MY SPY- On Amazon Prime!

unnamed.pngThe kids and I saw My Spy in the theater right before the stay at home order was put in place. It was super cute and both kids (5 & 9) loved it. And now you can watch it at home on Amazon Prime or at a local drive-in theater with your kids!

Drive-In Theater Listing

My Spy follows JJ a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista) who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) where he has been sent undercover begrudgingly to surveil her family. When Sophie discovers hidden cameras in her apartment, she uses her tech-savviness to locate where the surveillance operation is set. In exchange for not blowing JJ’s cover, Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy. Despite his reluctance, JJ finds he is no match for Sophie’s disarming charm and wit. The hilarious actioner is directed by Peter Segal from a script penned by Jon and Erich Hoeber and stars Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal, Parisa Fitz-Henley and Ken Jeong. Producers are Chris Bender, Peter Segal, Jake Weiner, Robert Simonds, Gigi Pritzker, Dave Bautista and Jonathan Meisner.

There were a few times where the violence was a little intense for the kids, but the physical comedy, explosions, and jokes made up for that.

My son loves Kristen Schaal (You may know her as the voice of Mabel from Gravity Falls, and Louise from Bob’s Burgers), so he was hooked after I showed them the preview.

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If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly action movie to entertain the kids this summer, check out My Spy

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2020 Summer Lunch Programs for Kids (And Other Free Food Resources in San Diego)

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I am usually sooo much more on top of these free lunch posts, but…well, life has been a little crazy around here, and all over the world.

Better late than never, so, here we go. In past years schools, libraries, and community centers have hosted these free lunches, this year, however, the list of facilities has decreased.

GUHSDIf you don’t find any facilities near you offering free lunches, I recommend contacting 211, they may have more updated information.

table of hopeAnd if you are in need of food for your entire family, but you find yourself not qualifying for P-EBT or other social services, I recommend that you check out Facebook. There are tons of local groups of neighbors getting together setting up Tables of Hope. In San Diego, there are several. Tables of Hope are small groups of neighbors that have set up food distribution tables within neighborhoods to help those who might be experiencing food insecurity.

Churches and community organizations are offering free food distributions that require no proof of need, like Faith Chapel in Spring Valley. They are offering free produce each Friday through mid-August. You can find out more info here.

And the San Diego Food Bank is continuing their neighborhood distributions– Lots of produce and goodies are available each week. No proof of need or residency requirements.

There are all sorts of organizations looking to help families in need.

Even if you are not in dire need, if you need help stretching your budget, these resources are here for you!

Talk Back: How are you stretching your food budget this summer?

6/22/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the weekly calendar/schedule and prepping the snack box for the week.

I’ve been buying snacks in bulk and only putting weeks worth out in the snack box. It keeps us out of the stores, and its healthier. I’ve been doing this for about a month, and I’ve gotten really good at hiding the extra snacks.

I went to the store last night and spent a little more than I usually do- We were out of a lot of staples. I try to keep the weekly grocery budget to around $100, last night I spent $150.

I was looking over everything last night and I realized that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself- we are all home all the time, which means that we are all eating (and drinking) at home, and that means an increase in both food budget and cooking.

4 people eating 3 meals a day, 7 days a week is 84 meals per week, plus snacks and drinks. That’s approximately $1.78 per meal, per person. And I cook a lot from scratch- which saves us even more than buying convenience foods or eating out.  As you can see from our meal plan below, I’m not making Haute cuisine- It’s healthy, wholesome food that the kids enjoy.

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.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day: Right now our local school district is serving lunch for a drive-through service for kids 18 and under M-F. It’s great because it helps stretch our budget and it gets the kids out of the house for a few minutes. They also include a cold lunch (usually cereal and milk and a piece of fruit) for the next morning. Often times, the cereal ends up being a snack for late afternoon. I’ll be posting more info about summer lunches this afternoon or tomorrow.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  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. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

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.

School has wrapped up, but we are starting distance learning summer school. It’s a lot less, but it will still keep the kiddos brains sharp. And we’ve recently started playing Pokemon Go to help get our bodies active. We go out for walks each day to try and get some monsters and steps. I love that the big kid has a pokemon Buddy in the game and as part of taking care of his buddy, he has to “walk” the buddy daily. It encourages him to get exercise and it teaches him empathy- something that can be hard for kids on the spectrum.

  • Sunday:  Customized mini pizzas for Father’s Day (We cooked them on our new Pizza Stone)
  • Monday Chicken Enchiladas, Beans, Rice, and Salad
  • Tuesday: Breakfast night (Pancakes, Eggs, bacon, fruit salad)
  • Wednesday:BBQ chicken and salad
  • Thursday: Pizza Night (pizza and salad or fruit)
  • Friday: Veggie Burgers or chick’n nuggets, salad or fruit
  • Saturday: leftover fiesta

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

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

San Diego, CA Area Residents: FREE Produce! This Friday, June 19th

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Our friends over at Faith Chapel understand that with all that’s going on in the world that some of us still need help finding healthy food during this difficult time. And that’s it not always safe for us to go to the store or hit up a farmers market.

