Friday, December 31, 2021

Our Annual #Christmas Lights Drive in #KansasCity

*Originally posted December 9, 2014

Driving around looking at lights each December was a tradition when I was a kid (only child), and my husband also remembers doing this with his family (five kids). So it only makes sense that we have continued this festive tradition with our kids. Some years we start out with to-go mugs of hot chocolate (mixed with coffee for me, please!), or sometimes we might go to Starbucks for hot chocolates for the kids and coffees for the adults. We have plenty of space in our 12-passenger van, and this year we even loaned out our van to a friend who had family in town so they could look at lights together and in comfort. 

Once we're all loaded up, we vamoose to some of these places, in no particular order, and you can always make it a two-night affair:

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Hidden Travel Gems

Image by ravik777 from Pixabay 

 Oftentimes, when your day-to-day life gets to be dreary from the same old schedule you've been on for forever, you just want to get away. When you plan vacations to some of the most common touristy areas, you can sometimes find yourself coming back needing a vacation from your vacation. If you want to find a vacation spot right here in the US that you can escape to without all the crowds, here are some of the places you might consider traveling to.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

How to Locate the Perfect Next Home for You and Your Family 

Finding the right kind of home in life is paramount to overall happiness. We all want a sound personal life and lots of money to play with, but the right habitat would make everyone so much more content in life. If you have a better home environment in this world, then you’re going to be a lot happier than if you’re struggling for the right place.


Whether you’re on your own or you’re raising a family, you’re going to want to pick the perfect place for your situation. Choosing something like this may feel like a big deal and a huge commitment, but you can make this kind of task a little simpler. Here are a few things to ponder: 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

How to Easily Save All Year for Christmas

A wonderful candle from my sweet Eva
I love Christmas! My family loves Christmas! I love shopping for my kids, my husband, my parents and step-parents, my grandmother, my friends, neighbors, extended family, teachers at the homeschool coop, the mailman, kids I don't even know, EVERYONE!

How are you supposed to save up to have a meaningful Christmas full of gift-giving and donating to the poor when you have to pay for things like clothing for growing kids, stove repair, surprise dental work, and so much more? Well, you start very early and you keep your eye on the prize of peaceful family togetherness and financial independence (eventually)!

Monday, December 20, 2021

Simple Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill


Two of my crazy kids
helping me grocery shop

Times are tough, and many people are looking for ways they can save a few dollars here and there. While drastic changes are difficult and not easy to sustain long term, there are many little things you can do to save money on your grocery bill. Here are just some of the things you can try to make your money stretch a little further without feeling like you have to completely change your diet.

Try a Meal Kit Service

While meal kit services started out quite expensive, cheaper options are becoming more readily available as the food kit service industry is gaining popularity. Most services let you customize your plan for your lifestyle and budget, based on how many people you need to feed and how many meal kits you would like per week.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Who is Kerrie Solsberg McLoughlin?

Born in Germany in 1971, Kerrie McLoughlin has been a laughing, playing, praying, traveling, fun-loving Catholic convert since 1999. She believes that faith, family, and friends are the most important things in life.

Kerrie is fortunate enough to be living out her childhood dreams in a suburb of Kansas City of being a wife (to Aron since 1998), a mother (five fab kids), a teacher (homeschooling K-12 + teaching at our co-op), and a writer/proofreader (blogs, books, and parenting magazine articles).

In May of 2020, she graduated her first homeschooled-all-the-way-through kid. She grew up loving writing and has written for over 180 regional parenting magazines since 2009. 

Christmas Baking: Heavenly Coconut Chocolate Bars

It's never too early to make your Christmas Baking Plan! These little gems go fast in my house when I make them, and they are so easy that now the kids can make them too. They are the perfect dessert for someone who has just had a baby, and they are certainly always on my list for a food gift to give during any holiday!

Here's the recipe for these sinful bars I like to bake and give as Christmas goodies to people I like. Then I bake a batch just for me and snack on them out of the fridge until I get a sugar headache. They rock.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

How to Create a Better Home Environment in 2022


Image - Pixabay CC0 License

Creating a better home environment will be one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions for 2022. And this is the perfect time to start considering the projects that can be used to make this happen.

Getting your priorities in place won’t only help you plan the year’s projects. It’ll also help you make calculated choices for faster and more affordable transformations. Here are six things to focus on in 2022.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

3 Crafts to Try

Image by Candace Hunter from Pixabay 

 Even if you've never considered yourself a very crafty person, you might want to get started on a new hobby, something fun and relaxing that leads to beautiful results. If this describes you, then read on for three creative crafts to try.

How to Design a Bedroom That Will Grow with Your Child


Image by Press 👍👍 Love you 💖 from Pixabay 

As your child grows, his or her bedroom should mature as well. This can be tricky as kids grow quickly and their tastes are constantly evolving. Fortunately, a little forethought goes a long way in creating a bedroom that will suit your child for years.

7 Winter Health Hazards to be Wary Of

Certain injuries, illnesses and health conditions can be more of a risk in the winter months. Below are just some of the health hazards to look out for this winter, how to treat them and how to prevent them.

