Things I’ve learned after having 4 children…

Ok, so I didn’t actually give birth to four children, but with the three I did deliver plus my bonus daughter, it doesn’t matter how you count them…there are four (five, really, if you count my husband). With this many children, I have come to discover a few things that I wanted to share that make life easier~

1. Accept that you may not make it out of the house with full make-up and a coordinating outfit. I saw a Facebook post today talking about leaving the house with mis-match earrings on, and my first thought was, “Wow! I’m lucky to even REMEMBER to put earrings on anymore!” On that same note, my friends will be the first to tell you that I used to be the girl that never went anywhere in public without make-up on (hey, you never know when you might run into while out…like Colin Farrell perusing the bookshelf at the William and Mary Barnes and Noble while in the area shooting his latest period film in Jamestown). These days with 4 kids, I feel like I have won the lottery when I get to take a shower before noon and am wearing something other than yoga pants. And speaking of showers, they have to be strategically arranged around nap time, otherwise you never know what you might discover after you emerge.

2. All babies are different. And it’s because of this that I have 4 children. If they were all like my first…there’d be no more! Crying uncontrollably every night for no apparent reason. The type where once you get them to sleep, you find yourself making ninja-like moves to quietly slink away from where ever it is that they finally konked out (and will remain until they wake themselves up-whoever said that you should wake a sleeping baby to feed them did not suffer from lack of sleep and peace and quiet-when the baby falls asleep, LET HER SLEEP!!). My second one tricked me…she was the perfect baby. You could place her in her crib and she’d just lull herself to sleep. Did I say PERFECT?! I was a sucker and had my third. He falls somewhere between the previous two…or maybe it’s the constant lack of sleep that makes me THINK he isn’t so bad…but they are all so darn cute, they’re worth it (most days…)!

3. Never, Ever take all the kids to the store! So, this isn’t realistic. I know that people don’t have a choice and have to take their kids to the store with them…but if you want to maintain your sanity, then try your absolute hardest NOT to take the kids to the store. A normal trip to the store that might take you an hour by yourself, will take you 4 times that long with kids in tow…it’s pretty much a scientific fact! You practically double the time before you even get out of the driveway by inevitably having to go back in the house like 5 times for the items you’ve forgotten…bottles, coats, the package you are returning (which was the whole reason you were going to the store to begin with), and most importantly, every child’s special, precious little blankie that they might not survive without…oh, Lord! Once you finally make it to the store a quick jaunt down the aisle is tripled in duration while you stop every 2.3 seconds to look at “the coolest thing” that they “have to have!” I mean, thanks a lot, person who created Barbie, I’m almost sick of the color pink (almost) and if I step on one more Barbie shoe…

4. Give up the vision of quiet, enjoyable family dinners. I am a huge fan of Pinterest and spend hours concocting the perfect, healthy meal for my darling family using the most perfect recipes found on the blogs of moms who make every thing from scratch and don’t ever leave the house without their make-up on and all kids in coordinating outfits. By the time dinner hits the table, I have one kid screaming that they don’t like chicken, they want chips and dip for dinner (and every other meal of the day), and the other child shoveling food in their face and wearing most of it. The food that she’s not wearing is actually ground into the carpet under the dining room table. I’m still finding pieces of rice around the house from our last attempt at Jambalaya. Inevitably two things happen during dinner, as well…1) the baby starts crying, and 2) someone knocks over their apple juice. Why do I punish myself by giving them real cups of juice and not just a sippy cup? Why?

5. Say goodbye to privacy! Children have the uncanny ability to know exactly when you sit down to pee. From now on whether you are peeing, showering or putting on your make-up (on those rare occasions), you will have an audience. Any modesty you once had will be tossed out with the dirty diapers…the many, many dirty diapers!

