Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Years ago, I chose to stop sending paper cards because of the cost and stress on the environment. Now I make an ecard and thanks to technology I can post it on my blog, on Twitter, on Facebook and email it to my friends and family for FREE! No trees killed, no fossil fuels used, no long line at the post office and I'm still in my pajamas at 1pm. Here is our 2010 holiday ecard - I hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful rest of the year!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Tea By The Sea at Getty Villa

Our knowledgable and friendly docent leads us through the herb & fruit garden of the Getty Villa

The beautiful Getty Villa on the breathtaking PCH in Malibu or Pacific Palisades or Los Angeles or wherever it actually is (my Garmin wasn't sure) is offering a new Mediterranean style afternoon tea called Tea By The Sea. It started last Thursday, December 2 and is offered each week at 1pm, each Thursday. 

I was treated to a preview of this unique tea service which features a menu inspired by the fruits, herbs and vegetables that grow in the Getty gardens. An interesting and enlightening tour is followed by the unique and classy tea service and all I can say is nom nom nom! If you can get away on a Thursday afternoon, you MUST go. It's so delicious, so relaxing, such a beautiful setting - I promise you won't be disappointed. I was going to write more about this, but the fabulous folks from the Getty Villa already summed it all up on their own blog! Read on and make a reservation. You'll be glad you did. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Not Smurfs - Disney. On Ice.

Hi Everyone! I hope you're all recovered from the first round of holiday gorging. I just got back from a quick run and making some fitness goals for myself so I can be ready to eat more for Christmas and New Year's! 

Only two more weeks until my boyfriend, our nanny and my VERY excited 3 yr old daughter go to the new Disney On Ice show, "Let's Celebrate!" I'm really excited for this show. I like almost any entertainment with the Disney brand, but it also has been about 30 years since I've seen any kind of "fillin the blank" on Ice show. In 3rd grade, I saw Smurfs on Ice!! No joke. But I've never seen any of the Disney on Ice shows and I know it will be great. I'm always amazed at how those people skate in those giant, bulky costumes. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Anyway, if you live in SoCal, I have a great family deal for you on tickets! Details are at the end of this post.

This new skating show features over fifty beloved Disney characters and will be at four different venues in SoCal this December and January:

Staples Center - Los Angeles
Dec 15-19

Honda Center - Anaheim
Dec 21-26

Citizens Business Bank Arena - Ontario
Dec 29-Jan 2

Long Beach Arena
Jan 5-9

Here's the special ticket deal - get a special $48 Family Four-Pack offer or $4 savings on ticket prices ($12-$16-$21) for select performances! Regular ticket prices are $16-$21-$25.

Use the code "MOM" at or by phone at 1-800-745-3000, to redeem your savings! Savings to not apply to front row or VIP seats. No double discounts. Service charges and handling fees may apply.

We'll be at Staples center! Hope you and your little ones can make one of the performances too! Happy holidays!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just Call Me Oriental

Lela Lee - You Rock

This morning, an older gentleman came to my house to pick up an electric sander he bought on Craigslist from my boyfriend. I'm such a nice girlfriend that I agreed to risk life and limb and wait for this strange man to show up, pay and take the sander while my boyfriend was at work. So let's call this gentleman, John. Why? Because that was actually his name and even if it wasn't, you'd still probably believe me if I said it was. Lot's of guys named John.

OK, so John looked to be in his early 70s or so and after he plugged in the sander to test it and gave me the cash, he asked me, "Where are you from? Are you Korean?"

OMG!!! Here goes the conversation I've had with one zillion white people who just can't accept the fact that Asian Americans are actually AMERICANS!!! AHHHHH! I try my best to be patient with these folks, but come on. It's 2010. I get it. You fought in the Korean War and I'm grateful for your service to both countries, but does that mean you're still incapable of accepting people of color as Americans 57 years later? If I had an accent, then ok. I think it's a little bit of an excuse to ask someone where they're from. We do that to white people with accents all the time, but I speak English without an accent and any of you know me that my mannerisms, clothing, household, etc are all pretty non-FOBish. I'm clearly an American. Or maybe a Canadian, but we won't open that bag of worms. You get the point. 

Here's the rest of out titillating dialogue:

Amy: Yes. I'm Korean, but I've lived here my whole life.
John: But were you born in Korea?
Amy: Yes, but...
John: Where?
Amy: Seoul but I've been here since I was an infant.
John: I was stationed in Korea in (insert name of Korean city north of Seoul), just north of Seoul. I could tell you were Korean. Most Americans assume that all Orientals look the same, but I can tell the difference (no you can't dude). I lived in Korea and I can tell the features of different nationalities. (WOW! Good for you, cause I sure as hell can't.)
Amy: Well, there are some characteristics, but you can't always tell. Especially Chinese and Korean people since Korean people...
John: Well, Japanese people too because you know Japan occupied Korea for 40 years. (So now he's contradicting himself... you can't tell dude)
(The next section of dialogue was kind of a blur as I was just trying to get him to leave)
Amy: OK, I hope the sander works out for you.
John: You have a nice day now.
Amy: You too. Happy holidays.

