SWH4T$: Summer Clearance



Its that time of year again, when stores put clothes on deep deep clearance.  Right now most retailers are clearing out the racks of summer clothing, and putting out fall clothing (while we are sitting here sweating our asses off still).

A few weeks ago The Children's Place was having a big clearance sale, and I had a code for an extra 20% off online.  I estimated what size Jack would be in next summer and went shopping :)  I pretty much got half his summer wardrobe for next year for practically pennies.

Here's what I got:


So that's 8 shirts (6 polos & 2 tees), 3 pairs of shorts and one pair of sandals.

Wanna guess how much I paid?  $50.66 shipped.

I know, crazy right?  I refuse to buy kids clothes full price, but I also want my kid dressed well.  Clearance rack, end of season shopping is the way to go friends!  Get out there and get shopping!  


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SWH4T$: Pizza Cones on the BBQ

I made these for the campout bithday party that we had last month, and they went over insanely well with the guests. Little did they know...

They took me all of 4 ingredients to make
Took me about 5 minutes to make a dozen of them
They were healthy {shhhh!}

Ingredients: Whole Wheat/Multigrain pita, pepperoni, extra veggie pasta sauce, skim milk mozza cheese {ignore the Iced Cap in the background!}


Step 1: cut the pita in half to make your shell pliable

Step 2: layer sauce, cheese, pepperoni (or other toppings if you'd like)

Step 3: roll into a cone shape

Step 4: roll with tinfoil


Step 5: BBQ just until melty and crispy

Step 6: devour!

They were so insanely good, and the shells were full of flax seed, multigrains and other seeds...the guests were none the wiser! I may even try dessert ones with pita's that have raisens in them...using peanut butter as the "sauce", and sliced banana!

YUM!

SWH4T$: Quick and Easy Strawberry Tips

We've all been there and done that...lopped the leaves and stems off our strawberries and cut away nearly half of the berry itself.

Here's a tip that will save you time, money and berries!


May I introduce to you...the straw method!

Simply get a straw, and slide it through the core of the berry and out through the top! Remove the stem and leaves, repeat with the rest of our quart!

It's seriously so easy, and will save you a tonne on clean up time, and prep time when you're actually doing the task. Get the kiddos involved to...no sharp knives, and they can snack on a healthy fruit all at the same time!

Happy Summer!

SWH4T$: Spikey Sponge Balls





Summer is here!  And along with it comes the task of finding interesting ways to keep your kids entertained {and cool in the heat} during these deliciously long hot days.

Jack's birthday party is coming up in a few weeks, and one thing I learned from last year, is that I need activities for the kids that are either in the shade, or that will keep them cool.  Especially since this year the kiddos are a year older and mobile on 2 limbs instead of 4 :)

A great way to keep your kids cool and inspire some outdoor physical activity fun is Spikey Sponge Balls!

Each Ball requires 2 sponges, I bought 12 sponges for $4.50.
Make sure you get the plain sponges without the scrubby side!
You can use ribbon, embroidery floss or fishing line as your tie-element.

Cut each sponge in half lengthwise...

...and then cut those halves in half again lengthwise.

Stack them up, alternating colors (8 total sponge sticks for each ball)

Cut a piece of your tie-element and tie it around the middle of the stack, pulling it as tight as you possibly can.  Cut off loose ends.

These balls are great because you can soak them in water, the kids can throw them around, squeeze them on each other - and its good, clean, cold & wet fun!

The best part is that if you are a neat freak mom like me, you can put them in a mesh bag and run them through the dishwasher to clean them :)

For Jack's party I plan on filling his water table and putting the Spikey Sponge Balls in there, along with some cups and measuring spoons and letting the kids go to town!

You can find the original tutorial HERE.


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SWH4T$: Garden Design

Have you ever had a landscaper out to your home to get an estimate? Have you ever talked to one over the phone about the process of hiring them to install your garden?

