Still In a Lego House…

I wasn’t kidding. This is my living room. We’ve moved the train table up from the basement so that all five of us can gather round and work on Lego together, sometimes for hours at a time. It’s been interesting seeing my 7-year-old son interacting with his 4-year-old sisters using his precious precious pieces. This is their first try at the little ones, and it’s tough for them. He’s having a hard time sharing, but occasionally there are moments of pure joy between them as they play together.

The floor is clean! I can say that at least.

I do have a question for those of you with multiple kids In a Lego Househow do you share your Lego pieces? Does each child have their own, or is there a large community pile? Or another way? Please give me some ideas as we head into three-kids-with-Lego territory.

And a reminder–the giveaway for a Box4Blox Lego Organizer ends Saturday, and I hope you’ll consider purchasing one if you don’t win. We received one thanks to Box4Blox, and it’s proving to be as useful as I’d hoped. We’re using the four separate trays when searching for particular pieces. You know to look in the green one if you need something tiny. Very helpful! They’re available at Amazon now if you have any Swagbucks to spend on Amazon GCs.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting MoneywiseMoms!

Nationwide Groupon: $20 for $40 at The Body Shop

Every once in a while, there’s a Groupon daily deal that works nationally–like today’s $40 of merchandise at The Body Shop for just $20. After you purchase this Groupon (limit two per person), you’ll receive an email that you print out, and the cashier enters the code when you checkout with more than $40 in-store. This even works on sale items, so you may want to wait for after-Christmas clearance prices.

GrouponThe certificate expires February 25, 2011, and is valid only in-store at The Body Shop. One important note–the fine print says “Must use in 1 visit, no cash back,” which means you won’t get any credit if you don’t spend $40+ at that time.

Shutterfly Holiday Card Collection 2010

I’ve been asked by Shutterfly and the Clever Girls Collective to share Shutterfly’s new holiday photo cards for 2010. Wait till you see the great designs! Whether you prefer Christmas cards, Hanukkah cards, or New Year’s cards, there are easy-to-personalize designs for you. I took a look this weekend and picked out my three favorite designs:

I love graphic designs, and I love non-traditional colors for the holidays. This design appeals to me because I send cards to families who celebrate different holidays, and these colors are not holiday-specific. Plus, no matter what colors the kids are wearing in your photo, you’re covered.

On the other hand, BOY is it hard to get three kids all together for a family holiday photo, maybe you’ve been there, too? I love that Shutterfly has so many options for 3+ photos, so you can use individual shots of each child to showcase the whole family. Unite your photos by changing them to black & white in your photo program before uploading to Shutterfly. This traditional card has lovely muted colors and a classic design.

If you’re a family that usually includes a holiday letter in your card, you’ll love the new holiday story cards. Each has a different way of showcasing your favorite moments from the year, like a Top 10 List or one with room for a Year in Pictures (perfect for baby’s 1st year!). What a great timesaver, and you won’t have to make separate copies of your letter and insert in envelopes.
 
Remember that you can personalize your message inside your cards–with words, wishes, and your family’s name–which is a great timesaver if you’re sending a large bunch of cards. You can also choose a Flat Card instead of a Folded Card if you’d prefer not to write inside. I’ve used Shutterfly for my holiday cards many times over the past 7 years, and I’ve always been pleased with the quality of both the photo printing and the paper quality. Have fun with Shutterfly’s new holiday photo cards this season!

Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. 

Disclosure: I received 100 holiday cards from Shutterfly as compensation for this sponsored post.

Meal Plan Monday: Trying New Recipes

Before things get into the holiday rush, I want to take time over the next few weeks to try some new recipes and hopefully add a few to my repetoire. I love being able to fall back on our Family Favorites, but we get tired of the repetition. I’ve been looking for a gluten-free version of our favorite chowder (that usually uses a can of Cream of Potato Soup), so Friday’s recipe will be that test.

If you’re stuck in a rut with your own menus, I encourage you to check out my Recipes Page and all the other meal plans listed at OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday meme. It’s nice to try meals that other families have deemed tried and true. Happy cooking!

