August 5th Back to School Giveaway with Meet the Need!

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I’ve written about Meet the Need before, it’s a great outreach ministry from Faith Chapel in Spring Valley.

On the 1st Sunday of each month, Meet the Need offers a free lunch, free gently used clothes and household goods, and a bag (or two) of healthy groceries. During the holidays, they also offer needed goods, like backpacks and school supplies- just in time for back to school!

The Deets:

Registration for Meet The Need will be held in the church lobby at the top of the campus in the main foyer. Registration will begin as early as 8:30am and will be open till 10:30am. This is the same place you’ll register for the Backpack Giveaway. The earlier you show up (whether a first time guest or a returning guest) the earlier you can get your wrist band and will be called back into the boutique earlier.

Registration will be from 8:30-10:30am
Registration will be CLOSED from 10:30-12:00pm
Registration will re-open down at the Meet The Need building at about 12:15pm.
Doors open for Meet The Need at 1:00pm

There are Growth Groups which are essentially small groups that meet all over the campus and we’d love for you to get checked in for Meet The Need and then be free to enjoy a Growth Group beginning at 9:00am and then especially join Faith Chapel in the main service that begins at 10:30am in the sanctuary.

NOTE: You do not have to register early or attend services to attend Meet the Need. However, if you don’t it is advised that you get there about 12:15pm.  The line can be quite long during special events like this one.

This event is great for those in need who go back to school in Early August.

San Diego Families: In Need of School Supplies?

apple and books.jpgBack to school approaches! For us, school starts on August 23rd. For some families, back to school is a hard time because the cost of backpacks, school supplies, new clothes and shoes can really add up.

For those in need, the SMOAC (That’s Santee Mobilehome Owner’s Action Committee) is helping out families in need. On August 19th at the Santee Library, starting at 10am, SMOAC will be handing out backpacks with supplies to families in need.

SMOAC is looking for donations too- if you aren’t in need and want to help, there are lots of ways to help out!

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 8.32.01 AM.pngOn August 11th from 5-9pm Chipotle in Santee is hosting a fundraiser.

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 8.21.30 AM.pngDonations of items such as: backpacks, #2 pencils, paper, pens, glue sticks, rulers, pencil sharpeners, white glue, notebooks, scientific calculators, crayons, safety scissors are requested. Most of these items can be picked up at Target, Walmart, Office Depot, or 99 Cents Only fairly cheap.

Donations can be dropped off at Santee Library, Cameron YMCA, Mission Realty Group in Santee, Santee Lakes General Store, El Cajon Toyota, Oggi’s Pizza in Santee, and the Santee Chamber of Commerce. If you are busy and can’t make it to the store and drop off locations, You can buy a gift card for a teacher or send a check to SMOAC.  The mailing address can be found in the photo above.

The goal this year to to help 1500 East County families in need!

No Proof of need is required, just show up at the Santee Library on August 19th. The event starts at 10am, but you may want to get there a little early to beat the rush.

DaffaDoot- Helping parents & Families!

daffadoot_logoDaffaDoot is all about family values, and They are on a mission to improve the lives of everyone they can reach. They are a Mother/Daughter team, and proudly donate our time and money to numerous organizations supporting pregnant moms-to-be, new parents, battered women, and school age children. We are insanely committed to providing the best customer service on the planet and delivering only the highest quality products available.

Happy Times! DaffaDoot Brings It!

Their three products each solve problems that parents face with kiddos. I’m most excited about the Auto Seat Protector! I’ll be reviewing one in the coming weeks. I can’t wait to put it under Bitty Bird’s carseat and try to keep my car a little more protected.

Print1. Crib Wedge
DaffaDoot Baby Reflux Wedge Pillow. For babies who frequently suffer from reflux or dramatically spit-up. It’s a safe, natural baby reflux treatment which gently elevates the baby’s head and torso to help alleviate discomfort due to frequent stomach acid or frequent spitting up.

They used only the best material, making it waterproof, hypo-allergenic, and anti-bacterial. Drooling, spit-up, and leaky diapers can all wreak havoc, but cleanup with a disinfectant wipe or warm rag is a breeze. It sports a non-skid bottom (holding the wedge firmly in place for safety and convenience), is free of harsh chemicals, and meets and exceeds all federal safety regulations.

main-seatprot-1000x10002. Auto Seat Protector 
Got grime? Daffadoot has the solution: They know the importance of having children in carseats and boosters, but without some kind of protection under their seat or booster, all those dropped cookies and Cheerios can make a serious mess. Plus, car seats and boosters have a nasty habit of digging and denting your fine upholstery and leaving a permanent mark on your backseat. What you need is some high end protection.

