raised by culture

raised by culture: April 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Craft of Blogging Workshop

Oh hey!  I am one of the founders and sharers of The Craft of Blogging workshop!  My blogging amiga Ruby of Growing Up Blackxican (writer for Babble) and I created this workshop just for you!  If you have ever wanted to start a blog or you have a blog but don't know how to monetize (or make that next step) - this 5 hour workshop is for you.  We will cover blogging basics, discovering your voice, finding inspiration, growing your readership, monetizing and advertising, connecting with brands and working on campaigns!  We want you to ask questions and we want to sit down with each of you and discuss your blogging future!

The first step is registering.  Do it, do it now thecraftofblogging.eventbrite.com     

Do you like extras?  We are including lunch and an awesome goodie bag in the price of the workshop! The "swag" that Ruby scored is amazing - it truly shows her relationship with her brands: McDonald's, Neutrogena, Pampers and Lowe's to name a few!  Denise hooked up with iLoveToCreate and Crafty Chica for some awesome swag too.  I love small business and was able to score some handmade notebooks by Skinned Knees.  But that's not everything - I have boxes arriving daily and my kitchen is a hot mess from acting as my storage area.  Swag is cool but it's not everything - we wanted to highlight brands we love working with, our main focus is giving you the tools to do things with your blog.  

Our event will be at The Makery - a very cute craft shop and studio in Anaheim, CA

We are 18 days away, take that first step - I dare you.

For more updates:  @craftofblogging on Twitter 
Follow the hash tag #craftofblogging

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Semi-Homemade Picadillo: Made With CravOn Fries!

You know what I love?  Getting food delivered to my front door to review.  I noticed a few blogger friends share pictures on Instagram and write posts on new, never fried french fries called CravOn!  Since our family is huge on potatoes and we prefer baking frozen fries over frying, I knew this would be soon on our grocery list!  But by the magic of blogging (and having good blogger friends), I was able to score a box of the deliciousness that is CravOn.

So what's the big deal?  We found a way to prep CravOn fries without flash frying, which means they have 50 percent less fat* than traditional frozen fries. So instead of tasting oil you’ll taste real, fresh potatoes. Don’t get fried. Get never fried.

The taste: Just five ingredients – potatoes, olive oil, sea salt, annatto and caramel color. 

We were sent all 4 cuts to taste test:  Ripple Cut Fries (crinkle), Diamond Cut Fries (exposed skin on edges), Anytime Diced Fries (a perfect snack or side dish to any meal) and Steak Cut Fries (hearty).
CravOn Fries!

Read more »

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Spend The Summer at Knott's Soak City

One of our favorite things to do in Southern California with kids is spending the day at Knott's Soak City.  We had season passes when I was pregnant with Duke.  We were there just about every day and I had the best tan.  Our routine was to get there early and get chairs in the shade but in a central area.  That was the #1 priority.  Once that was settled and sunscreen was applied, the kids went on their own and I got to relax.  

Of course I would insist on family time and our family favorites are:

Gremmie Lagoon offers our smallest thrillseekers their own pint-sized playground of interactive octopus, submarines and other oversized landmarks that squirt, sprinkle, soak and splash kids and parents too! 
Height Requirement: Must be UNDER 54 inches barefoot  

Sunset River You can’t resist the lazy river action of the 1,780-ft.-long Sunset River. At one-third mile in length, Knott’s giant figure-eight waterway is the widest and one of the longest water park lazy rivers in the world! 
Height Requirement: Guests under 42 inches must be accompanied by a responsible adult 
Rider Safety: Swimmers under 48 inches must wear a life vest

Tidal Wave Bay Locals know to head for our 750,000-gallon Tidal Wave Bay for the City’s best surf. Here, you can bask in the sun when the waves are “off” and shoot the curl when the breakers start rolling in! 
Height Requirement: Guests under 42 inches must be accompanied by a responsible adult 
Rider Safety: Swimmers under 48 inches must wear a life vest

Toyota Beach House Exclusively for tomorrow’s surfers, the Toyota® Beach House offers three stories of hands-on water fun including interactive water guns, nozzles, faucets and other surprises. And beware! Every five minutes the water bucket unloads 500 gallons of water on anyone below!

The kids would beg for Dippin' Dots before we called it a day and if they were lucky we'd do it all over again the next day!  I highly recommend getting Season Passes.  They have been the answer to boredom for us and necessary for those intensely hot Summer days.  We are so excited for opening weekend, we're excited to let the baby play in Gremmie Lagoon!      

2013 Knott's Soak City Pass Prices:    All 2013 Season Passes allow unlimited admission to Knott's Soak City during public operating days.

Adult Season Pass $59.99 - or 6 payments of $9.99
Jr./Sr. Season Pass $56.99 - or 6 payments of $9.49

For more information on Soak City, please visit www.soakcityoc.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I am a member of GigaSavvy Blogging Network and will receive tickets for this event as well as for the giveaway.  All thoughts are my own.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Super Cute Toy Alert: Octonauts at Toys R Us!

The first time we saw the Octonauts was when we were waiting in the Pediatrician's office - Omar was only a couple days old and he had jaundice.  They sent us home with a biliblanket and we had to come in every day to have his blood checked.  Our stress levels were explosive because of the rough labor and delivery I had and now Omar's jaundice so for a few minutes that day our minds were curious about the cute show we saw while sitting in the Doctor's office.  My husband and I thought they were so cute and wondered if they had toys because we are suckers for cute characters.  That was a year ago (almost to the date!) and they are still one of thee cutest kids shows ever.  When the opportunity came up to review new Octonauts toys, I was so excited because I wanted to check them out!  Kids almost never turn down toys so this was a no-brainer.  It definitely had to pass my test.

A huge box arrived and I could not believe how adorable everything was.  I was bummed that the recommended age for the toys is 3+ years old.  Omar wouldn't be getting play time with the Octonauts anytime soon but that didn't stop our 7 year old Duke from totally geeking out about the Octonauts Octopod Playset and Octonauts Gup-B Mission Vehicle & Kwazii.

If you aren't familiar with Octonauts - it airs on Disney Junior and follows the daily adventures of a team of eight underwater heroes that explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves!

Octonauts Octo-Compass is really adorable.  I let Omar play with this toy because you can hear phrases from your favorite Octonauts characters Barnacles, Kwazii and Peso.  We thought the creature sounds and Octo-Alert signal were fun!  It retails for $12.99 at Toys "R" Us.
The Octonauts
Octonauts GUP-B Mission Vehicle & Kwazii are our second favorites.  The GUP-B mission vehicle works on both land and in water so guess where Duke wanted to play with them?  Yep, in the tub!  The creatures totally change color in water.  This set retails for $14.99 at Toys "R" Us.
The Octonauts
Octonauts Rescue Assortment Barnacles & Tunip is a great addition to the GUP-B Mission Vehicle set - this action figure set comes with a Tunip water-squirter, a clamshell and sea creatures that also change colors in warm water!  Duke enjoys these during his baths too.  I let Omar hold Captain Barnacles during his bath.  This set retails for $9.99 at Toys "R" Us.  
The Octonauts
Octonauts Octopod Playset is the motherlode.  This set is super cute and Fisher-Price always has high marks with me when it comes to playsets.  I remember my playsets when I was a kid and many times look for those vintage toy sets when I'm out thrifting or vintage shopping.  They are excellent quality and make the best memories.  The Octopod Playset is on that same level.  Excellent quality and fun for all - yes even me.  It makes me so happy passing this playset in my living room.  I don't even have to tell you how much fun the one year old and seven year old have with the 10 play pieces including Barnacles, Kwazii, a mini GUP-A, 3 creatures, 4 rescue tools and a clip-on Octo-Alert that features phrases and sounds!  This retails for $34.99 at Toys "R" Us.   
The Octonauts
Omar inspecting his loot!
The Octonauts The Octonauts The Octonauts The Octonauts

For more information on Octonauts, please visit www.octonauts.com or at Octonauts Facebook page at facebook.com/octonauts.

Disclosure: I was sent Octonauts toys for review.  All thoughts are my own.

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Color Blocking Is Cool #IHeartMyNailArt

The first few years after having the first three kids, I went into cocoon mode - I stayed insulated.  But with Omar, we have been non-stop socialites and it feels good.  Since my blogger sister and business partner Ruby is in town only for a few months, we're trying to make the most of it and plan fun stuff.  Last Friday night we planned a girls night in at The Makery.  A friend of a friend came and taught us about nail care and color blocking.  We ate pizza and indulged in chocolate.  Our laughs were loud and you could not ignore the busy buzz of exciting stories.  The aura was beautiful and alive.  More nights like this are absolutely necessary for my sanity.  I think I'm going to make it a priority in my busy life to hang out with the girls for a few hours at least once a month!    

At our little girls night in party, I learned some interesting things that I never knew before because 1) I was a tomboy 2) I'm a mom of boys and maybe I'm turning into one!  

-Apply a clear coat first, this will fill in ridges and keep nails from yellowing
-Apply a clear coat after, this will seal the polish and make your manicure last longer
-To remove glitter polish, soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and leave on your nail for a few minutes
-If your nails are yellowing, use a toothbrush with whitening toothpaste and brush your nails
-Color blocking your nails is applying 2 or more colors in geometric shapes
-Use paper tape, washi tape, painter's tape to color block 
-Buy cheap paint brushes and use it to create designs on nails 
-Push your cuticles back
-Use cuticle oil on your nails!  If you have none, use extra virgin olive oil!

