Penny Pinching Peach


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Fun ABC Activities

I was looking through my ABC activities to do them again and adapt them for my little ones this year, and decided to put them together with some other ABC themed fun projects shared with me from other bloggers. Y’all are going to love these! They are all oodles of fun on top of being educational, so how could you go wrong? 😉

ABC Fun, Find and Food

A is for Apple

A is for Apple

Alphabet Game

Alphabet Game

Alphabet Game From Mosswood Connections

Getting Artsy With D, E and F

Tracing

Tracing “D” With Pompoms

ABC Chalk Activity For Preschoolers

ABC Chalk Activity

ABC Chalk Activity From Practical Mommy

Letter Search

Sailing with Pirate C

Sailing with Pirate C

Learning to Write the Alphabet with Cotton Swab Painting

Cotton Swab Letter Painting

Cotton Swab Letter Painting From The Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide

Newspaper ABCs

Hunting and Clipping

Hunting and Clipping

Free Alphabet Printable Coloring Booklet

Free Alphabet Printable Booklet For Kids From Thrifty DIY Diva

Free Alphabet Printable Booklet For Kids From Thrifty DIY Diva

Phonics Hunt Game

Phonics Hunt

Phonics Hunt From Penny Pinching Peach

Which games and projects are you looking forward to doing with your kiddos? For some creatively frugal fun things to do with your munchkins, check out my roundup 10 Preschool Activities Using Household Items!

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To Cook Or Not To Cook

Sitting Down on the Job

Sitting Down on the Job

This is an older post, but I was thinking about it the other day when I let my children have cake for breakfast. I was tired, the baby was fussy, and it smelled so good just sitting there. Don’t judge me!!! lol For more shameful confessions, keep reading…

Anyone who knows me well (or reads my blog 🙂 ) also knows that I genuinely enjoy cooking. I love baking goodies to share, decorating cupcakes with my daughter, whipping up delectable meals for my family to gobble up, and just all around fixing scrumptious vittles. What many of you don’t know is that there are times I just plain absolutely fall down on the job. I mean, I really go outside the realm of ordinary feeding of family and children. To call what I do during those times cooking would be…well….a disgrace to cooks everywhere.

Take tonight, for instance. The hubby is on duty at the fire station, and I was gone most of the day with the munchkins. To say that I didn’t want to be bothered with cooking tonight is an understatement. I could not, would not, did not even want to think about bothering with it. I wanted to exercise for a few minutes while noone big enough to know how goofy I look bouncing around like a loon was here to watch. (I’m very much sick of the extra pudge in the tummy and thighs that’s still lingering from having my little Pumpkin, after years of being on the active side of life.) Guess what we had? Microwave maruchen noodles with a handful each of shredded baby spinach and pre-julienned carrots thrown in to make me feel like it was still a healthy dinner. While it microwaved and cooled, I did some of my old exercises & stretches with Princess Peach for the 15 minutes I would’ve probably spent throwing a simple dinner together. Winner, winner, what a dinner! 😉

To delve even deeper into the dark secret slip-ups of a mommy who usually loves cooking and feeding her family heartily…brace yourself, people, ’cause this one is an even bigger doozie!

Sometimes- like, say, yesterday- when my daughter asks for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast… *whispering guiltily* I let her. I know! Mom of the year here! Don’t give me that look! I was in a hurry, okay??

As if I haven’t already revealed enough of my lovely days of throwing in the towel of attempting to be something resembling Mrs. Handy Homemaker, there are also times when I throw together a bunch of chopped fruit and yogurt, then act really excited about it, and the kids & I have a fruit salad lunch that my sweet daughter thinks is a fruit party for princesses. Hey, at least this one is a healthy cheat! You’ve gotta give a girl credit for that!

So, now that you know some of my less-than-stellar moments of cookery, what are some of the things you do (or don’t do) on those days you are just too busy, too lazy or just not in the mood to have to fix something for your family? Don’t leave me hanging here! I ‘fessed up. Now it’s your turn! 😉 Oh, and if you want to try the cake I fed my kids for breakfast the other day, here you go… Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Glaze Cake

 


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Take Pictures With Your Kids

Take a Picture With Me, Mommy!

Take a Picture With Me, Mommy!

“Take a picture with me,  Mommy! “, my five year old daughter chirped this afternoon.

Excuses immediately ran through my mind of why I would really rather not.  I have a headache,  my hair is a mess, I am wearing no makeup and I have hardly slept in days, so I am not looking my best.

Then I had a flashback to being that girl begging for pictures with my mom, who hated having her picture taken. She usually said no, but those times she actually said yes live on as treasures for me. They are beautiful reminders of the loving,  joyful childhood I had with a mom who put aside her own insecurity in how she looked for long enough to make a record of a moment with her daughter.

