Thoughtful Friday | Little Life Updates

Thoughtful Friday | Little Life Updates

Hello everyone! ❤ This morning, I’m going to be sharing a bit of a ramble/thoughts post instead of something a bit more planned out (like I usually do, haha) because I didn’t have anything else ready. My beautiful planner works extremely well when I know what posts I’m wanting to do well in advance, but for days like this … there isn’t much help to be found.

I like to think that I’m a better planned and more organized blogger, and most of the time I am – just only when the inspiration’s there. During times when I don’t set as much time aside for post writing, and/or I haven’t pondered what to write about, I get really stuck. I like posting a couple of times a week, but sometimes that isn’t possible, at least not planned out ahead of time.

Anyway! I’m straying from the point of this post. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts with you in a tidy, as-it-comes-to-me list because I’ve had a lot on my mind recently, and I’d like to have a place to express them. 🙂 I wrote most of this last night, so I didn’t have enough time to find pictures (aside from the featured image), but I hope this post will still be a joy to read. Let’s get into this!

  • I have memorized nine of the twelve major piano scales I’ve been working on for about a week and a half. Originally, I wanted to have all of them memorized by today, but that didn’t work out, so I’ll keep practicing them this upcoming week.
  • I finished reading Head in the Clouds a few days ago, and I posted my review of it yesterday evening! You can read it by clicking here. 🙂
  • I’m already over halfway through another book by Karen Witemeyer (A Tailor-Made Bride), which I’ll probably also review sometime soon. Haha!
  • I found a great history series from the library recently, but I had to return them without even getting through the intro of the first one because I’ll need to dedicate more time to each country’s history and not read them all at once. I look forward to reading them one day, just not today.
  • My mom went to the OB/GYN yesterday and had another ultrasound done, and the text she sent me with a picture of my new little sibling warmed my heart so much! He/She has a beautiful heartbeat and still looks like a sweet little jellybean. It took me a while, but I have now been able to warm up to this precious child. ❤
  • I’ve gotten back into baking now, which makes me really happy! I want to bake at least once a week, not only so that my family and I can have homemade desserts around the house, but also so that I can blog about them weekly like I was for a while!
  • I didn’t get around to watercolor painting, but I’m planning on doing that today. I’ll have to decide what I want to paint first, though …
  • I need to go through my phone again and free up space; I always seem to be getting behind on clearing up apps and going through pictures.
  • My room and closet are a little bit messy because I safety-proofed everything yesterday afternoon so that my baby sister could come in there (she’s never able to because there are too many things within her reach), then yesterday evening I put everything back. It wore me out and there are still things that don’t have a place haha
  • Recently, I’ve been reading in Hebrews, Psalms, John, and Proverbs in my Bible. All four books have been encouraging and inspiring me, and I am so thankful that the Lord is helping me through their words. ❤
  • This past week, I planned out nearly two full weeks of blogging and that was an absolutely amazing feeling. I’ve been blogging on a day-to-day basis for so long! Predetermined post schedules provide so much peace of mind. If you have enough blogging inspiration, I highly recommend it.
  • Right now, I’m reading Hamlet for the fourth or fifth time (I’ve lost count)(I went ahead and counted, turns out it’s the third time who knew) and I’m perusing the CliffsNotes I own along with it. I fall more and more in love with this play each time I read it.
  • I’m thinking about trying out dinner recipes and sharing them on Thursdays. I have my eye on an awesome Terryaki Chicken and Rice dish Eva made not too long ago – every time I see those pictures, I get so hungry!
  • It’s getting hotter – and rainier – here in Georgia. I’m liking the AC more and more again. ❤
  • I’ve fallen a bit behind again in my Spanish learning, but I always seem to manage to catch back up again. I’ll be back to learning in no time. 🙂

Thank you for reading, guys! How about you?

What has been on YOUR mind lately?

Happy Friday! ☺️💖

— Maggie

Blueberry Muffins!

Blueberry Muffins!

Hi guys! I hope that you’re all having a beautiful Thursday. ❤

For this week’s tasty treat (this is the first time in months that I’ve gotten treats posted two weeks in a row, woot woot!), I have a very tasty recipe for twelve simple blueberry muffins!

