31 Days of Homeschooling & Homemaking With a Happy Heart

31 Days of Homeschooling & Homemaking With a Happy Heart! on Simply Vicki | vicki-arnold.com

If you follow along on the Facebook page or are on the actual blog often, you may have noticed that I have done some re-branding. I have a snazzy new header, new design, and coordinating Facebook graphics. The Facebook page is currently still the Vicki Arnold blog, but I have moved the blog back to my original blog title of Simply Vicki. Facebook page will follow suit eventually.

Previously, my blog tagline was “Where P31 & Titus 2 meet Colossians 3:23.” I think this only made sense to me. I was aiming to chronicle my attempts to follow in the big footsteps left behind by the Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 women with the right attitude, according to Colossians 3:23.

Over time, as things tend to do, my life changed and this tagline no longer really reflected what I was blogging about. While I started off in a more reflective, journaling type of writing, I eventually moved on with a desire to encourage and equip women. Particularly in the areas of homeschooling, homemaking, and Christian faith.


Over the summer, I began to pray, think, and brainstorm. I realized quickly that I did not like the name of the Vicki Arnold blog anymore because ultimately the blog is NOT about me. To make this long story a little shorter, I eventually realized that while I wear many hats throughout my days, at the end I am simply Vicki. Thus, I moved back to my very original blog title.

The tagline actually came via my friend Becky after discussing what I was wanting my blog to be focused on going forward. I tossed around several ideas, but when Becky took a few of my words and rearranged them to give me “Homeschooling & Homemaking With a Happy Heart,” I was THRILLED.

It was perfect. It covered my niches and it used alliteration. Oh, how I love alliteration!

Fast forward to now, with my snazzy new design and updated name and tagline. I have decided to participate in The Nester’s 31 Days writing challenge. While I had a few ideas in mind, I thought this would be the perfect time to break out all those posts I had trapped in my writing notebook and give you a taste of what the blog will be like going forward.

Once the month of October is passed, I will NOT be continuing to write 7 days/week. I am not THAT talented. 😉

About Homeschooling & Homemaking With a Happy Heart

Before we dive into the posts, I wanted to give you an overview of what these topics will encompass from my perspective. This extends beyond this 31 day challenge.

  • Homeschooling – A bit obvious, I am a homeschool mom. I will be sharing resources to help make homeschooling easier. These will include encouragement for a homeschool mother’s heart, curriculum reviews, resource lists of all kinds (including free), and any thing else relating to the world of homeschooling. I will also be creating and sharing activities and printables.
  • Homemaking – This will be a relatively new area here. I will be sharing ideas for meal planning, recipes, sewing tutorial round-ups, and resources for inspiration in anything that falls under the homemaking umbrella.
  • Happy Heart – This is the unclear one. Happy heart includes family, faith, and holistic living. I am bringing back my Sunday Psalms for the 31 Day challenge and will be sharing some great parenting resources. I also plan to share things that make us laugh because laughter is a big part of our home.

31 Days of Homeschooling & Homemaking With a Happy Heart

Below are the posts that make up this challenge. As each one goes live, I will add the link. Or you can subscribe via email to make sure you don’t miss them!

  1. Introduction (this post)
  2. Healthy Chocolate Breakfast Shake
  3. Fun Science for Kids Using Candy
  4. 25 Free Activities to Do With Kids
  5. Sunday Psalms – Psalm 19:1
  6. Teaching a Biblical Worldview
  7. Pumpkin Pie S’Mores
  8. Where to Buy Homeschool Curriculum
  9. Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls
  10. Raising Independent Learners
  11. 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential
  12. Sunday Psalms – Psalm 104:13
  13. Homeschooling Resources on Pinterest – Organized by Subject
  14. 38 Free Sewing Tutorials for the Home
  15. Facebook Resources for Homeschoolers
  16. How to Make Your Own Pizza Dough + 20 Ways to Top It!
  17. Story Prompts to Encourage Creative Writing
  18. Books for Duck Dynasty Fans
  19. Sunday Psalm – Psalm 113:3
  20. Free How to Draw Tutorials
  21. Reusable Options for Disposable Household Items
  22. 11 Picture Books About Art
  23. 4 Other Uses for Pizza Dough
  24. Writing That’s Fun for Kids
  25. My Top 5 Favorite Jeremy Camp Songs
  26. Sunday Psalms – Psalm 3:3-8
  27. How to Create a Custom Chore Chart
  28. Crafts Kids Can Make to Give as Gifts Book List
  29. Pen Pal Writing Tips and Resources for Kids
  30. When Convenience Becomes a Crutch
  31. Grand Finale Giveaway!

A Bloggy Year in Review & Looking Ahead (2013)

A Bloggy Year in Review & Looking Forward at Vicki-Arnold.com

the Vicki Arnold blog News

The year 2013 has been a wild ride for this little blog. I started the year with a handful of readers and God has grown that tremendously. I’ve enjoyed the time. I’ve learned a lot about what kind of blogger I want to be and what kinds of things you all enjoy reading. Thankfully, the two match up well.

