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Find tutorials, recipes, and budgeting videos from me on my Youtube Channel!

Monday, October 20, 2014

What Is Up Monday Lovelies! - Zombies, Big Lots, and Reader's Mail
click the picture above or the links below to go to the video :)

Morning Lovelies! I have a new video on my channel for you today. Check it out and see what has been going on with me the past week...there will be talk of zombies, how I started my blog, a reader's email is being answered, and of course there is a Mama rant moment...Just a bit of goodness for you sweet peeps today! Have a fabulous day lovelies!!

I am also over at The Ribbon Retreat today sharing my no sew burlap table runner tutorial. Hop on over and check it out:)

XO Danielle

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Budgeting 101 VIDEO: Needs vs. Wants

Afternoon lovelies! I didn't think I'd be able to get a new post up here on the blog today, but with a little being home sick from church, I was able to do a bit of video editing while I watched My Little Ponies with the Miss. Nothing makes you feel better than ponies and snuggles on the couch:)

In today's video, we are talking about Needs vs. Wants. How to teach our children, how to teach ourselves, and all the in between will be covered. Hop on over to my channel to see the video or click the picture above.

You can also find the handout that goes with this video HERE. This is the very same handout I use in my budgeting class. It has plenty of space for taking notes and writing down your own ideas as you go through the video:)

Have a fabulous Sunday Lovelies!!

*Thank you to everyone that has subscribed to my youtube channel. There are now over 950 members of the Blissful and Domestic family! Woot! Woot!

XO Danielle

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Homeschool Diaries: Why Shelly Ray does it...

 Homeschool Diaries: Why Shelly Ray does it...

Hello! My name is Shelly. I’m so excited to be a guest blogger at Blissful and Domestic! My husband and I live in California and are parents to (almost) eight children (ages 19-5). Two of them are joining our family this year through the blessing of adoption. Our oldest two children are living out of state. And three of the crew have special needs.

Homeschool Diaries: Why Shelly Ray does it...

Why do we homeschool? Well, we originally started considering homeschooling in 2011, when our 3rd child was about to enter Kindergarten. Earlier that year, I met several local moms who homeschooled, so I became really interested and started researching. We prayed for a few months, I looked at a friend’s curriculum, and read books like, “The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child” by Linda Dobson. Our first year, I think we did “okay”, but it wasn’t my best year juggling motherhood with being a teacher.

The following year, I tried again, and we had a really great year. I look back on 2012/13 with much fondness and confidence. We did it! I successfully homeschooled four children at four different levels, and we had FUN!

Due to some weak moments and doubts on my end, the Littles attended a full year of public school this past year, and we prepared to enter 2014/15 in public school again with no second thoughts because everyone thrived, and the kids were looking forward to going back. The nagging pull. The familiar "call" to homeschool was coming back. We are a family of faith. We tend to make all of our big decisions after prayer. When we listen to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit, we know blessings will come. Barry and I both thought the summer was too short, but we weren’t expecting to do a 180 two weeks before school started. We were both very surprised to be getting the prompting to homeschool again, even though we know the great benefits we’ve all had from doing so. I clung to the good experiences we had in 2012/13 in order to make the huge leap to prepare for the changes.

Homeschool Diaries: Why Shelly Ray does it...

So, why do we homeschool now? We honestly feel called to do so, but it’s more than that. We have so much flexibility, time together, great memories, time in scripture, protection from outside (bad) influences of language and behavior, freedom to choose what we teach, and time to travel to name a few.

I know I'm not the best example of being a homeschooling mama. I know my weaknesses and faults. I know when I'm failing miserably. But I also know when I'm doing great with them, because their smiles and enthusiasm say it all. They are happy to be home with me and with each other.

If anything, I hope that my story can show others that nobody does it perfectly, and all of us learn as we go. Some families commit to homeschooling from Kindergarten through high school, and others take it one year at a time. We are just taking it year by year, but slowly gaining the testimony of why homeschooling is best for our family.

I'm slowly and finally learning how to lean on the One who can carry me through it all. I'm diving into prayer and scripture study each morning before the children wake up. I'm praying with the kids before we start school. I'm reading scriptures with them as part of our curriculum. And I'm praying each night that I might have done "something" right during the day. I'm also learning to listen to the counsel of my awesome husband, who is so in tune with God that I could really learn a thing or two from him (like when he told me NOT to send them back to school last year) ;)

Homeschool Diaries: Why Shelly Ray does it...

I'm confident that this will be a good year. And when I'm frazzled and everyone else is frazzled, we'll take a breather. What I love about homeschooling is that it’s fluid and ever-changing. We can tailor it to suit each child’s needs. We make it the way that works best for our family.

I've realized there is no easy way. It's not easy to send your kids off to school, and it's not easy to keep them home all day. It's hard work no matter what. But I really, really love the flexibility of homeschooling and the moments I get to see that I would miss if the children were gone all day. I know I need time for myself, my husband and my friendships, and time to prepare in order to recharge my confidence levels.