Then John got into his non-Oriental truck and drove away.

I'm not going to rant and rave about this exchange, I'm just going to say this one thing: Don't have this discussion with an Asian Americans. It bores the shit out of us. And just for fun - you should all visit this website: Have fun and John, I hope you're enjoying your sander.

Monday, November 22, 2010

There Will Be Blood!

I was slightly devastated today to learn that McNeil-PPC, Inc is discontinuing manufacture of my brand of tampons: o.b. Yes, those freaky little numbers sans applicator. I LOVE these tampons. How do I love them? Let me count the ways...

1) They are way more absorbent and leak proof than any other tampon I've ever tried and since having a child and reaching my late 30s, I bleed like a stuck pig. A stuck pig on its period. TMI? Tough.

2) They are small! Easy to fit into a pocket - even a teeny tiny pocket. I'm an active person and I travel for a living so I don't always want to lug my purse or a giant tampon around with me, like on stage, when I'm snowboarding or running, riding Tower of Terror at Disneyland... you get the idea

3) No applicator - no extra waste! o.b. tampons are the greenest, most eco-friendly tampon you can find. There are other crazy contraptions like sea sponges and cups that are groovy and all, but sometimes, you just gotta jam and let's face it, I bleed like a... well, re-read #1.

So McNeil-PPC, Inc., I damn thee to hell! I hate you for making me love you and then walking out on me. I thought we had something real. I guess I'll just have to go with the flow and find a new slow jam.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Just a quick note to announce the winner of my Screamin Daily Deals and's SoCal Family Connect community Turkey Dinner giveaway... BERNADETTE!! Her blog is Please check out her blog and congratulations!! 

The holiday season is officially off and running! I attended Aubrey's preschool Thanksgiving Feast today which was a ton of fun and I also bought almost everything I need to make holiday gifts. I bake treats every year. Both to keep costs down and to avoid the mass commercialism and mobs at the malls. And I love to bake - so it all works out. I just need a couple more items and I'll be all done with my holiday "shopping"!

Better get back to nagging my three year old. Rest time is a battle these days. She doesn't want to nap anymore, but definitely needs a quiet time. She fights this too, but I have to stick to my guns. I'd be so embarrassed if she turned out to be an axe murderer or something. Ta-ta.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Disney On Ice Is Coming to SoCal! Here's a ticket DISCOUNT CODE!

The holiday season is upon us and that means Disney is in full swing with amazing entertainment for the family! It's no secret that I'm a little obsessed with Disney and I can't WAIT to take Aubrey to the new Disney On Ice show, "Let's Celebrate!" If you live in SoCal, I have a great family deal for you on tickets! Stay tuned...

This new skating show features over fifty beloved Disney characters and will be at four different venues in SoCal this holiday season:

Staples Center - Los Angeles
Dec 15-19

Honda Center - Anaheim
Dec 21-26

Citizens Business Bank Arena - Ontario
Dec 29-Jan 2

Long Beach Arena
Jan 5-9

Here's the special ticket deal - get a special $48 Family Four-Pack offer or $4 savings on ticket prices ($12-$16-$21) for select performances! Regular ticket prices are $16-$21-$25.

Use the code "MOM" at or by phone at 1-800-745-3000, to redeem your savings! Savings to not apply to front row or VIP seats. No double discounts. Service charges and handling fees may apply.

We'll be at Staples center! Hope you and your little ones can make one of the performances too! Happy holidays!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A SoCal Giveaway of Thanksgiving!

I'm THRILLED to announce this very awesome giveaway, made possible by Screamin Daily Deals and The Blog Frog's SoCal Family Connect community

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and that means the holiday season is upon us! This has been a difficult year for our great country and many of us are tightening up our budgets and spending more carefully. Even if your financial status hasn't changed in 2010, I'd be willing to bet you know a family who has experienced job loss, bankruptcy, home loss and more.

Let's get to the good part of this post - I have been given a full turkey or ham holiday dinner, made by the fine people at Bellemente Catering in Santa Clarita Valley, to GIVE AWAY!!! This is a $150 value and the winner gets it for FREE!

What I'm hoping is that people will enter this giveaway and of course, if they are in need, keep it for themselves - but if not, I hope that the winner will donate this fabulous meal to a family in need, or a local organization such as a shelter, half-way house, etc. Be creative and think of what you could do with this meal! I also hope this giveaway will spread awareness of Screamin Daily Deals and the great things they are doing for our local communities... on top of giving us killer deals!

