RED WHITE AND BLUE SMORES – Patriotic Smores Buffet Spread for Your Party!

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If you’ve been following me for awhile, you may have heard me talk about my addiction to S’mores – it’s pretty much my favorite reason for camping! And last year we happened upon a sale at Target on fire pits, so we bought one as an anniversary gift to ourselves so we could eat S’mores all summer long outside around the fire! It’s one of our favorite family pastimes in the summer to sit around & chat while chowing down on delicious S’mores!

Here is an idea you can use for your 4th of July celebrations. Its a great way to entertain a crowd on a budget, as Smores can stretch. Make this fun RED, WHITE AND BLUE S’MORES theme buffet bar!

RED, WHITE AND BLUE S’MORES  – Buffet Style! 

We were excited to have a fun gathering with friends to eat some S’mores & have an early 4th of July celebration. We had planned to do it on Father’s Day, but my husband came up with a great idea the day before to have a spur of the moment gathering that night with some neighbors we wanted to get to know better. Enjoying S’mores around the campfire seemed like a great way to mingle & enjoy each other’s company!

I ended up being gone all day & made a quick stop at Walmart on my way home & picked up all the ingredients for our S’mores get-together. We got it all set up in about 20 minutes, which is what I love about how you can keep it so simple with S’mores!  I’d been seeing lots of ideas on Pinterest of fun S’mores buffets. So, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try out different variations of S’mores & we could find out what were everyone’s favorites! It made for very simple set-up too. {As you’ll see on the Pinterest board, you could really go all out with the S’mores buffet, using wooden skewers to display the marshmallows, fruit & more}

S’mores Buffet Combinations:

  • Marshmallows – Star-shaped marshmallows in red (okay, it was more like a pink but we pretended they were red), white & blue (perfect for 4th of July); Coconut covered marshmallows & regular marshmallows
  • Graham Crackers – I’ve even heard of offering pretzels as a variation of graham crackers too
  • Chocolate – Hershey’s Chocolate bars, Hershey’s Cookies & Creme bars, York Peppermint Patties, & Reese’s Peanut Butter cups
  • Sprinkles – Red, white & blue sprinkles (we knew the kids would have fun with these) – they were fun to roll the gooey marshmallows in sprinkles before eating
  • Nutella 
  • Peanut Butter
  • Strawberries and Blueberries – had to have something healthy with all that sugar! :)

Decor:

For decor, we kept it very simple for the RED, WHITE & S’MORES theme using classic star patterned plates mixed with solid colored cups, napkins & serving platters. Everything was very portable so we could leave it indoors or when the weather was cooperating, bring our favorite combinations out closer to the campfire.

Marshmallow Flag

My husband also decided to get creative & he and our girls colored some marshmallows with food coloring to make the American Flag (these were just for display), so that added to our patriotic theme.

This can definitely be a pretty frugal way to host a gathering with a number of people. With the patriotic theme (which really works all summer long, not just on the 4th of July), you can pick up items on clearance after the 4th of July or just stick with the solid red, white & blue colors to keep it simple (you can even go to the dollar store to purchase the solid color supplies). Utilize the serving dishes you already have on hand for displaying your S’mores buffet, too. I really liked this idea of using buckets & tins with wooden skewers to create a fun S’mores bar.

Enjoying S’mores around the Campfire:

Now, this is the Pacific Northwest, so of course the weather was being tempermental. If you’re a Northwester, though, you learn to adapt quickly. We had some decent showers when everyone was arriving, but by the time we were ready to go eat some S’mores it dried up & we had a good time sitting around the campfire. We just brought out towels to sit on since our chairs got soaked before we noticed it during the quick rainstorm. We have a covered patio area, so we were able to keep the S’mores essentials under cover for those times when it did start sprinkling again.

 

My little gal & her neighbor buddy enjoying some S’mores! He roasted the star marshmallows & she tried out the coconut marshmallows.

The kids all had a blast making up all sorts of unique creations from the S’mores buffet. I think the favorite of the kiddos were the Hershey’s Cookies & Creme bars & the York peppermint patties mixed in the S’mores. My husband is definitely a Reese’s Peanut Butter S’mores guy & I loved the Nutella with my S’mores. But honestly, my true favorite is still the classic S’mores – I roast my marshmallow & get it all good & brown, then let it catch on fire at the end (I know – I’m weird like that!) & then add it in with the Hershey’s chocolate bar & graham cracker – mmm, perfection!

Best buddies enjoying their S’mores creations together! 

Patriotic S’mores  – the kids loved dipping their gooey marshmallows in the sprinkles

Our neighbor gal with quite the S’mores combo – roasted strawberries & blueberries, coconut marshmallow, cookies & creme bar & chocolate bar! I think the kids were defintely more adventuresome than the adults with their S’mores combos!

