Who does a weekly Family Night? We’ve sort of tried to in the past, but I could count the number of times we actually followed through on one hand. Pretty sad! This year I want to really make a better attempt at it, despite our crazy schedules with dance, karate, school and work! I know I need to be a lot more organized to pull this off, so I pulled up this awesome Printable Family Home Evening Planner for Busy Moms from few years ago to use!
The colors & style match really well with our 2018 Free Printable Planner, so you can stick it right in with the other fabulous pages! This 2-page printable for Family Home Evening has spots for practically EVERYTHING I need to successfully plan and prepare for your fun night together! There’s sections for keeping track of assignments….
At the top you can put the Theme for that month, and there’s a handy NOTES section at the bottom of one page!
I love that there’s a cute section just for Family Goals, since we’re working on some things together as a family this coming year. Teamwork all the way!
On the right page of the spread, you can fill in each week’s specific TOPIC, so preparing the lesson will be that much easier!
I really enjoy quotes, so I even included a specific area where you can fill in a theme-appropriate (or just one you really like!) to give some thought and inspiration during the month.
Along the line of loving quotes….I put two WONDERFUL family quotes from Uchtdorf (one of my favorite speakers) and one from Thomas S. Monson along the bottom of each page!
I know this planner will be uber helpful this coming year, and can do wonders helping us keep up with our goal! It’ll take a little time getting use to it, especially when the younger kids have the lesson and need ‘some’ help. I’ll try to look at it as a great learning time and quality teaching moment, hopefully that’ll make me a little less short-tempered! I know it’ll be great, though, and can’t wait to start learning even more about the gospel with my sweet family!
Print Pages Here
Family Home Evening Planner – Left Side
Family Home Evening Planner – Right Side
Don’t forget to check out our full 2018 Free Printable Planner for busy moms!
I have a major problem functioning when a room is in total chaos. If I have to spend forever to find something among piles of other somethings, forget it! For example, we’re currently remodeling my kids’ huge loft playroom. But with so much stuff, where was I to put it all? Thank goodness you can Organize Your Life with the Container Store! Originally shared in 2015, but the big ELFA sale is back and I just had to reshare!
When we decided to makeover their playroom, I knew that one of the major things I wanted to change was where their million toys, action figures, costumes, legos, cars and other kid-stuff was stored. Up until now, it took over my hallway linen closet. For a visual….
See any towels, bedding or other normal ‘linen closet’ items in there? You wouldn’t, because none of that stuff would fit! I wanted it OUT of my storage place, and nicely organized in their HUGE playroom…they’ve definitely got the space for it! I picked out one of their corner areas where I wanted their storage to be….
That corner…totally blank except the couch and occasional forts. Plenty of space to move stuff around! I painted it from the blah ‘Arctic Frost’ color that our house came in to a Pebble Grey on the walls and normal white for the ceiling. Then I headed to The Container Store near us…in Frisco/Plano area…and had the AMAZING people there help us out!
I got so excited, because their Elfa Storage Solutions are ON SALE RIGHT NOW through February 11th! That’s a full 30% off all Elfa products AND 30% off installation services! We actually find it totally simple to install Elfa systems, so choose to do it ourselves. It’s awesome! The store will even help you DESIGN YOUR SPACE FOR FREE. Yup, they’re awesome! We gave them the measurements, then they worked with us to figure out exactly what type of stuff we needed. They even helped us choose between things so we could stick to our budget!
We stuck with the platinum, since it will go with our playroom theme great (shhh…that’s coming soon!) I also love how durable and safe the Elfa stuff is…there’s a slit at the top runner, so it’s not like the kids could slide the down hooks off themselves.
They also have end pieces you can put on so the edges of the shelves LOOK nicer, and are more safe against rough or pokey edges!
After just a little bit, we had our shelving and drawers all set up!
Then it was just a matter of organizing all of the kids’ stuff out there! As we were putting their toys here, we did decide to make a couple changes as to where things went (drawers lower, etc.) and it was a super quick and easy switch!
I’m totally in love with this…how it LOOKS, how EASY it was, how FLEXIBLE, and how much the kids are loving the simplicity of getting out and putting things away! I’m totally in love with how ORGANIZED things stay, too, since even my youngest can figure out where things are suppose to go with this!
So contact your nearest Container Store, have them help you (for FREE) design your own space – whether it’s a playroom, closet, garage, or bedroom – and take advantage of the amazing Elfa sale before you miss out this year!
This post is sponsored as part of a #SwifferFanatic Ambassadorship. All opinions & experiences are my own.
