Sunday, September 28, 2014

SeaWorld Spooktacular is Back!

Where can kids meet some fun and funny Halloween characters, pose for pictures with mesmerizing mermaids and trick-or-treat in a sea-inspired atmosphere? It’s all happening at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular®, where Halloween meets the sea. Also, kids can visit the park for free in October with the purchased of a full-priced adult admission. Don't forget SeaWorld offers free single day admission for active duty military members and up to 3 dependents.



This past weekend we were able to check out the festivities with a few other blogger families! Our morning began with a delicious breakfast of crepes, breakfast burritos, fresh fruit, and more! Executive Chef of SeaWorld San Diego, Axel Dirolf, always prepares great eats during our visits!







We then had some up-close interactions with a few creepy critters, just in time for Halloween!

DJ running away from the scary alligator

Cute little hedgehog

Owl



Porcupine
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular festivities are geared for kids 12 years and under, who are invited to come in costume and enjoy trick-or-treating and colorful costumed characters from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the following weekends in October.  



The hub of Halloween Spooktacular is Otto and Penelope’s Pumpkinfish Patch (on the lawn in front of Animal Connections), where kids can decorate cookies, paint pumpkins and meet a crazy cast of characters such as Colonel Cornelius Candy Corn, a spirited explorer accompanied by his female friend Lady Candy Corn. 


Also new this year are DJs Rock Candy and Cotton Candy, who get the party started and keep it going all day during Halloween Spooktacular, playing music and leading activities. Back by popular demand are Allure and Capri, beautiful mermaids that pose for photo ops; Goodie and Greta Gumdrop; and a silly School of Fish. 





Kids are encouraged to come in costume to trick or treat among 10 sea-themed stations. Trick-or-treat bags are provided! 




Thanks to our great friends at SeaWorld San Diego for a wonderful time at Spooktacular! Make sure your family doesn't miss the the great Halloween fun at SeaWorld

With our friend Sea World San Diego RP Rep, Kat
For more information, call (800) 257-4268, visit www.SeaWorldSanDiego.com, Instagram (@seaworldsandiego), Twitter (@ClydeSeaWorldSD) and Facebook (facebook.com/SeaWorldSanDiego)

Although we received complimentary admission and promotional items SeaWorld San Diego, all the opinions expressed  in this post are my own.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Recipe for Reimagination at the New California Pizza Kitchen

The perks of working at a school with a year round schedule is that when most are just starting school, I'm already on vacation! Yes, it's Fall Break and I'm totally loving it!

One of the things I love to do when on vacation (and every other day at that) is eat! I'm always up for a great meal! Thanks to California Pizza Kitchen, hubby and I were able to try the company’s Recipe for Reimagination at its Solana Beach, California location. Did you know that California Pizza Kitchen started in Solana Beach back in 1985? Great things start in San Diego county!
The restaurant has undergone a complete transformation, from the design and décor to the menu. The Solana Beach location is among the first in the country to roll out the new design and menu items, with other locations to follow.

“We are embracing our roots in culinary innovation and authenticity across the board, and every detail of our reimagination - including the design, food and service - is reflected in our Solana Beach restaurant,” says California Pizza Kitchen CEO GJ Hart. “We are excited to introduce this community to the future of our brand as we continue with this roll-out.”

The remodel incorporates flexible seating with fewer booths and more tables to comfortably accommodate a variety of diners and groups. New dishes, glassware and utensils further complement the upscale-yet-relaxed aesthetic. California’s environmental roots are evident in the use of unfinished reclaimed wood, and warm, inviting colors are used throughout. Elements such as a living herb wall inside the restaurant reflect a commitment to using fresh, local ingredients. The vibe in the restaurant was casual and very "SoCal"!

The staff was very excited to share the highlights of the new items on the menu. They were all very friendly, knowledgeable, and inspired with the new changes for CPK!

Here is hubby's Fire-Grilled Ribeye: A 12-oz. USDA choice ribeye grilled with housemade Pinot Noir sea salt and topped with creamy bleu cheese butter. Served with roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon-garlic arugula salad. It was tender, juicy, and everything a great steak should be!


I tried the Hearth-Roasted Halibut: Wild caught from the Aleutian Islands, roasted on a cedar plank with butternut squash farro and grilled asparagus. The flavors were rich and definitely made my tummy happy!


 Farmers Market Soup
 Fresh Strawberry Mango Cooler
We had a wonderful lunch with great food and the wonderful staff at CPK to make it an enjoyable experience overall! For more information on California Pizza Kitchen visit cpk.com. Follow them on Twitter @calpizzakitchen, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/californiapizzakitchen and stay connected through http://instagram.com/californiapizzakitchen (#newcpk).

Although we received this meal compliments of CPK, all the opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

San Diego Sand Sculpting Fun

It was a beautiful Labor Day weekend in San Diego to have the US San Sculpting Challenge right on our bay front. The annual event bring sand sculptors from all over the world to compete. The sculptures were awesome to see! The three dimensional features of the sculptures were amazing! Here are our boys checking out the cool designs!







