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Hometown online fashion favorites at Tobi.com

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Girls and Puberty - is your daughter normal?

I recently took part in a phone call with Dr. Cara Natterson, author of The Care and Keeping of You, an American Girl book. You might recall that last year I wrote about some puberty books for boys and girls. This is one of the books I covered.

Dr. Natterson was a practicing pediatrician, but is now a full time writer. She's also the medical advisor of HelloFlo, who sponsored the call (founder Naama Bloom was on the call too). More on them later!

Since I have a tween daughter, the puberty issue is of interest and I was curious to hear what Dr. Natterson had to say about it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bay Area Neighborhood Guide: Palo Alto

I realize Palo Alto is a city, not a neighborhood. But for those who don’t live there, visiting Palo Alto for some of its kid-friendly highlights may involve more than just parking and walking. Here's the guide I wrote for Mommy Nearest, a helpful, free app with location-based restaurants, activities and shopping (with parent comments).

Here are some of our family-friendly favorites.


We’ve spent many hours at this small hands-on indoor museum and outdoor mini-zoo. Inside you’ll find changing exhibits that kids can touch, climb on and play with. Outside there are around 50 animal species, including hedgehogs, owls, ferrets and turtles (look for them in the pond while you’re crossing the little bridge). When you’re done with the museum, head outside to the adjacent park for a picnic or play time.


Hungry? Head to downtown Palo Alto on University Avenue, where you’ll find the popular Oren’s Hummus Shop. Kids love to dip the pita in the hummus, and there’s lots of other Mediterranean food (meat and vegetarian), even for picky eaters.

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop

Also on University Avenue is the retro candy and soda shop, Rocket Fizz, which might even please the adults more the kids. You’ll find taffy by the pound, in flavors like chili mango and rootbeer float, as well as international favorite candies like Australian Malteasers. Just as fun are the novelty toys and animal masks, and snacks like bacon and cheese flavored crickets. Yes, crickets. Don’t worry, they’re dead. And packaged.


Expose your kids to art at the Cantor Arts Center on Stanford’s campus. University founder Leland Stanford had his own personal art collection with 5,000 works, some of which are  on display here, along with others. The museum was founded at the same time as the university. You’ll find everything from modern art to Native American Art, works from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Plus one of the largest outdoor Rodin sculpture gardens in the world. Admission is free, which makes it easier to go to a museum and not worry about whether you and the kids are getting your money’s worth. But they’re only open Wednesday to Sunday, so plan accordingly!


When it’s hot out, locals take their toddlers to Mitchell Park, with its fun water features, sand pits and climbing structures. Plus there are bathrooms which are very convenient for changing clothes or for potty training little ones (there’s a toddler size toilet!). Lots of trees and shade as well.



Friday, April 25, 2014

Legacy Girls Study - Recruiting

I've posted about this cancer study in the past, but they've updated their recruiting and I wanted to post about it again. I'm posting the entire email I got about it.

The LEGACY Girls Study is funded by the National Cancer Institute to explore the influence of lifestyle, environmental, and biological factors on growth and development of young girls and teenagers, so that we can learn more about early-life and adolescent factors that may influence health later in life. More than 1,000 girls between the ages of 6 and 13 years and their mothers are participating from 5 centers in the USA and Canada, including 360 girls from the San Francisco Bay Area (www.legacygirlsstudy.org)

Hormones play an important role in the growth and development of young girls. The LEGACY Girls Study is interested in learning more about hormones that can be measured in urine samples and how such hormones relate to growth and development in girls. In order to prepare for such a study with all LEGACY girls, we will first conduct a pilot study with 40 additional girls, called the LEGACY Girls Hormone Pilot Study.

What will my daughter and I be asked to do in this Hormone Pilot Study?
If you and your daughter agree to be in our study, we will schedule a visit with one of our female interviewers at your home at a time that is convenient for you and your daughter. The visit will take about 30 minutes. 


--collect a first morning urine sample Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 2 period c


ycles.We are looking to enroll daughters (10-13 YO) who have started their periods.  She will be asked to do the following:



(formatting got funky, and I'm having a hard time changing it, so let me repeat)
---collect a first morning urine sample Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 2 period cycles.
---mark on a calendar for 3 months the dates she has her periods and the dates/times of urine collection.
---complete a self-adminstered questionnaire on growth and development
---have body measurements taken (foot size, weight, height, hip and body fat)



Your participation involves completing the following questionnaires about your daughter:
·         Her demographic and family background
·         Her growth and development,
·         Her early-life exposures, lifestyle factors, and medical and family history.

