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What’sup forids tm


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11 Cool Products for Your Family 10 If Momma Ain’t Happy 16 Spotlight on Savoir Faire 26 The Single Mom’s Guide


 Inevery issue….


6 Cookin’ Corner

Smoothies! 18 Health & Wellness 8 Courteous and Cool

Losing Your Cool Family Friendly Travel 12 Tucson 14 San Francisco 24 Quick Tips for Organizing

Resolutions VS Goals COVER PHOTO COURTESY OF Cynthia Olkie, Fleur de Lis Photography

Exercising Simplicity, Gratitude and Focus 22 On Dad’s Watch

Believe! 27 Calendar

Find all the latest things to do around town! As events change, be sure to call ahead!


Letter From The Publisher: Publisher Here we are – a new year with new possibilities! It so exciting! We set goals and dreams and begin the work to make it happen. But I have a question…. have you done the work? The “work” is the inner work. The belief in one’s self. The belief that you can do it. The belief that YES I CAN…. fill in your blank_______! I’ve been on a journey the last few months – one of serious reflection and introspection. And the journey has led me through pulling back the layers, getting real and being honest with myself. It continues and I’m amazed each day at the experiences and people that cross my path, certainly by NO coincidence. You have to be ready – both in your head and in your heart! You have to be open to the possibility. And then, and only then, do the doors open and you can see what was right in front of you all along. What’s Up For Kids has been around for over 18 years now—and needless to say, my little ones are growing up and mostly out of the house. This has given me time to explore other areas of interest. I began the Today’s Innovative Woman magazine almost 3 years ago now ( —serving women entrepreneurs. But something that has always been on the back of my mind is philanthropy and giving back—and how I can incorporate that into my company. Many many years ago I began a charity and I am now taking that a step further and Operation Yes I Can is underway! I’ll share more of the story in the next issue (and online)—but the idea is that with an attitude of YES I CAN, we can accomplish almost anything,. And so can our kids!!! (If you as a woman are interested, you can read the story at Our kids have many opportunities but face challenges as well, challenges we as parents may or may not even see. If they learn and live by the motto “Yes I Can”, it may help them overcome those challenges. “Yes I can” takes work and dedication—it’s not about entitlement. You don’t “deserve” an A on your test, you aren’t “entitled” to a place on the team; you earn it, work hard for it and do whatever it takes! That is YES I CAN! You and your kids will be able to experience the YES I CAN commitment at our 17th Annual What’s Up For Kid s Expo on March 15th. We’ll be collecting canned goods at the entry and giving out YES I CAN wristbands! And you’ll be able to sign the YES I CAN wall too! So join me and others as we say YES I CAN—and start by making a difference!

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Cookin’Corner Smoothies! By Phoebe Schilla

Well the Holidays are over and it’s time to return to your healthy eating program. Not only are smoothies are a great way to start off the day but you can boost the nutritional value by adding a Tablespoon of flax, chia, hemp seeds (high in Omega 3’s) or protein powder to any of the following recipes. Start your day with the Super green morning smoothie or treat yourself to the Chocolate Banana Smoothie. For best results and the smoothest texture make these in a powerful immersion style blender. Orange, Carrot and Persimmon Smoothie with Ginger A Beta Carotene Blast! Serves 4 2 Oranges, peeled 2 Persimmons, peeled and chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped finely 2 tsp. of ginger, grated 1 – 1 ½ cups water Place all of the ingredients in the blend and blend until smooth. Pomegranate Strawberry Smoothie High in Anti oxidants and Vitamin C Serves 2 1 cup strawberries 1 banana 1 cup pomegranate juice. Place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend. Super Green Morning Smoothie Makes 2 generous servings 4 leaves of kale, leaves separated from the stem and stem discarded. 1 medium apple, sliced ½ avocado ¼ cup parsley leaves 1 tsp. flax meal 1 tsp. ginger, grated 1 small orange, peeled 2 Tbsp. agave syrup of honey (more to taste) 1 to 1 ½ cups water Place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. (Continued on page 7)


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Chocolate Date Smoothie Serves 2 6 Dates, pitted ½ cup yogurt (silken tofu works well too.) 2 Tbsp. Raw Cacao Powder 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 banana 1 cup ice Place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend away! This is great as an afternoon pick me up. Editor’s Note: Chef Phoebe loved cooking from an early age growing up outside of Portland, Maine. Her mother and aunt were accomplished self-taught cooks who welcomed curious Phoebe into their kitchens. From tapping her own maple syrup from trees in the yard to baking homemade bread, Phoebe learned at an early age about the delicious benefits of whole, natural, seasonal foods. Phoebe lives in San Francisco with her husband and their daughter. In her spare time she enjoys reading cookbooks, traveling, studying yoga practices and, of course, learning about all the latest culinary happenings from around the globe. To learn more about Chef Phoebe, visit

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Courteous&Cool Losing Your Cool By Kari Doody

We’ve all had moments when we think we are going to lose our cool. However, most people can control their emotions without taking it out on someone else. An adult friend of mine recently told me of an incident where a person she did not know approached her and started yelling profanities at her and spit at her for accidentally rolling a stop sign. To make matters worse, this person did this in front of both of their kids. We all make mistakes but venting in this manner is certainly not the answer. If children observe their parents behaving poorly what is to stop them from doing the same? Whether you are child or an adult we need to remember to always treat people the way you want to be treated. Here are some tips that you and your kids can use to help resolve conflicts in a polite and respectful way: 1.

