FAMILY Kids/Family Simplifying

10 Awesome Back-To-School Hacks For Moms



These 10 back-to-school hacks are to help Moms survive the back-to-school whirlwind that is taking place in many of our homes right now! You will find a few specifically for Moms of teens, as that is the season I am in right now. If you don’t have teens, you will before you know it–don’t blink!


Ice Cold Water Bottles

My girls love taking water bottles to school and like them ice-cold. To keep them cold until lunchtime,  fill half way with water and place the water bottle  on its side in the freezer over-night, then fill the rest with tap water in the morning.


Snapshot School Schedule & Locker Combo

Learning a new schedule can be easy if you keep it front and center on the first day. Have your teens take a snapshot of it and use it as their phone or screen saver. Have them take one of  their locker combination, too.


Use Google In A Unique Way

Google is amazing, but to research information for school essays, try using for more relevant information. When your kids are finished with an essay, have them copy and paste it into Google Translate, and listen to it. This is an easy way to find mistakes.




Refrigerator Chia Oats To-Go Breakfast

If you have not ever had chia oats, back-to-school is the perfect time to try them. They are filling, healthy–and if made in a mason jar–portable!


Keep School ID Or Library Books In Back Pack

Encourage your high schoolers to put their student ID right into a side pocket of their backpack when that take it off. It is usually in the care when they discover they forgot it, and it will be right there in their backpack, ready to put on. The same trick will work for those library books. If they are always stored in the back pack after reading, they will always be ready to be returned!




Protein After School Snack

Hard boiled eggs are a great way to get some protein into your kids as part of their after-school snack. They would also make a great addition to an easy breakfast. Have you ever tried to bake your hard-boiled eggs? I have not but I keep seeing that it is a thing!


Freeze a Wet Sponge

Sponges are an inexpensive way to keep those lunch boxes nice and cool. Icepacks can produce quite a bit of condensation, which can leave things soggy. Instead, freeze a wet sponge. Because the sponge absorbs liquids, it won’t leak while in the lunch box.


The Good Sandwich Guide

Tired of overlapping lunch meats with edges hanging off the sides of the bread? Use this trick to reduce overlapping and allow for a good bite even in the corners! Cut 2 slices of circular lunch meat and cheese and cheese in half. Lay on top of a piece of bread with rounded side facing in, so the straight edges fill the bread. Top with another piece of bread and slice down the center.  I personally don’t buy circular lunch meat, as most of those have nitrates in them, but we do buy circular cheese, so I like this hack!




Pomodoro Method For Studying

Help your older kids take the most of those studying sessions. Encourage them to follow this guide.

~25 minutes hard work

~5 minute break

~Every 3rd break = 15 minutes long



Use PayPal App

If you need to pay a tutor on the spot, want to school supply shop while laying in bed, and donate to your favorite charities with a click, you must use PayPal.

We use the PayPal app all the time, and I truly don’t know what I’d do without the convenience it brings! We use it to pay our tutor, with just a push of a button I can hear her phone ding right when I send it, which makes us both smile, knowing she is getting her payment before she even leaves our home.

PayPal One Touch:

When Back-to-School shopping on an app or website that allows you to pay with PayPal, there is no need to type in credit card information or re-enter usernames an passwords. Personally, the fewer passwords I need the better life is, and I am always relieved when I see a website allows you to pay with PayPal, which I find on many sites! You can log in and then are given the choice to opt-in to “stay logged in” for the same device and browser combo, across eligible PayPal merchants. Easy shopping, paid with a click, while lying in my bed? Yes, I will take that.

Charitable Giving

I just learned that with the same easy click of a button, PayPal helps support our favorite causes with the in-app donation feature called the PayPal Giving Fund.  100% of the proceeds go to selected partnering charity organizations, such as Let Girls LearnYMCA, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. My Todd works for a non-profit charitable organization, so I know how amazing this feature is both for the charity and for the giver.

You can donate to your favorite charities, whether responding on the spot to a natural disaster or simply supporting a local cause, in-app donations is a quick and secure way to discover and donate to certified charities around the world with just a click using PayPal.

During back-to-school season, and donations made through the Pay Pal Giving Fund will receive a 1% match from PayPal! Pay Pal is partnering with select charities dedicated to providing access to education and extracurricular enrichment to children from August 12-August 31, 2016. Learn more about the PayPal Giving Fund & how to donate by going to


Are YOUR kids back-to-school yet? Do you have teens?

Do you shop for school supplies online? Are you familiar with the PayPal App?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Anti-Procrastination Weekly Plan


Goodbye Olympics

We have had such a great time watching the 2016 Olympics. We are actually watching them right now as I type. Even though they are over, we recorded hours of it and are still enjoying every bit of it. My two older girls are either too busy or not interested, but my Avery, Todd and I have spent almost every evening watching them together. Todd and Avery have had lots of fun laughing at me gasping and reacting to all the great and tense moments. I think the Olympics are emotional! I love it.

