December 30, 2008

Smelly Good Homemade Play Dough

I found this recipe at the MotherLoad for Fruity Play Dough.

Here is why I love this so much:

-Takes just minutes to make.
-I had all the ingredients on hand.
-Frugal craft for the kids: I'm guessing that a batch would cost maybe 25 cents with your biggest expense being the Kool-Aid.
-It smells so good!

-and the kids will love to help too!

Fruity Play Dough

1 cup flour
1 package Kool-Aid (cherry flavor is pictured here)
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used corn oil and it turned out great)
1/4 cup salt
3/4 cup boiling water

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl then oil, then pour boiling water in and mix thoroughly. Wrap in cellophane or air tight container and store in fridge.

December 29, 2008

Happy New Year: A Review of 2008

Kelli is hosting a "peek through my last year of blogging" meme over at "There's no place Like home". I always enjoy all of the wonderful pictures that she shares on her blog. She'd love a visit from you!

Within each month is also a favourite photo that was taken that month :)

I didn't start to blog on a somewhat regular basis until mid year - but here we go...
to read the whole post please click on the month's link. Enjoy and Happy New Year!


Today we went grocery shopping - I picked up some strawberry-banana flavoured Light V8 Juice


Happy 3rd Birthday Elijah! We have been practicing for about a week to show the number 3 with...


2:30 in the afternoon.... and once again, you are...


yikes! no posts in April!


Eli, I think your mother needs an attitude adjustment. I've read...


When you woke up this morning (by the way - you are still in...


The Summer to do list

As soon as school ended for Sara I was inspired to do a summer ....


This mornings conversation:

Eli - Mom, we have no snacks!
Mom - What are we going to do?
Eli - We can go to Woodman's (grocery store), they have snacks - lots of snacks. Let's go!

Traveling to Disney World in the summer is ... well... to put it nicely.. IT'S CRAZY!.....

Being frugal is different for everyone. For some it means eating beans all the time for others it means buying a used car instead of a new one....


I am such a geek... but to me.. this is fun!

First, a little background. My new job is really cool - however...


I love a great frugal Christmas gift. But it also has to have meaning. It can't be something like...

Fugal Tip x 2!

This frugal tip is actually two for one! Save money and declutter at the same time! It's actually very simple. Use up all the free samples you have!

Do you get samples in the mail? Do you stuff them in a drawer? Time to use them up! If you don't want to use them - donate them to a shelter.

I've even saved hotel soap and shampoo. Time to use those up - all those pennies add up to saving for you!

Are you looking for samples or freebies - try these sites:

Start Sampling - I've been a member since 2000!
The MotherLoad - every Friday Amy lists lots of freebies!

Do you have samples laying around your house?

December 28, 2008

Frugal Tip: Use it all Up!

I love a bargain - most people do. The above is my facial moisturizer - Olay Total Effects. I found two tubes that were about to expire at the end of the month and got 90% off! Yeah - $1.49 a tube.

To get the most value out of any consumable item - use it up - use all of it up. When you got to the end of a tube - you know the point - when it starts making those farting noises (insert childlike giggle) don't throw it out! Cut it open - use a q-tip. Get every last drop! I've been amazed at how many extra days I can get out of facial moisturizer, shampoo and toothpaste.

This idea also holds true for food items. Consider adding water to bottom of a jar of spaghetti sauce, or use a skinny scrapper to get to the bottom of a jar of mayo or peanut butter.

Waste not, Want not!
I challenge you in January to Use it Up!
Posted by Picasa

December 27, 2008

Rerun: Does frugal = cheap?

Call me lazy... but this holiday week is all about vacation. I'm going to rerun some old favorite posts. Enjoy!

This post was originally posted August 4 2008

I used to always think frugal and cheap were the same thing. That is until recently.

When I looked up cheep in the dictionary it also said to see stingy, sleazy and tawdry. Ouch!
When I looked up frugal in the dictionary it also said to see sparing, economical and thrifty. That's better!

The other day I was in one of the places I hate to be - Walmart. In general, I think they sell a lot of cheap stuff - not frugal, cheap. I had to buy rubbermaid style containers for my step son. (He is off to boot camp in 2 weeks and needs to store his stuff) While in Walmart I saw a floor lamp (my husband has been wanting a pair for some time now) It was exactly the style he wanted - and the price I was wanted to pay. They were $7.50 each. Sound too good to be true? turns out, yes.

