Romance Reads

With the holiday all about hearts just around the corner, here’s a great list of KINDLE reads for under $2! Whether you’re flying solo this year or cuddling a cutie, hopefully you find some entertainment in these titles.

Please let me know in the comments which ones you’ll enjoy.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day!

More Pets

How will you love your pets? Maybe take your dog for an extra lap around the block? Or give your cat a new toy? Splurge for crickets and make your lizard happy?

How ever you choose to celebrate this glorious day, I thought it fun to reflect on the joy our pets bring us. Share the love and photos of your pets with hashtag #loveyourpetday

According to the CDC “Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners.”

And according to this survey, dogs are the cat’s meow in the US.


Dogs are the most likely to show you love with parrots coming in second. According to experts in this article, cats are at #8 because they are thought to view us humans as servants.

Servant or not, I myself am a cat person (we have 7) however, I love my dogs like they are my children, and we will be showing our pets some affection today with some of the products below.

Squeaky Toys are a fan favorite among canine companions. This stuffing-less version is great for not making a huge mess when the squeaker has been retrieved. 

Cat Wands are a big deal for small kittens and provide hours of playtime to the furry felines. These are a great deal for the value. 

Aquarium upgrades is a good way to show gill owners some love. This 6-gallon 360 view model is perfect for our growing fish family.

Bird Toys are not our forte as we haven’t ventured down the feathered friend path (yet) but these colorful choices aren’t boring.

Cave Decor would be my pick if I had a gecko… how cute is this little ladder?

Chew Toys for small mammals are easy. Keep it simple, I say and the minis will be pleased.

Well, whatever your pet preference, even a rock, I hope you’ll give your furry, feathered, scaly or otherwise living family members some extra attention today.

Amazon pets:

RV Kitchen Must-haves For Your Camping Trip

Camping season is approaching!

If you’re a camping newbie or an avid RV’er, this post is for you.


I’ve comprised some handy kitchen tools to keep in the camper for ease of use and comforts of home. Take a look and don’t be shy! Add your own “must-haves” in the comments at the bottom of the page.

           Coffee maker: I can’t get through a day without a fresh brewed cup of coffee (we’re not instant people) We love this one because of the stainless steel carafe! Our last pot shattered after we hit a big bump. EEK!   Check out all the details here > COFFEE MAKER

Camping Coffee Maker

Electric skillet: Easy peasy eggs and bacon on one griddle! (need I say more)  THIS skillet  is great because it’s foldable and easy to transport.

Electric Griddle Skillet for Camping




 OR combine the first two items for the ultimate breakfast center:

Camping Breakfast Station Coffee Maker Toaster Skillet

Crockpot: In the summertime, running the stovetop or oven can make the interior of the RV unnecessarily HOT! A crockpot saves time, gas and your sweat glands. We like this one because it’s compact, pretty and the stoneware is oven and dishwasher safe.

Camping Crockpot Slow Cooker Baking Dish

 And here’s a cookbook to go along with it.

Camping Crockpot Sloow Cooker Recipe Cookbook

This set of pots and pans is stellar with ceramic cooking surface they are a breeze to wipe out and save water!

Ceramic Camping Pots and Pans Set

Having a collapsible Strainer makes rinsing and washing easy but saving space is top priority and if we can combine a cutting board and a dish tub all in one foldable space saving miracle we’re winning!

Collapsible Strainer Cutting Board Dish Tub


This colorful knife set includes wall mounting Magnetic Knife Strip which stores your knifes conveniently in hands reach and saves valuable drawer space in the camper kitchen.

Knife Set with Wall mount Magnetic Hanging Strip


For all your other kitchen hanging needs we keep a package of these hooks on hand

Wall Hooks

The last thing on my list are quick dry dish cloths that have a multitude of uses in RV life


I hope this list helps you get going with your kitchen on the road and please comment with any thing you can’t live with out in your RV kitchen.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, however my opinions are my own and I only share products I think relevant and helpful to my readers.

Thank you for your purchases as every click and order helps keep this blog going and bringing more posts you love!


Cups of Order

You can’t pour from an empty cup. So they say.

water glass

I agree to an extent, but which cup are we pouring from? Which cup are we pouring into?

During this time of year, everyone is putting resolutions to the test and at the top of most people’s list is getting organized.

I’m far from organized but, today, I had an epiphany.

I’m putting it to the test and maybe you will find it helpful in your own crazy life.

As I was doing the dishes, for the umpteenth time, I started thinking about how disorganized I am, how much I procrastinate, and how disappointed it all makes me feel.

