Penny Pinching Peach

A place for those of us without the time or inclination to be "extreme" to indulge in a love of couponing & cooking, family & frugality, creativity & craftiness.


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Decluttering My Closet

The Great Closet Purge

The Great Closet Purge

My closet is the bottomless of abyss, a cavern full of miscellaneous items, gifts bought ahead of time and mountains of clothing that mocks me with the tiny sizes and even more youthful styles worn by my mother’s daughter who was not yet my children’s mother. It’s one of those things that makes me anxious to even think of tackling, but today I got the nerve up to try yet again. This time, however, I’m in massive purge and pack mode, since we are getting ready for a major move and I don’t want to carry all the clutter with us. I haven’t the slightest illusion that we won’t still have too much stuff with us. I am just determined to make sure not to take all of the things I haven’t used or worn in forever, because it is literally dead weight that steals my joy by making it impossible to keep my home looking neat. First on the list is probably my worst personal offense- my clothing!

If you share my struggle with clutter, especially clothing, maybe my mad methods will help you out (or at least inspire you that a fellow clutterbug was able to get rid of so much junk), so I thought I’d share. If I can clear things out, ANYONE can! (Well, I can’t speak for actual hoarders. I’m not quite there….yet!)

My criteria for getting rid of clothing? If I haven’t worn it since my nearly three year old son was born, it’s gotta go. There are very few exceptions to this. I made an exception for a dress my mom personally made me a patchwork bottom for, because it’s still beautiful and oh-so-sentimental. Also, obviously I haven’t worn my wedding dress, but I’m not going THAT far in my purging!!

What are the categories for clothing that I am no longer keeping? Throw away, thrift store, and consignment. Throw away is for the clothing with more than slight stains, tears, etc. that I can’t easily repurpose into rags or something I can use right now. (If you do alot of DIY and are not drowning in your stuff like I am, you can think alot more creatively with this part. I’m overwhelmed, so it is gone, gone, gone!) Thrift store is for items that are still good, but may be very slightly stained or totally outdated. Consignment is for items that are in good condition and either timeless or stylish, because I can use them to get things my kids will be needing. The photo doesn’t include the two bags of thrift store donations I have headed on out. :)

How in the world am I sorting the clothing I am keeping? Well, ordinarily I’d divide them by season and put up the out of season ones. However, since I’m having a new baby this summer and plan to breastfeed her, I’m doing things a lot differently. I got a huge storage tub and filled it up with clothing I can’t wear either while pregnant or during the early days as a breastfeeding mom who will not only need to be able to access aforementioned breasts to feed my precious baby girl, but whose body is most certainly not going to be back to normal for the remainder of warm weather. All of the clothing that I believe that I can wear between now and cool weather I kept out. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, since this is my third child and I know exactly which clothing is too aggravating to try nursing a baby while wearing. LOL

Anyone else purging that cluttered mess of clothing in the closet??


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Wednesday is for Winners

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Another winning Wednesday here, just sharing some of the awesome- but less widely publicized- giveaways I find on the wonderful worldwide web. I love entering contests, although until the past several weeks I have rarely won anything. By rarely, I mean practically never, ever, ever. Just since Christmas Eve, though, I’ve won several awesome giveaways!!! One was a $20 boutique gift card! Another was a giveaway for the After Saga I featured here recently! Another was Christmas Eve and a higher entry giveaway for a huge prize package for our baby valued at over $1,200!! Another is a precious children’s book I featured here previously! More recently, I won a $25 Publix gift card, a craft kit, and a gluten free snack box! I’m not sharing to brag, but it tells you that people really do win! I think this baby in my tummy is my lucky charm, y’all! ;) The giveaways I share here are not giveaways with hundreds of thousands of entries, so you actually have a decent chance to win something. Who doesn’t want to win free stuff?

