Friday, December 28, 2007

Weekend Happenings: First Night Escondido

What: First Night Escondido
When: Monday, December 31, 6:00 PM - Midnight
Where: Historic Grape Day Park, Escondido City Hall and renowned California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

Gather at the Main Stage at Midnight for the Spectacular fireworks show! *Dance the night away under a laser-lit sky in Grape Day Park! * Buy fun & wacky New Year’s Eve novelties at family-friendly prices! * Turn a paper grocery bag into a top hat with pizzazz for FREE! * Feeling regal? Design & wear a crown with jewels, sequins and more! * Kids of all ages can make felt puppets for FREE in the Center’s Studio II * Enjoy a visit to the Escondido Children’s Museum during their extended hours, 6-10 pm. * See the amazing high-in-the-sky Walking Tree Man! * FREE Face Painting in the Conference Center’s Hallway! * Professional Balloon Sculptors will make wacky hat creations for FREE ! * Giant Food Court Open All Night!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

After the Holidays: Christmas Tree Recycling

Check out this post at the San Diego Travel Tips blog about San Diego's Christmas Tree recycling program!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Treats: Homemade Marshmallows

This year I vowed that I would make a holiday treat I never made before...so I decided on homemade marshmallows. I plan on using making the homemade candy-cane marshmallows featured on the blog, Your Heart Out. And, they have even created a cute recipe card to download...check it out!

I let you know how mine turn out next week!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Wrapping Paper Ideas

Christmas is only 6 days away, and if you are like me, your shopping is almost done, but nothing is wrapped!

Every year I make my own wrapping paper - it sounds crazy, but it is so fun, and always original.

This year, my 21-month-old daughter, Amelia, got in on the action. I bought a big roll of brown kraft paper (you can buy it at Walmart or Michaels), a bag of sponges cut in various shapes, and brown and green paint. We cut a huge piece of paper and proceeded to sponge green and brown stars all over it. Amelia didn't quite catch on, but we had a blast, and Amelia thought our wrapping paper was "sooooo pretty."

Check out these other D-I-Y wrapping paper ideas from Martha Stewart's Blueprint Magazine.

Image Courtesy of Blueprint Magazine

JCC Winter Specialty Camps

Are you looking for a way to help keeps your kids occupied during the winter break? Check out the winter specialty camps at the Jewish Community Center. There are science, theatre, basketball, tennis, multi-sport and dance camps...something for everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Appetizers

I am a big fan of chips/crackers/breads and dips...so I always plan my menus around those when I entertain...I spilled all the beans about my favorites on the San Diego based blog, This Week for Dinner. Check it out!

Also, check out the fabulous post about hot chocolate...also a good crowd pleaser...

Calendar Pick of the Week


What: Festival of Lights
Where: San Diego Wild Animal Park
When: Every evening through December 23, and December 26-30, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

I plan on visiting the park this weekend to see the animals, check out the lights, and have fun when the animal park isn't sooo hot!

Here are a few highlights:
  • all-new light features - family of life-sized elephants, as well as giraffe, tiger, zebra, and other animal light sculptures
  • Santa will be on hand to take holiday wishes
  • guests can fly on Balloon Safari
  • a storyteller shares holiday fun
  • up-close exotic animal encounters
  • nighttime Journey into Africa tours
  • holiday crafts, and face painting for kids
  • Snow Hill now has two sides, one for big kids and one for little kids
  • a kiddie snow area to play in.
  • Holiday Hank will entertain kids with his street theater, telling stories, performing magic tricks, and hosting contests
With so much to do, this is the perfect time to go! See you there!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week: Christmas Light Displays

Since the weather is a bit colder this week, I plan on staying cozy in my decorated home....or car...

There are plenty of christmas light displays throughout the county...check out this list.

I'm headed out of town for an early family celebration, but will be back posting on Tuesday, December 18.

See you then!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Weekend Picks

Since the weather is cold and rainy I had a hard time picking an event from our calendar...it seems like all this weekend's holiday events are outdoors!

Take a peek at our calendar for our full listings of activities both indoors and out!

Enjoy this "wintery" weekend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Meet the San Diego Mama Behind...

While the woman behind Stills by Hill isn't a Mama at the moment, she sure knows how to beautifully capture a mom's most precious possessions with her camera! Take a look at her extensive photography portfolio...

Meet Hillary - the woman behind Stills by Hill!

How long have you lived here?
I have lived in San Diego for 21 years. I was born in LA and moved to San Diego when I was 4. I jumped around from San Diego to LA for a few years but discovered I wanted to be close to my family

Why did you start your business?
I got my business name from my Uncle who got me into photography when I was about 8. I then took pictures of family and friends and really got into it when my oldest niece, now 9, was born. I went full time with my business this year and it’s been a blessing.

What is your favorite thing about writing running your business?
I love meeting the different people…helping them document their memories and giving them a small piece of something they can look back on in many years and pass down and say, “I did that!”

What is your all-time favorite thing about living in San Diego?
All my family is here… and my friends and family out of town are not THAT far away. We have such great freeway access to anywhere really… beach or mountains. We also have great shooting locations!

Where is your favorite place to eat in San Diego?
How to choose? Depends what I am in the mood for. Traditional family feast: DZ Akins… we’ve been going there for ever. Vegetarian meal: Jyoti Bihanga (sp?) in Normal Heights. Quick meal: Trader Joes premade items or Submarina.

Where is your favorite place to go with your child/children in San Diego?
I only have nieces as of now. I take them to my house to play or swim.

