*Thrifty Living * Homeschooling * Natural Living * Creating * Baking * Learning * Exploring * Subscription Boxes * Childhood Cancer* Death of a Child*

Monday, September 29, 2014

S.O.S Update

One week into my S.O.S Challenge (Sick of Stuff) and I'm meeting and exceeding my goal (get rid of five items a day)!
I took 30 books to the library for their book sale.

I have a box in the back of my vehicle to donate. While I didn't count each item, it is stuffed full of books, toys, and clothes so I'm going to guess that there is at least 20 items in there.

I also threw several items away that I can no longer use, at least 5 things.

So that is a total of around 55 things out of the house this week! Well above my 35 item goal. I've already got another box started for donation, and a bag ready for the consignment shop. We shall see how I do this week. :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Get It While It's Hot!

Just a quick announcement that you can subscribe today to PopSugar Must Have and use the code SEPT15 to save $15 off the first box! Your subscription will start with the September box, which I totally loved.

For example, not only did I get everything that came in the box, but also used the Nike $20 gift card (and free shipping code!) to get this six pack of socks for only $3.xx after tax. I was in need of new socks and was about to go buy some so this was perfect! 

It's definitely worth the $25 after using the code SEPT15
Plus, it's easy to cancel if you decide not to continue getting future boxes!

Disclaimer: Referral link included in post.

Adventure Time!

We headed for a little day trip to Wisconsin yesterday.
They enjoyed the apple orchards. The apples. The cider, especially.
They enjoyed their first time (and food!) at A&W Restaurant.
The drive was beautiful, the kids great in the car. The scenery is breathtaking. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty sounded like the perfect book for me. Tasting the goodness of God in all things. A lesson I could continue to learn.

Yet, I just could. not. get. into. this. book. It made my head hurt. While the writing is good, Sara seems to whine a lot. And while she has reasons to whine, I never quite get the lessons out of her stories that she is trying to teach.

Sara struggled with infertility and finally came to the conclusion of adoption. I got the sense from her that this wasn't good enough and only at the end of the book, when she does have her own child, does she make it seem like everything fell into place and God did this all for the good of them. I wonder if she would be ending the book this way had she not been able to conceive her own child. I didn't get that feeling. 

I found parts of this book to be rambling and sometimes didn't even see what the point was trying to get across. I really wanted to like this book but had to end up skimming the rest.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Autumn!

Happy Autumn!! I've never been a big fan of Fall, mainly because it leads up to winter, but I've decided to embrace the beauty of each season and I'm loving the cool, crisp mornings, the beautiful changing colors, and the slow bustle of school.

Yesterday was a perfect Fall day. I needed to get some of Bible Study worked on so loaded the kids up and headed to a local park (which is secluded in the woods and so, so peaceful).
I read as they played. Birds chirping and happy children was the perfect background noise!
I was even able to get started on my Book Club book! I'm so happy that my town finally has a book club, even if it means that my friend and I were the ones who had to start it!

I hope that your Autumn is off to a great, beautiful start!

Monday, September 22, 2014

S.O.S Project

I hate sounding like a broken record. I've said it before and am saying it again - I want to minimize my household. I have a fascination with minimalistic living. Yet, my house borders on that of a hoarder (not like the hoarders on "Hoarders", but we have a lot of stuff). It's hard, because with three children and homeschooling some extra stuff is just needed. And I have interests (books, collections, paper) that I really don't want to give up.

This past weekend I finished the book The Big Tiny by Dee Williams (I've always been fascinated by the tiny house movement) but I think what interested me most was the chapter where she listed the 351 one items that she owns.  
While I was confused by the just two pairs of underwear (does she go commando most of the time, wash a pair every night?!), I imagined what her simplified life must be like - simple. Unencumbered by stuff. Easier, maybe?

While I feel like my own home is too tiny most days (at around 1,100 sq feet - I think) I'm almost dreaming of a future in a tiny house when my kids are grown (though I know hubby would never go for it). Maybe a tiny cabin in the woods somewhere? I live vicariously though my aunt and uncle who sold their home and travel the United States in an RV. It sounds so thrilling. I must have some gypsy blood in me.

Anyhow, while I can't give away all our possessions and live in a room smaller than an area rug, I do want to declutter my life. The Big Tiny not only encouraged me, but the book that we are working on for Bible Study (Simplify by Bill Hybels, this is my second time reading it) is also showing me the way to peace is to simplify my life. 

I need to start small, with little uncluttered spaces in my life. A drawer, a shelf, a table will help me begin. My S.O.S challenge (Sick of Stuff) is to get rid of five things a day. Whether it's into a bag for the consignment shop, into a box for donation, or into the trash. This doesn't mean five pieces of paper or five items of trash...but actual things that I really don't need. That's 35 items a week. I'll occasionally update with a photo of things leaving my house. I'm hoping that by this time next year my life will be more...simple?    