I was absolutely shocked with the cost, first and foremost...and the fact that most landscaping companies will charge you $400 just to design a layout for the garden!

Astonishing!

Unless....


A landscaping company brings out a can of spray paint and draws on your lawn!

I honestly think it's the best idea ever...my husband wasn't super happy about it, but honestly...it's so temporary. After two cuts, it's goners.

It was so genius to me...I took a picture afterward and labelled the type of plants that I want for the garden so I can take this picture to garden centres and try to get the best price possible.

*note: Holly will be going in where it says Boxwoods...

Spray paint...saved us $400!

SWH4T$: Playroom Printables



So you all know that I've been in the process of re-doing our basement to make it into a playroom.  One of my big projects is a gallery wall with kid-friendly yet modern & adult art.  Pinterest was a huge source of inspiration for me, from finding free prints, to getting options for gallery wall arrangements.  When its all said and done (aka after I pick out the frames and buy them), I'll have spent less than $150 on a complete gallery wall!

I've finished the first step in the process, and that's getting the art.

Most of the prints are FREE, that I found on Pinterest.  I could have been extra cheap and printed them myself, but I'm a stickler for detail and didn't want them to look like they had been printed on my crappy desktop printer.  So, I  uploaded the images to Snapfish and had them printed and sent to my house :)  These 6 prints in 8x10 size cost me $20:








Plus, these 2 typography pieces that I made myself, a'la PicMonkey :)
I got the inspiration for the Playroom Rules HERE, and the dates are all important dates in our lives :)

The most expensive singular element in the wall is going to be this print, which I paid $36 for an 11x14 so that it can be the focus of the wall:

Isn't that just the cutest thing?  Totally reminds me of Jack and makes me tear up every time I look at it :)

The 3 remaining pieces are things I already had in my house:
My dad made this for me when I was in high school, its a play on "Life's Little Instructions" with little tidbits of advice and Daddy wisdom that are unique to our family

Giraffe canvas print, thank you Target $1 Spot :)


Painting by my sister Kellie

And you know what?  Just for making it this far in this ridiculously long post, you get a PRIZE!!

How about a FREEBIE DOWNLOAD of my Playroom Rules Subway Art?  Just click that link and its yours! (the image is sized for 8x10, let me know if you need a different size and I can do it for you all special-like)


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SWH4T$: Apple Cheddar Honey Pinwheels

Are you drooling yet? Well...you should be, because these are some of the most delicious appetizers that I've created in a long time and what's even better...you can make a tonne of them on the cheap!





Ingredients:

Crescent rolls
Apples - chopped {I left the skins on}
Shredded aged white cheddar cheese

How To:

Crack the seal of your crescent rolls, and unroll the dough so you have 4 rectangles {basically two triangles, squish the seam together, and voila! rectangle!}.

Fill the rectangles with chopped apples and lots of shredded aged white cheddar cheese.

Roll up tightly and slice. Each rectangle will make approximately 4-8 slices depending on how tight you roll and how full you fill!

Bake as per the package instructions, then cool slightly.

Once you've transferred onto a platter, drizzle with local honey....ah-mazing!

It's a little take on my favourite dish from the Hunt Club...an upside down apple tart with aged white cheddar, local honey and proscuitto {add that to your mixture above...delish!}, but costs a fraction of the price!

Enjoy!

SWH4T$: Couponing with Shizz!



I've kinda laid off the couponing for a while, as I was trying to just use my stockpile while we were having some money issues and really tamping down our spending in all areas of life.  However, we are starting to run low on a few things, so I needed to make a trip, and fortunately last week CVS was having some great deals!

