Friday, May 29, 2015

Pretend City - June Fun and FLASH GIVEAWAY!

Pretend City - June Fun is headed our way!

Are you ready for summer? In jut a few weeks all our kiddos will be out and ready for summer fun.
Here is a list of all the activities and events that +Pretend City Children's Museum will have going on for June.


Tuesday, June 2: Grand Opening of the Heart & Seoul Exhibit
Time:    10:00a.m.
Specifically for:    Children of all ages; Grown-ups
The growing popularity of all things Korean, from fashion and film to music and cuisine, has swept up Pretend City Children’s Museum.  From June 2, 2015 to September 7, 2015, Pretend City Children’s Museum will ride “Hallyu (the Korean Wave) with the debut of a brand new exhibit that digs right into the heart and soul of the culture.  Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea aims to bring modern-day South Korea to Orange County.  Part of the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series, Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea premiered nationally at the Children’s Museum of Houston, and Pretend City Children’s Museum is the first stop on an eight city tour over the next four years.
RSVP:    Not required
Fee:    Included with museum admission                      
Discount: Come dressed in a Hanbok, or traditional Korean clothing, to receive free admission!  

Friday, June 5: Cardboard City presented by The Cardboard Guys
Time:    10:00a.m. – 3:00p.m.
Specifically for:    Children of all ages; Grown-ups
Today is World Environment Day! This annual event is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. We’ve partnered with the Cardboard Guys to foster inventiveness in a way that's fun, functional, and environmentally-friendly by using cardboard as the canvas to creativity. Children will have the opportunity to create their very own cardboard buildings and city structures influenced by the architecture and design of South Korea. In the process they will learn about the importance of recycling and reusing!
RSVP:    Not required
Fee:    Included with museum admission
Event Link:

Saturday, June 6: Good to Go From Head To Toe Family Fun & Wellness Fair
Time:    9:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.
Location: Pretend City Children’s Museum Parking Lot
Specifically for:    Children of all ages; Grown-ups
Today take “The Path to Healthy Development” during our 6th annual Good To Go From Head To Toe Family Fun & Wellness Fair!This event provides valuable resources for families including fun family activities and free health screenings for children. The health fair is open to the general public at no cost and includes an opportunity for children to earn a free return visit to Pretend City Children’s Museum.
RSVP:    Not required
Fee:    Free; museum admission neither required nor included.
*Event will be held in Pretend City’s parking lot.
Event Link:

Monday, June 8: Celebrate World Oceans Day!
Time:   Throughout the day
Specifically for:    Children of all ages; Grown-ups
World Oceans Day is the day of ocean celebration and action. People all over our blue planet organize celebrations to support action to protect the ocean. This year, the theme is Healthy OceansHealthy Planet! Pretend City is making a special effort to stop plastic pollution through educational activities like:
· Smart Art: The World’s Oceans art activity will explore questions like, “how does the ocean feel and what does it look like to you?” Use a variety of materials and mediums to express your love for the ocean through art.
· Nature Tales: All the Way to the Ocean is an uplifting story that will inspire both young and adult readers alike and teach a timeless life lesson--If we all do our part, a cleaner, safer environment is indeed within our reach. This will be followed by a beach clean-up activity!
· Math Matters: The Feeding Game will simulate the negative effects plastic trash can have on the feeding and survival of animals.
RSVP:    Not required
Fee:    Included with museum admission
Event Link:

Monday, April 13: Baby Steps through Pretend City
Time: 2:00-3:30p.m.
Specifically for: Infant (0-18 months), grownups. For the comfort of our infant guests, no older siblings please. 
Do you have questions about feeding, napping, crawling, or just want to enjoy an event where you and your baby can come and play? If so, Baby Steps through Pretend City is the event for you! This monthly event is a great opportunity to ask questions, meet other parents, and engage your baby in developmentally appropriate activities and exhibits. Pretend City was designed with your infant in mind, but with so many excited, older children playing in the museum, it may be hard for your little one to get around. This monthly event allows you to take advantage of an exclusive, infant only times by engaging in age-appropriate facilitated activities which will teach you about your baby’s developmental milestones.
Cost: Free for infants 0-18 months; Adults are $10. (Free for Pretend City Members)

