Jun 08

Getting Back in the Morning Groove – Day 5

(affiliate link included in this post)

How it is Going?

I dropped off my son this morning for a week of summer camp. I had mixed emotions because I know he will have a blast, but it will be lonely around here with only me and two kiddos! My daughter is taking swimming lessons for the next five days. It should be interesting around here. I woke up early today, but didn’t really start the routine. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow. I have been consistent with the evening routine so far. It has made getting ready in the morning much easier and we have been a few minutes early to two events. That is monumental for me!

Today’s Focus

Goals, Goals, Goals. Here is my philosophy on goal-setting. I have made the mistake of making overwhelming goals and also not keeping the goals before me, thereby losing my focus and forgetting what I am aiming at. Today I made a list of five areas that are my priorities and set three goals for each area.

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/06/08/getting-back-in-the-morning-groove-day-5-2/

Jun 06

Getting Back in the Morning Groove – Day 4

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How it is Going?

I had a busy last couple of days so I haven’t been sticking to my bedtime :( I plan to work on that starting on Monday. It didn’t help that I was in the midst of a great book by Julie Klassen, The Dancing Master. I stayed up one night until midnight reading. I just couldn’t put it down. We spent some time fishing as a family this morning and I have some girl time planned with my mom and sister tonight followed by a night shift at the hospital. I am determined to work through these exercises amidst my busy schedule this week. Here is a peek into my day.

fishing on Saturday

My best friends - girltime

Chonda Pierce - comedyToday’s Focus

We need incentives to make us stick with routines and goals for the long haul. I made a list today of reasons why I want to stick with a morning routine. I am planning to post this notecard on my bathroom mirror so that it will serve as a reminder while I am getting back into the habit of getting up.motivatorsI am also thinking of things to reward myself with when I reach some of the goals I am planning to set in the next few days. How are you making over your mornings?



Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/06/06/getting-back-into-the-morning-groove-day-4/

Jun 05

Getting Back in the Morning Groove – Day 3

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How it is Going

After several days of setting out my clothes the night before, I think this is gonna be a great habit for me. I am having the kids do this as well on days where we are headed somewhere in the morning. Since we are in a summer routine right now, our days are rather varied compared to our school schedule the rest of the year. I finally got some clips to install my new staging area for clothes, shoes and accessories for the next day. I decided I didn’t want to just throw them on a chair and this is what I came up with.

I installed removable hooks in my closet utilizing some wasted space and now I have a great place to hang my outfits for the next day. I also plan to place my shoes or accessories on top of the crate underneath my hooks.

Today’s Progress

Today my assignment was all about looking at your priorities and realizing that you can’t fit everything into a day. I realized that so far I have addressed all of these ideas before, it was just time to revisit my priority list and update it. I found a note on my phone where I had listed my priorities and I just organized them and added/deleted as needed to update them by order of importance to me at this time in my life. Here is my updated list.


The items on the right are things that I would love to add back into my schedule. These are things that are important to me, but because I have let my life get so crammed with busyness I don’t make time to do these things anymore. They are things that refresh me and fill me up. I am purposing to gradually make time for these things on my list. The must do items, or my BIG ROCKS as Crystal calls them are included in the list on the left. What are your priorities right now? Do you find yourself accomplishing them most of the time or do you fall into the trap of becoming a slave to the tyranny of the urgent?

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/06/05/getting-back-in-the-morning-groove-day-3/

Jun 03

Getting Back in the Morning Groove – Day 2

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Today I am thinking about the difficulty of starting any new routine. There is always a kink in the plan or a day where you have to be flexible. Today was one such day. I worked at my part-time job as a registered nurse for a twelve-hour night shift and my morning consisted of getting home, giving the kids some instructions for their morning and crawling into bed. I woke up groggy because my sleep was interrupted several times by the kids. I watched today’s section of the course and then completed the project late this afternoon. I was inspired to make a staging area in my closet to hang tomorrow’s clothing choices and I can’t wait for my errand run Friday to get what I need to make this idea a reality. Stay tuned for pics on Friday. I wrote down my simple five item list in the reminder app on my smartphone. I had an evening routine listed that I simply tweaked to be more applicable to where I am at the present moment. I have a new bedtime goal of in the bed by 10 and lights out by 10:30. I am hoping I can get more rest and also work on my reading list. How about you? Have you thought about an evening routine?

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/06/03/getting-back-in-the-morning-groove-day-2/

Jun 02

Getting Back in the Morning Groove – Day 1

affiliate links included in this post.


