Friday, February 20, 2015

California Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations. #CYN

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! This week there will be many opportunities to see the Lion Dance in many Southern California Cities. We hope you get a chance to experience the festive celebrations first hand in your local area. Here is a few places that will be holding parades and fun events for all ages. Remember it's the year of the goat! 

 

California:

1. Southwest Airline Chinese New Year Parade – 3/7/2015, 6-8pm (San Francisco)
2. Chinese New Year Flower Fair – 2/14/15, 10am-8pm, and 2/15/15, 9am-6pm (San Francisco)
3. 116th Annual LA Golden Dragon Parade – 2/21/15, 1pm (Los Angeles)
4. Midnight Temple Ceremony – 2/18/15, 10pm-1am (Los Angeles)
5. The Highlighted Undiscovered Chinatown Tour – 2/21/15, 10:30am-12pm (Los Angeles)

Celebrations across the United States

Washington:

1. Lunar New Year Celebration – 2/21/15, 11am-4pm (Seattle)
2. Chinese Lunar New Year – 2/18/15, 5:30-7:30pm (Seattle)

Illinois:

1. Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade – 2/22/15, 1pm (Chicago)
2. Visit 360Chicago – 2/16/15-3/5/15 (Chicago)
3. Sounds of China: A Chinese New Year – 2/15/15, 3pm (Chicago)
4. Chinese New Year Kickoff Celebration – 2/19/15, 12-1pm (Chicago)
5. Celebrate Chinese New Year at the Garden – 2/21/15, 11am-3pm (Glencoe)
6. Chinese New Year Lantern Festival – 3/1/15 (Chicago)


Oregon:

1. Lan Su Chinese Garden – 2/19/15 through 3/5/15 (Portland)
http://www.lansugarden.org/things-to-do/events/chinese-new-year/

New York:

1. Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival – 2/22/15, 1pm (New York)
2. 16th New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival – 2/19/15, 11am (New York)
3. Chinese New Year Lantern Making Workshop – 2/19/15, 3:30pm (Poughkeepsie)

Connecticut:

1. Lunarfest 2015 – 2/21/15, 10am (New Haven)

Florida:

1. Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival 2015 – 2/22/15, 11am (Orlando)
http://www.centralfloridadragonparade.org/
2. Chinese New Year Festival – 2/16/15, 11am-6pm (Miami)
http://www.chinesenewyearfestivalmiami.org/
3. 2015 Asia Fest – 2/21/15, 10am-5pm (Naples)
https://asiafest2014.eventbrite.com/
4. Kid’s Club: Chinese New Year – 2/19/15, 11am-12pm (Jacksonville)
5. Chinese New Year Gala – 2/14/15, 2-6pm (Tampa)
6. Chinese New Year Festival – 2/21/15, 10am-4pm (Tampa)


Virginia:

1. 8th Annual Chinese New Year Festival – 2/14/15, 10am-6pm, Luther Jackson Middle School (Falls Church)
2. Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration – 2/15/15, 12-4pm (Tysons Corner)
3. Chinese New Year: Year of the Sheep – 2/22/15, 1 hour (Fairfax County)

Washington, DC:

1. Chinese New Year Family Festival – 2/14/15, 11:30am-3pm
2. ImaginAsia: Love in Every Language – 2/15/15, 12-4pm
3. Celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year at the Fair Oaks Mall – 2/21-2/22/15, 1-5pm

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nintendo DS, 3DS, Sony Playstation and Microsoft XBox Repairs

Go to Game Geeks for all of your video game system (including Nintendo, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft XBox) and PC repairs, you will be amazed at the prices and customer service they offer.

Christmas break for the boys was moments away from commencing and there was excitement in the air.  Both our boys were ready for some hardcore video game play and excited to see the new games Santa had in store for them.  Saturday morning came and it was a battle royal of video game play when suddenly time stood still and I heard a banshee cry, "DAD!!!!!"  Do you have a video game system with the red ring of death, a broken controller or other problem?  You are going to want to continue reading.

Disclaimer:  This is an unpaid posting.  All opinions are my own.  We received no monetary or service compensation for this review.  I truly had an amazing experience and believe in paying it forward.  Thank you Game Geeks....You have a new Loyal Customer! 


