Wrapping Up the Month of June at Applebee’s

**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!**



June at Applebee's

Apparently this summer has been more hectic than I realized.  I sat down on June 30 to write this up, but July proved to be just as hectic as June!  Hence, a mid-July publication!  

The month of June kept my family busy, our calendars packed, and my schedule quite busy!  First, we renovated the kids’ bathroom,  not because we were sitting idolly by looking for something to do, but because the tub -which was easily over 20 years old- was starting to feel springy when the kids stepped in it, and the shower faucet had developed a steady leak.  Thankfully, when we redid the other two bathrooms in our house a few years ago, we went ahead and bought a sink, tub, toilet, sink faucet, and shower faucet for all three bathrooms because we knew we would eventually have to tackle this bathroom, AND because a family friend got us the products for about half off.

I digress.  So while we were re-doing the bathroom, I stayed home to ensure things were going as they should.  Months earlier, my mom had enrolled the kids in VBS at her church, and my son had three days of Kindergarten camp midweek.  (Yes, my littlest baby is off to kindergarten in the fall!)

The following two weeks of June, I was tied up in Orton Gillingham training.  Orton Gillingham is a systematic and explicit method of teaching reading for people with dyslexia.  I found a way to put back on my special educator hat, brush off my masters degree, and wear another ha in the process.  I took a leap of faith and decided to do this, as it’s been something I’ve toyed with for well over a year.  The two week training was just the first step, but it was an intense two weeks.  Class was from 8:30-3:30 over 30 minutes away.  Thankfully, my parents were on board for helping me out – God bless their generous hearts!

So, essentially, my parents and my kids spent three weeks together.  They’d done something amazing for me, and I knew I wanted to find at least a small way to thank them for their time and energy.  So when I got a dinner invitation, I knew I’d found a perfect solution.

Applebee’s hosted my kids, my parents, and I for dinner recently, to try out their Big and Bold Grill Combo dinner.  I’ll be honest, it had been a while since I had eaten at Applebees, but I can tell you that the experience left us far from disappointed!

Let me start by first complimenting the staff at the Tucker location.  Everyone was super friendly, and happy to help and answer any questions we had about the menu.

We sat down in a corner booth, the kids got to color on and read over the kids menu, and the adults got to look at the special Big and Bold Grill Combo menu.  The kids decided on the mac and cheese, and my parents and I decided to split two Big and Bold Grill Combos amongst the three of us.  This worked well for us, since I only care for the chicken, but my parents are shrimp and ribs people.

June at Applebee's - chips and salsa YUM!

First, we were brought an order of chips and salsa.  My kids and I have seldom met an order of chips and salsa we didn’t like.  The chips were lightly salted, and the salsa was freshly made.  Then, the kids order came out.  They indulged in what they described as delicious mac & cheese.  (Did you know Applebee’s has a house Mac & Cheese on their kids menu, that has chicken in it??)  It was served with applesauce, so they were good to go.

June at Applebee's - kids' meal

The main entrees came out, and -oh my LORD!- they were amazing!  I had the chicken with pico de gallo, which proved to be amazingly tender and flavorful.  The shrimp and ribs were equally fantastic, according to my parents.

But here’s what amazed me most: the sides.  We had bacon-encrusted green beans, broccoli, and “endless fries”.  My favorite, by far, was the broccoli.  It was steamed and seasoned, and I simply couldn’t get enough of it!  The beans were quite tasty – the bacon was a nice touch.  And, well, I could eat fries all day everyday if my waistline wouldn’t betray me in the process.  It was all so daggum tasty, and I tried hard to join the clean plate club, to no avail, and not for lack of trying!

