Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

       rss feed    Find me on facebook
Contest Sponsors:
OICF

Shameless Self-Promotion

I’m coming off my April hiatus for this one blog post because I just had to share something I’m really excited about. Back in February, I wrote a blog post alluding to a new business venture that a friend and I were launching. Well, it’s official - Lynne and I are now offering our services as mediators and arbitrators, and we’re thrilled with our new website. I hope you’re never involved in a dispute which requires the services of a mediator or arbitrator, but if you are, please keep us in mind. :)

And for some self-promotion of a slightly different kind, Ruvini over at Kahoots Kids recently interviewed me about my frugal philosophy. You can find that post here.

See you on May 1st!

Gone Fishing

I’m taking a little bloggy break, just a short hiatus. Don’t worry, I’ll be back better than ever with more great free and frugal fun. In fact, I already have a fantastic contest lined up for May! So please check back on May 1st when the spring/summer edition of frugalfish will debut. In the meantime, please visit my monthly calendar and my year-round events and activities listings for great ideas for free and frugal fun.

See you soon!

Gone fishing by Julia Folsom

Gone fishing by Julia Folsom (Flickr Creative Commons)

March Break Fun

Kids throughout Ottawa will be enjoying their time off as March Break is here! Instead of posting a weekly update as I usually do, I’ve put together a March Break on a Budget listing full of terrific free, frugal and almost frugal ideas. Please check it out here!

My Reel Babies giveaway closes Friday, March 9th at 7 pm. If you’d like a couple of free passes to see an Empire Theatre Reel Babies movie showing, check out this blog post and leave a comment.

Have a great week – think spring!

 

Reel Babies Giveaway!

“Disclosure – I am participating in the Empire Reel Babies program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Empire Theatres. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation.  The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Parents and caregivers will appreciate how difficult it is to go out when you have a young child; there seems to be so much equipment that has to be dragged along to make sure that baby stays happy, and irregular sleep and feeding schedules can make enjoying time away from home difficult. Hubby and I are pretty much homebodies, so adapting to life with B.G. wasn’t as difficult as it could have been. We weren’t too put out by having to skip dinners in fancy restaurants, but one activity we did (and still do) love was going to the movies. That’s why I love  Empire Theatres’ Reel Babies program – moms, dads, friends and family can go see a movie meant for grown-ups, in a real theatre, and they can bring baby along! Change tables, play mats, bottle warmers,even an exersaucer or swing are provided so that you can keep baby happy while you enjoy the movie. I can’t count the number of times I took advantage of this great program while I was on maternity leave, and I’m thrilled that Empire Theatres has provided me with six sets of Reel Babies passes to give away!

If you’d like to snag a couple of free passes, just leave me a comment below telling me about your experience with the Reel Babies program, or why you’d like to try it out. I’ll hold the draws using Random.org on Friday, March 9th, and draw winners will be contacted by email. Each winner will be mailed two passes valid until December 31, 2012.

Good luck - and enjoy the movie!

Empire Reel Babies

This Week: March 1 to 7, 2012

This week in Ottawa:

  • The RCMP’s annual Musical Ride Open House takes place on Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm;
  • Participating Cineplex theatres are offering family favourites for $2.50 per ticket. This week’s movie, Jumanji, is playing on Saturday at 11 am at Silver City Gloucester and Cineplex Odeon South Keys – thanks for the email Mary!
  • Children between the ages of 7 and 12 can join Billings Estate’s Conservation Club, which meets on Saturday from 2 to 3:30 pm (Almost Frugal – register by calling 613-247-4830);
  • Animal Tracking on Snowshoes, a free guided tour through Gatineau Park(snowshoes included!) takes place on Sunday;
  • Catch a movie at Rainbow Cinemas at the St. Laurent Centre – this week’s family-friendly showings include The Muppets, Hugo, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Almost Frugal); and
  • Find more suggestions in the monthly calendar for February and in my Year-round Activities listings.

My latest contest runs until 7 pm Friday evening – you could win a family pass to the Museum of Nature, just in time for March Break! Visit my contest page for details. My yearly March Break on a Budget listing is also up, and is full of great free and frugal ideas for keeping the kids entertained over the break.

Have a great week!

A new contest, just in time for March Break!

March Break is coming up quickly, and once again I’ve put together my March Break on a Budget listing. It’s full of great ideas to keep the kids busy over the break. I’ve also got a great contest on – you could win a family pass to the Museum of Nature to check out their newest exhibit, Whales, Tohora, which launches on March 2nd. Visit my contest page for details!