Maybe this giveaway will inspire YOU to buy additional meals through Screamin Daily Deals and give them away! Spread the love this holiday season and feel good about your purchase contributing to local schools and non-profits as well. That's the coolest thing about Screamin Daily Deals!

You can view the details of this holiday dinner here and remember this link is just to see the details of what the dinner includes - you do NOT have to buy the deal!

Here's what you'll get - Serves 8-10 people:
- Choose either a whole, roasted, unsliced turkey OR ham
- Salad
- Mashed potatoes
- Gravy
- Rolls
- Pumpkin pie

Here is the fine print:
- Does NOT have to be use for Thanksgiving or Christmas. This deal doesn't expire until Feb 12, 2011 so you can use it any time before then if you are the winner
- Must place your order 72 hours in advance
- You must pick up the food in Santa Clarita or you can have it delivered within their delivery area for an additional fee
- They are closed on the actual holiday, so if you want this deal for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you will have to get/receive the food the day before and reheat for your holiday meal.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a separate comment for each entry. There are 7 different ways to enter and the first two are mandatory! This giveaway is a short one and will only run through midnight PST on Thursday, Nov 18, 2010:

1) Leave a comment and tell me what you would do with this meal if you win! (mandatory)
2) Register for Screamin Daily Deals - use this link & receive a $5 credit in your account! (mandatory)
3) Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect 
4) Follow me on Twitter
5) Follow my FunnyYellowMom community on TheBlogFrog
6) Follow the SoCal Family Connect community on TheBlogFrog
7) Tweet this giveaway & leave the URL in your comment: 

"Win a FREE Thanksgiving dinner for 10 in SoCal to keep or giveaway! Hurry - ends 11/18!!  (Plz RT)"  

Winner will be selected using and must claim the dinner within 24 hours of being notified via email or I will have to select a new winner. PLEASE be sure I am able to reach you via email or Twitter - leave it in your comments!

Good luck and happy giving!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

SCREAMIN DEALS!!! Quick - they won't last long!

Just a quick note to let you in on two really great deals - one local here in Orange County and one national that you order online from anywhere in the US! BOTH OF THESE DEALS ARE AVAILABLE FOR LESS THAN 4 HOURS NOW - SO HURRY!!!

If you have kids you know that you are required to label a lot of their stuff - clothes, sports equipment, lunch boxes, toys, sippy cups.... the good ol' Sharpie pen can really get a work out and so can your writing arm, but the problem is it does wear off with washing. There's this awesome company called and they make these customizable, adhesive labels that are even water proof! A mom at the mall playground told me about them last year and she swears by them. She labels her kid's sippy cups and runs them through the dishwasher and they stay on! On clothes and they stay on through the wash. Nice!

Now that Aubrey is in pre-school, I do have to label things but have been really lazy about it because it's a lot of work. Now I have a great excuse to try out Here's the deal: 

The SoCal/Orange Country local deal is 50% off admission to the Orange Country Women's Expo on November 21st in Anaheim. I've heard lots of great things about this Expo and here's a chance to get a ticket for only $2.50. AND if you use my link to register with Screamin Daily Deals, you get a $5 credit and that means it's FREE!!!

Have fun and have a great day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hi from Milwaukee, WI

This mama is on the road all week in America's Dairyland; Wisconsin. I have two shows behind me this stretch and four more to go before I head home for a day and a half.

Sadly, I'll be missing my boyfriend's birthday on the 12th and as always, I miss him and my little girl, Aubrey. The comedian does not live a glamorous life nor and easy one. I'm all screwed up on the time changes - especially since daylight savings just ended too - and I haven't been exercising so I don't feel so awesome right now. Tomorrow, I'll get on that. I was bummed when I arrived at my hotel to find out the hotel gym is being remodeled right now. Boo!

But I do get to see the country and sometimes the world. Why, tomorrow I'll be driving to the exciting town of Appleton, WI and then on to La Crosse, Superior and Platteville. WOOT!

It's late - better get to bed. Big day of driving and luggage schlepping tomorrow. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Join Me On SoCal Community on

(Imagine there's a nice photo here... working on it)

Fat announcement: I have just joined the team over at as a community leader for the SoCal Family Connect community! If you're a blogger, you've probably already heard of Blog Frog and you might be aware of what a great tool it is for building your readership, discovering other blogs and connecting with blogger communities all over the place.

There is a team of six SoCal bloggers serving as community leaders and we'll be talking about everything from books, parenting, money, sports, recipes/cooking, entertainment and more. Come join in the discussions and share your thoughts. We want to hear from you and know what YOU think! You'll probably make some new friends too. Awww! 

The Blog Frog's SoCal Family Connect Community is sponsored by Screamin Daily Deals - offering you deep discounts on lots of awesome stuff in your area and then giving part of your money back to local schools and non-profits. Cool way to build community, huh?

