Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Event Review: California Baby Family Festival

On Sunday, October 10th, California Baby opened it's doors to the public for their first ever Family Festival. It was a beautiful day in Los Angeles filled with fun for all ages!

The full line of California Baby products was on display, including Aromatherapy Spritzers (on ice) which really came in handy and this warm and sunny day.

VIP guests got a peek behind the scenes on a tour of the California Baby factory led by founder, Jessica Iclisoy. Fun Fact: Product is transferred from mixing vats to bottling via stainless steel piping (rather than PVC or plastic) to maintain its purity.

Guests were treated to a fun chemistry lesson with Dennis, the California Baby Science Guy where he explained the role of emulsifiers in mixing oil and water.

Also on the tour, VIPs got to mix essential oils to create their very own aromatherapy blend and lotion.

Outside, C.O.R.E. Personal Trainer, Carla Zeitlin, got things moving and shaking with fitness demonstration. Carla's workouts include "Mommy and Me" and "Soon to Be Mommy" sessions.

One of the many yummy treats being served were ice cream sandwiches made with Coconut Bliss organic ice cream.

Let's Be Frank grilled up some delicious grass-fed beef, turkey, and veggie hot dogs (all nitrate, nitrite, and hormone free). I'm not a big hot dog fan, but these were so good I had seconds.

Chef Gino, host of KitchenDaily’s Kitchen Kids, taught guests how to make tortellini at his booth with ingredients provided by Whole Foods.

Mother Cluck brought along some feathered friends that guests enjoyed interacting with.

Ladybug Music got the party started with some groovy tunes and interactive play.

At the Garden School Foundation, California Baby's partner in charity, kids were able to pot their own broccoli and lettuce seedlings to take home with them.

Bash Eco Events, a "sustainably minded, boutique, event coordination studio," provided dried gourds and pumpkins for decorating with jewels, ribbons, and more.

The creativity continued to flow at the Kimmel Kids booth where stencils and vibrant colors were the tools for imaginative masterpieces. Kimmel Kids products are available at select retailers. See website for locations.

All in all the California Baby Family Festival was a delightful and enriching experience for all in attendance. I look forward to many more!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

California Baby Family Festival

If you're looking for some good, clean family fun this weekend and you will be in the Los Angeles area, the California Baby Family Festival is not to be missed! This Sunday, October 10th, California Baby will open it's doors to the public from 11am-2pm. Bring the whole family out and check out cooking classes with Chef Gino, live entertainment, crafts with reDiscover Center and Kimmel Kids, organic foods with Tierra Miguel, and so much more! Click here to purchase tickets!
Two L.A. Mama readers will each have an opportunity to win a family pack to the festival. There are five ways to enter for either prize but only one entry method per person.

1) Check out the California Baby Family Festival website and leave a comment to this post telling me which event or demo you are most looking forward to seeing. And/or...
2) Follow L.A. Mama on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway including "@anlamama" in your tweet! Leave a separate comment to this post with a link to your tweet URL. And/or...
3) Post about this giveaway on your blog and leave a separate comment to this post with a link to your blog post URL. And/or...
4) Follow L.A. Mama and leave a comment to this post telling me you did so or already do. And/or...
5) Become L.A. Mama's friend on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you did so or already do.
This contest ends at 12:01 PM on Friday, October 8, 2010. Two winners will be chosen via Random.org. Good luck to all!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Free 24 count bottle of Advil pain reliever for the first 500,000 people to sign up.

Free Halloween Collage + 20% off & no session fee from Sears Portrait Studio. (Click on Photography on the left)

Restaurant Week!

Just a reminder, Restuarant Week has officially begun! Lunches at some of the finest restaurants for $16, $22 and $28. Dinners for $26, $34, and $44. Restaurant week runs October 3-8 and 10-15, 2010. Get out there and enjoy all the yumminess that Los Angeles has to offer!

What I'm Bzzing: True Care

Being the parent of a tech-savvy middle-schooler, I'm very concerned about his online safety (cyberbullying, predators, etc). That's why I was so excited to sign up for the True Care BzzCampaign at BzzAgent.

True Care allows parents to monitor potentially dangerous content anytime and regardless of where children access the web and sends notification via e-mail alerts. It is customizable, letting parents decide what is deemed appropriate or not.

True Care and Bzzagent have provided a special link for a free 60-day trial: www.truecare.net/bzzagent.htm

Give it a try and comment back here to let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Are you(r kids) ready to rock?!

