Luminasia at the Los Angeles County Fair

Usually this time of the year I tell you all about the amazing food choice that are available at the LA Count Fair.  Well this year, there is amazing food (let’s just say someone ate an entire triple decker cheeseburger on a Krispy Kreme bun) but there are also really cool new displays.  With so much to explore from Aug. 29-Sept. 28 – vibrant night life, fire dancing, superheroes, a Steampunk nightclub – visitors will want to come back again and again.

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LACF lights up the night with Luminasia. A larger-than-life Chinese lantern display, Luminasia takes the ancient art form of lantern making to a whole new level. Visitors stroll through colorful replicas of iconic landmarks – the Great Wall of China, the Hollywood Sign, the Eiffel Tower – as well as giant dragons, flowers and a pagoda. The lanterns were handmade by nearly 50 artisans who traveled more than 7,000 miles from Zigong, China to transform LACF’s hillside into an evening attraction that is both breathtaking and whimsical. LACF is Luminasia’s first-ever appearance in California.

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Lumanasia

The all-new Hall of Heroes celebrates the science behind beloved superheroes of comic book and real-life fame. Enter LACF’s Metropolis and come face to face with Batman, Spiderman and Superman as well as the law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to protect and serve.

Animals abound at Mojo’s Wild & Crazy Lagoon. LACF’s resident Weeper Capuchin monkey, Mojo, and her friends have a new home on the water and are primed to engage in some monkey business. Also catch sea lions at Beneath the Sea and read your way to adventure in America’s Kids, where we are celebrating  the  exciting worlds of children’s literature.

The Farm at Fairplex is growing – literally – with the addition of three more acres and hundreds of California specialty crops. A must-have this year at the Farmhouse Grill is the new wood-grilled flat bread filled with a variety of toppings harvested from LACF’s organic farm. Add in our Big Red Barn full of animals, and you have agri-tainment at its best.  I got to hold a baby sheep the other night (I tried calling it a lamb and the caretaker corrected me), he and his twin sister are only 2 weeks old and as yet unnamed.  I dubbed them batman and catwoman.

093I don’t know if Groupon still has a deal on four tickets and a parking pass but if they do grab yourself a pack!

Disclosure: This post was not paid for in any way other than the aforementioned food.  Oh and I received a cute bag and a free ticket.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is the most viral thing on the internet right now. While I was critical of it in the beginning because so many people were just dumping a bucket of ice water over their head with no intention of donating to the charitable cause. There was also this little issue of the severe drought we are suffering from in California. It may seem miniscule to the rest of the country but the water shortage out here is extrememly serious.

I was challeneged by many people to take the challenge, and ignored most. It wasn’t until I read on the ALS website that they had generated over $70 million due to this phenomenom. So Sunday evening after a family dinner surrounded by my kids and graand kids I took the plunge (so to speak).

Being concious of the drought, I took my challenge in the pool and have also made a $100 donation to the ALS Foundation. I didn’t challenge anyone, do as you see fit.

Not So Wodless Wednesday – End of Summer

Well, not literally. The end of summer is still over a month away. But with the beginning of school happening so early now and the weather that has been tormenting the midwest you wouldn’t know it.

So in the mean time just enjoy this face.

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More Back To School Stuff

Earlier this week I share cute hairstyles, today I am sharing some savings.  Caitlyn comes back from her summer with her dad next week, so it will be time for Back to School shopping.  She is old enough (third grade!) to start picking out some of her own stuff.

Photo courtesy of Walmart

Photo courtesy of Walmart

Walmart is kicking off back-to-college shopping with savings for customers however you like to shop – in stores, online and through your mobile device. Starting Aug. 1, the retailer is releasing deals tailored to students looking for the top electronics, dorm décor and school essentials.

 Walmart’s rollbacks and special buys are timed to the start of sales tax holidays in select states and at a time that data shows a spike in customers shopping online for Back to School. Customers can get additional savings online with 400 Cyber Monday deals available Aug. 4 for one day only.

