Be Safe this Weekend!

Please help keep families together and safe this weekend by designating a driver or call Uber for a ride. Wishing you and yours a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend.

Annette – ProjectRefinedLife



As the 4th of July  weekend approaches, the media will be entirely too busy reporting on drunk driving fatalities. This is one of the deadliest weekends throughout the year for alcohol-related crashes. During the four-day holiday in 2014, 164 people were killed in drunk driving crashes – a 50% increase over an average day.

MADD refuses to accept this as normal. And, this week, we are proud to announce an enhanced partnership we believe will save lives – begining this weekend!

MADD introduced the phrase designated driver to the American lexicon 30 years ago in 1986. This week, I am pleased to say that Uber has evolved the definition of “designated driver.” So, that in addition to your non-drinking driver or public transportation, Uber is standing by as well as MADD’s official designated driving app.

For almost a decade, MADD has put technology at the forefront of our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®.  Two years ago, this July 4th, we announced a partnership with Uber to keep drunk drivers off the road. As a team, we have spent the last two years raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving by coordinating events with local and national leaders, participating in public service campaigns, and encouraging both riders and drivers to leave the keys at home and keep their communities safe.

Uber, like MADD,  cares about our cause of getting drunk drivers off the road. They care about rider and driver safety, and they are dedicated to research that helps reduce drunk driving.

This holiday weekend, like all weekends, we want Americas roads to be safe and rid them of drunk drivers. Please join our mission to end drunk driving by donating today. Uber will DOUBLE your donation.

Together, we will make a difference. Have a safe July 4th weekend. Thank you and God Bless America!


It’s Inventors Week!

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Image courtesy of

Come to the Discovery Cube OC for a week of tinkering, building, and exploring while learning about electronic and robotic principles. You’ll get to practice your skills and test your knowledge with snap circuit building, Makey Makey invention activities, and an interactive stage show!

There will be an exclusive live video conference with NASA on July 7 at 1:00pm! Learn about the Orion and Space Launch System missions and how NASA plans to explore areas of space that more than 40,000 miles beyond the moon! An engineer from the Ground Systems Development and Operations team at Kennedy Space Center will be available by video conference to answer your questions about upcoming deep space operations.


Meet the Makers Weekends | July 2 & 3, July 9 & 10

Saturday, July 2
Abu ZOTTZ (10am-5pm)
Joan Horvath: Nonscriptum LLC (10am-5pm)
OC Scroll Saw Association (11am-3pm)
Google X: Anthony Mack (presentations at 11am and 1pm)
Brain Builders (Time TBD)

Sunday, July 3
Abu ZOTTZ (10am-5pm)
OC Scroll Saw Association (11am-3pm)
Blind Children Center (10am-5pm)

Tuesday, July 5
AirWolf 3D (10am-3pm)

Wednesday, July 6
Blind Children Center (10am-5pm)
AirWolf 3D (10am-3pm)

Thursday, July 7
NASA Engineer Teleconference – Jerad Merbitz (1pm)
AirWolf 3D (10am-3pm)

Friday, July 8
Blind Children Center (10am-5pm)
AirWolf 3D (10am-3pm)

Saturday, July 9
Wolf Corp. Robotics (11am-1pm)
Blind Children Center (10am-5pm)
R2D2 Club (11am-3pm)
OC Scroll Saw Association (11am-3pm)
Matter Hackers (11am-3pm)
OC Module Railroaders Inc. (10am-5pm)

Sunday, July 10
OC Scroll Saw Association (11am-3pm)
OC Module Railroaders Inc. (10am-5pm)

*All shows, presenters & times subject to change or cancellation without notice.
All activities while supplies last.

  • When: July 2nd – July 10th, 2016
  • Where: Discovery Cube OC, 2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
  • Cost: included in admission


Last night we viewed Disney and Steven Spielberg’s movie adaption of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. This is my daughters favorite Roald Dahl book and we have been waiting (rather impatiently) the release of this film . The movie wastes no time on getting into the action to develop the story. It kept me and my girls entertained throughout the entire film.

