Friday, January 1, 2021

Best Parks for Big Kids

San Miguel Open Space

When I started the blog 5 years ago, I had a 1.5 year old and a not-quite 5 year old.  They were always happy to go to the park. Nowadays, they are 7 and 10--parks are not as exciting as they once were, but they still need to get out to run around (especially since parks are one of the things we can do these days.) What parks are good for bigger kids? These ones are 10 year old approved.

Santa Barbara
Alameda Park (Kid's World)
Bohnett Park
Chase Palm (Shipwreck Park) 

Noleta/Goleta
Wallis Park (Goleta Skatepark)

Monday, December 28, 2020

Nature Walks and Kid-Friendly Hikes

Carpinteria Bluff Preserve

I was asked to share over on Instagram for Santa Barbara Community Children's Ministry a couple times this year about focusing on what we can do, a conversation with my kids I had recently and this week, nature walks and kid friendly hikes. Here is the list of nature walks and hikes I mentioned there. 

Toddler Hikes (Nature Walks) 
Tucker's Grove (trail behind the playground)

Simple Hikes 
San Antonio Creek Trail at Tucker's Grove

Hikes for Older Kids (our To Do list)
Inspiration Point (off Tunnel Trail)

Monday, December 14, 2020

Snapshot Fall 2020

  


It has been such a weird year and I hope y'all are hanging in there. It is time for the fall snapshot! 

Favorite New Product: In place of the new product I love, these are a few of my favorite things....... (some are affiliate links but I only recommend what I love). 

Leaf Necklace
Tassel Necklace

Riding Boots

For me: Feeling frumpy at home, I have been trying to add accessories to my outfits. This tassel necklace is a favorite and so are these leaf necklaces. These riding boots were my favorite Christmas present from last year. 

For kids: Being at home means that we have had a few pajama days and days where hair brushing was skipped. Yikes. This combing cream is our favorite for taking care of tangles. We also upgraded the kids skateboards and scooters. It was totally worth the money. 

Combing Creme

Scooter



Skateboard


Balanced Life

For me: I have subscribed to the Balanced Life Pilates with Robin Long since 2017 and have done Pilates almost every day since school shut down. It is simple to find 15 minutes a day to spend time on my mat. 

Ipsy December Bag



Make Up Selections from November 2020


For me: In this strange year, I started to get the monthly Ispy bags which include makeup and beauty products to try. The products get better month by month as you review previous products.


Kids Cook Real Food

For the kids: This summer my kids learned cooking skill with Kids Cook Real Food . We will continue on over winter break. She also launched Kids Cook Solo designed for older kids to do almost entirely on their own! 

Life Hack: The research on gratitude indicates that it is good for physical and mental health as well as self esteem and even sleep. I have been trying to be more intentional about daily gratitude and hope to get a gratitude journal (like this one) off my wishlist for Christmas.  


Last Book I Finished: Circe is a story based on the Greek myth about the goddess Circe, daughter of Helios. She learns to use herbs and potions as a witch, getting herself exiled to an island for her work. Gods and people come and go through the generations. This time drags on (as it would if one were immortal, I suppose). Her life changes when Odysseus visits her island and changes the course of her life. I spent most of the story feeling like is was 2 stars with an unlikable character I had trouble caring about (although beautifully written). The story ends better than it stars though and I even came to like the character in the end. 


What we are eating today: BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad! Thanks to my friend Hillary for introducing me to this one. Now we eat all kinds of quinoa salad and I version of this Mediterranean Salad is one of my kids favorite meal (truth--I wouldn't even try to convince you).

Related Links:

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Holiday 2020


Of course many activities have been cancelled this year, but there are many things still happening! 