Coming into 2014, you will see less reviews here on the blog. They are fun, but time consuming and I’ve felt God leading me away from doing so many for a while. I have one more review coming soon that I’m excited to share with you, after that you won’t be seeing a review for a little while.

What will you be seeing? That is something I’m pretty excited about.

I have a fun project in the works with a blogging friend. This project will be year-long and center around a certain set of 26 letters, particularly for preschoolers. I hope you like printables and books. And fun.

You will continue to see posts about homeschooling, gardening, and goal setting because I love writing about those. I will also be doing more sewing tutorial round-up posts (you’ll see why below).

Another new thing this year, I will begin writing about some health topics. These will center around holistic ways to take care of the body God gave you (me).

Other News

2013 saw the launch of my newest project, The Library Adventure. God put together a great team of writers. We have reviews, books lists, and hands-on activities. Our mission is to grow a love of reading and a passion for the libraries that serve communities worldwide. We aim to provide resources for both library patrons and librarians.

I also became a Lilla Rose consultant after reviewing and giving away a flexi-clip for my 12 Days of Christmas in July giveaway series. That was a fun one, too.

The Top 10 Posts of 2013 on the Vicki Arnold blog

10. 4 Books That Made a Reader Out of My Son

4 books that made our son love reading fiction

9. 5 Quick Tips for a Successful First Garden

5 Quick Tips for a Successful First Garden

8. Scriptures to Memorize for When I Don’t Like Myself

Scriptures to Memorize for When I Don't Like Myself

7. Planning Your First Garden

Planning Your First Garden

6. Free Printable Homeschool Curriculum Planning Pages

Homeschool Curriculum Planning Worksheets (free printable)

5. Websites Frugal Homeschoolers Need

Websites Frugal Homeschoolers Need

4. 54 Free Maternity Sewing Tutorials & Patterns

Free sewing tutorials and patterns for maternity - over 50 tutorials!

3. Free Sewing Tutorials for Skirts

69 Free Tutorials for Skirts

2. 23 Free Sewing Tutorials for Women’s Dresses

23 Free Dress Tutorials for Women's Dresses

1. Free Sewing Tutorials – Dresses for Little Girls

Free Dress Tutorials for Little Girls

Posts I WISH Were in the Top Ten

I love the posts that made it in the top 10, but there are a few that I wish had been seen better over the year. I’m sharing those in closing today.

1. Dear Guilty Mom, Give Yourself Permission

Dear Guilty Mom - Give Yourself Permission

2. How to Stay Encouraged While Homeschooling

How to Stay Encouraged While Homeschooling

3. Sensory Bin Resources for Beginners

Sensory bin resources for beginners. An ebook, a few Pinterest boards, and some advice to get you started...not overwhelmed.

4. How to Read Blogs and Not Feel Like a Failure

How to Read Blogs and Not Feel Like a Failure

5. Bible Verses to Memorize About Joy – Selections from Psalms

Bible Verses to Memorize About Joy - Selections From Psalms

Encouragement for Moms Homeschooling Young Children

Encouragement for Moms Homeschooling Young Children - a guest post I wrote for Hands-On Homeschooler

Today I am over at Hands-On Homeschooler. My post of encouragement for moms homeschooling young children is up today. Here is a snippet of what you will find!

Encouragement for Moms Homeschooling Young Children

The questions filling my inbox lately are from mothers with young children looking to start their homeschool journey this coming fall. Most are feeling called by God to homeschool their child. Most are overwhelmed, wondering if they really can do this. They have questions about curriculum, approaches, and how to get it all done in a day. This is my encouragement for moms looking to homeschool their young child for the first time.

For more head over to see the rest of the post at Hands-On Homeschooler!

An Official Introduction + a Bonus Plea For Help!

the Homeschool Newsletter - encouragement, printables, freebies, exclusive giveaways, and more coming July 2013. Sign up NOW at vicki-arnold.com

Ok, so you may have heard me mention that I am launching the Homeschool Newsletter next month a time or two or twenty. Well, this is the official announcement. Wait for it…

Coming July 2013…the Homeschool Newsletter from the Vicki Arnold blog!

Woot! Confetti! Glitter! Streamers! I’m not cleaning it up!

All fanfare aside, it is pretty simple. A few times each month (no more than four because ain’t nobody got time for that!), you will receive an email from yours truly.

What will it contain? Well, I am glad you asked because I was going to tell you anyways!

  • free printables (like my curriculum planning pages)
  • homeschool freebies I will be making specifically for my lovely subscribers (sort of like the curriculum planning pages, but not necessarily printables)
  • announcements for special happenings on the blog (things like upcoming giveaways, reviews, and special happenings)
  • exclusive giveaways
  • encouragement for your homeschool journey

That pretty much sums it up. Short, sweet, and to the point. I also promise you this, they will not be too long. I know you are busy and do not desire to add one more thing that takes away time from your day.

Oh, wait. You’re wondering about that plea for help, right? Well, I need your help spreading the word about the Homeschool Newsletter! Please tell your friends on Facebook, tweet a link to this post, email your friends the link, or pin the above graphic on Pinterest to a relevant board.

I could really use your help here. Trust me, the bigger the list grows, the better the giveaways. It’s that simple.

