Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cube

Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cube if you don’t know that Discovery Cube OC has kids cooking classes…you do now! my kids LOVE to cook, and ever since we started watching Master Chef Junior as a family, they’ve wanted to learn how to be little chefs. so we certainly were very thrilled that the Petersonville Healthy Kitchen has opened at Discovery Cube OC.

the Healthy Kitchen offers 1-hour long kids cooking classes at Discovery Cube with a new recipe each month. there are multiple time slots offered on certain days of the week. you can make reservations or just ask the front desk at the Cube if there are any openings. most classes are $20 for a party of 4, so you can have up to 4 children or children and adults participate together. this includes the class and food that you will be making. the class is in addition to your admission into the Cube.

the class begins with putting on an apron and a good hand washing.Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cube

an instructor will help the kids with every step of the recipe and teach them not only how to prepare the food, but also the science behind each process. it’s like a bunch of science experiments. i love how the kids can see the instructor in detail on big television screens above and also in person in front of the class. i also like that there are only 6 stations, so the classes are small and intimate.Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery CubeHealthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cube

i think the class is great because the kids get to learn many different techniques on how to prepare food and also get to prep it, prepare it and eat it. at this class, we made Rainbow Wraps! we have also made gingerbread cupcakes in another class. both classes were equally fun.

here are some photos of the boys cooking up their food…

Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery CubeHealthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery CubeOrange County Kids Cooking ClassesKids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cubeyes! they learned how to use a blender…Kids Cooking ClassesDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OC

kids not only learn how to cook, but also how to use real kitchen tools.

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and the best thing is….that they are usually willing to taste what they made. i probably would have never been able to get Vann to eat a Rainbow Wrap at home. but since he made it, he was willing to try it. AND he liked it!!!!!

Discovery Cube OC Cooking Class

we have been loving the Healthy Kitchen at Discovery Cube OC so much, that we want to go back every month to try each new class. you can click here to get more information and for a list of classes and times. hope you have a fun time!!!!Discovery Cube OC Cooking Class

 

101 Places to Find the Best Treats in Orange County

Where_to_find_the_best_Treats_in_Orange_Countyfrom ice cream to donuts, to shaved ice to cupcakes, Orange County has its share of yummy places to get unique and tasty treats. i am often asked where to go to get a decadent desserts or fun places to take the kiddies to get a special treat after school. so i thought, why not make a gigantic list of 101 Places to find the Best Treats in Orange County.

i’ve scoured the internet. local OC Foodie Instagram accounts and also through my own blog to make this awesome list of the best places in OC. some i have tried, some are recommendations, and some are on my bucket list to try. hopefully this list will inspire your sweet tooth to head over to your nearest treats store or bakery. let me know your favorites…and if i need to add something to this list. enjoy!!!!

101 Places to find the Best Treats in Orange County

Ice Cream and more
à la Minute (Orange) – made with nitrogen
Afters Ice Cream (Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Tustin, Chino Hills & Long Beach) – home of the famous Milky Bun

Afters_Ice_Cream_Milky_Bun Churned Creamery (Tustin)
Cloud Poke and Snow (Fullerton)
Cream (Aliso Viejo & Irvine) – unique ice cream sandwiches
Coldstone Creamery (Multiple Orange County Locations)
Creamistry (Anaheim, Brea, Cerritos, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Tustin & Corona ) – made with nitrogen
Dad’s Donuts & Ice Cream (Newport Beach) – Famous Balboa bars and chocolate dipped bananas
H2 Snow (Orange)
Honey & Butter (Irvine)

honey_and_butter_irvine Honeymee (Buena Park, Cerritos, Irvine & Westminster) – natural milk ice cream with pure honeycomb
La Michoacana Premium (Santa Ana) – Mexican Ice Cream Treats
Honeymee Milky Snow Bar (Garden Grove)
Nitrolado (Garden Grove) – made with nitrogen
Scoops N Scoops (Irvine & Chino Hills) – made with nitrogen
Scoops N Scoops Ice Creams Shaved Ice Ice Baby (Lake Forest)
Snow Heaven (Lake Forest)
Snow Monster OC (Huntington Beach, Tustin, Westminster, Long Beach & Mini Monster at Anaheim Packing House)
Snow Station (Anaheim, Los Alamitos, Tustin & Westminster)

