Have Your Hot Girl Summer on a Budget

I’m sure by now everyone has heard the phrase “Hot Girl Summer”, but do you know what it means? The phrase can be traced back to a Megan Thee Stallion song a few years ago.

On Twitter, she explained: “Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party, etc.”

A couple of my friends have embraced it, and I think that it’s a pretty amazing outlook to have, especially since last summer was, well, Sad Trombone Noise? I know the kids are looking forward to having fun, more adventures, and getting out of the house. Here are a couple ways I’m bringing Hot Girl Summer (and sharing it with the fam).

New Bathing Suits. Kids grow, but what about me? Well after having the same swimsuits for 3 years, it’s time. Especially since we swim daily.  I bought a few new suits from Amazon. Since I’m fair-skinned I picked up one with long sleeves, the kids tease me about working at SeaWorld. This is just one of the many suits I’ve got. It’s perfect for prime sun time.

 

New Pool Bag and New Pool Toys. Every Summer it seems, we need new pool toys and a new pool bag. The Chlorine wrecks our bag (which is mesh- this helps the pool toys dry quickly), and daily use of toys leaves them.. wrecked. Dollar Tree has a great selection of sturdy pool toys, including inflatables for kids (We have a cool cookie ring that has a “bite” taken out of it). For me, I picked up a sweet inflatable float pool chair. 

Plans to meet up with friends. Now that most people have access to the vaccine, getting together with friends is a lot more feasible. We are still limiting ourselves and staying away from large gatherings where we don’t know everyone, but dinner and drinks with friends sound amazing. I’m hosting dinners a couple times a month over the summer for a few reasons: 1. To keep all of our costs down (Dinner out with drinks costs $$$ these days), and honestly, I don’t feel super safe going out for dinner all that often, especially now that there are no mask regulations in our state. And I’m having a weekend getaway with some girlfriends in a few weeks. I am really looking forward to a weekend away in a vacation rental doing a whole lot of nothing!

Take Advantage of the season: What does that mean? Summer has all sorts of fun advantages: Long days, Amazing fruit and veggies are in season, nice weather. Spend time outside (poolside, at the beach, exploring nature), enjoy a big bowl of fruit salad, make a huge salad! Community events are starting to come back (with limited event sizes), and there are lots of free events throughout the summer. EventBrite is a great place to find community events.

Make Time for You: I know… So many blogs and social media tell you to get self-care time and spend time doing things that you love, but as a parent, it can be hard without staying up late or waking up before dawn. Finding a sitter can be tough too. It’s ok to lean on family and friends. The past year has been exponentially tough on parents, and you need time to yourself. Swap child care with friends, or if you want to have a night out, split the cost of a sitter. Your kids can hang out together, while you and your friends get some time away.

Take Care of Yourself: And I don’t mean the stereotypical self-care of putting on a mud mask and drinking water with lemon slices. That’s fun, but I mean the simple acts that we often overlook as caregivers.

  • Sunscreen for your face and any exposed areas when you’ll be outside for more than 10 minutes during peak sun hours (usually 10am-4pm). Don’t forget the tops of your ears. Being super fair-skinned I also wear a sun hat too. Not super sexy, but I don’t want skin cancer.
  • Take something to drink with you. I know most of you pack snacks for your kids when you leave home, but take a few extra minutes to make yourself something that you like (bonus if it’s a snack that your kids do not like- No sharing!), and fill your water bottle. This is the water bottle I use. If you like fruit-infused water, bottles like this are great.  You can also opt for an infuser to go into your favorite bottle or insulated cup.
  • Find Something to Keep You Occupied.  Besides your kids. Pick up a book, grab a craft kit (I like embroidery- it’s easy and portable), Craftsy has some cool online classes to get you started.

I’d love to hear about how you are bringing Hot Girl Summer. Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

Virtual Sleep Well Yoga with Jennie Olson Six

My friend and Yogini, Jennie Olson Six is offering an awesome, relaxing 30 minutes of unwinding movement and the rest of the time is a restful relaxation.

You can do this on your mat or in bed and then drift off to sleep!

Most of us miss our pre-pandemic exercise time. I don’t know about you, but I miss the quiet relaxation that yoga provides. It is impossible for me to do yoga in a house full of people (and CAT). Interruptions (mom mom mom mom mooooooom), cat trying to sleep on my mat, even the Amazon Guy knocking on the door- OY VEY.

The best part of this class is that it fits every budget-By Donation or Free
Zoom Link
Jennie has some great tips and more information on other workouts and yoga opportunities for FREE here.

Tips to Reign In and Out Of Control Family Budget: Saving on Entertainment!

