Jul 242014
 
disclosure for site

The following is a sponsored post on behalf of Champions for Kids #SummerofGiving.

Food Pantry Simple Service Project! #SummerofGiving

In addition to my family recently making a Donation to the Salvation Army via the Champions for Kids Summer of Giving Program, we also got together with my daughter and son’s friends to make a donation to a local Food Pantry.

We were provided with a $35 Gift Card to Walmart to help facilitate our trip, and we also made a family match in dollars.

Food Pantry Simple Service Project! #SummerofGiving

Their mother and I decided to make this day both educational and fun.

We got up early and did our shopping, and later in the day the kids would enjoy some playtime.

Food Pantry Simple Service Project! #SummerofGiving

As we headed over to Walmart, we discussed what we were doing and how families would be benefiting from our donation that may not have enough to eat.

We also explained how blessed we were to not worry about going hungry, and why we should help others in need.

Food Pantry Simple Service Project! #SummerofGiving

As we shopped, we picked up vegetables, canned tomatoes, and pasta.

These items were foods that could easily be turned into a large filling meal.

Food Pantry Simple Service Project! #SummerofGiving

Once we were finished checking out, we drove over to the Food Pantry.

There, the kids hand delivered the food and the volunteers gave them a tour inside.

Food Pantry Simple Service Project! #SummerofGiving

As we left, we asked the kids to tell us the purpose of our trip and who it would be helping. They knew, and told us exactly what it was all about.

Afterward, the kiddos got to play and we moms got in some socialization time.

 

Food Pantry Simple Service Project! #SummerofGiving

 

Just like our first trip, it did not take very much to make a big difference. Again we were helping families in our community, and also teaching our children about the importance of giving.

Have you ever performed a Simple Service Project? What did you do to help those in need?

Food Pantry Simple Service Project! #SummerofGiving

For more details about the Champions for Kids #SummerofGiving and its goal to provide 5 million meals this summer, visit the frozen food aisle at your local Walmart Super Center or visit cfkhelpkidsthrive.org. There you can also find out details on how you could win $25,000 for your favorite school.

You can also follow Champions for Kids on Facebook at facebook.com/ChampionsForKids.

FFM

Jun 232014
 
disclosure for site

The following is a sponsored post on behalf of Champions for Kids and their #SummerofGiving campaign.  Opinions expressed are that of my own. 

Champions for Kids Summer of Giving 7

Are you looking for a way to make a difference in a child’s life?  How about having a chance to win your favorite school $25,000? 

If the answer is “YES”, I have an easy way to fulfill both through the Champions for Kids Summer of Giving program.

Champions for Kids

So how exactly does the Summer of Giving work?  To participate you must perform a Simple Service Project over the summer that helps Children in your community. Not only do you get to help others, but if you do it on behalf of your school, they could win the big $25,000 prize.

This great initiative has been made possible through a partnership with Tyson, Birds Eye, and State Fair brands.

Champions for Kids Summer of Giving Participating Brands

Now to show you just how easy it is to perform a Simple Service Project, Champions for Kids provided my family with a Walmart Gift Card to shop and make a donation to a local organization that helps children in need.

Before we got started though, I did have to do a little research and I discovered that the Salvation Army would accept perishable items. For more Simple Service Project Ideas visit championsforkids.org/simple.

Champions for Kids Summer of Giving 2

My husband and I then took the kids aside and talked about the importance of helping others.  We also discussed how we would be shopping and why we would be visiting the non-profit.

We both thought it was important that they actually understood what the “Summer of Giving” was all about. After this, the entire family piled in the car and drove to our nearest Walmart.

Champions for Kids Summer of Giving 3

We went in and headed over to the frozen food section.  There we saw displays for Tyson, Birds Eye, and State Fair.

After shopping the aisles, we found 3 lbs bags of plain chicken breasts and large bags of mixed vegetables. I figured these items could be served “as is”, or prepared into some type of dish.

