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Friday, April 29, 2011

Who designed Kate Middleton's wedding dress ~ finally revealed!

It's finally been revealed, after being the best-kept secret of the year!  The gorgeous satin & ivory wedding dress worn by Kate Middleton during her wedding to Prince William was designed by Sarah Burton, Creative Director for Alexander McQueen.  It's got an eight foot long train and has long lacy sleeves. She also wore a sparkling tiara (loaned to Kate by the Queen - it was given to her by her Mother on her 18th birthday!) and a lovely veil over her hair, which was down for the wedding. She's a stunning bride!

I have to say it's a breathtaking look for a fairy tale wedding!!

Click here & here to see the beautiful photos of the dress!  Best wishes to the Prince & his Princess!!!

Royal Wedding Mania!! William & Kate's Wedding Day

Monday, April 25, 2011

Georgia Renaissance Festival Review

If you live in North Georgia or Eastern Alabama, you should do your best to visit the Georgia Renaissance Festival this Spring! It's a family-friendly event that you will really enjoy!  Located off I-85 a few minutes south of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, it's a daytrip destination that will delight young, old and all ages in between!

We took the kids down to Fairburn for the Festival a week ago Saturday, which was the opening day for this year's Festival.  It was packed by 11:15 when we got there!  Luckily, there is plenty of free parking available. 

Once you enter the village, you'll feel as if you've been transported back in time! Be on the lookout for pirates, wenches, wizards,  knights, fair maidens, monks, kings and queens.  We haven't been to the Georgia Renaissance Festival since David was 3, so he was staring at everything and everyone ~ it was all fascinating to him!

We grabbed a map inside the entrance and first tried out the Tortuga Twins show, but it was a little too grown-up for David, so we followed the map and headed straight to The Mud Show with Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.  If you've got kids, this is probably going to be one of your favorite shows of the whole day! 

The performers take turns doing stunts and telling tales, then jumping into the blackest mud you'll ever see.  After each round, the audience picks their favorite.  I won't spoil it for you, but the grand finale is hysterical! 

So fun!!  After the shows at the Festival, the performers have a hat for you to leave a tip in if you enjoyed it, so show them some love if you had a great time!  After The Mud Show ended, we browsed through some really neat stores.  They have shops featuring musical instruments, crystals, leather goods, perfumes, candles,  jewelry, pottery, handmade bath products, and  more. There is something for everyone!  David checked out a sword & shield, but finally chose a handmade leather journal.  Katie bought a gorgeous crystal bracelet, and Randy got a journal too!  We spent a lot of time exploring the shops that line the village streets.  David and Randy went in the maze, too. After they made it through to the other side,  David exited via the slide, while his Dad chose the steps!  There is also a new haunted house to check out this year if you're feeling brave!

Next we caught the end of the Tartanic show - they do an amazing bagpipe version of Amazing Grace!  Wish we had seen the whole show! By then it was time for lunch.  The Renaissance Festival has a huge selection of food to choose from!  We picked Chicken Caesar Calzones (me & K), Pepperoni Calzone plus fried pickles (R), cheese bread (D).   These were followed with ginger beer (R), coffee smoothie (R), and shaved ice (the rest of us!).  They also have ribbon fries, turkey legs, grilled corn, funnel cakes, and a lot more! The tables fill up quickly, but they have tables for you to stand at, which we did until a table opened up.  It was really great people watching from there!

Guess what we found next?  A petting zoo!  They have a sanitizing station, but after having the animals eat from our hands, I was glad I had some wipes in my purse! : ) (Kind of a germ freak, I admit it!)

You can even catch a sheepdog demonstration beside the petting zoo a few times a day - check the schedule for times!

This gorgeous creature is a Scottish Highlands cow ~ beautiful!

We also found time for some games:

and a few of these too...

As our day at the Festival came to a close, we checked out some of the Belly Dancers  ~ how do they do that?! Beautiful dancing, lovely costumes, exotic music = lots of fun!

Then we walked over to the The Royal Pavilion where the Fairy Court was in residence.  I wasn't sure if David would like it, but he did! There were five or six other kids there talking with the Fairy Queen and her fairy friend.  They played games like freeze tag, and had story time.  Definitely worth checking out!

So after all this, do you see what I am talking about? It's fun at the Renaissance Festival! Fun for adults AND kids!! There is a Kid's Kingdom playground, games, crafts, activities, plus face painting, hair braiding and much, much more for the little (and tween/teen) kids in your life! This is a unique experience they'll never forget!

