Thursday, February 21, 2013

Picking Flowers in the Outfield- learning from my son

Anyone who has young children(and some not so young) has had experiences with "that child". The child that misses the ball in the outfield because he is too busy picking flowers or playing in the dirt.

With spring approaching, children start coming out of their winter in-activities  and get ready for Spring sports!  My son has decided that after playing hockey for the last three years, he was ready for a change.

Since we start our children with sports early(3), we always told them that we would support them in any activity they wanted to try as long as they give it a wholehearted chance.  For the first two years of playing hockey, my son was off making snowballs in the corner while the others were learning the ways of the sport.  After every practice and game we would ask him if he really wanted to continue playing hockey and he insisted that he did. He would make small improvements and after two years, he started getting into the game.  While my husband and I were cringing at the cost of league fees, lessons and gear, our son was learning how to be a kid.  Not the next Gretzky, just a normal kid with dreams of playing with his friends and becoming a "dinosaur digger" when he grew up.

Many days I would get so frustrated with the little to no progress that he made in hockey! I considered getting him private lessons to get him up to speed with his teammates.  I saw other kids his age being pushed by their parents to do their best while spending hundreds of dollars a month on private lessons and special gear.  Most of the kids that play hockey, play hockey for the love of the game and want to play to be in the NHL when they grew up.  That is fine when your child is driven and very competitive and its what the child wants.  My son is a sweetheart who thinks of others before himself and is very caring.  I think as sensitive as my son is, he would pickup on the frustrations of me not knowing what to do as a sports mom. I think he was torn whether he really loved playing hockey or was it because we, loved him playing hockey and he didn't want to disappoint us.

I feel that I could have become one of the parents that would focus solely on one sport and push hard if we weren't off doing other activities.  Every parent wants our children to succeed at everything they do, it's natural for a parent to feel that way.

I look back at the last couple years and realize that while I wanted my son to succeed at hockey, I might have begun to fail him while pushing him to do his best when he was doing his best, at being a kid. My son did his own thing, learned at his own pace and generally didn't let anyone or anything influence him.  When he asked us after 2 1/2 years to stop playing hockey, we were heartbroken... I'm not going to lie.  However, I was actually relieved.  It was very stressful trying to find a way to help my son fit in with his team while I was fitting in with the much more driven parents.

Now that my son has started Tee-ball, I see my son break dancing on third base and think, here we go again with a smile.  Yes my son will be THAT kid picking flowers in the outfield and he will probably never get to the World Series without buying a ticket but my husband and I will continue to support our children in everything they do but first we are going to let them be themselves as a kid.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dana Point Whale Sand Sculpture Contest

Have you ever seen the sand sculpture contests and thought, hey, I can do that?! Are you an artist that loves sculpting?

Many times I will turn on the news and see amazing sand sculpting contests and think, there is NO way I could ever do that! WOW!

Well, now there is a contest coming up where we could watch or even enter to try our hand at it ourselves!

(Dana Point, Calif.) – OC Parks is pleased to present the annual Whale of a Sand Sculpting Competition on March 3 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. hosted in conjunction with the 42nd annual Dana Point Festival of Whales.

The contest is a day of fun, sun and creativity for families, friends and serious sand sculpting enthusiasts. The contest takes place on Baby Beach in Dana Point Harbor. Contestants may choose to make sand creations from one of five categories including castles, whales and ocean creatures, pirates and ships, woodies and surfboards or patriotic emblems. Sculpting kicks off at 8 a.m. and judging begins at 2:30 p.m. First place receives sand castle medals, a $40 gift certificate to Harbor Grill, two complimentary lunches at Proud Mary’s and stand-up paddle board lessons for four people. Second place receives whale watching tickets, three lunches at The Brig, two lunches at Proud Mary’s and two lunches at Harbor Deli. Third prize includes five Coffee Importer certificates, two lunches at The Brig and one certificate to Proud Mary’s. Fourth place earns an OC Parks gift basket and three lunches at Harbor Deli.

