Category Archives: Entertainment

#Back2SchoolGirard Party and Movie Night is THIS FRIDAY!

If you are looking for something fun and FREE to do this Friday, make sure you stop by Arrowhead Stadium in Girard for the #Back2SchoolGirard Party and Movie Night.  The first 150 students will receive a FREE drawstring backpack with school supplies inside and they will also have prizes to giveaway too!

back2school
Gates open at 7:30 on Friday, August 12th, so get there early!  

There will be food available, and fun inflatables for the kiddos to burn off some energy before the movie.  Then, at sunset, find your seat and watch Kung Fu Panda 3 with your family.

kung fu panda 2

I hope everyone will stop out and enjoy this free family event put on by Liberty Assembly of God.

Check out the Facebook event for more details.

PS- You can also join us in church on Sunday at 10:30.  There is a great kid’s program, and our pastor always has an awesome sermon.  It’s right on Belmont Avenue-  6779 Belmont Ave Girard, OH 44420 :-)

 

Creative Ways To Teach Your Kid How To Make A Sand Castle

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Kids love to learn new things but a sand castle may prove a bit difficult to learn how to build. If your kids are having a hard time building sand castles and you want to know the secret to building sensational sand structures, you are in the right place. You can take your families sand castle creation to the next level with some simple tips. Going to the beach, down the river or even in your own backyard in a sandpit, is a great way to play and bond. Keep reading if you want to know the secret to building an amazing sand castle.

Why play in the sand?

As children begin to fully understand the physical properties of sand, they have the opportunity to expand their creativity and imaginations through the designs of a variety of buildings, towns, and castles. Once they realize the buildability of the sand, many children investigate the possibility of constructing whole cities and other areas of play. Provide a variety of common and household objects for children to use in combination with their sand creations. Exchange these objects for new ones frequently, and watch as children adapt their creations and become inspired to construct new ones. Many children find working with sand to be relaxing and non-threatening, allowing these children the freedom to express their imaginations in safety and without consequence.

Gather Your Tools

Whether you are down the beach or playing in kids & childrens sandpits, you are going to need the right tools. Tools can make your life so much easier once you start to build your sand castle. Sandpits are great for kids to get creative whenever the feel the need. Having a sandpit out the back encourages creativity and play. When it comes to tools, the most important tool is definitely the shovel. A lightweight shovel is good idea. Shovels with a wooden handle are also great because that are less likely to crack or break under strain. Kids can tend to get excited so you want to ensure their tools are going to last.

However, for your littler kids you probably want to go with a plastic spade. When building sand castles ensure there is enough tools to go around, you don’t want any fights. In addition, don’t forget the buckets! You’ll need at least two, one for carrying water and one for mixing the water and sand together.

Decorations

This part of the building process is an adventure in itself. Ensure you gather plenty of decorations and start gathering decorations before you start building and can continue once you have started building your sand castle. When you have your sand castle, discuss what sorts of things you want to include in, on and around your sand castle. Make a list, for example, if you want a flag for the castle, what materials do you need to construct it?

Kids have a natural longing to play in the sand. It can be a peaceful and therapeutic way for them to relax and play alone or with friends. Sand play is great for skill building and it is important that you invite children to make sand castles and get creative. Provide them with the location and the right tools and watch them explore creative ways of building sand castles.

Check out the Austintown Farmers Market MONDAYS 5-8 PM

farmers market

The Austintown Farmer’s Market is a community-service project driven by volunteers. Our goal is to bring fresh produce and unique, handmade items to Austintown and surrounding communities for purchase. The Market is from 5-8 in Austintown Township Park, rain or shine. The park also offers hiking trails, a new playground, volleyball court, splash pad, basketball and tennis courts and baseball fields. There is plenty of room for the kids to run and play.

