Home Hacks

How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

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A simple trick on how to get a hummingbird out of a garage. It really works! (See the comments for proof!) Guest post and photography by Curt Casteel (Rachel's Dad) Every summer a strange…

How to Freeze Zucchini

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When you have an abundance of zucchini, no need to let it go to waste - freeze it! Here is how to freeze zucchini so you can use it months down the road. I have NEVER had such a great zucchini…

DIY Drano for Toilets

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It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano for toilets really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick several different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets--no…

DIY Apples to Apples Game

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Creating your own Apples to Apples game is simple, cheap (only scrap paper and a few pens required) and freaking hilarious. I've played our homemade version with adults (I don't think my small…

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

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Online shopping is the future. Since someone else will be doing the hands-on shopping for you, it's important to shop from a place that has a user-friendly system, high quality products, and a money back…

How to Freeze Green Onions or Scallions

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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

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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…

How to Hang a Picture Straight EVERY Time: My Favorite Decorating Hack!

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Hanging a perfectly straight picture can be a challenge. With this simple picture hanging hack, you will never have crocked pictures on your walls again! If you spend much time around here,…
10 Things I'm Glad I Did On Our Family Vacation

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

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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 to start a freezer club

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

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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…

Budget Breakdown of the Kitchen Flip

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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

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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…

Mirror Makeover

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   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…

The Thankful Tree: A Thanksgiving Craft and Centerpiece

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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

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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

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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 Freeze Peaches

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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

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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…

Grandma's Dresser Transformed into a Changing Table

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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

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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 Baby Girl Onesies

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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

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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

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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

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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…

Decorating Tip: Another Use for Painters Tape!

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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

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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…

Chair Changes

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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…

Five Minute Fabric Flowers

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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.…

DIY Baby Gift: Owl Pillow and Burp Cloths

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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…

Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

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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

My Journey Towards Healthier Living

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Like many, my journey towards healthier living has been just that: a journey. It's one that I'm still on. It's been full of ups and downs, inflating and deflating (thanks, three kids!), seasons of…

"Shape Up In May" Challenge

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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.

Good Reads

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

Best Children's Bibles For Kids of All Ages

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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

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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.
What Books Are In My Nightstand Right Now

What Books Are In My Nightstand Right Now

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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…
compared to her book discussion

Compared to Her: A Book Review

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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

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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.…

A Must-Read for Moms: Loving the Little Years

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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

Candy Corn Craft

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This Candy Corn Craft for preschoolers and toddlers couldn't be easier. Use scrap paper, our FREE candy corn printable, and some glue. Let your child get to work! Note: We are a participant…

EASY Valentine Craft Idea for Toddlers and Kids

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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…
stocking with gifts coming out of the top

10+ Stocking Stuffers You Can Get From the Grocery Store

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We couldn't believe how many fun stocking stuffers you can snag in store or put in your online cart when you're doing a grocery run. Check out our top picks for stocking stuffers from the grocery store and save yourself some time!

Recipe for Christmas Tree Water

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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.…

Mason Jar Mini Pies

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Making pie in a jar is a fun and easy dessert idea the whole family will love. These personal-sized pies are made in little mason jars that can go straight from your freezer to your oven to your mouth.…

DIY Apples to Apples Game

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Creating your own Apples to Apples game is simple, cheap (only scrap paper and a few pens required) and freaking hilarious. I've played our homemade version with adults (I don't think my small…

Gift Guide: Grandparents

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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…

Fruit Pizza Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

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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

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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…

Pumpkin Dump Cake

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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

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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…

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

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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…

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

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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…

Apple Butter Weekend 2014

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"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…

Hand Print Fourth of July Shirts

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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

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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 Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: Blow Up That Balloon Experiment

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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 were…
Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: Crazy Cupcake Concoctions

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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 the…
Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: How to Make Slime

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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

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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

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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 up…

Apple Butter Weekend: A Family Tradition

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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!

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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…

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

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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…
Fourth of July Wreath

Make Your Own Fourth of July Wreath

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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…
Fourth of July Wreath

Birthday Onesie: A Silhouette Project

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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…
Fourth of July Wreath

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

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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.…
Fourth of July Wreath

Hospitality Tips and Tricks for Hosting Groups of People

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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…

Natural Living

Top 10 Safe and Budget-Friendly Sunscreens for Kids

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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!

Is Flaxseed Good for You?

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Is flaxseed good for you? Heck ya! Is it easy to get more flaxseed into your diet? Heck ya! I hope this post helps you to add a little flax into your life. Your body will thank you. What…

Simple Homemade Granola

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This simple granola recipe is one of the easiest and tastiest you will find on the Internet. I've been making this exact recipe before Thriving Home even started. It's got 5 main ingredients but you can easily add more if you want to jazz it up. Such a simple, healthy snack!

