Gobble Gobble: Countdown to Thanksgiving w/ Turkey Feathers!

Countdown to Thanksgiving!

Want to try this craft out? Be sure to Pin it! Pin It

We sat down this morning to make our Thanksgiving Countdown calendar! Similar to our Witch Hair Countdown to Halloween, the kids will pull off a feather each day until Thanksgiving.

I made this with some scrapbook paper I found for dirt cheap! You could even use actual craft feathers as well or just plain construction paper.

It was super easy to make and I know we’ll enjoy it all month long!

I found (after doing the countdown to Halloween) that countdown calendars like this are a great way to really build up anticipation and also to talk about what the holiday means and why we celebrate it! If you make one, upload it to the Family Friendly Facebook wall so I can see it!

Found on Pinterest: Ghost Peep S’mores Halloween Favors!

I’m obsessed with Pinterest. Obsessed.

I’m not the only one. 

My friend Alissa is doing a great series on 31 days of Pinterest with a “special nod to potential holiday gift-giving”. 

Bloggers all throughout the blogosphere are finding inspiration and making friendships via this social media eye candy gallery every day. 

It’s genius and I love it. 

I’ve decided that every once in a while, whenever the mood strikes, I will “pay forward” something awesome I’ve found “pin-worthy”. 

So enjoy! (and be sure you are following me on Pinterest!)


I need to make sure I can actually find these ghost peeps…but if I can? These are SO the Halloween gifts for my kids classmates! I’m so excited!

UPDATE: So it does not appear that the blog this originated on is “public” anymore.

It’s fairly self explanatory though just by looking at the picture:

You need: 

cellophane bags (or just snack size ziploc bags)


graham crackers broken in half (into a square shape)

fun size Hershey’s milk chocolate bars

Ghost Peeps


Bag ’em up!


Family Blog Fun: Cottonball Counting

Family Friendly Frugality

Today we wanted to work on counting a bit. Noah can count pretty well, but Lizzie is still learning. This activity is very very simple, but very effective.

Cottonball Counting!


  • cotton balls
  • paper bag
Place the cotton balls into the bag. Ask the child to reach in and take out a handful of cotton balls. Count each cotton ball out loud. For older children, ask them to get as many cotton balls as possible and challenge them to grab more and more each time. 
This activity is good for counting, but also can be considered a sensory activity. It also teaches frugality by showing us how to have fun and utilize the things around our own homes!

I got the inspiration for this activity from here.

Want to learn a bit more about Family Friendly Frugality? First subscribe to FREE daily emails. Next, learn more about our family blog by reading our about me post or read the popular series Our Story. Or jump in head first and learn how to save money grocery shopping, play the drugstore game, or catch up on the hottest deals!

Tot Tuesday: Printable Activities

Proudly Displayed on the Fridge!

My son has recently started begging for homework. I’m being serious! The Mother’s Day Out he attends has a work sheet based curriculum and to my surprise, all of a sudden he loves doing them! Our printer has been put to good use lately printing out printable activities for him to complete.

Printable activities are a good, frugal way to have fun with your kids without spending money on pricey workbooks or homeschooling curriculum. There is so much available for FREE online!

My Favorite Printable Activity Websites

Here are some of my favorite printable websites:

Encourage a love of learning in your children from an early age! Don’t make them do worksheets if they don’t want to and don’t push them to follow the directions exactly. Exposure to educational activities is often enough to encourage interest!

Proof is in the Pictures!

Waiting for his printable to print out!
The green squiggles up top are his name!
Color by numbers from a 3 1/2 year old

I hope you enjoyed this Tot Tuesday post. Tot Tuesday is a recurring series on Family Friendly Frugality. Come back every Tuesday to join in the fun!

Want to learn a bit more about Family Friendly Frugality? First subscribe to FREE daily emails. Next, learn more about our family blog by reading our about me post or read the popular series Our Story. Or jump in head first and learn how to save money grocery shopping, play the drugstore game, or catch up on the hottest deals!

Kids Activity: Memorize Your Phone Number

One of the skills we are trying to work on right now is memorizing our phone number. I found this awesome activity from Toddler Toddler.

You print out the numbers and cut them out. We put them in order and would “push” the numbers every time we would say them. They suggest making a different animal noise for each number, let me tell you…that was a hoot! The kids loved this activity. Noah is well on his way to having our phone number memorized. Lizzie is still learning to recognize the numbers on their own, and this activity helped with that as well.

I’d say this activity could be fun for 18 months and up!

Want to learn a bit more about Family Friendly Frugality? First subscribe to FREE daily emails. Next, learn more about our family blog by reading our about me post or read the popular series Our Story. Or jump in head first and learn how to save money grocery shopping, play the drugstore game, or catch up on the hottest deals!

