Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top Ten Valentines Day Gifts for Women

We have all been there. What do we get for that special Woman in your life?

Whether it is your girlfriend, wife, or your mother, it always seems to be a challenge to find that perfect gift! You want to show them that you love them but you also don't always have a lot of money to do it.

Spending a lot of money on a gift doesn't mean that you love them more so don't always jump to look at the more expensive options. We always hear that it's the thought that counts, well that couldn't be more true! Put a little less money and more soon to be memories into the gift.

My favorite Valentines Day was the first I had with my now husband. We had only been dating for 3 weeks and then Bam! That dreaded anti-singles holiday popped up! I had no expectations since we were still in the getting to know each other phase.

He called me a few days before Valentines Day asking me if I had plans. I told him that I had planned on spending the evening at home watching a movie. He then told me that that was not an option and offered to take me to dinner. I thought, there is no way that a couple days before Valentines Day we were going to get reservations! He asked me to meet me at his house and he had a surprise. A home cooked meal with candles and romantic music!

So what if you aren't a good cook? What about getting her a special dessert instead of dinner? Dip strawberries in melted chocolate, or make a variety of favorites to dip in a chocolate fondue pot. Don't forget candles and a glass of something special.

Dinner at a favorite restaurant where you have held many memories helps rekindle the love that brought the two of you together in the past.  A nice glass of wine, champagne, or your favorite spirits helps put you at ease and relax.

Flowers are always a favorite with women. You can always surprise her at work where she can show then off to all of her co-workers! All women like to show off what an awesome man they have! It's our nature.

What about repeating a favorite memory that you share with your girl? A walk on the beach? A favorite movie with special treats?  A favorite movie that she will enjoy, snuggled up with her favorite man is fun too.

Jewelry is a favorite and you really can't go wrong... However, if you are in the beginning stages of a relationship, I recommend a charm bracelet or something sentimental rather than expensive.  If you have children or pets, incorporate them into your gift to add a little extra special.

Have you taken a lot of pictures on your phone of the two of you? How about a gift of a photo album or a photo throw rug with the two of you sharing a precious moment?  There are many different inexpensive photo gifts at your local Costco or online.

For those of you men that want to make an extra special effort and have a little extra money to spend, maybe a day at the spa for her or a couples treatment might be on order.  Men seem to be afraid of spas and massages when it isn't by their spouse or girlfriend but many spas have hot tubs and relaxing couple areas.

Would you like to try something different? How about renting a boat in the harbor for a few hours or even the night?  Many marina's have boat charters that stay docked with a crew to be at your leisure and they really are not as extravagantly priced as you might think.

If you are thinking of wowing your girl even more, I recommend a getaway to anywhere.  Women are stressed with everyday life.  Getting them away for a couple days to anywhere where they don't have to watch the kids, work, do housework, or even be at home does wonders for relationships!

If you can, make the night extra special with some quiet time in your own world away from the stress of life to remember just what brought you together in the first place.  If you two love each other, the present will come from the heart and you will know what is right for you. 

Monarch Butterfly Day at Mile Square Park | @OCParks

Are you looking for something to do outdoors with your family this Saturday?

Mile Square Park is having its annual Monarch Butterfly Day! Get up close and personal with butterflies and learn about their habitat. You can evan learn what plants to put in your own backyard to have your own Butterfly garden!

Families are invited to learn everything about the California Western Butterfly and its habitat with an up close look at the magnificent creatures while they flutter through the Butterfly Garden and gather under netted butterfly enclosures in the park’s Camp Sycamore. Children can help the Butterfly Garden continue to grow by planting over 150 native plants in the garden to help attract the Monarch butterflies. Butterfly experts will be on-site to provide educational information and answer questions about the beautiful and unique specimens.

Additional event activities include children’s crafts, face painting, balloon art, puppet shows and guided nature walks through Mile Square Regional Park’s Natural Area. Each child in attendance will receive native seeds as a take away to continue to help build safe habitats for Monarch Butterflies and other creatures. Monarch Butterfly Day

Date: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: Mile Square Regional Park
Address: 16801 Euclid Street, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Website: http://www.ocparks.com/milesquare/
Cost: Free Parking: $5 per vehicle
Public Contact: (714) 973-6600 or (714) 973-3197
Special Instructions: Recommended for ages 4 to 12. Rain will cancel this event.

