Friday, May 26, 2017

How to cook once and eat 4 times from one cooking session.

I HATE COOKING EVERY DAY! Wait what? Really? Yes really, I would much rather be in my art studio dreaming up my next watercolor project. And who has time for cooking a meal every single day… I get burned out on it! SOOO I don’t. I Cheat. And no one knows about it… sometimes my kids are so hungry and they say so are you going to feed us sometime tonight…. (laser eyes from their mother beams at them) at which point I say if your that hungry make some mac and cheese, but we are having some chicken and _________ to go with our chicken, and supper will be ready in about 30 mins.

MY Friends, it’s all about the prep work… I feel like I have this down to a complete science. (but I am sure someone has found an easier way to prep) if so send that info my way.  

Grocery shopping Tuesday morning at Hy-Vee can feel like a magical place. They usually have meat markdowns up to 70% off, that’s when I feel like a scavenger for the best deals on chicken. No joke, I have gotten a 5lb bag of marinated boneless chicken for $5 all I have to do is sous vide these chicken breasts and add a side to my chicken and dinner is done. It’s that simple. Although those opportunities don’t happen all the time here is what I really do:

When whole chickens are a sale, (about every other month I buy about 4-6 chickens. I know that will get us through the next sale. (this way I am never buying chicken at the full price)

Since I don’t want to waste valuable freezer space with a whole chicken I plan that day or the day after to roast the 4-6 chicken, usually a morning or afternoon… but that’s ok, it’s saving me money and time later.  I usually add some spices, I like to do a rub with Italian seasoning on the inside of the skin to penetrate to the meat.  When I take out the chicken and let it cool I discard the skin, which means all the spices would go with it, and I don’t want that.

Note that since I have gotten a Sous Vide, I use that too for an alternative for roasting.

After I am done roasting the chicken I save the last chicken for supper that night, after all I have been roasting all afternoon the house smells like I am a fabulous cook, and everyone especially my dog wants some chicken.

I shred the chicken. I use it for bbq chicken, or for bbq chicken pizza, stews, soups, chicken pot pie, a creamy tortellini casserole, or I use it for salads. After all the chicken is shredded I place about 2-3 cups of shredded chicken into a bag and have about 4 -6 bags of shredded chicken ready to go… and that is one way I save time in the kitchen.

If you are like me and are like there is no way you are getting me to debone a chicken, DONT I have yet to see it worth my time… or if I do debone a chicken it’s after the cooking process, because I really don’t like handling the raw meat aspect of any cooking.

I BUY BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS when I am on the hunt for Chicken. I will buy sometimes 20lbs of this good stuff. The time savings is in the prep work of freezing. I like to season with a rub and then freeze the chicken breasts, if you have a Sous Vide then it’s all ready to go if not, thawing it and then roasting or grilling it is a snap.  Usually, an extra hour is worth getting 5 meals ready to go is worth it. DO not put a marinade or salad dressing in the bag before you freeze it, it doesn’t taste good and it’s not great for the meat. Stick with just seasoning. That way when you are ready to grill or roast all you do is get it thawed onto a pan and into the heat! Super simple stuff!

I like preparing my chicken this way because I don’t have to think about what is for supper, if I already know what is ready to go in my freezer, I just need some forethought as to what I want to make for supper that morning so I can get it out of my freezer.

Utilize your kitchen for the best Chicken

If you have a convect oven please use the convect roast option while roasting your chicken, you will be glad you did, it does an amazing job with making the outside chicken crispy and the inside of the chicken tender and moist, it’s my new best friend when it comes to roasting a chicken.

Sous vide and chicken were a match made in heaven! Seriously it’s changed the way I view cooking chicken. I love sous vide chicken for a roasted preparation but without the crunchy skin which can be done by searing the chicken, but who has time for that when sous vide is enough to make your pallet happy with the moist tenderness it brings to the table?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Paper flower Recital Bouquet

OH it's that time of the year again for graduations and recitals! I have some perfect bouquets for those special occasions!