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This is one of the most divisive topics I write about. I am completely serious. Television. Specifically- cutting or lowing your cable or dish package to save money.

This is a big bone of contention for a lot of people who ask me how we live on one income. For some people, they “need their shows“ or they “have to” watch the game every week.

Cable and satellite television is expensive, and now with all of the streaming services in addition to cable, it is conceivable that a family may spend upwards of $300 a month on television. That’s JUST TELEVISION! That doesn’t include movie tickets!

Sit down and gather up the cost of each streaming service and/or cable subscription/dish subscription. Where is there overlapping entertainment?

  • Hulu Plus has a live option, which gives you access to sports, and television shows on the same day they air on cable television.
  • If you have cable that includes the Disney Channel, CBS, HBO, or Showtime, is there really a reason for you to pay for the subscription/on-demand versions of those networks?

If you feel like you are ok with changing your television viewing habits, ditching cable in favor for a few streaming options and over the air television which can be viewed with our digital antenna (which is easy to use/install) and is available for purchase for about $50-$100.

Depending on how strong the signals in your area are, you should be able to receive:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • CW
  • Fox
  • PBS (We get three PBS channels)

There are additional networks that are available in various areas of the county.  Here in So Cal, we also get:

Plus we get a few more Spanish language channels, and one Korean language channel.

Now that you’ve trimmed/cut the cord, what other entertainment do you see/attend/do? We don’t go to the movies too often, but we have a weekly date night budget of $50. I try to get it out of the bank in cash and if we are going out together, we spend it together, but if we are going out with other friends, or staying home with the kids, I give him half.  If we don’t use it one week, we roll it over to the next week!

images.jpgOne of my other main sources of Entertainment is the gym. I try and go at least 4 times per week for at least an hour.  Other places that you can trim and your family budget can include your gym membership. If you don’t require a gym that has the bells and whistles and lots of classes, you might consider changing your full-service gym to a more budget-friendly or discount gym like Crunch or Planet Fitness. Both of them have extremely reasonable rates, but they don’t offer classes or childcare usually.

If you’re looking at something that is slightly more family-friendly, I cannot recommend the YMCA enough! For our family, we pay $69 a month, and that is inclusive of childcare on-site for both children up to four hours a day (two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon as long as there is a lapse of four hours of time in between the two sessions), we can visit any YMCA location in San Diego County, and also have travel benefits if we go out of town. There are free classes for everyone in the family, on various types of exercise from family yoga to family kickboxing to open gym for the kids two-three times a week.

They have great swimming facilities for spring and summer, and the family swim is available year-round in the large pool at our local YMCA. I also like that they have trained people in the childcare/kids club area that know how to work with kids who have special needs, so I never feel like my big kid will be ignored or be feeling out of place. If you are a local and want to check out the YMCA, let me know and I’ll get you a guest pass!

In the past we had some really bad experiences with 24-Hour Fitness. We were also paying a lot of money to go to 24-Hour Fitness (upwards of $120/month Between our membership dues and the cost of the on-site childcare) and I felt like our fitness goals could not be supported because of the lack of support and education with their child care employees.

I also like that the YMCA offers discounted rates/scholarships for military families (active duty and retired), those with low-incomes, or receiving certain government benefits.

As far as kids’ entertainment, our local community library has us covered over school breaks. Between summer reading programs, spring break events, Star Wars Days, Back To School supply giveaways, and Christmas cookie decorating/Polar Express PJ parties. You would be surprised at all of the cool stuff going on at your local library!

 

Talk Back: I’d love to hear about how you save money on entertainment!

YMCA of San Diego County- Cyber Monday Deal!

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We love our local YMCA- They have great exercise classes, awesome free events for members and the community, open gym for the kids to run and play in the gymnastics area three times a week, an activity pool that is open in the spring and summer, and I could go on and on.

We go to the Y 4-6 times a week for exercise and so the kids can play and socialize- this is a HUGE help during school breaks because the kids club/child watch has great programs and play opportunities- and it’s included in the price of membership. And it’s so much more than the kid’s area at most chain gyms. The folks at child watch and kids club do crafts, lead games, read stories, and teach the kids how to play new games, and take them into the gym area to bounce on the huge trampoline!

Today Only, December 2nd- Cyber Monday, New members pay no joining fee if they join online using our special My Y Code CYBR19. Your friend will save up to $60! And if you are a member and your friend mentions your name at sign up,  you’ll get a free month of membership! If you are going to sign up, mention my name, Abby Hewes. Any way we can save money helps our families bottom line!

