DIY Menu Center

DIY Menu Center www.joyinthehome.com

I wanted something to help me in my meal planning, while eliminating the ‘Mom, what's for breakfast?', ‘Mom, what's for lunch?' and ‘Mom, what's for dinner', that I heard all the time.  That is when I gained a little ‘pinspiration' from Pinterest and took some ideas that I liked, but didn't quite fit what I was looking for and created my own.

Here is how you create this DIY Menu Center:

  1. Purchase a cork board – I got mine for about about $15
  2. Decide on what color scheme you desire and go fabric hunting – You will need about 1 yard (I will share another project that I did with the left over material)
  3. Purchase complimentary ribbon, thumb tacks, double sided tape, two colored card stock, foam stickers (I got mine at the Dollar store in the scrapbook section), small clips and recipe cards (or use my FREE printable PDFs for subscribers)

    DIY Menu Center www.joyinthehome.com

  4. Print out the days of the week onto a colored card stock that goes with your color scheme, cut out the squares (set aside)
  5. Using thumb tacks, attach the fabric to the cork board
  6. Cut 3 lengths of ribbon: one for breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner
  7. Use thumb tacks to put the ribbon across the board starting about 1/4 of the way down

    DIY Menu Center www.joyinthehome.com

  8. Using the form stickers, attach 4 of the to the corners of the letter for the days of the week
  9. Apply the days of the week to the second card stock color
  10. Attach the days of week to the top of the board using double sided tape
  11. Print or purchase the recipe cards or meals (this is how I do it) and then laminate them

    DIY Menu Center www.joyinthehome.com

  12. Using the small clips, attach the meals to your breakfast ribbon, lunch ribbon and dinner ribbon for the whole week
  13. I place my unused meal cards into an index card holder until I change the menu the following week. I have colored coordinated the dividers for the kinds of meals these are

    DIY Menu Center www.joyinthehome.com

If you like this DIY project for the home, you will love my DIY Chore System (notice the fabric in this project).

If you like this post, you should subscribe to my blog!  In addition to gaining access for the exclusive PDFs, you will get freebies, deals and discounts as well.

A Gift Guide for Creationist

A Gift Guide for Creationist www.joyinthehome.com

 

As a firm believing creationist myself, I thought I would share with you some of my best suggestions for digging deeper into the evidence of a world-wide flood and decided I would create a gift guide for creationist for your convenience and enjoyment.

Creationist Gift Guide for Ages 3-7

516256: A is for Adam: The Gospel from Genesis A is for Adam: The Gospel from Genesis By Ken Ham & Mally Ham 26 Lessons based off the alphabet, sharing the story of creation.
516421: D Is for Dinosaur: Noah"s Ark and the Genesis Flood D Is for Dinosaur: Noah's Ark and the Genesis Flood By Ken & Mally Ham – 26 lessons taking your through creation, sin and the flood.
01491X: D is for Dinosaur, DVD D is for Dinosaur, DVD – Ken Ham's popular book is now available on DVD for children to grasp visual the story of creation.
515655: The Creation Story for Children The Creation Story for Children By Helen Haidle & David Haidle A book for Children that shares the story of creation.
960890: Creation Story Creation Story By Christina Goodings & Melanie Mitchell(Illustrator)
A creation book that even the youngest child would love. A great way to help them learn the animals of creation week.
718113: Creation, Sing A Story Series Mini Board Book Creation, Sing A Story Series Mini Board Book By Laura Ovresat Sturdy books that tell the story of creation for little ones.
71812X: Noah"s Ark, Sing A Story Series Mini Board Book Noah's Ark, Sing A Story Series Mini Board Book By Laura Ovresat Sturdy books that tell the story of Noah and the flood for little ones.
7350786: Jumbo Dinosaurs Jumbo Dinosaurs Perfect hands-on toys for children to enjoy while learning about the dinosaurs created on day 6 of the creation week.
45773: Dinosaurs Puzzles in a Box Dinosaurs Puzzles in a Box By Melissa & Doug From the puzzle makers we all love, more hands-on dinosaur fun.
524148: Magnetic Dinosaurs in a Box Magnetic Dinosaurs in a Box By Melissa & Doug Allow the fun to go on and on, with magnetic play!
8766447: Dotty Dinosaurs Game Dotty Dinosaurs Game Creation time for little ones, as they learn about Dinosaurs that were created on the same day as Adam.
697504: Wild 1 Mega Toob: jungle creatures, dinosaurs and sealife Wild 1 Mega Toob: jungle creatures, dinosaurs and sealife Learning about the animals of creation week with hands-on play is perfect for the little ones in your life!
904216: Dinosaurs Floor Puzzle, 48 pieces Dinosaurs Floor Puzzle, 48 pieces A great mind activity for young children learning about the dinosaurs the God created on day 6!
871026: Dinosaurs Discovery Stickers Dinosaurs Discovery Stickers A great way to bring learning into a project for keepsakes! Try making a binder book for your littles ones to display the creators from day 6 of creation week.
309262: The Animal Kinds DVD: Sing & Learn Along with  Buddy Davis The Animal Kinds DVD: Sing & Learn Along with Buddy Davis By Buddy Davis We love Buddy Davis and his songs.

