Tag Archives: Memories

Reminiscing About My Very First Blog Post

Reminiscing About My Very First Blog Post

For some reason, I’ve been feeling kind of nostalgic this week. I’ve been looking through old photo albums and reading stuff from my old journals and day planners. I’ve found that reminiscing can be a double edged sword; you get the happy with the sad. Continue reading

Maiden Voyage Camping Trip

First Camping Trip of the Year

My husband and I love to go camping 🙂

As you know from a previous blog post, we purchased a used travel trailer last month. That post detailed all that happened, but to sum it up, we were deceived and bought a camper that had several issues. We spent the month of May and many $$ to get it ready for safe travels … everything isn’t perfect, but we repaired what we felt were the most important items.

This weekend we are embarking on our Maiden Voyage with it 🙂

We picked it up from the RV repair place on Thursday, and I have been getting all our camping gear transferred from our old pop-up camper to the new one. It’s been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun setting up house in our new (to us) home away from home.

We have been watching lots of You Tube videos to learn how everything works. We’ve (well I have) read the owners manual cover to cover. We have camped for many years, but never in a camper.

We have to learn how to:

  • level the camper at the campsite
  • hook up the electric and water
  • operate the awning
  • make sure the propane is on and the frig & stove work
  • take care of all the bathroom chemical stuff
  • emptying the holding tanks (you know what I’m talking about)
  • and stuff we haven’t even thought of 🙂

I’m hoping for a wonderful weekend filled with fun memories of this first camping trip in our new camper. And I’m hoping that these new fun memories will replace my first disappointing ones & help me to regain the excitement I had when we first decided we were going to buy a camper with a bathroom – a definite upgrade from our pop-up.

Let the fun begin 🙂

Handmade Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Handmade Gift Ideas

It is a glorious September afternoon. I’m working on my blog post while sitting on my new patio enjoying the beautiful weather. It is warm & sunny with a gentle breeze blowing through the branches of my gi-normous maple tree.

So (on one of the last days of summer) … I decide my topic will be about ideas for making a handmade gifts for Christmas. That’s right, I said Christmas … but only because you need plenty of time to plan and work on your gift projects. Otherwise, I am a believer of enjoying each holiday as it comes, not rushing it 🙂

I have always loved doing crafts. Making or creating something is a labor of love. I feel like the finished product has a little piece of me in it ♥ However, I have learned (the hard way) that in order for me to love making the gift for someone, I have to allow plenty of time to finish it … not be rushed to get it done in time.

That being said, here is my game plan:
• Search Pinterest, craft websites & blogs to pick the projects I want to make
• Only choose a handful of recipients, so making the gift remains a joy ~ not become a burden.
• Decide early on who will be getting what gift
• Buy all the supplies I will need for each project ahead of time, (that way I can have multiple projects going at the same time)
• I’ll work on the gift while watching TV in the evening
• I can switch up which gift I’m working on, so I don’t get bored … like I can work on my knitting project if I don’t feel like making jewelry.

Some of the handmade gifts I given in the past are … a knitted or crocheted scarf, note cards for stationary, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, personalized photo frames, a “scrapbook style” keepsake shadow box, bath salts, and, of course, baked goods 🙂

I really enjoy giving handmade gifts to friends. I feel that because time is such a valuable commodity, the time I spend making the gift communicates how much I care about them. I hope they enjoy receiving them. Of course, because it is so time consuming, I only choose a few friends to make gifts for each year. My other friends receive store bought gifts … I love shopping too <3

I haven’t decided what I want to make for this year’s gifts yet, but I’m glad I’m starting to think about it early … because, as we all know, times flies by quickly.

Labor Day Road Trip Tips

Labor Day Road Trip Tips & Advantages

Labor Day weekend is upon us. I know I’m not alone when I sit here shaking my head, thinking “where did the time go? Summer just flew by !!

Although there are still a few weeks before Autumn officially begins, Labor Day Weekend is (for all practical purposes anyway) the unofficial end of summer. Many families celebrate this long holiday weekend by taking a road trip.

Traveling by car has many advantages for families … especially those with young children 🙂

~ AAA has reported that the price of gas hasn’t been this low since 2004. Spending less at the pump puts more $$ in the vacation budget — sounds like an advantage to me.

~ Your kids are in familiar surroundings … in their own car seat, have their own toys, their favorite snacks, etc.

~ You can take as many breaks as needed – when you need them. You can get out to stretch your legs or sooth a cranky child.

~ You choose meal times and where to eat.

~ You could go “old school” for the weekend … unplug (give your electronic device their own vacation). You could use an atlas to map out your route. If you happen to miss a turn off along the way, just say “we’re taking the scenic route”.

~ Continuing with the “old school” theme, you can play games like “I Spy”, or sing songs together, color / work in puzzle books, or play the license plate game, etc. Have light-hearted conversations … use this time to re-connect with each other without electronic distractions.

~ Take time to make unplanned stops … pull over to the see kitschy things like “the world’s largest ball of yarn” 🙂

These “old school” ideas may sound corny, but they will help make some wonderful family memories … memories your families will cherish for a lifetime (even if they never get posted on facebook or twitter) !!

(Photo Credit to Getty Images)

Christmas Countdown has begun

The Christmas Season Is Upon Us … Already !!

