art for homeschooling

Homeschool Art Fun: an addition to our day

Today I wanted to share with you all a fun addition to our day for our homeschooling schedule.
If you are like me then this end of winter almost spring time is a hard season to keep our momentum for school work going… so we have been needing to shake things up a bit!

Enter a Youtube channel we quickly fell in love with! SideNote: We are very careful with our use of Youtube with the kids, in fact at this point this new channel is the only one the kids are allowed to watch right now, because it is way to easy to stumble upon unhealthy things on youtube! But, with some wisdom and a lot of parental control Youtube can be a great resource!

Our charter school teacher told us about this channel.

It’s called Art for Kids Hub!


You guys, this family has a lot of fun on this website/channel!!! It’s a Dad who has a blast teaching his kids art! On the website you’ll find drawing, painting, sculpting, origami, cutout projects. And if this is something your little artist really gets into you can buy a membership for lessons that seem even more detailed and learning based then the videos we’ve already watched.


So far William has only followed some of the drawing videos.. “mr hubs” draws an object or character one step at a time and one of his kids follows along. It’s easy to following along too! And they just have so much fun together, I’ve found myself stopping to watch and laugh along with them!


AND so important for this momma… most of the lesson require NO PREP and are self-contained, so you can watch them in any order… or like William has been doing, search for ones that interests your little artist most!

Here’s their website:

And we are discovering our little guy is a budding little artist!!!


check out some of his first drawings!


here’s a list of awesome art supplies to get you started!



And don’t forget to subscribe to our new friends channel for lots of artistic fun!


Do you feel like your momentum is lacking this time of year? I know I’m having to get pretty creative to keep us going these days… hope this helps you as much as it has us!


Here’s another fun art activity we did with a salad spinner!

Crafty Art for Homeschooling

Instant Pot accessories

So, you have an Instant Pot now! Yay!!

So you are either super excited and ready to make anything and everything OR you feel a bit intimidated and wondering why you insisted on following this instant pot fad…

well, either way, This post is for you! You don’t NEED accessories to make a lot of things in the Instant Pot but there are some super handy and fun accessories to help from anything from basic meals to fancy desserts!!

Also, if you are new to the Instant Pot, I hope you’ll explore this blog a bit to help you feel more comfortable (or just give you some good ideas to try) like my recipe search engines (most of them are Instant Pot ones) or this very first  review from when I got my first Instant Pot!!!


So here is a list of some awesome accessories:

   (These are affiliate links with Amazon.. shopping through them helps support this blog with out adding any extra cost to you. Thanks!)


Instant Pot liner – A second stainless steel liner can be really useful!

Here’s a 6 qrt stainless, 6 qrt ceramic, 8 qrt ceramic

Spring Form Pan – cheese cakes, brownies, lasagna

Steamer basket – veggies (makes pulling them out even easier)

Also these ikea steamers fit 3 in at once!!!  These are cheaper at Ikea if you have one near you!!

Extra sealing rings – the colored options make it possible to have a designated savory//sweet ring. to avoid cross contamination and smells. Genuine IP rings

  • Be advised, using sealing rings that aren’t from Instant Pot will make your warranty void.

glass lid – use whenever not cooking under pressure – popcorn, saute’ setting etc.

silicone lid– great for when you want to transfer your whole liner into the fridge, like when you are making yogurt.

Red Instant Pot Mitts and oven gloves – ever need to grab your liner or the bowl you have inside the liner (pip cooking) when it’s still hot? yeah me too.. these save your fingers!!!

ramekins – personal cheesecakes ( you can use mason jars too!)

Stackable steamers – great for doing your whole meal at once!!

Egg mold – like the popular Starbucks egg bites but at home!

cover If you want to keep it on the counter but covered! 🙂


I will be adding to this list as time goes on.


  • I do have a LOT of accessories for my Instant pots.. but I have not personally tried all of these.. by the description I believe all these to fit and work well in the IP. Happy shopping!


Don’t have an Instant Pot yet?  Jump on the party train and get one today!! 🙂


freezer meal prep

Freezer Cooking Made Simple A Year later

Freezer Cooking Made Simple

– My Review of Once A Month meals – 1 year later.