This post is dedicated to Angela from lifeofangela, as she’s the reason I found out about this awesome recipe! She posted her batch of them last week, and as I had already been wanting to make blueberry muffins for a while, this was the boost I needed to finally make them!! haha

Related Post: Blueberry Cake!

Are you guys ready to learn how to make these wonderful muffins? Make sure to check out the original recipe (I followed everything, just converted Celsius to Fahrenheit haha). Let’s get into this!

Blueberry Muffins

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

I mixed all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl, and the wet ingredients into a small bowl:

Then I mixed them all together in the large bowl, making sure not to squish the blueberries too much:

Next, I poured them into the cupcake liners and dotted all of the tops with a few extra blueberries:

Then, last but not least, you bake them! (Look at how tiny they look in this picture, haha)

Because I’m still quite new to baking, I haven’t learned a good technique on pouring batter into muffin tins or cupcake liners yet … so the edges of the muffins didn’t turn out as pretty as I would have liked, haha. However, I still attempted to make them look alright!

Thank you all so much for reading! If you’d like to make these awesome muffins for yourself (remember to visit the original recipe), they are very good served warm with margarine or butter. Yummy!

How about you?

What was the last thing that YOU baked?

Have a great day, guys!

— Maggie

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (June-July 2017)

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (June-July 2017)

Hi everyone! I hope that you’re all having a beautiful week. ❤

It really feels like I just did one of these monthly posts, haha, but here we are again, at the end of another month! Is time flying like this for anyone else? This year is seriously slipping through my fingertips! I started this blog almost six months ago. I kind of feel like it’s been longer than that, but it also feels like I started yesterday, haha!

Anyway, today’s post is going to be my Making the Change Monthly Wrap-Up. You can visit last month’s here. In this post, I’m going to look at how June went, both the improvements I made and what I need to still work on. Then, I’ll be looking ahead to the month of July and what my main goals will be in regards to focuses and behavior.

If we share any aspirations in common, definitely let me know down below! I’d love to talk to you about anything that’s on your mind: what you’re going through, thinking about, wanting to change, etc. I’ll be here to listen. ❤

Making the Change ~
Monthly Wrap-Up (June-July 2017)

The Past Month: June 2017

Improvements: I grew even close to my younger brothers, Joshua (13) and Samuel (5)! I mentioned this in the improvements section of last month’s post, as well, and that’s because there’s always room for improvement, as well as the fact that I’m enjoying being around them much more than when I was going through the emotional problems I struggled with for a while. I’m also doing much better about keeping my temper at bay, which is hard for me to say, but it’s true; I used to lash out much easier and more often than I do now. I’m not trying to say that I’ve reached a behavioral checkpoint or anything lol, but I am able to recognize that things are getting better.

Next Time: Due to some age-appropriate (but still sometimes nerve-wracking) behavior on Samuel’s part, my patience was put to the test every day, and I failed almost every time. However, I slowly learned the right way to respond (thanks to my mom), but patience is still something I need to work on. The two pieces of advice that I can give to others struggling with patience are to slow down and be understanding. Whether you’re stuck in traffic, or someone’s stuttering as they try to figure out how to tell your something, or you’re having to wait in line at a store much longer than you thought you were going to, learn to become more aware of your response to situations that aren’t going exactly how you’d like and prefer. When I’m able to take a step back and look at the situation differently than how it’s just specifically affecting me, it saves me a load of irritation and impatience. ❤

The Upcoming Month: July 2017

Focuses:

  • Patience. What I just talked about above is something I need to take to heart in my own life.
  • Thoughtfulness. Learning to hold my tongue instead of complaining, and to be more aware of what I speak and not just ramble on impulse, is something that’s been on my heart to change recently.
  • Attentiveness. I desire to be a better listener, and while watching my little sister, Elizabeth, I want to be less distracted and more focused on being with her and, this is with all of my siblings, being present.

Quotes and Bible Verses to Inspire:

  • “Thou shalt not judge, because thou hast screwed up before, too.”
  • “Focus on what matters and let go of what doesn’t.”
  • “The best time for new beginnings is now.”
  • “Put on the full armor of God.” [derived from] Ephesians 6:10
  • “Even miracles take a little time.”

