BIC Round Stic Xtra Life Ballpoint Pens 60 COUNT $4 Shipped

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BIC Round Stick Xtra Life Ball Pens 60 Count $4 Shipped


Just in time for Back to School shopping!  Amazon has the 60ct box of BIC Round Stic Xtra Life Ball Pens, Medium Point for $4 shipped – not Prime or SSS – just shipped.  This is an excellent price for a 60ct box of pens!  Estimated delivery is between 7/22-8/9, currently.

Remember: Amazon prices can change at any time.  This deal is valid as of 6:02pm on June 27, 2016.

Easy Cucumber Salsa

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The recipe is a new spin on an old favorite – salsa.  Plus, it takes advantage of that huge crop of cucumbers we’ll be seeing in late July.  I love Cucumber Salsa – maybe more than regular salsa.  It’s the hint of lime, I think.  It gives it a little taste of something different.  It’s cool, refreshing, and (of course) nut-free, too.


Garden Fresh Cucumber Salsa (Nut-Free)


  • 2 cucumbers, chopped, seeded, and peeled
  • 1 tomato, chopped (seed if you like)
  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Lime Flavored Tortilla Chips


  1. Combine all ingredients except chips  in a medium size bowl.  Refrigerate one hour.  Serve with chips.


Disney Princess or Frozen Waffle Maker $5.97 + FREE In Store Pickup! (reg. $14.96)

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Disney Princess Waffle Maker $5.97 + FREE In Store Pickup

Early Sunday morning is a special time in our house.  My husband is home, so he can play with the baby while I make a little bit more extravagant breakfast than cereal.  I’ll make things like cinnamon roll, pumpkin, or banana pancakes, bacon, and eggs.  Sometimes I make homemade waffles with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.  It’s like having strawberry shortcake for breakfast.   The kids love it.   And this?  I know this’ll put big smiles on a certain 7 year old girl’s face and, soon, a tiny princess in training.

Walmart has two different Waffle Makers, Disney Princess or Frozen,  clearance priced at $5.97 (reg. $14.96) with free in store pickup or free shipping with a $50 purchase.  Goodness, this price is so good.  I’m picking up an extra one to give as a gift.


Gymboree: Swimwear $7.99 + Free Shipping! Today ONLY!

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Gymboree: Kids Swimwear $7.99 Shipped

Today only, Gymboree is offering free shipping on any order.  Paired with their special offer pricing on Swimwear, several 1-piece Swimsuits and Rash Guard Sets are priced at $7.99. Sunglasses are $2.99.  Nothing is priced higher than $12.99 because the entire site is $12.99 or less.

Free shipping is only available on 6/24/16.

6pm: Clearance + FREE Shipping On Any Order! Today ONLY!

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6pm: Clearance + FREE Shipping on ANY Order!Today only!

One of our favorite places has brought back free shipping on any order – today only.6pm, our go-to for rock bottom prices on brand name shoes, boots, and sandals, is offering free shipping today. There are some huge discounts in the clearance section – Bass Sandals, Enzo Angiolini Shoes, Cole Haan Men’s Dress shoes, Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole, and Naturalizer are all 70% off.

$85 for $100 Staples Gift Card! Great for Back to School!

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$85 for $100 Staples Gift Card

School may have just ended for many, but back to school deals are already beginning to take center stage as some children are preparing to return to school in July.   Taking that into consideration, Staples, the behemoth of back to school deals, will be kicking off their sales in the near term.   We can double down on those savings with an excellent discount of 15% off or $85 for a $100 Staples Gift Card at eBay.  Pair it with those big discounts coming our way to save even more on back to school shopping.

Gift card will be delivered via email.

Don’t miss: PUMA Backpacks for $16.80 (reg. $40) Today only!

Puma Backpacks $16.80 Shipped (reg. $40)

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PUMA: 30% Off Flash Sale + Free Shipping! Backpacks $16.80


PUMA is having a Flash Sale with an additional 30% off sitewide along with free shipping and returns.  It’s an excellent time to pick up gear for summer sports, but also to start considering back to school items.  Included in the sale section are Backpacks already marked down to  $24 (reg. $40).  The price drops even further after the application of the 30% discount to $16.80 shipped – a huge discount on an often times pricey brand name.

