Thursday, April 30, 2009
The 87th Annual May Fête Children’s Parade on Saturday, May 2 in downtown Palo Alto. This is apparently Northern California’s oldest and largest children’s parade (though I wonder how much competition for that title there is...).
It begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of Emerson Street and University Avenue, and the theme is “Dream Green.” You can expect entertainment from local high school and junior high school marching bands, decorated hand-pulled floats, and thousands of children marching, skating, cycling, tumbling, and strolling through downtown Palo Alto.
After the parade, join Partners in Education for food, music, and games at the 7th Annual Partners Town Fair at Addison School until 1 p.m.
The parade is sponsored by the City of Palo Alto Recreation, the Palo Alto Weekly and the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Wednesday, April 29 at 7 p.m.
Children's Author & Puppeteer Lucia Gonzalez
Celebrate Day of the Books/ Day of the Children with stories shared by Ms. Gonzalez.
Great family program!
Friday, May 8 at 3:30 p.m.
Mother's Day Craft
Join us to make a special craft for your mom, just in time for Mother's Day.
Children ages 3 and older welcome.
Tuesday, May 12 at 10:30 a.m.
Mandarin- English Bilingual Storytime
A wonderful morning of bilingual stories for preschoolers.
Friday, June 5 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Summer Reading Kick-Off Party
Come on in to sign up for the Summer Reading Club, do a craft and check out some books.
Monday, June 8 at 4:30 p.m.
Origami Workshop for Elementary School Children
Come watch Jeremy Shafer's origami demonstration. Jeremy will also show you how to do basic origami.
For children in elementary school.
Thursday, June 18 at 3:30 p.m.
Father's Day Craft
Join us to make a special craft for your mom, just in time for Mother's Day.
Children ages 3 and older welcome.
Tuesday, June 23 at 2:30 p.m.
Be Creative Craft Project #1
Join us for the first in a series of creative craft projects.
Perfect program for children 4 and older.
Thursday, July 2 at 3:30 p.m.
Fourth of July Craft
Learn about the Fourth of July and make a special craft.
Great craft program for children 4 and older.
The Foster City Library is at 1000 E. Hillsdale Blvd., in Foster City
B of A is offering free Spring and Fall admission dates to the California Academy of Sciences based on zip code (bring your ID). The list is too long to reprint here, but the museum's website has all the details. The first neighborhoods up are the Mission and Bernal Heights, May 1-3.
Spring dates are in May and June and fall dates are September and October, and run Friday through Sunday.
As usual, the third Wednesday of every month is free, thanks to Wachovia.
Monday, April 27, 2009
It expires tonight at 10:00 p.m. Pacific time. Find a Redbox kiosk near you.
I got an email from Plaza Research in San Francisco about some upcoming focus groups. If you fit the bill for any of them - click on the link and fill out their information. If they want to hear more, they'll call you.
~CONSUMER PRODUCTS~WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29TH, 2 HOUR FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION DURING AFTERNOON OR EVENING
Requirements: Males and females age 30-45
If you are interested in the CONSUMER PRODUCTS study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey: http://tinyurl.com/crtgeh
~COMPUTERS~MONDAY, MAY 11TH & TUESDAY, MAY 12TH, 90 MINUTE FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION DURING AFTERNOON AND EVENING
Requirements: Males and females age 18-65
If you are interested in the COMPUTERS study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey: http://tinyurl.com/c6tu9l
~ADVERTISING & NEWS~FRIDAY, MAY 15TH - MONDAY, MAY 25TH, 5 HOUR IN HOME/IN OFFICE OR SCHOOL INTERVIEW
Requirements: Males and females age 18-55
Incentive: $150.00-$500.00 If you are interested in the ADVERTISING & NEWS study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey: http://tinyurl.com/cb9kgv
Sunday, April 26, 2009
It's your last chance to get great tickets at AT&T Park for the San Francisco Giants v. Colorodo Rockies game, AND support the San Mateo - Foster City Education Foundation at the same time.
The game is Saturday, May 2, 2009, at 1:05 PM. Tickets are view level reserved, and cost only $18. The Giants will donate $8 for each ticket sold to the Foundation, to help preserve the district's 5th grade music program.
Three ways to get your tickets:
1. Visit the district office in Foster City (1170 Chess Drive, just off Hwy 92) through Wednesday.
2. Call 650-312-7235
3. Buy them online (though you'll pay service fees at this option).
"This family classic relives the poignant and funny story of Anne Shirley, the spunky, red-headed orphan who comes to Prince Edward Island hoping to find a happy home.
