Suzie’s Farm Summer Camps

Blake and I recently had the unique opportunity to experience a sneak peek at Suzie’s Farm’s upcoming Summer Camps. I’ve always heard great things about Suzie’s Farm so I was excited to check it out with my little sidekick in tow.

A Little Bit About Suzie’s Farm

Suzie’s Farm is a 140-acre USDA-certified organic farm near the Tijuana Estuary, 13 miles south of downtown San Diego. Once you exit the 5 and drive up to the farm, it feels like you’re no longer in San Diego – beautiful big fields in every direction and rolling hills in the distance. Suzie’s farm grows over 100 different types of crops per year and their products are found in many local Farmers Markets, grocery stores and restaurants.

Suzie's Farm

 

Suzie's Farm

Preview Tour

Blake and I experienced the preview tour with several other moms and children. When we first arrived we all gathered in a circle on the stage and played some games to introduce ourselves. Blake loved the fun songs and the entertaining dance moves.

Suzie's Farm Summer Camps

After the fun ice-breaker, all of the kids were given a basket and we followed our camp leader out onto the farm where we saw chickens and fields and fields of amazing produce. The kids actually got to walk into the fields and harvest different types of produce along the tour and they were loving it. As for Blake, she LOVED the chickens and was watching them intently – so adorable! [Fun Chicken Fact: Chickens will actually eat their own egg (shell and all) if it is cracked. The camp leader threw a cracked egg into the chicken pen and they all furiously gathered around and ate every last bite! Blake and I were amazed.]

Suzie's Farm Summer Camp

Suzie's Farm Summer Camps

Suzie's Farm Summer Camps

After the kids filled up their baskets with produce, we headed back to the entrance where everyone assembled “frankenveggies” – which is essentially a funny face using the produce picked from the fields (broccoli for the face, kale for the hair, onion slice for the lips, etc.) It was so cute and all of the kids were so proud of their creations.

Finally, we enjoyed a lovely organic lunch catered by Indulge Contemporary Catering, who used ingredients straight from Suzie’s Farm – it was incredible!

All in all it was an amazing day at the farm and we only got a small TASTE of all of the different types of kids camps that they’ll be offering this summer. Check out all of the options below – I can’t wait until Blake is old enough to enroll!

Suzie’s Farm Summer Camps Info.

Suzie’s Farm is offering interactive summer camp programs beginning June 16th, with a selection of unique experiences offered for children K-8th grade.

“Studies have shown that when kids get involved in learning where vegetables come from, it results in willingness to eat new foods and explore new tastes,” says Suzie’s Farm Director of Education, Melissa James. “Our summer camps germinate a new appreciation for food by allowing kids to get their hands dirty as they explore their interests in an inspiring outdoor setting.”

The fun and adventure-filled week-long camps explore topics ranging from art to cultivating a garden with 10:1 instruction and mentoring by trained staff. Camps offered this year include:

  • Farm Animals (June 16-20): Campers will spend the week with a hands-on experience with a focus on the world of bugs, birds and other animals that help grow food. Each day will also include caring for the camp garden. (Grades K – 5)
  • Junior Farmers (June 23-27): From planting seeds to harvesting the crops, campers will discover the ins and outs of a vegetable farm. The process of how seeds become plants, caring for the camp garden and tending to the chickens are some of the activities kids will enjoy. (Grades K – 5)
  • Farm Tools (July 7-11): Tools and tasks on the farm range from small to large and this camp covers them all. Kids will spend the week learning how to use farm tools, build chicken coop and explore the fields of Suzie’s Farm. (Grades K – 5)
  • Dirt Time! (July 14-18 and July 21-25): For the exploratory camper, days begin at the farm and take off to explore the surrounding fields and estuary. Kids will learn to track animals, develop primitive skills and expand their curiosity. (Ages 6+)
  • Farm Art (July 28 – Aug. 1): For the artistic farmer, this camp will include garden looms, creating food art and birdhouse painting. Campers will create art from the farm to brighten up their own home and garden. (Grades K – 5)
  • Farmer’s Market Camp (July 28 – Aug. 1): For the older campers, this week is dedicated to the incredible journey a seed takes from planting until the time it is consumed. Campers will learn to advertise, set up and run a farm stand resulting with their own stand on the farm at the end of the week. (Grades 5-8)
  • Farm Food (Aug. 4 – 8 and Aug. 11-15): Campers will engage their hands, heart and taste buds as different vegetables are explored. Through cooking lessons and other activities, campers will come home with a camp cookbook full of recipes from their week.