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home

The book A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman called to me when I saw it. I love handmade, homemade, and cheerful so knew I would love this book. 

This book is beautiful. It's cheerful. It's filled with ways to make a house your home. A cheerful backyard picnic table? An art gallery wall? An activity blanket (Joe comes back to this page time and time again and tells me that he must have this made!), awesome ways to display jewelry? This book is a wealth of beautiful treasures.

I think the only thing I didn't feel flowed well were the food recipes throughout. I suppose I could have done without them, as there are so many cookbooks out there and I feel this book could have done without including them, though I also will probably try a couple so no harm done there. 

Disclaimer: This book was sent by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

IPSY September Bag

My September IPSY bag is here! IPSY is $10 a month and includes a makeup bag and 4-5 sample or full size items. I'm almost always thrilled with my bag of goodies, though this month wasn't too excited when my glamroom updated (on the 10th of the month you can see online what your bag includes...there is usually an assortment of 15 or so items and your bag will include 4-5 of them).
The September theme is "Street Style" and the cool bag fits the theme  perfectly. I really enjoy the bag this month!

The items in my bag were:

*Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Gloss (Love Affair) A pretty fall color!

*Pacifica Natural Minerals eye pencil (Fringe) I don't need more eye pencils, but I do love Pacifica products so will be trying this out.

*Nourish Organic Moisturizing Cream Face Cleanser 

*Crown Makeup brush, two sided

*Briogeo Don't Despair Repair deep conditioning mask for hair

Not my favorite mixture of products ever but all are new to me products that I look forward to trying out. IPSY is always a fun mixture and at $10 is totally worth it! Think Christmas with these bags and stocking stuffers with these products for all the women and teens in your life!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September PopSugar Must Have Box Review

I am so happy that I resubscribed to PopSugar Must Have for the fall. They usually get better and better as they lead up to the holiday season and this September box was a hit for me!
I had used a $10 code when resubscribing so was able to get this box for $29.95. It included:
*Tilo Scarf in Raisin ($125). This was the spoiler for the month that made me resubscribe and while I wouldn't pay $125 for a scarf, I do think it was totally worth the $29.95 that I paid for the box. It is super soft and the colors are perfect for fall.

*Oribe Superfine Purse Size Hairspray ($20). I've only heard good things about this brand so am excited to try it.

*Nicole Miller Stereo Earbuds ($20) For myself or a gift...I know the teens in my life can use them for sure! 
*Nike $20 gift card, along with a free shipping code so I can pick out something cheap or free!

*Letter C Design Pencils ($5). I wouldn't pay $5 for pencils, and actually don't use pencils now that I think about it, but these are adorable with the little gold arrows. I'll use these for a stocking stuffer for Becca.

*Rifle Paper Co. Garance Dore Assorted Girls Notecard Set ($18) I'm a huge fan of Rifle Paper Co. items and these are adorable cards!

*Urban Remedy Brownie ($6) and $10 code off $50

*Ghirardelli minis ($4)

This was such a great box for September and I'm loving it! You can use code REFER5 for $5 off your first PopSugar Must Have box. I'm hoping I'll love the next few boxes just as much as this one!

Disclaimer: Referral links included in post. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Drops of Awesome

We all want to be more awesome, so when I saw Kathryn Thompson's Drops of Awesome "The You're More Awesome Than You Think Journal" I had to have it! 

It's an amazing journal filled with 40+ prompts to help you discover your inner awesome. This would make a wonderful gift for yourself or any teen or woman in life. 

Because life is hard. And speaking from my point of view, teenage journals, mother's journals, can be filled with angst. It's easy to write down the bad things that happened during the day. This journal helps you fill it with your awesomeness! 

"Every time you do something good, something kind, something productive, it's a Drop in your Bucket of Awesome."  

 Look how awesome it is inside! Who wouldn't want to sit and journal about their awesomeness within these pages?!

We can all use encouragement and writing down the good things about ourselves, the good things about our days, the good things about our life help us focus on just that - the good!

There are words of wisdom throughout this journal and some great thoughts to ponder. I'm excited to get to work and make myself more awesome than I already am. ;)

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Familius Publishing in exchange for my honest review. You can see more or order this book through Amazon 


U.S. Cellular Entertainment

Does having a cellphone in your hand mean that you can save money on entertainment costs for your household?

Many households that have cellphones have dropped their landlines completely. Now the trend seems to be cutting cable costs and going for streaming via the computer, tablet, and smartphone. Hulu Plus and Netflix begin at just $7.99, which is an extreme savings from cable and satellite.

We do not have cable or satellite, nor any streaming service, though I have considered trying out Netflix to get some programs that our family may enjoy. The fact of the matter is that while cable delivers a huge amount of channels, there often just isn't anything good to choose from. Also, with families being so busy and on the go these days it is easier to stream an episode when you can watch it rather then when it airs. Having U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network means that you can watch your favorite shows wherever you are!

