Baby Got The Teething Blues? How To Quickly Soothe Those Little Gums.

Teething there is nothing as cute and exciting as when baby gets that first little tooth. There is also no bigger relief for a tired Mama as when that tooth finally pops out and sleep can once again reign! So many of you are asking what you can do for your little ones teething pain and answers we have just for you! Hang in there Mama, this too shall pass.

** A few mommies recommend rubbing whiskey or other alcohol products on babies gums. Please do not do this. This puts your baby at risk for all sorts of bad things. If you must use alcohol to sooth someone keep the soothing for you. ūüėČ

Tips and tricks to soothe and calm even the fussiest teething baby

Most Popular Teething product

Hand down Simply Moms mothers recommended the Razbaby RaZberry Teether¬†.¬†This pacifier¬†shaped teether seems to be a favorite of babies near and far. It provides your little one with a hands-free teether so they can do their most important work. PLAY! From what I am told by other Mamas’ like yo Razbaby RaZberry Teether for teething babiesu is that you can freeze it to cool your little one’s gums. It is 100% non-toxic silicone and textured not to mention it is freaking ADORABLE!!!

Don’t you agree?

What I personally like is the fact they are not liquid filled. I don’t know about your little one but mine always seemed to puncture¬†those liquid¬†filled teethers once they were teethers with teeth.

I certainly see why other mommies love these and their babies do as well.


Let’s Get Old-School

A damp clean frozen wash cloth for a teething baby

Sometimes the best solutions are those handed down through generations, you know the free and easy ones. Perhaps this is something you never even thought of.

When my now mostly grown children and Little Miss were the teething age we would take a new clean wash cloth, wet it and squeeze it out and pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes or so.

Once frozen it was handed off to the little one to chew and suck on.

Personally, I think it worked swimmingly well. It kept their interest for a long while and the coolness was soothing to their sore gums.

One mommy mentioned soaking the cloth in juice and wringing it out and freezing it. I have never tried it but if you do tell me how it works.

Look Why Not Just Chill?

Mesh net feeders for teething babies just add cool or frozen fruits or veggies.

No¬†silly I didn’t mean you chill out I mean chill those gums right off THEN you can chill,¬†sound¬†like a deal?

How about a breast milk or formula popsicle?


Cold and tasty um for them ha ha.Or if your days with your little are more adventurous some frozen fruit puree.There are so many awesome popsicle molds for making popsicles at home my favorite ones for babies are the new silicone popsicle  molds that do not have a stick (Think freeze pop) you can check them out >> here << 

Or of the idea¬†of popsicles doesn’t work for you.¬†You can add frozen fruits or ice cubes to a mesh feeder. Little Miss loved hers with frozen banana chunks in it. There are so many possibilities here, frozen blue berries, strawberries, peaches, nice cold apple slices just to name a few. What would you add?

Teething Biscuit Any One?

I confess I always used these with my babies. They LOVED them. Here is another confession. I sat there and watched them munch on them because I was well aware of the fact pieces can, would and did break off and it poses a choking hazard. This is not something you hand to a baby and walk away they need to be supervised closely with these. However, with that supervision, they are generally a big hit and well, a big old mess but isn’t that half the fun?

The Teether You Always Have Right At The Tip Of Your Fingers.

A nice clean mommy or daddy finger can make for a wonderful teether. Just apply light pressure to their gums and it helps relieve of some of the pain.  I am pretty sure it does not get any more simple, or cheap but people have done it for generations and it does in deed help.

Amber Necklaces Do They Work? Are They Safe?

Some of you mommies swear by these. Others say they didn’t see any difference at all. The medical field does not advocate their use due to choking and strangulation risks. The is also strong doubt in the medical field that they work. ¬†I personally have not used one. So I can’t weigh in with my opinions.

A Word On Orajel and Infant Pain Relievers

This article was written with the idea in mind of trying to avoiding the medicated route of caring for a teething baby.

However, we realize as a mom you will make the ultimate choices for your own babies comfort.

It has been mentioned recently that an ingredient in Baby Orajel, ¬†Benzocaine could possibly be very unsafe for babies. The FDA states “the use of benzocaine gels and liquids for mouth and gum pain can lead to a rare but serious‚ÄĒand sometimes fatal‚ÄĒcondition called methemoglobinemia” Though there is ¬†Baby Orajel Natual that does not contain this ingredient or alcohol, it also left out any food dyes. Making it a much safer alternative.

It is my suggestion for infant pain relievers that you speak to your child’s pediatrician about proper dosage and use.


How did you deal with teething? We would love to hear your comments, questions, and ideas below!



3 Heart-Warming Books Your Preschooler Will Beg You To Read

Ladies let me tell you. I have been raising children for the better part of 27 years. Reading to them has always been one of my very favorite parts of the day. However, I will say when a new children’s book rolls out I am super excited. I am possibly even more excited than my kids because if I have to read The Foot Book one more time… You know what I am talking about, don’t you? ¬†So let’s just say I am always looking for something new and exciting for me…err I mean them to read.