All camps are held Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with aftercare available for an additional fee. At the end of each week, families will gather for a Family Fiesta hosted lunch where campers have an opportunity to showcase what they learned on the farm that week.

Price: All camps are $285 per child (sibling discounts available)

Address: 2570 Sunset Avenue, San Diego, CA 92154

Contact For More Information:  Melissa James, Director of Education at melissa@suziesfarm.com or 619-662-1780.

Register Here!

Suzie's Farm Summer Camp

Baby Outing: A Colorful Universe

Rookie Mom Challenge #10 : Paint Your Baby’s Feet onto Pottery

I had been wanting to try the Rookie Mom’s Activity #6 (Painting your baby’s feet onto Pottery) for a while now, but I wasn’t sure where to complete this fun activity. While I was driving in San Elijo one day, a storefront sign caught my eye: A Colorful Universe. When I got home I looked it up online and lo and behold, this was just the place to complete this challenge!  I was so impressed with the little shop that I even turned this Rookie Mom outing into a group affair and invited my mommy group members and their babes to join in on the fun.

A Colorful Universe

A Colorful Universe was so accommodating from the start. I would assume that any business that hears “Yes, it will be 15 moms and 15 babies (all under 5 months) in our party” is a little hesitant to take on such a group, but A Colorful Universe couldn’t wait to host us. When you first walk in the little shop, you immediately notice the fun, bright atmosphere and shelves and shelves of pottery options available for your choosing (coffee mugs, piggy banks, plates, tiles, dinosaur figurines and much, much more.) I loved this because they were all different price points, so you could choose something based on your budget.

A Colorful Universe

A Colorful Universe

I chose two coffee cups, one that said, “I love Mom” and the other that said “I love Dad”. My tiny assistant helped me paint the base coat (holding a squirming infant while painting pottery is sort of like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time – extremely difficult – but we managed!)

Baby Activity San Diego

Baby Activity San Diego

By the time we were ready to paint her little foot and place it on the back of the mug, Blake was fast asleep – which actually worked to my advantage and made the foot print step quite easy! One of the store managers, Desirae, was so wonderful and helped each mom with the foot print, making sure it did, in fact, look like a foot print, and not some oval blob.

Baby Activity San Diego

All in all it was a very successful Rookie Mom Challenge and I’m also adding it to my running list of fun things to do with babies in San Diego!

More Details about A Colorful Universe in San Elijo:

  • Studio Fees: $6 (this includes paints and paint supplies, glazing and firing)
  • Pottery Pieces Range from $7 – $40
  • Hours: 10AM – 6PM, 7 days a week
  • Walk Ins Welcome
  • Paints are non-toxic and dishwasher safe (brilliant!)
  • Pieces are usually ready 1 week after you paint them in the studio (after they glaze and fire them)
  • They love hosting parties: kids parties, adult parties or big groups (like my mommy group)
  • They offer fun Kids Camps!
  • They offer Ladies Night Out (bring your own wine and food and get ready to paint!) – yes, please!
  • Address: 1523 San Elijo Rd. Ste. 106, San Marcos, CA 92078
  • Contact: 760.761.0476 or info@acolorfuluniverse.com or visit their website

 

Rookie Mom Challenge #9: Baby Rhyme Time at the Library

Baby Activity: Rhyme/Story Time at Your Local Library

When I saw the email invitation from my Mommy Group to attend the next Baby Rhyme Time at the Carlsbad Library,  I thought to myself, Woohoo – another Rookie Moms Challenge to check off the list and a fun baby activity for Blake and me! 

