Fun Friday: Freebies and Fun Things to Do – The 2/27/15 Edition!

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Hard to believe next week begins the month of March. That brings hope to me that Spring is nearly here!! I can’t wait to be able to get outside more with my family and not come back inside frozen to the core.

So here’s the “Fun Friday” for the week of 2/27/15:

Kroger Affiliates: Free Mountain Dew Kickstart – 2/27/15 only

SavingStar: Free Domino or CH Brown Sugar – Thru 2/29/15

Free Redbox Code – No new ones but you can see if any of the “ongoing” ones will work for you.

Free Kellogg’s Family Rewards Code: SCOOBYSWEEPS4YOU – for 50 Points. Should be valid through 3/31/15. Code KELLOGGSREWARDSU for 100 Points. Not sure on expiration date on that one.

Free Disney Movie Rewards Codes: FEAST and BIGHERO6 worth 5 points each.

Lowe’s: Build and Grow Clinic on 2/28/15 – kids can make a Monster Truck. Check to see if there are any registration spots open!

Home Depot: Kids’ Workshop on 3/7/15 – kids can make a book ends. Starts at 9AM. Make sure you register!

Williams & Sonoma: Junior Chef Class on 3/7/15 for kids ages 5-13. They are learning about Sandwiches and Wraps. For adults, a Technique Class on 2/28/15 for Spring Baking: Bundt and Layer Cakes. Call your local store to register.

Barnes and Noble: Free Storytime (I Am Jackie Robinson and I Am Rosa Parks) at 11AM on 2/28/15. Don’t forget about their free online storytime, too! There’s also a celebration on 3/2/15 for Dr. Seuss’s Birthday at 7PM featuring Oh the Places You’ll Go, The Cat and the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.

Field Museum in Chicago: Free admission in February for IL residents! Only a few days left for this one!!

Free Printables: National Geographic A to Z Animals Coloring Pages. You can also select them individually at A to I or J to Z

Free Sample: Sign-up for Advil PM while supplies last! There’s also a way to get a free box via rebate!!

Free Sample: Sign-up for Zarbee’s Naturals Elderberry Immune Support, while supplies last. Facebook Offer

Chick Fil A: Free Hot or Iced Coffee during the month of February

Arby’s Freebie: Free Roast Beef Classic with Drink Purchase and sign-up

Wendy’s – Purchase a Frosty Tag for $1 donation and you’ll get a Free Jr. Frosty with each purchase in 2015!

Lego Stores: Free Monthly Mini Model Build on 3/3/15 beginning at 5PM. They’ll be making a robot this month.

FaveCrafts: Free St. Patrick’s Day Crafts/Recipes eBook or Garden Crafts eBook

FaveHealth: Free Healthy Recipes eBook

And a few Free eBooks: (Keep in mind prices flip fast on Amazon so be sure to check current price before purchasing!!)

100 Favorite Animal Stories for 3-7 Year Old Toddlers. Perfectly Written and Illustrated for Young Ones

Habit Stacking For Cleaning And Organizing: How To Organize, Clean, And Keep Your Home Spotless

The Bliss Of Minimalism: Experience The Joy Of A Minimalist Lifestyle

4 Ingredient Cookbook: 150 Quick & Easy Timesaving Recipes

Whale Life Funny & Weird Marine Mammals – Learn with Amazing Photos and Fun Facts About Whales and Marine Mammals (Funny & Weird Animals Series Book 8)

The Greatest Bread Recipes In History: The Ultimate Collection Of Delicious & Easy Bread Recipes You Will Simply Love

Hoparoo The Kangaroo Tells His Story: A Childrens Book About The Life of the Kangaroo

Perfect Homemade Baby Food. 151+ Recipes

How To Get Organized: Plan It Then Do It

925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World

Hearty Soups: A Collection of Homemade Soups

Diabetes Diet: The Best Diabetic Foods To Eat, Herbs To Take, And Drinks To Swallow

DIY Protein Bars: Homemade, Natural and Easy to Make Protein Bars

Essential Oils: A proven Guide for Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Weight Loss, Stress Relief and a better Life: Essential Oils

The Unbelievably Low-Carb Slow Cooker: 50 EPIC Low-Carb Crock-Pot Recipes To Kick Start Weight Loss!

