Saturday, October 17, 2015

4th Street Market

I've been having a ton of fun exploring my new surroundings in Orange County. After only living in big cities post-college, I was worried that there wouldn't be as much to do in a more suburban area, but I am glad I was wrong!

When I first moved out here, I knew that I had to find a way to meet some new friends, since my husband and I did not know a soul in California. I decided to join Meetup and joined a few groups that appealed to me. My favorites groups are transplants new to California (lots of fellow East Coasters!), a 20-30 something women's book club, and a young couples meet up. Through these groups I've actually developed some really wonderful new friendships and find myself busy most weekends with some fun activity with the girls!

This weekend, some meetup friends and I went to 4th Street Market in downtown Santa Ana for brunch. Santa Ana is an area of OC that I haven't been to yet, so I was really excited to check it out. Downtown is great! It has the feel of a city, with lots of people walking around, cafes, and food carts on the street. The 4th Street Market is located in a warehouse that has been converted into an awesome foodie haven!

My friend and I decided to hit up Portola Coffee Lab first for some caffeine. We then split up and ordered our brunches. I opted for the pulled pork egg sandwich from Stockyard Sandwich Co. 

We sat outside on the patio so we could listen to the live music. There are also ping-pong tables out there! 

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I couldn't leave without tasting something sweet. There were a couple of great options, but I was especially torn between an ice cream sammy from Chunk-N-Chip or a s'more from Torch S'more Co. Ultimately I went with a s'more with a homemade espresso marshmallow, chocolate graham crackers and melty dark chocolate. It was ah-maze. I can't wait to come back and get the chai marshmallow s'more.

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4th Street Market is a place I will no doubt be visiting again. I want to try everything! If you are in the OC area, it is somewhere I would highly recommend!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere...

We wrapped up our gardening project this week. I am really enjoying having these project blocks to focus entirely on one theme or topic!

Fall is definitely on people's mind-- simply look at the amount of pumpkin-laced items at Trader Joe's! My first Autumn in California has been strange, and it still feels like summer to me, but I decided to embrace the fact that it is actually October and end our month long project with some pumpkin fun!
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We did some brainstorming of adjectives to describe pumpkins, along with some things we already know about pumpkins.

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 After that, we watched a video about the life cycle of a pumpkin:

 Since we were now experts on the life cycle of a pumpkin, we then practiced sequencing the events and making Pumpkin Life Cycle Mini Books!

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Then came the fun part! Actually dissecting and examining our pumpkin!

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We talked about some of the parts of the pumpkin we saw and identified their "scientific" names. Then, the kids filled out diagrams of the inside of a pumpkin.

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 Unfortunately, I forgot to get a photo-- but we ended up toasting the seeds from the pumpkin for a special end of the day snack! We did one batch with salt and one without. The kids (and I) definitely preferred the salted seeds! Yummy! 
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