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Día de los Muertos Events in Orange County

Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in Events, Featured | 0 comments

Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead is celebrated annually on November 2nd. The joyful event, steeped in tradition, celebrates the memory of passed friends and family and includes food, flowers and photos as a celebration of life. In Latin culture, the celebration dates back hundreds of years and is believed to bridge the worlds between the living and dead on this day each year. Thinking about hosting your own Día de los Muertos event? Michelle’s Party Plan-it has everything you need. El Centro Cultural de México presents 13th Annual Noche de Altares The largest Día de los Muertos celebration in Orange County! 4th and Birch in Santa Ana, CA November 7th 1-10pm oin us on November 7th 2015 from 1-10pm on Calle Cuatro in downtown Santa Ana. With the great help of Centro volunteers...

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Sensory-Friendly Children’s Theatre Performance of ‘Room on the Broom’

Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in Entertainment, Events, Theatre | 0 comments

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is hosting a special sensory-friendly Performance of “Room on the Broom” at 10am on October 31st in Samueli Theater. Tall Stories’ magical musical stage adaptation of Room on the Broom, the bestselling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, takes audiences aboard a magnificent broom for an unforgettable adventure. Sensory-friendly precautions are taken to reduce sound levels, particularly loud or startling sounds; reduce overwhelming stage lighting; provide low ambient lighting in the theater throughout the performance so patrons are able to see should they need to move around or exit the theater; leave some seats unsold to allow extra room for patrons who may need to move or exit during the performance; provide social story and other preparatory materials to parents and children so they know what to expect from the performance; allow...

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5 Ways to Approach Your Very First Parent-Teacher Conference

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

Many parents will be experiencing their very first parent-teacher conference in the coming weeks. These can be exciting, informative, and stressful depending upon the situation. Parents who are  going to their first conference are encouraged to think about a few things that can make their experience better overall as well as obtain information they need about their young learner. Ask about the curriculum in general Once parents have been to several conferences, they should be relatively familiar with the curriculum. However, parents who are adjusting to their child entering school for the first time will likely have a ton of questions. It’s good to know what, in general, will be covered within the classroom environment so parents know what to expect and know what they need to supplement, if anything. For instance, some schools offer a comprehensive electives program...

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The Professional Bull Riders Return to the Honda Center

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) 2016 Built Ford Tough Series returns to Honda Center with the Anaheim Invitational January 29-31. With tickets starting at only $17, California fans can experience one of the most popular events filled with the excitement, action and thrills. There are new ticket options this year, including PBR Elite Seats. Located in an exclusive section of the arena in perfect view of all of the high-flying, dirt-flinging action, the PBR Elite Seats will give fans the VIP experience of a lifetime; a pre-event reception with refreshments, backstage tours featuring a PBR 101 presentation, and meet-and-greets with PBR’s exclusive entertainer Flint Rasmussen and top PBR stars. These seats can be purchased through a PBR customer service representative by calling 800-732-1727. Get your tickets online at, by calling 800-745-3000 or at the Honda Center box...

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Take a Step Back in Time at Prehistoric OC

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

The Dr. John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center will celebrate International Archaeology Day and National Fossil Day (which are only four days apart) on October 10, 2015 with a FREE educational family event, Prehistoric OC. The Prehistoric OC festival presents Orange County’s rich heritage of natural history, prehistoric animals and plants, and Native American culture to the community.  Prehistoric OC is fun for both young and old, with a number of activities including archaeological and paleontological demonstrations and exhibits, a Junior Scientist Camp featuring educational crafts and hands-on activities. The event will feature volcano demonstrations, Native American storytelling and lectures by leading experts on archaeology, paleontology and geology. And, Brew Hawg and Roman Nose Fry Bread will be on hand with delicious food and drinks. Prehistoric OC is hosted in collaboration with Orange County Parks at the...

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OC Market Place Halloween Festival Scares Up Frightfully Fun Activities

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Events, Halloween, Holiday | 0 comments

Ghouls and goblins young and old can take in a full day of events, contests, and entertainment during the 18th Annual Trick or Treat Festival slated for Sunday, Oct. 25 at the OC Market Place in Costa Mesa.The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Themed “Frightfully Fun” the Festival will offer free daytime trick or treating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for children, ages 12 and under, in costume from several vendors and Market Place operations offering free candy and treats. In addition the first 500 kids in line will receive a treat bag filled with goodies and a variety of local attractions tickets. There will also be free face painting and puppet making, magic shows, sing for sweets karaoke, sing-alongs with the Ukulady, games with prizes, strolling entertainment and an exhibition of snakes, reptile, tarantulas...

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Trick-or-Treat Extravaganza at Big Bear Lake

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Big Bear, Halloween, Holiday, Travel | 0 comments

This year Halloween is on a Saturday, which makes it an ideal time to get away with the little tykes for a grand “trick or treat” extravaganza in the mountains. On Halloween night, Big Bear Village becomes extensively decorated with jack-o-lanterns, cobwebs, flying bats, strobe lights, and other gadgets and gimmickry to create a “frightfully” fun Halloween experience. New this year is a unique display of scarecrows scattered throughout Big Bear Village that adds to the festive atmosphere. The streets of Big Bear Village shut down and transform into a massive gathering of goblins, ghouls, witches, princesses, super heroes and presidential candidates. More than 100 village merchants hand out thousands of dollars worth of candy and other goodies to “trick or treaters.” Village merchants created this event to ensure a safe and secure environment for families to enjoy the...

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The Orange County International Auto Show (Giveaway)

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Autos, Family, Giveaways | 7 comments

The Orange County International Auto Show features more than 500 new vehicles from 34 manufacturers, 100-plus vehicles to test drive, an Exotic Gallery, concept vehicles, crossovers, sports cars, alternative fuel options and more. The show is owned and presented by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association and produced by Motor Trend Auto Shows, LLC. Dates: Thursday, October 15 4pm-10pm Friday, October 16 12pm-10pm Saturday, October 17 9am-10pm Sunday, October 18 9am-7pm Pricing: Adults (13 and older) $12 Senior Citizens (62 and older) $10 Military (with any DOD ID) $10 Children (12 and younger) FREE Location: 800 W. Katella Avenue, in Anaheim. Follow the signs for convention center parking, located on West Street, just south of Katella. Displays & Entertainment: 34 Major Domestic & Import Manufacturers – Featuring more than 500 of the latest 2016-model cars, trucks, crossovers, SUVs, alternative...

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5 Animal Apps that Help with Elementary Math Skills

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Family, Tech | 0 comments

Math can be fun or entirely boring depending on how it’s presented. The old fashioned pencil and paper with a series of times table sheets didn’t do much back in the day but there are so many exciting ways for young learners to learn necessary and important math skills while actually having fun at the same time. One thing that has stayed the same through the years is that kids love animals. These five apps offer learning and fun with cute (and some not so cute) animals. Some of the apps are aligned with Common Core State Standards and some are even free. With the intense competition and rigorous standardized testing these days it’s important for young kids to take on a practice makes perfect mentality but that doesn’t mean their whole life needs to be spent on dry...

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Acorn Day at O’Neill Regional Park

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Come celebrate Acorn Day under the oaks at O’Neill Regional Park Saturday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free, family-friendly day of excitement and learning offers activities for every age: free crafts for kids, a live butterfly enclosure, active games, face painting, live music, nature exhibits, oak tree planting and ukulele lessons for kids. One hour, beginner-level guided nature hikes to the water tower will be offered at 9 and 10 a.m. Presentations throughout the day include Journeys to the Past, Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, Inside the Outdoors, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Reserve K-9 Program, the Hummingbird Story and a live butterfly release at 2:30 p.m. by Western Monarch Guardians. Participants include OC Trails, the Helena Modjeska Foundation, Tree of Life Nursery, Orange County Fire Watch, OC Parks, Earthroots Field School, the Saddleback Area Historical Society,...

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Fall Friday Night Flix in Irvine

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

  Grab your lawn chairs and comfiest blankets and get ready for some movies under the stars. Beginning October 2, Woodbury Town Center is kicking off its series of “Friday Night Flix.” The family-friendly movie nights on the “green” are free to viewers and start with picnic dinner specials at 5 p.m., family activities at 6 p.m. and the movies begin rolling at 7 p.m. The “Flix” fun starts with Big Hero 6 on October 2. From there the movie schedule is as follows: Paddington on October 9, The Boxtrolls on October 16 and closing with the live-action Cinderella on October 23. Come hungry for the Picnic Dinner Specials from 5 p.m. to closing on event nights from The Counter Burger, First Class Pizza, The Flame Broiler, Subway and Casey’s Cupcakes. Family-fun activities start at 6 p.m. with an...

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How Girls Scouts Have Impacted an OC Family

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Family, Hot Topics, OC Mom Spotlight, Parenting | 0 comments

“I would love for my daughters to join Girl Scouts. Be a leader, you say?  Well, maybe…” Little did I know that saying “maybe” to volunteering that day would turn into seven memorable years of Girl Scouting with three of my daughters. And one more kindergartner is just starting this year! Part of the reason I signed my first daughter up for Girl Scouts was because honestly, I thought she would be glued to my side forever! Girl Scouts offered her chances to take risks and challenge herself, with the support of her troop and leaders – opportunities like going to a horse camp and learning to ride and care for a creature much larger than herself.  Or feeling the pride of earning her Girl Scout Bronze award as she worked with children with cognitive disabilities. These experiences built her self-confidence so much that now she leads...

