Thursday, July 30, 2015

DreamWorks HOME Now Available on DVD Win a Copy Plus FREE Printables | @FHEInsiders #DreamWorksHome #Giveaway

You might have hear that HOME from Fox Entertainment is now available on Blu-ray/DVD and I have a copy for you to WIN!

Print out these fun FREE printables for your little ones and enter the contest below.

Have you seen HOME yet? If not, let me give you a summary of the film.

It is based on Adam Rex's 2007 children's book The True Meaning of Smekday When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.

With an all star cast, it will sure to be a fun family favorite.  Enjoy these FREE activity sheets and be sure to enter the giveaway below.
                               Click here to print                                       Click here to print  

                              Click here to print                                            Click here to print


DISCLAIMER:  I was given a copy of the movie. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Save Money 2015 Orange County Fair Tips and Discounts | @OCFair #OneBigParty

The OC Fair is one of the biggest events in Southern California and it can be one of the most expensive for families. Luckily, there are ways that you can save and enjoy the Fair without breaking the bank.   These tips and discounts will help you save money on almost every day of the week.

      • SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS have FREE admission from 10-11am
      • WEDNESDAYS Donation Days:  From Noon to 3, Bring the set items on these days and get free admission and 1 free ride per required items per person.
        • July 22 (Noon-3 p.m.): Food Drive (5 cans of food) 
        • July 29 (Noon-3 p.m.): Children's Book Drive (3 new or gently used children's books -- new for 2015) 
        • August 5 (Noon-3 p.m.): Clothing Drive (5 new or gently used clothing items) 
        • August 12 (Noon-3 p.m.): School Supply Drive (School supply item(s) valued at $5 or more, receipt is required for proof of value) Items Accepted: pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, notebook paper, backpacks, colored pencils, markers, pencil boxes, pocket folders.)
      • THURSDAYS are KIDS DAYS and kids 12 and under are FREE
        • Kids 5 and under are FREE every day
      • FRIDAYS Seniors 60 and older receive a $2 discount on their Senior admission ticket ($5 ticket) plus free Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides all day on Seniors Day. Active-duty U.S. military and veterans receive free Fair admission every day with a valid military ID (DD-214 form is accepted as proof of military service. Offer not valid for spouses or dependents.)
    • $2 Rides & $2 Games on Fridays from Noon-4 p.m. 
    • $30 Unlimited Ride Wristbands on Wednesdays and Thursdays (sold until 5 p.m. and valid until 8 p.m.)
    • Little bookworms can receive three free carnival rides though the Read and Ride program, where children ages 5-11 submit book reports for free carnival tickets. The required book report form is available online at
SUPER PASS ACCESS for those that want to return to the fair more than once
    • Season pass for the 23 days of the fair
    • Express entry at all gates
    • 2 for 1 tickets at select Pacific Amphitheatre, Hangar, and Action Sports Arena events
    • FREE admission to the Orange County Market Place year round
    • Souvenir Pin
    • Carnival value book
    • FRIDAYS afternoons, foodies can taste their way through the Fair for only $2 a sample during the $2 Taste of Fair Food promotion. Most Fair food vendors will feature a $2 taste on their menu every Friday from Noon-4 p.m. Fair admission required.
The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit, become a fan at, follow us at or call (714) 708-1500.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Adventure Playground in Huntington Beach is Good Muddy Fun

Last week, I FINALLY got a chance to bring my family to Adventure Playground in Huntington Beach.  I have seen pictures of friends visits and thought, why haven't we gone?  

The only thing I knew about it was that it was inexpensive and the kids get muddy and wet.  Sounded like our type of place.  A Huck Finn Paradise.  All that is missing is white-washing fences.

Located in the heart of Huntington Beach, Adventure Playground is honestly, a little confusing of how to get there.  I typed the address into my mapping software and we were off.  The map brought us to the parking lot of a library with hand written signs pointing off in the distance.  

When you arrive at the parking lot, on the right you will see a grassy park and up a hill, a painted sign on a fence pointing you to the playground.  Follow the path and it will lead the way to the entrance.  

The park is very small but has what most parks don't offer, a chance to be Huck Finn!  

The entrance to the park is minimal, $3.00 for kids and adults are FREE.  Soon you will see why,  there isn't a ton of things to do but what there is, it is worth every penny.

First thing you notice is the pond with rafts.  The water is only about 18 inches so even the little ones can have fun.  The rafts gives the kids a chance to explore the pond and their imagination.  They are kept in 5 minute shifts so everyone has a chance.

Beyond the pond, there is a "redneck water-slide".  At least that is what we fondly called it.  It is a small hill with a tarp slide with recirculated water and lots of fun.  There is about a 2 foot drop into a small pool at the bottom so if your child is hesitant, you might want to pass.  

