Holiday and Game Day Fun with Hormel Gatherings Party Trays!

I received free product in exchange for my honest review. I love this time of year- We go to and host so many events: Holiday Parties, Craft Play Dates, College Football and NFL Watching Parties, and of course Coupon Meet Ups!

Snacks are a huge part of any event, so I was stoked when Social Insider and Hormel asked me to review Hormel Gatherings Party Trays. If you’ve never heard of them before, it’s basically a party in a tray! They are an easy, stress-free appetizer option.

IMG_7110.jpgThere are three varieties: Hard Salami & Pepperoni Party Tray, Honey Ham and Turkey Party Tray, and Supreme Party Tray. They all contain Sargento Cheeses and Hormel Meats.

I chose the Honey Ham and Turkey Party Tray for our recent dinner party. We got together to play games and hang out.

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The tray is super sturdy, which is definitely a plus. Each component is packed up in the tray. All you do is open each sealed bag, and arrange the tray in a manner that suits you. Because of the tray and great snap-on lid, I think this would be a great addition to any tail gating event or potluck! Super easy to transport and store any leftovers- But who am I kidding… There won’t be any leftovers.

If you are feeling fancy, you can set out condiments that would go with the meats and cheeses. I mixed up some honey mustard and opened a jar of spicy stone ground mustard.

IMG_7116.jpgHere is the plate that Henry made for one of our guests. For a 6 year old, I’m impressed- He also took the picture with my phone. I love having the kids help with holiday events. It helps them get into the spirit too, and reminds me that these kind of events should be low stress.

Bitty Bird “helped” by stacking up paper napkins and announcing when guests arrived (“Mommy and Daddy, Peoples is in our HOOUSSSEEEE!!”), and Henry helped me by picking up the toys in the living room, taking coats, and getting drinks. He pretended he was a waiter. It was pretty funny. He refused to let me take his picture, but at one point he had a kitchen towel draped over his arm. He has asked that we serve PB Sushi at our next “fancy grown up party”.

Hormel Gatherings Party Trays are available at Walmart, so you can pick one up on your next visit while gathering other party supplies.

I’m giving one reader a chance to share Hormel Gatherings Party Trays at their next get together! One lucky reader will win a coupon for $15 off the purchase of any one Hormel Gatherings Party Tray 28 oz. or larger.

Entering is easy: Just leave a comment with your favorite holiday beverage to serve at parties. I’ll choose one winner on December 5, 2017.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving! We’re spending the day with family and friends, and I hope all of you are too!

I won’t be posting tonight about Black Friday deals tonight or probably tomorrow. There are tons of deal bloggers doing that for me.

I’ll be cooking, playing, and having fun. I hope you consider doing the same. If you are braving the stores tonight or tomorrow early, please be kind. Be kind to fellow shoppers and be kind to the staff.

Celebrate July 11th with Chick-Fil-A and 7/11!

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Tomorrow is 7/11/17 and that means FREE SLURPEES at 7-11. From 11am-7pm, most (like 99%) of 7/11’s in the US will offer a free special sized Slurpee.  WOO HOO.

It is also Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A! That means if you show up in a cow themed costume/apparel from opening until 7pm, you will recive some sort of free food!

  1. Make or buy your cow costume (or any sort of cow apparel, really).
  2. Wear your cow costume to your favorite Chick-fil-A between Opening and 7 p.m.
  3. Receive a free entree!

To find the full details and a list of what you can receive for free, check out this page. Kids get a kids meal, and adults get an entree (but free is free, so woo hoo!).

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2016 Cow Appreciation Day Outfits!

We love free events! In order to participate and keep our our out of pocket low, I re-purpose stuff around the house to suit our needs for the event.  Last year I made Henry and myself shirts and kept them. His shirt was a little too big and thankfully he has grown up, not out. It might be a little shorter than he’d like, but it will do. he’s got black shorts to wear as well )I’ll probably wear black yoga pants).

I painted a Cow onsie for Bitty Bird last year, but it doesn’t fit.  I think I gave it to someone who was going to have a baby.

IMG_4744.jpgIMG_4746.jpgI made tails from pieces of felt, and pinned them to the shirts (and the back of Bitty’s tutu). We will be re-using our tails again this year too. I’ll be making new ears for all of us. Mine will be attached to hair clips, Henry’s will be on a head band.