I’ve been using my Once A Month Meals membership to stock our freezer for a year now!! And still absolutely LOVE it!

                    This post may contain affiliate links, Shopping through my links supports                                    my blog at no cost to you, Thanks for shopping and always know that any thoughts or reviews posted on Love and Scribbles are completely my own!


I started looking into a membership when I was new to the Instant Pot and wanted to find more ways to use it, You can read my first review here!

But, you don’t even need an Instant Pot to take advantage of the amazing resources from Once A Month Meals


Here’s a list of the cook types for the cooking day and the serving day:

freezer cooking prep list

once a month meals cooking





Now, every month I make 20-30 dinners for our freezer. Plus, some lunches and breakfasts too!

Once A Month Meals has been adding new features, tons of new recipes, and special menus so membership just keeps getting better!

Here is just a few of their new menus:

Winter Real Food Freezer Menu

Winter Gluten Free Dairy Free Menu

Instant Pot Winter (Whole 30 Compliant) Easy Assembly Menu

Paleo Freezer Meal ( Whole 30 Compliant) volume 13

Fall Instant Pot Easy Assembly Mini Menu


You can check out all of these amazing menu options:


freezer cooking made simple





I know I’ve said this before, But the resources available to you as a member with Once  A Month Meals are outstanding!  In fact I do not hesitate to say that I would have never attempted freezer cooking for a whole month with out them!

You get these awesome customizable Menus that have been masterly crafted to consider time, effort, cost etc. (you select how many servings each meal makes too!)

You can easily swap recipes that do not appeal to you or even just build your own menu from the many recipes listed.

You get a detailed Grocery Shopping List (we are talking down to the ounces people!!)

The Prep list takes all the guessing out of what to do with all those groceries once you are home. And then the Cooking Day Instructions give you a step by step guide to stock your freezer!

Labels are at the ready for your bags or containers before you stick them in the freezer ( these labels even have the serving day instructions right on them!)

The Thaw Sheet is so handy ( I keep mine in my household planner binder) for deciding what to pull out of the freezer each night! Only have 30 minutes to get dinner on the table?? well, then grab these Enchilada Meatballs, and have dinner from freezer to table in 20 minutes!!!

And Recipe Cards for every recipe in your menu.


Seriously, Once A Month Meals has CHANGED how I do dinner! In fact I have stopped in the middle of writing this post to plop in our dinner from the freezer and in just about 1 hours time, our dinner is almost ready and I’ll pack away this computer and we can sit down to eat… just like that!

We are having Granny’s Italian beef tonight with mashed potatoes!



I just bought these baggy openers from Amazon.. They are super handy!!

Amazon baggie holder freezer cooking made simple

Here are some great tools for prepping and freezer your meals:

Products from

Those 64 oz containers are the perfect size to freeze meals for the Instant Pot…  So the food fits perfectly inside the liner of your Pot.

And don’t forget to use Wal-Mart’s free grocery Pick up to get your groceries for the month! Here’s $10 off your first order and my review of the free service, we actually use it weekly!

Have you ever prepared freezer meals before? What’s the most intimidating part of the process for you?


home planner binder

New Year Binder Planner

How do you prepare for the New Year?

I thought I’d share some of my favorite ways I get my planner, household binder ready for the New Year since 2018 is coming up quick!

Also, I’d love to share how I prepare my heart and our family’s goals for the coming year, so read on if you are already thinking on into January! 🙂

I know EVERYTHING is turning to technology and it really is amazing.

We use a calendar app on our phones that links my husband and I together, which is so helpful when we aren’t at home. But I am still very old school when it comes to how much I LOVE binders and to do lists and such.

I’ve had a master house hold binder for a few years and every year it changes a bit. You really want to personalize it the way you need it to work for you. And those needs change as your family grows and changes.

home management binder

A couple years ago I had a section dedicated to pre-school and what I wanted to accomplish with the boys. That isn’t really necessary now that we are in a charter school and it is all kept either online or included in our curriculum.

There are lot of beautiful planners out there, ready-made and some customization if you are wanting to just order something. But building my own with printables here at home has really worked for me!

