Home Hacks

How to Freeze Green Onions or Scallions

/
Can you freeze green onions? So, this is one of those posts that many of you will chuckle at and think, "You didn't know that?" I am here to tell you that, no, I did not know that you can freeze…

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

/
With just a few pantry ingredients, you can have a large batch of marinara sauce cooking in your slow cooker in no time. You can also use this homemade marinara recipe to stock your freezer. Instant Pot…

All-Natural DIY Drano: Safe and Effective Toilet Declogger

/
It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano recipe really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick two different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets--no pun intended.) Let…

The Why and How to a Weekly Budget Meeting

/
Is there anything more uncomfortable than talking about money?!? I mean, just saying the word "money" kind of makes my skin crawl. And what about the word "budget"?? That evokes a wide range of emotions,…
10 Things I'm Glad I Did On Our Family Vacation

10 Things I'm Glad I Did On Our Family Vacation

/
The beach is my happy place. And I’ve always wanted my children to be able to see and experience the ocean and white sands beaches of the Florida panhandle, like I’ve been fortunate enough to…
How I save time and money by shopping for groceries using HyVee aisles online

2 Easy Ways to Get Hy-Vee Groceries without Stepping into the Store

/
(This post is sponsored by HyVee. Have no fear, opinions expressed are ALL mine. I wouldn't lie to you.) :)  The way busy parents grocery shop has changed quickly. It was only a few years ago…
How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

/
Guest post and photography by my daddy, Curt. He also shared this post a while back. Every summer a strange phenomenon takes place in many American garages:  Hummingbirds fly in, but they don’t…

How to Freeze and Save Garden Zucchini

/
I have NEVER had such a great zucchini harvest. It seems like every time I go down to my garden, there are huge zucchinis waiting for me. I have zucchinis in all shapes and sizes and hardly know what…
safe way to show youtube videos

Mom Hack: Safest Way to Show Youtube Videos to Kids

/
Do you like to watch Youtube videos with your kids? Or are you a teacher in some capacity and show Youtube videos to children? If so, you may find this tip helpful that my friend, Christine, sent me. SafeShare.TV…
How to Refinish an Old Lamp

How to Refurbish an Old Lamp

/
It's high time I introduce you to my dad. Although a former U.S. Marshal, I've always known him to be an artist and innovator at heart. From photographer to writer to architect/builder of our childhood…
favorite toys for two year olds

Moms' Favorite Toys for 2-Year-Olds

/
Note: *Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to…

Five Ways to Make Your House Less Desirable to Thieves

/
Guest posting for us today is my good friend, Ashley. As you will read in her post, she has learned some tough life lessons that she wanted to pass on. As a small town (and slightly naive) girl myself,…
how to start a freezer club

How to Start a Freezer Club (and Why You Should)

/
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means we get a small commission if you make a purchase through one at no additional cost to you. Read more here. Tight budget? Want to eat…

Life Hack: How to Hang Perfectly Level Decor on Walls

/
Since all of our big projects are pretty much done in our new house, I've gotten to work on some decorating. I wish SO MUCH that I had known about this little life hack on hanging pictures a long time…

Budget Breakdown of the Kitchen Flip

/
As you've probably gathered by now, we have done some major work on our kitchen. As I've been talking to friends about it, some have bravely asked how much we spent. Something in me gets a little squirmy…

Before and Afters of my New Home

/
I love taking before and after shots. As we've been plowing through the house projects at our new home, I've managed to keep my camera handy and snap some shots of the progress. Here is a rundown of some…

The Gift of Granola: Cheap and Easy Christmas Idea!

/
This holiday season, I've come up with a super easy, budget-friendly gift idea. Homemade granola! Double the batch, divide it between 3-4 large mason jars, tie a ribbon around the top and you've got…

Mirror Makeover

/
   I inherited this HUGE mirror from my grandparents about a year ago. It's been hanging above my couch for quite a while and has been begging for a fresh coat of paint for a long time. The original…

Game Night: Make Your Own "Apples to Apples"

/
It's no secret. I LOVE games. Especially ones that make a group laugh and make memories together, like the Rate Your Mate Game or The Question Game. Today, I've got another DIY oldie but goodie that…

The Thankful Tree: A Thanksgiving Craft and Centerpiece

/
Here's a craft that I think is worth it: The Thankful Tree. In the rush of preparing a meal, socializing, and entertaining (or restraining?) a house full of little kids, it gave our extended family…

Gift Idea for a New Mom: Nursing Time Box

/
Reposted from January 2012 Here's a frugal, easy and useful gift idea for a new mom... A friend of mine had her third baby a few weeks ago and is now at home with the infant and her two other small children.…

Wood Pallet Makeover

/
When I saw this wood pallet makeover that my friend Jessi (and her husband) did I immediately asked her to share how she did it with us. Check it out! I asked Jessi to share how they did this transformation.…

How to Host a Clothing Swap

/
A few nights ago, six gals accompanied with bags of clothes, shoes, and accessories gathered in my house for a clothing swap. It was SO fun! Not only did I get rid of clothes that I don't wear but I got…

How to Freeze Peaches

/
If you haven't ever bitten into a freshly picked peach, do yourself a favor and go to your local farmers market ASAP. Tis the season and they are SO delicious. Every year I tell myself I am going to…

It Works! How to Remove a Broken Lightbulb with a Potato

/
We are all about using natural, whole foods around here at Thriving Home. Even when it comes to home maintenance. OK, not really. But this was the case with a broken lightbulb that we couldn't remove…

How to Transplant (or Plant) Blueberries

/
This spring, I received a very special gift from my parents who were moving--FIVE BLUEBERRY BUSHES from their backyard! These bushes are about three years old, so they are already producing quite a…
3 Key Ways to Save Money and Eat Healthier

3 Key Ways To Save Money and Eat Healthier

/
I'm about to make a statement that you might strongly disagree with.  But, I'll do it anyway...and hopefully convince you. I think having healthy homemade food (vs. eating processed convenience…

10 Tips for Throwing a Successful Yard Sale

/
I don't know if I should admit this but I associate spring time with garage sales. As the snow (finally) melts away, I have begun to see more and more sale signs popping up on Fridays and Saturdays. This…

Stools with So Much Potential!

