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New Summer Exhibits at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We attend as guest of the Aquarium.  This summer the Aquarium of the Pacific opens three new exhibits that will take visitors on a journey around the planet and back to California through new exhibits, films, and programs. The first exhibit, FROGS: Dazzling and Disappearing, will explore the mysterious world of frogs, ranging from lush rainforests to arid deserts. Visitors will learn about two dozen frogs and their amphibian relatives through new and  beautiful exhibits. Kids will be able to get up close and personal with many varieties of frogs they likely have never encountered before. Finally, the Aquarium, with their usual conservation and eco-friendly focus, will explore why frogs and other amphibians are disappearing from our planet and what we can do to help. The second exhibit focuses on archerfish and their unique hunting ability of forcefully blasting water from their mouths to...

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Bold Girlz to the Rescue with Superhero Etiquette Workshop

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We attended as guests of the venue. Have you ever wanted to instill in your kids a sense of manners and social graces, but not sure how to go about it and make it fun in the process?  Or, maybe as a Mom you aren’t confident in exactly the right fork to use for which course at a dinner party, much less how to instruct  your daughter to do so?  We’re not exactly in the old fashion age where etiquette caries a lot of weight, but that doesn’t mean that it all has to be thrown to the wind either. Enter Bold Girlz‘ brand new Superhero Etiquette Workshops, a fun, modern and interactive way of teaching manners and social graces to children ages 6 to 14. Bold Girlz is known for birthday parties, fashion camps and other events with a...

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5 Disneyland Hacks for Families with Young Kids

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Disney, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attend as guests of the venue. There are very few places on earth that can compete with the Magic of Disneyland in the eyes of your little ones. The amazing rides, fun-filled experiences, and something new and exciting to see at every turn. But let’s face it, as a parent it can be overwhelming to navigate if you’re a Disneyland rookie going for the first time in awhile, or if you’re a well-traveled guest but going solo with a few kids in tow. I’ve done Disneyland alone with three young kids more times than I can count, and while it hasn’t always been all sunshine and smiling Mickey faces (what is with three small kids and their respective tantrum possibility?!), we’ve made memories that I hope they will recall well into their adult years.  I know I look back so fondly...

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Kicking off the Holidays at Knott’s Merry Farm

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We attended as guests of the venue. This year our family visited Knott’s Merry Farm for the very first time. Having not been to the park since I was a child, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but we were so pleasantly surprised and it ended up being the perfect way to kick off the holiday season and really kick start our Christmas spirit! Upon entering the park the first thing one notices (especially my kids who are huge adrenaline junkies) are the huge rollercoasters looming overhead.  Screams and shrieks of joy (or possibly terror) ring out in the air, but are merrily drown out by Christmas music humming in the background.  We took that as our cue to first check out the seasonal happenings in the park. Almost everywhere you look there are festive holiday touches adorning the...

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The Secret Garden Ballet presented by Festival Ballet Theater

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We attended as guests of the venue. To top off a perfect Mother-Daughter Sunday afternoon, we recently attended The Secret Garden ballet preformed by Festival Ballet Theater at the Irvine Barclay Theater. Festival Ballet Theater (FBT) is one of Orange County’s premier accomplished professional ballet companies. Their mission is to enrich Orange County’s artistic and economic vitality, to inspire love and appreciation for dance, and to invigorate ballet. FBT produced a beautiful rendition of the classic tale, The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The story’s main themes of loss, hope, dreams and transformation are masterfully relayed through innovative choreography, original cinematic score, and multimedia design. Located in the heart of the University of California, Irvine, the Barclay Theater is a quaint, small-scale venue perfect for an intimate feel of a production.  It is small enough so that every seat in the...

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Fall Fun at the Irvine Park Pumpkin Patch

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We attended as guest of the venue. One of the hands-down best pumpkin patches in Orange County is Irvine Park Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch.  We go nearly every year and are always impressed. Located at Irvine Regional Park, and set among rural scenery and tall oak and sycamore trees, it is the quintessential pumpkin patch.  There are tons of fun activities for the kids, various photo ops, a train, haunted house and, of course, pumpkins! Admission to the pumpkin patch is free and tickets for the different rides and actives can be purchased individually or in a book (for a discount). If your kids are like ours, they’ll want to do everything, so we think it best to opt for the book and let everyone have their fun! Activities include: train ride, hay ride, moon bounce, John Deer races, carnival...

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Ultimate Angel’s Fan Afternoon with Mike Trout

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in Events, Family | 0 comments

We attended the event as a guest of BODYARMOR Sports Drink When we were invited to a private meet and greet with Angels’ centerfielder Mike Trout, we knew just the family to send to this event. Huge Angels baseball – and more importantly Mike Trout – fans, this athletic family of four were just the people to represent OC Mom Blog in going to the Big A and getting some fun details of Mike Trout’s life and baseball career. Here’s our experience…. Halo! There are a couple of things you need to know about my family. First, we love baseball. Second, we love Angels baseball. When I found out that our editor needed someone to cover this special event. The big question was, do I tell my kids? It was decided, definitely not. We needed them to sleep for the next...

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Orange County Congenital Heart Walk

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Events | 0 comments

Present at birth, but not often diagnosed until children are older, a congenital heart defect (CHD) is a problem with the structure of the heart. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect in the United States, affecting approximately one in one hundred, or 40,000 newborns each year. Many families in Orange County and across the country have been impacted by this unfortunate health issue. However, with several wonderful organizations supporting ongoing fundraising and research, families impacted by a CHD can be assured advocates are standing by them for their child’s health, hope and happiness. The Congenital Heart Walk (CHW) is the only national event series dedicated to fighting congenital heart disease. This year, more than 50,000 supporters will gather in more than 30 cities across the U.S. with the goal of raising much needed funds to benefit cutting-edge research, patient programs,...

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Horses, Dragons and Vanishing Animals at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended as guests of the Aquarium. The Aquarium of the Pacific recently launched two new exhibitions: Horses and Dragons and Vanishing Animals. Horses and Dragons features approximately a dozen species of seahorses and seadragons and their relatives. These beautiful creatures are amazing to see up close and personal.  The knowledgeable and friendly Aquarium staff can relay all sorts of interesting facts about these animals.  One of our family’s favorites was learning that in most species of seahorses and sea dragons, the male carries the egg in a brood pouch. We thought this was such a fun fact, and as a mother of three I personally applaud these Daddies for enduring pregnancy! Vanishing Animals is the Aquarium’s new exhibition focusing on the issue of ocean extinctions and how to prevent them. Recent research reveals that we are at a crucial...

