Getting Comfy Out of My Comfort Zone {prAna review}

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



prAna review banner

Disclosure: I received this product for free for a prAna review from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program , May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. However, my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.   

As a mother of young kids, sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a rut – whether it be at mealtime, household duties (ugh!), fitness, fashion, or all of the above and then some.  Sometimes we truly just trudge through in survival mode, doing the best we can with what we have, and feel accomplished in getting through the day in a somewhat sane fashion.

(Spit baths count as an actual bath for small children, right???) [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Studio Movie Grill Groupon – $6 movie ticket

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



You can also check out this movie deal for Dealflicks – or check out other Atlanta Groupon deals. You can also check for movie deals over at nCrowd and Goldstar.

Studio Movie Grill Groupon


The Studio Movie Grill Groupon is BACK!  This is a great one, y’all — you get movie admission for $6!!  Studio Movie Grill has two Atlanta locations, and thus this Groupon has two options:

  • $6 for one movie ticket to Holcomb Bridge Studio Movie Grill at 2880 Holcomb Bridge Drive (up to $11 value)
  • $6 for one movie ticket to Duluth Studio Movie Grill at 3850 Venture Drive (up to $11 value)

Each  offers a dinner and movie experience.  I’ve gotten this Groupon before, and have had wonderful experiences taking my (then) ants-in-the-pants three-year-old daughter here.  Hurry and grab this GREAT deal before it’s gone!

Studio Movie Grill Groupon

Are you not yet signed up with Groupon?  No problem — sign up here, then go snag this great deal!

Legal-Mumbo-Jumbo: Expires Dec 13, 2015. Limit 10 per person. Must use promotional value in 1 visit. Not valid Friday and Saturday after 5pm. Not valid for kiosk purchases. Extra fee for 3D movies. Must redeem and use movie tickets by expiration date. $1.50 convenience fee/seat applies to online redemption. Never valid for alcohol, beverage, or food. Limit 1 per person per visit. Not valid with other promotions. Discount is off full adult ticket price. Not valid towards buyouts. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

 

You may also wish to check out these other great deals around town:

Legoland 1/2 off admissionLEGOLAND discount tickets

Georgia Renaissance Festival (1/2 off!)Goldstar Georgia Renaissance Festival

College Football Hall of Fame & Chick-fil-a Experience
Groupon - College Football Hall of Fame

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Tax Day Freebies 2016

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Tax Day Freebies

Ahh, April 15th is upon us.  Can you smell the panic in the air, the long lines at the post office, of those frantic to get their taxes filed before the stroke of midnight?  Ok, so I can’t either, but you get the drift.  And in any case, with tax day comes cool Tax Day Freebies.  Super-special thanks to More with Less Today And Mission: To Save for contributing to this list!

Sometimes individual franchise owners choose not to participate in freebies and discounts so be sure and call ahead to avoid disappointment.

Tax Day Freebies 2016

[Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Cool Things to do While Visiting Greensboro

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Huge thanks to Lindsey of And The Kitchen Sink for guest posting on frugal-friendly tips for traveling to Greensboro.

I have lived in Greensboro my entire life. There’s just something about this city that keeps calling me home. In my years of living here, I have visited and experienced almost everything there is to do here. There’s so much to do here you couldn’t possibly do all of it in a day, in my opinion these are the best bangs for your buck!
Visiitng Greensboro

Attractions

Greensboro Science Center

A lot of this sciences are geared toward younger audiences, I would be lying to you if I told you that I didn’t go to the Science Center for my 19th birthday. This is personally one of my favorite places in Greensboro, and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area. Greensboro’s Science center is the only facility in the whole state that offers an accredited science museum, zoo, Omnisphere theater, and aquarium all in one place.
Science Museum- The museum has exhibits that range from fossils and dinosaur footprints, extreme weather galleries, small reptiles, even an educational exhibit filled with interactive displays that take you on a tour of the body’s main systems. From now until June 5th you can see the exciting bodies revealed exhibit. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Atlanta Baby and Child Expo 2016 {giveaway}

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Atlanta Baby and Child Expo 2015 logo