/
  Most people would look at these stools and think, "Gross." Since they came from my grandparent's house I wasn't too grossed out by them but they were in serious need of a makeover. The funny…

Grandma's Dresser Transformed into a Changing Table

/
Let the nesting begin! Ah, who's kidding. I'm in a continual state of nesting whether I'm pregnant or not. This week's warm weather allowed me to start and finish Baby 2.0's changing table. I prefer…

Why I Won't Throw My Kid a Pinterest Birthday Party

/
I have a confession to make. My son just turned 6 this week. And...I dropped the ball, so to speak, on planning a big basketball birthday party like he had originally asked for. There are so many moms…
DIY Stainless Steel Cleaner

DIY Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner

/
With six little grimmy hands running around my house, our stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher get embarrassingly nasty. Fingerprints are everywhere! Want to see? And these pictures…

Cloth Diapering Update

/
One of our most visited posts on Thriving Home is Cloth Diapering 101. In this post that I wrote back in February,  I share why I cloth diaper, about the brand I use, how to care for cloth diapers,…

DIY Baby Girl Onesies

/
If I would have known how easy these baby girl onesies were to make, I imagine my daughter's drawer would have been full of them. This is a fun project for someone with beginning sewing skills. It also…
DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner (or How to Get Poop and Puke Out of Carpet)

Homemade All-Natural Carpet Cleaner

/
Important Update as of 4/11/14: It has been over a year since using this on my carpet. The stains are still mostly gone, but my carpet is now lighter in those areas. I have old carpet so I much prefer…
Fourth of July Wreath

Make Your Own Fourth of July Wreath

/
After seeing a Fourth of July fireworks stand being set up yesterday, I got really excited for the upcoming holiday! So when I stumbled on this wreath idea from Capital B, I got motivated and…

How to Transform a Onesie into a Dress

/
It's amazing how fast babies grow out of their clothes. There were so many cute outfits that my little lady only wore once or twice. It was painful for me to pack barely used clothes away not knowing if…
homemade laundry detergent ingredients

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

/
Making homemade laundry detergent is easier than you might think. You'll save so much money and know that you're using a safe option for your family.

Toddler Activity Bags: How to Throw a Busy Bag Swap {Guest Post}

/
Got a busy toddler? I just came back from a "Busy Bag Exchange" equipped with 11 different activities to keep a toddler busy. Since my friend, Ashley, is the coordinator of the Busy Bag Exchange, I asked…

Decorating Tip: Another Use for Painters Tape!

/
I love to change our home decor up and move things around. In the early days of living in our house, I cut corners when hanging things on our walls and didn't used the plastic anchors that hold the screws…
New chair with silhouette shape

Antique Children's Chair Makeover

/
This chair makeover might be my favorite furniture makeover I've ever done so far. That's a pretty bold statement but I can't remember a piece starting out so rough and turning out so great! I stumbled…

10 Tips for Throwing a Great Garage Sale

/
Tis the season for garage sales! In fact, instead of going out and hunting for great treasures for my home, this past weekend, I threw a garage sale of my own. Rachel jumped on board and put some of her…

Mailbox Makeover

/
I love spray painting things. LOVE IT. It is easy, fast, cheap and gives big results. This is a project I've been itching to get to for a while. Our mailbox was beginning to show rust and was in much need…

Chair Changes

/
What is it with numbering things? Everywhere I turn, it seems like someone is numbering a household item and making it look cool. I'm not quite sure I get it. What's funny though is that I've jumped on…

Playdate Skirt Tutorial

/
I absolutely love little skirts on baby girls. Now that my little gal is in cloth diapers, her booty needs a little more room so I'm on a mission to make loads of skirts. I named this the "Playdate Skirt"…

Five Minute Fabric Flowers

/
Looking for a cheap and easy craft project? One that takes close to five minutes once you get the hang of it? Look no further, my friends. You can see my little lady modeling my newest creation below.…

Give Old Pillows New Life!

/
Want to freshen up some old throw pillows? Don't throw them out! It is a lot easier to makeover an old pillow than you would think. All you need is fabric and some very basic sewing skills. To see…

I Heart Trader Joe's: Why and What We Buy

/
I heart Trader Joe’s.  Who doesn’t, really? They're the full package if you ask me.  Here's why they've stolen my heart and what favorite TJ's products make a (smallish) dent in my grocery bill. Three…

New Mom Gift Idea: Nursing Time Box

/
Here's a frugal, easy and useful gift idea for a new mom... A friend of mine had her third baby a few weeks ago and is now at home with the infant and her two other small children.  As I prepared a…

How to Make Your Own Window Cornice

/
I really like the simple look of window cornices. They are clean, fresh, and from what I discovered, easy to make! I was also pleasantly surprised at how cheap the supplies for this turned out to be. AND…

DIY Baby Gift: Owl Pillow and Burp Cloths

/
A friend of mine had a little boy yesterday. I used it as an excuse to whip up a few fun burp clothes and an owl. These burp clothes are actually made from cloth diapers. If you have any sewing skills…

How to Make a Pacifier Clip

/
My little lady loves her pacifier. She also loves to spit it out at inconvenient times and in gross places. One of the most useful things I've made for her so far is a pacifier clip. They were SUPER easy.…

How to Clean Uggs

/
I love my Uggs. I got them around 3 years ago and wish I could wear them every day. They are a heavenly place for my feet in the winter. The problem with my deep love for my Uggs is that they have gotten…

Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

/
In an attempt to reduce toxins in our homes and save money, we've  become official wannabe hippie pioneer women.  Well, at least I like to think I am.  Polly, have you been converted yet? Below is…

Exercise

"Shape Up In May" Challenge

/
Sometimes you just need an excuse to jumpstart the engine again, right? This is why we're hosting something really fun this month. We'd LOVE for you to be a part of our "Shape Up In May" 10-Day Challenge.

Pedometer Challenge Part 3: Kick It Up A Notch!

/
Updated and reposted from January 2013 Check out Part 1 of the Pedometer Challenge Series to find out how to join in and Part 2 to get motivated to move more. Most of us (not all) could stand to move…

Pedometer Challenge Part 2: Here's Your Motivation to Move More

/
Updated and reposted from January 2013 Check out Part 1 of the Pedometer Challenge Series here and find out how you can join in. My kids and I are read Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls…

Pedometer Challenge (Part 1): Step It Up in 2015!

/
Updated and reposted from 2013 Need a little motivation to either start exercising or to "kick up" your current routine? I may have a fun, easy, and cheap solution for you. In fact, my friend, Candace,…
Just Dance Family Exercise Videos--Free!

Winter Indoor Exercise: Family Dance Party Favorites

/
My kids get crazy when the cold weather hits. And I don't blame them. I do too! All winter long I look for ways for all of us to get moving, and free Just Dance videos are one of our favorites. Last winter,…

My Journey Towards Healthier Living

/
True or False: At my peak weight, I was 25 pounds heavier than I am right now. True. True or False: In my last weeks of pregnancy, I weighed only 5 pounds more than I was 8 years ago. True again. Check…

Losing That Baby Weight: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

/
In labor with baby #1 in January 2007.  I was smiling because I FINALLY got to go to the hospital after three days of laboring at home. Mid-contraction with baby girl in October 2008. …

Good Reads

Pictures of the best children's bibles recommended by age level

Best Children's Bibles For All Ages

/
Recommendations from a seasoned Children's Ministry Director of the best children's bibles for every age (and how to avoid all the bad ones).
shelves of colorful books

10 Read Aloud Books for Kids Who Hate Reading

/
Every child loves books. They just don't know it yet. For the kid in your life who says they hate reading, here are 10 read aloud books that are sure to change his or her mind.

