Thomas & Friends Gift Ideas

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I created this post over a year and a half ago, when my son was turning two. Little did I know his love of all things Thomas would only grow!

Check out some of our favorite Thomas accessories, and make sure to sign up for the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway email updates, to be among the first to know about special promotions, events, premium content, and exclusive new products.

Thomas & Friends gift ideas

My son will be two next month, and is quite the Thomas & Friends fan.  He -um- even introduces himself as Thomas.  (Nope, that’s not even close to his name!)  And he loves singing the Thomas song (“They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight….”)  With a birthday three days before Christmas, I struggle to give his birthday the focus he deserves, while not detracting from either his day or the beauty of Christmas.  (And did I mention, he now has a cousin whose birthday is five days before his??)  Since my home has more toys than Toys R Us, we have the added challenge of not gifting too many toys this year, so we are really trying to think outside the (toy) box.

I digress.

If you have a Thomas fan in your life, here are a few gift ideas for the Thomas fan who has everything:

* Thomas the Tank Engine 5-pc dinner ware set

* Thomas Pillow Pet

* Percy Pillow Pet (slightly cheaper?)

* Thomas Underwear

*  Thomas “Track Star” Fleece Throw

* Thomas Footed 1-piece PJs

* Thomas the Train: Bath Buddies Fun Pack — We have these, and my son LOVES them.  So does my four-year-old daughter, truth be told.  ;)

And for a good giggle, check out the price range for these Thomas-themed pillow pets.  Careful which department you order yours from! ;)

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

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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 Mar 29th, 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:


Georgia Aquarium – save 20%
Georgia Aquarium Groupon

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!**

Cow Appreciation Day is Coming!

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Cow Appreciation Day banner

July is known for many things, and many occasions. Most notably, we Americans get all red, white, and blue for the 4th of July. But for the die-hard chicken lovers, we know something spectacular occurs later in the month: Cow Appreciation Day.  Around Atlanta, and across the country, folks will dress up as their favorite bovine, in order to snag some free Chick-fil-a chicken.

It’s a tradition I’ve been embarrassing my kids with for a few years now, and I’ve no intention to stop anytime soon.  However, I’m not (totally) ashamed to admit, I am a walking, talking Pinterest fail.  So, my costumes over the years tend to lack in imagination.

Last year, I think I reached my creative peak, by including my son’s Beanie Baby monkey, per my son’s request in the festivities. But of course, except for the collage below, I totally forgot to snap good pics, because, well, that would’ve just been *too* easy…

 

So, I reached out to some of my blogger pals and fellow Chick-fil-a Mom’s Club members, and came up with a few ideas for you, in case you want to go beyond just pinning the paper cutouts to a white t-shirt.  :)

Of course, Chick-fil-a has some great ideas to get you started, and this year they’ve included some creative extras.  Check out their printable cow templates!

First, Lani of Life Anchored created this adorable cow onesie.  My favorite part?  There’s NO SEWING involved!  Plus, it could easily be done as a regular shirt, not just for a onesie.

Easy-No-Sew-Cow-Costume

 

Tabitha, over at Saving Toward a Better Life, created a simple and adorable cow costume with a simple trash bag.

trash bag cow costume
And of course, Lindsey of Redhead Baby Mama, created a round-up of cow costumes, as well.

Cow Appreciation Day Costumes - Redhead Baby Mama

And then make sure you also watch this tutorial on how to make a cute cow tail.

So seriously, how will YOU participate in Cow Appreciation Day this year?  Will you get a full meal for your efforts, or be satisfied with an entree?  Comment below with your ideas, or with how you intend to participate in Cow Appreciation Day.

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!**

Retail Therapy Anyone? Printable Retail Coupons Roundup

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printable retail coupons - shopping bagsHad a long week?  Need to get away?  How about some retail therapy?  :o)  Here are the top printable retail coupons that are currently available!  Huge thanks to Surviving the Stores for this week’s list!

printable retail coupons 6-19-15

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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 restaurant coupons

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Here are some great Atlanta restaurant coupons for this weekend.  Also, don’t forget to check Scoutmob, Groupon, and Living Social for additional deals near you!  Super special thanks to Surviving the Stores for contributing to this list!
Atlanta Restaurant Coupons

Atlanta restaurant coupons 6-19-15

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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!**

FREE Weekend Events 6-12-15

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Free-Weekend-Events_banner

In addition to all of the local festivities, there are FREE weekend events -  fun activities to enjoy with your kids, for your kids, and workshops for adults only.

Who says being frugal can’t be fun? Free and fun weekend activities are available all across the USA!  Also, check out these free and frugal ways to beat the heat in Atlanta.  Or, if you prefer to hang out at home, there’s plenty of ways to stay cool in your own backyard, and with cool backyard toys for kids of all ages, and backyard toys for little ones!

Share this page with your friends and family. If you know of any others to share, please let us know! Also, it is always best to call ahead and make sure that your local retailer is participating to avoid disappointment.

:: Free Fishing Days

Check the calendar and plug in you location to see when Free Fishing Days are happening in your community.

american-girl-store-events-125x150

:: American Girl Special Store Events

Special events differ by location. During June, they include Discover Truly Me Event, Adorable Accents: Twists & Braids, Jewel Highlights, Meal & Memories with Dad and more.

Many of the American Girl in store events are free, however some have a fee and some have age restrictions. Get the details here and find participating stores. Call ahead and make sure that your local store or retailer is participating to avoid disappointment.

Brightest-Star_970x194_v2_03

 

:: Barnes & Noble

Saturday, June 13th at 11 AM

Story time featuring Touch the Brightest Star plus related activities at many B&N locations

Most stores have free toddler story time, NOOK events, hands-on learning events and author events – find the times and participating Barnes and Noble stores here.