Freckled-faced Anne arrives at the Bright River Railway Station full of hope for a new life at the home of brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. She is devastated when she discovers that the elderly couple was expecting a boy and ecstatic when they decide to keep her! With her fiery temper, passion for melodrama and romance, and penchant for misadventures, Anne brings laughter, love and more than a little consternation to the village of Avonlea.”
The cast is mostly kids with a few adults thrown in for good measure. The shows are well done and fun to watch – especially with your kids!
When: May 1-10 (weekends)
Where: Bayside Performing Arts Center in San Mateo
Tickets: $16 for adults, $10 for kids. Call 650-992-7433 or click here to order online.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Unfortunately, not eveyone has Teacher Carrie or Teacher Irene to help the kids create Mother's Day gifts for them. And as for Dad thinking these up? Yeah - good luck.
Fortunately, though, we have Michael's craft store, which is offering a week's worth of FREE Mother's Day crafts at their stores. Maybe Dad can bring the kids over there, or you can give the kids a nudge and bring them yourself.
While projects may change by store, here's a sample of their offerings:
Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - decorate plate
Sunday, May 3 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - t-shirt
Monday, May 4 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. - corsage
Tuesday, May 5 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. - paper flower bouquet
Wednesday, May 6 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. - personalized coupon book
Thursday, May 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. - card making
Friday, May 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m - wooden frame
Saturday, May 9 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. - beading
Sunday, May 10 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. - decorate a cookie WITH mom
What is your all-time favorite Mother's Day gift?
Join in special family activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (though the museum is open until 5:00). The fabulous Elana Jagoda (teacher Elana to many of us), along with the Zum Gali Band will perform. And storyteller Liora Brosbe will keep us entertained as well.
As for family activities, you'll make puppets out of freedom-inspired items and contribute to the museum's Chagall inspired murals (current exhibits include Chagall and Russian artists, Passover-themed art and Jews on vinyl).
And if you find Dori's pink retainer there, let me know. We lost it during the December Target Family Day. The $275 we spent on a new one (no, insurance didn't cover it), more than made up for the money we saved on admission.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Julie Friedman, a mom of 2 boys in San Mateo, needs a bone marrow transplant and her friends are organizing the bone marrow registry drive this Friday and Saturday. Julie needs the transplant to battle AML, acute myeloid leukemia.
All you have to do is show up and get your cheek swabbed with a Q-tip. It takes a few minutes to fill out the paperwork. That's it! The costly drive is being underwritten by several donors, though they welcome donations to cover the cost (it costs $100 to add a donor to the registry).
If you can't make it to the marrow drive, you can register online (it will cost you $25, though the actual cost is $100, presumably also underwritten). Go to www.marrow.org to register online, and enter the promo code JUST4JULIE. The online drive goes through 5/14/09.
The local bone marrow drive is Friday April 24 and Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Highlands Recreation Center (1851 Lexington Ave, San Mateo, CA). For more information, call 510-301-9512.
I have additional contact information, if you want to contact the organizers to make a donation/volunteer to the drive. Email me at email@example.com if you want that.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The sale is good through April 30, 2009 at midnight PST and you need to use the code LUCKY when you check out (it's above the cart order when you first start the check out process).
Sunday, April 19, 2009
To take the pledge, click on this Earthbound Farms link and click "take the pledge." You'll go to a pretty kitchen photo. Learn about different ways to go green by clicking on the sunflowers. At the top of each pop-up box, you can click "add to my pledge" and that will take to the next step (of giving them your address, of course).
And even if you don't win, please bring your bags back to the store to use again! We have a trunk full of canvas shopping bags we collect from conferences etc. Mollie Stone's even sells them for a measly $1.
Friday, April 17, 2009
There is such a thing as a free lunch (provided by Urban Lunch), kicking off the festival at noon.
Work off lunch with "get up and move" activities including yoga, an obstacle course, rhythm and movement jams, etc. Kids will have fun with face painting, a bubble station, prizes, freebies, etc.
The event is funded by a Family Convener's Family Action Grant.
What: Health and Fitness Festival
When: Saturday April 18th, from noon to 3:00
Where: .Jose Ortega Elementary School in San Francisco. (400 Sargent Street in the Ocean View/Merced Heights/Ingleside neighborhood).
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Bring the kids for children’s activities, live music, resources from local environmental groups, cooking and garden demonstrations, great food, a farmers market and more. You'll go home inspired to take a small step towards being a good caretaker of our planet.
Where: Lucie Stern Community Center (1305 Middlefield Rd/Embarcadero - Palo Alto)
When: Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I know what you mean! Many time management experts, including the venerable Julie Morgenstern, recommend checking email only at preset times so you’re not bouncing between your work and your inbox. That’s a great idea.
