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Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be another occasion for which to go in debt. On the contrary, there’s plenty of free, cheap, and frugal date night ideas around Atlanta -and anywhere – just put the leg work in to it ahead of time. Here are a few great Atlanta date night ideas, but most can be date night ideas for just about anywhere. And keep in mind, these date night ideas are great, not just for Valentine’s Day, but all year long!
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It’s inevitable for many families this time of year, the Christmas Cards will start arriving once we flip our calendars to December. We keep ours in a basket available for all to see each year during the month of December. However, once the holidays are over, I’m perpetually perplexed as to what to do with all those cards. We get cards from family all across the country, and from friends equally spread out. Each year, I look at these cards as a sweet, simple way to stay in touch with loved ones; but I honestly always felt a sense of dread and apprehension once the holidays passed and it was time to take down the Christmas decor. I never knew quite what to do with all the cards.
So I reached out to my blogger friends AND posed the question on Privet, and got some awesome ideas and inspiration for upcycling and recycling Christmas cards. Here are some ways to get more out of the Christmas cards you receive. If you’ve got more ideas or inspirations, please let me know!
Got any more great ways to recycle Christmas Cards? Please comment below with your ideas or contact me. I’d love to hear your ideas!
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As a teacher, I recieved gifts over the years -some obviously very thoughtful and others that left me scratching my head in wonder. Regardless, the simple act of giving a gift meant the world to me, especially since I wasn’t always the “main” teacher. (I taught special education, and even if I saw a child for most of the day, I wasn’t their “homeroom” teacher, and ….I digress…) So, let me repeat, any gift you give a teacher will be much appreciated. Period. Truly, it IS the thought that counts.
Honestly, the gifts that meant the most to me were the personalized notes, you could have your child help create a picture for each teacher, and include a note of thanks -offering anything specific you can, even if it’s simply “you make my child smile”. Pull out the paint brush, water colors or tempera paint, and let your child express himself – regardless of his age. Sometimes a picture of your child is helpful, too, because it will allow her teachers to continue to put a name to a face (because we’re all a little forgetful in our old age.) I’ve helped my daughter create various cards over the years, using card stock, colorful tissue paper bits, and contact paper. Or peruse Pinterest for a simple craft you think you and your child could create for all his teachers.
When I was in the classroom, the gift that (still) meant the most to me was from one of my 5th graders, whose learning disability made the simple task of writing very difficult. That year, she hand wrote me a letter of thanks – specifying things I’d done for her/with her that year. I know the time, effort, and thought that went in to that was great – and I thus still treasure it dearly. She got me a few other small things along with that note, but the note is what I most recall.
If you want to include a little **something** along with the pictures and notes, the gesture of a $5 gift card, or even a little baggie of assorted chocolates can go a long way. The dollar stores usually have those little mesh baggies in multiples; I snagged a bag of chocolates last year for free with some deal -likely at Publix- and allocated a few of them to each of my daughter’s teacher, using those baggies. Also, you could create various baked goods with your child, and include with a personalized note.
Along those same lines, clip and root a piece of your favorite house plant, like a Christmas cactus; root it, then put it in a colorful pot. Or, grab a ready-to-paint pot from a craft store or home improvement store, and let your child create a design on the pot. House plants can certainly be a lasting way of saying “thank you”.
Another idea, depending on your child’s class and teachers, is to pool together with other parents, and go in together for one big class gift. With a larger budget, the class could get the teachers personalized stationary from Vistaprint, or even a larger gift card or gift certificate to her favorite restaurant. Or just cold hard cash.
This year, for the end of year gift, my daughter’s pre-K class is making a photo book for each teacher. Since they’ve been taking pictures all year round, and uploading to Shutterfly, we have plenty of pictures of the kids and both teachers. Each child will also create one picture for each teacher, and write a sentence or two about what they like the most about each teachers – scan them in: boom. Sentimental, meaningful gift.