“The combination of families stocking up on school supplies, college students shopping for electronics and select state sales tax holidays makes this one of the busiest times of the year for us,” said Steve Bratspies, executive vice president, general merchandise for Walmart U.S. “We know that customers are searching for ways to save as they prepare for the fall. That’s why we’re making it easier for them to get back to class for less with great deals available on Walmart.com and in our stores.”

 Rollbacks, Special Buys and Bundles In-Store and Online

Great deals beginning Aug. 1 include:

  • Bundles that save customers even more, like a limited-time offer Dell laptop bundle with a wireless mouse, one-year McAfee LiveSafe Antivirus and a laptop sleeve for $399
  • Low prices on electronics tailored to college students:
  • Rollbacks on a Roku 1 Streaming Device to $39 (originally $48) and an Apple iPad with Retina display for $349 (originally $399)
  • Special buys including a Hisense 40” LED TV for $239, a Nextbook 8 tablet for $79, an RCA 10″ Tablet with keyboard  for $99 and a Canon 2920 wireless printer for $39
  • Gift cards and bonuses with certain popular items, like a free Xbox Live one-year membership ($59.96 value) with the purchase of an Xbox One console for $399 and a free $30 Walmart gift card with the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy Ace Style for $149.88
  • Rollbacks on college living items including a Mainstays Metal Arm Futon for $99 (originally $124)

 

Blockbuster Walmart.com Deals Aug. 4

Walmart’s busiest days online for back-to-school shopping typically happen during the first two weeks of August. That’s why on Monday, Aug. 4, Walmart is bringing back its popular Back-to-School Cyber Monday savings event for students of all ages. Customers shopping Walmart.com have the opportunity for big savings on more than 400 blockbuster back-to-school deals in dorm décor, smartphones, tablets, laptops and kids’ clothing and backpacks, while supplies last. Those deals bring an average savings of 35 percent and on some items customers can even save up to 60 percent. 

 “Last year we broke records with our first back-to-school Cyber Monday event – it was our biggest Walmart.com sales day outside of the holiday season and we’re making it even bigger this year with more than 30 percent additional back-to-school items at great prices,” said Kelly Thompson, senior vice president of merchandising for Walmart.com. “Customers who prefer to shop online or on their mobile devices can get free delivery to more than 4,000 Walmart stores nationwide and directly to their door for select purchases.”

 Featured Cyber Monday deals include:

Electronics and Gadgets:

Apparel:

School Supplies:

Dorm Essentials:

* Prices available only for Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

 

Sales Tax Holiday Savings Online and In Store
Customers in the 16 states with sales tax holidays in late July and early August can take advantage of zero or reduced sales tax on select back-to-school items at Walmart stores. For ultimate convenience and increased access to these savings, Walmart.com is participating in state sales tax holidays where allowed by local law. More information about state sales tax holidays is available at http://www.walmart.com/cp/Tax-Free/1106992.

Disclosure: I received nothing, nada, zilch for publishing this.  Just the satisfaction of knowing I may have helped a few of you save a buck or two.

Not So Wordless Wednesday – Fair

My favorite time of year is Autumn and what getting fresh cinnamon donuts from Colosantis in Ontario Canada was something I looked forward to all year long.

 

Now I just have to walk over to the snack bar at work.

YUM!


 

Cozy Hairstyles for Back to School

It is Back To School Season around here (Caitlyn starts 3rd grade and the Grand Twins start KINDERGARTEN!) next week and time to think about not only school supplies but getting ready in the morning.

Even though all the ‘getting ready will be done by thier parents and not me, I thought I might share some simple hairstyles with all of you from my friends at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids.

