Recipe – Peachy Iced Tea

peach tea recipe at - looks delicious and easy!

Looking for a delicious drink to serve at your next summer cookout with friends?


Seriously, you will THANK me for this recipe – it’s that good.  I promise.

peach tea recipe 1peach tea recipe 2peach tea recipe 3Step 1 – Pick up some Crystal Light Peach Flavor Iced Tea Mix.

Step 2 – Pour 1 packet into a pitcher and add 5 cups of cold water and 1 cup of orange juice.

Step 3 – Stir until mix is dissolved completely.

Step 4 (optional) – If you want to be super glamorous, add some sliced fresh peaches, raspberries, and blueberries.

Step 5 – Serve on ice.

I’m in New Jersey this week with the boys and my family!  We are having a lot of fun – although no one is really doing a lot of sleeping, which led to an unfortunate meltdown at the arcade on the boardwalk yesterday afternoon.

We had a big dinner the other night with my Oma and cousins and Aunt and Uncle and sister-in-love and brother and their kids and my parents – phew!  It was heaven getting to be reunited with everyone!

They all pitched in to help me take photos for this post.

{{In case you were wondering why I suddenly got man-hands, that is my dad pouring the orange juice into the pitcher.}}

And below is my lovely sister-in-love.peach tea recipe 5peach tea recipe 6The family really liked this drink.  My dad even commented how, “refreshing” it was.

I hope you will enjoy it too.

Happy Peachy Iced Tea-ing! :-)

*I originally found this recipe over at Kraft.

The Best $20 You Will Ever Spend at Target this Summer

bubble machine 1

We took a quick trip to Target yesterday afternoon to make a special little purchase that I know is going to supply us with a TON of summer fun over the next 2 months.

We headed to the aisle that has summer-y items (beach toys, bubbles, etc.) and picked up the little beauty you see below.

bubble machine 3bubble machine 4We also made sure not to forget to pick up some AA batteries.

Drive home, wrestle the machine out of the box, install the batteries (8, to be exact), pour in some bubble solution and press the ON button.bubble machine 5bubble machine 6bubble machine 7bubble machine 8bubble machine 9bubble machine 10

This is seriously the most amazing bubble maker I have EVER seen.

The whole time Happy Baby was running around saying over and over, “BUBBLES! YAYYYY! BUBBLES!”


Have a great weekend, sweet friends!

– Julie


Road Trip Tips

My mom has asked if I can drive the boys up to visit them in Georgia this summer.

But I can tell you confidently that 10+ hours in the car with my monkeys and no hubs (who would need to stay home for work) sounds like I’d rather wash 100 crock pots (which is not my favorite thing to do – haha).

Even if the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is my sweet mama.

However, I know there are so many of you other brave warriors out there who travel great distances in the summertime with children in tow and I need you to know that in my eyes Y’ALL ARE SUPERHEROES.

And I know you’ve probably got the whole road tripping thing down, but just in case there’s something here that inspires you, I made a small list of ideas to keep things fun instead of disastrous.road trip tips at happy home fairy

Also, I have an entire Pinterest board called Road Trip Tips that you can find HERE.

Annnnnd if any of you brave warriors happen to be driving from South Florida to Georgia this summer…  Can my boys and I hitch a ride? ;-)

What are YOUR best Road Trip Tips?

Happy Road Trip Tip-ing!

The BYOM Potluck Cookout (The Easiest Way to Entertain this Summer)

I am so excited to share one of my sweet friends from high school with you today!  She has some of the yummiest recipes and a lot of great tips for keeping things uncomplicated in the kitchen – but without sacrificing delicious flavor.  I love her heart and her posts make me laugh out loud.  The Lord encourages us to open our homes and to always be eager to practice hospitality (Romans 12:13), but sometimes I don’t open our home because, let’s face it, it takes a good chunk of cash to feed a crowd (not to mention I am not always eager to make the bathrooms less of a sanitation hazard company ready).  In today’s post, Bet brings us a simple way to be obedient to Him, enjoy fellowship with others, and be cost effective all at the same time.  I know you will love her!

the easiest way to entertain this summer!Hey there! I’m Bet from Bet On Dinner, and I’m so excited to be posting over here today! I knew Julie before she was the Fairy, and now I love using her ideas with my two girls. I love how very real she is about being a mom!

Julie and Bet in high schoolJulie and me our senior year of high school. I was using black and white film…to be artsy, I guess? But yep, film. #thingsthatmakeyoufeelold

When Julie invited me to share something, she was probably expecting a recipe, since that’s mostly what I do on my blog (plus meal planning, freezer-friendly meal ideas, and sorting through my childhood closet for my internet friends). But I’m here to talk about how to make having friends over for dinner INCREDIBLY easy!

