Superbowl party on a super-low budget! Monday, Jan 26 2015 

Hey gang – are you ready for some (frugal) football?
I have to tell you, as much as I usually ignore the sport in general, even I’m getting excited for this upcoming game.  It’s been a few weeks since the holidays, we’re all sitting around in freezing snow waiting for springtime to throw us a bone – this is the perfect time for some indoor sporty celebrations!  If you’re thinking of getting the gang together for a Superbowl party, fear not – it won’t break the bank!  With this frugal festivities checklist, your Superbowl party costs will deflate faster than a Patriot football (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Your party needs three things to truly succeed – food, beverages, and space to get loud and safely move around (including, but not limited to, wild hand gestures, jumping on/off furniture, hurling small objects, and swearing loudly at the television – depending on your guest list).  Take a look at the room where the game will be watched – haul in as many soft chairs and large sitting pillows as you can.  Not only will it provide extra seating, you’ll be amazed how well it absorbs sound.

Let’s move on to the food – believe it or not, the Calorie Control Council (which I didn’t even know existed until 5 minutes ago) estimates that Superbowl partiers will consume on average 1200 calories during the game!  If you’re having 5 or more people over, those food costs add up huge!  As with all parties, I have one word for you: DELEGATE.  Make sure everybody coming to your party brings a solid contribution of snacks, soda, and/or the beverage of their choice.  The day before your shindig, hit the local Warehouse stores for amazing deals on snacks and sodas and stock up – don’t worry if it turns out you bought a bit too much.  It’ll come in handy for post-game celebratory snacks days after the game, or worst case scenario, a post-game nosh to drown your sorrows when your beloved team loses.

As for food and snack choices,  I have one solid bit of advice that I beg you to take seriously – skip the wings.  The price-gouging on chicken wings in the days before the Superbowl are downright criminal, I mean come on!  We’re talking about scrawny little chicken wings, mostly skin & bone, going for $2 a pound or more!  Give me a break.  Here’s the silver lining.  For the last few years, I’ve noticed time and again how the supermarkets are stocking up on way too many wings – the week after the Superbowl, I’ve seen deals on chicken wings for $0.69/pound or less!  Wait it out, the wing gods will look kindly on you.

Last but not least, the beverages – you know I’m not much of a drinker.  I save my calories for important stuff… like chocolate. Now I’m not suggesting that you go with a dry party for the Superbowl.  I’m basically being told that’s like celebrating Valentine’s day without using the color red.  However, next to over-priced wings, alcohol is without a doubt a party budget buster, one with an easy fix.  Make sure all of your drinking guests bring something with them.  Simple as that.

Here’s to a fantastic game with family, friends & awesome food – frugal on!
Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist & Author of Brilliant Frugal Living.  She co-hosts WCHE 1520’s Morning Show, and “The Kristen Hagopian Show” airs Tuesdays at 4P.  She resides in Chester County with her family.  You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

Five Frugal Moves to Save big $$$ in 2015 Monday, Jan 26 2015 

Hey gang – Happy 2015!  So far, my biggest goal for the year has been “Don’t freeze to death.”.  Simple, measurable, I like it.  However, high on my 2015 Goal List is also a serious determination to take our household spending to dramatically low levels, while still keeping a high quality of life.  If you’re like the millions that are ready to stockpile a lot more of your hard earned cash this year, read on for easy moves that will save you thousands.

