IHOP $0.56 cent pancakes

 

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Today only, July 8th 2014 from 7AM to 7PM, participating IHOP restaurants will be celebrating their 56th Anniversary. They will be offering their famous Original Buttermilk Pancake Short Stacks for just 56¢!

We don’t normally go out to eat but this very cost effective breakfast is a great chance to create a memory and spend some precious time with my little ones.

This offer is valid at participating IHOP Restaurant locations only. You can not use any coupons or any other discounts in combination with this offer.  This is for dine-in customers only and you can only order one 56¢ Original Buttermilk Short Stack (3 Pancakes) per Guest.

Find your participating IHOP locations.

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Sunday Salsa

I’m not talking about dancing, I’m talking about the kind you eat. I made some salsa last night and thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Salsa, is so easy to make, you never need to buy salsa in a jar (its loaded with sodium) and you never need to use anything out of a can to make salsa (the lining of most cans, including tomatoes, contain a resin that leaches a toxic chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA), into food). You don’t even need to cook it. wpid-wp-1404699550881.jpeg

Did you know that 1/4 cup of salsa is equivalent to a one cup serving of vegetables? Salsa is high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Salsa provides a good source of iron, magnesium and potassium to help maintain normal blood pressure and capsaicin  (found in peppers) can help relieve indigestion and stomach pain.

Cilantro helps remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body while cumin helps with memory loss and the effects of stress on the body. All of these ingredients together provide high antioxidant levels and can help fight cancer.   wpid-wp-1404699550880.jpeg

If I had lime on hand, I would have included some lime juice in my salsa but it was fine without  it. Now if you notice the picture above, the serrano’s are just as big as the jalapeno’s. My husband likes hot salsa, so please adjust the recipe if you need to or de-seed the chile.

Sunday Salsa Ingredients

  • 3 serrano’s 
  • 2 jalapano’s
  • 4-6 tomaotes
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 clove’s of garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon cumin
  • cilantro to garnish

Directions: Slice tomato, chile and onion and add into a food processor along with crushed garlic clove, salt, cumin, sugar and cilantro. Blend, serve and garnish with cilantro.

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Target Free Sundays

Every month Target hosts “Target Free Sundays”. This programs provides FREE admission to museum’s and events around the country normally held on Sundays but there are museum that hold these events on others days of the week. As an example: The Atlanta Children’s Museum’s free day is on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

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We’ve used this program to visit The Children’s Museum of La Habra, Orange County Museum of Art, Bowers Kidseum and Bowers Museum, one of favorite exhibits was the Terra Cotta Warriors.

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In Los Angeles County you can visit museums like Los Angeles County Museum of Art and  The Museum of Latin American Art. In San Diego you can visit The New Children’s Museum (We had a blast at this museum).

This program has many  participating museums throughout the United States.

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pictures from molaa.com, bowers.org and thinkplaycreate.org

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My Incredible Body app for kids

This app definelty gets added to the Summer Educational Series and beyond. “My Incredible Body” app from Zybright, is FREE for a limited time and is available for Andriod and iOS. My daughter loves this app.

My children love looking at their Human Body book but this interactive anatomy app takes them on a high quality animated tour of the body.

This kid’s anatomy app offers 3D models of the body that cover the brain, digestion, lungs, skeleton, kidneys, senses, muscles and heart.

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The app allows you to pinch, swipe and zoom in on the 3D anatomy models. Each organ has multiple parts which they can tap on to bring up a brief description.  Kids have the option of reading and/or listening to the narration.

They can explore the models, see the connections, watch videos or see demos of the body parts in action.

 You can download My Incredible Body for iOS  and  Android for free for a limited time. 

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Stay Safe this 4th of July

As I’ve said before celebrating the 4th of July holds a lot of memories for me. BBQ’s, family time, friends and fireworks. Now, a plea from me to anyone reading this post. Please, please, please, do not turn someone’s memory of 4th of July into the day they last their loved one. You are in control of that: you can designate a driver, take the keys from everyone at the beginning of the party & drink responsibly. I am not saying don’t drink, I’m saying don’t drink and drive. 

