2.25.2010

Photo of the Week: Princess Day


Monday was 'Princess Day' at Carys's dance/gymnastics class. She went to class dressed as Tinkerbell! We only remembered 15 minutes before it was time to leave for class that it was a dress-up day, so I very, very quickly put her hair up in a Tink bun! She even carried her Tink wand.

The class played games inspired by the Disney movie, Enchanted, in celebration of 'Princess Day.' They also danced like princesses. Several of the girls forgot it was dress-up day, which only made Carys look that much cuter, I thought. But all of the girls enjoyed being princesses for a day.

LAYOUT CREDITS:
Layout sketch: Creative Memories 'Decorative Click & Fill' pages;
All papers, embellishments, word art: Creative Memories 'Bright Blooms' Digital Kit, 'Delight Tea Party' Digital Additions Kit, 'Disney Princess' Digital Additions Kit; Font: Creating Keepsakes Journaling by Porch Swing Publishing, Inc.

2.24.2010

Our Best Mom Intentions

Last week's 'Mom Moment' was about my guilt about missing Carys's first and only kindergarten field trip. This week's 'Mom Moment' is a shout out to a recent post on our recently-met-distant-relatives' blog post about Mom-guilt and doing the opposite of what you intend to do as a Mom. I could totally relate to it. Your best Mom intentions being dashed in an instant, and the residual guilt that goes along with that.

The Hinkleys live waaaay further northeast of us (where it snows) and have recently started a new family blog, Did You Remember Your Pill Today? It's very "slice of life." Love it.

We met the Hinkley family last summer during our vacation at Dylan's aunt's home in Washington, DC. Dylan and John are second-half-cousins. (I think that's right; we figured out their Moms are half-cousins.) So now Thalia and Carys have three new-to-them third-half-cousins, whose adventures we can follow on their blog!

The Hinkleys and Stogsdills girl bonding over Rock Band!

Ian, the soloist, and his band, Carys and Thalia.

They love the Wii.

S'mores!

Bubbles!

Penny Pinching, Party Planning

I usually start planning my kids' spring birthday parties right after New Year; I love planning kids' parties. However, this year, I have been slightly preoccupied with my health concerns and not focused as much attention on the details of each girl's party. And believe me, each girl definitely has a million and one ideas about their party!

We narrowed down each of their parties to a single theme, instead of the multi-themed endless party that went something like this: mini-golf/mall scavenger hunt/gymnastics/pizza/sleepover party. Yeah, sure. Once we've got the theme down, I don't let them change it, because then I start buying stuff!

My general rule is to try to get as much of the party decor and supplies on sale or with a discount, but that isn't always possible. However, we really lucked out last month with Thalia's party theme! She literally made her final decision about what kind of party she wanted to have while we were driving in the car on the way to Michael's for science project supplies. Fifteen minutes later, we found an entire bin of 50% off party supplies with her exact theme! What luck! Even she was excited. We scored some party plates, napkins, cake candles, stickers and coordinating thank you notes. I'm not allowed to divulge the theme yet, but everything matched perfectly. And did I mention that the the party stuff was originally $1 each? I spent very little money. Hooray for Michael's!

I hurried into HEB the other day for juice and ended up walking down the party aisle on my way to the checkout. Here, the party decorations for Carys's chosen party theme were also on sale! They were about 25% off, not as good as Thalia's find, but since I was already there, I went ahead and stocked up on plates, napkins, party game and treat bags. All matchy-matchy, just how she likes it. We didn't get everything we needed for each party, but this is where I'll fill in with more stuff from places like the dollar store that will coordinate nicely.

Each year I set a ridiculously low price goal for certain things like party favors. This forces us to be creative and not just buy expensive plastic junk to fill a party bag. For example, we've burned CDs with music that matches the party theme, such as Big Top Circus, Kiddie Western, Disney Princess (several times over), Candy Classics, Storytime, etc. A really easy party favor for literally pennies! And we've gotten so many rave reviews about the 'party mix' I do for each theme that some friends have even requested extra copies.

Party Mix CDs for pennies each

We've also trawled the $1 aisles at Target and Michael's when they go on sale. Last year for Thalia's 'Hollywood' party, we picked up High School Musical notebook diaries and pen necklaces for 50 and 25 cents each respectively. And they were actually useful too! For her Western Roundup party, I found mini board book sets in the $1 aisle marked down to 80 cents each. Books are always a welcome treat.