Childlike Remembrance: A Lesson From My Little Ones About the Heart of God

/
Today's post comes from my friend and author, Erin Hawley. Not only is she a great storyteller, but she has a knack for translating simple observations of her young kids into deep spiritual truths that…
What Books Are In My Nightstand Right Now

What Books Are In My Nightstand Right Now

/
I'm finally at a phase of life where I have time and a little more energy to read at night and in the early morning. I always enjoy getting a peek into other bloggers' lives to see what books they have…
These 5 random books are among some of my favorites recently. See why I liked them in this post.

Rachel's 5 Random Good Reads (and Some Confessions)

/
It's that time again when I dig through my rather full end table and pull out my good reads as of late. Today, I'm sharing some favs from this past winter and spring that I think are worth picking…

3 Books I Couldn't Put Down This Summer (+ A Bonus One)

/
For the first time in my 9-year parenting journey, this is the first year I've finally felt not quite so tired at night. And so...I have found time and energy at night to read again. Don't get me…

4 Books I've Been Enjoying

/
As a mom, I've found that reading good books is critical to my overall well-being. It is so easy for me to get wrapped up in toddler-drama, house-maintaining, blogging projects and simply not thinking…
book review of women of the word

Women of the Word: A Book Review

/
I'm a pastor's wife who struggles to read my Bible. It's hard for me admit that but it's true. Like many disciplines in the Christian life, my interest and passion for the Word has waxed and waned…
compared to her book discussion

Compared to Her: A Book Review

/
Disclosure: Affiliate links included. We all do it. We all compare. Some are more aware of this tendency than others but since sin entered the picture, we have been sizing ourselves up based on the…

Parenting Book Review: Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic

/
Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.…

The Action Bible: Almost 6-Year-Old Boy's Review

/
"Wow, Mom, I have to tell you how exciting that was! It was scary and exciting. It's my favorite book." (*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services…

One More Book Your Toddler Will Love

/
After reading Rachel's top 10 book recommendations for toddlers, I felt as though I needed to chime in on what my daughter has been enjoying reading. She is quite the book worm but one book in particular…

Video from Rachel: Top 10 Toddler Books

/
*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees…
A Praying Life by Paul Miller

Best Parenting Book I've Read Lately: A Praying Life by Paul Miller

/
If I'm totally honest with myself, a book about the topic of prayer would typically make my eyes glaze over with boredom.  Or is it my heart glazed over with cynicism? Note: Some of the links in this…

A Must-Read for Moms: Loving the Little Years

/
Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.…

Party and Holiday Ideas

Fruit Pizza Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

/
Fruit Pizza Cookies are a great dessert idea for groups of people. Each person has a blast customizing their sugar cookie topped with their pick of fresh fruit. Use our cream cheese frosting to make it…

31 Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids

/
We've put together a list of fun, adorable and easy Christmas crafts for kids to get your family in the holiday spirit. Bonus, they will keep your children occupied while you check things off YOUR to-do…

Gift Guide: Grandparents

/
Where do we even start to say thank you to the grandparents in our life? A thoughtful gift from the family can be one small way to show our appreciation for their love and support. With help from our…

Pumpkin Dump Cake

/
Pumpkin Dump Cake is an easy to make, crowd-pleaser recipe goes a long away (serves 9-12 people). It is a delicious twist on classic pumpkin pie that almost any age will like. It's also a great make-ahead…

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte

/
This homemade Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte is EASY to make and is my go-to drink when entertaining in the fall or winter. It's made with REAL ingredients from your pantry and everyone loves it and is…
Easter lunch on table with salad, ham, hash brown casserole, and wine

Easter Menu Plan Made Easy

/
An impressive, yet simple Easter meal for a crowd. Just follow our easy 4 step Easter Menu Plan!

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

/
We've tried to curate a wide-range of quality toys, books, games, and more for all ages that have had staying power in our homes or our friends' homes. Note: This post did have a giveaway on it, but…

Our Cookbook Launch Party In Action (+ The Best Flowers in Town!)

/
This post is written in partnership with the Hy-Vee stores in Columbia, MO, who helped provide delicious food for our launch party and continue to be cheerleaders for our cookbook and our blog. Thankful…

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Summer Party

/
Disclaimer: This article was created in partnership with Frigidaire. Don't worry, the opinions are all mine! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is grill out with friends. I love the fun…

What Will Be Next Year's Christmas Memory? (+ $100 Macy's Gift Card Giveaway!)

/
Holiday Traditions. Take them or leave them, we all have them. Even if your tradition is NOT having any traditions. Sorry to break it to you, you have a tradition of being non-traditional. OK, I'm being…

"Good News of Great Joy!" Family Christmas Devotional (Only $4.99!)

/
What story will most capture your child’s heart this holiday season? Children begin to form their understanding of what Christmas is about from very early on. The only real question is who or what will…

I Heart Operation Christmas Child

/
Before I jump in, I wanted to remind you of our $100 Target gift card giveaway going on. Make sure you enter by commenting on this post of my review of up & up diapers and wipes! One of my favorite…

Apple Butter Weekend 2014

/
"It's Apple butter Weekend." Anyone who has known me for a while knows what I mean by this. For over 80 years my family has been gathering in October to make homemade apple butter. LOTS of homemade…

Candy Corn Halloween Craft

/
This Candy Corn Craft for preschoolers and toddlers couldn't be easier. Either use scrap paper or scrap fabric, our free printable template, and some glue and let your child get to work. Halloween…

Group Gift Idea for a Bridal Shower

/
Guess what? My brother is getting married! (By the time this post goes live, he will likely already be married). We are super excited to have a new sister in-law. Check out their killer engagement photo.…

Hand Print Fourth of July Shirts

/
I love hand print crafts. Love them. They give you a tangible snapshot of time when your little one's hands where THAT small and remind you of how quickly they grow. In light of my intense love…

Easter Craft Idea: Little Bunnies

/
I mean, how you can you not even chuckle a little when you see this? Every time my husband and I walk past this Easter craft we have a little laugh. My two year old was more than delighted to see herself…

EASY Valentine Craft Idea for Toddlers and Kids

/
I've got a pretty simple Valentine's Day craft idea for you today. My two-year easily did this with enthusiasm (for about 5 minutes) but it was enough to get it done! It takes very little prep and very…
Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: Blow Up That Balloon Experiment

/
As I've mentioned in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, we did three different hands-on science experiments for my son's 7th Science Birthday Party. All three worked well and…
Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: Crazy Cupcake Concoctions

/
As I've been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, we had so much fun at my son's 7th Science Birthday Party. One of my favorite parts of the party, to be honest, was…
Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: How to Make Slime

/
As I've been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, I planned three science experiments for the kids including making slime. There's just no way around it: Slime is cool.…
Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party: Mentos and Diet Coke Experiment.

Science Birthday Party: Mentos and Diet Coke Explosion

/
As I've been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, I planned three science experiments for the kids including this grand finale, the Mentos and Diet Coke Explosion. It.…
Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party: How to make a science lab photo booth.

Science Birthday Party: Lab Photo Booth

/
As I mentioned in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, part of our decor and activities included the Lab Photo Booth. This cute photo session helped our little scientists loosen…
10 Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

6 Easy and Fun Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

/
The Christmas spirit doesn't have to stop after December 25! Here are a few easy ideas to do with family throughout the Christmas break, especially at gatherings. 1. Make a birthday cake for Jesus at…

The Gift of Granola: Cheap and Easy Christmas Idea!

