30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

This list is so true and well worth taking a couple of minutes to read.  I read it from Lesley Carter’s blog and new I had to share.
30 THINGS TO STOP DOING TO YOURSELF
Written by:  Marc Chernoff.
As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

BLUE DECORATING

A SPLASH OF BLUE IS ALWAYS WELCOME – from houzz.com

Adrienne Chinn Design traditional kitchen

http://www.houzz.com/photos/606795/Adrienne-Chinn-Design-traditional-kitchen-London

Blue Powder Bath Remodel traditional powder room

http://www.houzz.com/photos/116584/Blue-Powder-Bath-Remodel-traditional-powder-room-Houston

New Kitchen traditional kitchen

http://www.houzz.com/photos/33274/New-Kitchen-traditional-kitchen-boston

Acadian Home traditional porch

http://www.houzz.com/photos/76190/Acadian-Home-traditional-porch-Birmingham

Edward Postiff Interiors traditional bedroom

http://www.houzz.com/photos/1229579/Edward-Postiff-Interiors-traditional-bedroom-Detroit

Crisp Architects traditional

http://www.houzz.com/photos/188997/Crisp-Architects-traditional-spaces-new-York

Wm Ohs Hampton Classics traditional kitchen

http://www.houzz.com/photos/201769/Wm-Ohs-Hampton-Classics-traditional-kitchen-Denver

Habor Cottage, Maine farmhouse family room

http://www.houzz.com/photos/405206/Habor-Cottage–Maine-contemporary-family-room-portland-maine

misc. beach style family room

http://www.houzz.com/photos/333946/misc–traditional-family-room-san-diego

Rustic Chic Masculine Bedroom Design eclectic living room

http://www.houzz.com/photos/2405013/Rustic-Chic-Masculine-Bedroom-Design-eclectic-living-room-boston

Nantucket Summer Home traditional entry

http://www.houzz.com/photos/2004030/Nantucket-Summer-Home-traditional-entry-boston

Exterior traditional exterior

http://www.houzz.com/photos/339752/Exterior-traditional-exterior-Philadelphia

Decorate by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick

http://www.houzz.com/photos/218430/Decorate-by-Holly-Becker-and-Joanna-Copestick-spaces

Frenchflair traditional landscape

http://www.houzz.com/photos/51981/Frenchflair-traditional-landscape-Vancouver

Who likes money?

If only it grew on trees. If anyone finds that darn tree please let me know.   Are you a spender or a saver?  I am proud to say I am both.  I do, however, like to save whenever I can.  The picture below is a fine example of how anyone can get a similar look for less.
I love pocketbooks but not enough to spend $2,757 (original price $4,595)!  If I did I’d be bragging about it in divorce court.
No need to spend $63 for jean shorts.  Grab an old pair of jeans from your closet, cut, wash/dry a few times for the fringe look and you are good to go.  Don’t like fringe?  That’s ok.  Cut a little longer and roll them up.  Easy peasy.  Best part of all is that your new shorts cost you NOTHING.  Match with this adorable $5 red top to complete the look.  Talk about a bargain!
Who doesn’t love diamonds?  I do!  Can you hear me scream? I have my real diamond wedding rings but almost all summer I wear my sterling silver cubic zirconia eternity ring.  It’s perfect for the beach, pool and when traveling.  I’ll never forget the time I was in Cabo San Lucas when a  20 something  adorablebikinibouncing young woman approached me at the pool.  I was shocked when she asked if she could see my ring.  She said she had been admiring it since I arrived.  She immediately said, “WOW.  You are so lucky!  I have always dreamt about one day having a ring exactly like yours.”  I couldn’t help but smile while saying thank you.  She was so excited about my ring I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was NOT the real deal.  I get comments on it all the time.  Shhh… Don’t tell.  For all those wondering if other people can tell the difference… the answer is NO.   Don’t get me wrong.  I would love to have the $21,000 diamond ring in the photo.  Feel free to tell my hubby to get it for me.   Christmas is coming…  Thanks.
This was a fun end-of-the-summer outfit to put together.  See if you can tell which items cost more.  Click on the photo to compare prices.
Enjoy and HAPPY SUNDAY!
SUMMER TIME SAVINGS

I just received….

