Deal Alert! Michael’s 40% off Coupon

April 30, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

Need a new frame or something cute to spruce your spring or summer decor? Then head over to Michael’s this week and use this 40% off coupon. It’s good only for one item April 29-May 2.

coupon

Click here to get your coupon!

Fun Birthday Countdown Printables {It’s FREE!}

April 27, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk, Party Planning

Birthdays can be a big deal, especially with kids. Why not countdown to your family member’s next birthday? These printable are FREE and super cute.

Here’s just one design…

birthdaystripes
image via

Just click here and choose a design that you can print at home or at a local store, like Walmart or Target. Then put the printable in a frame and use a dry erase marker to change the number from day to day!

Thanks to Life Sweet Life for creating such cute printables!

Top 5 Best Snacks at Walt Disney World

April 26, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Everything Disney, Girl Talk

We’ve linked up with Destination Disney to share our picks for best snacks at Walt Disney World. What we love about our snack picks is that they are all included on the Disney Dining Plan as one snack credit!

1. Mickey Bar At the top of our list has to be the ever-popular Mickey Bar. Vanilla ice cream with a milk chocolate coating-YUM! We think these are a definite favorite of children (at least ours) and adults too! Another plus about this snack is that you can find them in all the parks at almost every land/street, etc. and at resorts within WDW as well.

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2. Dole Whip Pineapple Float This yummy soft serve creation can be found at Aloha Isle in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. One word: Scrumptious and a must try–this is a super treat on a hot Florida day!

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3. Zebra Domes This is one of our favorite African treats. You can find them at two of the restaurants at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. So delish!

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4. Pork Egg Rolls You can find these at Yak and Yeti (counter service restaurant) at Animal Kingdom. Plain and simple, we just love Asian cuisine so these rolls made the cut!

5. Hand-twisted Pretzels There are pretzels throughout almost all the parks, but our favorites are at Sommerfest in the Germany Pavilion at Epcot.

What are your favorite snacks at Walt Disney World?

What We Love Right Now April 25, 2012: Strawberries!

April 25, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Meals In Minutes

Strawberries are very in season right now and perfect for picking at your local berry batch. Wouldn’t that be a fun spring outing with your kids or playgroup? If you’re not into berry picking then head over to your local grocer or farmer’s market. They are sure to have strawberries by the bucket right now!

While we love fresh strawberries just as they are, there are some other things you can do with your strawberry crop. Many folks don’t think about canning strawberries, but by doing so, you can have a great supply to last throughout the coming months. Canned strawberries make a great cake or ice cream topping or can be used as a filling for cakes and pies.

strawberries_sharpmoms

Never canned strawberries before? Just follow these steps to get started!

What You Need:

Potato masher
6 quarts fresh strawberries
3/4 cup minute tapioca
2 quarts water
Salt
Sugar
Sterilized canning jars with lids
Canner Pan/Pot

Fix it Fast:

1. Remove the stems and caps from fresh strawberries and wash the berries.
2 Mash, chop, or halve the strawberries. You can choose to leave them whole. It depends on how smooth you want the final product to be.
3. Add sugar to taste.
4. Boil water.
5. Very slowly stir 3/4 cup minute tapioca into the boiling water. Keep boiling until the water again becomes clear.
6. Add pinch of both salt and sugar, to taste.
7. Add tapioca water mixture to the mashed strawberries and mix well. You may not have to add all of the mixture. Add a little at a time and keep an eye on the consistency.
8. Put the strawberry mixture into the sterilized canning jars, seal, and boil for 5 minutes in a hot water in your pot.
9. Turn off the heat but leave the jars in hot water for about 10 more minutes.
10. Remove jars from pot and store them in cool place.

Springtime Spaghetti

April 24, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Meals In Minutes

Now that it’s getting warmer and fresh veggies are becoming more available at Farmers’ Markets it’s time to think about revamping traditional pasta meals and making them lighter, crisp, and fresh. Skip the meat sauce and try this recipe for Springtime Spaghetti.

Springtime Spaghetti

springtimespaghetti_sharpmoms

What You Need

1 small box of spaghetti or linguine
half a bag of frozen peas or 1-2 cups fresh, shelled peas
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil {we think fresh vs. spice jar basil adds much more flavor to this meal}
Shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to taste

Fix it Fast

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Add peas to pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup pasta liquid.

