4/18/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

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I got to cook over the weekend and go some meal prep- it was awesome. I roasted veggies using some seasoning blends from Urban Accents. Citrus Pepper on Cauliflower, and Balsamic and Roasted Onion on baby Brussels Sprouts. I also made a huge pot of Veggie Loaded Tuscan Soup (Zuppa Toscana) to use up the rest of our CSA veggies from last week.

This afternoon once I’m home from work, I’ll get to work on this weeks CSA Box- Chopped and preparing!  Our veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $28, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $28. Seriously. It’s a deal. They email a preview of what will be in the boxes over the weekend, so I can start thinking about what I’d like to make.

A quick trip to the store to pick up milk, cheese, bananas, and a few other things and we’ll be good for the week!

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

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.

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. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year- Little Bit has been buying her lunch and expanding her palate.  The big kid still brings lunch from home.

Dinner: I picked up our April Dream Dinners order on Friday afternoon and we’ve got meals for the next month or so.  When we have them, I serve 2 Dream Dinners a week. It’s perfect for those nights when we have lots going on, and it’s a great way for the kids to try new cuisines!

  • Monday: Nug night- crinkle fries, apple slices & strawberries
  • Tuesday: Carne asada salad with beans and rice
  • Wednesday: Sandwiches and roasted veggies
  • Thursday: Spiced Chickpea and Cauliflower with Pita Bread, salad
  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Soup, salad, cheesy garlic bread

The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering is back!

After a two-year hiatus, the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering is back in action and better than ever! Events include two block parties, interactive classroom learning, a movie night, a recycled art competition, weekly podcasts, a group hike, and much more! “We are so excited to be back this year! This next month is packed with both in-person and virtual events for families in our community,” said Sara Pagano, Managing Director of the Festival. “After a two-year hiatus, more than ever, our annual celebration of all things STEAM is so needed to inspire the next generation to a love of science and art.”

Starting tomorrow, there are tons of fun events for kids of all ages to enjoy through mid-May!

Barrio Logan Science and Art Expo Mercado Del Barrio: 1900 Main Street, San Diego, CA 92113 

  • April 16th 2022, 10:00AM-2:00PM

  • Combining culture, science, and art, the day will include a mix of student competitions, art displays, live exhibits, hands-on STEAM booths, and more!

  • This is a family-friendly environment where curiosity and exploration intersect creativity and culture.

Live Stage Event at Fleet Science Center 10am-2pm

  • Thursday, April 28th, 2022

  • Live stage performances featuring all things STEAM: rockets, reptiles, robotics, and more! Lineup to be announced soon.

North County STEAM Block Party 1628 Lomas Santa Fe Dr, Del Mar, CA 92014

  • May 1st 2022, 12:00PM-3:00PM, San Dieguito County Park

  • Join other industry partners and community organizations for a scavenger hunt with a twist.

  • Attendees will receive park maps for a scavenger hunt through the park’s nature trails, along with passport books to visit the booths to win prizes.

  • The day will include a family-friendly band and BYOP (bring your own picnic) if you choose!

STEAM Movie Night Waterfront Park: 1600  Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92101

  • May 7th, 2022, 5:30PM-7:30PM. The movie starts at 7:30pm

  • The theme of the night will be “building community with STEAM.”

  • Before the movie starts, attendees will be able to engage with different booths, each with hands-on STEAM activities.

Live Well Trails Challenge Ranger-led hike starts at 10:00AM, at the Birdwatching on the Nature Center Loop at San Elijo Lagoon.

  •  May 7th, 2022 9:00AM
  • Participants will adventure to some of the most popular and picturesque parks in San Diego with the first one being at Nature Center Loop at San Elijo Lagoon.

Classroom Connections  

  • March 15th-May 15th
  • This year the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering will match classrooms at various grade levels with local STEAM industries to cultivate STEAM excitement and provide resources that many classrooms go without.

Stump a Steam Pro Saburo Muraoka Elementary School: 1644 Santa Alexia Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91913

  • Wednesday, May 4th 1-2:30pm

  • Science speed round discussion for 3rd graders to introduce them to a dozen STEAM professionals from different industries.

  • Students will have the opportunity to “stump” the pros to win points for their class.

Weekly “Women Who Inspire” Podcast Through May 10th (All new this year!)

  • Episodes will cover successful women in the science, engineering, and art fields. They will dive into their backgrounds and find out what influenced their career trajectory.

For more information, visit lovestemsd.org or call 858-455-0300 ext. 4152. Connect on Facebook (facebook.com/loveSTEMsd), Instagram (@lovestemsd), and Twitter (@LoveSTEMsd).

Green Kids Crafts: 25% Off Select Boxes + New Numbers Lab!

Science & Craft Subscription Boxes for Kids ages 3-10+My kids love to get mail. They also love doing science experiments. With our winters looking kinda rainy, kinda gloomy, I’m trying to find something fun and indoorsy that’s not the usual. That leads me to Green Kids Crafts. 4-6 educator designed STEAM projects in every box. Millions choose us for our award-winning hands-on activities.

Right now, Green Kids Crafts is offering 25% off their favorite boxes!

Use code FAVORITE25 at checkout and save 25% off their select favorite monthly boxes through the end of the month.

I know that Henry will love the Volcano Kit. The Volcanoes Discovery Box contains FOUR award-winning Creativity and STEAM Science Kits! Your pint-sized volcanologists will have a blast (literally!) with these fun learning kits including Break Your Own Geode Kit, Volcano Splatter Art Kit, Exploding DIY Volcano, Crystal Making Kit, and more!

