Looking for a Holiday Gift? Give the Gift of a Stress-Free Meal!

There are some people who are impossible to shop for. They either have everything, or they don’t need/want stuff.  Well, I’ve got a great solution!

Everyone has to eat! Gift your family and friends near and far with easy, delicious meals from Dream Dinners. There is nothing better than filling their freezer with meals and giving them a break from the kitchen.

You have a couple options:

  • Have Dream Dinners Delivered: Ship four delicious dinners directly to their home. *Available in select states and zip codes.
  • Dinner for the Night: Add an extra meal or two to your monthly order to gift to friends and family.
  • Gift Card: Not sure what meals they would enjoy? A Dream Dinners gift card is the perfect solution.

And if you’ve never tried Dream Dinners, now is a great time! January time slots are filling up fast and there are a lot of great options in January’s menu (including lower-calorie options if part of your 2022 plans includes losing weight/eating less).

I’ll be writing more about Dream Dinners later this Month and into January. I’m really excited that they have more vegetarian options! If you are a San Diego, CA area local, keep your eyes peeled on my Facebook page for more information about a Dream Dinners event in January at the location in La Mesa, CA. 

Smartphone on your Holiday Shopping List? Up to 15% Off iPhone 11 & 12 models with Gazelle!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

I know some of you are shopping for Smartphones for holiday gifts this year, either for a loved one, or maybe yourself. Gazelle has you hooked up!

Now through December 20th, Gazelle is offering your audience up to 15% off all iPhone 11 and 12 models.

And it gets better! If you have a qualified device to trade-in, you can earn some money too! Sign up For The Gazelle Rewards Program Today (click that link for more info and details- First-time customers can get an extra $5 when they trade-in).

 

2021 Holiday Resources

I usually do these types of posts before Thanksgiving, but I’ve been looking for as many resources as possible to help those in need.

Much like last year, there aren’t a lot of free events, and most resources are stretched thin, as 2021 was as hard as 2020 for a lot of families.

The holidays are more than food and gifts, but no one should go hungry any time of year!

Here is my post with a list of food banks/pantries in San Diego. Many of the food pantries also have special holiday distributions, it is worth a call to find out of any additional food or gift distributions will be done.

As of now, I am not aware of any free Christmas tree giveaways, however, as I gather more information, I will update this post.

Toys for Joy will not be holding their annual event this year, instead, their site sends you to other resources such as The Rock Church for food, and The Salvation Army for other additional resources. The Salvation Army does an Angel Tree program to gather gifts for children in need. For more information about this program, contact your local Salvation Army location.

Sunday, December 19th, 2021 from 11am-2pm  is the annual H.O.P.E. event hosted by New Vision Church. Every child ages 0-11 will get a free toy! This is an all-free family fun event filled with free toys, carnival games and prizes, a live petting zoo, big bike giveaways, food, haircuts, jumpers, arts and crafts, live performances, DJ, and a whole lot more! The event will be held at both New Vision Church and Colina Del Sol Park and Recreation which is directly across the street. The entrance is at 5310 Orange Ave., San Diego, CA 92115.

Hope Leadership Academy is hosting an Event, Toys for Hope on December 18, 2021,9:00am – 1:00pm at the King Chavez School: 415 31st St. San Diego, CA 92102. Toys for Hope will be a walk-thru experience this year! Free toys for kids 13 and younger, free groceries, and bike raffles!

211 San Diego has a listing of all sorts of holiday assistance from food to toys, events- all free. Some programs/events require proof of need, but not all.

santeesantas.pngIf you live in Santee and need help with food and gifts for the holiday, contact Santee Santas. You can download and print forms, check into eligibility (it is income-based and they are very strict from what I’ve been told), and see what forms you need in addition to the application here.

The window to apply for Santee Santas is closing in just a few days, so if you want to apply, I recommend checking their website TODAY and apply ASAP.

Talk Back: If you know of any free local events, please leave a comment. 

Rubio’s Black Friday Deal: Taco Cheer Holiday Box & Giveaway!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- Time for gift giving and tacos!