From the Press Release:

Cozy Friedman, kids’ hair authority and owner of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids salons in New York City,  provides many practical and effortless hairstyles for kids to enjoy what is left of their summer days. Parents rely on Cozy Friedman and Cozy’s Complete Guide to Girls’ Hair to style their kids tresses for the summer heat. Whether it be a basic bun or looped pigtails, Cozy’s Complete Guide to Girls Hairprovides parents with hairstyle ideas for their kids to for any occasion, even when it comes time for back to school.

As well as all the niceties said above, these updo and braid hairstyles will help with the spread of lice.  Lice is something that happens in EVERY school no matter the demographics.  But you can help prevent it’s spread by keeping your childs hair pulled back instead of free flying.

The Basic Bun

This simple way of scooping hair up always makes girls feel grown-up, and most importantly, getting hair off of her face and neck during the hot summer months!

Don’t make the bun too tight or severe; a softer style is not only prettier, but also more comfy.

Step 1: Starting with damp hair, comb through to smooth and remove tangles.

Step 2: Gather hair in a loose ponytail. Position the ponytail where you want the bun to be on the head: low at the nape, middle of the head, or high on the crown. Secure with a ponytail holder.

Step 3: Twist the ponytail into a tight rope, coiling it around itself at the base.

Step 4: Tuck the ends of the coil into the ponytail holder at the base. Then secure the bun by pushing bobby pins into the hair at the bun’s base on all sides.  The thicker the hair, the more pins you’ll need.  Lightly spritz the bun with hair spray to lock in the style.

 

Looped Pigtails

Super-simple and super-cute –the looped pigtails shows off your little one’s cute face while keeping them cool!

The Looped Pigtail and The Knotted Pigtail

Step 1: Starting with dry hair, comb or brush the hair to smooth and detangle it.  Part the hair down the middle of the head.

Step 2: Hold the hair from one side of the part and make a low ponytail below the ear on that side, using a cute ponytail holder.  When you pull the hair through the holder for the final time, don’t pull it all the way through: Leave the ends stuck in the holder to form a loose loop below.  The longer the hair, the larger the loop will be.

Step 3: Repeat on the other side of the part. Use your fingers to make the loops about the same size on both sides.

Loose Braid

Braids are not going anywhere! An easy but chic style for longer hair, and so on-trend!

Step 1: Starting with dry hair, brush it smooth and detangle it.

Step 2: Using a fine-tooth comb, divide the hair into three equal sections: right, left and middle.

Step 3: Hold the right section in your right hand and the other two sections separately in your left. Cross the right section over the middle section and hold with your left hand. The original right section is not the middle section.

Step 4: Now cross the left section over the middle section. The original left-hand section is now the middle section.

Step 5: Continuing alternating right and left sections over the middle, until you reach the end of the hair. Secure with a ponytail holder.

All of the opinions are my own.  I received nothing (but I assume a thnak you will be forthcoming) for sharing this information with you.

Not so Wordless Wednesday – I Should be Folding Laundry

But I’m not.  I spent the morning at one of my favorite places in the whole world.

The middle of the ocean.


 

Everybody Freaks Out

Global investment firm T. Rowe Price, is bringing comfort to Los Angeles-area parents tomorrow with a “College Savings Chill Out” tea carton at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, serving complimentary iced herbal teas and free copies of their new children’s book for parents, Everybody Freaks Out.   LA is the second stop on this multi-city tour promoting the book and campaign.


TRPBook

Available for purchase on Amazon.com, Everybody Freaks Outis aimed at parents but written and illustrated in the style of a children’s book. It’sa lighthearted, illustratedstory about two fictitious parentsand others who are able to move past their college savings panic. All proceeds from sales of the book are benefitting Junior Achievement USA®, a national, non-profit organization focused on promoting financial literacy.

According to the findings of T. Rowe Price’s 2013 Parents, Kids & Money Survey, 70% of kids and 66% of parents agreed that the best way to prepare for a strong financial future is with a good education; however, only 41% of parents regularly saving for college. In fact, more parents (46%) save regularly for vacation than for college.