June at Applebees - clean plate

…..and then, my dad ordered dessert for the kids (and himself).  Yep.  Applebee’s even hit dessert out of the park.  The kids enjoyed a blue ribbon brownie to share, and my parents had hot fudge sundae shooters.  Knowing I was there to do a review of Applebee’s, I knew it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t know what each entree was like, right?  So, I sampled each of the desserts, all for the sake of review.  😉

All in all, I was beyond pleased with our trip to Applebee’s.  I highly recommend you find your nearest location, and head over there for lunch or dinner.  Or both.

Also, make sure you sign up for their email club to get started on great rewards, including a FREE birthday treat.   Check with your specific location to find out what weekly specials they might have, like if they participate in a kids eat free program.  The Tucker, GA location offers $5.99 burgers on Mondays from 4pm to close, and 99¢ kids meals on Tuesdays from 4pm to close. (This is current as of June 29, 2017 when we visited – please call to confirm these or any specials before going!)

Would you like to try out some of Applebee’s entrees?   Enter for a chance to win a $25 Applebee’s gift card.  First, simply comment below telling me which items you want to try.  Then, fill out the form below.  Giveaway will run until 7/29/17.  Winner will be randomly selected.  Good luck, y’all!


$25 Applebee’s Gift Card

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!**

Kids Free Summer Reading Programs 2017

**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!**



With spring break behind us, summer will be here before we know it, which means it’s time for Kids FREE Summer Reading Programs 2016 I have compiled for you.  Make sure to also check out the free story times around the Atlanta area, while they’re still in session!  Super-special thanks to This Mommy Saves Money for sharing this list!

If you like this then you might also be interested in this list of Good Report Card Freebies.

Kids Summer Reading Programs

  • Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program:  This Summer, continue to read books! Children in grades 1 – 6 get ready for a Summer of reading adventures! Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal . Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 16th and September 5th, 2017.  Choose your FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.

[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!**

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

**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

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

You may also like:

A Message from My Daughter

A-Message-From-My-Daughter_profile.jpg
Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Readiness

Starting Kindergarten

Starting Kindergarten

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!**

Orkin Backyard Explorers Kit 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!**



Summer is here and Orkin has some amazing “Bug Wisdom” to soak in and a “Backyard Explorers Kit” to keep the kids busy at home!  My kids are definitely “bug kids”, and love to watch and explore the world around them.  I love that they both enjoy exploring the world around them, and aren’t afraid to get their pudgy little hands dirty, in the name of exploration.  Of course, when you’ve got too many unwanted critters, you can take care of them.

Orkin Backyard-Explorers-Kit-giveaway_Rob.png

When life hands you dung, just roll with it.

Orkin’s new “Bug Wisdom” video series is a reminder that some of life’s biggest lessons come from small places. Bugs are smart, curious creatures – we humans can learn a lot from their ways.

Take the quiz below to discover your “Spirit Bug,” and check out all the GIFs to soak in every nugget of wisdom that these bugs have to offer!

The Orkin Man always knows what to look for when he shows up at your home. If you want to get exploration down to a science, be sure and enter to win Orkin’s Backyard Explorers Kit!  (details below)

Would you like to nurture your child’s natural curiosity about bugs?  I am pleased to be able to give away one Orkin Backyard Explorers Kit to one lucky reader!

The Orkin Backyard Explorers Kit includes:
– The Orkin 9-Page Activity Bug Book
– Orkin Bugview Bug Catching Tool and Magnifier
– Red/Black Summer Wayfarer Sunglasses

Orkin-Backyard-Explorers-Kit_giveaway

Giveaway open to the U.S.  It’s super easy to enter.  First,  take the “What’s YOUR Spirit Bug?” Quiz and comment below with your result and bug wisdom.  Next, scroll through all the GIFs and share your favorite bug wisdom as a comment below.  (Yep, you can leave two comments for seperate entries!)  Then, fill out the Giveaway Tools form below.  Come back daily to Tweet and Share on Facebook for additional entries!

Best of luck y’all!  🙂

 

 

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+ Other Ways To Play with a Water Table

**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!**



Other Uses for a Water Table

The holy grail of outdoor kids’ toys these days comes in the form of a water table.  There are many great ways for kids to enjoy the water table with …water.  And sand.  I think we all know that, right?

