Costa Rica sunset

An Ant Invasion, Mosquito Attack, Live Crocodiles and Weekend Reads {July 4, 2015}

If you want to keep up with the reads that give me pause all week long, follow my Reads and Recipes board on Pinterest. If you want to follow along with my personal life, you can follow me on Instagram. Subscribe to our newsletter to not miss a post!  What a week! I had hoped to get this update out yesterday, but we ended up driving several hours back to San Jose, Costa Rica (the capital city) to spend the night with friends. We all drove a couple more hours to the beach yesterday, so Becca, the teenage girl staying with us for a few weeks, could see the coast! Last weekend, we moved … [keep reading...]

3 Things That Prevent People from Traveling

3 Things That Prevent People From Traveling {and How to Overcome Them}

There are things that prevent people from traveling, but the good news is that there are ways to overcome most of them!  When I wrote about the five reasons why our family has taken our children to Costa Rica for five weeks this summer, I was a bit taken aback that a few readers on social media reacted negatively, with expressions like "it must be nice to take such a long, lavish vacation." I had to laugh at the "lavish" part because, as I hope to write in Saturday's update, that couldn't be any further from the truth! Others responded to the post by listing out the reasons why … [keep reading...]

Are you trying to make your child wear deodorant ... or make your sons and daughters do other basic daily tasks?

Why I Refuse to Make My Sons Wear Deodorant

Are you trying to make your child  wear deodorant ... or make your sons and daughters do other basic daily tasks?  Guest Post by Marianne Miller Yes, it’s true. Sometimes my sons smell. “What kind of mother can’t make her kids wear deodorant?” you ask. This kind. Me. I refuse. My logic is simple. I wear deodorant. I don’t smell. I have told each of my four sons, after my first whiff of them, usually around age eleven, that deodorant was invented to stop that smell. I buy deodorant. I talk about changes in their bodies at this age. I gently remind them for a few months. And then … [keep reading...]

Setting screen time boundaries with your children can be tricky – but it’s not impossible, thanks to a few helpful strategies!

How to Set Screen Time Boundaries with Your Children

Setting screen time boundaries with your children can be tricky – but it’s not impossible, thanks to a few helpful strategies! By Hilary, Contributing Writer Screen time boundaries can become such a hassle with children. The research is clear – media greatly influence the thoughts and behaviors of children. Between advertisements, entertainment and news, children can be exposed to violence and unwholesome behavior long before they should. Excessive media use is tied to sleeping and eating disorders, obesity, attention difficulties, and academic problems. [Source] Yet TV can be … [keep reading...]

Our family was able to participate in an Operation Christmas Child distribution last week in Costa Rica. Yes, they distribute the boxes year-round! Here are some lessons I learned from participating in the distribution.

5 Lessons I Learned at an Operation Christmas Child Distribution

Our family was able to participate in an Operation Christmas Child distribution last week in Costa Rica. Yes, they distribute the boxes year-round! Here are some lessons I learned from participating in the distribution.  Last week, our family had the amazing opportunity to participate in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution in Cartago, Costa Rica!  We have been packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for years. We started the tradition before we had kids, and once our firstborn was around two, we had her join us in picking out items and helping to pack them. When … [keep reading...]

La Paz waterfall

Weekend Reads {June 27, 2015} + Costa Rica Recap, Week 1

If you want to keep up with the reads that give me pause all week long, follow my Reads and Recipes board on Pinterest. If you want to follow along with my personal life, you can follow me on Instagram. Subscribe to our newsletter to not miss a post! Reads I Loved This Week 11 Sunscreens to Avoid This Summer (and 6 Safe Alternatives) @ Mothering.comFor my personal thoughts on sunscreen, check out a series I wrote a few years ago, "Safe in the Sun." You can also check out Lexie's safe homemade sunscreen recipe or a round-up of 5 non-toxic sunscreen recipes.5 Ways to Ruin Your Day @ Money Saving … [keep reading...]

Have you ever considered taking your children on an international trip? Here are five reasons why are are taking our kids to Costa Rica this summer!

5 Reasons Why We Are Taking Our Kids to Costa Rica for 5 Weeks This Summer

Have you ever considered taking your children on an international trip? Here are five reasons why we are taking our kids to Costa Rica this summer!  On Monday, our family embarked on an adventure we had been dreaming about, saving for, and planning for a very long time: We are currently in Costa Rica for five weeks, and we couldn't be more excited. Transparency with this blog is huge for me. I've built The Humbled Homemaker with the intentions of showing my own imperfections in everyday homemaking, learning the ropes of natural living, navigating life on a low income, and … [keep reading...]

I recently discovered Blue Apron, and I absolutely love it! I am looking forward to using the service again in the future as a healthy alternative to take-out! Check out why I love Blue Apron so much, and how I think Blue Apron can save you time and money!

