Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Coming Attraction: 'Matilda' at the Ahmanson

The wait has been long, but "Matilda the Musical" will be hitting the stage in downtown Los Angeles beginning Friday, May 29, at the Ahmanson Theatre.

You might remember my sneak peek post about the event back in November.

Well, kids and families, the precocious Roald Dahl character will be in town through July 12, and we should expect lots of singing, dancing and mischief for sure.

I really can't wait to take CC, who read the book in school earlier this year.

If you don't know the story, Matilda is a child prodigy who is beyond unappreciated by her crass family as well as the headmistress of her school, Miss Trunchbull. So instead of getting down and turning into a sad wallflower, Matilda pulls lots of creative pranks. It's when teach Miss Honey takes an interest in her, though -- and encourages Matilda's great talents -- that the little girl begins to really thrive.

If you see it, let me know what you think!

"Matilda the Musical"
Ahmanson Theatre
May 29-July 12, 2015
Tickets: $45-$120 + $25 Hot Tix

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dreyer's Frozen Custard + Real Simple Meets the Santa Monica Pier Carousel

Will checks out the Dreyer's Frozen Custard flavors at the Santa Monica Pier Carousel.
Hope you and your family had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

I always feel as if summer has arrived once the extended weekend holiday rolls around. Lazy days and cool treats are on the horizon, if they're not on the menu already.

And speaking of summer menus, you'll definitely have to add Dreyer's Frozen Custard to your grocery list. Yum and yum.

Dreyer's paired up with Real Simple magazine for a sweet event at the Santa Monica Pier Carousel a couple weekends ago, and we were sold on the dreamy flavors -- particularly salted caramel pretzel and mint cookies 'n' cream.

We also loved saddling up on the gorgeous wooden horses down at the Pier. What a great way to usher in summer!

Check out our photos from the event! For more, visit my Instagram feed.

We all scream for frozen custard!

Love that carousel!

Pin the cherry on the frozen custard cone!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Toy Review: VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Playset

Will races Ryan the Rhino on the VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Playset.
Will had the chance to check out the VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Playset for to see how it would hold up to a 2-year-old's hands and imagination.
If you haven't seen the playset, it has kids building a colorful, winding track on which they can place different battery-powered plastic animals (in our case, Ryan the Rhino). The animals slide down hills or ride up a kid-powered elevator while lighting up and talking when they slide over SmartPoint locations on the track.
In addition to keeping my toddler entertained for longer than you can say "swipe and click" -- yes, he loves his screen time! -- the Go! Go! Smart Animals Playset also had him spending quality time with CC, who's 8 but wanted to join in the fun, too — which was basically like parenting gold.

Features I Love
Designed for kids ages 1-5, the Go! Go! Smart Animals Playset was just the right balance of fun and challenge for my 2-year-old. While the set comes with many parts in several plastic bags (which can often be a nightmare for parents and kids), the pieces themselves were large enough to safely fit in toddler hands, and the puzzle-like construction was easy for him to master.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Celeb Moms Rachel Zoe and Molly Sims Host Ovarian Cancer Fundraiser at Barker Hangar

Molly Sims and Rachel Zoe hosted the second annual Super Saturday LA to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
Model/actress Molly Sims and fashion stylist Rachel Zoe hosted an amazingly fun and stylish event on Saturday at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica that benefited the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

The second annual Super Saturday LA featured luxury designers offering clothing and accessories at big discounts, as well as tasty treats from Sprinkles (yay!), Otis Spunkmeyer and Fiji Water.

Not only was the shopping-heavy event kid-friendly -- CC and Will had a blast at the Hasbro, Books & Cookies, and Just Dance booths -- Super Saturday LA was also pet-friendly. We almost took home a corgi mix puppy from Wags and Walks!

All proceeds from sales went to support ovarian cancer research. What a great way to spend a gorgeous Saturday afternoon!

Check out more photos from the event on my Instagram feed, and read my full story over at

A photo posted by Laura Clark / L.A. Story (@laura_clark) on

A photo posted by Laura Clark / L.A. Story (@laura_clark) on

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

'Octonauts,' 'Dino Dan' DVDs Get Kids Excited About Science *Giveaway*

Yikes! So sorry that I'm late with this one. But congrats to Carolsue, who won the NCircle Entertainment DVDs! Please email me at with your shipping address. Thanks to everyone who participated, and stay tuned for more giveaways.

