Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Universal's Big Announcement

On my way home last night I noticed a big, bright spotlight shining up into the sky from somewhere in the vicinity of our neighborhood.  When I picked my son up he asked me what it was for.  I wasn't sure but I was pretty curious myself!  I asked around but no one I talked to seemed to know.  Later that night, scrolling through my Instagram feed I learned that the spotlight was coming from Universal Studios, just over the hill and they had a big announcement to make on Tuesday (today).  The suspense! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sugar Rush

Cake, cookies, ice cream, candy, pie and so much.  This past weekend every kind of sweet tooth was satisfied as Sugar Rush attendees sampled the wares of some of the best local bakers and confectioners in the business.  The event took place in Orange County and was sponsored by Dunkin Donuts who was on hand serving up fresh, delicious donuts and coffee.  If you couldn't make it to Costa Mesa, don't worry- I've got you covered with a list of some of the incredible vendors I was introduced to...

Ava DuVernay Barbie Already Sold Out!

In April Mattel announced a line of limited edition "Shero" Barbies in the likenesses of six prominent female public figures.  Honorees Include SELMA director Ava DuVernay, actress and animal activist Emmy Rossum, Lucky Magazine editor Eva Chen, screen and stage powerhouse Kristin Chenoweth, five-year-old Sydney "Mayhem" Keiser and singer Trisha Yearwood.  The toymaker has come a long way in terms of producing dolls that inspire and empower young woman and I'm thrilled to be able to share them with my own daughter.

Monday, November 30, 2015

This Week's Twitter Party Picks


9:00 am PST Macy's Cyber Monday with @savings @valpakcoupons and others. Prizes: Macy's gifcards as follows ONE (1) $25 GC, ONE (1) $50 GC, FOUR (4) $75 GCs and ONE (1) $100 GC. #MacysCM RSVP

12:00 pm PST Godiva Chocolate with @pollinatemedia @summer_elevate and others. Prizes: FIVE (5) Godiva Chocolate packages ARV $30. #GiveGodiva RSVP

6:00 pm PST Better Starts Now with @citizenwatchus @selfishmom and others. Prizes: VISA giftcards and a Citizen watch Grand Prize. #BetterStartsNow RSVP


11:00 am PST Making the Holidays with @menwhoblog @craftsman. Prizes: FOUR (4) Craftsman prizes ranging in value from $100-$239.99. #makegifts RSVP

12:00 pm PST Pet Tales with @bagsonboard @prestonspeaks and others. Prizes: SEVEN (7) holiday pet prize packages valued at $35 to $185. #PetTales RSVP


11:00 am PST Ask Skin Expert with @lorealparisusa and others. Prizes: L'Oreal Paris Revitalift products and ONE (1) Grand Prize L'Oreal Paris giftbasket + $200 Target giftcard. #AskSkinExpert RSVP


12:00 pm PST Traveling With Your Smartphone with @thetechdad @robynsworld @theonlinemom. Prizes: TWO (2) Motorola Power Pack portable chargers, ONE (1) Droid Turbo 2 smartphone. #VZWBuzz RSVP

Read more at http://www.mommyblogexpert.com/2015/11/master-twitter-party-calendar-nov-29.html#qEWda7vhzp7hxRrZ.99

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Walking Dead Midseason Finale

First let me start by saying wow.  Second, be prepared for spoiler alerts as I briefly share my thoughts on what went down tonight... 
My overall thought about this episode and this half of the season in general is when is Morgan going to get it together?  We were so happy for his return only to be let down by this "I've come to believe that all life is precious" crap.  Geez, even Gabriel stepped up!  Still, even up until the end I was pulling form him and wasn't sure I was on board with Carol when she said she didn't trust him, but I totally get it now.  And I shouldn't have doubted her because if there's one thing we've learned about Carol, especially this season, it's that she is ride or die for her people and she doesn't care what anyone outside of them thinks about it. 
There weren't many notable losses this episode except for Deanna.  Although I liked the character I wasn't terribly sad to see her go and I appreciated the way she held it together and was determined to go out on her terms.  She had a nice run I was a bit surprised to see Meshonne get so emotional over her loss but I'm hopeful that it will buy her more time seeing as she's the most likely to rebuild Alexandria or play a major role in doing so. Then again, you never know with TWD.   
Did you watch?  Share your thoughts on this episode and predictions for what's to come when the season six resumes.  (Who's excited to meet Negan?)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

