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Aliso Summit Fairy Hiking Trail

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in Aliso Viejo, Cool Places, Featured, Hiking Trails, Parks | 3 comments

  Nestled along the ridge top trail of Aliso Summit is where my family came face to face with fairies on the Aliso Summit Fairy Hiking Trail. That’s right fairies are real, and we found their beautiful homes.  After exploring the mile trail and seeing their beautiful houses, I needed to find out more about the fairies and how they came to Aliso Summit.  As I researched the trail, I stumbled upon their story. “On a summer evening in 2016, a group of fairies was flying over Laguna Niguel when suddenly Fairy Lily, Queen of the Fairies, broke her wing. The fairies had to land on the Aliso Summit Trail. As the days past while waiting for Lily’s wing to heal, they found something very magical and mysterious about this canyon and trail. They grew to love the views of...

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Exploring Irvine with Pedego Electric Bikes

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Biking Trails, Cool Places, Family, Featured, Fitness, Parks | 0 comments

 We went on a tour as a guest of the venue Growing up in Newport Beach, bike riding was one of my favorite things to do on the weekends. Then I grew up, got married, and moved to South Orange County where biking riding is nearly impossible with a massive hill around every corner. I often miss the days of riding my bike to a restaurant for lunch or to the store to pick-up a couple of groceries. A couple of my friends had been posting pictures of their families going on bike rides every weekend around Orange County, and when I asked one of my friends how she stays in such great shape to tackle riding a bike up and down the South OC hills, she told me that they have been riding Pedego electric bikes. I was...

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Family Sailing in Dana Point Harbor

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Best of OC, Dana Point, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited a guest of the venue One of my favorite things to do as a child growing up in Orange County was to sail my sabot. Growing up just steps away from the water in Newport Beach, my parents got me sailing lessons at a very young age. Once I learned how to sail, my parents couldn’t keep me off the water. I spent every warm day out on the water sailing my hot pink sabot around Newport Harbor. I always thought that when I grew up and had children of my own that I would teach them all to sail, but life happens, and I never got around to teaching any of my children how to sail. I have taken them out sailing a couple of times when in the Turks and Caicos and Jamaica, but none...

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Doheny Beach Butterfly Garden & Nature Center

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Dana Point, Nature Centers | 1 comment

 We stayed as a guest of the resort I have spent many summer days with my children at Doheny Beach, and I never realized that they have a beautiful butterfly garden until a recent family staycation at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach. When I checked into the resort for the weekend, the front desk was so helpful with making some recommendations of things to do in the area, and when she mentioned the butterfly garden, I knew that I wanted to bring the kids to see it. Our family woke up on Saturday morning, had a relaxing breakfast in bed, and then walked across the street to Doheny Beach. At first, we had a little bit of trouble finding the butterfly garden, but a nice lady walking working at the State Beach advised us that it...

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Best Places to See Wildflowers in Orange County

Posted by on Mar 18, 2017 in Best of OC, Featured, Hiking Trails, Parks | 8 comments

  I love wildflowers more than anything. When there was that big super bloom in Death Valley, I drove the family all they way to Death Valley just to look at wildflowers. Searching for wildflowers is a fun family activity that brings families together in nature. Last week, I had an opportunity to go searching for wildflowers in Limestone Canyon – one of the most beautiful nature hikes in Orange County and got a chance to see some beautiful flowers. Do you want to take your children to see wildflowers? These are some of the best places to go searching for wildflowers in Orange County. Limestone Canyon This hiking trail is only open on public access days, and when it is open, it’s a must to see. Not only will you have an opportunity to see wildlife, wildflowers and...

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Inspiring Children to Learn through Play

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Education, Parenting, Parks | 0 comments

 This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own. One of the best gifts that a parent can give their child is the gift of play. Putting down the electronics, going outside, and playing. With my job requiring me to be online for a large portion of my day, many would think that my children live a high-tech lifestyle, but we actually have the opposite. The minute that I had children, I knew that I wanted them to be outside as much as possible, digging in the dirt, climbing trees, and learning through play. My younger son attends a Waldorf School where he learns by going on nature walks, draws his own textbooks, and has a no-tech learning environment at school. Ever since...

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Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Carlsbad, Featured, Parks, Travel | 0 comments

  Whenever I visit a new place with my children, I always look for a place to take them hiking or exploring a historic place. While we were on a recent trip to Carlsbad, I added a stop to the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park. The historic park is somewhere that I had always wanted to visit with my children, but didn’t seem to find the time to make our way down to Carlsbad to explore. We first went the park on a Monday to discover that they were closed, so I made arrangements for us to return the next day before heading back to Orange County. When we arrived at the ranch, we drove down a long driveway to the parking lot. We parked the car and began exploring the beautiful park. The first thing that my kids...

