The Best Way To Chill Out Your Kids This Summer

May 30, 2014

Chi 4 ChildrenMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Marian Brandenburg and Chi 4 Children, now offering summer sessions at the Dailey Method in Corte Madera and Fairfax. Learn more at

Chi 4 Children, a new dynamic based on ancient wisdom, is enrolling now for summer sessions conveniently scheduled at the Dailey Method Studios in Corte Madera and Fairfax. Children can enjoy relaxing plus Mom has the option to get in a great workout, all before dinner. Or how about offering this exciting concept for kids at your next party?

Children can have so much energy. But at what point do they learn to constructively and creatively utilize it to benefit their body, mind and spirit? A long-time mom in Marin with decades of experience as a holistic practitioner, Marian Brandenburg wanted to answer that question. Listening to other Marin mothers who longed for more meaningful youth programs, she developed Chi 4 Children to give kids delightful and easy-to-learn tools that provide them with an early awareness of harmony within themselves. Using ancient knowledge backed by scientific study, Chi 4 Children is an hour long, 4 part fusion class aimed for ages 6–12.

Paws to Read this Summer at the Marin County Free Library!

May 26, 2014

Paws to Read Summer Reading Program Marin County Free Library 2014It's hard to believe that it's almost the end of the school year. You can keep the learning—and fun—alive this summer by participating in the Marin County Free Library's 2014 summer reading program, Paws to Read. Paws to Read is packed with exciting free activities designed to inspire creativity, learning, and exploring. And it's not just for kids—the whole family can participate!

This year's program is built around Reader BINGO, with different cards available for children, teens (entering grades 6–12), and adults. Complete squares or rows on your bingo card and win prizes and get entered in raffle drawings. Kids can earn prizes like a Paws to Read T-shirt; teens can enter drawings for prizes like Giants tickets, gift cards, and even an iPad Mini; and adults can enter drawings for food and beverage gift cards from local businesses. Teens and adults can also choose a free gently used book when enrolling in Paws to Read, courtesy of the Book Place, the Library's used bookstore located in downtown Novato. Download your bingo cards and get started.

Spring Is Here! Skincare Tips and Techniques to Smooth Your Skin into Summer

April 17, 2014

healthy skinMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Karen Horton, M.D., Marin mom and board-certified plastic surgeon.

Spring is finally here! While it has been an unseasonably warm Bay Area winter, we will soon spend more time outdoors with our families. This means greater exposure to the elements and the sun. While some sunshine is important for natural vitamin D production by the body, limiting unexposed UV radiation is vital to skin health! The sun contains three wavelengths of ultraviolet energy: UVA and UVB cause free radical damage and aging of the skin, while highest energy UVC rays are increasingly allowed into our atmosphere as the ozone layer becomes depleted.

Sun damage is cumulative in our lifetime, meaning small changes in our cells occur yearly starting in childhood and add up over time with years of sun exposure. Damage to DNA in deep skin cells is usually not evident until our 30s and 40s, when women often "wake up" to changes in their skin become more interested in sun prevention and skin care. Pigmentation changes such as "hyperpigmentation" (brown spots) and freckles, white spots, "telangiectasias" or spider veins (broken surface blood vessels), fine lines, wrinkles, decreased collagen and loss of skin elasticity are all consequences of chronic sun damage.

Best Lunch Box Recipes: Mini Build-Your-Own Tacos

August 19, 2013

Lunch box tacosMarin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike. Here's her meal plan for this week.

It’s back-to-school time again. As we go out and buy all the prerequisite back-to-school supplies, lunch is always at the top of the list. We are all looking for easy and creative ways to fill our kids' lunch boxes so that they will eat everything. This year, I wanted to create some fun lunch box ideas that are built on some kid favorite foods. So, this week’s feature is a simple build-your-own taco lunch. In this recipe, I use beef but these tacos can easily be made with chicken, turkey or tofu. To make it even easier on you, I recommend making the taco meat the night before for dinner and use it to feed your family tacos, burritos or taco salad and then use the leftovers for lunch the next day. I bet even the adults will want to take this to work!

