Get Your Child’s School a Scholar Dollar Grant

This post is sponsored by ScholarShare.

PARENTS!!!!!  Your child’s school NEEDS you!

this is your chance to help your child’s school to be awarded up to $25,000. Scholarshare has just announced a new grant program called Scholar Dollars, a new program that will award 20 grants of up to $25,000 each to eligible K-8 public and charter schools in California. the grants are available in varying amounts according to school size, which range from $5,000 for schools of 300 students and less up to $25,000 for schools of more than 1,500 students.

the best thing about the Scholar Dollar grants is that schools are free to spend the grants on musical instruments, computers, library books, sports equipment, or support enrichment programs such as tutoring labs, student counseling, science and technology and many other activities.

How Your School Can Get a Scholar Dollar Grant

since only school administrators can register and apply for these amazing Scholar Dollar grants, us parents have the duty to inform our children’s school administrators about the program. schools are only allowed to register from February 1, 2017, through February 22, 2017, so you need to HURRY! once your school is registered, its’ name will appear on an online ballot, along with respective details on how itplans to use the funds if they are selected.  you can check here to see if your school is eligible to apply.

next is the fun part! from March 1, 2017, through March 24, 2017 is the voting period. you will then need to  encourage your community, friends and family to vote for their child’s school. From March 1, 2017, through March 24, 2017, parents, relatives, boosters, and community supporters are encouraged to vote for their school. Top vote getters in each category (according to school size) will receive an award, to be announced in early April.

good luck!

i am so impressed by all ScholarShare does to help out kids have a brighter future. from programs in the community to making it easier to save for our childrens’ college future with California’s 529 plans. i am a total fan and know with their help my children will have a brighter future.

here’s a great little video the explain the Scholar Dollar program. hope you can get your school to enter. good luck to your school!!!

The program is administered by ScholarShare.


Family Visit to Crystal Cove

i knew it wouldn’t be long before baby Dani would visit the beach for her first time. after giving birth to her at the beginning of this month, i was beginning to go stir crazy. staying in the house all day, had my boys were begging to go on a family adventure. we’re used to being on the go all the time, so having a baby has been a big adjustment. two weeks ago, the weather was nice, and i was feeling a lot better. so we decided that a beach day was in order. i packed up the kids…grabbed a few towels and beach toys, all the baby stuff (ha! so much for our low maintenance family), and headed down to Crystal Cove in Newport Beach. it’s one of my favorite beaches in Orange County, which you will see why as you read this post.

to get to Crystal Cove State Park, you need to park across Pacific Coast Highway at the designated parking lot. it costs $15 to park there, but you can get it validated at the Beach Comber restaurant that is on the beach. even if you just get a few drinks or fries to-go…it still is money better spent than just paying for parking. there is a shuttle that takes people back on forth to the beach for a small fee, but we decided to take the scenic route and walk down the hill to the sand.

right now it’s very pretty along the trail…probably due to all the rain. it was so nice a green. the trail is paved nicely, and even though it’s downhill, it isn’t to the bottom of the hill, there is a long tunnel that actually goes under Pacific Coast Highway. it is lined with hand painted murals by local kids and teens. the boys were very excited to be pushing their sister in her new UPPAbaby stroller. she was swaddled up in the bassinet attachment, which was perfect for our first outing.

at the bottom of the hill, you come to some adorable beach cottages that you can actually stay in if you make reservations. they are high sought over, so here are Ten Tips for Staying at the Crystal Cove Cottages.
before we enjoyed some fun in the sun at the beach, we got a bite to eat. one of the reasons we chose Crystal Cove, is because there are restaurants right on the beach. you can eat at The Beachcomber Cafe or at Ruby’s Shake Shack. since The Beachcomber Cafe was pretty busy, we headed up to Ruby’s Shake Shack which overlooks Crystal Cove Beach.

we love eating at the Shack. it’s the same menu that you can get at Ruby’s Diners, except not as many items. my favorite is the vegiwich and fries!

make sure to get a milkshake when you go to Ruby’s Shake Shack. that’s what they are known for….and are super yummy.after a yummy lunch, we headed back down to the beach and spent the rest of the afternoon there.Little Miss Dani just chilled in her stroller most of the time. i let her get a little sunshine as the day was perfectly are some photos of our afternoon. it was spent sitting in the sand, exploring the tide pools, people watching, and enjoying the sunshine as a family.

as soon as the sun started to set…

, we headed home. it was the picture perfect ending to our family day at Crystal Cove State Beach.

National School Choice Week: Your Child’s Education in Your Hands

did you know that California has some amazing schooling options available for kids! as a parent of school aged children, there have been times when i have questioned whether or not i have chosen the best school placement for my boys. that is why i have partnered with National School Choice Week (NSCW)  to help raise awareness that parents do have different option available to them in their child’s education. each child is unique, and that’s why finding a successful school system that suits your kids & family’s needs is of utmost importance!

