My Blogging Identity Crisis

Hi friends!!

I’m going to be completely upfront with you and admit that I’m having an identity crisis as a blogger.  Truth is, I have been pondering a complete refocus of The New Lighter Life for a couple of years now.

Blogging Identity Crisis

Whether you’re a blogger or not, maybe you feel or have felt the same way I do…






You’ve settled into trying to be like everyone else…you’re going through the motions…gag me please!

Instead of producing meaningful work that makes you cry…or fires you up…you’re in the mundane. And it sucks the life right out of you.


Rather than stay on THAT crazy train, I’ve decided to step off and write about things that actually matter to me. I will no longer focus on creating Pinterest-worthy content. Or keyword heavy posts that Google loves.  I’m done.

I get it, there is marketing associated with blogs and they are a formidable means to make an income. (And some do an absolutely amazing job at it!!) But that is no longer MY focus.  I simply can’t be passionate about it and I refuse to pretend I can be.

I will still be publishing posts that are recipes or DIYs, but going forward I will be vulnerable to talk about issues that are closer to my heart as well.  Essentially, I will use MY voice more…express my personality, passion, and opinion.

AND I absolutely promise to be entirely unmotived by my blogging income, page rank, or any desire to please the masses.  My motivation is to be true to what is brewing in my heart.

I’ll end today by thanking you, dear reader, for bearing with me as I navigate my blogging identity crisis.

Many many blessings!!

Why Adults Should be Coloring

So I realize I’m late to the party…but I must admit, I stuck my nose up at the idea of adults coloring.  If you are over the age of 14 and not coloring, today I’m going to make a case for why you should be coloring. ASAP.


I’ve seen these coloring books around for months and I chalked it up as silliness.  Like really…who has time to color?!  You see in these highly responsible life of schedules, goals, work, and projects there is absolutely no time for such a frivolous activity.  Or so I thought.

Here’s the deal…


About a month ago, I was on my way to D.C. with my dear friend, Nicole.  She had all sorts of activity books for the flight.  I thumbed my nose at the idea.  Until we got up in the air.  I’m furiously working on some Photoshop edits and I look over to see her just enjoying her flight.  Whaaaa?

By the end of our 1st flight, I was doing one of her dot-to-dots, (which is a whole other blog post). Ha!

I eventually moved over to her coloring book and heavens to Betsy!!

I. Was. Hooked.


Every flight after, the flight attendants stopped to talk to us about adult coloring. It was like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Coloring Books.  Okay…not really but I’m telling you, there is some major bonding over coloring.

I picked up this gorgeous little coloring book in the airport and I adore it!


You can buy it here, from Amazon.  There are loads and loads of neat coloring books but what I like about this one in particular is that it has inspirational quotes and scriptures throughout, perforated sheets, and one-sided designs, (perfect for coloring with markers).

Here is my case for them…

Why Adults Should be Coloring

  1. Diminishes Stress.  Let’s face it, as a whole, we are stressed out!  And you know how I’m in time management mode?  Well more than anything, I notice that my friends are also running around ragged.  We will never have enough time to do everything.  Coloring is so very relaxing and is super for getting rid of stress.
  2. Bonding Opportunity.  My kids love to color but I rarely feel satisfaction or desire to color Elsa or Strawberry Shortcake.  With my adult coloring book, I look for excuses to get to color with them.  We talk, laugh, and just plain enjoy our time together where I’m fully engaged with them.
  3. Decorations.  With the right coloring book, you can really create some beautiful pictures with basically no skill whatsoever.  I have a few I’m planning to frame.
  4. Vision & Fine Motor Skills.  How many of us sit at a computer, (or in front of our smartphones) for much of the day? I know I do and that doesn’t help my vision.  Coloring not only helps vision but also fine motor skills.  Yay!!
  5. Low Cost.  You can buy fancy books, pencils, & markers for coloring but it can also be very minimal cost to get all those amazing benefits if you’re on a budget.

