Natural Products Expo West - Healthy Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle is so important. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is eat healthy. This March 7th thru March 10th, 2013, Anaheim Convention Center will host the Natural Products Expo West. They are the world's largest and premier trade show for the natural, organic and healthy products industry. In 2012, Natural Products Expo West aka Expo West hosted over 60,000 industry members and over 3,000 exhibits showcasing products in the categories of natural and specialty foods, organic, supplements, health and beauty, natural living and pet products. I received media access which allowed me to receive samples and first hand information on new and existing organic products.  
Arriving at the expo one of my goals was to try healthy lunchbox options. I pack my family lunches everyday and healthy travel friendly foods is my top priority when grocery shopping. In the past twelve months I have packed at least one energy bar in my family's lunchbox or travel food package. I even carry one in my purse for emergencies. I buy them in bulk to save. For this reason it was important that I connect with the latest information on energy bars at Expo West. Gluten Free, High in Protein and High in Fiber were among some of the ingredients that these energy health bars advertise. So I had to taste for myself and take samples for family at home to make an educated decision of which one would make it to my shopping list this year.
Enjoy Life, Vega One BarKind Snacks, Larabar  and  Nibbly Fingers were delicious and made it to our like grocery list.  I did find one that stood out from the others, which is BRUBAR. This is a great fruity, soft and tasty energy bar. What stood out for me is that it was soft enough for toddlers to eat and enjoy.  Overall, I did love the taste of all the energy bars mentioned above and they will be part of my travel food package and lunchboxes. I really recommend that you look into these healthy snacks for your family. They are better than potato chips, which I love too.
My recent finds at Expo West, I was able to increase the fiber at lunch time with a few healthy snacks. Tummy Tickler juice has 3/4 cup of fruit, is spill proof, reusable collectible top and BPA free. My kids love it, because it is new and fun. I love it, because it has fruit.  The GoGo Squeez is apple sauce without a spoon. All you do is squeeze the apple sauce into your mouth and eat. (I have to say I eat them too.) As you can see the BRUBAR is in our lunchbox.  Finally the Apple Crunches are better than potato chips and perfect for after-school snack. All these products traveled well and they tasted super delicious. Not all of these snacks were consumed at one meal. They were for morning snack, lunch time snack and after-school snack. They made getting fiber more fun and less of a hassle. I hope you get to try a few of these great treats.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to post about these products.  I receive samples only. All opinions are my own. I recommend that if you are on a strict diet that you read the labels before you added to your meals.

I want to say thank you to all the vendors who were kind enough to give me a sample of their yummy food. Thank you Expo West for putting on such a great event. Hope to see you next year. 


Team Kids 7th Annual Imagine Celebration #TKImagine @Teamkids

Have you bought your tickets for Team Kids 7th Annual Imagine Celebration? Team Kids is a non-profit program aimed at helping and teaching kids in our local community. Through this great organization kids make decisions on how to fundraiser for their charity and see first hand how they make a difference. The Imagine Celebration is a fundraiser to help this organization continue it's great work. I highly recommend that you or your employer support Team Kids through this fundraiser or through donations. Please help me spread the word to help make this event successful.

Together we can make a difference in the future of our kids, community and our lives.

Here is what community members had to say about this wonderful program:

 You can follow using hastag #TKImagine

Buy your tickets for this great event by going to their website Team Kids 
Adults for $50.00 and kids are only $10.00.

You can follow Team Kids here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/teamkidsorg

Disclaimer: My family was invited to attend this event. All opinions are all my very own.