Where is your favorite place to go without your child (with your husband or girlfriends)?
We don’t go out much…my friends and I or my husband and I just really go out to eat or sit at a coffee house and talk

Any insider
San Diego secrets to share? Shopping tips, eating tips, driving tips, etc….
Learn to drive in the rain people! Find great restaurants by referrals or try something only with an A rating!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week: A Celtic Christmas

Check out this free holiday performance, A Celtic Christmas, at the Escondido Center for the Arts.

Wednesday, December 5
4:00 PM & 7:00 PM

For More Information visit: http://www.artscenter.org












Friday, November 30, 2007

Weekend Happenings: Deck the Palms


Forget the traditional white Christmas and retreat to Seaport Village to celebrate all that makes the holidays unique in Southern California—tepid temperatures, palm trees, surfboards and sand. On Sunday, Decemeber 2, Deck the Palms will transform the bayside shopping center destination into a warm-weather wonderland embracing San Diego's most-renowned winter elements. Organizers expect Santa to arrive with a splash around noon, and he will be available for photos until 4 pm.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Giving Opportunities: Henry's Grab-N-Give


Looking for a great way to give to those in need...then head to your local Henry's Farmers Market store.

From now through December 31, Henry’s patrons can drop off non-perishable staple food items at collection bins at the front of any participating Henry’s Farmers Market stores in San Diego County. The items in the collection bins will benefit Father Joe’s Villages, its fire relief program and the 4,000 meals that The Villages serve each day.


To make giving even more convenient for customers, Henry’s will also be providing pre-packaged Grab ‘n’ Give grocery bags filled with items that are appropriate for Father Joe’s meals and other holiday and fire relief food drives. Patrons can choose from bags at a variety of price points to purchase at the checkout stand and drop them off in the Henry’s collection bin on their way out or take it with them to benefit the cause of their choice.

What a convenient and wonderful way to give back this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

San Diego Mama Giveaway: The Lilypad Store


Need the perfect gift for those people on your list who already have everything? Let The Lilypad Store help! Check out San Diego Mama and enter to win $100.00 in gift certificates and toys from this fantastic store.

The Lilypad Store has it all….natural toys and clothing, books, craft projects, infant clothing, home accessories and more. There is something for everyone on your list!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week: The Great Train Show

Before we start with all the holiday whirlwhind of activities staring in December, I thought I would share a non-holiday event:

What: The Great Train Show

The show features 200-500 tables of train dealers, Hobby Tools, Die-cast vehicles, train whistles, scenery items, Railroadiania, Slides, T-shirts, Videos, Railroad Gift Items, Books, Photos, and more. The show offers a variety of operating model railroad and toy layouts for the entire family to enjoy.

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds

When: Saturday, December 1

Adults: $7.00; Children younger than 12, free
More information: www.trainexpoinc.

NOTE: If you want to put a holiday spin on your day, you can end the train show with a viewing of The Polar Express, a holiday movie any child interested in trains is sure to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is our last post for this week...so we can spend time with family and friends. We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving for you and your families!

Need some last minute help with your Thanksgiving meal? Check out the Thanksgiving guide at ThisWeekforDinner.com
Don't have time to cook? Check out Rachael Ray's store-bought Thanksgiving Menu
Looking for something to entertain the family after Thanksgiving? Check out our Calendar of Events.

Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 19, 2007

San Diego Mama Giveaway: Java Mama


Win a Free Class of your choice at Java Mama!


With all the holiday stress upon us, it’s good to schedule a break for you and your kids…and what better place than Java Mama?

Unwind in a yoga class, get creative in a music or art class, or learn a little baby sign language.

Then, let your kids play while you enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee or hot chocolate!

Keep the gift for yourself…or use it as the perfect holiday gift for a good friend.

Enter now!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Head to Toe Women's Expo Ticket Giveaway!


Hey Mamas - The Head To Women's Expo is this weekend at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Get details about this great event here. A generous friend gave me 8 tickets to the show! And, I won't be able to make it!

So, if you are interested in attending the show...email me at emily {@} sandiegomama.com

The tickets are first come, first served, and you can have as many as you would like!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Meet the San Diego Mama Behind...

Kids love birthday parties...but moms know they can be time consuming to plan and expensive to put together. San Diego mom, Rachel, has come up with a perfect solution...Party Pax!

"Party Pax puts the punch into your parties and play dates with unique and affordable children's party rentals that provide fun themes, toys, games, activities, decorations, and character masctos and costumes to help your next party or play date go the extra round, but without the extra cost, time, hassle and stress!"

Some of the themed party options include Backyardigans, Blues Clues, Dora, Pirates and Hello Kitty. Check out Party Pax for complete details.

Meet San Diego Mom, Rachel!

How long have you lived here?
5 yrs.

Why did you start your business?
It’s been a long-time dream of mine to start my own business (my dad, mom and brother have already done so – must be in the genes J). Once my babes came along, I saw a real need for affordable, fun and unique children’s party solutions that would make it easier for parents to throw a great party. A wave of inspiration came to me after praying about it one night, so I knew the timing was right and decided to go for it.

What is your favorite thing about writing running your business?
Bringing joy & smiles to kids and bargains & convenience to other parents, and still being able to keep my family my top priority.

What is your all-time favorite thing about living in San Diego?
The weather matches the spirit of the people…beautiful! (As seen with the fire disaster response!)

What is your favorite place to eat in San Diego?
I love Thai food - Siamese Basil in Encinitas and Royal Thai in downtown are two favorites.