We had such a great time connecting with our neighbors, trying out new varieties of S’mores &  enjoying them by the campfire, that we decided to do it again the next night with some friends. What a fun night it was sharing stories & laughter around the campfire. Everyone loved trying out all the fun combinations of S’mores – although hands down, the classic S’mores were still the favorite, but it was fun to add some variety to our campfire gathering!

Perfecting their roasted marshmallows  (and yes, there really is a fire there – my camera wasn’t on the right setting! Ha! )

You think he likes his Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup S’mores? 

Perfect way to end the weekend – S’mores with my sweetie! 

All in all, we had such a fun time hanging out with our neighbors and friends. I love the fact that you don’t have to put a lot of prep work into an evening gathering – just relax and enjoy the conversation that flows so easily around a campfire. Even better, have your guests bring their favorite S’mores toppings & you could experiment with all sorts of fun combinations.  I hope this inspired you with some ideas to create your own CAMP BONDFIRE experience this summer!

So, what’s your favorite S’mores combination? Let us know if you decide to host a S’mores buffet!

final 4

You might also be interested in No Churn 4th of July Ice Cream (only 5 ingredients needed!).

This post is part of my participation in the Hershey’s CAMP BONDFIRE campaign. All opinions expressed are mine.  Please see my disclosure statement for more details.

Wild Waves Coupon – Daddy & Me Ticket for $19.99 for Fathers Day

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Wild Waves Coupon

Wild Waves Coupon – Daddy & Me Ticket for $19.99

If you are a Wild Waves Fan, head to Wild Waves for Father’s Day to get a Daddy & Me ticket for just $19.99. You need to purchase this at the front gate ONLY (no online tickets) and you will receive 2 tickets for the price of 1 regular priced ticket (tickets at the gate are $19.99/ea). Or it’s like paying for $5 for a ticket for dad over the $14.99 online price. Just mention KUBE’s Daddy and Me Ticket at any Wild Waves Theme Park front gate ticket booth to purchase your tickets.

You can also get tickets for the rest of the family for $14.99 if you purchase your tickets online before you go; otherwise, they will be $19.99 at the gate for adults & kids over 48″. You can find out more information on the Wild Waves $14.99 tickets for June !

So, what you could do is purchase all but 2 tickets online before you go & then head to Wild Waves to purchase a Daddy & Me ticket for $19.99 (ticket for dad & 1 child) to get the best price!

Make sure to follow Wild Waves on Twitter and Facebook to get the most up-to-date info on Wild Waves & special promotion info.

 

You can also find Sia’s review of Wild Waves from last June, if you have not been before and are wondering what to expect.

We headed to Wild Waves yesterday & had a blast! You might be thinking Wild Waves is not the place to go on a cooler, cloudy day – but for us, it was perfect as we were able to ride tons of rides in the amusement park with little to no lines. We weren’t quite brave enough for the water park but there were a lot of people also enjoying the water park, too, but the lines were also shorter & moving quickly. So, it’s a great time of year to really be able to take full advantage of all Wild Waves has to offer without the busy summer crowds!  My girls can’t wait to go back and check out the water park, along with the amusement park since there was so much to do to keep them busy! And mom & dad can’t wait to ride more of the roller coasters. :)


Regal Summer Movie Express – $1 Kids Movies

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Regal Summer Movie Express – $1 Movies All Summer Long

Regal Entertainment Group is back with their  Summer Movie Express for participating Regal Cinemas, United Artists, & Edwards Theaters for this summer. It’s still a few months away, but they have released their schedule of movies, so we wanted to share that with you now.

They will feature 9 weeks of kids movies, rated G or PG, for just $1 on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings at 10am. You can see the movies shown & the order on the Regal website.

The start times will vary with your location depending on when school gets out for the summer – I just looked up the start times for WA & OR locations & it looks like most of them start June 23rd, but for those in different parts of the country where your kids get out of school early, the start times may be quite a bit earlier.

Find a participating location near you, along with the start time.  It’s a great way to first expose your kids to the movies if you have little ones & don’t want to pay full price to see if they’ll last thru the movie!

Check out more ideas for Summer Fun around the country and in the Northwest to get a head start on preparing your summer plans now!

Here’s the list of movies available this summer:

Week #1: Nut Job & Annie

Week #2: Earth to Echo & The Boxtrolls

Week #3: Paddington & Turbo

Week #4: Rio 2 & How to Train Your Dragon 2

Week #5: Mr Peabody & Sherman & The Book of Life

Week #6: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb & Penguins of Madagascar

Week #7: The Lego Movie & Dolphin Tale 2

Week #8: Muppets Most Wanted & Alexander and the Very Bad Day

Week #9: Madaagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and The SpongeBob Movie

 

Mariners Tickets Discounts BECU Family Nights!

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mariners tickets

Mariners Tickets Discounts – BECU Family Nights 2015!

