How to Make Your Own Instant Oatmeal Packets

It’s National Breakfast Week. Why not celebrate by saving BIG on breakfast! 

If you love to save time and money, this one is for you! I bought a large 42 oz canister of instant oats on sale for $2 and a bag of C&H brown sugar on sale for $1. From this I made 30 (THIRTY!) quick oats packets, just like the ones they sell in boxes of 6 packets for $3-$5. My version cost $0.10 per “packet” and the prepackaged ones can cost up to $0.85 per packet. That’s a pretty big savings! 

DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets

These are so simple to make. 

Take 1/2 cup Oats, 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar, put them in a snack sized bag and zip it up. Really. It’s that easy! 

You can add dried fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chips, whatever you love in your oatmeal.

When you are ready to cook them, empty the packet into a bowl, add 3/4 cup of water or milk and microwave on high for 1 minute. Simple as that!

Think of all the wine you could buy with the savings! ;) 



Parody Of Call Me Maybe: Call Mom Baby

When you were growing up, did your mom tell you, “Call me when you get there?” I certainly remember mine saying that. [It was BC – before cell phones.] Through the years, I’ve felt like it has taken me forever to grow up, but now that I’m on the other side of things, I can tell you my own kids are growing too fast!  Maybe that’s why this Call Me, Maybe parody has me cracking up…whatever it is I hope this helps get you ready for the weekend! I know it did me!

call mom baby

“Birthdays flying at me…Mom needs nighty nighty…” and other great lyrics are in this parody of “Call Me, Maybe” by Mamalode. I like how they use all age levels from K-5 through college.

I just can’t get enough of the hilarious parodies that seem to just come out of the woodwork on Youtube, share your favorite parody video in the comments!

Summer Camp Equals Summer Fun for Kids

Today’s post is a guest post from Ariella Rogge from Sanborn Camps on the fun benefits of sending your kiddos to camp.

I am OVER parental anxiety. Especially my own. The only time I am safe from my self-imposed demons is in late May before—or even AT—the end-of-school party when I can confidently say, “Yep, this summer L is going to camp.” After, on average, 1.2 positive murmurs someone says, “I could NEVER send my Precious Athernon to summer camp! I couldn’t bear to lose that much time with him.” Apparently Athernon has achieved the rare distinction of being The Only 11 Year Old Boy Who Is Constantly Engaging, Exciting, and Perfectly Pleasant. Most children, mine included, are Holy Terrors from Whom Mommy Needs a Break.

Camp is great for kids. The camp environment provides a safe place to engage in and learn from personal choices. By allowing campers to choose their activities and their own experiences, a child is a) empowered to make her own decision; b) open himself up to the experience—good or bad; c) be able to grow in the knowledge that “I made a good choice on my own…” or “Next time, I’m going to try something different.” This process is an essential life skill because it engenders responsibility and perseverance in a child.

Summer Camp

This increased personal responsibility helps campers both at camp and at home. Many parents tell camp professionals that the independence and confidence their children gain at camp allow them to “break out” of unhealthy peer groups, habits, and behavior patterns when they return home. Whining, apathy, and uncooperative attitudes in some children seem to vanish overnight after they live and play in an environment that “expects good” from them. The camp environment allows childre to see the benefit of healthy behaviors like patience, inclusion, empathy, joy, laughter, self-reflection, independent thinking, problem solving, and more.

The best part of learning these essential life skills at camp is that it is not a didactic experience—it is something the campers are DOING day in and day out. They learn to associate success and confidence with the physical movement of their bodies as they climb high mountain peaks. They enjoy the space and freedom of the outdoors while learning proper horsemanship techniques in the alpine valleys and Aspen groves. They walk, hike, run, and share as they go to meals, play games, explore the natural world, and connect with other people and the world around them. These experiences create a foundation of health and connection to nature that can quickly become a lifestyle.

But will I miss the constant “Mommy, will you play with me?” refrain of long summer days? Maybe…but they will get more out of playing at camp. Research suggests that free play–especially in nature—is essential to cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. Play is linked to growth in memory, self-regulation, oral language, and recognizing symbols. It is linked to higher levels of school adjustment and increased social development as well as to increased literacy skills.

Free play happens when children create their own agenda and play together undirected by adults. This kind of play is more likely to occur in the natural world because there are so many variables to stimulate creativity and discovery. Camp is an ideal setting for free play because, while many activities are organized and directed by counselors, there are multiple times each day when young people can explore together and create imaginative scenarios while the adults either watch over them or actively engage in the child-driven play.

I love that my son goes to camp. As soon as his brother is old enough, he will go too. On top of all of the personal growth and development I see in him, the time away from home reminds us both how much we love and appreciate each other. For those moments and that kind of growth, I will continue to ship him off to summer camp….plus I can finally clean out his closet while he is gone.

Do you allow your small people to head off to summer camp?  What do you love about it?

Winter Sports And Why I Avoid Them

Winter Sports Videos

Winter is almost over and this is the time when parents start feeling a little overwhelmed and kids succumb to cabin fever.  Do you need a break from being indoors? There are lots of snow activities you can participate in. If you can’t afford the fancy places – improvise! I was surprised how many ways there are to improvise with winter sports. [just Google it]

Have you tried any of these winter sports?

  • Snowkiting
  • Snowshoe running
  • Skiing
  • Hockey
  • Sledding
  • Snowtubing
  • Ice Skating
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowboarding
  • Ice Fishing
  • Snowball fights
  • Building snowmen or snow forts
  • or of the varieties of many sports and activities listed.

