Shan

Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, multiple sites and her local newspaper, Shan Walker is a Family Travel Journalist and Guru of "all things calm & cozy home."

She shares "how-to" plan the best family vacations in the South with reviews & secrets that Women REALLY want to know. She also has quick home hacks to create a comfy space we all crave & easy recipes to knock your socks off!

☕️ It's THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️

Posts by this author:

Summer, Oh Glorious Summer

It’s summer…glorious summer, Y’all!

I am trying my best to get projects accomplished on my long to-do list but to also be flexible enough to carve out enjoyable time with my family. That’s what summer is all about, right?

Glorious Summer Memorable 7 Blessings:

  1. It’s sweet summertime and I’m trying to use my spare time to purge clean out, organize what’s left and re-purpose some old furniture.  After bringing all the extra furniture and whatnots back from our several-month stay in Charleston.
  2. I’m happy spending lots of time in the kitchen with our baby steps to a healthier living quest where I’m adding yummy dishes to our healthy meals list.  I conquered a new recipe this past week {homemade chicken enchiladas w/whole wheat tortillas} and made several homemade staples.
  3. Having fun keeping my Princess occupied with intentional activities so our summer doesn’t slip away…chores, bible devo together, games, crafts, fellowship with friends, blessing others and lots of reading the classics.
  4. We are making an intentional effort to spend time with special families this summer.  In the past, I would let all types of excuses hold me back.  We’ve already enjoyed being invited to Sunday lunch with two amazing families and been a part of several play dates with fun friends.
  5. Princess and I have spent lots of time outdoors tending to her germinating vegetable seeds and to my roses.  We may turn out to be true, Southern Women Gardeners, after all.
  6. Besides his monthly training commitment, Captain has to serve two weeks of each summer at a military base nearby. We’ve been able to spend small snippets of time with him and we’ll take every single minute we can.
  7. It’s hard to explain but I felt God’s hand over our family the entire Father’s Day weekend.  On Saturday, we traveled to take my Father-in-Love out to eat.  It was a special time.

 

Sunday, Captain was able to stick around to be with his Dad for Father’s Day so we had the privilege of going to our home church together for the first time in a long while.  The Father’s Day message was fantastic and the worship music was over-the-top.  Sooo blessed with this glorious summer.

Current Bookshelf

Superman is reading Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families.  This is a masterpiece by one of my favorite authors {and 2 additional authors}, Tricia Goyer.  I was privileged to serve on Tricia’s Launch Team for this book and received the book from Tyndale House Publishers for that purpose.  It’s Amazing.

The captain is reading a book that Tyndale House Publishers sent me to review.  I can’t write a review {and it won’t be for sale} until July but it will be worth waiting for.  All I can tell you is that every young man you know needs to read it. “Where Chivalry is redefined & the discovery of a personal code of honor can be found in an unjust world.”


I’m reading the classic, Pride and Prejudice (Great Illustrated Classics) by Jane Austen to my girl.  I can’t say enough about this set of books called Great Illustrated Classics.  We have several and they are amazing!  She and I recently watched the movie, Emma, and she fell in love with the era of European life in the 1800s, just like me.  


Did I mention how much I love my life?

I’d love to hear how your family is spending the glorious summer?

 

Shan

Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, multiple sites and her local newspaper, Shan Walker is a Family Travel Journalist and Guru of “all things calm & cozy home.”

She shares “how-to” plan the best family vacations in the South with reviews & secrets that Women REALLY want to know. She also has quick home hacks to create a comfy space we all crave & easy recipes to knock your socks off!

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️

Thankful For Memorable Memorial Day 2013 In The South

This Memorial Day 2013, I’m here to challenge you to enjoy this day, and teach the next generation about the importance of Memorial Day.  Just be intentional!

Memorial Day 2013 Challenge - enjoy your freedoms and teach young people about those who died for our liberty!

Not prepared this holiday to do much?  It’s OK, just plan to make July the 4th a learning experience this year.  It will be here soon, and if nothing else, you could read your kids a couple of books about the original soldiers of the Revolutionary War

You know, the original ones who first gave us a chance at this free life we have in America?!  There are so many fascinating stories like the ones about General George Washington, Johnny Tremain, Paul Revere’s Ride, and more.

