8/10/22 & 8/11/22 Free 66pc Lego Brick Set!

We love Legos, and we love free stuff. Check out this amazing freebie, available  8/10/22 and 8/11/22 at your local LEGO store. A limited quantity will be available on each day.

Build a LEGO® Red Brick and take it home with you!

Terms and Conditions
LEGO® Red Brick build model will be available on a first come first served basis.
While stocks last.
Suitable for ages 6+
LEGO® Red Brick build model offer valid on 8/10/22 and 8/11/22 only.
Limited to one LEGO® Red Brick build per person.
LEGO® Red Brick build model cannot be purchased.

8/8/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis week is going to be a hot one. We’ve been super cooling the house, and running fans as much as we can. In addition to the heat, it’s been humid- overall I’m not a fan of this weather.

As a result of this weather forecast, we’ll be eating a lot of food that doesn’t require the oven.

Summer break is wrapping up, however, we’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

I didn’t do much meal prep for this week, just some grocery shopping for produce ($25 worth of salad kits, and fruit), and cutting up fruit yesterday. When it’s hot, the kids don’t eat much beyond popsicles and snacks during the day.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

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.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

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

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’m planning for a week of cool foods, with very little being cooked in the oven. I may use the toaster oven as needed.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: Salad, hummus & flatbread, fruit

  • Wednesday: Corn dogs, fruit, salad

  • Thursday: Protein Shakes, fruit

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Salad, quesadillas, fruit

Free Back To School Haircuts at Raymond’s Barbershop (San Diego, CA)

My guy gets incredible haircuts at Raymond’s Barbershop from Larry the Barber. I love supporting local businesses, and Raymond’s is the best barbershop in East County.

Their annual free haircut event is back!

  • FREE back to school haircuts for kiddos grades K – 12.
  • Raymond’s Barbershop- 225 Town Center Pkwy Suite C, Santee, CA 92071
  • August 14, 2022.
  • From 9 to 1 PM.
  • First come first served (no appointments)

Because it’s a barbershop, they primarily work on boys, but if your kiddo needs a rockin’ short style, Raymond’s is the place.

New PinchMe Samples Drop 8/9/2022!

Sample Tuesday is Coming on 8/9/2022- Mark your calendars, and set an alarm on your phone!

Don’t have any idea what I am talking about? PinchMe! Join PINCHme and receive free samples that you can provide feedback on.

PinchMe is awesome! Once you are signed up, they will email you reminders when new samples are about to drop, and remind you when it’s time to leave feedback.

Answer a series of questions about your household and shopping habits in the Member Profile. PinchMe learns what you like and offer samples just for you.

Once you’ve had a chance to try the samples, complete a short feedback survey to tell PinchMe what you think of the samples.

I get PinchMe samples every month. Here is what arrived at the end of June for the June 2021 boxes. The One Bar was really good.

What are you waiting for? Sign up here and get on the free sample bandwagon! I’ve gotten all kinds of awesome sample/trial size items, as well as full-sized items to try out from PinchMe!

8/5/2022 Friday Freebies and Deals

This week was warm and sticky. I am so done with this monsoon humidity. We swam, went for a drive, and generally hung around the house.

If you are looking for some frugal adventures for this summer, check out this post.

Mask Mandates are changing constantly in California and can vary by city and county, so please do your part if you are going to any in-person freebies.