But if you’d like to REALLY get more bang for your buck with these tables, consider alternate uses for the water table.

5+ Ways to Play with a Water Table

  1. CARS!  Most water tables have slanted surfaces, with ramps and other road-like twists and turns.  Also, try trains, or any other wheeled hand-held toy.
  2. Make it a sensory table.  Fill it with a few cups of rice and beans one day, along with scoopers and small cups. Cotton balls and colored pom-poms the next day with kid-friendly tweezers, as well as big cups to transfer them in to.  For preschoolers ready for scissors, toss in some straws, scrap paper, and kid scissors and let them practice.
  3. Play dough.  Seriously, what a great surface to create and mold with little hands.  Toss in the play dough rollers, molders, and other fun toys, and let them go at it!  For a fun textural change, mix the play dough with a little sand and/or glitter.
  4. Noodles and rice make for another great sensory experience.  (Dried, of course!)  Grab scoopers, cups, and other toys you might use with your Play dough (see above) for a new sensation.
  5. PAINT it!  Water colors, some butcher paper or cardboard or just regular ol’ paper, some brushes, and -boom!- you’ve got a nice little, change-of-pace easel.  Or kids can paint right on the water table, especially if you have washable paints on hand.
  6. Mix it up: Fill it up with sand, or make your own “moon sand”, and toss in some cars, dinosaurs, scoopers.
  7. Water Gun Station.  Melissa from Stockpiling Moms suggested using the table as a water-gun filling station.
  8. Shaving Cream – My kids frequently get “shaving cream baths” or showers – but you can also let them use shaving cream on a water table too.  Bonus: the shaving cream acts as a cleaner!
  9. Ice, Ice, Baby – Yeah, I just went there.  Fill up some ice cube trays with small trinkets and freeze them.  Toss a few small toys in small to mid-size tupperware containers, cover with water, and freeze them, too.  Fill your table with the ice, and arm the kids with squirt bottles, and let them “rescue” the treasures inside!

Also, check out other ways to keep your kids cool this summer, free and frugal ways to beat the heat around Atlanta (splash pads around Atlanta, local water parks and aquatic centers, or indoor venues around Atlanta), great outdoor toys for tots, and outdoor toys for kids of all ages!

Frugal Ways to Keep Your Kids Cool

Beat-the-Heat-Atlanta_button.png

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages

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 Gadgets to Help You Beat the Heat

**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!**



It’s hot. Period. Add to it the mugginess that encompasses the Atlanta area during these dog days of summer, and it’s -well- it’s just downright uncomfortable!  Of course, the best way to beat the heat is to stay out of it, but for many folks, that’s not always an option.  So why not check out these cool gadgets to help you beat the heat:

Cool Collar

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the HeatThe patented Black Ice cooler collars is a two-piece system worn on the neck. With a soft neoprene wrap and two detachable cooling packs that deliver regulated 57°F cooling with a quick 20 minute recharge, the CCX system provides refreshing, uninterrupted cooling so effective, you just have to feel it to believe it. Regardless if you are an “extreme” athlete, or your exercise regiment is a walk around the block – you will find this product a must have to keep you cool and comfortable.

Stroller Fan-Cool on the Go®

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the Heat

Cool on the Go is your own personal portable cooling device that provides you with a continuous stream of cool air that’s perfect whether you’re at home or on the go. Cool on the Go is versatile, hands free and runs on batteries, or USB (included), for powering versatility.

Cool Shirt CW-M Cool Water

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the Heat

COOL SHIRT Replacement Shirts All COOL SHIRTs Work with All COOL SHIRT Personal Cooling Systems Heavy duty 100% cotton, Flame Retardant NOMEX or Flame Retardant CarbonX COOL SHIRTs with over 50 feet of medical grade capillary tubing securely stitched to the front and back of the shirt.

