Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Two Week Grocery Haul

I fell in love with ALDI about three months ago, and my grocery shopping life will never be the same! With the exception of our shelled hemp hearts and lara bars (both of which I order through Amazon), I buy every last grocery and household item between ALDI and the farm stand. I mean, less than $250 for organic or whole, good quality food for two weeks at a time?! I'm there! Here's what my last trip, which was a household restocking, looked like.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Let's Talk: Homeschool Burnout

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites!

WooHoo! It's been awhile since I've participated in a Friday Favorites and linked up with AndreaErika, and Narci!, and I am so excited to be back in the swing of things :)

Here's what I'm currently loving:

This age! Ahh, this age. The best. 

And these "Daddy aren't you proud" eyes!

And this snuggle munchkin. Swoon. 

And lastly, who has one of these? I homeschool, I should not need a lunchbox, right? But I have been drooling over those planetbox lunchboxes for two years! I finally decided to just go ahead and order them (great for the beach, right?) and then I found the yumbox! Ahh!! Which one?! 

 Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Gymboree Money Saving Tips!

If you know me at ALL then you know that I just swear by Gymboree clothing! My kids have always been dressed head to toe Gymboree since the day they were born, and you can save, reuse, and even resell on ebay for a great price! The beginning of this video shows what I purchased, and about halfway through I explain how we keep this and affordable way to dress our kids! 


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Giant Monday Night Cookies

**Cookies may or may not be named after the night on which I consume three at a time while watching "The Bachelor"...

2 sticks butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (we use fresh milled whole wheat, you can also use 1 cup store bought wheat mixed with 1 cup white)
1 cup oats
1 tsp each of baking soda, baking powder, and salt
1 cup chocolate chunks, more or less depending on your liking
1 cup peanut butter chunks, more or less depending on your liking

Combine butter and sugars until light and fluffy, add in eggs and vanilla

In separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients, other than chips, mixing well

Add flour mixture to butter mixture, slowly incorporating chocolate and peanut butter chips

Using a cookie scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop 6 cookies onto each parchment paper lined cookie sheet

Bake at 325 for 13-15 minutes

Recipe modified from original "Our Best Bites Giant Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies"

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Story Has Just Begun!

Click here to download and print your own books:

Here are the crafts we have used:

Day 2: Watercolor resist (draw the "spirit" in white crayon, paint the "Sky" in watercolor, and allow the white to shine through)

Day 4: (see video at 5:35 to see how to do this one!)
Day 5: Bandaids! 
Day 7: Kissy lips, valentines conversation hearts, etc. Anything that represents words of human praise

Day 8: Footprints
Day 9: Bread recipe card
Day 10: Dried flowers
Day 11: Coin rubbing
Day 12: Handprints to represent "Blood on hands" of crowd

Day 14: Rocks, ripping, etc to represent earthquake
Day 15: Linen, gauze, etc to represent burial process

Day 18: Self portrait! The story isn't over yet!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I'll be back on the first of the year! Until then, for recipes, homeschooling, and homemaking ideas, follow us on YouTube!

Monday, November 23, 2015


Happy birthday my little man. Our family just wouldn't be the same without your BIG personality and gentle spirit. After a long day, you manage to keep your daddy smiling ear to ear, and your mommy's heart filled to the brim. You play loud and you LOVE even louder. You add to the laughter, the life, and the joy in our home. Your sister and brother would be missing a best friend and a perfect playmate had you never joined their crew! You know how to make us all laugh in the hard moments, the wrong moments, and the quiet moments. You broke down our parenting "fears" and taught us how to laugh about boogers. Your presence in our family is as bold and strong as your favorite game, "hulk smash". You will not be defined as the youngest of three, but as a leader of the pack. You have your brother and sister wrapped around your finger, and you won't take "no" for an answer...unless it's already YOUR answer! You are brave. You are a light. You are upbeat. You are eager. And today...you are TWO, so I will soak up every "I snuggle butt", every "I wanna nuss", every "hold-a me mommy!", and every "come play-a me", because in each fleeting day, you are a little older than before, and as much as I want to, I just can't stop time.

Happy birthday buddy. "Best fwend". "Peepee head". "Eyi". We love you sweet guy.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Three on Thursday: Hostess Gifts!

Happy Thursday! Some thoughtful traditions and gestures seem to slip through the cracks as time goes on, so lets talk hostess gifts today! Up until a couple of years ago, I have to admit, I was NOT always the best at remembering to bring a little something to a holiday get-together. Here are some of my favorite simple (read: cheap) things to give and receive as the holiday party season comes into full swing!