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Aliso Viejo Waterfall Hike

Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in Aliso Viejo, Featured, Hiking Trails, Parks | 0 comments

  There are two things that I love to explore with my children – sea caves and waterfalls. Last year, I shared some of my favorite places to discover waterfalls with your family. Some of them are harder to find than others, and while I was enjoying sharing my favorite waterfall discoveries, there was one that I could never seem to find – the Aliso Viejo waterfall…until now. My younger son recently started attending Journey School in Aliso Viejo at the beginning of this school year, and every week he talks to me about the nature hikes his teacher takes him on, with one being to the Aliso Viejo waterfall. I waited until after the big rain that we had last night to have him bring me to this magical place where he and his friends play every week....

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Climbing Fun at Sweet Shade Park in Irvine

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Irvine, Parks | 0 comments

  The weather is finally cooling down to be able to start bringing the kids back to the park. Our family has been spending a lot of time in Irvine this summer, and sweet shade park has become one of our favorite parks to visit for endless climbing fun. We have been to this park a couple of times this summer, and it is rarely busy. I’ve never seen more than one or two kids playing, so it’s time to spread the word. The park has a nice parking lot with plenty of parking for families. There are also bathrooms, drinking fountain, basketball courts, and plenty of grass for kids to run around. The part is the giant climber. My kids could spend the whole day climbing on the giant blue caterpillar shaped climber. It is clearly the highlight...

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OC Waterfall Hikes

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Hiking Trails | 1 comment

  There are two things that I love in life – waterfalls and sea caves. There is nothing better than getting to splash water on your face from a waterfall after a summer hike. When planning a summer hike with your family, surprise them with a beautiful waterfall at the end of one of these OC waterfall hikes. Holy Jim Waterfall Hike This probably the most popular waterfall hike in Orange County. The hike provides plenty of shade along the way for younger children and isn’t too far to reach the waterfall. The only downside is that the waterfall is usually just a small trickle of water coming down the rocks. Getting to the start of the hike can be a challenge because the road is extremely bumpy but it is worth it. Falls Canyon Falls This waterfall was...

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Best Beach Parks in the OC

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Featured, Parks | 0 comments

 Sponsored Orange County is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and parks in Southern California. During the summer, families are often spotted spending time with their children at one of the best beach parks in the OC. I teamed up with Expedia.com for its #SoCalSummer series to share some of the best beach parks in the OC. Bring along your beach gear and get ready to have an unforgettable summer day at one of these exclusive OC beach parks. Marina Park This park is often referred to by locals at Lighthouse Park because of the giant lighthouse slide in the center of the park. It is located right in the heart of Newport Beach on the Peninsula and is also the newest beach park built in Orange County. The park features plenty of grass for...

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Boysen Park is an Epic Airplane Park in Anaheim

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Anaheim, Featured, Parks | 0 comments

  My son loves planes. Ever since he was little, he has wanted to be a pilot in the Navy when he grows up. Whenever there is something related to aircraft, I love to share it with him and enjoy watching his excitement. When my kids had an early dismissal from school, I surprised him by taking him to an epic airplane park called Boysen Park in Anaheim. The minute that we arrived at the park, he screamed with excitement. The moment that I opened the car door, he ran right across the grass to start climbing on the giant air force jet. The airforce jet replica has a wing that serves as a ramp to climb onto the plane and also as a slightly bumpy slide. The entire time that we were at the park, kids were climbing...

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Arroyo Trabuco Wilderness Trail

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Biking Trails, Hiking Trails, Mission Viejo, Parks | 0 comments

  Since I have the morning carpool and drive a suburban full of boys to Mission Viejo every morning, I have been exploring more of the trails and parks in the area after drop-off. After a late wake-up, and being worried about one kid being away a camp, I wanted to go for a walk where is was calm, peaceful, and surrounded by nature, so I explored the Arroyo Trabuco Wilderness Trail. It is one of my favorite trails to explore right after a rain. There is always trickling water that your kids get to jump into to cool down while on the hike. The trail is located right next to the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Course. There is a small parking lot that holds about 5-6 cars, and then there is overflow parking available at the golf course. The...

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Jeffrey Stein Children’s Music Garden at Alta Vista Gardens

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured, Parks, San Diego, Travel | 0 comments

  The Jeffrey Stein Children’s Music Garden at Alta Vista Gardens is one of the most magical places on earth. While I was coming home from a mother/daughter getaway in San Diego, my daughter had mentioned that she read about this park online, and wanted to visit it. I was so excited that she was researching parks that she wanted to visit so we stopped while on our way home from San Diego. The minute that I stepped out of the car, I was in awe. It is a park that you’ll want to spend the entire day at with your children. Just like visiting Legoland or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, you’ll have enough to keep your kids occupied for an entire afternoon at the Alta Vista Gardens – so pack a lunch and get ready to...

