Archive for March, 2012

Bubblefest is Back!!!!

There is one thing that will always make my kiddos smile from ear to ear, bubbles! When the weather is right we head to the park or our  front yard and blow as many bubbles as we can. It’s fun and sometimes even our dogs join in on the fun.

Spring Break is right around the corner for most families and that means one of my favorite events will be back in town. The Discovery Science Center will once again host Bubblefest! This fantastic show featuring Bubble Scientist Deni Yang will take you take you into the world of bubbles! Yang’s world renowned show features bubbles of every shape and size and will keep your kiddos entertained for the duration of the show.

I’ve watched the show for the past four years and I can’t wait to head back again with the kiddos this weekend. The show will be at The Cube from March 31st to April 22nd. To purchase tickets and to learn more about this bubble extravaganza head here.

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Mar
28

Sunkist’s Cara Cara Orange

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Credit: Sunkist Orange

Our contributor Bridgette had the opportunity to attend a special cooking demonstration using Sunkist’s oranges and shares all about the experience.

With all the recent crazy weather we’ve experienced recently,  I don’t know if I should dress my kids in a raincoat or a bathing suit. However, I do know that Spring is here by the selection of fruits in the produce section, especially the citrus variety.  I recently was invited with a few other bloggers to discover Sunkist’s Cara Cara orange.

Mixing the main course!

Grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the Cara Cara, like all navel oranges, has a bright orange exterior, is easy to peel and seedless. Inside, the fruit is a distinctive pinkish red color. The pulp is juicy with a tangy cranberry-like zing. Cara Caras are called The Power Orange because they are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, a good source of fiber and a natural source of lycopene, a health-promoting antioxidant. Cara Cara’s are available December through April.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend a cooking demonstration with Celebrity chef Robert Danhi, (www.chefdanhi.com). He was on hand to lead a group of bloggers through an amazing cooking class.  Out first recipe was a wonderful Pico De Gallo.  I never really considered using oranges in salsa, but it really gives it an amazing flavor. We also learned to make Asian Pasta salad dish and an orange sparkler.

Our delicious Salad

Our cooking class was filmed live and streamed on the Sunkist website.  Viewers were welcomed to ask Chef Danhi questions via the website.  To check out the cooking class and the delicious recipes visit http://www.sunkist.com/cookingclass.  There are many other recipes and ideas on the website on how to use, infuse and cook with the Cara orange.  I brought some home and my kids could not get enough of them.  If the Cara Cara is not widely available where you shop, ask your produce manager to order them, you won’t be disappointed!
For additional info head here.

 

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. A gift bag was received at the cooking class demonstration.
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Lunch at Ruby's!

One of our favorite places to go to lunch with my family is Ruby’s Diner. We were there earlier this month and it was a perfect day to eat out. We ate at the South Laguna Beach location and the outdoor seating on the rooftop has one of the best views in town. Do you love Ruby’s?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun  head over to Angry Julie Monday.

I would love to feature your photos of your outings on Wordless Wednesday. If you have any that you would like to share, please send them to mom@daytrippingmom.com
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I’ve come up with a simple itinerary of a fun filled week with places/events that are free or are almost free. I’ve posted about these fun places before but I thought I would mention them again since they are tried and true favorites! Plus all you need is a tank of gas, some parking and food and you are ready to roll! Have fun!

 

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Stein Mart at the Irvine Marketplace

Stein Mart at the Irvine Marketplace

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a sneak peek of the new Stein Mart opening at the Irvine Marketplace before it opened its doors to the general public. I was in for quite the treat. I have to be honest, I don’t think I had ever set foot inside a Stein Mart before although I have one only a few minutes away in Yorba Linda. I have been really missing out! I like to think of it as The Rack mixed with Home Goods. I could have browsed for hours!

They have the dreamiest purse selection! I wanted one of these Michael Kors beauties badly!

They have a fabulous selection of clothes, shoes, accessories and a seriously cute houseware section. I had a tough time deciding what I was going to purchase. After about two hours I decided on this super cute rolling cooler that will be perfect for my son’s T-Ball games and also for the beach. I also had to buy a little something for myself and although I didn’t snap a picture, I bought the cutest navy polkadot dress for my husband’s graduation.

How cute is this cooler?