Champions for Kids Summer of Giving 4

My kids then took turns pulling the items from the freezers and putting the various items into the carts. They were having fun and making a difference at the same time.

After we finished, I called the local Salvation Army Kitchen and told them that we were on our way.  I spoke to a gentlemen named “Brian”, and he sounded so excited over the phone.

Summer of Giving Donation to the Salvation Army

We pulled right up to the back of the building to deliver the food, and they came out with a cart to transport the items in. It really felt good to give.

Have you ever performed a Simple Service Project before? What did you do to help those in need?

Summer of Giving Shelf Display Champions for Kids

For more details about the Champions for Kids #SummerofGiving and its goal to provide 5 million meals this summer, visit the frozen food aisle at your local Walmart Super Center or visit cfkhelpkidsthrive.org. You can also follow Champions for Kids on Facebook at facebook.com/ChampionsForKids.

Our Simple Service Project was really that simple, yet it made such a big impact. By helping individuals at the Salvation Army, we not only provided meals to those in need, but my children learned about what it means to give.

FFM

Jun 112014
 
disclosure for site

The following is a sponsored post on behalf of Produce for Kids and the Get Healthy Give Hope Campaign. Photo and recipe were provided. Opinions expressed are that of my own.

Bow Ties and Veggies Recipe

Produce for Kids and Publix have teamed up again to raise money to benefit a wonderful cause and to bring you delicious recipes!

For the 12th year, both of these great organizations have partnered up for the Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign.  This initiative has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit various children’s groups and non-profits. Publix alone, through the help of employees and customers, has raised nearly $2.3 million for local children’s organizations since 2002. 

To help increase this year’s donations, shoppers are encouraged to add more produce to their grocery carts through 12 participating fruit and vegetable suppliers. These include Bolthouse Farms Juices & Smoothies; D’Arrigo Bros. of California – Andy Boy Broccoli; Chiquita Bananas; Fresh Express Packaged Salads; Coast Tropical Mangoes; Crunch Pak Sliced Apples; Del Monte Foods – Fruit Naturals Cups; J & D Produce, Inc. – Little Bear Brand Vidalia Sweet Onions; Minute Maid Pure Squeezed Orange Juice; Shuman Produce – RealSweet Vidalia Onions; Ventura Foods – Marie’s Dressings; Paramount Farms – Wonderful Pistachios.

Check out the following Produce for Kids dish that can be prepared and paired with many of these “Good for You” ingredients!

 

Produce for Kids Logo

 

Bow Ties & Veggies Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

½ large Little Bear Brand Vidalia sweet onion, sliced

½ cup Andy Boy broccoli, chopped

½ cup cauliflower, chopped

½ cup rainbow bell peppers, chopped

2 cups bow tie pasta, prepared according to package directions

½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

½ cup strawberries, sliced

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add onions, broccoli/cauliflower and peppers, and cook 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Reduce heat to low; add cooked pasta and tomatoes, and heat 1 minute or until warm.
  3. Top with cheese and strawberries.

For a complete meal, serve Bow Ties & Veggies with:

  • Fresh Express packaged salad topped with radish, avocado, cucumber and lowfat Marie’s salad dressing
  • A glass of Bolthouse Farms juice

Are you more likely to purchase foods when you know it benefits a great cause? Which of the participating brands do you currently buy?

At the conclusion of this campaign, these fruit and vegetable suppliers will make a consumption-based donation to local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit that provides comfort, treatment and hope to millions of sick kids. Look for signage in store and information in Publix ads, featuring a list of all the participating brands and healthy, easy-to-prepare recipes.

For more information about the Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign and for additional recipes visit produceforkids.com.

I think it is awesome that Produce for Kids and Publix have teamed up for this, and I can’t wait to fill my cart with “Good for You” items and try out some of the recipes.

FFM

May 272014
 
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My Dad Is Special Because Craft! A Kids #DIY Upcycling #Gift For Father’s Day! #FathersDay

Father’s Day will be here in a few weeks and if you are looking for some gift inspiration, here is a craft that my kids made for their Dad.