I set up my shopping so that I went in 2 trips: the first was to earn as many ExtraBucks as I could, so that I could use them to pay for my second trip.  Also, at each visit I used a reusable shopping bag and scanned my GreenBag Tag so that I got credit towards my $1 ExtraBuck that I get with every 4th visit where I use a bag :)

Trip #1

Suave Professionals Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner (with a bonus trial size shampoo attached!)
Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo (for the beach this summer)
Suave Moisturizing Body Lotion x 2
Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 Spray

Total before coupons & store sales: $25.70
Total of coupons: $6
Total AFTER: $15.93
Savings Of: $9.77
ExtraBucks Earned: $7

Trip #2

Cottonelle Fresh Care Wipes Refill x 2
Secret Invisible Solid Deodorant
Palmolive Green Apple 10 oz Dish Soap x 2

Total before coupons & store sales: $17.61
Total of coupons: $3.75
Total of ExtraBucks redeemed: $7
Total AFTER: $0.55
Savings Of: $17.06

So basically, if you think about it, I got both of those shopping trips for $16.48.  Not bad at all right?

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SWH4T$: Strawberry Lentil Cookies

As a busy mom, with a somewhat picky toddler, I need easy and quick ways to ensure that he's getting the protein and nutrients that he needs to be the ever-ready bunny that he is.

I knew that I had a bag of lentils in the cupboard, so I cooked up a batch (I think 1/2 a cup of dry lentils...wowzah do they make alot!).

Now...if you haven't cooked with lentils before...they're not the most appetizing in colour, smell of really flavour. In soup? sure. Alone...kinda gross.

Then I had a thought...what if I mixed them with fruit, and pureed them down into a sauce? Would he eat them then?

You betcha...when they were made into Strawberry Lentil Oatmeal Cookies! The best part: thay just taste like strawberry oatmeal cookies! You can't even tell that the lentils are in there! Sneaky...and smart!

1 tsp. baking powder
   1/4 tsp. salt
  1/2 c. butter
  1/2 c. sugar
  2 egg whites
  2 c. rolled oats (I had large flake on hand, so that's what I used)
  2 c. all purpose flour
  1 c. strawberry lentil puree
 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients, then add and mix the wet ingredients. If you have a cookie scoop, I recommend using it so that your cookies turn out evenly and lovely.

Bake for 11mins.

I found that this made a decent amount of cookies, about 5 dozen so I wrapped them in plastic wrap and popped them in the freezer so I could take them out and have {healthy} cookies on hand whenever needed.

Enjoy!

SWH4T$: Toddler Fashion


I know I've talked about it before, but seriously, consignment shopping for kids is like the best thing ever. We all know how it works, kids grow out of stuff faster than you can wash them for the 2nd time.  Therefore, the abundance of gently used kids clothing out there is downright crazy.

I've been to a few different kids consignment stores, but I definitely have my favorite.  Most of these stores are individually owned franchises, therefore the quality of the clothing will vary.  You need to find a store where the owner and employees care about quality and not quantity of clothing.  

The store that I go to (BFF T told me about it, I can't take all the credit) only stocks brand names.  Gymboree, Chaps, Polo, Gap, Children's Place, Nike, Disney, Carters, etc.  Another store that I've been to will sell Target brand (Circo) for like $3/each.  Um, I can get it brand new at Target for cheaper than that so no thank you!  Do your market research owner-lady!  

Most of the time I am able to get a few items NWT (new with tags) at my store.  A lot of times they will have 30% or 50% off sales and fill-a-bag sales.  I go every season and get Jack some extra clothes for daycare, and I usually end up finding a few every-day things as well.  

Here is my latest haul:
1: Talbot's Kids polo shirt, Gap madras shorts
2: Nike Red Sox jersey & mesh short set
3: Nike T-shirt (NWT), Nike mesh shorts

1: Chaps khakis
2: Gymboree t-shirt
3: Gap khakis
4: sun hat
5: Gap t-shirt (NWT)
6: Gymboree jeans
7: Polo jeans
8: Black Dog hoodie (NWT)

Also, not pictured: Fisher Price Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo, $14.99 (NWT!!!)

So, how much did I pay for all of this?  $82.

