As promised, here is a short list of the best last-minute spring break deals available for 2015.  If you are looking for the spring break “classics” like a road trip to the beach, a family vacation in Orlando, FL or a cruise to an exotic locale, there are a few discounts for last minute bookings. Often the best prices are obtained at the last minute , but you are more limited in options and availability. So, I scoured social media and my travel company emails, and found a few fun offers for you .

For starters, here is where to look to find the best deal on Beaches:

For the very best last minute pricing on a beach-front booking, I highly suggest searching for your location on Homeaway or VRBO . There are many high quality condos for rent by owner and they are often willing to come down in price within a few weeks of travel if their unit has not been rented. One note here is to be sure and check how much the cleaning fees are, because they can run up to $100 for a week long rental and need to be included in the cost. Many owners also require a minimum stay of 3 nights to a week. This is my favorite option for finding a high quality lodging for a discounted price. We have often found ourselves staying in a luxury condo with 5 star amenities for a discount of up to 50% just for asking.

Use your travel company websites and search for what you want! Many beach resorts that have vacancies are listed on places like Orbitz,  or even Groupon. Just visit the site and look for a section titled ” last minute deals” to see what they are offering. This changes often , but tonight there are offers  galore. One option for a beach vacation can be found at Orbitz where they are having a sale on beach vacations. They have a promo for up to 35% off beach resorts! and you can also use coupon code TAKEABREAK at checkout for stays two nights and longer booked through Orbitz. You must book by March 29 but have until September 30, 2015 to travel.

To check for the perfect vacation at Groupon, just click on “getaways” at the top of the page. Then select “beaches ” in the left hand sidebar. That will give you a lot of wonderful trips for less that half of what they are worth.

I hope this is helpful to someone and that you will stop by tomorrow to read about last minute deals available in Orlando!

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Build a #DisneySide stick family (For Free)

image9 Build a #DisneySide stick family (For Free)

We have all seen the stick family decals on vehicles, but these just may be the cutest stick families I have laid eyes on. In my Disney Insider newsletter I found this cute little stick family builder and the boys and I tried it out. I love what we came up with! The kids each chose their hats,shirts, and accessories and they are spot-on to what we each actually carry around when at the parks. To get the best accessories you do need to enter your mailing information . The best part was the surprise at the end when you have finished your family and they offer the option to have a free copy in sticker form mailed to in you. Of course, we said “yes,please!” . I don’t know if you are quite as Disney crazy as we are, but this is super cute and was fun for the kids (plus, free is always good,right?) and I wanted to share it with your families,too. Have fun building and I would love to see what you come up with. Have fun!

share save 256 24 Build a #DisneySide stick family (For Free)
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Freebies for St Patrick’s Day 2015

Top o’ the mornin’ to you! ( said in my best Irish brogue).

Happy St. Patty’s Day to everyone! I love this holiday for all of the fun traditions, but also because it means it’s finally, FINALLY time for some warmer weather. I  dressed my boys in green to avoid being pinched by certain children at school( although one kid has said he is going to pinch everyone regardless of what they wear- the same kid who pinched my 8 year old so hard he bled and it got infected last year- but anyways, that’s off topic). Tonight we will have a green themes dinner complete with cupcakes decorated with these toppers (free printable).  

I browsed around the inter webs to find more freebies or make the day fun for my family without spending too much green (get it “green”? Ya, I’m nerdy. Sorry.) on it. Here’s what I came up with.

 

Free St Patricks Day apps (a variety of cute games) :
 Freebies for St Patricks Day 2015 Freebies for St Patricks Day 2015This one is for Android and has 3 games in 1 app.

 Freebies for St Patricks Day 2015 Freebies for St Patricks Day 2015 Leprechaun Lineup game .

image4 150x150 Freebies for St Patricks Day 2015

 

 

 St. Patricks Day coloring pages from Crayola. 

There are lots of cute printable themed pages for your little ones to decorate and scribble on.

image6 150x150 Freebies for St Patricks Day 2015Fun ideas for crafts and free printables from Disney Family

Free educational activities from Enchanted Learning. These include many printables from word searches,crafts and math pages to little books and would be great for homeschooling elementary kiddos.

I hope you find these freebies helpful . If you have any free stuff for kids or families that you think we would like, feel free to drop your link in the comment box to share. Have a bright and sunny St. Patty’s Day!

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Posted in Android Apps, Crafts, Free Kids and Family Activities, Holiday Decor and Treats, Printables, Smartphone Apps, Totally Free, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

{ Free E-book } Paleo Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes

 { Free E book } Paleo Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes                                   Free Ebook! Paleo Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes { Free E book } Paleo Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes

I know alot of my readers are of a Paleo type diet inclination. Several are Gluten-Free , and I imagine most of us enjoy throwing a meal in the crock-pot on a weekday. So, I want to share this free Kindle Ebook: Paleo Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes { Free E book } Paleo Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes
It’s full of great ideas for fix-it-and-forget it dinners that are family friendly, easy and look really delicious. It’s definitely worth taking a look at since it’s free. Let me know if you try any of the recipes !

