AO Opinions: Upcoming Salty Snacks Project $125

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 Salty Snacks!

Compensation: $125 (if chosen)

Open to: 24-60 year olds

Times Currently Available: MUST join 15-mins early

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

  • 1:00pm–2:00 pm ET / 12:00pm-1:00pm CT / 10:00am-11:00am PT
  • 2:30pm–3:30 pm ET / 1:30pm-2:30pm CT / 11:30am-12:30pm PT
  • 4:00pm–5:00 pm ET / 3:00pm-4:00pm CT / 1:00pm-2:00pm PT
  • 6:00pm–7:00 pm ET / 5:00pm-6:00pm CT / 3:00pm-4:00pm PT

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

  • 3:00pm–4:00 pm ET / 2:00pm-3:00pm CT / 12:00pm-1:00pm PT
  • 5:00pm–6:00 pm ET / 4:00pm-5:00pm CT / 2:00pm-3:00pm PT

To be considered for this study, complete the pre-screener here.

Not everyone who completes the pre-screener will qualify.

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!

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

SheSpeaks: New Snack Shopping Program!

SheSpeaks has a  Snack Food Shopping Program! To participate, you’ll purchase a specific snack food at an approved Walmart store. The item will cost approximately $5. You’ll be reimbursed $10 for your purchase within two weeks of you submitting your receipt!

To qualify for this program, you will need to be able to shop at a Walmart store on this list. (Due to limited availability, this product is only available at certain stores in AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA, WY.)

To get started, click here.

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?

An Awesome Giveaway to Celebrate 1000 Posts!

Last week, we hit 1000 posts- That’s a lot of writing, sharing, and teaching in the past 4 years! To celebrate this milestone, I’ve put together an awesome giveaway.

Bloggers score free swag at every turn- Conventions, events, PR companies send us packages of swag to share, etc. I’ve been collecting swag for this giveaway for a few months (Thanks to the companies that were at the most recent Moms Meet Blogger Event last month- they gave me a lot of goodies to share), and I’ve got a box valued at over $250 to share.

FFC2F03E-48DA-4E1C-9B31-BE3392438284 (1).jpegThis box contains snacks for moms and kids, beauty items (including some AWESOME colleagen drink from NeoCell), adult coloring books, a moleskine journal, Vitamins and supplements (including probiotics and some awesome elderberry syrup), and perhaps my favorite item:

5f9d406f-5325-47a0-a0a3-9241fd5668a9.jpegPlus CBD oil Hemp Balm. It has a light mint scent, and it really helps with muscle and joint pain.

And not pictured but included is a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, which will be delivered via email to the winner.

I’ll continue to add items to the box until the giveaway concludes- and I’ll be posting pictures of those items on our Instagram feed– don’t forget to follow us!

Entering to win this awesome box of goodies is super easy. Click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway  to enter via our rafflecopter widget (It may not be mobile friendly). You can also enter via our Facebook page here (Not sure this is mobile friendly either).

A winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter on 12/18/19 and will be notified via email. US residents only, local San Diego, CA area winner may arrange for pick up of prize in lieu of package being mailed.

This giveaway is to thank you all for reading and following my blog for 4 years, and some of you have been following me since I started blogging, over 8 years ago.

To Get Started after you visit the rafflecopter widget, leave a comment: What will you spend the $25 Amazon Gift Card on?

 

Fall Recipe Round-Up!

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Thanksgiving in the US is just a few days away, and for most of us, it means cooking a HUGE feast to share with family or friends.

I wanted to share with you some of my family’s favorite fall recipes- They are all pretty tasty, and easy to make. Some are great for Thanksgiving dinner, and some are just tasty fall recipes.

11/18/19 Weekly Meal Plan!

stemarie_1650skitchen

I didn’t make the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes I had hoped to make last week, but I am eyeing them for this week’s baking, in addition to chocolate chip cookies (always the kiddos favorite).

This week is starting off with a trip to the YMCA for yoga and some time at child watch. There is a lot going on over the next few weeks around here, so I’m trying to get us into a new routine with meal planning and getting more exercise for all of us.

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 update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian (well, the big kid is, but the rest of us aren’t), but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

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 love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. Last week I did a lot of veggie prep and I’ve got a bunch of bags of veggies in the freezer for meals this week.

  • Monday: breakfast for dinner: Everything bagels with various toppings (options will include scrambled eggs with cheese, avocado slices, bacon crumbles, sliced sharp cheddar, cream cheese), and smoothies.
  • Tuesday: Leftover Kale and Butternut Squash Risotto from Dinnerly (It made a HUGE amount). This time I’ll be adding bacon crumbles and serving it with fresh rolls.
  • Wednesday:  Chicken fajitas with onions and peppers, rice, and refried beans (quesadillas as the main dish for my vegetarian kiddo)
  • Thursday:  Veggie Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Friday:  Date Night (Dinner out- Woo)
  • Saturday:  Pizza time (also salad will be served)
  • Sunday:   Leftovers, as per usual

I had someone ask me how we always have enough of anything for leftovers. I always cook enough of the main dish for 6-8 servings, that way we have leftovers for lunches later in the week or leftover night. And really when you make stuff like soup, it’s hard to make a batch of soup that only feeds 4 people.

Talk Back: What are you planning to cook this week?