Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Get Back to School Ready at The Children's Place!

It's that time of year again! The time when we run around frantically trying to get our kids ready to go back to school. Where did the Summer go? I did not see Fall approaching so quickly, but I sure am glad that I can always count on The Children's Place to help me send my kids back to school in style.

The Children's Place offers such a wide variety of styles for kids of all ages. I can always find something to please each of my 3 children. My kids know exactly what they want when it comes to their fashion. My daughter loves dresses, skirts, animal prints and anything pink. I found so many cute pieces for her, not only for back to school, but for any occasion. Camouflage and denim styles are trending this Fall  along with bright patterned skirts, jeggings and hi-low tops. Layering is big this season!

My son's have different taste when it comes to their favorite looks. My youngest son is all about cool elastic waist shorts with licensed graphic tees like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He found a Michelangelo Ninja Turtles hoodie and immediately put it on even though it was a hot August day in So Cal! Luckily, his friend was close by and able to help him zip his new hoodie up. I say "HIS" because once it was on, there was no way I was leaving that store without it!

My oldest son is more into camouflage and graphics tees with funny phrases and images on them. He's a gamer, an athlete and a skateboarder so he can easily find a handful of tees to suit his style. He can never have enough athletic apparel. He always goes straight to the active section of The Children's Place and this season he was so excited to see camouflage active wear. Score! Layering tops is big for boy's this season as well.

I always love uniform shopping for my kids at The Children's Place. I get great quality, great styles and amazing prices! This year the Uniform Shop is offering 40% off styles and there are so many different pieces to choose from. We found ties, sweater vests, cargos, pleated skirts, knee highs, shoes and so much more. Thanks to The Children's Place, we are definitely ready for school. Here's to another great year!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was invited to a store event and given a gift card in order to facilitate this review. These are just my two cents!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

b4 Products in Every Backpack!

My kids went back to school last week, but before we said goodbye to Summer vacation and hello to school, we made sure their backpacks were well stocked with all the necessary tools to make the transition back to school a little easier. I always pack the usual essentials such as crayons, markers, scissors, glue and a ruler. This year, I added a "must have" item in their backpacks and pencil cases. A new hand sanitizer that I am really excited about called b4 Products.
b4 Products is a hand sanitizer that refreshes and cleans all while giving back to the community. b4’s purpose is to change lives through charitable giving. Yes, that’s right — b4 gives back.
b4 gives 50 percent of all profits from sales to children-focused causes. Yes, really! The profits are donated through The Midway Foundation and more than $1.3 million has already been donated to 150 organizations.
 Here are some highlights on b4 Products:
  • The b4 hand sanitizer is specially formulated to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria
  • Each single-use gel hand sanitizer is packaged in eye-popping, bold colors
  • Hand sanitizer packets can be co-branded – b4 works with companies to customize colors, logos, etc.
  • b4 hand sanitizer moisturizes hands with Vitamin E and aloe  
  • All b4 products are made in the USA
  • b4 is a triclosan-free hand sanitizer
My kids really enjoy the bright colors of each single use gel. I watched them use the gels to clean their hands before having a snack and their friends quickly asked them what the little packs were. Luckily, I had enough to go around and they were an instant hit. Clean hands and fun colors? Score!
I keep a stack of b4 packets in my purse and in the car just in case soap and water is not accessible. b4 hand sanitizers leave your hands smelling fresh and feeling clean.
*b4 is offering a special savings for my readers. Enter promo code: b4health at checkout and receive 15% off any online orders. Orders over $35 receive free shipping

You can find b4 Products in Staples stores this September 9th!
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was offered sample products in order to facilitate my review. These are just my two cents!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Move Over Sharknado...Here Comes Barknado!

Fresh off the heels of Shark Week, man's best friend is blowing into town to take a bite out of cable television in the humorous spinoff Barknado! Starting Sunday, the Hub Network will kick off "Bark Week" featuring the cutest animals from "America's Cutest," "It's Me or the Dog," "Bad Dog!" and "Too Cute!" along with dog-themed family movies.

"Bark Week" kicks off Sunday, August 17 with special presentations of the movie "Cats & Dogs" followed by the Animal Planet series "Bad Dog!", "It's Me or the Dog" and "America's Cutest." Beginning Monday, August 18 to Friday, August 22, the Network will also air an episode of Animal Planet's "Too Cute!" followed by a dog-themed family movie. It will cap off each night with an episode of "America's Cutest," an episode of "Bad Dog!" and an episode of "It's Me or The Dog."