Blue Apron: A Healthy Alternative to Take-Out

I recently discovered Blue Apron, and I absolutely love it! I am looking forward to using the service again in the future as a healthy alternative to take-out!  Our family used to never eat out. OK, I take that back. When we barely had two pennies to rub together, we would eat out about once a month (and we would go somewhere cheap). Fast forward a few years, and we now, regrettably, eat out way more than we should. Most of it has to do with mama working more than she used to, and with the increase in income, we have more room in our budget to eat out than we did in the … [keep reading...]

Too many mothers have banded together to take offense at the phrase "Looks like you have got your hands full." Let's start a new movement.

Why We’ve Made Too Big of a Deal over the Phrase “Looks Like You Have Your Hands Full!”

Too many mothers have banded together to take offense at the phrase "Looks like you have got your hands full." Let's start a new movement. By Katie, Contributing Writer Today at Target I strode up to the dressing room with a 4-week-old baby strapped to my body, a 2-year-old strapped in the cart whining, and a 4-year-old running in and out of clothing racks and seemingly not comprehending the immediacy with which I was directing her (repeatedly) to come over by me. A sweet Target employee took extra care to help me back to my room, with all my garments (making an exception to the … [keep reading...]

Wondering if small space living is possible for big families? Check out how a family of five lives in an 800-square-foot apartment!

Small Space Living for Big Families

Wondering if small space living is possible for big families? Check out how a family of five lives in an 800-square-foot apartment! Guest Post by Natalie Busch of Messy Mom In the modern days of bigger is better, having a large family in a small home may sound like it's not only impractical, but unwise. I haven't always lived in a small home and I don't plan to stay in one forever, but my family of five have bonded and learned so much in our current season that I wouldn't trade it. Currently we live in an apartment with less than 800 square feet. I am not a minimalist and I … [keep reading...]

My girls

Weekend Reads {June 20, 2015}

If you want to keep up with the reads that give me pause all week long, follow my Reads and Recipes board on Pinterest. If you want to follow along with my personal life, you can follow me on Instagram. Subscribe to our newsletter to not miss a post!  What a crazy summer it's been already! I feel like we've tried to pack an entire summer into just a few weeks--the girls had swimming lessons and RAD Kids Camp, and we then spent five days in Brosnan Forest, South Carolina. We leave on MONDAY for five weeks in Costa Rica! I covet your prayers for that adventure! I hope to publish a post … [keep reading...]

potty training 2 (horizontal)

Child-Led Potty Training {a Stress-Free, Laid-Back Approach to Toilet Learning}

If you've ever been discouraged with potty training, you have to check out child-led potty training. This is a stress-free, laid-back approach to toilet learning! Hang in there, Mama. There is a light at the end of the potty training tunnel!  It's been often said that your child won't go to kindergarten in diapers, and, for most of us, that is true. But when you're knee-deep in pee, poop, and tears, and your child will still not use the potty, it's easy to think they will never learn how to use the toilet.  I have been there. Like I said in yesterday's letter to the mom … [keep reading...]

Are you discouraged with potty training? I've been there, Mama! This post will give you hope for a light at the end of the potty training tunnel!

To The Mama Discouraged With Potty Training

Are you discouraged with potty training? I've been there, Mama! I hope this post will give you hope for a light at the end of the potty training tunnel! To the mama discouraged with potty training, I was you, Mama. It took me two years to potty train my firstborn. Two.entire.years.  I had tried it all: sticker charts, candy, Dollar Tree trinkets, pull-ups, no pull-ups, panties, bare-bummed, potty training in one day, potty training in three days, tips aimed at potty training the strong-willed child. (We did not try infant potty training. That's just not my style!) There is … [keep reading...]

Steals and Deals featured

Stay-at-Home Shopping {June 17, 2015}

Welcome to our weekly edition of Stay-at-Home Shopping! If you're like me, you love the convenience of online shopping. As a busy homemaker and work-at-home mom, this allows me to shop at my convenience for the very best prices for everything from clothing to household goods to gifts and even groceries! I'm excited to share the highlights of my online shopping with you here each week, so that you never have to miss a good deal again!  If you want to receive an email highlighting the very best deals each week, you can sign up here! You can also view more time sensitive deals on … [keep reading...]

Plants die because gardening isn't easy. If you feel like the world's worst gardener, enjoy these gardening tips for people who can't garden.

Gardening Tips for People Who Can’t Garden

Plants die because gardening isn't easy. If you feel like the world's worst gardener, enjoy these gardening tips for people who can't garden. By Tiffany, Contributing Writer My best friend grows zucchini that are bigger than my arm. My dad grows squash in a bed of sand. Me? I'm lucky if the plants don't die. If there was an award for the world's worst gardener, I'm a legit contender. But it's not from lack of trying! I turned my do-it-yourself raised garden bed into an urban square foot garden this year to maximize space, and we re-use water from the house to water the plants … [keep reading...]