By using items you create from Shutterfly home decor you can refresh any space and create an inviting home with family pictures and personal messages.

Easy Tips to Refresh Your Home with Shutterfly Home Decor

This post was sponsored by Shutterfly through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Shutterfly, all opinions are my own.  I have been an avid scrapbooker for almost two decades and recording our family memories is part of the fabric of my life. I have to confess the […]

What should be our response when the Duggar family news and scandal reveals a pornography addiction and infidelity? How do we lift the veil of perfection? WE ARE ALL BROKEN. Our families are broken. Our lives are messy and nothing like the Facebook posts you read about everyday. #Truth and you know it. I know it. We all know it. No one should be held to a standard of perfection.

What Happened to the Duggar Family?

I am not one to dive into the realm of public opinion but I DO have opinions on most topics (and my husband would definitely agree!) I just choose not to air them on the blog where my desire is always to encourage, inspire and empower others. I have been a huge fan of the […]

Some of life's best memories come from summer days spent with family grilling hot dogs with Ball Park Park's Finest. Enjoy them with your favorite sides!

Summer Memories in a Pop Up Camper circa 1970’s

“This is a sponsored conversation written by me of behalf of Ball Park® brand. The opinions and text are all mine.” My family didn’t have a lot material possessions during my growing up years but some of my best memories are of camping in our little pop up trailer at the beach. My mom spent a lot […]

From Bethel Music, the video No Longer a Slave to Fear beautifully shows how we've been liberated from the bondage of fear because we're children of God.

No Longer a Slave to Fear

We have just concluded 21 days of prayer and fasting with our church (Daystar Church) and it has been both a wonderful and challenging experience. The goal of this period is for our church family to refocus our attention on God and His purpose for us as a church and as individuals without earthly distractions. As best I […]

Need an easy idea for an end of summer/back to school with the kids party? Try this ice cream bar with kid favorite Rice Krispies on the bottom and build from there!

End of Summer Fun with Kids and Rice Krispies®

Since my kids are getting older (the youngest is 16 and the oldest is 26!) I invited my great nieces and nephew over for an end of summer fun/back to school celebration. The kids used to call me Auntie M but most of the time now it’s just Marty and I’m good with that. Usually it’s, “Marty, […]

Parenting Children with Attachment Disorder - Marty's Musings

Are Your Kids Preparing for School and Life?

How many of you heard it said when you were little, usually accompanied by a pat on your head, “You’re just growing up so fast!”  Or something along the lines of, “You can’t possibly be old enough to go to school!” Seriously, it’s a theme among well meaning relatives everywhere. I think they come in the […]

By using both chalk paint and Behr paint this bedroom furniture went from outdated to shabby chic gorgeous! Great bedroom ideas for budget makeovers.

Shabby Chic Bedroom Ideas

Since I seem to be one of those distracted bloggers that can’t keep all the balls juggling in the air I have to tell you I never finished sharing our budget bedroom makeover from last year. Yes, last year! I used to be so organized as a stay at home, homeschooling mom of five. For heaven’s […]

It can be hard to find healthy food options for on the go moms but Sheetz makes it easy with plenty of fast and nutritious snacks and meals choices.

Healthy Food Options for On the Go Moms

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by Sheetz but all opinions are my own. When my friend Amy at Atta Girl Says and I were invited to attend friends and family day at the new Sheetz opening in nearby Kernersville, NC I brought along my hubby and my youngest daughter. All I had to say was […]

Chalkboard paint ideas are a hot decorating trend in everything from home decor to parties and organization. Fun and ingenious ideas to get you started!

Chalkboard Paint Ideas for the Home

Do you like following the latest decorating trends? Or are you more like me? You kinda slide into them while you’re discovering  your own personal style? Some trends tend to hang around for years and some vanish before they really even get started. What does this mean for you and I? To me it means […]

By implementing sound financial advice you can plan for sunny days in the life of your family, whether it's having kids, buying a house or even a vacation.

