Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coming Attraction: Gratis Grilled Cheese and Baby Loves Disco!

This is no April Fool's Day joke, kiddos. Tillamook Cheese is teaming up with L.A.'s own Grilled Cheese Truck to offer free grilled cheese sandwiches at Beverly Hills Porsche from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. on April 1.

Kicking off National Grilled Cheese Month (who knew?), Tillamook is inviting Angelenos to check out its cross-country Loaf Love Tour, which will include a fun convertible bus, as well as samples of the Pacific Northwest-made cheese.

The Tillamook Cheese Loaf Love Melt will be available for the month of April from the Grilled Cheese Truck ahead of The Grilled Cheese Invitational, sponsored by Tillamook and taking place at downtown's Los Angeles Center Studios on April 23.

Yum indeed!

What: Loaf Love Tour -- Tillamook Meets the Grilled Cheese Truck
When: Friday, April 1; 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Beverly Hills Porsche, 8425 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills 90211

(Photo courtesy of Tillamook Cheese)


Baby Loves Disco is dancing its way back to the Los Angeles area this weekend, as it continues its spring Superhero Tour, which is all about celebrating everyone's inner hero.

While the SoCal leg kicks off today, the family dance party will rock out for free at The Americana at Brand in Glendale on Saturday, April 2 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. (889 Americana Way, Glendale, 91210)

Finishing out the weekend on April 3, Baby Loves Disco will head down to Hollywood, where kids of all ages can groove to the music at Dim Mak Studios (formerly Cinespace; Hollywood Blvd. and Cosmo Street) from 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Tickets are $20 each or $60 for a family four pack.

The ticketed events of the tour, presented by H&M with additional sponsorship by Creativity for Kids, Honest Kids, Snikiddy, Piggy Paint and Loews Hotels & Resorts, will raise money for Donors Choose, a charity that supports underserved schools.

CC had a great time last fall showing off her preschool moves at Baby Loves Disco in Hollywood. We're hoping to make it up to Glendale this weekend to rock out once again.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weekly Deal: Half-Off Personalized Labels & More at Cherry Hill Designs

$10 for $20 to Spend at Cherry Hill Designs

Kid stuff -- sippy cups, pacifiers and the like -- is entirely too easy to misplace. If you've seen one pink polka-dotted binky, you've seen them all, especially if it's lost in a sea of them at day care, preschool, or a church nursery.

Cherry Hill Designs has the solution with tiny, dishwasher-safe pacifier labels! This online-only retailer of cute, brightly colored, personalized stickers makes waterproof labels for bottles, cups, pool toys, and more, as well as iron-on clothing labels that can also be used for cloth diapers and quilts.

Cherry Hill uses its funky prints and fonts for a variety of other personalized merch, including melamine plates and bowls, bag and gift tags, and cellphone covers. Double your spending cash with this deal and never lose a binky again!

Click here to get this deal!

Refer a friend to and get $10

(Sponsored Post)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Raves for REDCAT Children's Film Festival

Taking our seats in a theater packed with parents, grandparents and kiddos, CC and I settled in for an eclectic assortment of short films Saturday at the sixth annual REDCAT International Children's Film Festival downtown.

While there were three different sections that first day, focused on varying themes and ages, I opted for the first, "Tally Ho: Films That Fly High," an adventurous group of eight films appropriate for all ages.

Featuring short movies from countries such as Latvia, Germany, as well as the United States, the section offered a sometimes fun, sometimes poignant international flavor on screen.

Only one film, "Stoneflies," had foreign-language dialogue, in this case German with English subtitles. Although that was a challenge for CC, who doesn't yet read, the story was still accessible. She also didn't hesitate to ask me what was going on in the film. The other films were either narrated in English or featured music only.

The first entry, "Wonderful Day," a Latvian clay-mation film directed by Nils Skapans, set a whimsical tone, as a magical woman and her cat turn an ordinary day into a delightful one.

When I asked CC which film was her favorite, she was diplomatic and said, "All of them." And while I know she did enjoy each of the entries, there were some clear favorites -- judging from how much she talked about them after the 76-minute screening.

