Craft Mornings: Creativity and Fun!

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 8.29.00 PMFor the past few months, Bitty and I have been hosting Craft Morning at our house.  We set up a table (or two) get out craft supplies, invite mommies and their littles over, and we create.

Sometimes I have a specific craft in mind (ornaments in December), but sometimes we just look at what is available, and creativity takes over!

Tomorrow, we’re doing it again! I’ve got supplies for tissue paper stained glass and scrapbook paper wreaths, but my craft supply stash is pretty deep, so there will be other supplies out for whatever the mommies and kids want to make.

I’ve started a Pinterest Board with ideas here. If you are a San Diego area parent and you’d like to join us, check out the event page here.

February’s Craft Morning will be held at a park, and we’ll be painting and hiding rocks! All of our Craft Mornings are free to attend. Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 9.25.31 AM.png I get craft supplies for free from local swaps, Buy Nothing groups, Craigslist, as well as family and friends who are cleaning out their supplies.

I hope to see lots of smiling faces at our upcoming craft events!!


New Birthday Freebies!


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!

Upcoming Clothing Swaps

IMG_4703.JPGI’ve written about clothing swaps before, and I wanted to alert my local San Diego readers to a couple upcoming clothing swaps!

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The Skyline Clothing Swap is back! January 13th, 2018. Drop off in advance and receive credit for 5 extra items!

I love this swap- they always have TONS of great kids books in addition to clothes and household items.

It does cost $2 to enter, but the entry fee supports Skyline Church’s Youth Camps.

If Skyline isn’t your cup of tea, maybe you are looking for something a little smaller, Finders Keepers is hosting a swap the same day! January 13, 2018

Early drop off for 5 extra clothing items on Friday, January 12 6 pm – 7 pm.

$1 admission to swap. Location is The Shelter Church 8111 Orange Ave, La Mesa. They are looking for volunteers to help sort and put out clothes. You can contact them via their FB page if you want to help out.

Finders Keeps asks that you donate no event T-shirts, and no items with stains or holes. 50 item limit. You can purchase clothes too for $1 each.

If you are looking for a group that hosts clothing swaps more frequently, check it out the Thread Bumpin’ Meet up Group. They host a monthly swap in OB area.

And Finally, the Closet of 54th isn’t a clothing swap per se, but they do help those in need with new to them clothes. They are open once a few times each month. You can find them on Facebook. They are located at the Calvary Lutheran Church, 3060 54th Street, San Diego, CA. Contact The Closet at


Talk Back:  I’d love to hear about other San Diego area clothing swaps that you know of! Favorite swaps and/or what your best score has been!

Looking for Free Fun? 10 Local Community Events

IMG_20120331_163227We love getting out of the house to have adventures, but, being frugal means that I have to get creative.

Thanks to local publications like The San Diego Reader and San Diego Family Magazine (both are free and available all over), as well as Facebook, we are never wanting for free fun.

Here are our Top Ten Community Events that are for kids and families for Q1 2018:

  1. 1/2/18-1/4/18 Santee Library hosts the most fun, creative events for kids. They are starting the year off with 3 events, January 2-4 in the afternoon.  We are very excited to go to Imagination Day. If you aren’t in East County, check out your local San Diego County, or City of San Diego Library branch. Most branch libraries have fun events for kids after school and during holidays.
  2. 1/6/18 Free Family Fun Fest at the Kroc Center.  The Kroc Center hosts a lot of great programs and events each month. The Kroc Center Free Family Fun Fest – Meet & greet with the San Diego Sockers, sports challenges, arts & crafts, inflatable park, costume dress up, giveaways and more
  3. 1/16/18 Family Read and Play Day. Again the Kroc Center is hosting this event. They host a reading event usually once a month. Sometimes the kids get to take home a copy of the book as well. Family Read and Play day, featuring the book, “Children Around the World” by Donata Montanari.
  4. 1/20/18 Santee Active Life Expo.  From 9am-2pm, some of the free activities include: Watch professional athletes compete, Health & wellness activities, Extreme obstacle courses, Trial fitness classes, Firefighter challenge,  BMX trick shows, Free breakfast (while supplies last), Learn how to race walk
  5. 2/3/18 The Water Conservation Garden over at Cuyamaca Community College offers Free Docent lead tours of the gardens. Tours begin promptly Saturday mornings at 10:00 am in the Plaza. No reservation required. 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West
    El Cajon, California 92019 My kids love this place- There are tons of fun areas to explore and learn all about nature.
  6. 2/6/18 is National Frozen Yogurt Day.  There are no concrete details yet, but in past years Menchie’s and Yogurtland both gave away free froyo. I will for sure be posting more details as they become available.
  7. 2/9/18 is National Pizza Day.  In the past there have been great offers for free slices and free whole pizzas. Sbarro and Pizza Hut usually participate.
  8. 2/13/18 is Shrove Tuesday which means that FREE PANCAKE DAY will be around that time. IHOP is the only restaurant in our area that offers free pancakes.
  9. 2/14/18 is Valentine’s Day. There are usually free events for kids at local libraries.
  10. And finally- Henry’s Birthday is in March. While there are no specifc free events for his birthday, here are my lists of birthday freebies (for kids and adults). Original List and the updated list with some fun new stuff.

