Get Fit and Explore the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks


The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks stretch across Orange County’s expansive open space preserves, and Irvine Ranch Conservancy partners with OC Parks, the City of Irvine, and the City of Newport Beach to offer a variety of fitness programs that span the mountains to the sea. Most of the programs on the Landmarks are free and open to the public with required preregistration, and welcome the community to enjoy fresh air and exercise on the local lands.


“Temperatures are cooling and it’s the perfect time to explore the Landmarks during a fitness program,” Dave Raetz, Irvine Ranch Conservancy Deputy Director, said. “Whether joining a long-distance cardio hike or mild fitness walk, the Landmarks offer many different activities for nature lovers as young as 8 years old to enjoy. These programs offer the unique opportunity to engage in physical activity while getting acquainted with Orange County’s spectacular open spaces that are home to many rare and native species.”


The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are comprised of over 40,000 acres of protected open spaces and home to geological wonders, diverse flora and fauna, and rare or threatened species. Scientists identified the Landmarks as a biodiversity hotspot, where large concentrations of different species cohabitate including mule deer, scrub jays, coast horned lizards and more, along with rare plant life including the Tecate Cypress.


Fitness programs on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are tailored to a wide variety of interests and skill levels and led by trained volunteers. Whether visitors choose a relaxing combination of hiking and yoga or take on an 8-mile cardio hike in Limestone Canyon, Irvine Ranch Conservancy and their partners welcome nature lovers to enjoy a variety of fitness programs.


From OC Parks’ Weir Canyon to the City of Irvine’s Quail Hill preserve to the City of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully and beyond, the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks offer fresh air and exercise in a coveted natural setting. Click the programs below to register for a fitness program on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.


  • Tuesday Morning Fitness Hikes on Paved Hicks Haul Roadare reoccurring treks that allow hikers to choose from a 3, 6, or 8-mile route through OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.
  • After Work Fitness Hikes on Paved Hicks Haul Roadoffer nature lovers a chance to connect with the lands on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the year. Enjoy fresh air and exercise during a 3.5-mile trek to Loma Ridge and back down.
  • Orchard Hills Evening Hikesencourages visitors to enjoy an evening on the Orchard Hills loop trail to gain a sweeping view of the scenic west, available Mondays and Wednesdays. This reoccurring hike continues throughout the year!
  • Meditative Yoga and Meadow Walkskick off on Wednesday, October 4 in Bommer Canyon from 9:30 – 11 a.m. and continue Wednesdaymornings throughout the year.
  • YIKING: Cardio Hike and Yogaon Sunday, October 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. invites visitors to raise their heart rate before connecting with nature in an instructor led yoga class held alongside the scenic West Loma Ridge.
  • Tai Chi in the Canyonis a reoccurring program encouraging participants to begin their week with Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese exercise known for its low-impact movements with meditative qualities.
  • Cardio Hikes to The Sinksoffer hikers an opportunity to visit the geological wonder, The Sinks, also known as Orange County’s mini-Grand Canyon. A variety of programs range from 8 – 14 in miles in distance, and offer views of coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands.
  • Wilderness Access Daysat Limestone Canyon, Bommer Canyon, and Black Star Canyon invite visitors to explore these highly-protected lands which each offer several trails for beginner and experienced hikers, bikers, and equestrians. 

Enjoy fresh air and exercise on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. All activities are free with required pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day prior to each event. Some programs are suitable for children 12 and over, and children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. For more details on fitness programs on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks visit


Irvine Ranch Conservancy

Irvine Ranch Conservancy is a non-profit, non-advocacy organization created in 2005 to help preserve and support the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, enhancing the public’s connection to the land while helping partners and landowners with all aspects of stewardship. The Conservancy offers a variety of free, guided outdoor programs for all nature enthusiasts including hiking, mountain biking, horse-back riding and much more. For more information, visit

Haunt at Heritage Hill


OC Parks and the City of Lake Forest welcome thrill seekers ages 12 and older to enjoy an evening full of frights at the 10th Annual Haunt at Heritage Hill on Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. The park will once again transform into a thrilling haunted adventure with scream zones including the Joker’s Sideshow, Zombie Apocalypse, and Backwoods Nightmare. Slip into the Haunted Schoolhouse for frights, music, dancing, and more, and join the fun and come dressed in costume (no masks or face paint) to enter the haunted Teen Dance & Costume Contest. Celebrate 10 years of fear during Haunt at Heritage Hill!