The bottom line is this: no matter what the gift is, simply let your child’s teachers know you appreciate them. That act alone goes a long way, and stands out for years to come.
**Also, check out Tiffany (of RealMomTalk.com) for her take on the Top 5 Gift Ideas for Teachers:
Recently, I was the delighted to be invited back with my family to experience Stone Mountain Christmas. Last winter, we played at Snow Mountain, but hadn’t yet gotten to see the magic of Stone Mountain Christmas, so of course we jumped at the opportunity to go. Suffice it to say, it is now on my list of family-friendly things to do in Winter in Atlanta!
From the whimsical sing-along Christmas train ride with The Gift (my Thomas-loving son’s favorite, of course!), to the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 4-D (seriously, 10 minutes of fun and cuteness!), visiting Santa, the great variety of live performances peppered throughout, or my daughter’s absolute favorite: meeting the Snow Angel – there’s something for everyone at Stone Mountain Christmas. The evening is topped off with the Snow Angel Fireworks Finale.
How can you make the most of your time at Stone Mountain Christmas this holiday season? Here are my top tips for doing so:
The Studio Movie Grill Groupon is BACK! 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.
The Studio Movie Grill Groupon is BACK! This is a great one, y’all — you get movie admission for $5!! Studio Movie Grill has two Atlanta locations, and thus this Groupon has two options:
Each offers a dinner and movie experience. This is the lowest I’ve seen this Groupon offer, and it’s even better because they just recently revamped their menu, and it is full of ahh-mazing food and drink options!
Hurry and grab this GREAT deal before it’s gone!
Are you not yet signed up with Groupon? No problem — sign up here, then go snag this great deal!
Legal-Mumbo-Jumbo: Promotional value expires Jan 5, 2017. Amount paid never expires. Limit 10 per person. Must use promotional value in 1 visit. Not valid for Star Wars Rogue One. Not valid for movies at 5pm or later on Friday-Sunday. Not valid toward special event movies, or alternate programming. 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 towards buyouts. Not valid in combination with promo codes. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services. Offer is not eligible for Groupon promo codes or other discounts.
You may also wish to check out these other great deals around town:
Georgia Renaissance Festival (1/2 off!)
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Let’s face it, in this digital age, we scarcely take the time to print pictures these days. My kids get printed school pictures, and any photos grandparents print some out. Otherwise, I consistently FAIL to print pictures. So, this, honestly, is why I gift photo books. I have found great satisfaction in compiling photo books for my kids from various occasions, like vacations or special events. Two years ago, I even did utilized Shutterfly’s photo book option to “publish” the book my then 5 year old daughter and I wrote.
Now is a great time to put together photo books, they make a great class gift idea for teachers, but also for a wide variety of other people in your life. We created a photo book as part of our keepsake for my daughter’s first trip to Disney World when she was younger. My sister-in-law created a photo book a few years ago for my in-laws to remember the family cruise we went on – we all still enjoy thumbing through it to remember how much we enjoyed the cruise!
Amazon has a nice list of top toys for kids this year based on age. The following toys are on the Amazon Holiday Toy List for Kids – Newborn to 24 Months. Prices shown were accurate at the time of posting. Be sure to check the price before you order.
Special thanks to Become a Coupon Queen for sharing this list!
Munchkin Twisty Figure 8 Teether – $4.49
$11 – $20
Tomy Hide N Squeak Eggs Learning Toy – $12.97
Gund Pusheen Plush with Cookie – $17.79
VTech Zoo Jamz Piano – $19.99
$21 – $30
LeapFrog Scout’s Count & Colors Band – $20.48
Fisher-Price Beat Bow Wow – Pink – $24.45
$31 – $40
Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother – $34.75
Oball Go Grippers Car Carrier – $33.92
Fisher-Price Dance & Move BeatBelle – $34.00
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Someone asked me recently if Disney’s Frozen was still ‘relevant’ among kids. As a preschool teacher and mother of a 4 and 7 year old, I confidently confirmed indeed, Frozen remains quite relevant and popular among kiddos. In fact, I can further share it’s not just for girls: little boys have also -ahem- caught Frozen fever. So if you have a little boy in your life, consider these adorable Frozen gift ideas for boys.Keep on saving! :o)
I recently spent the day at The Coca-Cola Company headquarters, helping to stuff care packages to send to the military. This is a sponsored campaign for Coca-Cola; however, as always, all opinions and bad puns are 100% my own.