I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, my best friend (who has 4, almost 5, kids of her own) laughed and told me that I would have to get over being an obsessive cleaner once my baby arrived. If I could have carried my Windex around in a holster-like belt, that would have been totally awesome! I’m a tad neurotic when it comes to cleaning, and I would Windex tiny little finger prints as soon as they landed on my back door. She laughed at me, knowing that I would change once I had kids, despite my strong denial. And she was right. I no longer run around immediately cleaning up tiny finger prints and I accept that I will never again pee in peace. But once I made these realizations, I made an even bigger discovery…that it’s all worth it!

End of Year Teacher Gifts

Throughout the year, we have come up with some clever ways to acknowledge our kids’ teachers for the hard work they put in each day educating and caring for our children. As this school year comes to a close, I’ve been perusing my favorite craft blogs and Pinterest for some creative ideas to show the teachers one last time how much they are appreciated. I’ve compiled a “short list” of some of the best ideas!


Love this cute coffee treat from Keeping up with the Kiddos!

teacher frame

I don’t know who to give credit to for this adorable chalkboard! Such a great idea for a teacher’s door!

teacher drink

This spouted pitcher from Pinned Sisters is stuffed with tons of fun summer gifts that a teacher can enjoy!

teachers plant

We did something like this last year! Such a thoughtful gift that will remind the teacher of your child as they watch the plant grow! Check out Frills, Fluff and Trucks!


As a teacher myself, I love practical gifts that I can use in the classroom. Slice of Heaven has this gift nailed!

There are so many gifts that show our teachers how much they are appreciated! Personally, I love simply hearing “Thank you!” from my students. Keep checking back for more great ideas! Until next time…XOXO!

Girl Scout Cookies Are HERE!!

It’s that time of year again!! The time when those delightful little girls in those brown uniforms bring your overpriced boxes of cookies that seem to get smaller and smaller each year…but who cares about price when you get ahold of that rectangular box of heaven?? I’d give away my husband for a year’s supply of Girl Scout Cookies! Well, maybe even for just one box…

In honor of this sweet time of year, I’ve compiled a list of some yummy recipes that include those scrumptious little tokens of joy! Yes, world, there is something even better than a Girl Scout Cookie~possibly Thin Mint cupcakes…or Samoas Girl Scout Cookie Pie??







Thin Mint Cupcakes from Your Cup of Cake









Samoas Girl Scout Cookie Pie from Chocolate-Covered Katie









Thin Mint Truffles  from The Recipe Critic



coffeecake muffins 019






Tagalong Stuffed Do-Si-Do Brownie from The Nonpareil Baker








Savannah Smiles Frozen Lemonade Tarts from The Old Hen


You can create so many delicious recipes using Girl Scout Cookies! Share your favorite recipes with us!! Until next time…XOXO!









It’s All About the Washingtons, Baby!

g_washington_paintingThe original intention of President’s Day was to remember the Founding Fathers who worked so hard to sculpt this great nation into a place that people from across the globe would want to live and thrive. Today, it is much better known for car sales and a much needed three day weekend. Not that there is anything wrong with the longing for a three day weekend, but let’s go back to the root of this holiday and bask in some presidential knowledge!! Here are some fun facets about our previous prezzies!!

THE TALLEST president was Lincoln at 6’4″; at 5’4″, Madison was the shortest.

EIGHT PRESIDENTS never attended college: Washington, Jackson, Van Buren, Taylor, Fillmore, Lincoln, A. Johnson, and Cleveland. The college that has the most presidents as alumni (seven in total) is Harvard: J. Adams, J. Q. Adams, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, J. F. Kennedy, and George W. Bush.

BARACK OBAMA is our 44th president, but there actually have only been 43 presidents: Cleveland was elected for two nonconsecutive terms and is counted twice, as our 22nd and 24th president.

PRESIDENTS ADAMS, Jefferson, and Monroe all died on the 4th of July; Coolidge was born on that day.

KENNEDY AND TAFT are the only presidents buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

*The above information provided as courtesy of Borgna Brunner, who derived from “Facts About the Presidents” by Joseph Nathan Kane as posted on

Until next time…XOXO!

