Museum Day, February 5th, 2011 in the Sacramento Area

One of the great things about the area we live in is how much we can do! We live smack in the middle of San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. Both of which offer so many amazing activities. We have the opportunity to expose ourselves and our families to many fun and local things. Now, while we are on this topic I’d like to tell you about Sacramento Museum Day 2011. Twenty six greater Sacramento area museums will be offering free admission on February 5th from 10am-4pm. What a great way to enjoy some of the fun places all the while saving money! My favorite kind of activities, the free or cheap ones! 🙂 Lets face it — taking a family of 4 out for a day of play and exploring can add up {not to say it is not worth it but isn’t the occasional freebie kinda nice? I think so too}. Here are the participating museums. I have also included my personal input on the ones I have been too as well as links. Just click on the museum to be redirected to their website.  Make sure you check to see what the recommended ages and stages are if you have a particular one in mind.

Aerospace Museum of California
California Automobile Museum
California Foundry History Museum
The California Museum
California State Military Museum
California State Capitol Museum
California State Indian Museum
California State Railroad Museum – A great place for the kids, especially your littlest Thomas fans! They have a play area for the kids.
Crocker Art Museum
Discovery Museum Science and Space Center
The Don and June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum
Fairytale Town – Another great place for smaller children. I used to go as a child so it brings back many memories.
Folsom History Museum
Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park
Heidrick Ag History Center (Woodland)
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park
Museum of Medical History
Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum
Old Sacramento State Historic Park
Sacramento Zoo – This zoo has really changed over the years with new exhibits opening often.
Sacramento Historic City Cemetery
Sacramento History Museum
Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Wells Fargo History Museum (Old Sacramento and Downtown locations)

Looking at all of these, I realize how few I really have seen. Time to start crossing them off of my To Do List. Where have you been and where would you like to go?

Resourceful Gift Giving

I think the never ending question is, “Will this gift be loved by the recipient?” Some people have a knack for accomplishing that. Others are a little more last minute, “Have to get a gift and quick” type of shoppers. Unless the person is super easy to shop for, this could backfire. I do have a couple of go to gift ideas. Yes, you still need to have a slight idea of what the person likes 🙂 I can’t make this that easy for you! Typically I find that men are harder to shop for. These might be the perfect gifts for the men or just plain hard to shop for people in your life. So a couple of quick, no brainers. Ready?

  • Netflix: Unlimited access to movies.
  • Gamefly: Video Games delivered right to your door.
  • Board Games: These are great because you can play them over and over. Plus it is a great way to spend time with family and friends.
  • Gift Certificates: Again, be mindful of what the person likes. Things like massages, restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters, etc. are pretty well received.
  • Gift Cards: Perhaps someone is saving up for a BIG something {like a new TV perhaps?} You could contribute to this ‘fund’ by getting a card for a major appliance store.
  • The bottom line: It’s the thought that counts but make sure that you put some thought into what you are giving.

Happy gifting friends 🙂

Five ways to save a buck

Are you looking for simple ways to save a little bit of money? Well here are a few little things you can do:

  • Set your thermostat to at least one degree cooler or hotter.
  • Coupons – you can find them in the local papers or check these sites for even more deals:

http://www.domesticfrugalista.blogspot.com/
http://myfrugaladventures.com/
http://www.groupon.com/sacramento/
http://www.coupons.com

  • Cut back on your cable — do you really need 562 channels? 🙂
  • Reduce: Think about it, is it a need or a want?
  • Cut back on your Latte habit, I know – this one is tough but even a couple less a week adds up to big savings over the course of a year.

These are a just a few of the simple ways to make some money changing habits and put a little more green in your pocket.

How do you save money?

The Pilot’s Wife, blog giveaway and creative blogs

The past couple of days have been pretty much full of me sitting here — blogging, uploading photos, conversing with my Facebook fans {don’t forget to click on the Facebook button to the right to follow me there}, paying bills {blah} and yes, “surfing”. Oh how I love to surf! Especially when I am all geared up for a little room makeover in the next week or so. I love getting ideas on how to decorate on a budget. There are so many fun ones out there! So this entry is a little bit of a shout out to some of my favorite blogs that I have stumbled across on my journey. But first, I wanted to tell y’all that The Pilot’s Wife is hosting a giveaway on her blog. Please do check out her page to see the details but I must warn you, I plan to win it 🙂 Now I stumbled upon her blog some time ago and was drawn to the fun use of colors. I won’t lie, usually it is something that simple that pulls me into a blog and then my love affair continues on from there.