Right now, I'm on the road in the midwest and I'm so glad to have a little break from my 3 year old's television shows. If I have to hear The Fresh Beats Band song, "Loco Legs" one more time or have to listen to that skinny white kid "rapping" anymore, I may throw the tv out the window and follow it. What kid shows do you love and hate?

Am I the only one out there who had a little secret crush on Robbie Rotten? I also know all of the Yo Gabba Gabba episodes and I kind of wish I were Super Martian Robot Girl

So come on over the the Frog side and see what we have to offer! I bet you'll get hooked like me - it's kind of like Facebook for bloggers. YIKES!

Aubrey's Mickey Mote Review

Aubrey is ready to get started!

Today Aubrey and I received a new Disney Mickey Mote to try out and Aubrey's review is in!

The Mickey Mote is a preschooler remote control device that allows the viewer to interact with special Disney DVDs in a "Discovery" mode. The lucky preschooler's parent or caretaker gets to program the Micky Mote with the DVD remote and then you are pretty much ready to get started. Also, you are able to play the interactive Discovery mode games with your regular DVD remote arrow buttons.

The Mickey Mote seems fairly simple, and not to brag, but my kid's no dummy, so I thought she'd pick it up quickly. Aubrey is just under 3-1/2 years old and this product is being marketed to children between 2-5 years of age.

She really wanted to "do the star"
Aubrey's first reactions: 
She loved the packaging and couldn't wait to get it out of the box!
She loved the buttons and wanted to "do the star" immediately

There were a couple issues getting started: The Mickey Mote requires 2 AAA batteries which aren't included and I didn't have on hand. I had to charge up our rechargeable batteries and this made Aubrey really antsy having to wait. I popped in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Numbers Roundup DVD but apparently I programmed the buttons in the wrong sequence because I feel the directions weren't written in the best sequence. When we tried to answer the first questions on the DVD, it wasn't reading correctly, so this caused a little more lag time. (see the video)

I had to reprogram it and then we had it right. By this time Aubrey had lost a little bit of interest in answering the questions and simply wanted to watch. She also wasn't very interested in answering the questions correctly, but just wanted to click the characters or pictures she liked the best. Aubrey is a girl with strong opinions, much like her mother.

Aubrey tries it on her own
Now, before I go any further, I should mention that I have the world's CHEAPEST DVD player. It was the cheapest one you can get at Best Buy about 2 years ago, so maybe it's a little slower than others, but Aubrey seemed to be a little impatient waiting for the questions to load and then go back to the cartoon action. It was like a pause, then the question, then a pause before returning to the actual cartoon. I also felt there was a bit too much cartoon in between each question and the questions weren't worded really well for a preschooler. I had to really help Aubrey understand what they were asking. 

One other negative is that even though the remote is easy for little hands to hold, my 3 yr old didn't quite understand the concept of pointing it right at the DVD player to get it to work. Once again, my total piece of doo-doo DVD player might not respond quite as well as others' DVD players, so you might not have a problem with this, but it seemed like it didn't work very well unless it was pointed pretty directly to the player.

Now, for the good part... it's Disney and my kid loves anything Disney. As a test, I started out working with her, helping her answer the questions and prompting her to push the correct buttons and then I let her go and sat back to observe. Once she was doing it on her own, she wasn't getting the answer correct most of the time, but she still enjoyed playing with it and pretending she was doing even more than just answering the actual questions. 

Who doesn't want to see this face on their TV?
She loves Mickey's Clubhouse and really enjoyed watching the DVD, even if the Mickey Mote wasn't quite up her alley. She dances and sings along to the songs and bottom line, I think this will be a lot more fun and appropriate for her several months from now. This is the first kind of "video game" she has been introduced to at home, so I think she'll catch on with a little practice. I'm thinking four and five year olds will really get this right away and for two and three year olds, it's something you and your child will probably have to play with together and learn as you go. Nothing wrong with that.

Just in time for holiday shopping, the new Mickey Mote will be available beginning Nov 16, 2010, packaged in a DVD Play Set with either Mickey Mouse: Clubhouse Numbers Roundup or Handy Manny: Big Construction Job. It retails for around $29.99 and the other Discovery Mode enhanced DVDs are already on the market and ready to use with your new Mickey Mote, including Handy Manny's Motocycle AdventureMickey Mouse Clubhouse Road RallyLittle Einstein's Fire Truck Rocket's Blast Off and six additional titles.

I hope you found this review helpful and happy Mickey Moting everyone! Woohoo!

