I know I have not been a real faithful blogger or a blog visitor lately…..this is what happens every spring! Between soccer, baseball, outdoor yard work, and the 22 days left until school is out this is what happens. But come summer, I will be back to visiting and blogging more, and I even have a few blogging changes coming that I am excited about.
But for now I am participating in yet another Works For Me Wednesday. As my kids are getting older they don’t really play with toys anymore, but let me just tell you about some of their best “toys” over the years. These have been things that usually cost us nothing…. cost nothing….is it possible!
I have learned to give the kids things that I was thinking about throwing away, “just to see what they would do with it.”
For instance, I gave them the box our microwave came in, and this is what it ended up looking like a few days later.
I have also given them things like old buckets, they filled them with mud “soup” made with fresh leaves and berries. They have turned an old broom handles into painted light sabres, a bulletin board into the backdrop for a homemade dart board, old yarn that was braided and looped to hang from The Inventor’s ceiling, old fabric left from a project was turned into several small purses with the use of some fabric glue, a bucket with a hole turned into a great water toy…….I think you get the idea.
There are so many household items that kids can use to play with. And by giving them these trash “treasures” this allow their creative, problem solving skills to flourish ( yes, I know that last statement was spoken like a true teacher!)
This post was inspired by the latest use of my mom’s beloved garden cart. She had used this at her house for some time, and then gave it to me. I often used it to haul food down to the woods when we have parties or campfires. But it had gone unused for sometime until the kids brought it back to life in this wild way. Now, it is hanging in our tree and is used as a “car swing”, complete with a steering wheel, that was the broken wheel of the garden cart. I love their creativity, and it’s a hit with the neighborhood kids………..and I of course just need to get over the fact that I have a garden cart hanging in my tree!!!
Today is a frugal Works for Me Wednesday. Being the yard sale queen that I am I am always looking for ways to be frugal! However, I must admit that as my days get busier, it is harder for me to be as frugal as I used to.
But here is an easy, and cheap way to get rid of smelly sports cleats so your little budding athletes can keep wearing them!
The Inventor had a soccer game in the pouring rain this past Sunday, and let me tell you, if you are not familiar with the wet cleat smell, it is worthy of evacuating a building over this smell. I have experienced this smell many times over the years!
The easiest way to get rid of it is to :
Wash the cleats, and then allow them to air dry. While they are drying stick 4-5 dryer sheets in each cleat. The dryer sheets help to absorb the smell that does NOT come out even after they are washed! So the dryer sheets are the cheapest way I know to get rid of that smell!
And that little trick has kept my kids feet smelling great over the years, and has prevented numerous home evacuations due to toxic fumes!!!!!
For more Works for Me Wed. Click Here
This is such a simple and VERY delicious dessert, and in this fast paced world, this homemade treat is a winner in prep time and taste. That WORKS FOR ME! :)
Dump Cake……I know the mental image of a cake with that name is not real appealing. However, this quick dessert is a lifesaver when you haven’t had time to bake something, but don’t want to spend money to purchase a store bought dessert. Dump Cake is your answer.
I made this for a friend the other day and she asked me for the recipe for the “cherry cobbler like thing.” When I told her it was called “dump cake” my 14 year old son who overheard the conversation replied, “you mean like going to take a………..” Oh never mind I won’t go there when talking about food! I am really much to immersed in the life of 8th grade boys!
Regardless, the facts are it’s yummy and E-A-S-Y!
First DUMP one can of crushed pineapple ( I drain about half of the juice) in a greased 13 x 9 pan
Second DUMP and spread carefully cherry pie filling on top of the pineapple
Third DUMP yellow cake mix on the cherry pie filling and spread over the filling
Fourth DUMP one stick of melted butter over the yellow cake mix
Bake at 400 for 40-45 min. until cake mix is “set”
Dab a little ice cream or whipped topping over it, serve on a fancy plate and friends will think you worked so hard to make this yummy dessert!
I know it sounds a bit strange and you think how will this all turn into something delicious. But I have been bringing this simple dessert to pot lucks and other occasions for years and it is ALWAYS a hit!
It’s been a long time since I have done a WFMW, but as I was using up some leftovers the other night I was reminded of WFMW. For more creative and helpful ideas check out WFMW at We are THAT Family.
When ever the left overs start to pile up in my fridge, and I want an easy dinner and want to get rid of the leftovers, we have “Mommy’s Smorgasbord.” I heat up all the leftovers, add a few other fun things that I don’t normally have for dinner (i.e. goldfish crackers, fruit rollups, cheese sticks) plus I cut up fresh fruit, and what ever else I can find. I then ring the dinner bell, and line up the family to go through the smorgasbord line. I set up all the food on the kitchen counters, and we all enjoy different things for dinner that night.
Here are a few other FUN ideas to make the dinner time fun and a great bonding family time. I KNOW it can be VERY hard to have dinners together, with 2 busy sports kids, it is a challenge! But it can be worth the effort.
Mystery dinners – Mom secretly prepares dinner ( I put a big sheet up around the kitchen so no one can peek in) and place each dinner item on a plate. I set each plate at the table and cover it. I then call the family out for dinner. I then let each family member sample a bit of each item by “feeding them” the food, after everyone got to try everything they all try to guess what each item is. It makes for a amusing dinner! :)
Breakfast week- I make breakfast items for dinner all week! This has always been a big hit. Pancakes and sausage are always a family favorite!
Family Favorites week – Each family member gets to have one of their favorite meals that week.
Backwards dinner – we all wear backwards clothes, and eat dessert first!!!! How can you go wrong when dessert is first!
Green Dinners – (Or any color theme you want to go with) Serve everything green, this one is a bit rough if you are squeamish about the color of your food
Green food coloring in milk or mashed potatoes is really fun, also serve green beans, peas, green apples, ham with a green glaze ( use food coloring). You can really have an entertaining dinner with this one. It’s a great opportunity to get those creative juices flowing. My kids really loved these dinners when they were preschoolers. They still talk about it, always with fond memories.
Enjoy taking the time to eat dinner together!! It has become a forgotten art!