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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bone Marrrow Drive this Saturday in San Mateo - No Pain!

Please get your bone marrow tested this Saturday, if you're at all able (or register to do it on another day). It's PAINLESS and could save a life.

In this case, the life might be Sam's, a kindergartener in San Mateo, who was recently diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anemia. This is a rare blood disorder in which the bone marrow doesn't produce healthy blood. His best chance for a cure is a bone marrow transplant.

A bone marrow donor registration drive is being held this Saturday to help Sam.

When: Saturday, May 30, 2009
Time: 9am-1pm
Where: First Presbyterian Church, San Mateo (25th & Hacienda Avenues)

The test is quick, only a simple cheek swab with a Q-tip is needed. That swab puts you into the National Registry so that you could possibly save a life, even if it's not Sam's.

If you can't go to the donor drive, register online from June 8-22 at www.bethematch.org. Click "JOIN NOW" and use promo code: 2SAVESAM

Coming Up: June activities at SF Library

Okay, WAYYYYY too many great programs to list for the San Francisco libraries. but here's some of them. for the full list, check the library's website.

2, 9, 16 & 30 JUNE, TUESDAYS
Preschool Crafts and Storytime – Stories, songs, and crafts for ages 3-5.
Visitacion Valley Branch Library, 10:30 a.m.
45 Leland Avenue (near Bayshore)

3 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Children’s Yoga – Certified yoga instructor Tatjana Rmus will lead a class for children ages 3 to 5 and their caregivers. Bring a mat or towel.
Mission Bay Branch Library, 5:30 p.m.
960 Fourth St. (at Berry)

4 JUNE, THURSDAY
*Rebecca Nile- Watch the Bubble Lady blowing spaceships bubbles, bubble brains, and people inside bubbles! Children of all ages.
Sunset Branch Library, 10:30 a.m.
1305 18th Avenue (at Irving)

9 JUNE, TUESDAY
Preschool Crafts Time – For ages 3 to 5 years old.
Portola Branch, 11 a.m.
380 Bacon Street (at Goettingen Street)

10 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
Jumpstart Presents: Family Literacy Workshops – Enjoy interactive, hands-on, family-oriented workshops that teach child development, early literacy skills and fun ways to play, grow, and learn with your children. Large group reservations please call (415) 536-5867. Ask for Liz Wilkinson. For parents and caregivers of children 6 and younger, children welcome to attend. Dinner provided.
Bayview Branch Library, 6-7:30 p.m.
5075 Third St. (at Revere)

11 JUNE, THURSDAY
*Dana Smith and Lacey – Dana Smith presents a humorous, interactive juggling show, and his performing dog Lacey is the finale! Children of all ages.
Sunset Branch Library, 10:30 a.m.
1305 18th Avenue (at Irving)

13 JUNE, SATURDAY
*Rice—Food and Folk Art – See a slide show and decorate a clay bowl. Program presented by Museum of Craft and Folk Art. Ages 5 and older.
Noe Valley Branch Library, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
451 Jersey St. (near Castro)

13 JUNE, SATURDAY
*Flowers, Flowers, Flowers! - Learn make fabulous flowers from recycles paper and share a story. For ages 2 and older. This is a green stacks program.
Park Branch Library, 11 a.m.
1833 Page St. (near Cole)

13 JUNE, SATURDAY
*Community Crafts with Trash Mash-Up – Use disposable material to create masks and costumes inspired by tradition from around the world. All of the art made at this craft roundtable will be using in a community Mash-Up Bash! This is a Green Stack program.
Ages 5 and older.
Western Addition Branch Library, 2-3:30 p.m.
1550 Scott St. (at Geary)

16 JUNE, TUESDAY
*Love to Sing & Create at Your Library- Join award winning singer/songwriter and Gentle Wind recording artist Pam Donkin in an open, interactive and creative music show for children and their families that ties into the 2009 Summer Reading Program theme. Children of all ages. This is a green stacks program.
Bayview Branch Library, 10:30 a.m.
5075 Third St. (at Revere)

16 JUNE, TUESDAY
*Insect Discovery Lab- The Insect Discovery Lab gives children the opportunity to handle these and other critters, while learning how essential they all are to healthy ecological systems. Children of all ages. This is a green stacks program.
Ingleside Branch Library, 3:00 p.m.
1649 Ocean Ave. (at Faxon)

16 JUNE, TUESDAY
*Music Jam With Dylan – Dylan Donkin will here with his songs, shakers and percussion instruments. Come, listen, and participate! Ages 5 and younger.
Noe Valley Branch Library, 10:15 and 11:00 a.m.
451 Jersey St. (near Castro)

16 JUNE, TUESDAY
Insect Discovery Lab- Learn about and see up close some giant and unusual insects! Ages 3-5.
North Beach Branch Library, 11 a.m.
2000 Mason St. (at Columbus)

16 JUNE, TUESDAY
*Go Green – Plant a Bean – Listen to gardening stories and plant your own bean plant. Children of all ages. This is a green stacks program.
Ocean View Branch Library, 4 p.m.
345 Randolph St. (at Ramsell)

16 JUNE, TUESDAY
Bonnie Lockhart- Music and song you can sing along. For ages 2 and older.
Park Branch Library, 3:30 p.m.
1833 Page St. (near Cole)

16 JUNE, TUESDAY
*Swazzle Puppets – Kids 3 and older won’t want to miss this wildly entertaining puppet show, “The River Otter Circus”. Swazzle Puppet shows are completely original and feature handmade puppets. Reserve your space today! Ages 3 and older
Western Addition Branch Library, 10:30 a.m.
1550 Scott St. (at Geary)

17 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Juggler Dana Smith! – Phenomenal juggler Dana Smith juggles green! Children of all ages. This is a green stacks program.
Main Library, Second Floor, Fisher Children’s Center 2-3 p.m.
100 Larkin Street (at Grove)

