Springtime at South Coast Plaza

last week took Dani Kat over to Carousel Court at the South Coast Plaza Mall in Costa Mesa. they had just decorated it for Easter and the entire place is a springtime wonderland. we got there right when the mall opened, so we had plenty of time to roam around Carousel Court without crowds of people. if you haven’t been to South Coast Plaza during springtime, you need to go. it’s really special…and has some of the prettiest decorations for Easter in Orange County in my opinion.

not only are the decorations amazing, the carousel has also been transformed from a traditional horse carousel into a bunny carousel! every year we make it a tradition to ride it – it’s only $1.00 to ride. in addition, the back of the ticket has a coupon for a free kids meal at one of the restaurants, so it’s a great deal.

it was one of Dani’s first time riding a carousel…she absolutely loved it.

i got some adorable photos of Dani and her cousin looking around Carousel Court at all the spring flowers and decorations. can you believe it – all the flowers in the platers are real!  the whole place smells so good.

kids can participate in springtime crafts for a small fee. there are cute birdhouses or toys they can decorate with markers. my older kids could sit there for hours decorating their items.

we tried to get Dani’s picture with the Easter Bunny, but she was a little scared this year, so we stood at a distance and said “hi!” This one is small and robotic and talks to the kids…it’s pretty cute. Crystal Court – across the street from Carousel Court has a full sized bunny if you are wanting that.

there are also some adorable children’s stores located near the carousel. there are clothing stores, toy stores, Lego store, Disney Store, and Pottery Barn Kids. i couldn’t resist buying Dani an Easter dress at Kids Aletier. it was just the cutest…it had butterfly wings attached to the back! she looked like a little angel.

Kids Aletier also had a lot of other cute clothes. i know i will be back soon.

before we left, we had to get a balloon for Dani Kat. right now, balloon is her favorite word. we weren’t getting out of there without it. but that was okay by me…they are great quality balloons that last a long time.

what a fun morning i had with my little miss. nice a relaxing with beautiful scenery. we will definitely has to make a trip back before they take down the springtime decorations. also, there is a spring themed area located at Crystal Court with a Carousel and Easter Bunny.

the springtime decoration will be up at South Coast Plaza until Easter, so head over and enjoy them while you can. it is magical for all ages. make sure to look down the rabbit hole!

How to Have the Best Beach Bonfire in Orange County

Thank you to the Chinet® brand for sponsoring this post.

with Spring Break around the corner, and summer coming up thereafter, i get a lot of emails asking how and where is the best place to have a bonfire in Orange County. i also get a lot of emails asking about the best low-cost activities in Orange County. well, having a bonfire is one of my favorites AND is doesn’t cost a lot of money. PLUS it makes some of the best family memories for the kids. i have partnered with the Chinet® brand to bring you this post on How to have the best beach bonfire in Orange County.

first, you need to pack the food.

The Best Foods for Beach Bonfires

when packing food for a beach bonfire, i have three go-to meals. use these ideas as inspiration! p.s. don’t forget to bring supplies for s’mores.

meal idea #1, the traditional hot dog meal. bring some roasting sticks and let the kids roast their hotdogs over the fire. you can even bring gourmet sausages for the adults. chips, fruit and corn are great sides that are easy to pack. butter the corn and wrap in foil, then place next to the campfire till cooked.

meal idea #2, you can make foil dinners. cut up veggies, onions and your favorite meats and put them in a foil packet. add your favorite seasonings and a little olive oil or butter. these are super easy, make practically no mess, and you can customize for each person. prepare them ahead of time, then at the beach, lay them on the fire until the food is cooked.

meal idea #3, make a gourmet picnic. this is my favorite kind of meal. i like to pick up stuff to make a nice cheese and meat board, specially chips and snacks, fried chicken is always fun, pasta salads, soup and hot chocolate.

don’t think i am crazy for suggesting soup and hot chocolate. one thing i love to use are these Chinet® insulated hot cups. they make traveling with hot beverages easy, and the double-layer insulation keeps drinks warm and outside cool to the touch. just fill a large insulated thermos with your favorite soup or hot chocolate and serve at the beach in a Chinet Comfort Cup insulated hot cup.

sipping something warm around the campfire is the best! and these cups are great for all beverages….even adult beverages. they keep things hot or cold and are convenient to carry. since they have an easy fit, snap-and-go lid, your drink is sure to be sand-free. just throw away when done, which is helpful at a beach bonfire!

and i gotta tell you, these Comfort Cup insulated hot cups make life on the go so much easier. not only do they work great at bonfires, they also make life as a busy mom better. they are high-quality and sturdy. i’ve put my morning drinks in them as i’m running kids to school and doing morning errands – the perfect commuter cup, right? we use them on evening hikes around the OC, and i’ve used them at my kids class parties at school….they really help preventing all the spills that happen at those events.

