raised by culture

raised by culture: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Moving Is Stressful - Let Cablemover.com Help You!

Moving is one of those things in life people hate doing.  Me included.  In January, my Husband Chris & I came home from my prenatal appointment to find the front door of our apartment open.  A pipe burst in our bathroom and flooded the whole place.  It was a nightmare.  I was 7 months pregnant and on the verge of tears.  Thank goodness the Property Manager had a vacant apartment and let us move upstairs.

Moving takes a lot of work, it's both tedious and physical.  For most people, it can be stressful so let Cablemover.com help make your life a little easier.  Cablemover helps make the transition from one home to another in just one visit - You can change your address, find moving quotes, schedule to disconnect and reconnect your phone, internet and cable.  I really wish I knew about Cablemover in January!  It would've made that week of my pregnant life so much better!!!
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Disney Parks Blog - Cars Land Preview

A couple weeks ago, I was trolling Twitter like I always do and saw that Disneyland would be announcing their next meetup in 30 minutes.  I stalked their Twitter, kept refreshing, 3pm passed and no announcement.  I was getting antsy, Duke wanted my attention, the baby was up for a feeding and I waved my Husband off like I needed to concentrate.  I was on it.  After I hit send on the email, I started freaking out and wondering if I did everything right.

And I did!  I was one of the 33 invited guests to preview Cars Land!  We were allowed to each bring in 1 guest (33 x 2 = Route 66!) and I decided to take Duke because I wanted to spend time with him to show him that he is still important after the birth of his baby brother.  He was so excited!  
No cameras allowed inside!
There was a table set up outside the Disney California Adventure gates and we checked in a little before 5pm.  People kept asking what the sign-up for was and one Mega-Fan actually approached me and offered $300 for our spots.  I told him, "No, Thank you." - I mean really, how would that make me look to my 6 year old that I promised?  

Security was super tight.  It was a long walk from the gates to Blue Sky Cellar where we checked in our electronic devices and signed out headsets to listen on the tour.  We sat down to watch the Cars land promo video - it was interesting.  After the video, Duke and I took a look at the models.  It seemed to take forever waiting for all the guests to show up.  Since I didn't have my Droid, I had no idea how long we were in there but it felt like a good hour.  

Erin Glover - Disney Anaheim's Social Media and Print Manager gathered us around and told us that we would be split into groups of 2 led by Imagineers Kathy Mangum (Executive Producer and VP Disney Imagineering) and Kevin Rafferty, Sr. (Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Concept Writer/Director) - This is when I realized what a once in a lifetime opportunity we were given.  What an honor!  

Walking into Radiator Springs was magical.  There is no other way to explain it.  All of us adults were cheering and Duke was clapping his hands.  Seeing Cadillac Range was breathtaking.   After taking it all in, we took a group photo.  Since Duke was the only kid he got us right in the front next to Kathy and Kevin!  Our group was led by Kevin and he had the best stories.  Walking down Route 66 and stopping at the corner of Cross Street was memorable.  When will I ever get the chance to stand on that corner with less than 100 people?  Probably never.  

Duke & I got to preview Cars Land Yesterday :)
Other highlights: The flowers outside of Luigi's are made out of car parts, Luigi's Flying Tires ride looks amazing (Duke was sad we didn't get to ride it), Sally's Cozy Cones are HUGE!  Duke was sad that none of those food stands were open.  Kevin commented that the Chili Cone Queso is AMAZING.  You can also peek in Sally's office and there was a little Buzz holding a cone up.  Cute.  Flo's Diner looks sweet in it's 50s glory.  Kevin said that there will be Coca Cola BBQ Sauce.  Doc's clinic is cool, I liked the x-ray and eye chart.  Kevin commented that Ramone listens to War & Malo.  That made me laugh.  Cali is cultured, baby! 

We got to ride Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.  It looks innocent enough but it really whips you around.  My advice: Hang onto the bar or you will slide and smash each other.  

