Memorial Weekend - Spontaneous

Happy Memorial Weekend. We hope you are enjoying your weekend. We are staying close to home and being spontaneous. There is so much to do in Orange County that our family can pick up and go at anytime. In a few minutes we can go to the OC great park for some outdoor fun or to the Ocean Institute for some science. Either way we will not make plans we will just go where ever the car takes us. So look for the pictures and the story to follow in the days to come.  But if you are interested in getting out and  making your own adventure then here is what I suggest:

Orange County Events:
You can look at the OC register:
Free or discounted places OC Deals

Inland Empire Events:
You can look at IEShineOn Blog

San Diego Events:
You can look at Random San Diego

Have fun planning your field trip and share your ideas with me.  Love hearing about field trips and family fun.  Take care!


Monday - A new start to a new life.

"Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness."
Marianne Williamson

A new start to a new life....For a while now my family and I have been going through some hard times. Some I have shared briefly, others I have kept inside. But today I resolve to let go of the pain and misery  it has caused me. I forgive those that have hurt me and my family. In return I ask for forgiveness for not being compassionate or understanding to the situation. You see I have been keeping score and I have been tracking all the wrong things quietly. I have been wronged many times, but I have said nothing to make it better. This time was different. Every time I felt offended I spoke up and explained my hurt feelings. Each time sounding like a crazy person. How can I reason with someone who does not like me? In the end I still care about those who have hurt me, because God chose them for me. God put me on this Earth for a reason. This reason is to be compassionate and understanding (working on it).  Today is the beginning of a new day, a new week and a new beginning.

Here is a few tips from Tiny Buddha

When you’re hurting some people might tell you to “Suck it up and deal” as if that’s a valid solution. They may say “It’s all in your head” and assume that reasons away the pain. But none of that will help you heal and find happiness from moment to moment.
Like everyone, I’ve been hurt–in both profound and trivial ways. I’ve dealt with it using the following ideas:
1. Define your pain.
It’s not always easy to identify and understand what’s hurting you. Some people even stay in abusive relationships because it’s safer than acknowledging their many layers of pain: the low self esteem that convinces them they deserve abuse; the shame over being treated with such cruelty; the feeling of desperation that convinces them there’s no real way out.
The first step toward finding happiness after having been hurt is to understand why you were hurt; to get to the root of everything that makes the memories hard.
2. Express that pain.
There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to communicate how you feel to the person who hurt you; and if you can, there’s no guarantee they’ll respond how you want them to. Say what you need to say anyway. Write in your journal. Write a letter and burn it. Get it all out.
This will help you understand why you’re hurting–and what you’ll do in the future to avoid similar pain–so you can feel empowered instead of victimized. Research has actually proven that people who focus on lessons learned while journaling find the experience more helpful than people who don’t (focus on lessons).
3. Try to stay in the present.
Reliving the past can be addictive. It gives you the opportunity to do it again and respond differently. To fight back instead of submitting; to speak your mind instead of silencing yourself. It also allows you to possibly understand better. What happened? Where did you go wrong? What should you have done?
In other words, it allows you to torture yourself. Regardless of what you should have done, you can’t do it now. If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, you may need professional help to avoid revisiting the incident. If you don’t, you need sustained effort. Fight the urge to relive the pain. You can’t go back and find hap
6. Stop playing the blame/victim game.
Maybe you were a victim. Maybe someone did horrible things to you, or you fell into an unfortunate set of circumstances through no fault of your own. It still doesn’t serve you to sit around feeling bad for yourself, blaming other people. In fact, it only holds you back. You can’t feel good if you use this moment to feel bad about another person’s actions.
The only way to experience happiness is to take responsibility for creating it, whether other people made it easy for you or not. You’re not responsible for what happened to you in the past but you’re responsible for your attitude now. Why let someone who hurt you in the past have power over your present?
7. Don’t let the pain become your identity.
If everything you do, and all your relationships center around something that hurt you, it will be harder to move on. You may even come to appreciate what that identity gives you: attention, the illusion of understanding, or the warmth of compassion, for example.
You have to consider the possibility there’s a greater sense of happiness in completely releasing your story. That you’d feel better than you can even imagine if you’d stop letting your pain define you. You can have a sad story in your past without building your present around it.

