2017 - Rachel Teodoro

Last Minute Halloween Treats and Costume Ideas for the Whole Family

Can we all just wait a hot minute here. Is it really almost the end of October? Really? Well, if you are like me, zero of your kids have Halloween costumes and you haven't made a single fall or Halloween themed treat. Not to worry. I've got you covered with all the last minute Halloween treats and costume ideas you will need for your whole family. Not to mention 5 tips on how to save on pumpkins. 


Immune boosting smoothie bowl

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Alberstons and Safeway. All opinions are 100% my own. I wouldn't share something with you that I didn't love. Promise.

Without fail my college-aged son returns to school and picks up a cold. My husband said the same thing happened every year to him. It seems like something that happens if you come to school from out of state. This is my very scientific guess at least, but that's the common thread between my husband and our son's experience. Well, that and genetics, but whatever. Let's not bore each other with details. For the better part of 18 years, I was the one distributing cold medicine and whipping up home remedies that my mom taught me that her mom taught her that her mom taught her. Really, the key is fluids. So many fluids. What better way to do that than with an immune-boosting smoothie bowl. 

I can't send that 2500 miles in a care package, but I can send a college cold care package including the recipe for the smoothie bowl. If you have a kiddo who gets sick every fall once school starts, I've got something that may just help. And if it doesn't, at least it will taste good going down!


The Best Way to Get Stink Out of Workout Clothes

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lysol®. The opinions and text are all mine.

I like to sweat. I'm always cold, so I like to get warmed up and start sweating. Plus a workout doesn't really feel like a workout unless you break a good sweat don't you think? Problem is, I'm a smelly girl. I sweat and I stink. It's especially bad when it comes to my workout clothes. Unfortunately, I've passed my stink on to my kids. Sorry kids. I just found out that some of the fancy schmancy fitness brands have special stink-free clothes, but my budget doesn't always allow for that. And it especially doesn't allow for that when I buy my kid's clothes. I am a big fan of working with what you have, and what I have is smelly. So what is the best way to get the stink out of your workout clothes? I think I found the answer.

Photo credit: Stephen Matera

Easy Macaroni and Cheese Bake

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 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% my own.

It's barely fall but I'm already craving all the comfort foods. I have made homemade soup exactly four thousand times since summer ended and this macaroni and cheese bake about five million. I need all the warm yummy foods in my belly right this second. As much as I love comfort foods, I also love recipes that are quick and easy and don't take a lot of time. Time is not something this mama has a lot of now that school is back in session. We are pulled in every direction, but family meal time is still a priority for us. If I can get a meal on the table in under a half an hour, even better! I'm sharing this easy mac and cheese bake that you can make in no time. It's a meal the whole family will love!

annie's mac and cheese with Ritz crackers

Sneak Peek: Hearth & Hand with Magnolia (for Target): What's Catching My Eye.

I think pretty much every single person I know was excited to hear that Chip and Joanna Gaines were partnering with Target to bring their collection Hearth & Hand™ to the masses. I've been fortunate to visit Magnolia Market more than a handful of times and there is something magical about the grounds in Waco that will be hard to replicate in the aisles of Target, but after seeing a preview of the items, I can't wait to do some shopping! The items in the Hearth & Hand collection are more in my reach {if you are curious this is my list of things I buy (and one I won't!) when I shop at Magnolia Market} and while my husband may not like seeing the bill, these are the items from the Gaines new line at Target that are catching my eye.
Fixer Upper farmhouse style home decor

Homemade Dog Deodorant for your Smelly Pooch

Smelly dog spray, doggie deodorant, call it whatever you want, but I'm calling it our new favorite thing. Our sweet Sophie smells. Part of it is because of her long luxurious locks and the other part is deferred maintenance. If you were reading along last week and saw my random ramblings, you would see that I mentioned how her grooming costs more than a trip for me to the fancy salon. It's not easy to give a bath to an aging overweight dog, so we needed to find something that would help with her smell. I've been trying things for ages, but I finally think I found something that works. Not only that, it's not filled like alcohol the way some of the store-bought sprays are. This is all natural and conditioning, something you both will love. 

smelly dog, homemade cleaner and deodorizer


Pumpkin Everything Recipes

I must confess, I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin. Or at least, I didn't used to be. I'm getting older and I'm starting to actually like the flavor. Pumpkin and cinnamon are kind of my favorite combination right now. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. For those of you obsessed with pumpkin, you might be looking for some new recipes. Don't you worry, I've got you covered!


