Monday, September 26, 2016

Apple picking in San Diego County.

Apple Season in Southern California is from August to September. Our family has been apple picking for almost (6) years.  We usually drive to Oak Glen, California to pick our apples.  This year, we changed our family field trip and visited Volcan Valley Apple Farm in the city of Julian.  The drive seemed shorter and we tried something new as a family.  It was a success with everyone in our family.  Let me share with you our family experience and our family photos. 
We arrived in the afternoon, just in time to pick the best apples of the season. We were a little surprised that the apples were small.  We asked the farmer about the apples and he told us that it was because of the drought.  As you know, California agriculture is going through hard times as a result of the water shortage.  It was very evident on the drive to the orchard.  The hills are brown and the roads have little or no plants at all.  The farmer made lots of sense in explaining the crop size.  The size of the apples did not matter to us because they still tasted delicious.  We still found joy in picking and eating fresh apples.  
The farm was full of families picking apples and enjoying the day.  It was great to see so many people with their families field tripping.  After apple picking we headed to Julian Apple Pie Shop down the road.  Picking apple was hard work and all of us were super hungry. Carmel apple pie was with a small cup of coffee was the cure for this problem. Mmmmmmmmmm. The kids had milk instead of the coffee with their slice of pie.  Our pie was gone before we arrived home.  The pies are small...(wink, wink).  OK, really our slices were quite generous.

The family field trip adventure was full of delicious treats and new finds.  As we exited out of town, we noticed a sign for Camel Farm offering an open house next month.  Camel farm, huh?  We are coming back to Julian to see the camels.  Can't say no to an open house with camels. 
Now, let's get back to the family field trip.  The pick was very fruitful and tasty.  We highly recommend that you plan a trip to the apple orchards next year because this year the season is just about over in Julian.  We called around to find out who was still open for picking in the Julian area and everyone that we contacted was closed.  The Chamber of Commerce for Julian responded by saying that one or two orchards are still open by appointment only.  They did not offer any contact information or links to apple farms.  It is safe to say that the best pick for apples in Julian will be next August or September.  Fresh fruit doesn't keep a long schedule.  Keep that in mind when planning a trip to the local farms.

Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Green 2 Go restaurant offers delicious healthy options.

What you put in your body is important because it impacts your health. Talk to a fitness expert or nutritionist and they will tell you that busy people are eating completely wrong because fast food restaurants are not offering good quality food options.  Fast food restaurants that offer organic and hormone free options are hard to find.  Recently, we had a chance to review a delicious organic fast food restaurant to help those with dietary restrictions and help you get healthier.  We were excited to taste hormone free, grass feed beef tacos. Green 2 Go has a large selection of dishes that are organic, gluten free and healthy. The menu included a kids plate of grass feed beef sliders with sliced apples. Our entire family enjoyed tasting several organic dishes. Keep reading to find out more about our experience. 

Why should you add this restaurant to places you must try: Food can heal you or make you sick. Take for example my first encounter with food attacking the human body.
The first time I realized that food allergies were dangerous, I was at work. It was a regular day and the boss had brought in bagels and cream cheese for our staff. Having food in the department was not uncommon. It seemed like someone was always bringing in something or we were celebrating a birthday, holiday or a just because day. Our team was very close and enjoying food was our common interest. On one particular day, I was in really good spirits. I had a bagel in one hand and coffee in another and it was a great way to start the day. Around 9 AM, one of my co-workers popped her head over our shared cubicle wall. I heard a faint voice ask, “Alma, Do I look okay?” I was engaged in my tasks so it took me a bit of time to look-up. I looked up and what I saw made me feel fear immediately. I saw my beautiful friend look like an ogre like Shrek. Her face was three times as big as her normal self. Her lips were red and swollen as though she had been in a fight that she lost and one eye was half swollen shut. In that moment, she must have seen the fear in my face and she said, “It’s okay, I will just go to the bathroom.” I don’t think I said anything to her. I immediately ran to get help and call 911. Sometime during the whole ordeal, I heard her say to another staff member that she had only had a taste of the cream cheese. It turns out, she was highly allergic to dairy products and this was why she was now on her way to the hospital. I was young and had never experienced anyone with food allergies before. This whole experience has stayed with me since it occurred. As a result, I do not share my food with others and we are very cautious by sticking to fruits and vegetables and Popsicles when bringing treats to our kid’s school.

