Link Love – Week 40

Link Love - Week 40

Apple Crumble Pies It’s fall. Ya gotta have apple pie!!

How to Grow you Blog (Without Facebook Groups) 3 easy and helpful tips.

The Beautiful Thing This Teacher Does for His Students Every Day We all remember a teacher that had an impact on us like this.

Doug Stanhope Saves a Life. Really. Doug is an amazingly fascinating person.

Are Kids Spending Enough Time In Nature? Interesting.

5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me 5 Years Ago About Meal Planning Numbers 2 and 3 will change your life!

How To Tell If You’re A Good Mom “The simple truth is, bad moms don’t worry about how they are doing— truly bad moms don’t care.” Preeeeach!!!

12 Illustrations That Are All Too Real For Introverts “Often along. Rarely lonely.” YES!!

When nothing is working in your homeschool This happens to everyone.

Blog action plans: 2, 5, 10, and 30 Minutes Sarah’s blog is the best to go to for blogging advice!

Link Love – Week 39

link love - week 39

Homeschooling and Dads We can’t forget the dads!

19 Awkward Moments When You’re The Youngest Person In The Office These are spot on.

Cinnamon Streusel Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Maple Icing EVERYTHING FALL!!!

Dear mom of “that” kid There is always hope.

5 Ways to Cure Chronic Procrastination Ah-hem.

Make Your Own Wild Kratts Creature Power Discs My kids love Wild Kratts so much I may attempt this craftiness.

Crunchy Taco Cups Quick, easy, and look delicious!

16 Things Positive People Do Differently In Their Everyday Lives So good!!

SEO Planner + Free Printable An incredibly helpful tool.

Why Play Matters AMEN!!

Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Hate cleaning but want to get your house in order? With my 5 tips you will get your house in order in as little as 30 minutes a day. Click here to find out!

Keeping up with housework is a never ending task. People are so busy these days and the home can end up a dumping ground for papers, clothes, and dust bunnies. You don’t need a perfectly clean house to be happy, but a neat home can cut down on stress, hurried mornings, and lost items. I put together my list of 5 cleaning tips and tricks that help me keep our home clean and organized.

1. Define your priorities

Picture a perfectly clean house? Looks immaculate huh? Well, that isn’t gonna happen. Now picture reality. Sad huh. Now find a happy medium. What things do you need clean in your house to keep your sanity? What things can you let slide? For me, laundry and dishes are top priority. We have small house so laundry and dishes can quickly overwhelm us. On the other hand, we possibly have the dirtiest windows on the block. I don’t take pride in the fact that they are dirty, but I also can live with it and dedicate my time somewhere else. I also don’t clean the counters every night. I do, however, give them a thorough cleaning once a week.

2. Make a list of your top priorities

Remember, this is just cleaning. Not the 7000 other things you have going on. Keep your focus narrow and specific. On my list I have laundry (including sheets and towels), dishes, animals, floors, bathroom, and counters.

3. Assign frequency to each chore

Break it down into daily, weekly, monthly, and as needed. For example, laundry, dishes, and animal care is a daily chore. The bathroom, sweeping, counters, and sheets are a weekly chore. The vacuuming is done as needed as is towel cleaning. With 2 kids, 2 adults, 2 cats, and a dog we accumulate enough clothes to do laundry everyday so throwing in the towels with the daily laundry load is easy enough.

4. Delegate

I’ll say that again DELEGATE! I hate sweeping so I automatically assign that to my husband. The kids help me with the dishwasher when they can. (Sometimes they are out playing or asleep when it’s done running) My husband and daughter take care of the animals. The kids feed the dog and cats, and Fofo picks up the dog poop. My husband takes care of the litter box and the yard work. I put clean sheets on the kids beds, but they strip the beds.

5. Create a schedule

A cleaning schedule is a must that should include date and time. The girls have half an hour of reading time before bed, so I use that time to get chores done: clean the bathroom, put away laundry, or do dishes. I don’t have to rush to do those things during the day because I have an assigned time to do them. I also assign dates to certain chores. Monday I change the sheets on our bed. Tuesday I clean the bathroom. Wednesday is wiping down the counters and stove. Thursday I change the sheets on the kids beds. And Friday is sweeping day. I am not a big schedule person, but I love having my cleaning organized so I don’t forget the last time I cleaned the bathroom, and I don’t feel overwhelmed. It is broken down into daily, weekly, and as needed tasks to keep things running smooth and the house clean (ish).

