Today is Community Day at Crystal Cove

Looking for something to do with the kids today?

How about  Community Days at Crystal Cove State Park.

Led by Crystal Cove Alliance in partnership with Crystal Cove State Park. Crystal Cove Alliance is hosting Community Days in the Historic District’s Educations Commons from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Enjoy free art classes, historical games, sea glass wrapping, dance classes, and more! Check out cottage #13, the Film and Media Center, and Cottage #22, the Park and Marine Research Facility. Make sure to take a look at the Tide Pools while your there. Event runs 10:00am – 4:00pm. Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos, then walk across the street or take the shuttle). $15 parking fee.



Every Wednesday throughout the summer, the Education Commons will come alive all day with art classes, sea glass jewelry making, historic radio shows, historical games and more. 9am-4pm. FREE.


Crystal Cove State Park

8471 N. Coast Hwy.

Laguna Beach, CA  92651


Watermelon Tours at Tanaka Farms

tanakasignA fun addition to the Summer Educational Series and a great way to spend an afternoon is at Tanaka Farms in Irvine. They are currently featuring their Watermelon Tours and for a short time, Strawberry Tours as well.

My Girl Scout troop visited in the spring for a Strawberry Tour. Everyone enjoyed the tour and the strawberries we picked were the most delicious strawberries I’ve ever tasted.

tanakafarmsCSATanaka farms is a 30 acre working farm that grows organic fruit and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables are sold at their farm stand as well as their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.


Tanaka Farms also offers educational tours. The tours are available throughout the year. Strawberry Tours (Mid-March to end of June), Cookout Tours (Mid-March to end of August), Watermelon Tours (July to August), and the Pumpkin Patch Tour (end of Sept. to end of October).

You tour the farm on a wagon pulled by a tractor. Along the way, you take various stops to learn about the vegetables and fruits that are currently in season. You learn how they are grown and you get to taste them, yum! For your final stop you arrive at your crop where you get to sample some fresh melon and watermelon and than pick your own personal-sized watermelon to enjoy at home.


The following tours are available at this time:

Weekend Tours:

Strawberry Tours  every hour from 10am to 2pm!  No reservations needed

Watermelon Tours  every hour beginning at 9:30 am and the last tour leaves at 2:30 pm; No reservations needed

Weekday Tours: 

Watermelon Tours Monday-Friday with a reservation 

U-Pick Tours – We’ll keep you posted with this free tour’s availability! 

Arrive 15-20 minutes before your tour and be prepared to get dirty, take shoes you don’t mind getting some dirt or possibly mud on, remember this is a working farm.

Rates are as follows:

Adults and Children are $18.00

Children 2 and younger are Free

Group tours and rates are available:  home-schooling group, boy scouts, girl scouts, summer camp, sports group, or other, enjoying our special group rates.  For your group reservations please call Aimee at (949) 653-2100 Ext. 204

photos from Tanaka Farms Facebook page

Pacific Symphony’s – Symphony in the Cities


Today, Sunday, July 27th, Pacific Symphony provides a perfect way to create a summer memory! Come equipped with your lawn chairs and picnic baskets to Irvine’s Mike Ward Park in the Village of Woodbridge.  The FREE ninth annual “Symphony in the Cities” concert in the park event attracts thousands of people each summer. “Musical Playground” is a part of Symphony in the Cities with hands-on activities for children prior to the concert.

Activities include:

  • make an instrument
  • play in a drum
  • meet a Symphony musician
  • conduct a clinic with Maestro St.Clair
  • play in a circle drum
  • visit an instrument petting zoo
  • help lead the orchestra in Sousa’s “Hands Across the Sea” during the concert

 The Symphony’s Musical Playground, begins at 5:30 p.m. and  the FREE Symphony in the Cities concert begins at 7 p.m..

symphony_in_the_cities_1With a potpourri of popular classics, Americana and patriotic tunes, this year’s concert is led by Music Director Carl St.Clair and features mezzo-soprano Ola Rafalo singing Bizet’s sultry Suite from “Carmen” and four talented young violinists from Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings (PSSS) performing Vivaldi’s Concerto in B Minor. Classical KUSC’s radio host Rich Capparela serves as the emcee and also narrates Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” before a final audience sing-along of patriotic favorites.

