blogspot stats

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Shopping for Kids' Clothes on Schoola - Raising Money for your School

Is your school PTA looking for ways to make money? Something beyond the bake sales and the gift wrap sales and the constant pleas for money? Something that helps you to clear out your kids' closets of clothing that they've outgrown? Or maybe you want to buy new (to you) clothing that's still name brand, but heavily discounted?

I recently learned about Schoola. While they are sponsoring this post, I found so many things about them to like that I had a hard time figuring out what benefits to stress. Schoola collects gently used kids' clothes (baby through high school) and resells it for a discount online. They photograph, post and sell the clothes. Your designated school gets 40% of the sales price. And you just mail the clothes in a postage-paid envelope they provide. No collecting the clothes in your car and looking for a Goodwill.

When you buy clothes from the site, you'll feel good knowing that 40% of that money is going to help another school. Any clothes they can't used get donated to Goodwill. Look to the bottom for a 20% off code.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Coming Up: Community Day at Candlestick Park - Free

Join the Rec and Park's Free Community Day at Candlestick Park, part of their "Last Summer at the 'Stick" series of farewell events supporting youth sports. This family-friendly event features carnival rides, food trucks, field activities, and stadium tours. Event tickets are available at

FYI - no backpacks allowed, and no tailgating.

When: Sunday, August 3 from 11-3
Tickets: get 4 free tickets here
Cost: free, but you need tickets to enter

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: GemShare Site to Share Referrals/Recommendations - Free!

Whether you’re new to a Bay Area community (or anywhere, for that matter) or you’ve been living here awhile, sometimes it’s tough to find the referrals you need. You might need a new hairdresser, roofer, camp, orthodontist, pediatrician, massage therapist, tutor, lawyer, restaurant party location etc.

Two San Francisco moms started GemShare, which I see as a combination of Angie’s List, Yelp and your favorite Facebook (or email) group that shares referrals. Angie’s List costs money and you don’t know the people giving referrals. With Yelp you also don’t know the referrers and you don’t know if the reviews are legitimate. And with your Facebook group or email, you often know the people, but it’s hard to sort and store the referrals for when you need them. GemShare is free and you can see who wrote each review – the site strongly encourages members to use their full name and picture (and from what I've seen, most people comply). Each piece of advice/referral is a “gem,” hence the name.

GemShare contacted us for a sponsored review of their site and to start a Frisco Kids group – which we thought was an excellent community-building thing to do. Please join us on GemShare in the Frisco Kids group! I’ll tell you how here, and I’ll explain more about our review of GemShare below.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Coming Up: Pedalfest in Oakland - Free

This weekend, pump up the bike tires and head to Pedalfest at Jack London Square. They have a whole festival devoted to the bicycle. They expect more than 20,000 bike lovers, with activities including bicycle stunts, pedal-powered food, art, a bicycle rodeo and live music. Kids can participate in a bike parade and a bike rodeo. Check out the vintage bikes while you're there.

Parents can drink up some New Belgium Brewing Company beers - all proceeds support the Bike East Bay advocacy work. If you take the ferry there with your bike, you can get a free ferry ride on San Francisco Bay Ferry.

When: Saturday, July 26 from 11-7
Where: Jack London Square (Broadway and Embarcadero) in Oakland
Cost: Free

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Coming Up: Free Summer Series for Kids - Roxie Theater

2Roxie Graphics-kids

Roxie Theater in San Francisco (3117 16th Street) is offering two free films this summer for kids 12 and under ($7.50 for adults). They selected films to appeal to kids and adults - and not the typical Hollywood films either. These are more artsy. They want to expose kids and adults to more independent and foreign films. They'll be showing:

large cagliostro
JULY. 27th (Sunday 2 pm

Lupin the 3rd “The CASTLE of CAGLIOSTRO”

Co-written & directed by Hayao Miyazaki Hayao Miyazaki’s directorial debut film. While driving through the streets of Europe, Lupin and Jigen, a sharpshooter, find a young woman named Clarise in a bridal gownchased by villains. A spectacular car chase ensues in order to save this damsel in distress.
Aug. 24th (SUN) 2:00pm

Astro Boy

Directed & written by Osamu Tezuka Osamu Tezuka, God of Manga, Father of Anime. He gave much inspiration to Hayao Miyazaki. A science fiction series set in a futuristic world where robots co-exist with humans. Astro is a powerful robot created by the head of the Ministry of Science to replace his son, who died in a car accident. Astro is shown fighting crime, evil, and injustice. Most of his enemies were robot-hating humans, robots gone berserk, or alien invaders. Almost every story included a battle involving Astro and other robots.

