52 Date Night Ideas


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When the weekend hits, we all get excited! Finally, a break from the chaos of the work week, plus date night… right? Alright, raise your hand if you love date night but hate planning date night? I’m with you. It’s hard to find the time to hunt down and plan date nights even when you do carve out time in your busy schedule to actually do the date night. I knew I needed an easy solution so I turned to my favorite choice for help with date night: The Dating Divas, of course. I found this fantastic pack of 52 Dates for Two so now I’ve got a date for every week of the next year. I seriously scored big time!

All I had to do was print and cut the set of cards and find a permanent home for them in our bedroom and I knew we wouldn’t miss date night again–okay, okay there will probably still be just a couple of weeks that get crazy, but I just know this pack is going to make such a huge difference!

Just check out what the 52 Dates for Two pack includes:

52 Weekly Date Night Cards – A date night idea for each week of the year.
Blank Date Night Cards – Customizable cards to include a few, more personal dates.
16 Bonus Date Cards – For more weekly date night ideas to choose from.
Steps & Tips for a Photo Album – Create an easy way to track your date night memories.

I love staying organized, so I love the date night cards. They’re simple and easy to use. And they make scheduling date night so easy!

To help with choosing a date that’s perfect for each week, the date night cards have these perfect little checklists at the top. That way, if I know we can’t get a sitter we can choose an “At Home” date or if we’re a little strapped for cash lately, we can be sure to pick a “Free” date.

Our anniversary is coming up so I’m adding the date night cards to a photo album and giving this as a year of dates to my husband {and to myself}!

The pack even includes a few gift tag options to introduce the gift idea in a cute way.

Once we actually go on the dates, we’re really going to try to remember to take pictures so we can add them to the album. I feel like this gift is a win-win, we’ll have date ideas for a year and then a photo album of all the memories at the end of it. Want to get your own? It’s so simple to grab this pack right now! From now until May 31st, use the code 52DATES to snag this offer for only $4! That’s 50% off the regular price!


Holiday Resources for Hostesses

It’s no secret I’m a fan of the Dating Divas. This year they’ve really outdone themselves! Starting October 11, they are offering these amazing printables valued at over $300 for only $15!

All Things Holiday Bundle

The price goes up a little over the next three days, so you’ll want to act fast, but who doesn’t like having cute notes to put in the kids’ lunch boxes, date night and hostessing ideas? Having someone else do all the work, EVEN BETTER! The holidays get so busy, but it’s those little personal touches that help make memories. I’ll be snagging the bundle for myself! Who has time to make all those cute graphics themselves? Which are you most interested in using?

I can’t wait to try them all! Happy Hostessing, friends! I’m an affiliate of the Dating Divas and will get a little something if you choose to purchase, but it’s at no extra cost to you and you still get the awesome benefit of these great tools at your fingertips. ūüôā Thanks for reading!



When to Change Products

Someone asked me this morning what I use for my skincare. Honestly, it changes throughout the year. In the summer I love using all the Frankincense Products from NYR Organic. However, Fall brings dryer weather and I find the Orange line is more nourishing for my skin. There’s no time like now to replenish your favorite products or try some new ones. Here’s a reason to do it today! All customer orders of $50+ today (Thursday, Sept 28) through tomorrow (Friday, Sept 29) will be entered into a drawing. NYR Organic will be randomly choose 5 lucky winners to receive the Frankincense bundle shown below, which includes Cleanser, Toner, and Hydrating Cream.  
You can order here to be entered: 

Happy end of September!

*I am an Independent Consultant for NYR Organic and receive commissions on orders placed on my website. Ask me how you can do the same.