While going to sleep one night, Sophie accidentally encounters a giant, who scopes her away and takes her to his home in Giant Country. Although Sophie is initially scared of the giant, he turns out to be a kindhearted and friendly giant whose job it is to capture dreams, store them in dream jars and disburse them among the human “beans”. The BFG (big friendly giant) lives among other bigger giants who continually bully The BFG. Sophie and the BFG’s developed friendship inspires Sophie to come up with a plan to save the BFG from the other giants.

I thought the movie was kind and funny. The special effects were fantastic. Mark Rylance’s (the BFG) performance was outstanding. The use of digital technology and the live-action performance’s allows you to see and feel the emotions of the giant. I quickly developed a liking for the giant because you could see his emotions in his eyes, it was heartwarming.

My thoughts of this movie are based strictly off the movie. My daughter said that there are difference’s between the book and the film but she loved it and thought it was awesome. This is a great family friendly movie.

Here are two separate Dream Jar crafts you and your children can quickly put together to celebrate this special movie. Both equally cute but different.

The first comes with a cute story of a letter written to Roald Dahl telling him of the craft she made inspired by his book.

Thie second video is Disney’s version of the Dream Jar craft – very simple to put together and very pretty,

If making these crafts makes you thirsty try this Frobscottle recipe from

The Frobscottle in The BFG


It’s The BFG Contest Time!

It’s contest time at Once Upon a Storybook!  If your child loves Roald Dahl’s book The BFG – they can Win 2 tickets (one adult, one child) to The BFG!


Children ages 15 and under just need to write up a one-page summary of the BOOK The BFG (no more than 200 words), and turn it in to Once Upon a Storybook by Friday, July 8 by 7:00 PM.

Any kid under age 15 who has read or had the book read to him/her qualifies! Remember to use as much Gobblefunk as possible in your summary.

The winning entry will be posted with The BFG by Roald Dahl at the store, and the winning writer will receive the two tickets on Saturday, July 9 to be used any time after that. Age/developmental level and creativity will be considered in the awarding of the prize. 

If you have any questions please call Once Upon a Storybook at 714-669-4377. Please share this with your friends!!!


Young Explorers Academy

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Image courtesy of

This Saturday, the theme for this July’s “Young Explorers Academy” at Columbia Memorial Space Center is “Seed Growth”. The Young Explorer’s Academy is designed especially for children ages 3-5.

Children will EXPLORE, EXPERIMENT, and CREATE during hands-on and participant-lead activities based on various early childhood topics.

July is a time for summer picnics and celebrating the summer. Watermelons, strawberries, and cantaloupes are popular summer fruits, but how do we get them to our picnic tables from a small seedling? Come join Young Explorers Seed Growth workshop at the CMSC as they answer the questions of seed growth together.

  • When: Saturday, July 2, 2016 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center is located at: 12400 Columbia Way, Downey, CA 90242
  • Cost: $12 is per guardian and child pair (includes all day admission to the CMSC) or $7 for CMSC members. Guardian participation is required. Pre- registration is suggested as seats and supplies are limited.

To register – call  (562) 231-1200,  Tuesday-Saturday between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm or register at the door.



Weekend Hikes

I thought I’d start the Weekend HIkes post early this week so you could pre-register and plan your weekend. It could be I’m just eager to get out there for some sort of hiking adventures. Remember the OC Parks guided hikes are always free just cover the parking.  Get out there and discover a new trail!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Let’s Go Hiking! – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Do you want to take a hike with other nature enthusiasts? Enjoy a 3.8-mile, moderate (600-ft. elevation gain) hike through Laurel and Willow Canyons with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. You will experience a variety of plant communities, from Coastal Sage Scrub to Oak Woodland and enjoy a view of the ocean at the top. Minimal interpretation, but questions welcome. The terrain can often be rocky and uneven.