Coming Up: Art Pantry Pop-Up Sale

If you live in Marin (or will be there next weekend), check out the the Art Pantry warehouse clearance sale at their 2-day pop-up shop. This mom-owned store will be selling off their entire inventory of kids art supplies and craft-related gifts at up to 50% off retail prices, including items you can use for school or for birthday gifts.

Kids are welcome, as they'll have a crafts table and refreshments both days.

When: July 26-27, 10-5
Where: 27 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Free trial class at Play LAB at Seesaw

Looking to try Play LAB at Seesaw? Get a free trial class in July. They offer three different classes.

Play LAB prosocial is a play group designed for kids ages 2.5 - 3.5 and parent or caregiver. Kids learn and practice peer interaction, socialization and friendship building skills. It's helpful for families interested in learning more about how to build on their child's strengths and social-emotional well-being. They have free play, Q + A, and discuss topics like: joining in play, empathy, frustration tolerance, shyness, exceptional learners and self-regulation. The class is led by a child psychologist. It meets Wednesdays 11-noon.

Play LAB speech is a play group designed for kids ages 1 - 4. Activities encourage vocabulary, language comprehension, and early thinking skills. You can ask their specialist questions about your child's communication, signs, gestures, bilingualism, and ways to boost language skills. This class is led by a speech language pathologist. It meets Wednesdays 10 - 11 am in July.

Play LAB OT is a play group designed for kids ages 1 - 4. Fun activities encouraging sensory integration and motor planning skills. This class is led by an occupational therapist, and meets Friday July 25 from 10 - 11 am.

To learn more, visit To register, email -- please include child's name, DOB, parent name -- and mention WORKS FOR ME, which is an email group I'm part of where I learned about this.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Link love

It's been awhile since I've done a link love post, but I've been collecting links for awhile now, so here goes!

We're trying this S'mores Dip this weekend, when my daughter has a back-yard campout. Basically it's s'mores made in the oven and it looks amazing!

Did you see our Pop Secret popcorn Perfect Pop app post yesterday? You must read it - it's funny.

Going camping this summer? Here are 60 camping tips for beginners from RWeThereYetMom?

More travel - here are some packing tips for packing light and going carry-on if taking a plane this summer, from

Love this story about a teen trying to make lingerie more appropriate for girls.

Another teens story - watch this video about conjoined twins and what their life is like.

Celebrating a milestone birthday? I love what Cam Bowman from Growing Up Goofy is doing to celebrate her 40th. She's raising $4,000 for the Exodus Road, which fights against sex slavery.

Looking for a fun science project to do with the kids this summer? Make dry ice bubbles - that look like works of art.

A couple books to recommend:
For those taking young kids on airplanes, check out Monsters Don't Ride on Airplanes - an e-book (only $2.99) by Hilarye Fuller. It teaches kids to have manner on the airplane, and it's educational but also very cute.

The talented Meagan Francis launched her e-book recently, called Beyond Baby: A Week-By-Week Guide To Creating A Life You Love When Your Kids Aren't So Little. This is for moms with kids beyond the baby/toddler years who are ready for the next phase in their own life.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pop Secret Perfect Pop App - Our Experiment in Popcorn Popping

My daughter heard about the Pop Secret Perfect Pop popcorn app a few weeks back, and she thought it was something I should post on my other blog, Stupid Products.

Do you love my back splash? 
So when Pop Secret asked me to do a sponsored post testing its Perfect Pop app, I had to say yes. I'm really doing for the entertainment value - and some quality time with my daughter. Plus we created a scientifically valid experiment out of it, which made it educational as well.

If you haven't heard of this app, it's free. You open the app, and put your iPhone or iPad within 3 feet of the microwave. Then you set the timer to whatever it says is the ideal popping time on the box and start popping your popcorn. It listens to the popping sounds and tells you when it's done, so you avoid burning your popcorn and smelling up your house.

But what fun is it to only test out the app with Pop Secret? We did test the app out on two competitors, and I'll have results for you later. You should definitely read on because the results were surprising.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Coming Up: Early Childhood Safety Fair - Free

This weekend, Habitot is hosting its 14th annual early childhood safety fair. Details below on the flyers, but you can expect to learn about keeping your home toxic free, safety from earthquakes, water, strangers, fire, autos and poisons. They'll also have helmets on sale for $9. It's a free fair.

