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Our Cozy Den


Modesty in a Skinful World

Earlier today on my Instagram page, I posted a photo of Sophie’s new swimsuit. I got tons of questions about it, so here is a link to where I bought it, and a reblog of an old post about why we wear modest swimsuits! Happy #ThrowbackThursday everyone!


Our Cozy Den

Modesty in a Skinful World ~ Our Cozy Den

Over the years, my opinions on modesty and clothing appropriateness have evolved.

I’ve said it before, but I wasn’t raised in a Christian household. In fact, my morals as a teenager were pretty much nonexistent. From a young age (about 12), I dressed very scantily and I was seeking attention. I loved to feel “sexy”, and I liked the way that people looked at me.

It wasn’t until I was about 20 that I realized the correlation between the way I looked and the way people treated me. I was getting attention from boys who wanted too much, because I looked like I was willing to give that much. It was my husband that changed my viewpoint on things. I remember one day, in our early dating period, that I put on a short skirt, twirled around, and flirtily asked “Do you like my skirt?” He replied, “It’s a little…

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Things I don’t have (and I’m glad for it)

I originally posted this in 2009, but even now — 6 years later — it all still applies! Doing things a little differently can save you time, energy, and money!

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There are so many “conveniences” in life that just seem to make things more hectic. I try my best to do without things that I don’t really need, or that I could live without. I’ve found that my life is simpler and less complicated because of it. I also have fewer catastrophes due to technology breakdowns.

Here are a few things that I do without:

1) a junk drawer – I think most homes have a drawer where they keep miscellaneous items, but I have found that it’s much easier to find things if they are separated rather than lumped all together in a pile. I keep batteries in a bin in my laundry area, sorted by type. I keep flashlights on a shallow shelf in that same area. Tools go in the garage, rubber bands hung on a hook on the side of the refrigerator. An added bonus: I…

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Burg Eltz

#TBT #ThrowbackThursday! 3 years ago, we were visiting Burg Eltz, my favorite of all the German castles we saw!

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One of my favorite things about living here in Germany is the ability to spontaneously say “Let’s go see a 1,000 year old castle.” This particular castle, Burg Eltz, has been owned by the same family for over 800 years, and is one of the only castles in Germany to be completely untouched by WWI and WWII.

We had to walk down a long, steep hill to get to the castle (about 1/2 mile long, we took the shuttle on the way back up, though it runs both ways).
A kind old German man took a family photo for us!
The castle is on a steep hill (on both sides!) that has a cute little brook snaking around it.
We ate lunch at a little restaurant outside the castle.
And I do mean RIGHT outside the castle, this is the view from our table.
Then we ventured inside.
The castle…

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Planning for Christmas

Today is July 9th, and I’m already halfway done with my Christmas shopping! See how I plan and shop for Christmas!

The only thing I would add/change, is that we no longer do printed cards. Our list got so big, that my postage alone was more than my entire Christmas gift budget! Now I make a nice video Christmas card that I share with friends & family via social media!

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planning for christmas

I don’t like to be caught off guard, and the holidays are one of those things that sneak up on you every year if you’re not careful. One minute, it’s September and you see the decorations popping up in stores. You think “Christmas stuff already? We’ve got tons of time!” You blink, and it’s December 15th and you haven’t started shopping yet.

Well, maybe you don’t procrastinate that much, but most people do wait until later in the year before they start thinking about Christmas. This is a little rundown of how I go about preparing for the holiday.


  • Once the thank-yous are out, and the gifts put away, I take a few minutes and reflect on how things went that holiday. I pull out my budget and look at how I did and where I need to improve. I set an overall budget for the following Christmas.
  • Next…

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My new project schedule

#ThrowbackThursday!! I started using this system over 2 years ago, and it still rocks! I challenge YOU to try a 10 minute cleanup each day, rotating areas of your house! It keeps my whole house at least somewhat maintained — even closets, the attic, the basement, the shed… places that would NEVER get cleaned!

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About a month ago I decided that if I wanted to get all the things done on that neverending to-do list, I needed to schedule it in. And besides that, I needed to be better about general household maintenance. I felt like every time I turned around, another space was out of control!

So I made this new project schedule, and it has been amazing. My house is cleaner, things are getting done, and I’m just happier overall!

project schedule

There are 3 parts to this, so I’ll explain them one at a time:

1) 10 minute clutter control – this is basically I run around for 10 minutes clearing the table, counter tops, and putting toys away that litter the floor. It usually gets done in the evenings, but if I do it when the kids are awake I make them help as well.

2) 10 minute room specific cleanup…

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Luna Pier, Michigan

Luna Beach Pier ~ Ohio Day Trips ~ Our Cozy Den

My kids LOVE the beach, but we hadn’t been to one in over 4 long years. So I decided to surprise the kids with a beach day at an adorable beach about an hour from where we live.

This beach sits in the quaint little town of Luna Pier, Michigan. It’s just over the border from Ohio, a few exits north of Toledo. We ate lunch at a neat little hometown cafe on the main drag, then we headed to the beach afterwards. It was overcast that day, so we didn’t even bother with our suits. I knew the kids would just want to wade in, play in the sand, and collect seashells anyway.

Luna Beach Pier ~ Ohio Day Trips ~ Our Cozy Den

Their faces when they saw where we were going — they had no idea!

Luna Beach Pier ~ Ohio Day Trips ~ Our Cozy Den

Finn wasn’t so sure what to think about the waves…

Luna Beach Pier ~ Ohio Day Trips ~ Our Cozy Den

Lia collected a whole bucket full of shells!

Luna Beach Pier ~ Ohio Day Trips ~ Our Cozy Den

The pretty lighthouse sits right on the beach (and it has feet rinsing stations and bathrooms!)

Luna Beach Pier ~ Ohio Day Trips ~ Our Cozy Den

Connor and Sophie concentrated very hard on building their sandcastles.

Luna Beach Pier ~ Ohio Day Trips ~ Our Cozy Den

Luna Beach Pier ~ Ohio Day Trips ~ Our Cozy Den

And Finn and I had fun burying our feet in the sand.

We all had a great day, and we’ll definitely be back! It’s a really nice beach, and it was very quiet – not crowded at all, and well-maintained.