Archive for April, 2010

Freebie Friday: April 30, 2010

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Happy Freebie Friday!! We are thankful to have Freebies 4 Mom share their list of the best freebies of the week with our readers each and every Friday. Please be sure to visit Freebies 4 Mom for all of the latest freebies, coupons, sweeps, and ideas for how to stretch your dollar. Heather also has another $300 Apple gift card giveaway this week that you won’t want to miss!

Over here at MomAdvice, we have a huge Mother’s Day giveaway for our special readers. We are giving away a Flip SlideHD (valued at $279.99) to one lucky mama! This week we are sharing our recipe for the perfect margarita with the most perfectly marinated shrimp ever, our giveaway link list (with 190 giveaways!), our adventures in not sorting laundry, and a notebook filled with ideas.

We have also ramped up the MomAdvice Facebook Page with a ton of added value to our readers. Each day we are highlighting one or two sites that will make your life a little easier. You can get sneak peeks into contests, start discussions with other members, and see all of the latest posts,  or make suggestions for things you would like to see.

Health & Beauty

Eucerin lotion
Pantene Pro-V (Sam’s Club)
Aveda Hand Relief (at Aveda salons)
Gillette ProGlide (Facebook)


Orville Redenbacher Popcorn (Kroger)
IHOP Kids Eat Free

PGA Free Golf Lesson
Shutterfly 60 Free Prints
Thumb Socks
Walmart Free MP3 Downloads


$10 off $10 Naturalizer coupon
Lane Bryant panty
BJ’s 60-Day Trial Membership
Bounty Paper Towels (Sam’s Club members)
Earthbound Farm Free Reusable Bag
Breyers Summer to Remember House Party
Ball Fresh Taste of Summer House Party
Gerber Generation Celebration House Party
Hasbro Game Night House Party
French Cocktail Hour House Party
McDonalds McNuggets and Shrek House Party

Upcoming Freebie Events:
Please call your local store or restaurant to confirm they are participating in these freebie events


PGA Free Golf Lesson Month1-Free Comic Book Day
1-2 – Museums on Us (Bank of America)
1 – Lakeshore Learning Craft make a sun visor 11-3pm
1 –  Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic make a school house 10-11am
1 – The Home Depot Kids Workshop make a picket fence planter 9-12pm
3 – 50 Days of Free Disney Music
4 – Michaels Free Mother’s Day Clay Pot 6-8pm
8 –  Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic make a trellis planter 10-11am
8 – Michaels Free Mother’s Day Card 10-12pm
8 – Michaels Wilton Cookie Event 12-1pm
9 – TCBY Free Frozen Yogurt for Mom
29 – Michaels American Girl Craft Flower Card 10-1pm
29 – Michaels Free Summer Tote 10-1pm

Board Game Recommendations

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

As my children get older and the years go by, we seem to be continually adding to our board game collection. I love board games because it is one way to bring us all together and focus on aspects of teamwork and family that we really need to focus our efforts on.

The calendar seems to be overflowing with activities as my kids get older and these commitments can sometimes pull us away from each other. I remember my own parents enforcing a strict Family Night on our calendar each week where we were not allowed to go anywhere or do anything except spend a night together as a family. Our night together included fun food and a great sitcom. There may have been weeks I acted as though I resented it, particularly in those middle school years, but now I look back on that time together fondly. It was important and essential to our parents and I looked forward to it just as much as they did.

To paraphrase Iron Chef, “Board games reign supreme,” in our house. Family nights usually include a homemade pizza, a board game, and a fun family movie together. We all look forward to it and I love sharing these precious moments with my children.

Board games not only help promote togetherness with our children, but also togetherness as a couple. A board game with your spouse is the ultimate in frugal date night activities and I can think of no better way to spend an evening together than dusting off an old board game and just being kids again!

I try to get our board games at our local thrift store because it is a great way for me to try them out without making a huge investment. Sometimes I buy games and we discover that it isn’t something we would want to play over and over again. When they cost us only $1.50, it makes it much easier to donate it back and try something else out.