LA Zoo Lights Take Holiday Lights to Another Level (Giveaway)

Nothing sparks holiday nostalgia like seeing neighborhood homes adorned with twinkling Christmas lights.  When I was a kid my uncle used to drive a limousine and on Christmas Eve he would pile us up into the limo and drive us over to Candy Cane Lane to ooh and ahh over the festive lights.  Those are cherished holidays memories and while that particular tradition is no more, I've made a strong effort to create new ones with my own family.  The theme remains the same but on a much grander scale!  This year we added L.A. Zoo Lights to our list of holiday traditions.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Chill at The Queen Mary Open Now!

Last night the Queen Mary kicked off it's fourth annual Chill event, creating a winter wonderland in Long Beach.  Once again guests can experience ice skating with the majestic Queen Mary as a backdrop; visit Santa and see if they've made it onto the "nice list;" and of course visit the Ice Kingdom where over two million pounds of ice have been hand-carved into larger than life ice sculptures.   

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Winter is Coming... To the OC

 The weather has dropped by a few degrees and Southern Californians are bundling up and preparing for winter!  And why not?  There are so many great things to look forward to.  Ice skating, ice tubing, holiday movies, hot chocolate, decorations and festivities!  You'll find all that and more at the all new Winter Fest, opening December 18th at the Orange County Fair and Event Center. 

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Sugar Rush

Get ready to satisfy your sweet tooth and literally feel like a kid in a candy store!  December 5th and 6th, some of the best confectioners in the biz will converge upon the Orange County Fair and Event Center to showcase their wares at Big Bite Events Sugar Rush!  Described a "one-of-a kind dessert market experience packed with decadent and delicious sweet treats and shopping from dozens of the best pastry chefs and confectioners in Southern California," this event is sure to be an indulgent experience for even the most refined palates.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Burke Williams New Woodland Hills Location

As a working mom, most of my time is spent rushing my kids to and from school, practices and events while juggling a full time job and horrendous commute through Downtown L.A.  So when I can squeeze in some well-deserved "me time," I'm all too happy to do it and I never let myself feel guilty about it. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

When Wearing Your Coffee Goes Right

I kind of love American Eagle jeans because they are a great quality denim with lots of stretch and are available in long and extra long inseams for taller girls like me.  Earlier this month American Eagle Outfitters released a line of denim made with recycled coffee grounds.  I was intrigued.  I'm all for reducing, reusing and recycling but how do coffee grounds tie into jeans?  Here's what I learned...

Monday, October 26, 2015

This Week's Twitter Party Picks

Monday, October 26th

6:00 pm PST Better Starts Now Twitter Party with @selfishmom @philzendia @citizenwatchus and others. Prizes: Multiple VISA giftcards and ONE (1) Grand Prize Citizen watch. #BetterStartsNow RSVP

Tuesday, October 27th

9:00 am PST Beyond Snacks Twitter Party with @simplybeingmom @reviewdadmedia @ourhomemadelife and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Target giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Target GCs. #BeyondSnacks RSVP

4:00 pm PST Trick or Teeth Twitter Party with @jmanmillerbug @sunstargum. Prizes: TWO (2) Sunstar prize packs ARV $25, ONE (1) $25 Target giftcard + Sunstar prize pack ARV $50, ONE (1) $50 Target GC + Sunstar prize pack ARV $74, ONE (1) Grand Prize $100 Targe GC + Sunstar prize pack ARV $150 - See RSVP link for full prize descriptions. #TrickOrTeeth RSVP

