I went to Barnes and Noble tonight for a little escape from the house and kids. I picked myself up a magazine to bring home and peruse later tonight while having a glass of wine to relax. I went to the checkout line and there were a bunch of tables lining the checkout area. Some books for Mother’s Day coming up and a table of 50% Kids Easter books. I saw the big red 50% off sign so I thought I’d pick up a couple for the kids. Usually the same books back in the kid section are $3-4 so I figured I could get one for each kid for that since they were half off. I flipped one over and I guess because they were specialized for Easter, they were all originally priced $7-8. So I might as well have just gotten non-Easter books for that price. I passed.

Hidden under a couple of the kid books was a book that someone obviously decided against buying at the last minute and stashed there. It was Frugal Living For Dummies. There were claims on the front of the book that it would teach you to live simply and frugally. Ha. How about start by not paying $17 for a book to teach you to be frugal? I was glad to see that it didn’t actually make it to the checkout counter and get purchased. How silly.

I stumbled upon a golden opportunity to start teaching my 3 year old a valuable life lesson yesterday. We started a new little weekly tradition of spending Sundays with my parents. They live about 45 minutes away so we start off our drive at the local Barnes & Noble, pick up a latte for me, a cappuccino to bring my mom and the NY Times for all of us to read when we get there and then head off on our drive. Yesterday, Drew was holding onto a new pair of sneakers I bought her for when we are out there. My parents have 6 acres of land with woods and we spend most of our time there outdoors so she has been in need of new sneakers for trudging around out there. She had the box in her hands and took the lid off and was playing with the sneakers, then tried to put them back in the box and put the lid on. But she couldn’t get the sneakers into the box properly so the lid wasn’t going on right. She FLIPPED OUT in frustration, screamed, threw the box and shoes down, folded her hands across her chest and started glaring out the window. I watched all of this in the rear view mirror as I drove.

Usually, the 45 minute drive each week is my time to reflect on my life and the things around me and I spend it either thinking of the things I’m happy with that I’m changing daily within myself or think of things that I need to keep working on. This week, as a result of the incident with Drew, I decided to use that time to talk to her about some stuff in life.

I stopped her from screaming and asked her to take deep breaths while I counted to 10. This is our way that we get her to calm down regularly and she responds really well to it. She immediately calmed down and I proceeded to talk to her about how sometimes things don’t work how we want them to but we can choose to either throw a fit and scream about it and be mean and negative or we can slow ourselves down, look at the situation calmly and work on a solution. Frustration is a normal emotion. The reason she was having problems and got frustrated was that instead of changing how she was trying to put the shoes in the box, she just kept doing the same thing that wasn’t working and it, surprise, kept not working!

After slowing down and calming herself down, she picked up the box, tried putting the shoes in a different way and they went in properly and the lid went on as it should. Smiles all around. And she proclaimed “It worked! I tried harder and it worked! I’m happy and having fun now!”

Exactly.

Things aren’t always how we want them to be in life. We may expect something to happen one way and when it doesn’t we can either keep forcing something that doesn’t work or we can try something new and find a way that makes life happy and fun for us. Being able to adapt to things without throwing a fit or becoming negative is the first step to finding a new way. It doesn’t have to be THE way. The beauty of individuals is that we all have a way that we see things working. What works for me may not work for the next person. And things that I see working for other people aren’t things that would work for me in my life. I can either try to force something that isn’t right or I can embrace the way I see and find the happiness and fun in it.

I feel good about the lesson I was able to start teaching my daughter when it came up yesterday. I don’t want her to think she has to do everything the way she sees others doing around her. I want her to think for herself, find the way that works for her and go with it. That is how she’ll find happy in her life.

I have decided to make a slight shift in my weekly roundup from Friday to Sunday from now on. Hope nobody minds! :)

There were some really fantastic reads from my reader this week that I have been itching to share with y’all. So, here goes…

Live Simply So That Others May Simply Live at The Good Human. This post is such a great reminder for why to live simply and to think about how our lives really can affect others if we make the right choices. Made me proud to be living a relatively simple life.