"Bark Week" will also give viewers a humorous look into the wonderful world of dogs with fun dog-umentary pieces airing as interstitials throughout the week. Much like the brave explorers of "Shark Week," who lower themselves into shark infested waters in the name of science and learning, the pieces will feature the Hub Network intrepidly entering a dog-infested bark park to study the habits of the domesticated canine it its natural habitat.

Full "Bark Week" Schedule:

Sunday, August 17
8 p.m. ET: "Cats & Dogs"
10 p.m. ET: "Bad Dog!"
11 p.m. ET: "It's Me or the Dog"
12 a.m. ET: "Cats & Dogs"
2 a.m. ET: "America's Cutest"
Monday, August 18
6 p.m. ET: "Too Cute!"
7 p.m. ET: "101 Dalmatians"
9 p.m. ET: "America's Cutest"
10 p.m. ET: "Bad Dog!"
11 p.m. ET: "It's Me or the Dog"

Tuesday, August 19
6 p.m. ET: "Too Cute!"
7 p.m. ET: "102 Dalmatians"
9 p.m. ET: "America's Cutest"
10 p.m. ET: "Bad Dog!"
11 p.m. ET: "It's Me or the Dog"

Wednesday, August 20
6 p.m. ET: "Too Cute!"
7 p.m. ET: "Snow Buddies"
9 p.m. ET: "America's Cutest"
10 p.m. ET: "Bad Dog!"
11 p.m. ET: "It's Me or the Dog"

Thursday, August 21
6 p.m. ET: "Too Cute!"
7 p.m. ET: "Good Boy"
9 p.m. ET: "America's Cutest"
10 p.m. ET: "Bad Dog!"
11 p.m. ET: "It's Me or the Dog"
Friday, August 22
6 p.m. ET: "Too Cute!"
7 p.m. ET: "Scooby-Doo"
9 p.m. ET: "America's Cutest"
10 p.m. ET: "Bad Dog!"
11 p.m. ET: "It's Me or the Dog"

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School with Lalaloopsy & Friends!

This has been a crazy week getting my kids back to school and trying to get our routine back in order. I am so looking forward to celebrating the completion of their first week back to school and what better way than to gather around the television this Saturday morning for an all new episode of Lalaloopsy!

This Saturday at 10:00am, Nick Jr. will air an all new episode of Lalaloopsy based on the two new Lalaloopsy Color Me dolls. Just look at how cute Trace E. Doodles and Squiggles N. Shapes are! My daughter would love the hours of endless creativity with these adorable Color Me dolls.

In this  week's episode, "Spot Draws the Line," Spot draws a new friend, Trace E. Doodles,  out of chalk, and goes on an adventure with her in an all-chalk world, drawing themselves in and out peril. Be sure to tune into Nick Jr. this Saturday morning and catch these new Color Me dolls make their Lalaloopsy debut!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Olive Garden: So Much More Than Soup & Breadsticks!

A new Olive Garden Italian Kitchen recently made my West Hills neighborhood it's home and I couldn't be happier! Back in my mortgage days, I remember popping into the Northridge Olive Garden for a quick lunch of unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. It was the perfect lunch to help get me through the rest of my hectic work day. It's been so long since I've had the chance to get back into an Olive Garden Restaurant so when I noticed the construction begin on the West Hills location, I was thrilled. It's right in the middle of my most frequented retail stores and my kids always work up an appetite while shopping.

The West Hills Olive Garden is lovely. I loved the lay out and the atmosphere. Definitely a family-friendly restaurant which is my favorite. Upon being seated, we were offered complimentary wine tastings....WHAT?!?! Oh yes, you read that correctly! Our wonderful server, Robyn, offered us complimentary wine as soon as she introduced herself to us and both my husband and I were so impressed. Did I mention it was COMPLIMENTARY?!?! Thank You Robyn!

We kicked off our amazing dinner with a couple appetizers. I ordered the Create-Your-Own Sampler where you select 3 appetizers from a list so I chose Calamari, Chicken Fingers and Fried Zucchini. I also had to try the Roasted Asparagus topped with a balsamic drizzle and grated Parmesan cheese. The asparagus is served with a citrus aioli dipping sauce. It was so delicious! I don't think I shared any with my husband. He enjoyed the calamari and the kids said the chicken fingers were yummy. So far so good!

My kids loved selecting their dinner from the Create Your Own Pasta kid's menu. They had their choice of pasta, sauce and protein. Each kid's meal includes a side item and a drink. The kid's menu also offers Macaroni & Cheese, Pizza, Ravioli and Chicken Fingers. Of course, all 3 kids picked the same thing. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce was a crowd pleaser. My youngest added shrimp to his pasta because he's a little foodie.

