Category Archives: Family Life

Homemade Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

Homemade Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content.  Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.

You won’t believe how simple these ornaments are to make… and they fill your home with the wonderful scent of cinnamon! These are a great craft for kids to make. Not only can you put them on your own tree for years to come and remember the fun Christmas memories of making them, but they make great gifts for the grandparents too.

cin ornaments1

My kids just love helping make these and we make some nearly every year!  The good news is, they are pretty inexpensive to make.  I bought generic cinnamon (2.5 oz) for $0.88 and the name brand cinnamon was $4.68!  So right away, that is a savings of 80% on ingredients!  To make 24 of these ornaments only costs around $3.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 Ingredient recipe
2 c. applesauce
2 c. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Elmer’s school glue

That’s all you need! Just mix together until dough forms, roll out (to about 1/4 inch thickness) and use your favorite cookie cutter shapes to make your ornaments. Just remember, if your dough is sticking as you roll it out, “flour” your rolling pin with cinnamon.

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments | Money Savvy Living

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments | Money Savvy Living

Once your ornaments are cut out, you must use a toothpick, a craft stick, or even a straw to poke a hole in the top so that you can put a ribbon through to hang on tree. Or, if you want to string them for garland, you will want to place 2 holes in the middle of the ornament, at least 1/2 inch apart.

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments | Money Savvy Living

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments | Money Savvy Living

Optional:  lightly press glitter onto the ornaments while the dough is still moist and let it dry into the dough for decoration.

Once the ornaments have dried for at least 24-48 hours, use glue to decorate after the ornaments with glitter, sequins, or whatever your choose.

Put ribbons through the holes and decorate your tree!


Dec 2012 045

Merry Christmas!

*Money Savvy Tip*
Shop at the dollar store or an overstock store for these ingredients, or even ask your local grocery store for damaged containers of applesauce or cinnamon, you may be able to save a bit of money on these items. Also be sure to look for generic brands of these ingredients for extra savings.


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Why I Gave in and Finally got an Elf on the Shelf for My Kids

Why I Gave in and Finally got an Elf on the Shelf for My Kids

I really dislike the Elf on the Shelf.

I don’t know why, but I find this mischievously smiling elf to be super-annoying. For the last few years, my Facebook feed have been filled up with all sorts of pictures of this elf visiting houses. Every day, he is doing something different and I get to know about it—whether I want to know or not.

I don’t want to sound cynical here, but I don’t really care that your elf, named “Elf,” undecorated the Christmas tree and moved it across the living room, or unrolled 10 rolls of toilet paper to make a snow village, or wrote a magical message in colored soap all over the bathroom mirror, or poops out toothpaste, or anything else he does.

Seriously, maybe I am just lazy, but planning out those types of scenarios, taking the time to actually make it look like he is doing this type of mischief, then cleaning up after this little fiend—well, that’s just way too involved for me. I mean, I already have three kids that I have to clean up after. Why would I want to give myself more work?

I was doing pretty good keeping this secret from the kids too. Until one day my oldest son heard other kids at school talking about an elf visiting their homes—and all the places he had been hiding and the stuff he’d been doing.

Darn it, I was busted. Now I had to make an excuse for why we didn’t have one. So I told the kids that it sounds like the elf gets into mischief and we don’t want an elf coming to our house and making messes for us to clean up, do we? Lucky for me, one of the moms volunteering at school that day told my son that he must have been good because well-behaved kids don’t get elf visits.

Whew! I figured I was off the hook for good now.

Then, last year, this wretched little elf landed at their cousins’ house. Now, I felt obligated to get them one, so I did, at the end of the season last year….and he made his grand entrance this year the day after Thanksgiving.  I must say, the looks on their faces was worth it when they came downstairs in the morning to find that an elf had finally visited our home!  Their eyes were bright with excitement.  My six-year-old looked at me and confidently proclaimed, “Oh yeah… Santa’s real.”

