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Make it Retro Cocktail Party for the Holidays

Getting together for the holidays is important.  It helps reconnect good friends, build family relationships and allows everyone some much needed fun and smiles. These gatherings can be a stress inducer though. The planning, the shopping, the lists, the decorating, the cooking; it’s a lot happening in a very short period of time.

You have options though. There are so many ways to reduce the stress of the holidays.  Simple tricks such as one-stop shopping and taking shortcuts to save time. One of the best ideas is to create a theme for your get together so you can focus on a select few items that don’t involve a caterer, florist and valet. A Retro Cocktail Hour is a perfect idea to keep the mingling going and the hosts out of the kitchen.

With a glam-fab cocktail party you’ll be able to use those gorgeous glasses you never use, light every candle you have in the house and cover your tables with beads and indulgent fabrics you haven’t been able to use with your regular parties.  Think up great drink ideas or use this Holiday Egg Nog to keep things festive.
Holiday Egg Nog from Bjs Wholesale
One-Stop Shopping
Shop where you can get everything you need within the same walls.  Grab your wrapping paper, gifts, groceries, tableware and decorations from your favorite superstore.  Check everyone off your list plus style that mantle and fill the fridge all in one cart.
Take Shortcuts
Save time in the kitchen with easy shortcuts like pre-assembled veggie trays and premade dips, tapas and canapes.  Stock up on tasty easy to serve finger foods and appetizers and don’t forget your friend’s favorite libations. Utilize your favorite super store’s recipe ideas to grab everything you need in one trip with no fuss. Don’t forget ambiance. Music, lighting and simple decor and centerpieces don’t need to take a lot of work.Retro Cocktail Party
Retro Holiday Cookies
Just because you are making your life simple doesn’t mean your party is going to suffer. Spruce up that veggie tray with the addition of a antipasta tray.  Your cheese and crackers will be decadent with some grapes, figs, assorted cheeses and honey. Take everything up a notch while still making it easy on yourself.
Retro Holiday party stuffed dates
The ideas are endless even when you think you are running out of time.  We shopped for Christmas Dinner and finished our gift lifts this weekend at BJ’s Wholesale.  It’s usually our shop in bulk store for chocolate chips, large jars of peanut butter and great prices on books but walking through the aisles we’ve found so much more.

Whether it’s a Christmas Eve gathering or a New Years Eve celebration keep the event easy going with simple tips and ideas from BJ’s Wholesale Club that allow you to enjoy yourself and your guests. The holidays don’t have to be hard work, it’s family and friends that matter the most.

2014 disclosure



Celebrate Father’s Day with HHGregg and All Pro Dad

This Father’s Day don’t just shop for dad at HHGregg, participate in a celebratory event with giveaways, activities and even an obstacle course.
Families in the Atlanta, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay areas are invited to HHGregg on June 20th from 2-4.

  • The Indianapolis the event will take place at the hhgregg store in downtown Indianapolis located at 4168 East 96th Street.
  • The Atlanta the event will take place at the hhgregg store in Clearwater located at 2668 Gulf To Bay Road.
  • The Tampa the event will take place at the hhgregg store in Buford located at 3230 Woodward Crossing Boulevard.

Families can compete in the Chore Challenge to win great prizes, like a new grill and cozy new recliner! The Chore Challenge events are part of hhgregg’s ongoing partnership with All Pro Dad, a charity organization dedicated to help Dads be heroes to their kids and bringing international focus to fathers around the world. Register here.

Everyone who participates is a winner – the first 50 participants at each store will receive a $10 hhgregg gift card and all participating kids will receive free hhgregg prizes.

HHGregg is the go-to source for electronics, appliances and furniture. But when you think about it there is something to be found for every dad.

The Neat Freak Dad-with lots of choices of top quality vacuums, washers & dryers and steam mops

The Sports Dad-choose a comfy recliner and big screen to watch the BIG Game with all your buddies

The Entertainer Dad-pull up a sleek new stool to the bar and listen to great tunes on the booming sound system

The  Tech Dad– plug into a world of design, gaming, surfing and social sharing with a selection of gadgets that rival the specialty stores

The Foodie Dad-invest in a appliances that will help prepare the best meal you can provide for your family

See HHGregg is just TVs and Blu-Ray players. There’s so much to see. Go see it this weekend and do a little father’s day shopping .

What would you shop for at HHGregg for that special dad in your life?  Let me know and be entered to win a $100 Gift Card to HHGregg.

EXTRA ENTRIES:
To receive these extra opportunities for entries, you must fulfill the first REQUIRED entry above. Please note the changes to the entries and frequency, entries that don’t follow rules may be disregarded/ignored/deleted

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Your entries must follow the rules or they won’t be eligible for prizes. This contest ends 11:59 pm, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The winners will be emailed and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. This contest is open to Contiguous US residents, age 18 or over. For complete rules please read our blog contest rules page.




