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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Favorite Bay Area Mom/Dad Bloggers

Yay! I just got back from vacation and found out that Frisco Kids is #2 on Red Tricycle's list of their favorite Bay Area Mom and Dad Bloggers. And we're joined by good friends Travel Savvy Mom (where I'm a contributor), Frog Mom in California and a Little Yumminess, both of whom I've either highlighted on my blog or on Facebook for their excellent posts.

If you haven't seen the Red Tricycle SF website before, check them out. They have a lot of great articles on Bay Area activities and fun things to do. I've been on their email list for awhile now. I look forward to checking out the other blogs listed there too!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Coming Up: Honk!

Get your tickets to Honk! a musical stage adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's the Ugly Duckling Tale. It's being performed by the Pied Piper Players, a great children's theater group in San Mateo. According to the theater group, it's "the story of Ugly, whose odd, gawky looks instantly incite prejudice from her family and neighbors. Separated from the farm and pursued by a hungry cat, Ugly must find her way home."

Of course there's a happy ending and a life lesson too.

Where: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo
When: March 4-5, March 11-13
Tickets: get tickets here.
Cost: $16 for adults, $12 for kids under 17

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cinderella Ate my Daughter

I'm a sucker for books with awesome titles, like Cinderella Ate My Daughter, by Peggy Orenstein. But Orenstein is a really good writer. She lives in the East Bay, writes for the New York Times Magazine and O, the Oprah Magazine among other publications. An explanation of the book is below. Orenstein will be talking about her book at Kepler's Bookstore on Thursday, February 24th at 7 p.m.





"The acclaimed author of Schoolgirls reveals the dark side of pink and pretty: the rise of the girlie-girl, she warns, is not that innocent.

Pink and pretty or predatory and hardened, sexualized girlhood influences our daughters from infancy onward, telling them that how a girl looks matters more than who she is. Somewhere between the exhilarating rise of Girl Power in the 1990s and today, the pursuit of physical perfection has been recast as a source-the source-of female empowerment. And commercialization has spread the message faster and farther, reaching girls at ever-younger ages.

But, realistically, how many times can you say no when your daughter begs for a pint-size wedding gown or the latest Hannah Montana CD? And how dangerous is pink and pretty anyway - especially given girls' successes in the classroom and on the playing field? Being a princess is just make-believe, after all; eventually they grow out of it. Or do they? 

Peggy Orenstein found out that he stakes turn out to be higher than she-or we-ever imagined: nothing less than the health, development, and futures of our girls. From premature sexualization to the risk of depression to rising rates of narcissism, the potential negative impact of this new girlie-girl culture is undeniable-yet armed with awareness and recognition, parents can effectively counterbalance its influence in their daughters' lives.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter is a must-read for anyone who cares about girls, and for parents helping their daughters navigate the rocky road to adulthood."  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Some discounts for President's Day week

Does your school have ski week February 21-27? But you're not going skiing? Yelp published a list of deals if you're staying local. Included:

--The Walt Disney Family Museum, $10 off adult admission (read a review here)
--SF Conservatory of Flowers, $2 off admission with discount ticket from Yelp
--De Young Museum, $5 off admission to Olmec, Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico
--Contemporary Jewish Museum, $2 off adult ticket when you mention Yelp (kids are always free)
--The Wax Museum, 50% off admission when you mention Yelp
--Ripley's Believe it or Not - 2 for 1 combo ticket when you mention Yelp
--San Francisco Ballet - $49 for 2/26/11 show.

And there's more. Get your discount sheet here. It's free. Or just ask about the Yelp discount.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Coming Up: Free Family Day at Museum of the Africa Diaspora

Celebrate Black History Month with some great family activities at the Museum of the Africa Diaspora.

Family history activities, including:
--live jazz from 2-4
--art activities (quilting) from 12-4
--workshop with a geneologist from 12-4
--visual art (textural rhythms) from 11-6

When: Saturday, February 19th, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: MOAD, 685 Mission Street, SF
Cost: Free

Coming Up: Xanadu!

Oh my, do I have memories of Xanadu! Like Kim's birthday party where we rented the movie and watched it while eating popcorn. I guess you had to be there. I'm sure you have your own Xanadu memories, of Oliva Newton John. After the silver screen (or should I say the TV screen), it became a Broadway musical. And now it's coming to the Retrodome. Take the kids! Or get a babysitter and relive your youth on a date.

If you somehow missed this cult classic, it's about a Greek goddess on roller skates in the 1980s. You'll get to hear 11 songs from the movie, including my favorites Xanadu (title track), and You Have to Believe We are Magic (both of which I can still sing). Tunes sung by ELO and Olivia herself. Awesome!

The show is 90 minutes without intermission (i.e. there is no intermission).

What: Xanadu the musical
When: February 25-27 (various times)
Where: Retrodome in San Jose (1694 Saratoga Ave., San Jose)
Tickets: $44/adults, $24/kids 12 and under, $34/students with ID. Buy online or at the box office.