However, this elf is not going to make messes for me to clean up—if he does, I will for sure send him back to the North Pole early. Maybe he’ll bring some Christmas treats. Maybe he’ll even leave some messages about the true meaning of Chrismas—the birth of Jesus, the gift of giving, and helping others in need.  He might even bring the kids Polar Express Tickets… yes, I know, I am going from despising this elf to making him a Christmas hero…

It wasn’t just out of obligation that I got one though. Each year, since my oldest son started school, I have seen the innocence fade. From proclamations about how Santa can get to everyone’s house in just one night to “the fifth graders said Santa isn’t real,” to the reasoned statement “it is impossible for Santa to visit every house and get in and out so quickly” and “Do you have separate wrapping paper that is for Santa gifts?” When he asks me if Santa is real, I avoid answering the question directly. “He leaves you presents, doesn’t he?” I usually remind him.

This year may be the last year to keep the magic alive. It may be the only year left that all three of my kids will immediately obey at the mere mention of the threat of getting on the naughty list. It may be the last year that they insist on leaving out milk and cookies for Santa, and even carrots for the reindeer. It may be the last year that they write letters to Santa actually believing they make it to the North Pole. It makes me sad that it may be the last year that they will get up at the crack of dawn (although that is no earlier than usual around here!) and run downstairs to see what Santa left and then jump up and down in excitement.

I am just not ready to give that up. I know as they find out, my older sons will play along for their little brother, but it won’t be the same. So if getting a silly elf can keep the wonder and amazement going and allows my boys to be “little” for one more year, then count me in.

I have officially crossed over to a place I never thought I’d go… Elf on the Shelf land.



An Attitude of Gratitude

Being Grateful All Year Long

Being Grateful All Year Long

Every year during the month of November, we see the 30 days of thankfulness challenge… and that’s wonderful. I know that with Thanksgiving coming up, I am typically more mindful of all the people and things in my life that I am thankful for as well. With Thanksgiving less than one week away, here is a great idea to get kids (and adults!) in a more thankful frame of mind: Make a Thankful Tree.

Work on this during Thanksgiving week with the kids or have a few leaves at each place setting and as you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, have each person write what they are thankful for on one or two leaves and decorate the Thankful Tree together as a family.

Really easy– and inexpensive– to do:

  • Gather a few small branches or twigs from trees in your yard
  • Arrange in a large vase
  • Make leaves out of construction paper or card stock (click here for a leaf pattern)
  • Punch small hole at one end
  • Tie strings in approximately 1″ loops to hang on branches
Photo via:

Photo via:

This can be used as a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table or just a beautiful autumn decoration. I really also like that you can use this leaf pattern, or any festive leaves that you cut out, in several decorative ways.  Use as: place cards, labels for food at an hor d’oeuvre table, tie around the stem of a wine glass as name cards.

Photo via:

Photo via:


While it is important to have a thankful heart around Thanksgiving, I want to make a concerted effort to display this gratitude all year long– for 365 days in a year.  Start each day with an attitude of gratitude.

So how do you keep a thankful heart every day of the year?  Life gets busy and it is so easy to get bogged down with all of the things that make us unhappy, rather than focusing on all of the good that is present in our lives every day.  Here is a list of ten ways to keep a thankful heart and attitude throughout the entire year:

  1. Read a daily devotional, like Our Daily Bread
  2. Subscribe to a daily email that is inspirational or motivational, such as The Daily Quotes or Daily Inspiring Quotes
  3.  Keep a thankful journal
  4.  Volunteer at a local hospital, retirement home, or community center
  5.  Serve food at a local soup kitchen
  6.  Donate gently used items to charity
  7.  Thank God for all the blessings in your life, each and every day
  8.  Say “Thank you” to others often
  9.  Smile more
  10. Speak positively rather than focusing on the negative

10 Ways for New Parents to Save Money

piggy bank

Finding out that you are expecting a baby is one of the most exciting and happy events in life! And even when you find out how much this little bundle of joy is going to cost you—the average cost of raising a child is about $245,000—it is still worth it because nothing compares to holding that sweet little baby in your arms. There are some things that you can do though, to save a bit of money:

1. Don’t buy a diaper bag. You won’t need to buy a diaper bag. Seriously, you won’t. Diaper bags can be very expensive, usually starting at about $30 and ranging up to several hundred dollars! And trust me, if you buy one, you are going to be sorry that you wasted your money. There are several places that will actually give you a diaper bag for FREE:

  • your obstetrician’s office often has free diaper bags (with formula samples inside!)
  • vendors at baby fairs hand out diaper bags, among other samples
  • the hospital also gives out free diaper bags and other samples

I learned about all of these free diaper bags after I had already purchases a diaper bag, which I ended up not liking as much as the free ones! If the doctor’s office or hospital are busy or forget to offer these to you, make sure you ask for samples, coupons, or a diaper bag.

2. Don’t stock up on diapers. Ok, if you are a planner, like me, this one is going to be tough. Yes, you will need some diapers to get you started the first few weeks, but don’t buy a bunch of size 1 and 2 diapers until you see what works best for you and your baby. Some brands of diapers that my friends said worked so well for them—never had a leaky diaper—just didn’t prove to be the same experience for me and my baby. You will probably want to test out a few brands until you see what works for you the best, and trust me, it isn’t always the name brand, sometimes store brands are just as good (maybe even better!).

3. Don’t stock up on formula either. Start out using just one type of formula, don’t test these out initially. But you should not buy several bulk cases of it until you know that your baby will be ok with it. You don’t want to find out that you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on a formula that your baby won’t be able to use because of lactose intolerance or acid reflux.

4. Sign up for baby food, formula, and diaper coupons. You can sign up for these easily online. Some of the main ones to check out: Pampers, Huggies, Similac, Gerber

5. Sign up for store rewards programs. Many stores offer rewards programs, such as Babies’ R Us. You earn points for each dollar spent that will earn you coupons for future use in the store, so you can save money on future purchases for your little one! You may also notice codes on products that you buy, such as Huggies and Pampers. Those points can be entered online to earn items, such as a free photobook from Shutterfly!

6. Use cloth diapers. If you really want to save money on diapers, you may want to opt for cloth diapers. Of course, there are some up-front costs for this, but considering that in one month’s time, a newborn will go through about 300 diaper changes (a bigger baby will probably use about 150 diapers a month), you will probably end up spending about $35-75 per month on disposable diapers!

7. Choose breast milk over formula. If you choose to nurse your baby, you will be taking advantage of a free source of food! Besides the antibodies and health benefits to your child, the money savings are a very nice benefit.

8. Use store apps or price matching. It can take a bit of planning to search for sale items ahead of time, but many stores will give you discounts on baby items. Target has created the “Cartwheel” application for smartphones, which offers different discount on items each week. You can typically save 5-10% on store brand baby items, including diapers, wipes, and baby food. Another great way to save is to price match; stores such as Walmart will accept competitor ads on any item in there store, including name brand baby products.

9. Utilize a flex spending account for medical bills or childcare. If your employer offers a Flex Spending account, take advantage of it for medical expenses or childcare for your baby. Money comes out of your paycheck, pre-tax—so you will reduce the amount of taxes withheld from each check, which will increase your spendable cash each month!  You should be able to find several free income tax calculators online that can take the guesswork out of the entire process.

10. Buy gender neutral items. As tempting as it is to run out and buy everything blue that you see as soon as you find out that you’re having a boy, try to restrain yourself if you plan on having more than one child. It can be very expensive to purchase everything that you will need for a baby when you are expecting your first child… and it doesn’t get any cheaper if you need to replace all of these items when your second child is a girl. Items such as strollers, receiving blankets, sleepers, even nursery decorations, can be gender neutral so that they could work whether you have a boy or girl. A little thinking ahead can save you big bucks!

