Looking for Frugal Fun for Christmas? Check out Neighborhood Light Displays!

file2901261162927.jpgIt’s back… We’ve already been through a few areas, and Henry is itching for a big cuppa Cocoa from Starbucks and a ride in Miss Sally (my car) to go check out all the lights in ONE NIGHT!

We love looking at holiday light displays, and I’ve noticed more neighbors than in past years are putting up lights all over east county! If you want to get out and check out the sites (and lights), here are our favorites:

EL CAJON, 92021

  • Jingle Bell Hill (also known as Pepper Dr. Lights). Solomon Ave./Pegeen Pl. and surrounding area. Off 67 & Bradley. Dec. 8-26, Mon-Th 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun 6-10 pm. There is usually a Nightmare before Christmas house, but we didn’t see it the other night. Henry was bummed.

LAKESIDE, 92040

  • 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr. Nicknamed “Tinsel Town”. Dec. 1-25, 5:30-9 pm. Most of the houses on this street are very well decorated with lights and moving displays!

SANTEE, 92071

  •  Starlight Circle, East and West Glendon Circles. Through December 26th, 7-10 pm. This is extremely popular! You can park and walk through. There are neighbors selling cocoa, coffee, popcorn, and cotton candy. If you walk, take money with you! Starlight Circle even has a facebook page!
  • 9773 Roe Dr. 27,000 Christmas lights dance to 10 songs over 128 computer channels. Food Bank and St. Jude donations accepted. Dec. 3-Jan. 2. Sun-Th, 6-10 pm and Fri & Sat, 6-11 pm.www.DBChristmas.com It is very impressive!
  • I haven’t been by to see if it’s up this year, but in years past…. If you love South Park, after you stop by Roe, cruise down Lake Canyon Drive (in the 9400 block, East of Carlton Hills Blvd) and check out the Woodland Critter Christmas Display.

 

We pack the kids into the car after dark with cocoa and snacks and head out for a drive. It’s a fun way to spend time together, and it’s pretty frugal!

What holiday traditions do you want to share with your kids?

 

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BOGO Holiday Beverages are back at Starbucks (and a DIY Hack)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.35.18 PM.png It’s back. Halloween is over and that means Starbucks is already to serve their holiday beverages!

November 9-13 from 2-5pm each day, you will get a holiday beverage free when you buy one at regular price.

The Starbucks Holiday Beverages include:

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Egg Nog Latte
  • Caramel Brulee Latte
  • Holiday Spiced Flat White
  • Chestnut Praline Latte

And from November 12-16th from 2-5pm each day you can score one holiday favorite free when you buy one holiday favorite.

This deal is at participating locations only, so check with your fav. location beforehand.

If you can’t make it to your local ‘Bux in time to score one of these sweet deals, here is my holiday drink DIY:

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.54.04 PM.pngLocate your favorite mug.

Brew your favorite coffee double strength (because let’s face it, not everyone has an expresso machine at their disposal)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.50.23 PM.pngHeat some milk (I prefer 2% or whole milk) and I use a frother like this one.  It makes the milk nice and frothy- just like the steamer at the coffee shop.

Pour coffee into your mug, add 2-4 pumps of syrup (I like my coffee less sweet, so I do 2 pumps), stir and then add your hot milk. Put a dollop of froth on top. Top with whipped cream (if desired, not needed).

If you are feeling fancy, you could always top your beverage with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, or fancy sprinkles.

For syrups, I prefer Torani. Amazon has a bunch of different variety packs for holiday drinks, I like this one the best. If you live near a Cost Plus World Market, they usually have a great selection of flavors. Since I’m not a huge fan of single task anything, I also put Sugar free syrups in my protein shakes, and in my regular coffee each day. I’ve got a regular coffee shop set up in my kitchen. Ya know, except there is no bearded hipster.

If you are making a mocha, I use Nesquik. Really. I’ve got kids, so we always have it in the cupboard. But you could use your favorite cocoa mix.

Looking for Frugal Fun for Christmas? Check out Neighborhood Light Displays

One of the family traditions I want to carry over from when I was little is driving around to look at Holiday light displays. And for those of us in San Diego, we’re in luck!

IMG_0895.jpg
Bitty Bird, Excited to see the Sesame Street decorated house at Starlight Circle!

