FREE Kids Yoga!

Image Courtesy of OrangeHomeGrownInc facebook page

It always makes me feel great to bring home fresh, organic, locally grown veggies for my family. This Saturday morning you can take that feeling of doing something great for your family a step further!

Why not pick up some beautiful organic veggies for the family at the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market and then let kids get in on some FREE Yoga? That’s right, a FREE YOGA class designed just for them. Did I mention that it’s FREE?

This FREE kid’s Yoga session is taught by Renee Schwan and no pre-registration required. Just bring your shopping list, a yoga mat and the kids!

  • Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10:45am –11:30am

  • Orange Home Grown Farmer’s Market, located at 304 N. Cypress Street, Orange CA 92866

  • Cost: FREE!!!

Share

A Weekend of STEAM

This weekend is filled with some great STEAM/STEM events. A few days ago, I shared Imaginology, a STEAM event that takes at the OC Fair Grounds. It’s a fantastic event that we’ve been a attending for a few years now. Today, I’m sharing two more great STEAM/STEM events.

All of these events take place this weekend. Get your little STEMists to one of these fun filled events.


*City of STEM – Columbia Memorial Space Center*

Image courtesy of columbiaspacescience.org

Are you ready for a day of Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology? Join Columbia Memorial Space Center for their 3rd annual City of STEM event.

This FREE event brings together hands-on activities and nearly two dozen science partners to the Space Center like: SpaceX, Natural History Museum, Aquarium of the Pacific, LA Zoo, and much more!

All are welcomed and are sure to enjoy this event. There will be food trucks on site like: My Delight Cupcakery, Romolo’s Italian Cuisine and TNB Food Truck.

  • When: Saturday, April 22nd 10am-5pm.

  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center is located at 12400 Columbia Way, Downey, California 90242

  • Cost: FREE


*IPSF 20th Birthday Bash & The STEAM Carnival – O.C. Great Park*

IPSF 20th Birthday Bash & STEAM Carnival. Come celebrate Irvine Public Schools Foundation’s 20th anniversary at the Birthday Bash featuring the 3rd annual STEAM Carnival! Join in on an afternoon of STEAM-inspired games and activities, live music and local food trucks!

HANDS ON FUN!  A creative twist on the traditional carnival, this family-friendly event for all ages is designed to provide children with fun, hands-on activities in an interactive carnival atmosphere to spark their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

EXCITING ATTRACTIONS FOR ALL AGES

  • Cox “IP Packet” Derby Racer
  • Planet Ring Toss
  • Microsoft Coding
  • Virtual Reality Experience
  • Human Foosball
  • LEGO Car Build and 35′ Supertrack
  • Live Animals
  • Puzzle Cubes
  • Photography Wheel
  • US Army Physical Fitness Challenge
  • LA Galaxy Soccer Demo
  • Basketball and Football Inflatables
  • Soccer Tennis Skills Challenge
  • Nail Painting by Polished Perfect
  • And Much More!

Check out the video below of last year’s event!

  • When: Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 2:00pm  – 7:00pm

  • Where: Orange County Great Park, 6950 Marine Way, Irvine, CA 92618

  • Cost: General Admission $5.00, If you wear any IPSF t-shirt, you’ll get FREE admission! Children 3 years old and under are free. VIP tickets also available. To purchase tickets click here.

Share

My Journey Into The World Of Yoga

Projectrefinedlife.com
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

 

Share

Time to use your Imaginology

 

It’s time to use your “Imaginology and go Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead” at the O.C. Fair & Event Center. Imaginolgy is one of our girls favorite annual STEAM events. Through hands-on workshops and exhibits, this event creates a stimulating world perfect for kids of all ages.

Kids can explore and discover their abilities in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and agricultural fields and more.

ProjectRefinedLife.com

Local professionals and Imaginology staff lead hands-on makeshops and workshops suitable for all ages including ceramics, sewing, technology, painting, sculpting and other crafts.  Supplies are provided for free and most artwork and crafts created may be taken home.We love walking through the vegetable and fruit gardens in Centennial Farm. The farm is filled with gardening activities including radish seed planting, digging and identifying vegetable roots and examining a variety of plants through touch and smell at the Garden Touch Table.

There’s so much to do at this event. In addition to the hands-on learning there’s blacksmithing presentation and a cow-milking display where guests learn the process of how milk travels from the cow to the store. Attendees can also pet a chick or visit The Great Egg-Scape exhibit and watch chicks hatching.