Glass Half Full of Half Empty?

Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? I struggle to look at my life and blessings as a glass half full sometimes because life can be hard. Honestly? It’s easier just to look at the negative side of life. Have you listened to the news lately? Did I mention life […]

With only a few ingredients, this blue cheese dressing recipe takes a wedge salad from ordinary to amazing. Save time and money by preparing homemade!

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

When my husband and I were in the middle of the busy child rearing years (oh, only about the last 25 years or so) we knew we could count on date night on special occasions. His birthday, my birthday and our anniversary. Can anyone else relate? It was hard to find the money to both […]

These 7 easy chalk painting tips for beginners will liberate you from perfectionism and get you hooked on the latest and most fun way to paint furniture and home decor accessories!

7 Chalk Painting Tips for Beginners

True confession here. If you aren’t familiar with my blog you may not know one simple truth: I am not a painter. My husband is the painter extraordinaire at Marty’s Musings. He is a painting contractor by trade (until this happened and then it happened again) but there is one kind of painting that I […]

An adopted teenager struggles with his identity and chooses to live in a group home rather than with the family who raised him in this poignant essay as his adopted family struggles with grief and in learning how to heal their broken hearts and support their son.

The Truth I’m Afraid to Share

I’m afraid to even put these words to paper. Fear. Shame. Guilt. Confession. I used to be THAT mom. I had it all together. The one with the clean house, the kids that seemed to mostly get along and usually had on clean clothes with their hair brushed. (Still asking for forgiveness for the years with […]

Readers wanted to know if the Behr Deckover restoration product lived up to claims of longterm wood coverage. These DIY homeowners are back with an update.

Behr DeckOver Product Review and the Million Dollar Question

Behr Paint provided compensation for this post but we have loved and used Behr products for years! Last summer my DIY hubby restored our 20+ year old back deck with an amazing product from Behr Paint.  Since then I’ve received more questions about that post than any other. The most frequently asked question was how does […]

Do you want your guests to go crazy over your baking skills? Then this dessert is for you! This 5 ingredient Peach Cobbler recipe is to die for and so easy!

5 Ingredient Peach Cobbler Recipe

Yes, I’m a good Southern belle. No I don’t like warm weather.  Some people live for summer. The tropical breezes, the longer days and sun kissed tan. Me? I get migraines from the sun. I do not perspire. I sweat. I want my air conditioning and I’m perfectly fine if my tan comes from a […]

The Best Hot Dogs and a Lazy Family Holiday

The Best Hot Dogs and a Lazy Family Holiday

“This is a sponsored conversation written by me of behalf of Ball Park® brand. The opinions and text are all mine.” To me the best part of holidays is always family and the traditions that join us together. July Fourth is one of those holidays that has changed through the years. When the kids were younger […]

Becoming Conference 2015

Becoming Conference 2015

I am happy to share with you some exciting news about a conference I’m taking part in later this month. Along with Amy at Atta Girl Says I’m going to be leading a hands on furniture painting workshop at the 5th Annual Becoming Conference organized by my friend Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Jenny at SouthernSavers.com.  With topics […]

Fabulous Frugal Fashions over 50 - Marty's Musings

Fabulous Frugal Fashions for Women over 50 (and the rest of you, too!)

The deepest desire of my heart for my writing is to be an encouragement to women of all ages, but I have an extra special bit of compassion for those of us over 50! I have always, always shopped secondhand for my wardrobe, mostly through yard sales. More recently I have added a bit of […]

You can help prevent homesickness by sending encouragement notes to camp or sleepovers. Simply write love notes for your kids to read when they're gone.

Encouragement Notes for Homesick Kids at Camp

Some of the best family traditions are often those that happen by accident, like our family blessing jar. What started out as a way to teach our children gratitude is now a deeply held celebration of thanksgiving every year. It’s even incorporated into the marriage contract between our children and their spouses! (No, not really, […]

Create a warm welcome for guests with this easy and inexpensive front door wreath using a repurposed yard sale picture frame, silk flowers and wooden sign.