Wednesday, October 28th

10:00 am PST Woodbridge Wines Twitter Party with @lizventuresblog @comebackmomma @ruralmoms and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 VISA giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 VISA GCs. #WoodbridgeWines RSVP

12:00 pm PST Smarter Treats Twitter Party with @weightwatchers @kellysluckyyou @kellystilwell and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Walmart giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Walmart GCs. #SmarterTreats RSVP

Thursday, October 29th

12:00 pm PST Found My Delight Twitter Party with @indelight @dentistmel @thecouponista and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Walmart giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Walmart GCs. #FoundMyDelight RSVP

Read more at http://www.mommyblogexpert.com/2015/10/master-twitter-party-calendar-oct-25.html#qcSqqd9rT3r8XEFp.99

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Etsy Picks: Birthday Edition

My birthday is just a few weeks away and, yes, I treat it like my own personal national holiday every single year.  It's the one time of year when I allow myself to be super indulgent so all the wish lists I've been making all year long are getting a second look and I'll be deciding what items will make the final cut.  I'm looking at you, Etsy cart.  The one full of stuff I don't really need but really, really want...

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall Family Fun

Although the weather still isn't cooperating, the calendar doesn't lie.  We are well into Fall and that means it's time to partake in a little fall fun with the family.  This year I was on a mission to find the perfect harvest festival in the L.A. area since the one at Pierce College shut down.  On list of must-haves were:  a pumpkin patch,a tractor pull, a corn maze, fresh lemonade and roasted corn.  I found all that and more at Forneris Farms in Mission Hills. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A House Divided: No-Carve vs. Carved Pumpkins

Ajani and Kadir preparing to transform their pumpkins into a cupcake and a bat.
I remember carving pumpkins with my mother growing up:  The mess.  The smell.  The way the jack-o-lanterns got all soggy and moldy after a week or so.  I'm not a fan of any of it.  That's why I was so grateful for the inspiration from Pinterest to do no-carve pumpkins.  Not only that, but I found some really cool pumpkin decorating kits from Spritz at Target that include everything you need to turn your pumpkin into anything from a creepy but cute bat ($5) to a pink frosted cupcake ($3). 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Goosebumps is kind of a big deal in our household.  My children have been reading R.L. Stine books for as long as I can remember and when they were old enough not to be too scared, we would watch marathons of the Goosebumps TV show as it got closer to Halloween.  Memories...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Support Our Champ!

Photo courtesy of Damien Lopez

Boxing fans!  Animal lovers!  This Saturday, come out and meet amateur boxing champ and 2016 Olympic hopeful, Damien Lopez, at Beachside Animal Hospital in Capistrano Beach, California.  Lopez is a dedicated fighter and all around upstanding young man making his way on the "Road to Rio." 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Beauties

One of my favorite things about the changing of the seasons (even if the weather says otherwise) is the general sense of renewal.  I love packing away summer clothes and dragging out my boots and sweaters.  Switching from brighter colors to jewel tones and various shades of grey.  As my wardrobe changes, so too does my makeup and there is nothing I love more than new make up!  I received a few new beauties over the weekend that I've been eagerly anticipating so, of course, I had to share. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

What's in My Etsy Cart?

I have a dangerous Etsy obsession. I have so many items in my basket that I'm literally not allowed to add anymore and, if left to my own devices, I would absolutely buy everything in it proceed to fill it up again.  Fortunately I do have some semblance of self-control so what I do is slowly chip away at my "wishlist," if you will.  Here's a rundown of what I'm obsessing over at he moment:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

American Horror Story: Hotel

American Horror Story: Hotel airs Wednesdays on FX.

While I am an admitted TV junkie from way back, there are but a handful of shows I get really excited about.  American Horror Story is one of them and it's back in its fifth incarnation as American Horror Story: Hotel.  Last night's premier pulled no punches, giving me everything I expect and adore from Ryan Murphy's twisted (genius) mind:  sex, drugs, gore and glam.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Beauty Coming Soon

Via their Snapchat, Colourpop revealed a leak of their new Crème Color Gel eyeshadow which will come in 24 shades.  The collection will include matching pencils. I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing more.  No specific date has been set at this time but they are scheduled to be released sometime this month. 