IMG_4742I dug through her closet and found a black shirt for her, a white tutu, and a headband that I can sew a couple cow ears onto.  To cow-ify it, I painted white spots onto the shirt.

To keep the paint from seeping through the shirt and the paint sticking the shirt together, I re-used an old Amazon shipping envelope.

We had all of this stuff in the house, so it will cost us nothing! I will be kicking down a few bucks for a large sugar free lemonade!

Are you going to either event tomorrow?  

Legoland for only $30 on 4/29/17!

img_1693Looking for a good deal on Legoland Tickets?

Check this out!

The Carlsbad Education Foundation (CEF) is hosting their annual ‘Celebrate Carlsbad Day™’ at LEGOLAND® California Resort.

  • What: Specially-priced $30 LEGOLAND tickets
  • When: Saturday, April 29
  • Time: Enjoy extended Park hours 12pm-8pm

LEGOLAND will donate a portion of the event proceeds to the Foundation to support district-wide science initiatives for students at all CUSD Schools.

 To purchase tickets online, visit www.CarlsbadEd.org

This event happens once a year! If you are looking to do a frugal trip at Legoland, check out this post about doing Legoland on a Budget here.

Coupon Clubs: Friendship & Savings!

deals_and_Coupons_version_2 (2).jpgOne of the questions I get frequently  is how do I get so many coupons?

I used to subscribe to FIVE Sunday papers (so much waste!!), but the best way is that I belong to a coupon club!

A what?  A coupon club.  We meet once a month, bring our extra coupon inserts, clip, trade, nosh, gossip and share tricks and tips.  We have a private Facebook group, so we can discuss deals and post our “wishlists”.  Each of us posts a list of coupons that we would like, and as the next meet up draws near, those who are attending clip and print coupons for each other.  Each meet up is like Christmas morning, we trade envelopes of the clipped coupons we requested.  We also talk about deals, frugal living strategies, and help each other. We’ve been together about 7 years!!

In addition to trading coupons, we also have teamed up with a local American Legion Post. They collect Sunday coupon inserts from members. We clip them and return them (taking whatever coupons we’d like). The Legion mails the coupons overseas for those military families living on base overseas. Overseas Military commissaries (that’s the on base grocery stores) accept coupons expired up to 6 months after the expiration date. So not only do we get access to multiple inserts, but, we are able to help others.

We also collect sample sized toiletries and items that we are able to get for free and donate them to the American Legion Post for their homeless veteran outreach.

If you are interested in starting a coupon in your local area, check out Facebook or meetup.com- there are lots of coupon clubs all over the country.

I have a Facebook group for people in my local East County San Diego area. We meet twice a month during the week. If you are interested in joining, check out our group:  Weekday Frugalistas: East County

I post freebies, deals, and other stuff between meetings, and I post a run down of what we discussed at the meeting afterwards, so even if you cant go, you’ll still be up to date!

If you can’t find a local coupon group, there are website dedicated to helping couponers. My favorite is:

 

Visit Hotcouponworld It's all about the deals.HCW has forums for all the major stores, including grocery, drug and mass merchandisers. Trade coupons, find freebies, and find local coupon groups.  You can trade coupons and view their coupon database! I’ve met lots of friends on HCW!

And if you are looking to print coupon online, check out my list of printable coupon resources here.  Every coupon you print helps support our blog!

San Diego Fire Rescue 5K & Kids Run October 8!

SDFRF_5K_medal_finalI am so excited to share this great event with you all!

Fire danger is real here in San Diego, and as a result, San Diegans have a special affinity for Firefighters and other emergency workers. To help these firefighters train and continue to hone their skills, The San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation is proud to sponsor the San Diego 5K & Kids Run.

The event is on October 8, 2016- It’s also a great way to kick off Fire Prevention Week!

The San Diego Fire Rescue 5K & Kids Run is for everyone and offers several divisions including:

  • 5K Run/Walk,
  • 5K Run/Walk Stroller Division,
  • 5K Public Safety Division,
  • 1-mile Kids Run and a 100 meter Sparky Sprint

Firefighters will run along with participants and meet them at the finish line to hand out finisher’s medals.

Families, the community and race participants can also enjoy the interactive Fire Safety Expo. The Expo features firefighter demonstrations, SDFD specialty divisions including Bomb Squad, Hazmat and Heavy Rescue. Also present will be Sparky the Fire Dog, San Diego Project Heart Beat, CERT San Diego, San Diego Lifeguards, SDG&E Fire Safety House and more.

