Friday, March 22, 2013

New Spring Fashions @ChildrensPlace!

With Easter only a week away... Wait, a week?! How is that possible?! I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by!

Have you located that perfect outfit for your little bunnies?  It is always a struggle to find that perfect spring outfit perfect for Church or my kids favorite, the Easter egg hunts.

After shopping at 3 large department stores, I have finally found their amazingly adorable outfits for the annual Easter Egg Hunts in the new Spring Clothing Line at The Children's Place!  I even used a 25% off coupon which I received by signing up on their email list!  I only found one thing wrong with shopping at the store.  There were 4 outfits that I absolutely LOVED for my little girl!

I eventually let her pick out her favorite one, complete with accessories.  What girl doesn't like accessories?  She chose pink sparkly flats AND a pair of silver glittery sandals!  A matching headband, scarf and purse made the outfit complete.  My son was less inclined to shop.  Must be the male gene.  I chose a handsome suit pant with button down shirt and vest which made him look like a 5 year old runway model!  To check out more pictures of these awesome clothes that we had to choose from, click here.

The Children’s Place stores nationwide;

Are you still looking?  The Babies First Easter is not something to take lightly!  You may want to check out other options for that perfect dress for pictures.  What about that special niece that you want to get a little Easter gift for?  Here is another favorite site that may do just the trick. 

Where to find these adorable items? It is a company called,
Tiny Tillia
by Avon
WHERE TO FIND IT: Your Local Avon Representative! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top Easter Egg Hunts for the More Adventurous

Not ANOTHER Easter Egg Hunt list!

As much fun as Easter Egg Hunts are, there gets a point of really? Do we have to watch the same thing over and over? We adults, enjoy watching our young children looking for eggs in an open space with not much of a challenge. How about as they get a little older? Is there anything different?

Why yes, there is!

From helicopters and parachutes to flashlights, skate parks, animals and pools, different organizations are starting to think outside of the box. Does this sound more your speed? To me it sounds right up my alley! I love a good treasure hunt and some of these hunts are for teenagers and older. Really, who doesn't love an Easter Bunny Parachuting from the sky after it rains 40,000 Easter Eggs?

I have scoured the LA/Orange County areas for something different. Something that might give our children a little something special. I think that there are enough adventurous people out there that are making a stand against traditional Easter Egg Hunts. 

While my family can't make every event, I hope that we may make a couple and others can share some pictures of the others so that we may live through them this year and try it ourselves next year!

March 23, 2013 9-12:30PM Fee-$5 to enter Dog/Pony Games-Contests
4th Annual Royal Riders Pony Club SpEGGtacular Charity Event
Pony/Dog Show w/Egg Hunt
Yorba Linda Paxton Arena
18661 Buena Vista Ave
Yorba Linda, CA

March 29, 2013 8:00PM- Fee- FREE
Teen Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt
Arnold/Cypress Park
8611 Watson St.
Cypress, CA

March 29, 2013 8:00PM- Ages 7-14 Fee- Resident- $5 Non- $10
Late Night Flashlight Egg Hunt
LHCC (Soccer Fields)
25555 Alicia Pkwy
Laguna Hills, CA

March 29, 2013 7PM Ages 2-12 Fee- $3
Underwater Eggstravaganza @ The Plunge
Recreation Park
401 Sheldon Street
El Segundo, CA

March 30, 2013 10:00AM- 12:00PM Fee- FREE
Community Egg Drop- Ages 2-11 w/Parachuting Easter Bunny
(40,000 Eggs dropped from a Helicopter)
Crossline Church
23331 Moulton Pkwy
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

March 30, 2013 11:15AM Ages- 10 & under Fee- $5
Skate Boarding Easter Bunny/Egg Hunt
20028 Lake Forest Dr.
Lake Forest, CA 92630

March 31, 2013 Noon Fee- Hotel Guest
2nd Annual Underwater Easter Egg Hunt + Other Egg Hunt Activities
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
21500 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA

Saturday, March 16, 2013

So it's Trout Season, What's Your Favorite Recipe?