A few of my faves for ideas and inspiration:

http://onenuttygirl.com/

http://www.theletteredcottage.net/

http://frenchlarkspur.blogspot.com/

http://www.thenester.com/

http://thriftydecorchick.com/

http://cappuccinocottage.blogspot.com/

http://itsthelittlethingsthatmakeahouseahome.blogspot.com/

http://theinspiredroom.net/

http://www.bystephanielynn.com/

http://www.kevinandamanda.com/

And a few that I adore but I use more for inspiration cause I am a) frugal and b) creative enough to find it elsewhere or make it myself!

http://www.potterybarn.com/

http://www.anthropologie.com

My fave stores for great finds:

http://www.rossstores.com/

http://www.kohls.com

http://www.homegoods.com/index.asp

As well as TJ Maxx and Marshall’s (I tried linking but they are not coming up as true sites — It keeps linking me to a sweepstakes site)

I could seriously go on and on {and on} but it’s way past my bedtime!! So stay tuned for my newest easy decor swaps. I get the itch to change things up every now and again but I am also trying to be VERY frugal when doing so.

I am glad that you have decided to follow me on my journey ~ it’s been fun so far and I have so many cool/awesome/neat/yummy/informative things to share with you 🙂 I am always happy to hear feedback on how to make my site more “readable” so please do send ideas my way.

My question of the day ~ Where do you find decorating inspiration?

And so it begins, "I'm Bored Mom"

If you are like me, this is something that I hear all too often. It is usually not true boredom cause is there really such a thing?? I think that being bored and not knowing what to do are two different things. If you are faced with this topic statement in your house, I have a few ideas (some courtesy of Disney Family).

  • Water play — parks, pools, beaches, etc.
  • Go to a local book store or library — and make a date of it! Many offer weekly story times and some even include a craft. Check your local venues for a calendar of events.
  • Make a movie — give them a video camera and let them create (thanks to iCarly, my 7-year-old already thinks that this is the coolest idea EVER.)
  • Give them a theme
    1. Pick a theme for each week: Cowboys, Astronauts, Knights and Princesses, etc.
    2. Make Monday “music day,” Tuesday “project day,” Wednesday “costume day,” “movie day” … whatever you want.
    3. Put it in a calendar format so the kids can anticipate what’s going on ahead.
  • Break it down — by week and then by day. A must if you want to stay on any kind of routine which personally, I need to do!! I want to have a whole lot of fun but also make sure that mommy still gets to work out and that the boys still have some learning time snuck in.
  • Free movies — check out Regal Theaters (or my previous post) for more details.
  • Games — There are so many games to choose from.
  • Puzzles — get one of the really big ones and let it have a place in your home to come back too when you need some downtime. If you are lacking at extra table, try setting this “project” up on a card table.
  • Be a scientist — go here for fun ideas http://www.greensim.com/lemonade/concoctions.html
  • Be an artist — take it outside, tape a large sheet of butcher paper along a fence and paint away (tip: look for paints that are eco-friendly and washable. I found several kid friendly art supplies on theglassbabybottle.com. Check them out!

The options for fun are endless. It might take a little time and patience but remember, the memories are yours for the making so be creative, have fun, play and most of all — SMILE!! 🙂

FREE!!! Summer Movie Event At Regal Theater in El Dorado Hills

This is a great little way to escape the heat AND entertain the kids for almost 2 hours. Double bonus eh?? Oh, and it is a FREE event too. So this summer from June 2nd through July 29th, Regal Theaters presents it’s summer movie series. I have included the listing for the El Dorado Hills Theater BUT for other locations, check them out on-line: http://www.regmovies.com/nowshowing/familyfilmfestivalschedule.aspx?state=CA