“Never suppress a generous thought.” ~ Camilla E. Kimball

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Thank you so much for reading, everyone! You guys have no idea how much this series helps me emotionally and mentally. Getting to write these posts and review how I’ve been and then to think through how I desire to be is the greatest part, but I also really appreciate getting to talk to you, my fellow bloggers, in the comments. Getting to learn about what you’re going through, what you’ve overcome, and what you’re working toward is inspiring to me, and it also blesses me to be here for you when you need someone to talk to. It makes it so much easier for me to be open with what I’m going through because of your support and encouragement. 🙂 So, as the ending question for this post, I would like to know:

What do YOU desire to focus on in July?

— Maggie

 

50 Summer Bucket List Ideas!

50 Summer Bucket List Ideas!

Hello everyone!! Today, I bring to you a very quick post that I wrote up a few weeks ago when planning out different summer-y blog posts to share on my blog. 🙂

I don’t know about you, but looking at bucket list idea suggestions and possibilities is always SO motivating and inspiring! Upon looking back at the list that I compiled below of 50 great summer bucket list ideas, I really want to go out and start doing some of them!

Have you done any of the things I mentioned yet? Are you planning to? And what about past summers? Let’s chat in the comments below!

I hope that everyone’s having a great day! Without any further ado, I bring to you my list. xxx


Summer Bucket List

1. See a fireworks show.

2. Have your own fireworks show!

3. Go for 24 hours without electronics.

4. Go on a road trip.

5. Visit a beach.

6. Get as much sunshine as possible.

7. Go camping.

8. Have a campfire.

9. Make s’mores!

10. Make lemonade.

11. Go out for ice cream.

12. Read a book you’ve been meaning to get around to.

13. Learn how to cook/bake something new.

14. Go berry picking.

15. Visit a fair or amusement park.

16. Have a BBQ.

17. Host a movie marathon.

18. See a Major League Baseball game.

19. Visit a new city.

20. Have a water balloon / water gun fight.

21. Watch the sunset.

22. Visit an aquarium.

23. Go swimming!

24. Dedicate an evening to stargazing.

25. Try a new restaurant.

26. Go to a farmer’s market.

27. Take a day-trip.

28. Have a picnic.

29. Go on a hike.

30. Go fishing.

31. Play beach volleyball.

32. Go paintballing.

33. Build a sand castle.

34. Make a homemade pizza.

35. Go to a concert.

36. Run a 5k.

37. Go bowling.

38. Sing loudly with the car windows down.

39. Visit a museum.

40. Explore somewhere new in your city.

41. Go for a walk.

42. Host a game night.

43. Ride in a boat.

44. Go mini-golfing.

45. Have a Cool Whip fight!

46. Start a Grateful Journal.

47. Make homemade popsicles.

48. Tie dye a shirt.

49. Cut the grass.

50. Have a backyard movie night!

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Those are all great ways to ensure that we all have a boredom-free, fun-filled summer!!! I hope that you enjoyed this post. Let me know which ideas were your favorites!!

Happy Tuesday, guys!

— Maggie

Meeting Elizabeth! | One Year Ago Today

Meeting Elizabeth! | One Year Ago Today

Grinning at my dad as he let me through the security doors, I walked as quickly as I could by his side without seeming conspicuous. I had been waiting for months for the encounter that was soon to follow, and it was hard for me to believe that the hour had finally come.

Moments before, I’d been pacing back and forth just outside those closed doors, which were the only thing keeping me from running to my mom – and to her.

As the oldest sibling, I was partly convinced that I should have been the first one to be permitted back there to visit. However, in the four years since my youngest brother, Samuel, was born, I had come to accept the rule of “youngest goes first” – even in the case of that eventful day.

I leaned up against the nearest cold white wall and tried not to explode from the hammering anticipation.

The hours I had earlier spent in the waiting room, just passing the time with my brothers, was nothing compared to the eternity I spent standing outside those security doors. I quickly grew tired of the bare walls, and my eyes were drawn to the only thing of interest in sight: the red, square sign that warned visitors and employees of the automatic doors directly in front of me.

I sighed and wished time would stop being so unpredictable and relentless.

