Bird's Nest Cookies for Easter

April 4, 2015

birds nest cookiesThese cute and clever bird's nest cookies are the perfect treat for Easter. Light and airy coconut-filled meringues really look a lot like birds' nests—you can complete the illusion by adding a few egg-shaped Easter candies. We like the Cadbury mini eggs, but malted milk eggs or even jelly beans will work equally well.

The kids love to help make these, and of course love to eat them. These treats are a great addition to Easter baskets, too. Give them a try, and you'll probably find that they earn a spot in your spring baking repertoire.

Ingredients

Get Creative This Easter with Watercolor Eggs

April 2, 2015

Watercolor Easter EggsEvery Easter, we always end up buying one of those egg-dying kits at the supermarket (tradition dies hard in our house), but that doesn't stop us from trying out different ways of coloring our Easter eggs, like making and using natural egg dyes. Recently, a friend mentioned that her family likes to paint their Easter eggs with watercolors, so we thought we'd give it a try.

Watercolors are fun to use because they're kid-friendly, dry quickly, and really allow for a lot of artistic expression. Plus, painting your eggs is a lot more fun than just letting them soak in a container of dye, and the colors are vibrant and varied. Even I really got into the whole process, and I think I was actually enjoying it more than the kids.

Experience Riveropolis and Predators at Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco

April 2, 2015

Aquarium of the BayThere's plenty of fun to be had for families at Aquarium of the Bay this spring! Aquarium of the Bay focuses on the aquatic animals that live right here in San Francisco Bay, featuring sharks, rays, sturgeons, moray eels, and more. You can even take a walk under the Bay itself in the Under the Bay exhibit and touch animals like leopard sharks, sea stars, and bat rays in Touch the Bay! The aquarium offers special programs for all ages this spring including Riveropolis and Predators of the Bay. We're giving away a family pack of four tickets to the aquarium; read on to find out how to enter to win.

At Riveropolis, play, engage, explore, and discover in this miniature river that doubles as in interactive art exhibit through April 19, 2015 from 10 am to 5 pm. Simulating a river that flows from the mountains to the ocean, this multi-level river is perfect for kids of all ages and sizes. Not just for looking at, this dynamic river has it all, including arts and crafts and engaging hands-on opportunities. Make your own raft or boat at the crafts table using reclaimed materials, such as wine corks and popsicle sticks. Then, place your handiwork on the stream and watch it float down the river.

Classic Coconut Mini Cupcakes for Easter

March 31, 2015

Coconut cupcakesOld fashioned coconut cake is an Easter favorite. We decided to give this classic treat a kid-sized spin and made a fun mini cupcake version.

These light and sweet little cakes with a marshmallow-like frosting are great for parties, playdates, and get-togethers, and of course as dessert on Easter! Sure, you can use fresh toasted coconut on the outside, but we love the old-school white flaked sweetened coconut from the grocery store's baking aisle.

This recipe makes about three dozen mini cupcakes. You can use it to make regular-size cupcakes, too, but of course you'll need to increase the baking time by a few minutes.

Stylish Nursing Covers from Petaluma's Saving Grace

March 31, 2015

saving grace While a nursing cover isn't totally necessary for breastfeeding moms, it's a nice thing to have when the need for modesty strikes. The unfortunate truth, is, however, that most of the nursing covers on the market are on the ugly side. That's what inspired mom and Petaluma resident Caitlin Vodopals to create her Saving Grace line of nursing covers.

Saving Grace covers are handmade using colorful traditional fabrics. They're also reversible (so you get two styles in one), and can double as a changing mat, sunshade, or stroller blanket, too. A plastic band at the top ensures privacy and allows you to see baby, but doesn't let onlookers see in.

Currently, Saving Grace nursing covers are made by a team of sewers in Sayulita, Mexico, using authentic Mexican fabrics. If the bright and colorful Mexican fabrics aren't your thing, check out their premium organic line, which are crafted from organic cotton chambray with more subtle dots and stripes.

Marin County Farmers' Markets 2015

March 31, 2015

Spring has arrived, and that means it's time to head to your nearby farmers' market to buy fresh organic produce and other locally grown and produced goodies. Marin has some year-round farmers' markets, but the majority of them start up again in spring after going on hiatus in the fall. Here is a list of of year-round and opening dates for a variety of local farmer's markets throughtout Marin and the North Bay. Please note that not all dates and times are finalized, so make sure you check before you go.

Year-round Marin County farmers' markets:

  • Civic Center Farmers' Market in San Rafael takes place every Thursday and Sunday morning from 8 am–1 pm. They have lots of organically grown produce, breads, eggs, and fresh cut flowers. The Thursday farmer's market is located next the Civic Center duck pond and the Sunday one is located in the Civic Center parking lot.

Spring Vegetable Pasta is a Dinnertime Hit

March 30, 2015

spring vegetable pastaAfter seeing all the fantastic spring produce at the Marin Civic Center Farmer's Market, I've been determined to create a recipe that showcases some of the season's best vegetables. I made this spring pasta dish this weekend, and my kids loved it. It's built around the organic English peas that I picked up, and is fresh, light, and delicious. I also found the first of the season's white corn, which I usually think of as a summer thing, and I decided that would go well in this dish too (and it did).

Put the kids to work in the kitchen shelling the peas and shucking the corn. It's always fun for them to get involved in cooking a meal. If you don't have the time or inclination to deal with the fresh peas and corn, frozen would work fine, too.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Sellers Wanted at Marin’s Largest Garage Sale for Families

March 30, 2015

Marin's largest garage saleDo you have outgrown children's clothing (ages 0–10) or equipment to sell, but don't want the hassle of doing it at your home? Sell your baby and children's clothes and shoes, infant and toddler gear, toys, furniture, maternity clothes, and more at Marin's largest garage sale for families! The public is invited to sell at this enormous consignment style sale, sponsored by the Marin Parents of Multiples Club (MPOMC).

Items must be for children ages 0–10 and must be in excellent condition. MPOMC has strict quality control in place to ensure the sale remains a success.

The garage sale takes place Saturday, June 6, from 7:45 am to 2 pm, in the gymnasium at Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield. Items for children and maternity sell at 50% to 80% below retail, so the sale is a huge success, with more than 600 customers coming through in just a few hours.

Pelo Fitness: Marin’s Hidden Fitness Gem

March 30, 2015

Pelo FitnessMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Pelo Fitness in San Rafael.

Did you know that there’s a fitness revolution happening just past the Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in San Rafael? Pelo Fitness opened its doors just three years ago and has been quietly building a reputation as the best studio cycling (spin) class anywhere. Add in body weight strength training and a soon to be launched nutrition program and you have a complete fitness method under one roof.

Founded by San Rafael dad and avid cyclist Alan Roberts, Pelo is a complete program designed to build a lean, strong, healthy body and to help you to feel great.

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