February 23 to 29, 2012

This week in Ottawa:

  • The Sens Gameday Experience takes place on Saturday from 9:45 to 11:30 am at Scotiabank Place;
  • Participating Cineplex theatres are offering family favourites for $2.50 per ticket. This week’s movie, The Land Before Time, is playing on Saturday at 11 am at Silver City Gloucester and Cineplex Odeon South Keys – I have to thank Mary for emailing me about these!
  • Lowes is offering a Kids Build and Grow Clinic on Saturday (build a Rumblin’ Race Car). Register by calling 613-830-6370 for the Orleans store or 613-836-3971 for the Kanata store;
  • Children between the ages of 2-1/2 and 4 can join Billings Estate’s Preschool Playdate, taking place on Saturday from 11 am to noon. This week’s theme is Baking (Almost Frugal – register by calling 613-247-4830);
  • Animal Tracking on Snowshoes, a free (snowshoes included!) guided tour through Gatineau Park, takes place on Sunday;
  • Kids can dress up and pose for pictures at the Nepean Museum’s Costumes and Cameras event on Sunday;
  • Carleton University’s annual chemistry magic show takes place on Sunday;
  • Catch a movie at Rainbow Cinemas at the St. Laurent Centre – this week’s family-friendly showings include The Muppets, Hugo, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Almost Frugal); and
  • Find more suggestions in the monthly calendar for February and in my Year-round Activities listings.

Have a great week!

February 16 to 22, 2012

It’s the final Winterlude weekend! You can find my Best of Winterlude picks here, and the official Winterlude site here.

More fun this week:

  • The University of Ottawa Wind Ensemble performs at Tabaret Hall on Thursday (admission is by voluntary contribution);
  • The Great Backyard Bird Count is on this weekend, from Friday to Monday. I blogged about last year’s GBBC here;
  • Children between the ages of 2-1/2 and 4 can join Billings Estate’s Preschool Playdate, taking place on Saturday from 11 am to noon. This week’s theme is Dinosaurs and Fossils (Almost Frugal – register by calling 613-247-4830);
  • Hazeldean Mall is launching a new Kids’ Club, the ”Hazeldean Hounds“, on Saturday. The free launch party will run from noon to 2 pm and will include kids’ entertainment, make and take crafts, and a magic show at 1 pm; 
  • Wintermuse continues at the Currency Museum on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Animal Tracking on Snowshoes, a free guided tour through Gatineau Park (snowshoes included!) takes place on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Catch a movie at Rainbow Cinemas at the St. Laurent Centre – this week’s family-friendly showings include The Muppets, Hugo, and Happy Feet Two (Almost Frugal); and
  • Find more suggestions in the monthly calendar for February and in my Year-round Activities listings.

Monday’s Family Day Fun:

  • Spend some time at Billings Estate on family day – try snowshoeing, a horse and sleigh ride, or make crafts (Almost Frugal);
  • Enjoy a winter fun day at Pinhey’s Point – take a horse-drawn sleigh ride, explore on snowshoes, and learn winter survival skills (Almost Frugal);
  • The outdoor skating rink at Rideau Hall will be open from noon to 5 pm (weather permitting!);
  • The NAC English Theatre is hosting a their second annual celebration of family from noon to 4 pm;
  • Councillor Allan Hubley and MPP Jack MacLaren are hosting a free family day skate from 10 am to noon at the Jack Charron Arena;
  • Head to Old Navy at the Rideau Centre for their free Funnovation Imaginarium from 1 to 4 pm;
  • The FC Capital United Soccer Club and the Ontario Soccer Association are hosting free soccer clinics for youth aged 4 to 12, particulary new Canadians;
  • The Ottawa School of Speech and Drama is putting on some family day fun with free drama workshops at 12:15 and 3:15, and performances by the Ottawa Theatre School at 11 am and 2pm;
  • The North Grenville Municipal Centre will be showing Puss In Boots at 10:30 am and 2 pm - these movies are usually Almost Frugal but the Municipal Centre is showing them for free until the new projector arrives;
  • Mayor Jim Watson is hosting a family day skate from 11 am to 2 pm at the new Rink of Dreams located on Marion Dewar Plaza at City Hall – winter fun and free hot chocolate too!
  • Dovercourt’s family day fun day takes places from 10 am to 4 pm (Almost Frugal).

Have a great week!

Busy. The Universe. Guest Posts.

Whenever I sit down to try and write a blog post lately, the words come out like the title of this post – choppy, incoherent, and scattered. (More than usual. :) That’s because I’m so…

…busy.

As promised in my To-Don’t post, so far I haven’t taken on any new projects in 2012. But I do have a few rather time consuming projects from 2011 to finish up. One of these projects involves taking courses, including a correspondence course. I keep waffling between wanting to work on it in every waking moment in order to get it done and just doing the bare minimum so that I have time to concentrate on other things. If I take this approach though, it’ll be hanging over my head for months.

The reason that I’m taking courses is that a friend and I will be launching a new venture in a few months. Details will be forthcoming soon, but for now we have prep work to do and decisions to make. I would love to be able to go part-time on my regular job and part-time with our venture. I would love it even more if I could go part-time with my current job and that it somehow morphed into one that’s related to the venture and to the courses I’m taking. Though I usually like to be firmly in control of my destiny and believe that anyone can accomplish pretty much anything they put their mind to, in this matter I’ve appealed to the…

…universe.

