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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Wear Something Gaudy Day

Movie Star Munchkins

Movie Star Munchkins

Want something fun to do? How about celebrating Wear Something Gaudy Day with us? The official celebration is today, October 17, and it’s the perfect holiday for the free spirited fashionistas among us!  This is a day my mom would have adored, since she loved wearing some far out outfits! My daughter is definitely a kindred spirit when it comes to her sense of style. She- like my mom- can look fabulous while wearing something that would just leave the average person looking funky! She’s training her brother well, by being his personal stylist, as pictured. ;)

What would you wear for Wear Something Gaudy Day? Have a crazzzzzzy outfit to share? Please go like my Facebook page below and share a photo in the comments of this blog post there. I’d love to see what kind of gaudiness y’all have come up with, as long as it’s a family friendly kind of kookiness! :)

https://www.facebook.com/pennypinchingpeachpage

Here is a link telling more about the history of Wear Something Gaudy Day:

http://www.examiner.com/article/wear-something-gaudy-day-wear-something-loud-and-stand-out-the-crowd


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Powerful Princesses

My little princess and her littler dragon

My little princess and her littler dragon

Does it bother anyone else for their little girls to aspire to be a princess in the classic “I’m so helpless! Please rescue me, obscurely perfect man of my insanely romanticized dreams!”? I love letting my daughter play dress up, be girly, and pretend to be a princess, but the helpless and hopeless romantic version grates on my nerves more than a wee bit. That’s why I’m an enthusiastic fan of the spunky and sassy princess types! They make the point that you can be a pretty princess simultaneously with being strong, intelligent and perfectly capable of taking care of yourself, and that’s a message I can get behind. :)

Want some princesses for your little girls to learn about who are far from wilting weaklings? Check these rockin’ royals out, y’all! ;)

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Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess: This little princess wasn’t born in a palace. Her mother was a poor village woman who married the king, making her a newly minted princess with all the quirks of an ordinary sweet & spunky little girl, along with the newfound trappings of royalty. She is a kind, but very resourceful, little person. Sophia is a totally relatable little princess, in her own magical way.

Mulan / Mulan II: Mulan’s father was in poor health, and was called up to war. She courageously took his place, and became a renowned and rewarded soldier, with some interesting twists along the way.

Esther from the Bible was The Queen Who Saved Her People Esther was actually a real queen, way back in the days of the Old Testament. In a day when women- even queens- ordinarily had very little power or influence, she managed to save the entire Israelite people in her kingdom using her intelligence, wisdom, grace and every ounce of power she had. She accomplished amazing things, especially considering the time she was living in. She was definitely a royal of worth!

Merida from Brave: Merida is certainly nowhere close to the helpless maiden type! She had to learn how to calm her wild spirit through a whole series of crazy adventures where the princess is the girl who is both causing trouble and fixing it herself . When they say brave, it royally fits!

Anna and Elsa Frozen (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy): Who can forget this super duper popular sisterly twosome of the moment and their fantastical adventures? Wimpy little ladies they are not! Let it go! ;)

Rapunzel of Tangled: Now, I think of the classic Rapunzel as the aforementioned annoyingly helpless and pathetic princess type. The version who appears in the movie Tangled, however, is anything but that! She grew up sheltered in a tower, but she broke free and corralled a young man into helping her along in her urgent quest.

Do you know of any other atypical princesses or other royal ladies whom your little girls adore? Are they fans of any of the ones I mentioned?


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No Carving Pumpkin Family

pennypinchingpeach:

This is a craft post I did at this time last year when I did no carve pumpkins with my daughter. I thought it was a good time to share it again! :)

Originally posted on Penny Pinching Peach:

Pumpkin Family

Pumpkin Family

This is the first year my daughter has had a huge opinion about pumpkin decorating, and she wanted to do a family out of miniature pumpkins. She picked them out at the pumpkin stand (75 cents each- penny pincher insert :) ), and was super excited to morph them into a pumpkin family to set out on our porch. I did not want to attempt carving pumpkins with two little ones. She wanted a happy family, not a spooky Halloween one, so I was thinking bright & cheerful things she could actually help with. So, I went to the Dollar Tree and got a few items I thought would work for decorating and for crafts later on, stretching my dollars further. We probably used less than $1.00 worth of supplies, so these pumpkins cost less than $1.00 apiece to make. Score!! :)

We used: craft pom poms, sparkly pipe cleaners, googly…

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Getting Artsy With D, E, and F

Tracing "D" With Pompoms

Tracing “D” With Pompoms

My newly turned five year old and I are continuing our fun journey into reviewing the

Tracing E With Pompoms

Tracing E With Pompoms

alphabet and adding in the phonics side of things as we go. She looks at school time as one of her favorite games, since Mommy is playing it with her and she is actually learning. I’m lucky that my kiddo inherited my odd fascination with learning new things, so it makes homeschooling her (thus far) more of a joyful journey than a chore.

This lesson is one we did several weeks ago, and is all about the letters D, E, and F. We did all of the activities over the course of a couple of days, along with other things we were working on. My little peachy princess really enjoyed all of the things I came up with for these letters! :) I’m not going to list these alphabetically as much as by activity, to keep it from being too befuddling.

