Best of Summer {Money Saving Travel Tips}

Really these traveling tips are great for any time of year, but because I am thinking of my summer this week here they are! Check out my other Best of Summer Posts and where to go in Arizona in the Summer.

Eating Out of a Hotel Room {Money Saving Ideas} In this post I talked about what we ate while we stayed in a hotel room for over a week. It was when we really shouldn’t have been spending any extra money, and this helped save us from having to eat out for every meal when we were away from home.

Snacks to Bring to the Zoo These snacks help keep you full and not buying expensive snacks while you’re at the zoo, on a roadtrip or out other places.

Airport Traveling Tips One of the tips on this list is to bring an empty water bottle through security so that you can fill it up with free water once you get past security. You can even bring drink mixes with you so that it’s flavored.

What I Forgot on Our Cruise I packed for two trips when I packed for our cruise and forgot alot. It would have saved me money to think about some of these things before we left home.

Road Trip Packing List (And One for Toddlers) I use these packing lists every time I go on a road trip now. It keeps me from forgetting anything, and so far they have worked pretty well!

Easier Traveling with a (Cute!) Fanny Pack Save some stress on your next trip to a theme park by having everything you need on you at all times.

Save Money Before Your Vacation I try to hide my credit cards from myself to remind me to save money for my potential vacation.

More Travel Tips I review some of my past tips and how they went.

More Best of Summer Posts:
Place to Go in Arizona
Souvenirs to Make or Display

Best of Summer { Souvenirs to Make or Display }

During our summer vacations I love to shop around for souvenirs, but I want my souvenirs to be useful in one way or another. Sometimes I just buy useful things but for everything else I try to make sure that we have a place to display it.

These 3 Frugal Disney Souvenirs are different things you can get at Disneyland for little to nothing and have memories of your trip when you get home.

Those squished pennies that you can get almost anywhere are usually the cheapest souvenir out there. That makes them my favorite, but what do you do with them afterwards? I made this Smashed Penny Display to use my smashed pennies to decorate.

When I was a kid my dad collected the souvenir sized baseball bats for us, and I had to find something to do with them. They are on display at my house once I made my Souvenir Baseball Bat Display.

More Best of Summer Posts:
Places to Go in Arizona
Souvenirs to Make or Display

Best of Summer { Places to Go in Arizona }

This summer was all about vacations and staying out of the Arizona heat. These are some places that you can actually visit in the summer here in Arizona.

The heat in Sedona is still pretty high, but it is a bit lower than the valley’s heat. Here are a few places to stop while visiting Sedona, Arizona.

Camping on the Mogollon Rim was a great place to cool off and enjoy some beautiful views of the outdoors. It was pretty easy to access and there were lots of areas to explore.

Makutu's Island in Tempe Arizona

This is a great place to visit during the heat of the day when the kids want to run around. You can let them run wild in Makutu’s Island in Tempe, AZ.

This is another great indoor venue of things for you and your kids to do. Flipside in Chandler, AZ has bowling, arcades, bumper cars, lazer tag and a cool foam ball area with a climbing area and slides.

The Queen Creek Olive Mill is a great shop, restaurant and tour. During the summer the tours are still running and they show you all of the equipment and how they make olive oil. There indoor shop is perfect for hiding from the heat!

At Arizona Speedway you are sitting out in the heat, but during the summer most of the races are after dark, when it’s cooling down.

Other Best of Summer Posts:
Souvenirs to Make or Display
Money Saving Tips for Traveling

DIY Tissue Box for TP

I don’t buy tissue unless someone in the family has a bad runny nose, and then I get them the nice ones with lotion! The rest of the time we go without tissues in the house, until I saw this tutorial on how to use toilet paper as a tissue refill.

It’s been awhile since I bought tissues so I didn’t have a tissue box. I did however have a box that used to hold cornmeal and it fit a small roll of toilet paper. It’s been sitting on our counter looking like we are using some special cornmeal tissue for a few weeks now. I finally got around to making it cute!

The top of the lid was easy, I just took a box cutter and slit a large “X” into it. It works perfectly.

I mod-podged some cute fall paper onto it, because our kitchen and living room are always fall colors and I can’t wait to start decorating for fall soon!

Once it dried I was able to put the toilet paper back in it and put the lid back on. I love that it’s easy to change when needed as well.

Check out these other “Almost Free” fall crafts!
Turkey Pumpkin
Stuffed Pumpkin Baskets
3 Boo-ing Ideas

Powder Your Own Sugar { DIY Powdered Sugar }

This post might be common sense to everyone else, but once I realized that you could turn sugar into powdered sugar at home I felt disappointed that I had gone to the store on more than one occasion to go buy powdered sugar.

To do this you need a wheat grinder or a blender. I have a fancy blendtec that I use for it and I’m not sure if a regular blender would work. If it works for you, please let me know!

