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Shop Smart: 7 Simple Ways to Spend Less Money This Holiday Season

Shop Smart: 7 Simple Ways to Spend Less Money This Holiday Season

Whether you’re happily frugal or just on a tight budget, below are seven tips to help you save money this holiday season. Parents need to stick together and SHOP SMART. The holidays can be a tricky time to of year to stay financially responsible. It is so easy to get swept away by the magic […]

10 Must-Read Adult Fiction Books

Posted by in Book Lists
10 Must-Read Adult Fiction Books

Enjoy this list of 10 Must-Read Fiction Books from my favorite book junkie Jen! Every night my husband and I read with our two daughters. Every. Single. Night. We focus on the importance of reading with our kids. I used to LOVE to read, then college happened. My college experience was NON-STOP reading. By the […]

Kick-Ass Gift for Your Tech Lover: Machine Washable Hoodie With Built-in Headphones

Posted by in Gift Guides, Top Picks
Kick-Ass Gift for Your Tech Lover: Machine Washable Hoodie With Built-in Headphones

Is your spouse or son constantly plugged-in? This is the perfect gift for him. Earlier this year, I picked up a Hoodie Buddy for my husband on the clearance site zulily. Basically, it is a comfy (and washable) hoodie that has built-in headphones. HOW IT WORKS This is some seriously cool stuff… What is this […]

Positive Parenting Tips: Walkin’ in Pete’s Shoes

Positive Parenting Tips: Walkin’ in Pete’s Shoes

This simple Pete the Cat tip transformed a toddler meltdown into a bonding experience. Positive parenting tips based on the Pete the Cat Series: Pete’s New Shoes and Pete Goes to School by Eric Litwin. Pete the Cat is a mellow guy. He wears his favorite shoes on an adventure. Along the way though, he […]

How to Take Holiday Card Photos: 7 Tips for Moms Behind the Camera

How to Take Holiday Card Photos: 7 Tips for Moms Behind the Camera

You say, “Cheese!” and your kids stare straight lipped. You yell, they cry. Get the money shot this year without the drama. Getting that perfect holiday shot can be challenging without the right “tools” in your pocket. I am here to share some of the tips I’ve learned from personal experience and from being friends […]

Cranberry Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting: A Sweet, But *Not Too Sweet* Holiday Dessert

Cranberry Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting: A  Sweet, But *Not Too Sweet* Holiday Dessert

Got fresh cranberries? This is one of my favorite holiday dessert recipes. It is sweet, but not too sweet. This is a “secret” family recipe. Shhhhhh. Don’t tell I shared it with you. Get the full recipe below along with 5 other fresh-cranberry recipes to try this year! It seems wrong to keep this deliciousness […]

O Tannenbaum! 10 Christmas Tree Crafts for Kids

O Tannenbaum! 10 Christmas Tree Crafts for Kids

The record scratches slightly as my grandmother adjusts the needle to the song. The music begins and she gently sits on the couch next to the Christmas tree. Fiercely proud to be an American citizen, she rarely speaks German unless relatives are visiting from abroad. Yet, when the tune begins she belts out the lyrics […]

Hair Brushing Battle With Kids: Don’t Get Tangled Up in Knots

Hair Brushing Battle With Kids: Don’t Get Tangled Up in Knots

Owwww. Ouch. You’re hurting me. Then come the tears. The drama. The pulling away. Brushing hair can be a dreadful morning task. Can I share a little secret with you? A simple solution to this hair bushing battle? My daughter has been blessed with beautiful curly thick hair. It is truly gorgeous, but also has […]

Teaching gratitude to KIDS: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give.

Teaching gratitude to KIDS: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give.

Help your children experience that larger kind of gratitude with these simple activities. The holiday season is just hiding around the corner. I want my girls to truly understand that there are… Two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give. ― […]

The Next 7 Must-Read Fiction Books On My List

Posted by in Book Lists
The Next 7 Must-Read Fiction Books On My List

Here are the last five books I read… Here are the next few titles that have caught my eye. Have you read any of them? 1. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline Read Full Book Description Amazon customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars 2. Leaving Time: A Novel by Jodi Picoult Read Full Book […]

Awesome Handmade Presents: 10+ DIY Holiday Gifts Kids Can Help Make

Awesome Handmade Presents: 10+ DIY Holiday Gifts Kids Can Help Make

The holiday season is just hiding around the corner. My kids love to MAKE gifts. This is a desire I want to continue to encourage as my girls get older. I want them to learn… “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa That being said, […]

