Archive for June, 2010

East Sac Support: Pear Tree Events

June 30, 2010

Since the goals of East Sacramento Mom include meeting other East Sacramento residents and supporting our community, what better way than to introduce you to one of our supporters?

East Sacramento Mom readers, meet Pear Tree Events. Pear Tree Events is a green event planning company run by an East Sacramento Mom that specializes in private parties, children’s birthdays, and event design. Here is a little bit from Pear Tree Events:

We believe “going green” is a way of life, not just a trendy concept. We make every effort to ensure our events are as environmentally friendly as possible. We pride ourselves in making the most of your budget, from $100 to $100,000. Your vision is our first priority at Pear Tree Events. No idea or concept is over looked. Your party can include a full twelve drummers drumming or simply a partridge in a pear tree.

What makes Pear Tree Events unique is that you can customize your “party package” to meet your needs. Are you a do-it-yourself type who is just looking for inspiration and some great resources to make your party perfect? Pear Tree Events will create a custom inspiration board, complete with vendors and a budget. Maybe you’re the type who likes to entertain but you don’t enjoy being stressed out before your event (and sometimes during)? Let Pear Tree Events handle every detail, from invitations to menu to favors. The same goes for children’s parties; work with Pear Tree Events to design a personalized party that you implement or give them your ideas and let them create a one-of-a-kind experience for you and your guests.

We like that they are intentional about using other local vendors, base menu items on seasonal and locally grown ingredients, and make every effort to keep events environmentally responsible. Check out the Pear Tree Events blog HERE (there are some fun DIY projects like these napkin rings made out of paper towel rolls). In case you were wondering, they only do one full-service wedding a year. Engaged and planning a wedding in 2011? Give them a call. Also, if you mention East Sac Mom when you book an event you can choose from a *FREE* custom party banner or *FREE* personalized cupcake toppers!

Pear Tree Events is located in East Sacramento (but will travel in other parts of northern California) and for more information call 916.203.4629 or email peartreeevents{at}gmail{dot}com.

If you are an East Sacramento mom with a small business or know someone who is, and would like to share it with East Sacramento Mom readers, send us an email at eastsacmom{at}gmail{dot}com. (We do have to limit our scope exclusively to East Sacramento, so please don’t put us in a position where we have to turn someone down. Thank you!)

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McKinley Park Produce Stand

June 29, 2010

You could probably already tell, but East Sacramento Mom is fan of supporting our local farmers markets. Our family regularly shops at the Sunday morning market under the freeway at 8th and X Streets (or somewhere around there, you know the one) and we were excited when we heard that Soil Born Farms was going to be operating one of their urban produce stands in McKinley Park!

From 9AM to 1PM every Saturday beginning July 11 and ending October 30, the stand will offer seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables. Proceeds will be used to subsidize prices of food for others in our community who need assistance. The farm stands offer certified organic produce from Soil Born Farms as well as produce from other small local farmers. When you shop at the farm stand you are supporting many small farms and local growers from Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado, Yuba, Sutter, Solano and San Joaquin counties. We encourage you to walk or ride your bike to the farm stand and bring your own bag. Cash and EBT are accepted.

For more information about Soil Born Farms click HERE and for more information about the McKinley Park urban produce stand click HERE.

McKinley Park is located at 601 Alhambra Boulevard (the stand will be situated in front of the library).

We’ll see you there!

Hot Walkin’ Nights

June 28, 2010

Summer days in Sacramento may be hot, but by the time the evening rolls around outdoor activities are bearable again– especially if we’re fortunate enough to have the Delta breeze come in. Take the opportunity to get the kids outdoors for a little pre-bedtime exercise and wind-down with the Sacramento Walking Sticks’ Hot Walkin’ Nights.

Each Wednesday throughout June, July and August the Sacramento Walking Sticks sponsors a *FREE* neighborhood walk. No timers, no competition, just enjoying a walk at your own pace with a big group of your Sacramento cohabitants. Participants can choose between a 5K or a 10K route to walk and most routes are suitable for strollers, scooters and wagons.

Sound like fun? Hot Walkin’ Nights will wander its way through East Sacramento on Saturday, July 14 at 5:30PM, beginning at the McKinley Park Rose Garden at 33rd and H Streets.

For the full Hot Walkin’ Nights schedule click HERE. The group will also be in Land Park on July 7 and 28. For more information click HERE.

