1-2-3 Animal: a simple gross-motor skills guessing game

This simple, no-prep game is a great way to get your kids’ wiggles out–and help them practice counting, critical thinking, and gross motor skills, too!This simple, no-prep game is a great way to get your kids' wiggles out--not to mention it will help them practice counting and develop gross motor skills, too!The story behind this game is one many of you can probably identify with. It all started during a Sunday evening visit to my brother’s house. See, I’m the youngest of five kids. We’re spread out from coast to coast, but two of my siblings live close enough to me that we try to get our crazy crews together once a month or so for dinner. Between us, we have seven young kids–mostly boys–so sometimes things get a little crazy. Continue reading

Family Peace of Mind Challenge: How to be prepared for anything (part 1)

Life doesn’t always go as planned, and it’s essential to prepare for life’s unexpected challenges. Join the Peace of Mind Challenge–a step-by-step guide to get young families on the road to emergency and financial preparedness…just in case.Life doesn't always go as planned, and it's essential to prepare for life's unexpected challenges. Join the Peace of Mind Challenge--a step-by-step guide to get young families on the road to physical and financial preparedness...just in case.Happy 2018, everyone! I’m a week behind the crowd of “Happy New Years,” but I enjoyed a much-needed break to focus on my family. That, and my computer crashed and had to be completely reset…so it’s taken me awhile to get back up and running. Now I’m back, and I’m ready to ring in the new year with gusto.  Continue reading

Christmas Cherry Braid Danish…a delicious tradition

Move over cinnamon rolls…this sweet, baked cherry braid is a festive addition to your Christmas menu. Fancy-looking, but simple to make, serve it for dessert (or even breakfast) and wow you family!Move over cinnamon rolls...this sweet, baked cherry braid is a festive addition to your Christmas menu. Fancy-looking, but simple to make, serve it for dessert (or even breakfast) and wow you family!

Note: This post includes affiliate links to the products discussed, but always feel free to shop around for the best deals. See my disclosure to learn more.

It’s almost Christmas! My kids are beyond excited, and we’re hunkering down for a week of family fun and celebrating the birth of our Savior.

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Quick and easy Christmas preschool learning game: find the presents! 

Kids excited for Christmas? This simple Christmas preschool learning game is a great way to use something kids love–opening presents at Christmas–to teach them valuable academic skills.Kids excited for Christmas? This simple Christmas preschool learning game is a great way to use something kids love--opening presents at Christmas--to teach them valuable academic skills. If your kids are anything like mine, they’re fairly bouncing off the walls at this point in anticipation of Christmas morning. And if you are anything like me, you are grasping for ideas of how to keep them occupied during these last few days before Christmas.

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Classic Snowball Cookies (my favorite Christmas cookie)

Call them whatever you like–Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, snowball cookies–these bite-sized cookies are the perfect addition to a holiday dessert plate, cookie exchange, or for enjoying by yourself snuggled next to the Christmas tree.Call them whatever you like--wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, snowball cookies--these bite-sized cookies are the perfect addition to a holiday dessert plate, cookie exchange, or for enjoying yourself by the Christmas tree.

There are some foods that just remind me of Christmas. Sitting on the counter, waiting for the moment when my mom would declare a recipe complete and let me lick the bowl…mmm. Happy times.
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How to Make Christmas Meaningful for Little Kids

Presents are an exciting part of Christmas–especially for little kids–but if you’re looking to make Christmas mean a little bit more for your family, here are some ideas to set the tone for a more Christ-centered holiday.Presents are an exciting part of Christmas--especially for little kids--but if you're looking to make Christmas a little bit more for your family, here are some ideas to set the tone for a more Christ-centered holiday.

Note: This post includes affiliate links to the products discussed, but always feel free to shop around for the best deals. See my disclosure to learn more.

Can you believe it’s December? The weather has finally turned cold here, and we’re breaking out the hot chocolate and fuzzy socks. Christmas is nearly upon us! How is your Christmas season going so far? Are you reveling in the Christmas spirit or stressed out by your mile-long to-do list (or maybe a little of both)?

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A practical baby shower gift perfect for any mom-to-be (with free printable gift tags)

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RegisteringForBaby #CollectiveBias

Need a baby shower gift? This simple, practical gift is something every mom-to-be needs, whether it’s her first or fifth child. 

Need a baby shower gift? This simple, practical gift is something every mom-to-be needs, whether it's her first or fifth child. When was the last time you went shopping for a baby shower gift? What did you buy the mom-to-be? For first-time moms, it’s not too hard to find something useful. Babies require A LOT of stuff, after all. There’s a reason they have whole stores dedicated to these tiny people. First time-mom’s registries are filled with much-needed blankets, clothes, cribs, strollers, bottles, teething toys…the list is endless. Continue reading

How I overcame my fear of the Instant Pot: 5 must-know tips to get you cooking like a pro

If you’ve ever wanted to buy an Instant Pot but are afraid of wasting money, or if you’ve had one sitting in its box for months–this post is for you! These five must-know tips will help you overcome your fears, and teach you all you need to know to get started.If you've ever wanted to buy an Instant Pot but are afraid of wasting money, or if you've had one sitting in its box for months--this post it for you! These five must-know tips will help you overcome your fears, and teach you all you need to know to get started.

Note: This post includes affiliate links to the products discussed, but always feel free to shop around for the best deals. See my disclosure to learn more.

The Instant Pot. It’s been the must-have cooking appliance for the past several years. Foodies sing its praises. Stores put it on their front page ads.

But, have you ever wondered, is it really as great as everybody says?

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How to make perfectly creamy mashed potatoes

For Thanksgiving dinner or any other time of year, these eight tips from a mashed potato pro will ensure you get perfectly creamy mashed potatoes every time.For Thanksgiving dinner or any other time of year, these ### tips will help you get perfectly creamy mashed potatoes every time. One of my favorite Christmas movies is While You Were Sleeping. Do you remember the scene where they are all gathered around the dinner table having a completely absurd conversation about tall actors dotted by random comments about the mashed potatoes?

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Gift Guide for Kids Who Love Cars and Trucks

For the child in your life who loves all things that go, this gift guide will give you plenty of ideas for car and truck gifts that are sure to be a hit.

For the child in your life who loves all things that go, this gift guide for kids who love cars and trucks will give you plenty of ideas that are sure to be a hit.

Note: This post includes affiliate links to the products discussed, but always feel free to shop around for the best deals. See my disclosure to learn more.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mom of boys (okay, there are a lot of things, but this one is way up at the top), it’s that the attraction to cars and trucks is completely inborn. I’ve always been a big proponent of encouraging boys and girls to be interested in whatever they want rather than being beholden to gender stereotypes. However, without any encouragement from me, my boys have all gravitated toward playing with cars and trucks.  Continue reading