Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Here are a couple of free events in town this weekend for you to fit in while finishing up your Christmas preparations:

Snow in the Big Easy?  Yes, it's true!  Head to City Park on Saturday morning for your chance to play in snow, albeit man-made.  Starting at 9am until it melts, head over to the lawn in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art for fun in the snow.

On Sunday courtesy of Target, admission to the Louisiana Children's Museum will be free to all visitors.  Enjoy the hands-on exhibits from noon until 4:30 pm.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ogden Playdate: Christmas Singalong!

The Prytania Theater is host to a very special holiday event this Saturday from 9-11 am: the Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas Singalong!  This Ogden Playdate, sponsored by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and Phelps Dunbar, is free but requires a reservation as there is limited seating.  Songbooks will be provided, but you are asked to bring your own flashlight.  To make reservations, email ayagoto@aol.com or call 504-523-4883.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: AllowanceManager.com

Being a one-income family, money is tight.  During this time of year, we have to stretch the dollars just that much further!  One thing we've been trying to do is instill in our boys an understanding, respect, and appreciation of money and how it is used. 

Like many children, my boys get a case of the "I wants" when we go to the store.  They want ice cream, they want a new toy, they want that piece of junk in the gumball machine.  I started teaching them at an early age that when we go to the store, we only get what's on Mommy's list; that anything else we see that we want will have to go on the list for the next trip.  My oldest is now almost 6, and he is aware of his friends getting things they want and wonders why I don't cave to his wishes.  He sees me paying for groceries with the debit card and just tells me to use my card - that we don't need money to buy things!  So, we decided to create a small list of chores that he is to perform (some weekly, some daily) and agreed to give him a modest allowance in exchange.  This money he earns will be used for any "extras" that he wants to buy.  Because he is only 5, I don't feel comfortable giving him the cash - it would just get lost.  We recently started keeping track of his allowance using a free, web-based tool called Allowance Manager, and so far its been quite helpful for both my son and me.  Each week I print out the chore chart and write down my son's chores.  For that week, we keep track of his progress by marking off his chores completed on the chart, and at the end of the week, his weekly allowance is automatically added to his balance on the website.  With the online tool, if your child earns extra allowance by going above and beyond, you can reflect this by adding an additional entry.  Or if for some reason you need to dock some allowance money, that, too, can be shown as a negative entry.  With Allowance Manager, parents can really oversee their children's allowances, and each child is able to track his or her progress through their own access to the site (which is connected to the parents' membership). 




I believe that seeing his allowance building up has really gotten my son excited about getting his chores done and helping out around the house.  I plan to continue to use this system and will add my younger son once I feel he is capable of understanding what an allowance is (let alone how money works!).  One improvement I'd like to see is the ability to type in your specific chores on the chore chart before printing.  I think that would make this program just that much better!

So if you're looking for a free tool to help with your children's allowance, please head over to AllowanceManager.com to see how it can work for you!

FTC Disclosure: I was compensated for this review with a gift card from the company, but that in no way influenced my review. These are my own opinions.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Santa will be visiting local Toys R Us stores from 12 noon until 3 pm on Saturday, so bring your camera to snap a photo of your child with him and Geoffrey!  Listen to storytime, decorate a gingerbread cookie, and score some giveaways at this free event!

Head downtown to see Santa in the Krewe of Jingle parade on Canal Street, Saturday at 1 pm.  The parade will be followed by a block party at 2 pm in the 100 block of Baronne where you can enjoy music, games, crafts, and food!.

At the French Market on Saturday from noon until 4 pm, enjoy live music and children's activities at the St. Nicholas Day Fair.  Stick around for the French Market Christmas Parade that follows the Krewe of Jingle parade about 3:30 pm.

While downtown, don't forget to stop by the Miracle on Fulton Street events by Harrah's Casino.  Enjoy live music, snowfalls, and incredible Christmas decorations, including Macy's Tremendous Tree!  The Christmas display at the Roosevelt Hotel is also not to be missed.

DesCours is a 10-day art and architecture event happening now.  While you're out and about this weekend, take along this map and guide to show you the "hidden" artworks around the city.

Celebrate the Christmas season in a true Louisiana tradition from 5 pm to 8 pm on Saturday at the Algiers Bonfire Concert followed by the bonfire lighting at 8:15 pm. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

If you're not out there scoring shopping deals this weekend and are looking for some free and fun things to do around town, here are a few events for you to check out:

Friday night at 6:30 pm, head to Spanish Plaza at the Riverwalk for a free outdoor screening of the Christmas classic "The Polar Express".   Make sure you bring a blanket and wear some warm clothes - it's bound to be a bit chilly!

While you're downtown, visit Santa in front of the Macy's Tremendous Tree as part of Harrah's "Miracle on Fulton Street" celebration.  Santa will be hearing gift requests from 6 pm to 10pm on Friday and Saturday, and from 2 pm to 7pm on Sunday.  If you bring a new gift worth at least $15 to donate to the Friends of the Fishermen Foundation, you'll get a free picture with Santa.  Check out the free live music while you're there - including Big Sam's Funky Nation on Saturday night! 
Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tis the Season!

Look no further than the opening of Miracle on Fulton Street tonight for a sure sign that the holidays are upon us.  Head downtown for a 5:30 pm lighting of the Macy's Tremendous Tree, then a 6:30 pm concert by Benny Grunch and the Bunch.  Enjoy complimentary refreshments, snowfall, and face painting to usher in the season.

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

There's plenty to do around town this weekend, so if you're looking for some free fun, look no further!

On Saturday, Lowe's has it's latest installment of their Build and Grow program.  This Saturday from 10 am to noon, bring the kids to make a wooden snowman!

From 6:30 am Saturday through 6:30 am Sunday, experience the fifth annual Draw-A-Thon at the Green Project.  Check out performances by various artists, children's art activities, music and games, and draw all over the walls of "The Drawing Room".

From 11 am to 4 pm on both Saturday and Sunday, head to Plessy Park for Family Fringe as part of the New Orleans Fringe Theater Festival.  See performances for children, arts and crafts activities, and watch the parade pass on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking of parades, if you've never experienced a New Orleans second line parade, Saturday morning is your chance.  A parade to honor the memory of musician and music teacher Walter Payton Jr. will follow a brief memorial service at Preservation Hall on Saturday morning at 10:30 am and wind from Preservation Hall down St. Claude, pass McDonough No. 15 where he taught, and back through the French Quarter back to the start.

Santa Claus himself, along with Mrs, Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty, will lead another second line parade through Lakeside Mall in Metairie as he arrives on Saturday at 9:30 am. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mid-week Fun in New Orleans

Wednesday is free admission to the New Orleans Museum of Art for all visitors.  Stop by between 12 noon and 8 pm to take advantage of free admission and extended hours.  While you're there, you might as well stop by the Besthoff Sculpture Garden to take in the scenery!

Ready to jump start the Christmas season?  On Thursday at 6pm head down to Washington Artillery Park across from Jackson Square for the lighting of the French Market Christmas Tree!  After the lighting, join a second line parade to Dutch Alley for some food, drink, music, and dancing!

Have a great week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

On the westbank, check out the Westwego Cypress Swamp Fest that runs from Friday through Sunday.  Admission is $2 for those over 10 years old, and 10 and under are free.  Enjoy food, rides, games, and a showcase of crafts at this weekend festival.

Take a drive to the northshore on Saturday or Sunday for the Three Rivers Art Festival in downtown Covington.  In addition to the myriad works of art available for sale, enjoy live music and a children's activities and entertainment at this free weekend festival.

Celebrate National Neighborhood Toy Store Day with a visit to Magic Box Toys on Magazine Street.  On Saturday from 11am until 5 pm they will be celebrating the day and their 15th anniversary with book signings, face painting, music, and more.  What a fun way to entertain your kids, support local business, and get a jump on your Christmas shopping at the same time!  10% of all proceeds will go to Children's Hospital.