Retrodome, if you're reading this, PLEASE change your website to include links to specific pages not just the home page!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Marin Community, School and Home Seminar

I've blogged here before on the San Francisco school system. Some parents are happy with it, others aren't. We have some friends who tried doing the public school thing with their three kids for six or seven years (three kids in three different schools), and they finally ended up going the private option.

Anyway, one of Frisco Kids' readers told me about a seminar coming up, giving information on moving to Marin. If you're curious, read on.


WHAT:
If you have been considering a move to Marin County but want to understand more about the county...


Details:
This informational presentation given by a Marin Mom and Realtor (Liz McCarthy) will include:
1.   Marin Schools
2.   Preschool information
3.   Micro Climates of Marin
4.   Commuting to and from San Francisco
5.   Marin Communities
6.   Average Home prices in different Marin towns
7.  Current Mortgage Market update (given by  a banking expert)
WHEN:
Sunday 2/20/11 from 11 am – 1 pm at Day One Center, Laurel Village on California St, San Francisco
Tuesday 3/1/11 from 6:30-8:45 pm at Sports Basement, Presidio, San Francisco
FLYER:
  


Monday, February 7, 2011

Swapping Books and Movies - Guest Post by Leah Ingram

Today we have a guest post from Leah Ingram, author of Toss, Keep, Sell! The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In (Adams Media, 2010). She also writes the Suddenly Frugal blog, and the accompanying Suddenly Frugal book which I reviewed here last year.

One of the primary focuses of my new book Toss, Keep, Sell! The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In is making the most money possible from your stuff. In the book's last chapter, I focus on learning how to swap what you own for other stuff. I chose this topic because, let's face it, not everything you own is worth enough that selling it on eBay or at a yard sale is a good use of your time. However, those items may have an intangible value that make them ready made for swapping. For today's guest blog posting, I'm going to focus on books and DVDs, something I'm confident any family with kids has and which are two items that are ideal for swapping.

As far as movies go, it's important that you have the original case the DVD or VHS came in. Otherwise, most swapping sites won't accept them, for fear they are pirated copies.

With books, here's how to determine which books are worth decluttering and swapping for other books:

* Look for hard cover and paperback books you’ve read and aren’t interested in keeping or don’t want to read again in the future.

* Give your books’ condition a thorough consideration. Books that have torn or missing pages, writing in them or a musty smell don’t do well for swapping. Plus, they have no place cluttering up your bookshelves. Get rid of them!

* Start a book-swapping box or bag where you can store the books you identify as having swapping potential.

* Find a book-swapping site you like so you can start trading your old books for new books you want to read. Two I like are Bookmooch.com and PaperbackSwap.com.

If you are gung-ho on getting cold, hard cash for your books and movies, I would recommend looking for resale shops geared towards children and teens, such as Once Upon a Child and Plato's Closet. These stores--and perhaps other consignment shops in your area--often give you cash on the spot for used books and movies that their shoppers with young kids would be interested in purchasing. You won't get rich doing this but you might end up with a few extra bucks in your wallet--and less stuff on your shelves and in your closets.

----
Thank you Leah! When my daughter was born, we bought her crib bedding and stroller (plus a lot of Dr. Seuss books) from Once Upon a Child. Unfortunately the Mountain View location is no longer in business. To sell (or buy) kids' items (call first to see if they buy/sell books and movies), there's a Plato's Closet in San Mateo, Lovely Bump in Burlingame, Chloe's Closet in San Francisco, Marin Kids Consignment in San Rafael, Peekaboutique in San Francisco, Maternity Exchange in San Francisco and They Grow so Fast in Lafayette. And you won't make any money from this, but you can get free items (by swapping some of your own) at various Peace, Love, Swap events.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Doggie "pupcake" cupcakes

Is this cupcake (and kid) cute, or what? He decorated the doggie cupcakes himself. Here's how:

You need one normal size cupcake and one mini cupcake. Put the vanlla frosting in a Ziploc-type bag and put tape over the corner. Cut a small V out of the corner (the tape keeps it stiff), and dab bits of frosting over the top of the larger cupcake. Then do the same over the small cupcake.

Cut a mini marshmallow in two using scissors, on the diagonal. Drop pink sprinkles into the open area on both halves. Push them into the top of the smaller cupcake. Use three mini chocolate chips for a nose and two eyes.

For the tongue, use a strawberry fruit chew or another half of a marshmallow covered in pink sprinkles.

Put the mini cupcake on its side, on top of the larger cupcake. Eat!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area

I promised one of my readers a list of kid-friendly restaurants, and am finally posting it.

I'm going to put a few down here, but Red Tricycle did an excellent post on some Bay Area family-friendly cafes, and I encourage you to look at it.

Chevy's may be a chain, but my kids love going there and watching the tortilla machine do its thing. Tuesdays are kids-eat-free, so we love that part. And the margaritas are good.

Local chain Hobees is another favorite - they have the requisite crayons and good service and food, and kids eat free on Wednesday nights.