  • Participants should bring water, a hat, a snack, and wear proper hiking shoes.
  • Ages 15 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Register Online

Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
First Saturday of the Month Morning Hike To The Redwood Grove – Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Join OC Parks’ trained staff on the first Saturday of the month for an easy 1.1-mile early morning interpretive hike to the park’s Coastal Redwood grove. You will use your 5 senses to engage with nature as you stroll to the Redwoods. You will also have an opportunity to learn about our native plants along the trail. The hike begins at 8:30 a.m. from the park’s Nature Center.

Participants should remember water, sunscreen, hat and hiking shoes.

  • All ages (small children may have to be carried).
  • Meet at Nature Center located at east end of park.
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Registration: call (714) 973-3160 or email
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Rain will cancel hike.
Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Walk with a Naturalist – O’Neill Regional Park

Join O’Neill Regional Park naturalists and learn about the animals and nature of Trabuco Canyon. This will be a light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads.

  • All ages welcome.
  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle

Event is conditional on the weather.

Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy hike for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its trails.  $0 $0Hike will be on paved and dirt trails. $0 $0Bring sun protection and water. $0 $0Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center. $0 $0Event is free, registration is not required.  $0 $0
Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Family Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Come and enjoy an easy, 2.5-mile family hike over moderate but uneven terrain (45-ft. elevation gain). Starting at the James Dilley Preserve we will hike one of the most diverse areas of the park to Barbara’s Lake and back. Hike is led by Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist volunteers.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (I-5 or 405 south to 133 south to stoplight at 73 toll road; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Register Online

Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  7/3/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Kumeyaay Family Fun Day

Image from
Image from

Get unplugged and head outdoors at the San Elijio Lagoon while you learn about the Kumeyaay. During this month’s Family Fun Day you’ll discover the Kumeyaay who relied upon the lagoon’s resources, through arts and crafts and activity-guided tours.

Family Fun Days are held on the 1st Sunday of the month. Rain or shine. Presented by Conservancy & County rangers.

  • When: Sunday, July 3, 2016 from 11:30am – 1:30pm
  • Where: San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, 2710 Manchester Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007
  • Cost: FREE

Jetboil Flash
**This post does contain affiliate links in which ProjectRefinedLife does make a small commission should you choose to purchase an item, I appreciate you supporting my site. My reviews and opinions are 100% my own.**

On our recent trip to Yosemite National Park we were fortunate enough to snag up one night at Housekeeping Camp. I was thrilled to be able to stay inside the park, Not only would we save time and money staying here but It would give us the oppurtunity to do some camping during our stay.

Housekeeping Camp allows you to camp while having access to a bed, electricity and a light both inside and outside your tent and the ability to cook and have your meals in your private camp site patio. Staying here was afforadable while giving us a sense of adventure. This also gave me the perfect opportunity to reallocated the money we saved on a staying at a hotel and buying breakfast to add some items to our camping kitchen.

My main concern was saving space, I decided I didn’t want to take along our regular camping stove since I knew that at best I would only be able to make one make one meal upon arrival that night and one meal in the morning. My plan was to take a smaller cooler and a smaller cooktop. I considered purchasing a single burner camp stove but again – buying something compact was my main concern.

I visited my favorite store, REI for some insight and ideas. I talked to one of the always helpful and knowledgable REI associates, he suggested this amazing little cooking stove. It packs up small, sets up easilty and I could fit in my backpack if needed. You never know when I might decide to do a backpacking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail.

After discussing our needs with the REI associate I was sold on the Jetboil Flash. This little stove comes with everything you need to boil water fast in a very small package. The sales associate said he had even cooked hot dogs in it! I could easily see how this stove would be a great addition to our camping kitchen items.

The Jetboil Flash has some additional items you can purchase to make your Jetboil Flash even more versatile. The Jetboil Pot Support allows you to use with the stove with the Jetboil Flux Coffee Press, Jetboil Flux Pot or the Jetboil Flux Pan. The Jetboil Pot Support also gives you the option of using your regular camping pots and pans with it.