FACT: In 2012, almost HALF of all crashes with fatalities during July 4th weekend involved a drunk driver, making it one of the deadliest holidays of the year. In addition to the dangers posed by drunk driving on roadways, the United States Coast Guard reports that alcohol was the leading factor in boating fatalities last year, contributing to 16 percent of boating deaths.

As part of the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown around the Fourth of July, law enforcement agencies across the country will be intensifying their efforts to deter and detect drunk driving. Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. That’s why MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® includes support for high-visibility law enforcement efforts.

So this 4th of July, make the choice to be a designated driver or designate a no-drinking driver.

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– See more at: http://www.madd.org/blog/2014/july/celebrate-the-4th.html#sthash.F1BXhw1N.dpuf

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A Simple Red, White and Blue Menu for the 4th of July

For the Forth of July take it easy, enjoy the parades and fireworks with this simple menu

To quinch your thrist a Strawberry Tea from GoodHouseKeeping.com

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This idea from thechirpingmoms.com of simply adding Blue Corn Chips turns regular chips & salsa into a patriotic snack

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Start your meal off right with cleaneatingmag.com‘s Mega Berry Antioxidant Salad

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Add in some Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Stacks from eatsimpleloveyoga.com

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Then bite into these Turkey Kielbasa Sausage Kabobs from enjoylifeitsdelicious.com

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Finish it up with an easy dessert from athriftymom.com  of Ice Cream Sandwiches with sprinkles

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Now relax and enjoy the Fireworks

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Drinks to Drink when your Not Drinking?

MADD Virgin Drinks and Walgreens think you might like some options. MADD Virgin Drinks are conceived and developed by Hill Street Marketing Inc. and offer a sophisticated and delicious alternatives for designated drivers and those who prefer not to drink.

MADD Virgin Drinks are sold exclusively at nearly 3,000 participating Walgreens stores across the United States. Walgreens and MADD Virgin Drinks will contribute 5% of retail sales in the U.S. and 10% of net sales in Canada to MADD and MADD Canada. These contributions will support MADD’s ongoing efforts to eliminate drunk driving and to continue offering support to the victims of this completely preventable crime.

MADD Virgin Drinks has a complete range of ready-to-serve Alcohol Free drinks.

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Although these drink alternatives contain no alcohol, MADD Virgin Drinks will only be sold to adults 21 and older, as to not send a mixed message to those under 21.

Be a loving and caring Host for the 4th of the July, MADD encourage’s party hosts to always offer alcohol-free beverages for non-drinking designated drivers and others who prefer not to drink alcohol.

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MADD and Uber team up for the Fourth of July

This post is from MADD.org.blog

MADD and Uber are launching a national partnership for the Fourth of July holiday, one of the deadliest drunk driving holidays.

This Fourth of July, MADD will receive $1 for each rider in any of Uber’s 70 U.S. cities who uses the UberMADD promo code, and MADD will also receive $10 for each new Uber user who signs up and uses the UberMADD promo code on the Fourth of July.

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MADD supports Uber, and other types of car services, as an alternative transportation option for adults who plan to drink alcohol.

Thank you Uber for helping to prevent needless deaths and injuries because of drunk driving.

Help us spread the word on social media about Uber’s support of MADD using #UberMADD!

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See more at MADD.org

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Bandana’s and the 4th of July

Decorating with the iconic red and blue bandana’s for the 4th of July gives an instant all American feel. Bandana’s also hold a special place in my heart as they remind me of my son.