Location: Mike Ward Community Park Woodbridge, 20 Lake Road, Irvine, 92604

Get Driving Directions

Admission and parking are FREE

Web: Click to Visit



images from


Foods to Include in Your Diet Everyday

There are times in your life that simply leave you feeling stressed and/or depressed. It is during these times that your brain goes into survival mode. This usually goes hand in hand with eating the wrong foods since eating sends messages to the brain of pleasure and survival.

Unfortunately, unhealthy foods cause major damage to your emotional and physically healing. During times of stress and depression keep focused eating healthy. Here’s a handy list of foods to eat everyday that serve both your mental and physical needs.


image from


Square Root of Fun Math Fair



The Math Fair, is a FREE event and open to all ages. A brainchild of the nonprofit MIND Research Institute, will be held on Saturday, August 02, 2014 from 10:00 AM4:00 PM at the Bren Events Center, UC Irvine.  

 The Math Fair is all about making math fun! At the Fair, visitors will experience math and problem solving with life-size, interactive educational video games to performing out a math problem onstage.

Take-home materials will be provided so you can continue the fun after the Fair.


Family Math Workshops

Family Math Workshops, which will be held during Math Fair hours. These interactive sessions will be open to all Math Fair visitors and will provide ideas and tips on how to:

  • Incorporate mathematics into everyday life activities
  • Assist your child with math homework (Math Without Tears)
  • Help your child when they are using ST Math at home
  • Money Talks: How to talk to your kids about financial matters. Presented by New York Life Insurance Company.

Schedule of Events

10:00 a.m.Math Fair Opens

10:15 a.m.Math Fair Opening Ceremony featuring Irvine Mayor Stephen Choi and
Presenting Sponsor Microsemi
Mathland Railway Opens *train rides will run every 15 minutes
Math Mystery Theater Opens *performances every 45 minutes

10:30 a.m.Family Math Workshops Begin *workshops every 45 minutes
Meet JiJi *the penguin will make scheduled appearances until 4:00 p.m.

11:00 a.m.Food Trucks Open
Game Design Workshop

1:00 p.m.Game Design Workshop

3:45 p.m.JiJi Band Performance

4:00 p.m.Math Fair Closing Ceremony

Square Root of Fun Math Fair

Saturday, August 02, 2014 10:00 AM4:00 PM (Pacific Time)

Bren Events Center
UC Irvine
100 Mesa Rd
Irvine , California 92697
United States

Phone: 8887515443
You can no longer register online for this event. But you can still register on-site at the event.

Food Fight!


Here’s another opportunity to end hungry. If you attend Saddleback Church or if you are near a Saddleback Church location, you can help. During the summer months, 220,000 kids in So Cal will go hungry without the food they normally receive in school. Your food donations can help feed these kids and their families. Bring a donation of nonperishable food items to any of the Saddleback Church campus by August 3 and help us restock the Food Pantry.



Suggested donation items:

  • Gift Card for Meat
  • Canned Tuna or Chicken
  • Cereal
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pasta
  • Boxed Potatoes
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Canned or Dry Beans
  • Rice
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Soup
  • Canned Ravioli or Chili
  • Canned Tomato Sauce or Gravy
  • Top Ramen Noodles
  • Personal hygiene items



FREE Discovery Science Center Tickets & a morning of fun at Eco Challenge

Click on the picture below for a FREE Kids Ticket to Discovery Science Center


County of Orange Eco Challege Day at Angel Stadium
Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

There’s fun for the whole family at the County of Orange Eco Challenge Day! Bring household hazardous waste, e-waste, and gently used clothing. Arrive early and be rewarded. The first 200 cars to bring these items can choose between four free tickets to the July 26, 2014 Angels game or four tickets to Discovery Science Center *while supplies last*

The There’s fun for the whole family at the County of Orange ! Bring household hazardous waste, e-waste, and gently used clothing. Arrive early and be rewarded. The first 200 cars to bring these items can choose between four free tickets to the July 26, 2014 Angels game or four tickets to Discovery Science Center *while supplies last*event is sponsored by OC Waste & Recycling in collaboration with Angels Baseball, Discovery Science Center, and Goodwill of OC. Click here to download a flyer.