Blendtec Directions:
Put about 1 1/2C of Sugar into the blender. Blend on Speed 5 for about 20 seconds. When it stops, use a spatula to make sure the sides and corners are being ground as well. They usually are, but with powdered sugar I don’t take a chance. Blend for another 20 seconds and then test the sugar to see how grainy it is. I usually grab a small amount and rub it between my fingers. If it feels coarse at all, then blend for another 20 seconds. Keep testing it and reblending it until it is fine and soft.

For a wheat grinder, follow the directions you use for grinding wheat but test the powdered sugar every so often to see how soft it is. I usually need powdered sugar for frosting and I don’t want gritty frosting, so I take every effort to make sure its perfect. I have never seen my powdered sugar be over-powdered so I guess it’s ok!

More Cooking Tips
Making the Most of Fresh Lemons
Not Fried Refried Beans
3 Delicious Blackberry Recipes

Journal Writing and Journal Entry Ideas

I have been trying to be happier. It takes work, but everyone needs to be happier. The happier I am, the happier everyone around me is. Or maybe that’s just because I’m the Mom. Writing in a journal helps me stay positive sometimes and helps me look back at how I was positive before and it reminds me that I can stay positive again.

I have a few rules for myself when journaling. The first rule for myself is to keep everything positive. There is enough negativity as it is, and I don’t need to hold onto it for the future. Sometimes I need to rant about negativity and doing it on paper helps. I just make sure to do it in a cheap notebook and throw it out immediately after it is written.

Another rule I try to follow is to date my entries. It makes it so much better for if you ever want to look back at them.

I also keep most journal entries very short. I usually don’t have time for much and I won’t write at all if it takes too long so a short list or small quip about something is usually perfect. The one main exception to that is when I wrote down my son’s birth story. I realized I was already forgetting some of the small details a few weeks after he was born so as I nursed I wrote every detail I could remember. It was pages and pages and it took me days but it is worth it to me and it might be to him later on.

One last thing I try not to do while writing in my journal is to back track. Unless it is a big event (like my son’s birth) I won’t let myself feel guilty that I haven’t written in a few days, months, years, etc. And I won’t try to remember what happened for yesterday or for the last three years that I didn’t write a thing. I just put down today’s date and move on.

Here are a few ideas to get you started writing in your journal:

Things Accomplished Today List

Top 5 Good Things About the Day

My Favorite Things (in my house, kitchen, from my vacation, foods, clothes, anything)

Reasons I am Happy with My Life (or My Children, or My House, or my Neighborhood or anything else you can think of)

Reasons I Love My Spouse (or Child, Friend, Co-worker, Pet, whoever!) {See My  Reasons I Love My Husband Post Here} {And My Reasons to Love My Dog Here}

Reasons I Love Myself (what personality traits or quirks do you love about yourself?)

Reasons I’m Happy to Be Home (or on vacation, or any change you are experiencing. Think of why you are happy to be there. Another I have done is Reasons I’m Happy to  Not Be Pregnant)

My Bucket List (Keep a few blank pages after it and you can add to it at any time) {See Mine Here}

A Quick Story From My Day (Or week, month, vacation, etc!)

I’m Feeling: (positive emotions! and why)

What I Did For Exercise This Week

Child Updates (Check out this post at I Can Grow People for a great layout of it!)

Memories of a Lost Loved One (See my latest post here for more ideas)

I recently made some beautiful printable bookmarks with a shortened version of this list- to make it easier to remember and have these tips in your journal or near it whenever you need them. The bookmarks can be downloaded for free, please click here to view them and then scroll to the bottom to download them. Thank you!

Other Ways to Work on Happiness:
Resolve for No New Year’s Resolutions
How to Stop Shopping
Happy Wive’s Club: 21 Days to a Happier You
This vs That
My New Workout Plan

Pregnancy Announcements for Facebook

With our first pregnancy I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, so as soon as we got the news we wanted to post it to facebook, so that we could avoid calling everyone individually to tell them (and having hurt feelings because we called one person before another and so on). We called the new grandparents and then took this picture and posted it with the clues to facebook.

It was a cute way to announce it until I got a few people telling me I really did look pregnant. I was 5 weeks along and shouldn’t have looked any more pregnant than before! So we decided to find another way to tell everyone for the second pregnancy.

I searched all of my pins and decided to do something a little bit more unique. With a second child our Jeep will be full, so we went out to our closest wash (aka dry creek) and took this picture. Click on the picture to see it bigger!

The idea was a little more confusing but still super cute! Once I explained it in the comments everyone got it. At least no one’s calling me fat this time!

Other Jeep Related Articles:
4 Jeep Sewing Projects
Camping on the Mogollon Rim
5 Reasons I Love My Husband