/
This holiday season, I've come up with a super easy, budget-friendly gift idea. Homemade granola! Double the batch, divide it between 3-4 large mason jars, tie a ribbon around the top and you've got…

Apple Fig Walnut Tiny Tart {Pie in a Jar Recipe}

/
by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author If eating pie during the holidays is wrong, then I don't wanna be right. Jessica here, and I, for one, love pie...but don't like the over-richness…

Our Hand-Picked 2013 Gift Guide for Children: Toys, Books, and Music

/
As we said last year and probably will every year...the last thing we want to do is to make Christmas about the stuff. We value and celebrate Christmas because it reminds us of the greatest gift humanity…

Game Night: Make Your Own "Apples to Apples"

/
It's no secret. I LOVE games. Especially ones that make a group laugh and make memories together, like the Rate Your Mate Game or The Question Game. Today, I've got another DIY oldie but goodie that…

Apple Butter Weekend: A Family Tradition

/
Ever made 150 pints of apple butter at once? Sounds crazy but my family does it every year. "Apple Butter Weekend" has been happening every October for as long as I can remember. It's always something…
Easy Halloween Party Games

3 Easy Halloween Game Ideas: Perfect for School Parties!

/
Reposted from October 2012 I love thinking of and running games for kids...really people of any age. So, when I saw Katie's awesome post at Kitchen Stewardship about Easy School Halloween Party…

How to Host a Clothing Swap

/
A few nights ago, six gals accompanied with bags of clothes, shoes, and accessories gathered in my house for a clothing swap. It was SO fun! Not only did I get rid of clothes that I don't wear but I got…

Birthday Banner

/
(The following is a sponsored post by Banner Envy) This weekend was a blast. We celebrated my daughter's second birthday along with her buddy Eleanor. The weather was perfect and the munchkins had a blast…

Water Blob Fail

/
Well friends, my grand ideas don't always turn out like I planned. This is the case with my attempt at making a water blob for a play date we had a few days ago. First of all, you should know that we…
10 Easter Gift Ideas

10 Easter Gifts That Will Last Longer Than a Chocolate Bunny

/
My kids will get a chocolate bunny this Easter. They'll cheer. And they'll eat it in no time. And they'll look really cute with a chocolate ring around their mouths in their Easter clothes. But, we…

DIY Easter Decorating Idea: Repurpose Paint Chips into an Easter Garland

/
Since most of my creative energy is being put towards baby boy's nursery and not holiday decorating, I thought I'd share a little Easter project from the past. Enjoy! An Eggcellent Easter Decorating Idea I…
Holiday Cookie Exchange

Holiday Cookie Exchange: A Fun Idea for Groups

/
Need a fun idea for a group get-together? We've previously shared some  fun group games such as Rate Your Mate and The Question Game. This activity isn't so much a game though. It's a cookie exchange! How…

The Question Game: Fun for Small Groups

/
The fun group game for couples that I posted not long ago for Christmas parties has been really popular. A friend asked me, though, if I had a game that can be played with couples and singles, though.…

Recipe for Christmas Tree Water

/
I was reminded this week how much I love a REAL Christmas tree. Imperfect? Yep. Messy? Yep. A hassle? You bet. Worth it? Yes. The scent of a cedar tree in your house is unlike any other.…
Easy Halloween Party Games

Easy and Cheap Halloween Party Game Ideas (+ Free Printable)

/
I love thinking of and running games for kids...really people of any age. So, when I saw Katie's awesome post at Kitchen Stewardship about Easy School Halloween Party Ideas, I put my own thinking cap on. Over…

Baby Shower Decoration

/
About a month ago, I helped throw a baby shower for a dear friend. We didn't go too crazy with decorating for it but I did make up some of these paper onesies to scatter around the food and gift table. With…
Fourth of July Wreath

Make Your Own Fourth of July Wreath

/
After seeing a Fourth of July fireworks stand being set up yesterday, I got really excited for the upcoming holiday! So when I stumbled on this wreath idea from Capital B, I got motivated and…

Birthday Onesie: A Silhouette Project

/
Here is just another example of what the Silhouette Machine can make. We just celebrated my daughter's first birthday. I whipped up a special outfit for the event. Here is the front: ...and here is…

How to Make Green Slime: Perfect for a Messy-Themed Party

/
I've got green slime on the brain...and probably still in my hair. Last week, the team I work with was in charge of our 11th year of what we call Kids Club at our church. It's kind of like VBS on steroids.…

Hospitality Tips and Tricks for Hosting Groups of People

/
I've often been told that I have "the gift of hospitality." Whether this is true or not, almost anything I learned about hosting groups most likely came from my mother. She is the queen when it comes to…

Toddler Activity Bags: How to Throw a Busy Bag Swap {Guest Post}

/
Got a busy toddler? I just came back from a "Busy Bag Exchange" equipped with 11 different activities to keep a toddler busy. Since my friend, Ashley, is the coordinator of the Busy Bag Exchange, I asked…

Natural Living

Top 10 Safe and Budget-Friendly Sunscreens for Kids

/
Did you know most of the sunscreens for babies and children on the market are filled with harmful chemicals, from endocrine disruptors to cancer-causing ingredients? If you want to keep your child safe from the sun's damage and safe from toxic sunscreen ingredients without breaking the bank, pick up one of our curated Top 10 Safest and Budget-Friendly Sunscreens for Kids this year. We've done all the research for you!

All-Natural DIY Drano: Safe and Effective Toilet Declogger

/
It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano recipe really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick two different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets--no pun intended.) Let…

Pique Tea: Possibly the World's Healthiest Beverage

/
I've always wanted to be a tea drinker. I've even bought cute tea pots in an effort to motivate myself to dabble and experiment with different flavors, leaves, and brewing methods. However, I never quite…

Healthy Living Small Step #10: Switch to an All-Natural Laundry Detergent

/
As we've journeyed through our 10 Small Steps Towards Healthy Living Series (start here if you are just joining), there have likely been steps that you chosen to skip over. Some require a bit more money…

Healthy Living Small Step #9: Diffuse Essential Oils Instead of Burning Candles

/
Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. Step #9: Diffuse essential oils instead of burning candles. Can we be honest with each other? I am having a hard time…
Invest in healthy living resources

Healthy Living Small Step #8: Invest in Resources

/
Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. (Note: Some affiliate links included.) Confession I'm a quitter. When I get overwhelmed by something or don't understand…

Healthy Living Small Step #7: Rethink How You Make Coffee

/
Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. I have a coffee dilemma. Maybe you do too. The dilemma in my conscience for years has been a struggle between…

Healthy Living Small Step #6: Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner

/
Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. Making your own household cleaner really is super easy. You can not only save money but also avoid any extra chemicals…
Healthy Living Step #5: Create a Weekly Meal Plan

Healthy Living Small Step #5: Create a Weekly Menu Plan

/
Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. Last Monday, we talked about the small healthy step of moving toward a diet of more homemade, real food. Have you…

Healthy Living Small Step #4: Sneak in Exercise

/
Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. I doubt I need to convince you that exercise is a mandatory part of good health. But, if you're like me, the problem…

Healthy Living Small Step #3: Ditch the Tupperware

/
  Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated…
10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living: Step One

Healthy Living Small Step #1: Go One Day Without Processed Foods

/
Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series here. (Note: Some affiliate links included.) Our Family's Journey Toward Real Food My husband and I used to be fast…

10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living: What Does "Healthy Living" Actually Mean?