I know that if God calls me to do something, he will see me through it. He doesn’t leave me alone to figure it out on my own. I’ve found great encouragement in the scriptures and from other homeschooling mamas, and even homeschool conference talks from speakers who have experience with this beautiful lifestyle.

We’re so very blessed that I have the opportunity to stay home with my children; the children that the Lord has entrusted to my care and nurturing. And I know I can’t do this alone; my husband is a huge source of strength. We are a blessed family.

If you’d like to follow my blog, I love to write in my spare time at Diary of a Taxi Mom.

XO Shelly


Thank you so much for sharing your homeschool story!
XO Danielle
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Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

Friday, October 17, 2014

#TruMooTreats - Orange Scream Pumpkin Pie Shake

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TruMoo
All opinions are 100% mine.

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Morning Lovelies! I am so excited for today's recipe! I made it last week and have been loving this dessert ever since. Orange cream + pumpkin pie = pure awesomeness lovelies!

I went to Wal-Mart and purchased TruMoo Orange Scream milk. I had never tried this milk before, but I had heard a lot about it. With TruMoo milk, every glass starts with fresh, pure milk from your trusted dairy. This means it contains 8 essential nutrients. Each flavored milk is sweetened with just enough sugar and doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup. Because it starts with pure fresh low fat milk from your trusted dairy, contains no artificial growth hormones, no HFCS and has the delicious chocolate taste kids love, I knew I needed to try it.

After leaving the grocery store, my brain got to thinking. What screams fall and would go perfect with TruMoo Orange Scream milk? Vanilla ice cream and pumpkin pie of course! I love this recipe, since for me nothing taste better in fall than pumpkin pie. It is a love of mine. I plan to eat my fill of it over the next two months.

I love this recipe, since it is a great way to use up any leftover pie you may have over the holidays. I am all about using up those leftovers.
This recipe only requires a few ingredients and is so quick and easy to make. This was a crowd pleaser in our house. The boy was asking for seconds and thirds! 

Here's how you make it :)


1 large slice of pumpkin pie + crumbs for topping
2 large scoops of vanilla ice cream (be generous on this one)
1/3 cup Orange Scream Flavored Milk

Place all ingredients into a blender and mix well. Put in a fun glass and top with a bit of crumbled pie. Tasty:)

Can you believe how simple this shake is to make? Ridiculous right? Seriously though......three ingredients, a few quick steps, and then you will be in creamy pumpkin heaven. Yum! Yum! 

Don't forget to check TruMoo out on Facebook and Pinterest too!

XO Danielle

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

Hello Lovelies! I am so excited to get back on this here blog and share a fun craft I made today! I am in full fall decorating mode and I have loved searching Pinterest for some more fun, thrifty ideas to decorate my home on a budget. Recently I have been seeing so many fun burlap pillow ideas. I am a huge fan of burlap and I have always wanted to make a pillow, but have not taken the time to do so. Since the kids were working on an independent writing assignment, I decided to pull out my craft stuff and get to creating.

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

I recently purchased some fall themed fabric fat quarters and burlap from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store. (Oh how I heart that place. It is my Disneyland!).  My craft glue I already had in my stash. It is the new Aleene's Craft Glue. This stuff is awesome-sauce people! No more shaking that bottle till the glue runs to the tip of the bottle. The new design means the glue is always ready for you! Oh and it is only a few dollars a bottle, which is always a score in my book!

Once I had my items ready to go, I got to crafting!

I took my rectangle of burlap and made sure it measured 22x16 inches. This makes a small size pillow. Increase your measurements if you want a larger pillow.
#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

I folded my rectangle in half and pinned around the sides. Sew around the sides, leaving an opening to reverse your pillow and fill with stuffing.
#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow
Once the pillow is sewn, it is time to add your fabric scraps. I cut small strips from my various fat quarters. I tried to get a good mix of fall colors when I was picking out my fabric. I love my decor to be able to be out not only for Halloween, but for turkey day as well. I feel like then you get more use out of your decorations. I figure if I am going to take the time to make them, I want to be able to enjoy them as long as I can:)

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

Lay out your scraps of paper to find out which pattern you like the best. I did a fun mix of patterns. Once I had them in the right order, I trimmed around them so my fabric would start to resemble a pumpkin. 

I placed a piece of construction paper inside, so that when I began to glue on my fabric, any glue that squished through the burlap would go on the paper.

A double line of glue on each strip is more than enough to glue your fabric onto your pillow. I added a gold and black chevron ribbon for the stem. I am in love with the metallic chevron ribbon! Too fun!

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

Once your pumpkin is glued, allow it to dry for about an hour.  After it is all dried, it is time to fill your pillow. I have been reading a lot about people filling outside pillows with plastic grocery bags. I have been itching to try this. I think it is such a frugal way to craft and recycle as well!

I was able to use up my stash of plastic bags with this pillow. Once my pillow was stuffed, I sewed up the side by hand.

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow 

Easy peasy! I love how this brightens up our front walkway! It definitely puts me in the fall craft mood! I loved this fun pillow so much, I decided to add some fun damask print pillows as well! Throw some Funkins into the mix and you're golden!