At 11am at Borders, bring the kids to Build-A-Bear Storytime.  Geared toward kids ages 3 to 8, the Build-A-Bear Storytime will feature the new Build-A-Bear book: Holly & Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure.  Check the Borders website to see if a store near you is participating.

On Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm, why not stop by the Po-Boy Festival on Oak Street?  36 po-boy vendors will be on hand with such offerings as Maine lobster with Crystal hot sauce or grilled shrimp with blackened avocado, in addition to the "staples" we know so well.  A children's area and live music on multiple stages throughout the day make this free festival a winner!

Also on Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm is the Congo Square Rhythms Festival at the Old US Mint on Esplanade.  Enjoy world music, crafts, a children's area, and food at this free festival.

Take advantage of the Saints' bye week and the beautiful weather - enjoy the weekend with your family!

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

It's going to be a beautiful, though chilly, weekend in the Big Easy.  Take advantage of the sunshine and bundle up to enjoy these fun events around the area:

Saturday from 11am to 5pm, the Audubon Charter School will host its "Fall Fete".  Enjoy games and activities, and live music by Freddy Omar con su Banda.  Admission is free.

Markey Park on Piety is the site of the annual Mirliton Festival on Saturday from 11am to 7pm.  Enjoy live music, children's activities, and mirliton dishes, of course!  Admission is $5 per person, and free for children under 12 years old.  If you attend, please bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Like pizza?  Kids ages 7-9 can head over to the Jefferson Parish Library (East Bank Regional) at noon on Saturday and learn to make and cook their own pizzas!  Younger kids can come by the library at 10am to make a paper plate Pilgrim craft.  

If this chilly weather has you longing for the tastes and sounds of the Caribbean, check out Bayou Bacchanal 2010 at Lafayette Square on Saturday from 11am to 7pm.  Enjoy a parade (starting at Harrah's Casino and ending at Lafayette Square), and authentic Caribbean food and music.  Proceeds from refreshment sales will benefit Haiti's earthquake victims.

Have a wonderful weekend - get out and enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday's Events in New Orleans

Wednesday marks another installment in this season's Harvest the Music Festival in Lafayette Square.  Head downtown at 5pm to enjoy a free concert by Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk and Good Enough for Good Times.  Admission is free, and food and drinks are available for purchase.  Proceeds benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank.

And don't forget, since it's Wednesday, that means free admission for all to the New Orleans Museum of Art!

Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Everywhere you look in the fall there's another fall festival!  I'm not complaining, though.  Here are a few free and frugal events to keep you and your family entertained while staying on budget:

The Bucktown Seafood Festival begins Friday night.  Enjoy delicious seafood, live music, and carnival rides.  This free festival runs through Sunday evening. 

Going downtown this weekend?  Take the kids, in costume, of course, to the French Market for the Boo Carre Halloween and Harvest Festival on Saturday from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm.  Live music will be performed, and kids in costume get a free trick or treat bag that they can use to trick or treat in the shops!

Stay in the Halloween mood by bringing the family to St. Patrick's Park on Saturday night for a free movie!  This Saturday, enjoy Little Shop of Horrors  on the outdoor screen.  Bring a blanket or chairs and your picnic dinner, or enjoy some of the refreshments that will be available for purchase.  The movie begins 30 minutes after dark.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

The St. Edward the Confessor 45th Annual Cochon de Lait will be held Friday through Sunday at the school in Metairie.  Enjoy live music, carnival rides and games, and on Sunday get a plate (or a few) of their famous smoked pork!

The grand opening of the Laketown Pier in Kenner will be celebrated on Friday from 6 until 9:30pm with a ribbon cutting ceremony and live music from the band Distraction.

On Saturday, Veterans Ford is sponsoring a free child safety program.  From 9:30am until 2pm bring your children to Veterans Ford where they can be fingerprinted, photographed, and given a DNA test kit to use at home.  None of the information will be databased - all will be given to the parents to take home.  Please consider bringing your children as this information, if kept current, can be incredibly helpful in finding your child in the even he or she is reported missing.

Lafayette Square Park will be the site of the 2010 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival on Saturday and Sunday.   As the name suggests, you'll find plenty of music and eats at this free event.  Park at the Poydras Center (650 Poydras) for a flat $10/day fee.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

It's shaping up to be another beautiful Big Easy weekend with plenty of free events for you to enjoy!  Here are a few events happening this weekend that will entertain your family but not wreck your wallet:

The Bridge City Gumbo Festival will run through Sunday.  Enjoy live music, arts and crafts, games, and of course some delicious chicken and sausage gumbo!

Head to GentillyFest on Saturday or Sunday for wonderful music (Bucktown Allstars, Rockin Doopsie, and others), incredible food, and a children's area with bubbles, face painting, pony rides, and more.  I think the shrimp and roasted corn grits in the food area are calling my name...

Experience Japanese art and culture at Japan Fest at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  At the museum (which is offering 1/2 off admission during the festival) and the surrounding lawn, check out martial arts demonstrations, Japanese style dance, crafts, and food on Saturday from 10am to 4:30pm.

In Metairie, St. Mary Magdalen church and school (6425 W. Metairie Avenue) is holding their annual seafood festival both Saturday and Sunday. 

Across the river in Algiers, Holy Name of Mary is celebrating its 100th annual Fall Festival.  Enjoy music, food, fun and games at this free fall festival running both Saturday and Sunday.

There's no excuse for staying inside this weekend - get out and have a great time!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Really, Really Free Market

It's been said nothing in life is free, but on Saturday you can find a plethora of really, really free items at the Really Really Free Market. On Saturday, October 2nd from 12pm - 6pm, head to the NOLA Art House located at 1614 Esplanade Ave in New Orleans to search through others' discarded treasures. A Really Really Free Market is essentially a citywide potluck of usable items, skills and many other things that we as a community can come together and share. "Really Really Free" means no money is exchanged, everything is 100% free. All are welcome. Individuals are required to transport their own selections; minimal loading assistance will be available. All items not selected will be donated to Bridge House. Further information can be obtained by emailing nolafreemarket@gmail.com.

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Once again we're heavy into fall fair season!  This weekend there's no shortage of free and fun things to do with your family in the New Orleans area, and the weather looks like it will be perfect for enjoying the outdoors. 

On Friday night at 7pm, the Barnes and Noble in Metairie will host a story and craft time.  Bring the family and  make a fish bowl craft after listening to the story "Memoirs of a Goldfish" by Devin Scillian.   At the Westbank Barnes and Noble on Saturday at 7pm, enjoy a reading of "The Very Best Pumpkin" by Mark Kimball Moulton and color pumpkins afterward.

Not to be outdone, Borders will be hosting their very own kids' event this weekend.  At 11am on Saturday, celebrate Olivia the pig's newest adventure, "Olivia Goes to Venice", at both the Metairie and Uptown locations.

Saturday from 9am until noon, head to your local Home Depot for the latest installment of the Home Depot Kids Workshop.  This weekend, bring your 5-12 year old(s) and make a wooden fireboat.

The St. Ann Family Fest will open on Friday and run through Sunday.  Friday night, eat hot tamales while dancing to the Bucktown Allstars.  Saturday's lineup will be BBQ ribs with Bag O'Donuts!  Sunday, take it easy with Shrimp Alfredo and Pierce Penniless.  Admission is free.

Also this weekend (Friday and Saturday) will be the St. Philip Neri Oktoberfest at St. Philip Neri school in Metairie.  Friday night is adults only, with a German Biergarten, food, and music.  Saturday, bring the family for rides, games, music, and a pumpkin patch.

Finally, on Saturday from 12 to 6pm, browse the Really Really Free Market at the NOLA Art House on Esplanade.  Leave your wallet at home - everything in this market is 100% free!  See here for more details.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

If you happen to be on the north shore this weekend, head over to the Louisiana Gator Fest in Mandeville for plenty of children's activities, music, and of course, alligator dishes!

