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Holiday Gift Giving by Frugie

Holiday gift giving guide by frugie

 

Dear Santa,

I have been very good this year. I have cleaned up more pee behind the toilet than I can imagine, I have scooped plenty of cat poop, dog poop, cat puke and dog puke. Not to mention the dog puke I have caught in my actual bare hands. I have not smothered McSweetie with a pillow when he uses the last square of toilet paper leaving me high, and well, not dry.

So in the spirit of giving, I would like world peace, an end to world hunger, all the orphans to be adopted, a self folding dryer, and all the Kate Spade hand bags you can fit in your sleigh.

That’s really not too much to ask. Okay fine. That’s a lot to ask.

How about instead, I can get something from just these brands I list? See? Easy peasy.

Thanks Santa! Love, Frugie

Welcome to Holiday Gift Giving by Frugie

I wanted to give you guys my favorite things, kind of like Oprah, but instead of free refrigerators and iPads, I can only offer some discount codes! Also, because these are small, family owned businesses, you’ll be helping them have a great holiday too by shopping from their sites.

Don’t laugh, but I seem to be jewelry heavy in my list- from handmade, to global treasures, I know you will find something to put on your wish list.

 

JJ Caprices

Want a necklace from Paris? How about earrings from Israel? Something so unique and gorgeous, you will feel like royalty. Jen from JJ Caprices travels everywhere to buy jewelry to sell on her site. I totally want to be her. She goes to gorgeous destinations and brings back equally gorgeous baubles. I met her at MamaCon and fell in love with her gorgeous pieces. AND for my readers she has a 10% discount code- FRUGALISTA.  You will love the unique pieces and there’s something in every price range.

holiday gift guide jj caprices

Frugie blog holiday gift guide jj caprices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penny Jules

Like handmade jewelry with a quirky side? Are you a Doctor Who or Harry Potter fan? Penny Jules incorporates charms and whimsy in each piece that has a distinct characteristic from your favorite iconic movies, pop culture favorites and Disney movies. You will gush over the cuteness. Remember my Doctor Who tardis necklace in my favorites video? Check her out-

frugie blog holiday gift guide penny jules

 

 

Last jewelry site, I promise.

Starfish Project

How would you like to buy jewelry and help a woman over come poverty and exploitation in Asia? Starfish Project employs women in Asia to make jewelry, earn a living, get vocational training, health care and counseling that otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunities.

This Black Friday they have a Buy One Get One deal. Check it out.

frugie blog holiday gift guide starfish project

holiday gift guide starfish project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now how do you plan on wrapping all that?

Artistry Gift Wrap

Check out Artistry Gift Wrap for a truly unique gift wrap and giving experience. I love these papers. You can get greeting cards, ribbons, and bows and so many cute bibs and bobs. What are bits and bobs? I don’t know. BUT having seasonal gift wrap sent to you with a subscription service is a gift in itself. Maybe you have that crafty aunt, or awesome neighbor that has a ‘gift room’. They will be wowed by Artistry Gift Wrap. Check out their November specials BLACKFRI40 and soon to be December specials.

frugie blog holiday gift guide artistry gift wrap

frugie blog holiday gift guide artistry gift wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Ryan Skincare

Looking for fabulous skin care that’s not a lot of money, but completely natural and without unnecessary ingredients? Kate Ryan Skincare is a company run by 3 women who want what’s best for women and their faces and their budgets! Amazing products and you need to try their Pumpkin Enzyme Peel to keep the winter months from dulling your skin. Every Kate Ryan Skincare package comes like a little present- I love it. I have a YouTube video using their products.

holiday gift guide kate ryan skincare

 