The Atlanta Baby and Child Expo is fast approaching! I had such a delightful time attending in years past, and am super-excited about it’s upcoming return.  Also, I’m happy to offer tickets to give away, too!  (see details below)

Atlanta Baby and Child Expo 2016:

The Atlanta Baby and Child Expo is considered THE premier event for expecting and new parents in the Southeast.  We bring in the ultimate in parenting and baby products and professionals.  It’s an elite experience, intimate in setting and not overwhelming.  It’s a party for expectants, new parents, grandparents and their family and friends. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Turning Seven, Painting Pots, and Surprise Parties

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



I am now the mother of a seven year old girl.  While she will forever be my littlest Peanut, she is certainly growing up.  Like many modern mamas, I posted on my personal FB page, gushing over how amazing she is, and how proud of her I am, and yet, how I wish to hold on to every last piece of her seemingly fleeting childhood.All Fired Up Party Review

But the truth is, I’m darn proud of the young lady she is becoming.  With each transition to the next stage, I mourn the small and little pieces of her that slip away, while also welcoming the new she brings to our world.  It’s bittersweet, at best, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, in all her squirrely-ness surrounding her birthday, she started telling us a few months beforehand that she’d “never” had a surprise party.  You know, in all of her (almost) seven years of living.

Around the same time, I got an invitation from the good folks at All Fired Up to try out one of their locations.  Opportunity knocks, y’all.  So, after asking my daughter in a very casual off-hand way if she would be interested in going to a place like this one day, she eagerly concurred.  …and the plan just fell in to place from there.

All Fired Up party review collage

I knew I didn’t want to do another indoor playground party, as we had done that every year since she turned 3.  My son’s fourth birthday, which is days before Christmas, was celebrated with friends with a very small (on-the-cheap) party (basically, a glorified playdate with three school friends), which was perfect for him.  So the opportunity to mix-it-up for her 7th birthday sounded refreshing.

Our experience with the Alpharetta location of All Fired Up, from start to finish, was absolutely fantastic!  Since it was a surprise party, we planned for my daughter and my husband to “run errands” in the morning, and then meet up at All Fired Up at 10 minutes after the hour.  So, my mother- and father-in-law came with me and my son about ten minutes early to get things set up, and welcome our party guests as they arrived.  Samantha kindly let us in early and helped brief us on the party, and helped us get set up.  The staff remained friendly, helpful, and patient throughout the entire party.

As the party guests began to arrive, they were greeted warmly and shown which pieces they could pick from for painting during the party.  They took the time to help them make their selections, and then wrote their names on the bottom of their pieces for them.  There was a wide variety of choices, which was great, since my 4 year old son wanted something “boy-ish” to paint (his words, not mine, I swear!).  Most of the other guests were girls ranging from age 6-8, as well as my 3 year old niece.

All Fired Up party review - Boy-ish pottery

Once the guest of honor arrived, and the stun of the surprise faded for her, she also picked out what she wanted to paint, and the party hosts got things under way.  The staff walked the girls over to the paints, showed them the large paint selection, and explained how to use the tiles available to put little dabs of paint on so they could paint their pieces.

All Fired Up party review - paint selection

While the guests worked on their pottery, the staff came around to have them sign a special “happy birthday” plate for my daughter.  We were able to take it home that day, and bake it in the oven.  She now has a great token to remember this occasion for years to come, and it’s a practical piece we can use each year on her birthday!

All Fired Up party review

As the girls completed their pottery, the staff happily took their pieces so they could be fired, and made a note on their sheet for our party list, so it would be easy to quickly match the piece with the child upon pickup.  When most of the party guests had completed their pieces, the tables were tidied up so we could sing and serve cake.

All-Fired-Up-party-review_cookie-cake

P.S.  If you’ve never experienced a double-layer cookie cake from Sam’s Club, your life is incomplete.  That’s all I’ll say on the matter.  😉

The entire party lasted about 90 minutes, but it was the perfect time for the kids to gather, celebrate, and have fun.  I’ve found in the past, there was an awkward time period during parties where folks linger and shuffle around, not really sure what to do.  This did not occur here.

All in all, I was super-pleased with the service we got from the staff at All Fired Up, and we will certainly return for another party, or simply another outing.  Everyone came away raving about the experience, and it was such a relief to have a relatively easy party for my daughter.