The area we spent the most time at was the tree houses and building area.  There are 4 tree houses(one only for 8+) and a HUGE pile of wood to hammer and nail to their hearts delight.  You can add onto the tree houses or just build a box or a plane in our case.  You are given a hammer and 3 nails.  When you need more, you turn in 3 bent nails for one good nail.  We actually found some lying around the tool area and had plenty.

A small sandbox, play structure, benches and a snack shack completed the park.


  • Closed toe shoes are required
    • If you forget, there are "loaner shoes" for no cost available
    • Bring shoes that you don't mind getting wet and muddy
  • Kids WILL get wet!  Bring extra shoes and clothes
  • Bring a snack or money for hungry kids
  • Come early to avoid crowds and early closing of the slide


  •  (714) 842-7442

Friday, July 17, 2015

Find Love with The Longest Ride Movie & Win a Copy | @FHEInsiders #InsidersLongestRide #Giveaway

What would you do for the love of your life?  The latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Longest Ride" invites you to grab the bull by the horns and take a ride.

The Longest Ride came to DVD and Blu-ray this week and we want to give you a chance to win a copy.

The Longest Ride centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City's art world.  


As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decade-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple.  Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, the LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love..

  • 45 minutes of extra features
    • Join Eastwood on the ranch as he learns from the world's best bull riders to control the beasts and learn more about the production with an audio commentary from director George Tillman Jr. and star Oona Chaplin.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • A Writer’s Journey: A Day in the Life of Nicholas Sparks
  • Beyond the Ride
  • Bringing it to Life
  • Meet The Real Bull Riders
  • Luke’s Bull Riding School
  • Gallery


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programming. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and Digital HD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ian Somerhalder Visits the International Bird Rescue in San Pedro | @DawnDish #HowDoYouLoveWildlife

The Santa Barbara oil spill that released 110,000 gallons of oil May 19th, made a huge mess and unsurprisingly, destroyed habitats and killed hundreds of birds and marine mammals.   An 8 inch tear in a corroded pipeline was to blame.  The number of animals lost would have been much more if it weren't for the wildlife centers up and down the California coast that are run almost exclusively by volunteers.  

I used to be one of these volunteers that spent countless hours smelling like fish, caring for the sick and dying animals hoping that one day they could be healthy enough to be released back into the ocean.  We would be especially busy with the regular "baby season" in the late Winter through early Summer.   This year the centers have been inundated with so many more! 

You may have heard that their have been thousands of Sea Lion pups starving and beaching themselves all over Southern California this Spring and Summer.  The reason for this is that the moms have had to swim farther and farther out to sea to feed themselves, leaving their young ones earlier to fend for themselves.  Because the young Sea Lions, cannot follow their moms on long distances, they in turn starve.  

The International Bird Center and the Marine Mammal Center in San Pedro, California has taken in more than their share of the injured wildlife and thanks to Dawn Dishsoap, I was there to see some of the animals released back into the wild.  Check out what some of the other volunteers have to say about Dawn Dishsoap and how it helps the animals.

We were joined by Ian Somerhalder(The Vampire Diaries).  Ian has used his passion for wildlife and especially pelicans to start the Ian Somerhalder Foundation that helps support care for animals in need.  Do you remember the pelican Pink?  His bill pouch had been torn almost completely off?  His foundation was responsible for funding the expensive surgeries that saved his life!  

Here, Ian assisted one of the Vets and volunteers to give a pelican its last checkup before being released that day.

Dawn Dishsoap has partnered with the animal centers in a HUGE way.  Dawn is the only product that literally makes the oil slide off the animals leaving them with their natural feather oil that keeps them buoyant and warm in the water.  Did you know that the oil actually burns skin?  Dawn neutralizes the oil leaving animals to continue their life in the environment they are meant to.  

That day Ian and the volunteers released 3 Pelicans and 1 Seagull.  If it weren't for Animal Centers, Dawn and the volunteers, there would be so many animals lost to the accidents of humans.  

We were challenged to ask ourselves, "How do we love wildlife?"  

I would love to share with you my first strong feeling about wildlife that I remember as a child.  

"As a child, I spent much of my time on Catalina Island on our boat.  Often, as we were fishing, sea lions would hang around our swim step and sometimes sleep on it waiting for extra bait to be thrown to them.  Of course, I obliged.  One day as I was supposed to be taking a nap with my family, I got the idea in my head that I could bring home the sea lion as a pet.  I lured the sea lion into our boat and shut it in my bedroom.  Needless to say, the noise woke up my family.  I realized that the sea lion didn't belong anywhere except in the ocean where it belonged.  This memory has stayed with me all these years and eventually led me to work with wildlife and rehabilitation."