AustintownFM

When you come to the Market, you will find educational classes, musicians, free kids’ crafts, local artisan goods, grass-fed meats, eggs, honey and of course, produce. The Market provides an excellent opportunity to meet your farmer and maybe try a new food or cooking technique! It definitely is a fun-filled family night out!

I personally am impressed with the variety! There is definitely something for EVERYONE! If you are wondering what kind of vendors you can find at the Austintown Farmer’s Market, here is a list:

Bandana Dogs by Nuclear Janet
Beach Glass by Tracy
Big City Tailgate
Corals & Clover
Faith Seed Farm LLC
Fancy Feet Sandals
GardenView Acres
George’s Produce
Goodness Grows
Grass N Grace Farm
Hilltop Honey Farm
Jackson Maters
JegO Headbands
Legacy Dog Rescue
Maple Leaf Acres
Moe’s Private Reserve
Quiroz Family Farm
Shaved Ice
Traveling Italian Chef
Truffle Laboratory
Vestal Concessions
Young Living Essential Oils
The Zaney Pearl – A Crazy Beautiful Farm
Zimmerman Farms

fresh raspberries

If you bring your own bag, you will get a raffle ticket for a chance to win $10 in market money and a free tote bag!  You will receive one ticket from each booth you purchase from!!  If you love giveaways, be sure to check out the Austintown Farmer’s Market Facebook Page because they also have Facebook drawings once a week for $10 in market money for liking and sharing their posts.

Kid with Shaved Ice

Are you worried you will forget about the Market? Find them on social media, @austintownfm on Twitter and Instagram, and Austintown Farmer’s Market on Facebook.  Keep an eye out, they have weekly drawings for Market Money! They post the goods available weekly and lots of other great information. You can also get text reminders about the Market by sending SUBSCRIBE to 330-439-5686 or by going HERE to sign up online.  To contact the Austintown Township Farmer’s Market with any questions or comments you can send an email to: austintownfarmersmarket@gmail.com

I personally can’t wait until NEXT Monday so we can go check out the Market and see all the goodies they have to offer!

Tips And Tricks To Save Money When Decorating Your Child’s Bedroom

Our children become a huge priority in our lives. So there is no reason to think that where they spend their evenings will be a less of concern to us. We want to make sure they have a fantastic bedroom space filled with lots of lovely things. But of course, like anything, there is a cost involve. Sometimes we just don’t have the cashflow to do everything we want. However, that doesn’t mean you still can’t decorate your child’s bedroom to a high standard. So I thought i would share with you some tips and tricks for decorating that will save you some money.

Idea Plan Action
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Have a plan in place

Planning will be key to making sure you don’t go over your budget. You need to make a note of exactly what you want to achieve and how you plan on doing it. Where Money needs to be spent and where it needs to be saved. It can be a difficult process but further down the line you will be thankful for the time you spent working out all the details. Being logical with your decisions will open your eyes a little. You may find that certain things don’t need replacing at all, but with a bit of creativity can do the perfect job.

Kids Room

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Stick with feature walls

Decorating a whole room can get a little expensive with paint costs or wallpaper. So if you are lucky to have decent walls already then take advantage of that. A feature wall can take less time and most importantly cost less to create. You don’t even need to consider painting. You could get create by creating a photo montage wall or using children’s artwork. They will love how they have had a hand in creating their room. If you are quite artistic, then you could consider purchasing test pots only. Creating a wall yourself by drawing up a picture or making something more contrast.

Only buy key pieces of furniture

It’s fair to say that the furniture is where most of the cost in decorating ca go. This might mean new beds, drawers and storage solutions. But the best bit of advice would be to work out what you have and only spending money on what you need. Sometimes a bed needs to be replaced because a child has outgrown it or happen to be sharing with siblings. If that is the case, then consider checking out triple bunks from Cuckooland. The rest of the furniture could be upcycled to match the new room.

reading nook

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Hunt out bargains in thrift shops and local facebook groups

Finally, use thrift shops and local facebook selling groups to get some bargains. The thing about children is that everyone is in the same boat. They outgrow things or become to old, but these things will often have plenty of life left in them. You can pick up some great things for very little money. You just need to have patience and keep your eyes open for the perfect items.

