A Visit to Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach

Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach, CA

Laguna Beach. home to some of the most beautiful Southern California beaches you can see, and Victoria Beach is one of them. nestled between cliffs and upscale beach homes, Victoria Beach is one of the hidden gems of Orange County. many refer to this beach as having a Rapunzel’s Castle or a Pirate Tower. and as you can see, it kinda does. last week, the boys and i decided to have sunset picnic on Victoria Beach. what a special evening it was to enjoy the magical landscape and candy coated sunset over the Pacific waters.

Victoria Beach is located on Victoria Drive, off of Pacific Coast Highway. the address to the stairway entrance is 2713 Victoria Drive, Laguna Beach. it is not the easiest to spot, as it is surrounded by gated homes and private beach mansions. and parking? yes, it is very scarce! most likely you will have to park on Pacific Coast Highway and walk down. luckily, my hubby dropped us off at the entrance, and went off to search for parking on his own.

Entrance to Victoria Beach in Laguna Victoria Beach Lagunathe trek down to Victoria Beach is fairly easy. the walkway and stairs are paved and nicely kept. Access to Victoria Street Beach in LagunaStairs to Victoria Street Beach in LagunaAccess to Victoria Beach in Lagunawhen you reach the bottom, you will see a small white sand beach. i am sure it gets crowded at times, but it wasn’t too crowded the evening we went. p.s. there isn’t bathroom access or lifeguards.Victoria Street Beach

to get to the “castle”, you need head to the right and walk around the cliff to the North. there you will see it, a fantastic rustic castle-looking rocket structure nestled up to one of the Laguna Beach cliffs.

so what is the deal with this tower?

Victoria Beach Castle Laguna Beach

this structure, is a 60-foot castle-inspired tower that was built in the 1920’s along with the house at the top of the bluff. the tower has a staircase inside that was used to get down to the beach. it is made of poured concrete, and has an ocean stone foundation. the cone-shaped roof is made of shingles. there are several narrow window openings in the tower wall that allow light to pass through to the wooden spiral stairway inside.

Laguna Castle Beach

the home above the tower is known as the “Norman House”, and it and the tower are landmarks of Laguna Beach. they were built for the wealthy, California State Senator William Edward Brown and his family as a summer home. many Americans who spent time in France during WWI were inspired by the chateaus and castles. many of them built homes during the 1920s that would emulated these chateaus and castles. the Norman House is one of the few remaining examples of this on the oceanfront of Southern California.

Laguna Beach Castle Detail

just a few yards south of the tower, you will see a circular concrete structure that was once a seaside pool. it is now filled with sand, but you can still see the basic outline where the pool once was. kids can run and play here as the waves crash around it.

Laguna Beach Historythis is the view from the tower looking to the south. if you look closely, you can see the circular pool structure.Best Beaches in Laguna

we had such a fun time exploring Victoria Beach. not just the tower, but also the beach, circular pools and tide pools.

Family Fun at Victoria Beach - OC Mom - Popsicle Blog
Jill Parkin Popsicleblog at the Beach


the tide was in that evening, so the water was a bit rough. i had to keep a close eye on all the boys to make sure they were safe from the water. but that didn’t stop us from having fun.

High Tide at LagunaBeach

Laguna Beach Tide Pools

i highly recommend visiting Victoria Beach. it is always a treat to check out the different hidden gems we have in Orange County as well as the beauty of our beaches. Victoria Beach will not disappoint.

Victoria Beach in Laguna

Fun Science Experiments to Inspire Boys AND Girls to become Scientists

5 Easy Science Experiments for Kidsas you know, i am a mother of 3 boys. they have many aspirations and goals for their future. all three of them have mentioned wanting career in the field of science….which i think is awesome! i have no doubt that if they want to become a scientist, they will. but did you know that girls only have a 1 in 1,000 chance of continuing in science? i have five nieces. i want them to know, that if they love science, it could be in their future. that is why i have partnered with Green Works to bring you this post.