It’s also helpful to delete yourself from mailing lists of groups that no longer interest you. The spam filter is your friend, and so is the phone.
What do I do with all the artwork coming home from school? I feel guilty throwing it out but I can’t keep everything.
I’m not surprised that you mentioned this. This is a familiar problem. I’m the mom of a prolific kindergartener, and every week there’s a new batch of masterpieces to ooh and aah over.
Here are few suggestions for art:
- Send creations in a care package to the grandparents.
- Use large paintings as wrapping paper or note cards.
- Rotate new pictures through a large art frame, which can also hold up to 50 other works. (Check out the ones at dynamicframes.com.)
- At the end of each school year, put your favorite two or three pieces in an expanding folder or file. (Personally, I’m a sucker for anything with a little handprint on it.)
- Scan the artwork and store the digital images on a CD. Bottom line: It’s OK – it really is – to toss the rest when your kid’s not around. Honest!
Toy management. Need I say more?
Less is definitely more. Buy better toys, but fewer. Swap with friends. Weed out the junk relentlessly and constantly. And make sure to insist on a nightly cleanup, even if it’s just tossing all the stray Legos into their designated plastic bin. (Check out June's article on this topic in Parenting Magazine)
How about kids’ clothes?
At least twice a year – before school starts and over winter break, if you can – set aside an hour to comb through drawers and closets to weed out clothing that no longer fits. (You’ll need to do this more often for babies, who grow even faster than school-age kids.)
Sort it into piles: save (for younger siblings), donate, discard/rag bag (for clothing that is badly stained, faded or torn beyond repair) and consign/craigslist/sell.
How do you charge?
I provide a free 20-minute phone “meeting” for prospective clients. We’ll discuss problem areas and how I can help them create the changes they want to see. If they’d like to move forward, we’ll schedule a three-hour session at their home or office.
During that time, I’ll train a client in how to separate trash from treasures and we’ll create a system for managing paper, time or things that works for them. I’ll show them how making these changes will benefit them in all sorts of ways – from saving time and money to feeling better about their space.
How long will it take?
Most clients are delighted to find that the process takes far less time than they’d thought, thanks to a professional organizer’s guidance and an extra pair of (skilled) hands.
Where in the Bay Area do you cover?
I’m based on the Peninsula and serve the entire Bay Area. My website, organizesf.com (under construction), reflects that San Francisco-area focus.
How can they contact you for more information?
firstname.lastname@example.org or 650.483.3824. Her website is here.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Even when I was a kid, I always enjoyed organizing my toys, clothes and papers. I was the student who never forgot my homework or pulled an all-nighter to finish a paper. I still get a lot of satisfaction from being able to quickly find what I need and know what I have.
Friends often compliment me on my organizing skills and have asked for advice. My background as a newspaper reporter and then a freelance writer has also helped, surprisingly. Both careers demand excellent management of time, paperwork and space.
What do you do for clients?
I teach them organizing skills that they can apply to their homes, offices and lives. I help them home in on what’s not working and then put in place systems to solve that problem.
There’s a misconception that an organizer will sweep into your cluttered garage or playroom, put everything in labeled bins and -- voila! – it’s organized. But that quick hit doesn’t get to the heart of the problem, and it won’t take long for the space to return to entropy.
Professional organizers also aren’t house cleaners; they’re really a hybrid of a consultant and coach. And tackling a problem with an organizer’s help makes it far less daunting than facing down your demons alone.
Can you give some examples?
I recently helped one client organize a crowded kitchen. I developed a system for evaluating which gadgets she used most often and which she no longer needed. Now she now has plenty of shelf space, and her kitchen feels much more spacious and appealing. We also rearranged her pantry, putting the cans and condiments she uses most often in the most convenient locations. And we winnowed a cookbook collection that was threatening the stability of some of her shelves.
I’ve helped other clients set up home filing systems tailored to their needs and personalities, and I’ve even helped a client reassess what she carries in her handbag.
I’m also working with several families on a whole-home purge, finding treasures hidden among accumulated and unwanted items in each room.
What is family coaching?
It definitely doesn’t involve team jerseys! As a family coach, I help families have happier lives by teaching them how to more efficiently manage their time, space and even finances. For some, that might mean coordinating a family activities calendar. Other families need help getting a handle on the “stuff” that inevitably comes with having kids.
There are so many activities, parties and events in our lives. What’s the best way to track things on a calendar, and what should we skip or attend?
Whether you prefer a calendar on the fridge or a BlackBerry, you need something to help you schedule sitters, date nights, vacations and days off. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as you faithfully use it.