To help you not “freak out” over the costs of college, here are

Six Steps for StartingFrom CollegeSavingsChillout.com

1)     Have a plan and do what you can. Parents do not have to save for the entire cost of college. Instead, perhaps they plan to save for two years of school or just one. Every bit of savings will help, even if it’s only enough to cover a portion of children’s expenses. Instead of making the total number an enemy, make a personal goal the hero.

2)     Just get started.Parents should start by saving an amount that’s manageable. Doing it now may help parents save money and frustration in the future by needing to borrow less.

3)     Don’t try to do this alone.Get others involved.When friends and family ask for gift ideas, parents should suggest that people give to their kids’ college savings plan. As kids get older, they too can contribute to the plan by saving money earned from babysitting or other work.

4)     Make a 529 plan work for you. These college savings plans offer the flexibility to pay for qualified private or public colleges, universities, and graduate schools, as well as vocational and trade schools anywhere in the country. Parents can also use the money in the account for any of their kids or themselves by changing the beneficiary.

5)     Take care of life’s necessities.Give a little to each.Parents should start by setting their priorities and then funding them accordingly. If the goal is a four-year private education, go for a slightly less expensive car or home and direct those savings into a 529 for college and an IRA for retirement. Your savings plan can always be adjusted along the way.

6)     Let T. Rowe Price help.  Parents can call 1-855-529-CHILL to learn more about saving for college or visit www.collegesavingschillout.com.

 

To learn more about the book, visit: CollegeSavingsChillout.com.

WHO:              T. Rowe Price and their book Everybody Freaks Out! But It’s Going To Be Okay.

WHAT:            Free Calming Iced Teas and Book Giveaway

WHERE:          3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, between Broadway and Wilshire Blvd.

WHEN:            July 22, 2014, 12-6pm

 

FYI: I didn’t receive anything for this post, not a free book or even a cup of tea, I’m just helping out a friend.

Fri-toes

shoesI found a cute pair shoes in my closet when cleaning yesterday. 

I thought wow I like these shoes, why havethey been in here so long.

They’re  navy blue they matched jeans with a lot of outfits, they have a cute little bow and they’re really comfortable.

So I wore them today. 

Shopped through Costco, Michaels, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and hit the grocery store to boot. 

When I got home I stepped out of my shoes as I stepped in to my house and immediately remembered why I don’t wear them any more. 

Pee Yew! 

Getting the Washing Up Done: Choosing the Right Dishwasher For Your Kitchen

Any piece of kitchen equipment that reduces time and effort is a welcome addition to the household. I’ve been researching recently on the purchase of a dishwasher and thought I would share my findings with you.

Dishwashers have become increasingly popular since they attracted mass-consumer interest back in the 1970s. Today, around 20 million of these time-saving units are sold each around the world. Available in a range of sizes, you can take your time in choosing a dishwasher so that you can find the one to suit your needs.

Size of family, size of dishwasher

The number of people in your family will make a difference to the size of model you should go for. Thankfully, they come in different sizes, so kitchen space is less of a problem than before. Of course, a slim-line dishwasher means a smaller inner capacity size but there will still be space for around nine place settings, more than large enough for the average family. If you go for a compact unit you’ll still have enough space for four place settings (the fifth place setting might just have to do some washing up!).

Energy efficient concerns

Many people are rightfully concerned about the amount of water and energy a dishwasher will use. The average unit uses no more than one gallon of water per day; hand washing your dishes will result in using five times the amount of water compared to a dishwasher. The newer models are also much more energy efficient than the dishwashers of only a decade ago and most models will be graded and then visibly marked with their energy efficiency ranking. Keep in mind that the more expensive dishwashers are more energy efficient — your investment will be rewarded with lower running costs over the long term.

Taking adequate care of your new dishwasher including regular maintenance should mean your new appliance will last for years. Remember — don’t overload the washer, use a dishwasher cleaner regularly and clean out the filter to extend the lifespan of your machine.