Monthly review: september 2022 {Email list subscribers only!}

Hello, friends!

Since it’s the last day of September, I sent out my monthly review to my email list, which means there won’t be a post today. If you’d like to read the review, make sure to sign up for my email list and I’ll send it to you as soon as possible.

I’ll be back next week with a normal post, so stay tuned! For now though, enjoy the lovely fall weather and have a beautiful day!

A delicious fall recipe: pumpkin bars

Hello, my friends!

I have a delicious post for you in honor of being yesterday the first day of fall and just ’cause this is one of my favorite treats and I wanted to share it with you–Here’s my favorite recipe for pumpkin bars. These bars are quick and easy to make, plus absolutely yummy.

(And I’m currently munching on one right now while I’m writing this post.)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour 
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips

*I prefer melted butter over oil, but it’s up to you and your preference!

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 10×15 inch baking pan. Or line the pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily lift the bars (as a whole) out.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the oil, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a mixer or whisk until completely combined. The batter will be thick.

Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 28-35 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The bars are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top or edges of the bars browning too quickly, loosely tent with aluminum foil.

Remove the bars from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack. Cool bars completely. (After about 45 minutes of cooling, you can place the bars in the refrigerator to speed things up!)

Enjoy with or without a fork, but definitely grab a napkin!

Cover and store pumpkin bars at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

*Credit for this recipe goes to Sally’s Baking Addiction.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and have a chance to try it out for yourself! (And if you do, do make sure to let me know in the comments.)

What’s your favorite fall recipe? Have you ever tried pumpkin bars? Do you like cinnamon or pumpkin better? Or some other flavor entirely?

Have a wonderful day!

I got a new camera! {+ pHOTO DUMP}

Hello, my friends!

Just a few days ago, I finally decided to splurge and buy a new camera! The camera I’ve been using is getting quite old (15 years, in fact. o.O), and even though I love it and am super comfortable with it, it was time for an upgrade. And so that’s how I came to be the owner of a Canon EOS Rebel T7 DLSR!

Anyway, I tried it out and definitely noticed an improvement in the lighting, clarity, and focus of these photos. I’m curious to see if you guys notice too or if it’s just me as the photographer. Let’s find out!

We’ll start with a few zinnias. They are slowly beginning to die with the come of fall and cooler weather, and I was glad to snap a few shots before they are gone for good.

I’d never seen white zinnias before this summer, but apparently, they do exist because we have plenty of them in our flower garden? They are so pretty, either way!

I love how sharp and clear this red zinnia is – it was one of the few that we have that are standing up straight since all of the other flowers are leaning to get the sunlight. 😂

This odd yellow-weed has been growing in our garden and in a lot of other places around our property. Mom was going to pull it but then it got quite tall and she was interested to see how it would flower. It’s quite pretty, in my opinion!

These flowers are so gorgeous – I love the rainy green atmosphere to this photo; it makes the orange of the flowers a lot brighter, I think.

So pretty. ❤

If you look closely, you can see all of the leaves that are slowly turning color mixed in with the green ones – Fall is on its way! We’ve had a lot of cooler weather lately, and it definitely feels quite fall-like out.

Because we’re on the subject of autumn and leaves falling. . . I absolutely love the lighting on this photo and the colors on the leaves.

This one leaf had so many holes, my goodness. I love seeing how different leaves are and how they vary in color, size, and so much else.

Another smattering of fall leaves I collected! Soon, we’ll have enough to start making our annual leaf pile, except we’re still waiting on the maple trees for that. . .

Onto a different subject! A spider. 😜 This guy was crawling on one of the zinnias.

This zinnia’s colors were so pretty. ❤ I love the lighting and the fall colors in this picture.

This flower too. ❤ The pink-purple color is gorgeous, and then with the green of the leave in the background adds to it.

Ooh, I love this one too! My fingers seem to be neon pink though, if you look closely. . .? Welp, that’s odd. XD

I had never seen small zinnias before this summer – Mom and I were both quite surprised since some of the zinnias from the same seeds were large and normal, too. It’s odd but the small ones are so cute!

This zinnia is so tiny and cute. 😂

Mercy came outside and walked around with me, and while she was climbing the tree, I got a few shots of her! She had the brilliant idea to use this leaf as a prop. . . 😅 😂

There we go! What did you guys think? I definitely noticed a bit of change while photographing these, but it seemed to be a much larger change once I uploaded all the photos and looked at them closer.

Which was your favorite photo? What do you think about spiders? Are you looking forward to Autumn?

Thank you for reading, friends, and please have a beautiful rest of your day!

IN WHICH I SHARE MY FAIR ENTRIES {2022}

Hello, my friends!

For as long as I can remember, my family has been entering art projects, baked goods, and for me, photos, in our County Fair! I’m hoping to do a post soon with all the photos from when we actually went to the fair, but today, you’ll have to settle for the photos I entered. 😀 You may have already seen a few of these before on the blog, but a lot of them are new ones, too.

Enjoy!

I love this one of the ice! I took it back in March, right before all the ice melted off the creek. I’m sure it’s quite different than the weather by you unless you live in Antarctica and it’s always winter for you. XD Things are starting to cool down here, though! Hopefully, we’ll be seeing this ice in a few months again. 😂 😉

I absolutely love how sparly the ice is! I think that being able to see the rocks through the ice is quite neat, too. Don’t you think?

This sunset is so pretty. ❤ I love the silhouette of the hills in the back ground, almost like little mountains.

This sunset is actually just from a few weeks ago – It was such a pretty night out that night.

I love this butterfly so much. ❤ When it was printed, alas, I couldn’t get it to crop correctly so the butterfly’s wing ended up being caught up but it turned out all right in the end. 😛 Anyway, that’s the sad saga of the butterfly not cropping. XD

This one is so pretty too! I find these kind of butterflies so neat – They have such interesting patterns; I don’t know what their called, though. 😛

These tomatoes are actually one of my favorite photos, I’ve taken. I love the water drops and how clear and fresh the photo is.