I’ve always thought that libraries offering story time for children/babies was a great idea, but also such a contradiction. When I think of a library, I think of peace and quiet and an old librarian shushing me into silence. Then I think of a story time with a bunch of babies and toddlers and I imagine complete (and loud) chaos. Nonetheless, I was eager to try it out and see for myself how this combo would work out. If anything, it would be an experience to remember!

Baby Rhyme Time

Of course we were running 5 minutes late (pretty much our M.O. these days) even though the Rookie Mom instructional post clearly told us to be on time – we tried, really we did!

When we first walked through the private doors of the Baby Rhyme Time class (aha! they keep the chaos in its own separate room – it all makes sense now) at the Carlsbad Library, the instructor finished the song she was in the middle of singing and then very warmly welcomed us and asked for Blake’s name. A couple of other moms and babies trickled in behind us and she would ask for each baby’s name as they entered. I had my doubts about her remembering every single baby’s name but lo and behold as we were leaving she said, “Great to meet you Blake” – wow, this woman is good.

Baby Rhyme Time

The room had a big play mat in the middle and all of the moms/dads/babies sat around the play mat facing the instructor and singing along to the nursery rhymes – some old familiar ones and some new fun ones. The babies loved it – including Blake who let out a big loud giggle during the “Popcorn” song (a new one for me).

Baby activity

It was such a fun and welcoming environment and the instructor was so sweet and good with all of the babies. After the 30 minute Rhyme Time class, she brought out a bunch of toys and all of the toddlers and babies played on the big mat for another 15 minutes or so. All in all a very fun, interactive class to attend with your baby.

Carlsbad Library

The Carlsbad Library offers the following class times:

  • Baby Rhyme Time (Birth – 18 months) Tuesdays at 10AM & 11AM
  • Toddler Time (18-36 months) Mondays at 10AM & 11AM
  • Movers & Shakers (18 months and up) Fridays at 10AM
  • Preschool Story time (3 – 5 years) Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10:30AM
  • Saturday Stories (all ages) Saturdays at 11AM

All classes are free!

Learn more here.

Rookie Mom Challenge #8: Go Out for Just Dessert

Mother Daughter Outing for Dessert

This is the 31st challenge in the list of 52 weekly Rookie Moms Challenges, but I had to skip ahead because – let’s be honest – I was craving a cupcake.

Blake and I had just finished a great workout at The Dailey Method Barre Studio (their baby classes are such a good workout for mom and so entertaining for Blake) and instead of heading straight home and making myself a healthy smoothie – like the angel on my shoulder told me to – I listened to the little devil instead and pulled straight into Elizabethan Desserts.

Elizabethan Desserts is the cutest little dessert parlor in Encinitas.  When you walk through the doors you feel like you just entered into a beautiful doll house – it’s decorated in bright turquoise and crisp white with pops of yellow flowers on each table. I could have sat in that shop all day – sipping tea and eating cupcakes.

Elizabethan Desserts

I was so excited to show Blake the bright colors and the fun cupcakes displayed in the window, but when I went to take her out of her car seat, I realized the little darlin’ was fast asleep (guess she really did get a good workout in at our barre class). At least I got to take this cute picture of her in the over-sized turquoise chair.

Baby Outing

I ordered the coconut cream cupcake for myself and a mini red velvet cupcake for Blake. Don’t worry, I ate hers for her (the things we must do for our children). They were absolutely incredible

Elizabethan Desserts

All in all a very sweet mother daughter outing. And I can’t wait to make this a cute little tradition for Blake and I – mommy/daughter dessert dates at Elizabethan Desserts – sitting in the big turquoise chairs, sharing cupcakes and enjoying the make-believe ambiance. Perfect.