Snow_Station_in_Tustin Snowy Village (Buena Park)
N2 Creamery (Villa Park) – made with nitrogen
Crafted_Donuts_Fountain_Valley

Donuts and more
Crafted Donuts (Fountain Valley)
Dad’s Donuts & Ice Cream (Newport Beach) – Famous Balboa bars and chocolate dipped bananas
DK’s Donuts of Orange (Orange)
DK’s Donuts of Tustin (Tustin)
Dunkin Donuts (Garden Grove, Irvine, Santa Ana, Villa Park, Westminster & Yorba Linda)
Krispy Kreme (Orange & Mission Viejo)
Poqet Donuts (Irvine) – customize your own donuts

Orange County Gourmet Donuts The Donuttery (Huntington Beach)
Sidecar Donuts (Costa Mesa)
U Jelly (Fountain Valley)
Zombee Donuts (Fullerton)

Zombee Donuts of Orange County

Bakeries and Cupcakes
Beverly’s Bakery (Fullerton & Yorba Linda)
Blackmarket Bakery (Costa Mesa & Santa Ana)
Creme & Sugar (Anaheim Hills) – Known for their lavender cake, lavender lattes and cookie butter lattes.

Creme_and_Sugar_Lavendar_Cake Casey’s Cupcakes (Irvine, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach & Riverside)
Cream Pan Bakery (Tustin)
French’s Pastry (Costa Mesa, Irvine, Mission Viejo & Orange) – Since 1965
Hapa Cupcakes (Fullerton)
Nothing Bundt Cakes (Mission Viejo)
Porto’s Bakery (Buena Park)
The Sugar Me Bakery (Orange) – Giant cupcakes
The Great Dane Baking Company (Huntington Beach & Los Alamitos)

great_dane_baking_company Rockwell’s Bakery (Villa Park)
Simply the Cupcake Store (Mission Viejo)
Sunmerry Bakery (Irvine) – Asian Fusion style
SusieCakes (Costa Mesa, Laguna Niguel & Newport Beach)
Sprinkles Cupcakes (Newport Beach)
Wonderland Bakery (Newport Beach)
85ºC Bakery (Buena Park, Cerritos, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Irvine & Chino Hills) – Taiwanese fusion

Cookies and more
Cookie Connection (Irvine)
Cookies by Jess (Orange)
Honey & Butter (Irvine)
honey_and_butter_irvine_macarons

Kelly’s Kookies (Brea, Costa Mesa, Irvine Newport Beach & Stanton) – known for their shortbread and lemon cookies
Stax Cookie Bar (Irvine)
The Cookie Element (Yorba Linda)
The Dirty Cookie (Tustin) – Cookie shots!
The Sweet Shot Company (Irvine) Cookie shots!

Chocolate 
Chocxo Bean to Bar (Irvine) – Chocolate factory tours
Luisa Chocolatiere (Laguna Niguel)
Too Sweet (Newport Beach) – Chocolate dipped bananas and Balboa Bars

menchies-laguna-hills-best-yogurt

Frozen Yogurt
Ice Cap (Placentia)
Menchies (Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita & Corona) – fresh made waffle cones
Yogurtland (multiple Orange County locations)
Frozen Custard & Italian Ice
Confetti Italian Ice & Custard (Costa Mesa)

Frostbites Crepes & Frozen Delights (Cypress)
Joe’s Italian Ice (Anaheim)
Kups (Westminster)
Rita’s (multiple Orange County locations) – frozen ice with frozen custard
Stickland’s (Irvine)

Gelato
Eiswelt Gelato (Westminster)
Mochilato (Irvine) – Japanese fusion – gelato, mochi, macarons, shaved ice and more.

Eiswelt_Gelato

Shave Ice
Bahama Bucks (Huntington Beach)
Haole Boys Shave Ice (Huntington Beach)
Hula Girls Shave Ice (Huntington Beach) – fresh made syrups with no preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup

Hula_Girls_Shave_Ice_Huntington_Beach Oahu Shave Ice (Yorba Linda)
Snow 2 Go (Mission Viejo)
Snowy Village (Buena Park)
Sticky Fingers (Irvine)
Wiki Wiki Shave Ice (Tustin)

Popsicles
Dee-lite Distribution (Fullerton) – Wholesale to the public
Front Porch Pops (Santa Ana & Tustin)
Neveria La Flor De Mexico (Stanton) – yummy paletas
Pop Bar (Anaheim & Huntington Beach)
Paloma’s Paletas (Corona Del Mar)
best-popsicles-in-orange-county