Try to win $125 Amazon Gift Card! (Ends 4/13)

http://is.gd/UQq9PO

Enter to win an amazing Lillebaby All Seasons Baby Carrier! (Ends 4/2)

http://is.gd/a1MLTU

Try to win $150 Paypal Cash! (Ends 4/6)

http://is.gd/YYJhHz

Enter to win a $75 Buy Buy Baby gift card! (Ends 4/17)

http://bit.ly/1Bki6vR

Enter to win a Combi F2 stroller! (Ends 4/8)

http://is.gd/akIMI0

Try to win a Christian woman’s t-shirt! (Ends 3/27)

Woohooo! It's GIVEAWAY TIME! Enter to win a Christian T-Shirt from @risenapparel: It's easy!! 1. Follow @authenticwomanhood 2. Tag 3 friends in a comment 3. NEW! Share this photo & hashtag #authenticwomanhood for a bonus entry! 😊 •••••••••••••• You can tag 3 more NEW people each day! 1 winner will receive 1 t-shirt of their choice from @risenapparel – they have tons of awesome scripture tees & more! And with every purchase, they donate $5 to a local ministry- so your shopping really can change the world. U.S. residents only. Giveaway ends Friday, March 27th at 9pm CST. #authenticwomanhood #instagramcontest #instagramgiveaway #contest #instagiveaway #giveaway #liketowin #springgiveaway #fridaygiveaway #shereadstruth #womenofGod #bible

A photo posted by Authentic Womanhood 💕 (@authenticwomanhood) on

Try to win cleaning gloves galore and a $50 Amazon gift card! (Ends 3/27)

http://mamasmiths.com/2015/03/spring-cleaning-giveaway.html

Enter to win a hardcover copy of Savor by Shauna Niequist! (Ends 3/26)

http://manysparrows.me/savor-shauna-niequist-review-giveaway/

Try to win a pair of Grill Armor Gloves (3 Winners)! (Ends 4/6)

http://conservamome.com/grill-armor-gloves-giveaway-3-winners-ends-46/

Any bloggers or small businesses with current family friendly giveaways are welcome to post links to one or two of those giveaways with a brief description in the comments section. If you have an upcoming giveaway you would like to be featured, please contact me via my Facebook page with details. This will continue to be a weekly feature here on Penny Pinching Peach if there is consistent interest, so give a shout if you like this idea and let me know if you entered any contests! Oh, and definitely come back and let me know if you win something, please!!!


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Bunny Trouble

Bunny Trouble

Bunny Trouble

With Easter fast approaching, I wanted to share with y’all about one of my children’s favorite Easter bunny books. They love it so much, I’m not allowed to put it up the rest of the year. It’s frequently requested, regardless of the season.

Bunny Trouble is the story of a unique bunny who was part of the Easter bunny’s colony. This little bunny’s love of soccer caused him to get into all sorts of trouble, but in the end, he learned to work better with others toward common goals and they learned to embrace those who may be just a wee bit differently. With adorable photos and an attention grabbing story line, this is a great story to celebrate the fun of the season, teamwork and appreciating what makes each of us just a little bit special.

To get your own copy, you can click the title  in blue and go to Amazon to order it new or used. I’m sure your children will enjoy this lively story as much as my little ones do. :)

Do you have a favorite Easter book?

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


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Keep Sliced Apples Fresh

My kids love to snack on apple slices. The problem is, they frequently don’t finish all of the slices at one sitting. I got fed up with feeding the leftovers to the chickens, and remembered that I’d heard lemon juice would keep the slices fresh for longer. I didn’t have lemon juice, but I did have key lime, so I tried it. Here are the results, after 24 hours.

First, I put a slice aside as a control to see how well the key lime juice would actually work. Below is what it looked like after 24 hours, a sort of golden brown. It was also fairly squishy when I’d give it a squeeze between my fingers.