12,000 GORGEOUS PAPER PARTY STRAWS – Yikes!  They are literally taking over my home and I am loving it.  Makes me want to host a big party.  The new colors are gorgeous.  I am extremely happy with the selection.  Within minutes I was SOLD OUT for one particular color (below).  Apparently, this is the year for Monster Inc. parties and my blue/green straws go perfect with the theme.  I ordered more and I’ve already SOLD half the order before they even arrived.  I’m loving my Monster Inc. friends!

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  I know it’s early but these colors will not last.  If interested drop me a note and I can set straws aside for my amazing followers.  I can bill via Paypal.   We also have new fall colors as well.

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After 1.5 months of spending quality time with my children on Cape Cod… I am very excited to be selling once again on Etsy.

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For the first time I posted straws on Instagram.  I still can’t get over the sales I got in the last couple of days.  Such a great way to reach out to more people.  If you haven’t done so already… I encourage all store owners to sell on Instagram.

INSTAGRAM:  http://instagram.com/bellabargains

Instagram isn’t just for party supplies.  I posted OR will soon be posting lots of fun items such as…

TERRIFIC DEALS ON COSTUME JEWELRY…

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*** COMING SOON ***

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BOUTIQUE HAIR BOWS for a fraction of the cost!

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NEW/RESALE DESIGNER CHILDREN’S CLOTHING/SHOES + VINTAGE ITEMS…

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$(KGrHqJHJFEFCcQOTgNvBQnHlLVSrg~~60_57

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NEW & VINTAGE SCARVES…

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NEW INFANT DRESSES/OUTFITS…

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BEAR PAW CHILDREN’S BOOTS (worn once in the house for about 5 mins!) & LELLI KELLY SHOES (also have pink listed) – Talk about a bargain!

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NEW/MINT CONDITION VERA BRADLEY BAGS…  at incredible prices!

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WHOLESALE ORDERS –  I am happy to announce that we are now taking wholesale orders.  Perfect for boutiques, Etsy store owners, event planners, etc.  Out-of-country orders welcome!  You don’t need to order thousands of straws for our wholesale plan.  It’s totally up to you.  Test out sales with 10/25 packages or order 50 packages for an upcoming event.  Maybe you already have a store and need 75/100.  Regardless of your size… you don’t need to order 10,000 straws for our wholesale plan.  Each package comes with 25 straws.  If interested in learning more about our wholesale program…  please leave your email address so I can send you detailed information.

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LOTS OF NEW COLORS…

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Please follow us for special SALES…

FACEBOOK – facebook.com/bellabargain

INSTAGRAM (bellabargains) – http://instagram.com/bellabargains

and don’t forget to follow our BLOG!

Sunny and gorgeous on Cape Cod.  Squeezing in our final weekends at the beach before the kiddies are back at school.  Yahooo!

HAPPY SUNDAY!

THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE…

SUMMER SALAD…  Trust me when I say this recipe is not only EASY but DELICIOUS.  It’s my summer staple for cookouts, 4th of July parties, BBQ’s and perfect for luncheons too.  Whenever I ask what I can bring to an event everyone tells me to bring my TORTELLINI SALAD.  It’s a huge summer hit!

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SUMMER TORTELLINI SALAD

Below is the recipe.  Please note there are no measurements.  It all depends on the size of the event.  If I make this for my family of four I’ll use 1-2 bags of tortellini.  For large events I have used any where from 4-8 bags.  Even if you don’t cook… This recipe is EASY enough for anyone to make.

INGREDIENTS

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CHEESE TORTELLINI – Any brand is fine. I use frozen tortellini.

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BOIL TORTELLINI

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SCALLIONS
Chop while tortellini is boiling.

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I LOVE CRAISINS!
You either love or hate them! Add while tortellini is still hot. The heat softens the Craisins.

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BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
Paul Newman’s is our favorite. Any kind will work.