The questionnaires can be completed online or by mail prior to the visit.

Will my daughter and I be reimbursed for the time spent in the study? 
Your daughter will receive a $60 gift card in appreciation of her participation in the Hormone Pilot Study.

Study Contacts: 
Maria Talosig-Garcia, MPH, Study Coordinator
510-608-5024

Enid Satariano, MPH, Program Manager
510-608-5025


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Coming Up: Treasure Island Flea Market


Check out the Treasure Island Flea Market this weekend! They keep adding more fun to the mix. Now they offer a farmer's market, with at least 15 local farm stand vendors. They also now have Maker's Square, with classes like "make your own terrariums" or "how to waterproof your jeans." If you like DIY classes, come for these! Some are free, and those that cost are affordable.

In addition to the 350+ vendors, you'll find more than 20 food trucks, live music, drinks (cocktails, wine and beer) and a great city view. 

When: last weekend of each month - April 26-27 - from 10-4
Where: Treasure Island
Cost: $3/person for those 13 and older. Free for 12 and under.
Other: free parking and pet-friendly

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coming Up: Frozen Sing-Alongs at the Castro Theater

Sure, you can sing out loud to Frozen at home, but what fun is that? Head to the Castro Theater in San Francisco, and sing with the crowd. They even provide all the lyrics, karaoke style.

When: April 26, 27 and May 4 at 1:00
Where: Castro Theater
Cost: $16 general, $10 kids (12 and under), $10 seniors
More: details here

Monday, April 21, 2014

5 Tips to Keep Children Safe at Amusement Parks

Oooh – character sighting! A parade! Churros! Shiny object!
It’s easy to lose your child at an amusement park – especially if you have more than one. After countless trips to Disneyland, Disney World, Six Flags and smaller amusement parks, here are my fall-back tricks.
  • Take a picture of your child when you enter and keep it on your phone. If you lose your child, it’s easier to identify him if you have a picture of what he’s wearing and exactly how he looks that day. Better yet, dress everyone in matching t-shirts. Yes, you look dorky. But it's easier to find your group in an instant.
This family wore matching tie-dye. It looked awful, but they were easy to spot.
  • Don’t dress him in clothing with his name on it. You don’t need a creepy person calling out to your child with a false sense of familiarity, and your child thinking he should know this person.
  • Make sure your phone number is attached to her, so an adult can contact you when she’s found. There are a ton of identification products out there, including temporary tattoos where you can write your cell phone numberwaterproof disposable wrist bands,child dog tagsidentification bracelets or even your phone number pinned in your child’s pocket. It goes without saying that your child should know your cell phone number by heart. But some kids are too young to remember, or they get flustered and don’t remember (especially the area code).


We've used Call Me Cuffs - pictured here.
  • Have a plan when you enter the park and share that plan with your child. If your child gets lost, she should know exactly what to do, where to wait (we tell our kids not to move from that spot, so we can backtrack and look for them), and who to ask for help. We tell our kids to hold our hands or hold onto the stroller at all times, and never to assume we heard them if they say they want to see something in another direction.
  • Identify the type of people your child should approach for help. Usually that means someone from the amusement park who is wearing a name tag. Show your child different people who are wearing these tags (since they’ll be in different uniforms) and tell them what to say.
Fortunately we haven’t lost anyone at the amusement park (Rockefeller Center at Christmas is a different story), and we don’t plan to. Enjoy the parks this spring and summer and stay safe!
My post was originally published on MommyNearest.

Coming Up: Mill Valley Children's Garden Re-Opening

The Mill Valley Children's Garden has its grand re-opening on Sunday April 27th. Bring the kids for their annual Garden Faire from 12-4.

They'll have a fairy house, wreath making, potion making, bobbing for apples, feather hair extensions, face painting, henna tattoos, live music, specialty foods, and an organic plant sale. Plus a pie eating contest and the Edna Maguire Bake-Off. Pastry chefs with desserts of all kinds are encouraged to apply. To enter the bake-off, contact Suzanne Alpert, suzanne_alpert@yahoo.com. 