Deep Thoughts From Behind The Vacuum


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I’m not sure what it is about housecleaning, but for some reason the hum of my Rainbow Vacuum turns me into a philosopher. I wasn’t always this way, but since we moved to the Mack Pack Ranch, I’ve been challenged as I clean to have a deeper appreciation for my blessings. When we first moved in, our home needed LOTS of work. Drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms were prone to falling out if you opened them too far. The tops of the closets hadn’t been cleaned in so long, I found a coupon for a Free Large Sandwich or Medium Size Coke from McDonald’s depending on who won the Seattle vs. Washington game 9/28/86. ¬†The offer expired 10/5/86. There was this Goose patterned contact paper in the bathroom shelves that I’m certain my mom had in her kitchen when I was a kid. And don’t even get me started on the orange carpet!¬†FullSizeRender 4

Well, over the last year we’ve been painting, and tearing out carpet and fixing things that have gone into disrepair and cleaning, and cleaning and cleaning. (Thank the Lord for Norwex!) As I’ve been doing all this work, I keep thinking, “How does something get like this?” When the house was built, I’m sure the original owners didn’t intend for things to start falling apart. But over time and with varying levels of neglect, poles in the horse stalls rusted out and handles and hinges got worn out from overuse.

So why I’m I writing about this? I once heard a realtor say, “If you want to sell your home, walk out and then walk in and imagine you are a guest. What things do you notice? What stands out that needs repair or catches your eye in a pleasing way? Make the changes you notice and you’ll sell faster and get more for your home.” ¬†When it comes to our homes, I think we sometimes get so used to seeing things the way we are that over time we stop noticing. After so many times of not fixing the crooked picture frame on the wall, eventually we stop even seeing it. We tell ourselves “I’ll get to it later” and then we never do. Taking a step back to evaluate improvements we can make will go far in increasing our home’s value.¬†21586781_10214664737590880_8636381699819235822_o

Our personal lives are much the same. Taking time for self-improvement and self-care can go a long way. It’s good to ask ourselves, what can I do today to be more wise, to be more kind, to be a better me. When we neglect to make improvements to ourselves, we can fall into the trap of the mundane. We start doing things because they are easy, but not because they are beneficial. Microwave food can only sustain you for so long. Marriage and parenting are that way as well. We can get so used to doing the same thing every day that we fail to nurture and make improvements along the way. Those first few years, especially with a newborn can be so difficult. It’s easy to just go into survival mode. And trust me, I know survival mode! But it’s also important to reconnect with your spouse and remember that your marriage is what started this whole crazy family adventure and when the kids are all grown, it will once again be just the two of you. Take time to date. To remember why you fell in love. Listen to each other’s dreams and plans. Hear their frustrations. Date. When we took on the Mack Pack Ranch, I’m sure many people thought we were crazy. It hasn’t been easy, but slowly our vision is becoming a reality and we are seeing the benefits of our hard work. If things were easy, everyone would be doing it. But to grasp hold of the amazing, sometimes we have to do the hard things. Schedules can get hectic, but I’ve learned that we make time for what is important. We’re going on a date tonight…yeah, a Monday. But, we are that important to each other. What can you do today that will keep your home, self and relationships maintained and thriving? It’s worth it and so are you.


Mindset Reset


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So, my boys have been going to “Royal Rangers” at our church. My oldest for 2 years and my younger son just started attending last month. And well, if you’ve been around boys you might expect they can get a little rambunctious. It always starts out with them both wanting to wrestle or as they call it “battle” (How do they come up with this stuff?!?) And then someone gets hurt, and then someone gets angry, yada, yada, yada. One of these such occurrences happened just a couple of days ago and I had to intervene. Here’s how it went down.

“Son, you can’t decide to just hit your brother out of anger.”

“But, MOM, in Ranger’s we learned to do to others what you want them to do to you.”

“Ummm, Son, do you WANT your brother to whack you like you just whacked him?”

“No, but he must have wanted me to do it to him since he did it first.”

“Boys, sit down. We need to talk.”

As you can imagine, it took me a little while to sort out their distorted view of how the verse they had learned was really supposed to play out in real life. But you know, I’m not much different than my boys. More often than not, I read scripture or hear sermons and simply take away what is easy for me, what is comfortable. Those parts that don’t require me to change.