Baby Outing: The Dailey Method Barre Studio

As I’ve discussed before on this blog, I’m trying to get back in shape and “tone it up” after having my daughter 4 months ago! It is proving to be a little more difficult than I had imagined, mainly due to the lack of time that I can allocate to working out. That’s why I was extremely excited to hear about the new Baby Class at The Dailey Method Barre Studio  in Carlsbad.

What is The Dailey Method Barre?

Pre-baby, and even pre-pregnancy, I had always been very curious about Barre classes. I learned that the Dailey Method is a unique combination of ballet barre work, core conditioning, muscular strengthening, yoga and orthopedic exercises (yep, yep and yep – I’d like all of this, please!) This form of exercise is safe for all levels of fitness, even pregnant women. And they play really fun music.

Baby Class

The new baby class incorporates your baby into the workouts allowing them to be the added challenge of working through thigh work with the babe as your resistance. During the workout, your baby is in her carrier with you through every motion – or on a mat staring up at you as you complete the exercises.

Let me tell you – this class was HARD. I was sweating bullets and had to take little breaks here and there. And the next several days after the class my legs were like jello jigglers – so sore! I hadn’t completed that intense of a workout since before I was pregnant. I was hooked. Finally, a more intense workout that also incorporated the babies. I’m looking forward to making these classes a part of my weekly schedule. The Dailey Method Barre Studio in Carlsbad also offers childcare right there in the studio if you decide to sign-up for regular classes (sans baby) – so convenient for us busy moms!

The Dailey Method Barre Studio

The Dailey Method Barre Studio

 Class Information

Locations: San Diego locations include Carlsbad, Rancho Bernardo/Poway and Downtown San Diego.

Pricing: There are several different packages available, please visit The Dailey Method Barre Studio for more information.

 

The Dailey Method Barre Studio

 

 

 

Baby Outing: Blossom Music Together

Fun things to do with babies in San Diego

Have I mentioned that I love my Mommy Group? I love it so much that I’ve agreed to become a co-organizer – so I’m now constantly on the search for fun things to do with babies in San Diego. (Any suggestions? please feel free to contact me!)

Our group recently attended a music class at Blossom Music Together in Encinitas and it was phenomenal.

Come, Come…on the Kick Drum

The Blossom Music Together studio in Encinitas is adorable. All of the moms sat in a big circle with our babies in our laps as the instructor, Daveen DiGiacomo, led us all in song.

Blossom Music Together

Now, I’m the first to admit that I have the voice of an angel dying bird so I was a little hesitant to “grace” everyone with my vocals. But Daveen was so great and encouraged us all to sing loudly, as our babies will listen for their mom’s voice within the group. With that, I threw caution to the wind, and sang my little heart out.

There was something about Daveen’s voice (and perhaps all of the moms’ voices put together, too) that all of the babies were drawn to. They all stared wide-eyed as we sang and clapped our hand to the beat. Just when I thought Blake’s eyes couldn’t get any wider, Daveen broke out the drums and maracas and things really escalated. As we all banged our hands on the drums, sang and shook the maracas, all of the babies just stared in complete awe. It was adorable. And so stimulating! So stimulating, in fact, that one of the babies in our group fell right asleep during the commotion! The rest were captivated by all of the sounds until the very end.

Fun things to do with babies in San Diego

Class Information

  • Blossom Music Together offers seasonal sessions. The Spring Session 2014 begins April 7th and lasts for 10 weeks.
  • Classes include: Mixed Age classes (0-5 years old) and Baby Classes (Newborn – 8 months old).
  • The tuition for the 10 week session is $170.
  • Tuition includes: 10 weekly 45 minute classes, 3 make-up classes, 2 professionally recorded CD’s, an illustrated songbook with family activity suggestions, parent education to learn about your child’s musical development, DVD & booklet, “Music Together at Home: Helping Your Child Grow Musically” and a guaranteed fun time for parents and children!
  • If you’d like to check it out before committing to the full 10 weeks, free demo classes are available.

To learn more or to register online, visit Blossom Music Together here.

