Driving the All-New Chevy Silverado in L.A. Gave me All.The.Feels.

A Big New Chevy Experience!

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Pretty, Powerful Pick-Up

There I was, driving in the middle of the dessert on the I-10 West, past rows of white windmills wondering why I had never given myself an opportunity to own the road, friends.

By that I mean— I had never been behind the wheel of big pick-up truck.

But Chevy loaned me another vehicle (read about my first Chevy loan here) and receiving this Red Hot All-New Chevy Silverado 2019 in my driveway, just in time for my trip to Palm Springs for the Alt Summit was a heaven-sent. The truck itself has an impressive variety of safety features that combine technology and comfort. This truck is SMART.

It has a rear view camera so you always know if something behind you is a little too close.

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It’s Wi-Fi enabled,

it alerts you when there’s a vehicle on your blind spot and it reminds you to check the rear seats (to make sure you’re not forgetting anything like kids or pets) once you turn it off. The truck offers On Star, a feature that’s available with the push of a button during emergency situations when you can’t call for help yourself. It connects your devices through CarPlay so you can answer calls, receive text messages and play your Pandora song list from your cell phone without having to actually hold your phone.

But did you actually pay attention to the fact that it’s Wi-Fi enabled!? You can actually turn the truck into a mobile 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, so you stay connected “from the jobsite to the campsite.”

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When I took off to Palm Springs with the truck,

my husband was soooo jealous!

You know I’ve always wanted one of those…”, he said.

What’s more, I wore cowboy boots for the drive because a massive vehicle like this one took me back to my days in Texas where I owned a few pairs of boots and I witnessed first-hand that everything is bigger.

I put on my red lipstick to match the vehicle’s color shade, because, c’mon, the driver must feel as fierce as the automobile she’s driving, right? Lol.

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But I digress.

Driving a big Chevy truck made me aware of some #Facts:

1.     It’s pretty empowering for a woman to drive a truck.

I mean, when you’re atop a bright red Silverado, people know they’re driving next to a vehicle that commands respect. The All-New Chevy Silverado’s strength is pretty palpable—a very strong 2.7L Turbo engine. It offers 310 horsepower, 348 lb.-ft of torque and a towing capacity of 7,000 lbs…wowza!

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2. A Big Truck for Big Things

The 2019 Silverado comes with 10-speed automatic transmission and has Auto stop/start technology. This means you actually turn the vehicle on with the push of a button. It gets you 22 miles per gallon (MPG). My drive from the San Fernando Valley to Palm Springs with a quick stop for tacos along the way used up only a quarter of a tank. Its bed width and bed length is Best-In-Class. It also offers 20% more cargo volume than the competition. No more calling abuelo to let us borrow his truck for a trip to Ikea.

 3. The Truck Takes Care of You

The technology on this pick-up is so legit, friends. Basically, it helps detect when a front end collision is imminent and alerts the driver. Plus, if the system detects the crash is about to happen and the driver has not stepped on the brakes, the system can automatically apply the brakes to reduce the severity of the collision. The same applies to pedestrian situations where the truck may be too close to someone.

I honestly felt so safe driving the truck that one night after having dinner with new mom bloggers and fellow female entrepreneurs during the Alt Summit, I offered them a ride (and they loved it):

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It’s a Smooth Drive All Around

For such a big truck, the drive felt amazingly smooth and with the exception of blasting my music through the 6 speakers located within the cabin, once I turned the music down, the drive was rather quiet and peaceful.

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Upon getting home from the Alt Summit,

I was so inspired by the people I met, the workshops I attended and well, the truck I drove that I was on a creativity high. So much so that I even came up with 5 Ways to Enjoy an All-New Chevy Silverado Without Having to Leave your Driveway!

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

 I received a Chevy vehicle loan in exchange for a blog review. All Opinions are my own.

Atop a Culver City hill—The Parallel Method (A Yoga Experience)

Dance, Play & Namaste

A Great Weekend Experience for Moms and Kids

Friends, I love yoga.

I may not practice it as much as I’d like to, and I’m nowhere near my desired “Yogi” status (lol) but the relaxation my mind and body feel after a Yoga class is like nothing else in the world. Honestly.

That’s why every time I get a chance to experience a new Yoga class, I take it. Over the weekend, I was invited by the super fun & creative Rosie of The Hustling Mama to join a group of mommy bloggers at a yoga class with the Parallel Method.

The Parallel Method is a wellness company created by local mom, Angie Poston. It offers classes through a system of “smart scheduling” which basically means that parents and children get to enjoy independent play simultaneously (hence the company’s use of the word Parallel in its title).