Registration is free and available online and on the day of the event at the OC Parks booth on-site. Contestants are asked to provide their own buckets and tools. Sand will be provided! Bring the family and get ready for some fun in the sun and sand at the annual Whale of a Sand Sculpting Competition!

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Little Pony Coronation Event

If you haven't heard, My Little Pony has a special episode coming up on February 16th! 

It will be The first look at the newest addition to the royal family will be revealed when The Hub TV Network, one of the fastest growing basic cable networks,premieres the special all-new coronation episode of the animated hit series My Little Pony Friendship is Magic,” Saturday, February 16 (10:30 a.m. ET)In thehighly anticipated episode, Twilight Sparkle becomes a princess, resulting in a flurry of special events from the network around the character’s coronation including anine-episode My Little Pony Princess Coronation Marathon Saturday, February 16 (6-10:30 a.m. ET)showcasing the character’s journey to her crowning moment. The series is produced by Hasbro Studios.

To celebrate the episode, The Hub hosted a special LA-based, invitation-only “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic” Coronation Concert event hosted by Mallory Hagan, the newly crowned Miss America 2013 with a special guest appearance by Olympic Gold Medalist Carmelita Jeter.

The My Little Pony Coronation Concert held this past Saturday, Feb 9 was a great success! The live musical event and interactive screening hosted by the newly crowned Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan with guest appearance by Olympic Gold Medalist Carmelita Jeter was well attended by close to 500 people.

Celebrity attendees including Halle Berry and her daughter, Jason Priestley and his two kids, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Lily from "Modern Family"), Chloe Noelle ("True Blood") and 10 regional representatives from the Miss California organization. "My Little Pony Friendship is Magic" head writer Meghan McCarthy, composer Daniel Ingram, voice actress Tara Strong and writer M.A. Larson from the series were also in attendance.

The show went incredibly well and was well-received by the audience. A magical time was had by all and was a perfect opportunity to leverage this hit show with kids and adults to garner more awareness of the series (and Saturday's big eagerly anticipated coronation episode) and The Hub TV Network.

Please see photos from the event below (Photo credit is: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Strawberry Shortcake- A New Boy in Town

For all of your Strawberry Shortcake fans, someone new is moving into your children's hearts!

For all the little boys that have to endure watching Strawberry Shortcake with their sisters, now they have a boy to root on.


A Berry Delicious New Season Kicks Off Saturday, February 23
LOS ANGELES – Strawberry Shortcake and her berry best friends return for an all-new season of “Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures” on The Hub TV Network, the fastest growing children’s cable network. The CG animated series premieres Saturday, February 23, with two back-to-back all new episodes at 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. ET (encores Mondays, 11:30 a.m. ET) featuring Strawberry Shortcake and her friends in Berry Bitty City, a tiny world underneath the leaves of a berry patch. Beginning Saturday, March 2, the series will premiere new episodes at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The new season will kick off with Strawberry and her friends welcoming a fan-favorite character from the franchise, happy-go-lucky animal lover Huckleberry Pie! Produced by American Greetings Properties, the series promises a whole new season of fantasy adventures that emphasize friendship, teamwork and most of all – fun!

Huckleberry Pie is a brand new addition to this berry sweet animated series as the character opens his very own dog shelter. Although a bit unsure of himself at times, Huck's friendship with Strawberry and the other girls, plus his talent for matching the perfect pup to the right friend, go a long way toward boosting his confidence.

For nearly 30 years, Strawberry Shortcake has been a favorite with kids and moms alike, teaching wholesome values and proving that little kids can do big things.

About The Hub TV Network
THE HUB is a multi-platform joint venture between Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) and Hasbro, Inc., (NASDAQ: HAS) with a goal of entertaining, enlightening, empowering and educating children and their families. The cable and satellite television network features original programming as well as content from Discovery's library of award-winning children's educational programming; from Hasbro's rich portfolio of entertainment and educational properties built during the past 90 years; and from leading third-party producers worldwide. The Hub lineup includes animated and live-action series, as well as specials, game shows, and family-favorite movies. The network extends its content through a robust and engaging online presence at The Hub rebranded from Discovery Kids on October 10, 2010, and is available in nearly 72 million U.S. households. The Hub logo and name are trademarks of Hub Television Networks, LLC. All rights reserved.

