5 Simple Ways to Simplify Your Life Today

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the busyness of day to day life, this might be the right time to consider simplifying. All in all simplifying your life can be somewhat of a chore as you would need to make changes and effort now in order to simplify your life in the long term. Those changes can be great, but if you are just getting started, you might be seeking relief TODAY! Here is a list of 5 simple ways that you can make your life simpler right now.

Unsubscribe from emails

If your inbox is full of junk everyday, you probably spend more time than you want to in just deleting them, forget about actually reading them. The solution to this is easier than you might think. Unroll.me offers a free service where you can unsubscribe from your unwanted mailing lists in just a couple of minutes. Did I mention it’s FREE?

Make your lunch the night before work

How many times have you rushed off to work in the morning without a plan as to what you were going to eat for lunch? And how many times has this lack of planning led to getting HANGRY and heading out for fast food? If you’re anything like me, then you’ve done this more than you’d care to admit. Aside from the fact that fast food is super unhealthy, this habit is also hard on your wallet. You’ve likely got some food in your house that is already paid for that is much healthier, so do yourself a solid and make yourself a little something the night before. Check out my healthy lunch Pinterest board for some inspiration.

Start saying no more often

If you are notoriously over scheduled or just in the habit of people pleasing, you might want to get in the habit of saying no more often. If you say yes when you want to say no, you’ll likely suffer from burnout at some point. So be sure to take more time for you and just say no from time to time. If you find it hard to say no, just remember that it gets easier with practice. The first time is the hardest.

Spend less time on social media

Yep. I said it. If you find yourself comparing your lives to others on social media, you may find yourself anxious or even depressed due to having unrealistic expectations by seeing what they post. I’m not saying social media is bad, but with everything, just use it in moderation.


Clutter is one of those things that drives me crazy. And it makes sense because clutter overloads the senses, which can cause you to become stressed and anxious. I’m not saying you should go full on a Marie Kondo purge. I mean you can if you want to, but that usually takes a bit of commitment. If you can single out just one hot zone in your house today, that is driving you nuts and just take 15-20 minutes and declutter it, you’ll find that it wasn’t that hard, it didn’t take you as long as you thought it would and you’ll have the side benefit of feeling accomplished. Once you cleared that spot, keep it cleaned off. This will make it easier to move on to other parts of your home another day.

Do you have any other tips for simplifying your life? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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Get 100 Pampers Gifts To Grow Points

You can add 100 more points to your Pampers Gifts to Grow account with codes: PAMP8C91ACNEL17 and PAMP8C91ACNEL16.   Enter your Pampers Gifts to Grow points here.

If you are not a member of Pampers Village, you should really sign up. You can redeem points for free things like Diapers.com gift cards, Shutterfly gifts and ALOT more! It may seem like just a small amount of points you are getting, but they really do add up fast. We usually see new ones at least once a month. So if you have a little one, you won’t want to miss these.  Click here to get started.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

DIY: Make New Crayons Out of Broken Ones

make new crayons out of broken ones

I’ve been in an organizing mood lately. As I have time, I have been trying to sort through the different nooks and crannies of my house to declutter.

bag o crayons
While going through my kids art items, my daughter and I managed to scrape up this many broken crayons. Yikes! I can’t get myself to throw them out knowing that I can make new crayons out of broken ones, so that’s just what we did.

First you need to make sure there are no pieces of paper still on the crayons. This made  a great job for my daughter. She loves peeling the paper off of crayons. Don’t ask me why.

Next, you take the crayons and break them into smaller pieces and put them into a muffin tin. Sort them by color or mix them all up. Have fun with it. You can use cupcake wrappers if you have them. I was totally out, so we just went with a bare pan. I recommend spraying a bit of cooking spray to get the crayons out easier when you are done. When you are ready, place them in the oven at about 300 degrees for 15 minutes or until melted.

When the crayons are melted, they will look like this. They will need at least an hour to cool off, or you can stick them in the freezer on a flat surface to speed up the process.

When they are cool, you can take the crayons out. If they don’t pop right out, you can carefully go around the edges with a knife. Once they’re out, you’re ready to roll. Give them to the kids, give them away as gifts or whatever. Happy crayon recycling!


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Frugal Facial Care

Our faces are arguably one of the most important places on our bodies in terms of visual appearances because your face is almost always the first thing a person notices when they interact with you. So regular facial care is important, and I’m not talking about plastic surgery but rather simple upkeep for your skin, pores, and facial hair. Simple though it may be, facial products can get pretty pricy so here’s a few ways you can save money while preserving your natural beauty.