Where is your favorite place to go with your child/children in San Diego? Tough question, we have so many! We love Quail Botanical Gardens, Birch Aquarium, Swammy's mediatation garden in Encinitas, free Balboa museums on Tuesdays, the zoo, Legoland, and of course... the beach.

Where is your favorite place to go without your child (with your husband or girlfriends)?
Hubby and I love a night of Lamb’s Player Theater & dinner on Coronado.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Mama Gift Guide for Kids Presents


Check out our Holiday Gift Guide...
this week we are featuring gifts especially for kids.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week: Great Ape Awareness Week

It's Great Ape Awareness Week at the San Diego Zoo...check it out!

What: Every day throughout the event the Zoo’s three great ape species – gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans – will be spotlighted with animal enrichment sessions at each habitat followed by keeper talks addressing issues impacting great apes, such as the bushmeat crisis and habitat loss due to illegal logging, slash-and-burn farming practices, and the removal of rainforests for palm oil plantations in Indonesia. Special graphic panels at each great ape enclosure will feature photos and information about conservation efforts and ways people can help.

Where: The San Diego Zoo

When: All week long!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Autumn Recipe Favorite: Caramel Popcorn

My husband is a huge fan of Caramel Popcorn, but for some reason it seems only appropriate during Autumn. Make a big batch, pop in a movie and enjoy! Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving or Autumn recipe...please share in our forums!

Caramel Popcorn Recipe

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup corn syrup

1/2 tsp. baking soda
10 cups air popped popcorn

Add first 4 ingredients to large pan. Cook over medium heat. When bubbly around the edges, let it cook for 3-4 more minutes.

Remove from heat and add baking soda. Add mixture to popcorn and stir. Careful - it is super hot!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Holiday Gift Guides on San Diego Mama.com


I know, I know...it's a little early to start thinking about holiday shopping, but Christmas is closer than you think...and you know the kids are already counting down. One of my piano students informed me just yesterday that we only have 49 days left to go.

So, as a little bonus we're posting gift guides on our site every week from now through Christmas. Check out this week's guide focusing on Cards & Stationery!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

San Diego Fire Relief Fundraiser

Join SanDiegoMama.com, SanDiegoBargainMama.com and SanDiegoTravelTips.com in the San Diego Fires 2007 Disaster Relief Fundraiser, and help two families who have suffered due to the tragic wildfires.

The Deehan Family
Tim and Susan Deehan and their children, Ryan (a senior in high school) and Kayla ( a third-grader), were forced to evacuate at 5 o'clock on Monday morning, October 22, 2007 from their Poway home. They watched from just 6 miles away as the fire destroyed their neighborhood.

Just less than a week after the fires, Tim and Susan, like many others, are hustling to catch up with important business affairs. Amidst all the anguish and sense of loss, they must also tend to the supervision of the debris crew and all of the rebuilding/recovery logistics, run their family business, and uphold their commitments to church, school, and extra-curricular activities. Unfortunately, they were unable to take many of the basic necessities a family needs in an evacuation process, so they, like many of their neighbors, must start from scratch to build their lives anew.


Tony Brencola
On Monday, October 22nd, Tony received a call he could not anticipate. His co-worker called suggesting that he might want to check out his house in Fallbrook. The house had been purchased merely seven months ago. The Rice Fire was on the move and it was approaching the area of Tony's home. Given the immediate mandatory evacuation notice, Tony was able to retrieve only a couple of his belongings, just minutes before his Valley Oaks Park home went up in unforgiving flames.

Tony, like the Deehans, is starting to rebuild his life, and just wants a “a place where I can stay, to be with my daughters.”


Make a Donation:
Mail your financial contribution or gift card to:

San Diego Bargain Mama
c/o (enter the name of the family you with to donate to)
PO Box 411
Carlsbad, CA 92010


We are not a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, therefore no tax deductions are allowable.

In order to ensure your confidence that any and all contributions (financial or gift cards) will be distributed to the proper individuals, we ask that you make the contributions in the name of the individual(s) you wish to contribute to.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week: Legoland Model Mom Club

Who: All San Diego Mamas

What: Model Mom Club @ Legoland

Membership is a one-year pass to LEGOLAND valid on Thursdays only and is available for just $57. Moms, Dads, Grandparents and caregivers with children 4-years of age and under qualify to purchase a Model Mom Pass.

Model mom weekly activities include: Stroller Strides Fitness Walks, LEGO Explore Play Groups, and Specialist Visits.

When: Every Thursday!

Where: Legoland in Carlsbad

Why: Fun for the kids and for you! I went with a friend last week to check it out...we spent 3 hours at the park with our toddlers...and they loved every minute.

More Information: Call, (760) 438-LEGO.

Visit our San Diego Mama Calendar for a full list of this week's events!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Weekend Happenings: Fall Back Festival

Celebrate the changing time this weekend at the 7th Annual Fall Back Festival in the Gaslamp District.

Where: Gaslamp District, Main Gate 5th and Island Avenue
Where: Sunday, November 4th, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
What: Face painting, puppet shows, wagon rides, pony rides, ice cream, pumpkins, gold panning, dance performances, live music, crafts and contests.

Tickets are $5.00. Children 2 and under are free.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Meet the San Diego Mama Behind...


I've known the Mama behind Butter Braid San Diego for a few years...so when she told me about her new business I was definitely excited, though I had never heard of or tasted a Butter Braid. And then she invited me to her house...and I had one...exquisite! These tasty pastry's are not only delicious, but they are the perfect product for your school, sports team or club fundraiser.

Meet Sherri, the Mama behind Butter Braid San Diego!