For example, when your kids bring home a team sports schedule, transfer the practice dates and games into your calendar immediately. And have your child put the dates in his school planner too.
Teaching your children how to manage time when they’re young is a tremendous gift, one that will reap huge dividends for them in college and far beyond.
If your days are jam-packed with activities and you’re feeling overextended and resentful, by all means, start saying no. What are the activities that make your family happiest? Plan more of those.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Grab the gals and head to Laurel Street Arts in San Carlos on April 17th. Their Diva Night costs $15 a person ($10 by paying a day in advance), plus the cost of crafts. They'll supply the munchies - you bring the drinks.
Diva Night runs from 8:00 p.m. til midnight, and you can paint pottery, fuse glass, make a mosaic or craft silver jewelry.
Make reservations in advance, since you'll not only save money but guarantee the event will happen (they need six reservations or they'll cancel).
Laurel Street Arts is at 733 Laurel Street, San Carlos. Call them at 650-591-1005.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
The event starts at 12:30. The egg hunt starts at 1:30. And Andy Z performs from 2:00-2:40. Enjoy free refreshments as well! See's Candy is one of the sponsors, making me wonder if there will be some See's treats as well...
For more information, click here http://www.hunt-rwc.org/
Thursday, April 9, 2009
While you're there, stop by the new baby boutique Sprout, a store featuring natural & organic products on Union Street.
In addition to offering nursery items and clothing, non-toxic toys etc., Sprout aims to be a family resource center, and their schedule already includes classes like pre- and post-natal yoga. mom/baby playdates and more.
Sprout is at 1828 Union Street, San Francisco. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (leaving you plenty of time for brunch at the many fine eating establishments nearby).
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Here's the latest in ski closing dates for Tahoe:
Diamond Peak closes April 12
Homewood closes April 12
Northstar-at-Tahoe closes April 19
Alpine Meadows closes April 19
Heavenly closes sometime in May
Squaw Valley closes May 10
For the latest in ski closings, plus deals in Tahoe, check with Tahoe Kids Guide.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
In case you’re going to Vegas (without kids), here’s a restaurant to consider.
Seating: 180 in the main dining area, 100 on the hookah patio (a first for Vegas) and 20 in a private dining room.
The desserts were also fabulous, especially the poached pear, served with honeycomb, panna cotta topped with arugula and olive oil. Yes, that’s one dessert. The other was the chocolate LAVO obsession, a chocolate cake with molten middle, with a vanilla (and lavender or citrus?) gelato and raspberry sauce. It also had a blob of pistachio sauce which looked like…puke. Admittedly it tasted fine, but I was the only one who would try it. Last, don’t skip the coffees. Our hands-down favorite was a shot-glass size Turkish coffee flavored with condensed milk and cardamom syrup. Yummy.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I’m always on the lookout for innovative kids’ products, especially ones that promote the environment. So I loved the Let’s Go Chipper series, founded by Corte Madera mom Stephanie Rach-Wilson.
Stephanie’s company, IAG Media (as in It’s All Good Media) offers a slew of Chipper products, from CDs and DVDs, to sunblock and t-shirts, to books and travel products. She has two other lines as well (Luna and James K). They’re created with minimal packaging and soy-based ink. What’s even better is that my kids loved them too.
We sat down together to watch the DVD Let’s Go Chipper: Into the Great Outdoors featuring a chipmunk family that goes camping for the first time. Spoiler alert: Little Chipper gets lost, but finds his way back to his parents, learning some valuable lessons and singing fun songs (like the one about s’mores). At the end, there’s a montage of nature animal photos accompanied my music, that could be really tacky, but was done quite well.
The songs in the DVD (and accompanying CD) are catchy and cute, and my kids play the CD at breakfast every day. Their favorite? I’m Dreaming this Blue Planet Green, a new-agey song that Dori memorized (to hear it, click here and then click on the cloud picture)
The kids also enjoyed the books Out to the Sea with Sally, about a salmon spawning. Mark and I learned a few things from it too. Did you know that a salmon ready to go on a journey to the ocean is called a “smolt?” And these fish go through a process called “smoltification” and they're “anadramous” which means they go from fresh water to saltwater. In spite of these big words (that mom and dad tripped up on), the kids loved the book, which is wonderfully illustrated and has some activity and coloring pages in the back.
Stephanie’s book Beyond the Moon with Luna was written after telling her daughter the same story as in the book - a supporting "you go girl" story about taking the leap (leading off from the cow jumping over the moon). Her daughter was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome just as the book was published, and some proceeds from the book are donated to raise awareness for Turner Syndrome.