This is a fun, easy and delicious summer salad.  The mixture of ingredients bring just enough color to any event.  Please let me know if you decide to try this.  I’d love to know what you think.

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Here is the recipe…

SUMMER CHEESE TORTELLINI SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

Frozen Cheese Tortellini

Scallions (chopped)

Craisins

Balsamic Vinaigrette (Paul Newman’s)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Boil any type of cheese tortellini.  Frozen no name brands work fine and cost less.  Use tricolored if you want to add color.  I have used both in the past and the are equally delicious.
  • Chop scallions while waiting for tortellini to cook.  Use your own judgement when cutting.  Add more if you love scallions or less if you just want a splash of green in the salad.
  • Drain pasta and add Craisins immediately while pasta is hot.  Mix Craisins and pasta.  The heat softens the Craisins.  My family loves Craisins so I tend to add extra.
  • Add scallions.
  • Add Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.  Paul Newman’s is our favorite but any brand of balsamic vinaigrette dressing works.
  • Mix all ingredients together and serve hot or cold.  It’s totally up to you.  I always make this the morning of an afternoon event.
  • Save a little dressing to freshen up the salad when you arrive at the event or add a little the next day to leftovers.

SNEAK PEEK…

OF WHAT IS COMING THIS FALL – As the summer passes I’m excited at the thought of reopening my Etsy store…  bellabargains.etsy.com

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In four short months I had almost 300 sales which included thousands of old fashion colored paper straws.  I also sold many favor bags and boxes that were carefully coordinated with themed birthday parties.

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I had so much fun working on a daily basis with bubbly brides.  Thankfully I haven’t run into any Bridezilla’s!  It’s always fun receiving overly excited emails when soon-to-be brides learn I have striped paper straws that match perfectly with their bridesmaid dresses or  wedding theme.

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One bride planned on serving pink lemonade in mason jars with pink striped straws for her summer outdoor wedding.  Another bride bought 300 lime green straws for her July wedding at a country club.

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I have also had the pleasure of working with several event planners and small companies who design wedding/event invitations.  Many have since come back for repeat business.  In addition to brides… I have worked closely with bridesmaids, family members and close friends who are hosting upcoming baby/bridal showers, Christenings, anniversaries, First Communions and themed birthday parties.  The list goes on and on.

I even helped a very excited first time mom pick out items for her child’s first birthday party with over 75 guests attending.

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I can honestly say I enjoy selling on Etsy.  I actually like it much better than Ebay.  Best part of all is that I can work in the comforts of my home.

This summer I stayed busy with Instagram (see HOME page bottom right).  As of right now I am thrilled that I have almost 500 followers.

I recently posted pictures on Facebook (facebook.com/bellabargain) that customers sent this summer.  Below is a picture from a 70th birthday party on Martha’s Vineyard.  I’m thinking next summer I should start hand delivering my packages!  Another photo I received from the Vineyard was of an amazing view of a summer beverage and Bella Bargains straw with a dock/ocean in the background.  Feel free to check out this amazing photo on my Facebook page and please be sure to LIKE us while you are visiting.

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I am patiently waiting for all the brides to have their summer/fall weddings so they can send me the photos they promised.

Not only do I sell party supplies but fabric decorated children’s jean jackets, burp clothes, adorable onsies and Boutique bows.  The middle jacket below is decorated with Lilly Pulitzer fabric.  It was the first jacket I made.  I literally ran out one day (shortly after we returned from our China adoption) and purchased a sewing machine, jean jacket and ordered fabric.  Mind you I hadn’t sewed since high school!  I never thought about selling the jackets until people started approaching me the minute my daughter wore it.  I have since created many jackets and will post them on Etsy this fall.

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Despite the fact that running an Etsy store does take a lot of work… I absolutely love that I am able to work from home around my schedule AND my children’s schedule.  If you or someone you know has thought about opening an Etsy store…  I strongly encourage you to give it a try, especially if you have items that you know will sell.  Etsy has strict rules that you must abide by so be sure to review them before opening your store.  Feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions about Etsy.   I am more than happy to help out any way that I can.

Have a wonderful day!