MistyMate 20000 10 Classic Personal Mister

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the HeatThe MistyMate 10 Classic is a hand held portable mister that is easy to operate during your favorite outdoor activity. An ultrafine mist is created when pressure is applied to the bottle with the hand held pump.

Gel’O Cool For Pillows

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the HeatThe worst part about summer is sleeping in the heat. This means, either putting up with the heat building up in your pillow as you toss and turn throughout the night or racking up the electricity bill by keeping the air conditioning on high all night. Now, with Gel’O Cool Mat, sleeping in the summer can actually be more enjoyable and less damaging to our pockets and our Earth.

Solarrific Solar Cooling Hat

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the HeatIt’s a Bird, it’s a Plane – no, it’s a wonderful new portable air conditioning unit. It looks small but will cool an 1800 sq. foot area. Just kidding. It WILL keep you cool under the hot sun. The solar panel needs to have direct exposure to the sun, and will work until you take it out of the sun.

Dreamaire Outlast Temperature Cooling Mattress Pad

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the HeatAwaken refreshed with active temperature management with Dreamaire Outlast technology. Traditional bedding traps heat and moisture that often cause sleep disturbances. Patented Outlast Thermocules intelligently absorb, store and release excess body hear for optimal thermal comfort. Outlast parented materials proactively maintain temperature balance to keep you dry and comfortable for a sound sleep Outlast Thermocules are based on Certified Space Technology engineered for NASA as an alternative to lofted insulation Outlast continuously tests and improve quality for fine lines around the world.

Frogg Togg Chilly Pad

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the Heat

Frogg Togg Chilly Pad is an innovative way to keep cool during a workout, hard ride, tough climb or any other strenuous activity. When wet, the towel becomes considerably cooler than the outside air, thereby providing cooling relief to the user. When it stops cooling, simply re-wet the towel and wring it out. Machine washable.

The Original Handy Cooler Small Fan & Mini-Air Conditioner

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the HeatSmall fan that can cool air up to 30F. This revolutionary evaporative cooling fan is the closest thing to a hand held mini air conditioner. Use it outdoors or keep it indoors as a desk fan. Provides gentle cool breeze. Uses evaporative cooling technology. Add water to soak the cooling filter. Ambient air is forced through the wet cooling filter and cools down. Works best in dry and hot climates. Fully portable and mobile, take it literally anywhere you want. Rotatable turbine wheel allows adjustment of the cool breeze of air. Humidifies air – makes breathing comfortable and alleviates allergies.

Flexi Freeze Ice Vest

Cool Gadgets to Help You Beat the HeatThis item was developed for three applications, 1) Industrial applications where managing core body temperature is paramount to worker safety and comfort. 2) To be used by theme parks and other venues to keep employees cool underneath mascot and character suits. 3) To provide relief to sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis who frequently experience heat sensitivity. Everyday uses include yard work, sporting events or anywhere combating heat is a must.

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!**

Fire Up Your Grill – Ultimate Grilling Accessories Guide

**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!**



Fire-Up-Your-Grill_banner

Grilling season is upon us!  Want to make sure you have the baddest grill on the block?  Take note in my ultimate grilling accessories guide!  (And, yep, they also make great Fathers Day gifts, and ship FREE in two days via Amazon Prime.)  Which of these are your favorites?  Anything more you would add?  Got any great grilling tips to share?  Please comment below.  🙂

Ulimate Grilling Accessories Guide

14-Piece Deluxe Stainless-Steel Grill Set

Ultimate Grilling Accessories GuideThe Cuisinart 14-Piece Deluxe Grill Set includes all the tools to grill delicious BBQ and look good while doing it. This complete tool set includes the Chef’s Spatula, the Grill Tongs, the Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush, 4 Pairs of corn holders and the Steel Cleaning Brush with replacement head. All 13 items are neatly organized in the attractive aluminum case.