I am a morning kind of girl, but lately I have just lost my mojo. I have been staying up later, frittering away time and waking up tired. I noticed that MoneySavingMom was launching a 21-day course entitled, Make Over Your Mornings and I decided now was the time to get back in the groove. I am pumped! I need to get back into exercise, planning my day and executing the plan. We have been using the Confident Mom Summer Survival Calendar to pick a few  fun activities to do each week. We are also using the free Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner to guide us with our daily chores. It helps so much to have a checklist. I have even taught my oldest how to print our weekly sheet and get started with the younger kids on the daily chores. These are the things we are doing right, and now I am going to focus on the things that are slipping through the cracks, like my blogging, school planning music and crafting – things I enjoy, but have not been making time to do.

If you would like to join me, I will be blogging about my progress over the next three weeks. I am hoping to try to put up daily posts about my progress and share a little bit about our daily life along the way. If you want to look at the course, they are running a great special today over on the Make Over Your Mornings website. I am planning to work on the course each morning around 7am unless it is a day I am working, then I will just fit it in when I can.


Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/06/02/getting-back-in-the-morning-groove-day-1/

May 07

Meet the Allens ~ Sonlight Blog Party

Sonlight Blog Party


I decided to join the Sonlight Blog Party a little late. (If you know me in real life, this won’t surprise you.) With the craziness we have had around here since Christmas, it has left me rather uninspired and in a blogging funk. With the arrival of spring in these parts and the balm of the Holy Spirit washing my soul, I believe I am coming back to a place of inspiration with new life to share. I thought this monthly blogging challenge might be just the thing I needed to launch me back into writing again. If there is anything I am passionate about, it is homeschooling. Using Sonlight for the last four years has been a great fit for our family and we can’t see ourselves learning any other way at this point. Let me take a few minutes to introduce you to our family.


He is the strong leader of our family. Raised as a good Southern boy in the state of Georgia until he was 7 years old, David was then transplanted to Virginia where he attended local public schools and the renowned Virginia Tech college. He moved back to Georgia after college and began working as a landscape architect. We met at church and married as best friends in 1999. We have been doing this thing called life together for almost 16 years now. David’s hobbies are reading, genealogy, geocaching and all things history. He helps in our homeschool by assisting with writing projects and occasionally explaining concepts of higher math (We have only made it to Pre-Algebra so far with our kiddos). He also is a major contributor to the laundry and kitchen work, freeing me to be the teacher and nurse God has called me to be. He currently works as a Building and Zoning director for our county and co-teachers a four-year old class at our church.


A born and bred Southern girl, I have lived in Georgia all my life. I have homeschooled since second grade. My parents began homeschooling in the early eighties when it was not cool. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a second-generation homeschooler. I am spending my days walking in my mother’s footsteps and I am finding myself more and more grateful for her sacrifice of career as she strove to instill godliness, character and knowledge into our lives as we grew up. I spend my days planning, teaching and loving on the three kids God has given us and often a night or two a week as a pediatric nurse at our local hospital. I love reading, music, learning taking picnics with the family and contributing time and money to missions. I have taught piano, worked in hospice care and served as a short-term missionary to four different countries over the years.


drew back to  school













Drew is our outgoing twelve-year old. He is smart, witty and has a tender heart. He loves to read about all manner of things especially mysteries and history, take karate and have family game and movie nights. He loves to draw and write stories. He is a creative kid and can be found building with Legos or reading a book almost everyday. He is finishing up 7th grade and is a very diligent and studious kid. He is a blessing to our family and is becoming a young man very quickly.


luke back to school













Luke is our second-born nine-year old son. He is rough and tumble and loves to build with any materials he can find. His favorite “tools” right now are cardboard, duct tape and hot glue. He is funny, loving and keeps things interesting around our house with his pranks and notes he leaves around the house. He has an inventor’s heart and is always repurposing things. He loves being outside, working on the farm with his grandpa and is a great helper. He has recently developed a love for reading thanks to Sonlight’s 3rd grade readers. He will finish 3rd grade in a couple of weeks.















Lydia is our just turned five-year old and only girl. She was long anticipated and has been an entertainer from the beginning. She loves to snuggle, be with people and is already trying to read like her big brothers. She is imaginative, charming and an all around cute kid. She is inquisitive and energetic and keeps the whole family on our toes. She is a great conversationalist and is picking up all sorts of information by osmosis in our homeschool. She will start Kindergarten in the fall.

Now that you know a little more about our family, I look forward to sharing more with you as I blog through the Sonlight Blog Party Challenge.

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2015/05/07/meet-the-allens-sonlight-blog-party/

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.


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


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

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


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!




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/

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