Tot Tuesday: Get Your Dance On

Earlier today I was surfing around my favorite blogs and came upon this post on Shibley Smiles. Colleen has lost over 40 lbs since April 2010 by simply eating better and moving more. She’s an inspiration to me, because as simple as eating better/moving more sounds…it’s a very difficult concept for me.

I was getting ready to sit down and write my regularly scheduled Tot Tuesday post, when my son asked me to dance(Pillowcase dress tutorial…I’ll post it next week!). Usually this just consists of a quick boogie around the living room with each kid getting jealous when I picked up the other to dance.

Today though, I was inspired. I picked a Dance-y type station on Pandora and cranked it up.

We danced for a good 30 minutes straight! There was no jealousy, because I wasn’t in a hurry to finish (like I normally am). While dancing, I realized that not only is the dancing in itself, exercise. You can also incorporate intention exercise into your dancing (I don’t recommend this on a public dance floor.) I incorporated:

  1. squats
  2. lunges (side and front/back)
  3. deadlifts
  4. bicep curls (I used a 27lber for this one: my daughter)
  5. aerobic moves (which is pretty much all dancing is!)
Can you even imagine a more perfect fun, free activity to do with your kids?
  • it involves exercise
  • it involves physical contact
  • lots of laughing if done right!
  • a great social experience!
  • memories that will last forever!
So next time your kids ask you to dance, don’t just waltz them for a second or two. Crank up the tunes and get your bodies moving and grooving! If it seems simple, that’s because it is. The best things in life usually are!

DIY Paint Pasta Necklace Craft For Kids!

DIY Paint Pasta Necklace Craft

A fun and easy craft for all age levels! Make this DIY Paint Pasta Necklace Craft For Kids! This craft idea might seem simple, but your kids will love it! This is a great craft for your kids to make gifts for their loved ones.

So my son LOVES to paint. My daughter is less than enthused over painting, but my son would paint all day long if I let him (let’s face it though, painting requires a lot of vigilance and sometimes the dishes need to get done, blogs need to be posted, kids need to be fed…).

Painting on paper is fun, but painting on something out of the ordinary is EXTRA fun for a 3 year old.

Today I decided that I wanted something that would require a bit more precision and use of fine motor skills rather than broad brush strokes. So I pulled out the pasta!

Related: DIY Make Your Own  Play Dough Recipe

To make these diy paint pasta necklaces, you don’t need much in the way of supplies, and most likely you already have everything on hand:

*Paint (I used the Dixie cups to pour the paint into) You could use my diy make your own paint recipe for this!
*Paintbrushes or qtips (I like q-tips for this project because it allows for more precision with little hands, but always be careful when giving q-tips to kids!)
*Pasta (penne or ziti work best, penne has those neat grooves though!)
*Knitting needle (not pictured above…pictured later)

Start off by showing your little one how to paint the pasta. Give them a few to paint and let them have at it

Next let the pasta dry. My little guy did not want to stop painting so I handed him some paper and let him paint away while the pasta dried.

Once the pasta dries, cut a piece of yarn long enough to easily slip on and off over your child’s head. Thread the yarn through the yarn needle.

Take one piece of pasta and push over the needle and toward the end, leaving a bit of a tail. Tie the tail with the remaining yarn on the other side like this:

Make sure the needle is threaded through the yarn and hand your anxious child the needle (soft plastic only!!!) and show them how to thread the pasta onto the yarn. Depending on their age and dexterity, you might have to help a lot or a little with this.

My little guy had no problem putting the pasta on the needle, but he needed a bit of help knowing when to change his hands from below the pasta to above so he could slide it down.

When your little one is done, tie a loose knot at the end and slip it over their head (always watch your child when they are wearing anything around their neck and don’t allow them to wear this or any necklace unsupervised!).
Of course, my son refused to wear it. Tried to get my daughter to wear it and she wasn’t too pleased either.

At least we had fun making it!

You can find this and other arts and crafts in the tab on top of my blog labeled DIY Arts and Crafts

If you make this diy paint pasta necklace, let me know! And if you blog about it, link me! It’s not exactly a new concept, but it’s a lot of fun!

Fun and Easy Make Your Own Play Dough Recipe

Make Your Own Play Dough Recipe

Check out this fun and easy make your own play dough recipe for kids! Slime is all the rage nowadays, but kids still love Play Dough! Mom will love this non crumbly, made from ingredients you already have on hand, non stinky play dough recipe! Hurry and make this play dough with your kids. It is an awesome sensory activity no matter what your age!

I detest the smell of Play Doh. I remember disliking it even when I was a little girl and I loved playing with it myself.

When I was newly pregnant with my daughter, I almost had to leave working in the church nursery because the kids were playing with play doh and the smell just overwhelmed me.