What is National School Choice Week?

from traditional public schools, to charter schools, to online academies, to private schools and homeschooling- National School Choice Week brings to light why it’s key for families to participate and learn more about their options. there are more than 15,000 events nationwide during National School Choice Week – January 22-28th – the largest series of education events in US history. NSCW is nonpartisan and nonpolitical, and does not advocate for or against any legislation. it is a great opportunity to search for new schooling opportunities and to help other like-minded parents to learn more.

Do parents across America have school choice?

today, more parents in the U.S. have the opportunity to choose educational environments that best suit their children than ever before. the majority of states do allow parents to choose public schools outside of their zoned districts. many times, there are tuition free magnet schools within a school district that educates children based on a theme, such as math or the arts. this allows parents to send their children to schools that favor their children’s abilities, talents and likes. in half of U.S. states, students can access opportunity scholarships, tuition tax credits, or education savings accounts to attend qualifying private schools, PLUS, homeschooling is permitted in every state across the country.

for myself, it was very important that i send my children to a charter school that offers programs in technology and the arts. i wanted to make sure that my kids are exposed to the latest computer technology as well as being able to bring their own computer devices to class. i also wanted my boys to be introduced to different types of arts. i would like for them all to play an instrument or at least try one. so i was thrilled that the charter junior high they attend and will attend has many options in the music program including orchestra, strings, guitar and marching band. musical theater, drama and fine arts are also important to me since i find the boys are very creative.

How can I find what school choices are offered in my area?

school choice policies often vary by city, county, and school district, so to get a better sense of the options available to your family, you will need to look at local resources, such as your state department of education’s website, or the website of one of our partner organizations in your state. you can find an official 2017 National School Choice Week events on our interactive event map. here there is information about the big rallies & public events happening near you!

How can I choose a school for my child?

choosing an educational environment for your child is a very personal experience for every family. every child is different and has unique talents, challenges, and learning styles. each family’s school choice journey is different and unique – and that’s a good thing! five general tips on choosing a school for your child are: start now, define what’s best for your child, research your options, make a list of scheduled events, and talk to other parents.  you can learn more about these tips here.

it’s great to know that i have other options when picking an education choice for my kids. each of them have their very own strengths and weaknesses, so its important to find a school that offers specific services unique to their needs. in fact, my oldest son will be attending a high school in another district next year because he is patient about pre med. luckily this option is available in our state. you can find additional information about the school choice policies in your state, here.​

Why I LOVE my Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass and a GIVEAWAY!!!!!

knotts-season-passes-benefits if you have been a fan of Sandy Toes and Popsicles over the years, then you know how much i LOVE Knott’s Berry Farm. i share lots of the fun things the boys and i have experienced at Knott’s throughout every season. the main reason we are able to spend so much time at Knott’s Berry Farm is because we each have a Knott’s Berry Farm season pass. this way we can go to all the events that are happening year round. we enjoy our time at Knott’s so much, that i am here, trying to convince you that you also need to get annual passes for you family. did you know a Season Pass not only provides park admission to Knott’s Berry Farm all year long, but ALSO include some cool perks? it’s true….there are even more perks to having a Season Pass beyond its great value (and no blackout dates)!!!! check out some of my favorite reasons for owning a Knott’s Season Pass. (continue reading to find an AWESOME giveaway!!!!) knotts-berry-farm-rides

Always Something New to Do

at Knott’s Berry Farm they call it Seasons of Fun because the offerings always change based on the season. during spring, you can head to Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, the best time for food at Knott’s, and a salute to the birthplace of the Boysenberry. it’s a month-long food festival featuring boysenberry-inspired dishes that are both sweet and savory, plus there is a lot of fun, family friendly entertainment. The Best Boysenberry Festival EverBoysenberry Festival in Southern CaliforniaThe Fun Stick at Knott's Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival summertime means Calico comes to life with Ghost Town Alive! making friends with the citizens of Ghost Town and taking part in cowboy shenanigans make for a memorable summer. Ghost Town Alive at KnottsKnott's Ghost Town Alive NewpaperKnott's School House summer also brings fun in the sun for Gold Season Passholders at Knott’s Soak City, where several new water slides are coming. and don’t forget fireworks on the Fourth of July! Knott's-Soak-City fall is the season of Knott’s Spooky Farm, the park-wide, family friendly Halloween celebration with trick-or-treating and fun costumes geared for children. Spooky HollowKnott's Camp Spooky Trick or Treating as winter approaches, Santa Snoopy and dancing lights fill the park for Knott’s Merry Farm. nightly snow fall and festive holiday shows make Christmas time at Knott’s quite charming, special and unique. Knott's Berry Farm Train at ChristmasVann with Santa at Knott'sKnott's Berry Farm Carolers countdown the final moments of the year and ring in the New Year At Knott’s Berry Farm with a spectacular midnight fireworks celebration. Knott's New Years Eve Celebration all this plus hundreds of special memories are included with your Knott’s Berry Farm season pass!