Remain calm: If someone has upset you take a few deep breathes and wait at least a few seconds to respond.


Give your child a choice of coping strategies. For example, your son is upset that he didn’t get to start in the game, tell him that he can either choose to mope about it and disrupt the game or talk to his coach afterwards and ask him what he needs to do to get better and be able to start next time.


Do not feed anger. You may also feel that your son should be starting in the game, but feeding his anger will just make matters worse. This is a life lesson about not always getting what you want.


Discuss how your child handled the situation when they are calm. You both can learn a lot by discussing the incident afterwards. Sometimes the best learning experiences come from the most unexpected situations.

Whatever you do make sure your children know that certain behaviors are unacceptable, and that being able to resolve conflicts in a respectful manner is the way to go. Kari Doody is Founder of the Courteous and Cool Etiquette School. After having three children and sharing stories with other mom’s, she realized that many role models that our children look up to were in the news – and not in a good way. We aren’t born with good manners, they need to be cultivated at a young age and reinforced throughout young adulthood. Whatever level your child is at, she can help them improve their skills and confidence – and they can have fun doing it with my age appropriate games and activities. For more tips and classes in your area, visit


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IF MOMMA AIN’T HAPPY... Self-nurturing advice for the nurturer

WHAT’S YOUR NEW YEAR’S REST-SOLUTION? Happy New Year all you highly functioning, multi-tasking nurturers out there! Does your beginning of the year, optimistically written “to do” list look something like this: Eat more greens. Check. Save more money. Check. Spend more quality time with the family. Check. Get more done in less time so I can get even more done. Check, check and super check!? Have you ever considered adding the following in your 2014’s resolutions: take more micronaps, spend more time staring at the wall for brief periods and zoning out, hide from the noisy kids in the bathroom and look at People Magazine for 5 minutes? Well, perhaps you should. As a clinical hypnotherapist I see many nurturers who have found themselves stuck in unhealthy habits like smoking, stress eating, or pouring themselves one (or two) too many glasses of wine at night-- not because they lack control but because they refuse to give their minds mini breaks over the course of their busy, jam-packed days. Why is it important to take breaks? As parents, from the moment we wake up until the time we go to bed we are “on”. During our busy modern life there is rarely any “downtime” for our body or our mind. Think of your mind like a computer. When you work your computer too hard what happens? It freezes up and refuses to work. In addition to your mind needing rest, research also shows that your body follows a pattern called ultradian rhythms. These are cycles where the energy levels in your body slowly decline over 90 to 120 minutes. If you do not take time to rest your body and mind every hour and a half or so you may start to experience difficulty concentrating or feeling hungry, and feeling irritable and restless. This is why I advise my clients to get in the habit of finding micro-breaks over the course of their day. Failing to “re-boot” your mind and body over time can cause lack of sleep and unhealthy habits, such as drinking more alcohol and smoking. This could lead to serious and long-term health conditions, including depression. How micro is a micro-break? The quality of your break is more important than how long it is. In fact, as long as your attention is diverted from the work you were doing, just a few minutes can be enough. But it’s important that you take this break during the day, not at the beginning or end. There are a few “rest-solutions” ideas to add to the ones I mentioned above: -Listen to a soothing song or piece of music. -Take some work outside and stare at the sky for a few minutes before you get started. -Practice some simple stretches or relaxation techniques. -Lie down on your living room floor, close your eyes, and just tune in to your breath. I know that when you have a lot to do you may feel that you’re wasting time by taking a micro-break, but you will easily make it up as you’re likely to be more productive and, more importantly, more happy afterwards. And remember, “If momma ain’t happy…ain’t nobody happy.” Happy New Year and happy wall staring!

Rita Black is the mother of Vivien 11, and Archie 8, and also is a clinical hypnotherapist specializing in weight loss, smoking cessation, and stress management and author of the upcoming “SHIFT from Fat to Thin Thinking: The easy 1-2-30 Weight Mastery Process”. Her programs have helps thousands take back control of their lives and their health. For more information visit (smoking cessation), (weight) or call 323 988 4574 for a free phone consultation.


