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?

San Diego All Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair 9/25/2021

We’ve gone to this event in the past, and it’s always a fun time with great resources.

FREE community event with activities, games, crafts, raffles, shopping, and resource booths for families of all abilities.

When: September 25, 2021 10:00AM-1:00PM

Where: Park de la Cruz Recreation Center 3901 Landis Street San Diego, CA 92105

Activity Booths • Giveaways • Games • Family Resources • Networking • Shopping & more

Children of all abilities can enjoy activity stations including Super Mario Wheelchair Course, Life-Size Candyland Game, Ernie’s Rubber Duckies Literacy Bathtub, Ghostbusters Ghost Trap Craft, and more!

Resource and service providers for children of all abilities will conveniently be onsite to speak with parents and offer helpful information.

All activities and resources are FREE and open to the public! To learn more or register, click here

Space Jam opens Friday…in theaters and on HBOMax

I know my kids are excited to see Space Jam: A New Legacy on HBO Max Friday night as they chomp down on pizza with Daddy. I’m heading out of town for a girls’ weekend!

While you wait for your chance to see it, there are tons of fun activities and games that you and your kids can play. Check out this page for all sorts of fun: Download an activity pack, check out the AR lens, there is a pinball game, GIF stickers, and downloadable wallpaper!

Talk Back: Are you digging the new movies being released directly on premium channels? Are you and your fam going to watch Space Jam: A New Legacy?

 

#SPACEJAMMOVIE

@SPACEJAMMOVIE

Have Your Hot Girl Summer on a Budget

I’m sure by now everyone has heard the phrase “Hot Girl Summer”, but do you know what it means? The phrase can be traced back to a Megan Thee Stallion song a few years ago.

On Twitter, she explained: “Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party, etc.”

A couple of my friends have embraced it, and I think that it’s a pretty amazing outlook to have, especially since last summer was, well, Sad Trombone Noise? I know the kids are looking forward to having fun, more adventures, and getting out of the house. Here are a couple ways I’m bringing Hot Girl Summer (and sharing it with the fam).

New Bathing Suits. Kids grow, but what about me? Well after having the same swimsuits for 3 years, it’s time. Especially since we swim daily.  I bought a few new suits from Amazon. Since I’m fair-skinned I picked up one with long sleeves, the kids tease me about working at SeaWorld. This is just one of the many suits I’ve got. It’s perfect for prime sun time.

 

New Pool Bag and New Pool Toys. Every Summer it seems, we need new pool toys and a new pool bag. The Chlorine wrecks our bag (which is mesh- this helps the pool toys dry quickly), and daily use of toys leaves them.. wrecked. Dollar Tree has a great selection of sturdy pool toys, including inflatables for kids (We have a cool cookie ring that has a “bite” taken out of it). For me, I picked up a sweet inflatable float pool chair. 

Plans to meet up with friends. Now that most people have access to the vaccine, getting together with friends is a lot more feasible. We are still limiting ourselves and staying away from large gatherings where we don’t know everyone, but dinner and drinks with friends sound amazing. I’m hosting dinners a couple times a month over the summer for a few reasons: 1. To keep all of our costs down (Dinner out with drinks costs $$$ these days), and honestly, I don’t feel super safe going out for dinner all that often, especially now that there are no mask regulations in our state. And I’m having a weekend getaway with some girlfriends in a few weeks. I am really looking forward to a weekend away in a vacation rental doing a whole lot of nothing!

Take Advantage of the season: What does that mean? Summer has all sorts of fun advantages: Long days, Amazing fruit and veggies are in season, nice weather. Spend time outside (poolside, at the beach, exploring nature), enjoy a big bowl of fruit salad, make a huge salad! Community events are starting to come back (with limited event sizes), and there are lots of free events throughout the summer. EventBrite is a great place to find community events.

Make Time for You: I know… So many blogs and social media tell you to get self-care time and spend time doing things that you love, but as a parent, it can be hard without staying up late or waking up before dawn. Finding a sitter can be tough too. It’s ok to lean on family and friends. The past year has been exponentially tough on parents, and you need time to yourself. Swap child care with friends, or if you want to have a night out, split the cost of a sitter. Your kids can hang out together, while you and your friends get some time away.

Take Care of Yourself: And I don’t mean the stereotypical self-care of putting on a mud mask and drinking water with lemon slices. That’s fun, but I mean the simple acts that we often overlook as caregivers.

  • Sunscreen for your face and any exposed areas when you’ll be outside for more than 10 minutes during peak sun hours (usually 10am-4pm). Don’t forget the tops of your ears. Being super fair-skinned I also wear a sun hat too. Not super sexy, but I don’t want skin cancer.
  • Take something to drink with you. I know most of you pack snacks for your kids when you leave home, but take a few extra minutes to make yourself something that you like (bonus if it’s a snack that your kids do not like- No sharing!), and fill your water bottle. This is the water bottle I use. If you like fruit-infused water, bottles like this are great.  You can also opt for an infuser to go into your favorite bottle or insulated cup.
  • Find Something to Keep You Occupied.  Besides your kids. Pick up a book, grab a craft kit (I like embroidery- it’s easy and portable), Craftsy has some cool online classes to get you started.

I’d love to hear about how you are bringing Hot Girl Summer. Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

Guess in Ten Game Day (Tryazon Party)

Over the weekend while we celebrated Bitty Bird’s birthday. We also checked out the Guess in Ten games thanks to Skillmatics and Tryazon!

Skillmatics is a new age brand that develops innovative educational products and games that help children build core skills, ranging from math and language to science and logic, through the joy of play!

We played Animal Planet, but if animals aren’t your posse’s jam, Skillmatics makes many other Guess in Ten varieties:

  • Guess in 10 All Around the Town
  • Guess in 10 Things that Go
  • Guess in 10 Cities Around the World
  • Guess in 10 States of America

These games are available on Amazon, or in stores near you.

I’m not sure if the kids or the adults had more fun.

And if you want to learn more about Tryazon, their website has tons of information about all of the cool campaigns and parties they have coming up!

 

Kids Bowl Free: It’s Back!

file0001910298986.jpgLooking for something fun, air-conditioned, and cheap to do this summer? Yeah, you are!

Kids Bowl Free has been around for years, and it’s a great way to get kids active even when it’s hot outside. I’m so excited it’s back for 2021!

Kids 2-18 can bowl 2 games for free each day the program is running at participating bowling centers all across the US and Canada. All you pay for is shoe rental- or bring your own if you have them!kidsbowlfree_logo-new-2019.jpg

This program is available all over the US and Canada. The complete list can be found here. Sign up is quick and easy. To get started, register here.

I encourage everyone to take advantage of this deal! It’s one of our favorite summer activities.