Paper roses that have been hand died, to match your daughters costume, like these roses, are perfect for those pictures that you cherish, It makes your daughter feel like a princess! 

Daisies are the Perfect flower for any occasion, and the beauty of making these daisies are that they work well with lots of patterned paper, and they come together quickly while watching youtube tutorials, I mean netflix, or what ever you do on your downtime.... Who wouldn't want a bouquet of these? 

Periwinkle blue Iris's? Yes please!!! I can see Iris's being a very popular paper flower for any occasion, they make every one feel a bit more peace and comfort! Which is what you want your recently graduated Grad to feel right?

Happy Creating, and have fun giving paper flowers bouquets to those you love!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Artists dates preserve your family in this time of chaos!

Artists dates for my family and I are simple, you could say that they are more like mommy dates, and they are... but for me, as an artist, it has more meaning to it, it feeds my soul with creativity and culture that helps bring my inner artist out to play. The goal of the Artist's Date is to let the kids and myself have fun and experience new views and ideas about our world.

julia Cameron in her book "The Artist's Way" describes an Artist's Date as a key tool in recovering our creativity. Simply put an Artist's Date "is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend again all interlopers." The benefits of Artist's Dates are numerous but one of our favorites is that Artist's Date feeds our creative well of images which inspire us in immeasurable ways!

Visit a festival, I took my kids to the Des Moines Art Festival and 6 months later they still talk about it. We made so many memories in that afternoon!

Go to a local candy store we like Rocket Fizz in Ankeny IA and get our childhood's favorite candy, CAN WE SAY JELLY Belly?

Go see a movie with popcorn and candy, I love it when our local theater in town would play the oldie kid movies that I grew up with like ET or Willy Wonka, or my favorite to watch in the theater with my daughter was The Sound of Music, it was truly the best Artist Date that I had with her in a while.

WAVE POOL or any pool, but for me a wave pool is like heaven on earth!

Make a recipe together, it's usually from the pbs kids cookbook that I love! A good Smore, or a superhero lunch date will work wonders for your inner artist!

Play in the sandbox with bare feet
Painting sticks and rocks, check out my blog post about painting sticks  I like this book for inspirations

Botanical Garden, or butterfly garden

Zoo trip, and lunch at the park outside of the zoo

Listen to different music and talk about what you like, I like to introduce my kids to silly 60's songs, Jazz, Classical, and broadway music.

Plan a trip (research it with youtube, and books) Planning our Walt Disney Vacation had been really entertaining during supper, It made my inner artist come out, and I felt my soul lighter when the day was weighing on me.

Tulip Time in Pella taking a trip to a town nearby that has an educational or cultural feel is always worth the drive, Pella Iowa is one of my favorite places to visit.

Visiting a Greenhouse, we are blessed that we have a beautiful one that is in our School District that has a huge variety of plants, all kinds.

Visit a planetarium, (ok this is really just a trip to the science center) but every time we watch a show in the planetarium I feel elated by imagery and I always come back learning something new!

 I could go on and on, but really an Artist Date with children is an easy way to learn and see the world from a different perspective. An artist date with your kids should help your soul feel lighter and happier. I love seasonal artist's dates, like visiting the pumpkin patch during October, I mean how often are we likely go down that big slide without a screaming elated 7yr old? You start to feel young and carefree! I am so glad I implement this into our family's life, I hope that you can see value in this easy way to help preserve the happiness of raising a family like I have done.

As always I have someone else in the blogosphere that mentions the same thing, check her out:

Mellisa Taylor at Imagination Soup has a great list of ideas and ideas that work for families. (perfect Family Home Evening ideas.)

For other information on Artists Dates, I have a great post on taking time out for yourself here

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hot New Flowers to DIY

Poppies make the world better. So of course I had to design a flower file that, and I am so proud of how it turned out! leave a comment bellow with an email or a way I can get in contact with you and I will send you the Silhouette file for the flower. 