My Dad Is Special Because Craft! A Kids #DIY Upcycling #Gift For Father’s Day! #FathersDay

We took everyday household items, along with containers destined for the recycle bin, and turned them into a fun meaningful Father’s Day present.

This can easily be customized to fit with your special Dad’s favorite things like sports or fishing, we decorated our containers with ties.

My Dad Is Special Because Craft! A Kids #DIY Upcycling #Gift For Father’s Day! #FathersDay

To recreate this craft you will need:

- Container  (examples of container are icing, yogurt, spaghetti jar, peanuts, or a coffee tumbler. Tumblers like these can be found at the Dollar Store.)

- Paste

- Scissors

- Pencil

- Construction paper

- Scraps of patterned paper (scrap booking sheets or wrapping paper would work as well)

Optional: Printed strips of “My Dad is special because…”. and Tissue paper.

My Dad Is Special Because Craft! A Kids #DIY Upcycling #Gift For Father’s Day! #FathersDay

Directions:

First paste a large piece of construction paper to cover the outside of the container. Then, paste on the ties.

Tip: Cut out one tie to fit the container.  Use this to trace the other ties so they are all the same size.

My Dad Is Special Because Craft! A Kids #DIY Upcycling #Gift For Father’s Day! #FathersDay

Depending upon your child’s age they may be able to put together this craft completely.

I cut out the pieces in advance for my daughter and then let her do all the pasting.

My Dad Is Special Because Craft! A Kids #DIY Upcycling #Gift For Father’s Day! #FathersDay

Next fill out the “My Dad is special because…” and cut this into strips. If you don’t want to use a printer, simply write the entire sentence out on pieces of construction paper.

You will need to fill this in for younger children and older children who can read and write may fill it in by themselves.

My Dad Is Special Because Craft! A Kids #DIY Upcycling #Gift For Father’s Day! #FathersDay

As my children and I sat down and filled the lines in, my kids came up with statements like, “My Dad is special because he rides bikes with me.” or “My Dad is special because reads to me.”

As I read through all the comments it definitely revealed, that it wasn’t the material things that impressed our children the most, but the one on one time.

My Dad Is Special Because Craft! A Kids #DIY Upcycling #Gift For Father’s Day! #FathersDay

After you have completed filling in the sheets of paper, simply fold, and place them into the container. Once all the paper was inside I added a piece of tissue paper and closed it.  

The present is already wrapped and ready to go for Father’s Day.

My Dad Is Special Because Craft! A Kids #DIY Upcycling #Gift For Father’s Day! #FathersDay

When your “Special” Dad opens his gift, he will read all the wonderful things his children have said about him. He can then keep it at work or on a mantle, and the container can also serve as a holder for pens or office supplies.

Looking for other Frugal and Fun Gift Inspirations?

Here are 4 additional ideas:

Coupon Book – Have your children make a Handmade Coupon Book filled with Hug Vouchers, and other things that Dad would appreciate.

Breakfast in Bed – Let your little ones make “Breakfast in Bed”. This could be as easy as cereal or simple meals like toast and jelly. With a little help from a supervising adult, the possibilities are endless.

Car Wash – Set up a Kid’s Hands on Car Wash. Mom provides the supervision, wash rags, buckets, soap, and water. Kids use their cleaning skills.

Popsicle Frames – Either use leftover Popsicle sticks or pick up new at a craft store. Glue 4 together to create a frame. Then, label it Happy Father’s Day with a marker. You can even add adhesive magnets to the back for easy placement on a fridge or metal file cabinet.

What homemade crafts have you made for a special Dad in your life? What has been you favorite one so far?

The most rewarding part of this craft was seeing my husband light up when he read the messages. My 5-year-old daughter said to me “This was a good gift idea”.