Have you moved a lot in your adult life? Since getting married, hubby and I have done four BIG moves – one between states! Every time it’s difficult – leaving friends and family, getting use to new areas and roads, plus all the hassle of packing and redecorating! But there’s one big advantage – a CLEAN SLATE! You get to start over with organizing and decorating your house, setting it up how you want and dream. Kind of fun, right? To help with the less exciting parts, here’s The 5 Best Moving Tips I’ve learned through the years.
Now, I’m not going to tell you how to pack, or the ideal boxes to use – those types of things vary too much between each person and their preferences. But these things are pretty universal, in my opinion, and great for more easy moving.
Tip #1: Use Color-Coded Stickers to Help Movers
Whether you have help from movers or friends, they’re not going to know what room is ‘Bobbies Bedroom’ or even what floor things are in. Heck, even YOU may forget – and although writing on the box is helpful to a point, it takes longer to write them, and to read it. Instead, take some really cheap stickers – either colored, or get white and use markers to color them.
For multi-story homes, pick a color for each floor. I did RED for the main floor because it’s like ‘STOP at this floor’. The 2nd floor was Green for ‘Good go GO Upstairs’. Then a 2nd sticker was on the box, matching a BIG sticker outside each room….
Then it’s just an easy glance to know where each box goes!
Tip #2: Clean the floors AFTER moving everything
Since footprints, dirt from boxes or even hair and fluff from pets or couches will still be getting on the floor, wait until everything’s cleared out, THEN give the floors a good cleaning! For the people moving INTO our old house, I wanted it super clean for them but didn’t have much time – so used my trusty Swiffer Sweeper&Vac to get the hair and fluff, then the Swiffer WetJet to give it a clean shine and get the last of that dirt. After we got into our new house, it just took a tiny bit to get our new wood floors shining after all the mover footprints!
Tip #3: Add Felt to Furniture Feet Before Moving
Your movers come to take your sofa out, only to leave a nice new scratch on the floor for your home buyers. Oops! Best to add the felt before things are moved, to protect the floors so the new owners can enjoy their new home in as best condition as possible.
You also don’t want to wait until your piano gets put on your shiny new wood floors to put on the felt pads, since just one little nudge could leave a permanent scratch. Same goes for tables, chairs, couches, etc. that will be on scratch-able floors. Put the felt pads on before bringing them in to make sure they’re secure, and to make certain your new floor is protected.
Tip #4: Quick Fixes with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Before handing over keys to the new owners, clean up random scuffs and marks along the floors, base boards and such with a Magic Eraser for an extra good CLEAN SLATE. Also go around in YOUR new place to erase any marks – you want it as shiny and new as possible, right?
Tip #5: Leave Your Buyers a Thoughtful Gift
Even if it’s just a cute ‘home’ keychain for the house keys as you turn them over, it will really make them feel special that you took a moment for a quick extra thought for them. At our last home, we even left our buyers a whole Swiffer Green Box (thank you Swiffer!) to help them with their own clean slate, as well as a watering can for the window flowers. It’s the little things that count!
What are YOUR best moving tips?
I’ve talked about my house before and how we moved back into it after three years away and how we are making some updates to the house. One of the things about moving back into this house is that we are moving in with fewer family members, so we have extra rooms. I decided that I wanted to make one of the extra upstairs bedrooms my craft room, which is so awesome, but was going to take some work. It had been occupied by both my youngest child and my grandsons. One of the walls had a lot of issues, so my husband and I decided to try our hand at Wall Texturing. Actually, he already knew what he was doing, I had no clue.
Is it still cold where you live? It’s still stinkin’ cold here and will probably be cold for another 3 months or so. Also, where I live the wind blows so bad, so many days, and it comes right in my doors. You see, I live in an older house and while this house is a work in progress, the doors are kind of drafty. Not so awesome when it’s 10 degrees outside. I put a towel at the front door and a blanket at the back door to help, but it was kind of tacky, so I made an Easy DIY Draft Catcher for each door. These babies are easy to make and really do help.
This is Louie. I’m pretty sure he liked the blanket at the back door more than he likes the draft catcher. He seems to lay a little bit away from the door now instead of right next to it. He just stares at the draft catcher. Kind of funny really. Poor mistreated cat.
This is what was at my front door before I decided to make it a little less tacky.
As I said, these are super easy to make. First, measure the doorway of where you want it to go and add 4 inches. Cut the fabric to that length and 10 inches wide. I used a metal tape measurer because I didn’t have a fabric one long enough for the back door fabric.
Fold the fabric in half, lengthwise, and sew along two sides. Trim the edges.