So you have attended the local fishing derbies and now you have a cooler full of trout.  The first thing on my mind is, what do these trout taste like and how do I make them taste better?

Different tastes for different people.  There are many ways of cooking trout and I am here to post my favorites! 

First of all, your trout is probably not cleaned unless you paid someone to clean it at the lake.  I would like to encourage you to either YouTube how to clean them or bring them to someone that knows how for you to learn from.  The filet knives are extremely sharp as my husband can attest after cleaning our Catfish after the Kids Derby at Legg Lake in December! He needed 4 stitches after the knife slipped and sliced his leg open!

He is well healed and on the way for filet revenge on the trout our kids expect to catch at the Free Kids Fishing Derby at Mile Square Park tomorrow!  Enjoy the recipes and PLEASE be careful when cleaning them!

Garlic Trout

1 whole (10 ounce)trout, cleaned, head and tail removed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp garlic salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Fill the cavity of the trout with the garlic, onion, and lemon juice. Rub trout with butter, and place on a large piece of foil. Season with garlic salt, salt, and pepper. Place the jalapeno on top of the trout. Seal trout in the foil.
  3. Bake trout 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until easily flaked with a fork.

Beer Batter Trout (Poorman's Trout)
1 cup of beer, or as needed



  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Pour beer into the pancake mix container in place of the water it calls for. Make the batter as thick or thin as you prefer. Close the lid, give it a few shakes, and boom it's done.
  3. Dip fish into the batter using a pair of tongs, or if you want to dirty a dish, pour the batter in a bowl first. If you cut your fish into smaller pieces, you can toss them into the container, close the lid and shake it a couple of times, then carefully remove the coated pieces.
  4. Remove the fish from the batter using tongs, and place into the hot oil.
  5. Fry the fish until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Yogurt Covered Trout

1 cup of plain yogurt



  1. In a medium bowl combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill, lemon zest, olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Turn oven broiler on. Coat a broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle fillets with lemon pepper and place on broiler pan. broil for about 8 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. To serve spoon yogurt sauce over fish.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Irvine Park Railroad's Easter Eggstravaganza + #GIVEAWAY

For the fourth year in a row, I brought my family to enjoy the Easter Eggstravaganza at the Irvine Park Railroad.  It has been so much fun watching the kids grow up through the family fun events that are incorporated into this historical park.

Irvine park has the OC Zoo, fishing lakes, horse riding trails and stables, educational camps/classes, and of course the holiday events that make this incredible park a great family tradition!  My children rode their first ponies at the pony rides and have met Santa and the Easter Bunny every year.

My family loves seeing all the decorations this time of the year and the photo ops for taking Spring pictures are all over.  The trees provide a great opportunity for taking cute nature photos.  If you like the whimsical, there are the Easter cut outs through out the area.

What is there to do at the Park? Glad you asked!  Pony rides, carnival games, cookie decorating, bounce houses, Easter egg hunt, and pictures with the Easter bunny to name a few.  If you are more adventurous, there are paddle boats, tandem bikes that hold up to four
people, fishing, hay rides, train
rides, hiking, and horseback riding.

The open spaces provide great areas for birthday parties and picnics.

Enjoy more pictures from our outing at Irvine Park Railroad, here.

This wonderful park is beautiful to visit anytime of the year but I really love the Spring time.

If you would like to enjoy the Easter Eggstravaganza for yourself, enter the #GIVEAWAY below to win a package of fun and savings.  There are (4) activity tickets, (1) tandem bike rental and a Calendar that provides a coupon for almost every month of the year!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Free Kids Fishing Derby- Mile Square Park 3/16

It's that time of the year again! It's time to take your kids FISHING!

Whenever I see events that are all about bringing the kids outdoors, I'm all in! This month is the Annual Fishing Derby at Mile Square Park! 1500 lbs of trout will be stocked in the lake for our little ones. There will also be prizes to be won and a BBQ lunch for all who participate!

