22 January 2017

20 Free Printable Star Wars Valentines

I love finding collections of Valentines for the kids to choose from to give to their classmates.  This year I thought I'd double down and choose a theme they both love.  You may remember the fun we had when I surprised them on May the Fourth (Be With You Day) - five years later these two are still really gung-ho for Star Wars.

I'm going let them each pick a set from the list below. Then print them onto cardstock (if I'm organized and buy some) or else just plain paper (because really - do kids care about paper quality?)

I don't mean to sound val-humbug (is that what it's called when you're grumpy about Valentines?). But, I've learned over the years to not pressure the kids to label each and every Valentine with their classmates' names.  There're a couple reasons for this.  

First, I've spent too many February the 13th's having a battle of wills with a child who doesn't want to write all those names out.  It's a hassle I don't need in my castle.  

Lastly, one year the teacher's helpful list of all the kids in the class - didn't include my son's name (by an honest mistake).  And for that reason, my son didn't get the same boxful of valentines that the other kids got.  He's a sturdy fella and didn't take it to heart.  But, I'm less sturdy and felt terrible for him.  Luckily, I knew on the 13th that this was going to happen and could prepare him.  But mistakes like this can easily happen with class lists, so why risk it?

So, if you're similarly inclined, for Valentine's sake, keep it simple!

For example, we write: To: "my friend"  From: "my name". We've been known to write the "my friend" part for them, just to get 'er done.

It amazes me how many talented bloggers have created so many great valentines for you to print and give - for free!  All you need to do is click through to their site and print.  Simple as that.  

That's what I'm sharing today - 20 free printable Star Wars Valentines! 

15 January 2017

Throw a Fun and Stress-free Kid Birthday Party on a Budget

Kid’s birthday parties can be, without exaggeration, terrifying, nightmare-inducing, panic-filled, stress machines. 

Well, maybe a little exaggeration. 

But there is a reason businesses can command a small fortune to host kid-parties and you still have to book months in advance – parents will pay handsome sums to offload the stress of a houseful of hooligans.

We’ve had our fair share of kid-parties where we couldn’t wait till they were done. But, over the years, we’ve also started to find a rhythm where we can host, keep the cost down and stay fairly mellow (– and no, we don't just lock them in a closet and drink wine for a couple hours). 

Here are our best tips:

09 January 2017

How to Eat Out Without Going Broke

When people start talking budgeting and saving money, usually the first thing they suggest is “Eat out less” or “More meals at home”. 

Such great advice!  But, seriously, who wants to hear that?

While we wholeheartedly agree that those suggestions will definitely curb out of control spending, we also totally see the virtue in a nice meal at a restaurant once and a while.  It's one of our favourite pleasures, and when we go too long without this treat, well, we get grumpy.  Think: tired, toddler throwing a hissy fit on the floor at Toys R'Us. Times two.

With this in mind, we developed strategies to enjoy the occasional meal that we didn't have to cook ourselves.  That's what this post is about: sharing ideas for how you can dine out on a budget, too.

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20 Free Printable Star Wars Valentines

I love finding collections of Valentines for the kids to choose from to give to their classmates.  This year I thought I'd doubl...