I was not compensated for this review and I did receive the product to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed on this blog are completely my own. So there.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Raining, It's Snowing, It's The Road

Ball State University Campus - Nov 5, 2010

Just a quick note to say hello from cold, wet, slightly snowy Indiana. I'm in Muncie, IN and was in Fond du Lac, WI last night. I'm so grateful for the work, but this weather blows. I'm really not used to the cold anymore and I'm such a wimp about it, it's pretty pathetic. I'm not sure why anyone gets out of bed in this kind of weather. It makes me want to lie in bed and watch Oprah all day with a box of candy and a cup of tea. OK, I fantasize about this at home in SoCal when it's 100 degrees out, but the cold adds a little something special to the fantasy.

Next week I'll be on the road all week in Wisconsin and I'm sure it will be even colder, but despite the cold, I'm grateful for the work and hanging out with college students reminds me just how old I am, which is always a treat. Tonight, I mentioned to a student at Ball State University that I recently went to my 20th high school reunion and I'm pretty sure I heard her gasp a little bit. 

I'll be making a quick pit stop home this weekend before heading back out for the week and I'm looking forward to seeing my sweetie and my little Aubrey.

I hope you're keeping warm, wherever you are.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fresh Brothers Pizza - Play With Your Food!

Aubrey calls him the "Pizza Guy"

I've heard people talk about Fresh Brothers Pizza but had never been to one. Well, lucky me, a brand spankin' new location just opened in my hood so Aubrey and I went to check out the grand opening!
The artist hard at work
To celebrate the new spot, kids got to decorate their own pizza boxes and then make their own personal pizza. We got to sample the cheese and pepperoni pizza as well and check out the new restaurant.
Doing it all by herself!
Ta-Da! Ready for the oven!
Aubrey had so much fun at this celebration, that she requested to go there for her special treat after her first dentist appointment yesterday! She ate MORE pizza and when we went in to use the bathroom, she was beyond thrilled to find out there was a tv in there. This is pure magic for a three year old. OK, I got a little excited too. 
The finished masterpiece
Fresh Brothers is fresh pizza, salads and wings. Simple and good. Good ingredients equals good food and they also have a full gluten-free menu which I think is so awesome. We are not a gluten-free family, but I know it's a big concern for many families today. The other super cool thing for all you parents out there, is the kids' special pizza sauce that they make - it has several different veggies blended into it and the kids don't even know. It really is delicious!

This is fun!
Click HERE to see their entire menu!
We don't eat out a lot as we are trying to save money spend more time together at home as a family, but this is the kind of place that is fun to go to as a family. The kids get a ball of dough to play with while you wait for your meal, the food is delicious for adults and kids and the prices are reasonable. The walls are also lined with plasma TVs so you can watch Nick Jr, CNN and ESPN all at the same time. 

Fresh Brothers also delivers and there are now five different SoCal locations to choose from: Redondo Beach, Marina Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Westlake Village and Calabasas. 

I was not paid for this post - just got some awesome pizza samples and a child with a messy, happy face. All opinions expressed here are my own. So there.

Goodness is EASY! Now pack your lunch & get outta here...

The good people at Fresh and Easy have come up with a new line of foods called, the GOODNESS line. Why? Because it's just that and to help get the word out I teamed up with Fresh and Easy (my favorite grocery store on the planet, btw) to throw a Goodness party at my house.
Mmmmm... food...
We even had Fresh and Easy Balloons!

The whole point of the Goodness line is to give parents/child caregivers nutritious, easy and affordable options when picking foods for kids. The line includes breakfast cereals, animal shaped mac & cheese, prepackaged fruit, baked chips, kettle corn and more and most importantly they contain no artificial colors, sweetners, flavors or preservatives, no added trans fats or caffeine and no high fructose corn syrup. This is real food your kids will love and many of the items are grab-and-go ready for snacks and lunch bags.
Aubrey & her friend get busy cooking up some more food for the party!

We tested the Goodness products out on my daughter, 3 year old Aubrey, and some of our friends and it was thumbs up all around. The mac and cheese was especially a hit and Aubrey loves the cereals for breakfast or an after school snack. Not gonna lie, so do I.

The happy Goodness testers
School season is in full swing, so if you're a busy mom, make your life a little easier and check out the products. Now go pack that lunch, guilt-free, and eat the rest of the Halloween candy before the kids come home from school. Oh come on, I'm not the only one... right?

Fresh and Easy stores can be found in California, Nevada and Arizona. If you're one of the lucky people to live in these states, here's a link to find a Fresh and Easy near you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Giveaway!

MGM just released the 1968 family classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, on blu-ray DVD and to celebrate, Aubrey and I attended a special screening of the movie at The Grove in Los Angeles. Where we were treated to popcorn, drinks, a Scrumptious Sweet Co. candy bar and even got to see Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes (Truly Scrumptious) in person. To say it was a bit of a childhood dream come true would be an understatement.

