Saturday, March 31, 2012

Become a COUPONISTA - Start Clipping Coupons & Start Saving $$$$!!!

If you haven't already caught onto the latest craze - couponing is one hobby that can and will save you TONS of money every week at the grocery store.  Imagine slashing your grocery bills in half!  In these tough economic times, can you really afford NOT to coupon?

Some people say - I don't have the time, or it's not worth it.....I say those people are dead wrong!!! 

EVERYONE has the time to coupon to some extent and save themselves and their families TONS of $$$$!!
If you give yourself 1 - 2 hours a week to clip coupons from the paper, and/or print them from the Internet, you will save at least $50 in coupons every time you shop.

My three favorite websites to check daily deals are the following:

Living Rich With Coupons



There are tons of great couponing websites out there and you will find the best ones that work for you, but the above mentioned websites will give you insight on how to get started, what deals are available at almost all of the grocery stores and where to find the best deals on the Internet.  I simply visit these sites for about 5-10 minutes in the morning and 5-10 minutes at night, just as you would check a facebook account, or read emails...make the time to fit these coupon websites into your day - it is totally worth it!

My advice to all of you coupon doubters out there is to take a little bit of your time to get started and enjoy a lifetime of savings - become a coupon believer, or as I like to say - a COUPONISTA!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Daily Responsibility Charts - Make Mornings Easier

Are your mornings filled with constant repetition of your children's daily duties?  Do you get tired of saying the same thing at least 20 times?  Well I have a perfect solution for you - a Daily Responsibility Chart.  Make mornings fun and less stressed for you and your children as they get ready to start their day!

In September, I found these great red and green school charts in the $ section at Target, but you can just as easily use poster board or construction paper.  Then you can make up as many responsibilities for each child as you would like.  If your little one doesn't read yet, you can also use clip art/pictures to help them know what their daily responsibilities are.

Responsibilities can include:
  • get dressed
  • make your bed
  • put clothes in hamper
  • eat breakfast
  • brush teeth
  • wash up
  • put on sneakers
  • get coats on
Then each time they complete a task, they can put a happy face on that task.  If they need to be reminded more than three times, they get a mad face.  If they get through the day with all happy faces, they get a token (or you could do a quarter or something else).  For my children, after they get 7 tokens, they can trade it in for a dollar to put toward a special toy or book.

The above and below pictures show the entire chart, and you can see that I printed out my child's morning responsibilities, as well as pictures showing what they need to do for each day of the week (we only follow the chart
Monday through Friday, so school mornings are easier in our house).
Close-up of the responsibility chart.

For the happy faces and mad faces, I took a happy face picture of my children and a mad face picture of my children and used those for the responsibility chart (see pics below).  If your little one doesn't read yet, you can also use pictures to help them know what their daily responsibilities are.

Happy faces and Mad faces - I simply took my sons' pictures twice and then just printed
out a bunch of copies and then cut out the faces to use for the chart.

Then you would add the faces to the chart as the morning goes along, and if
your child doesn't complete one of their tasks, they get a mad face.
If you do not have a chart that you can slip the pictures into (as shown above), you can always put velcro on the chart and on the picture and do it that way.

I cannot begin to tell you how much this helped our mornings - less stress, less yelling and all-around a happier bunch of people in the morning!  YAY!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"A Glove of Their Own" children's book

A Glove of Their Own front cover

I just wanted to share a wonderful children's book with you called, "A Glove of Their Own."  It's a story about baseball and so much more.  Giving back to others and sharing are two major concepts of the book and of the idea of "paying it forward."  Please check out this website when you have a chance, and become a part of the "pay it forward" movement!  Thanks!

A Glove of Their Own

Saturday, March 24, 2012

$80 worth of Hasbro Toy Coupons


Wow - there are some great new coupons just in time for Easter Baskets!!!  Or think ahead for birthday gifts you may have coming up in the near future.  

Here's a list of all available coupons (hurry and print though because they do limit the amount printed!)
  • -$4 off Transformers Toy Purchase $10 or more
  • -$5/1 Nerf N-Strike Rayven OR Vortex Lumitron Blaster
  • -$2/1 Furreal Friends Snuggimals Pet
  • -$5/1 Chuck & Friends Tower Racin’ Speedway Playset
  • -$5 off KRE-O Construction Set Purchase $20 or more
  • -$5/1 Chuck & Friends Race Along Chuck Toy
  • -$2/1 Furreal Friends Dizzy Dancers Pet
  • -$2/1 Littlest Pet Shop Walkables Pet
  • -$3/1 Playskool Heroes Toy
  • -$5/1 Connect 4 Launchers, Bop It!XT, or Monopoly Electronic Banking
  • -$3/1 Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Cootie or Memory Game
  • -$5/1 Littlest Pet Shop Slide’n Dive Lagoon or Shop Speedy Tails RC
  • -$3/1 Play-Doh Swirling Shake Shoppe Playset or 24 pack
  • -$3 off Playskool Poppin’ Park Toy Purchase of $15+
  • -$3/1 Operation, Battleship or Twister Game
  • -$5/1 Gator Golf Game
  • -$5/1 My Little Pony Friendship Express Train Toy or RC Vehicle
  • -$5/1 Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Fire Station Prime
  • -$5/1 Playskool Poppin’ Park Bounce ‘n Ride
  • -$5/1 Playskool Poppin’ Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper
  • -$2 off Star Wars Fighter Pods Purchase of $5+
  • -B2G1 FREE Chuck & Friends Die Cast Vehicles
  • -FREE 9′ Sesame Street Mini Plush wyb Sesame Street Plush Item $15+
  • -$5/1 Scrabble Flash, Simon Flash or Yahtzee Flash
Print coupons here:  Hasbro Toy Coupons