#1 – Buy yourself a cup of coffee.  If you’re a caffeine addict like I am, get yourself to the local Dollar Store and stock up on a week’s worth of coffee travel mugs for $7.  Each day you brew your delicious caffeinated goodness at home (rather than buy it at your local convenience store), you’re saving yourself $1.50/day.  That’s $500/year back in your pocket by year’s end, and you’re still getting your morning caffeine hit.  Everyone’s a winner.
#2 – Invest in a local Warehouse Club card.  Case in point: your local BJ’s in Downingtown, where a Membership card costs less than $50!  Buying all the basic staples of my cupboards & refrigerator at BJ’s (bread, produce, butter, milk, meats) I often save at least $40/week on groceries compared to shopping elsewhere.  Boom, that $50 membership card just paid you back $2000 in one year’s time.   Nice return on investment!
#3 – Learn to love your local library.  I’ve spoken to people in serious debt who still think nothing of an expensive monthly cable package, not to mention regular purchases of magazines, books and DVD movies at full price, only to look at them once and them put them on a crowded shelf.  Sound familiar?  Behold, your local library, where all of the above are free.   If you’re normally spending $20 or more a week on entertainment like magazines, movies & books, you just saved yourself another $1000/year.  You’re welcome.
#4 – Hit your local Goodwill at least once a month.  There are fantastic locations in Exton & Thorndale that never let me down.  I’m constantly finding outstanding items in there for easily 80-90% off retail.  Home furnishings, kid’s clothing, shoes, suits, gifts, you name it – they’ve got it, for a fraction of retail.  I don’t call it “Tiffany’s for Tightwads” for nothing – It’s a perfect money-saving haven for busy families.
#5 – Dinner’s on!  There’s a staggering statistic out there that states the average American family eats out at last four times a week, with an average $50/check for a family of four.  That can add up to $200/week.  No good.  Trust me, I know being a working parent can be exhausting, but you know what can be even more exhausting?  Realizing next December that you worked hard in 2015 to support a $10,000/year restaurant habit.  Keep it simple, put some spaghetti in a pot at home and have the kids set the table while you throw together a couple of salads.  Et voila – a great dinner with the ones you love, and thousands more in the bank.  Frugal On!

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show host, Columnist and Author of “Brilliant Frugal Living.” She co-hosts WCHE 1520’s Morning Show, and “The Kristen Hagopian Show” airs at 4 p.m. Tuesdays. She resides in Chester County with her family. You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com.

Inexpensive last minute gifts they’ll love! Monday, Jan 26 2015 

Okay guys – it’s December 23rd – it’s crunch time.   The entire month has flown by at Mach 2, and you’re looking at a somewhat scary list of people you have yet to shop for.   You’re not alone!  Read on for effortless, fabulous gift ideas that your family and friends will love, that you can put together inexpensively in minutes.

Gift Cards – one of my top picks.  Adults love them, kids love them, they’re highly appreciated and they’re used quickly.   For adults, best bets are gas stations that have not only fuel but excellent coffee – clearly Wawa & Sheetz get top marks.  Come January, just imagine the look on your broke buddy’s face when they had to run out the door without their caffeine fix and see they’re hitting “E” on the gas tank as well.  They’ll pull your gift card out of their pocket and sing your praises all the way to the coffee stirrers.

Magazine subscriptions – in today’s economy, people are cutting back on the fun little luxuries, including magazine subscriptions.  Think about your gift recipient’s favorite hobbies (Sports? Cooking? Hunting? Fashion? Decorating?) then get online to buy them a year’s subscription to a fantastic magazine – or two – that they can look forward to month after month.  Boom, gift giving is complete.

Homemade baked goods – these are still such a hit, and honestly not that hard to create – no mixers required!  Why?  Because in my book, if you take a tube of ready-made cookie dough off the supermarket shelf, and cut it open at home, slice them down into odd-shapes and let the kids add tons of sprinkles and/or icing, that counts as homemade.   It’s appreciated, it’s customized, it’s delicious to boot.  If you’ve got an afternoon to spare, carve an hour out to get these in the oven, let them cool, put them into some inexpensive tins and watch the lucky recipients dive in!

Lottery tickets – Honestly, I’ve never been into the lottery.  Odds are just slightly against my winning (don’t I wish), and I’d rather put my cash into a good cup of coffee.  That being said, there are so-ho-ho many people out there practicing their “Oh my GOD, I WON!” faces, and you and I know they’d love a ticket – or two – to put in their pocket.   Make their day, and make it clear that – if they win – you get a 10% commission.  Everyone’s a winner.

Dollar Store Gift Baskets – These gems have saved me too many times to count!   Easily made within 5 minutes for $5 or less at the Dollar Store.  They have it all gang – gift baskets, colorful shredded paper for fluff, coffee mugs, candy, cookies, chocolate, snacks – even small crafts and toys for kids’ baskets.  Et voila!  The possibility for hundreds of gift combos (all for $5 or less) await you!

This Christmas, I’m hearing from people right and left who find themselves even more cash-strapped (and time-strapped) than last year.  Trust me, whatever you give your buddies, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness more than anything.  And if you’re subsidizing their caffeine intake as well, hey, what’s not to love?  Frugal On!

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show host, Columnist and Author of “Brilliant Frugal Living.” She co-hosts WCHE 1520’s Morning Show, and “The Kristen Hagopian Show” airs at 4 p.m. Tuesdays. She resides in Chester County with her family. You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com.

