Frozen Foods Makes Entertaining Easier

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Frozen Foods Institute and the Frozen Food Roundtable for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love to entertain but sometimes don’t like all the work that goes into getting ready for a get together.  Frozen foods can help make it easier to get people together and enjoy each other’s company.

Frozen appetizers work great for entertaining.  I love to serve Delimex taquitos with my homemade salsa. Here is my  easy healthy salsa recipe. It is great to mix fresh with frozen foods. You can check out fresh vs frozen here.  Just pop these in the oven and they are ready quickly. You could even keep them on hand for last minute guests.

 

 

TGI Friday mozzarella sticks are always a hit with adults and kids alike. These are so easy to make and even come with the marinara sauce for dipping. These went very quickly at my home. They are great for entertaining when watching a game as well. Don’t forget football season is coming up soon. You might want to throw a few boxes in the freezer and be ready for guests!

 

 

Frozen desserts are also an easy way to get food on the table quickly and spend time with your guests. Look at this yummy frozen Edward’s pie.  These come with just two slices so you can buy just enough and not be left with a whole pie.

 

 

Stouffers frozen macaroni and cheese can even be served in small dishes for guests.

 

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Convenience is just one benefit of frozen foods. Here are some other benefits of frozen foods.  This explains more about Frozen. How Fresh Stays Fresh.   I love that with frozen foods you can spend your time visiting with your guests instead of in the kitchen.

 

 

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Plan Your Summer Party – Easy Party Plan

Check out this easy party plan with menu, shopping list and more. Recipe for pineapple chicken kebobs. Host 12 people for under $100!



I love to entertain at my home but I also love to get most of the work done before the party so I can enjoy my time with my guests. I hosted 12 family members at my home for my youngest daughter’s birthday. Aldi offered to sponsor the party with one of their summertime party plans. Since I already love Aldi, I could get everything in one spot, and they even helped with the menu planning, I was all in. [Read more...]

Frozen Foods Help Make Meal Time Easier

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Frozen Foods Institute and the Frozen Food Roundtable for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

How Fresh Stays Fresh photo fd062587-c45b-4ca2-bc3c-86b7166181f5_zpscaf03e88.png

 

Feeding your family delicious and healthy meals is important to most moms including me.  I make a meal plan each week and make sure that we have ingredients on hand so we don’t have to run out to grab a pizza or fast food. Not only is that expensive but it isn’t a healthy option for you either. [Read more...]

Best School Supplies Guide – Durable, Functional & Fun

Best School Supplies Guide with Durable, Functional and Fun Supplies

 

There are so many options during the back-to-school shopping season and you will love our best school supplies guide. I love shopping the deals that arise every year, but I am also watching out for items that will last the entire year. I don’t like paying premium prices for things that I have to replace mid-year and so I consider shopping for some quality items, shopping smart.   There are also some fun items for decorating lockers, plus lots of neat, brightly-colored supplies that your kids will love. If you normally don’t buy school supplies online, then you might consider picking up a few things to save some gas and time this year. [Read more...]

Great Prices on Stylish Back to School Shoes From Shoe Carnival

 

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One of my favorite parts of back to school is back to school shopping. Who doesn’t love new supplies, clothing and shoes? Every year I buy my girls a few pairs of shoes for back to school. We usually get one pair of athletic shoes for gym and sports and another pair of more casual tennis shoes that can be worn with all kinds of outfits.

When I was a kid, my mom would take me to get a pair of back to school athletic shoes. I remember that there were just a few choices and I could choose between the red and the blue pair. My girls have many many more choices. There are so many types of athletic shoes and they come in all kinds of colors and patterns.

 

I wanted to go to a store that had a great selection and great prices so we headed to Shoe Carnival. I LOVE the Buy One Get One 50% offer that they are running for back to school. That means each girl get one pair of shoes for 50% off!!! High quality brand name shoes are not inexpensive so this offer really helps my money go farther. For example if you buy two pairs of $45 shoes, you save $22.50! Not too shabby.

We visited the new Shoe Carnival in Shelby Township, Michigan. It is located in the Shelby Town Center at 14115 Hall Road next to Marshall’s/ Homegoods. This is a HUGE store with tons of inventory and shoe selection. This store will be celebrating their grand opening on August 2nd with lots of giveaways including a $10 Rewards certificate for the first 100 customers and a $100 shopping spree every hour.

 

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We headed to the back to the children’s shoe section and browsed the many brands and styles.

Shoe Carnival carries

Be sure to click on each brand to see some of the many styles Shoe Carnival carries.