Compact Rapidfire Chimney Starter

Ultimate Grilling Accessories GuideThis smaller version of original Rapidfire Chimney Starter lights coals in under 15 minutes without using lighter fluid. Place canister with coals on top of Weber Lighter Cubes or crumpled newspaper and light. It’s that easy. Fits perfectly on Smokey Joe and Jumbo Joe charcoal grills

Stainless Steel Shish Kebab Set

Ultimate Grilling Accessories GuideA great gift. GrillPro’s Stainless Steel Shish Kebab Set is great for any griller. The set includes kebab rack and 6 stainless steel skewers. This shish kebab set also folds for easy storage.

Brinkmann Rib Rack for Grilling

Ultimate Grilling Accessories GuideThe Brinkmann Rib Rack is the perfect answer to the grill master who wants to prepare juicy, flavorful ribs in bulk. These porcelain coated steel rib racks are designed to hold 4 racks of ribs at a time so if you have a giant grill surface you can cook up your other food while you prepare your ribs, or it can fit perfectly into an oven or smoker where space is at a premium.

2-Ounce Stainless-Steel Seasoning Injector with Marinade Needles

Ultimate Grilling Accessories GuideThis Stainless Steel Seasoning Injector has a 2-oz. Capacity and comes with 2 Stainless Steel Needles: 1 for Liquid Marinaide & 1 for Minced Marinaide.

Premium Barbecue Heat Resistant Gloves

Ultimate Grilling Accessories Guide

The glove fabric is made with 2 layers seamless knitted, exterior layer is made of meta & para-aramid (commonly branded as Kevlar & Nomex), inside of glove being comfortable 100% cotton lining to provide extra comfort. The thermal characteristics of the meta-aramid glove enables to handle warm items for a long time, without any risk. The thermal insulation given by the meta & para-aramid fibers slow down the rise of temperature.

Long Range Wireless Dual 2 Probe BBQ Smoker Meat Thermometer

Ultimate Grilling Accessories GuideThe Ivation IVA-WLTHERM Smoker Barbecue Thermometer Set has a range of up to 300 ft and can withstand temperatures of up to 716°F! Another great feature is an alert on the receiver that lets you know if you are out of range.

Non-Stick Wire Quesadilla Basket

Ultimate Grilling Accessories GuideNon-Stick Wire Quesadilla Basket Convenient and mess-free, this Non-Stick Wire Quesadilla Basket is perfect addition to grilling kits of all quesadilla lovers. This quesadilla basket offers ease of use as it allows you to flip your quesadilla in one quick turn. Provided with an ergonomically designed, sturdy rosewood handle, this quesadilla basket offers a firm, secure grip to prevent scalds or burns during use.

Weber Style Barbecue Apron

Ultimate Grilling Accessories GuideDelight any outdoor chef or grilling enthusiast with this attractive Weber Style barbecue apron. Made of sturdy cotton with suede look accents, the durable apron protects clothing from spatters and spills while offering any grill-master an easy way to cook in style. The apron features the pockets for convenient storage, an adjustable neck strap and a handy Weber bottle opener that is attached.

King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack for Poultry

Ultimate Grilling Accessories GuideGreat for Use in the Oven, Smoker, or on the Grill. King Kooker Multi-Purpose 12 Slot Leg and Wing Rack for Poultry. Excellent way to cook Chicken Legs and Wings to Perfection. Check food for doneness. Serve and Enjoy.

Make sure to check out these great Fathers Day gifts for the car guy in your life, and for the sportsman in your life.

Fathers' Day Gifts for Car Guys  Fathers-Day-Sportsman_collage

Finally, I leave you with inspiration to build your very own barbeque pit.  😉


Homer trying to do a BBQ by TheCoe86

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's Frugal Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. In other words, if you click through to Amazon from some of the books or products I recommend and make a purchase, I get a small percentage in exchange for your purchase. It's a small way you can support AFM.