Fun Ideas on How to Organize Breakfast for Back to School

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dannon® Oikos® Greek Yogurt and Danimals® Kids Smoothies. The opinions and text are all mine.


so, finally my kids are back to school! we had an entire summer of fun, and the time spent together with the kids was great. but now i’m ready for some alone time (well almost…obviously i still have little miss Dani Kat home with me). i always use these first few weeks of back-to-school to get our lives back organized and our daily routines going again. that includes stocking up the fridge with food so everyone can eat around their busy schedules. this is my favorite job because i get to go to my favorite place…TARGET!

this year, i have three different drop-off times at three different schools. mornings are going to be rough. so breakfast organization is key. i stocked up on all the kids favorites so they can easily grab and go in the mornings. yogurt is a big hit with the kids, they all like it. i’ve got all ages, so i bought a few different varieties including Activa, Danimals Smoothies and Happy Baby Organics. i also picked up some granola, fruits, cheese, breakfast sandwiches and hard boiled eggs. this is the very reason i love Target…everything i need in one stop!

they all have their own likes, so i make sure to cover all the bases, getting varieties of everything. then i prepare it so it’s easy to transport. this way, if we’re running behind, they can still take nutritious food with them while we are driving.

when it comes to organizing the refrigerator for the school year, i love using these clear plastic bins…which can also be found at Target. it keeps the food together in groups and i don’t have to worry about a stray yogurt getting lost in the fridge. the bins make it easy for the kids to see what we have and to grab their breakfast in a hurry. i also love clear glass containers for storing food.

see! nice and tidy.

this year, my kids are really into parfaits. so i made a little granola station where they can get the granola they like and layer it with yogurt and berries. i keep my fridge stocked in sections to keep us organized. i can easily see when we are running out of certain items, and the kids can easily find what they want to eat.

for the granola station, i keep little jars, spoons and granola on the cupboard so the boys can make their parfaits quickly. the berries i keep in the refrigerator in glass containers which keep them fresher longer. one cup of Activa yogurt is the perfect amount for one parfait that is layered with granola and berries.

my boys and little girlie are thrilled to have their favorite breakfast foods ready each morning. and i am happy that they are getting a full tummy with nutritious food to keep them satisfied throughout the school day.

these Danimal Smoothies are so cute and easy to drink in the car. Vann loves to have them along with some toast and fruit.

and my teen will eat anything!

i especially love the small sizes of the Happy Family Organics yogurts for toddlers. the perfect size for her to feed herself and not have any wasted yogurt. a little messy still…but she is doing great. and the flavors are yummy too!

by organizing our breakfast foods (thy also love them for snacks) we are off to a great school year. we haven’t been late yet, and i haven’t heard any complaints of not having any good food to eat. now that is a win in my mom book!

Happy Back to School!!!

Knott’s Soak City is Fun for All Ages Plus a Giveaway!

we are so bummed that this is the last week of summer, and the Soak City will be closing for the 2018 season. we had so many fun days at the park. all my kids including my husband, love going to Soak City…which is pretty cool. you know how hard it is to find an activity that everyone in the entire family loves? especially when you have a teen, tween, pre-tween and toddler! Knott’s Soak City is fun for all ages. so i wanted to write this quick post to encourage you to add Soak City to your Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass. it’s only a few dollars more, and you get to enjoy the Soak City Water Park for the entire summer. check out your Knott’s Season Pass options here.

i asked all my kids what they love most about Soak City to give you an idea of how kids of different ages have fun, and here is what they told me.

Jack, my teen, loves all the water slides. the bigger and faster they are the better. i suspect that this is the case with most teens. we hardly see him at all when we go to Soak City, because he is busy riding all the slides.

Kyle, my tween, loves almost all the water slides at Knott’s…just not the biggest ones. although he is tall enough to ride them all. he’s just happy going on the normal speed slides. and also the Wave Pool. he said the Wave Pool is the best park of Soak City. he is especially good at taking his little sister in the Wave Pool.

Vann, my eight year old could play all day in the Lazy River. actually, the Lazy River is great for all ages. you can go around on it as many times as you’d like, and there is usually no lines. he also loves playing on the Beach House, which has a ton of water features, a big bucket that dumps water on you, and some water slides. these slides are the perfect beginner water slides…not too fast and not too tall.

Dani, my toddler, loves the Gremmie Lagoon. we can stay in there all day. in fact, i wrote an entire post about how to enjoy Soak City with a Toddler in the Knott’s website. you can read about the details there. she loves all the water features in the Gremmie Lagoon, as well as the little slides. she also enjoys going on the Lazy River with mommy and daddy, and dipping her toes in the Wave Pool.

hopefully, this gives you a better idea of what you can enjoy when you add Soak City to your Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass! Soak City is the only water park of it’s size in Orange County. it gets hot in the summer, so you’re going to want to go!