DIY Household Hacks: The Ultimate Guide To Effective, Affordable And Practical Household Hacks That You MUST Learn

Freedom From Sugar Cravings: A Step by Step Guide to Beat Sugar Addiction Using the 21 Day Sugar Detox Plan (Sugar Detox Diet)

Beginning Homesteading: Your Path to a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle (Prepper’s Survival Gardening & Pantry Stockpile)

Vietnamese Cookbook: The Most Popular Vietnamese Recipes

The Nightingale who Lost and Found His Song: A story of courage and the power of friendship.

Salmon Avocado Rolls Recipe

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Sometimes, the mundane breakfast items just don’t cut it and I want to switch it up a bit. That’s when I whip up a quick batch of these salmon avocado rolls. They are ridiculously easy to make and only require 3 ingredients.

What You’ll Need:

Smoked Salmon
Chavrie Goat Cheese (or Cream Cheese)
Avocado

Notes: You’ll find the salmon over in the meat department hanging up by the seafood. You can usually catch them for around $6 a pack. Just make sure they say they are “ready to eat.” If you don’t like goat cheese, you can try cream cheese, as well. It’s just a bit harder to spread on the salmon.

And Here’s How To Make Them:

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1) Cut your avocado into halves. Then use your knife to cut one of halves into wedges. If you are careful, you can do it right in the skin and you won’t need to dirty a cutting board. Just don’t slice through the avocado skin and yourself!!

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2) Lay pieces of the salmon on a plate or flat surface. They are usually already cut in small strips but if not, you may want to trim them to a smaller size.

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3) Dollop on some goat/cream cheese and spread it across the pieces with the back of a spoon or a knife. Lay one wedge of avocado at the top of each salmon piece.

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4) Roll up the salmon slices and you are done.

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I can usually get 2-3 sets of around 4 salmon avocado slices per pack of salmon. I’ll save the other half of avocado in an Avocado Keeper and the salmon slices in a Ziploc Small Rectangle Container. The avocado shown a few pics above that I sliced into wedges was actually cut in half the day before and kept in the keeper. As you can see, it does a great job of keeping them fresh! It’s best to keep the half with the pit in it in the keeper as it helps keep it fresher.

I hope that you end up liking these if you try them. But it goes without saying that if you aren’t a fan of salmon, you probably won’t be a fan of these. LOL! I like to treat myself to them every so often. It’s a great way to get some healthy Omega-3s into your body!!

Fun Friday: Freebies and Fun Things to Do – The 2/20/15 Edition!

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Can you all believe that’s there’s just one week left of February already. Where does the time go?! I hope you all get to enjoy the weekend with your family and friends.

So here’s the “Fun Friday” for the week of 2/20/15:

Kroger Affiliates: Free Russell Stover Easter Egg – 2/20/15 only

SavingStar: Free Almond Joy or Mounds – Thru 2/22/15

Free Redbox Code for 2/20/15 – 5654UUUU – You should be able to reserve online, too.

Facebook Offer: Free Reese’s Product Coupon. Just pick your “line-up” by choosing your 5 favorite Reese’s products. While supplies last.

Free Kellogg’s Family Rewards Code: KFRSTACKOFPOINTS – 25 points. Expiration unknown. Was working as of 2/20/15.

Lowe’s: Build and Grow Clinic on 2/28/15 – kids can make a Monster Truck. Check to see if there are any registration spots open!

Home Depot: Kids’ Workshop on 3/7/15 – kids can make a book ends. Starts at 9AM. Make sure you register!

Williams & Sonoma: Junior Chef Class on 2/21/15 for kids ages 5-13. They are learning about Homemade Chicken Fingers. For adults, a Technique Class on 2/22/15 for Cooking with Cast Iron. Call your local store to register.

Barnes and Noble: Free Storytime (Click Clack Peep) at 11AM on 2/21/15. Don’t forget about their free online storytime, too!

Field Museum in Chicago: Free admission in February for IL residents!

Chicago Auto Show: 2 Free Tickets when you fill out a form and bring it to a Chevy Dealer. (see site for details.)

Free Sample: Sign-up for Advil PM while supplies last! There’s also a way to get a free box via rebate!!

Free Sample: Sign-up for Zarbee’s Naturals Elderberry Immune Support, while supplies last. Facebook Offer

Free Sample: Sign-up for a free Cottonelle Sample Pack, while supplies last.

Chick Fil A: Free Hot or Iced Coffee during the month of February

Wendy’s – Purchase a Frosty Tag for $1 donation and you’ll get a Free Jr. Frosty with each purchase in 2015!

Printable Coupon: Buy One Get One Free Horizon Organic Mac & Cheese. Look for it halfway down on that page.

