Photo courtesy of Dreamstime
Photograh taken by Marcelmooi
Funny, isn't it? In the middle of the busy school year, weeks of doing nothing during the summer sounds like pure bliss. But doing nothing tends to gets old fast, especially for kids. What's happening at your house these days?

This week I'm bringing you a few ideas to get the kids off the couch and into learning and having fun. Of course, since I'm all about frugal, none of these ideas will bust your budget. Summer will be over before you know it. Take time to do some of these activities with your kids; take photos, and you'll enjoy the memories of these warm lazy days when February rolls around!

Recently I came across a neat idea for a "nature color wheel" at PJs All Day, and thought that looked like a fun thing to try. Take a picture of your child and the finished project. Wouldn't that be a cheery pic on the kitchen windowsill in the dead of winter? The same blog post shares other fun learning activities as well. Look for more great links in our Idea Center below.

Nature Color Wheel

Cool fun in the kitchen is always a hit! Also from PJs All Day is a video tutorial on how to make yummy, frugal lemonade from scratch (well, not quite scratch, but close!). Visit Kraft Foods for lots of "kids in the kitchen" ideas with instructions on how to make hot weather hits like popsicles, jigglers®, no-bake pies, and more.
Special Announcements
What better time during the summer, when our boredom levels are at their highest, than to take a vacation? If you are strapped for funds, or just need some help planning a low-cost vacation, be sure and get your June Molly's Money Saving Digest. Each page is full of tips, techniques, and ideas to create the best frugal vacation.
Last week, we posted about a free WeE-book that The Old Schoolhouse has put together based on an article by Amanda Bennett. If you love blueberries, then you will not want to miss out on this wonderful freebie, Blueberries For You
Speaking of The Old Schoolhouse, in the summer issue, I wrote an article on Frugal Family Fun. It is packed with 10 great backyard fun ideas that you can do with your kids this summer. While you are at it, they also have a great subscription promo going on right now. You can get a 2-year subscription and 19 amazing free gifts for only $39.
Did you hear about my very first contest? I am so excited about this giveaway! One blessed winner will receive this beautiful rug!


 You can read all the details of the contest here. We will have future contests as well, so be sure and keep your eye out for them.
On The Blog Last Week!
I shared many "beat the heat" recipes and tips last week on the blog. Here is a recap, just in case you missed any of them.
  • Do you like blueberries? Read this post about a freebie from The Old Schoolhouse and a recipe sent in by a reader. I can wait to try those Blueberry Struesel Muffins.
  • Do you shop at your local farmer's market? You can read about what my son found and what he plans on doing with his very unique Weekend Wonder.
  • Even though Fourth of July is over, you can still save some of these ideas that I posted about here for other patriotic holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Veteran's Day.
  • Do you cook much with your stove during the summer? Here are some tried and true recipes straight from my arsenal of summer lunch and dinner ideas.
  • Don't forget about the contest that I mentioned earlier! You can read all about it here. Also, be sure to check out the sponsor of this contest and the other rugs they have available!
  • Do you like Taco Salad? I have a great recipe that my family absolutely loves. . . and it's very easy on the pocketbook as well!
  • This past week's Thrifty Thursday post has some very good frugal fashion tips! And my new July Digest, focusing on Frugal Fashion, is available with an excellent article by the Frugal Fashionista. She shares lots of pictures so you can copy her amazing, budget-friendly style! It's truly amazing what she can do with only a few dollars.
  • Be sure to read the list of freebies that I posted about. There are some really great homemaking freebies in this one.
  • On America's birthday, I posted a wonderful video about our nation. Be sure and watch it.
The Weekly Recipe
Since we are officially entering the hottest part of the summer in most of the nation, I thought I would share with you a recipe my family has been making for years when it gets hot. It also helps to eliminate boredom because your children can be involved in every step of making this delicious, nutritious summer salad. Plus, all of the ingredients can be found at your local farmer's market or grocery store this month, making it less expensive to enjoy! So, make a day out of it, and give your kids a fun time as well as they search for the ingredients at the farmer's market or grocery store. I usually divide my list up, and everyone gets a chance to find their specific ingredients.