I like this one, as well! Tomatoes with waterdrops (and well, anything with waterdrops, especially vegetables or fruits) are really cool. I feel like it adds a whole new perspective to it.

These flowers were stunning, especially after the rain. ❤ I can’t remember what their called (Anyone know?) but they are so gorgeous and delicate. They remind me of hydrangeas, in a way, but I know they are not that. . . 😀

It gets even prettier up close. ❤️ 😂

I love this lighthouse! It was such a fun trip that brings back so many good memories.

This one too. ❤

This fungi / mushroom is very aesthetic in my opinion. XD I love the gold caramel color, with the log in the background adds a whole other effect to it.

These ones are so crinkly. 😂 These two photos are very fall-ish, in my opinion. What do you think?

The variation of seasons between these photos is quite large. o.O There are some very fall-like ones, wintery ice ones, a few springy, and lots of summery photos, too. 😂 😅 If you look closely at the island, you can see a boat in the corner.

Adding the trees in this photo adds a whole new perspective, compared to the last one. The trees look odly green, but I didn’t edit it at all, so. 😛

And that’s all for today, friends! I hope you enjoy this post and thank you so much for reading!

Before you go. . . I’d love to hear what you thought of this post! Did you have a favorite photo? Have you ever been to a fair?

Have a beautiful day!

{Summer 2022}

Hello, my friends!

I wanted to start out this post with the usual and very-overused “Summer went by so fast” but I restrained myself (Or did I just use it in that sentence. . .hmm. XD) Anyhow, I am having a terrible time believing it’s already September and that we’ll be starting school in 4 days. o.O We already got our house all decorated for fall but it still doesn’t seem like summer should be over yet.

Ahem. What I was trying to say is that this post will be filled with 15 things I did this summer in no particular order. XD

Please enjoy some summery photos, lots of fun, and good memories!

  1. Went on a wonderful trip to Lake Michigan in June

This was way at the beginning of Summer. I had an absolutely fantastic time visiting Lake Michigan with my Aunt and Grandparents. We went on two really neat hikes, visited a lighthouse, spent tons of time on the beach, climbed a tower, and much more.

2. Participated in the Go-Teen-Writers 100-for-100 Challenge

I’m not actually finished with this one since I still have 11 days left, but I’m nearly there! Since June 6th, I’ve written at least 100 words every day on the same project, which feels pretty awesome. It’s definitely helped me work on outlining and plotting the novel I’m working on right now because I’m not a huge fan of either of those stages, though they are hugely needed.

3. Read 22 books (+ 3 books of the Bible)

This summer was honestly pretty good for reading! And in August alone, I read 13 books. o.O A friend of mine hosted a super fun summer reading challenge for the month of August, and that definitely spurred me on. I’m hoping that I finally got past the reader’s-block I was facing at the beginning of the summer, but we’ll see.


4. Baked a good amount
I don’t do a ton of baking in general, but when I do do it, I enjoy it, and I made it a priority this summer to bake some. My favorite things I made were Cheesecake, Rice Crispy Dream Bars, and Blueberry Muffins.

5. Met a writing friend

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet one of my writing friends and penpals, Katherine, while we were visiting Lake Michigan! We’d talked a lot through emailing, video calls, and such, and it was so amazing to meet each other in real-life. We had a blast together, and so did our siblings. (I sadly can’t share a specific picture from the visit because of privacy reasons. :P)

6. Had a small garden

We didn’t have a huge garden this year since we were incredibly busy with planting all our trees and went on a trip right at the beginning of June, but the garden we did have grew wonderfully. And now we have lots of watermelons, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and more ready to harvest.

7. Memorized 10 new Bible verses

For our Church Daycamp Camp this year, we memorized Ephesians 6:10 – 18 (The Armor of God) through music, and now I can sing all 9 of those verses. Plus on my own, I memorized Isaiah 60:1. Besides that though, I spent most of the summer focusing on reviewing the old verses I know, since there is nearly 200 that I have memorized already.

8. Went to a lot of fun youth group activities and day camp!

Going off of the last point, this summer was a super fun one for our church youth group. We went mini-golfing, kayaking, the lake, roller skating, did a selfie scavenger hunt, and more. Plus each year, there’s the church day camp that my mom organizes that I mentioned above. It’s always a blast and this year was no different. And on the last night of camp, we did an egg drop to test our egg’s armor. My egg was one of the few that survived, and it won the award for the largest egg by far. (It was first wrapped in tissue paper and from there, cotton, bubble wrap, a mailing envelope. Balloons were tied around it to cushion the fall, and the whole thing was tossed into a garbage bag. It was quite the armor.)

9. Finished setting up my room

Back in May, we did a whole room switcheroo in our house, and now, the three eldest children have our own rooms. It works so much better than it did before, and Mom and I had a ton of fun decorating and setting up my room to make it wonderful. I’m hoping to do a room tour post soon, so stay tuned!

10. Wrote 14 blog posts

Somehow, even in the craziness of this summer, I stayed consistent with posting a blog post every week! I wrote some of my favorite posts this summer, and I’m so glad I was able to hit my goal of posting every week. I love blogging so much and being able to share my photos, writing, and adventures with you all is so much fun. Thank you so much for reading my posts and always leaving the sweetest comments. You all are amazing! ❤

11. Did lots of swimming

On top of doing swim team every year, my grandma also has a pool that she opens just for us grandchildren to use! It’s so much fun to swim with all of my cousins in the summer, and this year was no different. We also went to the lake twice, which was tons of fun.

12. Went on lots of walks

I love taking walks on our trails, especially in the summer. We also did a lot of rides on our ranger (a UTV type thing.) and four-wheeler, two things that are lots of fun.

13. Did 3 sibling photoshoots

Three times this summer I convinced my siblings to go outside with me and let me take lots of photos with them. Usually, the girls, Jewel and Mercy are happy to do this, but the boys are more reluctant. But we did do it three times and I got a lot of fun photos of them.

14. Hosted five different birthday parties (And attended more)

All of my siblings’ birthdays fall within the course of June – September, and summer is always busy with birthdays and parties. We also hosted a super amazing surprise party for my aunt in July, which was a ton of fun, too, and definitely a highlight of this summer.

