Friday, May 29, 2009

Frugal Friday!

As I was planning activities for my family to do this Summer, I am always looking for frugal ways to do things we already love. Tonight we went to the Whitecaps baseball game for free, Monday we are going to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago for free, and next weekend we are going to the Zoo for free. And these are just a few...

How? I am always searching and finding different local programs to participate in that have rewards or trade-ins.

Some good ones to participate in:
-Library Summer reading clubs (ours has an adult one, kids, teens, and even a read to me one for preschool age and under. They have hockey tickets, free pizza hut, etc. as prizes)
-Radio Stations (our local Christian radio station has a great program that gives you points for listening that you can trade in for prizes such as baseball tickets, zoo passes, cds, clothing, etc.)
-Grand Opening/Open Houses (They provide lots of fun activities and usually snacks for free)
-Free Days (Check out your local museums, almost all of them have a few set free days throughout the year)
-Membership Exchange (We are members of our local Children's Museum, and in the summer they do a cultural exchange, where you can visit the zoo, Fredrick Meijer gardens, Ford Museum, and Art Museum in our area for free a month of the summer!)
-Beach (In Michigan we are lucky, there are a lot of great beaches and parks in the area that are always free)

What local attractions do you find cheap or free in the Summer?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

ABC & 123's Prize Picnic

Summer is almost here, so I am going to join the fun at ABC & 123's Prize Picnic. This is my first time joining something fun like this. I am relatively new to blogging and enjoying getting to know everyone.
I have been reading ABC & 123's since it began, and am in love with their great ideas. I have had the privilege of meeting both the Katie's and know what amazing women they are.

Here's a little bit about me. My husband Randal and I have been married for almost 6 years. We live in Michigan and love being so close to the gorgeous beaches and getting to enjoy all the seasons.

Randal works as a network engineer, and I get to stay home and raise our daughter. I feel so lucky and blessed everyday. Before I stayed at home, I did respite care for autistic twin boys, and was the activities director at a children's fitness/gymnastics center.

We have one daughter, Molly. She is 1 1/2 years old, and full of energy. She loves posing for pictures. This is one of my favorites from Christmas. I love watching her discover and learn something new everyday.

My blog is a little bit of everything that goes on in my life...

-Spotlight Sunday (people, places and things)
-Menu Monday (Muffin tin and weekly)
-Tip Tuesday (from cleaning to cloth diapering)
-Wordless Wednesday (great pictures)
-Toddler Time Thursday (activities and projects)
-Frugal Friday (money saving)
-Sew Something Saturday (great sewing projects)

This summer we are planning on camping, going on PICNICS, lots of swimming, and on Monday we are going to the Harry Potter exhibit is Chicago (notice my friend Sarah and me wearing our Gryffindor and Slytherin scarves).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday!

YUMMY! That was a good chocolate chip cookie...
For more great wordless Wednesday pictures, visit 5 minutes for mom.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tip Tuesday!

Here is my tutorial on how to make a really simple felt board. This is my first tutorial, so bear with me and let me know if you have any questions.

Supplies needed: Foam core poster board, scissors, exacto knife, tape measure, hot glue gun, white felt big enough to cover desired board + 4 inches, and colored felt for cut out pieces. (puff paint optional for outlining pieces) You can get felt for pretty cheap by the yard at fabric and craft stores.

Measure your foam core to desired size. I made mine, 22" by 18" but you can make any size you would like. I cut it using the exacto knife, be careful when you cut that it doesn't go onto the surface below. I cut almost all the way through, and then bent the board so it snapped off. The edges you cut will be rough, don't worry, these will get covered by the felt.

Next, cut your piece of white(can use any color) felt 4 inches bigger than your foam core. My foam core was 22" by 18", so I cut my white felt 26" by 22" Use the scissors to cut the felt.

Next, I laid the foam core on top of the white felt.

Then, snip out the corners of the felt with scissors as shown above.

There should be 2" of felt all the way around the board now, with squares cut out of each corner. Just fold the 2" up onto the back side of the board and hot glue in place.

The finished back should look like this. Now flip over, and your board is done!

All that's left is to cut out pieces to use. I made a shape set here, you can use puff paint to outline your pieces so they can be seen better if you desire.

Then, enjoy! I'm hoping to make some cool sets of shapes to use soon. I am thinking of a fish and ocean set, or a Very Hungry Caterpillar set... who knows. The possibilities are endless.

Let me know what shapes and sets you make!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Menu Monday!

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend, and celebrating Memorial Day by supporting and remembering those who have earned us our freedom. After we all make it through our BBQ's and such, here is what we have planned to eat this week.

Monday- Grilling, with watermelon, chips and ice cream! YEAH!
Tuesday- Sloppy Joes
Wednesday- Fiesta Chicken Pasta
Thursday- Healthified Mexican Pasta Skillet
Friday- Whitecaps game, Velveeta Shells and Cheese before we leave
Saturday- Leave for camping!!!

