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!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekend Happenings: Art in the Park!

Who: Fun for the whole family
What: Plein Air Art Festival.
  • Wander the Reserve and discover artists painting on site Saturday morning
  • Nature walks at 10 am and 2 pm
  • Special historic architecture tours at 11 am and 1 pm will focus on the Lodge and Guy Fleming House
  • Special for Kids – plein air watercolor activity, drop in 10 am - 2 pm
  • New displays of Reserve projects – what we’ve done, where we want to go
  • Docent exhibits of Reserve artwork and memorabilia
  • Beautiful posters, books, note cards, T-shirts for sale (cash or checks only)
  • Book signing by Bill Evarts, author of "Torrey Pines - Landscape and Legacy"
When: Saturday, September 22, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Where: Torrey Pines State Park
Why: Proceeds benefit the Torrey Pines Reserve Endowment Fund
How: Reserve day use fee is $8 per vehicle or valid annual pass
Free shuttle service 8 am - 4 pm from South Beach and North Beach lots to the Visitor Center ~ courtesy of the Torrey Pines Association ~
Disabled parking available with placard in upper Reserve lot

Check out the San Diego Mama calendar for a complete list of weekend happenings in San Diego

Dinnertime Trivia

Tonight at sundown, Jewish families in San Diego will begin their observance of Yom Kippur, known as the Day of Atonement. Here are just a few facts from Wikipedia we can share with our families today to help broaden our perspectives:
  • It is considered to be one of the holiest and most solemn days of the year.
  • Its central theme is atonement and repentence for sins against both God and one's fellow man.
  • Total abstention from food and drink usually begins half-an-hour before sundown (called tosefet Yom Kippur), and ends after nightfall the following day.
  • Virtually all Jewish holidays involve a ritual feast; in the case of Yom Kippur, since one cannot eat a festive meal on the day itself, one therefore eats the festive meal on the afternoon prior to the fast. Traditional foods consumed during that meal include kreplach and rice.
To learn more, click here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Meet the San Diego Mama Behind....


This Week for Dinner is one of the coolest foodie blogs around, and the blogger is a San Diego resident...and my neighbor!

Meal planning can get so monotonous for us Mamas...and Jane has helped solve this problem!


Every week Jane shares her recipes, food facts, San Diego "Fab Fav's," music and much, much more. She also shares her weekly menu, and readers can post their own menus, which gives everyone a collection of ideas to pull from each week.


Meet Jane!


How long have you lived here?

6 great years. We love San Diego!

Why did you start your blog?

I’m no chef and I don’t even get food magazines (although I do love eating and CAN cook – I promise)!
I always had trouble thinking of what to make for dinner every night…in fact it made me kind of crazy. I started the blog mostly to get ideas from my friends and family, ideas for REAL meals I would actually cook. I also felt the accountability to post a menu each week would keep me planning (which it has!). It just grew from there! I do love photography and writing, so it’s a great outlet for that as well.

What is your favorite thing about writing a blog?

I love taking the pictures of food…and I feel like the blog makes me continually improve on that front.
I also can’t believe that I’ve essentially created a whole new ‘community’ of people. Whenever there is dialogue among readers or I get a letter from someone saying how much they love and use the blog, it makes me realize that people really are reading and benefiting from it. That feels great!

What is your favorite recipe from your blog?

That’s tough since I just post my favorites up there. But I guess if I HAVE to choose, I’d say the
Fruit Dip.
I just love that stuff. (It’s sooooo easy too.)

What is your all-time favorite thing about living in
San Diego?
This is going to sound SO clich├ęd, but it’s the weather.
Until you live here you don’t realize how good weather all the time makes life so NICE. I’m really going to miss the weather when we have to move away one day. I also never get mosquito bites here!

Where is your favorite place to eat in
San Diego?
For nicer restaurants, I love the Ocean Terrace at
George’s at the Cove in La Jolla and Jake’s Del Mar. They both overlook the ocean (Jake’s is right on the beach) but they also have GREAT food.
In fact, the best fish tacos I’ve ever had were at George’s. I thought Rubio’s couldn’t be beat, but I was wrong! For more casual dining, we go to Islands a lot…kid-friendly and I love the cheese fries with ranch sauce more than anything. One more dinner spot…Phil’s BBQ (used to be in Hillcrest, now on Sports Arena) is SO DANG GOOD. Their BBQ sauce is to die for.

