September is library card sign-up month

September is National Library Card Sign-Up

Do you want to get a first library card? Did your kid lose his card several months ago and has been borrowing his brother’s since then? In either case, you’re in luck this September (when so all new BPL cards or swaps will be FREE for a limited time, even if the card is missing). September […]

Children’s Hospital Oakland Miracle Marathon: The easiest marathon you’ll ever do

Oakland Childrens Hospital

Our local Children’s Hospital Oakland is part of a network of children’s hospitals called Children’s Miracle Network. Across the country, these partner hospitals have coordinated a virtual marathon, The Miracle Marathon, that will enable ANYONE to complete a marathon-ish distance and raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network hospital of their choice. For most of […]

Halloween happenings at Disneyland

Halloween at Disneyland

Next month, I’ll have the opportunity to take my children (age 3, 7, and 9) to Disneyland for the first time EVER. And while we’re there, we’ll get to add an extra dose of Halloween magic to our visit. Beginning September 12 and leading up to Halloween, Disneyland puts on its own costume and enhances a few […]

Music Together review: East Bay baby and toddler class (Part 2)

east bay music together

As promised at the beginning of our Summer Semester of Music Together, I am back to report on my experience with the entire program. [Full disclaimer; I did not attend 2 of the 6 classes as I had an appendectomy in late July. Fortunately Henry’s dad, John, was able to attend those sessions I missed and […]

Mommybites offers online and phone-based parenting help

Free online parenting classes

We’ve partnered with Mommybites, an organizer of short, one-session parenting classes on topics ranging from potty training to picky eating. The classes are free of charge, and require registration to get the call-in or log-on information. Some are via conference call – just listen in while an expert gives tips – and some are a […]

Behind the scenes at Good Eggs

good-eggs

Last week we popped over to Good Eggs in San Francisco to get to know that business a little better. I think Heather’s inner geeky engineer was enthralled by seeing the inner workings of a warehouse which is essentially an on-demand grocery store that fills up and empties twice per day. Here’s how it works: […]

Kids’ theater classes in the East Bay

acting-classes

Registration is open for The Bay Area Children’s Theatre Youth Education Program, AKA YEP! fall semester musical performing arts classes in September. Children under age 10 will be putting together a production of Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark this Fall. Students are segmented by ages 5-6 and 7-10. Classes in Piedmont, Alameda, and Pleasanton. […]

Backpack picks for a new school year

preschool-backpacks

this post contains affiliate links. When I started to write this post, deal-of-the-day site Zulily had a bunch of backpacks with great patterns and even better prices. Then, I identified the best choices in quality and sized for little ones (preschool thru 1st grade) on Amazon.  Here are my favorites that, by not being sold […]

Use GemShare to exchange recommendations with those you trust

Join the 510 families GemShare community to share recommendations

Gemshare sponsored this post, but we’re really using it as described below. Read on. The iOS (and soon-to-be Android) app called Gemshare was designed to crowd-source the best resources from the people you trust. We created a 510 families group so we can ask and answer each other’s burning questions about the best resources (people […]

Unaccompanied minors in the air

Kids flying alone on Southwest Airlines

My children, 7 and 9, flew Southwest to Los Angeles yesterday without a chaperone. Here’s how it works: My mom, the person on the receiving end of my most valuable air mail ever, purchased the tickets over the phone. It costs a non-refundable $50 per child per ticket ($100 round trip each) in addition to […]

Win a copy of Everyday Bento!

Everyday Bento (cookbook)

Local author and blogger, Wendy Copley, wrote and photographed my children’s current favorite book: Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches To Go. My sons love to pour over the pictures and invite me to create their favorite designs. Wendy is very realistic and specific walking you through each of the creations step-by-step. Stuffed with ideas […]

Vacation Inspiration: Renting an RV

rv-kitchen-kit

“Whatever this vacation cost,” said my husband, who had almost nothing to do with the itinerary and reservations, “it was worth it.” That’s how I knew our family’s maiden RV voyage was a success. Yes, Arizona and Utah are uncomfortably hot in July, and yes, our real dream was to travel in Spain this summer, […]

Mama’s little helper: Postmates

Some of my neighborhood choices on the Postmates app

Have you ever been lying prone, on the couch, telling your throw pillows that you would pay any amount of money if they could bring you chicken noodle soup from Saul’s? Or perhaps you wanted to deliver Summer Kitchen to your friend who just had a baby, but you are getting off the BART after […]

Urban gardening in the Bay Area

Gardening in the Bay Area with kids

No yard? No problem. This guest post was provided by Karolina Willson from Castro Valley, who wanted to share some of her discoveries for urban gardening with children. Our first big harvest I always thought that I had a black thumb, so I’m not sure what possessed me to make an attempt at gardening early […]

Free online positive parenting class

Get kids to listen without nagging

Update: This class has already occurred, but you can sign up for the next one through the same links. I have taken a free online parenting class with Amy McCready twice and each time felt refreshed with new ideas for positive discipline solutions. We have partnered with Amy’s company Positive Parenting Solutions to bring a […]

Kids eat free Tuesdays at IKEA

ikea-dining-room

Last month I wrote about why IKEA is so family-friendly on Rookie Moms, and readers were in serious agreement. One thing people like about the giant furniture retailer is the store’s cafe where kids eat FREE on Tuesdays. The cafe is a cafeteria-style layout, and preschoolers will love selecting a metal tray pusher to move […]

Music Together: East Bay baby and toddler class

music together image

Families with little ones, have you heard of Music Together? The answer is probably “yes,” although, if you are like me, you may not have gotten around to taking a class yet despite all the parent hype. Henry and I finally took the plunge, meaning that mama finally got her act together to register, and […]