So: we LOVE to have people over. Obviously, I like to cook (and I really, really like to eat), but it just makes me happy to have people we love sitting around our table.

But. Sometimes this love can cause me to be a tiny bit c.r.a.z.y. I take on one (or two or three) too many cooking projects. I’ve been known to exceed decimate the grocery budget. I get testy with my daughters who continue to need things while I’m getting the house ready (whyyy must they do that?). I use all of the dishes.

In other words: I still get the warm fuzzy feelings of having friends laughing in my kitchen, but I’m also exhausted.

Does anyone else do this? Here’s the antidote:

a BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) Potluck Cookout!

grillthe spread at a BYOM potluck cookout

As the host, your jobs are simple:

1. Invite some friends. A total of 6-10 people is a good size.

2. Ask them to bring some meat to throw on the grill and a side dish or dessert to share. (See? Potluck cookout!)

3. Make sure you have paper plates, something to drink, gas or charcoal for the grill, and your family’s meat for the grill.

4. Set out something to munch on while people are arriving and the meat is cooking. I recommend chips and salsa. (If you have a little voice in your head that says things like, “Hey! You could totally make the salsa!”, tell it to mind it’s own business.)

5. Set out yard games or bubbles, or spread out a blanket and toys for babies and kiddos.

ready for a BYOM potluck cookout
Ready to party!

And that’s it! With zero things to cook ahead of time, you’re not making a mess in your kitchen (and between the grill and paper plates, you’ll barely have any clean-up at the end). You’re free to hide your clutter in your bedroom straighten up, be kind to your children, enjoy your company, and then sit on the couch after they go home.

We did this for an early dinner a couple of weekends ago, and it was so fun and relaxing.

crazy hair at a BYOM potluck cookoutI even had time for one of my favorite pastimes: documenting this girl’s Cindy Lou Who fauxhawk.

Our friends brought roasted potatoes, watermelon, and brownies, and it was a perfectly beautiful day. And it was really nice not to be running around like a maniac before they arrived.

friends at a BYOM potluck cookoutSweet friends.

Bonus: this type of entertaining doesn’t break the bank and it’s possible to pull off last-minute. You could do it every week and not run out of hosting steam! I love removing barriers to getting people together.

Happy BYOM Potluck Cookout-ing!

(Psst! If you’re lucky enough to be invited to a par-tay like this, you could bring along some roasted sweet potatoes… or a chocolate chess pie.) :-)

My 2015 Summer Bucket List

MY 2015 SUMMER BUCKET LISTLast Saturday was my first official day of summer vacation and let me tell you something –


Without the impending doom of my alarm clock going off at 5 am on Monday, I may or may not have frolicked around the house on Saturday like a My Little Pony.

I was also incredibly productive.  I washed Happy Buddy’s sheets – something I am sure hasn’t been done since the school year began, I worked on a project for our church marriage ministry that I have been putting off, I made my own bed, cooked dinner (something else that hasn’t happened since the school year began – ha!), and stayed joyful all day!  If the rest of summer is going to be like this –


Do you remember my Summer Bucket List from last year?  That was so fun to write and even though I didn’t get everything done on the list, it was still helpful to have goals so that I didn’t just spend the entire vacation washing sheets.

Here’s what I am hoping to do this summer…

1.  FLOORS – The hubs and I took a Financial Peace class with Dave Ramsey earlier this year and we have decided that one of the things we would like to save up for is new flooring.  We have had the same carpet throughout our house for about 12 years now, so you can imagine what it must look like.  There is that spot where Happy Buddy colored on with red Sharpie, the multiple spots that encountered a potty training accident or stomach bug incident, paint drips, dirt, mud – you name it.  You could probably conduct a science experiment based on the amount of elements found hidden in the carpet fibers.  We are really hoping to replace the carpets once our budget allows.

2.  CHORE SMACKDOWN – Lately I have been having this growing concern that my boys’ lives are way too easy.  This is a breeding ground for whiny, ungrateful attitudes.  When it comes to chores, I have kind of slacked off on them because in all honesty, it is sometimes easier to just do them myself!  Plus there aren’t as many broken dishes – ha!  But I know that my boys need good, hard work to help them appreciate their many blessings, so this summer our home will be attending Chore Bootcamp.  HERE is a good list of chores according to age that I am using as a reference.