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Critical Creativity: Five Ways Kids Benefit from Art in the Classroom

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

Students who have the opportunity to take art classes in elementary school learn several skills that their non-artistic counterparts will perhaps not develop. This is not to say that the student must have inborn talent or technical skill in a particular media, such as drawing or painting, but rather that they have the opportunity to fully participate in a creative and tactile endeavor during the school week. Improved tactile function 

Classroom Teachers who integrate creative projects into their curriculum are used to the idea that their students will get messy during art time. It’s essential that children have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty so they can experience difference tactile sensations. Many art teachers will ask their students to feel the difference between the texture of paint, clay, and pencils. Students who have the...

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New Ninjago Land and Ninjago the Ride Coming to LEGOLAND California

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Taiko drummers, ninja warriors and a Spinjitzu Master filled the theater with energy as LEGOLAND California Resort announced the addition of a new NINJAGO™ land coming in 2016 introducing, NINJAGO™- The Ride. Guests will enter the new NINJAGO land through a giant archway behind Imagination Zone leading them into a courtyard where they begin their ninja training. The new land features LEGO® building stations, a game to test reflexes, spinners to test balance, Asian cuisine and a new shopping venue. Interactive experiences will test guests’ physical skills, balance and agility before they can prep for their ultimate training session: NINJAGO – The Ride. NINJAGO – The Ride is manufactured by Triotech, world leader in media based interactive attractions, and features cutting-edge technology that enables guests to control the outcome of their adventure through the power of their hand gestures....

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3rd Annual Long Beach Folk Revival Festival Schedule of Events

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Sponsored The Long Beach Folk Revival Festival brings local purveyed food, craft beers on tap, the Wee Folk Village, the “Vintage Bazaar” shopping experience and live Americana music together to celebrate all things community. Signature contests including the favorite annual pie eating contest, the beard & mustache contest and Deering Banjo contest, instrument making, square dancing and bluegrass jams will offer entertainment and activities for all to enjoy. FESTIVAL SCHEDULE MAIN STAGE 11:15 a.m. – Wimberley Bluegrass Band 12:45 p.m. – Moonsville Collective 1:30 p.m. – Pie Eating Contest 2:30 p.m. – Beard & Mustache Contest 3:45 p.m. – The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit 5:15 p.m. – The Tillers 6:45 p.m. – He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister 9:15 p.m. – Deer Tick BOSE STAGE 12:00 p.m. – Phil Celia Band 1:30 p.m. – The Haunted Windchimes 3:00...

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Surf City Surf Dog Competition Returns to Huntington Beach

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Events, Featured | 0 comments

The 7th Annual Unleashed By Petco Surf City Surf Dog surfing competition will be held September 25-27 at Huntington Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, Calif. Dog owners from around the world will join in the weekend-long event that features a multi-heat dog surfing competition, a “A Puppy Happy Hour” Red Carpet, PAWabunga Costume Contest, Dog Surfing History Exhibit and International Surf Dog Walk of Fame. The weekend kicks off on Friday evening, September 25th, at the Shorebreak Hotel with the “I and Love and You” opening ceremonies, featuring a red carpet with puparazzi, the PAWabunga costume contest and happy hour with doggie-themed specialty cocktails. The International Surf Dog Walk of Fame is held Saturday evening, September 26th, at the International Surfing Museum in Downtown Huntington Beach, where three canine inductees will be selected: Wahine Female Surf Dog, Kahuna Male...

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Mariinksy Ballet: Raymonda at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Entertainment, Events, Featured, Theatre | 0 comments

Russia’s Mariinsky Ballet, one of the world’s most influential and historically rich dance companies, returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts September 24 – 27, 2015 opening the Center’s 30th Season with Raymonda. Performing with the Mariinsky Orchestra, this will be the company’s eighth visit to the Center and the first time this masterpiece from the Golden Age of Russian classical ballet will be performed in Southern California. Raymonda has been called the “last grand ballet” of the 19th century. The choreography – filled with dazzling solos, spellbinding duets and intricate ensembles – is by Marius Petipa to Alexander Glazunov’s atmospheric and dramatic score. The Mariinsky production includes revisions by Konstantin Sergeyev with choreographic fragments by Fyodor Lopukhov. Raymonda is known primarily through its Grand Pas Classique Hongrois from the third act, which is often performed independently. The ballet...

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Don’t Break the Egg: Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

The fragility of a raw egg has a lot in common with the vulnerability of a baby’s developing brain. To see how, grab a raw egg the next time you’re in the kitchen. Put the egg in a clear container with a lid, give it a good shake, and see how the egg cracks. This demonstrates what happens when an infant’s brain is shaken, a point MOMS Orange County reinforces with its clients of pregnant women, and new mothers and fathers. With Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), the protective cerebral spinal fluid is unable to cushion the brain against the blunt force to the skull. This violent shock damages the infant’s brain by causing bruising and bleeding. In addition to causing brain damage, shaking the infant can cause permanent disabilities, such as blindness or paralysis, and in the most disturbing...

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5 Tips for Balancing Sports and Academics

Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

It’s always been a challenge for students to maintain their commitment to after school sports while engaging in college prep. For some students, it will be absolutely essential to achieve their athletic goals, if they are in line for a scholarship or acceptance to a sports-oriented university. Others, who may not be in line for a scholarship, may simply be devastated at the thought of giving up their athletic goals and losing their team companionship. Either way, balancing sports and college prep is a delicate balance but it can be done. Preparation is essential If students don’t think about what their sports schedule will be like until partway through the year, they will often find themselves in an emergency situation. Their grades will already be slipping, their brains will be exhausted, and their bodies are not ready to face...

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Tips for Talking to Your Child About Bullying

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

It’s back-to-school season and along with that comes the return of school yard bullying, unfortunately. But what’s worse, is that our kids today are facing increased challenges when it comes to bullying. With the increased access to smartphones and social media, bullying isn’t confined to school. According to anti-bullying expert Gabriella van Rij, when addressing difficult issues, like bullying, parents mean well, but often good intentions are met with a stony silence or roll of the eyes. Here are some insights to keep in mind when addressing this difficult topic with kids. If your child is the bully: Punishment is not the solution. Intervention and communication between victim and bully is key. Work with the school and the other parents to set something up. The nature of a bully is someone who is scared him/herself and who bullies others in...

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Let’s Go Outside and Explore the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Events, Health | 0 comments

This September, let’s get back to nature and experience the breathtaking views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. The magnificent open space and parks offer a full calendar of daily activities and free, guided programs spanning hiking, mountain bike rides, horseback riding, habitat restoration and special events for nature enthusiasts of all ages and fitness skill levels. Every Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m., join Irvine Ranch Conservancy volunteers for a Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road in OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. Skip the gym and choose between a 3, 6 or 8-mile route in the great outdoors. All hikes are conducted at the speed of about 3-3.5 miles per hour. Each Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. naturalists will host a Mid-Week Hike in a different park location. Wednesday, September 2 visits Bommer Canyon, which is a...

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Tickets Available for the 2015 Taste of Laguna Beach

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Dining, Events, Family | 0 comments

The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 2015 Taste of Laguna Beach, a celebration of fine food, wine, beer, and spirits on Wednesday, September 23 at Tivoli Too!, from 5:30PM-9:00PM.     This year’s event will feature over 20 of Laguna Beach’s most prestigious chefs and restaurants, offering a broad selection of culinary delights.  Leading vintners and brewers will also be on hand, presenting generous tastes of their premium wines and beers.  Rounding out the event, guests will be serenaded by local acoustic musicians under the twinkling lights in this evening under the stars.    Participants include 230 Forest, BJ’s, Broadway by Amar Santana, Centrál, The Cliff, Driftwood Kitchen, Juice & Shakes, K’ya Bistro, Laguna Beach Beer Company, Las Brisas, Lumberyard, Mastro’s, Mozambique, Nirvana Grille, Okura Robata Grill & Sushi Bar, Organic Cellar, Rugg Family Wines, Slapfish, Splashes, Starfish Laguna, Tivoli Too!,...

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5 Reasons to Get Educational Support Early in the Year

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Education, Family, Hot Topics | 0 comments

Summer is over and kids are back in school. They are transitioning away from the park, beach, and arts and crafts table and back into the learning environment of the classroom. In addition to the initial transition, kids are adjusting to a new teacher, new friends, and new academic tasks. Kids that used to sail through the year in the past are more often in need of help; it’s no wonder with all of the added testing and pressure that has become part of a young student’s daily life. If they do end up needing a little help, it’s generally better to start early. Make the transition all at once Since kids are currently transitioning to a new school year, they are already undergoing an adjustment. If a tutor or mentor is introduced into the situation at this time,...

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Segerstrom Center’s Free Kite Festival

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

In association with the Orange County Museum of Art, Segerstrom Center is hosting a high-flying family fun Kite Festival. This event is being held in conjunction with the museum’s exhibit: “My Generation: Young Chinese Artists.” No kite? No problem. Guests can design and build their own at no charge. Professional kite fliers will offer tips for getting kites up fast and high. Event highlights include: Kite design and building stations A performance from Segerstrom Teaching Artists The Pacific Trio Professional kite flying demonstrations Imagination playground A martial arts demonstration from Yulin Chinese School Kite Display provided by Up, Up, and Away and The Kite Connection Student Art Display provided by The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana Food trucks on site Caricature drawings When: Sunday, August 23 from 2 – 6 pm Where: Segerstrom Center 615 Town Center...

