Fresno Friday-Gazebo Gardens

I think one of the coolest offerings in Fresno is the Gazebo Gardens Food Trucks and Beer Garden every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during the summer.  We've been before (and I've blogged about it before) but we love going back every now and then.  It's perfect for the nights you don't feel like cooking and it's just a fun night.  The food trucks vary from night to night and week to week so you won't get bored.  We went a few weeks back and I got delicious quesadillas from Tako BBQ and Emily and Kevin got Pizza.  We couldn't resist getting an ice cream afterwards.  There is live music and lots of spots to sit and enjoy your food.  If you haven't been you have GOT to check this out.

Mommy Monday- ReSqueeze Reusable Pouches

As a busy mom always on the go I always have food pouches handy in my fridge so I can grab them on my way out if I don't have time to throw together a snack or lunch for my little one.  My BIG complaint is the cost.  Well I now have a great solution!!!  I've teamed up with ReSqueeze and want to share their product with all of you.  This is a refillable children's pouch that you can fill with yogurt, smoothies, or pureed food.  Not only are you saving so much money but you know exactly what is in each pouch; no trying to pronounce the ingredients on the back.
ReSqueeze pouches have a top spout and a double dual zip closure on the bottom.  You can use your blender or food processor and then easily pour into the pouches and seal.  You can put your ready to go pouches in the fridge or freezer for later use.
These pouches are durable but still BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free.  They are a straight flow design which makes cleaning easy.  You just rinse in hot water after each use.
Their website shows recipes, directions, and videos to help you.  

However, I just threw in fruits and veggies I had on hand.  I used blueberries, cooked carrots, yellow peach, cooked zucchini, and pear.  I used my favorite handy dandy Baby Brezza to do the blending.  Then I poured the contents into two of the small pouches.  I did find it a bit tricky to get the thick mixture into the pouch.  The large pouch has a bigger opening and is easier.  A funnel would make pouring into the small pouch a breeze.

I definitely recommend you get these if you have little ones!

Before filling

Supper Sunday-BBQ Spare Ribs

BBQ Spare Ribs 

Garlic Salt
Brown Sugar
Pork Spare Ribs
BBQ Sauce


Liberally sprinkle ribs with cinnamon, salt, pepper, and brown sugar.  Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Flip and sprinkle again with the same rub, cook for another 30 minutes.  Afterwards cover with BBQ sauce of your choice, cook for 15 minutes.  Flip and cover this side with BBQ sauce.  Cook for a final 15 minutes (1.5 hours total).  Let ribs rest outside of the oven for a few minutes before cutting.

Fresno Friday-Wild Water Adventure Park

Some girlfriends and I took our kiddos to Wild Water Adventure Park last week.  Fresno summers are HOT, HOT, HOT so having an awesome water park like Wild Water is so great!  You head East on Shaw for what seems like forever but it's worth the drive.  Our group included 10 children under 4 and 7 mamas (3 of which are expanding our group and are pregnant).  I left Madi with my mom so I could keep both eyes on Emily.  We hung out at Adventure Bay and the Wave Pool for the day; Emily loved both.  She really liked the kiddie water slides and LOVED the waves in the wave pool.  We took a picnic lunch and grabbed ice cream from the park.  If you live in Fresno you definitely have to make the trip to Wild Water; it's a must for your summer bucket list.

Tinsley's face says it all! "Ugh this is too much!"  Love it.

Girls Weekend at the Coast

Last weekend my great girlfriends Pam and Rema and I went to the coast.  On our way we stopped at J Lohr for some wine tasting.  Pam picked this spot because they have non-alcholic wines (No you judgy pants that isn't alcohol in that pic!).  I enjoyed the real thing and made out with two sober drivers.  After J Lohr we drove to Justin Winery. It's quite a drive but totally worth it.  The winery and grounds were gorgeous.  We had lunch here and it was delicious!!!!  After lunch we shopped in downtown SLO and the outlets in Pismo.  We headed to Pam's house to change and then dinner at the Steakhouse at Madonna Inn.  I had never been to the restaurant there and it is a TRIP!!!  I don't think they've touched the place since it's opening.  There was big band playing during dinner which I totally loved; it was a blast from the past.  
On Saturday night I woke up in the middle of the night to thunder and lightening.  When we got up Sunday morning it was pouring; it continued until the afternoon.  So we just went out for breakfast then hung out at the house to relax.  
It was a fun girls weekend; thank you so much Pammy for inviting me!