While you're up that way, bring the kids to the Firehouse Concert at Fire District 12 (19375 LA 36, Covington) at noon on Saturday.  Christian Serpas will perform, and there will be fire safety demonstrations and kids' activities.

Back on the south shore, at 11am Saturday, bring the kids to Borders (in Metairie or Uptown) for games and stories promoting the new PBS Kids series The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That!

If you're child is a member of the Simon Kidgits Club, head over to Esplanade Mall in Kenner for the Groovy '60s Party.  Enjoy games and activities with a '60s theme from 1-3pm.  Yearly Kidgits memberships are only $5.

Take advantage of free admission at the Louisiana Children's Museum on Sunday, courtesy of Target.  The museum will be open from noon until 4:30pm.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Here are a few free, family-friendly events happening around town this weekend:

To commemorate the 9th anniversary of 9/11, the Marine Corps band will be performing in a free concert Saturday at St. Louis Cathedral.  Doors open at 5pm and the concert is scheduled to begin at 6pm.  Admission is free but there is limited seating on a first come, first served basis.

Also downtown this weekend is the New Orleans Seafood Festival at Lafayette Square.  Enjoy local seafood and music from 11am throughout the day and evening.  Admission is free but proceeds from food and drink sales will benefit the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation.

At 10am on Saturday, author Whitney Stewart will sign her children's book Marshall the Sea Dog at Maple Street Book Shop.  Children will also be treated to a demonstration of a simulated sea rescue at the event.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Saints Season Opener!

Thursday marks the first game of the 2010-11 NFL season, and the first Saints game!  The Saints and the NFL have put together a couple of events to help herald in the new season, so even if you don't have tickets to the game (like me), you can still partake in the festivities!

A huge stage has been set up downtown for the kickoff party and concerts.  If you want to try to snag passes to the free Dave Matthews and Taylor Swift concerts, head here to sign up.  I'm not sure if tickets are still available, but the sign up page is still working.  The concerts will run at the same time as the parade (which will pause in front of the stage), but you'll have to arrive much earlier to get your passes and get in place.

At 5pm, a Mardi Gras-style parade, the Krewe of NFL Kickoff, will begin at Esplanade Avenue and will run down N. Peters and end at Tchoupitoulas and Julia.  Expect to see many former NFL stars, including many former Saints players, on the floats!

Whether you are in the French Quarter in the midst of the celebration, or in the comfort of your own home, let's all cheer on the Saints and make it TWO DAT!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, Aquarium!

If you're looking for a fun and family-friendly way to enjoy Labor Day, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is open and celebrating their 20th birthday!  Open from 10am to 5pm on Monday, the celebration will include face painting, live music, a scavenger hunt, and of course, birthday cake!  Admission is included if you're an Audubon Institute member.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend - Katrina Anniversary Edition

This weekend there will be a huge focus on the 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and with that, several events around town commemorating it.  Here are a few:

On Saturday from 2-8pm, the group Rebuilding Together will hold a block party at Lafayette Square to celebrate their restoration of 50 damaged homes in Gentilly.

Author Michelle O'Brien will sign her Katrina-themed children's book Twas the Night Before the Storm on Saturday from 11am to 1pm in the lobby of the Metaire Office Towers at 433 Metairie Road.

Celebrate first responders and "Share the Moon" on Saturday from 11:30am to 8:30pm in Jackson Square, and from 1-6pm at Le Petit Theatre with music (Grandpa Elliot, Full Steam Brass Band, and others), and free refreshments (including Ben & Jerry's ice cream!) at the Le Petit stage.

From noon until 3pm on Sunday, the St. Bernard Animal Shelter is hosting a free event to encourage shelter pet adoption.  This event will include face painting, snoballs, a pet photo contest, and adoption specials.

Finally, it might be cathartic for some of us to participate in a Jazz Funeral for Katrina.  On Sunday at 1pm, the Monteleone Hotel will sponsor a jazz funeral procession to Jackson Square, complete with a casket and a second-line jazz band.  Following the funeral march, there will be a memorial service at St. Louis Cathedral.

However you plan to commemorate the anniversary, please remember those who lost everything, including those who lost their lives, and those who still have not been able to come back home.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Are your kids fans of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" book series?  If so, you'll want to take them to Octavia Books on Saturday.  The "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" Truck Bookstore Tour will make it's stop there from noon to 1:30pm on Saturday to celebrate book 5 in the series.

Your musically-inclined kids have yet another chance to play with a real jazz band!  On Saturday from 11am to noon, kids can drop in at the New Orleans Jazz Historical Park with their own instruments and play with the Storyville Stompers Brass Band!

On Sunday, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is hosting its annual free fair.  From 10am to 3pm, take the family to the Ogden for a "Coastal Celebration" which will include music, dancing, craft-making, and of course, art!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mid-week events

It's Wednesday again - that means free admission for all to the New Orleans Museum of Art!  From 12pm to 8pm, enjoy free admission to the museum, and at 6pm experience the Ancestors and Descendants exhibit walk through with the curator.

Also, don't forget about Wednesdays on the Point in Algiers - there are only three left.  This Wednesday's scheduled entertainment is Anais St. John with the Prohibition Jazz Band.

Head to Zephyr field in Metairie on Thursday for the Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest.  Test your skills in the batting cages or mobile video game arcade, or see if you have what it takes for the big leagues in the radar gun pitching challenge.  This event starts at 4pm and runs until the Zephyrs game at 7pm.

Enjoy your week - and let's hope the rain stays away!

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Ok, so they didn't win Thursday night, but that's no reason not to head out and cheer on the Saints this weekend as they continue training camp.  The Saints will have open practices at their facility on Airline Drive Saturday through Thursday, including two practices against the Houston Texans Wednesday and Thursday.  Check here for the complete schedule.

On Saturday, gather up your children and their musical instruments and head to the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.  From 11am to noon, kids can bring their instruments and play music with a real live jazz band - this week it's the Storyville Stompers Brass Band!

While you're over that way, head over to the Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Avenue) for a school supply giveaway sponsored by the Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund.  From noon to 4pm, enjoy live music, food, health screenings, a performance by Mardi Gras Indians, and appearances by Dora and Elmo!  If you plan to attend, please bring a donation of canned goods for Second Harvest Food Bank.

And don't forget, Sunday is Target Free Sunday at the Louisiana Children's Museum

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

CSN Stores Review


At the end of June, I posted a preview here about a review opportunity I had been offered with CSN Stores.  Because CSN has SO MANY different products, it was hard to choose just what I wanted to try out!  I eventually settled on this OMNI Panel Versatile Stainless Steel Grilling Platter from Cuisinart.  Outdoor cooking is something that both my husband and I love to do - especially during the summer.  This platter consists of a pizza stone (grilled pizza, anyone?), cedar plank (for fish), and a stainless steel grate (for veggies). 

The product was great, and arrived in perfect condition, but let me just tell you about my ordering process.  I placed my order online with CSN on a Saturday afternoon, and the box was on my doorstep TUESDAY morning!  Free shipping was offered on the product I chose to review, so I was blown away by the speed in which it arrived to my house!  Oftentimes when ordering online, I've found that "free shipping" often equates to "whenever we get it to you".  That is certainly not the case with CSN Stores!

When I say the CSN has an incredible amount of products, I'm not kidding!  In fact, my younger son's school supply list calls for Crayola Washable Markers in Tropical colors.  I looked all over the place locally for them without any luck.  I was able to find them online, but everywhere I found was charging more to ship than they cost!  Everywhere except CSN, that is.  I found said markers on the CSN website, and what did they charge me to ship?  Twenty-six cents.  Yes, less than the cost of a postage stamp!  I don't know how they do it, but CSN really came through for me with this product (which, incidentally, should be on my doorstep in the morning).

So, CSN has a new customer in me, and I urge you to take a look at their offerings - you will not be disappointed!

FTC Disclosure: The featured product(s) in this post was purchased using a gift certificate provided to me free of charge by the company. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone.

