Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

Happy Thanksgiving!  I’m taking the week off to celebrate Lincoln’s Baptism and spend time with our family in town!

My Thanksgiving menu doesn’t change much from year to year.  I grew up with baked turkey, moved South and got introduced to fried turkey, and for the first time last year, tried smoked turkey.  By far my favorite!  As for side dishes and dessert…I usually make sweet potato casserole, biscuits, salad, pecan pie and green bean casserole.  You know, the Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom version.  But this year, I’m trying something a little different.  I found this recipe on the eMeals site, and thought it might be fun to try this year.

Green Bean Casserole with Bacon - Palmettos and Pigtails

Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

  • 2 (12-oz) packages steam-in-bag green beans
  • 1 (8-oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-oz) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (2.8-oz) container French fried onions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook beans in microwave as directed. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Sauté mushrooms in butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once after 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add to beans in bowl.
  3. Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Crumble bacon, and add to beans. Reserve 1 Tbsp drippings in skillet. Cook onion and garlic in drippings until tender. Add to beans. Stir in Alfredo sauce and cheese.
  4. Spoon into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with French fried onions. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly.

What side dishes do you make at Thanksgiving?
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A Minted Christmas Card – A Vote

We are a week and a half out from Lincoln’s Baptism Celebration….and then four days later, Thanksgiving.  And then the Christmas Season.  Because around here, it truly is its own season.  Every weekend we have a party or event to go to.  School days are filled with Christmas crafts, Operation Christmas Child, and Nativity programs.  And my evenings are spent planning, sewing and shopping.  Y’all, where does the time go in December?

But, it’s not December. Yet.  So as far as I am concerned, I’m ahead of the game.  For now.  This week, I’m starting to think about Christmas cards.  Those beautiful little reminders of how blessed we all are.

Blog Christmas Card

This was my homemade Christmas card from 2012.  This year, I’m teaming up with Minted.com to share their 2014 Christmas Card line.  They are giving me a chance to try some of their gorgeous Christmas cards to send out this year….but I’m having a hard time deciding!!!

That’s where you come in.  I need your help!  I’ve chosen a few of my favorite styles {it’s super easy to Pin and to Favorite each card you like on their website}, and was wondering if you can weigh in with your pick.  Leave me a comment with which one you like best!

Choice #1: Year in a Nutshell

Year in a Nutshell Photo Card from Minted.com

It’s a little more modern than I typically do, but I love that you can add your “stats” and highlights too!

Choice #2: Love Tree

Love Tree Christmas Card from Minted.com

Choice #3: Very Merry Flourish

Very Merry Flourish Christmas Card by Minted.com

I like that the shape is different and pretty….but it’ll be hard for me to find a vertical picture of our family that I like!

Choice #4: Bright Days

Bright Days Christmas Card by Minted.com

So here’s a compromise that is pretty and horizontal!

Choice #5: Heart, Halo, Hooray!

Heart, Halo, Hooray! Christmas Card by Minted.com

Keep in mind that if you click on the link in each card’s name, you can play around with the color of the lettering and the cut style of the card.

Which one do you think I should choose?

Check out this week’s awesome deals: 15% off Holiday cards and 20% off Foil-pressed cards.  Click here for details.

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The Seven Experiment: Media Blackout

I’m back!!! Did you miss me?  Probably not.  And no offense, but I didn’t really miss you either!  It’s hard to believe that we had virtually NO media exposure over the last week.  Our media blackout included TV, Radio/Music, Phone {except for relational calls and informational texts}, Computer, Internet, Social Media, and Electronic Games and Apps.  Seven things that have become idols in our house, taking up our time, energy and attention to the detriment of our relationships with others.

So it was all gone last week.  Cold turkey.  And guess what?  It wasn’t that bad.  I got zero complaints from the kids.  They blindly accepted the new “rule” when we broke the news to them.  Dave and I struggled a little with temptations {ahem, Facebook}, but we gave ourselves a B+ overall.

I even cheated a little on Day One, when I realized I had never completed an Amazon order for some craft fair items that I needed for this past weekend.  Jayna busted me getting out the computer, and insisted that she sit next to me and watch to “make sure I didn’t go on Facebook.” Man, talk about commitment from that kid!

