La Brea Tar Pits & Museum.

Los Angeles is home to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.  It is one of the most visited places in Southern California.  On a recent visit, we explored the museum and watched a 3D movie.  Our entire family found the experience unique and valuable.  Continue reading to find out what we found fun about the visit.
The La Brea Tar Pits is located 5801 Wilshire Blvd. in the heart of Los Angeles, California.  It is neighbors to LACMA, Craft & Folk Museum and The Petersen Automobile Museum.  The La Brea Tar Pits is one of the most interesting places that you will experience because of the subject matter.  They host ice age fossils that tell the story of Los Angeles as it took place hundreds of millions of years ago.  Buried in the tar, scientists continue to find a wide variety of animals that roamed the area of Los Angeles.  Coyotes to Sabre Tooth Tigers and even beetles or as we call them, Stink Bugs, are still being discovered today during excavations.  The museum hosts a live laboratory where visitors can view from behind glass windows the process of fossil identification know as the "Fish Bowl".  Some of this process has to be completed under a microscope so scientists can place broken fossils together. The  use of their microscope and a fine tipped paint brush, the scientists move fossil pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle in their identification process. It is very engaging to watch the scientist work their magic inside the "Fish Bowl". 
This museum is extremely import because it gives us a window into the history of Southern California and it occupants. Some of those occupants are still living in Southern California like the coyotes. During your visit you will be able to see evidence that the coyotes have survived thousands of years. It is an incredible moment when you see the evidence of life thousand years ago. The museum is not very large in size, but it's artifacts, fossils and information is rich with knowledge. I hope that  you visit the museum with your family and friends. 
For history fans: Important dates and people that you want to know regarding the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum:
(information taken from http://www.tarpits.org/la-brea-tar-pits)

  • 1875 W. Denton first describes fossils from Rancho La Brea 
  • 1901 W. W. Orcutt and F. Anderson excavate at Rancho La Brea 
  • 1905 J. C. Merriam from the University of California at Berkeley visits the locality and excavates 
  • 1907 J. Z. Gilbert LA High School brings students to excavate 
  • 1910 J. Z. Gilbert opened ‘Academy’ pit with funding from Southern Californian Academy of Sciences 
  • 1913 Hancock owner of the ranch gives exclusive rights to Los Angeles County to dig for two years 
  • 1913-1915 are the best documented excavations by the museum and yields 750,000 specimens in 96 sites 
  • 1924 Hancock Park designated as a protected park and donated to Los Angeles County 
  • 1929-1931 Bliss and others occasionally excavate for the museum 
  • 1945 core samples taken around the park to look for more sites 
  • 1963 Rancho La Brea is designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service 
  • 1969 Pit 91 is reopened in order to collect intense samples due to original collecting biases (left at 10 ft. in 1915) 
  • 1969-2007 Pit 91 intensely sampled 
  • 1975 The George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries opens in 1977 
  • 1985 Salvage of Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Japanese Pavilion site and the Hancock Family dump site 
  • 2006 16 fossil deposits discovered during the construction of LACMA’s underground parking structure 
  • 2008 Project 23 salvage begins to excavate 23 tree boxes and prepare a near-complete mammoth 
  • 2015 The Page Museum is renamed the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum to highlight the tar pits
Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. 

7 Things to do in Irvine, California with your family.

Irvine, California is filled with fun and adventure. In a single day, you can go from visiting a Chocolate Factory to walking through a Great Park. Field Trips and educational places are abundant in Southern California. The City of Irvine in the county of Orange is filled with great shops and eateries. As a local, I would like to share with you a few of my favorite spots that I have visited with my family. 
Update -  Sad to report that they closed the store. :(
Chocxo - Award winning chocolate made here in Irvine, Ca. The product is Gluten Free and Kosher certified. The only Chocolate factory that offers field trips and tours in Orange County. You will have to contact them in advance to book a field trip or tour. It is a unique experience that your taste buds will love.

9461 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618. 

Irvine Spectrum Center

The Irvine Spectrum is a great outdoor shopping mall with a whole lot more for families.  Start out your weekend indulging in cocktails and a delicious meal with your friends or family.  Enjoy amazing cuisine prepared by talented chefs at places like Kabuki, Tender Greens, Cucina or Paul Martin's American Grill.  Afterward, take in a newly released blockbuster at the Edwards IMAX 21 Theaters or grab a latte at Starbucks, Le Cafe de Parc or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.  Satuday morning can include an after breakfast stroll among the 164 stores located within Irvine Spectrum.  Enjoy great stores like Target, Barnes and Nobles and Nordstroms as well as others like H & M, Osh Kosh, Active, Adias and Verizon.  Enjoy an adults evening out at the Improv with your loved ones and end the evening with a Carmel Apple or delicious chocolate treat at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  There is something for every member of the family at the Irvine Spectrum.  Fun, Food, Family Fantastic, visit the Irvine Spectrum today.

