The Boysenberry Festival is Coming to Knott’s!!!!

Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Parkit’s almost Boysenberry Festival time at Knott’s Berry Farm, and i can’t wait! it’s one of our family’s favorite events of the year at Knott’s. and this year, it will be a three week long celebration instead of two…yay!!!!! it’s all happening April 1st through the 23rd, so you better make plans to go.

last week i attended a media preview event at Knott’s, and had a chance to try some of the new food items that will be offered at the Boysenberry Festival. there will also be some of the oldies but goodies at the festival this year. i’ve been waiting for them to come back!

especially the FUN BUN. a deep fried cinnamon roll topped with obey gooey boysenberry cream cheese icing.

The Fun Bun at Knott's Berry Farm

did you know that Walter Knott created the boysenberry? that’s why it’s so iconic to the Farm. the year was 1920 when Walter and Cordelia Knott moved to the community of Buena Park, California to farm 20 acres of rented land. here they harvested, and sold the first boysenberry, a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry. today, all boysenberries in the world can trace their roots back to Knott’s Berry Farm. and BOYSENBERRIES ARE YUMMY!!!!!!
this year there will be over 80 unique boysenberry inspired food and beverage options available for guests to try throughout Ghost Town! like meatballs with boysenberry barbecue sauce….
Boysenberry Meatballs at Knott's
boysenberry crepes…
boysenberry pizza…

boysenberry treats including….boysenberry cotton candy, boysenberry trifle, boysenberry panna cotta, boysenberry flautas and even boysenberry candy.

Boysenberry Cotton Candy at Knott's

and don’t forget about the FUN STICK!!!! a pice of cheesecake dipped in funnel cake batter, fried and drizzled with boysenberry cream. this was one of my favorites.

The Fun Stick at Knott's Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival

here are some of the items in the 2017 line-up!

Savory Foods
• Marinated Boysenberry Meatball on a Stick with Boysenberry BBQ Sauce
• Deep Fried Alligator & Fries with Boysenberry Aioli
• Boysenberry Short Ribs over Rice
• Boysenberry Ravioli *New For 2017*
• Boysenberry & Apricot Pulled Pork Sandwich in a Boysenberry Bun Combos
• Corn on the Cobb with Boysenberry Butter and Boysenberry Mayonnaise
• Boysenberry Pizza made with arugula and goat cheese
• Boysenberry BBQ Wings
• Boysenberry Salad

Desserts
• Boysenberry Churro Sundaes with Boysenberry Ice Cream
• Boysenberry Stuffed Churros
• Boysenberry Fry Bread *New For 2017*
• Build-Your-Own Mini Boysenberry Pies
• Boysenberry Pie, Tarts & Turnovers
• Boysenberry Cheesecake
• Boysenberry Panna Cotta with Almond Crumble
• Boysenberry Triffle
• Boysenberry Ice Cream & Ice Cream Cones
• Fun Bun: Fried Cinamon Roll with Boysenberry Cream Cheese Topping
• Fun Stick: Fried Cheesecake on a Stick with Boysenberry Sauce
• Boysenberry Flautas
• Boysenberry Cookiewich Sandwich
• Boysenberry Cotton Candy
• Chocolate Covered Boysenberry Cheesecake on a stick *New For 2017*
• Boysenberry Nutella Crepes *New For 2017*

Drinks
• The “Walter Knott” (Ice Tea & Boysenberry Punch)
• Boysenberry ICEEs & ICEE Floats
• Boysenberry Latte
• Boysenberry Beer & Wine
• Boysenberry Cream Soda *New for 2017*
• Boysenberry Milkshake

The Boysenberry Bites Tasting Card

the main thing you are going to want to get is the Boysenberry Bites Tasting Card. for only $25, the tasting card includes generous portions of six delectable treats: Boysenberry Pizza at Wagon Wheel Pizza, Boysenberry Ravioli at Spurs Chophouse, Boysenberry Buffalo Wings at the Gold Trails Hotel, Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs at the Bank of Calico, Boysenberry Fry Bread at the Gourmet Churro Factory, and Boysenberry Pana Cotta at the Ghost Town Bakery. this is probably the best way to experience the Boysenberry Festival.

and for those who love wine and beer, you can visit the Wilderness Lodge and enjoys some Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Wine & Craft Beer Tasting. guests can try 4 craft brews and over 50 different wines from 36 producers including boysenberry beer and boysenberry wine.