Women for Women International

And now for something a little different. Want to get a gift for someone but that will benefit someone else? How about buying some baby chicks for a mom in Nigeria? Or a goat for a woman in Afghanistan? Women for Women International is an organization that matches you with a ‘sister’ that lives in parts of the world such as the middle east or other war torn nations that without these programs, would be without education, job training or even safety. I love hearing who my sister is every 6 months. I’ve gotten Christmas cards, Easter cards and other tokens of gratitude from a woman around the globe, that I’ve never met, but thanking me and telling me I’m in her prayers because of the difference my money has done for her. Over 8 countries, more than 420,000 women have been saved from crisis and poverty through this program. Please check them out and see what you can give.

frugie blog holiday gift guide

 

 

I hope these gift ideas give you inspiration and help make your holiday season a little brighter. I completely endorse and stand behind each one of these brands and was in no way compensated for this post. I just want to spread good cheer! Let them know I sent you.

 

Holiday Countdown- new video, new giveaway

giveaway frugalista blog sephora give me more lip

It’s almost a month to Christmas and I’m a busy little bee buying stuff. Sort of for myself (it’s called research) and also for others (I’m not that selfish).

Here’s some new things I’ve discovered; gadgets, brands, products and fun stuff.

I’ve included my Beauty Box 5 November un-boxing for you. Check out the specials on their website this season!

AND- I have another GIVEAWAY!

The giveaway is open internationally this time! (Hello UK and Australia readers!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Beauty Box 5 November Frugalista Blog, subscription boxes, unboxing, beauty

Say what? The world’s chocolate supply might run out by 2020. A call to arms.

At first Emma told me casually like it was the weather report, “Hey mom, did you know that the world is running out of chocolate.” She could have easily been saying, “did you know it’s going to be 50 degrees out with partial clouds” based on the tone of her voice. As if, life can go on casually.

Trust me, I kept my cool in front of her. I didn’t panic. I barely registered in my head what she had just said. Probably because I was checking Pinterest and Instagram at the same time while waiting for the oven to heat up for my batch of brownies.

But like a good mother, I didn’t convey my panic. It wasn’t until the kids went to bed and I googled that shit for myself. What in heaven’s name is she talking about? That sounds as ludicrous as when she told me Iggy Azalea was just a white girl from Australia.

So yes. It’s true. Scientists think we can run out of cocoa beans by 2020. Folks- that’s only in 5 years. Leading manufacturers of chocolate, Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut say that over consumption and problems in farming have reduced us to this crisis. Apparently the westernization of China has caused them to eat more chocolate. The Chinese can be blamed for everything- lead in our toys and now the world’s chocolate shortage. Thanks China.

If you think you’re prepping for a zombie apocalypse, maybe you should be prepping instead for a chocolate apocalypse. (Typing apocalypse is hard.)

What’s a chocolate apocalypse (fuck, I need a new word) you ask?

Let me draw you a picture- half the world’s population rely on a certain product to get them through a certain time of the month. Now take that half and say that 20 percent of them are under the age of 10 and 30 percent of them are over the age of 60 (I have no clue, I’m just throwing out stats here people), then we have 50 percent of PMS aged females who will be wondering the earth for chocolate. They will have torches and pitchforks and heat pads and Pringles and it won’t be pretty. They will search the earth while carrying DVD copies of Steel Magnolias and The Notebook under their arm and they will be crabby.

That’s at least 40% of the world’s population (again, just making this up) desperate for chocolate.

Sure we’re worried about the bees dying, and Ebola, and polar ice caps melting, but this- this is serious folks. Do you know what this means?

Nutella will just be hazelnut spread. And that sounds disgusting.

Reeses peanut butter cups will be just peanut butter cups. Not as delicious at all.

Oreos will be only the cream filling.

No chocolate chip cookies. Just oatmeal ones or snickerdoodles.

Nougat will be considered acceptable.

No chocolate Easter bunnies.

Chocolate fondue fountains will run dry and rust.

No hot cocoa. You might as well float those marshmallows in just some hot water.

M&Ms? Forget it. Extinct.

What will Professor Lupine give Harry Potter when he sees a dementor?