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Mermaid Yoga Birthday Party at Grace + Zen

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Family, Fitness, Health | 0 comments

 We attended as guests of the studio. Last year a chic new yoga and ballet studio, Grace + Zen, opened in South Orange County.Centrally located in San Juan Capistrano right off the 5 freeway, Grace + Zen offers classes for both boys and girls ages infant to teen as well as camps and parties. We were so excited about the party packages they offer that we just had to try it out for ourselves.  And let me tell you, the experience was delightful! Nicki Sulon, owner and founder and certified children’s yoga and dance instructor, understands that busy Moms want options when it comes to throwing birthday parties. Some years a party may be an all out extravaganza; and some years time and energy limit the soiree.  But in any case, as Moms we want it to be a memorable and fun...

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The Red Barn: A Farm to Fork Experience at Centennial Farm

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

We dined as a guest of the venue A brand new dining experience has just become available at the Millennium Barn at Centennial Farm at the OC Fair & Event Center. This unique evening included the rural setting of the iconic Millennium Barn, paired with four hand-selected courses by Executive Chef Cathy Pavlos, of Lucca and Provenance, complimented by expert pairings from the Orange County Wine Society.  For foodies and wine connoisseur alike, it was quite the experience! The evening began with hor d’oeuvres and champagne served outside in the gardens of the three acre working farm under the setting sun. Guests were invited to grab a glass of bubbly and nibble on a crab cake or bruschetta while wandering the rows of planted vegetables or viewing the new spring baby piglets and lambs. After cocktail hour in the gardens, guests were ushered into the...

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The Melt Comes to the Shops at Mission Viejo

Posted by on May 14, 2016 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

We visited as guests of the restaurant.A fast(ish) food chain that serves real food, containing 100% natural ingredients with names you can pronounce, no artificial ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup anywhere on premises (even in the ketchup or soda)…. and the food is still delicious and fun!? This is the stuff that dreams are made of right? Enter: The Melt.This order-at-the-counter, casual eatery was founded on the premise of brining a better-for-you option to the fast food industry, that didn’t skimp on flavor. Using quality ingredients ranging from artisan baked buns to in season produce to all natural meats, not only makes their food heads above their competition in quality, but also in taste. The salads are fresh, the fries have an option be made of sweet potatoes, and the soft serve has merely five ingredients, of which food dye...

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Once Upon A Time at Bower’s Kidseum

Posted by on May 13, 2016 in Museums, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended as guests of the museum. Once Upon a Time… Exploring the World of Fairy Tales is the new exhibit at Bower’s Kidseum. The various hands-on and educational displays explore the wonder and importance of Fairy Tales throughout history and from around the world.  Seven favorite Fairy Tales are depicted on larger than life, interactive storybook pages thought the museum. Little ones can read (or be read) a synopsis of the story and then get a unique hands-on feel for it as they interact with the exhibits. The Fairy Tales detailed include: Anansi and the Talking Melon Beauty and the Beast Cinderella The Elves and the Shoemaker Jack and the Beanstalk Lon Po Po Thumbelina Kidseum’s mission is “Igniting imagination through exploration,” stressing the excitement of art, archaeology and world cultures. A perfect safe place for toddlers through early...

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Best OC Swim School: Evolution Swim Academy

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Camp, Family | 0 comments

Sponsored Evolution Swim Academy, founded by two-time olympian Felipe Delgado, is one of Orange County’s top learn to swim schools.  The program was developed to offer multiple learning levels where with each level a student gets closer to becoming a safer swimmer. In addition to swim lessons and parent and me swim lessons, they also offer stroke development and stroke technique lessons, introductory swim team, water polo and summer camps. Evolution Swim Academy serves many cities throughout Orange County, including Aliso Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo and Rancho Mission Viejo.My 18 month old took Mommy and Me lessons at the state of the art Mission Viejo location and loved it! The staff is welcoming, and the teachers are friendly and know how to work with kids. The Mommy and Me class was a small group class that incorporated a few songs...

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Eco-Friendly and Stylish Cienta Shoes

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Family, Fashion, Shopping | 0 comments

We received sample shoes in exchange for our honest review. Cienta Shoes is an internationally recognized brand of eco-friendly, stylish shoes made in Spain. For over 30 years this family owned business has specialized in making high quality, natural rubber shoes for children. Their production process is focused on the correct development of young feet and comfort is of top priority. Now, for how this natural rubber based shoe hits the road… When we opened up our two sample pairs of shoes, I immediately thought they were cute and stylish.  We tested out a girl pair of Mary Jane’s and a toddler boy pair of suede booties. In my opinion cute girl’s clothes and shoes are a breeze to come by, but sometimes it’s more difficult to find on trend boy’s fashions. But these booties are a kick.  Just look...

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Bubblefest at Discovery Cube OC

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Events, Museums, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended as guests of Discovery Cube OC. Bubblefest, Discovery Cube OC’s most popular event, has returned this Spring and is celebrating twenty years of squeaky clean magical fun! Bubblefest and the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show have captivated Orange County audiences young and old for two decades, and this year’s celebration is bigger and better than ever! Bubblefest features hands on bubble play and exhibits, a bubble lab run by a bubble scientist, floating water spheres, inflatables, a photo op of “me in a bubble,”  and a bubble and laser light show in the newly opened Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater. It’s difficult to say what our family’s favorite part of bubbefest was. My girls, ages 6 and 3, loved the floating bubble spheres, in which they were blown up into a plastic bubble-like sphere and floated weightlessly across an indoor pool...

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Segerstom Debuts Egg by Cahoots NI

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Entertainment, Theatre | 0 comments

We attended as guests of SCTFA. Segerstrom Center for the Art’s (SCFTA) wonderful Family Discovery Series debuted a new family friendly production this month entitled Egg. I took my two girls (ages 3 and 6) for a Mommy Daughter date day, and it was the perfect way to spend a beautiful spring afternoon! Egg, performed by Cahoots NI, a professional children’s theater company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is told through physical theatre, illusion and music. It is a funny, emotional, yet delightful story that tells of brotherhood, love, and leaving the nest, a theme that resonates as strongly with children as it does with adults. My girls got quite weepy at the scenes of the endearing brother birds leaving the comfort and routine of the nest and flying off to their own lives, a reality that even the youngest audience...

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American Premiere of Choré by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo at Segerstrom

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Ballet, Entertainment, Theatre | 0 comments

 We attended as guests of SCFTA. Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo returned to the stage at Segerstrom Center for the Arts for the third time to bring the American premiere of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Choré, featuring music by Danny Elfman and John Cage. “Chord,” translated from French to mean “choreography,” is set in Hollywood’s Golden Age and explores the evolution of American dance and the political and word events that have shaped it.  Maillot’s stunning choreography and beautiful dancers are set off by music by Emmy and Grammy® winning composer, Elfman, and one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, Cage. Debuting on Valentine’s weekend, Choré was the perfect pre-Valentine’s date night for my hubby and me. Segerstrom Center for the Arts is one of our favorite activities for a date night because with it’s prime location it lends itself perfectly to dinner at one...

