Category Archives: Summer

Summer Family Activities for Free

free summer activities, list of free summer fun

It’s summertime!  Oh how I love Summer.  When I was younger Summer was my least favorite season.   When I was in middle school through high school I would have to help my parents in the yard on summer weekends.  It was always so hot and so miserable.  We would have to pick up sticks on their 5 acres, burn leaves and work around the yard.  I hated it.  I used to beat my sister for volunteering to stay inside to clean the house.  I would much rather have cleaned the entire house and made lunch for everyone than having to sweat outside picking up sticks.  As I’ve gotten older and the yard we have is much, much smaller I don’t mind summer yard work nearly as much.  Now don’t get me wrong I would much rather be having fun on a hot Saturday morning, but I’ll take a hot summer day over n ice-filled winter one. 

Now that I’m older and have a family of my own I like to save those hot days for finding free and fun stuff to do.  I’m bringing you my complete list of free activities you can do with your family this summer.  You may have to be a little creative, but you and your kids can have a blast checking these items off.  In case you missed it, not too long ago I created a list of free activities to do during the fall, but I figured it was time for a season update.  Plus it goes perfect with our spending freeze we’re currently doing.

I love finding fun things to do as a family especially when they are free!  

best summer ever, free summer activities, free activities for the family

Here you are – a complete list of free summer activities for your family:

  1. go swimming – around here most public pools are free or you could always befriend someone with a killer backyard pool!
  2. go to the zoo – we’re lucky because the St. Louis Zoo doesn’t charge for admission and if you get there early enough then parking is free too!
  3. head outside for a picnic
  4. scavenger hunt in the backyard
  5. sprinkler fun!
  6. have a game day where you play board games inside
  7. go to the local park
  8. camping
  9. checkout an outdoor movie
  10. museum free days
  11. explore the public library
  12. host a summer reading challenge

You can print off a PDF of the summer activities, too.

Party Like It’s the 4th

Well that was an unintentional break from posting.  Sorry about that!  I have some really good posts in the works, but it’s just hard to get it all done.  To be honest, it’s been a very hard week over here.  I took an unexpected week off work (well really only 3 days thanks to already being off yesterday and today because of the holiday) and had to go the doctor a few times.  I finally feeling a little better, but it’s still a struggle most days.

J has been really good to me, too.  Unexpected flowers, date nights and just being there for me.  He really wants to get out of the house tomorrow and it just be the two of us.  So I’m planning on making lunch to go, a little dessert and some yummy snacks for a quick picnic.  We’re thinking of going fishing and just enjoy being together.  We’re probably going to hit up a fireworks stand on our way home to get a few to light.  It’s going to be a nice, relaxing day – just the two of us.

4th of july

I hope your 4th of July is filled with family, fireworks and great food – the 3F’s!

4th of July is my favorite

4th of july

4th of July is my favorite holiday of the year.

The smell of fireworks fill the dark sky, lightening bugs flickering in the air, and the sound of crickets chirping far off in the distance.  It’s a beautiful thing.    What’s not to love?!  I get to spend all day laying out by the pool while the Mom grills yummy food.  Then the evening is filled with bright lights, crackling sounds and lots of laughter.  Sounds like a pretty decent way to spend your day.

Last year J and my sister were deemed the official firework artists.  They were getting all into it and not really paying attention.  I mean, it was pretty dark outside and they didn’t really come prepared with flashlights.  Next thing we hear is my sister tell J that there was a small fire behind his foot.  He stomped out and then Dad took off to get a shovel.  The entire family couldn’t stop laughing.  The two pyros were about to really get the show going.

My Grandma carried the hilarious incident over to Christmas and gave them both a baseball cap with a light attached to the bill.

The 4th of July brings out the best in all of us.

My birthday and my sister’s is only a few days after the 4th.  When I was little I naturally thought all the fireworks were the kickoff to my birthday celebration.  It didn’t help my egotistical ways when we ate birthday cake the day BEFORE my birthday thanks to my sister’s being 2 days before mine.  She had to wait a whole day and I got cake early.  I had to be the favorite child, right?  Right.

Okay, I know that’s not true.  A girl could dream though.

What’s your favorite holiday?  I’d love to know!

Recap of our {Dominican Republic} Honeymoon

Dominican Republic Honeymoon
Can you still call it a honeymoon when you’ve been married for 7 months?  I mean, that might be stretching it, but since it’s my blog, I get to call the shots.  J and I finally took our honeymoon.  We planned, we dreamed and then we flew our early early one morning headed to the beach.  Our flight left at 6am, which meant we had to be there a little after 4am.. UGH! I am so not a morning person. The only thing that kept me going was the fact we would be landing in Dominican Republic by noon and at the hotel within an hour.

We arrived and were handed a gorgeous blue drink before we could even check-in.  Perfection.  I am the type of girl that loves to lay on the beach, read my book and take a few naps here or there.  J, on the other hand, is more of the type that likes to be in the ocean, walking around, drinking at the bar and meeting new people.  We struggled with that a little, but survived each other.  We planned a deep sea fishing excursion for one of the days.  J thought he was going fishing and I thought I would get a nice boat ride to the middle of the ocean.  We did get a long boat ride, but the boat was smelly (like fish) and the only fish we saw was the one caught about 30 minutes from shore.  And when I say shore.. I mean, from returning to shore.  It was kind of a bust.  We did meet some fun people that travel the world deep sea fishing, which ignited a desire in J to travel to Florida and rent a fishing boat.

