Category: Just me rambling on

My Journey Into The World Of Yoga
I’ve always loved yoga. It has always been a way for me to relax, feel refreshed, energized and alive. My vocal/piano teacher introduced the practice of breathing, mediating & some light yoga as a teenager. I remember thinking “Okay, this is cool but I’m here to sing and learn to play the piano. Why is she having me do this”. Looking back now I realize she was trying to open my mind, focus my energy and deflect the some of the negative influences and habits I had surround myself with.
As an adult, I practiced Yoga from time to time. In the mornings before heading off to work, at my local gyms, at a couple of the kick boxing gyms I belonged to. I tired out some studios here and there and with dvd’s. No matter what I was doing in life, no matter what season in life I was in, I always came back to Yoga. Last year, I made Yoga a part of my everyday life at a wonderful studio in old town Tustin called Yoga2 (Yoga Squared). This studio felt good, the energy was good and the teachers and students were friendly and kind. As soon as I started practicing on a regular basis, I knew this was something I needed to include as part of my being and on a bigger scale.
I began to feel and think differently. At this time I was already engaged in some courses and study’s which made the practice (asana), the words, the shapes and the thoughts I was experiencing during my Yoga sessions light a fire within me. This past December, I decided to take my love for yoga to whole new level and embark on a 15 week – 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training course through Shanti Shanti Yoga School.
Mediating in the Grand Canyon
Deciding to take this training was a hard choice for me. I already had such a busy schedule, I was afraid of the commitment, scared of all of the studying that would be involved. I was older than your average yoga teacher and didn’t have as much flexibility as some of the yogi’s around me. Could I keep up with my family, my household duties and other outside commitments? I sat down and had a talk with my family to discuss how everyone’s life would be different (at least for 15 weeks) if I took this training. With the support of my family and despite all of the challenges – I decided to do it. The 15 weeks would come and go regardless of my taking this training, so why not at least try it.
Well, here I am in week #11. I must say – this has not easy but it has it been worth it! I have met some amazing human beings. I have discovered things about myself that need to change. I’ve discovered things about others around me that made me wake up. I am learning about SO many things and so many different perspectives. It’s been a humbling and an eye opening experience and I am loving every minute of it!
Quote from Winnie the Pooh.
In my daily life, I am beginning to prioritize my day and my life differently. I realized almost 12 years ago that although I plan my life ultimately there is a power much greater then myself that is control. I am however in control of how I respond to what happens in life. There are certain things in my life that I am okay with letting go of (folding the laundry is one of them). In all seriousness, I feel a huge shift in my life and it is due to this inner reflection that is required in this training. This training is unlike any other training or education I have ever taken part in.
If you have ever considered taking Yoga Teacher Training – do it! A few words of advice:
  • Look for a good school –  Find a school that is registered through Yoga Alliance. You want your training to count and many yoga studios won’t hire you if your teacher training wasn’t through a Yoga Alliance registered school. Very important, make sure the teachers/trainers are in practice, knowledgeable and kind. I feel like I hit the jackpot with my Yoga school of choice. They are all very professional, well trained and caring.
  • Don’t go big – when it comes to yoga teacher training, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Smaller class sizes means more individualized attention. They’ll get to know you and what your capable of. Don’t be a number.
  • Internship Programs – it’s scary to be sitting along side the teacher, teaching segments of the class or the whole class during  your training but so worth it. The opportunity to have a mentor guide you and prepare you to teach before you’re out there on your own is priceless. I appreciate every single word of advice and the direction I receive.
  • Keep a journal of how you feel and your thoughts on a weekly basis. I feel differently every week. There have been a couple of times I felt defeated and that I wasn’t cut out for this. But I’m still here – learning, growing and facing my fears. It’ll help to look back on your changes.
  • Be prepared – your life and your perspective will change and that’s a good thing. Embrace the changes that lie ahead and remain truthful to yourself.
There is still so much to learn. I am still nervous about my journey and my future as a Yoga Teacher. I am surrounded by some awesome examples of Yoga Teachers and people. At the beginning of my training I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach but I now I am sure that I need to share this with others. It’s bringing an awareness into so many other areas of my life. Areas that I want to explore and learn more about. It has also brought into perspective things that I have already learned and how to incorporate them into what I what I am learning and what I will be teaching. I still have a few weeks to go and finals to get through but regardless of the outcome from this journey (Yoga Teacher Training) I know that my mind, body and soul will be better, more knowledgeable, more accepting, stronger and healthier because of this. Let the project continue!