Happy St. Patrick's Day - Trader Joe's

This week my boys and I went to the Trader Joe's market to buy milk and bananas. As we headed to the back of the store, we ran into the sample station. They were cooking Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes traditional Irish Dinner. The boys were excited to try something new and it allowed me to talk to them about St. Patrick's Day and luck of the Irish. The food tasting went very well. The boys loved the meal and asked if we could have it for dinner. (The Corned Beef comes pre-packaged and pre-seasoned. All the items were cooked in a slow cooker.) I explained to them that it might be an idea, but we needed to check with their dad, since it is his birthday weekend.
trader joes
They happily took another sample from the table and accepted my answer. We had fun eating and talking to the store clerk who was cooking the Irish meal. She made it fun, because she explained the easy process of cooking the food in a slow cooker and continued to feed us. Yum. We left with our bellies full and headed to the check-out stand. As we stood in the check-out line the clerk handed my kids Shamrock stickers and wished them a happy St. Patrick's Day.  Trader Joe's is a very child friendly store. The whole shopping for groceries was very fun and informative . I think I will have to go back again. I can't wait to see what they do for Easter. Wow!!

I am not Irish. I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a great weekend. Remember to have fun while you learn. You are never too young or too old to learn something new.

Happy Field Tripping. Alma


Living in the Olden Days in Orange County

With a child in 3rd grade, new and exciting topics start coming home infiltrating the dinner conversation.  Since my son returned back to school after the winter break, studies have revolved around the history of Orange County, CA that has sparked new excitement in the Field Trip Mom family.  Orange County has a vast amount of incredible history with many learning opportunities in which you too can enjoy with your family.  Today, we are proud to share some exciting information as well as a bit of history as lived by the descendants of our family.
Located in Irvine, CA, you can visit the Irvine Historical Museum for a great inexpensive way to learn more about the history of Irvine and the surrounding areas.  For thousands of years, Gabrielino Indians, also known as the Tongva Tribe, lived in villages that later would become the Irvine Ranch.  Prior to the mid 1700's, these peaceful Indians lived in family units sheltered by huts called "Wicklups."  Their culture was a simple lifestyle, living off of the land by hunting, fishing and gathering acorns and seeds for food.

In July 1769, one of the first Spanish Exploration parties led by Gaspar de Portola traveled through the Irvine Ranch are in search of Monterey Bay.  These Spanish Explorers camped at Tomato Springs, now where Portola Parkway and the 261 Toll Road meet, and they named the area Rio del Dulcissimo Nombre de Jesus del Temblores.  This translates to River of the Sweetest Name of Jesus of the Earthquakes.  Portola claimed the land and established missions.  Later, the land was divided into large land grants called "ranchos."  In 1841, Jose Andres Sepulveda was deeded a 49,000 acre land grant named Rancho San Joaquin where he raised longhorn cattle for hides and tallow.  Severe droughts claimed the herds causing Sepulveda to sale the rancho to James Irvine I and his business partners for 37 cents an acre.  In 1868, the first Irvine Managers House was built in support of the sheep and cattle ranching and is now the site of the Irvine Historical Museum.  The Irvine Mansion was built in 1876 and served as a residence for four generations of Irvine family members.  Although rebuilt, the mansion now serves as the Katy Wheeler library located at Myford Rd and Irvine Blvd.  In 1894, James Irvine II inherited the land turning it from sheep and cattle pastures to the most successful agricultural operation of its time. Lima beans, barley, strawberries, asparagus, oranges, tomatoes, avocados, and corn were the main crops grown in the area now known as Irvine.   In 1897, Irvine deeded a 160 acre parcel of land to the Orange County Parks where 750 year old California live oaks and sycamores grew and is now the famous Irvine Park at the top of Jamboree and Chapman Ave.  More history can be discovered by visiting the Irvine Historical Museum and Old Towne Irvine.

Another great place to learn about the history of Orange County is to visit the Heritage Hill Historical Society in Lake Forest.  Heritage Hill has a great significance to the Field Trip Mom family as many wagons, tools, artifacts and buildings at the Historical Society were refurbished or donated by my Grandfather, LeRoy Evans.  In 1862, my Great, Great Grandfather, Ruben Bonepart Waterman came to the El Toro area at the age of 4, now considered Lake Forest, on a wagon pulled by ox from Ohio.  Ruben married Carrie Wilson of Santa Ana in 1890 and they settled in the El Toro area where my Great, Great Grandfather Ruben opened a blacksmith shop.  Rumors swirl that Ruben invented and built a barley roller to crush and roll barley to make it flat and easier for animals to digest the grain.  According to other history records, around the same time in Akron, OH, the Quaker Oat company developed a grain rolling invention that was the beginning of rolled oats, Quaker Oatmeal.  Although there are very similar and coincidental accounts for the timing and similarities of equipment and family settlements, it is only rumored that my Great, Great Grandfather Ruben was instrumental in the rolled oats invention. 