Dominican Republic Honeymoon
The resort was beautiful.  Palm trees, the ocean breeze and bars located throughout.  Plus, they even had a casino that J and I went to one night.  We ended up breaking even, but it was so much fun trying my hand at Roulette.
Dominican Republic Honeymoon Dominican Republic Honeymoon

I want to go back, like today.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be to the DR 3 times now.  I am never disappointed!  The beach is always beautiful, it barely rains, the food is great and the drinks are tasty.

That one time at the brewery






Don’t you just love the weekends?  I mean, they are the absolute best.  Especially when the weather is perfect and nothing has to get done.  J has been itching to take a tour at Anheuser-Busch Brewery.   …so that’s just what we did.  We went with J’s family and met up with some friends at their Biergarten after the tour.brewery breweryOnly at the brewery can you order a Budweiser Signature… to say it’s amazing would be an understatement!  It’s my favorite beer – Budweiser, but carbonated and cooled differently.  Yummy!

Then we grabbed the dogs and let’s just say Maggie had an absolute blast with her bestie Oliver!  She makes a great pillow for him and he shares his chew bones with her.  It’s a pretty even friendship.
maggie and oliver_edited maggie in the car_edited


Things To Do Around St. Louis

Spring is here.  The color is coming back to the trees outside and it’s finally above freezing around here.  I am ready for nice weather to be a permanent thing and excited not to have to bundle up just walk from my car to the office.  St. Louis is a fun city to live near and we have some serious plans to act like annoying tourists this Spring/Summer.
things to do around st. Louis, mo

1) Drink some fresh beer at the Biergarten at Budweiser
2) Take a brewery tour at Budweiser
3) Celebrate the Cardinals at some games
4) Eat at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
things to do around st. louis, mo5) I-55 Speedway to watch some dirt track racing
Last year J and I went to the racetrack around the beginning of fall.  It was the coldest day of the year so far and it was miserable.  I am so thrilled to go to the track when I don’t have to cover up with multiple blankets.
6) Explore the St. Louis Zoo
7) Get lost at the art museum
8) Wander around the Botanical Gardens
9) Lose track of time at the casino
10) Watch Shakespeare come to life

Top 10 adventures that J and I have to conquer this year.  I can’t wait!

It is the 4th of July


Hope everyone has a joyous 4th of July.

This holiday is my favorite. Possibly because my birthday is only 5 days away and when I was little I thought the fireworks were just for me. Self-absorbed much? Probably, but I’m okay with it.  Secretly I still think the fireworks on the 4th of July are just for me!

J and I have plans of grilling some food and drinking some beer in the backyard because that’s what we do! Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!


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DIY Repellent Spray for Flies

How would you like a DIY repellent spray for your outdoor space?

J and I are determined to use our backyard to the fullest this summer.  We love that it is fenced in, the patio is covered, and we especially love our new patio set.  That’s the icing on the cake!

Last week I talked about repelling flies in our backyard here. J and I have worked on another home DIY treatment to rid our backyard of flies.  A repellent spray for our patio furniture was what we were looking for.


1) Pine-sol
2) Water
3) White Vinegar

In a spray bottle you want to mix 1 part Vinegar with 2 parts Pine-sol and 2 parts Water.  Spray this mixture onto the patio furniture.  I could instantly see how this spray was working.  And I liked it!

DIY Repellent Spray for Flies

DIY Repellent Spray for Flies

Then I got a little carried away … I started spraying the siding of our house.  It worked!  One downfall of using this spray is the smell.  It can be a bit overwhelming.  Mainly smells like pine-sol, but that’s not a smell that I want lingering around for a long time.

But overall I love, love, love this repellent spray!  I’m thinking that I will keep a bottle mixed and ready to go.

What products do you use around your home to repel flies?



Planting Lavender and Mint

repel flies

Nothing better than adding a little bit of greenery around the back patio.  J and I took a trip to the local nursery and found some plants to add to our yard.

First, lavender, which is probably some of my favorite.  Then we added some mint.  After some research we found that mint was great to repel insects because of the odor it puts off.

Of course these plants didn’t seem to be too time consuming for me.  Both needs to be watered every other day and the plants crave sunshine, which we have ample amounts of.

Here’s what you need:

1) planters – I used one for each plant, a 12″ for lavender and 8″ for the mint.  You want the mint to have more of a shallow pot because of their roots.
2) gravel
3) potting soil
4) gloves

The project took about 30 minutes to finish.

First, fill the bottom portion of each pot with gravel. This addition will help with drainage.


That’s it. Pretty simple and makes a great addition to any backyard. I can’t wait to keep adding plants and flowers to make our yard a little more homier.


How to Naturally Repel Flies

Flies. I hate them.  Hate. Hate. Hate them.  With summer here and a nice patio that we are wanting to use, J and I have made it our mission to rid our backyard of flies.  We have a new grill and lovely patio set that are calling our names.

So, after some research we have come up with a few ways to repel flies and will document these how-tos.

The first, which is probably the simplest one to do is the Water Bag with Pennies.

You only need three things:

1) Baggie with zipped closure
2) Water
3) Pennies

pennybag pennybag2 Fill the bag half-way with water, add the pennies and then seal.  We hung ours in an area where the sunlight would reach.  It is said that the light reflection from the water and pennies bother flies and they avoid the area.

We’ll keep you updated on whether this tactic makes a difference.  We are going to add a few more tactics under our belts too, so be on the look out for those.