LAST WEEKEND OF KNOTT’S SOAK CITY GIVEAWAY!

you have the chance to win…
(1) 2018 Knott’s Soak City Waterpark Family 4 Pack 
• 4 pack of general admission to Knott’s Soak City Water Park (value: $50 each) 
• 4 pack of Single Meal Deal vouchers (value: $14.49 each) 
• 1 parking pass (value: $18) 

you can use them this last weekend at Soak City! just enter via Rafflecopter below or on Facebook. contest ends June 6, 2018 at midnight. winner will be chosen randomly and must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

70 Orange County Halloween Events for Kids 2018

and just like that, the Halloween season is about to arrive in Orange County!  soon, fun Halloween events will be popping up all over Southern California. i have compiled a list of over 70 Orange County Halloween events for Kids and Families…most of which are kid-friendly or family-friendly. and all of them are scheduled around the OC and SoCal this Halloween season.

it’s time to get your calendar out and pick out the ones that look like the most fun for your family. i love to make the Halloween time extra special for my family, and taking them to a couple fun Halloween events, make the Halloween season one will always remember! (be sure to check back here, as more events will be added to the list as they are announced.)

2018 Orange County Halloween Events for Kids and Families

Knott’s Spooky Farm
Every Weekend in October  |  Camp Snoopy and Ghost Town at Knott’s
this daytime, non-scare event is a celebration of cheer rather than fear! you can enjoy shows, activities and of course, trick or treating. kids can take part in the “Monster Dance Party and Costume Parade,” sing and dance along with the Peanuts gang as you watch the “The Monsters are Coming, Charlie Brown” in the Camp Spooky Theatre, walk through the “Spooky Hollow Maze”, visit the Creepy Crawler Cabin, have fun in Ghost Town Trick or Treating and join Snoopy’s Costume Contest and Dance Party. click here to go directly to the Knott’s website.

Spooky Science at Discovery Science Center
Weekends in October  |  Discovery Science Center OC
Giant bugs, creepy crawlers and friendly spooks are all making their way to Discovery Cube for Spooky Science this October. Join us as we explore bugs of all colors and sizes among over-sized exhibit sets and hands-on learning stations. Even the youngest of goblins will enjoy spooky fun while exploring insects like never before.

Mickey’s Halloween Party
September 19, 22, 24, 26 & 28, October 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 29 & 31  |  Disneyland Resort
Party with Mickey Mouse in Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, go trick or treating & watch the spectacular Halloween Screams Firework Show. Guests of the party get to enter Disneyland 3 hours before the party to enjoy the park!

Halloween Time at Disneyland
September 7th – October 31st   |   Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort and Disney’s California Adventure are dressed up for Halloween! Check out the decorations and enjoy special Halloween activities throughout the park.

Boo at the Zoo
October 20, 21, 27 & 28  |  5:30 – 8:00pm  |  Santa Ana Zoo
A “Merry not Scary” family friendly event where everyone is encouraged to come in costume! One of the safest places for children (ages 2-12) to trick-or-treat for Halloween enjoying goodies from TEN Trick-or-Treat Stations throughout the Zoo providing a variety of toys, books, snacks, and candy on the Trick-or-Treat Trail, Entertainment, Animal Presentations, Storytelling, Costume Parade, Ride the “Boofari” Express Train and Carrousel for an additional fee and “Teen Scream” Haunted House (a separate area, included in the price of admission)

Cryptozoology Night at the Zoo
September 29  |  6:30 – 9:30pm |  Santa Ana Zoo
As the sun goes down and the nocturnal animals stir, other animals begin to rise. Join Charles Spratley, Haunted OC guide and lecturer as he leads you to discover and discuss some of the most famous examples of Cryptozoology. From Sasquatch and Yeti to the Chupacabra and others. We will cover their origins, first sightings and possible scientific explanations for these unique and elusive creatures. After the outdoor presentation in the amphitheater, guests will break into smaller groups and experience a night time walk-through of the zoo and Amazon’s Edge Rainforest and perhaps catch a glimpse of some of it’s nocturnal residents who prefer to come out after dark.

Bootastic Halloween Party
October 19 & 26   |  5:30pm |  Adventure City
Halloween Time is right around the corner and for two Friday nights only Oct.19 & 26th, Adventure City is hosting a family-friendly Halloween Bash! To ensure that ride wait times are at a minimum, limited special event ticket quantities are available. Buy online today!