By the time my brother returned to me through those doors, I wanted to leap past him and take my turn visiting. But I had to wait for our dad to let me back there. I took in my brother’s beaming face and, after a moment, drilled him on all he knew about our new sibling. He told me everything his dazed mind came up with, yet his vague details still disappointed me.

I’d have to see her for myself.

Very shortly after that, an employee pushing a cleaning cart opened the security doors, and in the split second that I registered that my dad was walking toward me, I grinned and sprinted to his side. Slowing my pace so that we could walk there together, he led me to the area where my mother and baby sister were temporarily staying.

Is this a dream? Is this really happening? What will she look like? The walk there was short, but my mind raced for miles.

One year ago today, at about 11:15 AM, I rounded the corner of the makeshift rooms they had set up in that dim room and gasped softly, a warm smile drawing up my lips. As I approached the hospital bed, I drank in the sight of a proud mother – my mother – and a sweet baby girl – my new little sister, Elizabeth Marie. ❤

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Hello everyone! Happy Monday to all of you:) I hope that y’all enjoyed my telling of last year’s beautiful event! As you probably already drew from the story itself, today (June 26th, 2017) is my little sister Elizabeth’s first birthday!!! 😀 ❤ I thought that this would be a fun way to celebrate; reliving the minutes before and the moment when I met her. There are few things in life that have brought me more joy!

I can’t believe that she’s only been in my life for three hundred and sixty-five days. It feels like she’s been here for soooo much longer than that! (Although, wording it like that as opposed to one year sounds longer than I thought it did haha) Imagining life without her is extremely hard to do now; if I didn’t have her happy face to see in the morning, her joyful squeaks and squeals to hear echo across the house, or any of her other little characteristics that she blesses my life with, I don’t know what I’d do.

She makes me happy when no one and nothing else can. Few things make me smile more than when she walks up to me, grinning up at me with adoration on her sweet little face, and patting my leg with her cute little hands. I can’t accurately put into words what a blessing she is to me.

And now, with the knowledge that she will soon be a big sister herself (which is the cutest thing ever!), that means that I’ll get to have her and another little munchkin to care for, and that excites me immensely. ❤

I hope that you all have a beautiful day! I’m going to spend the day with my family – especially the precious sister I’ve wanted to know my whole life – Elizabeth Marie.

— Maggie

Spotlight Saturday – Lee from Golden Pink Journal

Spotlight Saturday – Lee from Golden Pink Journal

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my weekly Spotlight Saturday series. 🙂

For today’s post, I got to interview a very sweet blogger – it was such a blessing to do this with you, girl! I’m looking forward to getting to share it with you guys today. 🙂 I hope all of you enjoy! Oh, and for any new bloggers reading this: Lee has some awesome tips to share with you near the end of this post! So stick around if you’re interested in reading her stellar blogging advice. xxx

My words are in italics, and hers are in bold.

~

Spotlight Saturday #8

Hi everybody! Thank you so much for coming by this week’s Spotlight Saturday. Today, I would like to introduce to you a lovely blogger that I first met a couple of months ago. I love seeing new posts from her pop up in my Reader – and new videos in my feed on YouTube, as well! Please welcome Lee from Golden Pink Journal!

Before I answer Maggie’s amazing questions (I just know they will be) I want to thank her for thinking of me for this interview. I’ve seen a few of the other bloggers she’s interviewed and this this is just such a brilliant, selfless idea. I love series like these, they keep the community connected and growing! I hope all who is reading enjoys, maybe we can talk and become blog friends? 💗☺

Aww you’re so sweet, Lee! I’m glad you enjoy this series; it has been such a fun experience getting to know so many bloggers even more. 🙂 I hope that the readers will consider coming by your blog after they read the interview. My first question for you is, what are your hobbies and current interests?

Definitely agree!

Hmm my hobbies and current interests… I’d have to say reading and writing obviously lol but also doing DIY projects, listening to music and writing my own lyrics or covers, and creating YouTube videos. I could probably think of so many more hobbies but those are the main ones. Most of my hobbies involve creating something. I’ve even created online virtual items like clothing, and a variety of textures (hair, floor, wallpaper) for online gaming. I recently became interested in caring for small animals since I’ve always been an animal lover. Especially kittens, I’m even thinking of fostering one day! I have a strong interest in anything involving nature, and also astrology to name a few.