If Willy Wonka were real, (Johnny Depp or Gene Wilder, you choose) I would appeal to him to unearth some kind of magic cocoa bean supply. I would hope his Oompa Loompas would be the foot soldiers to this cause.

And the problem is, we can’t stock pile chocolate. Because that’s gross. I’ve tried. It’s unpleasant.

Chocolate will be the new drug trade. Empires will rise and fall. Tourists will be kidnapped in Swiss villas for their advent calendars.

This is serious folks.

We need to save the chocolate crops now. I don’t want some scientific GMO frankenchocolate. I want regular chocolate.

So China- listen up- back off the chocolate. Everyone- we need to ration this.

If we keep calm and don’t go crazy, perhaps the cocoa bean farmers will be able to catch up to our demand with their supply. Maybe 5 years is enough time to sound the alarm and solve this before it’s a problem.

Can we do this? I think we can.

KEEP calm and save the chocolate by frugalista blog, world chocolate shortage, humor

Huge Beauty Haul and a Holiday GIVEAWAY

I’m starting to get in the holiday spirit folks.

My house isn’t decorated  and I haven’t bought all the Gingerbread Cookie scents at Yankee Candle – yet, but I sure am getting excited.

I’m cleaning up my house, I’m purging things we don’t need anymore, I’m doing stretching exercises and deep lunges to fit into my Christmas Sweater onesie.

I have also been shopping. And trolling the beauty websites for what is going to be the best and greatest beauty product extravaganza selection womankind has ever known.

Frugalista Blog Beauty Haul Benefit Giveaway Surprise,

I might need to tone it down just a bit, what do you think?

Well, get your peppermint mocha, sit your butt down and watch this video. Then come on back and enter to win something super duper special. That’s right. I said ‘super duper’.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If Kim Kardashian can break the Internet, so can I

Actually DID Kim break the Internet? I know she sure tried.  When one posts a naked booty shot all greased up, it kind of gets folks’ attention.

When I first heard about it, I totally rolled my eyes into my head. It was all over my Instagram feed and it didn’t take long for the crazy captions to start.

That Kimmy sure knows how to get our attention!

If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about!

Wait for it…. Trust me. I’ll get there.

My first thoughts whenever Kim does something like this is ‘oh puhleeze, She’s always trying to get attention.”

And then, a light bulb clicked on.

“I’M ALWAYS TRYING TO GET ATTENTION TOO!”

I mean, right? I post goofy selfies, I promote the books I’m in, I put up YouTube videos. I write sponsored posts. I have a big posterior.

I haven’t gotten a perfume deal or a TV show, or even a million followers on Instagram, but I have gotten free curling irons, dog food, gift cards and Poise pads.

See? Me and Kim, were totally the same. Sort of. Just trying to make a buck.

And now, presenting how Kim #BroketheInternet.

Trust me, if my UPS man came knocking that day, he would have gotten a surprise.

I think I can say #frugiedismantledtheinternet

Noticed her oiled physique and my pasty dimpled one?

See her tiny itty bitty (photoshopped) waist, and look at my muffin top- they’re like twins.

Maybe I can get a champagne company to pay me to put a glass on my booty shelf like she did. You’ll have to Google that image, I’m too busy sitting here promoting my Amazon Affiliate store.

What am I thinking? I’ll be lucky if a toaster pastry company wants my booty in their ad. Well, it would be truth in advertising though.

Looking good Kim!

Kim Kardashian breaks the internet, frugie dismantles the internet, parody, spoof, humor, frugalista blog

 

Thank you to the talented Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying who did my graphic!

 

The Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project- and there’s a prize in it for you

I’ll never forget. Last year heading out for my holiday food shopping, there was a man on the corner holding a cardboard sign, it read, “hungry, I would love leftovers.”

It broke my heart. I was heading off to Whole Foods for some fancy vegan somethingorother and probably some organic wine and a freaking pear tart and this man is hoping for a plate of leftovers.