Use the code SUMMERISHERE to receive the 30% discount. Shop the sale sectionfor the biggest discounts on sneakers, running shoes, and clothing. The sale is only going on through today, 6/22.

Littlest Pet Shop Pet Jet $15.38 (Lowest Price)

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Amazon: Littlest Pet Shop Pet Jet $15.38!

Amazon already has the lowest price currently on the Littlest Pet Shop Pet Jet at $20.38 Prime, but it’s even lower with an Amazon promotion running through July 3rd that saves you an additional $5 off a $20 purchase of Littlest Pet Shop toys.


Littlest Pet Shop Pet Jet Deal


Your order summary will look like the one above (tax will vary).  Also, you can choose Free No-Rush Shipping and receive a $5.99 Prime Pantry credit.

Try the Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial if you don’t already have it.   It’s great to have for low priced and exclusive deals just like this.  I’ve had my membership for YEARS and I love it. You’ll get free 2 day shipping on Prime eligible items along with so many other benefits like Prime Pantry grocery discounts, unlimited photo storage, one free Kindle book each month, free movies and tv series, and more.  It’s a must-have so you don’t have to meet the new high $49 Super Saver Shipping threshold.

Remember: Amazon prices can change at any time.  This deal is valid as of 5:34am on June 22, 2016.


My Baby Girl’s First Birthday Party

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It’s hard to believe, but Pinterest wasn’t even a thing when my son and daughter were little.  If it had been, well, I’d have done a better job of planning their first birthday parties!  I’ve often thought over the years that I didn’t exploit the fact that they have no expressible opinion at that age, so I could have essentially done whatever I wanted to do for just one year. So, between her Ralphie inspired pink bunny first Halloween costume last fall and wedding-esque first birthday party,  I think I may have made up for a little of what I lost with the other two.  I may just be able to make it through the next several years of Dora, polka dots, and animal print.  Or not.  Probably not.

As you’ve probably already surmised, we celebrated our sweet, tiny girl’s first birthday this past weekend.  I took some time away from the blog to research her party, construct a tablescape, order a custom outfit and invitations from Etsy, flowers from a florist, and some other decoratives to make it a beautiful and rustic first birthday.  I want to show you all the details because I love to share these things with you along with all the other things we regularly have on tap and, also, because this is something you can easily pull off yourself.

le Petite Posh - Onesie and Tutu

The Outfit

Custom Onesie (name and number) and Tutu from le Petite Posh on Etsy $50.95

Paper 'n Peonies - Pink & Mint Floral Birthday Invitation

The Invitations

Pink and Mint Floral Birthday Invitation from Paper n’ Peonies on Etsy $15

I had them printed at Staples for $19. Right now they have an offer to save 20% off Cards and Invitations with coupon code 85067. I used the create your own 5×7 one-sided portrait cards. It only took about 10 minutes and they did a beautiful job.


The Flowers

I bought two bouquets from a local florist, broke them down into smaller bouquets, and picked out some roses to decorate the cake. I ended up piecing the remaining flowers together for a full bouquet, too. They were lovely. So, so lovely.

Teleflora Cotton Candy Bouquet – Standard Size –  $32.95

Teleflora This Magic Moment Bouquet – $47.95


The Table

I used a 90×132 White Economy Polyester Tablecloth I bought from LinenTablecloth for $5.18. They have lots of other sizes and their prices cannot be beat. Along with that, I used a Burlap Runner I picked up at Walmart for $8.

From here, I dotted 10″ Wilton Paper Doilies ($2 at – cheaper than in store) along the runner on either side of the Wood Slice Cake Stand I bought at Sur La Table for $59.95. They have other beautiful complimentary Wood Slice Serveware, too – coasters make nice bases for the votive candle holders.

And since someone is sure to ask what I did with it, so I want to point out that you’ll see my Pioneer Woman Timeless Beauty 10″ Cake Stand in some pictures, but we didn’t end up using it. It’s a Jadeite color green and I didn’t have coordinating jadeite pieces to tie it in.  I planned to do that, but was pressed for time.  It would have been lovely with the pink/mint theme I had going.

