House Party by Ripple Street: Host a Scooby-Doo Birthday Party!

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 4.13.02 PMAs I type this, I am eating Scooby Snacks. I love these things.

Host a Scooby-Doo™ Birthday Party

Gather your gang and throw your own Scooby-Doo™ themed party celebrating 50 years of spooky, mysterious fun—complete with a special screening of Scooby Doo! Return to Zombie Island!

This event is only open to residents of the US.

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

  • Scooby-Doo themed party supplies from Party City
  • An exclusive Scooby-Doo Funko Pop! Flocked Vinyl Figure from BoxLunch
  • Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island DVD
  • KEEBLER® Scooby-Doo! Graham Cracker Sticks
  • And so much more!

SCOOBY-DOO and all related characters and elements © & ™ Hanna-Barbera. (s19)

To learn more or apply or this party, click here

 

Legoland California Turns 20!

We’ll be visiting Legoland California during spring break. The kids are so excited to check out all of the new shows celebrating the 20th birthday!

Lego20th_022.JPG

If you are headed to the park soon, you will be greeted with all kinds of fun!

In honor of the special birthday, LEGOLAND California is handing out free child-size Minifigure hands to the first 1,000 kids entering the Park. The LEGO birthday cake, created out of more than 100,000 LEGO bricks, will also be on display showcasing the many attractions that have been added to the family theme park since it opened 20 years ago including a LEGO submarine, representing the Park’s newest ride, LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure submarine ride.

The birthday kicks off a year-long celebration that includes a new interactive Birthday Dance Party, LEGO Friends birthday show, exclusive birthday desserts, pop badges and more. The new shows can be seen daily now through Sept. 1 and are filled with singing, dancing and characters for all families to enjoy.

Plus, LEGOLAND California is paying the birthday fun forward to its younger guests – all children ages 12 and under get free admission on their birthday all year long! And for grown ups, there is a great deal on Groupon right now! One-Day Admission or Two-Day Resort Hopper Admission to LEGOLAND California Resort (Up to 31% Off)

And starting next month there will be a new 4-D Movie, based on the popular Lego City cartoons! You can check out a preview here.

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 11.47.13 AM.png

If you are looking to do Legoland on a budget, check out my post here.

Do you have someone in your party that has a handicap? Check out my post about the Assisted Access Pass and how we do Legoland with our kiddo with ASD.

1/28/19 Meal Plan Monday

stemarie_1650skitchen

Mr. husband is on the second week of his cleanse.Much like last week,  the kids and I will will be eating some similar foods, it’s hard to convince the kids to eat kale and steamed salmon night after night.

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.

This week is going to be a little different tan usual. With Mr. on the cleanse, we’ll be eating a lot of whole foods/vegetables raw, and an old family friend steel cut oats will be coming to breakfast.

  • Monday: Leftover Pizza, fruit salad
  • Tuesday: Vegetarian crockpot chili
  • Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner- Blueberry pancakes (Kodiak flap jacks), fruit salad. Blueberries are on sale this week at Sprouts for .88, so we are eating a lot of them!
  • Thursday: Homemade red sauce, spiralized crockneck squash, Italian marinated chicken breasts
  • Friday:  Date Night (dinner out, but I’m not sure where)
  • Saturday: Salad bar night: mixed greens, kale, and whatever types of veggie bits I pull out, various nuts, and dressings. The kids love cheese on their salads too.
  • Sunday: Ladies night out since it’s my birthday. Probably use one of my million free birthday meal offers.

 

Talk Back: What will you be cooking this week?

4 Free Things That Aren’t Worth It…

file3211250724024.jpgI’ve been meaning to write this article for a while, and while we were on our way to meet friends for lunch and playtime, we drove past Little Caesar’s, which was giving away free pizza and sodas today from 11am-1pm.  The line was down the sidewalk and around the corner. There were probably 100 people in line.

Like many of you, I subscribe to several money saving magazines, blogs and newsfeeds. Every one of them has at least once every few months an *exciting* article on “Free Stuff” and how you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Some of these freebies, well, are not useful, or actually free.  Before you say, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, I am of the belief that when writers offer advice, it should be tested, useful and one shouldn’t have to go out of their way to obtain a free item or service.  If I have to drive for 2 hours for a free sample or service, it is no longer free (especially with gas at $3.53/gallon in my neighborhood!), or if I have to wait in line for 3 hours for something that’s valued at less than $30, it’s not worth it. Yeah, my time is worth $15/hour, especially if I have to leave the kids with a sitter (which costs about $15/hour most of the time).

Here are a few suggestions that I see time and again that are not really “free”.

  1. Free WiFi: Awesome.  Free internet is great. But if I have to leave home and go to bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants and libraries, any time I want to surf the net, that’s not free.  I have to spend money on gas and potentially have to buy something (in the case of coffee shops and restaurants).  That also means any time I want to surf the net, I have to leave my house.   My suggestion- Shop around for the best deal on internet service and/or plan errands or trips out of the house where your can access free Wi-Fi along the way. 
  2. Unlimited texts from your PC: I love to text.  Its great to shoot off a quick reminder or check in with someone when you are on the go. One magazine I read suggested, “Sign up for a free email account with google or AOL and as long as you have access to a computer, you can text any mobile number (and receive texts) through your account for free.” But… When I’m not home (or at a computer), I can’t do that.  Most of the time when I text, I’m not at home, and that is the same for many adults. So, this may not be a super freebie for everyone. My suggestion: look into inexpensive cell carriers or an unlimited texting package that you can afford.  Or- don’t text!
  3. Makeup Application: Now at day spas, most do offer complimentary makeup application after a spa service ($$), however, at department stores, the idea behind the makeup application is that you will buy one of the products that are used on you. Not buying anything is.. well, crappy.   Also,, VERY IMPORTANT: People stick their dirty fingers in the makeup testers that are used to do those free makeup applications.  People also put the lipstick on their mouths, and mascara on their eyelashes with the tester wand instead of using the disposable applicators. People have cooties, and pink eye and herpes. EWW.
  4. Godiva Chocolate Rewards Club.   The local Godiva shop doesn’t participate, so I spent 15 minutes signing up and validating my email for no reason.  However, I can just walk into my local See’s candy shop and get a free piece of candy (and my kids each get a free piece too- Godiva only gives candy to grown-ups).  No club, no sign ups and the kiddos get a sweet treat too! Now I did include the link in case you want to check it out and see if your local shop participates.