Happy "Madden Gras"!

On Monday, head down to Fulton Square to celebrate Madden Gras - the party marking the release of the EA Sports Madden NFL '11 video game.  This free event starts at 11am and is open to the public.  Enjoy live music, play your favorite EA Sports games, and see sports stars including Joe Horn, Deuce McAllister, and Rickey Jackson - the first Saint to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame!  At 7pm, check out the Madden Gras parade as it rolls from Decatur, onto Bourbon, and ends at the Jackson Square main stage where Galactic will entertain the crowds.  Whether you're a Saints fan, a gamer, or a music fan, you'll be sure to be entertained at Madden Gras!

Friday, August 6, 2010

More Events this Weekend!

If you've got a little gas in the car, take the family west on I-10 to Baton Rouge to enjoy the Pennington Balloon Championship!  Check out the balloons, and head over to the Children's Village to enjoy music, face painting, pony rides, and more! The festival runs Friday through Sunday, with most events on Saturday.

Also in Baton Rouge this weekend is LSU Fan Day!  On Sunday, LSU fans can head to the Maravich Assembly Center and the Carl Maddox Field House to meet and greet LSU soccer, cheerleading, and football teams.  The kids' area will open at 1pm in Lot L (next to the Field House) and gates to the facilities will be open from 3pm until 5:30pm.

Finally, from 9am until noon on Saturday, take the kids to your nearest Home Depot store for the latest Kids' Workshop.  This weekend, make a school bus pencil holder!

Enjoy your weekend!

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Friday through Sunday, head downtown to celebrate the 10th annual Satchmo Summer Fest!  In addition to 4 stages with live music, this free festival includes various seminars and discussions, as well as a children's area with activities such as making a second line umbrella and decorating a Zulu coconut!  The festival runs from noon to 7pm through Sunday.

Head to the Maple Street Book Shop Saturday from 11:30am to 1pm, to meet Rosemary Smith, children's book author, as she signs her book Lizzie Walks On the Wild Side

If art's your thing, leave the kids with a sitter and head out to the warehouse district Saturday night dressed in your stylish white linen to celebrate Whitney White Linen Night.  The party starts at 6pm with live entertainment and free admission to the art galleries in the Arts District.  If you go, remember to not wash your white linen afterwards so you'll be ready for next weekend's Dirty Linen Night on Royal Street!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What to Do on Wednesday...

It's Wednesday again - time for free admission for all to the New Orleans Museum of Art!  Tonight, enjoy a free screening of the award-winning (and the most popular Taiwanese film), Cape No. 7, at 6pm.  Also tonight, from 6-7pm, meet local woodworking artist Peg Martinez.

Wednesday also means Wednesdays on the Point in Algiers.  Tonight from 6-9pm, enjoy a free show by Amanda Shaw!

If you're a member of the Audubon Institute, head to the Aquarium of the Americas tonight from 5-8pm for SEAlebration!  Open only to Audubon members, SEAlebration will feature live music, feedings, aquarist chats, and kids' activities.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

We're heading into a pretty exciting weekend in the Crescent City.  Two big free events are happening in the area:  Saints Training Camp(!!!!) and the 3rd Annual New Orleans International Children's Film Festival.

The New Orleans Saints will have open practice at their Metairie facility every day from Friday through next week, culminating with the Black & Gold Scrimmage on Saturday 8/7:

Friday 7/30: 8:50-11 am; and 4:20-5:45 pm
Saturday 7/31: 8:50-11 am; and 4:20-5:45 pm
Sunday 8/1: 3:20-5:45 pm
Monday 8/2: 8:50-11 am
Tuesday 8/3: 3:20-5:45 pm
Wednesday 8/4: 8:50-11 am
Thursday 8/5: 3:20-5:45 pm
Friday 8/6: 8:50-11 am
Saturday 8/7: 2:50-4:20 pm Black & Gold Scrimmage

So, if you're ready for some football (I know I am!), then head out to the Saints' outdoor practice field and cheer on the World Champion New Orleans Saints!

Once you've had your fill of football, take your little ones to the Contemporary Arts Center to experience the 3rd Annual New Orleans International Children's Film Festival.  This free festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am until 5:30pm, with animation workshops held each day from 4:30pm to 5:30pm.

Saturday evening, take your picnic basket and blanket (or purchase food and drink at the park) and head over to St. Patrick's Park for a free showing of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  The movie will begin 30 minutes after sunset.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What to Do on Wednesday...

If you're looking for something to do on Wednesday, you're in luck! 

In Algiers you'll find the latest installment of their "Wednesdays On the Point" series.  From 6-9pm head to the Dry Dock Cafe & Vine & Dine to check out Captain Josh and his tribute to Jimmy Buffet!

Wednesdays still mean free admission to the New Orleans Museum of Art.  Experience a curator-lead walk through of the exhibit "Ancestors and Descendants" from 6-6:30pm, then dance to Flowtribe while they put on a free show!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

And the Winner Is...

The winner of the Orglamix cosmetics giveaway is...


comment #41 - Eco-Friendly and Frugal!

I have contacted you via email and you have 48 hours to respond to me with your information so you can receive your selection of 3 Orglamix products!  Congratulations!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

American Idol Tryouts in New Orleans!


Do you have what it takes to be the next American Idol?  If so, head to the New Orleans Arena today to grab your wristband (they are registering people all day and night Sunday, up until 8am Monday), then return to the arena Monday by 5am to get in line (no camping out will be allowed).  You have to be 15-28 years old, so I'm out (as if my lack of singing skills wouldn't have eliminated me anyway!), but if any of you plan to audition, let me know!  I hope to be rooting for the "home team" this season...

All rules and forms are available on the American Idol website.  Good luck to any of you who try out!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Last Chance!

My Orglamix cosmetics giveaway ends Sunday night!  Don't miss your chance to win - enter here!

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

If you find yourself looking for something to do before Bonnie arrives this weekend, here are a few things that won't break your budget.

Looking to do something to help those directly affected by the oil gush in the Gulf?  Head to Grand Isle where, in place of the annual Tarpon Rodeo, they're hosting the Island Aid Festival.  Though not a free event, the $10 admission fee will benefit the Grand Isle Alive Promotion Fund which will help Grand Isle's fishing and tourism industry that has been damaged by the oil catastrophe.  Head south to see such acts as LeAnn Rimes, Three Dog Night, Sammy Kershaw, and others!  Gates open at 10am.

Want to stay a little closer to home?  Saturday at 11am (as they do every Saturday), the New Orleans Jazz Historical Park will welcome your child and his or her instrument to play with a real jazz band as part of their "Music for All Ages" program.

Also on Saturday, the St. Charles Public Library in Luling will once again have a showing of "One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure" at 10am in the planetarium.  This show, and the 2pm showing of the Twinkle Theater are free.

Enjoy your weekend, and try to stay dry.  Keep your fingers crossed that Bonnie does as little damage as possible as she blows through the oil-slicked Gulf!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

If you're looking for a cool place to enjoy on Saturday, head over to the planetarium at the St. Charles Public Library in Luling for a free showing of "One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure" at 10am. 

From 10am to 1pm at Borders on St. Charles, meet author Mildred Glover and get an autographed copy of her book "Buddy Heads for Home".  Following the book signing, at 2pm celebrate the new movie "Ramona and Beezus", based on a Beverly Cleary classic, with games, activities, and giveaways.  The movie celebration will also be at the Borders in Metairie.

From 12pm to 2pm at the Whole Foods Market in Metairie, beat the heat and treat your taste buds to the Sorbet, Ice Cream, and 365 Popsicle Palooza!  Enjoy samples from local treat producers, including Kleinpeter's ice cream and Quintin's sorbets!

