Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Trusting Through Patience

Psalm 40:1

 “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my

I don’t know about you, but patience is not that easy for me. We all have seasons where we are required to wait on the Lord. Wait for an anticipated pregnancy, wait for a job, wait for a raise, wait for healing, wait for a way out.

During our season of waiting, we cry out to the Lord and feel as though He is not hearing us because it seems His response is taking longer than WE planned for it to take. However, God is always faithful. He will provide and hear our cry. He will answer our prayer one way or another. And when that time comes, it will be at “just the right time.”

To wait patiently requires trust. Trusting God’s word and His promise that He will provide an answer. Trusting that which is asked for in prayer, believing; it will be given. (Matthew 21:22)

And when God does answer prayer, in whatever way He sees fit, it will bring with it more blessing than we could have ever imagined. So while waiting; trust His word and have patience, knowing in the end His outcome will supersede our plans.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Getting Creative for Christmas

We are weeks away from Christmas. If most of you, like me, didn't get any shopping done over Thanksgiving Break or if your budget is limited, fear not. Whether you are extremely creative or a slight bit creative I have the perfect idea!

Over the past few years, I have come up with one gift in particular which always brings a smile and it is always displayed proudly. It is thoughtful and budget friendly!

In order to make this gift work, you really must know the recipient. Do they have a hobby? A beloved 4-paw best friend? A favorite sports team? Could they use more pictures of family and friends or would they tear up at an old photo from their childhood that they haven't seen in a while?
Why not transfer a photo of any of the above onto canvas? This is one of the easiest gifts to make and it doesn't matter if you are artistic or not. If you are, it allows the chance to take it one step further. I will give you both options.

Option One: Less Than Artistic Gifter
What you will need: Blank canvas, Mod Podge matte finish, Photo of your choice the same size as your canvas, 1 small & 1 large foam paint brush or 1 regular small & 1 large paint brush of your choice, an old rag or wash cloth, black acrylic paint and wood glue.

First, purchase a blank canvas. I have purchased 4x7’s and 8x10’s. These are the easiest to work with. Of course, you can always purchase a larger canvas. However, the smaller canvas works well when you are on a budget.

Now choose an image that you would like to transfer to the canvas. Look through old photo boxes, grab your mobile device and browse through past vacations, or research the internet for his favorite sports team’s logo. Once your image is selected, utilize your local pharmacies 1-hour photo shop to purchase your print. (Make sure it is the same size as your canvas)
If you have decided on an older image from his past, take the photo with you to the local pharmacy’s photo department and ask them if they can increase the size without too much distortion.

Next, lay all of your items out and grab the wood glue. Make sure you have purchased wood glue that turns white when it dries just in case you make a mistake. Flip your photo over and cover the back with the wood glue using your small brush to completely cover every area. Gently lay your photo onto the canvas. It is okay if the photo is a little bigger than the canvas. If it sticks out on the sides you can either trim the excess with scissors or leave it alone. I leave it alone.

Once your photo is applied to the canvas, pour a small amount of Matte Mod Podge onto a paper plate or bowl (doesn't have to be paper, as it rinses off clean with soap and water, but I like less clean up). Dip your larger brush into the Mod Podge and using vertical strokes, coat the entire photo. Once it dries, it will give your photo a canvas appearance. It will also remove the gloss from the photo. That is why it is important to purchase the Matte Mod Podge and not the Glossy.

After the Mod Podge has dried, pour your black acrylic paint onto a paper plate or bowl.  Ball your rag up slightly and lightly dip the ball into the paint. Then gently press and release your rag in quick strokes around the picture to give it a vignette appearance. Make sure to create thin straight lines on the outer edges and thicker round lines around the 4 corners. Once you have applied the paint to your image, using the same technique, cover all four corners of your canvas with the paint.

Let dry overnight. 

(This is an old photo from Christmas a few years back. You can see the Vintage Atlanta Falcons photo above has been applied to the canvas in the picture below)

Option Two: The Artistic Gifter
You will need the items as listed above. The only difference is you will be using your creativity to create the image you want to transfer onto canvas. In the image above, I used an app called "Paper by FiftyThree" to draw the image I knew my recipient would love. The basic colors and pens are free. If you need more brush or color options, it is very inexpensive to purchase more and allows you more creativity.

