Time to Hit the Road: Don’t Forget the Snacks!

I’ve talked about our snack basket at home, but what about when we leave home? Oh yeah, we take snacks everywhere!

When it’s time for the zoo or another day out on the town, I pull out the “snack backpack” which is one shoulder slingback bag like this.

Here are a few of our family’s favorite snacks and other stuff I keep in our snack bag:

  1. Re-usable water bottles (I fill them daily). Each child has their own, and I have a larger one. I put lots of ice in mine in addition to water. I also carry extra water in my trunk at all times (in case of emergency, but frequently the emergency is just hot thirsty kiddos).
  2. Powdered drink sticks. Dollar Tree and 99 Cents Only have lots of great flavors to choose from.
  3. Freeze-dried Fruit. Strawberries, Pineapple, and mangoes are favorites here.
  4. Protein bars, granola bars, goldfish crackers, fruit squeezy pouches, Yogurt squeezy pouches, individual cups of peanut butter, crackers to go with the PB (usually Ritz), Pirates Booty, Individual bags of popcorn, homemade trail mix (extra M&M’s no raisins), Ziploc bags of cereal, fruit leathers/fruit rollups, Mott’s Fruit Snacks (these are specifically requested), and depending on what is on sale, juice boxes/pouches or sometimes shelf-stable milk boxes/pouches.
  5. In a zipper pouch (this one), I keep hand wipes, plastic utensils, straws, and napkins.  I also carry a ziploc bag with extra ziplocs in it, and a few small trash bags.

While the initial outlay of money to buy a backpack and stock of food to keep in the snack bag and water bottles may be steep (it was about $65 for us), you will save that much money in just a few weeks in the summer. You’ll be able to avoid drive-thru lines, and you can better control what your family is eating.

file0001779824833.jpgWhen we are going to be gone all day, I also pack a small soft-sided cooler bag with blue ice and cold treats like frozen tubes of yogurt, berries, cheese, and cold cuts. I like using reusable plastic containers, instead of zip-top bags. They are usually better for keeping food cold and for squishable items like berries in good condition. These are all the same things that we eat for lunch during the school year, so our food budget in the summer does not increase- We also take advantage of summer school lunch programs as well.

I’m really looking forward to our spring and summer shenanigans!

Vegetarian Recipe Round Up

It’s time for some yummy veggie meals!

Most of these are vegetarian, not vegan. These are recipes that I feed my family, so they are kid-approved and don’t require any weird, expensive ingredients.

And as a bonus, many of the ingredients for these ingredients are frequently given out in Neighborhood Distributions.

Trying to Add Veggies to Your Meals?

Is one of your New Years Resolutions to eat better or increase your intake of fruits and veggies?

Since we have been getting CSA boxes from Yasukochi Family Farms we’ve been adding tons of fresh fruit and veg to our diet. It’s fun to get the kids involved in preparing and tasting new and different fruits and veggies.

I’ve made a round-up with some of my favorite fruit and veggie recipes to inspire you to add a little more “green” to your family’s meals!

AO Opinions: Upcoming Project on Snacks $40-90

AO Opinions is another Market Research company that I get information from. Right now they are recruiting for an upcoming research study on the topic of snacks.

To be considered, please complete the pre-screener survey here.

  • Compensation: $40-$90 (if chosen)
  • Open to: 18+ years old
  • Tuesday December 14th, Wednesday, December 15th, or Thursday, December 16th, 2021
  • Times Currently Available: MUST JOIN 15-MINS EARLY – 3-HR COMMITMENT
  • 6:30PM-9:30PM ET / 5:30PM-8:30PM CT / 4:30PM-7:30PM MT / 3:30PM-6:30PM PT

AO Opinions: Upcoming Project on Snacks $100

AO Opinions is another Market Research company that I get information from. Right now they are recruiting for an upcoming research study on the topic of snacks.

To be considered, please complete the pre-screener survey here.

  • Compensation: $100 (if chosen)
  • Open to Men and Women 22-39 years olds.
  • Online Webcam Group via Desktop/Laptop with Webcam.
  • WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2021

Kabrita’s NEW Free Trial Kit – $50 Value!

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Starting today Kabrita’s Free Trial Kit has undergone a transformation! Now the trial kit has a value of $50!

 3 150g boxes of Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula, 1 bag of Snack Puffs with Goat Cheese, with some shown in a bowl, and 2 coupons

As of September 22, each kit will come with:

    • 3 boxes of Goat Milk Toddler Formula—that’s 24, 4oz servings!
    • 1 bag of Snack Puffs with Goat Cheese
    • $14 worth of coupons

*$4.99 Shipping & Handling applies at check-out, limited to one offer per household. This is not a subscription. Please note, our Trial Offer may include either the Apple Cinnamon or Multigrain Porridge.

When my littles were wee, they both had delicate tummies. It’s hard to know what kinds of formula to trust, so after lots of research, trying samples, and talking to other moms (really our pediatrician was ZERO help- she’s a nice lady, but formula wasn’t her wheelhouse), I stumbled upon Kabrita.

Our pediatrician is really big on making sure babies get prebiotics and probiotics, especially if they are formula fed. Kabrita has prebiotics, which are a natural digestive aid.

I like Kabrita because it doesn’t have any added white or processed sugar- just lactose, the sweetener from milk! Also, Kabrita formula smells like goats milk and tastes like goats milk. I will confess: after smelling some formulas I wouldn’t want to taste them, but I tried an ounce of Kabrita once just to see. It tastes like goats milk.

