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Category: Family, Fun & Holidays

Help! What should I wear??

Psst! I’m posting this instead of the usual Peek Into Our Week post… because we are camping this week and I’m completely offline. I pre-scheduled this to run today and I didn’t even bring my computer!

Do you ever wish that someone could come help you put together cute outfits? Do you dream of being able to easily and effortlessly put together incredible looks without much effort?

I know I have!

As a self-proclaimed “non-fashionista”, I fell into just having a minimalistic wardrobe of six mix and match tops and bottoms for years. Because it was easy, simple, and no-fuss.

It meant I didn’t have to think about what I was going to wear. It meant I didn’t have to stress over outfits. And I certainly didn’t have decision fatigue.

But I didn’t really like it.

In the past two years, I’ve discovered that I actually do care about clothes. I actually do like looking cute and put together. In fact, I find it fun to piece together an outfit — complete with jewelry and shoes — based upon what I have in my closet.

I’ve given myself permission to try new styles, wear new colors, and have more than just a few outfits.

But I still abhor shopping. Seriously.

There are a thousand things I’d rather do that comb through stores, try on multiple items in dressing rooms, and try to decide in a few minutes while in the bad dressing room lighting whether I love something enough to buy it.

I’ve watched my friend, Jessica Fisher, as she has been learning all sorts of new wardrobe tips and tricks from Allison from Get Your Pretty On. And I’ve loved seeing her find so much joy and fulfillment in dressing well.

She has raved about the GYPO Style Challenges and has instagrammed herself many days as she’s going through one. She’s definitely piqued my interest about what these style challenges are all about, so I was thrilled when I discovered that the brand-new Ultimate Homemaking Bundle had a Stay-at-Home-Mom Casual Wardrobe Basics Builder as part of the 106 resources offered in the bundle!

As soon as I got my bundle, I downloaded this Wardrobe Basics Builder and I was so impressed with it!

The SAHM Casual Wardrobe Basics Builder was designed as the ultimate guide to building a functional, fashionable wardrobe that works for your every day life.

It’s a downloadable resource that tells you exactly what you need to have in your closet in order to create dozens of cute outfits!

Not only do you get a list of all the items you need to have in your capsule wardrobe, you get pictures of the items, you get details on exactly what to get and why to have each item in your wardrobe, AND you get links of where to purchase the items, if you don’t already have them in your closet.

Then, you get 20 days of super cute and functional outfits ideas — complete with pictures — and they are put together using ONLY items from the capsule wardrobe!

The pieces in these outfit formulas work for all of your daily life activities from running errands to days at home and even lunch with girlfriends or casual date nights. You’ll never walk into your closet and wonder what to wear again!

This SAHM Casual Wardrobe Basics Builder is usually $29, but I have an even better deal for you: it’s part of the special Ultimate Homemaking Bundle right now.

Which means you can get this course + 105 other homemaking resources for just $29.97 — just $1 more than the usual price of her course!! How’s that for a deal?? 🙂

Through Monday at midnight only, you can get the SAHM Casual Wardrobe Basics Builder, plus 105 different ebooks, courses, and printables + some cool bonuses for just $29.97 total! This huge library of resources has something for pretty much everyone! It covers homemaking, mothering, your marriage, organizing, budgeting, making money from home, plus much more!

Ready to purchase? Just click below…

BuyNow

Want to learn more? Read more about this amazing bundle here. Note: This bundle is only available until midnight on Monday, May 1, 2017.

P.S. I’ve also been eyeing the Nester’s Cozy Minimalist course for a long time. It’s regularly $39, but it’s also part of the bundle. So it’s like getting her course & 100+ other resources for quite a bit less than the usual cost of her course!! Grab this amazing price here while you can — it’s only good through Monday!


Do you wish you could stop yelling at your kids??

It’s all too easy to sugarcoat things we share online — or at least to sanitize our life. Because who really wants to see pictures of a grumpy mom, read about frustrated kids, see posts about the laundry pile, hear someone go on about the dirty dishes, or read about someone’s unfinished to-do list?