Even if you don't know how to fish, there are always volunteers to help out and fishing rods to borrow. However, they highly recommend bringing a rod if you have one so they don't run out.


(Fountain Valley, Calif.) – OC Parks, Orange County Supervisor, Janet Nguyen, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and United Anglers of Southern California are pleased to present the annual Kids’ Fishing Derby at the North Lake at Mile Square Regional Park on Saturday, March 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Kids ages 15 and under fish for free at the Fishing Derby and compete to win multiple prizes for finalists and champions in different age groups. The lake will be stocked with 1,500 pounds of trout just for the derby and fishing clinics will be hosted throughout the event.

Registration is from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. with the Derby starting promptly at 9 a.m. A limited quantity of fishing rods will be available for loan. A complimentary barbecue lunch will be served to all who attend. Phil Friedman of Fish Talk Radio will be the master of ceremonies.

Join OC Parks for a fun filled day of friendly competition and fishing at Mile Square Regional Park.

Kids’ Fishing Derby
Date: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Derby Registration: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Location: Mile Square Regional Park
Address: 16801 Euclid, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Cost: Free Parking: $5 per vehicle
Public Contact: (714) 973-6600 or (714) 973-3197

Saturday, March 9, 2013

10 Fun Facts: Cavalia's ODYSSEO: Best Show On Four Hooves | @OdysseoLA

If you haven't heard, the Best Show On Four Legs has come to Los Angeles! Cavalia's Odysseo, is a blend of theatre, ballet, acrobatic arts and equestrian wonder! A partnership between our four-legged companions and the powerful bond they share with their two-legged partners that is a must see!

The natural movements compiled with the high-tech special effects makesfor a mind bending dream-like show. The show includes a never before attempted onstage, 80,000 gallon lake and a real life carrousel! Anyone that is horse-crazy or can appreciate the beautiful rhythms of the horse should not miss this. 67 horses are used with 11 breeds including Appaloosas, Arabians and Lusitanos.
Photo Credit: JF Leblanc

10 fun facts about the show include:

* 67 horses

* 11 different breeds including, Appaloosa's, Arabian's, Canadian's, Lusitano's, Oldenburg's, Paint's, Quarter Horses, Spanish Purebred(P.R.E.), and Warmblood's
          Photo Credits: François Bergeron
* The horses come from Canada, France, Nederlands, Portugal, Spain, and The United States.

* 43 Artists- riders, musicians, acrobats, aerialists, and dancers.
* The artists come from around the world including United States, Brazil, Canada, France, Guinea(Africa), Russia, Spain, and the
          Photo Credits: François Bergeron
* There are 350 costumes and over 100 pairs of shoes and boots for the show. Artists may have to change costumes up to 7 times!

* An artist may have no more than 90 seconds to change for their next number.

* A team of 20 artisans, including 4 cutters, 12 dressmakers, one property master, and one shoemaker worked in the Cavalia Studios to create the costumes.

* Materials used in the costumes include, linen, silk, cotton, leather, and some imitation fur. The use of natural fibers gives the clothing a sheen and falls in a way that synthetic material cannot match. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Festival of Human Abilities at the Aquarium of the Pacific | @AquariumPacific #specialneeds

I had the fortunate chance to attend an amazing event at the Aquarium of the Pacific!  The Festival of Human Abilities!

If you are not familiar with this, it highlights the abilities of differently abled people.  I heard amazing musicians, enjoyed incredible artwork, watched spectacular sychrònized wheelchair dancing, and SCUBA diving!

This event hits close to home because I myself have suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder from a young age.  Now, being a mother of an ADHD son, I understand what he is going through and try to help him the best that I can.  I enjoyed showing him the accomplishments of others to encourage him to never give up on his dreams.

We danced to the music, we were enthralled by the performances and enjoyed being ourselves instead trying to fit in with the norm.  The artwork depicting the beauty of life seen through those with different abilities was stunning!

