Free Printable Christmas Ornaments, Decorations

Need some educational Christmas crafts? How about free printable cut and paste Christmas ornaments and folded paper holiday decorations? Kids can practice math, measurement and fine motor skills while creating holiday decorations. These activities are perfect for elementary and middle school math classes. Homeschool families can enjoy them, too. They make great winter vacation boredom busters. With some assistance, these crafts will work with disabled students and preschoolers. Senior citizens will love them, too. read more

Cheap (mostly free!) parent-friendly kids party tips

As a mom to four kids, ages 24 to 14, I've planned a plethora of kids' parties. I'm also a teacher and have hosted numerous classroom events. I've had some great successes and colossal fails. From those experiences, I've compiled a list of tips for parents on planning kids' parties. These parties are geared toward preschool and elementary age kids. These parties work great for large families and parents with toddlers and babies. Speaking as a mom whose husband worked a lot and wasn't always able to help, these tips work great for single-parent parties and those where mom or dad has to pull it off alone.  Being a frugalista, these hints focus on cheap or free homemade party ideas. I've linked online sites with free printable party supplies and decorations, too. Cheap, parent-friendly kids' birthday party tips 

The Hub of Detroit--Free Bikes for Kids, Plus Empowerment

A bicycle is more than just a riding toy. It provides exercise, mobility, transportation, and, sometimes, a job. Bikes can go places cars can't. They cost exponentially less than motor vehicles to maintain. For a kid living in downtown Detroit, a bike may be a magic carpet out of poverty. That's why mission projects like the Hub of Detroit are so vital. The Hub (as it's affectionately called by locals) was formerly Back Alley Bikes. The program is dedicated to providing "cycling education and services with a focus on youth development, sustainable practices, and community access." I guess you could say they break cycles (of poverty, hopelessness) and rebuild new, healthier (bi)cycles. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a program like this in every community? Here's how it works.  read more

Free Stuff from OfficeMax Through September, 2012

OfficeMax promotional code for free totebag. Free Gifts with your Online Purchase. Use code: FREEBAG.  Big Daily Deals Every Day this September at  Plus, HUGE savings on Supplies, Furniture and more.  As always, Free Shipping on most orders over $50. Sign up for OfficeMax email updates to get freebies and coupons. Buy a kinds of  ful backpacks regularly $39.99  now $24.99 to $29.99 after instant savings, PLUS backpacks come with $25 in free school supplies. Free shipping on orders over $50.

Cream-of-the-crop fall harvest festivals in southeast Michigan

Michigan is synonymous with autumn harvest frolics. Southeast Michigan is home to dozens of fall-themed events. Apple orchards, pumpkin patches, spooky haunted houses, corn mazes, Halloween-themed venues, and fall festivals, here are the creme de la creme. We'll begin with southwest of Detroit and move northeast. They aren't free, but I've included tips on how to get the most bang for your buck with coupons, BOGOs, etc. You can also get free admission to some activities with special package rates. There are reduced-priced and value-added events, too. Note--dates reflect last year's calendar, but check links for 2012 events. Cream-of-the-crop fall harvest festivals 

Ways Save Money on Back to School Shopping

As summer winds down, parents and kids are gearing up to go back to school. For parents, kids returning to school means back to school shopping. Written for Detroit local, this article offers tips for back-to-school shopping in any area. In 2012, the Detroit News reported that families will spend an average $688 per child on back-to-school purchases. Detroiters, if you're looking to save money on back-to-school purchases, here are places in the metro area to do it. Ways Save Money on Back-to-School Shopping

How to Blog--Where to Find Free Blogs

Looking for tips on how to blog? I'm your go-to gal-- I maintain 68 blogs which get a combined 200,000 to 800,000 hits per month. Think you have to pay to blog? You don't. There are several free blogs and blogging sites. Here's how to get a free blog.  read more

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education.