Playground is located near the Carter's Baby store. They have a small water play area that get really busy. We recommend that you bring snacks, towels, change of clothes for the kids. 

670 Spectrum Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618

Orange County Great Park - This large open space is perfect for walking, riding a hot air balloon, enjoying a carousel ride or just visiting one of their many events. The park offers a vegetable garden for kids to explore and learn about growing a garden. The garden is cared by the Master Gardeners of Orange County. Visit their calendar of events to find the next adventure at the OC Great Park. 

C Street, Irvine, CA 92618

Pretend City - Here your child will learn through touching  and experiencing. This children's museum is one of a kind with many interact displays for kids of all ages. Imagination play is very big here and is encouraged. Parents love that kids play and learn at the same time. The museum hosts many fun events throughout the year to encourage the love of life learning. Make sure to check their calendar of events. 

The Irvine Museum - A small art museum that is located near the John Wayne Airport is a perfect place for Art fans. This museum offers educational tours with advance registration. Folks that work nearby will often take a moment to visit the museum during lunch hour to decompress from their busy schedule. Take moment from your busy schedule and visit them today. 

18881 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 100 Irvine Ca 92612

UCI Arboretum - Right off Campus Drive and Jamboree road you will find a tiny driveway that will lead into another world. This Arboretum is filled with plants native to California and wild trees from other parts of the world. Walking through this plant retreat you will find birds singing and butterflies touring right along with you. The Arboretum is small, but it still delivers a beautiful experience. 

Campus Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660

UCI Basketball / Sports

Take in an exciting basketball or baseball game at the University of California Irvine.  Adult ticket prices start a $11.00, children $8.00.  This exciting weekend sporting event gets your children exposed to college campus life including the local team rally excitement.  Studies have shown children exposed to repeated events through childhood tend to continue those tendencies through adulthood. Why not make this exposure a positive one on a college campus.

You can find more exciting places to visit in Orange County:




State of California has been ordered to turn over public school student information.

Public Notice: All California Public Schools have been order by the United States District Court to submit student records to a third party ( Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and Concerned Parents Associate a non-profit organization.). You can object to disclosing your child's information in writing only. Please continue reading to find out more about this deadline of April 1, 2016. Do not wait and send your form now, if do not wish to have your child's information released. 

MORGAN HILL CONCERNED : CASE NO. 2:211-CV-03471-KJM-AC PARENTS ASSOCIATION, an : unincorporated association, and : CONCERNED PARENTS : JUDGE: KIMBERLY J. MUELLER ASSOCIATION, an unincorporated : association,
"This is a message from the United States District Court in the case identified above. This notice may apply to you if you are: the parent or guardian of a child (including an infant) with disabilities; the parent or guardian of a student who is attending or attended a California school at any time since January 1, 2008; or a person over the age of eighteen who is attending or attended a California school at any time since January 1, 2008.""The Plaintiffs in this lawsuit, Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and Concerned Parents Association, are not-for-profit associations comprised of parents and guardians of children with disabilities. Plaintiffs allege that the Defendant, the California Department of Education (CDE), has violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), among other related laws, by failing to monitor, investigate, provide services to, and enforce the rights of children with disabilities consistent with its obligations under the law. The Defendant denies these allegations." 
If you object to the disclosure of your or your child’s protected personal information and records, you must notify the Court by April 1, 2016, in one of two ways. 

First, you may print out and complete the “Objection to Disclosure of Student Information and Records Case No. 2:11-CV-03471” form at the CDE’s website www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase, and mail your objection to the Court at the address below. 

Second, you may write a confidential letter to the Judge, including the name of the student on whose behalf you are writing, your name and relationship to the student, the student’s date of birth, county, school district, and school, and, if you wish, the basis of your objection. 2. If you write a letter, on the first page of your letter, write in large or underlined letters: “TO BE FILED UNDER SEAL” and “OBJECTION TO DISCLOSURE OF STUDENT INFORMATION AND RECORDS, CASE NO. 2:11-CV-03471.” 

3. Mail your letter or objection form to:

The Honorable Kimberly J. Mueller
C/O Clerk of the Court
U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
501 I Street
Room 4-200
Sacramento, CA 95814

If you are the parent or guardian, you must state in the objection the relationship that you have with the affected child or student. DO NOT CALL THE COURT. THE COURT WILL NOT ACCEPT PHONE CALLS ABOUT THIS MATTER. YOUR OBJECTIONS MUST BE SENT TO THE COURT IN WRITING. Failure either to submit a Objection Form or letter to the Court by April 1, 2016 will be deemed a waiver of your right to object to the disclosure of your or your child’s protected personal information and records as described above. All objections will be maintained by the Court under seal, which means they will not be available to the public. 



Disclosure: This is a public notice only. We are not giving any legal advice. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. 


Valentine's Day Candle Holder (handmade)

Valentine's Day is around the corner. Celebrate this holiday by making beautiful glass candle holders. This simple and fun handmade Candle holder craft will help you  make Valentine's Day special. 