Cut the corner to take the point off of the fabric, as shown in the picture below. The turn the fabric right side out.
To stuff the draft catcher, you will need some fiberfill and bigger dried beans, like pinto beans.
To fill, first put about 2 cups of beans in the draft catcher. Then put some fiberfill in, to measure about a foot of fiberfill. Repeat until it is filled.
A couple of tips. First, when you’re adding your fiberfill, use a yard stick to push it down and pack it is well, a little at a time. Second, use a canning funnel to add the beans. I have beans all over the place now because I dropped some and Louie ran off with them.
You want to finish with beans and a small amount of fiberfill, as shown below. The beans on the ends help hold it in place.
Turn the edges under and sew the end closed. This will be a little tricky. Squish the filling down so you have room to sew the end closed. When you’ve got it closed, move it around a little to fill in where you squished it down.
Finally, you have a lovely draft catcher to keep the draft out of your house. This will help keep you warmer and help with your heating costs. The perfect win-win in my book. Do you have drafty doors or windows? You could use these at window openings too. Stay warm out there!
Other DIY Home Projects you may like…
Have you ever started on a project, got part of the way through it and decided that you wanted to go a completely different direction? This is that project for me. I bought these two tables for really great prices and thought I might fix them up and sell them for lots more than the price I paid. Today I am going to tell you about my Stenciled Tables, how I stencil and the outcome of said tables. They look nothing like they did when I bought them, that’s for sure.
As many of you already know, we recently moved so we could be closer to Hubby’s job. Even though selling our old house, which we truly loved, was that biggest hassle and stress of the whole thing, we also had many headaches when buying our new one. Since there’s already enough to worry about when moving, I want to help you out with 5 Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid – and hopefully you’ll have less of a headache than we did!
I told Hubby that if we ever have to move again (because I never want to) we’re going to be much smarter with the home loan process! I wish we had looked more into What To Expect and prepared ourselves. Here’s some tips to help YOU!
1: Not Knowing What You Can Really Afford
Many people don’t realize that just because they QUALIFY for a certain amount of home, doesn’t mean they can realistically afford the payments, insurance, taxes and everything for it. You can use a Mortgage Loan Calculator to play with numbers to get an idea of what you’re looking for. Decide what you’re comfortable with, and do NOT let anyone pressure you to go higher!
2: Not Knowing All Associated Costs Ahead of Time
Of course you know about down payments and such, but there’s so many other closing costs to discuss! Will the seller be covering any of it, such as title? What are the costs of an inspection, appraisal, etc. and when are they due? We ran into many expenses that we weren’t planning on, and some were due even before we closed, such as Earnest Money! Be prepared, and plan on more than you think in case something unexpected comes up. The new Capital One digital home loan experience is empowering potential homebuyers to take charge, while providing them the transparency they want and need every step of the way.
3: Expecting Timing to Work Perfectly
We had cash buyers for our home that wanted us to close and move out REALLY fast – and since we were buying a new-build home with no current owners that had to move out, we thought we could get into it the exact same day. That’d be perfect, right? Nope! Just one little piece of paper can move your closing date by several days. Have a back-up plan in case you can’t move in RIGHT on the day you thought, and be prepared for that to happen to avoid more tears (I shed plenty!)
4: Not Completing Your Paperwork on Time and Accurately
Like I said above, one piece of paperwork or one missed signature can delay your closing by quite a bit – perhaps even resulting in you having to start the process all over again if you wait too long! When you get a request for a document, follow through quickly. It’s also a good idea to VERIFY EXACTLY what they’re needing, as some of it may be confusing. Available in select markets, new Capital One digital home loan experience allows customers to pre-qualify for a home loan in minutes from any device, apply online, upload documents and digitally track progress from application to closing. It also includes personalized service from a dedicated loan officer when a customer needs it. Utilize the resources available to you, track your progress with the application and don’t hesitate to ask for help from your loan officer!
5: Not Asking For More
If the seller of your desired home is motivated, you can ask for more! Don’t get greedy, but negotiating a few extras or a lower price doesn’t hurt. Now, if there’s many people after the same house then the sellers aren’t going to want to give more than they have to. This is where it’s good to know the market, and get a feel for how desperate the sellers are. Our realtor negotiated us a new fridge, blinds, and even got them to cover some of our closing costs! Get it all in writing to be safe. Again, to get greedy, but see what you can work out.