Instead of just quietly going about my business and preparing the new venture, I’ve started telling anyone and everyone at work about it. I’ve let it be known that I’m really interested in this area and that I would love to somehow modify/change/adjust my job to include it. And then I said, “There you go universe, it’s up to you now.” (I think I actually said it out loud. :)

We’ll see what transpires. In the meantime, I feel that I’ve been neglecting the frugal fun aspect of this blog, and I just don’t have time right now to research events like I used to. Which is why I’m looking for…

…guest posts!

If you’d like to try your hand at blogging or you’re already a blogger and you have a free, frugal or almost frugal event or activity that you’d like to blog about, please get in touch! I haven’t had guest bloggers before so I have no idea what to expect, but if you’re interested please email me at contactme(at)frugalfunottawa(dot)ca and we can chat about your ideas. Not much fame or fortune involved, but maybe a bit of fun!

Told you I was choppy, incoherent and scattered lately…!

February 9 to 15, 2012

This week in Ottawa:

Winterlude! You’ll find my Best of Winterlude picks here, and the official Winterlude site here.

Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday, and Koba Entertainment and The Backyardigans are offering free Valentine’s Day e-cards for kids! The card includes a picture of The Backyardigans and a personalized message. Just send a Valentine’s message to the backyardigans at info(at)thebackyardigansontour.com and your child’s message will be sent to them on Valentine’s Day. B.G. and Bonhomme have both sent emails to The Backyardigans and are anxiously awaiting their reply!

Thursday:

Friday:

  • It’s Valentine’s Date Night at the North Grenville Municipal Centre on Friday, and they’re showing Like Crazy (PG13) – these movies are usually Almost Frugal but the Municipal Centre is showing them for free until the new projector arrives;
  • Brantwood Park’s Valentine Skate takes place on Friday;
  • Catch the University of Ottawa Orchestra in concert at Saint Bridig’s Centre for the Arts on Friday (Almost Frugal).

Saturday:

  • Saturday is Hockey Day in Ottawa! Celebrate by joining in the fun at one of the City’s 237 outdoor hockey rinks;
  • Children between the ages of 2-1/2 and 4 can join Billings Estate’s Preschool Playdate, taking place on Saturday from 11 am to noon. This week’s theme is Seasons (Almost Frugal – register by calling 613-247-4830);
  • The Vanier Winter Carnival takes place on Saturday;
  • The Shenkman Arts Centre’s Fête Frisson takes place on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm – enjoy free skating, snow painting and ice carving, and the free OYP Theatre School’s OYPCapades show at 11 am;
  • Lowes is offering a Kids Build and Grow Clinic on Saturday (build a Valentine card creator). Register by calling 613-830-6370 for the Orleans store or 613-836-3971 for the Kanata store;
  • Kids can also build a keepsake box during the Home Depot’s Kids Do-It-Yourself workshop on Saturday (online registration required);
  • At 1pm, kids of all ages can make Valentine’s cards using the ancient art of quilling at the Vanier Museoparc.

Sunday:

  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day by joining the February Fling at Fairfields (3080 Richmond Road) from 1 to 4 pm.

All weekend:

  • The Beaver Cup 4 on 4 Pond Hockey Festival takes place on the Rideau Canal Friday through Sunday, and includes the 2nd Annual Media and Celebrity Pond Hockey Game at 1 pm on Sunday;
  • If you’re looking for indoor Winterlude fun, head over to the Currency Museum and check out Wintermuse on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Animal Tracking on Snowshoes, a free guided tour through Gatineau Park (snowshoes included!) takes place on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Kids can write Valentines for veterans in the lobby of the War Museum on Saturday and Sunday.

Valentine’s Day Tuesday:

  • Spend a romantic evening stargazing at the Museum of Science and Technology;
  • Join the Friends of Library and Archives Canada for a Valentine’s Day special presentation, From Love to Lust (For Grown-Ups – online registration required); 
  • Find more frugal Valentine’s fun in this guest post I wrote for Local Tourist Ottawa last year – though Amélie isn’t playing at the Bytowne this year, Casablanca is playing at 6:50 pm on Valentine’s Day.

More fun:

  • Catch a movie at Rainbow Cinemas at the St. Laurent Centre – this week’s family-friendly showings include The Muppets, Hugo, Happy Feet Two and Puss In Boots (Almost Frugal); and
  • Find more suggestions in the monthly calendar for February and in my Year-round Activities listings.

My latest contest is up – you could win four tickets to see Richard Scarry’s Busytown Busy! Details can be found on the Frugal Fun Ottawa contest page.

Happy Hockey Day, happy Valentine’s Day, and have a great week!