2019 Holiday Resources

I usually do this post later in November, but I’ve been getting a lot of requests for information for 2019.

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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 1.53.34 PM.pngToys 4 Joy has 3 San Diego area events on December 14th. Toys for Joy is open to all children and families and no registration is required. One free toy will be given to all children attending the event ages 0 – 11. Free lunch will be provided in addition to free entertainment, kids activities and giveaways. All three locations have free groceries and one location has free gently used clothing available.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 10.24.34 AM.pngThe Cameron YMCA is hosting a free Cookies and Milk with Santa on Saturday, December 14th.
Bring the entire family and join us for our annual Cookies with Santa!
Enjoy Cookie decorating, ornament making, letters to Santa, pin the
heart on the Grinch and photos with Santa!
Pre-Registration Required. This event is not limited to YMCA members! To register, please call the Cameron YMCA in Santee at 619-449-9622. Check with your local YMCA- most San Diego area YMCA locations have an event like this.
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 addition to the application here.

 

The intake dates are November 21 or December 3, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Rio Seco School on Cuyamaca St.

Representatives will be there to assist you in processing your application.

Once again the ladies of the  American Veterans Ladies Auxiliary Post 534 are working with the VFW in Lakeside to host a super fun event for kids age 0-11.

In addition to meeting Santa, there will be crafts, snacks, and lots of fun!

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In order for your kids to receive a gift, please sign up your kids up to 12 years old via email to Jerrilynn: Kids_Christmas_Party@cox.net by December 9th please include name, age & gender and gift idea under $20.00.

If you know of any other holiday events or programs that can help those in need, please post links in the comments!

 

Talk Back: What is your favorite way to help others? 

10/28/19 Weekly Meal Plan

stemarie_1650skitchen

The littlest kiddo and I went grocery shopping on Friday, and man did we stock up! I went over budget by about $10, but I was able to pick up a lot of stuff that will last us a few weeks, and stuff for both kiddos school/preschool Halloween parties. This week I’m re-organizing the freezer.

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 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 kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian (well, the big kid is, but the rest of us aren’t), but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

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

Breakfast: Coffee with heavy cream for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  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.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. I did a little meal prep over the weekend, chopped and bagged veggies soups and chili, and made cookies for the kids.

  • Monday: Breakfast for dinner: Breakfast sandwiches on bagels, strawberries, hot cocoa
  • Tuesday: Crockpot chili (vegetarian), protein biscuits made with Kodiak Baking mix recipes forthcoming!!
  • Wednesday: Grilled Cheese sandwiches, soup, goldfish crackers, strawberries
  • Thursday:  Halloween- Pizza night!
  • Friday: Skillet casserole, probably chicken tetrazzini
  • Saturday: Quesadillas, Mexican Caesar Salad
  • Sunday:   Leftover night

 

Talk Back: What are you planning to cook this week?

10/21/19 Weekly Meal Plan!

stemarie_1650skitchen

This week is going to be busy with appointments and running around, so I’ll be leaning on stuff in our freezer. This week batch cooking will be saving our bacon!

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, so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian, but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

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

Breakfast: Coffee with heavy cream for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  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.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. I did a lot of prep for the coming week over the weekend. I cut up the produce, bagged it for meals, made up some smoothie kits, and cut up cantaloupe to have this week. Thanks to some frugal shopping over the weekend, I’ve only spent half the grocery budget for the week. I will probably use it all.

  • Monday: Spaghetti or zoodles with Veggie Loaded Pasta Sauce 
  • Tuesday: Omelets with cheese, bacon, veggies. And Dave’s Killer Bread 
  • Wednesday: Chinese Chicken Salad, garlic bread
  • Thursday:  Taco Salad (Taco meat from the freezer)
  • Friday:   Date Night!
  • Saturday:  Breakfast for dinner: Smoothies and Bagels with cream cheese
  • Sunday:   Leftover night

 

Talk Back: What are you planning to cook this week?

San Diego Local Halloween and Fall events for Kids!

7be30acaf94af3fc23ce78b5df96f46cHalloween is just TWO WEEKS AWAY!! Are you ready? Thankfully I only have a few last-minute tweaks to make to the big kids’ Knight Costume, and Little Miss’s Elsa dress is store-bought (much to my chagrin).

Trick or treating door to door isn’t really popular in our area, but a lot of churches and civic groups host carnivals or events either on Halloween or on the weekends leading up to it, so there is no shortage of fun for the kids.  If you are in San Diego County, here are just a few fun events that we’ve enjoyed in the past:

10/25/19:

10/26/19:

10/31/19:

a9e9d4b9823ec9482155e106114ca37cDon’t Forget HalGLOween at the San Diego Zoo! And most YMCA locations host a Halloween event that has a small fee, but has lots of fun games, crafts, and candy.