So here is my newest list of TOP 3 Favorite Children’s Books for the Preschool Crowd!


1- My Big Tree

When Maria came to me and offered me the opportunity to read her children’s¬†book I was excited! Guess what! I was even more excited when I down loaded the book and opened it up. Oh, my, gosh! I was greeted¬†with simple, soft, and sweet images of animals. ¬†I knew right away that when Little Miss woke up and we could cuddle up for a story she would, in fact, love this.

My Big Tree -Childrens Book

Little Miss and I read this and I found, even more, to love about this book. It touches on colors, counting, sharing, needing space and also the need to be close to those you care about.

Some of the current things in her preschool homeschooling that we are working on.

As a three she is unaware of others feeling the need for space and this was a wonderful way of opening up that conversation with her as well as the need to be near those we love and enjoy being with. We also talked about sharing and why we should do so.

The book offers a simple story of one little bird finding a perfect tree to nest in while others find it just as wonderful for their needs. He finds it crowded and nests in another not so perfect tree. He realizes that perhaps the other tree was perfect.

I have to say, Maria’s writing and the photos in the book are a perfect night time or anytime story for the 2-4-year-old crowd. Little Miss and I both give it TWO big thumbs up!


2- Mine!

I don’t know about you and your little one but Little Miss is going through a hardcore not wanting to share phase. Good lord above PLEASE let it just be a phase. A very short one at that.

This book touches on the idea of why the main character¬†Kitty does not want to share. She was having fun playing. On her own and in her¬†own way. ¬†Then her friend arrives and wants to add her special flair on Kitty’s play time. ¬†As you can guess Kitty wants no part of her friend’s big ideas. Everything is MINE and her way! (Sounds familiar doesn’t it Moms?)

Mine! - Childrens Book

Little  Miss related to this book right away.  The bright colorful pages, the fun ideas that Kitty and her friend have and that dreaded sharing issue.

It is not only a cute colorful read with two sassy full of ideas little girls it is a wonderful teaching tool for sharing and kindness.

Little Miss and I also give this book two thumbs up and six giggles.


3- The Run Away Bunny

As a child, this was my favorite book. I read it to my kids and now I read it to Little Miss.I am sure you have heard of it or even read it as it is a children’s classic. With its soft sweet dream like pictures, it makes a wonderful bedtime read with the theme no matter what I will always love you.
The Runaway Bunny -Childrens BookHave you forgotten this one? Be sure to pick up a copy for your little one’s book collection.

Little Miss says this book gets two thumbs up as well!


What is your child’s current favorite book? How about yours? And let’s be honest what one can you no longer stand?



The Practical Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Bathroom

I’ve got boys & men, a toddler and I¬†have a wonderful greasy¬†back yard mechanic.¬†I have a bathroom full of hand prints, toothpaste crusted in my sink, pee on the floor and a sink that is oddly painted with apple sauce? Apple sauce? Tell me…How does that even happen?

There are Amazon affiliate links in this post. They give me a bit of pocket change if you should happen to make a purchase at no extra cost to you.

Guess what I have for you. No silly, not a maid and If I did first dibs is mine! I have a bunch of tips just for YOU I have used over the years for cleaning my bathroom quickly. In fact, I ¬†have some thing for you to clean you may not have thought of and let me tell you, hun, It is GROSS all up in there! It’s the Nasty Little Secret of the bathroom!

Ladies let me tell you…

Find out what is lurking most often uncleaned in your bathroom. Follow Jenn's Practical Guide for cleaning your bathroom.

We have the sickness happening up in this house.

My hubby and Little Miss are having such tummy issues and it is quickly spreading. My best defense? A clean bathroom and perhaps a hazmat suit for me! I hate tummy viruses. Am I sure you can relate? Right?

What do I clean MY bathroom with?

For a deeper cleaning like this one, I tend to use more chemical things. Bleach, Kaboom, Vinegar, Comet or Baking Soda and Glass Plus are my go to products. If you go homemade, green, what ever works that is great! Do your lil¬†thing with yours. I’m flexible¬†like that. You be all green and earthy and I am just over here all toxic and such. We can still be BFFs and like different things!

I also use homemade cleaners and earth friendly if they are on sale.

Jenn’s Guide to a Sparkling CLEAN Bathroom

1- Trash, Laundry, Toys, the Dog, Neighbor Kid, the spoon, and bowl? If it does not belong in the bathroom get it out of there!

When you go in there look around. If things are there that do not belong remove them, place them back where they go toss it you know the drill. Empty the trash, the hamper, pick things up and get rid of any old razors, and product containers. It will make the cleaning go way faster.