“Heritage Hill Historical Park’s Halloween events are a great way to kick off the fall season,” Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District, said. “Children can get into the Halloween spirit at the Autumn Harvest Festival, and the annual Haunt at Heritage Hill has been a teen favorite for the past 10 years.”

October 13 & 14 – Haunt at Heritage Hill

Location: Heritage Hill Historical Park

Address: 25151 Serrano Road Lake Forest, CA 92630-2534

Cost: $8 per person

Parking: Free

Public Contact: or (949) 923-2230

Date: Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14

Time: 6:30 – 10:30 p.m.


Credit: OC Parks. 

Looking for the Next Mini- Mayor of Carlsbad, Kidifornia! You DO have to be a Kid!

Mayor Post 1 FB

Does your Kid want to be the  Mayor of Carlsbad, Kidifornia? This really sounds like a cool opportunity! Carlsbad will be the first city in Kidifornia to organize its own government, and lobby to become the capital of Kidifornia! It’s super easy to apply!

All you have to do is create a maximum 1-minute video of your kid expressing what he or she most enjoys about the city, showing why he or she should be the Mayor of Carlsbad, Kidifornia.

Parents…please read the Terms & Conditions to participate (no purchase is necessary). If you are a Kid and reading …please get your parent’s permission but hurry! Deadline is November 12th! 

Here are the rest of the directions:

STEP 2: Ready, set, film!

  1. Study your itinerary: Think about which activities you like the most, filming those experiences you most enjoy.
  2. Prepare your equipment: Make sure you’re using a fully charged device and that you bring your charger on your excursions just in case.
  3. Think about how you’ll film: Before you press record, take a look this helpful “how to film” video prepared by UrLife’s Hollywood-film editing pro’s. Tips include:
  • Hold your phone camera horizontal
  • Keep the sun behind you
  • Use movement when filming (Pull back/Pan over/Scroll down/Pull and Push in)
  • Framing (keep backgrounds in mind, connect subjects to background, get in front to see faces)
  • Retry and repeat if necessary!
  • Add an interview and commentary
  • Frame your actors like stars!
  • Include the behind the scenes (airports, transportation, breakfasts!)
  • Signage (streets, hotels, the Carlsbad sign!)
  • Bookends (an introduction and a close to your film, offered by you!)

STEP 3: Edit your film and share!

Tell your story of your trip to Carlsbad, editing the great footage into a short film showing how you enjoyed the destination and why YOU should be named MAYOR OF CARLSBAD, KIDIFORNIA! Upload your video before November 12th to Instagram or Facebook, simply with the hashtag #MiniMayorCarlsbad and #VisitCarlsbad, to enter the competition.

STEP 4: Win an awesome prize!

The winner will get a package for your family including two nights at West Inn & Suites, dinner for four at Bistro West, lunch for four at Grubby’s and four park passes to LEGOLAND!

Now, how cool does this prize sound?!  So, what are you waiting for?! Enter before it’s too late!

Don’t miss the Carlsbad, Kidifornia Beach Party!