I hope this helps you decorate your child’s bedroom on a budget.

How to have a FUN summer with little to NO Money

It is no lie- I am BROKE these days.  And when I say broke, I mean we are scraping together money for bills, gas and food.  So the budget to do fun things this summer is nonexistent.  BUT- I am DETERMINED to have a fun summer with my kids.  So far, my son has been out of school for 3? weeks and we have done a lot fun things already and I have a whole summer worth of MORE fun to be had.  Here are just a few things we will be doing to give you some ideas!

1. Visit local parks.  There are tons of parks in our area and every one of them is different.  My goal is to visit two different parks every month.

2. Check out Splash Pads. The weather is heating up and sometimes all the kids want is a day in the water.  Splash pads are either free or cheap.  In my area (Youngstown, OH) I know of 3 splash pads:
1. Austintown Park  — Small splash pad and small dry playground
2. Pearl Park in Cortland — Located at 140 Pearl Street in Cortland Ohio.  This is BRAND NEW and we are hoping to check it out soon!
3. Eagle Park in Middle Field– This one has 2 nice sized splash pads and two playgrounds, one is designed for older kids and one for the younger children.  I love this one, but it is a little bit of a drive for us.  They have pavilions and we normally pack a lunch and make a full day out of it.

splash pad

3. Join a Reading Program at the Library.  Our library is pretty awesome.  First- they have really cool programs every week, like Oh Wow!, The Akron Zoo, and even a Magician are all coming to perform for the kiddos.  My son is SUPER excited about the reading program.  Not only that but MY library had a prize for the first 100 to sign up, so he was excited to get a free book and when we signed up he got a bag of coupons and goodies and as he reads throughout the summer he will earn other prizes.  I personally am excited for library night at the Scrappers, both boys are signed up for the reading program so we got two free tickets to go to a game– all just for signing up for the summer reading program!

colton with scardy squirrel boks

4. Go Strawberry Picking If you follow my Instagram, you will see we have already done this twice.  What I have learned is the berries, experience and prices are different at every farm.  We have gone picking at Pete’s Berry Farm in Sharpesville, PA and at White House Fruit Farm in Ohio.  Both were a lot of fun- oh and not only is pick your own fun, it is CHEAPER than buying berries already picked.  White House was only $3/Quart if you pick your own.  :-)

Caleb Strawberry picking 5 June 2016

5. Go Blueberry Picking Blueberry season starts in July and we will definitely be going blue berry picking they had signs up at White House and Pete’s for this as well.

6. Go Apple Picking We have done this a few years ago at an orchard in Hartford, OH but we will be doing this again of course!

7. Enjoy the fruits of your labor While picking is fun, finding different things to MAKE with what you just picked is just as fun!  When we went apple picking we made home made pies and applesauce.  And when we went strawberry picking we had fresh strawberry smoothies when we got home and I made topping for strawberry shortcake that we ate today.  And we shared our snacks with friends (twice) so that just added onto the fun.  I definitely want to go again and find some other cool recipes to make with strawberries (maybe jam!!), but we ran out of strawberries today so we will have to go picking again if we want to make jam!

8. Find FREE things to do in your area.  I can’t tell every person every free thing to do in your area, but when I say there are cool free things to do, I am not lying because we are ALWAYS busy with activities and honestly, most are free activities that are put on by community organizations.

Example:  Saturday, we went to River Fest at B&O Station in Youngstown.  It was FREE to get in.  The Boy Scouts were there manning the Bounce House and Slide- both FREE and they had a free craft table where kids could make their own bugs.  Oh and they were making dessert camp fire style and passing it out for free.  There were about 10-15 tents set up, some were selling things, but many were organizations that were giving out free things to kids, or had an activity for the kids.  Oh Wow! was there and had an elector magnetic wand on demo, K9s for compassion was there, there was a tent that had 4 different types of birds.  There were also clowns walking around passing out balloons for the kids.  I fed my kids lunch before we went and packed snacks, juice, and bottled water in my backpack so this activity (other than the $.75 I put in the parking meter- that I am not even sure worked) was 100% free.