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Pretend City Welcomes Taqueria de Anda as New Pretend Cafe

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Museums, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended as guests of the museum. There’s a new Cafe in town! More precisely, a new Pretend Cafe, that is. Pretend City Children’s Museum, an all time OC favorite among kids and Moms alike, has, as many know, a whole city full of imaginative and educational buildings and activities.  From the warf to the beach, and the gas station to the dentist office, there is a plethora of spaces for kids to explore through purposeful play and hands-on learning experiences. What some may not realize is that every quarter Pretend City intentionally introduces a brand new Cafe exhibit as part of their Developing and Discovering Diversity program, which promotes the education of culinary and cultural diversity. By periodically changing the Pretend Cafe, the smallest of patrons are exposed to new and exciting foods and cultures, all in a fun...

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Springtime Fun at Irvine Park Railroad’s Easter Eggstravaganza

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 in Easter, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended as guests of Irvine Park Railroad. Each year Spring is celebrated and Easter season in kicked off by the Easter Eggstravaganza held at Irvine Park Railroad.  This is THE event to be at as far as Easter in concerned in Orange County ,and my kiddos, ages one through six, thought it was an absolute ball! When you enter the parking lot at Irvine Regional Park dedicated to the Irvine Park Railroad, you pull up to a big tractor-pulled hay ride, which of course catches any toddler boy’s eye immediately, and you can view glimpses of the games and bounce houses lying just beyond the train in the grove area of the park. After you catch up with your kids (who all took off running for the fun), you can wonder around under the trees to the various booths...

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Basketball, Comedy, & Shenanigans with the Harlem Globetrotters

Posted by on Feb 24, 2016 in Events | 0 comments

The Harlem Globetrotters are a one of a kind exhibition basketball team that has combined a love of basketball and comedy for fans for the past 90 years. Their performances mesh basketball and gymnastics athleticism with acting and comedy to produce a show unlike any other. We recently attended one of their performances during their 90th-year tour and enjoyed all the (sometimes crazy!) entertainment. One of the unique and fun things about the Globetrotters is that they involve their audience whenever possible.  Kids are pulled out on the court during breaks in the game and halftime; players talk to front row fans when on the sideline, and are always encouraging audience participation. At our particular show, we saw an entire Boy Scout team pulled out on the court for some shenanigans as well as one of the best-loved players, TNT, wandered...

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Fruit and Veggie Infused Cupcakes via Fluffy Buns Bakery

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Dining, Featured, Health | 1 comment

When I first heard about the treats in which Fluffy Buns Bakery specializes – fruit and vegetable infused cupcakes – I knew my family would love to try them. Having a food-dye allergy in our family makes enjoying store-bought bakery items next to impossible, but not with these whole-food based treats! The two Mom-friends (who also happen to be neighbors local in Orange County) who founded Fluffy Buns did so to give their children more choices when it comes to treats than the standard cakes laced with dyes and other unhealthy, unnatural ingredients. These mini cupcakes made with real, whole fruits and vegetables. Fluffy Buns uses all natural ingredients and everything about the cupcakes – color, taste and texture – is derived from the fruits and vegetables with which they are made. Chatting with founders, Karen and Ingel, you can tell...

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The American Girl Cafe in Los Angeles

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Dining, Shopping | 0 comments

We recently had the pleasure of the lunch experience at The Cafe at American Girl. Our American Girls, and their American Girl dolls, loved it! American Girl has definitely perfected dining catered to kids with their cafe in Los Angeles. They supply high chairs and tea cups for all dolls, which my girls thought was pretty much the most fun ever. On every table is a box of fun conversation starters to spark a discussion that you might now otherwise think of. And at every turn they are bringing out a new little starter plate to nibble on, or a bubbly drink to enjoy out of a fancy glass! The multi-course meal started the moment we sat down with miniature cinnamon buns for everyone. Shortly after that, our festive drinks arrived, followed by a crudités and cheese platter. Not long after...

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2016 American Girl of the Year – Lea Clark

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Family, Shopping | 0 comments

In the last weeks of 2015, there was a buzz on social media about the 2016 American Girl of the Year.  American Girl slowly released clues about her story, and there was all sorts of speculation among fans over what she would look like and details about her life. At long last, on January 1st, Lea Clark, 2016 Girl of the Year, graced stores across America and online, and people were finally able to get their hands on her and her three-book series. Lea is an adventurous girl who is interested in photography and traveling the world, and has a deep love for animals.  Her adventures take her and her close-knit family to Brazil where she explores the culture, beaches and rainforest, as well as what true courage looks like. We were fortunate enough to be introduced to Lea on...

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The Magic of the Nutcracker by American Ballet Theater at Segerstrom Hall

Posted by on Dec 13, 2015 in Christmas, Entertainment, Events, Holiday, Theatre | 0 comments

We attended as guest of SCFTA. The magic of Christmas has come alive with the American Ballet Theater’s (ABT) stunning performance of The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Hall. A long time family favorite, this classic story follows young Clara on a dreamlike adventure through fantastic scenery to find magical toy soldiers, sugar plum fairies, villainous mice, glittery snowflakes, and best of all, beautifully choreographed and executed ballet.  ABT’s newest Nutcracker, created by Alexei Ratmansky and featuring sets and costumes from Richard Hudson (Broadway’s Lion King) boasts a cast of more than 100 performers. Music by Peter Tchaikovsky with Pacific Symphony is the quintessential backdrop to the phenomenal dancers on stage. The Nutcracker has become one of our very favorite mother daughter Christmas traditions. This was my daughter’s fourth year attending a Nutcracker, and in the months leading up to Christmas, she greatly looks...

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Holiday Snow Days at Legoland

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday, LegoLand | 0 comments

We attended at guests of the park. Snow has come to the beach! Just south of Orange County, in the seaside village of Carlsbad, LEGOLAND California is having fun in the sun… and snow! The Park kicked off it’s annual winter celebration, Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights, which will run November 21st 2015 through January 3, 2016. The celebration boasts holiday themed treats, festive entertainment, holiday decorations, nightly fireworks, and, of course, SNOW! Patrons are invited to enjoy two snow areas in the park’s Fun Town. Kids can sled, throw snowballs at LEGO themed targets, build snowmen with LEGO accessories, as well as participate in the Holiday Village Build. The LEGO Friends also bring a holiday show to Heartlake Village. Kids can sing and dance to their hearts content along with the LEGO Friends, and enjoy the snowfall at...

