thrive

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Matt and I decided to create Homemade Sugar Cookies in a Jar for our family members this Christmas.  And, being the responsible gift-givers that we are, we knew we should test the recipe before sending the cookies out.  And I am happy to say we found a winner.  These...

Homemade Sugar Cookie Mix in a Jar

Matt and I love to create a homemade gift for our family members each year, but I have been away at school during the week and so busy that I did not think we would be successful.  But I was inspired by a gift they sell at Disney - a Mickey gingerbread kit, complete...

Graduation!!

It has been a very exciting, yet very long, three years.  About four years ago we had the idea that perhaps Matt should go back to school to finish his engineering degree.  He started out majoring in engineering before switching to business, so he had completed most...

Your Budget: How to Save Money on Furniture

I recently learned from a friend that one of my favorite furniture consignment shops is going out of business, so I was inspired to write a guide to purchasing furniture on a budget.  Furniture is dear to my heart.  When we were first married we could not afford...

One Of The Most Important Decisions You Will Face

Matt is graduating with a second Bachelors degree on May 1.  That is 38 days away.  Not that we are counting.  This is one of the most exciting times in our lives and we face many important decisions in the future.  Looking back over the past 8-1/2 years I see the...

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today is the primary election here in Florida (and a few other states as well).  If you, like me, find politics somewhat stressful, then you should have a cookie - specifically, an amazing Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie.  While chocolate chip cookies cannot fix...

Laundry Room Organization

There were two aspects of our house that drew us to it: the first was that the original owners were the builders and they carefully customized it, taking great pride in its design and construction.  The second was that the house was full of unexpected 45-degree...

The Graceful Kitchen: Supermarket Meal in a Flash

Keeping your house in order and your budget in line can be difficult.  One of my goals is to limit the time I spend in some areas of my life to free up time for other things I might be interested in.  And one of those areas where I try to limit my time spent as much...

The Two Important Life Rules

When Matt and I first got married, we had no money to our names and over $100,000 in student loan debt.  Our monthly payments were so high that we lived in a 10 x 14 efficiency on my parents’ property while we were trying to make our payments.  We bounced around after...

6 Question to Ask Before You Start a DIY Renovation

Are you doing a home renovation project this year?  Deciding between doing it yourself or hiring a contractor?  Hiring a contractor is expensive compared to doing it yourself, and it’s not twice as expensive: it’s often three to five times more expensive for even...

2016: New Year New You

Admittedly, Matt and I are not big on New Years Resolutions.  If it was important enough to change, it was usually important enough to change immediately.  However, we have found that a few minor changes we have made over the years have made a big difference in our...

Mamma Mag’s Scotch Shortbread

Matt and I were able to visit my grandmother a week before she passed, and we had a fun hour talking with her about old times, new times, and our favorite shared interests.  One thing we discussed was her famous Scotch Shortbread cookies.  I was dying to know where...

Margaret Johnson: A Legacy of Grace

My grandmother passed away yesterday and I am still surprised at how much grief I feel at her loss. She was a beautiful, kind woman who loved deeply and gave graciously to everyone she met. I was blessed to spend a lot of time with her during my childhood and...

Have a Graceful Christmas

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!  We are joyfully celebrating the birth of Christ this warm (and muggy) Florida morning.  We are so grateful for our families and all that we have.  We are most grateful for the gift of Christ.  Enjoy this lovely day and have a...

Christmas Traditions: Swedish Kringler

Every family has special traditions over the holidays and I love learning about how other families celebrate. We had the opportunity to celebrate the first day of Hanukkah this year and we really enjoyed it. So I thought I would share one of our family’s Christmas...

Homemade S’mores Mix

Do you enjoy making gifts for friends and family? Are you looking for a last minute DIY gift that won’t take hours in the kitchen? I was inspired by a recent trip to Walt Disney World where I saw the cutest gingerbread cookie kit. It included a gingerbread mix (only...

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