Green Works Cleaning Products

Green Works, the naturally sourced cleaner, is supporting girls in STEM programs to help the next generation of female scientists unleash their power and discover their #NaturalPotential. they believe that having science taught to our girls with female mentors, girls can picture themselves in the dream of becoming a scientist. inspired by their own female scientist founder, Green Works, in collaboration with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), are working together in a campaign to engage girls and inspire them to explore careers in science.

i would love for youth check out this video that discusses the Green Works STEM initiative. it’s very enlightening.

so, two of my nieces and i decided to have some science fun by recreating a few science experiments. these fun and easy science experiments were developed by the AAUW scientists, and incorporate the Green Works products i use. i have been using Green Works products everyday in my home for years. it’s a brand i have come to trust and depend on to keep my home clean and safe. i also love the fresh smell and that their prices are very reasonable for green products.

Fun Science Experiments for Girls

Rainbow Milk
materials needed:
• Milk (regular Whole milk works best)
• Green Works Dishwashing Liquid
• Food coloring
• 1 cotton swab (a Q‐tip works great)
• 1 plate

Milk Science Experiement

instructions to make rainbow milk:
Step 1: Pour a thin layer if milk onto the plate.

Green Works Science Experiements
Step 2: Place drops of food coloring randomly across the surface of the milk.

Fun Kids Science Experiments

Kids Fireworks Science Experiment
Step 3: Coat the tip of your cotton swab into Green Works Dishwashing Liquid.

Kids Science ExperimentsKids Science
Step 4: Place tip of the cotton swab directly onto the food coloring and watch the colorful fireworks!

Explanation: While milk is mostly water, it also contains lots of fats, vitamins, and minerals. When you add dishwashing liquid to the milk, the soap’s hydrophilic (AKA water loving) and hydrophobic (AKA water fearing) ends react with the fat in the milk. The dishwashing liquid is the inspiration for the colorful fireworks that result from the milk and food coloring combo.

now, you can also try these fun experiments…..

Jumbo Bubbles
materials needed
• Water
• Corn syrup
• Wire (jewelry wire works great)
• Drinking straw
• Green Works Dishwashing Liquid
• Measuring cup
• Large bowl

instructions to make jumbo bubbles
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine 1 cup dishwashing liquid, 3 cups of water, and 1/2 cup of corn syrup.
Step 2: Cut off about 8 inches of wire. Make a loop at one end and twist the wire in place several times to hold the loop together. This is your bubble wand.
Step 3: Blow bubbles!
Step 4: For even more fun, try coating a cookie sheet in bubble solution. Dip your straw into the bubble solution and hold it just above the coated cookie sheet. Now, blow gently until you create a bubble dome!

Magic Pepper
materials needed
• Black pepper
• Water (room temperature is fine)
• Green Works Dishwashing Liquid
• 1 small bowl or plate

instructions to make magic pepper:
Step 1: Pour water into small bowl or plate.
Step 2: Pour black pepper into water, DO NOT STIR. The pepper will float.
Step 3: Take one small drop of Green Works Dishwashing Liquid and place a small drop on your finger tip. Slightly rub it in so that the soap is not dripping off of your finger.
Step 4: Place your finger tip in water and watch what happens!

Explanation: When you add detergent to water the surface tension of the water is lowered. Water normally bulges up a bit, like what you see when you look at a water drop. When the surface tension is lowered,the water wants to spread out. As the water flattens on the dish, the pepper that is floating on top of the water is carried to the outer edge of the plate.

Elephant Toothpaste
materials needed:
• Empty plastic soda bottle
• 1 teaspoon of yeast
• 2 tablespoons of warm water
• 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
• Small bowl
• Funnel
• Food coloring
• Green Works Dishwashing Liquid
• Tablecloth (in case of messes!)

instructions to make elephant toothpaste:
Step 1: Place your empty plastic soda bottle on the center of your workspace.
Step 2: In a small bowl, mix together your yeast and warm water until tiny bubbles form.
Step 3: Pour your hydrogen peroxide into the soda bottle using your funnel. Add food coloring and a squirt of Green Works Dishwashing Liquid
Step 4: Add your yeast and water mixture into the soda bottle. Watch toothpaste fit for an elephant start to ooze out of the bottle!

