Month: February 2015

Kip Noschese Book Signing

Otto&theGrandPrixBess

Kip Noschese the author of Otto & Grand Prix Bees will be at my favorite children’s book store, Once upon a Storbook for a book signing today!

Kip Noschese is a former Jim-Henson-animator and Fox-Television-animator. According to Susie, the owner of Once upon a Storybook, Kip’s book, “Otto & the Grand Prix Bees is one of the best picture books I have ever seen”. You’ll hear the book, do a bee craft, and take pictures with this awesome author!

Come dressed in black & yellow, like a bee! Ages 3+

  • Once upon a Storybook, 17300 E. 17th St. #C, Tustin, CA 92780
  • Cost: FREE

OC Zoo Spring Preschool Program

wpid-2014-11-25_21.15.11.jpgThe OC Zoo Spring Preschool Program is ready for registration! This program is geared for children ages 3-4 years old, the fee is $5.00 which includes the program and the entrance to the zoo for one child and their adult/guardian.

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The program includes crafts and hands-on learning as the staff introduces OC Zoo animals to the children. The children are all given a chance to touch (almost all) the animals while providing the children with animal facts. After the preschool program you can enjoy the zoo and storytime under the beatiful trees.

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Arrive at the zoo gate by 10:00 am to purchase your ticket as the program begins promptly at 10:15 am and are an hour in length. Parents must accompany their children for the entire program.

Spring Preschool Program line up: 

Bonkers For Bunnies
Dates: Fri, March 13th; Wed, March 18th;
Fri, March 27th; & Thurs, April 2nd
*Please note these Easter-themed classes and it fills up quickly!

Animal Art I
Dates: Wed, March 25th & Thurs, May 7th

Down On The Farm
Dates: Fri, April 10th & Wed, May 20th

Magnificent Mammals
Dates: Wed, April 15th & Fri, May 15th

OC Zoo is located inside Irvine Regional Pk, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

Park entrance fee of $3.00 does apply.

PHONE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. To register for a class call (714) 973-6846.
*Please call to cancel no later than 1 week prior to class so that we can allow someone from
the waiting list to attend instead.

Easter Eggstravaganza – Giveaway!!!

Irvine Park Railroad Easter Eggstravaganza GIVEAWAY
Irvine Park Railroad Easter Eggstravaganza GIVEAWAY

Are you ready for Irvine Park Railroad’s Easter Eggstravaganza? The Easter Bunny is hoping into Irvine Park Railroad from Saturday, March 14th through Saturday, April 4th.

Image compliments of  Irvine Park Railroad
Image compliments of Irvine Park Railroad

You can ride the train through beautiful Irvine Regional Park and children ages 2 through 12 can go on an Easter egg hunt. Each egg is filled with candy or a prize.

Image compliments of  Irvine Park Railroad
Image compliments of Irvine Park Railroad

Easter egg hunts begin daily at 10:00 AM and tickets may be purchased and exchanged for a wristband to participate in an egg hunt at a specific time. Please bring your Easter baskets but no need to worry if you forget  – Irvine Park Railroad will have Easter baskets for sale. Tickets must be purchased on the day of the event in order to receive a wristband for the Easter egg hunt.

Please visit www.irvineparkrailroad.com for complete details on the Easter egg hunts including times and costs.

Image compliments of  Irvine Park Railroad
Image compliments of Irvine Park Railroad

Children can meet the Easter Bunny and have their pictures taken for $10.00 (this includes a complimentary photo that will be taken by Irvine Park Railroad staff) If you’d like additional prints of the same photo, you can buy them for $6.00. Photos will be printed in a few short minutes at the Easter Bunny booth.

Image compliments of  Irvine Park Railroad
Image compliments of Irvine Park Railroad

There will be other activities to take part in during the Easter Eggstravaganza including hay rides, a moon bounce, Easter cookie decorating, carnival games, face painting, picture stands and more. Please visit www.irvineparkrailroad.com for full details including costs.

The park entrance fee – charged by the County of Orange – is $3.00 per vehicle on weekdays and $5.00 per vehicle on weekends and it not included in the giveaway.

Irvine Park Railroad opens daily at 10:00 am and is located at 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869.