Here are our favorites, addresses and info courtesy of San Diego Family Magazine.

Here is a link to the original PDF so you can print it off and take it with you!  It’s got addresses and more info.

We’ve already visited most of these east county locations:

EL CAJON, 92021

  • Jingle Bell Hill (also known as Pepper Dr. Lights). Solomon Ave./Pegeen Pl. and surrounding area. Off 67 & Bradley. Dec. 8-26, Mon-Th 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun 6-10 pm. Our favorite is the Nightmare Before Christmas House!

LAKESIDE, 92040

  • 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr. Nicknamed “Tinsel Town”. Dec. 1-25, 5:30-9 pm. Most of the houses on this street are very well decorated with lights and moving displays!

SANTEE, 92071

  •  Starlight Circle, East and West Glendon Circles. Dec. 17-26, 7-10 pm. This is extremely popular! You can park and walk through. There are neighbors selling cocoa, coffee, popcorn, and cotton candy. If you walk, take money with you! Starlight Circle even has a facebook page!
  • 9773 Roe Dr. 27,000 Christmas lights dance to 10 songs over 128 computer channels. Food Bank and St. Jude donations accepted. Dec. 3-Jan. 2. Sun-Th, 6-10 pm and Fri & Sat, 6-11 pm.www.DBChristmas.com It is very impressive!
  • IMG_0879.jpgIf you love South Park, after you stop by Roe, cruise down Lake Canyon Drive (in the 9400 block, East of Carlton Hills Blvd) and check out the Woodland Critter Christmas Display.

 

We pack the kids into the car after dark with snacks and head out for a drive. It’s a fun way to spend time together, and it’s pretty frugal!

What holiday traditions do you want to share with your kids?

3D Light FX- Batman Light!!

A few weeks ago I posted all about the cool character lights from 3D Light FX.

I chose the Batman logo for Lil’ Man. While it’s wrapped up under the tree, I had to post about how cool it is!IMG_0826.jpg

I took it out of the package and put batteries in it to test it out, but I totally forget to get pics of it lit. Mom brain. Anyway, it’s super awesome, and I can’t wait until Christmas Day for him to open it.  The quality is really nice, and I know it’s going to last a long time.

These cool lights are sold  here, in tons of cool characters and logos. I’ll post pics once we get it up on his bedroom wall!

Great Gift Card Deal at Vons! #vonssvgc16

You know I love a good Gift Card Deal! Right now through December 13, 2016 when you purchase $100 or more ins select gift cards (Amazon, JCP, Bass Pro, Starbuck’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Toys R Us, Kohl’s) you’ll score  $10 off your next shopping order (with $25 min. purchase at time of redemption)!

There are so many great ways to work this deal!

  • Use your points or cash back credit card to purchase the gift cards for a double dip! Our American Express Card gives us 5% cash back when we shop at grocery stores.
  • Pick up gift cards for upcoming holiday gifts, or…
  • Use the gift cards to stay on budget for holiday gifts! Because you can shop in store or online with giftcards, it’s a great way to triple dip (use a cashback online shopping website like ebates or Topcashback to redeem your gift cards. You will earn even more cash back!)
  • Don’t forget to check for coupons before you redeem your gift cards! This time of year JCP usually has $10/$25 or similarly valued coupons. And earn even more rewards when you sign up for JCP Rewards (it’s Free!).

Before you head to your local Vons, check your Vons Club deals online or through their app, and check to see if you have any other gift card deals or promotions available. I just checked my Vons app and I found these two deals under my Just4U.

So not only do you get $10 off your next purchase of $25 or more when you buy $100 in selected gift cards, but you could also score extra Gas Reward Points!

What I love about Vons Fuel Rewards Program is that I can use my earned discount at any Chevron, Texaco, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, or Carrs branded gas stations. Perfect for holiday travel by car!

I like that I can save up to .20/gallon at Chevron and Texaco Stations and up to $1.00/gallon at Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, or Carrs branded gas stations, depending on how many points I earn!

You can learn more about the Vons Gas Rewards program here.