There is SO much to see, so many shows to check out, non-stop entertainment at 10+ stages,  plus there is  a jousting arena with three Royal Jousts daily.  Then there are the many characters wandering the streets of the village in costume, the rides, the food - it's really tough to fit everything into one day! We live about 1 1/2 hours from the festival site, so we'll only go once this season, but we could easily have filled a second day with more activities & shows!  We'll definitely be going back to the Renaissance Festival next year!

Check out the Georgia Renaissance Festival's Facebook page, or subscribe to their email newsletter on their website.  Follow them on Twitter, too!

Hours are 10:30 am - 6 pm Saturdays & Sundays through June 5 (including Memorial Day Monday)
Directions are found here.   Now get your tickets and head to the Festival this weekend!! 

Disclosure: I was given two adult passes to the Renaissance Festival to attend so we could review the festival. We purchased additional tickets for the kids. The free passes did not influence my review in any way, the comments and opinions expressed in this review are completely honest and 100% my own! 


How about practically free Tylenol Precise Pain Relief? had this coupon linked up for $5 off Tylenol Precise Pain Relief products, and she says they will be on sale starting May 8th for $5 at both Rite Aid & Walgreens ~ that equals FREE products! Or if you need it now, you can often find this for under $6.  Either way - print this coupon, then hit the backspace arrow 3x so you can get your 2nd copy and then file away for future use!

Making Friends Monday Blog Hop Spotlight!

Happy Monday! I'm so excited to have been chosen to be the Making Friends Monday Blog Hop Spotlight! I hope you will take a few minutes to check out my blog.  I've got recipes, like my Low Carb Crustless Calzone Casserole ,  couponing tips, crafts like this Trash to Treasure Makeover, or learn how to Grow Your Own Sunflower House this summer!

Link your blog up below and make sure to leave a comment so I can visit you back! : )

Welcome To Making Friends Monday Blog Hop 4/25/11

This Blog Hop is hosted by Living on Love and Cents, The Thrifty Things, Reviewed By Mom , and Coupons are Great.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Delicious Brunch Recipe - Sausage Cornbread Bake

Wanted to share the yummy, delicious breakfast casserole we had for our Easter breakfast! It's from the side of my bag of Martha White Buttermilk Cornmeal Mix.

Sausage Cornbread Bake

1 lb sausage - I used Jones Turkey sausage links
1 large onion, chopped (skipped this - we don't like onions!)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c Martha White Buttermilk Self Rising Cornmeal mix
1 14.75 oz can cream style corn
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 c shredded cheese (used 2% milk cheddar)

Heat oven to 425.  Spray 2 qt baking dish with pam or similar spray.  Brown sausage & onion in medium skillet until thoroughly cooked.  Drain.  Beat eggs in bowl, stir in cornmeal mix, corn, milk, and oil until blended.  Pour half of this mixure into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with sausage mixture, then cheese.  Top with remaining batter.  Bake 30 - 40 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes before cutting/serving.  Makes 6 - 8 servings.  
Delicious with syrup!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Grow your own Sunflower House!!

Thanks Bella for featuring my Sunflower Hut! : )

A few years ago we started a new summer tradition - we plant a sunflower house! It's fun for the kids, educational, teaches them responsibility as they must keep it watered and weeded, and it has a fun reward at the end of summer - a place to play, sunflower seeds, beans and pretty flowers!   It's really easy and so much fun!

Here's how we do it:

In April (or after last frost) mark an 8 x 8 foot square (or larger) where you want your sunflower house.  You can go ahead and place landscaping fabric in the middle to keep weeds away if you'd like, or add it later as needed.   Leave a space about a foot wide for a door somewhere!! Next buy 5 or 6 or more packets of various sunflower seeds, but make sure at least one packet has mammoth sunflower seeds! They grow TALL, and form the walls of your house! 

Look for flowers that grow to a variety of heights, too - some 12'. some 6', some 4', some 2' etc. That way it will be thick and full!  We got some smaller sunflowers for cutting,  plus Lemon Queen, Chianti & Red Sun (couldn't find the Strawberry Blonde ones this year, but these are both a pretty red!) and other varieties.  Also buy one or two packets of morning glory seeds, (we got regular & giant) and one or two packets of beans! This year I bought Kentucky Blue Pole beans.   Lowes, Home Depot & Wal-mart all have a variety of seeds for under $2 a packet!  We also bought a biodegradable weed control fabric and the tiny little stakes that go with it - those were about $13 total at Lowes.

