Our family’s 2016 “What Is It?” Christmas game


Last night, our extended family got together for our annual Christmas Eve dinner and the second annual “What Is It?” family gift swap. You may remember that this is a game my sister dreamed up in 2015 for our family…  

An Easy Bake blast from the past


A commercial for the children’s Easy Bake oven came on television. My youngest son watched as the girl on the screen baked up a mini cake, and he said “Why don’t they make something like this for boys?”  

Repairing my favorite leather boots


I love boots, and I wear them throughout the fall and winter seasons, but I was fed up with how quickly my synthetic boots were wearing out. 2014 was the year that I decided I was done buying plastic boots…  

Kitchen and bathroom cleaning with Mean Green


One of my readers asked me to tackle a “dirty microwave” and see what Mean Green could do. In preparation, I stopped wiping down the inside of our microwave for (yuck!) two months. All in the name of research, I assure you…  

Off to college: One chick has left the nest


Even though we’d been preparing all summer for our daughter’s move to college, it still didn’t really hit us that she was leaving until everything was packed. Suddenly, the house seemed less full — both physically and emotionally…  

Back to College: Is your student ready?


I can’t believe back-to-school time is upon us again, and for our family, this time of year brings even more impact, as our oldest daughter is moving to college today. National College Move-In Week begins August 14th, 2016…  

College apartment bargains and finds


In addition to buying a few new things to decorate her soon-to-be space, she’s also been scouring local stores, resale shops and rummage sales to pick up the rest. She was so proud of some of her recent finds…  

My deck stain report: One year later


I detailed my deck refinishing project in 2015 and had high hopes for the deck stain I chose. Since that time, I’ve had curious readers writing to ask how my deck currently looks. How did it weather over the past year?  

A budget book for my daughter’s college life


While there are plenty of software solutions for personal budgets, there’s something to be said for the simplicity of a budget book — and she liked the idea of a book that would also organize her bills…  

Welcome to my summer office


One of the best parts of blogging for a living is being able to set my own hours and work from just about anywhere. I have a setup that I’ve nicknamed my “summer office,” which is ready for summertime fun…  

Summertime chores? These kids are cleaning up.


I enlisted the help of my boys to clean up some areas that seem to get dirty and grungy no matter what we do. They were actually looking for chores to do, so I tried to pick some semi-enjoyable ones…  

This weed torch is my favorite garden tool


Every year, our family plants a vegetable garden, and every year, despite my best intentions, there comes a point in time when the garden becomes more than a little overrun with weeds…  

Back to Campus decorating and organization


As our daughter counts down the days until she moves into her first apartment at college, she’s been busy thinking about the kinds of things she’d like to bring along to help with organizing and decorating her first place…