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

Buy Tickets >


The Controversial Girl Scout Barbie Doll

The new Girl Scout Barbie is due to roll out in stores this week. Consumer groups, as well as some people involved with Girl Scouts, are pushing back against it. Last year, a “Barbie, I can be anything” fun patch for Daisies and Brownies came out. Which created some very mixed feelings.

The requirements for this fun patch are that the girls complete a booklet to match up their character traits with the careers they’re best suited for. The girls then come up with an idea for a Girl Scout badge and possible real world applications. It really is a great fun patch, but my troop has not worked on this “fun” patch as my troop’s focus has been in earning official Girl Scout Badges and Journey’s.


Some believe that this is not a good match or model for our girl scouts, saying this Barbie undermines the Girl Scouts mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character. Others believe this is a great way to get girls interested in Girls Scouts.

In a clip from the Today Show, one Mom said “I think if girls didn’t identify with Barbie, it might create a problem for us as parents, but girls love them. They represent what they love, it’s a win-win.”

 In March, Ana Marie Chavez, CEO of GSUSA told Parade magazine “I see girls lobbying town hall to build a safer crosswalk for their elementary school. My world, when I was a kid, was my backyard. Their world is the globe”. “We are tying the fun girls have playing with Barbie to an opportunity to gain insight into the careers of today and tomorrow, through patches and discovery along the way,”

I looked up all of Barbie’s careers on Wikipedia, she’s been portrayed as everything from a babysitter, a teacher, a pilot, a military officer, an Ambassador for World Peace, a  Scientist, to a Computer Engineer.


Upon seeing a picture of the Girl Scout Barbie, my initial thought was “why couldn’t they have made her a troop leader (since she’s obviously an adult) and made younger Barbie dolls as the girl scouts (her troop) and what’s with all the pink?” However, when I showed my daughter a picture of Girl Scout Barbie, she said “oh, that’s neat”.  So, Girl Scout Barbie is obviously Girl Scout approved. Just like the Girl Scout Build-a-Bear. Maybe it’s just a feeling of being represented in the world.

I am not going to sit here a bash on Girl Scout Barbie or GSUSA for this partnership. I don’t think my 7 year old wants to grow up and be Barbie any more then she wants to grow up and be a Build-a-bear. However, I do believe that the mere thought of  Barbie brings to mind a definite stereotype that Girl Scouts volunteers work so hard to overcome.

It is just a toy but I do wish that GSUSA could work up a partnership to endorse other types of toys: explorer toys, scientist toys, detective toys, how about some veterinarian toys or….. camping toys.  I think those types of toys would better represent some of what Girl Scouts do at the Daisy, Brownie and Junior levels (the target audience for Barbies). It would also sit so much better with the volunteers that guide the Girl Scout programming and consumer groups alike. on the flip side,  If my daughter wants a Girl Scout Barbie, that’s fine with me.

I must say this again, I am not trying to bash on the Girl Scout Barbie or GSUSA. I love Girl Scouts. I love the program and everything it does for our girls. I love the overall message it sends. I am not going to let a Barbie get in the way of my overall thoughts of such an important part of my girls life. I am proud to represent Girl Scouts by being a volunteer for my service unit and to be a Troop Leader. Girl Scouting helps more then the girls involved, it helps the adults involved as well. By the way, Barbie, I love the handbag.

What are your feelings and thoughts are on this partnership and the possible image it creates?


Summer Concert Series at Chapman University

This Friday, July 25th – The Alley Cats (one of my personal favorites) will headline the FREE 2014 Summer Concert Series at Chapman University. 

The FREE Summer Concert Series takes place on the Wells Fargo Stage on the Attallah Piazza (In the center of campus, in front of Leatherby Libraries). There is Free Event Parking and if you bring a blanket, lawn chairs and your own picnic, this is a completely free family fun evening!


The campus opens for picnicking at 5 p.m., concerts run from 6:30-8 p.m., with a 15-minute intermission. Free parking in the Lastinger Parking Structure (under the stadium—enter from Walnut Ave.) Chapman University is located at One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866.

Friday, July 25th – The Alley Cats– The ever-popular Alley Cats take us back to the early days of cool with timeless doo-wop classics and zany banter. Whether entertaining the president at the White House, or “edutaining” students with their unique concerts, these cats always deliver top-notch entertainment.


