Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Meet the San Diego Mama Behind...

I've known the Mama behind Butter Braid San Diego for a few 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, 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 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

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 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, 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 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 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 . 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 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

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 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 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 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

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 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... 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!

1. How long have you lived here?
There are two women behind San Diego Travel 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 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 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

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