And it's that time again - free admission Sunday at the Louisiana Children's Museum thanks to Target!  If you go, make sure you check out the "New Orleans: Proud to Call It Home" exhibit and learn about our unique local architecture.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Here are a few events to kick-start your weekend without breaking the bank:

Up for a run on Saturday morning?  Head to the Quarter to celebrate San Fermin in Nueva Orleans 2010!  The running of the bulls in New Orleans is a little different than the one in Spain - here, the Big Easy Rollergirls are ready to "gore" the runners with plastic baseball bats!  The event is free, and starts at 8am at Conti and Bourbon Street (runners begin to assemble at 7am).  If you plan to run, wear white with a red cloth on your waist and neck.  Kids are welcome, but are asked to stay on the sidewalk.  If you're in the street, you're fair game for a knock down by one (or more) of the toughest women in New Orleans!

The boats are back at City Park's Big Lake, and to celebrate, they've scheduled a blessing of the fleet (now including bikes and a gondola!) for Saturday at 11am, and free boat and bike rides from 11am until noon. 

Are your children fans of the PBS show Super Why?  I know my boys are.  Super Why will be visiting the Esplanade Mall in Kenner on Saturday from 1-3pm to promote reading around the world in conjunction with WYES and the Simon Malls' Kidgits program.  If you have never heard of Kidgits, it's a kid's club that costs $5/year, and includes a t-shirt, birthday gift, and monthly events at your nearest Simon mall.

Teach your kids about the dangers of drugs at the Louisiana State Museum's exhibition "Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause".  The exhibition will be on display (with free admission) through November 24th, but on Saturday from 1-3pm, children will have the opportunity to become Junior DEA agents by completing 3 tasks in the exhibit.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Orglamix Cosmetics Review and Giveaway! CLOSED

I recently had the opportunity to try out an organic line of pure mineral makeup called Orglamix.  Cheri was kind enough to let me choose 3 colors to test and review.  With over 125 different colors to choose from, it's easy to spend a while "window shopping" on the Orglamix site!

I was so excited to receive my order the day before I left on vacation.  The colors came packaged in 0.5 oz pots - perfectly sized for travel.  When ordering, I wasn't sure which shade of the mineral foundation I should try - I'm typically fair- to medium-skin toned, but in the summer, I'm tanned (I know, I know... a dermatologist's nightmare).  I emailed Cheri for guidance on picking the right shade and she was very quick to respond.  The "Bocote" she suggested was a good match for my summer skin tone.  When I tried it on, all three products were luxuriously silky-smooth on my skin. The blush and eyeshadow shades blended easily, and my face was done in a matter of just a couple of minutes!  One night, I also used the eyeshadow wet for a more dramatic look for a much-needed night on the town with my husband!

All Orglamix products are 100% satisfaction guaranteed - if you're not satisfied for any reason, just return the product within 14 days for a full refund.  According to the website, all products are PETA-approved, and made without synthetic ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, petrochemicals, and phthalates.

Check out the Orglamix website to see all the vibrant shades!  And at less than $5 a pop, you can experiment with the bold, exciting ones like "Citron" and "Geranium" (which I think would be just perfect for carnival-time "dress-up")!  In addition to the single colors available, Orglamix has a variety of sets and starter kits available (like this one, which just might be my next order!).  And check out the Haute Beauty blog for makeup tips, and special sales on Orglamix colors!

Would you like to win some items from Orglamix?  Cheri has graciously allowed me to offer a lucky reader of mine to select any three colors from the following Orglamix formulas: Pure Organic Mineral Eye, Blush, Glow, Foundation, or Color Corrector. 

HOW TO ENTER:
Go to the Orglamix Etsy shop and let me know which eyeshadow color is your favorite (this is mandatory for an entry).

EXTRA ENTRIES:
  • Subscribe to my site via RSS or email (if you're already a subscriber - let me know)
  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect
  • Grab my button and tell me where to find it
  • "Like" Orglamix on Facebook (include your Facebook ID in your comment)
  • Follow Orglamix on Twitter (include your Twitter ID in your comment)
  • Follow @bigeasymom on Twitter (include your Twitter ID in your comment)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (can do once daily): "I entered to win #Orglamix cosmetics from @hautebeauty and @bigeasymom http://tinyurl.com/28o9r6g"
Contest ends July 25th, 2010, at 11pm CDT.  Open to U.S. residents only.  Winner will be chosen using Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond once notified. Please make sure to include your valid email address in the comment if it's not readily visible in your profile - thanks!

Disclaimer: I received products from Orglamix in exchange for my review, but my opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

It's Wednesday, which means extended hours and free admission to the New Orleans Museum of Art. If you haven't been yet, head to the museum to check out the fine art collection on loan from the Tulane University Amistad Research Center.

Head to the Roundtree Blown Glass Studio in Algiers for some free music and dancing tonight as part of the free Wednesdays on the Point series.  Tonight's event is a Latin dance lesson and music by Freddy Omar Con Su Banda from 6-9pm. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday and try to stay dry!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Uncle Sam Jam!

On July 3rd, Lafreniere Park will again be the site of the Uncle Sam Jam: a free and family-friendly celebration of our country's independence!  Beginning at 3pm,enjoy music from a DJ until 5pm, and live music from Ghost Town until a fireworks display at 9pm.  The Wiseguys will close out the evening from 9:30pm until 11pm.  Get out to the park early to snag both a parking spot and a place for your picnic blanket!

Friday, June 25, 2010

A few more free and frugal events in New Orleans this weekend

In addition to the Oscar Meyer event and the Ogden Playdate, there are a few more things happening around town to keep you busy on the cheap this weekend.
Friday night, head to the northshore for the Columbia Street Block Party in Covington.  From 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, you can enjoy this free event that includes a classic car show and live music.
Saturday morning, head to your nearest Lowe's Build & Grow clinic and help your kids make a wooden monster truck!
Saturday night, bring your lawn chairs, bug spray, and cooler to St. Patrick's Park for a free family movie night.  This weekend's movie begins 30 minutes after sunset and is one of my favorites, The Princess Bride.
Get out there and enjoy the weekend with your family!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Sandwich Showdown

It's time to cheer for the home team: on Saturday, June 26th, from 10am until noon, the Crescent City Farmers Market will host the Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Sandwich Showdown between Chef Chris Schlesinger of East Coast Grill in Boston and our very own Chef Brian Landry of Galatoire's (one of my very FAVORITE restaurants of all time!).  Stop by the market and watch Chef Landry as he prepares his New Orleans-style sandwich featuring Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh meats - and try it out yourself!  Enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Creative Way to Help the Gulf

Channel the artist within and create a masterpiece that will help the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program!  On Saturday, July 26th, from 10am until noon, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art will hold it's next Ogden Playdate: "Beach Blanket Bingo".  Admission to the playdate is an 8.5" x 11" piece of art created by YOU!  Come to the playdate dressed in your swimsuit or as your favorite Gulf creature, and be ready to dance, dance, dance!  Susan Cowsill will be on hand for entertainment, and milk and cookies will be served (and cocktails for the grown-ups!).

If you're able to attend, RSVP by calling Ava Sever at 504-523-4883

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Like to bike? Then head up north to Abita Springs for the 10th Annual Louisiana Bicycle Festival. This loosely organized festival starts around 9am (or whenever people begin to show up) and ends about 4pm. The bicycle parade through town starts at 12:30pm for a half hour ride through Abita Springs.




If you have a little free time on your hands, your help is needed at City Park's Super Saturday Volunteer Day. Bring your sunscreen, gloves, garden tools, and bug spray, and lend a hand to help keep our City Park beautiful from 9am until noon.




Also on Saturday, head over to Fleurty Girl on Oak Street to meet children's book author Cornell Landry. He'll be at the shop from 2-4pm signing copies of his book Goodnight NOLA - one of our household favorites. Pick up a few awesome Fleurty Girl t-shirts while you're there!




Experience Lakeview at the West Harrison Avenue Block Party on Saturday from 12 noon until 6pm. There will be a spacewalk for the kids, an antique car display, and entertainment by Benny Grunch & the Bunch.