Memorial Day 2013

So what did we end up doing to commemorate this meaningful holiday?  Thanks for asking!  We did a lot …..

Memorial Day 2013 Challenge - enjoy your freedoms and teach young people about those who died for our liberty!

  • We slept in a bit & I was greeted by my hubby holding a hot cuppa java for me.  Sorry ladies…he’s taken!  🙂
  • Superman cut grass, bleached my lil shop, the house & then killed weeds.
  • We had several discussions about Memorial Day & why it is special.
  • Princess & I pulled weeds, rode the golf cart, & cleaned the house.
  • We purchased a brand new flag to honor the holiday {it was time for a new one}
  • We visited our local WWII Memorial in our park to read the names one by one.
  • We just had to cool down at our new-ish, local DQ!
  • Princess, our new gardener was dying to plant her new veggie & flower seeds.
  • Hubby cooked a seafood feast & we enjoyed it fully!
  • We sat on the front porch to enjoy our fresh yard work &  the cool, southern breeze.
  • Watched an episode of Andy Griffith on Netflix that we {somehow} had not seen before.
  • Reminded our young soldier son how proud we are of him for serving his country.

Memorial Day 2013 Challenge - enjoy your freedoms and teach young people about those who died for our liberty!

Memorial Day 2013 Challenge - enjoy your freedoms and teach young people about those who died for our liberty!

 

Memorial Day 2013 Challenge - enjoy your freedoms and teach young people about those who died for our liberty!

Memorial Day 2013 Challenge - enjoy your freedoms and teach young people about those who died for our liberty!

What a great day full of wonderful memories, family time, good food and hard work.  I’m so very thankful for the men that died so that we could enjoy freedom in this country.  Thank you Lord for this life!

Memorial Day 2013 Challenge - enjoy your freedoms and teach young people about those who died for our liberty!

What did you do for Memorial Day 2013?

 

Shan

Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, multiple sites and her local newspaper, Shan Walker is a Family Travel Journalist and Guru of “all things calm & cozy home.”

She shares “how-to” plan the best family vacations in the South with reviews & secrets that Women REALLY want to know. She also has quick home hacks to create a comfy space we all crave & easy recipes to knock your socks off!

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️

Our Seven-Month Charleston South Carolina Vacation




Several friends and readers are curious about our Charleston South Carolina vacation (Superman’s job – hopefully temporary in S.C.), and have been asking to see pictures and video of our adventures.  We still have our home in Georgia because we feel like the Lord will not keep us here in Charleston permanently.  I’ll show you, my wife friends, around our apartment and a few Charleston things to do like Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms.

our extended Charleston South Carolina vacation - apartment and beaches

We started out this past Saturday by heading over to not one, but two of Charleston’s beaches. Yes, it was pretty breezy (OK, I was freezing), but you do all sorts of things for your family, right?  Probably my favorite, most interesting event of the day was watching a couple fellas kite surf. I had never seen this in person.  We were amazed at how huge the kites were and how heavy they looked (don’t worry, there’s video footage below).

We just had to try out a new frozen yogurt shop, Yobe, on the way back.  Yummy!  Even though it was my Saturday splurge day,  I ended up choosing healthier flavors that were full of protein, and sprinkled a little granola on top.  We loved it.

Sunday morning, we set out to find a Charleston church to visit that we hadn’t visited yet.  We loved the warmth of the people from the greeter at the door to the sweet ladies sitting near us at this particular one.  Many of the members went out of their way to make us feel welcome.  It was wonderful to worship among strangers where we had one common goal in mind ~ to give praise where praise is due!  Time will tell in where God wants our Charleston church home to be.

watch our apartment & beach adventures
Concerning Superman’s work situation, we aren’t for certain what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. For us, that means that we’re praying that we get to permanently reside back in our small town USA (a.k.a. Mayberry), but we’re totally open to where God wants us to be.

our extended Charleston South Carolina vacation - apartment and beaches

So what do you think of our Charleston, South Carolina vacation?

 

Shan

Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, multiple sites and her local newspaper, Shan Walker is a Family Travel Journalist and Guru of “all things calm & cozy home.”

She shares “how-to” plan the best family vacations in the South with reviews & secrets that Women REALLY want to know. She also has quick home hacks to create a comfy space we all crave & easy recipes to knock your socks off!