Adults Coloring Books

And on that last point, I have amassed a few *ahem* (okay a ridiculous amount) of adult coloring resources on my pinterest board if you’d like to see some of the jewels I’ve found.

Kicked Up Steak Rub

I LOVE a good steak but this kicked up steak rub recipe is so yummy and spicy – it’ll knock your socks off! But before I go there…

Somehow almost a whole year has passed since I posted to this blog! That was one serious hiatus!

Good news is…it’s over!!  And I’m back to regular posting.

Spicy Steak Rub SeasoningKicked Up Steak Rub

For my celebratory post back, I’m sharing with you our very favorite steak rub.  We used to eat steaks out at restaurants, but this rub is so good, I rarely even want a restaurant steak anymore.  This is far better than some of the upscale steaks we’ve had out.  It’s our absolute favorite!  I got this from a friend years ago, and we’ve made it ever since!

It is fantastic!
It is tasty!
It will kick you in the hiney!

Spicy Steak Rub

My kids, who do not like spicy foods, even like this rub but I use less rub for their steak.


Adjust the amount of the rub to you preference.


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander


Mix the spices in a bowl.  Sprinkle mixture over steak. Rub the seasoning into the steak. Flip, repeat for the other side.  Grill steaks according to your preferences.

Spicy Steak Rub Recipe

Click the image below to print this recipe.

Kicked Up Steak Rub Recipe


Classical Conversations ~ Review Fishing Game

This easy Classical Conversations review Fishing game was a hit with my Abecedarian kids!  Bonus is this game is quick and easy to make!  Branches, hot glue gun, scrap yarn, safety pins, magnets, and some “fish” are all you need.

Easy Go Fishing Review GameThe whole project starts with some tree sticks.  I cut off the “nubs” and rough edges on the stick and then sanded all those edges smooth.

Next I tied some yarn to the end with a double knot and a dab of hot glue.

Glueing the String to the Easy Go Fishing GameAfter you glue the strain gtonto the end, it’s best to wrap the string or yarn around the end to secure it further.  You can add some extra glue for the yarn to adhere to.

Cut the yarn the appropriate length then tie a knot on the end.  Attach it to a magnet
and sandwich another magnet to the other side of the string.

Sandwich the Magnets together to form the end of the fishing line for Go Fishing Game


Now for my “fish”…I found this sweet little fish sheet online.  They do print out smaller on an 8.5″ X 11” sheet.  Mine were printed larger but that was in error.  The fish for printing are here: Fish Game


I made mine one-sided and laminated them for durability.  Then on the backside I wrote the review subject.  Since we have 7 subjects, I took 1 of the fish and wrote, “Go Again!” so one lucky student gets another turn.

Now to make the “fish” magnetic, I simply attached a safety pin to the mouth end.  You can slip the safety pin to the end and don’t have to make a hole in the “fish”.  I chose to go this rout instead of paper clips because they stay on there much stronger.

That’s it!  Super simple and like I said, the kids loved it!


Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 1 ~ Wrap Up

We made a dramatic change in our homeschooling this year!  We started Classical Conversations a few weeks ago and today I’m excited to share what we did for Cycle 3 Week 1 at home and as an Abecedarian tutor.

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 1 Wrap Up

For all you Abecedarian tutors, hopefully my ideas (many gleaned from others) are helpful.

For class we followed the basic format of….

Say > Children Repeat > Motions or Point (for Geography) > All together with song


I used my big Hand Pointer to help highlight the state on the  United States Scrunch Map.  This map is also available at Hobby Lobby (and it is less expensive especially with a 40% off coupon).

The children sat at their table and pointed to personal size maps with a expo marker while we sang.

I printed and laminated blown up maps of the Northeastern portion of the U.S.  Make sure to explain that this portion of the U.S. is  part of the big U.S. map.  My map came from here. (awesome site for all printable maps)

(at home) Besides review, we covered blob mapping the U.S. Fun!!!

Our Blob Map of the U.S.


I had my timeline cards on the magnetized board and they were displayed until we finished with the Timeline.