There is nothing like watching your child express themselves through music. It's such a great outlet and a hobby they can enjoy for the rest of their lives. I'm super excited to introduce a fantastic promotion where you can get a free week of music lessons from The School of Rock!

The School of Rock is a music school with a number of locations across the U.S. that teaches kids from age 7-18. The best part is that there is no experience necessary, so you get to see your son or daughter blossom. They teach guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards, and drums. There is something for everyone!

Click here to get your free week* of instruction (which consists of a one-on-on lesson and a Rock 101 group lesson), fill out the contact form and type SORBLOG/L.A.Mama in the comments section. Enjoy, and be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter!

*Expires 10/31/2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Barbie: A Fashion Fairy Tale

"Barbie: A Fashion Fairy Tale," takes place in Paris where Barbie is visiting her aunt who is a fabulous fashion designer. But she soon learns that the business is in trouble- she must help! With the help of new friends and a little fairy magic, a world of fashion and fantasy come to life!

My daughter and her girlfriends loved this movie and have watched it at least a dozen times. Even I enjoyed the updated, tech-savvy Barbie in this film. Two thumbs up!

Available at Amazon. This DVD for this review was provided by Mom Select.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hellmann's® Virtual Sandwich Swap 'n' Share

Remember trading sandwiches and snacks at lunchtime in elementary school? I loved seeing (well, tasting) what other kids got in their lunches that I didn't get in mine. Ahhh, nostalgia... Well, Hellmann's has gotten together with chef Bobby Flay and Lori Laughlin to create a really cool Facebook app with the same idea for a great cause!

When you visit the Hellmann's® Virtual Sandwich Swap 'n' Share application on Facebook, you'll get to create your own sandwich. For each sandwich that is built and/or shared, Hellmann's® will make a donation to Share Our Strength® until their goal of $75,000 is reached. Share Our Strength® is an organization that is committed to bringing an end to child hunger in America.

So... I'll trade you my sandwich for your's... Check out the app here: Facebook.com/hellmanns

Disclosure: In exchange for sharing the aforementioned information with L.A. Mama readers, I was entered for a chance to win a gift as part of the Hellmann's® program.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What's for Dinner, Mom?

When I pick my kids up from school at the end of the day, I can always guarantee that one of the first things out of somebody's mouth (usually my oldest), is going to be, "What's for dinner, mom?" Hopefully by the time the question comes up, I have something planned that is both nutritious (that's my thing) and delicious (because, let's face it- if it isn't they're not going to eat it).

One response that always yields cheers from all three of my children is, "Spaghetti!" And as Fall approaches, it's one of my favorite things to make because it's quick and easy to prepare after a long day, but it's still warm, nutritious and so satisfying. I love adding different types of squash and onions to my sauce to get the maximum nutrition out of my meal which is one reason I'm really excited to try Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce when it hits stores (soon!). We already love Ragu at our house but I love that new Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce contains two servings of vegetables in every half cup and is will have a new, naturally thicker recipe.

Ragu is giving their Facebook Fans a sneak preview of their newest variety of sauces:

"To be one of the first to taste Ragú® with 2 servings of veggies in every half-cup visit them on facebook.com/ragusauce for more details."

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Ragú® prize package in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Free Coffee Bean!

When: Tuesday, Sept. 14, 4pm-7pm
Where: Participating The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® store locations*

*Only valid at participating The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® store locations in AZ, CA, NV, TX. Excludes all Ralphs stores, military base, casinos, campus or airport locations. Valid only on September 14, 2010, from 4pm to 7pm. Offer applies to 12oz. Cinnamon French Toast or Classic Pumpkin latte or Ice Blended® drinks. No substitutions. Limit one complimentary drink per customer. Cannot be combined with other offers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Playtex Bra Makover

Accountability time- Did you know that 70% of us aren't even wearing the correct bra size? I'm than positive that I'm in the majority because all too many times I've struggled with unsightly bulges, insufficient support and uncomfortable straps. No wonder finding the perfect bra can be such a daunting task. A downright chore. So much so that when I do find one that works for me I buy as many as five of them at a time just to ensure that I don't have to go on the hunt again for a while!

Enough about me. Right now Playtex is running a contest (www.PlaytexBraMakeover.com)where you can apply for a bra makeover or nominate a friend to win a trip to New York where they will receive a bra makeover from style expert Alison Deyette (seen on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker and TLC's Ten Years Younger). Hurry on over to enter! Contest ends Friday, May 21st, 2010.