How long have you lived here?
I was born and raised in San Diego. I feel very privileged to say that I’m a third generation San Diegan. That’s a fairly rare thing for around here. I absolutely love living in San Diego and I’ve honestly never found myself wishing that I lived somewhere else.

Why did you start your business?
My husband, Peter has been looking for a long time for a business that we could own and operate as a family. He had a very specific set of criteria that he was looking for. When we heard about this Butter Braid Distributorship and took a really thorough look at it, we found that the business model fit every one of his criteria. Bingo! It was exactly the right thing at the right time. Sometimes when something is the right thing, you can just feel it in your gut. That’s what Butter Braid was for us.

What is your favorite thing about running your business?
The thing I like most about the business would be the people and the product! On our end of things, I really enjoy meeting and working with the people running their fundraisers. They’re great people volunteering their time and energy for worthy causes that benefit children and families all over San Diego County. I say “kudos” to every individual who’s ever served as Fundraising Chairperson. I also feel that the people who stand behind our Butter Braid product at Country Maid, Inc. (in West Bend, Iowa) are a great group of rock solid, strong family values, Mid-Western folks. We are very well supported by them and definitely feel like we are part of the whole “Butter Braid Family”.

Then there’s the product. Butter Braid is a top quality frozen pastry dough available in five different flavors: Apple, Blue Berry Cream Cheese, Cherry, Cinnamon and Cream Cheese. In the Spring, we’ll be adding a new flavor called Bavarian Creme. These are available to the public only through groups running a fundraiser. Check out www.butterbraidsandiego.com, once you’ve tasted a freshly baked Butter Braid, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll want more.

What is your all-time favorite thing about living in San Diego?
For me, that would have to be living in a city that has such great weather that I’m able to ride my bike all through the year. Road cycling is my number one top favorite thing that I love to do! San Diego has great bike lanes and a nice long fabulous coast line to ride along. Every week, at least one of my rides is from my home in University City up to Downtown Carlsbad and back (50 miles total) and in the thick of Winter (January and February) while a great portion of the country is blanketed in snow, I’m riding along the ocean with the sun shining in my face! Did I mention that I LOVE SAN DIEGO!

Where is your favorite place to eat in San Diego?
For fast food, it would have to be La Salsa. I love their Baja Fish Tacos. For “sit down” dining, I love the Carnitas at Old Town Mexican Cafe For sushi it would be Kiku-Ya on Governor Drive in UC. For Thai food either Di Chan on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. for Pad Thai and Pineapple Shrimp Curry or RAMA (on 4th Ave.) for the most amazing Tom Kha soup. For fish, I still love The Fish Market on the harbor (Chocolate Mousse for dessert is mandatory). The Tin Fish makes an awesome Swordfish Taco! And for Greek food I really enjoy going to Apollonia (formerly Aesop’s Tables). For pizza…that would have to be Lefty’s Chicago Style Pizza in North Park. Their thin crust pizza with pesto, cheese and chicken (no red sauce) is the best ever! Just thinking about it makes me want one right now! This is making me hungry, is anyone else feeling that way?


Where is your favorite place to go with your children in San Diego?
We have six children ranging in age from 5 to 21 (yes, they were all planned and wanted). Finding a place we all loved to go was not an easy task. At the risk of sounding like all we ever do is eat…I must admit that The Old Spaghetti Factory was our favorite place to go. We were so sad when they closed the downtown location. The other thing we like to do is play in a swimming pool (it’s my dream to have one someday). Wait…let me correct that…the kids like to play IN the pool while I relax OUT of the pool. I’m a Jacuzzi-kind-of-girl.

Our family loves to explore Balboa Park. Our personal favorites are the Model Train Museum, the Carousel (I love grabbing the brass ring and winning another ride!) and the little train. I still get a kick out of riding the little train. “Kite park” on Mission Bay is another favorite spot where we like to play.

Where is your favorite place to go without your children (with your husband or girlfriends)?
Peter and I try to go out every Friday night. Our favorite thing to do is head over to Vertical Hold Rock Climbing Gym to do some sport climbing for a couple of hours and then off to dinner somewhere for uninterrupted conversation. We also like to get up early Saturday morning to get in at least a 30 mile bike ride together before the kids soccer games start.

With girlfriends, it would be out to dinner to one of the aforementioned restaurants for “chick talk” and then off to a “chick flick”. Girl-power!

Any insider San Diego Secrets to share? Shopping tips, eating tips, driving tips, etc…?
For some fun family team work, I would suggest renting an authentic Italian surrey bicycle for four… or six… or eight, from Wheel Fun In San Diego at their Balboa Park location just north of the Casa Del Prado Theater. Everybody gets into the act with pedaling, but you’ll have to take turns steering and ringing the bell. Throw a few greetings in Italian, out to the pedestrians you pass by and you’ll have them laughing at…uhhhh…with you. This is some serious fun!

A kind of hidden thing we like to find is the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge in the Banker’s Hill area. We always forget exactly where it is (the “Spruce Street part) and that contributes to the adventure. The foot bridge crosses a ravine so once we find it we like to run back and forth across it and Peter and I try to make the bridge bounce and swing as much as possible. Okay…so some kids never grow up. Life is short. Have fun!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

After the Fires Fund

Here is just one way to help our neighbors get back on their feet after loosing so much!

The San Diego Foundation’s After-the-Fires Fund 2007 was opened on Sunday, October 21, 2007, to receive donations for making emergency grants to first responders and other nonprofit service organizations engaged in disaster response, recovery and rebuilding.