Creation gift guide for ages 8 – 12

201463: Answers for Kids--Curriculum Set (Teacher"s Guide, Student Handouts & CD-Rom) Answers for Kids–Curriculum Set (Teacher's Guide, Student Handouts & CD-Rom) A great curriculum done for you that will engage your children.
89051: Dinosaurs by Design Dinosaurs by DesignBy Duane T. Gish, Ph.D., illustrated by Earl & Bonnie Snellenberger I'm reading it right now to my younger two children.
13406: Dinosaurs of Eden: A Biblical Journey Through Time Dinosaurs of Eden: A Biblical Journey Through Time By Ken Ham Another great book that my children have loved and used for years.
12051: In the Days of Noah In the Days of Noah By Gloria Clanin A book that gives you a glimpse into what it was like during Noah's life, before, during and after the flood.
1166X: Noah"s Ark and the Ararat Adventure Noah's Ark and the Ararat Adventure By John Morris A clear picture to the mystery surround where the ark landed and the hunt to find evidence of it.
30711: The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible By Paul S. Taylor Gain understanding about the dinosaurs and how we can tell from evidence that they are not millions of years old.
11594: What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? By John Morris & Ken Ham A great book that younger and older children can appreciate.
514894: Buddy Davis" Sculpt-A-Saur Dino Activity Pak Buddy Davis' Sculpt-A-Saur Dino Activity Pak Buddy Davis, one of the people who work on building the dinosaurs for the Creation Museum has delivered a great pack for the children. 
101980: Dino Heads & Tails Dino Heads & Tails Similar to Chutes and Ladders, this game allows children to play with the creatures that they can't help by love when studying creation.
101949: Dino Horizons: Diplodocus Skeleton CD-ROM Kit Dino Horizons: Diplodocus Skeleton CD-ROM Kit My oldest son recently told me that his favorite activity to do when studying dinosaurs was putting one together.
7350712: Dino Math Tracks: A Place Value Math Game Dino Math Tracks: A Place Value Math Game Why not us a game to help teach math, while focusing on the beloved creatures that so many people misunderstand.
101798: Dinos-On-A-String Dinos-On-A-String A great craft for those dinosaur lovers in your life! This can really offer hours of fun!
446790: Dinosaur Activity Kit Dinosaur Activity Kit Another kit option for the dinosaur lover in the family, that will engage them on more levels than just a book.
102068: Dinosaur Explorer Dinosaur Explorer With this kit, the children can explore and learn through a fun activity that will fast become one of their favorite things.
516836: Explore with Noah Justice DVD Pack with Study Guides: Episodes 1-6, Awesome Science Series Explore with Noah Justice DVD Pack with Study Guides: Episodes 1-6, Awesome Science Series Let your kids go on adventure with Noah!
473420: Dover Coloring Box - Dinosaurs Dover Coloring Box – Dinosaurs By Dover & Jan Sovak Proving hours of fun, this coloring box will give the artistic child lots to do.
011078: God Since the Beginning Zippered Pencil Case God Since the Beginning Zippered Pencil Case Display their beliefs while keeping their pencils, pens and other tools in one place? You can even have this personalized with their name.
463865: I Can Draw Dinosaurs I Can Draw Dinosaurs By Barbara Soloff Levy For the art lover who wants to draw better. This step-by-step books will prove to be a favorite.
400566: I Dig Dinosaurs! DVD I Dig Dinosaurs! DVD By Buddy Davis Go on a dinosaur dig with Buddy Davis and see how they dig their fossils out of the ground.
669788: Make Your Own T-Rex Make Your Own T-Rex Again, another opinion for some great building your own dinosaur and hours of fun for many children.
101933: Mega-Core Tyannosaurus Mega-Core Tyannosaurus Yep, one more way to add dimension puzzle building with your dinosaur lover that will be sure to bring some great fun.
0111151: Personalized, God Since the Beginning, Kids Backpack Personalized, God Since the Beginning, Kids Backpack Let your children display their beliefs with this personalized book bag.
475141: What to Doodle? Dinosaurs! What to Doodle? Dinosaurs! By Chuck Wheldon Another great option for learning how to draw dinosaurs.
118477: Wikki Stix Dinosaur Fun Kit Wikki Stix Dinosaur Fun Kit If you remember wikki stixs, you will know that your children will absolutely enjoy this fun kit.
241852: Jonathan Park Volume 1: The Adventure Begins, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 1: The Adventure Begins, Audio CD This is my favorite tool to teach my children about creation.
241879: Jonathan Park Volume 2: No Looking Back, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 2: No Looking Back, Audio CD Captivating and exciting, these CDs will not only entertain your family, but will give creation evidence through the whole series.
835464: Jonathan Park Volume 3: The Winds of Change, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 3: The Winds of Change, Audio CD You will want to implement this creation series that will give you an understanding about the weather during the flood.
235466: Jonathan Park Volume 4: The Hunt for Beowulf, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 4: The Hunt for Beowulf, Audio CD Mystery, suspense and adventure, tangled with creation evidence will be what you expect with this series.
755966: Jonathan Park Volume 5: The Explorer"s Society, Audio CD Jonathan Park Volume 5: The Explorer's Society, Audio CD Kidnapping, mystery and suspense wrapped with creation evidence will captivate your whole family.
554299: Jonathan Park Volume VI: The Journey Never Taken Jonathan Park Volume VI: The Journey Never Taken A mysterious person leads the team on a scavenger hunt through the history of evolution, in order to prove creation.
431864: Jonathan Park Creation Adventure Audio Series #7: The Voyage Beyond Jonathan Park Creation Adventure Audio Series #7: The Voyage Beyond Learn about the universe from a creation perspective.
735484: Jonathan Park #8: The Copper Scroll Audio CDs Jonathan Park #8: The Copper Scroll Audio CDs Adventure surrounding old scrolls takes the creation team on a journey to prove the Bible.
978811: Jonathan Park Audio CD Resources Pack of 11 Jonathan Park Audio CD Resources Pack of 11 Give all the creation DVDs at one time and watch what your family will learn!