Todd has had to work late almost every evening while they are on, and it became a habit of his to text me one word as he leaves work and begins his drive home.  “Olympics?” I always respond with a hearty “Yes!”

I’m going to miss those one word texts from my man.


Weekly Goals

Meal Plan — grocery list +5 meals

Rescue My Home — dust, sweep, vacuum, mop, bathrooms

Dates — my Todd, my girls, one close friend

Do a PinGuilt Free Ice Cream


Daily To-Do

Spiritual —journal, Scripture, pray, meditate

Move Body–walk, yoga or strength training

Hydrate + Nutrients –greens & berries, vitamins, water

One Full Load — dishwasher & laundry

Cleaning, Clutter & Computer Zones — {Master Bedroom}, {Clean Clothes Basket}, & {Delete Old Photos}


Ap-poster copy

{want this FREE printable? keep scrolling}

Specific Goals

Finish reading:  The Death of Cancer

Keep reading: Present Over Perfect

Workout plan

Slow Down!


Recipes To Make

Chicken Fried Rice


Burrito Bowls with Rotisserie Chicken


Crockpot Refried Beans Without The Refry

Baked Chili Lime Salmon

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups

Quick Korean Beef on Rice

Homemade Velveeta


(for Mac n Cheese & Nachos)


What are you wanting to get done this week?

What recipes are you planning on making?

Are you on Pinterest? Share a favorite pin you want to accomplish.



HEALTH HOME Homemaking Natural Products

How To Get Calcium Deposits Off Of An Ice Dispenser + Keeping A Clean Home Free Printable


We are in an interesting space between summertime and back-to-school. My girls have gone back to school already, but the weather here in the midwest is still so hot and is screaming summer!

The minute my girls went back to school, I got busy and focused in on home organization, cleaning and tasks that I had put off all summer! I’ve been trying to keep  the slow living attitude of summer while being pro-active and efficient, getting busy and getting things done around here!


I made myself a handy “Keeping a Clean Home” printable checklist that divides tasks into Every Day, Once a Week, Once a Month, Once a Season, and Once a Year. This checklist allows me to focus in, know exactly where I am at and what needs done. Would you like to print one out for yourself too? Just use the link below.


The chart is keeping me on track and I’m slowly working through it. Something that was really needing done on the seasonal checklist, that I had procrastinated on all summer, was my refrigerator. Especially the outside of my refrigerator, namely the water dispenser area!

We drink a ton of water, especially during the hot summer months! I rarely buy juice or sugary drinks, so water is my family’s drink of choice. This means we are constantly getting ice from the ice maker and filling up water bottles from the water dispenser on our refrigerator door. Some of our water bottles have narrow openings, which can make it hard to aim the water flow and water can splash all over.

Over time, this splashing has resulted in calcium deposits on our refrigerator, mainly in the dispenser water catch area, but also some streaking down the refrigerator onto the pull-out freezer drawer. Scaly white residue can build up over time, and everyday cleaners often fail to remove the build up from hard water.


The build up on our dispenser has been bugging me all summer! Not anymore! Thanks to a little DIY Calcium Deposit Cleaner, Coconut Oil Polisher & Viva Paper Towels, my dispenser, refrigerator door, and freezer drawer front are all sparkly clean!


Can I tell you why I love Viva Paper Towels for jobs like this? They are amazingly absorbent, and don’t leave any residue behind. They are so strong and durable that you can actually wring them out several times & wash dishes with them! Viva Vantage has a scrubby texture and is great for shining stainless steel and glass or scrubbing counters. Viva towels are smooth and soft, almost like an undershirt material, and are so gentle and yet strong that they can wipe little faces clean! They come with the handy ‘select-a-size’ and have made my summer season cleaning so much easier.


DIY Calcium Deposit Cleaner

White Distilled Vinegar (1/2-1 cup)

Juice of One Lemon

Viva Paper Towels


Scrub brush or Old Tooth Brush

Baking Soda



Step One:

Put vinegar in a bowl. Fold up a few sheets of Viva Vantage paper towels. Put them in the bowl and let them soak up the full-strength vinegar. You will be amazed at how absorbent Viva paper towels are! Drape them over any areas that have mineral deposits. I draped them on my refrigerator water & ice dispenser, and also around my kitchen faucet. Let sit for a few minutes, then use the paper towels to wipe away anything that came loose.




The above picture was taken after Step One. It took off a ton of the residue, but not all.

Step Two.

Empty the bowl of any remaining vinegar, and squeeze the lemon into the bowl. I use a fork poked into the middle of the lemon, then use a twisting action to get maximum juice out.


