Hi! I'm Shana and I want to Share with you a part of my life with this site in the hope that it holds something of value to you - A Solution Shared! May it be a blessing to you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Festivals & Fairs Schedule - Seattle & Beyond

Summer is fast approaching and that means filling our calendars with some fun activities with family and friends. I am posting this Summer Festivals and Fairs in the Pacific Northwest list compliments of Thrifty Northwest Mom.  Our family has attended several on this list and I will add more if I find additional summer outings that are family friendly and affordable. SeaFair events I grew up enjoying included various Seattle neighborhood Parades, Hydroplane races and Blue Angel Air Shows. I now enjoy other events in the beautiful Pacific Northwest as well, but those are still some of the best childhood memories! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Affordable upcoming Summer Kids Activities

Summer is almost here so I thought I would start with some of my favorite family friendly, easy on the pocketbook or educational ideas to get you through the next few months and have some fun too! I will be adding to this list so come back within the next few weeks! I suggest bookmarking the links below you are interested in, especially the ones that haven't officially started to find out more or register if required. Enjoy!

A great boredom buster or to get out of the heat you can take advantage of $1 Summer Regal Movies for Kids Twice a week they have a movie at a participating Regal theater near you. Check schedule for details by inputting your zip code. I usually have this one bookmarked for the summer! Get there a bit early for best seating. 

June 9th is Free National Park's "Get Outdoors Day" so free entry to your local National park. See Here for Park details so you plan accordingly. Great way to kick off the summer! 

For a great Free Summer Reading Goal Prize Click Here for your children to find out how to earn a book at Barnes and Noble this summer!

If you haven't checked out the Free Bowling for Kids this summer from AMF Unplugged, please register Here. Your child will receive two free games per day during summer promotion (shoe rental not included). 

For some fun family building projects you can get ideas at Lowes. You can also sign your children up for Lowes Free Build and Grow Clinics by registering Here. My son has done these free clinics and always enjoys it, especially when he gets to hammer things (see pic. below) 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Family Freebies and Discounts for May

Rudi's Organic Bakery Facebook page HERE has a fun and Free Sandwich Lunchbox that your child's artwork can be put on. Ends 6/30.

Don't forget to check out Pizza Hut Free BOOK IT Program to enroll at their Website (if you are a teacher or homeschool parent) for reading incentives (free pizzas) for your K-6 student/ students. My son has participated the last 2 years and it has been a blessing in his reading enrichment. The website has additional teacher helps and printables. You can also go to their Facebook page HERE for additional information and periodic contests.

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day with FREE Admission on May 11th by going HERE (and fill out info and print your admission) from Better Homes & Garden. A fun way to start your Mom's Day weekend celebration!

Frappacino Happy Hour at Starbucks! May 4 - 13th from 3pm to 5pm. (Treat Mom to a Half Price Starbucks Frappacino while your out.)

Free pet food sample coupon Here at Petco  for you to print out for Natural Balance Cat Food Pouch 3 oz.
and a Free pet food sample coupon Here at Petco for you to print out for Natural Balance Dog Food roll 2.75oz (Through 5/31 - can print one of each per household)

This page will be updated with more great deals this month so check back soon! 

Here's a picture below of our family day out/field trip last week ( in Stanwood, Washington) during Free National Park Week. Did you get to get out and explore? 

May is a great month for Deals! Here's more Great Freebies or Discounts:

Click Here for Coupon to print for FREE Panda Express Entree   You just need to purchase a 2 item entree with beverage and you can recieve a FREE Entree with coupon. Through 5/31 

Today only visit a participating Häagen-Dazs location on Tuesday (5/8) and enjoy a FREE Scoop of Haagen-Dazs ice cream between 4-8pm! More info on Facebook Haagen-Dazs page

Here's a Great deal to spend on Mom at The Body Shop! Get twice as much with Buy $20 get $10 Off at The Body Shop- Coupon to Print Hurry, offer end 5/13/12.

Great Family outing opportunity with FREE Museum Admission Friday May 18th in honor of International Museum Day. See HERE blog for more details and link to specific museums participating. 

With the weather getting warmer enjoy a quick cool down for you and the kids on your way home or while your out because its Free Slurpee Day at participating 7 Eleven Stores on May 23rd from 11am to 7pm , Small size only (7.11oz) while supplies last).

Friday, April 20, 2012

FREE Entry to National Parks 4/21 - 4/29

Its a great time to head to the National Parks this week April 21st to April 29th. Its National Park Week and its Free Entry! You can see more details HERE at 

One of our favorite Parks in the Pacific Northwest at Deception Pass (above).

For more about Free Park Week you can go HERE to for some parks, deals and videos to see.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Love Sharing Solutions! Easy, at Home Remedies

When I run across some helpful living tips that work for me or my family I just love to share! From recycling to additional uses for everyday household items mentioned below, you can save time and money.  This will be a regular topic (DIY/ Solutions Shared) on my blog so if you have any great ideas in this area please feel free comment or add to it. 

Solutions Around the Home:

1. If you are all out of toothpicks and you need to check your cake baking to see if it done you can also use a long piece of uncooked Spaghetti. (I actually prefer this because they are longer).