Peace and Love,

Annette – Project Refined Life



Make Your Soul Happy!

Take the Time to do what makes the soul happy

Hello there, do you remember me? I’m still here but I have been on an extended “time out” from my blog. I decided to take some time to see what the next step in my life (and this blog) would bring in order continue to “refine” my life. It had become very obvious to me that I was out of balance. I needed to take the time to make my soul happy.

I was blogging about events to come and not sharing what was helping to “refine” my life. After all – I am the project. Although I love passing along fun, family friendly, cost effective educational nature & STEM based events. I knew that my purpose with this blog was about more then that.  I had strayed away from my initial passion of what I wanted to share when I started this blog.

I have started learning new things and brought a few old things back into my life that attribute to a more balanced life. I feel so much better taking some time for me. By once again feeding my mind, body & soul – I feel refreshed and excited and yes, sometimes scared all at the same time. This journey has become a new awaking for me and a very natural next step.

I will continue to blog but with more purpose and more balance. From time to time I will continue to share upcoming events that are rooted in things that inspire you and/or your children’s growth as a person. I will also share some of my personal and family adventures. My family I have visited some really beautiful spots this past year and I have so much to share. I hope you will continue to come along with me as I continue on this project of refining my life and hopefully shed some light on yours.




Another Angel is called Home


Another angel was called home. The very sad death of Baby Liam has hopefully brought some attention to result of drinking and driving. Baby Liam was in his stroller and was hit by a drunk driver. The parents came to terms with taking him off life support on Tuesday. Earlier today – one of my family members posted Baby Liams parnets interview on Facebook. I knew immediately that although I wanted to listen to these parents, it had to be done later in the day. At a time when I would be allowed some free time, a moment that I could be left alone to cry.

As a parent you never get over the loss your child. The hurt, the pain and the yearning that exists every single day never goes away. Every single memory brings both extreme joy and pain. I find myself constantly trying to keep the memory of my son very much alive. I never let those around me forget that I have a son in haven.

Watching this interview, made me cry and then I became upset. Upset that so many people feel it’s okay to drink and drive. In the interview the father of baby Liam said ” if you can afford to drink, you can afford to get an Uber. I couldn’t have said that better myself.

I get beyond upset when I hear of someone who is out drinking and wasn’t considerate enough to have a designated driver or to call a friend or Uber for a ride. It really isn’t any of my business if you don’t care about your life but it becomes my business when you put someone else’s life at risk. At that point, it’s everyone’s business.

I grieve for these parents; as they are sitting there being interviewed, sitting there being brave in an effort to reach someone…anyone that will listen. I knew what they were thinking before the father said it “if I can reach just one person”,

So here I go again – If you have children, take just one minute to imagine what it would feel like to be to told your child is gone. Not because they don’t want to talk to you or they are mad at you but because they are no longer alive. Their precious life, removed, gone because you selfishly decided that you having a drink and getting behind the wheel is more important than the well-being of anyone else’s life.


This blog was started as a way of me reaching out to people and to come out of the shell that I had built around myself. Why – because my son and his best friend (both just 17 years old) were killed – murdered by a drunk driver. It made me want to hide, It made me pull back out of life.

It’s been 11 years for my oldest Son and I lost Michael. We are still trying to pick up the pieces of our life. You see, like Baby Liam and most other victims of drunk drivers –  my son was healthy and strong. He wasn’t sick, there was absolutely nothing wrong. He had dreams, hopes and ambitions but someone decided none of those things mattered.