Maybe your life doesn’t look like mine but you can fill in the titles with your own “cups.”

Okay, it sounds a little crazy, but I’m taking that phrase and using it as a tool.

Yes, I have a cup. I have many!

My husband needs a cup.

I’m a mom, so I have a cup for my kids and their general care and needs.

I have a house that needs tending so there needs to be a cup for that too.

I am an entrepreneur; I’ll need a business cup.

We homeschool, so a cup for that as well!

Then, my own personal cups for health, wellbeing, and fun! (separate cups and you’ll see why later)


Getting organized isn’t as simple as making a list, getting it done, and feeling great about yourself., not for everyone. It’s complicated, when life gets in the way, you find yourself lost, angry, depressed, and alone. I do, anyway.

If you’ve got your life in order and you’re happy with it as is, then this post is not for you; however, you may find some new tools to implement and improve on things, just don’t judge me and how pathetic my approach might seem. M’kay?

For me, it’s a mental struggle. I’ve talked about perfectionism getting the better of me in the past and while, I’ve overcome it a little, it still stifles my full potential.

This year’s one little word is “progress.”

So, to help get organized, I’m making lists. AAAH the dreaded lists. They go on and on and they’re everywhere, but I hardly ever check anything off them. It’s sad. Poor little lists being neglected, just like all the areas in my life I’ve left untended. Anyway, here’s the plan:

Decide on the cups. (mine are above) List them at the top of a page making columns.

Think and reflect about what that cup looks like when it’s full. Your ideal version of that part of your life. If you need to try a visualization exercise, try to quiet your mind, close your eyes and see yourself or the people or the space and how you imagine you would LOVE it to be.

From your perspective and seeing your ideal version of that aspect of life, choose some key words that reflect what that looks like and list them in the column for that cup. Do this for each.

Then decide what tasks will help achieve those words or your vision and list them too.

This brainstorming exercise can help us understand what we want for our self and our life. By writing it down, we’ll have something to reference back to and keep building on. As time goes on, our ideal life might change, as life often does.


With all these cups and all the hats many of us wear, from careers to caregivers, pet owners and parents, How, you ask can we pull this off?

Letting go of perfection and accepting that you may not be able to FILL all the cups everyday will be hard, but necessary for piece of mind and easing the stress of it all.

So, my plan is to not be too concerned with filling any cups to the brim, but at least pouring a little into each as needed, whether it be every day or once a week.


So, let’s get to it.

You’re chart of cups will be different from mine, but I’ll use today as an example:

Husband – Kids- Home- Work-Homeschool- Self care- Health- Fun

CUP: Husband- He works in the afternoons, so our time is limited. In the morning, filling his cup is quite simple, a hug and a smile and he’s good. Later, I’ll send him a thoughtful text “I miss you” and when he comes home, I’ll greet him with another hug and a kiss.

Cup: Kids- There’s six of them, so that means six individual cups of love and affection, wiping faces and hands, feeding, reading, playing. My plan of attack happens sporadically throughout the day and combines with my homeschooling cup. Kids, are resilient. They need a few basic things and their cup is FULL. The most important thing for a parent to do is listen. Filling their cups requires undivided attention, so put your phone away, turn the TV or Roku off and just meet eyes with them. Ask them a compelling question and respond accordingly. Of course, food, water, a roof and clothing are all part of being a parent and supplying those things day in and day out might seem like filling a kids cup but not in this sense. Your warmth, compassion, understanding and attention are the four most important things to fill their cups with.

Cup: Home- This cup is my hardest to fill. I take the position that the dust isn’t going anywhere, I’ll just get back in the bed later, and we can use clean dishes out of the dishwasher. I talk myself out of filling this cup until company is coming, then it’s a Chinese fire drill to make it look like we don’t live here. Sheesh! So for the Home cup, I’m committing myself to let the kids help, which fills their cups a little too, spending time with me, learning, and feeling important. (simply thanking them for balling folding up the washcloths makes them feel good) I’m also going to follow the philosophy of “do it now” I read in an inspirational blog about organizing. Don’t forget, I’m a huge procrastinator! Huge! So, in my earlier post about keeping house, I’m going to take my own advice and make the bed first thing in the morning. And when the washer or dryer dings, I’ll drop what I’m doing to tend to that monstrous mound of moldy laundry (it’s not really moldy, I just liked the alliteration) Progress is getting one load of laundry a day washed dried, folded, and put away. Progress is keeping the sink empty. Progress is having someone drop by ANY time and not feeling ashamed or embarrassed because we LIVE here.