  • When: April 21-23 and is open Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Where: OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa – which is located off the 405 and 55 freeways
  • Cost: The event is FREE to attend. Parking is free on Friday and $8.00 on Saturday & Sunday

Visit the Imaginology website for more details and a full event schedule.

 

Share

Book Fair!

Troop #3152 & Ethan

Did you know there are NO Hospitals in California with libraries for Children? Children can play video games, get toys to play with, visits from therapy dogs but there are no books! This is where you can help make a difference!

As part of my Junior Girl Scouts Bronze project they have teamed up with my favorite Children’s Book store, Once Upon A Storybook to host a Book Fair to benefit Ethan & Choco’s Book Club.

Book Fair at Once Upon a Storybook

Please help us as we give back to the children in our community. Buy a book for yourself or donate a book. OR – even better, Buy One, Gift One!!!

Once Upon a Storybook has generously offered to donate a portion of each purchase to help fulfill Ethan’s vision of building a lending library and gifting library. Just be sure to mention“TROOP #3152” at checkout!!!

Any donated books must be new.  Please come by to support my troop, ECBC, and this wonderful local bookstore!!

  • When: Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 12:30 – 5:00 pm
  • Where: Once Upon A Storybook, located at 17300 17th St. #C, Tustin, CA 92780
  • Be sure to mention “TROOP #3152” at checkout!!!

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST #makeadifference #gstroop3152 #BronzeAward

Share

Free Kids Fishing Clinic

ProjectRefinedLife.com

OC Parks, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Izaak Walton League and Berkley Fishing host the inaugural Kids’ Fishing Clinic at Yorba Regional Park.

The Kids’ Fishing Clinic (for ages 15 and under) is designed to teach kids how to fish, while giving them the opportunity to catch a few. The lake will be stocked with more than 1,000 pounds of trout or catfish for the clinic.

Fishing experts will be on site to assist kids. Don’t forget your fishing rod! If you do not have your own fishing rod, a limited quantity will be available for loan. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Rain will not cancel event.

  • When: Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Where: Yorba Regional Park 7600 E. La Palma Anaheim, CA 92807
  • Event is free! Parking is $5 per vehicle

To register, please call (714) 973-6615 or email yorbapark@ocparks.com.

Share

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

There were 276 drunk driving fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day from 2009-2013, making it one of the deadliest holidays on the road for drunk driving. – MADD.org

It’s Friday night and it’s St. Patrick’s Day. This combination makes me worry. Although I wish that you have a great time with your celebrations – I MUST take this time to simply remind you to not to depend on luck if your planning on drinking and driving. Your choices impact everyone around you. Have fun but please don’t drink and drive. Be sure to designated non-drinking driver.  

If your hosting your own St. Patrick’s Day party? Here are some safe party tips from MADD.org:

  • As guests RSVP, confirm that they have a plan for a safe way home via a non-drinking designated driver (rideshare service, public transportation, taxi, etc.).
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages or mocktails for non-drinking designated drivers and others who prefer not to drink alcohol. Create a fun green mocktail to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!
  • If, despite your efforts, some of your guests have had too much to drink, never let them drive home impaired.

More safe partytips can be found at madd.org/safeparty

Pledge to be Safe this St. Patrick’s Day

Pledge to be a designated driver, or pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free this St. Patrick’s Day. You could save your friends’ lives, or your own.

 

MichaelI will love you forever Michael, until we meet again.

Share

Time To Get Your “Ticket to Explore”

Image courtesy of JPL facebook page
Image courtesy of JPL facebook page

Today’s the day!!! I just reserved our tickets!!!

For the last few of years I’ve been telling you about the amazing once a year Open House at JPL. Due to the popularity of the event, the lines were so long a couple of years ago the policy to attend needed to be altered.

Last year JPL introduced  a new way to attend JPL’s Open House. “A Ticket to Explore JPL”.  This new ticketed system helps to assure that this one special weekend a year is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

JPLopenhouse

The event is set to place on May 20 & 21, 2017. Tickets for this event are FREE, but limited. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and the maximum number of tickets per family is limited to five.

To enter JPL, you must have your ticket in hand and with a matching ID if you are 18 or older. Tickets are not transferrable.

Tickets will be available online on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 9 a.m. PDT on JPL’s Special Events web page where you can also find additional information: //www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/special-events.php

Mark your calender’s and be ready on March 11th. I tried last year but the site kept crashing. Hopefully the bugs are all worked out and I can get through this year to reserve a spot for my family.

Share

Butterfly Day

Let’s get ready for Spring with this fun and FREE community event.

Celebrate Butterflies on Saturday Morning, March 18, 2017 from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm.

