Hiking with The Canyoneers & THE NAT!

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I love exploring nature with the kids. My dad took us on hikes a lot when we were kids and it was a great way to learn more about nature and the history of San Diego.

When THE NAT emailed me this morning to share their free, guided nature hikes, I knew I had to share it with my readers!

Canyoneers are citizen scientists and volunteers who have had comprehensive training by Museum scientists and local experts on the natural history of the region. Check out the full schedule of hikes between now and June 2020, and hit the trails with the Canyoneers! Look for the Canyoneer sign at the designated parking area. We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.

The Canyoneers offer free, guided hikes on trails throughout San Diego County from September through June. The new season kicks off this Saturday, September 8 with an easy, 1-mile hike on the Kumeyaay Lake Trail at Mission Trails Regional Park, perfect for children, seniors, and birdwatchers. 

In total, the Canyoneers are offering 80 hikes. Most are offered on weekends—with a few midday hikes being offered on select dates—and cover diverse terrain, ranging from the coast to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and from the Tijuana Estuary to Palomar Mountain.

  • New hikes in Cleveland National Forest, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and several other locations including Gremlin Way Trailhead in Dictionary Hill Open Space Preserve. 
  • Once a month, the Canyoneers will lead a mid-week hike to locations that are often crowded on weekends due to limited access. Examples include Equestrian Trail in Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve (November 13) and Luelf Pond Preserve in Ramona (May 12). 
  • The desert hikes that are scheduled on consecutive days allow for camping opportunities, reducing the amount of driving necessary to get to both hikes. The desert at night is a special treat. 
  • Some trails offer shorter hikes with little elevation change—good for younger hikers—and some very flat and paved hikes that are perfect for strollers and anyone with a disability. One example is the Batiquitos Lagoon Gabbiano Trailhead (September 14). 
  • If the weather cooperates, there’s a chance to see waterfalls on Cibbets Flat to Kitchen Creek Falls hike (February 9) and the Green Valley Falls Loop (June 28). Green Valley Falls is an amazing hike and has pools of water that are fun to play in!
  • Hikes in some of the most interesting geological areas in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, including Fish Creek/Split Mountain (January 4) and Canyon Sin Nombre (February 8)—perfect for slot canyon fans. 

And if you have kids, there is a special program for students and classes too!

“Kids are most inspired by nature when they get outside and experience it for themselves—seeing a Monarch butterfly or a coast live oak in person helps bring to life what they’re learning in the classroom,” said Judy Gradwohl, president and CEO of the San Diego Natural History Museum. 

The program is made possible with support from Subaru of America, who is generously supporting the Canyoneer hiking program for the fourth year in a row.

The Museum aims to serve approximately 550 students this year through the program. Space is limited on the hikes. For more information or to book a hike, visit sdnat.org/schoolnaturehikes or call 619.255.0349. 

If you are looking for books about hiking and exploring the many awesome trails and cool nature spots in San Diego County here are two books I completely recommend!

This is my personal favorite and has TON of kid and family-friendly hikes!

Enter to Win 2 Tickets to Pickwick Players Production of Treasure Island!

Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 7.53.52 AM.pngI’m at it again! One of the reasons you haven’t seen me lurking around social media and the blog lately is that I’ve been really busy designing and making costumes for Pickwick Players upcoming production of Treasure Island by Ken Ludwig.

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Courtesy of Pickwick Players

Based on the book by Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island follows Young Jim Hawkins on a journey far from home to find treasure with a group that includes Captain John Silver, Anne Bonny, and Calico Jack!

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Photo Courtesy of Tyler Hewes

I was really lucky to have a great team to make this show come to life. The set design really transforms the space, and the lighting and music are spot on!

To celebrate the opening weekend, you can score $10 tickets (Only for opening weekend)  Go to www.pickwickplayers.net and use the code “scurvy10”. Performances are on Friday, Saturday evenings (7:30pm) and Sunday matinees (2pm) – August 9 to 25.

I am giving away a pair of tickets to the show! To Enter, leave a comment below- Who would you take with you on your pirate adventure? I will choose a winner on 8/14/19.

Weekly Meal Plan

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This week, I’ve got a bunch of event planning and scheduling to do, so I’m trying to plan out some easy/quick meals that use what we’ve got on-hand.

