Child Hunger Ends Here

by A Frugal Friend on April 21, 2016

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This post is brought to you by Child Hunger Ends Here and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Child Hunger Ends Here

Earlier this week, you may have joined me and other bloggers as we co-hosted the #ChildHungerEndsHere Twitter Party. The ultimate goal was to raise awareness for child hunger with a promise from ConAgra to donate the monetary equivalent of up to 100,000 meals to Feeding America.

I’m excited to announced that thanks to your views and shares of the oh-so-powerful video from Kid President, ConAgra has met that goal.

I’m beyond thrilled because of these facts:

  • More than 1 in 5 children and more than 1 in 4 Latino children in the U.S. may not know where their next meal is coming from.

That’s more than 15 million children!

Help End Child Hunger 2

I look at the face of my little girl and cannot imagine the suffering of innocent children. Yet realistically, I know happens in my own backyard.

Food insecurity is something that occurs in every state, in every county. It’s a heartbreaking statistic and one that I’m so proud many of us fought to change this week…..but there’s still more we can do!

To continue this effort and to learn more about ways to fight hunger in your community, visit ChildHungerEndsHere.com and click on the “How You Can Help” tab.

View or share this video from Kid President to help raise awareness for child hunger! It’s an easy way to start!

Thank you!

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Ortho Animal B Gon Animal Repellent – A Must for Spring!

by A Frugal Friend on April 21, 2016

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OrthoProtects #CollectiveBias.

Do you love your yard, but hate seeing your hard work get eaten up by garden pests? Maybe you are planning your garden and want to keep the rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels and other small animals from eating all your carrots and nibbling on your tomatoes. Ortho® Animal B Gon® Animal Repellent has a great no stink formula product that uses essential oils and delivers long lasting, rain resistant performance.

These essential oils provide an effective way to keep small animals away from your lawn and garden. What smells nice to people actually confuses animals with a “wrong” scent, so they’ll go somewhere else to find a place to eat.

Ortho Animal B Gone All Purpose Animal Repellent

Whether you choose the Granules or the Spray, you can rest easy knowing that Ortho® Animal B Gon® Animal Repellent is safe for people, pets and plants.

How does it work?

Not only is this a great product, but you can also save $1.00 by using Checkout 51 when you purchase Ortho® Animal B Gon® Animal Repellent at Walmart. Checkout 51 is a grocery savings app that gives you new offers weekly, and lets you earn cash back on your purchase by taking a photo of your receipt.

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Charlie Brown Party Treats and Peanuts Fun

by A Frugal Friend on April 19, 2016

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We had a family movie night recently thanks to our friends at Fox Home Entertainment! The Peanuts Movie would be the featured film!

My daughter couldn’t have been more excited when the complimentary movie and package of goodies arrived. But we had to do something extra fun…… and we did, by making Charlie Brown Party Treats to go along with all the Peanuts fun we were going to have!

Charlie Brown Treats and Peanuts Fun Affiliate Link in post.

 Who could blame her for all the excitement?

With Snoopy and Charlie Brown in our living room, there would be nothing short of laughter!

Peanuts Movie Night

Yes, The Peanuts Movie released on Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD, so you can enjoy it at home.

But I bet you are wondering about the surprise box of goodies, aren’t you?

Peanuts Party Items

Would you just take a look at all the amazing supplies for our family movie night – all Peanuts themed of course?

Dress up hats, baseballs, Peanuts Pez Limited Edition Set, a Charlie Brown Tee and more! (Even ALL laundry detergent to wash said tee)

I’ll admit that the Horizon Cheddar Sandwich Crackers didn’t even make it ’til our party. Someone needed to have them in her school lunches (and then after school snacks too)!

But the big hit was the UNO The Peanuts Movie Card Game! We are a competitive family and it was so fun teaching this classic card game to my daughter. At age 8, she was at the perfect age to really get strategic! Of course, having Charlie Brown and Snoopy on the cards made it extra fun!

Charlie Brown Party Treats

We also wanted something extra special to snack on during movie-time!

My requirements – something tasty and sweet, yet quick and easy.

Voila – Charlie Brown Party Treats!

Charlie Brown Treat Ingredients

So foolproof, anyone can make these!

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate Frosting
  • Icing-Filled Mini Cakes (we used Zingers brand)

I wanted quick and easy, so I opted not to make my own frosting (plus, I really wasn’t planning on using that much). Canned frosting it was, but feel free to step it up a notch and make it yourself!

Charlie Brown Treat Icing

The Mini Cakes came in small packages of 3 and I decided to keep the 3 of them together on the plate as it made it appear more like Charlie Brown’s shirt. It’s all about appearances, but feel free to separate when it’s time to eat!

