Surviving the 1st trimester


Ya’ll. Pregnancy is hard. But that 1st trimester? That is a rare form of torture. We were in straight survival mode for nearly 8 weeks. (As you can tell, from my lack of blog posts!) My first pregnancy was a breeze, I was never sick, even one day. Fast forward to my SIXTH pregnancy (3 here, 2 called home early, and this one on the way) and I could barely hold down my dinner. Don’t even TALK about cooking, because the smell of it sent me straight for the trashcan.

I am finally out of the pit, and on to the beautiful 2nd trimester. It’s not all roses and cupcakes (I still get nauseous in the evenings) but we are on the mend, for sure! I have tried a LOT of things that did not work for me (sea bands, anyone?) and I everyone’s body responds differently to different things, but here is a little list of the things that got me through it!

1. Eating frequently.

If I let myself get to that point where I was truly hungry, all bets were off if I would be able to keep down, or even get down, whatever I ate. Eating frequently, and pushing the protein, really helped keep me to semi-function, which is better than not functioning at all! Believe me, I did get there more than once, but the further along I got, I remembered the old tricks and quickly adapted them. Almonds, almond butter, and watermelon were all lifesavers! Also, organic free range bone broth really helped after my many moments of tossing my cookies. If your sickness is primarily in the morning, I would say put something on your night stand to eat even before your feet even hit the floor. For me, mine was worst in the evenings, so I just had to make sure I was ready for when it hit.

2. Staying hydrated…with whatever you can keep down.

Obviously, drinking water in pregnancy or any other time in life, is essential for good health. But what happens when you suddenly can’t drink water because you SWEAR it tastes like old milk? (True story. I have no explanation.) We bought water by the gallon, and that helped. I added lemon or lime essential oil to my morning water, and that helped me get it down. Any days where I could drink coconut water or kombucha, were wonderful. They really made me feel SO much better, but at $2-$3 a pop, that wasn’t an all the time thing. Whatever you can do to push the fluids, do it, because when dehydration sets in, the nausea hits even harder, not to mention an whole other list of problems!

3. Magnesium oil.

Ideally, it is best to get your magnesium reserves built up BEFORE pregnancy, since your body has a hard time absorbing it during pregnancy. I did this, but only a few months in advance, and not frequently enough. I did use it some in the first trimester, and although my relief seemed to be short lived, I felt some better when I sprayed it on. I’ve read wonderful things about oil pulling for relief, but I couldn’t stand the smell of coconut, so that didn’t work out for me. If you don’t have a coconut aversion, give that a try!

4. Awesome supplements.

My Life Long Vitality vitamins has been invaluable to me these past few months. My diet has been a FAR cry from perfect, and I feel so much better knowing that my babies nutritional needs are still being met, even though I’m not eating all the leafy greens I should. While vitamins certainly aren’t a replacement for optimal nutrition, they can fill in those gaps on days where you’d rather die than eat some kale and pastured eggs ;) I take the DōTERRA LLV (micronutrient, omega complex, and cellular vitality complex) daily, plus a good probiotic in the mornings.

4. Get outside.

Anytime I could get outside, it helped so much. Still does. The fresh air really seems to do the trick, and if nothing else, takes my mind off of it for a bit. Now, that’s not always easy when you are in the middle of a Texas summer, or when you have a VERY active toddler to chase after. But the times where I could make it work, it seemed to really help. We ate dinner outside on the balcony MANY times. You just end up doing whatever works!

5. Exercise

Although it sounds like the most unappealing thing on the planet, it really does help. I wouldn’t recommend jumping jacks or anything that would rumble your stomach more than necessary ;) But a good walk, swimming, or even just some squats, would get my endorphins going enough to help me feel some better and get me through the day.