Explanation: The hydrogen peroxide naturally breaks down into oxygen and water. The yeast accelerates this process, making it break down faster. The dishwashing liquid “catches” the oxygen being release and creates a foam.

Fizzy Foam
materials needed:
• Standard drinking glass
• 1 tablespoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon Green Works Laundry Detergent
• 3/4 cup of water
• 1/4 of white vinegar
• Food coloring
• Cookie sheet

instructions to make fizzy foam:
Step 1: Set the drinking glass on your cookie sheet. Add your vinegar and laundry detergent.
Step 2: Add your water and several drops of food coloring. Stir.
Step 3: Quickly add the vinegar. Watch as the foam fizzes and pops!

i hope you had as much fun as i did doing these experiments with your kiddies. and if you have a girl in your life who is interested in science, that you can let her know that scientists are not only men. girls can be our next generation of scientists too. thanks Green Works for the inspiration!

Girls Can Become Scientists

{ Disclousure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }

Pretzel Bite Ice Cream Sandwiches Recipe

How to Make Pretzel Ice Cream Sandwiches it’s National Ice Cream month! that means that i must share a fun and oh so good ice cream dessert with you. i have partnered with Real California Milk to bring you this yummy Pretzel Bite Ice Cream Sandwiches recipe that is pretty easy to make. it is also great to make with the kids as a fun summer craft that you can eat! kids can help layer the ice cream sandwiches, dip and sprinkle these cute little creations.
Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches

for this recipe is used Peanut Butter Candy Bar ice cream and Chocolate Malted ice cream. two flavors that i thought would taste great with pretzels. i also used ice cream made with 100% real California milk. i know this because of the Real California Milk seal. when you see the Real California Milk seal, you’ll feel good knowing that the product is certified as having been made with 100% Real California Milk from Real California Dairy families. California is the country’s leading producer of milk, ice cream, butter, nonfat dry milk and whey protein concentrate. if you’d like to learn more about the Real California Milk seal and California Dairy, visit the Real California Milk website.

Real California Milk products

here is what you need to make Ice Cream Pretzel Bite Sandwiches: ice cream….

California Ice Cream



chocolate chips…

Chocolate Chips

and toppings such as sprinkles.

Rainbow Ice Cream Topping

place a teaspoon size scoop of ice cream on a pretzel.Ice Cream Pretzel Dessertthen put another pretzel on the top. Ice Cream Pretzel Dessert Recipeplace all the pretzel ice cream sandwiches on a chilled tray that will be placed immediately into the freezer so the sandwiches will not melt.

How to Make Ice Cream SandwichesPretzel Ice Cream Sandwiches

while the ice cream pretzel sandwiches are in the freezer, melt the chocolate chips. place 1-1/2 of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. microwave for 1 minute or just until the chips are almost melted. you can also add a dash of olive oil to make the melted chocolate smoother.

Ice Cream Pretzel Caramel Dessert

once the pretzel ice cream sandwiches are frozen solid, they can be dipped into the melted chocolate. gently tap your hand on the side of the bowl to shake the excess chocolate off.How to make chocolate dipped pretzelsimmediately dip the chocolate dipped pretzel ice cream sandwich into sprinkles or toppings of you choice. or just leave it plain with only chocolate.Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
lay them on a chilled platter or tray to harden. if they look like they are melting, place back into the freezer until fully frozen. once they a completely frozen, you can eat them or store them in an airtight container until you are ready to serve them! this is what you will end up with.