Shopping Kohls for Father’s Day Gifts

I’m easy to please. For Father’s Day I want to spend the day with my  kids doing something fun.  Homemade cards, a hearty breakfast and someone else to mow the lawn is really all I ask.  This year I was tasked with finding other Father’s Day gift ideas at Kohls. Twist my arm!!

Melinda says I should step up my wardrobe a bit.  I’m a super casual guy. Give me a tshirt and sneakers and I’m good for the day.  I will be honest though, I’m making these outfits look good. I see what Melinda is talking about. This is a much better option for a date night or party with friends. 

Kohls for Father's Day Gifts

I headed right for the outdoor and seasonal section. With the warmer weather you’ll find me sitting on the deck or by the fire at night.  This is the season when we hang with neighbors and family and I’m always looking for something to add to the yard.  This wicker swivel rockers were on sale.  They are still on my list.Kohls for Father's Day Gifts

Kohls is one of our favorite department stores. We know we can always find something for everyone for any occasion.  I’m the outdoor guy and I found a really nice grill set and patio furniture.Kohls for Father's Day Gifts

My dad is the sports guy.  Kohls know exactly how to stock their store with the right sports gear and clothing to please any fan.

For the chef dad (not me) Kohls has great deals on cookware, dinnerware and all the stuff needed to set a table.

No matter the budget, the personality and the style Kohls is going to have the just right gift for the dad in your life.

 




Shop Healthy Choices with ThriveMarket

Keeping your family healthy, happy and deliciously fed doesn’t have to be a struggle. With so many food options out there it’s no wonder lots of those choices are the wrong ones. My family LOVES to snack. Who am I kidding, I do too.  But there are better ways to snack without losing taste and quality. Thrive Market is your new answer.

Thrive Market is an online marketplace where you can find the very best natural and organic products at wholesale prices.  With over 2,500 of the highest-quality food, supplement, home, personal care, home good, and beauty products all focusing on bettering you, your family and your home.  Shop within the parameters that mean the most to you.

This means no label reading when trying to shop for new meal and snack ideas. This means shopping with confidence that your baby’s skin is going to be protected with a paraben, phthalate and synthetic ingredient free wash or lotion. This means the supplements that you are taking each day are working to build a better stronger body without sacrificing on quality and purity.  Each product is given a set of values that range from specifics about the ingredients, business or impact on the earth.  You’ll know instantly if each item is Nut-Free, Made in the USA, SLS Free, Fair Trade or Biodegradable or made from a Family Owned or Woman Owned Business.Shopping Healthy with Thrive Market

Shopping Healthy with Thrive Market

I was given a credit to shop and with all of the unique options it took me hours to spend $100. I chose items I knew we’d all like but also branched out and got  few surprises hoping for good results.

Shae is a freeze dried fruit fanatic. I received 4 bags and 1 was gone within the first day.  The Popcorn Indiana brand was amazing and I ate both bags by myself. I told the kids it was off limits, this was mom’s special popcorn.

I was also able to get Rob a Sriracha Mayo. He’s been using this on his sandwiches for work and even as a dip for fries. It’s spicy without being overwhelming like straight Sriracha.

I did find some prices to be equal or even a touch higher than my grocery store. I think with some more research and growth Thrive Market can really go against the big box stores with price.  They already have them beat with selection so that’s a step in the right direction. If anything it’s a great way to try something new like I did with this coconut oil. I’ve been seeing so much about the health benefits lately so instead of buying just any brand in the store I went with one that has already been vetted by Thrive Market.

I didn’t expect this to smell good enough to eat by the spoonful. #firsttimer

A photo posted by melinda babiak (@melindababiak) on

Thrive Market is a membership shopping outlet. For the cost of $69.95 you’ll have access to thousands of health conscious items that normally aren’t at our fingertips at the typical grocery, warehouse and bargain retailers. Plus for every membership that is purchased Thrive Market gives one away to a low-income family so they can provide for their family they way they really want to, with smart, healthy, sustainable choices. Start shopping today with their free 30 day trial membership.  You have nothing to lose.

Healthy living should be easy, affordable and accessible to everyone. Thrive Market makes that happen.

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Disney Poster a Page Books

2014 disclosureShopping for other people’s kids in hard. No two kids are alike so I can never assume I know just the right thing.  But on the flip side knowing a child inside and out is the best way to know what to get them for gifts. My best friend’s son is a comic book, wrestling and superhero fanatic. It never fails that every birthday or holiday is filled with themed gifts from everyone he knows. This Christmas I was able to score him a MARVEL Avengers Poster a Page book.Disney Poster a Page Books for Kids

Disney Poster a Page Books for Kids

Disney Poster a Page Books for Kids

The Disney brand brings to life the most powerful superhero team in the world! Including Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, and the Black Widow, this book has all of the favorite Marvel characters showing off their skills and battling the most fearsome bad guys.

