Tag: projectrefinedlife

Free Kids Fishing Clinic

ProjectRefinedLife.com

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

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

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

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

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

Time To Get Your “Ticket to Explore”

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

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

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

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

JPLopenhouse

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

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

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

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

Prepare To Get Your “Ticket to Explore”

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

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

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

JPLopenhouse

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

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

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

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

Make Your Soul Happy!

Take the Time to do what makes the soul happy

Hello there, do you remember me? I’m still here but I have been on an extended “time out” from my blog. I decided to take some time to see what the next step in my life (and this blog) would bring in order continue to “refine” my life. It had become very obvious to me that I was out of balance. I needed to take the time to make my soul happy.

I was blogging about events to come and not sharing what was helping to “refine” my life. After all – I am the project. Although I love passing along fun, family friendly, cost effective educational nature & STEM based events. I knew that my purpose with this blog was about more then that.  I had strayed away from my initial passion of what I wanted to share when I started this blog.

I have started learning new things and brought a few old things back into my life that attribute to a more balanced life. I feel so much better taking some time for me. By once again feeding my mind, body & soul – I feel refreshed and excited and yes, sometimes scared all at the same time. This journey has become a new awaking for me and a very natural next step.

I will continue to blog but with more purpose and more balance. From time to time I will continue to share upcoming events that are rooted in things that inspire you and/or your children’s growth as a person. I will also share some of my personal and family adventures. My family I have visited some really beautiful spots this past year and I have so much to share. I hope you will continue to come along with me as I continue on this project of refining my life and hopefully shed some light on yours.

Xoxo,

Annette

50th Annual Sawdust Art Festival

SawdustFestival

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 

    Tickets

Bubblefest!

Image courtesy of Discoverycube.org
Image courtesy of Discoverycube.org

 We LOVE Discovery Cube’s OC’s Bubblefest! My girls and I attended for the first time last year and we will not miss Bubblefest’s 20th anniversary this year! This amazing show is Discovery Cube’s most popular event and you don’t want to miss it!

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Your Bubblefest experience includes tons of bubble fun and what kid doesn’t love bubbles? The hands-on bubble activities include: Bubble Science Experiments, Bubble Lab, Bubble Wall, CO2 Chambers and Laser Table, to name a few. My girls favorite outside activity was the bubble rider, they had a blast!

wpid-2015-04-10_15.03.11.jpg

The highlight of Bubblefest is the 40 minute Mega Bubblefest Laser Show by Deni Yang – it is absolutely incredible! The show is a combination of artistry, science and an astounding laser show. This world-renowned show is both unique and stunning.

wpid-2015-04-10_15.01.10.jpg

The show features awesome bubble tricks that include smoking bubbles, spinning bubbles, bouncing bubbles, a snow show of bubbles and a rainbow a table. I never thought about the science of bubbles until attending this show.

wpid-2015-04-10_15.46.57.jpg

Bubblefest admission includes access to the following:

  • Mega Bubblefest Laser Show
  • Water Spheres 
  • Bubble Zone
  • Bubble Lab
  • Bubble Wall
  • CO2 Chambers
  • Laser Table
  • Cube Jr. Playground – Exclusive bubble play area for kids ages 5 and under.

Bubblefest runs March 26 – April 10, 2106. The Mega Bubblefest Laser Show runs 4 times a day during Bubblefest, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm.

In addition to the general admission, there is an additional charge for Mega Bubblefest activities of $5 for members and $7 for non-members, children 2 & under do not need a Bubblefest ticket, however they must sit on an adult’s lap during the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show. Any child that requires their own seat must have a Bubblefest ticket. You can purchase tickets the day of the event for $10.00.

Discovery Cube OC, located at 2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Click here to purchase tickets. For more information visit the Discovery Cube OC’s website. 

Book Drive

Thanks for the Image mycutegraphics.com
Thanks for the Image mycutegraphics.com

My favorite children’s book store, Once Upon A Storybook (I know I always say that but it’s true, I love this place), is partnering with The Assistance League of Tustin to once again – give back to our community!

IMG_20150116_123337Through the month of October, Once Upon a Storybook is collecting new and gently used books for children in the community.

If you have books for kids birth to age 10 that are just sitting on your shelf unloved, bring them in and put them in the Assistance League bin at Once Upon a Storybook, so they can be loved by new kids!