You can choose to draw the image yourself or let the kids draw something for dad that he can proudly display in his home, office, or man cave.

Once you have completed your drawing, you have an option to save it as an image. Once your image has been saved, you can upload it online to your local photo shop; Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, etc...

Most of the images above were edited on a photo software app prior to printing. Editing your picture allows for more creativity. It smooths out any imperfections and allows you to brighten or darken your colors.
Once you save your image from your drawing app to your device, simply select any photo editing software to edit. Again, re-save the image and you are ready for printing.

Unedited vintage Atlanta Falcons Team Logo created with "Paper by FiftyThree" 

Edited vintage Atlanta Falcons Team Logo using a photo editing software app

I hope this has inspired you to be a little more creative this year for Christmas. If you have any questions or comments, please use the comment section below and I will be happy to help in any way I can. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

May We Be Positive

It happens to me constantly. People are rude and it annoys me. I speak only to be met with silence. I pity myself because there isn’t enough time in the day. I look in the mirror and see I am not “skinny” enough. I check the bank account and see I am not “rich” enough. I work a 9-5 and dream of the day I can work on my own creatively, at home or in my own studio.

I wonder to myself, do I really have an outlook on life that will take me where I need to be? Am I positive enough? Do others consider me a positive person? Am I working towards being kind and optimistic? How can I be positive when the world around me is so full of negativity?

I have come up with 5 ways to force myself into positivity and I would like to share them with you in hopes that maybe you will benefit in some small way.

Yes, it is hard to give thanks when your car won’t start or when you’re searching for your phone and running late for work. It’s less than easy to be thankful when dirty clothes are piled high after a long day and all you want to do is rest. However, I have been teaching myself to be thankful for these things.

Running behind? Thankful because maybe there is an intervention occurring which is preventing an accident I could have been in the middle of.

Clothes piled high? Thankful that I have clothing choices, even on the days I scream “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!”

Long, boring day at work? Thankful I have a job that allows me to pay my bills. Even on days I have to rob from Peter to pay Paul.

Choosing to be thankful for your home, cell phone, car, job, food, heating/air, bed, pets, spouse, children, parents, and freedom opens your mind to all you really have and are not lacking. Being grateful makes you happier; being happier increases positivity.

It’s exciting when you can make someone else smile. The world is full of bad news, people in poor health, poverty and more. Giving takes the focus off of your problems for a moment and produces an overall sense that maybe the world is good.

Walking to the checkout line? Pay for the few items the little lady behind you plans to purchase.

Paying for gas? Add $10 to the person’s car who just walked out to pump only $5 and have the attendant go tell them. Or better yet, tell them yourself when you walk out and enjoy the smile and appreciation that gleams in their eye.

Notice the car behind you in the fast food lane has children? Tell the cashier you’d like to buy them ice-creams as a treat. Ask her to tell the family “It’s been taken care of.” You can drive away imagining the surprise on their face.

Giving doesn't always have to include money. It can be letting the elderly man with his cane or the woman with a screaming baby break in front of you in line. You can offer to carry someone’s groceries to their car when you see their hands are full. Even taking an old bicycle that you plan to set out by the road to the boy down the street will fill your heart and their heart with happiness.

Everyone has a bad day sometimes. We walk past people all the time who are struggling with their own worries, problems, or decisions. A compliment produces positive energy and eases tension not only for the recipient, but for the giver as well.

The compliment must be genuine, however. Don’t just throw any accolade out. Mean it!

Did a co-worker just rock a presentation? Tell her!

Think the UPS man has a nice smile? Tell him!

Love how funny your neighbor is? Tell her how her humor makes you happy.

Compliments are powerful in brightening someone’s day. Noticing good qualities in someone boosts your mood and trains your eye to be on the lookout for what’s good in the world.