Creation Gift Guide for ages 13-adult

513473: Answers . . . with Ken Ham, 12-DVD Series Answers . . . with Ken Ham, 12-DVD Series Learn the science that proves creation!
309010: Creation Mini-series DVD Pack Creation Mini-series DVD Pack Captivating, engaging and full of creation evidence.
680178: Creation Seminar (Seven DVD Boxed Set) Creation Seminar (Seven DVD Boxed Set)By Kent Hovind A great seminar to learn creation truth.
974985: Creations Series DVD Pack Creations Series DVD Pack Learn about creation in a full series of evidence.
643477: Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries By Michael J. Oard A great book for the whole family.
2911X: Genesis: Finding Our Roots Genesis: Finding Our Roots By Ruth Beechick Great insights on our roots.
145524: The Mystery of the Dinosaurs: The Biblical Solution DVD The Mystery of the Dinosaurs: The Biblical Solution DVD By Mike Snavely Learn more about the mystery surrounding the dinosaurs.
455228: The Return to Genesis: The Key to Christian  Foundations DVD The Return to Genesis: The Key to Christian Foundations DVD By Mike Snavely Getting a firm foundation from the scriptures.
514410: Thousands Not Billions: Challenging an Icon of  Evolution, Questioning the Age of the Earth Thousands Not Billions: Challenging an Icon of Evolution, Questioning the Age of the Earth By Don DeYoung Learning to dispute evolution through this great book.

 

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Hand-Eye Coordination Water Sensory Play

 

Hand-eye Coordination Water Sensory Play www.joyinthehome.com #tpmoms (Toddler & Preschooler Moms)

Play is the perfect way to teach hand-eye coordination and water sensory play is the perfect way for any summer day or at bath time.

Here is how I have taught hand-eye coordination with water sensory play in our home:

Different Shapes and Sizes Containers

I absolutely love Discovery Toys Measure Up Cups, Pots and spoons to teach the hand-eye coordination needed to pour from one container to another one. You can also use plastic cups or kitchen measuring cups to do the same thing.

Hand-eye Coordination Water Sensory Play www.joyinthehome.com #tpmoms (Toddler & Preschooler Moms)


Practice Pouring from Small Container to Big Container

All children love to feel accomplished and creating that when working on hand-eye coordination when using water sensory play is really important.  I always start with having them use a smaller container to pour into a bigger containing adding to the potential of success.  You can help by holding the bigger one, as they pour from the smaller one. Once their coordination improves they can practice on their own, by holding both of them.

Hand-eye Coordination Water Sensory Play www.joyinthehome.com #tpmoms (Toddler & Preschooler Moms)

 

Practice Pouring from Big Container to Small Container

Once success has been accomplished, move the child to using a bigger container to a smaller container. This is really important to learn because it emulates the skills necessary to pour milk into a cup. Most of us know that our children desire to do this way before their muscles are trained for this hand-eye coordination. Using water sensory play to build this skill takes the pressure out of doing it right from the beginning and allows a safe place for mistakes and spills.

You can aid them by holding the smaller container or have them practice having it lower, as many kids love to ‘do it themselves'. Consider saving plastic milk gallons or half gallon containers for this water sensory bin activity.

