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.
  • Corte Madera Farmers' Market takes place every Wednesday from noon–5 pm. This farmers' market is located at the Corte Madera Town Center off Highway 101.

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.

April Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

March 29, 2015

Parents Place 2-year-oldParents Place in San Rafael has been a valuable resource for countless Marin County parents and families. They offer a wide variety of programs and classes for parents and children throughout the year. Here are a few of the classes they are offering for the month of April.

Webinar: Raising Your Only Child (parents of children of any age)

Parents of only children often worry if their child can be happy and well-adjusted without siblings. During this webinar, we will discuss the many myths about only children and explore the research on how only children develop. We will learn strategies which help to avoid spoiling your child, and which help to foster independence and positive social relationships. We will also explore ways to create a balanced family triad in which each family member feels important and complete. With Karen Friedland-Brown, MA. Tuesday, March 31, noon–1 pm. $10. Register here.

Get Your Tickets Now for This Year's Mountain Play: Peter Pan!

March 29, 2015

Mountain Play Peter Pan Everyone in my family is looking forward to this year's Mountain Play: Peter Pan! Performances of this production of J.M. Barrie's timeless tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up, pirates, the Lost Boys, and the Darling children take place at 2 pm in Mt. Tam's Cushing Memorial Amphitheater on May 24 and 31, and June 7, 13, 14, and 21. The cast includes Melissa WolfKlain at Peter Pan, Jeff Wiesen as Captain Hook/Mr. Darling, Erin Ashe as Wendy Darling, and David Yen as Mr. Smee. Come be a part of this century-old Marin County tradition!

Peter Pan first soared over Broadway in 1954 and features iconic songs like "I'm Flying," "I've Gotta Crow," "I Won't Grow Up," and "Never Never Land," and a book rich with imagination, warmth, and rollicking adventure. Peter Pan has continued to thrill children young and old through various stage and film adaptations, as well as numerous television broadcasts including a live NBC telecast that aired in December.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for March 27, 28 & 29

March 28, 2015

Easter egg huntHere are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and throughout the Bay Area in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, March 27

  • Just Between Friends
    San Mateo Event Center
    Friday, noon–9 pm, Saturday, 9 am–5 pm and Sunday, 9 am–2 pm

    Just Between Friends (JBF) is the Peninsula's largest baby, children's and maternity consignment sale. Shoppers enjoy 50–90% off retail on kids clothing, toys, shoes, furniture and more! Local families earn 60–65% on the items they sell. Click to learn more about shopping, consigning and helping at the sale! Location: 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Performing Arts Academy of Marin Presents Mary Poppins
    Showcase Theatre, Marin Center
    Friday and Saturday, 7 pm & Sunday, 1 pm

    Let Mary Poppins take you on a magical and memorable adventure in this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical! This musical production features performers ages 9 and up. Tickets: $20 adults, $16 seniors 65+ and children 12 and under. To purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • San Marin High School Music Dept. presents: Wizard of Oz
    Novato, Emily Gates Student Center
    Friday and Saturday, 7:30 pm and Sunday, 2 pm

    The San Marin High School Music Department presents The Wizard of Oz, a delightful musical suitable for children and adults. Doors open at 7 pm and 1:30 pm. Tickets: $15 adults, $10 children. Location: 15 San Marin Drive, Novato. For more info and tickets, visit their website.

Saturday, March 28

  • Spring Eggstravaganza and Bunny Breakfast
    Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto
    Saturday, 8:30 am–noon

    Join Mr. E. Bunny for a breakfast your child will never forget! You will dine on a special spring time breakfast, and have a chance to take a photo with Mr. E. Bunny (don’t forget your camera). The breakfast will include french toast, sausages, orange juice, and coffee/hot chocolate. Get your tickets early! An adult must accompany children. After breakfast you can follow Mr. E. Bunny out to Friends Field for our annual Egg Hunt. Breakfast tickets available at the Community & Aquatics/Fitness Center: $6, $4 children, free for ages 2 and under. Egg hunt admission is free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy the best local and organic produce, flowers, pastured meats, seafood, organic cheeses, yogurt and milk, breads, baked goods, pasta, confections, olive oil, and brunch and lunch offerings! Kids can take a pony ride and visit the petting zoo (10 am–2 pm), try out some arts and crafts (9 am–2 pm) and kid's storytelling, 9:30-10:30 am. For more info, visit their website.
  • Easter Bunny Breakfast
    The Cheesecake Factory, The Village Corte Madera
    Saturday, 9–10 am

    The Village at Corte Madera is hosting its annual Easter Bunny Breakfast at The Cheesecake Factory to benefit Dedication to Special Education. Children of all ages will enjoy a delicious breakfast while meeting the Easter Bunny, listening to music by Tim Cain, playing with balloon animals, and more! Cost: $8 Per person (cash or check only). Seating is limited. Please RSVP by calling (415) 924-8921.
  • Teddy Bear Tea with Friends
    Oakland Zoo
    Saturday, 9:30 am–noon

    Kids ages 4–8 plus their stuffed animal/doll and an adult. Enjoy a morning of snacks, activities, books and play while making and delivering an enrichment gift straight to the zoo animal you’ve been learning about. When the fun is done, your child will receive a surprise-filled treat bag to take home. Cost: $23 child members, $26 child non-members; $12 adult members, $15 adult non-members. Parking $8 per car. Visit their website to register for this event.
  • Woolly Egg Ranch Spring Farm Tour
    Tam Valley Community Center
    Saturday, 10 am

    Come see spring at the Woolly Egg Ranch Farm tour right here in Tam Valley. Flowers are starting to bloom, lambs are frolicking, and the first batch of chicks should be hatching. Meet at the Tam Valley Coummunity Center and the group will walk to the ranch. Parents must accompany children; reservations recommended. Remember to wear good shoes and boots if muddy. Cost: $5 per person. Reserve your spot by calling (415) 388-6393. Location: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. Visit their website here.
  • Kids Cooking Class: Eggs-cellent Eggs
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Eggs aren’t just yummy to eat—they’re also good for you! Learn some basic egg-cooking techniques plus "eggs-traordinary" ways to enjoy those hard-boiled eggs that you’ve decorated. Suitable for ages 5–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
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