/
In the past 10 years, my definition of "healthy" has dramatically changed. 22 year old Polly would have described healthy living simply as limiting your calories and eating low-fat foods. Like most women,…

DIY, Citrus Cleaning Spray

/
This DIY, natural cleaning spray is a great way I've been using my essential oils for cleaning. Just like the carpet/room freshener  I previously shared about, I love the simplicity of what is in the…

DIY Carpet & Room Freshener

/
As a recovering candleholic, I am always in search of ways to make my home smell good. I'm kind of a scent junkie. Not to mention, with two dogs and two kids, it can be a challenge to keep our place…

Essential Oils: A Beginner's Guide

/
My Story (so far): I'll be honest, I didn't even know what an essential oil was until 2 years ago when a yoga instructor unexpectedly put it on me in the closing relaxation portion of a class. I remember…

What Should I Freeze My Meals In?

/
Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.…

10 Things I Would Like from MightyNest

/
Welp, I've got a good start on my Christmas list! I've been eying out the site, MightyNest for days. The more I look at it, the longer my wishlist gets. (Dang it!) Similar to Rachel's story, these…

A Safe, Cheap, and Effective Sunscreen for the Whole Family

/
Updated from May 2013. I thought this post might be helpful again for those moms out there like me who want a safe, effective, and cheap sunscreen... Every year I find myself doing new research on the…
diy scented soap bars

DIY Scented Soap Bars

/
by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author A recent school family project assignment had my daughters and I wondering what to conquer. "Let's make soap!" one of them suggested. What?! Jessica…

Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?

/
I recently read a post on the Gospel Coalition website called "Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?" The information and thoughts shared in the article have been churning around in my mind since I…
how to start a freezer club

How to Start a Freezer Club (and Why You Should)

/
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means we get a small commission if you make a purchase through one at no additional cost to you. Read more here. Tight budget? Want to eat…
why eat flaxseed

Why Eat Flaxseed?

/
I'll be honest, two years ago I had no idea what flaxseed even was. Now I seem to use in it my recipes almost daily. If you're like me you may be wondering why everyone is making such a big fuss about…

DIY Bee and Wasp Sting Remedy

/
If you've ever been stung by a wasp, you won't forget it. They put a healthy fear in you that results in a lifelong avoidance. Well, children don't have the luxury of life experience and in this case,…

How to Freeze Peaches

/
If you haven't ever bitten into a freshly picked peach, do yourself a favor and go to your local farmers market ASAP. Tis the season and they are SO delicious. Every year I tell myself I am going to…

How to Transplant (or Plant) Blueberries

/
This spring, I received a very special gift from my parents who were moving--FIVE BLUEBERRY BUSHES from their backyard! These bushes are about three years old, so they are already producing quite a…
3 Key Ways to Save Money and Eat Healthier

3 Key Ways To Save Money and Eat Healthier

/
I'm about to make a statement that you might strongly disagree with.  But, I'll do it anyway...and hopefully convince you. I think having healthy homemade food (vs. eating processed convenience…

10 Easy DIY All-Natural Household Products

/
My son was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 20 months of age. It was terrifying, especially when we had no family history at all. So, I did what I'm guessing many terrified mothers who feel out of control…

How to Peel a Pomegranate

/
Did you know that pomegranates are one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health? This anceint fruit is crazy good for you. Health Benefits of the Pomegranate They are…

Lessons Learned from My Daughter Choking

/
Last night my 17 month old daughter choked. She's ok but it was pretty scary. My mom was actually watching my daughter, Adelyn, while I was out with my husband and some friends for my 30th birthday.…
healthy recipes kids like

50+ Ways to Sneak Fruits & Vegetables into Kid Favorites

/
This post contains affiliate links. Read our full disclosure policy here. I'm a big believer in offering my kids fruits and vegetables at every meal and serving my family meat that I can trust.…

Cloth Diapering Update

/
One of our most visited posts on Thriving Home is Cloth Diapering 101. In this post that I wrote back in February,  I share why I cloth diaper, about the brand I use, how to care for cloth diapers,…
I'm Glad I Left My Family and 10 Reasons You Should Too

10 Reasons I'm Glad I Left My Family and Why You Should, Too

/
Yes, I left my family...for two nights this past weekend. Almost two years ago my best friend, Erika, suggested to me and a few other of our friends from the past (I knew all of these girls as early…

Candace's Transformation Story

/
Meet Candace. She's my friend from work. Kids and adults alike love her. (Don't you already?) She's truly one of the most beautiful women I know inside and out. Today, I want to share with you about…

Reader Question: How Do I Handle My Picky 2-Year-Old?

/
A friend of mine and reader of the blog emailed me a while back with several great questions about helping her picky eater, as well as incorporating healthy foods into their family's diet. These are the…
DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner (or How to Get Poop and Puke Out of Carpet)

Homemade All-Natural Carpet Cleaner

/
Important Update as of 4/11/14: It has been over a year since using this on my carpet. The stains are still mostly gone, but my carpet is now lighter in those areas. I have old carpet so I much prefer…

Healthy Recipe Ideas for a One Year Old

/
Feeding a little one can be so much fun! I love helping my daughter discover new tastes, textures, and combinations. At times, however, it can result in a lot of frustration. As a mom of a little one,…
homemade laundry detergent ingredients

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

/
Making homemade laundry detergent is easier than you might think. You'll save so much money and know that you're using a safe option for your family.

My Journey Towards Healthier Living

/
True or False: At my peak weight, I was 25 pounds heavier than I am right now. True. True or False: In my last weeks of pregnancy, I weighed only 5 pounds more than I was 8 years ago. True again. Check…
A easy homemade granola recipe

Homemade Granola Recipe

/
For the past few months, my husband has kindly reminded me that I haven't made my granola recipe in a while. I had good intentions to make it but just added it to the very long to-do list and it never…
non-toxic foaming hand soap recipe

How to Make Your Own Non-Toxic Foaming Hand Soap

/
Seriously...why did I wait so long to do this?  For years I've either been buying way over-priced safe hand soap or cheap unsafe soap.  Those days are over. This past weekend, I used…

Cloth Diapering 101

/
Cloth diapering. Isn't that something that hippies who don't shave their armpits do? OK, so maybe that is stereotyping a bit, but I realized very quickly that not everyone is so keen on the…

I Heart Trader Joe's: Why and What We Buy

/
I heart Trader Joe’s.  Who doesn’t, really? They're the full package if you ask me.  Here's why they've stolen my heart and what favorite TJ's products make a (smallish) dent in my grocery bill. Three…