Race Details:

When:  Saturday, October 8, 2016   First Race Start: 8:30 am

Where:  Embarcadero Marina Park South 200 Marina Park Way San Diego, CA 92101

Admission:      Entrants may sign up online hereI have a special for my readers,  Save $5 off your entry fee with coupon code: SDFIRE5K 

  • $40 – July 1 through September 11
  • $45 – September 12 through October 1
  • $50 – October 2 through October 7
  • $25 – 1 Mile (Kids ages 6 – 12)
  • $10 – Sparky Sprint (Kids ages 3 – 5)

Entry fee includes: race shirt, drawstring goodie bag, custom finisher’s medal, access to the safety expo and beer garden (21+). Individuals, families, and kids are welcomed participants. Awards will be presented for first place male and female in each division!

As the course is very flat and stroller friendly, we’ll be walking as a family, and I’d love to see readers out there as well! If you participate, please let me know!

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Family Fun this weekend at the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering 2016!

SDFSE-EXPO-Day-IMG_9641-Photo by Melissa JacobsHenry informed me the other day that he wants to be a farmer scientist. We’ve started our garden of tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, lavender (to encourage bees to visit our garden), wild flowers, and a succulent. Henry really wanted to have a cactus garden, but I worried about Birdie being around pokey plants once she’s a little bigger and able to play outside on the patio.

I am super excited to take him and Bitty Bird to the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering 2016 down at Petco Park on Saturday, March 5th.

The event runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., we’ll be there at 10 on the dot. Henry is excited to get hands on with all kinds of experiments and fun! There are scheduled to be more than 130 local businesses, corporations and organizations providing interactive, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math exhibits and activities to budding K-12 science lovers.

New EXPO Day Features for 2016:
  • The Recycle Challenge: Are you familiar with the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Are you into technology, creativity and want to help keep our planet green? Well, the blue bin isn’t the only place for your recyclables. With a little imagination and craftiness you can turn your “trash” into awesome works of art! In this Star Wars-themed challenge, students in grades 5 to 12, will convene in teams of four to design, build and present a wearable garment or innovative device out of recycled materials to wear in the Star Wars Universe! Student inventors will then present their creation and explain how they built it and/or where in the Star Wars universe it will be utilized.
  • K-Zone: Looking for a place where your youngest scientist can unleash their natural creative ability in a setting where they are free to touch, explore, and participate in whatever their developing minds can come up with? The K-Zone is a place where budding tinkerers can come and explore numerous activities guaranteed to nurture and engage their active minds. Go ahead and let them run free, they just might change the world. (this is where we’ll be for most of the day, I’m sure!)
  • TedXKids@ElCajon Take The Stage: In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. This local version will showcase the passion and potential of our children! Organized by the Cajon Valley Union School District, these students offer a unique platform to share their ideas. Connect with our future leaders, and leave inspired. Come see samplings of their talks throughout the day on the Dugout Stage!
  • Student Designed Merchandise: Come check out the winners of our STEM Design completion. This year we’ve got sizes for the whole family and newly featured women’s racerback tank tops! Pay tribute to our local student artists. The Festival continues to work hard to keep all items very family affordable with nothing over $10! The merchandise tent is located inside Park at the Park – check it out and get your awesome Festival gear to wear all year long!
  • Star Wars – Steampunk Universe: The two fastest expanding creative universes, Star Wars and Steampunk, will converge at the Star Wars – Steampunk Universe booth, just inside the Gaslamp Gate entrance. Learn how to salvage your everyday watch and bicycle gears, vintage brass plumbing parts, industrial revolution steam era antiques, old leather and lace into personal visual expressions of your love of the Star Wars saga. Come by and take photos with the Star Wars – Steampunk Universe crew. Kids will also be able to participate in a fun coloring activity. Booth attendees will also learn how Star Wars – Steampunk Universe turns “Cosplay into Cause-play,” combining their love of dressing up and participating in charity and community events.
  • Bright Idea Society Alley – Powered By ViaSat: No need to scour the map, our Bright Idea Society winners this year will all be gathered together in their own row inside park at the park! The three winning schools include Olive Elementary, Feaster Engineering Charter, and Dragons 5229 Boys & Girls Clubs. Come be fascinated by these young minds and let them teach you!

If you are looking for a fun, free event to take your kids to this weekend, check out the Festival! I hope to see you there!