Thanks to Target, admission is free on Sunday at the Louisiana Children's Museum, and to honor dads on Father's Day, all dads get in free at the New Orleans Museum of Art.




Happy father's day to all dads out there!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Upcoming Review: CSN Stores

As many of you who know me in real life can attest, I do much of my gift and housewares shopping online. It's just so much more convenient than dragging the kids out and browsing things that do not at all interest them, like wall sconces and bedding. One online shopping website I was recently introduced to is CSN Stores. CSN Stores is a group of 200+ stores that sell everything from kids' toys, to cookware, to exercise equipment. Once you get on their site, be warned: you could spend HOURS browsing their wares!



The generous people at CSN Stores have offered to let me review one of their thousands of products, so that I can let you know about my online shopping experience. Stay tuned in the next few weeks to see what I've chosen!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Inexpensive Summer Movies

Looking for something inexpensive and air conditioned to do this summer with the kids? Many movie theater chains are offering deeply-discounted summer movie series to keep the kids entertained on the cheap. Here are a couple of local ones and their details:

AMC Theaters is offering their Summer MovieCamp every Tuesday at 10am. Tickets are $1 and proceeds go to two AMC charities: the Will Rogers Institute and Variety - the Children's Charity. This summer's lineup:
June 15th: Shrek the Third
June 22nd: Imagine That
June 29th: Monsters Vs. Aliens
July 6th: Madagascar
July 13th: Madagascar Escape 2 Africa
July 20th: Hotel for Dogs
July 27th: Kung Fu Panda
August 3rd: The Spiderwick Chronicles
August 10th: Surprise Mystery Title
AMC will also be offering discounted concession packages during these Summer MovieCamp showings.

In Kenner, Hollywood Cinemas 9 is offering their Summer Kids' Movie Camp every Monday through Friday at 10am. Tickets are $4 and include a child's drink and popcorn. Here's their summer lineup:
June 14-18 Stuart Little
June 21 -25 Curious George
June 28-July 2 Ice Age 3
July 6-9 Bee Movie
July 12-16 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
July 19-23 Shrek the Third
July 26- 30 Spongebob Squarepants
August 2-6 Hotel For Dogs

If you want to see the first run movies this summer, Hollywood Cinemas also offers $4 tickets all day Monday through Thursday - not a bad deal when you consider the typical movie ticket price these days!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

If you're looking for free and frugal fun this weekend, you're likely to find it in the French Quarter! This weekend, the Quarter is host to a trifecta of free festivals: the Creole Tomato Festival, the Louisiana Seafood Festival, and the Cajun-Zydeco Music Festival. All three festivals will offer incredible food, music, and fun for the whole family. Remember to bring (and wear!) your sunscreen, and drink plenty of water - I want to to be safe while having fun this weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday Fun - If you can stand the heat!

Ok, judging by the temperature and heat index, summer really arrived a little early! If you can stand the sweltering conditions, here are a few events happening Wednesday to keep you entertained and on budget:

The last installment of the YLC Wednesdays at the Square is from 5pm to 7:30pm. Galactic and The Soul Rebels are closing out the season, rain or shine. This event is free, and proceeds from refreshments sold will benefit the Young Leadership Council.

If you're an Audubon Zoo member, Wednesday means Zoobilation! From 4:30pm to 7:30pm, members can enjoy the zoo after hours. Enjoy live music, animal feedings, animal open houses, free rides on the swamp train, and free simulator rides. There will be plenty of kids' activities, and author Cornell Landry will be on hand to sign his new book, "Happy Jazz Fest."

Since it's Wednesday, remember the New Orleans Museum of Art has free admission for all and is open late (until 8pm) on Wednesdays. And they have air conditioning!

Have a great Wednesday, and remember if you're going to be out in the heat - stay hydrated!

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

There are so many free and frugal events this weekend in the New Orleans area, it's enough to make your head spin!

Are you ready for some football? Practice, anyway. If so, head out to the Saints practice facility in Metairie where you can ogle the beautiful Lombardy trophy and watch our beloved Saints in an outdoor minicamp practice! The trophy will be on display at 1:30 pm Friday, and practice will start at 3pm (gates to the field open at 2:15pm). The trophy will again be on display 8:30am Saturday before practice at 10:15am (gates open at 9:15am).

Show your support for local oyster harvesters by attending the first ever New Orleans Oyster Festival this weekend in the French Quarter. This free festival runs Saturday (11am to 7pm) and Sunday (11am to 6pm) and in addition to great music features an oyster eating contest, largest oyster contest, and a kids' root beer float eating contest! Some of the best restaurants in the area will be on hand to sell you some delicious oyster dishes, so go hungry and eat up! Proceeds from the festival will go to "Save Our Coast".

Another way to help our coast is to head to Kenner to the Back to the Beach Festival, which also benefits Save Our Coast. Beginning Friday at 6pm, the festival runs through Sunday and features great music, food, and a car show and motorcycle rally. The cost is $10 for adults and $4 for kids, but members of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (which is $50 for a family for a year) get free admission - and admission to the Patron Party in a few weeks.

Want to learn how to dance like a cajun? On Saturday, head over to Maison on Frenchman for a Cajun/Country Fais Do-Do! Dance lessons begin at 3:30pm, and the bands start to play at 4pm. Admission is free, children are welcome, and food is available for purchase.

Bring your little artists over to the Alex Beard Studio on Saturday from 10am to 12 noon to draw and paint with artist and author Alex Beard. The event is free, but you need to RSVP by calling 504-539-9616. Sponsored by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, refreshments will be served.

Also on Saturday, support the Success Preparatory Academy on Bienville Street at their Success Fest 2010! From 3pm to 7pm, enjoy food, music, a waterslide, and space walk. Admission is free, but the school will accept donations if you want to donate!

Do your kids enjoy the Amusement Park and Storyland at City Park? Friday night from 7-10pm is the kickoff party for the new summer hours at the park. Admission is free, but ride tickets/bracelets cost extra. Enjoy storytelling, games and prizes, face painting, and a DJ for your entertainment.

And don't forget Librarypalooza on Saturday at the East Bank Regional Library!

So, as you can see, there is simply NO reason to be sitting at home this weekend - make it a great one!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mmmmmm.... doughnuts....

If you haven't yet heard and/or don't have it marked on your calendar, Friday June 4th, is National Doughnut Day! In celebration, Krispy Kreme is offering everyone who stops in a free doughnut of their choice (oh, how I wish they were legal on my nutrition plan!). And while you're at it, swing on by a participating Dunkin' Donuts and get another free donut with beverage purchase.

Someone please eat one for me!

Free Fishing Weekend!

Want to try fishing but don't have a fishing license? Well, on June 12th and 13th you have your chance! Thanks to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, anyone and everyone is allowed to fish recreationally without a fishing license next weekend. My family took advantage of this last year and ended up with 6 delicious blue crabs (most of them eaten by our older son). If you head out and catch a bounty (remember, size and limit restrictions still apply), you can always invite me over for dinner!



Make A Splash! READ!

"Make A Splash! READ!" is the theme for our local library system's summer reading program which kicked off on June 1st. For every 10 books a child reads (or has read to him), you get an entry into an end of summer drawing and your child gets to choose a prize. Both of my boys have signed up and are super excited about picking prizes (in fact, we've already been to the library twice in 3 days and they have 8 of the first 10 books completed!). Also, when you sign up you get a coupon for a free carousel ride at Lafreniere Park and some other goodies.




On Saturday, June 5th, from noon until 3pm at the East Bank Regional library, celebrate the kickoff to the summer reading program with "Librarypalooza". The library will have games, contests, t-shirt decorating, and storyteller Johnette Downing on hand to entertain the masses. Check out the library's calendar of events for more fun and free things to keep your kids busy this summer! And if you're not in the area, check with your local library system to see what they have planned for you!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happening this Wednesday in New Orleans

Remember - Wednesdays are free admission for everyone to the New Orleans Museum of Art (thinks to the Helis Foundation's generosity), and hours are extended until 8pm as well. Check out the opening of the Swamp Tours: Exploring the Louisiana Contemporary Collection exhibit at 6pm. Included in the free admission is a drop-in community art-making studio for adults this Wednesday from 6-8pm. Art materials and instruction from art therapists are included!