3.  NEW JERSEY – I grew up in New Jersey and I haven’t been to see my Oma since THIS POST a few years ago, so the other day the airlines were having a good deal and I jumped on it.  I can’t wait for my boys to hang out with my grandma again and get to see all my aunts and uncles and cousins.  One of my uncles even has a giant pet pig that lives in their house named Franklin Boaris.  You can imagine how much fun it will be to see him!!

4.  TEACH HAPPY BABY TO SWIM – Last year we made it our mission to teach Happy Buddy how to swim and I am proud to say he is now a PRO.  Happy Baby on the other hand has a long way to go.  We are especially uneasy being around water with him because of his muscle weakness, so having him trained will be such a relief!

5.  NEIGHBOR LOVE – We have had several new neighbors move into the houses on our little street and I regret to say that I have not been over to welcome them yet.  I am hoping to make THIS RECIPE and drop by to say hello.  I also want to do some fun surprises for our neighbors this summer like one neighbor just painted their house and it looks really nice.  I thought we could drop a note in their mailbox telling them so.

6.  SHUT-IN VISITS – With the world falling apart the way it is these days, it’s easy to retreat into our quiet, comfortable lives and forget that one of our main purposes as Christians is to reach out and be a small part of the solution.  I know I can’t solve world hunger or the ISIS situation or environmental disasters, but I can teach my kids to love and serve the poor and needy.  One practical way I would like to do this is take the boys to visit a few of the older members of our church’s congregation who haven’t been able to leave their homes due to illness and/or age.  It’s risky bringing 2 extremely energetic little buddies into that kind of setting, but I really think it will be good for the souls of everyone involved.  The hubs even mentioned tagging along with his guitar so we can sing some worship tunes.

7.  WORSHIP NIGHTS – Speaking of worship, the hubs is the worship pastor at our church and this summer he has visioned out a few nights where we gather in a warehouse setting with a bunch of friends and guitars and just sing to the Lord.  I cannot even express how excited I am about this.  Worship on Sundays is my favorite and sometimes I feel like we just can’t linger in the Lord’s presence the way I would like because of service scheduling and time constraints.  This is a night to linger.

8.  BLOG DREAMING – I have been writing for Happy Home Fairy for almost 6 years!  It is one of my favorite things to do and I dream about it being my full-time job one day.  The hubs and I have been talking about ways we can try to monetize the blog, but that would mean moving it to a self-hosted site and investing some $$$$ into construction and design.  It is a big decision and I have some fears about it (like y’all wouldn’t follow me if I moved and then the whole thing would crumble), but we are praying and seeking God about the next step.

9.  MOVE HAPPY BABY TO BIG BOY BED – Happy Baby is 3 now, so it’s time to get him out of his crib.  Plus, he is also finally potty-trained so when he has to go tinkle in the morning if I am not there first thing to help him out, he tends to not be able to hold it any longer and thus the reason we need new carpets.  Lol.

10.  WEAR A BATHING SUIT – I mentioned HERE that I am carrying some extra weight right now, but I am determined to not let that keep me from wearing a bathing suit this summer and actually getting in the pool and ocean with my kiddos.  I have missed out on a lot of fun because of my silly insecurities and don’t want to let that happen anymore.  Plus, if you read THIS INSPIRING POST, you will probably go put a swimsuit on right now and just wear it permanently for the rest of the summer.

What’s on YOUR Summer Bucket List?  I’d love to know!

And don’t forget – my FAVORITE SUMMER THINGS GIVEAWAY ends TOMORROW night at midnight, so if you haven’t entered yet, do it NOW by clicking HERE!

– Julie :-)

Favorite Summer Things Giveaway and Blog Hop

giveaway 3

We have been on summer break now for 3 whole days and it has been HEAVEN.  Well, except for the part where my kids have already destroyed the house in 456 different ways.

It’s going to be a lonnnng 2 months. :-)

Do you remember my Favorite Things Christmas Stocking Giveaway?  Well, today I am revealing another incredible giveaway that is just like that one – only the theme is SUMMER.

Check it out…

Favorite Summer Things Giveaway Collage

I’ve rounded up some of my hand-picked favorite summer goodies and are going to give them all to one VERY lucky winner.

That’s not the best part though – I’ve also partnered up with 11 other fabulous bloggers who are doing the same on their sites (see the links below), RIGHT NOW!

1. Thriving Home // 2. Happy Money Saver // 3. Happy Home Fairy // 4. Heavenly Homemakers // 5. Kitchen Stewardship // 6. Nourishing Joy // 7. The Nourishing Home // 8. Intoxicated on Life // 9. Tried and Tasty // 10. The Frugal Girl //11. Mommy Hates Cooking // 12. Stephanie Blue


    • Check out the giveaway collage above featuring all the beautiful bloggers I’ve partnered up with and their favorite summer things things.
    • Scroll on down to see the details for MY favorite summer things.
    • Enter to win in the giveaway below.
    • HOP to all the other sites and enter to win their favorite summer things!
    • Look around and enjoy the sites of these incredible bloggers.

