Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Knott's Berry Farm with Toddlers

Saturday we went to Knott's Berry Farm, a little theme park just past Disneyland in Orange County. First I'll tell you what we did, then give a general review in the last paragraph to help if you are thinking about going to Knott's Berry Farm with toddlers!

They were having a half price deal through May 15th if you buy tickets online. Once we printed them we headed up to be there when they opened at 10. It was a great start to our weekend, not too early so the boys could sleep in and have a good breakfast. It was nice and overcast too! I love spending a day with Tim and the boys, and it gave us all something to do more than the usual play at home.
Timmy went on a few rides, and liked most of them. I took Troy on two train rides.
 Timmy is obsessed with gold, probably since his favorite show, Lego Ninjago talks about it a lot. He paints everything gold, too. So he got to pan for gold here at Knott's and got a few flecks to put in a tiny jar.

 Pretty flowers for Spring!
 My Aunt Dorothy, Uncle Michael and my two cousins, Mike and Moriah all met up with us there. Love getting to spend time with them!
 We had a pretty good lunch at Jonny Rockets, and the prices were the same as outside the theme park so that was nice!
 We were able to bring snacks from home too!
 Troy kept dipping his Oreo's in ketchup and ranch. Bleh. We did stop him after a few dunks.
 It definitely had an old timey thing going on!
 End of the day, 4pm pic before going home.

Knott's Berry Farm with Toddlers Review:

Overall, Knott's Berry Farm has a few rides for toddlers, some of them are  a little too nauseating to recommend. They also have costumed characters but my kids aren't entirely sure who most of them are. The playground was closed but that would have been good for them. There are some good lunch options, Jonny Rockets even gave free balloons to my little ones. And lastly, there are a few activities that you can pay in addition to the ticket price that are enjoyable for toddlers like panning for gold.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lego Day at Ladera Ranch Library

lego day at ladera ranch library
Last Thursday was the long awaited Lego Day at Ladera Ranch Library. Timmy went to their other one a few months ago, and has been asking to go again. When we saw the sign up weeks ago, he got so excited and memorized "March 20th is my Lego day".
We woke up baby Troy at 3pm and walked down to the Library, which is only a half mile away from our home. They had a section for Timmy-- tables with a bin of Lego's on each.
Why is it so much fun, when Timmy has his own bins of Legos at home? I think because they are new pieces he doesn't own!

 They had cute coloring pages at a table too, which Troy loved.

 Even Lego Movie coloring pages which YOU KNOW my boys love!

 He NEVER smiles for pictures, and yet here are three super happy ones.
One of his final masterpieces, a Lego cave.

They also had a section with big Legos (Duplos and Mega Bloks) off to the side for younger kids.

If you are around Ladera and your kiddos love Legos, it is a great activity! Lego Day at Ladera Ranch Library is made possible by donations of Legos as well, so if you have any you would like to drop off, they have big collection bins in the branch.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tiny Oranges Contributor

1. On Sunday I had my hubby take some headshots...
 2. For my new gig!
I'm super excited to announce that I'll be a weekly contributor on my favorite local blog, Tiny Oranges! Ahhh!

3.I have so much planned for my time there already, and I cannot wait to share about this beautiful county, with the amazing gals over there! Special shout-out to Jen for taking a leap of faith on me and spending so much time teaching me to be a better blogger!

 4. Last year I had my yarn wrapped wreath tutorial published on her blog:

Which, if you look at the date, is what launched me writing my blog! I realized I loved it so much, and just her publishing it was enough to think, maybe I could do that!

 And post some pictures on Instagram with your fun spring activities to share with other local moms! #tinyorangesspring

Linking up with some fun blogs for "5 on Friday"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hummingbird Feeder in Orange County

You guys. I am a tiny bit (a lot) obsessed with my Hummingbird feeder. It's been out for four days now and I've already had to refill it!
 Hummingbird Nectar Recipe:
1 cup tap water
¼ cup sugar
To make your own mixture, bring tap water to a boil and stir in sugar. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature before adding it to your feeder.
To yield larger portions, mix at the ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. The solution will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

See this picture? This is my parent's backyard nicknamed "Hummingbird Alley" up in Castaic, CA. My Dad is a humming bird enabler too! See? It's just in my genes.