"Mobile," directed by Verena Fels from Germany, was the clear winner for the kiddo (see above video). The gorgeously animated short tells a simple story of a lonely cow stuck on one end of a child's mobile who takes matters into her own hands (hooves?) in order to connect with the animals on the other side. The film is both funny and touching, as the animals get tossed around in a laughable adventure that eventually succeeds in bringing friends together.

CC was also a fan of "Lost and Found," by Philip Hunt from the U.K. (see below video). This film, about the accidental friendship between a little boy and a penguin, was the perfect capper for the screening. It's an adorable tale, based on the book by Oliver Jeffers, that reminds kids and parents alike of what it means to be a friend -- even when you don't really set out to be one.

We had a great time -- it was just enough to hold CC's attention without being too overwhelming. Of course she's ready for more. Luckily, there are still three more weekends left in the festival.

For more information, click here. For the 2011 REDCAT International Children's Film Festival YouTube channel, complete with trailers, click here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Culver City Patch: This Week's Deals

Please check out my latest deals post on Culver City Patch.

From tons of meal deals ($7.99 for a complete vegetarian meal at Samosa House East) to Spring Break sales, there's lots to offer frugal parents this week.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Disney, Nordstrom, Lauren Bush Help FEED Small World

Disney's 'It's a Small World' collection debut with FEED at Nordstrom at The Grove.
(Photo courtesy of Robert Rooks)

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Disneyland's "It's a Small World" attraction, and to celebrate, Disney has launched a children's clothing line based on the multicultural ride. Not only that, but the company is also pairing with FEED Projects, an organization co-founded by model/designer (and presidential granddaughter) Lauren Bush to help combat world hunger.

Last week, I had the chance to check out the debut of the "It's a Small World" line at Nordstrom, where I also met the lovely Ms. Bush (left), who had her hands full with a visitor's baby when I arrived.

Bush explained that each accessory or clothing item helps provide nutrients in the form of vitamin supplements via UNICEF to children around the world.

In fact, customers can even see just how much they're giving back by checking out a stenciled number on, say, one of the FEED Our Small World bags (left). One eco-friendly bag ($48), stamped with '500' on the back, will provide 500 kids with vitamin supplements for a year. Not bad!

The children's collection (with items priced from $18-$169) will represent four seasonal offerings. Disney launched the line with the adorable "Japanese Spring" (a coincidence that's especially meaningful after the country's March 11 earthquake and tsunami), and "Indian Summer" will follow in June. "Scottish Fall" hits stores in September, and "Russian Holiday" will close out the year.

The designs are inspired by Disney artist Mary Blair, who created the artwork for the Disney attraction. It's hip and nostalgic all at once.

Other partners in the children's collection include Petunia Pickle Bottom, TOMS Shoes, Trumpette, Baby Nay and Mighty Fine. (A Petunia Pickle Bottom gift bag from the event included Trumpette socks for girls ages 0-12 months -- see photo below -- as well as a notebook and postcards with art from Blair).

A few items from the collection:

It's a Small World Apron Dress ($48)

Graphic Tee ($29)

Trumpette Infant Girls' Socks ($28)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Coming Attraction: REDCAT International Children's Film Festival 2011

The sixth annual REDCAT International Children's Film Festival will kick off March 26 at the downtown theater space, and CC has been counting the days.

The festival, which features short films from around the world, targets kids of all ages but breaks up the screenings over four weekends (March 26-April 17), so as not to overwhelm the little ones -- or their parents, for that matter. And while lots of films are packed into each screening, the screenings themselves run only about an hour total.

Another bonus? Each screening is only $5 per person.

Besides simply loving to say the word "Redcat," CC is also a big fan of the event, which we attended for the first time last year. Not only does it screen kid-friendly fare, the festival also treats the kids like kids -- not short adults. For example, they allow little ones to move from their seats and take a spot on the floor in front of the big screen, if they so choose. For fidgety kids, that's definitely a plus.