In place of the Snow Leopard Festival (at the Santa Barbara Zoo), the zoo will be decorated for all of December with places for holiday photos. Seasonal treats available for purchase. (Zoo temporarily closed 12/7)
While there is no Candy Cane train this year at the South Coast Railroad Museum, the train recently reopened and is doing rides from 12-4 on Saturday and Sunday. (SCRM is closed as of 12/11)


Lights Tour: the Trolley of Lights Tour is different this year, but still happening from December 8 to 21. The Rockstar Trolley is also doing tours from December 5 to 24 (12/9 no change on the website.) Create your own lights tour yourself)Check out the light show house on Carslie, generally up by first weekend in December. 
Lane Farms Christmas Tree Lot has farm animals, tractors and a corn mazeNovember 27 to December 20th 10am-8pm (12/9 no change on the website.)
Snow will fall at Paseo Nuevo daily every half hour from 5pm-7:30 (November 27-December 31, except Christmas) (12/9 no change on the website.) 
By Date:
(12/9 no change on the website.)


You can reserve a spot to visit Santa at La Cumbre Plaza and take socially distanced pictures December 4-6, 11-13, 18-20 and 24 (11am-7/8pm except Christmas eve). (12/16 website--Santa Reservations happening.)
Santa will come to Hollister Village on December 12 from 11am-2pm and will take socially distanced photos (photos are free and printed onsite). There will also be carolers and an opportunity to write Santa. (12/9 no change on the website.)
Santa will also be at Paseo Nuevo on November 28 and 29 as well as December 19 and 20 from 12pm-6pm. Santa reads virtually to kids on Thursday at 11am (12/9 no change on the website.) 
Did I miss anything? What are you favorite local holiday traditions? Please feel free to message me through Facebook, Instagram or on the blog! 
Other Activity Ideas:
Choose toys to pass on to other kids 
Toys for Tots
Make a paper chain Christmas countdown
Make ornaments, maybe this one
Make Christmas cards for family 
Make nuts or cookies for the neighbors, one possibility Persimmon Bread 
Gingerbread houses 
Jesse tree ornaments and readings
Make hot cocoa and listen to Christmas music
Christmas movies (Elf, Muppets Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Creature Comforts Christmas Special, Mickey's Christmas Carol, Nutcracker, Charlie Brown Christmas)
 
What are your favorite Christmas activities? Tell us in the comments here or on Facebook or Instagram

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Veteran's and Memorial Day Activities CO-VID Style

When I mentioned the other day the Veteran's Day was coming up, my 7 year old asked if we could go to that walk with the plates with names of people. I was surprised that she remembered it so vividly!  There are 2 spots that I take my kids on Memorial Day and/or Veteran's Day to remember local service people. 

I covered the Eling's Park Veterans Memorial Walk on a different post, but in summary . There are plaques for the different wars and those from Santa Barbara County who lost their lives. It is a level path less than a mile with plaques for each year of the Vietnam War and then plaques for every war. 

All Wars Memorial

Walking Path

Veteran's Plaque

A second quicker option is a drive to the World War II Memorial by the airport.  The memorial is dedicated to the aviators who trained at the Santa Barbara Airport. The turn off for the memorial is just before long term parking (they also refer to it as the cell phone lot). You can watch planes take off and land here. We once brought a picnic and caused airport security to sit in their truck just over the fence from us. A little known fact is that many of the streets around here are named after these aviators: David Love, William Moffett and James Fowler, for example. 

Turn at the Sign and Park

WWII Memorial

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Election Resources


Today I found a 2018 post on Facebook where people shared their favorite election resources. While it is too late for 2020, I wanted to create a post so these resources are here in the future! These were gathered from my Facebook friends, so if you see your favorite one missing, please let me know! 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Parks with Monkey Bars

 My kids are so excited about the playgrounds reopening. My 7 year old is especially excited about the monkey bars. She has been asking for monkey bars for months. For this list, I counted things that are monkey bar like including rings but not the sliding bars.

As a reminder, to use the playgrounds, children older than 2 should wear a face mask and there should be 6 feet in-between households. Each playground has a maximum limit on visitors and visits are expected to be limited to 30 minutes.


Santa Barbara 

Santa Barbara County
Tucker's Grove (Noleta)

Goleta (including Isla Vista)
Tecolote Park