Pretty good, considering the Zoo Talkers, Gap khakis & Gap t-shirt at full price would have been ~$82 alone.  

And that Talbot's polo and madras shorts might be my new favorite outfit for Jack 

SWH4T$: Studio Makeover

It's finally ready...the virtual tour of my new studio! I figured that it would make a great post for SWH4T$ since I upcycled some old furniture, created my desk, and created my own typography art!



DIY Desk 

The desk was so incredibly easy to make!

You'll need:
2 shelving units (mine are Martha Stewart Home collection from RONA- $40 each)
piece of MDF ($25 for a 4'x8' piece - 2 free cuts at RONA! I had mine cut 4'x2'ish)
6 bins for the cubbies ($10 each at RONA)

How-to:

Put your shelving units together

Paint your piece of MDF whatever colour you want to suit your room

Put MDF board on top of the shelving units when dry, and voila! DIY desk complete!

Total project cost: $165 - which is pretty cheap considering the cost of furniture, and it's completely unique! Mine stands about 3'ish high, so I dont need a chair in my studio, which is great for my posture! I also have 3 pieces of MDF leftover, which will make great coffee table tops, colouring tables for the kiddo or even just pieces of art!

I already had one of the units for the desk, which saved us $40 of materials cost. Add in the paint, and you're right around $140 for an entire new room!

The bookcase and mailing centre unit were my Husband's when he was a child; thankfully the inlaws  held onto them and I was able to repurpose them!

Love the typography? You can download it for free!




SWH4T$: Pinteresting Printables



One of the trends I've been seeing lately is printing things out at home, instead of buying them ready made at the store.  Most printers today have settings to allow for ink-saving, therefore printing at home has become much more cost-effective than it used to be.  Lately, I've been finding a lot of printables on Pinterest (duh).

Labels
Lately I've become an organizing freak, as in I've labeled almost 50% of the contents of my kitchen cabinets.  OCD much?  Here are a few of my favorite printable labels (free, of course!)

Source: bhg.com via Shannon on Pinterest

I used these in my kitchen, the blue ones (my favorite color :)


These are great because you can download an editable PDF file and type out the text you want directly onto the label (great for messy handwriters!)

Planners
I do better when I have a task list, and planning pages are a great way to get things done.  Especially for all you mommy bloggers, blog planning pages are a great way to brainstorm ideas, keep yourself organized, and stay in check with your marketing strategies!


I like this one because of the pretty colors (I sound like a 4 year old, right?) and also for the fact that you get 2 pages on 1 8.5x11 inch piece of paper :)  Eco-friendly and cheap :)


I like this one because of the stats box at the bottom.  Its hard for me to remember my growth in stats, so its nice to have a place to write down where you were at that moment in time.

Coloring Pages
Why buy a coloring book when your kid is probably only going to mark up a few pages and then get sick of it?  Print out pages one by one, and don't waste paper :)


We like this one for obvious reasons :)  CARS!


This whole website has free printables, but I especially like the number and alphabet coloring pages because they are simple.  I feel like toddlers get overwhelmed with lots of lines, so these are straight to the point.

How do you use your home printer to save money?  Have any favorite free printables you'd like to share?


SWH4T$: Sweet Popcorn Treats

Hello hello!! It's Thursday and that means it's time for SWH4T$! Want the bloghop part of the post back? Let us know!


A fun and easy treat for you this week on SWH4T$!! I whipped this Bunny Bait up for Easter, and my husband just about went gaga over it!

Ingredients
2 bags of popped unbuttered popcorn
1 bag of white chocolate chips
1 cup of M&M's
1 cup of chopped nuts (I used slivered almonds)
multicoloured sprinkles



How To

Pop your popcorn...pretty easy but make sure that it doesn't burn like it so often does.Put in a large bowl with the M&M's and nuts.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30second intervals, ensuring that it doesn't burn either.

Pour the chocolate over the popcorn, M&M's and nuts. Stir to coat.

