Cookie Baking Tips for Beginners: For Perfect Cookies Every Time!

It's cookie season! Read through these cookie baking tips for beginners if you are new to the art of baking. When I was young, I was lucky enough to have a mom who loved to bake.  When I was about 6 or 7, I would go to school with my homemade lunch and kids would pay me a quarter just for me to give them homemade cookies from my mom.  It was quite a nice little side business for a while!  I love making cookies from scratch and am trying to instill that love of baking in my own kids.This post contains affiliate links. If you make a … [Read more...]

How to Make Homemade Soup for a Healthy Family Dinner

With the cool weather finally on its way, its time for you to learn how to make homemade soup.  Do you buy it in cans?  Or the new and trendy boxed soups?  Well, I do that occasionally, too, but if you make homemade soup, you can rest assured that you are providing a healthy family dinner with simple ingredients that YOU get to control.  Sure, you may choose to load it with cheese and cream like my homemade broccoli soup but you know what ISN'T in there?  Preservatives, artificial colors, and a huge amount of salt!  Natural ingredients are best … [Read more...]

Families Eating Dinner Together: Tips to Make it Fun and Stress Free!

Have you tried to sit down to a family dinner, only to have it be a horrible experience?  Cooking chaos, kids crying, picky eaters and a huge mess does not have to be the norm at dinner time.  I wanted to share a few tips for a successful family dinner because it is a family activity that I am incredibly passionate about.  There have been numerous studies that have shown the benefits of families eating dinner together and getting kids started young will make things easier!This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through … [Read more...]

How to Choose a Ripe Watermelon for a Sweet and Juicy Treat!

The weather here in Georgia is warming up and the pool opens in just a few weeks.  I am looking forward to BBQs, pool parties, and (of course) some fresh watermelon.  Georgia actually grows a lot of watermelon down in the south of the state.  Even though the fruit is local, I still need to know how to choose a ripe watermelon or it won't be as sweet and juicy as it should be. If you plan on picking up a whole watermelon this summer, make sure you follow these tips before you buy!This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase … [Read more...]

6 Porch Design Ideas for Simple Outdoor Enjoyment

With the onset of spring, you might be looking for a few porch design ideas this month. One of the things I love most about visiting my parents up north is their wraparound porch. I spend my morning enjoying coffee while the birds sing and the kids sit outside slurping on popsicles in the summer heat.  We use our back patio for the same types of things.  Relaxing, enjoying nature, and spending time with family.In some areas of the country, it's porch season year-round.  For many others, porch season seems far too short. Porches are one of … [Read more...]

Spring Cleaning Your Office: Don’t Let It Lead to Identity Theft!

Have you started getting the itch to dust, organize and declutter your home?  When the crocuses and tulips start peeking their heads out of the ground, I know it is close to spring!  Along with the nice weather comes the open windows, the gardening, and the spring cleaning.  Each room of the house has its own set of 'chores' that I try and do once a year.  Spring cleaning your office is is a great way to prepare for tax time.   If you want to join me on my spring cleaning journey, I will include a few affiliate links for things that might come … [Read more...]

What to Put in Military Care Packages

Do you have a service member in your family that needs some love this holiday season?  Are you wondering what to put in military care packages? When I was little, my father was in the Naval Reserves.  I have fond memories of him in his shiny black shoes and spiffy white hat.  I was too young to understand much about war or what military men and women were dedicating themselves to.  As an adult, I have a better understanding of the sacrifices of these brave men and woman.  They dedicate so much of their lives to protecting and serving our nation … [Read more...]

Why Pack a Lunch for Work? Here are 5 Awesome Reasons!

Thank you Healthy Choice for sponsoring this why pack a lunch discussion. Visit your local retailer to pick up your own Healthy Choice Simply Cafe Steamer or Original Cafe Steamer meal today!Every morning, my husband leaves for work at 6 AM.  And every day (or just about every day) he walks out the door with his handy, dandy little lunch box.  No, it doesn't have cartoon characters on it like it did when he was a kid.  But, nevertheless, it contains a healthy lunch along with real silverware and a cloth napkin. He has been doing this ever … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Preserve Hot Peppers for Spicy Meals All Year Long!

As we move into late August, the heat loving plants are thriving and I am looking for ways to preserve hot peppers.  In late spring I planted many different varieties of these spicy little buggers...jalapenos, habaneros, seranos and many more.  Of course, I couldn't just plane ONE of each of these varieties...oh no!  I had to plant at least two of everything I bought.  Which means that as we head into late summer and early fall I now have so many hot peppers I don't even know what to do with them all.  For months I have been giving them to … [Read more...]

Creative Uses for Lemon Balm When it Takes Over Your Garden!

