Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tip Tuesday!

A great tip I found at one of my favorite sites, repurposeful, is how to turn your old receiving blankets into wash clothes for your kids. They give you a quick tutorial on how to do this simple project.

I know I have a million old receiving blankets that I don't have a use for, and never enough kid wash clothes, so this project worked great for me.

If you've never been to this site before (repurposeful), it is a great frugal site on how to repurpose items you already own.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Menu Monday!

It's that time again! Here are my meals and recipes for the week. For more great meal planning ideas, visit orgjunkie.

Monday- Fiesta Chicken Pasta

Tuesday- Bubble pizza and salad

Wednesday- Make you own Taco Night

Thursday- Quick-Fix Beef Burrito Skillet (One of our fav's)

Friday- Steaks with A1 Marinade

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday's Spotlight!

Today I'm going to spotlight Mom to Mom sales. They have had them in other areas of the country and in the Detroit area for awhile. So last year, I was so excited to hear that they were starting in West Michigan.

The West Michigan Mom's Sale is now 4 times a year at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids. It is amazing, over 200 tables are selling used children's clothing, toys, shoes, cribs, everything related to kids. It is only $3 to get in, and you can definitely get some amazing deals!

The next sale is going to be Saturday, June 6, 2009 from 9AM-1PM.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sew Something Saturday!

For this weeks "Sew Something Saturday" I was so excited to try this awesome reversible shoulder bag. It's a little trickier that the other projects I've listed, but the great tutorial and free pattern at Lula Louise, are a huge help. This pattern turns out great and will definitely hold up. There is also a smaller version of the bag I can't wait to make. Happy Sewing!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Frugal Friday!

Today's "Frugal Friday" tip is to take advantage of your local library. There are an amazing amount of books, movies, DVDs, CDs, audio books, computer time, and so much more available at the library. I have also found that if the library in your area doesn't have a book your looking for, they will get if for you from another library for free.
Many library also have great classes and activities free for kids. Molly and I have recently taken a "Wee Wigglers" class at our local library. It was a lot like a music class we tried and loved, but this was free! The kids listened to stories, sang songs, did motions, learned rhymes, played matching games, and much more.
They also have great free classes and activities for adults. Everything from photography to knitting. I definitly recommend checking out the great free things offered at your local library!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Toddler Time Thursday!

This week, toddler time had to be a bit modified since Molly was sick. I was looking for fun activities to do indoors that didn't require much energy.
Our favorite thing this week was playing in the dark with flashlights! Molly had a blast making different shadows and shaking the flashlight (as you can see in the shaky picture).
If anyone has any other fun things to do with flashlights, I would love to hear some other ideas!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday!

The cat was definitely jealous, as Molly would say, "Bad Kitty"

For more great "Wordless Wednesday" pictures, visit 5 Minutes For Mom.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tip Tuesday!

Check out the tutorial on how to make ready to bake cookies to freeze at Consulting Carrie.

My favorite new tip is making your own take and break cookies! You save a ton of money, and you have 6 dozen cookies in the freezer, ready to go when every you need one or a dozen! When we need sweets, we make a few cookies at a time, that way they are always fresh and warm and we don't have cookies laying around that we don't need to eat, but would have. LOVE IT!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Monday!

This week's meals are a bit more easy to prepare. We have a busy week, so I have a meal that I've already made and frozen, and a crockpot meal. Hope you enjoy!

Monday- A1 Quick Seasoned Steak

Tuesday- Taco Soup (from freezer)

Wednesday- Crockpot Lasagna

Thursday- Chicken Burritos

Friday- Free Papa Murphy's Pizza

For more great Menu Plan ideas, visit orgjunkie

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday's Spotlight!

For this week's Sunday's Spotlight, I want to highlight free activities. Recently we took an overnight family trip to Chicago for EXTREMELY cheap!

I've learned that certain days of the year, many of their best museums and attractions have free days! We went to the Shedd Aquarium absolutely free, as well as the Adler Planetarium for free! The picture above is Molly and Randal walking around the Adler Planetarium. The Art Museum as well as the Field Museum also have free days. Taking advantage of these can save a lot of money!

We really enjoyed the Shedd Aquariums Tot Tuesday activities.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sew Something Saturday!

I found this really cute 10-minute headband project at Blue Bird Studio's blog, with a great tutorial on how to make it. I tried it, and loved how easy it was, and how nice it turned out. Sorry, the pictures aren't great, Molly was not in the mood to be my model today.

