Simple Gift Ideas for the Last Minute

I love to give gifts, but our budget doesn’t allow for grand gifts for simple occasions like mother’s day and father’s day.  So I spend my nights browsing Pinterest finding fun ideas to craft and create with my children only to have life happen which leads to a last minute scramble! Over the years I’ve found some simple, but thoughtful gifts to give to Grandparents and Daddy – all of which are easy to adapt for any occasion. Hopefully you can find a simple gift idea here for your last minute (or well planned ahead) gift giving!

Handprint gifts are my favorite because my kids are little now and I want to remember these days when they aren’t all a blur in the future. And let’s be honest, little hands and feet are adorable!

I sometimes attempt to dip the kids hands/feet in paint, but if y...

Read More

5 Ways to Maximize Savings on Groceries

You’ve clipped your coupons and looked at the sale ad, but are not sure what to do next! Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Each of the suggestions about coupons here and rebate apps here are great on their own, but in the end the best way to maximize your savings on groceries is to combine all the knowledge you have into a master plan! Here are my top 5 ways you can maximize your savings.

#1: Make a List

The best way to save money is to have a plan. And the best way to remember your plan is to write it down – a.k.a. make a list! Every week before my shopping trip I write down exactly what I’m going to purchase….down to the size, brand, and quantity! I spend time figuring out what I want to purchase BEFORE I head to the store and make sure all the coupons I’m planning to use are t...

Read More

Organizing Important Paperwork Before Doing Your Taxes

It’s that time of year again that I always dread – tax time. We usually get money back so I shouldn’t dread it, but it requires gathering so much paperwork and since sorting papers isn’t my favorite activity I never look forward to it. I have a filing system that works great, when I actually use it. It’s nothing fancy, but works for us and makes gathering the papers no big deal once they’ve been filed.

I use a two drawer filing cabinet to store all of our important papers, but a file box would work too. I have folders for a variety of different categories labeled in one of the drawers (I don’t keep them in alphabetical order, but it would make it faster to find things later)! Over the years I have found that having these folders keeping me organized makes life so much easier ...

Read More

Saving Money on Groceries, Level 2 – rebate apps

I had been using coupons when I purchased my groceries for years, but never really felt like I was saving big money. Then I took yet another coupon class and was queued in to rebate apps! What a lovely way to get even more savings on groceries because you can stack these savings on top of your coupon and store sales! If you haven’t already, start HERE to get the low down on how you can be saving money on groceries with coupons and sales. Then once you are ready to take the next step, read on for some tidbits about saving even more with free rebate apps.

Rebate apps aren’t hard to use, in fact everything I know I’ve learned by trial and error. I use four of them on a regular basis and have learned a few things you may want to also know as you get started with saving...

Read More

Couponing 101 for Beginners

Using coupons is a great way to save money, but learning all the rules and lingo can be VERY confusing! I recently sat down with some friends who were totally new to couponing – they were starting with just the knowledge that coupons come from the paper! We worked through the very basics of coupons and how to best maximize your savings when you start out using this information (I also included some of the acronyms so you can better understand the other coupon blogs you read). They left feeling empowered to purchase their first paper and get started on their coupon adventure. Happy Saving!

(Personal note: Our family mostly shops at Meijer stores, which have the MPerks progam, but the coupon basics apply even if you don’t shop there.)

Before you begin there are two important rules to remembe...

Read More

Making a Special Birthday Celebration SIMPLE

making a simple special celebration

Every child wants to think the world revolves around them and I love using their birthday as a way to make that happen. Despite what Pinterest may show you, you can have special AND keep it SIMPLE! Growing up my family never went over the top on our birthday, but I always felt like it was a special celebration of me. As a child my husband was always served breakfast in bed on the ‘birthday tray’. His mom still has a special birthday chair that the grandkids get to sit in when they open presents at our monthly joint family birthday celebrations. For my kid’s first birthday we celebrated with both sides of the family complete with lots of presents and decorations, but I can’t keep up that kind of party going forward as I don’t have the money or the gumption to do a big party every year...

Read More

Canning 101: step-by-step guide to peaches

canning peachesSummer is winding down where we live which means it’s harvest season. I love all the produce that we can purchase from the farmers market or pick from our own garden, but putting it all away for winter can be very overwhelming! I have been very blessed to learn how to freeze and can from my mom and grandma, but I know others aren’t so lucky. I am not an expert, but would love to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way in my adventures to help you be successful too!

We’re going to start with an ‘easy’ one today – a step-by-step guide to canning peaches. I plan to share my spaghetti sauce recipe soon and freezing veggies is so easy…I’ll share my method for that sometime too. The first step to any adventure – canning or otherwise – is to make a plan...

Read More

Homemade Cloud Dough – one mom’s honest review

coverI am a Pinterest junkie, but usually just pin ideas without actually making them – the reality of life with small children. I’ve seen lots of posts about making homemade cloud dough or moon sand, which seemed pretty easy, so I picked up the supplies to make it happen – like 6 months ago. I’m not a messy person by nature (I can’t stand having my hands dirty) and usually don’t encourage messy play for my toddlers – but there is a time and place for sensory fun! I finally got the gumption to make the cloud dough last week while we were camping. Guess what? We all survived – it’s totally cheap to make as you only need flour and baby oil and provided a full day of fun for my kids and their cousins!

homemade cloud dough recipe

I looked up a few blogs to make sure I had the recipe right – it is 8 cups of flour to 1 cu...

Read More

Cherish the Simple Things


Cherish the Simple thingsToday has been a day filled with screaming, whining, hitting, and never ending lessons on sharing so I feel like I’m at my whits end! Caring for children isn’t for the faint of heart and the number of things I never expected to have to teach my children grows daily, but the moments of peace and understanding are bright spots in the journey. “Cherish the Simple Things.” I have this saying in the window behind my sink, which is a great reminder to remember that I need to cherish something at every stage, especially the small moments that may be overlooked through the chaos.



Read More

Mega List of Baby Items You Need

**This post contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure here**

Mega Baby ListI’m not truly a hoarder, but when it comes to things for my kids I may go a little overboard (or a lot overboard if you ask my husband). Our budget has always been tight, so as we had family and friends getting rid of items when they were done having kids I started to stock pile some things for our future family. We had plenty of just about everything for both of our first two children to the point of major excess. Now, as we look forward to welcoming our third child in the next few months I’ve started to weed through all the baby ‘stuff’ to determine what we really need and what I can get rid of! It’s time for momma to take back some control and get all this baby chaos organized...

Read More