYTHING! One side is for visitors, family time, television, homework, computer, work, and well...you get the idea. We literally do everything in this one room. On the other side is our kitchen/dining area. Most days it feels like it's all combined and there is no good distinction between the two. .

So what do you do? You call Bassett Furniture of course.  Did you know that Bassett has design specialists that will come to your home and help you design and decorate to fit your needs and style? It's so much fun - and a great way to take a break from life. 

So how does it work?  I'll walk you through my experience with the lovely Katie.  

1st - Contact your local Bassett Design Consultant. Schedule your in-home consultation. 

2nd - Pick up a catalog, or browse the online collection.
Bassett Catalogue
As you go through the catalog, mark it up. Circle what you like, make notes, bend the pages. This gives your consultant a good idea of everything you like. 

3rd - Meet with your consultant and enjoy a nice chat while measuring your room.

Seriously couldn't have asked for a better consultant than Katie. She came into my home, and I felt like we were best friends who just hadn't seen each other forever. We talked design, family, dreams, etc. I may hop over to Bassett more frequently just to chat with her. 
4th - Head into Bassett and see what awesome design your consultant has come up with just for you!

Katie was great! She took the "Coastal" theme and colors I want to incorporate into this room and showed me some great fabrics that would work. Since we are on a limited budget, she also showed how I can incorporate a lot of these on my own by painting furniture I have, recovering the couch versus buying a brand new one, and changing up the curtains to lighten things up.

Don't live near a Bassett? Check them out online and play around with the design tools available on there. If possible though, I do suggest visiting the store - unlike online they often have special sales going on all the time! I don't think I've ever not seen a sale sign outside their doors (and since they're next to Hobby Lobby, I kind of drive past them a lot!).

Have any suggestions for my room?


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