Hopefully some stores will have some good deals on these items so we can get some crazy deals with the coupons!  Keep you eyes open for sales on these items!

(Thanks to livingrichwithcoupons for the great info.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Walgreens - FREE Milky Way bunnies this week!

This week at Walgreens you can score FREE Milky Way bunny singles candy.  I got a bunch of them and the best thing is that they are totally FREE!!!  YAY!!!


(photo credit - Wild for wags

They are on sale 2/$1
Deal Idea:
Buy 2 Milky Way Bunnies Singles 2/$1
Use the new $1/2 Mars Easter products (luckily this coupon has no size restrictions) found in the 3/18 RedPlum coupon insert
Final cost – 2 FREE candies! 

Toy Story Birthday Party ideas

Well this info. is actually from a while ago because it is from my son's birthday a couple of years ago, but since I didn't have a blog then, I will share it now!  I have to admit that I LOVED putting together the ideas for this birthday party - Toy Story is one of my favorite movies of all time!!!
The pictures on the wall are actually from a calendar,
so I had  plenty of Toy Story pics to hang around the house!
And since my kids have pretty much every Toy Story toy
there is, we used those as decorations as well!

I made cute alien hats out of foam visor hats you can find at your local craft
store, then I bought extra green foam sheets to make the ears and antenna,
then I glued on big googly eyes.  The kids loved them and they were super cheap to make!
I love a good bargain!

This was a sign I made to hang on the front door as everyone entered.
I used some of the pictures from the calendar and cut them to place on the sign,
which is made of the same green foam I used for the alien hats.
As my mother always said, "waste not, want not."

No party would be complete without games to play.  The above
picture shows the result of one of our favorite party games that
I remember playing as a child at my parties.

You fill a large brown paper bag with various, mismatched articles of clothing,
and fold over the top of the bag so no one can see inside.  Then you have someone
play music and the bag gets passed around as the children stand in a circle.
When the music stops, whoever is holding the bag must close their eyes
and take something out of the bag and put it on.  By the end of the game,
everyone is dressed in silly outfits/hats/accessories, etc.  It is super fun
and we always take a picture at the end to show off our silly outfits!

Since my kids were Woody and Buzz that Halloween, I thought it would be
cute to just put a picture of them on Joseph's cake, and have some Buzz Lightyear
colors for the wording and outline.  They are the best of friends and Joseph
was super excited to see him and his big brother on his birthday cake!

I just had to add a picture of my sweetie enjoying his birthday cake!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rita's FREE Italian Ice on 3/20


Mark the First Day of Spring with FREE Italian Ice!

I LOVE Rita's, and once again this year they will be giving out some free Italian Ice to mark the first day of spring.  So make sure you get out to your local Rita's tomorrow, March 20th for some FREE yummy ice!!  What a way to kick off the spring season!
For more details, visit Rita's Ice 1st Day of Spring Promo

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Lucky to have you" treats

Another great idea that I am definitely doing for my children's classes is below - SUPER easy and sticks with the St. Patty's theme!  Thanks to for this great idea and "how to."

everyone loves lucky charms, right?
here's a fun idea on how to share it...
just in time for the lucky holiday... St. Patrick's Day!

step one:
then print out how many you'll need.

step two:
fill some snack sized baggies with cereal.

step three:
cut a 5x7 piece of cardstock and then fold it in half.

step four:
staple the cardstock onto the bag.

step five:
adhere the topper to the front of the cardstock. i used double sided tape.
glue dots would work great too.

step six:
pass them out to your hungry kids, neighbors, friends and family.

now if your kids, neighbors, friends and family are really hungry...
just punch a hole in the corner of that topper...
use some cute ribbon... 
and tie it to a whole box of lucky charms!!
hope you're feeling lucky for someone!!

Okay - so I was a little bit crunched for time, so instead of doing the multi-step way, I simply printed out labels to attach to the baggies - see pics below:

St. Patrick's Day Hat cookies

Well I don't know about you, but I am definitely making these easy cute treats for my St. Patrick's Day celebration!  So easy and a great recipe to have the kiddos help out with!  Find the recipe by clicking here Leprechaun Hat Cookies - Betty Crocker
Basically all you need is Betty Croker sugar cookie mix, marshmallows and some vanilla frosting w/green food dye.  Then tootsie rools and gumdrops for the embellishment on the hat!  Enjoy!
Thanks to for this great idea!