When: Friday and Saturday, July 17-18, 2014 from 10-12:30
Where: Habitot (2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Differences between Disneyland and Disney World

As a West Coast girl, I grew up going to Disneyland (the one in Anaheim, California). Disney World (in Orlando, Florida)? What was that?

I finally got my chance to go. I spent more time preparing for that trip than I did for many international trips. So many decisions to make, from where to stay to where to dine, and which park to do on which day.

Perhaps you're confused as well, so let me enlighten you.

Disney World - consists of 4 theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot). There are two water parks as well, but we'll ignore those for now.
Disneyland - when people say Disneyland, they're usually referring to just one park, and that's Disneyland. It's adjacent (literally footsteps away) from Disney California Adventure (DCA), aka California Adventure.

How long to stay?
Disney World - some people make a week-long vacation out of it, even honeymooning there. We did four parks in three days, which was a bit much, but it worked with our schedule.
Disneyland - The most we've ever stayed is two days - one per park. Some people stay for 3 days, but I'm not sure that's really necessary.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Coming Up: In-Home Consumer Products Focus Group - $225

Think Group (a market research firm) has an upcoming study in San Francisco regarding consumer products. This study will be conducted in the comfort of your own home. If you are a male or female between the ages of 18-59 and are available Monday, July 31st, Tuesday, August 1, or Monday, August 18th then please respond to with your answers to the questions below. Please note you only have to participate on one date.

It requires 3 hours of your time, but it will be in your own home (must be in San Francisco). Qualified participants will be compensated $225. 

Q1. Name: 
Q2. Phone:
Q3. City, State, Zip: 
Q4. Age:
Q5. Gender:
Q6. Ethnicity:
Q7. Do you have any kids? If so, how many and what are their ages?
Q8. Do you subscribe to any online streaming movie/TV service? If so, please list which ones:

look forward to hearing from you!

This is a sponsored post.

Coming Up: Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson Concert

A quick shout out for those who love Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson, huge in the modern Jewish music arena. They're making their only West Coast concert appearance on Monday, July 14 (next week!) in Foster City. Details below.

Coming Up: World Cup Finals - Watch at Civic Center SF

No need to take the kids to a bar for the finals of World Cup Soccer. Go to Civic Center in San Francisco, where they'll be playing the finals at noon on Sunday, on a large screen. Food trucks open up at 11 a.m. (Curry Up Now, El Porteno, Sanguchon, Sabor de San Miguel and Cheese Gone Wild). They'll have a mini soccer court and Soccer Skills by the San Jose Earthquakes staff, plus face painting, kids soccer and photos.

It's all sponsored by the SF Rec and Park Department and America SCORES.

Thursday, July 10, 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: DayOne Baby in Pacific Heights, 3548 Sacramento Street, San Francisco
When: Saturday, July 12 from 11-12:30
Cost: free

Coming Up: Sunday Streets in the Richmond

The next San Francisco's Sunday Streets is in the Richmond. Are you going?

Sunday Streets is a "a safe, fun, car-free place for people to get out and get active in San Francisco neighborhoods." In addition to the regular fun stuff (dance performances, climbing wall, live music, free bike rentals, yoga, pilates, arts/crafts), there's a nearby farmer's market, Presidio Family Fun festival, and the Off the Grid picnic at the Presidio Main Post (free shuttle). 

It's this Sunday, July 13th, Arguello from Sacramento to Fulton, from 11-4. Details and map here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Where to watch the fireworks with kids this July 4 in the San Francisco Bay Area

There's nothing better than a great July 4th fireworks show. Well, if you're eating ice cream during the blast, that makes it better. Here are great spots to view the pyrotechnics with the kids in the Bay Area this year.

San Francisco

Watch from a boat - the Jeremiah O'Brien on Pier 45 offers deck-top viewing with admission starting at 7:30. Tickets are $30/adult, $20/senior, $15/children (ages 6-12), or $70 for a family (2 adults, 2 kids). The fireworks go from Aquatic Park to Pier 39, so you'd be in prime viewing location.

For no cost, though, get to Fisherman's Wharf early to snag a spot along the waterfront, and further southeast along the Embarcadero, for a good view.