We’ll see you there!

Week End Wrap Up

June 25, 2010

Happy Friday! There is no doubt summer is here. At Pops in the Park last week we were reminded of the fantastic children’s wading pool and mushroom fountain at Bertha Henschel Park. In case you were wondering, that’s where you can find us pretty much every day for the next three months. You can also find us at Pops in the Park this week– it’s the last one, so if you haven’t already been, come check it out! What are you and your families up to this weekend? Here are a few more suggestions…

We’ll see you there!

One last East Sac Mom note, we have some fun posts coming up that highlight local moms and businesses. We would love to add you to our schedule. Are you an East Sacramento Mom with a business, nonprofit, or volunteer organization? Maybe you have a blog you’d like us to link to? Let us know! Send us an email at eastsacmom{at}gmail{dot}com. (Actual residents of East Sacrament only, please.)

Learn about bats with Trailmix.Net

June 24, 2010

Am I the last person to know about Trailmix.Net? This incredible kids’ adventure store (think R.E.I. for little tykes) opened last year in Old Sacramento and “helps parents create family outdoor learning and adventure experiences.” They sell products that “engage children, educate them on topics such as nature, history, and the natural sciences, and teach them how to set and achieve goals.”

Once in a while we come across a business, event or idea that we fall head-over-heels for (ArtBeast was one of those) and Trailmix.Net is our new favorite. You can read more about how Trailmix.Net got started and about local owners, Mike and Sara Barlow, HERE.

Trailmix.Net provides a line of educational products that facilitate interaction with nature, the outdoors, and the sciences. The majority of their products fall into one of these categories:

-Animal Watching With Kids
-Backyard Safari Gear
-Hiking With Kids
-Geocaching With Kids
-Birding With Kids
-Gardening With Kids
-Science Projects

In addition to Trailmix.Net’s cool Old Sacramento store, *FREE* downloadable activities, and interesting blog, they offer drop-in activities for all ages at the downtown location. Click HERE for a full menu of offerings and prices.

Oh, I almost forgot, the whole reason I started to write this post was to tell you about how Trailmix.Net is teaming up with NorCalBats on Saturday, June 26 at 1PM to teach children (and parents) about bats. Families can meet up at the Trailmix.Net store to look at live bats, clear up some common bat myths, learn about bat rescue and rehabilitation, and find some special places in the Sacramento region where bats can be observed in the wild.

Trailmix.Net’s bat session is *FREE* and reservations are not necessary, but appreciated. You can RSVP by calling 916.498.9090.

Trailmix.Net is located at 116B I Street and for more information click HERE or call 888.95.TRAIL. You can also check out the Trailmix.Net blog by clicking HERE.

We’ll see you there!

Family Camp Out at Fairytale Town

June 23, 2010

For our family, summer is not summer without popsicles, playing in the sprinklers, and weekend camping trips. If those activities are on your list for this summer, Fairytale Town lets you cross off that last one with their Family Camp Outs happening June, July and August.

This month’s camp out is Friday, June 26 and begins at 5:30PM, lasts all night long, and ends at 7AM on Saturday, June 27. In Fairytale Town’s own words:

Bring your sleeping bags & tents to Fairytale Town for a memorable night at Humpty’s house! This fun filled sleepover includes a special theater performance, arts & crafts, a scavenger hunt adventure, bedtime stories and a sing-a-long.

Fairytale Town members can join the camp out for $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 3-12. Nonmembers can participate for $30 for adults and $25 for children. To register for the Family Camp Out click HERE. Registration fees include all activities, an evening snack and a light breakfast.

If the June 26 date doesn’t work, mark your calendars for July 24 or August 6 for alternate Family Camp Out dates.

Fairytale Town is located at 3901 Land Park Drive and for more information click HERE or call 916.808.7462.

A *FREE* option? Camp out in your own back yard! Pitch a tent, grab your flash lights and sleeping bags and tell scary stories (or funny stories) well into the night. Use the money you saved to score a barbecue or fire pit from Craigslist and don’t forget the s’mores. Then send us your family camp out pictures!

We’ll see you there (at Fairytale Town, not your back yard– unless you invite us!)

Game Day at the Central Library & Summer Reading Program

June 22, 2010

There are some activities I just can’t wait to write about, and this post is one of those.  East Sacramento Mom is a big supporter of our local libraries and we try our best to encourage you to be as well. Aside from the many story times offered throughout the week there are often special programs during the month and all summer long.