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7 Ways Kids Can Make A Difference On National Senior Citizens Day

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

According to the Administration on Aging, senior citizens represent more than 14 percent of the U.S. population, and this population is expected to grow significantly as baby boomers reach the age of 65. With seniors making up such a large portion of our population – and with the senior population growing quickly – it’s important to have special days that recognize the achievements and needs of senior citizens. On August 21, National Senior Citizens Day serves as a great reminder to reconnect with senior relatives and loved ones. Among the current senior population, approximately 12.5 million senior citizens are living alone. With busy lives, you might feel guilty if it’s been a long time since you’ve visited with the seniors in your life especially if they are alone. However, that shouldn’t be a reason to keep you from reaching...

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Fig & Olive Signature Chocolate Pot de Crème recipe

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

In celebration of National Pot de Crème Day on Thursday, August 27th, FIG & OLIVE shared their delicious signature Chocolate Pot de Crème recipe with us. As one of diners’ most beloved dishes, pot de crème is a prime example of dessert trends returning to simple roots—showcasing the pure classic taste of chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, and other flavors without excessive garnishes and sauces. Dessert aficionados can mark the holiday with the restaurant’s comforting Chocolate Pot de Crème with Crunchy Praline Financiers and Vanilla Cream ($9), which stops short of over-indulgence with a shaving of orange zest and a modest-sized glass cup. Pot de Crème Serves 10 Ingredients: 2 cups Heavy Cream 1.5 cups Milk 4 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar 3 Egg yolks 11 Oz of Dark 64% Chocolate Directions: Bring heavy cream and milk light boil being cautious so as...

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Star Wars Land Coming to Disneyland

Posted by on Aug 15, 2015 in Disney, Featured, Theme Parks | 0 comments

Today was an exciting day in Anaheim at the Disney D23 Expo as Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company; Bob Iger announced that Disneyland will expand with an all-new Star Wars land. There were more than 7,500 fans in attendance when the announcement was made making Star Wars fans dreams come true. The Star Wars Land will come to life at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. It will be one of Disney’s largest expansions at 14 acres each. “I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to...

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Alaska Airlines to Giveaway Vouchers at Upcoming LA Galaxy Game

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015 in Travel | 0 comments

LA Galaxy fans attending the upcoming match against New York on August 23rd at StubHub Center will not only enjoy watching their favorite team and players in action, but will also receive the gift of travel, thanks to Alaska Airlines and its longstanding partnership with five-time MLS Cup Champions, LA Galaxy. In promotion of the upcoming launch of its new flights from Santa Ana to Mexico, Alaska Airlines will be handing out 12,000 half-off flight vouchers to LA Galaxy fans as they enter StubHub Center to watch the LA Galaxy match on August 23rd. Each voucher will be valid for steep discounts on up to two passenger flights from Santa Ana to either Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta for travel dates between Oct. 8 through Nov. 18, 2015, and for flights from LAX to Cabo San Lucas for...

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A Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends is Coming…

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Events, Featured | 0 comments

All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends are once again chugging into the Orange Empire Railway Museum for five days in November. Discounted ($2 off) tickets are on sale through September 1st for select boarding times on the 7th, 8th, 11th, 14th and 15th of November. Train departure times fill up fast. So get your tickets now online. Save on service charges by calling the museum directly. (951) 943-3020. Day Out With Thomas 2014 offers aspiring engineers and their families the opportunity to take a 25-minute ride with the famous engine and a 15-minute ride with his railway friend Percy. Children can also meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Superintendent of the Railroad from the Island of Sodor. Enjoy a wide range of fun activities perfect for children. There will be games, a petting zoo, bounce houses, coloring, live...

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Tips for Making School Lunches Balanced and Packed with Nutrients

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Family, Featured, Health, Parenting | 1 comment

It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost over! Before you know it the kids will be heading back-to-school and starting a new school year, complete with parent-approved school lunches. A perfect lunch would include a whole fruit, a veggie, a protein, and a carb. But let’s be honest, who has time to analyze every lunch? Here are some tips to make sure you’re keeping that lunch box balanced and packed with nutrients even on a time crunch: Mix and Match You know what foods your kids will eat and what foods will end up in the cafeteria trash can. Try to strike a balance between foods they like and ingredients that are good for them. If your kids are sandwich fanatics make sure you’re using whole grain bread without enriched flour and peanut butter without added sugar. Kids...

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5 SoCal Water-themed Family Day Trips

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Featured, Holiday, Summer | 0 comments

At this point in the summer many parents are running out of things to do with their kids. Summer is a great time to explore educational activities outside of the classroom environment. As August is upon us, the weather gets hotter and many kids prefer activities revolving around the cooling atmosphere of the ocean or other water-related activities. Orange County and the surrounding areas offer some great activities to beat the heat, and learn a thing or two, this August. Birch Aquarium The Birch Aquarium is located in beautiful La Jolla, CA (a bit of a drive for residents of Orange County but well worth it). The aquarium is small enough for young kids to navigate but offers a look into some fabulous under water species such as jelly fish. Aquariums offer a chance for young kids to get...

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Don’t Get Burned: What You Need to Know About Sunscreen and Skin Cancer

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

Most children are lucky – they can’t imagine what it’s like to have a long-term health problem. That’s why it’s so important that parents put in the extra effort to teach children how to protect themselves from preventable health issues at a very early age. Skin issues in particular require a lifetime of good habits. As a dermatologist, I’m always hearing about the “could have’s” and “should have’s”. Taking care of your skin is a lifelong to-do. Young children rely on you to teach them how to protect their skin, and that should start with protecting them against skin cancer. The incidence of melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, is increasing, but treatment is curative if the melanoma is caught early. Melanoma is caused by sun exposure, and some families have an inherited risk. Two sunburns before the age of...

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FREE Smoothies at Juice it Up on August 4th

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Dining, Events, Family | 0 comments

Juice It Up! is celebrating 20 refreshing years by offering guests a free smoothie. On Tuesday, August 4, between 9 and 11 a.m., head to Juice It Up! to receive a complimentary small Strawberry Wave™ or the new California Cooler™ smoothie, with no purchase necessary. · The Strawberry Wave is a refreshing blend of Strawberry juice, non-fat yogurt, banana, and strawberries · The California Cooler is an invigorating blend of fresh cucumber, pineapple juice, lemonade, lime sherbet and pineapple Mark your calendar and join Juice It Up! on Tuesday, August 4, between 9 and 11 a.m. to take advantage of this sweet anniversary promotion. To find your nearest location and for complete nutritional information, visit...

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Ninjas are coming to LEGOLAND California

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in LegoLand, Theme Parks | 0 comments

LEGOLAND® California Resort just announced an exciting new expansion for guests in spring 2016 based off the popular property LEGO® NINJAGO™ brought to life by the LEGO® Group through a line of construction toys and TV series on Cartoon Network. The new area will include interactive elements and a new ride featuring the key characters from the NINJAGO universe. LEGO NINJAGO tells the story of four young Ninja heroes – Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane – who train under the watchful eye of Sensei Wu to master an ancient martial art – Spinjitzu. LEGO NINJAGO is one of the most successful LEGO properties. This year, brand new episodes of the popular series, NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu aired on Cartoon Network and 22 new building sets loaded with features and functions were released. Stay tuned for more information about the...

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Clutter is here to Declutter the Lives of OC Moms

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Family, Fashion, Hot Topics, Shopping | 0 comments

Perfect for busy parents seeking simple storage solutions and just in time for back-to-school prep! Clutter is now here to help OC Moms get rid of the clutter in their lives. In a nutshell, Clutter takes the “self” out of self-storage with a convenient  one-click process akin to a valet car service. Clutter does the heavy lifting, eliminating the need to hire movers or even pack. Items are stored in reusable, eco-friendly boxes with free pick-up and one-hour on-site packing. And, the best part…Clutter photographs all your belongings, ensuring you never forget what you’ve stored ever again. Clutter’s careful categorization system makes organization a breeze. Truly transformative and totally transparent, Clutter photographs all of its customer’s belongings, labels each item with an easily identifiable category, and then manages them online, ensuring their clients never forget what they’ve stored ever again. Additional packing services and...

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Irvine Spectrum Endless Summer Festival

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Irvine Spectrum Center is celebrating the back-to-school shopping season with the Endless Summer Festival. The day-long event will showcase fall’s best back-to-school fashion trends from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 15. Shoppers will be invited to participate in a blogger meet-up with YouTube style vloggers Maddi Bragg and Suede Brooks. The vloggers will present curated style closets featuring the hottest looks for back-to-school. Additionally, shoppers will be able to enjoy fun activities across the center. Highlights include: Complimentary Giant Wheel rides A braid bar and lulu dk flash tattoos station Making your own dreamcatcher Potted succulent decoration stations Taking selfies in a photo booth outfitted with a vintage VW bus Live performances from local rock band, The Brevet, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Shoppers can also receive Stylish Rewards all day long. The first 500...

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Have a Baby in Diapers? Earn Money!

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Featured, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

Sponsored Do you have a baby in diapers? Are they between the ages of 0-3 months? If you qualify, you can earn $165 by participating in an upcoming study. Fieldwork in Orange County is searching for Men and Women with a child or children in diapers that are between the ages of 0-3 months to participate in an upcoming study. Qualifying respondents will be given a test product on July 30th or July 31st to use for 12 days. During the 12 days, you will need to return four additional times to their OC facility to return the product and questionnaires. Participants will be compensated $165 at the conclusion of the study! There is not an age requirement for parents to participate, and signing up for the study is super easy. Simply complete the online form, and you’ll hear...