Tips for Planning a Baby Shower on a Budget

Here are some great money-saving ideas for throwing a fabulous baby shower on a budget from Guest Author: Kimberly McLeod, Creator of Life is a Lullaby

A few weeks ago I threw my best friend a baby shower. If you haven’t checked out the details, you can view it here: This Little Piggy Baby Shower.

Throwing a party is never a cheap undertaking, but you don’t have to break the ‘piggy’ bank doing it.

Here are a few tips to save money when planning a baby shower.

5 Tips for Planning a Baby Shower on a Budget

1. Make your own invitations. You can easily invite all the guests via email these days (unless it’s your grandma who doesn’t have a computer – in that case, you may need to do one hand written). I like paperless post. They have a lot of free options to choose from and you can easily see who has RSVP’d. Another option is to create the invitation on the computer and email it out. Finally, if you want to mail out invitations – there’s still a way to save. There are a lot of free baby shower invitations online that you can customize or print off.

Here’s a really unique and fun idea from Oh Happy Day:

Invitation in a Box // Oh Happy DayInvitation in a Box // Oh Happy Day

2. Cook your own food. Getting catering can almost double or triple your costs. Yes it takes more work to make the food yourself, but you’ll save a TON and people will appreciate it more because you made it from scratch. Guests may also offer to bring something. Take them up on this offer if you don’t feel like you can handle it all yourself! Ask another friend to help you on the day of also. Getting a few other friends to bring some appetizers or punch can really help with the cost. I like to serve buffet style that way you can arrange all the appetizers on a table. Cold cuts or egg and tuna sandwiches are always a favourite and usually cost friendly & easy to make.

3. Create your own games. Don’t waste money purchasing special cards or papers for games. There are thousands of ideas for games that don’t cost a thing to do but are still fun!

Here are a few low cost game ideas:

  • Guess the weight of the mom & dad to be when they were born
  • The person with the closest birthday to the due date wins a prize
  • Guess the size of the belly using ribbon
  • Guess that baby song/celebrity baby etc
  • Wishes for baby – guests write out 2-3 wishes for the baby and the mom to be gets to take this home with her

4. Craft the decorations yourself. You can create your own DIY diaper bouquets, tassels, garlands, and pom poms and they can look fantastic!

Here are some tutorials on how to make some DIY decorations:

How to make your own…

Diaper bouquet // Life is a Lullaby

Tassels // Little Mommy Nest

Easy Streamer Garland // Oh Happy Day

Fringey Streamers // Oh Happy Day

Pom Poms // Two Twenty One

5. Get Free Printables for the Finishing Touch. You can find a lot of free printables online that you can create to make cupcake toppers, the invitation etc. Just google your theme and “free printables” and you’ll be surprised what you might find. I threw a ‘This Little Piggy” shower-theme and snagged these free printables from Lil Luna.

Here are a few baby shower free sets from Pottery Barn Kids:

Bundle of Bots // Pottery Barn Kids

Pink or Blue // Pottery Barn Kids

Guest Author: Kimberly McLeod

Life is a Lullaby

Kimberly is a new mom, a wife, a marketer, and a curator of ideas. Let Life is a Lullaby inspire your everyday dreams! You can follow Kimberly on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

10 Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Better at Night

sweet, sleeping angel...

sweet, sleeping angel…

If you are the parent of a newborn, or even a toddler, you are probably a bit sleep deprived. While there may not be a magical wand to wave and make your little one sleep twelve hours in a row, there are some things that you can do to help your baby—and you—get a more restful night of sleep.


Bedtime routine

Newborn babies learn from their experiences what is going on in the world around them. Of course, it takes a while, but if you are diligent to put a routine in place that leads up to bedtime, such as bath time, then they will grow to expect that bedtime is coming after bath.



It may be an old wives tale that warm milk before bed helps you sleep better, but it certainly does seem to have some benefits, if for no other reason than making sure your little one’s tummy is full. It is hard to go to sleep—and stay asleep—when you’re hungry. Even as kids get a little older, they may still like to drink a cup of milk (or have a serving of yogurt or cottage cheese) before bed.


