Pico de Gallo, fresh, delicious and homemade

I have been on a pico de gallo kick latley. I am not sure why. Maybe because it is easy, healthy, fresh and delicous. Oh and I can buy ALL the ingredients from my farmer's market. Locally sourced Pico de Gallo? Yes please!

What you'll need:
2 Roma tomatoes, diced 
1/2 sweet onion, diced 
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro ( I grew this in my garden!)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 
1 tbsp lime juice
heaping table spoon garlic, minced

Mix tomato, onion, cilantro, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1 jalapeno seeded and minced, garlic. I like to put all of mine in a glass container with a lid and then shake the stew out of it! Then I place it in the fridge for about an hour before eating. You have to let all the flavors meld together. 

What are you making at your house? 

Our PreK at Home Routine

Today I wanted to talk about our pre-k at home routine, what life is like schooling at home, why we made the decision and some of the tools we use. 

Our decision to pull Ryals out of pre-k in keep him at home was purely geographical. We moved 30 minutes away from the place he was attending. We LOVED his little school, but it just became too much for all of us to be in the car for hours a day. 

So I made the decision to pull him from school and keep him at home. He is only three and I missed him. It has turned out to be the BEST decision. 

Our days are peaceful and fun and Isaac LOVES having his brother home. 

Our routine:

We begin our day with a little morning prayer. 

"Thank you Jesus for today. Please protect us while we play. In Your name we pray, Amen." 

Then we make breakfast. Ryals helps with this and I really do consider it part of our PreK. Cooking teaches them so many things from colors and shapes to counting, telling time, and chemistry (yes, he is too young for chemistry, but we talk about the different changes of things). 

Then we have free play. I will put on some music and we play for a little while and I get some household chores completed. 

Then we do a craft, paint or coloring project. This gives us an oppertunity to talk about colors, numbers, shapes. We focus on a different theme each month and week. 

I use a great book called Where is Thumbkin to help me come up with ideas. It is great for toddlers and preschoolers. Each month's theme is based on a nursery rhyme or song. It gives you craft ideas, books you can read and extension activities. 

We go to the library. Twice a week we visit our local libraries for story and craft time. It is a more structured opportunity to learn to listen, follow direction and play with their peers. 

We play outside. I feel like "go outside" is just my overall parenting philosophy. Being in the fresh air and sunshine solves a multitude of problems. And we have a great learning opportunity through play.

I believe kids learn so much through nature, being outside and just have the opportunity to play in an open-ended manner. 

We use every opportunity to learn something. If the garbage truck comes by we talk about what the truck is doing, where the truck is going. I ask how many wheels it has, what color is the truck? How many people are in it? 

When it comes to pre- K at home I think, for our family, it's important to have a consistent routine but allow for margin. 

It's less about structure and more about letting my children be little and go at their own pace. 

What about you? Do you pre-k at home?  

Paying off debt while living on ONE income

 

It's the dream, right? To be debt free. To be at peace with your bank account and to not worry when the next emergency will turn into a crisis. 

Recently a viewer on the Five4Five YouTube channel asked me to talk about paying off debt while living on one income. 

Our family officially became debt free in February. I am not going to lie. At times it felt tough. And then it felt freeing. That's the only way I can describe it. 

But I want to be up front with you about everything. I don't want give anyone false information or sell anyone a bill of goods. I don't want to tell you things that "worked for me" when I didn't actually do them. I say all of this to say that when we went from two incomes to one income that one income had increased. 

Click HERE to read MORE. 

Amazon saving "secrets" to saving the most money

I love Amazon. I love any place where I can do the bulk of my shopping and not have to interact with people or put on pants. 

But beyond that, I love the savings. I have learned a few "tricks" that have helped my save even more money on Amazon and I thought I would share them today. 

1. Looking for the lowest price on an item? Check out Camelcamelcamel.com. This third-party website allows you to track the lowest price. Simply put in the url of the product you are tracking, enter in a desired price and Camel will email you when that item nears your price point. 

2. Choose open boxes. Amazon Warehouse or Open Box allows you to purchase new items for a fraction of the cost. Everything from TV's to standing mixers! When someone purcahses something from Amazon, opens the box and then decides to return it, Amazon can't sell it "new." But you reap the rewards at a deep discount.
3. Clip coupons! Did you know that Amazon has an array of coupons? Including for things like diapers?? Just go up to the section that says "Today's Deals." Then click on "coupons" to find savings on HUNDREDS of items.
4. Go to the outlet! Okay, so there isn't an outlet mall, but Amazon does have Amazon Outlet you can closeout deals on everyday items including SNACKS and food items!

