My Favorite Things and a $100 Gift Card Giveaway!

I had respite last night, so I ran some errands and stopped to pick up a couple of my favorite things, and after my trip to CVS the other day, I knew I had to do this post. I posted about my trip here on Instagram.

I’ve shared my favorite things before, and this autumn I’ve got some new favs to share.

Note: This list is 100% pumpkin and pumpkin spice free. I know y’all love both, but I’m not a big gourd fan.

Gaiam Finger Massager Dual-Sided Hand Massage Roller Tool for Circulation, Stress, Arthritis and Hand Pain Relief- I picked one of these up at Target and it has done wonders for my stiff hands and fingers. And less than $10. I use it daily.

Tree Hut Sugar Scrubs. I like the Moroccan Rose (which I assure you does not smell like roses or old ladies), but the mango is good too. I usually buy it at Target, and it comes in 4 or 5 scents. Because it’s made with sugar, you can use it on freshly shaved skin!

I needed new sneakers for my job, so I picked up these New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoes and it’s like walking on a cloud! If you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you’ve seen my weekly posts of my step counts. I get a lot of walking in each weekday, and my feet needed something more supportive.

Speaking of support, I’m going to fully embrace my descent into becoming an old lady when I tell you compression socks are where it’s at. Seriously, they keep my legs warm, and they keep the soreness in my feet and legs at bay. This is super important when you are walking upwards of 15,000 steps a day.

How do I have the energy to do all that walking? I’ve recently come to appreciate the Espresso Con Panna. It’s two (or more) shots of espresso topped with whipped cream. Yup. so delicious.  And water. Lots of water. don’t forget to hydrate!

And possibly my most favorite items this fall are Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser. I have been in love with these products for like 10 years. Probably longer. Ever since I was introduced to Dermalogica in beauty school, I fell in love with their products, and for the longest time, I didn’t use them because I couldn’t afford them.

Now it’s sold at CVS. In the fancy/expensive product area. Where it’s all locked up. I had a 30% off my entire purchase coupon and I also had some extra care bucks, so I decided to splurge.

My skin has not felt this good in so long, I am frugal, and I always try to use quality skincare products, but I think I’m going back to Dermalogica 100% now.

Life has kicked up a notch, and I’ve been so busy. You’ve probably noticed fewer posts here and on Social Media.

I wanted to celebrate my new job and this awesome season by giving away a $100 gift card. The winner gets to choose either an Amazon.com GC, or a Target gift card to be delivered via email. More information and deets will be listed below.

Enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter here. Your first step is to leave a comment on this blog post. I want to know what you would buy yourself if you won. I want you to spend this gift card on yourself! New cozy sweaters, or some of the items on my Favorite Things list! I’ll choose a winner on 11/6/21- that gives you plenty of time to enter- there are entries you can do daily.

**Details, etc. Contest available to US residents only. The winner will select from $100 Amazon.com GC or $100 target GC to be delivered via email within 24 business hours of confirmation/certification of the winner. Failure to respond within 24 business hours to the winning email will result in forfeiture of the prize and a runner-up will be selected.

 

Cross Country Cafe: Pumpkin Pie Hot Cocoa Recipe!

Yesterday, Cross Country Cafe shared a simply fabu fall recipe! And I know how many of you dig on the fall pumpkin spice drinks.

This is the best pumpkin pie hot cocoa with two ingredients and a Keurig® brewer! You can too with these simple directions.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Brew your hot cocoa K-Cup® pod in a large mug using the lowest water setting on your brewer.
  2. Now, brew your Pumpkin Spice K-Cup® pod directly into the same mug. Again, the lowest water setting is optimal.
  3. Top with tons of whipped cream and mini marshmallows, and if you are feeling extra festive, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

If this isn’t your jam, Cross Country Cafe has an entire page dedicated to fun, easy recipes here. 

It’s Free Coffee Day!

So it’s National Coffee Day.

In the past, there have been tons of freebies, but now… not so much.

I’m only posting deals available in Southern CA that are easy and FREE.

And, AHEM… THERE ARE NO STARBUCKS FREE COFFEE OFFERS FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LOCATIONS.