After the ride, we said thanks and headed back to Blue Sky Cellar to pick up our things.  And to my surprise we were given gifts!  I was blown away by the gifts.  We each got a Cars Land drawstring bag, Disney Parks Blog pin and tin sign Mater's Junkyard Jamboree mounted on wood with a small plaque commemorating the night.  IT IS AWESOME.
Gift from Disney : Cars Land PreviewGift from Disney : Cars Land Preview
CARS LAND Officially Opens on June 15th, 2012!

We finished up around 730pm and invited to enjoy California Adventure and meetup again at 9pm to view World of Color from a reserved section.  Duke wanted an ice cream and to hang out in A Bug's Land - we had such a good time!  We debated watching World of Color but it was getting late on a school night and we were missing the baby.  We jumped on Ariel's Undersea Adventure and called it a night.  

After the Cars Land PreviewAfter the Cars Land Preview

I'm not greedy with information - If you want in on special events...

Disclosure: Duke & I were invited guests along with 64 others for reading Disney Parks Blog.  All opinions are my own.  

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Time for a Snackle Mouth Review and Giveaway!

I was excited at the opportunity to review Snackle Mouth Granola Nut Clusters.  EXCITED.  You know why?  Cause they offer Bacon Maple as a flavor!  And it's healthy.  Snackle Mouth is all healthy. And GOOD.  I'm sitting here watching the Celtics vs. 76ers game, sampling all the flavors and not sharing.

Snackle Mouth Snackle Mouth
Snackle Mouth comes in 5 flavors: Bacon Maple, Salty Chocolate, Almond Maple Pecan, Almond Berry and Peanut Cranberry.  Snackle Mouth combines all organic and natural ingredients, has no refined sugar, no trans-fat and is low glycemic.  And the packaging is awesome.  I'm a fan of packaging.  You can tell that the 3 guys named "John" (who I shall refer to as The Creators) really thought about this product.

My favorite is Bacon Maple - the bacon flavor isn't overpowering and the rest of the ingredients shine: Almonds, Blue Agave, Oats, Oat Bran, Brown Rice Syrup, Pecans, Canola Oil, Sea Salt, Natural Maple Flavor and Natural Vitamin E.  
Snackle Mouth Bacon Maple

My next favorite is Almond Berry - I would have lived on this during my pregnancy!  I could see myself keeping this in stock, it's the perfect snack: tasty, filling and light.  It's ingredients are: Almonds, Blue Agave, Oats, Oat Bran, Brown Rice Syrup, Dried Cranberries, Dried Blueberries, Canola Oil, Sea Salt and Natural Flavors.

Snackle Mouth retails for $4 each and can be found via Snackle Mouth's Store at Abe's Market.  Shipping is FREE!

And because Snackle Mouth is awesome - I'm giving away 5 Assorted boxes!
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Father's Day Giveaway: Burn Notice & White Collar

In honor of Father's Day (It's creeping up - Mark your calendars June 17th) - I'm giving away (1) copy of Burn Notice Season 5 or (1) copy of White Collar Season 3 (2 different Winners!) - Courtesy of: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment!  

I love my Pops!  One way he relaxes is by watching TV.  I got into several TV Series because of him so I had to ask... What is your Dad's favorite TV Show?  

BURN NOTICE Season 5 and WHITE COLLAR Season 3
Feel the Heat on DVD June 5

Temperatures rise when USA Network’s hit shows BURN NOTICE Season 5 and WHITE COLLAR Season 3 explode on DVD June 5th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Take home two of TV’s sexiest special agents and experience the action, adventure and danger all over again with never-before-seen footage and special features. 
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Talenti Plastic Jar x DIY Brown Sugar Scrub

Carol's Daughter Brown Sugar Scrub is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
But I'm cheap and I really dislike paying $34 for a 12 oz. jar.  It's worth it but it's not a luxury I have anymore having a newborn and three other growing boys. Who all love clothes.  And shoes.  

So last year, I googled DIY Brown Sugar Scrub and found a few recipes but always lagged on finding the right container.  I finally found a cute jar but it was glass and when I got home, I realized glass in the shower just wouldn't work.    