  • clean, empty mason jars
  • white, pink and red tissue paper, cut into small squares (one inch in size.)
  • glue and water (mix 1/4 water and 3/4 glue and stir until the paste is well mixed.) 
  • paint brush for the glue
  • tea lights (either real candles, or battery operated ones)
  • clean work space
Make sure that you have all your tissue cut into small one inch pieces and the glue mixture is well mixed. Then begin by brushing glue on to the glass jar with an immediate one inch white tissue square covering the glue area. Repeat the process until your entire jar is covered with white tissue and glue. 
Completely cover the entire glass jar with white tissue and glue then add a second coat of glue. Your project should be glue, tissue and then glue again. After this process is complete, then begin adding your hearts (details). Using your glue paint brush press the hearts gently onto the glass jar. You will use more glue mixture to add the hearts onto the jar. 

This craft should only take a few minutes to complete. Once all of your hearts are added to your candle holder add a final glue mixture on top to make sure the tissue papers are completely covered. Leave the final product to dry overnight.

It is only take a few minutes to make this lovable candle holder.

Alice in Wonderland Party Ideas.

The Alice in Wonderland story has been around for over a 100 years.  Kids and adults have been inspired by the silly story of a girl who chases a rabbit into a rabbit hole.  Once in the rabbit hole, she meets very strange and eerie characters.  She manages to shrink and grow tall throughout the story and interacts with a silly cat who convinces her to attend a tea party with a talking rabbit and the Mad Hatter.  As the story continues, common sense quotes come out of all characters involved in the story.  One of my favorite quotes from this story: "There is no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person." 

"I knew who I was this morning but I've changed a few times since then." Alice 
"I'm not crazy. My reality is just different than yours." Chester the Cat 
"Not all who wonder are lost." The White Rabbit

Inspired by the story of Alice and Wonderland, I made a few decorations for a Valentine's Day party for my sons' classroom.  I started with making giant roses as table decorations.  These are quick and very simple to make.  You can learn how to make them by viewing my post: How to make Giant Paper Flowers.

I made printables to cut and use as decoration for the food table.  They were very easy to make.  I will share this printable at the end of this post. 

It would not be a party without someone dressing up as the White Rabbit and his clock.  Okay, it was suppose to be a pocket watch not a clock.  It made it more fun to dress up with a big giant clock and bunny ears.  Dressing up is optional however, it is much more fun for the kids and adults attending the party. 

Do not have a party to attend? No problem. Just create these wonderful decorations for your home and watch your family light up with joy. The giant flowers are now making my home bright and cheerful. 

Disclaimer: All opinions are all my own. Printables may not be reproduce for sale. To be used only for personal use. Inspired by the book, "Alice in Wonderland." Author  Lewis Carrol. 

How to Grow Celery in your Kitchen.

This is how you grow celery in your kitchen.  Celery is a plant that can be easily re-grown from your kitchen scraps.  The celery "Stump" is where you start the re-growth process.  

Place the celery stump into a bowl, then fill the bowl with room temperature water. Make sure the celery stump is completely covered.  Leave the bowl sitting in room temperature for 2 days.  Soaking the celery stump will help to trigger root growth.

After two full days of soaking, get a container/pot that will is at least 10 inches tall.  Fill the pot with gardening soil and loosely pack.  Dig a hole in the soil large enough to cover the celery stump with approximately 1/2 inch of soil.

Water the plant every other day and make sure it has plenty of sunlight. In a week you will see beautiful leaves.  Celery is one of the lowest caloric foods a person can eat.  It is high in water content and fibre leaving you feeling full longer.  Celery can also lower blood pressure, maintain a healthy digestive system, slow the progression of dementia and helps protect against cancer.  Celery is also loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Don't want to grow your own....make sure you pick up a stalk every time you are at your grocery store or local farmers market and snack away!

Mindset - How we think matters.

The other day, I found this very inspiring board inside a science classroom.  The words jumped at me and spoke to me personally.  They read like this, "This is too hard!  When you hear this in your mind, please change it to, "This may take time and effort."  Train your mind to persevere!  "It is in changing how we look at things that things will change." Wayne Dyer

My journey into changing my mindset began right out of high school, as I was facing some horrible family moments.  Both my parents were severely ill and my siblings were falling apart.  At eighteen years old, I worked a full-time job to support myself.  A loving co-worker, Rose, noticed that I was struggling with balancing life.  She took me to lunch one day and gave me a book that would forever change me.  The book was by Leo Buscaglia, a professor at USC who was teaching, "LOVE".  The book was titled, "Living, Loving and Learning."  I read the book in less then two days.  I went on to read, "Loving Each Other" and 2 other titles by Buscaglia.  Those books made me realize that I needed to change how I processed self-defeating thoughts.  Buscaglia helped me find a better mindset. 

Leo Buscagalia Quotes, 
"Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong."
"Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation. We do not love to be loved: we love to love."
"Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kinds word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
Today, I would like to inspire you to remove obstacles from your thoughts and focus on being kinder to yourself.