Here is what I have put together for you…My Favorite Summer Thingsgiveaway 2giveaway 1

1. Amazing Bag from Target – I first saw this bag in a Target advertisement that I received in the mail.  They had me at the tassels.

2. Jar of a million Googly Eyes – There is no other craft supply I can think of that is more valuable to me than the googly eye.  Here are 14,000 of them to make your summer even more exciting.  You can even stick them on random things around the house to get everyone laughing.  Toothpaste tubes with eyes?  HILARIOUS.

3. Fit to Burst by Rachel Jancovic – One of my new favorite books for mommies.  I love this girl’s heart to make sure that mothers are equipped with encouragement to remember the JOY Christ gives us on the journey of motherhood.  A perfect beach read!

4. Sunscreen – A summer essential.  And the colors of the bottle conveniently matched everything else in my giveaway really nicely.

5. Inspirational Window Cling – Um, seriously?!  How cute is this?  Make it a summer service project one day to pick a friend (or stranger) and stick these as a surprise on his/her bathroom mirror or car window.

6. Summer Fruit-flavored EOS Lip Gloss – I just love these little EOS lip glosses.  The colors and shapes are so adorable.

7. Hair Ties – Summer is that time of year where I threaten to shave my head.  The heat and humidity turn my hair into something that looks something akin to the nest of a Sociable Weaver bird.  Which, if you don’t know what that looks like, click HERE.  I know.  I have one question for the Lord when I get to heaven and it involves me pointing to my hair and saying, “What exactly did you have in mind for this?”  Ponytail holders are a necessity to help tame the mane in June-August.

8. The Undoing by Steffany Gretzinger – Y’all.  This girl’s voice and songs are the real deal.  Track #8 is my THEME SONG right now.  It’s called “Steady Heart” and you can hear it on YouTube HERE.

9. Fruit and Nut Snack Mix – I love anything and everything that has an assortment of dried fruits and nuts in it.  This mix is one of my favorite combinations.  Throw in some white or dark chocolate chips and your tastebuds will thank me.

10. Necklace – I love big, chunky necklaces and this one just cried out summer.  I think it would be so pretty with a long, strapless maxi dress.

11. Sunglasses – When it comes to sunglasses, I say the bigger – the better.  This pair is quite similar to the pair I currently own that I am proud to say I have not lost yet and they have been in my possession for about 6 months now.  This is a small miracle.

12. Washi Tape – Perfect for adding extra pizazz to summer Pen Pal letters. :-)

13. Nail Polish – This bright coral color makes me happy and would look nice on the toes of someone who has her feet in the sand.

14. Chalk – This is like the quintessential summer item.  You can make a lot of fun happen with a small box of this stuff.

15. Giant Sticker Book – I bought this for my boys and then found half of the stickers all over Happy Baby’s bedroom walls the other day.  It kept them occupied for 45 minutes so I am not even mad about it.  If you need a quiet activity for your kids this summer I highly recommend pulling this out.  And then have a bottle of Googone ready.

16. Infinity Scarf – Pair this scarf with a tank and maxi skirt and go see a fun movie with your hubby one night this summer.  We are planning to hit the Minion movie in July.

Would you like to win this incredible bag?

GiveawayHere’s how to enter…


You will receive an email every time I make a new post (which is usually about 1-2 times a week.  Sometimes 3 times if I locked my kids outside with snacks that week).  Each post shares a quick craft, recipe, fun FREE Printable, or light-hearted reminder of Jesus’ grace and love for you on your mommy journey.  You won’t regret it!

2. SHARE, SHARE, SHARE! Share this giveaway on any of your favorite social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).


This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (apologies to my sweet international readers).  The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on Sunday, May 31 (EST).  A winner will be selected shortly after (meaning the next day as I probably will be in bed at 11:59 pm on June 7) and notified by e-mail.


More about the Bloggers

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 8.26.03 AM

Thriving Home

Friends and stay-at-home moms, Rachel and Polly, began Thriving Home in 2012 as a way to encourage and equip moms in several areas of home life. They share healthy kid-friendly recipes, evangelize about freezer cooking as well as documenting many other topics relating to running a home and family including a few spectacular parenting failures from time to time. Swing by to join in on their crazy journey through parenthood.


