The Color Run: $5 off registration NOW!

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The Color Run 2014 – The Original Paint Race

You all know I have been working on my fitness and being more physically active.  If you are too, check out The Color Run coming to many cities during their 2014 Kaleidoscope Tour  – hopefully near you!  October is the month for my local areas

The Color Run, also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.  It is a five-kilometer, un-timed race in which thousands of participants, or “Color Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer. With only two rules, the idea is easy to follow:

  • Wear white at the starting line
  • Finish plastered in color!

AND ends with an epic Finish Festival…

Have you ever done it???  Please tell us all about it!  Sounds like a blast…

You can also save $5 off a regular priced registration in The Color Run – valid for a single or team runner/walker/crawler.  See anyone can do it – LOL!  Just TYPE (copy/paste will not work) in the promo code HAPPY5OFF at checkout.  Not valid on the deluxe package or with any other discounts.

 Get signed up today!

Though it is a for-profit company, they have raised donations for more than 80 local and national charities since 2012. To date, The Color Run has donated more than $3 million to charity.

Kids Bowl FREE 2014

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Kids Bowl FREE is back again this year and I am so excited my local bowling alley is participating.

Every child can get TWO FREE games every day all summer long!  You will have to pay for shoe rental if you do not have your own.  Once you register for the bowling center near you, you will have coupons emailed to you weekly.

In addition you can also upgrade to a Family Pass for $24.95 which will get you 2 games per person for up to 4 adult family members.  That is a great a deal for some inexpensive family fun.

Kids Bowl Free is in 950+ locations in 46 states – plus Canada

This is a wonderful thing to add to your Staycation plans.

Kids Bowl FREE

Disclosure: I post about this every year regardless, but I was given a FREE family pass for my family this year.

Why REI is Heaven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

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Why REI is Heaven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

REI is one of those stores that have a loyal customer base and top-notch products with an amazing return policy. It is the mecca for hikers, cyclists, kayakers, and just about anyone who loves the outdoors.

REI is Heaven for outdoor enthusiasts and is the perfect place to find just about everything you need.


REI-4-person-tentThe REI 4-person tent is the best tent on the market for a few different reasons. First, you can put it up in less than 10 minutes and is about the easiest tent I have ever put up. Then there is REI’s return policy – they will take back anything and refund or exchange you with no questions asked. Completely awesome!

Here are some other tent options:


Kelty Acadia 4 Tent: You’ll live comfortably in the Acadia 4 tent from Kelty. It boasts large doors, dual vestibules and easy setup.

Mountain-Hardwear-Trango-4-tent Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent: The Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent is designed for winter mountaineering. It’s built strong and engineered to shelter 4 climbers in tough alpine conditions.  AND KUDOS to you if you are tenting in the winter!

What is your favorite tent??  Unless of course you go all rustic and build a “lean to” with sticks and leaves – HA HA!


After you have figured out your shelter for the night, turning to getting the kitchen ready is the next thing that campers always do.  Of course you can cook over an open fire, but there are certainly other things that make it is little easier.

You know I think having a good camp stove is essential!  The Coleman dual InstaStart Grill Stove allows you to boil water and grill at the same time.


Camp Chef Ranger 2-Burner Camp Stove: The Camp Chef Ranger 2-burner camp stove delivers portability and power to make camp cooking fast and easy.

Coleman Signature InstaStart Grill Stove: The propane-powered Coleman Signature InstaStart™ grill stove lets you flame broil a burger while boiling some pasta on your next car-camping adventure.


Don’t forget the mattress pad!   I know you are all saying you LOVE being one with nature and sleeping on the ground.  If you are NUTS like that, then skip over this paragraph – LOL!.

In my opinion this is very much needed to make sleeping on the ground just a little bit more enjoyable. REI has typically over a 100 in stock to choose from and come in all different weights and sizes. Don’t skip on this one piece of camping gear or your back will not be a happy camper!

Therma-Rest Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad: Lighter than its predecessor, this 3-season Therm-a-Rest ProLite sleeping pad is one of the lightest, most compact, self-inflating mattress in the Therm-a-Rest Fast & Light line.


Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad: You don’t have to spend a fortune to sleep well in the great outdoors. The affordable Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad cushions you from the ground on your backpacking adventures year-round.


REI has a pretty robust outdoor clothing line with items for men, women, and kids for all weather ranges from extreme cold to a very hot afternoon. I love shopping their clearance area!!


REI Mistral Pants -Women’s: The REI Mistral women’s pants are sleek and multipurpose soft shells. Have them on hand for late-autumn hikes when the days turn cool and wet.

