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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to decorate with sea shells

Sorry for the delay in posting new things! My daughter is doing great after her wisdom teeth were removed, but we did have a few rough days.  Getting back to our routine now... here is some frugal crafty goodness!

So, we arrived home from our beach getaway with SO MANY SHELLS! The kids each found bags of them, and I did too!  This is just a small selection of the shells we brought home!!

When we arrived home, I boiled them on the stove with a little bleach to kill any nasty germs that might have hitched a ride with them.  Then we spent a few days letting them dry out again. 

First, I put some on my mantle in one of my Williams-Sonoma knock off Hurricanes.   My Dad gave David a lovely model sailboat which I borrowed for the family room this summer, so my mantle was looking very beachy.  But I wanted to do something a little more unique, so I hit google for a bit!  My favorite idea was from this site -Becca painted her seashells with silver-y spray paint to look like their much more expensive Pottery Barn cousins...

So I decided to go that route.  Simple but elegant, showcasing the nooks & crannies of each shell with the gorgeous paint.   I followed her directions and looked for Krylon Chrome spray paint (she tested a few colors & found this to be the perfect color).

David & I hit up two stores on Sunday morning before we finally found that color, but it was Rust-o-leum brand.  (worked just fine, btw!)  Once home, David & I sorted the shells to find the ones we were willing to paint from our stash. (We're still planning a dollar store trip to get some more shells exclusively to paint!)    (ps ~ if you don't have a handle/sprayer thingie for your spray paint, you need to run get one - it makes it so much easier to get an even coat on anything you spray paint, and no more painted fingertips! I got mine for under $3 on Here is the first batch of shells ~ I spraypainted each side, with about 15 minutes drying time, then turned them over and sprayed again!  Look for imperfect shells when you are choosing your shells to paint  (those with barnacles, holes, etc), they look so cool painted!

Aren't they lovely? I want to get more Starfish (and a couple sand dollars & sea biscuits) from Michael's to paint - LOVE how the textures really show up with the coat of paint! It's not as shiny as the shells because the starfish is so porous, but I really love the final result.

Right now they are hanging out inside one of my made-over Goodwill cheese domes - this one is painted Antique White. I tried taking a picture of these under the glass, but it didn't cooperate, so here ya' go!!

A few of these are destined to become pins or rings, too.  They are just too pretty to keep on display - they need to be worn and admired! : )  I'll post pics from that project soon, too!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mott's For Tots savings & samples!

Have you heard of Mott's for Tots?   Their juices have 40% LESS sugar than 100% Apple Juice, and they taste great so kids love them!!  Available in five yummy flavors: Apple, Apple White Grape, NEW Immune Support Fruit Punch*, NEW Bone Health Grape**, and NEW Mixed Berry.

Sign up with vocalpoint for coupons and samples!!  : D

*with vitamins A, C, and E to help support a healthy immune system

**with calcium and vitamin D to help support healthy bones

What's going on? : )

My sweet seventeen year old had all four wisdom teeth out today, and my husband is out of town this week, so I'm pulling nurse duty, as well as my regular mama duties!  I will probably not be on here for a while.  But I wanted to let my three winners know that Amanda from is mailing your prizes today! YAY!! I hope your fur babies love their new treats and that you enjoy them as well!  Hope y'all have a good week ~ I'll be back soon with something fun to share!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

POLLY-O + Six Flags = Frugal Family Fun this summer!!

Six Flags theme parks, POLLY-O & TerraCycle, Inc are offering super discounts this summer while encouraging easy recycling opportunities. Visitors who bring specially marked Polly-O String Cheese packaging to the Six Flags over Georgia in Atlanta will receive $15 off general admission any day of the week or a Free Kid’s Ticket with purchase of general admission ticket on weekdays.   What a fabulous offer!!

The packaging will be sent to TerraCycle to be recycled into eco-friendly products.

For more information on how people in the Atlanta area can start collecting items including cheese packaging, candy wrappers, chip bags, and juice pouches, please visit

This special discount program runs from May 15th, 2011 through October 10th, 2011.  In addition to Six Flags Over Georgia, other participating parks include Baltimore/D.C., Springfield, MA, Jackson, NJ, and Lake George, NY.

Families can also enter the “Twisted Adventure” sweepstakes through June 30th, 2011 for a chance to win twenty one-day admission tickets to their local park, sponsored by Six Flags and POLLY-O String Cheese. Enter online:  No purchase necessary.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Get $25 worth of David's Cookies for only $2 ~ Little Birdie rocks!

I love finding new daily deal sites - and I love even more when they give you a credit just for joining!! I signed up with Little Birdie - a new FREE site, and got an instant $10 credit for doing so!! Here's the link for you to get your $10 for free too! (disclaimer - this is a referral link, so I'll also get a $10 credit - thank you for joining through my link!)

Today's national deal is a $25 voucher for David's Cookies, for $12.  YUM.   But remember that $10 credit? You can get this deal for $2!! Seriously!

