Summer Stuff I love (Grown Up Edition)

Friends- I’ve been working on this post for a few days. I’m not feeling especially summery today (and wasn’t yesterday afternoon either), but I’m hoping to distract you over the weekend, so on Monday we can come together and help our friends and family who will need us in the coming months. I’m spending the afternoon crunching on Sonic ice cubes!

It’s summer, and that means for most parents keeping the kids entertained (or letting them get bored), constantly filling the snack box/drawer, and looking for ways to make sure everyone makes it through the 12 weeks of Summer “vacation” without injury. I use vacation in quotes because it’s not a fun, leisure-filled 12 weeks. Most of us have to work, in addition to balancing all of… this.

BUT- That doesn’t mean that parents can’t have fun or enjoy their time in the summer sun. Here are a few things that I have recently come to love:

Sonic Ice Cubes. They are the little pebble ice cubes. If you don’t have a Sonic near you, or if you are looking for a way to make the perfect Sonic type ice at home, look for a Nugget or Pebble ice maker or ice tray. Walmart has a table top nugget ice maker here.

Electrolyte drinks. Not Gatorade, something better. I know a lot of people like Liquid IV, but this frugal lady likes Hydramate from Dollar Tree and Key Nutrients Lemonade flavor from Amazon. These newer electroylte drinks also have vitamins and other key nutrients that we can sometimes miss out on.

I made a list on Amazon of some of my other favorite things this summer:

  • Good SPF- Gotta take care of your skin. You only get one body!
  • Speaking of SPF, a Long sleeve 1/2 zip swim shirt. They are amazing.
  • Reusable cups with lids – I like the color changing cups.
  • Yoga strap for stretching- especially good after a long day behind the week (or a long day sitting on the floor building legos).
  • After Sun lotion- even if you wear a good SPF, the sun and the sea/pool water can dehydrate your skin.
  • Compression socks- seriously. We walk a lot in the summer, and wearing compression socks has really helped my feet and legs from getting so heavy and tired.
  • These sweet kicks from New Balance. They are my go to shoe for a day full of walking.
  • Beach Towels– JCPenney has a great selection and they are on sale!
  • Cuticle oil. The summer sun is rough on your hands, especially your cuticles. Give them some love.
  • Bermuda Shorts. I’m pale, I’m plus size, and I am not a fan of short shorts. Bermuda shorts cover all of my pale parts. And they make me happy because htey have decent sized pockets.
  • Character popsicles. There are a couiple places in San Diego where you can buy the popsicles that the ice cream man sells in bulk or at a discount. California Ice Cream and Candy in Lakeside (that’s near my house), and Circus Man Ice Cream in National City.  The kids and I hit up our local store each week and drop $20 on Spongebob, TMNT, Tweety Bird, and other popsicles. That’s about 13 or so, and that lasts us about a week! I personally love the Powerpuff Girl ones, they are orange and cherry flavored.

Talk Back: What are your favorite summer essentials?

Crafts and Fun DIY with Dollar Tree!

Wednesday is the last day of school for us. And we’ve got two weeks of fun and frolic before summer school starts, so that means it’s time to bulk up our craft supplies and try out some new crafts.

Dollar Tree does not disappoint. Since they’ve increased prices to $1.25 per item, I’ve seen a huge increase in the quality and variety of craft items, including cotton fat quarters, which are great for all sorts of sewing and crafts.

If you are looking for some ideas for fun, inexpensive summer crafts, check out the Dollar Tree Blog here.

I picked up one of their bottles of dye for tie-dying, and I took pics for Instagram. I’ll post a final pic this morning. Overall I’d give it 5/10. I chose dark purple, and it came out more of a wisteria color. There is a lot of fading, but if you use some of my tie-dye tips here (especially the washing soda pre-soak), you may have greater success. Colors available include Green, Pink, Purple, Red, Turquoise, Yellow.

And I made this cute sign the other night. All the supplies came from Dollar Tree!

The wooden sign, The butterfly stickers, one of the colors of paint (white), and the black permanent marker I used to outline the leaves.

All told, this craft cost less than $6 and I have a cute welcome sign for the front door.

There are all sorts of fun crafts available at Dollar Tree! I’ll be posting more of our crafting adventures on Instagram this summer, if you see a craft that interests you, please comment and I can do a tutorial!

 

Get 20% Off Mabel’s Labels Best-Selling Camp Labels #sponsored

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

I love Mabel’s Labels. Each kid has a set, I have a set (unicorns if you had to know), and we have a family set for our bigger pool toys and camping equipment.

If you’ve got campers or really busy kids, this sale is what you need!

Mabel’s Labels best-selling camp labels will be 20% off until May 31, 2022. Shop the early access sale here!

Products include:

  • Sleepaway Camp Label Pack
  • Day Camp Label Pack
  • Mini Custom Clothing Stamp
  • Iron On Labels
  • Duffle Bag Labels
  • Contact Info Labels
  • Washaway Lunch Box Notes

And until April 30, 2022, you can use code CAMP10 at check out for 10% off the Starter Label Pack!

Features of any of Mabel’s Labels Camp Starter Label Packs:

  • Laundry proof (Washer and dryer safe)
  • Waterproof & Weatherproof
  • Durable
  • Easy to Apply
  • Personalized & Custom Designs


Note: coupons cannot be stacked on top of the products discounted at 20% off.

Don’t forget, Mabel’s Labels also offers free standard shipping on all orders!

Tea Collection: Tees & Shorts Starting At $15!

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

I don’t know about your kiddos, but mine are growing like weeds! That means it’s time to replace shorts and tee shirts! Luckily for us, Tea Collection is hooking us up!

Get set for spring & summer when you stock up on this iconic duo. Shop tees & shorts perfect for everything from playdates to parties. Hurry to take advantage of this limited-time offer!