This Week's Twitter Party Picks

Here's a few of the Twitter parties I'll be attending this week:

Monday, October 5th

10:00 am PST DIY Oil Change Twitter Party  with @pennzoil @reviewdadmedia @lizventuresblog and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 VISA giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 VISA GCs. #DIYOilChange RSVP

12:00 pm PST KY Try Something New Twitter Party with @sweeptight @mommytalkshow @kristak2 and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Walmart giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Walmart GCs. #KYTrySomethingNew RSVP
Tuesday, October 6th

12:00 pm PST Tyson Movie Offer Twitter Party  with @moneywisemoms @outnumberedmama @amomsimpression and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Walmart giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Walmart GCs. #TysonMovieOffer RSVP

Wednesday, October 7th

12:00 pm PST Homegate Hacks Twitter Party with @lficocktails @dentistmel @dawnchats and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 VISA giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 VISA GCs. #HomegateHacks RSVP

Thursday, October 8th

10:00 am PST Best Life Project Twitter Party with @vegateam @sweeptight @littlemamajama and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Target giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Target GCs. #BestLifeProject RSVP

Friday October 9th

12:00 pm PST Oreo Thins Are In Twitter Party with @kellysluckyyou @blm03 @frugalfamtree and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 CVS giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 CVS GCs. #OreoThinsAreIn RSVP

Read more at http://www.mommyblogexpert.com/2015/10/twitter-party-calendar-oct-4-oct-10.html#VVcf0LEMv00LJCi9.99

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Beer Me!

Pardon the radio silence, but I'm enjoying a well-deserved quiet (lazy) weekend after a particularly stressful week.  Here are a couple of the libations the hubby picked  up at Handy Mart in Burbank (mind you, I'm no connoisseur, I just like a good beer every now and again and I don't mind trying something new). 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Snack Time!

Last year when my boss told me our office was being moved to another section of Downtown Los Angeles I grumbled at first.  I wasn't thrilled about having to find another route to navigate through L.A. traffic nor was I excited about extending my commute even slightly.  However, my resistance turned to excitement when I learned they were moving us to Little Tokyo.  Why, you ask?  The food of course!  I spent the first couple of weeks exploring the arts district and Little Tokyo Village where I found several good sushi joints as well as gems like The Pie Hole (mac and cheese pie) and Café Dulce (bacon donuts!).  But there is one place I visit several times a week and that's Marukai Japanese Supermarket

Giveaway: Ontario Harvest Festival

Next weekend is the Ontario Harvest Festival, an event sure to be fun for the whole family.  The festival features tens of thousands of works of art from over one hundred artists, making it one of the biggest craft shows around.  There will be live entertainment, , demonstrations, contests, and a kid zone presented by Macaroni Kid featuring make-and-take art projects. 

The Harvest Festival takes place at the Ontario Convention Center October 9th-11th with tickets ranging from $4-9 for all three days.  Visitors who bring a nonperishable food donation save $2 off adult admission. 

I'm giving away a family four (4) pack to one lucky reader.  It's super easy to enter.  Just comment below on your favorite thing about Fall and use the entry form to follow me on Twitter.  That is all.  A winner will be selected and notified on Friday, October 9th.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor

Dark Harbor 2015
Last night I attended the opening night and media preview of The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor where Alpine Village has been transformed into the stuff of nightmares.  The last time I was there it was a winter wonderland but it was barely recognizable in its current incarnation.  From the moment you enter you are surrounded by ghouls, monsters, oddities and very macabre décor.  I couldn't think of a better way to kick off the Halloween season. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Today's New Beauty

I really feel like my head is about to explode with all of these companies dropping their Fall and Holiday collections left and right.  I'm trying really hard to keep my money in my pocket but they are making it anything but easy.  Take a look at what's releasing today: 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Etsy Picks of the Week

I really can't say enough how much I love Etsy.  I love when someone notices a unique treasure I've found on Etsy and asks where I've got it because they can't find anything like it in stores.  I spend a lot of time loading things into my online cart that I think will make amazing birthday gifts or Christmas presents or something to treat myself with when I need a pick me up.  But what good does it do me if I don't share my favorite finds?  You really need to see how amazing this stuff is!