Before you know it, the hand-eye coordination for pouring will be built and strong for even a young preschooler.

Are you looking for other sensory bin ideas to build life-skills like these into your toddlers and preschoolers?

Sensory Bins The What The How & The Why #tpmoms

I'm thrilled to introduce to you a NEW ebook by Sharla Kostelyk, another co-host for the Tender Moments with Toddlers & Preschoolers.
Sensory Bins the What the How & the Why is a good resource to help a mom figure out what items work good in a base of a sensory bin, how to put together the base of the sensory bins together and why sensory play is so important to toddlers and preschoolers.

If you are ready to get started implementing sensory bins, this $2.99 ebook will be the perfect tool to get you started on the right path. 

Click here to view more details

 

If you are on Pinterest, you may be happy to learn about my NEW 101 Sensory Bins Pins that literally has 101 great sensory pins in it!  

Here are my top 10 favorite pins that I included in this board:

  1. Arctic Ice Sensory Play
  2. Insect Sensory Dig
  3. Construction Site Sensory Bin
  4. Calming Lavandar Water Bin
  5. Sensory Play with Gelatin
  6. Pond Sensory Bin
  7. Soapy Water Play Outside
  8. Sand Play with Spiders & Snakes
  9. Moon Sensory Bin
  10. Ocean Sensory Tray with Frozen Rice

 

How to Create Your Own Photo Books

How to Create Your Own Photobook www.joyinthehome.com
In the age of digital photos, we get so busy and keep all of our precious photos in our devices rather than actually get them printed to share or enjoy the way photos have always been enjoyed… in our hands and pasted down from one generation to the next. I was so thrilled when I learned about photo books and I want to share that joy with you, as I share with you how to create your own photo books.

Blurb Designer Photo Books

Here is how you create your own photo books:

    • Give them as gifts – I love creating personalized gifts for my family members. These become cherished immediately and easy to display and share with others. Some great ways to gift them are for birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, anniversaries, Christmas and my favorite… just because I was thinking of you!

I hope you are inspired and excited for the great opportunity to give memories in the form of photo books to yourself and those you love!

Tips to Save Money Through Meal Planning

Meal planning can save you money in your overall budget and time. For about 30 minutes a week planning your menu, you can save at least two hours of wasted time, fuel and a lot of money for convenient meals that require a lot of extra trips to the store. I implement several things to save money through meal planning that I'm looking forward to sharing with you!

Tips to Save Money Through Meal Planning - Simple steps to saving money and time. | www.joyinthehome.com

Here is how I save money through meal planning:

I feel it in my stress level if I stop meal planning for any length of time, because let’s face it, meals are very important to your family and can’t be over looked. When I get back into meal planning, my life feels more in control, my stress decreases and my family eats healthier because I’m planning for nutritious meals instead of just feeding them quickly.

Here is how I do my meal planning that saves us more money than clipping coupons, and much more time than just going by the seat of my pants every day.

  • Using what is on hand – Prior to starting my meal planning and grocery list, I will scan the freezer, pantry and cupboards to see what I have left from my previous shopping and see if there are any meals that I can put together from what I have on hand. These meals become a priority on my planning.
  • Buy bulk for items we use a lot – We use a lot of pasta, rice, chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings and other things. I purchase in bulk and plan meals that will utilize the things I always have on hand.
  • Double cooking – I will often make a double batch of something and alter the leftovers to taste like a different meal.  For instance I make a lot of rice dishes in my rice cooker, so when I plan for leftovers in my meal planning, I buy mexican cheese and make tortillas.  Easy, delicious and a great way to save money!
  • Shopping for deals – Looking through ads or coupons, I can often find items that are on special that will help save money through meal planning. One of the items that our family can get a good deal on is spaghetti sauce, salad dressings and cereal.
  • Shop for discounted meat – I always scan the meat department when I shop to see if I can find anything that is on sale. If I’m unable to use it all for the menu planning I have already done, I will put it in the freezer and use it for the first step for the next meal planning to help save money on that week's menus.
  • Plan for unexpected things that lead to convenient meals – As mothers we often had days that overwhelm us and dinner doesn't come into our mind until it feels too late. Planning for these can help save money and time!  Our fall back meals are breakfast for dinner (eggs are one of my husband's favorites), frozen pizza (because it is cheaper than ordering it) and boxed dinners. However, with the Insta Pot, you can throw frozen meat in it, and still have dinner ready in 30 minutes to an hour. That is almost faster than ordering and waiting for the pizza guy!

The next thing to meal planning that helps my family stay within a budget, and gives me more time throughout the day is preparing freezer meals. The Freezer Meals 101 course is a great way to learn how to not only plan and execute freezer meals, but comes with meal plans that are kid friendly and healthy, not to mention incredibly easy to put together.