Eco Challenge Day festivities include:

  • Autographs by Angels pitcher Garrett Richards *player subject to change*–time to be announced
  • Eco-craft area for kids, sponsored by Discovery Science Center
  • Medieval Times, Peet’s Coffee, and RBI Baseball will also be on hand

What to bring:

  • Gently-used clothing
  • Household Hazardous Waste (paint, motor oil, flourescent lights, aerosol cans, see below for a full list)
  • E-waste (cell phones, computers, televisions, printers, scanners, etc.)


Frequently Asked Questions:

    1.      What is Eco Challenge Day

    Eco Challenge Day is an event where the County of Orange partners with Discovery Science Center and Angels Baseball LP to hold a regional collection event. This is the County’s second year hosting Eco Challenge Day at Angel Stadium. The goal is to encourage Orange County residents to take the Eco Challenge by properly disposing e-waste or household hazardous waste (HHW) and dropping off reusable clothing. The first 200 cars receive their choice of either 4 free tickets (75 sets) to that night’s Angel Game or 4 free tickets (125 sets) to Discovery Science Center (first come first served).  Please enter from the Orangewood gate and proceed to the Big A for collection drop off.

2. What does it mean to “Take the Eco Challenge”?

Taking the Eco Challenge means that you will do your best to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to make Orange County a safe and healthy community for current and future generations.

    3. What time does the event begin?

    The event runs from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. We encourage participants to arrive early!

4. Do I have to bring e-waste, HHW, or gently-used clothing to meet Garrett Richards?

It is highly preferred and recommended that you bring e-waste, HHW, or gently-used clothing in order to meet Garrett Richards.  Participants who bring these items will receive a priority access wristband to see Garrett Richards. If you do not bring items, there will be a secondary line, but everyone with a priority Eco Challenge wristband will have priority to see Garrett Richards before those without a wristband.

5. What sort of activities will be there during Eco Challenge Day?

In addition to the collection event, under the big red hats, there will be eco-crafts provided by Discovery Science Center, RBI Pitching game, Medieval Times knights, food and beverage booths,and promotional giveaways.  We will be raffling an autographed Angels baseball. You will also have a chance to win a bicycle sponsored by Republic Services and City of Anaheim Public Works.

6. How long will Garrett Richards be there?

Garrett will be there signing autographs from 9:00am-10:30am.

7. Which Angels game are the four free tickets for?

    The four free tickets will be for that night’s game on July 26th, 2014.

8. When are future Eco Challenge Days?

The County is hosting two additional Eco Challenge Days this year. On August 23rd we will be at Discovery Science Center and at Angel Stadium on September 13th.


Summer Nights in the Garden


Here’s another FREE summer time event. On July 25, August 1, August 15 & August 29 from 5-9pm, experience Summer Nights in the Garden at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles

Awaken your senses at the Summer Nights in the Garden with great music, garden-inspired cocktails, hands-on garden and science projects, botanical tours, food trucks and more.


MUSIC! Enjoy the ambient music of KCRW DJ, Anthony Valadez

TOURS! Available at 5:30 pm, *6:30 pm, 7:30 pm:  Awaken your senses on a led by our NHM Nature Gardens Staff
*Spanish speaking tour at 6:30 pm
Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis

NATURE MAPPING! Help us map L.A.’s nature by using your smartphone. Stop by our Citizen Science table to learn how you can get involved in local projects.

DRINKS! Sip on a botanical inspired cocktail as you wander through the Nature Gardens.

FOOD! Bring a picnic or grab a bite from one of the food trucks in the North Plaza.

PERFORMANCES! Butterfly stilt performers at 7 pm and 8:30 pm and don’t miss the enchanting Toy Theater show at 8 pm!



POTTING SUCCULENTS! They’re one of the most low maintenance plants out there, and one that’s perfect for our dry L.A. climate. Urban homesteading experts Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne are here to help you plant your own succulent and give you tips on keeping them alive.
Supplies are limited. Available to participants on a first-come, first-served basis

PAINTING! Don’t have a green thumb? Stop by the painting booth and that can soon be changed. Artist Peter Tigler brings participatory image making to NHM. Learn the hi-tech method of fingerpaint meets the ancient art of color-by-number!


