Great Genealogy Gifts to Give and Get

The other day, I received an email that made me laugh. The email was from, and the title of the email was “Ancestors Make the Perfect Stocking Stuffers”. Obviously it was an email designed to advertise gift memberships to, but it still made me giggle as I pictured adults walking into their living rooms and seeing the ghosts of long-deceased relatives sitting in Christmas stockings hung from the mantel. Okay, so I have a very active imagination, but there really is truth in the notion that beginning and expert genealogists alike might appreciate a gift membership to … Continue reading

The Gift of Unconditional Acceptance

Unconditional acceptance of another person is a wonderful thing that is very difficult to achieve, and maybe impossible to achieve 100 percent. But that is okay. The more effort and understanding we put into our marriages, along with a good dose of love, the closer we can come to this ideal. When you first meet someone and then fall in love with him or her, the whole thing is rather exciting. You may find yourself overlooking the other person’s faults (and we all have them) or trying to cover up your own. But marriage is all about trust, to whatever … Continue reading

More Uses for Cans 2

In reply to a reader request, here are more uses for cans. This is part two of a two-part series. Flatten soda cans and turn them into bats by painting the cans and adding cardboard wings. In fact, there are so many different animal crafts that you can make with crushed cans with a little bit of paint and a little bit of imagination. Make a beer can roof. This is a great idea for the truly frugal. Collect beer and soda cans from friends and neighbors. See the instructions for the roof right here: Beer Can Roof Punch drainage … Continue reading

Using Scrapbook Supplies for Other Uses

Call me frugal, but I have a tenacious appetite for finding new uses for items I already have, so that I do not have to spend the money to purchase something new. Scrapbooking supplies are no different and can be used it a variety of unique ways that go far beyond the album on your shelf. Altered Items – Obviously, the most common use for scrapbooking supplies outside of actual scrapbooking is altered items. This means taking your papers and embellishments and turning something ugly into something beautiful. My favorite altered items to do are CD and DVD tins to … Continue reading

New Uses for Old VHS Cases

We are slowly in the process of getting through our many VHS movies. Over the years, we’ve picked up quite a few of them from thrift stores and yard sales. Friends have given us their VHS tapes when they have upgraded to DVD because they knew that we would use them. We were one of the last hold outs in purchasing a DVD player. Some of the movies are starting to wear out and are so loved that we will have to attain the DVD versions. Others have been watched a few times but are not worthy of precious space … Continue reading

New Uses for Yogurt Cups

A yogurt cup is one of those things that seems infinitely useful. There is good reason for this, namely the fact that it really is very useful. There are so many times when we spend money buying something for a specific purpose when we could have easily adapted something that we already own. Think about a pencil holder, for example. I don’t know why anyone ever spends money on something like that. There are so many items that can easily be transformed into something to hold pencils, from a flower pot to, yup, an empty yogurt container. In that spirit … Continue reading

Free Sample Stockpile: Creative Uses

I love getting free samples wherever I can. In an earlier blog, Top Places for Free Samples, I listed the best sources for everything from shampoo to coloring books. But now that you have all of those great freebie samples, what do you do with them? Well, here are some of the ways I use up my free sample stockpile. My favorite way to use free samples is by creating my own custom travel kits. I have a kit for my husband and myself, one for my older two children and one for the baby. The sample sizes are perfect … Continue reading

The Many Uses of a Gift Box

Other than pine needles, I do not know of anything in greater abundance this time of year than gift boxes. Whether they are laying around as leftovers from last year or freshly folded flat and nestled inside of the new bags full of goodies you are just now carrying through the door, there are bound to be a few extra gift boxes laying around your home right now. Gift boxes are extremely useful as ingredients in crafty projects, storage solutions and as toys themselves. Consider the following alternative applications for a lonely odd-man-out gift box that is not fortunate enough … Continue reading

Gifts for Guys

Are you getting ready to celebrate an anniversary? Looking for something special for your husband’s birthday or another special event where you get a chance to give your husband a gift? Some families like to celebrate Christmas in July (yes, Christmas though we’ve still got a few months before we’ll be celebrating that) – choosing a gift for your husband for such occasions can be difficult. Few men like receiving flowers – though truthfully for several years on our anniversary and his birthday, I sent my husband flowers and something else to his office. His co-workers always thought it was … Continue reading

Mothers: A Sorority of Complainers?

(Sweeter than a Dyson.) You are looking at one of the lovely Mother’s Day gifts I was presented with yesterday by my adorable daughter. As you can tell, it can’t be used to suck up strewn Cheerios from hardwood or carpeted floors, nor can it separate dust by cyclonic action and spin it out of the airstream with the simple press of a button. Also, it doesn’t rhyme with Dyson. Regardless, I love my card, especially the handwritten note scribbled in bright pink crayon inside. It will forever help me remember Mother’s Day 2012. The holiday has come and gone … Continue reading