The Music of Pixar Comes to the Marin Symphony

May 8, 2013

Pixar in Concert with the Marin SymphonyWe can't think of any family that isn't a fan of Pixar movies, and we especially love the fact that they're made here right in the Bay Area. On June 9, you and your family can experience unforgettable moments from 13 of your favorite Disney/Pixar films in an all new way—accompanied live by our own Marin Symphony!

The first-ever concert of its kind in the North Bay, Pixar in Concert will feature the symphony, led by Maestro Alasdair Neale, in musical selections from Brave, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars, Up, Monsters Inc. Wall-e, Ratatouille, and more. It's a great way to introduce kids to the magic of the orchestra and live music, and a fun way to celebrate the Marin Symphony's 60th season.

Pixar in Concert takes place on Sunday, June 9, at 3 pm at Marin Center's Veterans' Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now (and are apparently going fast!) and range in price from $20 to $75. You can order yours online, by calling (415) 473-6800, or in person at the Marin Center Box Office (Monday–Friday, 11 am–5 pm, and Saturday, 11 am–3 pm). Marin Center is located at 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael, near the Marin Civic Center.

Mother's Day Brunch Recipe: Brioche French Toast from Chef Scott Howard

May 7, 2013

Brioche FrenchOur friend Chef Scott Howard, of Brick & Bottle restaurant in Corte Madera, offered us this fantastic family-friendly recipe for Mother's Day. This special version of French toast is something that kids can help prepare, and would make a great centerpiece to a Mother's Day brunch or breakfast.

If cooking (and cleaning up the kitchen) on Mother's Day is not your style, Brick & Bottle is offering a fantastic Mother's Day brunch buffet on Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm, featuring treats like smoked salmon, beet salad, eggs benedict, rotisserie leg of lamb, honey clove roasted ham, Scott's famous rum cake, and of course this brioche French toast.

Call Brick & Bottle at (415) 924-3366 for information and reservations, or visit Brick & Bottle is located at 55 Tamal Vista Boulevard, in the Marketplace shopping center, in Corte Madera.

A Family That Eats Together: Carne Asada Tacos La Taqueria Style

May 6, 2013

Carne asada tacosMarin 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. Here's Nicole's meal plan for this week.

My all time favorite Mexican Restaurant is La Taqueria in San Francisco’s Mission District. They make the best carne asada taco I have ever had. My husband and I were in the city a week ago and decided to drive another 30 minutes out of our way just to go eat tacos at La Taqueria. While sitting there gorging on our tacos my husband looked up at me and said that I need to recreate these at home. So, here is my recipe for Carne Asada tacos—La Taqueria style.

Servings: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes


  • Refried beans, you can always use my homemade refried bean recipe
  • 1-1/2 lbs carne asada or skirt steak

Get Mom into the “Picture”

May 6, 2013

Photo by Danielle BuoncristianiMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin mom and professional photographer Danielle Buoncristiani of Buoncristiani Photography in Novato, who gives us some great tips on how to get out from behind the camera and into the picture!

Why are Moms hardly ever in the picture? Because they are always behind the camera! No need to wait until everything is perfect… take your family picture Today!

Often I talk with moms who tell me that there are hardly any pictures of them with their kids… Some of the reasons this happens include

  • Moms tends to be the one taking the pictures.
  • Moms are often more critical of themselves and don’t feel that they look good in photos; let me lose 10 more lbs., not the right outfit, or bad hair day.
  • Moms are often the ones putting on the event and they don’t have the time to be in the photos.

Healthy BBQ Chicken Enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2013

EnchiladaThis guest article is by my friend and Marin mom Nancy Grossi, author of the award-winning blog The Wife of a Dairyman. Nancy started her blog at the beginning of 2010, and offers a look into life on one of Marin's many dairy farms. One of her loves is cooking, and here's her recipe for healthy BBQ chicken enchiladas, perfect for Cinco de Mayo dinner on Saturday!

When you have a bunch of leftover BBQ chicken like we did, what do you do with all the extra chicken? I can only eat chicken prepared the same way about five times in a row… no more!