Pique Tea: Possibly the World's Healthiest Beverage (+ An Honest Review!)

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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…

DIY Drano for Toilets

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It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano for toilets really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick several different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets--no…

My Journey Towards Healthier Living

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Like many, my journey towards healthier living has been just that: a journey. It's one that I'm still on. It's been full of ups and downs, inflating and deflating (thanks, three kids!), seasons of…

Babies with Acid Reflux: Help & Encouragement for Moms

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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…

DIY Carpet & Room Freshener

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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

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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?

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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.…

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

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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

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by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author One of the first obstacles I found when researching soap-making with kids is the process of mixing oils with lye, a caustic substance. Even though…

Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?

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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)

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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…

How to Freeze Peaches

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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

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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…

Lessons Learned from My Daughter Choking

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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

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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.…
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

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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…
DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner (or How to Get Poop and Puke Out of Carpet)

Homemade All-Natural Carpet Cleaner

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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

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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,…
non-toxic foaming hand soap recipe

How to Make Your Own Non-Toxic Foaming Hand Soap

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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

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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

Best Bibles for Teenagers (& Tweenagers!)

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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 girls and boys.

15+ Advent Resources for the Whole Family

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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 is a time to focus our hearts and minds on Jesus…

Truth for Trials: Printable Verse Cards

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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

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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,…

3 Devotional Books for Elementary Kids We Are Loving

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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…

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

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Most of my 20-somethings decade I spent on a treadmill both literally and figuratively. I had a love/hate relationship with food—both binge eating in secret and then paying my penalty by working…

Letter to My Dying Uncle

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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

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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)

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“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?”

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"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

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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…
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

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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…

A Head Shaving Party for Darcie

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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…

Where is God When You Can't Get Pregnant?

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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…

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

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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…

Can Women (and Men) Have It All?

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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…

Helping the Homeless Video

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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

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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…

The Thankful Tree: A Thanksgiving Craft and Centerpiece

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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

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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…
Help Child with Separation Anxiety

Five Tips to Help a Child's Separation Anxiety

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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

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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

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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…
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

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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…

Homemade Household Products

DIY Drano for Toilets

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It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano for toilets really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick several different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets--no…

Recipe for Christmas Tree Water

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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.…

How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home

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This homemade vanilla extract recipe not only works well for cooking with but also makes a great gift idea! When you go to the store to buy vanilla you are faced with a dilemma: do you buy the…

DIY Carpet & Room Freshener

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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…
diy scented soap bars

DIY Scented Soap Bars

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by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author One of the first obstacles I found when researching soap-making with kids is the process of mixing oils with lye, a caustic substance. Even though…

Easy Homemade Playdough Recipe (+ FREE Printable Recipe Card)

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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…

Easy DIY Fruit Fly Traps

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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

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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…
non-toxic foaming hand soap recipe

How to Make Your Own Non-Toxic Foaming Hand Soap

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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

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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)

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

I Heart Sseko Designs

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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

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by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author One of the first obstacles I found when researching soap-making with kids is the process of mixing oils with lye, a caustic substance. Even though…

Confessions

Megabus Adventures

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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?

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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

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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…

Saving Money

Top 10 Safe and Budget-Friendly Sunscreens for Kids

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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!

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

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Online shopping is the future. Since someone else will be doing the hands-on shopping for you, it's important to shop from a place that has a user-friendly system, high quality products, and a money back…

How to Get 3 Free Audiobooks

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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…

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

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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

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This homemade vanilla extract recipe not only works well for cooking with but also makes a great gift idea! When you go to the store to buy vanilla you are faced with a dilemma: do you buy the…
Stock Up on Summer Produce to Save Time & Money (+50 In-Season Recipes)

Stock Up on Summer Produce to Save Time and Money (+ 50 In-Season Recipes)

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Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Frigidaire. But the opinions are all ours! Ripe berries, juicy peaches, zucchini the size of your forearm, more tomatoes than you can shake…

8 Things I Try Not to Buy

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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.…

8 Things I Never Buy

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I was talking to a friend the other day about tote bags. I know, I lead an exciting life. I need a new one but am having a hard time forking up the money to buy good one. Reason is, I see TONS at garage…

Essential Oils

DIY 3-Ingredient Hand Sanitizer

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Try out this quick and easy-to-make DIY hand sanitizer that will help keep hands clean while you're out and about! I always feel like I've stumbled on to some best-kept secret when I realize how…

DIY Carpet & Room Freshener

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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

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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…

Marriage

The Four Marriage Killers & Ways to Avoid Them

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Writing about marriage is not something that comes naturally for me. I tend to hover near topics that revolve around the home, kids and food. These are comfortable for me to blab about and to share with…