Babies with Acid Reflux: Help for Moms

/
I survived having a baby with acid reflux. I don't use the term survived lightly, nor would other moms whose kiddos had reflux. But we made it. Kicking and screaming, we made it. And now we have a happy,…

Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

/
In an attempt to reduce toxins in our homes and save money, we've  become official wannabe hippie pioneer women.  Well, at least I like to think I am.  Polly, have you been converted yet? Below is…

Faith

Truth for Trials: Printable Verse Cards

/
These 25 printable Bible verse cards will remind you of the hope and comfort that God offers us, especially in the midst of hardship and brokenness. Post them around your home, in the car or at work and…

9 Ways to Serve Your Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

/
This is an unprecedented time in our lives. No one knows what the future of the COVID-19 pandemic holds in the U.S. right now, as I write this. Universities, professional sports teams, places of worship,…

15+ Advent Resources for the Whole Family

/
This year, Advent begins on Sunday, December 1st. The true reason we celebrate Christmas - that God sent His only Son for us - can get lost in the hustle and bustle of preparations for the holiday. Advent…

Best Bibles for Tweens and Teens

/
What are the best Bibles for tweens and teens? After years of working in youth ministry and parenting teens ourselves, we have narrowed down what we think are some of the best Bibles for tween and teen…
moving truck

3 Lessons from Moving Across the Country

/
By Erin Hawley, Contributor Our family has recently relocated for my husband’s job.  There have been some difficult moments as we moved our two small children away from their school, friends,…

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Strengthen Your Faith and Family

/
These 5 New Year's resolutions to grow your faith and family may be the most meaningful ones of your entire life.

Childlike Remembrance: A Lesson From My Little Ones About the Heart of God

/
Today's post comes from my friend and author, Erin Hawley. Not only is she a great storyteller, but she has a knack for translating simple observations of her young kids into deep spiritual truths that…
parents holding hands with child

10 Bible Verses Every Parent Needs to Know

/
by Keith Simon, Co-Lead Pastor of The Crossing. First posted at Every Square Inch. Jesus: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” God didn’t design…

3 Devotional Books for Elementary Kids We Are Loving

/
If I get one thing right as a parent...it's not to get them the right education. It's not to make sure they play the right sports. It's not to help them avoid pain at all cost. And it's not even to make…

My Fight with Binge Eating, Excessive Exercising, and Self Image

/
Today I'm sharing about a big struggle that God brought me through in my 20's. I pray that whether you are going through this same trial or face another seemingly hopeless sin pattern in your life, that…

Letter to My Dying Uncle

/
Comforting words in the midst of suffering don't come easily. This is especially true when that person is facing a terminal illness. Maybe you're in this position and want to encourage and bring comfort…

The Most Important Moment in My 39 Years

/
We love helping equip others with practical ways to thrive at home, especially through freezer cooking. But, every once in a while, I get an itch as a blogger to share something really personal or meaningful…

Keeping the Big Things Big (and the Small Things Small)

/
“Martha, if your heart stops beating, do you want us to restart it?” I could hardly believe the question that the doctor had just asked my grandmother (technically my husband’s grandmother but family…

"Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?”

/
"Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?” My 6-year-old’s anxious question pierced my heart. It wasn’t the first time one of my children had asked this of me. I remember asking my parents that same…

To Think God Had This in Mind for My Family 15 Years Ago

/
I never would have thought this would be the case 15 years ago, but God had it mind. In 2001, my husband and I recruited a few couples from church around our same age, in our twenties at that time, to…
Do you know how to tell a good devotional resource from a mediocre or even a bad one? It's important to ask at least three questions before purchasing faith-building devotionals or children's Bibles for your family.

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Family Devotional (Plus 25+ Recommendations!)

/
As a children's ministry staff member at my church for the past 16 years and a mom of three elementary-aged kiddos, I'm always on the look out for great faith-building resources for parents. Devotional…
Laura started losing her hair in high school and has lived most of her college and 20 somethings years as a bald woman in a culture that worships beauty. Her story is incredibly encouraging! Read on and share with others!

I Lost All My Hair...and Gained Something Greater

/
I first saw Laura Hockett at a week-long church event that I help run called Kids Club. She had a huge smile on her face, was leading a group of elementary kids in some cheers, and, most notably, was…

Lessons From My Kids' Confiscated Toys

/
Guest post by Nathan (Rachel's husband) Water balloons. The missing ear of a stuffed animal. A Pez dispenser. A doll (inevitably) missing its clothing. Two old iPhones. And both medieval* and futuristic…
Christmas Decor

I Always Miss the Mark During Advent, and Yet...

/
The angel's words to the shepherds so long ago really are true: But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town…

A Head Shaving Party for Darcie

/
This post is a long time coming. I started on it this spring, but due to many turn of events I never finished it. Well, it's high time I told you more about my friend Darcie's story. Because, well, she's…
How to Fight For Contentment

How to Fight for Contentment

/
Guest post by Nathan--pastor, dad of three, and Rachel's husband. Check out his other guest posts here, here, and here. Oh, and you may want to pin his favorite Everyday Smoothie Recipe, too. By most…

True Healing Can't Come from an Oil

/
A few months ago a dear friend of mine called me to process some yucky stuff she’s been going through. In short, she had recently had a few panic attacks and was fearful that she may have more. After…
Truths to remember during trials. Life doesn't always go as planned. Here are a few great reminders to hold on to when life get hairy.

A Few Truths to Remember During Trials

/
Dear readers, life is just HARD sometimes. I don't know why I'm surprised by trials when they come but I always am. I become all melodramatic when my comfort and easy life is interrupted as if it's…

Where is God When You Can't Get Pregnant?

/
Today's post has been prayed for, labored over, talked about and worked on for weeks and weeks. Rebekah from Barren to Beautiful has poured her heart and soul into these words and we have high hopes that…

Profound Pups

/
One my dogs' great joys in life is riding in the car with me. When I tell them we are going for a car ride, they scamper as fast as they can to the garage door and eagerly load up once the car door is…

UPDATE: Verse Cards are 20% Off through December 24!

/
Looking for a meaningful but frugal gift for friends or a mom in your life? Goods news! We're running a Christmas discount on a mom favorite--our printable On the Job Meditations for Moms: 25 Encouraging…

I Heart Operation Christmas Child

/
Before I jump in, I wanted to remind you of our $100 Target gift card giveaway going on. Make sure you enter by commenting on this post of my review of up & up diapers and wipes! One of my favorite…

The One Where I Admit I Can't Do It All

/
I've been struggling with headaches for two years now--ever since I was done nursing my my last child. They seem to have gotten more frequent--about once a week I end up in bed. I’ve linked them to…
book review of women of the word

Women of the Word: A Book Review

/
I'm a pastor's wife who struggles to read my Bible. It's hard for me admit that but it's true. Like many disciplines in the Christian life, my interest and passion for the Word has waxed and waned…

Can Women (and Men) Have It All?