Readers send in Fabulously Frugal Holiday Shopping Finds! Monday, Jan 26 2015 

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukah, everybody!   With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, I sent out a Social Media Challenge to our fabulous DLN readers to share some of their favorite money-saving, gift buying hot-spots.  As usual, they came thru with flying colors!  Read on for some of your fellow DLN’ers top tips for inexpensive, elegant gift giving.

Maggie T. of West Chester swears by the big warehouse stores, especially BJ’s – “I love the one-stop shopping, the gifts are wonderful, and not overpriced.  I honestly get more than half my Christmas shopping done there in one trip.  I find myself buying a lot of books as gifts too, and BJ’s has all of the good ones.  One of my favorite things there are the baked treats, especially the cookies.  My 7 grandkids spend a lot of time at my house during the holidays, and it’s easy to have fresh cookies and goodies in the house when I make a trip there. They also have good heat-and-eat side dishes that I’m going to be using for Christmas dinner.”  Thanks, Maggie!  And Girlfriend, I’m with you.  Hands down, some of the best prices around on food, gifts, toys & batteries.

Leslie K. of Exton makes Goodwill her first big stop when she goes holiday shopping – “I have four sisters, and we all love fun purses and lots of jewelry.   Budgets are crazy tight this year, but I always find awesome designer names for purses, shoes, sweaters, jewelry, you name it.   It’s without a doubt one of the best places you can shop in Chester County.”  Amen sister!  I’ve got two younger sisters, and we will forever adore our bling!  Also just found two lovely Christmas outfits for my rapidly-growing kids at the Goodwill in Exton.  Katie’s dress was originally priced at $180 (I know because the tag was still on it), and I got it for $10! Robbie’s Christmas suit only cost $6, it’s so adorable – and he’ll probably outgrow it by the end of January.

Carmen S. of Downingtown loves to shop local for gifts, and finds that restaurant gift cards are one of the best gifts she’s ever given.  “They’re a hit every single year – most of my family & friends have cut back on eating out to save money, so when you give them a gift card to Buca Di Beppo or some other great local restaurant, you know they’ll like it and they’ll use it – especially when she adds a handmade “gift card” for free babysitting while her friends enjoy a well-earned evening out.   Talk about a huge hit of a gift!

These are just a few of the fabulous emails & texts I got from DLN fans – I want to hear from you as well!  If you have a favorite Chester County shop where you’re finding amazing holiday deals and bargains, find me online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com.  Frugal on, everyone – Merry Christmas!

A Fabulously Frugal Thanksgiving! Thursday, Nov 13 2014 

If November is going to fly by has as fast as October, it’s going to be Thanksgiving before we know it. While many consider Thanksgiving to be firmly in the Top Ten of major holiday stressors, take it from me, it doesn’t have to be! Read on for some fabulously frugal proven strategies to keep your Thanksgiving joy high and your bills (and stress) at all-time lows!
Rule #1 – Keep the main dish simple. I lean towards turkey, but I’m old fashioned that way. That, and it makes the house smell fantastic. Believe it or not, I’m hearing from women who are already stressing at the idea of creating their usual main dish trifecta of ham, turkey and some kind of lasagna or fish – what are they nuts? One and done is my rule, and it saves me tons of stress, not to mention money, oven space, and room for leftovers in the refrigerator.
Rule #2 – There’s nothing wrong with delegating. Even the simplest of lovely Thanksgivings have at least a dozen moving parts – side dishes, snacks, desserts, flowers, etc. Nowhere is it written that you have to do it all by yourself, so quit trying! Everyone invited to your Thanksgiving table is going to want to contribute, so grant them their wish. Put your flower-loving friend in charge of a centerpiece, your chocoholic buddy the job of a dessert or two, your wine connoisseur the job of a good bottle or two of wine and your organic gluten-free guru Aunt a side dish or three. Play your cards right, and all you’ll have to do is produce the main dish. You didn’t hear it here, but when you’re in charge of doing just a turkey, there’s nothing wrong with calling a nearby meat market that offers baked turkeys for pickup on Thanksgiving day. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard from people who have, and the word on the street is that they’re divine.
Rule #3 – Remember the reason for the season. It’s called a day of “Thanksgiving”, not a day of “Stress to the point of a nervous breakdown”. The whole idea for a day of thanks was to spend a day with family and loved ones, reflecting on our blessings, and offering up some heartfelt thanks. Oh, okay and maybe some football. Using the tips above, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy a great meal with your family and friends, linger over dessert and coffee, and cheer for your favorite football team… just the way the Pilgrims intended. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Fabulously Frugal Football! Thursday, Nov 13 2014 