17 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Mimi Greisman- Storyteller – Mimi’s Family Programs engage the whole family with music, guitar, singing, stories, puppets, parachute, instruments, and, of course, bubbles!! Children of all ages.
Red Hill Books 4:30 p.m. (Bernal Heights Branch program) (415) 648-5331.
401 Cortland Avenue (at Bennington)

17 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Balloon Artist Mr. SHAP – Balloon and Magic with Mr. SHAP. Ages 5 and older.
Chinatown Branch Library, 2-3 p.m.
1135 Powell Street (near Jackson)

17 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Rainsticks – Share stories about rainsticks and make a rainstick craft. Grades K-5.
Park Branch Library, 1 p.m.
1833 Page St. (near Cole)

17 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Dono the Clown Magic Show – Poof! It’s magic time. Join us for this fun magic show by Dono the Clown. All ages welcome.
Visitacion Valley Branch Library, 4:30 p.m.
45 Leland Avenue (near Bayshore)

18 JUNE, THURSDAY
Pam Donkin – Interactive creative music show. Ages 2 – 10. Space limited; call for reservations.
Excelsior Branch Library, 2 p.m.
4400 Mission St. (at Cotter)

18 JUNE, THURSDAY
*Carnival of Chaos- Expect carefully calculate chaos. Look forward to music, comedy, and world- class juggling. Children of all ages.
Presidio Branch Library, 2 p.m.
3150 Sacramento St. (near Baker)

18 JUNE, THURSDAY
*Wildlife Associates presents “Bay Area Wild!”- See local wild animals presented live at Richmond Branch! Children of all ages. This is a green stacks program.
Richmond Branch Library, 2 p.m.
351 9th Ave. (near Clement)

19 JUNE, FRIDAY
*Flutesweets and Tickeltoons – Flutesweets & Tickeletoons combine great storytelling with musical theatre and classical music. Children of all ages.
Marina Branch Library 2:30 p.m.
1890 Chestnut St. (near Webster)

19 JUNE, FRIDAY
*Yoga with Rebecca Blake – Join us for movement and fun with yoga.
Mission Branch Library, 4 p.m.
300 Barlett St. ( at 24th St.)

20 JUNE, SATURDAY
*Heather Rogers- Heather Rogers performs a show with magic, comedy, juggling and lots of audience participation. There will be a free magic trick for every child who attends. Children of all ages.
Glen Park Branch Library 1:30 p.m.
2825 Diamond St. (near Bosworth)

20 JUNE, SATURDAY
*Carnival of Chaos - Mark Bunnell “The Juggling Tornado,” will entertain you with juggling, comedy, and audience participation. Ages 3 and older.
Mission Bay Branch Library, 4:00 p.m.
960 Fourth St. (at Berry)

20 JUNE, SATURDAY
*Sun Painting- Create a beautiful image using energy from the sun! This is a green stacks program.
Park Branch Library, 11 a.m.
1833 Page St. (near Cole)

20 JUNE, SATURDAY
*Art Braiding Class with Arlene Magarian – Learn to make a braided rug, seat mat, belt, basket, and more! Children 8 to 11 years must be accompanied by an adult. For ages 8 and older. This is a green stacks program.
Portola Branch Library, 1-4 p.m.
380 Bacon St. (at Gottingen)

21 JUNE, SUNDAY
*Banana Slug String Band – This renowned band from Santa Cruz, create a fun-filled ecological entertainment experience with music, theater costumes, puppetry and a lot of audience participation. This is a green stacks program.
Main Library, Lower Level, Koret Auditorium, 1:30 p.m.
100 Larkin Street (at Grove)

21 JUNE, SUNDAY
Preschool Crafts: Father’s Day – Fun easy crafts for preschoolers, led by your friendly children’s librarian. Ages 5 and younger.
Ingleside Branch Library, 3 p.m.
1649 Ocean Ave. (at Faxon)

23 JUNE, TUESDAY
*Story Time Green Beams and Green Things - For toddlers and preschoolers. Songs and stories about green beams and good things! Ages 5 and younger.
Bayview Branch Library, 10:30 a.m.
5075 Third St. (at Revere)

23 JUNE, TUESDAY
*Jim Stevens – A morning of original and classic Folk songs. Children of all ages.
Glen Park Branch Library 10:30 a.m.
2825 Diamond St. (near Bosworth)

23 JUNE, TUESDAY
* Princess in the Mirror – Golden Theater presents a folktale puppet show from Israel. Ages 3-8. Space limited, call for reservations.
Visitacion Valley Branch Library, 10:30 a.m.
45 Leland Avenue (near Bayshore)

24 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Yolanda Rhodes, Storyteller – West African Stories and Music presented by one of the Bay Area’s liveliest performing artists! Children of all ages.
Main Library, Second Floor, Fisher Children’s Center 2 p.m.
100 Larkin Street (at Grove)

24 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Lizard Lady – Warm up to the cold blooded critters with the Lizard Lady Teressa Killeeen and her wonderful reptiles! Ages 5 and older. This is a green stocks program.
Chinatown Branch Library, 2-3 p.m.
1135 Powell Street (near Jackson)

24 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Origami Bookmaking – Learn to make amazing, colorful Origami Books in star, garland, and heart shapes. Ages 8 to 12.
Ingleside Branch Library, 3:00 p.m.
1649 Ocean Ave. (at Faxon)

24 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*The Lizard Lady – Teressa Killeen (“The Lizard Lady”) will introduce you to her creeping, crawling, slithering pals. Ages 3 and older. This is a green stacks program.
North Beach Branch Library, 4 p.m.
2000 Mason St. (at Columbus)

24 JUNE, WEDNESDAY
*Cool Cooking- Make delicious and fun recipes without turning on the heat! Grades 3-5. Space limited. Call for reservations. This is a green stacks program.
Park Branch Library, 1 p.m.
1833 Page St. (near Cole)

25 JUNE, THURSDAY
Swazzle Puppet – Presents “The River Otter Circus” Ages 3 and older.
Excelsior Branch Library, 11 a.m.
4400 Mission St. (at Cotter)

25 JUNE, THURSDAY
*Naomi Caspe Magic Makers - Animal stories and magic from around the world. Ages 2 and older.
Park Branch Library, 11:30 a.m.
1833 Page St. (near Cole)

25 JUNE, THURSDAY
*Flute Sweets & Tickle Tunes – Little Kid’s Little Songs. Ages 5 and younger. Space limited; call for reservations.
St. Teresa’s Community Hall 10:30 a.m. (Potrero Branch program)
Connecticut Street (near 19th St.)