How often do I simply react to how someone has treated me and get this whole “Do unto other’s” business all backwards? It’s much harder to be the first to step out of my comfort zone and to be kind to those who have hurt me. It’s much easier snap back at my kids and husband when tempers are short and and the day has been long. We’ve all heard the adage or have even had the refrigerator magnet that says “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” As wives and moms we can set the atmosphere of our homes. Proverbs 15:1 says “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” I’m sure we’ve seen it in action, one person has a rough day, comes home in a mood and snaps at another family member. That person snaps back, or in turn snaps at another family member. Then there are 3 or more people who are snippy and every interaction between them for the rest of the evening is soured by the former conversations. ¬†What if we could diffuse those bombs by giving a soft answer or by considering how the person who initially snapped at us is feeling?

While I’ve seen emotional explosions take place when knee-jerk snap backs happen before gentle answers are provided. ¬†I’ve also seen how powerful it can be when I find one of my children full of frustration and I call them aside to see what’s really going on. I’m not sure how we managed it, but there are 7 very strong personalities in our house. All different, but determined and headstrong nonetheless. Sure we could choose to dish out what we’ve been given, and wait for the other person to admit their faults and apologize, but how much more enjoyable is life when we really consider others before ourselves. To slow down and think before we lash out. It’s okay to call everyone together and ask for a re-do when attitudes have flared.

I want my kids to speak to me and to others with thoughtfulness and with kindness. They learn those things from somewhere. I’m challenging myself, their live in role model, to slow down in my responses so I can thoughtfully reply in wisdom and kindness. I want to make James 1:19 the norm and not the exception. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” Can you imagine how amazing things would be if we all adopted that mindset? It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.


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Reclaim Your Marriage


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It’s no secret that marriages are failing all over the world. Even those who have lasted decades.

I feel like so, so many marriages fall between the cracks. They are struggling, but don’t even know where to start to change the course they are on. If they continue their habits, divorce is likely. But how to turn it around? With what resources? The internet is helpful, but they need something more – something with exercises they can do together, questions they can ask each other, goals they can set, intimacy ideas they can try, and even date ideas to liven things up.

…where is that, though? My heart is to see marriages thrive. I’m so glad there are others with that same heart.

I recently came across The Reclaim Your Marriage program from the Dating Divas. I have been nothing short of impressed! This program is broken up into 10 week sessions – 1 session per week. Each session hits on a hot-button topic in marriage, like trust, communication, finances, and intimacy.

The best way to Divorce-proof your marriage!

This program is essentially private, at-home couples counseling that you can do all online. Each session includes a therapy video from Tara (founder of The Dating Divas), tons of exercises, activities, thought-provoking questions, and ways to solve those tricky “bumps in the road” that plague marriages today. They have come up with a simple, effective solution that couples can do together, in the privacy of their own home.

The reviews have been pouring in, and they are impressive! This program has saved dozens of marriages already, and that’s only from the beta testing.

If you are truly needing to put an investment into your relationship – try the Reclaim Your Marriage Program!

The first is week is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose! Let me know if you give it a try. Your marriage is worth the attempt.


What I Can Do?


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This year has been different for me than any I’ve ever experienced. We moved into the Mack Pack Ranch thinking we’d have our little piece of Mayberry. I did expect lots of work as we completed project after project to get our home from it’s dilapidated state to the vision of a little ranch house property we had envisioned from the start. What I didn’t expect was a random break-in at the end of February when I came home from picking up the kids from school to find our front door rammed open. Only my laptop computer was missing, but this event left me wondering if I was being watched as I had only been gone for 20 minutes. I also didn’t expect to be robbed at gunpoint in my driveway only a couple of weeks later as I was taking in our trash containers the day before my oldest son’s 7th birthday. I expected to be displaced from our home for most of the summer while we were having carpet and tile put in. I didn’t expect to get a call from someone I have learned so much from that informed me that a marriage of 43 years was coming to an end. To say it’s been a difficult year would be an understatement.

This year has caused me to really take time to reflect and evaluate what is important to me. When our home was broken into, I became more cautious of my surroundings, but I wasn’t fearful. I remember grabbing my gun from my purse, telling the kids to sit still while I boldly canvased the house just hoping the perpetrator would pop his head out. I’m pretty sure that was mostly just adrenaline and mama bear coming out.

