Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Beautiful Place

I'm one of those girls who waits and waits for the IKEA catalog to arrive in the mailbox.
I'll spend forever browsing the pages, circling things that I love, and folding the corners of my favorite pages.

When I heard that Mom needed to go shopping for her renovated bedroom, I quickly asked to visit IKEA.

Mike was a total sweetheart and tagged along without complaint.

The idea of using chalkboard paint in my house could get dangerous. The risk of this girl spending all her time doodling all over the walls would skyrocket. 

Since my student teaching buddy used an IKEA broccoli plushie in her lesson plan, I have been on the lookout for my own broccoli buddy.

You can buy one here for 9.99, or get one in store for 7.99.

Another thing I love about IKEA, is all the textures and styles they carry. There is a fabric print for everyone.

We decided that IKEA carries not only the best bargain lunch, but also the best hot-dogs in the world!

Listen up my thrifty friends...


You can buy 2 hot-dogs and get 1 can of soda for 2 bucks.
These babies were so good that Mike went back for more!

At the end of the day, we bought some new dishes (that will be up on the blog later) a broccoli buddy, and a tasty lunch. I got lots of photos and ideas for our new home that I can't wait to share.

I kinda felt like a hippie while walking around the store today. I don't know...what do you think?

Are you IKEA crazy or do you think that the brand is overrated? Let me know what you think and if you would like to see my take my blog friends along on more shopping trips!

See ya later alligators! 

Take care.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Having Fun for Free or Crazy Cheap

Just because we have a low salary doesn't mean that Mike and I don't go out and have fun.
There are lots of ways to have a great time that don't cost very much (some things are free!). 

1. Visit tourist locations in your own neighborhood

So it's the weekend and you really don't feel like laying around the house. Jump in the car with your family and head to a nearby tourist attraction! 
We live in Vermont, and the Ben and Jerry's headquarters is just 30 minutes away. There's so much free stuff to do there, and you can have a tour of the factory for wicked cheap. 
Bring a lunch from home and you've got yourself a picnic date with hubby!

2.Go on a hike/visit your local parks

Most hiking trails only charge you a small parking fee. Bring a car load of friends for tv free afternoon.
Enjoy the fresh air and re-connect with your buddies. You'll yourself and your friends in deep conversations and you'll learn more about each other. Bring along plenty of water and a camera.

3. Volunteer at the fair for free entry

Do you have a special talent? Can you face-paint or do magic tricks?
Volunteer at a local fair and you'll get in for free!
You'll meet all kinds of people and have a fabulous time showing off your skills. 

(me in a duct tape dress for a special parade)

4. Volunteer for a local play

If you're a handy man, a wana be seamstress, or a pro crafter, then you need to volunteer for a local play!
Play houses and high schools need all the help they can get to put on productions. 
Volunteering for a play is very time consuming, but terribly rewarding. You'll learn some new skills and the cast will practically become your family. 

You might even get some free tickets!

(me as the prop mistress for The Christmas Carol)

5. Plan a weekend vacation for 200 dollars

A weekend vacation for 200!?

Yup. We traveled to near by Boston and spent one night in a nice hotel. We used one of those online hotel discount places and scored an awesome room for under 100 dollars. Breakfast was free and so was transportation from the hotel to the subway in down town Boston.

We walked or spent pennies on public transportation. We walked the freedom trail and saw everything for free (expect Paul Revere's House...5 bucks). We ate out, bought souvenirs, and took a bagillion photos.

We bought our souvenirs on sale and I had a great time just being together.
Yeah, it was wet and cold and we did get lost a few times...but none of that matters when you're in love.

(P.S. We also got some free tours by following high school teams around town. They were apparently on a school trip and brought their history professor with them. We blended right in because we were wearing hoodies like most of the teens.)

6.Visit your local farmer's market or craft fair 

I love going on craft fairs, or markets, or random expos. You can enter plenty of giveaways (and sometimes win) and receive bags of free samples.

I truly enjoyed going to this craft fair because I got to meat and talk with a bunch of people who were interested in the same things that I was. Take advantage of those annual expositions people!

7. Plan a photo scavenger hunt with your friends

(we had to get a picture of all of use jumping)

All this one takes in one clever friend to run around your town and write up a photo scavenger list.
The cost for this activity is practically free. Just pay for the gas to get there and borrow a camera if you don't already own one.
You'll have hours of fun and a bunch of silly photos of you and your friends.

Those are some of the ways that we like to have fun for cheap...what are your top tips?

Please comment below and share the frugalness! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

This Is How We Do It

Good Saturday morning to you readers!

There's nothing better than sleeping in with your hubby on a Saturday morning. Knowing that you don't have anything planned for the whole day is terribly refreshing. The blankets seem to be at their peek in softness and have somehow reached the perfect temperature. 

Anyways, enough about how much I'm enjoying myself right now and onto more important things. 

I would just love to start a new theme in my blog posts this year. It's something that most people can relate to, and I'm sure that we can all learn something new from each other.

Everyone wants to save money. Does it really make cents (pun intended) to spend 50 bucks on something you can snag for 15 in the clearance section?

Not really.

Since my husband and I make very little as Christian school teachers, I've had to learn how to shop on a tight budget. We don't always have the newest and greatest gadgets in our home, but we have what we need and even a little more.

I would love to write and share with you how I live on 50 dollars a week for food and where I get my nice clothes for pennies (almost).

Stick around, sign up for e-mail updates (side bar), or follow me on facebook or pintrest.
Maybe you'll learn something new...and you can share your ideas too!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Adventures at the Fair

We went to the Addison Fair last night with some friends. I thoroughly enjoyed the craft competitions and all of the promotional booths. We signed up for several drawings...maybe I'll be a lucky girl and win something this time around!

I didn't enter anything in the fair this year. It's a dream of mine to have a booth at a farmer's market and win a blue ribbon at the fair.

I could have spent hours looking at all of the artwork and crafts.
I'm a teacher totally fascinated by children's art. I could stare at it for hours. Figuring out the development of a child and the reasons why they drew what they drew captures me.

I'm also terribly charmed by adult craft and art submissions too. Being a creative girl, I can appreciate the technique and time it takes to finished a project.

Of course I couldn't call myself a good friend and make my fellow fair gowers stay at the craft booths all night...

Being in Vermont for a year has taught me that Vermonters not only grow the best maple syrup on Earth, but they never get tired of it. Anytime my Vermont peeps find anything maple flavored, watch for the stampede!
I guess this shouldn't surprise me, maple syrup never get's old around here. 

My friends were kind enough to humor me and hang out with the animals for a while. I'm such a city girl (being from Montreal) and the average. plan old farm animals is just SO COOL! I don't care about the smell, I asked the stupidest questions, and even let this little goat take a bite out of my bag. 

And yes, that is a pink rooster. 
Leave a comment below with your guess as to why he's sporting this color.

Two thumbs up for free samples of chocolate milk!

Being a teacher, and being married to another teacher has taught me to be frugal and find ways to have fun on a tight budget. Let me tell you, there IS fun to be had!
We spent 10 dollars per ticket, got some free stuff, and still had some let over cash for some cheap (but yummy) fair treats. 

We didn't go on any rides because there was tons of free stuff to do! Check out Mike on these wooden stilts. We learned some new skills, and had a bunch of laughs too.

(he got pretty good at it too!)

We didn't play any carnival games, but I thought that the colors were too pretty not to photograph.
Hey! There's another free thing you can do. Take a bunch of photos and stick em in a collage.

Some of these carnival ride photos turned out so well, I can't stand to stick them in a collage. They deserve their own spotlight. 


I'll save my favorite carnival photo for the end of this post.
Don't you dare skip down to the end!

There are a few more things I want to show you.

We ran into some other friends at the demolition derby. I didn't think that I could really get into something like that, but I discovered that watching a bunch of minivans run into each other is kinda exciting. 
There was a ton of smoke and thrilling crunching sounds. Someone had to get taken away in a stretcher though...maybe not the safest or smartest sport I've seen.

Mike and I were high-school and college sweethearts. 
I couldn't resist taking a funny picture when we saw these antique school desks. 

Here we are getting caught passing notes in class....

If you're a true and loyal readers, you've waited and read patiently to the end of the blog post. 
You now get to see my favorite and best photo from the fair.

If you've skipped ahead...then I guess you've stopped reading too.

Either way, here's my favorite shot from the night.

Have a fantastic Friday everyone!