Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Leftover Hambone Soup

June 22, 2010

We are not huge Ham eaters but every year at Christmas our Jewish Financial Advisor sends us one. I tell you he’s Jewish because I think it’s ironic and hilarious that he sends a ham instead of a turkey considering most Jews don’t eat pork. Anyway… He sends us a Harry and David Ham and it is the most delicious ham EVER. I’m pretty sure the fact that it’s free adds the best spice 😉  I cook it on Christmas Eve and we eat what we want of it on that day. The rest of it I freeze in various portions (cubed ham,bone,soup ham etc..) and since we eat so little ham it does us through the summer.
The whole point to this was that this year with the leftover Ham Bone I made this soup and it was REALLY good. Also a big plus that it made alot and was cheap….

After the Holidays Ham Bone Soup
1 ham bone with some meat
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with juice
1 (14 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables (I used the veggies from dinners I’d frozen in my veggie container in the freezer), thawed
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cup chopped cooked ham, or amount leftover
1 (10 ounce) can tomato sauce
Place the ham bone into a large pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add the onion and tomatoes, then stir in the frozen mixed vegetables and potatoes. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then add the macaroni, rice, and chopped ham. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Any ham on the bone should come off easily. Remove the meat and discard bone. Stir in the tomato sauce and let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving  Calories: 195 | Total Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 6mg


Little Frugalista


Saving Money on Father’s Day/ Free Kids Summer Activity

June 19, 2010

I began this posts, as I usually do with pictures of things I/we had created (see below). My next step is usually to link to a former post of mine that talks about the creation or whatever related topic. In doing this I noticed a HUGE oversight on my part. I forgot to share this cheap little tid bit….

Looking for something to do with your bored kids this summer? Lowes offers a free workshop, usually every second and fourth Saturday of the month called Lowes Build and Grow Workshops. At 10 am on those mornings they offer neat projects that both girls and boys will enjoy. If you are interested HERE  are the next 2 projects that will be offered.

 If you don’t have a Lowes near you check out Home Depot\’s Kids Workshops. Though I don’t have a Home Depot near me to know personally, I am told the workshops are very similar. It would be worth calling about to find out.

All of the Workshops are totally free, including the materials and I can tell you from experience that Lowes provides the first 50 kids at each workshop free Work Aprons and Goggles. They use the kid size hammers in the picture below but do not send them home with the kids…

The little clear pocket at the top of the apron is where they make cards to put your child’s name on the apron.

June 10ths Workshop was a Picture Frame. The kids got to choose whether they wanted their frame to be up and down (portrait) or sideways (landscape). They started out looking like this….

Never missing the opportunity for an inexpensive gift we decided to alter these into Father’s Day gifts. I am a huge fan of paint and already had the perfect .99 can of Blue on Hand from another project we had done (Primitive Signs/ It’s amazing to me what people will pay for words painted on a piece of cheap wood but I guess I’m off topic).

After spray painting both of the frames and letting them dry we ran to our local Hobby Lobby where we purchased 2 things that happened to be on sale… 3-D Scrapbook stickers and 2 pieces of scrapbook paper. Total cost for this project ended up being $2.20 plus tax.

Each of the frames came with a cardboard insert and we covered both sides of the insert with the scrapbook paper which we cut to size and then glued onto the card board. After that dried the kids placed the stickers on the frame and onto one whole side of the insert. The other side of the insert we glued a picture to with Non-acid Scrapbook Glue which I also had on hand.

Now anyone who knows Mr. Frugalista will tell you that he is a huge fan of Hunting and Fishing. So Little Dude chose a Fishing Theme for his Frame. I will tell you my child is not usually solid blue. On the day of this picture he decided to color his whole head from the shoulders up blue with sidewalk chalk that had gotten rained on…. 


Little Miss chose a Hunting Theme. Yes I realize that it is funny that I have placed a disguise on her face to match my blog header and that there is a shotgun above her head and bullets at the bottom but hey it’s his thing. lol Feel free to borrow the picture as many have borrowed my Veggie Cartoon picture as I Wrote a Post On. I would however love to know why you are borrowing it because I can laugh with the best of them ;)….