Once Upon a Storybook is located in the Enderle Shopping Center at 17300 E. 17th St. #C, Tustin, CA 92780

 

Seasoned Chef’s Culinary Workshop

The Great Park and Chef Sharon Murphy of One Fine Fig, will present cool and savory soup and salad summer classics at next Seasoned Chef Culinary Workshop:

  • Clear Virgin Marys

  • White Grape Gazpacho

  • Grilled Panzanella Salad

The Seasoned Chef series brings some of the best chefs in Orange County to present local seasonal gourmet dishes, techniques and preservation methods. Eating seasonal and local foods is nutritionally rich and environmentally friendly.

  • Grape GazpachoWhen: Thursday, August 13, 2015 from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Where: Great Park – Farm + Food Lab | Map & Directions
  • Cost: Free; Ages 16+

 

Future Seasoned Chefs Culinary Workshop Schedule:

  • Saturday, November 21: Fresh Thanksgiving Sides

  • Saturday, December 12: Winter Wonders

For additional information, please email: urbanagriculture@ci.irvine.ca.us

It’s National S’mores Day!

Image from Girl Scouts facebook page
Image from Girl Scouts facebook page

Today is National S’Mores Day and as a Girl Scout leader and I am so excited that I’ll be able to spend this day at Girl Scout Day Camp making S’mores and celebrating all things Girl Scout!

These heart-warming gooey treats are the true definition of everyone’s campfire favorite. Loretta Scott Crew is credited with the first recorded recipe in a 1927 Girl Scout publication. She reportedly made the S’mores for a group of Girl Scouts while by the campfire.

in addition to making the world a better place, let’s make the world a more delicious place by trying out some great inventive S’mores recipes.

gs_smores

 You can stick with the classic recipe or step it up using some of your leftover cookies in your freezers (come on, I know you have some in there. If you don’t – be sure to stock up next cookie season). Try using Your Caramel deLites®, Thanks-a-Lot® or Lemonades® instead of the traditional graham crackers & chocolate OR try some of these recipes from a Taste of Home. The following recipes were orginally posted on Girlscouts.org blog.


 

smores-1

S’mores Frosted Crispy Bars
Delightful Caramel Bars
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + cooling

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 package (10-1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
1-1/2 cups Girl Scout Thanks-A-Lot®, crushed
1 cup milk chocolate chips
FROSTING:

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
TOPPING:

1/4 cup crushed Girl Scout Thanks-A-Lot®
2 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each)
In a 6-qt. stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows; cook and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal and crushed Girl Scout Thanks-A-Lot®. Fold in chocolate chips. Press into a greased 13×9-in. baking pan. Cool to room temperature.

For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in marshmallow creme on low speed just until blended. Spread over bars. Sprinkle crushed Girl Scout Thanks-A-Lot® over frosting. Cut into bars. Break each candy bar into 12 pieces; place a piece on each bar. Yield: 2 dozen.


 

smores-2

S’mores Ice Cream
Lemon Shortbread Cheesecake
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + freezing

1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup marshmallow ice cream topping
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
10 Girl Scout Thanks-A-Lot cookies, coarsely chopped, divided
Preheat broiler. In a large bowl, whisk milk, cream, marshmallow topping and salt until blended. Arrange marshmallows in a single layer in a nonstick foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Broil 5-6 in. from heat 20-40 seconds or until golden brown. Cool slightly; freeze while processing ice cream.

Meanwhile, fill cylinder of ice cream maker no more than two-thirds full. Freeze milk mixture according to manufacturer’s directions, adding half of each of the chopped Thanks-A-Lot cookies and toasted marshmallows during the last 5 minutes of processing. (Ice cream maker may be very full.)

Transfer ice cream to freezer containers, allowing headspace for expansion. Freeze 2-4 hours or until firm. Serve with remaining Thanks-A-Lot cookies and toasted marshmallows. Yield: 2 quarts. Makes: 16 servings.


 

smores-3

S’mores Peanut Butter Pudgy Pie
Nutty Caramel Turtles
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 10 min.

2 slices cinnamon bread
2 tablespoons Nutella
1 Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties® / Tagalongs®, crumbled
1 tablespoon miniature marshmallows
Place one slice of bread in a greased sandwich iron. Spread with Nutella; sprinkle with crumbled Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties® / Tagalongs® and marshmallows. Top with remaining bread slice. Close iron.

Cook over a hot campfire for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Yield: 1 serving.


 

smores-4

S’mores Summertime Cheesecake
Shortbread Fudge Tiramisu
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 1-1/4 hours + cooling

1 cup Girl Scout Shortbread / Trefoils®, crushed
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk, divided
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, mix Girl Scout Shortbread / Trefoils® crumbs, cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in melted butter. Press onto bottom and 1 in. up sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

In top of a double boiler or a metal bowl over barely simmering water, melt chocolate chips with 3/4 cup milk; stir until smooth. Pour into crust; freeze just until chocolate is set, about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in marshmallow creme, cornstarch, vanilla and remaining milk. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour over chocolate. Return pan to baking sheet.

