My Book Reading List For Fall!

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Come see what I'm reading for my fall list! Homeschooling, Motherhood, and Marriage books are all here!

I’ve been trying to get some reading time in lately and I’ve really enjoyed it! There is nothing like being encouraged by a good book, and feeling refreshed in that area you need a boost in!

You might notice a lot of these are from the library. I tend to only buy books for myself that I know I will read over and over again. Since we are blessed with a really good library system I can find a lot of books there!


Sparkly Green Earrings - A great book on mothering if you are in the young baby stage!

Sparkly Green Earrings – I found this book in the Christian book store and requested it because the Pioneer Woman endorsed it. I almost didn’t start reading it, but I’m so glad I did! If you are in the heart and soul moment of mothering a baby, this is a book for you. I literally laughed and cried for 2 hours while I read this book on a trip. My children kept asking what was wrong with me. :)

The book is a little more sarcastic and up to date on modern life (like tv shows that I don’t know about), but I could so relate to her story of pregnancy and birth, and tending to her little baby. As a mother of a fussy baby I appreciated the first half of the book. She puts her daughter in preschool at 2, and is not a homeschooling mother, so while I am close to finishing the book it was really the first half that spoke to me.

Mama Needs A Do-Over, Simple Steps to Turning  A Hard Day Around I have enjoyed reading Lisa Pennington’s blog, so I’m looking forward to this book! It looks like an easy yet really encouraging book from a mom who understands hard days.

Self Help

Nourished, A Search for Health, Happiness and a Full Night's Sleep

Nourished, A Search for Health, Happiness and a Full Night’s Sleep – I might be crazy to read this right now. A full night’s sleep is high on my list of what I really need, but low on the list of what I’ll actually get. I’ve got a cute baby who loves to be up at night to eat, multiple times a night! However there is a lot more than just getting a good night sleep in this book.

It tackles the “Top 10 Stressors” such as cluttered surroundings, crowded schedules, negative body images, etc. Crystal from Money Saving Mom recommended it, so I added it to my book list.


Teaching From Rest, a MUST HAVE book for Homeschooling Moms!

Teaching From Rest – This is high on my “every homeschooling mama must own” list. It’s the only one in this stack that I actually own. If you need hot chocolate for your weary soul, this is the book. :) Reading her book and blog has helped me relax and fall back on all the principles I’m very familiar with. Having been homeschooled K-12th grade I know all about days that fall apart, but I remember how well my mom would pull those crumbing days together.

Homeschool Made Simple – This is not a book, rather a DVD set that Carole Joy Seid made. She is a veteran homeschooling mom, and it was like sitting there listening to my mom. Once again, this is an absolute must have if you want to homeschool with a literature approach. I’ve really enjoyed watching this while I fold laundry, or late at night while I’m up with Sophia (I’ve discovered that she enjoys watching videos, the little stinker! She can be screaming and instantly stop if I turn something on).

Deconstructing Penguins – I’m probably going to just skim through this book and get the main points. :) I’ve heard the author of Teaching From Rest recommend it. It’s supposed to help a parent create a bond of reading with their child, and learn how to ask the proper questions about a book. While I have a good bond with my boys already when it comes to reading, this book is written in a totally new approach to me.


The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages

The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages – I’ve read a few of Shaunti Feldhahn books before. Out of all the marriage books out there, I think I appreciate her books the most. A well balanced approach to marriage.

I’ve found marriage books are very healthy for me to read. They keep you focused on what is important and help keep the spark there!


Love The Home You Have

Love The Home You Have – Love, love love! This book was one I read on a trip alone with Sean and it was so refreshing! I don’t love the house we live in (small for our large family), but this book helps you focus on how important it is to truly take care of your home, and all the little things you can do. Very good read!

The Perfectly Imperfect Home, How to Decorate & Live Well – This is a coffee table type book, I want to get some ideas from the pictures.


Money Making Mom – This book is only available for pre-order right now, but it’s a new book written by Crystal Paine on moms working (I assume from home since she does). I can’t wait to read it!