But when I was nearly run over by a yellow corvette and had my phone stolen at gun point while being cursed at by the thief, who I later found out had murdered someone hours before our encounter; something was triggered in me that has left me changed. For a couple of weeks afterwards I was a mess. My heart raced when I was in public with my kids. My faith in humanity was crushed. If something like this could happen in my own front yard, was anywhere safe? Yellow cars of any kind still trigger a startle in my heart. But I have learned that the anxious thoughts disappear when I pray. I can’t change the outcome of the young man who robbed me, but I can pray for his family members who were undoubtedly changed by his actions as well. I pray that they would be comforted and that they would find hope in the everyday and that if they don’t know how much God loves them, that they would discover it somehow. When I pray, the anxiety leaves, peace floods in and I continue on with my day. Anxious thoughts still come occasionally, but I have learned how to thwart them with God’s word.

Another type of anxiety struck with the phone call announcing the end of my model for marriage. I began to wonder if I even know how to be a wife. Do I really know what it takes to have a successful marriage? What does a successful marriage look like? Does the number of years make it successful? Is it how the relationship makes you feel that makes it successful? What is a good marriage? I’m by nature a fixer. Hello, we took on a BIG fixer upper with the Mack Pack Ranch! lol I like to find answers to problems, I like to research and find solutions. I don’t do well when I can’t manipulate a desired outcome. But if I’ve learned anything from parenting my five children, it’s that I can’t control other people, but I can control myself. I can’t make anyone fall back in love.


What I can do is nurture my own marriage. I can decide to make sure that my husband knows that I cherish him. That I appreciate him and desire him. I can speak with kindness to my spouse and my children. I can choose to look at the good in people and choose to speak life.

What broke my heart most was learning that this occurrence is more common than I thought. That there are countless marriages that have gone on for decades that lack love and respect for each other and simply go thru the motions, being housemates but not helpmates. I’m nearing 40, and many of my friends who have grown up in the church, in Christian homes have parents who live in loveless marriages. They wouldn’t dare get a divorce, but they go thru the motions day in and day out, being unkind to the very gift they were given 30, 40 or more years ago. From my observation, it doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It is a slow unassuming process. It’s daily neglect that builds up over the years and promises and vows that are forgotten. ¬† We all get married with hopes of that Happily Ever After. But what we don’t realize, is for that fairy tale to be a reality takes work. I remember hearing Martha Tennison speak not long after I was first married. It’s been awhile since I heard the story, but I’ll try to recap as best as I recall. She tells a story of how she had just mopped the floor and her husband or son walked in on her freshly cleaned floor and she yelled at him for soiling the floor with his muddy shoes. Then another day after mopping the floor a guest came over with muddy shoes and her response was nothing but sugar and sweetness. She made the point that we should treat those we are mothers to and married to with the same sweetness as those who we aren’t related to. I don’t want to be so comfortable in my marriage that I forget to do those things that won my husband’s heart in the first place. When Jeremy & I were dating he tried so many times to start arguments with me to see how I would argue. I know the value of picking my battles. He wasn’t very successful about getting me riled up. It still takes quite a bit to ruffle my feathers. ¬†What I’ve learned is that most of the time if I’m really “right” about something we disagree on, it’s much more rewarding to have him admit I’m right than for me to point it out to him. The truth always comes to light eventually. In fact, there are more times that I’m wrong than right and as rewarding as it is to not have to say “I told you so,” it’s equally rewarding to not have to eat crow when I was in the wrong. We recently honored a couple in our church who have been married for 60 years.¬†When asked their advice for what to do to make marriage work, he said, “Stick with it.” And when asked what to do when your marriage is struggling, she said, “Stick with it and do what you know is right. Be loving and kind, that always works.”