You really need to think about what you want to use your binder for.. what are some of the goals you want it to help you reach… and what areas do you need to stay organized in? is seriously the best of both worlds in that you can get a complete and pretty extensive planner BUT you still print at home for the best customization possible, you only print what you want to use, so you aren’t left with a binder that doesn’t work for you! Isn’t that great? and just look at how beautiful these pages are??!!!

Check out all the pages included in the Ultimate Life Planner! 

Here’s the description for the ultimate life planner:

“Using the My Life Planner is the best way to declutter your mind, develop rock solid habits, and crush your goals! The planner includes everything you need to stay organized throughout the entire year! Mix and match these planner pages with the pages in The Ultimate Blog Planner and you’ll be nothing but unstoppable this year! “

2018 Life Planner - 

Look at what all is included in the advanced package of the ultimate Life Planner:

The planner includes 50 meticulously designed pages of organizational goodness! Here’s a look at what you’ll receive:  

to do list planner page printables

 This really has everything and more that I’m looking for in a planner

 I would have never thought about tracking things like my workouts in a designated area.. how motivating will it be to see it all filling up!??!

First thing in my binder is always the monthly calendar pages!

I find that even though I have a calendar updated on my phone all the time.. it is nice to just see a whole month in front of me!

There’s also some weekly reminder pages, to do lists.. etc.

Usually every year I will print a couple of something new like a to do list or weekly schedule or something and give it a test run before I print very  many of them.

Cleaning schedules are helpful too and you can have an entire section dedicated to it. Things like those chores that need only to be done once a month or twice a year…

This year I’m adding a blog planner section to my binder ( I tried a seperate binder last year but I think it will work better to have it all in one) I am really trying to make 2018 be a great year for Loveandscribbles and I know I need to be more organized and scheduled.  I love how the pages on fit right in with the Life Planner!

The Ultimate Blog Planner

blog planner printables

Look what all comes in the blog planner:

You can get these 12 pages for FREE


  • 2018 Calendar
  • Undated Monthly Calendar
  • Undated Monthly Editorial Calendar


  • Post Brainstorming Guide
  • Post Topic Brainstorming
  • Weekly Post Planner


  • Weekly To-Do List
  • Blog To-Do List


  • Cover Page
  • Contacts
  • Usernames & Passwords
  • Blank Planner Page

Then the full package comes with all of these too:


  • Advertising Tracker
  • Facebook Advertising


  • Yearly Stats & Analytics
  • Blank Yearly Stats & Analytics – new!
  • Monthly Stat Tracker

    • Monthly Blogging Goals
    • Yearly Blogging Goals


    • Social Media Planner
    • Weekly Facebook Post Planner – new!
    • Weekly Instagram Post Planner – new!
    • Pinterest Post Planner – new!




















  • Email Campaign Tracker – new!
  • Automated Email Planner – new!
  • Email Campaign Planner – new!


  • Monthly Finance Tracker
  • Yearly Finance Tracker


  • Affiliate Programs
  • Giveaway Tracker
  • Sale Tracker
  • Sponsors
  • Change Record – new!
  • Printing Guide
  • Printing Instructions
  • Copyright & Terms

2018 Blog Planner - 

planner 2018

Binders, printables, and accessories are the simple things that help me feel like I can tackle the New Year!  And in complete nerd fashion.. Office supplies are some of my favorite things! 

It’s funny how a nice pen or pretty binder can motivate me to stay organzed or at least try! 

planner stickers

If you are still with me in this long blog post, thanks for sticking around! I hope some of these ideas and resources can be helpful for you as you head into 2018! 

Remember I said there was one more thing that I hoped to share about coming into the New Year. 


  I love to journal and I really love looking back at what we were doing on any given day a year, two, or even three years ago. 

One thing I’ve found to be super fun and motivating is to list our goals of the new year.. Both individually for each of us and as a whole family!  

I just found last years and really enjoyed looking at how much of the list we had actually accomplished.

Sometimes indivually goals are pretty practical (coming of age) sort of things. Like a boy needs to be potty trained or we need to say goodbye to pacifiers or something similar. I also like to try to think of fun goals too.. like maybe investing in an interest that we’ve noticed etc. 

