Family Dinner Roundup: Fiesta Friday

If you are looking for a fun and creative way to have a little fun with your whole family this Friday night, a fiesta is the way to go. Mexican food is glorious because you can usually find something for everyone in your family and you can spice it up (or down!) any way that you want to.

I have dug through some of my favorite sites to bring you the top 10 recipes for our Friday Fiesta Nights. Don’t get stuck at plain old tacos, when you can make it even more fun by adding these dishes. As a bonus, I have also found my two favorite cocktail recipes, for the grownups to enjoy after the sun goes down.  Heat up your Friday night with a Fiesta. Your whole family will love it! Continue reading “Family Dinner Roundup: Fiesta Friday” »

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Teaching Our Kids About Agriculture

Our world has changed. We now see children who have no idea where their food comes from, how it is grown, or how it gets cultivated. For me, as the daughter of a farmer, this is a truly sad fact. Our children, and their children, still need to feed themselves every day, but we have not armed them with the tools to understand agriculture and what it brings to our tables. When they are asked where food comes from, and the majority of them answer “The grocery store.”…we have a BIG problem. Continue reading “Teaching Our Kids About Agriculture” »

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Beginner Preparedness: Where to Start

It’s a cold, windy day here in Colorado. As I sit here in my warm home, with the fire going, my mind is turning to all the events throughout the world where warmth, protection, and even food are not a guarantee. I’m a bit of a stocker, a trait learned from my mother in part and from her mother before her as well. We tend to stock up, plan ahead, and have what we would need in the case that we could not access stores or other luxuries. Friends joke that I am a prepper…but that’s not entirely true. We plan for things, yes, but not so much for the “end of the world” scenarios that preppers are known for.

Planning for preparedness isn’t hard. In fact, you probably have many of the tools in your home right now. But, in the case of a natural disaster, regional event, or even an illness…it will pay off. Here are the first steps to begin being prepared. Continue reading “Beginner Preparedness: Where to Start” »

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Seven Steps to Effective Elementary Parent Teacher Conferences (plus FREE printable)

 

I often joke that we have been parents FOREVER…not really, but it often seems that way. It seems totally impossible that we have a child out of college and still have one in elementary school and one in middle school. This time of year, that becomes more than apparent as we schedule and plan for our fall conferences.

Sometimes, with Elementary students, it’s hard to know what things to discuss with the teacher, especially if everything seems to be going “just fine”. These seven tips can help your conference go smoothly and be productive. Continue reading “Seven Steps to Effective Elementary Parent Teacher Conferences (plus FREE printable)” »

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13 Devilishly Delicious Halloween Kid Desserts

 

It’s almost Halloween, Folks!  This time of year, my kids start craving sweet desserts and love the whimsy of Halloween treats. Even my 13 year old can find joy in these sweet treats, though he would never admit it. I love to embrace the fun of this holiday by surprising my little ghosts and goblins with these types of treats (after dinner, of course). Bet you’re going to love them, too! Continue reading “13 Devilishly Delicious Halloween Kid Desserts” »

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Beware: Mental Zombies!

I was driving home from Scouts one night with my 9 year old, when he piped up with these words of wisdom, “We have to watch out for the mental zombies!”.
Ok, I thought…this is his little imagination kicking into overdrive. He is my sensitive one, and in many ways my hard one…so I thought I should follow this up with something.

Continue reading “Beware: Mental Zombies!” »

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Seven Easy Ways to Help Your Child’s Teacher Start Sane

Sometimes, I feel like a veteran mom. My oldest is 22 years old this year, and I feel like we have had children in school FOREVER! We kind of have…and when I am not having a pity party about how much older I feel than most of the parents in our youngest two children’s elementary school, I feel like I have a leg up on some of the secrets to staying sane for back to school time. Continue reading “Seven Easy Ways to Help Your Child’s Teacher Start Sane” »

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Lego Birthday Party

I love parties. I know they can be stressful and expensive, but I love hosting them. This one was one of my favorites.

We were able to keep this party pretty inexpensive by creating as much as we could on our own. Lego party supplies are difficult to come by and can be expensive, but luckily, Lego’s are primary colors..so you can get creative on the cheap. Here are a few ideas that were simple to create, but gave us a big bang for just a few bucks. Continue reading “Lego Birthday Party” »

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Transformation: Boring Nightstand to Brilliantly Bookish Accent

As the weather here prepares to take a turn towards a February Blizzard, I always turn back towards projects in the home. This was one of my favorite projects. It is fun, and easy, without a lot of complicated components. I am often shocked how a simple change can give an item a whole new life and feel.

 

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I was given a VERY basic nightstand by a good friend, because she knows how very much I love to play around with techniques and change. I love to reuse items whenever I can. Many of you have read that I don’t want my home to look like the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog..and that remains true. But I DO take inspiration from some of those same manufacturers. This style was actually “stolen” from ideas I saw in similar stores.

What you need:

~an old (or new) boring nightstand

~An old book with lots of character (I used a 1937 history book found in an auction box that had been water damaged and could not be salvaged).

~Sandpaper

~gloss enamel paint of your choice.

~mod podge

~Shellac or polyurethane to finish

This project cost me a total of $7.76 since I only had to buy mod podge and bought a can of clearance enamel! A great deal!

Step one: Remove any drawers from the table. Remove hardware. Rough up with sandpaper.

Step two: Paint main frame of nightstand with paint of your choice. I chose gloss black. This may take a coat or two, depending on paint color and quality.

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Step Three: Apply pages of old book or magazine with mod podge to the top and drawers. I used the pages whole on the top and focused on parts of the history books about the Old West, as this item was for my Moms Bunkhouse Guestroom! On the drawer fronts, I tore the pages to fit.

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Final Step: Allow everything to dry for several days, if you can. Apply additional mod podge as needed, in places where it seems like there is not enough adhering happening. If you get a bubble of air under a portion of the mod podge, prick the area with a tiny pin, allow air to escape and then apply some more mod podge. You really can’t make a mistake, since it dries clear. It is by far one of my favorite products! When completely dry, apply poly or shellac over mod podged areas for extra protection.

That’s it! You now have a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind piece that looks great in any room. It adds loads of character!

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What’s your favorite trash to treasure success story? Share a link in the comments so we can check out your creations!

Continue reading “Transformation: Boring Nightstand to Brilliantly Bookish Accent” »

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HOW AN AUTISM DIAGNOSIS MADE ME A BETTER MOTHER

     This is my baby…my first born…my challenge…the light that made me decide I liked being a mother. I know, he doesn’t look like a baby in this picture. He isn’t. He is now a grown man with plans, and hopes, and dreams. He is an Eagle Scout. He is a college student. He is a boyfriend. He still challenges me. He also has Asperger’s Syndrome.

Continue reading “HOW AN AUTISM DIAGNOSIS MADE ME A BETTER MOTHER” »

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