The fee for a drop-in class is $29 which includes 1.5 hours of childcare for one child (more on this in a bit) and 1 hour of yoga for the parent.

Angie Poston is the Founder of The Parallel Method

Angie Poston is the Founder of The Parallel Method

The concept behind The Parallel Method is that

Moms enjoy an outdoor yoga class, surrounded by nature while the children are entertained indoors with enriching activities such as arts & crafts, music and dancing. Kids’ classes are offered by children entertainment companies such as Baila Baila for Kids and others.

It’s a fabulous way to give your yoga practice an opportunity to meet with nature and remain relatively close to the kiddos.

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The classes are held every Saturday at the Stoneview Nature Center

The Stoneview Nature Center is a public space— an urban sanctuary managed by the L.A. Department of Parks and Recreation which has lovely landscaping and gorgeous views of Los Angeles. On days when the skies are clear, you can see the Downtown L.A. skyline from up there.

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It was my second class at The Parallel Method.

The first time I was there, I was joined by a few of my mommy magazine contributors. At that time, Toby, who is super attached to me, refused to play indoors. Instead, he opted to be close to Mama and sat there quietly next to me. I remember feeling his sweet little energy as I lay with my eyes closed, facing up for Savasanah (corpse pose).

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This recent visit to the Parallel Method

was similar in that Toby still wanted to be close to me but this time he wanted to participate. He helped our Yoga Instructor, Angie Rutan, distribute yoga blocks by passing them out to the moms. He would go back for more. Eventually, he ran out of women to given them to but wouldn’t leave (lol…Aweee)!

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After the class, we were treated

to delicious goodies, courtesy of Trader Joes and GoGo Squeez. Snacks included tangerines, water, yogurt and even gluten-free cupcakes…yum!

The moms got an extra special gift—a 2019 Harmony Planner created by local mom (and full-time attorney) Kellie Beach Sims. Thanks, Kellie! I look forward to using my planner!

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A lovely day was had by all.

A special thanks to Rosie for organizing this wonderful experience and to Angie from The Parallel Method for hosting us.

For more information, including updated class schedules, fees and location address visit www.TheParallelMethod.com

Thanks for reading friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M. 

Checking Out L.A.'s Newest Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids Salon

Time for a Haircut!

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Cookie Cutters is Fun, Interactive and Colorful

When Tia Frenchee isn’t around to give Benny and Toby their haircuts, we look for awesome places to give the boys a fun haircut experience:

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Turns out,

Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids—Los Angeles had its grand opening last summer and we visited the salon just in time to give the boys a MUCH NEEDED trim:

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 It’s a colorful shop located at at 11740 San Vincente Blvd.

When kids walk in, they’re welcomed by a mini playground equipped with a slide and all— perfect to keep them entertained while they wait their turn.

There are currently three other Cookie Cutters’ Salons in the greater L.A. area but this is the first to open in the City of Los Angeles…yay!

The owners have plans to continue expanding the franchise throughout SoCal including opening shops in Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

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But back to Cookie Cutters Los Angeles—

we arrived and well, the indoor playground was the boys’ first stop! Next to the slide, there are buckets of animal crackers, balloons and lollipops that serve as post-haircut treats for the little ones.

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Each station on the cutting floor features unique fantasy chairs –

from race cars to firetrucks and airplanes – as well as individual televisions for the kids to watch shows and movies. And if you’re a video game fan like Benny, there are video games available too!

First-ever haircuts for toddlers receive a special commemorative package with photo and hair clipping….so cute!

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The hairdressers are friendly and efficient

We expected to be there for at least an hour considering how squirmy Toby can be and because weekends tend to be busy for places like these (or so I thought). But the salon runs a very organized appointment operation! Cookie Cutters Los Angeles never felt too crowded or overwhelming while we were there.

As for Toby, I’ll start by sharing that he didn’t initially want to board his plane at his haircut station. He first wanted to climb the firetruck in the back of the salon (which serves as a shampoo station for kids). LOL!

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Once he finally got situated in his airplane,

Leti, his hairdresser started trimming away. She was very gracious and Toby didn’t complain a single time!

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Friends, both haircuts were completed in half hour!

We almost wanted to hang out there a little longer.

Scott Derrick, one of the salon co-owners explains the Cookie Cutters experience like this:

“Our goal is to provide all children, including those with special needs or sensory issues, with an enjoyable experience, pleasant memories and the desire to keep coming back,” he says. “Our stylists love kids, and Cookie Cutters has designed its approach to put children at ease if they are nervous about getting their haircut.”