I am angry right now. I am angry for these parents who have been dealt a lifetime sentence of “what if’s. A lifetime of looking around at holidays and family gatherings and thinking “he’s not here”.

For these parents and the people around them, I pray. I pray for strength and the ability to be weak.  I pray that they don’t feel horrible when they smile or breakdown and cry because of a song. I pray that their family and friends remain close to them and the yet allow them space. I pray for forgiveness and grace not for the drunk driver but for each other. I pray for the friends and family of these parents. You see –  you will need to understand that there will be times when they get angry and that needs to be okay. There will times, days, hours that they will want to hide and not be around other people, that needs to be okay. Please give them grace and grant forgiveness and remember that breathing is hard most days.

I am still working on “refining” my life. Every event, every moment, every trip, every healthy meal….it all comes down to getting through what has become a my lifetime project.  Please watch this video. See the hurt, feel their pain – don’t disconnect! It’s uncomfortable and painful and it should be. Take it in and feel it for a just a moment. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and help save a life. Just one life! If you don’t drink and drive, my sincere “Thank You” but now if you can please stop someone else who does. Take a stand before another angel is called to haven.

Baby Liam
Interview with tha parents of baby Liam.

Strive for Greatness

While out running errands today, I saw this sign courtesy of The Haute Room. I laughed at how ridiculously truthful and relevant this is. Why do we stop at a number? At what’s comfortable?

This is exactly why personal trainers, nutritionist and life coaches are so effective! We become complacent with being good enough. We often forget how incredibly good it felt to have the wind blowing through our hair while riding our bikes as children. How unstoppable, how invincible we felt.  We should never stop striving for the feeling.

One of my favorite songs is “Thrive” by the Casting Crows – it states “We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives, It’s time for us to more than just survive, We were made to thrive”.

Life is short – we should always strive for more. Don’t become complacent – “Strive for Greatness” in everything you do. Thank you #thehauteroom for believing in us and for this incredible inspiration. I look forward to seeing more of your inspiring signs.

P.S. – Please, don’t burn yours ex’s house down.


Be Refined by Graciousness

Image courtesy of GL stock images
Image courtesy of GL stock images

Happy Valentines Day to all and a huge “Thank you” to Pastor Rick Warren for your message this morning which included this passage: 

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love – Ephesians 4:2 

Today, one of the people in my thoughts is focused on the person who helped me through the toughest time of my life. The 6 years spent in court, battling the killer of my son. Her son (who was also killed by a drunk driver) would have been 51 years old today. Every year on Valentine’s Day, I send her a message and let her know my heart and mind are with her.

Although the main thought today is mostly of that of a day for celebrating a couple’s love for each other, often we forget the day includes celebrating the love of those most important in your life, your children. I, just like this gracious woman who forever affected my life (whom I will always look up to) is hurting, missing a vital part of her life. So today I ask you to please be humble and gentle today. You have no idea the many hurts that may exist within the hearts and minds of those around you. Be gracious, don’t point out the faults in each other. Instead lets all focus on the greatness and strengths in those around us. Have mercy and extend graciousness to one another this week. I personally needed this reminder in my life this week.

I hope you have a beautiful and  heart filled week with your loved ones – not only today but always. Everyday is a gift, may you be refined by graciousness, hope and love in pleasure of the moments that each day brings.

Love and Peace,



Turning Lemons into Lemonades

We are a Girl Scout Family! I am the proud leader of a Girl Scout Troop made up of 1 Cadette, 8 Juniors, 2 Daisy Girl Scouts and some of the most dedicated Moms & Dads. On Sunday, we started selling Girl Scout cookies, It always amazes me at just how much people look forward to this once a year treat and at how supportive people are of this fundraiser.