Blossom Music Together

Baby Outing: Birch Aquarium

I can’t believe I’ve lived in San Diego for 12 years and had never visited Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. It just wasn’t right! That’s why I was pretty excited to see a Groupon offer for 2 for 1 tickets to the aquarium a few weeks ago – just the push I needed to make some plans. I happily purchased the tickets and couldn’t wait to take Blake to experience life under the sea!

Blake was fast asleep when we first arrived, so when she decided to wake up while we were in the Seahorse exhibit, she was quite surprised. Her little face was so adorable as she started taking it all in – a mix between “where am I?” and “wow, look at those things moving in that tank!” Priceless! 

Birch Aquarium

The seahorses were my favorite. And I had no idea that seahorses have some crazy cousins – sea dragons! Incredibly beautiful but I’d probably start crying like a baby if I saw these while swimming in the ocean!

Birch Aquarium

Birch Aquarium

The views of the Pacific from Birch Aquarium – perched high on a cliff overlooking La Jolla Shores – are fantastic! I could have hung out there all day just taking in the scenery – breathtaking!

Birch Aquarium

I highly recommend this aquarium and can’t wait to return when Blake is a little older. I might even become a member so we can enjoy this San Diego gem on the regular!

Birch Aquarium

Visit Birch Aquarium in San Diego:

Address2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

Hours: Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily

Ticket Prices*:

  • Adult: $17
  • Teen (13-17): $14
  • Child (3-12): $12.50
  • Senior (60+): $13
  • UCSD student/staff w/ID: $11
  • College Student w/ID: $12
  • Ages 2 and under: Free

Purchase Tickets Here

Parking: Free

*Ticket prices are subject to change. Be sure to check the website for up to date pricing and information.

Rookie Moms Challenge #5: Practice Yoga Baby Style

This past week Blake and I completed the 7th Rookie Mom’s Challenge: Practice Yoga Baby Style. This was easily my favorite Rookie Moms Challenge to date. I had taken a few prenatal yoga classes at Soul of Yoga in Encinitas while I was prego and I always wanted to come back with the babe to try out the “Mommy and Me” Yoga class. That’s why I was excited to see this challenge on the Rookie Moms list of 52 Weekly Challenges.

On the way to the class, we did start off a little rocky with Blake’s crying protest – Oh, the NERVE of me putting her in her car seat! It crossed my mind to turn around and try this class again the following week, but I figured she was dressed (in her most fitting baby yoga attire nonetheless), fed and changed so there was no stopping us now! The Yoga gods must have shone down on us because the second we walked into that studio she stopped crying. Namaste!

Nursing and Crying and Blowouts, oh my!

The class was full of babies all around Blake’s age. I had even invited some of my mommy play group members to come along and experience the fun (and they did)! You could see the slight fear on all of us baby-yoga-first-timers’ faces – what if our baby started crying during class? What if she needed to eat or be changed? All of these worries were immediately put to ease when the instructor began the class with, “Anything goes here – feel free to breastfeed, change diapers, and do whatever it is you need to do to make this enjoyable for you and your baby.” (I could almost hear the sigh of relief from some of the moms, me included – this was a safe zone)! And boy did we all take her up on that: Poop blowouts, crying babies and breastfeeding were going on all around us at all times. As soon as one baby was content, another one would need to be fed, or changed or rocked – it was glorious!

“Don’t Act Like You’re Not Impressed”

Of course Blake needed a diaper change about half way through, which wasn’t worrisome to me anymore, because, as we all had heard – this was perfectly acceptable right dab in the middle of class! What WAS worrisome, was when I realized that I was down to my last diaper in my bag – a.k.a. my “backup” diaper because it was one from my baby shower game where everyone writes funny sayings on the diapers. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about – check it out here). I laughed to myself because what are the chances that we’d be caught in a “spotlight” change situation (in the middle of a circle with everyone staring) where I have to whip out the diaper that says (in huge sharpie ink), “Don’t Act Like You’re Not Impressed” (Anchorman…anyone?). I paused for a moment, hoped that the other mothers played the same game at their showers and proceeded with the change.