Tracing F With Pompoms

Tracing F With Pompoms

My little girl loves colorful pompoms and art projects, so it was easy to dream up this first activity! I filled an empty wipe box with multi colored pompoms Pepperell Craft Making Assorted Pom Poms, Standard Colors, 750 Per Package and wrote the letters D, E, and F in large print on three pieces of paper. I had her trace each letter using the pompoms, talking about the sounds each letter made as she traced it. She was very pleased with the results, and wanted to glue them to show off later, but we didn’t have enough pompoms for all that. :)

D is for Dog and Disguise

D is for Dog and Disguise

Next, we talked about what words started with each sound. She was delighted to realize how

E is for Elephant

E is for Elephant

many words she could come up with beginning with each sound. From there I asked her to draw or color a picture of something she really liked starting with each letter sound. She chose to wear a “disguise” while coloring a picture of “dog” biscuits for the “D” sound, to draw a picture of an “elephant” for the “E” sound, and to draw a picture of her daddy, the firefighter, for the “F” sound. She was so proud of her artistic abilities, and learned to write some new words. :)

F is for Firefighter

F is for Firefighter

For some outdoor educational fun, we went on a hunt for flowers to go along with the “F” sound. Since we were still enjoying ourselves so much, we created a beautiful letter “F” on our back deck using some of our flower finds. My peachy princess was fascinated with her floral creation! :)

How have you been having fun with your alphabet lately?

F is for Flower

F is for Flower

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International Coffee Day

International Coffee Day

International Coffee Day

For those of you who love your caffeine fix in the form of that aromatic beverage known as coffee, get your party hats on! It’s International Coffee Day, and it comes with lots of treats for you! Get ready to get your jitters on, people!!! :)

Here’s a few of the goodies I rounded up:

7-Eleven is giving out free large coffees on September 28 between 6 and 10 am at participating locations.

Dunkin’ Donuts in the US, on September 29, will be giving a free medium cup of hot dark roast coffee, limit of one per guest. Then, beginning September 30 through October 5, guests can enjoy a medium cup of hot dark roast coffee for the special price of just 99 cents. Dunkin’ Donuts will also be making International Coffee Day a genuinely global party, with offers of free coffee on or around the holiday in most of the brand’s international locations. Just check with your restaurant locally if you are not in the US.

Kangaroo Express is selling a 12 ounce cup of Bean Street Coffee for a whoppin’ penny on September 29 between 8am and noon. Since when could you actually buy anything for one cent?? :)

Krispy Kreme is joining in the celebration of International Coffee Day  with some great goodies Monday, September 29th, you can get a freeeeee 12oz cup of Krispy Kreme® House, Decaf or Dark Roast coffee, or a discounted treat of a 12oz Mocha, Latte or iced coffee for $1 at participating Krispy Kreme locations in the US.

Lamar’s Donuts has a free 12 ounce coffee on September 29.

McDonalds is supposed to be offering a free cup of coffee daily during breakfast hours through September 29 at select locations. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

Tim Horton’s has $1.00 medium dark roast coffee all the way through September 29.

Which cup are you going to sip on first? Hello??? Are you still there? Hmmm….guess you really wanted some of that coffee! ;)


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The Crazy Kingdom of Kiddos

Muddy Munchkin Man

Muddy Munchkin Man

I’m a stay at home mom, married to a firefighter paramedic who is literally gone over half the time just for work. I spend a lot of time alone in the crazy kingdom of kiddos….and it’s definitely a craaaaaaazzzzzzyyyyy place to be.

Want some examples? Happy to oblige! Maybe it’ll make someone else feel less alone in their own personal kingdom of kookiness. :)

Just the other day, my 4 year old decided that it would be a good idea to use a cooler and the counter to climb up and get the candy Mommy has safely stashed on top of the fridge to prevent the candy coma inducing binges she is so wonderfully prone to. My intervention was met with howls of indignation, instead of appreciation for the fact she didn’t break her stubborn little neck.

On the same aforementioned day, my potty training 2 year old came running up to me with a huge smile saying “Mama, me pee! Me pee!”. When I asked where, he proudly pointed under the kitchen table to the spreading yellow puddle. “Me pee!”. Yep, you pee… but don’t expect a treat for this one, baby boy!!

Some days my 4 year old doesn’t want to get dressed, because she thinks her jammies are the coolest outfits in the world. You know what? Sometimes I let her. Hey, a mommy gets tired! Ever heard the phrase “Choose your battles”? It seriously applies with small children of the strong willed variety. If I’m not doing a daggum thing other than puttering around the house, and the kid wants to wear her princess jammies all day, who am I to fight? I’ll fight when she wants to jump off the deck railing because it looks like fun or when she doesn’t want to brush her teeth because the toothpaste makes her milk taste funny, but wearing clean jammies all day now & then doesn’t hurt anything.

