Monthly Archives: June 2012

So much fun and free!


Summer is the season of fun and free, that’s for sure!  I have been taking note of some of the stuff to do and here are some of the things you might be interested in.

Shakespeare by the Sea has free shows of Romeo and Juliet and Two Gentleman of Verona.  They are all over Southern California.  But I will just mention that they will be in Orange County on July 7 & 8, 28 & 29, and August 4th.  It is a great event to pack a picnic and enjoy the summer weather!

Summer movies for free and almost free.  The Century cinemas in Huntington Beach (Bella Tera) and Orange offer G and PG movies for $1 (or 50 cents if you buy 10 tickets).  Movies are at 1oam on Tuesdays.  Check out their website here.  The Laguna Hills Mall has free movies on Tuesdays as well, but I can’t find out the info online for you, sorry!  But if you live in southern oc, call the cinema in Laguna Hills Mall and see what’s playing!  Here’s their number 949-768-6611.  Regal, United Artists, and Edwards have $1 movies as well on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10.  Click here for more.

For outdoor movies, Newport Dunes and Granada Beach in Belmont Shore have free movies on the beach throughout the summer.  Newport Dunes shows family-friendly movies, but if you head to Long Beach you will have the chance to watch some classics on the big screen again, like Jaws, The Birds, and King Kong.  They will also being showing films that are fun for the whole family, including a double feature, Cars 1 & 2.  The Segerstrom Center is also doing a few outdoor movies.  Check out the titles and dates here.  The Great Park in Irvine has free movies, too.

Summer Reading Programs are happening all over as well.  Last year, we earned free stuff from 3 different programs and here they are!  First, check out your local library!  Our library even allowed Tatum to do it last year.  Second, my friend signed me up last year for a reading program at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and their prizes were awesome!  Go to the Chapel Store there off of Sunflower and Fairview, or call for more information 714-540-2941 (min. age of 4).  And then there is Barnes and Noble.  They don’t specify and age.  You can pick up a sheet at the store, or you can print one out by clicking here.

Last, but not least, hit up at least one summer concert on the beach, green, in the park, whatever your nearby city offers.  Here is a list of different concerts going on this summer in the OC.

Oh wait!  One more thing!  The OC Fair is here July 13-August 12.  The free days are

July 13th: Opening Day between 12-1.  Free parking too, bonus!

We Care Wednesdays allow you to get in free on Wednesdays (and a free carnival ride) if you bring in the following items:

Wed., July 18th: 5 non-perishable food items

Wed., July 25th: 1 new children’s book or 3 gently used ones

Wed. Aug. 1: 5 gently used items of clothing

Wed. Aug. 8: 1 new school supply item valued at $5 or more

Kids are free every Thursday too!

So it seems there should be no room for complaints of “I’m bored” with this much fun and free stuff going on!  I’m sure I am forgetting some things, so check the Fun and free tab for some updates throughout the summer!




Yesterday was the official kick-off to summer for the Ristows!  And today we are headed to the beach for some sand, sun and s’mores.  Having the mister home means forgotten jobs finally get done around the house.  It means that we can go out to breakfast instead of dinner.  It means I can leave the house during nap time.  It means family movie nights and walks to get frozen yogurt.  It means sending the kids to bed when it isn’t quite dark and taking trips in the eurovan.  It means eating dinner outside and setting up the kiddie pool.  It also means I don’t see my friends as often, sharing our one car and it means dreading “back to school”.  September is always a tough month as I try to re-establish my routine without the help of my hubby.  This year it also means I have kindergartener and all the responsibility that comes with that!  That may sound silly, but until now we have been able to go anywhere we want whenever we want.  This is definitely the end of chapter for me and I’m a bit emotional about it.

words can’t say


Words can’t say how grateful I am to witness the bond my girls have with their daddy.  He is adventurous and introduces us to new and exciting things.  He changes diapers and kisses boo boos.  He cuddles and prays before bed.  He joins in on the fun at the playground and also just sits and snuggles sometimes.