Below is the picture of the one I made - I instead of a gumdrop, I used a yellow M&M for the buckle....they were yummy and the kids loved them!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

End of Hockey Season Treats

My son is getting ready to end his season with our town's house league tomorrow, and since my husband is the coach I thought it would be nice to give out a special treat after tomorrow's game.  I've seen the idea of ring dings as hockey pucks, but I took it one step further and put the player's numbers on the "pucks" and put them in individual bags with red ribbon (team color), along with a little thank you note to the kids for all of their hard work.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Angry Bird Cake Pops

I made these not too long ago for my son's 5th birthday and it was my first attempt at making cake pops.  I have to admit they were very easy but a little time consuming, but I would definitely make them again since the kids enjoyed them so much and I think they came out pretty cute.
The finished product!

This shows the Styrofoam I used to hold the cake pops drying.

The basket I used to transport my son's cake pops into school.

What you'll need to get started (I doubled the recipe because I needed a lot of cake pops - I would say I got about 50 or so cake pops from the below recipe)

  • cake mix - 2 boxes
  • frosting - 2 containers (you may only use 1 1/2, depending on the consistency)
  • large mixing bowl
  • lollipops sticks - at least 50
  • lollipop bags
  • melting chocolate wafers - 2 bags (I get mine at Michael's or AC Moore)
  • decorations (in this case I needed a couple of tootsie rolls, orange triangle sprinkles and candy eyes, which I also bought at Michael's craft store)
  • parchment paper
  • Styrofoam (I got mine at Dollar Tree, but any craft store should sell them)

Here's how I made cake pops:

  1. Since I wanted a huge batch of pops, I made two boxes of regular chocolate cake mix in a large pan.
  2. After the cake was done baking and cooling completely I crumpled it all up into a big mixing bowl and mixed it with about 1 1/2 cans of chocolate frosting.  Mix VERY well so that the frosting and cake are well incorporated.  Keep in mind that you can use whatever flavor cake mix and frosting that you would like to.
  3. Put the mixing bowl in the fridge to let the mixture set up a bit.  
  4. In the meantime, set up your lollipop sticks and anything you want to use to decorate your cake pops.  In this case, I used red chocolate flavored candy melts, candy eyes and a candy beak (actually part of a sprinkle set - I picked out all the orange triangles! lol) that I found in my local craft store.  Then I used tootsie rolls for the eyebrows.  Again, you can vary what you use to decorate the cake pops depending on the look you are going for.  
  5. Take your mixing bowl out of the fridge and start rolling cake balls, then placing them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
  6. After you have rolled out all of your cake balls, put the cookie sheet back in the fridge to set back up while you melt your chocolate to dip them into.
  7. I actually melt my chocolate right in the microwave, starting with 1 minute, and then stir and adding 30 seconds and stir until the chocolate is melted.  
  8. Then take your cookie sheets out of the fridge.  Dip your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate and then place your cake ball on the lollipop stick (this will help the cake pop to stay on the stick) , then dip the cake pop into the melted chocolate, lightly tapping the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate.  
  9. Then add the decorations that you want to the cake pops.  This is why it is a good idea to have all of your decorations set out on the work surface, because the chocolate will set up kind of fast so you have to work quickly.
  10. After your cake pop is dipped and decorated, place the stick in the Styrofoam (shown above) until the cake pops sets up fully (I would say it takes about a good hour for them to completely set up).
  11. After the cake pops are set up, you can individually wrap them in lollipop bags and put ribbon or twisty-ties to close the bag.  The options are limitless with what you can do with cake pops!
  12. I then chose to put the Styrofoam into a cute basket to bring into my son's class, plus it was easier to carry!  But again you can choose use almost anything to carry your cake pops in.
Have fun making your cake pops and enjoy them - they are delicious - I think they tasted like chocolate covered munchkins on a stick!

Hunger Games Book Club

SO hosting my first book party this Friday for the Trilogy of the Hunger Games books!!  So excited to discuss these great books and have some themed goodies too!
Here's the plan for the party:
Goodies!!!  To stick with the theme, I've come up with the following list of goodies for my book club guests, along with some pics of how everything turned out:

  1. "Peeta" bread with hummus

  1. Tracker Jacker Jelly and Brie (I baked brie cheese in a pastry crust with raspberry jam and honey) 

  1. "Rue's" goat cheese spread with crackers, carrots and peppers.

  1. "Cinna"sational skewers - made with cherry tomatoes, small fresh mozz. balls and kalamata olives, drizzled with balsamic vinagrette! Yum!

  1. Caesar Flickerman side salad - I served caesar salad individually in clear plastic cups.

  1. "Haymitch's" beverage corner - bar set up with some wine and cocktails.

  1. Nightlock Berry Surprise - strawberries served with yummy chocolate sauce.

To top it off, I am going to serve utensils in a "cornicopia." - along with a sign that says "Choose your weapon"

I love themed parties, and I think I may be going a little crazy for this one!  I even scattered white rose petals around all of the serving areas, to represent President Snow's white rose!  Gotta love Hunger Games!!!