I loved all that new Irvine Tustin has to offer! If you are looking for something special to wear for Easter or are looking for the perfect serving dish, you have to check Stein Mart out. I think I have found my new favorite place to shop.

The new Stein Mart is located next to the 24 hour fitness.

13742 Jamboree Rd. Irvine, CA
The Irvine Marketplace
At the corner of Jamboree and Bryan

Hours
Mon to Sat 10am – 9pm
Sunday  11am – 8pm

Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. I did receive a gift bag and a Stein Mart Gift Card

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Mar
26

Mirror Mirror Giveaway

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Update: The giveaway is now closed. The winner of the giveaway is April A. Thank you all for entering.

Do you love a good a fairy  tale? Then you will definitely want to watch Mirror Mirror, coming to theaters this Friday March 30th.

One of the most beloved stories of all time is coming to life in the motion picture event for the whole family, Mirror Mirror.  A fresh and funny retelling of the Snow White legend, Mirror Mirror features  Lily Collins as Snow White, a princess in exile, and Julia Roberts as the evil Queen who ruthlessly rules her captured kingdom. The seven dwarves help Snow White on her quest to return back home. It sounds like something I definitely want to take my kiddos to!

It’s giveaway time!

To help celebrate the opening of Mirror Mirror we are giving away a fun prize pack.

One (1) winner will receive:

-          $25 Fandango Gift Card

-          Mirror Mirror: The Movie Storybook

All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know why you need a date out at the movies. That’s it! Contest ends on Thursday, March 29th at 11:59am. Winner will be selected at random. Good luck!

 

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The Rock

During winter break, we took the family on a little road trip to San Francisco. My husband and I have wanted to visit Alcatraz Island for quite some time and decided that we would do it on our last trip. It’s one of those things that is on our bucket list and sounded a bit touristy, but we couldn’t wait to make the visit and we wanted to take the kids.

Getting Ready to Get on the boat!

The infamous penitentiary, is a mile and a half offshore from San Francisco and rich in history. Not only is touring the island taking a step back in time and a fantastic history lesson, it also fun to explore in a breath taking setting. Is it family friendly? You bet it is! This national park and treasure is one that you have to visit with the family. I  promise you will have some fun!

Arriving at the island

The kids were excited about the boat ride over and more than excited to start exploring the island. Getting to the island is only about a 15 minute ferry ride and the kids loved it! It’s always fun to ride a boat when you’re a kid.

The National Parks have a fantastic junior ranger program for the kiddos and there is a great one at Alcatraz. The kids were more than ready to explore the island with both mom and dad.

Ready to become a Jr. Ranger

What I loved about visiting Alcatraz, is that you tour at your own pace. You walk around as long as you want and make your trip what you want to make it. I think we only spent about three hours and that included exploring the island and taking the self guided tour with headsets of the penitentiary.

The views are amazing!

The kiddos loved being able to put on their headsets and learn all about the history of this famous place. They loved every second of it!

Walking through the prison is an experience like no other!

After a little walk around of the island we were ready to take the tour. Grab your headphones and be prepared for an interesting history lesson.

The kids loved being able to use their headphones, ask questions and hear all about the "bad guys".

We had a great time and I can’t wait to head back this summer and take one of the evening excursions with my husband.

The view of San Francisco from the island is out of this world!

If you are planning to visit Alcatraz make sure to make reservations. This is imperative! I can’t tell you how many people were turned away on the day we were there because the day was sold out. If you are going plan on making a reservation. Alcatraz Tours is the only and official ferry service to the park. You can reserve your tickets by heading here. For additional information about this national park head here.

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I found my perfect bag here!

We can’t wait for spring break to kick off at our home! Our  break starts in two weeks and I’m hoping the weather cooperates and we can spend at least one day at the beach. I can’t wait to share my spring break itenerary. I think you and the kids are going to love it!

Brea Mall gave me a challenge to find the ultimate Spring Break necessities for under $50. I knew exactly what I wanted to buy and what every mom needs this spring break. The ultimate beach bag! I was on a hunt and knew that they had some cute bags at Pottery Barn. Well friends, not only did I find the perfect beach bag, it was super cheap! I had originally wanted a canvas bag but they were not in stock at the store. I was ready to head out when I noticed that near the counter they had a basket of burlap bags that were the perfect size for a beach bag and super cute too and they were only $7.99! I was sold.