REI Kimtah Rain Jacket – Men’sThanks to eVent® fabric technology, the men’s REI Kimtah Jacket helps backpackers stay dry and comfortable when they get caught out in a spring or summer rain squall.

ASICS Thermopolis LT Half-Zip Top – Women’s: A cozy first layer for cold-weather running, the women’s ASICS Thermopolis® LT Half-Zip Top features a zippered mock neck for adjustable warmth through the miles.


Anytime you head out hiking don’t forget about your hydration needs. There are great backpacks that also have external water bladders. If you will be out all day, think about putting water in one bladder and electrolyte drinks in another.

mantraOsprey Manta 20 Hydration Pack – 100 fl. oz.: The updated Osprey Manta 20 hydration pack combines a well-engineered hydration system with great carrying comfort to keep you hydrated and moving fast during your done-in-a-day adventures.


CamelBak Rim Runner 22 Hydration Pack – 100 fl. oz.:The comfortable CamelBak Rim Runner 22 Hydration Pack is a capable gear hauler with a big reservoir to keep you hydrated during done-in-a-day adventures.

What are your camping must-haves?

I will continue to look for great deals on these all season long.

Hyland Street FREE Fun Fridays 2014 – Schedule!

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FREE-Fun-FridayHighland Street Foundation: FREE Fun Fridays 2014

Highland Street Foundation is again offering FREE Fun Fridays this summer in Massachusetts starting on June 27th, 2014.

There will be 66 museums and cultural venues open for FREE on Fridays all summer long.  These are perfect to schedule into your STAYCATION plans this summer.

You can see the schedule HERE, but these are the offerings for July.  Click on the date you are interested in to get specific details:

JUNE 27th, 2014


JULY 4th, 2014


JULY 11th, 2014


JULY 18th, 2014


JULY 25th, 2014


I will post reminders each week, but mark your calendars now!

Regal Cinemas Summer $1 Movie Express 2014 – starts TODAY!

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Regal-Cinemas-Summer-Movie-ExpressThe Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express 2014

The Regal Cinemas are again hosting the Summer Movie Express with $1 movies on Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10 am with a portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

Each region may have a different starting date, but follow the same weekly schedule so call your theater to confirm.

My Massachusetts Regal Cinemas started TODAY 6/17/14

Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express 2014 Schedule

  • Week 1 – Hotel Transylvania and The Smurfs 2 (6/17 – 6/18)
  • Week 2 – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and The Pirates: Band of Misfits (6/24 – 6/25)
  • Week 3 – Arthur Christmas and Despicable Me 2 (7/1 – 7/2)
  • Week 4 – The Lego Movie and Free Birds (7/8 – 7/9)
  • Week 5 – The Adventures of Tintin and Rise of the Guardians (7/15 – 7/16)
  • Week 6 – Kung Fu Panda 2 and Madagascar 3 (7/22 – 7/23)
  • Week 7 – The Croods and Epic (7/29 – 7/30)
  • Week 8 – Turbo and Walking with Dinosaurs (8/5 – 8/6)
  • Week 9 – Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Rio 2 (8/12 – 8/13)

REMEMBER to call ahead and verify, but this is a GREAT DEAL!  Perfect supplement to your Staycation Plans.

Staycation on a Budget 2014: Over 60 Cities!

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Staycation on a Budget

If you want to plan a staycation or frugal vacation somewhere in the US, go no further.  Yesterday we talked about STAYCATION Massachusetts 2014: Frugal Fun in Boston & Beyond and how you need to make sure you UNPLUG, PLAN and be CREATIVE!  Lucky for us over 60+ other bloggers who did the same for their part of the country and here they are.  What a fantastic resource!

Be sure to come back and let me know what great staycation ideas you have for YOUR home state.

A – D

Phoenix-Metro, Arizona ~ Mom Endeavors
Scottsdale, Arizona ~ Saving For Someday
Tucson, Arizona ~ Desert Chica Ramblings
Bentonville, Arkansas ~ This Sweet Life
Fullerton, California ~ More with Less Today
San Diego, California ~ Southern Cali
Denver, Colorado ~ Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia ~ Kidventurous

F – I

Jacksonville, Florida ~ Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida ~ The Educators’ Spin On It
Tallahassee, Florida ~ SwagGrabber
Tampa, Florida ~ Not Consumed
Chicago (and suburbs), Illinois ~ A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois ~ Entertaining Chicago
Fort Wayne, Indiana ~ Simplified Saving
Indianapolis, Indiana ~ Chaos Is Bliss
Des Moines, Iowa ~ Eat, Play, Love Des Moines

