Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Start preparing taxes now and get ahead!



TurboTax is Easy, Free Edition, Fast Refund

You can set up your account or simply login and at least get the general information plugged in and ready to go for all your financial information as it rolls in!

Best wishes on this year's tax season!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Countdown to the New Year!

So we made it through Christmas! My son had a great Christmas and has enjoyed all of his gifts and the season itself.

My husband and I got each other gift cards which is what we needed to be practical and helpful. My mom and sis got us diapers and other baby items for Christmas which is perfect because anything for the arrival of the baby in March in advance is highly appreciated and what we need to focus on right now. There will be plenty of years to spoil ourselves. This year and 2010 is all about getting ready for baby and getting the baby here and keep our heads above water financially.

This week we will enjoy the countdown to the new year and start preparing for tax season. This must be done ASAP as the baby is due March! (Right around Tax Season and nearing deadlines!) :-) Any money on the return this year will go to the Hospital bill!!!! We are trying to plan ahead as much as possible so we can have a smooth start being a family of 4 (5 if you include our first child "phoebe" our pet poodle!) :-)

Happy New Year!

Start preparing for Tax Season now! Get those final donations in. Get ahead with ItsDeductible. Start sorting those receipts into categories. Best Wishes for a great Tax Season!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Break Starts later today!

I am excited to have made it til Christmas Break! Today is students' last day before Christmas Break...mine will be on Monday. I am ready for a three week break.

I still have some Christmas Gifts to get together...mostly Gift Cards, etc...My main shopping was complete on Black Friday. I really did good with time on those gifts this year.

I'll spend my break figuring out ways to save and cut costs in order to prepare for the New Year and the New Baby (due in March).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Looking forward to Black Friday!

I just checked out Target's online 2-day sale ad. I saw that the Leapster games will all be $15 each! That is a steal for those. They had pictures of "Up" and "Tinker Bell" for the leapster games...my son would love those. He still loves his leapster after having it for nearly 2 years now. It is the one toy that hasn't got old with him! Educational too.

I will also be doing regular shopping and not concern myself with sales, just getting what I am after and hope it isn't sold out...if it is....my son is young and it doesn't matter at his age.

Happy Shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving Tomorrow! Enjoy your Turkey and Dressing!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I can't believe how close Thanksgiving and Black Friday is!!!

I am of course...very excited about having Turkey at Mom's house...the best meal of the year! She loves to cook for Thanksgiving and we love to eat! :-)

I wanted to write this post to say...instead of Blogging about Black Friday this year...I am planning to be out in it. I am so excited. My husband's new job has allowed him to be home the day after Thanksgiving (aka: Black Friday). The last couple of years, I just didn't want to get up that early and take my son...too young or not young enough (a bit easier when they are still in a carrier and roll in a stroller). So my friend and I are going to take full advantage this Friday and get out and about. I am not worried if I find a deal or not. I am just simply excited to get out and about and see the crowds. I love it! I would love to stumble upon a few things for my son this year and save money...if not...that is cool too....have to buy a few things one way or another.

Have an enjoyable short week (I hope for you all) and Thanksgiving and Black Friday Shopping!

Black Friday for those who may not know comes from the stores who are usually in the "red" (ink) (doing poorly on sales) this time of year...change to black ink meaning Profit...all on this Black Friday day (day after Thanksgiving). No idea the history of how it started, but it is fun to be a part of!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's a Girl!

Sorry this is delayed...

We found out Wednesday that the baby is a GIRL! :-)

We are all excited! One of each...very perfect for us I would say.

Now to the tough task of naming her...this is going to be a tough one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Dreary Day outside, But Excited about today!

Today we find out if we are having a boy or a girl! I am getting excited about the visit. I have two hours before I leave for the doctor's office to find out.

We just pray for a happy, healthy, boy or girl. If we had to choose...we would say girl because we have a boy and it would be cool to have one of each...with this being the last one and everything.
If it is a boy...great...we have everything and my son gets a brother!
If it is a girl...great...my sis has all the girl stuff and my son gets a sister!
A win win I must say!

I will do another post today or tomorrow to let you all know which it is! Any guesses out there?
My first is a boy and he is 4 years old! Hmmmmmm....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

45 Days til Christmas!

What are you doing to get ready this year?

I have purchased two gifts and several for my son already. Very proud of myself. I have made and listed ornaments in my etsy store to make money and get in the Holiday spirit early. So far I have sold 7-9 of the ornaments (I didn't do a final count). Every little bit helps.

Speaking of Holidays...
I hope everyone has a terrific Veteran's day tomorrow.
I also hope everyone is getting excited about Thanksgiving!

Have a great week everyone!
Tomorrow we find out "boy or girl!"
What do you think? boy or girl?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November already?

I am in disbelief at the rapid pace that this year has went by.

I am 20 weeks this week! Officially five months now! Half way there! Sorry for all the exclamation points...just showing some enthusiasm here. :-)

Trying to figure out some ways to save extra money for the new baby coming in March. Have tried to start selling on Etsy again after having taken a long break from it all. I felt really bad the first three plus months of this pregnancy. With my son...I don't remember feeling that bad. The good news is ...that stage has seemed to pass and I have moved on to the more energy and healthier appetite stage. (My favorite stage.)

We are hoping to insulate our garage and believe that will help with heating and cooling the room above which is our all important hobby room. Where we do our creating. My husband draws and lately, my thing is macrame and crochet. My son loves to paint! We are an always busy bunch.

Have a lovely Friday!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bought One Pack of Diapers!

I know...odd post title.

I am proud to say we started to make a move early in order to be ready for second child in March. We bought One Pack of Size Newborn Diapers. I remember that being the ONLY size we did not have with my son. We will probably buy a pack each week in different sizes up until the baby is born. This way...at least we'll have diapers! :-) I am excited to finally make a purchase.

The 20 week ultrasound...I chose to have at 21 weeks on November 11th! I will share if it is a boy or girl at that point. I'll be happy, of course, with either...but kinda think it would be nice to have a girl because we already have a boy. One of each! If it is a boy...that will be great also as my son with have a little brother to grow up with. Either way...we are talking "win win!"

Have a terrific rest of the week!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Zoo Trip went well and Under Budget!

I had a budget that I wanted to spend at the Zoo with my son and Mom! It was $120.00. I know...maybe a lot..but I wanted all three of us to have fun and not be too restricted. I planned for the food and snacks to be around $40.00 total...we came in at $22.00 (that is for all three of us). We had a cool day but not cold. We stayed for four hours so I think we did awesome and this was all we needed to spend and we ate what we wanted. I planned for souvenirs (aka: toys for my son) to be around $40 also in the event it was expensive. I came in at $14.00 for that which is awesome. He picked out a little farm playset that turns into a box that stores the animals that came with it. He chose Rock Candy Suckers and donated a Dollar to the Wildlife fund and got an Owl Button. He also wanted to ride on one of those 50 cents things outside the store and 51 cents for turning a penny into a polar bear keepsake. Not bad and everyone was happy! My Mom enjoyed the day out with her daughter (me) and grandson (my son). :-) We paid $33.00 for entrance and that included two tickets for extras for each of us. We used our combined six tickets for three carosel rides for my son and a 4-D movie for all of us. A great day and under budget! One can't beat that!

:-)

So the total day mentioned above came out to $69.00! $51.00 under budget! You have to love that! It is priceless of course to spend time with my mother and son!

This is week #2 of Fall Break...and so far the plan is enjoying being at home!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Break! Yay! 16 weeks tomorrow!

Just thought I would type up fast update.

The pregnancy is going well...tomorrow I will hit 16 weeks! Pretty exciting as I finally feel like getting off the sofa and just in time for Fall Break! I get a nice two weeks off...Thanks to our new school calendar this year. We went to the International Festival on Saturday and all had a great time. My son and I along with my mom, his "Nanny" will be going to the Zoo sometime this week. I'm excited about that as well. Finally my son is at an age that he knows to stay with us, can remember trips, etc...and can simply enjoy everything more. I am looking forward to seeing his reactions to the animals. The Zoo is very inexpensive to get into the park and only 30 minutes from where my mother lives. Should turn up to be a nice day. We are eyeing the weather to know which day to go since I have that luxury these two weeks.

I went to my 15 week appointment last week...heard the heartbeat. It was strong and everything is doing well. Next appointment is three weeks from my 15 week.

Have a great week!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Starting to make the Baby List...

Just this past week, I finally sat down and took time to write all the items, gear, etc... that we still have from our son.

It was pleasantly surprising to see all we do NOT need to buy this time around. A sure savings to save the old and leave a bit of room for some new.

We saved the big items like:
Crib
Play yard
Two superyards XT (awesome product)
Highchair
Booster seat
Carrier
Stroller
Car Seats
Receiving Blankets (a bunch)
Lots of clothes from each size
Bouncer
Jump-a-roo (I think it is called)
Bottle warmer
Sterilizer
All types of feeding supplies from bottles to pump, etc... (Naturally will replace all important parts to new)
Changing mat (nice contour one)
the list goes on...

I am just proud of us for holding on to these items for 4-5 years now. We will simply wash them up in Dreft, etc... They have been tightly stored away in boxes, bags, etc...but will still wash them down good. If for some reason something needs to be replaced...at least everything won't need to be and that is a nice thought! The first time around...man...it is a LOT!!!!!

This leaves room for new comforter set, a few new clothes, necessities (shampoo, diapering items, etc...), and maybe one nice new item. Oh yeah...treat for myself will be a new diaper bag...I want one that looks like a handbag this time...going to be on the search. All without breaking the bank and doing it our self! Not bad!

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just lookin' at Computers the other day...

On Monday of this week...my friend and I thought we would just peruse the stores for fun...we both needed to get out and about on our day off. One store we just kind of dropped in on was Best Buy. We said...hey lets look at Computers/Laptops, etc... for fun.

We were pleasantly surprised by the great computers you can get and for what seemed to us low low prices! Talk about tempting. We saw this one (desktop) that was soo impressive. It had a huge flat screen with the "tower" that was built into the screen (so no tower). It had a touch screen, wireless THIN keyboard and wireless mouse. It was awesome! I said...Hmm...wonder what this one cost? It was only $1000.00. I know that may sound high, but to me it does not for what you get. Think back just a few years...a thousand bucks wouldn't have gotten near that great of a computer. It had tons of storage, built in webcam. It just had it all. Very cool computer. There were also fantastic laptops with loads of storage and everything you want in any screen size ranging from $300-$700. That is just crazy good prices. Or maybe I haven't been out in a really long time. LOL So, I think...if anyone is in the market for a computer...go for it! One of our laptops (the one I am currently using) the screen is ready to fall off...seriously. So I may have to make the investment.

Just thought I would share in case there was anyone else out there that just hasn't looked at computers lately.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

11 weeks and 1 day! :-)

I am 11 weeks and 1 day pregnant today!

I can finally let you all know why I haven't blogged much lately. This is the reason...I have not been feeling good at all for the past months and it is slowly easing up. As I get back more into my blogging here...I will be adding savings and ideas for those going through pregnancy and infants as I go through it. I am not changing direction as I always blog my Thrifty and Creative ideas for what we do, and now our focus is on adding a new member to our family.

My most current finding is for motion/dizzy/etc...feelings that you get in that first trimester. A friend at work suggested "Sea Bands" and let me borrow some today and they really seemed to help me out as I felt happier and more able to do my job better today without the nausea I've been feeling pretty strongly lately.

More to come...stay tuned. I am still have some sickness here and there. Probably will take a couple more weeks before I transition into the more comfortable of the three trimesters. :-)

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Picture People does good work!

Hi all!



My son had his 4 year old pictures done at The Picture People! They did a great job and I love the pictures! I highly recommend their work! Check their site regularly for coupons!



Have a great Friday!



I hope to check in more regularly...but no promises for right now. I have been feeling bad lately.

Melanie

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Update: DIY project and a couple Hot Days..staying cool!

I just wanted to send an update as I haven't in a while. Everything will get better once I am settled into my new school schedule.

What is going on currently:

My husband is DIYing by putting up some crown molding in our home. He paid $145 for a nice skil saw to cut angles and he studied up quite a bit on how to do crown molding. He also consulted with a friend that built his own very immaculate house to be sure he is doing things right. I like this ongoing project as it increases value in our home and the fact that this year we have not done anything big to the house to increase the value until this. Each year (this is the third in this house) we try to do some big things to add value to the house so I am excited that the main purchase is the saw and the molding itself is not all that expensive when buying a few pieces at a time. I like the fact that also, it is a project that if he needs to stop, it isn't an eyesore, etc...everything is in the garage that he uses for the cutting etc...so not much mess to clean up.

We just had a very hot day today near triple digits and tomorrow it is expected to reach 101 degrees. Yikes! What I noticed today when I had the blinds open even with it directing upward...the house was getting hotter...so I simply shut all the curtains and made sure all blinds were directed upward to not allow direct light and the temperature dropped 2 degrees in the house which brought it back to normal. Amazing what a few curtains can do! I want to try some solar shades that my friend is trying out that she bought at JCPenney and she loves them already and says it has cooled down her kitchen dramatically. We may have to get some of those throughout the house. I am really big into lowering bills and being comfortable!

Have a great day and week to come!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My apologies for my absense.

Once school gets back into session for a few weeks and I get settled in my classroom, I will be back blogging more regularly than the past couple weeks. My apologies once more for my absense here. I do love updating my blog...but being back at work has zapped my energy once at home.

Thank you for your patience.

Have a wonderful day and rest of the week!

I love Thursdays!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My son is turning 4 years old on Friday! Where to buy a bike?

Hi all!

This Friday my son will be 4 years old! I just can't believe it! That means in one year he will be going to work with me every day for six years! Poor kid. :-) (I teach Art and he will have to have me once a week for six years...kinda weird for me but actually I am very excited!)
I couldn't stay home, so this is an awesome alternative and one of the perks of being an elementary art teacher. I do love my job and it will be super awesome when he is there and I get to wave at him in the hallway every day!

Anywho...I ran off on a tangent there for a second...I wanted to ask to blog world out there if anyone knows the best place to buy a bike (and kinda not expensive). We were thinking he needs something a bit bigger but could still have removable training wheels. Any ideas? :-) You know I am looking for a deal here!

Have a great day everyone!

P.S. I am excited to post that I will be finally using a gift card I received from my friend back at Christmas for pictures at the Picture People! I saved it for six months now just so I could use them for my son's 4th Birthday! I am proud of myself for holding back to run immediately to spend it. I LOVE pictures...she got me the coolest gift with that!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Christmas in July...check out this site and "Green" ornaments!

