Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cheap and Fun Things to do in Balboa Park this Summer!

25 Fun and Affordable Things to Do This Summer

Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend getaway, staycation, or family road trip this summer, there can be no doubt that North America’s largest urban park offers the broadest spectrum of fun, relaxing, and stimulating activities. And not only are they all surprisingly affordable, many are absolutely free!

But don’t take our word for it. Just browse the following list of the top 25 fun and affordable things to do in Balboa Park this summer, presented in no particular order, or drill deeper for even more options by visiting the calendar search page.

*Visit 13 museums over 7 days for one low price with a Passport to Balboa Park ($39).
*Discover unique facts about the Park’s historic grounds with a Walking Audio Tour ($5).
*Dine al fresco on expansive green lawns with your own picnic basket (free).
*Listen to a diverse range of live music at Twilight in the Park (free).
*Treat Fido and Fifi to some off-leash fun at one of three dog parks (free).
*Take a ranger-led tour of the Park’s architectural and botanical wonders (free).
*Check out a cluster of world-class museums each Tuesday for free (see Web site for details).
*Hear top performers play at the International Summer Organ Festival (free).
*Let your children run wild on our safe playground equipment (free).
*Play a round of 18 holes on a public golf course with million-dollar views (fees vary).
*Get to the root of the Park’s flora on an Offshoot Tour (free).
*Enjoy quirky flicks under the stars at Screen on the Green (free).
*Eat, drink and be merry at an International Cottages cultural festival (free).
*Watch classic children’s tales come to life at the Puppet Theatre
*Explore Florida Canyon’s well-maintained network of nature trails (free).
*Be a kid again and ride the Balboa Park Carousel and Miniature Railroad (prices vary).
*See the world around you as only a true domed IMAX screen can show it (prices vary).
*Cool off in an historic pool at the Morley Field Sports Complex ($4/$2).
*Stroll through award-winning gardens in full bloom (free).
*Walk, run or jog through varied topography on one of five marked trails.
*Witness Broadway-caliber performances at The Old Globe (prices vary).
*Gaze at Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces at the Timken Museum of Art (free).
*Sniff fragrant orchids and other flowering delights in the Botanical Building (free).
*Take up lawn bowling, archery, or bocci ball (free).
*Window shop at the Spanish Village art studios or at the vast assortment of museum shops in the Park (free).

Visitors can save even more by taking the bus or trolley to Balboa Park, which is just minutes away from downtown trolley and Coaster stops. Visit the directions page to plan your trip.

Broccoli and Shrimp Salad

This is a great summer potluck item!

1/2 pound of cooked shrimp, cut into bite sized pieces.

2 seedless oranges cut in slices or chunks

2 cups small broccoli florets, crisp cooked

1/4 c. chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 c. sliced almonds

6 oz. fat-free key lime yogurt

2 tbs fresh lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

mix and enjoy!

Carrot Soup

I found this recipe in an old file- one of my old favorites!

Carrot Soup
4 med carrots, thinly sliced
2 small, shredded zucchini
2 cups vegetable stock
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 c. plain soymilk or skim milk
2 tsp. curry powder

combine all buy soymilk & zucchini and cook over medium heat until tender.
Pour into blender and puree until smooth.
Stir in soymilk & zucchini & continue to heat over low heat until heated through.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Stability Ball Recall

Product Recall
Workout ball can lead to a bad bounce
2:00 a.m. June 6, 2009 San Diego Union Tribune

Items: Bally Total Fitness, Everlast, Valeo and Body Fit Fitness Balls

Description: This recall involves rubber fitness balls sold in 55-, 65-and 75-centimeter diameter sizes. The fitness balls were sold with a pump and inflation instructions. They were sold in various colors with the Bally Total Fitness, Everlast or Valeo logo printed on the ball.

How many: About 3 million.

Hazard: An overinflated fitness ball can unexpectedly burst while in use, causing the user to fall to the floor.

Sold at: Department stores and fitness retailers nationwide from May 2000 to February 2009 for between $15 and $30.

Remedy: Consumers should contact EB Brands to receive a copy of the updated instructions on how to safely inflate the ball. For more information, contact EB Brands at (800) 624-5671 between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday or at

Generally I recommend spending a little more on stability balls for a safer ball with a firmer feel. I like all SPRI ( and Balance Ball products.

Whatever type of ball you have, I recommend checking it frequently for signs of wear, and looking for "double layered" or "anti-burst" in the description. This does not guarantee that they will not puncture, but that they will instead slowly deflate instead of exploding.
Any questions? Just let me know!