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It’s a Waterfront Park Kinda Weekend

If you’ve never been to downtown San Diego’s Waterfront Park with your kids, this is the perfect weekend to pack some snacks, your picnic blanket and head on down to 1600 Pacific Highway. The park hosts a number of popular events throughout the year, and two family favorites — summer movies in the park and the Hullabaloo at the Waterfront — will happen this weekend.


The park is large with a variety of play structures.


There are no shade structures, but there is the lovely water play feature. Since the park uses 100% recycled water, the splash area is open daily from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.


This Friday, May 26th, the Summer Movies in the Park series presents Moana on the big screen, right next to San Diego Bay. Pre-movie activities will begin at 5 p.m., and the film will start at sundown. Concessions are available, and, in addition to metered street parking, there is an underground parking garage below the park that charges $10.



This Sunday, May 28th,  Hullabaloo Band will kick off it’s summer Waterfront concert series. Pre-concert activities offered by Soccer Shots, Children’s Physicians Medical Group, The Sharing Exchange and Aqua Pros will begin at 5, and the music starts at 6 p.m.


Bring a picnic dinner or grab something from the on-site snack shack. Bonus! The metered street parking spot are free on Sundays and holidays.



The Waterfront Park is great to visit anytime of year, but if you like to pair your park play with music or movies, take note:

Hullabaloo at the Waterfront will happen on the last Sunday of each month:

June 25th, July 30th, August 27th  & September 24th.

Movies in the park dates include:

June 16th (Secret Life of Pets), July 14th (Lilo & Stitch), August 18th (Finding Dory),

and September 3rd (Pirates of the Caribbean; the Curse of the Black Pearl).


Say What?

This is (sadly) pretty common … a police helicopter flying around my neighborhood announcing something that I can’t quite make out.

I sat in my backyard for quite awhile marveling at how impossible it was to understand what they were warning me about. And then I went on, plugged in our zip code, and saw this alert:


Nixle is an open communication forum that connects public safety, municipalities, schools, businesses and the communities they serve. Moms like us can find out what our first responders are up to by using the free Nixle website and social media, signing up for texts, emails and voice messages, or using the Nixle mobile app.

Visit for more information and to start receiving alerts for your community.


What’s Cookin’ ?


I bet your Mother’s Day wish list included one thing you DID NOT want to do . . . cook!

Even if you enjoy it, cooking for a family can be a pain. I guess that’s why meal kits– prepped dinner ingredients shipped to your home in chilled boxes– have become so popular. There are at least 10 of them these days.

But when I’m craving a pre-assembled dinner that I can whip up in minutes, I just head down to my locally owned Dream Dinners kitchen. With six San Diego locations, Dream Dinners is the original meal prep solution. I enjoy meeting a friend and maybe enjoying a glass of wine while we chat and assemble our meals together. I like supporting a fellow San Diego mom and her small business. But, most of all, I like that I have healthy and yummy meals ready to go on our busiest nights thanks to Dream Dinners!

If you’re in need of some help in the kitchen, please enter here for your chance to win 3 COMPLIMENTARY Dream Dinners like these from the May menu. For your chance to win the 3 meal sampler, simply comment below with your favorite childhood meal.

Another option, of course, is to order from the ever-growing list of mail-order meal kit companies. You won’t be supporting a locally owned business, but you can find good introductory offers on meals that are shipped to your home. Some cater to special dietary restrictions, others have famous chefs as their partners.

Here are some that I found along with their elevator pitches . . .

Martha & Marly Spoon – Marley Spoon is making it easier to cook the food you want to eat. We bring together seasonal ingredients, simple, delicious recipes, and make it easy so you can enjoy the fun part – cooking.

Sun Basket – We deliver fresh ingredients and delicious recipes each week. Skip the grocery store and try something new. Former head chef of the James Beard award–winning The Slanted Door restaurant, Sun Basket’s Justine Kelly works closely with farmers to bring the freshest seasonal ingredients to your kitchen.

Terra’s Kitchen – Simple, healthy cooking with pre-cut ingredients. Freshness guaranteed. Mike McDevitt, [Terra’s Kitchen] founder and chief executive, started the company after becoming a father and deciding that he wanted his child to have a dinner table experience like the one he had growing up.

Gobble – Fresh food. Fully prepped and ready to cook. TOTALLY FLEXIBLE. What you want, when you want it, delivered to your door.