Clever USes for Epsom Salts

I have always known that Epsom salts were effective for soothing tired muscles, but I never knew how many more uses one could find for this drugstore find! Katie, from Wellness Mama, highlights the many uses on her blog! Check it out!



We use epsom salt (affiliate) a lot at our house. It is a good source of magnesium (here’s why we love magnesium) and has dozens of household uses. Here are our favorites:

  1. As a relaxing Magnesium Bath Soak – Add at least 1 cup of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Splinter Removal- Soak in concentrated epsom salt water to pull out a splinter.
  3. Magnesium Foot Scrub- Make a homemade magnesium scrub (recipe here) for a boost of magnesium and super soft skin.
  4. Better Vegetables- Add a tablespoon of epsom salt to the soil below a tomato plant to boost growth.
  5. Facial Wash- Add a pinch of epsom salt to your usual face cleaner (or to your oil cleansing routine) for a skin exfoliating magnesium boost.
  6. Tile/Grout Cleaner- Mix equal parts of liquid dish soap and epsom salts and use to scrub tile and grout. Rinse well for a streak free shine.
  7. Body Aches- Add 2 cups of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes to help relieve muscle sprains and for a transdermal magnesium boost.
  8. Homemade Sea Salt Spray- Make your own sea salt spray to add texture and volume to hair- recipe here.
  9. Water House Plants- Help house plants grow by adding a couple tablespoons of epsom salt to the water when you water them.
  10. Volumizing Hair Mask- Combine equal parts of conditioner and epsom salt and leave on hair for 20 minutes. Rinse well and let air dry for thicker hair.
  11. Foot Soak- For a concentrated magnesium boost, add 1 cup of epsom salt to a hot foot soak and soak for 20 minutes.
  12. Get rid of slugs- Have slugs in your garden or on your patio? Sprinkle epsom salt to deter them.
  13. Making Magnesium Lotion- Using magnesium flakes is a better option, but in a pinch, you can use epsom salt to make homemade magnesium oil (recipe here).
  14. Laxative- For occasional constipation, a teaspoon of epsom salt dissolved in water can help. Check with a doctor first.
  15. Beautiful Roses- Add a tablespoon a week to the soil around rose bushes before watering for faster growth.
  16. Soil Prep- Before planting, we add a few bags of epsom salt to the soil in the garden and water in to help replenish soil magnesium levels.
  17. Headache relief- There is evidence that soaking in a soothing epsom salt bath may help relieve headache.
  18. Smooth skin- Mix 1/2 cup epsom salt with 1/4 cup olive oil and scrub skin in the shower for healthy and smooth skin.
  19. Itchy Skin or Bug Bites- Dissolve a tablespoon of epsom salt in to 1/2 cup of water and cool. Spritz on itchy skin or apply a wet compress to help relieve itching.
  20. Minor Sunburn Relief- Use the same ratio in the itchy skin relief above and spritz on to minor sunburns to help soothe them.
  21. Help Kids Sleep Better- Add a cup to kids’ bath water before bed to help them sleep peacefully..
Posted in DIY

Easy Ways to Earn Extra Money
In today’s day and age, it’s always nice to have a little extra money. Whether that money is being used to pay bills, send your child to school, renovate your home, or on a fabulous pair of shoes, there are some simple ways to bring in an extra buck with very little extra work.

1. Earn cashback rewards from various online websites for doing simple tasks like searching the internet or purchasing specific products. Check out Swagbucks or Checkout51.

2. Choose a credit card that offers a great cashback or reward incentive. Use this card to buy groceries and/or gas. Not only do you keep track of your spending on those items, but you can earn great rewards, like giftcards, to either use yourself or give as gifts during the holidays! Check out Citibank for some great rewards!