Krispy Kreme: Krispy Kreme rewards members get a free brewed coffee and doughnut of their choice Wednesday, no purchase necessary. Non-rewards members also can get a treat – a free brewed coffee with no required purchase.

Also, through Dec. 31, get a free glazed doughnut for showing a valid COVID-19 vaccination card.

If you have a Circle K nearby, this is a cool freebie: Text FREE to 31310 for a free cup of joe offer Wednesday.

There are free coffee WHEN YOU BUY offers or just straight deals. So if you are heading to Dunkin’, Coffee bean and Tea Leaf,  or Barnes and Noble, here are a few free with purchase offers.

Barnes & NobleGet a free hot or iced tall coffee Wednesday with the purchase of any item from the “bake case” at store cafes.

The Coffee Bean & Tea LeafWith any food or beverage purchase $2 or more, get a free regular size brewed coffee Wednesday.

Dunkin’: If you are a Dunkin’ Rewards member (download the app from wherever you get apps), you can score a free medium hot or iced coffee with any purchase today.

McDonald’s:  99-cent hot or iced coffee through the end of the year on its app.

 

9/12/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis week is our busy week. I have appointments for the kids Monday Tuesday Wednesday, in addition to all the other appointments and things that I have to do throughout the day. The weather is supposed to remain hot throughout the week, so my usual easy-to-cook/busy day meals aren’t really appropriate. Nobody wants to tuck into a bowl of soup when it’s still 85° outside at dinner time. So we are relying on some family favorites: breakfast for dinner, and the do-it-yourself salad bar.

I went grocery shopping on Friday before my job interview and picked up about 80% of what we needed for the week. I underestimated the amount of cream cheese we go through, and ice as well. So there will be a trip to the store later today.

I’m very much looking forward to our produce box this week. I plan on making up a big fruit salad for us to enjoy early on in the week, as well as roasted vegetables and a healthy-sized salad. Our CSA box provides us with so many delicious, farm-fresh vegetables and fruit. One thing that I love about it is that the company has a presence at so many southern California farmer’s markets throughout the week. So you can go and pick up produce at the farmers market, or order a CSA box. Whichever works best for you.

I also love that they have a fundraising offer for local nonprofits. So if you have a scouting troop or your local youth sports team, or if your PTA is tired of selling cookie dough and wrapping paper… You can sell CSA subscriptions instead! Click here to find out more about it, I’m kind of hoping that maybe our school PTA will give that a shot.

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, 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 $25. Seriously. It’s a deal. I did a great deal of meal prep today after the box was delivered- You can see some of what I did over on Instragram.

And I’ve been getting a lot of 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. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

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. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

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, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: We’ve got a pretty good schedule down for dinners. We have nuggets (vegetarian for the boy child, chicken for the rest) on the nights that we have respite. It’s quick to prepare and clean up, and I can serve it on our cafeteria trays with other fingers foods (we have trays like these) like cut-up fruit, crackers, and cheese. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Breakfast for dinner: hashbrowns, egg bites, fruit salad
  • Monday: Salad bar night, garlic baguette
  • Tuesday: Beans, rice, roasted veggies, quesadillas
  • Wednesday: Nugget night, fruit, cheese, and crackers
  • Thursday: Protein shakes, fruit, toast
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

9/6/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgHappy Labor Day! I hope you all had a fun, relaxing weekend. The kids and I spent most of it playing with Legos, or swimming with friends.

No trip to the grocery store this week- I did go buy ice (our icemaker is STILL broken- Looking at you Sears) and popsicles, but we have enough groceries to get us through the week. I may have to buy milk… We’ll see.

Getting the fam to eat more fruits and veggies has been my personal mission this year, and thankfully, Yasukochi Family Farms has my back.

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, 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 $25. Seriously. It’s a deal. I did a great deal of meal prep today after the box was delivered- You can see some of what I did over on Instragram.