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️

What We Did for the President’s Day Holiday This Year

I know you have been waiting in anticipation since I told you we would be reporting back on what we got into during the President’s Day Holiday, including the Backyard Bird Count.  We had many plans to cram into our holiday since Superman was off of work and spending all of his time with us. Come see what we did …..

our crazy President's Day Holiday!

Breakfast in bed + birds + volcanos +grillin’

our crazy President's Day Holiday!

 

Princess started the day out in a wonderful way by cooking us a  lovely breakfast.   She enjoys giving it that gourmet look.

 

It is apparent that she has spent too much time with Food Network and my Pinterest boards.  Fancy omelet, bacon and homemade wheat bread warmed with butter. (I made the bread before this day, obviously).

After breakfast, it was a beautiful day for bird watching.  Yep, it was the last day for the Great Backyard Bird Count that I mentioned before.  We had to get our supplies together~this is serious business, you know!  (smile)  We didn’t spend a tremendous amount of time looking for birds but do you want to know what we did see in our backyard in a small amount of time?

  • 55 Song Sparrows
  • 7 Blue Jays
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpeckers
  • 36 Eastern Bluebirds
  • 4 Northern Cardinals
  • 5 Black Vultures
  • 11 American Robins

Princess has been working on a Volcano project that is an assignment for Science.  She has gotten the aid of the hands-on helper, Superman, the last couple weekends to make it even better.  Fun stuff!  They decided the volcano needed evergreen trees around the bottom.  He just formed a few into the shape of trees but she decided to use a technique she learned on Cake Boss.  You make small cuts (but not all the way closed) with tiny scissors = success.
our crazy President's Day Holiday!
our crazy President's Day Holiday!
our crazy President's Day Holiday!
our crazy President's Day Holiday!

our crazy President's Day Holiday!
Notice the detail difference between her trees on the right and his tree on the left. 🙂  The real fun will come this weekend when they get to do the experiment part of making it erupt with lava.  You know how boys love to blow things up.

watch why it’s so weird!
The time started nearing supper time and Superman decided it was going to be a “grill” day.  He added tons of meat variety to his smoker and enjoyed working on that for a couple of hours.  This is a huge blessing to me because I can use all of the leftover meat for future meals!
our crazy President's Day Holiday!
We crammed quite a lot into our President’s Day Holiday – just as much as we possibly could.  The best part is that we were able to just stay home and enjoy each other for once.




our crazy President's Day Holiday!

What did YOU do for the President’s Day Holiday?

Shan

Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, multiple sites and her local newspaper, Shan Walker is a Family Travel Journalist and Guru of “all things calm & cozy home.”

She shares “how-to” plan the best family vacations in the South with reviews & secrets that Women REALLY want to know. She also has quick home hacks to create a comfy space we all crave & easy recipes to knock your socks off!

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️

Why Another Father-Daughter Dance?




Why do my two go to a Father Daughter Dance year after year, especially with my Princess getting older?  Isn’t she too mature to be hanging out with her dear old Dad all evening when she could be with her friends? Her answer is, “Absolutely not!” Here’s why I think everyone should get involved in the Father Daughter movement, and how the whole family can get involved …..

Why every family should experience a Father Daughter dance at least once in their lives!

Father Daughter Dance

Although our local Father Daughter dance doesn’t promote it as a Purity Ball, I believe that’s how this whole dance idea came about.  It was a symbol of purity and promise to trust their Fathers by remaining pure until marriage.  Against the current culture that would tell girls that it isn’t cool, I love any old fashioned notion to enjoy genuine youth and I have even more ulterior motives for standing behind our local dance and all of the hoopla and expense that goes with it.

There’s a response from our culture that says there are “cooler” things to do as a teenager than spending so much time with cooler things like hanging out with friends non-stop, listening to music nonstop, going to every single new movie, getting more new clothes every weekend, wearing lots of makeup to look older, and being boy crazy.  Guess what else?

Don’t get me wrong, friends, movies, music, and occasional new clothes are not a bad thing.  What’s not good is to allow your family to compromise because everyone else is doing it and it’s the normal, teenager way.  If you’ve been around me at all, you know that I’m not worried about being normal as people are concerned.

Normal is so overrated.  I am thankful though.