[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!**

Maple-Blueberry Smoothie

**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!**



Maple Blueberry Smoothie

Maple.  Blueberry.  Smoothie.  An unlikely combination?  Perhaps.  But give it a try, and I promise not only won’t you be disappointed, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised how the addition of veggies bulks up the nutrition without compromising the taste.  My picky tots gulp it up as fast as I can make these!  Our pediatrician, quite aware of how particular my kiddos are about (not) eating their veggies, has long advocated adding them to smoothies – so my version of this maple-blueberry smoothie fits the nutritional bill quite well.

I saw the original recipe in the paper at my in-laws house in Florida, and it was tagged by the associate press.  So, I’m not quite certain of its origins, but it sure does sound tasty.  In any case, I had to make my own tweeks, substituting ice cream for greek yogurt, and adding the veggies for an extra nutritional punch.  Although I use the Vitamix, you can certainly recreate with a regular blender.

 

Maple-Blueberry Smoothie

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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!**

Free Things to Do in Atlanta

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Free Things to Do in Atlanta

Having fun in Atlanta doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg!  You already know about all the great free and frugal ways to beat the heat in Atlanta, as well as great indoor places for kids – but there’s so much more to this wonderful city.  So, without further adeu, I give you …wait for it…

Free Things to Do in Atlanta

One of my favorite spots, the Woodruff Park Reading Room is an amazing outdoor learning adventure. Located in the North side of the park, the Woodruff Park Reading Room is filled with carts of books! It’s the perfect spot for a picnic lunch while reading a book, and truly is the ideal activity for kids of all ages.

Another educational stop your trip should include is the Federal Reserve Bank. Quite possibly the only time you’ll ever see one million dollars all in the same place, this museum will teach the kids – and you! – about the Federal Reserve, how they control the money supply, and basically the overall importance of a federal reserve system.

On Tuesdays, you can tour the Governor’s Mansion, which is pretty cool if you ask me! Learn about the history of Atlanta while seeing how the governor lives.

Every Wednesday starting at 5:30PM, May through September, you’ll get to experience Wednesday Wind Down at Centennial Olympic Park. There’s always something happening at Centennial Park. Take a look at the calendar of events to help plan your trip. Don’t be surprised if it’s busy on a nice summer day, though – this park gets over 3 million visitors each year!

Take a free guided art tour through Castleberry Hill, and be impressed with the art studios and paintings – all without spending a dime. Castleberry Hill was one of Atlanta’s first neighborhoods to be reconstructed after the Civil War.

On Thursdays, you can take a trip to the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center for free admission to neat programs and lectures. This place is filled with gorgeous modern art, and would make the perfect addition to an educational field trip around the city.

Tour where Martin Luther King Jr. grew up, and learn about the Civil Rights movement, all for free at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

One place that’s considered a “must visit” by locals is the Atlanta’s Chilren Museum! The entire family will have a blast at this interactive museum. Admission is free the second Tuesday of the month.

If you’re still looking for even more to do in Atlanta, this post about family fun in Atlanta is great.

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!**

Summer FUN in Atlanta

**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!**



Summer Fun in Atlanta

Summer 2015 is (un)officially under way, now that the kiddos are out of school.  So here are some awesome ideas to add to your summer fun in Atlanta – to keep them entertained, and also to help keep them stimulated, and avoid parking their brains over the summer.  Not all of these are strictly limited to the Atlanta area, so make sure to check them all out and see what YOU can cross off your summer bucket list.  Click on the pictures for further details.

Summer Fun in Atlanta – Master List

Got something to add?  Please contact me and I’ll look in to it.Summer Fun in Atlanta

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!**

Saying Goodbye to Kindergarten

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Saying Goodbye to Kindergarten

It seems like it was just last week I walked my little girl in to Kindergarten.  And yet now, in a blink of an eye, she  was saying goodbye to Kindergarten.  While I knew she was more than ready to start Kindergarten, I still knew this year would be filled with many “new”s: she started a new school, venturing away from the preschool where she was already well-known; which also means she made new friends, whom she embraced with her big heart and they she; new teachers, all of whom she seems to like, her classroom teacher the most!

In the last nine months, she’s become an even stronger reader, mastering even more sight words, gained more confidence as a reader, began to experiment with spelling, finished writing her own book, began formerly learning Spanish, learned how to skip count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, learned how to add numbers in her head, almost mastered shoe tying (gonna keep that on our summer checklist!), and grew by leaps and bounds in ways I never imagined!

I’m not sure what it is about Kindergarten in our present culture that invokes such sentimentality, but I will gladly testify to its strength.  We weep when our babies start Kindergarten, whether they do so as the king of the hill in a preschool setting, or as the littlest guys in an elementary school setting.  We weep because Kindergarten signifies that our little babies are no longer our little babies, and that, with each step they take towards their school, they take a further step away from our safe and comfortable arms, away from our safe world where we can control and protect them.  They take a step further towards leaving the proverbial nest.

Saying Goodbye to Kindergarten

My little girl can now be considered what she calls a “grader”.  Wow.  How on earth do I have a first grader on my hands?!  That I’m not sure, but I do know that, as I watch my little girl grow up -a girl with a heart bigger than any ocean- I’ll mourn the loss of each previous stage, watching small slivers of her childhood slip away, while also celebrating the little person she is becoming.  And she is quite a cool little person.

So, here’s to a wonderful year in Kindergarten, to all the excitement this summer may hold, and to the wonders that await us next year in first grade.

Saying Goodbye to Kindergarten

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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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