A private foundation will match dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000 to benefit the garden

Where:  Edna Maguire Elementary School in Mill Valley. 
When: Sunday, April 27 from 12-4
Cost: free (bring money for activities and food).
More info: Call (415) 389-7733, or visit ednamaguire.org.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Teachers Change Lives


You hear all the time that teachers can change lives. Can you remember an influential teacher in your life? Someone who made you think about things in a different way. Maybe someone who believed in you when you didn't believe in yourself. Or gave you an idea of a different direction in life? Are your kids' teachers influential in how they think? Do they get excited when telling you about something they learned in school?

I was blown away hearing about teachers identified by Office Depot's Teachers Change Lives program. Teachers who who really step outside the boundaries, especially with kids who are less privileged. Check out the video below of an Alabama teacher, Brian Copes, who encourages his students to develop prosthetic limbs for those who need them in Honduras. They make them out of bike and car parts, even though the teacher has no background in this.


You can see more videos of teachers doing innovative work here.

You might know teachers in your own school who spend their own money to provide necessary classroom supplies. Because of budget issues associated with Proposition 1 in California, parents are asked all through the year to bring in classroom supplies - even copy paper for the office. I've always been grateful that our school had enough parents who could donate supplies. What about schools who don't have enough? Should the teachers be digging into their own pockets for this?

Office Depot has an Adopt-a-Classroom project to connect donors and teachers, especially to help those in less fortunate areas. I encourage you to check it out.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Screenprinting for kids

Are you kids interested in learning how to screenprint?

The Grease Diner in Oakland has spots for kids every weekend. They have room for eight people at a time, and they provide the materials, equipment and instruction. They even do birthday parties or group events (Girl Scouts anyone?).

When: Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5.
Saturdays are reserved for ages 8-12, but it's not limited to that age.
Sundays are reserved for ages 13-17, but it's not limited to that age. Teens can be dropped off, but younger kids must come with parents.
Register: thegreasediner@gmail.com or call (510) 379-0190. Drop-ins are fine if space is available.
Cost: $20/kid - parents print free. Materials are extra. See material fees here.



.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Coming Up; Passover Story Time

It's Passover story time for 4-5 year olds. It's led by Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School teachers. And it's free.

Where: Linden Tree Books (265 State Street, Los Altos)
When: Sunday, April 20 at 2 p.m.
RSVP: to amitchner@hausner.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Throwback month with Netflix - win 3 month subscription


**Congratulations to Vivacious for winning the 3 month subscription**

This month is throwback month for the Netflix Stream Team (which I'm on). We were challenged to share some oldies but goodies with the kids. Unfortunately the Brady Bunch TV shows are only available on DVD, as opposed to streaming (which is what we have). And I'm not subjecting them to the Brady Bunch movies, which I can't even bear to watch.

Keep reading for a special contest at the end!

Instead we chose The Naked Gun, with Leslie Nielsen. They loved it! Especially since they'd already seen Airplane (including the cringe inducing boobie scene, which they thought was hilarious). Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is on my watch list for the kids too. Plus Escape to Witch Mountain. Do you know who that stars? Kim Richards from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills! I can't wait to relive the good old days, from before she was a recovering alcoholic with kids by 2 ex-husbands and a very cute ex-boyfriend. Of course I won't be sharing that with the kiddos.

Okay, the contest. Netflix will give one Frisco Kids reader a 3 month streaming subscription just because you read Frisco Kids. How awesome is that? Totally awesome. If you want a 3 month subscription, you have to leave a comment below, telling us your favorite throwback movies or TV shows that you want to share with your kids. I'll choose my favorite response, so give a good reason or story as to why.

I'll pick the winner on Monday, April 28 at 5:00 PST. Don't forget to leave me your email address so I can contact you. If you don't want to leave it on the post, make your comment and then email me at contest (at) friscokids.net and tell me which one was yours. I'll give you 24 hours to get back to me to confirm you're alive, and if not I'll move on to the next person.

Happy streaming!

Disclosure: all writing and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Coming up: Free Admission to Habitot for 16th Birthday

Children's museum/play space Habitot, in Berkeley, is celebrating its Sweet 16. They're throwing a party and you're invited - no presents (or money) necessary. They'll have music with two DJs from 10-11, including family-friendly music in a variety of genres. Punch and birthday cake are at 12:30, and you can get "prom-style" photos with your kids in front of an Under the Sea backdrop. Wear a costume - there are prizes in categories including "parent-child sweet 16," "best throwback prom dress," and "best menswear." There will also be art projects and you can help decorate that birthday cake.

