Saturday, December 29, 2012

Even Daddy Day Care Can Be Hard on a Mom


To be honest, it was hard leaving Baby Will at home -- even with my husband, who's an amazing dad -- when I had to go back to work.

When Ian sent me these photos of him on the beach with Baby Will, a mullet wig and fake cigarettes, it became that much harder. Funnier, but harder.

I wrote about it for mom.me, the website where I work. Let me know what you think. The comments are pretty hard-core.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!



Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

2 Months Old!

Baby Will at 2 months!
OK, so he's actually 10 weeks old, but we've had some serious camera card fails, which have put me behind on my baby-logging.

He's certainly plumped up since last month. That's mostly due to the fact that he's become a formula-only baby. That part was hard -- I breastfed CC for 7 months -- but he was so hungry! All the time! And my body just couldn't keep up.

I love his roly-poly cuddliness, though. And he's starting to smile so much lately. I just want to eat him up.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Get Creative With Holiday Decor + Giveaway *Sponsored*


UPDATE: Congrats to kolpin, who won the holiday decor package from Sam's Club! Please email me at losangelesstory@gmail.com with your name and address. Also, I apologize for the delay -- yesterday's news left me too stunned to write. Thank you to everyone who participated (and to Random.org for helping me choose).

I love Christmas. It's such an amazingly special time of year, when everyone seems eager and happy and excited about something completely unexpected. Maybe it's the presents ... or maybe it's anticipating the surprise on your husband or child's face when they unwrap the gifts you've been dying to give them.

It's also the time of year when our homes take on a completely different look for just a few weeks. Whether it's a huge Christmas tree or a home all decked out in ceramic villages and tons of garland, decorations really seem to take center stage. (See below for a holiday decor giveaway!)

This year, I wanted to add some creative Christmas-y touches around our apartment, and I got a little inspiration from lifestyle expert Brooke Peterson's blog, as well as a lot of help and supplies from Sam's Club.


First of all, I love lights -- and I love pairing them with ornaments. So I thought it would be fun, after taking a look at this post from Brooke, to add colorful ornaments and lights to glass vases. So I picked up a couple packages of 25 ornaments (each for less than $15 at Sam's), as well as a roll of warm-white LED lights (less than $20).

As you can see from the top pic, the effect is gorgeous. Warm, colorful, unexpected and -- most of all -- easy!

CC even got in on the act, too.


I loved that the project was so child-friendly -- and something you couldn't really mess up. And you could decorate the vases with an assortment of colors, any way you liked.

It just goes to show that Christmas decorating doesn't have to be a terrifying chore. In fact, it was such a cheerful family project.

And that's what cheer is ... spending time with family and getting creative with our home. Everyone is involved and, best of all, together.

*** GIVEAWAY ***


I'm giving away a holiday decorating gift basket, worth more than $50 and courtesy of Sam's Club, that includes decorative mesh ribbon, holiday ribbon, shatterproof ornaments and a Starbucks gift set.

To enter, just leave a comment telling me favorite ways you like to decorate your home.

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 Friday, December 14!

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, for which I have been compensated. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

'Ice Age: Continental Drift' DVD Review


Our toothy prehistoric heroes are back for a fourth installment in Ice Age: Continental Drift, and the Blu-ray/DVD ($39.99) is hitting store shelves on December 11.

CC and I had the chance to dive into the icy adventure on DVD, courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and this incarnation of the popular Blue Sky Studios film franchise has families breaking apart -- along with the ice -- and learning what it takes to adjust to a few growing pains.

Manny (voiced by Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo) hit the high seas when the continent starts to break apart, but not before Manny gets a dose of teenage embarrassment and frustration, courtesy of his daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), who's trying to impress a cute boy, er, woolly mammoth (Drake).

The trio of friends encounter a rag-tag group of pirates, led by a ruthless gorilla (Peter Dinklage) with a toothy grin that could use a few Crest White Strips. Using their wits to outsmart these marauders, Manny, Diego and Sid must find a way to reunite the herd -- all while dealing with Sid's seemingly senile grandmother (Wanda Sykes).

CC enjoyed the icy adventure, and for me it's always fun to check out the voice cast. (I especially love John Leguizamo's Sid!) That, and Scrat. That poor prehistoric squirrel can't ever seem to get that acorn -- and the clever ways he always misses it is a fun trademark of the series.

The movie itself is light and a fun weekend distraction. Older kids should be able to empathize with the challenges of being a teenager and dealing with an especially protective parent. Younger kids will love the colorful animation and the silly crew of animals.


For those of you in Los Angeles, the Beverly Center is hosting an Ice Age Ice Palace display through the holidays. The 30-foot dome will offer footage from the movie, as well as falling snow and a light show.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, CC! You're 6!


Happy Birthday, my little bear! I can't believe it's been six years since I first laid eyes on you.

I want you to know that you are a true joy and a shining light in your daddy's and my eyes. You're growing up to be such a kind, thoughtful and brilliant little girl.

You've gone through so many changes this year, and you've handled them all with such grace -- as you have with other changes in your little life.

I'm proud of you and love you more than you will ever know.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Birthday Visit from Princess Leia

Princess Leia reads to CC and friends.
CC got a glimpse of a galaxy far, far away when she celebrated her 6th birthday at a party in the park with friends ... and Princess Leia.

We were so lucky to have mildly cloudy weather this weekend -- and pretty bold to have an outdoor party in an often-rainy December. But the rain took a break long enough for CC and her pals to chase each other with inflatable light sabers and take in some stories and crafts from a certain galactic princess.

I have to give a shout-out to Wishing Well Entertainment and Parties, which found an awesome Leia on relatively short notice. Not only did she look the part, but she also enthralled the little Jedis with books, songs, crafts, balloons and face painting. The kids loved her!

CC had a great time, which was the most important thing -- especially since she's had so many changes this year. First kindergarten at a new school, then a baby brother. She deserved a really special celebration.

Of course, I learned that maternity leave actually had drained a few of the ol' brain cells when I realized we had no forks for the awesome Star Wars cake that Ian ordered from Porto's. (eek.) The kids, of course, were OK with that deal. The adults, not so much.

Ah well. At least Princess Leia saved the day.
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