Tryazon: Kids Holiday Game Night with Skillmatics!

We’ve been participating in Tryazon events for three+ years. We’ve gotten to try all sorts of fun toys, games, and food.  You can learn more about Tryazon here.

Bring learning fun into your next holiday get-together with this Tryazon Featured Party opportunity from Skillmatics! Featuring a selection of educational card games like the newly launched Found It! Indoor Edition! Already one of the best-selling Skillmatics games on Amazon, this exciting scavenger hunt helps children learn as they explore with prompts like ‘Can you find..? Something with a pattern? Something smaller than your palm?’ Shout “FOUND IT!” as soon as you get your hands on the object!

They have 100 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those selected get to receive a party pack with a selection of Skillmatics card games to sample and share with friends and family.

Learn more and apply here: https://www.tryazon.com/skillmatics-holiday-game-night/

Apply to be a Chatterbox™ for Alden’s Organic

California Peeps- Check out this amazing opportunity!

Alden’s Organic is America’s Favorite Organic Ice Cream and here’s your chance to try it free, plus share great offers with friends and family, too.

Alden’s Organic sources their organic milk and cream from family-owned farms and is certified Organic, Non-GMO, and contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors or high fructose corn syrup. So you’ll enjoy true to flavor taste of favorites like Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Chocolate Chip where only authentic flavors shine through. And with more than 50 organic treats to choose from, Alden’s Organic makes something for everyone right from its home in Eugene, Oregon. Find Alden’s Organic at your local Ralphs store.

If you’re selected as a Chatterbox, you’ll get a great Chat Pack:

  • 1 Free coupon to purchase Alden’s Organic from your local store
  • 3 $1 off discount coupons for Alden’s Organic to share with friends and family
  • 3 Alden’s Organic stickers
  • 3 Alden’s Organic shareable recipe postcards

Apply now!

10/19/2021 Weekly Meal Plan & Life Update

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWe are starting week FOUR with no full-size fridge and no freezer. Still living that #coolerlife.

We are still waiting for our fridge to get fixed. They’ll be out with the parts on 10/30/2021. So that means 6 weeks without a fridge and freezer. Never buy anything from Sears or American Freight (formerly Sears Outlet). Seriously, this has been a nightmare.

The CSA Box came yesterday and I did some light meal prep. I’ll post pics on Insta later today with info about our fun meal prep for lunches this week.

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.

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: Until this fridge debacle is over, I won’t be doing any meal prep beyond the stuff in the CSA box. We’re trying to eat up as much of the produce as possible. We’re eating a lot of salads early week, and more hardy stuff (roasted potatoes and baked apples with grilled cheese and soup) towards the end of the week, with our usual Friday night takeout. I want a new fridge- I miss bacon!

  • Monday: Mac n cheese, strawberries
  • Tuesday: Roasted veggies, salad (avocado ranch)
  • Wednesday: Roasted chicken, baked potatoes, veggies
  • Thursday: Chicken noodle soup, biscuits
  • Friday: take out
  • Saturday: leftovers
  • Sunday: breakfast for dinner (pancakes, eggs, fruit salad)

Please stay safe you guys!

October 2021: New Healthy Freebies From Social Nature!

 If you are into Organic/Natural/Healthy products, then Social Nature is up your alley. Sign up and apply to sample products that you are interested in. I get probably 1-2 products to sample each month. And most of the time it’s full-size products, not just a tiny sample.

Social Nature has rounded up products that are available to try at a local grocery store or mass merchandiser near you.  Apply to Try the products that interest you to see if you’re a match here.

Here are some of the new sampling opportunities:

  • Wedderspoon Immunity Gummies
  • Veggiecraft Farms Veggie Pasta
  • Ocean’s Halo Seaweed Snacks
  • Partake Gluten Free Vegan Cookies
  • Notco Plant-Based Milk Alternative
  • Khadi Beauty Natural Ayurvedic Hair Oil – Rose Repair

And one of the things I love about Social Nature is that they don’t leave our friends with food allergies out.

