Finding Fairy Houses on the Oso Creek Fairy Trail in Mission Viejo

this weekend, we headed over to see if we could spot the Caring Fairies of the Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo. these are the same Caring Fairies of the Aliso Summit Trail in Laguna Niguel. they found a new home at the Oso Creek Trail since the residents of Laguna Niguel didn’t appreciate the traffic these popular fairy houses brought to their community. it was sad that the fairies had to move, but i can tell you that the are doing very well in Mission Viejo. and we had such an awesome time looking for the fairy houses along the Oso Creek Fairy Trail.

if you haven’t been to the Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo, you should try and check it out sometime. it is one of the best family friendly trails in Orange County. great for all ages, it has art, statues, benches and a park along it’s route, plenty of shade, and now…dozens of fairy houses hidden  along the trail. you have to look closely or you will miss them – they are found in tree stumps, fence posts, rocks, bushes and other natural landmarks.

to visit the Oso Creek Fairy Trail, you will want to park at 27301 La Paz Road, Mission Viejo, California 92692, near the Potocki Center for the Arts. there is a parking lot with free public parking at the beginning of the trail. you can also pick up a fairy map at the Potocki Center for the Arts when it is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. i do admit it was kind of hard to read at first….however, it did become easier after we found some of the fairy houses.

when you enter the trail, you will have to look very closely to find the fairy houses. they are smaller than you think, and easy to miss.  to start you on your journey, look for the first fairy house on the trail. it is located at the bottom of a fence post, next to the fence that leads from the parking lot to the Oso Creek Trail. it has a tiny welcome sign and sits below brightly colored pink bougainvillea.

from there, keep you eyes open to spot more fairy houses. they are found along both side the trail that follows the east side of the creek. you will not find any on the other side of the creek. you do not need to cross the bridge over the creek to find them. however, there are some great hiking trail on that side as well.

we had the best time with our two littlest kids searching the trail for the fairy houses. in my opinion, the OS Creek Trail is the best trail in Orange County for toddlers and young kids. most is paved and there are turnouts that have grass to run in, benches and things to explore. you will find fair houses in all these turnouts.

look really closely at the bottom of this fence post. do you see it?

yes, there is a time fairy house located at the bottom. they are truly magical, and fun to find. even us adults had the best time…plus we got some exercise and fresh air.

the details are amazing and the kids had fun pointing out the little objects they saw. each of the fairy houses had items such as brooms, pathways, chairs or stools, and miniature gardens.

the fairy houses can be found in all sorts of places, so you should take the Oso Creek Trail one way on your way up and another way on your way back.

finding the fairy houses along the trail was also a great learning experience – where we could teach…especially our baby girl, not to touch and just look. it took a few times, but she finally caught on that it was fun to look and take the beauty of each of the little houses, and soon she was running to each location to see each of them.

here are some photos from our adventure finding fairy houses on the Oso Creek Trail.

there will be a stretch of trail where there won’t many fairy houses, and you will come to a mosaic wall and a stairway on the other.

you can take the stairway up to the park at the top. turn right and head pass the sports fields towards the playground. you will be going back towards the parking lot from where you began. once you get to the bear statues, you will find a few more fairy houses.

you will come to the playground, there aren’t any fairy houses around it (as far as we could see), but once you pass it and come to the trail that leads back down to the lower trail, you will start to see them again.

then, at the bottom of the ramp, turn left to go back towards the parking lot where you parked. you can continue to look for any fairy houses you missed. we found some really cool ones like a fairy library and a fairy coffee house.

it truly was a magical evening. such a joy to be out in nature, enjoying the fresh air, and seeing the children excited to find those fairy houses.we came across so many other families experiencing the same thing. all the children eager to hunt those magical fairy houses. this is the life i love living in the OC.