15. Celebrated my grandparents’ 50th Anniversary and a family reunion

My grandparents had their 50th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins came to visit and we had a nice three days together before everyone headed back home. It was good to see everyone since it had been three years since we were all together! ❤ (I also don’t have a specific photo to share from this event, but I do have this one that I took while I was on a walk with my cousin!)

16. Became a Community Assistant for The Young Writer’s Workshop

This was a pretty big highlight! In early August, I applied for the position of CA (Community Assistant) for the wonderful writing community I’m in, and I was chosen. So far, I’ve loved being able to serve others in this way. ❤

And there you have it, my friends – an illustrated summary of my summer. I hope you enjoyed the post, and enjoyed your summer too!

What was your favorite picture? What was the best part about your summer? Are you excited for autumn? I know I am! What was one thing you did this summer?

Thanks so much for reading, friends, and have a lovely about-to-be-fall day!

Of planning tips and organization

Hello, my friends!

I have something a bit different than what I usually post–As I’m sure you’ve heard me mention before, I love planning and organization, along with lists, planners, bullet journals, calendars, and literally everything that comes with that. And for today’s post, I thought I’d what I use to plan out my day, and how I stay organized throughout the day, week, and month, and give you all some inspiration for your own planning and organization.

Let’s dive in!

Monthly planning

At the beginning of each month, first, I look at my calendar and see what’s happening that month and how much time I have (e.g. For next month, September, I’ll be starting school which means I’ll have less time to do other things, plus, I have to figure school into my schedule.) From there, I create a goal list of things I’d like to get done that month. (I do this in my bullet journal!) Off of those goals, I write out a to-do list, leaving space for things that I may think of as the month goes on. It’s pretty simple and doesn’t take a long time.

Weekly planning

Using my monthly to-do list, I write out a weekly overview. I have these awesome sticky notes that I got from the Daily Grace Co. that I use each week. I have a list of weekly goals (building smaller ones off of my monthly goals), tasks / things that I want to get done that week, a prayer list, a verse of the week, and a list of events happening that week. Currently, I use a dotted notebook that I got, but I’m hoping to figure out a way to incorporate this into my bullet journal soon, so everything is in one place.

Throughout the week, I’ll open up my weekly planner and check off things that I’ve done, add things that I forgot about before, and such. At the end of the week, I’ll see what I have left, create a new page, and add all of my tasks to it.

I also use something called theme days! Theme days are when you set aside a specific day to focus on one project. Currently, I do all of my blog work (writing posts, editing photos, writing emails, responding to comments, etc) on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, I work on my other writing projects. When I sit down to write on a Tuesday or Friday, I can just pull out my blog-related to-do list and focus on that. I don’t need to feel guilty that I should be writing that short story, because I know that I have time set aside on other days to write on that. It helps me stay focused and get things done, more efficiently than I would otherwise.

Daily Planning

Now, my days are pretty simple. At the end of the day, I use my bullet journal to write a daily overview of what I did that day and what I got done, then I write a small to-do list for the next day. Unless I have a lot going on, this simple to-do list works perfectly. When I do have those chaotic days that my little to-do list isn’t enough, I use this daily planner from The Daily Grace Co.

Lastly, just find what works best for you! It took me a while of experimenting, and honestly, being unproductive and unscheduled to find out how I planned and work best.

And that’s the end of this post! I hope it gave you some ideas on how you can plan out your day and be more productive!

Before you go. . . Are you a planner or do you like doing things on the spur of the moment? Do you like planners or bullet journals? What’s one thing you do to stay organized? How do you plan?

Thank you so much for reading, wonderful friends, and have a wonderful day!

Random Snippets: The first {of Summer Gardens, Landscapes and foggy mornings, & birthday parties}

Hello, my friends!

I have SO many extra photos. And that happens pretty much all the time. So I decided to make a new series: these ‘Random Snippets’ posts will have random photography as well as recent life, thoughts, etc. (A bit like my monthly reviews but different.) I hope you enjoy reading them!

OUR Garden

Our garden is a good summery place to start! We’ve had so many vegetables from it this year, despite it being smaller than other years, it’s been so nice.

I was surprised that vegetables are incredibly photogenic! Especially, when it’s just rained and there are water drops on them.

The orange flowers on the zucchini are actually quite pretty. Zucchini has such interesting leaves with neat patterns and shapes.

This is one of my favorites! I love all water drop photos, so that adds to it, but the garden has become a stop on my semi-daily photo walks. I also like seeing how each vegetable grows a little bit each day.

I like this one with the tomatoes on the vine, instead of just one. It’s fun seeing each of the different angles and how the tomatoes varied, even though they’re all the same kind of vegetable.

I love this one! It’s my favorite out of all of them, actually. But I do say that about most photos I take so. . . .

We have many watermelons growing! This is our first time planting them, but they appear to be growing well and I’m excited to see how they taste. The little ones were cute, in a way. 😋

And one last picture before we finish this section! I really like how watermelon leaves look – They each seem so delicate and neat, and then the patterns on them are beautiful and interesting, in a way. I really like this picture! What do you think about how watermelon leaves?

MY BIRTHDAY PARTY

I did a post last week with all the wonderful gifts I got for my birthday from the amazing people in my life, but I did say I’d share some birthday party photos, so here they are. My mom got these decorations for our church formal and they looked lovely in our yard. (If only Malachi’s truck with the mower on it hadn’t photo bombed. :P)

We had a fire and roasted hotdogs, apparently, out of my four friends, three of which who have gone camping most of the time, am the only one who can successfully cook a hotdog without burning it. It was honestly hilarious. Somehow, one of them, got the most random notion to roast a tootsie roll so she found one, and then roasted it. . . She convinced each of us to try it and it actually wasn’t that terrible, and my cousin actually liked it.

Everything was set up so nice and festive! The checkered tablecloths and the flags went very well together.

Mom made these very delicious treats like smores but in ice cream cones instead of graham crackers and you put the marshmallow and chocolate into the cone and baked it all up. It was delicious!