Friday, June 12: FREE Vision Screening 
Time:    10:00a.m.-12:00p.m.
Specifically for:    Children Ages 2 ½ years and up; Grown-ups
This vision screening focuses on young children from ages 2 ½ to 6 years old.  It is a screening utilized for visual acuity, external eye health, and binocular vision. The HOTV letter chart is used as a fun and developmentally appropriate testing tool.
RSVP:  First-come, first-served basis; limited spaces available
Fee:  Free; Museum admission neither required nor included
Event Link:

Sunday, June 14: Celebrate Flag Day!
Time:   Throughout the day
Specifically for:    Children of all ages; Grown-ups
Today Pretend City joins people across the United States to celebrate Flag Day. We will honor the United States flag and to commemorate the flag’s adoption. Enjoy a red-white-and-blue introduction to our nation's most cherished ideals during these activities that honor Old Glory.
· Smart Art: Stars & Stripes art activity will give you an opportunity to work on counting skills with your child while explaining to them the significance of each flag element.
· Sensational Story Time: F is for Flag shows in simple terms how one flag can mean many things: a symbol of unity, a sign of welcome, and a reminder that-in good times and in bad-everyone in our country is part of one great big family.
· Symbols in a Second: The flag is an important symbol of our country. Today children will learn all about its symbolism and its attributes.
· Holiday HistoryPatriotic Parade before we head-out for the day for our patriotic parade featuring “You’re a Grand Old Flag” come learn a bit about how the flag has changed throughout history.
RSVP:    Not required
Fee:    Included with museum admission
Event Link:
Discount: Wear red, white or blue for $1.00 off of a general admission ticket!

Saturday, June 20: Celebrate Father’s Day
Time:     Lil’ Me Morning: Sensational Story Time
                Engaging Afternoon: Growin’ Up Great
Specifically for: Children of all ages; grown-ups
Pretend City’s Father’s Day celebration is guaranteed to help dads, uncles, grandpas, and kids alike to enjoy the magic of playing together. Tap into the infinite possibilities of your imaginations in these guided activities brimming with fun:
· Sensational Story TimeI Love My Daddy! You are bound to smile at this story about love from a toddler’s point of view. Continue the fun with an art activity filled with love.
· Growing Up Great GameShaving Cream Races – On your mark, get set, shave! Let the races begin as dads and children participate in a fun shaving contest.
· Smart ArtTie-riffic will turn children into designers as they decorate a tie to give as a special gift for dad!
RSVP: Not required
Fee:  Included with museum admission
Event Link:

Monday, June 22: Summer Kick-Off Celebration
Time:    Throughout the Day 
Specifically for: Children of all ages; grown-ups
Join us for our 5th annual Summer Celebration! This event marks the start of Southern California’s favorite season! Our Summer Kick-Off Celebration includes a live musical performance by our surprise guests – who you won’t want to miss!! Other fun-filled activities for the day include:
- Limbo contests
- Beach ball Volleyball
- Sand Castle Building Contest
Summer has officially begun which means another school year has ended! Show us your child’s (or yours!) graduation certificate beginning today and ending July 31st for $1.00 off general admission.
RSVP: Not required
Fee:  Included with museum admission
Event Link:
Show your child’s (or yours!) graduation certificate starting June 22nd to July 31st for $1.00 off general admission.