Mimi's Cafe Goes RED! Plus (2)$25 GIVEAWAY! | @Mimis_Cafe #MimisGoesRed

Do you know a woman that has been struggling with Heart Health? I do, my mom! She suffers from heart palpations that are scary and can lead to severe results. Because Heart Disease is so prominent, Mimi's Cafe is raising awareness throughtout February which is also American Heart Month.  Mimi's Cafe's goal along with the American Heart Association, is to turn America RED!

In it's second year supporting Go Red for Women, Mimi's is dedicated to shout louder and stronger for the fight against heart disease, the number one killer of women.

Beginning on the 10th National Wear Red Day, February 1st, Mimi's will recognize guests who show their support by wearing red with a free cup of signature soup.  Throughout the month, guests that donate $1 will receive a red heart-shaped tribute card to inscribe and post on a giant in-restaurant red dress display.  A limited-edition red dress lapel pin will be given to those giving a $5 donation.  As a thank you for every donation, donars will receive up to $30 in Mimi's savings.  Every Tuesday throughout the month, Mimi's will thank warm hearted guests that donate with a warm cup of FREE soup while they dine in at their local Mimi's!

Heart health is non-negotiable.  That is why in addition to fundraising, Mimi's is taking the lead to elevate heart disease and heart health as top-of-mind issues for women and empowering all guests to make healthy decisions while dining out. 

To aid people in choosing healthier choices at Mimi's, I have been given (2) $25 e-gift cards to GIVEAWAY to my readers!  Enter below and try their heart healthy choices and join the cause!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  I was invited as a guest to participate in creating awareness for this campaign.  I received a gift card to support the cause and was offered two gift cards to raffle to SoCal Kids Outdoor Adventures readers. All images are copyrighted and used with permission. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit! | @Snow_Summit @Bear_Mountain

Have you wanted to get your kids out in the snow?  January is the perfect month to start them on skiing and snowboarding at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.  Why? You ask? It is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month!

These resorts are offering FREE rentals to all first time skiiers and snowboarders, ages 8 and older with the purchase of a beginners package!

They do this to get the children out of the house and into nature to try something new! It builds confidence, skills and unforgettable memories.

Both resorts offer a variety of lesson options such as; Parent and child group lessons, all-day camps or personal private lessons. 

The beginner packages start at $59 so it doesn't hurt the wallets too bad.
“Learning to ski and snowboard creates unforgettable experiences as well as develops confidence.

The “BIG” Deal - Valued up to $248!

Guests can find lesson prizes on Snow Summit's 
Facebook and Twitter as well as Bear Mountain's Facebook and Twitter throughout the month! Lesson reservations are required. Book now online.

About BBMR – Real Snow. Real Close. Real Deal.

Big Bear Mountain Resorts (BBMR) includes Snow Summit and Bear Mountain.  BBMR is an equal opportunity service provider operating under a San Bernardino National Forest special use permit.

Together, BBMR has the region’s most progressive terrain parks, most dependable snow conditions, the largest full-service learning programs and a multitude of premier services – just a tank of gas away roundtrip from most areas in Southern California. For more information, please visit

# # #The ski resorts in Big Bear cater to all ages for both beginner and intermediate classes. The resorts offer lessons that are conducted by qualified, professional instructors that know the ins and outs of getting up on skis or a snowboard. It’s a fun environment with no pressure. For the little tykes there is Little Bear Camp and Little Bear School at Snow Summit where kids as young as three and four years old can get started on the bunny slopes. At Bear Mountain there is Riglet Park, where kids from three to six years old are introduced to ride on miniature park features by using Burton’s innovative Learn-to-Ride Technology.

Kids in the 8-12 age range are the perfect example for learning a new snow sport. They are at the age where they are more motivated, and have adapted better physical abilities. Both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit provide ideal beginner terrain for this age group.

Of course the ski resorts offer adult classes too. The classes are for persons age 13 and older. One of the great things about learning a new snow sport is it is never too late to learn. This is one winter activity where “you can teach an old dog a new trick!” Snow Summit has reported to have taught people in their seventies how to ski for the first time. There are adults that have skied before, but now want to learn how to snowboard. At Big Bear Mountain Resorts this in not a problem and Big Bear’s qualified instructors will show anyone who wants to learn the ropes of having fun on the slopes.

Are you looking for Valentine Gift Ideas? | @TheChildrensPlace @BathandBodyWorksCA

Have you thought about what you are giving to your love this Valentine's Day?  I have a hard time every year trying to pick out that perfect gift! How about some suggestions? I have found some cute idea's for this year. 

