Kathy MurdockAuthor

Kathy Murdock

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running.

grandparents and granddaughter

Here’s an interesting dilemma I’ve (luckily) never thought about!

A friend of mine recently confided she feels uncomfortable with the amount of spoiling her parents do when it comes to her child.

Now, I understand what one person considers ‘spoiled’ might be another person’s norm, so I suppose it is all relative and dependent upon your situation. That said, in my friend’s case, she believes one set of grandparents over-spend on gifts for her child.

She compares the overspending to the amount she and her husband and the other set of grandparents spend for holidays and birthdays and just everyday items.

For instance, my friend’s daughter received a Kindle from her grandparents for her birthday, along with a variety of other expensive gifts. These gifts were much more expensive than the ones my friend had given her daughter. She felt uncomfortable in the situation, as though it were over the top. She feels as many of us do – she wants her daughter to appreciate what she gets and not get everything she wants, which, she fears, will turn into a bad outlook on life down the road. …
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little girl chore

Now that my girls are older, they are expected to help out around the house on a regular basis. Before, when they were small, I would ask them to clean up their toys or pick up their rooms or put things away as needed. Now, each week, they put their clothes away and do a variety of other chores, like feed the dog and help vacuum.

Part of their allowance is tied to their chores. If they do their set chores throughout the week and earn enough tokens, then they get their full allowance. If, however, they skimp on chores, they get a portion of their allowance or no allowance at all (which, I’m pleased to say, has yet to be the case!). If they go above and beyond, they can earn extra.

Not too many years ago I interviewed an author who felt this way:

Children should not be paid to do chores. Chores are a means for helping around the house. Adults don’t get paid to do chores. Children should look at chores as a way to help the family.
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homemade play dough

I had planned to write about making homemade sidewalk chalk this week. In fact, I’d gathered together our supplies and told the girls this is how we would spend our Saturday.

Then the weather got cold. Again. I don’t know about you, but the thought of drawing pictures on the pavement outside in the freezing cold with the wind blowing 15 mph doesn’t sound like such a great plan to me! But we love to craft and create on the weekend, so I quickly turned to another plan: homemade play dough.

If you haven’t made this before, you should! It’s super easy and super safe for kids. It’s also cheap to make; you should have everything you need in your cabinets, in fact! And once it is done it’ll keep the kids entertained for hours. Plus you can store it in a baggie or container for a few weeks for more play.

My girls are older, and their friend, who happened to be at our house, is in between their ages. They were able to help me with all parts of this process, including ‘cooking’ the play dough. Younger kids may be limited in what they can do to help, but if you don’t mind things getting a little messy (I don’t), they will enjoy measuring out the ingredients. …
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exercise during pregnancy

During my first pregnancy I was terrified to do any type of exercise. I wanted to run. I had been running for years. The doctor gave me the okay to run, but visions of a jostled baby scared me, and so I did little more than walk a few blocks here and there. I gained quite a bit of weight and had a tough time taking it off once I delivered.

My second pregnancy, though, went a bit differently. I ran until just a few weeks before delivery. I ran three days a week, three miles at a time, until I got too big and the baby pressed down on my bladder, leaving me to believe my water had broken on one particular jaunt. (The friendly staff at the local ER assured me, after an ultrasound, that wasn’t amniotic fluid I’d leaked but – much to my embarrassment – another bodily fluid.) I did so to keep my sanity and, I hoped, to keep in shape so that after baby came I had more energy and could drop the added weight faster. (I did on both counts.)

Still, I always wondered how safe exercise was during pregnancy, what was okay to do, and what should be avoided during that time. So I turned to a few experts with questions about the safety of fitness during pregnancy and to find out their thoughts about exercising with baby on board. …
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post baby shape up

Pregnancy will likely change your body not only during the nine months you carry junior but for months –or possibly years – after. And since everyone carries weight differently, it’s impossible to prescribe a one-size-fits-all training plan for new moms
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weight lifting

For years I was a cardio-only kind of gal. I prided myself on the ability to run for as long and far as I could before dropping. I reveled in the fact that I could run multiple days in a row without rest or that I could run and then get on a bike and pedal and then get in a pool in swim.

I never lifted a weight.

I had a fear of lifting. I tend to bulk up quickly in the arms. I didn’t want to look like a body builder. I felt, too, strength training in general, and weights specifically, would not help my running.

I was wrong.
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woman child

When our children were born we lived in Los Angeles, which, of course, was a wee bit more expensive than living in our current southern, small town location.

When hubby and I decided to finally enjoy a date night (over a year after having our first daughter), I gathered together a list of referred babysitters in our area and started making calls.

I was surprised to discover babysitters charged, on average, $15 per hour! I figured it was just my thrifty mindset and the fact that when I babysat I believe I made something like $4 per hour. But we didn’t have family around and we hadn’t had a date night in so long we’d actually forgotten what it was like to eat dinner without someone throwing food at us, so we were set on going out.

We did, and we loved it, but the cost of that one date night made us wait a long, long time (and a cross country move) before we went out again. …
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stretches for an aching back

There have been a few constants since I had children.

One, I don’t get enough sleep. It used to be because the kids woke me at night for feedings and changings; now it is because nighttime is the only time I get to read, play on the Internet, and watch TV.

Two, I can’t plan like I used to. I used to want to know exactly what I was going to do all the time. Not happening now. If I plan something these days, someone inevitably ends up sick or in need of doing something else.

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52 week money challenge

I often skip over many of the ‘other’ posts or pages I see on Facebook, since it can be time consuming to read through each one.

Recently, though, this page caught my eye:

52 Week Money Challenge

The idea: Save $1,378.00 in 52 weeks. …
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the art of self-massage

As a long-time distance runner I’ve had my share of aches and pains. Some have been quick healers, while others, like hamstring tendonitis, took a little time – and some therapy. Regardless of what aches, a massage is worth a million dollars to undue those lactic acid knots, elongate the muscles, and help the healing [&hellip
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