This weekend's picks feature an all-ages section called "Tally Ho: Films That Fly High," with films from countries such as Latvia, Germany, the U.S. and U.K. that spotlight adventure. (March 26; 12 p.m.)

"Legends Come Alive," for kids ages 7 and up, focuses on "tall tales and fantastic fables." (March 26; 1:30 p.m.)

"Family Matters," for those ages 9 and above, looks at families from Australia, Canada and the United States. (March 26; 3 p.m.)

Nickelodeon Family Fun Day, which runs Sunday, March 27, will showcase characters and shows for kids ages 2-6 (Nick Jr.) and 7 and up. Nick Jr. will also host a special screening of its new series "Bubble Guppies."

Maybe we'll see you there!

REDCAT International Children's Film Festival
631 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Weekly Deal: 52% off Children's Haircut at La La Ling

$12 for Children's Haircut at La La Ling ($25 value)

Fun and funky La La Ling kids’ boutique offers fabulous kids' items and stylish kids' haircuts. They were always a one-stop shop to go to for the latest and best in kids' fashion, furnishing, toys, gifts, accessories … and now beauty!

A mother of three kids, owner Ling Chan opened this fab salon because she had “yet to find the one place in L.A. that could give all three kids great haircuts in a fun, cool salon that was kid-friendly."

Well, now there is such a place, but don’t take our word for it. La La Ling has racked up numerous retail awards as Los Angeles' Best Baby & Children's Store from My Fox LA, LA Parent Magazine and Citysearch. Your voucher is good for one rockin’ kids haircut AND 20% off any regularly priced item in their boutique. All for only 12 bucks!

Click here to get this deal!

Other great deals in your area expiring soon:

$6 for 2 Tickets to Wildlife Learning Center

$15 for $30 to Spend at

$39 for 2 Canvas Prints at

(Sponsored Post)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Culver City Patch: This Week's Deals

Please check out my latest Deals and Steals column on Culver City Patch.

There are some great bargains, including a Kids Eat Free night at Gyenari Korean BBQ and Lounge, as well as discounted pricing on a food tour of Culver City, courtesy of Foody Field Trips.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Amanda Peet Talks Bright Smiles, Terrence Malick and Breast Pumps

Amanda Peet (Photo courtesy of Crest)

Amanda Peet, actress, wife of screenwriter David Benioff and mom of two little girls ages 4 (Frances) and almost 1 (Molly), sat down at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood last week to talk about motherhood and megawatt smiles.

As the new spokesperson for Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips, she offered tips for a healthy smile, as well as what she and her older daughter do to make brushing more fun. (Princesses and bulldogs, but more on that later.)

While I wasn't able to make it to the Roosevelt -- Ian and I were slaving over taxes in the Valley -- I did get the chance to speak with Peet over the phone. We talked about everything from our kids to her upcoming movie with director Terrence Malick to whipping out the breast pump in an airplane bathroom. And as many of you moms know, that last one is far from easy.

Here's the Q&A:

L.A. Story: How you balance motherhood with your acting career?

Amanda Peet: I don’t know that I have any wisdom to impart. I guess we think it’s an improvisation.

I got some really good advice once from my brother-in-law, who’s a pediatrician. When we were talking about my kids’ eating habits, he said something that a lot of pediatricians say, which is, 'Don’t tally up one day of eating. You take the tally at the end of the week.' So if one day they had macaroni followed by pizza followed by cookies, it’s OK as long as the week was good -- the week balanced out one bad day.

So I try to think about parenting that way, too. If there’s a time when I’m really busy and I’m working a lot, I try to make up for it later by having some really relaxing down time with my girls. There’s no magic recipe. I don’t know that there’s any way to not be tortured.

L.A. Story: How did you get involved with Crest?

Amanda Peet: They approached me, and I was shocked and honored, and I definitely think, especially for people like us, who are constantly multitasking, it’s really great to have a beauty product that works really quickly and looks really natural.

I like the idea that I don’t have to wear any makeup, and my husband will still say, 'Wait, what did you do? You did something.'