Google Play: Free Jason Aldean Old Boots, New Dirt album. Make sure it says Free at the top before you download.

Google Play: Free Download of Hunger Games: Catching Fire (book 2). Limited time. Make sure it says Free before downloading!

And a few Free eBooks: (Keep in mind prices flip fast on Amazon so be sure to check current price before purchasing!!)

How to Keep Your Home Clean… The Smart Way: Save Time, Money and Reduce Stress by Learning How to Clean Intelligently

Dutch Oven Cookbook. Easy Recipes about the art of Slow Cooking

Health and Fitness: 21 Simple Tips to Burn Fat, Get Stronger, and Increase Energy: Weight Loss, Strength, and Energy Boosting Techniques

The Book of Barkley: Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever

Knitting: Knitting for Beginners: Beautiful Knitting Patterns that Everyone Can Do on a Daily Basis

The Magic of Baking Soda: Everyday Magic for Everything from Cleaning to Beauty Tips

How to Make Probiotic Drinks for a Raw Food Diet: Kefir, Kombucha, Ginger Beer, and Naturally Fermented Ciders, Sodas, and Smoothies

Healthy Desserts – 30 Healthy Recipes Dessert Cookbook: More Than 30 Delicious Recipes from a Real Kitchen (Cookies, Cakes, Desserts, Fudge, Pie, etc.)

Gluten Free Slowcooker Recipes: Easy And Delicious Recipes You’re Sure To Love!

Incredible Manatees: Fun Animal Ebooks for Adults & Kids 7 and Up With Facts & Incredible Photos

Homesteading Handbook vol. 5 Food Drying: How to Dry Vegetables (Homesteading Handbooks)

GIRAFFES: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature (Amazing Animal Kingdom Book 15)

Essential Oils: Essential Oils Hacks: Amazing Miraculous Essential Oils Remedies, Hacks, and Cures

Children’s Books: THE PRINCESS IN MY TEACUP RETURNS – Ages 2-8)

Dumplings, Dumplings, All the Way: The Best Dumplings Cookbook in Town

How To Sew: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide To Sewing For Beginners – Master The Art Of Sewing And Start Creating Great Products!

Breakfast Ideas Value Pack II – 200 Recipes For Waffles, Omelets, Coffee Cake and Quick Bread

You Are Now Entering….The Quiet Zone!

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When it comes to teaching our kids the important things in life, we all try to do the basics of making sure they are good people, get a great education and eat as healthy as possible, etc. But one thing I know I want to add to that list is to teach my children the importance of taking quiet time during the week.

The society we live in seems to push on us to constantly be moving, multi-tasking, filling every last moment of every day with something and often stretching us far beyond what we can physically and emotionally handle. What’s wrong with allowing ourselves to slow things down a little and actually just enjoy things a bit? Nothing, nothing at all.

I was struck with a sickness last year that left me incredibly fatigued. It was to the point where I’d get up, get the kids to school and almost need to go back to bed when I got home. It lasted for weeks. While I still needed to keep up with daily tasks,  it was during this time that I learned to stop midday everyday and take some quiet time. I didn’t allow myself TV, cell phones, computers, etc. Just some time to sit, relax and enjoy a cup of hot tea. I didn’t let myself think about any responsibilities – you know how we get, creating to-do lists in our head, stressing over things bothering us, etc. No, this was just a time to be still. If I had extra time, I’d allow myself to read a book for little bit.

You know what I discovered? Just sitting briefly for 5 to 10 minutes helped me really recharge for the rest of the day. My energy almost seemed to double and I was able to get through the day.

That sickness is long gone but I have kept those practices in place. It may not be everyday but at least several times a week.

And a few months ago, this was on my mind when I stumbled upon creating a “Quiet Zone” in our house. Our Christmas tree was packed up leaving a huge gapping space in our living room. I resisted the urge to fill up that space with anything as the openness felt like a breath of fresh air. One day when I was out shopping, I just happened to find the fuzziest rug that I knew the kids would love and that matched several pillows we had that we weren’t using. When the kids came home from school, they were surprised to find “The Quiet Zone.”

Initially I figured this would be a temporary thing but if I were to remove it now, it would cause the biggest uproar in our household. lol. You see, the kids have come to treasure this area of the house. I figured it would be a spot for “chillin'” and reading books and such but here’s what I’ve noticed–they love to just lay there and do nothing at times. Kids—they are far smarter than us so often! They’ve already realized that sometimes, we just need quiet.

