CrazyBusy Mama! (Dot Calm) » A Few Quick, Frugal, and Fun (and Very Last-Minute) Halloween Ideas

Need Last Minute Halloween Ideas?

A Frugal Costume...Quick?


For money-saving, last minute tips

(and a fun story!)...


Crazy Busy Mama! (Dot Calm)

To get there just click the link below!


An Upcycled Christmas - PSFK


No one has to tell Frugalites like you and me that

Christmas gift-giving needn't be about spending lots of money

and buying the latest hot trend!

That being said,

it seems that our philosophy

may be...

catching on!

Folksy (a kind of UK based Etsy)

and Sue Ryder Care (a health care charity) are running a competition

called Upcycle Christmas.

The goal of the contest is to

transform second hand goods into

fresh new creations suitable for holiday gift-giving.


While this competition is geared toward (but not limited to)

those living in the UK,

it's lovely to know that there is a thought-shift taking place.

Who knows...

Perhaps Etsy will be next?!!


If you would like to learn more please click the link below:


'Tis the Season for Another Book Give-Away!!

Enter to win by subscribing to this blog and leaving a comment below (it needn't be long :)!

If you care to share a favorite holiday idea or two, we LOVE LOVE LOVE to read them, as always.

P.S. We're also giving away our first volume of Frugal Luxuries
on our other blog--just click HERE to see how easy it is to enter that one too!


Please Feel free to... enter BOTH contests!!

This was my intention when posting them at the same time (doubles your chances to win!)!!


We will be choosing our winners NEXT SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST and announcing them on the 2nd!!

Oh... Just...One more thing...

Please know that you're more than welcome to LINK to this page (or any pages on the blogs)!! We appreciate your sharing, support and kindnesses very much. x0x


Celebrate Holidays with Elegance & Simplicity -- On Any Budget

Celebrating Gracious Moments

"To invite a person into your house is to take charge of his happiness

so long as he is under your roof."

--Samuel Johnson


The ancient Roman philosopher Seneca

set a table of humble yet delicious foods before his friends

and asked...

"When shall we live if not now?"


Do not wait for that longed-for

someday to savor the blessings of Celebration.


The house need not be perfectly decorated or tidy...

the china...

& silver

need not match...

the foods do not have to be grand or expensive.


All that is necessary to pleasantly enjoy the company of family and friends is to...



This affection will be made visible

in thoughtfully prepared foods presented in a warm and inviting setting.

The text above are excerpts borrowed from the books Frugal Luxuries, 1997, Bantam Books, NY

and Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons, 2000, Bantam Books, NY. Written by Tracey McBride.



FREE Printable Pumpkin Stencils...


Better Homes and Gardens site is offering Free Printable Pumpkin Stencils!!

I love the look as well as the idea behind a stenciled pumpkin!

Not only can it save time, because you don't have to cut and carve it,

a stencil simplifies the task of cooking your pumpkin

once you're finished using it as a decoration!

(It also gives the gift of time.

The nature of nature is...

once your pumpkin has been cut and carved

you will need to cook it within about 24 hours.)

We usually boil or roast our pumpkins after the autumn holidays have passed

to create our own pumpkin pack

for delicious homemade pies, pumpkin breads and cookies!

(Simply peel or pare off the painted section of skin before cooking...

we wash it off if the paint is water soluble or use a potato peeler or paring knife

if the paint is more durable.)

Use the FREE patterns to create cute -- or creepy -- pumpkins that will surprise your guests. Simply log in at (or register -- it's free), then open the PDF pattern and print. Size the pattern on a copier if needed. Tape it to your pumpkin and poke the outline of the pattern with a pin before carving your masterpiece!

Or... do as we do and paint within the stencil to create your design,

using non toxic paint such as Tempera

(the type preschoolers use)


a black magic marker!



(Once you're there, simply print our handy PDFs,

then size on a copier and transfer the design to your pumpkin and have fun!


"The Pleasures of Homemaking" Book Give-Away!

Photo: The Pleasures of Homemaking

Amazing Manuela is hosting a give-away
at her inspiring blog
The Pleasures of Homemaking

and I am honored that she chose one of my own books to be part of the give-away package!

To enter to win a copy of "Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons" and

Jonnie McCoy's fantastic and encouraging book,

"Miserly Moms"

just pop by and visit Manuela's blog and leave a little comment under

the give-away post.

While you're there,

I know you'll want to spend a lot of time browsing through

Manuela's creative and inspiring blog

but beware...

she has so many great ideas that her blog becomes addicting!!