raised by culture

raised by culture: March 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Chef Jonna Talbott at Macy's South Coast Plaza

Chef Jonna Talbott will be doing a chef demo at Macy's South Coast Plaza tomorrow - Saturday, March 30th at 2pm!  I am so excited to see her make Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto because I have never tried risotto!  Crazy, I know!  She's also cooking up Quinoa Tabbouleh.  I love me some tabbouleh and I am just now getting into quinoa so that will be interesting!  

Come on down - learn something new and make a $5 donation to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County!   

Macy’s South Coast Plaza Home Store, 3333 Bear Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92646

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Share Your Trip With #Tripographer

I have been extremely lucky to travel every year with my family.  We make it a point to go somewhere even if its only for a one day staycation.  We have the best time.  Last year was the first year in six years we didn't plan a family trip because I was pregnant and wanted to take it easy.  I was bummed about it.  But life is funny, good and full of surprises and I got to attend The Niche Mommy Conference in New Orleans.  It has been my favorite solo trip so far.  I'm dying to go back with my husband - the people, the food, the history... I could not get enough.  I personally think that New Orleans is a fantastic location for blogger conferences.  Commit to "working" all day by sitting in sessions and get to the good eats & entertainment at night.  I didn't get to enjoy the city in daylight but what I did see at night was gorgeous.  Especially the lights, sweet smells and constant buzz of happy people at Cafe Du Monde.  My amigas and I really had an adventure and Tripographer is one of the best tools to memorialize and share a trip!  It is so easy to use and great for bloggers!  It is what we have been missing.  

Don't just take my word for it - check it out!

Tripographer is a new, fun and easy way to stylishly and dynamically share your trip, whether it was a much needed getaway, an unforgettable adventure, a family vacation or a business trip. Apply filters and edit your photos, create beautiful slideshows and build actual street-view tours and share them all on your favorite social networks!

This is a screenshot of my browser in create a slideshow mode.   It was raining when I arrived, I was on the same flight as my roomie, we met up with a few more friends at the airport and shared a taxi to the hotel.  

My favorite part about Tripographer is building a tour.  My tour shows an actual street-view tour of the different places I visited.  It starts from the airport and it is interesting seeing the route I traveled!  

Disclosure: This compensated post was written in partnership with Niche Mommy Network & Conference. All thoughts are my own.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Epic Playdate

What would you do on an EPIC PLAYDATE?


I know exactly what I would do.  Actually there are a million scenarios exploding in my mind.  But to start it off, I would fly my nephews in from San Antonio, Texas.  We miss them so much.  I can't help but feel close to them out of all the nieces and nephews because I am a mom of boys.  And my sons love their cousins.  C and I would pick them up from the airport, sign the boys out early from school and surprise them.  And then we would blindfold them and whisk them off to Vegas.  Just kidding!  I think we would stay at a swanky hotel in Hollywood, order in, eat out, walk on Hollywood Blvd. check out all the characters, do some shopping, sightseeing and hang out by the pool.  Doing all the fun tourist stuff just because we can!!!

The last time our nephews were out here together was in 2008.  We had a blast.  We enjoyed hanging out at their hotel in Anaheim because the pool was open 24 hours a day and it had the best view of Disneyland's fireworks without actually being at Disneyland.  The kids really let loose and so did we.  I wish we could do it all over again!

#EpicPlaydate #EpicPlaydate

Hyundai is hosting their own Epic Playdate and it sounds AWESOME!!!  It is going down on April 27th from 9am-5pm in Santa Barbara, CA.  Some of the most popular bloggers on the planet will be hosting this epic event.  Would you like to camp on the beach with Dooce, BoingBoing and Oh Happy Day?  Perhaps a paint fight with Mighty Girl or eating ice cream sundaes till you can't no more with Girls Gone Child...  There will be hula hooping with How To Be A Dad!  Crafting with Oh Joy and Say Yes To Hoboken! (Okay I just totally made that one up because that would be dreamy for me)

Sounds fantastic, right?  You can enter to win a trip for four to Hyundai's Epic Playdate Weekend!  It is an invite-only event so you definitely should get in on this (I know I am) because there are FOUR GRAND PRIZE PACKAGES up for grabs!

To enter, you must have a Pinterest account and you must choose Clever Girls Collective when the form asks "How did you hear about us?"

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience is Seamless. #JT2020

There is a 2 year period in my life before I met my husband that I call my eat love pray journey (I plan on talking about this often, in the future, stay tuned).  I went to a lot of concerts, traveled, had my own place and ultimately --- found myself.  One of the concerts I got dragged to was the Justified & Stripped tour.  My younger brother and sister were both huge Christina Aguilera fans and my sister loved Justin Timberlake since 'N Sync.  They gave me their version of a makeover which I thought I looked like an older, broker Christina without the wild makeup and hair extensions.  I had no idea what I was getting into!  The show did not disappoint, it was so full of life and I became an instant Justin Timberlake fan.  Electric, sexy, young - things I want to feel at 37 years old.  Could an older, now married Justin Timberlake maintain the electric, sexy and young?  YES!!

I'll be honest, I was not into Suit & Tie.  I thought it didn't fit.  But when Justin performed Pusher Love Girl at The Grammys - I was all over that song.  And on the 11th when The 20/20 Experience was available to stream for FREE - I got why Suit & Tie fit.  You have to listen to the whole album from start to finish for the songs to make sense.  It is seamless.  While I am nostalgic, I didn't expect the same Justin sound, the grown up JT has aged well, right alongside me.  This cd shows that he cares about his same fans by growing and changing with them.

So when I heard The 20/20 Experience was going to be $7 at Walmart - I got it on release day!  The special promotion price ends on March 24th so jump on it!  You can order The 20/20 Experience on Walmart.com
Justin Timberlake + Chocolate Covered Strawberries were on the menu!
I love how Justin Timberlake's cd looks like an old vinyl record!
Track list - it looks short but the songs are long.
Pusher Love Girl hands down is one of my favorite JT songs.  It ranks up there with Cry Me a River, My Love & Dead and Gone.
Inspired by the cd and kicking up feelings of romance - I made ribeye steaks, mashed potatoes with fresh mushroom gravy and steamed veggies for dinner.  Followed by those chocolate covered strawberries.  Too bad a full tummy put my husband to sleep!

Get Social with Justin Timberlake:  @jtimberlake on Twitter / Justin Timberlake on Facebook
Get Social with Walmart:  @Walmart on Twitter / Walmart on Facebook

Disclosure:  I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and #JT2020 #cbias #SocialFabric All thoughts are my own.  

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Skylanders Have Invaded Our Home!

The Skylanders invaded our home on Christmas but Duke didn't even open the package until the end of January!  I'm kinda glad he held off for so long because now he's addicted.  These fellas are hard to find and thank goodness the sales on 'em are easy on the wallet.  19 figures later... he beat the game over the weekend and unlocked Nightmare mode.  I have no idea what that means but he was so excited about it.  I just got my credentials to E3 in June and can't wait to report back on what Activision is doing with Skylanders SWAP Force!

I decided to do a formal introduction to Duke's blog, Days with Duke with a post on my blog and a giveaway!  I teamed up with Growing up Blackxican who is sharing "5 Reasons Every Kid Should Play Skylanders" and hosting a giveaway!

This photo set is styled and directed by Duke. I just snapped away.  This is a toy story of how Woody & Buzz welcomed the Skylanders into our family.
Buzz goes shopping Buzz goes shopping Buzz goes shopping Buzz goes shopping Buzz goes shopping Buzz goes shopping
This is an amazing sale for Skylanders!  The starter packs, single figures, 3 packs, cases are all on sale!  Buy Two, Get One Free on Select Video Games at Target.com Skylanders giveaway hot head skylanders giants
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts are my own.

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#SundayFunday 3/17/13

I live for Sundays.  Sundays are for family.

We had to take a quick trip to LA to visit LACMA again (twice in one month is a record - I'm not complaining!) because my husband is doing a study on a painting.  He finally settled on a Picasso (after debating between Cezanne and Kandinsky) but before we headed out we had to stop by the Warhols.  Big Warhol, little Warhol.
#SundayFunday 3/17/13
Found parking right in front of the Odd Future store so Dame could get an early Birthday gift but it was closed!  Decided to call it a day and head back to OC.  Going down Melrose Avenue we saw this hilarious piece by Hanksy.  Sup Weezy!
#SundayFunday 3/17/13
Further down Melrose, I spotted a Sand Oner piece that was covered in ugly graffiti.
#SundayFunday 3/17/13
Got a quick bite to eat at In N Out.
#SundayFunday 3/17/13 #SundayFunday 3/17/13
We headed to The Camp next because C wanted to check out a store there.  The boys and I got bored waiting for him so we went to get dessert at Blackmarket Bakery.  Dame picked out an Open Wide Ice Cream Sandwich with a warm Snickerdoodle cookie, vanilla ice cream, homemade marshmallows and caramel syrup.  They gave us St. Patrick's Day cookies and everything was so yummy!  I also think I found the perfect smash cake for Omie's Birthday party there!   #SundayFunday 3/17/13

We did a lot of things on this rare Sunday but what really stood out:
Excellent customer service at Zumiez at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana.

What did you do for #SundayFunday?

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Send Me To #SoFabCon Because I #LuvSoFab

The minute I heard about #SoFabCon - I knew I wanted to go.  I didn't need any details, I just knew it was going to be an amazing conference because truth be told - Collective Bias doesn't only work with bloggers, they teach and nurture bloggers.  I didn't want any other Christmas gift except for a pass to the conference.

Collective Bias CULTURE is exactly how my family lives.  Their core values are my values.  

- Innovate, Evolve, And Create
-- Be Transparent
--- Be Fun Lovin’ and Happy
---- Be Passionate
----- Be Humble
------ Be Frugal and Scrappy

When I heard that Collective Bias was giving away TWELVE full conference sponsorships with their #LuvSoFab Sponsorship Contest I wanted in - I had not found reasonable flights from Southern California to Bentonville, Arkansas ($500 was so out of my price range) and it would save me a big chunk of change.

I want to attend to meet more of the team that inspires, motivates and truly supports me.  I heard Chief Social Marketing Officer Ted Rubin speak at Niche Mommy '12 and was so impressed that he knew everyone, shared good stories and had killer socks.   This experience would do so much for my blogging career - I can only grow from here on out.  I can't wait to learn more about monetizing, SEO, photography, building my brand and community!!!

So here it is... my submission with a baby, a monkey and a blogger impersonation (done with lots of love)!  SEE YOU IN ARKANSAS!  

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Teach Your Kids To Recycle!

My mom is a recycler.  She schooled me on the basics of recycling and we in turn, school the kids on recycling.  Duke was about 4 years old the first time we took him to drop off 2 weeks' worth of bottles and cans - I had no idea what happens at the recycling center.  The line was long and it was a bit chaotic.  When it was our turn, Duke put a few bottles on the teeny tiny conveyor belt.  With the help of his parents --- 98 containers later, we had a print out for $5.05!  We went into the grocery store next door to cash out and gave the money to Duke.  He loves recycling!    Teach your children when they are young so they carry it on into adulthood!  Not enough is being done about recycling!

Check out the Arrowhead infographic below and visit Arrowhead for more information on how you can do your part!
we took duke to recycle some bottles not bad for 2 weeks worth of water bottles
Facts About Recycling

  • U.S. plastic beverage bottle recycling rates are only at about 30%
  • 2.8 Billion plastic bottles ended up in California landfills in 2011
  • Even though a package says it is “100% recycleABLE”, that does not mean it is made with recyclED plastic. It just means it CAN BE recycled. In fact, most containers are not made of recycled plastic.

Say hello again to Arrowhead’s ReBorn Bottle, a new bottle made from 50% recycled plastic – material that can be recycled again and again, so there is no end to its usefulness.

This isn’t Arrowhead’s first environmental initiative. And it won’t be our last. In fact, Arrowhead has a long history of treating Mother Nature right. From preserving and protecting our carefully selected natural spring sources (and acres surrounding them) to sustainable sourcing of our waters, from LEED certified facilities to utilizing wind turbines for renewable energy, and constantly improving packaging. The list goes on, just like the recyclability of our ReBorn bottles.

Recycled plastic is simply a better source of plastic. It’s part of Arrowhead’s ongoing commitment to preserving our natural springs, and ensures that every bit of Arrowhead, both inside and out, is truly Born Better.

Better IS the new ReBorn Bottle – proof recycling works.

This article is sponsored by Arrowhead Waters

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Basketball is big in our family #KettleMadness

We are a basketball family.  You could say I was a basketball fan in utero.  My dad played basketball and has been a lifelong Lakers fan.  He always has a game on from October to June, pro or college.  If I wanted quality time with my dad, I would plop right down on the couch and watch with him.  I'm proud my love of basketball was contagious and that my husband and our sons caught it.  We enjoy watching basketball just like my dad.  It is great bonding time for our family.  A couple years ago when Duke was 5, we enrolled him in a basketball program so he could learn to be a little social outside of our family.  We loved going to his games and rooting for him.

March is huge for college basketball tournaments and you can bet all eyes are on our team, UCLA.  UCLA has an awesome men's basketball program and we've been so excited to see them play this season.  Their record rules too.  24 wins and 8 losses.  Championship games here we come!!!  We always have Kettle Brand Potato Chips in stock during basketball season.  Like real talent, real taste comes naturally!  There is nothing better.  Do you eat popcorn while watching basketball?  I don't know anyone that does!  Save ONE DOLLAR on Kettle Chips with this coupon!

Duke is sad that Walmart didn't have UCLA shirts in his size!
Preparing for college basketball tournament
No other "kettle-style" chip is a Kettle Brand chip!
Preparing for college basketball tournament 
Our college basketball tournament watch parties call for burgers!!! But what kind of burgers???
Preparing for college basketball tournament
I think I'll use some shredded pork too! 
Preparing for college basketball tournament 
I like big buns and I can not lie! 
Preparing for college basketball tournament 
Gotta have some veggies on there!
Preparing for college basketball tournament 
I wanted Jalapeno but it was SOLD OUT!  These are just as good!!!  These chips are the perfect companion to a good, hearty sandwich.  I might even put some in my sandwich! 
Preparing for college basketball tournament 
Voila!  Special sandwich to see UCLA take on Arizona State!  Coleslaw on Shredded Pork on Beef Patty on Sesame Bun!  YES!
Preparing for college basketball tournament 
This picky but happy guy has a plain burger with a bag of Kettle Chips!  
Preparing for college basketball tournament 
Game time is serious time!  Let's get that W!
Preparing for college basketball tournament    


Take a look at what else we look at on a typical shopping trip to Walmart!

Do you watch college basketball?  Who are you rooting for?  What is your snack of choice for game day parties?!  

Get social with Kettle Chips:  @KettleChips on Twitter / Kettle Chips Facebook

Disclosure:  I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Kettle Chips #cbias #SocialFabric

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Inspired at the Laundromat, again.

Inspiration at the Laundrymat, again. Inspiration at the Laundrymat, again. Inspiration at the Laundrymat, again. Inspiration at the Laundrymat, again.

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." -Dr. Seuss

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