Chinet Comfort Cup insulated cups hold 16 ounces of your favorite beverage, and are available in 18-count at most major retailers. if you can’t find them at your local stores, you can find them online here. did i mention…they are made in the USA?

Click on the image above to shop!

now that you have your food, you need to know where to take it.

Where to Have Beach Bonfires in Orange County

when it comes to having a fire in the OC, you must be careful. as you know our area is very fire prone. there aren’t any parks or areas other than near the beach that allow an outdoor bonfire. it’s too much of a fire risk. but luckily the beaches are great for that sort of thing. here’s a list of beaches in Orange County where you can have a bonfire:

Aliso Beach
Bolsa Chica State Beach
Corona Del Mar State Beach
Crystal Cove State Beach (you can rent from the Beach Comber)
Huntington State Beach
Newport Dunes along the beach
Newport State Beach east of Balboa Pier
San Clemente State Beach

if it’s a weekend or holiday, it may be hard to get a campfire ring, so i recommend heading over early in the morning and reserving the one you want. if you’re going on the off-season or a weekday, there’s usually campfire rings available.

don’t forget to bring some fire making supplies…

What You Need to Build a Bonfire at the Beach

be mindful when building a bonfire. make sure kids do not jump in the fire pits, as there may be hot coals from previous users. Make sure that you put out your fire completely when you are done. here are some items that you need to remember to bring:

Matches or a lighter.
Starter sticks. i highly recommend these.
Fire logs. if you don’t have any, you can usually find them at a hardware store, or at grocery stores near the beach.
BBQ lighter fluid.
Kindling or small sticks. you can send the kids out to find these. it gives them something to do.

Things You Need for a Bonfire

finally, you probably want to bring a few items to make your bonfire comfortable. my motto is always less is more – remember, whatever you bring, you have to bring back! so i try to just bring the necessities.

Food. ideas mentioned above.
Fire making supplies. items listed above.
Plates, napkins, trash bag and Chinet Comfort Cup insulated hot cups.
Blankets. i like to use flat sheets to sit on and soft, thicker blankets to cuddle up with. flat sheets are thin and lightweight, making traveling easier.
Chairs. these in my opinion are optional. i usually ditch the chairs, one less thing to carry. blankets make great seats.
Cutting board and knife. you will need these to prepare the food.
Wipes. these a great for dirty hands
Jackets. i suggest also dressing in layers.
Wagon. great to carry food and supplies
Music. either a Bluetooth speaker connected to a phone or a guitar if someone can play.

you are now ready to have an awesome bonfire!

all this talk about bonfires is making me excited for Spring Break. however, since Southern California has great weather all year round, you can have a bonfire practically every day of the year. a fun and inexpensive activity that is fun for the whole family!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Chinet® and Comfort Cup® are registered trademarks of Huhtamaki, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.

2018 Easter Egg Hunts and Spring Events in Orange County

springtime is here, and it’s time to celebrate with bunnies and Easter egg hunts! how about taking the kiddies to a fun Spring fling or and Easter Egg Hunt. there are tons of family-friendly and kids Easter events and happenings in Orange County this spring! here’s a list to help you find the ones your family will enjoy most. check them out…

Aliso Viejo
Spring Celebration and Pancake Breakfast – March 24, 2018 free
Brunchin’ with Bunny and Egg Hunt at Renaissance ClubSport  – April 1, 2018 (reservations needed)

Easter Celebration at Downtown Anaheim – March 29, 2018 free
Easter Egg Hunt at Ronald Reagan (Toyon) Park – March 24, 2018 free
Spring Carnival at the Anaheim Indoor Market  – March 1-4, 2018 free
Easter Bazaar & Eggstravaganza at The Phoenix Club – March 25, 2018
Spring Fling at Oak Canyon Nature Center  – March 31, 2018
Anaheim Plaza Easter Event  – March 24, 2018 free
Community Easter Egg Hunt at Cornerstone Church in Anaheim – March 24, 2018 free