To make it easy to create the look of Charlie Brown’s shirt, I wanted to pipe the chocolate frosting on the mini cakes.

To make it extra quick and easy (with no clean up – just throw it away), I scooped a bit of the chocolate frosting into a small plastic bag and sealed.

Charlie Brown Treat Piping

Piping with a plastic bag is my go-to method unless I’m working on a big project.

After sealing the bag (and getting out any extra air), push the frosting into one corner and simply cut with scissors a little snip off the end of that corner. The bigger the cut, the bigger your hole (and piping) will be. I usually start small and then practice piping on a plate to see if the hole needs to be larger.

Charlie Brown Treat Piping 2

Now it’s time to pipe on the chocolate frosting to resemble Charlie Browns shirt.

Charlie Brown Treats

Couldn’t be simpler and someone tried to sneak a bite!

Peanuts McDonald's Toys

The snacks were made, but there was still a bit of time before movie time, so there was fun to be had with the McDonald’s PEANUTS themed toys! Seriously too cute!

Peanuts Toys

And then………it was time to turn on The Peanuts Movie and finish the night off right!

What fun we had! As usual, Snoopy made us laugh. Lucy was bossy. And as always, there’s a lesson about friendship.

So tell me, who is your favorite PEANUTS character?

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Yesterday was the day!

With my husband, daughter and nephew in tow, I headed over for a unique experience at Northpark Center – an iconic mall in the heart of Dallas! An iconic mall was the ideal setting for a one of a kind movie watching experience at AMC Theatres…….watching THE JUNGLE BOOK in Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime!

What? That doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard of before? Oh well, listen up, because this is something you will not want to miss and I knew it was the perfect location to prepare for THE JUNGLE BOOK review, as part of this sponsored post!

The Jungle Book Review

Seats that pulsate to the action!

Reclining Seats and more!

If you have one in your backyard, you’ll want to head there as soon as possible. If not, check out the locations I have listed as you might be near one when you travel this summer –  it would be a great summertime activity!

We arrived at the theatre and I’ll admit I had a big concern.

Dolby Cinema Reclining Seats

A really big concern.

I spotted the reclining movie seats right away.

In my mind I envisioned relaxing in my theatre seat, reclining back, feet up (yes – just like your favorite recliner at home), lights go dark and……..well, I was worried I’d be so comfortable I might fall asleep.

Ah, but I needn’t fear. Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK Live Action movie was so intense and filled with adventure, that I couldn’t have fallen asleep! Whew!

Dolby Cinema Seat

That said, the chairs were incredible. Reclining is the only way to enjoy a movie – I’m forever spoiled! Because of that,  I’m going to be paying attention to the schedule at AMC Northpark, because there is only one theatre in Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime. (And a heads up, Disney’s THE Jungle Book will only be playing in it for 1 week – so go ASAP)

With buttered popcorn in hand (you do this too, right?), in reclining position, I watched as Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK began to unfold.

Cinematically stunning.

The theatre experience in Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime had certain sound and visual technology to make it extra special. BUT……on top of that, Disney’s use of CGI animation was on a scale I hadn’t seen before. The technology keeps advancing.

The Jungle Book Bagheera

The first thing I noticed – Photorealistic CGI animals! With a movie film like THE JUNGLE BOOK, animals are literally everywhere, in every scene. And those might look like real animals, but they certainly are not. Good thing, as I’d hate to imagine Mowgli being wrapped in Kaa’s coil! Thank goodness that snake is only one scene – I could breathe again! Ha!

From the animals we’ve all grown to love like Baloo to the smallest of jungle animals, a frog who delicately wiped raindrops off its’ face, the animated technology was astounding.

The Jungle Book stampede

But I quickly had another concern.

Pulsating seats.

With seats that pulsate to the movie action, would the seat “jump” the same times that we “jumped” or were in the middle of an intense interaction? After all, I didn’t need my 8-year old freaking out. Or dare I say, her mama?

Never fear. They carefully chose what scenes really let you experience the pulsating seats, and they weren’t scary scenes at all. Two scenes really stand out. The first was a scene where there was a stampede of animals. This was incredible as you could faintly hear and feel the stampede before you could see it. INCREDIBLE. The second was a scene in which ruins came tumbling down in the midst of the jungle.

This changed the way a movie is experienced forever!

The Jungle Book Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime

Those of you who fell in love with Disney’s original animated film will no doubt love this adaptation. There’s more depth. Friendships are deeper. Bad guys are really bad guys (Shere Khan and King Louie, I’m talking about you). Family is everything. And there is more to the story – no spoilers here!

