Happy New Year from our family to yours!

2011 has been such a growing year for me in so many ways, and it’s been a privilege to invite you along with me as I learn, experiment, fail, and try again.

As a mother, you can see for yourself that my young men are passing me by, and I plan on getting a bit more intimate on the blog about how I am dealing with those challenges of mothering older children, while still meeting the needs of my younger ones (since sometimes it feels as if all energy is going to the teens).

As a frugal lifestyle blog, you can be guaranteed more DIY ideas, meal planning challenges, cooking with the kids,  personal finance advice, and just all around Family Manager tips and tricks on how I attempt to balance it all. But trust me, those tips always come with the good, bad, and ugly as I process some of the things I have done really well in 2011, and some of those areas that have been sheer bedlam (and household areas that really need work).

Frugal Fashionista will be back on a roll, and as I look at the pictures above (albeit blurry, due to the late hour), I realize that our entire family was clothed with designer looks for pennies on the dollar. I estimate that I clothed all seven of us for less than $100, and this is something that anyone can do with a few simple adjustments to your buying mentality. I experimented with my look above, which I’ll have to put on again and take new pictures, because it came to less than $10.  It’s a black dress with peek a boo silver pop that I accented with a belt, and separate sheer shirt for a classy look. It had that “Hollywood bent” appearance to it and what’s so fun, is that it was completely an accidental outfit courtesy of the thrift store.

I’m now enjoying these last vacation days before I gear up for reality, and tackling some much needed goal setting for 2012. This is an area I do NOT like, it just doesn’t fit with my “Z-type personality,”  but I just re-read last year’s post: Rebelling against New Year’s Resolutions – my Rebelutions and it gave me some great reminders and perspective. I’ve been feeling very exhausted lately, but I want to start fresh, yet be very realistic about those goals.

Thank you again for sharing 2011 with me, and I pray that 2012 will usher in new perspective, inspiration and excitement for all that lies ahead.