10 FREE Printables for Your Road Trip

10 Free Printables for Your Road Trip – help your family get organized, and keep the kids occupied!

As I’m preparing for our family’s upcoming road trip, I have come across many awesome, FREE road trip related downloads across the Internet and I thought it would be nice to compile them for you here in one post!

If any of these strike your fancy, make sure to click on the link below the image to be directed to the blog that created it free for your use and download it there.

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Printable Packing List for Young Kids = from OrgJunkie

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License Plate Bingo Printable = from The Dating Divas

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Road Trip Bingo Printables = from Oopsey Daisy

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Pizza Spirals Recipe – Freezer to Lunchbox

This easy pizza spirals recipe is perfect for quick school lunches and can be made and frozen ahead of time!

Easy Pizza Spirals Recipe - an easy, delicious recipe that goes from freezer to lunchbox!

In an effort to continue the ease of school lunches this year, I have made this extremely easy pizza spirals recipe for the kids to grab out of the freezer in the morning. The beautiful thing about these spirals is the fact you can use just about any pizza toppings your kiddos desire. Let’s say you have a meat lover and a vegetarian (hey, it can happen!), you can easily adapt this recipe by making your spirals half and half!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • refrigerated pizza dough
  • pizza sauce (about 1/2 cup)
  • shredded mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup)
  • pizza toppings (pepperoni, Italian sausage, veggies…etc.)
Pizza Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 400°.

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Homemade Blackberry Vodka Recipe

How to make your own blackberry infused vodka. You can also take this #recipe to make any number of fruit infused vodkas. So good - and super easy.

I have picked a lot of blackberries over the past few weeks. A lot. You know it’s bad when you start dreaming you’re picking berries! All told, I’ve picked enough to:

  • fill 10 quart-sized freezer bags full.
  • make a batch of homemade blackberry ice cream.
  • make 5 pints of blackberry jam.
  • have some for snacks.

But, I also wanted to do something a little extra special with blackberries. Something to enjoy late some night as a reward for hours spent getting stuck by thorns and reaching my body in odd directions to get “just one more berry!”

Yes, I’ve decided to attempt homemade blackberry vodka. I initially wanted to make blackberry wine, but I’m too cheap to spend the money just now on the equipment I’d need. (Maybe some day?)

After scouring the internet for recipes, I came up with my own version. Will this work? Well, I think so…and part of me wonders how wrong could you go by mixing vodka and blackberries?

Here’s my recipe:

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Mini Calzone Recipe (Easy, Kid-Friendly Lunch Idea)

Mini Calzones Recipe: Easy, Portable Back to School Lunch idea (and freezer friendly!)

Mini Calzones Recipe

Have you ever come up with an idea so simple, it’s just genius? I don’t mean to gloat – but that’s basically what you’re about to encounter here with today’s recipe. Not only are these calzones simple and inexpensive to make – they are portable, freezer-friendly, and kid-friendly. In other words, they are perfect to tuck into your kid’s lunch this fall.

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One of my kids’ favorite meals is pizza. However, pizza isn’t always so easy to make and pack for school lunches. I researched many recipes for pizza rolls and pizza pockets, but many of them involved making dough from scratch or many ingredients, so I decided to strike out on my own with today’s recipe. I wanted to create something that was delicious, portable, but that wouldn’t require a huge time/energy commitment on your part, either. The good news is this recipe ticks all those boxes.

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How to Make Spaghetti Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes (Freezer Friendly Recipe)

Wondering how to make spaghetti sauce? This easy spaghetti sauce recipe breaks it down for you step by step, including a freezer-friendly storage solution!

This is the year of the lazy garden. The year I only half-way planted, half-way weeded, and hardly ever watered. While a number of things didn’t grow (as was to be expected!), there were a number of delightful surprises.

15 Pounds of Garden Tomatoes

I easily filled two big pans’ worth of tomatoes after just 10-15 minutes of picking from my two bushes. This year, I grew one Roma and one beefsteak variety. Now, what to do with them?

In the past, I have canned garden tomatoes, but truth be told, it was just too easy for me to forget about/not use them. I’ve also simply frozen tomato puree. But there again, I didn’t really end up using that either. This year I decided to consider, “What do we actually eat with tomatoes?” Waste not, want not, right?

