Homeschool season is upon us again! It’s that time when we start to purge + organize our homeschool spaces, stock back up on school supplies, and gather our curriculum. Luckily, it’s also around the time Prime day deals happen! I’ve gathered a list of prime day deals for items you may need and will LOVE for your homeschool/teaching needs.
First, if you don’t have an amazon prime account, you can usethis link to get a FREE 30 day trial that you can cancel anytime.
To shop: click on the photos or links to take you directly to your Amazon app! Let’s get on into the good stuff!!
Puzzles & Games
Tech & electronics:
That’s it, you’ve made it to the end of my list! Make sure to share this with a friend who might like it,too!
Disclaimer: prime day deals and early prime day deals are subject to change. These are current discounts valid at the time this blog is posted. Links are commissionable links, which mean I may earn a small commission- at no extra cost to you- when you shop these links, thank you!
I know…I know. Where the heck have I been? Well, long story short…I’ve just been living life! Today I’m going to be sharing my year in review. My goal with my blog is to always Inspire, encourage, and motivate you whichever way I can; while also keeping it real.
There are a few key points Ive been focusing on this year, the first (in no particular order) being Homemaking/Biblical womanhood, the second – Homeschooling and the third most recent adventure of mine is Homesteading.
I’ve shared snippets of these adventures throughout the year on my blog and social media accounts, and today we’re going to review them. It’s easy to see people’s highlight reel on social media, but I want to be honest with you. None of these things have gone how I had planned 😅 but that’s life! I’ll also share what I’ve learned along the way and what I hope for in the new year to come. I hope it brings you some encouragement ✨
Disclaimer: some of the links in my blog may be commisionable /affiliate links, which mean I may earn a small (very small) commission when you purchase anything through those links – at no extra cost to you!
Over the last two years I’ve made a huge lifestyle change, I gave my life to Christ. And in the beginning, I didn’t realize how much it would change my life. I knew it would be a journey to help better myself, but goodness, it literally turned my entire life around for the better!
I’ve mostly always enjoyed being a stay at home mom, but something I always struggled with was the home aspect. I felt like I was drowning in housework, I felt incredibly disorganized, and I felt like other than raising Olivia, my work at home was redundant… But, GOD!
This year especially I’ve learned to LOVE homemaking. Homemaking has easily become one of my passions and I’m not mad at it. There’s something about being the keeper of your home, making it a safe and welcoming space, serving your family, and loving what you do. I’ve learned that there’s so much value in homemaking, where as before I felt like what I was doing was meaningless.
It has definitely been a learning process, Ive had to decipher what works well in my home and what doesn’t. I’ve had to figure out balanced routines that brought me peace instead of stress. There have been fails, but without trial and error it’s hard to discover what really works for you. I’m working on a blog sharing all of the helpful details that helped me go from barely surviving to thriving! For now, here are some of my favorite resources that give me encouragement!
Something I REALLY looked forward to this year was homeschool. We’ve been tot-schooling and doing a lot of intentional learning through play since Olivia was about 1.5 but this year was the year we took (or planned to take) things to the next level!
By the age of 3.5 Olivia was assessing at nearly a kindergarten level and I felt like by 4 she’d be ready for a more structured learning time. I worked all of summer preparing our homeschool room, our curriculum, and we even joined a co-op!
When I tell you nothing went as planned….literally nothing went as planned 🤣 A few weeks into our homeschool year I found out we were expecting our second child, and we were seriously overcome with SO MUCH JOY! What I wasn’t expecting though, was the violent first trimester symptoms I experienced that lasted well into the second trimester. With my first daughter I had some serious complications throughout my pregnancy, morning sickness however wasn’t one of my symptoms. At least morning sickness to the extent that I experienced this time around. So you can imagine, homeschool (or how I had planned to originally homeschool) took a bit of a detour.
I’ll be honest, at first I questioned my ability to do this. I mean, I could barely get out of bed that’s how intense my pregnancy felt in the beginning. Not once on this journey, up until those moments, had I questioned my ability because I KNEW this was something God had called us to do. Especially in this day in age with how a lot of things are in the public school setting.