My mom passed away at age 44, long before I had my own little girl.

Each snapshot of my mom is an irreplacable memory, frozen in time.

I cherish them, and the ability to share them with the grandchildren she never met. Because of this,  I don’t care if I look like a homeless crazy person,  I will take that picture with my babies whenever they want.  They don’t care about how I look now. Later they will look at that photo and remember that moment with Mom, regardless of what my hair looked like.

Take those pictures with your kids.

How you look right now doesn’t matter.  You don’t have to look like a fashion model to be a fabulous mommy. How they feel and the memories preserved in time do. You won’t regret those messy moments captured in a picture. Those messy moments make up the beautiful, crazy life filled with the love you have for your children….and that’s what those photos will represent to them when they look at them.

Here is a letter I wrote to my mom on her birthday during my pregnancy with our little Sweet Pea, if you would like to read it…

Dear Mom


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Weird Things Moms Say

Say What??

Say What??

Anyone else find the weirdest things coming out of your mouth when speaking to the crazy cute beings known as your children? I often pause after saying something to one of my children and think “Wow, that would sound completely crazy if someone wasn’t in this scenario to understand!”. I thought I’d share a few random quotes and the adult side of conversations from the mouth of this weird mommy, free of the context they were responding to. 😉

“Did you really just fill your teacup from the toilet?!? Don’t drink that! Give it to me!! Wash your hands! Because people poop where that water came from! Yes, yuck!”

“Peanut butter is not paint! I don’t care if it makes your room smell good!”

“You would scratch someone, too, if she picked you up by the tail and spun you in circles! No, I am not putting the cat in timeout! I’d put you there if he hadn’t scratched you already, though! I’m mean? Ummm…thanks!”

“Get your foot out of my hair!”

“You can’t fly. No, you can’t! Not even if you’re wearing a cape. Don’t climb up there. Stop! GET DOWN NOWWWW!!!”

Say What??

Say What??

“Don’t put your toes in your mouth. Because they are dirty, that’s why!”

“No, you can’t drive my van to the park! You’re five years old! I’m glad you watched Daddy drive lots of times, but that doesn’t mean you can drive yourself! I know you drive your power wheel, but that’s different.”

“The closet is not a toilet!!!”

“Daddy doesn’t make milk. Yes, I know he has nipples, but only mommies make milk. Yeah, it probably would taste funny with all that hair on them, anyway.”

“That’s sweet of you, but I really don’t want the biggest booger ever.”

This is just a small sample of the odd things I’ve heard come out of my own mouth in response to my children, if this gives you any hint into the tee-total lunacy of my household. Anyone else have some doozies you’ve caught yourself saying?

If you enjoyed this post, check out this one about my crazy kingdom of kiddos! https://pennypinchingpeach.com/2014/09/20/the-crazy-kingdom-of-kiddos/


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Powerful Princesses

powerful princesses role models for todays little girls

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 and cater to my unrealistic whims, oh, obscurely perfect man of my insanely romanticized fairytale 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? These are powerful women our girls can look up to! 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.
Get Sofia the First gifts here: http://amzn.to/2hpK4We

 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.
Find Mulan gifts here: http://amzn.to/2gEuk2S

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!
Get Queen Esther gifts here: http://amzn.to/2gsMhOo

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!
Find Merida from Brave gifts here:
http://amzn.to/2hwdAMM

 Anna and Elsa Frozen (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy):

Who can forget this super duper popular pair of sisters-their struggles and strength through their fantastical adventures? Wimpy little ladies they are not! They are full of determination, character and spunk. Let it go! 😉
Shop for Frozen gifts here: http://amzn.to/2gRLBmN

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.
Find Rapunzel from Tangled gifts here: http://amzn.to/2hm7w6p

Princess Leia from Star Wars:

Intergalactic strong woman and princess, anyone?? Doesn’t get any cooler than that!
Find Princess Leia gifts here: http://amzn.to/2hg6ATi