Freshly – You pick your meals from our constantly rotating weekly menu of more than 30 different gluten-free options. All of your meals are prepared and cooked by our chefs and delivered fresh — never frozen.

Blue Apron – Select from our 2-Person or Family plans. Tell us your dietary preferences and we’ll personalize the menus you receive. Get your delivery when it’s convenient for you. You may skip or cancel at any time.

Hello Fresh – Customize your weekly menu by selecting from an array of chef-curated recipes. Enjoy seasonal, fresh ingredients delivered straight to your doorstep.

Green Chef – Family dinner victories twice a week. Fresh, organic ingredients. Wholesome, chef-crafted recipes. Right at your doorstep.

Plated – Skip the shopping. Make your groceries come to you. Spend your time where it matters. Peak-season produce, meats raised without antibiotics, and artisanal specialty items will be waiting with fun-to-follow recipes so you can get cooking sooner.

Munchery – Our membership model lets us skip standard mark-ups, so we deliver chef-crafted meals at prices significantly lower than similar dishes at restaurants. Meals arrive on your schedule and chilled, so they stay fresh and you can heat them up when you’re ready to eat. Cooking kits are ready in about 15 minutes.

If you have a favorite meal kit company, do share with our readers!



Considering a Computer Camp For Your Child? Try iD Tech Camps

Our 9-year-old got a Kano computer kit last Christmas and had so much fun building and programming it. I was surprised how adept he was given that Gage has never had a computer or tech class. It certainly makes a mom wonder what her math and science-oriented kid could achieve with a little help.

iD Tech will be in San Diego this summer for its 18th year, offering kids like mine computer camps and courses for ages 6-18 in coding, game design, VR, robotics, engineering, 3D printing, and more. They recruit top talent from universities like Caltech, RIT and Stanford who work with students in an 8:1 student-to-instructor ratio.

The project-based curriculum means kids learn by doing. Students work hands-on with industry-standard hardware and software, complete a final project and create an online portfolio.

Located on more than 150 college campuses in the U.S., iD Tech’s San Diego camps will take place on the campuses of USD, UCSD and Cal State San Marcos this summer.

Young students like my son will build valuable STEM skills in Mini Camp. Older kids will kick-start their dream jobs & gain a competitive edge for college!

Mom’s Guide readers can use promo code: SDTECH17 to save $75 off Tech Camp and $30 off Mini Camp

Included with tuition:

8:1 student-to-instructor ratio (guaranteed)
Free flex hours at check-in and pick-up
Diploma with transcript and instructor insights
Final project and software discounts
Custom iD Tech t-shirt, H2O bottle
Outdoor time, campus tours (most locations)
Gaming tournaments
Access to online curriculum (iD Game Plan)

For more information about iD Tech’s programs for students ages 7-18, visit idtech.comAdditional information about iD Tech Mini for ages 6-9 can be found here.

Brunch Giveaway for Mother’s Day

Have you made your Mother’s Day plans yet? If a delicious yet laid-back brunch is on your wish list, may I suggest the movie theater?

Um, what?

Yes! San Diego’s newest luxury cinema group is also a fabulous dining destination.  THE LOT in Point Loma and La Jolla are high energy social hubs for craft coffee, artisan pastries, elevated cuisine, premium spirits and sophisticated wines. And, no, you won’t be sitting in a movie theater (although they do serve delicious foods and beverages in the theater as well!)

I’m super excited to be able to treat one lucky Mom’s Guide reader to her choice of fabulous Mother’s Day brunch at either THE LOT La Jolla or THE LOT Point Loma. Check out these incredible menus, then leave a comment with which item you’re craving for your chance to win. (mini brioche cinnamon rolls are sounding mighty tasty!)

Already have plans for Mother’s Day? You can still enter for your chance to win a future Sunday brunch at THE LOT.  This prize is for a family of four to dine for free at THE LOT during Mother’s Day or a different Sunday brunch of the winner’s choosing. One reader will be randomly selected on Thursday. Good luck (& happy day to you mommy!)


It’s County Fair Time

We have always had a blast at the County Fair — when the kids were little and now that they’re a little older. At 9 & 11, my kids can navigate crowds on their own two feet, they don’t need naps, they are open to trying some of the interesting fair foods, and they are old enough to soak in everything the fair has to offer.

