Super Busy at Home

Family blog about homeschooling, autism, saving money, mom blog, travel, vacation, budgeting.

Week 7 Recap of our No-Spend Challenge

Well this was the first week that I heard serious complaining about the no spend challenge. 

Emma was hilarious when she said "we had a good two months of this no spend challenge.  Now I think it's time to be done.  Let's order Chinese food." 

And believe me I was feeling the same way!  I was ready for Chinese food and not cooking too, but we didn't cave and had frozen pizzas instead. 

Can you picture me with my head hung low and pouting?  Because that's what I was looking like. 

Thankfully I am realizing that when one of us is weak and ready to give up (usually me) then there is the other person to stay strong and diligent (usually Nick). 

Valentine's Day was a bit hard with the no spend challenge. 

We are not huge spenders for Valentine's Day.  I've never gotten Diamond anything.  I do usually get roses.  But this year I knew I wouldn't be getting anything.  Still there was this TINY part of my brain that was just wishing and hoping that he would come home with something that I would act upset he spent money for but secretly was delighted he brought home. 

You know what I am talking about! 

But he didn't buy anything.  Well I take that back he did go to the store and bought crab and oysters to go with our beef tenderloin stay-in date meal. 

However I had had the same thought of a little surf with our turf and bought lobster tails. 

So it was a huge seafood feast. 

Nick also came home with an old fashioned love letter. 

It was my first one ever and it made me sob.  Big, ugly tears, sob.

It was perfect.  It helped me to realize that some of the most beautiful things in this world are free.  They don't cost money, they aren't big and flashy, but instead are simple and true words that mean the most. 

The days before Valentine's Day I was prepared that we wouldn't be buying the kids a ton of fun Valentine's stuff like we normally do. 

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

I had purchased Emma's Valentine's Day gift last year before we started the no-spend challenge.  So I purchased a small lego set for Calvin so he would have something soon. 

To make their special day a bit more special we made some sweet treats with things that we already had at home so they didn't cost a lot of money. 

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

We made cookies which was lots of fun! The kids took a cookie decorating class last year so I whipped up a batch of royal icing and we had fun decorating cookies for our friends and family (and for us, of course!)

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

We had fun breakfasts!  For this I made toast and used a cookie cutter to carve out a heart from the center.  I then put Peanut butter on the heart and strawberry jam around the outskirt of the toast.  We had strawberry milk because strawberry milk makes everything better.  And I love these napkins that I bought last year from Marshalls. 

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

And of course we had fun lunches!  The kids' favorite lunch is a muffin tin lunch.  I bought these sweet 6 cup muffin tins from the Dollar Store, and then I put fun things in them!  For this lunch I gave them strawberry flavored string cheese, vanilla yogurt with sprinkles, strawberrys, grape tomatoes, more strawberry milk, and some heart shaped sweet tarts. 

I love giving them fun lunches, it really helps to break up the homeschool day and make things more exciting. 

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

A special part of Valentine's Day was someone sending me a gift!  I love colored pens and someone sent these to me with a sweet Homeschooling Momma card.  I have no idea who sent these to me but it was just the sweetest thing! So if you are reading this and it was you, thank you!

All in all it was a great Valentine's Day and week. 

It was really nice when it was all said and done to not have the guilt that I spent too much on the kids or spoiled them more than I should have.  It was a great day and we loved spending time with one another which is the best part of Valentine's Day! 

I hope you all had a great Valentine's week.  Please let me know how you are doing on your own no-spend challenges. 

Love to you all! 

Shutterfly for Valentine's

I love Valentine's Day! 

Isn't it just so fun?

It always reminds me of the giddiness I felt when I was a little girl getting valentine's in a mailbox made of a milk carton or something at school.  Conversation hearts, glitter, lace hearts, I love it all. 

We don't do a ton for Valentine's but we get each other something small every year.  A lot of times Nick and I will go away for the weekend.  This year we are going away for the week after Valentine's to Wisconsin.  Nothing says love like the Cheese state, right?  Actually Nick has a work thing up there that week so it just made sense that if I went we could hang out at night.  And during the day we are staying in a hotel that's one of our fave's so I'm envisioning lots of bubble baths, reality tv show watching, and shopping at the nearby stores. 

Anyway, the week before Valentine's we send Valentine's packs to family members. This year I ordered Valentine's from Shutterfly.  They are so cute and I can't wait to mail them out! My grandfather passed away a number of years ago and his funeral was on Valentine's Day so I always make sure we send my Grandma something special for that day.  I think these will brighten her day!

Order your Valentine's from Shutterfly.  Get all the details at Super Busy at Home!

Isn't this the most adorable card?  It could be because of our cuties :)  I sat the kids down and took these pictures before dinner a couple of nights ago, downloaded them, and found this cute card.  I love it! If you see from the card and the whole blog of mine, pink and blue are a color combo I love!  I gravitate towards it!  So these were perfect!

Anyway, since Nick and I are going away for Valentine's we won't really get anything from one another but I did want to get him something.  He's in his busy season with work so I decided to go ahead and get him something he could take with him on all of his business trips.

Sweet Valentines Gifts from Shutterfly.  Super Busy at Home.

I made him this super cute luggage tag with an A.A. Milne quote on the back.  He always gets so lonely when he's away from us so I thought a little reminder from us of how much we love him would be nice. 