So here I am, feeling a little helpless with all the crazy circumstances surrounding me this year. I sit and ponder often, “What can I do?” Just like I couldn’t stop the thieves from breaking into my home or from pulling a gun on me and stealing my phone, and I can’t make anyone choose to have a happy marriage, I can choose differently for myself. I can choose to be kind, to have joy and to live each day giving all I can to make those around me feel loved and cherished. ¬†What can you do today?


Happy Birthday, NYR Organic



NYRO-US celebrates our 8th birthday, September 9th!
To help us celebrate on our birthday, all customers who place orders of $50 or more through Independent Consultants or replicated sites on September 9th, will be entered to win one of eight birthday bundles! This includes new Consultant Business Kit orders and Consultant orders. This is a great time to be a part of this young Direct Sales company.

What makes NYR Organic so special? Over the last 2 years of myself being an Independent Consultant, I’ve discovered many wonderful things about this company.

Precautionary Principle: When in doubt, leave it out. If an ingredient is harmful to the environment, animals or people, Neal’s Yard Remedies doesn’t include it in their products. This gives me peace of mind, especially with the multitude of possible carcinogens and neurotoxins our bodies are bombarded with daily. Few companies have the best interest of their consumers at heart so to me, it’s refreshing to find one that does.first-100-percent-ethical-health-and-beauty-jpeg.jpg

I wasn’t a part of the original launch of NYR Organic in 2009, but I’ve been honored to be a consultant since 2015. NYR Organic is well known around the world, having 40 shops, 64 Therapy Rooms and 400 stockists in the UK and organic beauty collections available in Japan, Canada, UAE, Oman, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sweden, Finland, Croatia, Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago and Israel. NYR Organic has been offering holistic skincare since 1981. While the US may have been a late adopter of this brand, it’s a great time to jump in and join this growing company, whether you use it just for yourself or decide to share it with others as a business.

I’d love to share more and help you discover NYR Organic for yourself. What most intrigues you about this company?


Request a Catalog


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I remember as a kid when my mom would get the Sears Catalog and my sister and I would study it for hours on end looking at all the toys and clothes and decor, circling all the things on our wish lists. It was so fun to read the descriptions on each item and dream of all the ways we could accessorize Malibu Barbie. ¬†As I grew older, I moved on to develop an interest in music and as I collected Compact Discs of my favorite bands, I would read the album inserts cover to cover from the lyrics to the thank you’s and bio’s about the artists. I LOVED when there was something quirky or funny included in a bio. ¬†I know I’m a dork. I’m okay with that!

These days, Pinterest is kind of my new Sears Catalog. I pin all the things in hopes of one day crafting all those things I’ve pinned to my “Feeling Crafty” board or having my home one day resemble that rustic ranch house I have pictured in my mind. It’s getting so close, y’all! Stay tuned, I’ll share more about the remodel as soon as I can.


I love the ease that technology gives us to allow us to browse anything at anytime and even have it on our door step in hours. But there is something about that waiting, the planning, the antithesis of instant gratification that was so much a part of my childhood. I still love getting a paper catalog in hand and reading about the products and making a plan.

I occasionally have someone request a catalog from NYR Organic. They are one of my favorite things to share with people because not only do you get a beautifully organized collection of products and descriptions, but you also get little insights into where we source our products from and how our FairTrade efforts are impacting women around the world.

These days, instead of reading the album inserts of my favorite artists, I find myself browsing my product catalog and following the charts for how to apply facial oil for the most benefit and I read every line about how to find the right product for your skin type.


What is your go-to? When you want to unwind and window shop, where do you find yourself turning? I’d love to hear from you! And if you’re curious and would like to browse through one of my catalogs, I’d love to send you one! And if you ask nicely, I’ll even throw in a sample or two. ¬†If online browsing is your thing, you can take a look at the most recent one here on my website.

And I seriously want to know how many others read all the album inserts. I can’t be the only one.


