Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Eat Your Heart Out, Martha: Elegant Photo Albums

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Grandparents can be difficult people to buy for because I think as we get older, we began to acquire so much and it can be a struggle to come up with an idea for something they already don’t have or can’t buy for themselves.

Last year I started doing photo albums for each set of grandparents and it was a real hit, particularly for the grandparents who don’t live near us. It is a great way to share with them what we have been up to throughout the year and give them a tiny glimpse into our everyday life. By making each of these albums personal and filling them with pictures from our life, it helps them feel like they are close by and gives them a great brag book to share with their friends.

I found professional-looking albums last year at our local dollar store, but I didn’t have any success this year. I decided to head over to Marshall’s and found some very elegant albums for
only $3.99 each. Not as good of a deal as the ones got for a buck last year, but still a phenomenal deal.

I found thirty pictures from our year to have printed for each book. I tried to put the fun holiday pictures in there, but also funny pictures from our year and included subtitles for each. How else can you share the joy your husband experienced from getting his hands on one of the first copies of the last Harry Potter book on a midnight run to Barnes & Noble? Those are the moments that I wanted to put in our books.

We included pictures that our son drew for each album…six in all! I decided not to wrap them since they looked so elegant without the wrapping and opted for a gold bow instead. I found the ribbon at Dollar General and plan to use this same ribbon for our treat boxes this year. 75 feet for $5 is a great deal and I love how beautifully it brought these albums together.

I ordered our pictures this year through This was the first time I used their photo services and it was a great experience. They had flat shipping of $1 and it was twelve cents per print, which I thought was very affordable! For a complete breakdown on photo deals for this month, be sure to stop by Baby Cheapskate. Angie has a great price breakdown on holiday card specials and coupon codes you can use.

The total cost for each gift was $7.80, which makes it not only a memorable grandparent gift, but also an affordable one!

Camera Recommendations?

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

I am looking to purchase a new digital camera and was hoping to get some recommendations! My camera is great for capturing still objects, but not for crazy kids and all of their busyness.

I would prefer one with image stabilization and that can take photos quickly, but I think I want to stick with a point-and-click camera. I love the fancier models, but just can’t justify the price tag.

So with those things in mind, do you have any camera recommendations or any tips for shopping for this big purchase?

Thanks for your input!

$5 Magazine Subscriptions

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

I buy a lot of magazine subscriptions to give as gifts and primarily go through Ebay to make my purchases. I love giving subscriptions as gifts because it is a gift that continues giving long after people have become tired of the items they got for Christmas gifts. In addition, it gives them something fun to look forward to in their mailbox, rather than just the regular old bills!

I ran across this great special through Hearst Magazine for $5 subscriptions. There are tons of titles to choose from including Marie Claire, SmartMoney, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country, House Beautiful, & Popular Mechanics. If you go on their homepage, however, these deals aren’t offered so be sure to go through that provided link.

What excellent gifts these will make! I am not sure how long this offer will last so I am going to order some today. I hope this helps someone else with some of their holiday shopping!

Side Note: Be sure to look how many issues are being offered for your money. Some of the nicer subscriptions, like O Magazine, only offer four issues for this price. Still an excellent deal, but won’t last as long as the twelve issue subscriptions!

Space Heater Recommendations

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

It is that time of year again and I got our space heater out last night to warm our downstairs family room. Would you believe that this is the third edition of this space heater in our house in less than a year, and it has once again OVERHEATED?!! The first two I had returned, all for overheating, but now I am past the return policy on this one. I really loved the design of this heater because the air blew at just the right height, but now I just want one that works.

Do you guys have a space heater that you could recommend? One that has some lasting qualities to it? I am looking for one with an automatic shutoff.

Boo to Lasko for releasing such a bad product! Shame on you!

Cozy Swap

Monday, November 19th, 2007

I participated in another Sister Shoe Box Swap sponsored by Carrie & Monica. The theme for this swap was “cozy” and we were to include fun and cozy items for our swap partners.

Lucky for me, I got Carrie to partner up with. She sent a box full of fun goodies including a yummy chai mix, warm & fuzzy socks, a holiday towel, a pretty holiday frame, cookie decorating supplies, peppermint foot scrub, a candle set, and my favorite gift of all…. a gift card to Starbucks to get my pumpkin spice latte fix. Does she know me well or what?