For this week’s money-saving Column, I’m embarking on new territory – sports! Namely, football. I started thinking about this subject matter when I began hearing the costs of season tickets for the big football teams – what are they, nuts? We’re talking about thousands of dollars for season tickets. Do the Commissioners think suddenly people don’t have a mortgage to pay anymore? Between ticket costs and the latest NFL headlines, I got seriously frustrated until somebody told me about the amazing fun that could be had on the local college level. I didn’t believe it myself until I went with Victor to a Temple Football Game down at Lincoln Financial Field a couple of weeks ago, and now I’m officially hooked. So much fun, and so reasonably priced! Read on for some fabulously frugal reasons why Temple Football tickets (and local Colleges in general) are a great way to enjoy football without breaking the bank.
Reason #1 – College Football is fabulously affordable family fun – Temple tickets for kids on game day are only $7. You can’t even get into a movie theatre for that price anymore, and with football, you’re even getting a little fresh air while you’re at it.
Reason #2 – Temple plays their home games at Lincoln Financial Field. I never had a chance to check out this awesome venue before. Pretty impressive!
Reason #3 – The tailgating. With college football, people have taken tailgating to the level of an Olympic sport. Totally impressive. Come see firsthand how people manage to pull lawn chairs, grills, coolers, two hammocks, a bean bag toss game and four kids out of a standard minivan.
Reason #4 – It’s football played right. I might sound like an old lady, but when I’m watching the NFL on television, I cringe every single time I watch a tackle – it’s like watching somebody being mugged! With college football, I feel like I’m watching the sport the way it’s supposed to be played – reasonable tackles, nobody dislocates a body part, loses consciousness, or misplaces an eyeball. Nice.
Reason #5 – The Marching Band. I was in marching band when I was in high school, and you just never get it out of your system. Temple’s marching band is awesome!
Reason #6 – PJ Walker. Holy Mackerel. I’m not even into sports, and even I can tell that this young man is something amazing to watch on the field.
I’m looking forward to heading back to Lincoln Financial Field when they face East Carolina on Saturday, November 1st. The food is fabulous, with any luck the weather gods will be kind, and following the game on 11/1, all kids ages 14 and under – with an accompanying adult – can go onto the field and catch a touchdown pass! Not bad for a $7 ticket. Go Owls, and frugal on!

Saving for College 101 Thursday, Nov 13 2014 

I just found out September is officially considered “Saving for College” month. This seemed cool and insightful until I found out it’s also the official “Eat Chicken Month”, “Fall Hat Month” and “Pleasure Your Mate Month” (look it up if you don’t believe me!). With recent headlines screaming about the skyrocketing cost of college (and this being a family newspaper), I’m leaning towards a “Saving for College” theme for today’s Column. Trust me, once I go thru the math, the numbers will be so downright sexy it might qualify for the “Pleasure Your Mate Month” too – bonus!

When people read that a child born today could face college costs of $150,000-$250,000 down the road, they often give a shrug of resignation, as though attempting to save would be futile at best, humorous at worst. Well, never fear – not only do I seriously doubt the numbers, but I’ve also got two easy tips that will take you to your goals in leaps and bounds.

Tip #1: For big results, think small, and watch it add up huge – Between now and the SAT’s, chances are excellent your kids are going to have a few birthdays & celebrations. Make them work to your kid’s future advantage by making it clear to family and friends that (depending on your child’s age), whatever amount they want to spend on a gift, spend half on the gift, another half on a contribution to their college savings. Anyone who has attended a child’s birthday party knows that the toy/gadget overload is usually of biblical proportions – the only thing more impressive is how bored the child is with it 48-72 hours later. Case in point – I was raised in a wonderful household in which my childhood birthday parties were a fantastic, memorable affair with friends, family and lots of gifts, and for the most part, I can’t remember 1/100th of the presents I received. On the other hand, each year my Aunts, Uncles & Grandparents were encouraged to send me $5, $10 and $25 savings bonds, which went straight into the bank. When I hit Penn State a decade or two later, those small amounts accumulated to pay for three semesters worth of expenses at school. You get the point. Think small, and watch it add up like crazy.

