Hometown online fashion favorites at Tobi.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Coming Up: Bay Area Science Festival

10 days - 50 events. You're bound to find something you like! And most events are free.

The Bay Area Science Festival starts tomorrow, October 27, with Explorer Days events all around the San Francisco Bay. Some activities are adults-only, and others welcome kids. Go through the schedule and see what interests you.

Here are two geared at families on Saturday.  Head to Concord for Contra Costa Discovery Day. They'll have 20+ hands-on science booths for kids 5-14, and a STEM mentorship program for high school students. There's also a program at the Sonoma County Fairground, from 10-4 on Saturday. They'll be dissecting a squid and will have a space station museum. They'll have 100+ hands-on exhibits.

The festival concludes on November 5 at AT&T Park with a Discovery Day geared toward families, with kids up to age 14, It's free, no tickets needed. They'll have  for a free science extravaganza from 10-4. They'll have 150 experiments, shows, games and more. It includes robots, STEM programs, life sciences, marine science, and chances to meet scientists and engineers. They expect 30,000 people to attend!

Halloween Fun in the Bay Area This Weekend

Lots of Halloween fun this weekend! If you missed our Bay Area 2016 Halloween round-up, here it is. 

But we have a few more things to add.

Treasure Island Flea
This Saturday and Sunday, head over to Treasure Island for the Treasure Island Flea (in costume) for some Halloween fun and shopping. They'll have trick-or-treating at 400 vendor stalls (bring a bucket!), a costume contest for adults, kids and dogs at 2:00 each day, a pumpkin patch with 1,000 free pumpkins and a free design-your-own workshop. Each day, the first 500 people there can get a pumpkin and join the workshop. The Flea runs from 10-4. Entry is $3/adults - free for kids, pets and cars.

Jack o' Lantern Jamboree
Head over to Children's Fairyland in Oakland this Saturday and Sunday for the usual fun, PLUS goody bags and treat stations, bounce houses, balloon twisters, pirate school, parades, unlimited rides, special performances and more.

Marin Halloween Faire
This annual faire in Strawberry includes a carnival, bounce house, costume parade, candy and prize hunt. It's on Sunday, October 30 from 11-12:30.

Palo Alto's California Avenue Trick-or-Treat Carnival
This 22nd annual event features a ton of activities, including live music from Andy Z, to story time with the library. Get photos, watch dancing, check out the fire and police trucks, and trick-or-treat at the local stores. Plus a costume contest.

Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California's Carnival
Celebrate Halloween in San Francisco's Japantown on Friday night. Decorate a spooky rice ball (onigiri), play games and enter the costume contest.

Halloween Hoopla at Yerba Buena Center
Check out the interactive performances and games for kids 10 and under. Lots of live music, ecocrafts, palm reading, pumpkin patch and parade. It's on Sunday from noon - 2.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Books We're Reading: ADHD Nation, Parent Hacks and The Art of Risk

We wanted to share some books we've been reading lately, that you might enjoy.

ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an Epidemic by Alan Schwarz

I have to admit that given the title of the book and some brief comments I read from others before reading it, I thought this book would try to discredit the existence of ADHD and make parents feel bad if their kids were diagnosed with it, like they were all suckers. That was not the case at all. Author Alan Schwarz (a colleague from my college newspaper days and a highly respected former New York Times journalist) clearly did a ton of research, interviewing more than 1,000 people for the book, from researchers to doctors to patients. He doesn't dispute that ADHD exists and is treated by the medications on the market.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

2016 Halloween Family-Friendly Events in the Bay Area

In case you weren't aware, Halloween is coming up! I wanted to add some more to this post but realize that I'm running out of time. So I'll add more as it comes in, but I wanted to make sure none of these events passed!

Here are some Halloween 2016 events for families in the Bay Area

What: Stern Grove's Scaregrove
When: Friday, October 28 from 3-9
What: Haunted house, hay rides, arts and crafts, inflatables, carnival rides
Cost: $8/person - all inclusive (free ages 2 and under)
Who: the whole family
More info: Scaregrove

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Children's Theater in the Bay Area

We wanted to share some fall theater shows to take the kids to. We'll add more as we get them.

What: Peter and the Starcatcher (Berkeley Playhouse)
Where/When: September 22 - October 16
Tickets: here

What: The Jungle Book (Marin Theater Company)
When/Where: October 29-November 6
Tickets: Marin Theater Company

What: Seussical (Bay Area Children's Theater)
October 8 - November 6 - Berkeley (Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse)
November 12-13 - San Ramon (Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center)
November 19 - December 11 - San Francisco (Children's Creativity Museum Theater)
Tickets: here

What: A Christmas Carol (Bay Area Children's Theater)
Where/When: November 11-20 - San Jose (Montgomery Theater)
Tickets: here

What: Hairspray (Children’s Musical Theater San Jose)
Where/When: December 2-11 - San Jose (Montgomery Theater)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Review: Demi Hugger for Luggage

Every year I go to a conference in New York, and wheeling my suitcase with a briefcase (holding my computer) on the handle. And every few minutes the briefcase slides off. It drives me nuts, but I've never figured out a solution.

Recently I got an email from Demi Hugger, showing me their product. It seemed like a problem solver. They sent me one to try, and I have to say it worked. I took it on a trip recently where I didn't have my briefcase, but rather my trusty backpack, pictured below.

How it works:
The Demi Hugger is like a big sash with velcro. The velcro strip can attach anywhere on the long neoprene strap. It can be wrapped horizontally or vertically. There's an opening so the Demi Hugger fits over the handle/pull, attaching it securely to the luggage. Actually, there's an opening each way to fit it on the handle. It weighs very little but feels quite strong.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Customized Invitations and Announcements - Endless Options from BasicInvite.com

This post is brought to you by BasicInvite.com, but all writing and opinions are my own.

When my kids were born, I printed out their baby announcements on special vellum paper, attaching it to card stock with ribbon and then sending them out to friends and family. This was not a good project for a new mom. It was time consuming and required my husband bringing home his office cutting device, standing over the printer feeding in the vellum, and then ordering new ink when I ran out. In decade-plus that’s passed since then, there are so many better options for designing and ordering beautiful announcements online, at a very reasonable cost.

Baby announcements from Basic Invite.

We get our photo holiday cards online. We get customized thank you notes online. We’ve gotten birthday invitations online.

So when it was time to order my son’s bar mitzvah invitations, did I call to an invitation person?