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Vista Strawberry Festival is almost here!

There is so much to see, taste and do at the Annual Vista Strawberry Festival. I've written about our love for the festival before. You can check that out here. We go every year. It's one of the can't miss local events. It is so much fun! Did you know that the City of Vista was once the "Strawberry Capital of the World" and San Diego County's only celebration of the Strawberry? This year, they are expecting over 95,000 people in a attendance!  The Strawberry Festival is put on by the Vista Chamber of Commerce. It is a wonderful day where the community comes together and Vistans share their great city with others. The 2017 Vista Strawberry Festival is Sunday May 28th.

The streets of Downtown Vista, CA transform bringing you entertainment, activities, food, and community booths. There's a strawberry pie eating contest, a runner's costume contest, Children's costume contest, "Strawberry Idol" singing contest, baking contest,  kid's zone, amusement ride zone, beer garden for adults, and so much more! 

Here are our top tips and what to see and do at the Festival!
Vista Strawberry Run:
There inaugural event of every Vista Strawberry Festival is the Vista Strawberry Run. There's a 10k, 5k, and a Kid's 1 mile race. Our family LOVES to run. I'm more of a walker. (But I still love to get out there on the streets. This year, I am the family photographer at all the races. ;-)

Kid's Zone:

For families, the Kids Zone is where it's at! There are 2 Kids Zones.

Kids Zone #1 is all Carnival Rides and requires purchase of a booklet of tickets. There's a Ferris Wheel, Slide, Bunjee Jumper, and more! It's located on

Kids Zone #2

Food Court and Beer Garden

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Kabobs, so good!

Hunter Steakhouse booth in the food court! 

 Strawberry flavored popcorn!

Here's the essential info:

What: Vista Strawberry Festival & Strawberry 5K, 10K, & Kid's Run
When: Sunday, May 28th, 2017 (The last Sunday in May every year)
Where: Downtown/Old Town City of Vista (Strawberry Run on 110 Citrus Ave) 
How much: FREE to the Public! (Bring some spending money for the Kid's Zone and various eats)

Visit the Vista Strawberry Festival website to register for the Strawberry Run and for details on all the festival activities.

Here are some tips from our experience at the Vista Strawberry Festival:
  • Take the Sprinter train if possible. Parking downtown can be a struggle and the Sprinter drops off right across from the Vista Village and it's a short block or so walk to all the fun.
  • Bring a little spending money. Whether you want to sample some of the strawberry inspired treats and delicious food, enter the beer garden, or purchase some locally grown fresh berries, you want to be sure to be prepared. 
  • Kid's Zone #1 is open Friday night through Sunday night.
  • The best time to go to the Vista Strawberry Festival is early in the morning. 
See you there!

* Special thanks to the Strawberry Festival for providing our family 2 tickets to the Strawberry Run.


Five Podcasts For Curious Kids

podcasts for kids

My family and I are addicted to listening to podcasts, specifically podcasts for kids and families. If you have kids that are always asking “Why?” or pepper you with seemingly random questions about how stuff works…then podcasts just might be for you and yours. We love them for a variety of reasons. They are great for long car rides, they get the kids off their screens and engaged. They are fun to talk about together as a family and the ones we’ve found are both entertaining and educational.  Here are the podcasts we love in no particular order.

Host Molly along with producer Marc and writer Sanden encourage kids to turn on their brains to the wonders of science and engage in curious thinking about subjects like "Why is the ocean salty?" and "Do we all see the same colors?" They interview a variety of super smart and interesting guests and their creative take on the podcast has my kids begging to listen to the next episode. Brains On! is operated by the American Media Network and Minnesota Public Radio. Don't have an iPod or MP3 device? You can listen online to Brains On! via Soundcloud 

Kid's stuff podcast explores the process behind today's creatives and what goes into, you guessed it, making stuff for kids. Mike Bradecich brings his passion for arts and entertainment to the podcast. Whether you are a parent, kid or you just prefer kid-friendly content...you will love the behind the scenes approach. We loved the recent episode interviewing Laurie Berkner. She's one of our absolute favorites! www.kidstuffpodcast.com

Dream Big Podcast
7 year old Eva Karpman inspires listeners to Dream Big in their lives. She interviews a variety of guests, including interviewing guests like John Bergman of the popular “Teach Yourself Anything” YouTube Channel. 

But Why? 
With subjects like “Are yawns really contagious?” and “Why do your fingers and toes turn wrinkly in the tub?”, this podcast tackles kids most yearning and unique questions. It’s led by kids, for kids. Kids can even can submit their own questions! It's produced in partnership with NPR and Vermont Public Radio. Visit NPR to learn a little more.

This science podcast for kids is great for the whole family! Hosts Marshall and Lindsay believe that the more kids can learn about science, the better off our world will be! They believe science should be fun and about the process! Tumble was listed as "Best of iTunes" in 2016. http://www.sciencepodcastforkids.com

Hope you will check them out and get inspired to be more curious about the world around you!

podcasts for curious kids


Sweet and Simple Baby Jesus Ornament

My kids have made so many cute baby jesus crafts for Christmas over the years. Each one holds a special place in my heart. So when it came time to make a Christmas ornament this year, I wanted to think up something a little unique - or as unique as possible. When I was little, I made an ornament a little tiny toy baby inside and walnut shell and covered it with a little scrap of cloth. That's the inspiration for this year's baby jesus ornament.  