Need to find your local Vons store? Look here

 

Once it’s time to redeem your $10 off coupon, don’t forget to stretch your budget further by adding exclusive coupons and deals to your Vons card through the app or Vons.com! And if you are looking for printable coupons, check out these great printable coupon resources.  And save even more money using Smartphone rebate apps like Ibotta, checkout51, and Mobisave. You can find a list of all of the money savings apps I use here.

Right now, you can enter to win a $75 Amazon Gift Card! Just in time for the holidays! Spend it on gifts, or buy yourself something nice! Click here to enter (the Rafflecopter may not be mobile friendly).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post, thanks to Tatu Digital Media for including me on this awesome offer and giveaway! All opinions are my own!

Cool Character lights from 3D Light FX!

With holiday shopping already in the mind of most, I am totally excited to share these cool lights from 3D Light FX with you. We saw these at Target a few weeks ago, and Lil’ Man was entranced.

His favorite is the Batman Logo. And really, who can blame him? Check out how cool it is! 3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights are the perfect gift this holiday season.

They have a full range of comic book, super hero, Disney Princess, sports and car lights that look as though they are popping right out of the wall!

They are battery operated and cool to the touch so you can place them any where in the room!

Your kids will loves having these in their rooms and they’re also the perfect editions to a den, family room, man’s cave or office! Find all of these amazing products here.

No matter what you kid (or kid at heart) is into, there is a light for them!

 

Great gifts for kids that won’t break the bank (or your sanity)

DSCN9862It’s that time of year, when friends and relatives start asking you and your kids the dreaded question.. The Holiday gift question.

First of all, if you don’t have kids, please do your friends WITH kids a favor: Skip the toys that make noise/require batteries. Many a night I was woken by a phantom toy mysteriously going off. This Stupid Fisher Price Dog was the main culprit.

This year, we’re skipping all the “hot” toys. Why? Well, we don’t have cable, so Lil’ Man doesn’t really know about what toys everyone else has or wants. We mostly watch PBS and Netflix. I’m trying to get away from “stuff”. We have so many toys and stuffed animals. We don’t need a lot more stuff. I’m asking for more “experience” type gifts. Here are a few things that are always welcome in any household:

  • Groupon/living social/Amazon Local discounted vouchers or gift cards to places that  kids love to go, but can be a little pricey. For us, that’s Urban Jungle, Kid Ventures, Boomers, bowling. Zoo tickets, movie tickets, and museum passes are great options as well!
  • If you have a vacation planned, ask for gift cards. We have a friend who takes their family to Disney World each year, and she asks her family to buy the kids Disney gift cards to help offset the cost of their vacation (bonus- Disney GC can be used almost anywhere in the park- food, gift shop, even admission!).
  • Accessories for toys or games the kids already have. We always need more train tracks for our Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Most kids could always use more pretend food (we like these and these from Melissa and Doug).
  • Gift baskets that include experiences: I know I keep going back to experiences, but kids and families love to do stuff together. Movie baskets that contain popcorn, candy, redbox codes or GC for redbox is always a big hit here. We’ve given pizza night baskets that contain the fixins for a pizza (boboli crust, toppings, sauce) and a board game. Use your imagination!
  • IOU’s/GC for dates or time with the kids: Lil’ Man and I have a special date every week. We go out to eat and do an activity together. Maybe you have a little in your life that you’d like to spend more time with? Give them the gift a a date! Ice cream feeding the ducks, exploring nature- all of these things are inexpensive for you and mean a lot to a kid.
  • Craft supplies. The most popular gifts we’ve both give and received have been treasure boxes (usually a decorative cardboard box from Michael’s) full of craft supplies. Dollar Tree has a great selection of craft kits, glitter glue, stickers, feathers, pom poms, construction paper, water color paint, acrylic paints. Add in some wooden cut outs from Michaels (.50 or less EACH), and a few paint brushes and the kids will have fun for hours. The best part: for less than $20, they’ve got a cool box and tons of stuff to keep them busy and unplugged!
  • Monthly Subscription Boxes: Kids love to get mail. Monthly subscription boxes like Kiwi Crate, Little Passports, Green Kid Crafts are a great option for kids to get a little something fun in the mail each month- and monthly subscription boxes aren’t that expensive! Adults love them too! BirchBox (makeup), UrthBox (snacks), and Dollar Shave Club (razors and shaving accessories for men and women) are all popular options!