Family Gathering!
My mother in law bought me two sets of these gorgeous Queen's China Thanksgiving mugs last year and I couldn't have loved them more! As a matter of fact, I'm drinking some chamomile tea out of one right now! Everybody drinks SOMETHING, so you can never go wrong with a mug! I usually tuck in a single serve pouch of cocoa, or a small bag of coffee, also. The best part of a mug gift is that, when you really know someone like you know your own family, it's not difficult to find the PERFECT mug for their personality!

Girls Night In
This is my #1 go to gift for girls nights, birthdays, etc, and I think it would be the PERFECT hostess gift for your holiday events! Xo, G wine is a tube of four individual glasses of wine. It's packaged to gift on it's own, and...bonus - it's inexpensive, and available at Walmart! 
Neighborhood Gatherings
Neighbors are like extended family around here, and I LOVE them all. The problem? There are a lot of them, and we all like to get together now and again, which means that hostess gifts could add up FAST. You just can't go wrong with some baked goods! I love this recipe, because cranberries are appropriate for the entire Thanksgiving and Christmas season, AND this recipe can be baked in small loaf pans, popped in the freezer, and gift-giving ready as the need arises! There just isn't anything better than a made-from-scratch gift, is there? 

What is your go-to hostess gift? See you on Monday!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Apple Cider Floats

There's nothing like some apple cider in the fall! Unfortunately, Florida weather calls for a little twist! Here's a little pinterest find that's the perfect mix of north and south!

  • Apple Cider
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Cinnamon
  • Whipped Cream
  1. Scoop some ice cream in a cup and drizzle caramel sauce on top
  2. Pour chilled apple cider over ice cream, leaving room for whipped cream
  3. Sprinkle a little ground cinnamon over cider, and top with some whipped cream
That's it! Super simple, and super yummy!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Favorites!

It's Friday -  It is time to link up with AndreaErika, and Narci!

So normally I would share all of my favorite moments and things today, but this week we heard devastating news from family friends. Their 7 month old son was not only diagnosed with neuroblastoma, but diagnosed with stage FOUR, and considered high-risk. That is literally the worst neuroblastoma diagnosis you can receive. Here are some of my favorite promises to hold onto in hard times, and if you have any to pass along PLEASE comment below and I will share them with the family:

There is a gofund me set up in their name, here is the link:


And I also want to take a moment to recognize St. Jude's for their amazing staff, I have heard nothing but wonderful things from anyone who is there. Their "Thanks and Giving" campaign just began, so take the opportunity to round up to the nearest dollar when shopping anywhere that supports them. They also have a great online catalog with some great holiday gifts, you can find that here:


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Thursday, October 29, 2015


Sometimes God catches you off guard. After things have been running smooth and wonderful for great lengths of time, He asks you to make a move and it's a surprise. It's uncomfortable, it's scary, and it's a time to evaluate where your trust really is.

It seems as if every couple of years, God presses me to do something I just don't want to do. Of course, God isn't a God of clockwork or routine, but rather His own perfect time. A few months ago we took a little family retreat to North Carolina. We spent our time outside, alone, and in peace. When we came home from that trip we felt a stirring to move, change, and pull up our roots. Of course in our simple minds, we thought that was God telling us we would be moving, which we really didn't understand, as my husband's job is pretty much rooted here. But we sat on it, prayed on it, and trusted that God would reveal His plans in His timing. Fast forward to a few weeks later and I all but BOLTED out of a homeschool meeting because I sensed it just wasn't where I was supposed to be. So again, trying to make sense of it all in my mind, I assumed God would be calling us out of homeschooling, and I was really afraid of that answer. Not but a week later, my husband and I sat down for a chat, where we both laid out what God had been revealing to us over time. After we talked it was quite clear what God was initiating. 

Less stuff. More home. Less trying. More resting. 

Like a reset button has to be pushed every now and again, so did our family. Homeschooling? We were FAR off of our prayerfully lead path. People? We were bouncing, struggling to maintain too many relationships, and burnt out. Life? It was just too busy, so busy that almost every little thing had become hired out - daytime help, nighttime help, weekend help, pool help, cleaning help, laundry help. And for what? To keep moving. But God doesn't want our family to keep on keepin' on. 

He wants us to abide. To stop, to listen, to love, be loved, and love out of that love. To not worry about our kids' spiritual journey, but rather let Christ's love flow from our own full hearts into theirs. 