PINC Donates $65,000 to Holy Cross Center for Women

I am so proud to announce that PINC (Philanthropy Inspired by the Needs of Our Community) an organization I've been involved in since 2009, donated $65,000 to Holy Cross Center for Women last week.  It was an emotional moment at the center to hand over the check to Sister Mary Clennen.  These funds will help with their summer programs for children.  I can't thank our sponsors, donors, attendees and my fellow members enough for their contributions and help.  All the work pays off in moments like these.  An extra special thank you to J Kroeker Inc. for your sponsorship, Kuni Sama and Flemings for your donations, and Karen Morais, Geralyn Coderniz, Jill Kroeker, Joyce Kroeker, and my husband for coming as my guests.
Please check out our website if you are interested in donating or finding out more info.

Mommy Monday

Here's an activity to keep your kids entertained.  I taped paper towel and toilet paper rolls on the wall and Emily dropped pom-pom balls down the tubes.  She would just drop them or sometimes we would race our pom-poms.  A disclaimer: Madi had to be kept away because when she got near it she ripped it off the wall.  This was super simple and free; give it a try.  
Please share any activities you do with your young children.  I'm always looking for ideas to keep the girls happy and having fun.

Fresno Friday-Bravo Farms in Traver

This edition of Fresno Friday is Bravo Farms in Traver (Just North of Visalia off of the 99).  As I've mentioned several times one of my favorite things about Fresno is the proximity to so many things.  I've driven past Bravo Farms several times and never had a desire to stop but my girlfriend organized a play date here so we went.  I was super impressed!  I had no idea all they had to offer.  It's a great place for kids because they have tree houses, a million toy dump trucks to play with, slides, animals to feed, miniature golf, an arcade, and more.  We played around the grounds and fed the goats for about an hour and then we had lunch which was super delicious.  After lunch we ate the best ice cream from Rosa Brothers.  It was only 35 minutes away and totally worth the drive.  We will be going back for sure.

We love Flamingos!!!

Madi-"Why you in there?" Kennedy-"How do I get out of here?"

Rosa Brother's delicious ice cream.

Hollywood Wives The New Generation

I love watching Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.  Awhile ago one of the guests was Jackie Collins.  It was a fun episode and she mentioned that her favorite book she's wrote is Hollywood Wives The New Generation.  So I picked it up and gave it a go.
Hollywood mega start Lissa Roman suspects her third husband is cheating on her so she hires a P.I., Michael Scorsinni to get to the bottom of it.  An instant connection with Michael proves to be an issue since she wants to keep it all business.
Nicci, Lissa's daugher, has always felt a little out of place growing up with a star for a mother.  Now at a young age she is engaged but fighting feelings for her soon-to-be brother-in-law.
The story follows Lissa and her friends, Nicci and her best friend, and Michael Scorsinni and his troubled past.  Behind the scenes an ex-con, Eric Vernon, is planning to kidnap Nicci for a large ransom.  
It's fun to read the juicy details and see what is going to happen to all of these Hollywood Women.  I did enjoy the book but Collins wraps it up very neatly in the end a little abruptly if you ask me.  

Fashion Finds

I am the queen of a budget and a good find.  A sale gets my adrenaline going and something fashionable for a steal gets me giddy.  I wanted to start sharing some of my finds with you.

Where do you shop for cute, yet reasonable looks?

Forever 21 shirt, Old navy Jeans, Target wedges and necklace.

Valentino shoes from Nordstrom Rack, that were almost 90% off!!!!!  Skirt from Nordstrom (but very reasonable), shirt from Banana Republic.

Shirt and Jeans from Old Navy, Wedges from Off Saks 5th Ave.

Shirt from Banana Republic and shorts from Walmart.