Wine Tasting at Knott's Berry

you’re also going to want to come to Knott’s during the Boysenberry Festival, not only for the  boysenberry food, but also for lots of spring fun happenings on the Farm. from flowers, to spring decorations, fun photos props, shows happening in Calico Square, the Easter Beagle Meet & Greet in Camp Snoopy, 80’s Dance Party on the Boardwalk, DJ Cruz in Fiesta Village and the live stage show, Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree.

Spring Fountain at Knott's Berry Farm

and before you leave the park, stop and check out the blooming wisteria, the oldest living thing at Knott’s Berry Farm. they are super beautiful and located right next to the Geode Shop near the entrance to Ghost Town.

admission to the Boysenberry Festival is included with park admission, however, there is an additional charge for all food and beverage. the Boysenberry Festival only goes for three weeks, so hurry and visit before it ends this year on April 23rd, 2017.

in the meantime, i’ll be whipping up some boysenberry foods with some special boysenberry ingredients i got from Knott’s. you can get some too when you visit.

happy boysenberry eating!!!!

My Family Has Fallen in LOVE with Nintendo

every once in a while, i am presented with an opportunity of a lifetime. something so cool that my boys didn’t sleep for a week when they found out. late last year, we were invited to the Nintendo Headquarters in Washington. you probably saw pictures from our adventure on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but i haven’t shared it on the blog yet. with it being the end of my pregnancy….the very last airplane flight my doctor would allow, and then having a newborn, i have been a bit behind in sharing. but i thought it was the perfect time to share since this past weekend was the release of Nintendo’s newest game system, the Nintendo Switch!!!!

the reason we were invited up to the Nintendo Headquarters was to one, learn more about the Nintendo brand, two, Nintendo wanted to know from parents any questions or ideas we had for Nintendo, and three, to have fun! so we boarded onto a plan and headed up to Washington.

for this trip, i took the youngest boys. they were over the moon to go on a plane for the first time. i can’t believe they have never flown before…but we tend to go road tripping instead on our vacations. Nintendo sent them Nintendo 3DS game systems so that they could try them out and use them on the plane. i have to admit that i’ve never considered getting the boys a portable game system because i didn’t think they were very good quality or worth the money, but i was wrong. these Nintendo 3DS’s were amazing on our trip.

this was Vann’s face when the plane was taking off! it was really loud and also exciting for him.

and when we arrived in Seattle, Vann yelled out “Look Mom, there’s New York!” LOL

the next morning, we woke up bright and early and headed over to Nintendo Headquarters…we were in for a full day of Nintendo fun.

did you notice my son’s Super Mario Vans shoes? he got them for school and just loves them. of course we had to wear them to Nintendo headquarters….starting the day in style.

We spent the day learning about the Nintendo brand and what products are offered, we also got a tour of the building and plenty of time to play and learn how to play fun games on our Nintendo 3DSs. We weren’t allowed to take many pictures inside the Nintendo headquarters building, so i don’t have a lot of pictures from our day there. But i do have these.

our favorite game of the trip was called Animal Crossing. in this game you can make friends with adorable animal villagers and have fun creating a world of your own. you can even cross over into other player’s worlds. you can also purchase Amiibos, which i just learned about, and have them come alive in the game. this is seriously SO FUN! aren’t they cute?!!!!