It's also the second to last chance for you to enjoy a free concert at YLC's Wednesday at the Square. Performing this Wednesday is The Boogie Men and The N'awlins Johnnys.

Have a great Wednesday!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

There are a few local fairs and festivals this weekend that look to be fun. First is the Plaquemines Parish Seafood Festival in Belle Chasse. This one is free for 12 and under - just $5 for adults, and the proceeds benefit local charities and fishermen affected by the BP oil spill.

Also this weekend is the Greek Festival at the Hellenic Cultural Center. This is also a $5 admission, with kids 12 and under getting in free. Enjoy all things Greek: food, music, dancing, and art!

Hungry for some crawfish before the season ends? Head over to Washington Square Park for the New Orleans String Project crawfish boil on Saturday from noon until 6pm. Enjoy crafts, music, kids' games and activities, and of course some delicious crawfish! All proceeds from the crawfish sales will benefit the New Orleans String Project.

From 10am to 2pm, check out the free Square and Compass Child Safety and Health Fair at the Kenner Pavilion. Teach your kids about safety, and check out the Fire House courtesy of the Kenner Fire Department!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Looking for something to do this weekend and not looking to spend too much? Check out these free and frugal events happening in the New Orleans area this weekend:

If you're heading to the East, check out the Town of Pearl River Family Fest. The Fest will be held from 10am to 10pm, Saturday, and it's family-friendly, nonalcoholic, and free! Plenty of events are scheduled, including great music, a "water world" for the kids, train rides and carnival rides, and fireworks at 8:30pm.

Closer to home is ReFest - a festival on Saturday promoting the newly designated ReUse District in town. Head to ReFest to learn more about using recycled materials in your everyday life. ReFest is coinciding with the Elysian Fleas market, where you can find great local food, arts, and crafts.

From 9am to 4pm on Saturday, head over to the Symphony Book Fair to pick up some books, music, or art to benefit the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Speaking of books, as part of Children's Book Week, several children's authors will be on hand at Tale of Two Sisters Bookstore in Metairie to sign their works this weekend. On Saturday, Skipper Jenkins will be signing "Which Way is Which?" from 10am to noon; Cornell P. Landry will sign "Happy Jazz Fest" and "Goodnight NOLA" (one of our house favorites!) from 11am to 1pm. On Sunday, Pat Roig and Joanne Mehrtens will sign their works, including "Counting on the Neutral Ground" from 2-4pm.

On Sunday, once again Target is providing free admission to everyone at the Louisiana Children's Museum.

Have an incredible weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What to Do on Wednesday?

You don't have to wait for the weekend to find plenty of things to do around here.

The Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus clowns will be at three of the branches of the New Orleans Public library on Wednesday to help celebrate Children's Book Week. Check here for locations and times.

From 4:30pm to 8:30pm, head over to Lakeview for the Harrison Avenue Marketplace, which offers food, drink, and plenty of kid-friendly activities.

The New Orleans Museum of Art is open late on Wednesday, and remember, admission is free to all visitors thanks to the Helis Foundation.

Looking to enjoy some great music? Head down to Lafayette Square for the latest installment of the YLC Wednesday at the Square series. The lineup this Wednesday? The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (yay!) and Happy Jack Frequency.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

It's May 5th - "Cinco de Mayo"! If you're looking for something to do tonight, here are a few ideas:

YLC Wednesday at the Square - performing tonight are Junco Partners + Billy Iuso & The Restless Natives

New Orleans Museum of Art - free admission Wednesday

Tomatillo's Cinco de Mayo Block Party - free block party from 5:30pm to 11pm with music (Rockin' Dopsie Jr., DJ G, and Hot Down South), face painting, and great Mexican food!

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday's Events

Monday marks the end of an error, I mean era, and beginning of a new one with the swearing in of the next New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu. To celebrate his swearing in, from 11:30am to 3pm in Lafayette Square the Celebrate New Orleans Festival will have complimentary food and drinks and plenty of great music (weather permitting). Please bring some non-perishable foods to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank if you attend!

Also Monday, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the University of New Orleans, children's poet laureate Mary Ann Hoberman will be reading from and discussing her works (which include The Llama Who Had No Pajama) and will sign books afterwards. This event is free but reservations are recommended by emailing paustin@uno.edu

Have a great Monday!

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

If you're not heading out to Jazz Fest this weekend, here are a couple of events that will keep you busy and having fun!

First, if you're heading out west, check out the Little Red Church Food and Fun Festival at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Destrehan (THAT was a mouthful!). Admission is free. The fair runs through Sunday and will have plenty of food, rides, and great music (including one of my favorites - the Bucktown Allstars on Saturday!).

If you're heading out that way on Saturday, why not stop by the Luling Planetarium for a couple of free shows. At 10am see "Wilbear's Adventure" and at 2pm check out the Twinkle Theater.

Also this weekend is the St. Philip Neri May Fair. It runs Friday and Saturday, and again will have plenty of food, music, and fun!

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday's Free and Frugal Finds

Remember, every Wednesday is free admission to the New Orleans Museum of Art! Tonight, from 6-8pm you can attend a listening party for Quintron's new album. They say the party starts at the Stern Auditorium inside the museum, and that part of the party will be too loud for children. The party then moves outside to the Besthoff Sculpture Garden outside the museum at 7pm, and children are definitely welcome there.

Also tonight from 5-10pm, head over to your nearest Baskin Robbins for 31 Cent Scoop Night! Take the whole family out for an after dinner treat and not break the bank (and help the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation while you're at it)!

Have a happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bryan Foods Gift Pack Giveaway WINNER!


Congratulations to Aggie, the winner of my Bryan Foods gift pack! Aggie had comment #7, which was picked by the Random.org random number generator.

Thanks to all who entered!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great Lawn Grand Opening and Free LPO Concert

Wednesday evening at dusk (they're saying about 6pm - 6:30pm), head over to City Park's new Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn and celebrate its grand opening with a free concert by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Bring your blanket and a picnic dinner, or enjoy the concessions that will be available for sale! The LPO will also be collecting canned goods/non-perishable foods for the Second Harvest Food Bank starting at 5pm, so you can celebrate a grand opening, listen to some great music, and do a good deed for others. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bryan Foods: "Flavor of the South" Review and Giveaway - CLOSED

One way my family enjoys summertime is by grilling lunch or dinner in the backyard. It's a sure sign that warm weather is on its way when my husband starts "helping" with the grocery list by adding on "grillable" foods! One thing we ALL love to eat off the grill is delicious smoked sausage.

Bryan Foods is teaming up with the Rick & Bubba Show to host the Ultimate Bryan Neighborhood Grill-Out Contest. The grand prize winner will get to throw a neighborhood cook-out with food and grill masters provided by Bryan Foods, and a private concert by country music star Jimmy Wayne! Four runners-up will win a year's worth of Bryan products and Bryan branded merchandise. Contest entries will be accepted until April 30th, with the winner to be announced on May 5th. See here for details on how to enter (and make sure to invite me if you win!).

This weekend, we had the opportunity to try out some products courtesy of Bryan Foods. My boys are already fans of Bryan hot dogs, but this time we chose to try the Bryan Smokey Hollow Cajun Style sausage and some beef smoked sausage links. My husband grilled them up and made some sausage po-boys - they were a hit with the whole family! Sometimes I worry about purchasing "cajun-style" products, thinking they might be too spicy for my little ones, but Bryan did the "Cajun" label justice by seasoning their sausage just right. We were all able to enjoy it without the cayenne spice being too overpowering for the little guys.