Colds and fevers

Colds and fevers tend to spread in winter as a result of spending more time in enclosed spaces with less ventilation. This allows bugs to spread more easily. 

Most of the measures used to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be effective against flus and colds - wash your hands regularly, limit contact with people who are sick and wear a mask. Keeping your immune system up with a healthy diet and exercise could also help you to fend off such illnesses.

Colds and fevers usually disappear on their own. If your temperature rises above 103 F or you have severe breathing difficulties, consult a doctor immediately. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

132 Ultimate Christmas and Holiday Movie and Show List

Image by Claire Dela Cruz from Pixabay 

1.      3 Bears Christmas

2.     48 Christmas Wishes 

3.     A Boy Called Christmas 

4.     A Charlie Brown Christmas

5.     A Christmas Carol

6.     A Christmas Proposal

There are 132 total on this list! Let me know if I'm missing any!

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Fun Activities to Do Over the Weekend

After a whole week of work, meetings, and attending to your customers, the weekend is always a great time to take some time off and catch up with friends. Instead of being indoors alone, bored, there are so many fun activities you can do together which are not only good for your health but allow you to bond with your friends as well. If you are unsure what to do, here are a few ideas to inspire you for your weekend activity.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

5 Ways to Care for Your Dog


Dogs are among the best company a human can have. That is why they are the most popular pet worldwide. When you decide to be a dog owner, you have to ensure you take good care of it. You have to learn the basics of dog care like when to take it to the vet, what to feed it, proper grooming, and exercising it. All these are for the health and happiness of your furry friend. Fortunately, these are easy things to do. Here are five basic ways to care for your lovely pet.

Why do you need attic insulation?


Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay 

The reason for attic insulation is to minimize the heat transfer coefficient by using thermal insulators. Attic insulation in houses or buildings is a crucial factor in achieving thermal comfort for the occupants. The insulation reduces undesired heat gain and heat loss, thus significantly minimizing the energy demands of heating and cooling systems. Some benefits of attic insulation include:

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

What You Need To Know About Finances & Making Money When Self-Employed

As a freelancer, it is important to be good with your finances. You don't want to run out of money and also you won't want to be looking over your shoulder. If you can manage your finances well and make the right decisions, then your business might just profit.

While self-employment can give people more freedom than working for someone else, it can also be a big responsibility. People who are self-employed need to know how much taxes they should pay and how much they need to save for retirement.

Self-employed people should be financially literate because they are the ones managing their own finances and are the primary decision-makers in their company. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about your finances and making money.

Is It Hard To Manage Your Money As A Freelancer?

Freelancers are often worried about the way they manage their money. But, with a little bit of planning, you can make managing your money as a freelancer easier and less stressful.

There’s nothing wrong with being self-employed in itself; it gives you freedom and flexibility that other jobs just don’t provide. But it does require research and planning on your part before you start freelancing so that you know what your next steps will be in case something goes wrong

Sometimes, it can be difficult to manage your finances as a freelancer. Especially when you first start, you need to learn how to budget your money and how to save. It requires self-discipline and diligence.

How To Make Money As A Freelancer

Freelancers can make money in various ways. Some of the most common ways are to charge for services and sell your digital products or skills. Freelancers should be sure to find out their options and explore them when they can’t find the right way to make money using the ones mentioned above. You just need to work out what feels right for you.

The first step towards making more money as a freelancer is to have your skillset up and running. You should have a list of projects lined up in advance so that you don’t get stuck without work when it comes time for finding clients. Also, be proactive about finding work and make it happen.

Tracking & Filing Your Finances As A Contractor

It’s hard enough getting your finances in order when you are working a traditional job. You have to remember all the rules, checklists, and deadlines. It’s even harder when you work as a contractor. But don’t worry - there are ways that can help you!

Keeping track of your finances self-employed is not always easy, but it can be done! There are several different tools that will help you keep your personal and business finances separate so they don’t get mixed up. One way to do this is by using a simple spreadsheet where everything is split into columns. You can also look for experts that can help you with everything from duty drawback and tax recovery to filing for you. But you will also want to make sure that you are aware of where you’re at too.

Ways To Budget Your Self-Employed Finances

The self-employed must know how to budget their income and expenses to avoid overspending and have sufficient funds for emergencies. A few ways to do so are by knowing what your average hourly rate is, estimating how much your expenses will cost per month, and using a spreadsheet when it comes time to track your income and expenditures.

There are many ways to budget for self-employed finances. Some people find it easier to track their expenses using specific software like Mint, while some prefer to use paper and pencil. Regardless of the method you choose, it’s always prudent to create a budget before you launch your project. This will ensure that your work meets the budgeted goal and that you’re not overspending.

The Best Financial Tips For Freelancers

Self-employed individuals have to manage their own finances on a daily basis and make sure they're saving the money they earn while also paying their bills on time. This can be tough, especially when freelancers find it difficult to save enough money for rainy days.

Some of the most common financial tips for self-employed people that you should follow are: 1) Create an emergency fund 2) Set aside 10% of your income 3) Pay off your debt 4) Think about your long-term goals and save more money for them 5) Read up on finances and what you can do to improve your freelance business.


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