Aubrey was thrilled beyond words (um, did you see these lollipop bushes mommy?) and is absolutely hooked on the tittle song. Even if she does pronounce it "Kitty Kitty Bang Bang" it's music to my ears hearing her sing a song from my childhood. 

We did end up leaving shortly after intermission (yes... there's an intermission) because the movie is 144 minutes long - you do the math. My kid is three. But she really did love what she saw and now we own the new blu-ray DVD so we can watch the parts she likes the best, right at home. The DVD also has some great extras like a sing-along, interactive games, Sherman Brothers' demos (the brilliant composers who wrote the music for this movie and other classics like Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and The Aristocrats), Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke and more.

It had been a loooong time since I had seen this movie and I think I like it even more now. So much fun and Dick Van Dyke really is a true icon. However, if you remember the scene when all the dogs run into the Scrumptious Sweet Company factory during the Toot Sweets number, I'm about 100% sure I saw a dog fall from the upper walkway in the background. I'm not kidding. I couldn't stop thinking about it for the rest of the movie. Oy! OK... anyway... Now you need to get the DVD so you can see it, and...

Now you can! The good folks at MGM have given two copies of the new hi-def transfered blu-ray Chitty Chitty Bang Bang DVD for me to giveaway to my blog readers. Here's how to enter the drawing - each one counts as an entry, but be sure to leave a separate comment for each action. It's easier for me to count them this way:

1) Follow my blog on GFC
2) Leave a comment about a memory of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang OR tell me if you haven't seen it yet!
3) Tweet this giveaway - here's something you can copy and paste:
"Enter to win a blu-ray DVD of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on @TheAmyAnderson 's blog: HURRY Ends 11/7! Plz RT!"

Here's the fine print, but I'll actually leave it normal size so you can read it. If you remember this movie, then you're OLD like me... This giveaway will end at midnight PST on Sunday, November 7, 2010. Two recipients will be chosen from the entries, using A shipping address must be received from the recipient within 24 hours of notification or a new recipient will be chosen.

I was not compensated to write this review. I did receive copies of the DVD as a gift and giveaway items and attended a screening of the DVD to facilitate my review. So there. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

XBox KINECT & Somehow, I Missed Beckham...

Lee and Aubrey are ready to Kinect!

Earlier this year, I told you about the new Kinect for Xbox 360. We got to attend the super cool unveiling event presented by XBox and Cirque du Soleil. As if things couldn't get cooler, last weekend we got to attend the Xbox 360 and Elizabeth Glaser's Pediatric AIDS Foundation's official launch party for Kinect. 
Held at a swanky modern pad in the Beverly Hills Hills, we were treated to a live performance by Burnhamdelicious eats, sweets and, of course, GAMES! 

Aubrey got to frolic and play catch with a tiger cub on Kinectimals and cut a rug with her bestie, Isabella, to Lady Gaga's Poker Face with Dance Central (see the video below)!

There were also mini-makeovers for the older girls, a coloring station for the younger kids and airbrush tattoos for everyone! Aubrey chose a purple and pink cupcake tattoo... because she's bad-ass like that.
Aubrey & Isbella chillin with Kinectimal plushes
Also, apparently David Beckham was there and I didn't even see him. See, I told you... cool. The party. Not me.

The holiday gift buying season is coming up and if you're an Xboxer, you can keep up with current Kinect news and info in several different ways:

Twitter: @Xbox and @Microsoft
Xbox 360 Kinect Experience Tour:

Happy gaming everyone!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Totally Bear Naked

Aubrey LOVES this stuff!

And so does Gene Simmons
A couple weeks ago I received a lovely package of goodies from the folks at Bear Naked. I knew them for their awesome granola, but they have just put out a new line of trail mixes and COOKIES that are really quite fab.

We sampled the Chocolate Cherry and Pecan Apple Flax trail mixes and the Double Chocolate Soft-Baked Cookies and we love it all! We are people on the go and I also pack a lunch for Aubrey every weekday morning now. When I ask her what she wanted in her lunch bag the other morning, she grabbed the box of cookies and said. "These please!" Aubrey gives the

cookies a thumbs up. They taste a bit like a brownie met up with a cookie and they made a baby. A soft, healthy, chocolatey baby. Who wouldn't want to eat THAT baby?

The cookies also come in Fruit and Nut and the trail mix also comes in Cranberry Protein.

So here comes the no kidding part... Bear Naked foods are made with all natural ingredients, and I swear to you that you can read and pronounce every ingredient on the label. Ingredients like cranberries, cherries, whole grain oats, brown rice syrup, oat bran, etc. Absolutely NO: HFCS, artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, cholesterol, hydrogenated oils or trans fats.

