April Fool’s Day Cakes

There are decorations from the last three holidays covering my dining room table. I want to put them all away and decorate for April, but there is not a holiday in April this year…except April Fools Day.

I have made April Fool’s Day cakes, but they wouldn’t last all month because I used food as part of them.

My fake “angel food cake.”

Take a roll of toilet paper and drizzle icing over it, to make a fake “angel food cake.” The balloons came from a birthday cake we bought. They hid the hole in the center of the toilet paper.

My fake “layer cake.”

This is a 3 wick candle that I turned over, frosted with mashed potatoes, and garnished with a tomato cut into a rose.

Here is a photo of the “cakes” before I frosted them.

I flipped the three-wick candle over and frosted it. I drizzled icing on the roll of toilet paper.

The centers of my April Fool’s Day cakes.

I guess I could decorate with blue for April showers, but it will be blue outside anyway. We will just have to wait and see.

©2009-2016 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.




DIY “As Comfortable As Sweats” Bra


I was in the Emergency Room with chest pains. It was like a steel band around my ribs that was too tight. I couldn’t stand for anything to touch my ribs.


I later learned, one symptom of an inflamed gallbladder is you cannot find a comfortable bra. You can try different band sizes and still, nothing works!

My gallbladder was inflamed for years. This year had been especially hard. Finally, 6 months ago, I decided to make my own bra.

I got the idea from my youngest son! He wears sweatpants/trainers/joggers a lot. They are comfortable because you can tighten or loosen the drawstring at the waistband.

He also hates the strings in his hooded sweatshirts. The first thing he does when he buys a new sweatshirt is to rip out the string. He laughed at me because I always saved them.

I bought a pack of 3 sports bras, and using the strings from his hoodies, I made a bra that is as comfortable as a pair of sweatpants.

DIY “As Comfortable As Sweats” Bra

  1. Cut a small vertical slit in the front center of the first layer of the bra. (If the bra is lined, you will need to cut through the lining.
  2. Stitch around the opening(s) like you are making a button-hole.
  3. Find a cord or shoestring that is 12″ longer than your band size.
  4. Put a safety-pin at the end of it.
  5. Push the safety-pin through the hole, and around the band over the top of the elastic.
  6. On shorter strings, I tied the ends together.
  7. After putting the bra on, tighten the strings, make 2 loops, and tie together.

It was so comfortable that I wanted to apply for a patent on it! (I came up with an even better idea, that would take different materials…maybe I’ll patent that one!)

DIY "AS Comfortable As Sweats" Bra

DIY “AS Comfortable As Sweats” Bra

©2009-2016 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.


Simple Easter

“Come on, get hoppy! Pinners have saved your ideas on 98,178 Easter boards like this.” Pinterest Partner Team

It shocked me when I saw the most popular Easter pin, see post here!

My Easter centerpiece, whose inspiration was the striations in the glass rocks.

My Easter centerpiece, whose inspiration was the striations in the glass rocks.

It is simple and sometimes that is the best way to go! Like the simple table I had on Easter, 2012, see here.

Easter dinner for the extended family.

Easter dinner for the extended family.

It also doesn’t have to be new. Many times I created an Easter outfit out of clothes I had in my closet, see here.

I’m not saying to never buy new, but to buy them when they are on clearance. Yesterday they delivered my Christmas dress. It was a dress sold for Valentine’s Day that had been drastically reduced.

Some years, I am extravagant, like the years I invited my extended family, or the years I made Easter cakes, see here.

My 2012 Easter Cake

My 2012 Easter Cake

My 2011 Easter Cakes

My 2011 Easter Cakes

This year will definitely be simple! My husband suggested “Pork loin in the Crock-pot.”

“Sounds great to me…especially if he makes it!”

©2009-2016 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.

Saving on Surgery

“Your gallbladder is inflamed, with over 20 stones, full of fluid, infection, and possibly gangrene.”

He went on to tell me it has been sick for over 10 years, but it was hard to concentrate because I was medicated and he looked like Santa Claus! It turned out he is Santa Claus, and had his picture taken with over 400 children last year…

…and he is married to the surgeon who would perform the operation!

