Why Save for a Rainy Day?

April 25, 2015

Tanya SteinhoferMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin mom and financial planner Tanya Steinhofer, CFA,CFP®. 

Whether or not the groundhog saw his shadow back on February 2, it makes good financial sense to plan for a rainy day. Life has a way of throwing curve balls into the best laid plans, be it job loss or unexpected expenses. One of the easiest and most emotionally satisfying ways to be ready for the next curve ball is to have a cash cushion to draw on if something unforeseen happens.

  1. How much is enough? Standard advice is that you should have three to six months’ living expenses in an emergency savings account. Reality is a bit more nuanced. The ideal target is sometimes a matter of personal risk tolerance and your circumstances. I ask clients about their job security and job search history. I advise clients who have a family depending only on their income to err on the high side. Younger, two-income couples might be comfortable on the lower side. Some risk-adverse clients might need a years’ worth of living expenses in cash to feel comfortable.

Raspberry Almond Oatmeal Bars

April 24, 2015

raspberry almond oatmeal barsMy kids love to have a sweet treat when they come home from school, and I always try to make them as healthy as I can. These berry-filled oatmeal bars are really delicious, and I sometimes even use whole-wheat flour in them. Use either strawberry or raspberry preserves—they're both equally delicious. Even apricot would work! The sliced almonds can be replaced with chopped walnuts, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

Celebrate Springtime at Slide Ranch's Spring Fling

April 23, 2015

Slide Ranch Spring FlingIf you haven't been to check out the beautiful and picturesque Slide Ranch in Muir Beach, now is your chance! Come to this non-profit teaching farm overlooking the ocean this Saturday to celebrate food, family, and fun at this year's Spring Fling. It all takes place on April 25, 2015 from 10 am to 4 pm.

This year's Spring Fling features live kid-friendly music, local organic cuisine, hikes and tours, and hands-on farm and craft activities for all ages. Learn where your food comes from by milking goats, feeding chickens, and touring the garden, or making bread, butter, and cheese. See how a sweater is made through sheep shearing, carding and spinning wool, and other wool crafts.

Come reconnect with the land on a guided coastal hike, listen to the music of Marin's favorite kids' musician Tim Cain, or simply relax on a picnic blanket while eating delicious local organic food.

Fantastic Family Camping in Marin

April 21, 2015

Family camping in MarinKids love to go camping, and to many people there's nothing quite like sleeping in a tent, toasting marshmallows over a campfire, and spending some time in the great outdoors. Fortunately, here in Marin County we have quite a few fantastic campgrounds right in our backyard. Here are five of our favorites that are perfect for family camping.

Many of these campgrounds are booked up for summer weekends months in advance, but you can often find reservations during the week, and cancellations are common, too. Most of the California state parks, like China Camp and Samuel P. Taylor require reservations through the ReserveAmerica website. Some of these camp sites are first-come, first served, so if you're lucky you can score a great spot to pitch your tent and enjoy the outdoors.

Don't Miss the Fourth Annual Pleasant Valley Elementary School Rummage Sale!

April 21, 2015

Pleasant Valley Rummage SaleIf you go to one rummage sale this year, this is the one you do not want to miss! The fourth annual Pleasant Valley Elementary School Rummage Sale takes place this Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 9 am–3 pm. This is the fourth major rummage sale for the school, and the PV's families have dug through closets, kids' rooms, and garages and contributed their treasures to this fundraiser. Rummage sale volunteers have weeded through the donations so only quality items will be available for sale—but at rummage sale prices, of course.

Some of the great items offered will include gently used children's clothing, sporting goods, toys and games, bikes, strollers, baby and toddler equipment and gear, housewares, electronics, furniture, and more. You never know what other amazing treasures will be donated.

Doors open at 9 am sharp. Early birds can enjoy treats from the bake sale while they wait for the doors to open. The sale closes from 1 to 1:30 pm in preparation for the half-price sale, which starts at 1:30. The doors close at 3 pm.

Easy Chinese Cashew Chicken

April 20, 2015

cashew chickenWhenever we get Chinese take-out, my kids love to order cashew chicken. Like many Chinese-American restaurant staples, cashew chicken is actually easy to make at home, and requires only a couple special ingredients, which you should be able to find in the Asian foods aisle of your local supermarket. Accompany this with stir-fried green beans and steamed brown rice for a healthy weeknight meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

A Summer of Shakespeare

April 20, 2015

Marin Shakespeare CampMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Marin Shakespeare Company, which offers fun Shakespeare summer camps for kids of all ages in Marin.

“I love that this summer camp is more than just fun & games. I wanted a camp where my kids would have fun AND learn something. At Marin Shakespeare summer camp, they learned about Shakespeare & developed an interest in classic literature.  It was great for them to have gentle encouragement to get on stage & perform for a small audience.  Each teacher we had was different, but each one had an extremely creative way to engage the kids. Highly recommended.”

—Nicki, Parent of two Marin Shakespeare campers

Marin Shakespeare Company has been providing fun and educational Shakespeare summer camps for years in Marin County, California. They offer camps for students ages 5–19, in locations across San Rafael and Ross. Their camps feature professional teaching artists, fun and educational Shakespeare instruction, and performance opportunities for the campers. Many of their campers come back year after year, and some even end up on stage with the professional Shakespeare company when they get older!

Date Night Yoga with Loren Altura at Pomegranate

April 19, 2015

Pomegranate Altar Marin Mommies presents a sponsored shout-out from San Anselmo's Pomegranate Prenatal Yoga & Parent Center.

Parents, get a sitter with a free $15 babysitting credit from UrbanSitter!

Love Me Like You Do

A unique way to share the love and connection in an intimate candlelit setting. Unwind and de-stress in this evening class while igniting the heat and passion from within. Bond with your partner in Loren's fun Vinyasa flow, partner poses, and deluxe savasana. Cheese and wine tasting after class.

  • Friday, April 24, 6:30–8:30 pm
  • Friday, May 22, 6:30–8:30 pm
  • Friday, June 19, 6:30–8:30 pm

Each session is $45 per couple. Pre-register for all 3 for $115 per couple. To register, visit pomcenter.com or call (415) 785-3173.

Tips for Biking Safely With Your Child

April 18, 2015

cycling safety photoMarin Mommies presents a guest article from Fairfax Cycling Camp, who offers some tips for families on bicycle safety. Visit them online at www.fairfaxcyclingcamp.com.

From cargo bikes laden with young children, to parents and kids on their own bikes, the popularity of biking is growing in Marin and nationwide. This is something to  celebrate! The health benefits of biking are numerous, and consuming less gas gives the earth a little extra breathing room. As cyclists and owners of Fairfax Cycling Camp, we are happy to share some tips and resources to help you bike more safely with your child. We teach our campers these skills every week during our summer mountain bike camp.

Helmets, Helmets, Helmets!

Helmets are required by law for all children under 16 in California. Helmets protect your child’s developing brain from trauma which could come from even a seemingly small bump.

Just like on an airplane when you are told to secure your own oxygen mask prior to helping another, make sure your helmet is on properly before biking with your child. This does two things; first, you are protecting your brain and doing your best to make sure you’ll be around to take care of your child in the event of an accident; second, you are modeling appropriate behavior for your child. Research consistently shows that children learn by watching what the adults around them are doing. You are setting an example for your child, one that you hope they will follow long after they’ve begun riding on their own.

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