Interactive Kids' Birthday Party Ideas

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gone are the days of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey"!

Today's birthday parties are interactive where kids don't just sit around eating cake, opening presents and watch a puppet show.

Now, they'd like to be involved...have some fun & adventure!

Whether it's play air-guitar & sing karaoke, or
dig for dinosaurs, a birthday party without a hands-on activity
just isn't as much fun!

[click here for dino decorations]

Here are some ideas for those interactive parties:

*Survivor...Outwit, Outplay, Outlast

*Scavenger Hunt...Outdoor, Pirate, Jungle & More

*Outdoor Carnival...Games, Food & Prizes

*Rock Star...Karaoke, Guitar Jam, Dancing

*Dinosaur Dig...Hunt, Dig, Games & More

*Beaded Jewelry...Bracelets, Necklaces & Edible Jewelry

*Spa at Home...Manicures, Facials & Fun Foods

*American Idol...Music Games, Contest, Awards

*Olympics...Marathons, Obstacle Courses, Flag-making

*Soccer...Games, Balloon Pop, Pinatas

There are many party supply companies out there that are budget-friendly, such as Oriental Trading Company, and Discount Party Supplies.

For complete party packs, check out Party In A Box.

If you're still searching for that 'perfect' theme? Then visit where they have a list of the "Most Popular Birthday Party Themes".

Non-toxic Household Cleaning Tips & Tricks

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Many families have opted for using more natural and less harmful chemicals for cleaning. Most items you have either in your fridge or your pantry, cost pennies to use and saves you from some of those nasty fumes!

Here's a list of some tips & tricks:

To remove wallpaper border: fill a spray bottle with 1/2 cup of fabric softener, fill with water. Spray mixture onto border, let soak, and remove.

Clean brass: use a clean cloth and squeeze some ketchup onto it, rub the brass til it shines.

Unclog those sinks: pour a can of coke, or drop 3 Alka-Seltzer tablets with 1 cup of white vinegar, let sit overnight, rinse with warm water in morning.

Clean & refresh garbage disposal: slice up some lemons and put them into disposal...this will take away any lingering odors.

Clean tile grout: make a paste using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply paste to grout, let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub with old toothbrush if necessary, rinse clean.

Remove pet odors from carpets: sprinkle area with baking soda, let sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum.

Clean toilet bowl: pour Coke into the toilet, let sit for 1 hour, flush.

Remove stains from porcelain or stainless steel sinks: rub on some salt & lemon juice, leave on for a few hours, rub off to remove stain.

Visit for more non-toxic cleaning tips.

The Best Burgers for Summer

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Burgers.....the quintessential food of the summer.

Whether you fry, bake or grill them, I have found some of the best burger recipes for your next meal or party!

Featured in the photo is the Big Mike Burger courtesy of Paula Deen from the Food Network. One of the burgers includes pecans, and the other uses butter. This huge burger has a 5-star rating and the reviewers claim it is the BEST burger they've ever had!

If you're a fan of the Pioneer Woman like we are, make sure you head on over to her site for step-by-step instructions (with photos) on her Favorite Burger Ever.

For instructions on how to grill the best burger, then check out They also offer many recipes on different kinds of burgers, including: beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, veggie, and fish.

Happy Grilling!

SuguarBowl ~ Nashville ~ Grocery Giveaways

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Enter the Domino Allstate Sugar Bowl sweepstakes for your chance to win a VIP trip for 4 to the 2011 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans!

Please read official rules to enter.

Sweepstakes ends October 15, 2010.

Enter the Music City Star Studded Getaway for your chance to win a 5 day/4 night trip for 2 to Nashville, TN! Prize package includes VIP Blue Man Group show & more!

Please read official rules to enter.

Giveaway ends August 31, 2010.

Enter the Southern Living "Food for Today $500 Grocery Giveaway" for your chance to win a Southern Living Cookbook, and a $500 American Express Gift Card (to be used for groceries). One winner chosen each month.

Please read official rules to enter.

Giveaway ends December 31, 2010.

Tent Cabins & Glamping ~ The New way to Camp!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Have you ever heard of "tent cabins" or "glamping"?

These are the new terms associated with camping! Parks and campgrounds all over the country and abroad are offering these alternative accommodations for the traveler who enjoys a rustic tent-cabin, or the traveler who opts for luxury.

"Glamping" means "glamour-camping"; for the traveler who enjoys the great outdoors, yet would still like the comforts of home.
These luxurious tent-cabins usually include hardwood floors, gorgeous bed linens, private baths, verandas and more.

For the rustic adventurer, the "tent-cabins" would be the best choice. No need to pop a tent, worry about weather conditions or sleep on the hard ground. Many of these come in different sizes for an individual traveler or a bigger party, and some offer bathroom facilities, heated cabins, and even locker rental.

For more information on "glamping", check out the
Go Glamping website.

For info on "tent-cabins", there are many sites you can visit to find one near you:

*Sweetwater Bungalows

*Big Basin Tent Cabins & Store

*Yosemite Curry Village

*Mono Hot Springs Resort

Happy Camping ~ or should I say "Glamping"?!

Back To College Deals

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Are you getting your child ready to head off to college?

Here's some back-to-college deals we've found so that you are not only prepared, but saving money too!

*Walmart bedding..................*OfficeMax desks

New Craft Ideas!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Looking for a new summer craft project?

Here are a few I found at Create & Decorate:

*Birdhouse Egg

*Yellow Tulip Drawer Pull

*Dream Blue Pendant

And for some fun crafts for the kids, check out

Woman's Day Craft section!