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Adventure Play Park at Sendero Field

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Featured, Parks, San Juan Capistrano | 0 comments

The new community of Rancho Mission Viejo, located off Ortega Hwy and Antonio, between the communities of Ladera Ranch and San Juan Capistrano, has sprung up quickly with lots to offer and even more construction on the way. One of the highlights of this new community is the Adventure Play Park located on Sendero Field. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting this fun, new Orange County Park! Adventure Play Park is an eco-friendly, nature-inspired sanctuary where the kids can run and play on the vast open grass spaces, climb to their hearts content on the various play/climbing structures, and explore the rustic surroundings. Playground feature include, but are not limited to: Climbing logs, rocks and ropes Swings – three regular and one baby Tree house Log crawl tunnel “Imagination stations” Log balance beams Many slides, including a...

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A Year with Frog and Toad at South Coast Repertory

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

 We attended as guests of South Coast Repertory.  The fabulous, Tony Award nominated musical, A Year with Frog and Toad, retuned to excited audiences at the South Coast Repertory (SCR) this November via their Theatre for Young Audiences series. The musical is based on the classic children’s books written by Arnold Lobel, which have captivated readers for generations with their whimsical characters who explore of the meaning of true friendship in charming storylines. Lobel’s daughter, Adrianne Lobel, commissioned the musical in 2002, which had huge success both on and off Broadway. A Year with Frog and Toad, catalogs a year between two unlikely and utterly opposite friends. Frog is a gregarious and adventurous fellow, while Toad is a shy and somewhat grumpy companion. No matter their differences, or the rift that threatens to form in their friendship, they discover the important lesson that...

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Grace and Zen – Chic New Children’s Yoga and Ballet Studio Comes to OC

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Family, Fitness, Parenting | 0 comments

South Orange County is in for a treat with the chic new yoga and ballet studio, Grace and Zen. Centrally located in San Juan Capistrano right off the 5 freeway, Grace and Zen offers classes for both boys and girls ages infant to teen. Each 1.5 hour class includes age appropriate instruction in yoga and/or ballet, along with a craft or healthy allergy-free snack. Founded and Owned by Ms Nikki, a certified and experienced children’s yoga and dance instructor who is passionate about working with children, Grace and Zen is the perfect place to let your little one explore the exciting worlds of yoga and dance in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. To view current class offerings, or to take advantage of the November and December unlimited class special, please visit graceandzenoc.com. In addition to regular yoga and ballet...

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The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China

Posted by on Oct 31, 2015 in Entertainment, Events, Theatre | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the SCFTA We recently had a Mother-Daughte night out at the Rene and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall to see one of our all time favorite shows: The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China! The show incorporates amazing stunts in acrobatics, juggling, bicycling and traditional Chinese culture, to name a few.  By intermission, we had seen so many mind-boggling performances, the stunts on stage almost started to look normal.  The strength and grace of these performers are absolutely amazing! My six year old has aspired to be a gymnast, and for the second year in a row has sat in absolute amazement of the feats being performed on stage. It is a performance by which all ages will be mesmerized. I have two daughters and some of our favorite Mother-Daughter dates have...

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Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr by Broadway on Tour

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Disney, Events, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended as guests of Broadway on Tour. We recently had the pleasure of attending Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr, presented by Broadway on Tour, an Orange County youth theater. Broadway on Tour (BOT) is a local non-profit organization that has been operating in Orange County for nearly thirty years. Their moto “children bringing theater to children” is quite impressive in two-fold. First, due to educational budget cuts, California school do not have means to fund any substantial education in the arts, and therefore there is often a lack of space for children to learn and display their talent in the community. Second, BOT provides affordable live theater to audiences of all ages, many of whom are youths and just gaining an introduction to a world of entertainment outside of TV, movies, and other “non-organic” storytelling. The BOT productions are currently...

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Glitter, Glitz and Glamour at Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Disney, Events, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Disney We were lucky enough to take two of our very own princesses on a mommy-daughter day to Disney Live!  Three Classic Fairy Tales. The show, as expected from anything by Disney, was spectacular, and audiences (many full of mini princesses) sat with rapt attention.  This particular Disney Live! was full of the classic Minnie and Mickey characters, but mainly covered three classic fairy tales (as the name suggests): Snow White, Cinderella and Belle. The gowns were chock full of glitter and glitz and the design rivaled broadway quality, as this video explains. Our little princesses were more than impressed, although they were equally ecstatic with lollypops at intermission.  Oh to be three again! For more information, including showtimes and tickets for all Disney Live! productions, please visit Disney Live! Whether it is a...

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Pizza 900 Debut of Pretend City’s All New Pretend Cafe

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

We attended as a guest of Pretend City On Friday, July 17th, Pretend City Children’s Museum, located in Irvine, debuted their all new Pretend Cafe, Pizza 900. Fashioned after the real life Pizza 900, located in Laguna Hills, the pretend Pizza 900 encourages kids to use their imagination to create and serve an all time favorite – PIZZA! In true Pretend City fashion, kids are given all the tools they need to put their imaginations to work.  From toppings, to pizza stones and ovens, they can walk through preparing authentic woodfired pizzas, just like the folks at Pizza 900 do every day. But, as with any pizza, half the fun is eating it of course! To celebrate Pretend Pizza 900’s debut, the real life Pizza 900 was on premise giving away free authentic Napoleon woodfired pizza slices to Pretend...

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Eifman Ballet of St Petersburg – Up and Down West Coast Premiere

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Ballet, Entertainment | 0 comments

We attended as guests of SCFTA On Friday, June 5th, the Eifman Ballet of St Petersburg debuted their West Coast premier of Boris Eifman’s new Up and Down at Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA). The tragic ballet enacts the irony of a world enslaved by betrayal and darkness. In his own words, director Eifman explains the ballet “is to remind us of the fatal consequences of a man betraying himself.”*  The tragedy portrayed in the ballet, juxtaposed to a beautiful, carefree world depicted in the jazz-enspired ensembles, creates a balance that many a ballet enthusiasts are sure to enjoy.  By the end of the night, audiences were on their feet cheering the company’s performance. I had the pleasure of attending the ballet with a friend for a Mom’s night out.  Between us we have eight kids, all under six years old,...