The guests made one of their party favors at Carys's 'Little Mermaid Under the Sea' party last year. I bought extra large popsicle sticks, something like 300 of them for $4, and made them into frames (hello, glue gun!) for the guests to decorate with sea-themed stickers and take home. A great party activity and soooo inexpensive!

50 cookie cutters, only 11 cents apiece

Coupons also come in really handy when party planning. I bought a set of 50 animal-shaped cookie cutters for Carys's 'Little Mermaid' party for only $5.40 using a Michael's coupon. We picked out all the sea animals and gave them as favors along with mini Play-Dohs, bought post-Valentine's Day for 50% off. The deals never end!

Since I've been 'resting' for the past two weeks and doing much online shopping, I've ordered several party activities and favors that were deeply discounted and free shipping. We haven't nailed down all the party details yet, but at least we've got some smashing decorations and favors ready to go!

2.23.2010

FoodieLicious: Good Gravy!

The gravy boat I wish I had registered for at our wedding

Some things just taste better with gravy. Thalia and Carys have fallen in love with gravy after eating it at school on mashed potatoes and at restaurants with their chicken strips or turkey. So recently I decided to start making it at home. (Note: I did not grow up eating gravy.) I think I have perfected cream gravy in the eyes of my kids! I make a small amount, just enough for the four of us, and they are just so happy. It's such a thrill that they can get so excited about little things like . . . gravy.

Today's dinner was roasted chicken (courtesy of my Mom), salad and mashed potatoes with my good gravy! It takes very little time to make this gravy from scratch, which is a plus. Here is the recipe, which I've been tinkering with for a few weeks:

Good Cream Gravy

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. powdered chicken stock base (I use a Kosher brand)
garlic salt, about 1/4 tsp.
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir in flour and garlic salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, to avoid that "raw flour" taste, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth.
  2. Whisk in the water and milk. Add stock. Heat to boiling. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Serve immediately.
Notes: You could also add freshly ground black pepper, but I don't because the girls don't like the "black stuff". You can use whole or skim milk, whatever you have.

2.20.2010

This Week Last Year: February 21, 2009


Today my Mom noted that one of our tulip trees in front of our house was already blooming, well ahead of spring. We have two tulip trees, each with distinctly different flowers. The larger tulip tree is named the Thalia Tree, and the smaller is named the Carys Tree (how appropriate). Both were planted by my parents in honor of each of our daughters--Thalia's when we moved to San Antonio, and Carys's when she was born.

Exactly a year ago, both trees were already blooming due to the mild winter and early spring weather. Although we've had a more 'wintry' winter this year, the Thalia Tree is already showing us signs of spring!

Last year we admired the beautiful pink blooms of the Thalia Tree so much that we took many photos, after returning home from a birthday party. Thalia was very proud to pose in front of "her" tree.

LAYOUT CREDIT:Layout scraplifted from 'Princess Party' by Melissa Renfro on Scrap Girls; All papers: Creative Memories 'Blush Blooms' Digital Kit; Embellisments (some recolored): Creative Memories 'Blush Blooms', 'Calendar Cottage Garden' and 'Baby Love' kits; Font: Creative Memories 'Blush Blooms' Alpha Set, Blackadder ITC by International Typeface Corportation

2.18.2010

Photo of the Week: Flowers

I've been so blessed in the past weeks with phone calls, messages and cards filled with well wishes from friends and family. But I was completely blown away when flowers started arriving at my door when I got home last week! (Unfortunately, I couldn't actually get up to answer the door myself, so some were left on my porch!)

I love flowers but rarely have fresh arrangements in my home. I was so touched to receive these beautiful blooms, which went a long way in cheering me up:








What a luxury! So many lovely flowers in front of me at once. I arranged them on my living room coffee table so I can drink them in all day while hanging out on my couch.

The other day, I even entertained myself by taking macro pics of some of them:


So thank you from the bottom of my heart to Mom & Dad, Thalia & Carys, Rachel, Jayshree, the Landruses and the Joshis for such a feast for the eyes, and indeed, making me feel so much better!

2.17.2010

IMAX, Rodeo and Mom-Guilt

Today's 'Mom Moment' is a moment of Mom-guilt. Yes, that ever-present emotion we feel when we've let our kid down. Or when we think we've let them down, which amounts to the same thing.

