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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SFUSD Arts Festival - free kids admission to Terracotta Warriors

As I posted recently, the Terracotta Warriors are coming to the Asian Art Museum this month. Read about the Terracotta Warriors exhibit in SF here.

The SFUSD Arts Festival will be happening during the exhibition, from March 2-10.

If you go to the festival on Target Free Day (March 3), they'll get in FREE to the Terracotta Warriors exhibit and parents pay only $10 - quite a deal. Not sure how it will work with timed tickets, so I recommend you get there early. I imagine it will be quite popular.

Also on March 3, you'll be treated to performances by the SF Boys Chorus, the Hamlin School Girls Chorus and the Presidio Middle School Jazz Band. During the rest of the week, they'll be celebrating the students work, including visual, writing, film making, dancing, acting and music. That includes artwork from more than 2,000 kids.

All events are free and open to the public, so head over to the Asian Art Museum March 2-10 (closed on Monday, March 4) to check it out. Open 10-5.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Coming up: The Great Baby Romp

The Great Baby Romp showcases small businesses and helps parents find local enrichment classes for their kids. It's like going to sample classes all day. Plus there's a lunchtime concert. Bring the kids! The target age for kids' classes is 3 months to 3 years. Classes range from yoga to language, art to baby massage and more. They'll have play areas, nursing rooms, food options and photo booths.

When: March 2, 2013, from 8:30-4:30
Where: Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF
Cost: Early bird tickets are $30/adult ($20 for an additional adult) and $7/kid through Thursday, February 28. After that, tickets are $35/adult ($25/additional adult) and $10/kid.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

National Clam Clowder Day - get a free bown at Boudin's

Did you know National Clam Chowder Day is Monday, February 25? Yeah, I just found out. You can get a buy one get one free chowder in a bread bowl on Monday at Boudin's. You need to print out the voucher here, starting 2/22/13. It's only good at Boudin SF or Boudin Baker Cafe (not at Bistro Boudin) - hopefully you know the difference between the three!

Copyright: Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Frisco Kids' Summer Camp Guide

I can't believe it's already time to start signing up for summer camps. We've got my kids signed up and paid for at two, and are scoping out the remaining weeks to keep them busy and engaged. I've seen a lot of camp emails coming though and I thought I'd share some of what I'm seeing.

There are SO many amazing camps to choose from, depending on your location. I cannot possibly even start to come up with a comprehensive listing (though several organizations below do, so please visit them). I'm going to just highlight a few that look good. Please feel free to post in the comments section about the camps your kids love!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review - Data, a Love Story

Before I met my husband, I tried the personal ad dating thing (in the newspaper!) and in some online dating too, before it was popular (this was in the early 90s). I met a lot of creepy guys. Granted, I met a lot of creepy guys at bars/parties/blind dates too. I’m fortunate to be married to the man of my dreams, but do have many friends who are not so fortunate. That’s one reason I wanted to read this book, Data, a Love Story: How I Gamed OnlineDating to Meet My Match. My single friends (many of whom are parents) are doing the dating thing, whether it’s an online dating service or just word of mouth. But even if you’re not looking for love, this book is worth a read. It’s a great memoir, and it’s funny.

Amy Webb, a journalist who has written for Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal among others, decided to try online dating much later, and I’m so glad she did. Of course her husband (not really a spoiler alert) is too, but the journey she takes is fascinating and hilarious, and it’s like you have a direct phone line to your brilliant, confident best friend who is too smart for her own good. Amy is just nerdy, wacky and self-deprecating enough  to make the process work to her advantage. And she’s nerdy enough that she has an appendix supporting all her math and data (which normal people wouldn’t care about).

After a slew of bad dates with losers she met online, Amy set out to game the system. She’s a numbers and a technical person, and she wanted to figure out, using data, who the men were she wanted to date, and how she could get them to answer her ad. So she posed as a man (actually several men whose personas matched what she was looking for) to find out what women responded and what made their profiles successful. Devious? Yes. She then got a makeover, from exercise to clothing and hair. And she started looking at this like a marketing gig, repositioning herself with great success.

