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Spring Fling! Tween Flower Craft For Girls

My daughter created this fun spring flower craft for tweens. She says she was inspired by youtuber Eva of My Life is Eva. What I love about this is that she picked it out herself and from vision to completion, it's all her own. I asked if I could share it here and she said yes. So if you want to make one of these major jar flower vases, you'll need a few craft supplies.

Here's what you'll need:
1 mason jar
glass bead or pebbles
decorative craft flowers
glue gun (lower heat if possible)
silk flowers

Here's how:
Preheat your glue gun
Remove the inner lid from the jar, leaving the metal ring on top
Using the glue gun, put a healthy portion of glue on the back of the craft flowers and adhere to the glass mason jar. 
Fill the mason jar with your choice of glass beads. to help weigh it down.
Add your choice of silk flowers.
And you are done!

Alternatively. you can add a tea light candle to the jar instead of silk flowers 
for a fun and easy major jar votive candle holder.

Have fun crafting!


Release Your Inner Ninja at Legoland Califonia's Ninjago World!

If you are planning a family vacation to Legoland California this year, you are going to love the all new Ninjago World opening May 5th. The kids and I attended a Ninjago media preview day that included ninjas, a drum core confetti and smoke! It was spectacular.

A photo posted by Michelle S (@bebravekeepgoing) on

Ninjago The Ride
Inside Legoland's newest endeavor, Ninjago World, you will be able to release your inner ninja on Ninjago The Ride. This 4D epic interactive experience has you battling along side Ninjago heroes to defeat the skeletons, ghosts, and snakes from the beloved television series and Lego toys. Riders uses their best Ninja moves to slay the bad guys and become a Master of Spinjitzu. Ninjago The Ride is a truly unique encounter with it's use of maestro technology. No other Southern California theme park (as well as North America) has this technology.

Here's an almost 180 degree view of Ninjago World that I shot so you can see what it looks like (note: this was later in the day after most of the guests had left the area).

Even the queue to line up for the Ninjago ride is rad.

Here's what it looks like as you embark throughout the ride. It was so much fun, the kiddos and I loved it! 

Ninja Kitchen
You can savor the Asian "street style" cuisine at the Ninja Kitchen which serves delicious Bahn Mi and Bao Buns (pictured below). They were so tasty and definitely not your average theme park food.

Kai's Spinners. 
Spin like the Masters of Spinjitzu and practice your stealth ninja climbing in the outdoor play area. This is perfect for families with very young children who need to wait while older siblings ride the ride.

Temple Build.
Build your own Ninjago inspired creations at a building station at the base of an epic Ninjago Monastery Temple Lego model. Guess what? Over 1,000,000,000 Legos were used to create all of the Lego models throughout Ninjago World at Legoland California.

Important to know: The intense graphics and nature of the Ninjago ride may not be suitable for young children. Legoland California recommends that children above the age of 4


Our Visit To Freeflight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in San Diego

We happened upon the FreeFlight Tropical Bird Sanctuary a little by accident, but I am so glad we did! 

bird sanctuary in san diego

Freeflight Exotic Bird Sanctuary is located in Del Mar and a sanctuary, day boarding facility and shelter for tropical birds in the local San Diego area.

It's a great vacation activity if you are looking for something to do while on vacation in Sn Diego or Del Mar.

For $5 admission for adults (children under 13 and under are $2), you can observe, feed and interact with a wide variety of tropical birds.

The Tropical Bird Sanctuary in Del Mar/San Diego is open 7 days a week from 10am-4pm.
Hot tip! Go at the beginning of the day when the birds have not been around many people. They will be more responsive to being held and touched. 

For 25 to 50 cents you can get a scoop of diced fruit and veggies to feed the birds. 
And there were several "docents" and staff on hand to guide, facilitate and share their knowledge of the birds. We learned that tropical birds are intensely social and intuitive amend other things.

The Blue and Gold Macaw.