Pretend City Trick Or Treat Through The City
October 31 | Pretend City Children’s Museum
Pirates, Ghosts, & Princesses Pretty! Come Trick-Or-Treating at Pretend City! On Halloween, we are having a special trick-or-treat extravaganza for all our friends! Stop by the museum and take part in our Halloween Bug Bash as well as trick-or-treat at different stations through the city! We will surely have a ghouly good time!

Costume Week at Pretend City
October 21 – 27 | Pretend City Children’s Museum
Black cats and witch’s brew, we want to dress up with you! Wear your costume to Pretend City this whole week and receive 25% off your second admission!

Healthy Halloween at Pretend City
October 30  | Pretend City Children’s Museum
Happy Healthy Halloween! This time of year brings lots of treats and sweets into kids’ lives that may make them fall into a junk food funk. Serving Kids Hope is joining us at Pretend City to share fun tips and tricks to keep your kids eating healthy this Halloween!

Frankenstein Friday!
October 26 | Pretend City Children’s Museum
Have a monster of a time at Pretend City and pay tribute to Mary Shelley’s classic fictional character, Frankenstein with these monstrously fun activities. We will be dancing to the Monster Mash, making Frankenprints, and doing some Monster Science and Math Activities. Let’s have a monster of a time!

The OC Ghostbusters Come to Pretend City
October 27  | Pretend City Children’s Museum
The OC Ghostbusters are coming to Pretend City! If you’re unafraid of ghost and into the Ghostbuster’s Movie, put down that phone and get down to Pretend City today for some spooktacular activities!

Fall Festival Fun!
September 22  | Pretend City Children’s Museum
FALL into this season as the leaves change colors and the weather gets colder! This season brings lots of exciting things for families, including holidays, fall themed foods, and maybe some family traditions in the making! Pretend City is celebrating Fall with our Fall Festival Day! Join us as we create art, play games, and do activities all focusing on fall, leaves, pumpkins, and gourds!

Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch & U-Pick Tours
September 29 – October 31 | Tanaka Farms, Irvine
Tanaka Farms invites you to visit our Pumpkin Patch with all your favorites as well as some new and improved guest experiences for 2018.  Check back often as we will post updates about our Pumpkin Patch here!

Historic Yorba Cemetery Tour
October 6 | 11:00am – noon | Woodgate Park, Yorba Linda
enjoy a guided tour through Orange County’s oldest private cemetery. FREE

Knott’s Scary Farm
September 20 – October 31  |  Knott’s Berry Farm
be prepare to get SCARED!!!! this event is definitely not for the kiddies. send your teenagers or make a date night at this frightfully scary night of terror. you can go through the monster mazes, watch the traditional Hanging Show, and be sure to try out the new interactive Trapped Maze. a pre-show buffet is offered at an additional price.

Aliso Viejo Fall Harvest Festival
October 20 | 10:00am – noon |  Grand Park, Aliso Viejo
Children’s Crafts, Carnival Games, Balloon Twisters, DJ Entertainment and more! Wear your costume as you walk through the costume parade. Parade begins at 10:30 am. AVCA will also be hosting a Canned Food Drive with South County Outreach. Bring FIVE (or more) canned food items, pet food or make a donation and your child receives a wristband for a pony ride. The only way for your child to ride a pony this year is to donate and receive a wristband! Canned food will be collected and distributed by South County Outreach to those in need here in Orange County. FREE

Halloween Animal Art – Toddler Program
October 2, 10, 12, 18 & 31  |  10:15 a.m.  |  OC Zoo, Irvine Regional Park, Orange
Come learn about creatures that are associated with Halloween! Class includes hands-on learning, fun crafts, and meeting zoo animals up close!  Ages: 3-4 years old only. Parent must accompany child for duration of program. Fee: $5 per child (includes one adult). Parking fee: $3  Registration is required! Call 714-973-6846 to register.

Halloween Animal Art for Ages 5-10
October 13  |  10:15 a.m.  |  OC Zoo, Irvine Regional Park, Orange
Come learn about creatures that are associated with Halloween! Class includes hands-on learning, fun crafts, and meeting zoo animals up close!  Ages: 5-10 years old only. Parent must accompany child for duration of program. Fee: $5 per child (includes one adult). Parking fee: $3  Registration is required! Call 714-973-6846 to register.

