home life

5 Ways to Lavish Love on Your Kids

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Today I am happy to introduce you to my friend Emily Wierenga.  I first met Emily last October, and in the months since I have been so blessed and inspired by her writing about faith, parenting, and life after anorexia.  Her brand new memoir, Atlas Girl, launches today, and I can’t say enough good things about it!  It is a [...]

6 Smart Ways to Get Your Kids to Stop Fighting

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Summer can sometimes be a pressure cooker for sibling rivalry, and if your kids are anything like mine, they somehow manage to fight over pretty much anything! While the battles may be over the tiniest details,  the effects of that constant turmoil wear on everyone's nerves.  Have you ever wished for surefire way to just get your kids to STOP fighting? [...]

25 Cruise Secrets Everyone Should Know

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This weekend my family and I are heading to Fort Lauderdale to board the newly refurbished Carnival Freedom for eight days of fun & sun in the Caribbean.  Needless to say, we are pretty pumped!  Cruising is by far our favorite way to travel.  Not only is it a great value and relatively easy to find fantastic deals, [...]

Summer Fun with Kids

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Summer has officially begun!  I don't know about you, but as much as I love the relaxed schedule, there is also a small part of me that is dreading the inevitable question: Mom, what can we do?!   This year at Living Well Spending Less I thought it would be fun to put together a handy resource [...]

5 Awesome Activities to Do With Kids at a National Park

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It is pretty hard to sum up in just one blog post even just a handful of the incredible things that our country’s National Parks have to offer.  Between snow-capped mountains, bone-dry valleys, ancient forests, active volcanoes, gushing geysers, stunning rock formations, underground caverns, and everything in between, we live in one of the most [...]

25 Awesome Staycation Ideas

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Ah vacation.  How many of us don’t sometimes wish we could escape the hustle, bustle, & day-to-day responsibilities of our normal lives for a week of fun and relaxation somewhere far, far away? The truth is that for many of us a traditional vacation is not always in the cards.  Between restaurants, hotels, and transportation, [...]

How to Balance Motherhood and Ambition

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A couple of weeks I wrote about the experience of accomplishing a lifelong dream, and more specifically, what it truly takes to make a dream come true. As I explained in that post, there is a whole lot of hard work and sacrifice involved in pursuing a dream. It means making difficult choices and a [...]

5 Secrets of a Happy Marriage

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I can't even tell you how excited I am to introduce you to my friend Melanie Shankle, aka Big Mama.  I'll spare you the boring details of how we met, suffice to say it involved much laughter (and a little wine) and an instant realization that she is my kind of people.  She is an [...]

How to Make a Dream Come True

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This past weekend was a big one for me, and not just because Seattle won the Superbowl.  No, this weekend was big because it was the weekend I turned in my completed manuscript for my first real book. It will still be quite a while before that pile of pages is transformed into a real [...]

A Mom Sets the Tone

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Though it has been a few years, I can still remember the conversation like it was yesterday.  In one of our marathon phone sessions, I poured out all my frustration to my sister: Chuck is such a jerk!  I’m so tired of feeling like I can’t do anything right!  And the girls are driving me [...]

4 Resolutions Every Mom Should Make

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Today I am so excited to be re-introducing you to my dear friend Edie from Life in Grace.  Those of you who have been around for a while might remember her from the 31 Days of Less & More series that we co-hosted in October.  Edie and I became friends about three years ago, just [...]

A Christmas Wish

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As I prepare to spend the next week celebrating the holidays with my family and friends, I wanted to also take a few moments to wish you all a merry Christmas as well.  It has been a busy, crazy, and overall incredible year here at Living Well Spending Less, and to finish up the year, I [...]

‘Twas the Weekend Before Christmas….

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I don't know how this December has been for your family, but life in the Soukup household has been a just a little hectic lately!t  Thank goodness I've got my husband around to keep me sane!  About six months ago he found a great price on a 4-day Carnival cruise out of Miami, departing on [...]

An Attitude of Gratitude

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I'm happy to be contributing over at The Better Mom today! It was one of those days. By 8am I was ready to throw in the towel and the day had only just begun. The whole family seemed to wake up on the wrong side of the bed.  My oldest was upset that I vetoed [...]

Why I Took My Kids’ Toys Away {One Year Later}

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A year ago this week I posted this (now infamous) post about taking my kids' toys away.  At the time, I honestly had no idea what a brouhaha it would cause.  I was simply sharing our own experience.  The comments and reactions to that post have run the gamut, from parents applauding the decision and [...]