Fall Book List for Mom! Good suggestions for books on homeschooling, motherhood, marriage, homemaking and more!








How Wholesale Shopping Can Help New Moms

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How Wholesale Shopping Can Help New Moms.

This post was sponsored by Sam’s Club®, however, the text and opinions are all my own.

When I think of the months that follow the arrival of a new baby, survival is one of the words that comes to mind. It’s a joyful and exciting time, but just trying to keep up with nursing, feeding a family, for some – homeschooling, and somehow sleeping is what I consider being in survival mode. :)

There are a few things that help me out, and after having had several children I now consider these things essentials.

1. I buy in bulk. It does me no good to run to the store for toilet paper, only to need to run back again a few days later. I buy big cases of toilet paper that last us over a month. Containers of laundry detergent and dishwashing detergent are other items that I always buy in big quantities.

2. Snacks can get expensive and with a large family, they don’t last long! However when a new baby comes I need quick and easy snacks that are full of protein. Cheese sticks are one item I like to have on hand, and it’s a good buy to just purchase a big bag of them.

3. To keep up with breastfeeding I need to drink plenty of water! Lately I’ve been trying to get down 64 ounces a day, but it’s hard for me to get that much down. Getting fresh lemons and squeezing some into my water bottle has been a huge help!

4. Diapers in bulk are a must!! I’ve had the unpleasant experience of running out of diapers, and it’s crisis time to get to the store! :) I purchase wipes and diapers in large boxes and it’s oh so convenient that way! I have a basket in the changing table that I keep full, and the extra diapers are kept in the girl’s closet. I’ve always used Huggies diapers. While they are a little more expensive than the off-brand, they seem to work the best for me and my babies.

5. Other things I like to buy in bulk are oats, honey, flour, sugar, shredded cheese, and meat. I will buy whole chickens (I found these all natural chickens with no hormones from Sam’s Club®) and cook them up, shred the meat and freeze it. Meals are much easier with the meat already being cooked.

I love being a member of a wholesale warehouse store. Sam’s Club® is a great store to join, and here are five reasons why!

1. A membership is only $45 a year. Honestly for the convenience of getting all the items I need in bulk, this is totally worth it.

2. Savings on buying in bulk! Even though it costs more up front, you save money on a lot of the items (such as buying diapers – the cost per diaper goes down significantly). Besides buying diapers in bulk, they also have other items for babies there, such as these Diaper Genie refills!

You can find diaper genie refills in bulk at Sam's Club! #ad

3. You can get name brand items, PLUS brands exclusive to Sam’s Club® only! I like having the option to choose. Many times the store brand is just as good as the name brand but you get to keep the savings.

4. Sign up for and you can have items like diapers delivered to your door! This is my preference; I love getting diapers mailed to me. The subscription service lets you decide how often you need the diapers (or other baby items you need!) so you won’t run out, but you also won’t get them too often. You receive free standard shipping on almost all the diapers and wipes!

5. I love this option…order online and pick up your order ready to go! This saves so much time. You receive a text when your order is ready, and you can save your shopping lists for future orders! Find out more details here.

One item I would like to try from Sam’s Club® is the Member’s Mark diaper wipes. I’ve used low quality wipes before and end up feeling like I’m not saving any money at all….I have to use more just to get the baby clean! The Member’s Mark wipes have 3 layers to them, with the outer two being quilted. At just 2 cents per wipe, these are definitely worth a try!

When you join Sam’s Club® through the link in this post, for a limited time offer you receive $80 in savings on items that new moms want!A Sam’s Club® membership would make a great gift for any mom. Did I mention they have paper plates in bulk? :)

You can help reduce on stress in your life as a new mom and buy in bulk! I’m sure you will appreciate it like I do!

Sam’s Club provides big savings for growing families, join and get $80 in special savings on baby basics, only through the link links in this post! 


How I’ve Made Over My Morning and Created A Routine

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How I've Made Over My Mornings and Created A Routine!

I’m not a person who routine comes naturally to. Schedules tend to make me stand in awe of the moms who pull them off. We do best with routines, and even that gets tweaked a lot.

