I met Margaret of Blue Frog Creations at the first year of The Knoxville Coupon Fair and instantly liked her. Ali of Knoxmoms.com introduced us and told me that she was also a couponer. When she showed me her fabulous coupon organizer, I knew that we would be friends. Ever since that day, we’ve stayed in touch regularly—chatting about blogging, passing on info about coupons, sharing tips on recycling and composting, and growing closer. Soon after a very difficult experience that I went through, she and her sweet family invited us to their home for supper. It was one of those experiences where it feels like someone’s wrapped you up in a blanket—comforting, relaxing, calming. Her kindness and hospitality was a lifeline to me and for that I will forever be grateful.
This year when the coupon fair rolled around, I was thrilled when she agreed to be one of the local bloggers, and her table was a hot one. She brought in a trunk load of products she had “purchased” with coupons (as I remember the items were either all free or cost only pennies) and taught attendees who visited her table how to do the same.
Margaret wants you to learn how to coupon to help your family, but she encourages you to not stop there. She uses her Couponing for Charity highlights each week to inspire couponers to pick up a few extra freebies that can be donated to those in need. Today for instance, I met her and she had a large bag full of toiletries for me to pass on to those affected by the storms and still very much in need in Greene County. That’s my kind of couponer!
Margaret and her sweet hubby have 3 adorable kiddos. In addition to being a super mom, a feat you can often see highlighted on Knoxmoms, she also is a top notch videographer. Check out her blog and website, and you’ll see why she is not only one of my favorite bloggers but one of my favorite people as well. Below is my interview with her.
CICT: Tell us a little bit about how you started blogging.
Margaret: I began blogging after watching the film, "Julie and Julia." I figured if she could do it, I could do it. I felt I had more to share with people than I was able to do with the few articles that got published. I was also starting to coupon and wanted to share my ups and downs of that world with others.
CICT: What do you like the most about blogging?
Margaret: I like the immediacy of sharing my thoughts with others. I can have an idea and have it out there in minutes. I also like the control of publishing my work when I want.
CICT: What are some of your favorite posts that you’ve written or types of posts that you write?
Margaret: I have recently created a second blog on my website to correspond to my primary skills as a video producer (www.bluefrogcreations.net). I have several categories, the most personal being "Adventures with the Kids." I post about special outings that we do and add pictures and video when possible.
I'm continuing my first blog as well (www.bluefrogcreations.blogspot.com) to concentrate on ways to "go green, save green, and share green." I add regular posts called "Couponing for Charity" that detail how to get stuff for free by pairing coupons with sales. I then share many of those freebies with local charities. I also enjoy sharing other sustainable and holistic ways of living--like buying local produce and beef, gardening, conserving energy, recycling, and consuming less.
CICT: One of the things that I like about Margaret’s blog is reading how she takes an idea and makes it work for her family or her community. Reading and watching (in some of her videos) how she makes a hike or trip to pick berries a meaningful experience for her children inspires me to do the same. Last year I wrote on my blog how I had worked to make our VBS kitchen less wasteful. She took that a step further and for their VBS and even brought home the compost! Like so many of the bloggers whom I have highlighted, I like that she isn’t preachy in her work. She talks about the ups and downs of something she’s tried and gives the reader inspiration to give it a whirl.
CICT: What are some things that you’ve learned through blogging?
Margaret: Blogging can be very time consuming and tough to keep up at times. When it becomes something you dread, you should switch gears. Blogging should be therapeutic and refreshing--not a job. I can say that because I don't earn any money doing it.
I have also learned there is a wonderful blogging community and those who follow them out there. You'd think they might be more competitive but the opposite is true.
CICT: I remember when I met her at the coupon fair for the first time, Margaret talked about how warm and inviting all of the coupon bloggers were. That’s probably my favorite thing about being in this community and blogging. Most of the ones I’ve met are fantastic people who are blogging because they want to offer something to this community. We want to share information and teach people how to save their families money. We want to be of help, and if egos and competition were at play, we wouldn’t be able to do that as well.
Today when I was talking with Margaret, I realized I kept using the word “precious”. Don’t you hate it when you get stuck on a word and keep saying it over and over again? I realized that I kept using it when referring to people I know—two of whom are local bloggers Frugally Farming Family and Coupon Katie. While I might have been redundant in my use of the word, the word was a perfect one for those people. I feel very blessed to be in this community and to have had the opportunity to get to know many of the women I have and will continue to highlight as part of the local blogger series, women like Margaret who are warm, welcoming, and wonderful.
CICT: What do you hope that your readers get out of your blog and your work?
Margaret: Getting feedback that you've helped someone save money or opened their ideas to new ideas is so thrilling. As a mother of three, I also like sharing ideas for creating special memories with my children. I hope they'll see my blog as a way to gather nuggets that make their life just a little bit better.
I hope you’ll visit Margaret’s blogs and sign up as a follower. Her words are such an important part of my day, and I’m so glad that she is a part of the blogging community. Margaret, thank you for all you do to make our corner of the world a better place!