The first stage of the After-the-Fires 2007 effort will be immediate response and recovery activities, primarily the provision of food, shelter, housing and healthcare needs. The second stage will provide grants to help rebuild the lives of fire victims, as well as restore the communities affected by the fires.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week


Storytime with Elaine @ Java Mama!

Stop by Java Mama at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, October for 31, for a storytime you and your kids are sure to love!

Clap your hands, stomp your feet, wiggle all around! Wiggle?! At storytime?! You betcha! Join us as we sing, dance, and read entertaining stories with lots of expression. Aimed at toddlers and preschoolers (but all ages are welcome!).

Free to Java Mama customers

Friday, October 26, 2007

Free Indoor Activities

I know a lot of Moms are trying to remain indoors still due to the poor air quality. But, cabin fever has probably set-in...

Check out this post over at SanDiegoBargainMama.com for some fun & free indoor activities.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

San Diego Fire Assistance

San Diego Mama is saddened by the tragic wildfires racing through our beautiful city. If you would like to help, here are several ways!

Qualcomm Stadium
The public is encouraged to donate the following items in support of supportof fire evacuation relief efforts at Qualcomm Stadium. All donations shouldbe delivered to Gate P at the Qualcomm Stadium. In order to keep roadwaysclear, everyone is encouraged to make their donations quickly and to returnhome directly.
Items Needed
Prepared Foods
Water
Tents
Cots
Blankets

Volunteer San Diego
Currently there are more volunteers than volunteer opportunities.
To receive e-mail announcements of wildfire volunteer opportunities, register with Volunteer San Diego. After registering, you will receive an automatic e-mail message with a link to activate your account. Once you have done so, you will be prompted to update your information in the Member Center. Follow the link to do so and indicate your skills and interests. Be sure to check the interest category "Disaster Prevention/Recovery/Relief."

1. Make a donation
Volunteer San Diego’s Disaster Program is made possible by donations of time and money. Click here to make a donation.

2. Volunteer
2-1-1 is seeking volunteers to help in the next 72 hours to take calls and/or fill other roles at 2-1-1 should that be needed. Shifts are about four hours and training is available. If interested, email volunteer@211sandiego.org with your name, phone number where you can be reached, your email address, and the dates/times that work best with your schedule. A 2-1-1 person will contact you directly once you send that information.

3. In kind donations
To make a donation of emergency supplies and personal necessities are advised to call Goodwill Industries at (888) 446-6394 to find their local Goodwill drop-off site.


Donate Blood
The San Diego Blood Bank has now closed two donor centers due to poor air quality. The two centers are the North County Donor Center, 1340 W. Valley Parkway, Escondido and the North Coastal Donor Center, 161 Thunder Dr., Vista.
Blood donors are urged to check the San Diego Blood bank's Web site, sandiegobloodbank.org frequently to stay updated on locations where they can donate blood this week, as several areas of the county where blood drives were planned have been affected by the fires.
Anyone 17 and older, who weighs at least 110 pounds and is in good health, may qualify to give blood. A good meal and plenty of fluids are recommended prior to donation. For more information, call 1-800-4MY-SDBB.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Weekend Happenings: Clip for the Cure


Need a new haircut? Want to help raise money for breast cancer awareness? Do it all in one place!

What: Get a $15.00 haircut...reasonably priced, right?
When: Saturday, October 20
Where: Regis Hairstyles at the Westfield Horton Plaza in Downtown San Diego
Why: 100% of proceeds will go to the Regis Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. Very generous!

More Information

Mamas in Training


Check out my post on our Mamas in Training blog....happy exercising!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Meet the San Diego Mama Behind....


Mamas love to save money...but are often too busy to find the best deals...that's where San Diego Bargain Mama comes in. Since she is a San Diego Mama herself, Stacey knows exactly what kind of deals and steals we're looking for to help feed, clothe, and entertain our families.

Stacey describes her website as a "one-stop resource for parents who are looking for affordable, kid-friendly activities and great bargains, both online and in town."

So, head on over to SanDiegoBargainMama.com and sign up for her free newsletter, or check our her blog. Let's start saving money!

Meet San Diego Bargain Mama - Stacey!

1. How long have you lived here?
I have lived here for 12 years now (from
Los Angeles).

2. Why did you start your business?
In a nutshell, I wanted to contribute financially to the household, but not have to leave it to do so! I always have wanted to have my own business, but doing so became even more attractive as a parent. As a stay-at-home mom I can be with the kids by day, and work on the business around their schedules.

3. What is your most favorite thing about writing/running your business?
I marvel at the enthusiasm, devotion and discipline of entrepreneurial moms who manage to build their dream jobs, yet still prioritize the most important job in the world. I have gotten to know some amazing ladies and moms who have very inspirational stories, and their passion for what they are doing in their businesses is infectious!

4. What is your all-time favorite thing about living in San Diego?
I love the total package: a scenic paradise, with great weather and air quality and a fabulous, diverse community!

5. Where is your favorite place to eat in San Diego?
For sushi: Nobu in
Solana Beach, and for Mexican: Fidel’s in Carlsbad!

6. Where is your favorite place to go with your children in San Diego?
Petco Park for an afternoon Padre’s game, then dining downtown or at Seaport Village can’t be beat. Well, then again, a nice day at one of our gorgeous beaches is right up there!

7. Where is your favorite place to go with your girlfriends?
I have always loved hanging out at the Del Mar Plaza. Other favorites are the North County Repertory Theatre, the Carlsbad Premium Outlet, and The Belly Up Tavern in
Solana Beach. If we have our kids with us it’s the beach, Legoland, or Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas.