“What are you most excited about? That’s the key. It’s the purity that pays off every time. Never mind that your idea or the work at hand may be daunting and unreasonable. Out of your various intentions, goals, opportunities, or projects, what are you most enthusiastic about.” Danielle LaPorte

I admit I've been struggling lately in the excitement department. Give me something I don’t want to do and I’ll agree outwardly, pout inwardly. But give me something I love and I’ll be beyond happy. I've been teaching myself that with every task at hand, fun or boring, convenient or inconvenient, there is something to be excited about.

Have to stay an extra hour late at work? Overtime pay!! Yay!!

Need to run an unexpected errand for someone out of your way? Hey!!! Alone time in the car with music and peace.

Excitement is contagious. When others around you see that you are choosing to be happy and energized instead of angry and irritable, it will rub off on them. It will rub off on you, too. Excitement about small things can cause an outbreak of silliness, laughter and fun.

Forgiveness is hard. What if someone bullies or offends you? What if someone hurts you deeply and gets away with it?

Revenge or forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a state of grace for others and for you.
Revenge is causing someone else pain to justify hurt.

Revenge just doesn't work. While it’s natural to get angry when someone hurts us, retaliation brings out the worst part of self and causes negativity to grab hold and cause lasting grudges. It burns bridges.
Forgiveness lifts us to a higher level of well-being. It produces strength and peace amidst internal turmoil.
While it might not be healthy to be friendly with someone who continually uses or hurts you deeply, it is okay to forgive and move on. Forgiveness for others allows forgiveness for you.  It creates a positive atmosphere for healing and growth.

I have needed to evaluate my attitude lately. This may be more for me than for you. I am not perfect. Who is? Things don’t always go my way, but I do have the power to choose how I will respond. It’s very easy to let jealousy, bitterness, and all those other negative things to junk up our lives. It is work to remain positive when we are surrounded by bad news, rude people, everyday problems or just plain evil.

That’s why I created this list for myself. Sort of like a plan, a goal. I am trying to step outside of myself and into a happier and healthier life spiritually and emotionally. I wanted to share with you in the hopes that maybe something will touch you enough to spring you into action. Maybe something here will resonate within you enough that you will want to give it a try.

Here is to positivity and the power it holds. May you smile today, give yourself some grace, and see even the slightest annoyance as a possible blessing in some small way. May I do the same for me and may we all be thrust into the future we want while we attempt to take the positive route.

P.S. It’s okay to have bad days and feel down. Let’s just not get stuck in that rut. Forgive yourself and move on when you notice negativity creeping in. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Graffiti Of The Heart

I did not permit it to scratch or scribble its way onto my heart. Illicitly, it stained the walls with permanency. It took up residence and I can’t clean it off no matter how hard I try.

A dream…
Of beauty and art
Of delicious emotions
With intense yearning
Of creative expression

I can’t travel without stopping the car if I see a beautiful sunset, a turtle crossing the street, or a picturesque flower. I've stopped in the middle of the street, breaks screeching, slamming the passenger into the dashboard all for the sake of a photograph. (Sorry Brandon)

Suddenly an image will come into my mind. I grab a pen, pencil, or white out pen, whatever I can find and begin to draw. I will pull out my pink bed sheet, a work of art within itself, stained with paint of every color imaginable. I will pull out my sheet and spread it across the dining room table, grab a canvas and paint brush and begin to use my mind to direct my hand.

I can be in the middle of listening to a song on the radio and my mind spews forth words that must be written. I don’t feel as if I can breathe properly until I type the last punctuation mark.

This dream to be creatively free and unafraid comes from a place deep within that no matter how hard I try to suppress it; be it weeks, months or even years…it springs back to life and becomes uncontrollable. Ever since I got my first diary over 25 years ago, ever since I wrote my first book of poems that sits in my closet on the top shelf, dusty; this dream of living a life of artistic expression waxes and wanes through my being.

This year, this week, this is spilling over.

Here are some recent photographs and drawings of mine. I hope you enjoy.
(If the image is blurry, tap it to open)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Snowy Beaches, Carnivals & Children

Behind the lens of a camera I have seen beauty; the beauty of nature, of hard work, and of imagination. I have walked gardens full of colorful foliage. I have felt the humidity of a conservatory like a sauna, housing thousands of butterflies. I have walked back in time to see a humble home, a president’s death bed, and a 391 foot bridge built by a former slave over 160 years ago.