But overall, it wasn’t as hard as I thought.  The house was quieter, we talked to each other more.  The kids played, rather than whining about TV or music selections.  Jayna even had a weeklong mystery when a bracelet of hers was missing.  She carried a notebook around writing down clues {like green dots and pizza crumbs} and gathering her suspects.  I’m not sure if the bracelet was ever found, but she had a blast sneaking around and solving the mystery!

The list of suspects is long in the Case of the Missing Bracelet!

The hardest thing for me was not watching TV while I folded laundry, and not scanning Facebook or Pinterest while sitting in the car-rider line at school or at the craft show this past weekend.  But other than that, totally fine!

I’d like to say we’ll keep it up.  But already we’ve gone back to our ways of having a TV on regularly {even if no one is watching it!}.  And I feel like since the week was over, I’ve had to spend DOUBLE time on the computer, just catching up from last week.  So I can’t say that too much has changed.  But I will say that we will be more mindful of our phones.  It was so nice last week {when all of my notifications were turned off}, not having to check my phone every time there was a little chime.  It was nice spending time with Dave, without Sportscenter being in the middle of our conversation.  So I think I’m going to leave my social media notifications turned off, and work on only browsing Facebook or Pinterest when I’m alone.

What do you do to cut back on media time?

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Why I’m Quitting Social Media

Don’t panic.  It’s actually only for this week.  In a nutshell, I’m in a Small Group studying Jen Hatmaker’s Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  And each week we give up some type of excess in our lives.  This week is media.

So I am radio silent {no, I’m not cheating right now, because I actually wrote this last week and just scheduled it for today}.  I’ve given up:

1. Television

2. Radio/Music

3. Internet

4. Computer

5. Social Media

6. Phone {except for informational calls and texts…no social chatting!}

7. Electronic Games and Apps

So, if you need me…I’ll be back in a week.  In the meantime, I’ll be spending the week with my family and friends.  Facetiming….literally.

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The Seven Experiment: An Update on my Mutiny Against Excess

Well friends, I’m about to start week four of Jen Hatmaker’s Bible Study, Seven.  I can sum up my experience of the Seven Experiment so far in one word: Fail.

Let me back up.  So, Week One was about Food.  Some of the challenge ideas in the book were:

to clean out 7 items from your pantry a day
only eat 7 foods for the entire week
cut out 7 staples or extravagant foods from your diet for a week
only eating organic/clean/local for the week

You know how I spent the week?  Traveling.  Eating out at both fast food and nice restaurants as I headed up north with the kiddos {by myself!} for part of the week, and then coming home to turn around and head for Alabama for a weekend getaway with Dave.  I pretty much ate the entire week.  Not to say that I didn’t think about the study, or sacrifice, or hungry children in Africa.  My word for the week was GUILT.  And I struggled with my intentions and the legalities of the study….promising myself and God that I would “double-up” the following week since my travel week wasn’t convenient to limit food.  Needless to say, I still haven’t “doubled-up.”

So, fail.

Week Two was about clothes.  Here were some of the challenge ideas:

Wear the same seven articles of clothing for the entire week {undergarments not counting!}
Wear only handmade clothes for the entire week
Give away seven items of clothing/accessories each day for a week
Create a pile/section of your closet for all the items you wear during the week, in order to get a visual for the percentage of items you actually use versus own.

So my word for this week should have been UNINTENTIONAL.  The first part of the week, I was still traveling.  I had only seven items with my on my trip {thanks to the carry-on bag rule!}, but it was purely coincidental, and I wasn’t thinking about the items at all when I was packing.  And when I got home, halfway through the week, I was so focused on getting back to my kids, and routine, that I forgot.  Simply forgot.  I had read my chapter on the plane {usually I don’t have time to read, so I’ll read a page of our study here and there throughout the week….which helps me stay on track}, so I literally did not pick up the book again until it was time to head to Small Group.  And then I realized that I hadn’t worn those same clothes the rest of the week.  I hadn’t even thought about the study or challenge at all.

Fail.

Week Three: Possessions.  I have done much better this week.  I’ve been more purposeful, and trying to stick to the plan with a cheerful heart.  Honestly, I was excited for this week especially…eager to start the cleanse: my life, my heart and my closets!  But then reality kind of set in.  It started when I was reading the chapter in Seven.  And my stomach got caught in my throat.  In the book, Jen and her husband had visited a church whose speaker encouraged the parishioners to leave the shoes they were wearing at the alter when the came up for communion.  And so Jen and her husband left their brand new fancy boots at the front and walked out into the cold in bare feet.  And she admits that her feet were freezing and uncomfortable walking on the gravel for the five minutes it took to get to her warm car.  Imagine your feet feeling that way all. the. time.