Quiet activities

Babies or toddlers can remain engaged for quite a while when something is going on around them that they find interesting. Just before bedtime is probably not the best time for a loud toy with lots of moving parts. So put the loud toys with lots of moving parts away and do quieter activities, such as coloring or reading.  Even a baby can sit on your lap and enjoy listening to a bedtime story.


Turn down the lights

Yes, your baby probably can fall asleep any time of day no matter what is going on around them when they are really tired, but turning the lights down low is another indicator that bedtime is near.


Sing or play soft lullaby music

Hearing a certain song can also indicate that it is bedtime. Not to mention the soft, soothing sounds of lullabies actually encourage relaxation and sleep.  Check out these wonderful lullaby CDs, or just softy sing your child to sleep, such as: Baby Mine, Classics Songs for Bedtime, Bedtime Prayers: Lullabies and Peaceful Worship, Bedtime Mozart: Classical Lullabies for babies, or Piano Lullabies: Babies’ Bedtime Favorites.


Ambient noise is a good thing

Have you ever tried to fall asleep in a quiet room that you are able to hear every crack and creak of your house? It’s not easy to do. Running a humidifier or a small fan can give enough background noise to drown out those bumps in the night and enable a better night of sleep.  Or you can try something like the Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner, white noise machine to see if that will help soothe your little one.


Keep the daytime sounds going at naptime

Make naptime drastically different than bedtime. Encourage naps during the day in a light-filled room that has typical daytime sounds. Don’t bother pulling the drapes or turning down the television; this extreme difference can help your baby differentiate between daytime and nighttime.


Don’t nap in the bedroom

Put your baby down for a nap in a bassinet or pack-n-play in a location other than your child’s bedroom. This is just another cue for your little one that indicates the difference between when they are expected to sleep a short time at naptime or for a longer period of time at night.


Don’t hold your baby while they nap

If you get in the habit of holding your baby the entire time that they nap during the day, they may get used to being held while they sleep—and that may carry over to nighttime as well. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t hold your baby while they snooze at all. Snuggle your little one as much as you want, but putting them down to sleep, without being in your arms, should be a part of each naptime too.


When your baby cries, go to him

This topic is somewhat controversial. Some people tell you not to run to your child when they cry at night; however, as a parent, I cannot leave my baby in a dark room by themselves, crying in the middle of the night. Your baby needs to know that when they cry, for whatever reason, that you are there for them. If they don’t need a bottle or a diaper change, they may just need a little comfort in order to go back to sleep.  But keep in mind, going to see what is wrong or changing a diaper does not mean that you should have to stay up all night…


While those first months are a bit disrupting to your regular night of sleep, it does get better.  Know that you are going to be tired—and make an effort to just be tired, not grouchy with it!  Yes, this can be a struggle, but my husband and I decided that it would be better to simply be tired, not tired and grumpy with each other or the baby.

Honestly, looking back, some of those middle-of-the-night snuggles in the rocking chair, in which I had to struggle to stay awake, were pretty wonderful times.

Priceless memories.


*Links provided within this post do generate income for my blog.  The overall price is not any different to you as the consumer, but if you choose to purchase, I earn a commission and I appreciate your support! 

Making S’More Memories


It never ceases to amaze me that some of the things that my kids get the most excited about in life are so simple. I mean, if my husband and I say that we are going to get a little fire going in the fire pit, the kids jump up and down likes it’s Christmas… well almost just like that. None the less, they excitedly jump around and start yelling for s’mores. Now why is this so exciting? We make s’mores all the time using the microwave to slightly melt the chocolate and puff up the marshmallows.

But that just doesn’t compare to the experience of making s’mores over the open fire.


Besides the fact that they get to have extremely sharp roasting sticks, which is a novelty in and of itself for them, they get to “play with fire.” As you can imagine, having three boys, I try to avoid sharp objects… and fire… and sugar, the other major component of this. Maybe that is why it is so exciting. This combines sugar, sharp objects, and fire– all of the forbidden elements of my little boys’ lives.

