Family Entertainment While You Enjoy Dinner! Sonoma Harvest Fair & New Mom's Event at Bardessono Hotel

Want to enjoy pizza and a glass of wine with friends while the kids enjoy a sing-a-along? Ghiringhelli Pizzeria in Novato is hosting a family night every Monday that is gaining popularity! 

The Sonoma Harvest Fair is taking place over the weekend and the beautiful Bardessono Hotel in Yournville is launching a new mom’s monthly event on Monday, see below for details:

Fun Happenings In and Around Marin 

Friday September 30th

“Concerts under the Oak Series” at Northgate Mall at 6.30 – 8.00 pm
Northgate Mall, San Rafael (Terra Linda exit off Hwy 101): view website
We have been enjoying various outdoor concerts around Marin this Summer but unfortunately most have come to an end for fall. The final concert in the Oak Plaza at Northgate Mall (behind Kohls) will be this Friday with ‘The Shuttle Kings” performing classic rock and roll. ‘BJ’s Brewhouse’ will be serving beers and ‘Chipotle’ will be the featured restaurant of the night. 

Friday September 30th – Sunday October 2nd

“Sonoma Harvest Fair” on Fri 30th at noon – 7.00pm, 10.00 – 7.00pm on Sat & Sun
1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa: view website
The Sonoma County Harvest Fair is three full days of wine tasting, farm and harvest activities for children, live music, art show and more. Children can explore the hay maze, meet the farm animals, milk a cow, free wagon rides, apple tasting, build a scarecrow, “easy bake oven” bake off, carve a pumpkin, see a classic car display and take part in a LEGO contest!

Monday October 3rd

“Family Fare!” at Ghiringhelli Pizzeria Grill at 5.30 pm with show starting at 6.30 pm  
1535 South Novato Boulevard, Novato; view website
“Ghiringhelli Pizzeria Grill” hosts a family night in their event room every Monday night with live music by local musicians such as Tim Cain and Miss Kitty. Next Monday ‘Barry the Magic Man’ will be performing, alongside an arts and crafts table and interactive games.
Word is spreading as it was very busy last Monday (reservations are suggested) with Tim Cain providing the sing-a-along which the kids seemed to love with plenty of dancing. The regular adult menu and children’s menu is available with a $3 cover charge for the live entertainment. Hopefully Ghiringhelli can provide more service staff to cater for the increased popularity, but it is a good way to extend the weekend.

Tuesday October 4th

“Moms@Bardessono” at 9.30 – 11.00 am
Hotel Bardessono Hotel, Restaurant and Spa (Lobby Bar), 6526 Yount Street, Yournville: view website
“Moms@Bardessono” is a new monthly meeting for Bay Area moms to share experiences and advice while making new mommy friends in the beautiful surroundings of the Bardessono Hotel in Yournville. It will be held in their lounge on the first Tuesday of the month with complimentary pastries, juice and coffee. Also to make matters easier they will be offering free valet parking!

Baby & Toddler 

Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

To view this week’s activities: Click Here

'Pizza Orgasmica', 'X Factor' & 'Moneyball'

I like to write Restaurant Reviews from a parent’s point of view, and as a family we love our food, so we have little interest in the family friendly chain restaurants that serve poor quality food for cheap prices. We like to enjoy well executed food using good quality ingredients in nice surroundings, instead of rubber pancakes on plastic seats.

Pizza Orgasmica

819 A Street #34, San Rafael; view website

When the fourth location of Pizza Orgasmica (three in San Francisco) opened in San Rafael at the beginning of the year it was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the bright yellow exterior paint job that had local residents up in arms. Surely what’s more important is what a business brings to the neighborhood and for their regular customers it is great pizza in fun surroundings with a bar and most importantly a great play area for kids, which is a genius idea!

After waiting for the service problems to improve after the initial opening (nothing worse than hungry children and slow service), we went to a friend’s party hosted in their back room. The room can be hired out and the fee is donated to charity, which is a wonderful idea! It is a large bright, open space with long communal wooden tables and benches, smaller plastic tables and chairs for the children to eat at and a play area situated in the middle of the room for the kids to play with an assortment of toys and play houses.

The main area of the restaurant is a larger open space with an exposed industrial ceiling, a substantial bar area with screens to watch the game. Individual wood tables and chairs, and a relaxed seating area with rugs, low tables and throw cushions that people can lounge on.
The interior matches the exterior with bright mix match colors on the walls and window frames. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and that is also reflected in the names of pizzas on the menu, such as “Hot Mama”, “Kinky Cow” and “Doggie Style”!