El Dorado Stadium 14 & IMAX
2101 Vine Street
Eldorado Hills ,CA 95762
916-939-8726
06/01/2010-06/03/2010 Charlotte’s Web (G)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)
06/08/2010-06/10/2010 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything (G)
Astro Boy (PG)
06/15/2010-06/17/2010 Doogal (G)
Monsters Vs. Aliens (PG)
06/22/2010-06/24/2010 Tale of Despereaux (G)
Planet 51 (PG)
06/29/2010-07/01/2010 Wallace and Gromit (G)
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (PG)
07/06/2010-07/08/2010 Kit Kittredge: American Girl (G)
Aliens In The Attic (PG)
07/13/2010-07/15/2010 March Of The Penguins (G)
Where The Wild Things Are (PG)
07/20/2010-07/22/2010 ARCTIC TALE (G)
Kung Fu Panda (PG)
07/27/2010-07/29/2010 Clifford’s Big Movie (G)
The Spy Next Door (PG)

Easy DIY art for any room

I am constantly in the mood for redecorating but because this is such an obsession, I have to come up with frugal ways to change things up ~ otherwise I’d end up divorced 🙂 An idea that I have seen and will probably run with soon is the simple framing of some pretty scrapbook paper. You could also mat it for a more polished look. You can pay a pretty penny to have this done at a place like Aaron Brothers or Michael’s or you could also purchase a mat at one of these places and DIY. Budget conscience me would do it myself. You can buy a pretty sheet or paper for around a buck. With so many styles and colors to choose from, you have endless possibilities for a unique piece of art. For an even better visual, you can frame several papers from the same line.  I really like using the 12×12 frames but if you have old frames lying around, you could mix it up and make a hodge podge wall.  I also HAVE to share this adorable piece of art that I found while searching for photos of my DIY subject (since I am telling you all about this project but have yet to do it myself). This is the cutest little thing. I have so many scraps of paper and this is exactly the type of project that I could use some of them on. I do not have a butterfly punch but I do have circles, flowers, stars and even a pumpkin. again, the possibilities are endless. So check it out and a big thanks to Alli Edwards for her creativity. Alli has been one of my fave scrappers over at Creating Keepsakes for many moons so stumbling upon this by accident and finding that it was her creation made it even more fun!!

Eco Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend – with only a few days left, have you gotten something special for your mom? For some fun ideas of Eco Mom’s Day gifts ~ read on:

  • Get mom a subscription to a CSA – she will have fresh fruits and veggies delivered weekly or bi-weekly
  • Make her a coupon book offering things such as extra help around the house, no fighting for a day with your sibling (I personally would love a whole book of those coupons!), etc. Make it have the things that you do not normally do – that is what makes it special
  • Serve her breakfast in bed – this can be as simple as a cup of tea and a muffin!
  • Make her a homemade card
  • Make her some homemade sugar scrub (see how in my previous post)
  • Bring her a wildflower bouquet – remember, wildflowers and your neighbors prized roses are not the same thing!! Be courteous of where the flowers come from. Put them in a cute decorated tin can for that extra bit of homemade love.

The options are limitless ~ just show her you care, it doesn’t take much and doesn’t your mom deserve a little special TLC?

Mother's Day – Homemade Sugar Scrub

I was trying to think of a fun little something to “create” for mom for Mother’s Day and thought of sugar scrubs. There a lot of different recipes out there. You can find cute little jars at several stores including Target, Pier One, Bed Bath and Beyond – or you could really make it a unique and “green” gift by picking up an old container at a local thrift or antique store. Or even better – reuse something right from your home! Old jelly and jam jars would be perfect!! You can pretty it up with a little bit of ribbon or fabric. The options are about as endless as the types of scrub that you can make.

Here is a very basic recipe – you can add some essential oils (lavender is a good one for the stressed out mama as it has calming effects), but use only a couple drops. A little goes a long way.

Adapted from The Seasonal Detox Diet, by Carrie L’Esperance

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup sugar
Enough cold-pressed oil (olive, wheat germ, peanut, corn, or sunflower) to dampen the mixture

Gently massage this exfoliating scrub all over your body and face before you shower with a light soaping and rinse. Repeat once or twice a month.

Fun and frugal

Today I was exposed to not one but TWO fun little sites for saving money. I admit – coupon clipping is not something I have been very disciplined about BUT why not start now? I think the fact that both sites were mentioned today, it might mean that the Universe is trying to tell me something. So check em’ out and see if you can save some moolah!!

http://domesticfrugalista.blogspot.com/

http://myfrugaladventures.com/

A friend of mine got $30 worth of cleaning supplies for just over $1 after rebates and coupons on myfrugaladventures.com ~ WOW!!

Happy shopping and even happier savings to yooooooouuuu!