Month: March 2015

April – Junior Chef Classes

Williams-Sonoma

jr Chef Classes1

Jr. Chef Classes

Williams-Sonoma Jr. Chef classes are FREE classes for kids that show them how fun and easy cooking can be. They’ll to make delicious recipes, from main courses to desserts and snacks, with plenty of tasting along the way.

With Easter being this weekend all classes at Williams-Sonoma have been cancelled and will resume on Saturday April 11, 2014.

For specific times and more details, find your local store
• Available at all stores; class times vary by store location.
• Class size is limited – call your local store to register.Image from Williams-Sonoma.com

Image from Williams-Sonoma.com
Image from Williams-Sonoma.com

Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 10:00 am – Lunch Box Lessons: From veggie sushi and sandwich wraps to colorful fruit kabobs, we’ll teach you how to pack the best lunch box ever using the freshest spring produce. And come lunchtime, all your friends will want to trade with you! Suitable for ages 5-13.

Saturday, April 18 at 10:00 am – DIY Homemade Drinks: Making fresh fruit and vegetable drinks is a fun and healthful way to entice your kids into the kitchen. Join us and learn how to whip up smoothies, juices, fruit slushies and more. Suitable for ages 5-13.

Saturday, April 25 at 10:00 am – Baking Bundts: Bundt cakes are more popular than ever—and you will be, too, when you bake one for your family! In this class, we’ll make different flavors and sizes of Bundt cakes, then finish them with three scrumptious glazes: vanilla, chocolate ganache and lemon. Suitable for ages 5 – 13.

Children’s Book Day

Join Once Upon A Storybook as they celebrate International Children’s Book Day all day on Thursday, April 2, 2015 from  – 

All across the United States, independent bookstores, schools, and libraries will be celebrating Children’s Book Day! Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, 2 April, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.

  • When: Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 from 10:00 am -7:00 pm
  • Where: Once Upon A Storybook, 17300 E. 17th Street #C Tustin, CA 92780
  • Cost: FREE

Trashy Yet Classy

Image from encenter.org
Image from encenter.org

Youth, ages 4 – 18 can exhibit their art at the ENC’s Spring Faire on May 3, 2015!

This is a wonderful chance for youth to create art with the theme “Trashy Yet Classy”. 2D and 3D art reflective of how the trash used in the piece affects the subject matter is encouraged. All participants will receive a ribbon for entering.

GUIDELINES:

  • Art must either be painted on trash or created from trash. Trash must be cleaned prior to being used in exhibit.
  • Art may be dropped off between Saturday, April 11th and Monday, April 27th during open hours at the front desk of the Environmental Nature Center: 1601 E. 16th St. Newport Beach, CA 92663
  • Ages 4 through 18 may enter
  • Upon drop-off of artwork, a simple form with the artist name, name of artwork, medium, and phone number will be filled out and taped to the back of the piece. You may download and fill out forms ahead of time or fill them out while dropping off art pieces. Please do not attach forms to artwork until you are instructed to at drop off.
  • With the exclusion of film, all mediums/sizes accepted as long as it can fit through the doorwa.
  • 1 entry per person

PRIZES: A list of prizes will be posted online as the event draws nearer.

A panel of judges will judge for the following:

  • Ages 4 – 7 (1st, 2nd, 3rd place winner)
  • Ages 8 – 10 (1st, 2nd, 3rd place winner)
  • Ages 11 – 14 (1st, 2nd, 3rd place winner)
  • Ages 15 – 18, High school Category, 1 winner
  • Special Needs Category, 1 winner, Ages 4 – 18

Winners will be announced at the Spring Faire on May 3, 2015.

If you would like some more details email Sama@encenter.org

Easy Healthy Snacks

wpid-2015-03-30_13.21.37.jpg
Cuties
wpid-img_20150323_145014.jpg
wpid-2015-03-30_13.08.30.jpg

Earlier this month I was inspired by Chobani’s #ChobaniKids project in honor of National Nutrition Month. I love to cook as healthy as possible and thinking about this project made me take a good hard look at the snacks in my pantry.

I always keep plenty of fresh fruit in the house but I also keep some pretty unhealthy ‘granola bars” handy as well. I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my youngest is a snacker and trying to keep healthy snacks on hand can become challenging. She’ll seek out the quick sugar snack first. Here’s some things I’m trying to focus on keeping handy in our home.