2022 Birthday Freebies are here!

Freebies

Free Tweezerman Emerald Shimmer Nail Care Kit
Free Slurpee for Your Birthday at 7-Eleven
Free Subscription to Bon Appetit
Free Woolite Darks Laundry Detergent at Select Stores
Free Sample of Sasmar Personal Lubricant
Free Lost Coast Roast Organic Cold Brew Coffee
Free Bio-Oil Skincare Oil
Free Subscription to GQ Magazine
Free Veeam T-Shirt
Free Pizookie at BJ’s
Free Milkshake at Steak ‘n Shake
Possible Free $125 Healthy Foods Research Study
Free Chocolate Chip Pizzert at Pizza Inn
Free LOCTITE Threadlocker Samples
Free Issue of SchoolArts Magazine for Teachers
Free Cross Stitch Craft Kit at Joann
Free Sample of Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops
Free Tweezerman Lash Set
Free Summer Camper from Home Depot
Free Organyc Feminine Care Pads Samples
Free Sample of Harry’s Body Wash
Free Storypod Screen-Free Learning Fun Party Pack
Free Subscription to Vogue Magazine
Free Body Skin Gel or Body Lotion
Free L’Oreal Le Color Gloss Sample
Free Roe, Roe, Roe Your Vote Sticker
Free Screen Staycation Kit
Free Canon IVY Back to School Party Kit
Free Jar of Gooey Hazelnut Cocoa Spread

 

Deals

Tools of the Trade 22-Pc Kitchen Gadget Set ONLY $21.93
Free Medium Fries w/ Any $1 Purchase at McDonalds – Every Friday
Rainbow High Color Convertible Car ONLY $14.97 (Reg $54)
Morphe Multi Palette Glitz & Glow ONLY $5.76 (Reg $16)
Ceramic Curling Iron at Walmart ONLY $26.49 (Reg. $70)
Target – Save Up to 60% OFF Amazon Devices
Wise Owl Camping Blanket ONLY $37.99 (Reg $60)
Edison Ellis Modern Corner Gaming Desk ONLY $67.14 (Reg $245)
Kids Headphones with Microphone ONLY $13.99 (Reg $27)
Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 ONLY $19.30 (Reg. $31)
Clinique Eye Concentrate ONLY $4.90 (Reg. $24.99)
Kid’s Gardening Set ONLY $9.98 (Reg. $17.99)
CamelBak with Straw Top ONLY $7.99 (Reg. $17.99)
Ozark Trail Oversized Camping Chair ONLY $30 (Reg $73)
Morphe Blue Ya Away 18A Palette ONLY $3.60 (Reg $20)
Bella Pro Series Espresso Machine ONLY $34.99 (Reg $60)

SDG&E: Get Paid To Plant a Tree!

This popped into my inbox this afternoon and I thought I would share. This is such a great idea and you do not have to be a homeowner to do it!

Trees and plants provide important environmental, health, and community benefits. SDG&E’s Community Tree Rebate Program is designed to build our region’s tree canopy in neighborhoods where trees are needed most to clean the air, conserve water, and provide shade canopy to help reduce energy usage.

Qualifying SDG&E customers can receive a $35 rebate for planting or potting 1- or 5-gallon tree/plant species, up to five (5) rebates annually. You do not need a yard to qualify, as trees or other plant species can be planted in large containers on outdoor balconies or patio areas.

Check your eligibility
See what trees/species qualify
Purchase up to five eligible trees or plant species; only 1- or 5-gallon sizes are eligible.
Plant and purchase the tree(s) or plant specie(s) at your home by 10/31/2022 – make sure to keep your receipts!
Take one photo per tree/specie planted in the ground or in a sufficient container.
Upload application with receipt(s) and photo(s) to our tree rebate portal by 11/15/2022.
Receive $35 rebate per tree/specie.

While this program is for a limited number of San Diego County Zip Codes, if you live outside the Zip Codes for this program, you may be eligible for other tree programs. More information on other programs may be found here.

Free Food Resources for August 2022(San Diego County)

Woo! A new month means a reminder about all of the free food options there is here in San Diego County.

Keep in mind there are still supply chain issues, so there may not be a lot of food at some distributions, especially those that serve a large portion of the community.

I recommend showing up a little early with a bottle of water and a book and waiting in line. Time passes quickly in these lines, and it’s a great time to learn from others about community food options. Remember to socially distance and follow local masking regulations.