Candy Stores
Balboa Candy Store (Newport Beach at the Balboa Fun Zone)
B.Candy Store (Corona Del Mar)

b_candy Marceline’s Confectionary ( Anaheim in Downtown Disney) – They have Disney treats!
Powell’s Sweet Shop (AlisoViejo)
Rocket Fizz (Irvine & San Clemente)

Pies and more
The Pie Hole (Orange)
Marie Callender’s (Multiple Orange County locations)

Coconut Cream Pie

Allergy-friendly Treats
Sensitive Sweets (Fountain Valley & San Clemente)

Unique & Specialty Treats
Bagels & Brew (Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest & Mission Viejo) – known for their rainbow unicorn bagels
Bagels and Brews Unicorn Bagels Cha2O (Fullerton) – Tea House, Java, Smoothies, Specialty drinks and more
Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up (Irvine)
7 Leaves Cafe (Cypress, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach & Irvine)
The LOOP (Westminster) – handcrafted churros
The_Loop_ChurrosWow!!!!! now that’s a lot of yumminess. have i missed any must-go places? let me know in the comments….

Discovering Northgate Market in Anaheim

Review of Northgate Market in Anaheimlast week, the boys and i were invited to the Grand Opening of Northgate Market in Anaheim on the corner of St. College and Lincoln. Northgate Markets are a chain of Mexican markets founded and run by the Gonzales Reynoso family who immigrated from Mexico. the first store was opened in 1980 in Anaheim on Anaheim boulevard. now their stores are located all over Southern California and include quality Hispanic foods including a meat department, bakery, tortilleria, and prepared foods, in addition to a sizable section of domestic and imported Latin American grocery goods.

Grand Opening of Northgate Market in Anaheimit’s been a long time since i have been to a Mexican market…mainly because there aren’t any located nearby, so its not convenient. but this Northgate Market is pretty close to me, so i can definitely make trips there more often. we had no idea what to expect…all of the specialty markets i have been to are usually smaller than a traditional grocery store, but i was amazed when i walked into this brand new Northgate Market. it is enormous…and even more impressive is its layout, food selections and quality.

everyone was super excited at the opening. i’ve never seen so many people waiting to get inside a grocery store. i can tell that this is going to be a favorite market in the area. to celebrate the Grand Opening, the first 300 shoppers got free groceries. there were also dancers and mariachi music. it was a very festive celebration.
Inside of Northgate Market in AnaheimBalloons at Northgate Market Grand OpeningNorthgate Market MariachiDancers at Northgate Marketthe produce was excellent, and it was fun for the boys to see fruits and veggies that we don’t usually see untraditional grocery stores. plus, there were lots of choices, including organic selections.Northgate Organic ProduceTropical Fruit at Northgate MarketNorthgate ChilisNorthgate ProduceNorthgate CactusNorthgate Limonscheck out some of the pictures we took on our shopping trip. so many great choices…it was really hard to decide what we were going to get. everything was so colorful and vibrant, and all of the samples we tried were great. plus the smell of the food cooking was unbelievable…yum!Read More…

I Tried HopSkipDrive Children’s Car Service

Safe Driving Service for Kids in Orange County

when i was contacted by HopSkipDrive to possibly try out their service and share it with my readers, i’d have to say, i was really hesitant at first. the idea of someone else picking up my child and driving them to a destination without my supervision put my mom nerves into gear. however, having three kiddies with three different schedules has been a real struggle at times. i can’t always find someone else to drive one of them while i take the others to their extracurricular activities. and how do i choose which kid gets to go, and which kid doesn’t? i’ve done my best to schedule things in a way that i can take them all myself, but it doesn’t always work. so i thought, HopSkipDrive could really be helpful on certain days of the week. especially on my wednesdays when the boys have swimming, water polo, dance class and Boy Scouts. i know that sounds like a lot, but three kids means a lot of different commitments. i know there are a lot of moms in my situation that could use a service like this, and that maybe it would be the answer to my crazy wednesdays. so, i decided that i really needed to try this service out.

HopSkipDrive is a car service for kids ages 6 and older who need to go when their parents can’t. it was created by three moms who understand the stress of driving kids to all of their activities, and the safety concerns parents have putting their children in someone else’s car.  it’s available in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco and East Bay.