I never thought packing tubes of toothpaste would lead to such humbling, drop-to-my-knees revelations, and yet, that’s exactly what happened to me the other day. I was invited to work alongside hundreds of Coca-Cola employees who volunteered to help stuff care packages for the USO to send to our troops. It was an assembly-lined process, and in its seventh year, ran like a well-oiled machine. I happened to be in front of the large bin of toothpaste tubes, at the front of the assembly line. Next to me were packages of disposable razor blades, and a few bins down from there were bottles of eye drops. Knowing the service members offered feedback and helped determine what items were NEEDED for these care bags made the eye drops all the more of a reality to me.
I mean, I have eye drops at my house, and shortly after LASIK, I kept eye drops on me at all times, and recall the insane discomfort of dry eyes, and thus the necessity of carrying eye drops with me at all times. But my discomfort was short-lived (and elective). Enough of our service members expressed a need for dry eye relief, to necessitate carrying it with them at all times.
It both blew my mind and made my heart hurt just a little, but also gave me a sense of pride in my friends, my family, and complete strangers who have selflessly served our country. Such a simple thing as dry eyes also made my heart swell with pride, knowing the sacrifices these brave men and women face everyday, and the men and women who went before them. It’s but one small indication of what our military go through on a daily basis while deployed, and a small token of the sacrifice and discomfort they face in order to serve our country.
This made the experience at Coca-Cola earlier this week all the more real, and all the more worthwhile, in knowing that the work we did that day would make an impact on our men and women serving our country. Also, I was pleased to learn more about Coca-Cola’s ties to the military, as well as the USO.
The Coca-Cola company’s rich history of supporting the military stretches back 75 years when the company began a unique partnership with the US military. You see, Coca-Cola has been working alongside the United Service Organizations (USO) since its beginning back in 1941, when then company president Robert Woodruff committed “to see that every person in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5¢” (wouldn’t it be nice if those prices were still in effect?!). In fact, when General Eisenhower reached out to Woodruff in 1941, it was to ask for Coke to be sent overseas during the war. Plants followed military theaters, which greatly helped launch Coca-Cola on to the international stage. By the end of the war, over 5 billion Coca-Colas had been served.
Now, Coca-Cola remains committed to honoring our nation’s heroes through veteran hiring and mentoring programs, which I learned more about first hand in a sit-down with Mark Rahyia, Chief US Sales & Operations Officer, Coca-Cola Refreshments, who has been with the company for 19 years, and proudly served in the Navy. Most impressive were these facts:
As a Georgia girl raised in Atlanta, I’ve always felt a strong loyalty to the Coca-Cola brand, not only because it’s always been the “local brand”, but because I strongly see the company’s presence both in the local community AND on the global stage. Seeing now the strong support Coca-Cola extends to our men and women who serve our country only strengthens my loyalty and love of the brand. Both my grandfathers were in the Navy, along with my father-in-law (a Vietnam vet), several uncles and cousins also served, as well as childhood friends who proudly still serve our country (a few taking on multiple tours, God bless them!) – all this drives Coca-Cola’s commitment a little closer to home for me, and making me proud to support the company and thus also the military.
This Friday is Veterans’ Day. Please thank a veteran or military member in your life, not just on Veterans’ Day but any given day. Share with them all the great ways companies around the country are thanking them, and share below in the comments with ways YOU can thank our fine men and women who serve our country.
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