Ventura County Farm Day 2017

The 5th Annual Ventura County Farm Day will take place Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at farms throughout Ventura County.

Farm Day is a free self-guided tour in which over 20 participating Ventura County farms open their doors, enabling the public to learn about agriculture firsthand. Farms feature a number of family-friendly activities, free produce, tours and food and beverage samplings.

Activities also include a family-friendly Farm Film Festival November 3 at the Ventura County Ag Museum in Santa Paula at 6:00 p.m., a free light and an easy breakfast Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. at Whole Foods at The Collection in Oxnard. Following the farm tours will be a barbecue at the Hansen Agricultural Center in Santa Paula. The barbecue is from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and features live country music by Coldwater Canyon and Friends, farm-fresh food prepared by Deerdorff Farms, locally produced craft cocktails, beers, and wines; and kids’ activities. Barbeque tickets are $45 for adults and $15 for kids under 12.

Ventura County Farm Day is organized by Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG). SEEAG’s mission is to help children understand the farm origins of their food through classroom agricultural education and free farm field trips.

For more information, go to www.venturacountyfarmday.com or call 805-901-0213.

How To Host a Clothing Swap – New-to-You Clothes For Free

clothing swap topsFour of the many tops I’ve gotten from clothing swaps

For a few years now I have been attending a clothing swap organized by a friend of a friend, and I love the experience so much that I want to spread the joy. The basic idea is that you take the clothes you never wear and bring them to the host’s house, and then offer each piece up to the others who have attended. Whatever doesn’t get claimed by a new owner goes in a giant pile, and gets taken to Goodwill.

clothing swap peacock topFavorite top for work, and peep toe shoes.

It’s a great way to find a good new home for your own stuff, and to bring new pieces into your own wardrobe. Excellent side effect: making new friends. I never take pictures at these events so I’m just using pictures of just a few of the items I’ve added to my wardrobe over the years that way.

Clothing swap skirtBlack and white cotton skirt. I only wore this once and brought to next swap

This idea goes along with the capsule wardrobe concept I’ve been practicing for the past several months (read it about it here on my personal site). The goal is to simplify your wardrobe and stop buying new stuff. With a clothing swap, the new stuff was going to be donated anyway so even if you wind up not loving it, you can just pass it on to donation or bring it back to a future clothing swap and see if it can grace someone else’s closet.

How To Host a Clothing Swap

Set a time and date when you can spend at least a few hours going through clothing and trying things on.

Invite people you think would be into this kind of thing. (Friends who don’t like to wear secondhand clothing might not be into this kind of thing.) Tell them to bring their friends too. A good mix of body types means that everyone who comes is more likely to find something she likes.

Tell them to bring clothing, shoes, jewelry, other items they don’t use anymore but are still wearable. Torn, stained, or broken clothing can probably be fixed but aren’t as likely to be claimed by someone new.

Invite people to bring snacks and put out water and other beverages. All that flying clothing and trying on can make your guests thirsty and hungry. Adult beverages are helpful, too.

Have a separate room like a bathroom or bedroom where shy people can try things on. But don’t be alarmed when people just start stripping in your public space. It’s bound to turn into a Loehmann’s dressing room.

Once enough people have arrived with their stuff, take turns presenting your items to the group. You can just put everything out on racks or tables and make it like a shopping event, but it’s more fun to hear the stories behind the cast off clothing. I’ve heard people say “I loved this dress and wore it to 15 weddings. It’s time for it to find a new home.”

So when it’s your turn, hold up your items and tell people about them. “This is an Old Navy fleece, size medium, that I got engaged in. I don’t think the color works on me, though.” When another person is interested, she raises her hand and you toss the item to her so she can try it on. If two or more people want the same item of clothing, they can work out who gets first crack at it.

If nobody wants your sad old item, toss it in the Goodwill pile. This pile will grow as the event goes on. At the end, people might sift through it, giving those things a second glance.

After the event is over, immediately load the leftovers into your car and take them to a donation center.

Then wash the new-to-you clothing items and add them to your wardrobe. Enjoy!

clothing swap tie dye dressFloor-length tie-dyed dress I wear as a swim cover-up. Cheers!

 

Summertime at Dodger Stadium

There’s so much more to Dodger Stadium than baseball. On our latest trip, for the June 25 game against the Colorado Rockies which turned into the “longest nine-inning game in the history of Dodger Stadium,” we took some time to enjoy the sights, explore a little, and stay even after that 4-hour, 19-minute game to the let the kids run the bases. Did you know that’s a thing?

Dodger Stadium kids watching

Obviously, you go to Dodger Stadium to watch a baseball game. But kids can get bored, and games can last a long time. Luckily, there are things to see and do there that break up the activity of just sitting and watching the game.

Things To See

There are plenty of great photo opportunities in and around Dodger Stadium. Pictures of your kids and family near the giant Dodger hand or the LA symbol will become iconic images of their childhood.

 

Dodger Stadium giant hand

Dodger Stadium LA symbolThis silver logo is just inside the entrance to the club level seats.

Dodger Stadium Jackie Robinson

This sculpture, unveiled in April, is the first-ever sculpture in the Stadium and marks the 70th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. It’s located on the left field reserve level plaza area (Lot B).

Dodger Stadium social media center

The social media center is fun to watch – that dude in there has a busy job! If you post a photo to social media with the tag #mlbmemorybank, it will show up on the board, and may be shown on the giant DodgerVision screen in the stadium!

Dodger Stadium DodgerVision

That’s our crew! You can see our guests, Jeff and Kevin, and my son Brady front and center in his Dodgers cap. I was too busy trying to snap a pic to make sure I was in the shot!

Dodger Stadium bullpenYou can watch the reserve pitchers warming up in the bullpen during the game. We were so close we could hear how hard the ball smacks the glove at 90 mph!

Things To Eat and Drink

Beyond the obligatory Dodger Dog, the various snack bars throughout the stadium offer a variety of salads, nachos or ice cream in a Dodger helmet, meatball subs, Vietnamese noodles, and more! I decided to dessert my way through the day, starting with this churro ice cream sundae.

Dodger Stadium churro ice cream sundae

My son preferred a cherry flavored Icee, but my choice of drink on this sweltering day was the Ketel One Watermelonade.

Dodger Stadium Ketel One Watermelonade

A full list of what food is available where is on the Dodgers website under Concessions.

Things To Do

Like I said, it’s not just baseball games that happen at Dodger Stadium. They have fireworks, movie nights, kids running the bases, festivals before the games, and giveaways. At this game, they gave a cool Dodgers water bottle to every kid who came. They have themed games and special promotions for groups. This day was Girl Scout Day, and all the Girl Scouts – there were hundreds – who showed up led a parade around the field before the game. Psst: Hello Kitty night is coming up September 25.

Dodger Stadium hello kitty

My son and his friend got to run the bases that day. It was over pretty quickly, but there was a long line. The experience is open to kids 4-14 after select Sunday home games.

Dodger Stadium kids run bases

mom and kid at dodger stadiumHe was pretty happy with the day. So was I.

Check out the rest of the Dodgers’ 2017 home game schedule. Go for the baseball, come back with a day full of memories, and maybe even a bag to put them in.

Dodger Stadium boy on club level

My son and our friends and I attended the game as guests of the Dodgers. All opinions are my own.