On top of that, my husbands nearly 20 year old car who had never given us any issues before, decided to give us a hard time. And with us living out in the country and him having to commute into the city, we no longer felt safe with him driving it until we got everything all clear. Because of that, we also didn’t get to really experience our co-op like how we had hoped. We attended maybe a handful of times, and after that we continued to do our co-op curriculum at home. Many of you have asked me how I’ve liked classical conversations, and I can truthfully tell you that I feel like I can’t give a good answer at this time. We weren’t able to get the most out of it co-op wise. But that isn’t CC’s fault at all and that is why I really don’t talk about CC. Life just took us in a different direction, and by the time we got everything all sorted out, I’ll be honest I felt too behind to go back to our co-op.
I almost gave up, but I had to remind myself that God’s plans are way greater than mine and maybe what I had in mind, wasn’t how things were supposed to go. After all, I’ve been on a journey of letting go of perfectionism and being more flexible and in the moment.
Eventually we found our grove, and even through it didn’t look like the perfectly curated morning school routine I had planned in my head ; we’ve really been enjoying homeschooling! Olivia gets excited each day to learn, and we love getting together with other homeschool families for play dates.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that earlier this year we moved out of the city. It was something God had really placed on our hearts, and we really do believe that He lead us to our home. We purchased nearly two acres of land with a home already on it.
We were prepared to start our homesteading journey. We hoped for self- sustainability with animals, rain-catching systems, and a garden.
Our property was already pretty open, there wasn’t anything that needed to be cleared and other than our home there was only one other structure on it! Our well and septic system had already been maintenanced before we moved in so literally we were ready to get right on into homesteading!
What we weren’t ready for was the massive freeze that happened here in Texas February of this year. It got three of our giant oak trees, I mean these trees had to be about 100 or more years old and they were beautiful! Unfortunately most of what we had saved to get our homestead started went all to clearing those trees. (I’m talking thousands, who knew clearing trees was so expensive? This city girl sure didn’t 😅) Im grateful we were able to get them taken care of, one of the trees was literally falling apart and it would not have been good had it fallen on our house or even a neighbors house.
What we were able to do was start a small garden! It wasn’t something out of a magazine, we definitely had to go more on the budget-friendly side but honestly I LOVED it! It was my first time ever growing ANYTHING and I started it all from seed. Along with my homeschooling doubt in the beginning of my pregnancy, I also wondered if I’d be able to throw in starting another garden next year. And I’m feeling more and more confident about it as time goes on! This year I grew cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelon. Really only my cucumbers were successful, but they were the best dang cucumbers I’ve ever had! 😅
What I’ve learned…
The cliche…sometimes( a lot of the times ) things don’t always go how we planned but it’s our reaction to those things that determine whether or not we make it through. Hard times are only temporary, and we run the risk of losing out on the blessings that life bring if we stay focused on the negative. So do what you can, when you can, how you can!
My hopes for the New Year…
Even with the challenging things this year has brought, I’ve felt incredibly blessed.
My hopes for the next year are to mostly continue how we’ve been going. Id like to continue to foster my love for biblical homemaking, and encourage other woman to do the same. I hope to be able to balance motherhood with our new baby’s arrival, I’m really looking forward to having another child! It has been years of trying and I’m looking forward to this little bundle of joy joining our family, God willing! I mostly hope to just enjoy life, be present and in the moment!
What about you?
How are you feeling about the end of the year and New Year? Any big hopes, dreams, goals! Id love to know more, share with me down below!
I’ve connected with some amazing bloggers to share some of their 2022 New Years goals! Motherhood, Fitness, Blogging, even a recap of 2021 into 2022! Head to each of their accounts to check out what they are sharing!
Wow, summer just flew on by! It’s time to get ready to get back into the swing of things, more specifically: School!
For us, this will be our third year Homeschooling, my daughter is four but we’ve implemented a learning-through-play/intentional play time since she was very small to help encourage her with her speech delay. This year, we’re joining the big guns – a homeschool Co-op!
What’s a homeschool co-op? There are all different types of co-ops, but in general, it’s a group of Homeschooling families who meet. Some meet weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. This year we’ll be meeting weekly, so school for us will have a little bit of a different routine to it this year.
Many times we hear about back to school tips for the kids, these tips will be for you- The parent! Spending all day with your children is a huge blessing, but finding pockets of time to get what you need/want done can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few tips I’m implementing this year to help us have an easy going school year.
1. Fill your cup
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t meet my needs before I have to meet everyone else’s, I’m an anxious hot mess. So, I wake up at least an hour before everyone wakes up rather then waking up when everyone else wakes up. This gives me an opportunity to get into the word of God- one of the most important things that help me with day to day life. I’m able to shower in peace and get ready for the day. Literally, it sounds so insignificant but trust me. Getting that time to take care of yourself in the mornings, makes a world of a difference and it’ll help you serve others better, too.