For the next NINE (9) weeks, Faith Chapel is offering FREE Fresh produce straight from the farmers to give to you! Distribution is happening this Friday, June 19th, beginning at 10:00am.

This is a drive-thru style event, so you don’t have to leave your vehicles. Take as much as you’d like! Tell your family and friends!

Here is an example of what was offered last week: unnamedNavel Oranges, Grapefruit, Plumcots, Lemons, and nectarines. All free.

Faith Chapel is located at 9400 Campo Road Spring Valley, CA 91977

06/12/2020 Ralphs Free Friday Download!

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 Today, 6/12/2020 only, download your coupon for 1 FREE free Coca-Cola Energy drink. Redeem by July 7, 2020.

Limit of one coupon per household. Digital Coupons and paper coupons may not be combined on the purchase of a single item. Specially marked items, such as Clearance or Manager’s Specials may not be eligible for Digital Coupons.

To get started, or for more info or to load the freebie to your Kroger affiliated supermarket loyalty account, click here.

You have two weeks to redeem this coupon in-store! Pick up the product at your local Ralphs store and digital coupon will automatically apply at checkout.

 

Recipe: Refreshing Cranberry Kale Salad

kalecutI know, KALE. It’s weird and has that super crunchy stem. It’s really good for you, but it gets a bad rap.

This salad recipe is dead simple and is so good that you will fight over the leftovers (if there are any).

I like making this in the morning and letting it sit in the fridge all day. That gives the ACV in the dressing time to mellow out and all the flavors to mingle.

I like starting with a bag of triple-washed chopped kale, since it’s usually the same price as whole kale, and it saves me time, but you do what works best for your family and budget.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package triple-washed chopped kale, or 6 cups of kale, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces.
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cide Vinegar, with the mother (I like Bragg’s)
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite oil, we prefer avocado oil (like this one)
  • 1 t. honey or agave
  • dash kosher salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 T. fresh, chopped rosemary, or 2 t. dried rosemary (whichever you have)
  • 1/2 c. crumbled herbed feta or goat cheese (your choice)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (you could substitute sliced almonds or almond slivers if you prefer)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix oil, vinegar, honey, rosemary, salt and pepper. set aside.
  2. In a large salad/mixing bowl, add kale, cheese, almonds, and cranberries. Dizzle over oil/vinegar dressing and toss gently.
  3. Store in Fridge 4-6 hours minimum before serving.
  4. This is great as a side dish, or top with a grilled chicken breast or steak for a great main dish.
kalechips
Yum!  Kale!

Serves 6-8 as a side or 3-4 as a main dish.

If you are vegan, substitute honey for agave and use vegan cheese crumbles of your choice.

5/25/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the kids at home learning schedules, and prepping the snack box for the week.

I’ve been buying snacks in bulk and only putting weeks worth out in the snack box. It keeps us out of the stores, and its healthier. This is only kinda working- I need to do a better job of hiding the snacks that are meant for the future.

The big kid and I went to the store on Saturday- all masked up and ready to hunt for bargains. We went over budget by about $20, but we stocked up on some extra stuff like a big bag of frozen mango chunks, more eggs (we’ve been eating a lot more eggs recently as the price of meat keeps going up), and cheese.

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.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day: Right now our local school district is serving lunch for a drive-through service for kids 18 and under M-F. It’s great because it helps stretch our budget and it gets the kids out of the house for a few minutes. They also include a cold lunch (usually cereal and milk and a piece of fruit) for the next morning. Often times, the cereal ends up being a snack for late afternoon.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  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. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

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.

We’re wrapping up distance learning in the next two weeks. That means I’ll be looking for more fun stuff for us to do. Our local parks are opening up to walking and I think we’ll be getting outside more as we are able.

  • Sunday:  Leftovers
  • Monday Cheese enchiladas, Right Rice, and Beans
  • Tuesday:Veggie Stir Fry with Lo Mein
  • Wednesday:BBQ chicken and veggie bowls (with rice)
  • Thursday: Pizza Night!
  • Friday:Cheesy Chicken Broccoli casserole, kale salad. The casserole has a very small amount of chicken, so I can scoop some out for the big kiddo and he can have some meat-free.
  • Saturday: Breakfast for dinner (possibly breakfast burritos)

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

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

5/22/2020 Friday Freebies and Deals!

bright boxesIt’s Friday- Time for some awesome Freebies and Deals!  As the stay at home orders in various areas are relaxed, remember to continue to be kind. And please wear a mask, wash your hands, and use common sense!