  • Monday–Pulled Pork Sandwiches from the crockpot, hamburger buns (for them–I’ll use a GF one), broccoli slaw
  • Tuesday–I’m speaking at another multiples group this night, so my kids are being fed at friends’ homes. Yay for wonderful neighbors and friends!
  • Wednesday–Pesto Chicken with Parmesan Noodles (the original recipe calls for angel hair pasta, but I’m planning to substitute gluten-free penne), Broccoli with Herb Butter
  • Thursday–Pork chops, mashed potatoes, and green beans
  • Friday–Potato & Corn Chowder from Centsational Girl
  • Saturday–I’m going to be in the city all day, so I’m asking hubby to come up with something brilliant.

For more recipe ideas and dinner plans, head over to Menu Plan Monday.

Photo Deals Roundup 10/23

The season of great photo deals is in full swing! Look for a roundup of photo freebies/deals every Saturday morning so you have the weekend to work on them. Think ahead for holiday gifts, or take advantage of the low prices to send Thanksgiving Wishes or stockup on Thank You Cards.

Walgreens
Today (Saturday) is the last day to get a FREE 8×10 Collage Print at Walgreens Photo with code 8X10TREAT. Order for in-store pickup to get it completely FREE. See my original post with ideas for that collage.

Snapfish
Snapfish photo cardThis is FREE SHIPPING WEEKEND at Snapfish when you use code EXTRAFS10 through midnight on Sunday, October 24th. Since you can only use one code per order at Snapfish, this is best used on freebies you already have sitting in your account.

Through October 31st, you can get 20 FREE personalized Holiday Greeting Cards from Snapfish with code BABIES or BABYMAIL and order the 4×8 single-sided flat photo cards (the code takes off $14.99). Shipping will be $5.99. If you don’t have a photo ready for the holidays by the end of this month, think about snapping a cute photo of the kids in fall-colored clothes for a Thanksgiving Card.

Picaboo
Picaboo Promotional Banner
From October 15-25, new customers at Picaboo can get a FREE Large Classic Photo Book with code FALLBK. Choose from Large Classic, Classic Leather or Classic Custom (valued at $39.99). Tax and shipping are additional.

Walmart Photo
Get a 2 FREE 5×7 Photo Greeting Cards at your local Walmart Photo Center with this printable coupon at their HP Kiosk. Bring in your photo(s) on a flash drive, Memory Card, or CD to upload and create right at the kiosk.

Canvas People
Get a $55 credit good towards a FREE 8×10 Canvas or apply it toward a larger size at Canvas People. Shipping is $14.95 for the FREE 8×10 and $17.95 for the 11×14, but this is still a great price for a photo canvas (a gallery wrap is usually around $100). I’m ordering my first one from this company this week, so I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Kodak Gallery 
Get a FREE 5×7 Autofill Photo Book at Kodak Gallery with code TARGBOOK. This paperback photo book is a quick gift, and you’ll only pay $1.99 for shipping. This code expires November 6. Thanks to Freebies4Mom for the heads up.

You can still get 20 FREE Mommy Contact Cards and pay only $3.99 shipping. Choose one of the many designs of 2 x 3.5″ cards and use them as gift tags, Save the Dates, or new address cards. You can also get 20 FREE Birth Announcements. Just choose a 5×7 flat card from the FREE selection, and you can get two sets of 10 and just pay the $2.89 shipping. Some of the designs are versatile enough to use as 1st birthday invites, thank you cards for baby or shower gifts, or even party invitations.

Shutterfly
Get a FREE Greeting Card at Shutterfly with code CARD4U. You’ll pay .99 to have it shipped back to you, so you may want to have it shipped to the recipient instead (you can enter whatever text you’d like). This code expires November 17th.If you’re a new member, you also get 50 Free Prints.

Vistaprint
Photo CalendarGet a FREE Photo Calendar or Photo Mouse Pad from Vistaprint, and you only pay shipping (usually $4-5). I’ve ordered the mousepad before, for Father’s Day, and I was thrilled with the quality.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no cost to you!

In a Lego House: Lego Birthday Parties

For two weeks, I’m writing about one of my family’s favorites (yours, too?): Lego! See the other posts in the series.

Once you become a Lego House, you’ll probably end up having a Lego Birthday Party at some point. With all the variations of Lego and kids’ preferences, you can even do it more than once! Consider focusing on a small subset like Star Wars Lego, do a toddler Duplo party, or plan for tweens who love Bionicle. Last year, we had a regular Lego party for my son’s 6th birthday. That’s the easiest to do, and it can actually be a very frugal party as well.