What’s wonderful is that the family has all been respectful when they see someone in The Quiet Zone. We do our best to keep quiet if we are also in the room or to go elsewhere for a bit. And I had to laugh one day when I realized we weren’t the only ones who thought this was valuable real estate in the house….

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It was amusing as the kids were all, “Shhh, someone’s in the Quiet Zone!”

I just wanted to share this with all of you as I think you’ll find out what I have—that those times of quiet will get you through the day more than once. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on it either. Just carve out some space and make it special somehow.

I hope that you find great peace by taking time to just stop and shut out all the noise of the world for a bit each week.

Fun Friday: Freebies and Fun Things to Do – The 2/13/15 Edition!!

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More articles will be coming next week. But until then, here are this week’s freebies. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s weekend with your loved ones!!

So here’s what you can find for the week of 2/13/15:

Kroger Affiliates: Free Juicy Fruit with Starburst – 2/13/15 only

SavingStar: Free Ben & Jerry’s Mini Cup!! – Thru 2/15/15

Facebook Offer: Free Reese’s Product Coupon. Just pick your “line-up” by choosing your 5 favorite Reese’s products. While supplies last.

Redbox Code: Codes valid at kiosks through 2/16/15: NDNQM3QK, 5DKH9WZQ, 29T7MWGX, 92494TK3, or VXHTNG54

Free Kellogg’s Family Rewards Code: EVERYONESAWINNER – 25 points. Expiration unknown. Was working as of 2/13/15.

Lowe’s: Build and Grow Clinic on 2/14/15 – kids can make a Sweetheart Picture Holder. Check to see if there are any registration spots open!

Home Depot: Kids’ Workshop on 3/7/15 – kids can make a book ends. Starts at 9AM. Make sure you register!

Williams & Sonoma: Junior Chef Class on 2/15/15 for kids ages 9-13. They are learning about Stir Frying. For adults, a Technique Class on 2/15/15 for Stir Frying, as well.

Barnes and Noble: Free Storytime (I Can Love You Like This) at 11AM on 2/15/15. Other activities involving Sesame Street characters. Don’t forget about their free online storytime, too!

Field Museum in Chicago: Free admission in February for IL residents!

Chicago Auto Show: 2 Free Tickets when you fill out a form and bring it to a Chevy Dealer. (see site for details.)

Free Sample: Sign-up for Advil PM while supplies last!

Free Sample: Sign-up for Zarbee’s Naturals Elderberry Immune Support, while supplies last. Facebook Offer

Chick Fil A: Free Hot or Iced Coffee during the month of February

Wendy’s – Purchase a Frosty Tag for $1 donation and you’ll get a Free Jr. Frosty with each purchase in 2015!

Crayola Color Alive: Download a Free Page and watch it come alive via their App. Great way to get some free art and fun into your kids’ week!

Valentine’s Day Offers: Free Burger at Krystal with Coupon. Free Sweethearts Candy Coupon for Ralph Stores. Free Valentine’s I Spy Game Printable. Valentine’s Day Free Coloring Pages.

Chinese New Year 2015: is the Year of the Sheep and 2/19/15. You can see some things I’ve rounded up on Pinterest for fun things to do with the kids. Maybe plan some Chinese food into your meal plan for that day!

And a few Free eBooks: (Keep in mind prices flip fast on Amazon so be sure to check current price before purchasing!!)

Positive Thinking Handbook: Motivation & Inspiration For Success & Happy Life

Crock-Pot Magic: Delicious Low Carb Slow Cooking Recipes for Healthy Living

A Beginner’s Guide to Raised Bed Gardening

DIY 7 Day Household Cleaning And Organizing – De – Clutter Your Life To Become Stress FREE In Just 7 Days!

Organic Gardening: A Quick Start Guide

Japanese Cooking: Simple Recipes – The Cookbook from Traditional to Modern Japan with Easy, Authentic and Healthy Ramen, Sushi and Bento Dishes

Apple Cider Vinegar: Discover the Hidden Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Fun with Plastic Canvas: Beginner’s Guide & 9 Useful Projects

Cool Beanie: Crochet Pattern

Simple Meals for Work (Eat Well, Feel Great Book 2)

The Caterpillar that Could (A Beautifully Illustrated Children’s Picture, Book Great for Bedtime Stories – Aged 3 – 8)

Freezer Meals: Delicious and Easy Make-Ahead Meals

Brain Over Grain Cookbook: Low Carb, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo Recipes!