Dump the contents onto cookie sheets and spread out the mixture. Top with additional chocolate if needed, and sprinkle with multicoloured sprinkles.

When cooled and chocolate has hardened, break up into large pieces.



Variations

Oreo - semi sweet chocolate drizzle, chopped Oreo's, and chocolate sprinkles

Rainbow - white chocolate drizzle, Skittles, multicoloured sprinkles

Mint Chip - mint chocolate chip drizzle, chopped chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sprinkles

Triple Chocolate - white chocolate drizzle, chopped dark chocolate, milk chocolate almonds


Enjoy!

SWH4T$: Rainbow Rice

Rainbow Rice
by: Shizz



I'm sure you've all seen this floating around Pinterest, Rainbow Rice to put in a sensory bin for toddlers to play with. I've been wanting to make this for a while, and Monday was the perfect day since the weather here was 85 degrees and sunny (yup, its still April).



I used this recipe as my guideline :)



I tried to break down the cost by cup of rice, but it wasn't really working, so here is what I paid for everything today (I have leftovers).



1 10 lb bag of white rice: $5.49 (I only used about 1/3 of the bag, I made 12 cups of rice total)

bottle of rubbing alcohol: $1.09

Ziploc bags (sandwich size): $1.00 for 15 (Dollar Store!)

Food coloring: $2.50 for 4 bottles

Plastic container for storage: $1.00 (Dollar Store!)



So that's less than $12 for a fun activity that I could probably make about 8-10 batches from that one bag of rice. Not bad at all!






Step 1: Gather your supplies:


Ingredients listed above,


Wax paper for drying


Disposable gloves (if you hate dye on your hands like I do)





Step 2:


Bag up your rice: 1 cup to a bag






Step 3: Add color


1 T rubbing alcohol + 10-12 drops food coloring


First batch I mixed them in these little bowls, 2nd batch I added


the alcohol and food coloring directly into the bag (much easier)



Step 4:


Squish Squish Squish the bag till all the rice is colored.


Make double sure that your bag is sealed.


Trust me on that one...






Step 5: Dry


Spread out on wax paper in the sun and let dry


I think it took about 30 minutes to dry






Step 6:


PLAY! Dump into a bin, sand/water table, cookie sheet, large bowl,


basically any large container. Add a few utensils, cups or spoons,


and let your toddler go to town!






Jack loved it :) He played with it for about an hour :)


I was worried about the dye coming off on his hands, and I'm


happy to report that there was not one speck of dye on his hands :)

SWH4T$: Spice Rubs

Welcome back to SWH4T$!

Shizz and I have been chatting recently, and while we love sharing our time management and money saving tips and tricks, we're thinking of changing the format slightly.

We're still going to share our tips and tricks, crafty DIY's and recipes, but we're going to do away with the linky tool at the end. Sadly, it doesn't seem that many are hopping along with us, though many of you are enjoying our posts and we're enjoying sharing them with you all.

Want the blog-hop back? Let us know, and link up with us!




DIY Spice Rubs



My Hubster's birthday was a week ago, and I was wracking my brain as to what to get for him. He's one of those guy-who-has-everything type guys.

Then it dawned on me.

He's also the guy-who-loves-to-bbq guy!!

So...I created six spice rubs and packaged them in spice jars from the dollarstore.



What you'll need:
  • spices (garlic,oregano,onion, lemon pepper, pepper, coarse salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, Hungarian paprika, cocoa powder, finely ground coffee, onion flakes)
  • jars from the dollarstore
  • tags or labels

Using these recipes (which you can download for free!), I created six different spice rubs

Pick-Me-Up is a cocoa and coffee steak rub

Greek Me is a lemon-pepper based rub inspired from our honeymoon in Greece

Spicy Mama Szem is a spicy Hungarian paprika rub

Hot Tamale is just that...hot hot hot!

