How Would a Tiny House Change You?

Post by: Kelly Murphy

How would living in a tiny house change your life? Or more specifically a Tiny Texas House? If you would care to express your ideas on the subject-that of tiny house living, here is your chance! Check out the contest over at Tiny Texas Houses. I am adding the link so you can check out all the pictures and information. And if you feel like writing about it, there is an essay contest going on, too!

Here is the link

The winner of the essay contest will win a one of a kind Tiny Texas House.

Brad Kittel is the owner of the website and is keen on the concept of sustainability. He doesn’t just build small houses, but small houses made purely with salvage materials.  Check it out!

And if you care to comment on how living in a tiny house would change you, please do! Talk about minimalism!

Tips on Preparing Your Teenager for the First Day Back to School

Post by: Kelly Murphy

For many, the first day of school is a stressful, but exciting time. Listed are a few ideas on how to make the transition easier:

The day before….

If your child walks to school, walk the route she/he will be taking, with her/him  to familiarize both of you with the areas or cross walks you want him or her to take, and chart the time it will take to get to school. This will help your  teens know exactly when he or she will need to be walking out the door of your house, not just when she or he should arrive at school.

If possible, visit the school beforehand to familiarize her/him with the school. Do a walk-through of the class schedule to alleviate anticipation of getting lost, or being late to class.  This is especially important if this is a new school for your child.

Locate each classroom he/she will be attending. This helps reduce any embarrassment or stress many junior high students may feel and helps with time management.

Locate her/his locker.

Next, complete any tasks which can be done the night before.  Some of these may include, but are not limited to:

Shower/Bathe  (Any shaving, nail painting, or hair-washing should be to previously completed to make for a less-stressful and speedy departure.)

Go to bed early.   A teenager may not actually go to sleep early, but it will provide time to unwind, listen to favorite music, and relax.

Spend 20 minutes with your teen. Be open to encourage and listen about any concerns or comments.

Lay  out clothes (Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C (if girls)

Pack the lunch or snacks and refrigerate.

Pack and place school bag with essential supplies by the front door, or the car trunk  (if you are taking all school supplies at once).

Put a note on the school bag, or front door reminding you to get the lunch out of the refrigerator!

Charge cell phone

Share a blessing, encouragement, or a prayer with your teen. Let her/him know you can’t wait to hear how great her day will be when you see or talk to each other the  in the evening.

The morning of the first day of school:

  • Get up a little early
  • Allow a 15-minute warning before walking out the door.
  • Make sure you and your teen eat a simple and nutritious breakfast! (Yes, even a granola or cereal bar is nutritious!)
  • Smile, hug, and kiss your teenager before she/he leaves. (They may not love it, but you will feel much better).
  • Say a prayer for your teen. This can be done aloud or silently. Even having a moment of silence but standing there with your hands on your teen will be good.  (Again, they may not love it, but you will feel much better.  P.S. Do this before you leave the house, and not in the school parking lot. You may love it but they won’t feel better).
  • Be willing to listen when she/he gets home!

Now, get out there, and have a great first day back to school!

Share your comments below!

6 Savey Ideas for Back to School!

Post: by Kelly Murphy


I have some ideas on this subject and here they are: .

1. Basics only– Get only what you need.  Shot an email to the teacher, or make a phone call to the school and ask for what must be purchased before Christmas. I have found that so many of the school supplies goes on clearance about September, very inexpensively. Now get the rest of the list.

2. Lunch Boxes, and Backpacks. Reuse last year’s backpack!  I got lucky this year , because my daughter’s school doesn’t allow backpacks, but it would have been fine for her to reuse the one she had. (Then shop for clearance for next year’s in September!)

3.Grab this year’s school supply list off of the internet, or at a sponsoring dept store, and next years’ also. When things go on clearance stock up!

4. Calculators, Again find out EXACTLY when they will be used, (email the teacher) and see if you can delay until it goes on sale. ( My 7th grader had to purchase a certain calculator for PreAlegebra, and didn’t actually use it until Christmas).  I was able to buy it on sale, which saved us about $11 on a $115 calculator. When you’re living on a shoestring, anything helps! )

5. Clothes… Can you say thrift stores? Uniforms.  Email friends, post to Facebook,  Freecycle… whatever. If you have to purchase them @ the store, only buy 3 coordinating shorts, pants, and shirts. It works.

6. Tax-exempt day… For some this is a way to save but if you keep an eye out for clearance stuff this year, you won’t have to go through the rush of the tax-exempt day crowd.  If you are brave enough, here is a link for all U.S. states….. (P.S. This link is daughter’s father’s contribution to school supply support, money not included. Very helpful K.B. Thanks.)


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