For more great menu planning ideas, visit

Muffin Tin Monday!

Muffin Tin Monday!
Over at Her Cup Overfloweth I have been wanting to join in on Muffin Tin Monday. I was amazed at how much Molly loved it! We don't have a large muffin tin pan, so here is our version..."Mini Muffin Tin Monday."

(Back: Yogurt for dipping, raisins, bunny shaped marshmallows)

(Middle: Pineapple, Pepperoni, Cheese, Kix)

(Front: Pineapple, Pepperoni, Turkey, Kix)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday's Spotlight!

My sweet niece Maisy had her birthday party today! She has grown up so fast! She was such a cutie singing and clapping and just enjoying turning 2! Happy birthday Maisy, we love you!
Molly and cousin Maisy playing in the wagon at the party!

Maisy was so gracious, she clapped after all her gifts. It was beyond adorable!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sew Something Saturday!

This week I did a quick fun sewing project. I made Molly a cute little purse that I saw at The Object Project. This is a great pattern to use and sews together nicely. Molly just loves playing with her "purse," and she is so excited that it matches my bag from an earlier project.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Toddler Time Thursday!

Toddler Time Thursday (Whoopsies, Friday, I'm a tad late...)

I've been really wanting to have a felt board for Molly. So this week I decided it was time to make one, and it was definitely worth the 20 minutes I spent putting it together. Molly loves it, and we only have a set of shapes, and spring flowers. I can't wait, the possibilities are endless, I'm thinking I need to make a very hungry caterpillar set...

If anyone wants to know how to make a super easy felt board, let me know and I'll post a tutorial.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday!

Enjoying the beautiful weather... ( I wish those were yellow flowers, but alas... they are dandelions!)

For more great "Wordless Wednesday" pictures, visit 5 minutes for mom.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tip Tuesday!

My favorite site to use when planning meals if Kraftfoods website. It has an option that you can type in one or two ingredients that you have in the house, and it will give you a list of recipes that use those ingredients. Very nice when you are on a budget. And my family really likes most of the recipes I get from here.

Right now, if you sign up for their email list, you can print up to $50 in Kraft coupons. (Lots of $1 off 1 item coupons)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Monday!

I hope you all have a more exciting menu planned for this week than me. I just can't get motivated to plan anything new or exciting for dinner this week. Hopefully I will feel more inspired next week. ;)

Monday- Velveeta Shells and Cheese (I know, boring, but yummy)
Tuesday- Fiesta Chicken Pasta
Wednesday- Turkey Burgers on the grill
Thursday- Zesty Marinated Shake 'N Bake Chicken
Friday- Out to eat with the family
Saturday- Taco salads in these homemade bowls

For more great menu planning ideas, visit

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday's Spotlight!

This week was our last church small group lesson. We have been using the book and CD, Growing the Marriage of Your Dreams, by Max Lucado. I really recommend this Bible Study. It is easy to follow and listen to, and brings up some great topics when looking at marriage and the differences between a husband and a wife.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sew Something Saturday!

I am so in "LOVE" with this skirt and pattern from Oliver + S for a lazy day skirt! It is so adorable! It didn't even take an hour to make, and turns out very clean and nice. Even better, since it only used about a 1/4 yard of fabric, the whole skirt cost less that .25 cents to make. (see Frugal Friday's fabric deals)
I can't wait for Molly to wear it this summer. I love it so much I am going to make a matching headband. Happy Sewing!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Frugal Friday!

For this weeks Frugal Friday tip, you need to head out to Wal-mart. They are getting rid of their fabric department so all fabric is 75% off!!!! I got 24 yards of assorted fabric for just under $14. That's an average of only .58 cents a yard!!! If you can see in the picture, I got: lots of felt, lots of tulle, some plaids, some Michigan flannel, some Hawaiian print blue, race car checked fabric, a nice red stripe, and my favorite the upholstery weight off-white with blue print (I think I'm going to make a laptop bag with this).
For some fun and easy sewing projects, check out my "Sew Something Saturday" posts, just scroll down to the bottom of my blog and click on Sew Something Saturday! Have Fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Toddler Time Thursday!

I wanted to post Molly's absolute favorite thing we did this week. She LOVED feeding the ducks! She has been obsessed with everything duck lately, books and even all the birds in the sky are "ducks." I think it is because Grandpa has a duck in his pond that she gets to see. So, we decided to take some bread to the park and let Molly get up close and personal to the ducks. She couldn't take her eyes off them, we could have stayed there all day if Miss Molly had her way.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday!

You know the sun is shining at my house when you see...
For more great Wordless Wednesday pictures, visit 5minutes for mom.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tip Tuesday!

I saw this great tip for making a graduation gift money holder at Splendiferous Creations. I really like that this craft could easily be used for any occasion or money gift. I made a few changes, since I didn't have the stamps. I used school colors and mascot to decorate mine for my cousins graduation gift. (don't worry, she's getting more than $1, that's all I had in the house for a picture!) I also cut the slits and circles by hand.
This turns out really nice, head over to Splendiferous Creations for the template, and give it a try!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Monday!