Tried and Tasty is a premium and well established recipe blog with a friendly, conversational writing style paired with magazine quality food photography. The recipes are typically very health conscious, with rich and decadent desserts occasionally included for good measure. has a loyal following of ‘foodies’ and is gaining new followers every day thanks to its recipes being featured on the websites of high profile magazines, news outlets, popular Facebook pages, Pinterest boards, and more.

logoHeavenly Homemakers

Laura Coppinger and her husband have four sons ages 10-17. is dedicated to inspiring women daily with healthy (and easy!) recipes, homemaking tips, spiritual encouragement, and good ol’ clean fun.

logoMommy Hates Cooking

Mommy Hates Cooking is a national cooking and lifestyle website that encourages families to take back the dinner table. Through her easy-to-prepare (yet looks like you spent all day in the kitchen) meals and her knack for breaking down meal planning, Kristy has become the busy-mom’s resource for the modern family.

Kitchen Stewardship Chalkboard Logo - BlackKitchen Stewardship

The mission of Kitchen Stewardship is to present healthy living in bite-sized baby steps, challenging people to make positive changes in their kitchens without being overwhelmed, and providing tools to balance a family’s health, budget, time and the environment. Katie Kimball and her team share family-friendly whole foods recipes, weekly challenges, and science-geek research on what’s healthy and what’s not.

logoNourishing Joy

Nourishing Joy is dedicated to real food and natural living. We’re on a mission to equip and inspire parents like you with the tools to make intentional, thoughtful decisions that work for YOUR family easy. Or at least easier.

happyhomefairy facebook pageHappy Home Fairy

Julie Brasington is the creator of Happy Home Fairy, a popular blog focusing on encouraging and equipping moms to choose joy on the parenting journey. She shares easy craft ideas, FREE printables, simple recipes, corny jokes, holiday fun, thoughts on raising her 2 boys, and honest, heartfelt messages to uplift the weary mama. bbb

Happy Money Saver

Happy Money Saver is a website that has a growing population of readers who are passionate about saving money, homesteading, gardening, cooking from scratch, freezer meals, DIY projects and embracing their dreams.

logo3Stephanie Blue

At Stephanie Blue, I blog about my passions: natural living and essential oils. My purpose is to bring hope to moms and help them discover ways to strengthen their families physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

frugal girlThe Frugal Girl

The Frugal Girl is all about living cheerfully (and well!) on less. Get recipes, DIY tips, painting ideas, photography tips, green living inspiration, and more from Kristen, a homeschooling mom of four.

IOL_Header_Design_no_taglineIntoxicated on Life

Intoxicated on Life is a resource for families who are looking to raise healthy families – body, mind, and soul. They cover a wide range of topics from healthy gluten-free recipes, to godly parenting, homeschooling resources, and more!

TNH Grab buttonThe Nourishing Home

The Nourishing Home provides family-friendly GF recipes, free weekly whole food meal plans, helpful cooking tips and techniques, and lots of encouragement to help you in your journey to live a more nourished life.

In the midst of your own houses getting wrecked by energetic and unbound little people enjoying summer, I hope that one of you will get to enjoy a little something these great giveaways have to offer!

Happy Summer! :-)

(And in case you are a regular reader and are wondering how I suddenly became an amazing photographer, my friend Ashley from 13:13 Photography helped me take these photos so I could impress everyone and get more followers.  Lol.  Thank you, sweet Ashley!)

5 Fun Photos To Take At The Beach

fun photos to take at the beach - such easy and adorable ideas

 Are you planning a trip to the beach this summer?

If so, then you MUST give one of these hilarious and super easy photo ideas a try.

fun photos to take at the beach 3Bury one child in the sand and then have another child bend over him for this funny headless kid illusion (via HERE).

6014187274_f5e5412fcd_oHave everyone bend over and draw a face in the sand where there shadow falls (via HERE).

fun photos to take at the beach 1Build a snowman and get your Christmas card photo taken care of in advance (via HERE).

fun photos to take at the beach 2

Having a family reunion soon?

Hit the dollar store for a billion beach balls and snap a photo of everyone playing with them (via the amazing Kristen Duke Photography).

fun photos to take at the beach 5And finally, this one (via HERE) is my fave.

Grab a beach bucket and head a short distance away from your subjects.

Hold the bucket in front of the camera, have your subjects act afraid, and SNAP.

It will get a ton of ‘likes’ on Facebook and Instagram – no doubt.

**But ‘likes’ don’t matter, right? **


It’s all in making that fun memory with your Happy Home.

Happy Fun Photo At the Beach-ing! :-)

*Check out fun and easy photo ideas using chalk HERE!*