When I got home I was excited to assemble them. There were a series of tubes that needed to be threaded together. Problem was, they didn't thread that well - and if you didn't do it right the first time you ripped the threads then the lamp didn't stand straight. I packaged the lamps up and took them back to Walmart. They happily took them back. It's like they knew I was coming back.

So here is my question for you. How do you know know when you are getting a good deal vs getting what you pay for?

Are you cheap or are you frugal?

December 25, 2008

Open More Presents!

Once Buzz Lightyear was opened.. Eli was done! We should have saved that one till the end :)
Posted by Picasa

December 19, 2008

I didn't ask for that!

Today at Eli's preschool Santa came to visit! This was Eli's first time ever seeing Santa (I try to avoid the malls at this time of the year) He though it was cool that he came to life!

Eli sat on Santa's knee and told him that he wanted a Wall-E toy for Christmas. After each child got to sit on Santa's knee he gave him a present. Each child received a a book! Eli turned to me and said - "I told Santa I wanted a Wall-E toy, why did he give me this stupid book?" I need to teach Eli to be more grateful - but I understand his logic :)
Posted by Picasa

Busy Busy

Eli and Sara's gingerbread house... which Eli loves to eat!

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever. I used to daily. Then life happened.

What's been going on?

In late October I got a part-time job where I work from home - I'm a social media specialist. So now I get paid to know how facebook works :)

On December 1st we pulled Sara from public school and now homeschool her. Eli will finish up the school year with his preschool class.

I remember a few months ago I prayed that God would help me not be so selfish - to be more giving. I guess he took me seriously. Can't argue with the Big Guy :)

Today Jim left with Sara to go to Milwaukee to pick up John. Did I mention the blizzard? 8-14 inches in Milwaukee today. I threw the kids shovel in the truck and kissed them good-bye.
Posted by Picasa

December 12, 2008

She has no clue...

This morning I was reaching for a plastic cup on the top shelf in the kitchen. Down fell this plastic ashtray that I bought for when my mother-in-law would visit. (I don't let her smoke in my house - but I thought it was kind for me to provide her an ashtray). When it fell Sara didn't know what it was at first. Then she said - "oh, I know what it is - it's a smoke tray!" Sometimes it's good not to know things.

Habits have really changed since I was a kid. Everyone says how things have gotten worse. Some things have improved.

~my children don't deal with smoking.

~in my opinion, racism has improved since I was a child.

~my children are much more aware of the impact we have on our earth then I ever did. They assume everything gets recycled before it is put in the garbage.

~since we now live in a global market, my children are much more aware of the goings on around the world. Case in point, the tsunami a few years. Sara wanted to know where it was in the world and the impact it had on those people.

How is your children's life better?
Posted by Picasa

December 11, 2008

Live feed: Tub Finished!

Yeah! My new tub is done. (now all I have to do is prime and paint)
Posted by Picasa

Livefeed: drywall 11:13am

I know you are wondering - what happened with Dana's tub?! Well, 2 things happened to slow things down.
1/ there was a flaw we found in the tub surround so we had to wait for a replacement part.
2/ there was a large snow storm here on Tuesday and that really slowed things down to get the new part.
Don't fear - the work continues. Steve, the plumber, came this morning and replaced the faulty tub surround pannel. A few minutes ago the drywaller arrived and started taping. I've been told we can shower tomorrow! Yeah!
Posted by Picasa

December 8, 2008

Live feed: working hard 2:49pm

pretty new faucet

new sheetrock (which will means more painting for me!)
Posted by Picasa

Live feed: the bathtub box 2:17pm

nothing much is better then a big box!
Posted by Picasa

Live feed: progress 1:12pm

don't you just love the color?

have to love progress!

Steve and Shane are now at lunch. So far Steve says we are at budget and doing great on time. Tomorrow (when the plaster guy comes) might be a different because we are expecting up to 10 (more) inches of snow. He might not make it down our street!
Posted by Picasa

Live feed: sneak peak at new tub 12:05pm

the tub is in the room... yeah!
Posted by Picasa

Live feed: the old tub is gone 10:57am

notice how the old tub matches the paint in my front hallway? scary!

the old tub is gone!

behind the tub is our linen closet - there is about a 1 foot gap - why?

our house is built on a concrete slab - that I now know is 4 inches thick.
beneath the slab is sand.
Posted by Picasa

Live feed: the plumbers 10:29am

Shane & Steve
Posted by Picasa