Lincoln on Leadership

A few weeks ago I finished reading Lincoln on Leadership by Donald T. Phillips.  Phillips did extensive research on Lincoln as a leader and uses his presidency as a model for leaders.  Phillips claims that Lincoln was one of the best leaders in our nations history.  He attributes his success to several styles and tactics.
First of all Lincoln didn't sit in the White House but rather circulated amongst his people, he built strong alliances, and persuaded people to get what he wanted rather than using force.  When employees believe their boss is accessible and approachable they will be more loyal and trustworthy.  "By entering your subordinate's environment- by establishing frequent human contact- you create a sense of commitment, collaboration, and community.  You also gain access to vital information necessary to make effective decisions."  Looking at Lincoln's leadership shows that he believed in frequent casual contact with subordinates, keeping a good temper, paying compliments frequently, and setting a good example.
Phillips notes that Lincoln only used forced when absolutely necessary.  If you want employees to join your cause then "a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall."  Being kind and compassionate creates loyalty and dedication from subordinates.  Lincoln also empowered people and delegated responsibility.  He believed in elevating people and helping others climb the ladder of success.  When someone does a good job a leader should praise and reward them.  If they fail a leader should accept some of the responsibility.
When it came to criticism Lincoln was well versed.  By looking at the way he dealt with it a leader must have stamina, fortitude, and self-confidence.  Lincoln ignored most attacks unless they were important enough to make a difference.  Lincoln maintained grace under pressure and had lots of courage.

This book was a recommendation at a conference I went to so I picked it up at the library.  It wasn't one of my favorite reads.  It had so good ideas but it just wasn't that engaging.

Weekend Wrap Up

We had such a busy but awesome weekend!!!!  Friday night Kevin and I had a date night.  We went to Red Robin for dinner and drinks then went to MB2 by Sierra Vista Mall to race go carts.  We had the best time ever!  We participated in two races and both of us are extremely competitive so we took it very seriously.  Some girl (insert other word here) wasn't following the rules and getting over for faster cars (ME!!!) and then tried to ram me over and I got into an accident.  I was so mad but after the started the race back up I lapped her and left her eating my dust.  In the first race Kevin took 1st and I took 3rd and in the second race Kevin took 1st and I took 2nd.  I blame the girl for slowing me way down.  Although MB2 is SUPER expensive its so much fun.  We can't wait to go again! A huge thank you to Auntie Lala and Uncle JJ for watching the girls.

On Saturday morning I took a yoga class at Lulu Lemon with Lucy Wells.  They empty the entire store which gives you lots of space to do your workout.  Lucy was phenomenal; I find it really hard to find a good yoga instructor.  After class Whole Foods was handing out granola bars and infused water in re-usuable to go bottles.  It was awesome.  I hope that am able to attend more of their classes.  A huge two thumbs up for Lulu Lemon Athletica Fresno.  After my class they were starting a spin class.  I've never done spin because it scares me but I'm going to have to give it a try at Lulu.

I came home and got ready for my sweet friend, Emily Silveira's baby sprinkle.  Emily is having her third baby and her first boy.  We are so excited for the Silveira family and this baby couldn't ask for a better family and sweeter parents.  Emily and Dave are the most genuine and kind people you can meet.  I was so honored to be included in celebrating Emily and Baby S.  Annie Domingos, Kirn Sran, and Kelly Amendola hosted the shower and put on a beautiful event.  Thank you girls for you hospitality.

On Saturday night my girlfriends Dede, Rema, Christina and I went to Summer Sizzle as part of PINC.  It was an 80's theme and so much fun.  There were silent and live auctions, a no host bar, several food booths, a DJ and a band.  The band was a Van Halen tribute band so it was impossible to dance to their music.  I was super disappointed because all I wanted to do was dance.  Despite the music we had so much fun chatting, hanging out, and participating in lots of shenanigans. 

On Sunday we had our family friend's 1st Birthday party which was a Dr. Zeus theme.  Tiffany did a great job with decorating and the girls had lots of fun.  Thank you Adams Family for having us.

On Sunday afternoon Grandma Jill watched the girls and we went to the lake.  We haven't had any free moments to take out our boat so it was awesome to have a free afternoon to relax on the water.  

Goodies from Whole Foods

The beautiful mama to be.

I made a tractor diaper cake because the daddy is a farmer.

Other PINC girls that joined us-Annie D., Brianne, me, Dede, Christina, Rema, and Jessica

Rema kicked all of our butts in Air Hockey.
The adorable birthday boy!!