Win two tickets to MommyCon!

I posted on Sunday about MommyCon and that it’s coming to town in less than a month! I’m stoked about all the cool classes and vendors.

MommyCon 12.jpgOne super awesome thing that MommyCon does is that they have a printer that prints photos posted to Social Media with a specific hashtag or tag during the event. Staff hang them up and you can grab them to take home at the end of the day!- I’m guessing it’ll be #mommycon.

Another thing about MommyCon that is cool is that babies and kids are welcome to come along. In fact kids don’t need tickets. For age restrictions on this, please check out the MommyCon website.  A lot of photos of past events show parents with littles in ring slings and various types of carriers.

 

 

MommyCon Baby | www.mommycon.com
Look at all of these kiddos!

MommyCon Baby | www.mommycon.com And now for the best part- MommyCon is giving me the opportunity to give away TWO General Admission tickets to the fun here in San Diego, CA on Saturday, November 10th! That means two of my readers will get their chance to win!

Entering is easy-peasy. Just leave a comment below letting me know why you’d love to attend. Wanna check out the latest goodies for your child? Excited to meet other local moms in a supportive environment? Want to have a few hours alone to socialize? Whatever your reason, I want to hear it!

I’ll choose two winners on October 26th. Winners will be notified by email and provided with a one time use code for 1 free General Admission Ticket.

 

Good Luck!

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Stretching your Food Budget….

ball_jar.jpgTimes are tough for a lot of us right now. Coupons and deals are drying up left and right. Here are some ways that you can stretch your grocery budget without wasting time or energy.

My Top Ten 99 Cents Only Buys

The eternal question at Costco: Is Bigger Better? Learn about Price Per Unit here. 

In addition to price per unit, you might consider starting a price book as well.

If you live in San Diego County, check out this list of Neighborhood Distributions all over the county. You can pick up 15-30 lbs of free produce each week. No proof of need is required. Just show up with your reusable grocery bags!

If you are low-income, have kids under 5, are a senior citizen, or a college student struggling with food insecurity, there are programs out there that can help you! Don’t be afraid or ashamed to admit that you need help!

There are also food share programs in almost every community in the US.  They provide low cost food boxes to families and individuals. A quick google search can help you find one near you!

In San Diego County, there are monthly distributions through the San Diego food bank at various locations. Colloquially called “commodities”, it’s officially called The Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP). Locations throughout the county distributes USDA food each month. If you live outside San Diego County, check with your local county or municipalities food bank network for more info on this service.

Don’t forget there are tons of money saving and rebate apps. My list is here.

Bartering: Most of us know someone with a backyard garden. Trade your skills (housecleaning, organizing, babysitting, car washing, you get the idea) for some home grown produce, or eggs (some of us live in areas where backyard livestock is ok).  This may not be available to everyone.

Menu Planning is another great way to cut down on food waste- It’s a lot easier than you think once you get started.

Talk Back: I’d love to hear your tips for stretching your grocery budget!

MommyCon comes to San Diego, CA next month!

I’m so stoked for all of my mommy friends! MommyCon is coming to San Diego, CA next Month,  Saturday, November 9-10, 2018 9:00am-4:00pm at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley (8757 Rio San Diego Drive San Diego, CA 92108).

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 10.14.53 AM.pngMommyCon is the largest natural parenting convention and we are headed to San Diego! While attending MommyCon, you’ll experience the feeling of community while learning about birth, baby-wearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and feel confident in your parenting
decisions.

This two day convention has a lot of great, informative classes about all aspects of parenting- feeding, sleep, diapering, child-wearing, and of course, connecting with your spouse!

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The amazing class line up!

If you purchase a VIP or Premium admission, you score a sweet swag bag full of goodies, in addition to access to all the great classes and the vendor floor. If you’d like to attend, use code “FAMILYFUN18” for 10% off of tickets. To view the complete schedule, buy tickets and get more info go to their website.

I hope to see you there!

 

 

 

October is Kids Free Month in San Diego!

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 8.56.48 PMI know I’m early, but it’s worth bookmarking… Kids Free October is back for the 8th year!

For those of us with curious kids, this is perfect! Kids can get into over 40 museums in the San Diego area free with paying adults (all the info can be found here).

Some of the participating organizations include:

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Fleet Science Center (Galleries only)
Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
Heritage of the Americas Museum
Japanese Friendship Garden
Living Coast Discovery Center
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Marston House Museum & Gardens
Mingei International Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Museum of Making Music
Museum of Photographic Arts
San Diego Air & Space Museum
San Diego Automotive Museum
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
San Diego History Center
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)
Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center
Timken Museum of Art (it’s always free for everyone FYI)
Women’s Museum of California

A full list can be found here. 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!  Other Kids go free attractions include: Legoland, Sea World, and the USS Midway!!

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

And I’m hoping to have more info on some free events for Halloween over the next few weeks.

Free Upcoming Positive Parenting Classes in San Diego!