This morning I was just checking around for Christmas ideas and ran across this site and great ides for "green" "eco-friendly" ornaments! I love them! They look awesome! A great inspiration for the season (5 months away is it?).

From EcoSalon.com:
Cute Ornaments made from recycled or "green" materials!

Enjoy! I just couldn't resist sharing the site and ideas. I know it is early, but I will not remember several months from now. :-)

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday Monday!

It's that time of week again...Monday!

Just doing a random update here....

I hope everyone had a fabulous Fourth! We did...we hung out with friends and just basically relaxed.

My husband's garden is doing well...we have gotten tons of cucumbers and the tomatoes are starting to finally turn red! We love slicing up a tomato, cucumber and bring out the laughing cow cheese and that is a terrific snack...can be a nice little breakfast also...toss in a piece of bread.

I found out over the weekend it is hard to find drinks that have no caffeine in them. We are all trying to cut down on caffeine intake. I did find that Ginger Ale has no caffeine, and naturally Caffeine Free colas have no caffeine (but I am curious if anything else in them are bad for you?). I know, these days everything is bad for you.

We noticed recently that we started to eat out too much and decided to cut back again by eating healthy (healthier), etc....we are starting to make soups, baked dishes and such that last a while for several meals and these are healthier than eating out, taste good and last a while for cost effectiveness.

We stopped in a grocery store (other than Aldi's) this weekend and were sticker shocked. We always shop at Aldi Grocery Store (the bag it yourself type place). After that stop...we are proud of our shopping and value at Aldi! So, we are doing good in that area by shopping Aldi. Love that store!

I'm home for the summer, so we save gas and everything by myself and son being home. Also, my sitter likes her summer off too to spend with her kids...so it is a huge savings for us too. Most sitters and daycares require you to pay whether your kid is there or not. We are blessed in this area too.

We are searching for areas to save money though. I will keep you posted if I find a new saver.

Have a great Monday!
That is my update!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hey Artists and Crafters: Michael's is having some huge sales!

They are having tons of sales starting today! Go to their website to sign up for emails and they should send you a 40% coupon. When you sign up for their email newsletter...they send you regular coupons (you wouldn't otherwise get) and updates on sales and events and such!

I went Friday, but geez..such a good 4th sale that I may have to go back today to get the things I wanted Friday and didn't get! I am sick, sick I tell you....I love supplies!

Have a great today and even better tomorrow! :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Went to Yard Sales Saturday! Got some Deals!

I love going to Yard Sales!

You just never know what you might find! Some times you go out and find nothing or everything just seems overpriced. Well, this past Saturday, my friend and I just went to a few and had a great time and got some major deals.

Here is what I bought that I am excited about:

*An Egg and Spoon Race NEW in the Box...never been opened for $4.00 (in the store it is like $15 or something)

*Some new notecards with a coffee theme for 15 Cents! I am forever needing thank you notes.

*Some Vogue (New in Box) Notecards for 50 Cents! (Beautiful Cards)

*A wrestler doll for $2 (sells in the store for $15)

*Cute Welch's Glasses with Curious George and Dragon Tales for 10 Cents Each!

*A Lifehouse CD for $1.00 (I like one song on there so it was a great deal)

My fav purchase was the Egg and Spoon Relay....my son has already gotten the $4 worth out of it plus the $15 regular purchase price! It is so cute!

Those were my best deals of the weekend. I did some other shopping at Target, Walmart and Tuesday Morning...but my most exciting purchases were at the yard sales! Loving a deal and it was Fun!

Have a great Monday all!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thifty and Creative's Blogoversary is Today!

Today this blog turns officially TWO years old!

I can't believe it either!

How did I celebrate? I took a few naps and had some coffee! :-)

Thanks to all my readers and passersby! :-)

Melanie

Here is to another two years...cheers (with cup of coffee)!

It's that time of year! Plant a garden if you haven't already!

This year we have planted: Tomatoes, Cucumbers (already getting tons of them), Grapes (this one is going to be interesting), and Watermelons that apparently never went away from last year....weird!

I encourage you, if you can...to plant your favorite veggie soon! Take advantage of just buying seeds and enjoying what You grew!

I realize, if you don't already have a garden, it may take some time and effort and maybe even a little money to get it going. In the long run...it's worth it and easier upkeep year to year once you have everything set. For example: we have a raised garden bed...my husband had to buy the wood and piece it together to create the raised and step effects. It looks so nice and it is done! We also (well husband again) put in irrigation. I suppose not a necessity, but it is nice when you don't feel like getting out the water hose or a bucket. :-) Also, you would need stakes for such items as tomatoes and such. After the initial year of setting up, it is cheaper than buying from the market.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Fun with my son....Use the Library!

I got the idea from my mother who watches her other grandchild (my niece). She takes my niece to the local library once or twice a week for a children's book reading (story time). This way my niece gets to be around other children, they both get out of the house, and it is educational and fun for both! Oh yes, and it is Free!

I am home for five weeks (my summer vacation) with my son and thought, why didn't I think of that before? I sure didn't, but I will take advantage now. I love the idea.

If you are also interested...check out your local library...do a google search for your public library system and then narrow down to your location. There you go...each individual library many times has its own website and you can see the story times, etc....

I also noticed for older children...some libraries have other programs in the summer as well. I saw a science program for school age children. Also, book studies for 2nd grade and up!
Don't miss out on what your local library has to offer you and your child(ren)!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yay! I am now in Summer Vacation!

Finally! Sigh of relief! I made it through the school year successfully!

Time to relax at home and enjoy spending time with my son and the dog at home! We aren't going on any trips this summer. Saving money this year!

I love being home, especially with my son! He will turn 4 years old this summer!

My summer is going to be shorter than usual as our school adopted a new calendar which will give teachers a 5 weeks summer and 7 for the kids. No problem...it will be cool I think so. We will have a few long breaks within the school year and have breaks where kids can come in for extra help.

I'm excited! I love summer and the idea of a few longer breaks built in the school year.

Mainly, I am excited to have a job for next year. With the current economy and cuts to education, etc....I've been frightened at the thought of losing my job. My husband did this past Christmas as you know.

So far so good. Hanging on and going to save as much as we can to prepare for whatever the economy brings us in the next year or so.

We would love to plan a second child. I'll keep you posted on that as well!

So there is my delayed update and will be blogging more frequently now that I am on break and things have slowed down for the moment.

Oh yeah, I signed my son (will be 4 in July) up for Fall Soccer and signed my husband up to be a coach (his request). This will be fun for all of us! My son loves the outdoors and other kids. My husband loves soccer!

Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Recipe on the Cheap "Asian Salad" with an Inexpensive Noodle

I had to share this Recipe as it is inexpensive and SOOO tasty! You may have read other variations of this or this one itself. If you haven't tried this recipe...now is your chance. Not only is it SUPER EASY and SUPER CHEAP...it is a LARGE QUANTITY and will last for several meals as a side! I am getting hungry for this Ramen Noodles (c) Asian Salad just typing about it. The following directions comes from a co-worker whom wrote it out for me to try. Everyone went ga ga at work over it. She brings this for our staff "Fat Fridays."