Exactly two weeks ago, I chaperoned Thalia's 3rd grade class on their field trip to the IMAX Theater/Planetarium. Actually, there were so many parents on board that there wasn't enough room for us at the Planetarium, so we only had to accompany them to the movie and the planned lunch at the park. And then it rained outrageous cats and dogs, so lunch at the park was canceled. Poor kiddos, but at least the IMAX film, National Geographic's Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West, was really cool and of course, educational. (Did you know that Sacagawea took her infant son along for the entire trip, including the crazy downstream ride in an out of control canoe?!)

Today was Carys's first field trip ever, to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. She cried and cried when I told her the other day that I wouldn't be accompanying her class. I explained to her that because of my recent surgery, I can neither drive nor walk long distances yet, to which she cried accusingly, "Why are you still sick?!" I felt sad and awful about missing her first and only kindergarten field trip. And I even love going to the Stock Show and Rodeo! Then she threw out the real killer: "But you went on Thalia's field trip!" Enter Mom-guilt, big time.

This morning, Carys was rather obstinate and wouldn't get ready for school. I had to intervene and reminded her that today was her FIELD TRIP! She was going to have so much fun! (Without me.) And see all the baby animals! (I'd miss so many great photo opps.) And have lunch at the Rodeo! (Some other Mom would carry her lunch.) I was sad when they left for school. (Without me.)

I was able to pick the girls up from school for the first time since before my surgery, with Mom's help of course, and Carys was just full of stories about her special day. About the baby chicks and the pigs and milking the cow. And the bounce house! Not to mention the chocolate milk they all drank at lunch and the free ice cream, "only vanilla though." Then taking a nap on the bus ride back to school! I was so happy that her first field trip was such a good day, but sad again to have missed it first hand.

Ironically, I never chaperoned Thalia's kindergarten, first grade or second grade classes' field trips either! There was always some reason why I couldn't be there, and oddly enough, I felt little to no guilt about missing them. At the same time, I chaperoned Thalia and her Girl Scout friends nearly every month (sometimes more) on Girl Scout field trips, so perhaps that made up for the deficit.

But it's a little bit different when it's your 'baby' and your last chance to experience all of the elementary school 'firsts' one more time. Carys had a splendid time without me--of course she would--but I wish I had been there too.

2.16.2010

Stuff We Love: Kohl's Coupons

Today I ventured out of the house for just the second time since my surgery, which was now a week ago today (how time flies when you're on the couch!). I had to use my 30% off coupon at Kohl's! Priorities, you understand. I'm not allowed to drive yet, so my Mom has been picking up the slack there by chauffeuring me and my kids around everywhere.

Anyway, Mom and I went to Kohl's this afternoon, and as I've already mentioned before in another blog, you look at everything when you have a 30% off discount in your pocket. Not to mention that practically everything is discounted 30 to 70% off already. We only get the coveted 30% discount a couple of times per year, so it's very exciting!

We went crazy over fall and winter PJs on clearance for the girls and some Christmas dresses for 10 months from now (hope they fit!). I also decided I needed even more black, white and gray articles of clothing to add to all of my other black, white and gray pieces in my closet. hahaha Old habits die hard. Mom did persuade me to try some purple and red as well.

I was really proud of myself for walking around the store for over an hour, and my gait was easier and less stiff than during the weekend. Then again, retail establishments really are my natural habitat, so I always feel better when I'm shopping. :)

2.15.2010

FoodieLicious: Shaped Cookie Cakes

Due to my recent surgery and physical limitations this past week, I didn't do everything I like to do to celebrate Valentine's Day. However, I did as much as I could, sometimes almost comically so! I helped Carys make 19 toilet paper tube treats for her class from my perch on the living room couch. I packed Valentine treats to be mailed by my Mom to out-of-town friends and relatives. I oversaw the girls' spelling on their Valentines to hand out to their classmates as they worked at the living room coffee table.

But I didn't get to cook or bake any of the Valentine treats I've made in the past with the exception of one thing--a Valentine Cookie Cake. And this one was made with a few shortcuts, such as using pre-made cookie dough from the grocery store and having my kids decorate it instead of me! But no matter, our friends for whom we made it enjoyed it just the same.

Cookie Cakes had their day in the sun about a decade ago, when shaped cookie pans hit the market. These days, cupcakes and cupcake cakes have totally eclipsed cookie cakes, although you can still find them in nearly every mall in America. However, I still love cookie cakes! I like baking them in different shapes using my Wilton novelty pans and doing as much (or as little) detail with frosting as I feel like doing. That is the beauty of the cookie cake-- it's totally acceptable to have the "cake" showing, unlike a real cake!