/
Guest post by my husband, Nathan. In many respects, Indra K. Nooyi is an enormously successful woman. The 58 year-old CEO of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business on the planet, often…
compared to her book discussion

Compared to Her: A Book Review

/
Disclosure: Affiliate links included. We all do it. We all compare. Some are more aware of this tendency than others but since sin entered the picture, we have been sizing ourselves up based on the…

I Heart Sseko Designs

/
I just got my first pair of Sseko Sandals in the mail. I can't believe it has taken me this long to get some. Not only am I friends with the founder, Liz, but I LOVE supporting businesses that are ethical…

A Mother's Day Special: 25 Encouraging Verse Cards

/
We've got a Mother's Day special for you on a very special and inexpensive gift! About a year ago, Polly and I had our uber-talented designer friend, Christine Busch, design an adorable little set of 25…

Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?

/
I recently read a post on the Gospel Coalition website called "Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?" The information and thoughts shared in the article have been churning around in my mind since I…

Reflections on our Family Mission Trip to Jamaica

/
For the past 9 days, my husband and two kids (2.5 y.o. and 11 months) have been in an impoverished community in Jamaica called Harmons. We went with a group of college students to serve with an established…

The Beauty of Female Friendship

/
This past weekend I gathered together with a group of 12 women made up of my best friends and various other women connected to our group in one way or another. While our initial reason for getting together…

Blessings Too Big by Toby Sumpter

/
On the tough days of motherhood I simply can't understand why God says children are a "blessing." I feel like I'm missing something OR he has given the "blessed" kids to someone else. Well, I read this…

Helping the Homeless Video

/
There is no way for us to know how God will use the small acts of faith that we do in our everyday lives. Because of one conversation I had with a homeless man, now hundreds are being helped and blessed…

9 Truths to Believe When My Child is Suffering

/
When our firstborn son was 20 months old and I was 9 months pregnant with our second child, my husband and I sat in silence in the procedure waiting room, nervously awaiting the results of his endoscopy…

Pass the Truth, Please: Guest Post by Gloria Furman

/
I'm excited to share another guest post from our author and friend, Gloria Furman. When we told her about our printable Bible verses, On the Job Meditations for Moms, she offered to share this personal…

The Thankful Tree: A Thanksgiving Craft and Centerpiece

/
Here's a craft that I think is worth it: The Thankful Tree. In the rush of preparing a meal, socializing, and entertaining (or restraining?) a house full of little kids, it gave our extended family…

A Sign in My Life

/
Sometimes lessons about what is most important in life come in the form of signs. Not miraculous signs from God like the pillar of smoke or the parting of the Red Sea that the Israelites witnessed. Not…

Breath Prayers

/
It's been one of those days. Well, even one of those weeks. Yesterday I came down with my second round of mastitis in the past two months. Last night when I was feeling my worst, plagued with chills,…

Practical Ways to Help a Friend Through Grief

/
The following post is written by my friend, Ashley. Below, Ashely boldly shares her story of loss with us but also provides some very practical ways to help someone who might be grieving. You may not…
Help Child with Separation Anxiety

Five Tips to Help a Child's Separation Anxiety

/
Thanks so much to our friend, Jess, for guest posting today. After volunteering and working full time in children's ministry for years, Jess has a lot of wisdom to offer on this subject! Take it…

Six Things I Will Do Differently with My Second Child

/
As I write this post, I am 26 days away from my due date. By the time I actually share this post, it will be even closer. As baby boy gets closer and closer to joining our family, I have been reflecting…

Helping the Homeless: On-the-Go Bags

/
I once had coffee with a homeless man. It wasn't planned or anything. It just happened when he sat uncomfortably close to me at a Starbucks in Chicago. Here I was sitting in Starbucks with my caramel…

The Action Bible: Almost 6-Year-Old Boy's Review

/
"Wow, Mom, I have to tell you how exciting that was! It was scary and exciting. It's my favorite book." (*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services…

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

/
I know there are many of us out there who love to sing the praises of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, especially the new collectors edition (at right) that includes the audio version.…
I'm Glad I Left My Family and 10 Reasons You Should Too

10 Reasons I'm Glad I Left My Family and Why You Should, Too

/
Yes, I left my family...for two nights this past weekend. Almost two years ago my best friend, Erika, suggested to me and a few other of our friends from the past (I knew all of these girls as early…

I Declare War On...

/
...my impatience with my kids. That's right. I've HAD it with my impatience. (Yes, my husband already pointed out the irony of my impatience with my impatience.) My little people mean way too much to…

Top 6 Bibles for Young Kids (+ Review of "Read Aloud Bible Stories")

/
Disclosure: Some affiliate links included. When you purchase through these links, you support our blog. Thank you! If you’re a parent of young children and want to begin teaching them to love God…

Resolving Conflict the Right Way (and A Look at All My Wrong Ways)

/
Some of the most glorious and, at times, messy parts of my life have involved deep, gospel-driven friendships. Tim Keller says in The Meaning of Marriage that the point of marriage is “for helping each…
A Praying Life by Paul Miller

Best Parenting Book I've Read Lately: A Praying Life by Paul Miller

/
If I'm totally honest with myself, a book about the topic of prayer would typically make my eyes glaze over with boredom.  Or is it my heart glazed over with cynicism? Note: Some of the links in this…

4 Mistakes I’ve Already Made As a Parent

/
One of my fears in writing a blog called Thriving Home and that sometimes speaks to parenting issues is that you’d get the ridiculous impression that I somehow have my act all together as a mother. …

On the Job Meditations for Moms

/
A dark, short silhouette hovers over you and whispers "Mommy. Why are you still asleep?"  You mutter a dry throat grunt in response, while your hand searches the end table for your glasses forged in 1999. …

Homemade Household Products

All-Natural DIY Drano: Safe and Effective Toilet Declogger

/
It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano recipe really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick two different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets--no pun intended.) Let…

How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home

/
When you go to the store to buy vanilla you are faced with a dilemma: do you buy the smaller, more expensive bottle of REAL vanilla or the larger, cheaper bottle of imitation vanilla? It's a battle of…

Healthy Living Small Step #10: Switch to an All-Natural Laundry Detergent

/
As we've journeyed through our 10 Small Steps Towards Healthy Living Series (start here if you are just joining), there have likely been steps that you chosen to skip over. Some require a bit more money…

Healthy Living Small Step #6: Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner

/
Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. Making your own household cleaner really is super easy. You can not only save money but also avoid any extra chemicals…

DIY, Citrus Cleaning Spray

/
This DIY, natural cleaning spray is a great way I've been using my essential oils for cleaning. Just like the carpet/room freshener  I previously shared about, I love the simplicity of what is in the…

DIY Carpet & Room Freshener

/
As a recovering candleholic, I am always in search of ways to make my home smell good. I'm kind of a scent junkie. Not to mention, with two dogs and two kids, it can be a challenge to keep our place…
6 Ways to Reduce Chemicals in Your Home

6 Simple Ways to Reduce Chemicals In Your Home (+ Win $79 Worth of Young Living Products-EXPIRED)

/
Sponsored post by Essential Oil Living. The following information in this post has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure disease. Six years ago, when my son was…
diy scented soap bars

DIY Scented Soap Bars

/
by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author A recent school family project assignment had my daughters and I wondering what to conquer. "Let's make soap!" one of them suggested. What?! Jessica…