Hummingbirds in Orange County, CA

Did you know there are two species of hummingbirds in Orange County CA? We have Rufous and Allen's Hummingbirds here.
Also, Orange County is home to the most famous hummingbird in the world!!! Pheobe Allen has her very own live-streamed web-cam with over 16 million views per year! See her here.
You can even buy a t-shirt with the famous OC momma on it! :)
It's a great activity to bird watch with my kids, my favorite thing to do is read books to my boys on my patio in the late after noon, as the Humminbirds especially love the cool of the morning and late after noon. We get one about every minute up to feed.
Watch a short clip with fun facts all about God's wonderful creation here.
Go out and get yourself a feeder and be a Hummingbird enthusiast like me!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quick and Easy St. Patrick's Family Night

Quick and Easy St Patrick's Family Night:
Craft: Coloring Clover Table Cloth
Décor: Green flower centerpiece, green plates
Main Dish: Spinach Pesto Meatballs
Side: Green Grapes
Dessert: Green Ice Cream
Book: Green Eggs and Ham
 Monday night was St. Patrick's Day and after a busy weekend where I only had time to pick up some green plates, I realized at 5:20pm, if this family night is going to happen, it needs to start now. I made a grocery list and was out the door to Pavillion's when Tim got home at 5:40.
 First, in lieu of decorations (why are there no dollar stores or Targets anywhere near me...even Pav's had no St. Patrick's décor!), we covered the table in brown wrapping paper I already had, I drew some clovers on it and had the kids color it while I got the rest of the night going.
Little green flowers I picked up at the store, trimmed and in a jar.
 I needed a main course, something green but no time for corned beef and hash, enter Mix and Match Mama's Spinach Pesto Meatballs; green, delicious and on the table in 20 minutes
 We cut up the meatballs for the kids and had green grapes as a side.
Then we read Green Eggs and Ham for the first time! I forgot I had it tucked away in a cupboard.
For dessert, we had some green ice cream because it's so warm I didn't want a baked good!
After dinner, we went for a walk and tried to find some frogs that were croaking loudly in a little stream off the sidewalk in Ladera.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BBQ, Hummingbird, Frozen and Pool Weekend

This weekend was so full, with warm weather and big feasts on the BBQ, shared with new friends. Running madly to the grill a burst with flames, as the grease was dripping down into the fire! The relief that it turned out delicious and was enjoyed as dusk settled in, and the cool of the night brought us inside to continue the conversations.
A new addition to my patio, a hummingbird feeder. I so love the dainty birds, and the beat of their wings as they come careening in for a drink. Their sweet songs, and tiny tongues splashing in the sugary water. I'm so happy the boys love it too, and it's been enjoyed as we sit outside in the late afternoon light, reading tongue twister children's books.
Tim's Pizza recipe coming up soon on the blog!

After long weekend days spent running errands, there is nothing more enjoyable than to come home to a home made meal, and watch a long-awaited movie, snuggled up on the couch cushions with my family.

As the weekend wrapped up, we wrapped the boys up in big beach towels and walked home from the baby pool. It seems the weekends are never long enough.

Monday, March 17, 2014

March- Favorite Things

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! I'm planning on having a family dinner tonight themed St. Patrick's Day and I can't wait to pinch everybody! ;)

I am linking up with some of my favorite McKinny, TX bloggers for a fun post all about my favorite things. The only rule is they have to be under $10! I always check out my Amazon cart or Target list because that's where I normally have my goodies waiting for me, and where I am excited and held in anticipation.
 1. Every Sunday Tim and I teach the first-hour Sunday school for toddlers. As a church we are going through The Gospel Story Bible reading and accompanying curriculum, which for our age class is just a coloring page for the little cuties to scribble on! Timmy and Troy are both in our class because they want to be with us, so Timmy is going through this, listening to the stories we read, while sitting on a little colored circle placemat; hands folded, legs crossed. Even though we try to give summaries of the hard to understand parts, and do fun ways to illustrate the point, it's kind of difficult to listen and remember but I know that learning anything, no matter how small, is a great start for him! The author also wrote this accompanying devotional:
Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski

A friend at church is going through this with her son every day and encouraged me to pick it up for my pre-preschool time with Timmy. I think a book like this will be a great tool to tell my kids about God and to encourage a habit of being in the word every day! The Kindle edition is only $9.99 so it's a great deal!

World Market Floral Measuring Spoons - $3.99
It seems I go through a set of measuring spoons a year, and after my ceramic Anthro set had an unfortunate run-in with the garbage disposal, I had to get a cheapie set, that ended up melted in the dishwasher! I also recently started putting the tablespoon in my coffee canister for measuring, so I need a new set. I saw these there a few weeks ago, and now I might have to make a whole trip just for these cuties! Speaking of measuring spoon sets Ree Drumond of Pioneer Woman posted a picture recently of her measuring drawer and it was crazy/amazing:

#3. McDonald's Sweet Tea
I love it. I do. There is something about the giant styrofoam cup and the sound of the tea and ice swishing inside. How can something non-carbonated be so exciting. It's the intense flavor of the tea, enveloped in the sugary goodness. Here in Ladera Ranch the only drive-though is a McDonald's and it's super nice, and two of my friends work there and it's a perfect little treat to enjoy in the warm weather! And don't even think about the calorie count or how many grams of sugar, because it's too much, so just ignore it and enjoy it every once in a while.