Friday, August 1st – Heart to Heart, a tribute to Heart -Get your crazy on and dance into August with legendary songs like “Barracuda” and “Magic Man” when Heart to Heart takes the stage and pays tribute to the energetic music of Heart. This six-piece lineup of seasoned professionals will make you swear you’ve time-traveled.


Feed SoCal


This Friday, July 25th, ABC7, Vons, ESPN LA 710, and Southern California regional food banks are partnering up for the 3rd Annual Feed SoCal campaign to provide food to the hungry in our communities.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Go to your local VONS or Pavilions and purchase a pre-filled $5 bag of food, or purchase your own non perishable food items, and leave them in the Feed SoCal box.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT THIS CALL TO ACTION: Host a food drive in your facility to allow us to collect food for our hungry friends, Place a poster in your store to create awareness, Provide an item, snack or coupon on the day of the event and have an opportunity for a ”Shout Out” during the on-air pieces

HOW TO SIGN UP: Contact Karen Jensen at 805-983-7100 X 135 or

The initiative will take place during the month of July and will include the following food banks in Southern California: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank Orange County, Second Harvest Food Bank Inland Empire and FOOD Share Ventura County.

During difficult economic times, one out of every six people in Southern California experiences food insecurity.  The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank serves one million people in Los Angeles County each year, but another 700,000 people need the help.  Second Harvest Food Bank Orange County helps feed more than 240,000 individuals each month, while the Second Harvest Food Bank in the Inland Empire serves more than 350,000 people each month.  FOOD Share Ventura County provides food year-round to more than 74,500 children, adults, seniors and families each month.

As part of the hunger initiative, ABC7, with our regional food bank partners, will be hosting Stuff a Truck events. The Stuff a Truck events will be hosted by ABC7 Eyewitness News Talent from 4:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  These food drives will give ABC7 viewers an opportunity to participate by donating non-perishable food items, which will be shared with various food banks.

Join us! – Stuff a Truck Events

Friday, July 25 from 4:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

  • Orange County – Alysha Del Valle at Vons at 185 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, 92627

  • Inland Empire – Garth Kemp at Mathis Brothers at 4105 Inland Empire Blvd., Ontario, 91764


Additional donations can be made by viewers by visiting to donate to the food bank of their choice or by sending check/cash donation to ABC7’s P.O. Box.

For more information on how to donate or become a sponsor, call Teresa Samaniego (818) 863-7221.

Donate today! Click here



Sizzling Summer Concert Series


The City of Irvine’s Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts return to Mike Ward Community Park – Woodbridge this summer with a series of free, family-friendly concerts. Grab your lawn chairs, picnic baskets and dancing shoes for a fun-filled evening of music in the park.

Gourmet food trucks and a children’s play area will also be available. A portion of the proceeds from food sales will benefit Irvine nonprofit organizations. The concert on August 24 is co-hosted with the Woodbridge Village Association.

July 20: The Derek Bordeaux Group
July 27: Pacific Symphony in the Cities
August 3: Sensation Show Band
August 10: Springsteen: The Premier Tribute to the Boss
August 17: Stone Soul
August 24: The Kelly Rae Band

For more information, visit or call 949-724-6606.  Use the parking lot located at the corner of Alton Pkwy and Lake Rd.


Kids Tested, Mother Approved Healthy Pizzas

We attended another Whole Kids Cooking Club class at Whole Foods. The Healthy Eating Specialist had two healthy vegetarian pizzas for the kids to create.  One sweet and one savory.

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The savory pizza was made on sandwich thins, hummus with  shredded carrots, broccoli, romanesco broccoli, red and yellow bell pepper, zucchini and spinach as their topping options.

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The sweet pizzas were made on flat sandwich thins made with with raisins and flax seeds. The topping options were peanut butter, almond butter, sliced strawberries, bananas, kiwi, blueberries & raspberries. None of the kids seemed to have a problem with any of these options.


The kids loved making their pizza’s. It was fun and easy for them to do. My little one always digs right in there and throws all the ingredients on her plate. The funny thing is, if I would have offered my 7 year daughter and 6 year grandson romanesco broccoli earlier in the day they probably would’ve said no. In a setting like this however, they were all more then willing to eat it or at least try it.