All Natural Orange Vinegar and Orange Peel Household Cleaner

/
A long time ago, before we even started Thriving Home, Rachel recruited me to make some DIY All-Purpose Disinfectant Spray. This was the first time that I saw how cheap and easy it was to make your own…

Easy Homemade Playdough Recipe (+ FREE Printable Recipe Card)

/
A printable recipe for playdough is available at the bottom of this post! I have such fond memories of making playdough with my mom and siblings. We'd watch in anticipation as my mom stirred up the mixture…

DIY Bee and Wasp Sting Remedy

/
If you've ever been stung by a wasp, you won't forget it. They put a healthy fear in you that results in a lifelong avoidance. Well, children don't have the luxury of life experience and in this case,…

10 Easy DIY All-Natural Household Products

/
My son was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 20 months of age. It was terrifying, especially when we had no family history at all. So, I did what I'm guessing many terrified mothers who feel out of control…

Recipe for Christmas Tree Water

/
I was reminded this week how much I love a REAL Christmas tree. Imperfect? Yep. Messy? Yep. A hassle? You bet. Worth it? Yes. The scent of a cedar tree in your house is unlike any other.…
DIY Stainless Steel Cleaner

DIY Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner

/
With six little grimmy hands running around my house, our stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher get embarrassingly nasty. Fingerprints are everywhere! Want to see? And these pictures…

Easy DIY Fruit Fly Traps

/
My kitchen is overrun with fruit flies this time of year. They buzz around our bananas, land in my wine, and I even got one stuck down in my ear one time! They drive me nuts! Here are two, DIY methods…
DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner (or How to Get Poop and Puke Out of Carpet)

Homemade All-Natural Carpet Cleaner

/
Important Update as of 4/11/14: It has been over a year since using this on my carpet. The stains are still mostly gone, but my carpet is now lighter in those areas. I have old carpet so I much prefer…
homemade laundry detergent ingredients

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

/
Making homemade laundry detergent is easier than you might think. You'll save so much money and know that you're using a safe option for your family.
non-toxic foaming hand soap recipe

How to Make Your Own Non-Toxic Foaming Hand Soap

/
Seriously...why did I wait so long to do this?  For years I've either been buying way over-priced safe hand soap or cheap unsafe soap.  Those days are over. This past weekend, I used…

Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

/
In an attempt to reduce toxins in our homes and save money, we've  become official wannabe hippie pioneer women.  Well, at least I like to think I am.  Polly, have you been converted yet? Below is…

Fashion

Fall Fashion Must Have Wardrobe Staples from Target (2019 Edition)

/
Simplify your closet and look totally put together with these mix-and-match fall wardrobe pieces from Target...all without breaking the bank!

How to Shop for Fashion Items on Amazon

/
Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.…

10 Winter Fashion Must-Haves Under $50

/
I (Polly) come from a small lake down. (Camdenton, MO if you know where that even is). As a child, I grew up wearing combination of a bathing suits, Umbros, over-sized t-shirts, and Tevas pretty much every…

About the Noonday Collection & Why I Hosted a Trunk Show

/
This weekend I turned 33. Unlike the past few years, I think I'll actually remember how old I am thanks to a friend of mine pointing out that I am at the age that Jesus was when he died. Thanks, Erin. Despite…

An Honest Review of Stitch Fix

/
As a small-town, home-grown lake girl, I grew up wearing swimsuits in the summer and sweatshirts in the winter. In high school, my primary goal when picking out clothes was to hide my figure. I distinctly…

I Heart Sseko Designs

/
I just got my first pair of Sseko Sandals in the mail. I can't believe it has taken me this long to get some. Not only am I friends with the founder, Liz, but I LOVE supporting businesses that are ethical…

Household Recipes

diy scented soap bars

DIY Scented Soap Bars

/
by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author A recent school family project assignment had my daughters and I wondering what to conquer. "Let's make soap!" one of them suggested. What?! Jessica…

Confessions

Easter Shenanigans

/
This weekend was a fun one for our family. *Much thanks to my brother in-law for the photos and video! Thursday evening we packed all of our little creatures (two dogs, two kids) into the car and…

Megabus Adventures

/
This past weekend I embarked on a new adventure: The Megabus.  The Megabus is kind of what it sounds like. A huge bus that takes you places. It travels back and forth between Kansas City, Columbia, St.…

Video Bloopers: Why Shred Your Own Cheese?

/
In case you missed it, yesterday I shared Three reasons why you should shred cheese at home. If you read it, you know that in the post I share a little video of how to shred cheese using a food processor.…

Confessions: My Daughter Head-Butted Me in Public

/
This post offers no great parenting advice. It offers no book recommendations. It offers no gospel-centered lesson on parenting. No, this post is simply going out to those who have a youngster who is pushing…

Confessions: My Family Has a Thing for Costumes

/
Once upon a time, I might have been the Easter Bunny mascot at our Country Club Easter Egg Hunt. True story. Sorry, no pictures of that but you can let your imagination run wild. This was just the beginning…

Confessions: Ultrasonic Scalers, Dog Bowls and Fruit Flies

/
I had to convince myself to not cry at the dentist. Got my teeth cleaned a few days ago. I'm pretty good about going to the dentist regularly. This even surprises me because there is one part of the cleaning…

Confessions: Tomatoes, Little Dogs and the Ice Bucket Challenge

/
Sometimes I get into blog mode and feel like I can only write about helpful things--things that someone will want to pin or share. Recipes, crafts, book reviews and kid ideas are all great. And, probably…

Saving Money

How to Get 3 Free Audiobooks

/
Audiobooks have changed my life. I'm not exaggerating! The ability to listen to books while I drive, mow, walk, or even clean has given me the chance to "read" so many more books than I ever would…

Top 10 Safe and Budget-Friendly Sunscreens for Kids

/
Did you know most of the sunscreens for babies and children on the market are filled with harmful chemicals, from endocrine disruptors to cancer-causing ingredients? If you want to keep your child safe from the sun's damage and safe from toxic sunscreen ingredients without breaking the bank, pick up one of our curated Top 10 Safest and Budget-Friendly Sunscreens for Kids this year. We've done all the research for you!

The Why and How to a Weekly Budget Meeting

/
Is there anything more uncomfortable than talking about money?!? I mean, just saying the word "money" kind of makes my skin crawl. And what about the word "budget"?? That evokes a wide range of emotions,…

One Small Change to Save Money and Waste {Plus a Mighty Deal for You!}

/
Sponsored by MightyNest Small changes around the house can really start to add up when it comes to living healthier, saving money, and preserving our environment this year. But, sometimes it's hard…

How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home

/
When you go to the store to buy vanilla you are faced with a dilemma: do you buy the smaller, more expensive bottle of REAL vanilla or the larger, cheaper bottle of imitation vanilla? It's a battle of…

Hy-Vee Freezer Cooking Classes: Why We Are BIG Fans

/
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Hy-Vee but opinions are all mine!  You guys. Last night, we had so much fun at a freezer cooking class at Hy-Vee. Before I launch in to tell you all about…