9. Send your kids to VBS I am not all about sending the kids away while we are on Summer Vacation because lets face it, they spend 9 months of the year away at school all day.  Summer is my time to enjoy with my kids.  BUT- VBS is another fun, free thing for your kids to enjoy.  From my experience, Colton has always had a lot of fun, been in a positive environment, and learned some new and really cool songs.  Last year he participated in two VBS programs, and both were different but he had fun and made friends at both.  And it was only a couple of hours that he was gone– so that is like running to the store and going grocery shopping without the kids lol.

10. Have a Water Balloon Fight Water Balloons are cheap ($1/100 for the ones at walmart or Bunch O Balloons, which are a little more expensive, but are WAY faster to fill) and it was awesome to see how much fun the kids had with them after school.

11. Host a playdate!!  This doesn’t have to be expensive or cost you anything.  Invite your kid’s friends (and their parents) over for a playdate.  Your kids will enjoy seeing their school friends over the summer, I promise!  We hosted a playdate after the last day of school and my son still says it was the best day ever (and his friends kept thanking me for having them over because it was SO MUCH fun- in their words).  All I did… Filled a bunch of water balloons and water guns, made chicken tenders, hot dogs and fries and asked the parents to each bring something else for the kids to enjoy (juice boxes, water, chips, snacks, fruit).  The kids pretty much self entertained for the most part :-)

12. Do a Science Experiment I know it sounds silly, but Colton LOVES it when we do science experiments, I have a bunch lined up for the next rainy day.

science experiment

Some examples of ones we have already done:
What’s the temperature?
Show how Colors Blend
Make your own Ice Cream in a Bag
How to Make Slime

13. Check out what things your local sports teams offer for FREE.  We live about an hour from Cleveland, which is not far at all and if you follow the Cavs, you know they are in the NBA Finals.  WELL… Colton is a huge fan of the Cavs and outside the arena, at The Q they have this thing called Fan Fest where you can go up and watch the game FOR FREE and they have a TON of activities for kids, and they give out free stuff to the kids.  Now- I can’t say it was 100% free, because I had to pay for gas to get up there and it was $25 to park (and that was a block away, if we parked right there it was $50… so save some money and walk a bit), but other than that, a $5 hot dog and a $6 foam finger… Everything else that was there was 100% free.  And when you are watching the game it is the same game that they show on the jumbotron inside the arena.

colton NBA FInals

The Browns also have FREE activities too.  We went up to training camp last year and Colton had SO MUCH FUN.  (We are trying to get tickets to training camp again, but I am not sure how to get them without being a season ticket holder)

14. Check out the happenings at your local community center.  We have a Multi-Generational Center right here in Girard and they are hosting a free week long sports camp that Colton is going to.   I know they do other things as well, and a lot of free things for the seniors, but I am excited for him to go to the sports camp.

15. Go Fishing If you have the poles and hooks… this is very cheap.  From what I know- kids do not need a license to fish and if you want to fish too, check out Free Fishing Weekends which is when you are allowed to fish without a license.  Also many private lakes do not require a license either.   We went and Colton had a ball :-)

colton and john

 

16. Visit Farmer’s Markets This is something free- if you choose because no one is making you buy, but it is cool for the kids to see what is grown or made right here locally.  We have a shop on the Square in Warren and they have a Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays from 3-6.  This was our first one, but it was really cool to see what everyone sold.

17.  Plant seeds and watch them grow.  We planted peas and carrots last week.  Colton will get to watch these grown and log their progress.  So far, he is enjoying watering them every day (which is also teaching him responsibility).