Rachel's Random Ramblings

So it's been awhile since I did a Rachel's random ramblings post. I think it's because my randomness has moved over to making Facebook live videos {if you missed them, you can see them archived here in the form of Wednesday coffee chats. I'm not sure if that's working though. To be honest, my coffee on the west coast is like afternoon tea on the east coast. I just can't get my poop in a group {think about it} to make it happen weekly. Main reason why... my hair. Yep, you heard me. I was literally planning the day I was going to shower and wash my hair around Facebook lives. Don't judge. So with that thought, I bring you the most current installment of Rachel's Random Ramblings {if you are wondering, there is a WHOLE drop down menu with those from years past. You can find it here.}


10+ Books I Always Recommend to Friends

It seems like at least once a month I get asked by friends to recommend a book. I actually love doing it because I am such a fan of a good book and I want to share them with others. Yesterday though, a friend told me she was going on vacation at the end of the week and was looking for a good book and I drew a total blank. It got me thinking that I really should just make a list of my favorite books. You know, the good ones that I like to recommend to friends. Get out a pencil my friends, I'm sure there is something you haven't read yet on the list that you are going to want to add.


10 Things I've Learned With Age

I'm one whole month into the final year of my 30's. I feel like lately, I've been experiencing life differently. This isn't to say that I feel like I have life figured out, I totally don't, I just realized that there are some things that I just don't have time for anymore. Maybe I'm falling into the groove of adulthood or maybe I'm just becoming more comfortable with who I am. I'm not quite sure, but today, I pulled together a list of 10 things I have learned with age. Maybe you can add something you've learned too.

personal reflection on a woman's life
Photo by Maria Shanina on Unsplash


4 Simple Steps to Make Carpet Last Longer

This post is brought to you by Sears Home Services. All opinions are 100% my own. 
We have three kids, a big hairy dog and it rains nine months out of the year where we live. Keeping our carpet clean seems nearly impossible. On average, I read that carpets get replaced every seven years. Apparently, we are far greater than average! But then, you all knew that, amIright?! Flooring can be expensive and as a homeowner you want it to last. For years in our old home, I wanted to get our carpets replaced but it didn't seem practical with three little people spilling, romping and generally running amok in the house. We literally could not be trusted with new carpets as a young family and moved out before we installed them for the new homeowners. What a difference the new carpet made throughout the whole home! However, I totally understand not wanting to be average and doing your best to make your carpets last as long as possible. I've got 4 simple tips on how you can do just that.

Easy DIY Witch Feet in Cauldron Halloween Decoration

Halloween is my favorite holiday, only running a close second behind Christmas. I think it's because I love how the community opens its doors and people walk around talking to their neighbors. It's that, or the free candy. Probably it's mostly the free candy. Every year I craft something new for the holiday. This year, I made these super easy DIY witches feet in a cauldron. Seriously, they took me less than 5 minutes to make and under $10 total for the project. It's something you can replicate and then we can be Halloween decoration twinsies. Won't that be fun?!

holiday decoration using black and white striped legs to create a fun Halloween decoration with lights

DIY Fall Floral Crate

I'm going a different way decorating for fall this year. I'm really into the muted colors and the variations of grey, blue and white. It kind of all started because I found a flower stem I liked. Who doesn't totally decorate for a holiday around a $2 stem from Walmart? I think it's called Lambs Ear. I rarely look at the fake flowers and stems at any store because I prefer fresh flowers and greenery, but for some reason, I started pulling out stems and thinking I was some gifted floral arranger {I'm not!}. But sometimes you have more faith in your skills than skill itself, so I carried on. I purchased about $10 worth of floral stems, a crate that was already the right and perfect color and some floral foam. Oh, and a faux white pumpkin, because I'm boycotting orange pumpkins this year. I'll show you how I threw it together, and seriously, if I can do it, you totally can too!

easy to make flower arrangement for fall


Sneaky Ways to Get Your Kids Outside

Tracking Pixeldisclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Culturelle® Kids. All opinions are 100% my own. 