Not to mention…it’s crumbly, it sticks to your carpet, it goes dry very easily, it can be expensive (although if you are in the market for the real deal…this is a GREAT price right now!)!

The early childhood educator in me knows that there are many benefits to the creative play that play dough offers:

Play dough (and other art materials)

Any early childhood educator will tell you: The benefits of play dough are enormous. Not only does it give children a chance to get creative, it’s also great for small-motor-skills’ development (hand/finger muscles) and can be soothing in times of stress (think of the corporate executive’s squeeze ball)

So I was on the hunt for a make your own play dough recipe that wasn’t crumbly, was easy for my kids little hands to manipulate, and was low cost.

Related: Make Your Own Paint Recipe! Homemade Doodle Paint

I tried many different recipes. Some were rock hard, some started to go bad after only a day or two, and some required ingredients I don’t typically have on hand.I stumbled upon this recipe, and with some slight tweaks, it’s the best one I’ve found yet.

The consistency of the play dough is more soft and pliable than commercial play doh and it’s very easy for little hands to manipulate. It lasts a LONG time too.

Related: Fully Stock Your Arts & Crafts Closet On A Budget! 

Make Your Own Play Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tarter
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • food coloring


  1. Mix all ingredients (add food coloring last)*.
  2. Stir over medium heat until smooth.
  3. Remove from pan, let cool slightly, and knead until blended and smooth.
  4. Store in a plastic bag or airtight container when cooled.


*I added food coloring during the kneading process. I also found the dough was way too sticky while kneading and added a good bit of flour until I got the consistency I wanted.
You don’t need fancy toys to play with play dough, cookie cutters, plastic knives work fine (age appropriate of course).
However, you might check out this fun play dough accessory kit. It is very well priced and will last forever!

I Learned How To Sew By Teaching Myself!

You Can Learn How To Sew Too!

Did you know? I learned how to sew by teaching myself AND how you can teach yourself how to sew too! Find the resources and beginner projects that make teaching yourself to sew super easy and fun.

Why I Taught Myself How To Sew

When I had my daughter I knew I was in trouble. My first child is a boy. Boys are so easy to shop for. You buy shorts and pants, shirts and shoes. Simple. We found out we were having a girl around 22 weeks into my pregnancy with my daughter.

Related: How to Find Boys Clothes for Cheap! 

I still remember the awe I felt the first time I walked into babies r us after learning the news. There was a part of the store I always ignored. The girl part. All those pretty pink clothes and ruffles and bows.

Well now I saw them, and I could not contain my glee. I think my husband had a bit of fear in his eyes, but he seemed excited too.

Luckily, everyone buys clothes for a girl (we got barely any clothes for our boy when he was born? Girl clothes are more fun to buy I guess!).

So we had oodles and oodles of clothes for our daughter until she was around 10-12 months. I didn’t shop much for her during that time since we were barely getting one wear out of all the clothes she had been gifted.

I decided that I wanted her to wear a very special outfit for her 1st birthday party. I went to a boutique and almost cried when I saw a simple appliqued onesie (learn how to applique!) on sale for $30. I looked at some of the cute outfits I’d seen girls wearing around the Mother’s Day Out I taught at. Price tags of $100 and up.

I could not do it. I went home determined that I would make her birthday outfit. I had had several attempts to sew in the past and I simply wasn’t patient enough for it. But this time I was determined.

How I Taught Myself How To Sew

I told myself it was okay if I messed up and that even if I did I had to keep trying. I was determined to learn how to sew and I was adamant about it!

I had a lot of failure. I’m not going to lie, there were a lot of tears and yes…there was even some blood! (have you ever pinned yourself? It’s not fun….)

RELATED: Sew Your Own Clothing For Your Children

However, I did it! Success! I had taught myself how to sew and fulfilled my desire to have my daughter wear something special and unique for her birthday. I have made her MANY outfits since then, and even made outfits for others.

I actually started a small business venture (very small!) out of my newfound talent. I took something that I had previously failed at and made failure not an option. And best of all, I excelled at it!

We all have that desire to do something that has tripped us up in the past. Maybe we weren’t patient enough, maybe we didn’t’ have the right materials or the right attitude towards it. With a bit of persistence though, I truly believe that you (and me!) can do anything you set your mind to.

How You Can Teach Yourself To Sew

I have written several articles over learning how to sew, but be sure to check this one out:

Learn How To Sew – Where to Start? 

Also, check out these beginner learn to sew projects!

DIY Nap Mats

Upcycling Old Clothes! 

How to Make A Peasant Dress

How to Make Basic Wide Leg Pajama/Boutique Pants

How to Sew A Ruffle Dress

How to Applique

Repurpose Old Jeans into Boutique Ruffle Jeans! 

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