What is your best cleaning tip? What is your trick to a clean house?

Link Love – Week 38

Link Love - Week 38

Teaching mindfulness to kids 8 simple tips applicable to everyday life.

Scotcheroos Millionaire Nuggets Oh my word.

How to love your work… even when you don’t love your work Love it!

Why High School is the biggest waste of your life Giggle, snort. Hilarious!

Study guide materials intended to accompany History Channel programs. Such an awesome resource for homeschool families.

Mojito Margaritas Total genius.

Hanging Hammock Chair I long for this sort of relaxation.

Flash and Find Geography Game I would have more fun with this than the kids!

When You Don’t Seem to Accomplish Anything “Seeds of love. Seeds of Connection. Seeds of encouragement. Seeds of affirmation.” All the likes!!!!!!

How many times per week do you actually need to blog? I love this author’s answer, and it’s a similar system I have adopted for myself.

Link Love – Week 37

Link Love - Week 37

10 First Aid Skills Every Parent Should Know Always be prepared.

What to do when comparison kills your confidence “I return to what I KNOW is authentic about myself.” I’ll be honest, I made a list.

Tool’s Maynard James Keenan on Climate Change, AC/DC, Puscifer’s New LP I can’t put into words how awesome and wise this dude is!!

8 Reasons I’m Not Homeschooling My Kid I swear I could have written this. SO.GOOD!

Bratwurst Sliders 700 please!

How to stay disciplined and get a massive amount of stuff done Number two could help anyone!

Suri’s Burn Book This Tumblr is fantastic. The post about Justin Timberlake had me howling.

If the quirky shoe fits, wear it “The courage to become who they are may be the greatest gift homeschooling gave my kids.” Amen.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad I’m not a salad person, but this is to die for!

Kids’ Birthday Parties for Introverts Introverts need this survival guide.

Fall TV 2015: 10 New Shows to Watch

Fall TV 2015

I love the fall for 3 major reasons. One, it’s back to school time, and as a homeschooling mom we can now enjoy empty parks, museums, stores, and a quiet neighborhood. Two, the weather cools down. I’m a big fan of sweatshirt and sandals weather. And three, new fall TV!! I’m a tv addict and I love the beginning of the new fall season. My old favorites come back (Bob’s Burgers, The Affair, The Middle, The Blacklist, The Amazing Race) and the promise of finding a new favorite show. Here are 10 shows I am super excited about this fall season!


The Catch
The newest edition to Shondaland is The Catch. Mireille Enos plays a fraud investigator who is a victim of fraud by her finance. First of all, MIREILLE ENOS has my heart. And second, this series looks a thrill ride very reminiscent of How to Get Away with Murder, another show I love. The Catch is a midseason show slated to premiere in January.

Dr. Ken
Community’s Ken Jenong was a real doctor. Like that kind of doctor. A medical doctor in case you didn’t get my joke. His new comedy series on ABC centers around brilliant physician Dr. Ken with no bedside manner trying to balance work and family. I’m excited to see Ken mix his first job with his new love of comedy and acting. Dr. Ken premieres Friday, October 2nd on ABC.

The Family
Oh my gosh, Joan Allen!! I would watch her read the phone book. I love a good murder/mystery and this series fits the bill. A politician’s family is rocked by the return of a son who was presumed dead 10 years earlier. But, is he really who he says he is? The Family is another midseason premiere for ABC set to debut in late 2015.

The Muppets!!!
Shot in the documentary style, The Muppets return to tv to show their work, personal lives, and relationships. I’m hoping this retro favorite will be a hit with both kids and adults. The Muppets are a part of ABC’s Tuesday night line-up starting on September 22nd.


Code Black
I was a huge ER fan back in the day, and ever since then I have been looking for a new medical show to grasp on to. Code Black may be the show. It is a medical drama based on a documentary of the same name. It follows the staff of a Los Angeles emergency room as they fight to save lives while being understaffed and overcrowded. Code Black begins on Wednesday September 30th.