6. Sleep.

More exhaustion = more nausea. The days after a late night were always my roughest. On those days (and others when I needed it!) I napped while my toddler napped, and my older kids had quiet reading time. If you have lots of little ones, call a sitter and take a nap if you need to! Any way you can get some rest, just do it. When I had trouble sleeping, balance oil usually seemed to do the trick. Still does, of course :)

7. Distract yourself.

Anything to distract yourself from your misery, is helpful. Having a friend over (preferably, a GOOD friend, that doesn’t mind the shambles of which your house/hair/life is in) watching a funny movie, reading books with the kids, park trips, swimming, bike riding, ANYTHING to get your mind off of how crappy you feel.

8. Avoid triggers.

For me, I had LOTS of things that triggered sickness. The smell of coconut. The smell of ANYTHING cooking. The smell of the grocery store, and sight of all the food. The smell of our dog. Being overly tired or hungry. The list could go on. For us, this meant we had LOTS of sandwiches and quick easy meals. Literally, I didn’t cook one thing on the stove for at least 4 weeks straight. Find out what sets you off, and avoid it like the plague. Give yourself grace, and remember, this isn’t forever! Just a short season, and it will be over before you know it.

9. Ask for help.

I honestly, could not have done it without help. My husband took over A LOT during this time, in addition to his full time job and studying for his insurance license. He’s pretty amazing :) He would cook dinner while I hid upstairs from the smell. He changed the diapers that we both knew I couldn’t handle, went on many food runs to get that ONE thing that sounded good at the time, cleaned, took over many bedtime routines…he is just all around awesome. My older kids were a great help, as well. They really stepped it up with chores, lightening my load a bit. There were many times when I was literally in the bathroom throwing up, and they would come in with a drink and some crackers, trying to help in any way they could.

This has been my first time being sick and pregnant with a little toddler at home. And a WILD, tantrum throwing, strong willed, fast as lightning, blink-and-he’s-gone, toddler boy, at that! I have lots of friends with 3, under 3, and have no idea how they did it. I have always had an older one (at least 4) to help, and help themselves, so this part is new to me!

I would LOVE to hear from you, and hear all the ways that you have survived those yucky early weeks. Comment below, and tell me about it!

Non-toxic Febreeze

I am always very sensitive to smells..particularly dog smells. But when I’m pregnant? Multiply that times ten thousand. If our terror dog even sat NEAR the couch, I know it, and I can’t stand to sit there any longer. In past (less hippie) pregnancies, I’ve just busted out the febreze, but I was never really satisfied with the results. I don’t feel like it truly gets rid of the smell, and I don’t much like the smell of toxins anyway ;)

But NOW! Now there is finally a solution that doesn’t involve burning everything we own and starting over.


Purify is like Febreze, except awesome. It doesn’t have a funky odor (smells crisp and clean and lemony..if that is a word) and doesn’t have a questinable ingredient list longer than a box of goldfish crackers.

Instead of putting pathogens in the air, it KILLS pathogens, disinfects, strengthens the immune system when diffused, and protects bed linens from dust mites/bed bugs/ and other insects. AND!!! It is also good for bug bites, cuts and scrapes, and it even helps drain fluid out of ears from ear infections! Can you say that for some drug store deodorizer? I think not.

It is also much cheaper in the long run, incase you still aren’t sold. (Find it here, straight from the source.)

Here is how I mix mine up:
1 glass spray bottle
5-10 drops of purify (buy it here)
Fill with water


That’s it.

Go try it, and thank me later.

I use it to spray our couches, the dog crate (pretty much anywhere that little stinky girl has been) the bed linens, the air filter in for our central heat/air system, the bathrooms (if you have boys…you will understand the desperate need for this) I diffuse it, I put it in our car diffuser, the options are endless! I could probably even put it directly on the dog, but since she’s terrified of spray bottles, I haven’t tried it yet :)

Do you have purify in your house? Are you insanely OBSESSED with it, like I am? Tell me all about it!!

If you are interested in essential oils, or want to find out how to buy Purify and other oils wholesale, shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

This post featured at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop!