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Parents and caregivers: It’s ok to say that you don’t have all the answers, and it’s ok to look for help.  Jewish Family Services has a Positive Parenting Program and it’s coming to Santee next month! It’s a free class, and all you have to do to attend is call Meredith Riffel at 619-258-2345 to RSVP.

From their website, “The Positive Parenting Program (PPP) provides free parenting workshops throughout San Diego County in Head Start preschools, elementary schools, and other community sites to help parents and professionals learn how to use simple, practical, and powerful strategies to strengthen families.

Throughout our five-year history, we have served more than 5,000 families, helping 10,000 low-income preschool children communicate better, cooperate more, and show greater respect toward their parents, teachers, peers, and themselves. Nearly 97% of parents surveyed report seeing improvements in their children’s behavior!”

The best part is that childcare is provided for those of us with littles that are not in school yet!

San Diego Families: In Need of School Supplies?

apple and books.jpgBack to school approaches! For us, school starts on August 23rd. For some families, back to school is a hard time because the cost of backpacks, school supplies, new clothes and shoes can really add up.

For those in need, the SMOAC (That’s Santee Mobilehome Owner’s Action Committee) is helping out families in need. On August 19th at the Santee Library, starting at 10am, SMOAC will be handing out backpacks with supplies to families in need.

SMOAC is looking for donations too- if you aren’t in need and want to help, there are lots of ways to help out!

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 8.32.01 AM.pngOn August 11th from 5-9pm Chipotle in Santee is hosting a fundraiser.

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 8.21.30 AM.pngDonations of items such as: backpacks, #2 pencils, paper, pens, glue sticks, rulers, pencil sharpeners, white glue, notebooks, scientific calculators, crayons, safety scissors are requested. Most of these items can be picked up at Target, Walmart, Office Depot, or 99 Cents Only fairly cheap.

Donations can be dropped off at Santee Library, Cameron YMCA, Mission Realty Group in Santee, Santee Lakes General Store, El Cajon Toyota, Oggi’s Pizza in Santee, and the Santee Chamber of Commerce. If you are busy and can’t make it to the store and drop off locations, You can buy a gift card for a teacher or send a check to SMOAC.  The mailing address can be found in the photo above.

The goal this year to to help 1500 East County families in need!

No Proof of need is required, just show up at the Santee Library on August 19th. The event starts at 10am, but you may want to get there a little early to beat the rush.

Get Out and Play at The Nat!

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Recently the kids and I got to preview the Natural History Museum’s latest interactive exhibit, The Backyard. Even though Henry is 7, he still had a great time playing and exploring. He loves the Nat, it has all the things he loves about nature (dinosaurs, animals, plants, and bugs).

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 7.21.55 PM.pngInspired by a quintessential San Diego backyard patio, The Backyard is packed with experiences that encourage curiosity about the natural world including, a shade tree, live animals, a potting bench, a giant ladybug, stepping stones, a pergola-covered reading nook, a garden bed for infant tummy time, an urban nature soundscape, and more.

The Backyard contains interactive activities and objects that instill a sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural world.

Exhibition highlights include:

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 7.22.05 PM.pngA garden bed (ages 0-2): Modeled after a self-contained garden area, this enclosed, soft space is separated from areas designed for older toddlers and preschoolers. It is an ideal area for infants to work on tummy time, rolling over, and sitting up. Within this space, older infants have an area to practice crawling, walking, and grasping different textures.

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Dinos enjoy The Backyard too!

An old oak tree (ages 2-5): Children will embody imaginative, dramatic, and realistic play as they dress like familiar backyard animals, crawl on a giant ladybug, and gallivant around an old oak tree. Self-directed play can take many forms as kids build block structures, color mix on the light table, and uncover hidden sounds and live animals in the garden wall.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 7.22.11 PM.pngA potting shed (ages 2-5): Adults can relax and recharge on plush bench seating with free WiFi and a charging station while kids exercise fine motor skills and build imaginations as they create and pot flowers, read books, solve puzzles, and sort shapes. The Potting Shed area has a great selection of kids books (that are available in the gift shop as well).  Henry and I loved the dinosaur books!

The Backyard is located behind the cafe on the bottom floor of the museum. Entrance to The Backyard is included with your museum ticket. In addition to the fun exploration for the kids, there is a new 3-D movie at The Nat called Backyard Wilderness:3-D. It’s all about the beauty and natural wonder that is around us- even in our own backyard. The kids loved it, and Henry has been asking for us to “get into nature” so we can explore more.

If you haven’t been to The Nat lately, its completely different! With lots of great exhibits all about the natural history of San Diego/Southern California, there are lots of exhibits at kids level, with hands on and interactive learning stations for kids. Margaret loved the Coast to Cactus in Southern California exhibit. There were lots of hands on activities and cool stuff to look at at her eye level. Henry enjoyed the Fossil Mysteries exhibit, and of course, Unshelved.

We’re going back to The Nat soon, I hope to see you there!