Jun 20, 2016

Biggest 4th of July Fireworks in Dallas / Ft. Worth 2016!

I can't believe the Fourth of July is already upon us! I guess that means it's time to start planning out our Independence Day activities. There's just something great about spending a day with friends and family then ending the evening with a great Fireworks display. We happen to live outside the city limits and our kids enjoy shooting off their own fireworks but if you can't do that (or don't want to spend the $$ doing that) then I have compiled a list of 4th of July celebrations and Fireworks Shows for 2016.

Notice that some celebrations take place on July 3rd and some on July 4th. While admission is free to these events, some will charge for parking so be sure and check out the Details links. Also, if you are attending the events before the fireworks shows, most have food and arts and crafts for sale so you will want to plan for that as well. If you want to be frugal, just go and enjoy the Fireworks shows before they begin!  Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 3rd

The City of Dallas and KLUV's RED WHITE AND BOOM On the Bridge
(FREE) July 3rd, 016
Activities, music and food for the entire family will take place from 5-10pm.Get more information and  Details Here.

Addison Kaboom Town!
(FREE) July 3rd, 2016
Addison Circle Park opens at 4pm. Enjoy music from the 36th Infantry Band and be sure to catch the Air Show. Fireworks begin at 9:30pm.  Get all the Details Here

Light Up Arlington!
(FREE) July 3rd, 2016
Music and activities begin in Downtown Arlington at 6pm and conclude with a Fireworks celebration at 9:45pm. Find directions and Details Here

Southlake Stars and Stripes
(FREE) July 3rd, 2016
This event will be held at the Southlake Town Square. Fun activities for the family begin at 6pm and Fireworks begin at 9:30pm.  Get all the Details Here

Monday, July 4th

Fair Park Fourth Independence Day Celebration:
(FREE) July 4th, 2016
This event will feature fireworks with best seating located within the Cotton Bowl.
Fireworks Show time TBA. Check back HERE for up to date information and more details.

Fort Worth's Fourth at Panther Island Village
(FREE) July 4th, 2016
Parking $10-$20
Billed as the largest 4th of July Fireworks Show in North Texas, this event features live music, food and a free Kid Zone. Gates upon at pm and Fireworks begin at 10pm. Get all the Details here.

Denton Kiwanis Club Fireworks Show
(FREE Admission) $10 Parking      July 4th, 2016
This event is held in Apogee Stadium at UNT and will feature live music, food and kids activities from 6pm - 8pm.  Find out all the Details Here

Granbury Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration
(FREE)  July 4th, 2016
Enjoy festivities on the town square all day long including a Parade at 10am then end your night with Fireworks at 9:45pm. Get all the Details Here

Jun 15, 2016

Eat ~ Play ~ Party at Gatti's Pizza with these Deals!

Summer has decided to make it's entrance here in Texas in the form of heat advisories so that means this mom is looking for some indoor air conditioned fun for the family.  

Gatti's Pizza has Great food, fun games and good family times all under one AIR CONDITIONED roof!   Find an unlimited buffet filled with pizzas, pastas, a full salad bar, desserts and more fill the buffet. So much food! Plus, there's plenty of space to eat with the family in multiple themed dining rooms.

Then it's on to the game room - which is huge! Video/arcade games, Bumper Cars and more! My readers receive these special offers: $10.99 - One Kids buffet, drinks & $10 game card - valid anytime OR $39.99 - 2 adult buffets, 2 kids buffets, drinks, 2 $10 game cards - Valid anytime
http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=11854&dealid=1820 @usfg

Jun 7, 2016

$2.99 Taco Platters at Taco Bueno Today!!

Step out for a frugal meal deal today at Taco Bueno with $2.99 Taco Platters!

Main Event Summer FUNcamps Discounts!

Main Event Summer FUNcamps are the perfect way to beat the summer doldrums! Under the guidance of our amazing camp counselors, our FUNcampers will experience activities full of learning and collaboration with new friends! No sunburns, long lines or sitting in front of the TV - just FUN times and new memories!

FUNcamps are only $29.95 per child, per day BUT pay only $124.95 for the full 5-day session!
FUNcamps booking now!! - Check out Main Event 

HERE for details and discounts!