Cleanser & Soap
First things first: whether or not you wear makeup, regularly washing your face is a must because of all the airborne particles – and germs, if you ever touch your face during the day – we constantly come into contact with. Plain soap with warm water should do the trick for most people, but if you’d prefer a specialized brand of soap – one that moisturizes or excludes a chemical you’re allergic to – then you can still find some good deals if you buy from Target or Amazon. Many personal care retailers also sell exfoliating soaps that provide a deeper, soothing cleanse that leaves your face feeling good-as-new after. If you have sensitive skin, it’s worth noting that you should avoid scented soaps, no matter how much cheaper they are, because quality is definitely more important than cost savings when it comes to proper facial care.

Towels, Wash Cloths
Walmart has a huge selection of cheap towels and washcloths in a variety of colors, but like everything in life, you get what you pay for and you may find yourself more frequently replacing your assortment of towels. You may have to pay more for softer washcloths made from higher quality materials, but your face and wallet will thank you in the long run. You can also have some fun and find affordable personalized items like monogrammed washcloths or towels with your family name on them!

Anti-Acne Cream
If you, your spouse, or kids have acne, then you’ve probably tried several different formulas and creams to reduce the breakouts with varying degrees of success. Super cheap creams are almost always ineffective, but this doesn’t mean that price directly correlates with effectiveness, either. The key is experimenting until you find the right one for you, but this could be a costly venture if you have to consistently pay $10+ for useless creams, so stock up on coupons from SumoCoupon or even write the cream manufacturing company and request a free sample (they’ll usually oblige).

Hair Waxing
Facial care isn’t all about skin. What about eyebrows, or those pesky hairs that sprout up on our upper lips? Plucking unwanted hairs on your own at home is the cheapest way to go about this, but if you’d rather have a professional handle it, then check Yelp for affordable, quality salons where you can get these hairs waxed. Some places have new customer discounts (Yelp users will often mention this if it exists), while others may have discounts for multiple visits (accumulate stamps on a card, for instance).

Facial Massage
Just because massages are considered “luxury” services doesn’t mean that you as a frugal person should abstain from them entirely. Groupon and Living Social almost always have deals available on facials, and like salons (listed above), many massage places offer new customer discounts. Indulge every once in a while and enjoy your freshly rejuvenated face!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

Six Steps To Building A Better Budget

Six Steps To Building A Better Budget

Image Source: www.realsimple.com

With the daily-added expenses an expanding family brings, it is important to establish a budget that is easy to follow and actually saves time and money.

Use the six steps to build a family budget that actually works:

1. Create A Budget
The first step to living on a budget is to create a budget. Begin by tracking your family’s income and typical expenses, allowing you to see where your money actually goes each month, and how much more you are spending than you actually need to be spending.

Create a frugal budget, and make it a priority not to stray from the budget. After living without a budget, the first few months of budget-living will be filled with trying to break the habits that tempt you to spend money.

2. Discounts
Check out your monthly bills and see if there is any way you can get a discount. Look into refinancing your home for a smaller monthly mortgage, switch out electricity-expending utilities for eco-friendly products, and look into combining your Internet and cable or satellite bill. Sites like http://www.direct2tv.com/directv-internet.html provide package deals for combining your Internet and TV, which can easily save money in your budget.

3. Coupon Shop
When it comes to grocery shopping, try to purchase items that are on sale or have a coupon available, especially if they are not essential items. Avoid high-priced name brand items and look for store brand products. The quality is usually the same, and the price is usually significantly lower.

Additionally, make a weekly food schedule and stick with it. This way you spend money only on what you eat, do not waste money on throwing out spoiled food, and do not spend more money on extra items when making an impromptu grocery run.

4. Set Financial Goals
Whether you are struggling financially or just looking to be smarter about your money, setting financial goals can help you to manage your money properly. From saving money for retirement, for your children’s college funds, or saving for a home, protecting your family’s monetary future begins with setting and meeting your financial goals.

Meet with a financial advisor and learn how to meet your financial goals.

5. Get Out Of Debt
One of the biggest budget setbacks can be debt. From credit debt to lingering student loans, debt can be overwhelming. Look to debt management plans that teach you how to quickly eliminate your debt in order to be rid of it as soon as possible.

6. Plan For Emergencies
Financial crisis can financially strain even the wealthiest of families. While there is no way to determine if you will have a financial crisis or how much to set aside, even a couple of thousand set aside in savings account can add security when an unexpected expense arises. Moreover, keeping the money in a savings account allows the money to accrue interest over time, which means more money in your pocket.

Sticking with a budget takes discipline, but the end result of financial security is well worth the hassle.