When I first went through the Make Over Your Morning course, It wasn’t a dramatic change. I didn’t end the two week course and have a totally new morning routine.  I  had a new baby when I went through it and it was a hard time to make change come about.

A few weeks ago however, I realized that a lot of things have changed about my morning, thanks to the course. I finally have a routine! Here is what it looks like.

Wake Up, exercise, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, do devotions with the children, and start school.

Doing everything in this order makes my day go so much better!

Want more details? Here you go. 

1. Wake Up – I wake up between 6-8 AM. Right now I don’t try for any earlier than 6 because I’m up several times a night nursing an almost 5 month old. If I’m up super late, I don’t push myself to get up early and sleep in until 8. I’m trying really hard to get enough sleep though, so I can get up at 6-6:30 every day. My goal is to be in bed by 10:00, but that does not always happen.

2. Exercise – I’m doing an 8 week challenge right now, and part of that includes doing 30 minutes of exercise six days a week. I alternate between doing a Walk Away The Pounds DVD, and doing a harder 15 minute workout from Fit Yummy Mummy. When I do the 15 minute workout I normally go across the street in the evening to the elementary school and walk. The children play on the playground and the baby is in the Tula carrier.

I’ve been looking forward to exercising because I get super encouraged while I do it. Really? Yes it’s true! I’ve been listening to homeschooling podcasts from Read Aloud Revival while I exercise, and it gives me a lot to think through from what I’m hearing. I occasionally listen to business podcasts as well ( a favorite of mine is How They Blog). Fresh encouragement as a homeschooling mom has been awesome. A word of advice? Don’t wait for your once a year homeschool conference to be refreshed. Find a podcast to listen to once in awhile as you do chores. I start my day so excited to jump in and homeschool now that I’m listening to these podcasts!

3. Take A Shower – If for some reason I exercise later in the day I skip the shower. If I am all hot and sweaty I take a shower. Most days. 😉 Sometimes as much as I want to get a shower in it’s just not possible. I wash my face in the shower with the L’BRI Deep Pore Cleanser.

4. Get Dressed – This was an area that taking the course really helped in. It made me realize I needed to have a better wardrobe for this crazy busy time with a new baby, and still needing to lose postpartum baby weight.

I was spending a lot of time picking out an outfit in the morning, and most of the outfits needed ironing. Since the baby sleeps in our room and is normally still asleep when I’m picking out an outfit, I don’t like being in my room long.  I was feeling pretty frustrated with it all and wanted to simplify some things. I went to our local Cato store and they had some maxi skirts on clearance, so I bought three of them. They are wrinkle free and I have several shirts they go with. Plus they fit better than a lot of other clothes right now (not happy about that one…but working on it!).

Maxi Skirts from Cato's for an easy morning routine.

The Make Over Your Mornings course suggests picking out your outfit the night before, but I just haven’t been able to get that in my evening routine. So I appreciate adding some easy outfits.

5. Eat breakfast – This one still needs a lot of work. My poor husband. Does that give you a clue that fixing breakfast is not my strong point? I try to have cold cereal in the house for him, and the children eat a lot of oatmeal, eggs and toast, and yes, cold cereal. I have greek yogurt with fruit and honey mixed in. My goal is to have muffins and waffles made up in the freezer, and just pull them out the night before. I just can’t seem to get that pulled off. I did make a waffle mix and that has been helpful.

6. Have devotions with the children – We do different things for devotions, right now we are reading through a scripture story book, other times we read through Proverb for the day, or use an actual study (like something from Character Concepts) and work through it. I need to work on adding in my own devotion time in the morning, but so far I just use this time for myself as well. Being honest here…I know others have created this amazing morning routine with journals and highlighters and printables for what to pray over your family. One day I hope to be there. I will say I pray in the shower a lot. :)

That’s a look at my morning! If you are needing a morning makeover, I have good news for you! Today only, the Make Over Your Morning course is on sale for only $10! This is the cheapest it will be for the rest of the year (in fact it’s not supposed to be on sale the rest of the year). It’s totally worth the cost of the course, and I have been so grateful I went through it.