Bunny Photos at The Brea Mall
Caring Easter Bunny Photos at the Brea Mall – March 11, 2018
Easter Bunny Pet Photos at the Brea Mall – March 25, 2018
Brea Community Eggstravaganza at Brea Jr. High – April 1, 2018 free
North Hills Church Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt – March 30 & April 1, 2018 free

Buena Park
Spring Eggstravaganza at Henery Boisseranc Park – March 31, 2018 free

Easter Egg Hunt at Cerritos Knabe Regional Park – March 31, 2018 free
Easter Bunny Photos at Los Cerritos Center

Costa Mesa
Springtime at South Plaza
Egg-Citment at Tanager Park – March 31, 2018 free
Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs at the Healthy Spot – March 18, 2018 free

Coto De Caza
Wagon Wheel Canyon Association’s Spring Event – TBD free

Spring Egg Hunt at Oak Knoll Park  – March 31, 2018 free

Dana Point
Easter Egg Hunt at Pines Park – March 31, 2018 free
Easter Egg Hunt at Sea Canyon Park – March 31, 2018 free

Fountain Valley
Egg Hunt at Fountain Valley Recreation Center & Sport Park – March 31, 2018 free

Family Easter Celebration and Pancake Breakfast at First Presbyterian Church – April 1, 2018 free
Glow in the Dark Easter Party at First Presbyterian Church – March 23, 2018 free

Huntington Beach
Awesome List of Huntington Beach Events
Easter Egg Hunt and Family Day – March 31, 2018 free
Easter Brunch at Old World – April 1, 2018

Read More…

Family Fun at the Toshiba Golf Classic

This is a sponsored post.

last week, Dani and i visited the Newport Beach Country Club in Newport. it’s located right on Pacific Coast Highway across from the beach. it was one of those perfect Orange County days – there was sunshine, ocean breezes and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. the reason we were there, was to check out how the set-up of the 2018 Toshiba Classic was coming along. it is returning to Orange County this March 7-11, 2018! and if your family are golf fans or even if you are just looking for a fun family activity with beautiful outdoors views, the YOU ARE INVITED to the 2018 Toshiba Classic at the Newport Beach Country Club!!!

i can’t believe that i have lived my entire life in Orange County and have never been to the Newport Beach Country Club, it is GORGEOUS! it was a treat to check it out with my little girl. and we will be coming back during the golf tournament to show the boys and enjoy some family time on the greens. after we will head over to the beach…because thats what you do in the OC…obviously!

the 2018 Toshiba Classic returns for its 23rd year with a slate of new programs designed to enhance spectator experience and a powerful PGA TOUR Champions lineup. they will competing for the $1.8 million purse and hopes to raise record funds for charity. proceeds from this year’s Toshiba Classic will benefit the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center and other Hoag Hospital programs.

the 2018 Toshiba Classic kicks off on Thursday. anyone is welcome to join the excited throughout the entire tournament. Saturday, March 10th is Military Appreciation Day. all active and retired service members and up to three guests will receive complimentary admission plus food and beverage vouchers. local military members and dignitaries will gather for a patriotic opening ceremony with a military flyover, with a closing ceremony featuring a special live concert by John Daly…concert is FREE to all attendees.

Toshiba Classic will be hosting a Student Day

bring the family on Sunday, March 11th from 10:00am – 4:00pm for the Toshiba Classic Student Day. there’s complimentary entry for students under the age of 18. there will be a Kids Fun Zone with fun golf-themed activities and games for kids that’ll be hosted FREE of charge. activities include a SNAG Driving Range that will teach the fundamentals of golf to even the most inexperienced golfer, obstacle courses, life sized tic-tac-toe and a putting zone. a crafts station will give kids the opportunity to make signs cheering on their favorite players as well as other arts and crafts. families can also strike a pose at the photo booth and share your photos using the hash tag #kidsFOREtheclassic. with the help of the First Tee, Toshiba Classic hopes to provide a fun and safe atmosphere for the whole family to enjoy.