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Five Tips for Camping with Kids

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Camp, Family, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

Taking the kids camping can be one of the most exciting, fun and exhilarating vacations you’ve ever had…or one of the most frustrating, annoying and miserable ones. It all depends on setting your expectations and putting in the time to properly plan it. The most important lesson can be lifted from the Boy Scouts motto, “be prepared.” Having interacted with families seeking a camping adventure at Newport Dunes for more than 20 years, I have witnessed, firsthand, the trials and tribulations they face and I’ve developed some basic tips that will ensure that your entire family will be “happy campers”: Get Involved Include you children in the planning process and try a test run in the backyard. Teach the children how to pitch a tent, help them become familiar with the sounds of the outdoors, point out constellations, etc....

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Irvine Public Schools Foundation STEAM Carnival

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), in partnership with The Market Place, presents the inaugural STEAM Carnival, a family-friendly event for all ages designed to provide children with fun, hands-on activities in an interactive carnival atmosphere to spark their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Discover, learn and play as a family with a number of STEAM activities, such as discovering game mechanics with human foosball and giant Jenga, tinkering with robots, learning to code with Minecraft, unleashing your inner maker – and more. Tickets for the STEAM Carnival are $5 with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting IPSF. Children three years and under and students wearing their 2015 Summer Enrichment Academy t-shirts will get in free. The first 200 attendees will also receive a limited-edition tote. Advance ticket holders will be eligible for an opportunity drawing...

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OC Zoo Welcomes New Bear Elinor

Posted by on Jul 11, 2015 in Events, Featured, San Diego Zoo, Theme Parks | 0 comments

The OC Zoo will introduce its newest animal, a young California black bear, at a special event Saturday, July 25. The female bear, named Elinor, is believed to be a little more than one year old. Her official welcome will take place at 1:30 p.m. during the OC Zoo’s Zookeeper Appreciation Day event. Elinor was found last year wandering alone in Humboldt County as a young cub and is believed to have been hit by a car. The cub recovered, but would not have survived in the wild. Elinor and the zoo’s other bear, Yo-Yo, will be on exhibit alternate days for the safety of both animals. Introducing young animals in enclosures with older, established animals often carries a risk. OC Zoo staff plans to place Elinor on exhibit in the bear enclosure Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to let...

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Literacy Meets Gaming with BattleKasters at Comic-Con San Diego

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Education, Parenting | 0 comments

Sponsored Comic-Con is an event that your family is not going to want to miss, and BattleKasters is taking Comic-Con by storm. During the event,  the all-new mobile game is going to transform the Gaslamp Quarter into a Game Board from July 9th-12th. Players will have a chance to win a $5,000 grand prize that will be split between the winner and the winner’s library of choice.. What is BattleKasters? Based on the award-winning, young adult book series, Legends of Orkney, by author Alane Adams, BattleKasters is a whole new experience for gamers and readers. This app-based game allows players to collect digital trading cards, cast spells, and close the stonefire portal to protect Earth from dark magic – all while giving gamers the chance to explore the historic district near the San Diego Convention Center, where Comic-Con is...

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Pump It Up 15th Birthday Celebration

Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Pump It Up the leader in children’s entertainment, specializing in giant indoor inflatables and play areas is celebrating their 15th birthday! On July 15th from 4:00 – 6:00pm Pump It Up will be hosting a FREE birthday celebration, filled with lots of jumping, sliding, climbing and, of course, cake! The first 100 kids in attendance will also receive a free Goodie Bag. Additionally, Pump It Up nationally is “playing it forward”; giving away 15 FREE birthday parties to deserving kids. Pump It Up wants to give back and make a difference in the life of a child who has overcome a hardship or contributed to their community in a special way. ​P​ump It Up​ Irvine ​16871 Noyes Ave Irvine, CA ​​ ​P​ump It Up​ ​​Lake Forest 26242 Dimension Dr Lake Forest,...

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ArtSplash 2015 … A September to Remember

Posted by on Jun 28, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Carlsbad’s Fall Classic, ArtSplash Chalk Art and Entertainment Festival, dives onto Armada Drive on the last weekend of September. Event-goers enjoy free parking and admission to nonstop arts, music, entertainment and food with the picturesque Pacific as a backdrop. New features include the magical 3D chalk art of internationally renowned Tracy Lee Stum ( and madcap antics of Fern Street Circus (, which will lead a Community Parade of artists and event-goers that springs up organically throughout the event. ArtSplash’s perennial big draw are the museum-quality chalk paintings created by professional artists that come to life on the pavement as visitors marvel, plus family chalk squares that let children’s creativity soar. Also returning are fan faves such as sand sculpture by world-famous Gerry Kirk, popular groups such Vista Buddhist Temple Shokenji Taiko Drummers kicking off the event and Euphoria...

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His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday (Giveaway)

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Events, Giveaways | 8 comments

Friends of the Dalai Lama is hosting a Global Compassion Summit will be held in honor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s landmark 80th birthday. The three-day summit will feature world leaders, Nobel Laureates, celebrity guests, speakers and performers from around the globe and will begin July 5 with the official birthday celebration at Honda Center and continue July 6 & 7 at the UCI campus. The Global Compassion Summit is designed to foster a dialogue on compassion and peace with His Holiness’ diverse, multi-ethnic global audience. The event will be a celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s lifetime of devotion to the work of spreading the message about the value of peace, kindness and universal compassion throughout the world. The three-day summit is presented by Friends of the Dalai Lama in partnership with University of California, Irvine...

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You’re Invited: Meet the Artisans at 503found

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Families are invited to the Meet the Artisans event at 503found on this Saturday, June 27 from 9am-1pm. Guests will have the unique opportunity to meet and shop from local artists and makers and enjoy some delicious food and drink! They’ll be showcasing the singular talents that make 503found so unique – celebrating the one-of-a-kind artisans in our own backyard, who will be on hand with their incredible ceramics, photography, fine art, macrame and more. Featuring work by: Marselle Lynch Deb Allen Jim Olarte Josette Patterson Deborah Harold Janet Bludau Ryan Garvin Lee Braun Jesse Loves Jewels Ally M Nancy Villere Art and jewelry Shelly Damore When: Saturday, June 27th Time: 9am to 1pm Location: 503found 503 31st St, Newport Beach, CA 92663 Facts and photos courtesy of...

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2015 4th of July Events in Orange County

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in 4th of July, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

It’s the 4th of July, and fun family events are happening all around Orange County. Plan a staycation at Hotel Irvine, watch a parade or enjoy delicious food. There is something for everyone to enjoy at one of these 4th of July events in Orange County. Hotel Irvine 17900 Jamboree Rd. Irvine, CA 92614 Fourth of July Getaway Available June 29 to July 5, 2015 Patriotic fun for Hotel Irvine guests include complimentary daily breakfast at Marketplace with morning favorites such as eggs, bacon, sausage and breakfast burritos; everyday poolside merriment with access to the new Wet Bar offering BBQ grilled favorites like burgers, bratwurst and summer salads; and two cocktails at Red Bar and Lounge (suggested July 4th cocktail: The Sparkler made of vodka, homemade sweet & sour and strawberries in a glass rimmed with blue sugar). Starting...

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Free Admission to the 2015 Greek Festival

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Events | 1 comment

Orange County’s 37th annual “A Taste of Greece” festival will be held on June 26-28 at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine. More than 12,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival, which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, authentic Greek dancing with lessons and boutique booths reminiscent of the Plaka, a well-known picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens. WHERE: St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church 4949 Alton Parkway (btwn Culver Drive & Jeffrey Road) Irvine, CA 92604 WHEN: Friday, June 26th: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 27th: noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 28th: noon to 9 p.m. HIGHLIGHTS: Greek cuisine and hospitality will be the focal points as the festival will feature authentic recipes for traditional Greek dishes, delicious pastries and a variety of beverages, highlighted with a wine “Taverna,” offering Greek...

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Whole Foods Market’s ‘Ready for Action’ bag Packs all Essentials for Summer Adventures

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Events, Giveaways, Shopping | 7 comments

Are you ready for action? Whole Foods Market is calling upon people across the U.S. to lace up their tennis shoes, roll out the yoga mats and hop on their bicycles for the first ever “Ready for Action” week from June 24 to 30. All stores nationwide will be celebrating healthy living with local events centered on everyday physical activities, superfoods and nutrition. From a yoga class to a protein powder recipe demo to a DIY relaxing bath soak, check out “Ready for Action” events happening at your local Whole Foods Market stores. On Saturday, June 27, stores will offer a limited edition “Ready for Action” bag, packed with items to prepare for outdoor activities. These bags are made with 100 percent jute and organic cotton lining from RIJI Green, a business committed to ending human trafficking. Valued at...

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Newport Dunes Summer Kick-off Beach Party

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

affiliate link included Your family is invited to the biggest beach party of the summer happening at the Newport Dunes Resort from June 26th through June 28th. The Newport Beach Party 3-day event will launch Friday night at 6pm with a tasting event featuring wines from the Newport Beach Invitational Wine Competition. Guests will sample wines nominated by local and national wine professionals. Entertainment will be provided by award winning trumpet player and jazz singer Ilya Serov. Ilya was recently named the “Best New Artist of the Year” at the Hollywood International Entertainment Awards, so is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Ilya is best known for his dazzling trumpet solos, smooth vocals, and his own arrangements of jazz standards as well as original compositions influenced by jazz, R&B, pop and world music. Participants at the first night of...