Alma was working this beautiful Saturday morning when the cry rang out so I had to go it alone.  I responded to our youngest who came before me, looking at me like his favorite stuffed penguin had ripped.  With his Nintendo 3DS XL in hand, he just stared at me like, aren't you going to fix it?  I asked him what the problem was as I couldn't see any blood, bruises or otherwise.  He exclaimed, "My DS broke!!!"  I took it out of his hands and opened it up and sure enough, there was a large crack in the upper right hand corner crossing the hinge area.  Although cracked, it wasn't broken.  I turned and told him it was OK and I would research if there was anything I could do to fix it.  Not a day went by and the corner had completely broken off so you could see the IC board.  I explained to him the importance of taking care of his things but couldn't really blame him because the device was two years old.  My warranty request to Nintendo was met with, "this device is out of warranty and standard repair costs start at $120.00 plus parts."  It simply wasn't worth repairing when I could buy a brand new one for $180-190.


Knowing there were plenty of places open to repair cell phones, I started searching for a video game repair shop.  I ran across Game Geeks in Garden Grove, CA.  I called them and told them the problem.  They said the issue sounded like a common problem that was notorious on the Nintendo DS and recommended I bring it in.  They were extremely busy over the holidays and so we decided to wait a few weeks to drop off our system.

The technician on site was extremely courteous, friendly and presented me with a quote of $47 for parts and labor.  Since I was a first time customer, he wanted to help me so I would tell everyone I knew about their services.  He asked me when I wanted the device back and I told him I could wait for it.  He didn't have the parts and needed to order them from his other store in Santa Ana so needed a day to complete the repair.  The next morning, I called him and he told me there was more to the issue than he thought.  He needed until 1 PM and told me he wouldn't charge me anything additional to show excellent customer service.  The boys and I arrived to the store and he kindly showed us a few concerns that we needed to pay attention to for the future.  It appeared that my sons juice box got a little to close to his DS and although the liquid didn't reach the motherboard and battery, he wanted to show us how close we came to having to replace the device.  It was excellent customer service.

Although situations vary from device to device, Game Geeks in Garden Grove is the place to go for all of your PC and video game console repairs.  Additionally, you will find a large selection of new and used video games for PC, Nintendo, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft XBox including several generations past.  While in the store, I was able to show the boys what my old Nintendo Game Boy and Nintendo Entertainment System looked like and show them some of the games I enjoyed playing as a kid.  Quotes for repairs will vary from situation to situation and our repair will not resemble yours.  

If you are in need of repair support for your PC, Laptop or Video Game Console, we recommend going to Game Geeks in Garden Grove.  Game Geeks is conveniently located off the 22 Fwy at 12893 Harbor Blvd Ste # 3 Garden Grove CA 92840, Cross Streets are Garden Grove Blvd and Harbor Blvd.  There is also a location in Santa Ana, maps shown below.  Call them ahead of time at 714-539-0888 and they can provide you some additional repair insight before you take the trip.  If you are a lover of used and vintage video games and systems, don't forget to stop by Game Geeks. Buy, Sell, Trade and Repair all in one convenient and friendly store.



Written by guest blogger and co-owner of fieldtripmom.com
Tim Bosek


Valentine's Day Kids gift idea for the classroom.

Valentine's Day is a great way to inspire friendship, compassion and creative moments. All you need is a few things to get you started. Find out how you can help your child inspired to be more social at school. Coming soon is to the blog, "How to make fun Valentine's Day gift bag without breaking the bank."


Coming soon.... no sugar just lots of fun and creative ways to make Valentine's Day special for kids.


I am so excited about our latest craft that I wanted you to take a sneak peek. There is more to come in the next few days, so stay tune. This Valentine's Day will be so much fun!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Knott's Berry Farm - Seven (7) treasures.