25 JUNE, THURSDAY
Swazzle Puppets – Come see the zany art of a 100% live puppet show. This lighthearted, spontaneous and fresh show emphasizes positive images for children. Children of all ages.
Presidio Branch Library, 4 p.m.
3150 Sacramento St. (near Baker)

25 JUNE, THURSDAY
*Fun with Mr. Shap – Balloon artist and magician Mr. Shap will delight you! Children of all ages.
Sunset Branch Library, 10:30 a.m.
1305 18th Avenue (at Irving)

25 JUNE, THURSDAY
*Hula Dance and Hawai’ian Chants- Learn the ancient art of Hula dancing accompanied with Hawai’ian Chants and a gourd drum. Parents and kids will learn chants and basic Hula steps. Best for kids 5 years old and older.
Western Addition Branch Library, 3:00 p.m.
1550 Scott St. (at Geary)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coming Up: Two Fun Free JAMBand Concerts in SF

This post comes to you via my friend Cynthia, who raves about Charity and her JAMBand.

PB&JAM Dance-the-Album and DVD-Filming Party!
When: Friday, May 29, 10:30am
Where: DSG Studios, 564 Monterey Blvd., SF
What: Join Charity in dancing every song on the Peanut Butter and JAM CD (straight through...the whole experience will take 43 min and 16 sec!). They're filming for a training/entertainment DVD, so come prepared to sign a release in case you end up on camera.
Parking: Not great on Monterey Blvd. itself, but pretty good in the neighborhood north and south.

JAMband Family Concert
When: Saturday, May 30, 11am
Where: Dolores Park Playground, Dolores @ 18th St., SF
What: Rockin' Family Concert and Playground Fun for FREE, with refreshments provided! Free, thanks to the Friends of Dolores Park for sponsoring this event.

Coming Up: SF Symphony Cheap Schubert Concert Tix

Take advatage of some cheap ticket prices to bring the kids for some culture! The San Francisco Symphony is presenting the Schubert Concert at Davies Symphony Hall from June 3-6.

Get 50% off tickets to "A Schubert and Berg Journey" on June 3-4 and "Schubert's Great C Symphony" on June 5-6.

A limited number of discounted tickets are available:
$15 (reg. $30) ... Center Terrace
$17.50 (reg. $35) ... 2nd Tier
$20.50 (reg. $41) ... Premier 2nd Tier
$28.50 (reg. $57) ... Upper Orchestra
$31 (reg. $62) ... 1st Tier
$32.50 (reg. $65) ... Front Orchestra
$35 (reg. $70) ... Premier 1st Tier & Side Terrace
$40.50 (reg. $81) ... Orchestra
$46.50 (reg. $93) ... Premier Orchestra

The discount tickets are only available via phone at 415-864-6000 - mention the code 29957. There's an additional $9 booking fee for ticket orders.

Coming Up: Free Craft Days at Michael's

Michael's Arts & Crafts has two free summer craft events coming up.

Saturday, May 30th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Crayola 3-D sidewalk chalk interactive demo

Saturday, June 6 from from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Make your own Klutz Thumb Doodle Cards (ages 5-12). I've no clue what a thumb doodle card is, but...

Find a Michael's near you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Coming Up: Arts & Wine Festival in Foster City

Celebrating Foster City's 38th birthday, this year's free Arts & Wine Festival should be extra special. In addition to traditional offerings (like art and wine and entertainment, fire truck, ambulance etc.), Foster City's festival features a popular carnival area, with rides for kid/teens/adults.

The festival is Saturday, May 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday May 31 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The midway is open longer, however.
Friday May 29 - 5 pm. to 11 p.m.
Saturday May - 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday May 31 - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking is free at Parkside Towers (exit 92 at Foster City Blvd, and follow the signs). The festival is at Leo Ryan Park (corner of E. Hillsdale and Shell Blvd.)

By the way, you can order discount tickets or wristbands for unlimited rides until 4:55 p.m. on May 29. Discount tickets are available at the Recreation Center, 650 Shell Blvd. Monday through Friday 9-5, or at the FC Chamber of Commerce, 1031 E. Hillsdale Blvd, Ste. F - same hours). You can also get them by mail - send a check made payable to the Foster City Chamber of Commerce, 1031 E. Hillsdale Blvd., Suite F., Foster City 94404 or send your Visa/MasterCard info and send a SASE. Or call them at 650-573-7600.

Ticket books are $20 for 30 coupons (50% savings - rides are 4-6 tickets each), or $20 for a one day ulimited ride wristband.

Coming up: Cubes & Crayons preview party in SF

Cubes and Crayons is hosting a preview party on Wednesday, May 27 from 10am-12pm and 5-7pm at their new San Francisco site

I wish this place was around when my kids were younger! I checked out the Menlo Park site a few months ago, and was very impressed. Cubes and Crayons offers flex-time office space plus affordable, high quality flexible childcare for kids ages 6 weeks to 7 years old. This is a great option if you need an office space to work, with childcare on site. And they're flexible with hours and payment plans.