To find the channel in your area, please visit and check the channel locator at the top of the page.

Visit The Hub on Facebook at Note: For artwork, visit

Monday, February 11, 2013

SCUBA divers! Come to Catalina Island Feb 23rd!

If you are a SCUBA diver in California, you have probably heard about the beautiful Island of Catalina.  It is one Island in a chain of Islands known as the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California.

Catalina is the most populated of all the Channel Islands and hosts a large variety of marine species waiting to be discovered!  I was fortunate enough to spend much of my childhood on Catalina as my family had a residence there.  My first job was taking snorkeling tours in Lovers Cove and working at Catalina Divers Supply.

As soon as my sinuses and age allowed me, I became SCUBA certified in the beautiful Marine Preserve of Casino Point and proceeded to explore the Island underwater.

Every year at the end of February, hundreds of divers are invited to participate in the Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup.  Imagine a beach cleanup, underwater and you have a pretty good idea of what we do. &nbsp What makes this event a little different is, unlike a beach cleanup, we discover very unusual finds that are attributed to the thousands of boaters that inhabit the harbor from Memorial Day thru Labor Day.  While boating is a great pass time, many objects fall overboard!

This cleanup is the only time that divers are permitted to dive in the harbor and we remove tons of trash each year.

I use the term trash lightly.  The trash brought up includes a large variety of useless items but also some expensive and priceless items as well!  Many antique glass bottles and pottery have been brought up along with watches, jewelry and even wallets!

To make the cleanup more enjoyable, there are contests held for different items brought up; smallest, most expensive, most preverted (which I was the first recipient of), most romantic, oldest, newest, and more! If you happen to be a good storyteller, there is a reward called the BS Award, where the best story made from the trash found, wins a prize.  If you are lucky to find a white ceramic plate with writing on it, you are the winner of the item written on the plate from the best Italian Restaurant on the Island, Antonio's Pizzeria.

Additional to the trash contests, you can buy raffle tickets to win some of the thousands of dollars worth of prizes donated to help out the cause.

All proceeds raised go to the Hyperbaric Chamber that resides in Two Harbors that saves divers lives every year!

If this sounds like it would make a great weekend getaway this year, please join us on February 23rd, 2013.  Even if you don't dive, it is a weekend full of fun on one of the most beautiful Islands in the world!

Please join us and have a great time while supporting a great cause!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentines Day Special for Couples! OC Zoo!


(Orange, Calif.) – To celebrate Valentine’s Day the OC Zoo is inviting couples to be “Wild at Heart” and enjoy two-for-one zoo admission February 14-17. Couples, pairs and any party of two can take advantage of this special Valentine’s Day offer.

Spend a day at the OC Zoo with just the two of you or the whole family and learn more about the romantic and friendly animal couples of the zoo. Animal keepers will be presenting special Valentine’s Day-themed talks about the animals throughout the days.

Admission to the OC Zoo is generally $2 per person ages 3 years and over with free admittance for ages 2 years and under. This special two-for-one admission offering is available February 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and February 16 and 17from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The OC Zoo is located inside Irvine Regional Park in Orange. Parking is $3 per vehicle on weekdays and $5 per vehicle on weekends.

Be Wild at Heart with OC Parks and your loved ones at the OC Zoo this Valentine’s Day.

Orange County Zoo

OC Parks
OC Parks manages nearly 60,000 acres of parks, historical and coastal facilities and open space for the County of Orange as part of OC Community Resources.

ATTN: Educators! Aquarium of the Pacific

Are you a homeschooling parent or an educator that is looking to put The Marine Sciences into your curriculum?  Is the nearest aquarium to far or expensive to bring your class to for a learning experience?

The Aquarium of the Pacific now has educational videos on request to help you teach your students at the leisure of your computer!