Check out these great ideas for men, women and kids! :-)

An empowering blend of luxurious, rare, carefully curated ingredients, Bath & Body Works’ Forever Red EDP is the ultimate Valentine’s Day accessory. The scent combines red-inflected notes like Brazilian red pomegranate, fiery marigold, peche de vigne, and the sensual yet delicate red osmanthus for an alluring feminine effect.

$44.50 at Bath and Body Works.

Show him how you feel with the Philip B Man-Pleasing Favorites Gift Set.
This cooling duo revives and refreshes his body and soul with the Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo and Nordic Wood Hair & Body Shampoo.
$65 at Phillip B

Whether lounging around the house or dressing up for school, your kids will love to show off these Valentine’s Day fashions from The Children’s Place

Girls Love T-shirt: $13; Girls Candy Hearts Graphic Tee: $6; Girls Hearts Slippers: $13; Boys Plaid Shirt: $20; Boys Classic Polo: $12.50

No matter who you are buying for, Valentines Day is to show someone you care, get something that speaks to you and shows them how much you love them!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Big Bear's Snow Play GIVEAWAY!

I promised you a BIG GIVEAWAY when we hit 100 likes! How does a family 4 pack of tickets($100 value) to Big Bear's Snow Play sound?!

With all the storms we have had in the last couple weeks, I thought, what better way to thank everyone for following our journey by sending you to play outside in the snow? Big Bear's Snow Play is Southern California's premier place for snow tubing!

Everyone 2 years old and older can participate! Ages 2-6 are even FREE with a paying adult! What could make this awesome Snow Tubing experience better? How about a covered "Magic Carpet"(moving walkway) to bring you to the top of the runs each time?! No more hiking up the hill or grabbing onto the dangerous pull lifts to get to the top! You can ride in style and relax to save your energy for keeping up with your little ones.

I appreciate the encouragement that all of you have given me while following my blog and I hope that I can continue to share the fun things we do outdoors with your own families.

You might be wondering how far away is Snow Play. Here are different directions from various areas in the South Bay.

Big Bear's Snow Play42825 Big Bear Blvd Big Bear Lake, Ca 92315

HWY 330/HWY 18 Through Running Springs From The Los Angeles Area: Take Interstate 10 East, to Interstate 210 North, to Hwy. 330 East. Hwy. 330 goes through Running Springs and turns into Hwy. 18. Follow Hwy. 18 East and turn right across the Big Bear Lake dam. Stay on Big Bear Blvd. through the Big Bear Village or turn left on Paine Rd., which turns into Big Bear Blvd. We are on the EAST END of Big Bear on Big Bear Blvd.

From Orange County Or The South Bay Area:
Take the 91 East (or the 55 North to the 91 East), to the 215 North, to Interstate 10 East, to Interstate 210 North, to Hwy. 330 East. Hwy. 330 goes through Running Springs and turns into Hwy. 18. Follow Hwy. 18 East and turn right across the Big Bear Lake dam. Stay on Big Bear Blvd. through the Big Bear Village or turn left on Paine Rd., which turns into Big Bear Blvd. We are on the EAST END of Big Bear on Big Bear Blvd.

From The San Diego Area:
Take Interstate 15 North, to the 215 North, to Interstate 10 East, to Interstate 210 North, to Hwy. 330 East, which will take you up into the mountains. Hwy. 330 goes through Running Springs and turns into Hwy. 18. Follow Hwy. 18 East and turn right across the Big Bear Lake dam. Stay on Big Bear Blvd. through the Big Bear Village or turn left on Paine Rd., which turns into Big Bear Blvd. We are on the EAST END of Big Bear on Big Bear Blvd.

From The San Fernando Valley Area:
Take the 101 East, to the 134 East, to the 210 East, to Interstate 10 East, to Interstate 210 North, to Hwy. 330 East which will take you up into the mountains. Hwy. 330 goes through Running Springs and turns into Hwy. 18. Follow Hwy. 18 East and turn right across the Big Bear Lake dam. Stay on Big Bear Blvd. through the Big Bear Village or turn left on Paine Rd., which turns into Big Bear Blvd. We are on the EAST END of Big Bear on Big Bear Blvd. Directions courtesy of Big Bear Mountain Resorts.