My Grandfather, LeRoy, grew up a very poor young man having to go to work at the age of 11 or 12 working on several ranches in the El Toro, Irvine area.  LeRoy worked for the Charlie and Hatty Swartz ranch with their son Harvey according to my grandfathers memoirs.  According to the Orange County Historical Societies website at OC history
...And then, there was El Toro’s one celebrity, the great Polish actress, Helen Modjeska. She came to Santiago Canon in the middle eighties, and purchased two hundred acres of land there from Joseph Pleasants in 1888, and built a home in which she lived, when not playing, for over twenty years.

...There are several families identified with the immediate town of El Toro who came here in the nineties or the early years of this century and have done much for the community. John Osterman came in 1893 and in the course of a few years bought two hundred and forty acres from the Whiting ranch, which he farmed for years, together with other property that he leased. He is now living in Santa Ana, but his ranch is owned by his son, Bennie, who has planted it to citrus trees, while his son George owns and operates the El Toro store.

...Harvey Swartz also arrived in 1893 and was the first man to break sagebrush and set plow to portions of the Whiting ranch. He farmed on lands leased from the Whiting, the Santa Margarita, and the Niguel, and finally purchased William Hoyle’s home and property, where he resides with his family.
With relation to these statements from the Orange County Historical Society, my grandfather's notes state, my Great, Great Grandfather Ruben was responsible for taking Madame Helena Modjeska from the train depot in El Toro to her home in Modjeska Canyon in his buckboard (or horse drawn wagon) every time she arrived back to El Toro.   My Grandfather Leroy worked for the Swartz family for 50 cents a day plus a meal.  Harvey was a larger gentlemen paralyzed in his right leg as a kid.  One day while working in the fields with Harvey, the tractor ran out of gas and Harvey told my Grandfather to run to the house to get his father to bring some more gas.  It appears it was a very hot day and the plowed soil was soft and hard to walk on so Harvey nicknamed my Grandfather "Sea Biscuit" because it took so long for him to get back to the house.  This nick name stuck with him through the years and he was frequently and affectionately referred to by his sister in law who married George Osterman, son of John Osterman and owner of the El Toro store as noted above.

As you can see, we have very close ties to Orange County and its history.  Much of this history can be discovered by visiting the Irvine Historical Museum and the Heritage Hill Historical Society.  History doesn't have to be of bravely fought wars or dynamic engineering feats...take the time to learn more about the place you call home, you may be surprised at what you discover.
Schedule a field trip with your family and enjoy a piece of history.
Irvine Historical Museum
5 San Joaquin
 Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 786-4112
Irvine Historical Museum
Open Tuesday and Sundays 1 PM to 4 PM

Heritage Hill Historical Park
 25151 Serrano Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630-2534
Open Wednesday - Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM
Written by guest writer Tim Bosek, COO of Field Trip Mom.  We received no compensation for this post other than the personal enjoyment of the historic research and visitation of the two historical parks.


FieldTrip Alerts - Southern California

I found a few field trips that you may be interested in attending here in Southern California. I have not attend these events as of today. I have heard from friends and teachers of these great events. I am sharing them with you in the hope that it will inspire you to get out and explore. These are low cost or free field trip alerts. Please call ahead to make sure they will be open on the day of the event. 

Who: Irvine Historical Museum
Where: 5 San Joaquin Irvine Ca 92612
When: Sunday March 10th, 2013
Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Free - Donation is optional

Irvine Historical Museum is hosting a open house for public school students from 1pm to 4pm. They will be hosting a treasure hunt, art and crafts as well as serving chocolate chip cookies. If your child is learning about Orange County and it's rich history, then this is for you. Teachers are endorsing this field trip to help with the learning of the history of Orange County. For more information, Please call  Gail Daniels at 949-854-0510

Irvine Ranch History

Donations are welcomed and very much appreciated.

