Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Have you seen this adorably funny (pre) Super Bowl ad for Honda? Ferris Bueller, aka Matthew Broderick, has grown up and apparently moved from Chicago to Los Angeles.
I love the places he visits while playing hooky from work, a la high school circa 1986. Did you notice Pacific Park, in addition to the Museum of Natural History and Chinatown?
Monday, January 30, 2012
|CC with Jake from Disney Junior's "Jake and the Never Land Pirates."|
CC's been in pirate mode for a while, so this was a particularly exciting adventure for my little buccaneer. She's also a big fan of Jake and his friends, Izzy and Cubby, and loves counting all of the gold doubloons in the Disney Junior series.
|"Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns" (Image courtesy of Disney Junior)|
Just before we settled into our seats in the studio's Main Theatre, CC landed a pirate bandanna and toy sword before she rocked out on a hula hoop, thanks to Radio Disney. Along with the other kiddos in the audience, she shouted, "Arrrggh," "Yo Ho Ho" and "Me Mateys!"
After the show was over, CC leaped up from her seat and started dancing. Jake definitely left my little pirate in mighty jolly spirits.
Season two of the series will kick off on Feb. 20. Stay tuned for guest voices, including Sharon Osbourne, Josh Duhamel and Jane Kaczmarek.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Since this seems to be the week of travel, I wanted to start off with a Friday Find that I'd like to take with me on the plane.
I've heard that Klorane Dry Shampoo, which comes in aerosol or an eco-friendly spray, is great for long flights when you don't have access to, say, a shower. I don't know about you, but my hair looks insane if I don't wash it every single day. Look forward to trying this out!
* Would love this book for CC.
* Where did you find those Girl Scout Cookies?
* Ha! What happened to the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
* Porn for Pregnant Ladies (It's not what you think.)
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
And speaking of travel, the Los Angeles Times is hosting its annual Travel Show this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The show will feature celeb speakers, including journalist Lisa Ling, TV travel expert Rick Steves, travel guide publisher Arthur Frommer and "Man v. Food Nation" host Adam Richman, among others.
In addition to speakers and panels, you'll also be able to check out the Xtreme Adventure Zone for thrill-seeking vacationers, a culinary stage and -- great for parents! -- an area called Kid's World, which will spotlight family-friendly destinations while offering hands-on activities and performances for the little ones.
Open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, the Travel Show is offering tickets for $10 (adults), with kids ages 16 and younger free with a paid adult admission. But, click here for discounted tickets priced at $8.
1201 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Public: Jan. 28-29; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tickets: $10 (adults); click here for $8 tickets
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
|Sister Cities of Los Angeles sign and City Hall. (Photo credit: azza-bazoo)|
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, CC and I are making the voyage across the Atlantic to check out the 2012 Berlinale, and I wanted to share a few things about our own city that have bonded us to that Teutonic metropolis.
On June 27, 1967, Berlin became L.A.'s sixth sister city, and the mission, according to the Los Angeles-Berlin Sister City Committee, "was to advance the relationship in every way possible between the two prominent cities: culturally, intellectually, commercially and socially."
So I wanted to show you a few L.A.-Berlin spots around the city. It's by no means comprehensive, so if you have others, please let me know!
And, fun fact. Did you know that there's a Los-Angeles-Platz park in Berlin?
|CC sidles up to a segment of the Berlin Wall on Wilshire Boulevard. (2009)|
|"Stasi Briefcase, n.d." (Photo credit: Marie Astrid González/The Wende Museum)|
|Berlin Forest in Griffith Park (Photo credit: Al Pavangkanan)|
If you're still in a Berlin kind of mood, here are some other places of interest:
* The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles (down the street from the Wall segment at 5750 Wilshire Blvd.)
* Berlin Currywurst (all sorts of wursts from native Germans in Silver Lake)
* Orange Berlin (a hair salon on Beverly Boulevard)
* And, of course, the '80s New Wave/pop group Berlin (of "Take My Breath Away" fame) was formed right here in L.A.