We also enjoyed the natural beauty of the Aquarium.  My son's favorite areas were the touch tanks and the Sharks.  The new Penguin exhibit was my favorite, we watched them waddle and swim through their beautiful enclosure. 

We watched as sea lions danced through the water, interacting with each child and adult through the glass.  We were treated to the Lorikeets forest where we had birds of all colors use us as a tree and eat right out of our hands!

My family had a special day enjoying being the unique people we are with amazing artists and the beautiful life that surrounds us each day.  If you have a chance to enjoy next years Festival of Human Abilities, please do.  You won't be disappointed!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Are You A Seafood Foodie? Aquarium of the Pacific + #GIVEAWAY


Are you a seafood foodie?

Are you familiar with sustainable seafoods? The Aquarium of the Pacific is a huge supporter of sustainable foods! Each year they hold sustainable seafood samplings(WOW! That's a mouthful!) at their beautiful location in Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach! Their latest samplings comes in for of their BEST OF THE WEST CHOWDERFEST!


Aquarium of the Pacific invites the public to savor sustainable seafood chowders, prepared by local chefs while learning about local and responsible seafood choices.

WHAT: Savor sustainable seafood chowders as chefs compete to create the best dish at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s annual Best of the West Chowderfest. Presented by the Aquarium’s Seafood for the Future program (SFF), Chowderfest will feature award-winning chefs who will work to redefine chowder in a SoCal style, using fresh and local sustainable seafood. Guests can delight in daring chowders prepared with well-managed California seafood, including urchin, spiny lobster, spot prawns, rock crab, Kellet’s whelk, Carlsbad Aquafarm mussels, local produce from Weiser Family Farms, and more. “The Best of the West Chowderfest is not only a celebration of sustainable local seafood, it is also an adventurous cooking challenge,” said Kim Thompson, Aquarium of the Pacific Seafood for the Future program manager.

Take the chowder challenge:
· Sample one-of-a-kind seafood chowders created by award-winning local chefs with local sustainable seafood.
· Cast your ballot for the best chowder of the day and become eligible for a variety of prizes.
· Learn more about local seafood, fishermen, and farmers.

WHEN: Saturday, March 9, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: The front lawn of the Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

COST: $10 for public, $8 for Aquarium members (does not include Aquarium admission)
A discounted ticket package including admission to Chowderfest and the Aquarium
is available for $29.95 for adults, $19.95 for children (3-11), and
FREE for children under 3.

WHO: Participating chefs include:

· Chef Brian Hirsty, Bluewater Grill
· Chef Peter Lehmar, Gladstone’s Long Beach
· Chef Robin Higa, Market Broiler
· Chef Curtis Mar, Parkers’ Lighthouse
· Chef Paul Buchanan, Primal Alchemy
· Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Roe
· Chef Rosie Romo, SAVOR…
· Chef Michael Poompan, Sip Lounge/Renaissance Hotel Long Beach
Other participants include: A Sustainable Kitchen, The Growing Experience, The Culinary Liberation Front, FishWatch, The Fish Contamination Education Collaborative, Edible Westside, and more.

INFO: (562) 590-3100 or

SFF: The Aquarium’s SFF program is a nonprofit seafood advisory program made possible by Pacific Life Foundation and SAVOR…Long Beach. Educational partners include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s FishWatch and the Fish Contamination Education Collaborative. Consumers can find responsible seafood dishes and featured local seafood selections at the following SFF partner restaurants: Bluewater Grill (Newport Beach, Redondo Beach, and Tustin); Parkers’ Lighthouse, SlapFish, Gladstone’s Long Beach, and more; as well as seafood retailers such as Santa Monica Seafood. SFF is also working with Santa Barbara Community Seafood and the Dory Fleet Fish Market in Newport Beach as well as community groups such as the Culinary Liberation Front and Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara to promote local seafood. The public can look for SFF sustainable cooking demonstrations, hosted dinners, and the complete partner list by visiting / Twitter: @AquariumPacific / / Twitter: @seafoodfuture

Now for the cherry on the top of the sundae! Who wants Tickets to the Aquarium?  Enter below for a chance to Win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day!