Starting your own game collection does not have to be expensive. If you don’t have somewhere that you can buy them secondhand, ask for these as a family Christmas gift or ask for them for your children as birthday gifts. Some of the best childhood games are Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Memory, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Life, and Clue.

However you decide to start your game collection, I encourage you to start one. While board games may now feel retro compared to the great electronic offerings like the Wii and Xbox, that nostalgia for your old childhood favorites can never be replaced!

Fun Games to Get Your Collection Started!

Twister Hopscotch– Twister Hopscotch is a great game to keep in your collection for rainy days because it is still a physical activity, but can be done indoors instead of out. The game consists of different colors of rings that can be made into a formation. Just like regular old Twister, you give it a spin to figure out your color, hop to your circle, and then do the required “silly” activity… at least I think this is the rules. In our family, we hand the kids the box and let them discover whatever it is they would like to create or do. It is a great game for preschoolers because they can create patterns, it helps with color recognition, and coordination. We really love this game and I think your kids would too! (Age Recommendations- 4 and up)

Disney DVD Bingo– This game was given to us as a birthday gift from a friend and it is one of the most used games in our collection. Each card has characters from the Disney movies on each of the Bingo spots. You pop in the DVD and choose the style of Bingo game you would like to play. For younger kids, you can stick to the basic Bingo, but older kids will enjoy the challenge that some of the other games offer. The DVD tells you what numbers are being called and occasionally there are very short Disney movie sequences that are shown. Both of my children love this game and paired with a big bowl of popcorn, they are entertained for at least an hour. Make it more challenging by adding extra cards for each child to increase the difficulty. This is a great game for recognizing numbers, colors, and patterns. (Age Recommendations- 4 and up)
Apples to Apples– If you have not played Apples to Apples before, you are really missing out on a treat. It is my new favorite game to tote around to all of our family functions and any opportunity where I can get a few friends together. Simply deal the cards out to each player and one person gets to be the judge. The judge will share a card and you select from your cards the best match to that card. Once everyone has given their card to the judge, the judge decides which card best fits the card they shared.

The fun is in the variety of unexpected comparisons people make, sometimes apt, funny, creative, or simply absurd. For example: people might match “Awkward” with “Oil Spills,” “My First Kiss,” “Dandruff,” and “Gold Chains. ” Or: “Painful” with “High School Reunions” and “Regis Philben. ” Strategy comes into play since, because each player takes turns being the judge, you begin to pick up on the preferences of each player and tailor your choices accordingly.

