disclosure: this post is sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart.

Can I share the most amazing thing I’ve discovered?

For me?

It’s kind of groundbreaking.

Ever since I’ve been on this weight loss journey, I’m learning new things and practicing new habits and making new discoveries.

And one of the most incredible to me?


The intentionality of living in the moment. The purpose and the decision to make every single moment count. In the past, there have been are so many amazing things that I missed every single day because I was rushing and hustling and running from moment to moment and meal to meal.

And then? At the end of the day, I’d sit back and wonder where the minutes (and the food) went.

But now? 

Now I’m taking joy in the smallest, tiniest little things. Like the first sip of coffee in the morning or the taste of water flavored with cucumber and the deliciousness of fresh fruit salad made from farmer’s market fruit. I want to take it all in. I want to squeeze every second out of every minute.

I want to celebrate.

And I want to bring you with me on vacation at the beach. This week I’m so happy and excited to be joining my sweet friend Leslie from My 100-Year-old Home to turn ordinary meals into extraordinary celebrations.

Nothing too fancy. Nothing too overwhelming. Just making the everyday something special.

And today we are starting with the back porch.

This is the view from my family’s beach house on Cape Cod.

It never gets old.


The house sits up on a hill overlooking the beach and there’s a set of stone steps you walk down and a winding path that takes you to a beach surrounded by jetties.

There’s a stone fireplace at the end of a deck with a Texas flag that blows in the wind every summer.

The sun rises in the morning with coffee and you can hear the waves on the shore in the evening.

And yesterday?

This is where we set up our lunch.

A mini celebration of the first beach day at the Cape.

We made cucumber water (my new favorite thing) in the cutest water dispenser. It has a rope handle and the cutest spigot and a wider opening at the top that makes it easy to add water and cucumbers.

See what I mean?

Something as ordinary as water turned into something special.

We cut flowers from the yard and put them in a vase.

And tossed this beautiful tablecloth on the table and added this jute runner from the inside dining room and this cute embroidered pillow for only $15 (I’m getting another one I love this one so much).

We filled a galvanized tub with the yummiest sparkling water and added these blue checked kitchen towels to prevent drips and added extra ice to this antique ice bucket for the cucumber water.

My aunt brought her famous crab dip with crackers that’s on this white melamine pedestal.

We put together this tray with all the twins’ favorites—-nuts and raisins and grapes and animal crackers and goldfish.

This is my new favorite serving tray.

It’s so versatile, it has five mini plates that sit on a larger wooden tray. You could add appetizers to the larger white plate and use the other smaller plates to serve on, too.

You can see it here.

Fresh cut watermelon on this beautiful wooden tray with gold handles.

And salad in this acacia wood bowl and chips in this acacia wood serving platter and drinks in this white pitcher.

And peanut butter and fluff sandwiches and ham and cheese sandwiches layered in these antique farmhouse trays.

We added extra water bottles (for those of us who didn’t want cucumber water) in these farmhouse bins and these placemats doubled as seat pads for outside.

They are SO AFFORDABLE and so pretty.

You can see them here.

These white melamine plates and these plastic tumblers are perfect for eating outside.

Just an ordinary afternoon.

Just an ordinary day.

But the intentional celebration? And the view? And the family and friends (and the cucumber water)?

Made it absolutely, positively, wonderfully….


PS And now be sure and stop by my friend Leslie’s house.

She’s put together the cutest table on her back porch for family and friends.

I am so happy and honored to be part of the BHG Live Better Influencer Network at Walmart.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Affiliate links are also used on this post.

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  1. Image for Kathy Kathy

    What a view! What a peaceful post! You are teaching your family an important lesson, to live each day to the fullest. (I also think the first bite or sip is the best one.) You look amazing and I know you feel that way as well. Enjoy your vacation! (I could stand to see more photos of the trip!!!)

  2. Image for JC JC

    What a beautiful vacation haven! Your meal looks delightfully relaxing and pretty. I love the versatile appetizer tray. I just may be ordering that. :). Try adding mint to your cucumber water. It makes it even yummier. Yesterday I made strawberry and basil water... also delicious! My usual saying to my family is, "Every day is a gift." Life is a celebration! I'm glad you are soaking in the moments :). Happy vacationing!

  3. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    You made me hungry, love that table setting and beautiful view. Have a great vacation with your family.

  4. Image for Deana Brannan Deana Brannan

    What a beautiful view!! Have you ever read Living A Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard? Its theme is making everyday beautiful for you (and your family). We tend to do all the "extras" when we have company, but Alexandra tells us to not short change ourselves; enjoy each moment and lovely thing.

  5. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    What a perfectly splendid way to celebrate with your family. I love love love Cape Cod. Hope you've gone to the pier and picked up some fresh lobsters!!!! What a beautiful view. I am so happy for y'all. ♥

  6. Image for Jan McKenzie Jan McKenzie

    Hi Karianne: Have a great time at the beach, my favorite place in the world. I had to tell you thanks so much for the tip on the Sojos sunglasses. I ordered them from the "What I bought Wednesday" link and they are now my new favs. I love, love, love them! I also love the What I bought Wed. feature, it's like going shopping with you, thanks so much for putting that together. Keep it going please! Happy Summer, Jan

  7. Image for Peg Peg

    "If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air, quaint little villages here and there, you're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod!" I'm happy you're in my home state!! Happy Summer Karianne!!! xoxo

  8. Image for Calypso in the Country Calypso in the Country

    What a pretty setup with such a lovely view. A great reminder to enjoy every moment too. Have a wonderful vacation! Shelley

  9. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    How blessed you are to be able to share in such a beautiful place! Sooo lovely! May you all enjoy every second and be refreshed in body, soul, and spirit. 😀❤

  10. Image for Pam Pam

    The views are just beautiful! I would think anything would taste even more delicious as you look out over those beautiful views! It took me several tries to find those gorgeous pillows you highlighted. I finally located 2 at a Walmart near us in a small town. Thank you for sharing your beautiful ideas!

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