To RSVP for the Cubes and Crayons (free) preview party, email contact@cubesandcrayons.com or call 650.209.4846. Their San Francisco site is at 555 DeHaro Street, Suite 424 just above Recess: Urban Recreation.

Cubes and Crayons is a locally (women) owned business.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bargain! Land's End Kid Towels - $13 - Free Shipping/Monogram


These towels are my standard baby gift. So I was very excited when my sister-in-law gave birth a week early, before the free shipping ended at Land's End! Woo hoo! Such a deal I ordered my nephew two towels and got two more as gifts for other kids.


They're on sale for $13.65 with free monogramming (through June 5) and free shipping (through May 25). Use the promo code MEMORIALDAY and PIN 00002958. The towels are normally $19.50 plus $5 monogramming, plus shipping.


This was from a targeted email, but I assume it's good for anyone. They are having a huge sale this weekend with 65% off overstocks (I bought myself 2 bathing suits for $10 each).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Comic Relief: Listening to the Kids in the Car

The best part of driving your kids and their friends around is listening to them chatter.

Lily: my dad has a limo company.
Dori: I know. I think I saw his limo yesterday. Was that your dad?
Lily: Where was it?
Dori: I don’t know. Maybe near the gym.
Lily: It might be him. Who was driving?
Dori: I don’t know. Was it your dad?
Lily: I don’t know. Was it from the limo service?
Dori: I don’t know.
Lily: You would know because when you call, they answer “limo service, how may we help you?”
Dori: Who farted? It smells in here.
Lily: It must have been Julie.
Julie: It wasn’t me.
Dori: Agh! The window won’t open. Mom did you lock the windows? I’m going to throw up.

And this conversation continued for 45 mintues.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bargain! $1 Flip Flops at Old Navy on May 23rd

Get your cheapie flip flops while they last at Old Navy this Saturday, May 23rd. These solid color flip flops will be sold for a buck on Saturday only.

By the way, Target's dollar section sometimes carries $1 flip flops too - that's where we usually get ours. They have them in stock right now, though the size selection is limited.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Get ‘Yer Tickets: King Tut at the de Young Museum

(Looking for King Tut NYC discount codes and tickets? Click here)
(If you're looking for a review of King Tut in NYC - with kids, click here)

Last time King Tut came to the de Young was in 1979 (yes, 30 years ago). And sadly, I remember going. Sad because it makes me feel old. Though not as old as King Tut.

We lived in Arizona, but my parents really wanted to see the exhibit, so we booked a trip to San Francisco. My dad still has his King Tut replica in his office.

The exhibit features 130 artifacts, including 50 from Tut’s tomb. An additional 80 objects come from his ancestors’ tombs. This is a National Geographic exhibition, so it will rock.

According to the museum: “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs offers glimpses of that critical period in Egyptian history. On display will be 50 of Tutankhamun’s burial objects, including one of the gold and precious stone inlaid canopic coffinettes that contained his mummified internal organs. Also included are many of the day-to-day objects enjoyed by the young king including a finely crafted child’s chair and an inlaid game board, one of four in the tomb, clearly representing an activity enjoyed by the king.New to the encore tour of the exhibition are two nested coffinettes that contained the remains of two fetuses that are now undergoing DNA testing to reveal their relationship to King Tut.”

Read more about the King Tut exhibit here.

King Tut tickets for nonmembers are $27.50-$32.50 (weekday versus weekend) for adults ($16.50 for kids ages 6-17 - free for kids 5 and younger). A family pack for four (2 adults, 2 kids under age 17) is $27.25 each. It includes four audio tours. If you’re doing the math (I just did), the individual ticket price is cheaper if you don’t get the audio tour. If you do want the audio tour, the family pack is cheaper.

Member tickets for King Tut are $22.50 for adults and members don’t pay additional fees (nonmembers get hit up for $3.75 per ticket by Ticketmaster). Kids’ tickets are still $16.50. Members get specials like previews to the show, and more.

The exhibit runs June 27, 2009 through March 28, 2010, so you have no excuse for missing it!


Coming Up: Aqua Adventure Water Park Opens in Fremont This Weekend


Opening this weekend – a new water park in Fremont!

The grand opening of Aqua Adventure is May 23-25. The outdoor park has four waterslides, a lap pool, lazy river and more. It’s open for birthday parties and company/group picnics, as well as swim lessons. And it’s reasonably priced.

Adult admission is $15.99 (nonresidents) and kids under 48” are $10.99. Fremont residents pay a dollar less. Cost for kids ages 3 & under is $2, and spectators pay $7.99.
A limited number of season passes are available for $65-70.

Aqua Adventure in Fremont is at 40500 Paseo Padre Parkway in Fremont. Call for more info at 510-494-4300.

Stay tuned to Frisco Kids for a chance to win free tickets to Aqua Adventure.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Free opera (Tosca) live simulcast

Want to expose your kids to opera without paying a bundle? How about a free intro via live video simulcast at AT&T Park in San Francisco on June 5th.

Check out Travel is More Fun with Kids for the scoop.


Review: Randall Museum in San Francisco

I can’t believe that this was the first time I’ve been to the Randall Museum. Not only is it FREE but it has the most gorgeous view of any Bay Area museum (competitors include the Lawrence Hall of Science or the Legion of Honor). And getting there was definitely half the fun. When driving through the City, I’ve seen the signs before, toward the top of 17th Street, near Twin Peaks and all the planet-named streets. It’s a maze up there, with gorgeous houses too.

This museum is probably best for the six and under set, though Dori (who is 8) still had fun. Their current changing exhibit is Wild in the City, which focuses on the creatures (like raccoons) that live among us. The little playhouse there featured a puppet theater, where Dori and Zack put on a performance for the toddlers. It was a nail-biting one, since Zack recently learned the “F” word at school, and enjoys teaching the word to others.

