Freebie idea of the week

The weather was wonderful this past weekend. So wonderful that we just had to get out and enjoy. The question was what activity can we do that is fun and for free? hmmm…. Guess what I found that was fun and free.

Saturday, I went to the Apex Peak Festival. I had a blast. Admission was free and so was parking! We strolled down the street looking at all the craft vendors. There was free music from a great band. People were dancing in the street. It was a great family outing.

I know you are thinking festivals are not totally free DJD. Okay I did buy a lemonade and funnel cake but the costs were still minimal. You can enjoy the music and the atmosphere for free.

To find a local festival near you, go to All you have to do is plug-in your state and voila you have a big list of festivals.

The weather is warm and the sun is shining. Get out there and enjoy a local festival!

Childhood Time Capsule

I can’t believe that my baby, the child that screamed through the airport eight years ago, who continued to scream for the next twelve hours in the hotel room, turned nine yesterday! It was Ashley’s big birthday! She told me that this is her last year as a single digit age! I wanted to cry when she announced that with pride at breakfast. Boy did the time fly. She was one years old when we finally got her from Korea. She came on her first birthday. What a way to celebrate your first birthday! Stuck on a plane for over twenty hours then tossed in the arms of a woman you never met. No wonder why the kid cried for almost 12 hours straight.

Celebrating her ninth birthday made me feel nostalgic for when I was nine. What did I love to play with? What was my favorite candy? What was the rage of the day? If you can make a childhood time capsule what would you put in it? What 5 items would remind you of your youth?

Would you put in your collection of Wacky Packages? I loved wacky packages when I was about nine years old. I collected and traded these gross stickers. I remembered that I scored a Skimpy Crummy Peanut Butter sticker. This was one of the ‘rare’ stickers in a package. My cousin offered me 5.00 for it and I said no! Dumb me.

What was your favorite candy that you would like to remember? My favorite when I was a kid was Pixie Stixs. I was all about sour tastes just like my daughter. Ashley doesn’t like Pixie Stixs but she loves those disgusting sour patch kids.As hard as I try, I can’t make her like the classics! BTW, I correctly spelled the name ‘Pixie’. Wonka candy is incorrect with ‘Pixy’!

When I was a kid, I only drank milk with Bosco syrup. Bosco rocked! Hershey syrup cannot even compare to Bosco. I loved it on ice cream. It would cover the ice cream in gooey goodness. While researching Bosco, I found an internet store that sells it! It is not in the glass jar, so I don’t know if it still tastes as good as it use to. I will have to order a bottle and let you know if it is worth it.

Are you old enough to remember ‘Suzy Homemaker’? If you were a little girl during the seventies, chances are you owned a Suzy Homemaker toy. Suzy Homemaker made toy kitchen appliances. I had the oven, sink and wash machine. The oven was fantastic. It made real cakes. It was bigger and better than the Easy Bake oven(which also came out in the seventies). I thought I was the ‘Ace of Cakes’ with my Suzy Homemaker oven.

I wasn’t into Barbies like many little girls. The clothes were to hard for me to put on the doll. The clothes back then had real buttons, zippers and snaps. Today’s Barbie is much easier to dress because of velcro. I did however loved Dawn Dolls. Dawn Dolls would be the number one item in my capsule. The clothes were easy for me to navigate. The dolls were more fashionable then Barbie. Dawn Dolls wore ‘Couture’ whereas Barbie wore ‘Gimbels’. I had every Dawn Doll and most of the designer fashions. Recently, I showed my collection to my daughter. Needless to say, she thought Barbie was cooler. Kids they just don’t understand!

There you have it, my five time capsule items. What are yours? Please tell me your time capsule items. I would love to know. Tomorrow is National Scrapbooking Day. I will hopefully have a layout I can share with you. Take care and have a blast discovering your past!

Freebie idea of the week

Hey all! Have you been to your local library lately? It’s a wonderful place to go that is totally free! All you need is proof of address and poof you have access to a world of magic. Okay enough with the sticky sweet talk. As I have previously mentioned one too many times, the Davis family is watching our pennies. My new goal is to find great things me and my daughter can do that are either free or can be done with minimal costs.

This week we went to our local library. My daughter is into Nancy Drew and they have the best collection of Nancy Drew books. I have been wanting to read the ‘Lovely Bones’ for sometime and I was happy to find it at our library. I used to buy all the books I wanted to read. I would read the books once and then sell them at a garage sale. What a waste of money! Your local library carries the best in new literature, the classics and biographies.

Libraries also sponsor free programs for children such as book clubs and character read-alongs. It is a great place for kids to discover books and acquire a love of reading. You can also rent movies at libraries and many libraries have books on tape for adults.