Recently I got into an online discussion with some supporters of a certain “Food” girl who is in “attack” mode against Girl Scout Cookies (conveniently just as cookie season has started). She is going on about how unhealthy the “cookies” are. This whole conversation is just mind-blowing to me. We are talking about “cookies” right? How healthy is a “cookie” to begin with. Personally, I don’t know anyone that thinks “I’m going to make a change in my lifestyle, let’s start with cookies”. Girl Scout cookies or any other treat is not intended to be your main staple in your diet. I am very careful with what my family consumes, we eat mostly vegetarian meals and I don’t buy too many sweets but I do buy some. I know how precious life is and how extremely short it can be. Yes, you could make it even shorter by making bad food choices BUT don’t go through life denying yourself some of the simple pleasures in life and certainly don’t go through life tearing down an entire group of girls or boys main “fundraiser”.

Photo courtesy of ABCBakers
Photo courtesy of ABCBakers

This whole conversation made me even more committed to my daughters success in reaching their goals for this cookie season. You see, these girls desire more, they see a much bigger picture than this “Food” girl. I have followed her blog and facebook page for some time now and admire some of the changes she’s made within the food industry but it upsets me that “SHE” a women, has failed to see what she is doing. If “SHE” would like to inspire some healthy changes to our cookies that’s great – I’m in! She knows darn well that you always start at the top. Talk to the powers that be at GSUSA, request a change! I responded to this “Food” girl by sending her GSUSA’s email and mailing address but I’ve heard nothing back from her. I’m curious, did she ever even try to contact them and let them know her concerns?


Well “Food” girl, you have inspired me to turn these lemons your throwing at us Girl Scouts into lots and lots of Lemonades. Yes, “Food” girl – it just happens to be the 10th anniversary of Lemonades, which also happen to be Vegan and my favorite Girl Scout cookie!

For those of you who would like to purchase Girl Scout cookies, contact me – my daughters would be so grateful to you for helping them reach their goals. If you don’t like Girl Scout Cookies or don’t like where you “think” the proceeds might be going – we gladly take donations! We would love it if you could encourage others to donate as well!! Donations can go directly to the girl or the troop selling these cookies. Each troop has a different goal and different organizations they plan on helping. So be sure to ask them what they plan on doing with the proceeds.

Ohhh and “Food” girl, excuse us from your site at this time. All of us Girl Scout Leaders and Moms will be rather busy as we support our girls and help build Girls of Cougar, Confidence and Character.

Woman to Woman – I’m kind of disappointed that you don’t get it, on the other hand -“Thank you” for reminding everyone it’s Girl Scout Cookie Season and for helping promote our product.

Can someone please pass the Lemonades?




Unbundle this Winter

Unbundle this Winter

We spent the Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear Lake. It’s was an absolutely beautiful weekend. This was the first time my girls where in the snow and to make it even more perfect it snowed for two days. You can see the joy on their faces in the picture.

I love Big Bear! When my boys were young, we went snowboarding there just about every weekend during the snow seasons. Then and now I did what any responsible parent would do, we layered up in the appropriate clothing and snow jackets to endure the weather.

During our Thanksgiving weekend , we stayed at the Black Forest Lodge (which is a great place to stay), its so close to the village our car trips were short. I encouraged everyone to keep their jackets on as we were entering in and out of the car so quickly. I didn’t want the girls (or ourselves) to get cold – don’t judge, we live in Orange County.

Even this morning I drove the girls to school with our jackets on. Well, guess what…It turns out that driving around with your jackets on puts you and your kids in danger! Although you adjust the seat belt to fit snug around your jackets, the jacket just creates more room between them/you and the seat belt. You are NOT secure.

Thanks to Subaru for sharing this video from the Today Show as part of their Rossen Reports showing just how dangerous it actually is. I had to share this information with you, from now on, our jackets will come off in the car. I urge you to watch this video and make a vow to “Unbundle this Winter”. Adults are in just as much danger as kids.