CareDriverIOS

i was able to try the whole process for myself, and additionally, talk to one of the founders of HopSkipDrive, and also interview a driver so that i could become very familiar and knowledgeable about the company. i wanted to make sure it would be something that i would recommend…which means that i myself would have to be comfortable with the service.

How Does HopSkipDrive Work?

using the HopSkipDrive service was very simple. you download the app on your phone, and then you register your child via the app or online on the HopSkipDrive website. when you register, you can add locations, special instructions you need the CareDriver to know and also give your child a special security question that only you and your child know. once your child is registered, then you can start to schedule rides.

i scheduled a ride for my oldest, who is thirteen, to be picked up at my home and dropped off at swim practice at a local high school about 3 miles away. the morning of the scheduled ride, i received a confirmation email with the name of my CareDriver, her picture and a bio about her. she happened to be a local mom who homeschools her children who are about the same ages as my kids and lives in my same city. she looked like she could be one of my girlfriends…so i began to get more comfortable with the idea of using the HopSkipDrive car service.

when it came time for Jackson to be picked up, i got a knock on the door at the correct time. our CareDriver was there to pick him up. when you set up your child’s ride, you can specify whether you want the driver to knock on the door, just pull-up and wait, honk or text your child to let them know they are there.  since i wanted to learn more about HopSkipDrive, the company had scheduled some extra time for me to interview our driver so that i could get a feel of who are picking up our kids. i have to say that i was impressed with everything she told me. the screening process for the drivers is very thorough to make sure you are getting the safest of drivers. she told me everything she had to go through just to qualify – which included background checks, personal reference checks, vehicle safety checks and in person training. I also got to know her a little and found the she graduated the same year as me in the next high school over, we have mutual friends, her son is involved in the same activities as my son and she lives less than a mile away from me. i really felt that Jackson would be in good hands.

Hop Skip Drive Car Service for Kids in ORange County

before she left with Jackson, she told him his security word so that he knew she was the correct person to pick him up. it was a match, so Jackson was on his way. his driver made sure he was buckled up and ready to go. all cars used to drive the children have to be inspected for safety. and everything looked good to me. Teen Uber Sevicethe HopSkipDrive cars have these colored flags on them so that the kids know the correct car. but my driver told me that if your child is uncomfortable with having a car pull up with the flags, you can request for them to be removed in your notes for the driver. CareDrivers also will be wearing a bright orange HopSkipDrive t-shirt.Hop Skip Drive Flag1and then they we were off!

for the purpose of this post, i actually followed them to the next location so i could see for myself the entire process. of course, i would not normally follow them in my car….i would be able to follow them on their route via the HopSkipDrive phone app, where you can see them being tracked by GPS to the destination. drivers are not allowed to use their phone while driving, but they do text when they arrive for pick-up and when they drop-off your child to et you know they have made it.Hop Skip Drive Driver i followed along all the way to swim practice. our CareDriver made sure that Jackson was inside the pool gate before she left…per my instructions, and Jackson made it safely to practice. Orange County Kids Taxi Service everything went perfectly…even better than i imagined. i asked Jackson what he though about the experience, and he said it was great, the CareDriver was very nice and the he would be comfortable taking a ride with HopSkipDrive again.
Hop Skip Drive Car Uber Service for Kids in ORange Countyand best of all, i figured out a solution to my wednesday driving problem. now i can take the little ones to their dance class, and Jackson will still be able to get to his swim team and water polo practice by taking HopSkipDrive. all my children will get to attend their extra curricular activities. win win!
High School Swimming PoolJacks on Swim TeamOrange County Swim Team1

Facts about HopSkipDrive

not only did i interview my HopSkipDrive CareDriver, follow the whole process in person, but i also interviewed one of the three founders of HopSkipDrive so that i could get every question i had about the service answered. i really needed to be 100% comfortable having my child leave with someone other than myself or a family member. and i want to share some of the facts that i learned about HopSkipDrive and why i ultimately decided i would try it.

• Drivers are screened in person, receive background checks, their personal references are checked as well as their driving records. they are also finger printed and given in-person training. they receive more screening than a school bus driver.

• Each vehicle is inspected regularly by a licensed mechanic who certifies the vehicle has passed a 19-point inspection. CareDrivers are only permitted to drive the vehicle that passed inspection.