When it comes to school, CC has gotten really excited about science. In fact, just yesterday we were mixing sugar in water and black pepper in water to see which substance dissolved. (As you might have guessed, sugar won that round. The pepper, as CC said, got all "chunky.")

Needless to say, mixing anything in water was pretty awesome for my 8-year-old, and that it was actually homework kind of blew her mind, too.

So I've been more than happy to increase science time whenever I can, and NCircle Entertainment has debuted four DVDs that put the spotlight on just that.

Whether it's exploring underwater sea animals with "Dino Dan" and the "Octonauts" or learning with "Sid the Science Kid" how water turns into steam, kids will have fun while also learning fun facts.

In "Octonauts: Crocodiles & Crabs" (SRP: $9.99), the Octonaut crew must rescue a gigantic saltwater crocodile. Kids can also learn about hermit crabs and their shells and follow the crew as they explore a sunken pirate ship with slime eels.

"Dino Dan: Swimming With Dinosaurs" (SRP: $9.99) has Dan's little brother Trek teaching a baby Plesiosaur how to swim while on his way to the swimming pool himself. He then heads to Marineland, where he imagines a fantastic show made up of giant prehistoric marine reptiles. And on a fishing trip with Grandma, Trek discovers what's stealing his fish. Turns out it's a baby Spinosaurus.

In "Sid the Science Kid: Encyclopedia of Discovery" (SRP: $9.99), kids have the opportunity to check out 26 different topics, including the difference between primary and secondary colors; how to measure time; and how water turns into steam. Teacher Susie will be there to help out Sid and his friends.

"Discover & Investigate With the Cat in the Hat" (SRP: $14.99) has 6-year-old best friends Sally and Nick finding out how penguins move from one place to another since they can't fly, how to read a map, and discovering why rainbows appear, and more.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

I'm giving away all 4 of the above NCircle Entertainment DVDs for a fun family prize pack!

To enter, please:

Visit NCircle Entertainment and leave a comment below with your favorite DVD or franchise.

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 Thursday, May 21!

Monday, May 11, 2015

CC, Will Cheer This Year's REDCAT International Children's Film Festival

"BZz" from Denmark played at the REDCAT International Children's Film Festival
Acceptance and love were the big themes in the "Party Animals" section at this year's REDCAT International Children's Film Festival.

CC, Will and I headed downtown to CalArts REDCAT last weekend to check out its latest film festival, and it was just as adorable and (small) kid-friendly as always. Even 2-year-olds like mine, who were eager to get a closer look at the screen, were welcome in the festival theater.

While the annual festival offers up several sections for kids of different ages, our first visit was to see "Party Animals," for kids ages 2+. The short films were colorful and easy to follow, and while they come from countries all over the world, including Denmark, Germany and Sweden, kids don't have to know the film's language to understand. ("Party Animals" will also screen on May 16 at 12 p.m.)

Parents are also encouraged to read any subtitles or answer any questions. (And you won't get shushed for doing so, which is great!)

CC and Will at REDCAT.
Some of the section favorites included "BZz," about two flies who fall in love as they outwit a spider. "Lambs" was also a clever entry, as two sheep are surprised to learn that their little one says "moo" instead of "baa." In "Zebra," the title animal is shocked when its stripes turn into different shapes.

What stood out the most was how much each of these films applauded animals that were unconventional -- the mooing sheep and the zebra with surprising patterns, for example. It was a gentle message for kids to accept those who are different and to see how they can shine in a way that, perhaps, hadn't been considered.

The festival runs for one more weekend. We're looking forward to visiting again before it wraps up its 2015 run.

REDCAT International Children's Film Festival
May 2-17 (Weekends)
631 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets: $5

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome moms out there!

Ian's mom has been in town, so we packed up the kiddos and headed to Republique for brunch today. It was so good! I've heard so many great things about the restaurant on La Brea, and this was the perfect time to check it out.

There was a line -- it was Mother's Day, after all, and they don't take reservations for brunch -- but it moved fairly quickly, and we got a nice table with a highchair.

So if you get the chance, head over and try the Brioche French Toast. A-mazing!

Waiting in line at Republique on La Brea


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