So I post the smiles, the picked-up house, and the orderly planner pages. But these are just little snippets of life. They are the highlight reels.

The reality is that none of us have it together. None of us have it all figured out. And none of us are doing all. the. things. We all have our struggles, our setbacks, and our shortcomings. We all have those areas that we’d rather just Photoshop from existence.

So let’s just get real honest here. I wish I could be the mom who could pretend and say, “I never yell at my kids!” But, instead, I’m the girl who has struggled with anger ever since I was a child. And I’ve sometimes acted out on my anger in ways that I regret to this day.

It’s one of the things I wish I could hide and pretend didn’t exist. If only I had more patience. If only I could be the mom who was never even tempted to raise her voice. If only I had incredible calm and never got frustrated.

But nope. That’s not me.

I realize that good has come from it when I really think about it. Because it keeps me humble. It reminds me to be more understanding and empathetic with others who struggle with other issues.

It’s caused me to need Jesus so much. It’s allowed me to learn to practice patience and love and self-control — even when it’s the last thing I feel. And it has given me many opportunities to humble myself and ask for forgiveness when I fail.

I know that this could be disappointing to some of you. I know that this could make you want to stop reading my blog because I’m a hot mess over here some days. But it’s important to me to be real — to not pretend like I’ve got it all figured out.

If you ever look at my life or someone else’s life and feel like you don’t measure up, remember this: You have plenty of highlight reels in your life, too. We all do. The struggles and shortcomings and setbacks don’t define us. Rather, they are part of our story — and can be part of our redemption and refining, if we let them be!

Do You Struggle With Your Temper, Too?

If you’re a mom who struggles with anger and frustration with your kids, please know that you are not alone! My beautiful South African friend (who first introduced me to South Africa and took me there to meet all of the amazing people whom I now call dear friends!!), Lisa-Jo, gets what it’s like to struggle with a temper.

She’s blogged about it and shared from stages about her struggle with anger. And moms all over the globe have responded to her blog posts and messages begging her for more ideas, hope, and practical help to tame their tempers.

For the past many months, she’s been working on a course packed with tools to help moms who struggle with taming their tempers.

Y’all. I don’t say this very often, but I can’t recommend this course highly enough. It’s SO well worth every penny! And it’s exactly what I need right now.

Her course is usually $29 (and so well worth that price!), but I have an even better deal for you: Lisa-Jo’s course is part of the special Ultimate Homemaking Bundle right now.

Which means you can get her course + 105 other homemaking resources for just $29.97 — just $1 more than the usual price of her course!! How’s that for a deal?? 🙂

I love Lisa-Jo’s premise in the course: TEMPER is not an incurable disease but a treatable condition.

Yes, yes, yes! That gives me so much hope!

Moms, we don’t need more guilt, do we? What we need are the tools to help get us through.

That’s why Lisa-Jo created the Temper Toolkit — a collection of all her practical strategies, honest stories, and Biblical resources from one mom to another to help you take control of your temper BEFORE you lose it.

She has packaged up everything she’s learned over the last decade of parenting and what she teaches at her workshops so that you can put it into practice in your own homes.

Here are the topics she covers in her 7-video course:

1: The one thing you can stop feeling guilty about right now
2: Discovering the roots of our anger
3: The one simple scheduling trick to help you tame your temper
4: What to do when parenting feels like a hostage negotiation crisis
5: Why having a bad day doesn’t make you a bad mom
6: What to do when your temper has nothing to do with being angry
7: So you lost your temper, what comes next?

I told you it was good! The words and insights she shares in these videos have impacted me so deeply as a parent and have given me so many tools to turn to when my temper begins to rise!

Through Monday at midnight only, you can get Lisa-Jo’s course, plus 105 different ebooks, courses, and printables + some cool bonuses for just $29.97 total! This huge library of resources has something for pretty much everyone! It covers homemaking, mothering, your marriage, organizing, budgeting, making money from home, plus much more!

