Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Hey Ya'll!  Can I just tell you how much I like MovieStop?

I decided we needed some dvd's that we hadn't seen before that would keep our kids' attention for the 12 hour road trip to North Carolina.  The kids chose several dvd's that they don't watch or had outgrown.  We took the 6 or so we agreed upon down to the local MovieStop.

Easy-peasy!  Walk in, give them to the clerk at the desk, then shop around for new-to-us dvd's.  The clerk then calls us over and lets us know how much our trade-ins are worth in dollars.  We can then decide to take the cash or get dvd's.  I let the kids each choose a movie (mommy has veto power, of course!) and I chose one.  (TIP: have a list that you'd like to get but have an open mind when you go.)

RIGHT NOW they are running a special Trade-In Event!  They will up the value of all of your trade-ins by 50%! 

All in all - it was totally worth our time and a thrifty way to get new movies to watch!  Family Approved!

Kids Eat Free at IKEA

Ahh, IKEA, that Swedish oasis of furnishings and meatballs! 

And now Kids Eat Free  August 1 - 21, 2011! 
Hmmm, just a thought; eat with the kids, put the kids in the "Smaland" supervised kids area, enjoy 1 hour kid-free wandering around or sipping a juice box of Dryck Flader.  mmmmmmmmm, elderflower juice.

They have other special events in August - click here for more details - free face painting, caricature artist, and kids' crafts are all on the calendar.  We're kinda excited about the August 19th all-you-can-eat Swedish Crayfish feast.  No, really!

Monday, August 1, 2011

National Watermelon Day, August 3rd, 2011

Yes, folks, Wednesday, August 3rd, is National Watermelon Day!

Our family always takes some watermelon to the beach.  Last time we had a good old fashioned seed spittin' contest! 

I wish I could say I was the one in the bikini, but that is my gorgeous niece!

Anyhoo - This fun fruit is 90% water and is full of vitamin C, lycopene, and antioxidants according to the USDA and can help keep you cool on a hot day. 

Here's a Paula Deen recipe for Watermelon salad which is very grown up with onion and feta cheese.  It sounds weird and yummy!  Here's another site with 10 more interesting watermelon recipes.  I think I will try the Aqua Fresca with watermelon and lime.

Happy spittin'!

Cherries Rock!

These sweet red gems are an awesome summer treat and they can be yours for a limited time only!  According to the cherry experts at, cherries are full of great stuff that helps with pain management and has anti-inflammatory properties - yadda yadda - they're just good!

We are nearing the end of cherry season here in North America which only lasts from June to mid-August.  Right now many supermarkets have cherries for about $1.99 a pound.

When my kids were younger, I was afraid to let them eat a cherry with the pit in it (always be watchful for choking hazards, even when pit is removed), so I invested in one of these bad boys...

Product Details
The OXO Good Grips Cherry and Olive Pitter which retails for about $10 - 12 at Bed Bath and Beyond, Amazon, and other retailers.  It removes the pit cleanly with a little leverage and is kinda fun to do!  Now that they are older, my kids like to do it themselves. 

Tip #1 - Wear an apron while pitting or you will get some splatter and may look like a victim on CSI. 
Tip #2 - Only pit what you will eat immediately as they go bad super fast in the fridge after pit is removed.

All in all - fresh summer fruit, really yummy, and good for you!  Family Approved!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Florida Back to School Tax Holiday 2011!

I am very excited that Florida is doing this again this year!

Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, August 12-14
Florida's back-to-school sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m., Friday, August 12, 2011, and end at midnight Sunday, August 14, 2011. During this period, no sales tax will be collected on sales of clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $75 or less, or on certain school supplies selling for $15 or less. Find out more at There is a frequently asked questions link and a list of taxable and tax-exempt items.  For example, diaper and diaper bags are exempt, but watches and jewelry are not.  I think I will print a copy of the guidelines to bring with me when I shop that weekend!

No taxes on stuff we need for 3 days - I think I will shop early in the morning to avoid crowds, but it may be worth it!  Family Approved!

National Cheesecake Day 7-30-2011

Today, July 29th, is National Lasagna Day!  We are going to be enjoying some yummy Stouffer's!

But tommorrow is National Cheesecake Day!  My hubby is not a big cheesecake fan, so I am going to make these Ghiradelli Brownie Cheesecake cupcakes

Someone brought them to a function we went to recently and they are AMAZING!  My hubby loved them and the lady told us they are super simple and the recipe was on the box!

Both items are simple and yummy - I'm all about it!  Family Approved!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thrift Store Find! Pink Santa hat

It's July!  Lots of stores do a "Christmas in July" sale.  This includes lots of thrift shops like Goodwill

I found this Victoria's Secret Pink rhinestone Santa hat for $.99 at our local Goodwill!  It's not new with tags (NWT), but in excellent shape.  I came home and checked on e-bay and it is selling for $12 - 14.

I found 12 great thrift shopping tips on the SimpleMom site and even more detailed tips on The Thrifty Chicks site.

But, I've learned thing or two about treasure hunting in the shops from my mom.  She has brought me awesome one of a kind souvenirs from London and Amsterdam by asking locals where the resale shops were!  So, in a nutshell, here are my top tips for thrift and resale shopping:
1) have an idea of what you are looking for but keep an open mind - you never know what you might find!
2) have patience and time to look through the racks - you might not find anything this time, but inventories change every day so don't be discouraged.
3) check everything before you buy it - do the zippers work?, are any buttons missing?, look for stains or defects.

Most thrift or resale shops support a charity like Hospice or Habitat for Humanity.  Goodwill's mission is to "help people who are looking for work or better jobs so they can better provide for their families."  You can find one in your area to support by shopping and donating!

All in all - big time money saving and some really fun finds!  Family Approved!

(check back for future posts on my thrift shop finds!)