Ramen Noodles Asian Salad Recipe:

Here it is:
1 lb. bag of cole slaw
1 c. slivered almonds
1c sunflower seeds
1 pkg. Chicken flavor Ramen Noodle Soup
1 pkg. Oriental flavor Ramen Noodle Soup

To make the dressing DRESSING:
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
2 pkgs. of seasoning from the Ramen Noodles

The Instructions to put it all together:
Brown almonds and seeds in dry skillet.
Combine coleslaw, almonds, sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
Break up Ramen noodles into small pieces; add to slaw mix.
Toss all of this together.
Make dressing using reserved packets of ramen seasoning. and pour onto the salad.
Toss again.
Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.
Toss well before serving.

Let me know if you have done this before or try this one and how you like it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Paycuts and Furlough

I am not complaining...but definitely my saving and cutting back skills are being put to the test.

As you may remember, my husband was laid off back in December...found a job two weeks later...that job cut him $5/hour...he found a new job (lower paying that the first) but is now happy and has steady 40 hours per week and no weekends. This is awesome for us!

Now, it is my turn! :-) Just got a 1/2 percent deduct (for my yearly salary...not month) out of one paycheck...we will also have a 10 hour of furlough (unpaid time off where you can't use sick days and such). I am really not complaining...just stating the facts. I am just excited to have a job and pray to keep it for next school year. It is getting frightening. I am cool with these cuts and such...my concern is when they start cutting jobs and the arts. No one has said they are cutting the arts, but if they do...there I go. A bit scary.

Thought I would share! We are still happy and afloat! We cut costs wherever we can. We don't go out (don't really ever do) and buy new cloths or unnecessary foods....just the basics and an occasional treat.

Lately, my "splurge" is buying crafting and art supplies. I guess it isn't a splurge as much as it is an addiction lately. I love Art and Craft Supplies! I guess I see it is as something that is "okay" to buy because pretty much, maybe I could get my money back by selling something I make.
Not the easiest task in the world to sell handmade items...but I do love it when someone buys from me as it makes me feel good that someone wants something I made enough to pay for it!
I have sold some crayons, and a few bracelets. My husband has sold a bunch of custom drawings.

That is my word on this Thursday!

Have a terrific day! Yay...tomorrow is Friday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What is a PIF on Etsy anyway?

I have been curious for some time on Etsy what a PIF is. Now I know and have actually participated and will definitely participate again in the future.

P.I.F. Stands for: "Pay It Forward"

Apparently this is a movie titled "Pay It Forward" and it speaks of good will towards others...with random acts of kindness. Someone on Etsy Started "PIFs" by putting items on Etsy for 20 cents but you really don't actually pay it....and you "pay" by promising to do a random act of kindness as your payment to create good will around you, etc...

Now...naturally many may charge shipping or have you to pay the 20 cents and some even have a price. Pretty much it is a large discount. A true PIF is no charge for item and no shipping. Folks can put a price as there is no rule, it is a simple gesture of good will. I have had several PIFs in my shop and I do not charge shipping or a price.

You have to read each description to see the expectations of the seller.

I have received some really cute stuff and useful items such as crochet patterns and such.

I have given away as PIFs bracelets, ACEOs and a keyring I made. Needless to say with no charge at all, they didn't last long. I am happy to receive the positive feedback to build my store on. It feels good to give!

I encourage you to either list a PIF in your Etsy shop (if you have one) or get started shopping on Etsy with a PIF! Keep in mind, you don't want all your purchases to be PIFs; although there is no rules against it...it is simply the idea of moderation and fairness. You don't want to come across rude by buying on PIFs. This is just an etiquette thing.

If I have a PIF in my store....it doesn't matter to me who "purchases" it...just leave me some good ole positive feedback! :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What can I do with Cereal Boxes and other Thin Boxes?

I thought this would be a great way to gather ideas for myself, my classroom, and I assume many of you would be interested as well. I know folks that drop by my blog here are looking to save money in creative ways. Now, I also know that these same types of folks are like me in that Recycling and Being Green is a way of life for them (and you do save money by doing so as well).

We can all still be creative with how we recycle instead of the norm.

Sooooo....What I want to do every now and again is open up the "floor" to you guys...give me some ideas of how to use something in a creative way.

Today...I want to know...what are some creative uses for Cereal/Food/Thin Cardboard Boxes?

I will get us started:
  1. Bookmarks
  2. Artist Trading Cards
  3. Bound with Recycled Backs of Paper = Autograph Books (these are things I have already done in my classroom).

Any other ideas? Share by dropping a line or two in the Comment Jar!

Happy Tuesday!

Getting Older Today! I will simply choose to say Getting a Year Wiser!

Yep!

That is correct...you figured it out...Today is My Birthday! Hey, if I didn't tell you...how would you know? :-)

Anywho....

This is a busy week at work...therefore....it will be another slack week on the blogging. Testing going on...everyone stressed....but in the back of my mind...I am thinking...geez...only a few weeks til I get to hang out with my son at home for five weeks! Exciting! This summer we are going absolutely no where and I am great with that! I loved our trip to Romania last year, but to do that every year would be tough. So this year, we chill at home and save money in this topsy turfy economy. It will be a "staycation." I love that saying...and totally true. Sometimes HOME is the Best Vacation!

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My apologies for my absense.

I have somehow taken a break from blogging for about a week now from here. My apologies to my regulars. I should get back on track soon.

It has been a busy past few weeks. The end of the school year is approaching rapidly and it is time to wrap things up and prepare for testing and closing down my room and such. Also, on the homefront...lots of cleaning up and practicing letters, numbers, colors and reading with my son whom will turn 4 years old in July! I just can't believe it! He no longer looks like a baby...but like a cute little boy!

I am working also on an Etsy store for my Mom for her sewing items. I am pretty excited about that. I love Etsy and have found it to be more relaxed, more visibly pleasing to the eye versus another venue I used to sell on.

I will keep you all posted when her store is full functioning as she will be making several items of interest to many. She is great and has 37 years of upholstery sewing experience. I have encouraged her to make items that are fun for her and get away from the upholstery stuff for a while as she is burned out on it...you can imagine. She is excited about the etsy shop and is looking forward to stocking it!

You can bookmark/favorite her store by going to www.sewnanny.etsy.com I am excited about her store title as well! My husband helped me come up with it. Her grandchildren....my son and niece call her Nanny! :-) My son named her when he started talking. :-)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Don't forget Mom this Sunday!

I love Clinique! One of my fav perfumes is Clinique Happy! Such a quiet scent and pleasant! They apparently have a new "custom" bottle for Mom's Day or Other Occasions! Cool idea!


I just checked on this custom bottle and for Mother's Day the order had to be in April 26th to receive on time. That is okay though...great idea for birthdays etc...I just thought it was cool! :-)

While you are shopping for Mom...Why not take advantage of gift with purchase of $21.50!

Clinique Online

Fresh Air Fund: From the Email Bag

About The Fresh Air Fund

THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2008, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.

(Info...from the site directly...link below can give you more information if this is a cause you are interested in.)







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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Husband's Drawings

My Wordless Wednesday is a picture of one of my favorite drawings my husband did for a client. I just love how he drew the hair and eyes!

My husband does custom drawings on Etsy. A few of scenarios are in our Etsy Shop: Art by Melanie and Claudiu; and, more choices are on our website: Pencil Perfect Art

Mother's Day isn't far off, but if you are interested...he could turn around a drawing in one week and have it shipped a few days following..granting you are happy with what you see...he does make adjustments for clients. We only sell through Etsy for seller and buyer protection purposes.