Monday, June 29: Family Autism Event
Time:  2:00 – 4:30p.m.
Specifically for: Families with children of all ages who are on the autism spectrum; Pretend City will be closed to the general public
This special evening is an opportunity for children and their parents/siblings/caretakers to have some fun in an autism-friendly environment along with other families. Many of our community partners, who specialize in supporting children on the autism spectrum, will be on-hand to enrich your family’s play experience with welcoming smiles and practical support.
RSVP: Register by June 28th online. Registration required.
*Only guests with a reservation and a confirmation number will be admitted.
Fee: FREE for families with children on the Autism Spectrum.
Event Link:

Pretend City has so much to offer all ages. From the moment you walk in you are watching your children experience pretend play and more at its finest!

To Kick Off Summer and the Grand Opening of "Heart and Seoul" we are doing a flash giveaway!
Photo Credit - Pretend City 
Pretend City is giving me 4 tickets to giveaway to my readers. The tickets will be good for Tuesday June 2nd for the Grand Opening of "Heart and Seoul", Growing up in Korea. Enter NOW, the winner will be selected on Monday and tickets will be at will call under winners name. 

Ready set gooooooo and good luck to everyone!

Wishing everyone a great last few weeks of school and hope to see you at Pretend City this summer. 

#PretendCity #PretendPlay #OC #OCFun #SummerFun #ThingsToDo #KidsPlay #Irvine #ChildrensMuseum #KidsFirst #LearnandGrow #First5 #SoCalFun #SummerToDo #SummerIsHere #JuneFun #JunePlay  

I was given 4 ticekts to offer on my blog as a giveaway. All opinions are my own. Thank you Pretend City!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Quick Family Meals - Feeding More Than 4

Quick Family Meals - Feeding 6 or more

What's a few more mouths to feed for dinner?! What Meals are easy and will feed a lot of mouths?!

Here are my top 5 Mega Meals that don't break the bank or your time.

I am used to feeding 4 but this last week I was privileged to help my dad and my brother care for his 4 kiddos. The total with my dad, my brothers family minus my sister in law and the 4 of us is 10.

What meals do we use for pre prep, easy prep, quick timing and favorites to all? Here goes.

1. Chili - You can pre make it and store it for days. It actually tastes better after a day anyways! Serve with chips, cheese, onion and or bread. We love ours in a bread bowl with all the fixings. A good recipe we have tried is my sister in laws but that takes a lot more love than a fast one like THIS that I have doubled and made enough for 12.

2. Pasta - This is a win win. I like to jazz it up a bit by using fun noodles or pastas. With this one I like to have a simple marinara and a pesto ready. But again, since were talking about fast and east then pick your fav out of jar or can and go with it.. maybe add a little seasoning to freshen it up a bit and serve with garlic bread on the side. Full bellies for sure.

3. Chicken and Potatoes - I like to do it Greek style. I cut up a half a bag of potatoes and I use a whole bag of chicken tenders from frozen. I like to use fresh but this is a mass meal and oven ready in moments. Set oven to 375 and pre heat it while you prep. Put the cut potatoes in a bowl and toss them with some garlic salt, olive oil, pepper, oregano, and a squeeze of lemon. Once they sit for a few moments and you mix it up so they are well covered all around then place the potatoes around the chicken in the baking tray or pan you have ready. Add the juice of about two lemons and about 1/2 cup of water. Cover it and toss it into over. Check on it about 25 mins in and shift the chicken and potatoes in the juice. If it looks like it needs more liquid to keep potatoes and chicken juicy, add some lemon and water by the half cup into it. Back into over for another 15 mins and check again. This time take the foil off the top and let it go another 10 mins or so. Should be good to go if not a bit sooner. My oven and my dads oven cook differently and I don't like to over cook and dry out chicken. Greek Lemon Chicken. Serve with Bread.
Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes

4. Burritos - Super easy. Can of re-fried beans (Rosarita Jalepeno is a good one) and heat it up stove top. Chop lettuce up, tomatoes, onion, maybe some cilantro and get a small pack of shredded cheese.  Get 2 lbs of ground beef and season it to taste with spices and cumin or you can get the taco seasoning packet and toss that in. I season meat with some chopped onion and fresh chopped garlic no matter what. Drain meat of grease and fat once cooked and your ready to put your burritos together! Add a little sour cream on top or your favorite red/green salsa and you are set. So tasty and easy.

