Are you ready? Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A is coming up on July 10th! The kids love it, so we are prepping to go. You can check out my past post here with how you can DIY a quick costume with stuff that you may already have around the house.
It’s easy to score a free Entree at Chick-Fil-A on 7/10/18:
Anyone who goes into Chick-Fil-A wearing any sort of cow apparel will receive a free entrée on July 10th.
Children wearing anything cow-like will receive a free Kid’s Meal.
I’ve been saving the treats (I’ve got a free fries and a free fruit cup, and a free White Peach Tea Lemonade) on my Chick-fil-a app to use on the same day- So lunch will be free for all of us.
I’ll be posting pics of our adventure on Instagram, I can’t wait to see yours as well!
We keep to a schedule at our house, even in the summer. I know summer is a time for lazy days, playing it by ear, and fun adventures, but when you have a kiddo on the autism spectrum you need a little structure in your life at all times.
Here is a copy of part of our daily summer schedule, I’ve cut off the afternoons as it contains our therapy schedule, as well as lessons/classes.
Ok, so first of all, I know you are thinking, “Who the hell gets up at 7:30 during the summer?!?!”, well, us. My kids are usually up by 7:30am in the summer, and that’s sleeping in (ugh, 6:30am, you come too early during the school year).
I’ve included the analog clock because the big guy is learning to tell time and it helps him visualize on the clocks in the house.
Despite the structure, there is room for creativity and flux. We have freedom in choosing breakfast, what to wear, and there is a 2-hour window of play time, where the kids can do whatever they want: free play, crafts, read a story, watch cartoons.
When my buddy was younger, we frequently went without a schedule, and honestly, I was nuts. Just wandering all day without a plan, I frequently had a headache at the end of the day, and would be dreading the next. Now we have a loose overview of what to expect each day, and we fill in our time with free or low cost events. Check out your local library branch- they frequently have fun classes or events.
And for some reason, kids are bottomless pits in the summer, we try to check out some of the free lunches for kids a few times a week. It helps keep our grocery budget in check, but most importantly, it exposes the kids to trying new foods, and new experiences. I try and find out the menus ahead of time and expose the kids to 1-2 new foods per week in an environment where there are peers who already like to eat the “new food”. When kids see peers eating something that’s new to them, often times they try it, even if they may give mom or dad some resistance. I’m not saying that peer pressure is always a bad thing.
In addition to free lunches, I try to keep our family snack bag well stocked. I tend to visit Grocery Outlet and 99 Cents Only for most of our snack needs. $25/week is my budget for lunches and snacks for the summer.
I try not to set our schedules in stone- We get invites to hang out with friends, go to events, or maybe some relatives will come out for a surprise visit (who knows). We want the kids to have fun over the summer, and I do my best to make sure they get a balance of fun times, learning, and relaxation.
I’d love to hear about what you do in the summer: Do you wing it, or have a schedule?
This is an update to this post, which has sites all over San Diego County listed.
I just received this in my inbox this morning! Here is a great list of East County resources for free lunches for kids- And many sites also serve breakfast too! We’ll be checking them out in the coming days, and I’ll post pictures (probably on Instagram), so make sure to follow me! Dates vary by location.
I am really excited about Hilton Head Park being on the list- That is a great park with a splash pad (only $3 to use for the whole day), shaded picnic tables, and a fun, sandy playground!
If you aren’t in the San Diego, CA area and are looking for more information on free lunches for kids, check the USDA website here. THe USDA plans to serve over 200 million meals to kids 18 and under this summer!
I am creative. I can bake, cook, sew, paint, craft, do calligraphy, garden, and decorate a home on a budget, however, I am not a “Pinterest Mom”. I have a Pinterest account, but I use it more as a link repository for stuff that’s cool. I do not make Pinterest worthy stuff. I don’t take Pinterest worthy photos. And, ya know what? I am more than ok with it.
I know there are a lot of people (not just moms) who pour over Pinterest and try to emulate the stuff they see, thinking that you need 5 craft stations, a candy bar (which is a buffet of nothing but candy), a full themed catered meal, and designer goody bags for an event. I hate to break it to you- Little kids don’t care! A lot of the stuff you see on Pinterest has been done by party professionals- Not your average mom with kids running around, a busy schedule, a house to take care of, errands to run, appointments and rehearsals/practices to shuffle kids to…..
Bitty’s third birthday is today, and yesterday was her birthday party.
About a week ago, she saw the purse cakes at Baskin-Robbins. She asked for one, but she doesn’t really like ice cream.