My Husband and I decided to dine outside the box and order entrees other than the usual pasta dishes offered by Olive Garden because we all already know that they have great pasta entrees. He ordered the 10oz Mediterranean Grilled Trout filet seasoned with basil and extra-virgin olive oil. His Trout was served with Pappardelle pasta tossed with garlic, broccoli and fresh tomato sauce. He said it was amazing. I ordered the Steak Toscano which is a 12oz New York strip steak brushed with Italian herbs and extra-virgin olive oil. I asked for steamed broccoli as my side item. The steak was cooked to perfection and the seasonings packed this 12oz of meat with so much flavor.

We were stuffed, but we couldn't leave without ordering dessert. The dessert menu is outstanding and I wish I could've tried them all, but I had to save something for next time. This Summer, Olive Garden has a new dessert called the Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries. This dessert screams Summer by topping a rich and creamy vanilla custard inspired by Italy's mountainous Piedmont region with sweet Summer strawberries. It literally melts in your mouth! Of course, I had to order the Tiramisu as well and it was everything I expected it to be. They captured all that this classic dessert represents. My husband enjoyed a sample of the Castello Moscato with dessert. Perfect pairing!

The kids enjoyed their night at our local Olive Garden. They topped off their meal with Sundaes and Peach Bellini Iced Teas, which I must say, is the BEST ICED TEA I've ever had at a restaurant. We even asked for refills to go.

The West Hills Olive Garden Italian Kitchen is managed by Norma Rodriguez and let me tell you...she gets it! I say this because she knows how difficult dining out with hungry children can be. This location will take same-day reservations for any size party so you don't have to wait with restless kiddos. If you can't make it inside, but still want to enjoy their Italian cuisine, just order online and they will bring it out to your car. Now, that's service!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was offered a gift card in order to facilitate my review. These are just my two cents!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Get BACK TO SCHOOL Ready at Del Amo Fashion Center!

Teen Vogue’s Third-Annual Back-to-School Saturday Kickoff Event
Hosted by Teen Vogue’s Amy Astley and Debby Ryan with a Special Performance by The Janoskians
Friday, August 8, at the Del Amo Fashion Center
Fashion, Music & Shopping Event Starts Monthlong National Initiative to Get the Country Fall-Fashion and BTS Ready
Teen Vogue Editor in Chief Amy Astley, along with cohost Debby Ryan, star of Disney Channel’s Jessie, welcomes thousands of fashion fans to the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance for the Teen Vogue BTSS kickoff. The event will feature a Teen Vogue fashion show with the hottest back-to-school trends for fall, curated by the editors of Teen Vogue, bringing the pages of their fall fashion issue to life. Immediately following will be a “plaza pounding” performance by the Australian group The Janoskians.
Teen Vogue BTSS kickoff at Del Amo Fashion Center  

Del Amo Fashion Center
3525 West Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90503
(Near Outdoor Village)
Friday, August 8         
3pm fashion show followed by performance
Access is free to the public and available on a first-come, first serve basis. Due to demands/space attendees must have wristband for entry. 5,000 wristbands available. One per person.

Wristband distribution (each guest must be present to receive) will take place Thursday, August 7th at Del Amo Fashion Center in the North parking structure (at the corner of Fashion Way and Del Amo Circle East). 

Public may start lining up Thursday, August 7 at 6am with Wristband distribution beginning at 8am. No one will be allowed to lineup prior to 6am on Thursday.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Little Tikes: Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Edition!

It's hard to believe that the Cozy Coupe has been around for 30 years and still remains a toddler's first and favorite ride-on toy. I still remember the day we brought home our first Cozy Coupe for our oldest son years ago. The way his face lit up with joy was priceless. I am so happy that we were able to relive that moment with each of our children. Our youngest son just experienced his first introduction to the famous Cozy Coupe by Little Tikes and he instantly fell in love!

I just love the little changes that Little Tikes has made to make this classic toy even more special. They added a happy, little face to the front of the coupe and in the rear are two cup holders that are just perfect for my little driver. Those long drives around the yard can sure work up a good thirst!

Check out all that the Cozy Coupe features:

   • Removable floor board
   • When the floor is in, little ones’ feet are protected
   • Take the floor out allows kids to use foot-to-floor power
   • Handle on back for parent-controlled push rides
   • Designed with a high seat back and cup holders in the rear
   • Moving, clicking ignition switch
   • Gas cap open and closes
   • Cozy rolls on rugged, durable tires
   • Front wheels spin 360 degrees
   • Weight limit up to 50 lbs.

The Cozy Coupe is available now at and retails for $54.99. Make memories last a lifetime with Little Tikes Cozy Coupe!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was offered sample product in order to facilitate my review. These are just my two cents!