Apr 16

Overwhelmed with The Job of Homemaking?

 

As a mom, homemaker and blogger committed to saving you money by providing tips and resources for your home, I am excited about this new freebie. Check out this free video course!

Are you a stressed-out homemaker? Don’t stay overwhelmed! Check out this free eCourse: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

Are you tired of getting behind on laundry?

Do you struggle to keep your kitchen clean?

Does the dinner hour have you harried?

4 steps video course

If so, you cannot miss a FREE 4-part mini eCourse that is available for a limited time: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

In this eCourse, you will learn:

  • how to never get behind on laundry again,
  • how to wake up each day to a sparkling clean kitchen,
  • how to avoid the 5 ‘o’clock scramble with a super simple meal planning method, and
  • how to set yourself up for success with a quick nighttime routine.

Control My Spin’s Holly Dvorak, a popular speaker and home management coach, and her long-time homemaking mentee, Erin Odom, of The Humbled Homemaker, have put together this eCourse to help curb homemaking overwhelm and give you the tools you need to run your home like a well-oiled machine.

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking will not take you long to complete, but what you learn through it can totally revolutionize your home.

ThinkstockPhotos-504402113

What comes with this eCourse?

    • 4 videos: These videos are all less than 10 minutes long, so it won’t take up a lot of time to watch them. But they each pack a punch!
    • 4 printable worksheets: We don’t want to just leave you with the teaching; we want you to brainstorm ways to implement it in your life!
    • FREE REWARDS by sharing this FREE eCourse with your friends as well!

 

4 steps overlay image 650 x 351

We let a sampling of bloggers get a sneak peek at this course, and this is what they had to say about it:

Kayse Pratt

“I absolutely loved the course! It was so encouraging for me to hear someone else’s homemaking struggles, and the tips I learned are so practical, I can implement them immediately! Each video is less than 10 minutes, and well worth your time. I’m recommending it to all of my friends!” ~Kayse Pratt, blogger at Kaysepratt and author of Worth the Fight

Angi Schneider

“I was really encouraged by the videos to really think about the little things that make my day go smoother when I do them. Thank you!” ~Angi Schneider, blogger at Schneiderpeeps and author of Hope: Thriving While Unemployed

Jill York

“I cannot tell you how much this simple free course has helped me already! I’ve watched them with my oldest daughter, and we are putting them to action! The motivation it provides can be life-changing! It made me really look forward to digging into the rest of what’s in the bundle.” ~Jill York, blogger at Jill’s Home Remedies and co-author of Homeschooling Day-by-Day

Kristen Smith

“The four mini lessons taught in this eCourse aren’t overwhelming, won’t load you with guilt, and are really doable. There’s also room to tweak the lessons for your family’s unique needs, which I appreciate as a homeschooling mom of give younger children. Instead of feeling like a failure by watching it, you feel motivated to make the small changes that Holly explains.” ~Kristen Smith, blogger at Smithspirations and author of Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker

 

Don’t miss out on this FREE eCourse that can help take the stress out of homemaking! Get immediate access by signing up here, now, or click on the button below! 

Click here for immediate access!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Thank you for supporting my site!

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/04/16/overwhelmed-with-the-job-of-homemaking/

Mar 28

Stop, Look and Listen…To the Right Things

On the phone.

photo courtesy of BuzzFarmers flickr.com

Reflecting on my latest read

I just put the kids to bed and was sitting here reflecting on a busy day. We had a party for my youngest who turned five this week. Time passes so quickly. When school starts back in the fall, it will be the first time since having children that I don’t have a preschooler in the home.  I just finished reading a very thought-provoking book entitled Hands Free Mama:A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting GO of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!  Not two days later, I got the chance to put some of the advice in the book to the test. Would I be able to plan a birthday party for my five year old and let go of the perfection and really stop and enjoy the process with my kids? I can’t say that my first test in the area of releasing perfectionism and being present in the moment went off without any hitches at all, but being aware did make me stop several times throughout the day. I paused to read a book to my daughter when lying her down for a nap. I let the nine-year old in the family do all the decorating with no advice from mom. I also left the basement in all its unorganized glory for all to see. Instead of insisting that everything be perfect, I let some things go and tried to enjoy the process more. I can see that a hands-free journey will be a process for me, but one worth my time. I highly recommend this book.

