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Why it’s a challenge for me to love summer…

by Freebies4Mom on June 6, 2017 11:59 am

MorningIt’s a challenge for me to love summer. I know it sounds crazy – doesn’t everyone love summer?

But because of a combination of moving to a climate I’ll never acclimate to and working from home full-time all summer, it completely throws me off my schedule when my kids are home full-time all summer. And I’m supposed to enjoy this? Here’s why it’s a big challenge:

1. My kids get 12 weeks of vacation from school. I get 0 weeks of vacation.

That’s the challenge and the beauty of being self-employed. You are never really on “vacation”. I do take a real vacation but that means I do about half of what I normally do while my family is on vacation. And to do half of what I normally do takes a lot of preparation.

That’s why I joke about taking a vacation in the boonies – I literally must be cut-off from the internet because blogging has become such an important part of my daily life. I don’t want to stop, even while on vacation – so my goal is to do a lot less.

2. It’s too hot for me to enjoy the outdoors.

Houston is hot. I like to refer to summer as “Super Summer” because there is too much sunshine, too much humidity, and too much heat. That’s why we travel to visit family and the places we used to live during the summer. Places where the summer temperatures are in the 60’s and 70’s.

If you go to an outdoor pool in Houston, your feet will get burned walking from your pool chair to the pool . . . seriously, it’s that hot!

3. The birds start singing at 5:45 am.

Which is a wonderful way to wake-up . . .

unless you’re the mom of children who wake-up when the birds wake-up

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Why is it a challenge for you to love summer?

Which season of the year is your least favorite and why? Leave a comment to tell me!

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FootprintsIt wasn’t the biggest freebie or prize ever that surprised me, it was something that I never knew was lost until it was returned to me (albeit five years later). A 9 x 11 envelope arrived in my mailbox. The first thing I do when I get a piece of mail is I look at the return address and try to guess what’s inside (I can usually guess if it’s a freebie I requested). This envelope was from my hospital – but I could tell it wasn’t a bill. And I hadn’t been to the hospital in over four years when my second son was born – so what in the world could it be?

Footprints . . . NEWBORN Footprints . . . and my first thought was:

“Whose footprints are these?” because what appears to be some type of informal birth certificate that the hospital issues was completely blank except for my doctor’s signature (his actual signature, not a stamp) . . . and those newborn footprints. My second thought was:

“These footprints don’t belong to me!” because I don’t remember missing footprints for either of my two children. But then I turned the mostly blank certificate over and studied the small sticker in the bottom right-hand corner. My name and date of birth are on it. So my third thought was:

“Which baby of mine is this for?” It took me a few minutes to correctly read the admission date which matches the birth of my first son (which happened over five years ago).

Wow! Five years later my newborn’s footprints are returned to me. I didn’t know they were missing but I’m happy to have them back! No doubt I have someone at the hospital to thank for taking the time to lookup my current address (I’ve moved within that five years) and mail it to me after they were discovered in some filing cabinet somewhere. So that was the biggest surprise in my mailbox – and I just had to save the envelope because it still surprises me to pull it out and wonder all over again what’s inside…

What was the biggest surprise in your mailbox?

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Want to try AHAVA Body Care products for FREE?

by Freebies4Mom on February 24, 2017 4:42 pm

AHAVA SkincareAre you willing to leave a short product review? I have an opportunity for you to try AHAVA body care products for FREE just for leaving your honest review of the product you try at AHAVA.com. Please fill out this short survey to be considered for this opportunity.

If chosen, you’ll receive a free AHAVA body care product. And if you leave a review you will probably get to try even more AHAVA products!

Thank you!

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Valentine's Day at Family Dollar: Heart OREOS, Chocolate Heart Bundt Cakes and Chocolate Roses Centerpiece

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Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays! I love to celebrate it, but I’m on a really tight budget this year. That’s why I’m getting ready for Valentine’s Day by shopping at Family Dollar for Valentine’s Day cards, gifts and ingredients for Heart OREOs plus Chocolate Heart Bundt Cakes. As a frugal shopper, I was thrilled to save $2.50 using Smart Coupons at Family Dollar. Sign-up for Smart Coupons, if you haven’t already! They are digital coupons that you can apply to your purchase by entering your phone number into the keypad at the register. You’ll find a wide selection of over 130 coupons with values ranging from $0.25 to $5.00. It’s the smartest way to save more money at Family Dollar by using Smart Coupons! And it will help make your Valentine’s Day a little brighter by making your dollar go further.

Have you signed up for Smart Coupons at Family Dollar? No loyalty card is needed, just a Smart Coupons account. After logging in, just clip your coupons then go shopping at Family Dollar where you enter your phone number into the keypad at the register.  Since there are usually over 100 Family Dollar Smart Coupons, you can usually find several coupons to use on your shopping trip. Please check the Family Dollar site on a regular basis for the current Smart Coupons because they change frequently.

Smart Coupons at Family Dollar: Sign Up is EasyI saved $2.50 by clipping Smart Coupons for my Family Dollar shopping trip. My savings included a Valentine’s Day Cards coupon, a Valentine’s Day Basket coupon and a M&M’s coupon. Check the Family Dollar website before you shop for the current Smart Coupons. It’s such an easy way to save money because there’s no loyalty card to keep track of!

Browse the Weekly Deals at Family Dollar to see the price drops and make your shopping list. I always look for $1 WOW (my favorite price!) and I found that price on Valentine’s Day Cards, Chocolate Roses and more. Remember to also look for weekly deals in the current Family Dollar ad. Please note that prices vary by location. What will you find at Family Dollar for Valentine’s Day?