An 8X10 of one subject (like above) head and shoulders...is $45. This is the same price that I have seen many selling Computer/Digital "sketches" of photos. Those are not handmade and are done by a computer. These are hand drawn pieces of original art and take many hours to complete.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's getting warmer! Turned the A/C on yet? What Temp?

I am just curious at what temperature most people keep their thermostats in the summer months?

We start off with 80 degrees F and then we eventually have to put it on 78 at some point and that is the lowest we turn it and it does allow us to save on our summer months electric bill.

It is the summer months we do best as we are cold nature people so we like it warm and that helps us on our bills as a result. We always (in the summer months) shoot for $100 or less bill per month. We'll see if we can do it this year.

Things we have done to help to get this bill and be able to stand the "heat."
Ceiling fans in many rooms. And this helps the temperature to feel better by having that cool breeze.
Thick curtains over windows to not allow the house to "heat up" in the first place.

Where we need to go next to continue improvement:
We want to insulate the garage (this will improve the bonus room above's temp which tends to be a very warm room in the summer.)
We also have a few rooms upstairs that still need thick curtains...and since heat rises...yep...long overdue for the upstairs. We still want two more nice ceiling fans: One for the kitchen and one for the guest room. I have debated the kitchen one over and over again...still uncertain.

What temperature do you leave your thermostat in the summer months?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day! Yay!

I am happy there is an Earth Day, but I try to make every day an "Earth Day!"

In my classroom, recycling is a way of life. When we have "Free Art" I have baskets on each table that is loaded with goodies that would otherwise be trash! To my students...they are like "Wow!" What great stuff!" They always make wonderful creations that they are proud to take home! So creative!

You can do this also with your children! Simple get a box, shoebox or something...and when you are about to toss that scrap string, button, etc...and you think "hmm..this is a shame...it is such a nice...etc...but no use for it, etc.." Think instead...."Can I put this in a box and have my child to make something out of it on a rainy day?" Then put it in that one box that you will keep somewhere easy for you to toss stuff in it. Old flyers, magazines (or favorite pages), shoe strings, twist ties (from trash bags and bread bags), bottle caps (all kinds and sizes), broken toys or missing pieces from puzzles etc... Kids find these things fun to create with. I always have puzzles in the baskets from puzzles from home where several pieces are missing and the kids just love 'em. They might tie string around a piece and color it and make a cool necklace or bracelet or put it in a collage. The list goes on and ideas are limitless. Get the creativity flowing and throw away less. Oh yeah...tissue tubes and paper towel tubes are huge hits as well. Don't forget those cardboard boxes, etc... I use those to cut into Artist Trading Cards (2.5"X3.5") and have kids to do art on those! Great stuff we throw away daily!

Join Nickelodeon's Power Down on Earth Day by turning all your lights off for One Minute! They have a global tracker of all those who pledge to do this. Pretty interesting and it is great to get kids involved.

At young ages, children are Excited about this! It isn't a chore to them. At our school....we have a "day to be green" for every class in the school and they have a section of school yard to "clean" on a certain day. Every class gets a couple turns each year. This takes place on Fridays each week to keep our school yard looking good and keeping our kids aware of the world around them and taking care if it!

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Etsy Shop...Helping me pay for my Hobbies.

I have had an Etsy account for some time now but not until the past few weeks have I really got into it. I love it!

I have recently listed, in addition to the custom pencil drawings by my husband, knotted jewelry , Crochet Cloths and wall hangings. I made my first sale of my knotted items yesterday! I sold a bracelet! With the exception of the custom pencil drawings, necklaces and wall hangings in our store...most of my items are $5.00 each. I do this, not to make a huge profit, but to pay for my hobby of the items I sell. I love to stay busy and it helps to sell my items to make room for me to make even more. Even better, this pays for my supplies. My husband has sold and made quite a few custom pencil drawings. He is awesome!

If you get the chance...check out my Etsy store! I will be adding items several times a week.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

A decent picture taken with our normal digital camera of the moon.


Happy Wordless Wednesday!
Today I will be working on cleaning up our computer area so that hopefully I can become more productive and better with my time.
I am happy to report that our electric bill dropped thanks to the warmer weather by about $50! I am loving the spring time...better moods for everyone with more sun and bills drop. I enjoy the longer days as well...less usage of lights as we love natural light for as long as it lasts each day.
Happy Spring Time everyone!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tax Deadline Approaching Rapidly! April 15th!

If you haven't done your part in filing your taxes yet....there is no more time to waste.

This is your reminder that tomorrow is the deadline!

The Following site does a great job explaining postmarked dates and filing extensions!
GenerationXFinance
Happy Tax Season's End!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shutterfly...we thank you! Still the best!

I had to make a post about my favorite photo printing, sharing, products, quality site of my choosing. That site being Shutterfly! Truly looking out for its customers.

In the current economy, many of the photo printing sites are now requiring customers whom have uploaded pictures (doesn't matter how many) to make minimal purchases in a certain amount of time or pictures will be deleted from accounts. This frightened me so, mainly with Shutterfly, as they were and are my favorite and house around 1000 of my pictures currently. I had received an email from another photo printing site that I will not mention names that told me the above information and that was okay because I don't have many on their site. Then I started thinking about Shutterfly and worried that they may also follow by doing this in this economy to boost sales and such.

Well, good news, I also received an email from them stating the opposite...saying they know about other sites doing this practice and wanted to reinsure their customers this would not happen to them, it shall remain the same...free storage, no minimal purchases, no time frame on making purchases, free site for sharing your pictures, etc...the list goes on Shutterfly IS AWESOME!

I wanted to inform as many as I could that Shutterfly is the way to go in storing and buying your photos. Let's support these folks that are not taking advantage of the times for personal gains. Thank you Shutterfly!

I Should also mention that now is the time to start gathering your pictures for a Mother's Day gift! I made my sis one last year and have already promised her another this year because she loved it so much. I gave one last year to my Mom as well, and she too loves it! :-)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Review and Compare Credit Cards

My apologies for the lack of posting this week. My husband had the flu and now I am getting something. Forgive me as this coming week I may be a bit slow on the posting as well. Can you believe Easter is coming up so soon?

It is spring time and we are all getting to where we want to go on vacations and get out and about. With the current state of the Economy...the funds just may not be there. I, as you may know, am not the biggest fan of credit cards. I do have one...it is our back up only. My card is through my teaching insurance so I found a good deal. (Still don't like it...but at least we have something as a back up source.)

I had some folks to share with me the following sites that allows you to review and compare credit cards and what they offer and rewards and deals and such that some cards come with. It is always best to pay off a card at the end each month in order to avoid those fees. Without further delay...here are the sites for your review:

Credit Land

Credit Card Menu

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Michael's Coupons in your Inbox!

Hello anyone out there that loves to create Art and Crafts! It appears that Michael's (arts and crafts store) is starting to send out more coupons again. For a while, I noticed that their normal 40% coupon had seemed to disappear from their flyers. Also, it seemed that the only way to get a coupon was from shopping in the store Every Week and the coupon was printed on your receipt. The coupon would expire one week from that day of your visit. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I just like having the normal coupon in the flyer that way if you don't shop every single week, you can still have a coupon.

