Friday, February 26, 2010

Frugal Friday: In the kitchen

To save money in the kitchen I like to reuse plastic ziploc bags whenever possible. I have to admit I have not always done this. My mom used to do this all the time when I was growing up and I used to hate it! My brother and I had to wash and dry the dishes after dinner and that's usually when there were plastic bags to be rinsed. I know, it seems silly to think that is such a hard task, but I didn't like doing it. So I said to myself I would not do that when I grew up and had my own family. And guess what? I didn't! I happily threw barely used plastic ziplocs in the garbage!
Then I started realizing I was having to buy ziploc bags a little more often than I thought should be necessary. So, you guessed it, I started saving them and reusing them. Granted not all of them can be washed out and reused, but the majority of the time all they need is a little rinse and they are good to go again. It's really not that bad.
Now, the only problem I was still having was what to do with them while they dried. But then I came across a really cool idea in a magazine! Using an old toothbrush holder and some chopsticks. Again, more reusing...good for your wallet AND the environment! :)
I didn't have an old toothbrush holder laying around, so I just picked one up for 99 cents at the thrift store. Then I threw in some chopsticks and voila! Ziploc bag dryer!
The chopsticks are kinda short so someday I might find some old dowels or something a bit longer. And I suppose you could put a little lump of clay in the bottom to secure the sticks if you wanted.

Thanks, Mom for the wonderful example of being a good steward with what we have! I love you!

The best laid plans of mice and men...

Oy! Is it really Friday night?? Where did the week go? The last I wrote was a week ago!! I did have good intentions of writing everyday, but you know what they say about the plans of mice and men. I guess with a very active and energetic 2 year old and a sweet little baby it is hard to find time to do much else. Sometimes it feels like I hardly have time to brush my teeth! Ah, the wonderful life of being a mom!
I am just trying to enjoy each moment I have with my children because before I know it they will be grown. Ellie is already going to be 6 months old on Monday! It still seems like she should only be about 6 WEEKS old!! And Hannah is pushing closer and closer to turning 3. So bittersweet. I am excited for what each new day brings and watching my babies grow and learn and experience new things, and yet I just want them to stay little and keep them close.
I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed with me with this opportunity to share in the lives of these special little people. His wonderful creation. Precious gifts.
It is such an honor to be a mother!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Frugal Friday: Baby toys

I had a bunch of ideas that I wanted to share with you, but of course I didn't write them down, so now I have forgotten. Except for one. :) Maybe the rest will come to me in time for next Friday. Anyway, here is a frugal tip for today.
This week Hannah helped me make a couple of toys for Ellie. I saved a clear plastic beverage bottle, washed it and let it dry. Then Hannah filled it with lots of bright, fun things we had in our craft supplies: pipe cleaners, sequins, foam shapes, confetti, pieces of yarn, etc. We put some tacky glue around the inside of the lid and screwed it on tightly. Voila! Baby toy for practically nothing! Ellie loves it when Hannah shakes it, and she likes to watch when we roll it across the floor. Hannah is quite enthralled with it too. I have caught her a couple of times taking it right out of her sissy's hands. :)
I also made a small rattle out of an empty perscription bottle from Target. They have beautiful bright red bottles with colored bands on them. (I know, it's just a perscription bottle, but it IS a really pretty color. LOL) I washed it out really well, let it dry and put some rice in it and secured the lid. It is the perfect size for Ellie to hold in her hands, and it is such a nice bright toy for her to look at.
So there you have it. A couple of very frugal ideas to entertain your baby.

P.S. Empty paper towel tubes or the tubes from aluminum foil/plastic wrap make great toys for toddlers! I gave one to Hannah the other day. She was so excited! You would have thought it was Christmas! She used it like a telescope, like a trumpet, and even used it as a sword on her brother. LOL :)

Do YOU have any fun, cheap ideas for toys for your kids?? Please share! :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Family Art Night

We tried something new tonight...spending time together doing......ART! I had read a blog a while back about one way that this family spends more time together, and they have a family art night once a week. I thought that was such a neat idea, so decided to try it out on MY family tonight. Hannah absolutely LOVES coloring, drawing, painting and being creative so I knew she'd be excited about it. The boys I wasn't so sure about, but James had a great time too and really put a lot of thought into his work. Hubby didn't do any art tonight, but he was busy trying to get our new printer set up so I guess we'll let it slide this time. LOL Hannah was more than happy to do Daddy's picture for him. :)
Since Valentine's Day was yesterday, we decided to make "love" pictures. But we could use any art medium our hearts desired. Okay, so not quite ANY, but whatever was in my stash. James used a pencil to draw his and then filled it in with oil pastels. Hannah used markers and then practiced cutting and pasting some scrap paper onto her picture. I used my calligraphy pens to write out a Bible verse.
Next week, James is going to pick our theme. Can't wait to see what he comes up with!

The kids working hard on their art.

Ellie hanging out. Soon she'll be doing art too!

Hannah's picture

James' picture. He said it is a guy with love in his heart and it warms him like the sun. There are two angels. One is holding a boy and a girl which he said represents the relationship. He really put a lot of thought into every detail.

Mine. :) We sure had a great time tonight!