It is so SIMPLE. And yet, as a mother, I feel the urge to twist that simplicity into a game of keep-up, taking advantage of a God who is always going to be there, as if I can just access Him when we aren't so busy. It's like I reason with Him in my mind and say "Yes. God, you are good and all, but this co-op, group, and ministry opportunity is good, too, and it's ONLY happening on Mondays and Thursdays, so I'll figure out how to rest in you when it's another day of the week, because these other people can't wait." Doesn't that sound so silly? And yet, here I am, climbing out of the "It looks good so it must be good" homeschooling trap that the enemy is so thrilled I fell into. Satan would rather me be distracted by something "spiritual" than to be abiding in Christ at the end of that day, and I seem to bite that hook each and every time. And you know what happens? Busyness keeps me from giving my kids the patience and grace they need. It keeps me from having an open heart when my husband is telling me about his day. It keeps me from finding that abundant life that God so wants to live with me, as I'm off searching for it. 

At the end of the day, fifty years from now, it won't matter what groups or activities we participated in, but rather, who we were at home, and what those heart to heart moments looked like. It won't matter if we made it to bible study on time, if we practiced for piano, or if we were prepared for a soccer game. It WILL matter if we let God lead our home, if we trusted his guidance, and if we recognized him as our indwelling life. That is what my kids will learn from, their kids will learn from, and the next generation will learn from. 

So here we are. on a journey that feels so scary and so freeing at the same time. To say goodbye to so many groups and people that have been my security for so long hurts. It sucks. But I trust God. And just like when He had us leave a church that we loved years ago without understanding why, it is painful, but now we see the beauty and the fruit of our faithfulness. Leaving something "good" doesn't seem like something God would do, right? Well it is. Because at the end of the day, the Christ life is just SO simple that it's painful to think I've missed the gentleness of His lead so many times.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall Popsicle Stick Crafts

Okay, Sunday had me flat on my back...literally. I thought that I have had food poisoning before. Well, according to this past weekend, I hadn't even come close. Eek. I would go through labor 10x over before I would wish that upon myself once more. Anyway, here's yesterday's post TODAY!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Favorites!

It's FRIDAY! Just one more week until Halloween and it seems as if we just couldn't be busier! This weekend we have FOUR parties to attend. FOUR. I'm going to have to teach my kids some processed sugar self control STAT. In the meantime, let's link up with AndreaErika, and Narci!

I am in the process of switching my 2014/15 Lilly planner to the 2015/16 Lilly planner and I am in LOVE with the new print and matching travel mug . Lilly Pulitzer planners are my favorite birthday gift :)

This first quote popped up on a homeschool group page the other day, and it really means a lot to me.  That same day, one of my dear girlfriends sent me the second quote. It's my last few weeks in a nutshell! We recently pulled the plug on our many homeschooling groups in order to combat the need to do anything other than focus on our family, and set some boundaries. I realized at the end of last year that our homeschooling path is far off of where we started and where we wanted to be. At first, it sucked. I missed everyone and hated keeping in touch through text. But you know what happened? Our family roots grew deeper, my impatient mommy heart softened, and my kids eyes became brighter. I trust that following God's leadership will produce it's fruit in due time, whether that be now or ever in my lifetime. But that doesn't always mean it's easy. Sometimes it's hard to say "no" to our friends, but after many long phone calls and heart talks, I realized that I'm not the only one who has felt that way. Good friendships will last forever, whether you see one another on a weekly basis or not, but childhood? It happens fast, and I don't want to waste it keeping up with the Joneses. Activity, even when it seems like a good thing, will always cause chaos in our schooling, and that will always distract us from our ultimate homeschooling goal. Every time I say "yes" to a friend or an invitation, I say "no" to pajama days, a mommy daughter manicure, hanging out on the floor with my kiddos, or a lazy day playing at the barn. The past couple of months with my babies hold some of the best days of my mommy life, and I am so thankful that the Lord cares to gently initiate change in our home. Quiet moments with my precious little ones are my favorite.

I could go on and on and on about how much I love the weekend. We had a nice lazy Sunday last weekend, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Rain or shine, we were outside playing together for the entire day, and we finished it off with dinner by the fire. Can I just freeze time, please?

Tonight is family movie night, and therefore my favorite night of the week! Last week we watched Spookley the Square Pumpkin - if you're looking for a fun fall movie this weekend, check it out!

In honor of it being one week before Halloween, I will be posting again every day next week. Get ready for some fun recipes, crafts, and party ideas. Happy weekend!

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