18. Have Breakfast for Lunch or Dinner.  This is something fun I like to do once a month (at least LOL) Colton gets a kick out of it and I just love eating breakfast any time of day.

19. Make a craft.  I know it sounds SO simple.  But if it is raining, have some stuff ready and plan a craft day.  If you keep them busy, the summer will go much smoother.

20. Check out Regal Movie Express.  They have Movies (at our theatre) Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings at 10 for $1 per person.  And- I noticed last year if you attend during these times they let you bring snacks in.  We went last year a lot and Colton really enjoyed it.  Plus it got us up and moving a bit earlier since we had to be at the theatre at 10 AM.

MORE TO COME.  I will keep adding to this list as I come up with more fun stuff to do.  :-)

Just Between Friends Sale is in the Mahoning Valley THIS WEEK!

The Just Between Friends consignment sale will be in the Austintown Plaza THIS WEEK.  Yes- that is correct- Starting Thursday if you have a pre-sale pass, you can shop one of the biggest consignment sales in this area.

JBF
October 2-4, 2015 in the Austintown Plaza (6000 Mahoning Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44515).

Pre-Sale starts on Thursday, but you must have a pre-sale pass to shop on Thursday evening.

The sale officially starts Friday at 10 AM, be there early to get the best deals and the best stuff!

Friday and Saturday 10/2 & 10/3 10 AM- 8PM
Sunday, 10/4 10 AM – 2PM

Sunday, you can find many items half off, so if you are really looking for a deal, stop in on Sunday :-)

JBF1

This sale is pretty new to our area, but is welcomed with open arms from moms, dads, and grandparents.

There is still a *LITTLE* time left if you want to get your items together to consign.  Drop off is Wednesday and Thursday, so if you want to make some money, get your items together ASAP!  You can earn up to 70% by volunteering a shift during the sale.  If you are interested in consigning, stop by their website to sign up.

Check out Just Between Friend Mahoning Valley on Facebook for updates and information!

Fun and Cheap Day Trip Ideas for the Whole Family

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to spend more quality time with their children? In between work and home life, it can seem like an almost impossible task. Then, you have to factor in the budget side of things. Day trips may seem completely out of the question, when you’re running on limited funds. However, there are ways to enjoy quality time with the whole family, that don’t need to cost a fortune or dip into your savings. Here are a few fun and cheap day trip ideas you can try out.

Picnic in the Park
This is one of the best family fun ideas if you’re running low on cash. Putting together a picnic doesn’t cost a lot of money. Especially if you try making most of it yourself. Plus, a day in the park is completely free. Don’t bother forking out for expensive hampers or picnic equipment. You can buy cheap plastic cups and paper plates to eat from. Or just use crockery from home! Grab a blanket and head to your nearest park. This is the perfect day trip for sunny days.

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Museums and Galleries
Did you know that lots of museums and art galleries offer free entry? There are also plenty of vouchers which will give you money off, for those that charge. This is a great way to spend some quality time with your littles ones – and teach them a thing or two. Some younger children may not find this kind of day trip very exciting. Therefore, it’s a good idea to reserve this idea for when they get a little bit older.

Coffee Mornings
If you have a young child or baby, then this is a great idea to get you out of the house. As moms, we can go a little bit stir crazy staying inside all day. Look for local coffee mornings where you can meet like-minded parents. Not only will you get to socialize, but you’ll be spending time with the little one as well. Plus, how much does a cup of coffee cost? Exactly!

Bento Box LunchImage credit

Lunch Date
You may think that a lunch date is reserved solely for girly friends, colleagues and couples. However, there’s nothing wrong with taking your child out on a lunch date! In fact, it will make them feel very grown up. If you’re feeling naughty then grab some fast food to share between you. If you take a look on fastfoodmenuprice.com you’ll see it doesn’t have to cost much. If you would rather avoid the fast food then head to a local cafe, for a healthier treat.

