Month: September 2014

All Aboard! Thomas and Friends are rolling in to the Discovery Cube

Get ready to travel to the Island of Sodor with Thomas and Friends. The Discovery Cube will give your little engineers an imaginative adventure while exploring through hands-on STEM based exhibits. Help Thomas and Friends solve a variety of challenges, from simple sorting and shape identification to more complex engineering obstacles.

Hop on board and discover the engineer within! Travel to the Island of Sodor where imaginations charge full steam ahead in Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails,this hands-on STEM exhibit  is based on the adventures of everyone’s favorite blue engine.

Activities include:

  • Climb inside Thomas’ cab to explore the engine’s inner workings
  • Remove and replace parts to fix Percy’s wobbly wheel
  • Load Percy’s coal box and water so he can deliver the mail
  • Suit up as the conductor and sell tickets to ride the train
  • Load and sort luggage and freight into train cars
  • Explore the history of Thomas & Friends through books, TV show clips and toys
  • Plan and build navigation routes to favorite destinations on the gigantic Island of Sodor train table

Children  will confront new challenges and test their abilities as the smiling faces of Thomas, Percy, Sir Topham Hatt, and others offer encouragement and remind children how “really useful” we all are.

  • Exhibit will be featured from October 4   – January 4, 2015
  • Discovery Cube is located at 2500 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92705
  • On Site parking is $5.00 per vechile (cash only)

Hey Tustin…Come and find out about Girl Scouts!

Calling all girls in Tustin, CA. Would you like to find out what Girl Scouts do? If you’ve ever thought about becoming a Girl Scout come and find out all there is to discover in Girl Scouts and help with a service project.

Sunday, September 28, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at REI in the Marketplace.

REI Flyer - English Spanish final-page-001


Read for the Record at the Festival of Children


Celebrate literacy awareness by participating in a shared reading experience by reading Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells with THINK Together at the Festival of Children  taking place at South Coast Plaza at the Carousal Court on September 27, 2014 from 12pm – 4pm.

This event serves as a precursor to the upcoming nationwide Read for the Record event that will take place on October 21, 2014, look for my upcoming post with more details about how to sign up for the event and fun at home activities. 

IfFestival of Children you have any questions about the Festival of Children Read for the Record event, please contact Gloria Martinez at or at 714-824-3522 ext.8630


13th annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival at Aquarium of the Pacific


Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexican Independence Day, the Aquarium of the Pacific will host its thirteenth annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival featuring live entertainment, crafts, educational programs, ethnic cuisine, and much more.

This Aquarium weekend festival celebrates the beauty and diversity of Hispanic cultures through song, dance, art, and cultural displays. Mariachi music, Mexican folkloric and Aztec dance troupes, interactive mural painting, Salvadoran dance, Guatemalan performances, and other special programs are featured. Guests can also learn more about the amazing animals of Baja, Mexico and how to help protect them.

WHEN SATURDAY, SEP 27, 2014 | 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
SUNDAY, SEP 28, 2014 | 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
COST Included with general admission to guests. Free to Aquarium members; 20% off for their guests.
TICKETS General admission is required. You can purchase tickets online.
Members get in free. No reservation needed.
INFO (562) 590-3100, ext. 0
LOCATION Download and print this coupon and get free child admission to this festival!



Spooky Science at Discovery Science Center

October 4 – November 2, 2014 get into some Spooky Science at Discovery Science Center

spooky2Giant bugs, creepy crawlers and friendly spooks are all making their way to Discovery Cube for Spooky Science this October. Join us as we explore bugs of all colors and sizes among over-sized exhibit sets and hands-on learning stations. Even the youngest of goblins will enjoy spooky fun while exploring insects like never before.

Don’t miss these festive activities on the weekends:


Star Wars Reads Day


Star Wars Reads Day is an international event that celebrates reading and Star Wars. It was launched in 2012 by Lucasfilm and its publishing partners — Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse, Del Rey, DK Publishing, Klutz, Random House Audio, Scholastic, and Workman Publishing. Last year, Quirk Books joined the fun, Disney Book Group is also participating  this year

There are Star Wras Reads events being held at Barnes & Noble and libaries through out the country- for more information visit or follow hashtag #StarWarsReads

Get ready for the event with book recommendations shared on the official Star Wars Reads Facebook Page and here’s a Star Wars activity kit available to download  in Color.pdf and Black and White.pdf


Here are some local Orange County Star Wars Reads Day Events: 

Mesa Verde Library – Star Wars Reading Day – Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 12:00 – 2:00 pm.