Please share this post with your family and friends. Take the vow to #unbundlethiswinter



The Little Things

The events that occurred in San Bernardino yesterday have left me feeling confused, upset and emotionally drained. I lived in San Bernardino, worked in San Bernardino, brought up my boys in San Bernardino. My son, who will forever be 17, rests in a place that overlooks San Bernardino. He was placed in that spot because of his love for San Bernardino. I have family and friends who work and live there. Watching the news yesterday sent me into a panic. As they were naming off streets on the news, I knew exactly who lived or worked on or near the streets being mentioned.

Some of my family, friends and their children were in lockdown mode yesterday. I was texting my family and friends to make sure they were ok and trying to pass along any information that could be helpful. I was praying, stressed and feeling helpless.

Between the explosives, pipe bomb making materials and over thousands of rounds of ammunition found in the home of the couple responsible for this heinous crime, it is obvious that the day was planned. I am not here to debate the points of view between the left and right or to discuss the reason this happened or what we could do in the future to avoid such acts. I am here to remind everyone just how short our life can be. How our choices affect others.

I know all too well how precious life is. How one day can change everything you ever thought you knew. Although It may seem that the main focus of this blog is sharing events, I am here to tell you, it’s not. This “project” or my purpose is to find ways to share “time”. Moments in time that can bring enlightenment to families. To refine your life with mindful events that nurture quality family time, a way to connect with nature and ways to give back. I am trying to focus on events that make a difference in a child’s or an adults overall thinking and feeling, something to help make connections to life.

It would be easy to allow grief to harden you but I am asking you not to allow that to happen. Please remember in the midst of all of this madness we must remain tender, caring and mindful. Mindful of how short and fragile this life is. Treasure the little things. Take joy of the sweet song of a bird in morning, the colors of the leaves in fall, the individual shapes of snowflakes. All of these little things are here for a purpose, everything has its place. Don’t take time for granted. Don’t waste time waiting for the perfect time, there is no such thing.

God bless the families impacted by the these tragic events, my prayers of healing and strength go out to all of them. We must stand together, hold each other up during times like these. It is the little things and tiniest acts of kindness at times like these that make the biggest difference.


Hair Cut Advice….from Lego

I just read an article that shows a picture of the latest LEGO magazine giving girls beauty/hair cut advice to girls (my daughter hasn’t received hers yet this month) as provided by the LEGO Friends.

Image from
Image from

Yes, these little plastic LEGO Friends are giving beauty tips to our girls. Now, just off memory alone, as a child – when I played with LEGO’s it was just, playing building and imaging. Never did I look to LEGO’s for an idea of how should get my haircut as a child, I don’t even remember being concerned with that.

Ok LEGO – here is some advice for you: maybe you can try to give girls some creative play ideas about creating, engineering and constructing after all isn’t that what LEGO is supposed to be about?

My daughter loves getting her magazine from LEGO. Now, I’m going to have to go through it prior to letting her have it. I don’t want my girls thinking about what shaped face she has and you LEGO Friends shouldn’t be putting those thoughts in her head. If that’s what we can expect in your magazine’s LEGO – they are going in the trash. I seriously thought LEGO understood the magnitude of their mistake with the Friends line. I am very disappointed in you LEGO.

Beauty Tips fr Girls, from LEGO by Sharon Holbrook via New York Times.


Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss


I don’t know about you but there are several times every week that my conversations (those that are both out loud and inside my head) contain some sort of seuss-ism. Dr. Seuss has inspired life lessons for more than just children.

I know of a company that requires their employees to read “Green Eggs and Ham”, a book that is made up of just 50 words to be used as a source of inspiration and persistence.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, knew all to well about not giving up. Dr. Seuss first book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” was rejected a total of 29 times before he found someone to publish it. Can you imagine a world without Dr. Seuss books?

Every year we look forward to watching the Dr. Seuss Classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” Musicals are based on his works and the word “nerd” was created by Dr. Seuss in his book “If I Ran the Zoo”. Just yesterday morning, I woke up to the sound of rain and thought “how am I going to keep my girls entertained on this cold, cold, wet day“. Yet another seuss-ism.