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Snow Day Fun: How to Make Snow Ice Cream

how to make snow ice cream

We were hit with a giant pile of fluffy white snow over the weekend. I think it measured close to 10 inches when it was all done. For some of you, wherever you live, this may be the norm. But where we live, this only happens maybe every 5 or 6 years. It practically shuts down the town. The kids just LOVE it! Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 2.52.20 PM
As you can see, the street was coated.  It’s sooo pretty, but it seems like the novelty wears off after a day or two, once the kids are all played out. At least it did at our house. Once cabin fever sets in you really have to get creative. So I started Googling fun things you can do in the snow, other than play in it. I stumbled on a page that shows how to make snow ice cream. I thought it sounded interesting, so I gave it a shot. And in case you’re wondering. Using this recipe, we didn’t actually eat the snow. There are feral cats, racoons, squirrels, etc. in the neighborhood, so I just couldn’t do it, but this recipe is still fun and delicious.

Snow Ice Cream (recipe adapted from here)

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 2.47.55 PM
First, fill a BIG bowl with snow or crushed ice and add about 6 tablespoons of salt to the snow or ice. Mix for 5 minutes. Next, grab a ziplock bag and mix the following ingredients in the bag.
• 1/2 Cup Half & Half (or milk)
• 1 Tablespoon Sugar
• 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract Place in the bowl with the snow and salt

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 2.42.25 PM
Let it sit for five to eight minutes. The mixture should freeze into ice cream. Feel the consistency of the ice cream mixture through the bowl. When it feels frozen enough to eat, remove the inner bag and rinse it with water.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 2.43.23 PM
You can now eat the ice cream straight from the bag or eat from a bowl. It’s a little chunkier than any ice cream I have ever had, but it’s sweet and it tasted good.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 2.43.43 PM
My daughter liked it. She gave it a thumbs up and emptied the bowl. I say it’s a winner.

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Six Ways to Make your Clothes Last Longer

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

While browsing through gardening ideas on Pinterest one day, I found this adorable post on making your own garden treasure jars from the Empress of Dirt. “That looks easy enough, I can do that” I thought to myself. I had mason jars, lids (I do believe any used jar with a lid will work though) and dowels on hand. All I was missing were the flat marbles and some clear silicone sealant. So off I went to Lowe’s to get the sealant and the Dollar Tree for the marbles. Once I got back I was ready to do some crafting. My kids were eager to help too.

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial My BIG mistake: I didn’t read the Empress’ post well enough. She specifically says to get the GE II Silicone Sealant, clear, waterproof. I didn’t do that. I got a (cheaper) brand called Loctite, but hey, it was clear, so there was that. Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial
What happened next could have easily turned this experiment into a Pinterest fail. I liberally slathered the sealant on the jar, just like in the picture on the other post. Then we added marbles one by one. This is where the wrong sealant played a huge factor. The marbles were not sticking well at all. They were sliding off and falling off, one by one. It looked disastrous. I was trying to catch them and put them back on, meanwhile, another would fall off, then another. Plop, drop, plop went the marbles. Not to mention the sealant was getting on my fingers and the marbles and my kids fingers. Ack! I wasn’t even thinking of taking a picture of this part, but you can imagine the awful mess. I didn’t give up though. I patiently kept re-adding them on, until the jar was full of marbles and set it aside. This did not stop the marbles from plopping off. I just stuck them back on as needed and proceeded to try my second jar.

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial
This time, I decided to place a droplet of the sealant on the marble instead of slathering it on the jar. WRONG! This was worse than the first experiment. The marbles slid down the jar immediately. So I did another sticky, marble juggling act to get them all on and set it aside. Needless to say I had to keep checking on it often to reposition the marbles. Luckily, it took a full day to dry, so I was able to kind of move everything into position in the end. Once they were dry, I washed the sealant goo that was left on the marbles from my sticky fingers to give it a nice appearance. I now think that if I had slathered the jar with the sealant and left it alone for a couple of hours, then added the marbles, that might have worked better. I cannot be sure though, since I haven’t tried it. Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial Once the jars were dry, I took the lids and the dowels and drilled holes in them. I connected the lids to the dowels with a screw. Then I placed the dowels in the garden where I wanted them (I had to use a hammer to really get it in the dirt) and add the glass jars on to the top. Don’t forget to add some treasure to yours first.

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial
That’s it. Woo hoo! I now have home made garden art. My kids have really loved having these in the garden too. They love checking them for goodies. So what do you think? Did I nail it or fail it? Will you be trying this craft? Or have you done it already? Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear about it. If you want to make these yourself, I highly recommend following the Empress of Dirt’s tutorial.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.