I'm not a complete health nut, but I'm probably more ingredient label conscious than most and certainly started choosing more carefully in the grocery store aisles after my kiddo started eating solid food. I was blessed with a healthy child and I'd like to do my best to keep her that way, so we do what we can here without going too crazy. The Bear Naked products are a really simple way to add some healthy snacks into our everyday lives. I've been eating their granola for a while now, so I'm pretty stoked about the new stuff. Did I mention COOKIES?! HECK YEAH!

Price for these products are $2.99 for a 4.5 oz bag of trail mix and $3.19 for a box of 8 cookies. It's a decent deal and if you join the DEN, which is Bear Naked's online club-y type of deal, you get a 5% discount when you purchase from their website.

One more super cool thing about this company that I'd like to mention - Bear Naked has partnered with TerraCycle. This means you can mail in your empty Bear Naked bags and boxes and TerraCycle will upcycle them into groovy new products, like tote bags, shower curtains, umbrellas and more! You earn points for every piece you send in and can cash out your points for gear lik reuseable shopping bags or t shirts. Or you can form a brigade of folks within an organization and receive .02 per bag for your group.

Enjoy and eat healthy! Sometimes. Don't go insane on me though. OK? Happy Halloween. :)

I was not compensated for this review and an opinions expressed here are my own. I did receive free samples of Bear Naked products to facilitate my review. So there.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

DISNEYLAND!! Family Fun... Even In The Rain!

Here's our whole crew with Minnie Mouse!

My brother, sister-in-law and nephew, David, recently came to for their first family visit to SoCal, so naturally, Aubrey and I joined them in a day at Disneyland and a day at California Adventure.

I am fortunate to be invited to a fair amount of Disney events and shows, but this is the first time I went to Disneyland and California Adventure just for the sake of going. This is also my first official review of Disneyland and California Adventure and I'm not putting it lightly when I say, man did we have fun!
Sampling the rides in Tomorrowland
My Aubrey is 3 and her cousin, David, is 4-1/2. They are terrific playmates and are both old enough now to really make a day at Disneyland a full, memorable experience filled with activities and rides that are just right for them.

We definitely had favorites together and apart. David being a little older and less fearless than my sensitive little girl, rode Pirates of the Caribbean TWICE and loved it. Here is the dialogue post rides:

David: Auntie Amy! Guess how many times I rode Pirates of the Caribbean!!
Me: How many? Twice?!
David: NO! I rode it TWO times!

He was pretty darn impressed with that ride.
I think Fantasyland is Aubrey's favorite!
And they didn't even fight over who got to make Dumbo go up and down!
Aubrey was really in love with King Arthur's Carousel and David and Aubrey got to do several rides together like Dumbo the Flying Elephant and the iconic "Teacups". 

Two really special things happened for Aubrey on this day in Disneyland: we got front row viewing for the opening for Sleeping Beauty's Castle when the band plays and the characters come out to dance. They invited some children to come up and dance with Alice and the Mad Hatter and some older kids beat Aubrey to the punch. She was sadly turning to walk back to me when Donald Duck noticed her and quick grabbed her hand. She got to dance alone with Donald Duck during the entire song and that cast member's quick thinking made a super special memory for my little girl rather than a sad one. We were both so happy! I caught it on video too:

The other really special thing that happened was we got to sit right up front for the night time Celebration parade down Main Street (we waited alost 40 minutes to get a good seat on a Mon night) and Aubrey got to dance with the characters and dancers, play a drum and lead a conga line! She also got hugs from Goofy and Pluto. It was such a fun time! I also caught this moment on video and then accidentally deleted it from my iPhone, gone forever. Wahhh. Oh well. At least it happened. 

Cheese Spoiler: At the risk of sounding like a TOTAL cheese ball, as a mom, I can't really describe how great it feels to watch your child experience something magical. To a three year old, these moments are unbelievable and bigger than life. The excitement and joy in her face is something I'll never forget and I hope she remembers some of it too. 

I think the most exciting moment for me of our day at Disneyland was taking Aubrey on her first real roller coaster ride in Toontown! It's a little bigger than a kiddie coaster with a decent sized hill and fast turns and twists. I wasn't sure if it would be too much for her, so I put my arm around her, but she LOVED it and begged to ride it again. We didn't have time as it was late in the day and we had to get ready for our big day at California Adventure and the Mickey And Friends Character Breakfast the next morning.
Now that's a kid friendly waffle
Doing a character meal is something I probably wouldn't have thought of as a local. You just zip down to the OC, hit the parks and head home. But since we had out of town family with us, they thought it would be fun to try a character breakfast before hitting the California Adventure park. I'm not gonna lie, it's a little spendy, but it was totally worth it. For one child and adult, it cost us an even $50 with gratuity included, but we definitely got bang for our buck.

All together now: AWWWWWW!