And I’ve been getting a lot of 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. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

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. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

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, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: We’ve got a pretty good schedule down for dinners. We have nuggets (vegetarian for the boy child, chicken for the rest) on the nights that we have respite. It’s quick prep and clean up, and I can serve it on our cafeteria trays with other fingers foods (we have trays like these) like cut-up fruit, crackers, and cheese. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Korean BBQ Beef, Rice, Roasted Veggies with Haven’s Kitchen Gingery Miso
  • Monday: Spaghetti with Veggie Sauce, Garlic Cheesy Bread, and fruit
  • Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner (probably waffles, eggs, sausage, and fruit)
  • Wednesday: Nugget night: Nuggets, crackers, cheese, fruit
  • Thursday: Cheeseburgers ( topped with caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms), chips and dip, and salad
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

Cross Country Cafe: Maple Pecan K-Cup® Coffee

They are back! Limited Edition Maple Pecan K-Cup® Coffee are in stock at Cross Contry Cafe!

Maple pecan offers a familiar blend of sweet maple syrup and rich, buttery pecan flavors. This fan-favorite is a limited edition, seasonal roast. It won’t be here long, stock up now!

And for those of you who don’t use Kuerigs or 1 use k-cups, check this out: Do you find yourself wondering things like, “can I reuse a K-Cup® capsule?” You are not alone. Cross Country Cafe questions like that every day. In this article, they answer your top seven Keurig® coffee questions.

 

AO Opinions: Two Upcoming Projects

AO Opinions is another Market Research company that I get information from. Right now they are recruiting for two upcoming research studies:

The First Survey is about smoking.

  • To be considered, please complete the pre-screener survey here.
  • Compensation: $150 (if chosen)
  • Open to: Smokers 21-55 years old
  • Tuesday, June 22nd or Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021  (Various Times)

The Second Survey is about beverages (coffee).

  • To be considered, please complete the pre-screener survey here.
  • Compensation: $125-$275 (if chosen)
  • Open to: 18-54 year olds
  • Tuesday, June 29th, Wednesday, June 30th, or Thursday, July 1st 2021 (Various Times)

 

Cross Country Cafe: K-Cup® Coffee Free Ebook + $5.00 coupon!

I love Cross Country Cafe– They have awesome deals on k-cups, coffee, and supplies to make your morning cuppa Joe even better. Right now they have a cool offer: Free K-Cup® Coffee Ebook + $5.00 off coupon! In addition to their ebook, they also have a section on their website dedicated to coffee recipes- it’s a great resource, especially if you love coffee shop coffee, but you are trying to avoid the drive-thru!

10 Iced Coffee Recipes to Keep You Cool this Summe

And every month, Cross Country Cafe gives away four boxes of K-cups. To enter or learn more, visit their giveaway page here.

Cross Country Cafe: Feeling lucky? Win 4 boxes of K-Cup® pods

Cross Country Cafe has a great giveaway!

Enter to win FOUR full-size boxes of the best-selling K-Cup® coffee pods! Enter to win before May 31st, 2021.

And while you are at it, check out their blog– They have great articles, recipes, and tips to keep your Keurig running its best!

3/14/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpg

Our third CSA Box is being delivered tomorrow, and I know that we’ll have all sorts of tasty fruits and veggies to add to our meals this week. To learn more about Yasukochi Family Farms and our first box, click here. A lot of our meals this week are going to be veggie-heavy. We eat a lot of produce anyway, but now we’re eating more local produce! I’m going to try and get a batch of cookies made later in the week, or possibly over next weekend.

I visited the grocery store on Saturday morning when I went to get the last few ingredients for the big kids birthday cake. There are pictures of it on Instagram. We are pretty stocked up for the week, and possibly into next week, depending on how much milk and butter we demolish.

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.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: The little kiddo and I usually have something quick and filling (I’ve been prepping bean and rice bowls on Sundays for us to have during week) so we can get back to our adventures.  Big kid takes his lunch to school.

Dinner: 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: Chicken Chili, Salad, Roasted Veg
  • Monday: Salad, Nuggets, chips
  • Tuesday:  Ravioli/pasta (I’m not sure which yet) with sauce, Garlic Flatbread, Salad/Fruit
  • Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes, yogurt, fruit
  • Thursday: Chicken Tetrazzini, roasted broccoli, rolls
  • Friday:  Pizza Night!
  • Saturday: Leftover Fiesta

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