Behind the lens of this camera, I have witnessed my mind’s eye come to life over the past couple of weeks. My freedom with nature and the break from normal routine has awakened beauty and creativity within me. I have dreamed colorful dreams; dreams with picturesque oceans, fluffy snow, old –time carnivals, children and red barns.

These images haven't escaped me in the moments since I've dreamed them. I've craved the ability to bring it to life somehow. God has shown me in my mind a place far beyond reality that I wish never to forget. Should my mind's eye slowly become blind to this picture, this place...I have created to the best of my ability a visual picture of the dream that has stirred my soul for days.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Creative Therapy

My car broke down on me today…
On a main highway…
Sherriff’s Car pulled behind me…
Wanted to run my driver’s license…
Got it running again…
Headed toward auto repair shop…
Broke down again…
Waited 10 minutes…
Started running again…
Took to Repair Shop…
Waited for a ride…
This is how I feel…


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Relax, Release, Create

Ahhhhhh! I feel full...

Of peace and rest

The creative bug bit me this past week and I can't stop.

Photo Sessions
Painting Furniture

I feel like the woman I know God made me to be. It's been a while since I've felt this accomplished. It began Wednesday with one of the best photo sessions I've had in a while.

"A Sweet 16" Session:

Honestly, what is more fun than dressing up, hanging with your girlfriends, and playing with glitter? A photo session to capture it all.

Thursday I was a bit under the weather. After a trip to the doctor I was ordered to eat, sleep and spend time doing something I love. I immediately went to the library. If I was going to rest this weekend, it was going to be with a book. I spent most of the day Friday in the bed with my book. I was able to relax and began to feel better.

Saturday morning my Fiance and I went to a few yard sales. After spending $5 on a bookshelf and a side table my creative juices began to flow. I suddenly had the urge to repaint my new purchases as well as my bedroom furniture. We went to Lowe's and bought a few paint samples and brushes.

I am thoroughly pleased with all my pieces. Two nightstands, a dresser, side table and bookshelf all received a makeover.

Finally, I spent some creative time this evening exploring a new drawing and photography technique. Here are some of my favorites.  I may try to sell these as prints, iPhone cases, magnets and more. 

I have felt more accomplished in the past few days than I have felt in months. I am beyond thankful for the time I've had this weekend to relax, release, and create.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Spit Out the Negative

"I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful." Bob Hope

Last night I laughed.

It was not just a chuckle. I am talking about a laugh so hard that tears formed and stomach cramps had me doubled over in pain. I was being silly with my Fiance and we had one another in hysterics. Afterwards, we both sighed with relief. It felt delicious to be free.

I view laughter as a form of freedom. 

There are very few things on earth that can naturally relax the entire body, boost the immune system, release endorphin's and protect the heart like laughter can. Besides, laughter also removes us from distressing emotions that can overtake our mind, body, and soul.

Today, take the time to open your mouth and let the beautiful and yummy sound of laughter escape. With it, the release of all anxiety and stress will spew forth and set you free.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Annual Family Vacation

This week I am on vacation with my family. Most days have brought rain instead of sunshine. We haven't been able to enjoy much time in the water but we have enjoyed our time together. There has been plenty of food, fun, sleep and rest.

Day 1 We took a trip to the beach closest to our rental home. It was rather hysterical. It looked more like a man made lake than the ocean. There was barely any sand, it was full of seaweed and we found a clothes hanger in the ocean while digging for shells.

Day 2 It rained a good bit and we weren't able to spend much time outside. We did take a trip to the pool and pretty much had it all to ourselves which was very relaxing. My nephew found it humorous that he captured a video and all you could hear were crickets in the background, that is how quiet it was.

Day 3 We drove into Mexico Beach, Florida. It was the perfect day to be on the beach. The wind was amazing, the sun was shining, and the waves were large. My niece took the time to build a sandcastle. We fed the birds. A few of us got brave and with a little patience had them eating out of our hands. I even attempted to try and coax them to take a veggie chip from my lips. It worked and we all squealed with delight.