If you have a taco lover in your life, check out this sweet (mostly savory) deal from Rubio’s Coastal Grill this Black Friday.

 SPREADING TACO CHEER” GIFT BOX AVAILABLE FROM RUBIO’S COASTAL GRILL

Cozy Collection Includes Fleece Blanket & $30 in Rubio’s Meal Cards 

Rubio’s Coastal Grill is offering a limited-edition “Spreading Taco Cheer” holiday gift box, specially curated for the ultimate taco fan. Available beginning on Black Friday, November 26, boxes can be purchased at www.rubios.com. Each gift box is $49.99, plus tax & shipping, (valued at $120), and features a unique collection of hand-selected items, perfect for a tacos & chill night this holiday season. The box includes:

  • $30 in Rubio’s free entrée cards, redeemable at any Rubio’s location
  • A 50″ x 60″ fleece blanket
  • Beanie with custom-embroidered taco
  • Lined, 5″ x 7″ notebook
  • 18-oz mug, perfect for sipping cocoa
  • Exclusive dessert taco recipe card, created by Rubio’s culinary team

“Last year’s gift box sold out in 24 hours,” said Rubio’s Co-Founder Ralph Rubio. “This year,  we’ve created the ultimate box for taco fans and expect the boxes to go quickly. Our “Spreading Taco Cheer” box is filled with specially curated items to send holiday warmth and good vibes to family and friends this holiday season.”

I’m giving away one of these fabulous boxes to one of my readers! Entering is easy, leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite kind of taco! I’ll choose a winner on November 28, 2021 in the evening. You will be notified via email.

 

Thanks to Rubio’s Coastal Grill for this sweet deal and giveaway!

 

My Favorite Things and a $100 Gift Card Giveaway!

I had respite last night, so I ran some errands and stopped to pick up a couple of my favorite things, and after my trip to CVS the other day, I knew I had to do this post. I posted about my trip here on Instagram.

I’ve shared my favorite things before, and this autumn I’ve got some new favs to share.

Note: This list is 100% pumpkin and pumpkin spice free. I know y’all love both, but I’m not a big gourd fan.

Gaiam Finger Massager Dual-Sided Hand Massage Roller Tool for Circulation, Stress, Arthritis and Hand Pain Relief- I picked one of these up at Target and it has done wonders for my stiff hands and fingers. And less than $10. I use it daily.

Tree Hut Sugar Scrubs. I like the Moroccan Rose (which I assure you does not smell like roses or old ladies), but the mango is good too. I usually buy it at Target, and it comes in 4 or 5 scents. Because it’s made with sugar, you can use it on freshly shaved skin!

I needed new sneakers for my job, so I picked up these New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoes and it’s like walking on a cloud! If you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you’ve seen my weekly posts of my step counts. I get a lot of walking in each weekday, and my feet needed something more supportive.

Speaking of support, I’m going to fully embrace my descent into becoming an old lady when I tell you compression socks are where it’s at. Seriously, they keep my legs warm, and they keep the soreness in my feet and legs at bay. This is super important when you are walking upwards of 15,000 steps a day.

How do I have the energy to do all that walking? I’ve recently come to appreciate the Espresso Con Panna. It’s two (or more) shots of espresso topped with whipped cream. Yup. so delicious.  And water. Lots of water. don’t forget to hydrate!

And possibly my most favorite items this fall are Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser. I have been in love with these products for like 10 years. Probably longer. Ever since I was introduced to Dermalogica in beauty school, I fell in love with their products, and for the longest time, I didn’t use them because I couldn’t afford them.

Now it’s sold at CVS. In the fancy/expensive product area. Where it’s all locked up. I had a 30% off my entire purchase coupon and I also had some extra care bucks, so I decided to splurge.

My skin has not felt this good in so long, I am frugal, and I always try to use quality skincare products, but I think I’m going back to Dermalogica 100% now.

Life has kicked up a notch, and I’ve been so busy. You’ve probably noticed fewer posts here and on Social Media.