2- Clutter? Girl, get rid of that clutter

Are we cleaning around clutter? That is a huge no no. If you have a counter the only things that should be out on the counter are things that MUST live there. If you have to keep things out please contain them in pretty little bins, baskets or trays it will honestly make this all go so much faster for you. That way you can remove the whole group of things. make sense?

3- Get On Top. Clean from top to bottom that is. Hmmm ūüėČ

I always start at the highest point to knock all the nasty dust down. I also Always clean my way out of the room. Is that what you do? You should because other wise you are making things harder and that doesn’t leave time for more fun things like say, cleaning the kitchen LOL.

There is something gross in the bathroom

4- Mirror Mirror on the Wall You’re The Highest Point of All.

Spray your mirror down, and if the sink and other areas are not all that dirty counters, sink outer toilet parts but skip the seat. Spray them as well. Let the spray SIT!

5. Start filling your tub with hot water (Please use caution if your little ones are around. ) I pour in bleach; a big splash of it. Not comfortable with bleach? That’s fine you can use a big glug of vinegar or what ever you like. While the tub is filling I have a quick to do for you.

6- While your tub fills we are going to remove the toilet seat. I have faith in you. It is pretty easy. Mine is just plastic screws and nuts. A big flat head screw driver does the trick. Once the seat is off…Yup, Gross isn’t it? If you have little boys or grown men with terrible aim you see it. There is PEE under the hinges! Oh, My Word! So Nasty! Now that the seat is off put it in the tub of bleach and hot water let that sucker soak. Not that I needed to tell you but wipe around where the hinges were and under as well. I told you I had a Nasty little Secret!

7-It’s Potty Time!

Pour some Vinegar in the toilet and a drop of dish soap if you like and yes, I do like then you just let that sit. Seeing a trend here?

Let you cleaner do its work.

Now wipe down that mirror and any other surfaces you sprayed. If the sink didn’t come clean sprinkle it with Comet or what ever cleaner you use for your sink and scrub it out.¬†sometimes I use just baking soda. That works great too.

8- Let’s Make That Toilet Sparkle and Let’s deal With the Tub and Tile

Scrub your toilet out with your toilet brush well and get under the rim of the toilet. It gets super gross under there. Flush, scrub again then flush once more.

Drain the tub, wipe down the toilet seat and replace it. At this point Rinse the tub and spray the tub and tiles with Kaboom. (I rinse as to not mix chemicals. I HIGHLY suggest you do the same)

**A little information here for you. I use this stuff around three times a week. It has cut way down on the need to scrub any thing. You just have to START with a clean tub or shower. This stuff is AWESOME. Make sure though the room is ventilated. I run the fan and open a window.

9- Get Ready, Start your Floor!

While the Kaboom or shower cleaner of your choice is doing its work sweep the floor.

10- ¬†You Have To Maintain. I mean Honestly isn’t the Scrubbing the Worst part of Cleaning the Bathroom?

Rinse down the shower walls and tub. Listen, I highly recommend the maintaining as opposed to having to scrub all this. It cuts way down on work that is not really needed. I simply spray on Sunday, Wednesday, and Fridays after I step out of the shower, Get dressed and rinsed. It makes it so much more simple and I LOVE simple.

**According to Bob Vila and I love him such a smart guy. You can make a daily shower spray from equal parts water and vinegar and if you hate the smell add a few drops of Lemon essential oils to it to give it a nicer smell. No rinsing just spray it on nightly and walk away.

11- Last step. Ready? Swab the Deck well the  Floor!

You may not like this but I have a small bathroom. In a far back corner, I pour out about a 1/2 cup of vinegar directly on my floor and with my rag, on hands and knees I scrub down the floor As I get to the toilet I pour a bit more and just scrub my way out. Yes, it smells strong but the smell dissipates and it certainly smells better than what was living on my floor and possibly yours.

12- One Last Thing

With a nice clean rag spray some cleaner on the door knob and wipe it off on the way out.

Done & Done!

You know what? We really rock at this cleaning thing, don’t we?

Guess what!!!

My skills are not perfect. My cleaner choices maybe are not the best. Maybe YOU know of a great homemade cleaner or a way to do something that is faster. Perhaps you have a question or you want to tell me this post was LIFE CHANGING for you or at least helped you a little. What I would LOVE for you to do is leave me a comment and if you want me to feel the love even more…share my little post with your other friends and other Mama’s you know! Thanks, Doll <3


A big thank you to for the wonderful bathroom images.

and for the idea on the DIY tub and tile spray.

5 Exclusive Survival Tips From A Stay At Home Mom

So you’re a stay at home mom?

Girl, let me tell you it’s been a drink twelve cups of coffee, pop in some ear plugs before my ear drums explode, hide the dog while his fur is still white and he currently still has fur, hide in the closet with a spoon and jar of crunchy¬†peanut butter, pull out my hair and poke my eye balls with forks dipped in lemon juice for fun sort of day. It has been a day! ¬†In fact, it’s been many days.