Understanding food allergies and restrictive diets is a necessary part of today’s busy lives.  As we learn more about health issues and how they relate to diet, it has become evident that food is the key to health.  The eight most common allergenic foods include eggs, fish, dairy, nuts from trees, ground nuts like peanuts, shellfish, soy and wheat.  People who cannot digest gluten can have severe gastrointestinal issues.  Image your body is a state-of-the-art machine that only functions using clean meats, fruits and vegetables as fuel, however, many of us are feeding it over processed, chemically enriched and genetically modified fuels.   If your body cannot digest what you feed it then it will begin to fight itself from the inside out.  This manifests itself in forms of a rash, gastrointestinal issues, swollen body parts, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and so on.  It’s like filling your car’s diesel engine with unleaded gasoline…it breaks down the internal components causing knocking, stalling and major engine damage.
Clean eating is a great way to get your health back.  With busy lives, eating healthy requires pre-planning and being organized on a daily basis.  It can be overwhelming to some people who are not use to clean eating.  There are several diet plans that promise healthy results such as Paleo, Vegan, Raw, No Carb, and Gluten Free.  However, how do you stay on track with so many choices?  Unfortunately, for so many today, these options are mandatory to remain healthy.  Some might say, “I can’t afford to eat healthy!”  For those I say, clean, nutritious and healthy eating may cost more up front, but when your body receives food rich in nutrients, free of free radicals, chemicals and over processing, you eat less balancing the perception of “Too Expensive!”  The health benefits of eating clean has been proven to reduce medical bills, insurance costs and over the long term, increases life expectancy.  Try comparing the cost of clean eating without the need for doctors and hospitals versus less expensive fast food meals and its associated cost of triple bypass heart surgery or monthly insulin and other prescription medication costs.   

Green 2 Go is a restaurant that offers clean eating and healthy choices for kids and adults.  The restaurant works with health professionals, fitness trainers and nutritionists to help people recover from disease.  Green 2 Go was developed by two mothers who have had to battle with food allergies and heart disease within their own families.  The owners understand first hand why eating organic, gluten free, heart and diabetic healthy is necessary.  To them, it is necessary just like breathing air.
Operating for several years, Green 2 Go opened its restaurant, bar and bakery in Brea, CA with others, who have dietary restrictions, in mind. Their menu includes farm fresh ingredients straight to your table with classic plates such as burgers, tacos, salads, Paninis,  sandwiches and rice bowls. They offer delicious bakery items for the morning grind or to top off your dinner date. Catering is available and they offer special event and gourmet food truck experiences. The Field Trip Mom family received the opportunity to enjoy a few of the Green 2 Go specialties so we could share our experience with our readers. WARNING: Addictive behaviors can present themselves after indulging in this restaurant style, clean eating experience in the fastest of food delivery. Don’t wait in line for fast food with MSG, GMOs and processed foods, get clean food fast at Green 2 Go.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
For this culinary experience, we ordered the kids Beef Sliders with organic apple slices, the soup of the day which was Turkey Chili, Leaf Lettuce Tri-Tip Tacos, and a House Turkey Burger on Squaw Bun, custom dressed with caramelized onions, house guacamole, sauteed mushrooms and feta cheese. We completed our meal with a fresh baked berry cobbler and a fair trade chocolate flour less cake.  Both gluten free and delicious.  Our kids enjoyed fresh cane sugar sodas from a local vendor and my husband and I enjoyed a seasonal ginger peach iced tea.

Green 2 Go works with local vendors to offer quality fresh food. They offer local beers that are exclusive to the restaurant. This includes a Scottish Ale brewed in whiskey barrels, a Red, a Blonde and a Pilsner.  The breweries are hand picked by the owners of "Green 2 Go", by personally visiting the brew masters. They only purchase one keg and never repeat a beer to keep a local, one of a kind feel

The restaurant works with the community to bring good food, fun and celebration. They do this through hosting special events posted to their website and Facebook page. Tickets are sold for an evening of dining and tasting favorite beers. October 21st is there next event. Only $60.00 will get you in to taste local organic foods paired with locally brewed beers. Here are the details: 

October  21, 2016

Mother Earth beer dinner menu
Turkey chili
Beer- ME Blond

Brussels sprout hot salad
Beer- hop diggity IPA

Bbq sandwich
Beer- Hocho hefe

Berry cobbler
Beer- Blend beer Cali Creamin and sin tax call it Cali sin

Be the first 20 people to order online and you will be entered to win a dinner for 2.
Disclaimer: We were hosted to review a few items on the menu. No payment was received for this review. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rafflecopter giveaway, "The I heart naptime cookbook."

