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Seaweed Art Cards
  • If you are in the market for promotional items to promote your business, you might want to consider purchasing them online at Go Promos.com. All those really cool items you see at trade shows like a custom notepad with your company’s name and logo on it are available here. There’s even a pens blog with information on how to collect Mont Blanc pens.

    I’m mentioning this because many business owners who purchase promotional items for their companies don’t realize how much their kids identify with having some swag of their own. And, they make great birthday party favors too. BTW, SWAG stands for Something We All Get. My kids love it.

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  • Yes. Silver Sky Imports, an online source for Tibetan singing bowls, offers a variety of styles. For instance, there are crystal singing bowls, and ceramic singing bowls. These bowls are all handcrafted in Tibet or Nepal and because of the variation in the bowl construction,  each has a unique sound and tone.

    What a great opportunity  to teach your children about the basic fundamentals of sound and music. It is a welcome respite from the chaotic noise in our world to peacefully relax and learn to play the singing bowls.

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  • It looks like the San Diego real estate market is on an upswing and making a quicker comeback from the housing meltdown that has hit the rest of U.S. real estate market. That’s great news for house hunters looking to settle in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful and family friendly communities.

    When my children were small we could always find lots of fun kid activities in San Diego like the San Diego Zoo, Sea World and Legoland. As they got older, they were more interested in shopping in La Jolla and touring the USS Midway. When my husband and I got married, (five years ago next month), we went to San Diego for our honeymoon and stayed at the Catamaran Resort on Mission Bay and loved it. I still dream of going back.

    As much as I love Santa Cruz,  I have considered moving to San Diego. Who knows? My oldest daughter is off to college next year one of the schools she has applied to is U.C. San Diego. If she attends, I will certainly have an excuse to visit often.

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  • Fresh Air FundThe  countdown to summer is on and it is time for me to promote one of my favorite charitable organizations, The Fresh Air Fund. They are in need of  host families for this summer. If you could help get the word out it would really help us place these wonderful children into a loving host family for up to two weeks of a fresh air experience they will never forget. If you would like to host a child in your home this summer that allows him or her to have an unforgettable experience you can sign up to host a child or donate to the Fresh Air Fund. To learn more about what you can do to help the Fresh Air Fund, click here. Spread the word.

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  • If your child is a budding doctor or nurse or simply wants to pretend, you can purchase your child his or her own medical scrubs online at the scrub store, Blue Sky Scrubs. Yes, they have scrubs for kids! And if your little one wants to look like mom or dad, don’t worry, Blue Sky Scrubs offers something for you too. They offer a full line of scrubs for men, scrubs for women, medical scrubs and nursing uniform scrubs. This is a great opportunity to inspire your children’s creative imaginations. Now when they play doctor or nurse, they can look the part.

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  • I was sitting in the orthodontist’s office the other day when I saw this recipe in a magazine. It looked so good I asked the receptionist to make a copy for me and she decided to make a copy for herself too. It’s super easy and my family, particularly my husband, raved about it. It has since become a regular in my recipe repertoire. The original recipe called for cauliflower only, but I have since experimented with broccoli and it was equally as good. Serve alone or with soup and salad.

    Ingredients (are approximate):

    • 2 pieces of flat bread like naan
    • Several slices of provolone cheese (I have used shredded mozzarella too)
    • A few handfuls of chopped cauliflower or broccoli
    • Four or five cloves of garlic, minced
    • 2- 3 T of crushed rosemary, minced
    • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
    • 2-4 T of good olive oil

    Preheat oven to 375. Place flatbread on a cookie sheet and layer with the cheese. Put the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the flatbread, evenly. Place in oven on middle rack and bake/roast for about 15 minutes or until the veggies are slightly browned and crunchy. Serve alone or with soup and salad.

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  • overhead view of a bowl of tomato, red pepper and basil soup witI was cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer one day last week when I discovered several opened, half-consumed bags of frozen and assorted fresh vegetables that, if I didn’t consume them right away, would go to waste. So… I decided to throw everything into a pot and make soup, or as my husband called it, “Hobo Stew.” He said when he was a kid, one of his fondest memories was at summer rec camp when they would go on hikes, build a fire in the woods and everyone would bring a can of something to put into the pot.

    This is a really fun activity to do with your kids because there is no measuring, just pure invention and concoction. You can’t make any mistakes and it is always delicious. For a base I used four 15 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes and 32 oz. of chicken stock (you can use beef, vegetable or water) then I mixed in the following.

    • chopped spinach
    • string beans
    • lima beans
    • squash
    • chopped onions

    I finished with some frozen tortellini (you could add beans or rice)  and topped off with some Italian seasoning.  I let simmer for a few hours, then served with some crusty bread. We enjoyed it for days. Yum.

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  • This is a family recipe. My mother baked this cake every fall. Add a little extra apples for a moister cake.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 eggs
    • 2 cups of sugar
    • 1 cup of oil
    • 2 1/2 tsp. of vanilla
    • 3 cups of flour
    • 3 tsp. of baking powder
    • 1 tsp of salt
    • juice of one orange or 3/4 cups of OJ
    • 4 large apples
    • 3 T of sugar
    • 2  tsp. of cinnamon

    Peel and chop the apples and sprinkle with the cinnamon and 3 T of sugar. Beat the eggs and add the 2 cups sugar and oil, juice of orange and vanilla. Sift flour in separate bowl and add to the eggs and sugar mixture.  Put half of the batter in pan, half of the apples and then rest of batter and top with remaining apples. Grease and flour pan and bake 1 1/4 hours at 350 or until done.

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  • You will need:
    Paper
    Autumn leaves, preferably just picked from the tree
    Colored pencils or crayons

    Start by taking a sheet of paper and folding it in half width-wise. Place a leaf, vein side up, inside the folded sheet. Use the colored pencils or crayons to gently rub over the leaf so that the leaf becomes visible on the top of the paper. Use a variety of colors to create a multicolored effect. Remove the leaf and repeat with other leaves and colors. Mail to a friend or relative. Smaller versions can be used as place cards.

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  • You will need:
    1/4 cup butter or margarine
    1 bag (10 oz) mini marshmallows
    Yellow food coloring
    8 cups combined peanut butter and chocolate puffed corn cereal
    1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces like peanut or plain M & M’s.
    Spray oil
    10 lollipop sticks
    Tan and green raffia

    Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside. Melt butter or margarine in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth. Tint with food coloring until you reach desired color. Add cereal and 1/2 cup chocolate pieces. Stir to evenly coated. Remove from heat.

    Spray hands with oil and quickly divide mixture into 10 oblong pieces. Push lollipop sticks halfway into each oblong piece and shape to look like an ear of corn. Place on cookie sheet covered with waxed paper and press remaining 1/2 cup chocolate pieces into each “ear”. Let treats set. Tie or tape raffia to lollipop sticks to resemble corn husks.

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