Ryan and I might set goals regarding our budget or a goal to go on more dates, 

For family goals they tend to be mostly practical as well.. items we want to do to our home or adventures/trips we hope to have, 

Writing it all down on one sheet of paper, can really be fun to look at throughout the year to remind yourself of the big pictures. And if your kids are old enough you could even set these goals during a family meeting! And don’t worry if 2018 has already started when you are reading this.. It’s not to late to have a great year! 


Thanks for sticking with me on this long post.. I hope you have an awesome New Year and that 2018 is full of Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace,

Deanna Grace

Cyber Monday!




Just like that… we are at Cyber Monday weekend……. Here’s a small round up of some awesome deals!

This Post contains affiliate links.

Phillips Air Fryer

Philips Airfryer, The Original Airfryer with Bonus 150+ Recipe Cookbook, Fry Healthy with 75% Less Fat, Black HD9220/28

56% off!!

Car Vent Clip

Magnetic Air Vent Car Mount – For any Smartphone (iPhone 8, Android Cell Phone, GPS) | Stylish One-Hand & One-Sec Holder, +100 to Safeness & Comfort

54% off!

magnetic blocks

14 Piece Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set, Tints

up to 40% off!

smart lock

Kwikset 909 SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt featuring SmartKey

67% off!

Black and Decker tools

Up to 20% off Black and Decker tools!

Shop Gazelle’s Clearance Section for even deeper discounts on Certified Pre-Owned Devices

Sam's Club USA, LLC

Easy Sugar free fudge

Sugar Free! Sweetened Condensed Milk and Creamy Fudge

sugar free sweetened condensed mlikSugar free sweetened condensed Milk and Fudge!

Easy Sugar free fudge


Sugar free sweetened condensed milk and sugar-free fudge! Yep, It’s real and it’s so good!






The links in this post are affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, shopping through our links supports this blog! thanks!


Don’t be intimidated about the idea of making your own sweetened condensed milk! I looked through a few recipes and tips and I’ve made this three times now and it comes out perfectly every time!



First, I’d like to point out that the ingredient list is crazy simple!

sugar free sweetened condensed milk



Sugar free chocolate chips





Just three ingredients for delicious sweetened condensed milk!

  1. Cream
  2. Unsalted Butter
  3. Sweetener ( Here’s my recipe for the sweetener I use for everything!)

And for fudge all you add to the condensed milk is sugar-free chocolate chips!


For sweetener I use a blend of Stevia, Xylitol, and Erythritol But, you can use whatever sweetener you prefer!

Side note about sweetener: I haven’t said much about my sugar-free choices but I really love this combination of sweeteners,

they are natural and allow for no rise in your blood sugars!

My favorite Stevia is from Trim Healthy Mama, although you can also find many good choices of Stevia on Amazon or the grocery store. (Pyure is my favorite store brand these days)

and the others I order in bulk from Amazon! (click the linked names of each sweetener product for a direct link to the amazon product! ;))

The most helpful trick I have come across for making the sweetened condensed milk is using a large shallow pan. Like a large frying pan!

This makes the milk condense so much faster and gives you a beautiful thick and creamy product in about 20 minutes.


Start by putting 2 cups of cream, 2 TBSP of unsalted butter, and 1/3 a cup of sweetener ( may need to convert the amount of sweetener if you are using something different, my blend is some what of a super sweet blend. )

Condensed milk sugar free


Stir until dissolved and bring to a boil on medium to high heat.

Once boiling, simmer, stirring occasionally until condensed by about half and thick and bubbly. Should be about 15-20 minutes.


Cooking sugar free sweetened condensed milk

This will make about a cup to a cup and a half! seriouslysugar free sweetened condensed mlik LOOK at how creamy and thick this is??  (one note of caution…. no matter how badly you want to, Do Not lick the spoon and taste this right out of the hot pan.. you may or may not burn your tongue and regret it for the next two days! ?) But trust me, its soooo yummy!






Now to make fudge!!!

I love to make fudge right away while the milk is still hot. The chocolate chips melt right away and I can stick it in the freezer! Easy sugar free fudge


It’s a one to one ratio… so a cup of condensed milk and a cup of chocolate chips makes a full batch.