Iris Shamus, Founder and CEO of AllerMates has come up with products specifically for children with allergies. She says, “With allergies on the rise and many of my friends and family members facing similar issues, I realized that there was a great need for kid friendly allergy awareness products. I decided to create products that would not only help protect kids with allergies, but ones that would also make them feel good about themselves regarding their allergies. Products that were fun, colorful and, let’s face it “cool”. I noticed how most kids I knew, including my own, were absolutely fascinated by colorful characters. Next thing I knew, I was writing bios for fun, cartoon like allergen characters that came to mind. And so P.Nutty and the rest of the gang were born. “ Iris goes on to say, “I’m confident that the AllerMates images and stories will appeal to kids of all ages and make them feel good about themselves regarding their allergies. Most importantly, our products will help identify and safeguard kids with allergies and give their parents and caregivers some peace of mind.” What’s Up for Kids recently had the opportunity to review these products and found them to be super cute and colorful. We think parents of kids with allergies will want to check out the colorful and fun lunch totes and wrist band products available. Hitting allergies where it counts – right in the lunchroom! Their high quality, insulated lunch totes are just the right amount of cool for kids with allergies or who are wheat gluten free who want to be safe and stylish. The allergy lunch bags come with a colorful allergy info card featuring the AllerMates characters and slides into a clear side pocket to help identify your child’s allergy in a fun and straightforward way. Important emergency info can be placed on the back of the card. Lunch totes are available on the website for between $15.99 and $18.99 and are also available nationwide at K-mart and CVS. Allergies, Child SafetyAllerMates & MediMates alert wristbands are bright and colorful and designed to be noticed. Perfect for reminding others of your child’s allergy or other health concern. These high quality bands come with three adjustable snaps and should fit most kids from the age of 2 and up. The products are BPA, phthalates, nickel and latex-free. Wrist bands are available at for $5.99. For more information and additional products, along with allergy information and related blogs, visit

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FamilyFriendlyTravel Tucson: A Perfect Family Weekend Get Away! By Cindy Donnelly We have a Wildcat in the family, my oldest daughter is in her second year at the University of Arizona, so we have discovered that Tucson makes for a great getaway destination. We love it, and winter is the time to go!! There are a few places I definitely recommend to take in the natural beautify of Arizona. The first would be a visit to Sabino Canyon, about 20 minutes from the downtown area and full of scenic mountain views of the Catalina mountains along with plenty of Saguaro cactus, a mountain stream winding down the canyon, and a tour tram that can take you to the top so you can just walk down (or ride the whole way up and back.) It is perfect for both a great hike, or for those that just want to see the scenery without the hike!! For more information visit Another lovely spot to enjoy nature is the Tohono Chul botanical gardens. This is a lovely place to stroll and enjoy the paths, the three gift shops, art gallery and a restaurant with great weekend brunch options that had something to please everyone!! For our younger daughter, age 8, there was an enchanting little children’s garden that she enjoyed for quite some time as we relaxed in the shade of the trees. At the entrance they give the kids tiny wooden “boats” to go down a winding little play stream in the middle of the children’s garden, along with other interactive and fun things to explore it was a hit. For more information visit . Other unique points of interest in the area we have stumbled upon are the bio sphere, which is about an hour outside of Tucson ( and the Arizona State Museum ( on the University of Arizona Campus. The university’s planetarium is also open to the public ( It is just a short one hour flight and Southwest has great fares on a regular basis. We rent a car, and the driving is pretty easy around town, generally we have used Dollar Rent-A-Car. Hotels are reasonably priced, our best find so far has been The Lodge On The Dessert, which boasts an award winning restaurant that locals enjoy along with the out-of-towners (http:// Whatever you end up doing, you will enjoy getting to know Wildcat Country!!


Art Enrichment Programs! We bring Art Programs to Preschools, Public and Private Elementary Schools, City Park and Recreational Services, Corporate Day Care, Non-Profits and More! From Leonardo da Vinci to Monet to Frank Lloyd Wright, our Great Masters Programs will:


Sharpen Critical Thinking Skills Increase the Ability to Think Independently and Innovate Build Self-Esteem and Increase Self-Confidence Let the Imagination Soar!

Programs include: Highly Trained Art Instructors, All Supplies, Educational Art Books, Prints and Props, Accompaniment of Classical Music/ Composers, Manipulatives, and More.

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San Francisco—2 Perspectives! By Cindy Donnelly In late November we took a little road trip up to the Bay area with our 8 year old to experience the annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party ( at the Cow Palace. This event is held every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas (if you are going to the Bay area in late November or December look into this as it was incredible!) The fair was going to take up one day, but we have been a few times to San Francisco and had a few places we wanted to re-visit while in town and a few new things we wanted to check out. We decided to stay in North Beach at the Columbus Motor Inn (www.columbusmotor We have stayed there before and originally came across them on Trip Advisor. The place is pretty basic, but the rooms are large and they are walking distance to the Little Italy and Chinatown neighborhoods as well as the Pier area. Also public transportation is very easy to access; with both bus (No.30 line) and street car service just minutes away (in fact the street car turnaround is about a block and half away so you always can get a seat on the trolley!!) Book ahead a little with the hotel , you can get fantastic rates. This visit we wanted to take a ferry ride, so we decided to go to Tiburon. We headed down to the Pier on foot and hopped on the Blue & Gold Fleet ferry at Pier 39 that goes to Sausalito and Tiburon . It is about a half hour one way, just the right amount of time to enjoy cruising past Alcatraz and taking in the views of the bay. We had been to Sausalito before, so just for something different decided to go to Tiburon. It was a cute little town, not a lot to do, some little shops and great views. We had found some online reviews about a little Chinese restaurant, Mings, and it did not disappoint!! If it is your first time, I would recommend going to Sausalito instead as there is much more to do, but if you have already done that a few times, give Tiburon a try. In the past my husband and older daughter (19) have taken bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge and then taken the ferry back which they really enjoyed. Before or after your Ferry ride, be sure and check out the Musée Mécanique ( located on Pier 45. There are actual working penny arcade games from the early 20th century. Bring quarters and plan to spend some time admiring these working antiques!! We are not big fans of Pier 39, but we did stroll around to see the sea lions that have made the Pier their home. We also enjoyed going to The Presidio and admiring the incredible view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and just letting our 8 year old run around the grassy area to enjoy a little kid time. There is a delightful little coffee house/book store called The Warming Hut and we enjoyed hot chocolate and a little shopping!! As we left we decided to drive across the bridge just for fun and went over to Sausalito and back. We were surprised to find no toll booths in either direction, we could not figure out how to pay the $6, turns out our Fast Pass worked, but we could have also paid online within 48 hours of crossing (otherwise you can expect a ticket in the mail that you will need to pay to avoid fines!)