Videoconferencing allows Aquarium educators to provide live, hands-on learning experiences for students around the world

Long BeachCAThe Aquarium of the Pacific has won a 2013 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education for its interactive videoconferencing program. Videoconferencing allows the Aquarium to deliver its education programs to classrooms around the world. “This expanded reach, spreading the Aquarium’s messaging beyond its walls, is a key example of how the institution fulfills its vision, connecting people in a shared mission of protecting natural capital,” says David Bader, Aquarium of the Pacific director of education.

The Superintendent’s Awards for Excellence in Museum Education competition is a joint project between the California Association of Museums (CAM) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. CAM received twenty entries representing a diverse range of institutions and the contributions museums make to California’s K-12 educational system. After a formal evaluation and scoring by three reviewers, California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson chose six recipients, including the Aquarium of the Pacific. The awards will be presented in late February at the 2013 CAM conference.

In fifty-minute videoconferencing sessions available for students of all ages from kindergarten through twelfth grade, an Aquarium educator teaches interactive marine science lessons remotely in a screen-to-screen format similar to online video chat. Students are expected to participate, asking and answering questions, and even conducting dissections.

The Aquarium debuted the Roddenberry Foundation Education Videoconferencing Studio in 2011, with founding support from the Roddenberry Foundation. Groups can schedule a videoconference with an Aquarium educator by calling (562) 951-1630 or find more information online.

The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and a place where important topics facing our planet are explored by scientists, policy-makers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. General Info: 562-590-3100 or   

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake Live with the Doodlebops

Do you have little girls in your house? If you do, you probably have all of the Strawberry Shortcake episodes and songs from the TV show on The Hub memorized!

You may also have fond memories of that special strawberry scented red head from your own childhood.  I know I do! My first bikini was Strawberry Shortcake!  I could not get enough of that sweet smelling doll.

I had the privilege last weekend to introduce my little girl to Strawberry Shortcake in person! We arrived early at the show for a cookies, strawberry shortcake and strawberry milk meet and greet!  My daughter was excited and nervous to meet the girls but they were all SO kind and quickly put her at ease!

After the meet and greet, Strawberry and her friends put on a live show for us in the intimate theatre setting of Club Nokia.  We sat directly in front of the stage where my children and many others were able to sing and dance to the lively songs of Strawberry Shortcake and the Doodlebops.
The Doodlebops, best known for songs such as "Get on the Bus" and "We Are the Doodlebops"from their hit TV show "The DoodleBops", opened the theatre with a 20 minute concert.  My son was not as thrilled as my daughter to see Strawberry Shortcake but the Doodlebops are a definite favorite in our house!  The Orange haired Moe is constantly making my kids laugh by being loud and "pulling the rope"! Dee Dee is an awesome keyboard player and Rooney always seems to get a little mixed up. The energy of the Doodlebops got all of the children in front of the stage on their feet and dancing to their popular songs!

When the Doodlebops were done, the main event, Strawberry Shortcake, Blueberry Muffin, Huckleberry Pie,  Raspberry Tart, Orange Blossom, Plum Puddin' and Lemon Meringue performed a tale from Berry Bitty City, "Follow Your Berry Own Beat".  Based on the TV show, Strawberry Shortcake's, Berry Bitty Adventures, the girls go on a personal discovery to find each girls talent.  Through trial and error and friendship, girls throughout the theatre got a boost of confidence as they watched the friends on stage help each other out.


I loved the songs for both their upbeat tunes and great messages! I would highly recommend the show for all Strawberry Shortcake fans young and old!  When you hear the Doodlebops, you can't help but sing along and move your feet to the rhythm!

Check out if the show will be in an area near you!