L.A. Story: Keeping with the Crest theme, is it a struggle to get your older daughter to brush her teeth, or does she have fun with it?

Amanda Peet: We've had some struggles, but she’s on the easier end of that. We do use the little children’s/toddler electric toothbrushes, and so she gets really into which toothbrush she uses. And she acts them out. She has two princesses, and so we do a routine where one of them gets picked that night and the other one’s really upset, and then we discovered that she, Frankie, knows how to make the face of a bulldog where she sticks out her lower teeth, and so we do bulldog for her lower teeth. So I’ll say, 'Now, bulldog,' and she sticks out her lower teeth. We say 'upstairs and downstairs' for the upper teeth and the lower teeth. She just kind of got into it. I guess making things into little, tiny, fun tasks is the key to getting it done.

L.A. Story: I think I’ll have to try bulldog with my daughter.

Amanda Peet: She holds that look for like three seconds, so I always have to get in there really, really quickly.

L.A. Story: How do you plan on keeping your girls grounded in Hollywood?

Amanda Peet: I think about that a lot, and I don’t think it matters that much yet, but I know that it will. I don’t have any answers. I’m sure I’m going to improvise my way through that too, but I feel like my parents were really vigilant about our school work and our work ethics and also our athletic dedication, so I think that there was never really an emphasis on eating and food and looks and clothing. All that stuff didn’t hold a lot of currency in our household. We had dinner together and we had reading lists for the summer, and my mom dragged us to every museum and every play and every opera.

L.A. Story: You recently finished filming a new movie directed by Terrence Malick in Oklahoma, where I'm from. How did you like that experience?

Amanda Peet: I wasn’t there for very long, and we worked really long hours, so I didn’t really get a huge taste of it, but it was really beautiful. There was one area where we shot that was really beautiful. I had a really great time.

[Malick] couldn’t have been lovelier. He has a very, very particular way of shooting. He calls things out to you while you’re shooting, and it’s very, very different than other work that I’ve done. It was really special and really unique and really, really surprising. It was like the opposite of boring.

You just go to work, and they do a master shot and then a medium and then a close-up and then a close-up, and he’s nothing like that. He’s like a jazz musician. There’s a lot of variety, and he doesn’t do the same thing twice.

L.A. Story: Does he improvise, or does he have everything planned out?

Amanda Peet: He improvises and he lets you riff, and then he’ll shout something out to you that he wants you to say in the middle of the scene. It’s a very mysterious and wonderful, magical process.

L.A. Story: Did you take your family with you?

Amanda Peet: I did not, because I wasn’t going to be there long.

I took my pump with me. In fact, I know a funny story. I got on the plane, and they were like, 'Your bag is too big for the plane to carry on.' And I said, 'Listen, lady.' I was in a really cranky mood, and I was like, 'My pump is in here, and I need to get my pump out before I give you my bag to put under the plane because I’m breastfeeding.' And I was all self-righteous about it, and then I looked in my bag and I had forgotten my pump.

So, the producer of the movie went to a special store in the middle of Oklahoma and got me a special hand pump, which I wasn’t used to using. So disaster averted, thanks to those really awesome producers who were asked to do something way beyond the call of duty.

L.A. Story: I used an electric pump. I can’t imagine how hard a hand pump must be.

Amanda Peet: It’s really weird, because I’m that person who was used to the electric one too, and then the one that I bought that was a hand pump was a little bit like a bicycle pump that you pump up your tire with, your bicycle tire. So when Molly was a little baby, I used that one, and it was just comical. I was going into the bathroom in the airplane, and my elbow was bumping against the door, and they probably thought it was this crazy sex toy.

But weirdly, the one that the producers got me in Oklahoma was unbelievably awesome. I just had to squeeze my hand on this lever, and it just did all work for me. And I recommend it to everybody, and I gave it to my friend, and it's the best pump ever.

L.A. Story: What kind was it?

Amanda Peet: It was one of the Medela ones, but it just was different from the crazy bicycle pump one that I had that was two feet long. It's so hard going from your seat on the airplane to the bathroom on the airplane. I could barely hide it, and then if I hid it, it looked like I was hiding a machine gun. It just was not good.