Image compliments of  Irvine Park Railroad
Image compliments of Irvine Park Railroad

Now for the fun part – Project Refined Life has a giveaway compliments of Irvine Park Railroad. Here are the details:

One Reader will be given chosen randomly to receive the following giveaway** consisting of the following:

  • 4 Tickets (which can be used to ride the train OR participate in Easter Eggstravaganza activities)

  • 1 Wheel Fun Rentals at Irvine Park deuce coupe bike rental

  • 1 Wheel Fun Rentals at Irvine Park paddle boat rental

The approximate value of the Giveaway package is $55.00! Enter to win this fun giveaway in the form below. You can begin entering tonight, February 28, 2015 at midnight through 3/7/2015 at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**No purchaseis necessary to enter. The winner will selected by Rafflecopter and will receive an email notification. Please make sure to respond within 48 hours of notification otherwise another winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter. The winner will receive tickets that will be mailed directly to their home (or mailing) address from Irvine Park Railroad. This giveaway applies to US Residents Only.

Disclosure: Although ProjectRefinedLife.com has received complimentary admission to this event, all opinions are strictly my own.

Final Weekend of Engineer’s Week

Image from discoverycube.org
Image from discoverycube.org

Don’t miss the final weekend of Engineer’s Week at the Discovery Cube OC and LA.  We took some time out this week to take part in some the excellent activities offered at the Discovery Cube OC for Engineers Week.

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Although there was so much to do with Lego Travel Adventure and National Geographic Earth Explorers exhibits, we decided to make the main focus of our visit the Engineer’s Week activities.

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The girls had such a fun time making their parachutes and trying them out. After you build your parachute, it’s taken up on a pully to someone on the second floor where they drop it and time it on the way down. Whoever gets the best “hang time” for the day wins a return visit and whoever gets the best “hang time” over the entire week wins a one year membership to Discover Cube!

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Although, we didn’t win, the girls had a great time building their parachutes and watching them fly down.

wpid-2015-02-26_16.50.15.jpg We’ve been lucky enough to take part in the Forces of Motion show before you can always learn something new, so we took in this show again and enjoyed it just as much as the first time we heard it.

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My oldest daughter has a snap circuit set at home but she doesn’t have the snap circuit set with the “Flying Saucer” so she was very happy to put that circuit set together.

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After spending a little bit of time in exploring we were able to get in on the Colors of Light Workshop presented by UC Irvine.

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 Both of my girls where very intrigued and had a great time learning about light and builting a Spectrometer.

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If your kids like to tinker or build, don’t miss this event. This is an awesome opportunity to create and learn with hands-on activities in various fields of engineering.


Discovery Cube OC activities include:

  • 3rd Annual Parachute Competition: Build and test a parachute, daily prizesfor the longest “hang-time”
  • The Color of Light Workshop presented by UC Irvine (check the front desk for daily showing times) – Discover light’s amazing, mysterious properties alongside UC, Irvine college students!
  • Daily showings of the Forces & Motion stage show
  • Design and build a block tower
  • Snap Circuit building

Egg Drop Competition
Don’t miss your chance to join the annual Egg Drop Competition on February 28th, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm! Bring your homemade ETV (egg transport vehicle) and put it to the ultimate test as it drops from 20 feet in the air.

To view the Egg Drop Competition guidelines, please click here.

Guest Speakers & Presentations

Saturday, February 28, 2015: 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

Richard Stember, from NASA, will be conducting a presentation and Q&A regarding the Orion Launch that took place in early December 2014.

Visit the Discovery Cube OC for more information


Discovery Cube LA activities include:

  • Parachute Competition: Build and test a parachute, daily prizes for the longest “hang-time”
  • Daily showings of the Forces & Motion stage show
  • Design and build a block tower
  • Snap Circuit building
  • Prototype building

Egg Drop Competition

Don’t miss your chance to join the annual Egg Drop Competition on March 1st, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm! Bring your homemade ETV (egg transport vehicle) and put it to the ultimate test as it drops from 20 feet in the air.

For competition guidelines: click here.

Guest Speaker

Sunday, March 1, 2015: 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

Richard Stember, from NASA, will be conducting a presentation and Q&A regarding the Orion Launch that took place in early December 2014.

Visit Discovery Cube LA for more information

Hikes & Bikes

OC Parks
OC Parks

Well, it doesn’t look as if our fabulous weather will keep up this weekend but we really need the rain, so for that – I am thankful!

BUT…if for some reason the rain gets in late and you you have the chance to get outside this weekend, try to enjoy some OC Parks guided hikes or how about a guided mounatin bike ride to Dripping Cave at Aliso & Wood Canyons Park, which also happens to be my pick of the week.