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Wilderness Glen Park Nature Trail in Mission Viejo

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Biking Trails, Hiking Trails, Mission Viejo, Parks | 0 comments

  Mission Viejo has some of the most beautiful trails in Orange County. After spending an entire morning in meetings, I needed to relieve some stress before picking the kids up from school, so I went for a beautiful nature walk at the Wilderness Glen Park nature trail in Mission Viejo. I parked at the beginning of the trail at the corner of Los Alisos and Vista del Lago, where there is plenty of parking in the neighborhood. Once I got out of my car, I began my walk. It was like I stepped into another world while walking on this trail that is rich with nature while just being a short distance from houses and roads. Part of the trail was paved which quickly turned into a bark-covered path. There were so many twists and turns to the...

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Queen Califia’s Magical Circle ‘Beetlejuice Park’ in Escondido

Posted by on Jan 30, 2016 in Cool Places, Parks, San Diego | 0 comments

  After visiting Grape Day Park with the kids earlier this month, one of our readers mentioned that we need to visit Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park in Escondido. The park was just a short drive away from Grape Day Park and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and ever since we were told about it, we couldn’t wait to make a drive to Escondido to see it. The park looks like something right out of the movie “Beetlejuice”, and my kids immediately nicknamed Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, Beetlejuice Park. The morning that we planned to visit, unfortunately, the park was closed. My kids were slightly devastated, but they still got an opportunity to see the park through the cracks in the fence. It is only open on the second Saturday of the month from 10...

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Lighthouse Park in Newport Beach

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Featured, Newport Beach, Parks | 1 comment

  One of the coolest new parks in Orange County also has one of the most epic ocean views right in the heart of the Peninsula in Newport Beach. Lighthouse Park (aka Marina Park) has one epic slide, sits right on the seaside and offers climbing galore. The minute that my kids spotted the park from the street, they were in awe. They could barely contain the excitement while found a parking spot. Parking for this park will be a challenge on the weekends (especially in the summer). There is a small parking lot, plenty of street parking, and a strip of parking spots along the water. I recommend bringing your bikes, finding parking further down the peninsula, and riding your bikes to the park on a busy summer afternoon. The park is unforgettable! There is a giant lighthouse...

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Art Meets Nature at Oso Creek Trail

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Featured, Hiking Trails, Parks | 0 comments

  It has been years since I have been on the Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo. As part of my commitment to being healthier in the New Year, I have been spending more time walking along some of our popular OC trails. I left home a couple of hours before having to pick the kids up from school and was immersed in a world surrounded by art, waterfalls and nature galore. I parked in the parking lot of the Norman P. Murray Community & Senior Center, walked past Oso Viejo Community Park, and walked down the hill where I began the two-mile walk along Oso Creek Trail. I first stopped at the celebration garden where I admired the beautiful art sculptures. The garden path was constructed with recycled city sidewalks and was created by hundreds of volunteers to...

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Ultimate Fun at Pattinson Park in Huntington Beach

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Featured, Huntington Beach, Parks | 0 comments

  It is not just the beaches that are worth driving to Huntington Beach for, but also their great parks. The city has parks around every corner, and they are always clean and not too crowded like parks in surrounding cities. Over the weekend, we visited the kids grandparents in Huntington Beach and then spent the rest of the afternoon at Pattinson Park. The park was easy to find, and parking was a breeze. The only thing missing at this park is bathrooms, so make sure you stop at a local restaurant before or after visiting the park. The highlight of the park are, of course, the play structures. The park has one giant play structure with slides galore. Like always, my kids didn’t want to leave. There is also a smaller play structure for younger children, but it...

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Hidden Orange County Waterfall Hike – Falls Canyon Falls

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 in Cool Places, Hiking Trails | 9 comments

  There are two things that I love in life. Sea caves and waterfalls. Over the summer, we shared many different places to discover hidden sea caves, and this winter we are excited to share different hidden waterfalls. I have always wanted to find the hidden waterfall in Orange County, Falls Canyon Falls, but was never successful at finding it until recently. I followed directions from many people online – and every set of directions that we had read took us to a dead end (especially the instructions on Yelp). I was so committed to finding it this year, that I hiked almost eight miles, got a severe case of poison oak, and discovered many hidden graves. Just when I thought we were not going to find it and was about to head home, I saw a little girl...

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