*Note* for anyone who doesn’t have a Kindle (I don’t myself) you can read the free Kindle books with the Kindle app (which I have). Don’t go buy a Kindle for a free book. icon wink { Free E book } Paleo Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes

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Posted in Amazon Deals, Free Samples, Gluten Free Recipes, Grain Free, Grain Free Recipe, Great Deals, Recipes, Totally Free | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Favorites 03/06/15

It’s FRIDAY! I am thrilled to see Friday roll around this week. It is (hopefully) the last below zero day for the season , it’s the end of ISTEP testing at school, and it’s the official start of the weekend. Need I say more? Oh, and I get to share my favorite finds of the week.

 Friday Favorites 03/06/15  Friday Favorites 03/06/15

Favorite #1: Photo Editor by Aviary Friday Favorites 03/06/15

I have been using my iphone more and more frequently as my camera to catch pics of the kids and their sporting events, at home, and even for my blog posts. It’s always with me anyways and it makes one less thing to carry around. The pics are decent enough, but they often end up a little dark. I downloaded this free photo editing app a few months ago and I really love it! It is super easy to use and has the basic editing tools plus a few more that I am used to using on Photoshop. Since Photoshop just isn’t practical for my phone, I like the simplicity of tapping a few buttons and improving the sharpness , color, and lighting of my pics. There are also options for frames and text that are fast and easy. Best of all, it’s free. As Ken would say , “free is my favorite brand”.

coffeetable 300x231 Friday Favorites 03/06/15

 Favorite #2: Everything Barnwood

I adore the current trend of creating new things from old and I have a soft spot for old -barns. The way they stand there with their graying wood, hand-hewn beans and history of families working and living together just makes me feel a connection with the generations before us. So I am loving all of the great ideas to make pieces of furniture or home decor out of old barns. It’s a piece of someone else’s story turned into my story. I ordered this coffee table from Echo Peak Design on Etsy and can’t wait to get it!

IMG 3198 300x225 Friday Favorites 03/06/15 IMG 8483 300x196 Friday Favorites 03/06/15

Favorite#3: Crock-Pot Soap (otherwise known as Hot Process Soap)

I have been making soap for awhile now, but only in the last couple of months have I experimented with Hot Process soap. It’s so much easier than I thought it would be and the best part is that the soap is ready to use weeks sooner than with the cold process method. I love it!

What have you fallen in love with lately? I would love to hear about it!  If you want to see what other bloggers are favoriting this week or link up yourself, come on and join the party at Simply Sweet Home for Friday Favorites.

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Honey Pecan Granola Recipe

photo 2 225x300 Honey Pecan Granola Recipe

Yum! This stuff is seriously the best granola I have ever tasted.  Ken (my hubby) loves a good granola and I have been working on getting just the perfect recipe. A friend passed this one along last week and we are hooked! The flavor is just what you expect- warm, honeyed oat filled goodness – and the ingredients leave out all of processed stuff. One thing I especially love is that this recipe uses coconut oil and that is a superb way to increase our consumption of the “good fats” without even noticing. Not to mention that it saves us $ when I make it myself instead of shelling out $6 for 12 oz at the local farmer’s market.

When I find a recipe for something that I feel good about feeding my boys and they actually consume it willingly, you know it’s a keeper. My 3 boys have all been chowing down on this granola every chance they get (4 if you count Ken) and I may have snuck a few bites when it was so hot it burnt my mouth warm and fresh from the oven. It’s that good. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we have been!

photo 1 203x300 Honey Pecan Granola Recipe

 

HONEY PECAN GRANOLA

Mix together in a large bowl:

8 cups of oats (I use THESE Honey Pecan Granola Recipe  organic rolled oats, but any kind of rolled oats will do)

2 cups of pecans (you could use other nuts instead or mix it up half & half)

1 and 1/2 cup ground flax meal

Heat to boiling in a sauce pan:

1 cup of coconut oil

1 cup of honey

1.5 teaspoons of salt ( I use sea salt and it tastes great)

1/2  cup brown sugar

1/4  cup Maple Syrup (grade B is fine and more economical)

3 teaspoons of cinnamon

3 teaspoons of vanilla

Stir well and continue stirring while it boils for one minute. Then pour over the oat mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are coated. Divide the mixture onto 2 greased (coconut oil is great) cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes at 325. Stir the granola, paying attention to the edges and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. When this loveliness is done baking, spread it on parchment paper to cool. It’s quite delicious at this point if you want to give it a try! The granola stores well in quart-sized mason jars, but I couldn’t say how long it will keep because it has never lasted more than 3 days around here! This recipe will make approximately 4 quarts of granola.

Enjoy!!