 “Dripping Cave”, also known as “Robbers” cave, is a historic landmark and Aliso & Wood Canyons Park’s largest rock-shelter.

Dripping Cave was once used as a temporary refuge by Native American hunter-gatherers, and later the shelter was reportedly used by the infamous Juan Flores “gang” as a hide-out from which to rob the San Diego and Los Angeles stagecoach. Nowadays the shelter gets its name from rainwater dripping from the upper lip of the sandstone rock.

Dripping Cave - Image from ocparks.com
Dripping Cave – Image from ocparks.com

Saturday, Februay 28, 2015

Family Bandito Bike Ride to Dripping Cave at Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Join a band of bike wielding young explorers on a ride to Aliso’s most intriguing attraction. We’ll learn the mysterious legends of this famed bandit hideout as well as its previous inhabitants – the native Acjachemen people. Earn a ranger badge for being an accomplice on the journey.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Parkway (from southbound Aliso Creek Road, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, left into parking lot).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle
  • Ages 8 and up (or peddled by adult) who can comfortably ride 5 miles (150 ft. elevation gain) of dirt trails with some sandy sections
  • Bike, helmet, water, snack, and weather appropriate clothing/shoes required
  • Reservations Required – Online Reservations Link
Date:  2/28/2015
Time:  8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

 

Guided Interpretive Hike at Irvine Regional Park
Join our naturalists on a nature walk and learn about the local plants, animals and history of Irvine Regional Park. Light to moderate walking on both paved paths and trails. Meet at the Nature Center near the OC Zoo in parking lot #19.

  • All ages welcome
  • Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
Date:  2/28/2015
Time:  10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

 Sunday, March 1 2015

Ranger Led Nature Hike at Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join our Park Rangers Sunday mornings for an easy 1-mile hike on the Nature Trail. The trail takes visitors through grassland, oak woodland, riparian and sandy cactus scrub communities. Meet at Old Corral Day Use area. Rain will cancel hike. 

  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Wear comfortable clothing, hiking shoes.
  • Sunscreen, water and insect repellent are recommended.

For additional information, please call the park at (949) 923-2210.

Date: 3/1/2015
Time: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Explore California Native Plant Life on the Trail to Barbara’s Lake at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Join us on a wonderful morning walk to Orange County’s only natural lake while learning about our native California plant life. This easy 2-mile leisurely hike will be led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists.

  • Ages 8 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri, 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Online Registration

Date: 3/1/2015
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Beachside Ranger Chat

 CrystalCove

Learn about some of the fun and interesting animals that live in Crystal Cove State Park at the Historic District Education Commons where Ranger Jenn will host a Beachside Chat. Park in the Los Trancos lot.

  • When: Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Where: Crystal Cove State Park – Historic District Education Commons located at 8471 North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (Parking at PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk through the tunnel or take the shuttle.)
  • Minimum Age: 12
  • Cost: Event is FREE, parking fees are as follows: day-use fee: $5/per hour (max. $15)

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

 is on March 2, 2015.  Oh, the Places You’ll Go. the Dr. Seuss classic, has been the chosen book for this year’s celebration.

 
Get involved with NEA’s Read Across America Day, a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2nd — Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

 Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too! Incorporate these guides and activities to celebrate reading with young people.


Here’s what you can do:

Take the Pledge:

Help create a nation of readers – Take the Read Across Pledge, and tell NEA your plans for celebrating Read Across America Day, they’ll publish them so others can be inspired by your event.

Attend an event:

Lakeshore Learning Centers nationwide will host a Dr. Seuss Celebration on Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Take part in a Dr. Seuss storytime every hour on the hour. Make a Cat in the Hat mask and a “Hat’s Off pencil holder. Don’t forget to use their BOGO 50% off coupon code 9695 for your purchases from 2/26/15 thru 3/1/15.

dr.seuss_lakeshore

 

Irvine University Park Libary will “Seuss-abrate” their favorite author Dr. Seuss on March 1st from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm with a fun afternoon of books, crafts, and activities. We will read “Green Eggs and Ham” together at 3pm and then have fun with activities based on Dr. Seuss books. For kids ages 3 – 8. Free! No registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

GreenEggs&Ham

Once Upon a Storybook in Tustin will host a FREE Dr. Seuss birthday & Read Across American event on March 2nd at 3:30 pm,  come in to enjoy a book reading  and Dr. Seuss related arts & crafts.