What experience in your life has moved you to feel strong emotions about wildlife?  I would love to hear your stories.  Please leave a comment or email me your story and I will publish them on my blog. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Welcome to Trail Mixed Memories


You may have seen a lot of changes in the last couple months on SoCal Kids Outdoor Adventures.   We  are evolving into a even better resource for Southern California and beyond.

There will still be great giveaways and fun events to check out but we will be adding in fun new things such as Science Experiments, Recipes and more.

From land to sea and in between we will share our fun adventures to parks, deserts, mountains, the ocean and all the events and family friendly fun in between.

I hope that you continue to enjoy our posts and I ask for patience as we may the transition.

You can still find us on Twitter and Instagram under the handle:  @TrailMixedMom


Kirstin Rowe and all of the SoCal Kids Outdoor Adventures Team

OC Fair's: One Big Party Opens This Week Win Tickets | @OCFair #Giveaway

Summer time means that the Orange County Fair is coming to Costa Mesa, California.  If you are looking for food, animals, rides, concerts and games, you won't want to miss it!  This year marks 125 years of fair that goes on for 23 days.  This years “One Big Party” will be held July 17-August 16, 2015.

As a long standing tradition that started with my 4H and FFA days, the OC Fair has something for everyone in my family.  My husband loves the creative food variety that brings people from states away.  Bacon?  YUP!  There is pretty much bacon wrapped everything.  

My kids love the carnival games and rides!  Last year we had a whole cart full of prizes that they won!  

My children actually attended their first concert here and the Pacific Amphitheatre has a great family friendly lineup.  Some of the bands playing are: 
  • Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo / Dennis DeYoung
  • The Band Perry / Annie McQueen
  • Huey Lewis & The News
  • Willie Nelson & Family and Alison Krauss & Union Station Featuring Jerry Douglas
  • Austin Mahone / Kalin & Myle s
  • Capital Cities / Big Data
  • Charli XCX / Bleachers
  • Deep Purple / Foghat
  • Gabriel Iglesias and SO many more!  Check out the concert lineup at the Pacific Amphitheatre and the Hangar.

What's New?


FAIRENHEIT 32° (Ice-skating)

Fairgoers can stay cool this summer in the OC Fair’s newest feature, Fairhenheit 32°. This area will have a real ice skating rink and an Ice Museum. Skate rental fees apply and guests are not permitted to bring their own skates. Viewing of the Ice Museum is free with Fair admission. Open daily.


With nimble fingers and hands, Sand Artist Joe Castillo makes grains of sand dance and move, set to music, in a beautiful display of unique storytelling twice nightly during the 2015 OC Fair on the new Plaza Pacifica Stage. Joe was even a finalist on “America’s Got Talent.” Performances are free with Fair admission.


The OC Fair has commissioned Sandscapes to offer Fairgoers an impressive sand sculpture for this year’s theme, “One Big Party.” This year’s sculpture will feature approximately 300 tons of sand that will be sculpted during Fair hours inside the Fair Square area near Blue Gate. Viewing of the sculpture will be free with Fair admission.


The cows will come home to the Fair for the return of the OC Fair Cattle Drive on August 8. Cowboys and cowgirls on horseback will escort more than a hundred head of cattle through Costa Mesa streets to the Fair. Viewing of the cattle drive will be free.


Family-friendly entertainment full of action and excitement will be offered daily in the Action Sports Arena with each show offering a free seat at the show with any Fair admission ticket (limited availability on a first-come, first-seated basis.) The 2015 lineup includes the always popular demolition derby series plus motorized events, rodeo, monster trucks, mixed martial arts and new-for-2015 Cavalla Equestrian Arts – Ma’Ceo. All events offer reserved seats that include free Fair admission for the same day.

RUNNING- OC Fair 5k Fun Run

On Sunday, August 9, hundreds of participants will run, walk and skip through the Fair. Those not concerned with finishing first can partake in rides, games and other detours to fun on this special 5K route before the Fair opens to the public. Organized in conjunction with the OC Marathon, the 5K starts at 8 a.m. Pre-registration is available at


The OC Fair also presents exhibit galleries filled with award-winning photographs, paintings, ceramics, woodworking, cakes, cookies, quilts and more displays of talent by Southern California residents. Entry deadlines for most competitions are in early June, please visit for more details. The Fair will also feature several talented artists with exhibits about printmaker Charleton Christy, Sogetsu Ikebana, Plein Air Painting, author Chris Epting and more. Viewing of the exhibits is free with Fair admission.


