Thursday, June 8, 2023

Save on Shampoo


    Have you made your own homemade shampoo before? I've switched to making my own for a few of us in our household.  My favorite is one I found from the book "Just the Essentials" it's a great book on ways to use essential oils around your house and to be more chemically free in the process. I'd say it's a must read if you are looking for a way to start swapping out your household cleaners/hair care and more for a more natural approach. 

    While there are many homemade shampoo ideas out there, one thing I feel has worked well is investing in some foaming soap pumps.  Have you seen these yet or tried them?  They save you so much on soap.  As I said we use the shampoo Adina listed in her book, we were struggling with some dandruff and her recipe worked great! But, it was hard to not get too much shampoo and then not be able to wash it out.  I found these foaming soap pumps and they made all the difference.  In order for the pump to work it needed a little more liquid, so I doubled the recipe + added about 1/3 cup of water.  With just 1-2 pumps that's all we need for shampoo.  Plus it makes our shampoo last longer, which saves money.  

    The nice thing about this set of foaming soap pumps is it comes in a pack of two.  I put one in our girls' bathroom for their hand soap.  I also added water to it as well.  I've made my own hand soap, but also have used Myers hand soap. I start with filling about 1/3 of the bottle with soap and then the rest with water.  I haven't replaced it in forever! 

    So whether you are making your own shampoo or looking for ways to save on shampoo or soap, I hope this post helps. 

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Summer Bucket List



    So I was listening to a podcast the other day and they were talking about their summer plans and how to make the most out of your summer.  Side note, it's a great podcast; Legacy by Gretchen & Elisabeth, you should check it out!  Anyways, one of the things they mentioned doing was a bucket list with your kiddos.  

I loved this idea! I'm always looking for ideas for the summer.  We can be busy with different summer rec activities, but it can be easy to get too busy and not do the things you wanted to do.  So they mentioned make a list of the activities you want to do and then cross them off as you accomplish them. 

I recently sat my girls down and we did just that!  We came up with all kinds of things to do this summer.  A couple were things they've been wanting to do, but each summer we run out of time.   I'm really excited to cross off some of these things this summer! 

While I was starting this post it reminded me of what my girls and I did last year.  We needed to change up our schedule a bit last year so we took each Friday and visited a different local town's park.  We live in a small town with lots of towns nearby.  Sometimes we drove 20 min, sometimes we drove almost 45 min away, but we planned each Friday with a different park/town in mind.  It was so fun! My girls have always wanted to go to the different parks when we go to the different towns for other things and so this was a great way to do just that! 

So here's to the start of summer and making a bucket list or making a park list, or something in between!  Whatever you plan, I hope that you are able to make it a fun summer! 


Thursday, May 25, 2023

Grow your own flower garden


    Did you know that you can grow a flower garden in your backyard that you can pick from?  Ok, maybe this is just news to me, but in case this is news to you let me share. 

Recently, I learned about how you can plant flowers in your garden that you can pick and then they will regrow so you can pick them again! I always knew that flowers were good for my garden, each year I've tried to plant some sort of flower, but I never thought I could pick them and they'd keep growing.  I love having flowers in my house, but honestly, I don't like to have to buy them.  So therefore, I only end up with flowers in my house for birthdays and Mother's Day, which for my family only consists of three different months.  

But, I could plant flowers in my garden, help my vegetables to grow, help the bees AND get to pick some flowers to bring into my home! Needless to say I was excited!  

Plus, its really not that hard to do.  We've always planted sunflowers so we did that again.  While we didn't get them planted this year, milkweed is on my list for the butterflies.  But then there are so many flowers you can plant to pick; 



Black-eyed Susan 

and more! 

If you want a great resource for more info, the book linked at the bottom is a great one! She talks about how to grow your flower garden, how to clip them and so many more things!  Grab your copy today or check out your local library to see if they have a copy! 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Summer Learning


    Summer is almost here! But, don't let this summer get away!  Summer is still a great time to keep learning. Here are a few ways keep our kiddos brains moving during the Summer. 


