Life & Lovely Chaos

Why I Don’t Budget On Groceries

If you search on Pinterest you will find numerous posts about budgeting on groceries. I have been amazed by some of them really, wondering to myself “how do they do that?” I mean really, I have read some articles where a family of 5 spends $200 a month on groceries- how do they do it?! For a while I was inspired to try. I was convinced that I could budget and shop in this magical way and our family of 6 could spend even $400 a month on groceries, instead of the average of $1000 we were currently spending. After all, who wouldn’t want to save hundreds of dollars- especially since we lived on a very fixed income. So many times I tried to lower our grocery spending. I tried so hard to only shop the sales and to eat less meat. I clipped coupons, compared prices, and utilized leftovers.…

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Parenting

Connecting With Your Eldest Daughter

Being a mother has been the most rewarding adventure of my lifetime. I have birthed 3 beautiful children and was given a 4th blessing the day I met my husband, my oldest daughter. Raising babies was a breeze! They eat, sleep, poop, and play. Toddlers were exciting; all of their firsts in life happen and every moment was a new milestone. Children are fun! You get to teach them things, play with them, and watch their character form. My youngest is 6 and he is so full of an imagination that his older brother and sister still enjoy. But somewhere after the joys of being a child, things change. My eldest daughter turned 12 this summer, although at times I swear she is already much older than that. She is beautiful and creative and the biggest help in our home. She takes on every task when I am consumed with…

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Parenting

What To Say To Your Bullied Child

We hear too often now stories of children who have been bullied in school. For some of us, we have had to deal with the heartbreaking reality that our child has been bullied. Whether it be physical or verbal, it is never easy mending the heart of a hurt child. Of course, there are steps we take to try to ensure that these occurrences do not happen again; we talk to teachers, the principal, and sometimes even the parents. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t. As parents we try our best to protect our children and set them up to be able to handle any type of situation properly. I have always been an advocate for teaching a child to stand up and defend themselves; even more now with bullying becoming a larger issue in our schools and society. I do not condone violence, but I encourage everyone I…

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Educational Thoughts

The Power Of Play: Educating Young Children

All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind. ~Martin H. Fischer We all hope for the best education for our children. In fact, many of us parents worry deeply about our children’s educational well-being. I know that I did for a long time! Once I began homeschooling all that stress and worry on my part meant that I was giving my kids extra lessons and extra work. Even to my youngest “baby”. If only someone would have shouted at me “STOP IT!” What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was not only forcing my children to develop a dislike for school work, but I was taking away from their play time. I didn’t realize just how important play was until I watched them one day. My eldest painting old milk cartons outside while her younger sister had a whole store going where leaves symbolized different…

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Educational Thoughts

Homeschool- Are You Doing Enough?

So you have decided to begin your homeschool journey… Yay for you! What an exciting journey you are embarking on. It is always exciting getting to plan your homeschool day and what subjects you will teach. There are so many options for what you can choose to do and study. With so many options though, how do you know if you are doing enough; or even too much? It can become quite overwhelming and time-consuming as you rack your brain to develop the perfect homeschool schedule. I can personally say that it has taken me over two years of homeschooling to finally come up with a basic schedule. However, it is constantly being updated! I constantly feel like my scheduling and plan are not perfect. Have you felt this way? Are you feeling like you are not doing enough? Don’t worry, it is absolutely normal to feel lost and unsatisfied…

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On The Grill

Deliciously Sticky BBQ Ribs

There is nothing better on a Saturday night than to be outside with the family grillin’ up a feast. In our home, nights like these bring everyone just a little bit closer. The kids run around playing soccer or chasing each other with their water guns, my husband has music playing, and I’m usually enjoying a small glass bottle of wine. And when we are lucky enough, we are blessed with the company of good friends and family. Nights like these remind me of just how wonderful all the small things in life are. Even the muddy clothes and that sink full of dishes that I will dread tomorrow are a few of those small things that one day my home will long for. For now, those piles of mess mean wonderful memories were made. So what better to do than to throw some deliciously sticky barbecue ribs on the grill and…

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Parenting

Why I Won’t Give Into “That Thing”

Have you noticed how quickly something can become a hot trend, some new toy? Especially with kids! And it seems kids pick up on how popular something is no matter how much or how little exposure to “that thing” they have. I can’t say that I am surprised really. Kids are like sponges. They see a toy’s commercial a few times and they just have to have it, Mommy! In fact, I think back and recall that Hatchimal trend that went around. All I remember thinking when my kids all jumped at trying to persuade me to buy it was “you want to care for and hatch a fake bird?” All I could respond with was “we will see.” As time went on they talked about this thing more and more; at times begging me for one. Disregarding the cost and difficulty in locating one, my answer quickly became a…

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Educational Thoughts

5 Tips For A Smoother Homeschool Day

Homeschooling my children has been the most rewarding thing I have chosen to do in my lifetime. At the same time, it has been one of the most stressful, emotional, and difficult things that I have ever done! There have been so many days where I was ready to throw in the towel. So many days that our lesson time did not go anywhere close to how I imagined it or prepared for. During our first year, I found myself often canceling our daily lessons just to save my sanity. Things were just too crazy and not working. Every day I struggled to get out of bed to wake up the kids, knowing that things may not go well. Our mornings were always chaotic- the girls were groggy and the boys were ready for a day of play. Dishes were piling up, and then there was me, with no time…

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Every Day Eats

Super Delicious Parmesan Chicken

It is the start of a new school year again and as always, I have been hustling around the house as busy as a bee in preparation for tomorrow; just hoping to have a smooth day finally (we all know how crazy the first few weeks of homeschool is when trying to find a routine). So I needed something quick, easy, and still delicious for dinner. After all, I am in no mood to have a sink full of dirty dishes, nor a messy stove to pick up. The first thing that came to mind was my super delicious Parmesan Chicken! Chicken is a staple food in our home. It is cost efficient and cooks rather quick when thinned out. Plus it is extremely versatile; I can think of 10 things to do with chicken breasts in just a couple minutes. Preparing this dish is a 4 step process (3 just…

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Ethnic Splurges

Crispy & Flaky Tostada Bowls

There is nothing more wonderful than a well-rounded meal. I mean veggies, protein, carbs, and absolute deliciousness. I know my favorite thing for many years has been the taco salad at Baja Fresh; that crispy, flaky tostada bowl shell most of all. We used to live close to this place and I could have my splurge anytime. I would splurge like a pregnant woman with a craving! However, since we have moved out of state I have been deprived of my one true love… that tostada bowl. I have scoured Pinterest for something similar but have only found baked recipes and although good, they were just not the same. So I bought a large bottle of oil, some tortillas, and all the fixings to make tostadas and began trying different methods on the stove (since my hubby has not blessed me with a deep fryer yet.) By this point I…

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