Large Assortment Decorated Autumn, Fall, Leaves,Pumpkin Spiced Latte, Plaque Assorted Gift Box ($50)

Today's Lipstick Launches

Sand (top) and Stone (bottom) swatched by @depechegurl for @doseofcolors
Two exciting lipstick launches are happening in just two hours and I cannot wait.  The first is Dose of Colors liquid lipstick ($18) in two beautiful nudes, Sand and Stone.  These were part of a bundle package last year but are being released individually today at noon PST.  In case you're wondering about the third color in the bundle, appropriately named Brick, it will be released sometime in November. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Boob Tube

For the umpteenth time I'm singing the praises of my favorite season because, really, what's not to love?  I've covered most of it but now let's talk Fall TV.  Dare I say that there's almost too much to watch?  I dare because there really is and there aren't enough hours in the day.  But here is a short list of old favorites I've welcomed back and new shows I'm giving the old college try.  Here's a short list of the standouts:

Fresh Beauty

Sephora has released a line of limited edition Disney Princess compact mirrors ($32) that initially sold out pretty quickly but have just been re-stocked.  Each compact comes engraved with a message related to it's theme.  If you're a fan you may want to get on that because they are being re-sold at marked up prices on eBay. 

Window Shopping

Window shopping is about all I can do right now given that my closet is still inhabited by destroyed cropped jeans, maxi dresses and racerback tanks.  I cannot wait to pack away my summer gear and break out the sweaters, hoodies, thermals and boots!  In the meantime, I'm filling my online shopping baskets and not-so-patiently waiting...

Monday, September 28, 2015

Your Mom's on Snapchat!

Nothing makes me feel older than my kids and their apps du jour. I hear my mother's voice coming out of my mouth when I say stuff like, "What is that? Why do you need that?" Not that she'd actually say that but that's the voice I feel like I'm using when I say it.  *shrug*

I have Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I'm good.  Yes I've heard of Snapchat. No, I do not need it. Even though more tech savvy brands are leaning towards it. Even though they're holding contests with really cool prizes you can only win if you have a Snapchat. Nah, I'm good. 

And that's just how I felt until last week when my nail tech posted a video of herself fake crying with animated tears streaming down her face. It was too cute and I had to have one.  

I downloaded the app and proceeded to stare at the front-facing camera screen for at least a good ten minutes completely lost and tapping at it like Ben Stiller with the desktop PC in Zoolander. I finally gave up, admitted defeat and asked my 17-year-old son for help. 

Yeah, so apparently you have to hold your finger on your face to help the face recognition thingie find your features or whatever. Then the cool animations will pop up and the fun ensues. Weeee!  And Snapchat puts one new animation up every day or so so I always have a reason to open the app (but I still have no one to snapchat 😕). 

Seasonal Junk Food

Remember a few years ago when Taco Bell was offering free Black Jack tacos on Halloween?  Basically, they were just tacos in a black corn tortillas shell.  I was so on it. I'm not sure if I was more excited by the word free (definitely one of my top three favorite F- words) or because they were a seasonal, limited edition marketing ploy (I'm such a consumer). 

Suffice it to say I was stoked about both and I look forward to gimmicky fall, Halloween and holiday themed goodies every year.  Don't judge me because I know some of y'all run to Starbucks for a PSL on the first day of fall (present company included).  Aaaanywho... Here are a few things that are totally on my radar. 

