Featured Story

Reeses Bark

Recipes for holiday gatherings

If you're wondering what to bring to a Thanksgiving gathering, here are a few yummy ideas for inspiration. Cranberry Pumpkin Bread With Orange Glaze is always a hit. This recipe for Reeses' Bark is from the Hershey's website. It is yummy, easy and SO pretty!  Seriously, a 20 minute recipe. I'd definitely melt the chocolate over a double boiler instead of in the … [Read More...]

Featured Recipe

Creamy Chicken and Potato Soup

Creamy Chicken and Potato Soup (GF)

Here's a great soup recipe that I found on Pinterest and then adapted quite a bit to suit my preferences.  I really, really love the bright flavors and pretty color added by the fresh tomato and cilantro. I've served it to a crowd twice, and each … [Read More...]

Parenting Feature

Books

Need a new Christmas story?

For many years when we had a whole slew of little ones, each November I would secretly gather together all our Christmas story books, wrap them up individually in gift wrap, and then let our kiddos open one story book each night during the weeks … [Read More...]

Recent Posts

Kitties like pencils too.

Books, frugality, birthdays, and an awesome pencil sharpener (do these topics actually go together?)

Life has been nutty around here.  Wednesday alone I had three different interviews for Forever Mom.  By the end of the day both of my phones had dead batteries and I felt certain I had lost all ability to construct a complete sentence.  Whew!  What’s really cool is that people are interested in Forever Mom–here’s […]

Books

Need a new Christmas story?

For many years when we had a whole slew of little ones, each November I would secretly gather together all our Christmas story books, wrap them up individually in gift wrap, and then let our kiddos open one story book each night during the weeks before Christmas.  Always I would sneak in at least a […]

AMAZING

Chat with me?

Hey friends, THIS afternoon on FaithGateway LIVE at 2pm EST/ 11am PST I’m chatting about my new book Forever Mom: What to Expect When You’re Adopting! Whether you’ve adopted, are considering it, want to support loved ones, or just want to hear more about our adoption journey, come join the conversation! Here’s the link: http://www.faithgateway.com/author-chat-with-mary-ostyn/  […]

Christmas ball decor

Frugal holiday beauty

This weekend I have the fun of attending the Joy for the Journey adoptive mom retreat in Lancaster, PA. So instead of my usual frugality post, I thought I’d share some fun and frugal ways to decorate for the upcoming holidays.  This silver and white decor could be lovely for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.   […]

Gifts Kids Can Make For Friends

Gifts kids can make for friends

If your kids are like mine, they enjoy giving their friends gifts at Christmas time.  The problem is, even a $5-$10 gift, multiplied by 3 or 4 or 6 friends, times whatever number of kids you have in your family, can add up to a lot of bucks.  But if you can think of fun […]

'Tattoos'

releasing

  If you ask my teens how I am at releasing, they’d be quick to tell you it’s not my forte.  The youngest three teens in the house are 16, and still I remind them to wear jackets in 35 degree weather, eat protein every meal,  turn off the xbox at 10:30 and take Emergen-C […]

chalk art in progress

Frugal Friday

This week when making my frugal list, I tried to think of things I do routinely every single week but don’t often mention here. This week’s frugal successes, in no particular order… I checked out the clearance racks at the local Family Dollar store and found some items of clothing on really good sales– the […]

6 Quick Kitchen Tricks

6 quick kitchen tricks

Have you ever read the book Cheaper by the Dozen?  Though the dad in that book is a little extreme, I have always secretly identified with his eternal quest for greater efficiency in the home.  I am always on the lookout for ways to save time, and thought it might be fun to share some […]

Freebies if you order Forever Mom by Nov 4th

Created for Care winner

Happy Monday! How I wish I could send all 280 of you to an awesome Created for Care conference. I hope some of you find a way to get there soon. But rafflecopter has decreed that the winner is Christy Largent.  Congrats, Christy! You have ONE more day to get the freebies when you order […]

Fall Flowers

Frugality this week

The flowers above are from my sweet mother in law to celebrate the launch of Forever Mom.  (Hope you’re not too, too sick of hearing about it!   )  Very sweet of her to help me celebrate!  We are enjoying the prettiness of the flowers on our table. I did finally get around to canning […]