Apple slice without key lime juice

Apple slice without key lime juice

Next, I put a couple of slices of apple in a Ziploc baggie, sprinkled a few drops of key lime juice inside, swished it all around to make sure there was a light coating all over and squeezed the air out of the bag, leaving it on the kitchen counter with the other plain apple baggie. Below is what it looked like after 24 hours, almost as white as when I sliced it. The texture was also pretty much the same, and there was barely a hint of key lime flavor when eating it.

Apple slices with key lime juice

Apple slices with key lime juice

All in all, I’d say this experiment was a definite success. I’ve added a new weapon to my produce saving, grocery stretching repertoire! It’s also a great option for prepping healthy snacks the night before when you know you have a busy day coming up.


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Win For Wednesday

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Another winning Wednesday here, just sharing some of the awesome- but less widely publicized- giveaways I find on the wonderful worldwide web. I love entering contests, although until the past several weeks I have rarely won anything. By rarely, I mean practically never, ever, ever. Just since Christmas Eve, though, I’ve won several awesome giveaways!!! One was a $20 boutique gift card! Another was a giveaway for the After Saga I featured here recently! Another was Christmas Eve and a higher entry giveaway for a huge prize package for our baby valued at over $1,200!! Another is a precious children’s book I featured here previously! More recently, I won a $25 Publix gift card, a craft kit, and a gluten free snack box! I’m not sharing to brag, but it tells you that people really do win! I think this baby in my tummy is my lucky charm, y’all! ;) The giveaways I share here are not giveaways with hundreds of thousands of entries, so you actually have a decent chance to win something. Who doesn’t want to win free stuff?

Try to win a big Littlest Pet Shop Basket! (Ends 3/26)

https://gleam.io/vaJHo-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F03%2Flittlest-pet-shop-basket-giveaway.html

Enter to win a Slouch hat or Monster hat (VERY cute, btw!!)! (Ends 3/19)

https://gleam.io/Q1RFk-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F03%2Fheavenly-hooked-creations-giveaway.html

Try to win a Q’s Race to the Top Package Giveaway!! (Really adorable game, toy and book set.) (Ends 3/25)

https://gleam.io/AmWE1-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F02%2Fqs-race-to-the-top-package-giveaway.html

Enter to win a Big Hero 6 Collector’s Edition! (Ends 3/31)

http://sayitrahshay.com/big-hero-6-giveaway/

Try to win a Kiss Freely giveaway!

Enter to win a $25 Gyft card! (Ends 3/22)

http://www.mamabyfire.com/2015/03/16/a-cooler-way-to-give-a-gyft-giveaway/

Try to win a birthday package from Abby Reese Design!

Enter to win the following prizes:
• One (1) photo of Brendan Coyle, autographed by Mr. Coyle himself!
• One (1) The World of Downton Abbey hardcover book,
• One (1) signed NOBLE movie poster
Also a chance to win a trip to Ireland below AND  $10,000

http://www.bookroomreviews.com/2015/03/15/a-very-special-downton-abbey-giveaway-plus-a-chance-for-10k-and-a-trip-to-ireland/

Any bloggers or small businesses with current family friendly giveaways are welcome to post links to one or two of those giveaways with a brief description in the comments section. If you have an upcoming giveaway you would like to be featured, please contact me via my Facebook page with details. This will continue to be a weekly feature here on Penny Pinching Peach if there is consistent interest, so give a shout if you like this idea and let me know if you entered any contests! Oh, and definitely come back and let me know if you win something, please!!!


