A Family That Eats Together: Chicken Pizzaiola

February 4, 2013

Chicken pizzaiolaMarin 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.

When I was a kid, my father would take us out to his favorite Italian restaurant. At that time, I was a very picky eater but this dish was one of my favorites and what’s not to love? Fresh mozerella cheese, juicy chicken and tangy tomato sauce makes this dish a kid’s dream dinner. There are lots of ways to make this fattening but in this recipe, I have limited the fat and amped the flavor so that you will never know it is missing.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Mompreneur: Angie Allison and the Protocol Academy

February 4, 2013

Angie Allison and Protocol AcademyGot manners? Marin mompreneur Angie Allison helps local kids answer a resounding "yes" to that question through etiquette classes through her business the Protocol Academy. We asked Angie to answer a few questions about herself and her unique business.

For more information about upcoming classes, registration, and etiquette tips visit the Protocol Academy Facebook page. You can also contact Angie at (415) 234-6616 or info@the-protocol-academy.com for more information.

Q: Please tell us about you and your background.

A: I’m a certified trainer in etiquette and communication essentials for young children through young adults, and a member of the Society for Certified Etiquette Trainers. My bachelor’s degree is in journalism. I worked in advertising, corporate communications, design, art representation and sales for many years. My husband and I are blessed with two wonderful, energetic and creative children, and a spunky puppy. I grew up in the Midwest and lived in the South, as well as the East Coast. Marin County has been my home for over 10 years.

Score on Game Day with Beef and Black Bean Nachos

February 3, 2013

nachosThis 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 her recipe for Beef and Black Bean Nachos is the perfect thing for Super Bowl Sunday or even a family dinner. Enjoy!

A few weeks ago, while hanging out in Carmel with my friend, Katie, who is a source of inspiration to me on many levels and is the one and only reason my kids speak of North Dakota on a daily basis in our household, was telling me about a platter of nachos she made up to feed her family dinner one night… now, why hadn't I ever thought of that?!

After all, the chips are just like taco shells and I could throw on some garden fresh toppings for some healthy veggies, not to mention the beef and beans for protein.

Children's Book Review: The Creatrilogy Set by Peter Reynolds

January 29, 2013

The DotMarin Mommies presents another guest article by Marin children's librarian Lisa Katz. This time, she takes a look at three wonderful books about the power of original thinking.

Check out this beautifully boxed set of three hardcover picture books that celebrate the power of original thinking!

The Dot—The first book in this wonderful little series by Peter Reynolds. Meet Vashti. Vashti, isn’t an artist, she can’t draw. But her art teacher wants her to create something on a piece of paper. But Vashti insists that she can’t draw. Instead she places a dot on a piece of paper. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey into self-discovery.

Ish—The second book in the series is about a little artist, Ramon who loves to draw. It is what Ramon does best. But suddenly he loses confidence in his drawings until his sister, Marisol, shows him that value of doing something and it doesn’t always have to be just perfect!

A Family That Eats Together: Slow Cooker Beer Braised Carnitas

January 28, 2013

Marin 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.

I saw this recipe in the February 2013 version of Bon Appetit. Their recipe is braised for many hours over the stove, but I thought I could adapt the recipe to work with my slow cooker so that I could prep the meal and leave it alone while I go out to play.

This recipe would be perfect for super bowl or any fiesta that you might want to create with little effort on your part.

Servings: 12–18
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours


  • 4 pounds pork butt also called pork shoulder
  • 2 dried guajillo chilis, deseeded and sliced in half (found on the Hispanic aisle of your grocery store or in Hispanic markets)
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed

Math Tips and More from Mathnasium of Mill Valley

January 27, 2013

mathnasiumMarin Mommies presents a guest post by Scott Rubin of Mill Valley Mathnasium, featuring a great math tip for parents, a math joke, and a math question.

Math Tip

Why do parents read to their children, but not do "math" with their children?  Many parents feel uncomfortable with speaking "math" and lack confidence in their own math aptitude. Simple number counting goes a long way, especially at a very impressionable young age. You can start at any age, even as early as one year old.  Count from 1 to 10 by ones and twos. Also, count up to 20, 30, etc. and count by threes, fours, etc.

Count by ones while handing a ball to your child then subtract one while taking a ball back. Be creative, because you can make a difference in your child's "math" life with these simple techniques.

Math Question

Today, Jenny picked 8 flowers. Yesterday, she picked 3 more flowers than she picked today. How many total flowers did Jenny pick yesterday and today combined?

Pay a Visit to the Girl with a Pearl Earring at the de Young Museum

January 26, 2013

Girl with a Pearl EarringYou've read the book and seen the movie, now go see the painting that inspired them! Johannes Vermeer's renowned, enigmatic, and alluring painting Girl with a Pearl Earring is now on view at San Francisco's de Young Museum, along with over 30 additional Dutch Golden Age paintings from the prestigious collections of the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague, in the exhibition Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis.

This special exhibition is a fantastic art experience for the whole family. Kids will love works ranging from Fabritius's tiny The Goldfinch to the large and raucous As the Old Sing, so Twitter the Young by Jan Steen. There's even an audio tour ($7/$6 museum members) designed especially for families.

The works on view represent some of the finest examples of 17th-century Dutch painting, but the focus is on the Girl, who gets a whole gallery to herself. Incidentally, the Girl with a Pearl Earring isn't a portrait per se, but a "tronie," an idealized depiction of a person probably intended to be a historical or biblical character.

Five Pilates Ab Moves to Keep Your New Year Strong!

January 22, 2013

rolling like a ballIn this guest article, Marin mom and Pilates trainer Jennifer Raby shares her top five Pilates ab moves to help keep your New Year strong!

Looking to keep your fitness resolutions on track? Your core will thank you for adding these moves to your New Year's workout!  I love these Pilates ab exercises because they can be done anywhere… at home, the office, outside, wherever! No equipment needed, just a mat, and some space to move. Plan: 6 to 12 reps 3 to 4 days/week, choose healthy foods, include cardiovascular exercise, and start to see your 2013 core transform!

Tip: Keep the five basic principles of Pilates* in mind when doing these exercises, this will help give you an edge on doing each move with ease (see *BP key below).

  1. Rolling like a ball
    Start position: sitting with spine flexed creating a "c" curve, knees and feet together, feet a few inches off floor, toes pointed. Hands on shins or under knees, shoulders down.

Highway 101 Redesign Creates Roadblock for Walkers and Cyclists

January 22, 2013

Lucky Drive pedestrian crossingMarin Mommies presents a guest article from Cindy Winter of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC).

For the past 15 years, Marin parents and civic leaders have worked to create safe pathways and road crossings that encourage walking and cycling to school, short-distance errands, and recreation. We’ve seen astounding progress in the numbers of kids transporting themselves safely, healthily, and happily. But now, there’s a problem.

Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) has nearly completed its plans to widen Highway 101 from Corte Madera Creek to a short distance south of Wornum Drive. The project is needed to resolve the difficult merging of traffic lanes, both north and south. However, as part of their plans, the pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the freeway from Fifer Avenue to Industrial Way will be torn down and not replaced.

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