Used is in the Eye of the Beholder

My car has died.  2001 Honda Accord (purchased new by Kathy) with 160,000 miles led a good life and may possibly be revived by someone with more money and patience than I am willing to give.  Godspeed.


Ok, technically it isn’t new.  It is a 2014 Chevy Captiva Sport LTX with 9,000 miles.  Since they are fleet and rental cars you can only buy them used.  So for the price of a “new” Basic model car I bought a slightly used LUXURY model.  Yup, this car has the works; Leather Heated seats, rain sense wipers, navigation system, reclinging rear seats (I KNOW!) etc.

I have been car shopping for a while and had planned on making a purchase decision after the Los Angeles Auto Show at the end of this month.  But the death of the Accord pushed everything up.  I started vigorously looking for a used car and ended up finding a Tiguan at CarMax in San Diego.  With the clikc of a computer mouse and a reassurance from the sales rep Jenny, the Tiguan was on it’s way to me.  When the Accord died I had to rent a car.  I rented a Captiva and fell in love.  When I test drove the Tiguan it just didn’t fit.  I wasn’t as comfortable in it as I was in the Captiva and I knew I had to change my mind.  Feeling relaxed with Jenn, we talked about the beauty of St.Petersburg (she is from Moscow) and even though she had the Tiguan brought up from San Diego to Burbank for me to test drive, she in no way pressured me or made me feel bad for not choosing to buy it.

Both Marisa and Adam purchased cars from CarMax before but this was my first experience.  If I find myself in need again I will be sure to go back.  From the ease of browsing their lot (all cars are unlocked so you can climb in and around) without someone following you around or hounding you to take a test drive made this experience a smooth one for me.

Below is a slideshow of my new car.  Note the liscense plate.  Anyone recognize the letters?  Caitlyn did right away!

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All Hail King Julien

King Julien_001_S1E2The world’s biggest party animal is getting ready to ascend to the throne in DreamWorks Animation’s ALL HAIL KING JULIEN, an all-new Netflix original TV series.  The first five 22-minute episodes will be available to Netflix members in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, UK, Ireland, the Nordics, Benelux and France to watch instantly beginning on Friday, Dec. 19.

Long before the Zoosters arrive on Madagascar, King Julien holds court – not to mention nightly revelries – over a colorful cast that includes fan favorites Mort and Maurice, along with a host of all-new jungle dwellers as they take on the craziest adventures and wildest parties the jungle has to offer.

Keeping tune with the dance-crazed taste of its lead character, the humor of ALL HAIL KING JULIEN is backed by a pulse-pounding original score that includes a brand-new, infectiously upbeat theme song.  The series features a talented voice cast that includes television legend Henry Winkler (Happy Days) as Julien’s regal predecessor, Uncle King Julien, alongside Emmy-winning actor Danny Jacobs as King Julien, Andy Richter (ConanArrested Development) as Mort, Kevin Michael Richardson (Family Guy) as Maurice, and India de Beaufort (One Tree Hill) as Clover, the king’s special-ops expert.

ALL HAIL KING JULIEN joins the hit series Turbo FAST in a growing lineup of Netflix original animated productions from DreamWorks Animation.  By the end of 2016DreamWorks Animation will debut 10 additional new series on the world’s leading Internet TV Network.

“The combination of comedy, original music and stories of simple lemur life turned upside-down and fabulous by King Julien makes this series unique,” said Margie Cohn, head of television for DreamWorks Animation. “All Hail King Julien is really a showcase for our talented artists to bring the Netflix audience the great storytelling, compelling characters and fantastic design that is the hallmark of DreamWorks Animation.”

 “We are excited to add a series focused on one of the most beloved characters from Madagascar to our growing line-up from DreamWorks Animation,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content, Netflix.  “King Julien knows how to throw a great party and we expect families around the world will enjoy spending their holidays with him.”

New 22-minute episodes of ALL HAIL KING JULIEN will debut throughout the coming year.


Attention Walmart Shoppers

I am an early shopper.  I like starting my Holiday shopping right after Halloween, if not before (yes I already have a bunch of stocking stuffers in my closet that I bought back in June).  Walmart agrees.  Below is an infographic with a ton of savings throughout the month of November


Modern Family’s Fall for All

modern family

This Sunday, October 26, 2014 from 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM Fox11 LA is offering Modern Family’s Fall for All, a day of family-friendly, Fall-themed event.  A unique, family-friendly Halloween event takes over The Grove. Families will be treated to a free, immersive Halloween experience complete with an interactive corn maze and pumpkin patch. The larger than life corn maze will be over 60’ long and stand 8’ tall. As guests journey through the corn maze, they will be met with several activities that allow them to test their “Modern Family” knowledge, retrieve iconic show clips through an augmented reality experience, and strike a pose before exiting into a pumpkin patch full of surprises.