Homeschool Room Tour

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When we first started homeschooling, I COULD NOT WAIT to get my Pinterest-worthy homeschool room set up. I would spend hours at night searching and pinning all of the perfect things that would make our room perfect. The problem was, my husband wasn’t about the shell over a $3000-$4000 for the room I wanted so much. I can’t imagine why?!?

Thankfully, over the course of a few months, I was either given, found cheaply, or pulled from other areas of the house, all the items we needed to make our room pretty great. I love how The Lord not only provides our needs, but our wants too! I’m sure I didn’t NEED a homeschool room to do it successfully, but I reeeeallllyyyy wanted one, and I love it now that we have it!!

So without further adieu, here is a little peak into our space!

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This is the first thing you see, when you cross through the french doors, directly off of our entry (that sounds MUCH more fancy than it actually is.) This shelving system really makes the room. I love it! They are from The Container Store, and would have taken up our entire budget if bought new! THANKFULLY…some sweet friends of ours were moving, and posted on Facebook asking if anyone would like to take them off of their hands. For free. Umm…ME PLEASE!! I white washed them, here and there, and they turned out just as I had pictured them. I especially love the drawers, so each big kid gets their own to hold their curriculum. We are pretty relaxed homeschoolers, and do a LOT of interest led learning and unit studies, but we do have a very solid “>math curriculum, “>English for our 9 year old, and a “>reading program for our 5 year old, that we need a home for, and these drawers are it. Other than that, we let their interests take over, and they seem to learn SO much more when I’m not forcing it down their throats. Win win!

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In the far corner is where I keep our mass amounts of card games, flash cards, puzzles, and such. I keep everything in ziplock bags so they are easy to identify. I often strew the flashcards, and an impromptu self directed learning session takes off with the little guys. I love it! In the middle of the table, I have a dollar store tote, with a dollar store pencil cup, holding pencils, colored pencils, and a couple of pens. The tabletop paper and holder is from ikea, the kids got it for Christmas last year and it sat on our kitchen counter for MONTHS before I got the homeschool room set up. On the shelf is a FABULOUS oil pastel portrait of yours truly, that my oldest made for me this spring. Love her creativity :) We keep our zoo magazines (great for strewing), folders, and spiral notebooks in these two magazine holders from Target, and our crayons color categorized in old baby food jars. The bottom shelf holds a dollar store red wire trashcan. Can you even decorate any room without dollar tree? I’m sure you could…but I wouldn’t want to!

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The top shelf holds our board games. I love that they are our of reach, as it keeps the tiniest hands from destroying and eating all the tiny little pieces. The garden tote ($3 off the Facebook garage sale page!) Holds the fish food and all other fishy items that we don’t want seen. Below that is our miracle gold fish (Her official name is Alisalisalisalee. Not kidding.) who defied the odds and lived when her 3 other buddies we bought with her died the next day. Bottom shelf holds our router, another ikea toy from Christmas, a wooden puzzle set from Zulily, and another fabulous piece by our in house Artist. The top is home to tiny legos and light brights (all which would be eaten by our littlest guy) and underneath holds a lacing activity, comb blocks, and magnetic linclon logs. I LOVE these mesh baskets from ikea. They add some fun color to the room, and we can see through just enough to be able to tell what’s in them. Next shelf holds two more Facebook garage sale finds ($2!) that holds some random activities, and our Melissa and Doug band in a box. Thankfully this one is a toy to be asked for or strewed as well, because OH the loudness of a harmonica and xylophone in a room with no rug to absorb the sound. Next up is the Abacus, which I was SURE would help my children become math geniuses. So far the baby likes it, and nobody else seems to care, but that could change! Our globe lamp came from my Grandma, and the little one seems to love that too! At the bottom, I keep all of our holiday themed books for easy reference, and a (dollar tree!) basket of megablocks for little hands.