And then a few weeks ago, by the power of persuasion aka Instagram... I saw Sea Salt Caramel Talenti Gelato on my feed and had to try it.  It was sooo delicious but the container was just as sweet.  I knew it would be perfect to finally make brown sugar scrub!

Brown Sugar Scrub Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
1 teaspoon essential oil ( use whatever scent you want )
( You can also add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and/or 1 tablespoon honey.  I hear Vitamin E oil is great too. )

DIY Brown Sugar Scrub
Combine oils, add brown sugar, mix well.

That was easy!  I read you can use olive oil or EVOO - that's entirely up to you.  I purchased a 16 oz. bottle of sweet almond oil ($7.99) and 1 oz. of peppermint oil ($5.59) on eBay from GNC with free shipping.  I already had brown sugar and I recycled the jar.  So for about 8 ounces of sugar scrub I spent about $3 vs. $34!  The only smell that exists is the peppermint but it's really faint.  If you are wondering why I chose peppermint, it's because I read it's good for headaches and wanted to have multiple uses for it.

Update: I found C & H Washed Raw Sugar and it is so much bigger/thicker than Brown Sugar!  Love it!  
Recycling Talenti container :)
I already scrubbed my feet down and made Chris feel 'em - he said they were so soft!  And they are, I feel like I got an hour foot rub at the spa!    
This would make a great gift!  And since it's that time of the year - great for teachers and Father's Day!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

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Disclosure: I paid for all of the above items out of my own pocket.  The opinions stated are my own.  The links in this post are not affiliated.  

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kids' Book Exchange

I'm good friends with one of the Moms at Duke's school and she sent me a letter in March about participating in a Kids' Book Exchange.  I was all for it because my Husband and I are advocates for print.  We've been slowly stockpiling books to save for our future grandchildren.  Not that we're ready for grandchildren yet, just saying!

Duke loves books too and can't stop collecting 'em!  We started taking him to Barnes & Noble when he was a toddler and would read to him in the Children's section.  We've also made it a habit to take him to the local library where we let him choose 10 books to borrow, it's a great lesson in responsibility.  I think my Husband & I enjoy this outing maybe more than he does.  We've been lucky to find great books while out thrifting too.  We need to keep brick & mortar bookstores alive and not let print die!

The book exchange is kinda chain letter-ish and I was skeptical but gave it a go.  You print the letter 12 times - 6 of those letters you fill out and send it with 6 blank letters, you then take those sets and mail 'em to 6 of your friends.  You buy 1 book and send it to the first person on the original letter and then you wait for your 6 books to come in.  Duke received 2 books for only sending 1 out, not bad for being a skeptic, eh?!  Even though we didn't get six books, we're happy we participated.  And it was fun getting mail!  

Kids' Book Exchange

Some tips:

  • Make sure the friends and family you choose to send letters to are the type to participate!  No one likes a flake!
  • Ask around on your social networks if you don't know 6 people to do this with you!
  • Don't have time but still want to participate? Buy on Amazon!  
  • On a budget but still want to participate? Buy from a thrift store or send one of your childrens' gently used books! ( Reuse!)  
I typed up the Kids' Book Exchange letter and you can find it here.  Or you can check out a different letter at Swenson Style.  Enjoy!    

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Recognize Sunshine.

Showing love to dope stuff I came across this week!

I love Tokidoki!  I was lucky enough to meet Simone Legno years ago when Kidrobot was still in Santa Monica and several bags later, the love for Tokidoki lingers on.  I saw a tweet from @tokidoki about Gnarly Gnails and flipped out at how awesome these are.  Love 'em Missy!

I have been dying to do something like this forever, Jeran of Oleander and Palm nailed it.  

Possibly the greatest site ever.  I had to share Ryan Gosling but you have to peek at Will Smith Cholafied.  For reals!

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Today's Scores

It's been a busy week thrifting.  And I actually plan on penning another post about our 6 year old's thrifting adventure.  He's a natural!