2. To easily keep your household scissors sharp: Cut a few snips of sandpaper with your scissors and it will help maintain their edge.

3. To neatly open a cereal box lid (so it can be re-closed properly), use a letter opener. 

4. To de-crystallize honey (in a jar) uncover and warm on medium power in microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If a plastic honey container you can set in a hot cup of water until crystals are gone. Honey lasts a long time so no need to throw out when crystals form, its an easy fix!

5. Extra shower curtain rings can be useful for storing scarves and purses. Place some rings on a closet rod and thread your scarves through them and hook your handbags straps to them. It keeps them visible and off the floor.

6. Candy Lifesavers work great to hold birthday candles on a cake and they also "catch" the wax drips from landing so much on the cake. It looks pretty too!

7. Your dishwasher can be used for more than just cleaning dishes!  

Use your top rack to clean these items:
  • Wash your kids action figures in a mesh laundry bag.
  • Wash baseball caps 
  • Wash Flip flops 
  • Wash knee pads, shin guards or mouth guards
  • Light fixture covers (only if they are not painted, enameled or antiqued) 
8. To lift stains from a cutting board, rub them with juice from a lemon and let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse. You can also whiten fingernails by rubbing them with a lemon wedge.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Economical Indoor Germinating - Let's Get Growing!

It doesn't need to take a lot of time and money to get your seedlings started growing indoors and germinating. Seed starts are easy, fun and educational for children too! I like to re-use my see-through plastic containers for this purpose, such as plastic cupcake or fruit containers with lids attached or large apple (bubble type) containers from costco to make a greenhouse type set up instead of purchasing and recycle/ use small clean plastic drinking or yogurt cups. I purchased a quality seedling starter soil and seeds from my local garden center and fill the "bubbles" or cups. You can also just get the small round peat disks that contain similar ingredients as a seed starter soil and follow directions for them to expand by adding water. (and then no bag of seed starter soil is necessary). But make sure they are kept moist.

I put a small hole in the bottom of the cups and plastic trays for drainage and put a container or pan underneath so watering is easy by filling bottom and it soaks it up through the holes made. Fred Meyer usually has a great deal on seeds (as pictured previously.) Just follow planting instructions per packet for indoor starts. If the seed packet doesn't specify you can start indoors first, I typically will plant those directly into the garden when it stops frosting at night (later in the Spring). This is just from my personal experience for my climate the last few years. Your area may be more accommodating earlier in the season. 
After you have filled the containers with seedling mix soil and put your seeds in (or watered your peat disks so they have expanded and filled the cup), I keep them in a warm area, such as up on top of my refrigerator or near a light. When they start to germinate and pop up a nice sunny spot works great to re-position them to. You can raise the lid as they grow (I usually find a popcicle stick or a chopstick to prop the lid open with and cover the gap with some plastic wrap.)
These squash seedlings popped up quickly in about 6 days. Remember to not let them get too dry but keep moderately moist but too much will cause rot. You may need to re-pot to a larger pot if roots start getting too cramped I have found. I like to acclimate the plants eventually for a short time on my covered deck during the day and bring them in at night for a week or two also before putting them in the vegetable or herb garden.

Get more growing tips here at Garden Guides.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spaghetti Pizza Pie Recipe

This is one of my son's favorite's as it combines two of our family's most liked recipes : Pizza and Spaghetti!


1 lb Organic Ground Meat (Turkey, Beef, Chicken or Lamb)
2 tsp Olive oil
1/2 Cup finely chopped onions
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1/2 lb (or 8oz.) Spaghetti Noodles 
1 Jar Pasta Sauce 24 oz. (or homemade spaghetti sauce) 
2 eggs 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (+2 tbsp for sprinkling on top at the end)
2 Tbsp melted butter 
1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (+1/4 cup for sprinkling on top at the end)
3/4 cup small curd cottage cheese (or ricotta)
***Please note you can use an Alternative to Cow's Milk Cheeses in recipe with Vegetarian/Soy or Almond Cheese blends available.

Heat in frying/saute pan on medium heat:
Olive Oil

Stir gently until heated through, not carmelized though.

Then stir in:

Meat and cook over medium high until done (until no pink in meat remains). Season to taste with salt and pepper (optional).
Then stir in Pasta Sauce and heat until bubbly, turn down to simmer. (See picture below)

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions until al dente and drain. (can be prepared earlier in day and refrigerated) Put noodles into a Large Round Baking Dish (a deep pie dish). Set aside. 

**Note:  You can also use 2 small pie dishes if you don't have a Large Deep dish  and then have one to eat and one to freeze and bake another time or 1 to share. If you do 2, just distribute noodles and egg/cheese/meat mixture evenly between them both.

Mix into a bowl (pourable bowl if available):
Parmesan cheese
Melted butter 
Garlic Powder
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Cottage cheese (or ricotta)

Pour this mixture over the noodles in pie dish. Mix it really well and press down as this will be the crust. (see above)

Spoon on and gently spread the meat sauce mixture over the crust and to finish off, sprinkle with the final mozzarella and then parmesan. (see below)

Bake in 375 degree oven for approx. 30 minutes or until slightly browned cheese (like a pizza), some bubbling around the edges and it is set. Let rest about 10 minutes and then cut and serve. Add a Salad and French bread for a great complete meal!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Free Summer Bowling for Kids - Register Soon!

