Win Tickets to the December 13 San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker Family Performance!

December 10, 2011

NutcrackerCongratulations to Colleen P. for winning the Nutcracker tickets for Tuesday's performance.

How would you like to go see the San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker this Tuesday night? We're excited to give away two (2) tickets for this special family performance, which begins at 7 pm (but you'll want to get there early to meet some costumed Nutcracker characters and get a free child's gift).

To enter to win, send an email to contests@marinmommies.com with "Nutcracker" in the subject line by noon (Pacific time) on Sunday, December 11. We'll select a random winner that afternoon. Our thanks go out to San Francisco Ballet for generously sponsoring this exciting giveaway. Read our giveaway rules and terms here.

Please note that this giveway is for the December 13, 7 pm performance only. The winner's tickets will be held at the War Memorial Opera House will call for pickup the evening of the performance.

Congratulations to Our Holiday Teddy Bear/Magic Toy Box Tea at Falkirk Winner!

December 8, 2011

Congratulations to Michelle B., winner of the 2 tickets to this weekend's Teddy Bear/Magic Toy Box Tea at San Rafael's Falkirk Cultural Center. The Teddy Bear/Magic Toy Box Tea is an old-fashioned teddy bear tour de force in the elegant Queen Anne Victorian Falkirk Mansion. Homemade tea sandwiches and sweets are served, along with tea, hot chocolate, and other beverages. Kids ages 3 and up, their favorite teddy bears or other life-like toys, and even a parent or grandparent will experience a holiday treat to remember

Many thanks to the Falkirk Cultural Center for their generous sponsorship of this giveaway. To find out more about this event and to order tickets, visit www.falkirkculturalcenter.org or by calling 1(800) 838-3006.

Experience the Magic of Sophie and The Enchanted Toyshop

December 7, 2011

Sophie and the Enchanted ToyshopThis holiday season, don’t miss Marin Dance Theatre’s magical production of Sophie and The Enchanted Toyshop at the Marin Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael. Performances take place on Saturday, December 17, only with two shows at 1 and 5 pm.

Presented by Marin Dance Theatre, an internationally recognized dance training center, Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop is a delightful and festive full-length two-act children's ballet, featuring over 130 dancers plus guest professional artists. We had an opportunity to attend last year with our kids and everyone had a great time.

This production is a fantastic introduction to ballet for the entire family. In fact it was my then four-year-old daughter's first experience with live ballet. With colorful sets and costumes and whimsical characters, Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop makes a great addition or alternative to the Nutcracker in the holiday entertainment repertoire.

Holiday Gift Guide: Aquasaurs

December 6, 2011

Uncle Milton Deluxe Aquasaurs KitHow'd you like to have your very own dinosaur? Sounds neat, until you start thinking about all the details, not the least of which is that it's totally impossible, since dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years. There is a way to have your own prehistoric pet, though, with Aquasaurs!

What are Aquasaurs? They're a commercial name for a water-dwelling creature with three eyes called a triops or tadpole shrimp (Triops longicaudatus). Triops have been around since the Devonian period, roughly 350 million years ago, and are still going strong in vernal pools and seasonal ponds in North America.

A Family that Eats Together: Tortilla Soup

December 5, 2011

Tortilla soupMarin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike. Nicole is also the creator of the new Little Froglet line of children's activewear.

Nicole's meal plan for this week features roast chicken and vegetables, grilled filet mignon with caramelized shallot popovers and green beans, cumin crusted chicken with cotija and mango-garlic sauce, quick and easy farfalle with tomatoes and pancetta, and this simple and tasty tortilla soup.

Servings: 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Win Tickets to A Holiday Teddy Bear/Magic Toy Box Tea at Falkirk

December 4, 2011

Teddy Bear Tea at FalkirkWe are giving away 2 tickets (for 1 adult and 1 child) to next weekend's Teddy Bear/Magic Toy Box Tea at San Rafael's Falkirk Cultural Center. Kids ages 3 and up, their favorite teddy bears or other life-like toys, and even a parent or grandparent will experience a holiday treat to remember! The Teddy Bear/Magic Toy Box Tea is an old-fashioned teddy bear tour de force in the elegant Queen Anne Victorian Falkirk Mansion. Homemade tea sandwiches and sweets are served, along with tea, hot chocolate, and other beverages.

Features include life-sized toys, a raffle, and plenty of photo opportunities with bears and friends. The Teddy Bear/Magic Toy Box Tea is hosted by the Cultural Affairs Service League.

The Teddy Bear/Magic Toy Box Tea takes place on December 10 and 11 with two seatings each day, at noon and 3 pm. The cost is $27.50 for adults and $22.50 for children. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1(800) 838-3006 or online here. There are

Coping Tips for a Light and Bright Holiday Season- Spencer Jacobs M.F.T

November 30, 2011

Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin mom and Marriage and Family Therapist Spencer Jacobs.

For many of you the mere mention of THE HOLIDAY SEASON is too much too soon. This season is full of meaning for our culture and holds a wide spectrum of traditions, memories and images for each individual. It can stir up emotions and issues for many of us- even those of us who LOVE the holidays. We’ve all seen countless movies illuminating the highs and lows of Christmas but the expectations of this season can create discomforts that are very real. The bright side is many of these issues can be helped with insight, planning and support. We cannot always control the effects of stress or even it’s root cause, but we can take steps to reduce the impact of stress before it de-rails us and the ones we love most.

Here are a few tips to keep you and your family light and bright this holiday season:

  • Consider your history with the holidays. Do you find yourself feeling low every year at a certain day or time? Will this be the first holiday since the loss of a loved one? Does an annual event leave you rattled each year? Alter traditions that leave you feeling low or stressed. Add new rituals that support your current life and do your best to avoid events that don’t make you feel good.

Celebrate Christmas Victorian Style at Falkirk (and Win Tickets!)

November 30, 2011

Falkirk Victorian ChristmasCelebrate Christmas in Victorian style this Friday at San Rafael's Falkirk Cultural Center. Join Charles Dickens, his family, and a cast of colorful 19th-century characters for a joyous evening of Victorian revelry at the elegant Falkirk Mansion.

Partake in a holiday treat as you go back in time to Victorian England and meet Dickens himself, listen to him read from his famous works like A Christmas Carol, watch his characters come alive (watch out for Scrooge), meet and greet the true Father Christmas, play Victorian parlor games, dance and sing with a Victorian family, and make traditional holiday crafts. Light food and drink will be served.

This is a family event takes place on Friday, December 2 from 6:30–9 pm. Tickets to the Dickens Family Victorian Holiday are $10 for adults and $7 for children. You can order tickets by phone at (800) 838-3006 or online at brownpapertickets.com.

A Family that Eats Together: Lamb Biryani with Raita

November 29, 2011

lamb biryani with raitaMarin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike. Nicole is also the creator of the new Little Froglet line of children's activewear.

Nicole's meal plan for this week features spaghetti bolognese, orecchiette with sausage, tomatoes, and peas, quick-and-easy shrimp and green bean stir fry, and this one-pot lamb biryani with a creamy raita.

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