Wednesday, February 10

Valentine's Day is a Family Affair

Valentine's Day was always rather melancholy for me until I met my husband in 1988. No one in my life really celebrated the holiday, and it left me feeling lonely and left out. My husband changed that for me:)  We didn't have much money but I never felt as if the day passed me by because even the little things are romantic when it's the right person.  

After my children were born I loved Valentine's Day even more because it was so much fun to have little parties with them at home, and later at school. I wasn't online then, so I had no Pinterest, Facebook or We Heart It for inspiration.  I was determined that I would make the day special for everyone, no matter what their age. We had tea parties once my daughter was born, and yes, her brothers always participated. We colored, made crafts and always made Valentine's Day cards for each other.

My grandson is almost three, so now I get to include him in the festivities. His little brother is only three months old, so he'll have to wait a bit before attempting to color or craft:) 

Today I have some neat printables I found online while planning our tiny Valentine's party for my grandson. I couldn't resist sharing.  

Another grandmother blogger shared these adorable Valentine's Day cards that come with a free printable. What I love is that it can be kept simple for little hands or jazzed up by the older kids.

You'll find the printable links and instructions HERE.

The DIY Village Blog has three lovely chalkboard prints like the one above that can be printed out for free to craft with or use as Valentine's Day cards. Click here.

The print above is one of several that can be printed off from DebbieDoos blog. I especially loved this graphic. Click here for instructions and the printable graphics.

The blog at Yellow Bliss Road has several printables like the one above that can be printed in three different sizes. These can be used in many different projects for adults or children. Click HERE. 

Finally, I came across a lovely blog post from Kari Anne at Thistlewood Farms about how even adults still get butterflies at times. Her story is a must read for Valentine's Day.  Click HERE

I hope you have a Valentine's Day full of love and laughter.


Tuesday, February 2

Thrift Stores Part I: The Basics of Smart Spending

Shopping at thrift stores is not just for those that can't afford new clothing. For some it's a "hip" thing to do, for others it's about searching for vintage and collectible items. For me, it's practical, thrifty and challenging.

Most of my shopping is done at Goodwill stores because they are close and convenient. I've also found, at least here in Michigan, they are clean, organized and frequently add stock to the shelves. What do I look for when I'm shopping?

Casual and dressy clothing for my teenage daughter
Baby and Toddler clothing
Shoes for everyone in the family
Brand name clothing for my sons who are 21 and 22
Clothing for my husband and I
Baking pans, dishes and glassware
Gardening items
Wood furniture
Scarves, hats, gloves, purses, wallets
Blankets, Afghans

To get the most for your money it's important to remember a few things when shopping at thrift stores. Think before you buy.  Impulse shopping will only add to the clutter in your home. It's easy to get distracted in a thrift store.  The shiny will call to you. Do not let yourself become distracted. Buy what you need. It's easy to start tossing things in the cart without thinking purchases through. Ask yourself:

Do I need this item?
Will it be worn/used?
Is it a quality item?

If you answer no to any of these questions put the item back on the shelf. If you aren't sure, put it in your cart but pause before going up to the register to consider again if you REALLY need it.

Before checking out it's also smart to go over each item for damage.

Next time I'll have more detailed tips based on my experiences.


The Last of the Roses in Autumn

The milkweed pods are breaking,   And the bits of silken down   Float off upon the autumn breeze   Across the meadows brown. ~C...