Restaurants opened on Thanksgiving Day - Dine in or take-out.

Thanksgiving Day dinner plans for those who are traveling or without plans.  A list of restaurant chains that have confirmed they are opened for the holiday.  Go Banking Rates surveyed the national chains and came up with a list of (18) places to eat.  Some restaurants offer take-out or buffet style eating.  I suggest that you call as soon as possible to confirm their hours of operation, make reservations or place phone orders.  It is a busy day for the restaurants that are open, please take that into consideration when dining.
  1. Applebee’s - Call to confirm that your location is open.  Hours of operation may be different their normal schedule.
  2. Bob Evans Farms – Thanksgiving Day they will open from 8 am until 8pm. Please call to confirm the hours.
  3. Bonanza Steakhouses – Buffet and open on Thanksgiving Day.  Call to get hours of operation.
  4. Boston Market – Open and serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on November 26, 2015.
  5. Buca di Beppo – Average cost is $57.00 for a dinner for 3 people. Take out order for a Thanksgiving family meal for 10 or more is approximately $179.99 (call as soon as possible) for orders to go.
  6. Charlie Brown’s Fresh Grill – All you can eat turkey dinner for approximately $19.99.
  7. Chompie’s – Take-out family orders on Thanksgiving Day from 6am until 3pm.
  8. Claim Jumper – Call your local restaurant to get hours and menu information. Open from 11am until 6pm.
  9. Country Cookin – Family Thanksgiving Day meal from $10.99 for adults and $4.49 for kids open from 11am until 4pm on November 26th, 2015.
  10. Cracker Barrel – Open from 6am until 10pm with a special Thanksgiving meal, “Turkey and Dressing,” meal for approximately $12.00.
  11. Denny’s – They will be open 24 hours on Thanksgiving Day.
  12. Golden Corral - Thanksgiving buffet approximate cost $14.00 for Adults the price is for seniors as well.  Hours of operation and prices vary by location.  
  13. IHOP International House of Pancakes - Will be open all day.  Please call your local restaurant for more information.
  14. Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-b-que - Open from 11am until 8pm, please call to confirm availability.
  15. Maggiano’s Little Italy – Open on Thanksgiving Day. Carry-out meal packages are available.
  16. Marie Callender’s  - Call to make a reservation. 
  17. Mimi’s CafĂ© – Dine in and take out are available.
  18. Ruth Chris Steak House – They open their doors at 12 noon.  Average price per plate is $40.00 or $13.00 for kids.
  19. Bonus - Japanese  restaurant http://www.benihana.com/menu/

Bonus: If you are unable to find a place to eat on Thanksgiving day, then check out the local super market. The deli usually offers many dinner options for take-out.  Take your meal back to the hotel and enjoy! 

We wish you a happy and safe holiday season! 



Educational programs that inspire a child's creativity.

For the last 5 weeks, I have been working with several vendors who offer after-school programs.  My role is to coordinate classes for our public school and make sure every student is accounted for by attending their enrolled class.  I have been volunteering in these after-school classes for a little over 3 years. Each year, it amazes me how the educational opportunities get better and better for our students.  This year, we had the opportunity to offer some incredible educational opportunities to our elementary students including Fashion Camp, Pre-Lego Engineering, STEM Child Creativity Lab and Basketball.  Take a look inside the classrooms with me.
Fashion Camp was new to the program this year.  The class is held once a week over the course of (6) weeks.  The vendor brings all of the materials for the week’s lesson plan.  This year, they taught basic sewing to our students who range from 3rd to 5th grade.  Each girl is taught how to design, cut, sew and finish an item.  For this course, they are making the cutest over the shoulder handbags. The instructor includes some fun, project runway-style challenges and lessons in fashion illustration.

