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?

 

Advertisements

Holiday and Game Day Fun with Hormel Gatherings Party Trays!

I received free product in exchange for my honest review. I love this time of year- We go to and host so many events: Holiday Parties, Craft Play Dates, College Football and NFL Watching Parties, and of course Coupon Meet Ups!

Snacks are a huge part of any event, so I was stoked when Social Insider and Hormel asked me to review Hormel Gatherings Party Trays. If you’ve never heard of them before, it’s basically a party in a tray! They are an easy, stress-free appetizer option.

IMG_7110.jpgThere are three varieties: Hard Salami & Pepperoni Party Tray, Honey Ham and Turkey Party Tray, and Supreme Party Tray. They all contain Sargento Cheeses and Hormel Meats.

I chose the Honey Ham and Turkey Party Tray for our recent dinner party. We got together to play games and hang out.

IMG_7111.jpgIMG_7112.jpg

The tray is super sturdy, which is definitely a plus. Each component is packed up in the tray. All you do is open each sealed bag, and arrange the tray in a manner that suits you. Because of the tray and great snap-on lid, I think this would be a great addition to any tail gating event or potluck! Super easy to transport and store any leftovers- But who am I kidding… There won’t be any leftovers.

If you are feeling fancy, you can set out condiments that would go with the meats and cheeses. I mixed up some honey mustard and opened a jar of spicy stone ground mustard.

IMG_7116.jpgHere is the plate that Henry made for one of our guests. For a 6 year old, I’m impressed- He also took the picture with my phone. I love having the kids help with holiday events. It helps them get into the spirit too, and reminds me that these kind of events should be low stress.

Bitty Bird “helped” by stacking up paper napkins and announcing when guests arrived (“Mommy and Daddy, Peoples is in our HOOUSSSEEEE!!”), and Henry helped me by picking up the toys in the living room, taking coats, and getting drinks. He pretended he was a waiter. It was pretty funny. He refused to let me take his picture, but at one point he had a kitchen towel draped over his arm. He has asked that we serve PB Sushi at our next “fancy grown up party”.

Hormel Gatherings Party Trays are available at Walmart, so you can pick one up on your next visit while gathering other party supplies.

I’m giving one reader a chance to share Hormel Gatherings Party Trays at their next get together! One lucky reader will win a coupon for $15 off the purchase of any one Hormel Gatherings Party Tray 28 oz. or larger.

Entering is easy: Just leave a comment with your favorite holiday beverage to serve at parties. I’ll choose one winner on December 5, 2017.

Happy Thanksgiving!

2013_11_11_7383-1morgue.JPG

Happy Thanksgiving! We’re spending the day with family and friends, and I hope all of you are too!

I won’t be posting tonight about Black Friday deals tonight or probably tomorrow. There are tons of deal bloggers doing that for me.

I’ll be cooking, playing, and having fun. I hope you consider doing the same. If you are braving the stores tonight or tomorrow early, please be kind. Be kind to fellow shoppers and be kind to the staff.

11/13/17 Meal Plan Monday!

dsc07997

We’re scraping the bottom of the produce drawer, so I’ll be hitting up .99 Only to pick up some salads, veggies, and berries.

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos usually have a small toasted bagel with cream cheese for breakfast along with fruit.  Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes with frozen bananas and PB2.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

  • D: Potato Cheese soup and fruit

Tuesday:

  • D: breakfast for dinner- probably pancakes, eggs, and fruit salad

Weds:

  • D: BBQ chicken (in the crockpot), green salad, biscuits

Thursday:

  • D:  Grilled chicken and grilled veggies 

Friday:

  • D: Date Night! (we go out)

Saturday:

  • D: DIY pizza night!

Sunday:

  • D: Leftover buffet

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first).

A Review: What’s up with Restaurant.com?

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 10.29.17 PM.pngFor those who have never used Restaurant.com, but hear me extol it’s virtues, hear is how it works.

You purchase a discounted gift certificate (make sure to check the cert for restrictions, such as a minimum purchase amount or mandatory gratuity ) for a local restaurant.  You have a year from the date of purchase to use it.

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 10.29.09 PM.png

Here is an example of how to use the certs to your advantage.

Cafe XYZ- Certificate for $15.00.  Terms of cert: $15 off  the purchase of $30 or more.  Mandatory 18% gratuity.

  • The check comes to $30.00
  • Mandatory grat. 18% $5.40
  • Minus Cert amt. -$15.00
  • Total New Bill: $14.60
  • Gift Certificate Cost $6.00, but thanks to coupon code REAL, you save 50% off the certificate making the total $3.00 for the Gift certificate.

The price for this complete meal is $17.60 (that includes the cost of the certificate).  The total amount saved $12.40.

They offer discounted certs in smaller amounts too.