Deal: Tees & Shorts $15 and Up
NO COUPON CODE NEEDED!
Valid Through: Thursday, April 7, 2022 through Monday, April 11, 2022
Link to sale here

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!

 

 

 

San Diego Summer Fun on a Budget

681517ea18b6760354438c6a7f6190f1.jpgIt’s time for kids to finish up school, and be let loose on the world.

Now that places are reopening at 100% capacity, there are a lot more options for summer adventures.

Free Music Lessons from Staump Music School.

Kids Bowl Free all Summer!

$1.00 Movies all Summer with Regal Cinemas

Free Summer School Lunches (Gotta keep them fed this summer). Lots of locations have events or activities nearby, so you can have fun and have a free lunch!

The splash ground at Santee Lakes is GREAT! It’s only $2.00 per kid (on weekdays, $3.00 on weekends) to play and if you park outside the Santee Lakes, you don’t have to pay to park! Take a picnic and it’s a great frugal outing! We go at least once a week in the summer and it’s always
a GREAT time!

If you are looking to beat the heat and need something free, check out the Waterfront Park downtown. They have a great splash pad area for kids, a really fun playground, and a big grassy area for picnics. Only downside- no shade trees.

Balboa Park still offers Free Tuesdays at various museums in the park. Another free activity in Balboa Park is the Botanical Garden and Lily Pond. Right next door is the Spanish Art Village, which is fun to explore as well. Pack some snacks and make a day of it.

San Diego County has great parks, as do most of the cities in San Diego County! Our favorite parks include Big Rock Park in Santee, Kennedy Park in El Cajon, La Mesita/Junior Seau Park in La Mesa, Harry Griffin Park in La Mesa (great for little kids).

I also find lots of local events and free fun stuff by checking the “Events You May Like” section on Facebook Events.

Kids Bowl Free: It’s Back!

file0001910298986.jpgLooking for something fun, air-conditioned, and cheap to do this summer? Yeah, you are!

Kids Bowl Free has been around for years, and it’s a great way to get kids active even when it’s hot outside. I’m so excited it’s back for 2021!

Kids 2-18 can bowl 2 games for free each day the program is running at participating bowling centers all across the US and Canada. All you pay for is shoe rental- or bring your own if you have them!kidsbowlfree_logo-new-2019.jpg

This program is available all over the US and Canada. The complete list can be found here. Sign up is quick and easy. To get started, register here.

I encourage everyone to take advantage of this deal! It’s one of our favorite summer activities.

2021 Summer Lunch Programs for Kids (And Other Free Food Resources in San Diego)

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I have been working on this post for weeks, making phone calls and researching. I wanted to get this post up as soon as I could. Unfortunately, there are still some areas that haven’t posted their plans for free summer meals for kids.

Santee School District will be providing summer drive-thru meal distribution from June 14 through July 30, Monday-Friday, from 10:00-10:30 am, at Pepper Drive and Rio Seco schools.  Extended school year (summer school) and students attending Project Safe will be provided with food.

San Diego Unified School District has partnered with San Diego Parks and Recreation to have food available at neighborhood schools and Recreation centers throughout the city of San Diego. The complete list of locations can be found here. Times vary by location.

Grossmont Union High School District will be providing lunch for kids 2-18 all summer. Kicking it off, they will be giving out meal boxes on Monday June 7 from 11:30 to 1:30 on a first come first serve basis in the same area where lunches are distributed.  Summer meal distribution starts on June 14th 11:30-1:30 Monday through Friday.

Other school districts may be offering free lunches this summer, but currently there isn’t much information available.

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

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?

June 2021-New Month, New Coupons!

file000786402730Here is your monthly reminder!  A new month means new printable and electronic coupons!

Check out the following sites:

One of my favorite websites is the Sunday Coupon Review.  It helps me plot out scenarios in advance and I can email friends to ask for coupons in advance. Remember if clipping coupons isn’t your thing, but saving money is, check out my list of Smartphone apps that can save you the big bucks! New offers are added on the Smartphone Savings Apps all the time!

June is here! It’s National Candy Month, and it’s also time for Father’s Day (June 20th), and Graduation season (starting as early as June 5th in some places). There will be deals on men’s wear, technology for grads (like new laptops), and of course, summer stuff like swimwear, pool toys, and sunscreen! For a complete list of types of foods and items that will be on sale, check out this post on the cycle of sales.

Here are a few of my favorite new coupons:

Save $1.00 any ONE (1) EXTRA® Refreshers® Gum Bottle (40 ct.)
Save $1.00 on TWO (2) Borden Cheese products


Save $1.00 off Two (2) C&H® Sugar Products 2lbs. Or Larger

Legoland California- THE LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD is OPEN!!

The kids and I spent the day at Legoland California yesterday and enjoyed all of the fun and frivolity of Lego Movie World.

Lego Movie World has three new rides:  Emmet’s Flying Adventure Ride, Unikitty’s Disco Drop, and  Queen Watevra’s  Carousel. There is also Benny’s Playship for the kids to play and get their wiggles out, or they can create at Build Watevra You Wa’Na Build zone. And there is a Splash pad right in the middle of it all for kids (and grown-ups) to cool down!

 

 

THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD will be included in the price of admission to LEGOLAND California Resort. Guests can purchase tickets and reserve their spot through LEGOLAND California’s reservation system for their desired Park visit. For more Resort information, operating schedule and to make reservations, visit: www.legoland.com/california.

I love that Legoland has hand sanitizer stations all over, they have social distancing set up in lines and on all the rides. All Model Citizens (employees) are masked up.

If you are looking to do Legoland on a budget, check out my post here.

Do you have someone in your party that has a disability? Check out my post about the Assisted Access Pass and how we do Legoland with our kiddo with ASD.