Aside from the comedy names, they actually taste pretty good with interesting ingredient combinations such as the “Serpent’s Kiss” which is made up of cheddar cheese, garlic sauce, lemon pepper chicken, sliced provolone, romano, parmesan, zucchini, red and green onions. 
The “Hot Mama” is light mozzarella cheese, tomato, shredded carrot, ground beef and blue cheese crumbles. 

They have 12 vegetarian pizzas on the menu including the “Sweet Valentine” with white wine sauce, rosemary potato, roasted red pepper, white onion and basil. There four fish pizzas in their “Under the Sea” section of their pizza menu, or you can create your own using their Orgasmica corn meal crust, Sicilian thick crust or the Calzone for two to share. You can also choose from five different sizes including a 9 inch individual size if you don’t want to share.

If you are not in the mood for pizza then there is plenty of choice from their Brazilian menu including Brazilian style stroganoff, BBQ, and traditional steak dishes such the ‘Bife Acebolado’ which is grilled beef, onions topped with a fried egg and served with rice and tropeiro beans. ‘Tilapia Grelhada’ in Bella Munier sauce served with saffron rice and steamed vegetables, or the ‘Feijoada which is a “sinful black bean and pork stew”.

I was very full after my pizza and salad but there is a small choice of desserts such as ‘Mango Panna Cotta’ and ‘Crème Brulee with Frutti di Bosco’, which I look forward to trying on my next visit!

Pizza Orgasmica has a wide selection of delicious creative pizzas and Brazilian dishes that is exotic comfort food, which you can enjoy in a fun environment. The Kid’s play area is a genius idea and I wish more restaurants offered something similar, it allows the adults to kick back and eat and drink their selection of wine and beers at a more leisurely pace rather than rushing, which makes an enjoyable experience for all involved!

For other pizzerias and my favorite restaurants around Marin check out my Restaurant Reviews page!

Mommy’s Treats

TV Show of the Week

X Factor

Simon Cowell brings the biggest talent show in Britain over to the US. This show searches for people who can not only sing but have the “X Factor” to be a star. If you are a fan of ‘American Idol’ you will love this, as Simon brings former Idol judge Paula Abdul back to prime time TV.
X Factor starts this Wednesday September 21st at 8.00pm on Fox  

Modern Family

After clearing up at the Emmys on Sunday, the funniest comedy on TV is back tonight for a new series!
Wednesdays, 9.00 pm on ABC 

Movie of the Week


Based on a true story about the manager of baseball team; the Oakland A’s played by Brad Pitt. He is forced to reinvent the team on a tighter budget with an Ivy League grad played by Jonah Hill and recruit bargain players that the scouts call flawed and challenge old school traditions. Also stars the fantastic Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Baby & Toddler 

Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

To view this week’s activities: Click here  

"Embrace Yoga" Studio Opens, "Coopercakes", "I Don't Know How She Does it" & "Up All Night"

Needing some Zen in your hectic life? Be sure to check out the opening of “Embrace Yoga” studio in Terra Linda this weekend. Free classes, music and food provided by local businesses including “Coopercakes” started by a mom who was looking to create a delicious treat that those with allergies could enjoy and also packed with nutritional benefits!

A great new Sarah Jessica Parker movie and new comedy show starring Christina Applegate both portraying the struggle and humor of parenthood, starts this week too!

Embrace Yoga

600 Manuel T. Freitas Parkway, San Rafaelwebsite

Last month I wrote about a great yoga teacher called Amanda Mount who taught classes in Oleander Park over the summer. This weekend Amanda opens her new yoga studio called “Embrace Yoga” in Terra Linda. Amanda and fellow teachers will be celebrating over the opening weekend from 2.00 – 6.00 pm by offering free classes with the various yoga teachers, special promotions, music and food provided by local “Weezys Grass Fed Shed” and “Coopercakes” (see below for details).

The yoga classes offer a variety of styles in Vinyasa, Anusara, Iyengar, levels 1 - 3 on Tuesday and Thursday at 5 .00 – 6.15pm, and Sunday morning classes at 9.30 am.