3. Heat oil and butter in pan over medium heat until butter is melted.

4. Remove pan from heat and stir in pasta mixture, reserved pasta water, juice, salt, and pepper; toss well.

5. Scoop Pasta mixture into bowls and top each serving with basil and shaved cheese.

This meal tastes best when served immediately after cooking.

Get Organized with a {Printable} Summer 2012 Calendar

April 23, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

Soon summer vacation will be upon all of us and we’ll be either bored to death like our kids always claim to be ;-) or busy bees! Hopefully it will be the latter. Between summer camps, church activities, playdates, appointments, and the all important summer vacation{s} our calendar is already starting to fill up! We found this great organizational tool over at Brown Paper Packages. What a great way to keep all your summer fun listed by week and on display so you won’t miss or forget a thing!

2012 summer schedule

Hop over to the Brown Paper Packages to print your very own PDF copy!

How will you display your calendar? We think using a frame is a great way to utilize this nifty calendar. Just use a dry erase marker to “pencil” in events. The glass surface will make it easy to wipe clean any oopsies :) .

Happy Summer Planning!

Top 6 Best Quick Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World

We have done a previous Walt Disney World post on the best places for table service dining, but decided when we linked up with Destination Disney to focus on the best quick service restaurants within the Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Resorts.

1. Peco’s Bills Cafe~Magic Kingdom

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This restaurant is located in one of our favorite lands at Magic Kingdom, Frontierland. There are plenty of positives to this quick service restaurant. First off, the atmosphere is a great western theme which is so fun! If you can’t make it to Wilderness Lodge for a taste of the Ol’ West, then this is next best bet. Second, the food is pretty amazing and different for your typical theme park food. We happen to love the taco salad here. Peco’s Bills also offers a great toppings bar for your juicy burgers. Last, and most unique, is the automated ordering system that Peco’s Bills offers. Skip the line and use your Disney Dining Plan or credit card to order your meal.

2. Columbia Harbour House~Magic Kingdom


Columbia Harbour House is another Magic Kingdom quick service restaurant that we love. It’s located in Liberty Square and is one of the more spacious eateries. There is plenty of  indoor seating so you can enjoy your meal in the AC! Our favorite menu items here are the Shrimp Basket and Tuna Sandwich. The tuna might be an ordinary pick to some but we love it!

3. Wolfgang Puck Express~Downtown Disney


Want a table service meal at a quick service price? Then Wolfgang Puck Express is the place for you! Take a break from the parks and your resort and head over to Downtown Disney for some shopping and then get some yummy eats from this quick service restaurant. Enjoy scrumptious pizzas, salads, and more all with that great, raved-about Wolfgang Puck taste. You won’t regret dining here!

4. La Cantina de San Angel~Mexico Pavilion, Epcot

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Epcot has great quick service restaurants, but this one stands out to us because it is one of our favorite pavilions, Mexico. At the La Cantina you can sit outdoors right by the lagoon and enjoy some wonderful, authentic Mexican cuisine. The kids menu is little lacking with just two choices, Empanadas de Queso (fried, cheese filled dough) and Chicken Tenders, but the empanadas have always been a big hit with our kids. The dessert here is great too! Who doesn’t love a Churro?!

5. Flame Tree Barbecue~Animal Kingdom

flametree_sharpmoms

Another great place to get some bang for your buck and the really use your dining plan wisely. Flame Tree offers some very tasty barbecue meal choices in very large portions. Perfect for sharing if you want to save a buck or a dining credit. The ribs and chicken bbq is a  perfect meal for sharing. This is by far one of the best dining options within Animal Kingdom!

6. Riverside Mill Food Court~Port Orleans Riverside Resort

portorleans_sharpmoms

Why do we love the Mill? Well, it is at one of our favorite resorts, Port Orleans Riverside. You can dine here and when you’re done you can take the boat over to Downtown Disney or enjoy walking the grounds of the resort–sounds like a perfect evening to us! This restaurant offers great scenery of the iconic waterwheel and the Sassagoula River. The food options are abundant with five serving stations — bakery/ice cream, grill, pasta, carved meats, pizza, etc — plus the Grab and Go refrigerator which contains all your chilled drinks and pre-packaged items. Don’t miss out on the Riverside Mill experience during your next Disney vacation!

What are your favorite quick service dining spots within Walt Disney World? Share them with us in the comments below!

Deal Alert! Get Two FREE Canisters of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

April 18, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

Are you a teacher? If so, then this deal is for you! You can get two free canisters of Clorox Wipes to help keep your classroom clean and germ free!

clorox_sharpmoms

To receive your free wipes courtesy of Clorox click here.

