Some of my best childhood memories are of our family traditions, especially the ones we made up on our own.  I always knew that when I had my own family, traditions would be a big part of our life.  Not only do traditions provide a sense of family unity, but they’re usually fun for everybody as well.  If you want

Gift ideas

As the old saying goes, “it is better to give than to receive.” As it turns out, there’s a reason that is an old saying; today, gift giving is stressful. It’s almost impossible to buy a gift without a million questions running through your head: “will she like it?”, “does he already have one?”, “will they use it?”, “am I

Holiday planning

Ahhh the holidays.  When did the most wonderful time of the year turn into the most stressful time of the year?  I try to plan ahead as much as possible and do holiday tasks around the year so that I can actually enjoy the special time.  Here are some ways to make it as stress free as possible.  Make sure

Sheets for house sitters and baby sitters

The other day I realized that one of the most chaotic times in my house is when a baby-sitter or house-sitter comes over.  This is supposed to be the most fun time because I’m getting out of the house, but it usually ends up being chaotic!  I usually keep texting the sitter to let her know that I had forgot

Monthly resolutions

I’m going to try something new this year for my New Year’s Resolution.  I can’t decide between eating healthier, saving money, giving back, and everything else that I should do all year long, so each month I’m going to devote myself to a different resolution.  At the end of each month I’m going to write about my experience with that

Preparing for house guests

As you all know, or at least as you’ve been able to gather by looking through my blog, I’m big on planning.  There are times when planning is less important, and times when it’s more important.  Trust me on this one: having house guests is a time when planning is absolutely essential.  I hope this post and the printable checklist

Finance System that Makes “Cents”

Creating a Finance System for Your Home The key to staying in control of your finances in your home is a plan.  The plan doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming – in fact, the simpler, the better.  The first thing to do is determine how much discretionary funding you have each month (to do this, use the printable below). 

Preparing for house sitters

It would be nice if all your responsibilities went on hold when you went out of town, but unfortunately they go on.  Pets and plants need to be cared for and your mail and newspapers need to come in.  As a frequent traveler, I have become very routine with my house sitter system.  Here it is! Finding a House Sitter

Preparing for baby sitters

I remember a day when my husband and I would make last minute plans to go out, and bam, we were out.  Now it takes a lot more planning with the kiddos.  Here’s a cheat sheet to make sure you have all your bases covered before getting out! Getting a Baby-Sitter Plan ahead: It’s much easier to get a baby-sitter

Event planning made easy

Planning and hosting events is supposed to be fun, but unfortunately it usually turns into more of a stressful headache than it’s worth.  I love entertaining and spending time with friends and family, so I set out to find a way to make it as easy and fun as possible.  You can use these ideas for planning casual events at

Exercising at home

Good news!  It’s very easy to fit in a great workout without having to drive back and forth from a gym or buy any equipment.  I created this list of exercises you can do at home, organized by type.  Mix and match these exercises however you’d like – my favorite is to start and end with yoga poses, and do

Family foundation

The Family Foundation is the first tab in our Family Notebook.  It serves as the foundation for how you want your family and household to function.  We have there sections within this tab: the Mission Statement, Family Rules, and Reward Charts. Mission Statement Just as corporations have mission statements that define their company, families can use mission statements to state

30 ways to bond with your children

In your children’s eyes, you can do no wrong.  Make the most of this stage by spending quality time with your little ones. Try one each day for a month to show those kiddos how special they are. Makeup a handshake – the sillier, the better!  Feel free to include shimmies, jumping, and spinning.  Next time they do something awesome,

Packing for travel with kids

Organized packing for vacations As a minimalist, I hate “stuff.”  By “stuff” I mean items that are unneeded, unloved, cause stress, take up space, and require maintenance.  Also, I don’t know about you, but I want to spend my vacation time on the beach, not digging through my suitcase.  Using minimalist thinking, I believe I have discovered a very efficient packing method. 