DaffaDoot’s latest release, the Deluxe Auto Seat Protector is exactly what you need. Other mats or pads can’t compete with our 14mm padding and heavy duty durability. It’s neoprene non-slip backing grips like no other, and our Universal Fit with an extended “lock-down” bulb ensures that no matter what you drive, it’s perfect for you and your kids.

It’s Full-Size, Premium Construction, with No Compromises. They’ve’ve used only the strongest material and threads, and reinforced in ALL the right places. Many protectors provide only a sliver of extra fabric and claim to protect your seat, but we refuse to compromise on quality. It’s evident from the first moment you take our protector out of its box. You will enjoy the premium feel, the superior stitching, and the quality fabric.

And it gets better: it’s anti-slip and color-fast? We even baked it in an oven to make sure it could take the heat. And it has spacious elastic storage pockets where you can keep things like diapers, pacifiers, bottles, sippy cups, toys, wipes…and yes, a bag of extra Cheerios. Bottom line, it’s perfect for you and perfect for your little one.

mirrormain-1000x10003. Car mirror

Your baby’s smile is worth it! No doubt about it! That’s why Daffadoot insists on the highest quality, with just the right amount of curvature, shatterproof glass, and a solid stay-put mount… all so Baby gets a perfect reflection of herself in the mirror. She will have a blast babbling, giggling and jabbering at that “other baby in the mirror.” And should she get lonely, she simply needs to look up and can see Mommy looking back at her! Oh yeah, because you can see her too!

Just like you, DaffaDoot is all about safety, and we understand how frightening it can be when you’re driving and baby makes a funny choking sound, and you can’t see around her rear facing car seat to see why! Boost your confidence with the safer baby car mirror specifically designed and tested for parents wanting a safe way to view Baby. It’s the Best of the Best with its independent lab-crash-test, safety tested rating, and shatterproof crystal-clear reflection.

Installation is an absolute breeze! No tricky parts to snap together, no tools needed, & installs in seconds. (Requires an adjustable headrests for proper installation.) You can rest easy because here at DaffaDoot, we are totally committed to providing a robust, quality product, & if you have ANY problems with your DaffaDoot mirror, simply let us know and we promise to make it right. We truly want you to love our mirror as much as we do. It’s that simple.

My Readers Receive 20% off orders using Promo Code HWBLFYLE 

Thanks to Daffadoot and USFG for the opportunity to try the Car Seat Protector!

 

Get Out and Play at The Nat!

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Recently the kids and I got to preview the Natural History Museum’s latest interactive exhibit, The Backyard. Even though Henry is 7, he still had a great time playing and exploring. He loves the Nat, it has all the things he loves about nature (dinosaurs, animals, plants, and bugs).

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 7.21.55 PM.pngInspired by a quintessential San Diego backyard patio, The Backyard is packed with experiences that encourage curiosity about the natural world including, a shade tree, live animals, a potting bench, a giant ladybug, stepping stones, a pergola-covered reading nook, a garden bed for infant tummy time, an urban nature soundscape, and more.

The Backyard contains interactive activities and objects that instill a sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural world.

Exhibition highlights include:

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 7.22.05 PM.pngA garden bed (ages 0-2): Modeled after a self-contained garden area, this enclosed, soft space is separated from areas designed for older toddlers and preschoolers. It is an ideal area for infants to work on tummy time, rolling over, and sitting up. Within this space, older infants have an area to practice crawling, walking, and grasping different textures.

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Dinos enjoy The Backyard too!

An old oak tree (ages 2-5): Children will embody imaginative, dramatic, and realistic play as they dress like familiar backyard animals, crawl on a giant ladybug, and gallivant around an old oak tree. Self-directed play can take many forms as kids build block structures, color mix on the light table, and uncover hidden sounds and live animals in the garden wall.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 7.22.11 PM.pngA potting shed (ages 2-5): Adults can relax and recharge on plush bench seating with free WiFi and a charging station while kids exercise fine motor skills and build imaginations as they create and pot flowers, read books, solve puzzles, and sort shapes. The Potting Shed area has a great selection of kids books (that are available in the gift shop as well).  Henry and I loved the dinosaur books!

The Backyard is located behind the cafe on the bottom floor of the museum. Entrance to The Backyard is included with your museum ticket. In addition to the fun exploration for the kids, there is a new 3-D movie at The Nat called Backyard Wilderness:3-D. It’s all about the beauty and natural wonder that is around us- even in our own backyard. The kids loved it, and Henry has been asking for us to “get into nature” so we can explore more.

If you haven’t been to The Nat lately, its completely different! With lots of great exhibits all about the natural history of San Diego/Southern California, there are lots of exhibits at kids level, with hands on and interactive learning stations for kids. Margaret loved the Coast to Cactus in Southern California exhibit. There were lots of hands on activities and cool stuff to look at at her eye level. Henry enjoyed the Fossil Mysteries exhibit, and of course, Unshelved.

We’re going back to The Nat soon, I hope to see you there!