Monday, January 23, 2012
In addition to checking out kid-friendly films in the festival's "Generation Kplus" section for children ages 4-13, we'll also be visiting the Berlinale Kindergarten -- a bilingual childcare facility for kids of festival-going parents that costs less than $10 for three hours. (Would love to see something like that at the L.A. Film Festival!)
There are also plenty of kid-friendly places to go in Berlin. There's the famous zoo, the Tiergarten, the Brandenburg Gate, the German Museum of Technology (among tons of other cool museums) and, of course, the (in)famous Berlin Wall.
|"Lotte and the Moonstone Secret" will screen at the 2012 Berlinale.|
So, why Berlin, you might ask?
First off, did you know that Berlin is a sister city to Los Angeles? I'll be posting this week about fun Berlin-related spots around the city.
But I also have a more personal connection to the city -- well, more like the country in general. One of my college majors, in addition to English, was German Studies. I lived for a year in Hamburg, visiting Berlin several times while I was there. And I helped cover the 2008 Berlinale when I was at Variety.
And I've wanted to go back. To show CC around. To teach her about another culture. And, really, to further explore the world with my little girl. (She's already saying, "Guten Tag!")
Of course, I wish Ian could go with us, but sadly his back is preventing that this time. That just means we'll have to plan more trips for the future!
I'll be checking in with updates while I'm there, too, so stay tuned!
Friday, January 20, 2012
|CC poses in front of Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog (Blue)" at LACMA.|
As I mentioned in my MLK Jr. post, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art offered free admission on Monday, which meant a fun field trip to the Miracle Mile.
In addition to eyeing pop art, a la Jeff Koons (above) and Andy Warhol, we also caught the new "Metropolis II" exhibit by artist Chris Burden (where we also spotted a museum-going Owen Wilson).
My little explorer also enjoyed the outdoor "Yellow Tubes" exhibit from Jesus Rafael Soto. Kids of all ages wound their way through the long, hair-like tubes. It reminded me a little of this former LACMA exhibit.
Not only that, but I also captured this awesomely (if I do say so myself) SoCal shot on our way back to the car. Very inspiring, indeed.
|Looking up at LACMA from Wilshire Boulevard.|
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Design Mom, one of my most favorite blogs on the Web, asked yours truly to contribute my thoughts about 2012 New Year's resolutions.
In her feature, "Design Mom Asks," Gabrielle Blair proposed this question: It's a few weeks into the New Year, and my million and one resolutions have been whittled down to ...
Click here for the answers, including one from L.A. Story.
I was so excited when Gabrielle asked me to participate. If you haven't yet checked out her blog, please do. Not only is she a mom to six lovely kiddos, she's also the co-founder of femme-community site Kirtsy. Gabrielle and her husband, Ben Blair, also moved to the Normandy region of France last year, which sounds like an amazing family adventure.
Thanks again, Gabrielle, and Happy New Year!
What have you decided on for your New Year's resolutions?
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Please check out my latest story on Tecca.com, "5 Under-the-Radar Travel Sites That Will Help Save You Money."
If you're thinking about planning a Spring Break vacation with the kiddos, check out these sites -- which offer cool features that you might not find on their big-name rivals.
Thanks for reading!
|Royal/T in Culver City|
Created with tykes in mind, Nolan wanted to inspire the next generation of art lovers with pieces including a giant red robot, an equally out-sized puppy dog and a mesmerizing short film of a dandelion blowing away in the wind (by John Carpenter). She was even thoughtful enough to hang the art a little lower for the little ones.