Thank goodness, she said, that she's no longer breastfeeding.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weekly Deal: 25% Off Dan Zanes Concert Tickets

25% Off Tickets to Dan Zanes and Friends Concert at UCLA

Kids LOVE Dan Zanes ... and, once you see him in concert, you'll understand why this Grammy-winning children's rocker is such a favorite of the young and young at heart. Just enter promo code ROYCE to get 25% off tickets.

Dan Zanes was a member of the popular '80s band The Del Fuegos. Now, Zanes and his Brooklyn-based band perform exuberant music filled with irresistible grooves drawn from a wealth of musical traditions.

He creates a rollicking "Woodstock for kids," including American traditional songs, dance classics, and smart, inventive originals. The audience is invited to sing along with gusto and, before you know it, everyone is dancing in their seats and the aisles. Bring your kids to this concert (at 25% off!) and experience what the LA Times calls "a dance-party, hootenanny for the 21st century."

Click here to get this deal!

Other great deals in your area expiring soon:

$10 for $20 at Marla's Café in Venice

$70 for 4 Fine Arts Class at Mission: Renaissance ($140 Value)

50% Off Cardboard Toys & More at

$30 for 3 Mat Pilates Classes or $50 for 2 Private Pilates Sessions at Turning Point Pilates

(Sponsored Post)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Parents' Night Out: 'Certified Copy' Review

In November, at AFI Fest in Hollywood, I saw one of the most confounding yet thought-provoking films about the nature of romance and relationships -- "Certified Copy," starring Juliette Binoche and William Shimell.

This film, from Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, is now in theaters, and I wanted to offer it as an option for movie night when parents get a rare moment away from the kiddos. Be prepared, though, to discuss it during the entire car ride home. It's that mysterious -- or frustrating, depending on your take.

As described, "Certified Copy" (or "The Certified Copy," as I've seen it in local movie listings) is the story of a gallery owner (Binoche) living in Tuscany who attends a lecture by English writer James Miller (Shimell) about the nature of authenticity in art. He notes in his lecture that copies themselves have real value because they lead to the originals. He also believes that this idea doesn't occur solely within the world of art.

But that's just the beginning.

Seemingly, the two have never met. In fact, Miller wanders into the French woman's gallery (her name is listed only as "she" or "elle"), and she practically falls all over herself to oblige him in a trip to the countryside, where she wants to show him some amazing works of art.

It is during this voyage, however, that their relationship seems to take a very subtle yet defining turn. They fall into dialogue that sounds more intimate than simply strangers. Do they actually know each other? Are they playing some kind of game?

When they visit a small cafe, a woman mistakes them for a long-married couple, and Binoche's character does not correct her. She instead indulges the woman, who makes pointed comments about how her "husband" hasn't even bothered to learn her language (French) while she speaks his (English) in addition to Italian.

"He's not into languages," she replies. "He's not into anything."

Later on, as the couple is walking through another village, they encounter a real married couple, and this husband gives Miller some advice on love.

"I think, all that she wants from you is that you walk beside her and lay your hand on her shoulder," says the older man to Miller. "That's all she's longing for. But for her, it's vital."

The mystery of this gorgeous film is exploring where the truth lies. While Shimell as Miller has few if any really emotional scenes, Binoche moves from elated to dejected in the blink of an eye. She wonders about her partner and if he is connected to her in the same way that she is to him. They appear (key word, appear) to be going through the course of an entire relationship -- courtship, commitment, marriage, rejection, reunion -- over the course of only a few hours.

While the emotions were beautifully portrayed, by Binoche especially, I wondered if "Certified Copy" was itself a certified copy of an authentic relationship or even of an authentic film. At its best, it seemed to prod and provoke discussion about the ways in which we relate to those closest to us. At its worst, it seemed like an emotional exercise, a game of relationship vignettes that offered only a glimpse into -- or perhaps a wink at -- the real nature of love.