What We Love Right Now April 18, 2012: Flower Power Earth Day Snack

April 18, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection, Meals In Minutes

Earth Day is just around the corner and we’ve been searching for a fun treat to feed the kiddos to celebrate the day. It just so happens that my children love veggies, but if your child isn’t a veggie lover maybe this cute presentation will turn their taste buds around, even if just for one day!

veggieflowers_sharpmoms

image via

This super cute flower snack is the perfect way to get some healthy food into your child’s daily menu and celebrate the fun of  Earth Day! Not to mention it’s pretty easy to recreate. Shown in the photo above are baby carrots, radish slices, celery sticks, spinach leaves, sliced cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. Served with dip this snack will be super delicious! The fun doesn’t have to stop with veggies. If your child is a fruit lover you could incorporate some of their favorites into this snack as well or even create a whole new flower snack with just fruits! We think strawberries, bananas, blueberries, and apples would make some great fruit additions!

Tax Day Deals 2012

April 16, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

Tax Day can be a major drag. Here area  few Tax Day deals to perk you up!

taxday_sharpmoms

Do you know of a Tax Day offer we missed? Share it with us in the comments below!

Deal Alert! P.F. Chang’s Tax Day Deal

April 16, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

changs_sharpmoms

Love P.F. Chang’s? We do! From the Chang’s Spicy Chicken to the lettuce wraps…we could eat P.F. Chang’s for every meal! All of us are in lunch because all orders on Tuesday, April 17 will receive an automatic 15% discount! Be sure to stop by for lunch or dinner for a little tax day break on your total meal cost!

Baby Birds in a Nest Plastic Eggs & Paper Plate Craft

April 16, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts, Girl Talk

Still have plenty of plastic eggs left to recycle? Try this super cute birds in a nest craft and use up some of those Easter eggs!

babybluebirds_sharpmoms

You’ll Need:

2-3 Plastic Eggs

Construction Paper

Brown Paint or a Brown Party Plate

Craft Glue

Scissors

Black Permanent Marker

Make It:

1. Paint your paper plate brown. If you have a brown party plate, skip this step.

2. Begin crafting the baby birds. First, fold a small piece of orange construction paper and cut a triangle. This will make the beak.

3. Cut wings out of construction paper. Again, you can go with a triangle shape.

4. Glue beak on top of egg. Use a permanent marker to draw two small eyes on either side of the beak.

5. Glue on wings.

6. Put glue on the bottom of each egg and adhere to plate.

7. Cut brown strips of construction paper to make the nest straw. Glue the strips around the edge of the plate.

Thanks for sharing the great idea Busy Bee Kids Crafts!

Disney Jr.’s Doc McStuffins Games and More!

April 16, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts, Kid Connection

docmcstuffins_sharpmomsHas your child fallen in love with the new Disney Jr. series Doc McStuffins? My kids love this cute new show. What child doesn’t like to pretend play and help their favorite stuffed animals?! My kids enjoy fixing up their stuffed animals just like Doc McStuffins. If you haven’t seen tuned in yet, then be sure to check it out online. You can watch the episodes right from Disney Jr.’s site!

There are also new games and crafts too. Make your own Doc McStuffins door hanger, print off some fun coloring pages, and more! Your child will love Stuffy’s Scramble, a search and find game. Girls will especially enjoy Lambie’s Ballet, a fun game where Lambie comes to life and takes the stage. In addition to all this online fun, your child can also create their own Book of Boo Boo’s for their stuffed animals too–just like Doc!

image rights are that of DisneyJr.com. All thoughts expressed in this blog are opinions of SharpMoms.com.

Deal Alert! $5 off TOMS Shoes

April 15, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

Who doesn’t love or want a good pair or two of TOMS? So cute, so comfortable, and so many styles and colors to choose from! TOMS has great shoes for everyone in the family–including babies and kids! Plus we love their One for One campaign: For every pair of TOMS purchased one pair of shoes will be donated to child in need. Win, win!

toms_sharpmoms

{Aren’t these Classic Crochet TOMS fab?!}

Now you can save $5 off your next purchase with these two promo codes:

SAVINGSNTOMS5 and RMNNTOMS5

These codes are good online only.

Thanks to RetailMeNot.com for the great codes!

Deal Alert! Shoe Carnival Coupon: Get $5, $10, or $15 off Your Next Purchase!

