Summer Dates on a Budget: Farmer’s Market Morning Date


My husby and I love to have day nights (or mornings).

For many years when our kiddos were small, getting away for a day or night out together was almost obsolute. As our kids have gotten older, it is very important to us at least once a month to get away even for a few hours.

When your kids are small, you are so busy with their wants and needs that it consumes all of you. There is no time for your hobbies or activities and your day in and day out schedules rotates around them and them only.

I realized at some point during this journey, that my husby’s and mine conversions consisted only about our children. I think that was a wake up moment for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my children with all my heart.  But my world should not revolve around them.  My world and life should revolve around God, then my marriage.

I thought to myself, if husby and I don’t have any alone time together having fun, finding out what we each like now that we are older, then will we even have anything to talk about when the kiddo’s leave home? Will we know anymore what little things make us smile? Will we be able to sit down to dinner and have a conversion just about us?

To be quite honest, I don’t think so.

That was when it became my goal, my passion, my desire to have Date Nights just to find out who we are are as indivduals, not the mom and dad of Keegan and Lindy, but who Miranda and William are as people and fall in love all over again.

If you are anything like us, and you live month to month on a strict budget with not a lot of wiggle room, then finding extra money to have a day or night just for the two of you can be hard to come by.  I understand that after bills, groceries and children needs, there isn’t always a lot of money left over for dates so I am sharing some “Summer Dates on a Budget” Ideas that I have put together that we like to do and have fun with.


Farmer’s Market Morning Date


Who said Date Night had to be at Night?

My husby is a morning person. He is so used to getting up when the roosters crow for work, that he funtions so much better in the morning than the afternoon.

And evening, Well just forget that! LOL ! That is when you find him zonked out of the couch!


Well I won’t lie. I am not a morning person at all. I can do mid morning, but please roosters, just let me sleep. But by evening my mind has been going in twelve different directions all day so I’m no good to anyone at that point.

So last week my husby told me he was taking Saturday off. The kids had been going non-stop all week long with friends and family.  This is not normally something we let them do, but my sister was in from Texas and they wanted to spend a lot of time with her last week. And Lindy has been helping a friend from church at her and her husbands dr office to help raise funds for Guatemala Mission Trip.

It seemed like they were not home but a few hours last week at the most.

I decided that since the kiddo’s had been enjoying their week with friends and family, then husby and I needed some fun time together.

I was really looking for something fun that wouldn’t cost much, when I thought “How about the Farner’s Market?”

Well why not.

Our Farmer’s Market is fairly new.  There is booths with veggies and fruits straight from the gardens, jams/jellies and salsa, homemade items and even live music.



Farmer’s Market might have not been your first thought for a date, but it was early, the weather was beautiful, we could walk around main street holding hands and the items we bought were groceries for the week so we didn’t spend extra money for an activity.

One booth was selling homemde blueberry yougurt pops, Yum!  We each bought one, found a bench and sat down and listened to the bluegrass/folk music that was playing.

So relaxing!

What was also great, was husby helped me decide what to fix for dinner that week by what fresh fruits/veggies we were buying. We ended up with squash, zucchini, green tomatoes (ummm fried green tomatoes), kale, mustard greens, fresh lavender, fresh basil, onions, green beans, potatoes and homemade wheat bread.

With all that we decided on grilled chicken with grilled poatoes and veggies with homemade bread, boneless bbq ribs with mustard greens, kale, fried green tomatoes and corn bread, a chicken/spinach pasta dish with fresh basil, zucchini and  squash added in pasta with fresh green beans on the side and taco night with all the fresh veggies and kale as toppings (maybe not traditional, but hey it works).  And we could use the rest of the homemade bread for sandwiches and make homemade kale chips for the side! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!


I didn’t forget about the lavender i bought.  That will be made into something something special to share! (:

After the Farmer’s Market, we walked around town, just talking and holding hands, enjoying being with each other.

We stopped at a couple thrift stores for any “thrifty finds, and since we had splurged with the blueberry/yogurt pops at the Farmer’s Market, we settled for a light brunch at a local restaurant (if you have a local coffee shop, stop in there for a light breakfast).

It might have only been a few short hours, but it was a great Morning Date! We had woke up feeling great from a good night’s rest and I wasn’t cranky (yes i get cranky) from the stress of a full day. I do believe there will be many more morning dates in our future.


Remember, having a day out with the one you love, doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. We spent a total of $20, for brunch and our thrifty finds, and we spent $20 at the Farmer’s Market which came out of our grocery budget.

Find an activity you both enjoy and build from it.

Be checking back for more posts of “Summer Dates on a Budget.”

Love Miranda

Thursday’s DIY Tutorial:CakePlate

I love Good Deals!

I love thrifty finds and turning them into something amazing I can use. Whether its just for fun or decorating project for the house.

This past week I was in my local Dollar General Store, when I came across white ceramic candlesticks on clearance for $1.50! Well, I don’t know about you but that was too good of a deal to pass up. My mind instantly started turning thinking of something I could make out of a candlestick.


Now don’t get me wrong, I could have just used it the way it was but it really didn’t match any decor in my home right now. Then I thought, if I attach a plate on the top I could turn it into a Cake Plate. BINGO!

I love cake plates, but gosh they are so expensive!

So I paid for my candlestick and headed home. Later in the week I drove to a nearby town to a Dollar Tree and picked up a white cermanic plate for $1. And then I was ready to craft!