I thought that three blooms worked well in this vase, it makes me smile! The paper is from Michaels, it's duo toned and perfect for flowers. 

These tulips are the perfect gift to make for a friend, and new mom or for birthdays. With a few simple pedals and shapes, you can make a dozen of these in a afternoon like I did for teachers that have taught my kids this year. 

Happy Creating!  paper flowers have always been one of my favorite inexpensive things to make, all it takes is some time and you got a beautiful bouquet for a beautiful thank you gift! 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Our time is worth something

Becoming a SAHM  Why you need a Routine on day one

Becoming a SAHM was a very natural transition for our family, but the actual “work” that was so foreign to me, I stay at home, I don’t need a routine, and neither does my baby… HUGE MISTAKE! As soon as you are able; please for the love of all things, get yourself on a routine, it could be as open ended as each day you do something different or as precise as managing your hours during the day.

In my experience, I have found that having a routine, by events have worked well for my kids and for me! For example, I stick to my guns, after lunch, it’s quiet time for my boys. After school it’s reading time with my elementary school aged child, before dinner we pick up our toys, after dinner, it’s clean up and we go upstairs and get ready for bed, we do story and scripture study and then a prayer. My kids know that this is how it’s done and there is no added stress to the day because we have a routine that works for our family. It works so well that I don’t have to tell my kids anymore to do this, do that, they know and they just do it. It’s a sanity saver for everyone in our house.

I came about this very unexpectedly, with most good things, it came from my husband: make a list of everything you do, when you do it, and see if you can’t squeeze in some time for _____ (art). Phooey I said, I don’t want to be on a routine, I am not a structured person by nature, But I did it like a good girl does, and I found that I did, in fact, have a couple minutes here and there to _____ (art around.) When I started to get into a routine that is when I could add more fun things into my life, like watercolor, blogging, playing with my kids on a more regular basis, walk the kids and the dog to the nearby park. It’s such a simple way to add more time into your day. As a SAHM you are going to want all the time in the world to do things that make you happy.

Becoming a SAHM: Time Management
I don’t get anymore me time you say to yourself:
If you are customed to having a lunch break, or your afternoons to do errands and you love that time to yourself, then yes, you don’t get that anymore but if you are able to have a different perspective on it, it might look something like this:

I get to stay home with 3 amazing children that take up all my time during the day. I know I need about 7 hours of sleep, so I get about 3 hours per day to myself. Let’s make it count.
What do I like to do when I am by myself?
What can I make my kids suffer through if I have to do it too? (grocery shopping and cleaning are my two favorite ones that I make them go with.) btw, they still love me.
What fun activities do I like to do, that I can do with my children? For me it’s all things art, walking on a trail, and baking. Which are all teachable moments.

Then when you have a detailed list from each category then you can start to see a picture of what you are willing to do with your kids, and what you want to do by yourself. And what enrichment activities your child/children and you could do together to build a relationship.  

The other perspective that has worked for me is this philosophy:
Do one thing every day that makes you happy. I love my family but I am a creative and I have this crazy need to create. So doing something every day to make me happy doesn’t really cut it for me, I need to incorporate all my creativity into my life to be happy. If you are not a crazy creative like me, then I think doing something for yourself is a good thing. for an example, I read mostly non-fiction.  so I let my kids listen to what I am reading then they are happy with the mommy time I gave them, I turn on a tv show and read to relax before supper and having a relaxing atmosphere before the dinner hour is always a joyful time to cherish.

The best advice I can give is to have a hobby that isn’t about kids, or the house (i don’t consider my couponing a hobby, it’s common sense, and part of being a SAHM that loves art materials.), Get a hobby and do it 15 mins. Here and there, If you are able to leave a project out and work on it when you can even better, (knitting crocheting if you need a couch hobby) for me I leave my watercolors out and dabble in it, or whatever crafting project I am working on out in my studio.