It’s Friday, December 5th … only 20 days til Christmas …Let the countdown begin!

Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ … Peace on Earth & Goodwill to Men. However, in the 24/7 world we live in, sometimes the preparations for Christmas can be anything but peaceful … it can be downright hectic.

Everyone’s to-do list gets longer during the holidays. All the festivities are great fun, but they also add more to our already busy schedules. Our December to-do list has additional items like sending out holiday cards, decorating & baking, shopping & wrapping, not to mention holiday parties & get- togethers.

Tracy Helps You is here to, well, help you 🙂 We can take care of some of your to-do list items. We can do some of the more routine stuff on your list, or we will Christmas shop and wrap your gifts for you. We can get your Christmas cards written & mailed out for you. We will even go to a party for you, oh wait … you probably want to take of party attendance yourself (we understand, lol).

Hiring Tracy Helps You will free up your time to do the most important things … spending time & making memories with the people you love, your family and friends!

Some time to relax and peace of mind is just a phone call away 🙂

Thankful for Nostalgic Christmas Decorations

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/30/14

November 30, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for nostalgic Christmas memories. Our family starts decorating for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. Thankfully, I’ve never really gotten into the Black Friday shopping thing, so my choice is easy. Over the weekend, we set up our Nativity and the village; we hang stockings and lots of garland. We decorate our entryway on the inside and outside. We finish with decorating the tree on Sunday.

I’ve always loved Christmas decorations. My decorating style leans toward nostalgic / vintage as opposed to trying to re-create a magazine photo shoot. I own lots of decorations that I’ve had since my childhood. Many of my ornaments and other pieces have great memories attached to them.

Each year, we hang the lights and ornaments while Bing Crosby sings White Christmas to us. We drink egg nog and eat chocolate chip cookies, warm from the oven. I have lots of ornaments … as I unwrap each one, I share the memories they bring to mind. I share stories of Christmas’s from when I was growing up. We reminisce our family’s memories. Some of my ornaments are from my great grandmother – some from friends – some I made myself. Many times the ornament represents something significant that happened that year. Sharing memories this way is one of my favorite family traditions.

♥ Today I am thankful for nostalgic Christmas memories ♥

thankful for memories of Thanksgiving

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/27/14

November 27, 2014 ~ HAPPY THANKSGIVING !! Today I am thankful for childhood memories of Thanksgiving. For those of you who may not already know, I was raised by my grandparents. Sadly, my grandpa passed away when I was in 7th grade and my grandma passed when I a senior in high school. I am truly thankful to have wonderful memories of both of them 🙂

I’m a morning person, so I’m an early riser by nature. I have wonderful memories of waking up on Thanksgiving morning to the wonderful smells of onion and celery sauteing in butter on the stove … the starting point of my grandma’s wonderful stuffing recipe. Continue reading

thankful for computers and software

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/26/14

November 26, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for modern day computers and software. The other day, I was talking to a friend from high school about our class reunion (how many decades is not important). We were discussing how much things had changed over the years.

When we were in high school, the computer course we learned (or tried to learn) was called FORTRAN. We had to create flow chart programs. We had to enter our program into a key punch machine, usually resulting in a thick stack of cards. Then came the moment of truth … were your flow chart commands correct?? To find out, you loaded your key punch cards into the reader to be printed. If the pin feed printer spit out a long banner = success 🙂 … short banner = failure 🙁
Continue reading

Thankful for ornaments and memories.

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/15/14

November 15, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for ornaments. Well, not only the ornaments (but I do love ornaments), but also the wonderful memories they represent.

I own lots (& I mean lots) of ornaments, many of them belonged to my grandmother. I made many of them throughout the years. Others represent life events … Our First Christmas Together … Baby’s 1st Christmas, and the like.

Each year when I’m decorating our tree, I get to relive all those memories with each ornament I unwrap … so nostalgic.

Today, I went to Bronner’s … the world’s largest CHRISTmas store 🙂 Oh my … it was heavenly! I’ve never seen so many ornaments. Okay, I confess that I may have bought one or two …

♥ Today I am thankful for ornaments & nostalgic memories ♥

10th Anniversary - Thankful for Romantic Days at the Beach

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/9/14

November 9, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for Anniversaries that remind us of old memories. Today is our Wedding Anniversary, and I am sitting here remembering our wedding ceremony.

It was a gorgeous, sunny and mild autumn day in Chicagoland. It was a second marriage for both of us and we wanted a simple ceremony. It was more important to us to be surrounded by friends who knew us well to participate in a meaningful ceremony. Our Pastor preached a very personal and heartfelt sermon for us because he knew us all so well.

We had the world’s youngest maid of honor and best man … my kids, who were 9 and 12 years old at the time. We wanted them front and center because we weren’t only a couple joining together in marriage, but joining as a family as well.

Our simple cake and coffee reception was right after the ceremony at the church. We were then whisked away in a white limo … just the two of us, off to our romantic honeymoon ~ a log cabin nestled in the Smoky Mountains.

Such a wonderful memory … I think I’ll find the video so we can watch it this evening to relive those memories … and get a chuckle over how young everyone looked … after all, laughter is an important part of a great marriage 🙂

♥ Today I’m thankful for Anniversaries that remind us of old memories ♥