I can't stress this one enough! Taking time to read is so beneficial to your kiddos in the summer. Whether you read to them, or they read on their own.  Whatever it takes, find some time to read this summer. A couple ways we like to include reading is:

  • The Summer Reading Program at the library ~ check out your local library and see what they have for their summer reading program! 
  • Making a Summer Reading List or a goal of how many books to read in the Summer 
  • Setting aside a specific time during the day to read; for me it was after lunch, I told my girls after they ate they needed to go find a book to read (or look at for the younger one) so I could clean up the kitchen/eat my own lunch or talk to their dad while was home for lunch. 
  • We also tried to pick a book series to read through. Each night before bed we'd read a few pages or a chapter.  We've read Little House on the Prairie, The Chronicles of Narnia and even some Boxcar Children books (we haven't read all of them yet). 

2. Make a Summer Learning Folder: 

So I've done Summer Learning Folders almost as long as my oldest has been in school.  I think I started them the summer after she finished 1st grade.  They can be as easy or as complex as you want to make them.  

Items you will need: 

1. 3 ring binder; grab a few of those cheaper 3 ring binders, you know the more flexible flimsy ones.  

2. Lined paper or notebook

3. Math games or flash cards 

4. Reading workbooks or Language arts books - we really like Summer Solutions

Then start making your Summer Learning Folder: 

First: make your schedule

    How often are you wanting your kids to work from their binders?  Everyday? 2-3 times a week?  For me, I gauge this based on what all we have going on.  When they were younger I made a specific schedule; Monday: Math, Tuesday: Lang. Arts Wednesday: Writing, Thursday: Math & Friday: Free day. I have found it's easier now that my kids are older to say 2x a week you need to do a language worksheet, 1 time a week you need to do a math activity and so forth.  Here's what our schedule looks like for this summer: 


15-20 min doing 1 math game OR complete 1-2 math worksheets 

2 Pages from Reading/Lang workbook 

20 min reading/day = 2 hours for the week 

Write a letter or card to someone 

Then get your copies made or your supplies together: 

Reading: This year, I chose to order Reading/Language Arts Summer Solutions to use.  So each of my girls will have a workbook they can work from for Lang. Arts. 

Math: For math, we have different Math games they can play; 

UNO, TRASH, Usborne's (now Paper Pie) Learning Palette, I have Game 24 & Colorku on my wishlist, plus flash cards to keep it fun. We just have a designated drawer that has all the math games in it. 

 I also, will print a few math worksheets for each one to have in their binders. Then when it's math day or a day they choose to do math, they have many options on something to do. A couple sites I use: 

  •  K5 Learning: I really like this site, they have lots of options for many different grades and subjects.  Plus for math they include answer keys for each worksheet, which is so helpful as my oldest is doing fractions!
  • is another good one; this one you need to set up an account and you can only download 1 worksheet/month for free.  But, once you have them downloaded you have them.  OR you can pay to have more download options.  

Writing: I've tried to have them write a letter to a friend, family member, etc. once a week or depending on how the summer is going 2x a month. Or if you have a kiddo who likes making up stories, they could work on story for the summer or write a play.  Anyway to get them writing.  I make sure their binders have lined paper in them for the whole summer.  

Finally, I have a grid in the front that they can color a box each time they do an activity.  I've done it for each activity as below: 

Summer Learning Folder Log


Reading Workbook

 (2 pages)

Wrote a letter/card/part of my story

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

And then the Reading books one: 

Summer Reading Log

For each book you read you can color in a space.

Name: __________________________                              Month: ___________________________

















































But, this year I was thinking of finding a fun picture they could color and have done if they did something each day. 


That's it! If you have your binders fully packed, then it helps to make sure your kiddos can be consistent in doing something each day.  My goal is that they spend about 15-20 min a day doing something that is helping them learn or keep what they learned from the last school year present. 

Oh also a if you need it have a fun incentive if they complete the goal.  Some ideas include:  

  • Each week go out for ice cream
  • Visit a different pool/park each month it's complete
  • Have a big celebration at the end of the summer