|CC snaps a pic of "Your Dog" by Yoshitomo Nara.|
|Giant red robot, aka "Chum" by KAWS|
Culver City, CA 90232
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
|CC keeps an eye out for whales in Dana Point.|
Hopping aboard the Dana Pride, the flagship of Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching, we started our ocean adventure, keeping an eye out for any kind of sea life. We had bundled up in layers of clothes -- shirts, sweaters, jackets, hats, pants -- which was more than necessary while skimming the chilly SoCal waters. It was actually kind of funny seeing my dress-wearing daughter sporting cold-weather clothes. (She's definitely a warm-weather California girl.)
|Our boat, the Dana Pride.|
Once I boarded the Dana Pride, I was honestly so taken with the beauty of the water, the coast and the sun peeking out from behind the cloudy sky that I didn't care if I saw any kind of sea-faring creature. That would be icing on the frosty January cake.
We did end up seeing lots of what are called common dolphins -- which exist all over the world -- as well as larger bottlenose dolphins. They were all so cute, swimming within about 10-15 feet of the boat. It was amazing, watching as they leaped out of the water, swam in groups of three or four, and seemed to follow us on our coastal journey. Unfortunately, my camera wasn't quick enough to catch them jumping out of the water.
We also caught several lazy sea lions, catching some shut-eye on a large buoy.
We'll be heading back for sure!
Dana Point, CA 92629
Tickets: $32 (Adults); $19 (Children ages 3-12); $27 (Seniors/Military)
(Note: Media tickets provided.)
Monday, January 16, 2012
|Martin Luther King Jr.|
LACMA, which we haven't visited in a while, will be free all day today (courtesy of Target). Check out Edward Biberman's MLK painting "I Had a Dream," or visit the Boone Children's Gallery, where the kiddos can make their own mini masterpieces. Chris Burden's Metropolis II, a moving sculpture boasting 1,100 toy cars zooming around on various tracks, has also just opened at LACMA's Broad Contemporary Art Museum. (You might know his other urban-themed piece at the museum.) (Admission: Free; 12 p.m.-8 p.m.)
Kidspace, in Pasadena, will also be celebrating the holiday with "M.L.K. Day: 'Lending Hands.'" Kids will be able to participate in a variety of activities, highlighting King's message of helping others, and catch a performance from Rhythm Child. (Admission: $10; 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
Have a wonderful, restful day.
(Photo credit: Library of Congress via Mike Licht)
Friday, January 13, 2012
|Cirque du Soleil's "OVO"|
Opening Jan. 20 right next to the ocean, "OVO" tells the story of a vibrant ecosystem that can be seen from a bug's-eye view. Big, bright and beautiful costumes (did you check out the above pic?) will share the spotlight with Cirque's trademark acrobats and other performers.
A mysterious egg will also come into play, along with a love connection between an awkward bug and a colorful ladybug with personality.
The last time CC and I watched Cirque under the Grand Chapiteau, it was truly magical -- especially next to crashing waves in the foggy night air.
Grand Chapiteau at the Santa Monica Pier
Jan. 20-Feb. 26
Tickets: $45-$270 (Adults); $31.50-$189 (Children ages 2-12)
(Photo credit: Benoit Fontaine © 2009 Cirque du Soleil Inc.)
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
CC has really started to like math. In fact, she's asked me to download a few apps, such as Park Math, that are great for learning basic addition and subtraction. (Don't get me started on the Sudoku app she discovered on my phone. I'm just learning that game myself.)
It made me think about what a great learning opportunity it is for her -- especially since we focus so much on reading and writing.
So it was perfect timing last week, when I learned about the PBS Kids Lab, which aims to make math "more approachable for parents and fun for kids." In addition to offering helpful online content -- with Spanish translations -- the site provides great tips for parents who are looking for ways to add math into everyday activities like car rides.
Here are a few:
1. When driving in the car, count the number of trees as you pass by.
2. Call out street signs, and identify their shapes.
3. Count aloud the seconds it takes for a child to brush his/her teeth.
4. Cook with the kids, and count ingredients.
5. Play grocery store with household items, and count out the change.
What do you do to help make math fun for the kiddos?