8. Reconnect with who you were before the pain.
It’s not easy to release a pain identity, particularly if you’ve carried it around for a long time. It may help to remember who you were before that experience–or to consider who you might have become if it hadn’t happened. You can still be that person. That person who doesn’t feel bitter or angry so frequently.
If you want to feel and be peaceful and happy, start by identifying what that looks like. What you think about, what you feel, what you do, how you interact with people. Odds are this process will remind you both how you want to be and how you don’t want to be.
9. Focus on things that bring you joy in the moment.
You don’t have to focus on completely letting go of your pain forever–you just have to make room for joy right now. Start simple. What’s something you can enjoy in this moment, regardless of what pain you’ve experienced? Would sitting in the sun bring you joy? Would calling your sister bring you joy?
Don’t think about the totality of the rest of your days. That’s a massive burden to carry–haven’t you hurt enough? Just focus on now, and allow yourself a little peace. You’ll be surprised how easily “nows” can add up when you focus on them as they come.

10. Share that joy with other people.
People often isolate themselves when they’re hurting because it feels safer than showing people their vulnerability. What they fail to realize is they don’t have to feel vulnerable all the time. You can choose certain people for support, and then allow yourself time with others without involving your painful story.
You can share a meal, a movie, a moment and give yourself a break from your anger or sadness. You don’t have to carry it through every moment of your day. Don’t worry–if you feel you need to remember it, you’ll still be able to recall it later. But as you allow yourself pockets of peace, shared with people you love, you may find you need that story a lot less.
Everyone deserves to feel happy. Everyone deserves a little peace. One more thing we all have in common: we can only provide those things for ourselves.  You can only experience that now.
4. Stop telling the story.
It may seem like another way to understand what happened; or maybe it feels helpful to hear someone say you didn’t do anything wrong and you don’t deserve to hurt. In all reality this just keeps you stuck right where you are: living your life around a memory and giving it power to control you.
No amount of reassurance will change what happened. You can’t find happiness by holding onto a painful story, trying to place in new, brighter light. You can only find happiness when you let it go, and make room for something better. You don’t need another person’s permission to let go and feel OK.
5. Forgive yourself.
Maybe you didn’t do anything wrong, but you blame yourself. Or maybe you played a role in creating your current situation. Regardless of what happened, you need to realize what you did is not who you are. And even if you feel immense regret, you deserve to start today without carrying that weight. You deserve a break.
You can either punish yourself and submit to misery, or forgive yourself and create the possibility of happiness. It comes down to whether you decide to dwell or move on. Which do you choose: anger with yourself and prolonged pain, or forgiveness and the potential for peace?

The 10 tips were taken from Tiny Buddha. Please visit their site if you found this helpful.


Zevia - Keeping a promise

A few months ago I met the great people of Zevia. An all natural soda with zero calories. I received a few samples to take home and share with my family. I have to say that I enjoyed the lemon lime over ice.  When I met them they took my information and promised to send my school a few samples for us to try. I thought how great it would be to share with my son's school this great product.  A few days ago I received an email confirming that they would deliver cases to our Elementary school. I was in shock that they remembered after all these months and that they followed through. 

Zevia kept their promise and delivered 14 cases of all natural soda to our campus. The school secretary was in shocked too. (Well not too much. Since the week before we received 800 copies of  Sunset California guide.)  The schools PTA was very thankful for the donation. Right now the soda is behind lock and key. No one has access to these yummy drinks. They will be unveiled at the Silent Auction and Teacher Appreciation day.

Thank you Zevia for keeping your promise and donating drinks to our public elementary school. I can't wait to see the students, teachers, parents and others enjoying  Zevia.

You can find Zevia at a store near you:

Whole Foods


Hidden Valley Nature Center - Riverside County

Hidden Valley Nature Center is located near Norco, CA. This nature center is one of the best kept secrets in Southern California. It is next to the Santa Ana river, off the 15 freeway bordering Norco, Ca. Here you will learn about California wildlife and it is wild life habitat. The center has many nature classes you can attend. The center is open to the public on Saturday from 10AM until 4PM. Groups need to make an appointment Monday through Friday. You will find many live animals, such as rabbits, snakes, turtles, birds and toads. The instructors are very knowledge and ready to teach you about California wildlife.

Join Louis Robidoux Nature Center Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 10 am to 3:30 pm for their Annual Pecan Festival. Make this event a wonderful fall family tradition and gather pecans in the Pecan Grove. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and enjoy Folkloric dancers, Live Country Music, Line Dancing, Exhibits, Hay rides, Games, Kid crafts and more! Admission is $4.00 per adult and $3.00 per child (cash only) and includes a bag to gather pecans, no outside containers allowed. For more information, please call (951) 683-4880.