Come to celebrate Star Wars Reads Day, an international event that promotes reading and all things Star Wars! There will be Jedi trivia games (with prizes), a special Padawan storytime, Eewok crafts, and an exciting choreographed lightsaber action sequence (totally non-lethal) performed by the Saber Guild dressed in full Jedi gear. Free family event, all ages welcome.

 Mesa Verde Library 2969 Mesa Verde Drive , Costa Mesa, CA. 92626

Central Library in Newport Beach – Star Wars Reads Day – Saturday , October 11, 2014  from 3:00 – 5:00 pm.

Come dressed as your favorite Star Wars characters for crafts, games and special guests!

Central Library in Newport Beach 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92660

Barnes & Noble – nationwide events

Celebrate with Storytime, paper crafts, trivia contests and more from 1:00 until 3:00 pm. Dress up for a chance to win our costume contest.

Orange – Star Wars Reads Day- Saturday October 11, 2014  from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.

791 South Main Street Suite 100, Orange, CA 92868

Irvine – Star Wars Reads Day – Saturday October 11, 2014  at 11:00 am.

4600 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, CA 92604

Or check their Event Locator for an store near you

 Orange Public Library & History Center – Star Wars Day – Saturday, October 18,2014  from 2:00 – 4:00 pm

This special event will include storytime, a dueling lightsaber demonstration, costume contest and a meet-and-greet with their favorite characters.

Orange Public Library and History Center 407 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866

Space will be limited at these events and they will fill up quickly, be sure to arrive early.

 In celebration of the new Star Wars Rebel TV series, Toys R Us  is hosting  a special Star Wars/Lego event. Visit your local Toys R Us  for a FREE  Ghost Ship mini build FREE  Ghost Ship on Saturday, October 11, 2014 between 12:00 – 2:00 p.m., I love getting Free Legos!



Science to Go-Reaction Lab

I just love FREE Science events. Science To Go-Reaction Lab is a Free event for children ages 5-12 on Thursday September 25th at 3: p.m. at El Modena Branch Library in Orange.


Uncover the mysteries of chemical reactions as students participate in some amazing demonstrations that are sure to keep them on the edge of their seats.

Color-changing chemicals, extreme temperatures and glowing concoctions are a few of the many chemical reactions we will explore.

El Modena Branch Library

380 S. Hewes St.
Orange, CA 92711
(714) 288-2450


A Rush of Emotions

Birthday’s and Anniversary’s are always hard. Contrary to the popular saying, I know first hand that “Time does NOT heal all wounds”. It’s hard for people who have never lost a son or daughter to understand the tremendous grief that resides within you.
     Time teaches you to walk with your grief. It’s hard for the people around you to understand and my hope is that they would never understand, for that would mean they are suffering the same pain.  
     Today is my handsome Son’s birthday. I remember all the wonderful, funny and silly things he did. The sound of his guitar ringing through the house, his slicked back hair and 501 jeans. I love you and miss you everyday may you play your guitar with the angels, until we meet again my son. 
 Originally posted in, September 11, 2014

As with any tragedy, there comes a time to observe the traumatic event’s anniversary. Many people believe that grief will wane with time. However, feelings of anger, guilt, isolation, loneliness, sadness and despair often occur long after the disaster. 

On the anniversary of the September 11th disaster, many people find themselves once again contemplating the event and its tragic consequences.

Life threatening trauma, including learning that a loved one has been seriously injured or killed, can provoke unsettling emotional or behavioral reactions over a long period of time.

We always say: First there’s the crash, then the lifelong impact.