April 14, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

shoecarnival

Every woman loves a great new pair of shoes–or two, or three! Now you can get a great new pair for spring at a super price with a great coupon offer from Shoe Carnival. You can shop in stores or online for a  savings that will be either a $5, $10, or $15 with the coupon {your savings is a surprise}!

Shoe Carnival states on their site:

“Print your coupon to save an additional $5, $10 or $15 off your purchase of $29.98 or more in-store, on top of great sale prices. Or, shop online and once your total reaches $29.98, the Surprise Savings will be automatically applied at checkout.

What are you waiting for? Get your online coupon/in store coupon now!

Product Review: Pedialyte Powder Packs

April 12, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Every mom dreads when their child catches the ugly stomach bug/flu. Even worse is when you need something to hydrate your child and it’s the middle of the night and you have nothing offer but fruit juice. While that is an okay solution, if you talk to any Pediatrician they will you the best way to hydrate your child during illness is Pedialyte. We’ve found an even better Pedialyte product, the Pedialyte Powder Packs.

powerpacks_sharpmoms

I’ve always been fan of Pedialyte to help with hydration during sickness, but straight out of the bottle, my kids were never really a fan. I really wasn’t either. The grape flavor just didn’t sit well with me. On top of the odd taste, we rarely ever used a entire liter bottle during one stomach flu, so the remainder would expire while sitting the fridge.

I was so happy last spring when I spotted the Pedialyte Powder Packs at the drug store. These little packs come in super handy during those middle of the night “surprise-I’m-sick” sessions.  Even better, they came in fruit punch flavor which happens to smell and taste great! These packs have saved me on more than on occasion in the past year!

They can be purchased in packs of 4 or 8 and usually do not expire until a year or later from the date of purchase–BONUS!  To use, simply mix the pack with 8 oz. of cold water and your child can sip on the drink and hydrate in the process.

The favorite flavor at our house is fruit punch, but it is also available in apple, strawberry, and grape. To get a coupon and start saving on this great Pedialyte product and more click here.

All thoughts expressed in this blog are the opinion of SharpMoms.com. SharpMoms was not paid by Pedialyte to endorse this product.

What We Love Right Now April 11, 2012: Chicken Enchiladas {in a Bowl}

April 11, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Meals In Minutes

If you’re like me, you don’t have time to mess around with elaborate dishes, but this recipe will give you the taste of scrumptious enchiladas with out the sweat! It’s so easy to make, full of flavor, and will easily become a go-to weeknight meal.

Chicken Enchiladas {in a Bowl}

enchiladas2_sharpmoms

What You’ll Need:

enchiladaingredients_sharpmoms (800x554)

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded {I used one pack of 3}

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 {4 oz.} can diced green chiles, drained

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

2 {10 oz.} cans green chili enchilada sauce

2/3 cups red enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheese {preferably a Mexi-blend :) }

1 cup sour cream

Penne pasta

Optional Toppings:

Green Onions

Black Olives

Diced Tomatoes

Sour Cream

Fix it Fast:

1. Cook chicken, drain, and shred. Set aside.  In a medium pot boil pasta according to package. While boiling, chop the onion, pepper, and garlic (Time Saver: I used preminced garlic in a jar. You can find this in the produce section of your local grocery store).

2. In a deep, large skillet heat the olive oil.  Cook onions for about 3-5 minutes, or until tender.  Add garlic & red pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes.

3. Add shredded chicken, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt, & enchilada sauces to the skillet. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

enchiladas1_sharpmoms

4. Add cheese and stir until melted and heated through.

5. Add sour cream to the skillet. Warning: DO NOT bring to a boil!  Be sure to cook on low heat or the sour cream will curdle–YUCKY. I turned off the stovetop and let the sour cream heat that way. Stir until sour cream is mixed thoroughly. Side Note: I did use the full cup of sour cream, but I think it was a little too much. My guess is that you could cut back or not add the cream at all and just use it as an extra topping only.

6. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce mixture to pasta pot, mix well, and serve in a bowl with additional toppings of your choice!

**My kids love tacos and were a fan of this meal. Your child may not be a Mexican cuisine lover. If that’s the case, be sure to set aside some pasta in a separate bowl and serve with spaghetti sauce. This is an easy way for you to serve your family dinner from the same meal and not become a short order cook :) .


