Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Finds: Vicks Sweet Dreams Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

Cold and flu season has definitely arrived -- parents and kids have been out sick at work and school -- but a great way to keep nighttime less congested is with the Vicks Sweet Dreams Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier (SRP: $59.99).

While that's certainly a mouthful, CC and Will love the one we have in their room. Usually, they're more than blase about the latest humidifier, but this one comes with a cool animal scene projector that lights up their ceiling as they fall asleep.

There are three different scenes to choose from -- an African safari, an underwater world and a starry night. That plus the cool mist and the option to insert Vicks VapoPads for added menthol vapors, and the humidifier becomes a real must-have.

I'm hoping this helps keep the kiddos sniffle-free through the winter. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Step-by-Step Gingerbread House for Discovery Cube Los Angeles Competition

We're entering the Science of Gingerbread competition at Discovery Cube Los Angeles!
While Thanksgiving might be tomorrow, we're already thinking ahead to Christmas, and you know what that means—gingerbread house time!

As you might have read in my previous post, Discovery Cube Los Angeles is celebrating its 9th annual Science of Gingerbread exhibit (November 27-January 3), which features a gingerbread competition.

And the best part? CC and I are entering!

We started today with an adorable gingerbread house kit from Dancing Deer Baking Co. What's awesome about this is that the box serves as its own support structure, so you don't have a house that looks like this (we tried!).

First, we laid out the basic ingredients: gingerbread cookies, super-sugary white icing, house frame and plate.

Step 1: Separate your basic ingredients.
Then, we scoured the cabinets looking for fun, colorful items that would give our gingerbread house some pizzazz! Think M&Ms, jelly beans, dried cranberries and even colored pasta.

Next, CC and I started decorating. I think her favorite part was giving the gingerbread people faces and personalities. One was Scaredy Sam, another Heart Person, and others were Uncle Yelli and Cute Person.

Don't forget to give your gingerbread people some personality!
After that, we added jelly beans as Christmas lights, M&Ms, pasta and cranberries as parts of the garden, and extra icing as snow on the roof and yard.

While this wasn't our first gingerbread creation, as I mentioned earlier, we still have a long way to go before we can consider ourselves gingerbread professionals. What I did love, though, was watching CC get so creative with our house.

It was her idea to draw a green string to hold jelly bean Christmas lights. She also used green fusilli as a small shrub. And those gingerbread people—the stories she told about them were so funny!

We had a great time decorating. In fact, it was a wonderful mother-daughter moment I'll always remember—even if I was a little Type A about the messy icing!

Don't forget to download the entry form and bring your fabulous gingerbread creation to Discovery Cube LA by November 29!

You'll see ours there!

Discovery Cube Los Angeles
The Science of Gingerbread (November 27-January 3)
11800 Foothill Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Tickets: $10 for adults and kids through January 3. Kids ages 2 and under are free.

(Disclosure: I am being compensated for this post in my position as a #DiscoveryCubeMoms LA Ambassador. All opinions, however, are my own.)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Coming Attraction: 'The Science of Gingerbread' at Discovery Cube Los Angeles

One of the things I love about Christmas is gingerbread! CC and I have decorated gingerbread houses and gingerbread men, and I'm so excited that Discovery Cube Los Angeles makes this awesome tradition a serious event.

The Science of Gingerbread exhibit kicks off on November 27 and runs all the way through January 3. And there are so many ways you can participate!

Besides learning about the science behind baking in the Kitchen Chemistry Learning Station or the Gingerbread Spices Learning Station, families can also take part in cookie decorating (and eating!), a gingerbread derby and check out the Science of Snow to boot (great for SoCal kids for sure)!

There's also the 9th annual Gingerbread Competition, where kids, adults, families and organizations can enter their super-festive creations for a chance to win. Print the official entry form here, and drop off your creation by Sunday, Nov. 29. (Entries will be judged on December 1-2, with the winner notified no later than December 11.)

While that sounds amazing, Santa will also be on hand at Discovery Cube LA for visits and Christmas present requests. His first appearance will be this weekend, Nov. 27-Nov. 29. After that, he will visit weekends in December and December 19-24.

Don't forget to decorate cookies that you can indulge in afterward! Check the Discovery Cube site for dates and times.

And keep in mind that tickets are only $10 for adults and kids through January 3, 2016!

Enjoy and hope to see you there!

Discovery Cube Los Angeles
11800 Foothill Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Tickets: $10 for adults and kids through January 3. Kids ages 2 and under are free.

(Disclosure: I am being compensated for this post in my position as a #DiscoveryCubeMoms LA Ambassador. All opinions, however, are my own.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

To Do With the Kids: Rain Room at LACMA

Rain Room at LACMA (Photo credit: Instagram)

I remember hearing about the "Rain Room" exhibit when it was in New York a couple of years ago at the Museum of Modern Art. It was supposed to be amazing.

Then I saw the pictures.

The exhibit, from London-based artist collective Random International, looked downright magical. People walked fully clothed through a room literally dripping with water—without getting wet. The bright white light shining on everyone in the space made visitors look otherworldly.