A few weeks ago, I received "The I Heart Naptime" cookbook, for review.  It is filled with bright, colorful pictures that invite you to make a meal.  The book offers over 200 pages of inspiring and helpful meal ideas.  Our family put it to the test the other day with great results.  Keep reading to find out how this cookbook inspired a great family moment. 

There is truth in the saying, "We eat with our eyes first."  When I shared "The I Heart Naptime" cookbook with the kids, their first reaction was go to the most delicious picture in the book.  What they found was this delicious hamburger recipe that made their little tummies growl as soon as they saw it.  The directions looked easy and we were all inspire to make our dinner look just like the picture in the cookbook.  (See Below - Right side shows our homemade hamburger.)

The adventure began at the local grocery store while shopping for hamburger ingredients.  First, we headed to the meat isle.  Standing there, the kids decided turkey meat was better for the burger recipe instead of the recommended beef.  The discussion over the type of meat to use for the burgers was funny because I would point to the recipe and remind them it called for beef.  After several minutes of going back and forth, we agreed to substitute turkey for the beef.

Then, we headed toward the bread isle to pick-up hamburger buns.  Picking-up the sesame seed bun package would present another decision crossroad for my young chefs.  Sesame seed bun or NO sesame seeds for our burger?  The answer would be, "No".  Plain hamburger buns were immediately put in our shopping cart.  The final stop for this shopping trip would be the produce isle. Here we would all grab one ingredient that would help make the hamburger tasty.  By the time we got to the check out line all of us were starving and eager to get home to cook our burgers.
Thank goodness we all agreed to work together to quickly put dinner on the table.  We spent more time shopping for the ingredients than actually cooking dinner.  The experience taught us that dinner is easier with all hands on deck. 

This cookbook was easy to explore for both myself and my young kids. The recipes do not require special ingredients or special machines. Overall, this cookbook screams happy, colorful and very uplifting. 

Disclosure: Received book for review only. All thoughts and ideas are all my own. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Graber Olive canning family field trip.

Graber Olives will soon arrive to their Ontario location for canning and sale. Mid-October is the best time to see the canning process and family field trips to the canning facility.  We are working on bring you more details. Stay tune for best times and dates to visit Graber house located in Ontario with friends and family. 

Come back soon.....

Happiness is an important part of education.

Education is an important part of life. Kids learn from their surroundings and the people that care for them. Happiness is something that can be cultivated and taught through love and compassion. Remember that happiness is more important than things you can buy. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Salvation Mountain off Highway 111

Salvation Mountain - Leonard Knight created this art piece as a tribute to God and his gift to the world with the powerful message: "God Is Love."  The message is clear throughout the man made mountain area that God is the way. The heart below reads, "Say, Jesus I am a sinner, please come upon my body and into my heart." This art piece is bright and colorful. 
palm springs
Salvation Mountain is located in Imperial County, in the city of Niland. The drive is very interesting as you will see the Salton Sea and Date farms on your road trip. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Drivers beware kids are watching you text and drive.

My kids love to play video games as they sit in the back of our car while we run errands.   One day, I decided that the kids needed to leave their video games at home to be more present.  I wanted them to enjoy the view outside.  I asked them to look for plants, birds and just everyday life.   All of this in the hopes to get them engaged and thinking creatively.  What I would find out is that my kids are super funny and my parenting skills would be tested.
do not text

As soon as the observation began, the kids noticed that drivers seemed to forget that other people could see inside their cars. The first thing they noticed was a driver picking her nose and eating her boogers. “Mom! Mom! Mom! That driver just ate her boogers!”, said my son.  I responded by saying, “Aaugh, WHAT? Please tell me that you are trying to be funny!”  My son replied, “No mom, it really happened!”  I stated, “Okay, let’s look away and not make a big deal.”  I wanted to laugh but I couldn’t. With a straight face I tried to change the subject by asking them to look for specific street signs.
Of course, now they were very interested in looking out the windows with eager excitement to find more wrong doings.  On our trip, the kids saw people texting and driving, people falling asleep at the wheel, feet on the dashboard, and fellow drivers weaving in and out of traffic as though we were on a racetrack. We were even witness to an Angry Bird moment, yes, the flipping of the bird!  The worst was a pedestrian stumbling across a crosswalk with his eyes rolling back, most likely from taking drugs.  Each time they saw something out of the ordinary, there were more questions.  Some of their questions were hard to answer.  My response was usually, “Adults are responsible for their own actions.”  Another answer I gave was, “People make mistakes all the time.” When I couldn't answer their question, like the guy on drugs, I said, “Let’s pray for him.”

