2019 Earth Day Freebies and Deals!

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Like all good things, the era of tons of great freebies to celebrate a holiday is pretty much over. Earth Day is 4/22/19, but most of the celebrating will be done over this coming weekend.

If you live in Ohio, Mary from Mission to Save has some great freebies here.

For those of us in Southern CA, there aren’t tons of freebies.

Through 4/27/19, you can get up to 5 lbs of shredding for free from Office Depot/Office Max. Coupon can be found here.

4/20/19 is a free entrance day at any of the National Parks. There are several other days as well. You can find the complete list here. The only National Park in San Diego is Cabrillo Monument on Point Loma.

If you live in San Diego, Check out the Earth Fair in Balboa Park. It is very busy!

Despite what you read online there are NO Origin Freebies, Disney Store Freebies, Free milkshakes on the west coast, Mac Freebies, Sephora Freebies, Ice Cream Freebies, or free coffee from Starbucks. 

So, that’s it. I know, it’s kinda depressing, but I’ll be on the hunt for freebies for you this week, and I’ll report back on Friday morning.

New Gig Opportunity: Become a Shipt Shopper!

I am a huge proponent of gigs, little side hustles that help you earn extra money.

I just found out last night that Shipt is looking for shoppers! You shop for and deliver groceries and essentials for others. Oh, and the best part? You can earn up to $22/hour!

Shipt is a membership-based grocery marketplace, enabling delivery of fresh foods and household essentials. Shipt is all over the US, to find out if Shipt is hiring in your area, check out their coverage map here, then sign up here. Once you sign up, answer a few questions, and they’ll email you if you meet their qualifications.

I’m all about earning some extra cash! I’d love to hear about your favorite side gigs and hustles! My list of favorites can be found here.

STORM BOY Opens Nationwide on Friday, 4/5/19!

Have you or your kids read Storm Boy? We started reading it about a week ago, and both kids are hooked. It’s really best suited for ages 10+, but my 8 year old loves stories featuring animals. It’s now a movie- starring Jai Courtney, Geoffrey Rush & Finn Little.

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Check out the trailer here

The movie is a beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele’s classic Australian tale. ‘Storm Boy’ has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past that he can’t explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr. Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives. Based on the beloved book, Storm Boy is a timeless story of an unusual and unconditional friendship.

The Storm Boy is a wonderful book and movie about selflessness, courage, perseverance, and love. I cant wait to finish the book so we can go see the movie in theatres. In addition to the book (for sale on Amazon here), there are printables available for download to help continue the message from the book, including:

Talk Back: Have you Heard of Storm Boy? Do you think it’s a movie your kids would enjoy?

Gazelle: Trade-in Promotions

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

I need a new phone. Like whoah. Somehow Gazelle knew, and they sent me an email with some really great deals.

For the record, I have an iPhone 5s, and it’s almost 4 years old. The battery drains from 100% to dead in less than 3 hours. Yeah. It’s time for a new phone.

Thankfully Gazelle has the hook up!

By purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned device from Gazelle, you can pay less for popular devices such as the devices shown here:

iPhone XS Max 64GB* iPhone XS 64GB* Samsung Galaxy S9+ 64GB*
Retail: $1,099 Retail: $999 Retail: $915
Gazelle: $789 Gazelle: $769 Gazelle: $469

• An unlocked device from Gazelle allows you to choose whatever carrier they want without getting tied down in another agreement
• Certified Pre-Owned devices must pass a 30-point inspection process prior to being sold on Gazelle.com
• Customers can add-on a one-year warranty that covers water, drops, and accidental damage for their Certified Pre-Owned device starting at only $55

*These costs are representative of March 2019. Pricing subject to change dependent on inventory available.

And starting tomorrow: Get $20 off All iPads, iPhones, Galaxys, & Google Plus Phones at Gazelle! 

I’m going to start shopping tomorrow morning!

Hearty French Beef Stew Recipe!

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Who needs a filter when you’ve got steam?

Earlier in the week I made beef stew. It was so good that I had a hard time waiting the full 10 hours until dinner  to dish myself up a bowl! I cooked it on the stove, but it can definitely  be cooked in a crockpot after the initial browning of the meat.