Love from my kitchen to yours,

Megan 

 

 

 

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Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

image 225x300 Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies What do we do when it snows for the third time in 2 weeks and we find ourselves stuck in our house yet again? Bake our favorite chocolate chip cookies, of course! The mood was getting rather grouchy after I told the boys that their long awaited visit from special friends had been canceled due to the winter storm. Finding out that school tomorrow is also canceled helped a bit, and filling their tummies with warm cookies and milk brought the grins back to their little faces.

These chocolate chip goodies are the soft and gooey kind, chewy and melt -in- your -mouth scrumptious. I hadn’t made these in a very long time because we save them for those occasions where we just need some comfort food, regardless of calories or sugar. Our dear friend gave me the recipe years ago and it has stayed my go-to recipe ever since.  Simple, scrumptious, and perfect!

image1 225x300 Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here’s the recipe , because you know you want some  too!

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Beat together :

3/4 c white sugar

3/4 c packed brown sugar

1 c crisco

Then add 2 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla

Beat til smooth.

Mix in 2 & 1/4 c flour

1  tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

Mix and add 1 bag of chocolate chips. Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes.

 

 

 

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Happy 2015!

Another year has flown by and here comes 2015  already! That means I will be correcting myself for writing 2014 on all of my checks for a few months before I get it through my mind that it really is a new year. I’m not big on New Year resolutions because they tend to stress me out more than they actually improve my life.  Maybe less stress should be my resolution ,hmm? Anyways, happiest of wishes to you and yours for the brand new year!

 

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Grain Free Mug Muffin – Fast and Easy

I have been attempting to eat much less grain with the goal of eventually completely eliminating it from my diet. It is not an easy adjustment and sometimes I just want to eat some bread ! So. I have been experimenting with a few recipes for a fast and easy muffin made in a coffee mug. There were some that turned out ok, some REALLY bad and this one is the one that I actually enjoyed eating. It is slightly different in texture than what you would be used to if you use wheat flour, but since I have been(mostly) gluten free for awhile, it tastes better than some of the wheat alternatives. Sometimes you just gotta’ have a muffin for breakfast, and this one is super fast and can be made quickly to stop myself from eating something I shouldn’t. 

 

Grain Free Mug Muffin 300x300 Grain Free Mug Muffin   Fast and Easy

Grain Free Mug Muffin

Mix together in a coffee mug the following :

1/4 cup almond flour (I use Honeyville  Grain Free Mug Muffin   Fast and Easy )

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 Tablespoons of apple butter or applesauce

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 egg

1 Tablespoon sugar (or equivalent  sweetener of your choice – I use Coconut Sugar Grain Free Mug Muffin   Fast and Easy  )

Stir it up and pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. It will be steamy when it comes out. Give it a few seconds to cool and you can eat it right out of the mug with a spoon or pour it out of the mug onto a plate.

This is my new go-to. I am thinking it might be good with chocolate chips or cocoa mixed in ,too.

This recipe can be adapted for Wheat Belly diet compliance if you choose sweetener that is allowed on the plan. 

 

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Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Grain Free, Grain Free Recipe, Recipes, Uncategorized, Wheat Belly | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Fabulous Finds and a Friday Linky Party

One of the things I love about the blogging world is how easy it is to share information and help each other out.  I am joining the Fabulous Finds Friday linky party over at Mama’s Blog Central today. There is a linky party every Friday where bloggers can share their “best of” for the week and see what others have found,too. Here are my favorites for the week:

whole30 150x150 Fabulous Finds and a Friday Linky Party

-50 Freezable Whole 30 Recipes (found on Pinterest) because we are starting a new Whole 30 tomorrow and I need inspiration to prevent me from failing!

 Fabulous Finds and a Friday Linky Party Fabulous Finds and a Friday Linky PartyCoconut Oil (unrefined, extra virgin) because it’s my latest find for cooking and hopefully keeping my family as healthy as possible. I’m putting it in coffee, using it in skin care, and cooking with it. I even “heard through the grapvine” that it can possibly reverse dementiain the elderly. I’m going to have to research that one!

unnamed 150x150 Fabulous Finds and a Friday Linky Party

My new essential oil kit. Even if I did have a bad experience mixing up the peppermint and frankincense. I have  a lot to learn, but it seems to be working well so far ! My oldest son was coming down with a fever,cough and chills, sore throat,etc yesterday. I put him to bed with Thieves on his feet, covered his chest in peace and calming, and hoped it would do some small bit of good. It could be complete coincidence , but he woke up with no fever, and a few coughs this morning. It’s enough to impress me so far. I’m a skeptic by nature, but at this moment I am a fan!

healingherbspaleomama 157x300 Fabulous Finds and a Friday Linky Party

This post about Healing Herbs from The Paleo Mama that I ran across on Pinterest. I would love to learn more about herbs and how they can help us, so I bookmarked this to read later.

See the rest of the blogger’s favorite finds HERE  or share your own! Happy Friday and I hope you have a restful weekend!

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