Ready to purchase? Just click below…

BuyNow

Want to learn more? Read more about this amazing bundle here. Note: This bundle is only available until midnight on Monday, May 1, 2017.

P.S. I’ve also been eyeing the Nester’s Cozy Minimalist course for a long time. It’s regularly $39, but it’s also part of the bundle. So it’s like getting her course & 100+ other resources for quite a bit less than the usual cost of her course!! Grab this amazing price here while you can — it’s only good through Monday!

This is SO embarrassing!

I can’t believe I’m actually putting this out on the internet. But I am… and I’m pretty sure that I have hit a new low for doing so!

However, for those of you who like it when I keep things real, this is for you! You see, I cleaned out my bathroom closet — on LIVE video.

Y’all. I didn’t even know what was in there. (See above photo. I told you it was B-A-D!)

Watch below to see my very messy and embarrassing bathroom cupboard:

Here’s the thing I learned from doing this: Once you turn on the camera and get started, when people are watching you on the other end, you kind of have to follow through. 😉

Oh my goodness! Does that not look SO. MUCH. BETTER???? I still need to get a few more tubs and I still need to label all the tubs in there, but it just makes me incredibly happy to look at!

Need Some More Help Getting Your Home & Life in Order?

Through Monday only, you can get a brand-new Ultimate Homemaking Bundle — a completely new and AMAZING collection of homemaking helps & resources that will give you a truly valuable knowledge base you’ll use for years to come.

In this bundle, you will find 106 eResources aimed to grow you in all aspects of homemaking. There are resources on home management, motherhood, marriage, feeding your family well, taking care of you, faith, working from home, managing your money, organizing your life, plus much more!

Go here to see the full list of 106 eBooks, eCourses & printable packs included in the sale. They have a combined value of over $2,000!!

Some of the resources I’m most excited about are:

  • The Temper Toolkit — You all, I LOVED this course. Loved, loved, loved it! And you can get it + everything else in the bundle — for the cost of the course! What a deal! (Value: $29)
  • From Frustration to Functional: A 14-Day Closet Makeover — I can’t wait to go through this course! It helps you create a plan for a functional wardrobe that you love! (Value: $69)
  • The Paperless Home — How to declutter your home and save hours every week. (Value: $32)
  • 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses — Want to find some extra room in your budget? This book will give you some great ideas! (Value: $7)
  • How to Coupon Effectively — This book promises to teach you how to save $5000+ per year in just two hours per week! (Value: $10)
  • A Mom’s Guide to Better Photos — Beginning photography for moms, no fancy camera required! (Value: $99)
  • The Breakfast Revolution: Recipes From Outside the Cereal Box — 40 recipes to help you break out of your breakfast rut! (Value: $8.95)
  • Reset: 31 Days of Real Joy Right Now — A month-long devotional journey on how to have real joy in the middle of a messy life. (Value: $10)
  • 52 Dates for Two — a date idea for every week of the year! (Value: $6.97)
  • The Cozy Minimalist Course — how to decorate your home with confidence! (Value: $39)
  • Your Morning Manual: A Guide for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings — This ebook walks you through the process of setting up and organizing your best morning! (Value: $15)
  • How to Land Your First Work-at-Home Job — an ebook to walk you through how to actually land a work-at-home gig! (Value: $24)

This deal is only available until Monday, so you’ll want to get it while you can!

Grab your copy of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle here.

Want to see the inside of my fridge and pantry??

So, I got really, really brave yesterday and today. And I cleaned out my pantry and my fridge on LIVE video.

It was rather embarrassing… especially because a lot of people think of me as someone who has a really clean house.

Here’s the truth: There ARE some parts of my house that are really clean and organized. And there are some parts of my house that are really NOT clean and organized. Ahem.

One of those parts happens to be my pantry.

I see all these incredibly organized pantries on Pinterest and I’m over here all like, “Baskets? Bins? Tubs? Nope. I’ll just cram everything onto the wire shelves and when it doesn’t fit anymore, I’ll stick it on the floor of the pantry.”

