Free Printable Daily Planner + HP Instant Ink Review

Sunday, May 21, 2017

As a busy homeschooling mom, you can be sure my days start early and end late. I love that my days are full but it can be very overwhelming also. I start to do one thing and end up doing 10 different things in between before I finish what I started to do in the first place.

So many days I find myself forgetting an appointment, party, or sending out a bill, because my head just can't hold all the things I need to do in my head. My brain is not good at functioning when it is filled to capacity.
To keep me sane and my head from exploding; I like to make a list in the morning of all that I have to do. It helps me focus and streamline my day. I often find I get more things done when I have them written down. I also really like crossing things off my to do list! It feels so good! (Though I am really trying not to base how my day was whether or not my list is crossed off)

As we all sit down at the dining room/school table to start our school day; I have my homeschool planner in front of me to keep track of all that we need to do and log in what we did that day. I have a regular planner also but it often gets neglected and I forget to look at it.

I have been trying to figure out a better way to simplify and combine my planners and I think I found it! I made a daily planner page that can go right into my homeschool planner so I can look at our school schedule and everything else I need to do at the same time. And since I open up our homeschool planner everyday I will be sure to look at it! I am really excited about it!!

I tried to think of all the things that I want to be able to incorporate in a daily planner. There is a to do list, a place where you can jot down a verse or quote to focus on during the day, a spot for those things you can't forget, an ideas and notes area and even a menu planner!!

I have a feeling that if your days are anything like mine you might appreciate my idea also, so I am offering it FREE to all my subscribers!




All you have to do is go sign up HERE! And after you sign up you will be taken to a landing page where all my free printables are!! ( and if you are already a subscriber the link will take you to the free printables once you enter your email) Just click on the Daily Planner link and you will be able to download it right to your computer and print it out at anytime! ( Make sure to put it on the setting "fit to page")So far I am loving having my homeschool planner and daily planner combined! Anything to make life easier and less complicated! And best of all you can print it out in the convenience of your home, right away! I have been having a lot of fun making my own prints and printables for our home and homeschool.
Links on this site help support our home and homeschool!
Since starting to homeschool we have relied heavily on our HP printer for printing out amazing resources. Most of them which are free! The ink on the other hand is not, and tends to get pricey. I can't imagine not having a printer. We use ours almost every day! It's so convenient to be able to print out page after page of beautiful prints, my homeschool planner, and now daily planner page, worksheets and tons of crafts and cutouts.
It can be frustrating when I am in the middle of printing something, that of course I need right away, only to find out we are out of ink! I am sure you run into this problem also.

I recently signed up for the Hp Instant Ink  program and it has revolutionized the way we print! With the Moderate Plan that I have, I get to print 100 pages per month. When you sign up for the program with your wireless HP Printer, your printer will tell HP when you need more ink! One less thing to do! Before you even know you are running low on ink, it will be shipped right to your door!

 I am all about getting things delivered to our home! Anything to save me some time and make my life easier! I get diapers, pencils, cleaning supplies and even paper shipped to our house. It's the best! For some reason it is so much more exciting to get a box waiting on your doorstep than having to go to the store and buy it; not to mention easier!


The way the program works is that instead of only being allowed a certain amount of ink per month you are allowed a certain amount of pages per month. I get 100. I can print full color, black and white, whatever! Which is so great because sometimes we need to print pages that require a lot of ink and before we know it, we are out of ink. This optimizes the way you print! Because some months we might not print a lot of pages but still use the same amount of ink. All unused pages roll over to the next month! And if for any reason the program is not working for you, you can cancel your plan anytime.


The ink cartridges are larger than the normal ones so you don't have to replace them as often. I also really like that they give you postage paid return packaging to recycle your old ink cartridges.

You can check here to see if you have an eligible Hp Printer already.

I wish I knew about the HP Instant Ink program a long time ago. But now that I do I am so excited to be sharing it with you because I really believe it will help save you time and money, especially if you use your printer everyday like we do! If you checked out my post 8 Time Savers for Busy Moms, you know I am all about saving time and money!

Do you use your printer a lot?

Do you want to save money on ink and not have to leave your home?

Click on the banner below and get 50% off your first month of subscription!!


Save up to 50% on Printer Ink Replacement with HP Instant Ink! Receive the 1st Month Free - Sign up Now!