Amy also came up with a checklist of traits she wanted in a man (from great sex to hair color), and assigned everything in point system. If a man didn’t reach a certain number of points by a certain time, out he went. I won’t give the away the ending (which you can tell from the title is a happy one), but how she gets there is awesome. And it’s hopeful. Amy gives the practical tips in the back of the book on how you can do this yourself – the benefit of her hard-earned wisdom. 

So whether you're happily married or desperately looking, Data, a Love Story is a good read.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Coming Up: Terracotta Warriors at Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum is opening its Terracotta Warriors exhibit soon. I did an extensive review of the Terracotta Warriors exhibit when it was in New York. Is it a good one to take the kids to? Find out here.

Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan 2012

China's Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor's Legacy runs from February 22-May 27, 2013 in San Francisco, near Civic Center. The show features one of the best archeological discoveries of modern times - it is truly amazing to learn the story of the terracotta warrior army, the size and quantity of the statues found, and how they were found. You'll get to see 10 of these life-size figures along with 120 rare objects from the tomb complex of China's First Emperor (259-210 BCE), and to learn about the Emperor's reign and quest for immortality.

                                                                     Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan 2012

                                                                     Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan 2012

What: China's Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor's Legacy
When: February 22 - May 27, 2013 (the ticket website says May 24)
Where: Asian Art Museum (200 Larkin Street, SF)
Tickets: Get tickets for the Terracotta Warriors in San Francisco here. They are $20/adults, $8 for kids 13-17, free for kids 12 and under. The show is open every day from 10-5, except Monday. Tickets are for timed entry

Monday, February 11, 2013

Coming Up: Circus Oz

 The latest show for Australia's Circus Oz is Ground Up (construction theme). Enjoy original music from a five piece band, and

About Circus Oz: "Circus Oz was formed in 1978 when two smaller independent circuses, Soapbox Circus and the New Circus, merged. Circus Oz debuted that same year at the Adelaide Festival.  By 1980, Circus Oz had begun to tour internationally. The first tour traveled to Papua New Guinea, Holland, Belgium, London, Norwich, Bath, and Chichester. During the mid-1980s, Circus Oz trained with China’s Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, building their repertoire and adding acrobatic skills, such as pole-climbing and hoop-diving, to the circus. Circus Oz has performed across five continents and in more than 26 countries, including spots as diverse as New York City, a refugee camp on the West Bank, indigenous communities in the Australian desert, and a glass opera house in the Brazilian rainforest. Performances have been translated into dozens of languages.  Circus Oz has represented Australia at many international festivals and broke box office records at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The troupe’s philosophy of gender equality, collaboration, social justice and a good time for all remains true

When: February 15-17
Where: Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley
Tickets: range from $22-76. The Saturday, February 16 matinee at 2 is a Family Fare event. Tickets for those age 16 and under are 50% off single-ticket prices. Get tickets online or call (510) 642-9988 or at the door. UC Alumni Association members get a $5 discount.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Contest: Win $50 at

Contest closed: congratulations to Lori for winning the $50 in credit. Thanks to all who entered, and to for the contest prize! is having not one contest, but two! Find out below how you can win $50 in credit from via Frisco Kids, and $100 in credit from the site's own contest.
Frisco Kids Baby Shower Board by Debbie, see more unique Minted baby shower invitations
Frisco Kids Baby Shower Board board by Debbie. See more unique Minted baby shower invitations

If you're not familiar with this San Francisco company, is a custom online stationary store, where the graphics come from independent designers. Designers submit their designs and the community selects the favorites. The designers win cash and commissions, and you get really great invitations, cards, calendars etc.

Right now they're having a contest where you can win one of two $100 weekly prizes, one for most favorites, and one is random. They have a grand prize of $500 as well. To enter, you'll create a baby shower invitation board (see mine above, that's my entry) and post it.

