Pary Moppins

http://www.parymoppins.net

Pary Moppins is a caffeine fueled account of my life in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Recipes, practical tips for frugal living, and more than you ever wanted to know about hats is what you'll find here.

Julie is a winner of Top 25 Southern Moms - 2013

What's the best part of raising a family in the South?

Family. When we moved back to the States after living in England for 8 years, we knew we wanted to be closer to family. Now, I'm not sure that six houses away from my parents was exactly what we were thinking, but as it happens, it was perfect for us. Moving back to my home town meant that my daughter has the benefit of growing up with all of her extended family around.

What's the biggest misconception about living in the South?

Just because we talk slowly, doesn't mean we're stupid. It just means that we take the time to consider our answers. Plus, no matter what you say, it sounds much sweeter when you say it slowly and with a smile.

What do your kids love most about living in the South?

The weather of course! Southern kiddos have 10 1/2 months out of the year where they can romp and play outside.

What's your best tip for teaching a gradeschooler about money?

Julie Willis

Dave Ramsey has a children's program called "Financial Peace Junior" which is a great resource for your kiddo. Basically you teach your child to do three things with their money, spend it, save it, and give it. As for getting money, my husband and I want to teach our daughter that she trades her time for money, just like grown-ups do with a job, so she has a chore list in order to earn money. On that list, are bonus activities whereby if she does them, she earns more money as well as what we call "family contributions" and she does not receive any pay for these activities. Not every chore is "billable" so to speak because it is part of making our household run smoothly. For instance, making her bed is a "family contribution" and therefore earns no money; however, if she folds laundry, she earns $.25 a load but if she wants an opportunity to earn more, she wipes the baseboards in one room of the house for an extra $1.
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Help us create the ultimate pirate-themed birthday party! Please share an idea for a game, recipe, party favor, decoration, etc. that's perfect for a pirate party. Include a link to a photo if you have one!

Julie Willis

We like taking themes and scooting them right outside the box. For instance, my daughter was not a pirate but a PI-RETTE for Halloween one year. For food I would serve sweet and savory tartlets (pie-ettes). Or even turn the theme on its head and use lots of references to Pi (π). For games you could have balancing contests to see who could best walk the plank or go on a treasure hunt. What about a peg leg (three legged) race? After they find their treasure, maybe you could have a dance competition to have them shake their "booty". You could use pirate vocabulary as part of charades or pictionary. For younger kiddos maybe play pin the patch or the parrot on the pirate?
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Do you have any great tips for removing stains? Whether it's mud on carpets or blood on clothes, we want to hear your best stain-banishing tricks!

Julie Willis

My two favorite stain removal tips: hydrogen peroxide for blood stains and white wine for red wine stains.
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What's your best tip for easing the impact of holiday house guests?

Julie Willis

I'm with the Boy Scouts on this one: Be Prepared! Make sure every bathroom has towels and toilet paper. Use paper or plastic if having a large crowd to keep stress and clean up at a minimum. Make food ahead of time. Check what activities are happening in your area and write them down so that your guests can see what is readily available to do. Make sure that your guests have some time to themselves; everyone will appreciate that.
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Do you have a go-to hostess gift? Please share a link if you can.

Julie Willis

Homemade jam, pickles, or extracts because they don't have to be opened, refrigerated, or used right away. Every time they do get used though, the recipient will think of you.
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Does your family have a good way of repurposing empty toilet paper tubes? Please share a link to a how-to with a picture.

Julie Willis

Our favorite way to repurpose cardboard tubes is by using them to keep our electronics' cords untangled. We fold the cords inside the tube. Sometimes we write on the tube which device the cord belongs. They stay tangle free and we always know which cord goes with which device. They are much easier to store this way.
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