September 20, 2017

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.)

Last Minute Creative, DIY Gift Ideas


The final days leading up to Christmas holds the greatest tendency to make impulse purchases.

Don’t do it! Get creative!

Are you trying to think of last minute gift ideas, but your pocket book is stretched to its limit and pressure is mounting?

My “Do it Yourself” Earring Organizer will take minutes and only pennies out of the wallet. It’s so simple, and the creative possibilities are endless. All of you can probably put your hands on unused frames if you “shop your house,” and if you’re like me, the huge amounts of unused scrapbook paper from years of promising the completion of those baby books is just a closet away.

Decorating with Ornaments


Scrambling to decorate last evening, minutes before my guests were to arrive, reality set in…it was not going to happen.

Think quickly, Jen. How could I add that holiday feel with only minutes to prepare, yet still give some decorating bang for my frugal buck?

Decorate with ornaments, and cut some greenery from the outside bushes, of course. (And since I’m a fancy schmancy photographer, you’ll see me sitting on the counter taking those two pictures. 🙂 )

Free Photo Calendar and flipbook today only


Last year, my husband surprised me with a photo calendar. It was AMAZING! Today only, Snapfish’s free gift for new customers is not only a photo calendar, but 50 free prints as well. Shipping is only $5.99, so what a meaningful gift choice.

It takes a little bit to download the photos, but it is SO worth it.

How Do I Cook Bacon in the Oven? (Cooking Bacon in Bulk)


When I agreed to make brunch for my sons’ football team, I knew I would be going through enormous amounts of food. Since I would be cooking bacon in our hotel condo, creativity was key, so I brainstormed on Skype with the best of them. My friend, Lynn from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, is a “professional bacon cooker”. They actually grow their own pork, and I knew she would have the answers for me on the best way to cook up bacon in bulk. I wanted to cook it in the oven, and she shared an option of cooking it ahead of time and reheating it.

Cooking bacon in the oven is a wonderful way to avoid the splatter and mess that comes from frying it on the stove. I recommend layering your cookie sheets with parchment paper or tin foil for easy clean up. Unfortunately for us, that was an afterthought.

Creative Garland Decorating Ideas


You all know how I love to incorporate frugal, fancy, creative decorating ideas, so what better treat then a combination of my own creative inspiration and that of a place where dreams come true – Disney.

Free Product Samples and Coupons – Deals and Steals


Can you tell our life has been filled with a bit of bedlam lately? I’ve gotten away from my Saturday Steals and Deals post and know you’ve been missing it. I’ll return to posting more great deals for the new year.

I’ve been receiving wonderful coupon booklets and samples in the mail recently. These are among some of my favorite – tried and true.

1. Sign up for Home Made Simple newsletter and be among the first to know about special offers, samples, coupons, and sweepstakes offers from brands like Cascade®, Dawn®, Febreze®, Mr. Clean®, and Swiffer®.

Pop Warner Superbowl Today


It’s official!

The field has been narrowed from 1400 teams to the final two!

The Pop Warner Superbowl Championship Division 1 game is being played today, and this lady is one nervous mama….
and now, our two oldest sons will battle for a game of a lifetime.

New championship uniforms have been fitted, compliments of Russel Athletic wear, ESPN interviews have been given (to our eldest son on the right), and now it’s time to fight for what they have been working for all season.

Christmas Cruising


Christmas Cruising – Some of the best traditions are simple and sweet and require little more than hot chocolate and a full tank of gas. About a week before Christmas get the whole family together for “Christmas lights” cruising in the car.