When:  October 21, 2017 from 9:30 am to 1 pm

Where: Beach Terrace Inn, 2775 Ocean Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008


Visitors and locals are invited to attend the Carlsbad, Kidifornia Beach Party on October 21st, from 9:30 am to 1 pm. Join the mayor of Carlsbad, Matt Hall, and the team of Visit Carlsbad for a morning of kid-friendly activity on the sandy shores of the Beach Terrace Inn. There will be fun, games, and chances to win great prizes in Carlsbad, Kidifornia, including a two-night stay at West Inn & Suites, dinner at Bistro West, lunch Grubby’s and four park passes to LEGOLAND, and much more!


The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit and follow on social media @VisitCarlsbad #MiniMayorCarlsbad.



  • Mini-Mayor video filming: Take a pose in our Kidifornia photo booth and tape your winning video to become our Mini-Mayor. With your parents’ permission, we’ll help you to create a 1-minute video on what you most enjoy about the city, and enter you into the contest to win a two-night stay at West Inn & Suites, dinner at Bistro West, lunch Grubby’s and four park passes to LEGOLAND!
  • “Sand Capitol” building contest: Do you have a talent for design? Sign up for our “sand capitol” contest happening from 10 am -11:30 am and help us create the new headquarters of Carlsbad, Kidifornia! We’ll have professional builders to help you and all the tools needed and a great prize—a full day of fun at Carlsbad Watersports—for the winning design.
  • Kid’s Check Out Survey: What do kids love most about Carlsbad, Kidifornia? Tell us what you think answering a short survey and enter a contest to win four tickets to SEA LIFE Aquarium!

Self Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Compensation was received. Information and images were provided courtesy of  Visit Carlsbad. 

Terranea Turns Pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Terranea Resort, a Destination Hotel, located in Rancho Palos Verdes just an hour south of Los Angeles, transforms into a pink oasis for the month of October in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Guests who visit the resort during this time will see Terranea through rose-colored glasses, as they enjoy all things pink resort-wide, including pink flowers, pink lighting, glasses of rosé upon arrival, and pink food and beverage offerings, all while giving back. A portion of the proceeds from on-property activities, amenities and accommodations will be donated to national organizations like Play for P.I.N.K., benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and local groups like Cancer Support Community of Redondo Beach, which offers a free comprehensive program of emotional support and education to people with cancer and their loved ones, at any stage of their cancer diagnosis.


Some of the pink specialty offerings guests can expect at Terranea in support of National Breast Cancer Month are below.


  • Dining – Guests will be tickled pink by the selection of rose-hued desserts served at sea beans, the resort’s café, including Pink Macarons ($3.75); Pink Sugar Cookie six-packs ($13.50); Pink Brulé Kronuts ($5.50); pink cake lollypops ($5.50); and pink cake trifle sold in jars ($9.50). They will also take delight in the Pink Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes ($8.95), with $.50 donated for each dessert sold in the month, and the Pink Dove Cocktail ($14), which will be available resort-wide with $2.00 donated for each beverage sold. To add to the fun, resort chefs will don pink chef jackets and One Hope Rosé by the Glass will be offered in catalina kitchenbashi and the Lobby Bar for $12.00 with $1.00 donated to the fund.
  • Spa/Fitness – The Spa at Terranea guests are sure to feel rejuvenated after enjoying the Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Scrub, of which $1.00 from each treatment will be donated to the fund. Guests will also be given breast exam cards to raise awareness for self-care, while yoga lovers are invited to take part in Full Moon Yoga under the autumn full moon. Participants are asked to wear pink attire, bring a yoga mat and $20 for contribution to local charity, Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach. For those who work up a thirst, Pink Strawberry Lemonade will be served at the Spa Café, with $.50 donated for each one sold in October.
  • Golf – On Saturday, October 7, 2017, Terranea will host Birdies for Breast Cancer. Proceeds from event entry will directly support Cancer Support Community of Redondo Beach. The event will feature live music, food & wine tastings, raffle prizes, live and silent auctions, games and kid’s activities for all ages. All paid participants receive complimentary child care for ages 4 and up provided by Terranea’s Tide Pool Kid’s Club from 8:00AM – 1:00PM10am – 3pm Marketplace & Luncheon. $85 Adults | $45 Children 17 and Under


  • Retail – marea boutique will showcase jewelry brand Gorjana’s pink gemstone line by offering 10% off the entire collection. At Pointe Discovery, guests can also shop for pink Pura Vida bracelets and pink s’well bottles, with a 10% donation made from all sales of these items.