 

Remember- just because something is free, doesn’t mean  that you have to go out of your way to obtain it.  There are a lot of freebies that I signed up for, but later wasn’t able to redeem them, so in the end, I could of spent that time with my family or friends, instead of chasing down a freebie.  Ya’ll know I love a good birthday freebie (see my posts herehere, and here).

Talk Back: What are your favorite freebies?

New Birthday Freebies!

file3141334714768.jpg

Ya’ll know I love a good birthday freebie (you can see my previous posts on the subject here and here).  I discovered a new site with tons of great offers:I Birthday Club. They have offers in San Diego, Orange, LA, San Bernadino, Riverside, and Santa Clara Counties.

There are so many great restaurants and other businesses (free car wash, heck yes) offering birthday freebies.

Just a few that sparked my interest:

If you know of other cool Birthday Freebies, please share in the comments!

Carry your Big Kid with Free Loader

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 8.56.02 PM.png
TA DA!

Last month I posted that we were going to test out a new baby/kiddo carrier now that Bitty Bird isn’t so Bitty any more.

We took the FreeLoader to her birthday party, and Daddy wore her while the kids played and frolicked on the play ground (Bitty was getting tired of walking and running at this point- She needed “Daddy uppies!”).

The Freeloader is awesome for bigger kids.

  • Carrying capacity: 25-80 lbs.
  • Minimum Age: 2 ½ years
  • Standing height: 33″-50″ tall
 Per Mr. Hewes (The hus-bear), the Freeloader is lightweight, easy to take off and put on. I will add though, it’s a two person job getting your kiddo strapped in.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 8.55.41 PM.png

Bitty had an awesome time (She is screaming “Whee Daddy!!” in this photo) being strapped into the Freeloader. It has a 5 point harness that snaps at the child’s back.

It was pretty warm that day, but thankfully the back of the carrier is open back in design and air flows through pretty well.

It’s got a chest buckle, and ergonomic waist strap. Combine that with the nice, comfy padded straps, The Freeloader makes carrying bigger kids easier.

We offered Lil’ Man a ride, but he declined. He was too busy having adventures in the creekbed.

The Freeloader is small enough to carry-on and stows away neatly, making it perfect for air travel, road trips and more! See more at http://www.myfreeloader.com/ and find Freeloader on facebook.

Thanks to Freeloader and the great folks at USFG, you can save on your Freeloader! Freeloader FUN with the Family – 10% off your Freeloader Child Carrier when you enter the code “freeloaderfun” Take your children on the adventures of their dreams!

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 8.55.52 PM.png
Daddy, come on! Time for adventures!

Thankfully, the Freeloader is lightweight (5.8 lbs) and folds up flat- It’s going to be a staple for our late summer and fall adventures into nature! It fits in Miss Sally (My Nissan Versa) with tons of room to spare! It travels well too!

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 9.15.04 PM

Oh, and for those who are curious, Bitty Bird had a Batman Birthday Party. She loves 1965 Adam West Batman. We all wore Batman shirts, and I made her a full circle skirt from Batman printed cotton. She had on a crinoline under it.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 9.18.46 PM
Photo by Clicks by Christine/Christine Boyce

And of course, the only picture of me, is me and Bitty getting into the cooler to get the kids more water! But I’m wearing a Batman shirt!

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 9.14.50 PM.png

Illness and My Birthday…

file0001442071545 The worst part of being sick as a mom to small kids is that there is seldom time to rest, which means the illness lingers. Additionally, the likelihood that you got the illness from one of those small people is pretty great.

I’ve been battling a plague for over a week. That means, yes, I spent my birthday coughing and blowing my nose…sexy, no?

Overall, it was a great day. Lil’ Man drew me a book. He was going to make me a card, but he wanted to make me something I’d keep forever, so he made a book with pictures of reptiles. He drew most of them himself, and only used stickers from his reptile sticker book a few times. It’s very sweet.  Hubs got me a new FitBit!

The kids and I spent each day after school last week collecting birthday freebies, you can see my list of the goods here and here. We sprinkled it in with trips to the park (where I sat on a bench and coughed) or other errands. Lil’ Man’s overall favorite is the mini bundt from Nothing Bundt Cake. My fav is free lunch at Rubio’s.

Other than than, I’ve been going to bed early and napping during the day while Bitty sleeps, which is the reason there haven’t been any posts in a week. Now that I’m about 75% better, there should be more posts coming, including some fun DIY posts coming up about making infused oils (it’s never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts!).

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I posted a photo of some floral print fabric the other day. I am the costume designer for a local theatre’s production of the stage adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird. That’s right, before I blogged about frugal living and clipping coupons, I designed and made costumes for theatres, movies, renaissance faires, LARP’s, and historical recreationists.

So now you know what I’ve been up to.. What’s going on with you?