Disney has a reputation for doing things right and they certainly didn't fail us this time. While the food was good and nothing really special, it was an all-you-can-eat buffet and there was a good variety of healthy and indulgent including Mickey Mouse waffles, eggs, potatoes, fruit, pastries, cereals, etc. However, the whole point of doing a character dining experience is to meet the costumed characters up close and get to take photos, hug, high five them and dance with them. It's the perfect way to dine with a kid because periodically throughout the meal time, a cast member comes out and introduces different characters and leads activities for the kids like dance parties, rug surfing, hula hoops and more. 

I was also SUPER lucky to discover that the cast member running the Surf's Up themed activities is a friend of mine, Reggie De Leon! He was so great and made sure Aubrey and her cousin got an amazing experience. I could tell he really loves his job and he has the perfect demeanor for kid friendly fun. He's such a sweet guy!
With my friend, Reggie at the Mickey and Friends Breakfast!
After an exciting morning of frolicking with Mickey, Minne, Pluto, Stitch California Adventure is really cool, although there are some parts under construction right now which makes it not quite as easy to navigate, HOWEVER, I believe they are building a new Pixar Cars area which should be awesome for the little ones. 

The biggest problem of our day at California Adventure was the weather. Of course my relatives came all the way from MN to get rained on in SoCal. Oh well. We still had a blast, but my kid does not enjoy being cold or wet. Cold AND wet is a real problem, so there was a lot of whining and crying during the morning.

On a positive note though, we did some indoor things that we might have overlooked had it been sunny. Aubrey and I ducked out of the rain to catch the Playhouse Disney show which was perfect for her. We saw Handy Manny, Mickey and Friends and the Little Einsteins come to life with music and dancing and Aubrey went nuts when bubbles came down from the ceiling and confetti fell at the end. Your preschooler will dig this show. I'm not kidding.

We also checked out the Muppets 3D show which I loved (until Aubrey decided Sweetums was too scary so we had to leave) and my nephew really enjoyed too.

After that, we got a break in the rain so we took the kids to A Bug's Land for the kiddie rides and we also made it over to Paradise Pier for more rides and a bite to eat. The California Screamin' roller coaster is really a great ride. I'm a roller coaster enthusiast and this one is on my list of favorites for the blast up the hill and the smoothness of the track. 
On Heimlich's Chew Chew Train at California Adventure
My brother's family and I split up for a bit since Aubrey was just an inch too short for some of the rides. It was at this point that I took Aubrey back to A Bug's Land to ride the ladybug ride when we got drenched. A literal downpour hit us while we were on the ride and Aubrey was miserably cold. I had to leave the park early anyway as I had a red eye flight to Wisconsin that night, so we decided to hit the road. I ran Aubrey, in her stroller, through the rain back to our hotel about a mile away (she's lucky her mommy is a runner) and the good people at the Alpine Inn were very helpful in lending me towels to dry off and letting me change my child in the lobby. 

Even with the rain, we had so much fun, but I don't think I'll take Aubrey back to California Adventure until she grows an inch. She was pretty bummed she was too short for some of the kid's rides, like the Jumpin' Jellyfish and Soarin' Over California . She keeps asking me when she'll be big enough to ride them and at the rate she's growing, we should be good to get our Jellyfish on by the spring. Unfortunately, we had to skeedaddle before the much talked about World Of Color show, but my brother's family got to see it and they said it was awesome. Many of my mom blogger friends have seen it too and they all say it's amazing. Fortunately, my boyfriend and I will be heading to California Adventure sans three year old, in a couple weeks and we are really looking forward to a grown up day of amusement park frolic, including the World Of Color show!

I can't recommend a family trip to Disneyland enough. Yes, the hype is true. It is "The Happiest Place On Earth" and magical things really do happen. Also, I know in this economy, it can be hard for families to afford a trip to Disneyland, but one money saving hint for those of you from out of town, the hotel that Aubrey and I stayed in is one of the best kept Disney adjacent secrets in Anaheim and I'm about to share it with you...

The Alpine Inn!! So inexpensive and nice, quiet and clean. No frills and the "continental breakfast" is coffee, juice and Little Debbie Snack Cakes but it is all you need to get you close to the parks. The Alpine Inn is a goofy looking little log cabin-y motel with fake snow on the roof, just around the corner from the Disneyland main entrance. It is a decent 10-15 minute walk over and according to Yahoo maps it is .87 miles from the entrance. The staff is kind and knowledgable and our room was really comfy. Seriously, it was cleaner than many 3-4 star hotels I've stayed in and we paid $30-$90+ less than all the other walking distance hotels I called that week. Come on, isn't this picture worth a thousand words?
Dreaming of Flying Elephants and Spinning Teacups!

We are so happy with our experience and Aubrey really can't wait to go again. She talks about Disneyland and California Adventure all the time now - even the parts that were a little scary for her are sort of fun to reminisce about - and I know we will be back to visit soon. I hope you and your family get an opportunity to visit the Magic Kingdom too!