Breakfasts are usually the same for us: Protein shakes for grown ups, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. We have plenty of protein shake fixins’- I bought a lot of very ripe bananas recently, chopped them up and froze them in individual bags along with other fruit to make “shake/smoothie sacks”.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or a protein shake for me and the Mister, and The Big kid has a specially packed lunch of whatever he’s into at the time (which changes frequently). Bitty Bird eats whatever I’ll feed her.

I’m only posting our dinner plans, and links to recipes.

Monday: Pancakes and sausage with fruit (it’s our Group ABA night, so we don’t get home until late)

Tuesday:  Leftover Pizza with  a fresh green salad

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken and Roasted Veg

Thursday: Stir Fry- I picked up a bunch of new sauces recently, I’m pretty excited to try the mall!

Friday: Date Night!! WOO HOO!

Saturday: Tacos with the fixins, after all, it is Cinco de Mayo.

Sunday:  Probably Bean, Rice, and Cheese bowls. We’ll have leftovers from the night before!

I’d love to hear about what you’re having this week! What new recipes are you trying?

4/16/18 Weekly Meal Plan!

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This week, I’ve got a bunch of event planning and scheduling to do, so I’m trying to plan out some easy/quick meals that use what we’ve got on-hand.

Breakfasts are usually the same for us: Protein shakes for grown ups, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. We have plenty of protein shake fixins’- I bought a lot of very ripe bananas recently, chopped them up and froze them in individual bags along with other fruit to make “shake/smoothie sacks”.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or a protein shake for me and the Mister, and The Big kid has a specially packed lunch of whatever he’s into at the time (which changes frequently). Bitty Bird eats whatever I’ll feed her.

I’m only posting our dinner plans, and links to recipes.

Monday: Grilled cheese and soup (it’s our Group ABA night, so we don’t get home until late)

Tuesday: Chicken and Wild Rice (based on a recipe here, minor tweaks to the recipe have been made), steamed brocolli

Wednesday: Fritatta with whatever veggies I have in the fridge (probably onion, shallot, spinach, and brocolli), and cheese (of course!). Served with Fruit salad.

Thursday: We are having a friend over, so I’ll probably make Salsa Chicken, and I’ll add some black or cannelli beans. Served with green salad.

Friday: Date Night!! WOO HOO! We’re going to go see Infinity Wars. Not sure what we’ll have for dinner. The kids will probably have grilled cheese and fruit.

Saturday: I’ll bust out the crockpot and make BBQ chicken. We’ve got  some events that day, so I want a dinner that’s quick to serve. Probably brown rice, steamed vegg, and fruit salad.

Sunday: I’m thinking Pizza! Either we’ll make a batch of dough and do a DIY pizza night, or, we’ll order delivery. Either way, we’ll have leftover fruit salad to go with it.

What’s with my obsession with Fruit Salad? We eat a lot of fruit, and fruit salad is a quick, tasty food to prep, everyone likes it (which is saying a lot in this house). I can make one batch and it’s good for 2-3 meals, plus the occasional snack. For those who are curious, I’ll post my recipe later this week.

I’d love to hear about what you’re having this week! What new recipes are you trying?

1/15/18 Meal Plan Monday

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I hope everyone enjoys their Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday! The kids and I are going to be spending the day getting out into nature, after we pick up some school supplies for his teacher (I like to buy new supplies mid-year). Rehearsals for the play Husband is directing starts tonight, so a lot of our meals will be stuff that tastes good reheated, or makes good leftovers. He will be home later than usual for the next few weeks.

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos lately have been having protein pancakes (I like Kodiak Cakes mix- it’s yummy and very versatile) with butter and Peanut butter. Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes. We mix it up, and have different flavors and mix in all kinds of stuff into our shakes, so as not to get bored. Here area few of our favorite recipes.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

  • D: Cheese and veggie enchiladas

Tuesday:

  • D: Roast Pork & Roasted veggies

Weds:

  • D: Chef Salad

Thursday:

  • D: Soup and Salad (Probably a fruit salad)

Friday:

  • D:  Date Night (dinner out)

Saturday:

  • D:   Stir Fry with cauliflower rice

Sunday:

  • D:  Home Made Pizza

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first).  It’s cold and rainy here in San Diego right now, so we may end up having more soup and salads if I don’t feel like cooking or get busy doing other stuff.