ADDING SOME LOVE…

TO A SECOND STORY SUMMER HOUSE DECK…

You can’t go wrong with white furniture and a few items that add color/comfort to an outside deck.

Below are BEFORE & AFTER photos of our deck on Cape Cod.  It’s been two years since we built the second story deck.  Each year I try to add something new.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.  It’s hot & sunny here in MA.

Happy Monday!

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WHITE GOES WITH EVERYTHING!

Plastic chairs make it easier when transporting up and down a flight of stairs.

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NEW INDOOR/OUTDOOR RUG – Added this year!

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LOVE MY WORLD MARKET PILLOWS (purchased last year)!

http://www.worldmarket.com/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=wk19_online&utm_source=hp&CAMP=42543&RRID=37977418

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PILLOWS ADD THE PERFECT SPLASH OF COLOR!

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WISH I GOT A BIGGER RUG…

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DECK IN NEED OF FLOWERING PLANTS!

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PLANTS COMPLETE THE LOOK!

In need of pretty plant pots.

Hesitant on using ceramic pots because of strong winds during summer storms.

Might spray paint some old plastic ones instead.

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DINNERS ARE BEST AT THIS TABLE!

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PLANTS ARE NOW SHOWING BRIGHT PINK FLOWERS (week old photo)!

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A GLIMPSE OF THE OCEAN…

This is my safe haven…

When I get to the top I temporarily forget about EVERYTHING!

It’s amazing how selective hearing kicks in and often times I can’t even hear my kids fighting below.

It’s amazing what a summer deck can do!!!

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DID YOU KNOW…

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MIX  BABY POWDER & SANDY TOES… I encourage everyone to give it a try (at least once) if you haven’t done so already, especially IF you have small children.  When you sprinkle Baby Powder on sandy wet messy toes it makes the sand come off effortlessly.  It’s true.  I do it all the time with my kids.  The other day I posted an Instagram (bellabargains) video with proof that it does indeed work.  It makes life much easier when putting messy sandy wet kids back in the car after a fun day at the beach.  Check out the video and give it a try.  I buy the cheapest no name brand of Baby Powder I can find and keep in my car for the entire summer.  Added bonus: those stinky toes smell baby fresh!

FYI – Unfortunately, My last posting of  UP & AWAY (DIY folder) deleted all my Instagram photos.  Not sure what happened but I have since posted new and improved photos plus easy instructions for a delicious summer treat.  I also included other ideas/pictures for rainy day fun with kids.

Below is a sneak peak of what will soon be posted…

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

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BEFORE & AFTER
Second floor beach house deck.

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MY HYDRANGEA OBESSION…

UP AND AWAY…

UP AND AWAY IN MY BEAUTIFUL… MY BEAUTIFUL BALLOON – Despite the fact that we never got the chance to experience the amazing thrill of soaring high in a hot air balloon adventure… we still managed to have some fun with balloons.

It’s just my luck that the rain decided to driveeverymotheronthecapecrazy follow us all the way to Cape Cod.  Surely it could have stopped just before crossing the Bourne Bridge  which is one of the two magical entrances to Cape Cod.

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BOURNE BRIDGE
Bourne, MA

We then completed every puzzle, played a long game of BINGO,  practiced lower/upper case letters and at this point a kid can only color so much.

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B-I-N-G-O
Perfect for the little ones still
learning their numbers and letters! 

After exhausting almost ever episode of Cake Boss we were then inspired to play a game of Cake Boss ourselves.  With melted chocolate chips we dipped each and everything we could find (strawberries, rice crispy treats & pretzels) in the kitchen.

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Chocolate Covered Pretzels

It was the kids idea to top off each creation with rainbow sprinkles.  Fine with me if it guaranteed to keep everyone happy.  There was not one clean face in my house.

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Rice Krisbie Treats & Bella Bargains Paper Straws
bellabargains.etsy.com – Opening soon!

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EASY – DIY TREATS
Store bought Rice Krisbie treats!

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Simply cut in half.

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Use half of a Bella Bargains paper straw & dip in chocolate.
Add color with rainbows sprinkles.

