Let The Heavens Open: reflections on the Paris attacks

Reflections on the Paris attacks from a woman who lived in France after September 11th.

All day on Saturday my thoughts returned to France. I looked through my photo albums and skimmed through my old journal. My heart broke for the French nation after the vicious terrorist attacks that happened on Friday, and I couldn't shake the sadness as I thought of the friends I had made during my time in France. It was May 2002 when I boarded a plane for France. In my journal I made note of the increase in security at the airport due to the September 11th attack that happened less than a year prior. When I landed, I had prepared myself not to be well liked. My service training had explained all the ways that Americans and French were … [Read more...]

3 Fabulous Ways to Give Redbox Codes

I love these creative ways to give Redbox codes! And they are super affordable since they only cost $1.50 each!

Did you know that you can buy Redbox codes in bulk on their website? These inexpensive codes can then be given away and used for a free one-day rental. The Redbox promo codes cost $1.50 each, and you can buy them sets of 5, 10, 20, or 50. You can also purchase codes that are good for blu-ray or video game rentals, but those cost extra. Fabulous Ways to Give Redbox Codes 1. Prizes - I hosted a scavenger hunt recently, and I used Redbox codes for the prizes. What games or events do you have coming up? 2. Donations - I always struggle with coming up with good items to donate to auctions. I am not crafty enough to make something, rich … [Read more...]

It is BACK! (Get my top 10 picks for 2 days only!)

Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

This past April I had the privilege of sharing with you the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. It was a complete library of carefully selected eBooks, eCourses, audios, online conferences, and printable packs designed to help you turn your house into a home… without all the overwhelm. Many of you took advantage of the offer this past spring, but I'm sure some of you were kicking yourself for passing it up. Or perhaps you are new to my blog and hadn't heard about the bundle. Boy oh boy! I've got some good news for you! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is BACK for 2 Days ONLY! What’s in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle? Books covering all the … [Read more...]

My Top 5 Picks for Fall

My Top 5 Picks for Fall

This post contains affiliate links. Inspired by this week’s Sorta Awesome podcast episode, I’m sharing my top 5 picks for fall. On Sorta Awesome, Megan and I share our top tips, but here are 5 more for you! I’m covering my favorite pumpkin desserts, a product that saved my marriage, how I'm filling my freezer, and a Netflix binge that won my heart. My Top 5 Picks for Fall 1. I'm slowly filling my freezer by batch freezer cooking. Since September, I have been putting one thing on my meal plan each week that can be doubled. One batch we will eat that night and then second batch will go in the freezer. I've done big freezer cooking days … [Read more...]

Dear First Time Mom (the real reason why parents are more relaxed with baby #2)

The Real Reason Why Parents are More Relaxed with Baby #2

Dear First Time Mom, Motherhood is hard. Really hard. Don't look at your friends with more children and think that they must have it so much harder than you do. Yes, they have different challenges than you do, but they also have experience on their sides. The first time you bring a baby home, you have no idea what you are doing. You may have taken a class to prepare. You probably read parenting magazines or blogs. Perhaps you experienced babysitting. All of that is helpful, but it is nothing compared to the experience of actually parenting your baby. After one of Grace's first doctor appointments, I asked the nurse, "So what do I do … [Read more...]

Happy 6th Birthday, Grace!


Every year I write my children a letter in honor of their birthday. This letter is in honor of Grace's 6th birthday. Dear Grace, This past year was a big one for you. You experienced a lot of new challenges and it was stretching for both of us. First there was preschool. You adapted to going to morning preschool two days a week very well. Your cousin, who was also in your class, became your best friend. You delighted in following the rules, and you learned how to actually do this crazy thing called school. But then we got the letter from the school that your teacher would be gone for the last three months of the year. Grace, I … [Read more...]

Reader Survey Results – Do you agree?

Can we talk?

I am so thankful for each of you that answered my reader survey. The results were really interesting, so let's dig in and talk about it. To all the brand new blog subscribers: I am happy to have you here! Many of you joined for The Just Clean Something Challenge. Please excuse me as we do a bit of housekeeping here and chat about the survey. Of course you are welcome to take the survey if you would like to chime in. Click here for the survey. Talk to me about you! Gender: 98% female - no shock there! Age: 41% 30-39 years old 22% 40-49 years old 14% 20-29 years old Children: 90% have children 36% have at least 1 child age … [Read more...]

The First Day of Kindergarten Almost Broke Me

One mom's emotional struggle with her daughter's first day of kindergarten.

My precious Grace entered the new world of kindergarten. I thought I was prepared and wouldn't be that emotional about it, but I should have known better. Other people's "first day of school" photos have been making me cry since Grace was a baby. Why did I think it would be different for me when it was my own child??? The stress started for me the night before her first day. We had kindergarten orientation that evening and I was more than annoyed that we were receiving critical information the night before school started. One new piece of information that I found out was that I needed to send a snack with Grace every day. On the drive … [Read more...]

Gender Stereotypes in Kids: How should we respond when they take a step outside of the box?

Gender Stereotypes in Kids: How should we respond when they take a step outside of the box?

Three different things happened recently that gave me pause and made me ask, "Why are we doing this to our kids?' The first: I was in a cafe working when I overheard a boy around 7 years old saying that pink was his favorite color. A woman in her 30s discouraged him with a smile and asked, "What does your dad think about that?" Everyone at the table was smiling and it may have all been a joke, but the message was clear. Boys shouldn't like pink. If they do, surely their father will be disappointed.  The second: My family was at a children's museum when a 3 year old girl joined us at a table with coloring supplies. She grabbed a … [Read more...]

Wanna Know How Much Money I Make on YouTube? {sorta awesome 21}

Sorta Awesome Podcast - a fun celebration of all things in life that are sorta, amazingly awesome!

Have you heard the fabulous news yet? I am a regular co-host on Megan Tietz's new podcast Sorta Awesome. This week Megan and I uncovered the awesome of YouTube. I am personally addicted to YouTube. Although I love watching several YouTubers, but biggest fascination is with YouTube culture and we explore all of that in this episode. Plus we dig into YouTube as a career, and how much money I earned from my own viral video. Whether you are a newbie to YouTube or you watch it daily, this podcast episode has something for you. You can click here to listen to this episode in your web browser or you can search for Sorta Awesome in your podcast app … [Read more...]