  • Last but not least, for every recreational activity booked in October, Terranea will donate $5 to Play For P.I.N.K.


Credit:  Terranea Resort. Photos were provided.

9th Annual LA Printers Fair Sat. Oct. 14th 2017 @ International Printing Museum, Carson, CA


Photo: Some of our guests will be “Holiday Shopping” early with a variety of artistic goodies from over 80 vendors at the LA Printers Fair at The International Printing Museum in Carson, CA  Oct. 14th 2017.

9th Annual LA Printers Fair,  Sat. Oct. 14th. 2017 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
at The International Printing Museum

Admission is $10 everyone; Kids under 12 years only $5

The Printers Fair at the International Printing Museum, Carson, showcases the art of letterpress printing and paper in historical and contemporary forms. Come and peruse a wide range of 80 artistic vendors among the world’s largest collection of working antique printing presses.
Vendor items include book arts, letterpress printing, paper, printmaking, handmade announcements & invitations, posters, limited edition books and more.  There will also be
“The Largest Letterpress Swap Meet in the West with letterpress supplies, wood and metal type, ink and presses including Windmills, platens and rare Vandercooks.
Printing and paper making demonstrations, screen printing and tours for visitors throughout
the day in the Museum’s new expanded galleries!
NEW SPECIAL EXHIBIT THIS YEAR!!!  “PRINTING ON THE SILVER SCREEN” featuring presses from TV like John Boy’s printing press from “The Waltons” and “Twilight Zone’s: The Printer’s Devil” or westerns such as “The Man who Shot Liberty Valance” and “Have Gun Will Travel” along with newer productions like “Newsies”, “ Gilmore Girls”“Seven Pounds”“Inception” and “J. Edgar” among others…
Also our ARTIST SPOTLIGHT this year is on the screen printing art of Earl Newman the celebrated artist who designed and printed posters for “The Monterey Jazz”  & “Oregon Shakespeare” Festivals for 50 years!   Mr. Newman will be in attendance all day selling and autographing his outstanding prints!
So circle that date,  Saturday Oct.14th and come to the Printers Fair!!
Ample Free Parking…. See Fair Video
For tickets and vendor information go to:
Credit: International Printing Museum. Photo was also provided. 

Taco ‘bout a good deal: Rubio’s Celebrates National Taco Day 10/3


Looks delicious, doesn’t it?

National Taco Day is almost here so taco-lovers around the country can get ready for some seriously delicious deals. And there are a lot of taco lovers out there – Americans ate more than 4.5 billion tacos last year, according to the National Taco Day website. In honor of the foodie holiday, Rubio’s Coastal Grill will offer guests deals all day Tuesday, October 3 (in conjunction with Taco Tuesday) on the signature fish taco that helped put the company on the map, as well as a few newer selections. Special all-day deals include:

  • $1.75 Original Fish Taco
  • $2 Original Fish Taco Especial
  • $2.25 Original Fish Taco with new Mango Salsa (available only on Oct. 3!)
  • $1 off all alcohol all day

I actually can’t wait to try the New Mango Salsa! I know where I am going tomorrow!

We have teamed up with Rubio’s for a fun giveaway! Deadline to enter is Tuesday, October 6th!!! (6 pm PST)Has been extended!  To enter, leave a comment below telling us your favorite food item at Rubio’s! I love their Tacos but I think the Rubio’s Ancho Citrus Shrimp Burrito is my all time favorite! U.S. Residents only. One winner will win two meal vouchers to Rubio’s. 