Our little reading corner is a favorite spot for all three kids, or 4 if you include our Bulldog. The tent was a floor sample from ikea ($15) that the kids got for Christmas, with a beanbag we got for free from our friend Christin, who was closing down her preschool. I would say HALF of our learning activities came from her…such a blessing! I pulled the book basket from the upstairs bathroom, and filled it with our early reader books, and we used navy blue chalkboard paint to make this little nook function as reading corner and chalkboard. I wrote the lyrics to one of our favorite songs, and one day our oldest decided to pen one of her favorite verses to go with it. I hung twine to hang our latest creations from, and our little foam clock (again…dollar tree) helps the 5 year old work on telling time. I seriously love these alphabet prints that I ordered from Zulily like 4 years ago. Again, hung with twine…cheap and easy! We moved the play grill from the upstairs play area in here, just one more thing to occupy the little guy!

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This shelf was passed down to us from a friend of my husband, and has lived in our living room, nursery, dining room, and NOW the homeschool room. These shelves hold busy box activities, extra crayons (we have a craft closet in the hallway that we use for all of our bagillion crafts/markers/glue/paper/ etc.) and books upon books upon books. Truth be told this isn’t even all of them, we have two more bookshelves in full in the living room! Who needs a library when you have one at home?! :) Also another WONDERFUL hand-me-down from my friend Christen!

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Last but not least we have our infamous critter cage. I traded this for a bottle of lavender from my neighbor friend, and it has gotten MUCH use in our house! There is a heat lamp that attaches, and we have attempted to incubate abandoned duck eggs, turtle eggs rescued from a mom that was ran over massacred, and it is currently housing 9 grasshoppers. I would love to get red eyed tree frogs for it someday, but the free things we find around the neighborhood seem to be working for now. :) The world map, we got as a Christmas gift from my mom, the table (I think it’s technically a TV stand) we have had for so long I have no idea where it came from, and the shelves hold our dinosaur felt board and white board we use for English.

And that is our homeschool room! I’m not exactly sure how to put a price tag on the room, since everything in it was either given to us for free (again..SUCH a blessing) or pulled from another room of the house. Basically we paid for the paint, paintbrushes, and the curriculum in the drawers. Even the dollar store and garage sale page finds were already existing our house. Obviously not everyone will find the same free or dirt cheap things that we found, but my first suggestion would be to check your local Facebook Garage Sale page, Craigslist, and Freecycle!

Do you have a homeschool room, or something like it? Love decorating on the cheap? I’d love to hear about it!!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Any item I suggest is something that we have or will buy for our own family, and we completely recommend!)


Why We Are A 1-Car-Family and How We Make It Work


About a year ago, my husband had a major career change, cutting our income down way too far for comfort. What could have been a very scary time (ok, it WAS still a little scary) had us SO excited, because we just couldn’t wait to see what The Lord had in store for our family. We had been praying for another job opportunity for over a year, so when this all transpired, we knew it was a blessing.

With our income cut in half, we had to find some major ways to cut down our expenses. Tightening up our grocery budget and turning up the AC thermostat are some little things we did, but that was not going to get us even close to where we needed to be. We knew we had to do something big. Something drastic.


We sold our second car, and became a one car family.

Please don’t be too alarmed. I promise we aren’t too crazy. Or maybe we are…but not just because of this one thing. ;)

There was certainly an adjustment period, but now that we have gotten the hang of it, having one car is actually easier for us in many ways.

Here are a few of them:

1. We save money

Well this is probably the most OBVIOUS part of it all. We have one car payment (working to make that ZERO) instead of two. We have one car to have maintenenced instead of two. We pay one registration a year. I didn’t really realize how much those things added up until we cut them out! And I don’t even have to tell you how much we save on gas and outings. When you don’t have a car to take you somewhere, you won’t be spending money on gas to get you there, and you won’t be spending money on the things you thought you needed to buy because you were in the store you thought you had to go to. Before, I wouldn’t have thought twice about hopping in the car and going to the store to grab “one quick thing” and $40 later…my budget was blown. Now I have to be diligent and plan ahead, because I know my quick impulse trips are not an option.

