July 25, 2017

Rebelling…against New Year’s Resolutions


Stowed away in the attic for decades, dust floats from the diary that I kept from ages 14-18. Paging through memories of old, I’m instantly transported.

Transported to pivotal successes that were so quickly forgotten, while years of insecurity surface in a heartbeat.

The diary leers, ” I need to lose weight and stop snacking. I need to get more organized for class. I need to talk softer (the whole gentle and quiet spirit thing).”

That list was the bane of my existence for years.

Teaching Our Children to Apologize


Cultivating a heart of forgiveness in our children begins with the modeling that occurs in the home. Growing up in an environment where I often heard “I’m sorry” from my parents allowed me to begin understanding the true nature of an apology. Many of my friends have shared that they never received a true apology from their parents, and therefore have continued to struggle with giving apologies as an adult.

Beginning to teach the importance of apologies, and model for our children how to apologize is something that can’t begin early enough. My personal mothering is constantly in process…

Recipe Ideas for Tasty Tuesday


Yesterday I shared my goals and desire for the month to “Save Money on Groceries by Eating from my Pantry.”

The first goal I stated was to only spend $200 on groceries for our family of seven. When I mentioned the challenge with my husband, he was all over it but emphatically said, “$200, seriously? That’s not even a challenge. Let’s go for $100.” GULP!

So here it is, ladies. Let’s see if our family can do this. It sure will mean some great recipes from you all every Tuesday. I am going to be digging deep into the archives and being diligent with my meal planning – something I have definitely let fall off the wagon.

Save Money on Groceries by Eating from your Pantry


Life was hectic when we arrived home from our time in Florida.

I hadn’t gone grocery shopping and had no desire to prioritize it. We had frozen milk, meat and veggies all waiting in the freezer, so I went a complete week without grocery shopping after having been gone for ten days. I seriously didn’t think it could be done, but it was, and our monthly grocery bill was nearly non existent.

Now, I have been challenged to an “Eat from your Pantry” month with my good blogging friends. The encouragement it to attempt to avoid grocery shopping as much as possible, eat out of the pantry, freezer and fridge and get creative when my children say, “Mom, there’s nothing to eat.”

The Five Languages of Apology


The days after Christmas tend to release a plethora of emotions for many people. Often, expectations have been dashed, family relationships have been strained and feelings have been hurt. Yet we don’t hear too many Christmas songs that address this aspect of “The most wonderful time of the year,” do we?

I know, I know, I’m getting deep on you while you’re still in holiday mode, but I ask you to spend some minutes pondering and learning how this crutial topic may impact your day to day life. I’m pretty passionate about open communication; understanding forgiveness and apologies play a huge part in that.

I’ve asked my sweet friend, Dr. Jennifer Thomas, to share some essentials about forgiveness and apologies. As the co-author (with Gary Chapman) of “The Five Languages of Apology” her insight is pivotal to digging deeper into more meaningful relationships.

Sheetz Gas Station – a new family tradition


Starting new traditions is a bit like going on a first date. It looks promising before the actual time together, but after the fact one must weigh the pros and cons, and decide whether or not to commit to another try.

Well, when Sheetz Gas Station advertised free coffee treats on Christmas day, we knew this might be the start of a blessed new tradition.

Gathering on Christmas day with extended family from our homestead, we put meals together and then delivered them to refugee families (post to come). When my frugal partner in crime (niece in the middle) shared that Sheetz was sharing their coffee, we couldn’t think of a better way to end our Christmas Day.

Dress for Less – Holiday Edition


If you’re new to my Frugal Fashionista posts, go back to the beginning of the series and see my challenge to dress for less..second hand.

Every outfit that I put together never exceeds $15 (including accessories and footwear).

Looking at the pieces below, I’m maxing out this post at a total cost of $7 (I know, I know…you never find deals like that ;)) .

Showing you the possibilities that are out there for fun, festive holiday attire may encourage you to finally throw away that stenciled Christmas tree sweatshirt that Grandma gave you back in the 90’s. Yes, I admit, I had a growing wardrobe of outdated Christmas clothes that I just couldn’t part with since I thought…”well, they’re festive.”

I GOT RID OF THEM!! Yes, I did and now I am free to dress without the small voice in my head whispering that I must wear it so I don’t hurt momma’s feelings.

Baking and Decorating Christmas Cookies


Gathered in the kitchen, aprons of old clenched tightly around my waist, I close my eyes while the delectable aroma of my freshly baked gingerbread cookies arouse sensations and memories of baking days gone past.

I’m so proud of this gorgeous Christmas Tree project.


Martha Stewart I am!


The Real Family Photos – beauty and bedlam style


It’s Christmas time. The time of year when we gather our fashionista best and smile pretty for the camera. Right?

Well, the best laid family photos do not always turn out how we expected. We’ll capture our traditional family picture on Christmas eve, but in honor of my sweet friend Toni’s request to share some of our not so perfect family photos, I thought I would give you one of our bedlam moment “out takes.”

As I was redoing my blog header up above, I thought it would be fun to capture a family “beauty and bedlam” shot in action. It started out so beautifully with my amazing photographer husband helping us out.

Winter Bedlam


Yes, beautiful North Carolina Winter Wonderland is bliss, unless you slip off the hill into the briers on either side of the jump.

Every one agrees, he looks just like one of Wolverine’s victims (from the X-men, for those of you not familiar with the movie.)