Check out Shutterfly for fun gifts for Valentines.  They have a really fast turn around and have so many cute layouts and backgrounds.  They have a deal going on now that home décor and gifts are 40% off, hard cover books are 50% off, and everything else is 30% off. 

This blog post may contain affiliate links that help offset the cost of running this blog.  You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Super Easy Valentine's Gift for Your Mom Friends

Finishing up some sweet hosted gifts for our cookie day today

A photo posted by Lindsay - Super Busy at Home (@superbusylindsay) on

If you follow me onthe Instagram you may have seen this photo I posted back in December.  Am I the only one who calls it "the Instagram"? 


Like old people calling diabetes "the sugar diabetes".

Oh Lordy. 

Anywho, I think this is going to quickly become my signature gift because

a) it was so super easy


2) it's super easy to personalize between each person even if you are giving the same gift combo to numerous people and

c) it's super easy relatively inexpensive (ha I was on a super easy kick so just had to throw that last one in there!)


Upon looking at my picture I realized you may not even be able to see what the heck I am talking about so allow me to divulge...

I went to my Mother in Law's for a cookie making day with all of the ladies in our family and I made a little gift of a dish towel with a cookie cutter hanging from it.  Two things you can use in the kitchen.  I got the cookie cutter because it was cookie day but I was thinking you could do it other times too. 

For instance, if you want to steal my idea I am getting ready to get some together for Valentine's Day.  I mean, all of my friends have kids so everyone is always using cookie cutters.  And who doesn't use towels?  Unless you're a troll living under a bridge you use towels.  I bet trolls even use towels. 

Try saying that three times fast. 

I'll wait.


I was trolling Amazon (ha with me now!) and found these cuties:

Aren't these so cute?  These are $7.88 and are eligible for free shipping.  And it comes with 2 cutters so you could split it between two gift bundles or give them both to the same friend. 

I love this hot pink Mama!  So fun and cute and it is such a great size for cookies!  Plus it is on sale for only $4.50, 42% off plus it's eligible for free shipping. 

You could pair one of those cutters with one of these sweet towels.  Aren't they just adorable? They're 100 % cotton which is always important to me because they absorb so much more! And they are $15.50 for three of them.  That's $5.17 a towel, ya know :)

I love these towels too but they're a little salty for my cheap self :) They're $27.97 for the set with free shipping eligible.  So if anyone wants me to give me a gift here's an idea, wink, wink, nudge, nudge :).  This set comes with one cookie cutter and four of identical towels.  These are just the cutest ever!

One of my kitchen staples is baker's twine.  You can use it to tie boxes but I seem to use it a lot to tie gifts.  Towels with cookie cutters for example :)  Or if you're giving someone a bag of something (chex mix?) it's so cute to put it in a clear bag and tie it with bakers twine.  Fancier than a Ziploc, speedier than light.  If you don't want as big a thing of twine there are smaller ones available. 

So with those three things you can assemble an adorable gift.  I just take the cookie cutter out of the packaging, string it through with the bakers twine, wrap it around the towel a few times and tie it with a simple bow.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy friends! 

So there you have it! 

Have fun putting these together!  It's so fun to give gifts to friends, isn't it? 

I'd love to know if you have a tried and true gift you love to give.  Comment below with what it is, I'm always looking for fun idea.

This blog post may contain affiliate links that help offset the cost of running this blog.  You can read my full disclosure policy here




DIY: Valentine's Day Wreath

Every year I loathe the day Nick tells me that I have to take down the tree. 

I really wish I could be one of those crazy cat lady people who keep it up all year. 

That's not weird, right?

But alas Cal's Birthday is the 7th of January and we like to have a party and so I have to get all of the Christmas items cleaned up before people come.

This year in an effort to not cry after the tree is gone, I've decided to decorate for Valentine's Day early.  Usually Valentine's decorations consist of me throwing stuff up about a week before the day. 

But not this year my friends, not this year! 

But alas I found, I had no wreath!  How can one not have a Valentine's Day wreath? So I decided to make one!!!  (Impressed aren't you???) Here it is friends:

What do you think?  Cute? 

 I started with these items.  I am considering this a free craft because I didn't go out and buy anything for it...but of course I had to of bought them at some time, right? I bought the wreath form a huge long while back, but then could never figure out what to do with it. 

<Update> You do not need to have one of these forms!  You can fashion a wire hanger into a circle, cut out a circle from an ice-cream bucket, anything.  Get creative!

The yarn I bought from Goodwill when Emma had a kitty cat party and we hung yarn from the ceiling...I got a trash bag of yarn for $2.00.  Not bad for yarn I never really had a use for...until now!

 So I wrapped the yarn around the hoop thing (was that some type of pioneer game?  No?)  for what felt like a kajillion nights of tv.  until the darn thing was done. 

By the way, I know you're loving my utensils on pajama pants are hot, let me tell ya. 

 Then I simply free-styled some felt hearts and hot glued those puppies on.  Just felt pieces I had left over from other projects. 

I hung it with some sweet lace that Nick's Aunt gave us.  I love when people bring me huge boxes of remnants and say "here"  LOVE's like a treasure!

So voila!  Look around and see what you can create today!  Has anyone made any fun (and maybe cheap) crafts for Heart Day???