I made mine a bit shorter since Molly is so young, and used a fat quarter for fabric. You can easily get four headbands out of one fat quarter! (You can buy fat quarters for under $2, so this project can be around only .50 cents a headband!)

Hope you like this one. Remember, I have made everything that I post so if you have any questions, feel free to ask or comment, and I'll help if I can. Have fun!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Frugal Friday!

This weeks "Frugal Friday" tip I have know about for awhile, but actually only started using it a few weeks ago, and it has made my shopping trip... not trips anymore, so much easier.

I am a die hard coupon cutter, deal finder, cheap meal planner. So, when one store had milk on sale for $2 a gallon, and another had laundry soap buy one, get two free, I would plan into my errands that week to stop and both stores, mostly only for the sale items.

Now, I actually only go to one store and get the same deals that all the other stores have. It takes a little research in your area, but a lot of stores will match competitors prices if you bring in the ad. Here, Walmart Supercenter will match anyone's prices, however I still like to get my produce from the Farmer's Market or Meijer for a great selection.

I was always a little wary if this actually worked like it sounds, but sure enough, I go in with my 4 different stores grocery ads, and have all the prices I'm matching circled, and they give me the deal.

I would just recommend going down a nice cashiers aisle, and try no to go on Saturday morning when the store is swamped.
For other great "Frugal Friday" tips, visit The Towells website.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Toddler Time Thursday!

This week I was inspired by all the green on St. Patrick's Day, so I decided to focus on colors with Molly this week. Everyday I picked a different color, and we both dressed in that color, and went from room to room and picked out everything that was that color. When we read books that day, we pointed out all of that color, and even looked for those colors at the store.
This was a lot of fun. Molly really loved it, and by the end of each day was doing much better picking out each color. Before, almost everything was yellow. Now she is picking out yellow, blue, purple, green and pink. This was an easy, fun way to work on her colors.
Here is a picture of Molly enjoying pink day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday!

Molly is ALL Girl!

One of my favorite things to check out on other blogs, is their "Wordless Wednesday's" where they post a great picture. So I've decided to change Wednesday to "Wordless Wednesday." This way, I'll get to show off some of my favorite pictures!

For more great "Wordless Wednesday" pictures, check out 5 Minutes For Mom.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tip Tuesday!

For today's "Tip Tuesday," since it's St. Patrick's Day, I thought it should be about Going Green. I really try to live as much of a green life as I can without giving anything up or spending extra money. We have made a lot of major changes like cloth diapers and getting a HE washer and dryer which has saved us a ton of money as well as helping us Go Green.

My favorite tip is for gift giving. I always try to give a gift in a gift. This eliminates wrapping paper and also saves money because the wrapping is part of the gift! This can also be made really cute.

Some of my best wrapping ideas:
-Put outdoor and gardening supplies in a flower pot
-Baby gifts in a toy bin or baby bathtub
-Wrap boxes in cute blankets or scarfs
-Tools in a toolbox
-Camping supplies in a backpack
-Beach bag with summer gift
-Kid toys in a beach bucket

For more great ideas on alternatives to wrapping paper visit, Planet Green's website.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Menu Monday!

It's already time to start a new week, which means it's time to make a menu. This week I've got some of our families favorites.

Tuesday- Hot Dogs on the grill, and baked beans
Wednesday- Fiesta Chicken Pasta, our new favorite dinner
Thursday- Chicken Lasagna
Friday- Eat out night, Subway

For more Menu Plans and recipes, check out OrgJunkie.com

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday's Spotlight!

This warmer weather is FANTASTIC!!! Today we played outside for over 6 hours! Wow, we had worse spring fever than I thought. So for today's Sunday Spotlight, I thought I would list my favorite parks in West Michigan!
For Hiking-
I love Pigeon Creek, and Riley Trails. Pigeon creek is really nice, it is also where we cross country ski in the winter, it has a lodge, maps and bathrooms. Even lighted trails. Riley Trails is in Holland and is a bit more rustic, but the trails are easy to follow.
For Playgrounds-
We love Hager Park in Jenison, it is a great set up for all ages, Molly could even crawl on some of the equipment last year, when she was just learning to crawl. You can also walk on the grass map of the United States. It has a bathroom and a working drinking fountain too!
Another great option is Timber Town in Zeeland, it is a lot like Hager but also has a pond with ducks and a skateboard area.
For Beaches-
We defiantly have a lot of great beached in West Michigan, but my favorite for families is Tunnel Park in Holland. It has a free place to park, bathrooms, playground equipment, a tunnel leading to the beach, and a giant dune to run down! So much fun!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sew Something Saturday!