Yeah. It wasn’t pretty.

Imagine lots of comments while I was cleaning like, “Oh wow! I didn’t know I had bought this! I completely forgot!” Or, “Um, okay, and now we have an almost entirely empty container of dried apricots that someone decided to put back on the shelf with three tiny apricots left at the bottom.”

Watch below to see the very raw, real video of me cleaning out my pantry…

Here’s the thing I learned from doing this: Once you turn on the camera and get started, when people are watching you on the other end, you kind of have to follow through. 😉

I also got brave and cleaned out my refrigerator today — on LIVE video again! Watch below…

And I’m working up the courage to clean out my bathroom closet tomorrow on live video. It’s going to take a LOT of courage to pull that off… because my bathroom cupboard is far, far, far worse than my fridge or pantry!

Need Some More Help Getting Your Home & Life in Order?

Through Monday only, you can get a brand-new Ultimate Homemaking Bundle — a completely new and AMAZING collection of homemaking helps & resources that will give you a truly valuable knowledge base you’ll use for years to come.

In this bundle, you will find 106 eResources aimed to grow you in all aspects of homemaking. There are resources on home management, motherhood, marriage, feeding your family well, taking care of you, faith, working from home, managing your money, organizing your life, plus much more!

Go here to see the full list of 106 eBooks, eCourses & printable packs included in the sale. They have a combined value of over $2,000!!

Some of the resources I’m most excited about are:

  • The Temper Toolkit — You all, I LOVED this course. Loved, loved, loved it! And you can get it + everything else in the bundle — for the cost of the course! What a deal! (Value: $29)
  • From Frustration to Functional: A 14-Day Closet Makeover — I can’t wait to go through this course! It helps you create a plan for a functional wardrobe that you love! (Value: $69)
  • The Paperless Home — How to declutter your home and save hours every week. (Value: $32)
  • 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses — Want to find some extra room in your budget? This book will give you some great ideas! (Value: $7)
  • How to Coupon Effectively — This book promises to teach you how to save $5000+ per year in just two hours per week! (Value: $10)
  • A Mom’s Guide to Better Photos — Beginning photography for moms, no fancy camera required! (Value: $99)
  • The Breakfast Revolution: Recipes From Outside the Cereal Box — 40 recipes to help you break out of your breakfast rut! (Value: $8.95)
  • Reset: 31 Days of Real Joy Right Now — A month-long devotional journey on how to have real joy in the middle of a messy life. (Value: $10)
  • 52 Dates for Two — a date idea for every week of the year! (Value: $6.97)
  • The Cozy Minimalist Course — how to decorate your home with confidence! (Value: $39)
  • Your Morning Manual: A Guide for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings — This ebook walks you through the process of setting up and organizing your best morning! (Value: $15)
  • How to Land Your First Work-at-Home Job — an ebook to walk you through how to actually land a work-at-home gig! (Value: $24)

This deal is only available until Monday, so you’ll want to get it while you can!

Grab your copy of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle here.

Heart String Art Tutorial

Looking for a really simple Valentine’s Craft Idea for a craft night, or to give as a gift, or to make to hang on your wall? Try your hand at Heart String Art!

Our Discipleship Group at church had a day-long retreat in the fall and we did this fun Heart String Art craft (a big thank you to Chandra for organizing it and supplying the idea and all of the necessary items to create it!).

It was so simple to make, a great group activity, and each person’s turned out different.

To make this, you’ll need a piece of wood, small nails, a hammer, yarn, and a heart template printed on paper. (There are a lot of different heart templates in different sizes available to print here.)

Place the heart template on your board where you’d like it. Some people did there’s off to the side, some did it at an angle, some people did theirs centered like I did mine.

Hammer nails evenly around the heart. Tear away the paper so only the nails are still on the board in a heart shape.

Cut a piece of string/yarn at least 5 yards long. Tie one end on a nail and then have fun creatively stringing it on the heart however you so desire. Have fun — there is no right or wrong way to do this!