Dec 7, 2015

Cave Tools Digital Cooking Thermometer Review ~ A Must Have For Holiday Cooking!


I have prepared many meals over the years and read hundreds of labels telling me what the internal temperature of the meat I am cooking should be when it is fully cooked. My approach has been just to pop the meat in the oven and cook it until it “looks done”. Luckily I’ve been a good judge of this and I haven’t given my family food poisioning yet!!

However, when approached by Cave Tools to review their meat thermometer I thought, hey this could be fun to test against my approach to cooking meat, plus my family might even feel a little safer with me in the kitchen preparing their meals!!

Test day finally arrived when it was time to cook the delicious looking ham in my fridge with an expiration date swiftly approaching. Good think I caught a glimpse of this baby buried in the back of the fridge because this mama hates wasting food! This could also be a sign I need to clean my fridge more. Oh, well that is beside the point. On to my review.....

I prepared my ham and cooked it as I normally do and when I thought the ham looked done, I inserted my Cave Tools Meat Thermometer into the meat to give me an internal temperature reading. The thermometer is very well constructed and was very easy to insert into the meat and turn on. In just seconds I had a reading that told me my ham was fully cooked. Easy Peasy!

It really is important to know the internal temperature of the meat your are cooking, especially when it comes to larger meats like ham, turkey or chicken. You want meat to be safe for your family to eat and with the Cave Tools Meat Thermometer you can have that piece of mind. Like I mentioned before, this thermometer is very well constructed and is a great investment! 

Hint..., Hint... This would also make a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer for the friend or family member who is a cooking enthusiast! 

Features I love about the Cave Tools Cooking Thermometer

~ 100% Stainless Steel Design that Is Shatterproof and Waterproof...It Will Not Break.
~ 4-6 Second Read Times So Your Food Never Gets Cold
~ Fits In Your Pocket For Convenient Use and Easy Storage
~ Large Digital Display and Buttons 

Read more about the Cave Tools Digital Cooking Thermometer HERE

Disclaimer: Cave Tools provided me this product for review in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are honest and expressly my very own.

Oct 31, 2015

5 Christmas Traditions to Start With Your Family!

1. Pajama Night: My children and I love Pajama Night when we all grab our favorite pj's and settle in for a fun night of Christmas movies. It is our tradition to gather all the pillows in the house and lay them in the living room floor and get comfy for the annual viewing of ELF! This tradition is so near to my children's hearts that they won't want this particular movie all year long until Pajama Night arrives.
Throw on your pajamas and gather your family together to watch your  favorite Christmas classics!
2. Thrift Shop Treasure: Find a local thrift shop and take the family to pick out that one of a kind treasure to give to a family member or friend. Kids love browsing through thrift stores where everything is unique and they always find something their gift reciepient would never expect to receive. These gifts are really given from the heart because kids tend to take this task seriously when thinking about what gift would be perfect to give. I love seeing the look on my kids faces as they take this gift home to wrap and put under the tree!
3. Baking Memories: One of the yummiest Christmas traditions for my family is making old fashioned cookies and candies to give out to neighbors, family, and friends.  Like us, you may have traditional family recipes that get pulled out every holiday. If not, there is the great world of Pinterest to find some amazing treats that could become your traditional holiday favorites. The possibilities are endless.

Sugar cookies are great because you can cut out all sorts of holiday shapes and decorate any way you please. Just remember when younger kids are involved with this activity the process may get a little messy. Don't worry thought, it is the time spend with them and seeing their excitement during this project that will make a lasting memory. 

4. Giving to Charity: This is probably one of the most important traditions for our family. During the holidays you can find many different charities to give to.

The Salvation Army has their red kettle drive and bell ringers are set up all around the city where you can drop your change in the donation bucket. I always make sure I have extra change in my purse this time of year just for this purpose as well as making sure my kids have a few coins in their pocket for giving. It's amazing how proud children can feel just when giving a few cents. This tradition also helps a child start on their path to giving from the heart. Believe me when I say the spirit of giving will follow them throughout their life when they start early.