Today I baked a heart-shaped Valentine cookie cake using my regular heart-shaped cake pan. Wilton sells a heart-shaped cookie pan, but I just use what I have. I usually use my own cookie recipe for the batter, but today I used grocery store chocolate chip cookie dough which always works in a pinch. I especially like the Central Market brand at HEB.

Here is my fool-proof recipe for a Shaped Cookie Cake:

1) Choose a Shaped Cake Pan that doesn't have too many deeply rounded edges. You can also just use a round, square or sheet cake pan.
Wilton Heart Cookie Pan (or use a cake pan)
Enchanted Castle Cake Pan used for my both of my daughters' birthday cookie cakes!

2) Whip up a batch of cookie dough, or choose a pre-made cookie dough from the grocery store, your choice of flavor. You may need 1 1/2 to 2 packages depending on the size of your pan. A sugar cookie recipe will result in a smoother cookie cake surface than a recipe with additions like chips or nuts.

Pre-made cookie dough: an acceptable shortcut!

3) Line the bottom and sides of pan with one large piece of parchment paper (not wax paper) so there is extra paper around the edges. If you are using a fairly flat pan, this is easily done. If you have a pan with lots of corners and curves, it's a bit harder to do. The parchment is key to preventing any part of the cookie from sticking to the pan.
This one's easy to find at the grocery store.

4) If using pre-made dough from a tube, cut into 4 to 6 sections. Some brands come pre-cut into cookie slices; this is even better. Drop the sections or slices of dough evenly around the pan. Then, using a sheet of wax paper, press dough evenly, covering the entire pan. The wax paper prevents your hand from getting covered in sticky dough. If using homemade dough, drop large spoonfuls evenly around the pan. Using a sheet of wax paper, press dough evenly, covering the entire pan.

5) Bake according to cookie recipe directions (usually 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees). Cool for about 10 minutes, then grasp the extra parchment paper at the sides and carefully lift cookie cake onto a cooling rack. You can also invert cookie cake onto a cooling rack if you're using a shallow pan, such as a cookie cake pan.

6) When cookie cake has cooled completely, carefully peel off the parchment paper and transfer to a cake board or plate. Decorate with frosting and decorations as you would a regular cake, but don't feel like you have to cover every inch of the surface. You want a little 'cookie' showing through!

Castle Cookie Cake for Carys's 4th birthday, made with cranberry-white chocolate cookie dough! It was slightly overbaked, but it still tasted good!

So that's how easy it is! What cracks me up is when friends groan about how difficult it is to make a perfectly round (or whatever shape) cookie cake; very often, they are using a regular cookie sheet and just plopping down a round hunk of cookie dough, hoping it will keep its shape. Duh. A cake pan or cookie pan solves that problem easily!

Photos from Google Images

2.12.2010

This Week Last Year: Cookie Time!

Thalia and her Brownie friends, in and out of costume!

A year ago today, Thalia and I worked the first of two Friday afternoon Cookie Booths at our nearby Lowe's. My Girl Scout troop loves Cookie Booth sales! It's their chance to try out all the sales techniques practiced at meetings, including the art of "upselling," and share all their cookie facts put to memory. Working two to four girls to a booth, they greet incoming customers with a cheerful "Good Afternoon!" and then offer all customers leaving the store the opportunity to buy cookies.

The thing they love the most about Cookie Booth sale, however, is wearing the Cookie Costume! Every year we rent a cookie costume for the girls to take turns wearing at the booth. Their favorite is the Samoa, but sometimes we're stuck with Do-Si-Do. No matter, it's fun to get into cookie character and the customers think they're adorable. (Which of course leads to more sales!)

Last February, we took advantage of an early release day to do an afternoon cookie booth. The weather was perfect and the girls were ready to sell! Thalia was particularly good at pitching our "gift with purchase" option:

"If you buy just one more box of cookies, you can get a free recipe book!"

The recipe books were handmade by our girls, each decorated differently with drawings of Girl Scout cookies. The recipes all call for Girl Scout cookies as an ingredient, obviously! The girls also convinced reluctant buyers to donate boxes to our chosen charities, Ronald McDonald House and Fisher House at Lackland AFB, if they didn't want cookies for themselves. I was so proud of them, even the shyest one taking her turn to sell.