Of course, it wouldn’t be as exciting if someone didn’t catch a marshmallow on fire either. In fact, I think that we may lose as many marshmallows to being consumed by fire as what actually end up edible. My middle son always says that he didn’t mean for the marshmallow catch on fire, but really, when he holds the marshmallow a bit too close to the flame, and it actually does catch on fire, I think he is secretly satisfied with himself.

smore braylon

Even though we did this several times this summer, and now into fall, there is something special about the family gathering together around the fire pit, talking, laughing, and just enjoying a little family time. It’s not a big event, but it’s fun. It’s not expensive, bit it’s memorable.

I hope that when my boys grow up and have families of their own, and when they roast marshmallows over a fire to make s’mores, they can’t help but be drawn back in time to the memories made this year.

smore chase derek2

Even though this ends up to be a sticky, face-and-clothes-covered-in-chocolate-kind-of-mess for my trio, I can’t help but be a bit amused by it all.

Spending time together as a family is what it is all about– making memories together by just being together and actually enjoying being around each other.  There are so many ways to spend quality family time together, and it doesn’t cost anything:

  • Movie night– my kids love to pick a movie that we watch together as a family– of course, enjoyed with some popcorn and M&M’s!
  • Game night– I don’t know why, but it is something special for the kids when my husband and I play the Wii or xbox with them.  They play all the time by themselves or even with each other, but they get so excited for us to play with them.
  • Picnic in the park– go to a local park.  Let the kids play, then take lunch, a snack, or just popsicles to enjoy.
  • Ice cream sundae bar– letting the kids have ice cream is one thing, but let them top it with hot fudge, caramel, sprinkles, whipped cream, etc… it is all of a sudden an exciting event.
  • Camp out at home– yes, this one is going to probably have your back hurting for a couple of days (at least it did for me!).  We set up a tent in the basement in the winter and put sleeping bags in it and the kids loved it!  I loved that they had fun, but I also loved sleeping in my bed the next night.  It makes it worth it though that a year later, they are still talking about the camp out in the basement and wondering when we can do another.
  • Outdoor fun– take a hike, go bike riding, play basketball, soccer… you get the idea.

I see for myself, and any parent will tell you, that the time that you have with your children flies by all too quickly.  Make the most of each day.  Take the time to make s’more memories.

5 Ways to Invest In Your Children’s Future

Family Time ~ Have fun together!

Family Time ~ Have fun together!

Investing. Typically, when we talk about investing, we are thinking about putting money into stocks, bonds, or mutual funds in a retirement account or a savings account. There is usually a tangible goal in mind: being able to retire comfortably or paying for a child’s college education. That type of investing is definitely something that should be a part of every person’s financial plan. But that is not the only type of investing that is important.

We need to be investing in the lives of our children in a way that is far more critical: emotionally and relationally. Being a parent is so much more than just providing food, clothes, and shelter for a child. Raising a child involves teaching them values, morals, and ethics. Whether you are actually an involved participant in teaching your children this or not, they will acquire a set of values, morals, and ethics, or a lack thereof, depending on the upbringing they receive. So how do you actually invest in your children? How do you know you are achieving your goal when there are no quantitative measures? Here are 5 ways that you can concretely participate in your children lives:

1.  Eye contact—from the time a baby is born, they start to gain an understanding of the world around them and how much they are loved based on the eye contact they receive. Even as an infant, a worldview is starting to form. Take the time every day to look your child in the eye and tell him you love him—it doesn’t matter if your child is 6 months old or 16 years old.

Investment: Self-Worth—by looking in his eyes, you are telling your child, “You have value.”

2.  Say “I love you.”—this one may seem self-evident, but, trust me, you need to actually say it. Clearly communicating this simple message with your child often is critical. Through the trials that they will surely face in life—a mean kid at school, breaking up with a boyfriend, peer pressure—if your daughter knows that you, her parent, loves her, getting through these situations will be easier for her.