You can find resources here for Central and East County, and Here for North County.

Our friends at Faith Chapel are super ahead of the game and sent out information regarding their 2022 food distributions early on in the year.

If you are located outside San Diego County, call 211. If you are not familiar with 211, here is their website and it can point you in the right direction.

San Diego Food Bank Distributions for August 2022 can be found here. Enter your address (or just your zip code) and the map will show you all of the distributions in your area or closest to you. You can filter by the days of the week to find food when you are available. If there is an income requirement/limit to participate, each location/listing will say such. You can learn more here about the Feeding San Diego Together Tour.

Neighbor distributions are intermixed with the San Diego Food Bank Distributions, however, they have no income requirements, and you come as you are. These Distributions are primarily fruits & veg, however, some locations may also distribute canned goods, dairy, and bread.

If you know of other resources, please leave a comment! And feel free to share this post with anyone you may know in need.

August Sprouts Farmers Market Monthly Freebies!

Sprouts is hooking us up and helping us stay healthy! Every month on the Sprouts app in the Digital Coupon section, there are between 4-6 free items (they are marked “SAMPLING PROGRAM”).

Quantities are limited on the app, so if you are interested in any of these, I recommend that you add these coupons (by opening the Sprouts app, click on digital coupons, and click on each coupon in the lower corner where the little green circle is) to your app ASAP.

Not all Sprouts locations will have these freebies, so I suggest trying larger Sprouts locations in your area.

These are full-sized freebies- not small sample-sized products. they are located in the store with the other products of the same type.

Not all accounts will receive all the same products.

8/1/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis weekend was a busy 48 hours. Martial arts, mental health appointment, birthday party, tie dye prep, and I got up early yesterday (thanks to the kids) and spent a few hours prepping and roasting veggies, making sweet rolls, and reorganizing the fridge and freezer.

Summer break is here! We’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

This week is going to be leaning a lot on the prep I did yesterday and a few casseroles in the freezer. I’m hitting up the grocery store for just a few things we need, and I should be able to stay out of the store the rest of the week.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

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.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

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

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: Chicken Alfredo bake, roasted veggies, salad

  • Wednesday: Salad, quesadillas, fruit

  • Thursday: Chicken Pesto Lasagna, fruit, salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Baked mac n’ cheese, salad, fruit

Managing a Household with Neurodivergencies (ADHD, ASD, etc.)

Earlier this week my friend Sam posted on Facebook, “Neurodivergent Friends what are some tools you use with others that help you with daily life, communication, relationships?”

A few friends posted that they needed help with meal prep, day-to-day stuff, and as y’all know, that’s my bag, baby!

Both my kids are Neurodivergent (ADHD/ASD and ADHD), and their dad has ADHD (combined type/ C) and because of that, we’ve had to make some adjustments to our daily life and how we function. And while our processes and schedules may not work for everyone, hopefully, these tips give you some idea and hope if you need it.

Some of these directly affect/benefit the kids, and some make my life easier, which in turn makes their lives easier.

Having an accurate(ish) pantry, fridge, and freezer inventory. I have made my own sheets in the past (using Canva), but the ones from Organized Home are great.

Meal Prep and meal planning (this includes using Dream Dinners once every few months). This frees up time each night to read, hang out, bathe, and get kids ready for bed.

Meal Prep can be as easy as cut up veggies, fruit, pre-portioned foods, and easy meals or side dishes prepared in advance that only need to be heated up to avoid wasting money eating out because “there is nothing to eat”. Also having one night for take-out. And I have a whiteboard that lists our meal plan for the week- I try and post it weekly on Instagram.