Greeting guests with this easy to make bandana wreath from hatterandhareevents.blogspot.com will set the tone

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 A festive bandana bunting from agirlandagluegun.com

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A simple display of bandana napkin’s from Martha Stewart

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 This bandana covered candle holder from countryliving.com completes the bandana theme on the table

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Although this has nothing to do with a bandana, I love this mason jar with a modge podged flag and string from thriftyvintagekitchen.blogspot.com

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or you can try this tabelscape with a bandana table runner and utensil holder from All You

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A bandana lined basket from sweetsindeed.com/blog hugs freshly baked goods

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This retro look from www.totalbeauty.com, tugs at my heart strings

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A simply braided bandana bracelet from agirlandagluegun.com is something my daughter would love

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A visit to the Dollar Tree is all I need to get busy creating with these simple last minute decorations.

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4th of July Tips for Pets

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I no longer have dogs or cats. We now have a fish. So, I don’t think I need to prepare him for the 4th of July celebrations.  But when I did have dogs and cats, I always felt so bad for them. They have no idea all the noise, flashes of light, and burning smell of pyrotechnics are our way of celebrating.

Pets are terrified, did you know that the 5th of July is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters?

Here are some tips from akc.org, the American Kennel Club, a not-for-profit organization, offers tips on how to keep your pets safe and calm during this Independence Day.

  • It is safer to keep your pets at home during Fourth of July celebrations instead of bringing him to your neighbor’s party. Keep your pets in the house, rather than in your yard. He will be a lot happier indoors, and not tempted to leap over a fence to find you. 

  • Dogs can be startled by the loud noise of fireworks. Once the festivities begin, keep your pet in a safe room where he can feel comfortable. If he is crate trained put him in his crate covered with a blanket to make him feel secure. 

  • Block outside sights and sounds by lowering the blinds and turning on the television. Play soothing music in the background to counteract the cacophony during the “rockets’ red glare. 

  • If your pet seems overly anxious, spend some time with your pet, speaking soothingly to help them to relax. 

  • Avoid scraps from the grill. While tempting to our pets, any sudden change to your pets’ diet can cause stomach upset. In addition, some certain foods like onions, avocado, grapes and raisins can be toxic . 

  • Human products can be dangerous to animals . Avoid spraying your pet with insect repellent and only use special sunscreen that is intended for animal use. Keep your pets away from matches and lighter fluid. They can be extremely irritating to the stomach, lungs and central nervous system, if ingested. 

  • Should your dog get scared, escape and run away, help find him with microchip identification. Collars and tags can fall off so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip. Keep contact information current with your recovery service provider. For more information and to enroll your pet in a 24 hour recovery service visit www.akcreunite.org.

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Planning your 4th of July Celebration!

Growing up the 4th of July was always a big celebration for our family. It was my Dad’s birthday and the park nearby had a wonderful firework show that we were able to enjoy from our front yard.

My sister’s and I were able to continue that tradition for years with our kids. I’m now looking for new ways to celebrate with my husband and our younger daughters. I have some great memories of celebrating the 4th of July and I hope that I give them the same. With that in mind, I’m looking for ways to step up our 4th of July celebration and thought I’d share my ideas with you.

This week I’ll be posting some yummy recipes, tips,  and things to remember while celebrating the 4th of July.

First off we need Fireworks. Here are some links for Fireworks shows in Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire from Pomona to Temecula and San Diego County.

Here is great list of 4th of July Celebrations in Orange County from kidsguidemagazine.com

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This weekend while visiting family in San Diego, we got a 4th of July warm up. We went to Mission Bay and viewed the firework show from Sea World. It was such a wonderful evening out. I hope some of the events on these lists will help you plan your 4th of July too.

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Fullerton Arbortetum

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Last Saturday we visited the Fullerton Arboretum, this very tranquil place is located  just off the 57 frwy in Fullerton on the Cal State University Fullerton campus.

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 As we walked  along the dirt path we were greeted by glorious sunflowers and a waterfall. The waterfall leads to a stream that flows throughout one side of the arboretum and into two ponds. The ponds are hosts to ducks, fish, turtles and cranes. The stream instantly inspired my daughter to draw and write in her journal.

