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

Simplify Saturday: Leave Early

Simplify Saturday, Leave EarlyWhen you’re running late or barely on time, every little hiccup feels stressful. The fact that your child wants you to help him with his shoes, the need to run back upstairs to grab your reusable shopping bags, or having to slow down on the road due to road construction or a biker taking his time riding down the hill can all feel frustrating.… Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Put Clothes Away Immediately after Removing Them

Simplify Saturday, Put Clothes Away Immediately after Taking them OffA conversation I had with my son this week struck me as something that might benefit more than him.


My son frequently takes off his clothes and then leaves them in a pile on his room’s floor. Then, he feels irritated when I walk past his room and remind him to pick up his clothes and put them in the hamper.… Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Adopt a “One In, One Out” Rule

Simplify Saturday, Adopt the One In, One Out RuleDecluttering and getting rid of stuff is great, but it can be easy for stuff to accumulate again if you’re not diligent about it. In our house, I find this to be especially true of books.


I love, love, love books. I love to read them. I love to hold them. I think they make fabulous decor. They bring me great joy.… Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Don’t Shop Unless you Need Something

The odometer of our 1992 Corolla, which recently passed 250k miles.
The odometer of our 1992 Corolla, which recently passed 250k miles.

Some people shop recreationally. In fact, a lot of people shop recreationally. In all honesty, I was raised in a family of recreational window shoppers. While my family rarely had money to spend on extras, one of my mom’s favorite past times was (is!) window shopping.


However, I quickly left that by the wayside once I ventured out on my own.… Continue reading

You Know You’ve Given Away a Lot of Stuff When….

You Know You've Given Away a lot of Stuff When
My 2-year-old with his new shovel.

It’s no secret that I’ve been slowly working to simplify my life. Whether it’s decluttering my home, my schedule, or my mind, I’ve been seeking out ways to get rid of the superfluous so that I can focus on what’s truly meaningful and important to me.


While I’ve had a lot of discussions with my 6-year-old about our simplification efforts, and included him in a lot of our decluttering – especially when his possessions, art, or other items he’s concerned about are involved, I haven’t overtly directly discussed most of this with my 2-year-old.… Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Set Aside your To Do List

Simplify Saturday, Set Aside your To Do ListThis week I’m simplifying my life by setting aside my To Do List. Generally, setting aside my list is, for me, a bit chaos inducing. I use my calendar and my daily list to organize my days and make sure that I don’t forget about the things that I need to do.


However, this week and next I am visiting my extended family.… Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Clean Out Kids’ Belongings

Simplify Saturday: Clean Out Kids' Belongings
Outgrown clothes and toys, ready to give to our neighbor’s little grandson.

The winter holidays are upon us. And if you’re like most families, this means there will be an influx of things into your home, especially for your children.


Over the years, my husband and I have done a good job of reminding our loved ones that we don’t need more stuff.… Continue reading