Recipe For A Simple Life

Simplify your life, one day at a time

Try This! Patriotic Tin Can Windsock

I was looking for a patriotic type idea to post as we approach 9/11 and came across this idea on Pinterest.  (You knew that was coming right?)   I am a big fan of re-using and recycling things, not only because it creates less waste, but because it’s frugal.  (of course)

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t actually have any of what was needed to make this cute project on hand when I decided to try it.  (That would have been way too easy, right?)  But hey, it was Labor Day weekend and we didn’t have plans, so why not make a big mess and call it a family bonding experience?

If you want the detailed directions and nicely illustrated tutorial, click on the photo to the right, or follow this link.  If you want to see the mess the kids and I made, just scroll down.  Enjoy!!

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Good Reading

I love to read.  I especially love to read fiction.  In fact, I’ve been know to stay up well beyond when I should have gone to bed on a work night just to see what happens in the next chapter of a good book.  I thought it might be interesting to share with you a few of my favorite books and authors.  I’m hoping you will share a few of yours with me too.

I am also interested in your thoughts on “real” books as opposed to e-books or book readers such as the Kindle or Nook.  We have an iPad and I’ve downloaded the Kindle app for it.  I do enjoy it in certain situations, but I find that I still prefer old fashioned paper pages.  What are your thought?

This week I read “Divine” by Karen Kingsbury.  I have to confess that she is my favorite author.  I have (almost) all her books.  I find her books very easy to read and always take away an inspirational message from them.  I read the whole book (for the third or fourth time) this weekend and still found it to be moving and inspirational.

Have you read any good books lately?

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How I "Wasted" $7.00 Today and Why I'd Do It Again…

I “wasted” $7.00 today.  I did.  I paid $1.29 for a one pound loaf of bread I could have made myself, $1.59 on Diet Dr. Pepper I didn’t need and $4.29 for a dozen cookies from a gas station.  Why did I do this?  Because I promised my 8 year old explorer that I would take him and a friend to a local park for a picnic and an afternoon of toad hunting and I talked my girls into coming along too.

Now, if I were a little more organized and self-disciplined, I could have kept that promise for free.  But I’m not.  And I’ve discovered something – sometimes a splurge is worth it.  We spent 2 hours at the park before my girls ran out of patience and energy.  The boys could have gone 2 more hours traipsing through the sloppy shore of the park pond looking for toads, feathers, shells and who knows what else.  They are already planning the next trip.

We didn’t find any toads, by the way.  We did have a great time, relatively unplugged (I did take a couple photos on my phone) and spent the afternoon outside on a gorgeous Minnesota afternoon.  Sometimes “simple” really is simple, no big plans or elaborate preparations, just good old fashioned fun.

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Wednesday Wow: Valentine's Day DIY

Next week is Valentine’s Day and I haven’t picked up any cards for the kids to write out yet.  Valentines are pretty inexpensive, but I’m really hoping that this year I can convince at least one child to  make their own.  I’ve been feeling crafty lately and need a project.  I thought if I surfed over to Pinterest I might find some inspiration.  (I was also avoiding some homework and household chores).

ValentineHere are some clever ideas I found. This cute gift idea is just a deck of old cards dressed up with some colored cardstock.  Each page lists one thing you love about the receiver.  What a wonderful and personal way to let your loved ones know which things you love about them!  Once you’re done making pages, just hole punch the sides and use book rings to attach.  Voila!

V-day card

The next one has my mind turning and my pencil sketching out an idea.  If it turns out, I’ll share next week.  It looks like there is material involved in the original, but I’m transforming to paper and envisioning my heart punch and scrapbook leftovers being put to good use soon.


Okay, one more and then I need to stop avoiding the housework and homework.  (This really is more fun though)  The last idea here is one I’d love to do, but I’m not sure I have the patience for.  The body is a mini candy bar wrapped in colorful paper.  What a great way to use up all the scrapbook leftovers and it’s so cute!!!


Do you have a Valentine craft or idea to share?  I’d love to hear and / or see it.  Inspire me!

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Family Freebie

Looking for something free, fun AND educational for your whole family?  Stop in to your local Petco on October 1-2, 2011 between 1-2 pm for “Meet the Critters.”  According to their website, Meet the Critters is “a free monthly educational event that allows guests of all ages to enjoy hands-on activities while learning about a variety of unique and interesting pets from reptiles to rabbits.”  In October, they will be featuring the Guinea Pig.  Look HERE to find the Petco nearest you.   Thanks to The Frugal Girls for the heads up!

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