Fun Ice Cream Dessert

yum.Ice Cream Dessert Idea


Fun Ice Cream Dessert

they are Pretzel Bite Ice Cream Sandwiches are fairly easy to make and taste REALLY good. they are a new favorite of my boys who had a lot fun making them…and eating them!Easy Kids Dessert

there are so many ways to enjoy ice cream featuring the Real California Milk seal – from ice cream sandwiches to milkshakes to ice cream! for some ice cream delicious recipe ideas, visit the Real California Milk website, and for milkshake recipe inspiration check out this short video from Food52 using Real California Ice Cream!

{ Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Real California Milk }


A Day on the Beach in a Pacific Edge Hotel Bungalow | Giveaway #pacificedgehotel

Best Family Hotel in Laguna Beach

imagine spending the day enjoying this breathtaking view. turquoise water, crashing waves, sunshine and warm sand. that was my day a few weeks ago. it was heavenly. growing up in the OC, i am definitely a beach girl. we re so lucky to have many beaches to enjoy. Laguna beaches are among some of my favorite…the beauty of the rocky cliffs paired with clear blue waters make them really special. on this particular day, i was treated to a day at the Pacific Edge Hotel Bungalows, which are located on the Laguna Beach sands overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Bungalows are part of the Pacific Edge Hotel where i have stayed before…you can check out my stay here.


the Pacific Edge Hotel Bungalows are stylized oceanfront indoor/outdoor daytime spaces that offer a unique beach experience. they are perfect for any social gathering, from corporate meetings, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, or a “daycation” with friends and family. anyone can rent them daily from the Pacific Edge Hotel.

Laguna Beach Hotellaguna_beach_bungalow_rental

each Pacific Edge Bungalow includes a comfortable living room that overlooks the ocean, a VIP Bungalow Host, Air conditioning, flat screen televisions, direct access to the hotel’s private beach, a private bathroom with shower, bar area, valet parking, catered food and beverages, and a private deck area. they are fully private with keyed access from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. a beach attendant will be available to set up lounge chairs, day beds, umbrellas, and beach towels you can work, play, or just get away at The Bungalows at Pacific Edge Hotel.

it would be so fun to rent one for the day with a couple families or girlfriends. Bungalow day rates start at $250 for weekdays and $450 on weekends, not including food & beverage minimums, and are subject to availability. (rates also vary by season)

Laguna Beach Rental

and all The Bungalows are uniquely decorated and sponsored by a local OC company. each featuring a signature design and atmosphere courtesy of one unique brand: Billabong, Fox, Gorjana Griffin, Sailor Jerry and the all-new XS Bungalow. details on each can be found here. rent one Bungalow for up to ten guests, or reserve all five for a very special oceanfront event.

Pacific Edge Laguna Party Room

Pacific Edge Laguna Bridal Shower Room

Pacific Edge, a Joie de Vivre property, is a prime oceanfront retreat — You literally cannot get any closer to the water’s edge. so while you enjoy your stay, you can lounge on 280 feet of private beach property in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach.the kids frolicked on the sand and dipped their sandy toes in the waves. it doesn’t get much better than that.

Pacific Edge Laguna Beach Family Hotel

if you love the Bungalows as much as i do, you might want to join the Bungalow Beach Club. this way you can live like a local, and beach like a VIP! Member Benefits include: VIP discounted access to Bungalows20% discount off guest room bookings, complimentary valet on each visit (up to 10 vehicles), and a welcome amenity each visit, unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, free Wi-Fi and more!

while you are staying in the Bungalows, you have access to The Deck, the only open-air, beachside restaurant in Laguna Beach. you can order food from from The Deck from you personal Beach Attendant (food is an additional charge). let me tell you, the food is amazing. The Deck on Laguna Beach brings together coastal culinary creations featuring the freshest seafood and cocktails including California wine and beer. just check out just some of great menu items we enjoyed…

a fresh caprese salad… Best Salad Deck On Laguna

this burger! drool.Best Orange County BurgerBest Burger Deck On Lagunaand homemade cheesecake with fresh berries!Best Cheesecake Deck On Lagunahe doesn’t like it at all!!!! LOLFamily Hotel in Laguna Beach

the boys an i thoroughly enjoyed our “Daycation” at the Pacific Edge Bungalows. sometimes all you need is some fresh ocean air, sunshine and a little pampering to help you destress and relax. i love where we live.Pacific Edge Beach RentalsPacific Edge Beach Bungalows
GIVEAWAY!!!!! i am excited to offer one lucky reader a chance to win a Bungalow daycation of your own! please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{disclosure: I was an invited guest of the Pacific Edge Hotel. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine. I loved staying in the Pacific Edge Hotel Bungalows.}