They have cookies, brownies, cookie dough and more.  A 1 lb tin of cookies is $24.95 - shipping is $4.95.   I bought the voucher from Little Birdie and paid $2 after my $10 credit.  I'm registered with Shop At Home, which gives you a cash rebate for shopping online (7.5% with David's Cookies!) so I'll spend about $7 total out of pocket, but if they use my total amount ($24.95 & $4.95) spent, I think I'll get about $2.00 back, so it will be a total of $5 for a dozen freshly made cookies delivered to our door.  Sweet!  (Click the box below to sign up for Shop at Home - they partner with thousands of stores & websites to give you cash back for online shopping!)  Wouldn't fresh cookies make a great Father's Day gift? Or a sweet surprise for someone you love?

ShopAtHome Banner

LOVE LOVE LOVE finding great deals like this! : )

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The perfect start to a summer? A quick beach getaway!!

The kids have been out of school just over a week, and we were so lucky to have the chance for a quick beach getaway last weekend!  My mom has a friend with a 2 bedroom condo on Panama City Beach, and she gave mom a super deal on it for 3 nights!! She invited me, my kids, my sister and her three girls.  Husbands stayed home for this trip!  We drove down separately and met up down there that evening! The first night we went to Mellow Mushroom for dinner, then I took my kids, and my seven year old niece on the beach for a quick pre-bedtime walk while Mom and my sister went to the grocery store. 

Don't laugh, but all I needed was milk & cheese! I packed so much stuff from our stockpile! Even toiletries, paper items, medicines, etc - and it's funny how much we ended up using! Even such diverse things as laundry detergent, toilet paper, ear drops, and tylenol were all pulled out of one or another of my bags, to be used!  ** Best Beach Tip:  One awesome thing I took - a box of ziplock bags! We used them for everything!! Shells on the beach, carrying sunscreen & such to the beach, to put your phone in on the beach, etc!! I'll never go to the beach without baggies again!!**

For breakfast I took oatmeal packs, a pan of cooked Sister Schubert's rolls, and cereal.  For lunch one day I made one of the Kraft Homestyle Mac n Cheese dinners.  We stored the leftovers in - you guessed it - a ziploc bag! I also took tortillas for quesadillas & pizzas (to make with the cheese my sister picked up).  We ended up not making the tortilla pizzas because my kids revolted! lol  I also took instant coffee, some Suisse Mocha instant coffee, and Crystal Light packs.  For drinks, I packed some bottled water, Fuze, and Honest Tea half lemonade half tea drinks from my stockpile.  It was great to take all that to keep in the fridge at the condo, and not have to buy drinks constantly!!  Bringing so much from home meant we could use our money to eat at nicer places than I would normally be able to instead of running to the store for things like detergent,drinks, etc!!

The next day we went beachcombing with our baggies, buckets and shovels, looking for pretty shells. Isn't it gorgeous there?!

The chair attendant suggested we try the state park at the end of the road for bigger shells, so I loaded up my kids and two of my nieces and away we went!  We found some beautiful shells there and it was so pretty; we decided to come back at sunset for some pics!

Then we went souvenier shopping.  Back at the condo my kids went to the pool with my sister, I did a quick load of laundry and caught up on the latest with my mom.  We watched some of the Casey Anthony trial too. All with the most amazing view from our 7th floor condo. 

Later, we drove to Pier Park (I think that was the name!) where Margaritaville was located.  We celebrated my niece's 19th birthday, and my Katie's 17th (it's actually this Sunday!)

My birthday girl and my little guy at Margaritaville!

 Then Mom went back to the condo for some quiet time and my sister and I took the girls to the state park for those sunset pics!


 Two sassy seven year olds!

Looking for MORE shells!

God is one incredible artist, don't you think?  This was such a gorgeous sunset...

Saturday we went to brunch at Another Broken Egg Cafe - yum, yum, yum! (So happy to hear they are building one in Buckhead!!)  Then we hit the beach early. David was boogie-boarding the entire time! Once the heat and humidity were more than we could stand, we headed back inside. I did more laundry and started packing things up for Sunday.  We played some Scrabble Slap, then my kids and I headed out to find a Hawaiian shaved ice stand.  We ended up driving down the coast for about 25 miles, just admiring the beauty of the ocean.  Then we grabbed a quick dinner at Arby's, and finally found a Hawaiian ice stand so we could enjoy an icy treat!  My kids both said how much they loved our drive together - just spending time together, talking, laughing and having fun.  : ) It's the little things....!

We packed up early Sunday, and headed to my hometown of Moultrie, in SW Georgia. (About 3 hours from PCB)  We spent about an hour at my 89 year old Nana's, where I delivered a huge bag of pantry staples and toiletries to help her stock her kitchen & bathroom a little bit.  It's always hard to leave her - we all cry! But we were ready to get home by then, so we had a 4 hour drive ahead.  Got home before 8 pm, and  three days later, I still haven't unpacked all the way! But the laundry is done, the shells were boiled, dried and are now on display as a very tangible reminder of our wonderful beach getaway!!

