5 Ways To Lower Your Grocery Bill

If your family is anything like mine, the grocery bills make you wince every week. Even if you eat almost all your meals from home, feeding a bunch of growing kids takes a major chunk of the family budget. Here are some of the things we do to shave the edges of that chunk. Five Ways To Lower Your Grocery Bill 1. Make as much as possible from scratch–salad dressing is a good example. A package of ranch mix plus {Read More}

Hands-On Parenting

hands on parenting

I have no memories of my mother playing with me as a child.  She read to me a lot, we went on outings together, and we cooked together on occasion.  But I can’t remember actually playing together, and I think most of my friends would say the same things about their mothers.  Recently, I’ve become aware of what a huge contrast this is to my own parenting style. Since I have only one child, it’s not surprising that I spend {Read More}

Keeping Your House Clean with Small Children Underfoot

If you have children, this may happen one day at your house.

The following is a post from contributing writer Dianna Kennedy. Want to know why you rarely see pictures of my house? I’ll let you in on a little secret. I stink at cleaning house. I was halfway decent when I only had one child. Now, with a teenage daughter and four children under the age of six, my house looks like a cyclone hit most days. I know that there are many of you out there like me — let’s {Read More}

A Decluttering Challenge: 40 Bags in 40 Days


I’m in the throes of children’s consignment sale season over here.  I’m furiously going through my basement and closets, ironing, hanging and tagging. During the mundane task of ironing, my brain tends to wander. “What are you going to do for Lent?” I generally have a million lofty goals for Lent, and end up being about 10% successful. This year, I’m setting my sights for more reasonable achievements, and hope to clean my house in the process. It stands to {Read More}

The Heroic First Minute of the Day

alarm clock

Did you ever fathom how tired you’d be as a mother?  Yeah.  Me neither.  It’s like a tank that is never full.  It’s a tank that, even if you tried, will never be full.  During the baby and toddler years it seems someone is always up at night, and usually multiple times during the night.  Bad dreams.  Baby needs to be fed.  Sick kids.  Heck, even a toddler who is full of deep thoughts and just wants to chat a {Read More}

Cooking for the Holidays Without Losing Your Mind


Raise your right hand if an inner Martha Stewart lives within you. Raise your left hand if today’s to-do list is holding you back. I’m here to tell you that anybody can have a kick tail holiday dinner and not lose her mind. You just have to refocus a bit. Below I’ll share a few things I’ve learned from hosting a big brood, as well as some sample menu items from one of my favorite magazines, the master of all {Read More}

Domestic Rockstar? Almost…

Domestic Rockstar? Almost...

My mom was a stay-at-home mom. Our house was, and still is, immaculate.  There were no piles of junk mail, no receipts hanging out on a counter, no laundry that just hadn’t been folded yet, and no dust.  Really.  No dust.  I still fail to understand how that’s possible. The “domestic rockstar” gene skipped over me.  I got the “artistic and crafty” gene, but I’m thinking the “domestic rockstar” gene would have been more helpful. I am now the mom {Read More}

Get it Together in 2012

school box_folder

I’ve been known to organize a few things, alphabetize my spices, color code my closets and label my kids’ toy bins.  Mostly, I think it’s what happens to the gene pool when a school teacher and an Army man get married and have children.  To keep it all balanced, I never make my bed unless company is coming over, I wait until the dishes pile up in the sink before washing them and I loathe doing laundry every Monday. Yin {Read More}