Honestly, if you find yourself hosting a dinner party where you are worried about conversation or a family gathering that you don’t have very much in common with, this is the game to break out to get through those awkward silences. Kid versions of this game are also available. (Age Recommendations- 12 and up)
Skip-Bo– This was my favorite game growing up and my sister & I would play this for hours and hours. Created by the makers of UNO, this card game is a delight for anyone of all ages. The game is a sequencing game of skill and strategy intended for two players or more and ages seven and up. Players create sequential stacks with cards on the board, the first player to use all the cards in their stack wins. The deluxe edition has a board with placeholders for all of the stacks of cards and score sheets to keep tabs of the winners. I love this game because it is easy to still have conversations while playing, making it a great game to socialize with other couples.
Trouble– Trouble is a great game for younger kids because it is a very simple concept and the playing time is perfect for shorter attention spans. Adults may remember this great game from their childhood. With this game, you just move your four pegs around the board and put them into the finish spots. If you land on an opponents peg while going around the board though, you can boot them back to the beginning and make their piece start all over again. Instead of rolling dice, you push the “Pop-o-matic,” in the center which throws the dice for you. My kids really love this game and you will too! (Age Recommendations- Ages 4-9)
Connect Four– Connect Four is one of our favorite games and both the kids really enjoy it. The game is a vertical version of tic-tac-toe. Each player has a color and you drop the pieces in and try to get four in a row. The other player can block your moves with their pieces and this is a great game for strategy building to see if you can outsmart your opponent. This is another game that is short and sweet so it is perfect for children with short attention spans or for a quick game before bedtime.
Rummikub: This is a game that my husband loved to play when he was growing up, and now he has me addicted to it too! The game is intended for ages eight and up and can be played with two or more players. With rules similar to gin rummy, Rummikub is a classic tile game that’s guaranteed to get at least a million kid-hours of use in any family. Players take 14 numbered tiles and try to get rid of them as fast as possible by creating runs (for example, 7-8-9) and sets (7-7-7). The link provided is for their deluxe edition (which we do not have). This deluxe edition is cleverly designed so that the four plastic tile racks fit together to form a carrying case for the game. Junior editions of this game are also available.
Scrabble– What is not to love about this game? Intended for two players or more and recommended for ages eight to ninety-nine, you can play this game for years with your children. The game has been improved with a swivel board (less stretching required!), raised holders to rest the tiles into, and a bag to store all of the tiles. This is one of my personal favorites and we play this a lot in our house. Don’t forget to purchase a copy of the Scrabble Dictionary and store it with your game board. Take some time to study some words and really beat your opponents! Want to see what Scrabble obsession looks like? Rent the movie, “Word Wars.” It is all about the Scrabble championships that are held and people who attempt to make a living from this sport. Junior editions of this game are also available.
Upwords– Along the same vein, this is another fabulous word puzzle game, but with a twist. You build words just like Scrabble, but you can build up and up (five letters high) to change words into new words. The more you stack, the more points you earn. I think it is more challenging than Scrabble, but the scoring is much easier to do. This game is for two players or more and recommended for ages eight and up. This game can be a powerful tool when your children are beginning to read because it can help teach them how to change words using different letters. Consider it a cheap version of “Hooked on Phonics” and a game that they can enjoy for years after they have learned to read!
Yahtzee– A classic game of dice that has been around since 1956 and is still played in millions of homes today. You can play alone (which I don’t think would be as much fun) or with more players. The ultimate in  this game is to actually get Yahtzee or five of a kind. This game is so much fun and also a great teaching tool for children. Children can learn basic addition and subtraction, as well as sequential ordering.
Monopoly– I had never played this game until high school, and I can honestly say that my husband is always the winner, which is why we don’t play it as much! This game is a great teaching tool in money-management and in buying real estate. We have a couple of different versions of this game, but my favorite is the Dot Com Monopoly, which we purchased when Dot Coms were ruling the world. Few of the companies on the board exist anymore, which makes for interesting conversation and fond memories before the dot com bomb hit for computer nerds and geeks alike!

We have many more games in our collection and the last time I hit the thrift store, I picked up another stack of new ones. Our collection keeps growing and we hope to have a game collection that our kids will enjoy someday with their friends. In a day of technological bliss, game nights now seem “retro.” Why play on a board when you can just grab your game system or play a computer game online? I hope that board games will last the test of time because they can be an essential part of family bonding and creating a family night to remember!

Disclosure: All of the links above are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate the board games quickly and easily. Feel free to order a game or check your local thrift stores for board games for a fraction of the price.

Amy’s Notebook 04.28.10

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

I love this felt dahlia flower brooch as a sweet Mother’s Day gift (@ Holidash)

This is a great list of 50 gifts to give for teacher appreciation day (@ giver’s log)

This is a fantastic tutorial on how to start your own herb garden (@ Serious Eats)

These pants turned into capris are a great way to extend the life of your child’s pants (@ Making It My Own)

These bug cupcakes would be so cute for a little boy’s birthday party (@ Hoosier Homemade)

I love this tutorial on how to turn your jeans into maternity jeans (@ Create Studio)

This is a great round-up of felt food patterns (@ homemade by jill)

I am going to have to try this new tying technique with my children (@ sestrenki)