Halloween Zoo-tacular
October 27  |  10:00am – 4:00pm  |  OC Zoo, Irvine Regional Park, Orange
Join us for Halloween fun at the OC Zoo! Activities include trick-or-treating*, spooky kids crafts, a scavenger hnt*, and fun games! (*children ages 12 & under). The first 100 children (ages 12 & under) in costume will receive a free gift! Come see the zoo animals receive treat-filled pumpkins throughout the day! Reservations are not needed. Activities are free with paid zoo admission

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My Teen Athlete Loves Tai Pei Asian Food

This is a sponsored post.

with the back to school craziness, i was slowly losing the battle of keeping the grocery shopping done and my family properly fed. i thought that once the first day of school came, things would go back to our normal routine. but it sure didn’t happen as fast as I was hoping. from the moment i get up, i’m going at light speed and i know it’s going to be like that all day. luckily, i’ve found a way to satisfy my teen’s hunger, save me some time and make everyone happy. i’ve stocked up the fridge with milk, juice and fruit, the cupboards with cereal, and my freezer with Tai Pei Asian cuisine entrées.

my teen son has double water polo practices everyday, school and sometimes even a water polo game. you can bet that he is ALWAYS HUNGRY. so in between practices and running around, he can easily prepare a quick and healthy Tai Pei meal for himself..

Tai Pei Asian cuisine entrées are made with clean ingredients flavor-infused rice and no additives, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, so i am fine with him eating as much as he wants. each bite takes you on a journey of mouth-watering flavor and enticing aromas. there are ten delicious entrée recipes from Asia and every variety is designed to deliver a restaurant-inspired experience straight from your own kitchen (or office microwave) in just minutes.

to make entrée preparation fast and easy, Tai Pei’s packaging has been designed to serve the perfect portion to satisfy your cravings (no matter how many portions you need to prepare), while allowing enough room for the tasty ingredients to steam perfectly. it’s a delicious, affordable alternative to cooking, much less than take-out, so we can all enjoy tasty Asian cuisine in just minutes.

of course, the rest of us love Tai Pei as well…but we are lucky to get one as Jackson has been eating them all! i guess that’s life with a teenage boy.

one last thing…i thought i would mention that Tai Pei has a full lineup of appetizers and snacks too!

you can learn more about Tai Pei entrees here and where to buy them here.

How to Celebrate Your Birthday at Knott’s Berry Farm

this year i had a special request from my middle son. he wanted to celebrate his 12th birthday at Knott’s Berry Farm with six of his friends. of course the answer was yes, as Knott’s Berry Farm is one of our family’s favorite places to be, and since we have annual passes, we wouldn’t have to buy tickets for ourselves, just our friends. i was so excited to celebrate my little guy at Knott’s and we ended up having the perfect party with his friends.

here are some insider tips on How to Celebrate Your Birthday at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Get a Happy Birthday Button

did you know that Knott’s Berry Farm gives free birthday buttons to those celebrating their birthday at Knott’s? well, they do! just head over to Guest Services, located in Ghost Town near the lockers, and tell them you are celebrating your birthday. they will customize a birthday button with your name on it for you to wear around the park and keep as a keepsake. this way, everyone will know it’s your birthday. and many of the employees in the park will stop you and wish your a Happy Birthday.

Wear Some Happy Birthday Snoopy Ears

now that you have your birthday button, i also suggest getting the Happy Birthday Snoopy Ears. you can purchase them in the Snoopy’s Headquarters right outside the park, at the General Store in Ghost Town or Snoopy’s Camp Store in Camp Snoopy. they are reasonably priced and make extra special photos for your birthday.

Get Fast Lane Passes for Your Party

now it’s time for some rides. the rides are some of the best things at Knott’s, but you’d probably rather skip the lines for your special day. i suggest if you can, splurge on Fast Lane Passes to let you skip some of the lines….especially the big roller coasters. this way you are your friends will get to go on the most rides possible!

  

Get a Birthday Cake at Knott’s

did you know that Knott’s Berry Farm sells birthday cakes! they actually sell all kinds of cakes…that are pretty tasty if i do say so myself. i would say this is Knott’s best kept secret. their bakery has so many great cakes and cupcakes of all flavors, that you can even have customize with a “Happy Birthday” message. the prices are pretty great too. during my son’s party at Knott’s, i stopped into the Farm bakery, and they customized a cake for me on the spot. it was really cute too…with a Snoopy’s face and colorful confetti. just perfect for his party.

you can pick up Knott’s Berry Farm cakes at the Mrs. Knott’s Bakery Express outside of Knott’s in the California Marketplace, or at the Ghost Town Bakery near Guest Services. you can call ahead to get a specific cake, or take your chances and get what they have. either way, i am sure you will be happy with your cake.

i am so happy Kyle decided to celebrate his birthday at Knott’s. it ended up being a very special day with his friends and family. and the little added birthday touches from Knott’s made are time celebrating extra special.