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But no matter the age, there’s something for everyone at the Fair. If you’re interested in saving a few bucks, I believe the Costco County Fair Savings Pack is the best deal around. Especially now that it’s on sale for only $64.99 (through May 21st).

Here’s what we do at the fair to get the most out of the day while keeping expenses low(ish)….

  • Limit our time at the rides and games section of the fair. There are 50 ride tickets in the Costco San Diego County Fair Savings Pack, and when we run out, we move on. Each ride will take between 3 and 6 tickets and, really, there is SO MUCH MORE TO DO that is fun and free.

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  • Bring in our own snacks and drinks. Yes, this is totally allowed and will save you a lot. Of course, it’s great to try some fair food. Use the savings book included in your savings pack to help make the most of your fair food purchases!
  • Visit the “Creative Youth” exhibits. San Diego students enter their art, photography and even their LEGO creations to be judged and displayed. It’s awesome!

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Whatever you do at the fair, you will more than likely leave feeling like you didn’t get to do it all! Don’t worry, the fair is open June 2nd through July 4th, and there’s always next year. 😉

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It’s Summer Movie Season!


If you are looking for free, relaxed family fun, look no further than San Diego Summer Movies in the Park. The 2017 schedule is out, and we are only a little more than a week away from the first event! A total of 137 movies will be shown county-wide every weekend between May 20th and October 28th.

Some of the more popular titles include:

Moana, playing at the downtown Waterfront Park on May 28th, at Pine Valley park on June 9th, in Carmel Valley at Ocean Air park on July 14th and at Berry Street Park in Lemon Grove also on July 14th. (and lots of other dates throughout the summer!)

Secret Life of Pets, playing on June 16th at the Waterfront Park, in Flynn Springs park in El Cajon, and at Scripps Ranch Community park.

Finding Dory, the featured “dive in movie” on July 15 at both the La Mesa Municipal Pool and the Poway Swim Center.

Boss Baby, Sing, the LEGO Batman Movie and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, are a few of the other new releases that your family can enjoy for free, from the comfort of your picnic blanket in city and county parks this summer.

Below is the full schedule, but for an easier-to-read monthly calendar, visit

Pink Eye: Why you shouldn’t worry

Thank you Dr. Jaime Friedman, M.D., F.A.A.P., for contributing this article and helping guide San Diego moms through their pediatric health concerns.

photo credit: CPMG San Diego

If you have a young child, especially one in daycare or preschool, you have probably had some type of experience with conjunctivitis, otherwise known as pink eye.  Either your child has had it, you’ve received the dreaded notification that it is going around the class or you have unfortunately had it yourself.  Pink eye is so common that it is estimated to affect 3 million people yearly, according to the National Institutes of Health.  The good news is, pink eye is typically self limited and not dangerous.  So take a deep breath and read up on the different causes and what you can do.

What is conjunctivitis?

The conjunctiva is the lining of the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid.  When this thin membrane becomes inflamed, you have what is known as conjunctivitis.  There are many causes of conjunctivitis so this post will focus on the most common types we see in children.

What causes conjunctivitis?

The 3 main causes of conjunctivitis are bacterial, viral or allergic.  The type of conjunctivitis that most parents refer to as “pink eye” is usually the bacterial kind.

  • Bacterial: The most common bacterial causes of pink eye are Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus species.  While these names sound scary, they are easily treatable.  Sometimes the same bacteria that causes pink eye, also causes an ear infection so it is not unusual to see both illnesses together, especially in younger children.  That is why you may be asked to bring your young child to the doctor for a check up instead of having medication called in over the phone.
  • Viral:  Viral pink eye is caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold.  We commonly see kids with colds who also have red, watery eyes as part of their illness.  Some viral infections present with red eyes as a hallmark of the illness.   For example,  measles and Adenovirus typically cause conjunctivitis along with other tell-tale signs of either infection.
  • Allergies: Anything that causes allergic symptoms can cause allergic conjunctivitis.  This means pollen, grass, trees, pets, dust mites, etc…

Babies can get conjunctivitis from the bacteria in the birth canal or from bacteria that cause sexually transmitted infections.  Therefore, newborns are given antibiotic eye ointment after birth to protect the eye from any complications of conjunctivitis due to these causes.  If your infant has red eyes, discharge from the eyes or swollen eyelids, seek medical care.

What are the symptoms of pink eye?

