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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:
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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November 11 is Veterans Day, so make sure you pass on this information to anyone you know who is a Veteran or Active Duty so they can snag a free deal and/or a free meal! All places require proof of military service, proof of service includes Military ID, Discharge Papers, DD214 and being in uniform. What proof of service required depends on the individual establishment.
Special thanks to Gimme Freebies for contributing to this list of Veterans Day Freebies 2016.
This time last year, my (then) six-year-old daughter already picked out, and had been wearing, her Halloween costume for this year – since the beginning of September! Perhaps, then, that means it’s ok to get the ball rolling WELL before October 31st, right? ….even if the temperatures here in Atlanta still linger in the 90s. sigh
Once again, ABC Family is hosting 13 Nights of Halloween, packed with great family-friendly movies for the whole family to enjoy. If you’d like to get the festivities started BEFORE October 19th, or keep the Halloween spirit going year-round, you can snag these titles on Amazon. (Links included below.)
Super special thanks to Drug Store Divas for sharing this list!
Night One- Wednesday, October 19th
5:30pm — Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
7:00pm — R.L. Stine’s Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls (television premiere)
9:00pm — Hocus Pocus
12:00am — Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride [Read more…]
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.
There are some changes this year for Cow Appreciation Day 2016, as you may have heard. First, hours are from 6:30 am to 7:00 pm. Second, all participants who dress up will receive an entree. In years past, it was up to the individual location’s discretion to discern if you were fully or partially dressed, to determine if you got an entree or a full year – but this year, all locations are offering an entree for all levels of dressed-up.
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.
A few years ago, 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.
Tabitha, over at Saving Toward a Better Life, created a simple and adorable cow costume with a simple trash bag.
And of course, Lindsey of Redhead Baby Mama, created a round-up of cow costumes, as well.
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? Comment below with your ideas, or with how you intend to participate in Cow Appreciation Day.Keep on saving! :o)
Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching -like THIS Sunday, y’all! If you’re looking for some ways to help pamper your mom check out these awesome Mother’s Day deals and freebies. Also, be sure to explore all these great Mother’s Day gifts for under $50.
Super special thanks to Mary from Mission: To Save for contributing to this list for national deals!
Atlanta Local Mothers’ Day Deals & Freebies:
Atlanta Braves Game – Enjoy a special Girls Night Out event at Turner Field, in its final season, and know that proceeds from your ticket purchase also go towards a special cause: Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. You can snag discount tickets via Goldstar.
Chattahoochee Nature Center – Moms get in FREE with the purchase of a regular priced admission ticket.
College Football Hall of Fame – “Moms and Mimosas” enjoy mimosas, massages, and manicures. Also, get mom’s ticket for FREE wyb one regular admission price ticket. Also, you can score College Football Hall of Fame discount tickets for any other time you wish to go.
Georgia Aquarium – Moms get 1/2 off admission with purchase of regular-priced ticket. **If you purchase a City Pass, that is considered a “regular-priced ticket”, so with the City Pass, you can enjoy this special for a 1/2-priced ticket for yo’ mama.
High Museum – FREE admission for all, as part of their Second Sunday Funday program. You can pose for a portrait at 1pm, and then make a cute keepsake frame while you’re there. Extra perks for members, of course, including Eric Carle story time, yoga classes for bigs and littles, and more.
Medieval Times, Atlanta – Moms are FREE Mother’s Day weekend, WYB one full-priced adult admission! Visit bit.ly/MothersDayMTatlanta for more information and to secure your tickets on May 2nd-11th. Special Mother’s Day Upgrade Package also available.
Zoo Atlanta – Moms get in FREE with purchase of child or adult ticket, or when accompanied by a Zoo Atlanta Member.
National Mothers’ Day Deals & Freebies
Amazon – Up to 50% off fashion gifts for Mother’s Day, through 5/6/16.
Beef OBradys – All moms will receive a FREE meal (valued at $10) WYB a meal of equal or lesser value. This offer is valid at participating locations. (5/8 only)
Georgia Renaissance Festival – On Sunday, the first 100 Moms through the gate receive a free flower.
Giant Eagle: Earn $0.20 fuelperks per gallon when you buy $50 in gift cards thru 5/11/16.
Kroger: Load Kroger digital coupons to save on gift card purchases plus load a 4X Fuel Points on the Weekends coupons too.
McCormick & Schimicks – Mom will receive a free chocolate covered strawberry with her meal. It is recommended you make reservations if you plan to dine here.
Shoneys – FREE Slice of Strawberry Pie for mom with purchase of a Buffet or Entree. Also, enter to win $100 Visa gift card.
Stevie B’s Pizza – Mom can enjoy a FREE buffet on May 11th. You will need to present your voucher in order to get this offer (available on their Facebook page).
Tony Romas – 3-course meal only $28 on Mother’s day
Take mom to a free concert. Here in Georgia, there are a couple free concerts happening on Mother’s Day. Red Top Mountain State Park is jamming bluegrass Saturday evening (May 10)! In Sandy Springs, you can attend Concert by the Springs. You could also take her to Historic Fourth Ward Park for the Neighborhood Jazz Series. Thanks Long Live Learning for sharing these!
This list will be updated as more offers are released, so make sure that you bookmark it and check back later!Keep on saving! :o)
So it may not *quite* be Halloween yet, but it’s never too early to get a head start on the Holidays. There are currently some great stocking stuffers for the whole family for under $2. Check back each week, as I update with more finds!
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