And then I thought about the PILE of shoes at the bottom of my closet.  Not to mention the PILE of shoes on the shelf in my bathroom {overflow parking!}.  And like Jen, my favorite pair out of them all are my cowboy boots.  I wear them all the time.  I got them on our family vacation to Gaitlinburg, Tennessee three year ago, just before our tiny family of three became four {and now five!}.  To me, those boots are not only comfy and cute {and maybe a bit stinky since I hate wearing socks with them!!}, but they symbolize family, simplicity and happiness to me.  They make me taller, and somehow more confident….and dangit, they look good with just about anything I wear!  I could not imagine not having them as a staple in my wardrobe.  How could Jen sacrifice hers?

So my word this past week should have been SACRIFICE.  Which, admittedly, I did very little of.  Sure, I cleaned out closets.  I have a huge bag of coats, scarves, mittens and hats waiting to go to the shelter.  I have another pile of towels and rags ready for the SPCA.  I’ve gone through toys and books and kids clothes to pull some essentials out for a little girl I know that has nothing.  I’ve asked around for ideas of families or people that may be in need {if you know of any, shoot me an email!}.  Knowing that about 10 of us in my group are all purging this week, we should have plenty of items that are looking for homes.  But nothing I donated made me uncomfortable.

And I found that even though I still couldn’t part with those beloved boots, I was able to create a pile of 16 pairs of other shoes to donate.  It’s a start. And I found that the more “piles” I created, the more eager I became to find more.  The less discriminating I became about what could go.

A little less of a Fail.

This week, the topic is Media.  And I plan on diving in headfirst.  I think I even have Dave on board.  And the kids…they just don’t know it yet.  So I am ready to unplug the TV, turn off all notifications on my phone {I’ll only be using it to speak to someone or for quick, informational texts…no social banter or emojies for me this week!}, and shut the computer down!  I debated the last one, as my smallish blog does have advertisers and deadlines to deal with.  But I have decided to shut down the blog for a week, schedule the few tweets/FB posts/etc. that I’m required to do for my sponsors, and focus on life for once {without posting to Instagram first!}.  So.  I won’t be checking email, posting on social media or blogging.  Radio Silence.

Wish me luck, and I’ll see you next week!

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DIY Halloween Costumes 2014

Happy November!  Did y’all get this month’s Cleaning Calendar?  I know it’s been a whirlwind of a weekend with Halloween falling on Friday this year.  My girls begged and pleaded to be Ana and Elsa this year {along with all of the other little girls in America}, but  I played Mean Mommy and nixed the idea immediately.  Not that there is anything wrong with the Frozen chicks, but I favor more creative Halloween renderings, and as far as I was concerned…it was a safety issue to keep up with my girls in a sea of Elsa.

DIY Halloween Costumes for kids:  In 30 minutes or less! from Palmettos and Pigtails

So instead, I pulled up a bunch of DIY costumes on Pinterest and let them choose their own.  Millie was easy, and chose Cotton Candy.  Jayna, on the other hand, chose A Needle and Thread.  Don’t get me wrong, a super cute costume.  But I know my limits, and that was not going to turn out cute at all.  Luckily, when we were up in Maryland a couple of weeks ago, Betsy was able to convince Jayna to be Red Riding Hood.  And she was perfectly content to wear one of her school outfits and the cape.                Costume Number One: Done.

DIY Halloween Costumes for kids:  In 30 minutes or less! from Palmettos and Pigtails

Millie’s costume was super easy.  I used a pillowcase as a base, cutting a wide neck hole and armholes.  I sewed around the neck hole and inserted a ribbon, which would serve as a drawstring on the finished costume.  I did the same at the bottom of the pillowcase.  If I were to make this costume again, I’d use elastic and sew it in completely…the ribbon was hard to find, tie, and untie amongst the fluff.  I spray painted a bunch of pillow fluff pink and let it dry completely.  Then I used hot glue to adhere it to the pillowcase, and to a rolled up piece of poster board for the cone.  I used A. Lot. of hot glue. Millie wore the costume to school first, and almost all the cotton got pulled off by other kids, or snagged.  Luckily, I had more cotton, and secured it better after she got home.