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Father’s Day Pampering at Butterfli Me

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Beauty, Family, Father's Day, Featured | 0 comments

Dads Aren’t too Macho to Admit that They Enjoy Pampering Too. For Father’s Day Give Dad a Men’s Grooming Service at Butterfli Me Makeup Studio. Men want to look their best, with brows and ear hair in place (or removed), moisturized lips and clean, fresh skin. Introducing the Butterfli Me Men’s Grooming Service. In 10 – 15 minutes male clients can be refreshed, styled and ready for whatever their day or evening will bring, solving issues from excessively chapped lips, uni-brows, awkwardly misplaced hairs or dry, dull skin. Ideal for business meetings, speaking engagements, headshots or a special evening out, the men’s service is also convenient for dads who may be waiting while their wife/girlfriend gets glamourous at Butterfli Me. This makes it a fun outing for two! MEN’S BASIC GROOMING SERVICE – 10 minutes $20 • Brow &...

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus XTREME (Giveaway)

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Events, Family, Giveaways | 12 comments

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey are back this year with a whole new show that will leave families amazed. It will be a show unlike any other than your family has seen before with astonishing tricks, exotic animals and talented performers. The XTREME circus will be performed at three venues across the Southland from July 2nd through August 2nd. Circus XTREME will feature an international assembly of over 100 performers spanning 13 countries around the world, the Ringling Bros. 145th Edition is highlighted by several unique acts including: Xtreme Sports display featuring BMX freestyle riders, energetic parkour performers, trampoline acrobats and slack line gymnastics tricks Caravan of Camels – the only act of it’s kind in the world featuring 6 twin-humped Bactrian camels Bungee Skydivers aerial acro-ballet World’s youngest human cannonball Gemma “The Jet” Kirby has been shot...

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Five Lessons From His Holiness the Dalai Lama On Parenting 
With Compassion

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Family, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will be in Orange County, CA, for the official world celebration of his 80th birthday from July 5 – 7, 2015. The Global Compassion Summit will take place at Honda Center in Anaheim and at UC Irvine. The events are presented by Friends of the Dalai Lama in partnership with UC Irvine and The Center for Living Peace, also located in Irvine. After learning about what I do, most people ask what inspired me to start the Center for Living Peace. My answer is simply, my two kids. I wanted to create a place where children of all ages could be reminded of their unique and special gifts and provide them opportunities to share them with the world — especially through service. Our mission is based in Ghandi’s quote, “Be the change you...

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Family Guide to the all-new Discovery Cube Orange County

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015 in Activities, Featured, Gardening, LegoLand, Theme Parks | 3 comments

We visited as a guest of DSC It’s an all-new discovery Cube OC as today the center opened their highly-anticipated new wing, restaurant and more. The center has expanded to become a 44,000 square-foot venue with permanent exhibits, interactive programs, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning spaces. It is the perfect place for families to keep their children learning throughout the summer. Discovery Cube Orange County will also feature a new 10,000 square-foot Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater and Exhibition Hall. It will provide the ability to transform an exhibition space into a 500-seat theater for greater flexibility in giving the families of Orange County an ever-changing destination for entertainment and education. New Exhibits: Sherlock Holmes – The first exhibit on display in the Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater and Exhibition Hall will be The International Exhibit of Sherlock...

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Universal Studios Hollywood Introduces “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Featured, Theme Parks, Universal Studios Hollywood | 0 comments

The countdown to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” begins as Universal Studios Hollywood announces the Spring 2016 arrival of the West Coast’s most anticipated entertainment experience and the introduction of the land’s signature attraction, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” in hyper-realistic 3D-HD. More than five years in the making, and inspired by J. K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters and the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood will bring guests the same authenticity and storytelling found at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan and is expected to attract Harry Potter fans and visitors from all over the globe for decades to come. Visitors will be swept into a fully immersive themed land that brings the Harry Potter fiction and films to life with impeccable detail and precision. “The Wizarding...

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Choosing a Great Summer Camp to Meet your Child’s Needs

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Camp, Summer | 0 comments

There are many things to think about when selecting a summer camp or summer school program. First off, parents have to consider price, availability, location, and other logistical factors. However, the real difficulty arises when trying to find the right fit for your child’s individual needs and desires. Ideally, a summer camp or summer school program will serve as an educational and social supplement to school. Additionally, summer camp programs serve as a valuable social introduction to the structure and collaboration that will be required in preschool and kindergarten. 

 Sports and coordination

Sports and outdoor camps are a great way to get out the extra energy young children have. In addition, sports camps offer a good opportunity for children to increase their coordination skills. Activities such as soccer and dance will help kids improve their coordination and balance while learning...

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Win Tickets to Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Entertainment, Events, Featured, Giveaways, Theatre | 15 comments

Hello Kitty®, the beloved pop icon, is hitting the road with her first-ever live North American tour: Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival. Going beyond a traditional live stage show, the event features a unique multi-component walk-around festival atmosphere for Sanrio fans of all ages. Each event features Hello Kitty and her friends with DJ-driven dance sequences, interactive exhibits, animation, fashion, photo ops, craft activities, event-exclusive collectibles and more! For the fashionista ~ preview Hello Kitty and Friends Couture Display is a fashion extravaganza; amazing couture-like pieces featuring Hello Kitty & each of her friends For the performer ~ watch DJ-driven dance sequences and the welcome celebration and participate in Sanrio’s Super Fun Memory Dance Challenge For the boys ~ Get temporary tattoos in Badtz-Maru’s garage; dance to the beats of DJ Keroppi; check out Dear Daniel’s moves in a...

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End of the Year Checklist: 5 Tips for Preparing your Child for Summer

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Education, Family, Featured, Parenting, Summer | 0 comments

Most younger children are completely worn out by the middle of June. They want to get out of their chair and into the Ocean (or some other fun outdoor setting) as fast as they can. Summer is a great opportunity for young kids to have a chance to run around, enjoy the sunshine, and spend more time with family; however, it’s also a good time to work on academic issues. 1. Talk with your child’s classroom teacher 

The classroom teacher will have a list of all her students as well as notes about each student’s current academic standing. She will be able to tell each parent if a child needs extra help to catch up during the summer or if they need supplemental learning materials to be prepared for the fall. Most teachers provide a reading list, list of...

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5 Simple Ways to Protect Your Child’s Lungs

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Family, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

Most parents understand the benefits of keeping their child’s environment clean. It’s why they spend the extra $2.25 on hypoallergenic detergent and explain, at least three times a day, the importance of washing hands between soccer practice and a drumstick dinner. As both a proud mother of two children and a pediatrician, I know that parents drill this message into the dirt because we see how easy it is for kids to get sick from their environments. Even though we take all kinds of precautions in our daily routines, it can be easy to forget about one of the worst environmental culprits in Orange County – air quality. The scientific community, and many moms, already knows that air quality can have a big impact on children’s lungs. But a new study undertaken by researchers at the University of Southern...

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Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Summer Games

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Events, Featured | 0 comments

Hundreds of gold, silver and bronze medals are polished and ready to be awarded as Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) Summer Games return to the California State Long Beach campus and Recreation Park Golf Course on June 13th through June 14th. The annual event begins early Saturday morning with the torch lighting opening ceremony at 9:30am, followed by competitions, award ceremonies and special athlete educational events scheduled throughout the weekend. An estimated 1,100 athletes from Southern California will compete in Aquatics, Athletics (Track & Field), Basketball, Bocce, Golf, and Gymnastics. Along with the games, weekend competitions will also include games, live entertainment, community and law enforcement exhibits at Expo Park and the Grand Prize drawing for the Special Olympics Southern California Dream House Raffle campaign, where more than 1,600 prizes including the grand prize will be awarded. Raffle tickets...

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Tips for Keeping Children and Pets Safe from Coyotes

Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Family, Parenting | 5 comments

Until a week ago, I was aware that coyotes live and breed throughout Southern California but what I did not know was how they have evolved to no longer being afraid of human encounters. My small and beloved Remy, an elderly shih-tzu mix that has been a member of our family for 10 years, went out of the doggy door, onto our outdoor patio, that is surrounded by a 6-ft. fence on our interior lot. Within a matter of minutes she was brutally attacked and carried off by a coyote in broad daylight. The purpose of this post is to alert families on the importance of being prepared to help protect their pets and loved ones. Anyone reading this that lives in Orange County can become a victim of a coyote attack at any time. We must be vigilant...

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Idina Menzel National Tour of IF/THEN is coming to the Segerstrom

Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Entertainment, Featured, Theatre | 0 comments

Tony Award-winner and Broadway superstar Idina Menzel will launch the National Tour of IF/THEN, reprising her critically-acclaimed, Tony-nominated performance in seven select cities. IF/THEN is an original Broadway musical which reunites composer Tom Kitt, book writer/lyricist Brian Yorkey and director Michael Greif, the creative team behind the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical, Next to Normal. Ms. Menzel will launch the National Tour at the Buell Theatre in Denver (October 13 – 25), and will then play the Paramount Theatre in Seattle (November 3 – 8), the SHN Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco (November 10 – December 6), the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles (December 8 – January 3), San Diego Civic Theatre in San Diego (January 5 – 10), ASU Gammage in Tempe (January 12 – 17) and Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa (January...