3. Take Surveys! Check out a list of online surveys that are pretty legit posted by Money Saving Mom!

4. Sell your unused or un-needed items! You can sell things either at yard sales, consignment stores or online these days. The options are endless. Be sure not to price items too high, in order to keep them moving…but if you haven’t used the item in 6 months, then chances are you really don’t need it. Check out online sites such as Craigslist, Facebook and Ebay for a good place to start!

5. Write your way to extra money! Do you love to write? Sell your services online through sites like Elance and earn some extra cash while editing or composing items for companies. You can even set your own price!

Ultimately, there are tons of simple ways to earn some extra cash that don’t take too much time or effort. Try some of them out and let me know how they work for you! I’d love to hear your stories!

Until next time…XOXO!!

10 Simple Ways to Save Money

Let’s face it…unless you’re one of the Kardashian sisters who gets paid for who knows what (don’t get me wrong, I’d trade places with one of ’em for a few weeks), chances are you could stand to save a few bucks. Every time I see an article about saving money, they tell you the major ways that you can save. I decided to compile a list of some really small and simple changes that can add up to major savings in the long run! Enjoy!

1. Turn off your ceiling fans when you’re not home. They really don’t make your house cooler, they make you FEEL cooler. So, ultimately, you don’t need it running when you’re not home.

2. Buy lunch off the dollar menu. Ok, we all KNOW we shouldn’t eat out because it can add up, but the reality is that sometimes we have to. Most of the items on the dollar menu are a substantial size anyway, but you could buy two double cheeseburgers for less than the cost of a quarter pound burger. Most times, if you go into a restaurant they will give you a cup of water for free.

3. Speaking of fast food restaurants…save all of the extra condiments and napkins they give you. It may not be much, but they totally come in handy for children!

4. Check out places online to get freebies. Lots of sites will send you free samples of different products. Check back often to get samples of things like toilet paper, laundry detergent, lotion and pet food. I often visit Walmart’s site for some good freebies.

5. Portion your meat. With prices at the grocery store rising, we can all use a little help when it comes to saving money here. I like to buy larger portions of meat and then package them in different serving sizes once I get home. For example, if you buy a 2 lb package of ground beef, separate it into one 1 lb section and two 1/2 lb sections. Refreeze once you’re finished. This way you aren’t always using a full lb of meat when you don’t necessarily need it. It will make for a lot less waste and keep your wallet fat.

6. Unplug unused items. I know we’ve all heard this one before, but it really can help to add up. Let’s be honest, though. There is no way I’m going to unplug every single item that I’m not using just to go back and re-plug it when I want to use it again…plus I like knowing what time it is every time I turn my head! But, unplug those items that you really don’t use often like toasters, phone chargers, curling irons, coffee pots…OR you can buy power strips to plug in an abundance of items and simply unplug them all with one swipe of the hand.

7. Every few months try making meals using EVERYTHING in your pantry. Ok, not everything at once, but try using those creative juices and use the items you have rather than buying more stuff and continuously stockpiling. There are great websites that allow you to punch in the ingredients you have and it comes up with a fabulous recipe just for you!! Try visiting SuperCook for some ideas!

8. Utilize the internet. Often I find coupon codes for free movie rentals or great coupons for items I use. There are so many pages on Facebook that you can follow that share coupon deals and give tips on how to save money. I like to follow The Krazy Coupon Lady!

9. Buy your cards at the Dollar Tree. Actually you can save lots of money buying certain things at the Dollar Tree. Cards are $.50 a piece. No one really saves cards anyway…so why spend $3 or $4 at the larger stores?

10. Buy the storebrand. There are some things that we can just not negotiate on. Toiletpaper is one of them…BUT there are many things that are just as good in the storebrand and cost so much less, EVEN with coupons! Take advantage of not falling into the marketing traps these companies put forth!

Woman of Words


I love to write…
I love to create things with my own two hands…
AND I love sharing things about my beautiful little family!
Now I’m going to write about making things! How perfect!!
I hope everyone enjoys reading what I’ve been up to and all of the tips and ideas that I have to share! More to come soon!!!

Until next time…XOXO!