 Cuties – my kids love kids cuties! A sweet treat that’s easy for little hands to peel and eat.

Cuties

Peanut Butter Honey Yogurt Dip – this quick & easy recipe comes from twopeasandtheirpod.com. This dip is described by my youngest as “super yummy” . We use this 3 ingredient dip made of Greek yogurt, peanut butter & honey (I add a dash of cinnamon) to dip fruit, graham crackers & pretzels.

wpid-2015-03-30_13.21.37.jpg

String cheese sticks – a protein rich snack that little hands can peel. I usually buy a big package from Costco, leave out what we need and freeze the rest.

wpid-2015-03-30_13.30.48.jpgNuts – I usually buy them (on sale) in the bulk section at Sprouts. You can make your own packages or buy some handy pre-made packets from Costco and Traders Joe’s.

Image from Traderjoes.com
Image from Traderjoes.com

2 Ingredient Cookies – This recipe from theburlapbag.com is made from just 2 base ingredients: bananas and oatmeal. You can add-in things to your liking. I like to add dried cranberries or chocalate chips, a dash of cinnamon and nuts. They only take a few minutes to make and we love them. It’s also a great way to use up those overly ripe bananas.

wpid-2015-03-30_13.08.30.jpg

Hummus -We eat hummus with everything in our home but offer it up with some fresh cut or small veggies like cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, broccoli and sugar snap peas and it’s a healthy snack. Buy it made from the store or great creative with 13 different ways to make hummus from shape.com.

Image from shape.com
Image from shape.com

Grapes – When I get them home from the market, I wash half of them right away and put them in a container in the fridge. That way the kids can have at them. People swear by frozen grapes, I’m not really a fan but some kids love them. 

wpid-2015-03-30_14.03.52.jpg

Greek Yogurt – I usually buy a big Vanilla Greek Yogurt container. I make the girls smoothies as an after school snack using Greek yogurt, almond milk, bananas and/or strawberries (whatever I have on hand) and a little oatmeal. For school snack time, I put some in a snack container, top it with bananas or strawberries and/or some sliced almonds for some crunch.

I just found these great Chobani Kids Greek Yogurt packets that my girls loved. As soon as they finished them they were asking for more. Mom’s beware: some of the yogurt sticks and packets out there are filled with sugar and artificial colors. Chobani Kids yogurt has all natural ingredients with nothing artificial added. They are non-gmo and have no added flavors or sweeteners. These packets are great for on the go snacks! I’m keeping my eye out for Chobani Kids Yogurt Sticks next. wpid-2015-03-30_12.43.24.jpg

I know that my easy and healthy snack option might differ from yours. I am not dealing with any food allergies in my home. My point is to keep snacks quick and simple. I love pinterest for ideas and inspiration but it could be easy to get swept away in the thought of all the “time consuming” healthy snacks I’m pinning and I’m not making.

As a Mom, don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed or to feel guilty. We are all doing to best we can. If you have the time to get more creative, great, if not, there are quick and easy solutions to healthy snacks. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying never, ever have any sweet treats, I love Ice Cream and taking the kids out for free yogurt days, etc. but I always try to have those sweet treats in moderation.

Even though this post finds you a day before National Nutrition Month ends, I hope that this post serves as inspiration of small changes and easy alternatives to use throughout the year to keep our kids healthy and strong.

*I was not compensated by Chobani for this post.  All of the opinions above are my own.*

Big Bunny’s Spring Fling

Image from lazoo.org
Image from lazoo.org

Hop Over to the LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens to meet “Big Bunny”. Have the kids pet some real bunnies, there will be face painting, musical entertainment, bunny-ear crafts, and costumed characters. You can also take a picture with “Big Bunny” (for a nominal fee).

As an added bonus, visitors to the L.A. Zoo every day through June 30 will receive a Shutterfly promo card good for a free, easy-to-make 8×10″ hard cover photo book to use to capture their adventures. The promo card, courtesy of Shutterfly, is available at the admissions window when purchasing tickets or at the membership entrance. Limit one per household.

  • When: April 3 (Friday), April 4 (Saturday) & April 5 (Sunday) from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Where: LA County Zoo, 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
  • Cost: Children 2-12 $12.00, Adults 13-61 $19.00, Senior (62+) $16.00 

If you have a pass to the Santa Ana Zoo – show your pass and get half off your admission!