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Kaleidoscope Kaleido-Kids Summer Time Fun Series

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Events, Summer | 0 comments

Kaleidoscope brings back its Kaleido-Kids Summer Time Fun Series co-sponsored by Jump ‘n Jammin this summer. The free series of activities for kids is every Tuesday from June 23 to August 18, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. The series culminates with a day of fun at the Kaleido-Kids Mini Carnival benefitting Make A Wish® Orange County and Inland Empire on Monday, August 24 from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. The Kaleido-Kids activities will be: Tues., June 23 Dance & Fun Party Tues., June 30 Magician Tues., July 7 Reptile Show Tues., July 14 Comedy Juggling Show Tues., July 21 Ventriloquist Tues., July 28 Cartoon Drawing Fun Tues., August 4 Lego Playtime Tues., August 11 Interactive Percussion / Music Tues., August 18 Pirate Magic Show The Kaleido-Kids Carnival will be Monday, August 24, from 11:30 am to 2:30 p.m....

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7 Tips to Help Moms Manage Stress

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Family, Featured, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

What affects you, can affect your child. Mothers hear this message a lot from MOMS Orange County, usually in connection with prenatal care, nutrition and health education. But what they sometimes overlook is the connection between their stress levels and the health of their babies. During April, we recognize National Stress Awareness Month. Learning healthy ways to cope with stress is not just for the working professional trying to please a boss or meet a deadline. Mothers and pregnant women suffer from the same symptoms of stress as everyone else does, including difficulty sleeping, changes in eating habits, and relationship strains with family and friends. But it’s even more important for mothers-to-be to acknowledge their stress, strive for quality sleep, maintain a proper diet and connect with a support system. If stress gets the best of you, you could...

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Backyard Bash at Boathouse Collective

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in Events, Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

You’re invited to help end homelessness in our own OC backyard at Project Hope Alliance’s Backyard Bash at Boathouse Collective in Costa Mesa on Friday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. Project Hope Alliance is dedicated to ending the cycle of homelessness for Orange County children and families, and proceeds from the night will go directly to their innovative education and rehousing programs. Guests will enjoy live entertainment by The Tijuana Dogs, delicious food and drinks, dancing, and silent and live auctions. You won’t want to miss this unforgettable night for a wonderful cause, so make sure to RSVP by April 24. Tickets are available online at for $150 per person. Boathouse Collective is located at 1640 Pomona Ave. Costa Mesa, CA...

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Backyard Block Party at Hotel Irvine

Posted by on Apr 11, 2015 in Events | 1 comment

Your family is invited to the first annual Backyard Block Party benefitting the Irvine Public Schools Foundation at Hotel Irvine on Sunday, April 26th from 3pm to 6pm. There will be food, music, games and more. There will be live musical performances by The Brevet, Yellow Red Sparks, and Armors along with food from some of Irvine’s top restaurants like Shirley Chung’s Twenty Eight, Mizu Sushi Bar, Stax Cookie Bar and Flippin Pizza. Families are encouraged to pack a picnic blanket, sunscreen and come for an afternoon of fun. Date: Sunday, April 26th 3-6pm Location: Hotel Irvine 17900 Jamboree Rd Irvine, CA 92614 Ticket information: VIP Ticket (ages 21 and over) – $75 Access to VIP seating area Complimentary reusable water bottle Complimentary valet parking Access to Red Bar VIP Lounge, including unlimited cocktails and drinks Access to all...

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9th Annual Orange County Market Place Easter Festival

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Easter, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

A treasure hunt for plastic eggs filled with treats and gourmet food trucks offering items such as Easter Egg Hamburgers , Grilled Cheese Scrambled Egg Sandwiches, specialty coffee drinks and strawberries on a stick are on the menu for the 9th Annual Easter Festival and Food Truck Brunch on Saturday, April 4, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Orange County Market Place, the weekend swap meet at the OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa. The Treasure Hunt, which is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes several vendors offering candy and prizes while designated Market Place food concessions will be sites for retrieving plastic eggs filled with goodies, with ten of them stuffed with a golden ticket. Recipients of the golden ticket receive a giant Easter basket. In addition, the first 500...

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Annual Greek Festival Brings a Taste of Greece to Orange County

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Culture, Events | 0 comments

Orange County’s 37th annual “A Taste of Greece” festival will be held on June 26-28 at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church. More than 12,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival, which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, authentic Greek dancing with lessons and boutique booths reminiscent of the Plaka, a well-known picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens. Festival hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 26; noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 27; and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 28. Festival admission is just $3 per person with free admission on Saturday, June 27 from noon – 4 p.m. for seniors older than 65 years. Children under the age of 10 are admitted free (with parents or an adult) throughout the three-day festival. Free festival parking will also be...

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Community Help Needed for Homeless Children in Orange County

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

The Orange County Rescue Mission is currently housing the highest population of children and their families in the organization’s history at its Village of Hope transitional living facility, according to Jim Palmer, President of the Orange County Rescue Mission. Palmer notes that there are a total of 84 children including infants, toddlers and school-aged kids living at the Village of Hope at this time. This increase in child residents has created a substantial need for additional funding through community donations, in order to support these children and their families on their road to self-sufficiency. “The children living at our transitional living facilities are certainly the youngest and most innocent victims of homelessness in our community,” said Palmer. “As part of our ongoing goal to end the cycle of homelessness in families, we are calling on the community to help...

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North Irvine Avella Apartments Grand Opening Celebration

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Family | 0 comments

Families are invited to tour the new rental homes, Avella, for the first time Saturday, March 14, at a grand opening event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who tour will be eligible to win prizes that include two $250 gift cards for Pelican Hill Resort, a $500 gift card to Fashion Island, Irvine Spectrum Center and The Marketplace, an iPad and more. At 485 new homes, Avella offers a resort-like lifestyle, expansive amenities, shopping, nearby hiking and biking trails, new schools and a price range to fit any budget. It is also the company’s first community to open 100-percent smoke and vapor free. The new community is centrally located near the I-5 (Santa Ana), I-405 (San Diego) and 133 (Laguna Canyon Road) freeways. Located on Sand Canyon Avenue, just north of the I-5 Freeway, Avella is walking...

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Celebrity Cruises ‘A Night to Remember’

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Celebrity Cruises, in conjunction with Life Time Athletic in Laguna Niguel, is hosting their first “A Night to Remember Event.” This unique evening will offer guests an exclusive opportunity to enjoy lively entertainment and sample premium wine and food pairings from destinations from around the globe to which Celebrity Cruises sails including those in Asia, the Mediterranean, Alaska, and the Galapagos Islands. Attendees will also have the chance to tour Life Time Athletics’ various health and fitness areas including the Spa, Fitness Center, Cycle Room, Café and Kids Activity Station, all located in a modern and luxurious setting that parallels the décor and offerings that Celebrity has onboard its world class ships. Additionally, Celebrity Cruises will feature a Vacation Planning station, as well as an opportunity for guests to enter-to-win a grand prize of a free Celebrity Cruises Cruise-For-Two,...

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The Denim Lab: Empower Your Jeans Campaign

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

Since opening their flagship store in Orange County last year, The Denim Lab has been generating much attention for providing a fresh, modern approach to the way in which the county’s residents buy jeans. Now, the Tustin-based retailer, whose motto has been “Empower Your Jeans,” will bring that sentiment to life as they launch a campaign to donate $1 from the sale of each pair of jeans to support non-profit groups in Orange County, beginning with a lifetime commitment to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF). Owners Mike Mourad and Bilal Haidous will kick off the Empower Your Jeans Campaign on Thursday, March 12th with a fundraiser to benefit JDRF. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the public is invited to enjoy wine, light fare, live entertainment and informal modeling, as they shop for the perfect pair of jeans....

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Tryout Tips for Parents: 5 Tips for Helping Your Child Make the Team

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Family, Featured, Fitness, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

As the upcoming sports season approaches, our throats begin to tighten. Spring sports tryouts are underway, and our children are stressed. Chances are, you’re feeling just as anxious for tryouts as your kids. Best case scenario, they make the team and happily transition into the regular season, worst case they don’t and they come to you in a whirlwind of emotion that leaves you struggling to find a resolution. If you’re looking for a more concrete way to improve your child’s skills, CoachUp is a great resource for families looking to hire one in their area. There are a variety of private coaches that will fit your, or your child’s, needs. With experienced instructors from squash to basketball to strength and conditioning, CoachUp coaches are qualified and have all been background checked for safety. If a private coach doesn’t...

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Discovery Cube National Engineer’s Week

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Your family is invited to attend the popular National Engineer’s Week at Discovery Cube from February 21st through March 1st. Children will learn about S.T.E.M. through educational exhibits, and have an opportunity to listen to a NASA guest speaker. One of the highlights of the event is the popular egg-drop competition. Guests who participate in the thrilling Egg Drop Competition must create an “ETV” (egg transport vehicle) to protect an egg as it drops 20 feet to the ground. Prizes will be awarded to the builders of the three devices with the lightest weight, least amount of materials, and a surviving egg. Activities include: Parachute Drop: Build and test a parachute, daily prizes awarded for the longest “hang-time” Mini Monoliths: Strategically stack as many blocks as possible to build the tallest tower Snap Circuit Building: Interactive electrical engineering table...

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Richard Blais Cooking Demos and Book Signing at Baker Ranch Grand Opening

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

Baker Ranch is a community of brand new homes in Lake Forest that epitomizes family-friendly, resort-style living in Southern California. On Saturday, February 21, Baker Ranch will be unveiling plans for all of their future parks, and will include a virtual tour of “Promenade Park,” a new community park that will not only be a great place for families with kids to play, but will also provide residents with a safe means to travel from one end of the community to the other out of the way of traffic. But that’s not the best part of this event! Renowned chef Richard Blais of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” will be making a special appearance at the unveiling and will be doing a cooking demonstration. And, Spa Gregorie’s will be at the event as well, giving free massages to people who...