5. Choose filler items to get free shipping! If you're not an Amazon Prime member and you don't get 2-day shipping built in to your subscription, you will have to meet the $35 threshold to get free shipping. And often, you come up a few dollars short. Websites like FillerItem.com or FillerItemFinder.com allow you to search for items at a low price point to fit your filler needs. 

6. Tell them a lower price! Okay. So this isn't really price matching, because Amazon doesn't price match. But sometimes if you use the "tell us about a lower price" tab near the bottom of the page your searching, they will lower the price. 

Simply tell them where you saw a lower price, on line one in a store, and wait a few days. Come back and see if that price has been lowered. 

7. Use a different browser. This has never worked for me. Ever. But I have heard from a few people who say it does work. If you search for an item in a second browser you're not currently using you will find a lower price. 

Sign into your account as you normally would in one browser, say Safari. Then open Firefox, clear your search history and cookies and search for the same item while NOT logged into your Amazon account. Sometimes that price may be lower. 

AGAIN, this has never worked for me. 

Remember: You can sign up for Amazon Mom and save 20% on diapers! With Amazon Mom you automatically save 20% on diapers and free 2-day shipping. It's free to sign up and all parents, and caregivers (grand parents!!!!) are eligble. Sign up here for Amazon Mom (it’s FREE!) 

Linking up at Thrifty ThursdayFrugal FridaySITS SharefestSmall Victories SundayThe Thrifty Couple

What about you? How do you save money on Amazon? 


Score deals on diapers! Amazon Diaper Deals March 22- March 28

Diapers are a fact of life in my house. And I know many of you are the same way. So I thought I would start sharing the best diaper, wipe and pull up deals on Amazon each week. 

With two kids in diapers (one is potty training but wears diapers at night and during nap time) it's an expense that adds up. Amazon saves us a LOT of money. 

With Amazon Mom you automatically save 20% on diapers and free 2-day shipping. It's free to sign up and all parents, and caregivers (grand parents!!!!) are eligble. Sign up here for Amazon Mom (it’s FREE!) 

Note: All Amazon prices are subject to change. 

DIAPER DEALS: 

Pampers Swaddlers Diapers Size 1 Economy Pack Plus 216 Count

$33.99 with clickable $2.00 coupon 20% off Amazon Mom ($.15 per diaper)

Luvs With Ultra Leakguards Size 4 Diapers 160 Count

$23.00 with clickable $1.00 coupon 20% off Amazon Mom ($.14 Per diaper)

Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers, Size 4, Economy Plus Pack, 192 Count

$33.60  with 20% off Amazon Mom ($.18) per diaper 

Huggies Little Movers Diapers, Size 3, 128 Count (Packaging may vary)

$25.58  with clickable $2.00 coupon 20% off Amazon Mom ($.19 per diaper) 

Seventh Generation Free and Clear, Unbleached Baby Diapers, Size 4, 135 Count

$34.39  with clickable $4.00 coupon 15% off Amazon Subscribe and save (will need five or more items)  ($.25 per diaper) 

WIPE DEALS

Huggies Simply Clean Fresh Baby Wipes, 648 Count 

$10.17 with 15% off Amazon Subscribe and save (will need five or more items) ($.02 per wipe)

Pampers Baby Fresh Wipes 12x Box with Tub 864 Count 

$16.98 with with 15% off Amazon Subscribe and save (will need five or more items) ($.02 per wipe)

TRAINING PANTS

Pull-Ups Training Pants with Learning Designs for Boys, 2T-3T, 74 Count (Packaging May Vary)

$19.95 with 20% off Amazon Mom ($.27 per pull up)

Pull-Ups Training Pants with Learning Designs for Girls, 2T-3T, 74 Count (Packaging May Vary)

$17.95 with clickable $2.00 coupon 20% off Amazon Mom ($.24 per pull up)

Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants, Size 2T3T Value Pack Girl ,100 Count

$23.20 with 20% off Amazon Mom ($.23 per pull up)

Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants Boy Size 3T4T, 90 Count

$22.99 with clickable $2.00 coupon 20% off Amazon Mom ($.25 per pull up)

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. This means when you click on a link and make a purchase I will make a small commission of the sale at NO CHARGE to you

Pampers Swaddlers Diapers Size 1 Economy Pack Plus 216 Count

$33.99 with clickable $2.00 coupon 20% off Amazon Mom ($.15 per diaper)

Luvs With Ultra Leakguards Size 4 Diapers 160 Count

 $23.00 with clickable $1.00 coupon 20% off Amazon Mom ($.14 Per diaper)

Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers, Size 4, Economy Plus Pack, 192 Count

$33.60  with 20% off Amazon Mom ($.18) per diaper 

Huggies Little Movers Diapers, Size 3, 128 Count (Packaging may vary)