Growing and Learning Together as a Family Through Homeschooling

Friday, May 19, 2017

Those moments when all my school aged kids(12,10,7,5,3, and baby) are happily sitting around the table doing their school, are sometimes few and far between in our homeschool.

 I often take pictures of them while they are busy to record that they do indeed sit still sometimes. But for the most part my kids are very actively chasing after butterflies, running after each other or climbing up trees in between their bookwork.


Homeschooling affords us the great gift of freedom; freedom to be structured or spontaneous as needed. It allows us to learn in the different seasons of our life when it's hard to have a routine and those seasons when we thrive by having a schedule. 

When I first started homeschooling I did almost everything exactly as the public school system. I took off when they took off and started when they started. It's been seven years since we started homeschooling and things have changed quite a bit as we are learning what works best for our family and how I and my children learn best together.

I have come to realize over the years that one of the reasons we homeschool is not to be like the public school system or other homeschoolers. It has taken so much pressure off of me to not try to live up to the school systems' or anyone else's standards of what school looks like. 

When I start focusing on what is best for our family, I find such peace, relief and rest. But when I start focusing on what the world thinks, anxiety starts to whelm up within me and I am anything but at rest. 

As I have struggled, especially these past several months as our lives have been a bit crazy with putting an addition on our house and having a baby at the same time; I have been so encouraged by Sarah Mackenzie's book "Teaching From Rest" A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace.

Her whole book is quote worthy and I have pretty much highlighted and underlined all of it, but I wanted to share this excerpt that has been confirming what God has been speaking to me and encouraged me greatly.

"It is easy to forget that teaching is a holy work. The building up of intellect- teaching children to really think- does not happen by the might of human reason, but rather by the grace of God. On an ordinary day, you and I likely have a set of tasks we've scheduled  for our kids. But it's more than math. It's more than history. It is the building up of our children's minds and hearts, and we can only do that if we realize that this is how we thank Him for the graces he so lavishly pours upon us." 

I can't tell you how much these words have been reaffirming what God has been speaking to my heart and my desire for my children's education.

I worry the same as everyone else that my kids will keep up and will pass their prospective college entrances. I plan and strive to give them the best education that I am able. I fail in many areas and often feel guilty that they are not learning this or that. And although I, like you want my children to have great academic achievements; most of all I want them to grow in the likeness of Christ.

I want them to learn what it means to be a servant.

I want them to learn how to be responsible and share in the responsibilities of our household.

I want them to learn how to live alongside of their siblings.

I want them to know the value of hard work.

I want them to know that success isn't measured in a grade average or completion of all their curriculum.

I want them to really know how to multiply and add and use it in real life situations.

I want them to have manners and be kind.

I want them to grow into responsible adults who will go out into society someday and by God's grace be ready for real life situations.

This year has not been the greatest for us academically, but in terms of growing and learning as a family it has been amazing.

We have seen how God has answered our prayers that we have been praying during our morning prayer time. We have had to work through difficult situations and learn to be diligent with school work even when it hasn't been easy or comfortable as we lived through construction. We have had to become creative with our days and flexible when our plans got rerouted and changed.

The kids(mostly the older boys) have been able to come alongside their Dad during construction and learn useful skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. They have also helped their Dad who is a beekeeper, harvest honey and put bee boxes together. They have come alongside of me as we brought home our beautiful 6th addition Ahava, and have picked up a lot slack with holding her (or rather fighting over who can hold her) cooking meals, helping with little siblings and taking on new chores.

They have taken their own initiative to learn about the things that excite and interest them. They have spent their own money on butterfly books, mounting equipment, butterfly nets and shadow boxes and have researched how to mount butterflies and insects properly. Not only have they learned everything there is to know about Florida butterflies and moths but I have too in the process.

They have made up their own games and started their own art projects. They have planted their own butterfly garden and feed and take care of our new baby chicks.( well, most of the time)

Whenever I start to worry that they are missing our academically I think about how much they aren't missing out on and I couldn't be more proud and thankful that we homeschool.

Not only do I see them learning and growing but I know that I am the one learning the most through our homeschool journey.

I am learning that when I think I can't do this, that I'm right...but God can.

I am learning that when things get hard it's an opportunity for me to grow and become more self disciplined.