Whether you are a homeschooling mom, or a mom that works out of the home, I think this course would be a blessing to you! It’s not about getting up at a certain time, but more about creating routines and schedules that work for you! Lots of resources are included in the study guide!

If you purchase the group, please ask to join the Make Over Your Mornings Facebook Group that I started a few months ago! There are over 1000 members there with lots of helpful ideas!

In Case You Were Wondering…

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Wondering about how backing Character Badges on Kickstarter really works? Here are the answers!


We’ve received a number of questions from people who are interested in backing Character Badges on Kickstarter, but are not quite sure how it works or what we’re offering. So, we thought we would publish our answers here for everyone to see. Here goes…

Q: Are you asking us to fund your company? Like, a charity or something?

A: No. And yes. (Is that clear? :) Kickstarter works like this – we offer you (our backers) a product we’ve developed but not yet manufactured. Your pledges are essentially a pre-order for the eventual product. We’re definitely not asking for money without offering something in return (though we certainly wouldn’t refuse donations!) But here’s the thing – we will not be able to produce Character Badges unless we reach our funding goal. So yes, we’re asking for your help to get Character Badges off the ground but not without offering you some really great products in return for your pledges.

Q: If I pledge money to preorder something, does the money instantly come out of my account?

A: No, absolutely not. Again, we don’t receive a penny until the end of the campaign and only if we reach our funding goal. The reason for this is that we’ve worked really hard to determine the minimum amount of money we need to manufacture Character Badges. Reaching anything less than the full amount wouldn’t help us and taking anything less would be unfair to you, so again, no money changes hands unless the funding goal is reached and the campaign ends.

Receiving the cheerfulness badge from our Character Badge program!

Q: Why are you on Kickstarter? Why don’t you just start selling your product?

A: The short of it? We just don’t have $15,000 lying around to part with. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site – that is, you pledge an amount of money in exchange for the product we’re offering. If enough people “pre-order”, we can produce Character Badges. Kickstarter is a great way for people to back projects they believe in but that wouldn’t otherwise exist without their support.

Q: What do I get in exchange for my pledge?

A: See below for a list of things we’re offering and for a more complete list, stop by our Kickstarter page and look on the right side of the page. Everything is all right there.


We want to be able to offer Character Badges to you and others as a ready to go system right out of the box. Take a quick look at a few of the things we’re offering through our Kickstarter campaign. Most of our sets are heavily discounted over the eventual retail price should we be so fortunate to go to production.

Badges are a fun aspect of Character Badges that children look forward to earning!

BADGES – $35 (Early Bird price) or $40 – $5 – $10 off retail!
A set of 12 colorful, durable, and flexible Character Badges that you can award to your child for exhibiting good behavior. Each badge draws upon a scriptural story or an example from nature to illustrate a particular character quality.

Character Badge Starter Set!

CHARACTER BADGES STARTER SET – $60 – $10 off retail!
The starter set works for up to 2 children. It includes 2 obedience charts, 2 disobedience charts, a consequence chart, a set of 12 Character Badges, a dry-erase marker, and a 24 pg. full color manual.

Character Badge Complete Set!

CHARACTER BADGES COMPLETE SET – $70 (Early Bird Price) or $80 – $10 – $20 off retail!
The complete set works for up to 2 children. It includes 2 obedience charts, 2 disobedience charts, a consequence chart, a rewards chart, a set of 12 Character Badges, a 17″ x 22″ reference poster (Do’s and Don’ts Chart) a set of 12 Character Coins, 2 Character Coin Banks, a dry-erase marker, and a 24 pg. full color manual.

Our plan is for Sean to produce more items for families. For example, we hope to put out a Proverbs 31 set for girls, but we have to fund this and get it off the ground first. We hit submit on the campaign with a prayer that the Lord’s will be done in this, as many things rest on getting this funded.

Click here to see the Kickstarter Campaign

Don’t forget to watch the video until the end, there are some funny bloopers. 😉

Have questions? Just leave a comment and we will get back with you!