Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A couple of things to think about...

Just a note... It looks like today is the last day to register for this, and I know it's a little pricey, but hey... you'll get some Christmas shopping done (or a lovely dinner out with your spouse) AND the kids'll have a great time and maybe learn some stuff!
Shop, Dine or just Play while we watch your children.
During the upcoming holiday season we are offering your children, ages 4-14 years, an engaging and educational evening of zoo programs from 5:30 – 9 p.m. so that you can do some holiday shopping, dine out “kid free” or simply enjoy some parental play time. A great opportunity your children to get some “Zoo Time” and enjoy a fun filled-evening featuring Zoo animals, arts and craft activities, and snacks. Just bring your kids to the Zoo (4 day advanced RSVP required) and we promise they will have the wildest time of their week.
Zoo Time
Friday, December 19, 2008
Cost: $40 per child
Time: 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Ok, on to another quickie... I had the opportunity one day last week to do one of those "random acts of kindness" things, and I won't go into all the details, but it was a ball of fun, AND it presented itself when I had the kids with me. Which, in turn, gave me the opportunity to explain to them the joy in doing these little deeds. We had a blast giggling and peeking at the unsuspecting recipient. We've also done a food collection for both Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and they loved picking out things they liked to pass on to other families. Tis the season to take into account all those people out there that are struggling and only want to have a few smiles themselves for the holidays, and more importantly, see smiles on the faces of children in their lives. It doesn't take much to make a difference....and the joy you'll feel and pass on to your children is priceless.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More FREE stuff to do!

We love the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia; it's such an interesting place to roam through, with changing exhibits, a student gallery, and great gift shop.  Here's a free event going on this weekend! 

Family Fest! 
Sunday, December 14th  2-4pm 
Join the Contemporary Art Center for a FREE family event and create artworks inspired by their fall exhibition "Johnston Foster: Altered Beast." His sculptural installations are created from scavenged, recycled, and redefined materials to form Pop-Art-inspired animals and people.  Families will create fun sculptural characters from recycled and found objects and join the arts in thinking about how the found objects can be turned into art and the importance of recycling for the environment.   
Hands-on art activities
Scavenger Hunts 
Fun for the whole family! 

Monday, December 8, 2008

ahh... the memories....

The Courthouse Galleries kick-off the holiday season with Winter Wonderland, displays from the popular Coleman Nursery Collection that became a tradition for families from across the Hampton Roads region and beyond. The collection began in the mid-1960s when owner, A. J. “Junie” Lancaster purchased a single “Sleeping Santa.” Each year, the scenes have grown and changed as more figures are restored and new ones are added. Join us this holiday season and share the memories with your family and friends. Santa has made a few changes to his first floor workshop this year. Watch as his elves try to decorate the revolving Christmas tree. They seem to get more lights on themselves than on the tree! You can peek out of the windows of the shop and see animals of all types as they come right to Santa’s door to be fed and receive treats from the elves including apples, hay, carrots – a variety of goodies for a variety of animals. On the second floor more children revel in the joys of the outdoors, from snowmen and carolers to sledders who join skaters for a day of fun in the snow.New international figures sing holiday songs with their friends from around the world as they frolic in the outdoor gazebo.
Wednesday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday, Noon - 8 p.m.• Christmas Eve - New Year's Eve, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed Monday, Tuesday and Christmas Day

Admission: $2 for adults; $1 for children 2-17; 2 and under free
For Group Reservations please call 757-393-8983

Friday, December 5, 2008

If you have a slot of time....

We don't; every single minute of this weekend is jam-packed with some holiday-related event (I'm already exhausted) but just in case YOU are looking for some fun things to do this weekend... here goes. You're welcome. :)

Tonight: (December 5th)
HollyDazzle !
6pm-9pm at City Center on Jefferson Ave. in Newport News.
This unique holiday event combines fireworks, special effects, and music in a spectacular show presented in the round on the Fountain Plaza. Also, food, music, and free children's activities!

Saturday (December 6th)
Storytime with Santa!
2pm at Barnes & Noble on Greenbrier Pkwy. in Chesapeake
Bring your camera to take a photo with Santa. Musical performances, too, from the Ocean Lake High School chorus.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

There'll be smiles all around!

Holiday Parade at the Beach
December 6, 2008
15th Street to 25th Street along Atlantic Avenue
Celebrate the holiday season with the 14th Annual Holiday Parade at the Beach, coming to the Virginia Beach oceanfront Saturday, December 6th. Helping to make this year's edition of this Hampton Roads holiday tradition the best ever will be giant balloons, marching bands, lighted floats, antique autos, decorated fire trucks, and even Santa himself arriving on his own special lighted float! Over 20,000 spectators line the street for the event that “officially” begins the holiday season at the Virginia Beach Resort.
The Holiday Parade at the Beach steps off at 5:30pm, traveling north from 15th Street to 25th Street along Atlantic Avenue. With marching bands from area schools and some of the most creative and festive floats to be featured in a local parade, be prepared for an evening of spectacle guaranteed to dazzle and delight!
The rain date for the parade, is Sunday, December 7.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Handprints make the cutest crafts!

