The Blended Tribe

Blended Family Guilt and How to Overcome it

Do you ever feel parent guilt by doing fun things without all the kids around to experience it? I know that we have experienced that guilt in the past. We usually don’t do much of anything if we can’t all do it together. We don’t want any of the kids to miss out on family fun or feel left out.
This year we decided to visit a local Christmas spot called the Cambria Christmas Market with just my two kids. We know 100% that my step-kids will be going to the Christmas Market with their mom, so we thought it would be safe to take the other two. If my two kids don’t go with me, then they won’t be going at all.
Going to the Market as a family of four got me thinking a lot about the guilt that we sometimes put on ourselves without having the entire blended family together to do fun things.

Here are some tips on surviving parent guilt in a blended family.


•Don’t let the kids rub it into one another. I told my kids that they didn’t need to talk about us going and having a good time without the other two. I know Cole could care less about going at all to this place, but Anabelle was a little taken back that we went without her when finding out. I don’t want any hurt feelings, so I made sure that my kids didn’t make a big deal about it.

•Don’t let the guilt get you down while you’re in the moment. Try to enjoy the activity or place that you are with the ones that are there with you. Be in the moment and enjoy it. Jon decided to keep his phone in his pocket and enjoy the experience, which made me put my phone away for most of it too(I had to take some pics though). We disconnected from the world, and that made the time together that much better. We even made the 14-year-old put her phone away at a certain point in the night 🙂

•Be realistic-In any family; you are not going to be able to do everything together. All families, blended, bio, adoptive, aren’t able to do every single thing together, why do we put that pressure on us as a stepfamily?

•Now this one is more for people in a situation like mine that have their stepkids 50/50 and then have my kids 95% of the time. I know this situation is different for every family. In general, if you have a semi-thriving blended family, then don’t plan BIG trips when you can’t all go. Some things are out of your control, and family/friends will plan with not thinking about your custody schedule. Don’t go on big family trips that are in your power without your entire family. Yes, some of your kids/stepkids might be a pain in your a$$, and you don’t want to waste your time or money taking them on vacation. These are kids we are talking about, and making them feel not included in your blended family will only do more harm than good.


We are all learning as we go in the process, trying not to mess the kids up any more than we might already have.  Keep doing the best that you can.  Try your hardest to just love your stepkids, love the crap out of your own kids, and know that God has you in the exact place with this family for a reason.




This song speaks to me.  I’m not part of the Gomez fan club or anything, but a friend shared this song with me and it home for me.  Listen, and you will get it!  I feel like I’ve come a long way.


♥ The Blended Tribe




Love brought us together, and faith is what keeps us going.  Being remarried, sharing my kids, and helping raise other people’s kids is 100% the hardest thing that I’ve ever done.  I’m so thankful that I have my faith to fall back on.  I can’t imagine surviving any of this any other way.


Veterans Day


Thank you to all who have served and all who are serving this great country of ours, and a special thank you to my brother-in-law and my husband for serving!

We appreciate you all!


Check out this link for a long list of deals and discounts on this day.


Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served. For one day, we stand united in respect for you, our veterans.



♥  The Blended Tribe


Our Happy Divorce

OUR HAPPY DIVORCE-I didn’t realize there could be such a thing as a happy divorce until I had the joy of reading this book written by once married Nikki DeBartolo and Benjamin Heldfond.

What I enjoy about this book is that it is not written from one person’s point of view. The book has chapters from both Nikki and Ben (divorced) along with their current spouses Chad and Nadia. It was refreshing being able to read from all points of view.

I have to say my favorite chapter of the book was at the end, and it was written by Asher (the son of Nikki and Ben). The life that these four adults have made for this one child is incredibly selfless, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for all four parents. The payoff is in the fruit of their son and how happy and well balanced he is. I love that Asher doesn’t look at himself as having two separate homes, he states in the book that “home is whichever one I’m currently at.” I love that he can feel this way and pray that my stepkids think this way as well.

I highly recommend reading this book. Nikki and Ben’s situation isn’t for everyone, but I sure wish it was. Unfortunately, all parties have to be on the same track. The track needs to be that the kids come first…ALWAYS, and that you put your petty crap behind you and move forward. This thinking is exactly what Nikki, Ben, Chad, and Nadia did and are continually doing, and they are living happier lives for it.



Click on the link to get your hands on a copy of Our Happy Divorce

You won’t regret reading this book!  Another amazing book about divorce and co-parenting is






We Got You.



Don’t worry!
We got your back!

I think the early teen years might be my fave so far. There is nothing easy about it, and it’s a challenge for sure.

Challenge accepted!

These kiddos need to know that we got their back no matter what. Our job is to guide our kids through the beginning years of their lives. When one of our kids are struggling, they need to know that we are there for them. We are going to guide through the good and the bad, and pray to GOD that we turn these teens into some pretty rad adults.


♥  The Blended Tribe

Click here to read about one of my biggest parent-fail so far.


DIY Mail & Key Holder

Mail & Key Holder


Check out this cute mail and key holder that the hubs made for me today after seeing it in my Amazon cart.  It’s simple, yet it does the job.  Keeps my mail and keys organized with a spot for the shades.  Love it!    The hooks were purchased at Lowes and cost us $7.50.  We used scrap wood and extra paint that we had laying around.

Here are the dimensions from Amazon if you choose to make one.  This is about $30.00 on Amazon

Happy Crafting



Check out the Crafty Tribe page for more DIY projects and ideas.

Apolis Sweeptstakes

How cute are these Apolis bags?!?!  Apolis is giving away one of these adorable bags and the sweepstakes ends on October 7th @12pm


Click on the link to enter for a chance to win:  Apolis Sweepstakes


I absolutely love my Apolis bag and use it on the reg.  I use it as an overnight bag, at the grocery store, work, sporting events.  This bag is the perfect for all occasions!




♥ The Blended Tribe


Meal Planning->Saves Time & Money

With a family of 6, meal planning is a necessity. If we are lucky, the weekends are spent getting ready for a busy week ahead. I’ve found that planning out our meals ahead of time makes our weekday schedule a lot less hectic and we save a lot of money by doing this.


I’m not a big crockpot fan, so we aren’t able to just throw things in the crockpot and come home to a cooked meal.

I try to stick to a budget of $120 a week for grocery shopping. Yes, this requires looking at the store ads on Tuesday, and stocking up on sale items, along with coupon shopping ( I love a good sale, and I LOVE coupons….ask any of my kids).
Here’s how I go about this:

I have to look at our week ahead. This coming week is going to be busy so that means that I need to have meals prepared ahead of time and in the freezer ready to go.  We have to plan ahead or we are lost throughout the week, which will result in eating out.
Once I come up with the menu, I write it out on the menu board in the kitchen.

Here’s what our week ahead looks like.

Monday-Sweet Potato Tacos (prepare ahead)  I’m excited to try this recipe out.  Here is the link if you’re interested in trying it for yourself →Smitten Kitchen

Tuesday-Veggie rice bowls

Wednesday-Pasta Bake, bread & salad (make ahead & freeze)

Thursday-Enchiladas, rice & beans (make ahead & freeze)

Friday-Order pizza


Sunday-Soup & Grilled Cheese

The items I freeze I will cover in foil and write the baking temp and time just in case I’m not home to put it in.  This way if I have to ask a kid to throw it in the oven for me, it’s all written out and they know what to do.


This is one example of how we try to stay organized in our blended mess.  For all things frugal visit the Frugal Tribe Page

I would love to hear about some your ways of staying organized and planning ahead.

♥ The Blended Tribe

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