8. Any insider San Diego secrets to share?
Travel Tips: Being that there is so much to explore in San Diego I went online to get the nitty-gritty of cool spots and hang-outs in San Diego. Also, I was in search of fun excursions and well-kept secrets of San Diego. I came across http://www.sdtraveltips.com/ and I have been hooked ever since I discovered that site!

Shopping Tips: I discovered that online shopping could be pretty darned convenient for families with children, especially little ones! Also, I became very motivated to compile sales events in town and online, then share them in the form of SDBM Newsletter and Bargain Alerts, which anyone can subscribe to for free through http://www.sandiegobargainmama.com/ . Parents have the opportunity to share their deals and steals, and SDBM will fill them in with the dates, times, special events, and details for cost-effective shopping events and opportunities in San Diego and online.

Dining Tips: Since the SDBM site caters to “moms who love to find deals”, we plan to make sure to share family-friendly dining information about how to save substantially when eating out with kids. For example, Tuesdays are known for kids-eat-for-free opportunities, and we all know how valuable that can be! Also, with just a few moments of time online, parents sign up family members for free meals and gift certificates by joining a multitude of birthday clubs in popular restaurant and store chains all over San Diego! And, there is more!

Driving Tips: Oh yes! We check http://www.traffic.com/ before taking a road trip. Knowing what to expect traffic-wise on the San Diego freeways is a huge stress-relief, as then we are able to plan our schedule accordingly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Call for Volunteers


Do you, or your children love the ocean and want to share that love with others? Then check out this call for volunteers from the Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Seeks Ocean Lovers for Volunteer Team!

Share your time and love for the ocean by becoming a volunteer at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Help visitors understand marine life and science exhibits, assist instructors in the classroom and interact with visitors from all over the world.

If you are interested in dedicating your time with Birch Aquarium at Scripps, you are invited to join a team of active and enthusiastic volunteers from all backgrounds, professions, ages and areas of the county. Minimum age for volunteers is 16.

For a complete description of volunteer opportunities, visit http://aquarium.ucsd.edu/Members_and_Friends/Volunteer/

The next quarterly volunteer orientation is scheduled for November. If you would like to attend or want to learn more about the fun and excitement of being a Birch Aquarium at Scripps volunteer, fill out an online application, send an e-mail to volunteers@siomail.ucsd.edu or call 858/822-4934.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Don't Forget: Keep A Breast Giveaway

Hi Mamas - don't forget to log-on to sandiegomama.com and enter to win 2 tee-shirts from the Keep-A-Breast Foundation...just another great way to get involved during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Also, check out our other giveaways including, a Chicco stroller giveaway, ITunes giftcard, Snug & Tug swaddling blanket giveaway, and exclusive discounts for San Diego Mamas.

Have a great week, and good luck!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Weekend Happenings: Henrys Wellness Fair


What: Henry's Farmers Market 11th Annual Wellness Fair
The event will feature a special appearance by Sam the Cooking Guy; workshops from 12 prominent natural health experts; and more than 50 exhibits with free food tastings, natural products and health screenings. Henry’s Wellness Fair will also include fitness demonstrations and a children’s zone. The first 1,000 attendees will receive a free Henry’s canvas bag filled with delicious fresh produce.

When: Saturday, October 13, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Where: Scottish Rite Center,

How: Tickets are $10 per person in advance, $15 at the door and can be purchased at your local Henry’s Farmers Market. Admission is free for children 12 and under. For more information, visit http://www.henrysmarkets.com or call your local Henry’s.


I'll be attending this event - so see you there!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Meet the San Diego Mama Behind....


If you're a mama who is looking for a place you can go that both your kids and you will love...check out Java Mama. Relax with a cup of coffee and mingle with other Mamas, while your kids play! Java Mama also offers fun classes for you and your kids, as well as storytimes, Dance Parties, and shopping! Java Mama Alicia definitely knows what San Diego Mamas want!

Meet Alicia!

1. How long have you lived here?
9 years. Wow, time flies.

2. Why did you start your business?
Need. I wanted a place where I could hang-out and work or read and bring my baby girl. I was fine going to coffee shops when she was a newborn, but the minute she was mobile it was really hard to take her anywhere. I would get dirty looks if she made a noise and I couldn’t put her down to crawl. So, I started dreaming of a place that was child-friendly but still had the feeling of an adult hang-out.

3. What is your favorite thing about running your business?
The flexibility of my hours and being able to bring my kids to work. Also, I meet amazing people everyday.

4. What is your all-time favorite thing about living in San Diego?
It would have to be the weather. When I go back East, I appreciate the rain and the snow for a couple of days but I am always glad to return to our sunny, temperate weather.

5. Where is your favorite place to eat in San Diego?
I’m a vegetarian and LOVE Sipz CafĂ© in Clairemont Mesa. They have every imaginable Asian dish and it’s all vegetarian. For fancy dinners or celebrations, my absolute favorite is Jake’s in Del Mar.

6. Where is your favorite place to go with your child/children in San Diego?
I love bringing my kids to the beach, especially dog beach in Ocean Beach. We all have a great time and return home tired and sandy. There is so much to do in San Diego, but one of the problems with owning your own business, is you really need to make time to enjoy them.

7. Where is your favorite place to go without your child (with your husband or girlfriends)?
I have lots of favorites, but my newest one is Wine Steals in Point Loma. It’s a perfect date place with lots of fantastic wine and yummy food.