 I recommend taking your picky eaters to Whole Foods  for a Whole Kids Club cooking class. For $5.00, they provide a fun environment with kid friendly food ideas that empower kids to try  new things.


Staying Safe on the Road

Information and image from

During the summer months, families often take to the highways for vacations and extended road trips. While these excursions can start off as a happy occasion, they can too often result in tragedy.

A new infographic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council shows how even if the drunk driving crash doesn’t kill or seriously injure you, the consequences will still ruin your life.




S’more $1.00 books, $1.00 coffee and the word please.

On Sunday, before heading to church we made a visit to the One Dollar Book Store  in Lake Forest. Its was great! They have a wide selection of books, novels, cookbooks, comics, some DVD’s & videos.


Be prepared, you have to search. Everything is organized by genre however at this time only novels are organized by author. My daughters made themselves at home, took a seat and looked through the books. My oldest daughter scored some American Girl books, my youngest wanted a bible and I found a great little book on Aromatherapy/Essential Oils. We could have stayed there much longer but we had to get to church. I can’t wait to visit again.


 When we arrived at church we were greeted by the heavenly scent of coffee from Frijolitos Mobile Coffee truck. We quickly decided to take in services outside on the comfy chairs and enjoy a cup of coffee. My husband and I both had the “Mariachi Loco” coffee drink. We were pleasantly surprised when they told us all coffee drinks were only $1.00! I love a deal.

As it turns out, Frijolitos will be there every Sunday at the 6 pm service with drinks priced at $1.00! Life is good. Back to our Sunday, the message was incredible and at the end of service we had yet another surprise. They turned on the fire pits and had smore’s kits for everyone. Families were able to enjoy the evening, make s’mores and fellowship. It was a wonderful evening and I wouldn’t mind having s’more Sundays just like it.



Redbox hosts LEGO Movie Contest

Calling all Legomanics , it’s time to get creative! The Lego Movie is at Redboxes everywhere and Redbox is holding a “Build a Redbox Kiosk” contest now through July 28th.


To enter, you need to create a Redbox kiosk out of Lego’s and submit a photo to Instagram. Use #RedboxLEGOMovieContest. There will be 10 winners who will receive a prize pack. The Prize pack will include a year’s worth (one per week) of Redbox Blu-ray disc rental codes a Blu-ray combo pack of The Lego Movie, and two The Lego Movie mini-figures. Bring out your Lego’s and get to work!


Here are the full details:

Calling all The LEGO Movie fans! With “The LEGO Movie” Blu-Ray and DVD available at Redbox starting this week, we’re celebrating with a kiosk building contest and an exclusive discount to own the movie at a great value: • The “Build a Redbox Kiosk Contest”- From now until July 28, build a Redbox kiosk and post a photo to Instagram using the hashtag #RedboxLEGOMovieContest. Ten winners will receive a The LEGO Movie prize pack, including a year of one-night Redbox Blu-ray rentals (52 promo codes), a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack of The LEGO Movie and two The LEGO Movie mini-figures. • “Love It Forever” Promotion – Rent The LEGO Movie from Redbox and provide your email addresses at checkout for a $5-off coupon to purchase the 3D Blu-ray or Blu-ray/DVD combo pack at participating retailers. Please see the press release below for more information and visit the website for details on the contest: Tiny Bricks at Tiny Prices: “The LEGO® Movie” Comes to Redbox Redbox Customers Can Get a $5-Off Coupon to Buy the Movie or Enter to Win “The LEGO Movie” Prize Pack with a Year of Free Blu-ray™ Nights OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. (July 15, 2014) – Redbox, America’s destination for new-release entertainment, is celebrating the Blu-ray and DVD release of “The LEGO® Movie” at kiosks nationwide with the Build a Redbox Kiosk Contest and an exclusive discount to own the movie at a great value. From now until July 28, Redbox asks fans to build a Redbox® kiosk from toy blocks and post a photo to Instagram using the hashtag #RedboxLEGOMovieContest. Ten winners* will receive a “The LEGO Movie” prize pack, including a year of one-night Redbox Blu-ray rentals (52 promo codes), a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack of “The LEGO Movie” and two “The LEGO Movie” mini-figures. The best entries will be shared on Redbox’s social channels. Also through July 28, customers who rent “The LEGO Movie” from Redbox and provide their email addresses at checkout will get a $5-off coupon to purchase the 3D Blu-ray or Blu-ray/DVD combo pack at participating retailers. “Redbox consistently offers the latest and best movies on Blu-ray and DVD at an incredible value, and ‘The LEGO Movie’ is no exception,” said Kiera Hynninen, SVP of Marketing at Redbox. “We’re thrilled to offer consumers even more value with the Build a Redbox Kiosk Contest and the opportunity to own the ‘awesome’ movie at a great discount.” Additional details about the Build a Redbox Kiosk Contest can be found here: *Redbox “The Build a Redbox Kiosk Contest” Rules NO PURCHASE/RENTAL NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE/RENTAL WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Begins 12 am CT on 7/15/14. Ends at 11:59:59 pm CT on 7/28/14. Open to legal residents of any 1 of the 50 US, DC, or PR who are at least age of majority. Internet access and a valid Instagram account req’d. Void where prohibited by law. SUBJECT TO FULL OFFICIAL RULES, which contain important requirements for all photos and posts. Winners will be chosen based on following criteria/weights: skill in execution of design and construction using building brick toy pieces (60%); creativity in representing an actual Redbox disc-rental kiosk (30%); creativity of the composition of the Photograph(s) (10%). Creativity is encouraged and entries are not required to look exactly like an actual kiosk. ARV of each prize package: $122. Total ARV of all prizes: $1220. Limit 1 entry per person, per account; multiple entry photos from same person/account will be judged together. Sponsor: Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, One Tower Lane, Suite 900, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Instagram or The LEGO Group.



Tustin Movies in the Park

More Summer Movies in the Park, right here in Tustin!


July 24th – Despicable Me @ Cedar Grove Park

July 31st – Meet me in St. Louis @ Peppertree Park

August 7th – The Lego Movie @ Frontier Park

August 14th – Turbo @ Heritage Park

August 21st – Frozen @ Centennial Park

Booths and Activities start at 5:30, Movies start at dusk.



FREE – Family Movie Night Tonight

For families and kids of all ages! **FREE** at Calvary Church located at 1010 N. Tustin Avenue, Santa Ana 92705

Join the Calvary Town team for a family-friendly movie night under the stars. At Calvary Church, in front of the gym.

Bring your own chair or blanket for seating. They’ll provide the popcorn and fun snacks!

July 16 – Madagascar 3
August 13 – Frozen

For more info, visit



What a powerful video!

In a world where women are judged so harshly by what we look like and music videos of women prancing around barely dressed this video is so very refreshing.

Grammy award winning singer/songwriter, Colbie Caillat, was tired of being photoshopped. She recently released “Try” a song that addresses today’s beauty standards and how women/girls “try” to be liked/accepted based on them.

 I get it, it’s easy to get confused. It’s even easier when women who should stand together against stereotypes of what a woman/girl “should” look like are busy  judging each other. Judgement’s based on clothes, weight, looks, hair. It’s a shame that more women aren’t lifting each other up instead of tearing each other apart.

We should be looking at each other and saying she’s such a wonderful/kind hearted women, she’s so faithful to the lord and her faith, look at how much she gives back to her family/her community.

When we, as women stop judging each other maybe we can force a change in others around us. Maybe we can start focusing on what’s really important. There are very impressionable young girls and boys surrounding us, looking at us, learning from us. Make the right choices of what’s really important in a person and surround yourself with people who feel and act the same way.

I hope you enjoy the video and the powerful message it sends.


FREE $25.00 gift card for Land of Nod

Monday, July 28 thru Friday, August 1 at 3pm, Land of Nod is hosting their FREE Camp Nod events. A full week of events will be held at their South Coast Plaza locations as well as their North and Clybourn, and Oakbrook locations.

If your kiddos are in attendance all week, you’ll receive a $25 gift card to @thelandofnod. Now how great is that!

Please make to see your store web page for specific details for each location, and be sure to RSVP with your store you would like to attend at #nodevents