And what I came up with: spaghetti sauce. After all, I buy and use it regularly. So I decided to turn my 15 pounds of garden tomatoes into sauce. I’d like to share with you the steps I took to make my sauce in case you’re looking to do something similar. I modified this spaghetti sauce recipe I found at Food.com. Of course, you can modify the flavors to suit your tastes, or the amount of tomatoes you happen to have as I did!

Don’t have a garden? You can often find great deals on boxes of tomatoes at the farm stands or farmer’s market this time of year, so don’t count yourself out.

Easy Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Fresh Garden Tomatoes

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

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DIY Dollar Store Camping Kits for Kids!

Make your next trip extra special with these DIY Camping Kits for Kids – all using items from the dollar store!

DIY Camping Kits for Kids - from the Dollar Store!

DIY Camping Kits for Kids

I am all about memory making. It seems the older I get, the more I emphasize the importance of making memories with our kids.

I mean, I know we all have amazing cell phones and tablets and we use those devices diligently to capture our every moment…but, let’s face it…how often do we actually print those photos out for our later reminiscing enjoyment?

So, with that in mind, and an upcoming camping trip to Oregon, I started thinking about ways I could encourage the little ones (ages 10, 7 & 4) to capture their memories, old school style. Dollar Store, here I come!

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How to Make Make-Ahead Freezer Smoothies

My son loves those Jamba Juice and Yoplait frozen smoothie mixes you can buy in the frozen section. However, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a screaming deal for those, so I decided, “hey – why not make my own?”

I once saw a great tip for prepping freezer smoothies in a magazine using ice cube trays to freeze yogurt! I decided to put my own spin on this idea.

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Yogurt (I used a 32 tub to save on cost)
  • Frozen or Fresh Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Freezer Bags
  • Ice Cube Trays
  • Orange Juice, Milk, or Non-Dairy Milk

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Frugal Gardening: Smart and Safe Re-Purposing

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Pictured above: an old soda bottle works as an inexpensive cloche to protect a young seedling.

Today’s post is one that I’ve had on my mind for awhile now, but one of those topics that may cause a bit of upset. If you’re reading this site, chances are you care about saving money. I do, too! When it comes to gardening, there are many ways one can recycle, re-purpose, and up-cycle.

However, I’m seeing more ideas shared on Facebook, Pinterest, and social media forums about ways to reuse items in the garden that make me…concerned…and sometimes, just puzzled. So before I get very far into this Frugal Gardening series, I wanted to share some of what I’m seeing with you and ideas for how you can safely re-purpose items in your garden.

When Re-Purposing Might Be Harmful

I love that more people than ever are getting passionate and creative about growing their own food, particularly in urban and small spaces. But I’d like to raise a bit of a red flag of caution about some materials you probably don’t want growing right next to your edibles!

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How one mom helped her daughter receive thousands in FREE scholarship money for college

A few months ago, I noticed my friend Abby was having some real success in helping her daughter raise money for college. She was putting in the work, finding scholarship opportunities that made sense, and having her daughter apply. I asked Abby if she wouldn’t mind sharing some of her knowledge with you as I felt it would be relevant for a number of my readers. With that, here’s Abby:

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What if I told you that as of right now my daughter has earned $6,000 in scholarships? No biggie, right? What if I told you that my daughter is only a junior in high school? Did you know you can start looking for college scholarships that early? Well, you can!

Here are a few myths regarding scholarships:

  • You need a 4.00 GPA to receive scholarships or be an all star athlete
  • Only those who are in financial need receive scholarships
  • You can only receive one scholarship
  • The only place to look for scholarships is the school counselor

Let me take you on the journey I have taken so far on trying to help my children find a way to pay for their college education.

Discovering that Scholarship Money IS Out There

Paying for a college education was something a student could actually do as they went with a part time job when I went to college. That is just not the case anymore. College prices have doubled, tripled or more in the prices they once were. After seeing the prices of college tuition and knowing my children were reaching that age, I began to look around at ways to help my kids out.

I found the book Confessions of a Scholarship Winner on Amazon and it really inspired me! The author of this book, Kristina Ellis, received over $500,000 in scholarships! Here is the best part: she was NOT a 4.00 GPA student. She is a talented lady for sure, but honestly her talent lies in her determination to give herself her best future. After reading this book, I decided to put some of Ms. Ellis’s tips to use.

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