Pacific Edge Beach Bungalows View




Family Ice Cream Fun at Scoops N Scoops in Irvine

Scoops N Scoops Ice Creams

this week, me and the boys headed over to Scoops N Scoops in Irvine to try out their ice cream which is created and frozen on the spot with liquid nitrogen. it was not only a trip to an ice cream store, but also a fun and exciting experience to watch how they make the ice cream right in front of you.

OC Nitrogen Ice Cream store

when we arrived, the boys immediately ran to the counter in excitement. clouds of liquid nitrogen steam streamed off the counter as the Scoop N Scoops employees created unique ice cream treats for waiting customers. if you have never seen ice cream made this way, then i highly suggest checking it out. it’s a really fun experience.

Orange County Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Scoops N Scoops Ice Cream

Scoops N Scoops ice cream is some of the creamiest, freshest ice cream you will ever taste.

the secret to their creamy ice cream and yogurt is in the rapid freezing of the mixture. they use liquid nitrogen at -321 degrees Fahrenheit to create the ice cream treats. liquid nitrogen causes the fat and water particles to stay very small, making the ice cream have no ice crystals, giving it its creamy consistency.

Orange County Organic Ice Cream store

Scoops N Scoops ice creams and yogurts are hand-crafted and customized to any pairing you can think of – it is created with nothing but the best and freshest toppings and ingredients.

how does  Scoops N Scoops work?

first you pick your size, then you pick the ice cream or yogurt base. there are options of premium, coconut, non-dairy frozen yogurt, and organic. this is great for those with dietary restrictions. next you pick your flavors…there are tons to choose from. and if that isn’t enough, you can pick toppings. there are also add-on options such as waffle cones, chocolate bowls, floats and more. the possibilities are endless.

Scoops N Scoops Ice Cream Flavorsi am also happy to say that Scoops N Scoops is family owned by two brothers who grew up right here in Orange County! i love supporting that.
Scoops N Scoops Owner

so, what did we get????

Vann got organic strawberry ice cream topped with freshly made cotton candy. that is not shaved ice you see. you will be surprised how yummy a bit of strawberry ice cream topped with a puff of cotton candy tastes! yum yum.

Scoops N Scoops Cotton Candy Ice Cream
Kyle got Scoops N Scoops’ iconic Strawberries N Cream.  smooth strawberry ice cream made with fresh, juicy strawberries and topped with fresh whipped cream. what can i say, my boys love their  strawberry ice cream.

Best Orange County Strawberry ice Cream

and Jackson got the iconic Mint Chip N Brownie. mint and chip ice cream on top of a freshly made brownie. the brownie was made right in the store as we waited. the smell was Heavenly.
Scoops N Scoops Fresh Brownie Ice Creamthe hubby also got one of Scoops N Scoops’ specialty iconic creations. a Chocolate Caramel Almond Apple N Chocolate Bowl ice cream treat. a fantastic crisp green apple ice cream, topped with chocolate hard-shell, drizzled with caramel sauce and crunchy nuts, all placed in an chocolate bowl made with fresh, smooth chocolate. i might have tried a few bite…OMG, so good.Caramel Apple Ice Cream Flavor
BTW, you can order any of the Scoops and Scoops creations in a chocolate bowl.

