Free E-Books!

If you are like me, you love to read. With our local library closed for the foreseeable future, I need some outlet to read. I can order books through the library online to pick up, but I don’t know what I want to read until I can read the back of the book or look at it.

Thankfully, Amazon Prime is hooking me (and you) up with free kindle books. You don’t have to have a Kindle to read these free books, most smartphones and tablets will do.

Here are a few of the free books I’ve added to my list (and yes, there are a few cookbooks):

And if you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, you can score a 30-day free trial here. In addition to free movies, TV, kindle books, you’ll also score free 2-day shipping on Amazon purchases.

All of the ebooks were free ( $0.00) at the time this article was written. Prices on Amazon are subject to change.

If you don’t want to look on Amazon, here are a few ebooks I found recently that are pretty good. You can even download and print these e-books.

12/28/2020- Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWe were given a Grocery Outlet Gift Card for Christmas! I used most of it yesterday to stock up on pantry staples, but I also bought us a few treats too.

There is a balance on the card, so I’ll be using it over the next few weeks to pick up some deals.

I’m trying hard to stick to our budget of $100/week for groceries and prepare dinners that are filling and hearty. This week, we are having a lot of easy to make meals that will give us leftovers for lunches.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  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. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

This is the second (and final) week of Winter Break. It’s cold and rainy today and will continue for a few more days. Our plan is to stay inside, play with new toys and games, read, and cuddle under warm blankets. If the weather clears up, towards the end of the week we’ll go check out some cool places that have water features after rain (Adobe Falls area for sure). Don’t Forget- I am giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card- Entering is super easy!

Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

 

  • Sunday: Leftover Beef Stew, Garlic baguettes, Fruit Salad
  • Monday: Vegetarian Chili, cornbread, salad
  • Tuesday: Bean, Rice, and Cheese bowls
  • Wednesday: Skillet casserole (probably Chicken Tetrazinni)
  • Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner (fruit salad, protein shakes, toast with butter)
  • Friday:  Pizza Night!
  • Saturday: Leftover Shenanigans

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

New Years Resolutions: Are We Even Doing Them for 2021?

Seriously… Can we skip them?

I know a lot of people who feel like they have to do them because of traditions, or it helps them feel like they are in control. If that is you, awesome! You do you.

If you are on the fence, feel like it might cause you more stress than it’s worth, it’s ok to skip New Years Resolutions or anything else that causes undue stress. We all have enough stress right now.

If you want to do them, I did a round-up of the top ten NYR in 2018 (for 2019) here. Some of the links within the articles may be outdated, but if you are looking for something specific, please feel free to reach out to me either via email or via Instagram or Facebook.

The one end of year/new year tradition that I do is to buy 4 new calendars: One for the kitchen, one for my bathroom (next to my vanity), one for each of the kid’s rooms. I update them all monthly with appointments, birthdays, and holidays. I usually buy a calendar with the daily silly “holidays” on it for the kitchen. I bought this one for 2021.

You will probably start to see more posts from me (and my helpers), as one of my plans (not resolutions) is to start posting more now that I am able to have a pretty solid daily and weekly routine.

If there are topics that you would like to see or learn more about, drop me a message. I’ve got a lot of fun and good stuff planned (like quarterly Amazon Gift Card giveaways), and I’m going to continue sharing savings tips and deals, and of course crafts and recipes!

 

 

 

 

Coming January 29, 2021: Netflix’s Finding Ohana

This movie looks like a great family flix. I’m excited to watch it with the kids. After all of the holiday movies, my kids usually want to watch something together that showcases family and friends- Finding ‘Ohana will fit the bill!

Cast: Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay Watson, Owen Vaccaro, with Kelly Hu and Branscombe Richmond, Ke Huy Quan, Brad Kalilimoku, Chris Parnell, Marc Evan Jackson, Ricky Garcia

Releases globally on Netflix on January 29, 2021, Finding ‘Ohana tells the tale of a summer in rural Oahu that takes an exciting turn for two Brooklyn-raised siblings when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an epic adventure with new friends and leads them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage.

Holiday Recipe Round Up!

Most of us are home for the holidays, and that means that we are at home cooking.

If you are looking for some new recipes to tempt your taste buds, here are a few of our family’s favorite holiday recipes:

 

This Weeks Freebies!

bright boxes

Since Friday is Christmas Day, I’m taking the day off blogging. Instead, I’m posting the weekly freebies post today. I skipped deals this week, I have a feeling most of us are shopped out.

Most of these freebies and deals are online. I am not encouraging anyone to go into stores or go out into public. Mask up, wash your paws, stay socially distanced!

Freebies:

2 Free Pints of Nightfood Ice Cream
Free Beauty Partners Nail Polish Remover
Free Sample of Breathe Right Extra Clear Nasal Strips
Free Primal Kitchen Salad Dressing
Free Organica Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Capsules Sample
100 Free Kellogg’s Family Rewards Points
Free Mouthwash
Free Shampoo, Conditioner, Treatment Mask & Dry Shampoo
Free Sample of Sol de Janeiro SOL Cheirosa ’62 Eau de Parfum
Free Flow Alkaline Spring Water at Walmart
Free Pint of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Free Medium Fries w/ Any $1 Purchase at McDonalds – Every Friday
Free Shu Uemura Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil
Free Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce
2 Free Fussie Cat Dry Cat Food Samples
Free Carnitas or Carnitas Bravas at 7-Eleven & Stripes
Free H.E.R.L. Stickers
Free Core Bar at Walmart
Free $50 Amazon Gift Card with Nissan Test Drive
Free Hercolubus or Red Planet Book

 

Save Money on Gasoline with BPme!