AMF Summer Unplugged

Free Bowling For Kids

All Summer Long!

Summer Unplugged is Back in 2012!

Kids registered in the Summer Unplugged program can bowl two games per day, every day all summer long! (Shoe rental is not included.)
Sign-up begins April 1st, so be sure to come back here and register! Summer Unplugged Website Register Here

To find out what AMF Bowling Alleys are in your area you can  Go Here to their website and input your zipcode and state. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

So Delicious Coupons for Coconut Milk Products GIVEAWAY!

If Dairy free milk products are a usual staple in your home, I have a Giveaway of So Delicious Coupons for you to be able to save over $16.00 in Yummy So Delicious brand Coconut milk products.

From Coconut Milk Creamer for your morning coffee and creamy Coconut Milk Beverage for your cereal to an afternoon smoothie using Cultured Coconut Milk for a protein filled refreshing snack or perhaps a dessert treat of Chocolate Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert you will be amazed at this creamy, smooth and healthy alternative to dairy!

This morning I felt like I was on a tropical island when I poured So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage in vanilla on my typically boring cereal but the addition of a sliced banana combined with the rich, creamy flavor of this milk was awesome!

You can find these wonderful products at most larger Grocers in your area either in the dairy/frozen food section/ or in the natural food/dairy/frozen dairy section. I purchase regularly at Fred Meyer in their health food section.

Here's some fresh and fruity recipe ideas using So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage:

Easy Strawberry - Banana Coconut Smoothie (and Frozen Treats)

  • 1 cup strawberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 banana 
  • 1 cup So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Beverage
  • 2 TBSP Honey, Natural Sweeter such as Stevia or Organic Cane Sugar
Mix in Blender until smooth. You can also double this recipe and make extra to fill your frozen "popcicle" or frozen treat holders as I did. Yogurt can also be added for extra flavor and richness, but the creaminess of the Coconut Milk Beverage is quite smooth and flavorful! Enjoy!

If you would like to get a .55 cent off Coupon to print on Facebook (Will need to "Like" their page) Click here -So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Product Coupon on Facebook

You can also go to   for recipes, product info and to sign up for email and get more coupons! (to print)

This Sunday's Smartsource coupon insert has $1.00 off Coupons as well (3-25-12)

(Subscribers only - via Email or Google Following) GIVEAWAY:  I will give away the two coupon booklets shown above so you can save and try these delicious "So Delicious Coconut Milk" products!  Please leave a comment below on this post of something you liked reading about on my blog I actually started a year ago as of Tuesday, and also if you have ever tried So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk products.  Your first name and last name initial is fine in your reply.

This giveaway ends 3-31-2012. If you haven't yet subscribed you can do so by entering your email on the right side of my page to follow by email or sign up via Google to Follow where it says Join this Site, and then enter this Giveaway. (Please note if you sign up via Email you will need to confirm the email you receive via Feedburner after you sign up on this blog for it to count.) Thanks!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fred Meyer Savings Tips and Sweepstakes

If you have a Fred Meyer near you then you may want to check out these great offers!
Go here to and click Sign up (for Reward Card or to input your Reward card you may already have) and sign up for weekly emails of sales.

I have been able to save regularly by using my Rewards Card. I shop for two households and really get some great discounts by loading my card with deals online, clipping weekly ads and using manufacturer coupons from each Sunday's newpaper. I also get in the mail quarterly my Rewards bonus just for shopping there. I like to go online to see the weekly ads before I head out and print out just in case they are all out of Store coupons when I get there. Here are some of the kinds of savings coupons I receive and have available by shopping here. (Shown below: Rewards Card Bonus Coupons, Register Coupons, In Store Coupons and In Store Bonus Discount Coupons for different Departments)

A few things I love about Fred Meyer is their Health Food Dept and Produce section always have great deals and many organic fruits and veggies for my family. Of course their One Stop Shopping while saving money feature can't be beat especially if your busy and just don't want to shop around town to every separate store, (like automotive, gardening, cosmetics, toiletries, and so on before getting home).

Right now there is even a fun Sweepstakes game you can play when you sign in to your online Rewards account daily through March 24th. They are giving away thousands of free food items. I just won a Free Breyers Ice Cream Tub up to $6! It automatically loads it to your Rewards card so you can redeem on your next shopping trip. Easy!

March To Savings Sweepstakes

If you don't have a Fred Meyer nearby to shop at, the Official Rules link below shows some other Kroger stores to enter this fun contest.

Official Rules (and other Kroger Stores) 

This weeks' Ad 3-11 to 3-17 you'll find a great deal on Seeds in their Garden Dept. if your thinking about planting your garden soon. Buy One Get One FREE on Lilly Miller and Ed Hume Seed Packets. Make sure you clip out the coupon to use in the store Ad for these. Great time to buy is now! 

I will be posting some pictures of what I start planting here in the next month or so and some inside germination tips.