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Phonics Hunt Game

Phonics Hunt

Phonics Hunt

My oldest daughter is currently learning to read. She is doing an amazing job with her schoolwork, and has inherited my voracious love of learning. However, when we did our review work today, I spotted a couple of letters she was having trouble matching with their phonics sounds correctly. I decided that- instead of doing math today (which I don’t do daily with a kindergarten student, since she likes to do a lot at a time, anyway)- I would make up a fun game with multiple parts to help her get a better grasp on the sounds she was struggling with remembering. We needed some outside time to burn energy and get some fresh air, so I incorporated that in with our school time. (Gotta love homeschooling!! Learning happens everywhere!! Since I’m a second generation homeschooler, this is natural & normal for me, but I am seeing a whole different side of it now. Love it! :) )

My Princess Pennypeacher was having trouble with the letters H and N. I handed her a grocery bag, and explained that we were going hunting for things that start with those letters, making the phonics sound for her. Our goal was to find at least three items with each phonics sound. She is very goal oriented, so she loved this!! As we went walking together, searching for objects, I kept repeating the letters and sounds and helping her come up with words starting with those sounds. We found a few things outside, then continued our search in the house. This kept her busily searching for a while, having a good ol’ time all the way, with her little brother following her around shouting the sounds with her without having any idea what he was talking about. :) Once she found three items starting with the H and N sounds, we moved on to the next part of the game.

I had her sit down and choose two pieces of paper to write the uppercase and lowercase versions of each letter at the top of each sheet. Once she did that, I had her pull one item at a time out of the bag, tell me which sound and letter that item started with, set it beside the correct letter sheet and then I helped her write the words by breaking down the sounds in each word to see if she could tell me the matching letter. This was mostly to reiterate the sounds she was working on, but also to check for any other sounds she might be struggling with. This part was less of a hooray kind of fun for her, but she still enjoyed the challenge.

To finish up, we took a silly photo of my kindergartener, her project, and her loyal assistant! :)

Do you think your little ones would enjoy this game? It cost nothing whatsoever, so that made my pockets happy. It definitely helped her get a better grasp on the letters she was getting confused on, although I think we will need to do a couple of more fun reviews to make sure she really has it. I love having fun learning with my munchkins! :)

Molding Cereal Eggs


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Key Lime Rice Krispie Eggs

This is an oldie, but a goodie! My second child is nearly the same age now as my first was when we did this one, so it will work even for tiny tots. Definitely worth a try, y’all!

Yep, you read that right! ;) With Easter around the corner, and so many creatively cutesy activities floating around the internet, I decided to cook up a couple of simpler goodies with my 3 year old Princess. :) One of the things we chose to do was Easter Egg Rice Krispie Treats, with our own twist. We used key lime flavored marshmallows and added lots of pretty colored sprinkles in with the rice cereal. We didn’t fill them or decorate them extra, since that was just too much to try to get accomplished with my dawdly darling during my little punkin’s nap. We were having oodles of fun doing a basic molded version, plus some that we shaped into eggs by hand, and that’s the main point of doing cooking or crafts with a munchkin. They turned out with the refreshing look and taste of spring, and my daughter is quite pleased with our handiwork. Want to try your own hand at it?Here’s the recipe:

They're more green than this looks

They’re more green than this looks

Rice Krispie Easter Eggs

12 Plastic snap-apart 3 x 2 inch Easter eggs
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
OR
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups rice cereal
Candy sprinkles
Frosting and/or candies, optional

Molding Cereal Eggs

Molding Cereal Eggs

Clean, then coat inside of plastic eggs with cooking spray. Set aside.
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
Add rice cereal and candy sprinkles. Stir until well coated.
Using greased hands, firmly press 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into each plastic egg half. Remove from molds. Place on wax paper.
OR
Using 1/3-cup measuring cup coated with cooking spray divide warm cereal mixture into portions. Using buttered hands shape each portion into egg shape. Cool.
Decorate with frosting and/or candies, if desired. Best if served the same day.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

Princess and I got most of this done before my littlest booger woke up from his nap. Being the food loving fella that he is, he awakened just in time for the most important part of any recipe: taste testing!

This is a perfect recipe to do with a small & enthusiastic cook-in-training! I’ll be doing some rendition of it next year. I’m sure my munchkins would be looking forward to it, if they were old enough to plan a year in advance. :)

Do you think you’d like to try this? What flavor of marshmallows will you use in yours?

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