What can a cookie do? It can develop girls' self-confidence and entrepreneurship. It can help pay for service projects and field trips for an entire year. It can also provide fun memories that girls like Thalia will hopefully never forget!

LAYOUT CREDIT:
All papers: 'Brownie Scout Scraps by Jenny Cereal; Cookie embellishments: 'Cookie Time Quick Page' by Jenny Cereal; Other embellishments: 'About Scout Girl' by Amanda McGee, 'Brownie Scout Scraps' by Jenny Cereal; Fonts: Creative Keepsakes Journaling by Porch Swing Publishing, Armalite Rifle by Vic Fieger

2.11.2010

Photo of the Day: The 100th Day of Kindergarten

Carys shows off her shirt with 100 somethings!

This was actually last week's photo of the week, but with blogging all topsy-turvy these days, it's the closest thing we have to a current pic! Wednesday, February 3 was the 100th Day of School for our kids. Thanks to some very clever teacher who thought of it in the first place and also to Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff for popularizing it in their book Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten, many kids in America celebrate their 100th day of kindergarten with very special activities. I would like to celebrate the 100th day of kindergarten!

Carys literally counted down the days until it was time to decorate her own '100 T-shirt' for the big day. When Thalia celebrated her 100th day in 2007, I overenthusiastically suggested she select 100 iron-ons from Michaels for us (me) to iron onto her white t-shirt. Huge mistake. First of all, those iron-on transfers and patches are expensive! Second, it takes a very long time to iron on 100 of anything. Finally, it wasn't really Thalia's project anymore because there was really no way she could help with the ironing, so ultimately it wasn't that much fun for her. Lesson learned the hard way.

So this time, I suggested we hot glue some cool stuff to Carys's t-shirt, whatever she wanted from Michael's that was glue-able (and practically everything is). She chose mini pom-poms and glittery foam dragonflies, butterflies and hearts for her hot pink t-shirt. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I also discovered we still had a slew of smaller iron-ons from 2007, and I hate to waste anything, so I suggested we use them up as well, but this time I had a more efficient iron-on plan! Carys was okay with the iron-on transfers (rainbow foil hearts), so we cut 40 of them into strips of 10 and I ironed them on really quickly, instead of one at a time like before.

After Carys carefully counted and then arranged her pom-poms and foam shapes into a specific design on the front of the t-shirt, I hot-glued them all down in a matter of minutes. Ah, the joy of hot glue guns!

Carys had a great day counting everything in sight, to 100 of course. And she was so cute in her 100th Day shirt! I only wish I had snapped a pic of Thalia three years ago in her 100th Day shirt, which was a hodge-podge of iron-ons and not very attractive by the end of the day, when the patches started falling off. Another lesson learned.

LAYOUT CREDITS:
Layout scraplifted from "100 days *CG 2009*" project by jchilds on Two Peas in a Bucket; All papers from: Shabby Princess 'Spring Breeze' kit. Embellishments (some recolored) from: Shabby Princess 'Promise' and 'Holiday Magic' Collections; Digital Scrapbook Place 'Diva Page Kit' by Amanda; Creative Memories 'Sewing Room-Primary', 'Baby Love' and 'Pet' Digital Kits; Scrap Girls 'Refresh 2' kit, Scrap Girls 'About Scout Girl' by Amanda McGee

Sweetheart Dance

And just like that, another week or so goes by without any blogging! But I really have a good excuse this time--hospital stay and recovery time! I had a double surgery (appendectomy and hysteroscopy) on Monday, was released on Tuesday and now slowly getting back to my regular self. Prior to the surgery, I had a few days of annoying, required pre-op tests and "prep." Thus, these procedures have consumed my life for several weeks already!

So now I am confined to bed/couch this week with no heavy lifting or driving allowed per doctor's orders. Ha! Just moving from room to room is a monumental effort, forget doing anything else. Here's the thing about recovering from abdominal-area surgery: bending, walking and sitting, which usually require no thought whatsoever, must be done very, very carefully. Even breathing is a bit more labored, post-surgery. I also have a fancy breathing tube to practice deep breathing again. In any case, it's nice to be back in my own home again surrounded by my favorite people and things.

Many thanks to dear friends and family who emailed, called or sent well wishes and prayers my way. I very much appreciate your encouragement and support!