Wild Onion is sort of salty, be absolutely delicious and full of onion flakes

Mr. Mustard is a medium spiced mustard based rub

Hubs was REALLY impressed and they literally took maybe 20 minutes to put them all together!

Enjoy!

SWH4T$: Disney Movie Club

Another Thursday, another week of awesome money & time saving tips!



Blog Hop Rules

1) Follow your hostesses, Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's, via GFC or BlogLovin'

2) Post our button on your blog for others to follow along

3) Link up a post that helps you save time, money, frustration...your sanity!



Have fun linking up and reading other mama tips!





SWH4T







 
  
Disney Movie Club

I've gotten these flyers in the mail for quite a while now, for the Disney Movie Club.  I kinda blew them off at first, but since Jack has become obsessed with Disney Cars, we bought him the DVD and I realized how freaking expensive those things are!  I remember when I was little we had all the Disney VHS tapes and would watch them all the time.  I wanted the same for Jack, but I'm too cheap to pay $29.95 each for DVD/BluRay.



Enter the DMC.  I surveyed all my mommy friends, and my resident Disney expert, Cousin B.  All of them said that it was a good deal, so I signed up.

The details are that you pick out 5 DVDs or BluRays initially.  You can chose to pay $1.99 each for the first initial 5, or if you pay with your credit card, you get them for $1.00 TOTAL.  Then, you agree to purchase 4 DVDs/BluRays over the course of 2 years at the regular price of $19.95 for DVD and $29.95 for BluRay.

You're probably thinking, what is the big deal if you are going to pay full price for 4 movies?  Well, if you do the math...you're saving a whole lot of money!

We have a BluRay player, so we did the BluRay option (plus, most of those come with DVDs with bonus features, so that's even more bang for your buck).  

For our initial 5, we got Dumbo 70th Anniversary Edition, Toy Story w/ bonus DVD, A Bug's Life w/ bonus DVD, Up w/ bonus DVD and Cars 2 w/ bonus DVD.  We opted for the $1.00 option by giving our credit card.

So, since we will end up purchasing at least a total of 4 BluRays including our initial 5 (for a total of 9), we would have paid $269.55 retail price.  However...since we joined the DMC, we will pay only $119.80, a savings of $149.75!!!

PLUS, each DVD/BluRay comes with a Disney Movie Rewards code, which you can enter on their website and redeem the points for prizes like toys, DVDs, apparel, memorabilia and more!  Winnah Winnah!!!

I feel like Disney movies are timeless, and honestly, I would rather put on a movie that he may not be completely 100% interested in right now, as opposed to Dora or Diego which I feel like rots his brain.  And Disney is wholesome, classic, and brings a lot of good memories back for me, so I want to pass those on to my son :)



SWH4T$: DIY Cake Stands

Happy Thursday everyone! Since I know that you're all probably planning out Easter dinner and brunch menu's, I wanted to blog a little DIY project today that you can do super quick and easy to make your dessert table pop...without breaking the bank!

Blog Hop Rules

1) Follow your hostesses, Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's, via GFC or BlogLovin'

2) Post our button on your blog for others to follow along

3) Link up a post that helps you save time, money, frustration...your sanity!

Have fun linking up and reading other mama tips!


SWH4T


DIY Cake Stands

Planning an Easter dinner or brunch? Have a bevvy of desserts to display? This thrifty little DIY will have your table looking fabulous in no time flat, and with little money spent!

Supplies:
White plastic plates or trays from the dollar store
Glass candle sticks or tumblers from the dollar store


How-to:

Flip over your plate or tray.

Using a permanent adhesive {I used Epoxy because I had it on hand, but I'm sure that you could use hot glue. Just be warned that hot glue won't give you as permanent or strong a bond between the plate and candle stick or tumbler}, smear about a 2" circle on the bottom side of your plate or tray.


If you're using epoxy, make sure that your room is well ventilated and that you're doing it away from children. Heavily toxic and you don't want it getting on your skin either!

