Getting Ready for Influential Summit!

I’m hoping this is the view I’ll see tomorrow from the hotel the conference is being held at!

If you follow me on Instagram, I just posted a picture with the two makeup looks I am contemplating for tomorrow.  Tomorrow a bunch of bloggers, social media influencers, and brands are getting together in Carlsbad, CA (home of Legoland) to meet, learn, and chill at Influential Summit.

I’m looking forward to a day of learning and ADULT CONVERSATION!!  For those of you who don’t work from home, being a work at home or stay at home parent can be very quiet. Well, you’re frequently not quiet (“Put down the cat”, “No, we aren’t watching Octonauts for 6 hours today!”, “Do you have to go potty?”, etc.), but what’s lacking is adult conversation.

I won’t be posting much tomorrow blog-wise, but check me out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for pictures and posts about everything I’m up to! And I’ll be hanging with Brooke from Crying Out Loud.  By the way, if you haven’t checked out her latest post on ways to score free and cheap grub at Chick-Fil-A, you need to get over there and start reading tout suite.


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!!

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!

It’s Back! Free Coupon Class in San Diego 1/24/18!


It’s been a few years since I’ve taught for the San Diego Library, but they’ve asked me back, and I can’t wait to share with you all my tips and tricks to saving money with coupons and more!

Date: January 24, 2018
Time: 6:00-8:30PM
Location: North Park Library,  3795 31st St, San Diego, CA 92104

Want to learn the secrets of couponing and saving money?
You’ll learn tips and tricks in my 90 minute class!

NO MORE EXCUSES!! Saving Money is for everyone! Regardless of your budget, eating habits, or dietary concerns, you can save money (that includes those with food sensitivities/allergies, vegetarians and vegans)!

Here is what you’ll learn:

  • How to save 60-100% off regular retail prices
  • Where to find Coupons and how to organize them
  • The low down on rebate apps like Ibotta and Fetch Rewards
  • Real, useful, tips to stretch that hard earned dollar
  • How to avoid paying full price for anything ever again
  • How to find Local Groups and Programs to help you on your savings journey

The class is taught by Abby Hewes (Formerly of the blog CA Coupon Diva, now writer at Hewes Family Fun). She has taught hundreds of people how to save and is passionate about saving money. Today, with her family of 4, she spends no more than $300 a month for her Groceries & Household items (including organic produce and diapers)!


To Sign up for the class, call the library at (619) 533-3972 to RSVP!

Holiday Resources For Those in Need

thanksgivingturkey.jpgIt’s getting to be the season of giving, and for some families there isn’t the means to give this year. For some families there isn’t the means for a sit down family meal either.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are more than food and gifts, but no one should go hungry any time of year!

Here are some resources for those in San Diego County who might need some help.

Here is my post with a list of food banks/pantries in San Diego. Meet the Need at Faith Chapel has a lot of great events coming up to help you get through the holidays:

  • 11/19/: Faith Chapel is giving out Food Boxes and Turkeys starting at 10:30am.
  • 12/3: Meet the Need’s first Sunday event will be featuring a limited number of free Christmas trees in addition to the usual free lunch and bag of groceries.
  • 12/17: Faith Chapel will be distributing toys to children in need after the 10:30am service.

Feeding the Flock and several other ministries are sponsoring a Thanksgiving food box (turkey included). More information and sign ups can be found here.

You can also find local food banks/pantries from AmpleHarvest or by calling 211 in your area.

Toys 4 Tots is a well know toy charity, however their deadline to request toys is early November. If you missed the cut off, there are a few San Diego based toy charities that can help out.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 1.53.34 PM.pngToys 4 Joy has 4 San Diego area events on December 9th. Toys for Joy is open to all children and families and no registration is required. One free toy will be given to all children attending the event ages 0 – 11. Free lunch will be provided in addition to free entertainment, kids activities and giveaways. All four locations have free groceries and one location has free gently used clothing available.

We Care Toy Drive provides 750 toys to local San Diego area kids. You can learn more by visiting their website.

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 8.09.41 AMThe Closet on 54th has a great free clothing closet you can shop at once a month, they also have a free food pantry that is open three days a week. You can find more info on their Facebook page here.



San Diego Area Readers: Donate Canned goods receive a free facial or massage!

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Firefly Wellness is having our seventh annual holiday food drive to support the San Diego Food Bank. Items can be dropped off  through December 20th at their location in North Park.

Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 8.44.59 PM.pngThe best part of this offer is that not only are you helping others with your food bank donation, but when you donate ten or more food items off at Firefly Wellness, you’ll receive a certificate for a free 30-minute massage or facial. You can use it yourself or give it as a gift.

I know most Frugalistas have at least ten extra (and unexpired) items in their cupboard they could part with. If you are unsure what kind of items to donate, here are items that the food bank always needs:

  • Canned Meats
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Soup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal & Oatmeal
  • Rice & Pasta
  • Powdered Milk, beverage mixes (like shelf stable juice concentrate, instant coffee, hot cocoa pouches)
  • Infant Formula (The sample sized canisters or sample pouches that you may have received free in the mail are perfect donations!)

(if you are looking for coupons to help you shop for donation, check out the coupons here)

Food Drive Information:
When: Now through Dec 20, 2017
Where: Firefly Wellness
How: Drop off items on your next visit, or call 619.249.4323 to schedule a drop-off or pick up or your items.
BONUS: Receive a THANK YOU GIFT CERTIFICATE when you donate ten or more items.  (Limit one per person.)
Please comment if you will be taking advantage of this great deal (and what you’ll be donating). I’ll be donating Oatmeal and Peanut Butter among other things.