Local Business

Holiday Book Review and Giveaway: The Miracle of a Stormy Christmas

December 4, 2013

Ben & Elvis: The Miracle of a Stormy ChristmasLocal authors J. Page and S.T. Rainier have released Ben & Elvis: The Miracle of a Stormy Christmas (ELV Enterprises, 28 pages), the latest installment and the first holiday book in their Adventures of Ben & Elvis series of children's books. Illustrated by Rainier and J. Moyer, The Miracle of a Stormy Christmas continues the story of Ben and Elvis, two young mice who live in the country with their little sister and mother, as they excitedly await the arrival of their extended family on Christmas Eve. But a sudden winter storm puts plans in disarray—will the family unite for Christmas?

This colorfully illustrated and simply written book is great for kids ages 3–7, and a perfect read-aloud holiday book. My seven-year-old daughter has read our review copy several times, and loves the homey illustrations of Ben and Elvis' family preparing for Christmas.

The Miracle of a Stormy Christmas conveys messages of patience, expectations, family togetherness, and ultimately the notion that unexpected good things can definitely happen! The Miracle of a Stormy Christmas is available at local bookstores and online.

Celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day This Saturday at Five Little Monkeys in Novato

November 8, 2013

Five Little MonkeysThis Saturday, November 9, is the fourth annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day, which supports local shopping, independent retailers, and community fun. To celebrate, Novato's independent toy store, Five Little Monkeys, is offering 20% off everything in the store on Saturday only from 9 am-6 pm. Get a head start on your holiday shopping!

Five Little Monkeys offers a wide variety of toy for kids of all ages, from babies to teens. Their unique selection of toys and children's books includes figures, dolls, dress-up, magic sets, musical instruments, games, and educational and eco-friendly toys, as well as well known brands like the Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Railway, Playmobil, LEGO, Schleich, Breyer, Rainbow Loom, and more. They also have a wide selection of classic novelties and joke gifts. It's our go-to place for fun and unique birthday gifts and special treats.

Not sure what to get? Check out our guides to the hottest toys for babies and toddlers and kids ages 3 to 5, compiled with the help of Five Little Monkeys' staff.

Fall Classes at the Little Art Studio in Mill Valley

November 3, 2013

The Little Art Studio Mill ValleyIf you're a southern Marin parent looking for art and music classes for your children, check out the fall offerings at the Little Art Studio in Mill Valley. The Little Art Studio offers art and music classes designed for children ages 1 1/2 and up to explore art and music in an open, safe, and nurturing environment.

Current class offerings include Toddler Art, Afterschool Art, Music & Art, and Story & Art classes. The emphasis is on the creative process rather than the product, but the children always come away with incredible works of art! Small classes offer children a comfortable, age-appropriate atmosphere, while promoting cooperation and connections.

The Little Art Studio offers morning toddler classes and afterschool drop off classes on the weekdays. The studio is also available for art themed birthday parties and events on weekends!

Fall Session II runs from now through December 13, 2013. Classes run in six week sessions and flexible online scheduling is offered. All classes are $180 per session, $30 for drop-in.

Learn more and enroll online at www.thelittleartstudio.com. Drop-ins are welcome with 24-hour advance online registration, too. You can also call the studio at (415) 637-5340.

Learn to Silence Your Inner Critic at Speak to Me's Lunch & Learn

October 27, 2013

Tara Sophia MohrLearn how to silence your inner critic and become comfortable taking bold action in both your workplace and the world! In Speak to Me's first daytime Lunch & Lean event, Tara Sophia Mohr, founder of the global Playing Big leadership program for women and expert on women's leadership and well-being, will discuss the things that keep women from realizing their true potentials.

With an MBA from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree in English literature from Yale, Tara takes a unique approach that blends inner work with practical skills training, and weaves together both intellectual rigor and intuitive wisdom.

"Silencing Your Inner Critic" takes place on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Piatti Restaurant in Mill Valley. Tickets are nearly sold out, so order now if you're interested!

