Fig Sugar Body Scrub

Sugar scrup label photoAs you all know by now, I have a plethora of figs in the fall.  We can’t eat them fast enough or give them away enough!  And there is only so much fig jam I can eat, so I experimented with a variety of basic sugar scrubs adding in figs and came up with what I like to think is the perfect recipe!  I won’t give the secret recipe away but it only has three ingredients.  Figs, sugar and vanilla extract.  Yep, that’s it!  It’s the ratios and amounts that make all the difference and turn it into the perfect texture of a sugar scrub that smells amazing.

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Advent Calendar Activities – Simple, Easy and Fun!


Christmas Advent Calendar - Finished calendar side view


Some of you have asked what our advent calendar activities are that we wrote on slips of paper and included in our homemade recycled advent calendar.  So here is our list, though we had to reorder some of them because of snow storms, etc.  The nice thing is the kids don’t mind opening a different day if needed as they know they eventually will get to open all of them! Continue reading


Traveling for Thanksgiving with Kids?

This is a neat Thanksgiving travel packet to print out (on recycled paper of course!) 🙂 to keep your kids entertained on your Thanksgiving travels!

It has a variety of activities suitable for younger kids like coloring and drawing pages, but also for older kids with paper battleship game and cryptogram activity, choose your own math activity, etc.

Thanksgiving Travel Packet 2

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Office Organization – Recycled Materials and Free!

Homemade file sorter with scrap fabric

Homemade file sorter with scrap fabric

I’ve been telecommuting more frequently now which 1) is amazing and 2) means I have to organize my home office.  I’m very fortunate in that I have a separate room with doors and a handmade office desk that my hubby built when we first moved in (before kids when we actually had time to do those types of home improvement projects!).   Continue reading


Saving Green and Being Green for Back to School Lunches

It’s here!  School starts in a less than two weeks for us, so back to school time is officially here!  Are you ready?  Save some green and be green by AVOIDING the back to school shopping!  Before you run out to the stores to spend a small fortune on new school supplies, see what you have in your home that you can reuse from last year, or better yet, make your own when you can!

Here is what we already have from last year for this year’s back to school lunches.

Lunch bag/lunch box: Luckily she still likes Minnie Mouse, so we are going to reuse her insulated lunch bag.

Reusable water bottle: We had issues with leaky plastic water bottles last year so I bought this new metal one on sale earlier this year.

Lunch Containers for Back to School

Lunch Containers for Back to School

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Nature Scavenger Hunt

Nature Scavenger Hunt Ages 2-5As school is just around the corner and everyone is getting the “back to school” bug, you might be like me and trying to find ways to get your kids outside in these last few weeks of summer.

What better way than a Nature Scavenger Hunt!  My kids love doing these every so often in the nice weather, even in the not so nice weather, so here’s a printable I’m sharing with all of you FREE!

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Household Cleaning Checklist

If you are like me, you love lists!  Or maybe you hate lists but you feel like you need them to maintain your sanity.  Either way, here is a free checklist I created to keep track of my household cleaning tasks.

Household Cleaning Checklist Image

The free download is here:

Household Cleaning Checklist

If you’d like a Word version so you can customize it to your tasks and your situation, then feel free to email me at and I’d be happy to email you a Word version.  The neat thing about the Word version too is that you can click on the check boxes in Word and it will check off that item for you (for you electronic types).  🙂

For me, I just print out a copy, insert it in a page protector and use a dry erase marker to check off the items for that day/week/month/year.  For the annual/semi-annual items, I like to write in the day and month I did that task so I can keep track of when it was last completed.



Why I Can’t Go on Vacation in the Summer

I very much dislike going on vacation in the summer. Not because it’s too hot and humid to be outside. Not because any typical vacation spot is crowded with everyone else who is taking a summer vacation.

I can’t go on vacation in the summer because of my garden. Yep, you read that correctly.  I can deal with a few days here or there but I can’t be away for more than 3 or 4 days.  I learned my lesson.  I left for some hiking in the mountains and visit with my baby niece and returned to a dry, crisp bed of peas.  I didn’t set the water timer for the garden because we have newly planted trees that replaced dead ones and they desperately need to be watered to develop roots this summer.  So I had to choose…the expensive newly planted trees, or my garden.  I figured my garden could handle a few days without water.  I was wrong.

So this is the last of my early summer veggies:

The last of the early summer veggies


Luckily, the zucchinni, tomatoes and cucumbers seem to have done just fine, as are the small watermelon and butternut squash plants.  I had a little chat with them and promised them I would not leave them without water for that long again this summer.  I think they forgave me.  We’ll see in the coming weeks.   🙂



Summer Bucket List

Summer bucket listAfter the last day of school back in June, my oldest daughter and I sat down and each wrote a list of things we wanted to do this summer.  This is the first time she was in school (Kindergarten) so having the summer break was quite a new thing for our family. She is going to daycare with our youngest since both hubby and I work full time, but I still wanted to make the summer a special experience for her.

After we each wrote up our own list, we narrowed it down and came up with a top 20 list (shown above and listed below in case you can’t read my terrible handwriting).

1. Go camping (might do a tent in the backyard first to make sure our 2 year old can really handle sleeping outside).

2. Do lots of crafts (we are doing lots!)

3. Go to a farm (went to lavender farm already, planning on going to Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum too since we bought Groupon tickets a while ago – plus our neighbors’ children called my garden a farm so maybe our visits to grab some veggies from the backyard counts as a visit to the farm too?)   🙂

4. Flashlight tag

5. Buy a balloon and play towel game

6. Watch movies outside (our local city has free outdoor movie nights throughout the summer)

7. Go the pool

8. Telescope – look at moon and stars (trying to coordinate weekend night when they can stay up later with full moon for best viewing)

9. Solar smores and campfire cones

10. Melt crayons and make new crayons out of old broken ones (we did this last year and it was a hit)

11. Rainbow cupcakes

12. Do science experiments (we’ve done these in the past and they love them!)

13. Watch fireworks

14. Go on boat ride

15. Flip flop cookies

16. Go to zoo

17. Picnic at the park

18. Make Hawaiin Punch (my kids drink water and milk so any type of juice or fruit punch is a big treat for them)

19. Nature Scavenger Hunt (I’m still working on the sheet for this one and will share when I have it finished!)

20. Summer Reading Programs (I signed both kids up for our local library’s summer reading program. They get coupons and little toys (unfortunately plastic ones like a rubber ducky) for reading certain number of books.  My 6 year old is reading alot on her own but for my 2 year old, they said to track the books we read to her so she can still get in on the fun.  I think it’s so cute they let the wee little ones partake even though they can’t read yet.)


We tried to keep it as “green” as possible (both environmentally and financially) with things we already have around the house, but I just couldn’t convince her to delete the “buy balloon and play towel game” item as she LOVES balloons and while I know they are so bad for the environment, I just couldn’t say no to this one.

I just realized it’s almost the end of July, there are only 5 weeks left of summer and we haven’t crossed many things off our list yet:

Summer bucket list July

I figure if I post it up here, then it gives some sort of accountability – like now that someone else out there knows our list, I HAVE to make sure we do it!  On the other hand, there are several things we have done this summer NOT on this list that created some wonderful memories like our hiking adventure and playing near a waterfall in the Shenandoah Mountains, and seeing one of our nieces that we hadn’t seen in almost 2 years!  So I guess if a few things don’t get done off this list, it’s ok as we’ve made up with some other even better activities and memories this summer.  Right?

If you’d like to create your own summer bucket list, I got the fun image from here on Motherhood on a Dime.

What are your fun summer to-do’s?  Share a comment below!