Deal Alert: 20% Clearance Kid’s Clothes at #Target w/Cartwheel App!

Hey friends- just jumped on here to let you know that it’s a great time to check out kid’s clothing on clearance at Target. The Target Cartwheel App is offering 20% off clearance prices on kid’s clothing now through Saturday, July 25th. Just add the offer to your app and show it at the register when you check out.

Check out my post about how to use the Target Cartwheel app here.



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My DIY Distressed Couch Project!

old couch

The wooden sleeper couch pictured above was given to my husband and I the first year we were married. It was in good used condition ten years ago and has had lots of use since then! It is solid wood and VERY heavy. Nevertheless, we have moved it with us everywhere we’ve been: four states in ten years! My husband has been after me to get rid of it, but I just haven’t been able to let it go. Yes, it’s worn, but it sure is handy when we have overnight guests, and…we own it! I didn’t want to have to replace it.


Our solution: the old couch had to be painted. My inspiration was a “media stand” (formerly a dresser) painted and distressed by a local gal. She painted the dresser pictured below in flat Country White (purchased at Walmart).


Media Stand


We moved the heavy couch outside and I began sanding it with an orbital sander. The sander made the job much quicker than I was expecting! Still, it took a solid hour to prep the wood for painting.



With the sanding done, we moved the couch back inside (for some reason I didn’t feel like painting in 98 degree weather!) It took me a few hours and two coats to get the job done. Not gonna lie- it’s a bit of work, but so worth it!




Here is the couch with two coats of paint. It looks fine, but it’s going to look much better with a bit of distressing…


painted couch


With the painting done, we worked together to do the “distressing.”  The orbital sander came in very handy again.  Total time spent on the distressing was about one hour.




The couch is done! I love it and can hardly believe it’s the same piece. The white obviously lightens the couch, and the distressing matches the media stand on the opposite wall.


distressed couch


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No more dark, dated couch on my gallery wall! What a fun, fresh look! I love it, and the best part? It only cost me $10.94 – the cost of the paint!


new couch

See more of my fun, low-cost DIY projects in our “new” home here.


#Dragons, Sidewalk Chalk and Banana Splits #StreamTeam

Netflix Logo Update 2014

I am loving this summer and all the adventures we are enjoying with our boys. My husband and I were recently talking about how much work and planning are involved in creating special memories for our children. These things don’t just happen on their own! The fun memories from our family vacations and camping trips will hopefully stick with our boys for years to come, but those memories are created through quite a bit of effort!

Some special memories are created with much more ease, and I’m going to share a few of those with you today.


Banana Split

Banana Splits

I think food is often connected to fun memories- especially for boys! My boys have a big-time sweet tooth, but we don’t enjoy ice cream every day. Today, as my two oldest were playing a game of Monopoly, I decided to surprise them with banana splits. Yum! Fun summer memory created…check!

Dragons Race to the Edge, Netflix

 Dragons: Race to the Edge!

Last week we had a fun surprise show up at our door! In honor of their new original series, Dragons: Race to the Edge, Netflix sent us some Hiccup and Toothless goodies!!

As Hiccup and Toothless soar beyond their home on the island of Berk in search of new dragons, Dragons: Race to the Edge introduces some of the most exciting dragons yet, each with its own amazing abilities — shock waves, cannon balls and fire blasts, just to name a few.

Get a sneak peak by clicking the video below!

Dragons: Race to the Edge; Netflix original


Sidewalk Chalk…

Armed with their new costumes and sidewalk chalk, the boys headed out to the driveway to create some pictures of the city of Berk, Hiccup and Toothless. I love the creativity!

Dragons Race to the Edge, Netflix

Dragons Race to the Edge, Netflix

Dragons Race to the Edge, Netflix


Dragons and Pizza!

So, I have to confess that my guys had never seen How to Train Your Dragon, but thankfully, How to Train your Dragon 2 is streaming on Netflix! So we had a pizza party and watched it together as a family for the first time! Our two year old even watched every second, and growled ferociously (followed by giggles) every time a dragon roared. More fun memories…thanks, Netflix!

Here are some pictures of our Dragon pizza party!

(Pardon the flooring samples…we are getting ready to put wood flooring in our den!)

Dragons: Race to the Edge; How to Train Your Dragon 2

  Dragons: Race to the Edge; How to Train Your Dragon 2

Dragons: Race to the Edge; How to Train Your Dragon 2

Dragons: Race to the Edge; How to Train Your Dragon 2



What have you been streaming on Netflix this summer? I would love to hear from you!



Note: As part of the Netflix Stream Team I am given movie suggestions, crafts, and recipes each month, as well as a complimentary subscription. This does not affect my opinion in any way. I have enjoyed Netflix as a frugal family entertainment option for years prior to joining the Stream Team.



Free Samples! Post-it, Protein Bar, Color Lover Shampoo & MORE!

Just had a heads up about these samples, coupons and sweepstakes and thought I’d pass them along. I’m going to order up these samples for sure!