I had a lovely time and I’m so blessed to have such wonderful friends!! ❤ ❤ It was the sweetest time.

Flowers and other nature things

I know I just did a post on this kind of thing two weeks ago, but I have some other pictures now, of course, and some other neat nature things, plus, more pictures of Georgia, my sunflower pot. Starting with Georgia. . .

Our hydrangeas have started to bloom, and they are all so pretty! I love them when they are dried, especially.

These little plants were right down by the garden. I don’t know what they are, but they are so pretty and I love the water drops. They really seem to make it pop!

Ahh, I love this one. ❤

This gorgeous purple flower really pops with the splattered white paint and the rustic wood. It was actually an old ladder that Malachi was using to climb up on the roof.

Sunsets & Landscapes & CLOUDS

We’ve had lots of foggy mornings, and we were in town early, and I got this picture of the church from the top of a hill. So pretty. ❤

We have also had some especially gorgeous sunsets lately. I love the hills in the background. I truly live in such a beautiful place. 🙂 ❤

I had my camera with me one day as we were driving from town — It was a bit dark and stormy (it rained literally right as we got into the house) but the overcast skies fit these pictures, I think.

There is so much corn and so many corn fields around us. 😛

I love the tree in the center of this picture, with the field of flowers around it, too.

And that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed this post and seeing all of my recent photography! ❤

What do you think about my new series? Which photo was your favorite? Least favorite? What do you think about the zucchini flowers? And roasted tootsie rolls?

Thank you for reading and please have a wonderful day!

Birthday Goods {2022}

Hello, my friends!

Today, I’m super excited to FINALLY show you all the wonderful gifts I got for my birthday in July!

Anyhow, first the obligatory disclaimer about how this is the obligatory disclaimer that no, for those of you who have a nagging doubt, I am not trying to brag about my gifts (I never saw any posts like these that were, but alas), I am simply making one of the practically useless but quite entertaining birthday posts that I enjoy reading for some reason. XD So, hopefully you enjoy it too!

Also, these gifts are in no particular order and the background is a black and white checkered table cloth that my mom got off Amazon and tube confetti that I found somewhere which I very quickly regretted using because it literally gets ALL OVER and sticks to everything. 😛

(Oh yes, one more thing: For some strange reason, the term “haul” bothers me, so I looked up synomns for haul, and “goods” came up, which I like much better.)

All righty, onwards!

I got this lovely devotional from Levi! The devotions are amazing and it’s so pretty on the inside with lots of flowers and pretty designs. I read one every morning during my devotions. 🙂

Meet George, my very fun succulent from my grandparents! (And yes, I name my plants. 😛 :)) His leaves are really soft and I love the pink on the edges of them.

I got this awesome journal from my other grandparents! I’ve been wanting to start an art journal for a while, and now I finally have a journal. The paper is SO thick – I can’t wait to get started with it!

I got this super cute sign from my cousin, Liv, it’s the shelves above my desk and I like it a lot.

Sticky notes!! I love sticky notes and use them all the time. I’m so excited to have all of these to use. 🤪

This gorgeous stationary set was a gift from Mercy! All of the stationary is so pretty and I’ve already written lots of letters with it.

I’ve wanted these two books for a while now, and after entering multiple writing book giveaways in hopes of winning them, I finally decided just to add them to my wishlist. They were from Luke, I think. 😀

I got this beautiful necklace from my dear friend, Chloe! ❤ It has a beautiful charm on the inside, and there’s a bracelet too. Such a thoughtful gift. ❤

I got this notebook from my friend, Katherine–She also decorated most of the pages with lots of pretty washi tape and stickers.

My grandma and grandpa gave me this brown notebook! It’s so much fun to use, especially with my white gel pens.

More organization and planning things! The clipboard opens and has a notebook inside, along with a pocket to store loose papers, too. I use the planner for days when I have a ton to do and the small list in my bullet journal isn’t enough space. Both of them are so helpful! These were from Jewel!

I’ve seen people use wax kits for snail mail a lot and I thought it’d be fun to use it! It is just as awesome as I thought it would be, and the stamp (pictured below) is so pretty! This was also from my grandma and grandpa. (All the colors are a bit jumbled in the picture from when I opened it, but it’s back and each color is in the correct space now.)

And the stamp, along with a tealight candle to melt the wax, and metal spoon to hold the wax.

I got this candle from my aunt. It smells amazing (A coastal wind + lavender) and the wicks are made of wood, which I find neat.

A friend of mine, Kate, made me these positively gorgeous handlettered cards. They’re all so pretty! ❤

I got these handmade keycains from my lovely writing and blogging friend, Vi. They’re all amazing!

All of this washi tape was from Grace. I love it all SO much and it’s so pretty! (I got more (about 40 rolls. o.O) but was only able to squeeze these ones into the picture.)

I got this wonderful mug from my cousin, Liv, too. I don’t drink coffee much, and when I do, it’s usually iced, but I do drink tea A LOT. I can’t wait to try it out!

And lastly, one of my favorite gifts yet, a sunflower plant!! I was so excited to get it. I immideitaly name the her Georgia. 😂 🤣 My grandma knew I wanted some sunflowers, especially after all of the ones I planted either died or didn’t bother to grow (we have no idea why, still) and now I have one! Grandma said she got it from Walmart and had to nurse it back to life, but now it’s alive and there are tons of new blooms on it.

I love it so much! ❤

Welp, that’s it! ❤

So many other people gave me the sweetest cards, envelopes and little birthday packages, but I didn’t have enough space in this already very long post to show everything. If I didn’t show something you gave, please know that I still truly and honestly loved it and you made my day by sending it.  THANK YOU SO MUCH, EVERYONE, for a great birthday! ❤ I felt incredibly loved – my family, and my friends online and offline were so, so sweet!

What is one thing on your birthday list? Did you find anything here to add? What do you think about Georgia, the sunflower? Do you name your plants?

Thank you so much for reading and please have a lovely day, friends!

in bloom {flower photography}

Hello, my friends!