i would say the main event of the day for the kids was playing their 3DS games. I would say that after learning about how family friendly Nintendo is, i am hooked. there are so many games available that kids and adults could enjoy playing. and i see many family fun nights happening in the near future. as soon as we get our hands on a Nintendo Switch, it’s going to be grown-up vs. the kids!!!!
it was finally time to head home. my final trip before having the baby was complete, leaving my with memories of a special time with mom that they will never forget. looks like they had too much fun!thank you Nintendo! we had a great time and look forward to spending time as a family enjoying the Nintendo brand.

we also had a few blogging friends that were on the trip with us as well. they wrote some cool Nintendo posts too! you can read them here:

Super Mario Bros Printable Confetti
Touring Nintendo Headquarters with Momfluential
Nintendo Switch Launch Event with That’s It Mommy

(Disclosure: This was a hosted trip. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I choose very carefully what I want to share with you, only brands and products I love and trust.)

 

 

Using Kelley Blue Book to Buy a New Car

so much has changed and is changing for our family with the birth of our baby girl. moving up from a family of 5 to a family of 6 has caused some major changes, especially in the space situation. suddenly our house is too small, our laundry piles are bigger, and everything takes more time. PLUS, we no longer have room in our truck to fit our entire family. the biggest issue with this, is that we can no longer pull our travel trailer when we go on vacation or road trips. how are we going to share our road trips with you if we can’t even fit in the truck that pulls the trailer! so it’s a great time to partner with Kelley Blue Book to help us find a new family car that will fit our entire family, and still pull our travel trailer.

since my husband’s truck is a company car, we are going to have to sell my minivan, and get something that will work. i am fine with that because i have been wanting a new car for a while now. and although i love my minivan, it’s getting old and starting to cost more in repairs than the money we are saving from having paid it off. how will we go about selling our old vehicle and buying a new one? we’ve done the dealer route and the for-sale-by-owner route. we are comfortable with either as long as we are getting the best deal. by using Kelley Blue Book, we can make sure we do. you can use KBB.com to find the most trusted vehicle valuation and also use it as an information source to find the best vehicle, as it is one of the most trusted and relied upon sources for consumers and the automotive industry.

How will we pick our car?

to make our choice easier, the Kelley Blue Book editorial team drives and tests hundreds of new cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans every year. it has named its list of the 12 Best Family Cars of 2017. to choose this list, they focused on safety, value, reputation and fit of various child safety car seats. the new Best Family Cars of 2017 list focuses strictly on mainstream brands, and includes a diverse group of new vehicles that best meet the needs of today’s families. in fact, this is the first year that no sedans have been included.

How does Kelley Blue Book know what parent’s need in a vehicle?

the KBB.com’s editorial staff includes several parents with children in a full range of ages from toddler to college. they’ve also enlisted the help of their own families to put this year’s contenders to the real-world test.

this year’s winners range in price from around $20,000 to the low $30,000 range, with only one vehicle exceeding a $40,000 starting price. that is just what my family is looking for. and with two children still in car seats, i am glad that KBB.com took carseats into consideration when they made their list of winners. included in this year’s content is a car seat guide with useful tips and specific details regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each of this year’s Best Family Cars.

Who are the winners?

if you are looking into purchasing a new family car this year, Kelley Blue Book has created this video of this year’s winners:

i am very excited to be getting a new car this year. i can’t wait to go shopping. with Kelley Blue Book by my side, i have more confidence in my purchase. KBB.com serves the typical everyday car buyer like myself to provide me with every bit of information necessary to make an intelligent car-purchase decision. i can’t wait to share with you what i end up getting!

{disclosure: This is a sponsored post through the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.}

6 Reasons Why Babies Suck

Tracking Pixeli have been in newborn bliss over here since the birth of my daughter in January. i just love babies…and the fact that she is mine, is the best thing in the world. i just want to cuddle and kiss her all day long. yep, babies are just so cute and we love them to pieces! but at the same time, there are also times when babies just plain suck! why sugarcoat it? there are times when being a parent is really hard. that is why i have partnered with one of my favorite baby product companies Boon, to share with you some of the ways that babies suck.