My daughter would love this towel slide sled especially for those slides that get too hot at the park (@ Pony Tails & Fish Scales)

This kid muesli looks like a healthy & yummy summertime breakfast (@ doobleh-vay)

This no-sew poncho would be the perfect cover-up for the beach (@ Blue Crick Design)

These t-shirt aprons are too adorable for words (@ Ruffles And Stuff)

This caramel pudding looks like the perfect ending to a summer dinner (@ Joy the Baker)

I love this tutorial on how to take better food photos (@ photojojo)

I want to make these colored jars for candles on our patio (@ Gingerbread Snowflakes)

This spinach artichoke hummus looks delicious (@ gimmie some oven)

This white bean hummus with spinach also looks like a yummy snack (@ Craft)

I Did Not Sort My Laundry This Week…And We All Lived

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

It has been a crazy week for our family, just as so many other families, as the school year is drawing to a close. Last week I crammed in some work, read a literary classic to share for our great reads for moms section, frantically tried to finish some knitted projects, volunteered at school, hit the gym three times this week,  went to a end-of-the-year concert, hosted a mom’s night out, and tried to work on new summer recipe ideas for the site. Did I also mention that my book proposal will finally be going out into the world this week after spending the week editing it? I am a little scared about that one!

The craziness seemed to take whole new levels and my husband, at one point, said he wished he could have photographed me in one of my crazier moments. He came home from work to find me entertaining the kids, on the phone with a conference call, threading shrimp, whispering directions to him on the grill for the new recipe, and then putting the phone on speakerphone so I could take photographs of our dinner before we sat down. Ironically, it is hard to even tell you what we did last week because it was such a whirlwind. Have you ever had a week like that?

I admit, I can’t do it all and felt a little overwhelmed.

The laundry continued to mount and so I decided this would be the perfect week to try the not-sorting laundry idea that had been highlighted in our Notebook two weeks ago. When I told my husband that I was doing this for a Notebook Experiment,  he said, “That is going to be one expensive experiment if it doesn’t work.” Obviously, he does not know how awesome my friend Laura is and how I was willing to take a gamble and see if it would work.

We have a front-loader (which I absolutely love) and so I had to read through her comment thread to figure out where to put the vinegar, which was supposed to help set the color in my load. I have used vinegar in the past as a fabric softener, particularly when we were cloth diapering, but had never thought of it as a tool to set color.

After reading through the thread, I put my regular detergent in the detergent dispenser, my fabric softener in the softener dispenser, and the 1/2 cup of vinegar in the bleach dispenser. I ran it through the Normal cycle selection and then ran the dryer on the Normal cycle selection after it was done washing.

Here are  my son’s uniforms after this mixed-up load went through the dryer. The whites were still white and the blues still blue. I won’t say I didn’t feel completely weird about this experience and can’t say if I would do this all of the time, as I value my pearly white socks and white undershirts a lot and love using my Whites cycle on my washing machine to make everything look like new again.

For a week like this one… it was exactly what I needed to get things done.

What are some ways you save time or money on doing your laundry loads? What system of sorting/tackling laundry seems to work with your family? Do you sort? I would love to hear your ideas!

An Apron Full of Giveaways 04.27.10: Flip SlideHD & $150 Cambria Cove Shopping Spree

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Photo Credit: Lover Dovers, $32

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways, where we round up all of the best giveaways on the web. This is the spot where you can share your blog contests or where you can find fantastic stuff to enter.

We are kicking off another fantastic Mother’s Day giveaway today that you will not want to miss. Today we are giving away a Flip SlideHD (valued at $279.99)  that would make the most perfect Mother’s Day gift. Not only is it the traditional Flip camera, an easy to tote video camera that takes impressive video footage, but it also has a 3 inch slide-up screen which makes it a virtual “video brag book,” for your family and friends. Follow the links below to access this contest- NO ENTRIES HERE, PLEASE!