You'll put one mammoth seed per packet directions (make sure to follow the directions on spacing them apart - they need room between!  Then go back and randomly plant the other sunflower seeds between and around the mammoth seeds.    Finally add the morning glory and bean seeds at various spots around your house perimeter. Make sure to keep them watered well.  Watch for sprouts!  Tick tock, tick, tock...days will go by.  Ours took 4 days to sprout little plants!

These pics are from 2008 ~ look how tiny my little David is in these!! Now that he's 7 he looks a lot more grown up!

Just planted our seeds!

A few days later - sprouting plants!

Different varieties grow side by side in perfect harmony! : )

Keep them watered!!

Add landscaping cover to keep weeds out of the middle!

Getting bigger!

WOW! Everything is growing so fast!

love it!

Strawberry Blonde Sunflower

See all the different plants? Beans, Morning Glories and Sunflowers!!

Starting to look like a sunflower house!

We added some stakes for everything to grow around and add height, not sure if you can see them in any of the pics!

My little guy loves growing a sunflower house!
Found one more - it's about a week later than the pic above - we had driven to the doctor's office in Suwanee, then stopped at Fresh Market on the way home for their awesome cupcakes! Mmmm.  The sunflowers were finally taller than D!

Still needs about 4 weeks to finish growing, but look how tall! The flowers eventually get to be about 6 - 8" in diameter (just the seed pod part!!)

 And here's where I confess to being a TERRIBLE mom.  The last few photos above were taken the first week of August, when our kids go back to school.  After that, life got CrAzY.  I never took another sunflower house photo - not ONE!  And I didn't take the first picture of our house in 2009.  2010, we skipped planting one at all.   However, this year's sunflower house is already planted and the little seedlings are already out and soaking up the glorious sunshine!  I PROMISE I'll take lots of pics, through the whole process, because I want you to see how gorgeous this sunflower house looks fully grown!!

So to sum it up ~ you'll have beans for eating, morning glories to add beauty to the yard, and the gorgeous sunflowers! It's a hideout for the kids (and maybe a bunny or two!?) and also a cutting garden for mom towards the end of summer! We even saw evidence that the deer from our woods were carrying entire sunflowers/seeds back into the woods behind our house for eating! Not to mention the birds who will eat seeds too! Your yard will be popular with kiddos, birds, and animals! lol

PLEASE send me your pics or a link to your blog about it if you plant a sunflower house - I can't wait to see them!!

UPDATE:  Found a couple 2009 pics  -  but again, petered out on taking pics once school started - it's a pattern with me! lol

Here is a June 2009 pic - we used stakes from the get-go that year so the plants would grow right up on them and be sturdier.   Not sure why DH had one in the middle like that - lol!

  Here is a picture from July 09~ about the same time - it's the first week of August, when my teenage stepson Robert was getting ready to go home to Arizona after spending the summer with us. The pic was of the kids, but the sunflowers were probably about 4' tall. I shot over them, but at 5' tall, I still got them in the shot! The sunflowers are getting tall and you'll see how the greenery from the stems and leaves provides a "wall", but this still had a good 4 weeks or so to grow.  This year we planted earlier than ever - I want to have the hut fully grown before school starts!!

Update:  I'm not sure why,  but our hut never really grew taller than knee height this year. : (  It may be because we used the same area each time?  Maybe the nutrients in the soil were just worn out?   Probably won't do this in 2012 because my kiddos are getting too big, they never even went out there this summer to play.  : (  Makes me sad.....

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Another coupon for FREE toothbrushes! has a $2 off 2 Reach toothbrushes coupon available to print! Since they go on sale all the time for $1, that means 2 free toothbrushes!! There's a link to the site down a bit on the right sidebar! Hurry, this one will be gone soon! : )

~ Aimee

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Coupon alert ~ Free Reach Dental Floss! has a $1 off any Reach dental floss coupon up right now.  I've got a link to them in my sidebar down on the right ~ click it, then click the personal care link and find the Reach coupon.  Check the box in the coupon, then print.  Once it prints, don't forget to hit the back arrow and re-check the box and print it a second time!

Walgreens and CVS have this on sale all the time for $1! Kroger too! So print two, then watch for a good sale! : )

Monday, April 18, 2011

$1.50 off 1 Lysol Wipes Coupon Available on Facebook!

Hurry over to Lysol's facebook page and like them, then click the coupon link on the left sidebar.  It will take you to a Bricks page where you can print a $1.50 off 1 Lysol disinfecting wipes coupon!  When it says you've printed the coupon, click the back arrow three times and you can print it a second time.  These will make for free wipes if Publix does a B1G1 sale again soon!! (or half off wipes at a lot of stores!)

~ Aimee