We were interested in checking out the local neighborhoods so we walked from our hotel on Columbus towards Union Square, and that allowed us to really experience Little Italy. Along the way we passed many Italian Restaurants and Mara’s Italian Pastry with the most phenomenal goodies, have cash because they do not accept credit cards!! Staying on Columbus you eventually will transition into Chinatown and many little shops to explore. We eventually wound our way to the Union Square area and our little one was tired and hungry so we checked out the food court in the Westfield San Francisco Centre on Mar ket str eet (a fancy mall!). It was the per fect choice, Pizza for her and many gourmet choices for my husband and me. We took the street car back to North Beach for a lovely ride at night through San Francisco’s hilly streets. Continued by Cathy Alessandra….. While Cindy‘s last stop was the Westfield San Francisco Centre, that was my recent destination in San Francisco! Now having two older daughters (19 & 21) who live in Northern California, their mission for our “girls weekend with mom” was shopping ! We decided to stay in Union Square for easy shopping and transportation access. We stayed at the Kensington Park Hotel, ( just a few steps from the main square. While this is an older hotel, it has massive charm and very reasonable rates. Plus they are part of a group of hotels that also accommodates families with a kids’ suites! (See pictures at right). Restaurants are plentiful in Union Square and dinner for us one evening was Morton's Steakhouse. We had br eakfast at Sears Fine Food ( which has been in San Francisco since 1938 and is known for their 18 Swedish pancakes—a meal that was quite tasty! We did venture down to Pier 39 and the Embarcadero which was fun, but extremely crowded on a weekend! And of course, no trip to San Francisco is complete without a cable car ride, which we took back towards Union Square from Pier 39!

San Francisco offers so many options for lodging, meals and things to do! No matter what the age of your children for a family trip, or a quick girls weekend or couples escape, there is something for everyone. Southwest and Virgin airlines often offer specials of $49-$59 each way—or just a 7 hour drive!

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Spotlight on Savoir Faire Immersion Pre School and Language Programs Recently I had the opportunity to talk in depth with Joelle Petit Adkins, owner and director of Savoir Faire Language Institute in Redondo Beach. It is a very exciting time at Savoir Faire because they have just launched a 100% Immersion Pre School Program and have moved into a large, new location. Joelle explained that the objective of the new Pre-school is to have little ones prepared to go to Kindergarten in the language of their choice including English, Spanish, French or Chinese. This way those students who wish to continue in an immersion program at the elementary school level will be equally prepared as those that will go on to traditional kindergarten. The pre-school is fully licensed and offers all the benefits of traditional pre-school programs, but also offers students the opportunity to be fully immersed in one, two or three additional languages in a 100% immersion program. Parents will have the choice as to which languages they want their child to study. In addition to a focus on language, the program will also address socialization and how to function in the kindergarten environment, small and large motor skills, as well as other subjects that open the mind to learning such as science projects and problem solving. The pre-school offers before and after school care and is open from 7:45am to 5:30pm. Savoir Faire continues to offer classes for older kids and adults and will soon also launch a Mommy and Me program. All classes from Mommy and Me to Adult are taught by native speakers of the target language being taught, and all instructors are also University graduates with a BA in Education and Bilingual Education. Joelle is very proud of what she calls her “amazing team of educators”, explaining they share their enthusiasm for their native language and culture and bring that passion to the program. Interested families can make an appointment to come and observe a class by calling (310) 379-1086. For more information you can visit