But if you are being weird and don’t want to eat the whole dish. (I guess it could happen?!) You could always make just half a cup and half a cup… or whatever you want!


You can also make it later by mixing the chocolate chips with the condensed milk and microwave in small increments, stirring in between each time until fully melted and blended together! Chill until hardened.


And then do your best to not stand at the counter ( or fridge) and eat the entire thing.. I’m not totally sure why that isn’t a good idea.. but we are supposed to resist the urge to do so.. I know, weird!  I just might have done this ( ok I didn’t eat the WHOLE thing) with a tub of peanut butter and a spoon… and I’m not going to say it was a bad idea! 🙂

Also, My friend Tiffani and I are dreaming all kinds of deliciousness like coconut flakes and nuts for the next time. And there will definitely be a next time!


I hope you try this recipe out and I hope you enjoy every sugar-free bite!


~ Deanna Grace



Love and Scribbles is part of several affiliate programs designed  to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to companies and products. Regardless of compensation, we only recommend products or services we use (or wish we owned) personally and believe will add value to our readers.


family beach time

How our family vacations for less than $300.00

Family vacations for less and how our family of 5 ( two adults and three littles) vacationed at South Lake Tahoe for under $300.00 this vacations for less


We haven’t been on very many vacations as a family since we started having kids. In fact up until this trip the only ones we’ve gone on all together included extended family! So, for the first time just the 5 of us packed up and headed out of town! Living on a budget means we needed to figure out how to have a family vacation for less, so here’s what we did!

Sidenote: after this first experience as the mom on vacation I really think we should come up with a new word for it. Because the role of “vacationing mom” is a lot of work and certainly doesn’t have the same calm, relaxing feelings as vacation without the family!

Anyways, it is totally worth all the work and we made wonderful memories! And actually I can’t wait to go again!


family vacation pic


For this trip we went to Lake Tahoe! It was a nice break from the valley heat and I just love that beautiful lake surrounded by trees and mountains!

Forest hike with our boys

We started by searching for hotels. There are lots of travel sites that help you find a good deal. A few of our favorite to search through are…


 Airbnb is fun because you can rent a whole house (or even just a room if that’s all you need) watch out for added fees though.      Great Prices and NO booking fees!

Vacations Made Easy  is nice because you can build a whole vacation package while booking your rooms!

There are soooo many sites to help plan a budget friendly trip. Travel zoo, Groupon, Living social, home away, and so many more, are all great!

* When looking through these sites be sure to look for any added taxes or fees. Also, to get more of a value for your money look for deals that include meal coupons, drink coupons and other extras!!

For this trip we chose Lakeside Inn and casino ( I liked that the rooms and the casino part were completely separate so our kids never even went through the gaming area!) It wasn’t fancy or anything but it was clean and we were able to get a room with two full size beds! family hotel vacation




This trip we were trying to not leave to big of a mark on our budget, and this is how we managed to keep the cost really low:


Read More

instant pot veggies

Calling all the veggies to the Instant pot

instant pot


Calling all the Veggies, “get in my Instant Pot!!!” 🙂

Steaming veggies in our “magic” pot is super simple!

This Post May Contain Affiliate links. Purchasing through them may result in compensation with no added cost to you.

Although it may be easy, I know all things Instant Pot were nerve-racking and intimidating for all of us at one time. So, I thought I would just quickly explain how I do it and of course you should try it and find exactly how you like it!


For most vegetables I would cook them in the Instant pot on the manual setting (high pressure) for 0 minutes! Yep! zero minutes! This means that it will come to pressure and then immediately be done. And always do a quick release to stop the cooking right away!  The only time I have it in the pot for any longer, is if it’s a little tougher veggie, but even then it’s usually just 1 or 2 minutes!

I’ll give a couple of examples:

First up let me show you these delicious, amazing brussels sprouts (No, I’m not even joking, they are my new favorite veggie)

Brussels sprouts

I adapted this to start in the Instant Pot and then finish in a pan (but actually you could saute in the pot, not sure why I didn’t think about that until now). The original recipe comes from my beautiful friend Tiffani Swain.


There are a few ways to put your veggies in the pot.