Decorations
Use what you have! I used a yard sale bowl filled with Lego on top of a Lego game board (also from a yard sale). You can also make paper banners by punching circles for the “bumps,” as Jennie from Craftomaniac did with scrapbook paper (check out the rest of her Lego party posts). She wrapped gifts the same way.

Cake

Make your own Lego brick cake by putting cupcake “bumps” on top of a 9×12 pan cake. Or, place marshmallows on top of mini loaf pan cakes so each child gets their own cake, as my friend Shelly did. Some kids prefer to put their own creations on top of a plain sheet cake, and this concept works well if you’ve used a smaller theme like Star Wars. You can also do cupcakes with picks. Melissa at Polka Dot Chair used the FREE Lego Creator program to make these Cupcake Picks. There are also these free printables from Skip to My Lou.

Activities

This really depends on the age of the kids. I knew from past birthday parties that my son and his friends just wanted to play, so while we did do a game or two, the main activity was dumping a bunch of Lego on the rug and letting them play. Stephmodo made this Pin the Bump on the Lego game. Lego.com does have coloring sheets you can download, but ours were never used! Amy at Living Locurto did a Lego Relay Race using spoons and a Lego Hunt to keep the kids outdoors.

Favors

This is where you really get to have fun! Using Lego molds, you can make soap, playdough, or chocolates, like Rebecca from Roots & Wings Co. I went the simple route and bagged up the Lego-shaped candy from a by-the-pound candy store at the mall. One of my favorite Lego themed favors I saw right after my son’s party, that he would have loved, are handmade Lego necklaces from Kristin at WeAreThatFamily. You can even dress your Goody Bags to look like Lego.

Have you had a Lego Birthday Party? Seen one that you love? There are so many fantastic ones out there in blog land. Please add your link in the comments so we can all enjoy them!

Friday Finds 10/22

While it’s all Lego and holidays here at MoneywiseMoms this week, the usual freebies and goodies are flying around the blogosphere. Here are some you won’t want to miss:

  • Old Navy is selling Performance Fleece Vests for just $5 on Saturday only (regularly $9.50 for kids, $15 for adults). Remember to check their FB page weekly for printable Barker’s Bones coupons.
  • I love Sugar Bee’s creative use for clearance socks and Tshirts. Brilliant!
  • Saturday is the last day to use this $10 off $20 apparel purchase printable coupon for Sears.
  • Baja Fresh has printable coupons for $2 off $7 and $5 off $15, good through October 31.
  • If you live in Baltimore, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Oakland, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, St. Louis, Washington DC, you can print a coupon for $2.00 off any large sub or $1.00 off a small sub or salad at Quiznos.

I’ll have a new Photo Deals Roundup for you tomorrow (some of last week’s are still running). Hope you have fun planned for the weekend!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms!

Lego Bricktober 500 at ToysRUs

This Saturday, October 23rd, from 12:00-2:00pm, Toys R Us stores are holding a Lego Bricktober 500 event. Kids can build a FREE Lego Car to race, and they get a Lego Drivers License. They’re also offering a Buy One, Get One 50% Sale on Construction Sets, plus you get a FREE Retro Mini Figure Magnet with a Lego Game or Construction purchase of $20 or more.

For more FREE Lego events, check with your local Lego Store for their monthly Mini Build. See the other Lego Freebies here.

Free 8×10 Collage Print at Walgreens


Today through Saturday, October 23rd, you can get a FREE 8×10 Collage Print at Walgreens with code 8X10TREAT. Upload your photos at Walgreens.com, order your collage print, and enter the code to remove the $3.99 price. Pick up your collage in-store to get it completely FREE. Make a piece of fall decor by using photos with autumn-colored backgrounds or leaves, or consider one of these ideas:
  • If you already have a pile of children’s artwork from school so far, capture the art in digital photos and make a collage print. It takes up a lot less space!
  • Use a few photos of your child’s fall sports for the collage–to keep or to give to the coach.
  • Revisit the holidays–make a collage of the past few years’ holiday photos to use as a decor piece in the months ahead.
Thanks to CouponCravings for the heads up on this deal.