Baby Yoga

The instructor came around the room and banged her little gong in front of each baby’s face, asking each one if they were ready for yoga. Blake’s eyes have never been wider when she saw and heard the gong – oh yea, she was ready! :) The first part of the class was all about “baby yoga” stretching their little arms and legs, singing yoga songs (to the tune of common nursery rhymes) and then giving them soothing massages. It was probably the cutest thing I have EVER seen – and Blake was loving it.

The second part was all about mom – practicing the typical beginner yoga poses while our babies looked up at us from the mats (Blake thought it was hilarious when I did poses dangling over her – funny mommy).

Soul of Yoga

The last part of the class incorporated the babies and moms – swinging the babies around, practicing different poses while holding the babies, etc. This is about when Blake reached her yoga limit and started wailing – just in time for the…breath in, breath out…Namaste! We made it! :) 
– See more at: http://www.rookiemoms.com/badges-and-buttons/#sthash.5L8Ztgat.dpuf

Rookie Mom Challenge #1: Pretend You’re in Europe

I’m excited to announce that I am partnering with the site Rookie Moms and will be documenting some of the “52 Weekly Challenges for Rookie Moms”. I must say I’ve been a little hesitant terrified to leave the house and go out into the world on my own with Blake. What if she started screaming in public and everyone started looking, judging (look at the baby, look at the baby)?! When I came across Rookie Mom’s 52 Weekly Challenges for new moms to complete, I thought what better way to get Blake and me out of the house and push me out of my comfort zone just a bit. Plus, I always love a good challenge. :)

So, my lovely partner in crime, Miss Blake, and I will be completing some of these weekly challenges and I will be sure to share the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m happy to report that we’re starting out on the right foot because this first challenge was a great one!

Rookie Mom Challenge #1: Pretend You’re in Europe

Getting out of the house…

This first activity challenged Blake and I to go to a local cafe and leisurely drink coffee and people watch, as if we were in Europe. Sounds simple enough, so we began our excursion. As with any outing, I have to mentally plan out how I’m going to get Blake in her car seat and into the car, pack the diaper bag, fold up the stroller and put it in the trunk of the car, and lure the dog out into the backyard (with a bone of course), all within a 2 minute time frame before Blake starts crying and realizes she is in her car seat. (If only there was a hidden camera watching this debacle every time). Thankfully, today’s execution was smooth and we successfully left the house all in tact. Blake only cried for a few minutes before the movement of the car put her to sleep: success!

Rookie Mom

Vanilla Latte, s’il vous plaît…

I chose Cafe Ipe to act as our “European Cafe” since they have tables outside and a great breakfast and lunch menu. I was also extremely happy to learn that they offer almond milk in their lattes – this fact alone will keep me coming back here on a weekly basis! I successfully ordered my latte and a turkey sandwich (in a to-go container and cup just in case Blake stared wailing and we had to abort the mission FAST) and we sat outside on the patio with Blake in her stroller.  Miss Blake slept through the entire thing, leaving me time to people watch and enjoy my almond milk vanilla latte and the best turkey sandwich I’ve had in a long time.

Mommy Project San Diego   Mommy Project San Diego

Ocean Views…

Half way through my sandwich I had a great idea to push my luck a little further and walk up the hill behind the coffee shop to take in some views of the ocean that just happened to be about 2 blocks away.

Luck was on my side today because she slept through the little walk as well and we hung out at the lookout point enjoying the views of the beautiful Pacific. It was one of those moments I’ll always remember – the first day I successfully took Blake to see the ocean, just the two of us.

Rookie Moms

Thank you, Rookie Moms for getting us out of the house – if it hadn’t been for you, we might have missed this view today…

Rookie Moms

– See more at: http://www.rookiemoms.com/badges-and-buttons/#sthash.6HucLCYZ.dpuf

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