I wanted to celebrate my new job and this awesome season by giving away a $100 gift card. The winner gets to choose either an Amazon.com GC, or a Target gift card to be delivered via email. More information and deets will be listed below.

Enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter here. Your first step is to leave a comment on this blog post. I want to know what you would buy yourself if you won. I want you to spend this gift card on yourself! New cozy sweaters, or some of the items on my Favorite Things list! I’ll choose a winner on 11/6/21- that gives you plenty of time to enter- there are entries you can do daily.

**Details, etc. Contest available to US residents only. The winner will select from $100 Amazon.com GC or $100 target GC to be delivered via email within 24 business hours of confirmation/certification of the winner. Failure to respond within 24 business hours to the winning email will result in forfeiture of the prize and a runner-up will be selected.

 

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.

Gallery glass DIY: easy faux stained glass window clings!

About 10 years ago I was gifted a beautiful set of glass dishes from a friend. They were painted with my SCA device/badge (they are blue and white with blue and white Fleur de Lis). I still have them, what I love about them is they look like they were made from stained glass.

The person who gave them to me used Gallery Glass, which is a glass paint that looks like stained glass once it dries.

I have played around with this medium myself over the past few years, and recently I wanted to decorate the kid’s windows, a mirror, and make some window clings/fake stain glass for some friends.

Before we start this DIY, all of the items that you need to make these projects, as well as some more kid-friendly sun catchers can be found here in my Amazon storefront.

I do earn a small commission when you purchase items through my Amazon links, Think about it as buying me a cup of coffee, or a taco.

Using Gallery Glass is very simple. If you have ever used puffy paint or fabric paint, you can use gallery glass. You can paint on glass, you can paint on mirrors, or any sort of clear glass dish/cup/bowl, or you can make window clings like I will be showing you below.

For the window clings, I start with a high-quality heavy-duty page protector.

Find an image that you wish to make into a window cling. I’ve done Celtic Knot Bears, prehistoric fish, unicorns, mandalas. Whatever speaks to you!

Slip the printout/drawing of what you want to make into the page protector. You’re going to use the faux leading (if you run out of this and can’t find more in town, sometimes in a pinch I will use black fabric/puffy paint). If your image is all straight lines, you can use the peel and stick leading (found here).

For this project, I used white puffy paint on a glass picture frame. The black leading wouldn’t have “popped” as much, and the white gave me the detail I wanted.

You will outline your image with the faux leading, and allow it to dry. Depending on the weather/humidity it can be as little as a few hours, or it can take overnight to dry properly.

Finished project- Gift for my dad

Once the leading has dried, select your colors of gallery glass and fill in the leaded “panes“ and allow your creation to dry. I usually let them sit for 24 to 48 hours to dry all the way, and cure a little bit so they’re not tacky. Once that time has elapsed you can make it a permanent window cling by gently peeling your creation off of the page protector and applying it to the window/glass as needed.

If you want something you can move around, then you will remove the paper from the inside of the page protector, and cut the image out of the page protector. And then place the creation on the window. The side with the page protector adhered to it will be facing outwards/not against the glass.

If you were looking for ideas for different art styles or creations for your stained glass/window cling project, check out my Pinterest board here. This is a project that anyone can do. It is a fun project, it is not necessarily good for small children, but I would say anyone probably ages 10 and up can handle it. It does take a lot of patience. And a fairly steady hand. This is why I tend to get Suncatcher painting kits for the little kid to do while I work on these. She can sit and do her “Stainglass“ craft while I do mine. These make great gifts. And they are absolutely beautiful.

The supplies can be a little expensive, but once you have them, a bottle of gallery glass will last you between 5 to 10 projects, depending on what size, and how many other colors you’re using in your project. Some local craft stores sell gallery glass products in their stores, so before you buy them on Amazon, you might try your local craft store.

My next big project is a Pride Flag for my nibling. I’ll be using a piece of clear acrylic (18×24) and the peel and stick leading, since it’s all straight lines.

PiadViewPoint- Now you can cash out sooner!

