Friday, February 27, 2009

Share the Moment

I finally got a picture on the blog header! I shamelessly displayed my daughter who I adore in a picture that always brings me warm fuzzies. I wanted to share one of those motherhood moments that bring me joy. I want to invite the other authors to do the same. Insert one of your own warm fuzzy pictures into the header and share the joy. It can be silly or sweet or whatever tickles your fancy. I edited mine and added text using Picasa if you want to try that. If you need more detailed directions on adding a header pic, e-mail me. Not an author? E-mail me your pic or author request and I'll see what I can do.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jello Playdough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt2
Tbsp cream of tartar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil1 cup
warm water
1 3 oz package of Jell-O (any flavor)

Combine ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens and pulls away from the sides of pot and becomes dull. Mold and knead with the wooden spoon until cool enough to touch. Turn it out onto a table and continue kneading until cool enough for little hands to play with it. Store in a closed plastic bag.Rookie's Notes: Keep the heat at medium. This stuff burns really easy. You can eat it if you really want, but it tastes terrible.

I stole this off of Rookie Cookie

Myrtle's Juice Tip

Myrtle's Mingy Methods
Buy frozen juice concentrate instead of juice in a bottle. You'll pay almost a third the price, it takes up less space to store, it's healthier than juice blends (when you get 100%juice), and it will be cold. Also works great in a lot of recipes. Watch for store brand sales and stock up.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

What? So what if my birthday was in November! I celebrated it for weeks before and after the big day. About a month before my birthday, I signed up for some restaurant birthday clubs and e-mail newsletters, and in turn those places gave me free food for my birthday! Yep, FREE! Here are just some of the places I enjoyed this:

Red Robin: Free gourmet burger and ice cream sundae - My two little boys and I split this and still had some leftover because those burgers are huge.
Rubios: The coupon was for $7 towards any entree, but I got lucky with a nice lady at the register and she gave me a free drink too, so I paid nothing for my lunch!
Tony Romas: ANY entree for FREE - I got a full rack of ribs with two sides and took my leftovers (which was way more than half) down the street to my husband to eat for lunch at work. A delicious $20 meal for free? Who wouldn't pass that up?
Firehouse Subs: Free medium sandwich

These are coupons I haven't used yet or they expired already:
Black Angus: Free steak dinner with any purchase
Baskin Robbins: Free scoop
Marie Calendars: $5 off any entree, plus a free slice of pie
Chuck E. Cheese: Free tokens *This is actually for my son's birthday.
Sonic: Free Wacky Pack kids meal *For my son again

I feel like I'm forgetting something, and I know there were some that I thought about signing up for but didn't. You can go to and pick the state you live in and it'll list all the places that you can get free stuff on your birthday from. Also, check out the websites of your favorite restaurants and such to see if they have some kind of e-mail club too that might not have been listed on that website. I know even McDonald's has a birthday club!

Note: At the sit-down restaurants I gave a tip that was 15% or more of the original price before my free meal. I like free things, but I'm not that cheap.
I don't know if it's a rumor or it only applies in certain states, but the tax for your food is deducted from the servers paycheck, which is why tipping is important. Does anyone else know if this is true?

So GO! NOW! Sign up your whole family! If you don't like getting a bunch of e-mails, just remember that even after your birthday they send you free things. I have gotten two coupons from Rubios for a free taco and a free drink already. If you don't want them, it's not that hard to hit the delete button or unsubscribe after you've received your free things.

Oh, and by the way... Hi! I'm a new contributer. Yay! I actually put this post on my family's blog a few months ago and Gina asked me to put it on here too.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Book it Online

For Adults...especially Mother's who love to read: is one of my online hangouts because I love to read and I like to see what others are reading. After registering, a painless process and well worth it, you can have your very own digital library that tracks what you have read, what you are currently reading and what you would like to-read. One of my favorite things is receiving the optional e-mail that notifies me of my friends book updates (what they have read, their reviews, what they have marked to-read, etc). It is a good way for me to find "good books"! There are many other features to enjoy such as letting others know you have books to lend as well as searching your friends borrow list and you can form an online book club which can be made public or private.

For Children/Teaching Children:
I've been searching for some kid friendly sites. I found one I'd like to pass along that makes reading books online fun. has music, animated books, games and much more all online! It is free and you do not have to register to use these tools!

Let me know what you think about these sites...and pass on any "book" sites for children or adults that you love!