Who: Mission San Juan Capistrano
Where: 26801 Ortega Hwy San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675                           
When:  Tuesday March 19th, 2013
Time: 10am - 3pm
Admission is required to attend the Mission. I suggest you buy the annual pass if you live near by. They give a gift package and other perks.

Continue to learn about California rich history by attending this great event. You can find out more information by visiting the following link:
Mission San Juan Capistrano

Who: Crossline Community Church
Where: 23331 Moulton Pkwy Laguna Hills, CA 92653 (949) 916-0250
When: Saturday March 30th, 2013
Time: 10am-12pm

Crossline Community Church is hosting it's famous Eggdrop on March 30th, 2013. It promises to be super busy and the place to be for a fun Easter Egg Hunt.
Crossline Church

 These are field trip alerts. Check your calendar and make sure you make time to explore your community. May the road rise to meet you!


The Chia Seed Cookbook - Cookbook Review

The Chia Seed Cookbook - A few weeks ago I was given this book to review.  I was very excited to received it, because for years I have heard many great things about this little seed. My sister calls it the magic seed. You see, my sister and I have diabetes and sugar control is very important for us. Through word of mouth we have been told that this is critical to our diets. Upon hearing this of course, I ran out to buy the seeds but wasn't sure how to cook with them. I started by sprinkling it in my juice or would sugar them over my toast. Although I wanted to use them as much as possible for my diet, I couldn't find the right cooking method. When I did use them in our meals my family thought I was out of my mind because they had never heard of it as food. The commercial and theme song for the Chia Pet was playing in our heads.  Soon, I had unfortunately forgotten about them altogether.  Suddenly, when I received the opportunity to review The Chia Seed Book things changed for us. I showed husband and kids that people were cooking with Chia Seeds. The Chia Seed Cookbook made it exciting to try dishes with this great little seed.  Pictures are worth a thousand words to my family and the cookbook is filled with great pictures. The kids have looked through the cookbook and loved the pictures. They were even ordering their next meal out of the cookbook. We recently made "Plum Chia Salad" and they loved it. This cookbook is easy to use and read, you need not be a professional chef to use it.  The Chia Seed Cookbook has 221 pages filled with great recipes, ideas and recommendation for better health.
Here is some of the recipe names:

  1. Sunny Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip Chia Muffin
  2. Easy Chia Oat Squares
  3. Peanut Butter Chia Waffles
  4. Lemon Chia Cheesecake Pancakes
We have tried their "Almost Instant Oat Meal" recipe. It is becoming a favorite breakfast meal. We add apples, dried cranberries and bananas to the recipe. It adds more fiber to our breakfast. There so much I did not know I could do with Chia Seeds.

Reading through the recipes, I realized that cucumbers, lemon and tea make a great combination. It inspired me to make a fun Mint Tea with Cucumber wedges sprinkled with Chia Seeds. It was a very refreshing drink. The Chia Seed Cookbook is one of my new favorite go to books. It has inspired me to cook outside my comfort zone.  This is a great gift for anyone struggling with meal planning while looking for added nutritional benefits for their family. 
If you have been using Chia Seeds in your cooking, please share your ideas and recipes by commenting on this blog post. Together we can make a difference. Have a great happy and healthy week.

 Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review. Not a sponsored post.