 Investment: Security—by actually uttering the words “I love you,” you are letting your child know, unequivocally, that no matter what the world brings their way, you are there for them.

3.  Give compliments—as parents, we are so used to telling our kids what they can’t do and what they did wrong, that is it essential to make a concerted effort to tell them when they’ve done something right. Just to get through the day without someone getting hurt, I feel like I am telling my kids every couple of minutes what not to do—a negative directive: “don’t throw the ball in the house,” “no wrestling by the fireplace,” “pick up your toys before someone trips over something and gets hurt…” Yes, this is a parent’s job, however, it makes it just that much more important to catch them doing something good. It can be anything, even something little: “you did a great job cleaning your room,” “thank you for mowing the lawn,” “I’m proud of you…”

Investment: Self-Esteem—each time you tell your child they did something good, you are building up their confidence.

4.  Spend quality time together—in order to invest in the lives of your children, you need to actually be there. Yes, face-time matters. Maybe you are busy traveling with your job, maybe you are putting in hours around the clock trying to get your new business off-the-ground, but you can figure out a way to carve out quality time for your family. In the grand scheme of life, will your children be able to remember that you went to their baseball games, cheerleading competitions, or awards ceremony at school? Will they remember sitting down and eating dinner together as a family? Will they remember you teaching them to drive? Will they remember being able to talk to you about major life decisions, such as college, a career path, or renting their first apartment? Perhaps, you time is limited due to circumstances in life that you can’t control, but that is not an excuse for not making the time you do have with your kids count. After all, it is entirely possible for a parent to see their children every day, but not really be there.

Investment: Yourself—investing time into your children creates memories for them. Someday when you are gone, the memories will still live on. Don’t live a life that will cause you to look back with the regret of “I wish I had spent more time with my kids.”

5.  Eternity—for me, this is the most important. You may have heard the saying, “the family that prays together, stays together.” I think there is a lot of truth to this. Honoring God as a family helps to keep other priorities in order as well.

Investment: Purpose—understanding that God has a plan for each of us, gives life meaning. Teaching my children about God is investing in their eternity.

Investing isn’t always dollars and cents, sometimes it’s just common sense.

Keepsake Journal

Keepsake Journal | Money Savvy Living


The best gift a Mother can receive is something made by her children. Of course, I like jewelry and flowers too! But this year, my husband bought a journal in which each child wrote a Mother’s Day message for me. He let them write whatever they wanted… totally unprompted.


I have to say, these sweet, heartfelt messages from my kids just make me smile:


Keepsake: Mother's Day Journal | Money Savvy Living


The idea is that for Mother’s Day, or my birthday, or any other holiday throughout the year, the boys can write a message, draw a picture or whatever they want, and I will have a journal of their messages to me over the years as they grow up. Not only is it nice to have it all compiled in one book, but no need to buy expensive cards that get misplaced or thrown away.  Saves money AND I have something homemade from my kids…. win, win.


It will be interesting to see how the boys’ handwriting and pictures change over the years.  I’m pretty sure one day, they will look back through this book and smile at some of the cute things they wrote when younger.


This keepsake journal idea would also be a great gift for Father’s Day (yes, we definitely started one for my husband too!), or for a parent or grandparent’s birthday. A gift from the heart, for any occasion, that is money savvy too, doesn’t get much better than that.


Big Savings at Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park

bigsplashlogoMy Readers receive $4 off day pass admission OR $20 off overnight stay at Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park and Resort with this exclusive coupon from US Family Guide!

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Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park & Resort offers an exciting water park adventure for the entire family! Experience tropical luxury in a family friendly environment! 154, smoke free and pet free, Family Friendly Rooms & Suites are waiting – many feature bunk beds!

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Enjoy 40,000 Square Feet of Water Park Fun!

No weather worries! Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park is enclosed in a beautiful glass structure – one of the few retractable roof water parks in the world!

As a parent, I know that visiting an indoor waterpark is a mini-vacation for my kids. They absolutely love it! And as a money savvy Mom, I can appreciate saving some money.

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