A ‘Mom and Baby Yoga’ six week workshop will begin on October 6th with Danielle Hougard for birth to pre-crawlers. Pre-registration is required and the class will run from 1.30 – 2.30 pm.  There will also be a 
Mom and Baby with Music’ class which will be on Wednesdays at 12.30 – 1.30 pm with Georgia Montgomery from The Parent's Center and mini yoga with Amanda. This class is ideally for 6 months – 2 year olds, but younger babies are welcome too. There will also be a prenatal yoga class on Sundays at 12.30 – 1.45 pm.

Take a look at the website & Facebook Page for further information and introductory offers.


‘Coopercakes’ is a local mom’s organic dessert business by Lisa Cooper that offers treats such as gluten free cupcakes sweetened by pure fruit concentrate, and desserts with no HFCS, no hydrogenated oils or trans fats.

Lisa Cooper has been baked for 30 years but a poignant turning point was when her mother was fighting terminal cancer and her sense of taste and dietary needs changed. Also, the time a child at preschool couldn’t have one of her dessert due to an allergy. Lisa had to adapt her baking to make something good as well as delicious to eat, by learning more about sugars, fats, and allergies.

Lisa Cooper explains; “I make treats out of love and it brings me great joy in the process. That’s why you can trust me. I know that I’m doing and I’m doing what I love.”

Lisa offers 3 kinds of treats that are home-made and baked fresh to order: “A Little Judy”, a “Stealthy-Healthy” treat packed with nutritional benefits from hidden fruits and veggies like blueberries and spinach, and a “Free-From” treat which are free from one of more common allergens such as gluten or eggs.

Lisa’s latest nutritional breakthrough is baking without refined sugar, and using pure fruit concentrates and coconut sugar to sweeten cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.  The benefits are many; less sugar (both in volume and in calories), lower Glycemic Index (slower absorption into bloodstream) and natural unrefined sweeteners provide excellent vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, whereas refined sugar has NO nutrients and actually robs the body of other nutrients in order to process it.

Desserts you can feel good about eating is music to my ears! 

For more information about her delicious treats take a look at her Website

Mommy’s Treats

Movie of the Week

“I Don’t Know How She Does It” is a movie most moms can relate to, starring Sarah Jessica Parker as a woman devoted to her job and dealing with a non-stop balancing act as mom. When she is handed a new account that involves frequent travel at the same time as her husband wins a new job, she begins to spread herself even thinner. The movie also stars the charming Pierce Brosnan as her new business associate.

TV Show of the Week

“Up All Night” is a new comedy starting this week on NBC starring the funny Christina Applegate and Will Arnett as new parents trying to survive the trials and tribulations of having a baby.

Wednesdays, 10.00 pm, NBC;

Baby & Toddler 

Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”. 

"Missoni for Target" & "Quirky"

I am very excited about Target’s next designer collaboration launching in less than a week with the iconic Italian lifestyle brand Missoni offering affordable clothing, accessories and home-ware in their signature prints.

Have you ever had an idea for an invention that would make your life easier, but wished you had the money to create it? Watch a great new show following the company “Quirky” that turns people’s product ideas into a reality!

Missoni for Target

Since 1953 the Missoni fashion house has been known worldwide for its unique knitwear, and graces the runway each season in a multitude of patterns such as stripes, geometrics and abstract floral in a kaleidoscope of colors. The luxury brand diversified into a variety of luxury goods including the Missoni Home collection known for its furnishing fabrics. Now it is bringing its iconic Italian lifestyle to Target and launches an affordable line of clothing, accessories and home-ware in their signature prints.

This is the largest designer collaboration Target has done to date and promises to have enough products to keep up with demand, but a lot of it will be snapped up and become must-have items on eBay within the first week. Be ready to grab as much as you can when doors open on Tuesday September 13th

For more information View Website or check out the Missoni for Target lookbook on their Facebook Page

TV Show of the Week


A weekly show following a ‘social product development company’ called “Quirky” that allows members of the public to pitch an invention concept to them. Their online community and office staff votes for the best one to be put into action and then the Quirky’s team of designers go to work to make their invention a reality and get it on the market worldwide. See their Website for more information.
Fridays at 10.00pm, Sundance Channel & On Demand TV

Movie of the Week


Steven Soderbergh directs a movie about a society coming apart as a lethal airborne virus rapidly progresses into an epidemic, and the medical community race to find a cure. The stellar cast includes Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne.

Baby & Toddler 
Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”. 

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