Archive for the ‘ Miscellaneous ’ Category

8 Things That I’m Loving Right Now (March 2014)

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

When I see something I really like or when I use something I really love, I often find myself thinking, “I wish I could tell my blog readers about this!”   And sometimes I can because it fits with the money-saving theme of this blog.  Or I’ll post it on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Google + and those of you that follow me there might see it.  But sometimes, well, I just can’t find a way to work the wonderful thing that I like into a post.  Or I post it on social media and get frustrated because only a small amount of you actually will see it.

And so I had this idea of doing a Things I Love Right Now post where I share all sorts of things that I’m currently enjoying.  Some of them are frugal type of things but some of them are not.  But all of them will hopefully inspire you in some way.  At least that is the goal!

So here are 8 things that I’ve enjoyed lately!

Ps.  I’d love to know if you enjoy a post like this. 

1. Loving this free printable from Lindsay Letters!  I think it would be cute inexpensive decor for a little girl’s room.  Or really, any girl’s room!

2. I was scrubbing dishes elsewhere recently and was wishing they had one of these Progressive Pan Scraper.  I realized then just how much I use mine!  It truly is the bomb for scraping off food and isn’t as abrasive as a Stainless Steel Sponge.  (Although I love my stainless steal sponges too!  And the Fuller Brush brand are awesome and last practically forever.  Seriously!)

3. I’ve been having fun trying some new drinks this winter and this Homemade Chai Tea Latte (with dairy-free option) has become a favorite.  I add a bit more sweetener just cause I prefer it that way and I often add a bit of coffee too to create my variation of a “dirty chai”.

4. Decorating is not something that comes easily for me but I love getting inspiration from others who are gifted in this area.  And when I saw this freshly decorated boys room in gray and red I was inspired.  In fact, it made me want to tackle some decorating that desperately needs to happen around here.  I’m currently scheming a shopping trip to hopefully make it happen!

5. The last couple of months I’ve been very grateful for this Complete Book of Farmyard Tales from Usborne books.  It was a favorite with my son and now is giving my 2 yr. old daughter lots of entertainment too.  She’s a very busy little girl so any book that can keep her attention that much gets awards from me!

6. This free snow boot idea cracked me up when I saw it.  Pretty creative I’d say!  I know that we are pretty much done with winter for the year, but just in case you don’t have boots and need some anytime soon…

7.  If you have no self-control, then don’t make this Buffalo Chicken Dip.  It’s absolutely addictive!  And if you follow my tip of keeping cooked chicken in your freezer, it’s a cinch to throw together too!

8.  I was super inspired by this post with 5 tips on how a young couple paid off their house in a short amount of time.  If you need a kick in the seat of the pants to get on track (or stay on track) financially, you’ll want to read this!

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Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Just wishing you and yours a very Merry CHRISTmas!

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It’s #ParentsGifts Week- get gift ideas!

Monday, December 9th, 2013

I’m so excited to be participating in Parents Gifts Week!  This week, December 9 to December 13, I’ll be joining Amanda Kingloff of Everyday Fun and Melanie Blodgett from You Are My Fave to bring you a bunch of great ideas for stocking stuffers, kids’ presents, homemade gifts and more.  We’ll be pinning our favorite crafty and unique (and for my part, inexpensive) gift ideas to the Parents pinterest board.   Get in on the conversation and share your ideas (or borrow someone else’s) using #ParentsGifts on Twitter and Pinterest.

And while you’re over at Pinterest, feel free to check out my Pinterest boards too!

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10 Chores for 4 & 5 Year Olds

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

You might also enjoy this Free Online Chore Chart for kids!

We recently have been working at getting our son Logan, 5, to consistently do more chores around our place.  And while he has been doing most of these things since he was 4, there are a couple that we only added more recently.  However, they are all things that he could have easily done at age 4 as well. I figured that if you are like me, you are always looking for inspiration and ideas when it comes to parenting.  And so, in the hope that someone else might be inspired, I thought that I’d share our current list of the 10 chores we are having him do.

But first of all, a few tips:

* Don’t expect your child to understand how to do something without being shown how to do it.  Take the time to explain what you expect and also to show them exactly what you want done.

* Be patient.  They are going to mess up when they are learning and will probably need reminding of how to do their jobs well as they go along too.  It’s good for me to remind myself that our son is only five- I can’t expect him to do things as well as an adult!

* Praise your child liberally.  Even if the job wasn’t done perfectly but you can tell they were doing their best, shower them with encouragement.  I find that the more I thank our son for doing his job well, the better of a job he seems to do.  Funny how that works!