By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a free bra from Playtex. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Changing Room

As Mother's Day approaches, I start to reflect on all the precious moments I've shared with my three beautiful children. The day they were born, their first words, all the things they've done and said to make me smile. I wish I had been better about keeping a journal or baby book to store my memories in, but the hustle and bustle of everyday life seems to have gotten in the way of that. Imagine my delight when I learned of "The Changing Room: A Mother's Journal of Gratitude to Her Little Girl." Author, Cristina Carlino has created an interactive journal to capture such moments in. In it, readers can write in their own stories, store keepsakes, drawings and letters. It's the perfect way to treasure priceless memories.

Actress Mariska Hargitay says about the book: "This beautiful and rare journal is an expression of the exquisite and tender delight Cristina takes in motherhood. As if by magic, the journal opens doors into the most precious terrain where the miracles of childhood transform into memories large and small. What a gift to be led to this place of wonder, joy and gratitude. And we are so pleased that 100% of the net proceeds from this book are being donated to the Joyful Heart Foundation. Thank you, Cristina!"

To celebrate Mother's Day and the release of her book, Cristina is hosting a WISHES FOR MY LITTLE GIRL PHOTO CONTEST on her Facebook fan page where 5 winners win a copy of the book. The Changing Room is available for purchase on Amazon.com. 100% of the net proceeds for The Changing Room will go to Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization benefiting survivors of rape, incest and abuse.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Volunteering: Float Deconstruction

In January, my children and I participated in Disney's "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" by volunteering our time deconstructing the City of Burbank's Rose Parade Float. It was a long day, a lot of work and surprisingly, a lot of fun.
The event brought together over 100 Burbank reside
nts to tackle the task of disassembling the award-winning float. It felt good to work as a family with our neighbors on a project that represented our community. Offering an incentive in the form of park tickets was a great way to introduce people to the rewarding experience of volunteering. For our family this was just the first of many ways to donate our time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to my little girl!

Nine years ago today I met the most beautiful little girl I've ever laid eyes when I gave birth to Ajani. She has grown into such a little lady and she is such a blessing in my life. She has informed me that this will be her last "little girl" birthday party and that next year she would like a spa party since she will be in the double digits. Haha!
Well, I am taking full advantage of throwing my last little girl party and going all out with a Princess and the Frog party. I spent hours scowering the internet for cool party supplies- this seems to happen every year. I can't be the only one this happens to, so I thought I'd share my finds here.
I found a company on eBay called Brooklyn Party Supply that sells awesome products like lotto tickets, pinatas, custom invitations and a whole lot more. What's great about them is they are not the run of the mill products that are sold in every party store. They are inexpensive, unique and pretty darn good quality. I paid around $50 for a pinata party pack. I'll definitely use them again.
Oriental Trading Comany has was great for finding theme-specific items like throwing beads and bubble gum coins to fill the pinata with. Again, they are inexpensive and have a great selection.
Yummy Cupcakes is a local sweet shop that sells some amazing goodies, including Cupcake Party Kits. Instead of just serving up treats, Ajani and her friends will be decorating their own cupcakes with to flavors of cupcakes, two flavors of frosting and four different toppings. If you don't have a Yummy Cupcakes store near you, the kits can be shipped!
We'll also be serving up beignets, decorating Mardi Gras masks and playing Pin the Kiss on the Frog. I'm so grateful for the internet and being able to do the party planning at home after the kids have gone to bed (or whenever) rather than having to do a lot of footwork and coming up with boring supplies!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Earth Day Freebies!

Target – Mail in 5 plastic bags to “Terracycle, 121 New York Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08638″ and get $1 back to spend on a reusable shopping bag.
Disney Store – Bring in 6 empty plastic bottles or soda cans to the Disney Store on Thursday, 4/22 & get a Free Friends for Change and Disney Store youth sized baseball cap (made from 100% recycled materials). 1 per guest, while supplies last!
Hanes – Buy 3 Hanes products & you can mail in a rebate for a Free Earth Day T-Shirt. Plus, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree, up to 20,000, on Hanes behalf. Offer good from April 1, 2010 – May 15, 2010.
Earthbound Farm – Take the Kitchen Quiz (click “come into the kitchen” then “take the kitchen quiz”) & get a Free Reusable Shopping Bag. BBC Earth – Free Download of Planet Earth’s First Episode “Pole to Pole” on iTunes April 12-26, 2010.
Babies R Us – Get a Free Reusable Tote Bag with printable coupon through 4/22, plus 25% off all clothes & shoes you can fit in the bag.
Pottery Barn – Earth Day Celebration at Pottery Barn Kids with giveaways, activities, & story time on Thursday, April 22, 2010.