Rolling Hills Club's Free Fall Family Festival

October 23, 2013

Come to the Rolling Hills Club, Novato's family sports and fitness club, this Saturday, October 26 from 10 am to 2 pm, for their free Fall Family Festival! This free family event celebrates the season and the local community with food, fun, and a sampling of what the club has to offer.

Children's activities and fun include a bounce house and face painting on the club's pool deck and arts and crafts in the Kids Club and Entertainment Center. There will also be a "Just Keep Swimming" kids' scavenger hunt—find all the characters from the Rolling Hills Swim School and win a prize!

Moylan's Brewery and Restaurant will be serving up food, Oktoberfest-style, with bratwurst and beer on the club's pool deck from noon to 2 pm. Kids' beverage options will also be available. Live music will be provided by the Sandy Geller Jazz Trio.

Other activiites include samplers from the club's fitness studio, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, cycling, and CoreAlign, lifeguard tests, a tennis clinic and junior playday, personal training fitness assessments, and more. There will be a special one-day-only membership special, too.

All members of the community are welcome, and it should be a lot of fun!

Woodlands Market Launches Mom's Circle this Thursday in Kentfield

September 25, 2013

Woodlands MarketMarin's family-owned Woodlands Market hosts its first Mom’s Circle event this Thursday to connect, celebrate, and support local entrepreneurs. On September 26, from 6 to 9 pm, Woodlands Market Kentfield will host a free evening event on the Woodlands Cafe Patio featuring complimentary beverages, hors d'ouevres, sampling, and mingling.

Respected parent educator and teen advisor Annie Fox, M.Ed will speak on the topic of 21st-Century Parenting. Live music will be peformed by Marin teen Devon Lawrence, and Rutz Cellars will pour wine.

During September, net proceeds from the sale of participating vendors’ products at Woodlands Market's Moms Circle events will directly support the Foundation for Reed Schools, Ross Schools Foundation, and Kentfield Schools Foundation.

Following the kick-off celebration, Mom’s Circle will continue the program with monthly "after five" events which will highlight an individual, business, or nonprofit and provide opportunities for moms, dads, and friends to connect, celebrate and collaborate for the betterment of the Marin community.

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.

Rock Out with the Wonderbread 5 at the Novato Theater's Free Summer Benefit Concert

August 13, 2013

Wonderbread 5This Sunday, August 18, dance in the streets to the sounds of the Wonderbread 5 and the Uphill Both Ways Band as they perform in the Novato Theater's third annual free summer concert. The concert takes place from 1 to 5 pm, and takes place in front of Trek Winery on Machin Street between Sweetser and Vallejo.

Food and beverages will be for sale by sponsors Anchor Brewing, Trek Winery, Muscio's restaurant, Mi Pueblo, Red Boy Pizza, and Powell's Sweet Shoppe. Bring your blankets and low-backed lawn chairs.

If you've seen the Wonderbread 5 perform, then you know how awesome they are, and why they've earned their reputation as one of the Bay Area's best party bands. If not, then you'll just have to come experience them for yourself.

Pick Your Own Organic Produce at Bloomfield Farms

July 14, 2013

Bloomfield Farms u-pick vegetablesLike many families, we like to know exactly where our food is coming from. So that's why we're big fans of the u-pick Sundays at Bloomfield Farms in western Sonoma County. My kids love the opportunity to pick their own food, whether it's in our own backyard garden or at a local farm. While there are plenty of local farms that offer farmstands and sell at various farmers markets around the Bay Area, there aren't too many that offer a chance to go out into the field and pick your own veggies.

Bloomfield Farms is a certfied organic family farm located just west of Petaluma in Sonoma County. It's easy to get to, and makes for a fun Sunday family outing. Bloomfield Farms sells produce at farmers markets, supplies local markets, and provides CSA boxes to subscribers, but decided to start their u-pick event last summer so families could come experience how their food is grown and harvested.

Pull into to the farm and register at the counter with Nick, Jess or one of the farm staff. They're welcoming and enthusiastic, and will explain how the farm's u-pick Sunday works: head out into the fields, pick and cut vegetables, and fill your crate.

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