K – P

Louisville, Kentucky – The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky (Boone, Kenton, Campbell Co) ~ Simply Sherryl
Annapolis, Maryland ~ The Happy Housewife
Boston, Massachusetts ~ Maven of Savin
Grand Rapids, Michigan ~ Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan ~ Saving Dollars and Sense
Oakland County, Michigan ~ Everyday Savvy
South Haven, Michigan ~ Bargain Briana
Twin Cities, Minnesota ~ Creative Couponing
Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas ~ Kosher on a Budget
Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas ~ Kansas City Mamas
Southern Missouri ~ Getting Freedom
Omaha, Nebraska ~ Family Fun in Omaha
Reno (& Northern), Nevada ~ Premeditated Leftovers
Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York ~ Anns’ Entitled Life
Syracuse, New York ~ I am THAt Lady
Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Adventure mom
Columbus, Ohio ~ Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio ~ Savings Lifestyle
Northeast Ohio ~ Raising Lifelong Learners
Northeast Ohio (Canton, Akron, Cleveland) ~ Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
North Central Oklahoma ~ From this Kitchen Table
Portland, Oregon ~ Frugal Living NW
Erie, Pennsylvania ~ Growing Kids Ministry
Harrisburg/Central, Pennsylvania ~ Family Balance Sheet
Lancaster, Pennsylvania ~ Pandora’s Deals
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ~ The Coupon High
Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) ~ Bucktown Bargains

R – W

Providence, Rhode Island ~ Everyday Family Living
Beaufort, South Carolina ~ Kathys Cluttered Mind
Chattanooga, Tennessee ~ Living Chic on the Cheap
Nashville, Tennessee ~ The Hands-On Homeschooler
Arlington, Texas ~ Baby Boomer Rants
Bryan/College Station, Texas ~ How to Homeschool My Child
Dallas, Texas ~ Surviving The Stores
Fort Worth, Texas ~ Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas ~ Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas ~ Moms Confession
Rio Grande Valley (McAllen), Texas ~ iLoveMy5Kids
Salt Lake City, Utah ~ Teach Beside Me
Charlottesville, Virginia ~ How to Have it All
Richmond, Virginia ~ Vacation Maybe
Williamsburg, Virginia ~ The Talking Suitcase
Seattle, Washington ~ Thrifty NW Mom
Spokane, Washington – Susan’s Homeschool Blog
Oshkosh, Wisconsin ~ A Little Bit of This and That

What are your favorite STAYCATION ideas?

Staycation Massachusetts 2014: Frugal Fun Boston & Beyond

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Staycation Massachusetts 2014: Boston & Beyond

Go HERE for Staycation ideas in other states!

Memorial Day approaches, HIGH gas prices remain and we are all looking for frugal summer fun.  More and more people will again be sticking close to home for STAYCATIONS, but this does not mean you need to settle for anything less than a spectacular.

When is the last time you just took a look around you?  Do you know how many people TRAVEL near where YOU LIVE for vacation each year?  There are so many resources and fun things to do that we overlook daily.

Staycation – UNPLUG, RELAX, it is a REAL VACATION

A staycation does not need to be a “what we did because we could not afford to go away”.  It can be an adventure and you should plan it with as much excitement and vigor as you do a vacation.  Whether you are taking a full week off or using your days as a series of long weekends, it is important that you “pretend” you are actually away and on vacation.

  • UNPLUG – though this is tough with today’s technology, if you were on a cruise in the Bahamas, would you be checking email and texting all day?  I say NO, so do not when on your staycation.  The purpose of a vacation is to regroup, re-energize and spend quality time with the ones you love.
  • PLAN ACTIVITIES – Once you pick your staycation dates, plan the week with activities as you would a real vacation.  Even if you choose to have a down day and just relax, do not fill it with chores – you are on vacation.  READ a BOOK.
  • BE CREATIVE – Think outside the box.  Camping in the backyard could be just as fun as going away.  Vacation is a mind-set and if you set your mind into having a fun, fulfilling week, you will.  Take pictures just as you would on a traditional vacation.  Eat ice cream, sleep in, stay up late and any other things you typically do on vacation.

Year of the Staycation 2014: Exploring Boston and Massachusetts

If you are looking for other cities in the US check out Staycation on a Budget 2104 – over 60 cities included.