Search out your KINDRED SPIRITS find your TRIBE

Not that I expect rainbows, glitter and dancing bears but two minutes to pee and not to break my neck on strategically placed logos, ¬†Hot wheels, and little pointy Barbie shoes would be so awesome. Welcome to life as a stay at home mom. I promise you, you will survive and this all to shall pass…Then and only then will you miss it so.

Let me guess, you’re here for those tips. Tips, my friend I have five, in fact, I live by.

1- Go play! Yes, you too Mom. Go Play!

All too often we get feeling over whelmed and we want to shoo the kids off to some activity to get them untangled from our hair. I mean, after all, Moms need Mom time. How many times have you yelled or demanded they go watch TV, go out side or go play with the million toys sitting collecting mountains of dust?

What IF you go play with them? Get out side and kick a ball HARD, show them how to jump rope, double dutch, or run a race. How about you take those legos and build a house or a city? What if you all cuddle up on the couch and read a book or watch an old movie like The Wilderness Family or Honey I Shrunk The Kids (I just so dated my self here.)

Girl, do you see my point here? Sometimes those crazy moments are simply they want your attention. Your true, unbusy undivided attention. It’s a perk of being at home.

2-  Down Time Sleep, Read, Play and STAY

What if I told you that your kids deserve down time and need it just as much as you do. It is sort of like eating healthy food they may not always like it but it is good for them. What if for one hour out of the day there was peace on earth and all that good stuff you know like not a creature was stirring not even a mouse and if he is stirring he BEST be stirring some quiet!

So here is the scoop, for an hour, every day at about the same time the littles nap. The bigger kiddos get the choice to read, play alone very quietly or stare up at the ceiling listening to the clock tick for sixty minutes but they must stay in their room or where you choose for them to go spend this wonderful hour of relaxation. They will rest & recharge and you get to pee, maybe a shower, maybe even make a call with out telling a stranger at the power company you “love them and goodbye” because the little is howling at your feet Yeah that really happened. Wouldn’t that be so amazing? ¬†Start teaching them now, today. They need it as do you.

 Real tips you can actually use to get through some of your hardest most trying stay at home days, weeks and months.

3- Be The CEO Mom the BOSS Mom!

So you’re just a stay-at-home-mom huh? Just a frumpy run down Mama who is running her children around and throwing chicken nuggets on the table and sweeping the same crumbs up over and over in a giant circle. Sounds like a pretty crummy job no wonder you are here!Lady, you are doing this all wrong. Brush

Lady, you are doing this all wrong. Brush your hair, get dressed, buy a planner schedule your days and how you clean, plan those meals, budget, write lists, plan DIY projects, assign those kids some jobs, Create a freaking holiday if you like! Be the boss of your home. Run it like a well-oiled machine. You got this Mama! You are a STAY AT HOME MOM BOSS!

Brush your hair, get dressed, buy a planner schedule your days and how you clean, plan those meals, budget, write lists, plan DIY projects, assign those kids some jobs and create a freaking holiday if you like! Be the boss of your home. Run it like a well-oiled machine. You got this Mama! You are a STAY AT HOME MOM BOSS!

Mama's don't get manuals. You are doing great! #MomLife Click To Tweet

4- Search out your KINDRED SPIRITS find your TRIBE

That’s right. Mama, go find some¬†other stay at home Mama’s and you form bonds with them. So you can plan park days and trade off baby sitting.

Do Daddy and the kids a big favor and plan nights just for daddy and the kids have to have bonding time cause they love that stuff.

You go out with your girls and have your self a time. Even if it is just sitting in that coffee shop drinking those real fancy special drinks that are Instagram¬†( <– Shameless Plug ) worthy and you get to talk about how your little girl can say the alphabet, while standing on her head, with one eye closed, while balancing a ball on her ballet slippers. They won’t always be listening but they will pretend to listen to you. Your kids don’t even do you that favor.

The point is to get some friends, do some friends stuff it will fill your heart extra joy, laughter, adult conversation, and happiness.

5- Love is PATIENT, Love Is KIND love is FORGIVING

Oh no Mama, I wasn’t talking about the kids you have that down pat! I was talking about you. Be patient with yourself, give your self some grace. Give yourself a ton understanding.

Be oh so kind to your self. Treat your self to something nice and unneeded just because you deserve it. Be your very best friend.

We all have those days where we yell, where everything we did with good intentions failed. Be forgiving of your self. We learn from our biggest flops and failures. Mama’s don’t get manuals. You are doing great!


The Ultimate Checklist of Things You Need To Homeschool Your Preschooler

Hey, Moms!¬†I am in the midst of finishing up my homeschool planning for this year. I have a preschooler and a high schooler this year. So exciting! In all this hustle and bustle to finish up my plans, I have been working on a list of things I have, will need and would like for Little Miss’s Little Preschool year. So here it is in all its glory. Before I forget Mama, enjoy your preschool homeschooling year!

