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

*

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.