ScholarShare is sponsoring the day.

When: Saturday, April 19 from 9:30-4:30
Where: Habitot - 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easter Bunny Photos in the San Francisco Bay Area

I teamed up with Mommy Nearest, a great new app for families launching in San Francisco, to write this post about where to get Easter Bunny pictures taken in the Bay Area.

Your kids want pictures with the Easter Bunny? Of course! Hop on over to these malls, which are offering pictures now through Easter.

SAN FRANCISCO
Where: Stonestown Galleria
When: now through April 19 at center court


PALO ALTO
Where: Stanford Shopping Center
When: now through April 19

If your child has sensory issues, Stanford Shopping Center has its CaringBunny photos on Sunday, April 13 from 9-10:30. This is a program for kids with special needs, and provides less sensory stimuli, with scheduled visits during closed mall hours. 


DALY CITY
Where: Serramonte Mall (Serramonte/Gellert Blvd., Daly City; grand court)
When: now through April 19


SAN MATEO
Where: Hillsdale Shopping Center - by Macy’s
When: Saturdays through April19


MILPITAS
Where: Great Mall
When: now through April 20.

SANTA CLARA
Where: Westfield Valley Fair
When: now through April 19


SAN JOSE
Where: Santana Row
When: Saturday, April 13 at Park Valencia from 10-2:30


MARIN
Where: Northgate Mall, near Macy’s
When:  now through April 19


This article originally ran at Mommy Nearest.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring break ideas in the Bay Area

We're getting ready for our spring break, which means you probably are too. I put together some links if you're thinking of traveling (or already have plans). Maybe these will give you some ideas and helpful hints!

Easter events in the Bay Area
Get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny.

Spring break ideas if staying in the Bay Area - a past post, but a good one! Here's another.

Tackling Tahoe with Toddlers

Spring break in Arizona - here are a few posts:
general ideas
more ideas
5 Kid-friendly things to do in Phoenix
Kitt Peak in Tucson - with kids
Tucson Wildlife Center - with kids

Are you heading to Disneyland? I have a ton of posts to help you out.
Disney tips you won't read elsewhere

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Coming Up: Three Classes for Parents and one for Kids

Once in awhile I like to feature classes or speakers that may interest parents or kids in the Bay Area. I haven't taken any of these (in fact I have no affiliation).

WhatFamily Mindfulness Workshop, by Ellen McCarty 
Details: "Mindfulness strengthens and relaxes the mind much like yoga improves the body. Meet other families and new friends (parents, too!) who are dedicated to kindness, academic success and a healthier lifestyle. Explore a variety of interactive mindfulness-based activities as a community during this 4-part workshop."
Where: Belmont, CA
When: 4 part workshop (April to May 2014); Saturdays 11:30-12:30 plus an optional hour of social/picnic time in the park
For: Kids grade 2+ and a parent
Cost: $20/session/person
Register: here


What: The How of Happiness
Details: "It's the million dollar question isn't it? How to be truly happy. Join Speak To Me when Sonja Lyubomirsky - a leading expert on all things "happiness" - to get some answers. Unlike the other "happiness gurus" her advice is grounded in hard science and was uncovered through extensive research. Sonja will share her findings and help us determine what actually makes us happy, what doesn't and how we can create happiness that is actually sustainable throughout the years. Happiness in perpetuity?" 
Where: Mill Valley Community Center
When: April 29 at 6:30 p.m.
For: adults
Cost: $69, includes appetizers/wine tasting
Register: here

What: Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Course

Details: "Everyone has experienced a meditative state in moments of deep joy, or when
completely engrossed in an activity, when just for a moment the mind becomes so light and at ease. While we have such moments, we are unable to repeat them at will. The Sahaj Samadhi course teaches you how. This meditation technique almost instantly alleviates you from stress-related
problems, deeply relaxes the mind and rejuvenates the system. Regular practice of the technique can totally transform the quality of one's life, by culturing the system to maintain the peace, energy and expanded awareness throughout the day. These meditation techniques combined
with yogic practices can ensure good health and a calm mind."
Where: Art of Living Center, 555 Mowry Ave., Suite C, Fremont
When: May 3-5, 2 hours each day
For: adults
Cost: $395
Register: here

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New App: Mommy Nearest

As a parent, when I'm out with the kids, I'm always looking for things nearby that would be helpful. It could be a playground, it could be a restaurant with food they'll eat, it could be a restroom or changing station (well, the changing station days are gone for us, but bathrooms are always in need). It could be that we need pick up a few groceries and aren't in our part of town.