Shortly after arriving at Housekeeping Camp, I was able to pull out my Jetboil Flash boil some water, get my girls some hot cocoa and our Freeze Dried dinner ready in a flash (pun intented). At breakfast time, I used it to boil water for our coffee, hot cocoa and again our delicious Freeze Dried breakfast.

Okay, so our regular food is better but the dehydrated food was good. It saved us money, space, time and I didn’t have to wash any pots or pans. You could easily take along some prepackaged homemade oatmeal packets and use the boiled water to make some oatmeal.

I have read that  both the Jetboil Flash Pot Support and the coffee press are highly recommend, two items I just might consider getting for our future camping trips. The stove comes with a an adjustable flame level and an igniter so there’s no need for matches.  The Jet Boil Flash is simple to put together, use, take apart and store.

I boiled 2 cups of water in about 1.30 minutes. The side of the Jetboil Flash has flames which turn a bright yellow when the water is boiling (reviewers said it turns red but my water was ready at yellow).

I can easily see how having this in addition to my regular camping stove can help to make some quick cocoa and coffee while I cook breakfast while camping or when I don’t want to take our regular camping stove. At $99.95 I can say that the Jetboil Flash  is well a made compact cooking stove that I can highly recommend. I gladly give it 5 stars!

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

50th Annual Sawdust Art Festival


The Sawdust Art Festival is in full swing! It’s opening day was Friday June 24th and runs through Sunday, August 28, 2016. The Festival is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The festival attracts more visitors than any other summer art festival in Southern California and feaures a variety of paintings, photography, glass, ceramics, jewelry, sculptures, woodwork, textiles, clothing, furniture, mixed media and more.

Designed to both entertain and educate, the Sawdust Art Festival draws more than 200,000 visitors worldwide each year. Visitors are invited to shop along sawdust-covered paths through a hand-crafted village of fine arts and superb craftsmanship. Artists that exhibit during the summer festival are Laguna Beach residents. The Sawdust Art Festival also features art demonstration booths such as glassblowing, complimentary hands-on art workshops, a children’s art booth, a Ceramic Center, as well as refreshments from four outdoor cafes and a saloon, live musical entertainment and more.

  • When: Open Daily from Friday, June 24th – Sunday, August 28th from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm – Special hours on July 4th – 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Where: The Sawdust Art Festival is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, CA 92651
  • Cost: Adults are $9.00, Children 6-12 $4.00, Senior (65+) $7.00, children 5 and under are free, Season pass $18.00, Annual Pass $24.00 



Nature Fest

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Image courtesy of

Come to the Natural History Museum for a two-day celebration of Nature in the City! 

Coyotes cross Sunset Boulevard. Lizards scale manzanitas. P-22, Los Angeles’s resident mountain lion, explores Griffith Park. Vaux’s swifts take cover in downtown chimneys. Western gulls steal your beach picnic. Squirrels are doing summersaults in your front yard. L.A. is a surprising biodiversity hotspot — and it’s time to celebrate our urban nature!


Museum scientists and Southern California nature organizations are joining forces for a weekend filled with hands-on, fun family activities.

Ongoing programming includes roaming performances, hands-on activities, landscape artists in residence at work, as well as your chance to take a photo with “Charles Darwin”. Check out this year’s schedule of timed programs below.  To see the list of exhibitors as well as the schedule please HERE for the brochure.


BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS (get your timed-ticket on site; first-come-first-served)

Behind-the-Scenes Tours of NHM’s Bird Collection at 11 am, 2 pm, and 3:30 pm 
Go behind closed doors with a special peek into the ornithology collection at NHM! 


Dragonfly Story Performances at 10:30 am and 12 pm
We invite you to listen to an enchanting story all about dragonflies, with puppets.

Snake Feeding Demonstration at 11 am
Watch as our Live Animal Programs gives a snake a snack.