My shoe box to Carrie contained some fuzzy slipper socks, some of my hot cocoa mix (with a big bag of marshmallows), holiday stationary, a cookie cutter, a purse-size holiday scrapbooking kit, and my favorite Starbucks CD.

Please visit her site for the list of all of the participants. Many thanks to Carrie & Monica for making this swap possible! It is so nice to get something other than bills in the mail.

MomAdvice Friday: Is Your House “Small”?

Friday, November 16th, 2007

I was watching Oprah the other day and they had a great show where they showcased homeowners who were their own decorators and had created beautiful living spaces without the aid of a designer.

One of the houses that they showcased was a 1,700 square foot home that they referred to as “small” and they shared how amazed they were that the homeowner was able to make their home feel so large when they were living in such a small home. The homeowners had lived in another country before so they said they had adapted to the European home size.

To be honest, I just sat scratching my head wondering what I was missing . My home is 1,800 square feet and while it is certainly no McMansion, it isn’t as though we are living in a tiny shack either. We have four people in our house and I feel like it is a comfortable home size for us. A family that lived in our house before us had five children in this space!

When I think about buying a larger home, I think about how I often feel that I can’t keep up with my house that I have right now. If I can’t keep a house tidy this size, why would I ever buy a bigger house that would require more cleaning?

I also think of all my brainstorms for how we can maximize the space we already have by creating more built-in pieces and being more creative with the walls and corners in our home.

Am I alone in this thinking? What are your thoughts about McMansions and the American way of super-sizing everything? What size of house is considered small to you?


Thursday, November 8th, 2007

One of my favorite mommy bloggers, Angie from Baby Cheapskate, has started a community where you can freely trade mommy and baby gear through your local community. Her new program is called Freepeats.

Since she is an Atlanta resident, her first target for her community is her local area. She is offering a free membership to join Freepeats through December 31st. After this date, she will be offering memberships for a one time fee of $4.95! How awesome is that?

She has goals to expand the program to other areas of the country so if you are not an Atlanta mom, do not despair! Other big cities should be added in the future. She has plans to launch six more communities by 2008!

We thank Angie for her contributions towards making our mommy lives a tad more frugal!

Set Your Recorders: The CBS Early Show

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

I should be on The Early Show tomorrow morning (Friday) on a work-at-home piece that they are doing. I am quite nervous about this so please send up lots of prayers that it portrays my work here in a good light. We were so happy to be included and to be on national news.

The approximate time for airing is 7:40 AM!

Please pray that our site can handle the traffic!

Thank you all for your continued support and kindness. I couldn’t do it without our awesome community!

The Motherloot!!!

Monday, November 5th, 2007

We are finally live with our product review site, “The Motherloot”. I still need to work on guidelines and specifications for companies that would like to be featured, but we now have a separate home for these and I hope you can visit it!

Recent additions to the site include:

Family Facts Organizing Products


Let us know what you think and how you like the design! Many thanks to my designer for making this possible!!

I will be working on more reviews and am hoping to include lots of holiday shopping ideas for the families.

More Difficult Than It Should Be

Monday, October 29th, 2007

We had to bring a snack to the Halloween Party that we attended and I was so excited to make Scribbit’s witch hats to bring with us. What an easy and fun idea…this SHOULD have been.

I didn’t realize it, but after visiting three grocery stores, I was unable to find the chocolate cookies that I needed to complete the project.

I had to get a little more creative than usual so I used Christina’s Chocolate Crinkles recipe and patted the cookies into a very flat shape. To insure that they stayed flat, I patted them when I removed them from the oven.

The shapes were still not even so I used my great-grandma’s biscuit cutter (a favorite piece in my kitchen) to cut out perfect circles.

I found Hershey Kisses filled with caramel and used these to rest on top. A frosting bow did complete the look.

The kitchen was short of a disaster and this turned into a little more work than I had intended to put into the snack.

I must say that the results were great and I was proud of how they turned out. The cookies probably tasted better than the store-bought version and who couldn’t appreciate how festive they looked?

Thanks to Michelle for the great treat idea!! I just thought I would share my substitute in case you have as much trouble as me finding these cookies!