Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Okay, so this is more like the last TWO week’s frugal accomplishments.

Here we go…

*We inherited two new shrubs to plant for free from someone else’s landscaping project. They look great in one of our small side beds.

*I bought a pair of yoga-style pants for my girl, then cut off the bottoms, hemmed them, and made them into little comfy shorts for her this summer. (Random rant–so many older girls’ shorts sold at stores are incredibly short. SO frustrating….)

*Made a couple of boy’s jeans with serious knee-holes into shorts too.

*I also got a pair of petite jeans at a yard sale for myself and converted them into longer shorts. Really, there’s nothing petite about me, so I didn’t have to cut all that much off the length!

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*I used up more of my fabric stash to make another crocheted rag rug. An amateur effort, but I really love how it turned out. I’m currently working on a denim one using some old jeans. Perhaps I really will do a tutorial on these one day.

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*My whole side of the family went to Baltimore last Sunday and visited the aquarium. We packed a picnic lunch and ate outside at some picnic tables afterwards instead of going out to eat. It was a really beautiful day. As my kids and both of my brother’s girls have spring birthdays, this was my parents’ birthday gift to them all instead of toys or a material gift. (Big Thank You to my Mom and Dad for this! Also, You’re Welcome for suggesting a picnic instead of paying for 13 people to eat at the Inner Harbor!!)

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They were also able to go down in the submarine that is parked near the aquarium. My little guys loved it-especially the torpedoes!!

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*Some of our lettuce greens are really thriving, so we were able to cut some and have it for salad several times.

*My Dad continues to give us containers of free cheese crumbles from his work. This is the crumbly stuff that is left after cutting blocks of fancy cheese. We are getting spoiled eating $14+/lb cheese for free!

*I hung out wash on some of the nice days instead of using the dryer.

That’s it for now. Thanks for tuning in!


Parenting Tales

Where Have All the Groceries Gone?

You’ll have to forgive my cheesiness. I just came up with this little poem last night as I was lamenting the fact that all the food I just bought last week is already practically wiped out by growing children. Seriously.


This one’s for my fellow Moms of hollow-legged kiddos out there…


I remember it oh so well,

That trip I took just last week,

When I went to the store,

And drove the cart with the squeak.

Grapes, gouda, and granola,

Were tossed into that cart,

Along with beans, butter, bran,

And a box that said Pop-Tarts.

My cart was really quite full,

By that last stretch of aisle,

I had ‘em piled on high,

Paid and left with a smile.

Then I came on home with that load,

Bottles, cans, and many a box,

I filled the fridge, pantry, freezer,

We had everything but Maalox!

“Oh the meals I can prepare!”

“The lunches I can now pack!”

How naïve I was just then

Before that first snack attack…

The kids came home from school,

Cracked open the Cheez-its to eat,

They quickly emptied that box,

And moved on to something sweet.

Next went the apples and grapes,

And the Pop Tarts as well,

Also the nuts and the chips,

The bag now an empty shell…

By a few short days later,

I was struck almost dumb,

For those once filled-up cupboards,

Now contained but a crumb.

My tale is just about through,

It would make quite a sad song,

If you have a houseful of kids,

Food NEVER stays around long!

Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

What I’m Into: May 2015

Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

Here’s a little up-to-date list of things either myself or my family are into lately:

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*Dutch braids. Both my daughter and myself have been wearing these a lot as of late. Usually we do it along one side with a ponytail. It’s very easy to do and it doesn’t take much time, even with our longer thick hair. I am not one to take time to do my hair, so I am glad for something semi-polished looking and easy to pull off.


*The Perfect Game. We discovered this movie on Netflix one Friday night and absolutely LOVED it. Very clean and family-friendly, but also based on a true story. I highly recommend it for anyone to watch.

*Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. This is a sequel to the Chocolate Factory and has the same main characters. We are almost done reading this one out loud together. One of my twins, Josh, is so enchanted with Willy Wonka that he is dying to dress up as him on an upcoming special day at school. He is going to be adorable!

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*Being outside! Can I hear an amen on that one? It has been absolutely gorgeous here most days lately and I am loving every minute of it.

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*Flowers-Just because they are pretty! This is a shot I took at Longwood Gardens, which we visited on Mother’s Day.

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Another picture perfect view from Longwood!

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*Yard sales. I LOVE attending yard sales and scoping out good deals. It’s like a treasure hunt where you never know what you’ll find. Case in point: I found this large basket at one last week for 75 cents. (The rug shown is a crocheted rag rug I just completed! Fun to make, plus it uses up some of my vast fabric stash.)

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*The arts. In the last several weeks we have had a boatload of arts-related performances through the school. I had one in the school play, the same one in band, one in chorus, and a girl who is in love with the violin and plays with the orchestra. My two younger boys aren’t old enough to be in any of those yet, so it could be more of that type of thing here in a year or so!! Lots of performances, but we are now through them–at least until early December.

Points to Ponder

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Hey hey everyone! Hope you’re enjoying this beautiful May day.

I have a few new goodies to share about things that I did this past week to save us some cash:

*My husband cut our boys’ hair (and his own) with clippers. That’s five haircuts that we did NOT have to pay for. Been doing this for years!

*I had a $5 off a $50 purchase coupon I was able to use at a local grocery store. That, combined with another really good coupon deal, helped me to pay only $41 for what would have been a $50+ grocery trip.

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*On a whim, I picked up a 50 cent vintage denim Wrangler jacket at a yard sale. 50 CENTS y’all. I am VERY excited to share that I listed it on Ebay and it sold for almost $90! Wow…proof that shopping yard sales sometimes pays off!

(Fun extra tidbit: I also found a matchbook in the pocket with Hunt’s Catsup advertised on it from the 60’s. It still had matches in it.)

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*I made a batch of laundry detergent, plus glass cleaner and my all-purpose cleaning spray.

*I hung out wash on some nice weather days.

*Had two different nights where we noshed on leftovers for dinner instead of letting them go to waste. I call it the “Leftover Smorgasbord.”

*My husband brought home a bag of sausage end pieces for free from work. Occasionally he gets to do this with the different varieties they make at his shop.

Well that about covers it. Not too shabby, eh?

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Craft/DIY Ideas

Easy & Pretty Teacher Appreciation Gifts

You may or may not be aware of this, but Teacher Appreciation Day is tomorrow, May 5th!

I happen to be highly thankful for my kids’ teachers and all they do on a daily basis. Therefore, I want to let them know what they mean to our family by at least giving them a little something.

As I am also in charge of our school’s PTO, I came up with this handy little idea for all the staff in our school this year:

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Packs of flower seeds displayed on various flower and leaf shapes I made from printed cardstock.

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I attached each one to a bamboo skewer to act as a stem.

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The skewers are inserted into foam blocks I placed at the bottom of several baskets. Colored mesh was bunched up to cover up the foam. I attempted to place the flowers at different heights to create some semblance of a flower arrangement.

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I then made a sign that reads “Thank you for helping our students grow.”

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Hopefully they like it.

Many thanks to all of the teachers out there!