DISCLAIMER: The passes will not be valid during the following dates: Dec. 14th Jan. 6th Jan. 19th – Jan. 21st, Feb. 9th – Feb. 11th, Feb. 15th – Feb. 18th, Mar. 22nd– Apr. 6th. Expires last day of 2012/2013 season

Now that I have given you a little idea of what is in store for you... Enter the GIVEAWAY below and get ready to hit the slopes!

  a Rafflecopter

giveaway $25.00 per person Unlimited Rides, Includes Inner Tube

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Children's Place! Plus a GIVEAWAY!

Around the holiday's, parents everywhere are looking for that special outfit for their little ones.  Where do you start looking?

I found my children's clothes at The Children's Place! They had the cutest layered looks just in time for our recent cold weather! 

For that dressy, holiday card look, there was a wide variety of dress shirts and slacks for the boys and beautiful colorful dresses and all the matching accessories for the girls!

On our last trip to one of the stores, my daughter could not get enough of the sparkly shoes and Hello Kitty!  The Fedora's were also an especially big
hit with her.

My son was drawn instantly to the wide range of Avenger and Transformer T-shirts that covered the displays and walls! The prices were very reasonable and if you signed up for their email list, you often got great coupons to make the prices unbelievable!

When you sign up for the PLACE  card, you get 20% off your first purchase and 5% off every purchase after!

Right now they are in the middle of their Monster Sale which includes items up to 75% off! 

Now that you have seen some of the bright and amazing choices, it's time for a little extra something to help you buy those adorable outfits!

Who wants a $25 gift card?

Enter below and check out the amazing outfits and deals.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Years Camping Tradition

When most people think of celebrating New Years, they don't imagine going to the middle of the Mojave Desert.  But this is exactly how my family celebrates along with some of our closest and dearest friends.

Most years, the week after Christmas is spent packing up our trailer and getting our winter clothes and dirt bikes ready for our trip.  This year we invited a winter camping newbie and her daughter!  This meant extra preparations and planning but this also meant that we could share our strange and exciting traditions with more friends.

Snow clothes for all were included this year since there was a storm brewing on the day we left.  While snow is not unheard of in December, in California, it is uncommon in the desert.  Most people associate the Mojave Desert with extreme heat but many don't realize we get the opposite conditions in the winter-time.  The desert not only drops to the 20's and below in the winter but we also receive strong winds that make the weather feel like it's 20 below! 

So why would anyone want to brave camping, even in a trailer, in the winter-time?  The Mojave Desert is one of the most beautiful places when it receives even the smallest amount of rainfall.  Flowers are bountiful and it is green everywhere!  It is also gives kids of all ages the chance to act young again!


For the children of such a technological era, there aren't many chances to get away from TV, video games and the computers.  I think that they forget how to be kids.  My BFF's daughter had never been camping outside fancy campsites with showers, running water and a play ground.  She was timid and afraid those first couple days until she saw how much fun the rest of the children were having running around, getting dirty, and riding dirt-bikes.  By the last day, she was crying because she didn't have a dirt-bike to ride because it was being packed away. 

Loud noises, campfires and fireworks may seem out of place in an urban lifestyle but in the desert, anything and everything goes.  We introduced my friend's daughter to sparklers, silly string, impromptu fireworks, and minor explosions.  While she was not a fan of loud noises, we remedied the problem with noise cancelling head phones.

Of course what is a desert trip without a little Treasure Hunt? (Geocaching) We were able to walk to one that was only 0.2 miles from our campsite! Once we had located one "treasure", all of the kids were hooked!  We found 5 in two days and in all but one, the kids were able to trade little toys for new treasure prizes from the Geocaches. 

We hiked, saw gold prospectors digging for gold, rode dirt-bikes, enjoyed good food and shared good company.  We even took a drive into Randsburg and saw a real Living Ghost Town!

Each day we spent in the middle of the Mojave Desert was full of memories that my family and friends have to share with the next
generation of children.  The children ran wild like children should and stayed up way past their bed time until they actually ASKED to go to bed because they were exhausted from all the day's      activities! 

Yes, we had technology such as a TV and DVD player for the children when it got too cold and windy but we also had a few indoor toys and books that they were just as inclined to look at and play with.  We used our smart phones to locate the Geocaches and to tell the world how much fun we were having but technology was used as an after thought, not as something that was glued to our hands.

We introduced a different tradition to our friends, burning our Christmas Trees in the campfire on New Year's Eve.  This symbolizes to us, the end of the old year and gives us a promise of the memories that the new year holds.   

 My pictures can only give you a glimpse of the beauty of the Mojave Desert and the memories that are in store for those that search for them.  It is my hope that more people get out of the house and into nature with their children before the children know nothing else but computers and a TV.