The event will have numerous photo- and video-friendly opportunities for families including:

  • A 20’ Gallery Wall chronicling iconic show clips and quotes from “Modern Family.” Maze-goers are in for a treat as some pictures are loaded with app generated image enhancements!
  • An oversized, carved pumpkin sitting at the head of the pumpkin patch surrounded by hundreds of art pumpkins
  • Complimentary face painting station

Numerous partner activities, and giveaways, including but not limited to:

  • KIND‘s ‘Make-a-Flower’ wall, a fun-filled activity benefiting the local children’s hospital plus plenty of healthy snacks
  • An exclusive sneak peek at The North Face’s newest winter line of coats, because it’s never too early to start preparing for the cold
  • Hershey’s will be featuring favorite Halloween candy give-aways

Sprinting for a Sport

SamsungI participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf Influence Central for Sprint. I received a thank you item for participating in this program

A Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport that is.

Recently I attended an event at Sprint courtesy of MomCentral.  The focus was on the new Samsung Galazy S 5 Sport phone and the Sprint Fit Live app on their phones.  I was impressed.  I switched from a Blackberry to an iPhone almost 2 years ago and although I am happy enough with my phone choice, I have been considering a switch to an Android phone in the future.

Some facts about the S 5:

  • Exclusive to Sprint
  • On the new Sprint Spark super-fast network
  • Water and dust resistant (not “proof” but resistant)
  • A textured body makes it easier to hold and prevents it from slipping from the hand
  • Three hard keys so it’s easier to operate when active
  • With Samsung’s Activity Zone, users can access a variety of preloaded content, including a barometer, compass, flashlight and stopwatch from a single screen
  • Price: With Sprint Easy Pay it costs $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $27.09 OR $200 with a 2 year contract (MSRP: $649.99)
  • Other perks with purchase including:
  • Free year of MapMyFitness
  • Free Sprint Fit Live
  • Free 6 or 3 months Spotify Premium
  • $50 off Samsung Gear Fit

Gear FitWhen partnered with the Samsung Gear Fit you can get all of your data from exercise, to sleep to eating habits all together.  They were made for each other.  Literally.

Some facts about the Gear Fit:

  • Right now, you can save $50 instantly on the GearFit when you buy the Samsung Galaxy S® 5 Sport or other Galaxy smartphone .
  • NOW just $99.99
  • Track your steps. Set a personal best with real-time coaching.
  • First-ever built-in heart monitor that responds to your touch.
  • Reject phone calls and dismiss alarms with a simple tap. View emails and SMS messages.
  • Customize your own alerts – even from third-party apps.
  • Dustproof and water-resistant
  • Wear it during your workout. Take it on your walk
  • Interchangeable bands
  • The light, curved 1.83″ Super AMOLED® display rests comfortably on your wrist.

We had a fitness coach do a demonstration for us and show us how you can set up the Gear Fit as a coach to remind you when you are not reaching your goals.  It will vibrate as an incentive for you to keep moving.  It measures not only your steps and activity but your heart rate as well.  Invasive or intuitive?  Up to you.

sprint fit liveBoth devices report to the Sprint Fit Live app which is always on the front page of your phone right at your fingertips.

  • Sprint Fit Live helps customers live the healthy lifestyle they want by delivering smart, contextual health content when they need it.
  • Fitness tracking, education, and healthy living content is displayed on the lock screen, wallpaper, or a full screen experience.
  • Sprint Fit Live gives customers instant access to their favorite fitness applications and activities, delivers relevant content and information and integrates with their Spotify playlist.
  • Key features include the ability to:
    • Track, monitor, and share workout activity with MapMyFitness MVP (available through the Google Play™), which includes such premium content as customized audio coaching, training plans, live tracking and more.
    • Access Spotify Workout playlists (hundreds of hundreds of workout-themed playlists ) with free Spotify premium for six months for customers who are on Sprint Family Share Pack and $60 Unlimited and Simply Unlimited customers (up to $7.99/month for the next 18 months). Normally $9.99/month ; 3 months free for all other
    • Sprint customers Live the Healthy Lifestyle by receiving updated smart, contextual health and fitness content.
    • Customize the look and feel of fitness tracking, education, music and healthy living content displayed on the wallpaper or full screen experience.

All of these together is like having a personal trainer without having the smelly gym.  Will I switch?  I don’t know yet, my upgrade is in about 6 moths.  I have been a Sprint customer for over 10 years and I know that won’t change.


Not So Wordless Wednesday – Back To……

Most of my colleagues will show pictures about their kids going back to school, but my kids are grown and the grands have been in school for almost a month already.  So, for me it is “Back to Life, Back to Reality”.

photo (9)I’ve taken on more responsibilities at work and am now on a salary instead of hourly.  I have dropped almost all of my blog responsibilities and am concentrating solely on the rink.  So if you don’t see me around for a while this is where you can find me.



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.


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.



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.


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 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 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 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 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 “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:


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, is participating in state sales tax holidays where allowed by local law. More information about state sales tax holidays is available at

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.