Entertaining for Thanksgiving dinner doesn't have to be stressful or expensive. Use what you have on hand, ask guests to bring a dish and make the most of moments with loved ones.

5 Tips for a Low Stress Thanksgiving Dinner

Even before I became a DIY lifestyle blogger I always loved to set a pretty table when company came over for dinner. We were always the first ones to invite the new preacher or staff member from church over for Sunday lunch. For years I also hosted my homeschool moms group for an evening Christmas party. […]

Blogger Marty Walden shares the joy of motherhood from parenting adopted children with wounded hearts, even when the story is unexpected and heartbreaking.

Motherhood: Rewarding and Heartbreaking Journey

As I watched my oldest daughter’s journey to motherhood I was grateful to play an active part in her life and now in my precious grandson’s life. From the very beginning Rachel was full of questions and transparency. Did it take you long to get pregnant? Did you have morning sickness when you were pregnant with […]

These molasses cookies are a MUST TRY recipe! Made from a basic make ahead starter cookie mix they are deceptively simple but get rave reviews for taste!

Easy Molasses Cookies Recipe

I am a chocolate lover from my days in utero. Ok, I can’t possibly know that but I do know my mom loved chocolate so it’s probably a good assumption! My grandmother lived with us my entire childhood until she passed away when I was 15. She had her own secret hiding place for her […]

A touching letter from a first time grandmother to the precious grandson with encouragement and affirmation in God's plan for his young life and blessings on his future.

First Birthday Ideas and a Letter from Nana

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGDeal #CollectiveBias. There’s just something so incredibly unique about a child’s first birthday. Is there any one year in life where more change and growth is experienced? From a helpless newborn infant to a mostly walking, noise uttering, mess […]

Parenting tips on surviving the second 6 months of baby's life with helpful ideas on setting a daily routine, how to avoid comparisons with other babies, the necessity for setting apart time for mom and dad and the value of exercise in a healthy life!

Is Your Baby 6 to 12 Months? What You Need to Know!

Ah, how things change in such a short time when you’re a new parent! It’s been so much fun being involved in the life of our first grandchild as these first few months have flown by. My daughter Rachel and her husband Donny are here to share some parenting tips on the second six months of Aiden’s […]

Tour this rustic cabin in the NC mountains with western theme decor, a visual delight with beautiful pine wood throughout and delightful, one of a kind furnishings and accessories.

Rustic Cabin with Western Theme Decor

Most years our family goes on vacation to the beach but just a few weeks ago we headed to an amazing rustic cabin owned by friends of ours. Located in the mountains of North Carolina, this jewel of a cabin barely had room for all of us. Okay, I’m totally kidding because this getaway has three levels and  is straight […]

Learning how to choose paint colors is an important part of decorating your home. A painter's wife gives a humorous look at learning from her mistakes!

How to Choose Paint Colors

I was going to title this post “What if the Painter’s Wife Chooses the Wrong Color?” but I decided that was a wee bit long. If you don’t know by now, I’m married to a painting contractor. We’ve been married a long time. As in A LONG TIME. 28 years long time. And since he’s […]

These concise laundry room ideas will convince you that even a small space can be efficient, organized and look great with inexpensive storage containers.

Small Laundry Room Ideas and Pantry Makeover

This post on Small Laundry Room Ideas has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGDeal #CollectiveBias. I’ve drooled over beautiful laundry rooms and pantries on Pinterest for months now. Our poor little space was just crammed full of stuff. Lots of stuff, I tell you. His stuff and […]

What do you need to know when adopting a new puppy? This new puppy checklist will give you advice in deciding if you're prepared for the responsibility!

New Puppy Checklist and Tips for the Early Months

Our lives have been way too crazy since last December and filled with a whole bunch of crises and one beautiful life changing event thrown in.  In the midst of all this madness my kids and husband tried to convince me to get a new puppy. Can you believe it? Our boxer Annabelle passed away last July […]

Think you're too busy to decorate your home for autumn? Here are a few ideas to help you create a quick and simple fall vignette. Great tips for all year!

Simple Fall Vignette or What Happened to Summer?

My family and I spent last week in a beautiful private home in the mountains of NC. I can’t wait to share all about our trip and the amazing home we stayed in, but first I wanted to share a quick fall vignette I put together in my own home. While we were we were […]

With only 3 ingredients, this 5 minute breakfast sandwich is a perfect start for busy days! Great for kids and adults alike for that most important meal!