I ate my dinner that Thanksgiving thinking of him and if I could just bring him a plate. But I didn’t.

It was logistically impossible that day anyway.

But I always felt like I didn’t do enough. Like I chickened out.

I do a lot mind you. Well, I’m charitable anyway. I sponsor a woman in a developing country to give her work skills and job support for her family. I give to my church, I give to my PTSA, I give to my food banks and clothing banks. I write checks all the time.

But I always feel like it’s never enough. Because I know there’s still people out there that are hungry. That are cold.

I was reading magazines at the dentist’s and doctor’s offices this week while waiting for the kids at their appointments. All the issues have Thanksgiving recipes, table settings, center piece displays, pictures of pie. It’s so enticing.

I couldn’t help but think we are such a funny country to make such a huge deal over one meal. Sure other countries have celebrations and the food is paramount to the gathering, but Thanksgiving is all ABOUT THE MEAL! It really is truly. I mean right? The pilgrims are celebrating their harvest. And no, I’m not going into the typhus blankets they gave the Native Americans. Or how about the fact that most Native Americans now living on reservations couldn’t even afford a Thanksgiving dinner? Okay…. another day we’ll talk about that.

Reading Facebook statuses talk about the days ahead of preparations. The thawing the turkey, the making stock from the turkey parts. It takes DAYS. Pinterest is loaded with stuffing recipes. Stuffed.

I love food. I love eating. I love good food. The kind Martha or Julia would cook. My mom kicks ass at these holiday meals. She browns the stock, she makes the dressing, she brines the bird, she makes the richest darkest gravy you can get from a fowl. It’s amazing. Even the freaking green bean casserole out of a can is delicious. She is magic. Well, she’ll tell you it’s not magic. It’s hours of laborous (sp?) prep.

I tell her if we ate toast with popcorn on it like Charlie Brown, I’d be happy. And it’s true. Because we have an embarrassment of riches.

What is my point? Well, my point is- if you think you’ve not done enough, then go out there and do more.

There is always someone hungry, someone lonely, or someone cold. I won’t ever be content until I’ve reached out to as many as I can.

This year I haven’t seen that man again with the sign. But if I do, I’m bringing him something.

And I pray you always have enough. Spread the love my friends.

The above was previously posted last Thanksgiving.

I wanted to share with you again this year so that I could let you all know about the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project. I’m proud to be teaming up with this project that has fed thousands of families since its start 3 years ago.

Today is an important day so that families can be matched with donors in time for Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, we’re teaming up with some of our favorite brands to help feed 100 families through the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project. And we’re giving away a Kindle Fire!
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Join Our Mission

From helping to spread the word to making a donation to feed families, there are several simple ways to join our mission!

1. Spread the Word on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook, click here to share our message from the Boogie Wipes Facebook page.
Or – just copy and paste this onto your wall:
I’m joining the Fresh Families mission and helping to feed 100 families for Thanksgiving through the Scary Mommy Project. Click here to see how you can help too! #Feed100Families http://www.boogiewipes.com/?p=615

2. Spread the Word on Twitter

Copy and paste this as a tweet
Enter to win a Kindle Fire & help feed 100 families for Thanksgiving http://ctt.ec/bDUhf @ScaryMommy @BoogieMom! #Feed100Families Or – just CLICK HERE TO TWEET THIS

3. Spread the word On Instagram

If you’re on Instagram, like our photo here.

Or post this image and use this description:
I’m joining the Fresh Families mission to feed families this Thanksgiving through the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project. Visit boogiewipes.com/thanksgiving-project to learn how you can help! #Feed100Families
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4. Give if You Can

Visit the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project and donate if you can. (Even $1 can help to feed a family!) The Fresh Families brands will match your donations (up to $5,000) to support families in need this Thanksgiving, so every dollar you donate provides $2 to help feed a family.