That said, Extraordinary Desserts is hands-down my favorite food spot! The Hillcrest location is quaint, small, cute. Very nice ambience. The downtown location is very modern and hip feeling – fun in a totally different way. ‘The Viking’ is my favorite cake, which Nate gets me for my birthday every year. I also had an amazing Choclate Croissant Bread Pudding there once when it was on special. Yum, yum, yum.

Where is your favorite place to go with your child in San Diego?
Probably the San Diego Zoo. I need to get there more often! Of course the beach is a great spot, but I definitely don’t get there enough considering how close we are.
I have to admit I also love going to our local YMCA…Cate loves the playcare and I get to work out! It’s also a great community to be a part of, and Cate has participated in several of their programs. Balboa Park is an amazing place to walk around, especially on the Free Museum Tuesdays!

Where is your favorite place to go without your child (with your husband or girlfriends)?
Well, with Nate I just love going out to dinner at the aforementioned restaurants – or anywhere for that matter.
With girlfriends, I think it would be going for a pedicure, which I hardly ever do! Color Me Nails & Spa on Mira Mesa Blvd. is the best pedicure I’ve ever had. It was about $20, super clean shop, super thorough pedicure.

Any insider San Diego secrets to share?
Photography tip:
The best beach spot for family/couple pictures is Wind ‘N’ Sea beach in La Jolla. High tide or low tide, there are so many amazing spots for beautiful pictures. That’s where I always take clients for beach photo shoots .

Shopping tip: ‘The Pink Zone’ and ‘Closet’ in Pacific Beach (both on Garnet Ave.) are little cheap clothing stores that are awesome. You can get t-shirts and camisoles for $2-$5, which is so nice. They also have fun, super trendy clothes for very inexpensive prices – a nice way to stay a little hip without the guilt of spending money!

Check out this San Diego Mama favorite!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Freebie Alert!

I love magazines, I love kids, and I love free stuff...so imagine my delight when I came across Small Magazine...an online magazine for moms, and it's free!

Small Magazine refers to themselves as the first magazine style website for kids independent design.

This super stylish magazine includes:

The latest clothing styles for kids
Cool kid products
Recipes
Interviews with designers/illustrators/artists
Book Reviews
and click on Small Draw to print off coloring pages

You can subscribe through their website for free.

Take a look!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week


One of my favorite things to do is to go for an afternoon drive around Coronado, play a little at the beach, and enjoy the beautiful community.

Another way to enjoy the beautiful "island" is by taking a walking tour. With tours almost everyday, there is surely a time that fits your family's schedule!

So pack some water, snacks, your trusty shoes and hit the streets of Coronado for a behind-the-scenes look. Finish off your day with a little relaxation on the beach - consistently named one of the top 10 family beaches in the United States!


Tour Option #1
What:
"Promenade of the Past," 60 minutes
When: Wednesdays at 2 PM and Fridays at 10:30 AM
Where: Meet in Museum of History & Art lobby
How:
$10 fee. For reservations and information, call 619 -437-8788.

Tour Option #2

What: “Coronado Walking Tour,” 90 minutes
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 11 AM
Where: Meet in the lobby of the Glorietta Bay Inn
How: $12 fee.
Call 619-435-5993 for reservations.


For more information visit the Coronado Visitors Center.


San Diego Mama Shopping Tip

Here’s a tip San Diego Mamas – Chicco, maker of great gear for babies, is giving away 30 strollers in 30 days. During the month of September they’re giving away one Ct 0.1 stroller (a premier stroller in their line) EVERYDAY. Hurry! You only have through September to win. To enter, click here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Weekend Happenings: Green Family Day


Who: Eco-conscious families in San Diego...and those who want to learn about being green!

What:Learn about the latest sustainable technologies and products in this sustainability-themed information fair. Exhibitors from local organizations will be sharing their sustainable methods. Hybrid cars, solar panels, biodegradable cleaning products, organically-produced foods, and more will be represented. All ages Free with paid admission.

Where: Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA

When: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Check out our full list of San Diego weekend events.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Behind the Scenes

Hi Mamas! I wanted to let you know about a new feature on our blog. Each month I will be posting about 2 or 3 different San Diego Mamas who are not only great mothers, but business owners, blog writers and trend setters. Learn about what they do, why they do it, and what they love about San Diego (with a few insider tips thrown in).

Do you know someone who should be featured - or do you want to be featured yourself? Send me an email!