8. Any insider San Diego secrets to share?
Shopping tips, eating tips, driving tips, etc…
I used to commute from the SDSU area to La Jolla and hated that. My tip for driving is to avoid 805 North and take the 5. My fun tip is to try The Turf Club in Golden Hill. It’s another great date or friend’s night out place where you grill your own steak (or veggie kabobs). On certain nights they have a piano player. Very fun!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

San Diego Mama Favorite: North University Community Library

I did a little mama sleuthing this past week and visited the new North University Community Library that is part of the Nobel Athletic Complex.

My friend was right when she said it looks like a Starbucks without the coffee. It is clean, spacious, and well-designed.

The children's area has plenty of kid-friendly seating, books at eye-level, and educational toys to entertain. And, all of the books are brand new!

My daughter's favorite part is the enormous playground outside the library. There are several play areas for different age groups. The playground is clean and there are always plenty of children and moms to mingle with.

This is definitely going to be a weekly activity for us.

Check out the newest library in San Diego!
8820 Judicial Drive, San Diego, CA

Monday, October 8, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week:Spa Day on the Bay

Spa Day on the Bay! Treat yourself to a little sun, fun and pampering!

Who: San Diego Mamas in need of some relaxation!

What: San Diego Harbor Excursion and Holistic Hands are hosting the second annual Spa Day on The Bay – a decadent spa party – to celebrate the mind, body and spirit aboard the chartered yacht, the California Spirit. Spa services will include massages, facials, foot treatments, lip masques and healthy elixirs. There will also be a lunch menu designed by nutritionist Jan Lovejoy (author of the nationally acclaimed book Get Balanced) and prepared onboard by San Diego Harbor Excursion chefs. The event will also include guest speakers, live music and a variety of health and wellness vendors.

When: Saturday, October 13, 11:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Where: The cruise departs from the foot of Broadway (at Harbor Drive): 1050 N. Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101

Why: Proceeds from Spa Day on the Bay will benefit the Heritage Day Festival and Parade, which takes place each February in celebration of Black Heritage month. The Heritage Day Festival is presented by the non-profit organization, Nu-Way Operation BHILD (Black History is Learning Development program).

How: The cost for Spa Day on the Bay is $125 per person. Reservations are limited, so please call, 619-325-8338, to guarantee your spot. For more information please visit www.holistichands.org.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Weekend Happenings: Baby Panda Naming

Name the newborn giant panda cub at the San Diego Zoo!


What: In appreciation for the community's continued support of the giant panda conservation program, the San Diego Zoo is asking its visitors to become personally involved in the naming of the newborn giant panda cub.

When: Friday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 14

Where: Visit the Giant Panda Research Station

Why: Become part of San Diego Zoo History!

How: Stop by the Giant Panda Research Station and submit a name in Chinese (pinyin), have an English translation and be symbolic in meaning. After the 10-day period, the Zoo’s giant panda team, comprised of keepers, veterinarians, scientists and others, will choose several names from those suggested by Zoo visitors based on certain criteria.

The selected names will then be reviewed by the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association and those approved will be posted later this month on the Zoo’s Web site at www.sandiegozoo.org for a final vote by the global community. Check the Zoo Web site for updates on when to vote online and to see the cub live through Panda Cam.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Yoga Today


Check out my "guest" post over at the Mamas In Training blog today...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Meet the San Diego Mamas Behind...

SanDiegoTravelTips.com is a great new San Diego Mama find. If you are looking for unique things to do and interesting San Diego sites to see…this is your site! And the best part – it is run by two women!

Their goal is to “discover and provide tips and information you probably won't find on other San Diego-related websites…our primary focus is to lead you to the hidden treasures and local spots. We want to shine a light on what makes San Diego special by suggesting ideas off-the-beaten path.”

Sign up for the free online membership, check out their free weekly travel tips, and visit their blog.

Meet the women behind SanDiegoTravelTips.com!

1. How long have you lived here?
There are two women behind San Diego Travel Tips.com. One is a native San Diegan born and raised in La Jolla. The other, a transplant from Los Angeles (thankfully), going back to 1979. We believe that makes a total of 70 years in San Diego!

2. Why did you start your business?
We started the business because we needed a change. We had both been working in the political arena. As we like to say, it was time to do something positive! We wanted to have a blast doing something we loved to do and put it all together in a website. We love to explore and find hidden treasures our region. We built our website from top to bottom which allows us share what we love the most about San Diego by providing great tips for our members. And it’s FREE!

3. What is your favorite thing about running your business?
We love the freedom. The freedom to create, push our limits (real or imagined) and short-circuit our brain cells! LOL. We have learned more than we could have ever imagined. We love the freedom to work on our own terms, make decisions without having to wait for a chain-of-command and adapt to all of the situations that come our way. We really enjoy going out and researching the places we recommend. There has to be something special about the place for us to recommend it. While a restaurant might not have the best food, if it has great ambiance and something unique to San Diego or something about it, we recommend it. We love supporting San Diego local businesses. Everything we do has a positive spin and it just beckons positive outcomes.

4. What is your all-time favorite thing about living in San Diego?
Always first and foremost: we love the water. We love being close to the water and seeing it everyday. We love that there is just so much to do in San Diego- from the desert to the ocean and everything in between. It is just amazing to explore and constantly find new discoveries.

5. Where is your favorite place to eat in San Diego?
Different places based on different moods. For sushi, Sushi Ota in PB. For muscle bisque, a great loaf of bread, great ambience,- Dobson’s-downtown. Persian? Soltan Banoo in University Heights. A woman and her two daughters own and operate it. This is a wonderful family and we have to support woman-owned businesses! Shall we go on? LOL.