First up, the Pumpkin Spice Creme Oreo. These are not new but oddly this is my first year buying them. They did not disappoint.  They tasted like a crunchy little bite-sized pumpkin pie.  A dry one but tasty nonetheless. 
Next we have the Cheetos white cheddar flavored Bag of Bones. I believe these made their debut last year but when I went to look for them they were sold out at every store in my area.  However, this year I shopped early and was lucky enough to find a few stragglers remaining at Target last weekend.  They're taste a lot like Cheetos Puffs and are just as messy but a lot less orange so that's an improvement. I just thought they were super cute and my little guy had fun assembling the skeleton before devouring its bones.  Savage. 

Lastly, the Burger King Whopper which I have not tried yet but I've heard it's actually really good. It's just a Whopper with a black bun and A1 steak sauce but it looks so friggin cool!  It's going in my mouth. That is all. 

Some of my regular must haves this time of year are, of course, the obligatory Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. First day of Fall or as close to as humanly possible always. Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts are my about solute favorite flavor of all time. If you haven't tried them you're missing out. And for my kids I buy a box of Boo Berry, Frankenberry and/or Count Chocula cereal because... Nostalgia.  I think they deserve their own post but more on.that later. 

Did i miss anything?

Truly Outrageous

One of my favorite 80's childhood cartoons is getting the big screen reboot treatment and that means product!  My inner 8 year old squealed with delight when I heard about the upcoming Jem and the Holograms beauty launch at Sephora and Shopbop next month. 
Sephora is releasing lipstick, eyeshadow and a Jem compact mirror while Shopbop will carry an array of Jem-inspired Manic Panic permanent hair dyes. I'm literally more excited about these products than the movie!

This Week's Twitter Party Picks

Join me at the following Twitter parties.  Special thanks to Mommy Blog Expert* for sharing!

Monday 9/28

6:00pm PST Am Well MD Twitter Party with @travelingmoms @kimorlando @cindytravelson and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $250 VISA/cash giftcard, FIVE (5) Kinsa Smart Thermometers. #TMom #AmWellMD RSVP

Tuesday 9/29

10:00 am PST Glade for Fall Twitter Party with @kellysluckyyou @simplybeingmom @comebackmomma. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 VISA giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 VISA GCs. #GladeforFall RSVP 

12:00 pm PST Shopswell Fall Trend Twitter Party with @clever_network @shopswellPrizes: FOUR (4) $50 Amazon giftcards, TWO (2) $100 VISA GCs, ONE (1) Grand Prize $200 VISA GC. #ShopswellTenK RSVP

Wednesday 9/30

8:00a m PST Cloud Pets Forever Twitter Party with @cloudpets @kellysluckyyou @comebackmomma and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Walmart giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Walmart GCs. #CloudPetsForever RSVP
6:30 pm PST Puerto Vallarta Twitter Party with @rossanawyatt @puertovallarta. Prizes: $3000 in prizes including a Grand Prize 4 day/3 night stay at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta.  #PVcuisine RSVP

Thursday 10/1

8:00 am PST Boo It Forward Twitter Party with @dawnchats @msmissy62 @2wired2tired and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Walmart giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Walmart GCs. #BooItForward RSVP

10:00 am PST Game Time Clean Twitter Party with @vivatowels @freebies4mom @afrugalfriend and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Walmart giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Walmart GCs. #GameTimeClean RSVP

5:00 pm PST Slick Deals Pets Twitter Party with @beaglesandbargains @mypawsitivepet @slickdeals. Prizes: ONE (1) $25 Amazon giftcard, ONE (1) $50 Petco GC, ONE (1) $50 Petsmart GC, ONE (1) $100 Amazon GC. #SlickDealsPets RSVP

Friday 10/2

10:00 am PST My Little Remedies Twitter Party with @littleremedies @dentistmel @littlemamajama and others. Prizes: ONE (1) $50 Target giftcard, FIVE (5) $100 Target GCs. #MyLittleRemedies RSVP

*Read more at http://www.mommyblogexpert.com/2015/09/twitter-party-calendar-sept-27-oct-3.html#BbMrZ11DiZOK6Lqp.99