Debt as the American Way at Paid Twice. A scary look at the mindset of so many Americans today. Debt. Everyone’s doing it! Jump aboard! No thank you.

Alison at This Wasn’t in the Plan shared some excellent advice on Researching a Purchase. Very good information to keep in mind for those big purchases.

Frugal Dad shares a funny story about a frugal plumbing repair in DIY Plumbing Repair: Now I Know Why Plumbers are so Well Paid. Poor Harold must’ve been scared! Check out the riveting story now!

Along the very same lines, Lynnae at Being Frugal shared her Frugal Drain Fix. Which reminds me that Kyle@Rather Be Shopping is hosting a giveaway that I still need to participate in. Because we need more power tools around here :) Check it out and join in if you have a story to share! Drill Contest.

I love this post Personal Debts are the WORST at Mommy Gets Paid. Good food for thought. It’s nice to see debt makes others twitchy too!

Check out the free coffee giveaway at Rocket Finance Here. Just don’t win. I want it.

Over at Debt Smack I love this post about Create Your Own Vacation Home. This is a really great mindset to have for simplifying your home and everyday life so that you can relax and enjoy more. I just absolutely LOVE this!

Wide Open Wallet shared a Random Act of Kindness. So wonderful. I love being reminded that there are still thoughtful people out there who obviously appreciate the world and people around them enough to pay it forward.

Happy Easter to all. Hope the bunny brought you lots of jelly beans! :)

Happy Spring, everyone! In honor of the start of this lovely season, Angela at Cottage Magpie is hosting a little collaboration of posts on green from around the house, just like she did back at Valentine’s Day with the color pink. It was fun then and I found some green around here so I am going to participate again. Her post on Color: Green is so fabulous. I love all of her thrifted finds and the ability she has to make her stuff beautiful and inspiring. So check it out!

Here is my green from around here. First: a post on green would not be complete without sharing my green-ish couch :)
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And there’s my thrifted $2 green shelf that I just put up on the beachy wall I shared a couple of weeks ago
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At my entryway, there is a bowl that we use to throw our keys and cell phones and hubby’s wallet in. It was a wedding gift and is bright and cheery
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A couple other random green things around the house are the plant in the corner of my living room
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My cute little lemon tree
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One day this week, my lovely daughter went to do errands with her daddy and they brought me home a pretty pink flower. The little decorating diva that she is, she staged my coffeetable with it and a couple other finds around the house and it was just too cute not to photograph. So here is that as well
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So there is some green from around my home! If you want to participate all you have to do is a post of your own and link to Angela and then tell her your link and she’ll be rounding up all the posts together next week!

Happy spring!

Yesterday, I posted a list of 10 Things to Eliminate from Your Life Today. Today, I thought I’d share some things to make sure are part of your life for finding some semblance of happiness and sanity.

  1. Exercise – You don’t have to win an ironman, just start moving more.
  2. Time just for you - it doesn’t have to be extravagant, but setting aside even just 10 minutes with no distractions that is all for you to do what you please with no one else demanding anything of you, take it. Everyday.
  3. A hobby – if you don’t already have something that you love to do and is your way to escape, find something. And make sure you make time to do it.
  4. Good friends – no you don’t have to go out and make new ones. But connect with the ones you have. Put a smile on their face. Pick up the phone and say hello and that you are thinking of them. Keep them in your life to add value to theirs and yours.
  5. Risk-taking – be bold, take a chance, let go of your fear of failure and try something new!
  6. Experiences/travel – doesn’t have to be exotic. it could just be a daytrip to the next town over. Get out more and discover new to you things. Broaden your horizons.
  7. Positivity - keep a smile on your face, look on the bright side, appreciate what you have instead of what you don’t. Adding a positive perspective to your life will change you at the core quickly and you won’t ever want to go back to being negative.
  8. Organization – both your time and surroundings need to be organized in a way that suits you in order to be productive and reduce stress.
  9. A budget – if you don’t have one, get one and stick to it!
  10. Sleep – go to bed earlier. I struggle with this so much even though I know that when I get more sleep, I am happier, more relaxed, more focused and able to take on all the other things that add fulfillment to my life.

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