Master schedules

Well those drifter’s days are past me now, I’ve got so much more to think about: Deadlines and commitments, What to leave in, what to leave out. -Bob Seger That lyric is for my mom, but it perfectly sums up time management as a new mother.  That’s probably not the situation for which Bob Seger intended it, but it works,

Creating a family notebook

There are a handful of must haves in an organized house: the family notebook, family file, family calendar, and house message board. Everyone in the house should know where these are and how they work. In this post Ill talk about the Family Notebook because its the first organization tool I used as a new mother three years ago. The

Save time in the kitchen

One of the best ways to save time in your day is to simplify your cooking and meal routine. В Here are the best time-saving cooking tricks to make your life easier. Plan Meals Ahead of Time Planning ahead makes cooking much less stressful and chaotic. The trick is to find a meal planning strategy that works best for you. One

Traveling with kids

My daughter flew twenty-six times, including internationally, before she turned three years old – true story.  We don’t plan on slowing down any time soon, so needless to say, I have mastered the art of traveling with children.  As usual, you can find a printable at the end of this post: a traveling to-do list. Preparation There are certain items

The most efficient grocery shopping ever

I remember when my friend with two-year old twin girls told me that she had only gone grocery shopping with both of her daughters four times.  I thought, “grocery shopping with two kids  – how hard can that be?”.  Then I had two kids – turns out it is hard to bring them both to the store.  I realized I

Cleaning for people who hate to clean

You might be thinking, “who in their right mind would want to spend time writing about cleaning?”  Well, the truth is that I’m pretty proud of all the tricks I have gained that decrease the time it takes to clean and buy me time in between cleaning.  I almost feel as though my house cleans itself!  Almost. If you dread cleaning, but

Link love thursday 23

Hi everybody!  As you’ve noticed I took a blogging hiatus over the past couple of weeks.  I was doing a lot of traveling and keeping busy with all kinds of fun events.  When I started opening up this blog party, I was really excited to be “back at it.”  I loved looking through the links from the last party, and

Link love thursday 22

Oh no! You may have noticed last week that my InLinkz was not working for my link party. So, I did not get to see your links. Link. Party. Fail. Anyway, here are the features again from the previous link party: Living Well Spending Less: Sugar Crusted Blueberry Cake with Sour Cream Glaze Thread Riding Hood: Sew Much Ado Diaper

Guest post the pros and cons of corrective eye surgery

Today I’m happy to have a guest poster!  This is a guest post by Samantha, a freelance writer and health expert. She also loves reading and blogging. The new thing in the world of eye health is eye surgery that can restore your vision to a perfect 20/20. For individuals who have worn glasses for decades, this can seem like

Link love thursday 20

Welcome to Link Love Thursday!  I’m so glad you joined this week!  If this is your first time, please grab a button from my Link Parties page. First, here are the features from last week: Living Well Spending Less: Chalkboard Canvas Wall Art DIY Coconut Head Survival Guide: Patriotic Food Made in a Day: Jute Rope Mirror Ballard Inspired Home

Link love thursday 19

Thanks for coming back to Link Love Thursday!  Or, if it’s your first time – thanks for joining!  As usual, there were some completely awesome links posted last week.  I love looking through all of them – you all are so creative! Here are the features from last week: Pursuit of Functional Home: Roti Prata with Cheese and Chocolate Enchanting

Link love thursday 18

Welcome back to Link Love Thursday!  Thank you for being patient during my hiatus.  This upcoming week, look for a continuation of the Make it Yourself series, and remodel reveals.  I’m so excited about these! Here are the features from last week.  As always – such talent and creativity! Pint Sized Treasures: No Bake Oreo Cheesecake Bites Hoyby Crafts: Chalkboard

An update for the week

Hi everybody!  I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I will not be having my weekly link party today.  I have a conference this week, and I’ll be out of town next week (although I do plan on still having the link party next week, and will have features from last week’s party).  I do have some upcoming posts that I’m

Link love thursday 17

Hi, friends!  Welcome back to Link Love Thursday!  Thank you so much for joining and linking up.  If this is your first time at the party, here is some background: you can grab a button from my Link Parties page.  Feel free to link up anything that you’re proud of – recipes, crafts, parties, articles – you get the idea. 