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Pottery Barn celebrates Read Across America Day! This year on March 2nd from 11:00 am – 11:30 am*, they will be tipping their hats to Dr. Seuss and celebrating his birthday with a special storytime. Kids will enjoy Dr. Seuss classics an crafting activities, plus they’ll take home a special Certificate of Participations. *New York Store has storytime at 10:00 am

pottery-barn-kids

Pretend City has activities scheduled throughout the day. On March 2nd enjoy Sensational Story Time: Join us in the library every hour for a reading of Oh, The Places You’ll Go. See what adventures are in store for your little ones as we map out the places they would like to travel to, Good to Grow Game: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” What direction will you choose to go in? See you can make it through the Seussville maze and Picture Perfect: Let your child share their dreams in this fun and interactive photo op with the Seussville characters! Don’t forget to swing by the art studio to make your very own high flier!

RSVP’s are not required, Fees are Included with museum admission. You can purchase tickets hereDress up as your favorite Dr. Seuss character to receive $1 off general admission! 

Grown-up Tip: Looking for a fun way to travel the United States without the travel? Visit Seussville and play the “Oh The Places!” Game with your school aged child. They will have fun testing their knowledge of the states.

 Pretend City-ReadAcrossAmerica

Barnes & Noble will host storytime & activities nationwide on March 2nd at 7:00 pm.

Barnes   Noble   Store and Event Locator

Cypress Library will host a Family Film Club to Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ 111th birthday on March 2nd from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Watch The Lorax (PG), in the meeting room. Children and families are welcome. Registration is encouraged at the Info Desk. for more information call 714 826-0350

Lorax

 

Or locate a bookstore event near you through Seussville.com

Make your own event: 

Go to Plan a Reading Event for Read Across America for tips and ideas to help you plan a Seussational event.


This is also a great time to take your family to see Seussical the Musical at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center from February 28 , 2015 through March 8 , 2015.

Be sure to follow Read Across America on Facebook and Twitter with #readacrossamerica.

Target First Sunday

Image from bowers.org
Image from bowers.org

This Sunday is Target’s FREE First Sunday. This program gives you and your family a chance to take in some art and experience some family festivities for FREE or at a reduced price.

Target believes in community events that everyone can enjoy. Whether it’s hosting a day of reading for parents and kids, or partnering with arts organizations to help budding artists create their next masterpiece. For a list of musuems near you click here.

Here in Orange County Bower’s Museum and Children’s Museum at La Habra participate in this progam.

Bower's Museum
Bower’s Museum

Bowers Museum

This Sunday, March 1, 2015 at Bowers Museum enjoy the Celtic Family Festival from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm as well as the special exhibit “China’s Lost Civilization” before it’s departure on March 15, 2015.

Schedule of events includes:

Margaret and Cleo Key Courtyard

11 AM – 4 PM:     Face painting, art projects (foil Celtic cross, Irish water color landscape) Shamrock cookie sampling

12:00 PM:            Forrest Cormany, award winning bagpipe musician

12:30 PM:            Innisfree Irish Band, plays for your listening and dancing pleasure

1:30   PM:            Butler-Fearon-O’Connor School of Irish Dance, named the number one Irish dance school in the United States.

2:00 PM:              Innisfree Irish Band

Please note: Free admission to specially-ticketed exhibition China’s Lost Civilization is limited o the first 1,500 people on a first come, first served basis.

Each recipient must be present. Tickets can be picked up in the North Wing.

Free admission is also included to Bowers Museum permanent exhibitions including:

Sacred Realms: Temple Murals by Shashi Dhoj Tulachan;

Spirits and Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands;

California Legacies: Missions and Ranchos; Vision of the Shaman,

Song of the Priest; California: The Golden Years;

Ancient Arts of China.

kidseumOpeninghome

Kidseum:

In addition to Bower’s wonderful exhibit’s and festival, Target First Sunday at Bowers also includes the newly remodeled KIDSEUM.