For many victims the anniversary of a tragic event, no matter how many years have gone by, may make the loss more real and bring out a rush of emotions.  Often the pain increases and becomes more intense following the first anniversary.  This is a normal reaction. Grief is a journey and everyone grieves in their own way.

hands-support-2Here are a few tips to keep in mind for an anniversary of a tragic event:

  • Talk.  Unspeakable trauma becomes more manageable when it’s verbalized. Individuals who were personally affected by a tragedy, but have not talked to anyone should seek support. Those who were not personally affected but are experiencing some hypersensitivity, should also talk to someone who understands trauma.
  • Honor individual differences in trauma reaction. Your way is not the only way. Respect the different ways in which people continue to cope. People cope the best way they can.
  • Reach out and remember those more directly affected. Many people who are grieving feel that friends, family, and their community have “forgotten” about them. This can lead to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. Reach out and listen to their stories. Although they may say the same things over and over, honor these experiences by listening rather than giving advice or telling them that “time heals all wounds.”
  • Do something to help. Recognize the possible reactions to the anniversary. Remember that those directly affected may not be the only ones to experience anniversary reactions. Emphasize that people can be helped by small deeds.  Plant a tree or perennial plant in memory of a loved one who died or in honor of someone who was injured.
  • Seek professional support.  Recognize that grieving is normal, but encourage people to seek professional support when they need it.

If you are struggling with grief, call 877.MADD.HELP to speak with a victim advocate, day or night.

– See more at:


Black and White Film Festival


I’ve always wanted to go and see a Classic Black and White film out in an open area, surrounded by people enjoying cheese and crackers. If you have too then here’s your chance!

Come  to Chapman University for Jim, Jerry and Marla’s Black and White Film Festival. It’s a Free event with free Popcorn and free movie candy!

In 2009, Chapman President Jim Doti and Orange County Register reporter Marla Jo Fisher were talking movies. Marla commented that no one appreciates the old black-and-white films, especially her kids. And of course, President Doti is a big fan of the classics. And then voila! A film festival was born! Fellow film fan Dr. Jerry Price, Chapman dean of students, joined the marquee a year later. Hence the name.


All screenings are on Fridays nights at 8 p.m. outdoors on the Attallah Piazza at Chapman University, Orange, CA and run through October 17, 2014.

Movie Schedule: 

Friday, September 26, 2014 – Call Northside 777 (1948)

Friday, October 3, 2014 – Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

Friday, October 17, 2014 House on Haunted Hill (1959)

*In case of inclement weather, the screenings will be moved indoors. Information will be posted in the Piazza.


Orange County Children’s Book Festival


The 11the annual Orange County Children’s Book Festival attendance is FREE to the public!

There’s something for children of all ages at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival.  You’ll find our numerous book and educational vendors offering the latest in services and new ideas.

A favorite year after year is the children craft corner where kids make their own book markers, visors and other ‘make it take it’ keepsake items.

There’s also family fun activities such as face painting, crazy hair styling, and animal petting area, musicians, dancers, balloons, readings, drawings and much more.

Click here to download the 2013 Festival Guide!

Event Information:
Sunday September 28, 2014

Orange Coast Community College
2701 Fairview Rd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Enter off of Fairview Road. And Arlington


International day of Peace

International_day_of_peaceI love that each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on the 21st of  September, which also happens to be my son’s birthday. This day should be devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and all people.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of Peoples to Peace”. This anniversary offers a unique opportunity to reaffirm the United Nations commitment to the purposes and principles upon which the Organization was founded. The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.

Here are a couple of special links for you to share with children about peace. is site devoted to raising awareness of social issues specifically for children. This heart warming resource will help your children understand how they can make a difference in their communities and the world. It contains a calendar with over 60 opportunities for them to take action, online books and an online a-z list of  more than 100 “Better World” hero’s, such as: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mother Theresa, complete with the hero’s bio, quotes, links and coloring pages.



PBSkids has a fantastic list of  books to read with your children, here’s a sample:


It all starts at home, raise social awareness within your children and you’ll help them understand that they can make a difference.



Cooking from your Garden


Are you ready to indulge in a morning of culinary inspiration? This Saturday morning at Roger’s Garden, the founder and proprietor of  Zov’s Bistro’s and well-known local chef, Zov Karamardian, will demonstrate and teach how to prepare the perfect foods using vegetables from your garden.