2. We get more exercise 

When we don’t have the option to hop in the car, we improvise! We ride our bikes or walk to the pool, the park, friends houses, the lake, all of it! Granted, we are blessed with a great community where these things aren’t too far away. But before this, I wouldn’t have thought twice about driving a mile down the road when we could have easily chose walking. Our bodies are reaping the benefits of our one car, and we love it!

3. We reduce our carbon foot print.

Less driving = less gas. Less gas = less pollution. Quite simple. This is one of the biggest ways that our family helps the environment and a way that we “go green”.

4. We get more done at home.

Being home-bound has made us much more productive at home. We get more of our chores done, more of our school work done. and have more time to just be without all of our running around. This has been a huge blessing for all of us, especially for me, as I lean towards being an introvert. Being on the go all the time really wears me out, so it’s nice to be able to lay low more often.

5. We are more content with what we have 

Of course, you can be content with what you have and have more than one car. But having one car has helped us along in that part of our journey. Being home more has helped us enjoy what we have, instead of constantly going out to find entertainment.

We do have a few things that make it more practical for us.

  • My husband often rides with a co-worker to work, when I’ll need the car for something specific. This has been a HUGE help for us. (Shout out to Rodney & Nichole!)
  • We live in a community where we have amenities at walking distance.
  • Last semester, one of Abigail’s friends would come and take her to AWANA every week. Thanks Paula & Rheagan!

These 3 things (and the people that made them happen) are SUCH a blessing to us. We are not close enough to bike to work or church, so we would not have been able to do the 1st and 3rd without help. We are very thankful that God is providing for this little venture that he has set us on! I could always take him to work, but dragging 3 kids and my nauseous/pregnant self out at 6am to pick him up, does not sound like my idea of a good time!

If you can’t carpool or bike to work, there is always public transportation (for larger cities) or even ride sharing on Craigslist! If you are really interested in making it work, there is no limit to what you can do!

I don’t know how long we will stay a 1 car family, but so far we have done it for a year, and are still going strong. Depending on Michael’s job, at some point it might be more beneficial for us to get a second car. We will just see where The Lord leads, and go from there.

P.S. Sorry I have been MIA for you know…THREE WEEKS! Morning sickness has been rough this time, and we have been in survival mode. BUT..a post on how we are surviving these early weeks is in the works!

Do you or have you ever wanted to become a 1 car family? I would love to hear about it!


Easy Homemade Grass-fed Butter

photo 3 I love butter. A LOT. Not margarine (aka: a bunch of chemicals made to taste like butter…gag) but real, fresh, good for you, butter. Good fats are SO important to a healthy diet. It’s when you start cutting out the fats and adding in the low-fat junk, that you should be scared for your health. Our bodies need healthy fats to function properly and stay full, so we’re not grabbing for the next empty calorie bag-o-junk 30 minutes after we eat! But enough of me on my soap box…on to the good stuff! We really go back and forth between making our own butter and buying the Kerrigold Grassfed Butter. I sometimes forget to order cream from our co-op or they are running low, so I supplement with the Kerrigold. I much prefer the homemade version, made from raw/un-pasturized grass-fed cows right up the road from us. Does it even get better? SURELY I’m not the only one that gets this excited about butter…


Okay, here’s the deal:

  • Start by pouring your cream into your mixer. Put on your splashguard if you have it..you’ll need it! Turn it on med-high. I put mine on 8. Throw a towel over it to catch any splatters, and walk away.