That will probably be our only vacation this year - I'm hoping we can save up for a cruise next Spring to celebrate Katie's graduation!! But it was wonderful, and I'm very thankful that Mom invited us to come along!

Where are you going on vacation this summer? I love hearing about others' vacation plans - let's me find new fun places to visit, too!!  Hope you enjoyed the pics of our weekend getaway!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 Giveaway ~ 3 winners announced!!!!

And here are the winners!!

First place Melissa, comment #17
Second place, Sara, comment #1
Third place, Kathy, comment #25

Congrats, y'all!! I have Melissa's address, waiting on the other 2 so I can email Amanda at and she will mail out all of your prizes!! Don't forget to do a quick review on your blog or facebook of your prize - they were so great to offer THREE prizes for me to give away!!  Thanks for entering, everyone, and keep checking the blog - more giveaways to follow!!
~ Aimee

Are you a dog owner? If so, you are going to love this giveaway!! is sponsoring a fantastic giveaway on my blog that will have 3 winners I'm really excited to be partnering with them to offer you some of their wonderful products! Please check out their website to see all of the products they carry for both cats and dogs! They always offer free shipping on orders over $45. However, their June special is FREE shipping on all orders! Use coupon code FREESHIP during checkout. Offer expires 6/30/2011! 

Now on to the giveaway details!

The first prize is a 20 oz package of Nutri-Vet Hip & Joint Level 1 Natural Jerky Strips.  They provide your dog with a healthy source of glucosamine, chondroitin and omega fatty acids that help maintain healthy canine joint function and connective tissue.  Another important feature is that the chicken and lamb in these jerky strips is only from the US - NOT China.  So you know it's good quality meat for your dog!  Retail value for these strips is $11.99.

Second prize is a 6 oz package of Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Soft Chews for Dogs.  These natural-smoke-flavored soft chews contain a veterinary formulated blend of herbs and amino acids that helps keep dogs calm and relaxed. It helps maintain contentment during separation, travel, and tension caused by changes in a dog’s daily routine and may also curb destructive behavior and motion sickness.  The retail value for these chews is $6.99.

Third prize is a 19.5 oz package of Nutri-Vet Breath and Tartar Mint & Parsley Dog Biscuits.   These biscuits are baked hard and crunchy to help promote strong teeth and healthy gums and make your dog more pleasant to be around.  They contain vitamins and minerals, and are packaged in a resealable bag.  The retail value of these biscuits is $5.99. 

IMPORTANT!  Amanda at asks that each of the three winners please review your prize, either on your own blog, or on the page for the product on their website. It won't take long, and she would greatly appreciate you taking the time to review the product they are providing! (Links to product pages are included above to make it even easier for you ~ thanks!!)

Mandatory Entries:  (Must do these before you do any of the additional entries - leave a separate comment for each entry you complete!)

Like on Facebook, leave a comment on their wall that Just Kidding Around Atlanta sent you.  Then leave a comment here with your FB ID & email address.

                                                               Additional entries:
  •  Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect (see sidebar for GFC box), leave comment with your GFC ID and your email.  If you already follow me, just leave that in a comment with your ID & email!
  • Follow me on Facebook (box in sidebar), then leave me your FB ID & email in a comment.  If you already do, leave FB ID & email in a comment saying so!
  • Follow me on Twitter (See box at top of sidebar), leave comment with Twitter ID, email.
  • Subscribe to my RSS Feed or email newsletter (boxes in sidebar), confirm via email, then leave me a comment with your email address.
  • Vote for me at Picket Fence Blogs (button at top of sidebar), then leave comment with your email address saying you voted!  You can vote once daily, leave a comment after voting each day!
  • Tweet about this giveaway using the Twitter button by this post, leave me a comment with your twitter ID and email.  Can Tweet once daily, leave a comment each day after you tweet!
  • Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know what you think about the Laser Show, and if you've ever been to Stone Mountain. Then leave 2 comments here w/ your email address saying you commented on my Stone Mountain review.  (you get 2 entries for doing this, so leave 2 comments below!)
  • Enter my Hormel Compleats for Kids giveaway, then leave a comment here saying you did so, with your email address.
Contest runs through 11:59 pm EST on June 14, 2011. Open to US residents only.  Winners will be drawn & verified, then notified via email by June 17, 2011. First winner drawn wins 1st prize, 2nd winner drawn wins 2nd prize, etc.  Winners will have 48 hours to contact me with their mailing address. If I don't hear from them in that time, new winners will be drawn, verified & contacted!  Per the sponsor, prizes will be mailed directly from within 10 days of receiving the winners' mailing addresses from me. 


Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this giveaway.  I was offered the chance to review their products, but we don't have a dog or cat!  Then they offered to give away these products to my wonderful readers! Thanks so much,!