Free Framesi Color Lover Shampoo & Conditioner Sample

Request 3 Free Sample Packets of 2 Minute Miracle Gel

Free Sample Kit with Tena Skin-Caring Wash Cream & Tena Wipes

Free Post-it Brand Office Insider Kit Giveaway

Order a Free Premier Protein Bar or Shake!


Renuzit Pearl Scents – Free After Coupon at Kmart!

Win $500 Cash and a Coupon for a Free Game of Bowling

Win a Year Suppy of Lamb Products & BBQ Grill + Coupon!


Mars Chocolate Road Trip Game – 1 Million Prizes Givenaway!

Win an iPhone 6 Gold 128GB

Win a trip Montreal or Vermont & 100’s of Instant Win Prizes

Win a 5 day Trip to Orlando, FL & Theme Park Tickets

Win a KitchenAid Mixer or a Rodelle Gift Basket

Retail Coupon Roundup (Crafter’s- Lots for You!)


Here is a roundup of printable retail coupons for the weekend. Be sure to check this list before you head out to shop!

More retail coupons:

Bealls – 25% Off Up to 2 Single Items (exp: 6/30/2015)
Big 5 Sporting Goods – 25% Off Regularly Priced or 10% Off Sale Priced Camping Gear + More (exp: 6/27/2015)
Bonton – $25 Off $50 Regular & Sale Price Ladies Swimwear Purchase (exp: 6/27/2015)
Carsons – $25 Off $50 Regular & Sale Price Ladies Swimwear Purchase (exp: 6/27/2015)
Dress Barn – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 7/7/2015)
Hancock Fabrics – 40% Off 1 Regularly Priced Fabric Item (exp: 7/1/2015)
Hobby Lobby – 40% Off 1 Regularly Priced Item (exp: 6/27/2015)
JoAnn – 50% Off 1 Regularly Priced Item (exp: 6/27/2015)
Lord and Taylor – 20% Off Regular, Sale, Clearance Purchases (exp: 6/30/2015)
Staples – FREE 5 lb. of Shredding (exp: 12/31/2015)


Thanks, Surviving the Stores!


Deal Alert! 75% off Online Backup for Computer Files: $14.88

IDrive Banner


If you’re anything like me, you probably still have a desktop or laptop with lots of pictures and important files you use on a regular basis. It would be absolutely devastating to lose my files due to a hard drive failure or some other accident. For several years I have kept an online backup account to protect me against that kind of loss, and one year it came in VERY handy as my computer crashed! In addition to the protection, I love that I can access my important files through the internet when I am away from home. Such an awesome convenience!


This year I decided to give IDrive a try and I am very pleased with them. I was signed up and my files were backed up in less than five minutes! IDrive is one of the top options for online backup, and it is super easy to use. Your data is encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption and transfer and storage, which is military grade encryption. You can also set your privacy to the highest level by creating a private key for your account during signup. Read more about our security features here.

Idrive banner 3

Right now I am able to offer my readers a special deal: 75% off the first year of IDrive online backup service: $14.88 for 1TB of space! Wow- this service is normally $59.50! That’s a great savings.


Whether you need online backup for personal use or for your business, IDrive is truly one of the best deals you will find for online backup, and I encourage you to check it out! Read more and sign up here, and check out the PC Mag Editor’s Choice for online backup.


Idrive banner 2


Old-School Classics Rebooted + Netflix Title Suggestions! #StreamTeam

Netflix Logo Update 2014


Have you noticed how many old-school classics are once again more popular than ever? And new reboots such as the Netflix original series Inspector Gadget and Danger Mouse are introducing a whole new generation to some of our most favorite characters!

I enjoyed the zainy Inspector Gadget years ago, so it’s been fun to hear the giggles coming from my boys as they check out the new and improved Inspector Gadget on Netflix!

Summers are HOT where we live, so we usually end up spending some of our afternoons in the air conditioning exploring on Netflix. One recent exploration was especially exciting as we discovered that Little Einsteins is now stream on Netflix! YAY! All three of my boys (yes, even my seven-year-old) are captivated by this fun and educational show. I LOVE the classical music introduced in each episode.


Little Einsteins


But, back to the old favorites… 🙂


My husband and I occasionally have the urge to watch a very old favorite (which, I’m happy to say is on Netflix!):  Murder She Wrote. I just love Angela Lansbury, and the early 90’s outfits and hairstyles always make me smile.

Have you ever browsed through the Classics section on Netflix? Oh. My. Yes, some of them throw WAY back, but they are SO good! The Longest Day, High Noon, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, and Charade are just a few of my favs. I still need to introduce my hubby to a few of these!


Here are some throwbacks you might share with the family:


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Inspector Gadget

Danger Mouse 

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends


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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

The Magic School Bus

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That



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Garfield and Friends

The Super Mario Bros Super Show!

Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated


What throwbacks have you been enjoying on Netflix recently? I would love to hear from you!



Note: As part of the Netflix Stream Team I am given movie suggestions, crafts, and recipes each month, as well as a complimentary subscription. This does not affect my opinion in any way. I have enjoyed Netflix as a frugal family entertainment option for years prior to joining the Stream Team.