2. Meal plan for the busy days
Co-op days will take up a huge chunk of your day. I’m the type of person who if I’ve been out all day, the last thing I want to think about is what I have to cook for dinner when I get home. So, I’ve designated co-op day our official crockpot day! Pinterest has a ton of dump-and-go crock pot recipes perfect for busy families. If you’re not a fan of crockpot meals, give your busy days the easy meals. One pot or even oven meals to take off the load of the day.
3. Start the school year off stress-free
This will be our first year using multiple curriculums, like actual curriculums. The last few years we’ve done a lot of hands on learning with toys, puzzles, books, and a little bit of curriculum mixed in. We’ll still be doing that this year, however we’ve added some more structure to our day.
It was SUPER overwhelming trying to make lesson plans with all brand new things. SO, what I’ve done to help ease us into this school year is create a 3 week refresher where our focus will be 1. Getting into a homeschool rhythm that fits for us 2. Re-visiting all that we’ve learned last year and working on what needs improvement and 3. Making lesson plans as we progress!
Homeschooling is all about helping your child learn with the learning style that best fits their needs and starting off the year this way, I feel, can be less intimidating and you as the parent can see what your child needs and go from there. Rather than jumping in at 100 miles an hour.
4. Get out of the house
The beauty of homeschooling is that learning can take place literally ANYWHERE! I am an introvert by nature, but I also recognize how getting out of the house when homeschooling can really help with minimizing burnout. Don’t get so caught up in textbooks that you for get to live! We’re making designated library and park days to help mix it up!
5. Make a plan, but don’t let it own you.
For many new homeschooling families, the pressure of creating a public school setting at home takes over. The specific structured learning times, the pressure for learning to only happen at a desk with a book, the pressure of only and always sticking to the plan! Let me tell ya, that’s not what homeschooling is about!
Make a general plan for the year to help you get an idea of what you’d like to touch on this year, but don’t let the plan own you. The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility! I decided to plan out general things I’d like for us to work on this year, rather then writing down specific structured plans for specific days and times.
This not only allows you to work with your child on a certain subject or topic how ever long they need, but it’ll also help your child not feel so pressured to 1. Please you by trying to move forward with the lesson even if they don’t fully understand it. 2. It takes stress off of your back from feeling “behind” or feeling like you have to “catch up”. Can I tell you a secret? There’s no behind in homeschool.
Lastly, have fun!
Have fun with it! Homeschooling is what you make it, and it can be the best experience (or your not so favorite) but the reality is, it’s your school! You can change and move things around for what best fits your family’s needs. Create fun homeschooling traditions for the first day, or even the 100th day! Celebrate the milestones as you hit them and remember to HAVE FUN!
I’ve connected with some amazing bloggers to share some Back to school tips! Getting back into a schedule, school supplies, diy projects, etc. Head to each of their pages to check out what they are sharing!
Summer is officially in full swing – and as introverted as I am – I can’t be home every single day. So, I’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite kid-friendly summer activities that we love to do, hopefully you will enjoy them too! The best part? They’re affordable!
Affordable summer activities for kids:
1. Have a backyard picnic with your favorite foods
We love backyard picnics! Our favorite foods, a sunny day, and just running around and playing outside! Seems so simple, but it’s a nice way for you to unplug and enjoy quality time together!
2. Go to the splash pad!
We just recently started spending time at the splash and we LOVE IT! Here in Texas the splash pads are completely free, and almost every park has them! A tip I’ve learned: get there before they open. It’s not as hot and less people!
3. Go to the beach!
Here in Texas the beaches are also free, and many of them have free parking. I’ll be honest, the thought of taking a toddler to the beach used to give me super bad anxiety! But, we’ve found a super cute small local beach, it truly is a hidden gem. Look around online for any small local beaches near you, some communities are building beaches in neighborhoods here. It’s the craziest thing, but also comes in handy for when you don’t want to make a big trip to the big beaches with your little ones.
4. Play in the rain
I don’t know about where you live, but here in Texas it’s been an exceptionally rainy summer. As long as there is no lighting or thunder, we’ll play and run around in the rain! Get you some rain boots and go to town on the muddy puddles!
5. Have a movie day
I got this idea from my sister and I love it! Bring out the mattresses, pillows, and all of the blankets to the living room! Camp out, make some homemade popcorn and watch a family movie! This is great for those rainy days when you can’t play outside. Here in town they have $1 early bird kid movies, that’s a great option as well!