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SIMPLE summer fun!
Kids AND adults loved them!

Meanwhile, my husband was texting that his entire office was gathered in the center of the building staying far away from windows because of a sudden tornado watch.  Thankfully, everyone was ok and the area got hit with heavy rain and high winds.

It was only a matter of time that I knew the kids would ask THAT blessed question AGAIN.  What do we do now?  Balloons.  Balloons my friends.  We are going to get creative with balloons.  It was the perfect craft for the girls in the group.  Thank goodness the boys managed to entertain themselves.

My niece literally took her flip flops off her feet and started a creative pattern with balloons.  She did a great job.  Talk about a Before & After project.  She was walking proof of it!  The project was a bit more challenging for little five year old fingers to maneuver the balloons.  We put my daughter in color control and she had a ball picking out colors for everyone.  All in all it was a fun-filled  project and the end results were cheerful, bright and adorable.

With the help of my 12 year old niece  (my professional hand model) she showed me how to create a HOW TO MAKE BALLOON FLIP FLOPS video on Instagram (bellabargains).  Not the best video but not bad for a beginner.   If you’d like to see the video go to the bottom right corner of our HOME page and click on the Instagram photo.  Feel free to FOLLOW US while you are there.  Below are some photos.

Happy Wednesday!  It certainly is for us.  We  just got the call (as I was typing!) that a dear friend gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.  Congratulations M family!   We are so happy for all of you.  If that isn’t enough good news for one day… I am pleased to announce that THE SUN IS SHINING!  Off to the beach!

Enjoy your day!

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Flip Flop Fun for all ages… AND sizes!

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Flip Flop Fun… for everyone!

Summer 2013 1341

HAPPY FEET!

HIT THE ROAD JACK…

AND DON’T YOU COME BACK NO MORE, NO MORE, NO MORE, NO MORE

I am actually singing this song but unfortunately you can’t hear me (lucky you!). We are finally on our way to our Cape Cod, MA.  After NINE days of having a horrific flu (plus one week before when everyone else in the house got sick!) I am finally healthy  sigh… and ready to head to the beach house for summer fun and lots of R&R.

The kids have been out of school one full week and it has not been fun for them.  I am very much looking forward to sitting on the beach while watching my children enjoy quality time with their cousins while swimming in the water and building sand castles.  Meanwhile, I am thrilled at the thought of  sitting on the sidelines breathing in as much ocean air as possible.  It’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

I’ve posted some of my favorite Cape Cod photos from previous summers.  I am eager to get the camera out again so I can capture the Summer of 2013.

Have you been to Cape Cod?  If yes… I’d love to hear about your trip.

Happy Summer!

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Cape Cod, MA

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I spy with my little eye…

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My son is on his boat in the middle.

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My favorite…
Hydrangeas thrive on Cape Cod.

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My dad having fun with his grandchildren.
I put this photo on canvas.

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Crazy cousins!

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One of my favorites…

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I love Cape Cod!

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Adoption changes everything and it makes you think twice…
My daughter never touched sand or saw the ocean until now.

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When is it my turn?

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Mom I can do it myself!
I think the sunscreen won!

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My son taught this little guy to fly
Who is the crazy kid in the back?

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Look what we found…
Our house was like a zoo last summer.

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This little bugger escaped…

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Boats are beautiful no matter what size…

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I am obsessed with jumping photos!

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Cousins forever…

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My beautiful nieces…

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Guess who the ballerina is in our family?

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Sweet little toes that never touched the sand until now…

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Love photos with my stepchildren.

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Rain… Rain… Never go away.
YES! Put on your bathing suit and have fun!

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Some where over the rainbow…

20 FABULOUS RECIPES… for July 4th

JULY 4th RECIPES (Part 2)  What can I say?  I am hooked on 4th of July recipes!  Unfortunately, I keep seeing the same recipes over and over again on Pinterest.  It was then I decided to venture off on a search of my own.  You will not believe what I found.

Below are pictures of the most amazing, delicious and many… I said many…  EASY recipes.  Directly under each picture  you will find the link that will take you to the recipe.