Olive Garden Review and Giveaway

April 10, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

olivegarden

GIVEAWAY CLOSED 4/19 9 p.m. EST

We LOVE good food at a great price and have always been big fans of Olive Garden. Can you really beat those yummy breadsticks? We don’t think so. With that said, we were on a Olive-Graden-dining-haitus for…wait for it…about 5 years! Finally the streak was broken a few weeks ago and we dined there for dinner. It was super yummy! My entree was the Sausage and Peppers Rustica, a blend of Italian sausage and colorful peppers in a delicious red sauce. Of course the salad and bread were just a good as we remembered.

Why else do we love the Olive Garden? Well, they have a great selection of Gluten-free meal options–even on the kid’s menu! (To view the entire list of Gluten-free menu selections click here.) Plus, they always have some great lunch specials and at a super price!

So, to celebrate our return to this great eatery we’re giving away a $10 Olive Garden gift card!

Entering is easy! Here’s how you can win:

Mandatory Entry: To be entered into our giveaway you must leave a comment on this blog post telling us: I want to win! along with any of your favorite Olive Garden menu items. 1 entry

Extra Entries:

**Mandatory entry must be fulfilled before extra entries will count.  Please leave a comment on this blog post for each extra entry you complete.**

1. Like SharpMoms on Facebook. Click here to go to our fan page. Leave us a comment on this post telling us you liked our page. 1 entry

2. Follow us on Twitter. Click here to visit our Twitter page. Leave us a comment here telling us you followed. 1 entry

3. Retweet this to your followers on Twitter:

RT @sharpmoms I entered the Olive Garden #giveaway to #win a free gift card! http://sharpmoms.com/2012/04/10/olive-garden-review-and-giveaway/ This can be done DAILY as 1 entry everyday!

4. Join SharpMoms for free! Just visit our homepage and click the “Join Now” button at the top of the page! 2 entries

This giveaway will end on April 19, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. EST. The winner will be notified via email, so be sure to use a valid email address when leaving your comments! If the winner does not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.

All reviews on the Olive Garden are 100% opinion. SharpMoms was not paid to review this restaurant.

Deal Alert! Michael’s Printable Coupons

April 9, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

michaels

Get your craft on and save with great printable coupons from Michael’s!

You can receive 25% off your entire purchase including sale items and more!

To get your coupons, click here.

These coupons are good April 9-13, 2012.

8 Best Lands/Areas at Walt Disney World Theme Parks

April 5, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Family Destinations, Girl Talk, Travel

We’ve linked up once again for another week of Destination Disney to share our favorite lands throughout the Walt Disney World Theme Parks!

In no particular order…

1. Mexico Pavilion~Epcot

If your kids are little too young to truly enjoy everything about World Showcase–have no fear—they would most definitely enjoy Mexico as their favorite country. Why? It’s simple: The Gran Fiesta Tour. Hands down one of our favorite Epcot attractions and most all little children love this ride! Also, you can’t beat some of the yummy food you can find in Mexico. Most kids love the dessert choices!

2. Dinoland~Animal Kingdom

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Another no-brainer in our book, especially if your kids love dinosaurs. If so, this land is a must do. Our favorite parts about Dinoland are the “little” kid friendly rides like the Tricertop Spin and the fun rides for older kids and adults like Dinosaur.

3. Adventureland~Magic Kingdom

dolewhip_sharpmoms

Get your Dole Whips, ride some oldies but goodies like Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise and run into a character or two!

4. Africa~Animal Kingdom

So much to love about Africa! It houses one of our favorite restaurants, Tusker House, one of the best rides, The Kilaminjaro Safari, and is in close proximity to one of our favorite meet and greet spots, Camp Minnie Mickey!

5. Future World~Epcot

Test Track and Soarin’. ‘Nuf said.

6. Frontierland~Magic Kingdom

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Have a rootin’ tootin’ good time in this land! Love the rides like Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Love the great eats like Peco’s Bills. Love some of the character meet and greets you can find while stopping through!

7. Tomorrowland~Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (too futuristic/outer space themed), but it’s a must do in our opinion. First of all, the Tomorrowland Terrace has great food for a counter service restaurant. So if you’re around this land for lunch, stop by! Tomorrowland also houses some great attractions like Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and Space Mountain.

8. Fantasyland~Magic Kingdom

What’s NOT to love about this land? It’s getting a facelift which will add some even better things to what is already pretty darn fantastic. This land hosts can not miss attractions like It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, and The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh. You can always spot a few great characters in this land as well.

What are you favorite places at the Disney Parks? Please share them with us!

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