you might have a dumb home if…

If you come home from a Costa Rican vacation and find vagabonds eating your marshmallow puff, your home is dumb.  Read more…

black friday activities that are not shopping

I’ll just come right out with it and admit that Black Friday (Black Friday deserves to be a proper noun??) is not really my cup of tea. Don’t mind me while I admire you vigilant deal-seeking, sleep-deprived shoppers at a distance…at 10:00 am…right after I roll out of bed.

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thanksgiving family traditions (new and old)

What is your very favorite part of the holidays? I’m guessing if falls somewhere between fall-colored-leaves, pumpkin/peppermint lattes, and evading awkward family questions like: “When are you going to get married?”, “When are you going to have another kid?”, or “When are you going to move out; you’re 32 for heaven’s sake”.

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circa 1647

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Whooley Family | Circa 1647

Meet the Whooleys.

Papa Whooley is a revolutionary man, who loved his horse. He saw the writing on the wall when King James I took over the English crown and decided it would be smart to move his beautiful family to America.

After five short months of eating stale bread, fighting seasickness and scurvy, they finally arrived in their new home of Plymouth Massachusetts.


Papa Whooley quickly purchased property and started to build his family a log cabin. 20141114 Pilgram Social Media579It included a door, a roof overhead, outdoor plumbing, and fixtures for all the candles. You could say that everything was looking up for the Whooley family, until the fall of 1647.

Wolves, bears and squirrels became real threats to the Whooley family. Thomas, the eldest son of 17, lost his pinky toe due to an unfortunate squirrel attack while plucking berries from the rosemary bush outside the yard boundaries.

Papa Whooley soon became obsessed with protecting his family from the fierce American wilderness. Their safety became his top priority.



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Over the following weeks, Papa Whooley had entrusted the security of the home with Thomas while he attended his sheep. However, Papa Whooley’s fear for the safety for his family got the better of him. He would check-in on the home from a distance to ensure Thomas was watching over the cabin.

It was a proud moment for Papa Whooley as he discovered that his son Thomas was watching over the cabin. Papa Whooley again felt like he had everything under control. Of course that feeling didn’t last long.



As Whooleys were just sitting down to a bountiful Thanksgiving feast at their in-laws, Mama Whooley leaned over to Papa Whooley and asked, “Did you lock the door?”



Your home probably wasn’t built in 1647, but there are smarter ways to protect it. Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 8.31.42 PM

 There are ordinary homes and there are Vivint homes.


family activities that don’t involve technology

I’m totally guilty of it. You know, that time that’s supposed to be quality family time but it inevitably turns into everyone is on their phone and tablet, not talking to each other, time? This happens way to often in my house and I bet it’s a familiar scene in yours too.

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green for all ages

Everyone is talking about going green these days but how can we really apply this idea to our life? Here are a few age specific ways to teach green principles to every member of your family.

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wisdom and youth

Spending time with those who have years of wisdom and open arms is a wonderful experience for families. While visiting the elderly we sang, played the piano, learned a new song on our ukulele, read stories, made new friends, ate delicious treats and learned fantastic new dance moves. It really was great.

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neighborhood calendar – north pole

Can you feel it? Something magical is in the air. The holiday season has finally come!

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family and community

There are many ways our family can be involved in the community. Here are four ways to keep your community clean, sustain its strength, support its people and keep it safe.

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meal planning for thanksgiving

If you’ve ever hosted a dinner, you know the fear of not having enough food to satisfy your guests’ appetites. That fear is amplified on Thanksgiving, a holiday centered on stuffing oneself with turkey, cranberry sauce, and – of course – stuffing.

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consolidate the chaos

With holidays creeping up on us faster than the speed of light, if you’re like me you’d like to organize your life so that you have time for things that really matter. 

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computer security 101

How careful are you with your home computer? Do you often leave it precariously balancing on a stack of pillows on your sofa? Did you leave the room to do something, meanwhile leaving a full glass of red wine right next it and the cat ready to jump?

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use less stuff day

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, I do have one. I am a hoarder. There. I said it. I am a hoarder, but you wouldn’t know it at first glance. I carefully hide everything in a few closets out of the way. To the untrained eye, it may seem like my home is clean and organized and clutter-free. But if you were to open one of those closets? Oh me. Oh my. You’d run for the hills, and I can’t blame you!

In an effort to lead a more minimalistic lifestyle, we’ve decided to purge our home of the useless gadgets we don’t use often enough for them to make rent in our place. Do any of the items below fall on your purge list?

Toaster Oven – Oh my goodness. The amount of counter space this item takes up is ridiculous! And for toasted bread that can fit perfectly fine in a toaster? We were quick to get rid of this one. It was used maybe once a month if I had time to make a sandwich that needed toasting. And let’s be honest, as a mother of a one-year-old, there’s never any time.