Spring Cleaning of My Soul

Urban Relaxation

photo courtesy of Oxfordian flickr.com

Do you ever find yourself walking along in life and letting things so totally entangle your time and emotions that you find nothing left to give your family? I have been in that place a few times over the last couple of years. Last year I was trying to work outside the home one day a week as a registered nurse, homeschool two kids full-time, entertaining a preschooler, teach a preschool class weekly at church, and maintain a blog with regular curriculum review deadlines. I found myself losing sleep and not only depriving myself of needed rest and downtime, but cutting into my quality time with the family. In January I purposed to let go of the review commitments on the blog and begin blogging for fun again. I began to look for ways to say “no” to allow a little margin in my life.  Shortly after making that decision, I lost my aunt suddenly and entered a rather low time emotionally in my life. I felt slightly depressed, unmotivated and I did a lot of soul-searching. I found that there were some things I really needed to change in my life. I cried out to the Lord on a regular basis and He has been leading me through one process at a time “spring cleaning” my soul so to speak. He is so kind to bring one thing at a time to my heart and mind so that this highly distracted mama can deal with one issue at a time.  I have been dealing with unforgiveness, selfishness, and perfectionism over the last couple of months. You may have noticed that I have been somewhat absent here on the blog. This was because I could not bring myself to do one more thing the last few months.  I  purposed to stop more and have fun with the kids. I am trying very hard to be less task-oriented and more aware of times I can make memories with the kids. I am trying to listen more to the quiet requests of my kids and the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and less to the chiming of my electronic devices. With the coming of spring, I feel hope blossoming in my soul again. I intend to post more regularly again and hope that as God leads me in this daily walk, I will be able to share authentically with you my journey. Would you join me in the journey to savor life more this year? I know it will take time to transform from a doer to a state of being still. I want to go from a crazy distracted mama to one who can stop and look at crickets in the grass, have a cup of coffee with a friend and make time for creative and academic pursuits. I am focusing on looking for small moments throughout my day that I can be present in my life and savor my life. Taking regular breaks from media and electronics to do things with people I love, cultivate real life relationships and hear the cries of my loved ones hearts are the goals of my present journey. Until next time……..

This post has been linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal over at Manage Your Blessings

The-Homeschool-Mothers-Journal-300x300-Square.

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/03/28/stop-look-and-listen-to-the-right-things/

Mar 03

Register Now for the Teach Them Diligently Convention!

Teach Them Diligently 728X180

It is countdown time for the upcoming Teach Them Diligently Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, April 9-11, 2015. Our family is looking forward to the inaugural Atlanta debut! We have attended Teach Them Diligently in South Carolina and Washington, DC over the last two years. We have family in Marietta so we will get to visit with family and enjoy a great convention with friends old and new this year. We always come away with a renewed vision for our family and homeschool, plus resources and ideas to make our job as parents and home educators easier. If you don’t believe this convention is for you, check out these reasons to attend.

TTD Reasons 2015

I am particularly excited about attending the Real Refreshment event for ladies on Friday night. I missed the Atlanta event last year and this year the retreat was held in Baltimore. I had attended in 2012 and 2013 and counted it as a highlight of my year. I was built up in my spiritual man and encouraged in my heart as a mom and lady. This is not to be missed ladies! Just try a convention and see if you don’t find yourself coming away blessed and encouraged.

Prices will increase tomorrow, so REGISTER NOW!!

This post contains affiliate links. If you register with my link a small commission will help our family keep this blog up and running.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/03/03/5596/

Feb 07

Purex PowerShot Detergent Review and Giveaway


PurexPowerShot3
About the Product

Looking for a great laundry detergent redesigned? Purex PowerShot detergent is a new product that takes the guesswork out of measuring laundry detergent. Simply flip open the lid, invert the bottle and pour into your washer. This no-spill detergent bottle is awesome! The same quality detergent you expect from Purex with 50% more stain fighting power than the regular Purex detergent. This super concentrated formula works great on all types of laundry.Use one flip for regular loads and up to two flips of the cap for larger or heavily soiled laundry.

Purex PowerShot is available in two scents, Mountain Breeze and Natural Elements Linen & Lillies

PurexPowerShot3

My Opinion

My favorite thing about this new product is that there is no drippy mess on the side of the bottle. I haven’t had to wipe down the bottle once since using this container. The outside stays nice and clean and ALL the detergent ends up where I want it, in the washer, not on top.