Lunch Box Fixings

Grilled Chicken with Corn Relish and Avocado Puree

August 5, 2013

Chicken with avocado pureeMarin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike. Here's her meal plan for this week.

This is one of those quick and easy recipes that will wow anyone especially when you use in-season produce. The ingredients are simple but flavorful. Not only is this dish healthy but also everyone will ask for more!

Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


for the chicken

Grilled Fish Kabobs with Summer Vegetables

July 22, 2013

Grilled fish kebabs with summer vegetablesMarin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike. Here's her meal plan for this week.

Grilled kabobs of any sort scream SUMMER to me. The key to great kabobs is to cut the meat and vegetables roughly the same size. This way they both finish cooking at the same time. I recommend buying the freshest firm fish you can find. In this recipe I use swordfish, which is a great starter fish for kids because it is so meaty, but any firm fish will do. We also love to drizzle my roasted red pepper sauce over top and I serve it on the side for my son as a dipping sauce.

Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Inactive time: 15–30 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes


  • 1 ¼ pound fresh swordfish, shark or any other fresh firm meat fish, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sized zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch-thick circles
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces

Make a Summer Journal to Record Vacation Memories

July 6, 2013

Summer journalWith summer vacation in full swing now, it’s really hard to think about going back to school in the fall and answering the age old question: “What did you do on your summer vacation?”

Make that time-honored topic easy to address for your kids by creating fun and colorful summer journals. My kids have already started working on theirs, and over the next few weeks, they’ll write about all the experiences they had over the summer, and fill their journals with photos, postcards, drawings, and other reminders of vacation fun.

There are no hard and fast rules for creating a summer journal with your kids. We use simple three-ring binders, but you might like to use an acid-free sketchbook or a spiral-bound notebook. We like using the binders because you can put all kinds of different things in them. Get out the three-hole punch and you can put drawings, brochures, and other souvenirs from your summer in them. Clear plastic sheet protectors can be used to hold things like postcards, brochures, and pressed flowers.

We also get the kind of binders with the clear plastic sleeves on the cover, so the kids can personalize their journals by sliding a drawing onto the front. Of course if you have a plain binder or other type of notebook you can customize it in other colorful ways, with stickers, paint, glitter, or anything else that your imagination can dream up.

The San Rafael Pacifics Are Back for Another Season of Baseball in Marin!

May 14, 2013

Pacifics Baseball in San RafaelThis June, Marin's own boys of summer return to downtown San Rafael's Albert Park for another season of professional minor league baseball! The 2013 San Rafael Pacifics season begins on Tuesday, June 11, and runs through August 25.

Albert Park's intimate setting is the perfect venue for old-fashioned, family-friendly, and affordable local baseball. We're so lucky to have this team here, and maybe they'll repeat their championship-winning 2012 season! General admission tickets are just $10, grandstand reserved and box seats are $20, and dugout seats are $25.

Kids 12 and under can join the Rookie Club, which offers a variety of benefits, including free admission to all Sunday home games and pre- and post-game activities like playing catch with the team during warm ups. Rookie Club membership costs $25 and includes a T-shirt, membership card, and discounts on team merchandise and Silbermann's ice cream (San Rafael's Silbermann's Ice Cream is the Rookie Club sponsor).

Summer Family Tahoe Fun at Northstar California

July 3, 2012

Last week we had the opportunity to head back up to the mountains and experience Northstar California Resort during the summer. When we visited back in the winter, we thought that the summer activities offered at Northstar sounded just as fun as the winter ones, so we were determined to go back once school was out. We did, and we had a fantastic time during our visit!

Northstar is an exciting destination for a family summer getaway, with lots of things to do including mountain biking, hiking, geocaching, roller skating, and more. The summer vibe at Northstar is definitely more laid back than it is during the ski season, but it's still a bustling place, with hikers and mountain bikers gathering by the gondola to head up onto Mt. Pluto for outdoor fun.

When you've had enough of the wilderness, come back down the mountain and take advantage of some of the fun to be had in the Northstar Village.

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