Fab Frugal Mama

Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Broken Foot #ThankfulThursday

Life has been a bit chaotic lately, so the last thing I needed was a broken foot.

But that's what I got anyway.  Sigh.

While there's never a good time to get laid up with an injury, I'm pretty sure doing it right before the start of March Break is one of the worst...and that's exactly what happened.

So, I struggled through the week with my kids. I was bummed out and feeling guilty that we were homebodies most of the time, when I'd much rather have been going on family adventures. I've never injured myself like this before; being so helpless and dependent on others kind of messed with my head. I was in a real funk.

Then I saw a post my friend Christine wrote, entitled "Thankful Thursday" which really inspired me.  I reminded myself that this was not the end of the world. It was okay to be frustrated, but I had to count my blessings. So I did.

A lovely surprise from my friend, Maya

And you know what? It helped a lot.  I vowed I would write a #ThankfulThursday post and link it up on her blog, Life on Manitoulin, so I am doing it today!

Having a broken foot has reminded me of how generous and supportive my friends and family are and how lucky I am to have them in my life. I want to send a shout-out of thanks to...
  • My husband, for being an amazing partner, but especially for being cook, chauffeur and more, without a single complaint, these past two weeks
  • My kids, for being understanding and considerate...and giving me extra hugs and kisses!
  • Maya, for the beautiful flowers that brightened my day and for always being a supportive, amazing friend
  • Janet, for the impromptu coffee dates that keep me sane and the many school drop-offs and pick-ups when I'm in a jam
  • Shannon, who so generously lent me her air cast, which is a vast improvement on the huge, clunky one I had (Yay, I can drive now - thanks!!)
  • My friend Christine, for inspiring this post
  • My fellow Moms at school who offer kind words of encouragement and commiserate with me :)
  • My friends who offered words of encouragement and concern when I ranted about my foot on Facebook ;)
I am truly thankful for so many things. I'd love to hear what you're thankful for. Happy Thursday!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Fisher-Price Little People: Timeless Classics {Giveaway}

When I was a kid, there were few toys that held my interest as long as the Fisher-Price Little People castle did. I fondly remember my sister and I playing with it for hours on end, the trap door and secret room being my favorite places to "hide" the characters.

Fast-forward 30-odd years and my kids' favourite was the Little People farm. They loved listening to the animal sounds while sending their characters down the silo. My son and daughter would race to see whose figure would make it through the silo first, just so they could get dropped again!

That was a few years ago, but I'm happy to say that I'll be passing the tradition on to my little nephew who was born last fall. I know he'll love the latest version of my kids' beloved toy - the Little People Animal Friends Farm - just as much as they did. And with eight sing-along songs, seven figures (including Farmer Eddie!) and a fold-up feature for easy storage, I think his parents will love it too.  :) 

The famous silo! ;)

Little People are truly timeless. In fact, my sister still has the castle and our kids often play with it together. And, when visiting my in-laws, my kids enjoy the vintage Little People bus their Daddy had as a kid.

Whether old or new, Little People toys continually surprise and delight. They offer the perfect opportunity for children to discover and explore the world in a way that's safe and comforting. They help kids lose themselves in play... to be transported to another world and get lost in their imaginations.

To me, that is the sign of a great toy, and I'm thrilled that Fisher-Price continues the tradition of making quality classics that can be enjoyed for generations.

Party Planning Alert!


If you love Little People as much as my family does, check out their fantastic party planning site created to help you throw a stress-free (and awesome!) party. It shows you ways to incorporate Little People sets into the party decor, which is both fab *and* frugal! (Because who wants to waste money on decorations that will just be thrown out, right?)


Win It!


Fisher-Price is giving away one Little People Animal Friends Farm to a lucky FFM reader!

Enter via the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway is open to residents of Canada only, aged 18+. See terms and conditions stated at bottom of entry form for further details. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

We've Got Frozen Fever!

Disney's Frozen is one of our family's favorites... it's in regular rotation on family movie night and the soundtrack is belted out from my 8-year-old's lips at least once a week (usually more!).

Needless to say, we are all fans of Frozen in our house, so we are thrilled to hear that the follow-up short film, Frozen Fever, can be seen exclusively in theatres with Disney’s new live-action version of Cinderella, opening on March 13. If you want a sneak peak, I've got it for you!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Taking Care of Your Skin: Winter Tips + Enter to Win!

I'm a bit of an addict when it comes to creams, lotions and potions (...and nail polish!). Having eczema means I'm always on the lookout for the best skin care products to soothe my dry, itchy skin and, more often than not, I end up at Shoppers Drug Mart to try out the latest products.

In turn, I'm super excited to be a Shoppers Drug Mart #GettheMostOutofLife Ambassador for the month of February! You may have noticed my recent social media posts, where I've shared tips and articles from their healthy living website.

One of my resolutions this year is to take better care of my skin, and there's a lot of helpful information and easy recommendations on the site to make this a no-brainer when it comes to reaching my goal.

Check out the site for yourself and, while you're there, enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card! I'm hosting a 3-day contest on the site, starting today. All you have to do is tell us what Life Brand products (or tips) you use to take care of your skin.

Enter here!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cute Valentines for Your Valentine {Free Printables!}

When it comes to Valentine's Day, what's not to love? ;)

My family will attest to the fact that I adore any reason to make stuff... crafts, party decorations, cupcakes and cookies - the list is endless. In the case of cupid's day, I heart making cute valentines.

So, if you find yourself scrambling for last-minute cards for your child's class, look no further.

I hope you enjoy these free, printable valentines - made with love from me to you! Simply click on the image below to download the PDF file. (You'll need Adobe Reader to open the file; you can download it here for free.)

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

First Birthday Party Planning Made Easy + DIY Hot Air Balloon Lollipops

I adore parties… from planning to execution. In fact, I tend to go a bit overboard, but when it’s that much fun, who needs more than four hours of sleep? (Kidding…)

From the moment my son or daughter picks a theme, I start planning and trawling Pinterest for the best cake ideas.

Each year, my kids tell me that *this* party is the best one yet! But then something happens, like when my daughter chose Frozen as her theme. The movie had just come out a few months prior and there was no Frozen-themed anything! No plates, cups, napkins, decorations... zip, zero, nada.

So, I had to get creative and design it all myself... which definitely isn't for everyone. It takes up a ridiculously huge amount of time and isn’t something I would have been able to do when the kids were smaller.

In fact, when I think back to my kids’ early birthdays, I remember spending my free time (henceforth known as time I should have spent sleeping) cobbling together the best parties I could muster. It would have been great if there were resources to make it a bit easier. 

Well, parents of today – rejoice!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Food Fiction

I came across an article on a Mom blog today that concerned me. 

It was a sponsored post for a snack item that, although described as "nutritious fuel" for kids, is clearly a treat. ("Chocolate-filled" doesn't make me think "nutritious"... you?) The dip recipe that accompanied it contained an entire container of Cool Whip Light. (This, alone, raises red flags for me; its two main ingredients are hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup. 'Nuff said.) It also listed a small amount of frozen fruit in the ingredient list, but it seemed almost token.

This product, with the dip, was described as being "a wholesome snack". 

I might sound like a judgey parent right about now, but here's the thing: