MY SPY- On Amazon Prime!

unnamed.pngThe kids and I saw My Spy in the theater right before the stay at home order was put in place. It was super cute and both kids (5 & 9) loved it. And now you can watch it at home on Amazon Prime or at a local drive-in theater with your kids!

Drive-In Theater Listing

My Spy follows JJ a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista) who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) where he has been sent undercover begrudgingly to surveil her family. When Sophie discovers hidden cameras in her apartment, she uses her tech-savviness to locate where the surveillance operation is set. In exchange for not blowing JJ’s cover, Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy. Despite his reluctance, JJ finds he is no match for Sophie’s disarming charm and wit. The hilarious actioner is directed by Peter Segal from a script penned by Jon and Erich Hoeber and stars Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal, Parisa Fitz-Henley and Ken Jeong. Producers are Chris Bender, Peter Segal, Jake Weiner, Robert Simonds, Gigi Pritzker, Dave Bautista and Jonathan Meisner.

There were a few times where the violence was a little intense for the kids, but the physical comedy, explosions, and jokes made up for that.

My son loves Kristen Schaal (You may know her as the voice of Mabel from Gravity Falls, and Louise from Bob’s Burgers), so he was hooked after I showed them the preview.

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If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly action movie to entertain the kids this summer, check out My Spy

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How I’ve been keeping busy…

I’m busier now than I have been in ages! Most everyone has started distance learning, including our family.

Thankfully, Big Kids’ teacher is in communication and sent us an email with tons of great resources and links. I am trying to keep the kids entertained without relying on screens all day (even educational screen time). My kids are not motivated by worksheets either, so we need to do hands-on stuff.

Besides schoolwork, we’ve started our annual spring garden. Big Kid and I donned masks and hit up the local nursery. We picked out Catnip, Rosemary, Basil, and a hanging strawberry plant in addition to a few kinds of seeds. Our patio looks great, and the kids are outside daily tending to their plants and harvesting ripe strawberries. I kept the pots from last year’s garden.

The other night after the kids were settled, I decided to clean out the junk drawer (ok, 1 junk drawer, we have a couple), the utensil drawer, and the silverware drawer.

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I threw out old condiment packets, broken serving spoons, knives with broken/chipped handles, lids that had no corresponding cups, and I vacuumed out each drawer.

After I had completed that herculean feat, I dove headfirst (metaphorically) into the pantry.

I pulled everything out pantry and set it on the counter.

I checked all the expiration dates. Anything expired got the boot.

92843855_2893563990733604_4081992026843774976_o92828483_2893564054066931_3193846550136619008_oWhen all of this madness started a few weeks ago, I had gone to the store to do my weekly shop, and so many of the things that I’m used to buying were not available. I decided to purchase some alternate products from what we usually have in the house. Some were met with success, some were not so good- I’m looking at you Fideo Noodles.

As a result, I filled a reusable shopping bag with some food that did not cut the mustard. I took most of those items over to our local blessing box to help some of our neighbors in need. The rest I shared with some of the neighbors on our local free food group.

Our pantry is horribly laid out. It is very narrow and deep.  The dangerous part of our cupboard is you cannot reach all the way in the back without help. Last night I used a very long spatula to assist me. One of the things that I found was baby food. Little Bit is 4 1/2. I managed to clear out the pantry 100% and then refill it and move items around so it is easier to gain access

I get food in the mail or events from brands to cook with and post about on social media. Most of the time they give me a couple of each item, rarely they send cases. There were a lot of odds and ends of food from PR campaigns.

I’m also working my way through our closets to get rid of broken toys, clothing we’ve outgrown or don’t wear, or junk. I’ve come to realize that after all of this is over we’ll need to replace our towels (Our current set is from our wedding 12+ years ago), the kids need new sheets, and Big Kid is getting a new bed (which was in the works before Covid struck). And I’ll probably have enough clothing for a clothing swap- Both kids are mid-growth spurt.

It may seem like a lot of busywork, but we haven’t had a deep clean/in-depth declutter since we moved in- 5 years ago. I go through the kids toys several times a year, as well as their clothing and books. But, I’m bad about doing it with household goods and my personal items.

Today was more of a lazy day for us: We played some games, did some sight word writing, played Bingo, and made this stuff called Ooze Baff, which was 100% gross, do not recommend. If you want to try it, I bought it at Dollar Tree. For a Dollar.  In a little while, we’ll have bath time, and I’ll read to them. We may pull out the couch into a bed and all cuddle on the couch for a bit.

I would love to hear about how you and yours have been keeping busy! Leave me a comment!

Coffee House Copycat Recipes & Enter to French Roast K-Cup® Pods!

I love Cross Country Cafe! They always have great deals, contests, and recipes!

Barista Prima French Roast K-Cup® Pods box of 24Right now, they are running a contest for FOUR full-size boxes of French Roast K-Cup® coffee pods! Enter to win before March 30th, 2020.

One of the ways that we stay on budget is to limit how many coffee shop beverages we have each week.  I load $25 every two weeks onto my Starbucks card. Honestly, it’s usually used on treats for the kiddos.

I make a big pot of French Roast Coffee each morning and make our coffee shop style beverages with it as the base. Here are a few of our favorites:

Quick & Easy Misto (aka a Cafe au Lait)

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces Hot Coffee (prepared however you like)
  • 1 cup milk (whatever kind you like, I prefer whole or 2%).
  • Sweetener, if desired
  • Ground Nutmeg or Cinnamon, if desired

Directions:

  1. In a heatproof cup, heat milk for approx. 30 seconds in the microwave.
  2. Froth milk in a Magic bullet, blender, or using a Milk Frother. This takes about 30 seconds. The more fat the milk contains, the foamer the milk gets. Fat-free milk (either dairy or non-dairy) does not get too frothy.
  3. Pour Hot Coffee into your serving cup. Add your sweetener and stir. This is a great time to try a new sweetened syrup!
  4. Using a spoon, Push frothed milk to the side and pour milk over the coffee.
  5. Top with Foam if desired.
  6. Get extra fancy and sprinkle the top of the foam with nutmeg or cinnamon!
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Hot, frothy milk!
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The finished product, time for breakfast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick & Easy Mocha: If you love a Cafe Mocha to start your day, simply add 2 T. of your favorite Chocolate milk mix or instant hot chocolate (I like this dark chocolate hot chocolate) to the milk before your heat and froth it. Follow the same directions as above.

Caramel Macchiato: Pour 1 cup, hot frothed milk into your mug, followed by 6 ounces of very strong hot coffee. Top with a little more foam, and drizzle caramel syrup over the top of the foam.

Cinnamon Dulce Latte: Pour Coffee into mug, add steamed milk and two pumps/Tablespoons of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Cooled/leftover coffee makes GREAT iced coffee. Simply pour over ice, add any milk and sweetener/syrup you’d like and serve. YUM!

For an Iced Mocha, mix 2 T. of your favorite Chocolate milk mix to the milk before adding it to your ice and coffee.

I love the Torani Sugar Free syrups, they come in over 40 flavors and most of them are great in coffee. We like the following flavors:

  • Irish Coffee (it’s non-alcoholic)
  • Caramel
  • Hazelnut
  • French Vanilla
  • Brown Sugar Cinnamon
  • Almond
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Coconut (it’s good in a mocha)

unnamed.pngAnd Cross Country Cafe has a new recipe on their blog: Almond Milk Honey Flat White. Yum!

If you start your morning with a protein shake, here are a couple recipes for coffee drinks that use protein powder in place of milk.

10 Hair-Saving Tips for Summer!

It’s still summer here in San Diego for a few more months (does it really ever ends??), and I thought this post from Cheryl Locke at Madison Reed is perfect for those of us who may be spending more time outside, in the water, or just having fun adventures and want to keep our locks looking luxurious.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated (it’s a super small amount!) if you make a purchase after clicking through the links. You can read my Disclosure policy here.
Bright and warm days are ahead. Like our favorite season, summer hair should be effortless in theory. In actuality, you’re battling major beauty bummers like frizz, brassiness, dullness, and sunburn.

How to deal? We’ve rounded up the best defenses–some as simple as just adding water. The sun’s out and fun’s in. Here’s how to beat the heat beautifully.
Madison Reed - Salon Quality At Home Hair Color

  1. Wet hair. It’s simple and effective. Before taking a dip in the pool, drench hair in fresh water. Like a sponge, your strands will soak up water, preventing chlorine and chemicals from penetrating cuticles.
  2. Lock in moisture. Before you take a swim, work in a hair oil; it seals hair from chlorine and the drying effects of the sun. Plus, oil provides a bit of weight to prevent flyaways and frizzing.
  3. Wear a cap. We’re confident you can pull off this look. If you take frequent dips, you’ll want to embrace a hair cap’s retro charm. The additional barrier does wonders on keeping chlorine out.
  4. Rinse off immediately. After pool-time, prevent chemical build-up (and green hair) with a quick rinse. Brownie points if you use a clarifying shampoo followed by an extra-emollient conditioner to bring hair back to its original shine and bounce.
  5. Deep condition. A shea-butter-rich treatment is your best anti-frizz secret. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention. It keeps hair more manageable and less tangled even in salty-windy beach conditions.
  6. Use an SPF. Most of us dutifully slather sunblock all over our face and body, but we often forget our hair and scalp. Don’t make that newbie blunder. UV rays not only fade hair color, they also dry out hair, cause split ends, and weaken hair’s elasticity. Spritz on a liquid SPF (or DIY by combining 2 teaspoons of SPF lotion with one cup of water). For additional protection, summerize products with UV-fortified formulas. Psst: Madison Reed’s shampoo and conditioner come with UV-shielding lupine flower.
  7. Keep hats on. A floppy brim is not just the it-accessory of the season, it offers protection against the color-fading effects of sun.
  8. Skip the blow dryer. For natural curls and waves, just go with it. Work with, not against curls; straight styles that require flat irons and blow-drying will fry ends, deplete moisture, and end up giving you more pouf than sleekness.
  9. Pull it back. Your best line of defense against the pouf is often a sleek bun or topknot.
  10. Don’t touch your hair. Except for occasional flirty hair flips, excessive handling of your hair only causes frizz.

Post courtesy of Cheryl Locke for Madison Reed.

Madison ReedMadison Reed offers salon-quality, handcrafted hair color delivered to your door on your schedule! Clear instructions, all the extras you may need and fabulous results really set Madison Reed apart from other home hair color options! I love the conditioner– smells great and keeps my hair super soft and shiny!

What I love is that you start with a Hair Profile (kinda like a quiz) and it helps you find a color that you’ll love.

PineCone Research is Looking for You!

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Pinecone Research is my favorite survey company! Right now they are looking for new panelists.
Sign up to take surveys and earn $3 per survey from Pinecone Research. They only send you surveys you qualify for- no wasting time doing lengthy qualifiers.
I earned about $70 last year just from Pinecone Research, and I’m up to $45 for 2019!
Pinecone will send you an email notification when you have a survey available. Complete the survey and earn points to be redeemed for either cash or prizes. Occasionally, they will send you a product to test, too.
If you are looking for other ways to earn cash, here is the list of side hustles I do. 

Host a Frontera Whole Foods Party!

House Party by Ripple Street Frontera™ Whole Foods Party House Party

Houseparty by Ripplestreet has a great party coming up, and they are accepting applications right now!

Show your friends how they can make authentic, delicious dishes for their Cinco de Mayo parties and how Frontera™ products will help them make it quick AND simple. Available at your local Whole Foods Market® for Cinco de Mayo.

This event is only open to residents of the contiguous US.

If you’re selected and confirmed as a host, your exclusive Party Pack will contain:

  • Whole Foods Market® gift card
  • Frontera discount coupons for your guests
  • And more

If you’ve never heard of Houseparty by Ripplestreet, you can learn more here. I’ve already applied!

PineCone Research is Looking for You!