Because Pumpkin Guts Are Gross

Much to the dismay of my children, I do not and will not carve pumpkins.  Ever.  They're messy, gross and stinky inside and I simply want no parts of it.  I decided to compromise this year by decorating with no-carve kits and frankly, I think they look a million times better than carved pumpkins but that's just me.  I, myself, am partial to the monogramed pumpkins and found some really cool custom vinyl lettering on Etsy
But when I was at Target over the weekend I discovered the cutest kid-friendly Spritz  no-carve kits for roughly $5 each.  Not too shabby.  Oh, and no cut fingers. You're welcome.  Looking forward to getting my hands on (absolutely not in) some pumpkins STAT!

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Here in L.A. it may not yet feel like fall but the calendar says otherwise which means all of my favorite things have made or are making their triumphant returns!  I'm beyond ready to say goodbye to summer and hello to harvest festivals, falling leaves, sweater weather and pumpkin spice everything!  Sadly, last year our family's favorite fall festival at Pierce College closed it's doors for good so I'm currently in search of an equally amazing experience in the L.A. area.  Suggestions are welcome but here are a few I've found so far:

Foreneris Farms in Mission Hills opens October 3rd.  Admission is $15 per person (cash only/ATM on site) and includes a corn maze (I have a weird thing for corn mazes) and a tractor pull.  This one is a strong possibility for us seeing as it's right here in the San Fernando Valley.

Those hoping for a celebrity sighting will likely opt for Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch  but I avoid it for this very reason.  If you do decide this one's for you, admission is free on weekdays.  By the way, it has apparently outgrown it's previous location and is now located at West L.A. College in Culver City.

I hear that Riley's Farm in Oak Glen is totally worth the drive if you're looking for the colonial experience (and I am.  I soooo am).  Apparently after you've picked the perfect U-Pick pumpkin you can stick around for dinner and relive The Legend of Sleepy Hollow where the Headless Horseman is said to make an appearance. Prices vary depending on what you want to do and there is a lot to do there!

If you've had your fill of pumpkin patches and want to do something a little different you can hop on the Filmore Train to Ichabog which is a 40 minute ride to, you guessed it- a pumpkin patch!  Or bigger kids like my oldest may like the Zombie Hunter Train instead.  Either way, both are a break from the norm.   

Whether you visit these locations or others, don't forget your water and sunscreen.  Summer has still not gotten the memo we are heading into October.  That's your cue.  You can go now!

Friday, September 25, 2015

What I'm Bzzing

I'm pretty picky about my personal care and beauty products but I'll try anything once.  Well, almost anything. I have my limits.  Recently, Bzzagent sent me a sample Secret Clinical Strength to try.  I requested the invisible solid because I'm not a fan of gels.  My first take- it does have a really fresh scent that I liked a lot so I wasn't instantly turned off by it and that's always a good thing.  It goes on fine- nothing special or memorable about the application.  No notice of residue which is also good. 

So it smells nice and it didn't leave it's mark in any unsightly way but what I really care about when it comes to deodorant is performance where it counts.  The first test was my average day starting with a 30-45 minute 11 mile commute through L.A. traffic.  By the time I get to work sometimes I need to reapply antiperspirant but I still felt pretty fresh with Secret Clinical Strength so it was doing it's job.  I should also add that this week was one of the hottest weeks of the summer even in the morning so it gets extra points for that. 

A better indicator of how well this product works is whether it can hold it's own after my rigorous two-hour boxing class (shoutout to Burbank Boxing Club!!).  We're talking wall sits, burpees, shadowboxing, jump roping, crunches, etc and I can honestly say that I felt a lot less gross than when I use my regular deodorant.

