By: Holli Fawcett Clayton
Another summer break is here. The kids are growing up fast. And sometimes, I find myself obsessing about what I’m going to do when they have “grown and flown.” This has taken me on a personal journey—to identify my gifts and use them in a way that can make a positive difference right now—while still fulfilling my mom responsibilities. I’ve learned that I love to come up with fun ideas, I love to connect people and things, and I’ve always had a passion for writing. So I decided to take a chance and start a blog called “Trading Favorites,” where I (occasionally) share some of the fun, unique things that I have discovered lately, focusing on a different theme each time. My goal in sharing these is simple: to create joy and inspire you in some wonderful way.
For my first post, I chose “5 Fun Finds for Summer.” If you can find a little joy in just one of these things over the summer break, I will have succeeded in my endeavor. Feel free to share with friends. Happy Summer, everyone!
1. To Wear: A Southern Girl’s T-Shirt.
If you’re a Southern girl by birth, or even just at heart, I’ve found the perfect summer shirt for you. With graphic designs ranging from bow-ties to seersucker to pearls and chocolate lab puppies, the Southern Couture company has captured the essence of the South and produced some of the most precious shirts I’ve seen.
2. To Do: A New Twist on the Traditional Girls’ Night-A Chalkboard Paint Party
There’s a new shop in Bellaire, TX, that was started by Denise Elston, a retired engineer with 30 years of experience in the oil industry. Taking her skills in a new direction, she now repurposes furniture and proudly carries many unique gifts and antiques in her store, which is called Rustic Redeaux. Denise also offers a very interesting opportunity to enjoy a night out with your girlfriends-she provides wine and appetizers while teaching you creative ways to use chalkboard paint, including techniques like gilding, distressing, and refinishing to get the “Restoration Hardware” look. Tap into your creative side and check out her class schedule here. Even if you don’t live in Houston, you can search for similar opportunities in your area–or maybe even start your own!
3. To Bring: The Giving Platter
Going to a summer party? Staying with friends at their summer vacation home? Need a creative hostess gift? Check out this gift that truly keeps on giving. Such a cute, simple idea that promotes a timeless concept.
If you’re like the rest of us moms, you are all smiles on the outside, but inside you may be struggling with things that you just can’t talk about. Whether it’s keeping up with the Joneses and their perfect life on Facebook or secretly longing to go shopping instead of volunteering at your children’s school, this book will make you feel normal and spiritually nourished. Each day is a short devotional that begins with a powerful Bible verse, going on to discuss the different daily struggles we face as moms (and how we might better deal with these), then ending with a short prayer to close. There is even a little space for journaling. It’s very concise, powerful stuff.
5. To Share with the Kids: Virtue Memory Cards
If you have kids, summertime means looking for ways to beat boredom. Check out these fun “Virtue Cards” that focus on different family values and include Bible verses to support these values. You can choose a card and make it your focus for the day or week, fostering family interaction and teaching great skills. What a wonderful way to spend time with your children and lay the foundation for their future.