Scoops N Scoops Team Member

lastly, what did i get???

i couldn’t decide between two of the iconic creations, so i got both!!!!! Lemon Curd Nilla, tangy, sweet lemon curd ice cream laced with crunchy Nilla wafers. it was super yummy and i would get it again.

Orange County Nitrogen Ice Cream store

Marshmallow Cookie Butter N Macaroons. i am not joking when i say this is probably the best ice cream treat i have ever had. it will be my favorite forever. get this– it’s a  scoop of freshly made cookie butter ice cream laced with real cookie butter bits and topped with whipped marshmallow cream. it is all served in between two exquisite French macaroons. i’m drooling over it right now, and i want to go back and get one right now.

Cookie Butter Ice Cream on a Macaron

prices for the Scoops N Scoops ice cream treats start at $4.50 for a basic small, and more. the iconic creations are closer to $6-10. add-ons are extra. you are paying for quality and freshness, and i don’t think you will be disappointed.

Best Orange County Ice Cream storeOC Nitrogen Ice Cream

we had such a fun and yummy night at Scoops N Scoops. its a place where you can sit and relax, enjoy fantastic creations, and the entertainment of the liquid nitrogen freezing the desserts. if you would like to visit the store, you can find the information on the Scoops N Scoops website.

Oc Ice Cream Parlor

{ disclaimer: we were invited guests of Scoops N Scoops. all thoughts and opinions are mine and we loved the ice cream. }

Getting Ready for Summer On-The-Go with Target Essentials!

This post is sponsored by Target.

Target On the Go Essentialssummer is flying by! i can’t believe that my boy’s summer vacation from school is more than halfway over. we have been so busy, and i don’t see us slowing down for the rest of summer. one thing that has been the biggest struggle for our busy schedule, is meal planning. i am finding that we are eating out way too much…this includes snack, breakfast, lunch and dinners. i’m not opposed to eating out, but options are sometimes slim, it’s not always healthy and can be expensive. i knew that it was about time that i stock up on some good snacks and grab-in-go foods. i really don’t like to be eating out all the time.

as i do once a week multiple times a week, i headed over to Target. (insert happy hearts here). this time, to stock up on grab-in-go food supplies and items i often need while we are out and about. as you know, i just recently stocked up on summer grilling supplies. that was so much fun! but i haven’t until recently done my grocery shopping there. however, times have changed. lately, i have been noticing some really great items and fun new brands….lots of organics and great prices too. i have started doing more food shopping at Target…which is fine by me. you don’t have to ask me twice to go there.

so what did i get at my #TargetRun this week????

lots of great #TargetEssentials for our summer fun on-the-run. just check out the great things i found….

on-the-go Breakfast foods

sometimes the boys are barely awake when we leave for an adventure or playdate. they don’t want to eat so close to waking up, so having items that we can grab-and-go for breakfast is a plus. like this yummy Archer Farms Granola….
Target Archer Farms Granola 
or these fun naturally flavored hot oatmeal cups.

Target Organic Oatmeal

these Simply Balanced Dried Fruits also looked really good. i know my boys love dried mangos and dried fruit travels well.

Target Organic Snacks

next up, are the snacks. 

on-the-go snack foods

here are some of my favorite snack foods i got at Target. Simply Balanced Organic Fruit Pouches. they come in lots of great flavors. Market Pantry Cheddar Cheese Sandwich Crackers

Target Crackers

Simply Balanced Animal Cookies in whole grain and vanilla varieties.Target Organic Cookiesand Simply Balanced Organic Popcorn. this is great to bring to the movies. it tastes really good and is much healthier for you. our theater lets us bring our own food in for the kids, so this is great.Target Organic Popcorn

Grab-and-go lunch items

Target also has a bunch of grab-and-go refrigerated items. my kiddos just love things like these Archer Farms Hard-Cooked Eggs, they are already to eat…no having to boil eggs in the kitchen! also, these Market Pantry Cheese Sticks, and these Archer Farms Ready-to-Eat salads, which come in lots of different choices are great lunch items. mom like these as well.Target Groceries

and for treats, i got these organic Simply Balanced Fruit Ropes, Simply Balanced Chewy Granola BarsTarget Fruit Snacksand Market Pantry Gummi Bears!!! these are great because the travel well and don’t melt that easily in the sun.Target Market Pantry Gummy Bears
lastly, i also grabbed a few essentials that i always like to have on hand. like a fun water container. this glass sipper was just too cute. hopefully it will promote more water consumption on my part.