Wreck It Ralph on Blu Ray 3D / Blu Ray / DVD / Digital Copy

Coming to stores Tuesday, March 5th, Disney brings the next big hit movie Wreck-It Ralph to Blu Ray 3D, Blu Ray, DVD and Digital Copy!  Field Trip Mom was given a pre-release copy of the ultimate collector's edition for preview.  This amazing DVD collection gives you a 4 disc combo pack including Blu Ray 3D, Blu Ray, DVD and Digital Copy.  You have everything you need whether you are in your home theater, at the market or in the car going to your next field trip with this disk set.  The collection includes Disney Intermission, a Behind the Scenes Documentary, Deleted Scenes and Video Game Commercials.  Disney has also added the Oscar award winning short "Paper man".  This delightful short film by Disney Animation is a must see for every romantic and film enthusiast. 
Wreck-It Ralph is the story of Ralph, an 80's 8 bit video game character who is the bad guy of the game Fix It Felix Jr.  Felix is the games' hero and the main character of the video game who is everyone's star.  After 30 years of being the bad character, Ralph becomes tired and angry, wanting nothing more than to prove he too can be a hero to video gamers.  In an attempt to become a hero, Ralph decides to hop games to earn a hero's metal and discovers trouble in another game called Sugar Rush, a Mario Cart style racing game.  Helping a feisty misfit, Vanellope Von Schweetz, Ralph finds that a rouge villain overtakes Sugar Rush causing a perceived video game glitch.  Ralph must act before the game is placed out of order and is "Unplugged" for good.         
The story has a great message showing how helping others is the key to happiness.  An excellent anti-bullying message fills the film.  Amazing details to the movie that bring to life many of the classic video games we adults would play in the arcades.  Ralph interacts with classic stars like Pac Mac, Q-Bert, Street Fighter, Sonic and Mortal Kombat, the movie brought back fond memories of my days dropping quarters into games like Super Mario Bros., Asteroids and Punch Out.  Enjoyable for the kids as well as adults, this movie brings something for everyone.  For a sneak preview click on the trailer link below.
Written by guest blogger and COO for Field Trip Mom: Tim Bosek.  Field Trip Mom received a free DVD package to this pre-screen in exchange for this blog.  We want to thank Disney for including us in this opportunity! 


Free admission to museums

It is the beginning of the month and several museums begin with free admission to their place.  Some of the museums are funded by major corporations such as Target or Bank of  America. Major corporation are helping the community by offering free admission on Saturday or Sunday. All you have to do is just pick the museum you would like to visit. It is very simple.
You can find more about which museum participates by going to the museums web address and looking in the event section. You can also go to Target's and *Bank of America's Community page. 

You may go to Target Corporate to find your local events that are sponsored by them.  To help you find the one near you just click on the state you live and then county. It should take you to the link of the event.

In my area I have Bower's Musuem and La Habra Children's Museum participating this weekend.

March, Music, Movement & More
March 2, 2013
Participate in an interactive workshops lead by professional artists who’ll teach creative movement and dance to visitors!

Sunday, March 3, 2013
10 AM - 4 PM
Visitors to the Bowers can enjoy free access to the museum, Kidseum, and all activities on the first Sunday of every month, thanks to the Target Corporation. Due to occupancy limits of popular and specially ticketed exhibits, ticket distribution is limited to 1500 tickets per day, 250 per hour on a first-come, first-served basis. All visitors must be present at the time of ticket distribution. Reservations are not accepted.
Free to attend.
Bank of America and Merrill Lynch  - Museums on US
In order to redeem the free admission you must be a Bank of America Card holder. Debit Card Holder or Credit Cardholder with Photo ID.  See their requirements before you go to the museum.  
California Museums who participate:

Laguna Beach
Laguna Art Museum
Long Beach
Museum of Latin American Art
Los Angeles
Autry National Center of the American West
Hammer Museum
Skirball Cultural Center
Chabot Space & Science Center
Orange County
Discovery Science Center
Palm Desert
The Living Desert
Palm Springs
Palm Springs Art Museum
Riverside Art Museum
Crocker Art Museum
The California Museum
San Diego
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Museum of Photographic Arts
The San Diego Museum of Art
San Francisco
Contemporary Jewish Museum
de Young Museum
Legion of Honor
San Jose
San Jose Museum of Art
The Tech Museum of Innovation

This is a beautiful place to have a great picnic and just enjoy the gardens. I have been here several times with my family and friends. To get free tickets you have to call first thing in the morning on the first day of the month. The tickets go fast, so make sure you calendar it on your to do list. This month the free tickets are gone, but there is always next month.