I have fond memories of spending most of my childhood outside. We would spend hours with neighborhood kids making up games to play and wandering from yard to yard. I even found this old newspaper article from our local town paper when I was only 5 playing with some of our best friends.

Things have changed over the years and there are lots of fun shiny things that grab kids attention indoors but the desire to get outside and explore nature is still something that is innate in growing bodies. As parents of children in this generation, we have to put a little more effort into getting our kids outside. We may even have to be a little sneaky about it. Outdoor play and recess offers so many benefits to a child's development.  Kids need to be outside {or as I like to say to my kids "get the stink blown off of ya"} to receive the cognitive, health, emotional, social and physical benefits and I've got some ideas for you to help you do that.


Want to be on Fixer Upper? Advice From a Former Cast Member.

Trust me, it has crossed my mind to purchase a home in Waco, Texas for my son who attends Baylor University. I'd only do it if Chip and Joanna would be part of the remodel though. The Gaines family has said that Waco is their home and that they don't plan on extending beyond the 40 mile radius that they are currently working in for their hit HGTV show Fixer Upper. If you happen to find yourself in that area or would consider a move, here is what you need to know about what it takes to be on Fixer Upper, advice straight from a former cast member.


DIY Lighted Fall Canvas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PoweredByRayovac #SureThing #CollectiveBias

There is something special and magical about twinkling lights. It's one of my favorite things about Christmas, but why let that holiday have all the fun? Lights are the perfect addition to an inexpensive canvas that I found while doing my weekly shopping at Walmart where I always walk out with a cart full of things that weren't on my list! If you love inexpensive home decor projects that you can DIY, this lighted canvas is something you can create in about an hour. I've got the full tutorial for you so read on!

diy craft for fall decorating using battery powered lights

Dr Pepper Float Recipe

Brought to you by Dr Pepper® and Albertsons Companies. 

If people ask me if I like sports, my response is usually, "If I know the people who are playing, I do." I started to watch football when I was in college. I had a season pass to the games and it was a fun time being in the stands with friends on game day. I even knew some of the college football players, so it was fun to watch my friends play and succeed out on the field. 

tailgating, baylor, waco, texas,

When my son started looking for universities to attend a few years ago, a sports team was high on his list. There is something fun about rooting for your college football team even years after graduation, a sort of camaraderie that continues to hold generations together. My son attends a university that is located in the same town that Dr Pepper® originated. They do weekly Dr Pepper float parties on campus and celebrate often at tailgate parties with Dr Pepper. We may be 2500 miles away from him on game day, but we celebrate at home by watching the game {and hoping we spot him in the stands!} while sipping on a Dr Pepper float. These floats make a great game day {or any day!} treat and I've got the super easy recipe for you! 

tailgating, baylor, waco, texas,


What It's Really Like to be Cast on Fixer Upper Part II

After my first exclusive interview with season 3 client Jaime Ferguson, I know that there are quite a few of you reading who are avid Fixer Upper fans. I accidentally became a Fixer Upper expert after that post and I'm totally cool with that, because duh, Chip and Joanna Gaines that's why. So many people wonder what it's really like to be on the HGTV hit reality TV show Fixer Upper since it's an opportunity available only to those living in or around Waco, Texas. 

I've had the chance to get to know several past clients who are all fabulous people.  Every single one of them that I have met, including Lindy Ermoian who will be giving us an inside look, has been grateful for the opportunity. Today, I'm asking all the questions and finding out all the answers that you all {or in true Fixer Upper fashion y'all} have been curious about in part two of "what it's really like to be cast on Fixer Upper." I jumped on a phone call with season 3 client Lindy Ermoian whose home became known as Coastal Calm in the Country.  I thought I knew everything, but man, I found out a thing or two that surprised me! So come on along, check out what it's really like to be a client of Chip and Joanna Gaines and have your home remodeled on HGTV Fixer Upper.


