Saturday, July 25, 2015

Frugal Things I Did The Last Two Weeks and A Look Into Our Week

On Monday Elijah started taking swim lessons at a local high school.  They are actually much cheaper than taking lessons through our gym where we have a membership.  I like the fact that they are everyday for two weeks instead of once a week for two months.  They are also an hour long instead of a half-hour.  I am interested to see if Eli will progress more quickly by swimming every day.  So far Eli is doing great and having a blast!  My youngest sister is also taking advanced swim lessons so my mom and I are taking turns taking the kids to their lessons. 

On Tuesday we enjoyed a fun Emerson Family tradition where we dressed like a cow for Chick-Fil-A Day.  If you’ve never participated in the past then you need to mark your calendars now for next year because it seriously is an absolute blast.  Each person who is dressed in full cow attire is rewarded with a value meal or kid’s meal of their choice.  Not only did we enjoy the free food but we also played in the play place and had our faces painted (mine included). 

On Wednesday we played at our local park with some friends for ours who live out of town.  I am hoping we can squeeze in a few more play dates before they return home.  

On Thursday we completed our de-cluttering project in the basement.  It feels amazing!  We gave away many items to friends and family and also donated about 6 bags to charity.  I love passing along hand-me-downs to other people who can use them! 

On Friday we dropped off all of our bags to our local St. Vincent DePaul after swim lessons.  Since we were already there we stopped in and came home with: 12 cloth napkins, a 3 hole punch, size 6 slim khackis for Eli’s ahead box, and a pair of Keen sandals for Elijah.  My sister Bekah went with us which made our day even more fun.  

This weekend we had a blast visiting with a sweet college friend of mine and her family who came to visit us.  We love, love having guests in our home! 

The kids have had the best time this week splashing in their splash pool.   We always pull their slide up so that they can slide right into it.  
One of my proudest accomplishments over the past two weeks is the fact that I successfully fixed our dryer!  I figured out which part that I thought was broken (the timer).  Then I did a little research and learned that replacing a timer was fairly simple.  I ordered the part from and installed the part in less than fifteen minutes.  This saved us lots of money and it also saved me the time and hassle of having a repairman come to our home. 

When I had the oil changed in my car I was quoted $39.95 to change the cabin air filter in my car.  I thought that had to be a ridiculous price and I was right!  I ordered one for $12 on amazon and had it shipped to my house.  I installed it in a matter of minutes and saved almost $30.  

What about you?  What did you do this week to save money and build fun memories with your family?  

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Summer Reading List 2015

When I turned the page to mark the beginning of a new month in my planner I almost panicked when I realized it was July!  How can summer past by so fast?  

I'm hoping to write a couple of posts in reference to my goals for the second part of summer.   Today's post includes my summer reading goals.  Here are the books I hope to finish by summer's end.  To see books I have already read this summer visit here.  

The Blender Girl Smoothies by Tess Masters

A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola

Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph

Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Talent to Treasure by Marcia K. Washburn

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Managers of Their Home by Steven & Teri Maxwell

What about you?  What are you reading this summer?  Have you read any of the books on my summer reading list?  

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fun & Frugal Things I Did Last Week

Eli had a blast playing Twister at the Art Museum.  
Our summer of fun is in full swing.  Can you believe it is already July?  Here are a few of the ways my family saved money last week.  Most of the things we did were also incredibly fun!  

I cut green onions that I had growing in a pot on our front porch.

I used a bunch of leftovers to make a delicious Ham, Spinach, and Mushroom Quiche.

The kids and I had a blast at our local Splash Park.  At only $3 per person (ages 2-12) this makes for quite a fun, frugal outing.  I also appreciate the fact that there isn't a pool there so I don't have trouble wrangling two wet kids by myself.  We packed a fun picnic to enjoy while we were there.  I hope we can squeeze in a few more trips before school begins!

Before heading to the Splash park we stopped by Aldi to load up on groceries.  Since I took my large cooler along we were able to visit the grocery before the Splash park which worked better in our schedule for the day.  (That way Evangeline didn't fall asleep before we actually got there.)  They are also building a new Aldi closer to where we live sometime this year!

We also visited two thrift stores this week and three yard sales on days when we were already out.  We finally purchased a cd player so that we can have one upstairs and one downstairs.  I picked up a nice polo shirt for the happy hubby, magazine files for organization, two pairs of jeans, and a few books for our library.  I also purchased three lamps (not pictured) which was such a blessing.  We don't have a light in our living room and despite having four lamps in that room it is still too dark for reading late at night.  Now we have an actual large reading lamp that should helpfully solve my problem of not being able to see well enough to read at night.

We cloth diapered most of the time this week including when we were away from home.  I really don't find cloth diapers difficult to use and I enjoy spending the money I would spend on diapers on other things like gas to drive to fun places.

Eva loved the children's play area at the art museum.  

On Friday we visited the Cincinnati Art Museum.  One thing you might not know about the Cincinnati Art Museum is the fact that it is a FREE art museum.  Parking is $4 but you can easily park at the bottom of the museum and walk up which is what we chose to do.  We also took along my sister Bekah which made the visit even better.  The museum has an impressive collection of art which we enjoyed.  Eli's favorite painting was "The Whistling Boy" by Frank Duveneck.  My favorite part of the museum was the new Rosenthal Education Center which is dedicated to kid's exploring and creating art.  It was phenomenal!  Not only did the kids each make a sun catcher, but they had the opportunity to play with light, mix colors with flashlights, weave on a loom, play a game of Twister on a piece of art and of course color on the wall.  :)  Overall such a fun experience that I hope to repeat later this year.  Hopefully the happy hubby will be able to join us next time.

After the art museum we enjoyed a lovely picnic at Eden Park.

What frugal things did you do last week?