Freebie Friday!

file000845666076Oh man, it’s hot today. We’ve got all the fans going, but I’m still running a little behind today.

Here are some of the latest and greatest free samples, free offers, and free events!

Complimentary Subscription to People Magazine

Target – Free Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Event

Free Subscription to Diabetes Self-Management Magazine

Free Summer Game Nights at Barnes & Noble

Free Muse Natural Filets Cat Food & Garnier Hair Mask

Free Kids Zone Events at JCPenney

Complimentary Subscription to O, The Oprah Magazine

Free Family Summer Camp Event at Bass Pro Shops

Complimentary Subscription to O, The Oprah Magazine

Free Museum Admission – Bank of America/Merril Lynch Cardholders

Don’t forget that if you are in San Diego, CA this weekend, it’s Comic-Con weekend, and there is a lot to see and do downtown, even if you didn’t score passes. Here is a post with some tips and ideas. 

 

 

Freebie Friday from Ralphs!

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Need something sweet, and maybe a little sour?
This weeks Free Friday Download from Ralphs is a sweet (and maybe sour) treat.

Receive ONE (1) FREE Airheads Bites, Airheads Soft Filled Bites, or Airheads Xtremes Sourfuls (6 oz.). Available in most stores.

Limit of one coupon per household. Digital Coupons and paper coupons may not be combined on the purchase of a single item. Specially marked items, such as Clearance or Manager’s Specials may not be eligible for Digital Coupons.

Exp 08/05/2018

If you are new to Free Friday Downloads from Ralph’s, here is more info about how it works:

WHAT IS FREE FRIDAY DOWNLOAD? An exclusive benefit to having an account online at ralphs.com is FREE products (yes, we said FREE!). When you download the free product coupon, it will be loaded directly to your Shopper’s Card and applied at checkout in-store.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Visit this page on Fridays

DOWNLOAD the digital coupon for the free product (make sure to download between 12:01 am and 11:59pm PT). View the coupon under ‘My Coupons’ in your account online or in the mobile app.

You have two weeks to redeem this coupon in store! Pick up the product at your local Ralphs store and digital coupon will automatically apply at checkout.

Don’t forget to check out the Kroger affiliate in your area, if you don’t have a Ralphs. There are usually freebies for all of the stores!

Meal Plan Monday 7/16/18

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The heat is finally starting to break around here, which is a good thing. I am looking forward to eating hot food again. Our bbq died (we can only have propane grills at our HOA, because of insurance purposes, and really, having a grill with a shut off is probably  good thing here).

Breakfasts are usually the same for us: Protein shakes for grown ups, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. We have plenty of protein shake fixins’- I buy the over ripe bananas, peel and slice them pop them into ziploc bags, and freeze them for smoothies and protein shakes. I also keep sandwich ziploc bags of  other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or a protein shake for me and the Mister, and The Big kid has a specially packed lunch of whatever he’s into at the time (which changes frequently). Bitty Bird eats whatever I’ll feed her.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked.

Monday: Breakfast sandwiches on the homemade sourdough English Muffins my mom made over the weekend, and fruit salad.

Tuesday: Crockpot chili. We’ve got lots of beans in the cupboard, so I’m using them up!

Wednesday:  Chicken Tetrazzini, asparagus, fruit

Thursday: Bean, rice, and cheese bowls

Friday: Pizza and salad

Saturday: Hamburgers, salad, and fruit

Sunday: Leftover night!

What are you having this week for dinner?

Planning for Pregnancy with Sharp Hospitals

My sister-in-law is about to have her first baby. Some months ago, we loaned her husband, my brother-in-law a copy of The Expectant Father.  While he was reading the book, he discovered that we had left a set of our oldest’s ultrasounds in the pages of the book.

She texted me a few days ago to let me know that they were mailing them back.  I received the ultrasounds today, and it really took me back to when I was pregnant with my oldest. I had no idea what I was in for. He was unexpected, and so neither myself nor my spouse knew what to expect beyond what modern media tells us (and what I’d experienced babysitting family and neighbors growing up). Reading the books we had purchased blindly at the bookstore (so many books on being pregnant and birth are available!) were helpful, but learning about what we needed to know first hand from professionals would have been so much better. I wish I had known about Planning for Pregnancy Events from Sharp.

CORP00264-Planning-for-Pregnancy-B-1080x1080.jpgComing up July 23-26 at 5 different Sharp locations throughout San Diego County is a free Planning for Pregnancy event where you’ll meet doctors including a Sharp-affiliated reproductive endocrinologist, OBGYN and other experts.