The animal room has a variety of creatures, from these lovely cockroaches, to chickens, to salamanders that get fed crickets by hand (or rather by long tweezer).
On Saturdays, from 10-4, the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club opens its room downstairs, and runs the trains throughout the elaborate set-up. This room was filled with excited little boys. The trains weren’t running continuously, and the club members didn’t pay much attention to the kids, but the trains did run a few times while we were there. On the 3rd Saturday of odd numbered months, the club runs Junior Engineer Day, and they allow the kids to operate the trains (no extra cost).


The kids spent the most time at the LEGO earthquake exhibit. Build a structure and see how well it stands after pressing the earthquake button, which makes the foundation shake.

My favorite was the pollywog tank, where the tadpoles were turning into frogs.



The museum hosts birthday parties and craft activities, as well as ceramics classes. After looking at their information, it seems there’s little this museum doesn’t do.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Focus Group Looking for Wine Drinkers

Would you love to get paid for talking about WINE??? If so, see if you're eligible for this Plaza Research wine drinker study.

~WINE~THURSDAY, JUNE 4th
2 HOUR FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION DURING THE EVENING
Requirements: Males and females ages 21-54 years old
Incentive: $85.00

If you are interested in the WINE study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey: http://tinyurl.com/omh59r

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kids bowl free all summer through 9/13

My kids love bowling, and last summer used the passes they got at school for free games during the summer. The program is online now, and you don't need to rely on your school to dole out the cards.

Register online for free bowling - which is good every day through September 13, 2009 (hours and ending dates may vary depending on location).

Bay Area locations include Daly City, San Mateo, Palo Alto and South San Francisco. Modesto is included too.

You'll get coupons mailed to you each week after registering or you can just log in to print them off.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free BBQ and celebration at Standard 5&10 in Laurel Heights (San Francisco)

I love to support locally owned stores, so I'm passing along info on this fun celebration on Saturday. The Standard 5&10 Ace is celebrating its 70th year in business, and they're throwing a party with giveaways, raffle prizes, and a fundraising BBQ for Children’s Miracle Network.

WHEN: Saturday, May 16th from 9am – 6pm
At 9 am
, the store will give away FREE Hallmark Card 3-packs to the first 300 customers after opening its doors. There will also be giveaways from Gel Gems and Mrs. Grossmans Sticker Company, and free balloons for the kids.

BBQ is from 11 am-2 pm
(the BBQ is sponsored by the store, but requested $2 donations go entirely to the Children's Miracle Network). BBQ includes hot dogs, soda, and chips.

Enter to win a Ducane Grill (value $349) and other great prizes in the raffle on Saturday -- no purchase necessary to enter. Kids can enter the children's raffle to win toys and books too.

WHERE: Standard 5&10 Ace (Laurel Village Shopping Center, 3545 California Street
San Francisco)

Community Garage Sale plus Blood Drive this Sunday in Foster City

Get some great deals at this Foster City community garage sale (or if you have items to donate, you can do that too). LOTS OF KIDDIE ITEMS!!!!

The garage sale is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 499 Boothbay Avenue (corner of Boothbay and Edgewater).

To donate items, come between 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. - you'll get a receipt for your tax-deductable donation.

PLUS, do a good deed and donate blood while you're there. A bloodmobile from the Blood Centers of the Pacific will be there from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To make an appointment email plippe18@yahoo.com, or just stop by (though you may have to wait).

I'll be donating at 10 a.m. so donate and we can keep each other company.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Coming Up: Feel Good Festival by Life is Good in SF

Check out the free, family-friendly Feel Good Festival this weekend. This outdoor celebration features live music from ALO, Martin Sexton, and The Sippy Cups, classic backyard food, and a colorful mix of good-time games and activities for all ages. At Habitot's bubble booth, create giant soap bubbles. Also, have fun with seed spitting, soccer kicks, tug-o’-wars & football flings.

The day also features a fundraising walk in the park, called the Good Walk for Kids, a 3K family-friendly route with music & silliness. Register here.

Funds raised at the Festival will enable Project Joy to help heal and strengthen the Bay Area's poorest, most vulnerable preschoolers. Project Joy uses the power of play to transform kids sidelined by personal trauma into enthusiastic players in the game of life.

The fun is at Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadow from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 16.

Coming Up: Kids 'n Kites Festival in Fremont - Free

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Go fly a kite.

The annual Kids 'n Kites Festival takes place this Saturday, May 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s at Central Park (40500 Paseo Padre Parkway in Fremont).

Free admission plus 2,000 free kites for kids. In addition to the food booths, there’s a kids' fun zone, entertainment and other great stuff.

From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., check out the new Aqua Adventure Waterpark next door. While you can’t swim there yet, get a sneak preview a few weeks before it open. And stay tuned to Frisco Kids, for an upcoming post about the park, plus the chance to win FREE tickets!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Coming Up: Santa Cruz Boardwalk opens this weekend

This Saturday, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk opens for the season. Lots of free entertainment this weekend, so head on out there.

Catch a sneak peak of this summer's main attraction—Cirque Magnifique! All special events are FREE!
Saturday, May 16:
1 pm - CIRQUE MAGNIFIQUE performs on Beach Bandstand
3 pm - CIRQUE MAGNIFIQUE mini performances throughout park
5 pm - SKYDIVERS land on Main Beach right in front of the Boardwalk
5:30 pm - THE TUBES perform on Beach Bandstand

Sunday, May 17
1 pm - CIRQUE MAGNIFIQUE performs on Beach Bandstand
5 pm - CIRQUE MAGNIFIQUE performs on Beach Bandstand

Great Deals at Six Flags in Vallejo this summer


Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo has two great deals right now for admission. They’re offering a season pass for $49.99 ($5 more than a one-day ticket). With the pass, you can get free admission to any of 15 Six Flags parks in the U.S. And you'll get some free guest passes and coupons too.