BUILD A BIRDHOUSE! As sprawling urban developments take away natural habitats, it’s important we recreate suitable nesting areas for our native bird species. Join NHM staff to build a birdhouse for your own backyard. That way, the next time you’re relaxing on your patio, you can enjoy the antics and songs of your new neighbors!
Supplies are limited. Available to participants on a first-come, first-served basis.
Limit one per family.

JUICE! It’s more than a trendy L.A. drink – the health benefits are plentiful. Who better to share the health benefits and tips of their favorite recipes than PRESSED Juicery experts and authors of Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, and Living Well. Come by for a sample and learn more about getting your fruits and veggies in a cup. Books will be available to purchase in the Museum Store.
Samples are limited to a first-come, first-served basis


MINATURE GOURD VESSELS! Gourds are more than just an odd shaped fruit. They can be used for a variety of purposes – one of which is creating beautiful vessels. Join Artist in Residence at the LA County Arboretum, Leigh Adams, as she teaches you how to create a miniature gourd vessel of your own.
Mini-workshops will take place at 5:30 pm, 6 pm, 6:30 pm, 7 pm, and *7:30 pm.
*7:30 pm workshop will be bilingual – offered in English and Spanish
Supplies are limited. Available to participants on a first-come, first-served basis

PAINTING! Don’t have a green thumb? Stop by the painting booth and that can soon be changed. Artist Peter Tigler brings participatory image-making to NHM. Learn the hi-tech method of fingerpaint meets the ancient art of color-by-number!

Get more details HERE!

RSVP HERE for free admission to L.A.’s best garden parties!


A Promise to my Son in Heaven

My Dearest Michael,

I miss you every single day. I miss your music, your laughter and your zest for life. I can not believe that it will be 9 years since I’ve last seen you, talk to you, joked with you, told you I love you.

No amount of time served by the person responsible for all of this hurt, makes it better. There is no justice for this broken heart. I will continue to remind people of my beautiful and sweet son. Your memory will live. I will continue to spread the word about drinking and driving. I will continue to talk about what people don’t want to hear. I will continue writing about a subject no one wants to read about.

I will be your voice my Son. My heart hurts everyday but everyday, I will try as hard as I can to live my my life with joy in my heart and in appreciation in all that God has ever given me. Ultimately, even on the best of days, I hurt, I am in pain over losing you. I promise, I will continue to do the best I can. I will laugh and joke and smile. I will speak for those who can’t. I will give of myself to causes that are important. I will serve the lord and take action within my community. I will turn this pain into my life’s work. I will do this in your memory.

Until we meet again,



Michael – September 21,1987- July 24, 2005




Discover Nature at the Natural History Museum

We visited the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles this past weekend. I was excited about my girls seeing the traditional exhibits that the museum has to offer.


  Even more excited when we saw the new dinosaur area (it’s been awhile since my last visit) with the interactive displays that my 4 year loved tinkering with.


But then, we reached the nature gardens labs. WOW, I fell in love with this area of the museum. There are several different garden areas: The Pond, The Erika J. Glazer Family Edible Garden, The Get Dirty Zone and the Pollinator Garden.


I snapped so many pictures of the garden, my phone had lost it’s power by the time we reached the nature lab so I was only able to take a few pictures. If you’ve never been to the Garden & Nature Lab, I encourage you to visit. It is spectacular! The gardens are gorgeous and the edible garden (my favorite) is beautiful. You are encouraged to pick and eat the fruit and veggies. The Nature Lab is incredible. They have so many interactive displays, microscopes, and a living rat community simulating a sewer system. It’s bright and alive and full of learning opportunities.





900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Phone: (213) 763-DINO

Get Directions & Maps >


9:30 am – 5:00 pm daily

Members FREE
Children 2 and under FREE
School Groups FREE
California Teachers* FREE
Children 3 – 12 $5.00
Youth 13 – 17 $9.00
College Students w/ ID $9.00
Seniors (62+) $9.00
Adults $12.00
*Grades PreK-12 with valid school ID or paystub

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