Place the candle stick or tumbler on the adhesive. Since I was using tumblers, I put them end to end...flat surfaces will give you the strongest bond and the most stability in your cake stand.

Place a hardcover book or two on the tumbler. The weight will help the bond become good and strong.


Leave the stand to dry for 24 hours.

After it's dry, place cookies, sweets, treats, cakes...whatever you'd like on display for your guests! you could even tie seasonal ribbon around the base to make it more festive!



Link up your thrifty frugal crafty time and money saving ideas today!






SWH4T$: If it's Free, it's for Me!

Welcome back to SWH4T$ - a blog hop for money {and time} saving mama bloggers!




We just have three very simple guidelines!



1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC


2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".



3.) Post our button on your post




Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!







SWH4T

If it's Free, it's for Me!


Since funds are tight at the Shmizz household, we've been tapping into a lot of free local resources for things to do on the weekend with Jack. It's amazing what you can find for free in your neighborhood if you just look around a little harder :)



Library




Our library haul from last week

This might seem like a no-brainer to some, but for us, it was something new. We started bringing Jack to the library every weekend to get some new books, videos to watch, CDs to listen to. What's nice about the library is that you can have a constantly revolving collection of books at your house, so he never gets bored. Or, for that matter, when you are sick of reading Tip Tip, Dig Dig for the 4,568,752nd time, you can just bring it back and get something different :) Most libraries will also have a free story-time or sing-a-long that you can join in on, which is great for socializing and toddler stimulation.



Playgrounds




At the playground last weekend with Auntie Kellie

Moms of toddler boys know that burning energy is essential to having a happy toddler. Sure, girls can be like this too, but we all know that boys are a little crazy at times and need to let loose. Now that the weather is starting to get warmer, we are constantly looking for nice playgrounds to check out. The best are ones that are fenced in, and have smaller structures that are good for smaller toddlers. Not sure where the playgrounds are in your area? Check out this website to find them! They also have a mobile app for both iPhone and Android platforms, so if you get to a playground and the elementary school bullies are being mean to your child, or the place is over-run with nannies on their phones texting and not watching their charges, you can always move on to a new park...this may or may not be coming from personal experience...



Playdates

Is your kid getting sick of their toys? Instead of buying new ones, have a playdate and go over a little friend's house and play with their toys! Its a win-win situation for you, because you can hang out with the mom/dad and the kiddos can play and amuse themselves. Another bonus, if you have a playdate in the morning, kids get tired, take awesome naps and life is good for all :)



The Dollar Store

Ok, so this isn't exactly free, but its about as close as you can get these days. Toys, snacks, crafting supplies, you name it, they probably have it. I even got all the supplies for Jack's birthday party goodie bags for 10 kids for $60 (another post for another week!). Glow sticks in the bathtub, coloring books, balloons, shovel & pail, Matchbox cars, Playdough. Tell yourself that you are going to skip getting coffee at Dunkin/Starbucks that week and spend the $5 on your kid at the Dollar Store that weekend; kiddo will feel like they won the lottery when they walk out with 5 toys :)



What sort of free things do you do with your kids? Link up and share!




SWH4T$: Energy Bites

Welcome back to SWH4T$ - a blog hop for money {and time} saving mama bloggers!

We just have three very simple guidelines!

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".


3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!

SWH4T


Energy Bites

I saw these a few weeks ago on Pinterest, and since I really love to make our own treats and ensure that we're eating wholesome goodies, decided to whip up my own version!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

It couldn't be easier to make these energy bites! Literally put everything in a bowl, mix it really well, and then chill for 30 minutes. Roll into balls. I rolled these ones about 1", but definitely could have gone bigger given that my Hubs and kiddo were gobbling them up two or three at a time.

Then put into a plastic container with lid (rubbermaid...whatever), and use wax paper between the layers so that the bites don't stick together. Toss them in the fridge for about 30mins

Makes about 20-25, depending on size

Easy peasy, and the toddler LOVES them!

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