6. Go to the park!
Good ole trusty park playground! Pack a cooler with lunch, sunscreen, and some water and spend the day at the park! I don’t know about you but my kiddo can spend the whole day there!
Oil and water do not mix, so it’s important to use a carrier oil when making your perfume roller balls.
Make sure to shake lightly before applying.
Store your perfume in a cool dark place if you’re using clear bottles. Amber bottles are a good option if you like to have your bottles where you can see them.
These perfume recipes are completely customizable, feel free to add or remove the amount of each drops you’d like!
🌿 Essential Oil Perfume Recipes 🌿
Rise + shine
3 drops lemon oil (or citrus fresh)
3 drops of peppermint oil
Fill with carrier oil
Zen the day
3 drops Valor
3 drops frankincense
2 drop lavender
Fill with carrier oil
Take the stress away
3 drops Stress Away
2 drops lavender
2 drops Valor
Fill with carrier oil
How to make essential oil perfume:
Simply add the drops of essential oils into the empty roller bottle, fill with carrier oil, shake and done!
Why Non-Toxic Perfume?
Our skin is the largest organ in our body, think of it like a giant sponge! It absorbs everything we put on it, so not only is it important to be conscious of what we put in our bodies but also ON it! Not to mention the wellness aspect of essential oils…smell good + feel good while doing it!
Have question or need help getting your oils? Contact me through email GraceeMccoyBlog@gmail.com or DM me on Instagram and I’d be more than happy to walk you through it!
Disclaimer: some links included in this blog may be affiliate links, which mean I may earn a small commission if you chose to purchase through these link…at no extra cost to you!
I know what you’re thinking, “isn’t it too late to start a garden?” Depending on where you are in the world, right now is the perfect time to start your summer garden! You may not be able to start seeds indoors, but you can sow them outside or buy plant starts from your local farmers market or nursery.
We live in SE Texas, so we have an extra long growing season! I’ve actually just sowed a few seeds directly outdoors and they’ve already taken off!
If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about! I know Ive been a bit MIA from my blogging space, so the long story short update: we moved out of our apartment in the city and bought some land in hopes of starting a small homestead. We’re doing this all on our own, and on one Income. With prices of lumber and materials skyrocketing, we had to do lots of research as to how we would make our garden. And so, our budget garden was born!
Here’s what I’m using this year:
Grow bags are a great option to grow your veggies in! The materials are self-wicking, they are a great help to the plant’s root-system, and the best part they’re cheap! I’m growing in 10 gallon grow bags, you can get away with 5 gallon grow bags ; but I really wanted my veggies to not have to compete or sacrifice for space. However, because of their self wicking nature they do need to be watered more often. Currently with this Texas heat I water once a dawn and once at dusk, for some this may be a con but I honestly enjoy being in my garden space so I don’t mind.
Depending on what you grow, your veggies may need something to climb up on. I’m growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and sugar baby watermelons. You can use a tomato cage for all of these, upside down for the melons. I also really wanted to use cattle panel, but I drive a sedan so getting a trellis and tomato cage home was a challenge. I found this trellis netting for under $10! It’s actually surprisingly sturdy and does an awesome job! You’ll need something to attach it to, and something to help support and guide the plants onto it.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need something to attach the trellis netting to! That’s where these garden stakes come in, I stuffed these on each side of the grow bags on the inside and secured them to the handles of the grow bags. Using the zip ties
I needed a way to hold everything together. Originally I hammered the garden stakes into the ground, however that made them way too short! So, not only did these zip ties allow me to secure the netting to the post, but it also was able to secure them to the plant and grow bags! These items seem like such a mindless thing, but they really are the “glue” that keeps it all together!
Garden Velcro Tape
Velcro? For plants? YES! Now because of the type of trellis Im using, I needed something to help guide the plants up and to also keep them secure during wind and storms. Tomatoes naturally grow up, but melons like to spread out unless you train them to go up yourself! This Velcro tape is more gentle than using something like zip ties, and it allows the plant to grow without being disturbed. I found growing the plants up rather than letting them stay on the ground have helped minimize the pests.
Hand pruning shears
Pruning is almost always necessary for a healthy garden. I thought – because pruning seed starts were easy with my fingers – that i didn’t need these. I was so so wrong, these plants got SUPER thick. These pruning shears are a MUST!