Sign up NOW and then start spreading the news!

Thank you for your help! And if there is something you would like to see from the newsletter, be sure to let me know!

Click Here to Checkout Hearts at Home Curriculum's LOW Prices!

Everybody Loves a Good Party!


Hello! The lovely ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting their annual Ultimate Blog Party and I decided to participate. The way I do that is to publish a party post to introduce myself to the other participants…so welcome to my party post!

My name is Vicki Arnold (in case you missed that in the header up there). I have been married to my best friend for 11 years and we have been blessed with 4 pretty awesome kids. See?

the Vicki Arnold blog is joining the Ultimate Blog Party

My blog is about my journey through this blessed life. I hope to encourage other women in their journey. I love to laugh and if I can make you laugh, well then that makes me pretty happy. The tagline for my blog is “Where P31 & Titus 2 meet Colossians 3:23.” Basically it means I am trying to follow those big footsteps left by the Proverbs 31 woman and encourage other women to do the same (Titus 2), all the while working as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). As I tell my children, “with a happy heart!”

The current most popular topic around here is gardening. We are striving to make the most of our one acre homestead and hope to inspire others to do the same. We homeschool our children, so you will see some posts on that. I recently started reviewing products with Mosaic Reviews, as well as independently.

I enjoy photography, sewing, and baking. I am a reader and love to share resources that I come across. I write for Free Homeschool Deals occasionally, too. I also love to blog about goal-setting.

As far as social media goes, I love Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Not necessarily in that order, but maybe?

You can learn more about me on my About Me page and more than you ever wanted to know about me in this post. Or maybe you want to know why I blog? Or maybe you are the type that likes to know what other people are reading?

I'm joining 5 Minutes for Mom's Ultimate Blog Party 2013! Join me!

My favorite posts:

My popular posts:

And that is me in a nutshell. Now, join me in checking out the other blogs partying by clicking the banner below.

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

We Interrupt This Blogging Program…

…to provide a creative break for this blogger. I will see you Monday with the next post in the One Word series.

Here’s what I’ll be doing in my time away from the computer:

And so you don’t have to wait in suspense, my One Word for 2013 is Joy. You’ll have to wait until Tuesday to read about why I chose it, scriptures I’m focusing on, and such, but you can read my to do list for the year, my to read list for the year, or see my goals for the year. In other words, I’m confident that you will have enough reading material until I get back.

Also, Good Reads Saturday and Sunday Psalms will be postponed until next weekend.

May God bless your weekend!

Happy New Year! 2013 Will Rock!

Did you catch my enthusiasm in the post title? See, I’m excited. Like, get up at 6 a.m. for two days in a row excited!

Why? I’m so glad you asked!

I have plans, lots of plans. (You have to say that in the voice of Flo from Cars because that is how I typed it out.)

You may have noticed that I changed the tagline of the blog a bit ago. It is now “Where P31 & Titus 2 meet Colossians 3:23.” I have a lot of things planned around this. Here’s a sneak peak at a few things you can look forward to this year on this here blog:

  • 10 Days of One Word – This starts this week!
  • Real Food Wednesdays – I’m really excited about this one. It works well with Healthy Habits Tuesdays (coming up next!). Launches in February.
  • Blog reading series – This is fleshed out and the first two posts are mostly written. This is for readers of blogs.
  • Gardening series
  • Cloth diapering series – I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this lately so I’m going to write a few posts around it. If you have any questions you want answered, let me know and I’ll try to answer them.
  • Bible studies – The first one will be on the 10 Commandments because that is where I’m starting with my kids.
  • More topical scripture lists for memorizing, since the ones for overcoming procrastination went over so well.

What are you most excited for?

Popularity Contest 2012

best-of-2012My most popular posts from 2012. Since I’m a product of the 1990’s, you are getting this in the super, awesome format of a Top 10 Countdown!

10. Around Our Little Homestead – July 2012 – I miss doing this type of post. It’s on my list for things to share in 2013. That cat, Zane, is the friendliest cat we have ever had. He likes people. He is my son’s favorite cat. Also, those leek blossoms were spectacular.

9. My Theme for 2012 – I’m working on next year’s theme right now. I’m also working on a post series about choosing your own One Word. Be excited.

8. Transparency – AKA I’m Not Perfect Either – One of my first posts after a perspective change in my blogging.

7. May 28, 2012 Menu Plan {GAPS, grain-free, gluten-free} – You may see more of these this coming year, we are debating another go at GAPS.

6. Garden 2011 – An ambitious list of seedlings I started, complete with photos.

5. 10 Things I Want to Make from Pinterest – I did exactly none of these. Ahem. Oops.

4. 12 Fun Free Fonts – For the other font lovers out there.

3. Dear Guilty Mom – Give Yourself Permission – A letter to guilt-laden mamas everywhere.

2. 19 Ways to Change Up Your Housework Routine

And the number one post as chosen by you, my lovely readers…

1. 10 Scriptures to Memorize for Overcoming Procrastination – Thank you for validating my suspicion that I’m not alone in my procrastinating ways!

Which post was your personal favorite?