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  • Now we wait. While this was mixing on it’s own, I had time to go get the “baby” (probably going to need to stop calling him that soon, since he is 19 months, and on the road to being a big brother!) fed him snack, picked up his cup that he threw about 9 times, unloaded the dishwasher…the possibilities are endless. Praise The Lord for stand mixers!
  • You’ll notice that it starts to look like whipped cream, but it’s not done yet. Unless you want whipped butter, then you’re all set, but we like ours a little heavier.


  • Once it separates (yellow chunks from buttermilk) you’ll know it’s done. Just scoop up yellow parts, put into a bowl, and pour off the buttermilk to save for another recipe for another time. I use a spatula to press some of the excess buttermilk off again after I put it into my bowl.

photo-30 Yummm! Now lets make some homemade bread to go with it :) Have you ever made your own butter? Do you just prefer to buy it? I’d love to hear from you!

Oh, The Things People Say


That’s right, folks. We are expecting, again! And if math is your thing, I’m sure you’ve gathered that this makes baby #4 for our happy hippie home. We are beyond excited, and cannot wait to meet this little guy or gal that God has chosen to add to our family!

We’ve gotten lots of sweet congrats from the family and friends that mean the world to us. We’ve also gotten some other comments. There are so many kind and endearing ones to choose from, but I’ll try to narrow it down.

We’ve gotten a lot of

“Are ya’ll trying to be like 19 kids in counting?!”

Well…not exactly. Seeing as how we are still 15 kids shy of that quota, I think that plan would fail pretty quickly.

There is the classic

“You know what causes that, right?!”

Why, NO random person I’ve never met! I have no idea. Can you please enlighten me? It just keeps happening to us and we cannot figure it out! While we are here, why don’t you go ahead and explain that to my 9 and 5 year olds, who you just said that in front of, since I’ll likely have to explain your comment later today.

We’ve also gotten some

“Wow, your house is going to be Craaaaa-zy!”

Umm…have you been to our house? It’s already crazy. Another baby is not going to change that.

And then there is my personal favorite…

“What?! WHY???”

Oh I’m sorry, do you not like your kids? Because our kids happen to be smart and funny and pretty freaking awesome. They are not perfect, but they are ours, and the joy they bring to our lives outweigh the challenges a million times over. You see, last time I checked, The Good Book said:

“Behold, children are a heritage from The Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3.

I’m no theologian but I THINK he may be saying that children are a blessing, not a curse. I can’t understand why having a child is a reason for people to feel sorry for you, as if you’ve caught some incurable disease. photo-29

Is having 4 children going to be easy? Probably not. From what I’ve found, most things that matter in life don’t come easy, so that’s not really what we’re searching for here. We know that this child was chosen by God for our family, and that he will provide everything we need to make it work, and that he has grace sufficient enough to make up the difference in our lack. So friends, we will not be apologizing, regardless of exceeding the suggested 2.5 children maximum for our family. We will be just as excited for every new milestone as we were the first, second, and third kid. My body will not look better, our bank account will not be bigger, and our nights might be a little longer, but our hearts will be busting at the seems with love for these amazing little gifts that we do not deserve.

And for those of you that are interested, here is a little bump action for ya.


Something about that 4th baby…just keeps popping out earlier every time!



How I Survive Our Bi-Weekly Grocery Trips With Kiddos In Tow

Grocery shopping for a family can be hard, especially when you’re toting the younger members of the family along with you. We grocery shop every 2 weeks, and stop at at least 3 stores…needless to say we are all exhausted by the end of it! Here are somethings that we do to make our grocery store trips a little more bearable!


1. Bring cash

This is so essential for me to staying on budget! If I don’t have an exact amount of cash, I’m more likely to throw things in the cart that aren’t on my list, in turn going over budget. If I have cash, I definitely don’t want to be at the cash register having to put things back! ;) I usually try and keep track of it by letting my oldest calculate it as we go. Math lesson, life lesson, and making my life easier all at the same time.