Certified Copy; 106 minutes; French, English, Italian languages

Home Is Where the Gnome Is

CC paints her own gnome.

It's surprisingly hard to find a garden gnome. Who knew?

Last Christmas, CC and I were scouring the stores -- Target, CVS, The Home Depot -- in search of those funny-looking creatures that add a sense of ironic panache to your average garden.

I think it was that the animated kids' movie "Gnomeo & Juliet" was on its way to theaters that made our hunt even more intense. But, unfortunately, we were out of luck and had to settle for a gnome-less Christmas.

Well, lo and behold, as I was walking through Target this past weekend, what did I see? That's right, Mr. Gnomeo himself was waiting in a little gardening area that also sported lots of green goodies for the kiddos. Yay Target!

Not only that, but it was a Paint Your Own Garden Gnome (Circo; $5.99). This could work as an art project as well.

CC was so excited when I surprised her with it. The gnome is super small -- manageable enough to paint, and not a lot of mess -- and the painting materials are included and easy to use.

CC decided to call him Juliet -- and why not? (There weren't any girl gnomes on the shelves that I could see.)

Now all we need are plants.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Patch Post: Culver City Deals

Please check out my weekly Deals and Steals column on Culver City Patch.

There are five great deals around the city, but my favorite is the one from Essential Chocolate Desserts (of course). The little storefront on Washington Boulevard offers $1 off sundaes on Sundays. Not only that, but this Sunday they're donating 20% of sales to the Culver City Education Foundation.

And, in case you're wondering, yes, they do offer more than just chocolate (although that would be fine, too). I tried one of their pistachio French macarons, and it was delicious!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tropicana Takes Hollywood

Muses, a female a capella group from Burbank's John Burroughs High School, performed
at the
Tropicana OJ Express event at Hollywood & Highland on March 4.

The Tropicana OJ Express took to the streets of Hollywood last week, as the orange juice giant sought to increase the number of fruits Angelenos consume per day.

According to the CDC
, only 16 percent of adults in California are taking in the target of two or more cups of fruit and three or more cups of vegetables each day. (Yikes, what does that mean for the kiddos?)

So Tropicana is using this opportunity to launch the Tropicana OJ Express, a cross-country campaign to spotlight its orange juice while also supporting children in underserved areas.

Parked out in front of the Kodak Theatre last Thursday and Friday, a larger-than-life bottle of Tropicana OJ offered a bright and colorful welcome for Hollywood Boulevard passers-by. Tropicana offered gratis samples of orange juice paired with small boxes of Quaker Oatmeal Squares.

While listening to local a capella group Muses, from John Burroughs High School in Burbank, sing "Good Morning" to the crowd, representatives encouraged onlookers to take an online pledge to add more fruits and vegetables to their daily menu. For each participant, Tropicana will donate one 8-ounce glass of OJ to local schools in need through the USDA's School Breakfast & Summer Food Service programs.

It was a semi-steamy day, so the OJ added a nice, cool kick. Not only that, but I loved watching the costumed characters along the boulevard stop and watch the Muses sing. For one moment, it looked as if Zorro, pictured below, had other things on his mind besides revenge -- or, at least, a good photo op.

(Note: Tropicana gave out gift bags with orange juice coupons and a T-shirt.)

Weekly Deal: Half-Off 4 Fine Arts Class at Mission: Renaissance

$70 for 4 Fine Arts Class at Mission: Renaissance ($140 Value)

Think your kid could be the next Monet? Then send him/her to Mission: Renaissance for 4 fine arts classes!

For only $70, your child will learn the ABC’s of art in a nurturing environment. Students as young as 5 begin gaining a solid foundation in drawing techniques in their very first class.

Using a charcoal pencil and pastels, students learn to build a drawing through the use of simple shapes and how to create colorful, 3-dimensional effects, resulting in their finished work looking life-like. So what are you waiting for, Picasso? Buy this voucher and create your masterpiece!

Click here to get this deal!

Other great deals in your area expiring soon:

$25 for $50 Toward Juno Baby Merchandise and DVDs

$59 for Portrait Shoot and 16 x 20 Canvas from Stuart Townsley ($700 value!)