Cup: Work- I feel like I’m constantly pouring into this cup and all the others dry up because of it. I’ve taken a long break from my Etsy shop and turned down a couple of jobs to sit back and get some perspective. Getting organized doesn’t just mean filing a few papers and sorting through nick-knacks, it’s a mental practice as well. Figuring out where all the best things in life fit into your days, weeks, months and years. So I’ve stopped pouring SO much into this cup and started prioritizing what I do pour by necessity and timeframe.

Cup: Homeschool- For me, this cup will only get bigger as time moves on. Currently, I have two school age students I report to the state for and two school age that are still under the radar. The little two are at a learn-through-play stage and we’re pretty set on a schedule for everyone learning and growing at home. This cup could be a little fuller by way of field trips and excursions, but right now it’s winter, and I’m not lugging everyone down our icy hill for an hour-long activity, 3 hours away. That said, we’ll be cooking together, and reading together, integrating real life skills in our learning.

Cup: Self- care- As a mom, this cup is a little more difficult to pour into. I’m working hard to take time for my self, fixing my hair or painting my nails, even rubbing lotion on these tired hands is a daunting task because I think of all the things that I could be doing instead. Making time to exercise or take a nap needs to be a priority. The plan, at least once a week (to start), I’ll devote one hour for self care, whether it be a bath, a massage, a manicure etc. and as time allows, it may become more frequent but scheduling a block of time out just for me will be my way of filling this cup, if only just a little.

Cup: Health- I’ve battled several symptoms and struggles over the years from depression, to thyroid disease. I’ve taken action to change my eating habits and environmental toxins to alleviate some of it, but I have a long way to go. Making sure I drink at least 2 glasses of water everyday is literally going to fill up this cup for me. I struggle to ingest anything besides caffeine until 2 pm so focusing on cleansing and keeping hydrated will help fill this cup.

Cup: Fun- If we can’t let our hair down and have a little fun once in a while, what is all the rest of it for? This cup is a little easier to fill with friends like mine. We get together often and a night out with the girls never disappoints! Filling this cup is not exclusivly having time away from everyday life, though. Adding a few elements of fun to some of the mundane tasks, fills multiple cups at a time. An example is playing a little music and opening a window. Papa bear is doing dishes in the kitchen, I’m vacuuming, the kids are picking up and folding some laundry… and there’s music. The melody and upbeat tune kicks things up to an all out dance party while doing our tasks. Guess how many cups this fills? ALL OF THEM! The look between me and my husband during the festivities fills his cup. We’re all dancing and singing together fills up the kids’ cups, the house work is getting done, the little ones are learning life skills,  the sawdust is getting vacuumed up, I’m getting a little exercise, the air is getting cleaner and we’re all having fun!!!


I hope this post helps to inspire you to fill your own cups and please leave a comment with your own tips for resolute organizing and life skills.


Have a great day!



Confessions of homeschool mom

Journal Entry from February, 2019


Hi! It’s been well over a year from the last time I shared a blog post

…and that is what it’s like to be a homeschool mom.

If you read my book, you’re familiar with my philosophies and know that I believe homeschooling, like most things in life, is about balance. Success is fleeting when you stay focused on the negative.

We’ve had our fair share of bad days, today happens to be one of them. So, I figured, I would let you all in and finally get around to writing, posting, and taking some time for the things I enjoy.

I awoke to the sound of kids fighting. Specifically, one child calling another child’s name repeatedly, in a whining, scolding tone. Over. And over. And over.

Then, the telltale sounds of heaving and coughing; only it wasn’t a child. It was a cat. Commence morning routine, add cat-vomit cleanup.

Pancakes are made, but not without children arguing over who gets to crack the egg, or pour the milk, or whisk it all together.

The bickering continued even after the bearded man yells out, “STOP IT!” and “GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!”

I usually have a bit more patience in times like this, but this week I am preparing for an event and it seems every time I turn around I have another obstacle to overcome. So, with the event approaching, I’m a bit more on edge and irritable than usual (at least I’m aware of my crankiness and try to keep it to myself).

Okay, pancakes eaten and no one brings their plate to the sink (they usually do help out and take care of their dishes) and have begun some of their individual activities. One sets up to paint, another working on a research project, two reading quietly, and the smallest of the bunch were playing nicely. Things have settled down, and I’m getting some work done. Enter bearded man.

He’s upset that no one brought their plates in. He’s telling them they need to clean up and do some housework.

In my head, I think, ‘but they just got quiet, stopped bickering, and were all engaged in enriching activities!’ I say nothing.