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Health&Wellness Health&Wellness Exercising Simplicity, Gratitude & Focus Most of us can buy into the idea that in order to get your body in shape, exercise will be necessary. In order to get stronger, faster, leaner, and lighter, “working out” the body can help you get there. So why isn’t it the same concept for your mind and thoughts when dealing with happiness? As I was driving from my first client this morning, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and appreciation for my life. I exercise both my body and my mind. I’d like to breakdown the simplicity of our emotions. First we observe or think something, next we interpret it. Based on what we think about the situation and what it means to us, we then have a feeling. Thoughts come first, then emotions. Two people can be looking at the same situation and interpret it very differently. What it means to them will determine how they feel about it. There is no one “right” way to interpret anything. Most people are so focused on the emotion that they tend not to inquire about the thoughts that created the emotion in the first place. If you want to change your emotions, you have to change your thoughts. Think back to a time when you were observing a small child cry- probably because they were not getting something they wanted or they had a small trauma of falling. Have you observed a child who then was enticed with something else, or just changed focus, and then immediately seemed happy again within minutes or seconds? Children are a great example of the simplicity of how we all have the power to quickly change our point of focus- it’s really that simple. Let the children around you inspire simplicity, gratitude and focus. JJ Flizanes is the Director of Invisible Fitness. An Amazon best-selling author of Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life, and author of Knack Absolute Abs: Routines for a Fit and Firm Core, JJ was named Best Personal Trainer in Los Angeles for 2007 by Elite Traveler Magazine. She was a finalist for IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year 2011 and has been featured in many national magazines such as Shape, Fitness, Muscle and Fitness HERS, Elegant Bride, and Women’s Health as well as NBC, CBS, KTLA and Fox 11. JJ’s passion is transforming men and women’s bodies and relationships through their fitness and self care routines. Find her at or 800 571 5722.


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Learn, Teach and Grow at the CCPPNS th 65 Annual Convention By Michele Connors and Jennifer Wei The California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (CCPPNS) will be hosting its 65th Annual Convention – Building Our Future Together: Learn, Teach, Grow – on Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the Radisson LAX. While hosted by an organization focused on parent participation preschools, topics will resonate with teachers, administrators and parents who are involved with children from preschool, kindergarten and elementary schools. Speakers will introduce tools for attendees to provide confidence in interacting with children, as well as a path to provide children with security and consistency in learning. This year’s keynote speaker is Alfie Kohn, author of Punished By Rewards and Unconditional Parenting, as well as his forthcoming book The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting. Joyce Woodruff, director of Westchester Parents’ Nursery School and cochair of the convention, said “This conference brings together a group of like-minded people who want to work in partnership toward a common goal: the education of our children. We will learn how to effectively build a community for our children, supply them with interesting and hands-on content, and provide them with a loving and nurturing environment where they can ‘come into their own.’” Each year for the past 65 years, this convention has been put together by a group of CCPPNS volunteer parents and teachers who believe in a “cooperative” education: a setting that is founded on the grounds that the best education for young children will result in an active partnership amongst parents, teachers, children and community. For more information, contact or visit


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OnDad’ OnDad’sWatch sWatch BELIEVE! By Michael Malgeri My favorite Christmas movie is "The Polar Express." It's an amazing work of animation that creates a magical mood nearly on par with the final scene in Terminator II. Seriously, it's quite enchanting to watch a young Santa Claus doubter climb aboard a super train headed for the North Pole on a classic "big flake" snowy night. He and a group of Norman Rockwell kids encounter a ghost, pesky caribou and treacherous, icy, mountainous terrain on their wild ride. The theme of the adventure is to "believe!" The kids and I watch it every Christmas Eve with hot chocolate, pillows and blankets...made of light California cotton of course. Although our children are far beyond the Santa Claus years, we're taking the "believe" aspect of Christmas to the next level this year. For years, and I truly mean years, they've been asking for a dog. The campaign started when they were toddlers. Now my daughter sends a daily tweet to her fan base excoriating her animalhating Dad. It's amazing how much vilification a 13 year old can pack into 140 characters...and that includes the #mydadisabigmeanie hash tag. Anyway, when I suggested the idea, my wife asked if the pod people came down and replaced my brain. I can't explain the change in heart. What it comes down to is, "I'm ready for a pup!" It didn't take long to locate the most adorable little bichon frise...a 9 week old fireball ironically named "Kiwi," our daughter's nickname since she poked her fuzzy little head out of my wife's freshly lanced belly. I know, "T.M.I." but that's what happens when you let Dads in delivery rooms. So here's how it's going to play out. For the last two weeks I've been randomly asking our daughter to say, "Believe!" "Why?" "Just say it. Like the Polar Express!" I knew what response I was after and wondered if it would come. It did! "Say believe!" "No, not unless you say I'll get a dog!" BINGO! I jumped into Mr. Grinch character. "NO! NO! NO! We're talking about believing in REALITY! NOT FANTASY!" she's too smart for that but MY fantasy was playing out exactly as planned. "DAD! THAT'S WHAT BELIEVE MEANS! It means BELIEVE in something you know won't happen!" "Yeah," I said with a diabolical snicker, "but not in this case. I'm just getting you in the mood for our Christmas Eve movie." "Yeah, yeah, yeah," she said, walking away without a clue. Ooooooo, I loved it! This Saturday, on a drive to their cousins in San Diego, we'll make a stop in Carlsbad under the fabricated reason of picking up a important document from one of Dad's work colleagues. There'll be box waiting in the front yard of the dog's foster parent's home with a big bow and the words, "Merry Christmas Mikey and Dom!"