There are sampling offers for Gluten-free, nut-free, meat-free foods frequently.

Canadian Friends- You are in luck, there are sampling opportunities for you too! So if you love trying new products, check out Social Nature!

Tryazon: Spin Master Black Friday Preview Party

We’ve been participating in Tryazon events for three+ years. We’ve gotten to try all sorts of fun toys, games, and food.  You can learn more about Tryazon here.

Try some of the most popular Spin Master brands in one mega Tryazon Featured Party opportunity! Featuring PAW Patrol, Air Hogs, Kinetic Sand, Cool Maker, and more, this will be a Black Friday Party like never before! With SIX different toys included there is a little something for everyone, making this the perfect party opportunity to jumpstart your holidays.

They have 250 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those selected get to receive a party pack with a variety of Spin Master toys to sample and share with friends and family, valued at $300+ in total!

Learn more and apply here.

 

Family Recipe: Frito Surprise!

It’s not a surprise. And I can’t believe I’ve never posted this recipe before. My grandma invented it one summer, driving across the country in a Winnebago full of kids, my grandfather cruising the highways and byways of America.

It’s similar to Frito Pie, but it’s a little beefier. Ya know, when you have seven growing kids, you gotta add a bit more.

My friend Kara asked for the recipe yesterday, and I thought I’d share it.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (you could use ground turkey, but honestly this recipe is not anywhere near healthy)
  • One can of Hormel chili with beans (It has to have beans)
  • One bag Fritos
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • one canned sliced black olives, rinsed and drained
  • Two tomatoes diced
  • One avocado, pitted and sliced
  • sour cream
  • salsa

Directions

I like cooking Fritos Surprise in an electric skillet, but you can cook it on the stovetop in a regular skillet.

  1. Crumble and fry the ground meat (drain as needed).
  2. Add the chili and cook until heated through.
  3. Top with Fritos and cheese.
  4. Cook on low until cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add tomatoes, olives, and avocados.
  7. Dish out portions and top with sour cream and salsa as desired.

It serves about 6-9, depending on how much you eat. And it’s really good. In true grandma fashion, serve it with fruit salad and bread and butter.

10/11/2021 Weekly Meal Plan & Life Update

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWe are starting week three with no full-size fridge and no freezer. Still living that #coolerlife.  We did buy a mini-fridge last week, so we are able to keep some fresh food in the house. Milk and creamer and drinks live in the cooler in the kitchen. I’m hoping the warranty company makes up their mind this week and we can get our new fridge. Life without condiments is rough, y’all.

We’ve been eating a lot of shelf-stable stuff (beans and rice, crockpot chili), and I’ve been hitting the store solo to pick up salad kits, and bananas, and apples. Last week we ended up having the share a lot of our CSA box as I wouldn’t store some of the items in the cooler without freezing/damaging the more delicate items.

The CSA box will be here today while I’m at work. I’ll do the prep work this afternoon/evening.

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’m super stoked that I’ll be getting flowers this week too as my add-on. Look over at my Instagram and Facebook for pics later today.

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: Until this fridge debacle is over, I won’t be doing any meal prep beyond the stuff in the CSA box. We’re trying to eat up as much of the produce as possible. We’re eating a lot of salads early week, and more hardy stuff (roasted potatoes and baked apples with grilled cheese and soup) towards the end of the week, with our usual Friday night takeout. I want a new fridge- I miss bacon!

  • Sunday: We had bowls from El Pollo Loco, and the kids had leftover pizza.
  • Monday: Roasted Veggies, Salad, Quesadillas- Produce is delivered today and I roast up a pan of veg as soon as I can!
  • Tuesday: unknown
  • Wednesday: unknown
  • Thursday:  unknown
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers (if we have any)

Please stay safe you guys!