If you haven't heard, I'm giving away 2 Vintage Children's Books!  There are very low entries so I hope you enter!  

I come across Polaroid cameras all the time when out thrifting but have never bought one because prices are outrageous or in bad condition.  This one was in perfect condition and was only .98!  Been looking for a Polaroid camera! #Thrifted this one for .98!

I never used to see Pyrex and I was lucky enough to score 3 bowls in one week!  They were $2.95 each
#Thrifted #Thrifted #Thrifted
One of the rules of thrifting is: If you see something you want, buy it because it won't be there again.
That being said, I was surprised this children's book was still in the store after a month.  I passed on it because I was told it was $3.99 then, I happened to ask again last week and was now told it was $1.99 - Score!
This photo album is MASSIVE.  The pages are made to fit 8 x 10 photos.  I happened to see one at an antique mall a couple months ago and the asking price was upwards of $50.  There's a retail sticker in inside the album for $50.  Planning on using this on an art collaboration with Chris!
This photo album is massive.  Was $50 in the 70s
Found these adorable vintage pieces!  Possibly for our little one.  He has a few years to go but couldn't pass these up!  Both of the shirts were under a $1 each!
Our teenage sons love when we find them their favorite brands.  This Obey shirt was $2.95!  #Thrifted

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On a Sunday Afternoon...

Omar turned the big one month yesterday and he was cranky as ever last night...
We think he gets that way when we take him out in the day.  Chris & I have always been busy bees so we figured that we'd take him out every couple of days to get him used to our routine but he's not having it.  I had to finish my last paper of the Spring Semester (Hallelujah!) by midnight tonight so Chris took Duke out for the day so I could concentrate on "organizational structures" and to give our little baby some quiet time.  It worked like a charm, Omar slept the whole day and I was able to get so much done!  

Chris did some grocery shopping and brought home tons of fruit so I made Mexican Fruit Salad aka Street Fruit Salad - You know, chunks of fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, cucumber and watermelon with fresh squeezed lime juice, chili powder and chamoy.  Mmm!  It also tastes really good with mango, strawberries and jicama.  Super refreshing and perfect for hot Summer days!

There is also a cream version of Mexican Fruit Salad called "Bionicos".            
Sunday Fruit! Chamoy!Tajin!
Sometimes it's good with just lime juice & chili powder...Fruit!
And sometimes it's better with chamoy!  Let it marinate in chamoy for an hour or more... That really sets it off!
Fruit with Chamoy and Tajin

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thrifted Giveaway!

I received so many wonderful compliments on these books that I decided to give a pair away to show my love and appreciation for the thrifting and blogging community!  This is my first personal giveaway and first time using Rafflecopter so please bear with me.  If this goes well, I plan on hosting lots of personal giveaways because I love shopping and giving away stuff!  Thrifted Giveaway!
1. Thrifted, 2. Thrifted, 3. Thrifted, 4. Thrifted

If you can't enter via Rafflecopter below, leave a comment on this post answering the following question:  What's the one thing you hope to find thrifting?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I purchased these books with my own money.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day

I love Mother's Day! Because I love being a Mom (who wouldn't with 4 handsome, smart and funny boys) & of course this Mother's Day is extra special to me because of the recent birth of our last child.
My husband Chris always, always makes it special for me.  It's not about how much he spends, it's about the thought he puts into planning.  I've told him for years I would rather have paintings, drawings, love notes...

One year I wanted to be at the beach at sunrise and he made it happen.  A couple years were spent gallery hopping and eating delicious food.  Last year we flew into Atlanta, spent the night and then drove to Alabama for my cousin's Wedding.  That trip was super special because my family also flew in and my Grandpa finally got to meet my husband and Duke.