written somewhere on it. Hopefully they'll get a chance to see it and wonder before the frisky little pup jumps out. Our iPhones will capture the moment. For me, when the excitement dies a bit I can't wait to look at our kids and say, "Believe!" Merry Christmas to all and to all...whatever your dream..."Believe!" Editor’s Note: Along with “On Dad’s Watch” Michael has also written a series of books he calls “Bedtime Stories about Capitalism,” which teaches kids about honest profit making. Visit You can write to him at

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QUICKTIPSFORORGANIZING QUICKTIPSFORORGANIZING Resolutions VS Goals? Is There a Difference? Yes! There is a HUGE difference. Historically, this is the time of year to think about what you would like to see happen in your life in the New Year. These “thoughts” are typically referred to as resolutions. The problem with resolutions is that they are usually hopes, dreams and/or fantasies. Goals are everything resolutions can be..…except with a plan! Your goals may include making changes in your personal life, family, career, household, etc. If you have never set personal goals or have tried and failed, here are some tips to guide you on the road to success and a great new year ahead. 1.

Goal categories: Personal…Professional….Family/ Relationships….Home/Environment.


Write each category on a separate page in a journal or on a yellow pad and make a file. Now list your goals under each category. Family members may want also want to make their own lists. Great!


Speak them so they become real and not just something you have been thinking about. Speak them to a trusted friend or to yourself….aloud!


Now work them by setting a plan as to what it takes to accomplish the goal. Set deadlines for the steps to the completion.


Mark the deadlines in your personal calendar or electronic organizer or in your computer to help you to stay on target.


Stay focused by keeping your goals where you will see them regularly as a reminder. Talk about them to a trusted friend/encourager. Picture the goal at completion.


Re-evaluate your goals periodically to adjust the timeline, change the goal or drop it for another goal. Life changes. It’s okay to alter your goals…after all they are your goal. Just don’t use this as a form of procrastination!


Celebrate the completed steps to your goal and of course when the goal comes to fruition. Throw a party…invite me. I would love to share in this experience of accomplishment! You can do this. All it takes is a plan.

Go for it. You can do it and deserve it! © Resolutions VS Goals Ann Gambrell Jan. 2013 Ann Gambrell is an organizational consultant and speaker available to inform and entertain audiences. She facilitates weekday and Saturday Clutter Support Groups and teaches organizing classes through the Torrance Adult School. To learn more, phone Ann at 310-212-0917 or request her for FREE monthly email tips email You will be glad you did.


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TheSingleMom’sGuide Independence VS Isolation By Kerri Zane The Reporter published an article that caught my eye titled "One Is the Loneliest Number." Robert E. Hall discusses how "not" became the new normal. People are unraveling their affiliations and becoming more independent in various aspects of life including politics, faith, and the home. Hall reveals and comments on this pattern of increasing single-parent families, defection from political parties, alienation from friends, unaffiliation with religion, and so on. Hall notes "The number of those with close, go-to friends has dropped by a third and those with 'none' has tripled in the past year." Have you noticed a change in your social life? He proposes that we need to confront these alarming patterns and restore these relationships by being brutally honest, embracing our relationships, and making an effort to understand the cause of this decline. I agree that relationships are important, especially those special bonds that we share with friends and family. But, I also feel that this withdrawal from certain relationships allows people to take a step back and look at the big picture. As long as you make sure not to completely isolate yourself from the world and you maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle, this could be a good thing. After all, as a single mom, I had to find strength and stability within my new found independence. I think it has made me a stronger, better person. In this New Year I invite you to reflect on the relationships you have and those that you have removed yourself from. Be thankful for the ones that you have maintained and maybe consider rekindling those that you have slowly walked away from. What is most important is that you do what is best for you and your children. For more Single Mom information, tips and ideas go to Kerri Zane is an Emmy award winning television executive producer, healthy living expert, single mom advisor, speaker, and author of “It Takes All 5: A Single Mom’s Guide to Finding the REAL One.” published by Morgan James, (November 2012). She is the family travel expert for Peter Greenberg Online, a regular contributor to What’s Up For Kids as well as various mommy blogs.


CALENDAROFEVENTS CALENDAROFEVENTS Ongoing Weekly Activities As Events Details May Change, Please Call Ahead. MONDAY Peninsula Center Library, 701 Silver Spur Rd., R.H.E., hosts Babies in the Library, a storytime designed just for 6-23 month olds. No registration necessary. 10:15 & 11am. 310-377-9584, ext. 601. Malaga Cove Library, 2400 Via Campesina, PVE., hosts a storytime for ages 2-5 year olds. 10:30am. 310-377-9584, ext. 551. TUESDAY Peninsula Center Library, 701 Silver Spur Rd., RHE, hosts storytime Ages 2-5. No registration necessary. 10:15 & 11am. 377-9584, ext. 601. Miraleste Library, 29089 Palos Verdes Drive East, R.P.V., hosts storytime for ages 6-24months. Free. 11:30am. 377-9584. Kids Music N Motion hosts classes for various age levels at 4 South Bay locations. Call for the details. 373-0280. WEDNESDAY Miraleste Library, 29089 Palos Verdes Drive East, R.P.V., hosts storytime for ages 2-5. Free. 11:30am 377-9584. Lomita Library, 24200 Narbonne Ave., Lomita, hosts preschool storytime at 10am. 539-4515. Peninsula Center Library, 701 Silver Spur Rd., RHE, hosts storytime for ages 205. 10:15 & 11am. 377-9584, ext. 601. THURSDAY Peninsula Center Library, 701 Silver Spur Rd., RHE, hosts storytime for ages 205. 10:15 & 11am. 377-9584, ext. 601. Redondo Beach Library North branch, 2000 Artesia Blvd., hosts storytime for 1-5 year olds. 1pm. 318-0675 .