Knott's Berry Farm has (7) treasures in plain sight that everyone will enjoy.  The first is the Mystery Lodge waterfall statue.  The second is the Native American Rock carving at Mystery Lodge. The third is Montezoom's Revenge statue and Roller Coaster. The fourth are the lucky waterfalls located throughout the park. Fifth is the Mineral and Fossil store offering Geodes near the front entrance. Sixth includes the delicious fresh Berry Cotton Candy. Disclaimer: Sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are all my own.
indianwaterfall photo Knottsberryfarm_zps51f1ecf4.jpg
The other day, my family and I visited the park as part of a fundraising media event. Our first stop was to the Mystery Lodge. We all enjoy the storytelling along with the special effects. As we walked up to the show, we looked up and noticed a Native American man carved on a rock behind the waterfall.  We were all shocked that after years of visiting Knotts, none of us had ever noticed the man hidden under the waterfall. This sparked an interest in looking for more interesting hidden treasures in plain sight.
 photo mysterylodgeknotts_zpse8bc29a5.jpg
We quickly became aware of the secret treasures that Knotts has to offer.  Next, we found the largest carved rock statue of a Native American.  This was located right outside the entrance of the Mystery Lodge.  I pointed to the statue and asked my family if they had ever seen the statue before?  They all said, "No?"  Right then and there we all realized that there must be more treasures tucked away in plain sight at Knott's Berry Farm.
Mayanrollercoaster photo KNOTTSBERRYFARM2_zpsf24382a5.jpg
 
The third find is located at Montezooma's Revenge roller coaster area. A Mayan inspired rock carving was found inside a planter.  All of us were surprised, we had never noticed it before even though we had all walked past it on our way to the Hat Dance.  This day turned into an adventure as though it was our first time visiting Knott's.  We all rode the roller coaster to see if we could spot other treasures.
fountainknotts photo waterfountainknotts_zps10b69ec2.jpg
Feeling lucky, we headed over to the coffee shop near the largest fountain in the park. This is when we found the fourth treasure.  We named this water fountain "LUCKY FALLS".  Everyone in our family felt lucky, so we made a wish and threw in a penny.  Okay, we made more than one wish and threw in dimes and nickels too just in case.  Let me tell you, it is lucky because my wish came true right away.
geodesmineralsknotts photo knottsgeodesminerals_zps0c608fbc.jpg
The fifth treasure that Knott's offers is the Mineral & Fossils Store.  Buying a Geode is all about getting lucky.  It is so exciting to choose your favorite rock and then having it cut open to see what gem awaits you.  Try it on your next visit and experience it first hand.  They offer Geodes for under $20.00 dollars for those of us who are on a budget.
Cottoncandyknotts photo cottoncandyknotts_zps57819740.jpg


The sixth treasure that we found at the park was their Boysenberry Cotton Candy!  Fresh, delicious sugary fun food for everyone in the family.  All foodies must try this treat because it gives you the giggles.  Maybe it's just me because it makes me feel like I am 4 years old again.  
Photo Credit: Jaime Jenkins

Finally, the seventh treasure is "YOU"!  You can make a difference for our greatest treasures, those who are supported in their fight with breast cancer by the Susan G. Komen foundation.  Now through March 27th, go online and purchase your Knotts Berry Farm admission tickets and a portion of the proceeds will benefit this incredible organization.  Additionally, with a simple purchase of "PINK" merchandise, a portion of the sales of these items will also benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation of Orange County.  This is an important fundraising event because my family and I have personal experience with loosing a loved one to cancer.  Unfortunately, a friend of mine is battling with this illness.  Forgive me for putting this at the end of my post however I am having the hardest time accepting that my friend has cancer.  Please help me support Susan G. Komen and together we can be a treasure to someone else.
 Jaime Jenkins is a fellow blogger who is fighting the fight of her life. Find out her story and how she is doing today: http://polkadotsonparade.blogspot.com/2015/01/knotts-for-cure-2015-amazing-experience.html
 
Knott's for the cure link:
 
Disclaimer: Did not receive compensation only media access. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. #Knottspink Hashtag

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Marvel's Avengers Age of Ultron. Movie Preview

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015.
Just click here to see a clip:
 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Knott's Berry Farm supports our community.

Please help us raise awareness and funds for the prevention and treatment assistance of breast cancer. Right now until March 27th,  2015 Knott's is selling merchandise and special tickets to help raise funds for the Susan G. Komen foundation. To find out more information,  please go to the Knott's Berry Farm website:

http://knotts.accessomobile.com/Landing/Index/97?url=%252fMenu%252fList%252f204409

Friday, January 2, 2015

Oatmeal Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies for the New Year

Oatmeal Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies are a great way to start off the New Year.  2015 has entered our lives with a bang and what better way to celebrate a New Year with a sweet, delicious treat that is a wild spin to your grandmothers old fashion oatmeal raisin cookies.  This special cookie is moist like a brownie while sweet and rich like mother load fudge cake.  Made with love, we are sharing with all of our readers.  From the Field Trip Mom family, we wish you a Very Happy New Year.
 

