Tuesday, October 30, 2012

5 Ways to Have Frugal Family Fun During the Fall - (Guest Blogger Post)

I am pleased to publish this piece on behalf of Matt and Stephen of NerdWallet

5 Ways to Have Frugal Family Fun During the Fall

Looking for fun fall activities the whole family can enjoy? To many, autumn is the most beautiful time of year. Cool weather and vibrant, variegated leaves make the season pleasant for outdoor excursions. With a cornucopia of natural splendor, fall is rife with fulfilling entertainment opportunities that don't require much (if any) money. Here are 5 ways to have frugal family fun this autumn.

There is no better time of year to go on a family hike. You may have to bundle up a bit as the season deepens, but there are few things more refreshing than a lungful of crisp autumn air. Many communities host annual fall hiking sprees, which is always a great way to explore your home's natural treasures while spending quality time with the family. Teach the kids to identify leaves and send them on a scavenger hunt to find as many different types and colors as possible. Let them take their best leaf home and preserve it with a simple water and glycerin solution. 

Fall is perfect for bonfires. The weather is just right, and you don't have to worry about the pesky mosquitoes that plague and ruin so many summer fires. Have the kids help gather sticks and show them how to build a proper fire. Bonfires make a great setting for a number of activities. You can roast marshmallows and hotdogs, read scary stories and play or listen to music.

Leaf pile
The simple pleasures are what make life worth living. Raking leaves is hard work, but the joy your children get from jumping in the piles make it well worth the toil of the chore. This is also a good opportunity to put the kids to work. Have them help out with raking--it will make the end reward that much more satisfactory. While the kids are frolicking, sit back and crack open a pumpkin ale or heat up a mug of apple cider. 

Make Caramel Apples
Caramel apples are one of autumn's trademark foods. They're both delicious and cheap. You need only red apples, soft caramels, milk, peanuts (optional) and skewers. Start by removing the stems from the apples. In place of the stems, jam the skewers down inside. Melt the caramel together with a little milk (a pound of caramel and 2 tbsp of milk is about right). Roll the apples in the caramel and sprinkle with crushed peanuts. Let them sit on a sheet of wax paper until the caramel hardens.  

Harvest Festivals
Many communities and churches put on fall festivals that are often free to attend. See if any such events are taking place in your neighborhood. You and your family can enjoy hayrides, bonfires, storytelling, cider, snacks and live music. If you make it an annual event, your kids will begin looking forward to it every year. There is no better family setting for frugal fall fun.

Stephen writes for NerdWallet, a financial literacy site dedicated to helping consumers save money on both important fiscal decisions and everyday spending. His current project is tracking the best deals of Black Friday 2012.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Party Food

Do you have a halloween party/pot luck coming up and you have no clue what frightening, gross themed food to bring?  Remember, it's not WHAT you bring, but HOW you present it! Dollar stores are fantastic for picking up garnishes and fun things to dress up your dish, like fake spiders, plastic eyeballs, rubber rats, as well as tons of disposable serving wear.

Today my office had a halloween themed pot luck, I made deviled eggs that were supposed to look like pumpkins, other people brought haystacks with gummy teeth on them, cupcakes with reeces pieces on top, spinach dip presented in a hollowed out pumpkin, fruit punch in a halloween bowl with ice cube made from freezing juice into a rubber glove, so once frozen and cut off, it is an ice hand floating in the punch! Genious!

Check Pinterest for more wonderful ideas like we did, have fun with it, and hopefully you'll have lots of time to prepare, I'm already thinking of what I'm bringing next year!

Have fun!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

You don't have to spend a million bucks to look like it!

I have recently discovered the E.L.F (Eyes Lips Face) line of cosmetics available at Target. (I have also seen some products in my local Dollarama stores!)

For $1 (yes, that says ONE DOLLAR, it is not a typo!) you can purchase E.L.F. Lengthening Mascara! I will admit, I was a bit hesitant at first using $1 mascara, but after trying this, I will continue to purchase it. I was using the stuff in the pink tube with the green lid (we all know which one I am talking about!) but no more! E.L.F. has that mascara beat, hands down! I instantly noticed my lashes appear fuller and longer, and they do not clump at all! ONE DOLLAR PEOPLE!!! I still can't believe it!  

I have also purchased my eyelash curler as well as false lashes (just for fun!) from E.L.F. for only $1 !!!

Check out the E.L.F. website for all of their awesome products! They offer free shipping on most orders over $25 as well as gift options ranging from $3 - $21! They also offer occasional gifts with purchase, as well as make donations to such causes such as 100% of profits from the sale of their Studio Lotion Wipes in Peony to Breast Cancer research for the month of October!

What an amazing company with amazing, AFFORDABLE products! Check them out! I hope you love them as much as I do! and don't forget...the holiday season is quickly approaching! I'm sure there is someone on your list who would love an E.L.F. gift! I know I would!

  • e.l.f. cosmetics is the premier retail source for all your makeup and beauty needs. Our products offer affordable and high quality design to enhance your natural radiance. e.l.f. cosmetics offers an entire line of luscious lip glosses, with various shades and styles to choose from, as well as intensive hydrating lipstick for long-lasting color and shine. Our natural Mineral Makeup will help you on your way to healthier glowing skin, with no parabens, no preservatives and no chemical dyes. Try our color-lock, chip resistant nail polish for an unforgettable shine. Our ergonomically designed makeup brushes are professionally tested to provide precision application of blush, bronzer, mascara or any other purpose. e.l.f. Cosmetics eyeshadow and eyeliner products can be combined to create your personal favorite look. In addition to our online store, check out eyeslipsface.com for professional makeup tips from our trained professional makeup artists.


Wow, it's been almost 3 months!

Hello readers!

It may appear as though I have fallen off the face of the Earth! I just realized I have not had any new posts since July! I am so sorry!

I promise I will start posting on a more regular basis! It is now Fall, my favorite time of year, so you will probably see me sharing a lot of fall ideas I have as well as stuff that excites me about the beginning of the holiday season! (I know, I know, you probably don't want to think about that yet, but reality people! it's gonna be here before you know it! Might as well embrace it and get any kind of a head start you can!)

Also, I am pleased to announce I will be featuring a guest blogger shortly! More info to come soon! Can't wait to see what our guest has to share with us!

I hope you are all having a great fall! It is nice and mild here today in Kingston Ontario, but I know it won't last, so enjoy it while you can!  This is perfect leaf raking weather!  Get out there and have some fun!