Review & Giveaway: Chalkola Chalk Markers!

If your kids are anything like mine, quarantine2020 has been one long art project, punctuated by snack breaks.

The cool peeps over at Chalkola sent us a 40 pack of Chalk Markers and these are a game-changer!

The 40 pack is a mix of neon, classic, and metallic color.

Whether you’re a mom looking for holiday decorating with kids, a clean alternative to standard chalk or paint for the kids, a teacher on a quest for the most sought-after education classroom supplies, these markers are a must-have!

Not your average chalk markers! Unlike other chalk markers I’ve tried in the past, Chalkola offers high-quality water-based ink is washable and delivers smudge & dust free – saturated, clean, flowing fine lines that go on smooth and quick dry within minutes.

The best part- Chalkola Chalk markers are Kid safe and odor-free. The Xylene-free, dustless, nontoxic formula is both eco-friendly and safe for use at home, For Adults Coloring & Painting Canvas, Wedding parties, DIY crafts projects, in the classroom & kindergarten, and anywhere else that could use a vibrant touch.

Does all of that sound fun? Well, now it’s your turn to give these Chalkola Chalk Markers are try! I am giving away a 40 count box! Entering is easy- Leave a comment with your kid’s favorite color. I’ll select a winner on October 27th in the evening. The winner will be notified via email. Winner must reside in the US.

UCSD Eyemobile for Children- Free Eye Exams and Glasses!

The UCSD Eyemobile for Children will be making its way around San Diego County this month offering free eye exams and free eyeglasses to kids 3-16-years old. Call to make an appointment (858)822-2585.

  • Chula Vista 10/13/2020
  • National City 10/15/2020
  • City Heights 10/20/2020
  • Barrio Logan 10/22/2020
  • El Cajon 10/27/2020

For more information, please visit their website. Thanks to Lena at San Diego Regional Center for the heads up on this program!

 

And if you are looking for freebies and deals on glasses and contacts for adults, check out my post here from July 2020.

Giveaway: 30 days Unlimited Art Lessons with Young Art!

One thing that my kids miss is art. Going to art classes, craft meetups, being creative, and learning new techniques.

 

I was so excited when Young Art reached out to me with an incredible offer for my readers! I am able to give away 25 memberships for 30 days of unlimited art classes with Young Art! WOW!

With 25 memberships so many of you will be able to share the love of art and creating with your kiddos!

 

What is Young Art? Young Art is on a mission to serve students, families, and the community by providing meaningful learning experiences through the virtual classroom. You can learn more here.

And the part I like the most is that not only do they do individual lessons, but they also offer family lessons, and even instruction for schools too!

Entering the giveaway is easy peasy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what your kiddos favorite art or craft is. I’ll choose 25 winners on October 6th, 2020. I’ll contact winners via email.

San Diego, CA Free Event! All Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair

The Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego is hosting its 3rd annual All Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair.

This Interactive Drive-Thru event is FREE for families this fall!

On Sunday, October 11 from 1 to 4 pm at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 6845 University Avenue, San Diego, 92115 (enter off Aragon Dr.), families from around the county are invited to drive through our interactive event and gather information from resource providers for families with all abilities.

Sign up for your family’s FREE tickets on Eventbrite now! 

All attendees are encouraged to stop and participate as a family pod at themed activity stations. All families who drive through the “course” will be entered into our raffle giveaway to win fun prizes.

Children of all abilities can enjoy activity stations including a Star Wars Light Saber Craft, Ollivanders Wand Shop, a free book at the Literacy Duck Pond, and more!

All activities and resources are FREE and open to the public.

Please note! All COVID-19 guidelines will be strictly enforced, including requiring facemasks for everyone at this event (booth vendors and attendees in cars) and social distancing.

Rubio’s: Free Kids Meal!

This popped into my inbox this morning and I had to share. Every Wednesday in September when you order an adult Entree, you can score a kids meal at Rubio’s FREE. Log onto the Rubio’s app for the QR/coupon code and for details/restrictions.

One free kids meal per order, expires 9/30/2020.

This is perfect for me and the littlest kiddo- she loves Quesadillas!

$5 Prime Video Credit + $5 Cheez-It Credit For Watching Amazon Prime Movies!

Do you love Cheez-it’s? Do you love movies? Do you have Amazon Prime? If you answered two to at least two of these questions, have I got a deal for you!

 

 

 

Cheeze-It has partnered with Amazon to launch a campaign called Cheez-It Snap’d & Stream, where you can earn a $5 Amazon Prime Video credit and a $5 Cheez-It credit every month for watching 8 hours of select streaming movies. Movie titles change monthly, and each month has a different theme- This month it is back to school!

  • Amazon Prime Members can enroll in this program monthly.
  • You can save all your credits and combine them together for later use, however, credits need to be used by 1/31/21.
  • You will be notified via email once you have earned your monthly credits.

I’m excited because my kids love Cheez-it’s, and I love movies. I’m most excited about Heathers this month. There are 15 movies to choose from, from animated to adult.

More information about the Cheez-It Snap’d & Stream program can be found here.

 

Exploring Free Play- Fostering Imagination and Growth

As a Gen X parent, I never quite understood why we “had” to fill our kids afternoons and free time with 10,000 activities (sports, club meetings, scouting, etc.). My brother and I didn’t have tons of stuff each day after school. By the time I was in the 5th grade, both my parents worked, and frequently we were left home alone for a few hours after school a couple times a week.

We did our homework, played, read, and did chores. Even before that, there were plenty of times where we were home without structured activities. We still had scouts, soccer (my brother did AYSO for one season and decided it wasn’t for him), Key Club, Choir, JV Football. Many kids in my generation were latchkey kids and filled their afternoons with free and imaginative play.

Free play is an incredible learning tool for kids. It fosters imagination and gives kids opportunities to discover and explore. There are all sorts of toys that encourage free play- dolls, food toys, blocks, legos, to name a few.

My two love Playmobil. Playmobil is a German company that has been around since the 1970’s. They have so many different sets and types of toys- everything from princesses and fairies to knights and safari sets.

A jungle adventure after preschool. Complete with a feast

Recently, my son and daughter started pulling out some of their people as well as some of the animals and created their own adventure. Enter Carl the Mongoose and Mr. Chicken. Carl is a Meerkat, and Mr. Chicken is a Bald Eagle, but the names have stuck.  Other characters include The Birdkeeper and The Man with the Gray Hat, and Cleopatrick (my daughter named her). All of these people are from various sets, Cleo was the only one that sort of resembles her name, as she came from an awesome set of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar.

The animals and their people have all sorts of adventures. They have run a food truck, run a zoo, been on a cruise, gone on safari, hunted for wild animals, opened an iron and gold mine, run an orphanage (we have a lot of little kid Playmobil people), gone to college, gone to preschool, and taken a road trip to the “ocean” in Ohio. We paused the game for a bit to look at the US map to discover there is no ocean in Ohio, but they could go to Lake Erie instead. It was deemed the “Lake Erie ocean beach” adventure.

These adventures give the kids a chance to explore themselves and work on interpersonal relationships, even if it’s as a talking Bald Eagle and his keeper.

Even in these crazy times where nothing is certain, give your kids some time to play and explore. Taking a “brain break” (which is what the big kiddos teacher calls them) throughout the day for some playtime may help your kids more than you think.

Right now we are all home together, trying to scramble into some sort of routine of distance learning, being quiet while we all learn/work, breaks, and trying to play after school is over without making too much noise while grown ups work. It’s tough. It’s crazy. The house is messy, we’re frazzled, and we weren’t “with it” last week to follow our meal plan. But we got through it, and we’re trying again this week.

We’re all learning. And that means we should grant ourselves grace.

Be kind to yourself. Wash your paws, wear a mask, flatten the curve. Have a good week!

 

Glasses and Contacts Freebies & Deals!

When you or a loved one wear glasses or contacts, you are always on the prowl for a good deal or freebies.

Since I’ve got two bespeckled family members, I’m on the lookout constantly!

Here are a few deals and freebies that I’ve come across lately.

Warby Parker has a great offer- for some of us, it’s hard to know what kinds of frames look and feel good on our faces. It’s as easy as 1, 2,3.

  1. Pick 5 frames – Warby Parker will mail them to you for free.
  2. Spend 5 full days with’em – Then send them back with our free shipping label.
  3. Find your favorite – Buy now from $95 or pay over time with Affirm.

Having used Warby Parker before, their glasses are great, and their service is amazing! We bought glasses online, and later when they needed to be adjusted (helpful tip: Don’t roughhouse with kids when you are wearing glasses), we took them to our local Warby Parker store and they “tuned up” the glasses FOR FREE!

If you prefer contacts, Waldo has a great trial offer. I wrote about it here.

If you wear glasses, you have to have a eyeglass repair kit. You can usually score a free one when you get new glasses (Warby Parker sends a little one when you purchase glasses from them, along with a cleaning cloth), but sometimes you need a little more.

Enter this comprehensive eyeglasses repair kit from Amazon. I bought it for my mom for Christmas last year. She told me she needed one, but was having a hard time finding one in stores. It has everything you might possibly need to repair glasses! the screwdrivers have comfort grips too!

And of course, you gotta keep your glasses clean, so here is a great freebie offer: Free Lens Cloth & Cleaner at Walmart Vision Centers 

If you need help getting glasses or vision exams for your kids, check out Vision to Learn. They operate in 13 states and partner with the Boys and Girs Club, offering free eye exams and eyeglasses for kids.

If you are 65+, you can obtain a free eye exam from Eye Care America. Kids 6 months-1 year can obtain a free eye exam from InfantSEE.

And if you are wondering what to do with all of the old eyeglasses in your house that are no longer your current prescription…. The Lions Club helps recycle eyeglasses and get them into the hands of the needy. You can find out more about how and where to recycle your unwanted eyeglasses here.  I also recommend checking with your local optometrist’s office. They frequently partner with local Lion’s Clubs to collect old glasses. You could help a person in need get the glasses they can’t afford!

What are your tips for saving on glasses and contacts?

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Tryazon: Apply to Host A CurliGirls Hair Styling Party

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Tryazon has a new party that is accepting applications!

Straight or curly? CurliGirls don’t have to choose! Brand new CurliGirls dolls feature MagiCurl hair that curls instantly when you pull it. The longer you pull, the tighter the curl – it’s so easy! Curl with your fingers, or easy styling tools, then accessorize with hair clips and beads. Ready to change it up? Dip hair in warm water and watch it magically straighten! Then style and restyle over and over again. The styling possibilities are endless.

Get to know each of the CurliGirls! Charli, the Pop Star, is pretty quiet – except when she’s rocking out on stage! She’s a rebel with a heart of gold. Hayli, the Ballerina, is always on pointe – a poised, ladylike ballerina who is all sugarplums…with just the right amount of spice!! Bayli, the Birthday Girl, is the life of the party! This giggly girl is super organized and loves to plan the perfect celebration for her friends. No matter which doll you choose, you can express your CURL power, with CurliGirls!

Tryazon will select 100 hosts for this opportunity. Those chosen will receive a party pack with a variety of CurliGirls products to showcase with friends and family!

To apply or learn more about what each Party Pack includes, click here.

We’ve done several Tryazon parties- it’s a great way to try and share new products!

2020 Summer Lunch Programs for Kids (And Other Free Food Resources in San Diego)

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I am usually sooo much more on top of these free lunch posts, but…well, life has been a little crazy around here, and all over the world.

Better late than never, so, here we go. In past years schools, libraries, and community centers have hosted these free lunches, this year, however, the list of facilities has decreased.

GUHSDIf you don’t find any facilities near you offering free lunches, I recommend contacting 211, they may have more updated information.

table of hopeAnd if you are in need of food for your entire family, but you find yourself not qualifying for P-EBT or other social services, I recommend that you check out Facebook. There are tons of local groups of neighbors getting together setting up Tables of Hope. In San Diego, there are several. Tables of Hope are small groups of neighbors that have set up food distribution tables within neighborhoods to help those who might be experiencing food insecurity.

Churches and community organizations are offering free food distributions that require no proof of need, like Faith Chapel in Spring Valley. They are offering free produce each Friday through mid-August. You can find out more info here.

And the San Diego Food Bank is continuing their neighborhood distributions– Lots of produce and goodies are available each week. No proof of need or residency requirements.

There are all sorts of organizations looking to help families in need.

Even if you are not in dire need, if you need help stretching your budget, these resources are here for you!

Talk Back: How are you stretching your food budget this summer?