The Snack Box- I also organized our fridge and pantry to be more ND-friendly. Stuff that should be eaten (healthy food like fruit, cheese sticks, yogurt, etc.) is at kid eye level in clear packaging and is labeled (I use expo markers on my Rubbermaid containers), and I have a “Snack box” in the pantry that is available 24/7 for hungry faces. It’s got individually portioned shelf-stable snacks and meal components. And on days when I am too tired/rushed to cook we have “Meal of snacks” where I serve a variety of snacks on old-school sectioned cafeteria trays- fruits, veggies, crackers, cheese, cookies, and a drink (juice or iced tea is a hit).

We have a list of snacks on the fridge so the kids know what there is to snack on. It is a visual list (I drew it), and when we are out of specific items, I cover the picture with a piece of posit note.

Calendars– in the kitchen, and one in each bedroom. I update them weekly, plus the grownups use the calendars on their phones and we have a shared family calendar. Kids get reminders each day in the morning and afternoon of any appointments or events that will take place during the day. The visual and auditory reminders really help cement the appointment in their mind.

Visual reminders– next to the front door at eye level there is a sign that reminds us we need: cellphone, wallet, keys, and garage door opener. It’s laminated.

Visual schedule– this is mainly for the kids. I drew up a daily schedule using words and pictures. I wrote a post about it here.

Lists– Everyone has a “Care tasks” list each week that includes appts, returning borrowed items, and tasks to do throughout the week. You can read about my weekly Care Tasks here. 

Larger font digital clock with day of the week, date, and what part of the day (morning, afternoon, evening, night). The kids can read a clock, but it can take time to engage their brains and count by 5’s, but the “old people clock” as it was marketed on Amazon helps them instantly and helps a lot with the “is it time for xxxxx yet?!?!”

Using your phone to stay on top of details- I saw this on Facebook in a group and I’ve started doing this. If you have an iPhone, there is a notes section in each contact. I’ve seen them used to keep track of favorite fast food at various restaurants, favorite foods/drinks, clothing sizes and brands, favorite colors, birthdays, and anniversaries. It’s such a game changer.

The fidget/stim box– we have a plastic box full of fidget/stim toys for everyone to grab when they need to focus. And everyone has some in their room too. This includes headphones to cut down on loud sounds (I buy the landscapers kind from harbor freight). We have 3 pairs in the house and two pairs in the car. For those not familiar- fidget toys can help calm the body so the mind can focus.

Some favorites include pop-its, hand strengthening eggs, fidget cubes, fidget spinners, stretchy tubes, pop tubes, and stress balls (the kind with Orbeez are super satisfying). Amazon sells really great fidget toys mutli-packs.

Medication Boxes- We refill our medication boxes each week (both AM and PM).  The three of us take our meds together each morning at breakfast time. Our medication boxes live on the kitchen counter, along with our pill minders: Jon Cena and Skeletor.

Stuff has a place– The kid’s shoes and backpacks are always by the door during the school year, ready to be cleaned out and refilled each night. My car keys and purse live in the same spot, the pool key has a special spot. The extra toilet paper and paper towels are always in the same spot (under the front bathroom sink). These are just a few examples of the ways that we remind ourselves and create routines. Creating routines can give us a sense of normalcy and be calming.

The Family Binder– One last thing that doesn’t directly “help” the kids but helps the family, especially in times of emergency is the family binder. I’ve had one since 2010 in various incarnations. I have a really old post about it here.  It’s basically my brain in paper form. It’s got all of our important papers, insurance info, important phone numbers, policy numbers, warranty information, receipts for expensive/valuable stuff, copies of most recent IEPS, copies of diagnosis paperwork, lists of everyone’s meds, doctors info, etc. Think of it as all the info you’d need if you lost power for an extended period, your house burned down, or there was a tornado.

There are a lot of other things that we do in our home to help the kids- keep them safe, regulated, and happy. The stuff listed above is just a small sample. Everyone’s home runs differently. And this was and continues to be a lot of work. The examples above are continually changing, and evolving in our home, and are a combination of 11+ years of hard work, learning, and failing. Some of this stuff I did to try and get organized in my late 20s, even before I was married and had kids.