Today is the last day to enter (by 8PM EST!)  for our Mother’s Day giveaway with Cambria Cove. It is really easy to enter and the stuff, to me, reminds me of all of the vintage-y goodness that I absolutely love. I am offering a $150 gift card to Cambria Cove for one lucky mama to go on a little shopping spree! Please head over there and get your entry in today! Follow the links below to access the current contest- NO ENTRIES HERE, PLEASE!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we aren’t giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Children’s Movies).”

Please let me know if you have any questions and good luck to each of you!

Marinated Grilled Shrimp With Perfect Margaritas

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Grilling season is upon us and I am so excited to try out some new grilling recipes for the summer. One thing I have had yet to try was throwing some shrimp on our grill for a weeknight meal. Shrimp is not something that my son is very fond of, but I keep trying new shrimp recipes, hoping that one recipe will finally convert him.

Thanks to this little recipe, I can finally say that my entire family loves shrimp. There was not a single bite of shrimp left on the plates and, in my husband’s words,  “You have always cooked really good, but this takes your cooking to whole new levels!”  Embarrassingly enough, this required little work other peeling the shrimp, mixing of ingredients for a marinade, and skewering the  shrimp for grilling. I will gladly accept compliments and kisses for all of my “hard work.”

Buying the shrimp at Aldi made it a very affordable weeknight meal. A one pound bag of uncooked medium easy peel shrimp only costs $3.99. I served it with our favorite baked brown rice (switching the water for chicken broth and adding in the zest of one lemon to make it a better accompaniment for seafood), and a bag of frozen baby peas.

This shrimp tastes exactly like something you would eat at a fancy restaurant and it is bursting with flavor. It is unbelievable how these simple pantry ingredients can make the shrimp taste so good, but I doubt I will ever make another shrimp recipe again!

It is the perfect dish to entertain with since it can be served hot or cold. The marinade adds so much flavor that there is no need for any special sauce accompaniment. You have to love anything that only requires four or five minutes on the grill and is still wildly impressive to your dinner guests.

I hope you will enjoy this as much as we have and I am sure this recipe will be served weekly during the summer months!

Marinated Grilled Shrimp (Adapted from AllRecipes)

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4  cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (I omitted because we did not have any on hand)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, stirring once or twice. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Side Note: Don’t forget to soak your wooden skewers for ten to fifteen minutes in a container of water to prevent them from burning, before you thread your shrimp!

And in honor of Cinco de Mayo, next week, I would highly recommend serving up some tortilla chips with salsa and a pitcher of these perfect margaritas. This was a recipe that I have adapted over the years since discovering it on jane’s apron. Each time I serve these, someone asks me for the recipe or what mix I bought to make them. These are so incredibly easy and can be adapted to your personal taste…and alcoholic strength.

Perfect Margarita

1 can of frozen limeade
1 can of water (the empty can from your limeade is what you are using)
1/2 can of tequila
1 bottle or can of your favorite beer (I love Michelob Ultra or a Carona in this one!)

Mix the ingredients in a pretty pitcher and watch your friend’s eyes light up at how delicious these are! One pitcher makes roughly four servings.

What is your favorite thing to throw on the grill in the summertime? Recipes and ideas are all welcome here!

Freebie Friday: April 23, 2010

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Happy Freebie Friday!! We are thankful to have Freebies 4 Mom share their list of the best freebies of the week with our readers each and every Friday. Please be sure to visit Freebies 4 Mom for all of the latest freebies, coupons, sweeps, and ideas for how to stretch your dollar. Heather also has a Carolina Pad tote bag giveaway this week that you won’t want to miss!

This week, I am sharing some amazing peanut butter cookies made from a cake mix in your pantry (and a great cause we have just made a $400 donation to!), smart strategies for saving money and time on your next flight, our Apron Full of Giveaways with over 160 giveaways you can enter, and a HUGE Mother’s Day giveaway for a $150 shopping spree at Cambria Cove!