DIY Halloween Costumes for kids:  In 30 minutes or less! from Palmettos and Pigtails

Although Millie picked out her costume, she was less than thrilled to wear it, once it was finished.  But after Mean Mommy made her put it on at school, and she had about 30 people tell her how cute she was….she changed her attitude, and was silly Millie once again.

DIY Halloween Costumes for kids:  In 30 minutes or less! from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Halloween Costumes for kids:  In 30 minutes or less! from Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln’s costume was a bit of an afterthought.  I had seen the Popcorn costume on Pinterest, but it was to use on a Front Carrier…and I was NOT about to lug 16lb Lincoln around in a front pack for two hours.  No, I needed something that would make the stroller part of his costume.  And it was going to be cold.

So I piggybacked off of the Popcorn costume, glued some popcorn to an infant hat, and bought some cheap felt.  I cut the white felt into a rectangle that would be wide enough to drape over the front and sides of the stroller.  I measured the width of the front of the stroller {the part that would cover the baby}, and sewed two seams so that the felt would drape {and stay} over the sides of the stroller.  Then I cut the red felt into 1 inch wide stripes and cut out the letters for POPCORN.  Then I hot glued the stripes onto the white felt, cutting the ones in the middle so that POPCORN would show up clearly.  Then I cut the top of the “popcorn box” into zigzags.  I was able to bundle the baby up and the felt covered up his outfit and blanket, and even his toys!

DIY Halloween Costumes for kids:  In 30 minutes or less! from Palmettos and Pigtails

Such cute costumes, and so easy to make!  Add an Olaf and The Flash, and we were ready for some Trick or Treating!

DIY Halloween Costumes for kids:  In 30 minutes or less! from Palmettos and Pigtails

Happy Halloween!

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November 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Whelp. Another month bites the dust.  Welcome to November!  Another crazy busy month for us, as we have LOTS of visitors coming in, and we’ll be baptizing Lincoln later in the month.  I’m also knee-deep into my small group’s study of Jen Hatmaker’s Seven…so I’ll be filling you in on our journey with that.

But for today, I’ll just be enjoying my kids and having some fun trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with friends.  Don’t worry, I’ll share some pictures next week…I’ve been super busy making the kids’ costumes again this year, so I’m eager to show them off!

Here’s November’s Cleaning Calendar.  Happy Cleaning!

November Cleaning Calendar-Simple Tasks you can do in 15 minutes or less to clean  your home!  From Palmettos and Pigtails

Don’t forget you can click on the picture above or on this link to download and print your own copy.  And I’d be tickled pink if you’d share this post or the calendar!

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I See Me! – Farm Friends

*I received the products mentioned in this blog post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.  As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!*

Whelp, Lincoln is five months old now.  I can’t believe how quickly time is flying with him.  He has such a little personality now!  He is a super laid back kid.  He really only cries if he’s hungry or over-tired.  The rest of the time he is smiling, belly laughing and squealing!  Here’s a quick video I caught last week:

He is finally loving “tummy time,” now that he can push himself all the way up, and manipulate toys with one hand as he holds himself up.  Most of the time his little legs are going too {even though his big Buddah belly is still firmly on the ground….he’s not going anywhere!}!  Mirrors are a big motivator for tummy time.  Although I don’t think he recognizes his own reflection yet, he sure does like checking out that cute baby in the mirror.

Recently, I was sent a personalized children’s book for Lincoln from I See Me! books.  And just because they are awesome, they threw in a personalized placemat as well.  Now, Lincoln is not quite ready to be at the table yet, so I used the placemat to help out with tummy time.  Propped up against the mirror he loves so much, Lincoln was happy to push himself up to stare at the handsome farmer and his animals!

And next month, when we start introducing baby food and his is up at the table, we’ll be able to use the placemat in a more traditional way.  It’s really big and easy to wipe off, so it’ll be great to catch all of those drips and crumbs that come with first foods.

Lincoln is really getting interested in books now.  He likes to help turn the pages, and will often “pat” pictures of animals.  So when we got a copy of I See Me!’s new book, Farm Friends, complete with farm animals and pictures of Lincoln, we were eager to read it together!

At first, I thought the giant Lincoln face on each page was silly.  But then I realized that it was the perfect size for Lincoln to see, and in the coming months when he starts recognizing his photo, he’ll enjoy it even more!  The book was perfect for even his little hands, with a sturdy cover and pages that will withstand some wear and tear from him as a toddler too.