46th Annual Easter Egg Hunt

The City of Tustin’s 46th annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place on April 4, 2015 from 8:30 am – 11:30 am at Tustin Sports Park.

TustinEasterEggHunt-page-001

 

Hop on down for an Egg Hunt, Jumpers, Wild Animal Show, Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Games Booths and Pictures with the Easter Bunny.

There is also a pancake breakfast from 7:30 – 11:30 am, cost is $5.00 each.

  • When: Saturday, April 4, 2015
  • Where: Tustin Sports Park, 12850 Robinson Drive, Tustin, CA 92782
  • Cost: FREE

Egg Hunt & Storytime

IMG_20150116_123337

Come to Once Upon a Storybook for an Egg Hunt & Storytime on Saturday, April 4, 2015 from 11:00am 12:00pm

This special Easter storytime comes with an Easter egg hunt in the store! Be sure to arrive early as the Egg Hunt will begin promptly at 11:05!!

The Eggs will be filled with candy, stickers and the best treat ever.,.some gift cards to Once Upon a Storybook!

Once upon a Storybook is located at 17300 E. 17th Street #C, Tustin, CA 92780

Persian New Year Celebration

Come and celebrate the Persian New Year at William R. Mason Regional Park on Sunday, March 29 from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Members of the Persian community and their guests will gather at William R. Mason Regional Park to celebrate the Persian New Year (PNY) “Sizdeh Bedar.” This event historically attracts thousands of people.

persian new year

  • When: Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 7:00 am – 7:30 pm
  • Where: Mason Regional Park,  18712 University Dr, Irvine, CA 92612
  • Cost: FREE, Parking Fee: $15 per vehicle, per entry

Please except periods of severe traffic and increased public pedestrians on public roadways and carpooling is strongly encouraged. The Parking Fee at Mason is $15 per vehicle, per entry for this event. 2015 Annual Passes will be accepted. Parking at Mason Regional Park is limited to 600 vehicles, (RV’s and/or other over-sized vehicles will not be allowed into the park),  please see the event website for more complete details regarding the event and parking information.

Critter Expo Adventure

Image from samlarc.org
Image from samlarc.org

This sounds like s a great event! Join in for a fun-filled, educational day featuring baby animals, a petting zoo, pony rides, spring activities and much more! This is a free event. Due to the popularity of some attractions, certain lines will close a half-hour prior to event ending to ensure everyone in line gets a turn.

There will be several opportunities for kids to Touch and Experience. Children will have several hands-on stations to visit throughout the park, including:

– Crafts and game booths

– Miniature petting zoo

– Pony rides

– Face painters

– Photo opportunities with Peter Rabbit and Spring Ducky

– Rock Wall

– Inflatable toddler play area

– Educational animal-themed shows

– Food vendors: bring cash for treats available for purchase from local food vendors.

Families that plan on interacting or touching the animals will need to register at the SAMLARC booth the day of the event need to register. Registrations on will be taken the day of the event. Please make sure to leave your pets at home.

  • When: Today, Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Where: Central Park, 30842 La Miranda, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 
  • Cost: FREE

Egg Hunt at Kidspace

kidspace

Kidspace in Pasadena has Egg Hunt‘s in the garden on Saturday & Sunday, April 4th & 5th. There will be hundreds of candy-filled eggs will be hidden throughout at the Kidspace Gardens just waiting to be found! Families can also create spring art, learn the bunny hop, pet real bunnies with Bunny World Foundation, and more!

The egg hunts will be schedule by age groups: children 4 years and younger hunt at 11:00 am, children between 5 and 10 years old hunt at 12:30 pm, the 2:00 pm egg hunt is open to all ages and there is a special Members Only egg hunt is at 10:00 am. on Saturday April 4, 2105.

Image from Kidspacemuseum.org
Image from Kidspacemuseum.org

When I took my girls on a egg hunt recently I forgot the Easter Baskets, beware there are no baskets available for purchase at the event, so be sure to pack them in your car. Please note: Egg Hunt fee does not include regular Kidspace Museum Admission.

Pre-registration is required and available online thru April 3. Adults do not need to register and are welcome to accompany their children throughout the hunt. Click HERE to register.

