Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thrifty Thursday: It's Chic to Be Cheap {12}

Today was my last day of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) until October. Please excuse me, but I am a little bit in mourning here. I think the only thing that will pull me out of it could be the premiere of "So You Think You Can Dance?" tonight.

My MOPS group is what keeps me sane most of the time. I've made a ton of friends through our church's program, and I rarely go somewhere and not see someone I know from MOPS. The meetings are a wonderful two hour break from my crazed gorgeous children, and I enjoy grown-up girl time with socialization, speakers, and crafts. Although I know bunches of neat ladies now, I still don't have that special connection with a really close girlfriend. I think most women crave a relationship with a real "bosom friend," as Anne of Green Gables would say. Someone you can share honestly with and call up at the drop of a hat for coffee. Someone who remembers to do the same for you.

Let's face it, the last thing T wants to hear about is my conquest of the clearance aisles at Target! Some days, I feel like this blog is my bosom friend, ha ha. Finding a bosom friend has moved its way near the top of my prayer list.

So until I find that connection, I do my best to make it to the Moms' Nights Out that my MOPS group sponsors. Sometimes, I try to plan my own. Nothing refreshes and recharges you more than a few hours away from your family with some girlfriends! Here are some thrifty ideas for ways to get together with your own girlfriends:

*Potlucks - In this crappy economy, who doesn't love a good potluck? As a busy mom, it takes all my energy just to hide all the toys and laundry clean up my home before company comes, much less prepare food for the group. You can get creative with a potluck!
~Try a girls' Ice Cream Social! You, the hostess, provide the ice cream, and ask each guest to bring a different ice cream topping. Whipped cream, hot fudge, sprinkles, brownies, caramel sauce, Reeses Pieces, strawberries (I had to throw that in there for you healthy people), and my favorite--Reese's Peanut Butter sauce. While your kids are sleeping at home in their beds, you can lounge around, chat, and flip through magazines. An easy get together!
~Another approach to a potluck could be a Brunch. This would most likely require the presence of your children, but that's okay sometimes. Same idea as above, but you could provide some juice boxes and a bag of cheddar bunny crackers or something for the kids. It won't be the end of the world if they sit and watch Peter Pan for awhile, or you can attempt to corral them in the playroom with some select toys. If you're a guest, be sure you stay to help the hostess pick up. Nothing's worse than being one person strapped with cleaning up a mess made by 15 children.

*Movie Night!- Movie Night is one of my favorites! My friend L hosts these every so often, and they are the highlight of my summer (it doesn't take much to highlight summer for me because we never go anywhere). She has a big, cool basement and a projector screen for DVDs. In the past, we've all brought a few movies to choose from and vote on one. There's always a big potluck buffet over to the side, and we have social time before and after the movie. This is a laid-back, fun event! You don't have to have a big, fancy projector screen to enjoy the movie. A regular old TV will work just fine! My picks: The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and the City (for some audiences), 27 Dresses, Twilight, Far and Away, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (!!!!), and Sweet Home Alabama. You could take it a step further and do something my friend Meri suggested once...have everyone wear black and white and watch an old movie. (My faves for a fun night would be: It Happened One Night, The Major and the Minor, Some Like it Hot, Holiday Inn, Cheaper by the Dozen, Meet Me in St. Louis, and The Seven Year Itch--the last two aren't black and white, but they are fabulous!)

*Spa Night. We did this for MOPS this year, and it was a hit! I also went to one at a girlfriend's home once. We poured big potfuls of hot water into a baby pool and sat around to soak our feet with the sudsy stuff. Bring your own nailpolish to beautify your feet!

*Hit the Yard Sales! This will require an early morning, and in my case, also bringing the children, but it makes for some cheap fun with good returns! Meri and I plan to hit the town next Saturday (L, if you read this, you wanna come??). We'll plan which sales to hit, a stop for donut holes for the bebes, and score ourselves some bargains! Yard sales are fun, but I think they'll be more fun with a friend along.