I keep getting asked, “Is it scary?”. Intense is the word I’d use. There are a couple animal fight scenes. Would I have taken my daughter when she was 2 or 3? Probably not, but my 8 year old enjoyed this film immensely. I’ll admit she teared up at the loss of a character, though that loss was not seen on screen. But hey, mama tears up at those as well. Loss is a part of life, and having lost many I love (much too soon), I know these exposures will help her navigate life.

Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime Experience

I’m excited to watch Disney as they navigate this newly chartered course of live action remakes. It brings some of my favorite Disney movies to life in a whole new way.

And thanks to Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime - it’s even better!

Just imagine watching these scenes from THE JUNGLE BOOK with recliners that pulsate to the action……….

Here’s a list of the participating Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime locations where THE JUNGLE BOOK is playing NOW!

Arizona
AMC Desert Ridge 18

California
AMC Burbank 16
AMC Century City 15
AMC NewPark 12

Georgia
AMC North Point Mall 12

Illinois
AMC Hawthorn 12

Missouri
AMC BarryWoods 24

New York
AMC Empire 25

New Jersey
AMC Garden State 16

Nevada
AMC Town Square 18

Texas
AMC Deerbrook 24
AMC Willowbrook 24
AMC NorthPark 15

Virginia
AMC Hampton Town Centre 24

Washington
AMC River Park Square 20

Washington D.C.
AMC Tysons Corner 16

Get Social:

Visit the official THE JUNGLE BOOK website

THE JUNGLE BOOK  in theatres NOW!

P.S. You’ll find a Printable Maze for The Jungle Book here

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New American Girl Mega Bloks Building Sets (Giveaway)

by A Frugal Friend on April 16, 2016

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I can remember the excitement. The year my 8-year old discovered American Girl.

She couldn’t wait for the American Girl catalog to arrive in the mailbox. She would sit there mesmerized by all the American Girl dolls, modern and historical alike. She found things in common with them. With her mommy. With her grandparents.

But then the discovery of the dolls turned to something else entirely, owning her very own American Girl doll. That changed everything.

American Girl dolls are much loved, but you can also enjoy the fun of American Girl with mini-dolls, books, movies and now with something brand new – American Girl Mega Bloks building sets.

American Girl Mega Bloks

Thanks to my friends at American Girl, we received a complimentary American Girl Mega Bloks building set, Saige’s Art Studio, to enjoy.

Now for anyone who is up to speed on American Girl dolls, you’ll know that Saige was one of the American Girl Dolls of the Year. There are several types of dolls. Historical dolls, based on a particular era. Dolls who you can customize to resemble your child (or anyone for that matter). Bitty baby dolls for the smaller kiddos. And the American Girl Dolls of the Year, with a new doll set to be released each January.

These dolls of the year are the ones my daughter has chosen especially to fall in love with. Her first was Isabelle (2014). Her most recent, Grace (2015). So she was over the top excited to get an American Girl Mega Bloks set with a brand new doll, Saige (2013).

Now, let’s take a look at the American Girl Mega Bloks building sets and see why this is a great expansion of the brand!

 

American Girl Mega Bloks Saige's Art Studio

SAIGE

Who she is: A spirited girl whose passions inspire action
Where she lives: Albuquerque, New Mexico, the hot air balloon capital of the world
Favorite activities: Being at her grandma Mimi’s ranch, painting in the studio or riding Picasso the horse
What changes her life: Entering the fourth-grade school year with no arts classes
What she discovers: You can use your imagination to create artwork and inspire action

Like all American Girl dolls, Saige is a role model for all girls with stories and lessons that everyone can learn from.

Saige’s Art Studio is the perfect building set for this American Girl doll. It’s exactly what I would imagine. Plus, the $19.99 price is ideal!

American Girl Mega Bloks Saige

As with the dolls and playsets, these American Girl Mega Bloks are all about the details.

With Saige’s outfit and western boots, I’m getting the New Mexico feel right away. Aren’t those boots adorable?

American Girl Mega Bloks contents

Within each playset you’ll find individual sealed packages of blocks and a booklet of instructions.

NOTE: The sealed packages aren’t in any order. They aren’t numbered, so you can simply open them all up at the same time and pour out to use per the instructions.

American Girl Mega Bloks Blocks

Build time!

American Girl Mega Bloks Instructions

The booklet of instructions is so incredibly helpful with color coded markings so your kids can count and/or look to see where each block goes.

What I LOVE about this booklet of instructions – it’s not just a thin piece of paper which can be easily ripped. This is a bound booklet which will last much longer! Thank you Mega Bloks!

American Girl Mega Bloks Saige's Art Studio Details

The aspects of Saige’s Art Studio are just adorable – from the palette to the paintbrush and canvas.