FFM

May 022014
 
disclosure for site

“I participated in a Blogger Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Stonyfield. I received coupons to facilitate my shopping trip and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

Stonyfield’s YoToddler Organic Yogurt Pouches 4 Pack Review

I was asked recently to review Stonyfield YoToddler Organic Yogurt Pouches with my 21 month old son here on Frugal and Fun Mom.

This was not my first experience with Stonyfield products since I have used their vanilla yogurt to make smoothies and I have added it to part of my children’s meals. When possible I do try to pick up organic items for my family, and I especially like it when I can find a corresponding coupon and sale.

Stonyfield’s YoToddler Review Organic Yogurt

Stonyfield Refrigerated Organic Yogurt Pouches are the first of their kind and come in 3 age based versions including YoBaby, YoToddler, and YoKid. They contain Real Fruit and Vegetables and are free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.

YoToddler is available in 2 flavors including Strawberry Beet Berry and Pear Spinach Mango. They also comes in individual packages and 4 packs. The packaging is also resealable making it convenient for on the go.

Stonyfield’s YoToddler Organic Yogurt Individual Pouch

After a trip to my local Super Target, I located a 4 Pack for my toddler to try. We tested out the Strawberry-Beet-Berry flavor, and it was immediately a hit.  Once he finished, I heard “MORE! MORE!”.

My other kids also wanted to try it and my oldest said the yogurt tasted great. My 5-year-old who is not a fan of yogurt, decided to give her pouch to me so I could enjoy it.

My son was very serious about this yogurt, and thought I was trying to take it when I turned the package around to snap a picture.

Serious eating of Stonyfield’s YoToddler Organic Yogurt

Have you purchased Stonyfield products before? How important are organic products to you and your family, especially for your kids?

Looking for these yogurt pouches?  Visit stonyfield.com for more information and click on the store locator.

To connect to Stonyfield socially, check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/stonyfield, Twitter at @Stonyfield, Instagram at @Stonyfield, and Pinterest at pinterest.com/stonyfield.

I like that these pouches offer ingredients like beets and spinach that I would not normally find in a typical yogurt.  I think Stonyfield did a great job of combining the Strawberry Beet Berry mix and obviously my youngest son agrees.

FFM

Mar 072014
 
disclosure for site

I was provided a Scrabble Board Game to facilitate this post. Opinions expressed are that of my own.

Scrabble Game Picture

The 2014 National School SCRABBLE Tournament Is April 26th and 27th, and the 1st prize winner will walk away with $10,000!

Since 1992 Hasbro has worked with teachers and the National SCRABBLE Association to bring this popular game to schools through the National School SCRABBLE Program. Since then, more than a half million kids have SCRABBLE in over 20,000 classrooms nationwide.

Scrabble Game Night

This program offers teachers a specially-priced School SCRABBLE Kit at a cost of $95. It includes 6 specially designed wooden SCRABBLE boards, 12 racks, 6 sets of tiles and 6 tile bags plus the most current word source, The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, Fourth Edition.

In addition, National School SCRABBLE Program has a tournament for grades 4-8. Teams from the USA and Canada are invited to participate in the multi-day event that includes 8 rounds of competition and fun on-site events. For more information about the tournament visit schoolscrabble.us.

Scrabble Game Night

Thanks to Hasbro, my family also got an opportunity to enjoy the game. We were sent our very own Scrabble to play, and facilitate some fun quality time together.

Scrabble Game Night

This was actually the first time my kids had been exposed to this game, and my hubby admitted that he had never played before.

I have been a fan of Scrabble for years and like how it requires strategy, is challenging, and educational all at the same time. I was happy to introduce this classic to my bunch.

Scrabble Game Night

We split up into 2 teams, Team M for Mom and Team D for Dad. I then gave everyone a tutorial on how to play, and we went right to it.

It did not take too long for my husband to catch on, and he was racking up the points. My daughter isn’t quite spelling yet, but that didn’t stop her from trying and cheering on Team D.

Scrabble Game Night

However, my son and I were sitting with a Q and X in our row of 7 and we ended up pulling in some large points. In the end Team M won, and my son now has another game that he likes to play.