And if you are looking for tons of fun, don’t forget that Brick or Treat is still going on at Legoland California, tickets are on sale here.

Talk Back: If you know of a free, fun Halloween or harvest event for kids in San Diego County, please leave a comment. 

Brick Or Treat Party nights are Back at Legoland California!

bot-t3-vampire-show

I’m stoked! Brick or Treat is back at Legoland! This will be our 3rd year going, and the kids can’t wait!

Join Legoland California every Saturday night (Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19, and 26) at 5 p.m. The family theme Park transforms into the ultimate family Halloween party with tasty goodies, monster jams and spooktacular entertainment! With treat stations located throughout the Park and inside SEA LIFE® Aquarium, there is sure to be something to satisfy every sweet tooth. Along with tons of candy, guests can collect specialty items such as LEGO® Commemorative brick, LEGO® Life Magazine and healthy treat options!

The popular Brick-or-Treat festivities are back with a new out of this world Pop Badge Challenge! Families can collect an exclusive Brick-or-Treat pop badge by snapping a selfie with an intergalactic dancer at Club Astro Bash! After dancing their way at Planet Boogie, they can collect one pop badge per weekend, with an exclusive, new Pop Badge design offered each Brick-or-Treat Party Night!

The ultimate family Halloween party is filled with frighteningly- fun entertainment as the Boo Crew returns with a new creepy crawly stilt walker, The Spider Queen! Guests can get in the Halloween spirit by jumping in and boogieing down at the seasons most frighteningly-fun dance parties which includes Midnight Monster Jam where guests help the Monster Crew bring their spooky fun character concert to life! Wacky Professor Frankenbrick returns to Brick-or-Treat with one goal: to be the best mad scientist in the world! Kids can partake in the interactive Frankenbrick’s Lab show by using their imagination to bring his LEGO® Monsters to life. Kids can celebrate the season by singing along and moving their feet to the beat with The Witchettes in the Courtyard Theatre or by joining in the interactive play, Mail Order Monsters. Guests also have a chance to win some scream worthy prizes by showing off their coolest costumes in the Brick-Or-Treat Costume Contest presented by Disguise Costumes! With three categories: Group, Heroes & Villains and LEGO Themed, as well as a Costume Parade for all kids to join in, there is a chance for everyone to strut their stuff during the Halloween celebration!

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights is a special event and admission can be purchased for as low as $64 if purchased online in advance. Special event ticket holders can enjoy costume contests, decorations, character meet and greets, trick-or-treating, live music and tons of frightfully festive entertainment. Guests can follow the fun by using #BRICKORTREAT2019 on social media.

We’re going on October 5th, make sure to keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram Feed for photos of all of the cool treats, spooky costumes, and of course, Granny’s Apple Fries!

9/23/19 Weekly Meal Plan!

stemarie_1650skitchen

I’m trying to use up a lot of what we have on-hand before I do any shopping for the week. We are running low on milk and veggies, so I’ll hit up Grocery Outlet (I have a $5/$20+ coupon), and Sprouts today after the gym.

I’ve got two melons (watermelon and cantaloupe), so we’ll be having melon a lot this week.

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, so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian, but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

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

Breakfast: Coffee with heavy cream for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  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.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot (I am picking up my new crockpot this week) in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked.

  • Monday: Chicken and rice soup (from scratch), grilled cheese sandwiches, melon slices
  • Tuesday: homemade breakfast sandwiches ( Bagels with sunny side up eggs, cheese, and sausage patties), Melon slices
  • Wednesday: Vegetarian Chili, melon slices
  • Thursday: Pizza Night
  • Friday: Homemade Pasta sauce, zucchini “noodles” (We didn’t end up having it last week
  • Saturday: Leftover night
  • Sunday:  Pasta Free Lasagna, and you guessed it- Melon (if there is any left)

 

Talk Back: What are you planning to cook this week?

Kids Care Fest 10/5/19

kidscare.jpg

It’s that time again! Kids Care Fest is coming to Lemon Grove on October 5, 2019. Sponsored by the Grossmont Healthcare District, this community event is open to the public and features free health screenings for children and their families.

Kids Care Fest is an opportunity for community members to get together, have fun and receive free, vital health screenings from healthcare professionals. Along with vision and dental checkups, Kids Care Fest features a variety of local health and community-based organizations offering medical and wellness resources. Free flu shots will be available as well (while supplies last).

Additional free activities will include a bounce house, rock climbing, and demonstrations and displays from public services, including police and fire officials. Free child fingerprinting services and children’s books will also be available.

A complete list of community partners and services can be found here.

This event is 100% free!