All Fired Up party review - pottery pieces

If you’re looking for a new place for birthday parties, casual get-togethers, and even summer camps, give All Fired Up a try – you won’t be disappointed.  They’ve got three locations in the Atlanta area, including Marietta and Emory, along with the Alpharetta location I attended.  You can even sign up your kids for art camp over spring break or during the summer.  Furthermore, they have creative art classes for both adults and for kids.

All-Fired-Up-review_artcamp

And, of course, I wouldn’t be Atlanta’s FRUGAL Mom if I didn’t tell you about their frequent painter program, which rewards you for -you guessed it!- frequent visits.  Ask your location for further details.  Oh!  And All Fired Up also offers fundraiser opportunities for local schools, churches, and organizations – what a great way to think outside the box for a good cause.

Thanks again to the wonderful people at All Fired Up for a fantastic birthday part for my daughter! Check them out on Facebook, Pinterest, and join their mailing list to stay abreast of upcoming events and specials!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Getting on the Same Page as Your Spouse with Parenting – Nanny 911 Series

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



barbara - same page as spouse2Parenting is tough. Marriage is tough. Kids are tough. Life is tough. You get the picture! Even if you and your partner have completely different parenting styles, you’re still one team and you must work together. Nanny 911 has not only taught me about parenting – about teaching the kids what to expect, about following through, and of course about the Naughty Chair – it’s also taught me about growing my relationship.

Even if you disagree in the moment, do not argue about the kids’ behavior and discipline in front of them. I’m not saying you always have to agree on everything, heaven knows kids need to see that you can disagree and work through it. I’m just saying when it comes to their behavior and consequences, discuss differences of opinions behind closed doors. Behind closed doors is where you’ll sit down and hash it out – respectfully, of course. You’ll talk about your side, his side, and then you’ll reach a compromise.

Types of Parents

Angry Parent: If you’re the parent with the short fuse – always angry and yelling – I bet your kids either tun it out, or think it’s appropriate to act that way and start yelling as well. Am I right? Your spouse might tune it out as well, and then loosen the reigns behind your back, undermining your authority. Or maybe your spouse is the short-fused one, and you find yourself “making up” for it by being more lenient.

Instead of yelling, try taking a few deep breaths or using a stress ball. Identifying your triggers beforehand will help you work on self-control in the moment.

Softy Parent: If you’re the parent that makes excuses for your child’s behavior – pretending their disrespect is “no big deal” – your partner might be pretty frustrated with you. And playdates are most likely a nightmare, so your friends might be upset, too! Do your kids get away with things you know they shouldn’t, and essentially rule the house?

Stop making excuses. Write out clear expectations for your children and yourself, so everyone is on the same page and knows which behaviors are okay – and which are not.

There are several other parenting styles discussed in the Nanny 911 book. They are covered in great detail and I love that the book gives you tips for how to handle each parenting type.

Making Your Relationship a Priority

When you’ve been married a while, sometimes things can get pushed to the side – like date night. I understand how easy it is to get swept up into the routine of just being Mom and Dad, but at some point your kids will be grown and you have to be able to function as a married couple, right? Don’t put date night off for 18 years!

Even if you can’t escape the house on a regular basis, you can have a date night in after the kids go to bed. There are tons of ideas for date nights – both in the house and out – on Pinterest! I know it’s difficult to find a babysitter sometimes, but at least try to make date night out a priority as well – even if it’s just once a month, for a few hours!

Check out the rest of my Nanny 911’s series:

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Perk Up with Community Coffee Coupon

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Disclosure: In exchange for this sponsored post for the Community Coffee coupon, in partnership with Savings.com, I received a form of compensation.  However, all opinions and bad punchlines are 100% my own.

I’ve been quite draggy today.  I don’t know about y’all, but this whole “spring forward” thing is just BRUTAL!  And life just can’t slow down because my clock is a little off.  Kids still need to wake up and get to school, *I* still have to get up and go to the gym and to work.

Throw in the yellow snow* we get this time of year here in Atlanta, and I’m beat!  Stick.  A.  Fork.  In.  Me.

