Summer Stuff I love (Grown Up Edition)

Friends- I’ve been working on this post for a few days. I’m not feeling especially summery today (and wasn’t yesterday afternoon either), but I’m hoping to distract you over the weekend, so on Monday we can come together and help our friends and family who will need us in the coming months. I’m spending the afternoon crunching on Sonic ice cubes!

It’s summer, and that means for most parents keeping the kids entertained (or letting them get bored), constantly filling the snack box/drawer, and looking for ways to make sure everyone makes it through the 12 weeks of Summer “vacation” without injury. I use vacation in quotes because it’s not a fun, leisure-filled 12 weeks. Most of us have to work, in addition to balancing all of… this.

BUT- That doesn’t mean that parents can’t have fun or enjoy their time in the summer sun. Here are a few things that I have recently come to love:

Sonic Ice Cubes. They are the little pebble ice cubes. If you don’t have a Sonic near you, or if you are looking for a way to make the perfect Sonic type ice at home, look for a Nugget or Pebble ice maker or ice tray. Walmart has a table top nugget ice maker here.

Electrolyte drinks. Not Gatorade, something better. I know a lot of people like Liquid IV, but this frugal lady likes Hydramate from Dollar Tree and Key Nutrients Lemonade flavor from Amazon. These newer electroylte drinks also have vitamins and other key nutrients that we can sometimes miss out on.

I made a list on Amazon of some of my other favorite things this summer:

  • Good SPF- Gotta take care of your skin. You only get one body!
  • Speaking of SPF, a Long sleeve 1/2 zip swim shirt. They are amazing.
  • Reusable cups with lids – I like the color changing cups.
  • Yoga strap for stretching- especially good after a long day behind the week (or a long day sitting on the floor building legos).
  • After Sun lotion- even if you wear a good SPF, the sun and the sea/pool water can dehydrate your skin.
  • Compression socks- seriously. We walk a lot in the summer, and wearing compression socks has really helped my feet and legs from getting so heavy and tired.
  • These sweet kicks from New Balance. They are my go to shoe for a day full of walking.
  • Beach Towels– JCPenney has a great selection and they are on sale!
  • Cuticle oil. The summer sun is rough on your hands, especially your cuticles. Give them some love.
  • Bermuda Shorts. I’m pale, I’m plus size, and I am not a fan of short shorts. Bermuda shorts cover all of my pale parts. And they make me happy because htey have decent sized pockets.
  • Character popsicles. There are a couiple places in San Diego where you can buy the popsicles that the ice cream man sells in bulk or at a discount. California Ice Cream and Candy in Lakeside (that’s near my house), and Circus Man Ice Cream in National City.  The kids and I hit up our local store each week and drop $20 on Spongebob, TMNT, Tweety Bird, and other popsicles. That’s about 13 or so, and that lasts us about a week! I personally love the Powerpuff Girl ones, they are orange and cherry flavored.

Talk Back: What are your favorite summer essentials?

San Diego International Children’s Film Festival: Aug. 13

The San Diego International Children’s Film Festival is coming up on August 13, 2022. There will be short films from around the world in several categories: animation, narrative, & documentary.

  • 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, 8/13/22
  • Neil Morgan Auditorium at the San Diego Central Library downtown, 330 Park Blvd.
  • Free admission
  • Filmmaker and animator appearances!
  • Film schedule at www.childrensfilmsd.org
  • Register here

Spider-Man: No Way Home | Swings into digital TODAY #SpiderManNoWayHome

The excitement in our house is palpable. Everyone here loves Spidey!

Spiderman No Way Home swings to digital today, March 15, 2022! Available where you buy digital movies.

Available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD April 12, 2022.

For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero’s identity is revealed, bringing his Super Hero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk. When he enlists Doctor Strange’s help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in their world, releasing the most powerful villains who’ve ever fought a Spider-Man in any universe. Now, Peter will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future but the future of the Multiverse.

We’re watching it tonight after the big kid’s birthday (dinner includes a Polar Pizza from Baskin Robbins).

Oh, and the best part:

Find all three Peters and more when you check out Spider-man: No Way Home on social media:

Dinosaurs Invade Miniland USA at Legoland California!

If your kiddos are like mine, they love dinosaurs and Legoland.

Our friends over at LEGOLAND® California Resort have created more than 30 of the massive creatures that have taken over the Big Apple in Miniland U.S.A. Guests can get up close to Stegosauruses, Brachiosauruses, Triceratopses and the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, among others, running rampant through the city. The fun scenes all depict what happens when a science convention has gone wrong and now families can join a LEGO® Mad Scientist in his search to find and identify all the creatures.

Each prehistoric reptile took a team of Master Model Builders more than 60 hours to design and construct. Each dinosaur weighs more than 20lbs and is built out of more than 30 thousand LEGO® bricks. Sharp LEGO® teeth, gigantic claws, and tiny T-rex arms are among the many identifiable characteristics of the carnivorous models. The Model Builders also had some fun creating silly and entertaining scenes in Time Square, Central Park, and high above the city skyline for all to enjoy.

LEGO dinosaurs will be roaming around the city that never sleeps now through summer at the Park… catch them fast before they go extinct!

The kids love Legoland, and they make it fun and easy for all families to enjoy their parks. If you are a family with special needs, check out my post about their Assisted Access Pass. And if you are trying to have fun on a budget- Legoland can be enjoyed on the cheap! Tips and tricks can be found here.

This dinosaur experience is included in the price of admission to LEGOLAND® California Resort. For LEGOLAND® California Resort ticket prices, Spring Break special offers, operating schedule, and additional information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or call 760-918-LEGO (5346).