Life in Pieces
The all-star cast of Betsy Brandt, Diane West, Colin Hanks, and James Brolin star in this comedy about the Short family. This single camera sitcom is a series of separate stories about different family members. The creator was inspired by Lonney Tunes, where you have several separate plot lines in one half hour. The Life in Pieces is in the Monday night line-up following The Big Bang Theory which begins on September 21st.


The Grinder
The Grinder is a new comedy coming to FOX starring Rob Lowe as a (previously) successful television lawyer who comes back to his hometown to join his family practice with his brother, played by Fred Savage. The Grinder premieres on Tuesday September 29, after the lead-in Grandfathered starring John Stamos.


Chicago Med
Again, I miss ER. And this medical drama is a spin-off of Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise: Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. Chicago Med is described as “an emotional ride through the day-to-day chaos of the city’s most explosive hospital and the courageous team of doctors that holds it together.” Chicago Med is set to be released on Tuesday November 17th. A four-way crossover between Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is set to air in February 2016.

From director James Burrows and executive producer Sean Hayes, Crowded is a new comedy on NBC where an empty nest suddenly becomes, well crowded. Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston star as parents whose grown daughters AND parents decide to move in. Stacy Keach stars as Warburton’s father. With the combination behind and in front of the lens, this show should be a hit. Crowded is yet another mid-season premiere set to begin in late 2015.

Shades of Blue
A cop drama starring Jennifer Lopez, Ray Liotta, and Drea de Matteo. I don’t feel like I have to say anything else. This drama centers around Lopez, a detective and single mother, who has fallen in with a group of dirty cops. When the FBI comes calling, she faces a decision on how to keep it all together. This series was ordered a full season without a pilot so I am super excited to see the full 13 episode run starting sometime in the midseason.

The Player
The Player is an action packed Las Vegas thriller centered around a high-stakes game. An organization of wealthy individuals gamble on a former military operative-turned-security expert (Snipes) ability to stop some of the biggest crimes imaginable from playing out. If it sounds a little surreal, it’s from the creators of The Blacklist where anything is possible. The Player debuts on NBC on Thursday September 24th.

What show are you looking forward to this fall? Do you like all the new shows or your returning favorites? Let me know in the comments below.

10 Kid Approved Activities for a Letter of the Week Curriculum

Need some kid approved activities and crafts for your homeschool preschool? Click to see 10 of our favorite activities for a letter of the week curriculum.

In the past, I did a round-up of all the activities for each letter in our letter of the week curriculum. But due to computer and camera issues, I have fallen quite a bit behind. I have blogged through the letter M and instead of just stopping there, I thought I would do a quick round-up of some of our favorite activities from the rest of the alphabet. I hope some of our activities inspire you to add something to your letter of the week curriculum.

Letter N

For each letter, I tried to include a recipe. While I was planning for the letter N, these chocolate nests were floating around Pinterest. By the way, you can find many of the activities we incorporated in our homeschool preschool on this Pinterest board here!! These chocolate nests with candy eggs were a big hit with the girls. Just look at Fofo’s face!!

Chocolate nests are a great way to include a food recipe for the letter N!

Make sure you check out Sugar and Cloth for the recipe for these adorable chocolate nests with candy eggs.

Chocolate nests with candy eggs. Perfect sweet treat for the Letter N!

For the letter N I also included a character craft: Nemo. I have used so many amazing crafts from the blog Learn Create Love and this one was no exception.

Letter O

In all honesty, the only thing the girls played with for the letter O was this printable Olaf. What else do you need?! Almost a year later, and the girls still ask to play with Olaf.

This printable Olaf with keep any Frozen fan busy for hours.

Letter Q

We did a Queen unit for the letter Q. I found books from the library that featured the Queens from the Disney franchise: Queen of Hearts, Queen Elinore. Along with a downloadable unit Queen Quinn who stuck around long after we had finished the Letter Q. The girls made puppets out of the printable which they mounted on craft sticks. Download the Queen Quinn printables at the blog Lovely Commotion here!

Letter S

Another awesome printable from Learn Create Love is the space ship with aliens for our ABC Book. The girls went all out using black construction paper and star stickers.

