$2 DIY: Faux Succulent

I’m back with another DIY. I mentioned in my previous DIY post that I am not much of a DIYer. That is still true, but it hasn’t kept me from trying (very simply) to create nice items for a small cost. Dollar Tree is almost always my go-to when I am trying to keep the cost down.

At a recent trip to the Dollar Tree I found a faux succulent. I have purchased a couple of these in the past and found another after a few months of not finding any in the store.


The white has a nice clean look to it and is a complete upgrade from the ugly brown containers they previously sold, but I was leaning towards a different look.

My answer to change the look of the container? Duct tape! Do you sense a trend? I used duct tape in my previous DIY, too. I found a very cool duct tape design and thought it would be perfect for this project.


The tape totally caught my eye with its basket weave/burlap look. It’s so fun to find so many unique duct tape designs at the Dolllar Tree.

I cut pieces of the tape and carefully placed them around the sides of the white container. There was some overlap, but I worked slowly and smoothed corners and edges.

The end result was not perfect (but I’m not going for perfect). I was happy with the final result.


What about you? Have you attempted any DIY projects recently?

Until next time,


How we handle all that Halloween candy


Who doesn’t love candy? Well, I’m sure plenty of people don’t love candy, but I don’t know any of those people personally. There are so many tasty, awesome variations of candy that you’re bound to find something you love. The love of candy is what makes Halloween so exciting for so many young people (and their parents who enjoy partaking from the collection). The amount of candy collected on Halloween can be overwhelming (and unnecessary). Can we say “cavities”? How should we, as parents, handle all this Halloween candy?

A few years ago a friend shared an idea that has totally shaped the way we handle candy in our home. Each of our children has a small plastic container. In this container they are able to put as much candy as they can fit. All other candy is put in the freezer, given away or thrown out. They can partake from their container when given permission. If another event comes up during the year and they receive candy, they can choose to swap out something “old” from their container with something new.


We have been doing this with our children for years, so it’s really all they know. They don’t fight us on it; they are actually quite excited to take their extra large stash, choose their favorites, and place them in their containers.

I hear a lot of parents grumbling about the amount of candy in their homes post-Halloween. If you don’t have a problem with your child finishing a pillowcase full of candy in a week, then this idea is not for you. If you are feeling, though, like you are drowning in candy and need a simple solution, might I suggest you consider this idea.

What about you? How do you handle all the Halloween candy?

Until next time,


My Photo of the Week


In a recent post I shared 5 simple meals and included the snacky dinner.  The snacky dinner is definitely one of my kids’ favorite options.  We don’t have this all the time, but it is an easy occasional option for our family. Search through your cupboards and refrigerator and pull together a simple, tasty plate of food. Pictured above: crackers, slices of cheese, pepperoni, apples with peanut butter, cucumbers, and craisins.

Living a Full Life without the Busy

full life

It might be normal to come to the conclusion that if someone is embracing the not so busy life that she is spending a lot of her time doing a whole lot of nothing. A life spent (or not spent) doing a whole lot of nothing, though, is not the life of the not so busy mom. Although I don’t want to live a life marked by running around crazy busy, I do want to embrace this life and live this life with purpose. I have chosen to consider how I might let go of the busy and instead live a full life.

If you take a look at a typical week on my calendar you will see appointments, activities and other commitments. If you look in my notebook you will see to-do lists and cleaning schedules. I have things (and sometimes lots of things) going on in my life. I call it a full life. It’s a life that is lived with intention. It’s a life that I don’t want to waste. It’s a life in which and with which I want to honor God.

Perhaps you have recently wondered where all your time is going. Maybe you sign up for things or make commitments without much consideration. Perhaps you have a hard time saying “no” to people. Perhaps your car time far outweighs your home time. Maybe you’re doing certain things because you think that’s just what everyone else does. Maybe you just want to be done with all the crazy busy.

I would invite you to start evaluating your commitments and activities. Now is the time to start considering what areas of your life are too busy and might need a bit of a makeover. Living a full life without the busy can begin now and continue to be a pattern moving forward.

What about you? Are you looking for ways to live a full life without the busy?

Until next time,


4 Traits of the Not So Busy Mom

Perhaps you are ready to move past a lot of the busy in your life. Maybe you’re tired of running here, there and everywhere, tired of squeezing in just one more thing, tired of feeling like you have to do it all; maybe you’re just plain tired. Life doesn’t have to be (and I don’t believe it needs to be) about being busy. As you consider letting go of the busy life and embracing the full life, reflect on and implement some of the traits and habits of the not so busy mom.
1. The not so busy mom lets go of perfection. Perfection in this world is unattainable, but how often do we beat ourselves up because we didn’t perform or produce perfectly? I think we do it far too often. Letting go of perfection and allowing ourselves to simply do our best or maybe even fail is good, normal and human. It’s important to put forth our best effort, to make progress, to set goals, to climb those high mountains. It’s even more important to realize that our worth is not tied up in what we do. The not so busy mom knows that striving for perfection will just add to the craziness and the busyness. The not so busy mom lets go of perfection.
2. The not so busy mom lets go of the need to impress. We can easily get caught up trying to impress those around us. This desire to impress can eat at us and consume us. We want our extended family to be impressed with our Thanksgiving menu. We want our friends to be impressed with the cleanliness of our home. We want our neighbors to be impressed with our new pool. We want our Facebook friends to be impressed with our family vacations. It goes on and on. It is exhausting. The not so busy mom knows she can’t impress everyone all the time. The not so busy mom knows she shouldn’t try to or want to impress everyone all the time.
3. The not so busy mom considers her priorities. When you have considered and named your priorities, you find that your schedule, activities and day to day choices begin to fall into place. So many things call to us begging for our time and energy. Some of these things are good. Some of these things are bad. Some may fall somewhere in between. The not so busy mom considers her priorities, so that her day is not full of the meaningless but the meaningful.
4. The not so busy mom plans ahead. Hours can get away from us. Days can get away from us. Even weeks can get away from us. Planning ahead helps our hours, days and weeks run more smoothly. Planning ahead allows us to make time for people in the midst of the daily, mundane tasks. Planning ahead allows us to live a full life.

As you consider moving past the busy, see if these are 4 traits that you presently exhibit or perhaps they are traits you are looking to develop. The not so busy mom is so much more than these 4 traits, but this is a good starting point.

What about you? Are you exhibiting or developing any of these traits?

Until next time,


Quick tip: Use Audio Books to End Car Squabbles

It’s time for another quick tip! This is one I have been implementing with success for the last few months. The tip?! Use audio books to end car squabbles.

We have often listened to audio books on long car trips, but I recently decided to use them on short drives around town. My children were squabbling a lot, and I wanted to figure out a way to lessen this (often) daily occurrence. Audio books came to mind, and I decided to see if listening to them as we ran errands, drove to church, or headed to our friend’s house would make a difference. Thankfully, it did make a very positive difference. The children are doing a lot less squabbling, and we are all enjoying some great books!

Here are two audio books we have recently listened to and have thoroughly enjoyed:

Henry Huggins

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

What about you? Do you like to listen to audio books in the car?

Until next time,


(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through these links.)