Today's blog theme is 'Mom Moment' and the moment I'm reliving is the recent father-daughter dance that Carys, Thalia and Dylan attended last month. It was Carys's first father-daughter dance and Thalia's third. It was certainly one of the most hectic evenings at our house because it was also the night I was scheduled to fly to Dallas for my cake decorating seminar! But we did it! Dylan stayed a bit late at work that evening, but with my Mom's help, I got the girls fed, hair-styled, bejeweled and dressed in time for them to be whisked to the Dance by Dylan, who barely had time to change into his very handsome suit. Then, I was dropped off at the airport by my parents, had a very short flight to Dallas, rented a car for the weekend and drove to my friends' house while snowflakes fell all around me. At the Sweetheart-themed Dance, the girls danced and giggled themselves silly (with some tired tears being shed as well) and posed for photos with their Daddy. Everyone in our family arrived at their designated destinations and had a great time!


By the way, I've never been so proud of hair-styling efforts as I was that evening! Fixing hair has never been one of my talents, and when you have two girls with rather short hair (one of them with very short hair) it's a downright challenge. I had less than an hour to style both girls' hair for the Dance before leaving for the airport. This included drying Thalia's hair upside down first for maximum volume!


Thalia had bookmarked an updo she had seen in a Disney Princess magazine (Belle) and desperately wanted me to recreate it. It was so cute how much she wanted to look like the girl in the magazine! I did my best with her short hair and relied on many bobby pins to hold it all together. In the end, we had something that actually looked like an updo!


Carys was wary of the curling iron and hair spray I wielded, but still wanted her hair to look "fancy." So I convinced her to let me just curl and pouf the edges of her short bob cut and do a little curly ponytail on top. She looked so precious!

I missed having the girls and Dylan tell me all about the Dance that night in person, but I'm so glad I was able to get the last flight out of town and be part of the Dance preparations beforehand. It's one of those Mommy moments I really love!

LAYOUT CREDITS
Layout sketch by Creative Memories "Simple Click & Fill"; All papers, embellishments and word art: Creative Memories 'Sending Love' Digital kit; Fonts: 2 Peas Billboard by Melissa Baxter, Two Peas in a Bucket;Lauren Script by Mike Allard for De Nada Industries

2.03.2010

An Evening at the "Theatah" for Pennies

Ashley Brown, the original Broadway Mary Poppins

Our family, with the exception of Carys sometimes, loves to go to live theatre shows and musicals. We like local productions as well as traveling Broadway shows. We especially like children's theatre. Thalia herself was a member of a children's acting troupe for two years. There is something very special about being part of an audience at a live performance and witnessing the wonderful energy on the stage.

The only thing we don't like about the "theatah" is the price of tickets to these events. For example, a single ticket to the upcoming South Pacific Broadway touring show in the orchestra section is $76.15, which includes $12 of "convenience" charges. Multiply that by 4 and yikes! Or even just for two tickets, it's alot, plus the cost of having to hire a babysitter for the kiddos while we're out.

But we're firmly committed to enjoying the "theatah" as much as we can, so here's where our theatre penny pinching comes into play! I subscribe to email newsletters for Broadway Across America and specific theatre venues across Texas, which often have pre-sale discount codes available before tickets go on sale to the general public. Another secret of mine is to buy tickets directly from the venue, not the ticketseller (ie. Ticketmaster). You save so much by not paying fee after fee after fee on every ticket. Armed with Entertainment book coupons we bought 4 tickets to a Disney on Ice event several years ago for 50% off at the venue's ticket booth, and did the same thing again for High School Musical on Ice.

I am also a member of San Antonio Methodist Hospital's free WomenPlus program. Members receive a generous discount on tickets to nearly all touring shows, plays and symphony performances at the Majestic Theatre, Empire Theatre, Josephine Theatre, and occasionally at the Alamodome. We saw Disney on Ice (again) last year for $12 each. In addition, being San Antonio Girl Scouts entitles our entire family (yes, even Dylan is a Girl Scout!) to similar discounts on touring Broadway shows and symphony and pops performances. Two Christmases ago, we saw Cats on tour for $17 each at the Majestic. Quite amazing.

Thalia & Carys at Mary Poppins matinee. Full price tix worth every penny!

Sometimes, however, when we really want to see a show, we'll pay the full price anyway, as we did in November to see the original Broadway cast perform Mary Poppins in Houston. Was it worth it? Most definitely! It was, as Mary Poppins herself is, "practically perfect in every way"!
Photo from Google Images