Category: LIVING

Learn all of my clever strategies to enjoy family living. Topics include Food, Travel, Household Management, Traditions, Activities and much more!

Gift Ideas for the Essential Oils Lover

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The ultimate wish list for the essential oils lover in your life! All of these will make her oily journey more fun, beautiful and productive. Happy giving!



Gift Ideas for Baby’s 1st Christmas

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Non-traditional gift ideas for Baby's 1st Christmas. These are not toys, but keepsakes and the start of future traditions for the new family.




My Oily Story

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My personal story of how essential oils came into my life. Read to find out why I became obsessed with Young Living and how I got to where I am now. #oilymama #oilyfamily #essentialoils



My oily story is quite unique and actually started long ago.  Long, long ago…like childhood long ago.  My aunt got involved with an essential oils organization called Melaleuca, which I now know comes from the scientific name of the Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).  So Tea Tree oil quickly became a staple in our home when I was a kid and a “cure-all” for any ailment.  We used it on burns, to clear up acne, to clean, etc.  We also began using various household products made by the company like shampoo/conditioner & cleaning supplies.


As time went on we became more and more reliant on certain things, like this one supplement called “Activate” which we used anytime we feel like we were getting sick.  And I also used their full line of prenatal vitamins when I was expecting my first son.  Great stuff!


That was all great and wonderful, but I didn’t really ever give it much thought.  I also didn’t realize that Tea Tree oil is an essential oil and it’s not the only one with incredibly useful properties.  However, as the years went on + I became an adult, I began to see more and more of my acquaintances referencing essential oils.  It kinda piqued my interest, but I was too busy to really explore.



How to Automate Your Most Hated Household Chores

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Help for all of your most hated household chores. This infographic will show you all of the ways that you can automate much of your to-do list!


How Many Household Chores Could You Automate? (Infographic)

by Natalie Atterbury | Love2Laundry

Always swamped with an endless to-do list? Always got a pile of laundry sitting in your back room which you keep putting off? Always forgetting things due to a hectic lifestyle? Make it easier on yourself and make time for the more important things in life by automating your household chores with technology. Sounds too good to be true right? Well, believe it or not, there’s now plenty of chore management apps and digital services out there that can really help you out.

With technology now booming more than ever, it’s time to make the most of what’s available to you and use it to your advantage. With cleaning the house, ironing, taking out the bins and washing the dishes amongst the most disliked household chores, you can pretty much get an app for any household chore these days. Although technology can’t physically pick up the vacuum and clean the carpet for you, it’s pretty close! What are you waiting for?


The 10 Best Quick + Easy Cleaning Guides on Pinterest

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A curation of my very favorite quick & easy cleaning guides from Pinterest. These are perfect for every scenario from a quick pickup to spring deep cleaning!


Cleaning is so NOT my favorite thing to do, however, I want my house to be spotless.  Clearly, those two things don’t go together.  So I figured I have two options:

1 | Hire a cleaning lady

2 | Get my lazy butt up and do it myself

And since we are trying so very hard to be frugal and stay on a budget I just couldn’t justify hiring someone to come in and clean up after me.  So left option number two: do it my darn self.

But how?  Now, of course, I know how to clean…I’ve been doing it since I was just a kid.  But what is the BEST way?

DIY Girls Room Decor Inspiration

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I love, love, love decorating!  There’s no way to get around it!  And I also love DIY projects…so fun!  These are some incredibly creative DIY girls room ideas that I’ve come across online and fallen in love with.  Check them out for supplies, instructions + tutorials.

You know that if I ever have a daughter I will be decorating her room using all of these ideas!  And I may just try some out for myself!  Moms, surprise your tween or teenage daughter with a bedroom makeover. College students, make your dorm room like home with a few of these super cute ideas!



10 Ways to Beat the Heat with Kids

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Summer vacation without air conditioning is no fun...particularly when you are a parent. Check out these creative ways to beat the heat with kids. 


It is definitely getting to be summer time around here!  We just enjoyed a lovely Memorial Day weekend exploring our beautiful Pacific Northwest!  And it got HOT!  Which got me thinking about how challenging it can be to beat the heat with kids!


This year will be even more of a challenge for us than previous years because all of the boys will be home this summer!  GQ won’t be at daycare anymore since MR was able to ditch his 9-to-5 thanks to the success of his Uber side hustle!


It’s great for the family, but I’m sure they will both miss the air conditioning!


Why no air conditioning you ask?  Because we live in Seattle where air conditioning is the exception, not the rule.  Crazy, I know!  Particularly since we are both Mid-West transplants who grew up with A/C!


Related Reading

3 Things You Need To Do BEFORE Date Night As A New Mom

The Unique Way We Pay for Childcare


So what do we do?  Well…we get creative!  Below you will find a list of unique ways that we have found to beat the heat with kids!  So if you’re air-conditioning deprived like us I recommend giving these a try!  Or even if you just want to add some activities to your summer bucket list!




A sprayground (or splash pad/splash pool) is the modern version of heading to the neighborhood pool!  A sprayground is like a water playground.  They are typically creatively designed non-slip hardscapes with various types of sprinklers, sprayers, fountains, wade pools and other water nozzled features!


These are AWESOME on a hot & sunny day!  You don’t have to get in with your kids and there is no fear of drowning!  I feel like it’s much easier to just pick up & head to the sprayground that to pack up & plan a trip to the pool.

We only recently discovered these, but they are the best thing ever!  Here’s a  LOCAL LIST just in case you happen to live near us here Western Washington!


The BEST Quick + Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

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The BEST Quick & Easy Shepherd's Pie recipe. As a working mom, I have recently gotten into budget meal planning. This is great for weeknight meal prep. I love it with turkey, but you could use ground beef!

Shepherd’s Pie = Comfort Food

Below you will find all of the details on how to throw this all together quickly & easily any weeknight for a scoop of comfort food!


The BEST Quick + Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This is cheap, simple, quick, kid friendly & DELICIOUS! Also, great for leftovers!

I just reheated it in the office & I began to overhear people saying that it smells like Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, I did not bring enough to share! 😉 YUM!

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Medium
  • 1 can Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1 can Condensed Vegetarian Vegetable Soup
  • 1/2 bag Frozen Vegetables
  • 1 1/2 c. Water
  • 1/2 c. Milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 pkg Mashed Potato Flakes, Garlic

1 | Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

2 | Chop the onion

3 | Brown the turkey in a large skillet

4 | Add the chopped onion and simmer (...this is when your family will begin to exclaim "What smells so good? When is dinner gonna be ready? I'm hungry! What's for dinner? and so on...)

5 | Get your water & butter started boiling in a medium saucepan

6 | Stir frozen vegetables in with browned turkey & onions. Add soup and simmer.

7 | Once water & butter have reached a rolling boil remove from heat & stir in milk & mashed potato flakes. Let this mixture settle for 1 minute.

8 | Transfer turkey mixture into a casserole dish and spoon potatoes over mixture.

9 | Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. If potatoes haven't browned you can turn to broil for a minute or two...make sure to watch it so it doesn't burn!

10 | Carefully remove from the oven & let your dish cool for 5 - 10 minutes.

11 | Dish up & garnish w/ketchup! 😉

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