That day, we had many open conversations about adults making bad decisions and being unsafe on the road. One of the biggest questions they had was regarding people driving and texting. It was clear to the kids, those drivers who texted, drove erratically and were being very unsafe.  I explained to them that sometimes people break the law because they think nothing bad will happen and no one is watching. 

It goes without saying, I am now happy to let the kids use their video games on our car trips.  It’s less stressful for me while I avoid drivers who text.  By the way, texting and driving looks just like a drunk driver behind the wheel.  Please stay safe and do not text while you drive.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Aquarium of the Pacific Whale watching!

Whale watching with Aquarium of the Pacific staff and Harbor Breeze Cruises is always an adventure that you won't soon forget. We have been whale watching for almost (3) three years now. Every year we secretly wish the whales come closer to the boat. This year our wish came true. 
We weren’t prepared for the encounter. As we sat on left side of the boat just enjoying the ocean breeze, when we saw the blow hole and spray come up alongside the boat what seemed only feet away. Of course, I screamed the kids just laughed. Okay, the whale was way to close for comfort. 
Long Beach
The other passengers did not see this happen because they were all at the front end of the boat looking for whales. The truth is the boat was surrounded by them on the day we traveled. We saw whales near the Palos Verdes Peninsula as a baby whale and her mother made their presence known on another side of the boat.  There were several moments we did not know which whale to follow with our eyes. The kids and I had a great time enjoying the search for the giant of the ocean.  It was an experience we won’t soon forget. 
field trip

Whale watching has been part of our yearly family field trip since 2013 and let me tell you that it is a must do. The kids now look forward to doing some whale spotting while discussing what the ocean means to us. It’s a fun family time just hanging in the middle of the ocean for a few hours. The memories we have shared and created through this field trip is out of this world. 
harbor breeze whale

We are so thankful for the educational opportunities the Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises has opened to us. Their programs and events have been instrumental in educating us on ocean life and loving the ocean.
visit california
The Aquarium is offering Job Shadow classes this summer and fall. This includes interacting with animals and the staff who cares for them. It is a unique learning opportunity for young adults. Classes start August 6th, 2016 at 9am.  To attend the class advance purchase is required.  Please go to their website for more details.

Disclaimer: Sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Folk Art and Mexican food at Tio's Tacos in Riverside.

Tio's Tacos in Riverside, CA has amazing folk art made by the owner of the restaurant out of recycled products and is a must visit for its visual and culinary experiences. This amazing restaurant is like nothing we have ever seen.

Tios Tacos

Tio's Tacos is small family owned restaurant that is unique in many ways. The food is good and the fruit drinks are delicious.

riverside tios tacos

Unique Folk Art surrounds the entire restaurant  including the walls, walking paths, parking lot and dining areas. There is a small chapel inside the courtyard that is made out of recycled material as well. The restaurant is located in the heart of Riverside, next door to the police department and a bus depot.

folk art

Enjoy a delicious weekend breakfast or enjoy a cerveza frio y 3 tacos con todo (for you gringos...a cold beer and 3 tacos with everything) for lunch.  Nightly events get happy hour a buzz where good music, great friends and amazing food all join together for an evening of splender.

Try specialities like ceviche, cocktail de cameron, fish tacos, carnitas, carnesada as well as fresh, hand made fruit juices and margaritas.  Everything is delicious on their menu...Meet us there this weekend, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, King of the Missions.

Travel to San Diego and experience a piece of history. California is home to 21 Spanish Missions that were instrumental in changing history. One of them is Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, which is considered the king mission. Between 1769 and 1833, Spain established Catholic outposts known as Missions to introduce Christianity to the Native Americans. Today, we can visit this historical place and take a peek into the past.

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is located 4050 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, CA 92057.