I am lucky enough to live in Massachusetts where over 12 million tourist pay lots of money each year to visit.  So why is it that we feel we have to travel for vacation?  There is so much to do in this state in addition to all of the obvious Boston and historical attractions.  It is really easy to forget what is around you when you live here.  As you begin to plan, be sure to check out BostonCentral as well as some great daily deals on local attractions through Groupon, Eversave, LivingSocial, PlumDistrict and Amazon Local so keep an eye out for those as well.

Below are some fun activities and resources in Boston and Massachusetts to help you plan a wonderful staycation:

[Read more…]

DIY Monogram Burlap Plate – Simple Mother’s Day or Wedding Craft

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DIY Monogram Burlap Plate

A simple (this word is key) spring or Mother’s Day craft, this DIY monogram plate is perfect when you are looking for a budget savvy project that does not look budget.  Burlap is IN right now and these would be super cute for a wedding, house warming gifts and more.  This one is monogrammed, but you could use your imagination.

This is a great project for the craftily challenged person (is that a word?)!  Challenged is an understatement… I TOTALLY SUCK at crafts (excuse the language, but there really is no other appropriate word).

Before I even headed to the craft store for supplies I needed to find out what the heck a “charger plate” was.  I honestly was thinking “do we plug this thing in… does it light up??”  AND in my defense the people at the craft store had no idea what I was talking about either.  Finally I said ” those big plates people put under candles” and we walked to them and I said AHA… look at the sign – which all said Charger plates – LOL!


Charger plates or service plates are larger decorative plates used to dress up dinner tables at parties, weddings, and other special events.  ~ thanks Wikipedia

Michael’s and AC Moore did not have any burlap ones, so I picked up a black and silver because I had an AHA moment in the craft store – ME, the totally non-crafty one had an idea which I will be back with.

Since I really wanted the burlap, I was told that Hobby Lobby had them.  Now I had never been to a Hobby Lobby and had no idea there were any near me.  It was a 30 minute drive, but OH MY GOODNESS!!!  LOVE THAT STORE… and there was a 40% off coupon!

So here are the EASY PEASY instructions… though you will need to use a glue gun.  I know that can be a challenge, so be careful and do not burn yourself.  Even better, you can probably get away under $5 depending on what letters you choose.

Supplies needed:

Burlap charger plate (Hobby Lobby)
Wood letter of your choice
Paint (spray or roll on)
Hot glue, glue gun

All of these items can be found at your local craft store.


1.  Begin by removing all stickers from your wood letter.

2.  Apply two coats of paint (color and finish is up to you) allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.  I lucked in out finding black letters and another plaster letter in a bronzish color so I did not have to paint.  Which believe me is a good thing – LOL!  BUT you can use any color to match your decor.

3.  Once the letter is completely dry, apply a generous amount of glue to the back of your letter.  Keep the glue close to the center of the letter as you don’t want it to seep over the sides.

4. Press the letter to the center of the plate, holding it in place until it is secure.  I even placed a heavy book on it to be sure.  If you are OCD like me you might want to use a pencil and a tape measure BEFORE you glue to locate the exact center of the plate.

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 7.10.35 PM

Your monogram plate is now ready to be displayed. Of course you could choose to decorate it more and go nuts with the glue gun, but it looks fabulously simply as it is.  As you can see, the style of your letter can change the entire look of it.

Now you can prop it on a plate stand, use a wire holder, or prop it on a shelf as is.

What are your favorite SIMPLE crafts?


Baskin Robbins 3 Day Scoop Fest

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Swing into your local Baskin-Robbins for a 3 day Scoop Fest April 22 – 24th!  Get $1, $2, $3 scoops on all your favorite flavors!

Ice cream lovers are invited to visit a Baskin-Robbins shop during these three days to enjoy amazing scoop deals.

Baskin-Robbins invites guests to also help them kick off the summer movie season as well and try the new April Flavor of the Month, The Amazing Spider-Man 2™ ice cream.

Family Funway (Foxboro) tickets 50% off!

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Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 10.27.25 AM

Family Funway Tickets

LOCAL folks will want to grab this LivingSocial Deal for $18 ($37 value) for two 3-way junior/adult bracelets good for (3 attractions) at Family Funway in Foxboro, MA.

PLUS you can use code EXTRA10 to save an additional $2 making it only $16!

It is currently open weekends, and after June 17, open every day, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Conveniently located one mile north of Gillette Stadium.

Take a spin on the Bumper Boats (beginning in late May) or Go-Karts; test your luck on the Mini-Golf Course; or, bounce sky-high in the Moon Walk, Bungee Run Inflatable, or on the Bungee Trampolines.

Get your Family Funway Tickets NOW