Back To School Sale from Yasukochi Family Farms CSA!

Two things I love: Fresh produce and deals! Thanks to  Yasukochi Family Farms we are able to get both through September 10th.

Now through 9/10/2022 you can score 4 Regular boxes for $108, or 4 Jumbo boxes for $152.

I get a Regular sized box each week, and it’s good for a family of 4 or smaller. A Jumbo-sized Box is perfect for larger families or for families that are vegetarians or vegans.

Here are pictures of a box we received earlier this year.

This is the type of variety that comes in the boxes each week! Each week the box is stuffed full with the freshest. in season fruits and veggies! And don’t forget there are add-ons too! Berries, local honey, olive oil, farm-fresh eggs, and more!

I’m partnering with Yasukochi Family Farms this month to bring you all of the best deals and freshest produce! I’ll be posting pics on my socials as well.

 

8/23/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgYesterday was pretty busy, I didn’t get around to posting our meal plan for the week. We went to the beach and had in-home therapy.

I hit the grocery store last night but I forgot bagels, so I’ll be going back this morning.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Pancakes and fruit

  • Tuesday: Chef Salad (It was popular last week!)

  • Wednesday:  Frittata, toast, fruit

  • Thursday:  Baked pasta, roasted veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Bean, rice, and cheese bowls

The Back To School Countdown has Begun!

I know some of your kids have already started school for the 2022-2023 school year, but my kiddos don’t start for another few weeks.

The Back to School countdown has begun, and here is how we are saving money.

School Supplies: Most schools’ public supply lists by class on their website. Once you know who your child’s teacher is going to be, you can purchase supplies. Most teachers like trusted name-brand supplies like Ticonderoga pencils, Crayola crayons, Crayola washable markers, and Expo whiteboard markers.  Here are a few of the stores that have great prices on school supplies!

Target: School supplies starting at $0.25
Walmart: Up to 75% off select school supplies
Office Depot and Office Max: Up to 60% off bestselling school supplies. Save 25% off on backpacks excluding Jansport
Michaels: Teacher Must-Haves, Art Supplies, and more all under $10.00

There will be several backpack giveaways throughout August. There is one tomorrow in Lemon Grove. Information can be found here. 

There will be a backpack and school supply giveaway courtesy of SMOAC on August 20, 2022 at Rio Seco School in Santee. It is a drive-thru event.

Clothing/Shoes: If you are like me, you grab kids’ clothes at swaps all year, but there are some things that you need to buy new. Once you’ve set your budget for clothes/shoes/accessories, keep an eye out for BTS sales (which are in full swing right now).

Because Southern California doesn’t get chilly in the fall, a lot of the standard BTS clothing fare isn’t great for our kids- long pants, turtlenecks, sweaters, jean jackets- I’m sweating just thinking about those! Don’t forget to scope out the sale and clearance racks for shorts and short sleeve shirts!

I love shopping Kohl’s and JCPenney. They frequently have sales, coupon codes, and deals where you can earn Kohl’s Cash/JCP Rewards for future purchases. Earn even more cashback when you shop online and opt for in-store pickup. I like shopping through Mypoints or Ibotta (make sure to check out both of their browser extensions to help you earn points/cashback). This is also a hot tip for Target and Walmart shoppers!

If your budget is a little too tight, check out local clothing swaps! Porchlight is holding one on 8/27/2022 for womens’ and kids’ clothing. More information can be found here.

We also shop a lot at thrift stores- Amvets and DAV are two of my favorites here in San Diego.

Food: I know this might be weird to include, but kiddos have to have healthy food to function and grow. Thanks to the California Universal Meals program, all kids in k-12 education settings will receive free breakfast and lunch if wanted. And I will continue to post about free opportunities for food each month, and more often as they come across my desk. Feeding San Diego Tour is a great resource that has locations all over San Diego County!

 

 

 

 

Managing a Household with Neurodivergencies (ADHD, ASD, etc.)

Earlier this week my friend Sam posted on Facebook, “Neurodivergent Friends what are some tools you use with others that help you with daily life, communication, relationships?”

A few friends posted that they needed help with meal prep, day-to-day stuff, and as y’all know, that’s my bag, baby!

Both my kids are Neurodivergent (ADHD/ASD and ADHD), and their dad has ADHD (combined type/ C) and because of that, we’ve had to make some adjustments to our daily life and how we function. And while our processes and schedules may not work for everyone, hopefully, these tips give you some idea and hope if you need it.

Some of these directly affect/benefit the kids, and some make my life easier, which in turn makes their lives easier.

Having an accurate(ish) pantry, fridge, and freezer inventory. I have made my own sheets in the past (using Canva), but the ones from Organized Home are great.

Meal Prep and meal planning (this includes using Dream Dinners once every few months). This frees up time each night to read, hang out, bathe, and get kids ready for bed.