The day continues as I accidentally drop a wet sign and get paint all over the kitchen floor and in my haste to try to catch the falling board, I get paint on my hand. Then, dumb-wittingly touch said hand to my forehead in grief of how the day has been, and subsequently smear paint on my face. It’s spray paint by the way. On my face. Black spray paint.

All the while, I’m scrambling to get ready for my event, stopping the kids from killing each other, listening on high alert for more cat vomit, I forget about the paint on my face. Every encounter with anyone for the rest of the day ensues laughter of course… and here I am, just trying to get things done.

Well, one thing I know, it could be worse. A lot worse! And this day has been a struggle, but I know there’s always tomorrow to make up for it or make it seem like a great day.

Anyway, at this point we still have half a day to go so, wish me luck!


Hope you’re having a better day than me:)

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Temperatures are at all time low nationwide, are you staying warm?

Follow these tips and tricks to turn up the heat and keep the cold at a distance.

Compiled here are a ton of ways to keep warm and still enjoy the deep freeze!


Record breaking cold weather sweeping the nation January 2018

From here’s 8 ways to keep your home warm in the winter:

Some more great ideas from


THIS CHECKLIST courtesy of :

If you absolutely HAVE to spend any amount of time outdoors in frigid temperatures, remember these bundling basics from

For the pet parents, please don’t neglect these seven cold weather safety tips from


To keep you from going stir crazy, came up with these 100 fun winter activities

Stay warm out there folks and be sure to add any of your own winter warm up tips and tricks to the comments!



A New Year, A New You

The new year has arrived! Happy 2017 to all four of you.

If you follow Blog is Where the Home is on Facebook, you might have seen my photos from the first two days of the new year and caught on to my two resolutions.

  1. 365 days of yoga
  2. Fun everyday

Do you have any resolutions for the new year?

Maybe you want to lose those extra 5 or 50 lbs. or maybe you resolve to eat healthy, read more or just get better organized, but whatever your goals in the new year I hope you succeed!

The key to achieving your aspirations lies in you and the best way to approach reaching the finish line is taking it one day at a time.

Which is what I’ll be doing. This holiday season has been tough on me. I’ve battled depression for most of my life and the past few weeks have been particularly bleak. I’ve been struggling to get out of bed and stay out of bed. I’ve had no desire to do the wonderful things I’ve always enjoyed. I’m working on it, one day at a time.

Using yoga to lift my spirits, and nourish my body and mind while making sure to incorporate one fun activity will bring me closer to my kids and hopefully lift this depressing funk.

But, enough about me, this post is for you!

You can overcome your self doubt just by saying two simple words, “I can.”

So when you feel down, or not good enough, simply say “I can…”

When you think it’s too hard or too much, say it!

If you’re task is great, try to break it down into smaller tasks and take it one small win at a time, one day at a time.


Tell me your resolutions in the comments and check out Blog is Where the Home is on Facebook for inspiration and to follow my journey. I hope to encourage others to achieve their goals and selfishly am using this blog to stay on track.


I wish you all the best in this new year and always!


Love & gratitude,





Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe {from scratch with love}

Growing up in our house, Thanksgiving was a big deal! Turkey, potatoes, vegetables… you name it, it was on our table. We couldn’t have Thanksgiving dinner without all the trimmings, including cranberry sauce!

Only, the sauce on our table wasn’t a sauce at all.


It was more like a jello mold in the shape of a can sliced thin and laid on a plate. Which is exactly what it was.

Fast forward 30 or so years and my own foodie journey began researching and eliminating GMO’s, artificial flavors, colors and ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and carageenan. At our Thanksgiving table (present day) you will not find jellied slices of red 40 and high fructose corn syrup. NO! At our table you will find a bowl of creamy sweet cranberries, water and sugar. That’s right, three ingredients that are easy to pronounce and you may already have in your kitchen (one would hope). The best part about it is it will take about the same time to make as it does to drive to the store buy the can, come home, open and slice the jellied artificial version: about 15 minutes. The price is als0 comparable where as 12 oz. of fresh cranberries is $2.50 and an 8 oz. can of jellied cranberry sauce is $1.25, both on sale right now.

Here is my easy recipe I hope you try and let me know how it fairs in comparison to the canned stuff!