If you’ve got a Family Dollar store near you, sign-up for Smart Coupons today:

Step 1Click the red “Sign Up” button or text SMART to 28767

Step 2 – Enter your email address, password, name and phone number. Then click on the red “Sign Up” button.

Step 3 – Click on the red “Start Clipping” button

Step 4 – Click on the coupons you want to add to your account.

Step 5 – Head to Family Dollar! Enter your phone number into the keypad at the register to access the Smart Coupons in your account.

 Heart OREOS Cookies for Valentine's DayHere’s an easy Valentine’s Day treat to make that your kids would love to help you make! This “assembly only” recipe only requires three ingredients! Here are the instructions to make these Heart OREOs:

HEART OREOS

Ingredients Needed:

  • OREO cookies (chocolate and cinnamon bun)
  • M&M candies (red only)
  • Frosting (white & chocolate)

Step 1 – Stick your red M&M’s on in the shape of a heart onto the top of the OREO cookie (white frosting for cinnamon bun OREOs, chocolate frosting for chocolate OREOs)

Yes – these cookies are really that easy to make! Now, if you’re feeling more adventurous you can make my Chocolate Heart Bundt Cakes in the oven:
Chocolate Heart Bundt Cakes

CHOCOLATE HEART BUNDT CAKES

Ingredients & Equipment Needed:

  • Heart-shaped Mini Bundt or Cakelet Pan
  • Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Vegetable Oil (1/3 cup)
  • Eggs (3 large)
  • Hershey’s Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Morsels (1/3 cup)
  • Candy-coated Heart-Shaped Pretzels

Step 1 – Prep bundt or cakelet pan by spraying with no-stick cooking spray with flour and preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step 2 – Mix cake mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs according to package instructions

Step 3 – Add in Hershey’s Instant Chocolate Pudding to make the cake more moist and add in 2/3 cup of Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Morsels to make the cake more chocolatey

Step 4 – Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until you can insert toothpick into middle of cakes and it comes out clean

Step 5 – Simply decorate by placing candy-coated Heart-shaped pretzel on top while the cake is still warm so that the pretzel will slightly melt making it stick to the cake

Valentine's Cards at Family Dollar

I found some great Valentine’s Day cards at Family Dollar at a $1 WOW price. Now I’m ready to send Valentine’s to my family in Oregon!

Chocolate Roses Centerpiece from Family Dollar

Want to decorate your table by making an easy centerpiece? I love the way chocolate roses look, so I decided to make a centerpiece out of them. I used a simple glass vase that I picked up previously at Family Dollar and added some decorative green glass pebbles to it to secure my chocolate rose arrangement. The fun part about this centerpiece is that you can eat it too!

Chocolate Roses Centerpiece

Supplies Needed:

  • 10 – 12 Chocolate Roses
  • Clear Cylindrical Glass Vase
  • Green Glass Pebbles

Step 1 – Add green glass pebbles to your clear cylindrical glass vase

Step 2 – Stick the stems of the chocolate roses into the base then place on a red placemat in the center of your table.

Perfect Valentine's Gifts at Family Dollar

While I was shopping at Family Dollar, I looked for Valentines that my boys could take to their class Valentine’s Day Parties. I was thrilled to find these two popular candy Valentine’s:  Fun Dip and Skittles. It’s time to write your Valentine’s shopping list for Family Dollar!

Remember to clip your Smart Coupons for Family Dollar before you go shopping! Enter your phone number into the keypad at the register when you checkout. You’ll find everything you need for Valentine’s Day for affordable prices at Family Dollar.

Please share my Valentine treats with your friends by retweeting me below:


This post is sponsored by Family Dollar, but all opinions expressed are my own. Please visit my Disclosure Policy.

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Turkey & Avocado BLT: Fill up on Good Eats

by Freebies4Mom on January 30, 2017 8:00 am

Turkey & Avocado BLT: Fill up on Good EatsPin It

There’s nothing like using fresh ingredients to make a flavorful meal! I think you’ll love this Turkey & Avocado BLT using Hellmann’s® Mayonnaise. Click on “Filter Recipes” then select “Main Dishes” and “Hellmanns” to find this sandwich recipe in the list! With the new year we’re all looking for easy recipes from the brands you love like Hellmann’s, Knorr, Country Crock, Lipton, Lipton Recipe Secrets and Breyers. Pick up all of the ingredients you need for everyday low prices at Walmart. Find easy-to-make recipes made with fresh ingredients that feature your favorite brands and get your own #MealInspirations!

Fill up on Good Eats: Discover Recipes the Whole Family Will Love at Walmart

My family loves BLT’s but I don’t make them that often and when I do make them I always feel like there’s not enough to them (lots of flavor but not enough meat)! Walmart has all the fresh ingredients you need to make this sandwich plus any recipe featured at their Food Hub website. You can print the Avocado & BLT recipe directly from the Walmart Food Hub. I used Onion Ciabatta Rolls just to try something different. I smeared Hellmann’s Mayonnaise on both side of the rolls after toasting them in the oven. My family loved this twist on the BLT by adding turkey and avocados. It’s a really quick meal to make if you cook the bacon ahead of time! I hope your family loves it too!

Turkey & Avocado BLT: Fill up on Good Eats

Here are some delicious recipes to try that use fresh ingredients:

Fill up on Baked Hearty Chili Chicken & Rice

Snap a photo of your own recipe and share it on social media with the hashtag #MealInspirations for a chance to be featured on the Walmart Food Hub!

Fill up on Fluffy Scrambled Eggs Mexican Style

Which recipes will you share with the hashtag #MealInspirations?

Share this recipe with your friends on Twitter! Please Retweet me:

This post is sponsored by Mirum Shopper, but all opinions expressed are my own. Please visit my Disclosure Policy.

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