Mill Valley

Hot Diggity! Marin's Healthy Mom-Run Dog Cart

September 21, 2013

Hot Diggity at Mill Valley Middle SchoolIf you've been around southern Marin during soccer season, there's a good chance you've seen the Hot Diggity hot dog cart. If not, you should seek it out and give it a try!

Hot Diggity was created by Mill Valley mom Joan Miller in 2010 as an alternative to not-so-healthy fast food dining options, and sells nitrate-free sausages from Niman Ranch and Aidells with a variety of condiments, most of them organic. Hot Diggety also offers healthy drinks like organic juices, teas, and sodas.

The menu includes an uncured Niman Ranch Kids' Dog ($4), chicken and apple sausage ($5), and the signature Dig It Dog ($6), a nitrate-free pork sausage on a sesame seed roll with sauerkraut and dill pickle spears. The Kids' Dog is available as part of a daily special Kids' Meal ($5.50), which also includes organic carrots and an Honest Kids organic juice pouch.

The Cat in the Hat Opens This Weekend at Marin Theatre Company

August 10, 2013

The Cat in the HatThe Bay Area Children's Theater production of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat opens this weekend at Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley! This marks both the second collaboration between BATC and MTC and the start of a whole season of fantastic live children's theater in Marin.

Directed by Erin Merritt and starring Doyle Ott as the Cat, this production runs 45 minutes with no intermission. Shows take place on Saturdays and Sundays, August 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm.

Tickets are $15 for children under 14, $20 for adults, and $17 for seniors 64+. Individual tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 2. Order online at tickets.marintheatre.org, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office, 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley (Tuesday–Saturday, noon–5 pm). Discounted group tickets for groups of 15 or more can be reserved at the box office.

Tips on Preparing for the SAT

July 24, 2013

mathnasiumMarin Mommies presents a guest post by Scott Rubin of Mill Valley Mathnasium, who offers some tips on prepping your child for the SAT.

When should my child start preparing for the SAT?  How often should they study?  What topics should be reviewed? Should more time be spent on geometry or algebra?  Should I invest money into a crash course offered by a company or get a private tutor? These are valid questions students and parents ask themselves.

Analogies I like to refer to for examples are: When should a baseball player start preparing for his major league debut? When should a musician start preparing for his first concert at Carnegie Hall?  SAT preparation should start in elementary school.  The SAT is an accumulation of math knowledge of your entire school life up to that point.  Sure, some people are naturally good at math and most topics come easy to them but for the vast majority of us, it is a lot of work to master SAT type questions.

Marin Theatre Company Kicks Off Its New Children's Series with The Cat in the Hat

July 1, 2013

Doyle Ott as the Cat in the HatWhen Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley presented Bay Area Children's Theatre's production of Ivy + Bean, the response was overwhelming and tickets quickly sold out. This summer MTC and BATC team up again to begin a new theater series for young audiences, starting with The Cat in the Hat from August 10–18.

On a cold, cold day too wet to play, Sally and her brother had nothing to do, but sit sit sit. And they did not like it, not one bit. But then with a BUMP, that made them both jump, appeared the Cat in a Hat! And just like that, Sally and her brother had games to play and a lot of good tricks to pass the day. Their mother won't mind at all, and the mess will be small... Or should they listen to the wish of their responsible pet fish and send this mischievous cat away?

Experience this beloved Dr. Seuss classic live on stage! This production, directed by Erin Merritt and starring Doyle Ott as the Cat, runs 45 minutes with no intermission. Shows take place on Saturday, August 10 and 17, and Sunday, August 11 and 18 at 10:30 am and 12: 30 pm.

Tickets are $15 for children under 14, $20 for adults, and $17 for seniors 64+. Individual tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 2. Order online at tickets.marintheatre.org, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office, 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley (Tuesday–Saturday, noon–5 pm). Discounted group tickets for groups of 15 or more can be reserved at the box office.

Win Tickets to the April 30 Speak to Me Event with Rebecca Costa

April 16, 2013

Rebecca CostaSpeak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents "Adapting to An Increasingly Complex World" a discussion with Rebecca Costa, sociobiologist, futurist, nationally syndicated radio host, and author of The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction,  on Tuesday, April 30 at 6:30 pm.

We are painfully aware of the increased level of complexity we face in today’s world. There seem to be no easy answers anymore—from which sunscreen or tomato to buy, to how to constrain exploding healthcare costs or fix the debt crises. In her book, The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction, Costa explains how the principles governing evolution both cause and provide a solution for global gridlock. When asked why this has special significance today, Costa claims, “Every person I know, rich or poor, educated or not, wants to know why our government gets more in debt, our air and water more polluted, our jails more crowded, our security more tenuous and our children more violent. We seem to have lost our ability to solve our problems. The Watchman’s Rattle offers a genetic explanation for our paralysis, and prescribes a way out.”