And now through June 1, get an adult ticket for a kid ticket price ($29.99). And by printing the ticket at home, you avoid the ticket line there. You must order online.


Kids under two get in free.Six Flags is open Friday through Sunday until May 22, when it opens daily for the season. For the calendar, click here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Get 'Yer Tickets: Annie in Redwood City


Bring the kids to this timeless musical, Annie, put on by the Bay Area Educational Theater Company.


Where: Woodside High School Theater (199 churchill Ave., Redwood City)

When: May 13, 15, 16 & 17 (various times)

Cost: $15/adult, $12/senior, $10/student-child

Tickets: 650-802-8423 or go to http://www.bayareaetc.org/

Monday, May 11, 2009

103 Things to Do in San Francisco with Kids

Did y'all see my letter to the editor in San Francisco Magazine's April issue? It was on their story featuring Amy Graff, the K-Files blogger. Well Amy also blogs for the San Franciso Chronicle, as the Mommy File blogger. She wrote a great post on 103 things to do with your kids in San Francisco.

How many times do you think, "hmmm...what can I do with my kids this weekend?" Amy has some great ideas. Did she miss any? If so, post them here.

Focus Groups - several to choose from

Plaza Research has several focus gropus that might interest you. If they do, click on the link, and fill out the survery. They'll contact you if you fit their needs.

~BEVERAGES~TUESDAY, MAY 12th

2 HOUR FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING

Requirements: Males and females ages 21-29 years old who drink ready-to-drink flavored teas and juice drinks in bottles or cans

Incentive: $85.00-$100.00

If you are interested in the BEVERAGES study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey: http://tinyurl.com/ppzxp3


~SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS~WEDNESDAY, MAY 13th OR THURSDAY, MAY 14th

2 HOUR FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION

Requirements: Homeowners ages 25-54

Incentive: $100.00
If you are interested in the SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey: http://tinyurl.com/cwwfbl


~CONSUMER ELECTRONICS~TUESDAY, MAY 19th TO MAY 20th

2 HOUR FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION DURING THE AFTERNOON OR EVENING

Requirements: Males and females ages 30-54

Incentive: $85.00-$100.00

If you are interested in the Consumer Electronics study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:http://tinyurl.com/o59vbg

Free Movie Monday - Redbox free code here

It's Redbox free movie Wednesday. Stop by your local Redbox (look for them at many Lucky's stores or click here for locations).

Today's code is 6A43JK. It expires tonight at midnight CST.

New releases are: the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Bride Wars, Hotel for Dogs, Dark Secrets and Fling.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

KFC isn't honoring original coupons for Grilled Chicken meal - rain check instead


Judging from my site statistics, the KFC Free Grilled Chicken promo last week was popular indeed. So popular, that KFC has stopped honoring the coupons.


They're offering a rain check and I'd love it if someone would describe their rain check to me in plain English.


From what I understand from the KFC website, you are supposed to take your coupons into KFC, and ask them for a rain check form. THEN, you fill out the rain check form and attach your coupon, and give it to the store manager. Or you can mail the package to KFC corporate. Then, they mail you back ANOTHER coupon for the same thing (plus a free Pepsi).


Huh? Did you have to read that paragraph several times? Check out the original wording on their website - it's not much better. KFC says it didn't realize how popular this promotion would be.


They should have known better than to underestimate the power of Oprah and free food.



Focus group for expectant moms this Tuesday

I've never done a focus group with this company, but I got the information from a forum I'm part of.

Schlesinger Associates in San Francisco is hosting a study for expectant moms on Children’s Home D├ęcor and Furnishings. The interviews take place Tuesday, May 12th with time slots available all day. Each woman will be compensated $100 for her time. They are not selling any products.

To sign up, or for more information, contact Christine Pappas, Project Manager at 415.781.2600 ext. 402 or by email at christine@schlesingerassociates.com

Free resumes and business cards at Staples

I'm not sure how far 20 resumes and 40 business cards will go for the unemployed these days, but it can't hurt!

Staples is offering just this, through June 13, 2009.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Free Museum Entrance on Mother’s Day to Koret Sponsored Museums & Zoos

Get in free this Mother’s Day to Koret Foundation sponsored museums & zoos, on Sunday, May 9.

Free admission to:
--Asian Art Museum
--Bay Area Discovery Museum
--Chabot Space & Science Center
--The Contemporary Jewish Museum
--The Exploratorium
--Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
--Lindsay Wildlife Museum
--Judah Magnes Museum
--Oakland Zoo
--San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
--The Tech’s IMAX theater (including Bugs!, Top Speed, and NASCAR:)
--Zeum

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Free Carseat Safety Checks in Berkeley this Saturday

Did you know…four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly? Get your car seat installation checked for safety, and receive a free pass to Habitot Children’s Museum. The free Car Seat Checks are sponsored by State Farm Insurance, and done by officers from the Berkeley Police Department.

They’ll be on the 5th level of the Allston Way Garage, 2061 Allston Way between Milvia and Shattuck in Berkeley. Parking will be validated by Habitot.

Time is 10 a.m. to noon
-May 9
-July 18
-September 26.

Coming Up: Stamp out Hunger


An easy way to do a good deed! This Saturday, May 9, postal carriers will collect canned goods to donate to food banks during their Stamp Out Hunger event.


All you have to do? Leave a bag with non perishable foods for them to collect. This is a great way to get kids involved with helping others. No time to shop? Go through your own pantry and donate any (unexpired) foods you have sitting there. Bought too many cans of beans? Kids no longer eat canned peaches? Donate them!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Coming Up: Women's Clothing Sale at Career Closet - Clothes for a Cause

With the economy in the tank, you can update your work wardrobe and give to a good cause at the same time. Career Closet is a Bay Area organization that supports women going back to work, who need financial assistance getting themselves ready to work. That might include a new wardrobe, haircut, a job search plan and a boost of confidence.