When I took my girls on a egg hunt recently I forgot the Easter Baskets, beware there are no basket available at the event, so be sure to pack them in your car. Egg Hunt fee does not include Museum Admission.

  • When: Saturday, April 4th & Sunday April 5, 2015
  • Where: Kidspace Gardens, 480 North Arroyo Blvd.
    Pasadena, CA 91103
  • Cost: $4.00

Mayor’s Spring Roll

springEggRoll

Mayor’s Spring Egg Roll and Spring Festival in Newport Beach is today!

Families are invited to enjoy some time in the sun, playing games, making crafts and taking photos with the Bunny!

  • When: Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Where: Civic Center Lawn, 100 Civic Center Drive Newport Beach, California, 92660
  • Cost: Free

Family Fun Days

The first Sunday of the month at San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center is family fun day. Get closer to nature with hands-on activities and discovery walks.

Spring is in the air and the lagoon is abuzz. Interactive activities and crafts will give kids a memorable hands-on experience. Learn if all snakes lay eggs, why flowers and pollinators need each other, among many other natural “mysteries” revealed.

  • When: 1st Sundays Rain or Shine from 11:30 am-1:30 pm
  • Where: San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center, 2710 Manchester Avenue
    Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007
  • Cost: $1 Suggested Donation

Sunday, April 5 – SCURRY, SLITHER & SLIDE: Did you know during cold winter months some reptiles go into a dormant sleep-like state (similar to hibernation) called brumation? Get an up close look at our reptiles as they wake up for spring time. Learn whether or not all snakes and lizards lay eggs, and make a fun reptile theme craft.

Sunday, May 3- WHAT’S THE BUZZ: Flowers are blooming. Bugs are buzzing over spring time. Visit the lagoon to discover why flowers and pollinators need each other. In honor of Mother’s Day kids will make a special craft to take home for mom.

Family Fun Days are presented by: San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy and San Diego County Parks & Recreation. Nature-themed monthly programs are part of TRACK Trails: Kids in Parks.

Image from sanelijo.org
Image from sanelijo.org

 The monthly program is part of TRACK Trails: Kids in Parks. Kids in Parks provides a national network of family-friendly trails, called TRACK Trails, that encourages visitation of public lands to reconnect our nation’s youth with nature, for their health, and the health of our parks. Each TRACK Trail has a series of brochure-led self-guided adventures designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled adventure.

Kids can earn PRIZES for TRACKing their TRACK Trail adventures in their online nature journal, by logging in at Kids in Parks.

Bunny Blast

BunnyBlastDon’t be late for a very important date! It is time for everyone’s springtime favorite – Bunny Blast: “An Egg Wonderland”!

Enjoy a fun filled event for the whole family with a day of activities including game booths, crafts, face painting, ferris wheel, petting zoo, pony rides, balloon artist and egg scrambles. There will be entertainment for everyone including a strolling magician, DJ, and live music. Alice and her Wonderland friends will be there, too.

Be ready for surprises, and bring your camera to take pictures with Nectar, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit and Hoppy the Spring Bunny. Hop on down to take part in all the fun!

  • When: Today, Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where:  El Toro Park, 23701 Los Alisos Blvd., Lake Forest, CA 
  • Cost: Free (nominal fee for games, activities and food) 

A Year’s Worth of Star Parties

Galieleo Star Quote

I love looking at the night sky, as a family one of favorite activities while at our local Girl Scout Family Camp is Star Watching. Everyone brings a towel or mat, lays down on ground and the staff explains the which stars we’re looking at and shares stories about the stars.

Although, it’s not camp, here’s some great local family-friendly Star Parties at both Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park and Griffith Observatory. Enjoy the night!


 Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park Star Party

A meteor streaks across the sky against

Come for a Star Party that gives you a grand tour of the universe! Join Allan and other amateur astronomers and have a look in the telescopes to see the marvels of the sky.
Take a guided tour of the constellations and learn the myths and facts about the cosmos. Observe the wonders of the night sky including nebulas, galaxies, star clusters and double stars. Casper’s Wilderness Park Star Party is set to take place every Saturday night through October 31, 2015
  • Event – Free
    Parking- $5.00 per vehicle
  • Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, 33401 Ortega Hwy.( P. O. Box 395), San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675/(949) 923-2210 or (949) 923-2207

Note: held only on evenings with clear skies (good weather). Call the Park at (949) 923-2210 for weather/sky updates or additional information


Griffth Park public telescopes and Star Parties

Lawn Telescope

Colonel Griffith J. Griffith left funds in his will to build a public observatory in Los Angeles because he believed in the transformative power of observation. After looking through the research telescope at Mt. Wilson he said: “If all mankind could look through that telescope, it would change the world!” Since opening in 1935, Griffith Observatory has fulfilled his vision by offering public telescope viewing through the historic Zeiss telescope, historic coelostat (solar telescope), and portable telescopes on the lawn. More people have looked through the Zeiss telescope than any telescope in human history. More people have viewed the filtered disk of the Sun on the Observatory coelostat than any solar telescope on Earth.

Free public telescopes are available each evening the Observatory is open and skies are clear. Knowledgeable telescope demonstrators are available to guide visitors in observing. Please be aware that the demonstrators must cut off the line for each telescope by 9:30 p.m. or earlier to enable all viewing to be completed by 9:45 p.m. Hours of telescope operation are not the same as for the building (which closes at 10:00 p.m.)

To learn about what you can see in the night sky over Southern California, check our weekly Sky Report.

One Saturday a month, the Observatory hosts a public star party.

Free public star parties are held monthly at Griffith Observatory from 2:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. with the assistance of volunteers from the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers, and The Planetary Society. They are a chance for the whole family to look at the Sun, Moon, visible planets and other objects, to try out a variety of telescopes, and to talk to knowledgeable amateur astronomers about the sky and their equipment.

Please be aware that the astronomers and telescope demonstrators must cut off the line for each telescope to enable all viewing to be completed by 9:45 p.m. Hours for telescope operation are not the same as for the building (which closes at 10:00 p.m.).

Public Star Parties for 2014-2015

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027Monthly Schedule of Star Parties
2015
January 24 July 25
February 28 August 22
March 28 September 19
April 25 October 17
May 30 November 21
June 20 December 19

Easter at Saddleback

Image from Saddleback.com
Image from Saddleback.com

Easter is a time for celebration. The old life is gone, a new life has begun. What was once hopeless is now bursting with joy. What was once dull and flat is now buzzing with energy and color.

I love Easter at Saddleback! Me and family look forward to the inspiring message and festivities that focus on gratitude and celebration.

In addition to the wonderful Easter Services and Sunrise Services, families can also take in the beautiful Journey with Jesus art panels at Saddleback Rancho Capistrano Campus as well as Easter Celebrations for the kids complete with eggs hunts, crafts, goodies & photo opportunities.

Join Saddleback as kids of all ages are invited to hunt for Easter eggs, stuffed with sweets and treats.

Easter Egg Hunts will be held at the following times and locations:

  • ANAHEIM
    April 5 – 8:00, 9:30, 11:15 am
  • CORONA
    April 4 – 5:00 pm & April 5 – 8:15, 9:45, 11:30 am
  • IRVINE NORTH
    April 5 – 9:00, 11:00 am
  • IRVINE SOUTH
    April 5 – 9:00, 11:00 am
  • LAKE FOREST
    (Ages 2-Kinder only) April 3 – 7:00 pm, April 4 – 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 pm & April 5 – 9:00, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm
  • LOS ANGELES
    April 5 – 9:00, 11:00 am
  • RANCHO CAPISTRANO
    April 5 – 8:15, 9:45, 11:30 am
  • SAN CLEMENTE
    April 5 – 9:00, 11:00 am

Click here for the address of the location near you.  #EASTERatSADDLEBACK

Artfully Planned Spring Camp

Do you have any Spring Break plans for the kids? My plan is to find different things to do everyday but nothing that comes with a full weeks commitment (there are far too many things I want to do).

The Palette Station in Tustin makes it easy for you to keep the planning simple. You can sign up for Spring Camp on a daily basis, no full weeks requirement here!

Daily Camps are $40.00 per day and run from April 6 – 10th, times are from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm every day.

I can not say enough good things about this establishment. Ray, the owner and his staff take pride in providing an inspiring place for kids to let their inner Picasso shine.

The Palette Station is located at Larwin Square Shopping Center,  540 E. First St., Tustin, CA 92780

Call 714-730-4979 to reserve your spot!

palette-station_spring_camp