Five Things For Friday: Freebies Edition

I am participating in Women in the Scriptures Five Things For Friday blog hop!


Blogging Freebies

I like to design websites.  I have been doing it for about 15 years, and I have always done it for fun.  I really like creating spaces on the internet that are pretty and easy to navigate.

It’s something of a hobby that’s turned into a valuable service I have been able to offer for single moms, people who’ve lost their jobs and are starting something new, midwives who are kind enough to offer healthcare to women who have no income, and friends who are trying to do good in the world.

Over the years, I have found some things online that have really helped me to do the most good for the least amount of money (spending no money is my motto, actually!).  I’ll share a few with you!

Free Stock Photos From Stock Exchange

Best Site For Free Stock Photography (including high resolution photos): Stock Exchange

You just sign up and download free, beautiful photos for your website or computer.  It is now owned by Getty Images, so I don’t know if that will change anything, but I have used it for the past six years and been very happy with it.

And here is a 2008 article from Digital Image Magazine reviewing 25 free stock photography websites and a 2010 article highlighting 18 more free sites.

Vintage Kitchen Icon from Softicons

Best Site for Free Icons: Softicons

This is a great site for icons–from vintage kitchen to pirates, there is something for everyone here.  They also have plenty of social icons (Facebook, RSS, Twitter, etcetera), if you are looking for something that is more you than the run-of-the-mill ones.

And here is a tutorial on how to replace your widget titles on your sidebar with an image in your Blogger blog.


Homeschool Freebies

I don’t really use a lot of extra resources in our homeschool.  I am not crafty, and I cannot do all the beautiful lap books and homemade amazing manipulatives and educational awesomeness that is so prevalent among the brilliant mothers out there.

My children are so deprived.

So, it’s pretty rare that I even look for things online with regard to homeschool.  Usually it happens by accident.

Creative Manipulatives That Will Never Be In My Home (but please check out this blog by clicking the image--what an amazing mom!)

TLS Books: Free Downloads of worksheets for the elementary aged children.  These I use mainly to keep my littler children occupied when I need to be paying attention to the older children.

Worksheet Works: This is a new find.  My kids like to do the puzzle worksheets for fun.  The Basic Mathematics worksheets are great, especially the visual multiplication.

Number 2: Free ACT/SAT/GRE Prep website, which has been rated among the best in Consumer Reports.

Read, Write, Think Student Interactives: Online resources for writing poetry, writing and publishing prose, and more.

Classics For Kids: Podcast, lessons, and more about classical composers.


Fonts and Prints Freebies

Being a web designer who also creates logos and branding for people and non-profits, I have found that something magical happens when you find just the right font.  If any of you are interested in adding cute fonts to your collection, here are a few free download sites I have loved in the past:

Kevin and Amanda have quite possibly the cutest collection of fonts in the history of the internet. :)

Google Web Fonts has hundreds of downloadable fonts that can also be used in Blogger or on any website using the Google Font API (if you even know what I am talking about!)  Even if you don’t have any idea what that means, you can still download all the fonts there and use them in your own projects.

Peonies and Poppy Seeds has lots and lots of free printables.  I don’t do this sort of thing–but I love looking at this stuff, and wishing I could do it.  I also love all my friends who can do those cute label things with the baked goods and stuff.

Simply Fresh Designs also has free printables and some LDS subway art.

I also occasionally do some printables for fun.  Here is a freebie that I made for one of my dearest friends for Christmas (she wanted to give it to her mom after she saw me post it on Facebook).  That is a perfect description of me, by the way. Just click on the image, and then right click on the larger image and save:


Recipe Freebies

I am not a very good cook, but I know a good recipe when I taste one that someone else made!  Here are some great places to get recipes for real food, not food product.

100 Days of Real Food: Some great ideas, and menu plans.  Of course, I will never be able to stick to a menu plan, but I have such lofty ambitions….

Beyond Salmon has been a long time favorite blog of mine.  Her Halibut Wrapped in Napa Cabbage is simple, yet elegant (and yet, when I made it for the kids, did they appreciate elegant?  No, they did not. I ended up having to cut up the beautifully wrapped halibut and it just didn’t look the same after that).

Napa Wrapped Halibut--Don't Expect The 4 Year Old To Appreciate The Presentation, But It's Really Good

Vegan Lunchbox is a great website to make you think, “Wow.  Am I just lazy because I could never even think of all these vegan lunches, let alone package them in cute lunchboxes and turn sandwiches into rabbits and cucumbers into dragons?”  I go there just to get some ideas on lunches that don’t involve meat.  I promise you, though, I will never be able to make them cute.