*Gym Rats. After gorging yourself at all of these potlucks, it could be fun to schedule some gym time with a friend or two. I can't afford a trainer these days, and I'd love to find a friend going to the gym at the same time as me. It could be so helpful to have someone to keep me accountable, and push me. L and I sometimes take a Body Jam class together. We have a blast making fools of ourselves.

I am plumb out of ideas.

{If you have a cheap idea for a girls' night (or morning or afternoon!), please leave me a comment, and I'll feature you in Saturday's Spend Less post!}

I'll leave you with this quote today:
"Give me one friend, just one, who meets the needs of all my varying moods." ~ Esther M. Clark

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  1. Okay...let me think. First...I wish we were neighbors...we would have so much fun bonding over SYTYCD. How fun would it be to watch it together? I expect you to take good notes for me tonight!

    Something I think would be fun is a progressive dinner, and you move around to each other's houses. People could "team" up if you have a bunch. The first house, and team is in charge of appetizers, then then next team, and next house is the main course, then you move to the last place fore dessert!

    We used to do this at Christmastime when I was a kid and it would be our family, then my uncle's house, then my dad's cousin, and close family friend. Our 3 family's were really close and we did this every December.

    Also, this isn't very original, but what about book club? And everyone can bring a treat to share?

  2. Hide all the toys & laundry - LOL. I think everyone does that, including me. I remember stuffing toys in the washer & dryer while speed-cleaning one afternoon. :-) It was loads of fun trying to scoop the Fisher Price Little People from the bottom of the washer!

    This is along the lines of hitting garage sales and the clearance aisles. A friend of mine joins me and we go to the local thrift shop. It's huge and it's like hitting many garage sales at once; might save on gas, too, because you're not driving all over town going to multiple garage sales. It's so much fun to shop thrifty with like-minded people.

    You could actually make a morning (or afternoon) out of it by bringing along your own fresh-baked muffins & coffee so you can recharge in the car.

  3. I think it would be fun to have a swap could be to swap maybe a theme swap, recipes, coupons, half completed projects, decorating ideas, or decorating items that maybe you're tired of.....maybe even clothes or accessories!
    See what you could do with this idea???


  4. Things I love to do
    1. Get obsessed about a TV show and watch it together every single week...I mean, come on, it's 1 hour. We TIVO the show, swear we won't watch it and then pick a good night that we can watch it together (Therefore, when we all have to work or study a 1 or 2 hour show can actually be like 35 minutes!) Typically, there is also a theme...When Stacey and I watch Biggest Loser - we eat chips and salsa or pizza. When we watch Intervention on A&E - we drink a glass of wine.
    2. Just meeting for a walk. It doesn't take more than 15 minutes of planning ahead to call somebody up, strap on your tennies, and park in front of their house to meet for a walk!
    3. Something else I love - I google "Best of ________" (the blank is the city I live in) and then pick something off the list and go see it and bug someone to come with me. Best of BBQ? Best Place to Cure a Hangover? Best Park for Kids? Best Museum? Sometimes you can find things like a drive-in movie or music on the lawn that you never knew existed!

    Ok, this comment is too long and I don't think I have the patience to proofread. Love you, Man.

  5. Amanda...great ideas. I love them all.

    Suzanne...I'm dying to do a swap night with my girlfriends. So.Much.Fun. It would be even better to do it with my bloggy buddies...of course! rocked that comment girl! I'm loving all of your ideas, especially the "Best Of" google one. I am so trying that.

    Apparently, all the good ideas are taken. But one of my all time favorites is Book Club. I've been thinking lately about organizing a kid's book club for the summer. I don't have any details worked out, but I think it could be super fun for the kids and the moms! Has anyone tried this?


  6. Fabulous ideas-- I love the ice-cream social party! I'm so looking forward to some good, laid back girls nights in the future.

  7. oh, i so want to. i'll take a rain check for next week, though. my inlaws come tomorrow and since i slept the day away in practically a medically induced coma on the couch while la had her way with the house, i have some serious catching up to do before 1pm. :( bummer. big bummer. catch me next week!

  8. i LOVE movie night. i want to do it a couple times this summer. :)


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