Today, March 2nd, is the 111th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss). He wrote 46 children’s books, not including the new book “What Pet Should I Get?”, soon to be to be released on July, 28, 2015. He’s books have made such an impact that his birthday has been adopted by the National Education Association as the annual date for National Read Across America Day.

Here are 30 Dr. Seuss quotes that serve as a reminder of how Dr. Seuss can change your life. This wonderful infographic is from The life lessons that come out of Dr. Seuss books are incredible in so many ways, enjoy!




Once Upon a Storybook


I just recently discovered the most amazing children’s bookstore, Once upon a Storybook in Tustin. Apparently, this charming children’s book store opened in October (I don’t how I missed this). Well, as soon as I found out about this place – I had to go and take a look. I found their website and looked up the next scheduled storytime so that my little one & I could go and explore this new spot..


This bookstore is located at the Enderle Shopping Center, a quaint shopping center located in North Tustin. As I drove up to the book store, first thing I saw was a cute storefront with the sweetest pink doors. I was immediately welcomed by Tina as we walked in. She quickly directed us upstairs for one of the best storytime’s we’ve experienced in a while.


The owner, Susie, welcomed each child individually and briefly described the theme of the day. She was entertaining, patient and knew how to “read” her audience. The kids where a little restless, so she stopped at two books and finished up with quick & easy winter craft.


My little one & I were both eager to go back down stairs and take in the book store. The bookstore is well stocked with books for kids ages birth through teens. They have three adorable little reading cubbies and my daughter experienced each one. We sat on floor and read books, we stayed for almost 2 hours after storytime. It was so comfortable. No one was looking at us or quickly gathering up our books – they just let us be and allowed us to feel at home.


 This past weekend, my 8 year daughter needed a book for her book club, so we went in for a visit. Again, we got comfortable and stayed for almost 2 hours. Neither one of my girls wanted to leave. I absolutely “LOVE” this place. It’s warm and welcoming and the Owner Susie is so sweet. Both she and Tina have a deep love for books, children’s literature and children.

Once upon a Storybook has regularly scheduled Preschool storytimes and a “Milk & Cookies” (PJ) storytime every week. They also have special events and/or author’s readings on a monthly basis.

I’ve been to other children’s book stores but this has a different feel to it. There is something special about this place; maybe it’s the friendly and knowledgeable staff or perhaps the fairies who have taken up residency here (be sure to look for the fairy door) – either way this place feels homey and magically. Once upon a Storybook will definitely become one of our “regular” spots.

  • Preschool Storytime: Tuesdays @11:00 or Fridays @11:00   Join us for songs, stories, and surprises at one of these two weekly identical storytimes!  Sometimes we do experiments, sometimes we make crafts–There’s always something fun when we get the preschoolers together!  Perfect for ages 2-5
  • Milk & Cookies Storytime: Thursdays @7:00  Hear some quiet stories to relax you after a busy day.  Milk & cookies provided (if your child has food sensitivities, please bring an appropriate snack.)  Great for ages 3-8.

Once upon a Storybook is located at the Enderle Shopping Center, 17300 E. 17th St, #C Tustin, CA 92780. Call (714) 669-4377 if you have any questions about upcoming events or hours.


New Events Calender!


Friday morning, just as my Weekend Roundup posted. I was checking my site and I got the dreaded 404 error message “Page not Found”. None of my links were working! Well, that quickly sent me into an email sending frenzy and searching forums to find answers to fix the problem.

Like most things that happen in life – a change or revision often comes as a result or realization that something isn’t working properly. I had actually been working an event calendar already so this just forced me make it happen – immediately.

Bottom line is that you can now find all upcoming events in the “Events Calendar” on the sidebar of my blog. Isn’t funny how we have to be pushed into things? Maybe that’s just me.

This means you won’t see my Weekend Roundup anymore as there is no longer a need for it. I hope the new calendar addition will help you schedule your calendar more efficiently as well.