How to Fight Nice

Let's face it, all relationships have times of disagreements, but you can learn how to fight nice while disagreeing, for your marriage sake. I would like to share the ways of how you can learn to fight nice, while keeping a strong relationship.

How to Fight Nice www.joyinthehome.com

Here are tips to how to fit nice:

Enter the disagreement with the goal for restoration 

Once you enter a disagreement, you need to remind yourself that it takes two to discuss, work on a relationship and to fix a problem within a relationship. If you don't enter the relationship with a goal of restoration, you have already come to your conclusion and the discussion is pointless and only a source of strife. Having a heart to fix what is broken (even being willing to admit you could be contributing) and finding a solution will allow you to ‘fight nice'.  

Acknowledge ‘your perspective

By sharing ‘your perspective‘ it is allowing you to be open about what is hurting you, without pointing the finger to the one that is causing it. When sharing your perspective, be sure to do it with the goal of restoration, not casting fault.

Acknowledge ‘their perspective

There is always two sides to every story. Hearing the perspective of the other person is always a good thing when you are working for restoration and necessary for proper growth within the relationship. If their perspective isn't being shared, always ask for it before moving on from your perspective.

Agree that each person can share freely

Many times, people hold back what they really feel because they are afraid of what may result from such honesty. This doesn't mean that you become vicious in your sharing but rather sharing your perspective and how these situations have brought you to such a perspective. We always lead with our hearts, so if you are being hurt by the sharing then going on to the next step may prove necessary many times.

Take breaks, if tempers grow

We live in an instant society and often are not willing to take the time to work on what isn't working within our relationships. If feelings are being hurt and tempers are growing, taking a break is always a good thing when the goal is restoration.  Agree that breaks are temporary and that you will reconvene again in a given time period, so that attention can be given in due time.

Start fresh when calm has returned

After the emotions have had time to calm, take another stab at gaining restoration, but starting at number one again. You will be amazed just how beneficial this step can be to a relationship that goal is for making things better.

Keep the past in the past and only discuss the issue at hand

It doesn't benefit anyone in a relationship to bring up the past. For the person hurt, it only breeds resentment and bitterness.  For the person in the wrong, it doesn't allow the ability to find peace and gain esteem in the relationship and will often times be the reason that things get worse in the relationship.

I pray that these steps find a way into your attempt to fight nicely and that they will reap rewards in your relationships.

 


10 Items I Always Buy in Bulk

One of my ways that I save money on our grocery budget is having set things that I always buy in bulk, and have on hand for several months at a time. Although it seems hard to do all at once, the saving is amazing, and worth it.

10 Items I Always Buy in Bulk - Being frugal with saving money on food is easy with this method. | www.joyinthehome.com

I have been a bulk buyer for over 12 years and in doing so, I have learned a lot about the things that save our family the most money with buying food in bulk.

Here are the 10 Items I buy in bulk:

      1. Wheat Berries – Since I mill my own grain into flour, I save a lot of money buying in bulk. I use a lot of hard white wheat, soft white wheat and Kamut Grain
      2. Rice – One of our favorite rice is called ‘exotic rice', which is a blend of many kinds of rice, including red rice and wild rice. I use my rice cooker about one a week, so having this on hand is a good thing for our home. I always add vegetables and many times meat and beans to the recipe for a complete meal.
      3. Pasta – We use a lot of whole wheat pasta, so I buy in bulk to make things like macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, macaroni salad, spaghetti and soups.
      4. Sugar – I do not use brown sugar or white sugar in any of my recipes, so I love to buy in bulk for the substitues I use in place of these items.  I use sucanat for brown sugar and evaporated cane juice for white sugar.  You use 1 cup for 1 cup in substituting.
      5. Honey – We bake our own bread and muffins, so we really can go through a lot of honey through the months.  I always buy baking honey in a 5 gallon bucket, with gamma lids and pour that into smaller quantities to easy use. If the honey starts to crystalize, I just place it in a warm bath (hot water in a bowl, with the honey container in that) to help it soften.  I also buy Really Raw Honey in 5# jars for eating and medicinal purposes.Storage Options are Crucial to Buying in Bulk | www.joyinthehome.com
      6. Real Salt – We love Real Salt and have been using it in all of our food for over 12 years. It adds so much flavor to your food and is a healthy salt, as it has over 50 minerals in it, which surpasses other sea salt.
      7. Yeast – In making our own bread, I go through a lot of yeast.  I purchase my yeast from a wholesale club, making it very affordable.
      8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – This is the only oil I use in my house, so we go through a lot of this oil. This is another item that I buy in bulk at the wholesale club.
      9. LecithinLecithin is something that I use in my bread to make the whole wheat bread lighter. It works great!
      10. Seasoning and Spices – Making much of my food from scratch can really get expensive if I'm buying smaller quantities of seasonings and spices. I have found that buying them in one pound containers are a good thing for our budget.