Rinse DSC_8589.JPG








Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe {from scratch with love}


12 oz. fresh cranberries

3/4 water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Optional additional/substitutions

equal parts water and orange juice

replace 1/4 cup sugar with honey



  1. Rinse cranberries, picking out mushy or unripe berries.
  2. Boil water
  3. Add cranberries, boil 5-10 minutes, until all split open
  4. Drain, strain, then blend OR do not drain or strain, simply use liquid immersion blender(my method) right in the pan.
  5. Bring back to a boil.
  6. Add sugar, stirring gently for 1 minute.
  7. Remove from heat, allow to cool and refrigerate up to 7-10 days.



The great thing about this recipe is you can process in a hot water bath for canning and keep for a year!

Also, if you are the kind of person who needs the jello texture, you can easily add gelatin and voila! Jellied cranberry sauce.



Crust-less Apple Crisp Recipe {from scratch with love}

There are a few things in this world that I feel confident enough to brag about. This recipe is one of those things; with only 6 ingredients and a few short steps, anyone can make this family favorite!

My mama usually comes to visit us on Mondays, and if she had the choice, she would eat my meatloaf and apple crisp every. single. Monday!

I’m not a pie person. I’m also not a cooked apple person. Heck, I’m not even a dessert person, but THIS, I will leave plenty of room, because the combination of a crispy struessel topping and sweet melt-in-your-mouth apple filling is addicting to the taste buds and keeps you coming back for more.

You will thank me for this one!


Crust-less Apple Crisp {from scratch with love }



3/4 c. unsalted butter (softened)

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. brown sugar


10-12 medium apples (peeled, cored, chopped)

1 c. white sugar

3/4 tsp. cinnamon


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.*
  2. Grease 9 x 13 baking dish with butter (alternative options: coconut oil, vegetable shortening or cooking spray)
  3. Make Topping by mixing butter, flour and brown sugar to a crumble texture, set aside.
  4. Add apples, white sugar, and cinnamon to baking dish fold to coat.
  5. Spread Streussel on top of apple mixture.
  6. Bake at 350* for one hour or until toasty and light brown
  7. Serve warm with ice cream and enjoy!


Personally, my kids love the process! They have fun watching me peel/core/cut the apples with this nifty tool and fight for the last shred of apple skin!



Timeless Corn Pudding Recipe (From Scratch With Love)

At 25 years old, I hadn’t even heard of corn pudding. It sounded similar to bread pudding (which I despise). But, when I sat down for the first Thanksgiving with my future in-laws, I was polite. I tried it.

Had Darryl and I never made it through that first year, I still would have been in love…with this dish!

Of course, I had to have the recipe as does anyone who tries this delectable treat among the potatoes and bird on the table. It’s THAT good!

Thankfully, my Mother-in-law was happy to share her Aunt Lorretta’s side dish with me and with permission, I can share it with all (4) of you!

The original recipe is very easy to make, putting all the ingredients in a baking dish and popping it in the oven, my from-scratch version is just as easy, but with a few measuring spoons instead of a box of mix.


So I’ll lay them both out for you:

Timeless Corn Pudding {from scratch with love }


1/2 c. (one stick) butter

2 12 oz. bag frozen corn

1/2 c. sour cream

2 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 & 1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. cornmeal

5 TBS. sugar

1 TBS baking powder


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.*
  2. Grease 9 x 13 baking dish with butter (alternative options: coconut oil, vegetable shortening or cooking spray)
  3. Melt the stick of butter in a small sauce pan.
  4. Add 1/4 c. water and one bag of frozen corn to another saucepan and bring to a boil. let simmer 5 minutes. Using a stick blender, blend until creamy.
  5. Mix the first five ingredients together in the baking dish.
  6. In a medium bowl, stir together all dry ingredients.
  7. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well
  8. Bake at 350* for one hour or until golden yellow.
  9. For a firmer top, broil low for a few minutes keeping watch not to burn.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!



Now for the original

Timeless Corn Pudding {not from scratch but still with love }


1/2 c. (one stick) butter (soft enough to stir)

1 can whole kernel corn

1 can cream corn

8 oz. sour cream

2 large eggs

1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

5 TBS. Sugar


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.*
  2. Grease 9 x 13 baking dish with butter (alternative options: coconut oil, vegetable shortening or cooking spray)
  3. Mix all wet ingredients in the baking dish.
  4. Add in dry ingredients.
  5. Stir until combined.
  6. Bake at 350* for one hour or until golden yellow.
  7. For a firmer top, broil low for a few minutes keeping watch not to burn.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!



Not only is this recipe a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving plate, alongside the turkey and sweet potatoes, it’s also perfect for breakfast or to eat as a snack (which is what I’m doing right now). I strategically waited for the kids to go to bed before making this batch for the blog, so I can eat as much as I want. Mmm! Mmm! Mmm!

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