Just keep in mind, this site is a work in progress and I am always forced to learn new things as a result of this blog so don’t be surprised if something looks different in a couple of days.

Oh, by the way – I searched and searched and I fixed the problem myself. My links are all working again and I’ve got this great events calendar as a result – so it’s all good!

Let me know if this is new addition is helpful for you.

Annette – Project Refined Life 


My New Year’s Wish

Happy New Year!!! I want to by saying “Thank you”. I appreciate that you have come to my blog and are reading my posts. I hope that you are finding the family-fun activities that encourage family time, nature and STEAM related events helpful.

I started this blog to refine my life, my purpose and place. As our pastor Rick Warren says “Our deepest life message often comes out of our deepest pain. For me that would be the loss of my son due to a drunk driver. So, naturally the holidays are concerning to me.

I pray that each and every one of you and your families have a fun and safe New Year’s. Next, let’s be realistic, it’s New Year’s, people will drink and that’s fine – just please don’t drink and drive. So, with this mind – I have a request….actually, I am pleading with you.

I have put together a list of options for planning a safe ride to and from your destination on New Years Eve, there are even options that will help get their car home, safely.

I am asking that you please pass this information along, repost this entire post, like it and/or share it on facebook, email it to someone, share it on any social media outlet you use. If we can help just one person, save one life – it’s worth it.

Again, thank you for going along with me on this journey, I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year’s.

Annette – Project Refined Life

Tipsy Tow

Statistics show that traffic-related fatalities increase significantly around the holidays. As such, the Auto Club sponsors a complimentary Tipsy Tow service on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July, which offers free rides to drivers who have been drinking. Avoid becoming a statistic and help guests stay safe by following these tips:

  • Ensure all guests have a ride to and from their destination in a car driven by a non-drinking designated driver
  • Plan activities that take the focus away from drinking, and make non-alcoholic beverages readily available
  • Serve high-protein snacks to slow down alcohol absorption
  • Stop serving alcohol at least 90 minutes before a party ends, and serve guests coffee or dessert
  • Take car keys from intoxicated guests who plan to drive home

Tipsy Tow service provides a complimentary ride and vehicle tow up to seven miles from the point of pickup to drivers who have consumed alcohol on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. Tipsy Tow service is available to members and non-members. Ask for a Tipsy Tow by calling 1-800-400-4222.


$10.00 Rides with Flywheel

Nothing’s worse than waking up New Year’s Day with regrets. So while we can’t do anything about that champagne hangover, we can make sure you have a #SurgeFreeNYE.

Seriously! We’re celebrating the launch of two brand new Flywheel cities, Sacramento and San Diego, and the end of 2014 with a night full of $10 rides.

From 8pm Wednesday (12/31/14) til 3am Thursday (1/1/15) all Flywheel rides in San Francisco, Seattle, Sacramento and San Diego will be charged a flat rate of $10. Rides exceeding $50 will be charged the metered balance.

And to help make sure you get a ride on such a crazy night, Flywheel is incentivizing our drivers with a generous tip. Pretty sweet.

Last New Year’s Eve people were charged up to seven times the normal rate by other services – not cool! This New Year’s Eve is all about the Benjamins (staying in your wallet).

If you don’t have it yet, get the app: iOS | Android  – Questions? Shoot us an e-mail or drop us a tweet.


Get a Ride with Lyft and Uber

To keep everyone safe on the roads, MADD has joined forces with Lyft and UBER. Together, we urge all adults that if your plans include alcohol then plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver before the celebrations begin.

Both services will be donating to MADD’s mission – Every ride can save a life.

UBER: Enter promo code MADDNYE from 6:00 p.m. local time New Year’s Eve to 6:00 a.m. local time New Year’s Day and UBER will donate $1 to MADD for every ride nationwide. Lyft: Starting 6:00 a.m. local time December 29 through 6:00 a.m. local time New Year’s Day, pledge to get home safe at and $1 per pledge nationwide will benefit MADD.


