Saturday, June 11, 2011

Something Frugal and Fun

Beautiful summer days can sure put you in a fun and festive mood, can't they? On one such day last week, the kids and I were driving back home from an afternoon out, and I thought it would be fun to stop at our local coffee shop and pick up some blended coffees for my husband and I to enjoy as a "mini-date" when he got home from work. But since we are working extra hard to discipline our spending , I remembered that I had some cappuccino mix at home. Surely I could use this to create some blended cappuccinos, and I would save about $10 and also save the stop with getting three boys out of the van, in the coffee shop, and back in the van and into car and booster seats.

Once home, I looked on the back of the cappuccino package from Sam's Club, and sure enough, there was a recipe for blended drinks. For one drink, use 1 cup ice, two scoops of powder, and 6 oz. of milk (I mixed in some flavored vanilla creamer too). I poured the drinks in cappuccino mugs I had picked up at Walmart for $1.50 each. It was a fun treat, and my husband appreciated the impromptu surprise and his wife's happy mood.

I'm sure you could easily do this with green tea, or regular coffee, as well, that has been brewed strongly. I think it would also be good with some of the flavored syrups you can pick up at Sam's and other stores. Just something a little out of the ordinary to create a moment to celebrate.

It doesn't have to be a coffee drink that you whip up to bring an air of joy to your home. In Family Fragrance: Practical intentional ways to fill your home with the aroma of love , Gail and Lois Ledbetter write:
"Laughter and enthusiasm are the glue that make fragrance stick together. Without merriment, family life is staid and stale. Most parents are all too familiar with the downward spiral family morale can take. It usually begins with an ungrateful spirit or an attitude of unthankfulness somewhere, and will drive any parent to the brink of insanity. But just as certain steps lead to the downward spiral, certain steps will create an upward spiral."

They define a home filled with merriment as an "atmosphere of enthusiasm coupled with uninhibited laughter and noise." Merriment makes the house fun! It is the opposite of an environment marked with boredom; morale is generally high; the house is lively, and there is animated laughter. Moments with merriment help us get through the hard times.

The authors suggest asking family members for their ideas of what they find fun to do as a family. Then, you can write these on slips of paper and put them in a "paper cookie jar" and draw one out when you need a little pick-me-up.

So today, I encourage you to find at least one practical way you can bring a little more merriment to your home.

Here are some ideas:
  • If you have daughters, what about at-home pedicures?
  • A picnic on the lawn
  • Fill up a kiddie pool and play, or go to a local pool
  • A bike ride
  • Play a game
(linked to Frugal Friday)

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