Handmade Gift Ideas for Kids and Toddlers

This past weekend was so exciting for the kids and I. We had our one-on-one meetings to discuss and plan their Christmas gifts to each other. And I’ve got to say, I was impressed! Because we decided to step away from the commercial Christmas and go handmade instead (you can read more about that here) I was curious to see just what their kid brains would come up with as ideas for gifting to one another. I wasn’t too positive that I wouldn’t hear something like “a can of beans” from one of them. As it turned out, the can of beans kid shocked the pants off me! They were more than excited to be making something to lovingly give the other…

Why We Decided to Cancel Christmas

Christmas is, by far, my favorite time of year. There is something magical about it all. The hustle and bustle of the crowds as they shop, the music, the Hallmark card scenes played out with horse-drawn sleds prancing in the snow and the glistening lights throughout town fill my soul with a happiness I can’t describe. It is truly a time of joyous celebration and one I look forward to each and every year. Two years ago, we stepped away from the tradition of overloading our kids on presents and went to the 4 Things approach: something they WANT, something they NEED, something to WEAR, something to READ. Each of our children received those four gifts, along with a gift on Christmas Eve where each gets a pair of pajamas, and as a group they get a new kid-friendly movie (that we pick up at our local Family Video at a fraction of the cost!). We loved scaling back for a number of reasons, but this year I wanted to take it even further. This year, we decided to cancel Christmas…

Finding Contentment from a Peg Board

For some reason, all the trials and tribulations we’ve been through these past two years are things we’ve been afraid to share. We’ve felt embarrassed, ashamed, and even inadequate. But the truth is, we have no reason to feel that way. I’ve started and stopped this post many times. I’ve felt the need to be honest, but then I’ve felt the need to keep quiet. I’ve worried that by saying something it would make people think less of us or see us in a different light. And then I realized that it’s not us that created this situation. It’s us that fought through it to do the right thing. And it’s us that have been working tirelessly to make sure we get through this. We haven’t sat idly by and watched as our world sank. We have straddled ourselves and our situation to buoys and life jackets and done everything we can to stay afloat. And that is nothing to be ashamed of…

How To Make Pinwheels – The Perfect Dish For Any Party!

The holidays are right around the corner (literally! Hello?! Is anyone else besides me freaking out that Thanksgiving is already next week?!) and that means you’ll more than likely be attending, or even hosting, a gathering. And what’s a gathering without delicious food to consume while you mingle and enjoy the company of others? The big question when it comes to a gathering of any kind where you’re to bring food is this: What should I bring? You want something that’s going to be a crowd-pleaser, something that doesn’t break the bank, and something that’s easy to make, right? Well, I’ve got just the recipe for you, and it fits all the criteria…

How To Save Loads of Money on Fresh Produce

The rising prices of food are affecting people far and wide. I hear so many times from people that are frustrated and fed up with not being able to get their hands on fresh foods and instead have to rely on processed canned foods because that’s all they can afford. It is a growing problem and one we’ve faced in our own home…

The BEST and EASIEST Burp Cloths EVER – with Tutorial

This past weekend I had a baby shower to attend for a cousin of mine and her first sweet baby girl she will be welcoming into this world shortly. When it comes to baby showers, I’m normally the giver of the “practical” gifts. You know, butt paste, diapers, grooming kits, shampoo, etc. Generally speaking, I know the mother-to-be will be loaded down with more clothes than she can handle, so I try to give something that will get some good use and be of help to the parents. Well, not this time! I was dying to make something and step away from my typical gifts of practicality. When I was pregnant with our third child, I had been gifted a set of handmade burp cloths. I was skeptical at first. I had used the Gerber pre-fold diapers for burp cloths with my other two children, and they had worked fine. But, once I used the handmade ones I’d received, I didn’t want anything else! They are SUPER absorbent, I don’t have to worry about it leaking through to my clothes, I can personalize them with fabric of my choice, and they really are the perfect size! Because of how much I loved mine, I decided to make some for my cousin’s baby shower. There. Practical AND cute! Win/win! And now, I’ll show YOU how you can make your own. It’s so easy and pretty darned inexpensive…

Finding Direction In Being A Money Making Mom

It is phenomenal and incredibly exciting when I get to sit front and center and see what God is doing and the changes He is implementing in my life as they are happening. Often times we don’t see through our own clouded minds the things He has planned for us. We have to wait until the fog clears to look back and see what all has taken place. But, every so often, we get to catch a glimpse of the Master’s work in progress. And let me tell you, those glimpses are worth so much more than we could ever imagine. They give us hope, they see us through the stressful and frustrating times, and they give us purpose and drive to see the circumstances through, all because we know He is in control…

When Did Parties Turn Into A Chance to Give the Guests Gifts?

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, the standard when it came to any kind of party was that you were there to celebrate the one the party was being held for. After all, it was their “hour” so-to-speak. If it was a baby shower, you were there for the mother or parents of the baby-to-be. A birthday party was all about the birthday boy or girl. A wedding shower – for the bride and/or groom. And so on and so forth. You brought a gift, you ate some yummy treats, and you showed your love and support for that person on their special day. Then, you went home. Stay with me now… Without a gift of your own! *GASP* Oh, the humanity! How could people have possibly survived in a day and time where they left a party without something to take home for themselves?! It’s absolute insanity, am I right?! (If you’re actually thinking I’m right, you might want to move on from this post.) I’m alive and here to tell ya, we survived. Not only did we survive, but we managed to escape those present-less parties for the guests with our focus intact and directed at the proper person – the one the party was actually for…

Fast, Cheap and Easy Grilled Burritos

While I love creating big meals that take a lot of time in the kitchen, I also love when I can whip up dinner in a jiffy. You know what I love even more than that? When dinner is CHEAP! These burritos come together in less than 30 minutes, are super filling and they’re something the whole family will enjoy (and so will your wallet…

Why I Stopped Sewing for Profit

Let me first start by saying that this isn’t a “Why I did, and you should, too” post. This is merely one (or many if we’re really counting) experience(s) from a single person. What worked for me won’t necessarily work for you and vice versa…