Tag Archives: summer

15 Go-To Essentials for Your Summer Bag

It’s summer time and you know what happens during the summer around here? Adventure! You will hardly ever catch me at the house when the suns out, I’m always off exploring on my bike, trekking along on a hiking trail, playing a friendly game of racquetball or catching some sun by any body of water I can find! All of course, with my handsome husband and fun-loving pup!

Since we are always outdoors this time of year, packing the right essentials for the adventure is key. Am I right, or am I right?!

Today I’m sharing 15 favorite items for my summer bag that literally goes everywhere with me.

sweet-spots-go-to-summer-essentials Continue reading 15 Go-To Essentials for Your Summer Bag

Explore Northwest Arkansas this Summer

This post is sponsored by FamilyLife NWA, but all opinions are my own. #ad #sponsored #NowYouKnowNWA

If you are anything like me, nothing ever get’s accomplished without a list, especially when it comes to exploring during the summer. I’ll get stuck in the same ole’ routine and before you know it…summer is long gone.

Over the past several years, I’ve created a summer bucket list to get the most adventure out of our summer days. This year is no different! In fact, since our big vacation is planned in the fall, we are making it a point to be tourists in our own northwest corner of Arkansas this summer.

What makes this local summer bucket list so much easier is the fact that our community has a hub at FamilyLife NWA where all things Northwest Arkansas is housed. (Um…what? Are you jealous?) Seriously though, if you want to try a new restaurant or know about the farmers markets…they’ve got you covered. I can’t imagine what fun things I’ve missed out on simply because I didn’t hear about it. Thanks to FamilyLife NWA, now we have a service to keep our NWA community in the know.

Back to the summer bucket list, here are the local adventures we plan to set out on over the next few months.

  1. Camping // Some of my all-time favorite childhood memories are from camping on the lakes in Arkansas with my family. This area has endless options for camping that are just beautiful. If you are looking to camp too, check out this list HERE.
  2. Kayaking // I tried kayaking for the first time last summer and really enjoyed it, but I want to do a full float trip in a kayak this year!
  3. Crystal Bridges Museum // This famous museum in our community brings us the most spectacular art installations and shows you can imagine. Now with the new children’s Amazeum, it draws an even bigger crowd. This summer they are showcasing the work of Dale Chiluly who is a glass sculptor. This is a must-see event! If you want to museum hop the summer, here’s a list just for you. 
  4. Farmers Market // The markets draw me in. If I could choose my favorite Saturday morning activity, it would be breakfast and a stroll through the farmers market. Great culture, produce, art and florals. Plus, who doesn’t love bringing home a fresh bouquet of flowers every weekend? Not to mention, we’ve got a ton of markets around here.  Find one near you here.
  5. Concert // Summer concerts are my jam. With the local Walmart AMP in our neck of the woods, we bring in some of the most famous musicians around the world to preform in our outdoor venue.
  6. Drive-In Movie // Do you feel like drive-in movies were a thing of the past? Think again! We’ve got one here in NWA! Out of the many years of living here, I’ve yet to catch an outdoor movie here.
  7. Run a 5K // Let’s be honest, it’s not a real summer if you don’t run at least one 5K…you know, just to say you still CAN. (haha!)
  8. Berry Picking // We have a berry farm here now! I can’t wait to go and pick some fresh berries from my very own hometown!
  9. Chunky Dunk // What’s a summer without ice cream, am I right?? This local food truck has the finest milk and cookies you could ever dream of.  What I am most excited about is that you can create your own ice cream sandwich made of homemade cookies.
  10. Find a waterfall // Living in the Ozarks has it’s perks. We are surrounded by some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the state. Over the last few summers, I’ve found some amazing overlooks and waterfalls the area has to offer. I can’t wait to set out this summer in search of my new favorite spot. If you are looking for some great hiking, check out this list of destinations HERE.

Head over to my Instagram page to follow me this summer as I mark off these summer bucket list dreams in our very own Northwest Arkansas! @Candablair

Run Miles Eat Pizza

First and foremost, let’s be clear – I have a love hate relationship with running and a full-on loving relationship with pizza. Seriously, I could eat pizza every day of my life…well if calories didn’t count I totally would. Like pizza, I have always had a craving for running. It wasn’t until I ran my first 5K in 2009 that I really begin to love the sport.

I am not sure whether it it is my competitive side that makes me want to run more or if it is the fact that the more I run the more pizza I can have without feeling guilty. Regardless, running takes practice and consistency. It’s hard work.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever applied to my life was to “just start”. We often get caught up thinking about what we want to do next, but never putting our dreams into action. Also thinking we must have all the right gear and be perfect at the sport before we jump into a race or competition. That’s not true. Just start – no one will ever be perfect the first time so you have to begin somewhere.

Continue reading Run Miles Eat Pizza

National Pineapple Day!

Happy National Pineapple Day!
I seriously could eat pineapples all day every day. They are so good! Pineapples are one of those mystery fruits to me. Did you know that they grow in the ground and not on a tree?? Also, did you know that once a pineapple is harvested that it will not continue to ripen like other fruits do? Once it is picked, it’s as ripe as it will ever be. Therefore, the color of the fruit doesn’t signify how ripe it is, but rather where it was grown. (Huffington Post Article) Cool huh?

