Pumpkin Patch Finder: Locate a pumpkin patch or corn maze near you!

(I updated the link – thanks for the heads up guys!)

Are you hoping to head out to a nearby pumpkin patch this fall with the family?  Here’s a great resource I used to find local pumpkin patches when we moved to this town – it’s called PumpkinPatchFinderandMore.org - and it’s a free service.

For a great deal on pumpkin patch/corn maze admission, make sure to check Groupon and Living Social listings for your city – last year at this time there were several deals offered throughout the Fall!

 

Oreo Turkey Cookies {Recipe & Step-By-Step Directions}

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I love fun and creative recipes for Holidays. Since Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and so much of the celebration is centered around food these Oreo Turkey Cookies are the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving feast or Thanksgiving party. It could even be a fun activity to gather all the kids together and make. You would probably want to substitute the Reese’s candy for something else that is peanut free since there are so many food allergies. I’ve included step by step directions below for your convenience.

Oreo turkey inprocess 1

Turkey Ingredients: 

  • Package of Original Oreo cookies
  • Package of  Whoppers chocolate malt balls
  • Package of mini Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • Package of candy corn
  • Mini candy eyes
  • Royal icing, yellow, orange, and red

Icing Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 C powder sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Yellow, orange,tan, and red gel food coloring

 Icing Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl mixing on medium speed for 4 minutes. (except your food coloring)
  2. If icing is  not stiff enough add 1/4 C powder sugar.
  3. Divide the icing into 5 small bowls.
  4. In the first bowl add several drops of red gel food coloring. Stir to mix.
  5. In the second bowl add several drops of tan gel food coloring. Stir to mix.
  6. In the third bowl  add several drops of orange gel food coloring. Stir to mix.
  7. In the fourth bowl add several drops of yellow gel food coloring.  Stir to blend.
  8. Keep this bowl of icing white.
  9. Spoon each color of icing into individual  frosting bags with a #2 tips.
  10. Twist the open end of the bag to push the icing to the tip.

Turkey Directions:

-Refer to the picture of the Oreo turkeys when assembling your own turkeys.
-The directions for the turkey will depend on how many Oreo Turkeys that you will be making.

-For the tail fan, you will separate an Oreo into two pieces in order to make the tail feathers (candy corn) keeping the filling in these cookies.
-Using the white royal icing as”glue” apply thick layer of the white icing on the bottom of the separated  Oreo cookie. Oreo turkey inprocess 2
-Begin to lay the candy corn on the white icing with the  white end of  the pieces of the candy corn on the inside of the  cookie arranging each piece of candy corn next to each other.
-Arrange the candy corn in a half circle on the separated Oreo cookie.
-Lay the top half of that Oreo cookie on top of the bottom half of the cookie (the one with all of the candy corn on it).  If needed apply more white icing as glue.
-Allow time for these to dry. Set asie.
-Take out the mini Reese peanut butter cups.  Cut about 1/4 of the cup off allowing the candy to sit flat on another Oreo cookie. (These Oreo cookies will be the base of the turkeys).
-Use the tan icing as the “glue” to hold the cut Reese peanut butter mini cup to the Oreo cookie.
Oreo turkey inprocess 4
-Allow the “glue” to dry.  Set aside.
-Check on the tail fan to make sure that it is dry.  If it is then glue (with tan icing) the “whooper” to the tail fan.  The whooper will be the head of the turkey. Set the tail fan down when gluing the head on it.
-Allow for the head  to dry completely.
-Apply the mini candy eyes to the head (the whooper) of the turkey, then using the orange icing add a small nose.  Allow the nose to dry for about 30 seconds.  When the nose is dry add the red waddle with the red icing.  Allow time for this to dry also about 30+ seconds.
-Set aside for until all of the turkey heads are complete.
-Using the tan icing (a thick layer of icing) sit the turkey tail fan on the bottom Oreo cookie (the base). Prop the turkey against a filled bottle, jar, can or other stable object until it drys.  This may take several hours.
-After the turkeys have dried add the two pieces of candy corn with the white pointing down and outward for the turkey’s front legs.  Allow time for the icing (glue) to dry. Turkey oreo 3-3
-Using the yellow icing draw the turkey feet on the bottom cookie by making a small line and adding two shorter lines pointing outward.
-Allow at least one hour for the completed turkey and all icing decor to dry.
-Always refer to the picture for more instruction.
Oreo Turkey Cookies
 
