Simplify Saturday: When an Object has Outlasted its Usefulness

When an Object has Outlasted its Usefulness: Saying Goodbye to our 24-year-old CarIf you’ve spent any amount of time reading my blog, you know that I’m a big proponent of using things until they wear out.  In our house, we do our best to use things until they no longer work for us.  We wear clothes until they no longer fit or they get worn through.  We use appliances until they can no longer be repaired. … Continue reading

Taking a Short Break

Taking a Short BreakIt’s always good to know when to take a break.  Over the last week or so, several factors have come together to let me know that this is the time.


Last week my computer died.  One morning it was working fine.  The next time I went to turn it on, it simply wouldn’t start.  It suffered from a major hardware failure, and was completely done.… Continue reading

When your Car Breaks Down on a Road Trip: Some Helpful Tips

When your Car Breaks Down on a Road Trip: Some Helpful TipsWe returned earlier this week from our second big road trip of the summer. The trip went well. We had a great time visiting my extended family. We celebrated my brother’s marriage with his fabulous wedding party. It was a good trip.

We drove home and made it from Southern California through Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and through part of Colorado. We were making it home in record time.… Continue reading

Preparing for a Road Trip

Preparing for a Road TripWe’re getting ready to head off to Michigan to visit my in-laws.  This week I’m focusing on planning and packing.


I keep a Master Packing List [you can find a version of it from a previous trip HERE], which makes packing so much easier.  Each time we have a trip planned, I pull out our master list and modify it as needed for the particular time of year and circumstances under which we’re traveling. … Continue reading

Teach Kids to Help with Special Day Preparations: Use a Post It Note Wall

Teach Kids to Help with Special Event Preparations: Use a Post-It Wall
Lainie’s kids choosing tasks from the Post It Wall. *photo credit: Lainie*

My dear friend Lainie is back with another household tip.  This time, she discusses how she gets her kids involved with preparations for a special occasion.  Her tip about Teaching Kids to Clean with Lines has made a huge difference in our house.  I can see her suggestion about a Post It Note Wall being equally effective (especially once both of my boys can read!).… Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Post a Weekly Family Calendar

Simplify Saturday: Post a Weekly Family CalendarRecently my 7-year-old has started voicing concern over our schedule.  During his free blocks of time, he has been building complex machines out of Legos, and he wants more time to engineer his creations.  He’s worried that on any particular day he won’t have enough time for his own projects.


In order to help him to see how we allocate our time each week, I’ve started making a Family Calendar that I post on the refrigerator. … Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Drop Perfectionism

Simplify Saturday: Drop Perfectionism
My 2-year-old’s pajama and sock drawer: organized enough.

There is a lot of value in doing things well. And often throughout our lives, and especially as children, we’re admonished to “Always Do your Best.”


I think this is great advice. Except for when it’s not.


Some of us have walked away from a lifetime’s worth of such encouragement with the notion that every single thing we do needs to be representative of our best work.… Continue reading

The Value of Grazing Trays for Tots

The Value of Grazing Trays for Tots
Donna’s youngest daughter snacking from a grazing tray. *Photo credit: Donna*

I am fortunate to have several wonderful women in my life with whom I have shared friendship and guidance over the years. My parenting and my heart have been blessed by their wisdom, love, honesty, and good humor. Last week my friend Lainie wrote about using Lines to teach kids how to clean up.… Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Revisiting the Importance of an Auto-Pay Master List

Simplify Saturday: Revisiting the Importance of an Auto-Pay Master ListOur credit card number was just hacked for the third time in the last year. While this isn’t a problem for our day-to-day purchases, it’s a huge inconvenience for all of the bills we have set on auto-pay with this card.


The last time this happened, I made a list of all the bills we pay automatically along with their contact numbers.… Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Engage in Freezer Cooking

Simplify Saturday, Engage in Freezer CookingWhat is freezer cooking? you might ask. Freezer cooking, also sometimes called batch cooking, is making meals in advance and then freezing them so they can be defrosted and cooked at a later time.


For instance, if you’re making a batch of Bean-Free Beef and Vegetable Chili, why not make a large batch and freeze half of it for later.… Continue reading