Month: September 2014

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.


Child Passenger Safety Week

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, a time to evaluate how to keep our kids safe on the roads.


Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children, and too many of those are caused by drunk driving. In 2012, 239 child passengers (under age 15) were killed in drunk driving crashes—representing 20 percent of all child traffic fatalities. And of those, more than half (52 percent) were passengers in a vehicle with the drunk driver.

MADD receives more than 17,000 phone calls every year related to child endangerment. No child should be in danger from drunk driving, especially by those entrusted to keep them safe. Drunk driving is criminal and irresponsible, and driving drunk with a child in the vehicle is a form of child abuse.

While 46 states and the District of Columbia have laws enhancing penalties for those who drive drunk with a child passenger in a vehicle, the laws vary widely in severity and definition of a child passenger. For example, in New York it is a felony to drive drunk with a child passenger under the age of 16, while in Wisconsin, the same offense is a misdemeanor. Click here to see if your state has DUI Child Endangerment Laws.

MADD is urging lawmakers to enact legislation to protect our most vulnerable population, children. Please email your representatives letting them know that you want a stronger DUI child endangerment law in your state and that every child deserves a non-drinking designated driver.

If someone you know is driving drunk with a child in the car, we have more information and strategies available for you here. Or call our toll-free, 24-hour Help Line at 877-MADD-HELP.

– See more at:


Julian Apple Days Fesitval


Looking for way to welcome in Fall? Julian’s Apple Day Festival is a two-day celebration held on October 4th and 5th at Menghini Winery, located at 1150 Julian Orchards Dr., (between Farmer Rd & Wynola Rd) Julian, CA 92036.

Julian_apple_days1The festival features apple displays, music and dancing, an antique tractor display, children’s games and activities, gold panning demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, food and merchandise vendors, contests, and, of course, apple pie. The coronation for Mr. and Mrs. Apple Days will be held on Saturday.

The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday. The admission is $5 for adults with children 12 and under free of charge. The first 250 people through the gate (paid admission only) each day receive a FREE pie server.


Julian Apple Days is a full two month celebration with a variety of daily activities,“The Festival gives you a special weekend of fun.” Tracy Turner, president of Julian’s Merchants Association.

There’s plenty of free parking for the Apple Days Festival available at Menghini Winery, located at the end of Farmer Road, about 2 miles out of downtown Julian. Last year’s festival attracted over 3,000 visitors.


There will also be a variety of other events throughout the town and surrounding areas this weekend, including an Oktoberfest at the Rabobank Parking lot on Main Street, the Annual Laguna Mountain Rendezvous in Santa Ysabel, the OId Time Melodrama & Olio performance at Town Hall, wine tours, a Country Market at Wynola Junction Antiques, and entertainment by Julian’s Doves & Desperadoes.

 The Apple Days celebration is planned by The Julian Merchants Association, a community group representing more than 90 merchants in the greater Julian area

images and information from


Mason Regional Park Movie Under the Stars

It’s still summer, so I was happy to see that Mason Regional Park has a Movie under the Stars scheduled for this Friday, September 19, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.

Get out all your park gear and enjoy one of the last of this season’s summer evenings with a grand picnic. They’ll take care of the popcorn and water for you.

Mason_movie_September 2014-page-001


Family Lego Day

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 17th, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. the Orange Public Library & History Center in Orange, CA will host an afternoon of LEGO® and Duplos fun!


Build tall buildings, create mysterious scenes and have endless amount of STEM fun with LEGO® bricks at the library!

Best for ages 2 and up but I know my eight year old will love this event.

 Orange Public Library & History Center

407 E. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 288-2400

Help at your Fingertips

Originally featured in the 2014 summer edition of MADDvocate®.


Many survivors of drunk and drugged driving crashes, as well as loved ones of those who’ve died, feel lost and helpless after the crash. While friends and family members are often available in the days immediately surrounding the tragedy, finding a support system that lasts a lifetime can be difficult. That is why MADD’s Victim Services are so vital.

Thanks to the explosion of the Internet and social media, getting these tools is easier than ever. Here are just a few of the avenues that victims can use to connect to other victims, honor loved ones and find much-needed resources:


On MADD’s tribute page, victims and survivors can post pictures and memories of their loved ones and read about others with similar stories. Participants can even raise money in the name of a loved one if they choose.


For years, victims and survivors relied on finding face-to-face support groups and other in-person meetings to connect with others experiencing similar emotions. However, due to location or the demands of busy schedules, these groups weren’t always accessible. The MADD Victim Services Facebook page gives victims and survivors the chance to engage with other victims, ask questions, provide comfort to others or read other victims’ stories.

Virtual Candlelight Vigil

Every holiday season, MADD hosts an online event where friends and relatives of victims and survivors have the opportunity to post something in memory or in honor of a loved one and light a virtual candle. This annual event provides an outlet for emotions during a tough time of year.

Support Materials

MADD offers a wide array of support materials on a number of different topics related to drunk and drugged driving victimization. Whether a victim/survivor needs help navigating the criminal justice system or just wants to know whether what they are feeling is normal, these brochures and workbooks can be downloaded at no charge from any computer.