For our family, YMCA is definitely frugal: for $75/month, I am able to go to the gym for 2 hours a day and the kids can go to play and have fun. Any of our other local gyms can’t touch that price, and they don’t have the other programs or benefits.

The YMCA offers scholarships and reduced monthly membership fees for military families, families that receive WIC, and many other programs- don’t forget to ask about them!

And if you are the parent of a special needs kid, let me tell you that our local Y has the most wonderful, caring staff that cares for all kids. My big kid is autistic and he loves going to Kids Club to hang out and play. He also loves the monthly Kids Night at the Y.

November is Military Family Month at the YMCA!

ymcaOne of the things I love about the YMCA is that they support military families with discounts and special programs. Through November 11, The San Diego County YMCA’s are directing 50 percent of new-member join fees toward financial assistance for military families.

Military families get extra membership benefits at the YMCA, including a waived join fee ($60 value), 10% off monthly membership fees, and access to child care referrals and the Exceptional Family Member Program for Navy families who have children with special needs.

If you haven’t checked out your local YMCA location recently, The Y will be free and open to all during regular hours, Monday, November 11. Veteran’s Day is just one of the many free community days the Y has throughout the year.

We love our local Y. With 2 hours of childcare each day, so I can exercise (or really, sometimes I just want to take a shower in peace), or make phone calls/catch up on emails/write in the newly remodeled lobby of our local Y (#nomomshame, I see lots of other moms do it too before or after their workouts), free classes, events, and weekly open gymnastic so the kids can play and get wiggles out- no matter the temperature outside, there is something for every family.

I’ve always got free passes too- so if you can’t make it on Monday, November 11, 2019 to your local Y, let me know and I can slip some passes your way!

Earn Money for Tracking You Steps with Achievement!

48c653a4c4f659c243bbd22d0971b521.jpgI’ve been using Achievement to earn extra cash for about 2 years now.

Connect your fitness tracker to Achievement and be rewarded when you exercise, sleep, and log calorie or water intake.

It is non-intrusive, and you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for cash via PayPal, gift cards, or you can donate your earnings to various charities.

I earn $10 in PayPal cash about 4-5 times a year. I usually use it to reload my Starbucks Card.  It’s a nice little perk for being active.

It’s super easy to get started. Click here to sign up! This is my referral link- If you sign up using my link, I earn an extra 100 points.

Achievement is compatible with over 20+ Android and iOS apps (and counting!).

Health and Fitness Apps:

  • Apple Health
  • Daily Mile
  • Expresso
  • Fitbit
  • Garmin
  • Google Fit
  • MapMyFitness
  • MapMyHike
  • MapMyRide
  • MapMyRun
  • MapMyWalk
  • Misfit
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Record
  • RunDouble
  • RunKeeper
  • Samsung Health
  • Stop, Breathe & Think
  • Strava
  • Withings

Lifestyle Apps:

  • A&D Connect
  • Qardio

Social Media Apps:

  • Twitter

Link to research that is done with the information collected: https://www.myachievement.com/research

 

9/14/19 Come Out and Play at the YMCA- Free for Everyone!

Open House September 14

 Open House September 14

COME OUT AND PLAY AT THE Y OPEN HOUSE IS SEPTEMBER 14
Sports, swim, gymnastics, camps, dance, martial arts, fitness — the Y is your No. 1 spot for active and healthy kids. Check out everything the Y has to offer at our Open House, Saturday, September 14, 2019.

All 18 YMCA locations will be open all day to the community, with special events from 9:00am to 12:00pm, including fun activities and program previews, with plenty of coaches and staff on hand to answer your questions.

As part of the 5-2-1-0 Childhood Obesity Initiative, the Y is here to ensure your children get 1 hour (or more!) of physical activity every day.

They are all about making it fun. Find your family’s next favorite activity at the Y! The kids and I go to our local Y 4-6 times a week. Exercise, swim, play at Open Gym- There are all so many different things to do included in your monthly membership!

AND IT GETS BETTER- THEY ARE WAIVING THE JOIN FEE!
New members pay no join fee on September 14 — save up to $60! All locations are free and open to the community all day!

YMCA- Free To All on 6/16/19!

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Ya’ll know my family loves the YMCA! Between the great child care, clean pools, excellent group classes (I love yoga!), I am stoked that All San Diego County YMCA locations are open and free to all this coming Sunday, June 16, 2019.

The location closest to us, the Cameron Family YMCA in Santee is opening it’s newly redesigned Fitness center this Saturday- I can’t wait to check it out on Sunday morning! If you join in June, there are all kinds of deals, including no enrollment fee (a $50 value)!