Toshiba Classic Ticket Information

Good-Any-One-Day tickets for the Toshiba Classic are available online or at participating Roger Dunn Golf Stores before the event for $25. tickets purchased at the Main Gate on the day of the event are $30. limited VIP opportunities are available as well. Kids are FREE on Sunday, March 11th for STUDENT DAY.

if you would like to hang out in the beautiful clubhouse, daily clubhouse badges are offered for $75 each day, Friday— Sunday. please contact the tournament office at (949) 660-1001 for details.

throughout the tournament, Blue Shield of California and Hoag Hospital will host the Blue Shield Hoag Health Village. guests can stop by to get a portrait taken, enjoy games and giveaways, and learn more about health-related topics. also, seniors can kick back and comfortably enjoy the views on hole 9, from Blue Shield’s exclusive “Senior Section.”

lastly, fans of all ages can take a moment to rest and recharge under shaded bleachers at the 18th green, provided by Blue Shield of California.

my family will be at the Toshiba for family day, and we hope to see yours there too! enjoy watching the pro golf, beautiful green views, and then head across the street for some vitamin sea. sounds like the perfect day to me.

{This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }
Photo of the 18 hole provided by the Toshiba Classic.

Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration

this year, we were so excited to find out that Knott’s Berry Farm added the all-new PEANUTS Celebration to their Seasons of Fun! we love that Knott’s has different seasons of the year to enjoy holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, as well as the boysenberries and summer. but for the first time they have introduced the PEANUTS Celebration – a month-long celebration dedicated to the beloved PEANUTS characters. we weren’t sure what to expect, but but we knew we would love it because the PEANUTS Gang is just so darn cute and Snoopy already has won our hearts.

so let’s get down to business…how was the PEANUTS Celebration?


and we are gonna share all about it right now!

first, when we walked into the park, we found the best photo opportunities. you could literally jump into one of the comics.

then we headed into Ghost Town to check out what was happening at the PEANUTS Celebration there. it looks like at the trees had turned to kite eating trees! so many kites found in the trees.

we heard that Pig Pen from the PEANUTS Gang would be making an appearance at the Livery Stable. so we wanted to meet him since he will only be visiting Knott’s during the PEANUTS Celebration.

when we headed into the Livery Stable, we not only got to meet Pig Pen, but also his little piggy friends and a couple of horses and a donkey!

then we headed over to the Bird Cage Theater for the PEANUTS Sketch School. this was probably one of our favorite things to do at the PEANUTS Celebration. everyone was given a sketch pad and were taught by the Knott’s residence art teacher how to draw one of the PEANUTS Gang. during each session, a different character was taught. my kids could have stayed there all day.

even Dani joined in!

after our drawing lesson, we check out Town Hall were there were pieces of artwork borrowed from the Charles Schultz Museum on display.

then the big boys wanted to go on the Log Ride, so Dani and i headed over to Knott’s Charleston Circle Fountain to see if we could see the new PEANUTS Trolley. we were just in time.

the Peanuts Trolley takes the PEANUTS Gang to different locations in the park. at Charleston Circle, the jumped off and started dancing with the guests to fun music. we all danced around the fountain with musical instruments and ribbon wands with Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Sally!

then they gave everyone a penny to throw into the fountain. we all made a wish and threw them in.

playing with the PEANUTS Gang was so fun and magical. we never wanted it to end. but we managed to work up and appetite, so we got a few of the special PEANUTS themed treats that were being offered in the park exclusive for the PEANUTS Celebration. my favorite was the Charlie Brownie.

over in Campy Snoopy there were lots of Instagrammable opportunities and fun photo opps, as well a fun new show at the Campy Snoopy Theater featuring songs, dancing and the answer to the age old question – how many blockheads does it take to kick a football?! also, you can take a ride on the Grand Sierra Railroad and take a trip to Beagle Bonanza.

Fiesta Village was also ready for the PEANUTS Celebration. Sally and Lucy were introducing the dancing of Mexico in traditional Mexican dresses and music.

in Calico Park, we met up with Linus and Franklin to join the Cowboy Jamboree. during the day, kids can participate in fun games.

we rested our legs while we watched the show “The Music Goes ‘Round and Around” on the Calico Mine Stage. it was a great show. at night there is also Woodstock’s Music Festival with live music from The Jelly of the Month Club!

all this fun was exhausting. there is so much to do at the PEANUTS Celebration that we didn’t get to do everything. it was a great day.

luckily we are able to go to Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration multiple times. we have Season Passes, so we can go anytime we want. there are no blackout dates, and the price for an entire year is VERY reasonable. plus you can go to other Seasons of Fun events such as:

The Boysenberry Festival
Ghost Town Alive!
Knott’s Spooky Farm
Knott’s Merry Farm

there many fun things to enjoy at Knott’s!