If you have a BP or AMOCO gas station near you, check out this amazing money saving app!

Download the BPme app using the promo code OFFER to receive an introductory one-time 50₵/gallon additional discount (via email) on your next fuel up after you complete your first in-app transaction of $10 or more.

When you register for BPme Rewards you will start saving 5 cents on every gallon.

I downloaded the app this morning and I need to fill my car tomorrow or Saturday. I can’t wait to save money on gas too!


Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family During Covid Fatigue (& A Giveaway)

So many of us are suffering from Covid Fatigue. Our bodies and minds have been put through the wringer. Worrying about our health, jobs, finances… It takes its toll.

I’m here to tell you- We don’t know when it’s going to end, but there are resources out there to help you. Don’t be proud. Take help that is offered, when you do, it can relieve some of the burden on your mind. 

I post a lot about different free and frugal opportunities to help my readers. When I talk to readers (I text and chat on FB messenger with a lot of y’all), I am frequently met with many of the same responses when I suggest that y’all take advantage of some of the opportunities I post. People feel bad about taking advantage of deals, offers, and freebies. 

I recommend that even if you feel like you aren’t “that bad off”, or that you know there are other people who “have it worse”, take advantage of free food events. Many times I have gone or driven a friend to events and the people sponsoring the events are so glad that SOMEONE has shown up, and because they have X number of items to give, but far fewer people show up.

If you feel like you aren’t in “enough” need, offer to drive people in your bubble, or grab food for t friends and coordinate a porch drop off. Most of them are sponsored or paid for by government entities, grants, or subsidies that are funded by our tax dollars. These resources may not have the ability to store or drive food to people who don’t have transportation. 

Helping others, even if it’s a porch drop off of produce can brighten your spirits. There are so many ways to release some of the heaviness that weighs on you. That heaviness is Covid Fatigue.

Here are a few ways I’ve tried to lessen the stress monster sitting on my chest:

Focus on what I can change. For me that’s making sure we are all clean and fed. That we get outside to play (socially distanced with masks), get fresh air, move our bodies, and get to bed at a decent time.

Work hard, but not to the point where I am burnt out. Tomorrow is another day. Laundry can wait to be put away, the carpet will still need to be vacuumed tomorrow.

Take time to contact friends. It’s hard to be without friends and family for so long. Message them on FB, text them, or pick up the phone. If you don’t have enough spoons for that, scroll through your social media of choice and like some of their statuses. 

Disconnect as needed.  Yeah, I know it’s the opposite of the above, but doomscrolling or constantly refreshing your social media feeds obsessively isn’t good for you. Leave your phone in the other room, or put it in do not disturb mode. 

NuCalm

One thing I have been using to help relax at night so I can get some peaceful sleep is I downloaded the NuCalm appNuCalm is the world’s only patented neuroscience technology clinically proven to resolve stress and improve sleep quality – without drugs. I’ve been using the Reboot for the past few nights, and it’s really helped me fall sleep and stay asleep. You can select whatever amount of time works for you, and you can even loop it if you want to enjoy the peace all night. The kids love NuCalm too. 

Giveaway Time: I’d love to hear about what you do to lessen your stress and battle Covid Fatigue. Leave a comment and I’ll choose one on 12/31/2020. The winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card- But there is one condition- You have to spend it on yourself! Something that sparks joy!

Q-insights Car/SUV/Minivan Survey Pays $100!

QI-logoNOslogan.png

Q-insights is another company that I do research groups, focus groups, and online surveys to earn extra money.

They have a lot of stuff in South Orange County, and less often San Diego County.

I received an email this morning that Q-insights is currently looking for people to take part in an upcoming online survey for car, SUV, and minivan owners.

This is an online survey that will be held at the end of January. The survey is 1 hour long and pays $100.

They are looking for owners of the following vehicles 2013 or newer:

  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Dodge Caravan
  • Dodge Durango
  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Escape
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford F-150 SuperCrew
  • Ford Fusion
  • GMC Acadia
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Kia Sorento
  • Kia Telluride
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Ram 1500
  • Subaru Ascent
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Volkswagen Atlas

If you have one of these vehicles and are interested, please fill out this survey screener and one of their recruiters will contact you if you qualify.

Cross Country Cafe: Cute Craft & Enter to Win K-Cups!

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Cross Country Cafe has a cute craft and a killer giveaway! K-Cup® Pod Christmas Up-cycling CraftCheck out this sweet little dude you and your kiddos can make him in just a few minutes. If you are like our family, you have almost all of the supplies on hand.

And if crafting isn’t your bag, check out this great giveaway:

Win 96 Holiday Blend K-Cup® pods. It’s a winterful life, especially when you win free coffee! Enter our giveaway before 12/31/20.

Win 96 Holiday Blend K-Cup® PodsMonthly Keurig K-cup coffee giveaway- each and every month Cross Country Cafe will be giving away full size boxes of Keurig K-cup coffee to one lucky winner!