New PinchMe Samples Drop 1/18/2022

Sample Tuesday is Coming 1/18/2022- Mark your calendars, set an alarm on your phone!

Don’t have any idea what I am talking about? PinchMe! Join PINCHme and receive free samples that you can provide feedback on.

PinchMe is awesome! Once you are signed up, they will email you reminders when new samples are about to drop, and remind you when it’s time to leave feedback.

Answer a series of questions about your household and shopping habits in the Member Profile. PinchMe learns what you like and offer samples just for you.

Once you’ve had a chance to try the samples, complete a short feedback survey to tell PinchMe what you think of the samples.

I get PinchMe samples every month. Here is what arrived at the end of June for the June 2021 boxes. The One Bar was really good.

What are you waiting for? Sign up here and get on the free sample bandwagon! I’ve gotten all kinds of awesome sample/trial size items, as well as full-sized items to try out from PinchMe!

New PinchMe Samples Drop 10/19/2021

Sample Tuesday is Coming 10/19/2021- Mark your calendars, set an alarm on your phone!

Don’t have any idea what I am talking about? PinchMe! Join PINCHme and receive free samples that you can provide feedback on.

PinchMe is awesome! Once you are signed up, they will email you reminders when new samples are about to drop, and remind you when it’s time to leave feedback.

Answer a series of questions about your household and shopping habits in the Member Profile. PinchMe learns what you like and offer samples just for you.

Once you’ve had a chance to try the samples, complete a short feedback survey to tell PinchMe what you think of the samples.

I get PinchMe samples every month. Here is what arrived at the end of June for the June 2021 boxes. The One Bar was really good.

What are you waiting for? Sign up here and get on the free sample bandwagon! I’ve gotten all kinds of awesome sample/trial size items, as well as full-sized items to try out from PinchMe!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time for a sweet treat! .50 off Whole Fruit Bars!

I saw on TikTok the other day this super tasty looking snack. I was on the hunt for a coupon for Whole Fruit bars, and Voila! I’m off to shop for all of these ingredients today!

Start with a Whole Fruit Bar (The lady used a Mango one, but I think Pineapple would be good too)

Top with a drizzle of Chamoy, and finally, sprinkle with Tajin and enjoy!

An icy cold spicy treat!

With real fruit in every Whole Fruit bar, we gave nature’s candy a little upgrade. Enjoy one today

Fun & Crafts for the Whole Family: Shrink Plastic Crafts!

Most of us Gen X kids remember shrinky dinks. They’re still around. You can buy craft kits at Dollar Tree, Five Below, local craft stores, or on Amazon.

Recently I found LOL Surprise shrink plastic kits at dollar tree and I picked a couple up.

We were also recently given shrinkable plastic by the sheet. And this is great because you can draw your own designs, cut them out, hole punch them, shrink them in the oven, and end up with all sorts of cool stuff.

If you’re not familiar with Shrink Plastic, it is super fun and simple craft with anyone who can color can do. However, it does require adult supervision at some point during the craft, cause you have to use the oven.

To do this craft you will need the following items:

Before…
After…

You are looking to make a specific design, you will need to print that image out onto a piece of white paper. And then you will trace it onto the shrinkable plastic using a pencil. Word of advice: most shrinkable plastic shrinks significantly if you start with an image that is the size of a silver dollar, it will come out about the size of a dime.

Also important to note, punch a hole if desired, in the plastic before you shrink it. Once it has shrunk and is hard, it is almost impossible to put a hole in it. Especially without damaging the plastic.

Once your design is traced/drawn onto the plastic, color it with permanent markers. I like these markers.

Once your design is colored, punch a hole in it as desired/needed. Then cut your image/design out of the sheet, trim up any sharp/pokey edges. Use a nail file if needed. You can also file the plastic after it has been baked/shrunk and cooled down.

Most shrinkable plastic sheets will come with the heating/baking directions for the plastic, but it’s usually less than 10 minutes. And you will need to keep an eye on it. That is the step where you do not want small children around.

In the past, I’ve made wine charms, this year I made all kinds of cool stuff, including zipper pulls for the kids’ backpacks, I made keychains, I drew our family’s SCA heraldry/devices. I also made some little charms for a charm bracelet for my daughter.

Next up I will be drawing food and making little toy food for my son’s Playmobil characters to eat. While some of his sets have come with food, he is missing things like french fries, hamburgers, pizza. All things that the Playmobil guys in his adventures want to eat.

8/16/2021 Weekly Meal Plan!

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpg2 days until school starts! I got the kids up early to get them prepared. Their new school is an early start school.

Over the weekend I picked up half a share from Porchlight- My friend Brooke split a share with me, and it’s honestly the best month spent. We got all kinds of great food, definitely more than a week’s worth.

I also did a back-to-school grocery shop with tons of lunch food for the kids.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

No CSA box this week. We’ll be back on it in the next few weeks.

And I didn’t do any meal prep yesterday. I wasn’t feeling too hot over the weekend, so I spent a lot of time napping and resting.  Thankfully, we’ve got a lot of prepped stuff in 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 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. The kids are digging leftovers from dinner, or quesadillas. When school starts, I’ll be packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, so I’m sure that the kids will want to buy their lunches a few times per week.

Dinner: 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.

  • Sunday: Nachos or BRC bowls, veggies
  • Monday: Waffle sammiches (waffles, eggs, sausage),  strawberries, and watermelon
  • Tuesday:  BBQ chicken, rice, roasted corn, watermelon
  • Wednesday:  Nugget night: Nuggets, crackers, cheese, fruit
  • Thursday: Baked Mac n’ cheese, salad/veggies, sourdough toast
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

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