 

Neon is very in fashion with kids’ athletic shoes this year and my girls both were drawn to these shoes. There also were so many patterns from which to choose. Here are a few pictures that show just some of the selection.

 

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If you need help with sizing, a Shoe Carnival employee will measure your child’s feet. While we were looking at shoes, numerous employees came by and asked if we needed any help. We didn’t need any help because the shoes were very well organized by type and size. We had no trouble finding the shoes we wanted to try on. When you are a busy mom, it is nice to find the shoes quickly and not have to wait for an employee to bring your size from the back room.

 

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It didn’t take long before both girls found two pairs they liked. Actually they liked many more but I made them each choose just two pairs. I am nice but not that nice. They love them so much that they both have already started wearing them. I did put my foot down and say the new shoes couldn’t go to camp. I want them to still look great for the first day of school. Do you let your kids wear their back to school shoes before the first day of school?

Back To School Shoe shopping at Shoe Carnival. Buy one get one 50% off! Check out all the styles!

 

Wondering what shoes we picked? Come back and visit next week on July 29 when I will be sharing pictures of our new shoes and how they match with different outfits. We will preview some elementary school and middle school looks with our new shoes from Shoe Carnival. Each girl is designing her own looks from some of their favorite stores which will be fun!

 

Back To School Shoe shopping at Shoe Carnival. Buy one get one 50% off! Check out all the styles!

 

Check out this fun Shoe Carnival commercial for back to school!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Shoe Carnival. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Boredom Busters From Dollar General

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

Did you that July is Anti-Boredom Month? Once mid summer starts it is only a matter of time before you hear the dreaded … “Mom …I am Bored”. It is a great idea to have some items on hand to battle boredom. I took my girls and nieces to Dollar General to see what we could find to help make our July an Anti-Boredom month.

 

Armed with $35 we wanted to see how many boredom busters we could find at Dollar General, which is a great place for summer savings.  First stop was the aisle with small notebooks and word search and Sudoku books. Each book was just $1 and we decided the girls could use the small notebooks as summer journals. I may just be trying to sneak in a little education with the journals because everyone needs to keep up their writing skills over the summer. They don’t mind though and are all excited with our first purchases. We also bought a pack of mechanical pencils for $1 too.  For some reason mechanical pencils are much more fun that plain old pencils.

 

We also bought some duct tape, lot of stickers, pens and school boxes for some arts and crafts fun.  The girls made the pens into fancy duct tape flower pens  (pictured above) plus they each decorated a fun pencil box which could be used for back to school or to keep small items organized at home.  Plus we still have duct tape and stickers that can be used for more projects throughout the summer.

There was a ton of selection in the arts and crafts section and everything was just $1 or $2. This helped our budget go farther.

In addition to the books and arts and crafts projects, we needed some items that would promote outside physical fun.  We picked up two jump ropes that were each just $1 and a set of 4 water guns for just $6.  What is summer without a water gun fight?  They had a great time playing with both items. They are lots and lots of outdoor fun toys to choose from at Dollar General.

 

So the next time you here the dreaded “I’m Bored”, I hope you will remember a few of our items and have some boredom busting fun.

Want to learn more about Dollar General and their products?  Be sure to like Dollar General on Facebook and follow @DollarGeneral on Twitter.

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Bahama Breeze Summer Beach Bash Fun

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bahama Breeze for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Looking for some fun this summer?  Then you will want to check out the Summer Beach Bash at Bahama Breeze. From June 23 through August 3, Bahama Breeze is celebrating summer with live island music on the patio and a new signature cocktail, the Bahama Breeze Ultimate Pineapple. It is served in a fresh cut pineapple! This would make a great girls night out. If wish I could head to the real islands every weekend but this makes a great substitute.

 

I went last saturday with my family and saw their fun mojito bar right when we arrived at the restaurant. You choose your fruit, your rum, and watch the bartenders muddle the perfect summer cocktail.  I chose strawberry, mango, raspberry and I think it was the best mojito I have ever had.  The fruit was fresh and was amazing with the lime and mint.

 

If you attend the Bahama Breeze Summer Beach Bash, you can participate in the Bahama Breeze  “Instagram Selfie Contest”. All you have to do is share a creative selfie of yourself enjoying your time at the Summer Beach Bash and use the hashtag #MyBBSelfie. You will then be entered for a chance to win a $25 Bahama Breeze gift card!

Here is my selfie with my awesome mojito. What do you think?  Doesn’t it look yummy.