So, I pulled the meat off of four halves and cut it up into chunks to make BBQ Chicken Enchiladas, which was about one pound of meat.

Saute 1/2 an onion with 2 garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Then remove from heat.

Pick and Plant this Weekend at Bloomfield Farms!

May 4, 2013

Squash tower at Heirloom ExpoThis weekend, visitors to Bloomfield Farms' u-pick event will not only be able to pick their own certified organic produce, but plant it as well! Bloomfield Farms was selected to help grow the heirloom squash, pumpkins, and gourds for the giant tower of vegetables at this year's National Heirloom Exposition at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds.

Families visiting the for u-pick on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, can help plant these heirloom seeds (contributed by the Petaluma Seed Bank and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds). Then, come back in the fall to see how they've grown and pick a pumpkin, gourd, or squash (nature permitting, one per customer).

As usual, you'll also find a variety of great organic produce, including, kale, lettuce, chard, artichokes, leeks, broccoli, and more. We hear their new strawberry patch is in full swing now, too. Also, Chef John Lyle will be on hand again this Sunday for a "pay-what-you-can" Farm Fun Brunch. If you haven't been to u-pick yet this is a great weekend to check it out.

Spring Happenings at the Parents Place in Marin

May 1, 2013

music time Parents Place in San Rafael has been a valuable resource for countless Marin County parents and families. This spring, they offer a wide variety of programs, from yoga for little ones and music time to workshops for new moms and dads and parents of spirited children. Here are a few of their offerings this season:

Yoga for Children (2 ½–5 years)
Yoga for the little ones! This ongoing series includes a playful interpretation of classical yoga poses, with songs, stories, movement, and quiet breath awareness practices for 2 ½- to 5-year-olds. Parent participation is optional, but supervision is required. This series gives kids an introduction to yoga that is both fun and educational and helps build concentration and mindfulness in preschool-aged children. Please bring a mat. With Juliana Birnbaum Fox, MA. Fridays, May 3 - 17, 11:00 - 11:45 am. $42 per child for three weeks; $21 for each sibling. Register here.

For Dads Only - Effective Fathering (all ages)
During this workshop, parent educator and coach Tom Limbert, MA will use his new book,Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Times, as a framework for tackling the issues facing today's fathers. Tom will reveal how a father can walk the fine lines of discipline, respect, and support. You will discuss the values of listening, leading by example, staying in the moment, setting clear limits, and motivating your children. (Signed copies of Tom's book will also be available at a discount to attendees). Mon., May 6, 7:00 - 9:00 pm. Register here.

Win Tickets to the May 10 Penguins+Pajamas Sleepover at the Cal Academy

May 1, 2013

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe had a blast when we attended the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover—it's a fantastic family experience that's both fun and educational. The next Penguins+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Friday, May 10, 2013, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky Marin Mommies reader!

Experience your own "night at the museum" as you explore the exhibits after-hours, stargaze at a planetarium show, and enjoy a special live animal presentation. Before bedtime, settle in for story time with cookies and milk to learn about Pierre—the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin.

When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the aquarium's California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for a continental breakfast.

Marin Musical Mompreneur Julia Norton

April 29, 2013

Julia NortonIf you've enjoyed any of the numerous song-filled offerings from Bay Area Children's Theatre, then you might very well already be familiar with the work of Marin mom Julia Norton, who serves as musical director for many of their productions, including the current Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. She's also a composer, singer, award-winning recording artist, and teacher.

Marin Mommies caught up with Julia and asked her a few questions about her career, music, and what she and her family love about living in Marin. Learn more about her at

Q: Please tell us a little about yourself. What's your background, and how did you get your musical career started?

A: According to my mum, I have been singing since before I could talk. I remember writing my first song with my best friend Lynne when we were 5 or maybe 6. It wasn't much to speak of lyrically and had lots of "la la las" in it, but we thought that if we wore matching pink cardigans, we might fool the public. Aged 8, I joined the village church choir with my mum. It was a 14th-century church and had gargoyles and gravestones carved in old English lettering. There I fell in love with early music, close harmonies and the dark and twisty lyrics that went with them.

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