Those all sound so great!! I love being creative, too. 🙂 Awww fostering is so awesome! I never have myself, but I would love to one day. My next question is, why did you decide to start blogging?

You should check out Kitten Lady on YouTube☺ She’s my inspiration.

Before I started blogging I had already thought about it before. It was one of those things I wanted to get into as a writer, I just didn’t have the motivation or confidence to take initiative. At two different occasions, speaking with two different friends, we discussed some of my poetry and stories I had written during the time. I told them that I wanted to write stories on Facebook again, or get into something else and they both suggested I start blogging. I guess that was the motivation I needed because I made my blog shortly afterward. I’m still working on the confidence part but I know that when I’m ready to share my blog with my friends and family I will have support from them at least.💕

That’s great, Lee! I’m so glad that you joined the WordPress community:) It wouldn’t be the same without you! 💕 My next question is, what are your top three favorite posts that you’ve written? Why are they your favorites?

Aww thanks, Maggie that’s so sweet of you💗

This question was a bit hard because I had a lot of favorites to choose from. I decided to go with one of my most recent favorites.

Short Story Saturday: Izabelle’s Edition

I wrote a short story from my cats perspective of her life here with me. Izabelle is the sweetest cat I’ve ever met and I love taking pictures of here which can be seen in the story. It’s like she’s vlogging about her life almost lol. It’s so adorable which is why I’m choosing this one.

Aww I love that post! Next, I’d like to know: what are three tips that you have for new bloggers who have just started out?

There will be lots more! Izabelle says you all haven’t seen the last of her☺

New tips for bloggers, that’s a great topic and very important so if there’s any new bloggers tuning in, pay attention here:

I’d say the first tip is to know what you’re going to be blogging about, have some type of general idea. I feel like if you’re serious about blogging don’t just start because it sounds cool, you should go into it knowing why and what so you don’t end up lost about what to write, or looking at everyone else’s posts to get ideas. This brings me to my next two tips…

Be consistent with posting and engaging, and make your blog your own. Many will look past your blog and won’t give you any feedback if you don’t upload often or you aren’t engaging with them. Your blog will get lost within the others, that’s just how it is. What you put in is what you get out.

Make your blog your own so that it’s different from all the rest. What makes your blog unique? What makes your voice unique? Go with that and build from that because if you’re trying to be like everyone else you’re not going to go very far and blogging just won’t be as fun, for you or your readers.

Aw yay! That’s awesome. ❤ Girl, those are all such great tips!!!! It is very important to know what one wants their blog to be like, and being an active part of the blogging community, as well as coming out with original content weekly, is the best way to stand out in the beautiful world of blogging. ☺ I have really enjoyed getting to interview you today, Lee! Do you have anything else you’d like to say before we go?

Thanks for having me! It was so fun being interviewed, I really enjoyed this experience. Its been the highlight of my weekend☺

Also thank you to everyone reading, I hope you could get to know me a little more and maybe learn something. Give Maggie a like and lots of love for this wonderful series💖

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Thank you all so much for reading! It would make both of us very happy if you could visit her blog for yourself. She is so kind and inspiring, writes about a variety of things, and would love to talk to you in the comments sections of her posts!

Have a great Saturday, everyone!

— Maggie

Little Accomplishments – June 23rd, 2017

Little Accomplishments – June 23rd, 2017

What have you accomplished this week?

Welcome back to this week’s Little Accomplishments, everybody!

I’m going to start by saying, how is it Friday again??!! I’m pretty sure I just hit “publish” on last week’s Friday post, LOL! I have no idea if time is flying like this for anyone else, but I am truly in shock. I mean, what?!

Alright. I won’t continue to ramble on in this scattered manner. Although I’m tempted to, haha

I hope that you all had a great week! As you know, mine sped by, but some great and definitely unexpected things happened over the course of these past seven days, and I’m thankful for each one of them. Some of them I have shared below, but others I’m keeping private for personal reasons. Without further ado, let’s get into this.

Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!

