Archive for the ‘ Bits of our Lives ’ Category

Welcome, sweet baby!

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

You probably noticed that it’s been a bit quiet around here.  We’ve been rather enthralled and occupied with the latest addition to our little family.  We’re so very grateful for the precious gift of Adelyne Grace who arrived Feb. 6 and weighed 8 lb. 12 oz.  I’m remembering again how much fun (and how much of an adjustment!) it is to have a newborn around!

Obviously, I’ll probably be posting a bit less the next couple of weeks as I recuperate and get used to life as a mom of 3.  Thanks for understanding!

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…and then there were Five

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Yesterday I heard one of the most beautiful sounds in the world…and one that I never lose my awe for.  It was the sound of our baby’s steady heartbeat!  We are so, so grateful for this precious gift of life and so thankful that after a pretty rough first trimester I’m finally feeling almost like my old self.  We’re looking forward to the beginning of February when this little one will make his appearance, Lord willing.  It’s kind of strange to think of our family soon numbering 5!  Well, actually, we already number 5 I suppose, it’s just one of us is in heaven.  But you know what I mean.

Some of you regulars may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as much the last couple of months.  You may have noticed that I did only a couple of Tasty Tuesday posts.  Well, this is the reason why.  As I mentioned I had a rough first trimester- I was more sick than I was with our other 3- and most days I was barely able to get the basics done around here.  I can’t tell you how good it is to feel better again and I’m hoping to get back into my usual swing of posting again here in the next couple of weeks.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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Happy 4th of July (+ a short blogging break)

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

I hope each of you has a safe and happy 4th of July!  We are going to be spending the weekend with family and since I want to just enjoy being with them and also because I won’t have good internet access I decided to enjoy a short blogging break.  I’ll be back as usual on Monday.


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5 Minute Homemade Ice Cream-in-a-Bag (frugal family fun)

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

We’re like any other family and love to have fun together but we don’t love spending lots of money to accomplish that!  And so recently when I came across this recipe for Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag and knew that we had to try it.  We all love ice cream and I was pretty sure that we’d have fun watching the milk turn into ice cream almost right before our eyes.  And I was right- in fact, it kind of felt like we were performing magic or something!

Want to try it yourself?  Here’s how:

Combine 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 cup milk or half and half in a small quart sized Ziploc bag and seal tightly.

Then place 1/2 c. salt and enough ice cubes to fill a half gallon sized Ziploc bag half full.  Place the smaller bag inside the larger bag and seal the large bag tightly.

Shake the bag.  (The gloves help keep your hands from freezing!)

And shake it some more.

And some more—hold on to it, it likes to try to slip out of your hands!

And yet some more until you’ve shaken it for 5 minutes and it gets ice cream consistency.

(If your child gets tired of shaking it, you might have to help them out like my husband did here.)

And then you can open it up and see your ice cream!

Eat it in the bag or do like we did and dump it out into a bowl.

Ours was a little soupy still but we got tired of shaking it.  I’m pretty sure it would have gotten a little bit firmer had we just kept at it.  But we were impatient and it was good anyway.

This little guy loved it.

Can’t you tell by that grin?

Okay, so here’s the recipe and instructions in an easier to read format.

 5 Minute Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half and half or milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)
Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
1 pint-size ziplock bag
1 gallon-size ziplock bag

Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.  Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it’s done.  Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Serves 1.

Recipe via Family Fun

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Welcome to “The Thrifty, Frugal Mom”

Friday, January 6th, 2012

My family and me

Hi, I’m Lydia Beiler and I’m excited that you stopped by!  Some of you have been faithful readers of my blog before it moved here to the site and so you already know quite a bit about me.  But for those of you that are new, let me introduce you to my family and tell you a bit about myself.

My husband Vince and I just celebrated our 5th anniversary in November and hope to enjoy at least another 45 years together.  I know that many ladies say they have a wonderful husband and it can sound rather trite after a bit, but really, my husband truly is wonderful and I often find myself wondering how I got so blessed!

We are the parents of a very energetic, social 3 1/2 yr. old son Logan who makes sure we never have a dull moment.  And just 3 weeks ago we were thrilled to experience the joy of new life again with the birth of our daughter Sophia Delight.  In 2010 we had the difficult experience of losing our daughter Eleni only 2 hours after her birth, so having a healthy baby girl feels like an incredible gift and we are enjoying every moment of this newborn stage.  (Well, maybe not the lack of sleep!)  I love being a wife and a mom and one of my favorite challenges is learning how to be as efficient as possible while managing our household.

So what inspired me to start blogging about saving money?  Well, we weren’t married long before I realized that just the basic grocery and household items quickly added up to figures that were way higher than what I really wanted to spend! And that was even with shopping at Aldi, a discount grocery store, using the occasional coupon and doing without some things that many people consider staples.  I wasn’t sure what more to do, so I just tried to watch sales and spend as carefully as I could.  Yet I felt like I was fighting a losing battle

Then around 4 years ago I stumbled across a money saving blog and was rather astounded.  I didn’t know that coupons could actually get you items for FREE!  Or that there were actual websites that did the work for you by matching coupons and sales.  A whole new world was opened for me and I loved it!  My “money loving” side was in its element and I soon was a faithful coupon and rebate user.  I loved when our mailbox started filling up with free samples, high dollar coupons, free magazines and the occasional coupon for a completely FREE item.  Before long I started to see a huge drop in our grocery/household expenses.  (Last year I saved around $5,000 by shopping sales and using coupons and rebates.)

This developed in me a huge passion for learning more ways to save, whether it was in the area of groceries, clothing, or utilities.  Once our son was born, I quit my job as a certified pharmacy technician and became a stay at home mom. It was then that I got inspired to start my own blog where I posted links to printable coupons, great online and store deals, cost effective recipes, lots of money saving tips and more. I have loved this way of helping others learn to not only save their money but to be good stewards and have fun doing so in the process.

I want to be a good steward of the things that God has entrusted to us.  I want to be able to give generously.  And I want to be able to help others learn to live within their means.  That is what this blog is all about.  I hope that I can inspire you to save and teach you some of the things I’ve learned and am learning along the way.  I also look forward to learning things from you too!

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