And I think Margaret will be interested in the New Numbers Box! The Numbers Lab Box contains FOUR award-winning art and science STEAM kits! Your young mathematician will learn counting, number recognition, and matching and patterns with this sensory box that contains the following fun learning kits: Playdough Kit, Telling Time, DIY Flashcards Kit, Counting Games, and more!

What I like about Green Kids Crafts is that you can buy individual boxes or do a subscription! We’ve gotten their boxes before (when Margaret was a baby) and Henry loved them. They are great for the naturally curious kiddo in your life.

 

2021 Holiday Resources

I usually do these types of posts before Thanksgiving, but I’ve been looking for as many resources as possible to help those in need.

Much like last year, there aren’t a lot of free events, and most resources are stretched thin, as 2021 was as hard as 2020 for a lot of families.

The holidays are more than food and gifts, but no one should go hungry any time of year!

Here is my post with a list of food banks/pantries in San Diego. Many of the food pantries also have special holiday distributions, it is worth a call to find out of any additional food or gift distributions will be done.

As of now, I am not aware of any free Christmas tree giveaways, however, as I gather more information, I will update this post.

Toys for Joy will not be holding their annual event this year, instead, their site sends you to other resources such as The Rock Church for food, and The Salvation Army for other additional resources. The Salvation Army does an Angel Tree program to gather gifts for children in need. For more information about this program, contact your local Salvation Army location.

Sunday, December 19th, 2021 from 11am-2pm  is the annual H.O.P.E. event hosted by New Vision Church. Every child ages 0-11 will get a free toy! This is an all-free family fun event filled with free toys, carnival games and prizes, a live petting zoo, big bike giveaways, food, haircuts, jumpers, arts and crafts, live performances, DJ, and a whole lot more! The event will be held at both New Vision Church and Colina Del Sol Park and Recreation which is directly across the street. The entrance is at 5310 Orange Ave., San Diego, CA 92115.

Hope Leadership Academy is hosting an Event, Toys for Hope on December 18, 2021,9:00am – 1:00pm at the King Chavez School: 415 31st St. San Diego, CA 92102. Toys for Hope will be a walk-thru experience this year! Free toys for kids 13 and younger, free groceries, and bike raffles!

211 San Diego has a listing of all sorts of holiday assistance from food to toys, events- all free. Some programs/events require proof of need, but not all.

santeesantas.pngIf you live in Santee and need help with food and gifts for the holiday, contact Santee Santas. You can download and print forms, check into eligibility (it is income-based and they are very strict from what I’ve been told), and see what forms you need in addition to the application here.

The window to apply for Santee Santas is closing in just a few days, so if you want to apply, I recommend checking their website TODAY and apply ASAP.

Talk Back: If you know of any free local events, please leave a comment. 

AO Opinions: Upcoming Toy Study $150

AO Opinions is another Market Research company that I get information from. Right now they are recruiting for an upcoming research study for Parents of children ages 1-6 for a study about toys.

To be considered, please complete the pre-screener survey here.

 

Compensation: $150 (if chosen)

Date: Tuesday November 16th or Wednesday November 17th 2021 Multiple times available each day

San Diego, Ca Area Halloween Activities!

It’s Spooky Season, which means it’s time for some local events!

Trunk or Treats, Halloween/Fall Carnivals, and other Halloween fun!

These events are just a few of the events going on in San Diego County. If you know of other events, please feel free to leave info in the comments.

 

  • Journey Church in La Mesa is hosting Journey Kids – Halloween Family Dance on 10/9/2021 from 5:30-7:00pm. RSVP here. 
  • If you live closer to downtown/Little Italy, check out Trick or Treat on India Street. This fun and safe Halloween event makes it possible for urban families to enjoy authentic trick-or-treating fun as Little Italy businesses along historic India Street open their doors to give out candy and Halloween treats. 10/27/2021 5:30-7:30pm.
  • HauntFest on Main is an exciting family-friendly event in Downtown El Cajon with a pumpkin patch, costume contest, kids zone, rides, entertainment, and more! 4pm-9pm on 10/29/2021

Faith Chapel in Spring Valley is hosting a Trunk or Treat event on Halloween 10/31/2021 6pm-8pm.

 

 

 

 

 

Toy Study: Looking for Parents of 4-5 Year Olds

Bitty Bird and I did this survey on Saturday and it was really easy and fun!

The company doing this survey is currently looking for 4-5 year olds and their parent/guardian to do a 1-hour survey regarding toys.

It’s conducted online via Microsoft Teams. The survey pays $75 via Gift Card (You can choose from a bunch of different stores/websites like Target or Amazon), or Visa Giftcard (physical or digital).

To see if you and your kiddo qualify, complete the pre-screener here. 

Please share this post if you know anyone with a 4 or 5 year old kiddo!

Free Webinar: Talking About Anxiety and Depression in Children

Have you noticed that your children has been upset, anxious, depressed, or otherwise stressed? Check out this webinar offered by Sharp Health for free. It takes place on 9/30/2021 at 12pm.

Unprecedented changes in routine due to the pandemic — mixed with constant stress from social media and the news — has made the life of adolescents and teens more complex than ever.

Join Sharp Mesa Vista’s Child and Adolescent Program for a free webinar on how parents, teachers and school counselors can better identify and address signs that a child or teen may be struggling with significant mental distress, including anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts.

During this webinar, you will learn more about:

  • Recent statistics on anxiety and depression in youth
  • Implications of the pandemic on anxiety and depression
  • Typical developmental changes in children and teens and warning signs of significant anxiety and depression
  • Awareness of suicidal thoughts and risks and responding to a crisis
  • How to talk to children and teens about what they are going through
  • General support for a child with anxiety and/or depressive symptoms
  • Knowing when and how to seek support

To learn more, or sign up, click here.