2. Oil em’ up.


We will NOT leave the house for a grocery trip without these babies. I would turn around and get them before I would brave a trip without them. I need my InTune to focus on the task at hand, and the kids need their Balance to not completely lose it after shopping for 2.5 hours. Essential oils = life made easier. (Find quality essential oils here)

3. Pack snacks! I repeat…PACK SNACKS!


If you forget the snacks, you can bet that your kids will be asking for every junk food item on the shelf. Grapes, almonds, or even an organic fruit strip will tide them over and keep them from asking for crazy things like fruit loops and pop tarts. Steer clear of super sugary snacks, that will likely make problems worse. ;) I try and make sure I eat a little something too, since I’m way more susceptible to buying things I don’t need, when I’m hungry!

4. Have your grocery list and stick to it.


If I don’t have my list, I always overspend, AND end of forgetting half the things I needed. This leaves me going back to the store, AGAIN, to spend more money I don’t have because I blew my budget in the first place. Now I keep my list on my phone, so I never forget it.

5. Get them involved. 


The more I can get the kids involved, the longer they last and the quicker we get done. Here are a few of the ways I include them in the process.

  • Calculating the total (see above)
  • Weighing produce
  • Finding items, and organizing them in the basket
  • Unloading at the checkout counter
  • Marking items off the list
  • Entertaining the youngest towards the end
  • Returning the cart (big kid only, unless we are right next to the cart barn)

Keeping them involved helps them feel needed, keeps them entertained, keeps them from arguing, and makes my job easier! Even when my bigger ones were little, I would talk to them about the items and have them “help” me find them. Here is a printable game to get even the littlest kids involved!

Do you have any tips or tricks to survive the grocery store? I’d love to hear about it!




3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies


I grew up on these cookies. I remember telling the ladies at my vacation bible school one day “Me and my mommy can make peanut butter cookies from scratch!” which would have been a lot less impressive had they known how easy these things are.

Three ingredients, y’all. THREE.

Peanut butter. Eggs. Sugar.


Now, the difference between the ones I ate growing up and the ones we make now, are the quality of ingredients. We use farm fresh eggs when we can, the best peanut butter that our budget can buy (usually Aldi’s natural peanut butter with no funky oils or chemicals) and sugar that is organic and verified Non-GMO.

The only problem I have with these cookies, is that I eat them too fast. They’re too delish to save for later.

Here’s the deal.

  • 1 cup organic/or natural peanut butter (preferably without sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix it all together.
  3. Roll em’ up, or better yet, get the kids to do it!
  4. Press them with a fork, both ways.
  5. Pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  6. Eat them all before anyone else gets them. I mean…share and enjoy!

So easy and so good. Double or triple the batch if you like!


10 Little Ways We Save Money and Stay Green


I won’t pretend to be a financial expert, I’m far from it! But one thing I do know is that it’s not always easy making things work as a 1 income family. I wouldn’t trade this path The Lord has chosen for us, but it does take a little work!

Here are a few things we do to make the budget stretch just a little bit further, while not compromising our hippie ways ;)

1. We use wool dryer balls. Not only do wool dryer balls cut the chemicals of commercial dryer sheets out of your laundry, they save money too! They are cheaper in the long run, and they shorten drying time, resulting in lower electric bills. We like to add a few drops of lavender oil or serenity to ours.

2. We cut cable. We did this years ago, and have never looked back! We use Netflix when we do watch TV, and if there is a certain show we want to watch, we just watch it on the computer later. This has saved our family a ton (at least $1200 a year!) and keeps us green by helping us save electricity.

3. We cloth diaper. This has saved our family a small fortune! The cost of diapering one child for 2 years (and lets be honest…it’s usually closer to 3) has been said to be somewhere around $1600. Think of all the trips to Whole Foods  you could take with that!! Our cloth diaper collection cost us under $100. AND we will be passing them down to the next kid. Winning! We also use cloth wipes too. No chemicals from disposables, no filling the landfills, and no spending a small fortune. I only wish we would have started sooner!