My Favorite Things (3)


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Favorites for Toddlers

Toddlers. Everything is new and exciting for them. Every child comes with their own personality and sense of adventure. Some may be ready to take on the world head on while others are happy to see it all firmly attached to mom’s leg with one eye peeping out. I firmly believe that raising kids is as much about developing the character of the parents as it is about developing the character of the child. Keep in mind, parents, you’ve been at this “life” thing a lot longer than your child has, so be patient with them. You’ll both make lots of mistakes, but being willing to grow from those mistakes is what makes all the difference. I’m a mom of 5 so this isn’t my first rodeo. Here are some of my tried and true resources for getting thru and thriving in those toddler years.

  1. Words are limited when you’re a toddler. We found that Sign Language¬†can help ease the frustration and give your child the tools to effectively communicate their needs. We started at about 6 months of age using the sign for “Milk” when they wanted to nurse. We then incorporated “Eat”, “All Done”, More”, “Please”, and “Thank You”. There are printables all over Pinterest to help you get started. I didn’t find out about the videos from Signing Time until our 4th child, but you can usually find them at your local library. Ours were a hot commodity at our library so we eventually started streaming them from our Amazon account. I’m not sure there are many things more fun than tickling your child and having them sign “more” when you stop.
  2. Teething. You can’t escape it. Depending on your child, you’ll battle this anywhere from 4 months thru 5 years! With my oldest 2, we resorted to Tylenol (I no longer recommend this route.) And eventually found Hyland’s Teething Tablets. While those miracles in a bottle are no longer available, our other favorite has been Amber Teething necklaces. These aren’t for chewing on as some would assume. Amber is a resin from trees that contains Succinic Acid, a natural analgesic that is absorbed into the skin when worn. We noticed a reduction in drool and I my last 3 children were much more mild teethers than my first 2. From what I’ve learned, you want to find a raw amber necklace that has individually knotted beads. Here’s where we’ve gotten ours most often. When my oldest daughter wore braces recently, she wore an amber necklace. ¬†Even after having her braces tightened, she didn’t need any pain relief or numbing cream.¬†518jr3ntxGL.jpg
  3. Sleep & Food. If your child is cranky these are the 2 most likely culprits. I learned early on that behavior is closely tied to these 2 necessities. So, head off bad behavior by making sure your child has enough rest. Toddlers ages 1-2 years old need between 11-14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Little bodies are growing so fast. When we sleep our bodies grow and mend. I know when I’m tired, I have a hard time controlling my emotions. Keep that in mind when your little one is cranky. With all the new things a child is learning every day, it’s important to give them time to rest to process it all. There have been many times my kids may have missed out on a playdate that fell right around nap time. I know that if I had attended a play date at the usual nap time, everyone would have been miserable. Save yourself, your child and others around you the frustration by hitting the grocery store or running errands when your child is refreshed and not when they are near the melt down zone. Kids need fuel. We keep apples and bananas on the counter so that they can grab a healthy snack whenever they need one. Ever been “hangry”. They say that most arguments in marriages happen when people are hungry. So if you find your child melting down mid-morning or mid-afternoon, it’s quite likely they just need a little snack to help bring out the happy again.
  4. Consistency. Let your “yes” be “yes”, and your “no” be “no”. Do NOT give in to whining and fits. Make a decision and stick with it. If you tell your child they can not have a toy when you go to the store, for goodness sake, DO NOT buy them a toy when they start to beg or whine in the store. I know it’s not pleasant to hear your kid cry for the toy as you walk thru the aisle feeling eyes of all the other customers peering at you. Trust me. If you give in, you will have just taught your child that all they need to do to get their way is to whine. Sure, giving in is easy in the moment, but we’re in a marathon here, people. Parenting is for the long haul. In the same way, when you tell your child yes, be sure to follow thru with those promises. Don’t make empty threats and don’t break your promises. One of my pet peeves is when a child is melting down and a parent tells them “if you don’t quit, or if you do that again, ¬†we are leaving.” The child continues crying or repeats the offending action and the same threat is made 15 more times with no follow thru. Clearly, the parent had no intention of leaving and the child has learned that words mean nothing. It only takes a few times of following thru with your words for your child to know you mean what you say. It’s character building for both of you and will serve you well in the long run.

Thanks for stopping by. How have you found these things to help in your family? I’d love to hear from you.