Now it's arrived in Los Angeles, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) through March 6, and CC and I have tickets to go on Saturday. Honestly, I can't wait!

(CC, for her part, can't imagine what fun walking through water can be if you're NOT going to get wet, but I'm sure she'll come around.)

"Rain Room," which was previously exhibited at London's Barbican Centre before visiting MOMA and now LACMA, is a kind of "art meets technology" installation in which a downpour of water falls everywhere around museumgoers—but not directly on them.

With incredible technology, the water stops whenever it detects a human body. (Just don't wear dark, shiny or reflective fabric. And if you bring the kiddos, make sure they walk slowly through the exhibit or they might get a little wet. Their quick movements are often difficult for the machines to detect, according to LACMA.)

And while the exhibit runs through March 6, 2016, call soon if you want to get tickets, which are timed, especially if you want to visit on a weekend. They're going quickly!

Visit for more information on "Rain Room" ticketing.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: 323 857-6010

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Coming Attraction: 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' to Visit Discovery Cube Los Angeles

For kids who are digging "The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show," which debuted on Netflix last month (CC is one of them), then they'll definitely get excited about a fun event happening this weekend at Discovery Cube Los Angeles (and Orange County).

Here's the news from the show's creators, DreamWorks Animation:

Mr. Peabody & Sherman DreamWorks Animation Weekend
November 14 & 15, 2015
10AM – 5PM

Join us for a special weekend celebrating the recent launch of the hilarious brand new original series from DreamWorks Animation, The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show. Mr. Peabody, the smartest dog in the world, and his boy Sherman host their very own zany late night talk show jam-packed with fun segments, cool characters, and memorable music numbers. All activities are inspired by the show and available at both Discovery Cube OC and Discovery Cube LA. 

  • Take part in animation workshops led by a DreamWorks animator
  • View special screenings of The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show
  • Take green screen pictures with your favorite characters
11800 Foothill Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91342

2500N Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Sounds like a fun day!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween, Mr. Bones!

CC gets ready to ride a pony at Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch
Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone has an exciting, candy-filled yet super-safe night tonight.

Last weekend, we visited the newly relocated Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch, which moved to Culver City from West Hollywood.

We love the pumpkin-filled patch, which also offers a bouncy pumpkin, a bouncy skeleton slide, a petting zoo and pony rides!

So fun! In fact, we visited three years ago, when Will was barely out of the womb!

While today is the last day to visit Mr. Bones, be sure to put it on the calendar for next year!

A baby goat sniffs Will's foot. To eat or not to eat?
I also tried out the new and free Instagram app, Boomerang, which makes short GIF-like videos of action. Check out this fun Boomerang of Will on the skeleton slide.
A video posted by Laura Clark / L.A. Story (@laura_clark) on

Enjoy your night!

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch
West Los Angeles College Campus
10100 Jefferson Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

'ABC Monsters' + 'Houdini' NCircle Entertainment DVD Giveaway

Now this is a DVD pairing that's perfect for a preschooler and a little kid—Will and CC included!

"ABC Monsters: Meet the ABC Monsters" and "Houdini," new releases from NCircle Entertainment, are each fun for kids of different ages. While Will was a big fan of letters that could sing and chat with kids, CC was totally taken by the magic of a young illusionist named Harry.

The preschool-themed ABC Monsters are big, hairy and not at all scary. But they are on the run, and only brother-sister duo Alice and Brian alongside their fairy friend Cherry Berry can catch them. In "Meet the ABC Monsters" (SRP: $9.99), A, B, C and D leave the walls of Capital Castle in their separate episodes. Now what's scary about that is, if they go missing for longer than a day, then all the letters will disappear from every book in Capital Town. Oh no! So it's Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry's job to make sure the monsters are always back before sundown.

Whether one letter is taking a dip in the pool or another is going on an archery adventure, their shenanigans will definitely keep preschoolers entertained.

Will loved singing along to the cute songs and answering questions about what he was seeing onscreen. What I loved was that he was learning about letters and spelling in a fun and memorable way.

Older kids will really enjoy the magic of "Houdini" (SRP: $9.99). CC certainly did. From the charmingly retro look of the animation to the story of a young boy who lives and breathes magic and dreams of winning a huge competition in New York, there's lots to keep kids on the edge of their seats.

And in this case, little Harry needs a real magician to guide him through his training. Enter the Great Tesla.

The well-known magician agrees to train Harry, with the help of Tesla's niece, Beth, and his robot assistant Amrold. Will Harry have what it takes? And what if a certain competitor has other plans?

"Houdini" is a riveting story and encourages kids to not only be creative but to also take risks, work hard and dream big to achieve their most heartfelt goals.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

I'm giving away one copy each of "ABC Monsters: Meet the ABC Monsters" and "Houdini"!

To enter, please:

Visit NCircle Entertainment and leave a comment below with your favorite DVD or franchise OR leave a comment about your favorite magic trick.

For more chances to win, follow me on Twitter and retweet this giveaway. I'm at @la_story. Or you can "Like" the L.A. Story Facebook page and share the giveaway.

Just be sure to leave extra comments telling me you did so. 

Good luck, and I will announce the winner on Wednesday, October 28!


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