Mother's Day 2008 - Sunrise at Huntington Beach
happy mother's day to me!
Mother's Day 2009 - Gallery hopping & Dinner at Park Ave.
spicy lobster mac & cheese
Mother's Day 2010 - Gallery hopping & Blue Velvet Cake from MILK
blue velvet cake
Mother's Day 2011 - Family Trip to Atlanta/Alabama for my cousin Irene's Wedding.
Me & My Men - My life!
maytrip 650

This Mother's Day is going to be low-key.  Omar is still too little to take out on our usual adventures.  Chris & Duke kicked off the weekend by surprising me with cards, cake, flowers and gifts on Friday.  Tonight we watched The Avengers and had In N Out.  It's been the perfect weekend.  Who knows what we'll get into tomorrow!
IMG_8589 IMG_8581
But the BEST GIFT OF ALL... A painting my Husband did of one of Duke's drawings.
SO AMAZING! I am so in love with it. I can't wait to find a frame for it!

Duke's Drawing IMG_8583

I was honored to be asked by my amiga Ruby of Growing up Blackxican to be part of her #CelebrateMama post!  What is your favorite part of being a Mother?

We wish all of you a very Happy Mother's Day! 
Love, The G's!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Ideas 2012

It would be nice if Hologram Tupac sang "Dear Mama" to me on Mother's Day but that ain't happening so here's a fun list of stuff I wouldn't mind getting this year.    

What would you love to get for Mother's Day?  
Mother's Day Gift Ideas 2012

Mother's Day Gift Ideas 2012 by raised by culture

Save 20% on Karmaloop.com with code: textdrivebys
Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  Items are linked to their respective sites - please visit those sites to get detailed descriptions and pricing.  

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Loving:  Our newborn Omar.  He'll be 3 weeks old on Saturday.  I can't believe it's already been that long.  He likes being up between 3-4am and that's my sleepiest time so I struggle hard trying to be up with him.  He's starting to stay awake a little longer in the day and we've been enjoying him.  I want to savor these moments with our little one.  It's so adorable how his older brothers adore him.   

Thinking About:  A couple things... 
Girls time on Friday!  My girls Stephanae & Noemy mentioned coming over and I'm excited cause we need to catch up on each other's lives.  
Last year around this same time, we were in Atlanta and then would be on our way to Alabama for my cousin's Wedding.  It was an amazing trip filled with family.      

Anticipating:  The end of my Spring Semester!  I took on 5 classes while pregnant and with a newborn - I feel insane but I did it!  I have one project and one exam to do and I can finally enjoy my Summer!  I won tickets to Pretend City and can't wait to visit with the littles!  

Listening To:  Ghostface Killah - Forever.  Happy Born Day GFK!  

Eating:  We had McDonald's for dinner.  I have no guilt, it was good and I was tired from cooking all week.  Tried the new Cherry Berry Chiller and that was yummy.  Better than McD's smoothies and Frozen Strawberry Lemonade.  

Wishing:  My family was still visiting in June.  Chris and I have made every effort to visit our out of state families for the past few years and I just wish my family was still coming out to visit us - I miss my folks so much and it's been tough on me.   


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Today's Scores

I have a problem, it's called thrifting.  I hadn't even been home from having my baby for 2 weeks and had the itch to go hunting.  My husband enjoys it too because he was all for a trip to a local thrift store.

I was wondering... Is there any interest out there for a "Thrifted Giveaway"?

Found more books on this trip.  I couldn't resist these vintage school books.  There were 13 in a bag for $1.98 
Thrifted Thrifted Thrifted Thrifted

And vintage baby books for $1.48 each!
Inside of the white baby bookThrifted
Inside of the pink baby bookThrifted

And a vintage Mattel 1967 Mrs. Beasley for $7.98 - her pull string works but there's no sound.
Most dolls at this store are in plastic bags, there were about 20 dolls in bags sitting in a pile and when I pulled her out, I knew I had to see her tag.  Thanks to my Droid (while still at the thrift store), I found her information just by doing a Google search on "1967 Mattel doll".
Thrifted $7.98 Thrifted $7.98

Lastly, a vintage silk scarf from Japan for $1.98 - I love the colors and print on this...
Thrifted $1.98

& Thrifty Treasures

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