If you don’t know where your local library is located, you can look it up at Public

I am having fun discovering all the things you can do for free or on the cheap. Stay tuned because next week’s is a good one!

Throwing caution to the wind…

Rich and I have been extremely frugal the past two years. I’ll be honest, we are cheap. We evaluate every dime we spend. Do we really need this item or not. I know most of the country is doing the same evaluation.

Today we sort of threw caution to the wind. We bought this house last summer. The selling point for us was the screen porch. We had a screen porch in Virginia which we enjoyed. We love our new screen porch but it does need some TLC. TLC meaning it needs patio furniture. Outdoor furniture is pretty pricey thus it has been put on the back burner of our house budget.

After shopping around for almost a year, we finally found a set that will not break our budget and will look pretty good on the porch. Home depot has a Martha Stewart four piece patio set for $399.00! Most patio sets retail over 1,000.00. Today, we went to Home Depot to see if the set would accommodate our requirements. I was able to sit in the chairs with easy and so was Rich. No stools required(which is a good thing). The quality is good and I think it will last us awhile. So if you need a new patio set that will not break the bank, you need to go to home depot and check it out.

No, I am not being paid for this promotional announcement. I just like to find good deals and share them with you. Hey everyone is looking to find good deals. I will also share activities you can do for free with your kids or by yourself. I think it will be a good challenge for me to find things to do that are free or for minimal costs. My daughter is tracking out again from school so I will be forced to stretch my entertainment dollar! Check the blog on Sundays and I will post the good deal/activity of the week. This should be fun! You can also share your good deals or free activities in the comments section of my blog.

One more item I would like to share. If you are into chocolate, you must try the new 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp candy bar. They are to die for! I mean it’s ‘better than sex’ type of candy bar. Pick one up at the grocery store and I promise you won’t regret it!

Take care and post your good deals on the blog!

Feeling Blue….

There are some days when the past 2 years just really get to me. I just wish that our luck will change and we can go back to our normal life(whatever ‘normal’ should mean). It has been some roller coaster ride since my husband’s been laid-off. We have had lows and some really low points. I know that the whole country is also on this ride of uncertainty. It sucks to say the least.

My husband started his own media business since TV jobs are scarce and in-between. The business is doing okay. A business is like having a garden. You constantly have to nurture and take care of it. It takes a long time for the roots to take hold. Did I ever tell you that I suck at gardening? Really I do. I think this is why I don’t have patience for business but thank-goodness my husband has patience of a saint. He is great at what he does and is moving the business in the right direction.

It’s tough. Somedays I just get down in the dumps. We are doing okay. We are keeping our head above water which I know is good considering the economy. I just get sad sometimes and worry what the future will hold.

My neighbors are in the same boat. They were also laid-off due to the recession. We all lament together which does help. Misery does love company. Today we decided collectively that things will get better. They just have to.

Friday, I just couldn’t take another day of applying for jobs online, so I decided to take a break. I grabbed my camera and headed to the historic district of Oakview in Raleigh. This excursion was to clear my head and find a positive outlook on life.

I love old homes. They remind me of a simpler time. When life was basic and you didn’t need much to get by. This red roof house was one of my favorites. I can just see Aunt Bee standing on the porch talking to her neighbor about peach pies and when Andy will be coming home.

Remember the Adams family? This home has some Adams family appeal. I bet it’s haunted. I can picture a tall woman with a long dress waiting for her husband to come home. She is looking out of the top window for him. At night, you hear her pacing the floor. She is wondering where did her love go. You can feel her sadness when you go upstairs but you don’t see the grand lady.My imagination is getting carried away now! I just love to imagine who were the first ladies of these homes.

When I look at old houses, I think of the families that had lived there. Families just like mine. They had ups and downs. Struggles and triumphs in their life. They survived tough times and so will we.

No matter what, my family will get through this. What doesn’t break us, makes us stronger, right?

Take care and I hope all is well with your families.

From the heart…

My daughter taught me a life lesson yesterday and she didn’t even know it. Recently Ashley made a new friend at school named Annie. At recess her and Annie play ‘habitat’. Habitat from what I gather is a game where the players build various animal habitats. I have to admit when I heard about this game, I thought it was pretty strange. Yesterday, the game finally made sense to me.

Ashley had a play date with Annie. I was excited to meet this new little girl. She sounded wonderful and I was glad that Ashley was making friends more easily since we moved. It so happens that Annie only lived a couple blocks up the street from where we live. This new friend was fast becoming my favorite new friend!