Catholic San Luis Rey

What you should know before you visit.

History: Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in Oceanside (San Diego) -SECULARIZATION IN THEORY AND PRACTICE. The first Spanish Franciscans to enter Upper California had intended to turn the local hunter-gatherer people into farmers, ranchers, craftsmen, and faithful practicing Catholic Christians. From the Franciscan point of view, mission lands and other secular properties were being held in trust until such time as the Indians became “people of reason” and full citizens of the Spanish Empire. The promise that mission lands would be returned to the Indians was codified by decree of the Spanish Cortes in 1813. That promise was also implied in a number of laws passed by the Mexican government in the 1820s and 1830s. 
early california
Walking through this holy site you can feel the past wanting to be uncovered. The cemetery is located next door to the church. As you walk inside the cemetery, you can see the names of the past residents who once cared for the mission. The dates on some of the headstones date back to 1830. Among the buried are many Native Americans who lived inside the mission. It is a beautiful place, yet you could feel the sadness. Downhill from the Mission, you will find the Lavanderia. Native Americans would use this station for laundry washing, and watering the fields and gardens. They hosted a water system that sustained the entire mission.
Mission San Luis
Within the Lavanderia, there remains many reminders of the early California's. We found fruit trees, cactus and other plants that might have been used as a food source for the Native Americans and the Catholic priests / Franciscan. 
Mission San Diego
The Native American tribes that lived in the area were the Shoshone/ Luiseño & Diegueño Mission Indians / Native Americans. In the museum, you will find many artifacts that remain as reminders of the work these Native Americans were tasked to do. Building, cooking and maintaining the grounds was the responsibility of the Native Americans. They were also instrumental in keep outsiders from invading the area. 
Mission San Luis Rey

The mission serves as great reminder of our California history. Today, you can visit the mission and even go on retreat. The mission hosts many events including a Pow Wow. It is a great place to spend a Saturday wondering the grounds and remembering the people that made history. If you visit remember to pack a picnic lunch and bring cash for the museum. Enjoy your adventure and travel often. 

Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Last self-guided tour begins at 4:30 p.m. 

Adults $7
Seniors (65+) $5
Youth (ages 6-18) $3
Active Military and dependents, free of charge
Ages 5 & under, free of charge 
Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. All thoughts and ideas are all my own.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Anaheim Packing District near Disneyland.

Anaheim Packing District offers food experiences like no other in Orange County. Here, you can find Grill Cheese sandwiches, Comfort Foods, Vietnamese Summer Rolls and Mexican street tacos. It reminded us of vintage Los Angeles because of the boutique style eateries. Walking through the  Anaheim Packing District, we could see large seating areas filled with people eating and socializing. Locals come to find bites that remind them of home cooking. Others visit to try fancy drinks and gelato.  The Snow Monster offers teas and lemonades with cotton candy. Pop Bar offers gelato on a stick which reminds me of Mexican Paletas covered in chocolate and other toppings. These two places are very popular with the young at heart. 

Located: 440 South Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805.

We suggest that you walk around and take a peek before choosing a place to eat. Try several places, we suggest that you order family style and share. We did on our visit and it proved to be a very good experience. There were no left overs and the entire family had a unique foodie adventure.

Anaheim eateries
The OC Register says:"The Anaheim Packing District is an open, airy culinary marketplace with soaring ceilings and suspended air plants. The renovated citrus processing plant is 42,000-square-feet. The building was restored using $9 million in redevelopment funds."

Restaurants at the Packing House and their website to help plan your visit. 
near Disneyland
History: In 1915, there were over 20,000 acres of orange groves in Orange County. By 1936, Orange County supplied approximately one-six of the nation's Oranges - Valencia crop. Orange County once hosted over five million citrus trees that included Lemons, grapefruit and limes. When you visit Anaheim Packing District look for the railroad tracks that carried citrus gold. Have fun in your travels!!!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Cutting the Cord from Cable TV

This past Christmas, I decided there was plenty of options for television and started looking into cutting our reliance on cable TV.  You know, that $150 -$200 dollar expense every month that is similar to your daily fix, also known as a large Mocha Latte for $4.95 / day.
Photo credit: Roku
Our family is locked into the Cox Communications family because of our location.  Unfortunately, there are no other competitors to provide even an ounce of savings to subscribers locally.  My guess is you are a family member to Time Warner, U-Verse, Cox, Dish or Direct TV or if outside of California, you have one service provider for your city.  All of these companies look forward to creating a bundle package including high speed Internet and Phone services in order to increase revenue.  These companies coax you in by offering you a deeply discounted monthly rate for bundling these services for 1 year however lock you in for a 2 year commitment.  On the 13th month of your contract however, the monthly service fee doubles. As a result of many years of paying ridiculous cable bills, I decided to start looking around for options.