6 Reasons Why Babies Suck

number one…

Baby Nails are Hard to Cut. why the heck are babies’ nails so thin and little? i remember with my first baby trying to be so careful not to cut the skin around his little nails. hold still…let me do this oh so gently… and oh crap…i cut him. after tears from him and myself (mostly myself) i decided that i would never try cutting them again until he got older. i’m still having nightmares about it. four kids later, and i still have extreme nail cutting anxiety.

(WAIT! you didn’t think i would share with you my reasons why babies suck and not give you solutions to the problems did you? of course not.)

finally, with my fourth baby, i found out how to make cutting my baby’s nails suck so much less. these Boon CARE Nail Clippers have a large handle that makes them easy to grip. they have seriously made clipping baby’s nail a whole lot easier and my nail cutting anxiety is gone.

they really do work so well. i haven’t had a mishap yet!

number two…

Babies Can’t Blow their Noses. who loves snot? i sure don’t. babies’ nostrils are just so teeny tiny, and when they’re clogged it sucks a lot. if you’ve tried using those nose bulbs you get from the hospital, you might notice that babies hate those things. nothing makes clearing little noses harder than having to do it while they’re screaming and crying. and who knows what is lingering inside those things? yuck!

luckily, Boon CARE Nasal Aspirator isn’t like other nasal aspirators. it’s super soft and gentle on baby’s nose. plus, it uses cotton balls or tissue as a filter, and is clear so it’s easy to clean and easy to see that it’s clean.

 

number three…

Babies Get Cradle Crap Cap. that layer of dead skin (or crap as i call it) that can be so hard to get rid of. my third son had it so bad that when i went to try and clean it away, some of his baby hair went down the drain with it. it made me feel so bad! cradle cap is probably the reason i had a completely bald baby for almost a year. i am surprised that his hair even grew back after that fiasco, LOL.

luckily, skip forward to baby number four, and i found this Boon CARE Cradle Cap Brush. with soft bristles to gently massage scalp and remove dry skin without removing any of that soft and adorable baby hair.


it works great in the bath. baby girl loves getting a scalp massage…while i get jealous that i would like one too.

the Cradle Cap Brush has worked out awesomely to keep baby girl’s hair on point. i mean…look at that hair, it’s just the cutest, and doesn’t suck one bit.

number four…

Babies Can’t Brush their Teeth. teeth are important! you can never start too early when it comes to proper oral care, but brushing teeth isn’t a skill most people are born with. and most babies aren’t usually fond of those rough bristles anyway.

the Boon CARE Silicone toothbrush is gentle on gums, and slips right over your finger so it’s more like a using a teething toy than a rough tooth brushing session. great oral care habits right from day one with no tears from baby.

number five…

Babies Get Sick. we don’t live in a bubble and we can’t avoid all germs all the time. especially when babies have older siblings who go to school, church, sports, activities, and who knows where else. babies are just more susceptible to catching whatever is going around.

luckily, we have a Boon CARE Quick Read Thermometer with a flexible tip and 8-second readings. when a bug hits, it’s not a huge struggle trying to keep track of the baby’s temperature.

number six…

Babies Don’t Take Medicine. as we already established, babies are going to get sick. and sometimes that means they’re going to need medicine. when they’re really tiny, getting them to swallow their medicine is a huge challenge! syringes can sometimes squirt it too hard, and medicine spoons are usually too big for babies’ mouths.

luckily, Boon CARE Medicine Spoon has a removable soft spoon tip and easy fill dispenser. it’s a medicine syringe and spoon in one, with a soft tip to make giving a sick baby their medicine safely and comfortably.

so yeah, babies suck sometimes. but the Boon CARE Health & Grooming Kit helps make everything suck a little bit less.


the Boon CARE Health & Grooming Kit is made with high-quality materials free from BPA, PVC and Phthalates. think of it as a good parenting kit, with 6 essentials. (Seven if you count Peace of Mind.) and each product that Boon sells has been made to focus on problem solving and ingenuity, and has simple yet effective design.

so stylish, and even tucks neatly into a sturdy, zippered pouch for storage. Boon thinks of everything!

yep, we couldn’t be happier. life is good…and definitely doesn’t suck!