We also like Pasta Pomodoro, where at least as of last year, kids eat free on Tuesday (notice a theme?).

Mimi's Cafe and Red Robin are favorites among my friends - again, both chains. I've actually never eaten at either.

What are your favorite Bay Area kid-friendly restaurants???

Friday, February 4, 2011

Valentine's Day with Kids - San Francisco Bay Area

Here are some lovey happenings you can do with your kids this Valentine's Day.


San Francisco Zoo:  Shower the zoo's new hippo with hearts and hugs. Bring a card for the hippo and get $1 off admission. This is no 7 pound baby. No, this one weighed 3,700 pounds, and was born on January 7th.
When: February 12 and 13 from 10-4.
Habitot: Bring art supplies to make Valentines and receive a free adult admission during Habitot’s Week of Valentines. Young kids can make heart-themed art for their loved ones at different interactive stations. Come during regular hours (Monday-Thursday 9:30-12:30; Friday-Sunday 9:30-4:30) to share the love. Free adult admission with art supply donation; otherwise, regular admission rates apply ($8.50 per person). Habitot is in Berkeley.

Laurel Street Arts - you and your kids can paint your own heart shaped vases, boxes and more. An afternoon of fun - for half price (studio time for kids) on Valentine's Day! Laurel Street Arts is in San Carlos. If you can't make it there, other paint-your-own pottery places probably have some fun stuff too. Here are their weekly specials: half price studio fee for kids all day Monday. Two people can paint for one studio fee all day Thursday, (kids and/or adults). All day Sunday, two adults and two kids can paint for only $14 plus the cost of the pottery.

Children's Fairyland - February 13-14th, Children's Fairyland has a number of fun programs. Check out shows like Buki the Clown, the Gingerbread Boy puppet show, crafts and animal of the day.

Michael's Arts & Crafts - has many Valentine's crafts scheduled this month. Low cost. Make a  Valentine's Day Candy Photo Holder on February 4th, decorate a Valentine's Box on February 6th and create candy melt pops on February 5th,

Kids Night Out - put the kids with Habitot, the Exploratorium and Tree Frog Treks so you can enjoy a Valentine's Day out with your honey.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

SCRAP's Monthly Teacher Materials Giveaway

If you're a teacher, you probably have heard of SCRAP (Scrounger's Center for Reusable Art Parts). But if not, you'll find that this nonprofit organization collects all kinds of things that are given away or donated - from paper, cards and yarn, to corks, beads, buttons and other random things. Everything is either free, or low cost to purchase.

You don't have to be a teacher to enjoy SCRAP. They have craft workshops all the time, mostly for adults, on topics like recycled glass, embroidery and making specific types of things. And if you want to do your own projects, stop by and go shopping!

SCRAP has a monthly teacher give-away, of free items like crayons and file folders. Take advantage of it by visiting this month's, on February 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. SCRAP is at 801 Toland Street (Bayview part of SF).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Coming Up: Giants Fan Fest

After this year's World Series, who in the Bay Area ISN'T a Giants fan?  The 19th annual Giants Fan Fest is this  Saturday, February 5th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can get autographs from players, see the World Series trophy, and even sit in the dug-out. And it's FREE.

For more details on the Giants fan fest, click here.

Parents' Night Out - Valentine's Day 2011 San Francisco Bay Area

Three local kid museums/organizations are hosting parents' night out so you can spend a kid-free evening with your honey on (or around) Valentine's Day.

Where: Habitot in Berkeley
When: Monday, February 14 from 5:30-9:30 p.m.
What: They'll take kids ages 2-7. While there, the kids will make Valentine’s cards in the Art Studio and play in the museum. Pizza is included .
Cost: $30 for the first kid, $20 per sibling.
RSVP: Lydia at (510) 647-1111 x 14

Where: Exploratorium in SF
When: Saturday, February 12 from 5:30-10:00 pm.
What: Members only. Kids 5 and older. Group games, museum exploration and special activities.
Cost: $40 for the first kid. $25 per sibling (up to 4 per family). Optional pizza dinner $5 more.
RSVP: download registration form here.


What: Tree Frog Treks in SF
When: Saturday, February 12 from 5:30-9 (and every Saturday night)
What:  for kids 4 and up. Animals, crafts, pizza, books and movies
Cost: $30 for the first kid, $25 per each sibling


And other organizations host them on a regular basis. See the Frisco Kids' list of them here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Coming Up: Sing-a-long Sound of Music

The Hills are Alive...with your voices! Take the kids to the sing-a-long Sound of Music, and you can belt out greats like "just a spoon full of sugar," "do re mi," and "how do you solve a problem like Maria?" with your kids covering your ears (well, maybe that's just my kids).

It's coming up at the Retrodome in San Jose.

What: Sing-a-long Sound of Music
Where: Retrodome
When: February 4-6
Cost: not listed when I wrote the post, but probably $10/adult, $7/kids
Tickets: buy them at the door or at the Retrodome website.