She will share techniques, ingredients, and traditional family recipes for her stuffed eggplants with tomatoes, onions and garlic, Jasmine rice pilaf with condiments, and her cabbage salad with fresh mint, cilantro and bulgur.

Date : Saturday, September 20, 2014
Time: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd. Corona, Del Mar, CA 92625

Urban Landscape and Garden Education Expo

If you enjoy learning new sustainable gardening practices, listening to garden demonstrations and tasting some fresh, seasonal fruit, then you’ll love this!

The 6th annual Urban Landscape and Garden Expo on September 27, 2014, presented by  UC ANR and Irvine Ranch Water District

Bring the whole family  to UC ANR South Coast Research & Extension Center. 7601 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

There’s fun activities planned for all and it’s FREE.



Tips to Protect Children from Drunk Driving

Children are our greatest resource and our future. That’s why MADD is taking action to help protect the children who are needlessly put in danger every day in this country.

While drunk driving is recognized as a violent crime, driving impaired with child passengers is not commonly acknowledged as a form of child endangerment or child abuse. No one should have to ride with an impaired driver. However, children have little choice when the driver is a parent or an adult caregiver.

kidincarIf you see an adult who is visibly impaired attempting to drive with a child in the car:

  • Calmly suggest alternative transportation, recommend the driver postpone travel or offer to drive the child, if appropriate. Avoid a heated altercation that can put the child in further danger.
  • Call 911 at the time of the incident with as much information as possible (such as name of the driver, vehicle description and/or license plate, and destination). Also be sure to give them your name and contact information for responding officers.
  • Document the situation so that your notes can be used later.
  • Notify another parent or caregiver of the situation.
  • Teach children techniques for keeping themselves safe if they are ever forced to ride with an impaired driver (see below).
  • Report your concerns to state or local child protective agencies.

Here are some tips you can teach your kids or a child you know who might find themselves in a situation where they are riding with a drinking driver:

  • Sit in the back seat.
  • Buckle-up tight and use your booster seat, if needed.
  • Put all of your belongings on the floor.
  • Do not bother the driver and stay quiet.
  • Tell a trusted grown-up immediately about any unsafe ride.

– See more at:


Pumpkin Patch at Tanaka Farms

This is my absolute favorite Pumpkin Patch!

It opens September 27th. 


 This is aYou Pick Pumpkin Patch” which makes it so much fun. The girls love running from one row to another to pick their perfect pumpkin and pulling it off the vine. They also have rows of “picked” pumpkins (nice the little wee one’s).


They offer pumpkin patch tours, where you ride around in the tractor pulled wagon through the 30 acre farm.


We  love taking pictures through out the pumpkin patch and picking our own fresh organic vegetables. My girls favorite thing to do is running through the corn maze.


I still can not believe in that this farm exists right in the middle of Irvine. I love watching the girls get their hands into the earth to pick fresh vegetables. It’s beautiful and full of great memories for us.


Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch is fun for adults and children of all ages!

– Enjoy the Wagon Ride around our 30 acre farm!
– Find your way out of our corn maze!
– Pick your own fresh vegetables!
– Visit the petting zoo! (sheep, goats and alpacas)
– Take pictures of the “Tanaka’s Pile of Pumpkins!”
– Join the Full Harvest on the weekends! A festival full of food, games, ATV rides and much more!


Tanaka Farms is open to the public 7 days a week from 9am-6pm (gates close at 5:30pm) through October 31, 2014.
No reservations are needed!

Parking – Free!

Admission – $2 (Free for Active Military)

Corn Maze – Free with admission.

Wagon Ride – $5 (ages 2 & under free)

Petting Zoo – $3 (ages 2 & under free)

You Pick Vegetables – $2.99/lb

You Pick Pumpkins – Sliding Scale by the lb

Important Notices

Public Drinking Water is NOT available.
Bring you own or bottled water is available for purchase at $1.50/bottle.

Dress Code:
FOR YOUR SAFETY we recommend wearing comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Sandals/flip-flops, open-toed shoes or high heels are PROHIBITED.

Insurance Policy:
Due to liability purposes, PETS or WAGONS are PROHIBITED due to the steep hills.