Of course, our boys had to try their own hand at sand sculpting. Not as good as the pros, but good enough!



We even got to meet and greet the Foster Farms chicken! Fun!

We hope your Labor Day Weekend was filled with fun, just like ours!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Beautiful Pink Ombré Baby Shower Cake

This past weekend I was honored to be invited to a girlfriend's baby shower. I've known my friend Chrstine since the first grade! Growing up we giggled over boys, cried over broken hearts, and were typical teens hanging out together at the mall. We even carpooled during middle school asking her grandpa to park a block away from the school to save us from embarrassment. Oh pre-teen days! 

We have so many memories and continue to make more.  It's so fun to see our own kids who are elementary school age now! Life definitely does come full-circle! She has two little boys and is now expecting baby girl Casey, yay!


At the baby shower, I was wowed by this beautiful pink ombré baby shower cake and dainty desserts made by http://www.cakedreamsandcookiewishes.com/. I shared a while back a Peanuts themed cake made by the same lady. She does such a great job! 

Enjoy the eye candy and give her a call for your cake and desserts!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Accept The #icebucketchallenge #alsicebucketchallenge To #strikeoutals

Just like you, my social media feeds are filled with people doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Celebrities, friends, and family have all taken on the challenge. Participants are encouraged to donate to the ALS Association  and/or take the ice bucket challenge.

Here's Mashable's  quick video that explains ALS and the ice bucket challenge:



I knew sooner or later someone would call me out! Today it happened! Thanks to the Godmother of my son and long-time friend, Michelle, I've accepted the #ALSIceBucketChallenge!

I jumped on the ALS Association website and made my donation. It's not much but every little bit counts!


I was then inspired by Patrick Stewart's response to the Ice Bucket Challenge:


So, here is my video calling out my cousins Tara, Carol, and Sheena to donate to ALS or take the ice bucket challenge!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Challenges of Parenting

It was about an hour before my organ lesson. I really didn't want to practice the organ that day. I was whining inside my head, making up a million excuses why not do participate in the lesson that day.

my 7 year-old self decided I was going to play sick. I went to my room, and pretended I was asleep. A few minutes before my lesson, my mom was calling out for me and I didn't respond. She found me in my bed "asleep".

"Are you ok?" she asked. I responded with a moan and "I don't feel good". She felt my head, stroked my hair, then left my room. A few minutes later, the door bell rang and I heard my mom and organ teacher talking about canceling the lesson because I wasn't feeling well. They both came into my room, talking over me in my bed. I remember peeking a look and seeing the heads of my mom and teacher looking at me. A few more words were exchanged and they left my room.

Until today, I'm not sure if my mom really believed I was sick. But that day was the beginning my my whining and complaining about my organ lessons. I don't really remember if I enjoyed playing the organ or not. I just remember agonizing over the lessons and practice.

Today, I'm envious of my peers who can play a musical instrument and I think to myself, "I wish I had just stuck with my lessons". I even think of my parents who succumbed to my whining and let me give up on my lessons. My husband didn't enjoy his piano lessons as a kid either so he quit also.

Life has come full-circle because now my 6 year old Jelo is in his second year of piano lessons. Last winter, he too started the whining about lessons and practice so we took a break from piano lessons during the holidays. I didn't want to give it up completely. I gave Jelo, and me, the chance to step away from the lessons for a bit and see if we really wanted to stick with it. When the new year came, I asked him "Do you really want to quit piano?". I was surprised when his answer was "No, I want to play piano again".



Thus, the lessons picked back up again. During the actual lessons with his piano teacher, Jelo is pleasant and the whining is absent. But the whining and complaining is non-stop when sitting with me or dad during practice. The frustration over the piano keyboard has slowly increased over the past few months. Every once in a while I'd ask Jelo again, "Do you want to quit piano?" The answer was always "No."

This past week I reached my limit with the battle of sitting with Jelo to get him to practice his piano. The stress of hearing him whine and complain was more than I want to deal with with the dozens of other stressful things I deal with during the day.

One last time, I asked Jelo "Do you really want to quit piano? If you really don't like it, you can quit". Again I was surprised with his answer, "I want to keep playing piano but when it gets hard, I want to quit".  I gave him a big hug and had the "there are lots of difficult things you'll deal with in life, but we don't quit" talk. He attentively listened and returning my hug.

I love my son so wanting to stick with his piano lessons. I love him even more for admitting that its difficult for him. I have to admit, this has been the most challenging part of being a parent for me thus far. I've found that this will be the first of many situations like this. I pray that which each challenging situation growing up, he'll find it within himself to keep going. I pray that I'll be the best parent I can be to support him during thoue tough times.

I hope that Jelo will take my advice, that I didn't from my parents, the piano lessons "will all be worth it in the end".