I have been wanting to give my sons some experience doing laundry since they are turning into young men so fast. When I saw this product, I thought that now would be a great time to start some laundry lessons. With the no-spill detergent bottle, I thought the boys could handle dispensing so much easier. They would have nothing to measure, no amounts to remember and no clean up afterwards.

The first thing I did was show them how to sort laundry into darks, lights and towels. I felt like starting with towels would be the easiest thing. They are already are doing well folding towels and it is pretty hard to ruin towels in the wash, so I felt this would be a perfect teaching load.PurexPowerShot6

Then, I explained how to use the new Purex Power Shot no-spill detergent bottle. It took me about a minute and he was using it like a pro!

PurexPowershot4

1924_PowerShot_CMYK

PurexPowerShot5

The results were a proud son and a happy Mama! Fresh smelling clean clothes!

folded laundry

Connect with Purex on their Facebook page.

Don’t Forget to enter my giveaway below. Three lucky readers will win a coupon for a free bottle of Purex PowerShot!

As a member of Purex Insiders, I was provided with a free sample of Purex PowerShot detergent and giveaway coupons in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/02/07/purex-powershot-detergent-review-and-giveaway/

Feb 02

Starting the New Year with a New Focus – Savor Life

I always take a little time over the holidays to think about my goals for the next year and ponder the things that I would like to change. I spend some time in prayer and ask the Lord what needs to change in my life. I ask the opinion of my husband and take all the feedback to develop a flexible plan for change. Do I always follow this plan to a T? Absolutely not, hence the term, “flexible plan”. I have learned that if I set too many goals, I cannot achieve them all. However, if I aim at nothing, I hit it every time. After thinking that I would like to slow down and savor life more, life happened.

December was a rather different holiday season than normal. We had a busy early December with family visiting, a large-scale church performance, and the normal Christmas gatherings and outings. My extended family had lots of sickness, so the family gatherings were kept to a minimum by my nearby family. We decided to take a trip to see out-of-state family the day after Christmas. This was a wonderful time of blessing family and reconnecting, but while there I received news that my aunt was gravely ill and would be transferred to hospice care. As the nurse of the family, this was very hard for me to be so far from those that I wanted to be present for and help support during this difficult time. I knew the Lord had led us to make this trip out-of-state and I wanted to be present with my husband’s family during this trip. We don’t get to visit very often. The Lord gave grace during this time and I can see His hand working in the process looking  back.

The day we were driving home, my aunt went to be with the Lord. We spent several days after arriving home visiting with family and putting my aunt to rest. It was a rather hard time to get back in the swing of school. My heart was just not in it. I have been battling some sadness and winter blues. I have been savoring my morning quiet times and have felt the Lord encouraging my heart and drawing me closer through repentance, but my heart just hasn’t been into blogging or homeschooling. I am carrying on and trudging through, but I covet your prayers. I have things that I know I need to do, but I have just decided that being present and savoring time with loved ones is what is needed in this season.

I will continue blogging and hope to post more of my thoughts on my key word, “savor” later this month. You can look for some giveaways coming soon.

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/02/02/starting-the-new-year-with-a-new-focus-savor-life/

Jan 20

Check out my Guest Post on Homeschool Launch Today

I have been taking a much needed blogging break around here for the last month. We took a family trip, lost a dear family member and have been getting back into our homeschool groove after taking four weeks off. I have been doing a little bit of guest writing behind the scenes and I would like to send you over to the new website, Homeschool Launch to read my guest post today entitled, 5 Ways to Include your Preschooler in your Homeschool Day.

5 Ways to Include Preschoolers in Homeschool

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/01/20/check-out-my-guest-post-on-homeschool-launch-today/

Dec 09

The Heart of the Home at the Holidays

Tree PinterestAs a mom, I believe that part of my responsibility is to make the house feel like a home. I think there are several factors that play into this role at the holidays. Today, I am going to share with you some of my thoughts on this topic.

