Spring Flowers: I like my yard and garden pots to look like I have the same landscapers as Disneyland. I don’t have the garden budget that Disneyland has, so I go to a wholesale nursery. You can get a whole flat (36 plants) of Impatiens for $8. They have herbs, tomatoes, squash, strawberries and almost any of the plants you see at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Check out Gomez Growers, located at 3698 Caspian Ave., Long Beach, CA 90810. Cash only.
Activities: Mini Water Polo and Beginning Water Polo through United Water Polo Club is a great deal. My kids love it because they view it as a game and not a swim lesson. But in reality, they get great swim instruction. I think the greatest thing the kids get is time in the pool with the water polo teachers.
- Mini Polo (ages five through nine): sessions are one hour, twice a week for three weeks. Cost is $55 for the three weeks.
- Beginning Water Polo (ages eight to 14): sessions are one hour and 15 minutes, twice a week for four weeks. Cost is $69 for the four weeks. Per session cost works out to about $9. One added bonus—the woman who runs mini water polo is super-nice and so are all the instructors.
All sessions are held at Los Alamitos High School. More information
Snack Time: Blow your kids’ minds by making popcorn on the stove. It’s less than half the cost, takes the same amount of time, and you stay away from microwave popcorn bags, which some studies link to lung disease and which can include chemicals that are considered “likely carcinogens.” Add sugar and you have homemade kettle corn.
1 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt or other seasoning
- Using a large heavy pot with a lid, add oil to the bottom of the pot.
- Turn the stove on to medium-high.
- Add three popcorn kernels to the pan.
- When the first kernel pops, it’s time to add the rest of the kernels. Shake and cover with a lid.
- Every so often, gently shake the pot in a left to right motion (not up and down) so that the popcorn kernels move and don't burn.
- When all the kernels have popped, turn off the stove and remove the pot from the stove.
- Melt butter in the microwave and drizzle over your freshly popped popcorn.
- Add your favorite seasonings like parmesan cheese, salt, or chili powder
Makes 4-6 servings.
Note: Add a 1/2 cup of sugar in step four to make kettle corn.
Coming next week: I take the kids to the gourmet food trucks for dinner.