1. Straight in the pot with the water.

2. On the trivet or in a steamer basket .

3. In a bowl with the water on top of the trivet. This is called Pot in pot (pip) cooking. If you don’t have a steamer basket this is a great option to easily remove all the sprouts after cooking.

Whichever way you choose, you’ll just need a cup of water and the brussel sprouts.

Trim off the ends and if they are pretty big, cut them in half. Brussels in the IP





Close the lid and seal. Set for 1 minute and you’ll be ready in no time.


You’ll need Garlic, Butter, salt and pepper, and Parmesan cheese to finish these beautiful veggies.  Salt and pepper box

Have I posted about my awesome salt and pepper box?? I’m not joking when I say this is the first thing I bought for the new kitchen project. I had it sitting on my wish list for a while and as soon as we finished setting a budget and planning, I ordered it from amazon! 🙂 It’s my favorite and you can get one here!


Melt the butter and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the steamed brussels to the pan and saute for several minutes, stirring frequently. Once done (I usually like a little crispy edges from the saute, but if in a hurry I just take them off after they are completely coated in the yummy butter. delish either way!) sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


It’s taken three times serving these, but finally my boys ate a couple of pieces with out much wining and had smiles too! ( I may or may not have bribed them with sugar-free soda, which is a huge treat around here 🙂 )

kids and brussel sprouts Smile brussel sprouts








Corn On The Cob:

Read More

Instant pot: Lunch, chicken in minutes!



Instant pot for lunch?

Yes! I can make chicken (from the freezer) in minutes and tada delicious lunch is happening for this momma!!

This Post May Contain Affiliate links. Purchasing through them may result in compensation with no added cost to you.


Everyone knows by now how much I love the instant pot.


I really enjoy using the instant pot to help me stay on track at lunch time!

An easy way to make sure I get my protein in the middle of the day is by cooking chicken.

cooking in the Instant pot means you don’t have to thaw it!!!!!!

So, usually I just throw one frozen boneless chicken breast or boneless thigh in the pot and season it however I’m feeling that day.


My current Favorite seasonings are:

Cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and cyan pepper – if I want to make a something like a taco salad or just a little black beans.

Garlic, salt, pepper is my go to when I just want to have some veggies or a salad.

Celery Salt, olive oil and pepper is yummy too!

Really the options are endless


Cooking this in the instant pot couldn’t be easier! I just grab some chicken out of the freezer and throw it in! I like to use the metal trivet that came with my pot. I feel like the chicken is a better texture when it isn’t sitting in the water/juices. Also with just a little bit of chicken like this, I find it doesn’t need that much liquid to pressure cook. Chicken produces quite a bit of it’s of its own juices (yum chicken broth) and less water makes it come to pressure faster!! So I only put about 1/2 a cup into the bottom of the pot.


I set the pot for 15 minutes (high pressure) and make sure it is set to seal. And that’s all I have to do!!!!

Usually I set this and then start the boys lunches! By the time I’ve got them sitting and eating, my lunch is done and I get to eat too!!! yay!



Last week I had sweet potatoes! So, I seasoned my chicken as usual and threw the sweet potato in the pot along with it. I set it to the usual 15 minutes and it was seriously perfect!!!


Happy Instant Pot-ing to you all!




Check out these other instant pot related posts:

seriously easy instant pot yogurt

cook once for the whole month

Instant Pot craze



Love and Scribbles is part of several affiliate programs designed  to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to companies and products. Regardless of compensation, we only recommend products or services we use (or wish we owned) personally and believe will add value to our readers.

Prime Day Starts NOW!!! GO GO GO

Amazon Prime Day is here! and I’ve got a huge list of deals!!

You guys it’s here!!! The deals are being posted as we speak! We have to wait until 6pm for the first batch to go live but then it goes crazy from then on out for 3o hours!!!!

Links in this post are affiliate links —
If you shop through them I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you! Thanks  

First off: If you do not have an Amazon Prime Membership, you can sign up for a 30 day trial!

If you don’t want to keep it you can cancel before your 30 days are up. But a Prime membership is the ONLY way to get the Prime Day Deals! 


Or like us on facebook... where I’m sharing a bunch of great deals for the rest of the evening!!

Read More