ABC Cafe- Certificate for $25.00.   Terms of the cert: $25.00 off the purchase of $35.00 or more.  Mandatory 18% gratuity.

  • The check comes to $35.00
  • Mandatory grat. 18% $6.30
  • Minus Cert amt. -$25.00
  • Total New Bill: $16.30
  • Thanks to coupon code REAL, you save 50% off the certificate making the total $3.00 for the Gift certificate.

The price for this complete meal is $19.30 (that includes the cost of the certificate).  The total amount saved $15.70.

There are always coupon codes for http://www.restaurant.com/ on Retailmenot

Keep Cool During a Fall Heat Wave!

file6421289668006.jpg

San Diego County is expecting a heat wave this week. Tomorrow it’s forecasted to be 104. UGH.  A heat wave this late in the year is different from a summer one because so many of our go to activities to beat the heat either aren’t available because venues are closed (local splash pads are shut down October 1st-regardless of the weather) or are not not appropriate for the fall (the ocean temp is in the mid-60’s, too cold for most kiddos to play in conformably) .

So what CAN you do to beat the heat and keep a handle on spending?

Check out your local library for events! Our local Library has Lego club, various storytimes, teen activities like chess and robotics building, yoga, even creative play on Saturday mornings. San Diego County Libraries have tons of great activities- each branch has different schedules.

Check out your local mall! Did you know that Lego stores have free build/Make and Take events each month. Some malls also have free monthly kids events in their courtyard/common area. Our local mall updates their local events through their Facebook page and their website. Past events have included free crafting events, storytimes, and visits from Santa. In fact, many malls have Halloween/trick or treating events.

Toys R Us locations frequently have free events too! Like free Lego building events, Geoffry’s Birthday Club, and other fun toy related events!

If you’ve got a 4th grader, check out this free pass for  National Parks. Here in San Diego, we’ve only got one, but it’s at the ocean, so it’s at least a littler cooler than our house (only 85 instead of 100!). National Parks have free days several times a year! The next one is for Veteran’s Day!

There are always Kids Eat Free (Denny’s does it Tuesday and Saturday) if you want to keep the oven off too. You can also score free ice cream at Baskin-Robbins!

We use Ohm Connect to save energy (and money) and earn cash. They text and/or email you to let you know when you can save energy to help the grid load (and help avoid brown/black outs).

 

I’d love to hear how you beat the heat! Leave a comment.

Carry your Big Kid with Free Loader

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 8.56.02 PM.png
TA DA!

Last month I posted that we were going to test out a new baby/kiddo carrier now that Bitty Bird isn’t so Bitty any more.

We took the FreeLoader to her birthday party, and Daddy wore her while the kids played and frolicked on the play ground (Bitty was getting tired of walking and running at this point- She needed “Daddy uppies!”).

The Freeloader is awesome for bigger kids.

  • Carrying capacity: 25-80 lbs.
  • Minimum Age: 2 ½ years
  • Standing height: 33″-50″ tall
 Per Mr. Hewes (The hus-bear), the Freeloader is lightweight, easy to take off and put on. I will add though, it’s a two person job getting your kiddo strapped in.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 8.55.41 PM.png

Bitty had an awesome time (She is screaming “Whee Daddy!!” in this photo) being strapped into the Freeloader. It has a 5 point harness that snaps at the child’s back.

It was pretty warm that day, but thankfully the back of the carrier is open back in design and air flows through pretty well.

It’s got a chest buckle, and ergonomic waist strap. Combine that with the nice, comfy padded straps, The Freeloader makes carrying bigger kids easier.

We offered Lil’ Man a ride, but he declined. He was too busy having adventures in the creekbed.

The Freeloader is small enough to carry-on and stows away neatly, making it perfect for air travel, road trips and more! See more at http://www.myfreeloader.com/ and find Freeloader on facebook.

Thanks to Freeloader and the great folks at USFG, you can save on your Freeloader! Freeloader FUN with the Family – 10% off your Freeloader Child Carrier when you enter the code “freeloaderfun” Take your children on the adventures of their dreams!

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 8.55.52 PM.png
Daddy, come on! Time for adventures!

Thankfully, the Freeloader is lightweight (5.8 lbs) and folds up flat- It’s going to be a staple for our late summer and fall adventures into nature! It fits in Miss Sally (My Nissan Versa) with tons of room to spare! It travels well too!

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 9.15.04 PM

Oh, and for those who are curious, Bitty Bird had a Batman Birthday Party. She loves 1965 Adam West Batman. We all wore Batman shirts, and I made her a full circle skirt from Batman printed cotton. She had on a crinoline under it.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 9.18.46 PM
Photo by Clicks by Christine/Christine Boyce

And of course, the only picture of me, is me and Bitty getting into the cooler to get the kids more water! But I’m wearing a Batman shirt!

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 9.14.50 PM.png