Frisco Kids and IAG is sponsoring a give-away. To win, you have to follow these rules. Winners will be chosen randomly. You get a second chance to win if you post this on another blog (but you have to tell me about it).
1. Let me know what product you want.
2. Make sure I get your email address. Either leave it in your blog comment, or email me the blog comment plus your email address to email@example.com. No email address, no way to contact you if you win!
3. You must leave a blog comment (even if you email me). Not just any comment, but…tell one fun thing you plan to do on EARTH DAY (4/22/09).
Win one of four items:
Let's Go Chipper: Into the Great Outdoors Activity Set (DVD, CD, story, sing-along book, activity book) - $25 value
Beyond the Moon with Luna (book) - $15 value
All Together Now – Read-Along, Sing-Along, Book & CD by James K – $24.95 value
Chipper Sun Block Stick - 30 SPF - $10 value
Contest ends Sunday, April 12th at midnight PST. Post your comment by then!
Friday, April 3, 2009
My husband and kids know me as a sunblock czar. Getting a sunburn is a big no-no in our family. In spite of growing up in Arizona, I don’t tan, I burn (same with the kids). And several family members have already gotten skin cancer (fortunately nothing deadly) – I know I’m next.
So when planning our recent trip to Mexico, Mark finally mentioned that he needed to find a swim shirt – you know those shiny tight shirts that protect you from the sun? My kids have them. I have them. In the past, Mark’s refused even to put on sunblock (don’t get me started). BUT he wanted a shirt, so I was excited. And Dori’s was getting a little threadbare from too much use.
So they each got UV Skinz shirts. The brand was started by a mom of three kids, Rhonda Sparks whose husband died of…skin cancer. Actually melanoma. The Mercury News recently reported that the incidence of melanoma rose 5% annually among white folks during the study which ran from 1992-2004 (90% of melanoma sufferers are caucasian). And 65-90% of melanomas are caused by UV exposure via sunlight.
UV Skinz is a Bay Area company, and in fact Rhonda grew up in the town where I now live (but she doesn’t know Jeff my gym instructor, who grew up here too…I guess it’s not that small a world).
Marcia Cross, one of my favorite Desperate Housewives (who is even paler than me) bought the UV Skinz shirts for her twins, so hey – they’re good enough for me.
We went to Mexico (it was fabulous, thanks for asking. We went to Loreto on the Baja peninsula). And no, we didn't buy a timeshare.
I'm happy to say we did not get sunburned (or even get freckles) under our SPF 50 UV Skinz shirts. Woo hoo! We did, however, get several sunburns elsewhere (apparently you have to reapply that 50 SPF sunblock during the day, especially in the strong Mexico sun). Plus I didn’t wear my hat enough, so I now have major peeling which looks like dandruff. Gross!
By the way, these photos do not contain models...they're actual Kaplans. Aren't they cute????
UV Skinz has lots of fun designs, and also has matching shorts and hats. Shirts start at $29 and go up depending on size and pattern.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Our local wharf aquarium, Aquarium of the Bay, is opening three new permanent exhibits this weekend. Join them for the celebration! What's new? A Jellies exhibit, Giant Pacific Octopus exhibit and PG&E Bay Lab (an interactive climate change exhibit featuring land animals for the first time in the Aquarium’s history). While the Jellies and Octopi are two visitor favorites, the PG&E Bay Lab will introduce animals ranging from Blue Tongued Skinks to Pink Toed Tarantulas.
As for the Jellies exhibit, you can look forward to a 725-gallon cylinder tank full of moon jellies and a 740-gallon tank showcasing the graceful and beautiful brown sea nettles.
For the Giant Pacific Octopus exhibit, get cameras ready for an observation bubble where kids can pop up inside the tank.
For the grand opening, don't miss the live musical performances by the Banana Slug String Band in the Aquarium’s Farallon Room, at 11:30am and 1:30pm. Also, the interpretive naturalists will lead fun activities for the kids.
What: Grand opening of three new exhibits at Aquarium of the Bay
Where: Aquarium of the Bay (Embarcadero & Beach St., San Francisco)
When: Saturday, April 4, 2009, 10am – 8pm
Info: (415) 623-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: Adults: $15.95, Children (3-11) $8 & Seniors (65+): $8
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Diamond Peak closes April 12
Homewood closes April 12
Northstar-at-Tahoe closes April 19
Alpine Meadows closes April 19
Heavenly closes April 19
Squaw Valley closes May 10
Check Tahoe Kids Guide for deals like kids ski for $10 at Squaw Valley, and midweek adult tickets are only $39 for adults at Homewood.