Meet a Live Animal! at 1 pm
Meet your SoCal neighbor and learn about its life here in CA.

Rhythm Child’s Interactive Music for Families at 2:30 pm and 3:45 pm
Grab a drum and play along!

WORKSHOPS (get your timed-ticket on site; first-come-first-served)

Taxidermy Demonstration at 10 am and 12 pm
Observe the Museum’s taxidermist in a step-by-step demonstration on the preservation of a bird specimen.

Photography for Science at 11 am and 1 pm
Learn how to take nature photos, for science, with your smartphone with NHM’s Citizen Science team. 

Silk Screening with Self Help Graphics at 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm
Make unique screen prints on textile with nature-inspired designs.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located at: 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Buy your tickets today and skip the lines.


Doheny Surf Festival

Image Courtesy of Irvine Subaru Facebook page
Image Courtesy of Irvine Subaru Facebook page

Looking for a cool way to spend some time this weekend? Make your way to Doheny State Beach for the Doheny Surf Festival – a family celebration of all things surf, sponsored by my favorite Subaru dealership – Irvine Subaru.

Hear talks by famous surf legends or watch helpful surf demonstrations. Afterwards, head to the Kona Brewing Liquid Aloha Lounge for a refreshing beverage alongside groovy live music.

For the little ones, there’s a kids area with arts & crafts, storytime and more. Be sure to check out the new Subaru’s that Irvine Subabru will bring for your future adventures!

  • When: Saturday, June 25th and Sunday, June 26th, 2016 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Where: Doheny Beach, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, California 92629
  • Cost: Event is FREE, paking fees will apply

Hikes & Bikes

Once upon a time, there lived a girl who couldn’t wait for the weekend to come so she experience outdoor adventures right here in Orange County. These outdoor adventures included hiking and mountain biking. She would travel miles and miles to experience scenic hiking adventures and to ride her bike over dirt and rocks, okay – so maybe she just traveled 50 or 60 miles from the Inland Empire.

That girl was me and now I live here in Orange County, so my drive is much shorter. Although I could find adventure in the Inland Empire, summertime was always 10 -15 degrees cooler in Orange County.

I feel completely spoiled by our gorgeous surroundings and love that Orange County Parks provides guided hikes and biking adventures for FREE! So if you’re a local or traveling from a distant (or not so distant) land be sure to check some of our beautiful parks out this weekend, just bring some money for parking and pack a lunch.

 Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Birds of Weir Canyon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a moderate-paced birding walk through the beautiful oak woodlands of Weir Canyon Nature Preserve.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more events in Weir Canyon, click here.

Online Registration

Date:  6/25/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Birding Walk – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Learn, practice or just enjoy spotting summer and year-round resident birds with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this 1.5-mile hike over primarily flat, but uneven terrain through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States. No experience necessary!

  • For ages 12 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars (Limited binoculars available on loan.)
  • 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.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.

Online Registration

Date:  6/25/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Walk with a Naturalist – O’Neill Regional Park
Join O’Neill Regional Park naturalists and learn about the animals and nature of Trabuco Canyon. This will be a light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads.

  • All ages welcome.
  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle

Event is conditional on the weather.

Date:  6/25/2016
Time:  9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Family Hike: Agua Chinon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Enjoy an early evening family hike in Agua Chinon while watching for native plants and animals in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more events in Limestone Canyon,click here.

Online Registration


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  6/26/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Introduction to Mountain Biking – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer Mountain Bike Trail Assistants on this beautiful 8-mile bike ride (400-ft. elevation gain) on uneven terrain. Learn mountain biking basics and trail etiquette while enjoying the canyon views.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, then left into parking lot).
  • Please come prepared with a bike suitable for off-pavement riding, sturdy shoes, helmet, gloves, water and snack.
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.