This week I decided to try to sew this super easy bandana dress I found on Trey and Lucy's blog. It gives a great tutorial and makes this a no fail project. I thought that it would be really cute as a swim suit cover up this summer!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Frugal Friday!

Today's Frugal Friday tip is a big one! To save money, we just got rid of our cable!!! That's right, can you believe it!!! But, it's really not that bad, actually I haven't missed any of my favorite show!
First off, we try not to have the TV on to much when Molly is awake, but after she goes to bed at 8pm, I admit, I love having the TV on, even if it is just for sound. But we have discovered that a lot of the shows we watched, you can actually watch the full episodes on the stations website! Else, we can also watch most of our shows on hulu, so we aren't paying a pricey cable bill, and still can watch our favorite TV, and the best part is, we can watch our shows anytime of the day, not just Thursday at 9pm.
Also, we have found that Netflix saves us a ton of money, no late fees on movies and you can rent entire seasons of TV shows, as well as upload as many shows as you want for under $9 a month, much cheaper than cable, and Molly can still watch Kim Possible!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Toddler Time Thursday!

We are really starting to introduce Molly to letters, and I was looking everywhere for nice, big, printable letter to hang in her playroom. The nicest ones I found were from Wondertime. They are very clear, and have a picture to go along with them. They also have just enough color, and don't take up much ink to print. I love them, if you need letters, you should check them out at their website!

To Protect them and make them interchangeable, I also hung them in clear plastic sleeves!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday!

Over many years of dieting, the only one that seems to work comfortably with my everyday life is Weight Watchers, so I am devoting Wednesday's to talking about Weight Watchers recipes, points, tips and just plain what works for me and hopefully others will share what works for them.

Today I'm talking about ZERO point snacks. Lately I've used all my points by 7pm and at about 8:30pm, I just have to have something while I'm watching American Idol! So I've found a few 0 point snacks I actually like:
- Pickles
- Mr. Freezes
- Diet Coke, yum

And when I really want to feel like I'm getting something, my favorite 1 point snacks are:
- Fruit, I can't wait for Watermelon
- Fiber One Chocolate Stars
- Light String Cheese
- 15 Fat Free Pringles
- Air Popped Popcorn

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tip Tuesday!

I love cooking a crock pot meal for nights when we are all eating at different times or too busy to cook, but want a hot meal. Except, I absolutely HATE cleaning the crock pot, it usually ends up sitting in the sink for days before I start to chip away at it. When I learned about slow cooker liners, I was skeptical if they would actually work. They are AWESOME. You just line your crock pot, put in the food, and after you eat, you pull out the liner and your crock pot is CLEAN! They really work! My favorite brand is the Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Menu Monday!

Each Monday I'm going to plan my dinners for the week. This helps me stay organized and makes grocery shopping much easier and cheaper. I'll post the links to recipes I got online so you can try them if you want.
Monday- Taco Soup, served with tortilla chips
Tuesday- Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta w/ Feta
Wednesday- Turkey Burgers on the Grill, served with fries
Thursday- Spaghetti and homemade garlic bread and salad
Friday- Eat out night, Papa Murphy's
For more recipes and meal plans, go to Org Junkie.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday's Spotlight!

Every Sunday, I am going to spotlight a different place, restaurant, product or event that I absolutely love, and want to share the idea.
This week I am spotlighting the Blue Man Group National Children’s Exhibit Tour at The Grand Rapids Children's Museum from February 21, 2009 – May 31, 2009. We went there this past week and loved all the different sound and music hands on activities for all ages as well as all the other great stuff The Grand Rapids Children's Museum has to offer. What a great place for learning and having fun. If you get a chance you should definitely try to make it before this exhibit is gone, it was awesome!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sew Something Saturday!

I saw a great tutorial at Everything Your Mama Made, and just had to try and make these adorable baby leg warmers for Molly. They are SO cute and so easy. It literally only took me ten minutes to make a pair from start to finish, and that included cleaning up!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Blog Has Just Begun!

I decided since I'm addicting to reading blogs, it was time to try writing one of my own. Basically it is going to be about my daily activities as a modern mom, such as: raising a toddler, saving money, dieting, cloth diapering, sewing, and enjoying life.

Just so you know what to except, I've set up a theme for each day:
-Menu Monday
-Tip Tuesday
-Weight Watchers Wednesday
-Toddler Time Thurday
-Frugal Friday
-Sew Something Saturday
-Sunday's Spotlight

I hope you enjoy my blog with me!