This is my personal list some of these things are wishes and I will thrift shop for them. Nothing on this list is set in stone it is a nice starting point/ wish list. Many of these things will carry right over into Kindergarten and first grade as well.

I listed a few books that are the very minimum. Reading is so important to build a library of your own and if you have access utilize your local library.

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission should you make a purchase at no extra charge to you.

Arts & Craft Supplies

  • Water paints
  • Tempra paints
  • Finger paints
  • Finger painting paper
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • Cray-pas
  • Chalk
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint pallet
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Construction paper
  • Safty scissors
  • Tissue paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pom poms
  • Googly eyes
  • Doodle Pad
  • Air dry Clay
  • Glitter
  • Glitter Glue
  • Old magazines for collages
  • Cotton balls
  • Craft sticks
  • Ribbons and string
  • Dot-a-dots
  • Craft jewels
  • Beads
  • Coloring books or pages
  • Heavy paper that will take wet paints
  • Easel
  • Colored sand
  • Streamers
  • Felt and foam

The Ultimate Checklist of Things You Need To Homeschool Your Preschooler


Reading & Writing

  • Classic collection of fairy tales
  • Picture dictionary
  • Books about animals, neighborhoods, plants, and everyday things.
  • A collection of Dr. Suess books
  • Preschool Lined paper
  • Ticonderoga No. 2 Pencils¬†(You will not be disappointed with this specific brand.)

  • Colored Pens
  • Preschool work books for reading and writing
  • White board and dry erase¬†markers
  • Library Card


  • Manipulatives for counting, adding and subtracting
  • Ice cube tray for sorting
  • Large bead and string set for making patterns
  • Puzzles
  • Measuring cups
  • Ruler
  • Dice
  • Cards with Numbers on them
  • Clothes Pins for clipping on the correct about to the number cards and other activities
  • Beans, large pasta, M&M or other candies for counting and sorting


Large Motor Skills

  • Tricycle or small bike
  • Swing ¬†slide and climbing equipment¬†or access¬†to a play ground
  • Ball
  • Jump rope
  • Hula hoop
  • Side walk chalk for creating hop scotch and other ¬†things
  • Small trampoline
  • Items to create an indoor or outdoor¬†obstacle course (Old tires, buckets, wide boards, or pillows, cushions, small items to walk around.)
  • Small yard rake, and shovel
  • Water table, with cups to pour.
  • Sand Box, shovels, and buckets

Fine Motor Skills

  • Play doh
  • Writing tools mentioned above
  • Smaller beads and string
  • Lacing cards
  • Medium and smaller lego Bricks
  • Plastic eggs to open and close
  • Broken crayons to color with. (Weird you say? Yes, but it develops even better fine motor skills in small children)

Creative and Pretend Play

  • Dress up clothes
  • Kitchen set with dishes and food
  • Baby dolls
  • Envelopes, “stamps” a pretend mail box
  • Cars and trucks
  • Play sets with people and animals such as a barn or house
  • Shopping cart
  • Cash register
  • Small broom, dust pan, and vacuum
  • Anything that pertains to a parent or relatives job (Brief case, safety¬†vest, and hard hat, police uniform)
Do you love the list? Show the love with other homeschooling Moms of preschoolers and share, pin or tweet!

INFOGRAPHIC Huge List of Arts & Crafts Supplies for Preschoolers


The Go-Getter’s Quick Guide to Thrift Shopping

Hey, Mama, I figured I would drop in here today and talk with you for a few minutes about shopping. Not just hop in your car and run to Wal-Mart credit cards waving sort of shopping but something a bit more frugal, more fun a challenge if you will. Thrift shopping.  Personally, thrift shopping for me is a game, a personal high, my way to be and rule to live by. I mean when all those other people are out there paying full price I am waving around my thrifty finds like I can buy five of those for what you just paid and guess what? I am going to let you in on a few of my personal secrets so you can do it too!

Personally, thrift shopping for me is a game, a personal high, my way to be and rule to live by. I mean when all those other people are out there paying full price I am waving around my thrifty finds and I am all like I can buy five of those for what you just paid and guess what? I am going to let you in on a few of my personal secrets so you can do it too!

This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Thrift shopping secret tips

Be so nosey about their sales.

Knowing about sales is key knowledge about the thrift stores you frequent. Ask them when are your sales? Is an end of season bag sale held at any point? Are there times of the month or week certain Items are price dropped? Stores like Goodwill and Salvation army tend to have scheduled sales. Small shops often do as well but they are not always as well planned.

Remember seasonal things in many stores are higher so they do not run out of those items and they can make the most money on them. For example, Halloween is around the corner.  All their Halloween things are at their high price point from now until Halloween. Yet when you plan to walk in there the day after and you can score dress up items for a small fraction of what they were asking the day before and even buy next years costume bigger for your little one to grow into you are saving even more. Knowing the sales is going to help you maximize your savings.