Sign-up link

Date:  6/26/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Intermediate Mountain Biking – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park

Catch beautiful canyon views on this 10-mile ride over steep and uneven terrain (1,600-ft elevation gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer mountain bike trail assistants. This is for INTERMEDIATE riders with mountain biking experience. Appropriate mountain biking equipment required.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, then left into parking lot).
  • Must have helmet, gloves, hydration; a snack is strongly suggested. Be prepared for varied weather in the canyons.
  • This bike ride is not for beginners.
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.

Sign-up link

Date:  6/26/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 10:30 AM


Meditating in Nature – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Relax in nature this spring with park staff and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers.  Enjoy a short walking meditation (1/2 mile), breathing and energization exercises, and sitting meditation. Bring a blanket, pillow, and clothing in layers in case the evening is cool.

  • 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
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.

Online Registration

Date:  6/26/2016
Time:  5:45 PM – 7:15 PM



Every Kid in a Park

 My family and I just got back from our “Kick-off” to Summer trip by visiting a couple of our National Parks – compliments of our 4th grader. We used my daughter’s Every Kid in a Park pass to visit Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park.

Every Kid in a Park sample pass

I was more than excited last year when President Obama introduced the “Every Kid in a Park” program that provides every fourth grader and their families free admission to our national parks and recreational sites for a full year! I’ve talked about this program before but it’s such a wonderful program I have to remind everyone to take part in this program.

If your child will be entering the fifth grade in the fall, you still have time to visit our National parks for FREE! The “Every Kid in a Park” program began in the fall and runs through August 31st. For all of you with children heading into the 4th grade in the fall, their pass will be valid on September 1st.
My Forth Grader basking in the sun and the mist of Yosemite Falls.

We were in Yosemite this weekend while President Obama and his family were visiting the park. I thought is was awesome that he was there talking about the program that we were there taking advantage of. Although we didn’t stand in the meadow and wait to see the president, we did see the helicopters and experienced the excitement and security measures of having the President in the park at the same time.

According to the White House 80% of American families live around cities where children spend more than 53 hours every week glued to their electronic devices. This initiative is a push to get kids and their families outdoors and active and hopefully inspire a love for nature.

If you’re the parent of a child who just finished up their 4th grade year – get out there and experience our National Parks this summer for FREE. I’ll be writing a post soon about our experience at the parks, where we stayed and any tips that might be helpful for you and your family.  In the meantime, #Findyourpark here. I’m looking at our calendar to schedule some more time at our National Parks this summer!


Movies on the Lawn

Movies on the Lawn

Mark your calenders for this summer’s Movies on the lawn at the Great Park. Watch classic or family movies on the big screen.

Bring low-back chairs, blankets and a picnic, or try some of the yummy eats from one of the food trucks or snack bar. Movies are weather permitting and actual start time may vary pending sunset, approximately 8:15 pm but get there early to grab a good spot!

The Great Park is located at 6950 Marine Way, Irvine, CA 92618

June 24 – Bringing Up Baby

A potential $1 million dollar donation and a Brazilian leopard named Baby bring together a reserved paleontologist and a wealthy heiress.
Not rated (1938), 102 minutes
Food Truck: Crepes Bonaparte


June 25 – The Peanuts Movie

The beloved Peanuts gang is back, as Snoopy and Charlie Brown take on new and epic adventures.
Rated PG (2015), 93 minutes
Food Trucks: Mess Hall Canteen, Crepes Bonaparte and Front Porch Pops & Torch S’more
July 8 – State Fair

In the Frake family, everyone has something to gain when the Iowa State Fair comes to town for the summer.
Not rated (1945), 100 minutes
Food Trucks: The Burnt Truck and Scooter’s Italian Ice
July 9 – Kung Fu Panda 3

Po the panda returns to teach his new students the secrets of kung fu and finds a family he never knew he had.
Rated PG (2016), 95 minutes
Food Trucks: The Cut, The Greasy Wiener, Gyritto, Scooter’s Italian Ice and Torch S’more

Tustin Concerts in the Park

It’s summer time and that means Concerts in the Park! Tustin’s Concerts in the Park series started yesterday, June 21, 2016 and take place every Wednesday through August 10, 2016 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Peppertree Tree Park.