It's free, it's fun, and it's priceless!!  
One of my favorite things to do with the kids is to make stuff out of their hand/foot/thumb prints... all you need is some paint, some time, and plenty of imagination...
Here's a couple of ideas to get you started for Christmas... 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

You know why I like taking the kids to hockey games?

Because it's SOO loud in there, it matters not how boisterously they screech. And now, it's even cheaper to take the whole family to see some great ice hockey and eat some yummy concessions. It's the Norfolk Admirals Family Fun Packs!
Admirals Family Fun Packs include four Red Level tickets, four hot dogs, four popcorns and four sodas for only $48. That is a savings of $37! This great deal is offered for all Wednesday and Thursday night home games at Norfolk Scope. Get your tickets and Family Fun Packs at the Scope Box office or at Ticketmaster locations.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Put 'em to work!

My kids absolutely love this.... it's the Home Depot Kids Workshop! 
Just stop by any Home Depot on the first Saturday of each month, between the hours of 9am and noon for a FREE clinic and craft!  We've made toolboxes, mail organizers, flower pots, birdhouses, picture frames and so much more ~ many of them perfect for gifts!  In addition to the project kid, each child receives a certificate, achievement pin, and kid-sized orange apron!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Did you know?

From Good Housekeeping Magazine:
CFL bulbs work best in rooms where they'll be left on for at least 15 minutes. Frequent on-and-off (say, in a closet, bathroom, or pantry) can shorten bulb life, so the replacement cost can outweigh energy savings.

Also, here's a link to an article about recycling those CFL's locally....

Go for a lighted walk!

Put on your walking shoes and see McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach!
For one night only on Thursday, November 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m. you can walk through the lights at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Families can make a $5 donation benefiting Ronald McDonald House. What a great way to kick off the holiday season!
The walk is a little over two miles. Park at 2nd Street (the very end of Atlantic Avenue) and walk to 33rd Street. They'll have a bus at the end to take you back to your car. Ronald McDonald will even be there to meet and greet your family!

The drive-thru opening of Holiday Lights at the Beach is Friday, Nov. 21.

Monday, November 17, 2008

They'll clean up the mess FOR YOU!!!

Paint Days at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News
Date? Tuesday and Thursdays, 10am - 4pm
Cost? Always free to Pfac Members, included with Pfac admission for non-members
What? Paints, easels, paper and smocks provided. Let the kids get creative and we'll clean up the mess.
More info? 596-8175

Friday, November 14, 2008


Because I got so many questions about this, from listeners to FaceBook friends... here it is:
Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 can pumpkin pie filling
4 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice OR 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. cloves
1 can evaporated milk
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
Mix pumpkin, eggs, sugar, spice, and milk in large bowl. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle the yellow cake mix on top. Melt butter and pour over dry cake mix. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve (warm!) plain or topped with whipped cream, or even crushed pecans….
Thanks to Julie for passing it on, and to Google Images for the photo!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a Thanksgiving craft and bonus coupon!

This is a craft we did with both kids last year; I think it was actually at Carly's birthday party... we just traced around their hands onto scrapbooking paper (which, by the way, are on sale at Michael's now: 4 for $1) or construction paper in fall-ish colors.  Then just fan them out (we put little Nicholas' on top, since his are obviously smaller) and glue them on a piece of cardboard cut into a donut-shape.  Add a ribbon for the bottom and one at the top for a hanger and you're done! So cute to hang on a doorknob, or somewhere in the kitchen, maybe to remind you to 'give thanks' for all our blessings.  

Oh, AND, if you're interested.... The Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy are having their Friends and Family Event Nov. 13th to Nov. 16th.  I have the 30% off coupon if you're interested.... I can email it to you!  Some restrictions apply; also... for every purchase you make, they'll donate 5% of the amount to charity.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Safety First

Representatives from the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office will be at the library to issue free identification cards for children on a first-come, first-served basis.  
Ages: birth- 18 years 
10am -Noon at the South Rosemont Library 
1503 Competitor Court, Virginia Beach  385-2650 

more free chicken nuggets and fries!

My kids love weird stuff like actual veggies and sushi... but if you've got kids that love those kid's meals... here's one for you: Come in to any Atlas Grill and Bar on Wednesdays, and get a free kids meal for every adult entree purchased!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shop AND save!

