What to Do with Halloween Costumes Once Trick or Treating is Over

When my children were younger and dressed up for trick or treating, I used to spend a ton of money on Halloween costumes and accessories.  For an event that lasted about 2 hours. I know, I was a sucker for cute princess dresses and rakish looking eye patches.  Then November 1st came around and had me wondering what to do with Halloween costumes after all the fun and games of trick or treating were over. It seems silly to spend all that money and only get a few hours enjoyment out of your adorable dress up clothes, right?  Well, over the … [Read more...]

How to Rock Family Movie Night with Teens

This post about family movie night with teens has been sponsored by BestBuy.  All opinions are my own. When  my kids were young, we watched a lot of movies together.  There was plenty of Disney, cuddly blankets, and popcorn to go around.  Now that the kids are older, they have a tendency to hide in their rooms.  They emerge occasionally for food or money.  Then they just want to go hide again.  Now that my oldest is off to college, I see him about once a month.  It's been a hard transition. If you feel like you are disconnected to … [Read more...]

6 New Hobby Ideas for a More Unique YOU

This post about new hobby ideas has been sponsored, however, all opinions are my own. If you are looking for new hobby ideas this year,  you are well on your way to creating a more unique YOU.    All work and no play makes mom a dull girl, right?  Finding a new hobby is a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day.  Depending on the which new hobby you decide to try, you may make new friends, create something you can sell to earn money, or even get more physically fit. Need a bit of inspiration when it comes to developing a new … [Read more...]

Celebrating High School Graduation with Burgers, Tears, and Memories

This post about celebrating high school graduation has been sponsored by Culver's.  All opinions are my own. The school year is drawing to a close.  It's hard to believe that the last 9 months have flown by so quickly.  What makes this year particularly difficult is that I have a high school senior.  There will be no going back for this guy.  He is moving onward and upwards and will be heading off to college in a few months.  His impending departure has me wanting to cling to every moment I have left with him. He is harder to hold on to as a … [Read more...]

Happiness in Middle Age means Mountains and Motorcycles!

This post about Happiness in Middle Age was sponsored by DePuy Synthes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. While my job keeps me at home and on the computer, I wouldn't say that my chair is my happy place.  And as I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate moments of happiness more than ever.  I see so many people my age suffering from illness or injury, dealing with the death of loved ones or the stress of job loss.  Happiness is fleeting and not something to be tossed … [Read more...]

How to Prepare for a Camping Trip to Stay Safe and Have Fun

Camping is a wonderful way to spend time with the family.  Getting outdoors and unplugging for a few days is a great way to reconnect with each other while you have some fun.  Once you invest in the right gear, it also becomes a very inexpensive way to go on vacation.  You can rent a campsite for significantly less money than you can stay in a hotel. Knowing how to prepare for a camping trip can make or break your outdoor experience.  Heading into the woods unprepared can leave you with soggy socks and unhappy memories!  Check out my hiking … [Read more...]

Make Time for Music No Matter What Your Age

 Thank you Fender for sponsoring this post about why you should make time for music. Learn guitar at home with Fender Play! One of the first formal classes I joined with my children was a small music class at our church.  The kids were babies and toddlers at that point.  The instruments they used were wooden maracas and brightly colored shaker toys.  We sang and we clapped and generally had a grand and glorious time for a solid hour.  As the children grew up, they brought home the dreaded recorders from school.  We signed them up for formal … [Read more...]

Giving My Kids Music Gifts Makes Us All Happy!

Thank you, Fender, for sponsoring this post about kids music gifts. Learn guitar at home with Fender Play! Like most teens, my kids have a long list of 'wants' when it comes to birthday and holiday gifts.  Some years, I have to say, NOPE, you can't have that.  Like the baby sister my daughter asked for several years in a row.  That one wasn't going to happen!  I'm always happy to give my kids music gifts, however, and there have been many!  Our home contains a piano, flute, piccolo, clarinet, about 5 guitars and a ukulele.  And probably a … [Read more...]

Simple Fall Activities to Celebrate Cooler Weather

I am a very simple creature.  I don't decorate my bathroom for every holiday, nor do I create elaborate weekend getaways for my husband and me. In my mind, simple is better in just about all cases.  If you are looking for simple fall activities to welcome in the cooler weather this month, I have a few you might enjoy.  Check out a few of my frugal fall decorating ideas and embrace simplicity in all its many understated ways!  Many of these fun fall activities can be enjoyed by children as well as adults so make sure you get the whole family … [Read more...]

Easy Pumpkin Carving Tips for More Fun and Less Frustration

Everywhere I look this month, I see pumpkins and that means Halloween is almost here! From pumpkin muffins to pumpkin spice playdough, Fall is my all time favorite season!  If you really want to have some fun with your kids, buy several pumpkins and check out these easy pumpkin carving tips.  The memories you will make with your kids as they get grossed out over pumpkin innards will be priceless!  Even if you don't have kids, learning how to carve a pumpkin can be a ton of fun.  You will get to admire your handiwork every day as it brings some … [Read more...]