5. Quesadillas - Either just cheese or grilling some chicken strips to add into it, they are super fast and easy to serve. Clean up is minimal and usually quesadillas are a hit with everyone for sure. Top it off with some fresh pico or some you can get form your deli and a bit of sour cream and your good to go.

I love to cook.

These are just a few faster meals that can feed a lot of people. I had to come up with a few of these last week but usually I cook totally fresh and home made. It was fun to try the easier route of packet seasoning instead of mixing up my own and canned pasta sauce that was spiffed up a bit.

I still used my local Fresh and Easy for most produce and supplies for my meals for these.
I will be posting more of my home made recipes too so keep an eye out here and on my Instagram HERE .

Thanks for reading and happy eating! If you try one of these let me know and post a pic.

#Dinner #Foodie #DinnerMadeSemiFresh #GoodFood #SoCalCooking #CookAtHome #CookingForMoreThan4 #momBloggersCook #LoveToCook #FastMeals #EasyMeals #FreshandEasy #LiveWell #EatYummy #YummyForMyTummy #OCFoodie #EasyDinners #CookWithMe

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dinner - Hot Sausage with Green Veggies

Dinner - Hot Sausage with Green Veggies

Dinner tonight had to be fast and easy. Chop, Heat, Cook, Serve and done.

Here is my quick yet super flavorful Spicy Sausage with Greens that takes less than 35 minutes including prep time!

Hot @Johnsonville sausage cut up on stove top with bell peppers, asparagus, onions, a Serrano for some kick and wild rice on the side..the rice is set in rice cooker so add water to cup line and click cook. Easy peasy, 


smile emoticon ‪#‎dinnerathome‬ @FoodNetwork @FreshandEasy veggies +Johnsonville Sausage - Chicago Innovation Center 
‪#‎freshfood‬ ‪#‎freshmeal‬ ‪#‎lovetocook‬ ‪#‎mombloggerscook‬ ‪#‎livewell‬‪#‎cookingathome‬ ‪#‎sogood‬ ‪#‎hotsausage‬ ‪#‎bellpeppers‬ ‪#‎onions‬ ‪#‎asparagus‬‪#‎wildrice‬ ‪#‎foodie‬ ‪#‎foodporn‬ ‪#‎eatthis‬ ‪#‎johnsonville‬

Is it Friday Yet ?

Is It Friday Yet ?

Just a thought I am having right NOW!

You know as I ask or practically beg my 7yo to please do her homework, while my 3yo tries to take a late nap but I need to keep him awake and I need to get dinner started....

Oh and there it goes.. while my daughter tries to ask my for homework help and I am in the kitchen I can almost hear her, almost but the singing of my son just keeps getting louder as she gets louder re-reading the question.

I swear it's almost like they know what they are doing to me and to each other.. oh my!

Is it Friday yet ?!

It's going to be one of those evenings lol

Thinking of my happy place.....DLR

Legoland Sunday Funday

Legoland Sunday Funday

Surprise! We are going to +legolandcalifornia .  today, so get ready and rocking.... That's how we woke the kids on Sunday! They were so happy and excited.

We have not had a real family day in a while. My husbands been so busy with work and making sure we have the things we need, that we have not seen him much lately. We decided that we would head down to Carlsbad for the day and visit Legoland and the SeaLife Aquarium.

We all packed up into the car for our fun day. Hours were 10am to 6pm so perfect when it's overcast.
He was asleep before we even got on the toll rd!
It took us about 40 mins to get down to Legoland from Irvine area. Not bad at all since we ran into a little Holiday traffic headed out of town in remembrance of Memorial Day on Monday.

It did not take long for my boy to wake up and see the castle like hotel. We were ready to have fun!

First up - Heartlake City! Just opened a few days ago and already so popular to visit!