Ingredients
Turkey Ingredients:
  • Package of Original Oreo cookies
  • Package of Whoppers chocolate malt balls
  • Package of mini Reese's peanut butter cups
  • Package of candy corn
  • Mini candy eyes
  • Royal icing, yellow, orange, and red
Icing Ingredients:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 C powder sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • Yellow, orange,tan, and red gel food coloring
Instructions
Icing Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients except food coloring in a mixing bowl mixing on medium speed for 4 minutes.
  2. If icing is not stiff enough add ¼ C powder sugar.
  3. Divide the icing into 5 small bowls.
  4. In the first bowl add several drops of red gel food coloring. Stir to mix.
  5. In the second bowl add several drops of tan gel food coloring. Stir to mix.
  6. In the third bowl add several drops of orange gel food coloring. Stir to mix.
  7. In the fourth bowl add several drops of yellow gel food coloring. Stir to blend.
  8. Keep this bowl of icing white.
  9. Spoon each color of icing into individual frosting bags with a #2 tips.
  10. Twist the open end of the bag to push the icing to the tip.
Turkey Directions:
  1. Refer to the picture of the Oreo turkeys when assembling your turkeys.
  2. The directions for the turkey will depend on how many Oreo Turkeys that you will be making.
  3. For the tail fan, you will separate an Oreo into two pieces in order to make the tail feathers (candy corn) keeping the filling in these cookies.
  4. Using the white royal icing as"glue" apply thick layer of the white icing on the bottom of the separated Oreo cookie.
  5. Begin to lay the candy corn on the white icing with the white end of the pieces of the candy corn on the inside of the cookie arranging each piece of candy corn next to each other.
  6. Arrange the candy corn in a half circle on the separated Oreo cookie.
  7. Lay the top half of that Oreo cookie on top of the bottom half of the cookie (the one with all of the candy corn on it). If needed apply more white icing as glue.
  8. Allow time for these to dry. Set aside.
  9. Take out the mini Reese peanut butter cups. Cut about ¼ of the cup off allowing the candy to sit flat on another Oreo cookie. (These Oreo cookies will be the base of the turkeys).
  10. Use the tan icing as the "glue" to hold the cut Reese peanut butter mini cup to the Oreo cookie.
  11. Allow the "glue" to dry. Set aside.
  12. Check on the tail fan to make sure that it is dry. If it is then glue(with tan icing) the "whooper" to the tail fan. The whooper will be the head of the turkey. Set the tail fan down when gluing the head on it.
  13. Allow for the head to dry completely.
  14. Apply the mini candy eyes to the head (the whooper) of the turkey, then using the orange icing add a small nose. Allow the nose to dry for about 30 seconds. When the nose is dry add the red waddle with the red icing. Allow time for this to dry also about 30+ seconds.
  15. Set aside for until all of the turkey heads are complete.
  16. Using the tan icing (a thick layer of icing) sit the turkey tail fan on the bottom Oreo cookie (the base). Prop the turkey against a filled bottle, jar, can or some other stable surface until it drys. This may take several hours.
  17. After the turkeys have dried add the two pieces of candy corn with the white pointing down and outward for the turkey's front legs. Allow time for the icing (glue) to dry.
  18. Using the yellow icing draw the turkey feet on the bottom cookie by making a small line and adding two shorter lines pointing outward.
  19. Allow at least one hour for the completed turkey and all icing decor to dry.

How to Fix Slouchy Furniture for Cheap

slouchy furniture collage

Do you seem to have a slouchy couch that won’t perk up? There’s nothing more embarrassing then a couch or a chair that seems to have a posture problem. We spent a lot of money on our couch and chair twelve years ago and although I don’t particularly care for the color anymore the quality is going to be hard to replace. We plan on getting it covered in the next year or so, but until then it looked really rough. So, I decided to do something about our slouching problem, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.

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As you can see from the before picture, this chair is very slouchy! When someone would sit in it, you would sort-of sink into it because there was no support.

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And now you can take a good look at our couch. The same situation. The cushions are looking sad and need some help quickly.

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So, I went to work! I headed to my local craft store and picked up a bag of Poly-fil. This stuff is awesome and is perfect for filling various items around the house! I used the 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to get a fabulous deal. Obviously I’m going to fill my couch and chair with it.

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I spent about five minutes stuffing the back cushions and was very pleased with the end result. I just added stuffing around the couch cushions.

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Here is the chair. You can surely see the major difference in this chair since I added the Poly-fil.

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Here is the couch. I am in love with how the couch turned out as well. I still don’t love the color or pattern, but this will work until we get it covered.

Didn’t they turn out fabulous? This is something you can do in your home too. Especially if you are on a budget and buying new furniture really isn’t in the budget right now. All in all, this project cost less than $20. I used one of the 40% off coupons at Hobby Lobby and grabbed a bag of poly-fil each time I was out running errands. I love doing things like this for my house because it doesn’t take much time, effort, or money but it looks a whole lot better. Not to mention, it’s way more comfy!