Kidseum features High-tech & interactive focus on Art & Archaeology. Kidseum is FREE and OPEN  on Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Schedule of events includes:

Art Projects:  Shamrock Headband, Rainbow Collage, and Face Painting

Join Master Storyteller, Miss Cynthia, for presentations at:

10:30 AM     The Rhino who Swallowed a Storm  Written by LeVar Burton

11:30 AM     The Coyote and the Colorado River (Native American)

1:30 PM        Tikki Tikki Tembo  (China) Written by Arlene Mosel

2:30 PM        How the Tortoise Got Her Shell (The Greedy Farmer)

3:30 PM        The Empty Pot (China)

The Kidseum is located 2 blocks south of the Bowers Museum at 1802 N. Main Street

(corner of 18th and Main) For more information, contact 714.567.3600.

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Children’s Museum at La Habra

The theme for March’s Target First Sunday event here is Let’s Play!

What’s more fun than being the playing piece on a ginormous checker board, hula hoop until you can’t hula anymore, build giant outdoor structures, and run through a crazy obstacle course? We’re celebrating PLAY at the Museum and inviting you to join in the fun!

A total of 500 people are admitted on Target FREE Sundays.Hand stamps for both sessions are distributed at 1pm and are on a first come first served basis. There is no museum admittance once all 500 slots are filled. (This does not apply to CMLH Members.) Session times are 1-2:45pm and 3:15-5pm.

Children’s Museum at La Habra is located at 301 South Euclid Street La Habra, CA 90631

Spring Egg-ucation

Join Family Discovery Days at San ElijoLagoon Nature Center and Crack open clues to the secret lives of egg-laying animals with Spring Egg-ucation.

Familes and guests will be treated to FREE egg-themed arts and crafts, face painting, and nature hikes for all ages. Kids will get an up-close look at all kinds of critters. Meet live birds in special presentations, Tour the loop trail, discover interactive wildlife stations and more!

  •  When: Saturday, March 21, 2015 and Sunday, March 22, 2015 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Where: San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center, 2710 Manchester Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007

To reach staff or volunteers at the Nature Center, please call: (760) 634-3026. Family Discovery Days occurs rain or shine.

Bacteria & You

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Has your little one ever asked you what Bacteria is and what it does? We seem to have these type of conversations around my house….a lot. Well, here’s an event to help with those types of conversations. Ameal Moore Nature Center is hosting a a great event called “Bacteria & You”.

This Free event will include special guest scientist Alicia Taylor as she discusses bacteria, its function, and its impact on us.  Join us in swabbing various surfaces in the park and take home your own petri dish to grow bacteria at home!

  • When: February 28, 2015  from 10:00 am -1:00 pm
  • Where: Ameal Moore Nature Center, 400 Central Ave., Riverside, CA 92507
  • Cost: FREE

Saturday Science

ColumbiaMemorialSpace Center

It’s time for February’s Saturday Science day at Columbia Memorial Space Center.

The fourth Saturday of every month offers an extra treat of knowledge for all guests in attendance!

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This month’s presentation  “The Science of Food” – Come learn about how food is essential to our bodies and how it goes from the source down to generating power for our bodies. Then learn how ice cream is made and learn how to make your own!

  • When: Saturday, February 28, 2015 – presentation will be at 1:00 pm – center is open from 10:00am – 5:00 pm
  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center, located at: 12400 Columbia Way, Downey, California 90242
  • Access to Saturday Science presentations and activities are included with your regular $5 admission, ages 3 and under are free.

It’s World Thinking Day!

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Yesterday, my Girl Scout troop took part in an annual Girl Scout event called “International Fair”. International Fair is in celebration of World Thinking Day. Each Year on the 22nd of February, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the World celebrate World Thinking Day.

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At the fourth World Conference of the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Movement in 1926, delegates from around the globe agreed that February 22nd would be known as a special day for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world.

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The delegates chose February 22nd for Thinking Day because it was the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, and his wife Olave, who was World Chief Guide.

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Girl Guides and Girl Scouts participate in activities and projects with a global action theme by World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts which is based on the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The 2015 theme  is “to develop partnerships for development,”.

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I love that World Thinking Day reminds out girls that Girl Scouts and Girl Guides is part of a Global community. At our local service unit, we celebrate by taking part in the “International Fair” event. Troops each chose a country to represent, decorate a booth, provide a snack representative of their country and if they would like, sing a song, perform a dance or a skit

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This is probably my favorite event of the year because it gives the girls an oppurnity to learn so much about other countries history, traditions and of course try all kinds of different food (we all know how much I love food).

wpid-2015-02-22_08.30.50.jpgIf you have a Girl Scout or Girl Guide in your life, you can continue to support World Thinking Day and Share Your Guiding Light and do something that will rock social media!

