5 Important Pieces for a Perfect Summer

When I was younger, my brother and I used to spend summer playing from the time the sun came up to well after it went to bed. We stayed up until the early hours of the morning, watching fireflies and our favorite movies (which usually included the infallible Billy Madison and Waterboy, our summer staples). For hours at a time we play outside, running through fields, climbing trees, swinging on grapevines, and finding anything we could do to keep us outdoors. The heat didn’t burn quite as bad and the long hours never overstayed their welcome.

Our favorite game was survivor, in which we pretended to be castaways and had to make our own materials out of nature in order to survive. Granted, we had help in the form of a house not a hundred steps away, but it was still an exhilarating adventure that inspired and kindled my love for the outdoors.

The kid in me has never gotten over her love for summer. Even when I spent my summer working, I still loved the heat and freedom of June and July. Now that I’m teaching and I get those two months off again, I appreciate them more than ever.

In fact, I believe so much in the magic of this season, that I’ve compiled my list of the 5 most important pieces of a perfect summer!

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The Pros and Cons of Dirt Road Running

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I grew up on a dirt road and have spent so much time wandering down different gravel groves that I’m sure part of my blood has been replaced with dust and there is probably tons of it pulsing through my veins.

It’s my favorite place to run and I’ve put in thousands and thousands of miles listening to crunch of rocks beneath my feet and the open air singing. Through the heat and cold, dirt roads are always a pleasure to travel, but they’re not without their faults. So I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for dirt road running.

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Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe

Any excuse to buy fresh strawberries is a good enough excuse for me. Even if I already have a flat sitting on my counter at home, I still can’t stop myself from buying anytime I see the strawberry man in town.

Everyone calls him the “strawberry” man. He comes up from Little Rock to sell his goods and boy are they amazing! I’ve never had a bad batch from him and I’ve been a customer of his for a few years. (And in case you were wondering, there’s also a watermelon man and a peach man. We like to be specific about a merchant’s wears. And they’re all older men who wear overalls and sell fresh fruits out of their truck beds, which I think is wonderful).

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Book Review: Into the Wild

The story of Christopher McCandless is one that has fascinated me for years and the controversy surrounding it has only propelled it’s popularity. If you’ve never heard of the story (or maybe you have, but you don’t know much about it), in 1992 a 24 year-old from an affluent family donated his money to charity, changed his name, ditched all his belongings, and headed out to live alone in the Alaskan wilderness. Unfortunately, his body was found 4 months later in an abandoned bus and his death left a lot of mysteries and stirred up a lot of drama.

In 1996, John Krakauer published his widely popular novel, Into the Wild, and it stayed at the top of the best sellers list for two years. Having been in charge of writing an article for Outsider magazine upon the discovery of the body, he was fascinated by the unknowns of McCandless. He uncovered the story of a boy desperate for a meaning and starved for adventure and chronicled the last years of McCandless’s short life and the nuances of his large personality.

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My Drugstore Makeup Favorites

I struggled with really bad skin all through junior high and high school, which helped inspire my love for makeup. At first, it started as a way to try to hide all my imperfections, but over time I’ve learned to love makeup as an art form. In a way, it’s a lot like painting and a great way for to be creative with your God given features.

Now, I don’t have the time or the patience for all the contouring and highlighting, nor do I have the budget for expensive makeup, so usually I spend ten to fifteen minutes in the morning using my drugstore favorites and I still love the results. I’m always looking for a bargain and a way to be creative, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my drugstore favorites with you. This isn’t necessarily a full face (except for me; the only thing I didn’t include from my routine was eye shadow, which I don’t always wear anyway).

These are all great products that I use and love that have a great price too.

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Creating Gorgeous Pots and Planters

As you know, a couple weeks ago I went flower shopping and proved that I have no control when it comes to pretty plants. And, not that any oneĀ needs to know, but I went flower shopping with my mama again last weekend. What can I say? They were all so colorful.

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Anyway, I promised in the last blog about flowers that I would show you what I came up with when I planted them, so I thought it might be fun to give some advice for creating gorgeous pot and planters! I love being creative and mixing and matching flowers, so I thought I would share some of that love with you.

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My Favorite Leg Workouts

I’ve always had substantially muscular legs that were the bane of my junior high and high school existence. In fact, in sixth grade, I banned shorts from my wardrobe and didn’t put a pair on again until I was a sophomore in college.

And while I’m still self conscious about my looks much in the way that most people are, I’m learning to like my legs. It came about when I started learning to tone and strengthen my muscles. When I first started running, I thought that was all the exercise I needed to do, but boy was I wrong.

Luckily, leg workouts have become a favorite part of my routine, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you!

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