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There is a small nature center for the kids (with binoculars for the kids to use during their visit), a fruit orchard, a children’s garden, a community garden, walking trails (one with redwood trees) and a plant store called the “Potting Shed” that sells plants which reflect the Arboretum’s Garden Collections: Cultivated, Desert, Mediterranean, and Woodland.

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They have guided tours of the Heritage House. This Eastlake style home was the home of Dr. Clark, one of the most highly regarded individuals in early Fullerton. The home was relocated to the Arboretum in 1972. The interior is fully restored and refurbished with furniture and medical equipment of that era. A suggested donation of $3.00 is encouraged be not required.

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The Farm Stand is open every Sunday and sells vegetable grown at the arboretum. They offer educational opportunities for adults such as Yoga in the Garden, Composting and an Eating in the Yard Series. They also hold an ongoing children’s series called Bug-Safaris, There are plenty of walking trails and benches to sit and enjoy the views and a quick snack.

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Bring your water and be advised that picnicking is not allowed inside the Arboretum, there are however picnic tables just before the entrance. Parking is free on a dirt lot. A  donation of $5.00 to visit the arboretum is suggested but not required. For a complete list of events check their calendar. In addition to the Family Fun to be had here, places like this are a great addition to your Summer Educational Series. Here’s a list of botanical gardens and arboretums in the United States.

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Girl Scout Brownie meeting – end of year celebration

Last night was our end of year celebration for my Brownie troop. The majority of the of my Brownies voted on having a “candy” party at the park. They wanted to eat candy,  play games, to have no parents or siblings in attendance, have music to eat pizza and have more candy.

I went to target and bought brightly colored plates, napkins, tablecloths and cutlery that all went in line with their “candy” theme. I bought popcorn, cookies and of course, candy. My head was spinning walking through the candy aisle. I had text my co-leader to refocus. I kept walking through the aisle, I couldn’t  think anymore. Not only is this stuff unhealthy, it’s expensive.
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Thanks to her, I was able to refocus and complete the shopping. I ordered 2 pizzas from Costco and (for my sanity) bought a veggie and fruit tray, which almost all the girls ate.

Here’s my agenda for the party:

Pre-meeting: 15 minutes/6:15-6:30

Playtime at the playground

Opening: 5 minutes/6:30-6:35

Flag, Promise and Law

Snack/Dinner: 30 minutes/6:35-7:05

Pizza time/Candy time

Games/crafts: 25 minutes/7:05-7:30

Make Felt Pipe Cleaner bubble wands and have some bubble time

Balloon Games

Frisbee Golf

Family/Closing Time: 15 minutes/7:30-7:45

Pass out Badge Bags

Special Thank You’s to parents who went above and beyond

Here’s how the party actually went:

Bubble time (without the pipe cleaner bubble wand craft) playtime at the park, eat, playtime at the park, get badge bags, special thank you’s and it was over.

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So much for all the planning. It was their party, they re-planned it and had fun. One girl said “this is the best party ever”. This party was definitely girl led!

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TedX Teen Challenge

TedX OrangeCoast’s mission is “To help turn inspiring ideas into actions”. TedXOrangeCoast  is  holding a contest to celebrate the work of teens while focusing on STEAM projects, the contest is open to all teens ages 13-19 years old.

Teens are challenged to come up with an “Idea Worth Doing”. They should submit their idea along with a their plan of action by August 31, 2014. Winners of the TedX Teen Challenge will receive exposure for their project, cash prizes and mentorship for a year. Winners be announced at the 4th annual TEDxOrangeCoast event to be held September 19-20, 2014 at Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo, CA.

The Keys of interest for the projects should include one or more of the following: 

  • Innovative: Existing or new project with a novel approach of addressing existing problems

  • Collaborative: Talent and passion win games, teamwork win championships

  • Social Impact: Positive and  measurable impact affecting our community and beyond

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To learn more visit TedXTeenChallenge

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