Thankful

Why am I so thankful for this time and memory in her life?  I am grateful for more reasons than the obvious.  Yes, the Father Daughter dance is an excuse to pamper her with a new dress, new shoes, and a Mani/Pedi, but it’s much more than that.

She all about the preparation.  In the hours that we spend pampering on that day, there are many opportunities for heart-felt discussions and life lessons.  She’s in training to be a Proverbs 31 Princess after all.

Why every family should experience a Father Daughter dance at least once in their lives!

 

The time that she and I spend together gives me time to prepare her to know:

  • How to act like a lady
  • How to dress cute but modestly
  • How to dress with God-given femininity
  • How to show grace to others
  • How to embrace Godly friendships

 

 

As they drive away, I pray that she always has a sweet spirit towards her Dad and that she cherishes the blessing of having a wonderful Dad in her life who gives good counsel.

“The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.”  Proverbs 16:23

Father Daughter dance traditions

Dad takes her out to dinner, they get pictures made and finally it’s time to be off to the dance with her friends and their fathers.  The time that she and her Dad spend together gives Dad time to:

  • Treat her like a lady
  • Praise her for being modest and sweet
  • Show her how to extend grace to others
  • Experience what Godly friendships look like

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”  Psalm 127:3

watch another family’s traditions




I challenge other families to embrace their kids and to stop listening to what the world says is normal ~ for them to always be with their friends (boyfriends/girlfriends, video games, etc), and never be with you.  When it’s all said and done, they want your attention, your laughter, your instruction, and yes, even your boundaries.  They’d never admit it, but it’s true.

“Teach my decrees to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Deuteronomy 11:19

As a Mom, Aunt, Grandmother, or mentor, I encourage you to take the time with young women in your life and invest the time to help them find their worth and beauty in Christ.

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”  Titus 1:3-5

And may God bless you for your efforts, my friend.

Why every family should experience a Father Daughter dance at least once in their lives!

Father Daughter dance this year?

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Shan

Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, multiple sites and her local newspaper, Shan Walker is a Family Travel Journalist and Guru of “all things calm & cozy home.”

She shares “how-to” plan the best family vacations in the South with reviews & secrets that Women REALLY want to know. She also has quick home hacks to create a comfy space we all crave & easy recipes to knock your socks off!

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️

How To Do A Backyard Bird Count This President’s Day With The Fam

Not sure what you’re doing this President’s Day Holiday.  Us?  Oh, we’re just over here counting birds.  Nerds, much?!  Yeah, my girl and I have this thing about birds, and then I found out about the Great Backyard Bird Count.  I knew that Superman would be off of work and we could just chill in the yard and count birds.  Oh, you know you’re curious …..

Pileated Woodpecker & FUN for the Great Backyard Bird Count




Great Backyard Bird Count

Why in the world would we take the time to do this whole backyard bird count thing anyway?
1) I try to be intentional in remembering the bird count each time because I have a student in my house.  I want to enable a love of learning by showing her just how amazing God’s creation is all around us ….. even when it’s just in our backyard.

2) Princess is quite interested in birds since reading, Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day — Young Explorers Series (Apologia Science Young Explorers)

3) For me, seeing all these birds means that beautiful season of Spring is coming.  I am such a cold-natured person that I look forward to the warmth of Spring and all the sunshine that comes with it.  Right now, as I write, I am so cold and bundled up that I can barely move.

What is the Great Backyard Bird Count

Here’s what the GBBC website has to say:

The 2013 GBBC will take place Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18. Please join us for the 16th annual count! The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Beginning in 2013, GBBC checklists will be accepted from anywhere in the world!

Bald Eagle for the Great American Backyard Bird Count!
Everyone is welcome–from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website.

Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

figure out which birds are in your yard!
Scientists use the GBBC information, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions.

We’ll probably romp through the woods and park out golf cart in spots that we know we’ll see lots of birds moving about.  I’ve got my clipboard to make the counts.  Do you?

How to: Great Backyard Bird Count!

Are you joining up for the Great Backyard Bird Count?

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Shan

Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, multiple sites and her local newspaper, Shan Walker is a Family Travel Journalist and Guru of “all things calm & cozy home.”

She shares “how-to” plan the best family vacations in the South with reviews & secrets that Women REALLY want to know. She also has quick home hacks to create a comfy space we all crave & easy recipes to knock your socks off!

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️