Bahama Breeze is the summer destination for good times. Where else can you get yummy food, listen to live island music, and drink out of a pineapple or make you own mojito? Wondering how they make the Ultimate pineapple? Check out this video with more details.

 

 

We had the Ahi Tuna stack and firecracker shrimp tacos. They were so tasty. It is fun have some island favors without leaving my hometown.

 

If you happen to have a Bahama Breeze nearby, you will want to visit between now and August 3rd to experience the Summer Beach Bash for yourself!

Which will you choose the Ultimate Pineapple or Mojito Bar?

 

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FREE Apple & Microsoft Summer Camps

Free Apple Camps & Microsoft Camps

Are your kids crazy about technology…or are your kids driving you crazy and you need them occupied? Then check out the FREE  Apple Summer Camp and Microsoft Summer Camps! Space is very limited so sign up today. My Apple store already has quick a few classes that are sold out.

FREE Apple Summer Camps

Join us at Apple Camp for three-day workshops where kids ages 8 to 12 bring their imaginations to life. They’ll learn to make movies or create interactive books complete with their own illustrations and sound effects. And each workshop ends with the Apple Camp Showcase so campers can share their finished projects

FREE Microsoft  YouthSpark Summer Camps

The Microsoft retail store becomes an interactive, hands-on technology classroom, where children learn by doing. Our summer camps are designed to engage and excite children, ages 8—13, at no cost to caregivers. Summer 2014 camps include:

Smart Game Coding

Go behind the scenes and learn how to code, program, and play in your own gaming world. You’ll use kid-friendly programming to learn how creativity and problem solving come together to make something all your own.

Smart Game Designing

Learn how to build, publish, and bring mobile games to life. Make your own virtual world and bring it to life so you can create games, movies, and unique digital experiences.

Smart Movie Making

Unleash your imagination and go from script to screen – and all the moving steps in between. We’ll teach you how to produce, direct, design and animate your own flicks using Windows Phone and Surface Pro.

Smart Photo Taking

Make photos pop and learn new tricks for capturing, editing and sharing great photos from your phone. We’ll help you build interactive worlds in Photosynth, turn yourself into art with Photo Fuse, and more.

View available summer camps at your store and sign up today:

These camps have limited openings and once they are gone they are gone. So be sure to sign up soon.

Sign up for FREE Apple Summer Camp here

 Sign up  for FREE Microsoft Summer Camp here.

 

 

Cool Gift Ideas for Men – Father’s Day

 Great Gifts for Men

Cool Gift Ideas for Men

With Father’s Day coming up here is a great list of gift ideas for Dads and Grandpas!

If you are looking for cool gift ideas for the men in your life, then check out all of the great gift ideas we found. There are neat things for those who are handy, those who love to travel or head outdoors. Whether you are shopping for your Grandpa, Dad, husband or other men in your life, there are cool gifts all the men on your list.

To save our cool gift list to your Pinterest boards,  press the “pin-it” button above. [Read more...]

Kids FREE Summer Reading Programs & Prizes

summer reading program list

Here is a great list of kids FREE Summer Reading Programs. School is almost out for the summer and we know that keeping up with reading over the summer is so important.  There are a LOT of great programs that your children can take advantage of to earn FREE books, prizes, and cash! This can help make reading a bit more fun this summer.

If you would like to save this link to Pinterest just click the Pinterest button on the top right hand corner of the image above. You will see it when you slide your cursor over the picture.

Junie B Jones Reading Club — Sign up and get a FREE starter Kit that includes a copy of Junie B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, Activity sheets and a membership ID card while supplies last.

Barnes & Noble Imagination Destination - This summer reading program through Barnes & Noble gives your child the ability to earn a FREE book after reading 8 books and keeping track of them in a reading log.

Book Adventure - Sylvan offers this FREE reading incentive program. Basically your child reads books and then takes a simple comprehension quiz to make sure they understood what they read.  The quiz is usually about 10 questions long.  They earn points based on how much they remember from reading the book.

There are hundreds of books to choose from in all reading levels.  These are common books that can be found at your local library.  Once they have earned enough points they can trade them in for some really neat prizes!

Chuck E. Cheese - Earn 10 FREE tokens every time your child reads for 2 weeks in a row.  Just fill out the form and bring it in to claim your free token.

Half Price Books — They are offering kids ages 14 and under a chance to earn a $5 Gift Card for reading just 15 each day throughout the summer!

Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays - Your child can earn a FREE movie ticket from National Amusements Theaters when they read a book and complete a book report.

Local Public Library - Don’t forget to check out your local libraries to find out which programs they’ll be offering this summer.  My kids have participated in several Summer reading Programs through the library and it always includes FREE books & prizes.

Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge - Open only to children under 10 years of age on any day during the promotion period. Must present completed Award-Winning or Early Reader book list to receive a free book at participating Pottery Barn Kids stores.

TD Bank Summer Reading Program — Read and keep track of 10 books this summer and your child will get $10 added to their Young Saver Account FREE!

Scholastic Summer Challenge - Log in your reading minutes to the Scholastic site and your child will be able to participate in a World Record challenge as well as earn digital prizes!

Programs like these are a great way to encourage our children to continue reading throughout the summer months.  If you know of any other programs that aren’t listed here, please feel free to leave the information in a comment below.

Thanks Saving Dollars and Sense for this great list!

Bookstock – Non Profit Metro Detroit Used Book Sale – Schedule & Specials

 

bookstock detroit used books sale

I was selected for this sponsored post by Hay There Social Media. All opinions expressed are my own.

I love books and reading and  I know how important reading is for  both children and adults. Books can be expensive though and that it why I am a huge advocate for using your local library. However, kids especially love to have books that they can own and read again and again That is why I was excited to learn about  Bookstock. It is a huge book sale that benefits non-profits in Michigan. Books at a great price and helping out those in need. That is a win/ win in my book!

WHAT IS BOOKSTOCK?
Bookstock is an annual, non-profit used book and media sale. All merchandise sold comes from donations and all workers and organizers are volunteers. Proceeds are donated to non-profit organizations and merchandise remaining after the sale is donated to area non-profit organizations and schools.

100,000 ITEMS! Pre-sorted books and merchandise

  • Current fiction, children’s books, biographies, cookbooks
  • Records and CD’s
  • DVD’s and Videos
  • Books on tape
  • Dozens of Categories

WHEN IS THE SALE?

April 27 to May 4, 2014

  • Pre-sale: Sunday, 8:15 a.m. — 11 a.m.  $20 entry fee for first shot at the books. Buy your pre-sale admission ticket here. 
  • During regular sale hours, admission is FREE!
  • Sale Hours:
    • Sunday: 11 a.m. — 6 p.m.
    • Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. — 9 p.m.
    • Sunday: 11 a.m. — 6 p.m.
  • Most books cost between $1 — $4.

LOCATION:

Laurel Park Place
37700 W. 6 Mile Road
(1/4 mile east of I-275)

SPECIAL PRICING DAYS:

This year, Bookstock will feature five days of special sales:

  • Monday Madness — Monday, April 28: One lucky buyer will receive a $500 gift card and 750 shoppers will receive spectacular giveaways.
  • Teacher Appreciation Day — Tuesday, April 29: Bookstock is celebrating teachers by giving 50 percent off to all teachers with a valid ID, from 3 — 9 p.m. At 5 p.m. Bookstock B.E.S.T.* Awards, (Bookstock Extraordinary Student/School/Teacher) will be presented to fourth grade students from Detroit Public Schools who best describe how “My Favorite Book…and Why.” Awards will be presented by a Local 4 News personality and cash prizes will be given to five students, their teachers and their schools.
  • Bookbuster Special Days — Wednesday, April 30 and Thursday, May 1: Buy 3 books and get the 4th book *free (*least expensive item), from 3 — 9 p.m. Spend $25 or more and be entered in a special drawing for a football signed by Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Staffrord or an exciting sports collectible.
  • Half Price Finale — Sunday, May 4: All remaining books and media will be sold for half price!

Bookstock is brought to the community by the Jewish Community Relations Council, and a consortium of communal non-profit organizations that support education and literacy projects throughout metro Detroit.

WHAT BENEFITS DOES BOOKSTOCK GENERATE?

Bookstock benefits the entire community by recycling gently used books and media and then offering them for sale at value prices.  Most books and media range in price from $1-$4, although there are “special selections” (more valuable books) at various price points. This is a great chance to stock up on books at amazing prices!

Plus this is a cause you can get behind. In 12 years, Bookstock has donated just shy of $1,000,000 to non-profit organizations in Detroit and the metro area, including those comprising its coalition.  Additionally, Bookstock donates large quantities of unsold books to other non-profit organizations and schools.  For example, the Salvation Army receives the bulk of the remaining books and media.  Bookstock also underwrites a scholarship at the Wayne State University School of Library Science and supports the Bookstock Fund, a literacy fund that provides micro-grants to enhance literacy and learning in Detroit and the metro area.

 

For more information about Bookstock, call (248) 645-7840, ext. 365 or visit bookstock.info, or follow on Facebook  or Twitter.

 

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