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Sea Jellies at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Featured, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the Aquarium New and intriguing exhibits featuring Sea Jellies opened at the Aquarium of the Pacific Friday May 22, 2015. These beautiful, shimmering creatures have no heart, brain or eyes, but have existed since before the time of the dinosaurs. All new exhibits, films and educational programs explore numerous varieties of Sea Jellies, and their importance in our ocean ecosystems. The beautiful Jellies amazed us. The Aquarium of the Pacific boasts a large variety of Jellies, which are challenging animals to maintain properly in captivity.  Their short lifecycle and particular habitat demand a high level of care, which the knowledgeable personnel at the Aquarium provide. Among others, at the Aquarium, you can see Purple Striped Jellies, Pacific and Japanese Sea Nettle, Comb Jellies, Lion’s Mane Jellies, and Egg Yolk Jellies. There is even an opportunity to touch...

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Kapital K – Big Style for the Little Guy

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Shopping | 0 comments

Review product received Kapital K is a fashion forward clothing line for little dudes from newborn to size 6. They concentrate on “big style for the little guy,” and let me tell you, what I’ve seen fits everything they’re aiming for: cool, hip, fun, stylish and edgy. Personally I’m more accustomed to girl’s threads, as my first two babes are girls, and sometimes it’s hard to find cute, trendy items for my little guy.  There just doesn’t seem to be the variety for boys that there is for girls many places. I understand that oftentimes boys live in shorts and t-shirts, but at some point that has to end! Enter Kapital K. Their current Winter 2014 line boasts everything from your basic polos and plaids, to corduroy toggle hoddies with faux fur trim and denim tuxedo shirts with suspenders. Cute! Kapital...

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Alternative Sweets Recipe Roundup

Posted by on Jan 11, 2015 in Family, Health, Recipes | 0 comments

In the United States we eat a lot of processed junk food.  I think we’ve actually become immune to the taste of it; sometimes sugary treats don’t even taste that sweet! The good news is that we can reverse the effect that years of consuming junk food has had on our taste buds and retrain our palate, in my opinion.  Or – even better! – we can orient our impressionable kids’ palates towards more whole foods from the beginning. My family doesn’t eat much junk food. But I come from a long line of natural sweet-tooths, so we try to satisfy that longing for sweets with reasonable choices.  We extremely rarely eat store bought sweets and are very picky when we do.  This keeps us away not only from refined sugar, but also hydrogented oils, preservatives, artificial flavors and...

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Quinny Buzz Xtra Stoller Review

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Family, Parenting, Shopping | 0 comments

Review product received Quinny, a leader in stroller and buggy design for over 20 years, offers a variety of strollers for use from birth up to 50 pounds. Quinny is known for its innovative solutions, perfectly balancing a trendsetting sense of fashion and extremely reliable technology. They have become one of Europe’s most respected stroller brands for the urban lifestyle. We enjoyed testing out one of Quinny’s most popular models, the Quinny Buzz Xtra. The Buzz is sleek and stylish and a breeze to push.  With air-filled all terrain tires, and a height-adjustable pushbar, it is ready to go on most every surface you can immagine and comfortable for both Mom or Dad (who can vary, sometimes greatly, in height) to push. This stroller can be used from birth when combined with a Quinny Tukk foldable carrier or a Maxi-Cosi infant car seat.  An adaptor for...

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Orange County Sends Out 2014 in a Winter Wonderland

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in Featured, New Year's Eve, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Residents around Orange County woke up New Year’s Eve morning to a rare sight: SNOW! And this snow wasn’t just high atop Saddleback Mountain either.  For the first time in many residents’ memory, the snow level was low enough to actually play in! Amazing!  When my husband called me at 6:45am, fifteen minutes after he left for work, I thought it was an emergency (since he doesn’t usually call at that time) and frantically answered my phone. No emergency here; other than that he told me to throw the kids in the car as soon as they woke up and drive the 241 to get a good look at the mountains before the snow started melting. We did just that; teeth unbrushed, rain boots and jackets over jammies, and with just a quick stop for hot chocolate (because snow...

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The Christmas Angel: a Family Holiday Tradition

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

I absolutely love Christmas. I love the coziness, the time spent with family, the traditions.  It is, arguably, the most wonderful time of the year! We, just like so many families, have enjoyed building our own special Christmas traditions.  If you’re involved in any way in things revolving around parenting, teaching, or otherwise raising kids these days – or if you’re reading this blog! – you’ve surely heard of Elf on the Shelf.  This little tradition sounded super fun to me, as did the rascally things the little Elf did (marshmallow snow storm in the kitchen — what could be more fun?!). But I also wanted to focus my energy – and let’s be honest Moms’ energy is spread thin, especially this time of year! – on orienting my family more around giving and the true meaning of Christmas. So, two years...

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Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Disney, Entertainment, Events, Featured, Music | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Feld In the popular Disney Live! show, Micky’s Music Festival, Mickey and gang light up the stage and jam to classic Disney hits remixed with today’s record toppers in hip hop, pop, swing, reggae, rock, country and more. Featuring Disney’s Aladdin and Little Mermaid and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story, audiences of all ages will be enraptured in the fun and action on stage. Afterall, no one does magic quite like Disney! My two girls, ages five and two, were thrilled to see the show at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. One of our favorite numbers was when the daughters of Triton brought Beyonce to the stage with Put a Ring on It. Those mermaids can rock! Classic hits performed by Aladdin and Jasmin and Woody and Jesse were also great fun. For more information and tickets to Mickey’s...

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The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in Entertainment, Theatre | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the Segerstrom Segerstom Center for the Arts (SCFTA) is one of Orange County’s gems, providing quality entertainment and cultural experiences for a wide range of theater goers. From well-known broadway hits to smaller scale live concerts, there is something for everyone at one of their several venues. Recently my daughter and I had a fabulous Mother-Daughter afternoon seeing the National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China, which visited the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Founded in 1951 and based out of Beijing, the National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China has long been one of the most acclaimed acrobatic groups in China. They are known for their superhuman strength and flexibility, preforming some of the most amazing feats seen onstage. Since the Company began, more than 200 of their talented artists have...

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Whale Watching with Dana Wharf

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Activities, Events, Featured | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Dana Wharf Our family had the opportunity to go on a whale watching adventure with Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching, located out of Dana Point Harbor. With the beautiful sights and knowledgable crew it was a fun and educational experience for our whole family. Our family of four (almost five) checked in with the Dana Wharf team about a half an hour before our departure time of 10am.  We were given our tickets and lingered around the harbor for a few minutes waiting for our boat to board.  If you haven’t been, Dana Point Harbor is a wonderful place to spend a morning, or evening, or any time, really.  It’s small enough to walk – although if you toured the entire thing, you’d get a decent workout – and has lovely, quaint shops and...