Picture Frame Front Door Wreath

I love to craft and DIY while I turn yardsale and curbside junk into beautiful treasures for my home. But I do have a confession to make. Since blogging is now also my job being creative is sometimes a necessity, not a luxury. That can sometimes put extra pressure and stress on me to come […]

5 practical tips on how to make money on a yard sale while clearing out excess stuff! Includes where to hold it, what to sell, pricing, promotion and morel.

5 Tips on How to Make Money on a Yard Sale

It’s yard sale season and I’m back with more of my great tips! I live for this time of year that feeds my DIY and creative soul while saving us money. A few months ago I posted on how to tell whether that perfect buy is trash or treasure and the top 10 bargains to keep an eye open […]

Hillsong I Surrender devotion and video

No Fake Happy Face, Just My Usual Transparency

As Christians we sometimes paste on a happy face and gloss over our wounds and struggles. After all, we’re supposed to have it all together, aren’t we? If we don’t have the answers then who does? I don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly don’t. I hurt. I cry. I ask the Comforter to intercede […]

Quick and easy brownie bites are a snap to make with a packaged brownie mix and chocolate chips, rolled in powdered sugar. Kids and adults alike love them!

Quick and Easy Brownie Bites

I would love to deny my love for chocolate but my daughter Rachel is here to dispel the myth by sharing our favorite Brownie Bites recipe. I’m a goner! It’s amazing to me how motherhood has drastically changed my appreciation for the things that seemed so “normal” to me during my childhood. I look at […]

See how these DIY homeowners planned and converted their 1950's ranch style house into an updated home with terrific curb appeal and a fabulous front deck.

Ranch Style House With a Front Deck

Last year we had our dream deck built on the front of our house. No, my DIY hubby Tim didn’t build it himself (although he did build the one in our backyard and restored it last year.) We were able to find someone willing to build it for a daily charge and it was a […]

This Seven Layer Dip in a half pint sized mason jar looks adorable and tastes great! Perfect for any party or family gathering this mexican meal in a jar is both healthy and fun! It's also perfect for a make ahead lunch.

Seven Layer Dip in a Mason Jar

Life has been a bit crazy lately (understatement of the year! you can read all about it here) and I never got around to sharing the recipe for this adorable seven layer dip served in mason jars that I created for my daughter’s 17th birthday party. Here’s my daughter Rachel to give you a little […]

Ever feel like you're at the end of your rope? Know that the sweetest and most profound dreams are often born in the tiniest slivers of leftover life.

What Happens When You’re at the End of Your Rope?

Bible study teacher Beth Moore (Living Proof Ministries) and I have a long history. I have taken several of her studies through the years and her words have spoken life into me at critical moments in my life journey. I am so grateful for the way God has used her to teach me His truths. […]

These budget decorating ideas for decks and other outdoor spaces will inspire you to shop yard sales, thrift stores and even curbside for inexpensive treasures to repurpose and update for a beautiful space you will love.

Budget Decorating Ideas for the Deck

Do you love a good before and after as much as I do? What is it that we love? The ugly duckling picture of an unloved house/deck/piece of furniture dying for new life stirs something inside of us. Why does this fascinate us so? I think maybe it’s because it gives us hope. And permission to dream.  […]

Using common everyday ingredients this easy Slow Cooker Chili by Marty's Musings tastes delicious served over a baked potato or by itself topped with sour cream and cheese.

Easy Slow Cooker Chili with Baked Potato

I am incredibly grateful for my daughter Rachel who jumped in this week with her easy Slow Cooker Chili recipe served over a roasted baked potato. (If you haven’t read the crazy happenings in our family you can read all about it here.) She and Emmaline are such blessings here on the blog, aren’t they? (Did […]