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Pinecone Research is my favorite survey company! Right now they are looking for new panelists! Sign up to take surveys and earn $3 per survey from Pinecone Research. They only send you surveys you qualify for- no wasting time doing lengthy qualifiers.
I earned about $70 last year just from Pinecone Research!
Pinecone will send you an email notification when you have a survey available. Complete the survey and earn points to be redeemed for either cash or prizes. Occasionally, they will send you a product to test, too.
If you are looking for other ways to earn cash, here is the list of side hustles I do. 

Pinecone Research: Get Paid $3 per survey!

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 8.13.21 AM.pngPinecone Research is my favorite survey company! Right now they are looking for new panelists! Sign up to take surveys and earn $3 per survey from Pinecone Research. They only send you surveys you qualify for- no wasting time doing lengthy qualifiers.
I’ve earned over $50 this year just from Pinecone Research!
 
Only users who fit into one of the 3 demographics below will qualify: Males (regardless of age), All users aged 18-24, and all users that identify as Hispanic.
 
Pinecone will send you an email notification when you have a survey available. Complete the survey and earn points to be redeemed for either cash or prizes. Occasionally, they will send you a product to test, too.
If you are looking for other ways to earn cash, here is the list of side hustles I do. 

BOGO Holiday Beverages are back at Starbucks (and a DIY Hack)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.35.18 PM.png It’s back. Halloween is over and that means Starbucks is already to serve their holiday beverages!

November 9-13 from 2-5pm each day, you will get a holiday beverage free when you buy one at regular price.

The Starbucks Holiday Beverages include:

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Egg Nog Latte
  • Caramel Brulee Latte
  • Holiday Spiced Flat White
  • Chestnut Praline Latte

And from November 12-16th from 2-5pm each day you can score one holiday favorite free when you buy one holiday favorite.

This deal is at participating locations only, so check with your fav. location beforehand.

If you can’t make it to your local ‘Bux in time to score one of these sweet deals, here is my holiday drink DIY:

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.54.04 PM.pngLocate your favorite mug.

Brew your favorite coffee double strength (because let’s face it, not everyone has an expresso machine at their disposal)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.50.23 PM.pngHeat some milk (I prefer 2% or whole milk) and I use a frother like this one.  It makes the milk nice and frothy- just like the steamer at the coffee shop.

Pour coffee into your mug, add 2-4 pumps of syrup (I like my coffee less sweet, so I do 2 pumps), stir and then add your hot milk. Put a dollop of froth on top. Top with whipped cream (if desired, not needed).

If you are feeling fancy, you could always top your beverage with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, or fancy sprinkles.

For syrups, I prefer Torani. Amazon has a bunch of different variety packs for holiday drinks, I like this one the best. If you live near a Cost Plus World Market, they usually have a great selection of flavors. Since I’m not a huge fan of single task anything, I also put Sugar free syrups in my protein shakes, and in my regular coffee each day. I’ve got a regular coffee shop set up in my kitchen. Ya know, except there is no bearded hipster.

If you are making a mocha, I use Nesquik. Really. I’ve got kids, so we always have it in the cupboard. But you could use your favorite cocoa mix.

Score Free Makeup and more from L’Oreal USA

I’ve posted before about how I score so much cool frees tuff, but I wanted to update and share about one program: L’Oreal USA.

The makeup Giant wants women from across the United States 18+ to join and take surveys on products, daily skin care regimens, and test new products. When you take 5 surveys, you are eligible to receive a full sized L’oreal product (Of their choice)! They also do consumer product testing. They send you a product, you test it and complete a survey.

I recently completed a product survey. They mailed me products which I tested over a period of a month, then I completed a survey about the products I tested. The product surveys are long- they take about 20 minutes to complete, but, you get to try awesome new products, and as a than you, L’Oreal sends you some pretty sweet goodies.

Here is what I got as my thank you gift yesterday in the mail:

img_9874It may not look like a lot, but these three products have a value of about $90.00!

Lancome Large Shadow Brush $29.50
Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow Palette in Mauve Cherie $50.00
Maybelline Brow Drama $8.50

 

I’ve been part of their survey panel for about 10 years, and I’ve done four in home product tests. They can be hard to get into, however, the products you test are top quality, and the thank you gifts are pretty great!

And if you’re curious about why I got Lancome products, here is a list of companies that L’Oreal USA owns.