In the past, options have been limited however shifts in programming are helping consumers more and more.  We invested in two Roku boxes for both of our TVs then purchased monthly subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu.  We went out to purchase an indoor amplified TV antenna however we are too far away from the towers to easily obtain local HD programming over the air waves.  Instead of installing an outdoor antenna, we continued paying our cable company for services.  Soon, we found ourselves reaching for the Roku remote more and more accessing last weeks TV episodes on Hulu by ABC, NBC, and CBS and getting extremely invested in Netflix Original Programming like Longmire, Bloodline and more.  Don't get me wrong, we still used our cable box for our favorites like Family Feud and reruns of Mike and Molly on channel 9.  And who could miss, Judge Judy and The Peoples Court!  Not us!!! is an exciting day for the tech geek I am.  Alma just looks at me with a "What is your problem!" kind of stare, but I have learn to move past it continuing with my excited "boy with a new toy" demeanor.  Sony PlayStation has release in the greater Los Angeles area, check your area for availability, PlayStation Vue.  Vue is Live TV and host to previously run episodes of all of your favorite cable TV channels / shows for a very affordable price, Pricing is as follows, 60 channels for $40, 75 channels for $45 and 100 channels for $55.  For sometime now, the only way your could access VUE was through your Sony PlayStation system.  However, the price is not the only exciting piece of this story....NOW everyone can access PlayStation VUE through their Roku and Android applications.  Additional devices include Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, IPad, and IPhone.  A High Speed Internet connection is required and you should check with your service provider on download speeds to ensure you have enough bandwidth to be able to access TV on all of your devices.  Take into account your children may be on the internet doing homework or playing video games while your wife watches The Shahs of Sunset in the family room and you watch The Olympic Games in Rio.

I can tell you this, we just started our 7 day free trial of PlayStation Vue and it is great.  You can watch live TV or scroll through your favorite programs for an episode you missed last week.  Do you have a new show that you haven't seen but your co-workers are talking about?  Start at season one and catch up with your friends using Play Station Vue.  There are add on options including Showtime, Epix and other add ons available for an additional charge. 

Guess where I will be this weekend?  "HELLO COX! HERE ARE YOUR CABLE BOXES!  I WOULD LIKE TO...."  If you have some favorite shows, enjoy them at your convenience and when your busy schedule allows.  Cut the cable cord and save yourself money with the help of PlayStation Vue!  Start your free trial today at PlayStation Vue.   

Written by guest blogger and partner
Tim Bosek

Disclaimer: No cable boxes were hurt in the making of this post. Personal blog all opinions are all my own. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Local farms that offer pick your own produce.

Our kids are fruit and veggie experts! Okay, maybe not experts but they do love eating fruits and vegetables that they harvest themselves.  This is why we enjoy shopping for produce at local farms when ever possible. Southern California offers many opportunities for the public to harvest and buy their own fruit and vegetables on local farms. On a recent visit to a local farm, we found beautiful onions growing near a berry bush and a 80 year old fig tree. 
When we ran through the farm fields, we noticed how the dirt, the fruits and vegetables gave off a flavorful aroma.  It appears that fresh produce does have a fragrance.  It smells like fresh cut grass and fresh rain.  Dependent on the farm, you can smell the strawberries growing from blocks away.  One of my kids said that it smelled like earth on a good day. 
South Coast Farm in San Juan Capistrano grows berries, tomatoes, peaches, fennel, onions, basil and figs.  Their main crop is strawberries where you can harvest yourself at $2.99 per pound.  As we explored their place, we noticed the beauty of growing crops.  Each plant was more beautiful than the next. The basil plants spoke to us in a very aromatic way.  Our noses led us to where they resided.  Both kids were surprised at how much they liked basil nearly immediately based on the aroma.  We then ran into Fennel, which is a bush like root vegetable.  It was the first time we had the pleasure of seeing it grow from under the ground. 
After we finished picking our strawberries, we visited the store to pay for our harvest.  It was filled with on-site grown fruits and veggies for sale.  The farm offered other organic products such as ginger, radishes, cilantro, citrus and squash.  Produce is picked for sale the same day, which means you get the freshest pick of the crop that day. 
We want to invite you to visit your local farm and support them. The prices sometimes are not the best deal in town however you must remember the following.  The product is always premium quality, freshly picked and vine ripened versus picked two weeks ahead of schedule and ripened in cardboard crates while being imported from Ecuador.  You can find a local farm by visiting the pick your own website at:

Southern California offers several farms that you will enjoy visiting. Here is list of the farms that we have visited.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hollywood Bowl Summer Concert for ages 3-11

This summer make room for a very fun and educational concert great for kids ages 3-11 years old. The music concert is part of a 4 week program that allows kids and parents to engage in music from different parts of the world. Starting July 11th, 2016, The Hollywood Bowl will hold an art workshop and music concert.
Kids are invited to dance, sing and just have fun on the carpet. Performances are 40 minutes long and so is the craft. Select the 10am Music Performance with 11:15am Art Workshop or 11:15am Music Performance with 10am Art Workshop. Arriving early is a must because all performances and craft times fill to maximum capacity. Bring a picnic lunch or snack as well as water for the two hour experience.

The Hollywood Bowl has a wonderful line-up for Summer Sounds concert. They include: bluegrass, jazz, Taiko Drumming and Mariachi music. Read the details:

Week 1: Jul 11-15

Summer Sounds opens with a look at the roots of Americana. Drawing from folk and bluegrass traditions, this infectious music will have you on your feet dancing in no time.

Week 2: Jul 18-22
Airy melodies drifting from a Paris cafe - touched with flavors of jazz, cabaret and retro swing - will transport you to the magic of the City of Light.

Week 3: Jul 25-29
Built on the pulsating beats of taiko drumming, the traditional music and instruments of Japan are blended with styles from the West in ways that will let your imagination soar.

Week 4: Aug 1-5
Come along and experience traditional mariachi music with a contemporary pop twist. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

Purchase tickets online through the Hollywood Bowl.
summer sounds
Photo Credit: Hollywood Bowl

Save 20% when you buy all four programs!

$16 per person (age 2 and up) / $13 per person when purchasing all four programs.

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Disclaimer: NOT a sponsored post. Dates and times taken from Hollywood Bowl website. Please Hollywood Bowl for ticket purchases.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cabrillo National Monument

One of the most visited national parks is located right here in San Diego. The Cabrillo National Monument receives over 215,000 visitors every year from people that come from all over the world to experience a piece of history as well as to take in beautiful scenic views. While we were there, we met people from France and Germany that had travelled to experience this one of a kind American National Park.

Meet the Rocky Intertidal Zone - You will have to arrive early to see the tide pools located at the Cabrillo National Monument California. Parking is very limited and there is walking involved to reach this beautiful beach. Cabrillo National Monument says, "The word “intertidal” refers to the unique ecosystem that lies between the high and low tides along the shore. Tide pools are depressions where water is trapped during low tides, forming small pools of water that provide habitat for numerous plants, invertebrates, and fish. On the day we visited, we found lots of dead shell fish right on the shore. It was a shocking sight to see the beach area filled with dead sea life. Oddly enough the dead shell fish did not have a foul odor. Our family explored the area briefly and then we headed up to the Cabrillo Statue. Beware: This is Federal property which is heavily monitored by video camera by the US Navy.  Do NOT take any plants or marine animals from this area.  Sever penalties and/or jail time can and will be imposed for failing to follow these rules.
Early California
Travel back in time to learn why Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo is an important person in history. The Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Statue is located next to the visitor center. Stop by the visitor center first and get a glimpse into the life of a "Conquistador". Here you will see a great view of  the city and the Pacific Ocean. Standing there, just image how it must have looked when the conquistador's first arrived in the year 1542. The visitor center can guide you on visiting the Point Loma Lighthouse and give a list of events for the day.

Cabrillo National Monument 

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, California, 92016
Park Hours: Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 

There is an entrance fee of $10.00 per passenger vehicle and for commercial tours the fees range between $30-$100.00. Please see their website for more information on tours and large groups.
San Diego Travel
photo credit: Cabrillo National Monument