I am learning that when I can't figure things out I can go to others for help and advice.

I am learning that I don't have to stick to the same thing if it's not working.

And I am learning that I can learn a lot from my children.

There are many days that I can hardly put food on the table fast enough, clean the latest spill, or referee a sibling dispute...let alone put in a day of school. But you know what? On those days when I just hunker down and focus on getting in a full day of school, I find somehow that we actually get more done then when we don't have a schedule and aren't doing school! I know! It doesn't make sense!

Homeschooling has become so much more than just doing school at home. Homeschooling has become an integral part of our lives as we are learning how to work together as a family. There are many days that I wish I wasn't with my kids so much, but for most of time I feel like 24 hours is still not enough and wish I could slow time down. So many older people tell me when we are out and about that they miss these years with young ones and I know I will too.

Homeschooling not only gives my husband and I the opportunity to teach our children but to learn and grow alongside of them... and we are learning a lot.

What are you favorite aspects of homeschooling?

Have you grown together as a family through homeschooling?

What does homeschooling mean to you?

Do you struggle with mom guilt and worrying about keeping up?


This post is part of a series at iHomeschool Network Beyond Academics: What Homeschooling Means to Us. Click on the picture and check out all the other great posts!














8 Time Savers for Busy Moms + Instant Pot Mother's Day Giveaway

Monday, May 1, 2017

If you are like me, time is your greatest commodity. There is so much on our plate as Mothers. We try to fit everything in and be there for everyone, but often find ourselves being stretched thin and overwhelmed.

Most years my only request for Mother's Day is to not have to cook or clean, but you know I will be doing some form of cooking or cleaning, so things don't pile up.

For a while now I have really been wanting a day to clean in peace and quiet...without kids. I know that doesn't sound glamorous, but it's amazing how much more I can get done in one hour without kids, then I can all week with them.

 A few times my husband has asked me if I wanted to get out of the house, and though I like getting out, I would much rather catch up with things at home, while he takes them out! Thankfully he is a pro and often takes them out so I can get a break and get things done. It is the best gift! Really!
As my time is precious, I am trying harder to prioritize and make time for what really matters. Which means I need discernment to know what to say no and yes to.

So often I find myself saying no to my kids when they ask me to play or give them attention, because I have to clean, make dinner, do the laundry, or just do one more thing. I'm always saying, "In a minute, or not right now, or I'll do it with you later." I do have to do these things, but I am trying to find creative ways to incorporate them in what I am doing and cut corners on those things that can wait; my kids can't, they are growing too fast! And I'm tired of having mom guilt.

Does this sound familiar?

I am also trying to take time for myself. Just getting out in the morning to run or exercise for an hour gives me so much more energy and clarity of mind to face all that awaits me at home. And you know some girl time with other moms does a world of good! I am always so refreshed and encouraged when I get to hang out with my friends and hear, "I understand, I feel the same way, you are not alone!"

I wish I could sit down with all you amazing mamas and tell you how awesome you are and that you are not alone. I wish I could give you some time by yourself to get refreshed and renewed,(or clean) but since I can't, I have joined up with 24 other bloggers to give you the gift of time...in a way. An Instant Pot!! 4 to be exact!!! So there will be 4 winners!!!


I wish I could enter the giveaway because I still need to get on the Instant Pot bandwagon. It sounds like an amazing time saver! And as a homemaker and mother, I'm all about saving time!

If you are looking to make the most of the time you have, check out these time savers that I have found to help me and then go and enter the giveaway to have a chance to win one of these amazing Instant Pots!

TIME SAVERS
Some of these time savers will take some more time at first, but I promise will save you time in the long run!

1. Sort laundry in piles for each person, instead of folding them

I don't know about your family, but folding clothes is mostly a waste of time for our family because it ends up getting all messed up in the drawers as my kids rifle through their clothes. So I have started sorting their clothes in piles and then they each go put them in their own drawers. It may sound messy but it's just realistic. ( and we never iron anyway)

2. Meal Plan 

It does take a lot of effort and time to meal plan but I have learned that it actually saves me way more time and effort by doing it. I am always so flustered when I don't know what we are having for dinner and spend way more money when I am making meals by the seat of my pants. I am not always on top of meal planning but when I am, it pays dividends for my sanity. Check out these great meal plans here, here and here!