American Girl Mega Bloks Saige's Art Studio 2

Sink. Towel. Fabric Curtain. Framed Art.

It’s all in the details. It makes you go “ooooh” and “aaaah”!

American Girl Mega Bloks play

But all that matters to me is this little girl’s smile.

She loves her American Girl Mega Bloks set and I have a feeling she’ll be wanting more.

Just check out some of the selection (I think she’s eyeing the American Girl doll sets for the dolls she has – Isabelle and Grace)!

American Girl Mega Bloks Dolls of the Year

The sets range in price from $3.99 to $69.99 and are currently available exclusively at Toys “R” Us in the U.S. and Canada. The line will expand into other U.S. and Canada-based mass retailers starting July 1, 2016.

What do you think?

Now for some extra fun….

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sweet Rewards of Diet Dr Pepper® #SweetFUNd

by A Frugal Friend on April 14, 2016

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It’s springtime in Texas. Bluebonnets are blooming. The scent of freshly mowed grass is in the air.

It’s the perfect time for neighborhood get-togethers. In fact, we are in the middle of planning our first neighborhood barbecue of the year. I’m envisioning hot dogs and hamburgers, potato salad and desserts like mini-trifles in mason jars!

Diet Dr Pepper Sweepstakes

One thing I’ve learned here in Texas…..it isn’t a barbecue without an ice cold Diet Dr Pepper® in hand. Okay, I know it’s not just a Texas (or even a southern thing), but Texans do love their Diet Dr Pepper®. Am I right?

FUN FACT: The Dr Pepper® Museum is located in Waco, Texas!

This week, in anticipation of the big barbecue, I headed to my local Walmart to stock up on essentials like Diet Dr Pepper®. While our guests will certainly be enjoying the sweet rewards of the bubbly drink, there are even more sweet rewards to be had.

Why?

I’m talking about the chance to win with the Diet Dr Pepper® Sweet Spring FUNd Sweepstakes! With small and big prizes available, this is something you won’t want to miss.

Diet Dr Pepper 12 pk

Sweet Spring FUNd

Let’s talk about prizes – you can win anything from a quick $5 Walmart eGift Card instant win scratch off to a $5000 Walmart eGift Card!

How to Play:

If you’re new to the FUNd, sign up with your Facebook account or email address at Sweet Spring FUNd Sweepstakes. Returning Users simply sign in.

Instant Win Game

  • Instant Win Game – Once registered, you immediately have a chance to enter and instantly win a $5 Walmart eGift Card. Check out the Scratch and Play game to discover if you are a winner!
  • There are 250 instant win prizes to be won!
  • You may play the instant win game once. Go ahead and play now!

Sweepstakes Game

  • Upload your Receipt (purchase of any Diet Dr Pepper® item) – it’s super easy. Once uploaded, you will receive a confirmation email!
  • If you are a winner, you will receive another email around May 9th with prize details!
  • Prizes available – $50, $500, or $5000 Walmart e-Gift Cards!
  • You may receive 2 entries daily by entering receipts of the purchase of any Diet Dr Pepper® item.
  • NOTE: If you buy less than $10 in a single receipt, you receive 1 sweepstakes entry. If you buy more than $10 in a single receipt you get 2 sweepstakes entries.

Diet Dr Pepper

So what are you waiting for?

The Sweet Spring FUNd Sweepstakes runs through the end of April. Head on over right now to enter the Instant Win Game and then head to your local Walmart to buy your favorite Diet Dr Pepper® items.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Diet Dr Pepper®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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New Gymboree Newborn Gifts – Adorable!

by A Frugal Friend on April 13, 2016

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Thanks to Gymboree for partnering with me on this sponsored post. Affiliate link.

A new product line has me excited!

Introducing new Gymboree Newborn Gifts!

Okay, I don’t have a baby in the house anymore (insert sad face), but I have a brand new niece who I am about to see for the very first time. A little girl – and our family couldn’t be more excited!

So………I think a little shopping is in order, right?

Gymboree Newborn Gifts

Gymboree is already one of our favorite places to shop. After all, they still have big kid sizes and that means shopping for my 8-year old is super easy. The clothing is always fun, trendy and dare I say, age appropriate! This mom appreciates that. And the sales combined with coupons can’t be beat!

But now I have a new reason to shop there thanks to the new Gymboree Newborn Gifts product line. From the blankets and bibs to my personal favorite, these zoo themed “loveys” to snuggle with, there’s a great selection.

Check out the new line here –>Shop adorable baby gifts for new arrivals at Gymboree!

If you don’t have a coupon, click over and get a pop-up for 15% off your next purchase when you sign up for Gymboree’s emails!

Tell me…..what’s your favorite go-to baby gift?

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