Dip a scrub brush or an old toothbrush in the lemon juice, then sprinkle the bristles with baking soda. Apply to any remaining deposits and scrub until clean. The acid in the lemon juice naturally removes mineral deposits. The vinegar loosens the deposits, so scrubbing should be minimal. A smaller brush will easily reach into crevices, and using these all natural products will keep your mind at ease as you clean around the area where water is dispensed from. No harsh chemicals to worry about getting into your next cup of water!


Wet another Viva Vantage towel. Wipe off lemon juice and any residue, then use another dry paper towel to polish to a shine!

**Tip: After cleaning, fold a Viva Towel into thirds (or whatever size fits best) and place on the water catch area of your ice and water dispenser. This will catch and absorb the drips and keep things clean! Change it out at least once a week. This tip will keep it looking great between seasonal deep cleanings.



DIY Stainless Steel Polisher


Coconut Oil

Viva Vantage Paper Towels

Viva Towels

Clean your stainless steel appliances as you normally would. I just use water on a textured Viva Vantage paper towel. Then put a spoonful of coconut oil onto a soft and smooth Viva Towel, and give them a good rubdown.


Rub into the surface until it’s not greasy to the touch, but all of the stains and streaks have disappeared. No need for expensive, harsh stainless steel cleaners!


What about you? Do you have issues with hard water mineral deposits in your home? Where?

How is your seasonal cleaning going? What would you like to get to with the help of Viva Towels?





I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Beauty FUN/DIY

DIY Pedicure Routine With Help From A Professional & Amopé


Thanks to my cosmetology license, I can share with you the exact steps I used to give pedicures as a professional in a salon. This DIY Pedicure Routine can be a lifesaver, especially now when flip-flops and sandals show the wear and tear that summertime can bring. Doing your own pedicure will save money, & leave you with feet that feel wonderful and toes that sparkle!

I attended cosmetology school as an 18-year-old, and was working in a salon by age 19. My specialty was hair cuts and colors, but I built up quite a few regular manicure and pedicure clients. I was always happy to see one of them on my appointment book, as it gave me a break from standing with my arms raised, and gave me a chance to just sit and enjoy my client while attending to their nails.

People always asked me if it bothered me to work on other people’s toes. It never did thanks to the soak that each client started out with. By the time I handled their feet, they were nice and clean and disinfected. I quite enjoyed giving pedicures, knowing that it made my clients feel pampered. I remember some great conversations and feeling relaxed as I filed, massaged and polished away!

Below is a step by step DIY Pedicure Routine. It is perfect for summertime, and really anytime! Doing it yourself just might give you the same pampered feeling as a professional pedicure would, but without the cost!



Basin big enough to fit both feet


Hot water


Epsom salt (optional)

Toe nail clippers

Nail file

Nail buffer

Cuticle pusher

Cuticle clippers

Amopé Pedi Perfect™ electronic foot file


Moisturizer (I use Coconut Oil)

Polish (base coat, color, & top coat)


DIY Professional Pedicure Routine



Use a container big enough to fit both feet. Fill it with hot soapy water. You can add some epsom salts for a dose of magnesium. Lay a towel down on the floor, put the basin on top, and make sure the rest of your supplies are within reach. Sit in a chair in front of the basin and soak for 5 minutes. This cleanses, relaxes, and softens up the cuticle & rough skin.



Dry one foot, and keep the other soaking for these next 3 steps–clipping, filing and buffing. Only clip if you have excess length. Keep toenails straight across to avoid painful ingrown toenails.


Use a file to smooth out the rough edges, remembering to keep the toe nail straight across, and not too short. Toe nails that are too short show too much skin at the end of the nail, which is not esthetically pleasing and makes polishing difficult. Want to try something different than the traditional nail file? Try the Amopé Pedi Perfect™ electronic nail file using this coupon.



Toenails can tend to have ridges, and buffing is an easy way to make the top of the toenail nice and smooth. Start with the most rough part of the buffer, and work your way eventually to the smoothest side of the buffer.



At this point, switch feet. Repeat above steps with your other foot, and place the foot that you just buffed back into the water.



Once both feet are clipped, filed and buffed, it is time to push back the cuticles. Dry both feet off. Gently push back any over-grown cuticle. Use the instrument to get any dirt out from under the toenails. Use the water to rinse and keep things clean.


Trim Cuticle

Only do this step if you have excess cuticle. Do not over-trim. Make sure to get any hang nails.



Use exfoliator of choice. My favorite is my Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub, or my Lemon Sugar Scrub. If you want to keep it simple, use coconut oil mixed with some sugar and maybe a drop of essential oils. Rub exfoliator into both feet and up onto the ankle. You could go as high as the knee if you’d like. That was our stopping point as professionals. Use basin water to rinse all exfoliate off & dry both feet.



