San Diego STEAM Camp- Learning and Fun!

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 10.03.42 PM.pngMy friends Annie and Christine are hosting an awesome STEAM camp this summer, and Registration JUST OPENED!

They are very excited to be offering four summer day-camp sessions this year. Camp will be open for children age 5-10. We will be holding camp at two different locations in Clairemont and Kearny Mesa. Camps will be Mon-Fri from 9:00am-3:00pm and include free lunch. Lunches are provided by the San Diego City.

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 9.54.50 PM.pngCampers will do daily art and science around a fun weekly theme. In addition to art and science, our days will also include interactive games, STEAM inspired stories, outside play time, free lunch and more. We will have an underlying focus on kindness and helping others. Each camper will put together a care package for Cali Kids Medical Foundation to give to a family with a child admitted in the hospital and will also make cards for kids in the hospital.

Be sure to submit your complete your child’s registration form.  You can learn more on their Facebook page.

Not only will your kiddos enjoy STEAM activities, but they’ll be helping a family and child during a tough time! I’ve known both ladies for many years and they love kids and they are passionate about STEAM education.

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Helping Neighbors with Blessing Boxes

So for those of you that live in San Diego, one of our local Methodist Churches (The one in Santee-8964 Magnolia Ave, Santee, CA 92071) has a Blessing Box where neighbors can put food, toiletries, diapers, formula, etc. to share with neighbors who are in need but can’t make it to the local food bank for whatever reason. It was started last year. You can read more about it here and see some pictures.
I try to stop by every few weeks and put some stuff from our pantry in it. I pick up a few extra items at the grocery store (or 99 Cents Only or Grocery Outlet) when I shop each week. Instant oatmeal, canned soup, tuna, or beans with a pop-top (in case someone doesn’t have access to a can opener).
When I walked to the blessing box this AM there were 4 packets of oatmeal, some citrus fruit, and a fleece blanket (in the grocery bag).
I quickly scoured my car for everything I had. I didn’t have a lot extra in my trunk, but I emptied it of all of the food I had- I even went through the kid’s Snack bag that is for “emergency car snacks”.
IMG_8728.jpgHere is what it looked like after I put in my donation. I picked up a package of wipes from Huggies at a bloggers summit a few weeks back. I hadn’t yet opened it, so I added it to the Blessing Box.  I know that this box gets utilized by a lot of locals with great frequency. I will be back to add more groceries tonight.
Some of you may have Little Free Pantries or Free Food Boxes in your area too. If not, it’s easy to start one! Many local schools also have a food pantry for kids whose families face food insecurity. Santana High School has one!
My call to action for you is this:
  1. Look into your pantry and pick out 5 things you can live without. They must be in date and something someone actually wants to eat (I’m looking at you, jar of cocktail onions).
  2. Find someone in need. Add it to your local Little Free Pantry, post it on a neighborhood forum, a local parents group, or donate it to your local school food pantry.
  3. Give freely and with love.
  4. Repeat.
I know that most of us have grocery budgets. Imagine if we all cut $5 out of our budget and bought 5 (or more) items to share with a neighbor in need- That would go really far to help hungry families!
If you aren’t sure what to donate, here are a few suggestions:
  • Canned Meats
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Soup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal & Oatmeal
  • Rice & Pasta
  • Powdered Milk, beverage mixes (like shelf stable juice concentrate, instant coffee, hot cocoa pouches)
  • Infant Formula (The sample sized canisters or sample pouches that you may have received free in the mail are perfect donations!)
  • Toiletries and hygiene items
 I can’t wait to hear about how you’ve helping a neighbor!

Getting Ready for Influential Summit!

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I’m hoping this is the view I’ll see tomorrow from the hotel the conference is being held at!

If you follow me on Instagram, I just posted a picture with the two makeup looks I am contemplating for tomorrow.  Tomorrow a bunch of bloggers, social media influencers, and brands are getting together in Carlsbad, CA (home of Legoland) to meet, learn, and chill at Influential Summit.

I’m looking forward to a day of learning and ADULT CONVERSATION!!  For those of you who don’t work from home, being a work at home or stay at home parent can be very quiet. Well, you’re frequently not quiet (“Put down the cat”, “No, we aren’t watching Octonauts for 6 hours today!”, “Do you have to go potty?”, etc.), but what’s lacking is adult conversation.

I won’t be posting much tomorrow blog-wise, but check me out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for pictures and posts about everything I’m up to! And I’ll be hanging with Brooke from Crying Out Loud.  By the way, if you haven’t checked out her latest post on ways to score free and cheap grub at Chick-Fil-A, you need to get over there and start reading tout suite.

October is Kids Free Month in San Diego!

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 8.56.48 PM.pngIt’s back, Baby!!  I love October for so many reasons (and Pumpkin Spice isn’t one), but mostly I love October  because that means it’s Kids go Free Month here in San Diego.

This is the seventh year that the program has been helping kids and families explore our awesome city and county!

For those of us with curious kids, this is perfect! Kids can get into 43 museums in the San Diego area free with paying adults (all the info can be found here).