5. Enter to Win

As a special thank you for joining our mission to feed families this Thanksgiving, we’re giving away a Kindle Fire with Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays and a $50 Amazon gift card to one grand prize winner. Three additional winners will receive prize packs full of Fresh Families products.
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Enter your contact information below to enter and receive special offers and coupons from theFresh Families Brands.

Thank you for joining our mission to feed families this Thanksgiving!

We wish you and yours a month full of laughter, joy and giving thanks! Thank you!

Family of Brands

Learn more about our family of brands and the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project here:
Scary Mommy | Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus | Boogie Wipes | Fresh Families | Dreft Home | Kandoo

Don’t sabotage your parenting partner

don't sabotage your parenting partner, frugalista blog, parenting styles, different parenting techniques, when your spouse and you parent differently

You know I love giving McSweetie a hard time. I rib him constantly on his lack of finesse when it comes to loading the dishwasher or when he puts food garbage in the recycle bin. That makes me SO STABBY! But I move on. I step away and don’t smother him with a pillow, because I’m nice like that.

But what I have learned over our married life is to not sabotage his parenting. It truly comes down to sometimes just biting your tongue.

Now that the kids are older, we parent together but differently and over different things. Not like in the olden days when there were bedtime routines to struggle with, or sleeping habits of a toddler to argue over, or what to do with a whiny child and how long the time-out should be.

I look back on those days though and remember they were a struggle. Parenting was more physical, more taxing. Now I feel emotionally drained as a parent. Helping my daughter through heartbreak or anxiety over teen stuff is more of a thing around here than whining over a cookie before dinner or struggling with a preschooler during naptime.

Sometimes I get attitude from Owen. He seems to be in a confused place of little boy on the brink of teenhood but with surging emotions and he has even said to me, “I just don’t have words and all I can do is cry!”  Sometimes I want to go soft on him and James will want to be the tough guy on him.

So sure, we differ on our parenting styles, like most parents do.

But of all the things to do with your spouse and disagreeing over how you parent your kids, try not to fall in these sabotage scenarios that will only set a lit match into a powder keg.

Number 1. Probably the most important of all. Do not say, “He never does that around me. What do you do when you’re with him?” Another version of this is, “Why does she always act like that when you’re around?”

Kids behave differently for different people. Even their parents. This is true especially with grandparents. Sometimes the primary caregiver gets more ‘stuff’ thrown at them when they’re with the children day in and day out.

So maybe if you see the kids mostly in the evenings and the weekends, your time with them is different than how they are at school or during the day at home. Kids can be tired and spent from trying to behave in front of teachers all day. Or maybe the stuff you get to do on the weekends is fun and the kids get to let off steam around you. Obviously they are going to act and feel different during those times.

Number 2. Don’t say ‘shut up‘ around the kids to each other or to them.

I firmly believe in this. It has been a rule in our house since the day we were married. When you say shut up to someone it completely negates their validity. It takes away compassion in the argument, it tells the other person that no matter their pain or feelings, you don’t want to hear them. And you know what, it hurts feelings and cuts like a knife.

Number 3. Don’t belittle your spouse in front of your children. If you want to criticize something your partner does, by all means, go ahead. But don’t say it in front of your kids. Okay, well, say it in front of your kids but in a way you would want them to say it to their peers, or their superiors. Speak to your children the way you want them to speak to you. I’m guilty of saying something like, “How come you always do it wrong?” But if Emma talked to Owen that way, I would step in. So instead I should be saying, “I know how you do it gets the job done, but could we try my way to make it more efficient?”

Yes those are more words and more work. I know our fuses can be short. But isn’t this where our love, commitment and effort come into our relationship?

Number 4. Crop dusting your spouse with a task as you walk out the door. You know what I’m talking about. You’re heading out with your girls for the latest Benedict Cumberbatch film and you tell your husband, “Oh hey, while I’m gone, be sure Timmy learns to ride a two-wheeler, and Julie needs to build a rocket ship for the Science Fair.” I mean, maybe that was your husband’s plan while you were out of the house, but if you catch him off guard, he might feel a huge obligation he can’t meet, which puts him on the defense.