Grab your beach chairs and bring your dinner or support some of the non-profit food vendors for a picnic in the park while some enjoying some quality live entertainment.

Peppertree Park in located at 230 West First St., Tustin, CA 92780



OC Parks Summer Concert Series

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

The County of Orange and OC Parks welcome back the annual outdoor summer concert series with 10 free concerts at Craig Regional Park, Tri-City Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Mile Square Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park and Salt Creek Beach. Each concert event will offer free live music under the summer sky on Thursday evenings June 30 through September 1.

The series kicks off on Thursday, June 30 at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton with swing revival sensation Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performing with Kris Bradley. Then the concert series moves on to Tri-City Park in Placentia with Neil Diamond tribute Diamonds Are Forever and Vic Lazar performing on Thursday, July 7.

The concerts continue at Mason Regional Park in Irvine with the “Lounge King” Phil Shane performing with a full band and Hawkline Monster opening the show on Thursday, July 14. Favorite ‘80s tribute band Flashback Heart Attack returns to the OC Parks concert series performing at Mason Park on Thursday, July 21 with Well Hung Heart performing as an acoustic duo to open the show.

The series will then move to Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley with LA alternative rock group Grizfolkperforming with Robert John and the Wreck on Thursday, July 28. The traditional and contemporary sounds of Ireland will pour through Mile Square Park on August 4 with The Fenians performing live joined by Dano Forte’s Juke Joint Show.

Next stop is in Orange for Saved by the 90s and Gardeners Logic at Irvine Regional Park on Thursday, August 11. Local folk indie favorite, Matt Costa will perform at Irvine Regional Park with David Rosales on Thursday, August 18.

The summer concert series wraps up on a high note with two dates at Bluff Park overlooking Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. Tijuana Dogs and Family Style will take the stage on Thursday, August 25. Indie pop sensation JR JR (formerly known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.) will take the stage with their hit song “Gone” on September 1 with Big Monsta opening the show.

All of the OC Parks Summer Concert Series events take place from 6 to 8 p.m., are free to attend, with free parking and open to the public of all ages. Food trucks will be serving on-site at each location. Guests may bring their own food, and alcohol consumption by those 21 and over is permitted for the concerts Friends and families are invited to come out, bring a blanket and a beach chair and enjoy great local live music under the stars at OC Parks this summer season.


2016 OC Parks Summer Concert Series Schedule

(All shows 6-8 p.m., free admission with free parking)

Craig Regional Park

Location: 3300 State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92835

Contact: (714) 973-3180,

Date: Thursday, June 30

Artist: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with Kris Bradley

Tri-City Regional Park

Location: 2301 N. Kraemer Blvd., Placentia, CA 92870

Contact: (714) 973-3180,

Date: Thursday, July 7

Artist: Diamonds Are Forever with Vic Lazar

Mason Regional Park

Location: 18712 University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612

Contact: (949) 923-2220,

Date: Thursday, July 14

Artist: Phil Shane with Hawkline Monster

Date: Thursday, July 21

Artist: Flashback Heart Attack with Well Hung Heart

Mile Square Regional Park

Location: 16801 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Contact: (714) 973-6600,

Date: Thursday, July 28

Artist: Grizfolk with Robert John and the Wreck

Date: Thursday, August 4

Artist: Fenians with Dano Forte’s Juke Joint Show
Irvine Regional Park

Location: 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA, 92869

Contact: (714) 973,6835,

Date: Thursday, August 11

Artist: Saved by the 90s with Gardeners Logic

Date: Thursday, August 18

Artist: Matt Costa with David Rosales
Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach

Location: 33333 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, CA 92629

Contact: (949) 923-2280

Date: Thursday, August 25

Artist: Tijuana Dogs and Family Style

Date: Thursday, September 1

Artist: JR JR with Big Monsta