Girl, what are you even looking for?

Be a man with a plan…err a woman with a plan. ¬†Every few months I go through the kid’s clothes. You do that too right? I keep an inventory¬†of what is going to be needed, what is wanted, Ideas I have to decorate my home. So when I have my little list and I¬†am dragging around those millions…Okay, yeah, my ten measly bucks; I know if Little Miss needs pants because she is out growing them or has ruined them in one of the million ways she finds to ruin clothing… That her pants are a high priority on my list. So go in there with an idea of where to start first.

How to send you kids to school in trendy clothing with out breaking the bank. A guide to Thrift Shopping

The hunt is half the fun, right?

I am going, to be honest. When you walk in and see a mixture of this and that it can be over whelming. I tend to stick with thrift stores where things are categorized by size and item. Other wise for me personally it all just blends in together.

When looking for clothing for your self or anyone I want you to start at one end of the rack of let’s say pants and item by item work your way through. Pull any thing you think you might like off the rack, shelf, bin and put it in your cart and continue to look and pull. You are NOT making choices you are simply selecting what you might like.

When you are looking for hard items be prepared to shift through and move things around. In, under, tucked in dark corners and again any thing you find to place it in your cart to inspect and make a final choice. If you leave it sitting, it is likely someone else may need it too. You’ll blink and it will be gone.

Be your own quality control.

Once you have found a stack of possibilities¬†you are going to go through¬†each item putting¬†back anything that is too worn, ripped, stained, don’t work, missing parts and so forth.Don’t be afraid to look for or ask about a plug. For some things, I even carry commonly sized batteries and a small screwdriver. I hate to get home and find out a toy does not work.

They say not to handle items because it creates a sense of ownership. I will tell you, in this case, it really helps to weed out the bad from the good. You do not want to get home and discover those designer jeans have a broken zipper and a nasty hole right where your women parts are. Or the game you picked for the family game night is missing so many parts it is never going to be played unless you count throwing each part in the trash as game night basket ball. Take your time to look things over. Many thrift stores have pretty strict return rules.

Too dirty, popped seam? Can YOU fix it? Yes, you can! Ask them for a deal!

Let me tell you if you’ve got some skills like sewing and can simply fix a popped seam, or have an awesome stain remover¬†that you are sure will work on that tiny stain or perhaps you don’t mind the small chip in that beautiful vase that will sit on your mantle untouched. Could be that doll with the horrible hair can be brushed down and braided to make her beautiful and loved again. Walk right on up, point out what they missed and ask if they are willing to mark the item down. Some places will practically give you the item. I will tell you it does not hurt to ask and you should by all means ask.

Thrift shopping means you can be a brand name snob.

I can tell you certain brand names we are talking about clothing mostly here out last the cheaper brands. When thrift shopping I am sifting¬†through items of clothing ¬†I am not looking for something I can purchase at that big discount store off their ten-dollar rack and personally you shouldn’t be either. You will mostly end up with clothing that pills, falls apart, or once stained will hold that stain in until it sad little death in the trash bin. Think of all those brands you love to shop for or wish you could. Those right there are your target items.

Know what it is worth.

Once you have shopped around it is important to know the thrift shop values of items in your area and also what you feel is a fair second-hand deal. ladies I’m going to tell you my husband likes to tell me that these numbers are clearly made up, but I assure you for me in my area and for my personal, ¬†budget they are not. Your price point may be different. It is a learned skill over time. I fully expect to hit my price point or under no matter how much I love an item I know I can put it down because I will find a better deal later. I can assure you, you will too.

  • Children’s clothing $1-$2
  • Children’s Winter Coats $2-$3
  • Children’s shoes $1-$2
  • Toys $1 – $4 ¬†the higher end for larger or highly coveted toys
  • Adult clothing ¬†$2 – $6 the lower being for T-shirts and the higher for brand names
  • Small kitchen appliances $2- $7
  • Decors such as wall hangings, curtains, and knick-knacks $1-$4
  • DVDs $1-$2
  • Books $1 and under
  • Purses $5 and under
  • Belts, ties, hats, gloves, new socks, gently used bras $2 and under.
  • Small electronics such as alarm clocks & radios $2-$3
  • End tables and small furniture $5 and under unless the piece is special such as mahogany
  • Couches, chairs, and table set $10 – $35 my price point is low here because often you can get these things free on giving away sites.

***Many time larger toys like the ride on toys and out door toys will be marked low due to lack of storage space at the store those things they want to move quickly.

Let me tell you, there is nothing like the feeling you get walking out of a thrift store knowing you just ripped them off. Oh, My Gosh! KIDDING. Sometimes though, I really feel that way. So walk in there with an open mind armed with these tips and thrift shop like the pro you now are.

Are you a thrift shopping Mama?  Tell me your own tips in the comments below or shoot me your questions I would be happy to answer them.