Baby Baths and Pampers Pure

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pampers at Sam’s Club

as a mom of a baby and three older children, i always like to share with other parents about the products i feel are great for babies. i often have parents messaging me for advice on good products i use on my kids, so today, i’m happy to share with you some happy news about Pampers. they now offer a new collection of diapers and wipes called Pampers Pure. this is great news for me, because when it comes to products i use on my children, i want them to be safe and without things like parabens and unnecessary fragrance. Pampers has always been one of the diaper brands i trust for its high quality and performance…which is pretty important as a parent. we just don’t have time for leaks and messes.

with Pampers Pure, i get to use a great diaper that is high quality and performs well and features thoughtfully selected materials! Pampers Pure diapers still offer that 12 hours of leak protection but are free of chlorine bleach, fragrance and parabens. they have been clinically proven hypoallergenic and are cotton- and plant-based.

plus, they have the feel that parents and babies love, that Pampers-level softness and adorable prints!

and Pampers Pure offers wipes, too. Pampers Aqua Pure wipes are made with 99% water and contain 0% alcohol, parabens, dyes and fragrance. this is a biggie for me because i have babies with sensitive skin. they are also cotton enhanced, so they are nice and soft.

luckily, Pampers Pure diapers and Pampers Aqua Pure wipes can now be found at Sam’s Clubs nationwide and on i say luckily because Sam’s Club packs are 14 percent larger than at other retailers, offering a greater value.

this is the first year i’ve had a Sam’s Club membership, and so far i am really enjoying it. there are different brands available that I can’t get at other warehouse stores and new products that are really cool…plus the prices are great too. last weekend we went as a family and the boys loaded up our cart with all sorts of goodies for their lunches, and i loaded up the cart with supplies for the house and family including Pampers Pure Diapers and Pampers Aqua Pure Wipes.

i am so excited that Pampers has raised the bar with Pampers Pure. throughout the years of being a mom, i’ve become more concerned about the products i use with my children. having a diaper company that i trust take the steps to make their products more “pure” makes me very happy. and Miss Dani Kat too!

{This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pampers at Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.}

Tips on Dealing with Mens Stress

This is a sponsored post.

last year i worked with Kaiser Permanente on a post about Great Tips for Mens Health. it got a great response from many of you thanking me for the information, and also wanting to hear more. apparently there are far less articles written about mens health than women’s health on blogs such as mine. so i decided to that i would love to further explore the topic of mens health on here. i met with Dr. Michael Hanna, head of the mental wellness programs at Kaiser Permanente Orange County’ s Center for Healthy Living. Dr. Hanna and i discussed one of the biggest things he sees a lot in men – stress. he was able to share with me some great Tips on Dealing with Mens Stress, because at the Center for Healthy Living, they provide some great quality stress workshops.

Tips on Dealing with Mens Stress

often, when people hear the word stress, they think bad. but did you know that stress can also be good? it is estimated that 85% of stress is self imposed. welcoming a new baby, a wedding, a project, things at work, a family reunion – these would be considered positive stresses with a positive goal. it’s called non-objective stress. stress that can ultimately be put in perspective, is self imposed, and often over analyzed. objective stress would include the stress that comes from tragic events, financial problems, illness, life struggles. these are examples of negative stress.

stress is seen more in large metropolitan areas – that includes Orange County. we live in an area where life is faster paced, there is more traffic and the costs of living is higher.

men have a lot of stress…just like women. some of this stress is the same as what women feel, and some is unique to them. mens have a lot of expectations put on themselves by others and by themselves of what should they be doing. many times they feel they should be doing more. this causes the stress, and when they feel stress, they often deal with it different than women. they hold in their feeling and needs, feel like they have to be strong and stoic. this is not a great way to deal with stress and can lead to detrimental behaviors and sometimes breakdowns.  men often don’t have the friend support as women do, so it’s important that they find someone, a personal contact that they can confide in to let go of stress. 1-3 people that they can talk to – a close friend, someone of the same sex, who they can have a man to man conversation with.

12 Ways for Men to Deal with Stress

(i must say that these are also great for women.)