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Belo Blow Dry Bar in Laguna Beach (Giveaway)

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Beauty, Family, Featured, Giveaways | 13 comments

We attended as a guest of Belo Belo Blow Dry Bar is the posh new blow dry bar in Laguna Beach. Opening just a month ago, it is the newest and trendiest place for all your hair-styling needs. When we heard that Shelby’s hairdresser (Jordan) who has been coloring her hair for years was starting at Belo, I could not wait to come to the salon to get my hair done for my baby shower. Whether you’re looking for an up-do for a special event, a wash and sleek blowout, a deep conditioning treatment, or a unique party, Belo has something for everyone.  They even offer a “Mama’s Princess” service, which consists of stylish and chic ponys or braids for ages 10 and under. What a fun idea for a Mommy/daughter date day!  Check their services for more information and pricing. With eight...

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Super Soccer Stars: Educational and Fun Exercise for All Ages

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Family, Featured, Fitness, Hot Topics | 0 comments

We attended a class as a guest of Super Soccer Stars Super Soccer Stars’ goal is to teach soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive, educational environment. Their specially designed curriculum along with low coach-to-child ratios builds individual player self-confidence and team work, and most importantly, keeps the game fun! My two year old daughter had the chance to preview her first ever soccer class with Super Soccer Stars at their Irvine location.  While she didn’t have any prior experience with soccer and no expectations – other than to “use her feet not hands!” (as I’d been coaching her all morning) – I played soccer as a youth and in adult leagues, as well as coached my older daughter, so I went in with some expectations.  I’m pleased to say that they were definitely met with the Super Soccer Stars...

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Ghost the Musical at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Posted by on Aug 3, 2014 in Entertainment, Featured, Theatre | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the Segerstrom The new Broadway and West End show, Ghost the Musical, came to Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA) this week. Based on the Academy Award winning movie, the show has been seen by more than one million people worldwide and has been nominated for numerous awards, including five Olivier Awards and three Tony Awards.  GHOST – THE MUSICAL does not disappoint audiences with it’s classic love-story plot, but the truly unique part of the show are the special effects never before seen in an onstage musical. Based in modern-day New York City, two lovebirds, Sam (Steven Grant Douglas) and Molly (Katie Postotnik), portray just how much the supernatural power of love is capable of. When Sam meets an untimely death by a mugger on a dark city street, his love for Molly, who...

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Yo-Yo Flower Headband Tutorial

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 in Crafts, Family, Featured | 0 comments

  These little flower are known traditionally as yo-yo flowers and have been around, I hear, since the Great Depression when women used to make them out of scrap fabric. They are cute, versatile and, best of all, super simple to make. You can whip one up in mere minutes. The uses for them are limited only by imagination, and Pinterest can provide lots of inspiration. Embellish a shirt, pin them to a scarf, tack a few of them on a throw pillow, or make a headband like we did here. Once you know how to make them, the possibilities are endless! Yo-Yo Flower Headband Tutorial Supplies: Fabric – any fabric will work, but thinner cotton-type is easiest to start with Needle and thread Headband Gem embellishment Circle template Scissors Pen Method: On the wrong side of the fabric, trace your circle template....

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Linda Lane Park in San Clemente: Play with an Ocean View

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Parks, San Clemente | 0 comments

Linda Lane Park in San Clemente is a cute little park with an amazing view. If gazing at the ocean while the kids happily sway on swings and shoot down slides makes your heart happy, this is the park for you. Linda Lane Park is located  right up the street from Linda Lane beach, a great kid-friendly OC beach, and has a good view of the coast starting from there. Standing at the bottom of the parking lot just down from the park provides a sweeping view of the San Clemente pier to the South and Dana Point to the North.  This is also an access point to the San Clemente Beach trail. Parking is shared by beach and park patrons and payed for at metered pay stations, which accept cash or credit card.  Parking can sometimes be a challenge in...

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Spence Baby: Premium Organic Baby Apparel

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014 in Family, Shopping | 0 comments

Review Sample Received We recently had the pleasure of sampling items from a new organic baby apparel line founded here in Orange County. Spence Baby’s niche market is premium organic baby apparel that is stylish, something that is hard to come by in the marketplace today. Their mission is to empower fashion forward parents with the ability to make green choices. Spence Baby was born out of Sandy Barton’s, a local OC Mom, dream of dressing her new daughter, Spencer Grace  (Spence Baby’s namesake), in healthy and eco-friendly clothing that didn’t sacrifice style. Barton’s history in the fashion industry for over 20 years equipped her well for this new venture.  Spence Baby’s business model provides for: Sustainability Avoiding the use of child and other unfair labor practices Charity Offering a pure and beautiful product to their customers Now, down to our experience with this product in...

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Riviera Beach in San Clemente

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in San Clemente | 0 comments

One of our very favorite beaches in Orange County is Riviera Beach in San Clemente.  Riviera lies South of the pier and North of San Clemente State Beach and Campground, and is a great beach for kids due to it’s sandy bottom and outside break.  It can get swells, too, when conditions are right, so it’s popular with the surf crowd as well. Access to the beach is through the Riviera residential district.  Parking, found only on neighborhood streets, can be in short supply on busy summer days and the weekends, so it can be a bit of a walk from the car, but completely worth it. There is a turn around in the cul de sac directly above the access point, so dropping kids and beach gear and then parking is possible. Beach access is to the far...

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Tanaka Farms Strawberry Tour

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in Activities, Family | 0 comments

Tanaka Farms is a 30-acre working family farm located in the heart of Irvine.  One of the unique things about Tanaka Farms is their educational tours offered throughout the seasons in which kids and adults are able to experience the workings of a real farm, and, best of all, taste a variety of their delicious, organic produce.   Tanaka Farms offers four different tours throughout the year: Strawberry Tours (March-June) Watermelon Tours (July-August) Harvest Tours (March – August) U-Pick Pumpkin Patch (October) In December, the farm offers a Christmas tree lot. Reservations are generally required for tours, and can be made by calling call (949) 653-2100 ext.204. When you arrive for your tour wear comfortable clothes, close-toed shoes, and bring a hat and plenty of sunscreen in the warm months.  From the moment you arrive, and park – on their dirt lot – you...

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Linda Lane Beach in San Clemente

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in Beaches, San Clemente | 0 comments

Linda Lane Beach in San Clemente may be one of the perfect – if not the perfect – kid beach in Orange County.  With it’s sandy bottom, outside break, and long shoreline, it is a great place for young kids to play in the water as well as older kids to boogie board (all with supervision, of course). Add to that it’s relatively close parking and stroller accessibility and it’s a beach-going Mama’s dream come true. It’s adventure waiting to happen, I tell you, all within a toddler’s walk from the car.  Hooray! Parking is readily accessible, although it does fill up quickly on busier summer days. Meters, which accept cash or credit card, are available in the parking lot. Once parked, it’s a short, albeit steep, walk down a ramp to a tunnel under the railroad tracks that...