Mind you, this is not an ad, but my personal review of the product I was sent.  I generally post about things I either love or hate and when I dislike something I try to take it up with the company that provided the product first rather than put them on blast unfairly.  This one goes into my "love it" file.  I was sent a little trial size of the product but I will be buying the full sized version as soon as it runs out. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Racer’s Edge Indoor Karting

Birthday Cake from Porto's, Burbank
I'm always trying to find unique ideas for my children's birthday parties.  Something they'll remember for the rest of their lives and hopefully tell their kids about.  I've done tea parties, a super hero parties, a Walking Dead scavenger hunt party, a 1950's sock hop- you name it.  This year, when as my youngest son's 10th birthday rolled around, he expressed interest in big boy stuff.  Stuff with wheels.  Things that went fast.  So, logically I turned to our local indoor go cart race track, Racer's Edge, in Burbank, CA.  
Pizza from Big Mama's & Papa's
They offered everything we needed for a small party of ten highly energetic boys for a base price of $295 which included a total of 10 races, soda, snacks, a hostess and medals for our racers.    In addition to the go carts, there were plenty of arcade games to keep our son and his friends entertained in between races, quite a few backdrops and props for the obligatory photo ops and mass quantities of pizza kept our partiers happy for nearly three hours (we paid an extra $50 for two massive pizzas from Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria that an entire room full of growing boys and parents couldn't finish).  

The real shining star was our party host, Alisha.  She maintained constant contact with my husband and I to keep the flow of the party going.  When a slight problem arose with our location she quickly found a solution so no one even noticed the issue. She was consistently friendly and helpful from the time we entered to the time we left and overall went the extra mile to ensure we had an awesome experience and we did!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy 90th Birthday, Burbank Parks & Rec!

This Saturday join the City of Burbank in celebrating it's Parks and Recreation Department's 90th birthday!  It's free and open to the public at Vickroy Park from 9-11am.  Come learn about programs and events in the community and enjoy a rock climbing wall,  bounce house, obstacle course, sack races, birthday cake and more! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

L.A. Mama Re-Launch

It's hard to believe it's been an entire year off but, alas, I have returned refreshed, renewed and ready to share all sorts of goodies with my wonderful readers, old and new.  Let's see, in the last year my oldest son became a high school senior; my daughter entered high school, and my youngest son embarked on his last year of elementary school.  So, suffice it to say we've been pretty busy adjusting around these parts!  The nicest thing is that, for once, my husband has been home for it all.  First day of school, open houses, etc.  Usually he's away on military duty and can only experience these events through pictures.  Glad to have him home! 

What you can expect from me in the next year is my family and I preparing our oldest for adulthood (college and learning to drive).  You'll likely see a lot less of the teenage members of the household because they're teenagers and who can be bothered?  Not to worry, our 10 year old is relishing all of the extra attention.  It's good to be the baby of the family. 

For now you can sit back, relax and enjoy the upcoming list of Fall family events taking place in and around the L.A. area.  Please feel free to share if you are aware of any I haven't posted. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Lunch Time! Take a Bao

So, I just took advantage of an Uber Eats promo which, as you may or may not know, is kind of a gamble because you basically get whatever they have on their very, very limited menu that day.  You're at the mercy of those who are in charge of deciding whatever they feel like serving up that day so you just kind of pray the stars align and the tastebud gods are in your favor.  The good news is that they seem to only offer the best menu items from some of the best restaurants in the immediate area.
Anyway, from the three options presented to me I selected the 8 Veggie Salad from Take a Bao which, if I'm being totally honest, was not love at first site.  It's not much to look at.  The Grandma's Tangy Vinaigrette looked like cloudy water.  But I was hungry so I poured it over my greens and went in on what was expected to be a rather bland and tasteless iceberg(?) medley.  I couldn't have been more wrong about this salad.  The dressing is amazeballs!  The 8 veggies do, in fact, play nicely together although I would have enjoyed some greener greens or maybe some other colors getting in on the action (a few more tomatoes even?).  
So the moral of the story, is do not judge a book by its cover or you may miss out on something delicious and we cannot have that, now can we?  Even if monochromatic, this salad was the bomb and I'll definitely order again and try some other goodies from Take a Bao.