Friends Forever Stage - So cool to check out the Friends in person!


There was dancing and singing in the live stage show and we were loving it. I think the best part about Heartlake City is that all ages can enjoy the fun. My Son was loving the Horse Stables aka the Merry go Round!
My daughter said "Mom I feel like I am in the actual Lego Land of Heartlake City, this is so cool".

Saying bye to the Friends Forever for now, we sang as we moved onto some other fun. 

Mikey can ride on so many rides now that he is 41" tall. He is only too short for 2 of the rides but he is loving all of the ones he can get on!

Here he is on two new rides since the last time we came. One we missed and one he just hit the height requirement for! Big day for Mikey!  

Can I leave them here for a bit!?
 In the middle of all the fun there is one thing we have to do when we are at Legoland - Get the Apple Fries! Oh my goodness, these are the best apple fries ever and the mixture of cinnamon and sugar they put on them is just perfect. A winner and MUST every time we visit.
Apple Fries Made Fresh!

After our snack we figured we should try a roller coaster with Mikey for the first time at Legoland!
We all hopped on the Dragon and helped the Knights. He loved it!

Playing with your family all day works up an appetite. Just wanted to point out that this is an awesome deal! Kids Eat free at Pizza & Pasta after 3pm! Great way to wind down and catch dinner on way out of the fun.
Kids Eat Free After 3pm!
 It was 2pm and we had a few more rides to finish up before heading into the Aquarium to wind our own day down.


On the boat tour we were able to see the sights of the world and back to the United States, passing Mini Land. It really is a sight to see, even if you have seen it multiple times. We can't get enough!


From the boat looking out into Mini Land

We always stop into Mini Land. I am not sure if it's cause I LOVE VEGAS or just cause the whole land is cute and fun. I think it's cause I have Vegas withdrawals - what do you think? ha!

Before we left Legoland for the Sealife Aquarium we had to show out Lego fun - Everything is Awesome!
Hugs with her Lego Friend!

 Up next, our adventure at the SeaLife Aquarium...

Texas Pit BBQ in Lake Forest

Texas Pit BBQ in Lake Forest - First timer!

I have lived in Lake Forest for over 25 years and Texas Pit BBQ has been in the same location for as long as I can remember. I am not sure why I never went in to try it, other than the fact that I LOVE TO BBQ myself so I usually do at home.
Texas Pit BBQ logo
We decided to give it a try and order to go to eat at home with the kids. I have one kiddo that is a picky eater and one that will try most anything.

We ordered the Sampler Meal (chicken, sausage, pork ribs, shredded brisket, beans, corn and corn bread) and also a pound of chopped brisket that came with buns and Mac N Cheese. The order was ready fast.

We also asked for a few of their BBQ sauces to try out. They were super nice and totally welcoming. There is plenty of seating on site too.

Everything was fresh and hot when we got home and we are about 15mins away.

We decided to set up a picnic and eat together sort of family style, just trying it all and sharing with one another! Dipping here and dipping there, BBQ Sauce was everywhere...

Here is what our yummy goodness looked like before we devoured it all! PS: my daughter could NOT get enough of the brisket, that is a winner right there!

Mac N Cheese - Have to get
large order next time! Good.
Baked Beans! Perfect.
Corn Bread was tasty and
comes with honey butter. 

Shredded Brisket was amazing!

Sampler - a good portion of a lot of items to try! It's juicy and good!
Our favorite BBQ sauce was the original they had... we also tried the spicy hot one that had more of a chipotle chili flavor kick to it.

We will be returning for more but I want to try the racks of ribs next time... let's just dive right into the messy goodness!
Thanks for the great dinner Texas Pit BBQ and see you soon.

I'm always willing to sample your ribs anytime, just saying.

For more info on Texas Pit BBQ and easy On Line Ordering please see HERE
#TexasPitBBQ #TexasBBQ #BBQ #LakeForest #LunchandDinner #YummyGoodness #Tasty #BBQInOC