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow
Joann Fabric & Craft Stores is hosting a campaign called Trick or Trick: A Halloween to DIY for! So tag your photos on any social media outlet using the hashtag #DIY4Halloween

To be Halloween inspired go to the Sharing Hub on  Here is a sneak peek of what you can find on there…

#DIY4Halloween - Scrappy Burlap Pumpkin Pillow

Looking for more Halloween Inspiration?

Try out these ideas from the archives :)

What have you been creating lately?

XO Danielle

Gilcrease Orchard...

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Morning lovelies! Today I had a wonderful post written for you. I got up early, wrote it all out for you, and I even included a few jokes...I know can you believe it! I actually included some jokes...but then blogger decided to hate me. I hit published...somehow it thought I hit delete and poof! My post was gone....much to my dismay. I still have a big ole' sad face about the whole thing. 

So instead you get to see some pictures from our recent trip to Gilcrease Orchard. It was such a fun field trip we took with our homeschool co-op group. Anything to get those kids outdoors, burning off energy, is good in my book :)

I am thankful I get to be home with my littles, exploring the wonderful land God has created. There is truly beauty all around us. I hope your day is a fantastic one. If you missed it, be sure to check out my channel. The first of the budgeting series videos is live for you to view. Enjoy Lovelies!

Find more homeschool posts here :)

XO Danielle

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

8 Tips for Celebrating on a Budget

8 Tips for Celebrating on a Budget
 Guest post by Heather

The span of time between Halloween and the winter holidays is a major budget buster in our home. Between family parties, food, holiday gifts, cards, and a special little boy’s birthday, the next 8 weeks are financially draining. Keeping to a budget doesn’t mean I have to skimp on any of the extras that seem to bring the magic of the holiday season into my home. Here are the tips I use to stretch my budget!

Host a Potluck

We love to throw big parties, but we hate that the food budget can make it so good friends don’t “make the cut.” We’ve started hosting occasional potlucks where we provide the main dishes and drinks, and friends bring sides or desserts to supplement the meal. Last year on the day after Thanksgiving, we hosted a “Bring Your Leftovers” party with several close friends. We loved seeing (and tasting!) the ways our families interpreted the traditional Thanksgiving meal differently, and the party required no extra prep – the only requirement was to bring whatever you didn’t eat the day before!

 Print 8x10 version here

 Make Your Own Printable Decor

One of the easiest ways to change up your holiday décor is to put a festive print in a frame. However, prints can be expensive! With free programs like PicMonkey, creating your own wall art is easy. Just go into design, choose the size template you want, and start creating!

 Repurpose Items from Around the House

Moving items around your house can breathe new life into them. This is particularly true during the holiday season. For example, do you have a porcelain owl in your office? Bring her into your main living space and add a festive touch (a scarf? string of lights?) to allow her to do double duty as a holiday decoration.

 Shop Year Round

I shop for holidays and birthdays year round. There are certain items that I know my family and friends will want the following year, even if trends change. For example, my oldest son is a Hot Wheels fanatic. We bought him some stunts for his track when we saw them priced exceptionally low last January. When he receives them this holiday season, he will have no idea that they have been hidden in the closet for a year, but I will be relieved to not to have overpaid or have spent hours running from store to store finding these hot items.

Try Your Hand at Handmade Gifts

Each year, I make a handmade gift for each of my family members. Handmade can, but does not necessarily, mean less expensive. However, handmade does suggest thoughtfulness and importance. This year, each of my boys are getting a set of handmade nesting dolls that I painted to reflect their interests (superheroes and Star Wars).

Design Your Own Wrapping Paper

Wrapping gifts can be a major drain on your holiday budget. However, gifts can look beautiful when wrapped using household items like newspapers or kraft paper. Paint or stamp designs, or wrap gifts in plain kraft paper and add a nice ribbon or design. Last year my sister gifted these beauties she made with old grocery bags and images cut from her die cut machine.

Reconsider Expensive Traditions

Are there certain traditions that you maintain out of obligation and not interest? Consider what traditions are important to you, and explore starting your own new traditions. Do you buy a real tree because you feel you should but secretly hate the falling pine needles? Do you prepare a turkey, but secretly want to prepare something different? New traditions can breathe new life into your regular family gatherings.

Send a Photo Card (Quite Literally)

While I occasionally splurge on traditional holiday cards, I have also sent edited photos. Using free programs like PicMonkey, I can get the fancy look of custom cards with my own signature touch. Then, when I am ready to print them, they cost me just pennies each!    

XO Heather
With three little knights in tow, Heather is learning the ways of being the only girl in an all-boy household. On her blog, Diapered Daze and Knights, she writes about education, parenting, and low-cost DIY décor and party ideas. Heather earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and is currently a college professor. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Education Week, NBC News, Mens Fitness and Real Simple magazine. Heather lives outside of Philadelphia with her three boys (ages 5 and under), her husband, and her crazy pug, Olive.

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