Bake 65-75 minutes or until center is almost set. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Bake 6-8 minutes longer or until marshmallows are light brown. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer.

Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled. Remove rim from pan. Yield: 16 servings.


 If you have a favorite S’mores recipe, please share it using the#NationalSmoresDay hashtag.

all images and recipes courtesy of Girlscouts.org & Girl Scouts Facebook page.

Christmas in July

Image from Orange County Rescue Mission's facebook page
Image from Orange County Rescue Mission’s facebook page

Help the Orange County Rescue Mission bring Christmas early to the families of the Rescue Mission by bringing one of their ‘urgent needs’ items (diapers, baby food, non-perishable food items) in today, Friday, July 24, 2015 from 12:00 pm -3:00 pm and Chick-fil-A at the District/Tustin Legacy food truck will be treating you to a FREE lunch next door to Tustin Buick GMC.

PLEASE SHARE this post with your friends to help collect these urgent needs for families at the Rescue Mission.

Falling apart

Everything-Is-Falling-Apart
image from lovethispic.com

Falling apart is how I feel today. Today is 10 years since I’ve seen his face, heard his laugh or him playing his guitar. I can recall every single moment of our last days together. What we ate, where we went, what we did and how it all ended.

Tomorrow marks 10 years that my handsome 17 year old son was taken from me at the hands of a drunk driver.  I’ve been keeping busy lately, trying occupying my mind but today I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I can’t even wash the dishes without crying. People say that time heals all wounds but they’re wrong.

You see today hurts more than it did 10 years ago. You see 10 years ago, I kept telling myself he would come home. I kept waiting to see him, to hear him. I kept saying that it was a mistake and he would come through the door. I kept pleading with God to bring my son back to me. The hard truth is that’s never going to happen.

This is my reality. My son has two little sisters now and nephew (and they all would’ve loved him). As little as they are, they know that from time to time, I break down. No one around understands how or what brings on these strong emotions. A song, a young man dressed similar to my son, a memory.

In the middle of life happening all around me, I fear that I hurt people who honestly have no clue as to how or why I feel this way. Actually, I do a pretty good job of carrying on in my daily routine and no one knows what I may be feeling. Then all of sudden, like a wave, emotion hits and I can’t stop from crying and I can’t function. This has not been an easy ride for me and I can’t imagine what it’s like for those around me, watching me fall apart all of a sudden.

All of this is the result of someone else’s choice to drink and drive. Their choice has affected my entire life. From time to time I google the name of man who is responsible for this. It is overwhelming to me to find out he’s still alive, in prison but alive and still fighting for his rights. I found a public record of a new court case today. A case is which he is suing someone else to protect his rights while in prison. So the man who killed my 17 year old son and his 17 year old best friend, is alive and fighting to protect his quality of life. It just isn’t right and so I am a mess.

Some people might say, why is she putting all of this out there for the world to read. It’s certainly not going to help me through the next few days or Christmas, or the years to come….but maybe if one person can see this, read this, feel this hurt. Maybe, they will decide to make a different choice, call über or designate a driver. I’m not saying stop celebrating with your family and friends, I’m just asking for you to make a different choice when it comes to getting behind the wheel after drinking.

I don’t know, maybe I am wishing for too much. So much has been lost, I’ve tried hard to pick up all of the pieces of my life, to carry on in this new life, a refined life, a life with purpose. I know deep in my heart, despite of the way I feel today that I can not give up. I must hope and pray that through my ongoing actions, I can make a difference. If I can affect just one person to make a different choice, it’s worth laying it all out on table.

Children’s Garden Workshop

CGW birds nestsChildren’s Garden Workshops: Eat Your Plants at the Great Park will help children discover how to make healthy eating choices by learning the nutritional value of summer fruits and vegetables that are currently being grown in the Farm + Food Lab.  Children will identify plant parts and understand how they are connected to the food we eat. We will have fun creating a seasonal (and maybe silly) meal using a leaf, flower, root, seed and a stem.

Explore science, technology, engineering, art, math and music in a fun and stimulating outdoor environment. Young attendees will connect the natural world with their daily lives, deepening their understanding and appreciation for nature. Materials for craft or activity are provided for all children. Workshops are held on the hour and are weather permitting.