I look forward to playing again and trying out the Power Tiles, they look fun.

Do you have a Family Game Night? What is your family’s favorite board game to play?

Scrabble Game Night

Scrabble is intended for Ages 8 and up and is for 2-4 players. It retails for around $14.99 and can be found at stores nationwide.

To learn more about this Hasbro game and the National School Scrabble Program visit hasbro.com/scrabble.

Giveaway Details
And thanks to Hasbro,(1) one lucky Frugal and Fun Mom reader will win their own Scrabble Game, this is a $14.99 Value.

To enter, please allow a moment for the Rafflecopter Form to load below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FFM
Mar 042014
 
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Milk Jug Easter Bunny Craft!

Easter is right around the corner and it is always fun to do crafts with the kids according to the season. After looking at the supplies I had on hand, I decided we would work on a milk jug upcycling craft.

My daughter and I ended up transforming our containers into Easter Bunnies.

Milk Jug Easter Bunny Craft!

To make this craft you will need:

A Milk Jug

Markers

Utility Scissors

2 Fuzzy Sticks AKA Pipe Cleaners

A Screwdriver

Milk Jug Easter Bunny Craft!

To recreate the craft you will first need to draw the ears.

Tip: To remove the label from the milk jug, tear as much as you can off and then soak in water for a couple minutes.  Then, rub dish soap on it, and scrap it off with your nails. It should come off pretty easy.

Milk Jug Easter Bunny Craft!

An adult should then cut the ears out. Safety first so you may want to wear protective gloves as well.

Milk Jug Easter Bunny Craft!

Next, poke 2 holes on each side of the face for whiskers, and run 2 pipe cleaners through the holes.

Milk Jug Easter Bunny Craft!

Finally, decorate the bunny’s face with markers. I actually drew part of the face for my 5-year-old and she filled in the eyes, nose, and ears.

Milk Jug Easter Bunny Craft!

This craft is super easy and can be done in one day.  What is really awesome is it can be displayed immediately!

Milk Jug Easter Bunny Craft!

My daughter also wanted to put eggs in hers, so we picked up grass and decorative eggs at a Dollar Store.

Milk Jug Easter Bunny Craft!

I decided to turn mine into a Milk Jug Planter for previously rooted geraniums, (I poked about 6 holes in the bottom to create drainage) and put it by the front door as an Easter decoration. It is cute and practical.

Have you made a similar craft with your own family?  Do you do anything different?

If you make this with your children, have fun, and ENJOY!

FFM

Feb 232014
 
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St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

I wanted to do something fun for St. Patrick’s Day for my preschooler and oldest child, so we took 2 containers and transformed them into a Pot of Gold Craft.

Keep in mind the fun doesn’t end with the project though, it continues until the actual holiday.

St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

Here is what is needed to recreate this craft:

-1 Coffee Ground Container or Peanut Container
-1 piece of Black construction paper
-1 piece of Green construction paper
-1 piece of Yellow or Gold construction paper
-Scissors
-Paste
-Pencil

St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

FYI, I made one in advance as an example for my 5-year-old daughter, and then prepared the parts by cutting them out for her.  She was in charge of the pasting. Depending upon your child’s maturity they may be able to do less or more.

St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

Here is the step by step:

First, clean out the containers and dry. Second, line up the black construction paper and cut the extra paper off.  Paste this to the container.

St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

Third, trace a 4 leaf clover from the green construction paper and cut it out. I made sure it was taller than the container. 

St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

Use this to cover any gap from the black construction paper or place anywhere on the side of the container. Paste this on as well.

St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

Finally, use the top to trace a circle on the yellow or gold construction paper.  Discard the tops.

St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

After you cut it out, you will need to shave off additional pieces to make it fit into the lip of the container.

This will just lay on top so it can be easily removed.

St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

As a reminder, the fun doesn’t end with the craft. The night before, I am going to put goodies from the Dollar Store inside the containers along with some coins.