I have decided to avoid all of them after watching this snow sports blooper video:

Really, they involve cold and wet and I’m fine here by my fire with a good book. :)

Share your favorite winter sport in the comments with us!

5 Housework Tips/Tricks You Might Not Know About

When it comes to housework, there are lots of shortcuts…trust me, I know! I try to avoid housework at all costs.

To make your life easier, I’ve compiled some tips/tricks I’ve learned recently, that you probably already know and maybe a couple that you didn’t!

5 Housework Tips

1. Cutting aluminum foil can sharpen you scissors. This is super helpful when my kitchen shears get all dull.

2. Dawn dish soap can clean the grease off your cabinets and range hood! I learned this trick from Domestic Debacle!

3. Cut a lemon and put it in your garbage disposal for instant freshness. Turn that baby on and you’ve just cleaned/de-gunked it and bonus, your kitchen now smells like lemons!

4. Olive oil can shine up your wood. No joke! I mix 1 cup of olive oil with a 1/4c of plain white vinegar and viola! A fast and frugal solution that can kick Murphy Oil’s behind! ;)

5. Use newspaper to clean your mirrors and glass. Remember newspapers? They are these large sheets of paper with words and coupons printed on them. In the old days, people used to have it delivered to their house and not just their inbox on their computer! If you happen to have some newspaper laying around, squirt some Windex or glass cleaner on your mirrors/glass and wipe off with the newsprint. The ink helps make them babies shine!

So there you have it. Five of my tips/tricks that many of you probably have already heard about but maybe a couple of you will benefit from.

Have a tip/trick you love? Please share it in the comments so we can all be domestic goddesses for a day!

DIY Confetti Garland

We go out of our way to celebrate the little things in life.  With busy schedules, these times together mean even more to us!  Our favorite family celebrations include the first day back in school,  loose tooth parties, and Friday family nights!  Sometimes our house is full of friends and sometimes it’s just us.  Either way, we love to celebrate life.

The costs of these celebrations can add up.  We keep costs low (and add a personal touch) by making most of the decorations and favors ourselves.  My goal is beauty, simplicity, and to ensure that they are easy to store (for reuse).

Today I’d like to share with you a “recipe” for the easiest confetti garland.

confetti garland

How-To Make DIY Confetti Garland

Supplies: cardstock, circle punches (or any other shape), and a sewing machine.

Confetti Garland Instructions

DIY Confetti Garland

We began by punching out two different sizes of circles.

I LOVE to make things with vibrant color!  Your colors will vary depending on your needs/the holiday.

confetti 2

Next, start running your paper confetti through your sewing machine.  This will not hurt your sewing machine and it will go fast.

confetti 3

It really is that simple!  When you’re done with the sewing step, get ready to hang.  You’ll need a few extra pieces of tape to keep these up.

DIY Confetti Garland

Confetti garland is the perfect touch for any celebration.  It brightens a room, takes up very little storage space, and it’s fabulously festive.  Go celebrate!

DIY Confetti Garland

Do you make homemade decorations to help you celebrate life?


Reading When Extra Time is a Luxury

I have a sizable stack of books to be read on my nightstand. Next to it sits an even larger, slightly messy, pile of unread magazines. Slowly the number of magazines I subscribe to has grown to numbers I can’t seem to catch up with. Yet, I can’t bring myself to cancel a single subscription. What if I miss the most amazing chicken recipe Cooking Light has ever shared within it’s pages? What if Oprah has life changing advice and I decided to cancel my subscription? I collect books to be read at a rate I’m ashamed to admit. Cookbooks, fiction novels, non-fiction works, books about anything that catches my fancy.

When's a mom supposed to have time to read-

Once upon a time I was able to read all the books I wanted, I had time to read every article in every magazine that entered my mailbox.  Then I had a second baby and anything looking remotely like extra time flew out the window.  From early morning when the baby first wakes to bedtime I am on almost non-stop mom duty.   After bedtime is wrapped up, my husband and I set to work recovering the kitchen and living room from the dinnertime and after-school explosions.  Random laundry is folded or thrown in the washer and then I try to sneak in a bit of time to work.So, when is a mom supposed to find time to read?  I mean read a book, of her choosing, to herself.  It’s crazy, but my book club just keeps picking new books to read and I’m expected to actually read them. I thought book clubs were just cover stories for getting together with friends to drink wine without kids or husbands present?  Apparently not.Lately I’ve been working to peel myself away from the computer, smart phone or iPad at least a half hour before I should be in bed, this little chunk of time is all I need to read a couple of chapters in my new book or a handful of articles in one of those magazines. I’m slowly working my way through my towering nightstand piles. The extra-super bonus is I get a little down time to myself to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Now all I need to do is actually put the books down and not let myself read for hours after I should be sleeping.

How do you fit time to read in your day? 

Tell us in the comments and leave a recommendation for the next book I pick up!

Make A Flower Out Of Plastic Spoons, Plates And Other Paper Products

There are so many uses for flowers – decorations, thank you notes, gift tags, etc. Here are some ways to make flowers out of ordinary paper products that we often have around the house.

paper products to flowers

We always have paper plates at my house, because I don’t like to do dishes. Now I know how to turn them into a cute flower.

If you don’t have paper plates – how about paper towels?

Just about everybody has regular paper that we use in the printer. That’s what she uses to make a flower in this video.

Next is plastic spoon flowers made over an open flame. Any pyromaniacs out there?

Of course I have to mention tissue paper flowers. My mother still remembers making thousands of tissue paper flowers for prom – and that was many years ago!

There are so many things you can use to make flowers – even toilet paper rolls – and you don’t have to buy anything. Have you ever made any of these flowers?