Each day we've had the luxury of napping and eating amazing meals. Last night we went to dinner and afterwards walked around trying to locate a few perfect spots for our annual family photos. Even though it is day 4 of vacation and we once again are stuck inside due to weather, I couldn't be happier. I have really learned a few things this week about myself and others.

Side note: I prayed prior to and during this trip to feel God more and to see His work in my life. I've prayed to have the opportunity to be still and quiet as I reflect on His goodness and mercy. He has answered my prayer and many others. I am learning to let go of the drama that surrounds me and have shared talks with my mother concerning others attitudes compared to my own. With her advice and the nudging I have felt from God, I have realized that I am only to be Rachel. Rachel is enough for God, she is enough for her family, and enough for her true friends. For all of these, her heart is known and her intentions are clear.

Back to the topic at hand, I would like to share a few photos with you from our week so far. We have been blessed.

Wash Clean

I'm sitting in a beautiful vacation home. It is dark with clouds outside and the thunder crashes through the house. It rattles the tin roof. My stepfather is beside me reading his Max Lucado book. My nephew is across from me quietly texting, as teens do. My brother is at the kitchen table reading news. My mother is in the kitchen. My other family members are all in their rooms resting. It is quiet. 

I've needed quiet for a while now, a break. My life is something of a whirlwind with constant motion. I'm not a constant motion person. I enjoy quiet and a slower paced lifestyle. This is partly due to the fact that no matter what the task at hand, washing dishes or completing a project for my boss, I rush. I tend to live my life in a hurry, dashing like a mad woman between point A and point B. Rushing so that I can stop. I am wound too tightly it seems. 

Maybe I am rushing so much because I have a dream I want fulfilled. And since I'm not much of a patient person, I believe I am rushing through life so I can get to my dream. I know this dream will come to fruition. However, how am I hurting myself while waiting?

Upset stomach, body aches and pains, anxiety, stress, pleasing others to the point that I not only neglect myself, but most importantly, God. Ignoring my health and the warning signs, then crashing when I've had enough. This crash then in turn disappoints me and makes me feel weak. 

I have to learn to slow down and practice being patient. I must be still and quiet. I will use this week away from responsibility to enjoy and just take life a little slower. Starting now. Bring on the rain and wash my soul clean.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Will Call

Let’s keep it real and honest.

I am tired.
I am physically exhausted.
I am weak.
I need peace.

My body is barely moving today. Outwardly, I appear absolutely fine. Inside, I am a mess. My entire body is shooting off signals to STOP! I can’t stop. I have too many responsibilities, too many people depending on me and too many things to get taken care of before next week.

It is early morning and this day ahead is long. I am craving my pajamas, A/C, and bed so badly.
I turn the page on my calendar, “He is like a Father to us, tender and sympathetic…The loving kindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting to those who reverence Him.”

That is exactly what I need right this minute; a moment in my Father’s lap. 

His tenderness, sympathy and loving kindness. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Prince Charming

Dear Prince Harvey,

Your Harvey Prince Hello perfume is absolutely, positively, 100% amazingly fantastic! You make me feel like a girl running through a meadow on a warm summer day. I see the wildflowers and can smell the lemons from the grove across the field.

You pick me up when I am down.

You open my senses to a world that invites me to play.

I just want to say thank you 1,000 times over.

A woman simply changed by a fragrance. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Will It Define You?

I am 35 years old. I was married for ten years and desperately wanted children. I never had any. It was not because I couldn't have them; it was because my partner did not want children. I know women who can’t have children because of medical reasons. If my heart breaks because my body could have children, yet it wasn't “allowed” to by another, I can only imagine the pain a woman must feel in knowing her own body has betrayed her.

Recently I read a beautiful post for mom’s over at concerning how lonely it can be as a mother. I can see where this is very true. Women need female companionship and I imagine between the diapers, soccer games, school plays, parent/teacher conferences, teething babies and more, that motherhood can strip you of the beautiful bonding experience you can only have with another woman. I stand in awe of the women who can balance motherhood and being a wife. Add to that those women who also have careers, are frequent members at their churches, volunteer their time to others and more…I seriously and sincerely stand up and applaud you. I don’t know how you do it.