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Summer Fun Activity: Homemade Slime

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Activities, Crafts, Family, Featured, Summer | 0 comments

It’s the first week of summer around here and my girls’ very first request was to “make a craft!” I love to craft, so I guess the fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree, although I likely wouldn’t have chosen what they settled on: SLIME!  Glittery slime at that! This is a sweetly surprisingly simple activity; one we settled on because we happened to have all two ingredients on hand!  Score! Well, truly it’s three ingredients, but who counts water!? Ya’ll should have that on hand. Ingredients: Glue Borax Water Method: Empty 1 bottle of glue into a large bowl.  We used a plastic bowl so little hands could be in charge and nothing would go crash.  We also used colored glitter glue, which yielded bright, glittery results!  This allowed us to skip coloring the slime. If you use a bottle of...

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Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park

Posted by on Jun 21, 2014 in Featured, Parks, Wagon Wheel Canyon | 0 comments

Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park (Riley Park) boasts 544 acres of beautiful, natural, open space. While its five miles of trails are popular with hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians, and it’s vast natural fields are growing in popularity with photographers, it seems little known to the general public. The amenities at Riley Park include: Amphitheater Bicycling/Bike Trails Equestrian Trails Family Picnic Area Hiking Trails Interpretive Center Interpretive Programs Restrooms (Portable) Scenic Overlook Picnic Tables The five miles of open trails are a joy for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. But because it remains somewhat of a “secret spot,” it is generally never very crowded.  And even on a “busy” Saturday morning, it’s vast trails provide isolation hard to find in most parts of Orange County. Amenities for equestrians are available directly adjacent to the parking lot. The amphitheater would be a beautiful...

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Pretend City’s Family Fun and Wellness Fair

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Events, Featured, Museums, Theme Parks | 0 comments

Sponsored On Saturday, June 7th, the ever-popular Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, hosted their 5th annual Family Fun and Wellness Fair. Dubbed Good To Go From Head To Toe, the fair was an educational initiative aimed at informing the community about healthy child development and the importance of regular developmental checkups. These checkups can provide vital information regarding a child’s growth and development; information that isn’t generally covered in their yearly well-child visits. As with many areas of healthcare, early intervention is a key component in successfully treating developmental delays. If delays are noticed and supported early on, they can often be corrected sooner and cause less impact on a child’s future learning.  However, this day in age families have varying healthcare coverage, and sometimes even with full coverage expedient referrals to specialists are difficult to come by. Because of their commitment to child...

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Summer of Wonder at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Events, Featured, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the Aquarium Aquarium of the Pacific, the fourth most attended aquarium in the entire United States, happens to be located right next door to Orange County in downtown Long Beach. The non-profit Aquarium’s mission is to “instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems.”*  With more than 11,000 animals in over 50 exhibits this aquarium has something for everyone from experienced oceanographers to toddlers just getting their feet wet (so to speak), and everyone in-between. Starting May 23, in addition to their permanent exhibits, the Aquarium rolled out its new Summer of Wonder program featuring new exhibits and interactive experiences. Summer of Wonder focuses on endangered species – from Southern California to the South Pacific – and helps educate visitors on the part they can play...

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Frozen Birthday Party Movie Night and Mock Sleepover Party

Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Disney, Family, Featured | 1 comment

This month my eldest daughter turned five.  While five sounds so much old to us than four, and admittedly a milestone birthday, it is too young for a sleepover party, most would agree. But, of course, what did my daughter want more than anything for a party?  A sleepover, naturally. So we got a little creative and improvised…. and included every five year old – or almost any age! – girl’s favorite sister due as the theme! Unveiling our Frozen movie night and mock sleepover party!!! My daughter made a list of her closest friends to invite; the number was limited since the girls would all have to fit on an air mattress in our family room (the mock sleepover part) in front of the TV where the movie Frozen would be shown.  We asked each guest to don their favorite jammies...

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Sabroso Craft Beer and Taco Festival

Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

The first annual Sabroso Craft Beer and Taco Festival took place Saturday, May 3rd, in the picturesque Lake View park in Silverado Canyon.  The festival was a unique celebration, honoring Cinco de Mayo, combining two crowd pleasers: tasty tacos and craft beer. Over thirty breweries set up tasting booths featuring over sixty different craft beers.  There was truly something for everyone ranging from a spicy habanero pale ale to a sweet peanut butter milk stout.  Ciders and fruit flavored beers rounded out the options on the lighter side. Breweries ranged from small-scale, boutique shops, such as Old Orange Brewing Company and Noble Ale Works, to well known names, such as Stone and Hangar 24. Beer enthusiasts happily sampled flavors they otherwise wouldn’t generally have the capacity to try. Local vendors and food trucks set up shop to keep everyone happy and well fed. While a...

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Seven Oaks Mountain Resort

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Big Bear, Featured, Travel | 11 comments

Seven Oaks Mountain Resort is a little gem of a campground located half way up Hwy 38 (the back way) to Big Bear. It boasts hiking, biking, fishing and is close enough to take an easy drive up to the mountain or the lake.  It is perfect for a great family camping experience! Seven Oaks is a small, low-key campground offering only about 40 spots. It is located along the Santa Ana River and about half the sites are riverfront sites so close to the water that you will fall asleep listening to the rush of the river down the bank. While being a small campground and having a lot to offer, it is surprisingly easy to reserve a spot, which is seeming more and more rare for campgrounds in California! The sites are spacious, and accommodate, car, tent or...

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Ronald G. Wells Park at Wagon Wheel Canyon

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Featured, Parks, Wagon Wheel Canyon | 0 comments

Even among South Orange County natives, you will find confusion about where exactly “Wagon Wheel” is located.  It does have an interesting name, and, to be honest, until a couple years ago when a friend moved there, I had no idea where it was… and I lived about 10 minutes North of it! Wagon Wheel is a residential master planned community located in Trabuco Canyon.  Trabuco Canyon spans a large area in Orange County, and encompasses many different subdivisions from as far North as the El Toro and Live Oak Canyon Roakds and as far South as Oso, where Wagon Wheel is located.  Wagon Wheel lies adjacent to Rancho Santa Margarita, off Oso Parkway in-between Las Flores and the South side of Coto de Caza. Wagon Wheel boasts a great little community pocket park, called Ronald G Wells Park at Wagon...

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Creating Magical Memories at Disney on Ice – 100 Years of Magic!