I looked at it for a few minutes and figured I could make her one out of regular cake and frosting.
I am no means a professional baker, and I hate fondant (it tastes so gross to me and the kids). So I used cream cheese frosting, some decorator frosting, sprinkles, and icing roses.
And the handles were made from licorice. She was so happy, and the cake was delicious. My only tip is not to try and frost a cake when it’s 90+ degrees in your kitchen. The cake was cold, but the white decorator icing did not want to cooperate. The cake was pink inside, I made a butter cake and added pink gel food coloring to the batter.
In addition, I also made cupcakes! Henry helped make the cupcakes, and Margaret helped decorate them. I figured the cake wouldn’t be enough for the hungry little faces I was going to feed.
No candy bar- Instead I took a lucite bowl that I had painted with faux stained glass paint and filled it with Ring Pops.
Oh, and no catered fancy meal! We ordered 2 Giant pizzas. We had bottles water and Honest Juice Pouches. And because we has a loose Frozen theme, we also had little red apples (because we all know that Sven eats apples- Margaret told me).
I know that there are people out there who love putting out a perfect party that looks great on Facebook and Instagram, but if that’s not in your heart (or budget), BREATHE… Give Yourself some GRACE. Do what you can, what you love, what is in your heart and what is good for your family.
And I want to especially thank Christine Boyce from Clicks by Christine for taking some incredible candid shots of the party. Her littlest is BFF’s with Bitty.
Talk Back: Are you a Pinterest Mom? Why or why not? What is your greatest crafting strength?
Ok, so if you are new to town, or have been living under a rock for some time, you may not be aware that Comic-Con is coming to town next month! July 19-22 the downtown area turns into a completely different place!
You’ll see your favorite heroes and villains for comics, movies, tv, and cartoons! If you haven’t gotten a pass to comic con, you are probably out of luck, unless you are able to win one (all of the radio stations have contests a few weeks before). Passes sell out fast, but just because you haven’t gotten one, doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on all the fun…
Outside Comic Con has a great listing (and it keeps getting updated!) of all of the fun events around the con. Some are free, and some are not. Some are kid friendly, and well, others are not.
There is usually an area between the New Children’s Museum and the Trolley Tracks that is chock full of fun events and demos, and behind the convention center there has been movie and cartoon screenings on the grassy area.
Regardless of your costume status, my recommendation is to wear comfy shoes, ’cause you will be walking a lot! And bring a refillable water bottle. And a snack (protein bars are great!). And a camera (or really, just your phone these days!).
Now that we’ve figured out that mystery, it’s onto the free donuts….
So far as I can tell, the only place giving away FREE DONUTS with locations in CA and NO PURCHASE is.. Krispy Kreme!
Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away a free Classic Donut with the purchase of any drink.
There are no Duck Donuts locations in CA yet, but it looks like they are all over the East Coast… Enjoy a FREE Classic Duck Donut on June 1, 2018 including cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or bare. NO purchase is required!
There are plenty of location, regional chains and independent Donut shops that participate too! If you know of one, please leave a comment!
I’m still pulling together resources and lists, so I’ll be posting more resources as they become available.
School will be out within a month for most kids in San Diego, and that means there are some parents (and kids) who usually rely on free or subsidized school lunches may find themselves wondering what to do.
Thankfully, a lot of great organizations have stepped up and partnered with local area schools, libraries, rec centers, and civic organizations to provide free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for al kids 18 and under this summer.
You can search here for a list of California Department of Education sites that offer free meals (some sites offer breakfast, lunch, and/or snacks).
Some Library sites offer lunch too! Here is a complete list of areas that offer free lunches or snacks.
Some County of San Diego Library Locations offer lunch or snacks. Here is a filtered list for the month of June. Most libraries have a print calendar each month available that can be picked up with more info. The El Cajon Library on East Douglas has a really great lunch program in the summer with a fun activity/craft afterwards.
San Diego Unified School District has partnered with some awesome sponsors to host the Sumer Fun Cafe 2018 all over San Diego County! Lunch will be served at over 30 locations all summer for kids 18 and under! The kick off Summer BBQ (with free lunch for adults too) at Skyline Hills Park 6/20/17 10:30am-2:00pm! There are all kinds of activities too!
What I love about this program is that there are tons of rec centers hosting these lunches and they are usually adjacent to a playground, which means after a long morning of playing, the kids don’t have long to wait to get a yummy lunch!
Looking for a few ideas of summer fun with a nearby lunch?
There is a lunch location down at the Waterfront Park- which is also free! It has a great playground and a splash area.