Tip #2: Think outside the Ivy League box – I have nothing against impressive, expensive Universities. The architecture is usually magnificent, and I’m a huge fan of their history. That being said, of all of the people I know who attended Ivy League schools (or other overpriced Universities), more than half were still paying off school loans 20 years later. It’s like having a $200,000 mortgage for a piece of framed paper on the wall. On the flip side, I can personally name eight people in my close circle of friends, family and work acquaintances who attended a local campus or Community College, paid off all of their school costs immediately, and are now earning six figure salaries, with no college debt, as we push thru one of the biggest recessions in history. Enough said.

Whatever your College ambitions, never let an obnoxious depressing headline steer you from your goals – and for more money-saving advice, catch my Show Tuesdays at 4P on West Chester’s WCHE 1520 – did I mention September is also “National Shameless Self Promotion Month” as well? Frugal On!
Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist & Author of Brilliant Frugal Living. She co-hosts WCHE 1520’s Morning Show on Wednesdays, and you can find her online at http://www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

Have a Fabulously Frightfully Frugal Halloween! Thursday, Oct 17 2013 

Yokay, so the weather hit a tropical 80-something degrees this past weekend (and I loved every minute of it).  Whether your air conditioner is blaring full blast at the moment or not, that doesn’t change the fact that another fabulous Halloween is upon us in just a couple of weeks!  Better still, the inevitable 50-90% off day-after-Halloween candy is on store shelves shortly after that – yeah baby!  But I digress…

If you’re in need of fun costumes for your kids, but you’re as strapped for time as you are for cash, fear not – I’d like to reintroduce you to a Halloween costume classic that is simple to put together, and can easily cost $3 or less with the help of your local Dollar Store.  This Halloween, the fabulously frugal fashion word is – CAPES!  Yes, capes – those easily assembled little numbers that not only effortlessly transform kids into perfectly costumed candy carriers, but also cover a multitude of clothing underneath it if we should have a freakishly odd temperature switcheroo into some winterish weather on October 31st.    If you don’t spot any capes at your local Thrift Stores, hit your local fabric stores instead, where racks upon racks of multi-colored cloth await you.  Depending on the age & height of your child, one square yard (often $2 or less) will do the trick.  Carefully cut a hole in the middle of it large enough for your child’s head to fit thru, et voila!  Your child is costumed!  The finishing touch can be found at your local Dollar stores, where I’m seeing masks of all shapes & sizes – some of them truly freaky.   

When it comes to the best caped costumes, here’s my favorite combos:
(1) Black cape with Darth Vader mask – my 6-year old son gave me the idea for this one.  He recently received a great Darth Vader Jedi sword toy for his birthday, and has yet to put it down.   Draping a black cape over his little head and putting a Darth Vader mask on him was one of the easiest costumes I’ve ever done!  Ever better was the look on his face when he took his Jedi Knight Sword and looked at himself in the mirror in full costume.  Priceless!  I think we’ve got a hit. 
(2) Purple cape – If you’re like me, and you have a red-blooded American daughter in the house who has seen “Tangled” approximately 74329 times, grab her long blonde Rapunzel wig out of the toybox, add this easy purple cape, and you’re set!
(3) Red cape – Little Red Riding Hood in an instant.  Extra points if you have a basket she can skip around in to get candy.   
(4) One more for the Black Cape – a vampire!  Have fun with the makeup, and pair it with vampire teeth found in just about every Dollar Store.
(5) White cape – let us not forget one of the easiest costumes ever, the white “cape” or old white sheet, with two small holes carefully cut out for the eyes, thrown over your child’s eager little candy-loving head.   Let’s face it, the Ghost costume is truly the little black dress of Halloween costumes, the fashion classic that never goes out of style.  Better still, if you have any old sheets in the laundry room you’re no longer using, this costume is completely free!

Happy (almost) Halloween, everybody!

A Fabulously Frugal Family Room! Sunday, Sep 22 2013 

Hey gang!  How’s the late summer treating you so far?  Around here, I’m being uncharacteristically productive in this gorgeous weather, perhaps because I know that the cooler temps can’t be far behind. 
For me, it’s become absolutely therapeutic decluttering during the last month or so, and I thought I’d kick it up a notch.  Read on for a great one-two-three decluttering strategy that will not only get your house looking fabulous, but put some fabulous money in the bank as well!
First Step – Declutter.  Look around your house – if your home is anything like mine, I suggest starting with the Family Room.  With a busy husband and two active kids, my living areas were starting to look like a cross between the show “Hoarders” and the Film “Twister”.  Honest to God, I have no idea how it got that bad, but having both kids in school for the last two weeks gave me an amazing opportunity to declutter and reclaim the room back.  It’s fabulous!  If you’re looking for a Fall Activity that will have you feeling like a million bucks, take a day to clear out anything and everything that’s cluttering up your most active spaces.  My wiggle-space-only Family Room now feels like a gymnasium.  It’s that good.  But it gets better.