On St. Patrick’s Day, the kids open up their Pot of Gold and get a surprise!

St Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft and Activity

My daughter has already told me that she wants me to dress up like a Leprechaun when I put the goodies in!

Do you do anything similar for your kids? How do you set up your craft? If you make one, let me know how it goes!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

FFM

Feb 012014
 
disclosure for site

I am a Purex Insider and was provided Free Product Coupons to facilitate this post. Opinions expressed in this post are that of my own.

make-a-wish-and-purex-banner

During the month of February your purchases of Select Purex Brand Products will have a positive impact on the lives of children through Make-A-Wish!

Starting February 1, 2014 a portion of purchases of Purex 75oz+ bottles of  detergent, and Mountain Breeze and Sweet Lavender Classic and UltraLines Fabric Softener will be paid to Make-A-Wish. The minimum payout guarantee is $250,000, however with continued purchases they could donate a total of $400,000!

purex-liquid-detergent-and-purex-fabric-softener

Wishes granted by Make-A-Wish give children enriching moments that bring them joy and hope, which in turn strengthens them and their entire family.

Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, that serves individuals with life-threatening medical conditions. They help children in the United States along with its territories, and have more than 25,000 volunteers. Since 1980 the organization has granted more than 226,000 wishes to children, and grants a wish somewhere every 38 minutes.

Purex Bright Washes Bright Wishes Campaign

Have you volunteered in the past or donated to Make-A-Wish? What organizations are close to your heart that help children in need?

I am so happy to hear that Purex is supporting this worthwhile cause. Please feel free to share this information on your Twitter and Facebook pages as well to help them reach the donation goal.

To learn more details about this initiative and donation terms please visit purex.com/make-a-wish.

Want A Chance To Try Purex Mountain Breeze For FREE?

Giveaway Details Below!

And thanks to Purex, I have been authorized to give away 1 FREE Product Coupon for Purex Mountain Breeze to two (2) lucky Frugal and Fun Mom readers. This is a $6.00 value.

To enter, please allow a moment for the Rafflecopter Form to load below.
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FFM

Jan 112014
 
disclosure for site

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of CampusBookRentals.com and all opinions are 100% mine. Product and organization details photos are from CampusBookRentals.com and Operation Smile.

Operation Smile Making a Difference in children's lives

Since 2011 CampusBookRentals.com has partnered with Operation Smile to help improve the quality of children’s lives through effective facial reconstructive surgeries. 

When a company reaches out and tells me that they are helping children, I am excited to read about it, and ready to share the good news. I am happy to report that CampusBookRentals.com is keeping with their continued partnership with Operation Smile, and has committed to donate a minimum of 80 additional surgeries between June 2013 and June 2014.

Campus Book Rentals and Operation Smile

Operation Smile is the largest volunteer-based medical charity providing free cleft surgeries to children world-wide. Since 1982 they have provided more than 3.5 million comprehensive patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with facial deformities.

Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft and one in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday.

Operation Smile reaches individuals in some of the poorest areas of the world by training local doctors and strengthening healthcare systems.  Through this, they are providing children access to proper treatment who otherwise might not be able to eat, speak, socialize or smile.  This organization is giving them a chance at a better quality of life, and truly making a difference. 

Operation Smile and Campus book Rentals

Have you heard of this organization before? What worthwhile organizations do you support through donations and purchases?

To learn more about Operation Smile visit operationsmile.org. You can also follow on Facebook at facebook.com/operationsmile and Twitter at @operationsmile.

Campus Book Rentals

CampusBookRentals.com is a textbook rental company that serves thousands of customers on more than 5,000 different college campuses in the USA.  Saving clients save 40-90% off of bookstore prices, they provide free shipping both ways, and flexible renting periods. 

Visit CampusBookRentals.com to check out their pricing and their newest service called RentBack.  It is a new initiative allowing students to rent the textbooks they own to other students making 2 to 4x the money as compared to buyback options.

FFM