The Mariners offer a BECU Family Night discount ticket options for families, if you want to take the gang out to the ballpark.

Head to the Mariners deal page here to find discounts on Mariner Tickets for BECU Family Nights for select View Level seats. Select dates available. These tickets start at $14 depending on seats you choose.

You can also buy Safeco Insurance Grand Slam Family Night packages that include ticket, hot dog and Pepsi at a special package-value price. Available in Main, Terrace Club and View Levels. These tickets start at $12 per ticket (depending on the seats you choose). Purchase between 4 and 12 tickets to receive the discount.

Current Dates available for family nights are (the Safeco Insurance Grand Slam Family Nights vary some so check the full schedule here):

  • June 22nd against the Royals
  • July 6th against the Tigers
  • July 27th against the Dbacks
  • August 10th against the Orioles
  • August 24th
  • September 8th against the Rangers
  • September 14th against the Angels
  • September 28th against the Astros
There are also Safeco Family Night packages with tickets for $15 that include Hot Dog and Soda, Senior discounts, Military discounts, $10 College Nights and more.
Hey fans, what are your best money savings tips to share with other readers, for attending Mariners games?

FREE Tickets – Seattle Area Shows (Including Seattle Storm Tickets) (Just Pay Service Fees)!

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 gscomptrainfb2

Free Tickets – Seattle

Goldstar is once again offering the popular Seattle Free tickets event called “Comp Train”! This is Goldstar’s popular two-day promotion that features complimentary tickets to tons of fun events throughout the country. For just 48 hours, Goldstar will be offering literally thousands of free tickets to live theater, concerts, dance, comedy and more. And since all you pay is a small service fee (the amount varies depending on the event, but it’s usually just a couple bucks), the Comp Train’s a great way to discover new events in your area and treat your plus one, your family or even just yourself to something totally great — and totally unexpected.

 Here are the available shows with comp tickets in the Seattle area::

  • Seattle Storm Tickets! These are selling out fast, so grab yours now if interested (for 100 level)
  • Comedy Sportz (interactive Comedy – so fun)! (service fees $4)

Find all of the Seattle Free tickets in the “Comp Train” here!

Here are the available shows with comp tickets in the Portland area::

  • The Pirates of Penzance Jr.
  • Great American Tall Tales

  • Twelfth Night

Find more great deals on discount tickets at Goldstar too!

Memorial Day Deals 2015

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Photo Credit

First and foremost, we want to remember all of those families who have lost a loved one who died fighting for our country as the ultimate sacrifice they could make for us. We honor the life of your loved one and are so grateful & humbled by their sacrifice to protect our freedom!

We also want to thank you to all of our active military members and veterans out there. Your service to our country  is greatly appreciated.  There are a few special deals for military members this weekend.

 Memorial Weekend Events & Activities:

Blue Star Museums : Free Entrance To Museums Across The Country – Blue Star Museums once again are offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 2015 There are many participating museums in WA.  Find a list of all participating museums by State.

Tiffany’s Skate Inn – Military skate free on Sunday 5/24

Free Entrance To Silverwood Theme Parks – All Military, Police and Firefighters will receive free admission Memorial Day Weekend when they show the appropriate ID at Silverwood’s front gate (5/23-25th). Immediate family members (spouse and children) also receive a discounted admission of ½ Price General Admission

Hands On Children’s Museum  Military and veteran families get in for half price–just show your military ID! Free admission is on Monday 5/25/15

Knott’s Berry Farm – They are offering FREE admission to Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City from May 23rd – May 25, 2015 for active duty military & military veterans. Just show military ID at the entrance when you buy your tickets. Additional discounted tickets can be purchased at ticket booth or a military ticket office. Free ticket offer is good for one ticket per valid Military ID.

Memorial Day 2015 Freebies & Discounts:

A Story Before Bed – FREE recordings for parents in the US military who are spending time away from their kids

BuildASign.com – Active duty military & veterans can get a FREE Welcome Home banner/sign, jumbo card or yard sign, just pay shipping fees

Home Depot – 10% discount for veterans and active duty military this weekend

JCPenney’s – Get a FREE unenhanced 8×10 portrait + free sitting fees with military ID (limit 1 per family). Also, get 50% off your portrait purchase

Lowe’s – 10% discount for all veterans all weekend long during Memorial Weekend. 10% off discount is all the time for active duty military & families and retired members.

McCormick’s & Schmidt’s – Free Lunch or Dinner entree from a special menu on Memorial Day for active duty, National Guard & veterans.

Outback Steakhouse -Now through 7/4, Military Personnel and immediate family members with proper ID can save 15% off their entire guest check (excluding alcohol, applicable taxes and gratuity) at any Outback Steakhouse in the U.S. Not valid for AARP Membership Discount, Bloomin’ Monday, No Worries Wednesday or in conjunction with any other offer, discount or coupon. Contact your local restaurant for details & to see if they are participating.