My smart phone browser is helpful to an extent, as is Yelp, Open Table and a variety of other sites. But one that's kid-oriented with everything in one place is most helpful. One with user reviews and location services enabled. I found that in Mommy Nearest, a free app now launching in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mommy Nearest brought me on as one of their Expert Moms, to spread the word about their site launch in San Francisco and to contribute locally to their Mommy Nearest Magazine (you can read it on line for free).

How it works. Download the app and create an account. Allow it to use your location so it can more quickly and accurately pull up the places close to you. If you don't want to use your location, you can type in the location you want to search using the search bar - click on the magnifying glass.

You can see they offer a bunch of categories, including dining, fun, hygiene, specials, health, shopping and favorites (so you don't lose the places you like). Under hygiene, you can find diapers, changing tables, feeding supplies and bathrooms. And you can add places that aren't there as well as comment on places that are - give your opinion.


Please check it out, by downloading it for free in iPhones, iPads and Android devices. I'll be posting my Mommy Nearest articles here as well.
By the way, this looks nothing like me.
Except my hair is brown, I wear glasses when I drive,
and  my skin color is similar.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Get 'Yer Tickets: Gem and Jewelry Show - Free

If you're looking for some free fun, you can get tickets to the International Gem and Jewelry Show for free on Goldstar.

You need to plan in advance, because these may go quickly (or not). But it doesn't hurt to get the tickets now in case you want to go. You can see more about the show here. Note that kids 8 and under are not permitted.

When:
Friday, May 30 from noon to 6
Saturday, May 31 from 10 to 6
Sunday, June 1 from 11 to 5
Where: San Mateo
Who: Children 9+ and adults can attend
Cost: free with this link, but there's a $3.50 service fee. Tickets are normally $8 plus the fee.

While you're there, check out the other offerings by Goldstar, which offers event tickets at a discount. Frisco Kids is an affiliate of Goldstar, but we're very into discount event tickets.

Easter Events in the San Francisco Bay Area 2014

SAN FRANCISCO
What: Spring Eggstravaganza (egg hunt, games, inflatables, carnival rides, entertainment, carnival rides, food for sale)
Where: Sharon Meadow at Golden Gate Park
When: Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 11-3
Cost: $8/person


What: Union Street Easter Parade (and festival with face painting, climbing wall, petting zoo, pony ride, entertainment, activities, characters)
Where: Union Street in Cow Hollow, San Francisco
When: Sunday, April 20, 2014 from 10-5, parade at 2
Cost: Free


What: Cookie party, parade, Easter egg hunt, dance party, snack, crafts
WhereTantrum, San Francisco (858 Cole Street)
When: Sunday, March 31, 2013 from 10-3
Cost: $5/child or a donation of 10 filled eggs. $2 discount if you pay by 3/20.
What: Big Bunny's Spring Fling (bunnies, crafts, puppet shows, stories, songs) 
Where: San Francisco Zoo (Sloat/Great Highway, SF)
When: Saturday/Sunday, March 30 and 31 from 11-3
Cost: Free with admission

PENINSULA
What: Puppet Company presents "Grandpa Bunny's Egg-citing Day" - where pupptes explain that the color of eggs comes from the "wonder of the seasons." Craft-making follows.
Where: Hillsdale Shopping Center - by Macy's (60 31st Ave., San Mateo)
When: Thursday, March 21 from 3:30-4:30
Cost: Free
Age: 12 and younger

What: Easter Egg Hunt and the Puppet Circus
Where: Gamble Gardens, Palo Alto
When: Saturday, April 19, 2014, 9:30, 12, 1:30
Cost: $25/child, $15/adult for members, $5 less for members


What: Great America - cupcake decorating, egg dying, coloring stations, scavenger hunt,
Where: Great American in Santa Clara
When: April 20
Cost: free with admission


WhatEaster Bunny arrives by helicopter at 11 (includes free face painting and bounce house and egg from the bunny)
WhereHiller Aviation Museum (601 Skyway Road, San Carlos)
When: Saturday April 19 at 10:30-12:30

Cost: Included with admission

EAST BAY
What: Tap Dancing Easter Bunnies
WhereChildren's Fairyland (699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland)
When: Saturday, April 19 at 11:30 a.m.

