Professional Family Holiday Photos for a Simple and Memorable Season

This post about Professional Family Holiday Photos has been sponsored by Portrait Innovations.  All opinions expressed here are my own.Over the years, I have taken a lot of really bad photos of my family.  While they are amusing to look at, I don't want to send them to family and friends on my holiday card!  I love looking back on the professional family holiday photos that I have had done.  The lighting is right and they are in focus.  The backgrounds are pretty and some of the special effects are truly beautiful.  When I was contacted by … [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...]

Tips for Creating a Fire Safety Escape Plan with Your Kids

This post about creating a fire safety escape plan has been sponsored by First Alert.  All opinions expressed here are my own.When my children were young, they had a fire safety lesson at school.  There was a mobile 'classroom' that came to the school and taught them how to escape from a room if the house was on fire.  They learned things like staying low to the ground to avoid smoke and to feel the door before opening it to see if it was hot.  When they came home from school that day, they brought home knowledge that could save their … [Read more...]

Cheap Halloween Ideas for Loads of Frugal Fun

Halloween is coming up soon and WOW, is it not a cheap holiday!  Have you seen the price of some of the costumes?  Not to mention the cost of that Halloween candy!  A mom could seriously go broke trying to give her kids a fun Halloween.  If you are working on a budget and looking for cheap Halloween ideas, I thought I would put together a few that may help.  Some of these you will have to implement this year to save on NEXT YEAR's Halloween fun.  But, over the long term, these Halloween ideas will help save you money on an evening of spooky fun … [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...]

Having Fun at the Yellow River Trash Bash River Cleanup Day

I am always looking for ways for my family to get involved in community service projects.  There are so many worthwhile organizations that need a helping hand. It's hard to pick just one or two.  Environmental awareness is a priority in my house. When my daughter's Girl Scout Troop was given the opportunity to participate in a river cleanup day, I thought it would be a great experience.  I wanted to share a few tips that we learned this weekend as we ventured out on our Yellow River Trash Bash!This post contains affiliate links. If you … [Read more...]

Guitar Lessons at Home are Convenient for Busy Teens

Thank you, Fender,for sponsoring this post about guitar lessons at home. Learn guitar at home with Fender Play.Growing up, my husband and I were both passionate about music.  He played guitar, I played flute in the band, and music played a big part in our lives. Fast forward 20 years or so and now our children are just as passionate about music as we were.  We have half a dozen instruments in this house in addition to multiple stereo systems. Music is an outlet we all enjoy, whether we are playing it or just listening to it! I'm glad that … [Read more...]

Waste Free School Lunch Tips to Save Money and Reduce Trash

I know....you are in the middle of summer vacation and don't want to think about school lunches, right?  Well, my kids go back to school in 3 weeks so I am thinking about what they will bring to eat this year.  Sending a waste free school lunch is important to me but it definitely takes a bit of planning.   One of my favorite tips to save money is to ditch the disposables.  No sense throwing your hard earned cash in the garbage can, right? If you want to cut down on lunch costs this year, here are a few school lunch tips that might … [Read more...]

Camping Tips for Beginners that Will Make Your Outdoor Experience FUN!

Camping, whether as a family or on your own, offers an amazing experience for very little cost. It is a great way to unplug you and your family from the everyday hassles of life. You will learn to enjoy the simple pleasures of a glorious sunrise or a quiet shared meal.  However, you do need to read up on a few camping tips for beginners if you really want to have a pleasant experience. You'll also need to invest in some equipment!  However,  once you are done planning,  you will have everything you need to escape the city and enjoy Mother … [Read more...]