3. Lesson Plan

If you homeschool, this is a must! Especially if you have multiple kids. Some days we can get away with it, but I always end up frazzled when my kids are asking me, "What are we going to do next?" Lesson planning also takes some time and effort but again saves me so much more work and frustration... that I just don't need! Here is how I lesson plan for 3 kids!

4. Clean up at the end of the day

Do you constantly pick up after your kids all day!?

 Hand raised!

I am guilty of getting upset at my kids and picking up after them all the time. I am really trying to take the time to reinforce and teach them to pick up after themselves before taking something else out. Even though they are becoming more independent and responsible, there is still so much of my cleaning that gets undone throughout the day. I have been really trying to wait to the end of the day and make it a group effort before bedtime to clean. Not only does it save me unneeded cleaning during the day, but it really helps to wake up to a somewhat clean  house in the morning; to then start all over again!

5. Teach your kids to cook and do chores

I know it depends on how old your children are and they will make a lot of mess in the process but when you wake up to your 11 year old making pancakes it will be well worth it! I understand that it can be really stressful having your kids help in the kitchen. Mine usually all fight over who can pour or mix first! But over time it will pay off!

You know we have all at one time or another cleaned up after our kids, because it took less time than them doing it, but later on we will regret not teaching them to help out and be responsible. Whenever my kids complain about chores I always remind them that they are the ones making most of the messes!

Sometimes I think chores are more important than learning how to diagram or do division. Gasp! Really! They are teaching them lessons that will last them their whole lives! And yes, training them to cook and clean takes a lot of time and frustration but it will save you a ton in the future!(Don't worry I am still teaching them to diagram and do division;)

6. Use the Slow Cooker and Instant Pot! 

Like I said, I don't have an Instant Pot yet, but I do use my crockpot all the time!

On those days that I know are going to be crazy, I try to put everything in the crockpot in the morning, so that we will have dinner ready by the end of the day! It is such a life saver! I can't imagine how much time the Instant Pot will save you since it cooks fast, instead of slow and can be used to saute, make yogurt, steam rice and more! Plus it is made of stainless steel and uses 70% less electricity than the oven! What!? Here are some great Instant Pot recipes that I'm dying to try when I get one. And here are my favorite Slow Cooker recipes!

7. Organize and Declutter

I can't tell you how many hours I have wasted looking for things because my house is in utter chaos and I have no idea where anything is. Of course with 6 kids, losing things is bound to happen but I am trying to make a place for everything and have everything in it's place. 

I have been on a mission these past couple of weeks to get my house back in order after having a baby and putting an addition on our house. It has taken some time but I feel like a part of my brain can function again, and it feels so good to know where everything is! Okay, well almost!

I have also taken load after load to the thrift store and thrown a ton of things away. It has been so good for me to detach myself and get rid of stuff I was holding onto, that we just don't need taking up space.

 Having less stuff = less time cleaning.

 Getting organized = less time looking for stuff = more time using stuff.

8. Invest in Disposable and Reusable products

One thing that has saved me a lot of time is buying personal water bottles for myself and my kids. If we don't use water bottles there ends up being a ton of cups all over the counter and nobody knows whose is whose. It's so frustrating and the dishwasher gets filled up with all of our cups at once.

Now everyone has their own water bottle that they know are theirs and are responsible for filling them up and taking them with us when we are out.( somehow I still end up filling them up)

A disposable product that I can't live without any more are paper plates. Not only do we eat breakfast lunch and dinner but someone is always hungry in between and is constantly taking out plates.

Having some paper plates handy for when we are in a rush or are just tired of doing dishes is worth a little extra money. And if you think of it you are really saving  money and water on all those dishes you would be doing!

I also buy aluminum pans in bulk when cooking meals. Not only are they great when taking someone a meal but also for making freezer meals and for when you just don't want to clean another pan.

I hope these tips and time savers were helpful and now without further ado...The Giveaway!


 To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Now I know that is quite a few entries for you, but each of these bloggers generously chipped in their own money to bring you this giveaway, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries.  And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are at winning! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway ends May 10th at 11:59pm EDT.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond to email to claim prize.  Please be sure to read the Terms & Conditions upon entering the giveaway.









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