If you like this post, you may also like Top 5 Kitchen Tools that Save Money

Top 5 Kitchen Tools That Save Money | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Make a Diaper Bouquet


How to Make a Diaper Bouquet

I love to give gifts that are functional, even their packaging. You can call it being green, frugal or thrifty and I would agree with you!  If you have someone you know about to have a baby, this will be sure to be a great hit and talk of the baby shower or visitors to the hospital to visit the sweet new baby.

How to Make a Diaper Bouquet

Here is what you will need to make a diaper bouquet:

  • a bin for the base
  • a florist brick to push kabobs sticks into
  • kabobs sticks
  • rubber bands
  • small baby items to keep the florist brick in place or you can use tissue paper
  • tissue paper to decorate around the edges and to fill in the big gaps
  • newborn diapers – jumbo pack
  • colorful socks
  • a pretty hair bow

How to Make a Diaper Bouquet

Here is how to construct a diaper bouquet:

  • After all prices and tags are removed, place the florist brick in the center of the bin, placing smaller baby items or tissue paper around it to keep it in place.

How to Make a Diaper Bouquet

  • Using the kabob sticks, roll one individual sock around the top of the kabob stick (the sharper end is what you will stick into the florist block) and then using a rubber band, secure it to the kabob.
  • Do the same thing with the newborn diapers, being sure to start with the printed side being rolled up first.  Be sure to keep the shaper part for sticking into the florist block, as well, and securing it with a rubber band.
  • Once you have them all securely wrapped on the kabob sticks, you can begin pushing them into the florist block, being sure to mix the socks around for added color.
    How to Make a Diaper Bouquet
  • Once you have all the diaper and sock kabobs into place, rip some pieces of colored tissue paper into the gaps.
  • Adding a complimenting colored tissue paper around the edge of the bin, will also add an element of beauty to it.
  • Clip the hair bow to the best side of the bouquet

Don't forget to take a picture, but not until you have taken a moment to smell the diaper bouquet!  There is NOTHING as sweet as the smell of a clean diaper, while awaiting the birth of a baby.

 Adorable girls’ clothes on zulily.com

Staycation Enjoyment for Richmond, Virginia

Staycation Enjoyment for Richmond, Virginia

Have you ever taken a ‘staycation' before? A staycation is a vacation at home and it is really growing in popularity with the economic condition of our country.  I would love to share with you great things that can be done in Richmond, Virginia (and surrounding areas) if you ever decide to look for staycation enjoyment or if you have desire to visit our area.

Here is a list of staycation enjoyment for Richmond, Virginia that are free or inexpensive, with a few ideas for those days when you just want to splurge on the fun:

Nature 

Richmond is a very beautiful city and there are a lot of wonderful things to do in the open area. One of our favorite places to go, when we desire to get up close with nature is Maymont Park, which has over 100 beautiful acres to walk, explore or just relax. We have had picnics here, enjoyed the animals, Italian gardens, Japanese gardens and threw the ball around. Many people flock to this area for painting opportunities, photo sessions and even weddings. Simply gorgeous and free to the public, with donation boxes at the gates. A few other of our favorite places to visit for nature studies is Pony Pastures, Three Lakes Nature Park, Meadows Farm Museum and Canal Walk.

History

There is so much history to be found, in Richmond. One of our favorite parts of history is St. John's Church, where Patrick Henry, from near by Hanover County, gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. Every summer you can enjoy a free reenactment of this historical meeting of our founding fathers. We are surrounded by battlefields and among them is the popular Richmond National Battlefield. If you want to enjoy a few other history rich things that Richmond boast to be their own, you can visit the home of Robert E. Lee that was taken seized in 1865, during the Civil War. If you enjoy Civil War history, you will really want to check out the Museum of Confederacy. Enjoy a day at our local government, when checking out the Virginia Capitol and the Executive Mansion, where our Governor and his family resides during his tem. Lastly, you may enjoy a visit to the popular Hollywood Cemetery and a stroll down Monument Ave. Richmond Concert Band at Dogwood Dell for July 4th Music

If you enjoy outdoor concerts, you will want to check out the Pocahontas Live concerts. Our family have great memories of listening to the Richmond Symphony, while enjoying our picnic dinner on the lawn.  One of our favorite concerts of the summer is on July 4th at Dogwood Dell. It is put on by the Richmond Concert Band, which includes my husband's brother and his family.  They play at other locations through the year, as well.

Arts

I absolutely love theatre and one of my favorite local places to go is Theatre IV.  They are one of the ‘splurge' things that I would recommend. In addition to this historical theatre, we also brag of the Bryd Theatre.  You can almost feel the history in this theatre, from the aged seats, decor and history of the famous patrons of the past.  For only $2 a person, this is a must for any time of the year! Our newly renovated Virginia Museum of Fine Art is also a great place of lover of fine art to visit.