Scarlett or Red Macaw

Among the many tropical birds: African grey parrot, blue and gold and scarlett macaw, senegal parrot, triton cockatoo and more!

We fed many of the exotic birds at Freeflight. I loved that there was definitely a culture of keeping the birds best interests as the first priority. Some are in cages and some are on perches. On the particular day we went, the Senegal Parrots were the most interactive. 

 "Sonny" was a visiting Senegal parrot who loved to be pet like a cat! It was my favorite part of our experience!

Some helpful tips and hints for your visit to the Exotic Bird Sanctuary with Kids:

  • There is no public restroom, so if you have little ones who need to use the bathroom, you might consider having them use the restroom before you go.
  • Bring tons of change to feed the birds. Save up your quarters to feed these majestic feathered friends.
  • The Freeflight Bird Sanctuary is located on Jimmy Durante Blvd in Del Mar, down the street (south) from the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds and my suggestion is to not visit during peak race or fair season as it will be quite busy.
  • Your child can become a "junior docent", visit the Freeflight website for more info.
  • It can get very very loud in the yard when the birds get vocal, so if you have sensory sensitive or special needs children, be aware. My son was not wearing his hearing aids, so it didn't bother him.
  • For more info on Freeflight, be sure to visit their website at www.freeflightbirds.org

We hope you enjoy Freeflight as much as we do!


Visiting San Diego Botanic Garden With Kids

Have you ever wondered if a botanic garden could be fun for kids? One of Southern California and San Diego's lushest botanic gardens is located in in the beachy seaside suburb of Encinitas, California. 

The San Diego Botanic Garden is home to more than 4,000 varieties of plants and flowers. We have been several times over the years and I always ooh and ahh over the gorgeous landscape and abundance and depth of rich color. 

One of the reasons we love the San Diego Botanic Garden is how much they cater to the community's  future little horticulturists. Whether it's traversing the sweeping grounds with a curious eye, exploring the Hamilton Children's Garden, or visiting neighboring Seeds of Wonder, there is so much for children to do at the SD Botanic Gardens! You can see below how we spotted a lizard quietly resting on the curb.

I had to get a photo of the kids on the same bench that they sat on 6 years ago.

The Hamilton Children's Garden is full of nooks and crannies to explore at every turn. As you enter this colorful mosaic jester sculpture greets you.

The crown jewel of the Hamilton Children's Garden is this spectacular epic tree house that children can climb on, in, and atop.

Here are the areas in the Hamilton Children's Garden 
that your kids will love to explore:

Epic two story "living tree house"
Musical instruments in the music garden
Babbling brook for water play
Authentic interactive sun dial
Hop scotch
Alphabet garden
Large wooden building blocks
foam building blocks
Picnic tables, shade and benches

Membership to the San Diego Botanic Garden is reciprocal too! Membership gains you access to many other Southern California area gardens.

The kids playing in the music garden!

The water feature was full of toddlers when we were there and I had to wait to even get a shot with no kiddos in it.

The alphabet garden has a plant for every letter of the alphabet. I personally love this and can't wait to take my nieces and nephews to discover this space.

Did I mention the tree house is awesome? My kids spent a majority of their time playing in the tree house. 

San Diego Botanic Garden
Open 9am-5pm 364 days a year

So, whether you are a san diego local or traveling to the area from out of town, the San Diego Botanic Garden is an interactive outdoor play space and garden that kids (and parents) will love!

*This is not a sponsored post. We have a reciprocal membership to the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park.


Boysenberry Chipotle Sauce Over Brie Cheese And Whole Wheat Crackers

Boysenberry Chipotle Sauce Over Brie Cheese is such a delectable combination. And it makes for a simple and crowd pleasing appetizer.

The Boysenberry sauce we use is from Berry Market (located in the shops outside of Knott's Berry Farm, but also available for purchase online.

I may or may not have eaten by itself. ;-)

You can also mix it into your favorite mayonnaise to add as a spread to sandwiches!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!