I placed my tiny girl’s special healthy 3 ingredient cake on my 9″ White Scalloped Cake Stand from Pier 1. $14.95.

Also dotted around the table, there are 5 Silver Mercury Glass Votive Candleholders I picked up at Amazon. I liked the assorted styles vs. buying 6 of the same. $39.95. I only used 5 because I didn’t like the globe style of the 6th.  I’m no decorator, but it didn’t seem to tie in well to me.

I also bought a lot of Milk Glass Vases and Compotes on eBay. $23. I used 2 Bud Vases, one regular Vase, and 3 Compotes.

For the remaining two bouquets, I used white acrylic paint on a couple of Quilted Ball Jelly Jars I already own.  After the paint dried, I rubbed them lightly with a piece of, get this, printer paper to give them a distressed look.  It worked just fine.  In all, I had 6 bouquets of flowers.

We didn’t do anything fancy for the plates.  I used Chinet.  We only needed white, so that worked out perfectly.

For the food (standard grill fare), I used the two sets of Better Homes & Gardens 2 piece Rectangular Serving Platters I already own – $22.20 each set.  Two Compotes were filled with fruit salad, and the other with plastic cutlery.


The Cake

This is one of the standard cakes I make for my kids’ birthday parties – Duncan Hines Delicate White Chocolate Cake.  I only follow the cake directions.  For the filling, I always use Henry & Henry Red Raspberry Filling.  The frosting is the classic Buttercream Icing recipe (below)  I’ve used for years.  I’m a big fan of white/raspberry wedding cakes, so I always make one of these cakes for either my son or daughter each year.

I used two 10 inch round cakes and two 8 inch round cakes and stacked them.   Underneath is a Wilton 12″ Silver Cake Platter and 12 inch Doily.  It wasn’t what I intended to use, but it was what I had on hand and it coordinated with the votives.

Buttercream Icing


  • 1 stick Crisco
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 tsp clear Vanilla Extract
  • 7-8 cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted. If you don't sift, use less.
  • 4 tbl Milk


  1. Cream butter and Crisco. Add vanilla and milk. Blend. Begin adding confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, until it is dry, but not so dry that it's crumbly. Use immediately or cover bowl with a damp cloth.
  2. *For this cake, I assemble the layers with filling and use icing only between the stacked layers because it can't be seen, so it doesn't need to have any kind of finished look. Then I freeze the cake for several hours, so that when I frost it, it doesn't crumble with the heavier icing. After it's sufficiently frozen, I frosted the cake. The icing will freeze somewhat. That's ok. After frosting it somewhat smoothly, I run the cake spatula under hot water and smooth the frosting on the cake for a satiny finish. Granted, I'm no professional, but it looks perfect for a rustic theme when I'm done.

The entire party cost a total of around $350 + the cost of food and beverages we typically incur for any party we have. It was so worth every penny.  I’m going to dry some of the flowers and keep the flower from her skirt for her to use as her something old, maybe, when she gets married.  Tears.

Happy Birthday, my sweet, precious, and beautiful, Anna Banana.

Inspired by Kara’s Party Ideas.

Kids Animal Socks $4.50 Shipped

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Kids Animal Socks - $4.50 Shipped

About half of our downstairs has tile flooring.  I mean ceramic tile, too.  And when the air conditioner is on, it gets cold.  My poor little tiniest girl is at that awkward stage between crawling and walking, and still finds crawling more efficient when she wants to pick up the speed – unless she’s on this tile.  She bear walks on her hands and feet while keeping her little legs off the ground whenever possible.  It’s the funniest thing to watch.  She ‘walks’ forward slowly, sometimes semi-crawls on one leg, then quickly lifts that leg back up off of the cold floor, returning to her original gait.

Animal Socks are one of the cutest trends in kids clothing these days and they love them.  Available at Jane in sizes Small-Large (to age 6), each pair is $4.50 and shipping is free.  They’re super cute with skirts…or simply for keeping cold legs warm on tile floor.  😀

This sale ends today – 6/15/16.