Community Coffee coupon

Enter: caffeine!  I’ve already told you about some super delicious ways to enjoy your coffee, but now you need to know how to stretch you dollar with a good cup of coffee.  Enter: Community Coffee! [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Chipotle Tofu Burritos

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Chipotle Tofu BurritosYou may recall, my family and I gave up meat for Lent this year, so I’ve been on the hunt for creative ways to keep dinner lively.  I can’t really say how I came up with the idea for chipotle tofu burritos, other than just to throw together some common ingredients and enjoy.  ….and that’s basically what I did, y’all.

Ok, so it really started out when I bought chipotle-flavored tofu because it was BOGO at Publix and because there was a Berry Cart deal for $1 rebate on it.  …and I built a mealtess dinner around that one sale item, based entirely on what I already had in my pantry and fridge.

To my delight, every one of my family members ate their dinner, even my picky kiddos.  Ok, so the boy choked his down, but he *did* eat it.  It may or may not have required a little come-to-Jesus convincing, but once he tried it, he decided they “weren’t bad.”  sigh

 

Chipotle Tofu Burritos

(1) package Nasoya baked tofu, chipotle flavor – sliced in to small cubes

(1) package frozen corn, prepare as directed on package

(1) can black beans

(1) package Mexican rice, prepare as directed

shredded cheese, to taste

tortillas (we used Flatout tortillas)

salsa
There are no concrete directions, beyond preparing each ingredient as directed.  Scoop on as much of each to your liking, roll up, and enjoy.  The best part about these chipotle-flavored tofu burritos is you can customize to your taste, and you can add or replace ingredients.  My husband and I added spinach to our burritos.  Lettuce is also good.  Like hot sauce?  Go for it.  The second time I made these, I added a dollop of sour cream, as pictured above.  So, go.  Prepare.  Eat.  And most importantly, enjoy!

 

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

5 Tips for Traveling Frugally

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



tips for traveling frugallyTraveling can be expensive and all the little things add up quite quickly! It is hard to imagine saving money while traveling, but it can be done. Here are five tips to traveling frugally so that you can get out there and experience more of the world!

Plan Ahead

This sounds simple enough, but it is strangely one thing that is overlooked. When you are planning on flying, book your ticket three weeks ahead as prices go up on the 21-day mark. Conversely, 48 hours before a flight you can find some tremendous deals on last minute trips. A great resource is using Google Flights and then using this information to compare flights on Expedia or Travelocity.

Tips on Fuel

Plan to fill up early in the morning and not when a tanker is filling the gas station’s underground tanks. Gas prices increase before any major holiday, so gas up as far in advance as you can, then just top off on the morning on your road trip. These simple steps will make sure that more gas ends up in your tank for less money.  Also, utilize your Kroger card to save big on gas, too.

Where to Stay

There are many choices of where to stay when traveling. If you are on a road trip, break out the tent and camp along your route. When flying, don’t forget to look up places on AirBNB or check out local B&Bs, especially if you don’t need all the amenities of a hotel. You can contact the Chamber of Commerce in the city you are visiting and often times they have discount codes for you to use at a local hotel.

tips for traveling frugally
Bed & Breakfast and Country Inns, 24th Edition

Excursions on the Cheap

When talking to the Chamber of Commerce, ask them if they have an activity book (often free) which has 2-for-1 coupons or discounts throughout an area. Many museums and attractions have a couple days a month where admission is reduced or free, plan if your trip is planned around those dates.  Also, utilize things sites/apps Groupon, Scoutmob, Goldstar, and Living Social for discounted deals on things to do locally.


groupon - tips for traveling frugallyGoldstar - tips for traveling frugally

Don’t Eat All Your Money

Food can add up quickly while traveling. Pack snacks like dried fruit, nuts, and protein bars in your bag. When you get to your destination, stop at the grocery store and pick up food that you can eat. Don’t eat out at breakfast, as you can start your day with a banana and protein shake. (Or if you’re lucky, find a hotel that throws in free breakfast.)  Dinner is usually twice the cost of lunch, so eat your largest meal midday and have the leftovers for dinner.

These are just a few of the ways you can travel frugally this year. Now get out there and travel!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

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