Self Disclosure: I received free meal vouchers to facilitate this post/giveaway. Image and info were also provided.

L.A. Zoo Safari Days Select Dates from September 21, 2017 to April 2, 2018 9 am – 4 pm Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

026 ZooCamp16-Jamie Pham

Each Safari Day offers a fun-filled day of exploration through the Los Angeles Zoo led by an adventure “specialist” that will help create an unforgettable and wild experience for every participant. Instead of working on sight words, young guests will have animal sightings; instead of reading comprehension, children will help others comprehend their discoveries by sharing stories about what they saw and did. Bring a backpack, lunch, and some safari gear to join us at the Zoo. All dates correspond to certain LAUSD unassigned days and/or holidays. Safari Days are for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Morning and afternoon extended care is available for an additional cost. Dates include: September 21, 2017, Thanksgiving week— November 10, 20, 21, 22, 2017, Martin Luther King Jr. Day—January 15, 2018February 19, 2018, and April 2, 2018.

“We’re pleased to present this brand new programming that we hope will provide engaging educational opportunities for youngsters from kindergarten through sixth grade,” explains Education Manager Heather Shields. “Safari Days will complement classroom learning by giving students a chance to exercise their observational skills out in the Zoo, and then take those observations and communicate them with others as stories. We’re looking forward to this new experience as a way to extend our reach to help meet the needs of schools and families—part of our mission as a classroom without borders.”

Please make sure to check your child’s school calendar before registering. Space is limited, so register today at Price is $75 per child. GLAZA members save $5 per child.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered. Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. The Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $21 for adults and $16 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo Web site at

Credit: Los Angeles Zoo. Photo Credit: Jamie Pham.

How Might a Parent Shift Change the Life of You and Your Child?

You can work from 4 P.M. to midnight, from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., or have the type of career that has you working various shifts and schedules as needed by your employer. For most parents, doing whatever it takes to pay the bills can have serious implications on quality of life. Parents who have attended Duquesne University to complete a DNP or FNP have the option of working what’s called a parent shift. This shift is primarily offered to medical professionals who want to work when their children are scheduled to be in school or childcare. Not only is the parent shift proving to be revolutionary in the healthcare field, it’s a shift that is actually working for working parents and employers in equal measure.

What Does a Parent Shift Consist of?

Professionals in the healthcare field who can find parent shifts primarily look for shifts that begin after their children have been dropped off and end in plenty of time to pick them up. These shifts are usually for part-time positions but they do offer a lot of flexibility. Parents who choose these shifts often have spouses who are also working or they live with relatives so that their expenses are shared. A parenting shift might be essential to a new mom or dad getting back into the workforce after taking considerable time off. Lastly, a parent shift is a good option for a parent who simply isn’t going to have the ability to go back to work unless a job that centers around their parenting lifestyle becomes available.

How Prevalent Are Parenting Shifts in the Healthcare Field?

As for right now, it is mainly nurses and online DNP degree holders that are able to find jobs that offer parent shifts. Although some lawyers, chefs, and accountants would probably love to work a parent shift, the medical field is finding that nurses with children are responding really well to the parent shift trend. Other medical professionals find these shifts work well when you have school-aged children. In fact, it seems that parent shifts are offered almost exclusively to medical professionals. Perhaps a few other industries will consider adding parent shifts on a permanent basis in the next several years.

Can You Earn a Decent Income Working a Parent Shift?

Undoubtedly, work hours are limited to nursing professionals working parent shifts. These positions are not really geared toward full-time workers, but hourly earnings can still be impressive. There’s also nothing stopping nurses working parent shifts from working full-time during the weeks that their children are away or simply from changing their schedules when it best suits them.

A parent shift could work for a parent who is not ready to be away from his or her child all night long. Parent shifts are also good for those who don’t want to put their children with a nanny or pay for after school care. If you want to be the primary caretaker for your child and work in the healthcare industry, see if there are parent shifts available with local employers.