This holiday season Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads is partnering with Lynnhaven Mall to bring you exclusive savings from your favorite retailers; just in time for holiday shopping!

1) Visit www.thegivingspree.comand find your local mall and select Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads. 2) Make a secure online donation of at least $5.00 by November 14, 2008. Each donation is 100% tax deductible and 100% of your donation benefits Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads3) Receive a list of exclusive offers from your favorite retailers that are only available on a special shopping day; November 15th, 2008 at Lynnhaven Mall.

And there's more at www.thegivingspree.com, you can get gift giving advice, sign up for an online holiday organization tool and even send hints to others about what you would like to receive this year!

Remember, the more, the merrier! Pass this information about www.thegivingspree.com to your friends and family.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Easy and quick... I like!

Here's a meal that's become a favorite in our household... I can literally make it in about 3 minutes, pop it in the oven and DONE! 
Toss some frozen peas or green beans in the microwave and it's a great meal!! 

Pork Chops with apples and stuffing 

1 pkg. (6 oz) Stove Top stuffing 
1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling
6 boneless pork loin chops (1 1/2 lb) 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare stuffing as directed on package. 
Spread pie filling onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed wtih cooking spray; top with chops and stuffing.  Cover with foil. 
Bake 30 minutes; uncover.  Bake an additional 10 min. or until chops are cooked through (160 degrees). 

Now, I personally used the "low sugar" can of apple filling (mainly to try and make up for all the Halloween candy the kids are still devouring) and it was great; plenty sweet and you don't need to add any other seasonings or anything because the stuffing is just jam-packed with delicious flavor.....  I'd use Stove Top at every meal if I could.  It's just fluffy perfection.... 

Ten lucky FARM FRESH® customers will win FREE gas for a year!
What: Free GAS Giveaway - FARM FRESH will be giving away 10 gallons of gas per week for 52 weeks to 10 lucky customers.
When: Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 10:00AM
Where: FARM FRESH Store #911
2058 S. Independence Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Why: FARM FRESH understands the strain high gas prices have had on our customers; this is a great way to thank our loyal customers who continue to choose FARM FRESH as their supermarket and fuel center of choice.
And: Winners do not need to be present to win. All winners will be notified by a FARM FRESH representative.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let them express themselves on something other than the good furniture!

This is something I used to do with my kids every month; it's fun and educational for both kids AND parents, they get a story, gallery tour, creative movement exercise, and they make the cutest little creations to take home.

Pre-K Art Days at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia ~ for ages 3-5
220 Parks Ave, Va Beach, VA 23451 425-0000 x 23
(registration required ahead of time)

Third Thursday of each month 10am-11am
$5 for CAC members, $7 for non-members

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What's better than going out to eat and NOT paying for the kiddos? I know, it would be better if they would actually behave and not throw food, or cause a scene when told they can't have dessert, right? Well, here's a deal. Family-friendly Friendly's restaurants offers "Kids Eat Free" Tuesdays, every Tuesday after 4pm. That means one free kids meal for every adult entree purchased. AND if they're good? Maybe we could let 'em have a sundae just this once.... There are plenty of "Kids Eat Free" deals out there; I'll be posting them in the coming days and weeks. If YOU see one advertised, let me know!

While I'm at it....here's a link to a $20 Office Depot coupon, valid if you spend $75... the only thing is there's a laundry list of exclusions; #4 I really take exception to, but anyway. I have managed to come up with something I need for a Christmas gift that seems to fall outside all those limitations. It expires on Nov. 15th... enjoy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tacky the Penguin!

Here's something fun!  My kids love Tacky the Penguin...he's an "odd bird who marches to the beat of his own drum", a lovable character created by author Helen Lester and she's bringing all the fun to Norfolk Public Libraries through November 8th. Bring your camera and enjoy the storytimes!  Here's a link to the dates, times and locations.... 

Under $2 bucks!

Over the weekend we saw several gas stations around selling regular for $1.99.... and the minivan needs a fill up!  So this morning I went to a handy little website where you can enter your zip code and find the cheapest gas prices around.  How handy!  Bookmark it and never wonder if you're getting the best deal... even when you're traveling!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We're up and running!  Wave Savers is the spot to bookmark for your (hopefully) daily ideas for saving time and money.... We'd love to hear from you, too; so just send your comments along with ideas and tips from your family!  
So, that being said... what better way to start than to post an event coming up that I'm sure all young kids will love.... The Wiggles!!  
Yep, Murray, Jeff, Sam, and Anthony are coming to town! They'll be at the Hampton Colisuem on Thursday, Nov. 6th at 6:30pm.  Tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, or you can win great tickets this week on the Morning Wave!