Our fun little setup!
I love yellows, blues and pinks!
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear is on sale 2 for $5 and for every $5 you spend, you get 1,000 points with your Balance Rewards card!
Brisk Blue is AMAZING.  My new favorite color.
#iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart
Sally Hansen's product line is huge - I had to go to two different Walgreens to find the nail art pens.  But you can buy them online and even find out if your local store carries a specific product!  You can check out my shopping trip to Walgreens on my Google+ album
You can enter Sally Hansen Pinterest Party - Win a Year's Supply of Sally Hansen!
I made this board of color blocking inspiration - the formula I like is: one bright, one bold and one neutral.  Japanese artists Yayoi Kusama and Murakami were both inspirational - both have collaborated with Louis Vuitton.  Their color choices are amazing.  Nail blogs Chalkboard Nails and Gnarly Gnails were also inspiration.  If you haven't been to their blogs, go!
We had pizza but snuck in these goodies before, during and after!
Looks easy enough but really, my biggest issue is time.  Be patient and don't take off the tape before your polish is dry!
So so many laughs!
#iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart
Sandra admiring her nails!  Love the yellow and blue combo!
#iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart #iheartmynailart
Francisca loves her checkerboard color block nails!
I was a little inspired by Sally Hansen Color Curves
We are cool!
#iheartmynailart #Rx
Get Social:  @SallyHansen on Twitter / @Walgreens on Twitter

 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 COTY #cbias #SocialFabric

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Judge Me By My Fresh Business Cards From Minted

Business cards are serious business.  I'm not going to lie, I totally judge people by their business cards - it is a representation of who they are.  I'm only kidding, I won't judge you!!!  I do love a good business card though.  They get priority seating in my collection!  Minted has been on my radar because they have the freshest designs by indie-designers!  When you choose to personalize a design, it displays the designer's information and other designs made exclusively for Minted.  Personalizing was EASY!  I just chose the design I wanted, quantity, paper and clicked personalize --- then you click on the text to change your greeting, font, color and size!  If I can do it, you can do it.  There is also an option to upload your own image.

By shopping at Minted, you support independent designers.  Designers submit and collaborate, you vote, and Minted sells the winning designs.  There are 43 countries represented in Minted's designer community.  6% of net sales goes directly to the designers.  Minted offers 230 business card designs and I would take all of them if I could.  I had a hard time choosing my favorites and still second guessing myself!  Help me choose my next business card for when I attend BlogHer Food in June!          

Just For Entertainment by Lehan Veenker
Vintage Massage by Aspacia Henspetter
Friendly Type by Jana Volfova

I chose to customize the Vintage Streamer design by Wondercloud Design.  What do you think?  I love it!

Disclosure:  I am receiving business cards from Minted in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are my own and not influenced by Minted.  

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Knott's Berry Farm Timber Mountain Log Ride Opens May 30th

I know the Knott's Berry Farm Boardwalk announcement was exciting but even more exciting is news about my favorite ride at Knott's Berry Farm!!!  The Calico Log Ride!  It has and always will be my favorite.  There is just nothing like it.  It is a true classic.  The Calico Log Ride opened on July 11, 1969 with screen legend John Wayne.  This year the newly renovated ride will open with a new name Timber Mountain Log Ride and upgrades.  Garner Holt Productions of San Bernardino is working with the Knott's team to upgrade all the ride figures and sets as well as add new scenes and characters to enhance the ride experience while still maintaining the original theming and storyline of the attraction.

I'll be honest.  Ever since I became a parent, I don't really do "scary" rides anymore.  I've discussed this with other parents and they feel the same.  That being said, I am so excited to ride the log ride! 
Congratulations Knott's Berry Farm! 

The original sketch by Calico Log Ride designer Bud Hurlbut    
Bud Hurlbut and Walter Knott

The Knott's - Cordelia and Walter Knott with John Wayne! Cordelia is christening the ride with a bottle of boysenberry!

Over the years...
One of the new scenes!
Making figures at Garner Holt Productions

I was AMAZED at how realistic the figure and animals look - Excellent work Garner Holt Productions! 
Knott's Boardwalk and Timber Mountain Log Ride Media Preview
Creative Design Director Bill Butler of Garner Holt answering questions in Scene 6 of Timber Mountain Log Ride
Knott's Boardwalk and Timber Mountain Log Ride Media Preview Knott's Boardwalk and Timber Mountain Log Ride Media Preview Knott's Boardwalk and Timber Mountain Log Ride Media Preview
The outside of the Log Ride was drained - never realized how deep it really is!
Knott's Boardwalk and Timber Mountain Log Ride Media Preview

Disclosure:  I was invited to a media preview and hard hat tour.

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