Isn’t it crazy that we’re onto the last month of summer? I’ve enjoyed taking tons of photos of all the gorgeous flowers around our house and in the woods. We’ve planted so many, and all of them are so pretty! And then the wildflowers I’ve found in the woods are quite beautiful too.

Today, I selected a few of my favorites out of the hundreds I’ve taken this summer to show you all. I hope this post adds a bit of sunshine to your day! ❤

Enjoy some gorgeous flowers and some other pretty nature-y things!

These first few pictures are all from our trip to Lake Michigan in June! 🙂 I absolutely adore the lighting on this one, the shadow / darker light adds a whole other aspect to the photo.

The petals on this flower remind me of little hearts. I love the bright yellow color of the center, too!

These are similar to the one above, but these flowers had brighter colors. I love how the little white flower snuck its way into the picture. XD

This is one of, if not my favorite flower pictures I’ve ever taken. ❤ These bulbs are absolutely gorgeous; I’m hoping to plant some next spring in our garden.

This flower is so unique. 💛

Now, we’re back to all of the flowers from our garden, woods, and pots at home. I don’t know what these orange flowers are called, but I love the delicacy of the leaves and how they are shaped.

A while ago, I did this random photoshoot I guess you could call it with these little white flowers that my youngest sister brought to me. She kept telling me to put them in random places like on the tree branch and log and take pictures of them. They’re a bit funny, but I like them all, especially the one on top right.

Daises are such lovely flowers. My mom transplanted all of these from the woods, and they have grown quite nicely.

I love the lighting on this one as well ❤ This picture seems to have a quiet and peaceful vibe to it. 😂 😜

Ooh, I like the narrow way this coneflower (and coneflowers in general) looked before it bloomed. Its soon-to-be petals are really pretty with the pale pink and yellow. Once they bloom, it seems like they’re more pink and purple than anything.

I love this one. ❤ The white flowers remind me of lace for some reason, and the water drops add a whole other add effect to it. The colors are also really pretty.

The tree outside the cottage we were staying in reminded me a lot of the cherry blossom tree at home. I like the one in the middle especially because of all the colors, the blue sky, bright green leaves, two random bright red berries, and the actual flowers, of course!

I don’t love this picture, but I do like the water drops on the leaves and the wave petunias. I love all waterdrop photos. 🙂

No caption needed. ❤

For some reason, I like taking pictures of flowers before they bloom, and then after. It’s a neat thing to do. I don’t have the “after” picture yet, but I’m excited to see what it looks like when the flower does bloom. The inside of this flower reminds me of ribbon. 🤪

This picture is so sharp and clear with the black background. This is my favorite photo I’ve taken with coneflowers.

These are the same flowers as the ones at the beginning of the post but these were at our house. I like how they have different shades of yellow on the petals.

The stripes on this petunia are really neat! Compared to the other flowers we have all over the place, petunias seem a little boring, but not this one! I like it quite a lot.

This other petunia is another not-so-boring flower! It looks like someone came in with pink paint and splatter-painted the center. Really cool and pretty, in my opinion.

We have so many zinnias! Each flower has a unique color, which makes it fun. I love how every zinnia seems to have little flowers growing inside of the main flower, and how they form a circle. It reminds me of a flower crown. :’D

This one. ❤ I was coming in from a walk when I noticed that there was this butterfly on the flowers in the front garden. It was so amazing to see it.

I love butterflies. ❤

And that’s the end of this very long post. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and may you have a wonderful day, friends!

What was your favorite photo from this post? Do you like butterflies? Do you have a flower or vegetable garden? What’s your favorite flower?

8 WAYS TO BLESS YOUr FRIENDS TODAY {a Friendship day collab with anna}

Hello, my friends!

In honor of Friendship Day tomorrow, my dear friend, Anna, asked if I would like to do a collab with her. Anna and I have been friends for almost a year now, and it seemed perfect to do a collab.

You can read Anna’s post here, and for my part of the collab, I’m going to be sharing 8 ways you can bless your friends today. Most of these are small things that won’t take a lot of time but will show your friends that someone does care about them. ❤

Send them a letter

I love receiving snail mail, notes, cards, and anything else in the mail from my friends – It really does brighten my day. Writing a letter doesn’t take long at all, and even short notes can make a person smile.

Check-in with them and see how they’re doing

This is one of the most important things that you can do. ❤ Asking someone ‘How are you?’ and honestly wanting to know can mean a lot to someone, just knowing that someone really does care about how you are doing means so much.

Do something for them

There are tons of ways you can help someone who will bless them — Make sure you ask about something specific that’s going on in their life because they will be more inclined to say yes, and that way you can actually bless them.

Make a treat for them

Making a simple batch of brownies (or cheesecake. ;)) is a lovely way to bless someone else that takes a bit more effort than the other ideas, but it’s still simple and sweet.

Give them flowers

Flowers can really brighten up someone’s day, just by seeing them in the room. Especially if you know that they were given to you by a friend, and that friend truly cares, seeing them out and being so bright and beautiful can be a reminder that they’re not alone and that someone does care.

Just Listen

Listening is one of the best ways to bless your friends, and even to be a friend. It doesn’t need any special supplies, just you being willing to listen and talk to your friends means so much. ❤

Pray for them

This, in my opinion, is the best thing that you ever can do to bless someone else, especially your friends. ❤ Make sure you ask your friends “How can I pray for you?” to see if there is a specific request they would like you to pray for, and check in with them and see how they are doing and how they request that they mentioned is. I have a specific section on my prayer list for my friend’s requests and for them specifically, it helps remind me to pray for them, and check-in.

Before we close, I just want to thank you all for being wonderful friends and people who support me. It means a lot to me that you chose to come read this blog, and for those of you who followed, commented, and liked my posts, that means even more. Thank you. ❤

How do you bless your friends and show them that you care? What is your favorite idea from this post?

Dandelion cROWNS AND pRESSED FLOWERS {bONUS POST}

Hello, friends!

