Monday, September 3, 2012

Conversation Dates for Sons

Good Monday morning!

Was it wonderful to wake up, hear the rain... and roll over and go to sleep again? Was it?

Yes. Yes, it was!

REMINDER! REMINDER! REMINDER! - Okay. After four years of blogging, A Simple Life IS NOW a twice-weekly blog which will contain a little bit of everything I love (pictures, randomness, dates, ways to embarrass your 16 year-old daughter, recipes, traditions, parties, etc.).

This new format begins TODAY, Monday, September 3, 2012!

On any Monday or Friday blog, there will be topics listed (Recipes, Seasonal Tradition, Party/Event, Dates, Blog Linkage, Quotable Quotes, Weekend Happenings). The topics will not be in any particular order.

For example, I have Blog Linkage and Dates in today's post.

However, it will always be labeled in BOLD so it will be easy to find if you're looking for anything specific.

RANDOMNESS #1 - I'm going to have a little Q & A session to explain some of the changes! Something different from the usual LIST.

1. Why didn't you finish the picture-a-day blog (50 is Nifty)?

It's hard to explain because I do not know all of the correct "lingo," but my server changed over a year ago... with no warning... and no instructions on how to re-start my blog.

I figured out a way to "fix" A Simple Life, but I could not find a way to save "50 is Nifty." (The picture blogs are set up differently.)

Since computer stuff isn't my thing, I had to give up after a couple of weeks or completely lose my mind. I hated leaving it unfinished, but I didn't have that much mind left to spare.

Tis sad... but tis true!

2. Will you ever do another picture-a-day blog?

Never say "never," but if I do it will probably go from January 1 to January 1. That being said, I have a little time to try to figure it out... again.

3. Why the big change in blogging?

As I've talked about many, many times, I clean out my imaginary "busy basket" every June and January. This past June, I had to admit it was time to give it up entirely or at least shorten the amount of time I spend writing posts on a daily basis.

Since I really DO enjoy writing A Simple Life, the time constraints are too, too much at this time in my life. I'm going to try this twice-weekly format, and hopefully, it will fit my schedule better. We'll see.

4. Why do you call yourself "The Enchanting Belinda"?

I'm always afraid someone will think I THINK I am actually "enchanting."

No. No. No.

One day, I asked a group of ladies to pick one adjective they WISHED described them. My adjective was (and is) "enchanting." And I like the word because it is in one of my favorite movies ever... You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

I'm too tall to be "enchanting."

I accepted that a long time ago.

RANDOMNESS #2 - LeAnna won the 1,000th Post Contest and she chose Lucia's Italian Restaurant as her prize. I'll be gifting her this week with a $15 Gift Certificate to this fine establishment.


I thought I'd share some Lucia's Italian pictures from our visit last year.

The strawberry cake is "to die for." No, really. It is!

When it was all said and done, The Boy just wanted to sit back... and digest.

LeAnna, I meant to tell you. There is a photo op as you walk into the restaurant. Beautiful flowers!

RANDOMNESS #3 - We had an impromptu Auburn football party Saturday night. And since it was a little unexpected, but totally okay, our food wasn't necessarily what it would have been if it had been planned one week earlier.

Mikie made chili... and pigs-in-a-blanket. I made brownie bites and set out the chips and dip. And it was good. It was perfect, in fact.

For some unknown reason we even had four pigs-in-a-blanket left over... and that NEVER happens.

I will tell you I tried to make the Pinterest Bisquick Chocolate Chip Cookies during the ball game to serve hot with milk.

And I will tell you, I may have done something wrong, but they did not turn out well at all.

I'm removing the recipe from my Board this afternoon!

Having plastic generic football serving platters is a wonderful thing.

I highly recommend you make these type purchases, and keep them for an unexpected "football party" moment!

We were SO cocky before the game. I'm not going to show the pictures from after the game!

I will, however, say "WAR EAGLE!"

RANDOMNESS #4 - We were going to try to have a tubing day this Labor Day, but the weather dictated a change of plans.

We're going to DreamLand tonight for dinner.

It's not tubing, but I think we'll survive!

Blog Linkage

1. Go to The Dating Divas under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "Walmart Bingo." This sounds like so much fun. The Faulkner Five and The Lovely Melia may try this one night... soon.