Check back next week for our first mama interview!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

San Diego Favorite: Pat & Oscar's House Dressing

It's no secret that Pat & Oscar's is a favorite among San Diego families...good food, lots of it, and not a lot of money. The perfect combination for any family!

Well, did you know you can have a bit of Pat & Oscar's every night? Now you can find Pat & Oscar's House Dressing at Costco! A little lemony, a little garlicky, a little vinegary...and just the right amounts of each.

I like to pour a little on cucumbers for a dinner appetizer, or mix it with salad greens and grilled chicken and stuff everything into a tortilla for a yummy light dinner, or just dip veggies in it.

This might be just what you needed to get your kids to eat their vegetables...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week

Help keep America's Finest City in tip-top shape during the 23rd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. San Diego Coastkeepr and I Love A Clean San Diego are partnering with the California Coastal Commission for this annual event.

Who:Calling all San Diego Mamas and their families, friend and neighbors.

What:Register for the biggest volunteer event in San Diego County and play a role in keeping our ocean, coastlines and waterways clean and free of debris Help restore our beaches and waterways, and learn how individual action can make a tremendous difference to our natural resources.

When: Saturday, September 15th

Where: Register online at http://www.cleanupday.org. Choose a cleanup site near you and become an "environmental steward in your community."

Why: Because were Mamas and we want a clean San Diego for our kids.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Celebrate Grandparents Day!

Sunday, September 9 is National Grandparent's Day. According to the official website, http://www.grandparents-day.com, " National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisom and heritage their grandparents could provide."

Grandparents Day was made official by Jimmy Carter in 1978, and it was proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated annually on the first Sunday after Labor Day.

I personally never celebrated Grandparents day growing up, but now that I have a baby, and my own parents are grandparents, it seems fitting to celebrate the important role they are in her life.

Here are just a few simple ideas to celebrate:
  • Visit them, of course! Let them play and enjoy their grandchildren.
  • Have your children color them a picture, or write them a letter if they are able.
  • Video your grandparents talking about their lives.
  • Send new photos of their grandchildren to them.
  • Visit the Escondido Children's Museum where Grandparents get half off admission this week.
Or, help grandparents everywhere by participating in the Walk of Ages - ElderHelp Annual Walk, at the NTC Promenade in Point Loma.

Who:
Everyone - bring your grandparents for a great day of fun and exercise!


What:
The ElderHelp Annual Walk of Ages

The 1 & 3 mile courses weave through the charm of Liberty Station on Point Loma’s historic Naval Training Center. Games and exhibits for the whole family will round out the fun to provide children and adults alike an opportunity to engage in activities designed to entertain and enlighten.

When:
Saturday, September 8, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM, NTC Promenade


Where
: NTC Promenade, Point Loma


Why:
Proceeds from Walk of Ages benefit ElderHelp of San Diego
whose purpose is to provide the elderly with the assistance they need to remain in their own homes and neighborhoods.

Visit ElderHelp of San Diego to register, and for more information!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

San Diego Favorites - Henry's Farmers Market Granola

I shop at Henry's every week, without fail. I buy all the good produce Henry's is known for, and the breads, and the yummy Italian soda, and the great kettle cooked chips. But, there is one reason I go back to Henry's every week...the bulk granola!

You can buy as much as you would like, it's always fresh, and with at least 10 different flavors, there is something for everyone in your family.


My favorites include the french vanilla granola, the low-fat strawberry raspberry granola and the honey almond granola. There are many flavors I haven't tried yet, and they are always introducing new flavors, like the new ginger snap flavor.

I eat my granola everyday for breakfast with some of Henry's low-fat vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit. And I often finish my day with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and granola.

That's the beauty of granola - it can brighten both ends of your day!

For a Henry's Farmer's Market near you visit, www.henrysmarkets.com

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

SanDiegoMama Giveaways!

Where can you go to win 2 children's sleeping bags from Artistic Sensations, a gift certificate to QuoteTheWalls.com, and children's travel gear from Madallie? SanDiegoMama.com of course!

Check out our current SanDiegoMama Giveaways.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Calendar Pick of the Week

Who: San Diego Mamas!
What: Mom's Breakfast Club.
Invite your friends! All our welcome to share in this hour to relax while the kids are taken care of by capable museum staff. www.escondidochildrensmuseum.org
When: Thursday, September, 6, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where: Escondido Children's Museum
Why: Because sometimes Mamas need a timeout too.