Blessing my Home Blesses Myself and Those Around Me

I learned some home tidying skills from the Flylady years ago and when I am consistent with these tasks, I am much better able to stay on top of the housework. This blesses my family and allows me to be able to rest in the evenings and spend time with my husband. My oldest child recently made a comment after I helped him clean and organize his room, “Mom, it feels so nice in here when everything is clean.” It helps me relax  when I am surrounded by a clean environment. I know there will always be messes when there are children in the house, but keeping on top of the household chores is one way that I like to make my house a home. As the holidays are upon us, there seems to be a continuous stream of activity, but I am committing to spending a little bit of time each day working on my house so we can enjoy a more peaceful holiday.

Remembering that Perfect Decorations Don’t Equal a Perfect Home

Barney boy at Christmas

I have been learning to let go of some of my decoration hang ups. If the lights don’t get hung up outside until the week before Christmas, it is ok. If the kids want to do the tree decorating themselves, it is ok. If my daughter brings home multiple crafts from church that she wants to display, it is ok. One day these little people and treasures will be gone and creating their own Christmas traditions and messes in their own homes. I want to enjoy the moments I have with them today and not stress over a “Martha Stewart” home. There will be plenty of time for that later.

Gratitude is the Attitude

It is easy to feel overwhelmed, over scheduled and over worked during the holidays. I am learning to take a minute in the afternoons to read, put my feet up, light a candle, listen to some music or talk to a friend. In the busyness we call life, we need to make time for God, for ourselves and our friendships. I have made it a habit to spend a few minutes in personal devotion every morning before the kids get up. I am so much more relaxed and ready for the day when I sit at the feet of Jesus before I attempt to move through the motions of my day.  When my attitude starts to get sour, I start to think of the blessings in my life. I am reading through One Thousand Gifts right now and I am seeing so much about gratitude that I never thought about before. Christ has given me so much. I want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in my home. It can start with one person exhibiting gratefulness and it can also be contagious.

Be in the Moment

Peppermint Mocha

I love to do little fun crafts and snacks with my kids. I love making memorable meals and upholding family traditions. Lately though, I have realized that as much fun as that is to me, I don’t have to seek perfection. Sometimes less is more and I need to allow for time to just be present in the moment. Make time to read that little book to my four-year old, get on the floor with my nine-year old and watch him create with blocks and Legos, really listen to the discussions that my twelve-year old begins. Put down the iPhone and hold hands with your spouse in the evenings. Memories for me involve quality time spent with loved ones.

As you prepare your home for the holidays, take a little time to prepare your heart. While clean and decorated houses are wonderful, a grateful attitude and taking time to be in the moment with our spouses and kids can make all the difference this holiday. Blessings!

My Joy-Filled Life

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2014/12/09/the-heart-of-the-home-at-the-holidays/

Nov 25

Soup for the Soul – A Roundup of Great Reading

Image from page 1168 of "Baltimore and Ohio employees magazine" (1912)

I love to read and I also love to scour the web and read quality articles on blogs. I thought that you might enjoy browsing some of the articles that I found interesting. Here are some of the good reads I found this week.

Why Homeschool your High Schooler – by WORLD MAGAZINE

A You Tube video by the Trim Healthy Mamas with a cranberry pie recipe. I am planning to make this after Thanksgiving when I am trying to get right back on track. I plan to cheat for Thanksgiving Day!

10 Habits of Highly Effective Mamas – There were several things on this list that I need to work on. I was inspired to sleep more and be kind more often than right.

How to Fake Clean a House…for those last-minute visitors – I learned a few tricks here. I need to invest in some more containers for my living space!

Homeschool Truth from a Veteran Homeschool Mom –  This was a blessing as I had just made the decision to take the whole week of Thanksgiving off of school. I battled that decision inside of me because there was so much on the to-do list that I wanted to finish before we stopped for the holiday. I realized after reading this that learning can take place In a slow and steady fashion. It doesn’t always involve checking every box on the checklist.

That about wraps it up for now. Stay tuned as we drum up some new content for the blog in the coming weeks. We are in laid back mode for the holidays, so we may be a little sporadic about posting over the month of December, but expect some new twists and turns in January! Thanks for reading!

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2014/11/25/soup-for-the-soul-a-roundup-of-great-reading/

Nov 13

Snake Oil from Out of the Box – A Review

Out of the Box Games Review

About the Game

We love playing games and we try to set aside several nights a month to play games together. We recently had the opportunity to try out Snake Oil from Out of the Box Games.  This game was a crash course on good communication skills. In just about five minutes, you can teach nearly anyone how to play Snake Oil. Unlike many family games, Snake Oil is easy to set up, can be played in under 20 minutes and will entertain and educate the entire family. It can be played by 3-10 players or in tournament style for up to 24 players.