Busch Gardens Staycation

Near by Atttractions, you may want to ‘splurge' on…

We recently went to Busch Gardens, in Williamsburg, Virginia about 45 minutes east of Richmond, for the first time and I would highly recommend it for a great family day!  Their sister park, Water Country, USA is one of my favorite parks to visit, maybe because my husband leaves all the cares of life in the parking lot and easily turns into a kid again or just the way the water makes me feel giddy all over.  Then of course, there is Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, all in the same area. Just about 30 minutes north of Richmond, is the popular King's Dominon. I hope you enjoy these tips for staycation enjoyment for Richmond, Virginia. Come back tomorrow and I will share with you Staycations Across the United States.

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How to Spend Less During Summer Vacation

All families need a time to enjoy each other and be together. Summer time is when most families take the time to do just that. I would love to share with you some ways you can spend less during summer vacation.

How to Spend Less During summer Vacation - Vacations do not have to cost so much. Learn these frugal tips to making summer vacation cost less. | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Spend Less During Summer Vacation

  • Enjoy a Staycation in your area – Explore the things that get over looked in your area all year long!
  • Get coupons booklets in local restaurants – At the door of most restaurants, you will find deals and coupons that are a great way to save off some cost to the local attractions of your choice
  • Check for Promo codes online – With the rise of smart phones, finding promo codes, even at the last minute can be very easy and worth looking!
  • Spend less on your lodging – There are many popular cabins in high tourist attractions that can help you spread your vacation budget even more.
  • Choose a Lodging that has their own enjoyment included – If you were to stay at a hotel that has a nice family focus, you could easily spend a few days of the vacation doing things on their premises.  Some places have pools, miniature golf, game rooms or paddle boating.
  • Get a time share package and listen to the sales talk BUT SAY NO (you are trying to spend less) – Not only do you get a discounted cost for your stay, but they also throw in some coupons or free tickets to local attractions. It does take a full morning off your vacation, but time is money, and worth it!  Plan to spend that day enjoying the time share location and taking advantage of the member's benefits.
  • Do your own cooking – Eating out is one of the biggest expenses for a family during a vacation.  Making your own BIG breakfast, packing snacks to take out with you and having dinner or take out in your room can save hundreds on vacation. Some parks allow you to bring in your own food, where others do not. Check before going for the guidelines for your attraction.
  • Set a budget and stick to it – When you go on vacation it is so easy to do impulse buying or spending. Do as much planning and budgeting before going, so that you can do your best to stay within your planned budget.

Save money by taking advantage of our time share referral program for many popular locations… Just use #9018954900 to claim our referral discounted stay.

Westgate Resorts - www.westgatereservations.com/family Ref #9018954900

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens

 

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens www.joyinthehome.com

Our daughter turned 19 recently and she desired to go to Busch Gardens to celebrate. This would have been the first time we have ever gone and we have been Virginia residences for 18 years! Better late then never, right?

For her birthday, we got the children Busch Garden's Fun Cards, so they can go back all summer long. The kids were so thrilled that they will be able to enjoy this together through the summer.  The wonderful thing about our summer is that Busch Gardens offers free passes for Virginia residents that are ages 3-5, with an eticket and birth certificate. All four of our children are able to enjoy this fun all summer long, while Mom and Dad get some things done.

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens

Our younger two are posing outside Sesame Street Forest of Fun

When we first arrived in the Italy parking lot, we walked a short distance to the shuttle pickup area, which took us to the entrance to the park.  Having to get the free pass for our 3 year old, we went to Guest Relations, where Delores served us with smiles. It would have been best if we were there prior to the park opening, so we were closer to the front of the line at Guest Relations. If you are only going for a day, be sure to arrive early.

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens

Once we were in the park, I headed straight to Sesame Street Forest of Fun, with our 3 year old, while the other family went looking for adventures that fit them better. I had quickly realized that I didn't come prepared for what was offered for this age group, as we quickly saw the great big water fun in front of us! My 3 year old wasn't willing to get wet with his clothes on, so we went to the store perfectly positioned next to the water park. Within a few minutes, we had a Cookie Monster swim suit and sun screen (we overlooked packing that important item for a day at the park), eager to get wet and enjoy the adventure ahead. It is important to know that outside this water area, you can NOT ride on any of the attractions without wearing a shirt and shoes, and of course bottoms. 

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens

Before leaving Sesame Street Forest of Fun, we were able to say hello to a few of the friends that our 3 year old recognizes from our story books, Elmo and Grover!  He was a little nervous and apprehensive in greeting them close up, but was willing to try for a picture.

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens

The park is really big and can easily take your time if you walk through the whole park.  We took advantage of two of the attractions that gave you the ability to move from one area of the park to another.  These time and energy savers are Aeronaut Skyride and Busch Gardens Railway.  We took advantage of these several times and enjoyed the view in the process!