So to all SAHMS everywhere, My point is your Mental well-being is so important and it starts with a routine. There is no trick to sticking with a routine, it's all about follow-through and being consistent with it. Really the best gift you can give yourself and your family is sticking with a routine and following it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why paper flowers are the new way to give flowers

I just completed my first ever custom order for paper flowers, and I am feeling pretty good about myself and my talent of making the paper look amazing.

While making this order my thoughts were turned to why are paper flowers a thing? and more importantly why give paper flowers?

Why is paper flowers a thing?

I believe that there are a maker and creative movement going on. Our world is all about creating When you get some amazing artists that turn ordinary objects (paper) into something stunning (flowers.)  Of course, that is what is going to go mainstream, now, years later this art form has become a beautiful artform to have paper flowers.

As a little girl I would make flowers out of cupcake liners, and tissue paper, ribbon, and even leaves, I was creating my own little happy floral shop as a child. I loved creating with what I had. Paper flowers are a beautiful art form that truly can last for a long time.

knowing that you can custom any flower to any color, any size, you may find yourself asking a paper artist/crafter to make you some flowers you have only dreamed about.

Maybe your loved one is in ICU in the hospital and you need some hope... Paper flowers are allowed to be in the room, unlike real flowers they allow paper flowers.

True story: I learned that real flower bouquets are beautiful for your daughter's dance recital until they wilt and die a couple days later, with crocodile tears and a sad daughter when you throw away the flowers, you think there has got to be a better way to remember her recital... Paper flowers are the answer!

Got a graduate that loves colors that are not quite traditional that you can get at the florist? Yup, I bet there is a paper in that color, and oh yeah I got that hot orange Iris covered... Just saying the possibilities are endless! You can have a lot of fun with paper flower bouquets!

Maybe you just want a special gift for your friend that you can't get at a store, a paper flower can me customized to the color, size, type of flower(s) If you can dream it you can make it!

Paper flowers are so much fun to make and to learn, for me The process is therapeutic, it calms my souls and makes my heart happy!

This will be a perfect mother's day gift, I love paper flowers because you can make them as interesting as the person that is getting them and I really find that these flowers can be designed to have a timeless feel.

 I love the simplistic white and yellow color pallet!

My design tip for simplistic flowers or design, do something subtle in the design process to add an element of wow, for example, my white daisies, I could have done just white card stock, instead, I used a white paper with a small off-white pattern, so the flowers have a bit of texture. Just a small change can really change your project to wow to Amazing!

Happy Creating! and Happy Mother's day!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How to find the perfect Chicken recipe for your family

Are you like me and you love your cookbooks and want to know how to utilize chicken in your recipes? I own lots of cookbooks, I got overwhelmed with all these Chicken recipes and I end up roasting the chicken and for a side dish, I do mac and cheese! Does that ever happen to you? (you say no way, I am a way too awesome for that.) Then it’s just me, right?

I have narrowed my search for good chicken recipes into 3 categories:
Type of cooking method is it fried, baked, roasted, grilled, shredded (slow cooked.) or Sous Vide.
Type of meal is it a casserole or a stand-alone portion.
Prep process does it need to be marinated, or brined, or cooked all day, do I have to debone it before I cook it or can I after.

All of the categories mentioned plays a part in getting the perfect recipe. And don’t worry I don’t always follow the prep part of the recipe, because I know that if the end result is to shred the chicken, then I have that covered from freezing and shredding a couple chickens at once. I just need time to defrost it from my freezer.

The type of recipes can all coexist but I usually can look at the recipe and within 3 seconds know if it’s worthy of my time. When it comes to recipes I know what will work, or doesn’t work in my kitchen.

This is what I do:

Know your audience: I start off with the right cookbook, if I am wanting a family friendly chicken dinner I always go to those Church cookbooks, (the ones that are spiral bound and looks like it’s from your community you grew up in,) then you're in the right place. If you want a chicken dinner to impress you may want an everyday Italian cookbook or even the Pioneer woman cookbook. Knowing who you are cooking for helps a ton when looking for a chicken recipe. Look for cookbooks that have a specific ingredient index, that will help aid in your search.