Okay, anywho, it seems that they are back to "normal." I have a flyer coupon for 40% and I just received my email with a 50% coupon for this Sunday through the next Saturday. I am happy as I shop there about every week and always buy more than one item. So it helps.

If you haven't signed up for Michael's online...do so, so that you can also receive additional coupons in Your inbox!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Enjoying CoverMate's Reusable Flexible Dishware Covers

We have had them in the house for a while, but for some silly reason I keep picking up the aluminum foil or plastic wrap to cover foods to store in the fridge. Just recently, I picked up one of our CoverMate Reusable Flexible Covers and put it on a plate to cover some food and I was like...wow! that was easy! They are more reusable than plastic wrap and less waste than plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Many times we just toss plastic wrap after a single use because it bunches up. Aluminum foil...if it isn't too dirty (I take to school and donate for recycling).

With these Flexible Covers (looks like shower caps...heee hee) you just stretch it over the bowl or plate. They are very stretchy and easy to use over and over! Wash them off, rinse, whatever. I love 'em!

They are funny looking but, man, I won't reach for anything else from now on (as long as it fits).

P.S. There are probably other brands of these, but the CoverMate brand is what we are currently using and are happy with.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thank you for the Awards for Thrifty and Creative

I wanted to place all my awards in one place.













Thrifty and Creative: Spring Cleaning!

I don't mean Spring Cleaning your home...I am currently "Spring Cleaning" this blog! :-) I have motivated myself to try to clean up the side bar and start organizing my posts better. Yikes! The best thing for me to do...Just get Started! :-)

My hope is to make navigating Thrifty and Creative more user friendly and easier to find old posts. I have some nice older posts that, to be honest, I would have a hard time finding...yikes!

Of course, I could hire someone to do that for me (not really...no money), but to save money, I will clean it up and surely that will help it to look better as well. :-) When the economy improves, I would love to pay someone to clean this place up!

Have a great Friday tomorrow!

You'll know when the spring cleaning here at Thrifty and Creative is done when the new "Thrifty Contents" section isn't so ridiculously lengthy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thrifty and Creative's Email Bag

I try to check my ThriftandCreate@aol.com email address at least once a month! Thank you for anyone who sends me messages via this email address. I do appreciate your emails and patience!

This leads me into my Thrifty and Creative's Email Bag post!

I am excited to share one of my reader's offers. This offer is for Thrifty and Creative Readers and myself for the following discount (psst...loving discount offers...that is what we are about here):



Katie wants us to know about a new product on the market: Snuggle Creme Fabric Softener and is offering us the coupon above for $2.00 off! Thanks Katie!

This fabric softener adds two luxurious aromas to laundry time while softening your clothes. Let's all give them a try with our new $2.00 off Coupon!

I hope everyone is having a terrific Monday and enjoys this Email Bag Post! Keep them coming readers!

Thank you again Katie...have a great week!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Favorite Paper Products: Brand and Where to buy...

I just thought about it this morning...I have (from what I can remember) not made a post about my favorite brand of Bathroom Tissue or Paper Towels. I may have made mention in passing but not a post to boast necessarily. Here it goes....drum roll.....

Favorite Bathroom Tissue: Scott! Yay! It just seems to last a really long time and is "septic safe" and less likely to create clogs. For us, I feel like this is a money saver for these reasons.

Favorite Paper Towels: Bounty! "The quicker thicker picker upper" Again, this product lasts much longer and does the job better (in our eyes) than the competition. We like the half-sheets...less waste. I do like the idea of tearing up old t-shirts and using them as clean up towels as well: re purposing. I am all for that. Just have to go find those shirts now. :-)

Now, for the store we prefer to purchase these items from due to bulk and the fact that if you don't...you will be buying more frequently...some things...you just have to have and you know these items are those have-tos. ................

BJ's : We love BJ's for these items and find that the price is great for these products there. They sell the Scott Tissue in packs of 20 or so...and I am telling you...it seems last 3-4 months. The Bounty also comes in large quantities and lasts a really long time. Look out if they ever have coupons on these items...what a steal!

Happy Wednesday to you all! Yikes! Just realized..it is my Mom's Birthday! I have to remember to CALL her!

Have a great day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My New Lens on Squidoo: Domains 4 Sale!

I am trying out a new online type of biz...Domaining! It is where you buy domains then sell them for profit.

Check out my Lens on my Domains if you are curious.

While I am trying to sell these Domains...I am also "parking" each of them to make money off the searches and clicks on each of the domains. I am using Sedo for both services: selling and parking.

Uh...forgot to say what a Domain is: A Domain is the web address you type in to get to a website. Many refer to Domains as "Virtual Real Estate" as a Domain is like the land and the website is like the "Building" on the land. And, this is the reason why there is a market for it. We'll see how I do. I feel like I found a few good domains. Only time will tell.

Squidoo Lens Domains 4 Sale

Spring your clock Forward One Hour tonight! DST

It is that time of year again when we "spring forward" and gain an hour of daylight or lose an hour of sleep (however you look at it). No matter how you look at it...don't forget! :-)

Have a wonderful warm weekend!

I am excited about the time change and the warm weather we are having here in NC. It all combined creates a better mood in everyone around me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I want this! Yes...something else...electronic! Eye-Fi SD Card...read about it!

I am excited about this new gadget that I discovered this a.m. on aol! I can't help but read AOL's news half the time...and this time, I found something new to want. Shame of me, with my "case of the wants" this week. Now, this gadget is fair priced for what it does and long-lasting and Very Useful (for me it would be).

The Eye-Fi SD WIRELESS Card goes in an SD slot on your digital camera. If you have Vista or XP you can use this (according to the product specs). Read to be sure though for yourself. It stores 2 GB of pictures AND it automatically downloads them to your computer or you can set it up to automatically load onto your favorite photo site! This is something a lazy person like myself needs...or just folks that love cool gadgets! I seem to never find time to get my pictures out of my camera...this is perfect for me...I don't have to do anything but set it up.

I will let you know if I get one. Maybe with Tax Money!? Hmmm.... :-) It truly is a time saver and that is something all of us seems to need anymore.



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Interesting Article about getting Rid of Wrinkles using some FREE Trials!

I read this story about a lady (I believe in her 30s) that really made herself look in her 20s from using two free trials of some wrinkle products. By using them in combination...she got fantastic and amazing results.

I know I am curious and will give it a shot...for FREE! Yippie! My price range!

Here is the Article: Cara's Wrinkle Removal Success

Let me know if any of you have tried this success or not.

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Amazon's New Kindle2! I want one! Save Paper! :-)

I was watching the Jon Stewart's Daily Show and he had the guy from Amazon on talking about their new portable reading device. I listened because Jon Stewart makes the news funny and then I became interested. Hmmm...curious...I looked it up on Amazon and watched their video demonstration on the Kindle2 and now I am very impressed...I really want one! It is way more than books on a device....you really have to watch the video demo on this amazing device. Soooo cool! Where in the world was this thing when I was in school and college? This would have totally helped me out, seriously. It allows you to even bookmark pages, highlight passages, etc... You can read blogs, magazines, and newspapers. It has an anti-glare feature if you are outside and the sun is shining. It also has a feature where it prevents eye-strain that normally computers and phones would give you if you read from them. You can even have the book read to you while you are driving or something like that if you wish (think of it like LeapPad(c) for adults). Also, if you have poor eyesight (like for my Mom this would be awesome) you can enlarge the font! Incredible device! I think the price is fair for such: $349.00 You need to visit the site and watch the video...I left out a ton of information on this one because you just have to see it for yourself. The books are $9.99 a piece once you have the device, but that is way cheaper than spending gas and paying upward $30 and up for books. I still believe there is a need for traditional books but this device is great for being on the go! Think about traveling...Wow! You have anything you want with you! You can even put pdf files of your own on this amazing gadget. Okay...I will stop...you have to take a look, even if you aren't interested in owning one..you will still be impressed.