One Easy Tool I Use to Fight Inflation



My husband and I have recently been talking about how much the cost of living has risen in the past few years. I remember reading an article back in 2010 that warned of major inflation in 2014. Yep. It happened.


We fight hard to keep our cost of living down. I actually treat it like a part-time job. After all, you don’t pay taxes on the money you SAVE- only on the money you MAKE! So, if I save our family $10,000 or more a year on our expenses, it’s just as if I worked a part-time job! I spend 2-3 hours a week working to help our family save money, and we do! I save us at least $10,000 a year between all of our spending categories! Not a bad return on 2-3 hours a week.


Coupons help me save and stretch our family’s income as thin as possible. I stack coupons with weekly sales at the grocery store to save a ton, and I try to never buy anything online without a coupon or promo code. It’s easy to forget to use coupons when shopping online, but if you have a great resource to help you do it, it’s a cinch!


Take a look at an example of just a few of the coupon codes available online today:




My favorite coupon today is one from Target.

Up & Up products at Target are already a great buy, but paired with this coupon, they stretch your dollar even more! Check it out:


Target up and up

Yes, inflation is crazy.

But you can keep things a little more reasonable by committing to avoid paying full price whenever possible. Use the online resources that are right at your fingertips and see how much you can save!




Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day


This picture moved me so much today. I’m incredibly grateful for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. Thank you, military families!


40 Years of Family + 10 Netflix title suggestions! #StreamTeam

Netflix Logo Update 2014

This July my parents celebrate 40 years of marriage. I am so excited for them- and for our whole family!


I have been incredibly blessed to have parents who instilled in me a love for my family. Growing up, my parents spent time teaching my siblings and I how to get along, reminding us that, “When you’re older, we want you to be each other’s best friends, so let’s get along now!”

My parents worked hard to create special family memories for us, including trips to Disneyland in California, cabin vacations at our favorite spot in northern Wisconsin, camping and fishing trips, singing with my dad playing the guitar around the campfire in our backyard, and so much more.

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My parents also thoughtfully created family traditions like Friday night movie night, Saturday morning cinnamon rolls, family devotions, the Christmas morning line-up, going to the 4th of July parade, and yes- the long, outdoor work day every Labor Day. 🙂


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As a parent with three little boys of my own, I now realize that a TON of planning, effort, time and money was required of my parents to pull off all of these memories and traditions! I am incredibly grateful. And I also find myself working hard to create the same gifts of memories and traditions for my sons.


Creating some Disneyland memories with our boys...

Creating some Disneyland memories with our boys…



Movies are a fun part of the memories my family and I share. Correct and timely usage of a, “well-placed quote” is always a cause for a good laugh. My parents occasionally called an, “all movie quote” family dinner. The only conversation allowed was movie quotes. Oh…the hilarity and uproarious laughter that ensued!!


Another tradition learned from my mom- beautiful table decorations and place cards for everyone on special occasions!

Another tradition learned from my mom- beautiful table decorations and place cards for everyone on special occasions!


There are so many awesome family movies on Netflix. I especially love the ones tied to family memories for me. Here is a list of a few of those favorites. Just click the link to watch them (if you have a Netflix account!)


Hunt for the Red October

  1. The Hunt for the Red October – oh. my. goodness. sean. connery!!!! MOST QUOTED family favorite!
  2. The Quiet Man – St. Patty’s Day favorite! Love John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara together. MOST QUOTED family favorite!
  3. The Emporer’s New Groove – MOST QUOTED family favorite!! LOVE it! Never tire of watching it.
  4. CharadeHitchcock mystery; Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn…again, you can’t go wrong with these stars!
  5. While You Were Sleeping – All-time favorite for my mom, sisters and me! Sandra Bullock is awesome in this one…
  6. Cheaper by the Dozen – Always loved this older flick, especially as the oldest of eight children. Myrna Loy is wonderful…
  7. I.Q. – Definite favorite of the whole fam; absolutely adorable! Love Walter Matthau in this one!
  8. The Man from Snowy River – We grew up riding my grandfather’s horses, so this was always a huge hit.
  9. Robin Hood– So many memories from watching this as a child. We had to rent the VHS player from the video store in those days…
  10. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – awesome quotes, Dick Van Dyke at his best, and so much more. Love this movie!


Robin Hood


I really could go on and on with family favorite; there are so many! What are some of your favorites tied to family memories?


Here is a list of some new titles you’ll want to check out on Netflix!


New on Netflix for Kids and Families

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Puss in Boots
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1. All Hail King Julien (new episodes 4/3)
2. Littlest Pet Shop: Season 3 (4/21)
3. Lalaloopsy: Festival of Sugary Sweets (5/2)
4. Puss in Boots (new episodes 5/8)
5. H20 Mermaid Adventures (5/22)
6. Richie Rich: Season 2 (5/22)
7. Mako Mermaids: Season 3 (5/29)


What have you been streaming on Netflix recently? I would love to hear from you!



Note: As part of the Netflix Stream Team I am given movie suggestions, crafts, and recipes each month, as well as a complimentary subscription. This does not affect my opinion in any way. I have enjoyed Netflix as a frugal family entertainment option for years prior to joining the Stream Team.



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