North American Tour Dates:

February 7 – Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theater (6:00pm)
February 8 – Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall (6:00pm)
February 9 - Coral Springs, FL- Coral Springs Center for the Arts (1:00pm)
February 10 – Melbourne, FL - King Center for Performing Arts (1:00pm)
February 16 - North Tonawanda, NY -Riviera Theater (1:00pm & 4:00pm)
February 17 – Toronto, ON – Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (1:00pm)
February 19 – Guelph, ON – River Run Centre (6:30pm)
February 20 – London, ON – Centennial Hall (6:30pm)
February 21 – Windsor, ON - Chrysler Theatre (6:30pm)
February 22 – Chatham, ON - Chatham Capitol Theatre (6:30pm)
February 23 – Hamilton, ON - Hamilton Place (1:00pm)
February 24 – Kingston, ON - Grand Theatre (1:00pm)
February 26 – Cornwall, ON - Aultsville Theatre (6:30pm)
February 27 – Ottawa, ON - Centrepointe Theatre (6:30pm)
February 28 – Peterborough, ON - Showplace Performance Theatre (6:30pm)
March 2 - Belleville, ON - Empire Theatre (1:00pm)
March 3 – Oshawa, ON - Regent Theatre (1:00pm)
March 9 – Wallingford, CT - Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theatre (1:00pm)
March 10 – Westbury, NY - Theater at Westbury (1:00pm)
March 17 - Grand Rapids, MI - Devos Performance Hall (1:00pm)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

17th Anniversary of Irvine Park Railroad! $2/ Train rides

Have you been to one of Orange County's best parks?  

They have lakes, horses, pony rides, train rides, holiday events and even a zoo! 

I am talking about Irvine Park in the city of Orange!

This year, they are celebrating 17 years of entertaining families and they are rolling back the prices to 1996!  Come check it out on February 23/24th!

Irvine Park Railroad’s 17th Anniversary Celebration 2013

Come celebrate Irvine Park Railroad’s 17th anniversary on Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th. We’re rolling back prices to our original 1996 prices… including$2.00 train rides! It’s our way of saying thank you to all of our loyal customers who have visited Irvine Park Railroad over the years.

Irvine Park Railroad, which has become a favorite destination for families from across Southern Californiatakes passengers on a 12-minute ride through scenic Irvine Regional Park. The engineer narrates the ride pointing out all of the history inside of the 114 year-old park.

The anniversary celebration will also feature other $2.00 activities and concessionsincluding carnival games, hot dogssodas, ice creams, popcorn, bounce house ticketsand cotton candy. Face painting and panning for gold require two $2.00 tickets. FREE giveaways include Irvine Park Railroad balloons.

Coupons, discounts and/or any other promotions are not valid on the anniversary celebration dates.

Irvine Park Railroad is open year round (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Our annual events include the Easter Eggstravaganza, Anniversary Celebration, Pumpkin Patch and Christmas Train. Please for details.

While at Irvine Regional Park, be sure and visit the parks other activities includingWheel Fun Rentals® at Irvine Park bike and paddle boat rentals, pony rides and the Orange County Zoo.

The park entrance fee is $5.00 per vehicle. Irvine Park Railroad opens daily at 10:00 AM. The cost for train tickets during the anniversary celebrations weekend is $2.00 perticket; children younger than 12 months ride free. Irvine Park Railroad is located inside of Irvine Regional Park at 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869.

Become a fan of Irvine Park Railroad on Facebook (,follow us on Twitter ( and view our pictures on Flickr (

For additional details, visit us online at

Friday, February 1, 2013

February is the month of Love- Hearts in Nature

For the next 14 days I am going to go on daily walks with my children in search of Love. 

Okay, maybe my husband might not like that... Alright, we will be on the search of hearts.  As spring approaches, love is in the air and in nature!  While I will spare you pictures of animals doing the deed, I thought that I would take pictures of heart shapes in nature. 

While trying to find items for my son's school and looking for fun pictures of hearts for his projects, I realized that they are all very feminine and my son would have nothing to do with them.  I started looking online to find more masquiline hearts and to my dismay, there were very few.  So my goal of this month is to find them for others, especially ones not so... girly.

I will do my best to find naturally occuring hearts but we will see.

Check back daily or follow me on Instagram socalkidsoutadv2

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