Here is an article I found that gives some sweet facts about pineapples. My favorite is that the locals in Hawaii call a sunny summer’s day rain, “pineapple juice”. Um that sounds like the most heavenly rain ever.

Enjoy!

Summer Peach Tea

Happy first week of summer!!

We have been spending all of our free time outside enjoying the sun and the lake! Our tans are coming along great and we are more energized than ever to get out and explore. After a long day outside, nothing beats a cold glass of tea. Let me let you in on a little secret. Sweet tea is my weakness…like bad. I claim my Memaw makes the best sweet tea in all of the South, but I will drink any glass of tea that is in front of me. One of my all time favorite tea flavors is Peach. There’s something about the crispness that screams summertime! This is how I make it – so simple.

Summer Peach Tea

3 -4 tea bags

4-6 cups of water

1-2 cups of sugar (optional)

2-3 sliced peaches

Step 1: Bring the water to a boil and put the tea bags in; let steep for 3-5 minutes

Step 2: Remove from heat and let cool

Step 3: Put tea in your favorite pitcher and add sliced peaches, sugar (optional) and give it a good stir

Step 4: Add sugar to taste

It’s that simple! Enjoy!

 

2016 Summer Goals

Hello, Summertime!

Here in Arkansas it is already blazing hot and I feel like Summer just started! Every season I make a list of fun activities to keep us busy. This way, there is no complaining about being bored! (ain’t nobody got time for that) Summer to-do lists are my all-time favorite to create. The possibilities are endless. Here are my top hits for Summer 2016.

  1. Eat Lots of Fresh Fruits & Veggies – we have a sweet little Farmers Market every Saturday morning that I want to explore more. #1 because of their flowers…they are soo pretty! #2 because of all of the local produce. Every time I have ever been I just walk around and look at all the fruits and veggies, but never buy anything. Maybe I am just in awe of the bright colors and people around me that I can’t focus on grabbing some for myself. Therefore, my #1 goal this summer is to eat healthier by filling my day with lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
  2. Run. Run. Run.- I love running and over the last year, I have gotten my fiance hooked on running too! (he makes a great accountability partner) BUT, in the summer it can be so hard to make yourself get outside and sweat. I am making it my personal goal to run more this summer than I ever have before. Besides, it can only help us maintain those wedding bods we so badly want.
  3. Drive-In Movie – I have lived in this area going on 7 years and I have yet to visit our local drive-in movie! (I know) It looks so fun and what a great date night, right? This is the year for the drive-in movie.
  4. Kayaking – this has been one of the sports that I have always wanted to dip in. Kayaking looks incredibly fun and you can get a great tan AND workout while doing it! This summer we are going to rent and potentially buy a Kayak for some cheap entertainment this summer. Any tips for a newbie?
  5. Snow Cones x 25 – so we had our 1st snow cone of the summer this week and I wondered…why don’t they have snow cones year around?? Am I the only one that craves cold treats in the winter? Since we can only get snow cones in the summer it is my goal to consume as many snow cones as possible. (let’s be honest, its probably going to be more than 25)
  6. Summer Concert – I can’t get enough of summer concerts. I love singing my heart out with a bunch of strangers, with a cold margarita in-hand and honey by my side during the dead heat of the summer. Luckily, this might just be the first thing checked off on the list! My sweetie surprised me with Chris Stapleton tickets this week. (he knows the way to my heart)
  7. Redo the Piano – We bought a real piano at a thrift store (that’s right, you read it correctly – from a thrift store) earlier this year and I am dying to get to work on it. The tricky thing is, that baby is SO heavy. I need a master plan to get it from our dinning room to the garage for some TLC without breaking anyone’s back. I have this sweet little vision for this piano that I cannot get out of my head. I promise to post before and after pics.

And that’s it – that’s my quick little list of to-dos for this summer. Of course there are going to be others, but if I can mark these off the list then I will call the Summer of 2016 a success! What’s on your summer list?? Please share!!

 

 

DIY 4th of July Shorts

Hi Lovelies,

My most favorite holiday is right. around. the. corner! 4th of July! I cannot wait. Every year my family and friends get together to grill out and enjoy the fireworks from the lake. This year is no exception.

I’ve been seeing the cutest red white and blue shorts and I think this is the perfect time to make a pair of our own!

What you will need: 

1. Denim Shorts

2. Red, white and blue textile dye

3. Brushes / Pencils

4. Ruler & Pen

5. Star template

What to do:

Lay your shorts on a flat surface and then start by using the star template to draw the stars on the left side. Try to make the distance between the stars the same.

Next, after all the stars are drawn, fill in the stars with your white textile dye. You may have to do a couple of coats for them to stand out.

After all of the stars are painted white you can start on the right side. Using your ruler draw lines on the shorts, they can be vertical or horizontal. Then you can paint the strips red and white.

Going back to your left side. After the stars have dried, you can then paint the area around them blue.

Let all the paint dry completely before wearing.

Then you are done! USA!

Approximate time: 4 hours