About Kristen

Kristen is a Christian, wife to her high school sweetheart, and mother to a growing brood of sweet little people. She spends her days keeping the home, homeschooling, making real food, gardening, blogging, and working from home as a Lilla Rose Consultant. You can find her at Smithspirations and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Simplifying Nature Study

Written by Kristen @ Smithspirations, Contributing Writer *note from Rachel: Kristen first started contributing in May of last year. She's talked about homeschooling (a topic she loves!), freezing blueberries, organization and more! Today she'll be sharing her last post here. I'm sad to see her go, she's on to new endeavors and focusing on her family. I I have been blessed by Kristen and hope you have as well!!   After researching homeschooling options and approaches years before we … [Read more...]

Educating Yourself for a Better Birth

Written by Kristen @ Smithspirations, Contributing Writer Like many moms, I don't think I'll ever forget my first pregnancy. My husband and I were young and utterly unprepared for what laid ahead of us! I was finishing up college, he was in his first year teaching, and neither of us gave much thought to preparing for birth. I decided at some point that I wanted us to go to the childbirth classes held at our local hospital, and my hubby dutifully came along. We listened to the instructor … [Read more...]

Learning to Apologize

Written by Kristen @ Smithspirations, Contributing Writer Have you ever been hurt by someone and found the hurt worsened because you never received a sincere apology? I've been there, and it can be terribly painful. Sometimes what isn't said after an emotional hurt can do more damage than the original offense. While we can't do anything to make other people in our lives learn how to apologize, we can make a commitment to be sincere in our own apologies. I certainly don't want to leave … [Read more...]

Real Food on a Real Budget

Written by Kristen @ Smithspirations, Contributing Writer With it being January, you may very well be trying to cut out the processed foods in your diet and take a more whole foods approach to eating. I don't think anyone denies that eating well is a great way to boost health, but often finances get in the way of making positive changes. Does eating real, whole, healthy foods have to break the bank? I'm convinced that it doesn't!  Our family lives on a moderate income. My husband is a … [Read more...]

Keeping Christ in Christmas, but Not Leaving Him in the Manger

By Kristen @ Smithspirations, Contributing Writer Around this time of the year, a rallying cry from Christians often has to do with contending for the real meaning of Christmas. We hear and say slogans like "Jesus is the reason for the season" and "Keep Christ in CHRISTmas", and all with good reason. I admit that I enjoy making homemade gifts, supporting home and small businesses with my purchases, and yes, even scoring a good deal from a big retailer, but all of the buying can take away from … [Read more...]

Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude in an Unthankful World

Written by Kristen, Contributing Writer With Thanksgiving around the corner, many of us turn our hearts towards gratitude. We focus on being thankful for our loved ones, perhaps our home, or the food on our plate. It's a wonderful time! However, have you noticed how hard it is to keep that heart of gratitude year round? When turkey, mashed potatoes, and dressing are a thought from the past, it is so easy to get caught up in the unthankfulness of the world! But after all that God has done … [Read more...]

Organizing the Busy Mom’s Day with Routines Rather Than Schedules

Written by Kristen, Contributing Writer I like my days to be organized. I like to see a list, check things off, and know that I've accomplished the important tasks that need done for my day. If I can get ahead on something, well by golly, I'll take those bonus points, too! It didn't take me long, however, to realize that keeping my days organized can be quite challenging when I'm working with a crew of little people. Rather than beat myself up over not sticking with a schedule that is ruled … [Read more...]

Dehydrating Greens for Easy Nutrition All Winter Long

Written by Kristen, Contributing Writer This has not been the grandest year for my garden. There's no abundance of tomatoes to can, no peppers to freeze, and hardly enough basil to make one batch of pesto, but I decided to give myself grace with gardening and not aim for perfection. I've realized that even in an off-year with the garden, certain crops always do well. One of those for us is Swiss chard, and I've got more than our family cares to eat. In the past I would lightly steam and … [Read more...]

Saving Money in Your Budget by Using More Cloth & Less Paper

Written by Kristen, Contributing Writer I don't know of a single family, and especially those with young children, that isn't looking to save money in one way or another. Sticking with a family budget isn't always easy, especially with a growing crew of little ones! One area that is continually a challenge is the grocery bill. We have to eat, and we want to eat well for the sake of our health, but the cost of a whole foods diet can sometimes hurt. Rather than cutting out important healthy … [Read more...]

The Easiest Way to Freeze Blueberries

Written by Kristen, Contributing Writer It's Blueberry Season! It's hard to beat fresh, seasonal berries, especially when you have access to local fruits that you can even pick yourself. The flavor can't be beat! They are so sweet, so tasty, and sadly, so temporary. Berries aren't known to have a long shelf-life! One of my favorite things to do in July is to buy blueberries in bulk from a local farm market. They aren't grown there, so these berries aren't quite as fresh as the you-pick … [Read more...]