This is where I get to introduce you to my favorite tool for keeping my feet super soft and smooth. It is called the Amopé Pedi Perfect™ electronic foot file. I bought it at CVS great deal, thanks to a coupon that I used. It is perfect for summertime daily wear and tear, especially for cracked, dry, thick heels! This tool is wonderful for the heel, under the big toe, at the side edge beneath the pinky toe and anywhere you have hard, dry, rough skin that needs smoothed. I found it worked much faster and was so much easier than smoothing by hand with a foot file. The Amope’ Pedi Perfect conforms to the shape of your foot and feels wonderful while smoothing. It has a safety stop feature that makes it safe to use, and there are no sharp blades so I feel comfortable letting my teen girls use it. I so wish I had this tool when I was doing pedicures professionally, as I get better-than-professional results with it! It feels great, is easy to use, has replaceable roller heads and is one of my favorite recent purchases. Keep scrolling for an awesome coupon to get one for yourself.



Give both feet one more good rinse, dry them off, then moisturize all the way up to the knee if desired. I simply use coconut oil.


Take a minute to pamper yourself and really rub the moisturizer into your feet. Pay attention to the arch, each toe, in-between toes and even the top of the foot. Do a couple of toe flexes and ankle stretches while you are at it.



It is now time to polish, but if you don’t remove the moisturizer from your nail beds, the polish won’t stick and will chip immediately. Nail polish remover is perfect for removing any leftover oils and even your own natural oil from the nail bed. This step is key for good nail polish adhesion. Saturate a cotton ball or pad with polish remover and remove all moisturizer from each toenail.



Polish in this order: Base Coat, 2 Coats of Color, Top Coat.

I love getting more adventurous on my toes when it comes to color. I often choose my color depending on the season or if I have a special outing, I match it to my outfit. I love using brighter colors and even glitter polish on my toes, even though I am much more conservative with my nails.

Despite all the talk of adventure, my toe nail polish crush right now is white. I love how clean it looks. It makes my feet look much more tan than they really are and it matches every flip-flop, sandal and outfit that I have.



Amopé Coupons

Here is the coupon link I promised you! Print it off, take it to your local CVS and get a great deal on your own Amopé products. The coupons are $15 off Nail File, and $15 off foot file or $25 off two Amopé devices. Coupons are valid until 8/24/16. Take advantage of these amazing deals and enjoy #SoftFeetAllSummer with Amopé!



So there you have it. Step-by step for a DIY Professional Pedicure. It is such a great feeling to have cute summertime toes by doing my own pedicure and saving money.



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Amopé™. The opinions and text are all mine.


Anti-Procrastination Tuesday Weekly Plan



My 8th grader Avery went back yesterday, and Colsie (10th grade) & Teagan (11th grade) go back  today. I have mixed emotions about the quiet house and extra work time. I am excited about plans  for this blog, and have quite a bit of work I’d like to do on our home now that I won’t have 3 teens in the way! I WILL miss them. They are so grown up and have changed so much, even just over the summer. Oh how I love my girls!



Something that I am planning on hitting hard is this fall increasing my workouts. The only exercise I’ve done this summer is walking, paying attention to how many steps a day that I get, and doing a bit of stretching. It has been fascinating to see which days I get close to 10,000 steps and how few steps I get on days that I sit to write posts and do administrative work for New Nostalgia.  I need to get my heart rate up and do some strength training, so I’m going to be taking advantage of fall routine to focus in on health.

Another reason why I am so motivated to exercise is because the cancer medications I am on are definitely causing weight gain. It is the first time in my life that I have had to even think about weight, so I have been pretty spoiled these 40 years, but right now my clothes are not fitting! I know that extra weight is health hazard for me, as excess weight means extra estrogen, and my cancer is fed by hormones, so keeping a healthy weight is very important as a cancer survivor.


Weekly Goals

Meal Plan — grocery list +5 meals

Rescue My Home — dust, sweep, vacuum, mop, bathrooms

Dates — my Todd, my girls, one close friend

Do a PinHow to Get Calcium Deposits Off an Ice Dispenser


Daily To-Do

Spiritual —journal, Scripture, pray, meditate

Move Body–walk, yoga or strength training

Hydrate + Nutrients –greens & berries, vitamins, water

One Full Load — dishwasher & laundry

Cleaning, Clutter & Computer Zones — {sunroom}, {trunk}, & {important file/inbox}


Ap-poster copy

{want this FREE printable? keep scrolling}

Specific Goals

Finish reading:  Loving Frank

Start reading: Present Over Perfect

Keep calling window specialists for estimate–phone tag!

Clean sunroom windows

Plan for menu plan! Ha.

Workout plan


Recipes To Make

Chicken Fried Rice

Homemade Pesto

Tomatoes On Toast

Spinach, Tortellini & Grilled Chicken Salad

My Mom’s Taco Salad



What are you wanting to get done this week?

What recipes are you planning on making?

Are you on Pinterest? Share a favorite pin you want to accomplish.