“Butterfly Day Open House”  will be held at the Education Farm located at: 356 N. Lemon St. – Old Towne Orange, CA

There will be scavenger hunts, crafts, storytime, prizes, education, healthy snacks and more!

Butterfly Day
Share

Prepare To Get Your “Ticket to Explore”

Image courtesy of JPL facebook page
Image courtesy of JPL facebook page

For the last few of years I’ve been telling you about the amazing once a year Open House at JPL. Due to the popularity of the event, the lines were so long a couple of years ago the policy to attend needed to be altered.

Last year JPL introduced  a new way to attend JPL’s Open House. “A Ticket to Explore JPL”.  This new ticketed system helps to assure that this one special weekend a year is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

JPLopenhouse

The event is set to place on May 20 & 21, 2017. Tickets for this event are FREE, but limited. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and the maximum number of tickets per family is limited to five.

To enter JPL, you must have your ticket in hand and with a matching ID if you are 18 or older. Tickets are not transferrable.

Tickets will be available online on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 9 a.m. PDT on JPL’s Special Events web page where you can also find additional information: //www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/special-events.php

Mark your calender’s and be ready on March 11th. I tried last year but the site kept crashing. Hopefully the bugs are all worked out and I can get through this year to reserve a spot for my family.

Share

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.

Xoxo,

Annette

Share

Insect Fair 2016

Insect Fair at the Bronco Student Center

Put this on your calender now! Come see over 500,000 live and preserved exotic insects from around the world at the Cal Poly Insect Fair Insect Fair at the AGRIscapes Visitor Center (next to the Farm Store).

Have you ever touched a millipede or a Madagascar Hissing cockroach with your bare hand? Well you can at the Insect Fair. Learn how insects impact our lives and how you can make a career as an insect expert.

Some of the insects on display include:

insects

  • Vibrant moths and butterflies from around the world.

  • Beautiful cicadas from Asia . . . many having unique wing patterns and colors. These insects are the loudest on the planet!

  • A colorful array of exotic grasshoppers and katydids. Many displayed to show patterned underwings.

  • Beetles! These are the largest, most diverse group of insects. Make sure to look closely because many displayed are small but full of color, texture, and unique patterns.

***This event is a perfect for opportunity for Girl Scout Brownies to complete several steps of their Bug Badge*** 

  • When: October 8, 2016 and October 9, 2016 from 9am to 5 pm
  • Where: Cal Poly Pomona, The AGRIscapes Visitor Center  – next to the Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch , 4102 S. University Drive., Pomona, CA 91768 (Located just south of Temple Ave.) 
  • Cost: Admission is $3 for adults; $2 for students and children 2-12, FREE for kids under 2.

Share

Museum Day Live!

museumdayliveMusuem Day Live! is an annual celebration of free admission to over 1,100 museum and cultural institutions nationwide. This fantastic event is hosted by Smithsonian magazine. provide entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket. 

The Museum Day Live! ticket provides free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket on September 24, 2016. Each ticket provides admission for two people, per email address. My husband and I will both be signing up in order to get our family of four in.    

Where will your curiosity lead you on Museum Day Live!? Tag your visit on social media with @MuseumDay  #BoundlessCuriosity  #MuseumDayLive

Share

Great Park Spooktacular

OC-Great_halloween_ballon

It’s time to register for The Great Park’s Spooktacular Fun Days!  Get your costume’s ready and enjoy fall activities for the kids of all ages. This FREE event not only provides your family a day of fun but also helps support our Orange County Food Banks.

Donate to scare away hunger by simply bringing a bag of canned goods or non-perishable food and each child 12 and younger will gain access to the Pumpkin Patch or Trick or Treat Town (while supplies last).

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Enjoy traditional family-friendly fall activities including: kids crafts, petting zoo, carnival games, Harvest Walk, entertainment, gourmet food trucks and much more.

In order to take part in this spooktacular day of fun you must sign up. Registration is required for each child (12 & under); space is limited. Free admission and parking.

Activities are for children 12 & under, therefore accompanying adult ticket registration is not required.  Event date options include:

  • Saturday, October 15, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 16, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 22, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 23, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Registration for Spooktacular Fun Days begins September 14, 2016 at noon.

The Great Park is located at Marine Way and Sand Canyon Irvine, CA 92618

Please note: Special event entrance for the Orange County Great Park is located off I-5 or I-405 at Sand Canyon on Trabuco Road/Great Park Boulevard in Irvine.

Share

Another Angel is called Home

MADD_logo

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.

Michael

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.
Share