If this posting doesn’t put you in the RED, WHITE & BLUE mood… then I don’t know what will.  There is nothing better than spending quality time with loved ones during a fun-filled hot summer holiday.  I am excited to start some serious baking in the next couple of days as I get ready to host our annual July 4th family cookout.  I love making memories… especially knowing that those same memories will last a life time.

If you haven’t done so already… please check my other July 4th recipes under  HOLIDAY located at the top of this page.  So far I got well over 390 hits on Pinterest from just one recipe on my first posting.

The biggest problem now is trying to figure out which recipe to make, especially since they all look AMAZING!

Happy Friday!

Oh my goodness!  This PRETZEL ROD FLAG is such a cute idea.

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/343/Spangled-Pretzel-Rod-Flag

RED, WHITE & BLUE ANGEL FOOD CAKE TRIFLE

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/06/red-white-and-blueberry-trifle.html

American Flag Cookie Recipe via Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com #American #US #flag #sugar #cookie #log #recipe #tutorial (2)

 AMERICAN FLAG COOKIES

http://www.momsshoppingengine.com/community/466/Quick-and-Easy-4th-of-July-Cookies-%28step-by-step-tutorial%29

Easy 4th of July layered homemade popsicles! Recipe found on Kara's Party Ideas KarasPartyIdesa.com #4th #july #popsicle #bbq #treat #recipe

EASY PEASY DELICIOUS RED, WHITE & BLUE POPSICLES

http://www.karaspartyideas.com/2013/06/4th-of-july-homemade-layered-popsicles-recipe.html

Apple Pie in a Jar - by Glorious Treats

SWEET APPLE PIE… in a jar… FOR THE 4th of JULY!

I might do this for Thanksgiving.

http://www.glorioustreats.com

NO BAKING!  USE READY TO SERVE POUND CAKE!  

My kind of dessert!

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/329/Berry-Sliders

PATRIOTIC ICE CREAM SANDWICH SNAPS – Adorable finger desserts.

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/345/Ice-Cream-Sandwich-Snaps

GET OUT THAT CHRISTMAS STAR COOKIE CUTTER!

Great idea! 

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/338/Star-Brownies

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RED, WHITE & BLUE BREAKFAST – Pancakes anyone?

http://iambaker.net/memorial-day-breakfast/

4th of JULY FIREWORKS CAKE

http://birdonacake.blogspot.com/2012/06/4th-of-july-fireworks-cake.html

4th of July Recipes

QUICK & EASY CAKE MIX RECIPE FOR 4th OF JULY WOOPIE PIES

http://www.passionforsavings.com/freebie/2012/06/4th-of-july-recipes-funfetti-woopie-pies/

JULY 4th CAKE BALL FLAG

Easy peasy from a cake mix!

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/394/Cake-Ball-Flag-Cake-

JULY 4TH SUGAR COOKIES

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/221/Red,-White,-and-Yum-Cookies

4th of JULY FIREWORKS CAKE

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/222/Fireworks-Cake

JULY 4th SNOW CONE CUPCAKES

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/347/4th-of-July-Snow-Cone-Cupcakes

Paper straws available this August from our Etsy store!

4th of July - Marshmallow Pops

Love this!  

JULY 4th MARSHMALLOW POPS

http://www.livinglocurto.com/2011/06/marshmallow-pops/

Patriotic Cookie Pizza

PATRIOTIC COOKIE PIZZA – EASY!!!

http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/patriotic-cookie-pizza-recipe/1/

Berry Trifles by Recipe Girl

GET THE LOOK FOR LESS! WATCHES…

CAN YOU TELL WHICH WATCH COSTS…  $39,800?
Try to pick out the one that costs $4,950.
How about the two $30 watches… Can you find them?
Click on the link below to go directly to the POLYVORE site with prices.
GOOD LUCK!
GET THE LOOK FOR LESS! WATCHES...
Cartier bracelet / Cartier gold watch / Movado diamond watch / Raymond Weil watch / Movado diamond watch / Versace watch / Seiko black vintage jewelry / Michael Kors silver jewelry / Activa case crown / Timex mixed metal jewelry / Timex leather watch / American Eagle Outfitters bracelet watch
POLYVORE LINK:

FRONT DOOR MAKEOVER

Shut the… FRONT DOOR!  I did it!  I spent one morning when the kids were in school and painted the blessed front door.  It desperately needed a dark color color since the white was covered with a zillion scratch marks.  Some areas looked like massive skid marks from my kids coming and going with bikes, hockey equipment, backpacks and to be perfectly honest… I’m not sure what the heck they did to make those marks.  Some marks look like it was hit by a monster truck!  In any case… the door was screaming PAINT ME!!!

I picked a lovely shade of blue that matched perfectly with the shutters.  End result:  AMAZING!  I am VERY happy with the newly painted door.  Best part of all NO MORE bleep’n SKID MARKS!

My biggest dilemma right now is trying to figure out if I should paint the door by the garage.  I also thought about painting the garage doors blue but not sure since it would be a HUGE mistake/mess if it didn’t look good.

Would very much appreciate your input/expertise on this topic.  We purchased the big bucket of paint so there is more than enough to paint another door… and the neighbors doors!

Have a great day!

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Hello boring white door!
Need to work on changing the star color next.

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Yahooo! First coat of paint.
Bye… Bye… skid marks (hard to see in this photo)!

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Time for one more coat of beautiful blue paint!
I’m like’n it already and haven’t even been outside yet to see it with the house.

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Hello new door! Where have you been all my life? I LOVE IT!
Ignore UGLY stairs. Ughh… Any suggestions?
Wish the monster truck hit the stairs on the way in!

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Picture does not do justice!
It was hard capturing the perfect photo because of the glass door in front.
This door is much nicer in person.

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HELP!
Do I paint the side door blue?
What about the two garage doors?
Would love your input!

RAINBOW LOOM – Reviews

RAINBOW LOOM – Super fun rubber band bracelet making kit!

WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!!!   Seriously… I’m pretty crafty.  I could have easily grabbed a few rubber bands, stuck them together to create bracelets AND then made MILLIONS!  Ughh…

We were obviously one of the last families in town to get our Rainbow Loom kit.  By the time we rushed to our local Learning Express (on a Friday) we were told there was a waiting list OR we could come back on Monday when they got a new shipment.  We opted to go back Monday.

In the eyes of a kid… this was by far the BEST investment Ev-AH (love my Boston accent!).  That box sure did make two kids happy in our house not to mention the time it kept them busy making bracelets.

So here is the scoop about the RAINBOW LOOM kit.  Children must be 8+ years to use it.  It is also a big time CHOKING HAZARD for kids under 3 yrs.  My 5 year old loves her new bracelets that her brother made her.  I’m not worried  about the choking because she doesn’t put anything in her mouth.  I would, however, worry about young kids wearing these bracelets… especially if your kids put things in their mouths.

HERE it is…

The million dollar invention that is nothing more than a bunch of colorful RUBBER BANDS! 

Go figure…

RAINBOW LOOM

Our kit came with 600+ latex free rubber bands that allows us to make up to 24 bracelets.  That’s about .71/bracelet… but I’m thinking we’ll get more than 24 since my daughters wrists are small.

The kit comes with a loom and  hook.  Below are the different things that can be made. 

All this for $16.99

We didn’t get into ring making but apparently you can make those as well. 

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Here is our fun colored collection so far.  We went on YouTube for  videos to make fancier/thicker  bracelets.  The red, black and white one at the top of the picture is a YouTube creation. 

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Here are the girlie creations.  The one to the left is another YouTube Fancy Nancy creation.

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Here are some more creations…

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I found some regular rubber bands at home and tried to trick the system.  I figured we could use my supply when the kids ran out of rubber bands.  It did work but the bracelets pinched your skin and we quickly learned that the ones that come with the kit are much softer on your wrist. 

Oh well… I tried! 

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All in all the RAINBOW LOOM kit is a HUGE hit at our house. 

It’s also a terrific under $20 birthday gift for that special someone.