The fact of the matter is, your kids love both of you. Whether your spouse parents differently than you do, your children probably love you the same. Just like your spouse loves your children as much as you do. Different styles don’t mean different love.

Focus on that, take a lot of deep breaths and choose your words. And as much as you can, always choose kindness.

Thanks for this round of joining me as Dr. Phil. I try to keep it real folks.

I want to hear about the parenting landmines you try to avoid, share them in the comments or email them to me!

 

 

Conversations with old married people

Effective communication is the touchstone of a good relationship. Listening to what the other person has to say. Actually hearing their words and not just spouting off when you want to hear yourself speak, but actually letting the other person tell you what’s on their mind.

Sometimes it takes a teenager to point out what you might be missing in this area. Sure, you’ve been married 17 years, your daughter is only 14, what could she possibly know? Apparently she just has better hearing.

It’s Sunday evening. We’re both with blankets on our laps, laptops on those blankets and on separate couches.

 

Me while sipping peppermint tea, shouting to McSweetie in the other room: “You can come in and watch football now. I’m done with my show.” (That show happened to be Les Miserable.)

McSweetie: “That’s okay, me and the cat are here napping.”

Me: “Why are you taking a nap at 8′oclock at night?”

McSweetie: “I’m norphn nea bate gluck”  (I don’t know, I couldn’t hear him.)

 

Emma walks in.

“That was the dumbest thing between you two just now. When you asked dad if he wanted to come in and watch football he said, ‘I’m hanging out with the cat’ and then you said something about taking a nap, and then he said ‘what time is it? It’s 8 o’clock’.

“You guys are the worst old people and you’re not even that old.”

Oh didn’t you know? Forty is the new seventy.

40 is the new 70 by Frugalista Blog

 

Beauty favorites for the month of October

It’s another month gone and more beauty products bought. Find out what my faves were for the month and let me know if you have some too.

Also, stay tuned for the end of the video when I talk about my latest ‘cure’ for Restless Leg Syndrome. If you suffer from this, you’ll want this product!

 

October Beauty Favorites 2014  Frugalista Blog

Big or small, old or young, I’m letting them all have the fun.

Just a short message from me today.

There has been so much discussion, blogs, and articles about the appropriate age for trick or treating. When are kids too old? What’s the cut off age?

Well, isn’t it funny how we constantly point out that the kids today seem to be leaving childhood behind so quickly? Whether it’s how they dress, use social media, are exposed to sex and violence, etc.

So on this holiday of fun and child’s play, let’s let the kids be kids. Whether they are 5 or 15.

If someone comes to my house in a costume and politely says ‘Trick or Treat” I will give them candy. If they look like they probably drove here with their friends in their dad’s car, that’s okay.

My kids are 11 and 14. Our neighborhood is one of those neighborhoods families drive to to take their kids door to door. It’s busy and bustling, kids and families are out in packs. My kids are trick or treating.

Emma, 14, is heading out with a group of her friends. And I’m certain that because they will handle themselves appropriately, they will get candy at every door they knock on.

Owen is with a bunch of kids age 11 to 14. They will go door to door as well.

Because they are all still kids!!

My friend Jen over at Real Life Parenting said that when a teenager comes to her door without a costume and seems to expect candy, she tells them they can have the candy but after they sing a song or do a dance. It makes great entertainment around their friends!

I love that idea. Remember the old, old, old days where Halloween was more tricks? Kids soaping windows, building bon fires in the middle of the town square, throwing flour on folks? Okay, I watch a lot of old movies and Little House.

So I’m letting the kids be kids. Everyone gets candy here.

Of course, it might be some leftover Easter candy or last year’s candy, but hey- Tricks on you!

Happy Halloween.

Be safe.

Frugie Halloween Let the kids trick or treat