i quit fb

I Quit Facebook 🚫📱 {why, how, & how it changed me}

The past several months have been a tumultuous roller-coaster ride in several facets. Our family’s schedule has been all over the place, either completely crazy or absolute stillness: no in-between. I’m working on finding balance there. My health has been a wreck, with the onset of calcaneal spurring and plantar fasciitis, which is a fancy way of saying I could barely walk for 6 weeks. I’m finally coming out of that. Lastly, and this is the hardest one to admit… my doctor said I had a small bout of depression. I had broken down in his office because I was so frustrated with life right Read More

How to Plan a Great Homeschool Campout {with FREE printable itinerary!} ~ Our Cozy Den

Where Have You Been? {when life kicks you in the shins…}

A dear friend reached out to me last week and asked, “I haven’t seen you blogging lately. Is everything okay?” No, everything has not been okay. It’s hard to admit that, especially in such a public forum. But sometimes we go through seasons of life when we feel like we are drowning, barely keeping our heads above water. Life ebbs and flows. It’s a neverending timeline of people coming and going, children growing and changing, seasons of fulfillment and emptiness. It’s hard sometimes to reconcile the part of me who is so upbeat and happy with the part who feels so lonely and sad. I Read More

If I Could Do My Wedding Over Again ~ Our Cozy Den

If I Could Do My Wedding Over Again 👰🏻💍👱🏼

My handsome hubby and I are coming up on our 12th anniversary next month. A dozen years, wow! Recently, we’ve been spending a lot of time with young engaged couples, and they have eagerly asked our advice — not just for marriage — but also for the wedding itself. I’ve had a lot of thoughts rummaging around in my head, thinking about what we did back then that I would change, if I knew then what I know now. So I thought it would be fun to write about what I would do differently if I could do the wedding over again, and tell my Read More

Raising Princesses 👑 {& WIN tickets to see Beauty & the Beast!! 🌹}

Raising Princesses 👑 {& WIN tickets to see Beauty & the Beast!! 🌹}

*I want to preface this by saying that I understand that not everyone will agree with my parenting & religious views. That’s fine! If you don’t agree, just move along and please refrain from commenting.*  Any parent can tell you that raising daughters in today’s society is downright terrifying. The way that women are portrayed, marketed to, lied to, shamed… it’s hard to find your feet at all, let alone stand tall. Right now, my daughters are little — precious things only 9 and 6 years old. So I definitely don’t have it ‘all figured out’. But I did want to share some of the Read More

Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den

Why We Love Great Wolf Lodge {& how to save money on it!}

You probably know by now that my family is ALL about adventure. We love to get out and experience that big huge world out there. We’ve been to 25 countries so far, but we also love trips in our own back yard. One thing that is an absolute necessity for busy families — especially us homeschooling moms who literally work two jobs around the clock — is respite. Take. A. Break. Mom. For me, that’s what Great Wolf Lodge is. We take lots of great vacations… but even those are a lot of work! Plan the trip. Plan the transportation. Plan the meals. Plan the Read More

Why {& how} we are trying to go AD-FREE ~ Our Cozy Den

Why {& how} we are trying to go AD-FREE

You’ve probably heard the statistics that Americans are exposed to a whopping 4,000-10,000 ads per day. Yikes. That’s a lot of information being thrown at us on a daily basis. The average American in 1970 saw 500 ads per day. In 45 years, that’s like a 1000% increase in ads. Let’s compare this to the American trend on debt. In that same timeframe, the average American consumer debt has increased from $500 per person to over $11,000 per person.  {do those numbers look eerily similar to anyone else?!} I don’t think it’s too much of a reach to say that ads = spending. Marketing works. Read More

How I get my kids to do ALL of the laundry! 👖👚👗

How I get my kids to do ALL of the laundry! 👖👚👗

My husband and I were having a discussion recently about this book he’s been reading with the youth group he runs (he’s an associate pastor). In the book, two college-age brothers discuss how they have an incredible work ethic {obviously, seeing that they are published authors at that age!}, mostly because of the fact that their parents gave them a lot of chores. While they were seeing their friends do one or two chores a week — only ONE TIME a week on weekends — they had 6-8 chores a day.  This is what my kids have. I have had several people gently suggest that maybe they Read More

How Do You Do It All!?! {& other questions people ask me} ~ Our Cozy Den

How Do You Do It All?!? {& other ?s people ask me}

Like any mom, I wear many hats: cook, chauffeur, personal shopper, maid, homeschool teacher, nurse, blogger, and the million other things we moms do to facilitate our families’ lives. I’ll never forget one evening, I was chatting with the ladies in my church small group. One of the moms shared a problem she was struggling with, and she nodded her head at me and said, “Not that you’d know anything about that. You’re supermom.” I was stunned. Was she kidding?! I feel like I fail at this mom thing every single day. For every thing I think I do well, there are ten more that Read More

Why We ❤️ American Heritage Girls ✝️🇺🇸

Why We ❤️ American Heritage Girls ✝️🇺🇸

As homeschoolers, we are often notorious for overscheduling and being super involved in extra-curriculars. That old sentiment of homeschoolers being “unsocialized” is as outdated as rotary phones and 8-tracks. My girls had some friends involved in Girl Scouts, and they were very interested in the style of organization: a troop, where they work to learn, serve, and earn badges, while doing fun activities with friends. I, however, had some issues with it. I have been morally opposed to the Girl Scouts organization for years. I searched for an alternative and was elated to find that there was a chapter of American Heritage Girls right in Read More

How to Plan a Great Homeschool Campout {with FREE printable itinerary!} ~ Our Cozy Den

Parent & Kid Date Night

Date Night is a family favorite in our home… and no, I don’t mean when we get a babysitter and have some couple time. Of course, that’s very important, and we do that too! But what I’m talking about today is Parent & Kid Date Night! My kids absolutely love this tradition. It’s something we started in 2014 when we first moved to Ohio. We have always done dates with our kids since they were little, but it was at this time that it became an official thing. It has benefited and grown our relationships in so many ways, and I’m going to tell you Read More