Next Step – Turn Clutter into Cash.  Now that you have a pile of books, clothing, shoes, magazines, knickknacks, lamps, furniture, videos, DVD’s and more (none of which you’ve used in ages), it’s time to transform it into cash.  It’s easier than you’d think.  If your Community is holding a yard sale, throw your stuff into the mix and keep the prices LOW to move everything.  Easier still – get out the digital camera and put everything on Craigslist.  Easiest of all – detail everything, donate it to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill and be sure to count every penny of it on your next tax return. 

Last Step – Invest Cash into Heating Fuel for Winter before the prices go up!  So now you’ve cleared out your living spaces and completely decluttered.  Awesome.  Then you got rid of the mountain of unneeded stuff online, at your local Garage Sale, or by donating it.  BRAVO!  If you have cash in hand for your efforts, a serious gold star for you.  Don’t even think of springing the cash at a trip to the casinos.  Rather, call your local fuel oil company and fill up your tanks to the brim now, before the prices go up.  If you donated everything, fantastic!  When your tax return shows up next Spring, it’ll be another outstanding chance to fill up your oil and fuel tanks when the prices are lower.  Whatever you do, don’t fill them up when prices go sky high in winter!
Et Voila!  Your house is looking fabulous, you’ve got enough room in your most active living areas to do an arms-wide, Julie-Andrews-on-a-mountaintop spin (singing optional), and you’ve got some serious cash to show for it.  Here’s to another productive Autumn! 

Celebrate a Fabulously Frugal Autumn Sunday, Sep 22 2013 

Well gang, it’s official: we’re headed into another beautiful Autumn.  The kids are back in school, the weather’s getting cooler, I’ve officially given up on my summertime dieting plans and gone with my ever-so-clever Plan B (covering up with the bulky sweaters I just pulled back out of storage – et voila! I can pretend I’m a size 4 under that heavy wool monster sweater – hooray!).   

I find the key to enjoying this beautiful season to its fullest is to fill it with activities, projects and celebrations that utilize all of the loveliest aspects of Fall for maximum enjoyment.  One of the best things you can do for frugal fun is enjoy some local Workshops and Events that benefit you and your local area!  It’s a win-win for you and your Community!

Case in point: For those of you connecting with me via email and Facebook looking for fun, frugal ideas for a great night out, I just found out about a Chester County Octoberfest coming up in West Nantmeal township that’s a combo of everything I love in local entertainment.  It’s fabulous fun, reasonably priced, and ticket sales benefit the Community big-time with a restoration effort to rebuild the gorgeous historic stone walls in and around Isabella Furnace.  What’s not to love?  The more I learn about the historic stone walls in NW Chester County (including my own), the more I want to learn about restoring them, so long as it can be done at a cost that doesn’t destroy my back or my bank account.  If you’re like the thousands of people in Chester County with a yard full of hidden rocks that you’d like to find a good use for, think about signing up for the Dry Stone Wall Workshop at Isabella Furnace on October 20th!  Hit their
website for more info: westnantmealhc.org.

Knowing myself the way I do, I’m certain that I shall emerge from the Dry Stone Wall Workshop with my usual delusions of Martha Stewart-esque abilities, and shall throw myself into an ambitious Fall project to rebuild my own stone walls.  After that, it’s time to celebrate with some fabulous fall fun!   However, if your entertainment budget is anything like mine (tighter than Joan Rivers’ forehead), spend it in fabulous frugal fashion with an Event like the Chester County Octoberfest Event at Wyebrook Farm, offering you a great night out that benefits your local area as well.  Tickets are only $40 for this adults-only Event, and includes dinner, beer, a German band and much more.  FYI, carbs don’t count when you’re enjoying a meal that benefits the Community, so with the dinner I’m expecting, I can only hope the dress code includes marvelously bulky sweaters!  To buy your tickets, call 610-286-9722, or hit their website at westnantmealhc.org. 

Viva Autumn! K

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