You could have tailored these to any interest and I can tell you my kids LOVED making them. So it killed 2 birds with one stone, entertaining my kids for a few hours and creating an inexpensive Father’s Day Gift.;)


Little Frugalista

In Honor of The Memorial Day Cookout

May 29, 2010

If you are like me you have meat thawing in the fridge right now to cookout for Memorial Day. I love the taste of Marinated Meat but hate the fact that most store bought Marinades have MSG,High Fructose Corn Syrup and a Whole Slew of other preservatives. Here is a great Marinade Website that has TONS of Marinades you can make from scratch to avoid the additives mentioned above. Don’t let that description throw you because they are EASY EASY EASY

Nikibone Marinades

Parfaits for Little Dude’s Birthday

May 12, 2010

I didn’t want Little Dude eating cake twice on his Birthday and wanted to send some other treat to his class for his special day. My solution….

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Parfaits

I used 10 ounce clear cups, filled them with about 5 ounces of yogurt in each cup and then topped that with about a 1/4  a cup of homemade Granola (recipe below). I added Thomas the Tank stickers to the cups to make them fun for his class and then finished them by placing  “Thomas” blue spoon in the cups.

Little Miss has a July Birthday and doesn’t get to celebrate with her classmates since school is out so I sent in Parfaits to her class as well and placed pink spoons in those….

Homemade Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Granola


  • 2/3 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats

Add ins….

1 cup mini chocolate chips

1 cup Peanut Butter Chips



  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, honey and cinnamon; heat through. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Place oats in a large, shallow roasting pan or a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. Pour warm peanut butter mixture over oats and stir gently until oats are coated. Spread evenly in pan.
  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  4. Remove from oven let dry completely, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chips.
  6.  Store in covered containers.

NOTES: The “Add ins” on this recipe can be tailored to your tastes. These are just the ones I used for the Parfaits.

To make Clusters in your Granola squeeze the Mixture with your hands to form little mounds before baking.


Filled Cupcakes for Quiltie’s Birthday

April 22, 2010

Way too cheap to purchase a Debbie Meyer\’s Cupcake Pan I came up with a way to fill my regular ol’ cupcakes….

The secret is a Melon Baller. Just take your warm cupcake that you’ve just baked (pictured are Devil’s Food) and carefully create a hole to fill….

The whole pan with holes…

I chose to fill these with mini Reese Cups. The possibilities are endless on what you can fill them with…….

Just peel off the papers and push them into the center of the cupcakes. Look how yummy and melty they look….

Let them cool and ice them with an icing of your choice, whether store bought or homemade. Pictured is Cream Cheese Icing. Top with half of a mini Reese…

Happy Birthday Quiltie! These are for your Cookout in my back yard 🙂


Little Frugalista

A Free Spring Table Arrangement

April 10, 2010

My pastor’s wife,Leslie, shared these pictures with me of centerpieces she’s made from her Forsythia Bush this Spring and they were too pretty not to share.

If you’ve never grown Forsythia you just can’t kill it. In fact my uncle gave my mother some starts which basically consisted of 15 sticks cut from his bush. She forgot she had them on her front porch, left them for a week and upon remembering she stuck them in the ground with a jab and no tools. They not only survived but thrived. So no need to worry about harming the bush when taking clippings.

Forsythia is one of my favorite plants because it is one of the first to bloom here during spring. It turns yellow around the time that the tulips poke their heads out. So viewing it to me is like a promise that winter is almost over and spring is here. It almost instantly lifts my spirits when I  look at it. That is why I placed our Forsythia Bush right outside my kitchen window  above my sink which is where I spend lots of time doing dishes 😉

The tip I was given about the centerpieces above is that when using a large container, especially an older one that may contain cracks, place clippings in a small jar of water and then set the jar inside the pitcher. A small recycled jelly jar would be great for this purpose.

View of my Forsythia Bush from my Kitchen Window….


Little Frugalista

Easter/ Spring Bird’s Nest Cookies

April 3, 2010

Nothing says Easter and Spring time to me quite like Bird’s Nests and Eggs. I was asked to make something for our Church’s Easter party and thought these would be perfect. The Eggs pictured are Hershey’s Hardshell Eggs. We used those because Little Dude picked them out. He’s a boy after my own heart and skipped the jelly beans in favor of chocolate.