We said and did the motions for timeline card #1 > #1 & #2 > #1, #2, & #3, etc.

Lots of repetition!

(at home) We put our labels on our homemade Accordion Fold Timeline from Half a Hundred Acre Wood.


Basic Format.  Since the Abecedarians are mostly non-readers, I started incorporating hand drawn pictures on my whiteboard week 3.

(at home) The Story of the World: Vol. 3, Chapter 1.

English Grammar

I used the English song for week one from the user, “marykbry”.  LOVE her song and so did the children!

(at home) I printed some sentences off for my older children to identify the infinitives.  Simple.


We chanted the Latin grammar this week and listened to another one of marykbry’s songs during review.  To get the kids feet moving, we stomped our feet. (the song was a huge hit though so I decided to do song for the new grammar portion as well next week.


We sang the math skip counting songs and passed bean bags around the circle.  I didn’t have bean bags for everyone so this was a bit of a mess and confusing for the kids.


Basic Format.

Fine Arts

We covered Oils and the children practiced.  Afterwards the children played a Crazy Critter Dice Game from Expressive Monkey.  They loved it and came up with some cute critters.  During review, we also played with OiLs on the board and the kids were able to demonstrate the elements of drawing on the board.

(at home) The kids and I went through this art lesson on how to draw an owl.  My kids are still drawing owls almost a month later.

Science Experiement

In class we followed Miss Wizzle’s lab sheet. (Wonderful resource available from CC Connected uploaded by user: loriberlie)

Review Tool

I didn’t make this but it’s SO worth sharing! This Cycle 3 Memory Work Flip Book is so handy and convenient.  It comes from user “melodystroud” on CC Connected. Check it out!

Album for Memory Work

For the album you can just use a cheap album with 24 pockets for inserts.  Perfect for 24 weeks of CC. This particular album is 36 pages which gave me some extra pages to add info later.

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Memory Work Flip BookIs this NOT adorable!?

Classical Conversations Memory WorkBecause we are learning the songs this year, I can not seem to remember the tune for skip counting. SOLUTION: tape a post it note flag and label the songs.  SO much easier!

This booklet has gotten tons of use already.  I bring it in my purse to review on the go.  And I use it for review in my class.

That wraps up our Week 1 of Classical Conversations. Next time around I’ll share some of my review games for my Abecedarian kids too.


This post has been shared at the CC Weekly Link-Up. Click below to see some more great ideas for week 1.
Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

New Posts Coming Right Up!

I haven’t posted in an embarrassingly long time, over 5 months in fact!  Ugh!  Groan!

At least I left you Deep Fried Dill Pickles.

Without the peculiarity of living in an RV, I struggled to share something worthwhile besides all the food we’ve been eating. There has been some yummy grub going down our gullets let me tell you!

But I DO have posts to share!

  • Food.  We are still eating.  And I have several original recipes to put up that we LOVE!!
  • Homeschooling.  We have begun our first year of Classical Conversations and I am tutoring the Abecedarians. Eeek!!  I LOVE it! (and I’m scared to death of it – ha!) But I’ll recap our week and hopefully help other Abecedarian tutors.
  • Crafty. We’ve been crafting a little bit and I’m excited to share some of projects.

And there is more in store… stay tuned…

Moving on Up…Errr…Over

I’ve been on a huge blogging break. An unintentional one really, but life happens.

We’ve been busy. Actually too busy!

I won’t go into all that but I wanted to share that we’ve moved!! Mark accepted a permanent position in San Antonio.

san antonio

We use to live in the Alamo City and we’re so excited to be back here.  Who’d of thunk. I sure didn’t when we moved away over 3 years ago.

I’m not sure what our lives will look like here.   We are still in the RV, but the plan is to hang up our RV keys and stay here permanently.  That’s a whole different post for an entirely different time. In summary, an opportunity presented itself here in San Antonio that was too good to refuse.

I’m hoping to get back to regular blogging, but I have 2 weeks left of my college class and I’m super busy with many other projects.

Thank you all for bearing with me through this crazy-hectic time in our lives.