Fashion In a Heat Wave

About 13 years ago I purchased this little brown dress on clearance for $19.00 at Lucy.  I’m pretty sure it is my favorite item of clothing I have ever owned.  I still wear it at least once a week and I still love it as much as the day I bought it.  It’s simple, machine washable, cool on these hot summer days, can be dressed up or down and is perfect for travel because it doesn’t wrinkle.


A few days ago I thought how much I would love to own another one like it. I didn’t have time to go shopping so instead I jumped online and searched for “best summer dresses”.  What came up was Walmart and a bunch of cute, really inexpensive dresses.  For those of you who know me, I could care less about labels, name brands or even the latest “style”. I do however love simple dresses because they represent everything I embrace.  They are feminine, easy to throw on, cool, and wash and wear (I hate to iron).  I have only been to Walmart once in the past 10 years but I decided to order a few dresses (5 to be exact).  The total was about $50.00.  Here are some photos of what I ended up with.


Under this short striped dress I wore a pair of little shorts.



My sister Mary also decided to order a few dresses. Each one was under $10.

MarySummerDress MarySummerDress2 MarySummerDress3

If this Washington heat wave continues..and it will…I’m ready!  What is your favorite summertime style?

Simple Meal Planning: Summer Edition


If you’ve been to your local Farmers Market lately, you probably have seen an abundance of fresh produce.  Asparagus, artichokes, green beans, watermelon, strawberries, and peaches are just a few of my favorites.  What better way to honor what’s in season than to entice you with a simple summertime meal plan perfect for busy moms, professionals and anyone else wanting healthy, budget friendly food.

Delicious meals do not need to be complicated.  In fact, most of my favorite meals consist of nothing more than breaking down your plate into quarters.  Half of your plate should be filled with vegetables.  A simple green salad and another vegetable such as steamed green beans,  grilled peppers or a steamed artichoke.

One quarter of your plate should include your protein: chicken, fish, or beef (a serving the size of an average fist is plenty).  The final quarter should contain your grain/starch.  This might include a serving of potatoes, rice or a slice of delicious whole grain bread.

This entire meal takes about 20 minutes to prepare and can be repeated over and over because it is so easy to add variety in this simple quartered plate meal plan.

A great dessert might include a bowl of fresh blueberries/strawberrries topped with whip cream.  Another favorite is grilled fruit.  Dust your favorite fruit with sugar and grill or broil for just a few minutes.

The hallmarks of good nutrition include balance, variety and moderation.  Summertime is perfect for making healthy changes for you and your family!

If you want some simple recipes check out my Pinterest Delicious Food Board!

What are your favorite, simple, summer meals?



Local Summer Fun Ideas!

I thought this would be a great time to stray from my normal organizational tips and share with you some summer fun ideas. One of the greatest benefits of an organized life is more time to enjoy living.

family bicyclerHere are just a few of my summer favorites:

Ride bikes around the seawall at Stanley Park in Vancouver, B.C. Bikes are available for rent or bring your own. Pack a lunch and enjoy your picnic on the beach or have lunch in one of the cafes along the bay. You may want to lock up your bike and take the foot ferry to Granville Island…always a treat!

Walk or skate around Green Lake in North Seattle. Then enjoy a meal at Dukes Chowder House on the patio.

Take a drive to La Conner over Chuckanut and stroll Main Street.

Try something new! Ask a friend to  teach you or take lessons. Golf, tennis, wake boarding, kayaking – so many options!

Visit something in your hometown or a neighboring town that you have never done. A park, an outdoor concert, explore the waterfront or enjoy a new restaurant.

Summertime Responsibilities

Schools out for the summer! With the kids home during the day there is likely more clutter to deal with. A few helpful ideas include giving kids responsibility early. Responsible kids are made, not born! Remember in a few short years your son or daughter will be someone’s roommate or spouse…will they make a good one??

Cooking, laundry, organizing, and money management can all be included as part of your kids daily routine. Here are a few of the summer “chores” that we did with our kids, so I know they really work! Have your kids help with summer meal plans and have them help cook. Younger kids can help put laundry away and older kids can easily learn to do laundry. Organizational skills are best taught through modeling. If you always return items where they belong your kids will learn to do the same. Talk openly with your kids about finances and teach them how to spend responsibly, save, and give back.

Lastly, reward your children with experiences, not things. Spending time together provides life long memories and living in the Northwest provides endless opportunities.