Friday, February 27, 2009

BillPay and Paying Bills!

This is the second month I have used BillPay through my bank! It is AWESOME! I don't know if everyone's banks have this or not...but let me tell you the benefits I see in it.

First of all...for those of us who procrastinate when it is a written bill (paper check) that you mail...this service is totally for us. You go into your bank account...and follow the instructions...and even if your company doesn't accept electronic payments...you can still set it up and your bank (using BillPay somehow) prints out the paper check and Mails it when you tell them to when you plug in the payment information.

Of course, if you pay electronically...BillPay does that too. I enjoy the service because it is inside my online banking page as a tab. It is great also because you can set up 50 or so payments...schedule the pay dates and amounts. You can set them as one time payments or recurring. Once all that is set up...log in once or so a month and press a button and what account you want the payments to come out of! Very cool!

I have one bill that, for whatever reason, doesn't have online payments but through BillPay and my bank will take Electronic payments..this keeps me from worrying everyone month to write out the payment and put a stamp on it and mail it.

I just thought I would share my experience with BillPay. Very pleased.

Oh yeah...one extra note:
My friend has been using this service longer than myself and she said she had one paper payment where they print out the check and mail it...and for some reason the check was unreadable due to the printing. The place that the payment was sent to sent it back and charged a late fee. BillPay PAID the late fee and sent another check and it didn't affect my friend at all and she didn't pay the late fee or anything. Awesome! They handled it all.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Taxes Complete...Finally!

If anyone out there follows me on twitter...you know that I have been working forever on this year's taxes. I help several people with their taxes and then end with my own. I am excited to report I have assisted four people and finished our taxes as of last night at 9:30pm after working 13 1/2 hours on them all day Sunday. I had pinkeye, so I stayed home from Church and it worked in my favor to finish all the taxes.



If it wasn't for Turbo Tax...I tell you ...I would never finish! I love that program...especially the roll over from one year to the next feature. Makes it so much easier. If you have never used them...the first year takes a while because you have to enter more information on yourself and then the next year you will be set to rock and roll!




TurboTax - Do your taxes for Free







Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Toot: Praise for PayPal!

My Tuesday Toot this week is going to start off sounding kinda negative; however, read in its entirety.

A month or so ago, we bought a tool on ebay. The description said great working condition, no broken or missing pieces. Great! We received the tool and my husband tried it and immediately it did not work at all. It was a bad purchase and we will not ever buy a precision tool on ebay again due to our horrible experience. The seller never answer the question of refund but kept insisting it worked. Anywho, it was a huge battle for getting a response from the seller after a bit. Basically, I just wanted an answer: "Yes or No I do or do not offer a refund." The seller chose to ignore me instead. So I went through paypal's resolution center to try to get him to speak to me again. The seller ignored PayPal's emails. They gave the seller 10 days to respond. No response...so PayPal did refund our money. Thank goodness...I would hate to have a non working tool and out over $100. My Tuesday Toot is the fact PayPal Does hold up to their word! Thank you PayPal!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Beautorium: Organic and Natural Products! From Make-up to Baby Products! Go green!

Beautorium.com Pregnancy & Baby 120x90

Check out Beautorium today for the most Natural and Organic Products for:

  • make up
  • hair cair
  • face care
  • bath
  • anti-aging
  • baby
  • aroma-therapy

Their products are hand-picked from the best of the best around the world products! Go Green and check them out today! They even use recycled materials for their packaging!

I am personally interested in the anti-aging, make up and face care. If my son were younger (he is 3 1/2 ... no longer a baby)...I would check into their baby products!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Great Read: A book on Green Cleaning!

I just bought the book "green clean" an "eco-friendly cleaning for the home!" It is loaded with all kinds of information about cleaning your home, clothes, you name it! It also give health and beauty advice using basic items such as vinegar, citrus fruits, baking soda, peroxide and so much more! This book will teach you how to clean and live healthier by using non-toxic products and another great part is...simply for pennies rather than purchasing and unimaginable amount of products from the store!

What are you waiting for? Get "Green Cleaning" today! Amazon has an awesome deal below on this book!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday Toot! Anniversary Today!

I thought that I would use my "Tuesday Toot" to mention today is my husband and self's 8 year annivesary today! I am looking forward to the next 8 as well! I am a lucky lady! Life is good and I have an excellent husband...I am truly blessed.

Also, an additional "Toot"...It might snow tonight! Wow! Two snows in one Winter in NC...Whoa. We are doing awesome this year!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Breaking Good News on the CPSIA Law

I found out on Etsy, Today, that there has been a 1 year suspension of the law that was to take effect on February 10th, 2009 and you can read the details right here on Etsy's Site.

If you are a reseller or toy handmaker, you should still read all about the parts of the law that are still to take place on certain dates.

YAY! Voices CAN be heard! Keep working on everyone, it isn't completely over! Only for a year for most of it!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

VERY Important Information on NEW LAW effecting YOU and Everyone...Read!

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.Article from the American Library Association http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law
http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Toot! I'm on Top Momma.com! Help me stay for a day or so!

I have been waiting almost a year or more to get on TopMomma.com on their front page and they have finally gotten around to me! Help me out! Help me stay there! You help by simply clicking on the icon that says "I'm a Top Momma!" My picture there is of my son eating food! Click on that picture! Thank you for your help! :-) Hopefully I'll last a day or so!

This will be my Tuesday Toot Also! Help me Tuesday Tooters!

I'm a Top Mommma!




Saturday, January 24, 2009

Free Cup of Starbucks Coffee!!! You have to Act Fast! Offer Expires Tomorrow!

If you would love to enjoy a Free cup of Coffee from Starbucks...then you will enjoy even more the fact you can get that Free cup from signing up for 5 hours of community service and help your fellow humans!

For more detailed information...Visit the Starbucks Site! I love their intro page for this effort!

Deadline to take advantage of this offer: You have til the 25th (Sunday) to do so!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday! Snow Day!

Snow Day in NC 2009! (It has been approx. 5 years or so since we had one like this!)






We got lucky in NC for a change and got a really nice snow fall yesterday! 6-7 inches where we live! It was exciting for my son and dog!






Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It is a New Day: New President and NC actually gets a Snow Day!

This is off the mark on the title "Thrifty and Creative" but it is so nice to finally see a real snow fall after 4-5 years! We haven't seen anything stick to the ground in central NC in years! It is exciting for the kids as well as adults! I have the day off...school was cancelled for Students and Staff!

It is a wonderful day off as now pretty much anyone that wanted to watch THE Inauguration that couldn't before, now they can because the snow has given us a day off to do so!

As stated in the Subject Title: "It is a New Day!"

What a great event we all get to witness! Set those DVRs, etc...!