The Angel Tree is another thing you will see in malls and stores throughout the holiday season. You can pick an angel to shop for according to their wish list and return the gift to the given location. It can be fun for your child to pick an angel that is similar in age to themselves. There is always fun when shopping for this special child. We also like to pray over our angel throughout holiday season.

Sometimes you may not have the extra funds to buy gifts for an angel because you are struggling yourself. This has happened to us before when my husband or I were out of work but we still wanted our children to have the gift of giving. This is when we would pick out an inexpensive gift and drop it off at a local toy drive.  Personally we bought a few games of Candy Land when on sale for $3! If you plan ahead you can even pick up toys for up to 75% off all throughout the year. Don't miss out on the spirit of giving even if it is something little. For the reciepient it can be a big thing!

5. Christmas Lights: The reason I really love the tradition of driving to see Christmas lights is because it is a really frugal activity and the kids love it! Do you have that one house in the neighborhood who goes all out on their Christmas light display? We do and it is a must see every year! A great idea is to wrap up a small inexpensive gift for your child and allow them to open it during your drive to see the lights. We like to pack a festive basket of goodies and a thermos of hot chocolate when we go. Just a little tip we like to use.... I purchase the Styrofoam coffee cups at the dollar store with the lids. It's like Starbucks but well, you know, much cheaper!

There are literally a ton of Christmas tradition ideas on the internet. I've had fun sharing some of our family favorites with you, but no matter what traditions you begin, just know they will hold a lifetime of memories for your family.

Oct 30, 2015

Carlsbad Caverns ~ Carlsbad, New Mexico

Our home happens to be in the DFW area of Texas but as so many families experience, my husband works during the week out of town to provide a comfortable living for us. (Thanks Honey!) While most weekends he comes home, sometimes we head to visit him and experience all the fun sights and attractions near his work home.

Since he is located about 90 miles from the Texas/New Mexico border we decided to take on a day of adventure to Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Plus the fact that we were entering a new time zone really had my son excited. It's the little things for him I guess but hey, whatever makes the trip more exciting is just fine with me!

It is the time of year now where it goes from hot in DFW to downright cool out west. As a fan of cooler weather, this was exciting for me. Well, maybe my son and I are alike. It's the little things that get me excited too. Hmmm....

Okay, okay I promise I'm getting to the good stuff.

Each year Carlsbad Caverns plays host to around 300,000 visitors. Located about 27 miles from the city of Carlsbad, the caverns lie in the Guadalupe Mountains just beneath the Chihuahuan Desert. The drive into the park was absolutely beautiful!

When we arrived at the visitors center we purchased our tickets and were given the option to walk into the entrance of the cave via the Natural Entrance Trail which is a steep 1 1/4 mile descent (equivalent to 79 stories) or take the elevator down. We chose to take the elevator and leave the all the descending to the adventurers!  Once we exited the elevator and were inside the cave, our exploration began.
Carlsbad Caverns offers several guided options which range from walking on paved trails to walking rough dirt trails and even crawling through narrow cave passages. For us personally, we decided it was best to take the self-guided tour through the 1 /1/4 trail. This allowed us to take our time and enjoy our surroundings. Inside the cave it stays a constant 56 degrees Fareinheit so be sure to bring along a light jacket or hoodie. It is also best to wear a comfortable pair of shoes (flip-flops not recommended).
We have visited a few caves in Texas before but I was impressed as soon as we set foot inside Carlsbad Caverns. The size of the cave is quite magnificient! It still boggles my mind that a treasure like this is just underneath the desert surface. There are more than 119 known limestone caves within the park all created by sulfuric acid. This is different than most limestone caves that normally are formed with carbonic acid. That is just one interesting fact we learned but there is so much more to this cave. The speleothems were really awesome to see. If you have a little aspiring geologist, they will love making a visit to Carlsbad Caverns.
As I mentioned earlier, be sure to take a jacket and wear a comfortable pair of shoes. Small children may get tired along this journey of over a mile, but there are short-cuts and even bathroom facilities inside the cave. There is also an underground cafĂ© in case you get hungry. Just remember that you can't take food with you while walking inside the cave.  You can plan your trip and learn more about Carlsbad Caverns HERE.
Have fun on your visit!