10/16/2021 DC Kids FanDome!

Looking for something fun for the kiddos to do next Saturday? Check out the DC Kids Fan Dome!

The ultimate global fan experience and streaming event to celebrate your favorite DC Super Heroes. Kids and their parents will explore the DC Multiverse with Robin and the Teen Titans, catch sneak peeks of upcoming DC animated shows and immerse themselves in at-home digital activities all in a safe, kid-friendly environment. The event will be co-hosted by social media sensation and Cartoon Network’s first musician in residence, Nandi Bushell.

 

If your child loves Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and other DC Super Heroes (and DC Super-Villains!), they won’t want to miss it! 

Event Name: DC Kids FanDome

Event Type:  Virtual/Online

Cost:  Free

Ages All ages

Date:  Saturday, October 16, 2021

Start Time:  9:00 AM PT

URL/Location:  DCKidsFanDome.com and the DC Kids YouTube

 

New Recipe: Italian Pot Roast

I got a roast the other day because I really wanted something beefy and comforting, but I didn’t want to make Moosie’s Pot Roast, because while it’s so good, it’s a tad heavy.

I wanted to make something beefy, flavorful, and rich, but not heavy. I pulled out a few cookbooks, looked through the cupboard and the cooler where the veggies are chilling (pun intended), and came up with this. It’s like Oso Bucco, Bolognese sauce, and beef stew had a complicated tryst. All of the fresh vegetables came from our Yasukochi CSA Box.

 

 

 

 

Italian Pot Roast

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chuck Roast (2-3 lbs)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, sliced (I used Red, but use whatever you’ve got)
  • 2 Carrots, Peeled and diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6-8 fresh tomatoes, chopped (You can substitute 2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 T. Italian Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Salt and pepper the roast and set aside. I recommend allowing the roast to warm up to room temp before searing it.
  2. In a large pan, heat 2 T. olive oil, and saute onions, peppers for about 10-15 minutes, until soft and browned.
  3. Add in carrots and garlic, and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes. Garlic will be slightly browned and fragrant.
  4. While veggies are cooking, chop up tomatoes and add to slow cooker.
  5. Add tomato paste to slow cooker.
  6. Add cooked veggies, bay leaf, and Italian Seasoning to the slow cooker.
  7. Add remaining 2 T. olive oil to the previously used large pan, and allow to warm.
  8. Sear the roast on all sides.
  9. Add roast to slow cooker.
  10. Pour wine into the large pan and turn heat to medium-high. Scrape all browned meat and veggie bits with a wooden spoon. One wine comes to a brief boil and all browned bits are scraped off the pan, pour liquid into the slow cooker.
  11. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  12. Put roast beef from the slow cooker, and shred with forks. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir. Cook for an additional hour.

Serve with mashed potatoes or pasta/noodles of your choice.

San Diego, Ca Area Halloween Activities!

It’s Spooky Season, which means it’s time for some local events!

Trunk or Treats, Halloween/Fall Carnivals, and other Halloween fun!

These events are just a few of the events going on in San Diego County. If you know of other events, please feel free to leave info in the comments.

 

  • Journey Church in La Mesa is hosting Journey Kids – Halloween Family Dance on 10/9/2021 from 5:30-7:00pm. RSVP here. 
  • If you live closer to downtown/Little Italy, check out Trick or Treat on India Street. This fun and safe Halloween event makes it possible for urban families to enjoy authentic trick-or-treating fun as Little Italy businesses along historic India Street open their doors to give out candy and Halloween treats. 10/27/2021 5:30-7:30pm.
  • HauntFest on Main is an exciting family-friendly event in Downtown El Cajon with a pumpkin patch, costume contest, kids zone, rides, entertainment, and more! 4pm-9pm on 10/29/2021

Faith Chapel in Spring Valley is hosting a Trunk or Treat event on Halloween 10/31/2021 6pm-8pm.