home life

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 [...]

How I Got My Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

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Picky eating can be a pretty touchy subject.  No mom wants to hear they might be making a mistake, especially once you've gotten to a point where it seems impossible to change the course you've already charted. Over the past few months, several people have asked me for advice on this topic.  I've pondered writing [...]

The Best Family Road Trip Ever

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If you follow along on Instagram or Facebook, you probably already know that my family just got back from a whopping 29 day road trip.  We drove more than 4,000 miles, visited 15 different states, visited lots of friends and family along the way, and made lots of fun memories that I know will cherish [...]

Why I Love My Kindle Even More Than Books

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I have been in love with books since the moment I learned to read.  My childhood dream was always to someday have my very own home library filled floor-to-ceiling with books.  When we remodeled our home four years ago we converted what was supposed to be the formal dining room into a library with built-in [...]

Mom School 101: Lessons in Letting Go

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This post was originally intended it to be a reflection on our first year of homeschool.  I figured I would share a little of what we learned over the past twelve months; the good, the bad, and the ugly.  A few clever observations and I'd be on my way.  Alas, that post was not meant [...]

Our Top 10 Family Board Games, Ages 3-8

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Our family has always loved playing board games, but since cutting out television and then taking (almost) all of the girls' toys away last summer away we've taken that love to a whole new level!  Playing family board games together is by far our favorite evening and weekend activity, and we've had plenty of time [...]