I received this info in my inbox this morning and I had to share it. Most of you know that I love PaidViewPoint and that it’s one of the best survey companies around (at least in my opinion). They just got better.

PaidViewPoint members have been asking for lower cash-out limits, and PaidViewPoint has listened!

Your initial cash-out threshold will remain the same for security purposes. You must use PayPal, and you must have earned a minimum of $15.00. Once you have completed your first cash out, your second cash out threshold will only be $10.00! After that, you’ll be able to cash out every time you earn $5.00!

I’ve been a member for 4-ish years, and I do a couple surveys each week. Each Survey you are sent you are pre-qualified for. That means that you won’t spend 20 minutes doing a survey only to be told, “Sorry, we don’t need you!” and you don’t get paid. PaidViewPoint surveys vary in bounty/amount earned, starting at .10 and working up to $5 (I got a $5 survey last week- they are rare, but definitely worth it!).

You will receive an email when they have surveys for you, but I check my PaidViewPoint account a few times a week to see if there are any available, just in case I miss emails from them.

If you are looking for a survey company that doesn’t mess around, I recommend PaidViewPoint!

 

Disclosure: I may earn a commission or reward if you click on the links above. Please see my Disclosure page here for more info.

$20 Referral bonuses from BitmoPerks!

Bitmo is an app that I don’t use too often, but when I do, I save money and it makes me feel good!

It’s an app that you can use to send and receive gift cards.

You can also earn rewards when you shop through the app at specific retailers, like a lot of other apps (Dosh and Ibotta to name a few).

And one other thing that Bitmo does is it donates 2% of your gifting spend (that’s how much you spend on gift cards for others) to a charity- there are currently eight, including the San Diego Zoo, Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Feeding America, and The Salvation Army.

Right now they are offering bonus points when you refer new friends. 20,000 bonus points (that’s a $20 gift card) for everyone that joins, connects a card, and does a transaction. THey run referral bonuses a few times a year, but it’s usually for a $2-$5 Dunkin’ gift card or something small- Never a $20 bonus! And as far as I can tell, there is no limit on how many bonuses you can earn!

They are a San Diego, CA area business too. It’s cool to support local businesses, especially right now when a lot of small, local businesses could use the help.

 

DIY Party Fun with Hostess with the Mostess (and a Giveaway!)

Recently I learned about Hostess with the Mostess, and wow! I love throwing parties, and Hostess with the Mostess makes doing DIY parties a cinch and looks AMAZING.

There are invitations and printables for so many types of events and themes!

If you are like me, I host 5-8 parties a year (pre and post-pandemic, but the post will def. be different/smaller). Birthdays, Girls Nights, Holidays (Our family 4th of July Party is LIT). In the past, I’ve handwritten labels, signs, and all sorts of party stuff. I love doing calligraphy, but with a Design Hero All Access Pass from Hostess with the Mostess, I have access to over 120 themes to make any event or party awesome! The Design Hero All-Access Pass also includes:

  • The entire PREMIUM LIBRARY of designer printables, including new designs added regularly.
  • An easy-to-use online customizer, so you can add your own text – instantly.
  • Freedom! No waiting on others for text customization & corrections. Make the edits you want, when you want. 💪
  • TONS of creative fonts, curated & licensed for use in the Design Hero Customizer.
  • THOUSANDS of dollars worth of graphic designs – for a price specifically designed to make them accessible.

And the price- Incredible! Only $99 for a one-year pass, and my readers can save an extra $10 off with coupon code: hewesfamilyfun. If you love hosting parties, making special events even more special with customized printables (including invitations, cards, and wrapping paper), you have to check out Hostess with the Mostess!

Here are a few of the recent pieces I’ve made Hostess with the Mostess. My friend’s birthday is this week, and she loves Champagne. I made printables to go with her gift (which is a case of her favorite sparkling white wine).

Bonus! I’m giving away a one-year pass to one of my readers! Entering is easy. Leave a comment on this post with a memory of your favorite party. I’ll choose a winner on April 27, 2021. The winner will be notified via email!