To celebrate the launch of their new digital and personal experience, Capital One Home Loans is partnering with Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot, stars from HGTV’s Love It or List It, Too, to host a free and open-to-the public Open House event on Saturday, December 12 at the Stonebriar Centre mall in Frisco, TX. During the event, they’ll share do-it-yourself tips and tricks for simplifying the entire home buying and owning process. For more information, visit SmartHomeLoans.com
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Do you have ceiling fans in your house? When you’re watching those home improvement shows, they always say that you should take down your ceiling fans because they are “so last year”. Well, we have five of them in our house, all upstairs, and I’m not taking them down. Today I’m here to show you how you can do your own Ceiling Fan Update, with minimal heartache.
Where we live, most people don’t have air conditioners, including us. There isn’t really a need. We have a free standing air conditioner and it was only one about two days this summer. However, the fans are a must to keep the air moving. When we moved back into our house, I decided they needed an update. Actually, my good friend Lisa, who happens to be an interior designer, told me they needed an update. So, I did what she said and they looks so much better.
Hello. It’s Kathleen again, from Fearlessly Creative Mammas, to bring you a really great DIY Coat Rack. A little over three years ago my husband, youngest daughter and I moved to China for a year and then to Korea for a few months. We decided to rent our house out to our oldest daughter and her family while we were gone and they made some changes that were awesome for their family, mainly because they are younger and younger people’s tastes are different than older people’s taste. Yes, I am the older person in this story. [Read more…]
Budgeting is one of the biggest challenges for families these days. Frugal is the new normal and everyone is looking for ways to save. Here are 8 Things to Stop Buying today to save money.
Hi! It’s Keri from One Mama’s Daily Drama and today I’m sharing one of my biggest passions: saving money. When couponing took off a few years ago, I jumped on the bandwagon with zeal. I spent hours browsing circulars, clipping coupons, and chasing every deal possible. It didn’t take long for me to get burned out.
I think a lot of people feel the same way. We want to save money, but time is valuable too. I hardly use coupons at all anymore, but I’m spending less than I was five years ago. What’s my secret? I quit buying silly things I didn’t need!
These eight things to stop buying will save you a ton of money and you won’t even miss them.
1. Gendered shaving cream
Okay, why do we even need his-and-hers shaving cream? If you think about all the scented things you’re already using, it’s really unnecessary. I buy a giant can of unscented shaving cream from the dollar store and it lasts me and Hubby six months. Compared to the price of your favorite name brand, that’s a great deal!
2. Paper napkins
Paper napkins are convenient, but the impact on your wallet (and the planet) isn’t really worth it. Invest in a few sets of matching cloth napkins. I picked mine up at my favorite thrift store in like-new condition and have also made my own napkins. Guests are always amazed at how “fancy” such a simple thing feels and it really doesn’t increase my laundry load because they’re small.
3. Window cleaner
Although I like natural and homemade cleaning products, I’ll confess that I still use the strong stuff on our most germy places. Windows don’t need to be sanitized though. Just mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and wipe the windows down with a cloth.
4. Dryer sheets
I’ve never used dryer sheets because they make my clothes smell weird. (I know – I’m crazy.) My mother-in-law sent me a set of wool dryer balls though and I love them! They help the laundry dry faster and will last forever. You can purchase them from natural retailers or make your own with 100% wool yarn.
5. Canned beans
I use a price book to keep track of what my most common grocery purchases cost. When I realized that I could get a 1-pound bag of dried beans for about a dollar and make 6-8 cans worth, I was shocked. The trick to using dried beans is planning ahead. I’m terrible about remembering to soak my beans, so here’s what I do. Buy a pound of beans and cook them in the slow cooker. (Soak overnight and then cook on low for about 8 hours.) Divide the cooked beans into 2-cup portions and freeze them. When you need cooked beans, it takes just a minute to thaw.
6. Coffee filters
I cannot go a day without coffee. Coffee filters aren’t too expensive, but I go through at least 365 per year. Yikes. I bought a gold coffee filter for about ten bucks and it will last indefinitely.
7. Bread crumbs
Bread crumbs are one of those things that I never really thought to make myself, so I have to credit my husband with this idea. Save the heels from your loaf of bread and just toss the bags in the freezer. When you have several bags, take the heels and dice them into chunks. Toast them in the oven until they’re nice and dry, then pulse them in a food processor. Let them cool and store them in a covered container in the pantry. They will last a few months and are a great way to use up something that was probably being thrown away.
8. Cooking spray
Cooking spray is necessary for keeping your food from sticking to the pan. (Scrambled eggs, I’m looking at you.) Even the generic store brands cost a few dollars and don’t last long. After making the switch to a refillable spray bottle, I’ve noticed not only am I saving money, my food tastes better too. I use mine with regular olive oil. I use the Misto, but any refillable sprayer will work.