Designated Driver Services

DrinkingAndDriving.Org (DADO) 501c3 is a great website that teaches and Inspires the Prevention of Drunk Driving has a National Directory of Designated Driver Services,

The services offered in this site include Designated Driver service that will drive you home in your own car or pick up services.


Free Bus Rides on New Years Eve 

Celebrate the New Year, by letting OCTA do the driving!

To promote safe travels, OCTA is continuing its tradition of offering free bus rides on New Year’s Eve. From 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 until 2:30 a.m., Thursday, January 1, 2015, ride any fixed-route bus, and your ride is free!

Nearly 100,000 people have taken advantage of this special, free bus service over the past 12 years. With 600 buses travelling on 77 designated routes and stopping at over 6,500 bus stops in Orange County, taking the bus is the safest way to celebrate the New Year!

Extended bus service in Fullerton – Heading to Fullerton’s annual First Night in Fullerton event, then be sure to take the bus and avoid the parking hassle? OCTA is providing extended service on Routes 24, 26, 43, 143 make riding the bus and easy and convenient way to enjoy this special event.

Taking the bus is easy – Even if you’ve never ridden the bus before, it’s easy to ride the bus. Use our simple onlinetrip planner to find out where to catch the bus, and the time it leaves. It’s a good idea to plan your return trip at the same time as not all buses travel past midnight. Remember to arrive at your bus stop 10 minutes before your bus is expected to arrive. If you’re traveling before 6:00 p.m., be sure to have your $2 bus fare ready; exact change is required. Riding after 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve? Your ride is free! Don’t forget to plan your trip home as well, not all buses run past midnight.


Barbie Book Fail!

Mattel – you get a great big thumbs down from me on the Barbie Computer Engineer Book! So Barbie can do anything except write code. Thank goodness theres’ a boy close by – he’ll fix everything…Fail!

Barbie Computer Engineer Book
Barbie Computer Engineer Book

Isn’t she supposed to be a Computer engineer? I was already upset about the Girl Scout Barbie released earlier this year but now this. I was very excited to see the Computer Engineer Barbie but to accompany it with such a ridiculous book.

Just a couple of months back I told my girls they could no longer watch the Barbie episodes on Netflix after watching an episode of Barbie Dreamhouse with them “Girl” based TV and toys are so very disappointing.

Step it up Mattel! Encourage our girls, build them up, show them they can be and do anything!

Barbie- Compueter Engineer???
Barbie- Compueter Engineer???

Here’s a more complete article from,, I’m in a hurry as I am on my way to our school garden, hopefully I can find a guy around to help guide through the garden. I might get lost.


We have lift off!!!


My blog has taken a major step, it is now self-hosted with the help of “Siteground“.

What this means to you…hopefully, there has not been any interruption of service to you. Unfortunately, you may see some of the post from the last few days on facebook, twitter, google+ and tumbler for the second time – I do apologize for that. Today should be the only day this will happen. Also, some posts may have the same picture twice. This will also weed itself for future posts.

Things may look a little different and there are few things that still need tweaking. It’s a work in progress.

Now for the good news! I now have a more freedom to offer things like giveaways, family friendly product reviews and other great deals. You will also see some advertisers on my blog, these ads allow me to continue to grow and offer you some incredible deals. I will not advertise anything that does not fall inline with my own personal values. I also plan on expanding my blog a bit to offer more family friendly content.

Overall, I will be able to offer more to my loyal blog readers.

I want to thank “Siteground” for walking (carrying) me through this process. I am not a “techie” person  but they helped me along, every single step of the way. I might have even made it a little more complicated than it needed to be. They picked up the phone every single time I called (there are real people – employees – working here) and they returned every single email within minutes. Seriously, the customer service has been fantastic!

This blog is like a little baby to me and I’m trying to handle it with care as it grows. My focus is still family friendly nature and science based events with an overall emphasis on social and community issues. I hope you enjoy the changes.

Thank you so much for continuing to support my blog and for being part of my growing project.

Annette, Project Refined Life