Redondo Beach Main Library, 303 NO. Pacific Coast Hwy., hosts Pajama story time. All ages. 6:45pm. 318-0675 FRIDAY Little Fawn, a parent participating nature program for children ages 2-5, takes place every Friday at Deane Dana Friendship Park, 1805 W. 9th St., San Pedro. 10-12noon. $5. (310) 519-6115. Malaga Cove Library, 2400 Via Campesina, PVE., hosts Babies in the Library, a storytime designed just for 6-23 month olds. No registration necessary. 10:30am. 310-377-9584, ext. 551. Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts Friday fun (all Fridays in September/October)! Learn about nature through crafts, stories and hands-on fun! 10-12noon. $5 donation. (310) 782-3989. SATURDAY Barnes & Noble, 1800 W. Rosecrans Ave., Manhattan Beach, hosts Children’s Storytime. 11am. 310-725-7025. SUNDAY Roundhouse Aquarium at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier offers storytime every Sunday at 11:30am. 379-8117. Southern California Live Steamers offers free train rides the first Sunday of every month from 11am—3pm at the East end of Wilson Park in Torrance.

Information about many activities come to us after our print deadline! Visit the website for more exciting things to do with your family! Print deadline for the March/April 2014 issue is February 1, 2014. Submit your event on our website!

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CALENDAROFEVENTS CALENDAROFEVENTS January/February 2014 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1 Happy New Year!!! THURSDAY, JANUARY 2 Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts a tyke hike. 10am. $5 donation. 782-3989. SATURDAY, JANUARY 4 Providence Little Company of Mary hosts CPR/Heartsaver. 9am-3pm. Register at or call (800) 618 -6659. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen White Dr., San Pedro, hosts a tidepool walk. 2:30—4pm. Free. (310) 548-7562. Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts the Earthmobile from the Natural History Museum. 9-1pm. Free. (310) 782-3989. PLUS, gaze at the sky at the Star Party, 7-9pm. Free! MONDAY, JANUARY 6 Providence Little Company of Mary hosts CPR for Family & Friends (infant/child CPR). 6PM—9PM. Register at or call (800) 618 -6659. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9 MOMS Club of San Pedro meets the second Wednesday of every month at Peck Park Recreational Center, meeting room ABC, San Pedro. 10:30am. Call Marcia at 310-514 -9825or SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 Providence Little Company of Mary hosts a Supersitter Class for kids ages 11-15. This 2 session class is $30. To register, go to or call (800) 618 -6659.

Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, presents storytime, art and nature for kids. 10am-12noon. $5 per person. (310) 782-3989. The Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street, Santa Monica, announces the return of the original Rudie-DeCarlo Family Theatre musical comedy Alice and the Wonderful Tea Party. The production follows a grownup Alice who goes back through the looking glass to visit the wonderful Wonderland characters of her youth. Saturdays at 2:00pm, and Sundays at 12:30, January 11 through February 26, 2014. $10.50/$12.50. (310) 394 -9779. SUNDAY, JANUARY 12 Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts Water Colors for Kids, 10a12noon. $10 per person. Followed by the 2nd Sunday Science, 2-4pm. $5 per person. (310) 782-3989. Torrance Cultural Arts Center and the James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Dr, Torrance, hosts Super Science Sunday. 2pm. $9.50 TUESDAY, JANUARY 14 MOMS Club of Hermosa Beach hosts a meeting the 2nd Tuesday of every month. For information, email SATURDAY, JANUARY 18 Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen White Dr., San Pedro, hosts a tidepool walk. 1-2:30pm. Free. (310) 548-7562. MONDAY, JANUARY 20 The South Bay evening group of LaLeche meets the 3rd Monday of each month at the Beach Cities Health District. 7:00pm. Free.