I’d love to hear about what your favorite free local events are!  Please drop a comment with details and a link!

Check out the Holiday Fun at Legoland!

Silly Faces at the end of the day!

If you haven’t been to Legoland to check out the holiday festivities, there is still time!  The kids and I went yesterday (Daddy is sick, he stayed home and rested), and we had a blast!

img_4069.jpgLegoland California is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so if you are looking for something fun and unique, head on over!

And if you are looking for a way to ring in the New Year, the Kids’ New Year’s Eve party. This celebration begins with special musical performances on Fun Town Stage and Heartlake City. Then, the party moves to San Francisco in Miniland U.S.A. where, like the famous Times Square party, Kids’ New Year’s Eve features a countdown followed by a huge LEGO brick dropping 22 feet into 2018 and spectacular fireworks at 6 p.m. to end the night.

The entire park is decked out for the holidays. We loved all the touches to Miniland, including the tree in front of Capital Building, along with the carolers. IMG_4068

And here is an Insider Tip: The Pizza and Pasta Buffet offers Kids Eat Free after 4:30pm (1 free kid per paid adult, and kids under 3 eat free) most days. Henry loves Pizza, and after a busy day of running, playing, and building, he and Margaret were both ready to chow down on some pizza and mac n’ cheese.

Also- Don’t forget to try Granny’s Apple Fries! They are to die for!

New Clothes for a New Year- $20 Off $45 at Schoola!!

New Year, New Clothes? Well, our friends over at Schoola have an awesome deal going on now through Wednesday.

Sparkle and shine like it’s New Year’s Eve! Get $25 off your next $40+ order with code SPARKLE at Offer is valid 12/18 – 12/20.
Fine Print: Limit one promotion code may be used per order. Not valid on previous purchases. Discounts and credits do not apply toward shipping or promotional minimums. Discounts are applied to the post-credit order value. New-with-tags items are not eligible for purchase with discounts or credits.

And as always, FREE SHIPPING on orders of $25 or more on the first 10 items. If you are new to Schoola, you’ll save $10 off your first purchase when you sign up here.

I love buying clothes from Schoola! I save money and schools earn 40% of the purchase price!

Holiday and Game Day Fun with Hormel Gatherings Party Trays!

I received free product in exchange for my honest review. I love this time of year- We go to and host so many events: Holiday Parties, Craft Play Dates, College Football and NFL Watching Parties, and of course Coupon Meet Ups!

Snacks are a huge part of any event, so I was stoked when Social Insider and Hormel asked me to review Hormel Gatherings Party Trays. If you’ve never heard of them before, it’s basically a party in a tray! They are an easy, stress-free appetizer option.

IMG_7110.jpgThere are three varieties: Hard Salami & Pepperoni Party Tray, Honey Ham and Turkey Party Tray, and Supreme Party Tray. They all contain Sargento Cheeses and Hormel Meats.

I chose the Honey Ham and Turkey Party Tray for our recent dinner party. We got together to play games and hang out.


The tray is super sturdy, which is definitely a plus. Each component is packed up in the tray. All you do is open each sealed bag, and arrange the tray in a manner that suits you. Because of the tray and great snap-on lid, I think this would be a great addition to any tail gating event or potluck! Super easy to transport and store any leftovers- But who am I kidding… There won’t be any leftovers.

If you are feeling fancy, you can set out condiments that would go with the meats and cheeses. I mixed up some honey mustard and opened a jar of spicy stone ground mustard.

IMG_7116.jpgHere is the plate that Henry made for one of our guests. For a 6 year old, I’m impressed- He also took the picture with my phone. I love having the kids help with holiday events. It helps them get into the spirit too, and reminds me that these kind of events should be low stress.

Bitty Bird “helped” by stacking up paper napkins and announcing when guests arrived (“Mommy and Daddy, Peoples is in our HOOUSSSEEEE!!”), and Henry helped me by picking up the toys in the living room, taking coats, and getting drinks. He pretended he was a waiter. It was pretty funny. He refused to let me take his picture, but at one point he had a kitchen towel draped over his arm. He has asked that we serve PB Sushi at our next “fancy grown up party”.

Hormel Gatherings Party Trays are available at Walmart, so you can pick one up on your next visit while gathering other party supplies.

I’m giving one reader a chance to share Hormel Gatherings Party Trays at their next get together! One lucky reader will win a coupon for $15 off the purchase of any one Hormel Gatherings Party Tray 28 oz. or larger.

Entering is easy: Just leave a comment with your favorite holiday beverage to serve at parties. I’ll choose one winner on December 5, 2017.