Target Water Sipper

you can never have enough food storage containers. they are great to pack lunches and snacks in. i like these because they are inexpensive enough that you don’t have to feel bad if you lose a lid or it gets damaged in the park. this entire pack was less than $4.

Target Storage Containers

and pain relievers! so often, one of my kids complains of a headache…or i get one myself…or a friend is in need. i have been saved so many times by having a supply on hand. Target’s generic brand is a great price, so that is what i get. and don’t forget the hand wipes. the kids hands are always so grimy. especially from playing outdoors, at the beach or at amusement parks. the Citrus Scent won me over.Target Generic Brands

thanks to this week’s #TargetRun, my kids are going to enjoy some great snack foods. finding good food to eat while we are having summer fun is not going to be a problem now. we are now stocked up with some great grab-in-go items to keep us playing all day long.

what’s your #TargetRun?








Keep Summer Fun On Budget!

Tracking PixelKeep Summer Fun On Budget

Summer has just begun and my kids are already playing the “I’m bored” game with me. UGH!!! They are used to having me entertain them whenever they are home, but at least I get a break when school is in session. I don’t always have the energy or the time to entertain them 24/7. Not only do I have things that need to get done, I also need some alone time for myself to decompress.

So, how do I deal with the summer “I’m boreds” and also make sure that I get some much needed breaks to recharge myself???? Crafts and outings for the kids, and a few treats and pampering for myself. This of course takes budgeting, as most of these things cost money. With three kids, constantly buying stuff to entertain them or taking them places can take a huge toll on my wallet…and fast! A simple trip to the nail salon for a pedicure to calm my nerves can cost $25-40. That is why this summer, I have partnered with the Visa Clear Prepaid program and the Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card. Using a prepaid card can definitely help keep you on budget.

Last week I shared the benefits of using a prepaid card during summer road trips. The same is true for the summer fun you have in your own home and community. By using a prepaid card that has been loaded with the amount you have budgeted for summer fun or extras each month, it will help with the temptation to over spend. Managing cash and multiple credit cards IS NOT my forté. I need just one card that keeps everything in one place so I can see the money that is leaving my account. I am confident that the Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card will help me with this.

I know I have a certain amount of money to take the kids places like the waterslides…

Camelot Waterslides

and a certain amount of money to buy supplies for crafts and activities to keep them occupied.

Summer Crafts

The better I budget each month, the more money I will have left at the end of the month to use on myself (or the hubby…maybe). A little pampering each month is just what I need to keep me relaxed and recharged. I love getting pedicures or getting my hair done….

Popsicle Blog PedicurePopsicle Blog Hair Cut

having fresh flowers in my home….

Rainbow Flowers

and treating myself to a pair of new shoes or new outfit. I can use the remaining balance of the money I budgeted each month for these items. Simple as that.

Best Custom Shoes

The Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card is part of the Visa Clear Prepaid program – which means that confusing fees won’t distract you while you’re enjoying the summer. It is covered by a clearly communicated monthly fee plan, so you’ll know when you’ll pay a fee and when you won’t.

The Visa Clear Prepaid program provides you with strong consumer protection including:
• Easy to understand fee plans
• No overdrafts permitted so you can’t spend more money than you have
• Deposit or share insurance to protect your funds, e.g. FDIC/NCUSIF
• Visa’s Zero Liability[1] fraud protection, providing added security if your card is lost or stolen.

I am very excited to switch my expenses to a Kaiku Card this summer. Keeping the money organized is my weakness, so I know it is going to help me and my family this summer.