From An Old, New Mom’s Mouth: These Are the Products You Need

At 25 years old, I became Mama. And then again at 26 years old. For fifteen years I heard, ‚ÄúWow! Your kids are so close in age.‚ÄĚ Until I had my next child at age 39+ and now I hear, ‚ÄúWow! Your kids are so far apart in age.‚ÄĚ And both exclamations are on point.

I loved being Mama at age 25 and I love it even more now, with two teens and a baby. But, GEEZ, have things changed. I could go on for pages about the ways that things have changed, but I promised my friend, Jenn, that I would talk about how the products have changed. At the risk of sounding old, there are so many more products available for new moms now that make things so much easier. If you have a baby shower coming up, pay attention. Any of these 5 products will be a big hit.

This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

My Top 5 Favorite ‚ÄúNew Mom‚ÄĚ Must-Have Products


5 Crowd Pleasing baby Shower Gift Ideas

1. Net Teethers

Teething is the worst. And teething rings were not cutting it for my little one. With my older two, I remember putting an ice cube in a ziplock bag and letting my babies bite on it. The bag would rip, I would have to take it away and the screaming would resume.

But now, there are Net Teethers! When I found out about these, I realized how much things had changed in 15 years, since my older kids were babies. These are brilliant.

Simply put an ice cube, frozen fruit, or even froze breast milk in the net, latch it closed, and your baby will love the taste and the feeling on his sore little gums. I bought two sets, one for the diaper bag and one for home. This is a must-have baby essential and a great, affordable baby shower gift.

2. Boppy Covers

When I became a Mama 16 years ago, one of my favorite gifts was a Boppy. It is perfect for nursing, propping your baby, and for early tummy time. But, back then, they did not have removable covers and were very awkward to clean. I was overjoyed to learn that Boppy slipcovers are now a thing, and come in so many adorable patterns.

Breast milk squirts on the Boppy? No problem…simply remove the slipcover and change it with another one. Toss the gross one in the washer. So stinking easy now!

3. Side Sleeping Crib

I am a big fan of co-sleeping. I do not want to get out of bed every time my little angel wants to nurse during the night. And, I love to watch him sleep. I have heard the cautionary warnings about co-sleeping. And, although I co-slept with both of my older kids, I totally get that there are risks. When I found this side sleeping crib I fell completely in love. The side sleeping crib allows me to cuddle all night and be safe!

4. Baby Sling

The week after I delivered my new baby, my oldest had a high school football game. I have never missed one of his games and I didn‚Äôt plan on ever missing a game. Thank heavens for the baby sling. At least five times I heard, ‚ÄúOh my goodness, is there a baby in their?‚ÄĚ And, there was a baby in there. My newborn fit so comfortably down into the sling with nothing by his tiny nose sticking out.

The baby sling is the perfect solution to staying active while having your baby snuggled up closely to you. It also comes in so many cute colors and patterns and makes the perfect baby shower gift.

5. Echo Dot

I know you are probably thinking, ‚ÄúWhat does an Echo Dot have to do with baby stuff?‚ÄĚ But, just hear me out.

My husband bought me an Echo Dot one month after our son was born. He thought it would be a great way for me to keep track of things ‚Äúhands free‚ÄĚ while I tended to our baby and tried to work a few hours a day. At first, I gave him a side eye, but he was so right.

I use the Echo Dot in the following fun ways:

  • Alexa, play baby lullabys.
  • Alexa, play spa music.
  • Alexa, add baby wipes to my shopping list.
  • Alexa, what is a good food for a 4 month old?
  • Alexa, I have potatoes, pasta sauce, white fish, and cheese. What can I make with these ingredients? (By the way, she gave me the tastiest recipe.)
  • Alexa, do babies get laryngitis? (They do, by the way.)

The list goes on and on. This was a big score for my husband and a great idea for all new moms.

I would love to learn about your favorite Mama products. Leave your faves in the comments!

Self employed for over a decade, Julie Wilson is the mother of two teens and a baby. She owns multiple businesses and has worked from home for over a decade. Her blog, is designed to help anyone with a yearning to ditch their 9 to 5 escape to live a life of freedom. Email her at

Weekly Menu Planner 3 New Designs

Every so often I like to say thank you to you my readers with a small gift. So how about some Menu Planners?

I am offering these Free Printable Menu planners. I hope that you will enjoy them. Simply download and print and fill in with your own meal plan choices.

Menu planner fall design with pumpkin and leaves from

Vibrant Menu Planner Fall with Pumpkin and Leaves

Menu Planner Strawberry design free printable from

Stunning Menu Planner Strawberry Design

Menu planner blue chevron with house and cat from

Our Menu Planner with Blue Chevron a House & cat from

I have been thinking more about what to put on my fall menu planners for meals that the family will love so watch for my personal recipes to be shared soon. Beef Stew and Chicken Corn Chowder are always a family hit. I will also be showing you how I make homemade bread bowls. So be sure to watch for those posts.