 

In addition to getting your questions answered about pregnancy and preparing for pregnancy, you will learn more about:

  • Preparing your body for pregnancy, including diet, birth control and what to avoid
  • Having a baby later in life
  • Choosing an OBGYN and pediatrician
  • Reproductive planning
  • Determining your natural fertility schedule and optimizing your ability to get pregnant
  • Fertility challenges and treatments, including how common conditions — such as endometriosis and fibroids can impact pregnancy
  • Support groups and classes at Sharp HealthCare. We used a lot of these support groups after our oldest was born. I had a lot of challenges with breastfeeding and PPD.

What I really like about these classes besides that they are free and open to ANYONE, regardless of which insurance company you have, is that doctors and specialists are there to help you on your journey to parenthood. Wherever you are in your journey, even if you’ve just gotten married or are thinking about kids someday in the future, this class at Sharp can help you.

I’ve taken a lot of classes at Sharp- all of which were free, and easy to sign up for. If this Planning for Pregnancy Event sounds like something you are interested in, you can learn more, and RSVP here.

This post was sponsored by Sharp, however all opinions are my own. You can read my disclosure policy here.

Freebie Time! Samples & Events

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Right now there are some pretty cool freebies, samples, events, and offers!  Here are a few that have us pretty excited:

TODAY!! Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven – July 11th

Free Medium Sub at Firehouse Subs w/Water Bottle Donation

Free Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel for Kroger & Affiliates

Free Bookworm Bookends at Home Depot

Free Sample of Sephora Collection Clay Mask (Must have an Instagram Account)

FREE Munchkin Baby Bottles on Prime Day

Free Poise Light Leaks Sample Pack

Free K’NEX Play Time Party

Free Personal Pizza at Chuck E Cheese’s
Free Back to Nature Crackers or Cookies

 

Exploring Legoland:Assisted Access Pass

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“No Mommy, I don’t want to have my picture taken with a shark, I want to pick my nose.” Margaret

Recently, the kids and I got a sneak peak of the Lego City: Deep Sea Adventure ride. It was great fun- it combines a submarine ride, a treasure hunt, and Legos! The kids had a blast. Henry loved getting his picture taken with Lego “Sharky”, and of course the building station to entertain the kids while we waited in line.  I like that the building station has directions and information about real life fish and ocean wildlife that kids can build with the Legos found at the building station.

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Henry loves Legoland, and so does Margaret. I love taking them. In addition to fun rides, there are tons of areas for kids to play, run, build Lego, and splash (in addition to the water park). What I really like is that they offer an Assisted Access Pass.

A lot of readers don’t know this, but Henry is ASD (That’s Autism Spectrum Disorder). So going on rides, waiting in line with a lot of people, loud noises, and weird smells can trigger him and lead to meltdowns, or just shutting down (sensory overload). Thankfully Legoland offers the Assisted Access Pass. For anyone with a disability, pick one up at Guest Services near the entrance. The pass entitles the pass holder, plus up to five additional people in your party to by-pass the regular line, and wait in a shortened line.

After you get into the by-pass line, the Model Citizen (that’s the staff member) will sign your pass and give you the next time that you can utilize the pass again. You can use it all day. We usually use it 3-4 times to go on the rides the kids really want to go on and have a long line. The wait time to use the pass again can be passed at a splash pad, play area, or building station. There is lots to see and do besides rides. There are quiet areas where kids (and adults) can decompress and relax at both First Aid and The Baby Care Center.

469ABCF7-367C-4837-BF98-445D13D1A387.jpgI also like that you can bring your own snacks into Legoland too. I pack our backpack full of snacks and treats, and our reusable Camelback bottles , (which you can refill with ice and water for free at anyone of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines throughout the park).  But- the kids and I do love the goodies and treats at Legoland. Especially, Granny’s Apple Fries.

If you and your kiddos are ravenous after 5pm in the park, check out this deal:

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 8.56.38 PM.pngKIDS EAT FREE AFTER 5 PM THROUGH 8/18/2018 * Fun Town’s Urban Kitchen, Wok ‘N’ Bowl Ramen, Garden Deli & Café, Pizza Pasta Buffet and Smokehouse BBQ only. Offer is available for a limited time, see locations for availability and details. Kids receive one FREE Kids’ Meal with the purchase of one full-price adult entrée. Offer is available after 5pm at Fun Town’s Urban Kitchen, Wok ‘N’ Bowl Ramen, Garden Deli & Café, Pizza Pasta Buffet and Smokehouse BBQ at LEGOLAND® California. Adult entrée purchase equals one FREE Kids’ Meal. Cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Restrictions apply. The right of final interpretation resides with LEGOLAND California Resort. Prices, times and schedules subject to change without notice.

The kids dig the Pizza and Pasta Buffet.  I dig Kids Eat Free.

And here are photos of Henry pretending to be Arthur- The king, not the aardvark.

 

For our family, Legoland is a great way to spend the day together on our schedule, with little to no stress.  Talk Back: What is your favorite way to spend time with your family that low key and enjoyable?