DIY Popcorn Bar

This post is written by me on behalf of G.H. Cretors. All opinions are 100% my own.

how to create a crowd pleasing party by making a popcorn bar using GH Cretors Organic popcorn

I haven't met too many people who didn't love popcorn. I know I'm a fan. It's a great crowd pleasing snack that's easy to serve to guests. Which is why a popcorn bar is a simple way to entertain on a budget and still offer a variety of fun snacks and flavors. The best part is that it is the perfect finger food! Even the most basic set up can look like you are the Pinterest queen of parties when you pull it all together! I'm excited to show you how I put together this DIY popcorn bar. You're going to want to take notes for your next event.

how to create a crowd pleasing party by making a popcorn bar using GH Cretors Organic popcorn

Taste of Fall: Pumpkin and Apple Recipes You Need to Try!

I know for most people, they know that fall has officially started when they get their first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. The PSL has been in stores for a few weeks, which means, it's OK now to have pumpkin and apple flavored EVERYTHING! Which is awesome, because I'm sharing pumpkin and apple recipes you need to try this fall. Here's a little sneak peek to get your mouth watering! 
 Read on for the recipes plus an awesome link party {starting at 9 pm EST on Monday} where you can find yummy recipes like this linked up every single week!

My Birthday Thoughts, a New Favorite Number, and a Word for the Year

Do you have a lucky number? I always thought mine was seven. My birthday is on September 7 of '78 (today!) and I weighed 7 pounds and 7 ounces at birth. I kind of clung to the number seven and I've used it nearly every time I've needed to pick a number. I can't think of a single time when it's been lucky for me. I always say that when my name or ticket is entered into a drawing that it's really just in there for filler. I never win anything. As they say, some people have all the luck. I'm just not one of those people. 

My youngest son started telling me about his favorite number. Number 64 in case you were wondering. He says he sees it everywhere. I kind of like the idea of throwing away the idea of a lucky number and starting to think of a favorite number. 

Know what number I've been seeing everywhere lately? The number 39. It's kind of fitting because today I turn 39. I'm starting the final year of my 30's and I'm inching closer to a milestone birthday. I'm ready for it. With that in mind, I want to share something I've been thinking about a lot and a word I'm using that will shape my year.


The Grown-Ups Guide to Going Out

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ben Bridge Jeweler for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Let me be honest with you. My husband and I...we don't get out much. Even now that we have kids that are older and can stay home by themselves, we rarely take advantage of that. I'm not sure why. Seriously, because every time we do get out, or if I go out with girlfriends or couples friends, it's inevitable that one of us will come home and say, "why don't we do this more often?" Every time without fail.

This may be a silly thing to write about, but if you have forgotten how to go out, this Grown-Ups Guide to Going Out may just help you remember how much fun it is to pull yourself together, put on something fancy and head out the door to remember just who you are and why you need to take time for you sometimes.

date night, girls night out,


Recipes for Your Garden's Bounty PLUS Create Link Inspire Party

My parents used to plant a massive garden every summer and I loved plucking sun-warmed veggies and eating them straight from the vine. I haven't always been successful with my garden, but I think it's a great skill to teach the next generation how to grow food, that I've been planting and reaping in my backyard garden for as long as I've had a backyard. Some years we don't end up with more than our family can use, and other years, like this year, we have far more veggies than we can eat through, so I'm always looking for new ways to use up my bounty so it doesn't go to waste. I'm sharing some recipe ideas for you just in case you have more veggies than you know what to do with. And maybe, just maybe, you will find a new favorite.

open handed holding fresh garden vegetables


Confessions of a {Former} Class Room Mom

As soon as my first child went to school, I filed out the volunteer paper work and signed up. I kind of thought it was mandatory. Sort of like once you have a baby you find yourself on the church nursery rotation when all you really want to be doing is sitting baby-free in the pew for an hour each week. There were a few different circumstances and a move that happened and I had the opportunity to experience parent life at a private Christian school, a co-op, a private school for gifted children and two very different public elementary schools. I feel like I've seen it all, and I've taken on all kinds of different roles from room mom to PTA president. I won't sugar-coat it. It's not all good. So buckle up. I've got some confessions from a former class room mom you aren't going to want to miss.

pta, parents, school, volunteer

5 Things to Keep in Mind During a Bathroom Remodel

This post is written by me on behalf of Sears Home Services. All opinions are 100% my own.