Red Robin – Free appetizer with purchase of $10 or more for Red Royalty members who are active duty, retired or veteran military members, plus military spouses. This is available between Saturday 5/23 and Monday 5/25. (I did not find this online to link to, but was sent the details by Red Robin.)

Target – Free 8×10 portrait for military members + free sitting fees & 50% off other portrait costs

Value Village –
 Value Village will have a big 50% off sale from 9am – 9pm on Monday May 25th

If you know of other events or great deals for our Military members this Memorial Day weekend, please comment and we will add them to the post!  

 

Blue Star Museum Program – Free Admission For Active Duty Military

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Blue Star Museums is once again are offering free admission to museums across the country, to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There are some good participating museums in the Northwest, such as Museum of Flight in Seattle and a Children’s Museum on Bainbridge.   Find participating museums by State. 

Here are the participating NW museums:

WA:

  • Seattle Art Museum, Seattle
  • Kids Discovery Museum, Bainbridge Is
  • Kids Quest Children’s Museum, Bellevue
  • Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Tacoma
  • Museum of Glass, Tacoma
  • Buffalo Soldiers Museum, Tacoma
  • Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma

OR:

  • Portland Children’s Museum, Portland
  • Portland Art Museum, Portland
  • High Desert Museum, Bend
  • Science Works Hands on Museum, Ashland
  • Science Factory & Children’s Museum  & Exploration Dome, Eugene
  • Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families.

The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military  – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserve, as well as members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps – and up to five family members. A family member of active duty military may include a spouse or child, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.

Find more details on the Blue Star Museum program or check out our big round up of Things To Do in Seattle if you are looking for something affordable to do!

 

Grease Discount Tickets: Grease Is the Word: Hit Musical On Stage $34.50!

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Grease Discount Tickets

Grease Discount Tickets

If you like musicals, here is a nice deal you may want to check out. Right now Goldstar is offering Grease discount tickets! You can grab tickets for the Grease Is the Word: Hit Musical On Stage for $34.50! That is down from the normal price of $65.

Dates:

  • Thu, Jul 9 @ 8:00pm
  • Fri, Jul 10 @ 8:00pm
  • Sat, Jul 11 @ 2:00pm
  • Sat, Jul 11 @ 8:00pm
  • Sun, Jul 12 @ 1:30pm

Location:

  • The 5th Avenue Theatre
    Located between University and Union 1308 5th Avenue Seattle, WA 98101
    206-625-1900

**There is a additional $6.50 service fee that you will be charged.

Bette Midler Discount Tickets – 1st Tour in 10 Years Coming to Seattle!

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Bette Midler Discount Tickets for Seattle Show

Bette Midler Discount Tickets

If you are a Bette Midler fan, you’ll be excited to learn that she is coming to Key Arena in Seattle on tour for the first time in 10 years and we’ve found you discount tickets for the show! Ticket prices range from $66 – $121 (reg $82 – $157) + service fees through Goldstar.

The concert is Monday June 1st, 2015 at 8pm at Key Arena in Seattle.

Here are more details about the Divine Intervention tour::

Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and much-loved performer Bette Midler embarks on her first major tour in nearly 10 years, singing favorites from her iconic career, plus songs from her latest album, It’s the Girls!. A glorious tribute to girl groups through the ages, It’s the Girls! covers music from the swinging sounds of the WWII-era Andrews Sisters, to ’60s super-groups like the Supremes and the Shirelles, to ’90s hit-makers TLC. For the Divine Intervention tour, Midler will be accompanied on stage by a 14-piece band, as well as backing vocals by the Harlettes and production design by renowned stage designer Michael Cotten. As one of the world’s most popular and versatile entertainers, Midler has earned accolades in almost every area of show business, including four Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, three Emmy Awards, one Tony Award, three Golden Globe Awards and nine American Comedy Awards.

Check out more discount ticket offers with Goldstar including::

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park Discount: Up To 25% OFF

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Northwest Trek Wildlife Park Discount

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park Discount

If you are looking for something fun to do with the family, check this out. Right now you can get a Northwest Trek Wildlife Park discount! Groupon has this deal for weekday or weekend admission for one adult or one youth to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park for up to 25% OFF!!

The Groupon prices start at just $9.50 for youths and $14.75 for adults!!

Choose from Four Options:

  • $14.75 for one adult weekday admission, valid Monday–Thursday ($19.75 value)
    $9.50 for one youth (ages 5–12) weekday admission, valid Monday–Thursday ($12.25 value)
    $17 for one adult weekend admission, valid Friday–Sunday ($19.75 value)
    for one youth (ages 5-12) weekend admission, valid Friday–Sunday ( value)

Location:

  • Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
    11610 Trek Dr East
    Eatonville, WA 98328
    +13608326117