My munchkins were both playing happily with their water table recently as I watched out the kitchen window while doing the dishes. What I didn’t know was that the little stinkers had dumped a bunch of dirt into the table, and my little guy was smearing the resulting mud all over himself. By the time I did realize what they were doing, he was a pretty mess. In fact, the face in the photo came just before he started hollering “Bath!” and running for the house. You know a boy is filthy when he’s actually begging to be cleaned up! ;)

My 2 year old is all boy, no doubt about that. What he doesn’t yet know is that allowing your big sister to deck you out in her sparkly purple princess dress Disney Princess Sparkle Dress – Rapunzel 4-6Xand outgrown white Mary Jane shoes does not a macho man make. Gotta give the kid credit: He can almost make that get-up look masculine, as he struts around making superhero sound effects and rolls up the front of the dress to make it easier to charge around on his little red fire truck “saving the world” one stuffed animal at a time.

Yep, this kingdom of kiddos is completely crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. :) What craziness has happened at your house recently?
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Creative Comfort

Comfort Coloring

Comfort Coloring

If anyone has noticed my silence the past three weeks, it’s in the largest part due to a sudden death in our family. My husband’s mother, my children’s Ganna, unexpectedly passed away shortly after her 60th birthday. The last while has been a whirlwind of the overwhelming aftermath such a sad and sudden event leaves behind. This experience is not entirely new to me, having lost my own mom far too early and quickly in 2006 when she was only 44 years old. Every loss is different, though, in the same way that every person is unique and every family dynamic is all it’s own. Anyway, going through this loss with small children of our own has given me another perspective on grieving, loss and the process of laying a loved one to rest.

When a friend loses someone close to them, we are often left wondering what we can say or do to make things better. Truth is, there is nothing that can take away the sorrow or fill the void left by death. There are some things that can bring a measure of comfort, help the family feel less alone, and let them know you truly, actively, deeply care about them in a way that words alone just can’t express. You may never know the impact your small gesture made in helping a grieving person make it through. You don’t have to have a lot of time or money to let the bereaved know you are there and care. I’m going to share some ideas of ways you can help ease the transition into life after loss. Some are pretty conventional, some not so much. Hopefully you will find something you can use.

Children: I’d never been through the loss of a close relative as a parent of small children, so this opened my eyes to some ways to bless the grieving that I hadn’t thought so much about previously. Offer to help with the children in the immediate family. It may be babysitting while they make arrangements, keeping them occupied during visitation, letting them sit with you during the funeral or just offering to be on standby in case the parents realize that they do need help at some point. Busy gifts to occupy children quietly. Give the little ones “busy bags”. Some parents won’t realize how hard it is for little ones to behave through all of the tedious rituals they don’t truly understand, and won’t come prepared. Things you could include: crayons or colored pencils, coloring book, sketch pad, stickers, candy or packaged snacks that are not messy (super important detail, so I’m repeating: NOT MESSY!!! ;) ), a small stuffed animal, or any small quiet & clean activities. My daughter literally colored almost the entire time we were having visitation, and gave a picture to nearly everyone who came. She said it was to make everyone feel less sad about her Ganna going to Heaven.

Pictures: Pictures are such an important thing when you are remembering someone who once lived life with you. Many people now do a photo montage at the viewing. If they need help scanning or copying photos so that they aren’t leaving originals with the funeral home, this is a way you could help. If you have a great picture in your personal collection of the recently departed, that would be an extremely meaningful gift to include with a sympathy card or just to give to them. When someone has passed away, you will never be able to take another picture of them, so this is a way of getting a new memory when you thought there were no more.

Music. If the family is going to use recorded music and you have a knack for finding and burning just the right version of that perfect song, offer your services to help them. Chances are that they are overwhelmed and don’t really have the time to search it out. Just make sure that you communicate clearly and definitely have the songs they really want played.

Food. Families who just lost someone dear to them often forget to eat, and certainly don’t have the desire to cook. If there is good food sitting there, they are likely to eat it just so it won’t go to waste, and it will keep them going. See where they need it most: At home, during visitation or after the funeral. After all, everyone needs to eat, whether they feel like it or not.

Financial: Something we rarely think about is the financial burden a death can bring to family. It’s not only paying for the funeral, but lost work, gas money, and other incidentals that are unplanned. This is not a big deal if you are financially secure, but can be an added devastation if you are barely scraping by to start with. Ways you can help with this when you know the family is struggling? Let them know you included money, a gift card or a gas card in your sympathy card. Buy a small potted plant to hand deliver instead of a big arrangement from a florist, and give the difference, if you feel you still want to give flowers and can’t do both.

Sharing memories. In the weeks and months following a loved one moving on, the family settles into their new life without a significant part of their daily existence. Everyone else moves on, and often forgets they are still grieving and adjusting. Write a letter about a fond memory of the person who is no longer with them, and send it to them. Write a card letting them know you’re thinking of them. Dig out the pictures I mentioned before and share them. Visit and talk about the good times. Remember.

Death is never easy. Grieving is complicated. Noone should have to go through it alone. If you are reading this, you know someone who has lost someone dear to them. If you haven’t already, you will most likely lose someone one day yourself. We will all have our turn to move on. Show compassion, be a blessing, do what you can for others while you still can. Live life while you are living, and love on those who are still here with you. Peace!

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