2. Go to BooMama under My Blog List and read the post entitled "DipTacular 2012." I don't know how you feel about dips, but if you need a good recipe, this is the place to go... immediately!


Conversation Dates for Sons

Since we had Conversation Dates for Daughters last week, we're going to give the sons some dates, too. As is the norm, these ideas came from Pinterest... to be exact!

1. Punt, Pitch, Swing - The word here is sports. Most boys love being active. Make it a date. Zero in on the sport your son likes best, or try a new one together. Head to the tennis court, the batting cages or shoot hoops. Even if you’re not an athlete, you can cheer on your favorite team together, or even visit a sporting event at his future high school.

Conversation Goal - Talk to your son about what it means to be a “real man.” Many boys equate athletic prowess with manliness. Let him know that real men don’t have to be good at sports, or even like sports. You can also talk about how real men, gentlemen, treat ladies.

2. Chow Down - What’s your son’s favorite food or meal? Surprise him with a trip to his favorite place, even if it’s not the healthiest grub in town. Let him eat with gusto.

Conversation Goal - Ask your son how he feels about his home life. Does he like being home? Does he feel cared for and loved? You can even ask him about meals he’d like to have more often!

3. Ditch the Chick Flick - Go to a guy movie. Sit side-by-side as you take in the guy scene. Even if these movies are not your cup of tea, just enjoy seeing your son engaged.

Conversation Goal - Talk about what you’ve seen. If violence was a key factor in the movie, talk about what that looks like in real life. Talk about how a real man learns to control his anger and impulses.

4. Road Trip - Take a day trip or an overnight trip. Head to the beach or a nearby tourist attraction. Let him choose and plan how you’ll spend your time.

Conversation Goal - Road trips are great for tackling heavy subjects. While your eyes are on the road, he might feel more comfortable opening up about life topics. Ask him what his challenges are in his life right now. Ask him how he handles his struggles.

5. Faith Excursion - Experience a different worship setting together. Attend a church as a visitor. Present your son with a book or CD about faith.

Conversation Goal - Use this time to assess where your child is spiritually. Steer the conversation toward what’s really important in life.

6. Head Outdoors - If you’re up for it, go on an overnight camping trip. If not, go for a hike or bike ride. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy being in nature.

Conversation Goal - Talk about the wonder of nature. Share your thoughts on creation.

7. Educational Excursion - Even if your son is still in grade school, hit the road and visit a college campus. Let him see what lies beyond. If you think your son is too young for that, visit his future middle school or high school.

Conversation Goal - Ask your son where he sees himself going to college, or what kind of career he wants after high school. Talk about the freedom and responsibility college brings.

The Enchanting Belinda - I loved these ideas. The only thing I would add is scripture. Find one or two verses to go with each and every date. Write the verses on index cards. Tape the index cards to the visor on the passenger side of the car.

On the way home from the date, have your daughter lower the visor and read the verse aloud. Make sure she understands the Biblical reference.

If possible, try to memorize the verse before you pull into the driveway.

Have a great week! I'll be back Friday morning with... I don't know yet! We'll just have to wait and see together!

Take care, and I'll talk to you Friday.


The Enchanting Belinda


  1. So if this 'true confessions' day for your blog, what happened to the Paula Deen monthly recipe challenge? I, too, love Paula but I fear her level of expertise is a "bit" more than mine.

    1. Good one. I knew I forgot something. After the massive time commitment of making the sugared rose cake, I had every intention of continuing with my self-made Challenge... and then life got in the way. Actually, I make several new recipes a month, but they were all "simple" recipes.

      After the second "non-simple" Paula Deen recipe, I fizzled.

      That's not a good excuse... but it's all I've got!

    2. Hey, I'd like to cook like Ina Garten (barefoot contessa) but her shoes (ha-ha) are too big for me to fill.

  2. Here Here! I do all of my recipe searches by inserting the word "easy" at the beginning! Sometimes you have to know when too much is too much!

  3. And I filed "sugared roses" under the category "too much is too much!"

  4. Let's not forget...I'd guess that Paula Deen has a staff of handy assistants to step in to do all those tedious chores like 'sugaring rose petals'.

    1. I think that, too. If I had assistants, I would put them to work doing something other than sugaring rose petals. Like laundry. Lots and lots of laundry.


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