What: Easter Egg Hunt (plus crafts and photos with the Easter Bunny)
WherePlay Cafe (4400 Keller Avenue, Oakland)
When: Saturday, April 19 from 11-1 
Cost: $10/kid

What: Underwater egg hunt, plus egg dying on the pool deck and shallow area games
WhereKing Pool, Berkeley (1700  Hopkins)
When: Sunday, April 13, from 12-1:30
Cost: $7/adult, $5/youth

WhatEgg Scramble and Splash into Spring (egg hunt, face painting, crafts, music, beach exploration) plus fish feeding, Bay diorama progam 
Where:  Crab Cove, Alameda
When: Saturday April 12 from 10-4 (egg hunt at 11:30)
Cost: Free


SOUTH BAY
WhatEgg Citing Spring Celebration (egg hunt, arts and crafts, photos with Easter Bunny)
Where: Camden Community Center, San Jose
When: Saturday, April 5, from 10-12:30. Come early for your wristband.
Cost: $7/kid (free for parents)



Easter egg hunts in the San Francisco Bay Area by Trekaroo
See more activities at Red Tricycle

Monday, April 7, 2014

Coming Up: Indian folk dance competition - Youthsava

I've seen Dance Moms on TV, and I see a lot of pictures of my friends' kids in dance competitions. So it was refreshing to see this come through my inbox - an annual dance competition for Indian folk dances to Bollywood music. Not only that, but the kids plan their own dance routines in addition to perform them. Indian breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are available for purchase.

What: Youthsava 2014
When: Saturday, April 1, doors open at 9 a.m.
Where: 525 Los Coches Street, Milpitas
Cost: $20/adult, $8/child


Coming Up: Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day - April 8

If you live or work near a Ben & Jerry's, get set for free cone day tomorrow.

When: April 8, 2014 from noon to 8 p.m.
Where: Several locations in San Francisco, plus Oakland, Greenbrae, San Jose. Plug in your zip code and find the closest location to you here.

Coming Up: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is coming to Berkeley. And it's family-friendly (they changed one of the songs).

Here's a description of the Tony award winning show: "For six young people, the spelling bee is the pinnacle of their middle school career. Quirky, awkward, and in the midst of puberty; there is a lot more going on at the spelling bee than consonants and vowels, especially with equally quirky parents and teachers as organizers of the bee. Complete with honest and heartfelt songs such as “My Friend, The Dictionary,” “Woe is Me,” and “I’m Not That Smart” these young outsiders learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't make you a loser.

Special to the production is the incorporation of improvisation and audience participation. Four audience members are selected to join the cast on stage as additional contestants in the bee at each performance. Some “use it in a sentence” examples are improvised, making each show of this hilarious musical a unique experience."


When: Apri 15-May 4, 2014
Where: Julia Morgan Theater - 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley
Tickets: $17-60. Buy online or by phone at (510) 845-8542 x 351

Friday, April 4, 2014

Coming Up: Speedsitting Event in SF

Looking for a new babysitter? This weekend there's a speedsitting event in San Francisco. There will be free childcare while you're there. You'll meet a new babysitter every 5 minutes, hosted by UrbanSitter.

Where: NextSpace co-working community space, 365 Vermont Street, San Francisco
When: Saturday, April 5 from 10-noon
RSVP: here


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Coming Up: The Soil Will Save Us - panel discussion in SF

I recently interviewed author Kristin Ohlson for her new book The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers and Foodies are Healing the Soil and Saving the Planet. It's a fascinating book on the world of microbes in the soil, and alternative farming methods that can help reverse global warming by keeping carbon dioxide in the soil, where it's helpful in plant growth. I know that sounds technical, but Ohlson is a great storyteller, and this book is great for the public, not just for scientists. I know, because I've read it.

She'll be speaking in a panel discussion along with Torri Estrada, policy director for the Marin Carbon Project, and Al Courchesne from Frog Hollow Farm.

It's a fascinating topic, even if you're not a farmer. You can make a difference with your own gardening and purchasing of food from farmers who use these newer (well, actually not so new - they're actually old techniques!) farming techniques that are better for the environment and produce great food!

When: Wednesday, April 9 from 6-8

Cost: A $5 voluntary donation is requested at the door. Space is limited.
Where: Port Commission Hearing Room, 2nd floor of the Ferry Building (Embarcadero at Market St.), San Francisco
More info: here