HopSkipDrive now offers carpooling as a way for parents to easily organize rides with other families while saving money. Just like your regular carpool, parents can invite other families to carpool with them. CareDrivers can make multiple stops, so parents can arrange for CareDrivers to pick up two friends from camp or school and bring them each to a different home, or pick up friends from their homes and take them to camp or school together.

• CareDrivers can text your child or yourself to get a hold of you or let you know they have arrived. but they do not have access to your phone number or information. all phone business is done through the HopSkipDrive system to keep your info private. and once your ride is over, the CareDrivers can no longer contact you.

• You can leave special instructions for your CareDrive on how or where to pick-up/drop-off your child.

• Your child should not go with a CareDriver that doesn’t know their special code word.

• You can follow your child’s route via the HopSkipDrive app which is also monitored by live customer support.

• No one 18 years or older, except for the driver, is allowed to ride in the car with your child.

• Yes, you can carpool or send multiple children.

• There are special protocols if there is an accident…although accidents are very very rare.

if you have any additional questions about HopSkipDrive, they have a whole archive of FAQ on their website. hop over to read them.
Hop Skip Drive Cars

so would i use HopSkipDrive again? yes. now that i have done my research into this service, i am comfortable having my oldest two children use it. there are time when us parents just can’t make our schedules work to get our kids where they need to be, so i am happy that i now have an option for when i get in a pickle.

if you would like to try out HopSkipDrive, you can! use the promo code “POPSICLE” to get your first ride free (up to $20)

Hop Skip Drive Safety

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts an opinions are 100% my own. I would only share this service if I would personally use it.}

Extreme Dinosaurs at Discovery Cube OC

Extreme Dinosaurs at Discovery Cube Orange Countyi’ve got a couple of dinosaur lovers at home who were really excited to hear about the new exhibit that has come to Discovery Cube OC. it’s called Extreme Dinosaurs, and it will be at the Cube from May 28th – September 5th, 2016.  of course we headed over to check it out a few weeks ago, and it didn’t disappoint. the life-sized animatronic dinosaurs were amazing and HUGE!!!! this wing of Discovery Cube OC has been transformed into naturalistic landscape with 17 fantastic animatronic dinosaurs that can roar, snarl, move their limbs and more.

Extreme Dinosaurs at Discovery CubeAwesome Dinosuar Exhibit at Discovery Cube

it was great to enjoy a fun afternoon at Discovery Cube OC. late afternoons mean smaller crowds, and most of the school groups have headed home, so we practically had the exhibit to ourselves. we were able to step into the prehistoric world and observe some of the most unique creatures that have ever walked the earth at the Extreme Dinosaurs exhibit.  it’s a very family-friendly exhibit that transports you back to the Mesozoic Era to showcase the world’s strangest dinosaurs with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along side full-scale skeletons and real and replica fossils.

Dinosaurs at Discovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube DinosaursDiscovery Cube Dinosaur FactsDinos at the Cube

the dinosaurs look so real, and the boys really enjoyed reading facts about each of them. some of the dinosaurs have buttons that make them move or make noises. the exhibition features some of the newest, bizarre dinosaur finds from the current “Golden Age” of paleontology, so it was fun to see some dinosaurs that we aren’t as familiar with.

Discovery Cube Robotic DinosaursTriceratops at Discovery CubeOrange County Dinosaurs

in addition to the life-size dinosaur animatronic models, there are also life-sized skeletons, a variety of real and replica fossils, the exhibition features interactive activities including a children’s dig site for young paleontologists to explore. there are also “Make Me Move” consoles that boy were able to  initiate movement of the animatronics, and hands-on learning areas that have touch panels and a Dinosaur Detective quiz. it’s all very educational….but very fun too!

Dinosaur Bones at Discovery CubeDinosaur Education at Discovery Science CenterInteractive Dinosaur Exhibit in Orange CountyLearn Paleontology at Discovery CubeLooking at the Dinosaur Exhibit at Discovery Cube

we really enjoyed the Extreme Dinosaur exhibit, and if your kids love dinosaurs, i recommend taking a trip to Discovery Cube OC before it is gone. there are also lots of other great exhibits to enjoy, especially with the expansion.

Discovery Cube Dinosaur Exhibit Review

we will definitely be taking another trip back to visit this guy….he was our favorite, and was even able to scare me for a second. the boys would love to see that again!T-Rex at Discovery Cuber