Today, I have the honor to share a lovely bonus post with a snippet of writing written by my wonderful friend, Joanne. It’s a beautiful bit of writing and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Dandelion cROWNS AND pRESSED FLOWERS {bONUS POST}

The sun shone brightly in the sky, blinding Ji-Yu. She took a fan out of her pocket and covered her eyes with it, looking out into the field. 

A small hand tugged at her jacket. “Ji-Yu eonni, can we go and play in the flowers?” 

Ji-Yu looked down at the little girl, Ha-Eun, and smiled. “Does your brother want to go?” 

Ha-Eun opened her mouth to answer, and then closed it again, pouting.“I don’t know.” 

Ji-Yu laughed, then pointed at her brother who was playing football with the other boys. “Go ask them, and if he says yes, then we can go.” 

Ha-Eun brightened, and she ran off to her older brother. Ji-Yun shook her head, smiling to herself as she watched. That little girl was a ball of sunshine, and there was no doubt that her brother would succumb to her request. 

As expected, Ha-Eun came back with a triumphant smile on her face. “He said yes! Can we go now? Please please please?” 

Ji-Yun pretended to think about it. “Well, we do have to go home soon.” 

Ha-Eun deflated, and Ji-Yun ruffled her hair, laughing. “Of course we can go. I was just teasing you. Come on, Ha-Eun! Let’s go.” 

Ha-Eun ran off and Ha-Joon, her brother, looked back, raising his eyebrows. Ji-Yu nodded, and Ha-Joon picked Ha-Eun up, running with her to the flowers. 

Ji-Yu packed everything up and followed them, taking her time. It was her job to look after them, but she trusted Ha-Joon. He didn’t need to have a full-on babysitter, but his parents had insisted. 

And Ji-Yu had selfishly obliged. Two charges meant more money, and Ji-Yu needed money. Her father was in a coma, and her mother was at home, mourning as if he was already dead. 

So Ji-Yu had no other choice but to move to America and start making money herself. She worked in a coffee shop in the mornings and babysat Ha-Eun and Ha-Joon in the afternoon. 

She barely scraped by herself, but because of her parents, she needed more money. So she worked as a dishwasher at night in a bar. 

Ji-Yu arrived at the flowers and saw Ha-Joon helping Ha-Eun make a flower crown. She smiled unconsciously and layed down the picnic mat on the grass. Sitting down, she took out her bookmark, starting where she had left off. 

“Ji-Yu noona? We have a gift for you.” Ha-Joon’s voice said, lifting me out of the world of the book. 

“Hmm?” Ji-Yu said, looking up to Ha-Joon with a flower, and Ha-Eun with a flower crown. She gasped, putting her book down. “Oh, you guys. It’s so pretty.” 

They looked at each other, smiling. Ha-Eun placed the flower crown on my head, and Ha-Joon gave me the flower. 

Ji-Yu hugged them both. “Thank you, no, really. These are so pretty. I will wear the crown the whole day, Ha-Eun, I promise.” Ha-Eun burst into a smile. 

“And Ha-Joon, I’ll press this flower, and then make it into a bookmark. When I’m done, I’ll show you, okay?” He nodded, his eyes twinkling. 

Ji-Yu hugged them again, feeling her eyes tear up a little. “Now go play, alright? Ooh, how about you make Ha-Yoon a flower crown?” 

They both grinned, liking the idea of making their eldest sister a flower crown. Together, they ran off, and Ji-Yu fingered the flower crown in her hair. 

Life was bleak at times and full of struggles. There were so many mountains to climb, too many to count. And yet this was why she kept going. 

Because of little moments like these, where God showed her that He was still with her. Where God showed her that she was still loved.

Wasn’t that wonderful? Thank you all so much for reading and may you have a beautiful day!

ABOUT JOANNE

Joanne Shin is a writer and a daughter of God, living as a missionary in Europe. She loves writing, painting, dancing, laughing, and spending time with her friends and family.

How to make your own cheesecake

Hello, my friends!

Here’s a fact you probably didn’t know about me. . .cheesecake is my favorite dessert! And it’s one of the few sweets I can eat. It’s perfect for the summer when you want something cool since there are plenty of no-bake cheesecakes out there. But today, I’m sharing one recipe that I love and have used plenty of times!

It’s creamy, easy to make, looks wonderful, and best of all, tastes delicious! Now, after that long introduction, let’s get onto the real post, shall we?

How to Make your own Cheesecake

One of the lovely things about this cheesecake is that it’s very simple and doesn’t require many ingredients. Here’s what you need to make your own delicious cake.

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 5 Tablespoons (70g) of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

Cheesecake

  • four 8-ounce blocks (904g) of full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional, but recommended)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Fun toppings (We use a thick layer of chocolate ganache and chocolate chips sprinkled across it, or drizzle salted caramel sauce over it.

Instructions

Step One

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).

Step Two

Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs. Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter until combined. (You can also pulse it all together in the food processor.) Mixture will be sandy. Press firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan. No need to grease the pan first. I use the bottom of a measuring cup to pack the crust down tightly. Pre-bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the hot pan on a large piece of aluminum foil. The foil will wrap around the pan for the water bath in step 4. Allow crust to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.

STEP THREE

Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice then beat until fully combined. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. After the final egg is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing. To help prevent the cheesecake from deflating and cracking as it cools, avoid over-mixing the batter as best you can. You will have close to 6 cups of batter.

STEP FOUR

Prepare the simple water bath: Boil a pot of water. You need 1 inch of water in your roasting pan for the water bath, so make sure you boil enough. I use an entire kettle of hot water. As the water is heating up, wrap the aluminum foil around the springform pan. Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to smooth it into an even layer. Place the pan inside of a large roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water inside of the pan and place in the oven. (Or you can place the roasting pan in the oven first, then pour the hot water in. Whichever is easier for you.)

Step FIVE

Bake cheesecake for 55-70 minutes or until the center is almost set. If you notice the cheesecake browning too quickly on top, tent it with aluminum foil halfway through baking. When it’s done, the center of the cheesecake will slightly wobble if you gently shake the pan. Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven in the water bath as it cools down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and water bath, then cool cheesecake completely uncovered at room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean and dip into warm water between each slice.