Bird’s Nest Cookies


  • 1 (11.5 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 (5 ounce) can chow mein noodles
  • 2/3 cup flaked coconut
  • 50 jellybeans


  1. In a saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and shortening over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in the chow mein noodles and coconut until well coated. Divide into 15 mounds on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Shape into nests; press an indentation on the center. Place three or four jelly beans in each nest. Cool. Store in an airtight container.

*Note: These can also be made with butterscotch chips rather then chocolate chips if desired*

Easter Story Cookies

April 2, 2010
I will post a picture right here upon making our batch this Easter 🙂

To be made the evening before Easter.
You need:
1-cup whole pecans
1 tsp. Vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1-cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon
Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important-don’t wait until you’re
half done with the recipe)!
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was
arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. Vinegar into mixing bowl..
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given
vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus
gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and
brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty
tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because
He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks
are formed. Explain that the color white  Represents –in God’s eyes — the purity of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper-covered cookie
sheet.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.
Read Matt. 27:57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that
Jesus’ tomb was sealed.
Read Matt. 27:65-66

GO TO BED!  Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in
the oven overnight.  Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb
was sealed.
Read John 16:20 and 22
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice
the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!
On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb
open and empty.
Read Matt. 28:1-9
Share The Easter Cookie Story With Friends and Family.+

Useful Easter Basket Ideas

March 23, 2010

Don’t you just hate the myriad of things that our kids drag into our house that basically just take up space, aka clutter? It seems there are two times a year that I especially have to fight the clutter epidemic, Christmas and Easter. One of the solutions I have come up with is for the kids to ask Santa and The Easter Bunny for things that are fun but also useful (no their baskets are not stuffed with cleaning supplies and canned goods lol).

Below is a list of some of the Useful things my kids ask to receive in their Easter Baskets. We try to keep candy to a minimum (that is a whole other post though 🙂 )

Lots of these suggestions can be found at your local Dollar Store which will also save you money. Hopefully these will give you a few ideas:


Character Pencils or Pens to take to School

Markers or Crayons to take to School (by this time of year they usually need new ones at school anyway)

Character Bandaids (Little Dude loves to play Dr.)


Cool Lunchboxes

Good Smelling Lotions,Shampoos,Conditioners,Hand Sanitizer (For Little Miss, bought at the HUGE after Christmas Sale at Bath and Body Works)

Bath Fizzies

Bubble Bath

Character Socks

Character or Pretty Notebooks

Pencil Boxes


Freezer Boo Boo Buddies (there are some really cute ones of these)

Books (Little Miss is a HUGE reader)

Seeds to plant

Starter plants (start the seeds yourself in little mulch pots / smaller kids may enjoy this more then seeds since they can see the plant starts)

Garden Tools

Garden Gloves

Reusable Water Bottles

Cool Plates, Bowls or Cups (Character,Pretty or Cool Print etc..)






Character Underwear

Pretty or Cool Hairbrushes and Combs

Freezer Pops to put in the Freezer (to usher in Summer)

Save Money Making an Easter Centerpiece

March 22, 2010

My neighbor Quiltie and I can be dangerous when thrown together to brainstorm and get creative. She is the only person I know that loves to make something out of nothing as much as or maybe even more then I do.

This little centerpiece for Easter is from our latest brainstorming session. It went something like this…

Quiltie:”I’ve been thinking of growing grass in containers”

Me:”Wow that sounds really cool and pretty, bet that would make a great centerpiece for my table for Easter”

Quiltie”OOO yeah and it would look great with Easter Eggs in it”

Me:”Hey! I have this great bowl someone left at my house ages ago. Will you have Mr. Quiltie drill a hole in it and then grow some grass in it for me”

As you can see from the picture the answer was yes.

**Note to Quiltie** I found these plastic eggs in the house already (in the toy box). So no need to worry that I went out and bought new plastic eggs and increased my carbon footprint 😉

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

She loves that it replaces that plastic grass and I love that it cost me nothing lol