Help Feed the World's Largest Turkey at Town Center Corte Madera

November 13, 2015

Giant Turkey Town Center Corte MaderaThis holiday season, Town Center Corte Madera proudly welcomes back the World’s Largest Turkey, who will gratefully collect your donations of canned food, non-perishable items, and toiletries. Donations will be distributed by the SF-Marin Food Bank to Marin families in need  this holiday season through Friday, December 4, 2015.

This year marks the Giant Turkey’s 22nd annual appearance at Town Center—this year the Turkey will be “roosting” in the courtyard at the north end of the Center, between Il Fornaio and the Container Store. After December 4, the Food Bank donation barrels will be located in the Town Center Professional building at the south end of the Center near the free holiday gift wrapping table.

Nutrition For A Healthy, Vibrant, Beautiful You at Speak to Me's Lunch & Learn November 19

November 12, 2015

Sonya AngeloneJoin Speak To Me (Intelligent, Inspiring Events for Women) on Thursday, November 19th, for "Nutrition For A Healthy, Vibrant, Beautiful You" featuring Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, CLT, a nutritional consultant, LEAP therapist and an Oprah favorite on the topic of using food to actually look and feel youthful.

A certified lifestyle counselor and nutritionist, Sonya will share her extensive knowledge and secrets to using nutrition as a tool to keep you feeling youthful, strong and happy as you age. She'll discuss the myths and truths behind everything from supplements to "power foods” and provide an action plan that just could replace all those expensive creams, serums and facials you've currently got in your arsenal.

"Nutrition For A Healthy, Vibrant, Beautiful You" takes place on Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Piatti Restaurant in Mill Valley and includes a healthy and delicious lunch while you learn . Single tickets are $49 each. Learn more and order tickets online at Space is limited. Purchase today.

Marin and Bay Area Holiday Tree and Menorah Lighting Events 2015

November 10, 2015

Ghirardelli Square Tree LightingAll across Marin and the Bay Area, communities celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with a traditional tree lighting ceremony. Here's our list of tree and menorah lighting ceremonies and celebrations in Marin County, San Francisco, and Sonoma County.

  • San Rafael 36th Annual Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland
    Downtown San Rafael
    Friday, November 27, noon–8 pm & Saturday, November 28, 9 am–noon
    Downtown San Rafael will once again commence the holiday season with its Winter Wonderland, Parade of Lights, and Holiday Marketplace with arts and crafts that starts the Friday after Thanksgiving. On Friday: free snow sledding, kids activities (noon–4:30 pm & 6–8 pm), Holiday Marketplace (noon–8 pm) and the Parade of Lights (5:30 pm) with Santa and Mrs. Claus's arrival and a tree-lighting immediately after. On Saturday: kids activities and snow sledding continues (9 am–noon). Location: On Fourth Sreet from B Street to Lootens Place in downtown San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Ghirardelli Square Annual Tree Lighting
    San Francisco
    Friday, November 27, 4–9 pm

    Enjoy free live entertainment for the entire family throughout the day culminating with the lighting of the Ghirardelli Square tree at 5:30 pm. This year’s festivities will include live music, children’s entertainment and a visit from Santa. Location: Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street (at Beach and Larkin), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Getting Kids off the Fast Track so They Can Play: An Interview with the Mountain School's Lori Grey

November 10, 2015

The Mountain School It’s been 14 years since Lori Grey’s everyday life revolved around the Mountain School, as her daughter, Haley, attended as a three and four-year-old. “It feels nice to come full circle.” Now a college-bound senior at San Francisco Waldorf School, Grey says Haley has fond memories of her time at the school. “She knew she was exactly where she was supposed to be. She had the experience of being fully three and fully four.”

Grey sat down with Mountain School parent Beth Tribolet on an October afternoon to discuss what constitutes Waldorf-inspired education, as the sounds of children at play wafted through her office.

At its best, what can a Waldorf-inspired preschool accomplish?

You want to bring out the best in children; you want to bring out their soul and their personalities. In Waldorf education there’s a common central theme that says children need to engage with each other, engage with nature, and engage with play in a deep and meaningful way. Essentially it is the best preparation for life. You are definitely dealing with the individual but you’re also dealing with fostering community spirit. It’s not just about them as individuals but it is about individuals in the spirit of community, which you achieve by developing empathy skills.