Now on to the list of chores:

1.  Make bed
While our son can’t do this perfectly, I’m amazed at how good of a job he can do!  At any rate, when he’s done with it, it looks so much better than a totally unmade bed.  And with practice, he’s actually learned to get the quilt spread out nice and evenly.

2.  Set the table
When Logan was learning to set the table we didn’t stress putting each piece of silverware correctly since it was pretty confusing for him.  But as he got used to his job, it became required that he put each piece in it’s proper place.  He also typically puts on the water, any condiments we need, serving spoons etc.

Because I wasn’t thrilled about having our dishes getting broken all the time, we decided to skip the pottery and instead go with melamine dinnerware that looks like pottery but is pretty much unbreakable.  Even so, we’ve had a few glasses and other things get broken along the way.  If you want to teach your children to help, it’s really important to remember that this is just part of the learning process.  (I’m reminding myself here too!)  And if you do have pottery, I’d suggest having your child just take one or two plates to the table at a time to help minimize breakage.

3.  Clear the table
It is our 5 yr. old’s responsibility to totally clear the table of everything, not just the dishes.  Instead of just letting things on the kitchen counter, he is also expected to put away all that he can, which most times is everything but the leftover hot food.

4.  Empty the dishwasher
When Logan first started doing this, he was allowed to remove only one glass out at a time.  Otherwise, he would get careless, crash them together and well, you can imagine the results!  As he learned to be more careful, he became capable of taking out two glasses without any catastrophes.  We also have found it helpful to have a designated spot where he puts the few things that he is not tall enough to put away.  Just a quick note, if you put sharp knives in your dishwasher be sure to remove them before your child gets started!

5.  Move laundry from washer to dryer
To save money, I don’t use our dryer a lot.  But when I do, I often get Logan to move the laundry from the washer over to the dryer.  It’s actually one of his favorite chores!  If I am going to hang laundry out instead of using the dryer I simply have him unload it into my laundry basket instead.

6.  Fold washcloths, rags, underwear and socks
I typically separate these things out from the other laundry and give them to our son to fold.  He can get a little careless with folding the washcloths especially, so we’ve been really working on folding them neatly and evenly.  I think it’s important that children learn to do their jobs well!

7.  Put laundry away
It is our 5 yr. old’s job to put his laundry and his sister’s laundry away.  (She’s too little to help at this point!)  He also takes our laundry and puts it on our bed and often will do the same with the bathroom towels and washcloths since they are located too high for him to reach.

8.  Vacuum
We have a fairly large vacuum but our son can still pretty easily handle it.  Obviously, he does not sweep as thoroughly as I would, but it sure helps keep the house cleaner if I have him vacuum a couple of times a week!

9.  Clean up toys
This is something that Logan has been doing for a couple of years.  I usually like to have him do it before dinner and then he also cleans up before bedtime too.  And sometimes if the mess is getting to me throughout the day I’ll help him do it another time too.  He likes to hurry and try to get the job done, so we’re constantly working at doing it neatly and putting things away nicely instead of just throwing everything haphazardly in the toy box.  (We have various containers that smaller toys go into to help keep it more organized.)

10.  Empty trash
While our kitchen trash is still too bulky for our son to handle, the smaller trash cans scattered around the house are very easy for him to empty.

What chores do you have your 4 and 5 year olds do?  What have you found challenging when it comes to chore time?

Linking up at Clean and Scentsible.

Image source for picture in post banner: Shutterstock

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Reader Testimonial: I made $50 with Swagbucks in 5 weeks!

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

I was amazed and inspired by this message that reader Heidi sent to me on my Thrifty Frugal Mom Facebook page:

I just wanted to thank you for directing me towards Swagbucks – I have been on for 5 weeks as of today, and I just cashed in my $5 x5 ($25 total!) in gift cards and my $25 gift card!

Also worth mentioning that if you have a Target REDcard your shipping is free if any part of it goes on your card- SO I got 2 jumbo packs of toddler training pants (Potty training twins ) for $6.58 shipped (2 @ $14.49 each + tax – $25 ecard earned from Swagbucks + FREE Shipping! ) And on Amazon if you buy Super Saver Shipping items, your shipping is free, and food items are non-taxable (In CA, anyway) so got a case of organic baby fruit pouches and a package of my preferred chicken bullion for a total of $0.68 to me.

Don’t you love it?  Sounds like she is definitely making the most of Swagbucks and saving money!   :) And I am realizing that I could be doing so much more with Swagbucks.  I think I’m doing good if I earn one $5 Amazon gift card about once a month!

Oh and if you haven’t already, check out my post of 9 Tips to Earn More with Swagbucks.  Hopefully you’ll learn a few new ways to make the most of Swagbucks.

What amazing or fun ways have you saved lately?  Leave a comment and let me know.  I love being inspired by my readers!

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