I went home, pulled out my trusty glue gun/sticks and my E6000 glue, which by the way if you havent used to AWESOME, and started my project.


There is just something about a quiet “Crafternoon”, using my creativity and just relaxing. Sometimes when I’m by myself it’s a little too quiet, so I have to turn on my “Crafternoon” Playlist, which is my favorite music while working.

This playlist I call “ThriftedGrace”. I hope you guys will check it out!

Anyway, back to my cake plate. It’s so simple. Really guys, like 3 steps and your done! A 10 minute project which would be great decor for a party, or celebration such as a Baby or Bridal Shower or a Wedding. Mine I think will look just right on my kitchen island with a nice chocolate cake sitting on it! HAHA!

Items you need:
Glue Gun/Glue Sticks

1) Squirt E6000 around the edges and on top of Candlestick
2) Add hot glue to underside of plate
3) Even up and press the plate firmly on top of Candlestick
4) Bake a cake and enjoy your creation!



That’s all it is. $2.50 Project!

The E6000 works so well, the only thing I use the hotglue for is to set it in place til the E6000 settles good!

I was also looking around at the Dollar Tree and found short glass candlesticks and clear dessert plates that would make a really cute cupcake platter (for 1) or to serve a few cookies or tea sandwiches on. So many possiblilites. I don’t know if I will ever buy a “real” Cake Plate again!

So then I got to thinking……I know other bloggers/crafters have thought of this before, so i decided to find some! And what I found amazed me! I decided to share a few of my favorites with you! (Must try this one one) (To serve candy! Love it!) (would be beautiful for a wedding)

Hope you enjoyed my DIY Tutorial on Cake Plates!

I Found My Thrill On Blueberry Hill: Part 1

Sweet, Sweet Summertime.

Fireflies at night, Daylight til 9 o’clock, Sippin Lemonade from a Mason Jar. Oh Yes! I love Summertime! There is just something about sittin in the porch swing, smelling BBQ from the grill, and pickin fresh veggies from the garden.

Well, maybe not so much the last one! Now I love to reap the benefits from the garden, don’t get me wrong, but after spending hours in the hot sun, bent over pickin blueberries you start to wonder if grocery store veggies are so bad after all LOL!!!

But I know that when Fall comes around and I am having fresh Blueberry Cobbler for Thanksgiving, or when Winter sets in and I’m sitting around the fireplace with friends drinking fresh Blueberry Wine, I will be ever so thankful that I spent hours in the garden gathering up the blueberries. Hey, at least I’m getting a nice tan with the deal!

This week has been blueberry madness. From Blueberry Syrup, to Blueberry Topping and Blueberry Butter, I am going Blueberry Mad! Heck, i’m good just sitting down with a bowl of blueberries and fesh cream…YUMMM!

Blueberries 2


Blueberries 1

Today, I wanted to share with you my version of Blueberry Syrup…

I start with 7 cups of fresh blueberries (washed)
2 1/2 cups of sugar ( i like it sweet)
1 tsp of molasses
2 1/2 tbs of lemon juice

1) Place blueberries and water in a large pot. Using a masher (i use my potato masher) crush the berries.
2) On medium heat, bring to a boil and then simmer on low for appx 15-20 minutes as they darken in color.
3) Remove from heat and strain berries, mashing as you go to extract as much juice as possible.
4) Add blueberry juice and sugar and molasses to pot, return to a boil and simmer on low for appx 12- 15 minutes. (juice will slightly thicken)
5) Add the lemon juice and return to boil for about 2 more minutes, stirring as you go.
6) Poor into a quart size Mason. Your syrup is ready to enjoy!


Blueberry Syrup

**Use right away or store in fridge for appx 2 weeks
**If your syrup is not as sweet as us southerners like it, add 1/2 more sugar to the recipe!

Now your probably thinking what do I do with all this mashed blueberries?

Good question! You can 1) throw away (but please don’t) or 2) add about 1/2-1 cup of sugar and 1 tbs of lemon juice to the mashed blueberries, simmer on low for 5 minutes or untl the sugar is disolved and enjoy on top on pancakes or on a big bowl of icecream! But on Part 2 I will be sharing another way to use the mashed blueberries.  So many choices!

Blueberry topping


I hope you enjoy this recipe! And come back soon for Part 2 of  “I Found My Thrill On Blueberry Hill”!

With Love Miranda

What a Review….

wild iris ridge

So I’ve been missing you guys!  Been so busy the past few days settling into summertime.  Of course for my family, our summertime started 6 weeks ago when we finished our homeschool year, but for public school they just got out for summer vacation this past week.  My daughter Lindy and I, have taken a summer tutoring job to help raise our funds needed for our Mission Trip to Guatemala. Its been a challenge to say the least!  Give me another week or so and we will get in the swing of it!

I mentioned on my last post that I was selected as a Street Team Member for Author ReaAnne Thayne’s new book “Wild Iris Ridge”, which will be available on June 24th!  Part of my duties is writing reviews on the book, which by the way is AMAZING!!!  I literally could not put the book down, it was so good!  If you are into Fictional Romance, you must check this book out!  You can also check out my review on Goodreads @

Please let me know if your interested in a copy and I will mark you down for a pre order!  I’m saddened though that this was the last book in her series “Hope’s Crossing”.  I could definitely enjoy a few more in this series!

I also wanted to share a few link parties I have participated in this past week:

And don’t miss my upcoming Blog Post: I Found My Thrill On Blueberry Hill: Part 1

Hope to hear from each of you!  Until we meet again, Miranda