Summer Berry and Peach Salad

1 pint blackberries, raspberries, blueberries (or whatever else sounds good!)
1 pint strawberries
2 to 3 ripe peaches
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with a tiny pinch of pepper)
1 large head dark green leafy veggies of your choice (we use a thick-leaf variety like Romaine because it holds up better in the dressing and weight of the fruit and gives a nice crisp, cool crunch)
1. Wash greens thoroughly and tear into bite-size pieces. Place into refrigerator to crisp up while you make the rest of the salad.
2. Wash all berries and peaches. Drain berries on paper towels until fairly dry. Slice peaches into fairly thin, bite-sized pieces. Slice your strawberries as well.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the apple cider vinegar, honey, olive oil, and spices using a wire whisk. You can also place it in your blender and blend until combined thoroughly. Taste and see if you would like to add a pinch of salt at this time.
4. Toss together all ingredients, making sure to let each child have a turn at the mixing. Be careful not to crush berries.
Enjoy with a nice cool piece of french bread and butter (or cheese!).
This Week's Tutorials
Summer Fun: Ice Excavation and States of the Matter 

 Photo courtesy of Heart of The Matter
Photo taken by Angela DeRossett
If your children are bored this summer and you want to give them something fun and educational to do, why not try this science experiment from Heart of The Matter This will surely be a hit for all ages. If you like this experiment, you can stop by Angela's blog and leave her a comment letting her know that you enjoyed trying her experiment.
Idea Center
 Having your child use their imagination when they use the phrase, "Mom. . . I'm so bored," is one of the best things you can do for them. Here are a few resources I found on the Internet that will help bust up the summer boredom blues.
Molly's Money-Saving Digest
July Molly 

 The July issue of Molly's Money Saving Digest is hot off the press!
You're on a tight budget, and the kids are growing out of their clothes.
What options do you have? Are you a bit challenged in the sewing department, or do you wonder if sewing is really worthwhile?

My special feature for July is: Frugal Fashion

Check out some great summer saving ideas--updating your wardrobe--looking your best for less--upcycled sewing projects . . .
PLUS there are three special bonus pages included at the end of the Digest. If you've ever wanted to try sewing, this would be a great place to start!

This issue is loaded with ideas, tips, recipes, checklists, and more. Take a look at some of the great topics you'll find:
  • Begin with the Basics--Sewing, a Savings Investment: Have you ever considered sewing for savings or profit? Bunkhouse Sewing shares sewing expertise on many topics: why learn sewing basics, extend the wear-time on children's clothing, create higher quality clothing, refurbishing outfits, and more!
  • Keeping it All together--Giving From the Heart!: Within a frugal lifestyle, do you budget your money for charitable giving? Is volunteering your time just as valuable as donating your money? Discover more ways to give and feel good when you "give from the heart."
  • Feather Your Nest Frugally--A Decorative "House Number" Sign Project: A thrift store find--a tarnished silver tray--fits the bill nicely to help Molly comply with a new township ordinance. You can do it too! Check out the pretty photos.
  • Parenting That Pays--Fostering Thankfulness in Your Children's Hearts: Here are 10 positive ways to plant seeds in your children's hearts--ways that can help them get in the habit of living thankfully throughout each day. Don't' miss this!
  • Something Old, Something New--A Mama Who Sews: Aubrey shares two up-cycled sewing projects--a twirly skirt, made by sewing old ties together and a cute girl's sundress, transformed from a man's button-down shirt! Find out what you may be missing by not being a "Mama who sews!"
  • Those are just a few of the topics you will find in this Digest, PLUS you get 3 fabulous bonus pages:
      • Tips for Teaching Children to Sew (and Adults, too!)
      •  "Sew What?"
      •  Sewing on a Button

If you are still not convinced that this Digest is for you, then you can view a sample of the July Molly's Money-Saving Digest right here. At just under $5, the wealth of information and support you'll receive in Molly's Money-Saving Digest will last you all year!

We Want to Hear from You
We have some great topics in the works for Molly's Money-Saving Digests, and would love to include your stories and ideas. August's Digest has just gone to layout.  You're in for a treat with this special issue on frugal organization. September's featured topic is decorating, and October will be our Great Depression issue. Show us your stuff! We'd love to showcase your decorating talent and organizing ingenuity, and give you a free Digest, but we need to hear from you soon! We're always looking for "goal-getter" stories, examples of up-cycled or re-purposed objects, and frugal decorating ideas. Send me your story--Remember, if we include your contribution in a Digest, you'll receive that issue FREE.   

Until next week! 
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