A bathroom remodel can be expensive. In fact, it's the second most expensive remodel you can take on behind your kitchen. However, when a bathroom is remodeled well, it can easily pay for itself.  I have some easy and inexpensive updates that you can make during your bathroom remodel that will give you the luxury you are looking for and the timeless design that will give you the return on your investment you need.

diy, projects, around the house, sears, home renovation, remodel, subway tile, grey and white, neutral

How To Ideas You Don't Want to Miss PLUS Create Link Inspire Party

I love a good how to idea don't you? I think those ideas are what makes the internet and blogs like mine our best resource. Remember when we used to clip ideas out of magazines, or read books to get information? Those were the good old days! Thank you internet. I found a few great how to ideas linked up to last week's Create Link Inspire party and wanted to share them with you. If you aren't using these link parties as a resource for finding new recipes, projects and how to ideas, you are missing out! Come check out some of the ideas I think you are going to want to save so you can give them a try.


Basic DIY Yarn and Driftwood Macrame Wall Hanging for Beginners

The retro trends are back, and while I can't embrace all of them {chokers were meant to stay in the 90's!}, I am loving the new shift back to the bohemian style.  I love all things boho right now and even decorated a boho bedroom on a budget last year. Say that three times fast! I am taking baby steps towards embracing the macrame trend, but I think I'm loving that too. In fact, I know I am! I'm not sure I could figure out all the complicated knots and techniques with real macrame, but I did manage to whip up a very basic macrame-esque wall hanging on some pieces of driftwood that even the most beginner of beginners could do. I think they would make a pretty rad wall hanging on their own or even a great backdrop for a photo booth or a party display. I've got the full tutorial so that you can whip up your own. Come check it out!

boho, neutrals, bohemian


30 Minute Meal: Sweet BBQ Meatball Bowl

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cooked Perfect® Meatballs for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's always been important for our family to eat meals together. From the time our oldest was born, we put him in his bouncy seat next to the dinner table so he could join us for meals and we continue to make family dinner time a priority. Since eating meals together is a priority, I have also had to be creative to make it happen. I rarely make meals that require more than five ingredients and take longer than a half an hour to make. I just don't have time to fuss over meals and need something simple that can be prepped and on the table so we can move on to those things that keep us busy on weeknights like homework and practices. I know you are busy too and maybe you are getting bored with the same weeknight meals. I've got a yummy meal that will only take you 30 minutes from start to finish. Come get the recipe for this sweet BBQ meatball bowl your whole family is going to love.

recipes, family meal, family dinner


Fall Projects You Should Try PLUS Create Link Inspire Party

I know those of you who have kids that have already started school are thinking about fall. For those of us that have a few weeks left before school starts {myself included!} we are still soaking up summer. I must confess, I don't particularly love fall. It usually means that the weather is starting to turn and our summer is coming to an end, but I know there are those die hard fall lovers out there that want to drink up everything pumpkin flavored and tromp around a farm in boots every day looking for pumpkins. So for those friends, this post is for you. For the rest of us that just aren't there yet, prepare yourself. Get a little head start with these DIY's and soak in the last days of summer.

