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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The Teeny Tiny Ghost and the Monster

 

Halloween book

Halloween book

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We were given a few Halloween books from my mother in law’s expansive collection of all things autumn. Halloween was her favorite holiday, by far. We lost her recently, so even though I don’t generally go all out for this particular holiday, I decided to do a Halloween themed story time with my munchkins in her honor, complete with a craft, game and treat. She also loved all things crafty, and was a retired Head Start teacher, so I know that she would have enjoyed it.

I chose the book  The Teeny Tiny Ghost and the Monster by Kay Winters for our fun Halloween themed activity time. It’s quite the cute little book, and not the least bit scary. My little girl is strongly opposed to all things “creeeeepyyyyy”, as she says, so that was a must. :) This book and activity would be fun any time of the year.

Pipe cleaner arms and legs

Pipe cleaner arms and legs

First on our agenda were ghost and monster puppets. To make these, you just need craft (or popsicle) sticks, construction paper or cardstock, pipe cleaners, tape and something to color with. I sketched the requested outlines for their ghosts and monsters, but if you don’t have a knack for drawing, just print or trace the outlines. While I let my five and two year olds loose to decorate their respective puppets, I grabbed a couple of pipe cleaners and snipped them into four pieces each for the monsters’ legs and arms. You need one pipe cleaner per monster.  I just twisted loops at one end of each to make hands and feet. Once they were finished coloring, I cut out their creepy (bahaha!) creations and helped them tape the arms and legs on the monsters and the craft sticks on all of the puppets. See? Super simple, easy peasy!! As I mentioned, even my two year old could participate in this activity.

If you don’t want to bother making your own puppets, these two sets of teeny tiny finger puppets are super inexpensive and awfully cute. 4 ~ Halloween Finger Puppets ~ Approx. 1.5″ ~ Vinyl ~ Assorted ~ New ~ Dracula, Vampire, Witch, Mummy, Frankenstein Monster
(1 pack of 12) Mixed Halloween Themed Character Finger Puppets – Ghosts, Bats, Dracula Vampires, and Pumpkins – Trick or treat giveaway, Party favor and Pinata filler – 1 dozen puppets

Halloween Monster Back

Halloween Monster Back

Below you see my munchkins proudly displaying their one-of-a-kind ghosties and monsters. Quite the colorful creatures, aren’t they? :) They get all the credit, since Mommy literally left them to it while she finished the legs and arms and worked on dishes.

 

Monster and Ghost Puppets

Monster and Ghost Puppets

Now for the next part of our freaky fun fest!! Storytime, with a game! I settled them down in our oversized chair, and instructed them to hold up their ghost puppets when they heard the word “ghost” and their monster puppets when they heard the word “monster”. As you can see, they had to concentrate to hear those key words, but they did really well and thought it was the neatest way to read a book together.

Halloween Game

Halloween Game

We weren’t ready to be finished with that, so the kiddos put on a puppet show for me using their new puppets. While I won’t pretend that the script was riveting, they were pretty doggone cute in their attempts at a story line. My two year old really didn’t get it, and wound up watching his sister’s puppets more than doing anything with his own, but they had a blast, anyway.

Monster and Ghost Puppet Show

Monster and Ghost Puppet Show

For the grand finale, I brought out their trick or treat buckets from the fall festivals we attended the other day and let them both pick out a sweet treat. As you can see, they were quite pleased with that finish! :)

Do your little ones enjoy books and puppets? What are your favorite books for autumn?

 

Story Time Trick or Treat

Story Time Trick or Treat


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Let’s Celebrate Food Day!!!

Garden Fresh Jalapenos

Garden Fresh Jalapenos

You love food, I love food, we all love food! I mean, who can help it? We’ve all gotta eat! October 24th is an extra special day in the world of food. It’s not only the official celebration of Food Day, but also the birthday of one of my all-time favorite food lovers- my dear ol’ Dad! It’s only fitting that he was born on the day we celebrate one of his most beloved things (other than his darling children, of course! ;) ). He sure loves himself some good vittles! Love you and a big happy birthday holler, Daddy!

Food Day isn’t just about any food. It’s about making an effort to eat real, healthy food and about the people who work hard to make sure these choices are readily available. It’s about encouraging families to choose more natural and less processed. According to http://www.foodday.org : In 2014, Food Day will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers.

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno Poppers

I just finally got my late autumn garden of kale, broccoli and butter lettuce planted a couple of days ago to give us a continued supply of some fresh healthy green veggies for a couple more months while produce is getting more and more expensive. I wanted to plant spinach, too, but I waited too long to start the seeds and couldn’t find the plants anywhere locally. I’d love to have more in, but life interfered with my larger plans for this year. The only thing still producing well from my summer garden is the jalapenos you see pictured. They are doing amazingly well! :) If you want to know how I made those yummy unfried poppers in the picture, just click the photo for instructions.

What are you doing to make healthy food choices for your family? How knowledgeable do you think you are about things related to the growth and production of the food we eat? Take this quiz, and let me know how you did! http://www.foodday.org/food_literacy_quiz I took it, and got 12 out of 15 right. A couple of my wrong answers surprised me! Can you outdo me?

The friendly face of Food Day. Happy birthday, Dad! :)

The friendly face of Food Day. Happy birthday, Dad! :)


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Dinner For a Dollar

Dinner For a Dollar

Dinner For a Dollar

“Dinner for a dollar?!?”  they exclaim, “It can’t be done!!”. Let me tell ya, honey, it most certainly can! Tonight I made this delicious pasta dish for less than a dollar. It fed my five year old, two year old and me with leftovers…and we all ate seconds!

I am challenging myself to stretch our grocery money as far as possible, and cook from the pantry as much as I can to help with a money crunch while my husband is taking a career furthering class for several weeks and missing a lot of work to do so. I haven’t been shopping in about a week and a half, so I am doing pretty well with it thus far.

I found some pasta with no crazy ingredients, just semolina and durum flour, marked down for 25 cents each when I was shopping a couple of weeks ago, so I grabbed several packages. I used half a pack of those noodles for this dish, plus a can of Italian diced tomatoes (66 cents), a sprinkling of parmesan, a handful of mozzarella cheese and the last few slices of ham lunchmeat we had in the pack before we go grocery shopping tomorrow.

Dinner For a Dollar? It's Doable!!

Dinner For a Dollar? It’s Doable!!

I mixed the cooked pasta with the tomatoes, let Princess Peachy sprinkle on the cheese and the shredded lunchmeat and warmed it in the oven for about five minutes. TADA!!!! A super cheap and yummy supper created in less than 10 minutes! :)

While this cost me less than a dollar, with more average prices it might cost closer to two dollars. Even still, it’s a budget friendly and speedily prepared meal for the penny pinching parent who is crunched for time.

What is the cheapest home cooked meal (that your family actually enjoyed ;) ) you’ve made recently?

For some great recipes, please click the Chef’s hat!


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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! ;)

“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” 

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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