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens

My husband holding the stroller, while our older children were behind taking the photos. Myself and our 3 year old were in the same ride with my husband, but somehow not visible!

Our 3 year old LOVED the train, but what little boy wouldn't!

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens

Our older children just absolutely had a wonderful time riding all the hair raising roller coasters and can't wait to go back to have the thrills again and again!  One thing that I absolutely loved about Busch Gardens is that way that they designed children's rides next to those rides that our teenagers love, so we can be watchful with the youngest one, while catching glimpse of my older three smiling from ear to ear on all those rides that make my insides shiver!

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens

When I asked them what their favorite rides were, it didn't surprise me to hear that the scarier the better and Busch Gardens delivered on the scary rides!  Even on Escape the Pompeii ride, got my 17 year old feeling a little jumpy! (The second row of people in the above picture are my three older children).  I absolutely love water rides, so I knew that I wanted to try them out, especially when all three of our children came back with hardly any wetness.  So, my daughter, husband and I took off for our ride on Pompeii. We sat in the same row, they did (the second row), but our ride was packed.  As we hit the bottom, I was drenched with water… my husband and daughter… not so much!  Guess my idea of sitting in the middle backfired!

A Family Guide to Busch Gardens

The last ride of our wonderful day was the Roman Rapids, which I would HIGHLY recommend to do during the hottest part of the day because you get COMPLETELY wet! I loved the water rides!

Here are some tips to make your family's time at Busch Gardens a HUGE enjoyment:

  • Plan your day BEFORE you come! Grab a map as you come in, so you can have it to implement your plan at the park.
  • Look for PROMO codes for one day tickets
  • Bring water bottles and snacks for young ones – Places that had “refill” signs filled our cups up through out the day
  • Come dressed in water friendly clothes and bring a TOWEL!
  • Bring SUN SCREEN
  • Bring a water proof bag for your glasses, phone or other valuables
  • Take advantage of the skyride and train to navigate the park faster
  • Watch a show during the hot afternoon, we enjoyed Celtic Frye, because I love Irish music and dance… it was WONDERFUL!
  • Skip out on the Rhine River Cruise if you have a stroller.  There are a lot of stairs to go down and the incline on the way back can beat you up.  It was a short ride and not a lot to make it worth the trip with strollers.
  • Ride on Troy's shuttle on the way back to the parking lot – He was absolutely the best part of a tired ‘busched' day!
  • Pack a cooler to enjoy at the end of the day and splurge on the food at Das FestHauus, where you can enjoy a show and get something to eat

I hope you enjoy your time at Busch Gardens and hoping that our family guide helped you plan your time together!

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7 Things Your In-laws Need to Hear You Say

If you are married you have in-laws and many times these relationships can be a strain on your marriage if the relationship is strained as well.

7 Things Your In-laws Need to Hear You Say | www.joyinthehome.com

7 Things that Your In-laws Need to Hear You Say:

  1. Your Son is Amazing – Parents never stop being parents, even when their adult children get married.  They want to know they are having the best in life and being treated the best.  Many times, that parental desire can cloud the judgement of their children's spouses, making it difficult to have a good relationship with them. I would encourage you to speak great things about her spouse to them, as often as you can. Let's not forget, your spouse has in-laws also and you would want the best for your parents and your spouse to have peace with each other.
  2. I love him – You can't tell the parents of your spouse that you love him, enough.  Seriously!  I would highly recommend you laughing off the pet-peeves you have about the little things you husband does and let them know you love him.  It goes a long way to hear you repeating your love of him in their presence.
  3. I'm trying my best to be everything he needs – Admitting your weaknesses or short comings to them and letting them know that you are trying your best, while acknowledging these will give them a sense that you are really working on you, your relationship and giving it all that you have to be successful in your marriage.
  4. Thank you – I think your husband's parents would love to hear you say ‘thank you' to them for the gift you have received in their son. I know that my in-laws have enjoyed me telling this to them. Having gratitude for the kind of man he is and their work as his parents really allows them to open their hearts to you as well.
  5. It hurts me when… – Don't harbor hard feelings toward them. If they have hurt you in a situation, be open with them and with love tell them ‘It hurt me when…' and I don't it to affect our relationship, so I wanted to let you know before resentment or bitterness began to grow. Remind them that you desire to have a great relationship with them because your husband's happiness matters greatly to you.
  6. Will you forgive me for… – If you know that you haven't done something right or expect that their is a problem in the relationship, be open to ask for forgiveness and be the solution to the problem.  If you can make things better with a simple apology, I would recommend trying it, especially if it is something that your husband would appreciate you doing.
  7. I forgive you for… – Always accept their apology, if it is offered.

Not all in-law relationships may be easy to work on, but I do believe that it is something worth attempting for the blessing of your husband and the peace it can bring in your own marriage.

I have shared with you things that your husband and children need to hear you say.