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2012: Tiddlywinks officially launches!

Welcome to the launch of Tiddlywinks!  A place to create, encourage and hope!

The start of a new year always feels like that brand new notebook with a clean, fresh page.  I’m always anxious about not wanting to write on that very first page unless it’s just right.  Like everything in life sometimes you just have to start somewhere and not wait until it’s perfect.

That’s definitely my weakness, not wanting to do something until I have it all figured out.  Well I don’t have this all figured out, but I knew it’s what I needed to do. So then why Tiddlywinks?

Bored end of summer days, restless for adventure my brother and I would go to mom, “We’re bored.”

She always answered, “Well, I’m sure I can find more chores for you to do.”

“No mom, I mean it, I’m really bored.”  Then she would tell us to go play tiddlywinks with man-hole covers. Her silly way of telling us to go use our imagination and find something constructive and fun to do.

So this is my space to use my imagination and create.  Me playing tiddlywinks.

When I am doing what God created me to do it feels as though my soul sings! Do you know that feeling? Do you have that one thing that when you do it, you know undoubtedly you were born to do?  Word, images, stories, books, pen and paper, creative projects yes these are things that make me come alive and then it happens, my soul sings.

So this is the space for my soul to sing, to create in a way I hope brings glory to God for the gifts he has given.  Maybe it will offer you some encouragement or hope or give you the inspiration  you need to go do the thing that makes your soul sing!

This year I hope you set out to find and do what makes your soul sing! I hope you’ll stop by from time to time and tell me what is making your soul sing!
What’s your first step?  What are the things you love to do?  

Simple Ways to Save Money

Simple Ways to Save Money

Use your library card!

I love the library. You can rent movies and books on tape.  You can check out music. Our local library sells past issues of magazines for .$50.  This is a great way to support your local library and not pay $5 for a magazine. I recently stumbled upon a great blog called The Great Read. She features something she calls Beautifully Balanced Collections from the library. She pairs together something to read, listen to, watch and cook. It will get your creative juices flowing and make you pull out that library card. She’s inspiring!

Save energy! 
We cut our monthly bill in half!  We contacted our electric utility provider and found out what the peak hours were in our area.  We try to run the dishwasher and do our laundry during non-peak times. We also adjusted our pool pump to run during non-peak times.  There always exceptions when you have a toddler and days when dirty laundry can’t wait. However, it is a great excuse to be able to say it was past 10 a.m. so it would cost too much to vacuum!

Eat in!
I can hear you, “But I don’t feel like cooking!”  Yes, we all have those days that’s why I try my best to plan ahead so it’s easy.  I once a month cook and put basics in my freezer so I can piece together a healthy meal.  If you don’t have time to once a month cook, make friends with the crock pot.  There are so many great healthy recipes out there and it always makes more than you need so you can invite friends over or bring a meal to someone.

Consignment Sales!
Our local area has a bi-annual consignment sale for children’s items.  When I was pregnant we spent $164.00 and bought brand new never used and barely used items that if we would have purchased brand new would have cost us over $1000. These are wonderful places to find clothes, books and toys too.  These are also great places to sell your gently used items if you don’t have someone to pass them on to or don’t need for another child.

Don’t say I can’t afford that! Coupon smart!
I used to think, “I can’t afford that brand of shampoo or food product. “ Now I realize I can often buy the better brand cheaper than what I usually pay for the cheap brand. Use sites like and  They do the hard work of figuring out the deals. I just have my Sunday coupons organized, search these sites, and make my list for the week. I’ll be doing a whole day devoted to this later this month.

Starting to save money in lots of places on your budget at once can seem overwhelming.  Pick just one or two of these this week and it will give you the momentum you need to get started. Set a goal for something you want to save towards: an emergency fund, a date night with your husband or a vacation.  If your financial situation calls for drastic measures, I’d love to suggest you check out

This week be a saving grace to your family and save money!
What are some things you do to save money for your family? I’d love to hear your ideas!