Meal Prep can be as easy as cut up veggies, fruit, pre-portioned foods, and easy meals or side dishes prepared in advance that only need to be heated up to avoid wasting money eating out because “there is nothing to eat”. Also having one night for take-out. And I have a whiteboard that lists our meal plan for the week- I try and post it weekly on Instagram.

The Snack Box- I also organized our fridge and pantry to be more ND-friendly. Stuff that should be eaten (healthy food like fruit, cheese sticks, yogurt, etc.) is at kid eye level in clear packaging and is labeled (I use expo markers on my Rubbermaid containers), and I have a “Snack box” in the pantry that is available 24/7 for hungry faces. It’s got individually portioned shelf-stable snacks and meal components. And on days when I am too tired/rushed to cook we have “Meal of snacks” where I serve a variety of snacks on old-school sectioned cafeteria trays- fruits, veggies, crackers, cheese, cookies, and a drink (juice or iced tea is a hit).

We have a list of snacks on the fridge so the kids know what there is to snack on. It is a visual list (I drew it), and when we are out of specific items, I cover the picture with a piece of posit note.

Calendars– in the kitchen, and one in each bedroom. I update them weekly, plus the grownups use the calendars on their phones and we have a shared family calendar. Kids get reminders each day in the morning and afternoon of any appointments or events that will take place during the day. The visual and auditory reminders really help cement the appointment in their mind.

Visual reminders– next to the front door at eye level there is a sign that reminds us we need: cellphone, wallet, keys, and garage door opener. It’s laminated.

Visual schedule– this is mainly for the kids. I drew up a daily schedule using words and pictures. I wrote a post about it here.

Lists– Everyone has a “Care tasks” list each week that includes appts, returning borrowed items, and tasks to do throughout the week. You can read about my weekly Care Tasks here. 

Larger font digital clock with day of the week, date, and what part of the day (morning, afternoon, evening, night). The kids can read a clock, but it can take time to engage their brains and count by 5’s, but the “old people clock” as it was marketed on Amazon helps them instantly and helps a lot with the “is it time for xxxxx yet?!?!”

Using your phone to stay on top of details- I saw this on Facebook in a group and I’ve started doing this. If you have an iPhone, there is a notes section in each contact. I’ve seen them used to keep track of favorite fast food at various restaurants, favorite foods/drinks, clothing sizes and brands, favorite colors, birthdays, and anniversaries. It’s such a game changer.

The fidget/stim box– we have a plastic box full of fidget/stim toys for everyone to grab when they need to focus. And everyone has some in their room too. This includes headphones to cut down on loud sounds (I buy the landscapers kind from harbor freight). We have 3 pairs in the house and two pairs in the car. For those not familiar- fidget toys can help calm the body so the mind can focus.

Some favorites include pop-its, hand strengthening eggs, fidget cubes, fidget spinners, stretchy tubes, pop tubes, and stress balls (the kind with Orbeez are super satisfying). Amazon sells really great fidget toys mutli-packs.

Medication Boxes- We refill our medication boxes each week (both AM and PM).  The three of us take our meds together each morning at breakfast time. Our medication boxes live on the kitchen counter, along with our pill minders: Jon Cena and Skeletor.

Stuff has a place– The kid’s shoes and backpacks are always by the door during the school year, ready to be cleaned out and refilled each night. My car keys and purse live in the same spot, the pool key has a special spot. The extra toilet paper and paper towels are always in the same spot (under the front bathroom sink). These are just a few examples of the ways that we remind ourselves and create routines. Creating routines can give us a sense of normalcy and be calming.

The Family Binder– One last thing that doesn’t directly “help” the kids but helps the family, especially in times of emergency is the family binder. I’ve had one since 2010 in various incarnations. I have a really old post about it here.  It’s basically my brain in paper form. It’s got all of our important papers, insurance info, important phone numbers, policy numbers, warranty information, receipts for expensive/valuable stuff, copies of most recent IEPS, copies of diagnosis paperwork, lists of everyone’s meds, doctors info, etc. Think of it as all the info you’d need if you lost power for an extended period, your house burned down, or there was a tornado.

There are a lot of other things that we do in our home to help the kids- keep them safe, regulated, and happy. The stuff listed above is just a small sample. Everyone’s home runs differently. And this was and continues to be a lot of work. The examples above are continually changing, and evolving in our home, and are a combination of 11+ years of hard work, learning, and failing. Some of this stuff I did to try and get organized in my late 20s, even before I was married and had kids.

 

 

Faith Chapel: 7/31/22 Backpack Giveaway!

This popped up in my inbox last night. I know a lot of you are keeping tabs on school supply and backpack giveaways, and Faith Chapel in Spring Valley has got you covered!

For those of us who start back to school early, this backpack giveaway is perfect.

This Sunday, July 31st, Faith Chapel will be giving out 400 FREE stuffed backpacks! Details will be shared during our 10:30am service so plan on attending. Registration begins as early as 9:30am.