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


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Cleaning House With Kiddos

Cleaning With Kiddos

Cleaning With Kiddos

Does anyone else ever feel like cleaning in a house of small children is like trying to empty a swimming pool with a teaspoon? You may make a little progress eventually, but they will quickly fill any space you empty and mess any place you wipe and dump out anything you put away and…well, you get the point! I know that you can teach them to clean up and put away- and I do that- but it’s still a never ending task, and it takes alot of my energy to make sure my little ones actually follow through with their jobs. I have to get creative for them to care about keeping up with anything, and that’s pretty important because Mommy can’t do it all well alone.
One trick that works pretty well with my children is that if you don’t pick it up, you lose it. If I ask my kids to clean up and they don’t, I give them warning that next time I say something will be while taking a toy. If it still doesn’t get done, I grab a toy they actually like (I’ve learned to not grab comfort objects or things they aren’t too fond of) and put it away from them. If they still don’t clean up, I take two…and it goes on from there. To earn back ONE toy, they have to clean up immediately the following clean-up session without argument or complaint. This is probably the most effective method for my independent minded oldest. She frequently doesn’t mind alot of punishments I can dole out, loves to argue, and lives to win. Since I won’t fuss with her, just say “You chose to lose a toy/two toys/three toys by not cleaning up when I asked” and refuse to engage, it’s not fun for her, and she hates losing things she loves. I’ve rarely had to go beyond two toys, even with her. 🙂
I also try to make it more fun for them to help clean up. They love it when we sing the cleanup song while we work. They really enjoy it when I make cleaning up a race! I’ll say “Can you pick up all of your toys before I can finish dishes? I’m pretty fast!” or “How many books can you put up before this song stops playing?” or “Do you think you can finish washing your fingerprints off the window before I can finish cleaning the bathroom?”. Sometimes I’ll offer a reward if they get it all done or if they finish in a certain time frame. These rewards are usually something like a snack or an extra book to be read during story time or playing with playdough or something. Almost anything can be fun for kids if you make it into a game.
What are some tricks you have for cleaning up with kiddos?


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Camping With the Cuties

Want a relatively cheap way to spend a weekend with the family? How about trying camping?

With the weather warming up, this is the perfect time to plan a fishing and camping trip! With a little planning, you can have oodles of fun without breaking the bank!

First, where are you going to sleep? Do you have an RV or tent already?

Okay, then are you going to stay on private land, at a campsite or what? Make sure you have any necessary permission or reservations to avoid a last minute scramble to find somewhere to park your sleeping bags! If you don’t have an RV or tent and don’t plan to acquire one, see if you know anyone who will let you borrow one or if there is an inexpensive campsite with cabins for rent (like a National Forest). Wherever you choose to stay, don’t forget to make sure you have comfortable sleeping gear, like sleeping bags or blow up mattresses.

“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”

Next, what are you going to eat? Think about EVERY meal and snacks!

(If you have small children and don’t pack snacks, I promise that you will regret it.) We often pack hot dogs and marshmallows to roast over the campfire, which covers one meal and a fun dessert of s’mores for an easy prep. Lunch can be something simple like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, premade for zero prep other than taking them out of the cooler to gobble up. Also, make sure you have whatever it takes to prepare the meal when you get there, whether it be a portable grill like this fairly inexpensive one my husband uses constantly, even at home Backyard Grill 278-sq in Portable Charcoal Grill, Black, matches or a butter knife. It’s not going to magically appear in the wilderness! 😉

Don’t forget to grab the gear for whatever activities you have planned

Fishing poles and all the accessories, if that’s your chosen pastime (and could provide a meal, but have a back-up plan in case the fish don’t wanna come to dinner! 😉 ). Comfy shoes and water bottles for hiking. Binoculars & camera for bird watching. Buckets and containers to store berries in for berry picking. Reusable bags if you decide to scavenge for hidden treasures like arrowheads and interesting rocks. There are sooooo many fun things you can do outdoors that cost very little! Whatever you are doing, don’t forget the sunscreen, sunglasses and bug spray! Trust me, I’m talking from my own painful & itchy experiences here, y’all!! 🙂

If you are camping with small children, make sure to bring their “comfort objects”.

Add them into the headcount while packing up to go home, whether it’s the teddy bear who rides with them in their car seat or the rocket ship they must have tucked in next to them to be able to rest at night or any special blankets. I love to bring these cute flashlight pals Flashlight Friends – The Huggable Loveable Child’s Flash Light and/or dream lights Pillow Pets Dream Lites – Pink Butterfly 11″ with us, because it helps make up for the absence of a regular night light with my scared-of-the-dark little ones. Both of my kids have their own, and they love them for home and especially for travel. My son has the blue camo dog in the dream lites and the dinosaur flash light pal, while my daughter has the butterfly dream lite and the unicorn flash light friend. They are AWESOME!!

What is your best tip for camping with kids?

Camping can be fun, just make sure you are well prepared with everything possible that your little ones may need or be accustomed to. It will make a huge difference in the outcome of your trip if you go prepared instead of flying by the seat of your pants. Need tips for traveling with little ones? Head on over to Traveling With Little Riders! Looking for gift ideas for your outdoorsman? You need THIS LIST!!!

For more great summer kids posts, check out:

Simply Rachel