If you are interested, go to Visa.com/visaclearprepaid to learn more about the Visa Clear Prepaid program. happy travels!

{This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Visa Clear Prepaid program and the Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card.}

[1] *Visa’s Zero Liability Policy covers U.S.-issued cards and does not apply to certain commercial card transactions, or any transactions not processed by Visa. You must notify your financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer.

Old Fashioned Candy Demonstrations at Logan’s Candies

Logans Candy Shopin trying to find things to keep the kids occupied during summer break, i finally made the trek out to Ontario to visit Logan’s Candies. this little mom and pop candy shop is located in Ontario’s historic downtown where you can get a glimpse of the architecture of the city during the times before 1950. Logan’s Candies has been around since 1933 where they have been hand making signature candy canes and chocolates the same way since they opened way back when. they are best known for their hand pulled candy canes and ribbon candy. in fact, they hold the world record for the World’s Largest Candy Cane.

i have been hearing about their free candy making demonstrations for a few years now, and have been wanting to take the kids to check one out. i am a sucker for brightly colored candy, especially of the vintage variety. if you follow their Facebook page, you can find out when different candy making demonstrations will be held. the demonstrations are around 30 minutes and show guests demonstrations of anything from making holiday candy canes to fruity ribbon candy to caramel apples and chocolate. at this particular demonstration, we got to enjoy a Watermelon Ribbon Candy Demonstration.

Old Fashioned Ribbon Candy Orange County

kids and adults are allowed to gather around the candy kitchen and listen to one of the owners share how the candy is made and do a step by step demo. it gets a little crowded for the demonstrations, so i recommend getting there about 20 minutes early.

SoCal Candy Making Demonstration

then, the candy making all starts on the original marble slab that Logan’s Candies began making candy on.
Orange County Candy Makingthis is the same way that most hard candies begin. the boiling sugar mixture then cools on the slab and is divided into sections.
Logan's Candy Store Free Candy Making Demonstrationscolor and flavor is added. the smell is wonderful!
How to Make Old Fashioned Ribbon Candythen the candy is pulled till it is the right color and consistency.Orange County Candy Pulling once each large piece of candy is perfect with the color and flavor, it is ready to be pulled into the correct shape. they demonstrate how they stack the pieces to get it ready to pull.Learn to Make Old Fashion Ribbon Candy Southern California Logan's Candies Ontario
here is the large slab of colored candy pieces ready to pull into ribbons.

Old Fashion Candy Story Southern California
everything goes pretty quickly from here. each piece of candy is pulled and cut into measured pieces, and then hand shaped into beautiful colored ribbons. the warm candy ribbons harden almost immediately creating the hard, shiny, multi-colored candy we all know.

How to Make Ribbon CandyLogan's Candies

it is fun to watch the finished candies as they are placed on the counter into rows to cool. did i mention it smells really good?!?!Old Fashion Candy Store Southern CaliforniaWatermelon Ribbon Candy

as the demonstration wraps up, they allowed anyone who wants to try shaping their own piece of ribbon candy to do so for $1.55. its a great hands-on experience for the kids to try, especially when they find out how fast they must work the candy before it is too hard.

Kids Making Ribbon CandyOld Fashion Candy Store California

Logan’s Candies is a small little store, but they sell all sorts of great candies and gifts. you can find candy from all over the world…

Logans Candy Store Ontariohomemade fudge and chocolate….

Logan's Old Fashioned Candy

and their homemade candy canes. check out this batch of patriotic candy canes and candy hearts.Patriotic Candy Canes Logan's Old Fashioned Candy Orange County
bring some pocket change for the kids to buy a few treats, as it is hard to resist all the yummy.

Logan's Old Fashioned Candies Orange County

we really enjoyed the candy demonstration at Logan’s Candies. it was a bit of a drive from Orange County, so i would suggest having additional plans of things to do when you go there. it is a great experience and makes a fun field trip for scouts and groups. go check them out!Logan's Candy Shop