6. Where is your favorite place to go with your child/children in San Diego?
We’re fresh air kind of gals. And we don’t believe in taking the ocean/beach for granted. We are all so lucky to live here! In the San Diego region, we have so many urban and rural places to visit. There are so many places that are free or inexpensive, and great for kids and the kids-at-heart. We love to take kids to the Balboa Park Carousel and miniature train ride. Getting kids on the water-cheap- is always best on the ferry to Coronado. Picnic or eating inexpensively on Coronado is easy. The canyons of Balboa Park for small hikes provide a learning laboratory of our natural habitat and there’s always the Spruce Street Bridge.

7. Where is your favorite place to go without your child (with your husband or girlfriends)?
Our favorite places fall nearly always anywhere along the water. The Fish Market downtown has great view and is really relaxing. Spending time out on Sunset Cliffs watching a sunset. We love to take the time to have a special lunch at La Valencia Hotel or even Mille Fleur in Rancho Santa Fe—special places for special occasions. We have to splurge sometimes! Still these restaurants don’t have to break the bank.

8. Any insider San Diego secrets to share?
Well, that goes without saying. You have to check out our website at www.sandiegotraveltips.com to find out all the secrets we find.

Check out this great resource…and explore San Diego!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mamas in Training


Are you training for a marathon, triathalon, jog down the street? Then, check out our TodaysMama blog, Mamas in Training. Real moms like you share training tips, nutrition tips, general exercise tips and their training journeys.

Monday, October 1, 2007

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Hi San Diego Mamas! It's October, and that means falling leaves, colder nights, sweaters, and yes, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

And to help raise awareness San Diego Mama is giving away 2 t-shirts to one lucky mom, from Keep A Breast Foundations signature clothing line! Check out SanDiegoMama.com to enter today!

Keep A Breast is a nonprofit breast cancer awareness organization that creates one-of-a-kind plaster casts of the female torso, which are customized by fine artists and auctioned to raise funds for breast cancer research, treatment and support programs. Combining sculpture, philanthropy, and symbolic artistry, Keep A Breast’s goal is to bring a fresh perspective to this important cause in a way that is relevant and inspiring to today’s youth. Founded by Shaney Jo Darden and Mona Mukherjea-Gherig in 2000. Funds have been raised on behalf of Young Survival Coalition, Susan G. Komen Foundation, The Breast Cancer Fund, Asha-Killgallen Fund, Kapiolanni Breast Center, and Europadonna. More information can be found at keep-a-breast.org.

So, enter to win, spread the news, and let's raise awareness! Go Mamas Go!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Weekend Happenings: French Tales

Who: Francophile Families

What:French Tales
Presented in conjunction with Impressionist Giverny, this engaging reading features such classic French tales as Charlotte in Giverny, Madeleine, excerpts from The Little Prince, and more.

When: Saturday, September 29, 11:45 AM

Where: The San Diego Museum of Art

Why: Tres Chic

Thursday, September 27, 2007

San Diego County Library Happy Hour

Nope...they aren't selling alcohol in the county libraries. To finish off Library Card Sign-Up Month, San Diego County Libraries are hosting a Happy Hour - during with they will waive fines on all overdue materials returned tomorrow afternoon, Friday September 28, from 2:00-5:00 p.m.

A list of San Diego County Library branches and their hours can be found at: http://www.sdcl.org/locations.html

For more information, phone: (858) 694-2484.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

San Diego Mama Favorites: Ikea Bevara Sealing Clips

There is a lot I could say about the benefits of living close to an Ikea, and it is definitely a San Diego favorite among families. But out of all the "stuff," I've ever bought at Ikea, the Bevara sealing clips have to be my favorite purchase. They come in two different sizes and in a pack of 30...for only $2.99. I use them to clip shut everything...chip/pretzel bags, flour/sugar bags, bags of baby carrots and dried beans...anything that it's in a bag and that needs to be closed. They are dishwasher and freezer safe, and not a single one has broken. And - they help keep my pantry much more organized.

Mamas run...run to Ikea..these will solve all your problems...at least all your open bag, stale chip, disorganized pantry problems.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week: Family Day 2007

Today is Family Day 2007: A day to eat dinner with your family. Family Day was started by CASA - the National Center for Substance and Addiction Abuse, in 2001, as a national movement that encourages parents to frequently eat dinner with their kids and be involved in their children’s lives as simple, effective ways to reduce substance abuse among children and teens.

So, in honor of family day, and sitting down with your families for good conversation and food, I thought I would share a fun family-favorite recipe!

It doesn't matter what I top this with, this pizza dough recipe rocks. It is easy and so, so good.

Enjoy!

Pizza Dough

4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 T olive oil
1 3/4 cup warm water

1) In a kitchen aid, blend the 4 cups of flour, yeast, and salt with a dough hook until combined. With the mixer running, pour the oil, then the water until a rough ball forms -30-40 seconds. Let the dough rest for 2 minutes, then mix for 1 minute.

2) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter top and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour as needed. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1- 1 1/2 hours.

3) Place an oven rack to the lower-middle position. Place a baking stone in the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.

4) Divide the dough into 3 even pieces. Shape the pieces into a smooth rounds. Keep the pieces covered when you are not working the dough, so they won't dry out.

5) Uncover the balls and shape it into a 12-inch rounds. Transfer to the hot pizza stone, and add sauce and toppings. Bake 8-13 minutes, until crust is brown and cheese is golden in spots.

Notes: You can either half the recipe for 1 large pizza, or make the entire batch and freeze half the dough for later. Also, if you like crispier crust, don't let the dough rise for very long. If you prefer softer, fluffier crust, just let it rise longer than 2 hours.

Have a great dinner with your family tonight!