That'll Never Be Me, But It's Inspiration!

Six Sisters Stuff just makes me feel warm and cozy, and it’s full of wicked Mormon treats that I could luckily never make successfully.  But the pictures are amazing, and there are some really good recipes here.


Feel Good Freebies

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want to find something that makes me smile, or inspires me to be better or get out of the doldrums.  Here are some of them.

Happy News is just what it says–a place to find inspiring stories and articles from the news. They often link to MSBC’s “Making A Difference” spots–click here for the feed link.

Positive Music and Downloads is a site that is run by my neighbor, the LDS composer Greg Hansen.  He is so passionate about good, positive music.  If you sign up for the newsletter, you can get free downloads from groups like Vocal Point each week.

If you enjoy political humor, you may appreciate Frank Fleming’s columns in the NY Post.  They are pretty funny and clean.  I have even laughed out loud when I read them sometimes.

Bored Shorts TV is the home of Kid History, quite possibly some of the funniest Mormons in the world.  The following episode is about healthy food making you strong but candy making you rich.  My kids, being the victims of healthy food experiments and mostly raw food living now love this one.  “Here’s your perfectly normal pancakes!”  Funny stuff.

And finally, my good friend, Vickey, who has been an EFY speaker for, well, ever–has a great website all about good called Goodness Matters.

Thanks, again Heather, for the blog hop!  It only took me all day to finish this, but at least I am doing Five Things For Friday on Friday this week, so hooray for me!


  1. Great ideas!!

  2. Wow, what a treasure trove! Thank you so much for all off this. I really want to re-do my blog but have had a hard time knowing where to start (I struggle with the design stuff) and so this really helps me. And the home school stuff, I am leaning more and more that way and so it is nice to gather all the resources I can!

  3. Fabulously wonderful! Thank you so much.

  4. Dear Misty,

    I want you to know that I think you’re pretty amazing– so don’t keep talking about the things you can’t do, or aren’t good at! We each have our strengths and our weaknesses. But I know how easy it is to only see the strengths of others and only our own weaknesses.

    I’m guilty of it myself. 😉 For example, I see your beautiful blogs and feel like tearing mine down and starting over again. I am still learning to admire others, and yet appreciate what I can do, even though it may not be what others do.

    So please! Don’t put my friend Misty down! I think she’s pretty great. :-)


  5. Misty Liu

    Mama Rachel, thank you for your kind words. I am not trying to put myself down so much as to laugh at my less-than-perfectness in places that don’t really matter, but I do appreciate you taking up for me! :)

    I absolutely love all the stuff I can’t do…but I have come to realize it’s okay that I can’t do it, and wonderful that I can admire it in others. So, I like to poke a little fun at myself. I do know that I have talents..just not the ones I thought I wanted to have!

    I spent so many years trying to do those kinds of lovely things I love to admire and it was so silly of me. I have learned now to focus on my true talents, most of which are the “backstage” variety. And, that’s good for me. It helps me to keep my pride in check. I am so glad Heavenly Father knew me well enough to know those were the kinds of talents I needed. :)

    Thanks for being my friend! It means a lot to me.

  6. Hmmm…I thought I commented before, but it must have disappeared. Thanks for sharing all of this!

  7. Gosh! I love all the stuff you do! I wish I knew how to put things together online [or off line] like you do… and I SO disagree with you: You are both crafty and cute. :) Love you!

  8. Love it! This is a great collection of links.

    And the Kid History stuff is so hilarious! Although I have slightly gone off of it when I found out it was based on Drunk History… I got sucked into watching one of those and it wasn’t nearly as “clean” and cute as the Mormonised version. Ah well!

  9. Oh, heavens. I feel like a computer-illiterate nerd.
    I tried stock-whatsitcalled, and it didn’t seem so free to me. Hrm.
    And then I followed the tutorial link so I can finally stop procrastinating fixing my sidebars… and it’s (a) way over my head, and (b) for a blogger blog anyway, and mine is wordpress based.

    I think I shall just go back to procrastinating. Right after I take a look-see at those fonts you mentioned in your other favorites post.

    • Misty

      My dear Mrs. Smith, if you don’t let me help you redesign or tweak your blog, I will be devastated. Absolutely. Please email me privately so I can help you with the stock-whatsitcalled and other fun things. :) Love you!


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