Pre Lego Engineering is an engaging creative learning and play time for kids.  In class, students learn building techniques for creating cars, planes and more then race against their friends.  General instructions are given to the students on how to build a machine but it's up to the student to create their own unique build.  The process teaches them how to correctly identify the parts of the machine, such as a wheel and axel, and how to securely place the pieces. 
STEM Child Creativity Lab is a unique way of applying play and engineering.  The class promotes very out of the box thinking and creativity.  The instructor provides each student a bag filled with cleaned recycled items pulled from the trash where they are shown how to recycle, repurpose and reuse.  The students are then asked to design to a theme using the pieces in front of him/her.  Each student takes his/her design to the hot glue station where they must communicate their vision to an adult volunteer who assists by only following the designer’s instructions.  During the process, the kids are encouraged to think like engineers, builders, designers and storytellers.  After their creations are complete, they are invited to take the center stage to present the story behind their creation to their classmates. 


Top 10 Steps Toward Avoiding the Flu

'Tis the season for your kids to be exposed to every known germ that walks into their school.  If you work in a busy office, there is always that die hard co-worker that just won't go home until they cough on every paper that is on your desk.  You know, it really isn't any ones fault.  The Flu just happens.  Regardless of placing your kids in a bubble or yelling at your teammate to go home, everyone is going to have exposure to the flu or other germ this season.


We wanted to share with our readers the Top 10 Steps toward avoiding the flu.  We hope this helps you and your family stay happy and healthy this winter.
  1. Wash your hands frequently.  (Wash them before and after using the facilities, before eating and after you have touched counters, tables and chairs)
  2. Use a tissue or paper towel to open door handles or use your foot to open/close doors.
  3. Invest in Lysol Wipes and Spray.  (Wipe down counters and door handles in your home daily and don't forget your computer keyboard / mouse and cell phone)
  4. Do not share forks, spoons, straws or glassware after anyone including your children.
  5. Keep your hands / fingers from touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth.
  6. Limit exposure to persons you know are sick or limit yourself from others if you are.
  7. Limit handshaking.  Excuse yourself in business engagements with a fist bump or simply say, "I am sorry, I have a touch of something and don't want to pass it to you!"
  8. Remind others to cover their mouth / nose with a tissue, hands or sleeve when they sneeze or cough.
  9. Use alcohol based hand sanitizers when washing your hands is inconvenient.
  10. Go get a "FREE" Flu Shot
That's right...the Orange County Health Care Agency is offering free flu shots every Thursday (closed Thanksgiving Day).  They are conveniently located at 1725 West 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA.   For more information, see the press release attached.

We are wishing everyone a very happy and health holiday season.  Let's all take care of one another this winter by following a few simple steps toward staying healthy.


Alvin and the Chipmunks - The Musical and movie

Did you know that Alvin and the Chipmunks have been making people sing, smile and laugh since 1958.  Here is a brief history about Alvin, Theodore and Simon Sevilla.  These lovable creatures have been on TV starting in 1972.  Creator, Ross Bagdasrian, died in 1972 but that did not stop the success of these Chipmunks.  For over 50 years, kids and adults have been going to movie theatres to see their adventures.  The upcoming movie has the three brothers going on an adventure called, "The Road Chip."  Opening December 18th, the fun begins for Alvin and the Chipmunk fans.

Be part of the fun and attend the musical before the movie!  Buy tickets and mark your calendars, Alvin and the Chipmunks are coming to town.  This limited engagement is the music concert that is sure to inspire you to dance and sing along with Alvin, Theodore and Simon.  Check for local performances at Alvin and the Chipmunk Live. 

Alvin and The Chipmunks


Alvin and the Chipmunks The Road Chip

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


Moms Meet Wow Summit in San Diego presented by KIWI Magazine

Moms Meet hosted the very inspiring WOW Summit this October 2015 in San Diego, CA.  They are a group of parents who want to learn, share, empower and connect with other parents that are raising healthy families through the education of green living.  The WOW Summit hosted keynote speakers, parents and vendors with a common goal; to eat healthier and live better. The experience received at the WOW summit included an appearance by Chef Ann Cooper.  She inspired all to consider selecting better lunch options for their family.  During the Summit, Smart Flour baked delicious pizza, vendors provided information and free samples while parents shared their own stories of healthy living.  It was an amazing two days in beautiful San Diego and an event I won't soon forget.