The 2015 OC Fair will offer a variety of ways for guests to save on admission, food and fun including the popular $2 Taste of Fair Food on Fridays from Noon-4 p.m. and Kids and Senior Days on Thursdays and Fridays, respectively. The best way to enjoy the OC Fair for a great price is with a 2015 Super Pass, valid for admission all 23 days of the 2015 OC Fair plus discounts on concerts, action sports and carnival. The Super Pass is currently available at or from the on-site Box Office (open limited days.) Road warriors can take a break on the weekend and enjoy a ride directly to the Fair on the OC Fair Express offered by OCTA from nine transit locations in Orange County Friday-Sunday ($2 fare each way.) Each OC Fair Express rider also receives a coupon for $3 Fair admission.

The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit, become a fan at, follow us at or call (714) 708-1500.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLAIMER: My family will attend a media event at the OC Fair. All thoughts and ideas are my own. Do not use any photos without permission.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Saving Our Whales One Person at a Time | @AquariumPacific @HarborBreezeC

Summer in California marks the Blue Whale season and we were off on the Triumphant out of Long Beach again!  The Blue Whales come to Southern California to feed off the channel between Catalina Island and the Mainland.

This trip was special as we learned about the plight of endangered Vaquita Porpoise as well.  This whale, the smallest whale in the World, is so endangered that fewer than 100 are known to exist.  The Vaquita Whale is found only in Mexico's Gulf of California and is thought to be extinct in the next 2 years.

This Saturday, July 11th is "Save the Vaquita" Day at the Aquarium of the Pacific where the visitors will learn about what is causing them to disappear.  In August, the staff will focus on what we can do help save these beautiful creatures at all of their animal and dive shows at the Aquarium.

Want to learn more?  The Baja Splash Cultural Festival takes place on Sept. 26 and 27th.  

On our trip, we were blessed with an overcast calm day with plenty of wildlife!  We started out of the Port and were soon joined by a pod of Pacific White Sided dolphins accompanied by California Sea Lions.


The Triumphant is the fastest whale watching boat around and we were soon 3/4 of the way across the channel, almost to Catalina.  We located a lone Blue Whale spouting and we stayed with it most of the morning.  The Blue Whale was approximately the size of the Triumphant and it was AMAZING!


Finally it was time to start heading back to the Mainland when we spotted another of the ocean's inhabitants, the Mola Mola or the Pacific Sunfish.  We spotted Brown Pelicans, Sea Gulls and a variety of different sea birds.

As we arrived at the Aquarium, my family was excited to get a chance to see the new Jelly Fish exhibit that opened this past Spring.  It was amazing the way they glowed in the near darkness of the Midnight Zone.


Have you seen the new Rainbow/Steelhead Trout exhibit as well?  It lies near the Water Shed area behind the shark tanks.  My kids loved learning about the trouts journey through fresh and salt water.

My family enjoyed being out on the water and can't wait to head out again!  Thank you to Mr. Dan Salas, the Triumphant and the Aquarium of the Pacific for inviting my family and other media to see the wonders of the Ocean.

Disclaimer:  My family was invited on a media cruise to look for the whales and complimentary admission into the Aquarium.  All thoughts and ideas are my own.  Do not use any photos without permission.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer Fun at Irvine Park Railroad | @IrvineParkRR #SummerFun

Only 3 weeks into Summer and I am scrambling to keep my kids occupied and entertained.  How do you keep two very active children from going stir crazy?  Luckily, one of my friends, Ruth of SoCal Pocket Memories, was having a play date at our favorite park, Irvine Park Railroad.

While this is a favorite park of ours for every holiday season, I tend to forget that it has great year round activities.  This park is HUGE!  It has the OC Zoo, horse riding stables, pony rides, Boy Scout Camp, Outdoor Education Center, historical buildings, gold panning, fishing, hiking trails, bike rentals, paddle boats and much more!

Besides riding the train, my kids favorite thing to do is ride the horses.  For a minimal fee, the kids can ride ponies led by staff around two tracks.  

This trip, we had won raffle tickets to try out some of the other activities.  We really enjoyed the Hydro bikes and Family Bikes!  It was a hot day and I really reccomend bringing water for the whole family.  If you forget, there is a snack bar with ice-cream and other treats at the front entrance and by the bike rentals.

If you are lucky, you might be at the park when the Farmers Market is going on.  We had stopped for a break and treated ourselves to fresh fruits and nuts.  This is right behind a large playground where the kids can stretch their legs and imaginations.

The beauty of the park amazes me everytime I go.  I love the changing of the seasons and in California, it is hard to find.  Irvine Park has something for every  season.

Thank you Ruth and Irvine Park Railroad for a wonderful day!  You gave my family memories to last a last a life time.  These days of my children still wanting to do things with their parents are limited and I am glad to be able to share such fun places with them.

Be sure to print out these coupons before you go for savings!  Click the link to print.

Irvine Park Railroad
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869