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The hours of operation are:

Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information or to book an appointment, clients can: visit online, call (310) 914-9095 or download the Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids mobile app available for iOS and Android.

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Thanks Cookie Cutters!

We now know have a new favorite place to visit when the boys need a trim!

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Anabel Marquez
A New Hot Wheels Exhibit at the Discovery Cube L.A.

Rainy Days Call for a Museum Visit

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The Most Famous Toy Cars on Display

Friends, the Discovery Cube L.A., located in Sylmar recently opened its new exhibit— Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™.

We ended up at the museum on Superbowl Sunday after having spent all day home on Saturday. Now, I’m not sure if you guys understand what staying home FOR AN ENTIRE DAY means when you live in a house full of boys. But we were All. Going. Crazy. The rain kept us indoors but when Sunday arrived, there was no way I’d be doing that again… so we took off to the nearest kids’ museum we could find. It was the Discovery Cube L.A.

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Upon arriving, we discovered a new Hot Wheels exhibit

with immersive activities. The displays are meant to help visitors learn about the science, technology, engineering, and math that goes into making cars go faster.

My car-lovin’ sons had a blast racing tiny cars, playing mechanic and even pretending to be race car drivers. There’s a Pit Stop Challenge that allows kids to “change tires" and refuel the car. A 6 lane downhill speed track, booster power track, adjustable angles track, and timing track are also available for play.

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Did you know Hot Wheels were introduced by Mattel in 1968?

The "tricked-out" toy cars have come a long way (both in the die-cast and life-size varieties) with more than 800 models and 11,000 variations of Hot Wheels car creations. More than 4 billion Hot Wheels die-cast cars have been sold.

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The Discovery Cube was about to sell a few more Hot Wheels

That’s because Benny and Toby made their way to the museum shop and swore they were on a shopping spree… Fortunately, we all agreed we had visited the Discovery Cube to get out of the house and play, not shop! All this to say, the shop is full of really cool Hot Wheels gifts.

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It’s a fun exhibit that can — and will —

get busy and rowdy on weekends with dozens of kids looking to enjoy the same experience. Just make sure to pack a jar full of patience and arrive with a game plan to keep an eye on your little ones while you’re there. There’s a lot of running around, car chasing and everyone seems revved up…lol!

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We stayed for a few hours,

enjoyed other fun Discovery Cube exhibits and headed home in time for Super Bowl 53!

The Hot Wheels exhibition will be on display through April 28, 2019 before it continues on its tour throughout North America. For more information and tickets, click here.  

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
A Santa Monica Trip to Welcome the All-New Care Bears™ Coming To Boomerang!

Save The Date for Care Bears: Unlock the Magic™

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Creating a New Generation of Care Bears Fans, Beginning February 1

Friends, the lovable, huggable Care Bears are back and Benny, Toby and I were invited to celebrate the launch of their new adventure, a brand new 2D animated series called Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, which will debut on Boomerang on February 1.

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The launch party was held in Santa Monica

where we had a chance to meet some really cool people including a few of the series’ creators, celebrities, some SERIOUS Care Bears’ fans and Grumpy Bear himself!

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There were amazing treats for all guests!

The awesome babe that runs Critterosity was on hand doing Care Bears face painting. Benny decided to go for a Grumpy Bear on his cheek. Toby didn’t want any face paintings, but he —DID— want arm paintings and chose a rainbow and Grumpy Bear (one on each arm). Kids (and Parents) had plenty to snack on. For the adults, there was sparkling wine with rainbow sprinkles and a cotton candy cloud. The Loop Churros provided Rainbow churros and watermelon lemonade for all guests. There was rainbow popcorn and rainbow-colored trays full of veggies.

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Care Bears: Unlock the Magic will be

A current take on The Care Bears that also plays homage to iconic brand elements like “The Care Bear Stare” and explore never-before-seen areas surrounding Care-a-lot called “The Silver Lining.” As a result, the bears will get to meet new creatures and employ their powers and wits like never before.

There will also be a new character named “Dibble”— who’s as eager as a puppy and curious as a kitten. After the Care Bears discover Dibble, she becomes the team’s pet and newest companion. She communicates through limited words, coos and sounds. It’s sometimes difficult for the team to understand what she is saying but it’s always clear what she’s feeling. She gets around by bouncing, hopping and her own tiny cloud!

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It was a fun time where many sweet memories were made!

We can’t wait to catch Care Bears: Unlock the Magic on Boomerang!