Here's how you and your kids can make their own sweet and simple baby jesus ornament:

Supplies you will need:
Brown card stock paper sized 5x7
Scissors or paper cutter
Hole punch or "crop-a-dile" crop-a-dile (affiliate link)
2 brads 
1 cotton ball
Several inches of string or fishing line
1 small peg doll (affiliate link) or wood bead 
1 small scrap of cloth
1 gold star beads (affiliate link)

Directions to make a baby jesus ornament for kids:
  1. Start by cutting your brown paper into 1/2 thick, 5 inch long strips. 
  2. Hole punch at each end. I used a "crop-a-file" for this step. While not necessary, it did make it faster. If you are making these with a sunday school or class, you can easily have the strips pre-cut and pre-punched.
  3. Next, fasten both hole-punched ends with a brad.
  4. At this point you may also want to add some string to the outside edge of one of the brads, to create a little place for it to hang from. 

5. Starting at one end, gently fan out the strips. It should start to curve outward until they make a semi-circle.

It should look like this. This is the manger.

Oops! forgot to add the string to the top first! 

6. Pull apart the cotton ball a little, thinning it out just enough to make a little bed to 
7. Using liquid school glue or your adhesive of choice, glue the cotton ball inside the manger.

8. Next wrap or swaddle a peg doll tightly with some scrap cloth, securing the cloth with some glue or a small safety pin. Safety pin not advised for kids under four.

If your peg doll is too light because well, baby jesus wasn't white, you can make your peg doll darker by tea-staining or painting the baby's head with thinned brown paint. We tried both and went with the brown paint.

 9. Lastly, hang a star bead from the inside top of the manger, hooking it under the ends of the brad. secure with glue as desired.

 That's it! Hang your baby jesus ornament on your Christmas tree.



9 Fun and Interesting Reindeer Facts

Did you know that Reindeer have beards? Yep, they do! My family and I learned all about Reindeer last night at the holiday Christmas celebration at SeaWorld San Diego. It's all they could talk about all the way home. Here are some more fun and interesting facts about reindeer from the caretakers inside Santa's Village at Seaworld San Diego.
  • Reindeer are part of the caribou family of mammals.
  • Reindeer are herbivores and eat a variety of vegetation including pine branches, moss and wild mushrooms.
  • Reindeer have "beards" of tufts of thick hair that protect their neck from the cold.
  • The hair on a reindeer's body is hollow, which helps with insulation.
  • Reindeers have furry noses. This helps protect their nose from the cold. If their nose was wet like a regular deer, it would freeze.
  • Reindeers hooves click when they walk, this helps them find their way back to their herd and where the Christmas song line "Up on the housetop, click, click, click" comes from.
  • Reindeers shed their antlers every year and it doesn't hurt them.
  • Reindeer antlers are made of boney calcium rice substance, but they are missing the marrow that is found in mammal bones inside the body. 
  • Reindeer are quit docile animals and can be trained to come when called.

Thanks to our friends at SeaWorld San Diego for the sneak peek of all the fun that can be had at the San Diego theme park over the Christmas season including visiting the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolf!


Our Favorite Christmas Movies on Netflix

Our family loves Christmas movies. We try and sit down together and watch a fun Christmas movie at least once a week during the holiday season. We snuggle up with a blanket, popcorn, and usually a streaming movie. Here are our favorite Christmas movies on Netflix streaming.

White Christmas (G) - This old time favorite from the 1950's is considered a classic. Two WWII buddies fall for two sisters and enust the help of their friends to honor their former commanding officer. Starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Danny Kay.

Miracle on 34th Street (G) - This charming reboot of the 1947 classic is a heart warmer. When Starring Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott and a young Mara Wilson. Wilson as Susan and Richard Attenborough as Santa Claus steal the show.

Christmas With the Kranks (PG) - Tim Allen and Jamie Curtis in a hilarious take on what happens when Mr . and Mrs. Krank attempt to skip Christmas. We haven't watched this in a while, not sure if it is suitable for very young ones - but probably good for preteens and up.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas (G) - Kelsey Grammar narrates this modern Disney classic. The Gift of the Magi with a Mickey spin and two other stories that a perfect for kids and adults who love Disney.

Journey to The Christmas Star (G) - This sweet and little known Norwegian christmas movie follows a young 14 year old girl named sonja as she seeks to find a missing princess and along the way finds herself.

Snow Day (PG) - What happens when the town shuts down for a snow day and all the trouble kids can get into along the way. We haven't seen this one yet, but we are adding it to our Christmas movie list for this year.

Joseph and Mary (TV-PG) - A little bit of twist on the nativity Christmas story in this faith-based Christmas starring Kevin Sorbo.

While You Were Sleeping: What happens when Sandra Bullock saves a man after he hits his head on the subway tracks. She falls in love of course. Not your typical Christmas movie, but a great rom com.

Did I miss any of your favorite Christmas movies on Netflix? Which ones would you add to this list?