(This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boon.)

Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

This post is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Orange County.

i know you have heard it a million times, but when it comes to keeping your family healthy during cold and flu season, the number one answer is WASH YOUR HANDS! it’s hard to believe that something so simple can make the biggest difference in your wellness..but it does. i recently spoke to Dr. Michelle Solomon, a pediatrician at the Kaiser Permanente Orange County offices in Garden Grove, and she discussed some great Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season. and i sure needed the reminder…i do not like my family to get sick or to be around germs.

here’s the main reason i have been especially germaphobic this cold and flu season. we have a new baby in our home! and as a mom to a newborn, you can never be too careful. i can practically see germs crawling all over the place LOL! when my kids come home from school, they are pretty much sanitized. i don’t want my baby catching the cold or flu….especially something like RSV. here are the tips i received from Dr. Solomon.

How to Properly Wash Your Hands

like i mentioned before, Dr. Solomon said washing hands is the number one way to fight off germs. but did you know that most people do not wash their hands effectively? first of all, it is not necessary to use antibacterial soaps. regular soap works just fine. you need to make sure you wash long enough – while washing them, sing Happy Birthday TWICE. that is the proper amount of time you need to wash them. make sure to use enough soap and scrub between the fingers.

just washing your hands is not enough either, drying them is a big deal. you must effectively dry your hands to make the washing count. use a clean towel or a paper towel. hand dryers are great too.

you can use alcohol based hand sanitizers to fight germs, but they only work well if your hands aren’t visibly dirty. you also must use good technique – that means getting the hand sanitizer between the fingers, using a good amount, making sure your hands are completely wet with it and waiting till dried.

Preventing Sickness

you can help prevent sickness by promoting good nutrition – eat healthy foods rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C. adults can try taking zinc supplements, however, they are not recommended for kids.

stay away from malls, enclosed areas, and play areas heavily used by children. and if you do visit these places make sure to wash your hands the proper way as mentioned above.

most doctors recommend getting a flu shot. if your child is 6 months or older, talk to your doctor to see if this is a good choice for your family.

What to Do When Someone Gets Sick in Your Family

when one person gets sick in the family, it’s time to up the washing the hands. this means the ENTIRE FAMILY. make sure to not share anything….from food to blankets to toys. make sure that everyone is using a covering cough method – which is also known as the Dracula arm where you actually cough into your arm/elbow, not into your hand. if the person who is sick is stuffy, you can have them take a warm shower or use a humidifier. but always make sure the humidifier is clean. humidifiers can harbor mold and germs that can be spread. remember, just because you are not sick, you still can harbor virus….you can be A symptomatic. so do your best to not spread germs.

When to Send Your Kids Back to School

only send your kids back to school if they have had no fevers for 24 hours. this is a complete 24 hours…not just over night. make your child rest if they don’t look well. when it comes to teens, they tend to try to go to school even when they aren’t 100%.  it is not good to send them to school when they are sick because older kids can’t focus when they are. trust your instinct as a parent on whether or not your child is well enough to go to school.

i thank Dr. Solomon for giving me some great reminders on How to Keep My Family Healthy During Cold and Flu Season. such a caring and informative doctor. i have really loved getting to know all the Kaiser doctors that i have met during the past few months. if you have missed the posts i have written about them, here they are:

My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
When I Learned About Kaiser Orange County’s Prenatal Programs
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health

the great thing about Kaiser Permanente Orange County, is everything is under one roof. most Kaiser Permanente Orange County locations include pharmacy, lab, X-ray services and more. plus, there are locations throughout Orange County, as far north as Brea and as far south as San Juan Capistrano, including Tustin Ranch, Foothill Ranch and the new Radiation Oncology Center located at the Anaheim Medical Center. wow…this is the kind of service i look for in my healthcare.