Bloggy Help:

 photo socialmedia_zps413c1040.png  photo helpdeskbutton_zpsb16b6c42.png  photo instagram_zps73b3c07a.png  photo header_zps97df3d3e.png  photo needamakeover_zps6d19d8a9.png

What's In A Name?

Would You Change Your Blog's Name?
I'm thinking of changing the name of this you think that's crazy? Part of the issue is that I don't want to blog about blogging all the time...there are many other fantastic things to pursue...

Pros - a fresh, new approach, a chance to build a new/better brand, reach out to readers who may be turned off by our current name.

Cons - having to think of an awesome new name, re-branding, re-building the blog, losing current readers and/or pageviews.

I'm sure I'm missing some pros and cons...I would just really love to know what you would do...would you change your blog's name after 4+ years of successful blogging?

Please leave me a comment on your thoughts.


Living Small In a Big World - The Plan To Start Living Small

Living Small - a commentary at The Blog Guidebook

Living small doesn't mean being small.

Living small simply means (to me anyway) that you choose to live in a way that is not part of the frenzy, that you opt out of the mainstream "stuff". It can, of course, mean a lot of other things, such as a small carbon footprint, being green, living purposefully, building and living in a tiny house, living off the land, etc.

Now I will be the first one to admit that I have a lot of "stuff". Literally and figuratively. At the ripe old age of 45 I am realizing more and more that I don't want all this stuff and that it is a burden, holding me down and preventing me from doing things that I really want to do.
Stuff costs money. It costs to buy it and keep it organized. Stuff is really hard on one's mental awareness of self. For example, I had a huge garage sale at the start of summer and I cleaned out my garage...made $400 and felt like a million dollars. Just now I was sitting in my car looking at all the stuff that is now in my garage again...somehow it migrated from the house to the garage in my effort to live smaller.

I guess another garage sale is in order.

So, do you have stuff? Do you want to know what my stuff is?  Here's a short list:

  • Books
  • Memorabilia from elementary and high school
  • Clothes (mine and my children's)
  • Toys (that my children don't need and have forgotten about)
  • Home Decor and Decorations for the different holidays
  • Furniture (to refinish in my spare time)
  • Furniture, dishes, decor that belongs to other people
  • Boxes of knick-knacks to sell at my flea market booth
  • Kitchen gadgets, trays, coffee pots and more (from my catering days)
  • Paper goods (I can't seem to let go of paper)
  • Jars, bottles, old shopping bags
  • Kitchen cabinets we ripped out 8 months ago
  • Piles of wood and debris
I also have a filing cabinet and two shelves piled with you think I have a problem?

The Plan To Start Living Small

Yes, I am coming up with a plan to live a little more intentionally, get out of debt and travel more. I also want to leave the midwest in the middle of winter so I don't go crazy from lack of sunlight...

I've already started getting rid of the above listed stuff. I'm having another sale, I'm planning a trunk sale with a local co-op, I'm putting more stuff in my booth, and I'm having my husband drive boxes of stuff to local charities. I found a great place out in the boonies that is called The Quarter Store...everything is 25 cents. It is to help battered women be able to afford clothes and housewares when they are starting new on their own. Unfortunately, it's about 40 minutes from my house.

Most importantly, and I'm preaching to myself, I need to stop spending money on things that don't matter. Like trips to Target because I have nothing else to do. Like flea marketing for things I don't need. (I've actually stopped this and only window shop now). Save that hard earned cash!

We're going to sell our house next. Owning a house is the American Dream, but it has never been my dream to own something old that needs lots of repairs and is a $$ sucker. After we finish all the remodeling projects we will be putting it on the market.

Buying land will come next. It's always been a dream of mine to live by water. So we are looking for property near a creek/river/lake. We plan to build a house.

Build a small house - yes, that is certainly a key to living smaller. Our current home is only 2200 square feet, it's not the largest house on the block. But we don't utilize or use it. The new plan is to build a container home (made from metal shipping containers) at under 1000 square feet. They are weather hardy, don't need a lot of support and are easy to maintain if built properly.

