Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend Shopping List

With sales tax exempt on many items, a thousand people will be heading to Tennessee stores this weekend. I'm not going anywhere near a mall, but I'll probably make an early morning stop at Wal-Mart to pick up some family staples. One reminder to shoppers - don't buy something just because it's tax free! Make sure you're really getting a good deal by using your usual shopping tricks of sales, discount stores and coupons. Here's my potential shopping list:
  • Diapers (I was excited to hear this one!)
  • Packing Tape (for consignment sales, family shipping and amazon book sales)
  • Scotch tape (think Christmas!)
  • Sidewalk chalk and construction paper (kid's crafts)
  • Sandals for me & the kids for next year
  • Swimsuits for husband & the kids for next year
  • Tights & pantyhose
  • Christmas gifts (art supplies, clothes...)
Things I WISH were tax-exempt, but are not: computer printer paper and ink

Can you believe these things are covered? Wedding dresses, prom dresses, lingerie, and tuxedos (Though if you have to dress up for a Christmas party, you might find a good deal!)

Find a more complete listing of tax-exempt items in my blog from last week. For even more information visit Tennessee's tax information page.


Saturday, July 29, 2006


$50 haircuts definitely don't fit in my budget anymore, so I've been searching for ways to cut corners & still love my haircut. For several years, I frequented a woman with a beauty salon in her home. This is still much cheaper than a salon & I love the intimacy, but her prices kept creeping up and the gas mileage to her house was killing me!

My Knoxville family introduced me to the TN School of Beauty, which offers great salon services at tiny prices. Their students do the work, but they are closely supervised by their teachers, so you can be confident that you are getting high quality services.

I just visited Nashville's School of Beauty at TSU for the first time last month. It was more 'schoolish' than Knoxville's salon, but the quality was good. I was floored by their prices! You pay one annual fee of $5, and then every haircut costs only $5! They also have great prices for manicures, pedicures, highlights... They were timely with the appointment, they accepted credit card/check/cash payment, and I was in/out in less than an hour.

For the boys in our house, I bought a good set of shears/clippers for about $20-25 at Walmart. My husband gets a regular haircut every 6-8 weeks, but I give him an in between trim to keep the edges looking sharp. I have professionals shape my boys hair occassionally, but I usually trim their hair in the dining room, while they are watching a movie. There are great cutting/trimming directions in the clipper kit, and using the 1 inch 'guards' keeps me from cutting their hair too short (my greatest fear!).

This month Great Clips is offering a great sale (thanks for the heads up from With this printable coupon, haircuts are only $6 through 9/16. Great deal!!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Friday, August 4 -- Sunday, August 6

* SCHOOL SUPPLIES ($100 OR LESS PER ITEM): Binders, backpacks, bookbags, blackboards, chalk, calculators, cellophane, tape, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, paste, glue sticks, highlighters, index cards, index card boxes, legal pads, lunchboxes, markers, notebooks, paper, pencils, school supply boxes, pencil sharpeners, pens, protractors, rulers, scissors, writing tablets.

* CLOTHING ($100 OR LESS PER ITEM): Boots, coats, jackets, dresses, earmuffs, gloves, mittens, gym suits, school uniforms, hats, jeans, pants, neckties, nightgowns, pajamas, ponchos, raincoats, robes, shawls, shirts, shoes, socks, undergarments.

* COMPUTERS ($1,500 OR LESS): Whole systems with pre-loaded software. The exemption does NOT include computer components and sofware sold separately, PDA's, MP3 players, jewelry, handbags, purses, protective equipment, sporting goods, art supplies, instructional material, reference books, compact discs, CD-ROM's, DVD's, printers or printer ink.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Self-Protection Seminar
sponsored by Pete Bobo's Nashville Jujitsu

Saturday, August 12th
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Y-CAP Center at 1021- Russell Street
Cost is $40 pre-registration/$50 at the door

Nashville Jujitsu focuses on street smart self-protection: control the situation, how you respond and get away! This isn't for those elite with brute strength - it's for the everyday person, using their heads in tough situations and being in control so no excuses! Anyone can come, learn, participate and benefit.

You can reach Pete at 480-7264 for questions about the seminar OR with questions about his class times, costs, location, etc.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Loving Friends Well

A mommy friend blessed my socks off today. In Bible study last week, I shared that this pregnancy was particularly tiring, as I chase 2 other children around all day. My friend called me that afternoon, and said, "I've been waiting for you to say that - I'd love to bring you a meal, so you can have a little break." She brought us dinner tonight, and I was so blessed with yummy food and no time standing on my feet in the kitchen.

Friends often cook for one another upon the arrival of a baby, a death, or a family disaster. But how often do we really listen to one another's needs during the 'normal' days, and offer to help? It might be a meal for a tired mom, it might be babysitting for a couple that really needs some date time, it might be dropping coffee by to brighten someone's morning, or it might be leaving some of your garden flowers/vegetables at someone's doorstep.

I'm going to watch for more ways to practically share love with my friends and neighbors. How can you brighten someone's day or lighten their load this week?

Sunday, July 09, 2006


My kids would play outside all day long, if I would let them! Here is a list of some of their favorite outdoor activities:

  • The Water Sprayground, a free water playground, at Watkins Community Center, 616 17th Ave N. 862-8468.
  • Make a nature collage
  • Activities at Metro Parks (
  • Tinkerbell Park in Franklin or Dragon Park in Hillsboro Village
  • Ride cars on the porch
  • Swing in the backyard
  • Collect rocks in a basket
  • Scoop dirt or sand into a child's bucket (or use a serving spoon and bowl)
  • Make a Horseshoe game
  • Plant a flower or vegetable plant together
  • Run through a Sprinkler
  • Walk on a balance beam- use a 2x4 placed on the ground
  • Draw with chalk on the sidewalk
  • Sketch an outline of your child on the sidewalk or paper with chalk
  • Make a puddle on cement and splash barefoot in it
  • Fingerpaint
  • Fill up spray bottles for a game of water tag;
  • Turn on the sprinkler and let kids practice different jumps and dance moves as they run through the water
  • Backyard Olympics: Shot-put=water balloon toss. 25 Yard Dash=teams of five race on their hands and knees; each "runner" goes 15 feet and tags the next teammate who does the same; and so on until all team members finish. Hurdles=a race through an obstacle course (obstacles should be lower than the shortest participant's kneecaps and should have soft edges and sides). Discus=frisbee throw. Gymnastics=free-style dance and acrobatics on a soft mat. Make gold medals for every participant by having kids paint small paper plates gold.
  • Dig in the dirt – even build your own fence out of sticks
  • Blow bubbles
  • Play in the plastic backyard pool