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Disney, Events | 0 comments

Disney on Ice celebrates 100 years of magic this year with a show that boasts 18 classic to new Disney stories that come to life through 65 beloved characters dancing and singing while performing amazing stunts on the ice. This particular show is a wonderful mix of both classic and new Disney characters who are sure to please the whole family.  There is truly something for everyone in this performance, which showcases The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Mulan, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, along with appearances by a handful of other Princesses, and  of course your favorite buddies, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and more! One of the highlights is undoubtedly the transformation of the background to resemble one of the most famous sights in all of Disneyland: Small World. From here a mock parade of lights...

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Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs in Orange County

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Family, Featured, Health | 1 comment

For me one of the simplest ways to think about healthy eating is the rudimentary idea of asking myself “would my great grandparents have eaten this?” If the answer is yes, chances are it’s a good bet it’s something that my family and I should be ingesting; if the answer is no, you can wager it’s not that great of an idea, for one reason or another. Another rule of thumb is to shop the perimeter isles of the supermarket (think produce, meat, dairy), although it seems in the last decade the supermarkets are on to that trick and have placed their produce sections smack dab in the middle of the store! These ideas may be an oversimplification, yes, but as a rule of thumb it keeps my family away from prepackaged, processed food loaded with preservatives, chemicals and...

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MAMMA MIA! A Smashing Hit at The Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Featured, Theatre | 0 comments

MAMMA MIA!, the smash hit musical arrived at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Tuesday evening and by the end of opening night guests couldn’t stay in their seats! Seen by more than 54 million people worldwide, MAMMA MIA!, is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new-found family. Over its history MAMMA MIA! boasts more than 5,000 performances on Broadway and is hailed as the tenth longest-running show in all of Broadway history.* MAMMA MIA! is staged in the exotic Greek Isles.  The show is led by Donna Sheridan (Georgia Kate Haege) who has worked hard to raise her beautiful daughter, Sophie Sheridan (Chelsea Williams), all on her own. But, in the time preceding Sophie’s wedding, her longing to find her father, and as such understand more about her true self, becomes unbearable and she sets off a series...

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U-Pick Strawberries at South Coast Farms

Posted by on Apr 5, 2014 in Activities, Family, Featured, Health | 2 comments

Nothing, absolutely nothing, says Spring is here like red ripe strawberries.  Every year when I see those little portable stands start popping up around March I get so excited.  But, there is no strawberry that compares to a ruby red one just plucked from the ground. And it just so happens that our family got to do just that recently at South Coast Farms, in San Juan Capistrano, which grows, many locals would argue, the hands down best strawberries on the planet! South Coast Farms did their first U-pick event of the season, and let me tell you, it was a hit with my kids, along with all those who I saw running around in the rows and rows of fresh strawberries (most with traces of strawberry juice dripping off their chins). We arrived around 11am on a Sunday,...

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Altisima Park in Rancho Santa Margarita

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Featured, Parks, Rancho Santa Margarita | 0 comments

Altisima Park  is a great space in Rancho Santa Margarita with sweeping views of Saddleback Mountain all the way to the coast on a clear day. Altisima Park is located in the Melinda Heights area of Rancho directly above Melinda Heights Elementary School.  The address is 30082 Melinda Road. Highlights Jr. Olympic Pool and Toddler Pool* Two Lighted Tennis Courts* Lighted Basketball Courts Two Baseball/Athletic Fields Lattice Covered Barbecue and Picnic Area** Performance Stage Covered Playground Restrooms* Picnic tables and Barbecue Pits *Available only via access card available to Rancho residents. **Available to the public, but reservable only by Rancho residents. Enjoying Your Visit Perhaps one of the best characteristics of Altisima Park is the large play structured that is completely protected by a shade cover.  With two small kids, I have visited more that my share of parks, and I...

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Focusing on the True Meaning of Easter with Children

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Culture, Easter, Featured, Holiday | 2 comments

My favorite season of the year is Spring. Everything is green and clean, flowers are blooming, that first hit of summer’s warmth usually shines through, but it’s not yet too hot to enjoy being outside without being submerged in water. It’s the perfect time of year. Also, I was married and had both of my children in Spring – all within two weeks of each other (different years of course!) so Spring is a party in this house! Another reason to celebrate in Spring is, naturally, Easter. Brightly colored eggs abound, there’s always a funny looking life-sized bunny somewhere to be found, families gathers for brunch, little girls don pretty pastel dresses and little boys might even clean up in slacks and a tie. But there’s more to Easter than just this. Christians are able to celebrate Easter because...

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Guide to Orange County Farmer’s Market

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in Family, Featured, Health, Shopping | 0 comments

With Spring’s arrival last week, flowers are blooming, the hills of Orange County are green, and, best of all perhaps, Spring produce is abounding! Big beautiful berries, leafy green lettuces, juicy citrus, and crisp asparagus, just to name a few, will all be in their full, seasonal glory in the coming months, followed shortly by the bounty of summer boasting wonderful melons, sweet corn, candy-like stone fruit, and more. Hands down the very best way to enjoy produce of any kind is by indulging in what is in season and local, not only because it is the most flavorful and tasty, but also because it is the most nutritious (read: it hasn’t been sitting on a truck or plane for two weeks loosing vital nutrients) and environmentally responsible (read: it didn’t take 2,000 gallons of jet fuel to fly...

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Oso Viejo Community Park in Mission Viejo

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Mission Viejo, Parks | 0 comments

Oso Viejo Community Park
 is a true gem in  Mission Viejo.  It boasts tons of space, a great playground, and is adjacent to the miles of scenic trails on Oso Creek Trail. Oso Viejo Park is centrally located adjacent to the Norman P Murray Community and Senior Center and Fred Newhart Middle School. The address is 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo. Highlights 52.14 Acres Features: 2 Lighted Softball Fields 3 Lighted Soccer/Football Fields 2 Softball Fields 3 Soccer/Football Fields Playground (2-5 yrs) Playground (5-12 yrs) Horseshoe Pit Amenities: Restrooms 6 Picnic Tables 4 BBQ Pits Enjoying Your Visit There is plenty of space for sports at this park, or just to let your litter ones run wild. And speaking of wild, Oso Viejo Park is home to the wildest pair of slides I have ever laid eyes on! It may...

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Recipe for Dying Easter Eggs Naturally

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Easter, Health, Holiday | 1 comment

Two years ago, when I was a brand new Mama of two, in the same week that my three month old got diagnosed with some food sensitivities, my three year old got diagnosed with a food dye allergy. This came at the end of her having nine months of nearly consistent hives, and from our third allergist. While I’ve always prided myself on my families healthy eating habits – we were never the soda and Doritos type of family – needless to say, we couldn’t live with hives all the time, and I obviously didn’t want to constantly medicate my four year old with Zyrtec. With some subsequent research I found that, unfortunately, artificial (think: Red 40) and “natural” (think: annatto) food dye, both of which were causing these negative reactions in my daughter, are in much, much more...

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