Friday, May 29, 2009

Frugal Friday~ Summer fun on Small change~

Well, I figure that a Frugal Friday is a good time to post some frugal summer fun ideas. (For more Frugal ideas check out Frugal Friday at

I will continue to add to this list as I find more:

Summer Reading Programs:

Check out your local library.... most of them have summer reading programs with fun prizes, etc.

Read 8 books and get a free pick

Regal Entertainment
AMC Theaters
National Amusements


Music Festivals (searchable database)

Check out your local minor league baseball team for fun and inexpensive family entertainment!
Local to me are Lowell Spinners Games~ Tickets are $5-$8 dollars, so not free, but definitely cheap! ☺This just in~ (Thanks the gals at for pointing this out) Kraft has teamed up with minor league baseball for this promotion: Buy 1 ticket get 1 ticket free on Tuesdays, at participating ballparks.

Boston Area Activities if you are local to Boston, check this out. If you live somewhere else, you can search for local activities, check out your local newspaper "Calendars"

Hope this helps you especially if you are planning a frugal "Stay-cation" this year...


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday~ Pandora

Hey, have you heard of Pandora? It's an online "radio station" that you can personalize! You can even create any number of "Stations" that you want to listen to. (Thanks, Nathan, for the tip about Pandora... we've been loving it!) I wasn't so sure about it at first, given the Greek Myth of Pandora

Here's a snippet from their website about the name:

The name Pandora means "all gifted" in Greek. In ancient Greek mythology, Pandora received many gifts from the Gods, including the gift of music, from Apollo. She was also, as we all know, very curious. Unlike those Gods of old, however, we celebrate that virtue and have made it our mission to reward the musically curious among us with a never-ending experience of music discovery.

So, the basic idea is that you type in an artist or song that you like, and Pandora searches the "Music Genome Project". While you may not instantly hear that song or artist, you WILL hear a song with similar qualities. Then you have the option of rating it thumbs up, or thumbs down, and Pandora will continue playing songs, using your feedback to create your personal station.

I have an Alison Krauss station that is fantastic (With *mostly* Alison Krauss music, although I've heard JT, EmmyLou Harris, etc... and some new names that I'm enjoying getting to know).

I created a Josh Groban station for mellow music to school to, A "Boppin' Praise" station with the likes of Chris Rice and Casting Crowns, and a couple of folk stations. I have yet to create a classical station or two, but that's a thought, and I bet that I'll get a Christmas station going in the later fall!

I really enjoy being able to hear new music that is in a style that I appreciate. I think this is a great thing, and my kids are loving it too.

Check it out!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope that everyone had a good day, remembering and being thankful for those who gave their lives for the freedom of our country, and countless others, AND appreciating those who are currently serving.

I'm going to take a stab at menu-planning... we'll see how it goes. I really *should* get organized, because I now have two kids in activities, and both of them are 2-3 times/ week! ACK!

OK, so here we go:
Monday: Tonight we had left over Texas Roadhouse Pulled Pork sandwiches, potato salad, and corn on the cob.

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza and salad

Wednesday: Grilled sirloin tips and chicken, potato salad (Again... I made a big batch!) and corn on the cob.

Thursday: Pasta "bake" with leftover meat, raw carrots and cucumber on the side

Friday: Tandoori Chicken in the crockpot(From crockpot365), rice, and cucumbers.

Saturday: Salad with Roasted Chicken from the store, Hummus and chips

Sunday: Shepherd's Pie made with leftover Chicken and a bag of veggies from the freezer

So, there you have it.... hopefully I'll manage to stick to it! :)

Library book sales and discards...

I've been reading some books we picked up at the Library Book Sale a couple of weeks ago, and I am wondering.... how does a library choose which books to discard?

We found in the stacks 2 books that we had requested, checked out, and returned about 2 weeks prior. Yes, I'm sure that these were the same two books that had visited our home. If we hadn't checked them out, and they weren't on the reshelving cart, would they have remained in the library for others to peruse and use? These were basic information, non-fiction books that went with a unit study on homesteading on the American Prairie.... kind of the type of book that one would prefer to see at the library, not taking up personal book-shelf space. And I don't think that there's much "updating" that needs to be done on history books like these. I suppose they look "Dated", but in my opinion, that's a GOOD THING.

Now for the other two that I considered, and wondered about... these are by a "current" author, AVI, and are in fantastic shape, great historical stories, very readable, and interesting.
Beyond the Western Sea, Book 1: The Escape From Home
Beyond the Western Sea, Book2: Lord Kirkle's Money
When I read that the author was inspired to write these, in part, based on the fact that so many kids were reading Stephen King novels, I feel two emotions. Profound disappointment that these books found their way to the discard pile at the Library....and Gratitude that there are current authors writing good literature without all the ick and gore, and that I found these books, and am able to save them for my daughter to read.

So... what gives? Does anyone know? I so dislike going to the library and seeing shelves filled with more "Twaddle" than good literature for my children to read and digest. I'd love to see the Arthur Ransome Series, for instance, and they are actually currently in print!

Well, my "vent" is over... feel free to leave me a comment or two~