$25 for All-Day Pass to Go Kart World

$10 for $20 at Marla's Café in Venice

(Sponsored Post)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Legoland California: Where Little Ones Are Large in Charge

CC squirts alligators and frogs at Legoland California Resort.

While I was chaperoning a group of middle school robotics students at Legoland California Resort in Carlsbad on Saturday, Ian and CC were taking the adventure park by storm.

For the better part of the day, I was hovering around the Imagination Zone, where tween kids were building and testing robots (made of Legos, natch) that would respond to specific commands -- pick up tires, knock down a flag, etc. -- for a competition among California schools.

CC, however, was running her father ragged as she ventured (sprinted, actually, is more like it) from one activity to the next. She was all over the toys at Duplo Village and enjoyed The Dragon roller coaster.

She thought The Lost Kingdom Adventure, and its accompanying supertall pharaoh, was "spooky," but that didn't stop her from exploring the fun it held inside.

After a couple of hours, when I checked in with Ian, he said he was already exhausted. Granted, it was really hot -- and CC apparently demanded lots of shoulder rides.

But was she tired? Not so much.

Legoland is a great place to take the little ones. In fact, this is CC's second time at the park. Small children can ride most of the rides, and the park itself is spread out but manageable. When we went, the lines didn't feel endless. But, to its credit, Legoland offers a small play space for kids at almost every ride, allowing them to while away the minutes by building Lego creations, while Mom or Dad waits in line.

Clever indeed!

Legoland California Resort
1 Legoland Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Funny or Die: Katie Couric Investigates the Sillies

Even though it might seem like it, I have not fallen off the face of the earth.

Things have been so busy, but we still made time to visit Legoland this past weekend. While I'm readying that post for prime time, I wanted to share this funny, family-friendly video from the hilarious crew over at


Friday, March 4, 2011

My 'Angry Birds' Woes Can Be Found on

Please check out my post "Is Angry Birds Making My Child Too ... Angry?" on

Ever since I downloaded that addictive iPhone app and let CC have a go at it, well, things have gotten a little out of control. Have you had to deal with the same thing? Please feel free to leave comments!

This week has been really busy -- I feel like I've been chained to my computer. But it's been great contributing my parenting pearls-slash-worries to various online outlets.

If you haven't checked out Technorati's content, please do. The outlet's new Women's Channel, where my Angry Birds post now resides, is led by LA Moms Blog co-founder Jill Asher. Stay tuned for my past LA Moms Blog posts to find a new home over at Technorati.

Stay tuned as well for upcoming weekend adventures with the kiddo. More on that next week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

L.A. Story Checks in at Culver City Patch

Please check out my newest endeavor, The Frugal Family column for Culver City Patch!

Each week, I'll be exploring this Westside city for deals and steals that are perfect for families. In this edition, I spotlight Carter's (which has tons of sales on children's clothing), The Pod Photography (a kid-friendly studio that recently set up shop on Sepulveda Boulevard), Rush Street, where kids can eat free on Sunday nights, and others.

If you haven't heard of, it's a hyperlocal news outlet created by AOL that's making its way across the country. Click here to check out other cities and neighborhoods.

And if you have any tips on Culver City deals, email me at!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weekly Deal: 53% Off Kids' Activity Kits That Battle Boredom on Flights & Car Rides

$7 for $15 to Spend at

"Are we THERE yet?" ... every parent has heard that whiny question a few hundred times while traveling. Curb the complaints with the TravelKiddy -- a travel- and kid-tested activity kit designed to help a child fend off boredom on a flight or long car ride.

No need to run all over town in search of stuff to keep the kids occupied! TravelKiddy kits are customized for different age ranges (3-6 years, 6-9 years, and 9 years and up) and even for long trips and short ones.

You'll be able to relax and enjoy the journey while the little ones are entertained. TravelKiddy will save you money, as buying a kit would cost you significantly less than purchasing the items separately -- and with this deal, you'll save even more!

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Other great deals in your area expiring soon:

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