Start with the recipe title, what clues can I get from the title: Here are some clues that I know right off the bat if my family will eat that or not, or if the recipe is worthy of my time, all the while I am not getting into the ingredient section. Focus on the title of the recipe. Here are some examples:
Baked Chicken: can mean that it’s a bit healthier and fast, but not all the time… look at how long it says it will be ready
Stuffed Chicken Breasts: really mean, more time and energy that I might not have to devote too unless it’s for a dinner party or a special occasion I am not making this for my family.
Creamy x and chicken: really means this is a casserole, perfect for those long winter nights…
Mr perfect chicken salad: really means precooked chicken with salad-like ingredients. That might be worth my time if I have a family picnic, but not as a family supper.
Chicken pesto with pasta: a healthy alternative to a creamy sauce, and easy if you buy pesto, or cheap if you grow your own herbs for pesto, a must try for this family.
Favorite herb Chicken: example: lemon and rosemary chicken, usually a marinade or a flavor enhancer to add flavor, usually a roasted, sous vide or grilled type recipe that is very open ended.

Smothered Chicken: lots of cheese or sauce loaded with seasoning to make it spicy and delectable. (best done at a restaurant and not at my house… (just kidding)) This recipe does take some time to make.

Blackened Chicken: it’s roasted usually with lots of spices on the skin that you can taste through the chicken. This one is also a great recipe that usually calls for roasting, Sous Vide, or baked.

Knowing the title can make all the difference in giving up on finding the perfect recipe, and knowing the dish, the way it’s prepared and having an idea of how labor intensive will help with finding the right recipe.

At first glance of the recipe, if the ingredients are more than 5 ingredients long I usually skip that recipe, I am in it to feed my family, not become a gourmet chef, usually, If I am looking for a more upscale recipe then I can go into the more time intensive recipes.

I have a small rule when it comes to the rest of the recipe, the ingredients need to be one that I can access easy, It should be in my well-stocked pantry or something I can pick up next time I am at the store. It should also be something that isn’t expensive that I may again for a while. Usually, if it’s a spice that I don’t hardly use, if it’s in a small spice jar for about a $1 then I will get it. Be careful with different types of oils, sometimes it’s not worth the extra money, (spices and olive oil that you can make your own for a fraction of the cost.)

Another thing I look at is the brand name of some of the ingredients, I usually substitute brand name items for the store brand if it’s comparable, sometimes it’s not and I end up getting the name brand product.

Finding the right Chicken recipe is a process, I like to think of it as a culinary journey. Most of the time I find a good grilling or marinade recipe that I can sous vide or roast and I am golden for like 6 months, because with one open-ended recipe I can add different sides, I can change up how I present it, (chicken breast, quarters, shredded on a bun, all with one recipe. So it’s not that you need 50 good recipes you need one good open-ended recipe that you can do more with.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Beauty of Coffee Filters DIY Paper Peonies!

I love frugal crafts, Paper flowers are frugal in the fact that you are using paper and glue for the most part. However, the time that is put into a paper flower is a labor of love.

As a little girl, I would make flowers out of tissue paper, and there are florists out that do this as a living, The tutorial/class I followed to make these beautiful Peonies used tissue paper. I had coffee filters, (a bit more frugal) After dying them in liquid watercolor the coffee filters were then dried and then cut into pedals that I could do something with! Cool right? So with about $2.00 in materials, literally the vase I found at a consignment store was more than the materials to make the 5 blooms. Cheap and fun to make, crafts that I love to make!

 I used this lesson on Paper Peonies to make these peonies for a friend that is having a baby girl this month. (which btw there are so many reasons why peonies are so easy to give to friends and family!)

I loved making them, in 5 hours I had 5 blooms ready to give or display to make you smile!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Did you know: Pop Corn, the best frugal snack there is!