Gently used book donations to the Littlle Free Library in the Farm + Food Lab are welcomed.

  • When: Sunday, July 19, 2105 from 9:00 am -11:00 am
  • Where:The Great Park, Farm + Food Lab | Map & Directions
  • Cost: Free

Nature Nights

OakCanyonNatureCenter

Join experts from a a variety of natural fields at Nature Nights at Oak Canyon Nature Center.

Each evening begins with a twilight walk at 7:00pm led by our staff naturalists, followed by a formal presentation at 7:30pm.

  • When: Every Wednesday evening, through August 12, 2015
  • Where: Oak Canyon Nature Center, 6700 E. Walnut Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807
  • Admission is free, but a $5.00 donation per family is suggested.

Here’s the schedule:

Wednesday, July 8th, 7:30pm: “Trapper” Dan Jundanian’s Insect Fair

Join us for an evening of learning and fun. Dan Jundanian, a former longtime Oak Canyon Naturalist, returns for his annual Nature Night presentation. Enjoy an evening of insect education as Dan displays exciting insects from around the world.

Wednesday, July 15th, 7:30pm: Wonders of Wildlife

Cheryl Rendes from Wonders of Wildlife will share a variety of animals from the savannas of Africa to the tropical regions of South America.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 7:30pm: Reptiles from Around the World

Dr. Tom Greek will bring along an exciting collection of reptiles including local and exotic snakes, lizards and more. Learn about the lifestyles of these unique reptiles and enjoy an opportunity to see and touch these animals up close.

Wednesday, July 29th, 7:30pm: Orange County Birds of Prey

Dr. Scott Weldy, Veterinarian and Director of the Orange County Birds of Prey Center, will share information on raptors and will bring a variety along for an audience “encounter.”

Wednesday, August 5th, 7:30pm: Our Solar System

Mike Beckage will introduce the challenging hobby of amateur astronomy through his breathtaking slide show. Then we will journey up the hill and view the night sky through telescopes aimed at the evening’s best features. *This program involves a strenuous uphill walk to reach the viewing area.

Wednesday, August 12th, 7:30pm Annual Flashlight Hike

While waiting for the sun to set, get an introduction to the “creatures of the night” then join Oak Canyon’s naturalists on a trek through the trails of the Nature Center. There will be several walks of varying abilities. Don’t forget your flashlight as we explore Oak Canyon at night!”

Take the Pledge!

Every year, nearly 200 people are killed in drunk driving crashes during the Fourth of July holiday. That’s why this Fourth of July weekend, MADD has partnered with Uber to keep drunk drivers off the road. As part of this nationwide public service campaign, MADD is asking everyone to help us support this important mission by taking the pledge to designate a non-drinking driver this holiday weekend.

In addition, Uber will match all donations made through this campaign during the holiday weekend – July 1 through July 5 – up to $25,000!

Take the Pledge  to help keep my loved ones, and everyone on the road safe. PLEASE, pledge not to drive if you’ve been drinking this 4th of July.

Junior Chef Classes

Williams Sonoma Junior Chef Program   Williams Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma has a new menu in store for the July Junior Chef classes. These FREE classes for kids show them how fun and easy cooking can be. They’ll to make delicious recipes, from main courses to desserts and snacks, with plenty of tasting along the way.

For specific times and more details, find your local store
• Available at all stores; class times vary by store location.
• Class size is limited – call your local store to register.Image from Williams-Sonoma.com

July_Jr_chef

Saturday, July 4, 2105 – Join us to make a lattice-crusted blueberry pie and a berry fruit crisp! Kids will learn how to roll out pastry dough, cut a lattice crust, and use seasonal fruit to create delicious filling for their favorite desserts. Suitable for ages 5-13.

July_Jr_chef1Saturday, July 11, 2015 – Salt is an amazing way to bring out the flavors in everything you cook. We’ll teach you how to cook on a salt plate, from Chicken and Corn Quesadillas to Chocolate Chip Cookies! Then we’ll teach you how to use different flavored salts on your favorite foods, from popcorn to veggies skewers. Suitable for ages 8-13.

July_Jr_Chef2

Saturday, July 18, 2015 – Looking for fun snacks to make in the Vitamix? This class is for you! You’ll learn how to make the perfect hummus, sorbet, a purple smoothie, and more! Suitable for ages 8-13.

July_jr_chef3
Saturday, July 25, 2105 – This summer, impress your friends by whipping up ice cream sandwiches from scratch! We’ll show you how to make the outside layer-our delicious brownies and cookies-and then the delicious ice cream filling and toppings. Suitable for ages 5-13.