To win $50 credit via Frisco Kids, leave a link below to a design you like on Make sure to leave your name and email address in your entry, so we can contact you if you win. If you don't want to leave your email address below, please email it to me at contest (at) friscokids (dot) net, but tell me which entry is yours, otherwise you can't win! The contest winner will be chosen using on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 6 p.m. PST. If the winner doesn't respond to my email within 24 hours, another winner will be randomly chosen and the same process followed. The winner can reside anywhere, and credit does not expire.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Review: Neato Robotic Vacuum

I'm good at many things, but cleaning is not one of them. We finally hired a cleaning woman since I've done basically nothing the past three years. She came to give me a quote, looked around the house and said, "you haven't had a cleaner in a long time, have you?" Uh, yeah.

Around the same time, the Neato Robotic vacuum cleaner people asked me to do a review. They probably know I'm not such a good cleaner too. Maybe they felt bad for me. You probably know the Roomba - it's a disc shaped vacuum that does its thing without your involvement. The Neato is like that.

It probably wasn't the best idea to test the vacuum a few hours after the cleaning woman left, but test it we did. My son was practically begging me. After all, he likes to watch appliances do their jobs. (the picture below is out of order, but fits in thematically).

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cub Scout Bake-Off

I recently posted pictures from our Cub Scout Bake-off last year. So here are this year's pictures. It was a good year for the Bake-Off! Our ocean cake didn't win, but it was one-of-a-kind.

This was made by the same family who made the Angry Birds cake last year. The spaghetti and meatballs, combined with the garlic bread, looked amazing. The spaghetti cake was frosted, and sprinkled with coconut. The spaghetti is strings of frosting put through a tip. The meatballs are donut holes. I think the sauce is jam. I was really amazed by the garlic bread. They used angel food cake with yellow food dye brushed on, and coconut rolled in green dye.

The sushi below won an award for most creative. The outside is fruit by the foot, and they rolled rice krispie treats and chopped up gummies inside. It was definitely sweet, and they had to work quickly so the rice krispie treats didn't dry out.

Though I don't eat bacon, the piggie cupcakes below were my favorite to look at. The bacon was carmelized. These piggies were gone pretty quickly.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Get 'Yer Tickets: Disney Fanniversary

Disney's Official Fan Club is coming to San Francisco for a D23 Disney Fanniversary (D23 being the name of the fan club). They'll have two shows in San Francisco. They're 90 minutes long and are hosted by a Disney archivist and club member, and they'll show rarely seen (or never seen) footage, concept art, photography and exclusive interviews with Disney legends and luminaries.

If you're a D23 member, you can get tickets now, and the remaining tickets go on sale February 12 at 10 a.m. Last year tickets sold out.

When: Sunday, April 7 at 2 and 5 p.m.
Where: Walt Disney Family Museum (104 Montgomery Street in the Presidio - SF)
Tickets: $21 for members, $35 for everyone else.
More info: Here

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Focus Group: Beverages

This is a last minute focus group recruiting - on beverages. It's taking place during the day on Thursday and Friday - February 7-8 at the downtown SF office of Fleishman Field Research. If you qualify and are invited to participate, you get $100 for the hour. Fill out the questionnaire and they'll contact you if you do.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chocolate with Pop Rocks

Awhile back I posted about the AWESOME chocolate with Pop Rocks from Kollar Chocolates (total food porn pictures). And I vowed to make my own. I finally did. I bought some peppermint Pop Rocks (sold in December) and some Ghirardelli chocolate (chocolate bark with peppermint). I know that's overkill, but the chocolate was on sale in January.

Start by breaking up the chocolate into chunks.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ocean Cake from the Cub Scout Bake-Off

For our Cub Scout bake-off this year, my son wanted to make an ocean cake. This is what we did. We baked a sheet cake and covered it with blue frosting (the gel coloring works better than food coloring). We made an island out of crushed graham crackers, and a palm tree out of a pretzel rod and a flat sour candy called Rips, which I hadn't seen before. We stuck them on with frosting.

Below are the decorations.

The kids had a great time decorating with Teddy Grahams on rafts, and ones in Gummy Lifesavers as floaties.

My daughter cut out a surf board from the Rips.