1/2 Cup or 1 Stick of Softened Butter
1/2 Cup or 4 Oz of Applesauce
2 Cups firmly packed Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Cups Old Fashion Rolled Oats
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Trader Joe's Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Small Bag of Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
 

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, applesauce, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat on low with an electric mixer until creamed, scraping the bowl.  Add oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips and mix completely on low.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an un-greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake in the oven at 350 Degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Let stand on the baking sheet for 1 minute then transfer to a cooling rack.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you are inspired to do more, love with all your being and laugh until your belly hurts. This year I will be sending out weekly inspirational posts to help you get inspired.

Let's begin with forgiveness:

"To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness." - Robert Muller

I want to encourage you to forgive those who have hurt you in the past. You'll find peace in letting go of the past.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Salt Dough Ornament Craft

Salt Dough Ornament Crafts will make family night loads of fun.  Christmas is a very fun holiday for dusting off your rolling pin and the cookie cutters.  This season, my family and I made salt dough ornaments for our school classroom, family and friends.  If you are like me, then you will enjoy giving away these beautiful handmade gifts.  I feel that handmade gifts are made with love and help inspire others to love a little more.

We had lots of fun making this craft on a Saturday afternoon.  I have to say that I baked the ornaments ahead of time to make it more enjoyable.  I suggest you do the same to enjoy the painting part.  By the way, save this recipe for Valentine's day because you can use it to make heart shaped gifts for the ones you love.  Enjoy the holidays and share your love with these cute handmade ornaments.

saltdough photo saltdoughornament_zps2b11b0b4.jpg

Ingredients


4 cups of flour
1 cup of Salt
1 ½ cups of warm water

Additional things you will need


Rolling pin
1 cup of flour for coating rolling pin
Cookie cutters
Cookie sheets
Paint, glitter, beads, decorations
Glue, clear polyurethane to preserve (optional)
Parchment paper
Unsharpened pencil to make a hole for hanging
Timer

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  1. Combine the flour, salt and water; mix well and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is workable.  Flour your rolling pin and surface where you will be rolling the dough.
  2. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets before placing the salt dough ornaments.
  3. Roll the dough on a flat  floured surface about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Using the cookie cutters, cut the dough into desired shapes.
  5. Make sure to use a pencil to make holes for hanging.

handmade ornaments photo xmasornament_zpsbbed0f98.jpg
Bake at 300 degrees F or 150 degrees C for approximately 30 minutes. Make sure you check 5 minutes before the timer goes off to make sure they don’t burn.  (You are looking for the dough to get hard. Some recipes call for 45 minutes to an hour. I only used 30 minutes and it was still okay.  If the dough rises and puffs up, then just push down with a flat hand and oven mitt to make the cookie flat again.
Allow for the ornaments to cool off before painting. (I waited until the next day to paint and decorate.)  Use colorful paints and glitter to make it a fun event.  Allow for the paint to dry and then preserve with clear polyurethane.
*It's optional to use the clear polyurethane.

I have received many handmade ornaments over the years that I still hang every year on our Christmas tree.  Some of these ornaments go back as far as 20 years ago from gift exchanges that I attended.  When I hang them on the tree, they bring back fond memories of fun moments I shared with my friends and family.  I hope this inspires you to make special memories with your family and friends.  Keep the love and compassion alive.  Happy Holidays to all of you from family and I.

Merry Christmas!!!
 

Handball and Dodgeball Birthday Party!

Handball and Dodgeball birthday party and one tournament for my December baby. Sports theme birthday party for boys is always a fun adventure to put on. Read the story of how it all came together through the eyes of Field Trip Dad.
birthdaydecoration photo handballparty_zps3016be38.jpg
It happened.  Our children are growing up fast.  Alma and I are running out of themes for birthday parties.  It is becoming difficult to plan a unique and creative event.  Over the last year or so, our kids have spiked and bounced their way through 3 rubber handballs, better known as a dodge ball.  Our boys play handball daily with their friends at school and it seems that the sport that my wife and I grew up with has re-emerged and morphed into an exciting game with plenty of new spins and a variety of added rules.  When we asked our son what kind of party he wanted, he quickly said, "Let's have a handball party."