Easy Ways to Save Money!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

During these economic times, I think we're all looking for easy ways to save money.

The following are some helpful tips that you may not have thought of yourself. Most of them are not only easy to do, but won't cost you!

1) Cook at home; eat out less

2) Cook your meals using fewer/cheaper ingredients ( has recipes using very few ingredients)

3) Create your own individual size snack bags by buying in bulk and dividing it up into small baggies

4) Take your own packed lunch to work, the park or the beach

5) Make a list before going shopping, and stick to it

6) Buy generic products whenever possible

7) Avoid impulse buying; especially at the checkout

8) Use coupons and visit helpful coupon sites ( or

9) Check out the weekly sales ads in your local newspaper or mail insert

10) Compare prices on big-ticket items and vacations

11) Make a budget and stick to it (including special occasions & holidays)

12) Buy gifts during those "after holiday clearance sales"

13) Shop at thrift or consignment stores and find bargains at yard/garage sales

14) Instead of paying full price for books and/or movies, buy them used or borrow them from the library

15) Scale back on any magazine subscriptions you have

16) Avoid ATM fees by using your own bank's ATM, or using the "cash back" option during checkout

17) Round up your debit/purchases in your checkbook and see the savings at the end of the year

18) Disconnect land-line if possible

19) Shop around and compare plans for cellular, cable & internet services

20) Closely examine insurance policies; ask agent if you qualify for any discounts

21) Do regular scheduled maintenance on your vehicles (saving money later on costly repairs)

22) Get cash for your gold

23) Get cash back or savings when buying at the drug store (visit CVS Extra Care Rewards program)

What are your tips to saving money?

Women's Health: Cervical Cancer Info

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2006, there were 11,982 women in the U.S. diagnosed with Cervical Cancer, and 3, 976 women died from this disease.

Most cases are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). Which is why most women have a PAP smear test done during their yearly gynecological exam.

There are many ways to prevent cervical cancer including; not having sex, stay faithful to one partner, use protection, and see your doctor for routine PAP tests.

The CDC also recommends that all girls (age 11-12) and young women (age 13-26) receive the HPV vaccination.

For more information, please visit

See Tim McGraw Live in Concert!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Enter the Tim McGraw Concert Sweepstakes
[sponsored by Frito-Lay & Dollar General]

for your chance to win 2 tickets to the
Tim McGraw concert on August 6, 2010
in New York;

includes round-tip airfare, 2 nights hotel accommodations,
ground transportation & $500 spending cash!

Contest ends July 26, 2010

[please read official rules to enter]

Penguins of Madagascar Review & Giveaway

Monday, July 19, 2010

"The Penguins of Madagascar Operation: DVD Premier" Description: Their mission is to maintain order in the zoo. Their nemesis is their obnoxious neighbor, King Julien. Watch the crew as they outwit anyone and everything crossing their path at the zoo. {view a trailer here}

Even though my children are older (15 and 12 years old), they did enjoy the DVD, much to their surprise. :) They really liked the character Dr. Blowhole, a bottlenose dolphin who has lobsters as servants and rides on a Segway-type vehicle while on land. The DVD has 10 episodes as well as some "Mad-Tastic" Extras the whole family can enjoy.

One Penguins of Madagascar prize pack which includes one box of Trix cereal, a Penguins of Madagascar launcher and the new Penguins of Madagascar movie, The Penguins of Madagascar Operation: DVD Premier.

For your chance to win a “Penguins of Madagascar” prize pack, answer this question [this one rule must be followed for entry]: Which character from Penguins of Madagascar is your child's/grandchild's favorite?

* For Extra Entries, Leave a Separate Comment for Each:
1 Extra Entry: Follow Showcase Sisters with Google Friend Connect
1 Extra Entry: Subscribe to Showcase Sisters via reader or email
1 Extra Entry: Like Showcase Sisters on Facebook
1 Extra Entry: Follow Showcase Sisters on Twitter
1 Extra Entry: Tweet this giveaway on Twitter (leave the link)
1 Extra Entry: Blog about this Giveaway (leave the link)

* Giveaway entries must be received by 9:00 AM EST on Friday, July 23, 2010.

* 1 winner will be selected via and will be notified both here at Showcase Sisters and via email.

* The winner will have 3 days to claim their prize. If unclaimed, the giveaway will go to the next person on the list.

* Open to US and Canada only.

{Disclosure: Free product, information, and prize pack was provided by General Mills and Nickelodeon through MyBlogSpark.}

America's Favorite Aquariums

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Looking for an inexpensive day trip? Something fun to do with the kids during those hot or rainy days?

How about a trip to your local aquarium? Most of the following aquariums feature eco-tours, exhibits, galleries, lectures, workshops, day-camps, educational & conservation programs and IMAX 3D shows.

Here's a list of America's Top 10 Aquariums:

1) Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California

2) Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia

3) John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois

4) New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts

5) The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay, Florida

6) Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California

7) Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, New York

8) Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon

9) Sea World in Orlando/San Antonio/San Diego

10) National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland

If none of the above aquariums are within driving distance, then check out the Aquatic Network to find one near you!

Guy Fieri's Knuckle Sandwich Knives Giveaway

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Enter for your chance to win "Food Network's 'Guy's Knuckle Sandwich Knives" giveaway.

Seven winner's will be chosen!

Hurry! This contest ends on Monday, July 19th at 4:59 a.m., EST

[please read official rules]