This past week, I…

  • started learning the piano keyboard. (Last Sunday, my mom was considering donating our piano keyboard, which we’ve had for years but I’ve never had an interest in. Suddenly, I got the notion in my head to see if it and the stand fit in my room – specifically in the corner where I’ve been keeping my electric guitar [which I still can’t play], and to my delight, it did. Since that day, I’ve been watching videos on YouTube and familiarizing myself with the keys, notes, major chords, scales, and other tips and tricks that I come across to help me learn. The quickness of this decision, and how much I’m suddenly loving it, truly appears to be inspired by the Lord. So I’m going along with it and enjoying every step of the way. I think I’ve already fallen in love with it. ❤ If you play the piano, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to chat with you.)

  • organized my closet. (It’s difficult for me to find a way to make everything in there work together organization-wise, as it’s so narrow, but I have it set up pretty nicely for now! I’m always finding ways to improve it haha)
  • started a new coloring page. (This one is a neat, intricate butterfly that I colored using lots of different colors instead of similar tones like I usually do! I can’t decide if I should leave it as is, or add more color. I think I’ll figure that out this upcoming week.)

  • began learning Spanish 5 on Memrise. (The first part of the course is all about sports lingo – specifically, futbol. That means that I’m learning how to say ‘that’s a foul!’ and ‘he’s the best player of the year’ and things like that, lol. I might need to discuss sports stuff like this in Spanish at some point in my life hahaha, but definitely no time soon!)
  • finally started reading Head in the Clouds. (I’ve been eyeing this novel on Goodreads for a while now – it’s been on my ‘to read’ shelf for so long – and I finally got it from the library when I accidentally found it last week, haha! I will definitely be reviewing it sometime soon because I’m only on the second chapter and I already love it so much.)

{Bonus Segment: Little Future Accomplishments}

Oooh! How exciting! Am I right?! I’ve never shared a to-do list on here before 😀 These posts are always about things I’ve done, haha, but I have some different things I’m wanting to get done this upcoming week, so I thought it’d be a good idea to hold myself accountable, lol. Let’s see how many I can check off next Friday.

  • learn the major piano scales.
  • further acquaint myself with piano lingo (what terms are used and when).
  • finish reading Head in the Clouds (can I do it in a week? I think I can!).
  • paint a new watercolor painting.

I’m sure I’ll have more to share next week, but these are the four biggest things! (And honestly, the third one is a stretch. We’ll see about that one.)

Happy Friday, everyone! ❤ xxx

~

Comment what YOU’VE done this week down below – last Saturday through today!

— Maggie

Your Summer Memories | One Fourth of July Weekend by Valerie

Your Summer Memories | One Fourth of July Weekend by Valerie

Hello everyone! This is Part Five of the summer memories series. ❤ Welcome back 🙂

Today, I get to share with you guys a sweet story that my mom (Valerie from Living Lighter in Atlanta) sent me of one particular Fourth of July weekend that she spent at her grandparents’ house in Michigan! I loved getting to read this – you’ve told me a lot of your favorite memories from back in Michigan, but I don’t remember ever hearing this one. 🙂 I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

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One Fourth of July Weekend

I absolutely love summer memories and I am really blessed to have a huge amount of super fun, positive ones from my childhood. Road trips, airplane rides, swimming pools, thunderstorms and camp are just a few… ahhh, I just love summer!

So, for some reason when I heard about Maggie’s summer memories collaboration post, I recalled something really simple. Here’s the memory I’d like to share..

When I was growing up, my dad’s parents lived about an hour from us on a farm in Michigan. We visited pretty often and one summer in particular I remember staying for the fourth of July weekend.

We cooked hot dogs over the fire in their yard and went to see fireworks.

It’s been over twenty years yet I can still see the house, feel the breeze, smell the food, hear the laughter. I don’t know why (perhaps I just really miss my dad and my grandma and grandpa), but this memory is so special to me. ^_^

Thanks for encouraging us to recall summer memories, Maggie!

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And thank you for sharing yours with us! ❤ I loved getting to read it, and find pictures to go along with it 🙂 I hope all of you are having a great summer! And if it’s not summer where you live, then I hope the season you’re currently experiencing is enjoyable. x

How about you?

What are YOUR favorite summer memories?
Let us know in the comments below!

— Maggie