All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. I’ve used Kabrita for both of my kids. This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Sweet Deals and Samples from Kabrita!

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I love sharing all about Kabrita. Earlier this week they sent me a package with some of their porridge and a cookbook that had tons of recipes to use their products in new and different ways. I love that they are always innovating!

If you have a kiddo that has a sensitive tummy, check out this post where you can score a free sample kit of their products. Their puffs are really tasty, even if you aren’t a kid.

I’m making porridge muffins this morning, the recipe looks a bit like the Malt O Meal Muffins I’ve made in the past. The Kabrita website has really great recipes to use their products too!

AO Opinions: Upcoming Skincare Project Pays $175

Summer must be the busy season for Research Studies! My inbox has been blowing up this week with opportunities to share.

AO Opinions is another Market Research company that I get information from. Right now they are recruiting for an upcoming research study on the subject of Skincare.

  • To be considered, complete the pre-screener here. If you pre-qualify, you will receive a text or email from a Recruiter to call our office.
  • Online Webcam Group via Desktop/Laptop with Webcam (NO CHROMEBOOK/TABLETS/PHONES)
  • Date: Wednesday, July 7th, Thursday, July 8th, or Friday, July 9th, 2021 (various times)
  • Compensation: $175
  • Open to: Females 20-55 years old

 

 

 

 

Have Your Hot Girl Summer on a Budget

I’m sure by now everyone has heard the phrase “Hot Girl Summer”, but do you know what it means? The phrase can be traced back to a Megan Thee Stallion song a few years ago.

On Twitter, she explained: “Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party, etc.”

A couple of my friends have embraced it, and I think that it’s a pretty amazing outlook to have, especially since last summer was, well, Sad Trombone Noise? I know the kids are looking forward to having fun, more adventures, and getting out of the house. Here are a couple ways I’m bringing Hot Girl Summer (and sharing it with the fam).

New Bathing Suits. Kids grow, but what about me? Well after having the same swimsuits for 3 years, it’s time. Especially since we swim daily.  I bought a few new suits from Amazon. Since I’m fair-skinned I picked up one with long sleeves, the kids tease me about working at SeaWorld. This is just one of the many suits I’ve got. It’s perfect for prime sun time.

 

New Pool Bag and New Pool Toys. Every Summer it seems, we need new pool toys and a new pool bag. The Chlorine wrecks our bag (which is mesh- this helps the pool toys dry quickly), and daily use of toys leaves them.. wrecked. Dollar Tree has a great selection of sturdy pool toys, including inflatables for kids (We have a cool cookie ring that has a “bite” taken out of it). For me, I picked up a sweet inflatable float pool chair. 

Plans to meet up with friends. Now that most people have access to the vaccine, getting together with friends is a lot more feasible. We are still limiting ourselves and staying away from large gatherings where we don’t know everyone, but dinner and drinks with friends sound amazing. I’m hosting dinners a couple times a month over the summer for a few reasons: 1. To keep all of our costs down (Dinner out with drinks costs $$$ these days), and honestly, I don’t feel super safe going out for dinner all that often, especially now that there are no mask regulations in our state. And I’m having a weekend getaway with some girlfriends in a few weeks. I am really looking forward to a weekend away in a vacation rental doing a whole lot of nothing!

Take Advantage of the season: What does that mean? Summer has all sorts of fun advantages: Long days, Amazing fruit and veggies are in season, nice weather. Spend time outside (poolside, at the beach, exploring nature), enjoy a big bowl of fruit salad, make a huge salad! Community events are starting to come back (with limited event sizes), and there are lots of free events throughout the summer. EventBrite is a great place to find community events.

Make Time for You: I know… So many blogs and social media tell you to get self-care time and spend time doing things that you love, but as a parent, it can be hard without staying up late or waking up before dawn. Finding a sitter can be tough too. It’s ok to lean on family and friends. The past year has been exponentially tough on parents, and you need time to yourself. Swap child care with friends, or if you want to have a night out, split the cost of a sitter. Your kids can hang out together, while you and your friends get some time away.

Take Care of Yourself: And I don’t mean the stereotypical self-care of putting on a mud mask and drinking water with lemon slices. That’s fun, but I mean the simple acts that we often overlook as caregivers.

  • Sunscreen for your face and any exposed areas when you’ll be outside for more than 10 minutes during peak sun hours (usually 10am-4pm). Don’t forget the tops of your ears. Being super fair-skinned I also wear a sun hat too. Not super sexy, but I don’t want skin cancer.
  • Take something to drink with you. I know most of you pack snacks for your kids when you leave home, but take a few extra minutes to make yourself something that you like (bonus if it’s a snack that your kids do not like- No sharing!), and fill your water bottle. This is the water bottle I use. If you like fruit-infused water, bottles like this are great.  You can also opt for an infuser to go into your favorite bottle or insulated cup.
  • Find Something to Keep You Occupied.  Besides your kids. Pick up a book, grab a craft kit (I like embroidery- it’s easy and portable), Craftsy has some cool online classes to get you started.

I’d love to hear about how you are bringing Hot Girl Summer. Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

Q-insights Snacks Study – Pays $175

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Q-insights is another company that I do research groups, focus groups, and online surveys to earn extra money.

They have a lot of stuff in South Orange County, and less often San Diego County. These days they are doing most of their studies online via chat or online surveys.

Right now Q-Insights is currently recruiting for a Paid Study Opportunity about snacks (yum)!

The study will run between July 6th-July 8th and you will be compensated $125 as a thank you for your time.

Please note that this study will require a pre homework assignment for an additional $50.

To complete the pre-screener survey, please click here.