99% of my friends, family members and co-workers have children. You get to an age where everyone around you starts announcing their pregnancy. Slowly, one by one, the friends that you used to talk to on the phone for hours or meet up with for lunch become very few and far between. The invitations to a cookout become invitations to a child’s Birthday Party. The talks over coffee become a quick text just checking in. The once uninterrupted phone conversations turn into a battle between getting a word in and waiting for the baby to stop crying.

Being a woman who wants a child in a world where everyone around you has one or multiple can be very lonely.

When I was married, my husband had a career that kept him away from home many nights. There are only so many TV shows, cartons of ice-cream, music playlists and loads of laundry that can keep you occupied before you realize that the sound of a cry would be a welcome relief to the emptiness and loneliness surrounding the core of your heart.

I couldn't simply grab the phone and call my friend for a chat when the loneliness set in. She had too many things going on with her family. The most difficult thing to realize was that not only did I not have the family I longed for, I didn't have the friendships I longed for either.

It is very easy to be misunderstood being a woman who has no children. Mothers tend to look at you with jealousy. I mean, we can sleep whenever we want to, right? We can take a bath and eat without interruption. We don’t have to spend a lot of money at Christmas. If we want to leave for a vacation, we can afford it.

For us though, there are many sleepless nights that keep us awake from the desire within to have a child that may never be fulfilled. The baths would be more fun if they included bubbles and toys. Shopping at Christmas would have a more magical feeling if it involved trips to see Santa and hiding gifts so little eyes wouldn't see. Vacations would be more meaningful watching little feet feel the sand for the first time.

It is easy to let this loneliness turn into resentment and work its way into your heart. I recall many Easter Sunday’s standing back crying. I had no children running to find eggs. I had no little girl to clothe in a new dress for Church.

Birthday Party invitations with cute characters went directly to the bottom of the mail pile. I didn't want to attend a party where I knew I would feel isolated as I watched all of my friend’s children becoming friends.
It hurt deeply at family gatherings to watch my cousins’ toddlers playing with each other and realizing that even if I had a child today, he/she would never be at an age close enough to create that special bond I was seeing develop before my eyes with the others.

I was allowing the loneliness to turn into bitterness and resentment until one day I realized that closing my heart was not the answer. I had a choice. I could let the negative thoughts consume me; like the thought of “When I turn 60 and my friends are spending the weekend with their grandchildren, I will still be alone.” I could allow the hurt to prevent me from creating memories with my family and friends or I could wipe the tears and open my eyes to the beauty around me and within me.

There is beauty in the brokenness I feel as a woman without a child. It forces me to grow stronger in my own skin. It empowers me to invest in myself, my creativity, and my spirituality. It allows me the opportunity to be the “Cool Aunt” to my niece and nephews.

Now that I am older, it may be more difficult for me to have children. Thankfully, I have found a man I will be marrying that wants children as badly as I. However, maybe now I am at an age where it will be nearly impossible to get pregnant if at all. Maybe I will go through life without ever reaching the milestones only mothers will get to experience.

If that happens:
If I never get to hold my newborn baby.
If I never get to take my child to school on their first day.
If I never hold my daughter during her first heartbreak.
If I never become a grandmother.
If I never become pregnant.

It will not define who I am as a person.

Yes, I will continue to answer “No” when asked “Do you have any children?”
Yes, I will to continue to fumble over my words when questioned “Why?”

But No, I will not be less than.

I will not let the loneliness turn my heart cold. I refuse to waste my life worrying. I will not beat myself up for wasted years. I will not see myself as anything other than a woman who is awesome and strong and beautiful. I will stand tall in who I am and I will see the beauty around me. I will hold my friends newborn today and grandchild tomorrow. I will dance and laugh and play with my niece and nephews. I will go to that Birthday Party when I feel like it and politely decline when I don’t. I will see the beauty that comes from my brokenness.

My heart is what defines me. It is what defines you?