Chef Ann Cooper, the keynote speaker, presented some incredible information about food in our public schools. Statistics are now proving that our kids are not expected to live as long lives as their parents and not even as long as their grandparents based on the foods they consume.  The food that is being distributed in our public schools are filled with things young kids should not be eating.  Due to finances, public schools are forced to take shortcuts when it comes to feeding our kids.  These things include dyes, fillers and chemicals that food manufactures are mixing into the food served by our public schools. The good news is, according to Chef Ann, change is coming however at a very slow rate.  What we can do as parents?  Pack lunches for our children with more fruits and vegetables, include food with less sugar to help students learn and grow strong.  Chef Ann asked all of us to get involved and write to our school districts and local government requesting healthier food choices.  Doing nothing about this food crisis won't help our kids in public school get healthier.

Moms Meet Wow Summit

Chef Ann Cooper is also known as the Renegade Lunch lady and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.  She has over 30 years experience as a chef, including over 15 years experience working with school food programs. She has written two books on the subject, Bitter Harvest and Lunch Lessons. She is considered a world advocate on safe sustainable food for children.


Another incredible demonstration was at the Smart Flour booth.  They were baking and serving pizza to let everyone taste a little bite of their product.  The company exclaims their products are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber as well as being naturally gluten-free.  Smart Flour products can be found at your local Whole Foods and Sprouts.  I tasted the pizza and I thought it was delicious.  To learn more about their products, visit them at smartflourfoods.com.

Many parents visited the WOW Summit and were busy tasting products from companies such as In the RAW Sugar, Enjoy Life, Sun Sweet, Nordic Naturals, Manitoba Harvest, Pearls Olives to go as well as many more vendors. In The RAW Sugar had an incredible Made in America product story. You have to see their video:

To see a complete list of vendors who made this event fun and delicious , please go to http://www.greenmomsmeet.com/summit2015-sponsors#sunsweet


Presenting this amazing event was Kiwi Magazine.  You will want to connect with KIWI Magazine to find great ideas that will help you eat better and live longer.  KIWI has it's finger on the pulse of family and healthy choices.  Their magazine is colorful, fun and a great read for everyone in your family.  You will want to pick up a subscription of this magazine to learn more about the cutting edge advances in organic, local, and health food choices for your kids and your entire family.

San Diego

San Diego was beautiful and very welcoming.  As I said good-bye to the city, I promised myself to eat better and take care of myself with more love.  I felt a new energy that came from connecting with the vendors, parents and bloggers attending this event.  The WOW Summit was a great experience.  I recommend your family attend one of these events, taking the time to get inspired about healthier food choices for you and your family. 

Wishing you the best toward a healthy and an inspiring life. 


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


Rube Goldberg Science Project.

It's Sunday!  Isn't everyone working on their Rube Goldberg Science Project for 6th grade like we are?  Well, not really me, I'm just in charge of drinks and snacks.  My husband and son are working in the garage on one of the pieces for the science project.  Although they haven't put all of the components together, they are finalizing details on the biggest piece and end result of the project.  Over the next few weeks, I will be breaking down this science project for you in more detail.

Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist best known for his zany invention cartoons. He was born in San Francisco on the 4th of July, 1883 – and graduated from U. Cal Berkeley with a degree in engineering. His first job at the San Francisco Chronicle led to early success, but it wasn’t until he moved to NYC and began working for Hearst publications that he became a household name. Rube Goldberg is the only person ever to be listed in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as an adjective. It’s estimated that he did a staggering 50,000 cartoons in his lifetime.

Volcano Experiment

This portion of the project is a volcano as shown in the pictures.  The materials needed include a plastic plate, polystyrene expanding foam, plastic bottle and paint in order to create this part of the science project.  My sixth grader is learning through hands-on experience using household items and science.  The best part is my younger son is learning as well because he is an observer of how his older brother executes the project by himself.  We are all at home learning through this homework assignment.  His goal will strategically build, place and execute the eruption of his volcano using nothing more than 6 simple tools:
  • Incline Plane
  • Wedge
  • Wheel & Axle
  • Screw
  • Lever
  • Pulley

Mad-Science Moment:

By the way, our home looks like a tornado hit it twice and then backed up over it because we pulled every single supply box out of the closet. We have not had time to put them back and the clean up will be left up to me now. My roll in helping with this science project is snacks and clean-up. I am okay with my support role because that is what a mother's love does.

Project overview...