I based my recipe on my mom’s boeuf bourguignon recipe, but I omitted the bacon, as we didn’t have any in the house.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups white onions, diced
  • 3/4 cup each carrots and celery, diced
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (tops only, stems may be discarded or saved for a later use)
  • 2 T. Air Dried Shallots
  • 1 T. Minced Garlic
  • 4 T. Butter or Olive Oil (your choice), divided
  • 2 lbs. Stew Beef, cut into bite sized pieces (chuck roast works great)
  • 1/2 c. AP Flour
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 Bottle Red Wine (approx. 4 cups), your choice.
  • Spices: 1 Bay leaf, 1 T. French Tarragon, Pinch Rubbed Sage, 1 T. Thyme, Salt, Pepper

Directions:

  1. In a Large Stock pot, melt 2 T. butter/heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cook on medium/low heat, stirring occasionally until onions are clear and veggies have sweated.
  3. While veggies are cooking, rinse meat and toss gently in AP Flour to coat.
  4. After veggies are cooked, scoop out of pot and set aside, add remaining butter/oil, and brown beef over medium heat.
  5. Add cooked veggies back in and stir/scrape browned bits off the bottom and sides of pot.
  6. Turn heat up to medium/high and add in about half the wine. Scrape off as much of the browned bits off the bottom and sides as you can as the wine cooks.
  7. Add remaining wine, stock, and herbs. Cover pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. If you wish, you can transfer everything to a crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  8. Serve with hot, buttered bread, and a green salad. It is soooooo good. If you have leftovers (hahahaha), it is great re-heated and served over rice or buttered noodles.

 

Making Plans for Spring Break? Visit the Nat!

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Microorganisms add red and yellow hues to Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring.

My kids love the Nat! The Natural History Museum in Balboa Park is a fun place for kids (and adults) to explore.  The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) is one of California’s oldest and most respected cultural and science institutions. Founded in 1874 by a small group of citizen scientists, today the Museum studies and works to preserve the incredible diversity of life in this amazing region we call home. The Museum is located at 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 in Balboa Park and is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. For more information, call 877.946.7797, or visit sdnat.org.

I am looking forward to taking the kids to check out the new photography exhibit: Photography Exhibitions Bring Nature to Life this Spring and Summer National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Landscapes, which opened on March 9, serves as a virtual tour of the world’s most stunning landscapes, from underwater vantages to the expansive countryside to dominating mountain peaks. The exhibition, inspired by the book “National Geographic Greatest Landscapes: Stunning Photographs That Inspire and Astonish,” illuminates the beauty of our planet through its exquisite collection of 50 images shot by some of the world’s finest photographers.

The kids love the 3-d movies at the Nat too! Did you know that Paid general admission to The Nat also includes access to the Subaru 3D Experience in the Charmaine & Maurice Kaplan Theater? The Theatre features the recently opened Flight of the Butterflies 3D showcasing the extraordinary migration of the monarch butterfly. National Parks Adventure 3D is also currently playing, and will be replaced by Conquest of the Skies 3D on July 1. The film invites visitors to travel through time to unravel the 320-million-year story of how flying animals first appeared and then evolved into the huge variety of aeronauts that fill our skies today—from nectar-drinking hummingbirds to armored airborne beetles to bats hunting in the dead of night. Ocean Oasis, a 2D, 40-minute film produced by the Museum, continues to screen daily. The theater schedule is available at sdnat.org/giantscreentheater. I love the theatre because it’s totally kid friendly, the seats are comfy, and the movies are always so well done, even my three- year old will sit mesmerized (and quiet). 

If your kiddos need to get their wiggles out and play, don’t forget to stop by The Backyard, a fun place for littles to play and parents to relax.

The Nat participates in the Free Tuesday in the Park program, which gives locals free access to museums in Balboa Park on Tuesdays. For the complete schedule of free museums, click here.

Weekly Meal Plan

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Sooo, I wrote this post yesterday, and forgot to hit PUBLISH.. So a day late, but I’ve got all kinds of tasty stuff planned for this week, and some recipes will be added later this week as well.

I did a bunch of prep work on Sunday for a few hours- I made 3 batches of pizza dough, cooked a tri-tip, and I was going to start turkey chili, but instead, I made cookies (which are excellent, and I’ll post  the recipe tomorrow). You can see the pics on my Instagram feed.

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.

You may notice a lot of plant based meals- We are not vegetarian, but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day:

Breakfast: Protein shakes for grown ups, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. We have plenty of protein shake fixins’- I buy the over ripe bananas, peel and slice them pop them into ziploc bags, and freeze them for smoothies and protein shakes. I also keep sandwich ziploc bags of  other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or a protein shake for me and the Mister, and The Big Kid has a specially packed lunch of whatever he’s into at the time (which changes frequently). Bitty Bird eats whatever I’ll feed her.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked.

  • Monday: We Chinese food. Mr. Husband stopped on the way home and picked it up!
  • Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner: Hash browns with cheese, bacon or leftover tri-tip, and guacamole, topped with a poached egg.
  • Wednesday: Pizza Night!
  • Thursday: Turkey Chili and cornbread
  • Friday:  Date Night (dinner out, but I’m not sure where)
  • Saturday: Chicken Divan (it’s a one pan meal)
  • Sunday:  Leftovers

 

Talk Back: What will you be cooking this week?