Monday, June 9, 2014

To Be Young Again

Facials, hairstyles, desert, sparkly drinks in champagne glasses and a bridal gown…

Last weekend was the best weekend I’ve had in a while. No, I did not attend a wedding. I hosted an “End of School” Slumber Party for my niece and her friend from school. It began several weeks back with a really cute invitation and ended with a very fun photo shoot. I spent a few days prior to the party trying to decide how in the world I would entertain two tweens. I have no children of my own, so I don’t really keep up with what’s hot in the world of 11 year old girls.

I decided to look 3 places for ideas to fill up a night with entertainment and a morning with memories to last.

  1.       The World Wide Web.
  2.        By channeling my inner 11 year old.
  3.       Sifting through my creative juices.

I would like to share with you what I came up with and hopefully it will inspire you to be young again and create the perfect Slumber Party for your daughter or niece and her friends.

Ice Cream Sundaes:
Can you ever go wrong with ice cream and kids?

Vanilla Ice Cream, sprinkles, cool whip, caramel coated peanuts, fudge topping, rainbow sherbet topping, and of course a cherry for the top are just a few of the items I purchased. They grabbed a bowl and proceeded to make themselves a treat that would have them wired for hours.

Fruity drinks in a pretty glass:
Who doesn’t feel a little fancy when they drink from a petite little champagne glass? Why would tween girls be an exception? I found a pretty shade of pink lemonade and added a strawberry for that extra “ooh-la-la” effect.

Facials & Manicures:
When I asked the girls if they would be interested in a facial, they squealed with delight. They had so much fun experiencing this first. When the cool cream hit their face they giggled with surprise and laughed so hard that they cried when they saw their green reflections staring back at them in the mirror.

Afterwards, I took requests for manicures. I purchased nail glitter at the dollar store and grabbed my polish. The girls also brought their favorite polish to the party. We decided to paint each nail two different colors and apply glitter. It was a mess and it was exhausting, but it was all girly.

Truth or Dare:
When they asked me to give them dares, I couldn’t think of very many. I looked online to see if I could find some that were suitable for children. Surprisingly, the internet was full of clean and funny ideas for children. A few ideas:
Suck your toe for 10 seconds.
Put 5 marshmallows in your mouth and sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
Say “I’m cwaazy, I’m cwaazy, cause I’m, wooney!” 3 times in a row.
For the next 15 minutes, after each thing you say, you must finish your sentence with “Man, I’m good!” or “Hippity Hop.”
Carry another player on your back across the floor. 

Being the center of attention, wearing a beautiful dress, putting on makeup, and holding a bouquet are only just a few things every little girl dreams of.

I pulled my wedding dress from the closet and grabbed some clips from the kitchen. After styling their hair, the girls and I slipped the “bride” into her dress and secured the back with clips. Their little faces lit up when they looked in the mirror. They examined the glittery shadow on their eyes, their new hairstyle, and twirled in the dress that made them feel like a princess. We spent a few minutes taking photos and throwing the “bouquet.”

Every slumber party needs Popcorn and a Movie:
I asked the girls to bring their favorite pajamas, pillows, blankets and movies to the slumber party. When we were ready to wind down for the night, they dressed cozy and grabbed their blankets as I prepared the popcorn. We settled in for a movie-marathon that ended in snoring.

Photo Shoot:
The next morning the girls woke me. I sat them down for painting as I prepared breakfast. They let their creative juices flow as the smell of bacon, cinnamon rolls, and strawberries filled the air. Afterwards, I asked the girls to get dressed and we went outside for a fun round of Hide & Seek. I grabbed my camera to document the fun. When all hiding options were exhausted we decided to end the fun with a photo shoot.

The party was a success! Both girls really enjoyed the time they spent together and the activities were endless. Sure, I was exhausted afterwards, but I wouldn't want it any other way. Not only do the girls have forever memories, but I was once again an 11 year old.

I am in the process of editing of all the photos I took that night and the next morning. I have decided that once I am done, each girl will receive a disc with the memories so they can look back on this party many years from now and laugh.

I hope you are now inspired to throw a Summer Slumber Party and rediscover the tween in you. 

P.S. I sent the girls home with nail polish, nail brushes, glitter accessories, polish remover and cotton balls all presented in a cute jar.

P. S. S. Don’t forget to have fun, relax, and grab a few cans of silly string spray for an all-out girly war!