We're giving away two free tickets to this event to a lucky Marin Mommies reader! Simply send an email to contests@marinmommies.com with "Speak to Me April" in the subject line by 11:59 pm PST on Monday, April 22, 2013. We'll choose a random winner on Tuesday. Many thanks to Speak to Me for sponsoring this giveaway. Read our giveaway rules and conditions here.

Win a Family Four-Pack of Tickets to "Ivy + Bean: The Musical" at Marin Theatre Company

March 16, 2013

Ivy and BeanThe fun and fantastic Ivy + Bean: The Musical is coming to Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley! Produced by Bay Area Children's Theater, Ivy + Bean: The Musical is a fun and faithful adaptation of the first book in the New York Times-best-selling series about two second graders, outgoing Bean and quiet but imaginitive Ivy, who were sure they wouldn't like each other but end up best friends.

You can read our review of Ivy + Bean: The Musical here. It was one of our favorite productions from Bay Area Children's Theater!

While the tickets for the Marin Theatre Company production are already sold out, we're happy to announce that we're giving away a family four-pack of tickets to the opening-day performance to one lucky Marin Mommies reader! Tickets are good for the Saturday, March 23, 10:30 am show only.

To enter the giveaway, send an email with "Ivy + Bean" in the subject line to contests@marinmommies.com by 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 17, 2013. We'll choose a winner at random on Monday, March 18. Good luck!

Win Tickets to the March 19 Speak to Me Event with Laura Ling

March 13, 2013

Laura LingSpeak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents "Journey of Hope: A Story of Courage, Love, and Determination" a discussion with journalist, host, and reporter for E! Investigates Laura Ling on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at 6:30 pm.

In March 2009, many of us remember hearing about the frightening experience of two foreign correspondents for Current TV who had been violently captured by soldiers along the Chinese–North Korean border and imprisoned in North Korea. Laura Ling and Euna Lee found themselves at the center of an international standoff between the US and one of the only countries with which it has no diplomatic relations. It was 140 days before President Bill Clinton and Laura’s sister, Lisa Ling, were able to secure the two women a pardon, which released and allowed them to return home. Laura will share her inspiring story of determination and courage as she recounts how she was able to survive her imprisonment, and how the experience has forever changed her view on life.

Confidence, not Competence Predicts Future Math Learning...

February 13, 2013

Marin Mommies presents a guest post by Scott Rubin of Mill Valley Mathnasium.

Do you believe you're not good at math? Various studies suggest that with motivation and good teaching strategies, anyone can succeed in math. In fact, studies have shown that students who are motivated to do well actually learn faster than students with higher IQs who are less motivated. It doesn't matter if you are at grade level, ahead, or a grade level behind. The right motivation and tools will help you succeed. Just accept your starting point and move forward with the right attitude.

It's important to develop a sense of ability in a child early on, especially when it comes to mathematics. If your child does not have a strong foundation by the time they enter high school you can expect a lot of stress and anxiety (for everyone).

Forcing kids to hit the books every night however, won't necessarily result in superb math skills. Students have to want to learn—this is where the challenge lies. Parents need to find ways to motivate their children without adding pressure. Setting goals and rewarding their success is a good starting point. As they work and achieve their objectives, their confidence will grow and math will no longer be perceived as intimidating. It also may be more helpful for parents and teachers to show how math ties to real life—for instance, understanding that four $3 slices of pizza cost $12 rather than just memorizing times tables.

An Enchanting "Ivy + Bean: The Musical"

February 12, 2013

Ivy and BeanMy daughter is a huge fan of the Ivy + Bean book series by local author Annie Barrows, so we were really excited to hear that a new children's theater production of Ivy + Bean: The Musical opening at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage. Produced by Bay Area Children's Theater, Ivy + Bean: The Musical is a fun and faithful adaptation of the first book in the New York Times-best-selling series about two second graders, outgoing Bean and quiet but imaginitive Ivy, who were sure they wouldn't like each other but end up best friends.

We were lucky enough to attend the world premiere performance of this delightful children's musical, and we had a great time. The production follows the plot of the first Ivy + Bean book very closely, and shows how Ivy and Bean—two girls with opposite personalities—become forever friends after Ivy helps Bean out of a bind and manages to help infuriate Bean's bossy older sister, Nancy, in the process.

This fast-paced play lasts approximately an hour with no intermission, and is recommended for kids ages 4 and up. The action moves quickly, keeping little ones entertained and enthralled, and Megan Putnam and Catherine Gloria are perfectly cast as the title characters. The other actors handle multiple roles with aplomb (It took my kids—and my husband—a while to figure out that most of the supporting actors had dual roles!)

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