Serve cheesecake with desired toppings. Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

4 TIps to make your cheesecake amazing

Before you go, I want to share three tips to make sure that your cheesecake turns out well.

  1. Do not over-mix the cheesecake batter
  2. Bake in a water bath
  3. Leave cheesecake in the cooling oven for 1 hour
  4. Cool completely at room temperature
*Credit for this recipe goes to Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Have you ever eaten cheesecake before? Have you ever made it? Which picture looks the most delicious?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and give cheesecake-making a try! Have a lovely day!

9 fun ways to decorate a bulletin board

Hello, my friends!

Recently, I redecorated my bulletin board–I had so much fun doing it, that I thought I’d share some fun ways to decorate your own! You should have most of the things you need to do for this project around the house.

I’ve always had some sort of bulletin board, and I love them! It’s an excellent way to keep things I want to display somewhat organized and it is also helpful for reminders and organization. Plus, it’s a fun way to add a pop of color to a room. Here’s what my bulletin board looks like right now.

I’ll show you everything that I have on it, and a few extra ideas! Are you ready?!

Enjoy some bulletin board inspiration!

**Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something off of my link, I will get a small commission for advertising, with no extra cost to you, and you get to support this blog for free. Thank you!**

Washi Tape

I love washi tape (Maybe be too much. XD)! It is fun to use on everything from snail mail to bulletin boards! So of course, it works incredibly well to decorate a bulletin board. You can use it as a border, tape strips down just to look pretty, or write notes // to-do lists on it.

Decorate your taCKS

I haven’t tried this one yet, because a friend gave me some already decorated tacks, but they are quite fun! You can paint the tacks and add little designs onto them. If you have little close pins, you can glue a tack to the back of them, decorate them, and then use them on your board. (Or you could use string to do this too.)

Bible Verses // quotes

(Ack, I should have taken more time to letter and cut that one out. :P)

Since most people use their bulletin boards for tasks and organizing things, why don’t you put up some motivating quotes or Bible verses to get you to start working on your to-do list? I love having these up there, plus, they are fun to make. (And if you’re not a fan of art // hand lettering, you can create one online very simply using Canva, for free!)

pRETTY cALENDARS

I love calendars and planning, and I have one up on my bulletin board usually, but what’s the point of having one if it’s not pretty? You can print off one and decorate it yourself, or buy one. And it keeps you organized as well!

dRIED FLOWERS // lEAVES

I love adding dried flowers and other nature-like things to my bulletin board. It adds a fun touch to the whole board. Or in the fall, dried leaves are gorgeous too, and add a whole fun fall theme to the whole board.

gOAL LISTS

Every week, I write out my goals and things I want to accomplish that week. It helps me stay focused on what I need to do, and get things done quicker than I would without it. I usually run a strip of washi tape along the bottom and use neat hand lettering, along with keeping a color scheme throughout the whole thing.

pRETTY AND FUN SCRAPBOOK PAPER

This just adds a big pop of color to the whole board! If you use paper that matches the rest of the board’s color scheme, it looks incredibly aesthetic too.

pHOTOS

I love sticking up some of my favorite photos I’ve taken on my board–It brightens my day, especially when it’s dark and gloomy outside (How it’s been the last few days. 🤪)

Drawings // Snail mail envelopes // ART

I love putting up fun envelopes that I got from pen-pals, cards, and any art that I’ve made or that they have. It can also remind you to respond to that letter you’ve been meaning to when you see the envelope. It’s also just pretty to look at. 😀

Bonus IDea!

Of course, I had to give one last idea to make this post have ten, right? Well, I mentioned fun scrapbook paper above, but why not cover your whole bulletin board in paper? My mom gave me this idea and I’m excited to try it sometime soon.

And there we have it! I hope you enjoyed this post and it inspired you to go and decorate your bulletin board (or get one if you don’t have one!)!

What’s your favorite idea from this post? Push pins or tacks? Do you have a bulletin board?

Have a beautiful day and thank you so much for reading!

The Rainy Day Writer Blog Tour: Stop #3 {Bonus Post}

Hello, my friends! 

Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you a bonus post (So yes, we’ll still be having our usual post tomorrow!) because of my wonderful writing friend, Agnès. She’s launching her author blog! Exciting, right? And I had the lovely opportunity to interview her, about her life, writing, and new blog.

Hello, Agnès, and welcome! In case my readers haven’t met you yet, would you mind introducing yourself? 

Hi, Pearl (and all of her readers)! My name is Agnès, and I am a writer, a reader, and a born-again daughter of the One True King.

Why do you write? 

Ever since I was little, I’ve had stories and words and characters running around in my head. Both my mother and my grandmother love writing, and so all of us were encouraged to stretch our imaginations and write! However, it wasn’t until I finished The Warden and the Wolf King (book 4 in the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson) that I realized how touching writing can be, and I wanted to craft something that would be as powerful to some person as The Wingfeather Saga was to me.

What is your current project about? 

My current project is a four-book series called The Saga of the Stars, and it follows the story of a young girl. A small blurb is:

There is an island, far away from here, that sits upon a lonely sea, miles away from the mainland. This island is called Stella, and the Stars, the Kalran, once lived in that place.

But the world is broken now. The Stars have gone out, and the once beautiful island is a place of tragedy.

In the middle of that island, eight of the First-ones, the Álinmikor, are waiting for adventure. But will they be ready when it calls?

How long have you been writing? 

I have always listened to stories but it wasn’t until March 2020—more than two years ago now!—that I started writing seriously.

What are your hobbies, besides writing? 

I love to read, sew and be outside (I live in the beautiful Colorado Rockies), and drawing is a favorite pastime of mine (although I am rather terrible at it).

Where do you get your writing inspiration? 

Everywhere I can, I guess! Whether it’s from games I play with my family, random thoughts I have, or a picture, I try to store it away so I can use it somewhere.

Who is your favorite author? 

I have many authors that I like, but I think my favorite would have to be Andrew Peterson.

What genre do you write? 