RAINBOW LOOM got a thumbs up from BELLA BARGAINS!

Happy bracelet making everyone!!!

PHOTOS – Sneak peek…

MY PERSONAL PHOTO COLLECTION

Here is a sneak peek of some photos from my collection.  Eventually, I hope to post photos from different vacations… one vacation at a time.   If you haven’t done so already… please check out my St. John, VI photos.  It’s my first posting under PHOTOS.

I am not a photographer… just someone who loves taking pictures whenever I can.  For all those amazing photographers that I am following… I thoroughly enjoy your postings and I am inspired by your amazing photos.  Each day  I learn as I go…  while loving every minute of it.

Enjoy!

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CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO

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Backyard Bee

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Cape Cod, MA

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CHINA

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Monkeys in Gibraltar

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Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

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NATUCKET

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HANGZHOU, CHINA

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OUR PUP – BEFORE
Wait until you see the AFTER!

JULY 4th RECIPES

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!

Hard to believe that the 4th of July is right around the corner.  Below are some of my favorite patriotic desserts that I found on Something Swanky.  Out of 60+ desserts posted… believe… you… me… it wasn’t easy finding a few favorites.  Each and every one looks colorful, delicious and perfect for the 4th of July.

Be sure to check out SOMETHING SWANKY to see all the desserts.

Here is the link to Something Swanky:

http://www.somethingswanky.com/60-patriotic-4th-of-july-desserts/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=60-patriotic-4th-of-july-desserts).

Link information is directly under each picture.

Have a safe & happy 4th of July!!!

STRAWBERRY DESSERTS

ALL ABOUT STRAWBERRIES…

If you are like me AND love fresh summer strawberries then YOU are going to LOVE the desserts below.

Each dessert was found on Pinterest.  All links to these delicious recipes are listed directly under each photo.

Do you have summer strawberry recipes?  Please share if you do!

Make it a great day!

Post image for Easy Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Strawberry Cupcakes + Buttercream Frosting = DELICIOUS
http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/strawberry-cupcakes-recipe/

PUZZLE PIECES

GREAT IDEA FOR PUZZLES

Do you have any challenging puzzles at home that you have absolutely no idea how to put back together?  Well… I do and I came up with a simple solution to keep those darn puzzles together.

I was sick and tired of seeing puzzle pieces scattered throughout the house.  I am always hesitant on tossing them not knowing which puzzle they belong to.  Then I came up with a brilliant idea… TAKE A PHOTO OF THE DARN PUZZLE.  A simple solution.

Below is a photo of a puzzle that we have at the house.  I knew that once it came apart that there was no guarantee that it would ever be put back together.  It was then I decided to grab my cell phone and take a quick photo of it.  Later I stored the photo on my computer.  Best idea ever, especially since we have pulled up the photo many times in order to finish the puzzle.

Just a friendly FYI for those of you who can totally relate.

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YELLOW DECORATING

HOW ABOUT ADDING A  SPLASH OF SUNSHINE IN YOUR HOME?

It’s amazing how much one color (especially yellow!) can brighten up and change the entire look of  a room.  My son’s room is a soft shade of  yellow.  I recently changed his curtains to red which look amazing against the yellow.  We also have yellow in the kitchen of our summer house which is bright, cheerful and reminds me of Cape Cod.

Once again I got photos from my favorite website… houzz.com.

Does anyone have yellow in their home?  Which room?  I especially like the last photo of rustic yellow outdoor chairs.

Happy Wednesday everyone… and enjoy the photos!

DO YOU LIKE ORANGES?

IF YES… You’ll love what a splash of ORANGE can do to a home.  Paint over a chair, table or old frames with a bright/fun shade of orange.   Add orange pillows to brighten up a family room or bedroom.  Maybe you’d prefer a burnt orange instead.  Regardless of which shade of orange you decide on… this color will brighten up any room.

Below are fabulous photos from houzz.com with terrific decorating ideas. 

Enjoy!

Laguna Cottage traditional living room

Penthouse Downtown Boston eclectic kids

Hillside Residence modern dining room

Laundry Room traditional laundry room
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