Hammer a sawtooth picture hanger on the back and you’re done! I was so happy with how my finished heart looked!

Find more String Art Heart ideas here.

Fast & Frugal Valentine’s Day Lunch

Looking for a fast and frugal Valentine’s Lunch idea? Here’s a simple twist on peanut butter and jelly — and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry or fridge!

Okay, so let me just make it clear: I am not the quintessential Pinterest Mom.

I love moms who find all these adorable ideas on Pinterest and follow through with them and actually, you know, make them. As for me, I don’t search on Pinterest all that often. But when I do, I rarely see an idea and go, “Oh yes! I MUST do that stat.”

Nope. Truth be told, I’m the one who sees a really adorable idea and goes, “That would take way too much time!”

I’m practical. I’m efficient. And I’m all about getting life done.

Which can be a good thing and a bad thing.

It’s a good thing when it means that our home stays pretty organized all the time. I’m pretty good at following through with commitments. I don’t usually forget stuff. And I can get a lot done in a day by most people’s standards.

But on the flip side, it means that I run from things that look like they are overly-detail-oriented, require meticulous attention, would take an incredible amount of time, or just look overly complicated.

And by overly complicated, I mean any recipe or project that requires more than 15 minutes of my time. Yes, I may have a really low “complication” threshold! 😉

So this idea for a Valentine’s Lunch is one that is will not win any Most Pinterest Mom Ever awards, but it’s a way that even super simple non-Pinterest moms like me can do something fun for their kids for Valentine’s day!

And I wanted to share it with those of you who are like me and are looking for easy, cheap, and no-frills ideas that will still get your kids excited and will demonstrate to them how much you love them!

I picked up a heart-shaped cookie cutter at Target for $0.99 and then used bread, peanut butter, jelly, cucumbers, and cheese we already had on hand.

All of the ingredients can be purchased really inexpensively at ALDI — or you might already have them on hand!

I made the Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches and then cut them into heart shapes. You could make these ahead of time and freeze them if you wanted to pack them in your child’s lunch on Valentine’s Day.

(See my Freezer-Friendly Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich recipe for more details on how to freeze PB&J. Yes, some of you might laugh that I posted a recipe for that. But so many people begged for it, so I did! 😉

It’s exactly like what you would expect for PB&J sandwiches — with the exception of remembering to spread peanut butter on both slices of bread and then put the jelly on top of the peanut butter. Otherwise, if the jelly touches the bread, when you freeze and then defrost it, it can seep through the bread and make it soggy.)

I then cut some cheese into slices and cut those slices into hearts. If you had a little heart cookie cutter, this would be even quicker and the finished result would look prettier.

But alas, I don’t have a tiny heart cookie cutter, so I just made do with a knife. Silas came over to see what I was working on and got SO excited, “You made the cheese into hearts!! Hearts, mama!”

He thought it was SO cool! Let’s just hope he doesn’t discover these Bento Box lunches on Pinterest. Otherwise, my hand-shaped cheese hearts aren’t going to seem quite as thrilling or original! 😉

Then, I cut the cucumbers into slices and shaped them into hearts, too. This was a little more work than the cheese and the end result wasn’t very artistic. But once again, Silas was excited about cucumber hearts.

I had some cute twine that I picked up at the Target Dollar Spot that I used to wrap the sandwich and tie it into a bow. Which made it look a lot fancier than just a typical PB&J.

And there you have it! A super simple, cheap Valentine’s lunch idea — that totally fit my 15-minutes-or-less project criteria!

Best of all, Silas asked if he could please, please, please eat one plate right away for a snack (yes, a sandwich, and cheese, and cucumbers is a snack. And he’s 7! There may be a reason we raised our grocery budget!) and then he begged to take the second plate to school for lunch the next day.

He thought he was so cool bringing his early Valentine’s Day lunch — made with love by mom! And it made my heart happy to know that a little bit of effort could make his day in such a big way!

What are your favorite simple and cheap ideas for Valentine’s Day foods? Any special traditions you have at your house? I’d love to hear!