5 Minute Breakfast Sandwich

My husband and I have never been big breakfast eaters. Or hardly even breakfast eaters at all. When we met, Tim’s idea of morning was the 20 minutes before noon when he rolled out of bed. We were performing in dinner theater at the time (see the ridiculously young looking photo below.) Our nights were […]

This easy pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting is a guaranteed hit to ring in the fall season. With just a few handy ingredients it's perfect for school parties, family dinners and church potlucks.

Fall Table Setting and Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This Fall Table Setting and Pumpkin Bread Recipe has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGDeal #CollectiveBias Some of my favorite family moments have been spent gathered around a beautifully decorated table with those I love, sharing good food and great conversation. When the leaves begin to turn and the weather […]

Diabetes Monitoring Supplies - Marty's Musings

The Call No One Wants to Receive

“Hi, I’m calling from Costco. Your husband is here with us now. He’s fallen out and had a seizure. We have EMT here with him now. He is not fully conscious but he is breathing.” And with those words heard on a voice mail the direction of our lives changed. Several weeks ago my husband […]

Using pocket pages and precut cards you can simplify your family memory keeping with these easy family scrapbook ideas using Jen Hadfield's Home+Made Kit.

Easy Family Scrapbook Ideas: Print Those Pictures!

I was away scrapbooking this weekend, trying to catch up on my Project Life album. These weekends usually consist of a little blogging, some extra sleep, a few delicious meals and some easy family scrapbook ideas. When I started scrapbooking 18 years ago I labored over the pages (and cut many a kid’s head with patterned […]

Who says women over 50 can't dress with style on a budget? Find a great black dress on sale and ways to dress it up and more casual with accessories, shoes, accents and scarves.

Fashion for Women over 50: The Little Black Dress

I shared my first frugal fashion for women over 50 post back in July and got some good response so I’m back today to show you how my youngest daughter and I put together three outfits based on one little black dress. In my opinion, you can never have enough black dresses! I tend to […]

Short video and tutorial contains easy and inexpensive ways to encourage your kids with creative notes for school and camp. Show your kids they are loved!

Encourage your Kids with Creative Notes

This post was sponsored by Expressionery.com but all opinions are my own. When I became a mom 26 years ago I was determined to greet the teenage years with enthusiasm and a wonderful relationship with my children. I was willing to invest daily in their growing up years through homeschooling and nightly conversations around the dinner table. […]

Some of the best bargains come from yard sales and this $4 side table was perfect for a makeover using Behr paint. Tips and instructions included.

Yard Sale Side Table Makeover

I was provided product by BEHR to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. (Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!) Y’all know I love yard sales. But did you know there are phone apps to help you map out the sales in your area? They have changed […]

By using an easy make ahead basic cookie mix you can make several different kinds of cookies including these amazing Reese's peanut butter cups cookies.

Make Ahead Cookie Mix and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Cookies

I love a good bargain and when I received a coupon recently in the mail for $10 free Kohl’s cash plus 30% off I was ready to go shopping! Not really, because anyone who knows me well knows I don’t really do too much shopping in “real” stores. Thrift stores and yard sales are my favorite loves […]

Every new mom should know the 5 things about cloth diapers including how much money they will save over the years and how easy they are to use. A first time mom shares all the details!

5 Things Every New Mom Should Know About Cloth Diapers

I remember when I was pregnant with our now 22-year-old son Joshua. I was planning on quitting my job and staying home which would require cutting corners everywhere possible. To help our budget I took the plunge into the wild, unknown world of cloth diapers and got a real education. I loved it. Okay, I […]

God often uses stretching exercises to challenge and change us for a new season of life. Join blogger Marty Walden as she shares how God is working in her.

Stretching Exercises for the Heart

Recently I’ve been learning how to stretch in many different ways. In the foods that will keep me healthy. In stretching exercises for the body that will keep me active for my grandson Aiden and (hopefully) many more to come. In the challenges of juggling work and life at home after concentrating on my family […]

These 3 easy tips to help you change your snacking habits will encourage you to take charge of your life, make some changes and begin a journey towards wellness and health. You can do this!

3 Keys for Healthy Snack Ideas

There’s a little secret I’ve been hiding from my readers.  Come a little closer, my dears. Are y’all envisioning the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz? You better not! This is good stuff! Since I hit the dreaded “50” (plus a couple or three more) there have been a few obstacles in my path to […]

DIY Makeup Drawers Using Scrapbook Paper

DIY Makeup Storage Using Scrapbook Paper

I am a memory keeper at heart but this new season of juggling work and our final years of homeschooling means I don’t have as much time for traditional scrapbooking. These days most of our tangible memories are captured via Project Life and since I have amassed quite a large collection of paper (okay, so it rivals […]

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

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 […]