When we found out we were “unexpectedly expecting”, Brian said, “I’m in”.  And indeed he’s been all in each and everyday and we are so blessed.


I love that I have this picture of my sisters and me with my dad in his American flag shirt.  It was so him.  If only we were standing in front of his Saturn SUV with the back windshield one big waving flag….Miss you Dad.


soaking it up


Tonight we enjoyed a taste of summer before it has officially started.  Two more weeks of work for my hubby, but the free movies on the beach kicked off Memorial Day weekend at Newport Dunes, which is a reminder that summer is almost here!  And while the weather has been pretty awesome lately, and I have found myself soaking up some sun, tonight I was soaking up precious moments with my two year old.  I have currently been given two challenges in life, and they happen to be called Piper and Tatum.  I struggle with Piper’s attitude and I struggle with Tatum’s nonchalant attitude toward discipline and consequences.  I knew I wouldn’t be given perfect children, but I wasn’t fully aware that I would be given children who were designed to stretch and grow me.  I kind of thought it was just the other way around.

I am aware now more than ever about how quickly time flies.  I am sure that as I sit holding my grandchildren one day that I will be even more aware.  And while we know that, it is not always easy to recognize it in the moment, especially when your two year old is showing her “terrible” side.  But tonight I was laying on a sheet in the sand watching Rio with my head on Brian’s legs and snuggling with Piper when Tatum said, “my mommy”.  She came laid on me, belly to belly, looking absolutely precious with the campfire making her face glow and her cute little blonde hairs sticking out of her hoodie.  Her eyes looked so big and she gave me kisses of all kinds, Eskimo kisses, butterfly kisses and real kisses too.  I wished I could take a picture of her, but it was more than a moment that I wanted to capture.  I took a picture in my mind.  That is what Brian always says.  And the picture in my memory has so much emotion, so much love attached to the face that I saw smiling at me and I don’t think I could forget it.  And then she fell asleep.  She couldn’t have been that comfortable.  I wasn’t that comfortable, but I didn’t dare move, because it isn’t very often that I get to hold my sleeping baby.

It is moments like these that make it all worthwhile.

Feeling Crafty: Fabric Fun


The girls got a new trundle bed a couple months ago and with it they got some new bedding.  While I loved the old bedding, I was kind of ready for a change.  It had been in Piper’s room since she was born and I wanted something with more color.  I got inspired one day when I saw this cute quilt at TJ Maxx for $30.  I bought it and the transformation began.  I wanted to tie in the blue that was in the quilt and the sheets, but nothing else in their room was blue.  So, I had a plan to go to the fabric store, get some cute fabric in blue tones and tie them around a wreath of some kind.  I’ve mentioned that I love fabric, but not sewing, so this was my kind of project.  I was at Michael’s one day and they had this big round wreath-like thing in the clearance.  When I went to check the price the lady said 39cents!  Sweet, I’ll take it!

fabric tied wreath

I got a quarter of a yard of 4 different fabrics and started tying strips of fabric onto the circle (Jenny’s Fabrics in Fountain Valley has lots of fabric at the back of the store for really great prices).  I would go slightly bigger if I were to do it again, so that the ties were a bit longer, but oh well.  With some of the leftover fabric I made a bow and ta-dah!  It was finished!  Well, almost.  It’s hanging in their room, but I want to hang something from the bow down to the middle.  I haven’t decided what yet, a small picture frame, wooden letters of their initials, cute felt flowers, something like that.

fabric wreath

I really am missing my camera.  I don’t have a fancy one or anything like that, but I lost the charger and have been taking pictures with the phone and/or computer.  So, sorry for the poor quality.

If you are in the area this weekend, check out the “fun and free”.   This weekend there is a fun story time and magic show at a Starbucks in Fountain Valley and a Hurley sample sale in Costa Mesa.