1. Decide what is most important. deal with the major problems not the minor problems first. Put effort on the important stuff – Prioritize. write a stress list and break it down to what is most important. this will put things in perspective so that you can let the small things go. this is the “key to healthy successful living.”  for example: an ill child would be the most important, and politics,…not that important.

2. Learn to say no. it can be freeing. only take on what you can, sometimes you need to focus on yourself and not others.

3. Do one thing at a time. our culture has us multitasking all the time. but this is counter intuitive from how our brains works (within reason). women tend to deal with multitasking better, so don’t be so hard on yourself to do to much at once. it is better to lock in on one thing at a time.

4. Get organizing. write things down (using apps, tablets and computers are great for this). set alarms, create a system and streamline tasks. as a family, sit down an organize your life. do your best to stay on track.

5. Don’t put things off. do your worst task first. when you put things off, things get further behind. do as much as you can in one day that you can handle. this will help you stay more control.

6. Self Care. save time for yourself. it is important to have date nights, alone time, and time to reflect on your life.

7. UnPlug. put the phone down. you only got this one time of life with your children. savor the moments and be intentional. make an effort with the family and have individual time with each of your children. even just for a day, weekend or a short time is beneficial for all. decide what you value the most and focus on that. the book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey is a great book to read to refocus yourself. and always stay to your values. invest in what is important so you have no regrets in the future.

8. Physical care. get sleep. it needs to be enough sleep that you feel refreshed and restored. not enough sleep will wear down your body, cause you to be vulnerable. make sure to prioritize sleep and also wake up at the same time each day (within reason, and not too late).

9. Food. Moderation is key. eat many things, but in moderation. Energizing. cherry juice is great for melatonin, which is great for sleep. eat therapeutic foods – protein and carbs in balance. cheese, crackers, cereal. natural foods…things that are closer to nature. take a food plate: half should be colorful, 1/4 protein such as meat, dairy or beans, ¼ grains carbs fiber. food deprivation isn’t good for stress.

10. Hydrate. Not enough fluid can cause brain to shrink making it harder to function mentally. not being hydrated can cause leg cramps.

11. Be mindful. be in tune with your body and it’s needs. meditate. exercise. breathe.

12. Home is home and work is work. Men, the most important task is to create a hedge between work and home. bringing work home can bring stress into your safe place.

remember to tell yourself when life gets stressful, that it will pass and you will get through it. breathe, meditate, get some sleep, and rely on others to confide in. i hope that men (and women) can take this advice from Dr. Hass to better deal with their stress and hopefully enjoy life to the fullest.

as i mentioned at the beginning, Dr. Michael Hanna, is head of the mental wellness programs at the Center for Healthy Living. it’s one of the great resources that Kaiser Permanente Orange County provides to their members and patients. at the center, you’ll find resources for educating and empowering people with the tools they need for life skills, diabetes, heart disease, smoking, sleep, etc. they focus on mind, body and health. the hub of the Center for Healthy Living is at Kaiser’s Orange Health Pavilion. there are also satellite resources at Kaiser’s medical offices, clinics and hospitals. all the information provided is very updated and almost always FREE. the yoga classes have a minimal fee since they are equipped with certified instructors. the centers provide educational handouts, interactive materials for each individual’s needs.

i have really loved working with Kaiser Permanente Orange County this past year because i have learned a lot of great healthy living information that i’ve been able to use daily. if you have missed some of the other healthy living posts that  i have written, check them out here:

My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
Tips for Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health
Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
Remembering the Baby Milestones
Tips on Raising Boys
Sun Safety in Orange County

The 2018 Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival

last week we headed to the opening weekend of the Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival. it is one of Knott’s Berry Farm’s Seasons of Fun! it also happens to be one of the tastiest seasons. we LOVE boysenberries….they are delicious. and did you know that they originated at Knott’s?!!! Walter Knott created the boysenberry using a cross of raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries. the results were tasty. from the time i was little until now, it’s still my favorite berry…especially in the pie form. which you can totally get by the slice or whole pie at the boysenberry festival. but there is a whole lot more than just boysenberry pie at the Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival.

