About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's De-baby-fy my Room

Over our Wednesday lunch date, my son informed me we were going to "de-baby-fy" his room this weekend. He said this with chocolate and ice cream all around his mouth.
"What does that mean," I asked? I thought his room was a perfectly acceptable 8-year-old's room.

"We have to get it ready for visitors," he said.  It seems a light blue plaid comforter is WAAAAAYYYY on the baby side. It had to be replaced immediately with camouflage.

"And it needs repainting," he said. I balked at that. I barely have time for all the domesticity as it is, and painting is not something I'm willing to add to the list right now. He agreed to keep "baby blue" walls for now.

I thought this whole "de-baby-fying" thing was going to be extra work for me. Turns out, when an 8-year-old is motivated, he can do amazing things.

Today, while I was writing away on my laptop in my office, across the hall I heard scuffling in his bedroom. Next time I looked, he had cleared the entire floor, put away all the toys in bins, hidden the bins out of sight, shelved all his books, vacuumed and dusted his room, AND CLEANED AND MOPPED THE BATHROOM adjoining his room.

Did you get all that?????????????????????

I have to beg for weeks just to get him to pick up one toy. Let me tell you, I was MIGHTY impressed.

"Let's de-baby-fy my room tomorrow," I said.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The March Book

OK...here's a first. I'm only going to be able to read ONE book this month. Even though we are only a handful of days into March, it appears I have too much on my schedule to get through more than one book. Swim practice, swim meet, Cub Scouts, PR projects, writing projects, washing dishes, vacuuming, cooking, anyone??

So here it is....
The Best of Friends: Martha and Me

The Best of Friends: Martha and Me

Were you expecting a thought-provoking best seller? Who knows, it could have been a best seller. Nevertheless.....I have always been enamored with Martha Stewart. Who else could pair housekeeping with cutthroat, kick-your-butt business acumen and make it seem both cool and easy?

This account is kind of a tell-all by one of her longtime best friends, Mariana, who it seems Martha tried to throw under the bus when she was on her way to prison (remember that?). If everything is as Mariana says, it makes you see Martha as a cold and calculating person behind the "It's a good thing" facade.

I'd recommend it for a good read - probably one step up from beach chick lit.

Happy reading always.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Keeping Groceries Affordable

Gas prices aren't the only things reaching for heaven these days. The price of groceries is continuing to climb. And yes, I know all about the power of coupons; however, some of us don't have all the time it takes to mount the massive couponing effort necessary to save considerable money on weekly groceries.

I do clip coupons, often matching them up with the Publix sales flyer. I spend about two hours a week searching, clipping, and pulling together the menu and grocery lists each week. And that's about all the time I have with my writing/PR business, homeschooling, cleaning, chauffeuring, and cooking duties all calling my name.

I've found a better way to save money at the store, and it often surprises me more people don't take advantage of it. I shop at ALDI. Check the web; I'm sure you can find one nearby.

They don't accept coupons and only take cash or debit cards, but that isn't usually a problem. Their prices are lower without coupons than the traditional grocery store with coupons. For example, bananas at Publix are $0.69/lb.; at Sam's Wholesale Club, they're $0.46/lb., and at Aldi, they're $0.39/lb.

I bought 8 oz. of cheddar cheese at Publix for $2.69; the next week, I bought the same product for $1.49 at Aldi. In fact, the previous month, Aldi's cheese was $1.79; the price on this product is dropping.

Publix brand cream of chicken soup costs $0.95; Aldi's costs $0.59.

I paid $2.93 for a small bag of Quaker rice snacks at Publix; the next week, I paid $1.99 for a larger bag of Aldi's cheddar cheese rice snacks.

Publix's fresh strawberries cost me $3.49; the same size container at Aldi cost me $2.49.

See what I mean? The same value as coupons but for those of us who are time (or patience) deprived.

The food is great, and I have always been satisfied with Aldi's quality. They even have non-food items on special from time to time. I bought a really great camouflage sleeping bag rated to -40 degrees Fahrenheit for Cub Scout campouts for $39. A steal!

I hope you can take this advice and save yourself some money this month.

Best of luck,