Link love thursday 16

Welcome back to Link Love Thursday! First, I have some exciting news!  I’m working on a series of how to make your own organic homemade products, such as hygiene and cleaning products.  I’ve been doing a lot of research and experimenting, which is why I didn’t get a chance to post at all this week!  I’d rather not post anything

Link love thursday 15

Welcome to another Link Love Thursday!! First, the announcements: as many of you know, I am working on a book about children’s acts of kindness.  A part of this book will include true stories and examples.  If you personally know a child and would like an excerpt of him or her to be included in the book, please let me

Link love thursday 14

Hello, friends!  Welcome to another Link Love Thursday!  I’m excited for this one because I have an awesome giveaway.  This week I teamed up with Mother’s Niche to offer 5 of these adorable quiet books (below).  I have seen them both in their entirety, and they are just wonderful!  Each book has cute little quiet activities for children to complete –

Link love thursday 13

Hello, friends!  Welcome back to Link Love Thursday.  First, here are the features from last week.  If you didn’t join, please check out all of the links – we’ve got some pretty creative people around here! Brent and Rachel Easley: Washi Tape & Chalkboard Paint Easter Eggs What’s Cooking with Ruthie: Spring Rice Krispie Nests With a Blast: Budget Friendly

Link love thursday 12

Hello!  Thanks for joining again, or for the first time, on Link Love Thursday! First – I promise, I’m joining link parties again this week – starting tomorrow (Thursday).  Now I finally have some new posts to link up.  I’ve received a lot of invites to link parties over the last few weeks and haven’t been able to join yet,

Guest post and upcoming post

Hello!  Today I have a guest post over at Kreative Creationz!  You can check it out here: Weigh in Wednesday Week 3 Guest Post.  This site is run by Kendra – she has a lot of great ideas for recipes, crafts and how-tos.  Each week she has a Weigh in Wednesday post where you can follow and join her health

Link love thursday 11

Welcome back to Link Love Thursday!  First – YIKES – I have only had one blog post this past week.  I’ve also been slacking big time on joining other link parties.  I’ve been focusing on finishing my two books, working on some big family developments, and for some reason a lot of my loved ones are going through hard times

Link love thursday 24

Thank you for joining my weekly link party, Link Love Thursday!  First, for the features from last week: Craft Thyme: Faux Sea Glass Tutorial Krysta Steen: Cowboy Caviar Life with the Crust Off: Pop-Tart Ice Cream Sandwiches I can’t wait to see all of your great creations!  If this is your first time, welcome!  Feel to link up crafts, recipes,

Link love thursday 21

Thanks for visiting my weekly link party!  First, for the features from my last party: Made in a Day: DIY Cabana Striped Nautical Rug My Recipe Magic: Watermelon Slice Cookies The Koenigs Create: Sewing Cabinet Makeover This Silly Girls Life: Loaded Potato Skins The TipToe Fairy: Peach Lemonade I can’t wait to see what you all have to link up

Link love thursday 10

Welcome back to Link Love Thursday!  I’m glad you joined and can’t wait to see all the great ideas from this past week. First, a quick update.  A lot of the bloggers that I connect with are beginners (like me!).  Over the past couple of weeks I have started working with a marketing company that is interested in advertising opportunities

link love thursday 9

Welcome back to Link Love Thursday – my favorite day!  There are always great links posted – I can’t wait to see all of them. First, I have a quick announcement.  I’m going to have 3 small giveaways on Facebook tomorrow (I like to do these frequently), so if you like free stuff, be sure to like my Facebook page

Link love thursday 8

It’s time for my favorite day of the week again: Link Love Thursday!!  Please link up anything you’ve created this week that you’d like to show off.  You can also grab a button under my Link Parties page. If you missed my announcement last week, I have an ebook coming out soon about teaching kids kindness.  If you have any ideas that