Toiletries – I’m embarrassed to share that I have about 20 bottles of lotions and hair product that collect dust in my bathroom cupboards. I don’t use them. But I have kept them around for fear of not having them should the need arise. The rule of thumb when it comes to toiletries for me is, “IF YOU DON’T USE IT WEEKLY, YOU DON’T USE IT ENOUGH TO KEEP IT”.

Tech Gadgets – What about those that have an iPhone, and iPad, a tablet, a desktop, a laptop, etc. that seems a bit excessive to me. Though I don’t have an iPad or tablet, I imagine they do the same thing. So only use one for Pete’s sake! If you don’t want to toss it, sell it on Craigslist!

Kitchen Pantry – I have a food chopper, a processor, a blender, a stand mixer, a hand mixer, and a bunch of other kitchen tools that I probably don’t need. I also let the pantry stock up on random cans of soup that I purchased a while ago, but can’t think of what I was going to use it for. Make it a habit to regularly clean out the pantry to guarantee you get the most out of your ingredients!

Check with your recycling service to see the steps needed to recycle items such as old cell phones, expired medications, and large kitchen appliances. You can always donate them to goodwill or another thrift store and pick up a donation receipt to be used for tax break purposes! Everybody wins!


printable thanksgiving thankfulness cards

This year at your Thanksgiving table, start a new tradition. It’s a beautiful opportunity to stop, take a moment, and think about what we are all truly thankful for. Help you guests seize the opportunity by putting this simple printable card at each place setting.

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thanksgiving by the numbers

Thanksgiving is around the corner and chances are if you’re hosting friends, family and neighbors this year you probably have a lot of details—and numbers to sort through. What size turkey should you buy? How many house guests will you have? And how can I even figure out how many calories I’ve serving?

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sustainable cooking

Sustainable has become a popular word in recent years, especially in regards to food. Sustainable, by definition, means able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed and able to last or continue for a long time.

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thanksgiving for all

Thanksgiving for All

As the holidays approach and life starts to get pretty hectic, I always try to take a moment each day to reflect on how truly lucky we are.

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game day tech

The technology you have lined up on game day can make or break your sporting experience, especially if you’re hosting the party. You don’t want to be the person who has the gang over to watch the game huddled around some standard definition, 4×3 tube television do you? DO YOU??

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sharing large multimedia files

It can be tricky sharing large digital files between computers. When it comes to video, audio, and photography, the file size can get pretty large and make it extremely annoying and time consuming to get data from one person to another.

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a thank you for our veterans

Each year, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to say an extra special thank you to the men and women who give of themselves, in order to serve and protect our country.

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transferring digital files between family members

In our new house, the office is pretty far away from the living room. I immediately found it incredibly frustrating to run back and forth across the house when I needed to look something up online or use the computer.

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digital consolidation

As much as I love living in the new digital, paperless society, I find that I’m faced with the same fundamental question the old society presented: where do I keep all this stuff?

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digital photo hoarding

I noticed something last time I was at my parent’s house. There, in my mom’s basement, were about 30 file boxes full of photos from the last 40 years, unorganized and untouched.

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little acts of kindness at home

When the Thanksgiving season comes around, there’s always a great focus on showing gratitude and conveying thanks.

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how to keep your family’s schedule organized

Between my husband, our two children and myself we’re always juggling our schedules around to coordinate between two full-time jobs, three different school schedules for our kids, dance lessons, play dates and other obligations. Add to that our babysitter, whose college schedule constantly changes.

Our home works best when it’s organized and we need

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the importance of family rules

The rules at my house have always been short and simple. As much as I’d like to have a rule in place for every situation and scenario, I’ve learned I’m better off with a concise list of the most important things.

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chore time

Every week when chore time rolls around my house so do the tears, the pouts and the bad attitudes. Although I’m completely convinced that doing everything around my house and yard by myself would be much easier and cause much less drama, I know it wouldn’t be sending the right message to my kids.

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four ways to support military families in your neighborhood

When my husband was in the Air Force, we lived near the military base in Omaha, Nebraska. With the exception of a few of his Air Force buddies, we didn’t know anybody when we arrived. Neither of us grew up in the Midwest, and our immediate families lived hundreds of miles away.

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how to show appreciation to military families

As you may know, November is Military Family Appreciation Month—a month dedicated to honoring, recognizing, and remembering the women and men who serve in our military and their families.

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how to keep your home safe during trick or treating

There are plenty of safety concerns to consider while out taking kids trick-or-treating, but did you ever stop to think about the safety of your home that you leave behind? Halloween is a vulnerable time for homes

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dressing your kids for the weather on halloween

The way I see it, there’s one big problem with celebrating Halloween in October: the weather. Mother Nature usually has a bag of tricks up her sleeve. But whether it’s raining or snowing, mild or cold,

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