Letter T

I picked a read aloud for each letter of the week. I wanted to introduce the girls to classic literature but as I am no Jim Dale, reading aloud long books would hardly keep their attention. So I looked to annotated versions of the novels: Great Illustrated Classics. I picked “Around the World in 80 Days” for the letter T. T is for travel. The girls loved the book, but loved the Jackie Chan movie more! They did notice some differences (Fofo is a stickler for details.) But again, they asked again to watch it just a few weeks ago.

Letter U

The Great Illustrated Classic for the letter U was “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” U was for United States, and what better American Classic than Mark Twain.

"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is an excellent choice for a read aloud.

Letter W

The girls were beyond excited for these Wall-E Printables from 1+1+1=1. I usually have a mish mash of different printables, but they enjoyed having one theme throughout. And plus, who doesn’t love Wall-E. You can download them on Carisa’s blog :)

Wall-e printables for homeschool preschool.

For each letter of the week, we added a page to our ABC book, phonics book, and transportation book. For the letter W, we added a wagon to our transportation book. The girls even added some watermelons for the wagon to haul. This cute preschool craft idea came from the Crystal and Co. blog.

Letter Y

The girls fell in love with these Q-Tip painting printables (also from 1+1+1=1). I’m not sure what they love most. Using the Q-tip as a paintbrush or that they got to use real paint, since we were out of washable paint. I hope you visit Carisa’s blog to download these printables and check out all the wonderful things she has to offer on her blog.

Q-Tip alphabet printables for the letter Y.

Do you use a letter of the week curriculum? What is your favorite activity for preschool?

Link Love – Week 36

Link Love - Week 36

Going beyond ‘I love you’ to build up a soul 20 soul building phrases. Printing this out ASAP!

Ice Cream Football Sandwiches These could be the most adorable things I have ever seen.

31 Things Only “The Walking Dead” Fans Will Understand I have to admit, a few of these are beyond even me.

10 Ways to Make Running a Business Solo Easier on Yourself LOVE number 2 :)

25+ Free Fall Printables for Kids Get your printer ready!!

Big Day!! Pioneer Woman is my idol. As a mother, homeschooler, and blogger. I hope my children love me as much as hers love her.

Unschooling defined Bravo.

Carmelitas Because I went to college with a Carmelita and because the cookies I made impressed my husband’s co-workers.

8 Ways To Be Productive When It Feels Like You Have No Time Who does have time?!

Be With Someone Who Lets You Be A Total Weirdo Preeeeach!!!!

Link Love – Week 35

Link Love - Week 35

5 Things Not to Worry About this School Year

You Won’t Remember, But I Will Grab the tissues.

15 Conference Travel Tips to Reduce Stress and Save Time and Money Number 9 is awesome!

James Sirius Potter Is Due To Start At Hogwarts Today And The Internet Is Getting Emotional The internet is giving me all the feels this week.

Meatball Parmesan Sliders Genius idea.

Make a Wild Thing with Shapes This is an adorable book craft. Don’t forget to scroll to the end of the blog post to check out more ideas for “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Fofo’s new chore has been making lunch. This lunch packing tip is perfect to make sure the kids get more variety in their lunch.

29 Photos That Prove “Breaking Bad” Had The Greatest Cinematography Wow. It certainly did.

Hot and Sweet Triple Pepper Pizza We have made something similar, and it is outstanding!

31 Things you Should Stop Doing, Get Rid of, And Kick to the Curb to Make Your Workday Easier Sarah offers such detailed and helpful advice.

Link Love – Week 34

Link Love - Week 34

Don’t Make These Five Blogging Mistakes Number four is a biggie!

Welcome to Half-Way Homestead “Half-way, but so very happy.” Great quote to describe your family :)

8 Dream Homes That Aren’t McMansions I can’t decide which one is the coolest!!!

Homeschool Mom’s Night Out Ideas Mom’s night out? Whaaaaaat 😉

Chicken Fingers with Everything Sauce Because fried food is healthy if you make it home right?!

Our Kids Don’t Belong in School Excellent article about the secular homeschool movement in Boston.

4 Ways to Repurpose Content From Your Archives Excellent advice.

Peanut butter banana trail cookies My children would kill for these cookies!

THIS IS EVERYTHING!!! Ahem. Sorry. I just love Chrissy.

Just in case you’re thinking of having kids close in age YES! There is light at the end of the tunnel.