Do you have a family favorite fall recipe that you have blogged about and would like me to link to as well?  Feel free to email me that link and I would be happy to consider it. send it to 

Our menu planners are free to download and print. If you enjoy them please share the link with a friend and be sure to subscribe to our news letter.

Or check out some of our other menu planners here and here

Small Thrift Store haul (Decor and Toys)

Thrift store shopping is a passion of mine. I just love a great deal!

One thing I had been noticing that my home sorely lacks is decorative type items. I am not a fussy person and I want my home to look, well, homey. I guess my style is frugal, Early American Yard Sale. Classy huh?

I love stopping in at the thrift stores to see what I can come up with. This time it was a stop at the Goodwill. Yes, I know all the stories about the CEOs being over paid and so forth. I shop there to save money. If it helps someone else even better. If it does not I was not going there for a charity any how. Just being honest.

So here is what I found.

Thrift store deal 1: Hanging Plant (fake) in a terracotta pot. $3.00

Hanging plant

A bit of dusting and shortening the hanging strings because of my tall guys and I think it looks great. I kill plants so this one is perfect.

Thrift store deal 2: A Little Sign for my Kitchen $1.00

I serve 3 meals frozen, microwave and takeout.

The little ribbon tucked behind it I am going to clip off it was a bit worn so I will replace it. But for cheap it was cute and slightly funny.

Now onto those toys. I did not have much luck this time it looks like they are down on their donations.

Thrift store deal 3: Lalaloopsy Cat $1.00

Lalaloopsy Pink cat with button on parts.

I do not even know if the Lalaloopsy brand is even very popular anymore but Little Miss is practicing her buttoning skills on this cat with it’s large buttons and large button holes. It can with extra ears, a couple different tails, a bow and crown. Pretty cute for just a dollar.

Thrift store deal 4: Discovery Kids Toy Laptop $1.00

Discovery Kids laptop toy thrift store find.

I happened to notice this and seeing it was a dollar decided to grab it because Little Miss has been taking more and more interest in my lap top. This one looks more real than another one she has. ¬†I bought it untested ¬†and came home to give it fresh batteries and it works like a charm. It’s from 2005, but it is metallic pink(The back side) , looks real and she thinks it is awesome!


So my grand total was $6.00

I also have a passion for shopping clearance like I did in this post Walmart Clearance Small Haul Clothes and Shoes

Have you been thrift shopping? What good deals have you found?

5 Bedtime Routine Tricks for Toddlers That actually Work

Tips for getting your toddler go to bed and stay in bed. Five simple things you can start doing tonight. To create a simple bedtime routine and a peaceful sleeping environment so everyone can start sleeping again.

Your eyes are drooping to your knees but your toddler is running around jumping from couch to couch claiming war on bed time. Are you tired of bed time battles only to end up tip toeing around in the wee early hours of the morning because your toddler finally went to bed and you must have some sleep before they come running and screaming into your bed only to spend the rest of your sleepless night feeling like you spent the night fighting off  fifteen caffeinated ninjas?


Create a bedtime routine you can honestly live with.

bath before bedtime

Don’t start out with a six-hour routine that involves reading a million books, fifty stuffed animals arranged in alphabetical order from left to right along juniors foot board and 95 glasses of water and just 4,598 more questions. Keep it simple and real. Keep it the same every night. Bath, Jammies, teeth, book, kiss, hug, tuck, and lights out. It is easy and realistic to do for many years to come.

Consider a noise machine

I myself hate sleeping in a silent room because then every little noise jars me awake. Children are often the same. White noise is a wonderful tool to drown out nightly household noise as life continues after their bedtime.

What is their best sleeping temperature?

Like adults, children sleep better in certain temperatures. Some will want to be warmer and others on the cooler side. The trick is to figure that out with a younger child. Little Miss for one likes to be covered well but the room to be cooler because she gets too hot with her comforter on.

Stop screen time about an hour before bed.

Limit blue screens such as tablets, computers and TV to day use only as these screens will interrupt sleep patterns.
Giga limits my tablet time and we never use it before bed. She says the blue lights will make it so I am not sleepy. So I use it during the day.


According to the National Sleep Foundation, blue screens tell the brain it is time to be awake and alert and the body will not produce enough melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that tells the body it is sleepy. So it is advised to shut those screens down and maybe opt for a bit of classical music or reading instead.

Be Consistent and Firm.

baby sleeping

If they come out after being put to bed gently walk them back, place them in bed with out any fan fair and simply keep doing it. Be matter of fact about it. It may take many times, it may even take some tears (Them and you) But in the end, everyone should be sleeping far more soundly. Your bedtime routine if used consistently will become second nature if you stay firm on what bedtime means.

You may be interested in a recent post about choosing your toddlers first bed. [Read]


Cites :

Nation Sleep Foundation on Blue Lights and Kids

Bath and sleeping photos from

Love Jennifer