While most of the clothes at Career Closet are donated by women like us, they are also in need of financial donations and in-kind donations (like hair cutting certificates) as well as volunteers. One way they raise money is through thier Style Cupboard, where they sell some of the donated clothing, which includes top designers and vintage as well as accessories.

In 2007 they helped 1,300 women with the transition.

Sales are this Friday and Saturday in San Jose and Foster City.
San Jose:
Friday, May 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 pm.
43 E. Gish Road, Suite 100 (just off North First St).

Foster City:
Friday, May 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1163 Chess Drive,Suite A (just off the Foster City Blvd exit on Hwy 92)

They accept cash, checks, Visa and MasterCard

Free Burriito from Chipotle for Teachers on May 7

Chipotle is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day by giving teachers (with appropriate school ID) a free burrito, burrito bowl, salad or order of tacos on May 7, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Click here for Bay Area Chipotle locations.

Coming Up: Character Breakfasts at Great America


I've heard of character breakfasts at Disneyland, but it turns out Great America offers them as well. Join some Nickelodeon character for eggs and bacon (and other breakfast grub - it's all you can eat, so fill up).


Characters include SpongeBob SquarePants and buddy Patrick, Dora the Explorer and cousin Diego, plus some I've never heard of (guess who doesn't get the Nickelodeon channel). Those would be Wanda and Cosmo from the Fairly Odd Parents, and Aang from Avatar.


Breakfast with the Nickelodeon Characters will be held in the Picnic Pavilion from 9:30am-11am on

May 10

May 23-25


July 4-5


September 5-7


The cost? Glad you asked. Admission plus breakfast is $53.99 (though if you have a Season/Gold/Platinum Pass, breakfast is $14.99.) You must purchase in advance.


Coming Up: SFMOMA free on Mother's Day


Have a great Mother's Day brunch, and then head to SFMOMA for a free entrance! SFMOMA is opening a 14,400-square-foot rooftop sculpture garden, and celebrating with a free admission on its opening day.

Free admission on Mother's Day, May 10, 2009, is thanks to the Koret Foundation. SFMOMA is at 151 Third Street, San Francisco (between Mission & Howard)

Monday, May 4, 2009

You’d Be So Pretty If…Q&A with author Dara Chadwick


I’m willing to guess that many of you have issues with your bodies. And probably some of those issues stem from childhood. If you don’t – more power to you and please share your secrets!

For those who do, consider how you plan to keep your daughters mentally healthy, making good food and exercise choices and not beating themselves up over how they look. It’s not news that from a young age, many girls suffer from eating disorders and poor body images.

Former Shape Magazine Weight-Loss Diary columnist (and journalist) Dara Chadwick just published the book “You’d Be So Pretty If…Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies -- Even When We Don't Love Our Own" and she did a Q&A with Frisco Kids.

Check out Shape’s May 2009 issue, which features a book excerpt (which was great! I read on the treadmill last week). AND she was on the Today show last week (Yay Dara!) and you can see that video here, along with an exerpt.

Frisco Kids: Why did you decide to write your book?

Dara Chadwick: I decided to write the book after I wrote my Weight-Loss Diary column for the May 2007 issue of Shape. In it, I reflected on how the way my mother felt about her body had shaped my body image and on how my body image was affecting the way my daughter (who was 11 at the time) felt about her own body. The response to that column, and the passion that the topic stirred up in me, told me I was on to something.


Q: Many of us have body images we negatively take from our relationships with our mothers. What can we do to avoid that with our daughters?

A: We can become aware of our own behavior toward our bodies and consciously change it. It's not only what we say about our bodies, but also the way we dress them and treat them that affects our girls. If you eat healthfully most of the time, exercise your body in a way that makes sense, make an effort to look your best and speak kindly about yourself, you're well on your way to showing your daughter what a healthy body image looks like.


Q: Any tips on changing our body issues as mothers? Of course many of us are still carrying around that baby weight.

A. I've been there and I know how hard it can be when you don't feel good about yourself. I'd advise moms to simply start being kinder to themselves. Try to make good food choices (believe it or not, I'd often choose a less-healthy choice for lunch because I didn't want to make the effort and "dirty" a pan to cook something healthy if it was just me).

Try to move your body in some way -- even if it's just a walk around the neighborhood with the stroller. When you look in the mirror, try to notice one good thing about yourself -- your new haircut looks great, the skirt you're wearing is flattering to your figure, etc. Start with little steps and soon, you'll be feeling better.

As you feel better, you'll make more healthy choices. It's also important, though, to bring some perspective to your body. Once you've had children, you may not ever get your pre-baby body back. But you can choose to love the body you have now.


Q: How has your daughter reacted to the book?

A. My daughter loves the book. But she read it long before it was ever published, and we talked about what would go in and what she'd prefer to keep private. I couldn't have written this book any other way.


Q: How did being the Shape Weight Loss columnist for one year change your body image? How did that affect your daughter?

A. My daughter watched me like a hawk when I was writing the Weight-Loss Diary column for Shape. Together, we learned a lot about nutrition and exercise, but we also learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes of a "perfect" magazine photograph. It's something I wish all girls (and women) could experience. Most importantly, though, together we learned a lot about what can and can't be changed, and about the value of learning to accept yourself and be proud of who you are.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

A: I hope readers will close the book and realize that they don't have to be their own version of "perfect" or look like a supermodel to raise a daughter who feels good about herself. Little changes to our words and our behavior can make a huge difference to our kids.


Thank you to Dara for talking to Frisco Kids!

What will YOU do to raise your daughter with a healthy body image?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Free Barnes & Noble audiobook downloads

Barnes & Noble is offering free MP3 downloads of nine different books/short stories through May 16, 2009.

