Making Monkey Bread from Roll Scraps

Monkey Bread7

Perhaps I’m a sucker for cinnamon-sugar.  One day I stumbled upon this way of making use of the scraps from baking rolls.  My mom always rolled the scraps back out into more rolls, but I’m a bit lazy for that.  Making rolls is enough work already, right?  So here’s the roll recipe and the monkey bread method (which is even better!

LauriMaking Monkey Bread from Roll Scraps

Clutterfree with Kids


Wow! I just finished Joshua Becker’s new book, Clutterfree with Kids

This book grabbed me, because it feels like children do throw a monkey wrench into my good intentions of living clutter free. From the first baby shower on, having a child seems to open the floodgates for stuff to enter our home. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the explosion of clothes, toys and gear. 

LauriClutterfree with Kids

Simple Baby Registry

Simple Onsies

Each mom will have her own variation of this, but as a mom of three and nanny of many, here is my simple list of necessities.  I’d love to hear some of yours!

LauriSimple Baby Registry

New Wife Cooking 102: Menu Planning


Experiment with menu planning: it’s a process!  Like budgeting, your first efforts won’t work how you hope.  Don’t fret, and don’t assume that menu planning doesn’t work for you. Instead tweak your approach and come back to it again.  

I’ve found it helpful to determine the type of food for each day of the week, and add variety with the actual recipes I use.  So right now we’re working with:

LauriNew Wife Cooking 102: Menu Planning

Becoming Minimalist

becoming minimalist blog

I recently stumbled upon a blog by Joshua Becker called Becoming Minimalist, and began poring through his archives. His goal is to “inspire you to pursue your greatest passions in life by owning fewer possessions”. It grabbed my attention. I’ve always pursued being organized and resourceful, but never thought about minimalism… I figured I’d get bored.

LauriBecoming Minimalist

My Favorite Playdough Recipe


I’ve tried quite a few play dough recipes, and many are too sticky, too slimy, smell funny, or crystallize.  This one is fantastic!  It’s nice and elastic, smooth, and not crumbly.  It lasts for months. It’s cheap and easy. My kids love it and as a side benefit: if they eat it, it won’t hurt them.

LauriMy Favorite Playdough Recipe

2013 at Simple Beautiful Life

Chai & Study

I started blogging in January, and it’s been a great journey!  Early each Tuesday morning, I’d slip off to my new favorite coffee shop and discipline myself to write.  Some days, driving there, I’d have no idea what I should write about, but there was always something.

Lauri2013 at Simple Beautiful Life

Going Paperless


Either we needed a new file cabinet, or a lot less paper. When will I need these? For nostalgia? Why not just scan everything and recycle the originals?

The overarching challenge with going paperless is how to access the material once it’s scanned.  There’s no point in having a hard drive or cloud space full of my virtual file cabinets if I can’t get the material I need when I need it.  

Fortunately, scanning and print-recognizing-pdfs are quickly advancing technology. I decided to give it a go. 

LauriGoing Paperless