While you might not be Irish, on one day of the year, everyone has a free pass to be an honorary one. I am talking of St. Patrick's Day!

We see even the most conservative people wear a shamrock or a spot of green somewhere on their person.  The traditions accompanied by this holiday vary.  Some watch parades, drink green beer, hunt for rainbows with that elusive pot 'o gold, and some even die their hair red or green in the spirit of that lucky day.

My family, with my young children, enjoy making Leprachaun traps to find out where their gold is hidden.  While we haven't found any gold, we have had tricky little buggers reek havoc on my children's belongings.  Green toilet water and milk are just a start!  They have left golden footprints around my kids table and wrote notes to them, teasing them about not being caught.

From the beginning we informed our children that if they want gold, they need to catch the ADULT leprechauns, the young ones only leave chocolate coins to fool us.  If we catch an adult in a trap, it has to leave real gold to get out.  If a young leprechaun is caught, chocolate is enjoyed by all.  So while we have yet to catch an adult one, every year, we catch at least one young leprechaun.  I feel bad for tricking the "young leprechauns" but how else are we to get chocolate coins?

Year round, my children ask when the leprechaun returns.  Now that March has begun, we are happily planning our next strategy for catching that elusive creature.

Stay tuned to find out if this year is the year!

One of my children's favorite books happens to be The Night Before St. Patrick's Day, by Natasha Wing

Other St Patrick's Day books your children might enjoy are:

The Leprechaun Trap by David and Kelly Clinch

That's What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting

The Luckiest St. Patrick's Day Ever by Teddy Slater

Friday, March 1, 2013

What Do You Do With Catfish After Bringing It Home?

You have finally taken your family fishing to the lake that you have been eyeing for awhile.  You spent quality time with your family with little grumbling about getting up at the crack of dawn and you finally have a bucket full of Catfish. 

After hours spent catching the perfect Catfish, you wonder... What in the world do with them now?  There are thousands of recipes and suggestions on how to cook your fish.  Grilled, breaded, fried, even raw!  What seasonings do you use? Lemon? Butter? Cajun?

How do you filet your fish? Well that depends on the fish and you.  Many people don't like to look at food that is looking at them back.  Another thing to consider is if you want to cook it skin on or skin off.  For most fish, we filet them to eliminate the majority of the bones, skin and head.  So after you filet them, decide which flavor you want to try.

It all depends on your tastes.  Certain fish such as Catfish can taste "muddy or gritty"and need an extra step. By soaking them in milk for a couple hours before cooking them, it draws the undesirable taste out.

For a traditional fried Catfish, you will need the following items.


Catfish filets

1 cup milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

1- 1 1/2 cup of cornmeal

1/2 cup all purpose flour

Seafood seasoning (we use Old Bay because its not as spicy)*

Vegetable oil for frying

First you soak the fish  in milk as directed above.

While the fish are soaking, put the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper, and seasonings in a ziplock bag and mix well.

Coat the fish completely with the dry mixture.

Add an inch of oil to your frying pan(or use a deep fryer), when the oil is hot fry the filets until golden brown.  This usually takes about 3-4 minutes.

To avoid excess oil/fats, lay the fish on a paper towel and pat the excess off.

Serve with tartar sauce and enjoy!

If you are looking for a healthier option to Catfish, you can oven cook them as well.


Catfish filets

1 cup of milk

Salt and pepper

1-1 1/2 cups of yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

Seafood seasoning such as Old Bay(not as spicy) or Cajun style*

Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

Soak the catfish in the milk for an hour or so to remove the muddy taste.

Put all the dry ingredients in a ziplock bag and mix well.

Coat the filets in the dry mixture and place on a baking sheet.  Spray the tops of the filets with cooking spray until wet.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until you can flake it with a fork gently.

*  If you are unable to get pre-made seafood seasonings, try the following mixture for catfish with a kick!


1 tsp paprika

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp celery seed

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground pepper

Add to the cornmeal, coat, cook and enjoy!