In the Garden
If you really don’t have any change to spare, then you can just get out in the garden instead. Turn it into an adventure that’s almost as fun as a day trip. You can build a fort using old blankets and duvets. Set up a treasure hunt, hiding clues in all the plants. Have a Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Or maybe even a water fight. There are so many ideas to keep everyone occupied in the garden. It’s the next best thing to a fun day out.

The next time you feel as though you have to be stuck indoors, because you’re strapped for cash, think again. There are so many ways to spend quality time with your little family. Without remortgaging the house.

Perfect Rainy Day Activity: Melissa & Doug Mess Free Glitter Craft

This summer it feels like it has rained more than it hasn’t.  If your kids are like mine- you need something to do to keep them busy when they can’t be outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  You will definitely want to order some of the new Melissa and Doug Mess Free Glitter Crafts so you have them on hand and ready to go the next time you need something to keep your kids busy.

Check it out!

The Mess Free Glitter crafts are SUPER easy to do.

Step 1:
Pick which one you want to do!  There are several options in each pack.  We got to make posters and Stickers!

Mess Free Glitter CraftsM D Stickers

 

Step 2:
Choose what color glitter you want to start with first and peel the back off.

Step 3:
Select which part of your craft you want to make that color and peel the white sticker off.
melissa and doug Mess free glitter craftStep 4:
Put your glitter sheet over the now exposed sticky surface and RUB.

Step 5: Pull your glitter sheet up and repeat with another area or even a different color until your project is complete!

melissa and doug

Colton and I did this craft together a few times- but he has also mastered this one on his own.  It is very easy and fun… and moms: no messy glitter everywhere!

This mom gives this craft two BIG THUMBS up!

You can purchase any of the Mess Free Glitter Kits right from the Melissa and Doug Website, from Amazon, Target, or Toys R US for around $4.99 each.

melissa and dougDisclosure:  I received free product to test out for review purposes.  All opinions are my own, honest opinions.

Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express $1 Movies!

Summer Movie Express 1 Dollar Movies.ashx

I forgot to post about this so I apologize we are a few weeks in, but I wanted to share.  On Wednesdays at 10 AM Regal Cinemas will be showing 2 movies each week for $1.  You have your choice of which one you want to see and they do a good job with variety in the movies.

HINT:  I don’t know if all locations are doing this, but the Niles Regal is also showing the movies at 10 AM on TUESDAY… so if you want to see both movies for $1 each you can go on Tuesday AND Wednesday :-)

Here is the schedule:

  • Week 3 (June 24th)
    Paddington
    Turbo
  • Week 4 (July 1st)
    Rio 2
    How To Train Your Dragon 2
  • Week 5 (July 8th)
    Mr. Peabody & Sherman
    The Book of Life
  • Week 6 (July 15th)
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
    Penguins of Madagascar
  • Week 7 (July 22)
    Madagascar 3
    Dolphin Tale 2
  • Week 8 (July 29)
    Muppets Most Wanted
    Alexander and the Very Bad Day
  • Week 9 (August 5th)
    The Lego Movie
    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Do you LOVE Free movies?  Check out how you can SCORE FREE MOVIE TICKETS!

SUMMER BOX OFFICE SERIES at The Amp in Warren, OH: HEY KID! + BIG HERO SIX

SUMMER BOX OFFICE SERIES: HEY KID! + BIG HERO SIX

When: July 31 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Where: The Amp 
321 Mahoning Ave. NW,  Warren,  OH44483

big hero 6

 

Bring the kids to a fun-filled evening featuring Hey Kid!, a parent-recommended area band, followed by a viewing of Big Hero 6, Disney’s 3D computer-animated superhero action comedy.

hey kidThis event is in partnership with the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County and The Movement church.  The event was made possible through a grant from Neighborhood SUCCESS and Leadership, a program of the Raymond John Wean Foundation and a donation from Renn Insurance Agency.