Season Passholders receive discounts on select merchandise and food and dining throughout the park. and yes, that includes the signature Knott’s jams and preserves. Passholders also receive discounts on tickets to the largest Halloween event in Southern California, Knott’s Scary Farm. knotts-pass-discounts

Early Ride Time

during the summer and select days throughout the year, Season Passholders receive early entry into Knott’s Berry Farm. during early entry, the park is open exclusively to Passholders, which means you can be one of the first in line when the new ride, Sol Spin, opens in Fiesta Village next spring! Gold Season Passholders also receive early entry to Knott’s Soak City on select days in the summer. with early entry, Passholders can get first dibs on the best lounge spots and the first chance to enjoy the new slides opening next year.pony-express-at-knottsKnott's New Ride Voyage to the Iron Reef Lasers

Season Passholder Events

one of the best things about being a Season Passholder is that you will receive exclusive opportunities to attend previews of the Seasons of Fun events. PLUS, Knott’s holds a special Merry Farm preview party for Season Pass holders in November where you get the opportunity to experience all the holiday entertainment and shows before regular park guests. now that is AWESOME! Knott's Berry Farm Snow and Glow there are a million reasons why i LOVE our Knott’s passes, and i hope that you have a chance to enjoy a a season pass as much as my family does. and maybe you will even see us at the park one day. make sure to say “hi” if you do! head over to the Knott’s website and check out the Knott’s Berry Farm season pass options.


here is your chance to win (2) Knott’s Berry Farm 2017 Season Passes!!!!! contest ends December 23th at midnight. enter via rafflecopter below. to leave a comment, scroll down to the bottom of this post. winner will be chosen randomly and must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. Good luck!!!!

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{ This is not a sponsored post. Knott’s has provided season passes for the giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own. }

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical PLUS giveaway!

rudolph-and-clarice-1Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical has taken the country by snowstorm!!! and now you can see it live at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. the “most famous reindeer of all” from the longest running and highest rated holiday television special will be live on stage on December 23rd and 24th for 4 performances. the boys and i are super excited to attend this live musical, it will be the perfect holiday performance to begin the Christmas weekend.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is the Stage Adaptation of CBS’ Highest Rated Christmas Special of All Time. following two successful years of touring North America, the world’s most famous reindeer and a holly jolly cast of iconic characters including Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster will help Santa save Christmas during three North American tours visiting more than 50 cities this holiday season.


in 1964, the beloved stop-motion animated television classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, made its network television debut delighting audiences across the country. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is rapidly becoming a tradition for generations of children and adults and we are so excited to bring the show to fans in Hollywood,” says producing partner Jonathan Flom.

rudolph-hermey-and-yukonprojections, costumes and characters will be faithfully brought to the stage against a backdrop of nostalgic set designs. The cast brings high energy to classic songs and dialogue, while irresistible and loveable puppets highlight the charming “roughness” from the television show’s stop-motion effects. Flom says, “We address all of the familiar story elements from the television special with a talented cast and puppeteers who help recreate the magic on stage. Since the special itself is a classic musical, the stage show does not feel at all like an adaptation and audiences are surprised and delighted when they hear full performances of additional iconic songs associated with the TV special, such as “Fame and Fortune” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”


the story tells the tale of a young Rudolph who, because of the appearance of his bright, shining nose, is excluded from the Reindeer Games. He flees Christmastown and meets up with new friends Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius.  after finding The Island of Misfit Toys, Rudolph journeys home, where a snowstorm of epic proportions is threatening Christmas. can Rudolph rescue his family and friends and help Santa save the holiday? take the family to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical and find out!!!!


Get Tickets to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Dolby Theater

Tickets range from $38-$104 and can be purchased at the Dolby Theatre Box Office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling (800) 745-3000. *children ages one and older require a ticket.

Rudolph’s partnership with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center continues this year. A new illustrated storybook, T.E.A.M. Rudolph and the Reindeer Games, will be available this year only at the stage show performances and other locations where Rudolph is appearing, such as at theme parks, zoos, aquariums and science centers. A portion of the proceeds from all sales of the books will be donated to PACER.


here is your chance to win a Family 4-pack of tickets Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Dolby Theater on December 23, 2016 at 7 p.m. to  game system with a charger. just enter via Rafflecopter below. contest ends December 18th at 11 p.m. winner will be chosen randomly and must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. Good luck!!!!

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