What books are available?
The Babysitter's Code by Laura Lipman
Super Goat Man by Jonathan Lethem
Best New Horror by Joe Hill
Great Day by Kurt Vonnegut
Fathers by Alice Munro
Truth or Dare by Elizabeth Berg
Ysrael by Junot Diaz
Merrano of the Dry Country by Louis L'Amour
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

To download, you'll have to open up an account and give them your credit card number, though it won't be charged.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Review: Arizona Science Center

It’s impossible to write an interesting narrative about the Arizona Science Center. It’s an interesting place, all right, but the story of us wandering around it? Not so much. Here are some of our favorite exhibits.


Building Houses – One third of the greater-Phoenix economy, comes from the housing industry - $140 billion. 160 new homes go up in greater Phoenix each day (2004 statistics). Of course many of these are now foreclosed. The kids don’t know that though. They are more interested in seeing the inside workings of a toilet.

Mind Control – this brain activity tested your powers of relaxation. Mom versus daughter. The person with the most calm mind (as measured by a silly looking hat with sensors) moves the ball from the middle of the table, to the opponent's side. My mom won in seconds. It didn’t help that my dad was whispering “RELAX” in my ear the whole time. My sister beat me too, but it was a little more even.

The Nose – This was my favorite part – watching the kids chuck foam germ balls into the isolated. Then it sneezed them out – without the kids knowing what was coming. A big “ah choo” and shower of balls coming back at that. They jumped quite high – it was hilarious. The sign there read: “By the way, boogers are balls of mucous, dirt and germs – they aren’t snack food.”




Zack loved the wheelchair race. Very similar to the one at the Tech Museum in San Jose.





Forces of Nature Movie – on the top floor, this movie simulates rain, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires and more. “I’d like it more if it didn’t have to rain,” said Zachary. Dori stayed through four showings.




Dancing Iron Filings: This artistic piece had iron filings “dancing” to classical and rock music (you choose).





Digital World: Learn how emails get transmitted across the world. Or just watch your picture get broken up into small pieces. The kids fought over who got their picture taken next.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Coming Up: Cooking Class for Moms

Like many parents, you probably spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen. Here are two family-oriented cooking classes that look like fun - especially for a Mom's Morning Out! These two classes are taught at Sausalito's In the Kitchen Culinary School. Sign up with friends and get a discount!

Keeping the Peace during Family Meals
Date: May 6, 2009
Time: 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Fee: $25/person, with a 10% discount for parties of 6 or more (includes continental breakfast and informational handout)


From ITK: Are you sick of "whine" with dinner? If so, you are not alone. Join our discussion about Keeping the Peace During Family Meals and you will learn several strategies that will put you back in the driver's seat. You will learn about how to avoid mealtime power struggles and will be armed with tips on how to effectively deal with the picky eaters in your household.

Cooking with your Kids: How, When and Why?
Date: June 3, 2009
Time: 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Fee: $25/person, with a 10% discount for parties of 6 or more (includes continental breakfast and informational handout)

From ITK: Join us for a discussion with Michelle Stern, the owner of What's Cooking, a certified green company in Marin that offers healthy and seasonal cooking classes for children. She will share several tried-and-true strategies for cooking with children, including age appropriate tasks that your kids can realistically accomplish. Michelle will also demonstrate several child-friendly cooking tools and will teach you how to select which recipes to make with your kids.

What's the best advice you'd give to grandparents???

What's the best advice you'd give to grandparents? That's the question asked by editors of grandparents.com of Mommy Bloggers like me.

Would you give advice like this?
-Give the kids soda anytime they want it.
-Let them watch as much TV as they want.
-Tell them to keep secrets from Mom and Dad.
-Buy them things Mom and Dad wouldn't approve of (like nail polish, toy guns, gum and permanent markers - when they're two).
-Tell the parents-to-be that Star Sunshine is a terrible name for a soon-to-be-born daughter?

Nah...those are things that just make us mad. How can Nana and Pops win grandparent of the year awards? Read on to see. (By the way, you'll have to scroll almost to the end to see my sage advice - something like is #27 on the slideshow).

What advice would YOU give to grandparents???

Summer Camp - Here's Two to Consider (and there's an open house on Sunday)

There are so many camps out there I can't begin to cover them all. But I thought I'd highlight two special ones: Art in Action and LearningPlay with Chaia May. Chaia May has an open house this Sunday afternoon - details below.

Art in Action - you may know this fabulous program from your school. During the year, parent volunteers (or the teachers) teach about an artist, and the kids make a art piece using similar techniques. I've taught at my kids' school the past three years. I'm proud to say that last year, almost half the class said it was there favorite part of school (followed close behind by lunch and recess - go figure).

Art in Action now runs summer camps for kids ages 5-9! Here's their description. "This year, children will explore the "Wild World of Animals" from puppies, fish, lizards, to bugs. Your child will create masterpieces inspired by Matisse, Klee and Gauguin. Projects include 3-D animal sculptures, nature weavings, fish prints, birdhouses, "Save the Animals" bumper stickers, and more. Your child will design an animal sketchbook and a pet portfolio reusable bag. Learning abut endangered animals and going green is a camp theme."

They have 10 Bay Area camp locations, running from June 22-July 31, 2009.

LearningPlay with Chaia May
My kids haven't gone to Chaia May's camps, but Dori took a music class with her as a toddler. She's a creative, warm, and very fun woman who is GREAT with kids. Her Palo Alto camp looks like so much fun I wish I could go.

Here's what she says about her camp: "LearningPlay with Chaia May™ is about helping children learn how they learn best – with joy, loving kindness, and skillful teaching. When the educational setting is homey and the learning process is supportive, children thrive. When children feel secure and their senses are all awakened, they remember what they learn and can integrate it more effectively."

Each week has a different theme. Meet her and learn about the camp at her open house, this Sunday, May 3 from 2-3:30 p.m. Address is 815 La Para, Palo Alto.

What camps are your favorites???