My biggest tricks for saving money are kind of lazy. That also makes them easy to stick to though. Which of these eight things to stop buying today do you still use? Do you think you could make the switch?
Leave a comment and let me know your best money-saving strategies.
Hey, it’s Lynn from Riggstown Road! Today, I’m sharing my love for decorating, especially when I can decorate with meaning. I have five children, and I love each one of them with a love so big that it hurts. Each one of them is uniquely special, both in the world and in my heart. And I want them to know that. That’s why I’m using décor to make each child feel special.
We probably all display baby pictures, and maybe some of our children’s artwork. This time, I decided to do something a little different, using something else I love- words. Usually, I use words for decorating that are either scripture or some type of proverbial saying, but for this project, I wanted words that were uniquely special to us, to our family. I also had an old framed piece of artwork that I decided to upcycle into some fresh new décor, and I thought it would be a fun opportunity to highlight a special memory surrounding one of the children. Something he knows is just about him, reminding him that I love him not just them. So I chose words that have a fun but sweet meaning behind them. Words that, if I said them right now, would make him smile.
When my son was really little, he decided to compete with me one day while we were out riding in the van, to see who could come up with the best “I love you as much as” analogy. One he used was that he loved me as much as all the trees and houses, as we were passing lots of them. I don’t remember all the things he came up with, but I could generally best him each time. Then he used a word he had learned at some point during our schooling, but that I didn’t even know he remembered. (They are listening!) He said, “I love you a googolplex.” (Actually he pronounced it “googooplex.” I love those sweet little mispronunciations, don’t you?)
In case you don’t know what the word “googolplex” means, basically, it’s the largest number with a name. It looks like a one with a whole page of zeros. It has a very interesting story behind it. You can Google it. 😉
These four little words became a special phrase for us. I’ve said it lots of times since then. Instant meaning, instant smile. Even though he’s a big ‘ol boy of seventeen now, it’s still a fun way for me to tell him I love him, in a way nobody else will. And a silly little phrase like that can help me smooth many a ruffled feather, and ease the aches of growing pains. Perfect thing to hang on the wall, don’t you think?
I only used a few simple supplies to turn these words into artwork. The idea is to think of something that will have meaning for your child and make it a part of your home. Of course, I can’t display this in my son’s room. A seventeen-year-old boy would never stand for that. Instead, it hangs in the kids’ bathroom. Guests use that bathroom, too, and to them, it’s just cute décor. For all the kids, it’s a message that mom loves them. To my son, it’s a reminder that he is uniquely special to me. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have similar projects planned for each one of my kiddos. Shhh. They won’t know ’til they see it on the wall…but when they see it, they will “get” it. They will know it’s a little message from me that says, You are special. I love you.
You have those little things, too. Just think about each of your children, and some of the special memories you have with each one. Maybe there’s a joke you like to share with your oldest. You could frame the punch line, and send it to him at college. Maybe there’s a phrase you always use to remind your daughter she’s beautiful, inside and out. Frame it and hang it above the mirror. There might be a song you always sing with your little guy in the car. Frame his favorite line from the song and put it in the mudroom, so he’ll see it every time he grabs his shoes. Or use their words, like I did. Sometimes their ideas are way better than ours!
If nothing comes to mind right away, be extra observant in the days ahead. When you have an “aha” moment, where you catch yourself saying something you always say to one of your children, but just never realized it, then take a moment and jot it down. Or, when your little one says something so sweet that you want to remember it forever, scribble it in your planner, and you’ll have it.
Then you can put together some one-of-a-kind artwork in a jiffy, and hang a memory on the wall. I love the way this looks, and I love what it says! Making one of your own is super-easy, which is great, because life for moms is busy. Also, it’s basically free, if you upcycle like I did. Isn’t is nice when we can do something that makes us and our loved ones smile without having to invest a lot of time and money?
- Stiff art paper (like watercolor paper)
- A nice, sharp Sharpie
- Picture frame
- Mark off the space for your message on the paper, with light pencil marks, using your matte or frame as a guide.
- Simply write out your message with a Sharpie.
- Assemble your frame, with the message as the picture.
(I think Mama’s handwriting makes this more personal, but if you’d rather, just print out your special message in your favorite font.)
I’m excited about the little projects I have planned for the other children. Each one will have a different message and be in a different form. Be sure to visit me at Riggstown Road to see those in the weeks ahead, and let me know what special moments you capture in word-form to highlight in your home as beautiful, unique décor, and more importantly, as a meaningful way to speak to the hearts of the special little people who live there.