Here’s how: All Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world will be challenged to find a creative way to share their #guidinglight. The light of a candle has been used for years by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world to feel connected, and now it’s your chance to connect, share, and shake the world and social media with your Girl Scout spirit!

All you have to do is think of a way to show the world your #guidinglight. You can simply light a candle, or you can get creative and use the sun, your laptop, a lantern, the torch on your phone, a spark from two pieces of flint, or even a campfire! You can also get your family and friends to participate!

Take a selfie, upload it with a message to share with this worldwide movement, and challenge someone else or a whole country to do the same!

Share your picture using the #guidinglight hashtag.
Tag: @girlscouts, @wagggs_world
www.worldthinkingday.org

The action can be simple or you can take it to a higher level and make it part of a big World Thinking Day celebration or fundraising activities for the Juliette Low Friendship Fund.

The social media push will start on February 21 with a video message from the WAGGGS World Board Chair Nicola Grinstead. The action will circle the globe, starting on the morning of February 22 in either Kiribati or New Zealand, and ending at midnight in Alaska or Hawaii, where we will close the #guidinglight challenge with a film featuring as much of the content you’ve created as possible. We can all watch and see the size, unity, and strength of our global movement and sisterhood. Tune in every hour on social media to see how widely the #guidinglight has spread throughout the world.

Little Naturalist

My youngest daughter and I attended the Little Naturalist program at ENC – Environmental Nature Center last month. The Little Naturalist programs are an outdoor experiential education classes designed for 3 – 5 year old’s and their adult guardians.

The activities are designed to encourage exploration and discovery and to enrich a child’s emerging physical and cognitive skills.

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 I thought the program was fantastic. They started with storytime and got the kids up and moving around before heading outside for a hike. Throughout the hike we stopped at various place through out the trails for various activities. The had a preset game set up for the kids to explore and learn, another storytime, crafts, drawing and even math skills.

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I was very impressed with the program and plan to go back in March. The age difference between 3 – 5 year old’s was not a problem at all (I was a little concerned at first), it was engaging at every level and kept them going for the complete hour without getting bored.

This is one of my favorite places in Orange County and I plan to take in as many of the Little Naturalist programs as possible until she begins school in September.

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Some tips before you come here: pack your drinks, lunch and/or snacks. There are plenty of nice sitting areas throughout the trails that make great lunch spots. Bring closed toe shoes, long shorts or pants – there are dirt trails and plants everywhere (it’s lovely). Be careful of the Poison Ivy – there are signs to warm you, just make sure your little ones don’t touch it.

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There are two upcoming Little Naturalist events in March:

Little Naturalists: Little Ladybug and Beetles – Wednesday, March 4, 2015 from 9:30 -10:30 am

Little Naturalists: Looking in Logs  – Friday, March 27, 2015 from 9:30 – 10:30 am

  • Where: Environmental Nature Center is located at 1601 E. 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
  • Cost: $6 per participant ($5 for members). Pre-payment is required.

Seasoned Chef Culinary Workshop

 ocgreatpark-logo

The Seasoned Chefs Culinary Workshop Series at the Great Park is bringing some of the best chefs in Orange County to present local seasonal gourmet dishes, techniques and preservation methods. This FREE workshop focuses on how eating seasonal and local foods is nutritionally rich and environmentally friendly. Workshops are best for anyone ages 16+.

Marc_JohnsonToday’s workshop will feature: Marc Johnson: 

Executive Chef Marc Johnson of Oak Grill Newport designs seasonal menus that thrill foodies from all around the world. He will be bringing his fine dining expertise to the food lab creating an early spring delight.

  • When: Saturday, February 21,2105 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am 
  • Where: Farm + Food Lab | Map & Directions
  • Cost: Free  

Weekend Hikes

WeekendHikes

This weekend’s hikes list is short but it has nice selection for different skill levels and even includes one hikes that you to a spot for mediating.

My pick this weekend is the “Guided Interpretive HIke at Irvine Regional Park”. Bring the family and be prepared to enjoy a full day’s activities after your hike as Irvine Park Railroad Celebrates their 19th Anniversary,

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guided Interpretive Hike at Irvine Regional Park
Join our naturalists on a nature walk and learn about the local plants, animals and history of Irvine Regional Park. Light to moderate walking on both paved paths and trails. Meet at the Nature Center near the OC Zoo in parking lot #19.