I’ve always felt a preference for fantasy, but I do dabble in other genres (dystopian, contemporary, poetry), from time to time.

What do the words, “writer’s block” mean to you? 

Sitting down and the words won’t come. I usually will have the scene in my head, but I can’t think of the words, at all. No words come.

What is one tip you’d offer to a new writer? 

Enjoy it! It’s so easy to get caught up worrying about editing or publishing or platform or a bunch of different things. Keep your love for writing!

What is your blog going to be about? 

I am a child of God: my blog will not shy away from my faith.

I am a writer: my blog will have updates on my writing, snippets from it, and writing tips.

And, I am a reader: my blog will have author interviews, reading tips, and book reviews.

That wraps it up! Thank you so much for the interview, Agnès! ❤ 😀 

I hope you all enjoyed it and thank you so much for reading, friends!. Don’t forget to check out the next stop on the tour, which will be posted on Lilianna’s blog, Write Outside the Lines. There, she’ll have a post reviewing the new book, The Star That Always Stays, and an interview with the author, Anna Rose Johnson. Here’s the schedule:

Finally, don’t forget to visit the official, Rainy Day Writer blog. 😀 Have a beautiful day and thank you for reading!

Summer Vacation 2022 {Part Two}

Hello, friends!

I’m back this week with part two of my family’s summer vacation to Lake Michigan last June! If you missed Part One, you can find it here.

Enjoy lots of blue skies and gorgeous landscapes, crazy adventures, and much more!

Day four

Our fourth day of vacation was a bright and sunny Tuesday. We spent the morning on the beach and had a cookout for lunch before we headed off to do other festivities. The water wasn’t very warm, but that didn’t stop us. (My crazy brother, Malachi, swam in it every day except for one, even though the water temperature was only 52 degrees!)

I love how the sun looks on the water! It was so pretty. Looking at these photos makes me want to go back so much, even though I love being home. 😂

I don’t know what caused the patterns to look like this on the water, but it’s neat. It was so cool to see how the water changed each day since we had a variety of weather while we were there.

This picture is, ick. 🤪 Not the actual picture, but what the picture was of. We had a lot of rain from the day before, so a lot of sand, dirt, dead fish and rocks washed up on the beach, and this wave was full of it. Thankfully, there were some clear areas to wade in, that was not filled with gunk.

I wish my shadow could have been clearer, but I like this, even though it’s not great.

After we were finished with lunch, we headed to Wood Orchard! It’s a really neat market with a fun playground outside, and plenty of cool things inside like signs, other decorations, fruit, pies, streusel, fudge, and much more.

Once we finish there, we headed toward a fun state park with this really cool rock formation. It was a fun place to go to, and I got some really neat photos!

Doesn’t this driftwood look like a howling dog?

All of the rock was so neat! The blue water and the green on the rocks look really good together, in my opinion.

After we had watched for a while, we went on a walk through the path. Goodness, there were a lot of roots on the path. o.O Perfect for The Ground is Lava. 😉

This doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the photos, but I love it anyway. So pretty!

This one. . .no caption needed. ❤

And then, we headed home! And now. . .family photo time! 🥳 😜 Well, actually, we ate dinner first, then we headed out onto the beach.

Alas, taking pictures with my family always takes a lot of shuffling, but we managed and got one good one. I love this. ❤

Sadly, I can’t share any of the others for privacy, but they were beautiful, definitely worth all the shuffling (and a bit of squabbling). 😊 💛

Day Five

We were gone the whole morning, or at least the girls were, my wonderful Aunt Joy took us (Grace, Mercy, and I) out shopping, walking around downtown, stoped, at a very cute coffee shop, and overall have a ton of fun. ❤ (Well, I got a smoothie, to be precise.) We had a blast, but I didn’t bring my camera along, which means no photos. 🙃 So there aren’t too many photos for this day.

We had a s’more contest that night, and it was lots of fun. Mom ended up winning. 😀 Alas, the fire was very difficult to cook marshmallows on, but it did work, after more than a few failures.

And behold, the perfect marshmallow.

Day SIx

Despite our sixth day being our last day of vacation, it was my favorite day. We went to some really cool and fun places, plus went to out favorite ice cream shop before we headed home. And it was gorgeous out, with incredible clouds, and a bright blue sky. Let’s get started, shall we?

Before we left the cottage, I headed out to the beach to get some more photos. I love this shot of the trees, and the benches, with the bright water and the white sand.

Just beautiful. ❤

Oooh, I adore the colors of this one. . .the water, with green leaves and white birch tree. So pretty.

All of the sparkles remind me of little diamonds on the water. It was so lovely out that day.

More seagulls! There were so many birds, most of them were pelicans or seagulls.

And one last picture of our beach. ❤

After that, we grabbed our last-minute things, loaded into the car, and headed toward another beach! It was wonderful there too, with huge clouds and lots of amazing photo opportunities. 😀

This place would have been perfect for a picnic. (Sadly, it was 9 a.m in the morning. Not exactly breakfast time. XD)

It was right near where we went on our fourth day of vacation. 😜 Just around that cliff was where we stopped!

It’s funny how different the water is right here. So green and then so clear all of the sudden.

Lots of sand dunes!

The sand made weird noises when you walked on it–It was kinda funny. 😂

There was this huge anchor that the boys were trying to pick up. (They weren’t successful though. . .It was chained to the ground. 😉 🤪)

This path through the woods with the water in the background. . .it was lovely there.

Once we left there, we drove toward another state park! This one was for the viewing tower. It was quite cool. 😀 And a teensy bit terrifying being up there in the sky. 😜 😂

The tower from down below!

Grandma looks so tiny. 🤣

We could walk up the steps, or walk the ramp–But we decided to do the ramp since it was all new and looked cooler.

And the view from the top. Just beautiful. ❤

That wraps up this post. It was a lovely vacation, and I’m so thankful that we were blessed enough to go up here–It was an amazing blessed from the Lord. ❤

Are you going anywhere this summer? Which marshmallow is the best in the contest? How does family photo time go for your family? Any chaotic stories?

Thank you so much for reading! ❤