Several years ago I decided I wanted to grow lemon balm.  Great idea, right?  Well, now I am constantly looking for new uses for lemon balm because the stuff is growing like a weed and taking over the back of my house.  Seriously.  Why can't I get my cucumbers and squash to grow like this?   Growing lemon balm might have been a great idea but it requires near-daily maintenance to make sure it stays where I put it.  If you have a ton of lemon balm in your own yard, here are a few things I have found so far to do with it. Creative Uses for Lemon … [Read more...]

What is the True Meaning of Friendship in a World that Moves Too Fast?

This post about what is the true meaning of friendship has been sponsored by Ricola swiss herbs throat drops and Social Stars but all opinions are my own. #RicolaCrowd #FriendshipDayWhen we are young, it's easy to make friends.  You spend hours hanging out with them at school, go to their birthday parties, and ride your bike aimlessly through the neighborhood with them.  As you get older, there are sleepovers, long phone conversations and extracurricular activities that you both enjoy together.  Friendships are easier to make because as a … [Read more...]

How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

In a recent conversation with my mom, she told me she is trying to clean out her house and get rid of some things. For my mom, learning how to eliminate clutter is quite a chore…she is a packrat and still has things like my old prom corsage and 50 years worth of cookbooks! It got me to thinking: why do we keep the things we do? To hold on to the memories? Because we feel guilty throwing them away?  You are not the only person who needs to learn how to eliminate clutter from their lives.  The average American house size has more than doubled … [Read more...]

Simple Meditation Tips for Mindful Living

One of my goals for the new year is to stop multitasking and learn to focus my mind on one thing at a time.  I want to quiet my mind from the chaos that is constantly scrolling through it and decided to share some simple meditation tips if you want to join me.  My husband has been going to the Shambhala Meditation Center for about a year now and has found it incredibly helpful on his journey to mindful living.  What is mindful living?  It is basically the state of keeping your mind on the present moment. Is your mind clouded with thoughts about … [Read more...]

Best Tips for Decluttering Your Child’s Room

Want to know the best tips for decluttering your child's room?  Keep reading and see what I have learned over the years! My kids, like most everyone elses, have WAY too many toys.  They are scattered from their bedrooms to the playroom into the living room and occasionally make their way into my office.  I get tired of seeing them, frankly, and we need to start sorting through this mess before the holidays.  Since my kids have November and December birthdays there is a HUGE influx of STUFF into my house during the fall and winter.  Decluttering … [Read more...]

Never Buy Second Hand for These 10 Items

Over the years, I have become a huge fan of thrift stores.  When you buy second hand, you reduce your carbon footprint and save a whole ton of money.  I have spent an amazing amount of time roaming around Goodwill and checking out local garage sales.  Even buying items online at places like Etsy and Craigslist have become incredibly popular in the last few years.  However, there are a number of items that I will not buy second hand.  Sometimes it is just too great a risk for the cost and other times there is some 'ick factor' that I just can't … [Read more...]

5 Unusual Uses for Aspirin for Home, Health and Garden!

My father has always told me that taking aspirin at the very onset of a cold will keep him from getting sick.  It is a tried and true method that he always swears by and he is a relatively healthy man.  I don't take too many aspirin, myself, but I have gotten into the habit of keeping it in the house 'just in case'.  Because dad told me to.  Advice from dad should never be taken lightly!  Since I always have aspirin around the house and it does expire eventually, I have found a few unusual uses for aspirin around the house that I thought I … [Read more...]

The Many Uses for Rosemary Besides Cooking!

I have quite an extensive herb garden in the back yard and herbs are the one thing I can actually grow pretty well.  Not because I am a good gardener but because they are incredibly 'idiot tolerant' when it comes to my gardening abilities!  I have yet to find a bug that actually attacks most herbs.  They are very drought tolerant, meaning that when I forget to water them they don't care in the least.  And they also have very few nutritional needs beyond plain old dirt with a little bit of manure mixed in.  I have been growing rosemary for quite … [Read more...]

My Holiday Wishes Just for You

December is a hectic time of year, whether you choose to celebrate Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanza, the Winter Solstice or whatever else your chosen holiday happens to be.  There are gifts to buy, cookies to bake, parties to attend and obligations to deal with.  More so than any other time of year, we get caught up in our never ending to do list.  There are things we wish for during this time of year but never vocalize because there is too much else going on.  But wishes will never come true unless we work hard to MAKE them happen.  I don't believe … [Read more...]

Sweet Potato Pie and Washi Tape Note Card Make a Nice Teacher Gift

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BIC® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.Ever since my children were in Kindergarten, I have volunteered in their classroom.  I was the mom cooking with them on Friday mornings, reading to them on Earth Day, chaperoning the field trip, and organizing holiday parties.  I loved every moment I spent with them and I learned something very important about myself.  I discovered that I do NOT have the patience to be a teacher!  Seriously, after an hour of volunteering I was about ready to … [Read more...]