Note from a Cowardly Frugalista to our Courageous Armed Forces: THANK YOU!!! Tuesday, May 25 2010 

Hey all! Just got an opportunity to do something to thank our incredible military, and thought I’d pass it on!

I’m watching news footage of our amazing military in foreign countries, basically running TOWARDS danger, artillery fire, etc (whereas at the first sound of artillery fire down MY street, I’d be diving under the bed and screaming for my Momma…), when I got the thought that perhaps I’d apply MY particular know-how to help thank them for their efforts.

There’s a fantastic program called OTA – Operation Troop Aid, that has been incredibly successful in sending troops just what they need, when & where they need it.

If you’d like to get together with some friends, co-workers, etc & “adopt” a regiment, your efforts will be greatly appreciated. The list for our regiment’s requests is below, pretty basic stuff, and all found easily at your local discount grocery! You’d be amazed how far $50 goes at covering the list! With a basic $50, I was able to put together a huge box with specialty coffee, cocoa, trail mix, granola bars, peanut butter crackers, soap, sunblock, chapstick, razors, shampoo, etc.

Keep in mind, you don’t necessarily have to go out and buy anything for this. If cash is tight, take a look around – do you have sports equipment (footballs, baseballs, basketballs) that you don’t use anymore? How about last year’s collection of “Sports Illustrated” that’s collecting dust? Imagine our troops, overseas for a year, opening a box filled with a year’s worth of “Rolling Stone” magazine that WAS sitting on your shelf taking up space! They get a fabulous surprise, and YOU now have free space for something new! Everyone’s a winner! πŸ™‚

Many thanks to our brave military for keeping us safe – have a great day, everyone!

Unit Name: Pa National Guard, 1-110th Infantry, attached to 178th Field Artillery
Mission: Provide Security and Eliminate Taliban influence in Afghanistan

Items they need!
ENTERTAINMENT ITEMS (new or gently used):
DVD Movies (current titles and classics)
DVDs of popular TV shows
Music CDs (CURRENT titles or Classic Rock)
Board games
AAA batteries
Unused AT&T phone cards (AT&T International preferred)
Hand held electronic games
Playing cards and poker chips
Video game systems and games (PlayStation 2, X-box 360)
Magazines (men’s interests, outdoors, sports, news, etc.)
Puzzle books (Sudoku, Crossword, etc.)
MP3 players
Sports equipment (footballs, softball, baseball, soccer, etc.)

FOOD (unopened):
Pre-packaged snacks
β€’ Beef jerky, nuts, tuna packets, beef sticks, trail mix, dried fruit, popcorn, granola bars, energy bars, etc.
β€’ Individual serving packets of cookies, crackers, chips, pretzels, etc.
β€’ Specialty ground coffee (Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Tully’s etc.)
β€’ Hot chocolate
β€’ Powdered Drink mixes (Gatorade or other energy drinks, sweetened kool-aid or other brands
CLOTHING/BEDDING (new and unused):
White and black athletic socks
BLACK gloves, knit caps
Twin sheet sets
Twin sized blankets
Twin sized comforters
T-shirts (X and XL)
Bath towels and washcloths
Flip flops / shower shoes

Baby Wipes
Men & Women Triple blade Razors
Shaving supplies
Shower gel, liquid soap, bar soap
Foot powder
Hand sanitizer
Baby wipes and hand wipes
Sun block
Travel sized toothpaste
Toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss
Feminine hygiene items

Thanks for your support!

It’s GalTime!!! Wednesday, May 19 2010 

What a fantastic day!
I am THRILLED that the fabulous online magazine “GalTime” is incorporating Brilliant Frugal Living blogs into their articles!
Many thanks to Charlene Santos & Susan Krivelow for this fantastic opportunity! Check out their website for a closer look at this terrific outfit!

“Ideas That Spark”! Too cool! Wednesday, May 19 2010 

Howdy! Me again! I just had a great impromptu phone interview with writer Sarah Mahoney for “Ideas That Spark”, a website sponsored by Proctor & Gamble! Topic was “Saving on Summer Entertaining”. Thanks for the chat, Sarah, it was fun! Can’t wait to see your article! Between now & then, check out the website!

