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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Creative Juices

One day I was creative and then one day I was not.  What happened? I know what did it.  Responsibilities, lifestyle changes, expectations, stress, etc.   Our minds become so clouded with our day to day chores and responsibilities that it can be hard to keep those creative juices flowing.  Then steps in a six-year-old.  This age totally amazes me. Not only are they competent but they are creative.
Rooster loves to make books.  He makes a new one every day about whatever is on his mind.  The other day, it was how a pumpkins grows. The day before that it was the Beaner's favorite things.  This past month me and Rooster decided we were going to start making books together.  Our first one, about a boy who doesn't want to go to school, should be done soon and placed on Amazon for purchase.  How exciting!
So today Rooster comes up to me and says "can we write a book about Nothing?"  Brilliant my little buddy.  One of the greatest television shows of all time is about Nothing.  So that is our next book.  Shortly after that,  his creative little juices surfaced again.
We had been given playdoh to make as a birthday party favor (another brilliant idea from a great mom).  I made 3 different colors.  After Rooster was done playing with it he wanted to store it.  His sister gladly smooshed all three of hers into the ziploc baggy I provided but not my Rooster.  He didn't want his colors to mix.   I refused to waste 3 bags and told him to just set them in and be careful.  Not good enough.  His creative juices told him to staple down 3 columns in his bag thereby creating pockets for his playdoh!  Why didn't I think of that?  Because I was too busy worrying about the muffins to make for school tomorrow, changing a diaper, clipping coupons, cleaning up playdoh, etc.  To be 6 again with such great ideas!  Here's a picture of the playdoh.  What do you think?

Check out this giveaway!

In my last post, I talked about saving money for Christmas by winning many of my kiddos gifts.  Well, I'm here to tell you about a very generous blogger with lots of low entry giveaways.  I recently won a giveaway from A Little of Everything and I can tell you they are super easy to enter!  So head over and check out Courteney's fall giveaways!  Her button is over there on the right.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Christmas shopping already?

Every year around this time I start thinking about how to spoil my kids for Christmas. Growing up, Christmas was a magical day for me. My parents were generous but not overloading with our gifts.  I believe much of the magic I remember was based on the festivities around the holidays.  The smell of holiday cookies, the wrapping of gifts for relatives, the bells jingling at the stores, sitting on Santa's lap and my favorite, the great lengths my parents went to proving to me that Santa existed.

Now with kids of my own, I struggle with maintaining a balance between my desire to buy my kids every toy available with the need to be practical and teach them the true meaning of Christmas. I want them to wake up that morning with a big smile and feel like the unwrapping of gifts is never ending.  However, it makes no financial sense to spend boat loads of dollars on young children who really do not need all that much.  So this season, I've been on a mission to get as many of their gifts for free as I can.  Yes, free!

So here is my progress so far... In the past three weeks, I've won or obtained free the following:
My Little Firefly (pretend fireflies in a jar), a large butterfly net, a whale whistle and a $25 Amazon gift code.  I also won some free organic skin care for myself. You have to pamper the provider you know.  Yes, this is only a start but I haven't put much time or effort forth yet either.  So how do you do it?  By entering online contests through Facebook and blogs.  I have also won a very cool tent and a Melissa & Doug rolling suitcase through this method.

Personally, I use Money Saving Mom.  I love her giveaways because all you do it put in your name and email address and hit enter.  I have not won anything from her yet but the cool part is, after the winner is announced, everyone with giveaways links up and there you have a great list of giveaways to enter.  I am very selective when I enter as it makes no sense to win something we don't need.  It does take some effort but when I'm winding down at night, watching a little television, why not be productive?

How about you? What do you plan to do to save money this holiday season?