Each book features a poster on every page plus 9 supersize posters to cover doors, windows and ceilings. That’s where I always put my most prized posters. Time Home Entertainment Inc. offers so many fun options in the Poster-A-Page series. *affiliate links below

Disney Junior: Let’s Play!

Disney Junior: Let’s Play!

Disney Frozen: Magical Moments

Disney Princess: Fairy Tale Moments

Star Wars Episodes I-VI: The Skywalker Saga

Sofia the First: Practice Makes Perfect

Disney Frozen: Magical Moments is going to my niece who’s about to turn 5. Like many other children this year she’s obsessed with Elsa and Anna and of course adorable Olaf.  Shae’s still a Sofia the First fan but don’t tell anyone. We placed some posters around her room and now she said it’s just right.Disney Poster a Page Books for Kids

Disney Poster a Page Books for Kids

Gift a special child in your life with a fun and functional gift that all kids will love.

 

 




Box Tops for Education and Acme Markets #StockUpSale

Box Tops for Education is a very popular program designed to give back to schools and organizations to help the growing costs of activities, classes and extra-curriculars.  ACME, ALBERTSONS, JEWEL-OSCO, and SHAW’S stores have created Growing Local Learning in partnership with Box Tops to bring even more opportunities to earn money for local schools.Earn EBoxTops Growing Local Learning #StockUpSale with Acme Markets

Since March 1, 2010, over $2,300,000 has been earned by local schools through the Growing Local Learning program. With promotions such as

Buy 10 participating General Mills Box Tops of Education Items and get 25 bonus eBoxTops on your register receipt. The purchase must be made in a single shopping visit. Log onto http://www.growinglocallearning.com/ and enter code and 50 bonus eBoxTops are credited to your school of choice

Schools have the potential to earn much more to satisfy the growing expenses each year.

Just doing your regular grocery shopping can benefit in so many ways. Sign up today for Box Tops for Education and for Growing Local Learning if you are a Acme, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco or Shaw’s shopper.

Take advantage of the #StockUpSale going on right now on favorites like General Mills cereals, Mott’s Fruit Snacks and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.Box Tops for Education Acme #StockUpSale

 




Halloween Whoopie Pies Acme Markets #StockUpSale

It’s the special time of year again. Time for Acme Markets Stock Up Sale. Cool weather and the upcoming holidays bring great prices on soups and comfort foods and needs for entertaining friends and family.

Acme Markets #StockUpSale

Acme Markets, part of the Albertson’s family, is our neighborhood grocery store. That means it’s were we trust to get great deals, high quality and a wide selection on everything our family needs to eat 3 meals a day, sometimes 4 if you include dessert.

Deals on flour, sugar, coconut milk, evaporated milk, eggs and yogurt are just begging for something to be baked up.

Black Velvet Whoopie Pies

Servings: 24
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes

Dive into the spirit of the season with a tempting new take on red velvet cake. These mini cake sandwiches pop with Jack-O-Lantern Orange, Frankenstein Green and Phantom Purple fillings that can be customized to your taste with flavors like Orange, Lemon and Raspberry.

Ingredients

1 package German chocolate cake mix with pudding
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbs McCormick® Black Food Color
3 eggs
1 Tbs McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 jar marshmallow creme
1/2 tsp McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
1/2 tsp McCormick® Red Food Color
1/2 tsp McCormick® Yellow Food Color

Directions
For the Cookies, preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cake mix, water, cocoa powder, oil, food color, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter, 2 inches apart, onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (Cookies will spread so avoid crowding them on baking sheet.) .

Bake 8 minutes or until cookies are puffed and spring back when touched, turning baking sheets halfway through baking. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

For the Orange Filling, beat all ingredients in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. To assemble the Whoopie Pies, place 1 tablespoon filling on flat side of 1 cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store whoopie pies between layers of wax paper in airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.Black Velvet Whoopie Pies from McCormick #StockUpSale



recipe can be found here

With deals like this there is no need to clip coupons. Unless that is if you find coupons on your MyMixx account. This week get $5.00 Off when you purchase $50 or more in a single transaction. Signing up is free and easy and can be done right at home. AND there is no loyalty card to carry around.

What’s on your #StockUpSale list this season?