Check their calendar of events and sign-up to take a class. During the summer they offer summer camps and other fun activities. There is horseback riding in the local area, so you may see riders on the trails.

This is what they have to say about their amazing nature center:
"Hidden Valley Wildlife Area is located along the Santa Ana River, east of Norco on Arlington Avenue, one mile west of La Sierra Avenue. It is set on 1500 scenic acres and has access to 25 miles of hiking and equestrian trails. Visitors can get away from the noise and lights of the city and enjoy the beautiful views of the river or the bluff overlooking the wetland pond. In the winter, Canada geese, northern shovelers, white-crowned sparrows and yellow-rumped warblers make their home here."

Hidden Valley Nature CenterHidden Valley Nature Center
11401 Arlington Avenue

Riverside, CA 92505

(951) 785-7452

Parking is $5.00 make sure you bring cash.
Experience Archeology at our fun filled workshop! Kids will learn about Archeology while enjoying and undertaking a series of interactive activities. Join us Saturday, December 5, 2015, as we open the doors to the world of rock art, glass, bones, and pottery! Kids will dig, explore and find hidden treasures in the kid-friendly archeological pits, use tools to retrieve buried items and log their finds, create a Huntsman necklace, measure skulls and bones and much more! As night approaches, the excitement will continue with a campfire, kids will enjoy roasting marshmallows and making hot chocolate!
Pre-registration is required, space is limited so sign up early. Registration fees are $45 and include all activities and a snack; workshop will be held rain or shine. For more information, please call (951) 683-4880, or review the registration form below.

Wordless Wednesday


Mother's Day Field Trip Ideas

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms of the World! Feliz dia de las Madres! This weekend enjoy a picnic with your mom, shopping at the local mall or just a nature walk at the local botanical garden. Keep reading to find out more…..
快樂的母親日 !heureuse fête des mères! 행복한 어머니의   hnh phúc các bà m ngày  ΓΙΟΡΤΗ ΤΗΣ ΜΗΤΕΡΑΣ   شاد روز    مادر 

"Love is doing small things with great love." Mother Teresa

Orange County 
Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the local beach. Make sandwiches, fresh fruit and some cold drinks to take with you to Laguna, Newport or Malibu beach. Want to make things easier than buy take out at the local market. Now a days grocery stores offer sushi, salads, fried chicken and other great food options. What you will need to set-up a picnic is a blanket, folding chairs, an umbrella and sunscreen. Bring beach toys for the kids to play with and self entertain while the adults sit and enjoy the day. Clean up is easy and there was no mess at home or long lines to stand in makes for a great day for your mom. 
Don't make mom cook or clean this weekend. Take her to the park and cook on the barbecue.  Everything you need is at the grocery store or Costco. Make things easier by buying already prepared food and just laying a blanket to sit and picnic. Avoid the mess and buy take out. Try to bring snack foods like grapes, oranges and bananas for the kids. Parks now have rides and activities for special days like Mother's Day. Just look on their calendar to see what is happening this weekend and show mom a great time. 

Take mom to a local Museum- My favorite is the Los Angeles Natural History Museums. They have a Gem area with some of the most gorgeous diamonds, Sapphires and Ruby's in the world. Mom can touch and see first hand some of the most beautiful gems in the world. A girl can make a wish on these diamonds and sapphires.  Outside they have a large rose garden with a water fountain. I love taking pictures there and the kids are welcomed. There is an admission fee, please call or visit their website for update information. 
blue moon diamond
12 carat Blue Moon Diamond Photo credit: NHM 
Botanical gardens – Botanical gardens are great for adults and kids because kids can run around and discover new plants. Moms and dads can sit and watch the kids have fun while getting their energy out. Bring a picnic lunch and get fresh air. Everyone can de-compress and connect with nature. Here is a list of local botanical gardens. Please visit their websites for admission fees and hours of operation as they are subject to change. 
Peonies Roses Trader Joes 
Make a memory- Try making an appointment to the Color Me Mine or a place that offers make your own Art work. It is something you will love for years to come. I made one last year and I love it.

Local Church events -Some churches have special events for Mother's Day. Call around and find out what your local church offers for Sunday services. They sometimes offer childcare. 

Buy Costco gift cards to get a great deal. Costco offers discounts on spa gift cards and selected restaurants.

Fun shopping ideas:

Wholesale flowers: http://www.ocwholesaleflowers.com/

Free events in your area: https://www.facebook.com/FieldtripmomFTM/

Disclosure: Not a sponsored post. Our goal is to get you out enjoying your family and friends. All thoughts and opinions are all my own.