Popcorn is that wonderful smell that radiates the house, or the theater when it's popping is one of my favorite smells! To me Popcorn is a comfort food, it can be a healthy snack or meal if you want it to be and you make it right. I love the fact that it's a whole grain and it's easy and inexpensive to enjoy.

Like all good things come I was talking to a friend and she said that she never buys microwave popcorn it's way too expensive she said, But your kids eat popcorn like ever other day I said. from the microwave, I have seen her do it! Ah.... it's because I do it myself... and it's better that what you get at the store... HOW????

I find myself eating a lot more of this whole grain goodness now that I really know... Here is how:

It all starts with this Guy: a microwave bowl cooker, it's awesome! I use it just for popcorn.

If you are like normal people go to the store and buy the normal size of kernels and oil.. or do what I do: Sam's club sells a 25lb bag for like $6 I store the corn kernels in plastic frosting tubs from our local bakery. (it holds like 1/2 the bag, so I got two of those frosting tubs to hold my kernels if you ask the bakery they usually give you the tubs.) I washed and dried the tubs and I was good to go!
Note that the .27 pennies cost is for the regular Jolly Time popcorn and Orville popcorn oil. 
Then you need oil, I use coconut oil sometimes, most of the time I buy the regular popping oil.

put1 tablespoon of the popcorn oil, and a 1/4 cup of kernels in the bowl, and microwave it for about 3 or so minutes, I like to listen to when the popcorn is done popping, so I don't burn it. And there you go! For 27 pennies, you have a perfect snack. and under $10 you have popcorn that will last you for a while! Pretty awesome right?

pop this in the microwave and then you get this golden ready to eat goodness!

Friday, April 28, 2017

You do what? As a SAHM!

What? you have more to your life than being a SAHM?

Yes I do and I think I am very talented in my Niche. Wait! What?

what seems to be the story of my life!

You went to school to become a ______ (fill in the blank with your experience) and you Stay at home?


You response: I ask that question every day of my life and I still haven’t found the right answer.  Right? You have had those conversations too right?  

So what the world sometimes see’s is a “waste” of talent, or a waste of time to nurture kids SAHMS see it as an opportunity to make the world a better place because we know that to raise good people it takes a mother with some sort of talent to cultivate a growing community.
My background is in photography and art. I left a Paper Crafting career when I had my first child.

Because I have a love affair with paper and L-O-V-E cutting things out, I became a couponer, among other reasons (like having only $300 left in our budget for food at the time we had our first child.) That is my contribution to the cause that is our family.

Let’s think about our contribution in another way:
We are the emotional support system of the family: so add in some sort of therapist cost:
my cost is $200 a month add in the extra stuff you do: a maid, early childhood education specialist, add another $200, plus I am a built-in chef, (in my mind things are not that expensive.) so another $200 per month, you get the idea, it's super expensive to have a Stay at Home Mom if you were to "pay" her right?

Ok you get the idea, once you can embrace your god given talents you are able to justify your contribution to the Family. Wait you don’t like to cook? Then replace that with, secretary for your husband, or a content marketer for your daughter’s little free library you just got, oh wait that’s me, You get the idea! It takes a lot of work to run a family and we are worth our weight in gold when it comes down to it.

The more common ways to contribute to the finances without working:

Do more of what you love to help save money:
Becoming more self-sufficient, like gardening, or canning. For example, I absolutely can not garden but I love to can tomatoes, apples, and peaches. So I ask all my gardening friends that have too many tomatoes If I can take some produce off of their hands. When you add the cost of what organic apple sauce or pizza sauce, and all you had was time invested it’s worth it if you like doing it.

Try new things, something will make you have an AHH HAA moment! Other ideas may include, gardening, organizing, crafting, researching ways to save money, learning about ingredients and products to get the best quality without spending a lot of money. (I think of trendy sauces that are marketed differently and toys.)

Have a price point for things you regularly purchase, I have a price point for shoes, clothing, groceries, So I know when something is a good deal or if it’s not. The best way to do this follows the sales cycle, and mentally keep notes, or keep a price point list on an excel sheet like I use to do. This helps you understand when stuff is a good deal and when you should buy it or not.