Lincoln and DadAnd the book is just adorable!  From a Mom perspective, I love how “Farmer Lincoln’s” face is on every page, in addition to his name spelled out or written at least once on each page.  I’m not sure if you can see it below, but his name is spelled out {in subtle humor} on both his argyle sweater, and on the sweaters that each of the sheep in the field are wearing!

And the former teacher in me loves the many talking and teaching opportunities on each page, from counting, to letter identification, to animals and their sounds, and colors.  When  Millie reads it, she loves pointing out all of the silly things on each page.  {Chickens wearing glasses!?!?!?}

And since just about anything will make Lincoln laugh these days, exaggerated animal sounds coming from Mommy and Daddy are just what are needed to entice a few belly laughs from the baby!

 I See Me! books have a ton of personalized stories, including:

The Super, Incredible Big Sister

I Can Change the World

My Very Own Pirate Tale

I’m a Big Boy Now!

I’m also loving their personalized puzzles {and lunch boxes, growth charts, etc.}, for older kids.

I See Me! Books has a great selection of other unique personalized children's gifts, such as puzzles, lunch boxes, stickers, etc. #iseemebooksAnd right now {just in time to order for Christmas!}, they have a bunch of promotions and giveaways going on!  You can enter to win a free book and a Pottery Barn Giftcard, or “like” them on Facebook to receive 15% off.  Or you can join their e-mailing list to get the newest promotions.

Follow I See Me! on social media:

Facebook          Google+       Pinterest       Twitter       Instagram

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Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

I am so very blessed to be able to stay at home with my three kiddos.  And although I loved my job before having kiddos, and completely respect those hard working moms who work outside of the home….I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything.  I have a couple of friends who are, for the first time, now able to stay at home with their kids too, and so I thought I’d give a few tips on how to gracefully make the transition.

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide {Tips and Tricks for transitioning from the workplace to staying at home with your kids} - Palmettos and Pigtails

My husband’s advice: stock up on BonBons and Soap Operas.  He jokes around about me sitting on my butt all day, but he knows perfectly well how hard of a job it is to be a stay-at home mom.  And I love to remind him of it on the weekends, by leaving him with all three kids for a couple of hours!

I recently ran across this article on Babble about how being a stay-at-home mom is actually a luxury for your spouse.  I saved it because I find that it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you aren’t doing enough.  As a working mom, you stayed busy with non-household related tasks for 8-10 hours a day before coming home to your family…and now, your primary job is family and household.  And now, in the days of Facebook, Pinterest, oversharing and helicopter parenting…it’s easy to feel guilty about not having a pristine house, themed lunches, and crafty playdates.  Not to mention, a healthy homemade dinner on the table every night.  Sorry, but that’s just not realistic!

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

You may be a Super Mom, but you are still human, and dealing with some very unstable little people who will throw a kink in any plans you make.  So underestimate the amount of “stuff” you’ll get done in a day, and you won’t disappoint yourself.

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

Talk to your spouse about your changing roles in the household.  Establish what “jobs” you will take over, and what he’ll be in charge of.  Dave and I have kind of figured it out by trial and error, but I really wish we had done this.  A specific sit-down chat to determine each other’s expectations of the other will put everything on the table, and hopefully prevent misunderstandings and resentment in the future.

Next, establish a daily/weekly routine.  If you don’t create some sort of organization to your time, you’ll go crazy.  Start simple, day by day.  Personally, I do one major chore a day.  Monday is laundry day, Tuesday is vacuuming, Wednesday is grocery shopping, Thursday is decluttering, and Friday is bathrooms.  So, if I am able to get everybody up, dressed and fed, and do that one chore….I feel like my day has been a success!  I also try to do as many of the Cleaning Calendar chores that I can…not always in order, and some days I am able to do more than one, other days I can’t do any.  My schedule often loosely looks something like this:

5:00 – change and feed the baby
5:30 – shower and get dressed {even if it is just yoga pants!}
6:00 – get Jayna ready for school and Millie ready for the day
6:30 – put Jayna on the bus and eat breakfast with Millie
7:00 – while Millie plays, change and feed the baby, put him back down for morning nap
7:30 – check email and clean up kitchen
8:00 – do daily chore somewhere in here, while Millie is playing and baby is sleeping
8:30 – play or do some sort of project/cooking with Millie
9:30 – change baby, play on the floor with him
10:00 feed Millie a snack
10:30 take the kids out for a bike ride/walk
11:00 while Millie plays, change and feed baby, put him down for lunch nap
12:00 feed Millie lunch
12:30 put Millie down for a nap, change the baby, grab a bite to eat, clean up the kitchen
1:00 blog or sew while baby plays in exersaucer
2:00 finish daily chore if needed and do a cleaning calendar chore
2:45 get Jayna off the bus and get her unpacked and settled in for quiet reading
3:00 change and feed the baby, put him down for afternoon nap, Millie wakes…play with girls
4:00 while girls play together, start prepping dinner, check email
5:30 dinner on the table

It’s funny, as I write this, it seems like there is so much time in the day.  Up until now, I’ve never written down my “schedule.”  In fact, it took me quite a while to think about what I actually do on a daily basis.  So when I wrote down the minimum things in my day, there seems like so many gaps.  But then fill those gaps with potty breaks, tantrums, tying shoes, tears, hugs, time-outs, fussiness, tea parties, lap sitting, boo boos, reading books, etc.  No wonder I don’t get more done!

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

Some of the ways I keep organized, are by planning out my meals.  I do this in a variety of ways, from preparing freezer meals ahead of time, to participating in the eMeals program {and letting them do all the meal planning for me!}.  Either way, I use a Weekly Meal Planner worksheet to get a visual of what I’ve planned for the week, which also helps Dave on the nights that I need him to start dinner for me.

Another important thing to remember is that although it’s important {and your job now!} to spend more time with your kids, don’t feel like it all has to be structured.  As a former teacher and a mommy-blogger, it’s second nature to me to want to have a project, craft or game ready for the kids at all times.  But you have to remember that by having structured activities or even excursions {think zoo, children’s museum, etc.} all the time will create expectations and dependency from your kids.  It’s good for them to play alone or with each other.  It’s beneficial for them to learn to leave you alone sometimes.  And it’s a valuable skill that you may need to teach them, since they will be SO EXCITED to have you at home with them.  All. of. the. time.  I try to balance structured activities {from simple painting to complex slime recipes and scavenger hunts} with free play, and adding the occasional “field trip” excursion about twice a month.  {And the grocery store counts as an excursion, right?!?!}

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

And my final thought is, don’t feel guilty about taking some “me” time.  Whether it’s in the evenings or weekends, when your spouse can take over for a bit, or during nap time, make sure it happens.  It’s easy to get so wrapped up in daily duties and childcare that you forget to take care of yourself.  And if you are stressed out, tired or burned out, you can’t be a good mom or wife.  So don’t feel guilty about that hour on Facebook or Pinterest…I guarantee your working friends and spouses spend at least an hour during the day surfing the internet!

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

And last but not least, enjoy!  Your kids will grow up.  That temper tantrum will only last about three minutes.  That snuggle on the couch will be fleeting.  Soak these kiddie moments up, because there will always be dishes!

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The Seven Project: Intro

My small group just started a new study by Jen Hatmaker, called Seven.  This awesomely funny chick decided to shake up her family’s world by identifying seven areas of excess in their lives, and fighting back.  Each month, she chose a different area of excess to focus on.

Food, Clothes, Shopping, Media, Waste, Stress and Possessions.

Seven - Jen Hatmaker: My small group's journey to rid excess from our lives too!

So my Bible Study group decided to take the challenge with her, by following along and participating in the challenge each week {rather than month, like she did}.  Although technically, this was just the “intro” week for the group, Dave and I decided to start a week early, since we’ll be traveling next week and will have a hard time limiting our food.

So, for the first seven days, we will whittle our diet down to  seven items.  Total.

Chicken, pasta, lettuce, tomatoes, bananas, eggs and bell peppers.

This study comes at a perfect time…because all I can think about is “simplifying” lately.  On a daily basis, I’m horrified by the wasted food, unappreciated toys and plethora of clothes that compel me to think I have”nothing to wear.”  It’s quite sad.  And I’ve been fixated on it for awhile.  I stumbled across this article on Living Well, Spending Less about minimalism when it comes to toys, and it started snowballing from there.  So when my Small Group suggested this study, I went right out and bought Seven, and struggled to resist reading it immediately.  So I’m ecstatic to be jumping into this journey, and sharing it with you!

Stay tuned to hear the results of our version of The Seven Project: Foods!

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