Let us know you are a fan of MomAdvice and join the Fan Club today on Facebook. I try to post ideas daily for ways to save and share exclusive contest information and other spots to visit that will make stretching your dollar a tiny bit easier! If you like us, just give us a little Like button-love-action! Have a fantastic day, everyone!

Health & Beauty
Eucerin lotion (Walmart)
John Frieda Root Awakening (Walmart)
Origins Antioxidant Cleanser (Facebook)
Gillette ProGlide Razor (Facebook)
ob mighty small
Aveda Stimulus Package

IHOP Kids Eat Free

National Park Week April 17-25
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Barnes & Noble Free eBooks
Children’s Picture Books
Mother’s Day Song Book
Publix GreenWise Magazine
Walmart Free MP3 Downloads

Earthbound Farm Free Reusable Bag
Red Gold Reusable Bag
Gerber Generation Celebration House Party
Hasbro Game Night House Party
French Cocktail Hour House Party
McDonalds McNuggets and Shrek House Party

Upcoming Freebie Events:
Please call your local store or restaurant to confirm they are participating in these freebie events

Einstein Bros. Free Bagel Fridays (thru 5/22 before 11am)
Sur La Table Free Knife Sharpening
17-25 National Park Week free entrance fee to 392 parks
24- Lakeshore Learning Craft make a spring picket fence 11-3
24 –  Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic make a bird feeder 10-11
24 – Michaels Free Family Event make a puffy clay magnet 10-1
26 – Pretzelmaker Free Pretzel Day
29 – Carvel Free Ice Cream & Flavor Shotz

1-2 – Museums on Us (Bank of America)
1 – The Home Depot Kids Workshop make a picket fence planter 9-12
3 – 50 Days of Free Disney Music

Amy’s Notebook 04.21.10

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I wish I could sew so I could whip up a road trip satchel (@ Salty Pineapple)

I really love this tip for making your own lunchbox ice packs for the summer (@ the kitchn)

This big bowed clutch made from a place mat is adorable (@ blue eyed freckle)

I want to try this grilled chicken spinach pesto pasta salad (@ $5 Dinners)

I could probably go for one of these loaded breakfast potatoes for breakfast (@ The Ungourmet)

These raisin bran muffins look like a great after school snack (@ Joy the Baker)

I had never thought to make my own home decor balls– genius! (@ Brassy Apple)

I love these thrifty tips for framing what you already have (@ Nesting Place)

These paper corsages are just perfect for Mother’s Day (@ Make & Takes)

This Chicken Parmesan recipe looks like a real winner (@ Simply Recipes)

I can’t wait to see what unfolds in this week in the life photo project (@ Ali Edwards)

Now I am craving this roasted red pepper and feta hummus (@ gimmie some oven)

These ideas for creating destination bags for the summer are great (@ life as mom)

I am intrigued by this recipe for homemade deodorant (@ How about orange…)

This DIY Anthropologie cardigan is so darn cute (@ Adventures in Dressmaking)

These pizza bites look yummy (@ Scribbit)

These multi-grain waffles would make a hearty breakfast (@ 101 Cookbooks)

My favorite muffins are orange muffins so I can’t wait to try this recipe with some cranberries thrown in (@ Annie’s Eats)

An Apron Full of Giveaways 04.20.10

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Photo Credit: Lover Dovers, $30

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways, where we round up all of the best giveaways on the web. This is the spot where you can share your blog contests or where you can find fantastic stuff to enter.

Today we are kicking of a brand new giveaway that you do not want to miss entering. In honor of Mother’s Day (and how special you all are to me), I am offering a $150 gift card to Cambria Cove for one lucky mama to go on a little shopping spree! Please head over there and get your entry in today! Follow the links below to access the current contest- NO ENTRIES HERE, PLEASE!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we aren’t giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Children’s Movies).”

Please let me know if you have any questions and good luck to each of you!

Because I Am Glad to Give & I Want You To Give Too!