Freebies:

Free Pastry or Sweet at Panera
Free Sample of Grenade Protein Bar
Ulta – Free Lancome UV Expert Aquagel Defense for Your Birthday
FREE Amazon Baby Box Samples Back in Stock
Free Subscription of Hearing Health Magazine
Free Canyon Bakehouse Burger Buns
Free Poise Light Leaks Sample Pack
Free Subscription to People Magazine
Free Crew Carwash for First Responders & Healthcare Workers
Free $10 Starbucks Gift Card – LinkedIn Required (I’ve done this before- it’s totally legit)
Free Hair Treatment Foam, Shampoo & Conditioner
Free Donut Friday’s at Dunkin’
Free Medium 1 Topping Pizza at Pizza Hut – 1st 500,000
Free Subscription to CODE Magazine
Roku Owners – Free FandangoNOW Movie Rental

Free snacks and Infant Formula from Kabrita

Deals

Save $5.00 on Office Supplies on Amazon
Set of 3 Sterilite White Laundry Hamper ONLY $48.79 at Target
Royal Dansk Danish Cookie Selection ONLY $2.78 Shipped
Nivea Men Face Wash 3 for $8.74 at Amazon
Electric Ice Cream Maker ONLY $29.99 at Target (Perfect for making this ice cream recipe)
PAW Patrol Ready Race Rescue Deluxe Vehicle ONLY $9.84 (Reg $15)
Portable Instant Canopy on Sale $39.97 Shipped (Reg. $60)
Purex for Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent $3.25 Shipped on Amazon
Magic Bullet 11-Piece Set ONLY $29.99 Shipped (Reg. $50)
TP-Link WiFi Extender Signal Booster ONLY $17.99 (Reg $30) Great for working at home
Dungeon Mayhem Dungeons & Dragons Card Game ONLY $9.99 (Reg $24)

5/15/2020 Friday freebie and Deal Round-up!

bright boxesIt’s Friday again, but because time is a flat circle these days, that doesn’t mean much for most of us.  What it does mean is that it’s time for a round-up of the most exciting freebies and deals the internet has to offer.

So let’s dive in:

Free Magazine Subscriptions:

Free Stuff For Healthcare workers:

Other Mic. Freebies:
Free Burger on Your Birthday at Ruby Tuesday
And here is a Big Ol’ List of Birthday Freebies (updated for 2020)
Free Slider at White Castle
Free Sample of SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier Serum
Free Slush or Drink with the Sonic App
Free Samples of R5 Aminos Sleep Aid Supplements
Free Icy Hot Topical Pain Relief Products

Deals:

Up & Up Concentrated Bleach In Stock at Target
Great Value Family Napkins: In Stock at Walmart
SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys ONLY $1.97 (Reg. $4)
Equate Hand Sanitizer – Large Bottle in Stock
Colgate Toothbrushes ONLY $0.57 Each on Amazon
Westcott All Purpose Value Scissors 3-Pack ONLY $4.97 (Reg $11)
Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector ONLY $13.85 (Reg $30)

 

Stay home, stay safe, wash your hands- Flatten the curve!

Recipe: Hearty Veggie Soup

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This soup is vegan and high in protein!

I made this last month while it was cold and rainy. I keep forgetting to post this recipe. It’s so tasty. And easy. The leftovers (if there are any) freezes well.

 

It’s vegan and gluten-free as is, but you can make changes and use bone broth if you want, or even add meat of your choices I think kielbasa pieces would be really great in this soup!

I used Right Rice in this recipe in place of regular white rice. What I like about Right Rice is that it’s made from Lentil Flour, Chickpea Flour, and Rice Flour.  Those ingredients mean that this “rice” is high on protein! The “rice” thickens up the soup for sure.

 

AAVS2954.JPGI found Right Rice at Grocery Outlet, but you can also order it on Amazon.  You can substitute canned chopped tomatoes for fresh tomatoes- Use what you have on hand.

Hearty Veggie Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced (I used green)
  • 2 T. cooking oil (your choice)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green or yellow zucchini (whatever is in season or you have on hand)
  • 2 quarts veggie stock
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (you can also use a large can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 14oz.-ish can of tomato sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 cups Right Rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 T. Penzeys Forward Spice Blend
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large, heavy-bottom stockpot, heat oil.
  2. Saute carrots, celery, bell pepper, and onions until onions are soft and clear, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and spices. Cook on low for 20-30 minutes, or until right rice is done and soup has thickened up.
  5. Soup can simmer on low as long as you like. I let it simmer on low for about 45 minutes.
  6. Serve with bread and butter and salad.

IMG_9957.JPGForward Seasoning blend contains extra bold black pepper, onion, paprika, garlic, turmeric, spice extractives (including oleoresin of celery, rosemary, black pepper, thyme, basil and paprika).