(Continued from page 28) MONDAY, JANUARY 23 Providence Little Company of Mary hosts CPR for Family & Friends (infant/child CPR). 6PM—9PM. Register at or call (800) 618-6659. SATURDAY, JANUARY 25 Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts a nature walk 10am. Free. 310-782-3989. Torrance Cultural Arts Center presents Story Pirate at the James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance. 2pm. (310) 781-7171. SUNDAY, JANUARY 26 Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts a nature walk 10am. Free. 310-782-3989 Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen White Dr., San Pedro, hosts the Whate Fiesta! Join in for games, puppet show, arts/crafts and more! Free. 10a-4p/ WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29 South Bay Galleria, 1815 Hawthorne Blvd., Redondo Beach, hosts Kids Club in the Kids Club Food Court Stage, Level 3. 10:30Am. 310-371-7546. THURSDAY, JANUARY 30 MOMS Club of Torrance NW hosts a meeting every month at El Nido Park (18301 Kingsdale Avenue Redondo Beach, CA 90278). We are a support group for moms, learn more about us at http:// Please contact us at if you would like to attend our meeting and check us out.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1 Providence Little Company of Mary hosts a Supersitter Class for kids ages 1115. This 2 session class is $30. To register, go to or call (800) 618-6659. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4 South Bay Galleria, 1815 Hawthorne Blvd., Redondo Beach, hosts Kids Club in the Kids Club Food Court Stage, Level 3. 6:30pm. 310-371-7546. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6 Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts a tyke hike. 10am. $5 donation. 782-3989. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Providence Little Company of Mary hosts CPR for Family & Friends (infant/child CPR). 9-12noon. Register at or call (800) 618-6659. Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts a origami class for all ages! FREE. 10a-12noon. (310) 782-3989 Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen White Dr., San Pedro, hosts a tidepool walk. 10:30—12pm. Free. (310) 548-7562. SUNDAY, FEBRAURY 9 Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts 2nd Sunday Science, Nature’s Treasures. 2-4pm. $5 per person. (310) 782-3989. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11 MOMS Club of Hermosa Beach hosts a meeting the 2nd Tuesday of every month. For information, email (Continued on page 30)

30 What’s Up For Kids (Continued from page 29) WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12 MOMS Club of San Pedro meets the second Wednesday of every month at Peck Park Recreational Center, meeting room ABC, San Pedro. 10:30am. Call Marcia at 310-514-9825or FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 La Leche League of Redondo Beach hosts a breastfeeding support group the 2nd Friday of every month at Beach Cities Health District. 10am. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 Providence Little Company of Mary hosts CPR/Heartsaver. 9am-3pm. Register at or call (800) 618-6659.

January/February 2014 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20 MOMS Club of Torrance NW hosts a meeting every month at El Nido Park (18301 Kingsdale Avenue Redondo Beach, CA 90278). We are a support group for moms, learn more about us at http:// Please contact us at if you would like to attend our meeting and check us out. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts a nature walk 10am. Free. 310-782-3989. Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts a night hike—a walk in the wild.7-9pm. $10 per family, or $5 per person. (310) 782-3989. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23 Madrona Marsh, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, hosts a nature walk 10am. Free. 310-782-3989.

As event dates and times change, please call ahead!

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen White Dr., San Pedro, hosts a tidepool walk. 2-3:30pm. Free. (310) 548-7562. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17 The South Bay evening group of LaLeche meets the 3rd Monday of each month at the Beach Cities Health District. 7:00pm. Free. Providence Little Company of Mary hosts CPR for Family & Friends (infant/child CPR). 6-9. Register at or call (800) 618-6659. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18 La Leche League of Redondo Beach hosts a breastfeeding support group the 3rd Tuesday of every month at Beach Cities Health District. 7pm. (424) 634-2660.

LOOKING FOR MORE THINGS TO DO? Our website has 100’s of things! We just can list them all here! Visit And click on the calendar for all the latest things going on in the South Bay!


FAMILYRESOURCE DIRECTORY CLASSES Classes— Classes—Dance The Dance Factory School of Performing Arts (310) 519-3600 28901 S. Western Ave., #113, Rancho Palos Verdes Where kids grow up and make memories to last a lifetime. Ages 2 and up. University trained teachers—limited class size.


Peninsula School of Performing Arts (310) 375-1398 2325 PV Drive West, PVE 700 Silver Spur Rd, RHE Please check our website:, for class information, teacher bios, calendar and fees. Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz and More! Tita Boulger, director.

Sales: Cindy Donnelly, ext 702

Do you offer classes or services to South Bay families? Listings start at only $75/ issue. Call us today!

To place a listing or advertisement, call our office at (310) 544-1042 or email the listing to: Deadline for the March/April Edition is February 1, 2014.

Cathy Alessandra P.O. Box 3893 Palos Verdes, CA 90274 Phone & Fax: (888) 544-1042 Publisher/Editor: Cathy Alessandra, ext 701

Photographer: Cynthia Olkie, Fleur De LIs Photography

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Disclaimer: What’s Up For Kids is published bi-monthly by What’s Up For Kids LLC. What’s Up For Kids expressly disclaims all warranties as to the contents of this publication and assumes no liability for the contents, including but not limited to any credentials stated or claims made by persons or establishments included in this publication. All rights reserved. What’s Up For Kids copyright 2014. Reproduction in whole in part without written permission is prohibited.

32 What’s Up For Kids

January/February 2014

What's Up For Kids, January/February 2014  
What's Up For Kids, January/February 2014  

A print and online magazine for parents living in the South Bay area of Los Angeles! Filled with tons of family fun!!