Students must be present to receive a backpack.

Come to Faith Chapel’s main campus to register, enjoy the service, then receive the stuffed backpacks with school supplies.

Faith Chapel
9400 Campo Rd.
Spring Valley, CA 91977

And don’t forget that Faith Chapel hosts two Neighborhood Distributions per month! To learn more, check out my post here. 

Getting Ready for Back to School: Health Edition

The Back to school shopping crazies will start in a few weeks with sales and deals, but one thing we’ve done this summer to help with Back to school is getting everyone in tip-top health!

I made sure the kids are seeing all the doctors/specialists over the summer to minimize appointments during the school year.

Here in California vision and dental insurance is included under health insurance plans for kids 18 and under. To learn more, check the back of your kid’s health insurance card for phone numbers.

The kids saw the dentist and had eye exams. New glasses were ordered through the optometrist that are part of the vision insurance (one pair every 2 years from a list of specific frames), and we get the paper prescription for our family binder. 

I order extra pairs of glasses through online discount retailers such as EYEBUYDIRECT. A lot of online discount retailers have inexpensive kid’s glasses that can be less than $20 a pair, which is great to have on hand because we all know, kids tend to break stuff.

EYEBUYDIRECT prices start at $6 for select frames!

I also had the kids see any specialists that they needed to, in our case they needed to go to the podiatrist.

And of course, we took care of behavioral/mental health appointments and medication checks over the summer as well. And all future mental/behavioral health appointments are after school or on weekends.

The next health component that I am working on is getting our family first aid kit up to snuff, and that will be a separate post over the weekend.

The Ultimate Teacher Sale at Mabel’s Labels

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

It’s back to school time and Mabel’s Labels is hooking up the teachers in your life.

Now, through Sunday 8/8, The Ultimate Teacher Sale is on at Mabel’s Labels! Save 20% off ALL of the Teacher Label Products.

INCLUDED PRODUCTS:
Small Rectangle Labels
Classroom Labels
Classroom Name Tags
Custom Classroom Labels
Classroom Line Up Floor Decals
Writeable Disinfected Stickers
Teacher Stamp
Stand Here Animal Floor Decals
Personalized Book Stamp

ABOUT OUR TEACHER LABELS:
Being a teacher is challenging, but being organized doesn’t need to be! Mabel’s Labels provides teachers with the tools for an A+ Classroom.

Small Rectangle Labels – The no-brainer classroom essential that every busy teacher needs
The Teacher Stamp – A fun and easy way to personalize your students work and make them smile
The Book Stamp – Personalize your classroom library and avoid library mix-ups
Custom Classroom Labels – Keep your classroom engaging, colorful, and organized

Looking for a Smartphone? Check out Gazelle for Deals on Pre-Owned Smartphones!

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

Back to school means that some of us will need new phones. Why pay extra for a brand new phone, when you can save some money and pick up a pre-owned smartphone from Gazelle?

Gazelle has tons of great deals right now:

OR, if you need a laptop:

You can also sell your unwanted smartphones and laptops to Gazelle to earn money! I’ve sold a couple of our old phones and iPads to Gazelle. It’s a great way to earn some cash and keep electronics out of the landfill.

 

8/14/2021 Back to School Backpack Giveaway (National City, CA)

If you aren’t able to make the other school supply/backpack giveaways I have posted about, this event, brought to you by San Diego Child Support.

  • August 14, 2021
  • 9am-1pm
  • 401 Mile of Cars Way National City, CA 91950

8/3/2021-8/5/2021 FREE Family End of Summer Palooza (La Mesa, CA)

I’ve been looking for back-to-school freebies and backpack giveaways to post about, and I found this event, sponsored by Grossmont Healthcare District.

The event is FREE to attend and will include free back-to-school supplies, health activities, and fun prizes given away each day!

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Each day during the event, there will be a Food drive To help local community members in need. They will be collecting canned foods to give back to the East County community.

Tuesday, August 3rd, 10AM-2PM: Get ready for back to school The park will be filled with community partners and a back to school giveaways! A DJ will get the fun time going all day long.

Wednesday, August 4th, 10AM-2PM: Get crafty The fun continues with take-home crafts in the park, face-painting activities, and a story-time led by some furry friends, including free books to those that join!

Thursday, August 5th, 10AM-2PM: Get active For a family activity, we’ll have a fun group exercise for all ages and levels of activity to get you moving outdoors! A fresh food giveaway will be this day, as well as the big prize- a $120 Gift Card!

 

Community Partners:

  • Herrick Health Library
  • YMCA
  • Family Health Centers of San Diego
  • Neighborhood Healthcare
  • La Maestra
  • San Diego Food Bank
  • El Cajon Valley High School Community Center
  • Love on a Leash
  • Aetna
  • Blue Shield
  • San Ysidro Health
  • Molina