The perfect size beach bag and it's cute too!

I still had over $40 dollars to spend! I honestly thought I would be spending all of my money on the bag and was super excited to have some extra cash to fill it up. We headed straight to the Disney Store and bought flip flops, sunglasses and even a beach towel. At the end of the day I still had $10 to buy dinner. It was a great shopping day at the Brea Mall!

I have my essentials and now I’m ready to finish packing up my bag. This is what I usually include:

  • Towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby Powder to remove the sand. It works like a charm!
  • sunglasses
  • flip flops
  • Eyedrops, helps with getting sand out of the eyes. You can also pack a small bottle of contact solution. I pack both!
  • Wipes
  • Kleenex
  • Change, You can now pay your parking with a credit card, however I usually like to bring change for the concession stand at our favorite beach.
  • Toys, Toys and more Beach Toys!
  • We also pack a cooler with water, soda, juice, snacks, cut up fruit and sandwiches. I also usually bring beach chairs and an umbrella.

What do you pack in your beach bag?

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Loving every second of it!

My daughter loves to craft. Give her scissors and some construction paper and the girl is happy. I snapped this photo of her in the middle of a project . I love watching my kiddos develop their talents and watching them explore and find out what they love.

For more Wordless Wednesday fun  head over to Angry Julie Monday.

I would love to feature your photos of your outings on Wordless Wednesday. If you have any that you would like to share, please send them to mom@daytrippingmom.com
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Mar
20

SEA Lab in Redondo Beach

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One of my favorite places to visit with my kiddos are aquariums. The kids (and I) always learn something new and we always have a good time. We love learning about our beautiful oceans and the sea life that is found on our shoreline.Rachel had the opportunity to visit Sea Lab in Redondo Beach and shares about this great little place.

My kids love the ocean, so we often make trips to the beach and aquariums. With three kids under the age of four, I sometimes enjoy small, more intimate aquariums the most. One of our favorite places is the SEA Lab in Redondo Beach.  Since we live nearby, we’ve been there many times. We were sad to hear last month that some bleach from a nearby plant had leaked into some tanks, killing leopard sharks and fish at the lab. But fortunately, the SEA Lab was able to get back on its feet quickly. The Cabrillo Aquarium donated three new leopard sharks to replace the two that had been lost. The touch tanks are back up and running. When we headed there one Friday afternoon last month, we found it as enjoyable as ever.

When we visited the SEA Lab, we arrived just in time for the first touch tank tour of the afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Volunteers give guided tours of touch tanks every Tuesday-Sunday. The tours are offered on the hour from 1-3 on weekdays, and 10-3 on weekends. The tour and museum are always free (though there is a recommended donation of $2 per person or $4 per family).Our tour lasted a little over half an hour, and we touched sea stars and anemones, looked at big spiny lobsters, searched for camouflaged halibut, touched shark eggs, and more. Our tour guide was well-informed and was able to answer all of our questions. After the tour, we explored a small one-room museum with a few other creatures in tanks. I especially loved the tanks that showed the life cycle of a jellyfish.

In addition to the tour, you can also feed the sharks if you visit on a Saturday at noon. On a previous visit, we did this. We fed the leopard sharks in a big outdoor tank. We paid $2 for a good-sized container of food (raw fish!) to feed the sharks. When we did this, my kids were too squeamish to touch the raw fish themselves, but they liked watching their daddy throw the fish to the sharks!

The SEA Lab is located near King Harbor at 1021 N. Harbor Drive in Redondo Beach. A metered parking lot is adjacent to the SEA Lab. The parking is $1 an hour, and we usually are able to see everything in the SEA Lab in under an hour. Sometimes after we visit the SEA Lab, we drive down the road and enjoy some time at the pier or the beach.

If you are in the area, I definitely wouldn’t pass up this little gem of a place! For more information on the Redondo Beach SEA Lab, you can visit their website here.

Rachel Hoggan is a former English teacher who is now a full-time mom of three children who are all under the age four. Her number one hobby is her children. When she’s not out daytripping,  she’s at home crafting, reading books, and playing make believe with her children. You can read more from her at Mommy Lessons 101.

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