Connect with ACME Markets:
Facebook: facebook.com/AcmeMarkets
Pinterest: pinterest.com/AcmeMarkets
Twitter: twitter.com/AcmeMarkets
YouTube: youtube.com/Acme
Instagram: instagram.com/AcmeMarkets




College Student Care Package from @DollarGeneral

It’s been a few weeks since the kids left the nest.  Are they homesick yet? Have they made new friends? Are they regretting that early am class? However they’re adjusting be sure to let them know you’re thinking of them with a College Student Care Package like this one I put together from Dollar General.College Student Care Package from @DollarGeneral

College kids need things, lots of things. Leaving home for the first time is often a shock. Not just of the changes in the environment but when they realize how good they had it at home most wanna come home right away.  No more home cooked meals or fresh clean sheets magically appearing on the bed. We can still spoil our kids from far away by sending them quality care packages with comforts from home.College Student Care Package from @DollarGeneral

Each package should fit not only your child’s needs but also their situation. Are they in-state and home often enough to do laundry then skip the detergent aisle. Are they across the country and not used to snow and the increased rainfall?  Ship extra umbrellas and gloves.

Dollar General is a different kind of discount store. You’ll find lots of brand name products in food, cleaners, beauty products and apparel. Stepping into each store guarantees you to find great deals on the things we all need each day.  Putting together a care package is simple and hassle free. You’ll get big box pricing (sometimes better) with small neighborhood size.College Student Care Package from @DollarGeneral

College Student Care Package from @DollarGeneral

Putting together a care package is easy.  Find a few “needs” plus some fun items to bring a smile to their face. I gathered facial tissues, peanut butter, pitaschios, candy & gum, ear buds, gift cards to iTunes and Dunkin Donuts and a reusable coffee mug for those late study sessions. All of this cost approximately $50.  College Student Care Package from @DollarGeneral

Don’t forget comforting items right from home. Include treats like a favorite Chex Mix recipe or homemade peanut butter granola or a long loved stuffed animal.

Who would you send a care package to?  What would you put in it?




Meal Planning with #MyMixx Acme Markets

If you haven’t already checked out Acme Market’s MyMixx app you are missing out. Right from your phone you can create a shopping list, clip coupons and check out the weekly circular.

Acme Markets MyMixx

I’ve been using MyMixx to work on weekly meal plans because I can see exactly what’s on sale and know what I’m cooking for dinner.  Doing this has helped me not only save time but also save money. Who doesn’t like to save money?

This week’s meal plan is:

Monday – Fried Chicken and Homemade Mac & Cheese and Grilled Corn

Tuesday – Kung Pao Shrimp Tacos and Salad

Wednesday – Italian Sausage with Pasta and Organic Grape Tomatoes

Thursday – Grilled Chicken Breast over Wilted Spinach

Friday – Turkey and Bacon Club Sandwiches with Chips and Veggies

Meal Plan Chicken over Spinach, Acme Markets #MyMixx

MyMixx is simple to use. Download the Acme Markets app and sign up for MyMixx using your phone number and start clipping paperless coupons and building your weekly shopping list. Your MyMixx savings will appear right on your smart phone as well as your e-receipt and clipped coupons.

As a special offer  for the launch of MyMixx you’ll be able to add a $5 off $20 purchase as one of your clipless coupon. It will be available as soon as you sign up.

Check it all out for today and watch the savings roll right into your fingertips.

chicken image courtesy AllThingsChill via Flickr




Shopping #MyMixx app from Acme Markets

When you look through your grocery store ads each week how many MUST HAVE items do you see?  This past week during my weekly shopping trip and I found Eggo Waffles (box of ten) on sale for $1. There are always lots of things for $1 at Acme Markets but this is by far one of the best finds ever when scrolling through the MyMixx App.Acme Markets MyMixx

Eggo Waffles on sale Acme Markets #MyMixx

Waffles are a staple in our house much like bread and milk are in other homes. Waffles are eaten everyday by someone and are used for breakfast lunch and dinner.

The sale ad at Acme Market is a like a treasure hunt. I love sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and my list to put together everything we need. The new MyMixx app makes things even easier these days too. I don’t always have the time for a leisurely scan of the sale ad but now I have it at my finger tips when I’m not at home.Acme Markets MyMixx


Not only did I stock up on our go-to breakfast food I also snagged 12-count case of snapple for $5.99.  Rob and I love their Diet Raspberry and Diet Lemon tea and this price is too good to pass up.

Back to School happened for us this week too. I hit up the deli department and got lunchmeat for the next couple of weeks for just $3.99/lb.  I freeze lunchmeat and cheese so we always have it on hand and I’m not running to the store on Sunday night.Acme Markets Sale of the week #mymixx #sale

Find these and so many more great prices on the products you eat and use each day at Acme Markets.

Come over and enter to win a Acme Markets $100 GC here on the blog.