Bryan has graciously offered to send one of my readers a Bryan gift pack. The gift pack includes a Bryan hooded sweatshirt, ball cap, apron, skewers in a zippered case, and some coupons for free Bryan products.

To enter, please visit the Bryan Foods website and leave me a comment telling me which Bryan product you would try first with your free Bryan coupon. This entry is mandatory - this entry must be completed or all others will be deleted. To get additional entries, you can do any of the following (leave a separate comment for each entry):

  • Publicly follow my blog (1 entry)
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  • Add my button to your sidebar (1 entry)
  • Blog about this giveaway, link to http://www.bigeasymom.blogspot.com/ and leave the link to your post in the comment (2 entries)

The giveaway will close Sunday, April 25th at 11:59pm CDT. I will use Random.org to pick the winner who will have 48 hours to email me with his/her information. Please make sure you have a valid email address in your profile or in your comment so I can reach you. In the event that the winner does not respond, another winner will be chosen. U.S. entries only, please.

The featured product(s) in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or pr company representing the company. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone.

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Aggie!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events this Weekend

It looks to be another beautiful weekend in the Big Easy, and as usual, there's plenty to do to keep you busy and your pockets full!

On Saturday and Sunday, head to the westbank and celebrate at the Old Algiers River Fest. Experience the tradition of the Mardi Gras Indians, be entertained by talented local musicians, and enjoy incredible food. There will also be a children's area and local arts and crafts for sale. Admission is free.

On Sunday, head over to the Louisiana Children's Museum and Target will spring for your admission! Learn about living with disabilities in the museum's Access/ABILITY exhibit, or learn about our city's architectural traditions in the New Orleans: "Proud to Call It Home" exhibit.

Looking ahead, if you and your family enjoy canoeing, the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is offering a free moonlight canoe trip on Sunday, April 25th. The trip will run from 7-9pm, and reservations are required. Call the visitors' center at 504-689-3690 x10 to book your spot. There is also a morning canoe trek scheduled for Saturday, April 18th beginning at 9:30am.

Enjoy the weekend! Make sure to check back on Monday for a tasty product review and giveaway to get your summer fun started!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Events

Spring has definitely sprung, and in this area that means you don't have to wait for the weekend to find something fun to do with the family! If you have some free time this Wednesday, check out the Young Leadership Council's Wednesday at the Square concert series. Every Wednesday from 5pm to 7:30pm at Lafayette Square, the YLC will be hosting two different acts for FREE! This Wednesday it's John Cleary and the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Also, parking is $4 after 4pm at 650 Poydras Street - just how often can you find discount parking downtown?

And on Wednesdays, remember there is free admission for everyone to the New Orleans Museum of Art! The museum is also open late on Wednesdays - until 8pm.
Hope you enjoy your Wednesday - looks to be another beautiful day in the Big Easy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Milk the Moment" at the French Quarter Festival!



If you read my post yesterday, you may remember I mentioned there will be a number of activities for kids at this weekend's French Quarter Festival. From 11am to 5pm each day (Friday through Sunday), the Milk Mustache Mobile Tour will be set up on the riverfront plaza at the Audubon Aquarium. Bring the kids and enjoy milk samples, a football toss, and make your own milk mustache souvenir photo!


My family really enjoys drinking milk. In fact, at times I've contemplated having our own dairy cow (though I don't think a cow would be quite welcome in the neighborhood - or by my husband, for that matter!). While looking through the got milk? website, I found a great timeline tool to help you understand how much milk you should drink and what benefits you earn from drinking milk at each stage of your life. In addition to all the great information contained on the website, there will be a registered dietitian on hand at the tour this weekend to help you plan healthy family meals.


Also, if you visit the Milk Mustache Tour at the French Quarter Festival, make sure you enter the "Milk the Moment" contest for your chance to win a trip for 4 to San Francisco to have dinner with Tyler Florence (one of my favorites!). And if you win and need someone to go with you, you know how to get a hold of me!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Orleans Festivals this Weekend

This weekend, from Friday through Sunday, celebrate Spring in the French Quarter with the French Quarter Festival! Billed as the largest free music festival in the south, the French Quarter Festival is a "don't-miss" event this weekend. There will be incredible food and music to enjoy, and hopefully some beautiful Spring weather to go with it! Head to the website here for a list of acts and to create your own French Quarter Festival printable itinerary! In addition to the food and music, there will be plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy. Check back tomorrow for information on one of the kids' events that will be taking place.

Also this weekend is the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival (my mouth is watering just thinking about it!). Head up I-55 to Ponchatoula - the "Strawberry Capital of the World" - and enjoy just about any dish you can think of created with fresh, delicious, Louisiana strawberries. There will be a parade, music, games, and rides for the kids.

North or south of the lake, there is plenty to do this weekend!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all of you! I hope you have a wonderful day with your families!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events this Weekend

It's Easter weekend and there is plenty going on to keep you busy!

On Saturday, the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie will have a Saturday craft at 10am. This Saturday's craft is a garden painting. Stick around once you're done to celebrate National Tartan Day with bagpipe and harp performances, and Scottish dancers!

Also on Saturday over in Luling, they're having the 2nd Annual St. Charles Parish Easter Egg Hunt. Registration begins at 9:30am and the hunting starts at 10:30am. There is a suggested $2 donation per child which includes the hunt, games, and an Easter hat contest.

At 2pm on Saturday, the Alvar branch of the New Orleans Public Library will be holding yet another Easter egg hunt.

In town on Easter Sunday, you have your pick of Easter parades, some more family-friendly than others. Also on Sunday at 11am, City Park will be hosting 2 Easter egg hunts for kids: for those under 6 at Storyland, and for the older kids in the Amusement Park. For $3 admission, the kids can hunt for 9000 filled eggs!

Happy hunting and Happy Easter to all!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Freebie for You

I have yet another freebie to tell you about, and this one is an ongoing one. Every Wednesday from noon until 8pm, the New Orleans Museum of Art is offering FREE ADMISSION to ALL! That's right - not just Louisiana residents who enjoyed free admission last year - but ALL visitors will be admitted free on Wednesdays! A special thanks to the Helis Foundation for providing admission to everyone.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Freebie for your Tuesday

Sorry for being MIA and leaving your New Orleans area entertainment all up to you last weekend, but I was busy planning and hosting my son's 5th birthday party! To try to make that up to you, I have a little (very yummy) freebie to tell you about. On Tuesday, March 23rd from 12 noon until 8pm, head on over to your local Ben & Jerry's scoop shop for a FREE ICE CREAM! That's right: Tuesday is "Free Cone Day" at Ben & Jerry's! The hardest part will be having to decide which flavor to get for free - enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events this Weekend

It's shaping up to be another beautiful weekend in the Big Easy! This weekend will be jam-packed with parades and other fun things to do with your families.

On Saturday, head to the Irish Channel for the 63rd annual Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Club Mass and parade. The Mass begins at noon at St. Mary's Assumption church and the parade will follow after Mass.

Also Saturday from 10-11am, make a tabletop basketball game at your nearest Lowes Build and Grow Clinic.

In Metairie, head over to the Lakeside Shopping Center at 9:45am for the Easter egg hunt and check out the Education Expo afterwards for some summer camp ideas.

On Sunday at 11am, the St. Patrick's Day parade will roll down Metairie Road for your chance to catch even MORE produce (and some beads and trinkets, of course).

This is also the final weekend for the "Dreams Come True" exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Once the museum opens on Saturday morning at 10am, it will be open for 30 hours straight (until 5pm Sunday). This is the only North American presentation of this Disney artwork exhibit, so make sure to attend this weekend before its gone.

Finally on Sunday afternoon from 4-7pm, take the kids over to La Maison (508 Frenchmen) to experience a free jazz performance as part of the Nickel-A-Dance series. This Sunday, Detroit Brooks' Syncopated Percolators will perform. Children are welcome for these free performances.

There you have it - plenty of free and frugal things to do to get your family out to enjoy this beautiful weekend!