Have a great day!

Looking for some memorabilia? Go pick up a newspaper EARLY before they sell out! Or go to the popular Trading Card maker site Topps and purchase some Trading Cards of Obama! Very cool collectors piece!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stumbled upon a cool gift idea: Custom Trading Cards by Topps!

By accident (while searching for prices on the Obama Topps Trading Cards) on the Topps site...I ran across their very cool Custom Trading Cards!

The prices are very affordable and would make great unique gifts! You put your own picture on them and pick out your template (from former templates dating all the way back to the 1960s). They have the Topps logo on them and everything. Not a cheap print...the Topps website states that all custom cards are also printed on a Real Commercial Press! Not to mention...you put stats, etc.. just like a real card and it is printed front and back!

This (in my opinion) would be an awesome party favor for a Boy or Girl's Birthday Party. Also, I think it would be so awesome as a Newborn Baby Announcement! It is naturally the traditional size of 2.5"X3.5" and would be easy for anyone to store and keep!

The prices are great at:
5 = $10
10 = $13
30 = $23
There are many more quantities and pricing on the Topps Site as well!
I think it is a cheap price considering it is one of the top manufacturers of Trading Cards and printed on a commercial press!

The ideas for how to use these custom cards are endless!
You know I love personalized gifts and products!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Truly UN-Thrifty and UN-Creative: Important Read...

Hi all!

I was visiting one of my favorite sites and online communities this morning: PoshMama when I read an article that just blows my mind in disbelief! You must read it....titled:

New Law Will End Handmade and Thrift Store Purchases for Kids!

I can only say What? This is going too far, or at least I think so as someone who enjoys yard sales shopping on ebay, etc... I understand their point; however, this is just going TOO far and will just mushroom into some bigger issues. Might I add....extremely bad timing in our economy, etc.... Curious what I am upset about? Read the article by clicking the link above that will direct you to PoshMama's front page article. I will be doing some research on my own for updates, etc...on this matter.

Just me thinking out loud:
Is the economy possibly so bad that this is secretly to help the big businesses force parents to shop in the stores to boost the economy since many have resorted to secondhand to save money due to the lack of? The economy is bad and many have turned to thrift stores, yard sales, hand-me-downs from friends...etc...and surely, this has taken a toll on big business? Hey, you never know! I mean, I understand it is to protect kids from lead etc...; however, why wasn't this done some other time since it has been going on for years? Why now in this economy? Hmmm.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Toot: Bought Some DVDs for Fun!

My Tuesday Toot this week is kinda silly I guess, but I am excited that I purchased some (what I consider) "cool" Dance/Workout DVDs! No, it is NOT a resolution...but I do feel I need to get more movement in my day.

I purchased a Beginner Hula Dancing/Fitness DVD; Hip Hop Abs; and a Hip Hop Dance DVD! I love to dance as well as high energy music and thought these would be great fun and interesting to learn something new! Also, I figured since the music is "fun"...my son will join me and enjoy it as well...thus allowing me to do some type of workout/movement.

I'll keep you posted if these DVDs work out. If they do...I want to purchase a Tap Dance DVD too! My husband isn't too excited about that one...he is scared I am going to mess up the floor with my tap shoes. :-) I told him I could get a wood board and put it down and not use the hardwoods. We'll see. :-) Oh yeah, and I am pretty certain...my son would end up wanting a pair of Tap Shoes. (I already have a pair from a class I took in College...it was soo much fun!)

Have a great week!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Taxes: Get Organized!

It is my favorite time of year...Tax Season! It is starting now, and if not now...real soon!

Some items not to forget:


  • Grab a few little containers (or shoe boxes) and start organizing your receipts: box for work expenses; box for medical expenses; box for donations and charitable contributions; final pay stubs and a box for all those forms you receive from different places such as mortgage company, banks, church, etc... (and a box for other deductions, etc...you may need for Your tax situation...everyone is different.)

  • Make sure on your donation receipts that you have listed in detail the items that were donated and that they were in "good" condition. Also, you can use ItsDeductible in TurboTax to figure the value. Many time ItsDeductible allows way more than I ever would have estimated myself. So I just (take the time) plug in one item at a time and ItsDeductible estimates the value and it is automatically transported into my TurboTax! I love it, it is Awesome!

  • I always pay the little extra to E-file both the federal and state with TurboTax (federal is free) and for direct deposit (Direct Deposit, I don't believe costs anything extra...and it is worth using and you receive your refund faster than folks waiting for a paper check). I am a big fan of TurboTax and this is my sixth year using them. I also assist four other people with TurboTax on filing their taxes every year as well and they have been impressed and happy with them as well.

  • Also, even if you don't have all your tax papers yet...you can still get logged into TurboTax and plug in your personal information and have that done. When you log out...TurboTax automatically saves where you are! I love it!

  • If you feel like you Might Not need to itemize...I suggest starting with the Basic Program on TurboTax as you CAN upgrade at Any time during the process; however, you can Not Downgrade! (This is an unfortunate flaw...but just remember to start with the cheapest choice and if need be you can upgrade with no problem any time. The program will even tel you if it is a benefit to you to upgrade to get more money back. If you itemize...the Second package is what you need in order to use ItsDeductible, etc...)
  • Another item to remember: If you use TurboTax and are unhappy with what you see...you don't have to pay ANYTHING! Just don't go through the final steps of filing! Its great...you can plug in everything and if you don't like it...don't file! You pay nothing to try it out!

Best Wishes on a Great Tax Season for Everyone!

TurboTax - Do your taxes for Free

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Life Returning to Normal....Tuesday Toot!

I am going to make this my "Tuesday Toot!"

Just wanted to send out an update that life after a layoff (husband's) is finally returning to some sort of "normalcy!"

My husband, as explained in an earlier post, was laid off and within two weeks found another job (we are thankful)! This is his fourth week at the new place and he is doing well already. He seems to like his new job also and I am glad about that. It is one thing to have a job and it is another to LIKE your job.

After having two weeks off for the Holidays, I returned to work Yesterday (Monday)! It was a nice day back...so no complaints!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year! Get to work on your Taxes!

I help four other people besides myself with taxes each year. For all of us, I use TurboTax! This is my 6th year using this online program! I love it and feel it truly does give you back your maximum refund and is very easy to work with and understand. If you can follow directions and answer questions...you can and should use this program! Also, not only that...but you could do your taxes on TurboTax and if you feel like it isn't for you...just don't file them...you can delete and pay nothing. I am pretty sure you will want to use it though.

I had a friend last year that went home (her and her husband) and did their taxes on TurboTax...logged out...went to their usual place of getting their taxes done. When the end of the process was reached...their bill was going to be higher and TurboTax was going to get them back a little bit more money even. They said no thanks and came back home and efiled from there and were very happy. True Story!

Depending on your needs (if you are a business or something or don't have the time) it might not be for you. I am not a tax expert but TurboTax helps me to be most confident in filing my own taxes and it is somehow fun!



TurboTax - Do your taxes for Free

If you itemize (I do)...use the Deluxe! Read the choices and choose based on your needs! You can upgrade anytime through the process...but you can NOT downgrade! Best thing is to start with the lowest or deluxe program and TurboTax will ask you the questions it needs to in order to see if you need a more. Most people will use basic or Deluxe! Deluxe is going to give you all those deductions for donations, medical, childcare expenses etc...