fall wreaths, macrame, signs with vinyl


The Secret to Sticking Vinyl on A Canvas

It's no secret that I love my Silhouette machine. It's fun to see the different projects that I can create but I must confess, I'm falling on a steeper learning curve when I use my machine than I probably should. I'm glad I have friends like Melissa at Silhouette School to help bail me out {where was she when I was making these invitations that ended up costing me $115 EACH!}, but sometimes I need to come up with my own solutions. Several years ago, I had a friend ask me to make some canvases for an event. I told her I would but then when it came time to adhere the vinyl to the canvas, I couldn't for the life of me get it to stick. I spent far more hours on it than I should have only to come to the conclusion that it couldn't be done. BUT IT CAN! Why did it take me years to figure it out??? Friends, if you are like me and need a solution to help your vinyl to stick a canvas, I found one. Read on. It will save you!

silhouette, cameo, cutting vinyl, handmade sign, wedding DIY


Why I'm Sending Extra School Supplies This Year

I've been there. I remember wondering why my kid needed 36 sharpened Ticonderoga pencils {yes...a specific brand of pencils...and the most expensive ones at that!} and 24 glue sticks. I may have even complained a little. Why can one kid not use a single glue stick throughout the year? Why does my son need so many pencils? Why does my daughter need to share supplies? Can't they learn responsibility with their own things? I know I'm not the only parent who rolled their eyes when they saw the length and specificity of the school supply list they received.

I'm lucky though. I have the money to purchase school supplies for my kids and I'm thankful that even during what I felt like were my martyrdom years of purchasing all the supplies on those lists, that I did just that. I've grown in my understanding of why teachers ask for more supplies than one child needs and I'm happy to provide. Do you have any idea how long a pencil or a glue stick lasts in a classroom? Does it annoy you that the school supplies you purchased for your child are being shared? 

Several years ago when college expenses were looming I decided to look into getting a job. There was a shortage of substitutes in our area and I decided to give that a go. I always wanted to be a teacher, how hard could it be? I learned a lot during my stint in the classroom and I want to share some thoughts.


Giving Our Kids Roots and Wings-Parenting in the College Years

It was probably easier having a few busy weeks leading up to the final departure. It was a long summer that went by in a blink. Early this morning, our oldest son packed up a car and headed back to college for his sophomore year. He adapted last year to being far from home, made some great new friends and managed to keep himself alive without the watchful eye of his parents. I spent some time this morning reflecting on his departure as the roots that connect us get thinner and thinner. Sort of how I reflected last year when I wrote this after saying goodbye to him. 

This is the same boy who wouldn't separate from me as a toddler. Nursery workers would call us to get a screaming snotty kid who would work himself up so much that he was gasping for breath. He would instantly calm down as soon as I held him and he would scream and cling to me if I even came close to the vicinity of a drop off area. 

He would sit outside of my shower door playing with trains and would circle them around as I would dry my hair. In those moments I never thought he would go upstairs without me let alone hop in a car and drive 2500 miles away.

tree growing

I kept thinking and reflecting after he drove away about the saying that goes something like this: 

 "The best thing parents can do for their children is give them roots and wings."

We've worked hard at preparing the soil and getting those roots to grow deep and strong but we also worked hard at giving him wings to fly. 

Giving our Kids Roots and Wings-Parenting in the College Years


DIY Leather Glasses Case Plus Shopping With Kids for Glasses

Thank you JCPenney Optical for sponsoring this post. Visit your local JCPenney Optical to find your perfect frames!

I got glasses in third grade. The frames were brown and kind of leopard spotted and my mom let me pick out a decal to put on the lens. I selected a lion because, well....I'm not sure why. My eyes continued to get worse and every few years I would have to replace my glasses. Picking out the frames was so hard! I remember that much. I didn't love the selection 30+ years ago and quite honestly, when you can't really see and everything is blurry, even your reflection in the mirror, it's hard to make your best choice. In junior high I picked out what I thought was a pretty awesome pair of glasses with wire frames. What no one told me was that those frames were actually boys frames. Seriously. In junior high. Why did no one tell me? Actually, people did tell me, just too late... after I already bought them and there was no replacing them because hundreds of dollars later that's why.

So I get it. Shopping for glasses is hard.