In my search for information to create the over the top Bosek Family birthday party as we strive to do for our kids, I found it difficult to find anything on the sport.  There were no party wares, there were no rules, there were no other parties I could tailor to make my own.  So off we set on this field trip adventure to create the first known (or at least to our knowledge) "HANDBALL TOURNAMENT BIRTHDAY PARTY!"
 

handball birthday party photo handballparty_zps049c0cbe.jpg
 To get started, Alma and I had to do some research.  How old did I get to not know what a toilet bowl, a slicey, a pop and a bullet were!  These are the playground names of various ball strikes to win the game.  We took the kids over to a park near us with an outdoor racquetball court so we could play and learn the new terms.  There were many rules that the boys wanted to impose during the game, so Alma and I had to help set them.  Once we set the rules, the game ran smooth with no arguing and everyone knew when it was their turn to play and when they were out.  I quickly went home and wrote down the rules of play in terms the kids could understand.  I have added a link to this in a downloadable document that you can use for your next handball tournament.
 
HANDBALL RULES

1. NO TOILET BOWLS, SLICEYS, ETC. ON SERVE. THE BALL MUST BE HIT TO THE WALL WITH A SINGLE BOUNCE BY EACH PLAYER AND FOR EVERY TURN. NO RAINBOWS ALLOWED.

2. NEW INCOMING PLAYER SERVES.

3. 2NDBOUNCE, OUT OF BOUNDS, BULLETS, POPPIES, MISSING THE BALL, STOPPING THE BALL, HITTING THE BALL TWICE IN ONE TURN OR NOT RETURNING THE BALL TO THE WALL WITH ONLY A SINGLE BOUNCE ARE AN AUTOMATIC OUT.

4. A PLAYER MUST CALL INTERFERENCE BEFORE 2ND BOUNCE WHICH CAUSES AN AUTOMATIC REPLAY. LAST PLAYER TO HIT THE BALL SERVES.

5. CROSS COUNTRIES AND BABIES ARE GOOD PLAYS EXCEPT ON SERVE.

6. UNTIED SHOES ARE AN OUT AT SERVE, REPLAY IF IT HAPPENS DURING PLAY.

7. ALL ARGUMENTS AND CUTTING LINE ARE A DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE TOURNAMENT.

8. FIRST PLAYER TO REACH 10 WINS, WINS THE TROPHY.
9. REFEREE HAS FINAL WORD ON EVERYTHING.
We decided to give the winners of the tournament a trophy.  Since we didn't know how long the game would take, we bought three hand balls just in case the games went quick.  We booked a spot at our local park where we knew there was a handball / racquetball court and set up our party nearby to ensure all of the parents could watch the game.  I was the referee and decided to get the games underway.  We had 13 kids, all of varying ages. At the last minute, I shifted the plan of having all 13 kids play together in one tournament with first person to 10 wins being the winner of the trophy.  There were 1st graders and 6th graders playing and I thought it would not be fair to the little ones having to compete with an 11 year old.  With three trophies, I lined everyone up in height order from shortest to tallest and then split them into 3 groups so that there were only 4 or 5 kids in each group.  Then, each group moved to a separate line around the court and I asked the youngest group to play first.  We all read the rules together and I answered all of their questions before starting.  Each group played through all of the players in their group and as a person won, I would give them a check mark next to their name for each win.  Once each group played through all of their group members, I stopped play and invited the 2nd group to start play.  We rotated through all of the players in group 2 and I then asked group 3 to play, rotating through the players in each group and rotating group to group to prevent anyone from getting bored. 
 
The kids had a blast, there were cheers from the big kids for their favorite 1st grade player and cheers all around for great plays and individual rallies!  There was no arguing as they all knew the referee had the final ruling.  Soon, we had our first winner in one of the groups and I presented them with their trophy.  After all of the winners were determined, I learned that age had nothing to do with ability as many of the younger players were just as talented as some of the older kids.  It came down to the players ability, experience and passion of the game.  To download a copy of the trophy instructions, click on the attached link..
 
 
Overall, the Handball themed birthday party was a huge success.  We ordered fried chicken from our local Albertsons grocery store deli, served fruit, potato and pasta salad and some amazing handball themed cupcakes.  We had budgeted for $400 for this party and came in significantly under budget, around $280.  Are you looking for help with your next birthday party?  Try this unique and fun idea or email us for additional help.  To download a copy of the Handball Rules and Score Keeper click on the link below.