Participating organizations include:

1. Barona Cultural Center & Museum
2. Birch Aquarium at Scripps
3. Cabrillo National Monument
4. California Center for the Arts Museum
5. California Surf Museum
6. Coronado Museum of History & Art
7. Fleet Science Center (Galleries only)
8. Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
9. Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House
10. Heritage of the Americas Museum
11. Japanese Friendship Garden
12. La Jolla Historical Society
13. Living Coast Discovery Center
14. Lux Art Institute
15. Maritime Museum of San Diego
16. Marston House Museum & Gardens
17. Mingei International Museum
18. Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum
19. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
20. Museum of Making Music
21. Museum of Photographic Arts
22. New Americans Museum
23. Oceanside Museum of Art
24. San Diego Air & Space Museum
25. San Diego Archaeological Center
26. San Diego Art Institute
27. San Diego Automotive Museum
28. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
29. San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
30. San Diego History Center
31. San Diego Model Railroad Museum
32. San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)
33. Serra Museum
34. The New Children’s Museum
35. The San Diego Museum of Art
36. The Water Conservation Garden
37. Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center
38. Timken Museum of Art (it’s always free for everyone FYI)
39. USS Midway Museum
40. Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
41. Visions Art Museum
42. Warner-Carrillo Ranch House
43. Women’s Museum of California

Oh, and as part of free October, Kids can get into the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park free when accompanied by a paying adult!  WOO HOO!

More info can be found here, and other fun, free stuff for kids can be found here and here.

 

Back to School Routines and New Play Dates!

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Big Man on his first day of First Grade!

Now that we’ve been back to school for about a month, we are pretty set in our M-F daily routine to get Henry off to school. And Bitty and I have set into a schedule, but she keeps asking to, “Play Wif mo’ Fwends, Mama!!”

 

We go to the YMCA 4 days week after we drop brother off at school, but that’s only 2 hours of our day.

So taking a hint from the two year old, I’ll be starting playdates 2-3 times per month at various parks across San Diego! You can find the full schedule of upcoming playdates here on our Facebook page. They are public, so please RSVP if you are interested in attending. Sometimes we’ll be joining another event that’s already planned (like story time at the local Library).

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 6.37.59 PMWe’ll play at the park, do fun (and frugal) crafts. It’s a great way to meet other local moms. And because I’m a MomCo Mom, there are bound to be fun giveaways and goodies to try out!

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Courtesy of Clicks by Christine/Christine Boyce

These playdates are FREE and open to anyone with kids! If you have a company that sells a product of service for moms or kids, I am always open to play date sponsorship. This can be anything from samples, sponsoring at your location, offering a discount/coupons. Email me at hewesfamilyfun@gmail.com and we can talk!

I’m also hoping to find a location where I can start hosting Couponing and frugal living seminars. If you have a church or community center that is interested in hosting shoot me an email at hewesfamilyfun@gmail.com! I tailor my talks to my audience!

Free Food Boxes from Feeding the Flock

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San Diego, CA area readers, this post is a huge blessing for those who may be facing a little food insecurity right now. Feeding the Flock is a local 501c3 non profit organization. Their goal is to “feed you physically and spiritually.”

Two Fridays a month they are offering free food boxes containing various fresh and shelf-stable food, perfect for anyone who may need a just a little help.

There is no proof of need required, just sign up here.  When you pick up your box, don’t forget your ID.

You can also check up with Feeding the Flock on Facebook. They have lots of great local events helping those in need and the under served. They are looking for volunteers for their events, so if you aren’t in need, but want to help (with time or supplies), contact them!

Summertime Plans on a Budget!

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School is out for us on Tuesday. That means I’ve got 67 days to fill with adventures and “excitement” as my 6 year put it. No pressure, right?

Here are just a few things we’ll be doing to have lots of fun, but not spend a ton of money.

  • Taking advantage of free community events! Our local libraries have tons of fun events during the month.  Lego Club, craft afternoons, story time for pre-schoolers, and our local library has a great slate of summer events, including a summer reading program!
  • Using passes and memberships that we’ve already paid for. For us, that’s the San Diego Zoo and the YMCA. I plan on taking full advantage of the YMCA membership daily to get the kids out of the house and playing with others, as well as swimming at the activity pool.
  • Packing snacks and drinks when we leave the house. Henry’s pre-school backpack has become our go to snack backpack. I wrote about our family snack backpack yesterday.
  • Meeting up with friends at the park to play. We love playing at the park. It’s a great way to get out the wiggles, meet new friends, and catch up with old friends. There are tons of groups on Meetup.com or Facebook. If you haven’t checked out Momco on Facebook, it’s a great way to find moms looking to meet up and play!
  • I love to arrange craft or science get togethers. The kids get to make something or try a science project and play with friends. I’m not really into Pinterest all that much, but I do have a Pinterest Board with some of the science and crafts we want to do this summer.  I try to use the supplies we have on hand. I find that a lot of the supplies can be picked up at 99 Cents Only, or cheaply at Target.
  • We’ll also be painting a lot of rocks and hiding them all over this summer. Have you heard of Santee Rocks? Both kids love it and it’s a great way to get kids out and active!  It’s an awesome Facebook Group. Learn more here.
  • The Beach! I know not everyone has the beach near them, but if you do- take advantage!  Google your favorite beach and Tide Chart and find out when low tide it. Low tide is the perfect time to hunt for shells. If you are in San Diego, or will be visiting this summer, check out Coronado for the SS Monte Carlo. It’s a sunken ship that is visible and explorable at low tide.
  • Don’t forget the $1.00 kids movies at Regal Cinemas!
  • Here are a few of my other tips for a fun, frugal San Diego Summer.