Monday, April 19th, 2010

When someone once asked me one word to describe myself, the word that came to mind was, “giver.” I love to give to others and thrive in any environment where I can share a piece of myself with someone else. There is nothing I love more than the giving of food, the giving of my time to make someone’s day easier, even being the giver of advice that might make a mom’s day run a little smoother. I am a giver because it comes naturally to me and that is why I am thrilled to share about a campaign that you can give back frugally and thoughtfully to families who are faced with a disease called pediatric cancer.

Did you know that the number one death disease of children living in the United States is pediatric cancer? Why is it the number one killer? Truthfully, it kills children daily because the funds are just not there to develop the research to find a cure for this disease.

I was asked to help spread the word about a campaign called, “Glad to Give,” that is sponsored by the GLAD company.  They believe that they can raise the funds for this research one cookie at a time. Yes, you heard that right! This campaign’s roots are firmly planted in that beautiful thing we love… bake sales!

As parents with busy schedules, I know that volunteering and baking might not be the top two things on your priority list. What if you knew that those two things could make a difference in a child’s life though? Glad to Give is offering up some fantastic ideas for how you can participate and how you can be a part of their partnership with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

Here are some easy and frugal things you can do to participate:

Buy GLAD® Products and Contribute to Pediatric Cancer Research: This spring, every time you purchase a  GLAD product (to help host a bake sale or for other use), the Glad Products Company will make a $1 donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, up to $200,000! Just enter the UPC code here!

Enter the GLAD Recipe for Giving Contest: GLAD recognizes the time spent prepping, kneading and decorating bake sale treats is quality family time that instills a spirit of service in children. To help celebrate families in action, GLAD® is conducting the GLAD® Recipe for Giving Contest. Consumers can share their “recipe” – that is, tip or advice – on how their family gives back through food related activities. Four consumer winners will each win $1,000 toward a family activity of their choice and a chance to compete alongside a celebrity in the holiday GLAD® Recipe for Giving Celebrity Challenge. Come November, the two lucky consumers on the winning celebrity team raising the most money will each receive a “voluntourism” trip for four to St. Lucia.

Host a Bake Sale: I know that this might take a little work on your part, but imagine the lives that you could touch through the donations raised. GLAD will take you through the process in four easy steps that will have your raising funds in no time!

I am committed to this campaign and committed to spreading the word about how you can help. I want to kick off the GLAD to give campaign by donating $400 to jump start the cause and I need your participation!

I am going to be hosting a virtual bake sale on May 14th. I am asking you to participate here on the site and share your best bake sale recipes!  From those entries, I will randomly select a winner who will receive a box full of baking goodies (valued at $50, prepared by me!) just for sharing one of your bake sale recipes and sharing about your participation in Glad to Give! Doesn’t that sound lovely?

I hope that you will consider participating and sharing a favorite baking recipe in honor of this campaign. It would mean the world to me, but it would mean a world more to the families of these children! Start gathering those recipes and think of the ways that you could help with my virtual bake sale. I can’t do it without you!


In honor of all things bake sale, here is a quick cookie recipe that can be made out of pantry ingredients and one ingredient that makes the whole thing go a little quicker… the ever amazing cake mix!

Cake Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Pour the cake mix into a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and add peanut butter, oil, eggs, and water. Mix until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly using a fork dipped in water. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cookies set on cookie sheet for 2 to 3 minutes before carefully removing from the cookie sheet to cool on wire racks. Amy’s Notes: Be sure to keep the cooking time to the ten to twelve minutes and don’t let the lighter color fool you. I had some burnt cookies in my first batch because I left them in the oven too long. Let them cool as instructed and then place them on a pretty plate for serving. Then you need to complete the most difficult step of all…Try to graciously accept the compliments without giving away your cooking secrets (which I never can do myself!).


Disclaimer: I was paid for this campaign and invested every dollar back into it to spread the word about pediatric cancer. It is far better to give than to receive. I hope you will consider doing the same!

What is one way you donate your time or talents to charity? How do you make this a family priority?