  • All ages welcome
  • Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
Date:  2/21/2015
Time:  10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Geology Hike at Willow at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Enjoy an afternoon of unspoiled canyon views and learn about the geology of this area.  The rocks and fossils reveal fascinating stories about the park’s ancient environments. This will be a 3.5-mile hike over steep and uneven terrain (600-ft. elevation gain).

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Rd, just south of El Toro Rd intersection).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.


Online Registration

Date:  2/21/2015
Time:  1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ranger Led Nature Hike AT Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join our Park Rangers Sunday mornings for an easy 1-mile hike on the Nature Trail. The trail takes visitors through grassland, oak woodland, riparian and sandy cactus scrub communities. Meet at Old Corral Day Use area. Rain will cancel hike. 

  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Wear comfortable clothing, hiking shoes.
  • Sunscreen, water and insect repellent are recommended.

 For additional information, please call the park at (949) 923-2210.

Date: 2/22/2015
Time: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Morning Birding at Laguna Niguel Regional Park

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation Volunteer Naturalists on this birding adventure. Spot native and winter resident birds on this slow and easy 2-mile walk through a landscaped suburban-parkland setting at Laguna Niguel Regional Park.

  • Parking: $5 per vehicle.
  • Wear waterproof hiking or walking shoes (landscape can be very wet); bring binoculars! Meet at parking lot closest to Shelter 3.
  • Ages 12 and up.
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 M-F or (949) 923-2200 Sat – Sun.

Online Reservations Link

Date: 2/22/2015
Time: 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Meditating in Nature at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Relax in nature.  Enjoy a short walking meditation, breathing andenergization exercises, and sitting meditation. Bring a blanket and a pillow.  No experience necessary.

  • Ages 16 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri, 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Online Registration

Date: 2/22/2015
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

 

It’s Engineer’s Week

Image from discoverycube.org
Image from discoverycube.org

It’s Engneers’s Weeek at the Discovery Cube OC and LA from February 21, 2015 – March 1, 2015

Tinkerers and builders of all ages are invited to Discovery Cube OC and LA to celebrate national Engineer’s Week! Future engineers will enjoy a week of exploring, creating, and building with hands-on activities in various fields of engineering.


Discovery Cube OC activities include:

  • 3rd Annual Parachute Competition: Build and test a parachute, daily prizesfor the longest “hang-time”
  • The Color of Light Workshop presented by UC Irvine (check the front desk for daily showing times) – Discover light’s amazing, mysterious properties alongside UC, Irvine college students!
  • Daily showings of the Forces & Motion stage show
  • Design and build a block tower
  • Snap Circuit building

Egg Drop Competition
Don’t miss your chance to join the annual Egg Drop Competition on February 28th, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm! Bring your homemade ETV (egg transport vehicle) and put it to the ultimate test as it drops from 20 feet in the air.

To view the Egg Drop Competition guidelines, please click here.

Guest Speakers & Presentations

Saturday, February 21 & Sunday, February 22: 11 am – 3 pm (presentation at 1:30 pm on both days)
R2D2 Engineering Club, a non-profit organization dedicated to building accurate replica R2 units as seen in Star Wars!

Saturday, February 21, 2015: 11:30 am
Michelle Khine, UCI Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

Saturday, February 28, 2015: 11:30 am & 1:30 pm
Richard Stember, from NASA, will be conducting a presentation and Q&A regarding the Orion Launch that took place in early December 2014.

Visit the Discovery Cube OC for more information


Discovery Cube LA activities include:

  • Parachute Competition: Build and test a parachute, daily prizes for the longest “hang-time”
  • Daily showings of the Forces & Motion stage show
  • Design and build a block tower
  • Snap Circuit building
  • Prototype building

Egg Drop Competition

Don’t miss your chance to join the annual Egg Drop Competition on March 1st, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm! Bring your homemade ETV (egg transport vehicle) and put it to the ultimate test as it drops from 20 feet in the air.

For competition guidelines: click here.

Guest Speaker

Saturday, February 21, 2015, and Saturday, February 28, 2015: 1 pm – 5 pm (presentation at 1:30 pm on both days)
ASCE Civil Engineering Group, from California State University, Northridge.

Sunday, March 1, 2015: 11:30 am & 1:30 pm
Richard Stember, from NASA, will be conducting a presentation and Q&A regarding the Orion Launch that took place in early December 2014.

Visit Discovery Cube LA for more information