Organic Potting mix
Having an organic garden is my priority! This organic potting mix is affordable AND effective in the garden!
Two of the most important components of your garden should be your soil/mix and your organic matter. This compost has been working great in our garden and is also very affordable!
And there you have if, a simple garden on a budget! Are you gardening this year? If so, what are you growing? I’d love to know In the comments below!
Looking for a Father’s Day gift guide for all budgets? Look no further!
How to shop the list: simply click on the picture and the link will direct you to the item of your choice.
Disclaimer this blog contains affiliate links, which mean I may earn a small commission when you shop through those links – at NO extra cost to you. If you chose to purchase anything from these links, I genuinely thank you for helping support my family. Happy shopping!
Gifts under $50
Gifts over $100
I’ve connected with some amazing bloggers to share some Father’s Day Gift Ideas! Amazon ideas, diy, homemade from kids and more! Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing
Easy + fun Valentine’s Day breakfast you can make with your toddlers
Disclaimer: links may be affiliate links, which mean I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
Hey friends! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that we had a rough week last week. Now, to be honest, we don’t really celebrate most holidays other than Christmas and thanksgiving, it’s a special time for our family to get together since we’re pretty scattered. However, I really wanted to do something extra special for Olivia. With her dad being gone working out of town, I really wanted to shower her with love! Not to mention she LOVES helping in the kitchen. So, without further ado, let’s get to making a fun, easy, and healthy Valentine’s Day breakfast!
Feel free to customize this and add/remove things to your liking!
• Make pancake batter according to the instructions on your bag/box. (We added chocolate chips to our batter but you can omit this step, or even add something else)
• Add a little bit of butter to your warmed pan
• Place cookie cutter on the pan and immediately pour in some batter
• Let the cookie cutter sit just for a few seconds and then gently remove
T I P: make sure you only pour a thin layer of batter. I poured a super thick layer and when I removed the cookie cutter it all came out and made a huge mess. Wait a bit before turning the pancake over so that it doesn’t lose its shape.
Making heart shaped strawberries
• use a pairing knife to cut a V-shape at the stem.
• Remove the stem and the strawberry on the cutting board v-shape down.
• If you have a thick strawberry you can slice it into multiple thin flat pieces, or you can just slice them in half.
• That’s it!
Bonus: for my breakfast I made heart shaped eggs.
• butter the pan
• Place the cookie cutter on the pan
• Immediately crack the egg in
• Wait just a few seconds and gently remove the cookie cutter
• Season + cover the egg until cooked to your liking.
To get extra fancy you can assemble all of this on a charcuterie board and serve family style! I hope you enjoy!
Do you do anything special for tour family on Valentine’s Day? Share with us in the comments. 💗
All the treats, all the sweets🍭🍫🍬 I’ve connected with some amazing galentines to share some blogs featuring valentines desserts! Brownies, donuts, cookies, cupcakes, charcuterie boards and more! Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing.
My thoughts about being a mother, homemaker, and a spouse have radically changed since accepting God into my life.
I went from an ultra-feminists, man-hating woman, to a woman who now strives to love and honor God. Which as a spouse means loving and honoring my spouse as the head of our household because we are to submit to him as we do unto the Lord.
You see, society tells us that we as woman need to be the ones who are always in control. That we shouldn’t be keepers of our home or depend on the man.
There is a lot to un-learn and re-learn. Especially if we’re truly seeking to love and serve God.
Sometimes we think that Gods word is figurative and not literal, and that because we live in modern times that He really doesn’t intend for us to Live out the word because it “cannot” be applied today. But the word of God is not a suggestion, it’s a guide for how we should live. We are to be set apart. It is not enough to be a woman who has faith, if we continue to live life by OUR standards and not by Gods.
What I’ve learned is that it is OKAY to love your role as a women. It’s okay to be feminine and not feminists. It’s OKAY to submit, love, and honor our husbands. It’s OKAY to be a homemaker and want to raise a family. The Lord has chosen our husbands to be shepherds of our households, to lead us and help us get closer to God. To protect and provide for us. And as women society tells us they we shouldn’t be any of those things and that we shouldn’t lean on our husbands for support…and that’s because society is lead by a spirit that is NOT the Holy Spirit. And the more I get into the word the more I see the war and attack that the world has against the nuclear family.
The truth is that when we fall in line with who God intends us to be, we live so much more at peace. We no longer have to stress or carry burdens that are no longer ours. We work better together when we act accordingly to how God designed us to be. 💗