Cute Handmade Mother’s Day Gifts (Inexpensive, Too!)

Handmade gifts, especially when they mark milestones in your child’s life can be lovely. You’ll find yourself years from now looking at them and remembering back to earlier times. I have a small collection of these gifts, and they always make me smile. For example, there is the wax cast of my first-born’s hand when he was only two. We were at a festival, and the vendor didn’t want to cast anyone under the age of four because children that age tend not to hold still. We insisted and said we would take it, no matter how it came out. … Continue reading

Last-Minute St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.  Whether you are full, half or just a wee bit Irish, there’s always fun to be had on March 17th.  Luckily, you don’t have to find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow in order to afford the St. Patrick’s Day treats listed below.  All you need are a few pint-sized wannabe leprechauns and some inexpensive materials to go green this holiday weekend. No-Sew Clover Bookend:  Simply take some green felt and cut-out the shape of a four-leaf clover.   Next, take some stitch tape. This tape is used when … Continue reading

Learning Basic Home Repairs through Television

When I was growing up, my parents lived at hardware stores.  I remember having to come along every Saturday to an Ace Hardware store, spending what felt like hours walking up and down the aisles. They were constantly fixing things or coming up with home projects to do.  And you know where they got most of their ideas from?  They faithfully watched “This Old House.” Of course, as a child I found the show completely boring.  Who would have ever thought that one day I would be browsing the aisles of Home Depot and watching similar shows such as “Holmes … Continue reading

Have a Frugal Cinco de Mayo

Are you throwing a Cinco de Mayo party this week? Why not save some money at the same time? Here are some tips on how you can have a fun but frugal Cinco de Mayo. Buy Supplies in Bulk Skip the party store for most of your supplies and head over to a warehouse store, such as BJs, Costco or Sam’s Club to do your shopping. You can buy everything from paper products to appetizers in bulk and cut down on the cost to feed your crowd. Many times you can get a one-day pass to these warehouse stores in … Continue reading

Summer Learning on the Web

This summer I’ve got a lot going on. In addition to my endless reading list for exams in the fall I’m also working on my dissertation. I won’t bore you with the tentative details but it concerns playwriting in the classroom. Unlike the technological rants, opinions and observations I often spout about, playwriting is older than dirt. While you would expect the ability to find loads of information about technology on the web it may be less obvious to find information about playwriting. We’d both be wrong, however. It’s quite amazing the amount of information I was able to find … Continue reading

DIY Baby Proofing: I did it!

As my daughter becomes more and more mobile, I am increasingly aware of all of the hazards in our apartment. There are exposed outlets, breakable knick knacks, and garbage cans within reach. A major hazard is our TV stand. There is a big pile of electric cords and wires under it, easily within reach of a curious baby. I wrote about a solution I read about online. It’s called curtained storage. I decided to give it a try, and am rather pleased with the results. I’ll go through each step with you, and also show pictures. Here are the before … Continue reading

DIY Baby Proofing

Our baby just turned 7 months old today, and she’s getting eager to be on the go. When we put her on her tummy, she’s kicking, reaching, and wiggling. She can’t move forwards yet, but she can scoot backwards, and turn her body in circles. Our living room furniture faces the TV. When I see what’s underneath the TV stand and think about the fact that our sweetie may soon be crawling, I shudder. Lurking under the TV stand are piles and tangles of electric cords. They include cords that plug the TV into the wall, cords that connect the … Continue reading

How to Make Your Own Dry Shampoo

Interested in trying a dry shampoo? You don’t have to shell out big bucks if you’ve got a well-stocked kitchen and medicine cabinet. I bet you’ve already got everything you need on hand. The quickest, simplest dry shampoo recipe I found? Take a little corn starch — yes, the stuff used in cooking to thicken sauces — and work it into your hair. Start at the roots and scalp, where hair tends to be the oiliest. Scrub it around as if you were using shampoo in the shower, then brush or comb it out. The corn starch will soak up … Continue reading

Hot and Spicy Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Spice up your Cinco de Mayo celebration with these sizzling hot Mexican recipes. They are easy to prepare and are sure to fire up your guests on the fifth of May: CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP Ingredients: 1 onion, finely chopped 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1 12-ounce can of tomatoes 1 1/2 lbs. of cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes 3 ears of fresh corn 2 tablespoons salsa 4 cups chicken broth Pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 8 corn tortillas Canola oil Sour cream for garnish Shredded mild cheddar cheese Directions: Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in … Continue reading

Cinco de Mayo Fun

Who cares if Cinco de Mayo isn’t an American holiday? Look at it as another way to have fun with your friends and family. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the occasion, you might be interested to know that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Many people mistaken the holiday as such, but actually, Cinco de Mayo originates from the day that the Mexican army defeated French forces in The Battle of Puebla. The first Cinco de Mayo celebration took place in the United States in 1967 when a group of California State University students realized … Continue reading