4. We stopped buying paper towels. This one may seem a little weird. We stopped buying paper towels about 5 years ago. We have white bar rags that we use to clean spills (we sanitize them in the washing machine) and we use cloth napkins. I still get strange looks when people come over and ask where the paper towels are ;) but it has just become second nature to us. If we spent $20 a month on paper towels, that would be $1200 that we would have spent in the past 5 years on something that would just end up in the landfills. Money in our pockets, and the trees have us to thank.

5. We eat some meatless meals. Having 2-3 meatless meals a week really helps us stretch our grocery budget. Our grass fed local beef is $6 a lb, and while that is a deal considering what you get out of it, we can’t afford it every meal. We do this a lot with our qunioa taco bowls.

6. We make our own laundry detergent. This averages out to 9cents a load, vs at LEAST 29 cents for something like Gain…or even more for a natural detergent. No chemicals + less money = awesomeness.


7. We use essential oils. This may seem like a way to spend more money, but I promise, it saves! When you use a high quality pure essential oil, you end up using less of it because of it’s potency. Essential oils end up costing penny’s per drop, much cheaper than most over the counter or prescription drugs, and MUCH healthier for your body! If you’re interested in finding out more about essential oils, send me an email!

8. We set the thermostat. This is something we are a little late to the game for. After ending up with a $400 electric bill this winter (yikes!) we learned to bundle up and keep it at 68 or lower in the cold months. For the hotter months, we have always tried to keep it at 78 during the day, and 76 at night. We also make sure to keep all lights off when they’re not in use, and I may have been referred to by my husband as the “Light Natzi” on more than one occasion. Whatever keeps those bills down.


9. We make our own personal care products. We make our own body wash, deodorant, facial cleanser, and sometimes toothpaste. The initial cost for the ingredients is higher, but much cheaper in the long run, and much healthier than buying store bought!

10. We stay out of the stores. This one has been one of the hardest for me, personally. If I am at a store, I’ll spend money. If I’m not, I won’t. Simple. This is why we grocery shop once every 2 weeks, and why we don’t frequent the mall. If I can’t see it, then I don’t really want it, and am not tempted to buy it. Not to mention, I’m not spending money on gas to get there! So simple.

Do you have some creative ways that you like to save money and make healthier lifestyle choices for your family? I’d love to hear about them!


(Post featured here.)

Quinoa Taco Bowls

I’m a foodie at heart, but I’m also not one to spend hours slaving over the stove every single night. We are busy, like most families, and most nights I need to be able to throw something on the table that is REAL food, and a crowd pleaser.

(or taco plate…see how forgiving this recipe is? ;) )


We eat this more than any other meal. I’m talking, at LEAST twice a week. We really never get tired of it (thankfully), and it is super simple.

It’s also a very forgiving recipe, you can really change it up anyway that you like!

Here is what we usually use:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa.
  • 2 cups (roughly) pre-cooked pinto beans
  • 1 lb grass fed beef
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 a red onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch kale, torn into pieces
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste

And here is how we do it:

  1. Cook quinoa following package directions.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, sauté garlic, bell pepper, and onion in skillet. (we do ours sliced, so our picky pants 5-year old can pull his out easily after a few bites.)
  3. Throw in kale.
  4. Brown ground beef and add seasoning.
  5. Add pre-made beans.
  6. Once quinoa is done cooking, add it to the mix.

Annnd we’re done! We put it into bowls (or plates…didn’t have clean bowls for this pic, ha!) and we top the grown-up’s with fresh pico.

My favorite thing about this dish is that we can really throw anything we want in there! Sometimes we only have brown rice instead of quinoa, so we will do that instead. MANY MANY times, we do this without beef, to make a cheap meal. You can really just use what you have on hand, and it’s delish either way! We try to keep beans (cooked in the crockpot) and pico in the fridge at all times, since we use them so much.

Do you have a favorite go-to meal? I’d love to hear about it!