JCPenny optical, glasses, kids, teenager, Stadium high school, tacoma

Wearing glasses as a kid sets you apart at a time when you really don't want to be set apart. However, not seeing isn't a better option! So picking out and making a statement with your frames is something we can help our kids roll with. There are so many great options now and I've got a great deal for you so you can find affordable frames and lenses just in time for back to school. I also have a great DIY tutorial so you and your child can protect your glasses with a fun leather case you can make together. Come check it out!


Back To School Treats and Printables for New School Year Success PLUS Create Link Inspire Party And a Giveaway

I'm in denial that school is starting soon, but I continue to go through the motions as we prepare. I'm hoping that if I look at back-to-school treats and printables long enough that I will start getting excited for the new school year to start. Maybe you are the same way. So here's hoping we can dig our heads out of the sand and get ready for the new school year!


How to Save Money on Back-to-School Outfits

This post was written by me on behalf of JCPenney in partnership with Activate. All opinions are 100% my own.

Back-to-school clothes shopping was always one of my favorite summer traditions when I was a kid. My mom would give us a set budget to shop and we could buy whatever we wanted. I have always been a budget shopper, so I always liked to see how far I could make my money go when shopping, even when I was in elementary school! I wanted to get the most outfits and the most new pieces that I could with the money that I had. My kids have learned through the years to do the same thing so it's fun to see what they end up selecting and how they do it. Back-to-school shopping is even more important to them now that they are older. This year my youngest is in junior high, my middle daughter will be a sophomore in high school and my oldest will be a sophomore in college. Clothes matter to them! They want the latest trends and styles and I want quality at a great value. I've got some tips on how to save money on back-to-school outfits and can't wait to share them with you.

jcpenny, trendy, my style, what to wear
photo by nickl.media

Basic Car Maintenance for Teen Drivers

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mobil 1 at Walmart. All opinions are 100% my own.

It doesn't seem like it was that long ago I was being handed the keys to my parent's car for the first time. I loved having the freedom and ability to go where ever I wanted. But there is more to driving than just having a license and a set of wheels. I know, because now I'm on the other side. Our oldest son has been driving for a few years and now my 15-year-old daughter has her learner's permit and has just completed drivers ed. If you have a child who has recently gone through driver's ed., then you also know that those hours of training officially make them the best driver ever and it instantly gives them permission to point out all of your mistakes when you are in the car together.

I remember shortly after I got my license, my tire popped. I was forever grateful that my dad had taught me how to change a tire when I was in my learning phase so that I was prepared. We are doing the same thing with our kids and making sure that they have basic car maintenance skills that will give them the knowledge that they need for a lifetime. While some tasks should be left to the pros, teens can at least know the basics so that they are aware of what to look for and be responsible car drivers.



Lessons Learned from a Kitchen Remodel

I think that it's so important that we learn from other people. I want to hear from other people's experiences and take their advice and use what I need in many situations of my life, but I think that it can be most helpful when we tackle any kind of improvement project, self improvement or otherwise. While these lessons learned from a custom kitchen remodel may not make you into a better person, they may save your sanity and offer you some good tips to getting the best results if you are tackling a large remodeling project.


Kitchen Remodel Makeover Reveal

There aren't many shared spaces in a home that have more time spent in them than the kitchen. As a family that eats together nearly every night and shares most meals I know how much time I personally spend in the kitchen. It's so important to have a functional space to use. When you take on a kitchen remodel you have the opportunity to create a space that fits your families needs and reflects your lifestyle. Dea and Christian Rust have spent the past few years rehabbing a historic mansion in small town Indiana {scroll to the end of the post to see more of the rooms they have transformed} and they have just completed their kitchen remodel, one of the largest projects they have tackled to date. Read on to see why they get to do it all over again, after living with it completed for only two weeks.

But before that, come check out the beautiful transformation they have made in their home. I know that yesterday, I shared a little sneak peek into the remodel and shared some of the demo.

Let's take a glimpse again and see what the kitchen looked like before. Remember this home was built before electricity had even been invented! Kitchens were functional and utilitarian spaces not created to be entertaining hubs of the home the way they have evolved.
The light and bright space is exactly what this couple was hoping for.

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