12 Ways to Save at Target

12-ways-to-save-at-target

 

There are SOOOO many ways to save at Target beyond the weekly ad – from hunting down clearance markdowns to stacking coupons, Cartwheels, and giftcard offers.  You can save some crazy cash if you learn these 12 ways to save at Target!

 

targetclearance

1. Target Clearance deals are THE GREATEST

 

Don’t you love finding huge markdowns?  Target endcaps are famous for that!  Stick to the more hidden ends of each aisle to find goodies marked down up to 90% OFF.  The seasonal sections are another great place to find huge discounts – if you can master the art of putting stuff away for next year, you’ll never pay full price for Christmas ornaments, flip flops, Easter baskets or Halloween costumes again.

If you’re lazy at math, you can tell how low an item has been marked down by peeking in the top right corner of the clearance sticker.  You’ll either see the number 15, 30, 50, 70, or 90.  (That represents the percentage it’s been marked down.)  If an item ends in a $0.04, that indicates that it WON’T be marked down again – this is as low as it will get.  Find out even more about How To Decipher Target Clearance Tags!

 

2. Target Clearance Markdowns generally follow this schedule:

I have to drive all the way across town to get to my Target, and if I’m going specifically for patio furniture clearance, it helps to know what day that happens.  Did you know that most Target stores follow a weekly markdown schedule?  While this doesn’t hold true for ALL Target managers – this is a pretty accurate guide:

  • Monday: Kids Clothes, Books, Electronics, Accessories, Baby, and Stationery
  • Tuesday: Women’s Clothing, Pets, Domestics and Food
  • Wednesday: Men’s Clothing, Furniture, Health and Beauty, Diapers, and Lawn/Garden
  • Thursday: Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor and Luggage
  • Friday: Cosmetics, Hardware, Auto, and Jewelry

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3. You can stack up to *4* kinds of discounts

Target allows you to stack various discount offers on top of their sale price – and while you don’t HAVE to go to crazy lengths to get a good deal there, you  definitely CAN. :)

  • Store Promotion – like a BOGO Sale or Giftcard Deal
  • Manufacturer Coupons
  • Target Cartwheel Discount
  • Target Coupon (Either a Mobile Coupon or Target Printable Coupon)

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4. Get the Target Cartwheel App

The Target Cartwheel app is totally free and will save you LOADS of money.  Each Cartwheel offer can be used up to *4* times.  Most of the time, they CAN’T be used towards clearance merchandise.

Just browse the various Cartwheel savings offers, and add the ones you think you’ll use.  Have the cashier scan the barcode on your phone at the register to activate these savings.  If you don’t have a smartphone, you can use the Cartwheel website to add offers to your cart, and then simply print them out and take your paper with you.  Have the cashier scan the barcode on that instead.  Find out more about Target Cartwheel here!

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5. Target Mobile Coupons and Printable Coupons 

 

Some stores’ mobile coupons are just a duplicate of what’s available to print on their website.  Not so with Target.  Sign up for Mobile Text Alerts to receive coupons on your phone – most of these are completely different from what’s available to print at Coupons.Target.com

Below on the left is a screenshot from my phone of some recent Target Mobile Coupons.  On the right is a screenshot of Target Printable coupons – and how hovering over the top portion of the coupon will reveal if the coupon you are about to print is a Target Coupon (a true store coupon) or a Manufacturer Coupon (can be used anywhere and stacked with a store coupon)

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targetgiftcard

6. Learn how to work the Target Giftcard offers 

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Target runs giftcard offers just about every week, where you can buy a specified number of select products, and get back a Target Giftcard.  When you add in manufacturer  and other Target offers (Cartwheel, coupons, etc…) you can walk away with some CRAZY great deals.

For example, Target ran a deal recently where you could buy (3) boxes of Kotex products and receive a $5 Target Giftcard.  Kotex products were around $5 apiece, so on the surface, it didn’t seem like a crazy deal.  However, there was a $2 manufacturer coupon available (making them $3 a box) and a $2 Target coupon available (which could only be used once), putting your total out of pocket for three boxes at about $7.  Once you get that $5 gift card, it was like paying just 66¢ each!

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7. Price Cuts last longer than the weekly sale

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Often Target will have certain price cuts that last a significant amount of time.  (Think, 45 days)  These price cuts are handy to keep in mind because sometimes they’ll overlap with a weekly gift card offer and result in some cheap products!

targetredcard

 

8. Save an extra 5% with Target’s RedCard (NOT a credit card!)

Get an extra 5% OFF every purchase, free shipping and longer return periods with the Target RedCard! Read more about the Target Debit  Card benefits here!

 

9. Return Items without a Receipt (Up to $75 per year)

If you bought something, took it home, threw away the receipt and then need to return it a couple weeks later – you can do that!  Target will accept returns WITHOUT a receipt for up to $75 in merchandise per year.  However, if you have your debit/credit card that you used to make the purchase – Target can look it up and it’s just like having your receipt!

