Turn Your House into a Ho(me)tel

~Originally posted on 7/8/09~

We have decided to take a staycation this year instead of taking a trip. We will be able to do a lot of local activities with the money that would have been spent on gas & lodging. I really want to make some fun memories for my family, so I’ve decided to turn our house into a Ho(me)tel.

Here are some of the fun ideas I want to try:

~ Towel Origami Our towels might be too thick to do this for each child, so I think I will buy a thin white towel & just leave a different animal on the bathroom sink every morning.

~Fold the ends of the toilet paper into a point (each night) or try my hand at toilet paper origami

~ Put a basket of small soaps & shampoo samples in the bathroom

~ Label bedroom doors with hotel numbers

~ Make Do Not Disturb Doorknob Hangers

~ Get breakfast ready the night before with these yummy Bed & Breakfast Recipes

~ Offer a wake-up call to my daughter’s cell phone

~ Check out some DVDs from the library that we haven’t seen, or rent from Redbox

~ Create a mini bar in the bottom drawer of the fridge & stock with small bottles of water & soft drinks

~ Print off menus & flyers for the places we are going & put them in a folder

~ Have stamps & pens on hand – we are going to buy some cheesy tourist postcards from the gift shops & mail them to relatives (especially funny since they all live here too!)

Here are some fun staycation ideas for the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

A Bird in the Hair Is Worth???

On our trip to the zoo Sunday afternoon to see the new Koala Walkabout, we discovered a fun Lorikeet aviary.

They are friendly little critters, but it can be a bit unnerving to have them sitting on your head – poop could happen at any moment!

Great Backyard Bird Count

This is our first year to count birds for the        Great Backyard Bird Count!

It takes place February 18 – 21.

It is very simple to participate – just count birds in your area & report online.

We will be using the regional bird list to identify & tally the birds that we see.

Sounds like fun!

Are you participating?


science camp giveaway

Giveaway is closed – winner will be announced on Monday :)

Are you looking for something FUN & challenging for your child this summer?

Champions Summer Science Camp might be the answer!

Champions Science Adventures take science education beyond the classroom to spark a child’s interest in science through exploration and discovery.

Science Adventure day camps are available for students ages 5 to 12 years throughout the summer, at participating recreation facilities, parks, and schools nationwide.

There are four exciting camps:

You can save $50 on a week of summer camp by using the code

summer science10

Summer vacation is the perfect time for children to discover that learning is fun and can happen anywhere – not just in places called classrooms. One easy way to learn while on summer break is with educational videos. Filled with amazing footage and information, you’re sure to be engaged from in front of your own computer.


You can view all of the Champions Science Adventures webisodes HERE.

One lucky reader is going to win a FREE week of Science Summer Camp!! You will receive a certificate for a half-day camp of your choice, valued at $194 – $207.

Several ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment telling me which camp is your favorite.
  • Get two more entries for following my blog in a reader or on Facebook. Leave a separate comment.
  • Get five more entries for posting about this giveaway on your blog. Leave a separate comment with the link to your post.

Make sure I have a way to contact you if you win.

Giveaway ends Saturday, June 5th.

Champions Science Adventures, partnered with MomSelect, is providing me with the certificate to give away. They are also giving me a $25 Target gift card as compensation for this post.

free blockbuster rental

MomSelect and BLOCKBUSTER Express have a great offer for you busy moms!

BLOCKBUSTER Express kiosks offer an easy and inexpensive way to rent DVDs. You can even rent them online to prevent the heartbreak of not being able to see the newest Kiddie Movie.

They are offering my readers a special Rent One Get One Free code. Use the coupon code 555G13B and when you rent a movie at the regular price, you’ll receive the first night’s rental on the second movie FREE.

Find the closest kiosk HERE.  I discovered there was one just down the street from me!

a holly jolly christmas

This poor blog has been a bit neglected the past couple of weeks, but my family has been well taken care of.  :-) I am ready to get back into the swing of things and enjoy a Blessed December!

Here are some upcoming plans and posts. Tune back in everyday this week for lots of links & ideas!

~ Do you live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area? There are some fun holiday activities going on and I will have a list to share.

~ There are also some fun events going on in Bloggyworld!

~ We are going to make a Jesus Box this year.

~ We are spending the afternoon creating Christmas Countdown Calendars (so I can quit answering “How many more days until Christmas?”).

~ I have lots of Advent links to share. There are so many good ideas that I’m having a hard time narrowing down what I want to do this year!

~ I like to do Funschool in December. We will be studying the history behind the symbols of Christmas. Here are my Funschool Links from last year to keep you busy until I get the new links up.

~ Are you having a homemade Christmas this year? Money is tight for many of us. I will be sharing links for lots of ideas to make for all ages.  Things like: candy & treats, gifts in a jar, toys, and lots more!

~ And of course I will be sharing lots of money-saving *Jingles* !!

wfmw – dfw staycation



In my last WFMW I shared my ideas for turning our house into a Ho(me)tel. This week I want to share some of the fun (& discounted!) things to do in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

I’m just highlighting a few below, but you can use these sites to view many more events: Dallas Child, Fort Worth Child, GoCityKids, DFW Area Moms, Guide Live

Fossil Rim – discount Wednesdays – only 12.50 for 12 & up, $5 for kids

Hawaiian Falls Moms get in free on Mondays before 12

Farmer Duck Tour Thursdays from 10:00-11:30  My kids had a ball!! They got to do chores that a child from long ago would do: grind grain & feed the chickens, wash clothes by hand, milk a “cow”, plant & water the garden. After a covered wagon ride around the property, they took off their shoes & played in the creek. $5, free for parents

Ride the McKinney Trolley (free) to the Dallas Museum of Art (free on Wed in July or 1st Tues of every month) or the Dallas World Aquarium (fantastic!! worth the price)

Ringling Bros. Circus – most area libraries are giving away free tickets for their Summer Reading Program

Things to do in Fort Worth: Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth Botanical Garden, Kimball Art Museum, several Coupons

Things to do in Grapevine: Great Train Robbery, The Monty Python Madness Charity Festival, Open-Air Market, Friday Fireworks, Gaylord Texan Summerfest, Rainforest Cafe click on Maya for a $10 coupon good until July 31st

Some ways to find discounts:

  • check websites carefully for printable coupons. Sign up for their emails – lots of times they will send you a coupon for joining
  • request a visitors guide Dallas / Ft. Worth
  • ask your bank or credit union if they sell discounted tickets
  • buy an Entertainment Book. We used ours several times, and you can also print coupons from their website.  

Do you live in the DFW area? Please share your favorite things to do!

Run on over to We Are That Family for tons of great tips!

school year’s eve party planner


Cookie Magazine has come up with a really cute celebration for back-to-school called School Year’s Eve.

You can download templates for invitations, decorations, games and more.

Register to order your FREE official School Year’s Eve™ Party Starter Kit (while supplies last).

I think this will be such a fun thing to do with my kids, and it doesn’t cost anything but a little creativity! (Btw, we homeschool, but we still get excited about the new year : -)

You can find lots of money-saving tips at Life As Mom.