When we pulled into her driveway, I saw the sweetest little girl from behind the glass door. She had a smile that would melt January snow. She was so excited that Ashley had come to her house to play. Her parents were wonderful. Very warm and welcoming. Annie doesn’t have many play dates her parents explained. They were thrilled that Annie had met Ashley and that the two formed a wonderful friendship.

Ashley urged(told) me to leave(you know kids don’t want their parents around when fun is on the agenda). So I left to do my grocery shopping with the warmest feeling in my heart.

You see Annie has Cerebral Palsy. She walks with a limp and has limited hand use. Her speech has also been affected. My daughter never mentioned this to me. I don’t think Ashley even notices. Ashley created the habitat game for something Annie and her can play during recess. A game Annie could play. Ashley has the biggest compassionate heart that I have ever seen.

When I picked her up, I asked her what did she and Annie do together. Ashley told me that they played Elefun and the Wii. She was teaching Annie how to hold and grip the Wii controller. I was proud all over again. Later that night, I told Ashley that I was extremely proud of her and she is a good kid. She looked at me and asked ‘why’? I didn’t want to tell her why and break the magic of what Ashley is doing. I just shrugged my shoulders and said ‘because you are you’. She kissed me good night and I smiled as she climbed into bed.

Who knew that a nine year old can teach an old mom like me such a life lesson. A very valuable life lesson.

long time since we last talked..

Hi! How was your easter/passover? Did you get anything from the Easter bunny? The Easter bunny visited our home and brought a lot of chocolate. Too much chocolate if you ask me.

Let’s catch up. I am working on the story of how Rich and I met. I promise it you it will be good. I am just trying to make events a little less ‘family controversial’ if you know what I mean. I do have family that read the blog so I have to be careful. It will be ready for posting by next week.

In the mean time, Rich has been patiently waiting for the release of the iPad. He has always been on the forefront of Apple technology. He was one of the first in our circle to get the iPod. A year ago when he read about the iPad, he wanted one right away. So for a year he has been waiting for the iPad revolution.

We are not purchasing an iPad right now,Rich just wants to be part of the revolution. So last Saturday we tracked off to the Apple store in Durham to window shop at Apple. When we arrived , we couldn’t get into the store. This was not the line to purchase the iPad but to just ‘look’ at one! Can you believe it? Mr.Jobs must be doing the ‘happy money’ dance AGAIN. It was a twenty minute wait just to get into the store and then another twenty minutes to see the iPad. Rich didn’t have the stamina to wait that long just for a peak so he decided to go to Maggiano’s instead. I was happy with his decision. I don’t share his enthusiasm for what boils down to the smaller version of a laptop computer. Really that’s all it is.

Ashley and I went on a nature walk the other day. The town we live in has many walking trails called ‘Greenways’. The Greenways swirl around the triangle.While walking, Ashley could not shut-up about a boy in her class(I will not reveal his name to protect the innocent!). John this and John that is all I heard. My poor baby has her first crush and it is bad! I thought I would have a few more years before I would have to deal with boys! She finally shut up when came across some ducks.Ducks are a funny creatures. They just mind their business and swim with the flow. I wish I can be more ‘duck’ like in my life. Then maybe I would get a good nights sleep!

I will try to post more often. It just has been busy around these parts. Take care and have a good weekend.

Happy Easter and Passover to Everyone

Happy Easter to one and all! My daughter is still looking for her basket. I am not helping her this year. No hints and no “You’re getting warmer” help. She officially ticked off the Easter bunny yesterday with the ‘egg’ incident. Easter bunny is still not over it.

She is now singing ‘I don’t know where my basket is’ song while sitting on the steps. It’s an original song only Ashley could think up.

The way she looks for things, it might be Christmas time when she finds it. lol!

Have a great day!

Gorgeous Day!

Awesome weather today in the south! The sun is shining and it is warm. I just came back from having lunch. If one happens to be in Cary NC, one must go to Red Bowl. It is an awesome chinese restaurant. The steamed chicken and veggies actually had taste! Usually the dish is sort of bland. At Red Bowl, they serve it with a white broth which makes the dish come alive. You must go to Red Bowl if you live or visit the Triangle. You won’t regret it.

I am a featured mom this week on Little Tots – Big Ideas blog. Blogger Tina made me sound very interesting(which had to have been hard to do). It is a great blog and you must put it on your mom blogger list.

My car has been in the shop for two days and I cannot wait to get it back. There was a hole in the radiator(that explains why the funny red light kept coming on while driving…oooops!). Yesterday the mechanic told me that the front part of the car has been disassembled! I just got the call that it is ready to go. I hope they put it back together correctly! Keep your fingers crossed.

Go out and enjoy spring!