10. Use TWO coupons on Target BOGO Items

If there is a Buy One Get One Free sale happening at Target (or a Buy 3, Get 1 Free or Buy 4, Get 1 Free etc…..) you can use a coupon on both the item you pay for AND the “free” item.

 

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11. Target Price Match

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Does Target Price Match?  You bet!!  Target’s price match policy helps out tremendously if you don’t live near a lot of other stores.  I’ve price matched Amazon, Best Buy, Toys R Us and Kmart at my local Target – it’s fantastic!

You don’t even need a store ad –  most times a Target employee can verify a competitor’s online price right on the iPad at customer service :)

A couple things to remember about Target price match is that you can’t use a Target Coupon after a price match, also they will only match competitors’ prices for the exact same item (color, brand, size, etc…) and the item must be IN-STOCK at the other store.  Read more about Target’s Price Match Guarantee here!

 

 

12. Rainchecks are AWESOME

Guarantee that a sale will be available to you for 45 days when you pull a Target Raincheck ticket off a shelf and take it to customer service!

 

 

Check out all the current Target Deals going on here!

 

Box Tops 4 Education Scavenger Hunt and a Top 10 List #BTFE

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As a rookie Box Tops 4 Education family, I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to get my children involved and how it fits into homeschooling. Since my kids are getting older, I think it’s important to incorporate life skills as part of our homeschool journey such as grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, laundry, and acts of service. Just recently, I’ve really been including them in the process of grocery shopping. Instead of just walking beside me, they each help look for items on our list and are learning how we shop for grocery and household items that we use on a consistent basis. So, helping look for product packages with Box Tops 4 Education was a natural extension of what we were already doing. Although I would like to make a fancy printable, or some kind of game I know right now with homeschooling, sports, a new baby, and outside activities that just isn’t going to happen. To make it super simple, I gave my kids my phone and as we walked up and down the aisles they took pics of Box Top items they saw. Then, at the end of our trip, the one who took the most pictures won. And by win, I mean a snack bag of skittles. No big deal!  They both had a lot of fun and our shopping trip went by super fast and there was no stress for momma! Easy breezy!

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Our favorite finds included select General Mills products at Walmart with Bonus Box Tops. Instead of just having one, they have five!! So, every product with Bonus Box Tops earns $0.50 for our homeschool association.

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In just two shopping trips we’ve accumulated 26 total Box Tops for a total of $2.60 for our school! Wow!! That’s just one family, can you imagine if we all join together to help our schools?

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Now, just for a little fun. The more I think about it, the more I see that Box Tops 4 Education and homeschooling have a lot in common. Check out these 10 things you didn’t know that Box Tops and Homeschooling had in common. In case you aren’t a homeschool family, this same list can apply to all forms of education. We support all kinds of schools!

10 Things You Didn’t Know Box Tops and Homeschooling Had in Common

  1. World changing-Homeschoolers grow up to change the world and Box Tops is also changing the world one box top at a time! (Of course, any kind of education fosters development of children to change the world. I promise we aren’t bias to homeschoolers, this just happens to be a top 10 homeschool list.)
  2. A way to think outside of the box- We love how Box Tops uses households to help raise money for education. Thinking outside of the box is what homeschoolers are all about!
  3. Frugality- Homeschoolers love to save money or contribute where they can. And with the help of Box Tops, homeschoolers can help give, just like Box Tops gives!
  4. Helping others- Box Tops is about helping others in the education world. Our family is also a homeschooling family determined to help others in any way we can.
  5. Nationwide phenomenon- If you know anything about Box Tops, you know it has helped to transform education. Homeschooling is also growing by leaps and bounds, which makes both of them a nationwide phenomenon.
  6. Value learning- Box Tops and homeschoolers both value education. It’s no joke that education takes passion and both Box Tops and homeschoolers get that.
  7. Love teachers- Without teachers, homeschooling and Box Tops wouldn’t be possible. Teachers are the ones that get the students pumped up about the Box Tops programs!
  8. Educating- Box Tops’ main purpose is to help schools afford items they need for education. Homeschooling is all about educating too! With that passion it’s no wonder both groups have so much in common.
  9. Perseverance- It takes perseverance to run a Box Tops program and to also get through a year of homeschooling.
  10. Community driven- Homeschooling is all about the community and so are Box Tops. Both focus on the needs of the community!

Box Tops is all about Education and giving back to the kids and the schools. We believe that Box Tops has a lot in common with Homeschooling families as well, which is why we love the program!

In case you are wondering, the Box Tops program is open to some homeschool associations. You’ll have to check with your local community to see if they meet the requirements to participate outlined in the rules here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.