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Aquarium of the Pacific African-American Festival

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Events, Theme Parks | 0 comments

Celebrating the richness and diversity of African-American and African cultures, the Aquarium’s thirteenth annual African-American Festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday, February 21 and 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Guests can experience the sights and sounds of performances by local African-American groups, including Mardi Gras second line dancers, hip hop and break dancers, tap dancers, jazz musicians, interactive drum circle musicians, and West African dancers. The festival will also feature cultural displays, handmade craftwork, ethnic food, and storytellers. Guests will have the opportunity to explore the festival’s offerings and discover the wonders of the Pacific Ocean at the Aquarium. WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, February 21-22, 2015, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. WHERE: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802 COST: Free to Aquarium members and included with general admission for the public General...

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The Psychology Needed to Feed Children Well

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Education, Family, Featured, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 1 comment

Feeding children is not an easy task. Mealtimes can be stressful from dealing with picky eaters, concerns about a child’s weight (too little or too much) and other stresses. But the reality is that mealtimes are critical to a child’s development and total well being. Using mealtimes as a base camp for refueling your family with nutrition and love could be the most powerful tool you have in raising a happy, healthy child. Perhaps you, like many parents out there, have already been trying to help your child lose or gain weight, or just to eat healthier, but it hasn’t been working, and instead, it’s adding more stress to your lives—and as a result, your relationship with your child is possibly suffering. After 13 years at ground zero treating the toughest cases of childhood obesity (with over an 80%...

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Herbal tea for Kids?

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

What has no sugar, no calories, but is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals?  Tea! And herbal teas (otherwise known as tisanes) are naturally caffeine-free, thus making them a perfect beverage choice for kids.  While the kids’ tea category is still in its infancy, it is poised for strong growth for the following reasons: (1) it stands to benefit from the solid growth in the adult tea market, (2) it meets a real consumer need for a lower sugar, antioxidant-rich beverage for kids, and (3) there are ways to formulate it in order to achieve a taste profile that appeals to kids. Tea’s popularity has surged over the last few years with more and more adults drinking ready-to-drink tea, bagged tea, kombucha, and the various flavored tea drinks recently entering the market. In 2013, tea category sales totaled $4.1...

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Free Admission to the Queen Mary for the Royal Rendevous

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Events, Featured | 0 comments

On Thursday, Feb. 5, the Queen Mary will be visited by Cunard’s newest ocean liner and The Queen Mary’s sea-going “niece”, the Queen Elizabeth, who is making a port stop here in Long Beach. This will mark the first time a Cunard liner will dock and disembark passengers in the Long Beach harbor. The Queen Elizabeth is today one of the world’s most advanced passenger vessels and is currently on a global cruise. The original Queen Elizabeth was the sister-ship to Queen Mary and together made over 2000 trans-Atlantic voyages when in active service for Cunard. This Royal Rendezvous marks only the fourth time in over three decades that another Cunard ship has visited the legendary Queen Mary; and the second time these sister ships have crossed paths since 1967 (when the original Queen Elizabeth was still in commission)....

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First Baby Zebra Shark Makes Debut Today at The Aquarium of the Pacific

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Events, Theme Parks | 1 comment

The Aquarium of the Pacific just made their official announcement that they were the first aquarium to successful reproduce a baby zebra shark through artificial insemination. More than 100 million sharks in the wild are killed annually due to human impact. Being able to artificially inseminate large shark species like the zebra shark can further research in helping dwindling shark populations in the wild. The 10-month-old sharks are now on exhibit in the Aquarium’s Shark Lagoon shallow pool. Fern, approximately 20 years old, is the mother of the two female sharks. Fern arrived to the Aquarium in 1997. She was inseminated in September 2013, and both babies hatched from their eggs in late March of 2014. The Aquarium’s experts have been caring for the youngsters in their behind-the-scenes shark nursery. The zebra shark pups are now about 2-and-a-half to...

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Massive IKEA Crib Mattress Recall

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do you have an IKEA VYSSA crib mattress in your nursery? It’s important to read below to see if it has been included in the massive IKEA crib mattress recall. There have been reports that the crib mattress can cause entrapment for infants sue to a gab between the mattress and crib. Recall information provided on behalf of IKEA…. This recall applies to any VYSSA mattress with date of manufacture May 04 2014 or earlier. Identification can be found on a permanent label attached to the mattress cover, showing Date of Manufacture Month-DD-YYYY and Model: VYSSA name. Consumers should verify that their crib mattress has the correct length. Measure a possible gap by removing all bedding, for example fitted sheets, and then make sure there is no gap larger than the width of two fingers between the ends of...

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Free Tickets to LegoLand at Denny’s

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in LegoLand, Theme Parks | 0 comments

To kick off the New Year, Denny’s has partnered with one of California’s favorite family attractions to offer free admission for kids at Legoland. Guests are invited to enjoy a delicious meal at Denny’s and with any purchase, receive a coupon for admission. From now until Feb. 27 kids go free with a paid adult ticket to the resort. The ticket includes hopper admission to Legoland Water Park or SEA LIFE Aquarium. In addition, kids are always invited to eat free at Denny’s on Tuesdays from 4p.m. to 10p.m. with the purchase of an entrée. Parents can enjoy new featured menu items such as Philly Cheesesteak and Eggs Skillet with tender prime rib, red-skinned potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, fire-roasted bell peppers and onions topped with Pepper Jack queso, an Italian cheese blend and two eggs, or the newest Fit Fare®...

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Evening Reception with Jeffrey Alan Marks at Williams-Sonoma

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Join Jeffrey Alan Marks for an evening reception at the expanded Williams-Sonoma store, located in the new wing of South Coast Plaza, where Marks will provide decorating tips and sign his book, The Meaning of Home. The revamped South Coast Plaza location features a dedicated showroom for the Williams-Sonoma Home collection and comprehensive Design Center complete with swatches of fabrics and rugs as well as wood finish samples. The new store also includes an outdoor area showcasing outdoor furniture from Williams-Sonoma Home. The evening begins with music by Los Angeles based DJ Michelle Pesce known from her TV appearances on Entourage and Good Morning America, with hors d’oeuvres by Top Chef’s Ashley Santo Domingo of 24 Carrots. Jeffrey Alan Marks at Williams-Sonoma When: Thursday, December 18, 2014 Where: South Coast Plaza (3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626) Details:...

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Three Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

This holiday SEA-son, the Aquarium of the Pacific has something for you, whether you are an adult or child. Here are three ways to celebrate the holidays at the Aquarium of the Pacific. 1. Everyone can get in for the kid’s price during Discounted Holiday Late Nights on select evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. starting Dec. 26. Meet over 11,000 animals, including penguin chicks and sharks you can touch. 2. The Aquarium brings a whole new meaning to sleeping with the fishes during its Holiday Family Sleepover on December 28. 3. You can even enroll children from five to nine in a Winter Camp this season for day-time educational fun December 22-24 or December 29-31. WHEN: Discounted Holiday Late Nights: Dec. 26, 28, 29, 30 & Jan. 2, 3 / 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Holiday Family...

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Disconnect From the Crowds in America’s National Parks

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

Sponsored If you feel like it’s time for a holiday with your kids that gets them away from their cell, tablet, or iPod, consider visiting some of the top national parks around the U.S. In this age of constant hyper-connectivity, there aren’t many places that allow families to properly disconnect and find serenity. Parks that stretch out for thousands of miles in every direction tend to be one of the best choices available, and with so many to visit around the country, you won’t be lacking for choice. Read on for some of the best national parks you can consider spending your next family vacation at. Rocky Mountain Well-known Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado, celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2015 and is a great place to get away from it all. The sanctuary spreads over more than 265,000...

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CoachUp: The Difference in the Details

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Family, Fitness, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

When you’re coaching your child’s soccer team, it’s almost second-nature to recall each game in fine detail. But when the details don’t reflect your team’s potential, it’s time to take action. Antonio Oropeza of Lomita, California heads his son Antonio Jr.’s under-14 boys soccer team, Melbourne City FC. He clearly remembers the game before his son received one-on-one coaching through CoachUp. “We had taken 3 total shots on goal,” says Oropeza of that match. The team was averaging 5 to 7 shots on goal per game throughout the season and had yet to win a game. “All of a sudden, we were attacking the goalie.” The Melbourne City FC took 18 shots on goal that day, winning their first game of the season, 2–0. “My son took 5 shots,” Oropeza recalls like it was yesterday. “The other boys’ shots...

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Celebrate Christmas at the OC Zoo

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Your family is invited to celebrate Christmas at the OC Zoo with all your kids favorite animals on Saturday, December 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas at the OC Zoo invites children to a special story time with Mrs. Claus and a visit with Jolly Old St. Nicholas. Guests will enjoy seasonally inspired crafts and holiday face painting. Watch the animals of the OC Zoo receive treat-filled gifts hidden inside of Christmas trees and inside gift boxes throughout the day. Reservations are not required to enjoy Christmas at the OC Zoo. The holiday activities are free with paid zoo admission. When: December 13th Time: 10am to 4pm Location: OC Zoo (inside Irvine Regional Park) 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869 Cost: $2 per person, ages 2 & under are free Parking: $5 per...

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Receive a Letter from Santa with the Postal Service Santa Program

Posted by on Nov 29, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And the Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child’s letter to Santa — complete with a North Pole postmark! Here are the steps for your child to get a letter from Santa: Have your child write a letter to Santa and seal it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole. Tell your child that you’ll place a stamp on the envelope and mail it to St. Nick for him or her. Later, when alone, open the envelope, read the letter and write Santa’s response on the back of the child’s letter. Have Santa write: “It’s important to be green and save paper. That’s why I’m writing on the back.” When responding as Santa, reference your child’s accomplishments not included in his or her letter,...