The one thing that is on our side is Time, we may not always get big chunks of time, but we can wonder around the grocery store and look at prices and see what's being "pushed" to sell, I can't tell you how often I get meat on sale for over 70% off because I was there at the right time and stocked up and froze it!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Teaching Food and STEM together

What? you don't let your kids play with food? I love letting my kids play with their food if it's a learning opportunity, I think you will agree, MY KIDS LOVE THIS activity!  It's a two materials activity that you most likely have on hand!

Are your kids like mine and cheese balls are the first and only thing they want to eat right now? I thought so! I came up with a way to "teach" my kids while they eat their cheese balls. All you need is toothpicks, cheese balls and, some engineering skills and you got yourself a fun playful snack, We had fun building a little house, but I like using this as a way to teach math and shapes, and curiosity: how long is the table with cheese balls and toothpicks? You get the idea, the sky's the limit with cheeseballs and toothpicks! We also like to make shapes and talk about the shape.

I get my toothpicks and cheese balls at our local Hy-Vee. ( I have a love obsession with finding stuff at the grocery store that makes for fun toys for my kids.

Enjoy creating and playing with your food!

Friday, April 21, 2017

How 2 B A SAHM: Crunch those numbers!

Once you know that this SAHM thing could be for you how do you logistically make this work?

If you knew that you wanted to be a SAHM before you started a family you would save money… kids are expensive, the more money you can save the better your life will be. Since no family I know had $20,000 in a bank account when they became a SAHM I will guess that you are trying to crunch the numbers and see how it works for so many mothers to stay at home with one income.

The one thing that SAHMS have in common is they budget really well, I think SAHMS can be a great example to the finance industry, and we are.

So what my husband and I do is we look at our cost of living, (mortgage, utilities, insurance,) all the not fun stuff that we have to live on. Then we calculate what a good number for clothing and cell phone and my craft/art supplies are, that expense is also included in our total budget number. Then we see how much extra money we have left over and we live within our means with one income. It’s as simple and complicated as that.

It’s simple because numbers never lie, it’s so hard because: Ouch you mean we only have $300 left over for everything else that might happen this month? I hope and pray our vehicles and health are good. (Thank god that for the most part, we don't’ have added expenses.) That extra $300 that we didn't spend goes into a savings account.

The reality is that for SAHMS, we like to stretch our dollar as far as possible. We love going out to eat as long as the food is worth the money, which most times I don’t think it is. We use our god given common sense to manage our household, we research the crap out of things, and then we lay awake sometimes at night wondering what we would do with an extra $500. That’s the reality, but I love it and I wouldn't want it any other way. (btw, we just got back from Disney World because we finally managed to save enough, so there is fun to be had, it’s all on perspective.)

If you are accustomed to having two incomes and need to condense it to one income you may have to cut back some expenditures. It’s a sacrifice, that as a couple you have to decide. For us, we sacrificed cable, my beloved Sirius XM for a couple years, and a bigger house and a nicer/better/bigger vehicle. My thoughts on the house is this: the more room you have the more you have to clean and the more stuff you have to deal with… it’ just goes with the territory I can only clean so much... so a smaller house is better for our family.

My point: is that becoming a SAHM is a sacrifice, but all the silver and gold in the world can’t replace the nurturing power that a mom has on her child, if there is a will there is a way. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has come home and said he got a small raise in the middle of the year. The universe is on your side when it comes to finances. I will say that your husband will be able to do his job better when he doesn’t have to worry about his kids because they are in your capable hands, (that’s where raises can come into play.)

I don’t know all the tips to budgeting money, this is what has worked well for us, I have another post that will be added soon about how to contribute to the family as a SAHM and the flip side to having a SAHM in my next blog post.

I would love to hear about how you were able to become a SAHM and how you work with your finances to live the life you love! Leave a comment below.