Growing Up on a Shoestring

I started this blog way back in 2007. It was to be a creative outlet for me. A place to simply write as well as share the ways that we, a family of only 6 then, were surviving on one income. We lived paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling really, but we were doing it.

Along the way though, life’s circumstances led us here. To today. To this point where, now a family of 9, we are doing better than that paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.

We may not be rolling in the dough but we’re living comfortable enough to at least have a little left at the end of the month.

kids on cruise

Growing Up on a Shoestring

How? This blog. Mine and Colby‘s together really. We hustle like no one’s business and make it work. So much so that we are asked ALL THE TIME how we do it.

Are you getting my drift?

These are just a handful of the questions we field every time we step out of the house. It’s probably one reason I really enjoy staying in.

But, the one thing we have also discovered, is that we need to expand a bit with our business. Jaden, now 16 years old, begged us to start a family vlog for over a year.

We’ve been approached twice about doing different reality shows. I never understood the idea behind the vlog — until I talked to Shaun McKnight from Cute Girl Hairstyles..

Jaden and Shaun McKnight

Colby, Jaden and I went to Type-A Parent Conference in Atlanta a few years ago and met with YouTube Kids; as well as Shaun McKnight.

We had dinner one evening and talked to him for hours. He said something that really resonated with me — and I got it. It finally clicked with me. He pretty much explained it like this:

Remember when you were a teenager and you never wanted to be home? You would go to your friend’s house because yours was boring, right?!

Well, today, kids don’t have to go to their friends’ to escape their mundane life. They can go to YouTube and virtually step into their friend’s homes there.

They want to see what’s going on in your home because it’s an escape from their own house.

BAM! A light bulb went off. It just made sense. I definitely remember that feeling as I was growing up.

Not to mention, he also said that he would quit everything on Friday nights to be home by 7pm to watch his favorite TV show. Why? He knew what time it was coming on and he didn’t want to miss it.

Okay. Everything was coming together and I was completely on board.

jumping for joy

Therefore, we started filming bits and pieces of our days to compile into family vlogs to share with you.

The idea was so that you could see how we do the things we do. How we live our family life and make it work. Take a few trips with us, discover new products, drive a different car, simply “do life” with us.

My kids have grown up on this blog over the past 12 years — honestly, we have all grown up here over that time — hence the name of our YouTube channel: “Growing Up on a Shoestring.”

Those videos allowed you to come with us behind-the-scenes and see what happens when we’re not writing, editing and sharing in written form.

We kicked it off with an introduction to who each of us are.

You can see it when you head to our YouTube page.



Now, in 2020, we’re expanding again.

First, we opened an Etsy shop to sell some of the digital and physical goods we’ve put together over the years. I design, re-design, and then sit on too many things. So, I decided it was time to open a shop.

I also decided, with over 4,000 posts here on my blog alone, it was time to try something new. To stay up-to-date with the times.

That’s right! A podcast. Not like ones you may listen to with conversations back and forth, but just a new way to share what I’ve already written. You can see this episode below.

Honestly, we have 7 episodes of another podcast started, but just never got it off the ground and running. It was a lot of work at a time when things were a bit too hectic for us.

That is still in the works; we’ll see!

Finally, I’ll take that audio from the podcast and add it to a video format that can be uploaded to our YouTube channel.

Why? Cross-promotion. It’s all about finding ways to reach new audiences with the loads of content I already have.

Therefore, excuse us as we grow! We’re excited about the changes coming and hope you are too.

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