7 May Stress Busters

Happy May to one and all! Not only does the arrival of a new month have us looking at what’s in store in the weeks ahead, but here on my blog it signals it’s time for the next installment in my year-long Stress Busters blog series. Fingers crossed that you look forward to each one!

Since I started sharing the stress busters last September—and with the way time is flying—it won’t be long until I’ve completed the full set of month-appropriate stress busters. I so hope they have blessed you.

The month of May is often second only to December in its busy factor so I pray the following May stress busters will provide the refreshment you may need. Here’s to making it through May with interludes of peace and joy in the midst of the end-of-the-school-year dashing to and fro. Be blessed my friends!

May Stress Busters

  1. Since April showers bring May flowers, soak up the beauty and fragrance of flowers at least one day this month. Go for a walk through a flower garden or a park that features a generous display of flowers. Or if you have the chance, visit a botanical garden. Let the amazing and delicate wonder of flowers refresh your spirit.
  2. In spite of the extremely busy schedule you may have this month, take time each day to be with God. Whether looking up to the heavens or kneeling before him, spend moments in praise and worship. Talk to him, telling him all of your concerns. Hear his voice as you read his Word. Commune with the Father and let him fill you with peace and joy.
  3. If your mother is still with you, treat yourself (and her!) to a visit or a nice long phone call or FaceTime session at some point around Mother’s Day. Mothers are often our best encouragers so let her love, support, and encouragement minister to your soul. If this isn’t possible with your mom for some reason, do it with another one of the great encouragers in your life.
  4. Be intentional about taking rest. Schedule it on the calendar if necessary. It may mean leaving Saturday mornings open so you can sleep in. Or you may need to say no to Sunday afternoon commitments so you can luxuriate in the all-important Sunday afternoon nap. For others, it may be blocking off time to relax with a good book or a round of golf. Whatever form it takes, provide yourself with respites of rest.
  5. Join in the celebrations of May (end of school year, graduations, weddings, etc.) or create one of your own. Not only accept that invitation to a party, but decide to celebrate something—no matter how big or small—that’s going on in your own life. Let celebrations provide joy in the midst of the pressures of life.
  6. Like December, May is another good month to opt for simple meals. Take a few hours early in the month one day and prepare some freezer meals or go outside and grill up a variety of meat to keep handy in the freezer. For other days, plan to fix your easiest meals or take advantage of your favorite take-out places. Ease your stress with no hassle meal prep this month.
  7. With Memorial Day in mind, spend some time writing down or recording on video some of your favorite memories and stories of loved ones who have passed. Our memories savored internally are wonderful, but wouldn’t it be great to have some of them recorded for yourself and others? Don’t make this harder than it is—relax and let your memories spill out of a heart of love. This interlude from present day demands will be good for your soul. 

May these stress-busting ideas help you relax and refresh during the whirlwind otherwise known as May. Blessings to you, my friends!

“‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” Mark 6:31 NIV

*Which of these stress busters would you like to try this month?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out this week. One lucky subscriber will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) p.s. It is too late to get in on this issue’s giveaway, but if you subscribe, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo — featuring my darling grandson Isaiah :)

Wedding Flowers: Baby’s Breath Boutonnieres

Mother of the Bride, have you started talking wedding flowers with your girl yet? If not, don’t put it off too long because lots of decisions await concerning the flowers. Altar flowers, reception flowers, bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages all around, flower girl petals, etc. The list goes on.

Today let’s focus on a simple and inexpensive boutonniere idea—baby’s breath! The number of boutonnieres needed can add up quickly so expense might be a very important factor in deciding what flowers to go with. Baby’s breath is inexpensive but looks very classy, as you can see from the photo above.

Baby’s breath is an idea that can work for all the men and boys in the wedding party, unless the bride and groom would like to have something slightly different for the groom. It’s always a nice touch to have something special for him. After all, he’s one of the two main stars on wedding day!

Why not check with your happy couple, MOB, and see if baby’s breath boutonnieres will strike their wedding flower fancy. Classy and inexpensive is always a good choice, right?!

*You might also like to read Bridal Bouquet and Boutonniere Sheet Music Idea, Table Decor for Rustic Weddings, and Inexpensive Bridal Bouquet Idea: Baby’s Breath!

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by domwlive, Creative Commons License

Spring Wedding Cake: Cherry Blossoms

Mother of the Bride, is a spring wedding in the works at your house? If so, the wedding may be coming up within the next couple of months or perhaps you’re in the very beginning stages of wedding planning with the date set sometime for next spring. Whatever the case, I’m sure spring colors and spring ideas are springing to mind right and left. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun!)

If one of your daughter’s colors is pink, today’s spring wedding cake idea—cherry blossoms—might be something she’d love to include in her big day. Nothing says spring like cherry blossoms, right? Delicate and beautiful. Pastel perfection.

The photo above is just one example of how cherry blossoms might be incorporated into a wedding cake. You might want to look for other examples, too, and then show them all to your daughter at the same time. She’ll appreciate having several options to consider.

MOB, I hope this is an idea that will work for your sweet girl. If so, time to find your baker and arrange for a tasting. That’s when things really get fun!

*You might also like to read Wedding Cake Roundup

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out in early February. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by Jamie Anderson, Creative Commons License

Wedding Centerpiece With a Rustic Flair

Mother of the Bride, is your sweet girl wanting to add a hint of rustic-yet-elegant to her wedding? It’s certainly possible to feature some rustic touches without going full-on rustic in every aspect of the wedding. It helps that many rustic wedding décor ideas lean closer to the feminine and elegant side than to the down-home country vibe that many couples really love.

One way to add a beautiful rustic touch is with a centerpiece that says rustic and romantic all at once. The centerpiece pictured above is a perfect example. Just look—you’ve got jars and burlap, but you’ve also got lace and delicate flowers. And what do you end up with? A centerpiece that exudes romance and beauty but also casual simplicity.

Also, consider the elements that make this centerpiece work so beautifully—the odd number (three jars) used, the various heights used as well as various shapes of the jars, the base that ties in to the theme, and the colors that work so well together. All of these things work together to make such a pretty centerpiece.

So MOB, why not show this centerpiece to your daughter and see if it (or something similar) would help her add that hint of rustic that she’d like to include in her Big Day festivities. She may love it—and you’d get to check one more thing off your list! Fingers crossed for you, MOB!

*You might also like to read Rustic Wedding ResourceRustic Wedding Ideas: Boot Bouquets, and Cake Idea for the Rustic Wedding.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photo by Stephtphotography

Table Décor Finishing Touch: Fresh Rose Petals

Mother of the Bride, here’s a quick decorating tip for your daughter’s big day—ask your florist to sprinkle fresh rose petals on all the tables at the reception. Guest tables, cake tables, photo tables, buffet tables. They look beautiful everywhere. All it takes is a few scattered here and there.

Fresh rose petals add the perfect finishing touch—a splash of color and oh so delicate. They might even provide a whiff of fragrance. Plus the lush look of fresh rose petals just can’t be duplicated with the silk variety.

At our daughter Kristin’s wedding, it was actually our cake baker and not our florist who added the final cake decoration of fresh roses and then surprised us by scattering petals from some of the same roses on all the tables. Not only was it gorgeous, but it helped tie all the décor together by incorporating the flowers from the cake. Thanks so much to Emeline from Grandeur Affaires: Nibbles Café in Tulsa, OK for adding so much to the overall beauty of the reception.

So check with your daughter, MOB, and see if she might want to add this delicate final touch to the tables at her wedding. Tell her I highly recommend it! :)

*You might also like to read Wedding Table Décor: Add Pizzazz with Confetti, Table Décor for Rustic Weddings, and Bride’s and Bridesmaids’ Bouquets as Cake Table Décor.

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Since the readership here on my blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post from October 2013 helped you today!

*Photo by Chris Humphrey