Having so much at your fingertips can be a distraction, especially when fall television is new and kids are still getting into the routine of school. That is where the U.S. Cellular Parent-Child Agreement comes in handy. It's a perfect way to raise awareness of what you expect of your child with their phone and have them agree to your terms. 

Have you been able to cut household costs by having a smartphone? 

This post is sponsored by U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade but all opinions are my own. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Magnolia Market

I love reading books about shop owners, whether be a bakery, vintage thrift store, or in this case, a market. Magnolia Market by Judy Christie did not disappoint.

While the beginning chapters were a bit too secretive for my liking, only delving into the details later, the rest of the book was quite enjoyable. It was a slow read, meaning I was able to put it down throughout the weekend and pick up during some quiet time. 

The premise of the book is that Avery's life is falling apart when she helps to take control of a mom and pop market that is as well. I enjoyed all the little details of the market. There is a religious slant to this book but in a good way, here and there but not so in your face or fake like a lot of Christian fiction can be. I wouldn't consider it a Christian book though, as it is very mellow and light. 

It was a nice cozy read for a chilly weekend!

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, September 12, 2014

September Birchbox Review

I'm still loving my Birchbox subscription! It's a fun sampler of products, you can earn points for each product reviewed on their site (10 points per product, 100 points equals $10 to spend in their shop and you can stack the points - I'm at close to $40 saved to go on a spending spree near Christmas!).
This month the theme is "Fresh Paint" and is about fall's colors, textures, and inspiration. The box design is amazing this month and I've decided to start saving these for some special project in the future.
There are over 50 varieties of boxes each month, so you never know what mixture of products you will receive. My box included:

*Avene Cleanance Soap-Free Gel Cleanser

*Chapstick day and night

*Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eye Pencil

*Whish Shave Crave

*Jouer Anti-aging Moisture Primer 

*Juicy Couture Gold Couture sample

I actually am liking all the products this month and happy with this box! And with 6 items reviewed I "earned" $6 in credits for their shop. Birchbox is $10 a month and there is a subscription for women as well as for men. I think this would also be an excellent gift for a teen or college student.

Referral links included in post. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Where has this week gone? It's crazy to think it's already Thursday!

We awoke to windy, grey, chilly weather. With a high below 60 degrees today we are breaking out the long sleeves and pants. This is early for us, and there is already talk of a slight chance for frost this weekend.
If you want your indoors to smell like fall you have to try the Pumpkin Sugared Doughnut candle from B&BW works. It is amazing and fills my whole house with a delicious fresh baked pumpkin yumness!
We hit up some garage sales yesterday, probably some of the last of the season. I had to wait to leave town until my favorite one opened (Keens, Mini Boden, Gap, Hanna Andersson at awesome prices each season!) but was sorely disappointed when she said that the majority of stuff wouldn't be put out until today. I'm *almost* tempted to go back today but don't think it would be worth it to drive the 30 minutes in hopes of finding more. I think it's several people's favorite garage sale as while I was there a lady bought a garbage bag worth of clothes and another filled her whole laundry basket with items! Wow!
I had to snap a photo of this and text it to my husband yesterday. Why? Because it's like the second Starbucks drink that I have bought in my lifetime. Peach Green Tea has been all the rage online so I finally broke down and tried it. It's good. But totally not worth the $3.25! Oh my gosh, I can't believe that people would buy this regularly when it tastes almost exactly like the Arizona tea that you can buy for $1 in huge cans. It must be the status symbol of the cup. 

I'm following Jennifer for Thursday Thoughts! 

Monday, September 8, 2014


My mornings have been filled with school work.

My days filled with mothering. Housework. Cooking.  Bill paying. Grocery Shopping. Errands. 

My evenings with reading. Writing. Tiredness.

This period in my life is busy. Frantic. Full. Some hours take forever to pass, while the actual days weeks  months fly by. I'm not sure where summer went as Fall seems to be ushering itself in.

I'm dreaming of a relaxed Autumn and Winter. Crunchy leaves underfoot. Bonfires. Sweaters. Hot mugs of apple cider. Snuggling beneath quilts. Reading more. Relaxing more. Breathing more.

I may be looking forward to winter for the first time...ever? Last winter was quiet isolation. A cocoon from the world. Family time. Our own little bubble. Blessed stillness. Just what we needed.

Seasons change. The second Autumn without Jacob. Still stumbling our way through our immense loss. Clutching the memories which come at the oddest times. 



Friday, September 5, 2014

First Fall Project

I mentioned yesterday that I was hoping to begin some fall decorating. Well, when Joe returned from a walk with a bucket filled with acorns I realized there was probably a project made with them, so I did what any good mother would do...I searched Pintrest. :)
Lo and behold, I was right! The most simple was just painted acorns in a vase.
We had the acorns. We had the vase. We had the paint. Score - a free project! I'm probably going to add a branch or two with some colorful leaves but this alone looks cute sitting on my buffet.


Related Posts with Thumbnails