Free Day FAQ's

Is Free Day still free? Yes. Tickets are free of charge.
Why do I need tickets if it's still free?  The Huntington can only accommodate a certain number of people at a time. Because the popularity of Free Day has continued to grow to extraordinary proportions, we've found it necessary to place limits on the number of visitors admitted on the first Thursday of the month.

How do I get tickets?  Tickets are available by calling 800-838-3006 or reserving online. You will be asked to choose between a morning arrival time (between 10:30 a.m. and noon) or an afternoon arrival time (between 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.) Once reserved, your paper ticket(s) will be mailed to you.

How many tickets can I get? You may request up to 5 tickets.

Can I just pay the regular admission price and come on Free Day? No. You may not purchase regular admission tickets on Free Day, and only visitors with Free Day tickets will be admitted.

What are Free Day hours?  On Free Days, hours are 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Free First Sunday Museum -Bower's Museum

This weekend is the free first Sunday of each month at Bower's Museum sponsored by Target and Nicholas Endowment. This is a great way to experience the arts and learn about different types of culture. I attended last year and it was very educational and fun for the entire family. There is a crowd, so go early and bring money for parking. You may want to wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Lots of places to eat, however it is best to bring at least an energy bar for a snack. Last year we went to the museum next door as well, Bowers Kidseum and got to enjoy both museums in one day. I highly recommend that you go at least once this year and visit these amazing museums. You won't regret it. The first Sunday of every month it is free. FREE!!!


Here the website Bowers Kidseum


Fax- 714.480.0053
Email- Kidseum@bowers.org

  The Kidseum is located on the corner of 18th and Main Streets - south of the Bowers. Just minutes from the 5 freeway, (via 17th St exit) and the 57, 55 and 22 freeways.

Parking is available adjacent to the Kidseum. Bowers Museum and Bower Kidseum are wheelchair accessible.

 Ages 2 and Up - $6.00
Under 2/Members - Free
Free admission with current Bowers Museum ticket stub

Visitors to the Bowers can enjoy free access to the Bowers Museum, Kidseum, and all activities on the first Sunday of every month, thanks to the Target Corporation.

Bowers Museum in Santa Ana

Free First Sunday
Bowers Cultural Festivals and Family Programs give families the opportunity to explore and experience the cultures of the world. Bowers Cultural Festivals are generously sponsored by the Nicholas Endowment. In addition, Target Free First Sundays provide free admission to the Bowers Museum on the first Sunday of every month.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to occupancy limits, we can only allow the first 1500 visitors to see
specially-ticketed exhibits.


Sponsored by the Target Corporation and the Nicholas Endowment, enjoy free admission to both Kidseum and the Bowers and catch multicultural entertainment, art projects and dancing!

   Target Free First Sundays


Thank God it's March! - Personal

I am writing to share with you my most recent experience. My goal in this post is to let you know that everyone makes mistakes including me. I have been making large mistakes these past few weeks. I have to come to the realization that I am tired. I need more sleep and I can not do it all. I would love to be the perfect mom, wife, friend and co-worker, but I fell short these couple of weeks. I am tired. I have not given my body the rest that it needs, so it betrayed me this week. I fell asleep and couldn't wake up. I missed a major important thing. Sorry does not even begin to tell you how bad I feel. I wanted to cry, because I know that I could have done better and did not. I failed. I missed the mark and I disappointed others. That is the worst part is that I disappointed the people I care about the most.

My goal here is not to dwell on the failures, but to make it better. So I am saying good-bye to terrible February and hello to happy March. Yup... I am blaming it on February. (LOL)  What else is there to do?  By no means do I say that I am not responsible for my actions, but I am moving on from being upset. This month I know I will do better and I will give it my 150% in all my duties.

March is going to be the best month for me. How about you? Come with me and leave all the negative feelings, bad experiences and move forward with me. Let us do this together. Remember to only commit to what you can actually do verses what you may be able to do.

Here is what a good friend  told me once:

"You can't be everything to everyone."
- Anonymous

Here a few other quotes to help with March:

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.
- Bill Cosby

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.
- William Shakespeare

Happy Friday and hope all your dreams come true.