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Details on Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Culture, Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

USH is an OC Mom Blog partner Can You Make Extra Income from Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student? Are you thinking of becoming a host family for extra income? Does the thought of housing a student from a foreign country appeal to you? Do you know what a homestay entails? helped us to compile more information about the process of qualifying as a host family and welcoming a foreign exchange student into your home. What is a Homestay? A homestay experience is when a family in another country agrees to house an exchange student, who comes to study and learn about another culture. Homestays can be rewarding and challenging at the same time, so it is very important to understand exactly the type of commitment it requires. When a student visits a host family they are required to...

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What’s the future of holiday cards?

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 2 comments

Many of us have fond memories of taking Christmas card photos with our family, dressing up in holiday gear to gather round for a photo to be show how much we have changed, grown, and developed over the past year. Or, maybe you remember the job of writing and mailing out holiday letters, thinking back over the past year as you scribble down the pivotal moments your family has gone through together. We all know it’s holiday time when we see walls, cubicles, and mantles lined with seasonal cards from loved ones. Especially when friends and family are faraway, sending holiday cards is a time-honored way to stay connected, at least once a year, no matter where everyone is living. However, as it becomes increasingly difficult to stay in touch in our fast-paced lives, sending traditional holiday greeting cards...

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Trot for a Cause on Thanksgiving Morning

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Events, Thanksgiving | 0 comments

The Orange County Rescue Mission will host its first annual “Turkey Trot OC” event, a 5K run/walk, on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 27, 2014 from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, at the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope in Tustin, California. The Turkey Trot OC 5K will start and finish at the Orange County Rescue Mission’s transitional living facility, the Village of Hope, with a majority of the event taking place on Valencia Avenue along the former Tustin Marine Corps Air Station base. Those interested in taking part in the first annual Turkey Trot OC are encouraged to register online before November 8, 2014 to take advantage of the Early Bird registration prices. Early registration prices are as follows: · Registration only: $25 · Registration and 7 hot meals for homeless: $35.36 · Registration and 14 hot meals...

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Teaching Your Kids How to Drive with Varsity Driving Academy

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

Sponsored When the time comes for your kids to get behind the wheel of a car, selecting a school that will give your kids the tools to be a safe driver is the biggest priority. There are many different options for parents in Orange County, and Varsity Driving Academy is the 2014 winner for Best Driving School of Irvine. They serve the majority of Orange County including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Yorba Linda with a new office just opened in San Clemente (and a Long Beach location coming soon.) All lessons are performed in new model Hyundai Accents with one of their experienced instructors, brake and rear view mirrors. Children cannot legally begin driving with anyone (including parents) until their permit is validated from completing a two-hour lesson with an instructor. In order for them to get their...

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Toddlers Explore Nature in New Creative Playgroup in OC Canyons

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Events | 0 comments

Starting this November 6th, Mary Montgomery will lead a structured playgroup called In Motion with Me at the newly renovated Silverado Children’s center. “This program will help your toddler reach his or her full potential,” Montgomery said. “Creative activities in the great outdoors will enrich your toddler’s language, movement, artistic, and social development.” Montgomery plans to incorporate nature themes with puppetry, dance, and storytelling throughout the four-week class. With fifteen years experience in creative education, Montgomery also developed and ran a creative arts program for children in San Francisco for five years. After Montgomery saw how much her sons learned from and enjoyed their time at the center’s pre-school, she agreed to help director Laurie Briggs develop a new toddler program. The class will meet on Thursdays from 9:30-11:00 AM for four weeks, beginning November 6th, skipping Thanksgiving week....

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Aquarium of the Pacific Autumn Festival

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Events | 0 comments

Celebrate the arts, cuisines, and cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines on November 8-9, 2014, at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. In China, people celebrate the Moon Festival. In Japan, regional harvest festivals, or matsuri, are held. Chuseok is the traditional Korean fall festival. Celebrate the magic of fall through the arts, cuisines, and cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines during the Aquarium of the Pacific’s thirteenth annual Autumn Festival. Held Saturday and Sunday, November 8-9, 2014, this festival offers a weekend of diverse learning opportunities and family entertainment. The festival will feature live music and dance performances, cultural arts exhibits, and crafts. Throughout the weekend artisans and other vendors will be displaying and selling their works. Various ethnic entrées will also be available for purchase. When: Saturday and Sunday, November 8-9,...

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Fuel for Young Athletes: Tips and Strategies

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Education, Family, Fitness, Hot Topics, Parenting | 1 comment

Fall sports are in full swing, but do you know what to feed your young athlete before, during and after games? Americans spend billions of dollars on specialized coaching and personal trainers (guilty!), so shouldn’t we pay attention to what these kids eat? After all, food is fuel, the fuel that sustains them during long and arduous practices, games and tournaments. But did you know young athletes are NOT like regular kids? Here are a few reasons why and strategies to keep them well fueled: Young Athletes are NOT like regular kids Young athletes are like expensive racecars; they need high quality fuel, and a lot of it! These kids/teens are not only spending lots of calories in order to grow, they have significant additional demands to keep up with their sports. Young athletes need to eat a lot...

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13th Annual Angelitos Card Fundraiser

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Events | 0 comments

Angelitos de Oro presents the 13th Annual Angelitos Card Fundraiser Benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County offers 20% savings at participating South Coast Plaza retailers and restaurants October 8th through the 14th. Angelitos de Oro, a women’s auxiliary that supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County’s High School Bigs program, will once again partner with South Coast Plaza for the 13th Annual Angelitos Card fundraiser. More than 110 boutiques and restaurants will offer a 20% savings when the Angelitos Card is presented. The Angelitos Card can be purchased for $60 online at prior to the event and at any South Coast Plaza concierge desk during the event. Through the fundraising efforts of Angelitos de Oro in 2013, $285,000 was raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County. Since its inception in 1961, Angelitos de...

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Five Ways to Protect Young Athletes from Concussions

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

School is back in session, and the laundry hamper is back to tackling your child athlete’s sports practice outfit three times a week. The stains on your son’s football pads make it clear that conditioning is no walk in the park, but what kind of physical dangers does your child actually face on the field? One risk that all sports parents should be aware of is the chance that their child could get a concussion. Of all high school sports, football presents boys with the highest risk (75% chance) of suffering from one, according to the Sports Concussion Institute. Younger players are especially susceptible to related long-term damage. Fortunately, the key to preventing and responding to a concussion correctly begins with equipping yourself with the right information. You’ve come to the right place for five tips that you should...

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Southeast Asia Day at The Aquarium of the Pacific

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Events, Theme Parks | 0 comments

Live performances of traditional music and dance, as well as cultural craft demonstrations and displays, will help transform the Aquarium into an exotic destination during its tenth annual Southeast Asia Day. Ethnic cuisine will be available for purchase, and children will have the opportunity to partake in arts and crafts. One of the most ethnically diverse cities in the nation, Long Beach is home to the largest population of Cambodians outside of Southeast Asia. The local area is also home to vibrant communities from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, and Myanmar. Through this unique celebration, the Aquarium of the Pacific seeks to foster a stronger connection with the local Southeast Asian community. Program Schedule Saturday, October 4, 2014 Festival hours 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Cultural Performances and Award Ceremony / Honda Blue Cavern 10:00 a.m. Cambodian Music – Ho...

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Eco Challenge Day at Angel Stadium

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in Events | 0 comments

Eco Challenge Day at Angel Stadium Saturday, September 20th, 2014 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Join the Eco Crew in saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall at our last Eco Challenge Day of the 2014 season! On Saturday, September 20th, 2014 bring your paper for free certified on-site document destruction and e-waste, gently used clothing, or household goods for donation to Goodwill of Orange County. The first 150 cars who bring items to Angel Stadium will receive either four free tickets to that night’s Angel game on September 20th (50 sets) or four free general admission tickets to Discovery Cube (100 sets). *while supplies last* Highlights Include: · Current Angels third base coach and alumni Gary DiSarcina will be signing autographs from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m! · Give away, prizes, and more from OC Waste &...

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The Aquarium of the Pacific Annual Native American Festival

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in Events | 1 comment

Envision what our region was like centuries ago, and learn about the various tribes that maintain their historical connection to the ocean at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Moompetam: Gathering of the Salt Water People. The Aquarium’s tenth annual Native American festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, September 20-21, 2014. This event will feature traditional music, dance, storytelling, cultural craft demonstrations, and educational programs. Families will be able to participate in arts and crafts for all ages as well as other activities inspired by local maritime cultures. Native American artists will present cultural objects, such as basketry, items of adornment, and artifacts of daily life. Moompetam (pronounced \’mohm peh tahm\), meaning “People of the Ocean,” is derived from the word for saltwater in the Tongva language. For the local, coastal, and island indigenous people of Southern California, the...

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Pretend City Diaper Drive

Posted by on Sep 4, 2014 in Events | 0 comments

For the entire month of September, Pretend City Children’s Museum is hosting a Diaper Drive to benefit MOMS Orange County, a nonprofit organization that has been serving low-income pregnant women for more than 20 years. Pretend City Children’s Museum will provide a $2 discount per ticket to anyone who brings in a diaper donation. Each donation must include at least 6 diapers. Pretend City is located at 29 Hubble in...

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