“Mary Talks Money” piece airs tonight: Saving on Baby! Wednesday, May 19 2010 

Good afternoon, fellow frugalistas!

A great opportunity to work again with the Live Well HD / 6-ABC crew for another “Mary Talks Money” went beautifully, and the first nationwide airing is tonight at 8:30P. The best part is an extraordinarily handsome 2-year old I adore running thru just about every shot. Camera shy? Not so much! πŸ™‚ He ran thru so many shots they found a way to beautifully incorporate him into the piece!

Thanks again to Executive Producer Susan Barclay & cameraman Sean Bernard for their amazing work! If I did this right, a sneak preview copy should be at this link. (if clicking it doesn’t work, yes I’m pathetic. just cut & paste!)

Ancient frugal quote… Wednesday, May 19 2010 

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants.” — Epicurus

Next “69 News at Sunrise” segment set for June 29! Wednesday, May 19 2010 

Hey fellow frugalites! Hope your week is going great!

Here in the deep frugalsphere, I just lucked out with another “Brilliant Frugal Living” gig on “69 News at Sunrise”! Looks like we’re going with Tuesday, June 29, for a “Fabulous, Frugal 4th of July Celebration!” I’m thinking of focusing on fantastic get-togethers with all the trimmings – saw lots of perfect decor at the dollar store. Then, for the second segment, I think I’ll incorporate some food ideas that won’t break the bank. ANYTHING to get my hands on that gorgeous studio kitchen again! πŸ™‚

If you’ve got ideas that’ll fit into this theme, send them my way! Would LOVE to hear them!

Absolutely can not wait! Eve, Jaciel – thanks a million!

Brilliant Frugal Living now available on! Tuesday, May 18 2010 

Brilliant Frugal Living now available on! It’s my personal book nerd’s dream come true! The book entry looks PRETTY sparse right now (it’ll take a bit for the bio & excerpt & all that stuff to load up) but still fun. πŸ™‚ Have a great afternoon, everyone!

Renovating Robbie’s Room! Monday, May 17 2010 

At long last, it’s time to get kids into their own separate rooms. Katie gets to keep the nursery, and Robbie gets his own big boy room, with a Thomas the Tank Engine theme!

I’m so excited about this – Robbie’s Room will be the last room in the house to complete! Yes, it was I, ten years ago, who assured my husband “OF COURSE we’ll be done renovating the house in a year – TWO MAX!”. And ten years later, I’m giddy at the thought of it being done…

Yesterday’s spackling dried, so I (along with the kids) sanded it out & scrubbed the woodwork. Tomorrow, we prime! Can not WAIT to get his room done! Next, onto Craiglist to find Thomas the Tank Engine bedroom stuff! πŸ™‚

UPDATE: Found some GREAT stuff on Craigslist, AND connected with a FAB fellow frugalista (and fellow 1986 SHHS high school alumni) with an extra Thomas the Tank Engine comforter that she’s ready, willing & able to part with. Too cool!

It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day… Wednesday, May 12 2010 

Okay, in light of (pun intended) the last PP&L bill, I just replaced eighteen 60-watt bulbs with new GE Energy Star bulbs (13 watt bulbs that light like 60 watts).

Given our recently-increased local KWH rates, these bulbs should save $55 each over a five year life ($990 total over 5 years). In short, saving $11/year, or .92/month per bulb. 18 bul…bs @ .92/each per month saves $16.56/month. What I need now is feedback from those who have used these and really seen their bills come down as a result. Anybody out there ever use these things? Did your bill markedly decrease as a result?

A very bright kind of quote. Wednesday, May 12 2010 

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who’d worry about giving his kids much of an allowance… yowsa. I’ve been getting some great emails from parents regarding newfound frugality and teaching kids good money management, and this quote came to mind. Have a brightly lit day, everyone!

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