$25.58  with with clickable $2.00 coupon 20% off Amazon Mom ($.19 per diaper) 

Seventh Generation Free and Clear, Unbleached Baby Diapers, Size 4, 135 Count

$34.39 with clickable $4.00 coupon with 15% off Amazon Subscribe and save (will need five or more items)  ($.25 per diaper) 

WIPE DEALS

Huggies Simply Clean Fresh Baby Wipes, 648 Count 

$10.17 with 15% off Amazon Subscribe and save (will need five or more items) ($.02 per wipe)

Pampers Baby Fresh Wipes 12x Box with Tub 864 Count 

$16.98 with with 15% off Amazon Subscribe and save (will need five or more items) ($.02 per wipe)

TRAINING PANTS

Pull-Ups Training Pants with Learning Designs for Boys, 2T-3T, 74 Count (Packaging May Vary)

$19.95 with 20% off Amazon Mom ($.27 per pull up)

Pull-Ups Training Pants with Learning Designs for Girls, 2T-3T, 74 Count (Packaging May Vary)

$17.95 with $2 off clickable coupon with 20% off Amazon Mom ($.24 per pull up)

Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants, Size 2T3T Value Pack Girl ,100 Count

$23.20 with 20% off Amazon Mom ($.23 per pull up)

Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants Boy Size 3T4T, 90 Count

$22.99 with $2 off clickable coupon  with 20% off Amazon Mom ($.25 per pull up)

 

 

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. This means when you click on a link and make a purchase I will make a small commission of the sale at NO CHARGE to you.

$5 Goodwill Decorating Challenge Spring Edition

It's finally spring! I feel like throwing open the front door, running out onto the lawn and sining "The Hills are aliiiiiiiiive....." But then I am reminded that 1. I have neighbors and 2. it's South Alabama where we have bypassed Spring and gone right into Summer. 

Today, in honor of Spring, I am participating in the $5 Goodwill Decorating Challenge issued by Hilary at My S0-Called Home. 

The rules are simple. Take $5 and go to the thrift store and buy things to decorate for Spring. But you can't spend more than $5!

Today I thought I would share what I did. I spent EXACTLY $5 and got the tools to make an adorable wreath for my front door. 

Learning compassion in the supermarket parking lot

Something happened in the Publix parking lot. Something that changed my heart and the heart of my three-year-old son. 

Yesterday when we were leaving the supermarket Ryals pointed to a person who was different and innocently commented on that person's differences. I was mortified.

The person didn't hear us, thankfully! But I raced Ryals to the car and explained to him that he can ALWAYS ask me any question he wants and I will ALWAYS tell him the truth, but it needs to be in private. 

I explained to him that he was not in trouble but that everyone is different, that God created all of us and He loves us and it's our job to love others, be kind and share the joy in our hearts.

I explained to him that it is not nice to point out other people's differences in a way that is hurtful and that the words he used were hurtful. 

By the time I was finished Ryals had tears in his eyes and said, "I want to tell him I'm sorry."

We did not go back inside and find the man, I told him instead to remember how sad he felt at the thought of hurting someone's feelings and not to do it again. 

I thought about my own words, the things I say in passing, the thoughts I have about others. 

I prayed out loud and asked God to forgive me for the words I use and the things I say and I prayed that Ryals would remember to be kind. 

I was grateful for this teaching moment. I was grateful that I had the words to say to my son and I was grateful that his little heart and mind understood. 

So mamas, if you think your children aren't listening, if you think your prayers aren't being heard when you ask God to direct your children or direct you in motherhood they are. 

Keep praying. Keep teaching. Keep mothering. 

What about you? Have you ever found a teaching in an unexpected place? 

Vintage desk makeover

Today I wanted to share a desk makeover I did on a desk that sat in my grand parents home as long as I can remember. 

My grandmother gave my grandfather this desk on their first weeding anniversary. I remember it being in their home my entire childhood. After I got married they gave it to me (along with a LOT of other furniture).

I love the desk. In fact, it's the desk where I started this blog along with my business. However, that color is just um.... ugly. Really, it looks far better in that photograph. Also you ca see where the paint had come off in areas. 

paint chipping off desk

So I decided to give the desk a little makeover. 

A photo posted by LydiaSenn (@thesennfam) on

Since I have NO decorating genes I hit up Instagram to ask you all what I should do. And you gave me great suggestions. 

I made a video detailing what I did. Be sure to check it out. 

Here are some more photos: 

This project did take longer than I expected, but it wasn't very expensive. 

The paint remover cost about $6. 

The drawers pulls were $12 total. 

The paint was $9

The stain was $9

However, the stain and the paint will be used for other projects and and I didn't use much of it. So in total it probably cost around $20. 

What about you? Have you brought new life to a family relic?