(Yes, I live in a small town. My cousin’s wife is one of the surgical nurses.)

The 35-minute surgery took 2 hours. He told me it was like picking up a baseball with a pair of tweezers. My sister thought I was going to die.

(Spoiler alert – I didn’t.)

I learned a few things along the way:

  1. Take the medication: They made me drink something to get my bowels to move because the regular medications didn’t have any effect on me. I had a toddler visiting and she noticed the pretty button on the bottom of the bed. She pushed it, and as I went up, so did the medication. But I drank every concoction they prescribed.
  2. Limit painkillers: A fever forced me to remain in the hospital the second day. My system still was not functioning, even after 4 doses of Milk of Magnesia, stool softeners, and 2 suppositories. The painkillers grind your digestive system to a halt. The second day I stopped taking them. I stayed still and napped as much as possible. When I got home, I took two and went right to sleep.
  3. Fruit is your friend: I ordered fruit, fruit juice, and fruit pie to try to help my system naturally. At the suggestion of my youngest son, I finally asked for prune juice! Three hours later, my body started working again and I was able to finally go home. I continued drinking prune juice, (gag) until I no longer needed the painkillers.
  4. Keep your sense of humor: 1) Before they rolled me off for surgery, they asked my birthday. I subtracted 20 years. My oldest son quipped, “Yeah, she was 5 when I was born.” 2) I told my regular doctor that the 20 stones each weighed a pound. I wasn’t really overweight…it was the stones.
  5. Eat: I ordered a salmon sandwich and it tasted like Spam. My daughter-in-law kept pushing me to eat one more bite. When my husband came on his lunch hour, he bought the salmon sandwich. I sent her a text, “David bought the Spam sandwich!” She replied with emoticons of chicken leg = something brown = house. When I asked her about the “no-bake cookies,” she explained: food = poop = going home.
  6. Walk: My first walk was short and slow. My second walk was longer and I passed two older men. They seemed to speed up. I don’t know if it was from competition or they were hoping my gown would fly open!
  7. Nap: Our hospital has a quiet time when they ask visitors to leave. Since you are going to be awakened throughout the night, it’s a good idea to sleep when you can during the day. Rest is the best prescription.
  8. Get all the prescriptions: I had been home over the weekend when the pharmacy called to say my meds were ready. I didn’t recognize the name of the doctor and called the clinic. It turned out the infection was antibiotic resistant. They tried two different antibiotics in the hospital, but when the final blood test results came back, they realized it would take a different one to kill it.
  9. Accept help: My family and church members brought over meals. That took the pressure off of my husband who was waiting on me hand and foot. (Those were his words, not mine.)
  10. Stop: Don’t do any regular activities until the doctor releases you. Delegate anything and everything. I wanted to post on this blog the day I got my stitches out, but the doctor restricted me to the couch for another week. Take it slow.

The best way to save on surgery is to have an outpatient procedure. That means you have to take care of things right away. Don’t wait until it is infected and an emergency situation.

If that is not an option…


Your goal is to go home as soon as possible.

Some of my Get Well cards included original art!

Some of my Get Well cards included original art!

©2009-2016 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.

A Touch of Irish

Shamrock fabric folded and draped over the back of the chair.

Shamrock fabric folded and draped over the back of the chair.

You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of decorations for each holiday. Just be creative with the items you have on hand. This fabric lined a shelf a few years ago, see here.

Shamrock bowls on homemade table runner.

Shamrock bowls on the homemade table runner.

I purchased the fabric to make this table runner. I planned on making a much longer one for my dining table and still haven’t got around to it. The glass rocks were on an Easter centerpiece earlier, see here.

Cookie cutters in votive cup.

Cookie cutters in a votive cup.

I put more glass rocks in a votive cup to keep my cookie cutters upright. I do have a set of three Shamrocks that I use in different places. This small one was in a basket.

Shamrock ribbon on black lantern.

Shamrock ribbon on a black lantern.

Sometimes all you need is just a piece of ribbon to dress up an item you are already displaying. I remember one year I used a bowl of potatoes as a centerpiece, see here.

It’s time for your home to wear a little green!

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