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2 Kids and 20 Bucks: Part 1

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Guest blogger Sugar Mama's ideas for blowing an afternoon without losing your mind and money.


Every so often, I like to rid my sons' schedules of obligations and reserve the day just for the three of us. Education, photo opps, and college-fund preservation are my three objectives. But I can tell you right now that magnifying ants -- although a real kick, and reasonably priced -- can quickly become tiresome. What to do?

Do-it-yourself, personalized e-cards. Don't get me wrong -- I think e-cards are great. The swinging monkeys a pal sends telling you to "hang in there!" when you're down? Very thoughtful.

But I've got my own monkeys at home, and I can create my own set of cards, personalized just for the people I love. So I packed up the kids, headed to our local Hallmark store, and high-tailed it to the wrapping paper aisle -- the perfect backdrops for our e-card photo shoot.

Together, we picked out the following rolls:
1. One with balloons on it (for our "birthday" series)
2. Another with happy faces ("feel better", "congratulations," yada yada)
3. Another with flags ("Happy Memorial Day"--why not?)
4. A final roll covered in holly (might as well tackle "holidays" while I have them captive!)

The kids and I hung the wrapping paper on a garage wall and got into position. I was anchored behind the camera, while my kids were acting out their roles in front of each backdrop.

"Cheers to the new job!" they emoted as they clinked their champagne glasses (props pulled from the kitchen) in front of the happy faces. "Happy Birthday!" they exuded as they clapped in front of the balloons. "We wish you a merry Christmas!" they crooned in front of the holly.

All I had to do then was download the roll onto my computer, where the pix would be ready to paste into an email anytime. To celebrate, I sent myself a Memorial Day e-card (featuring my own children!) and gave the kids the night off.

What I spent: $13.99 on wrapping paper, $4.99 on tape

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Brenda Sheets  May 25, 2008, 12:48 PM

I think it was nice of this woman to spend the day with her children and makeing cards for people. She could have went to Walmart or the Dollar Store and could have given the money she would have saved to people that need it. You can take food to the shelters or money. I guess since I’m 62 that I believe in saveing money not go to the high priced Halmark Store.I make alot of my cards but if I don’t you can get thing at these store for next to nothing. Brenda

Nancy  May 26, 2008, 1:19 PM

This is a GREAT idea! What a wonderful way to spend the day with your kids while doing something useful and creative! I would much prefer an e-card with these adorable faces than any card from the Dollar Store, Walmart or Hallmark! I am also in my 60’s and believe in saving money and teaching children about donating to others, but save that lesson for another day and another project! This was $20 well spent and will brighten every person’s day that is lucky enough to get an e-card from them! xoxo Blooming Boomer

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