Snake Oil retails for $19.99 and is for ages 10 and up. The box has two types of cards in a plastic tray. There are 28 customer cards that are double-sided, providing a total of 56 customer choices. These cards sit in a vertical slot in the tray. These customer cards list occupations such as a nurse, teacher, caveman, etc.Out of the Box Games Review

Basic Game Play

One player chooses to start as the customer and draws a customer card. He selects a choice from either side of the card and then adapts the persona of that customer for the duration of his turn. The second set of cards are the word cards, of which there are 336. These cards are divided among the 4 horizontal slots in the tray. The other players each draw six cards for their hand and choose two-word cards to “create” a product to pitch to the customer. After each player has a turn to pitch his product, the customer choose  his favorite and gives them his customer card.  All players the restock their hand so they maintain a set of six cards. Play continues until each player has a turn to be the customer. The person with the most customer cards at the end of the round is the winner. As you can see, the rules are quite simple.

Variations

There are several variations of the game in the instructions. You can increase the number of word cards per person for more choices, or you can play the Snake Oil Live version where you have a game host that moderates and three players act as contestants. The rest of the players are the audience. The contestants each draw six cards and create a product. They stand up in front of the audience and pitch their product. After all three contestants have a turn to pitch, the host has the audience cheer or make a show of hands to choose the best pitch. This round is repeated with new contestants and the winners of each round try to beat each other out in the last round.

The tournament version is similar to the original, you just set up several games simultaneously by dividing up the cards between the groups and the winner of each game plays each other in a tournament round. Snake oil is also a great tool for the classroom teacher. When teaching about the old west you could insert a game of Snake Oil after sharing some facts about real life snake oil salesmen. If you are wanting to encourage public speaking and problem solving, try using Snake Oil. If you want to introduce the ideas of marketing, this game could be a very useful and creative teaching tool. Here is a free resource with ideas on how you can use this game with grades 5 and up in the classroom. Here is a short video with a brief description of standard game play.

Our Opinion of this Game

We tried this game with our family of five. My husband and I played with our boys ages 12 and 9. The youngest is 4 and she enjoyed playing with the plastic box insert and the discarded word cards since she was too young for purposeful play of the game. She sorted them in the four boxes and made up her own game as we played alongside her in our living room. Lydia game play

Our middle son was frustrated at the beginning, because he had never been asked to play a game that required him to use so many communication skills before. He ended up quitting the first round, but after watching us have so much fun, he quickly rejoined the game and became interested and engaged the rest of the game. We found ourselves laughing hysterically at some of the descriptions of make-believe products that we created in our minds.

My son chose the “Santa’ card for his first round. He decided to fully embrace the persona of Santa complete with the large belly as shown below.

Santa persona

The other players looked at their word cards and here are the products we came up with: giggle dirt, a pillow tent and a shadow shovel. We each pitched our products and we had a blast trying to convince “Santa” to choose our product. My husband made the comment that one of the standout features of this game was the fact that it can be short or long depending on how much time you have. One round was completed in about ten minutes for our family of 4 players. We have found that sometimes we don’t want to have a game night because of time restrictions, but with this game, we can still play a full game in a short amount of time. word cards

We also took the game to my brother’s house and played a game with eight people. It turned out very well and my brother who really despises most games, loved Snake Oil!

Brother salesman

Game PlayFun with games

Overall we really enjoyed the game and felt that even kids a little younger than ten ( in our case as young as  seven) were able to enjoy the game. We will be playing this in the days to come and it just might show up at some future family gatherings!

If you would like to read what other folks thought about Snake Oil or another edition Snake Oil – Party Potion from Out of the Box Games click on the graphic below.

Click to read Crew Reviews

You can connect with Out of the Box Games on the following social media sites:

Facebook

Twitter

 Out of the Box Games Review

Crew Disclaimer

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2014/11/13/snake-oil-from-out-of-the-box-a-review/

Nov 07

Faith on Friday – #2

Gentle answerI need to meditate on this verse. It is definitely

one for the mom arsenal. Be blessed today as you

go forth and train your children!

 

I

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2014/11/07/faith-on-friday-2/

Older posts «