An example below:

While we're building we hope to live in a small camper, and possibly take a few trips to visit family.

There are many many blogs about living in fave right now is Check it out!

Lastly, living small means letting go of the things that we think we need, but don't really. I don't need three coffee makers (but I have them), I don't need to rice cookers, twenty coffee cups, five hair brushes, all the craft supplies that we can possibly use in ten years, or all the shoes I've ever bought.
I want that feeling of when I stay in a hotel and I only have a suitcase of my necessities, and everything else has its place.

Some blogs that have been inspiring me to find the small inside of me:
Tiny House Talk
Little House Living
Small House Swoon

And don't forget about is much bigger on the inside isn't it?

Do you have any thoughts on living with less and living a better quality of life? If so, I'd love hear about them.

5 tips to get your child to talk about their school day


That's the basic response we all get from our children at 3:30 in their post-math-pre-snack bleary-eyed haze when we ask "How was school today?" So it was no surprise that it happened to me right out of the gate this year on the first day of second grade. My son loooooves to chat, so I knew his quipped replies must have been partially my error. My question was wrong. I experimented with a few new questions, and was blown away by some of his responses. I was suddenly learning playground hierarchy, lunchroom luckies (my son doesn't get enough dessert, apparently), and hidden details I've never gleaned in years past. Here are some tips on how to draw more from your student at the end of the school day.

1. Ask "feeling" questions. This elicits all kinds of interesting information. Start out by asking them to tell you one thing that happened today that made them feel:
• helpful
• scared
• special
• surprised
• sad
• confused
• happy

2. Ask them what they traded at lunch. (Because trust me, they did.) Then ask what the other kids have in their lunch boxes. It's not so much about what's in their lunches. But the details that followed about how the lunchroom dynamic works were enlightening. I also learned new things to pack in my son's lunch that I hadn't thought of.

3. Ask one thing that made them excited to learn that day (break it down by subject if you have a particularly stubborn kiddo). I learned that my son started art class today and drew the most amazing prehistoric creature. This was something he didn't offer up on his own. He then went on to tell me that his art teacher is a boy, but his P.E. teacher is a girl, which made him laugh. And that opened up the conversation to the art/library/music/computers classes, and when they will be happening in the week.

4. Ask them what made them laugh at school. This one was a big hit. I heard all kinds of tidbits about other students and his teachers clever quirks. And it lets your child know that you can't always take school too seriously!

5. Ask where they saw the principal that day. It makes them stop and think about specific moments in the day. You might find out that something went down on the playground. Or your child might have visited the office for a bandaid. Or maybe they received a small award! In our case, the principal actually walked my son's class out to the carpool pick-up, and my husband had met him thinking it was the teacher. My son was proud to introduce them and make the connection (an incident that seemed too trivial for my son and husband to share).

Add all of these moments up, and you'll have a pretty good depiction of the day! Do you have tricks to get your kids to talk to you about their day? Tell me in the comments below.

Cornishware Teapot In My Kipper Dreams

It rained last night...a jolly pour down to make my lawn green. How lovely! It makes me long for a big pot of tea brewing (on a tray right by me so I don't have to go back into the kitchen) while I listen to the kiddos watching Kipper.

Do you know Kipper? If you don't and you have little kids, then you need to meet him.

Kipper shares my love for all things Cornishware (click on the teapot to go to their site - not an affiliate). Do you know Cornishware? It has lovely chunky stripes on white pottery and it makes tea taste amazing. You can find it in the UK, but it's hard and expensive to find here in the old USA.

My dream is next time I'm in England that I shall find a teapot or a little jug and bring it home for my very I can enjoy Kipper too. If you have Amazon Prime you can stream Kipper for free...or click on the pic of Kipper to purchase a four DVD set for under $10.

These opinions are my own and are not affiliate linked.

Have a great day!

Cornishware Tea Pot - totally adorable at The Blog Guidebook