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
|CC dons some cool shades at Robinson Beautilities in Mar Vista.|
|Robinson Beautilities on Venice Boulevard|
Like father, like daughter -- she loved it.
She tried on crazy sunglasses, a pink wig, played a little Skee Ball and rode a 25 cent train.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Monday, January 9, 2012
|CC decorates her dragon streamer at the Oshogatsu Family Festival.|
The museum in Little Tokyo was packed with families, as everyone joined in the fun celebrating the Oshogatsu Family Festival -- which celebrates the Japanese New Year (every Jan. 1).
While there was lots for kiddos to do, including origami, noodle-making and dragon-building, CC gravitated toward making dragon streamers and dragon hats. And, oh yeah, the dragon bounce house!
|CC with her streamer and dragon hat -- all in various shades of pink!|
|CC watches as a candy artist makes a sweet panda.|
P.S. Stay tuned for the Golden Dragon Festival and Parade in Chinatown Jan. 28-29!
Friday, January 6, 2012
The New Year might have just arrived, but the Year of the Dragon is almost upon us, and the Japanese American National Museum is celebrating the occasion with a free event, the Oshogatsu Family Festival, on Sunday, Jan. 8.
The all-day extravaganza will feature arts and crafts -- kids can make origami dragons -- as well as food and live performances. Kids will be able to make onigiri rice balls, jump in a dragon bouncer, watch as a candy artist sculpts dragons out of sweets and catch Shi shi mai (traditional lion dance) and taiko drum performances.
CC and I visited the museum almost two years ago, and she had such a wonderful time making sock puppets. I think we'll have to stop by again!
Japanese American National Museum
Oshogatsu Family Festival
Sunday, Jan. 8; 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
369 E. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
CC's godparents came back from New York with a terrific Christmas present for our little craft-loving girl. In a cute Brooklyn toy shop called Acorn, they found a make-your-own wooden family kit from seedling. -- a New Zealand-based toy company.
When she saw the wrapped present on the table after preschool, CC tore right into it and started crafting. She loved the colorful felt and fabric squares, the wooden pencils and the multi-colored thread. The package even comes with a little bottle of glue. How convenient!
|So many choices! (Definitely should have fixed her hair first.)|
Et voila! The first addition to CC's little wooden family:
|CC chose the red hair, and the polka-dot dress over the yellow felt shirt.|
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
|Angels Flight on Bunker Hill|
The little 298-foot funicular, which was built in 1901 to transport wealthy Angelenos up and down Bunker Hill, is only 25 cents for a one-way ride. (There are two orange cars, named Olivet and Sinai.) We didn't make it downtown for the railway's actual birthday, but my pal Mike, who blogs at Franklin Avenue, visited with his son, and rides were just a penny.
So yesterday, as a kind of last hurrah before preschool started again, I took my little angel downtown for a round-trip flight of her own.
|CC checks out Angels Flight.|
|Exploring the market.|
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Monday, January 2, 2012
|The Euro Bungee at Pacific Park|
But this time, when one of her friends invited us to the Pier for a play date, the girls made a beeline for it.
It's called the Euro Bungee ($5), and CC went crazy for it.
First, kids hop on a scale, which determines how many bungee cords will be attached to the child. They are then strapped into a belt and hooked up to the cords. After being schooled on the rules (no flips!), the kids can jump as high as they can, aided by a staff member who's in charge of the hydraulics.
What a thrill for CC! She was leaping high in the air -- easily 10 feet -- and was laughing and giggling the whole time. Same for her friends.
The other moms and I talked about how we'd lost our thrill-seeking ride mojo after having kids. Does that happen for everyone?
Luckily, CC also rode rides that were more my speed:
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Happy 2012! Last night, we spent the evening blowing up balloons, wearing party hats and taking lots of fun pictures.
Hope you had a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve! Look forward to more adventures this year. :)