We are back to a normal (or as normal as we get) week. Tulip Time was great this year, but I am ready to get back to eating around the table. I had a fantastic trip to the grocery store Saturday, and still can't believe how much money I saved with sales and coupons!! YEAH!! Here is what we are eating for dinner this week...

Monday- Leftovers and/or Velveeta Shells and Cheese
Tuesday- Crockpot Lasagna
Wednesday- Shake and Bake Chicken Nugget Kabobs
Thursday- Dinnertime Quesadillas (new one)
Friday- Hot dogs on the grill and curly fries
Saturday- Dad S.'s retirement dinner

For more great menu plan ideas, visit

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday's Spotlight!

Happy Mother's Day!!!

(Molly and me at the Whitecaps game last night)

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day. I really enjoyed spending time with my daughter for Mother's Day, we went to a Whitecaps Game last night, and today played outside, took naps (really, all of us!!!) and spent time with my husbands family. (my mom had to work, so we will have to celebrate soon) It was very nice!

(My mom and me in Chicago)
I was looking for a picture of just me and my mom to put up, and realized I don't have very many! I really need to work on getting more pictures with my mom.
Everyone says we look alike, what do you think? I love you mom!!! Happy Mother's Day!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Toddler Time Thursday!

(photo from The Grand Rapids Press, Dave Raczkowski - Click Photo to see story)

This year Tulip Time has something new! They started a Kinder Dance group for children in 3rd-5th grade. This year 22 boys and girls joined and learned a dance to preform during Tulip Time. I can't wait until Molly is old enough, hopefully she will love Dutch Dance as much as me, and she'll want to dance.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordless Wednesday!

My little Dutch girl, enjoying the sites of Tulip Time.

For more great "Wordless Wednesday" pictures, visit 5 minutes for mom.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tip Tuesday!

When it comes to planting and caring for tulips and other perennials I really can never keep it all straight. Tulips are tricky for me, when to water, and when not to... When to dig them up and replant them... and so on.

If you are like me and don't even know where to begin, check out these great websites, Gardener's Paradise, and White Flower Farm , they spell out the rules and care instructions to help you have a successful tulip garden. They give some great tips! Happy Tulip Time!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Menu Monday!

Ok, so this meal plan isn't really Tulip Time themed like the rest of the week. But we are eating downtown once and having tulip shaped cookies, so I tried!

Tuesday- Eating at Tulip Time!!! And tulip shaped sugar cookies

Wednesday- Mini Taco Salads (a day late for Cinco de Mayo)

Thursday- Goulash

Friday- New Holland Brewery after last Dutch dance of the year

Saturday- Breakfast dinner, Waffles and scrambled eggs

For more great Menu Plan ideas, visit

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday's Spotlight!

This week's spotlight is... TULIP TIME!!!

This week I am going with a Tulip Time theme, since it is Tulip Time all week! If you've never been to Holland, or the Tulip Time Festival, check it out at It is a festival to celebrate the tulips as well as our areas Dutch heritage.

One of the highlights of the festival is the dutch dancing. Hundred of adults and high school kids work very hard to learn traditional Dutch dances and wear authentic dutch costumes that are very strictly inspected for accuracy. Then, during Tulip Time, they dance daily for everyone who comes out to see.

(This is me and my daughter last year in our Dutch costumes)

I LOVE dutch dance, and myself along with Katie at A Listmaker's Life, and Shelby at Schweri Stories, are part of a great group of 12 that Dutch dance during the festival. Katie at Katie's Nesting Spot has a great video of part of our dance from when she came to watch!

If you are in Holland, Michigan come out and enjoy Tulip Time, and if you get the chance, come and watch us dance, or catch a parade or two!


(If your not into the Tulip Time fun, come back next week, I have some great tutorials I made and can't wait to share!)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sew Something Saturday!

This week I decided to sew this great microwavable heat wrap. (gearing up for the wooden shoe shin splints!) I used this wonderful tutorial from Feathered Fibers, with tons of pictures to make this a quick and easy project.
Just make sure to use 100% cotton flannel, this makes it safe for use in the microwave. Enjoy!!! ( I loved this project, but I did feel pretty silly having a photo shoot with my heat wrap, heehee)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Frugal Friday!

I LOVE COUPONS!!! And I LOVE TARGET!!! So, when the two combine, I am a happy girl!
If you haven't checked out the Target Coupon Generator, go over there and print some great Target coupons.

My favorite this week it the $1 off a Nabisco snack 7 oz. or larger. These bags of either Teddy Grahams, mini oreos, animal crackers, etc. are only $1.52. So with the coupon they are only .52 cents. I stocked up for summer vacations and such... (you can only use 1 per transaction, but you can print and use as many as you want as long as they are separate transactions!)