Lake Tahoe Ski, Snowboard & Snow Play Family Fun

November 10, 2015

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

It seems like El Niño is taking its sweet time in bringing us much-needed precipitation, but there's finally some snow up in the Sierras, which means it's time to get ready for the start of ski and snow play season in Lake Tahoe (and hope for more snow this fall and winter). Many of Tahoe ski resorts have already announced their anticipated opening dates for the 2015–2016 season. several are even open now, and some are even opening this weekend!

The Lake Tahoe area has a variety of resorts and ski areas to suit anyone's taste and budget. Here's our guide to places to ski, snowboard, tube, sled, and play in the snow around Tahoe. We're tried to focus on spots that offer not only skiing and snowboarding, but tubing, snow play, and other winter activities, too. If we've omitted your favorite, please let us know!

Open House and Block Party at Safari West November 15 and December 6

November 10, 2015

Safari WestThis fall, Safari West holds its annual Open House and Block Party. Experience this spectacular zoo and wildlife preserve, located in the hills east of Santa Rosa, and its animal residents, including cheetahs, giraffes, antelopes, lemurs, and a whole aviary of exotic birds.

Hop on the Nairobi bus for a short driving tour through part of the preserve where you'll get up close and personal with some of Safari West's African mammals, including the giraffes. Afterward, take a walk to see flamingos, cheetahs, monkeys, lemurs and more. There will also be exhibits on the lawn and face painting for the kids.

The Open House and Block Party costs $25 for adults, with one child admitted free with each paying adult. Additional children age 12 and younger are $10. The party takes place on both this Sunday, November 15 and Sunday, Decebember 6 with a morning party from 10 am to noon and an afternoon party from 2 to 4 pm. Reservations are required; make reservations by calling (707) 566-3667 or emailing The party takes place rain or shine.

The Spectacular Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery

November 9, 2015

West End Nursery Christmas House San Rafael

Traditionally, our first holiday outing in Marin is always to the famous Christmas House at West End Nursery in San Rafael. We checked out this season's edition yesterday during its opening weekend and, once again, it's a spectacular as ever. As a matter of fact, I think it might be the best version to date—it just keeps getting better every year.

The venerable West End Nursery has been operating in San Rafael's Sun Valley neighborhood for over a century—since 1909, in fact. The Christmas House is located on the grounds of the nursery in a Victorian house that's over also 100 years old. It's filled to the brim with Christmas trees and decorations of all kinds, and it's amazing. A visit here will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit, even it you're thinking "But it's not even Thanksgiving yet!"

Indoor Drop-in Activities for the Little Ones for Marin & Beyond

November 9, 2015

Indoor playLooking for fun indoor play spaces for the little ones? There are several places to take the kids to get them out of the house and burn off all that extra energy, especially on a cold day. Here are a few ideas for fun indoor drop-in activites in Marin County and beyond:


  • Pavilion Playgroup (ages 0-5)
    Fairfax Pavilion
    142 Bolinas Road

    Bring the little ones for some fun indoors November through April each year on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30am -12:30 pm. Indoor playtime during the soggy season! Join other moms, dads and kids at the charming red building on the hill. Children/infant to 5 years enjoy playing with toys, riding scooters and climbing on a variety of soft blocks and mats. Parents enjoy mingling, playing and drinking fresh coffee and tea. Cost: $6 per child per visit or $50 for a 10 visit punch card. For more info, visit their website.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy for Thanksgiving

November 9, 2015

Herb roasted turkey breastWhen we crave those classic holiday dinner flavors, we often grab a turkey breast roast from the market and make this easier, smaller scale, and faster version of a Thanksgiving feast. It's perfect for a nice family meal or Thanksgiving dinner if your family is smaller and you don't want to deal with cooking and storing a whole turkey. Another bonus when just cooking the turkey breast: you're less likely to overcook it since it's all you're dealing with.

I grab a handful of fresh herbs from the kitchen garden and use them in a compound butter to season the turkey breast bother under and on top of the skin. Not only does this give the turkey an amazing flavor, but it makes the skin extra crispy, too.

Put the roast in a cast iron skillet or roasting pan, pop it in the oven, and you'll have dinner in no time. I love using a cast iron skillet because it makes it easy to make gravy out of the pan drippings.

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