The most obvious sign your child has conjunctivitis is redness in the eye(s), hence the name pink eye.  They may also experience some irritation, pain or itching of the eye.  Sometimes they report sensitivity to light or a feeling of grittiness under the eyelid.  Patients with viral conjunctivitis will frequently have watery discharge and will present with lymph nodes in the neck, as well as other symptoms of a cold.  Patients with allergic conjunctivitis will also have watery discharge from the eyes, which when built up (for example after sleeping) will cause some crusting around the eye.  Finally, patients with bacterial conjunctivitis will have a thick yellowish discharge from the eyes that tends to be persistent all day as opposed to just build up in the morning.  These patients will frequently get so much discharge overnight that their affected eye(s) is glued shut in the morning.

How is pink eye treated?

Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are self-limited and will usually get better on their own within 7-10 days.  There are no medications for common viral pink eye but there are antibiotic drops for bacterial pink eye.  The reason we prescribe drops is to reduce spread as pink eye is extremely contagious.  However, if your child is not in daycare or exposing other children, he/she can forgo treatment because it will resolve on its own without any complication (outside of infancy).

Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with a variety of different allergy eye drops.  Reducing exposure to allergens, like pets, can also help.  When other allergy symptoms are present; like sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose and cough, your doctor may recommend an oral allergy medication.

How is pink eye spread and how can it be prevented?

Infectious causes of conjunctivitis are spread very easily from person to person.  If an infected individual touches their eye and touches another person’s eye, that person will most likely get it.  If an infected individual touches their eye and touches a surface, someone else can touch that surface and then spread the infection to their own eyes.  This is why it is spread like wildfire through a daycare or preschool.

The best way to prevent spread is to avoid touching your eyes, frequent hand washing and avoid sharing towels or blankets with someone else.  Also, don’t share makeup, makeup brushes or eye drop bottles.  If you wear contacts, it is a good idea to start a new pair after treatment.

It is important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics does NOT recommend excluding a child from school or daycare because of a red or crusty eye.

Other causes of red eyes

Chemical irritation, like chlorine, can cause red and painful eyes and is a common complaint in the summer.  Also, scratches on the cornea from an injury or debris in the eye can also cause red and painful eyes.  If your child is complaining of pain or visual change, along with redness in the eye, but they do not appear to have other symptoms of conjunctivitis, have him/her seen by their doctor.

As always, if you have concerns or questions about your child, make an appointment with your pediatrician.

Stop Pinning & Start Doing!

I’m not a crafty woman. But I admire those who are, and especially those who can help guide me to be more creative.

Mint Studio owner, Jayme Sanders, with a sample of the fabulous Mother’s Day craft she has planned

Mint Studio’s owner, Jayme Sanders, wants you to stop pinning and start doing. Mint is where I’ve left my comfort zone to create Christmas wreaths, bath bombs and vision boards. I won’t be starting an Etsy shop anytime soon, but it feels good to get my creative juices flowing with friends, under the supervision of wonderful Mint staff.

Mint knows all about the newest trends and designs and has the supplies you need to bring them to life, packed into one gorgeous space. It’s a Pinterest board come to life, but with your friends or your children, maybe some wine and some assistance. With an incredible daily calendar of amazing classes, workshops as well as a DIY drop in studio, Mint has something for everyone.

If you haven’t already made your Mother’s Day plans, you might want to consider giving yourself a couple hours of creativity . . 

Mint Studio is located in Carmel Valley at 5965 Village Way. For more information visit





The Early Bird Catches The FUN!!

Starting this month FUNbelievable will be extending the fun for families by opening at 9 a.m. on weekdays. To promote their new hours they are offering $6 admission per child when you check in before 10 a.m. Monday through Friday!

Home of my kids’ favorite indoor slide, FUNbelievable offers entertainment for toddlers to children up to age 12, FREE admission for adults, reasonably priced snacks and beverages that the whole family will enjoy and supervised play/drop off every Friday night so parents can take a little break.

FUNbelievable has been voted San Diego’s BEST Party Venue 2 years in a row, and they’re nominated again by our friends at San Diego Family Magazine. If you love them as much as we do, vote here:

And if you’ve never been to FUNbelievable, leave a comment here for your chance to win a 4-pack of complimentary admissions so that you can experience the fun for yourself!

One winner will be selected this week. Socks are required for every visitor.