If you still can’t find what you need online, call MADD ’s National Victim Services Help Line at 1-877-MADD -HELP (877-623-3435), toll free.

Image and information from


Moompetam: Native American Festival at Aquarium of the Pacific

In celebration of the local Native American cultures, the Aquarium of the Pacific will host its tenth annual Moompetam Festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 20 & 21st, 2014.

This weekend celebration will feature traditional cultural crafts, storytelling, educational programs, live demonstrations, music, and dance celebrating the indigenous California maritime cultures, including Tongva, Chumash, Acjachemen, Costanoan, Luiseno, and Kumeyaay.

There will also be a children’s village with crafts, games and activities, cultural demonstrations and activities, art displays and basket weaving. 

Moompetamfor a complete breakdown of the schedule of events visit

WHEN SATURDAY, SEP 20, 2014 | 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
SUNDAY, SEP 21, 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




Girl Scout Brownie Meeting – Snacks Badge

Friday night was our back to scouting meeting. I talked about being nervous in my previous post but everything went great!

One of the big differences for my troop this years is that we will be bouncing around for our meeting space.

Last year we meet at a local church which was great but it’s not looking like an option for us this year. The good thing about meeting at one of the parents homes is that we will have the freedom of covering some badges like “Snacks” which really needs a kitchen to complete.


I wanted to stress healthy eating habits through this badge, so I sliced, diced and roasted some veggies for them to work with. Well….my Brownies didn’t really like the “healthy”stuff I brought for them. Thank goodness our meeting was hosted by one of the parents because she saved the healthy face pizzas with cheese. Here’s the agenda:

Pre-meeting: 15 minutes/6:15-6:30

Healthy/Unhealthy food Crossword puzzles

Opening: 5 minutes/6:30-6:35

Flag, Promise and Law

Business: 20 minutes/6:35-6:55

Welcome back    
Share one special things they did during summer
Discuss what to work on this year

Exploration: 15 minutes/6:55- 7:10

Snacks -Step #1 -Good vs. Bad food poster

Create: 25 minutes/7:15 -7:35

Snacks – Step #2 make a veggie face (pizza) & Step #5 make your own fruit smoothie

        Snack time: 5 minutes/7:35-7:40

Closing/Friendship Circle 5 minutes/7:40-7:45

The meeting went along smoothly until I brought out the hummus and veggies for our healthy face pizzas. Only one girl liked the hummus (which happened to be my daughter). As I said earlier, the parent host brought out some cheese and put the pizzas in the oven. The girls all had a good time building their pizzas.


As far as the smoothies went – overall that went well. I included the girls in on how much of what ingredient to put in. The first batch came out a little tart. The parent host again, saved the snack by bringing out some honey  to make the second batch of smoothies a little sweeter (but I liked the tart batch).

Overall the meeting went very well and I was actually glad that not everyone liked everything. It teaches them to deal with adversity and how they how to make the best of situations. They all handled themselves very well. I’m proud of my Brownies! As for myself, I learned to provide alternatives, not everyone likes hummus (although I’m not sure why, I love hummus). wpid-2014-09-15_11.41.54.jpg

It felt good to be back leading my Brownies and to see them again. Next meeting we will be covering our Potter Badge at an art studio, I’ll update you next time, until then…Happy Scouting!


Tustin Tiller Days

Tustin Tiller Days has been an annual event in Tustin since 1957. The three day festival celebrates Orange County’s agricultural heritage while providing an opportunity for local non-profit organizations to promote their cause and raise much needed funds. Over the years, local civic organizations, schools, churches, and youth groups have raised thousands of dollars to benefit a wide variety of local needs.


The Tustin Tiller Days Festival features a Parade and Carnival with rides, games, and other attractions. Tustin Tiller Days Parade is on Saturday morning, starting at 10:00 AM.

The Tustin Tiller Days Parade celebrates the beginning of the autumn season. Each year, our celebrity guests kick off the festivities by riding in the parade. High School Bands compete by marching down the parade route from Pacific and Main to Columbus Tustin Park. To the delight of many spectators along the parade route, fantastic floats, vintage tractors, heart pounding marching bands, Tustin Girl Scouts, civic groups and hordes of horses will fill the streets of Tustin.

Detail Map of 2014 Parade Route

Detail Map of 2009 Parade Route

For more information about:


(Where parking will not be available on Saturday, October 4th, 2014.)

Please direct any questions or concerns to Carrie Woodward;
phone: (714)573-3336

Individual ride tickets, sheets of tickets and all day unlimited ride wristbands may be purchased.

(Download for $2.00 off Coupon for Sunday Carnival Rides.)

CARNIVAL WRISTBAND PRE-SALEFamilies may purchase pre-sale carnival wristbands for $20.00 from September 2 – October 2, 2014. That is a savings of $5.00. For each wristband sold during this pre-sale, $2.00 will be donated to any school in the Tustin Unified School District area(Private or Public Schools) or to the Tustin Public Schools Foundation. The wristband is for unlimited carnival rides on the day redeemed and may be purchased at the City of Tustin Parks and Recreation office at 300 Centennial Way, Tustin. For more information contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (714) 573-3326.

Save $5.00 and raise money for the school of your choice!