On Saturday, June 26 from 2PM to 5PM adults can participate in a Game Day at the Central Library. I’m sure this activity would be appropriate for teens and even preteens when accompanied by a parent. Game Day is a monthly program and in June the featured games are Skate 2, Rock Band and Street Fighter IV. Remember that parking is *FREE* downtown on Saturdays.

Game Day is *FREE* but registration is required. Click HERE to register. The Central Library is located at 828 I Street and for more information click HERE or call 916.264.2700.

A couple of weeks ago while at the McKinley Library with our toddler a librarian asked if we were signed up for the Summer Reading Program. No sooner than we replied, “Not yet” she had a pencil and clipboard in hand, writing down our little guy’s name and age. We walked out with a super cool swag bag.

I’ll admit that I was skeptical about how many of the Bingo boxes on our activity sheet we were going to be able to mark off with our not-yet-18-month-old, but we are already half way there! The activities are age appropriate and we were super excited to see that a lot of them were things we did on a daily basis. I’m going to save our full Summer Reading activity lists each year to show the progress our kiddo has made and reinforce the importance of literacy.

Oh, did I mention there are PRIZES involved for those who are completing the Summer Reading Program? Participants will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of these:

  • Sony Reader with a $25 Reader Store gift card
  • iPod Touch with a $25 iTunes gift card
  • Nintendo DSi with a $25 Target gift card
  • Target gift card
  • Sign up for the *FREE* Sacramento Public Library’s Summer Reading Program at any local library OR online by clicking HERE. For more information click HERE.

    If you’re participating in the Summer Reading Program, we want to know! What age group? What do you think of the activities? Comment below or send us an email to eastsacmom{at}gmail{dot}com.

    We’ll see you there!

    Farm fresh and family friendly :: summer squash

    June 21, 2010

    Summer squash. It’s that time of year. They’re popping up in many stalls at the farmers market. They’re maturing in many people’s backyard gardens.

    I don’t really like squash. Nonetheless, I plant it every year. This year, we went a bit overboard. We have 4 very healthy zucchini plants and 3 or 4 other squash plants blooming away. Not only is it squash season, but squash recipe season. If I can successfully mask the flavor of the squash I’m good to go and ready to eat as much as my garden can provide (that may be an exaggeration this year).

    If you’re like me and need help consuming squash, or if  your kids need a little help, or if you love squash, I have a couple of tried and true squash recipes to share today. My family loves both of these recipes and I hope yours does to!

    The first recipe is a summer squash gratin recipe from 101 Cookbooks. It takes a little bit of time, but it’s easy and so good. Any type of squash will do. We made this last week, enjoying it with hot dogs and sausages (from Bledsoe Pork). Get the cheese the recipe recommends–either gruyere or feta. So tasty!

    The second recipe can be found in Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. The recipe can also be found online, here. We’ve made this recipe a number of times over the last couple of summers and will be making it for the first time this weekend. The ingredients are simple: zucchini, orzo pasta, onion, fresh herbs, and parmesan cheese (we substitute romano). It’s a great as a side or as a main dish mixed with some chicken. It’s also a great dish to make when you’ve run out of time to make dinner. It’s super quick!

    Enjoy!

    Week End Wrap Up

    June 18, 2010

    Today actually feels like a Tuesday to me– but that’s because we’ve been on vacation all week! Go ahead, roll your eyes. I’m okay with it.

    What do your and your families have planned for the weekend? Check out the ESM calendar page or see below for suggestions. Don’t forget to check back on Monday for another delicious Farm Fresh and Family Friendly post by Amanda!

    We’ll see you there!

    Sac State Arboretum Tour

    June 17, 2010

    Teachers will tell you that after 3 months of summer vacation, students return to school and remember a very small percentage of what they learned the previous year. That might be a slight exaggeration, but why not make an effort to continue your child’s learning during the summer?

    The Sacramento Tree Foundation is sponsoring a tour of the trees in the CSUS Arboretum on Saturday, June 19 from 10-11:30AM. Families can learn to identify trees by leaf, bark and growth habits. Insect and disease issues will be discussed as well as watering needs for Sacramento’s clay soils and hot weather.

    The tour is *FREE* and begins at the arboretum’s northeast pathway. Sac State is located at 6000 J Street and for more information click HERE.

    We’ll see you there!