this year the Boysenberry Festival is happening from March 16th, through April 8th. that’s three weeks of boysenberry fun. and there is more than just boysenberry food happening at the Boysenberry Festival. there are boysenberry merchandise vendors, boysenberry shows and boysenberry games to play. there is something for everyone…especially if you like to eat. plus the entire park is decorated for spring, with spring flowers and boysenberry boxes. there are many places to get some great photos.

this year, the Boysenberry Tasting Card is better than ever. for just $30, you get 8 tastes of boysenberry foods. this year’s choices are – Slow cooked boysenberry short rib, boysenberry pierogis, boysenberry chicken wongs, boysenberry coconut macaroon, boysenberry elote, boysenberry hummus, boysenberry cheese quesadilla, and boysenberry sausage on a bun.

in years past, you had to get one of each item. but this year, you can double up on something if you wish not to try a certain item. the tasting cards come with tear-away tickets that you can use to get each tasting. this is great for me since i am vegetarian and would not choose to get the meat items. so i got extra elote and quesadillas!

the boys and i had a blast trying all the new items this year. one of our favorites was the Boysenberry Elote. fire-roasted corn on the cob with boysenberry butter, boysenberry mayonnaise and parmesan cheese. it was fantastic!

our second favorite were the Boysenberry Quesadillas. they come with sour cream and a spicy chipotle boysenberry sauce. i especially loved the sauce.

the bigger boys tried out the Boysenberry Short Ribs, Boysenberry Chicken Wings and Boysenberry Pierogies. of course they loved them.

there is only one dessert item on the tasting card this year – a boysenberry macaroon. we all love coconut, so this was a favorite of all of ours, especially little miss Dani Kat.

with our bellies stuffed with boysenberry treats, we decided to walk around Ghost Town and check out the boysenberry merchandise from the different vendors. we got to watch one of the street shows with the Knott’s cowboys. it was super silly…and the kids loved it. everyone got to be a part of the show.

we also explored the old Calico train and the old water pump. are my kids to only ones that ALWAYS have to stop and pump the water?!!!

it had to be one of the most perfect days that we’ve had a Knott’s. the weather, the food, the boysenberries. that’s why we love the Boysenberry Festival so much. you can bet we will be back multiple times during spring break. thanks Knott’s for the best food festival in the west….the Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival is simply the BEST!!!!

Cute Non-candy Easter Basket Ideas from Yoobi

hippy, hoppity, Easter’s on its way! so that means their are Easter baskets to fill. need some non-candy Easter basket ideas? check out these adorable non-candy Easter basket ideas from Yoobi. one of my favorite places to find the best and most colorful school, home and office supplies. and did you know Yoobi’s motto? YOU BUY, YOOBI GIVES.  every Yoobi item you purchase helps provide essential school supplies to classrooms in need across the U.S. i have seen first hand all the great work Yoobi does for our local schools….we just love them for all that they do for our community.

here are some of the fun items that will be filling my kid’s Easter baskets….although, i must say that these items are fun anytime of the year. there are spring stamp sets, sidewalk chalks in the shape of ice cream, sidewalk paints and the cutest little bunny bag i’ve seen. it even has a pom pom tail on the back! of course, the washable popsicle sidewalk chalks are my absolute favorite. (i wonder why?!!!).  you can buy these fun spring items directly online, at a Yoobi storefront or at your local Target stores!

Which one is your favorite?

What are you filling your Easter baskets with?

Here are the links, since many of you asked:
Yoobi Egg Stamp Set
Yoobi 8 Piece Stamp Set
Yoobi Bunny Zip Pouch
Yoobi Washable Popsicle Sidewalk Chalk
Yoobi Sidewalk Chalk Roller Paint
Yoobi Washable Ice Cream Sidewalk Chalk