Fall Planting: 10 Beautiful Varieties of Allium That Will Thrive in the Midwest

Fall Planting: 10 Beautiful Varieties of Allium That Will Thrive in the Midwest

  Winter is coming. Eddard Stark would urge you to plant bulbs this weekend. Winter days are long and dark, my friends. Plant bulbs now and enjoy the beautiful bounty this spring. Today I am honored to have my good friend Phil Friso-Reinke talk about ten beautiful varieties of allium that will thrive in the […]

The Joy of “Chaos Gardening”

The Joy of “Chaos Gardening”

If you get flower garden burnout mid-summer, this zen approach to creating a beautiful oasis is for you. Thank you to my good friend Phil Friso-Reinke for sharing photos and inspiration from his personal “chaos garden” with us today. Be sure to check out the playful gardeners’ gift guide I’ve created at the end of […]

Stop Dreaming: How To Travel Often Regardless of Your Financial Status

Stop Dreaming: How To Travel Often Regardless of Your Financial Status

3 Kids, 5 Passports, 50 States + 13 Countries. Check out their inspiring family story… I am a family travel blogger because I love my family and I love to travel. I started my blog because I truly believe that… It is possible for anyone who desires to travel with their family regardless of their […]

Wrap, Gift, Repeat: 5 Tips for Painless Gift Giving

Wrap, Gift, Repeat: 5 Tips for Painless Gift Giving

Be prepared for that “Oh Shoot, I Need a Kid’s Birthday Gift Now” moment… Do you have birthday party burnout? Now don’t get me wrong, everybody loves to celebrate, but when our girls started elementary school it seemed like we had birthday parties scheduled every other weekend. Running errands and fitting in a gift buying […]

Encouraging Curiosity: 10 Playful Science Experiments for Kids

Encouraging Curiosity: 10 Playful Science Experiments for Kids

Children have an inherent sense of wonder. Keep that passion for learning alive with science. Below is a collection of ten science experiments for kids to inspire you to playfully learn with your child. Glow in the Dark Slime – Playdough to Plato BORAX FREE glow in the dark slime. Serious wow factor and it’s […]

8 Tips for Getting Photos Off of Your Cameras and Into Your Home

8 Tips for Getting Photos Off of Your Cameras and Into Your Home

Today we are honored to have our affiliate partner Beryl Ayn Young, the creator of the photography eCourse Embrace. Registration is currently open for this FREE 2-week mini-class beginning Oct 20th! Save your spot. Get all the details below. It all started last year. I admitted to a long time friend and mentor that, four […]

Morning Realization: The Tao of Dog Poop

Posted by in Taking Care of Mom
Morning Realization: The Tao of Dog Poop

I’ve been taking either a morning walk, hike, or run this fall. Today I realized that… When I walk or run, I have a tendency to focus on the path. Next time you’re out exercising, make a mental note of where you tend to focus. I am constantly looking for uneven cement, dog poop, or […]

4 Powerful Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes That Changed the Way I Think

Posted by in Creative Projects
4 Powerful Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes That Changed the Way I Think

Print and hang an Eleanor Roosevelt quote by your computer this week for inspiration! Eleanor Roosevelt’s birthday is this week (October 11, 1884). I’ve always been inspired by her and to honor this special day, I’d like to share a few free printable quotes with you. Click the images below to get a free printer-friendly […]

Pumpkin Mania: Frosted Pumpkin Bars We Simply Devoured

Posted by in The Family Kitchen
Pumpkin Mania: Frosted Pumpkin Bars We Simply Devoured

These super-moist pumpkin bars topped with a thick layer of frosting are the perfect fall dessert. Growing up, my mom had a friend who would make frosted pumpkin bars every fall. Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of recipes to attempt to replicate this delicious childhood treat. This autumn, we’ve got a pumpkin recipe […]

Healthy Halloween Snack for Kids: Candy Corn Fruit Cups

Healthy Halloween Snack for Kids: Candy Corn Fruit Cups

This simple Halloween fruit snack is a playful alternative to candy this fall. Ok, ok. So maybe this little treat shouldn’t technically be classified as “healthy.” I mean, it does have whipped cream on top. But if we compare it to the corn syrup, pure sugar, classic candy…. well you can see where I’m coming […]

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