Seeing the town on a budget

Myrtle's Mingy Methods

GoCityKids is a great place to go to find out about the goings on in your city and find great deals. They have a calendar of events and activities offered in your area along with tips and deals. I've signed up for their newsletter so they send me a weekly e-mail to let me know the top picks for the week. I go through the calendar and look for the word free and there's actually quite a bit. This month for example, Callaway Gardens has free admission so we're heading out for a family activity. I also know that every Thursday after 1pm, families can visit the Center for Puppetry Arts Museum for free, the second Tuesday of every month you can get into The Children's Museum of Altanta for free, and Centennial Olympic Park is always free (although parking in Atlanta never is). They also provide directions, information, and reviews for the different places to go. Last weekend we planned to go to the Botanical Gardens and/or the Fernbank Museum of Natural History (first weekend of each month you can get into both free with your Bank of America card) and then head to a jugglers and yoyoists competition/show that was free and in the same neighborhood. The weather was perfect for an outing but I ended up with a sick husband and kids so we stayed home instead. Oh well, maybe we'll get to them next month. My little finds are probably not useful to my Vegas friends (unless you want to come visit us) but it gives you an idea of what's available and you can go onto the site to find the deals in you area. Just choose your city and hit the town.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Myrtle's Long Lost Sister

Here I am -- Myrtle's Long Lost Sister of Thrift (sorry Gina that you had to BEG to get me to finally post). I hardly buy anything unless it is on sale (groceries included)!! I LOVE bargains and always have. Here is the thrift tip of the day...

When I go grocery shopping I always stick to a set budget. In order to not go over I write down the price of every item that goes into my cart and then add the total to my groceries before I get to the register. This might seem time consuming to some people, but it really isn't. I can't tell you how many times the cashier has accidentally overcharged me or scanned something twice. Not only can you catch cashier mistakes, but you will never go over the amount that you planned on spending that day at the store.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kid 2 Kid

Myrtle's Mingy Methods

If you like clean, name-brand kids clothes but don't want to rummage through the wall of clothing at Goodwill to find the one good shirt, try shopping at Kid 2 Kid. They buy and sell nice kids stuff. I admit I do most my shopping at the cheapy second-hand stores and come home with a big bag of kids clothes for the season for $25 dollars because I'm just that cheap and willing to dig. But when I need a particular item (shoes, church clothes, jeans) I head to Kid 2 Kid. Good place for strollers, carseats, toys and other products you wouldn't find or trust at other second-hand stores. By the way, they also have maternity clothes. Be sure to sign up for their e-mails so you can get coupons and find out about their sales. This week they're having their big sale so I got the boys some new shoes, two pairs barely worn for $7. I'm assuming the Vegas branch is doing their sale this weekend so good time to check them out. As I mentioned, they also buy gently used kids clothing and products but call ahead to find out what season they're taking and boxing/folding instructions. Not a great return but maybe enough to buy that pair of shoes your kid needs.

Note to authors: I don't want to see this picture three posts in a row, so if you want regular Myrtle tips, you gotta post :) Thanks Shay

" is a video website designed specifically for children. It is community moderated. It is constantly growing. It is powered by YouTube. All videos were submitted, screened and rated by parents."

I really like this site. My son likes it even more. It's fun just to browse the videos, or you can search by subject (my toddler is really into letters right now so we watch a lot of those ones). Granted, it's not as good as sitting and reading a book with your child...but hey, if gets my toddler to sit on my lap and snuggle with me for a few minutes, it is a friend of mine! Here are a couple of our current favorites:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Myrtle's TP tip

Myrtle's Tips & Tricks
Flatten your toilet paper roll before putting it on the dispenser. This will slow down the rolling so less squares are used each time. This is especially good for toddlers learning to wipe who tend to use half a roll every time they sit (even if they didn't do any business).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Alter Ego

I had my brother take this picture of me by this sign at the botanical gardens because it fits me all too well. Just call me Myrtle. I'm a penny-pincher. It has been both a blessing and a curse to my dear husband. But now that frugality is in style, I thought maybe I'd share some of my little tricks with ya'll. If you like the idea let me know and I can make this a regular thing. Feel free to post your own tips and tricks. Authors, you can even steal the pic if you want (come on Deborah and Megan, I know you've got something to say). If I'm the only one cutting corners, I won't embarrass myself (or my husband) by publishing my stinginess.
Myrtle's Tip of the Day:
I buy 5 pound blocks of cheese at Sam's Club, cut them up, seal, and freeze the bags.
I do the same thing with grated cheese. I'm lucky enough to have a food sealer for the job (although I don't vaccum seal the grated cheese) but you can use zip-locks.
Note: Author reserves the right to be lazy and uncreative and not post a daily tip. The word "day" is for catchy title purposes only.
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Valentine Crafts

These are cute craft ideas I stole off
Wrap large candy bars and tag or wrap decorated small pieces of paper to tape around mini bars for a gift.

Click on the image below to find out how to make a stamp. Good recycling craft.

Paint a ceramic pot for flowers or make flower pens. You coould also plant some seeds now and hopefully start seeing something by Valentines. You could go to this site and order the tickleme plant that moves when you tickle it

Use cardstock, buttons, and ribbons to make your own cards
Use thumb prints to make hearts

Paint wooden hearts and glue magnets on back

Print your Valentine cards at home

Here's some free downloads for Valentines. Click on the image to get to the download page.
Mini cards to give your kids

Print on a full sheet label to make stickers

Cards for your kids