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
L.A. Park Spotlight: Johnny Carson Park in Burbank

Est. April 1992

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Bright & Serene

Tucked between film studios, the 134 FWY and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, sits a little park named the Johnny Carson Park.

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It was dedicated in April 1992

by the Burbank City Council to the King of Late Night for “30 years of keeping America up late and laughing”.

We once saw Angelina Jolie’s kids playing here (they were with a nanny) and we’ve returned every so often wondering if we’ll encounter another celebrity kid sighting…lol.

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We love the Johnny Carson Park

Not only does it feature an awesome & interactive playground for kids, there are exercise stations throughout the park, a jogging trail, a Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial and plenty of information stands. The information stands explain the extensive habitat restoration that was completed to allow Burbank residents and visitors to breathe fresh air and get exercise in a more natural environment.

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During our park visit,

Nina Irene was in town so she was left in charge of watching the boys.

Toby is currently going through a major shark obsession. This means he wears his shark helmet everywhere he goes… not a bad deal considering he loves going down slides belly down and head first!

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Benny on the other hand,

Spent most of his time recruiting friends to play a Nerf-gun fueled game of humans versus zombies. The Johnny Carson Park has a small book deposit shaped like a small pink house, where kids are encouraged to borrow, exchange, drop off or take books and enjoy. This is sponsored by the Burbank Rotary Club.

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We always grab a few books,

read them while we’re there and return them for other kids to enjoy. It’s nice because you can sit on the lush green lawn overseeing the playground and read to your little ones to change the pace of the play date.

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Once Paul and I were done running,

We gave each other a high-five. This was, after all, how we agreed to spend time in 2019— in great open-air spaces where the kids can play and we can workout.

Johnny Carson Park

400 Bob Hope Dr.

Burbank, CA 91505

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Holiday Fun at Knotts 'Merry' Farm

Snoopy Time!

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A Merry Holiday Outing

Did you know Knott’s Berry Farm has a program where they offer SoCal Fire Department and Law Enforcement personnel free admission for two? It’s pretty awesome considering theme park tickets are averaging about $100 per person these days.

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We had never taken advantage of the offer

because in order to do so, Paul has to be there to show his badge. Since he had a years-long stretch of working weekends, it was impossible to take advantage of his free passes. I had already taken Benny to Knotts… but tackling a theme park with two boys is quite a task so Toby had never visited.

Now that Paul’s schedule changed, we decided it was time to take the kids to meet Snoopy!

A Bear hug for Benny from Snoopy

A Bear hug for Benny from Snoopy

For starters, parking at Knotts Berry Farm is $20, no exceptions.

We also purchased two meal plans for about $36 each. For each meal plan purchased you get a bracelet to be worn throughout the day.

The meal plan basically entitles each meal plan bracelet holder to unlimited meals at select locations throughout the park on the day of your visit.

HOWEVER, you must wait 90 minutes between each meal purchase and the meal plans don’t include drinks or dessert….grrr.

Based on our experience, I would probably not buy the meal plan again. I just feel it gave us a weird inclination to make the most of our purchase by using the plan as much as possible when we were there. Every 90 minutes Paul claimed he was hungry again and there we were, standing in long food lines which is definitely not my style!

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I will say, however, that the ribs from Boardwalk BBQ

were delicious. The holiday churro form the Churro Factory was also to.die.for!

The ribs are served with corn on the cob or a baked potato. The churros are served plain, with special holiday trimmings or you can opt for a famous Churro Sundae.

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Both locations are inside

Knott’s Wild West-themed area called “Ghost Town” which we loved! Benny and Toby had a blast trying out a number of guns, rifles and western-themed attractions & shops.

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We enjoyed Camp Snoopy the most.

Benny and Toby got on a few kiddie rides. We also checked out the Knotts Berry Farm arcade and watched the Cowboy stunt show which was funny and at times hilarious (spoiler alert: front row guests get splashed with water numerous times throughout the show).

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Finally, we visited with the famous beagle himself—

Snoopy was accompanied by Woodstock and we used the photo area for a mini family photo shoot.

A fun time for the fam bam indeed.

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Thanks for reading, friends! 

Maybe we’ll see you at Knott’s Merry (or Berry) Farm soon!

-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Chevy Bolt EV: Our First Electric Vehicle Experience in L.A!

The Chevy Bolt EV is a smart drive

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Smart, Reliable & Eco-Friendly!

I’ll be honest friends, I had never given Electric Vehicles much thought. Just the idea of operating one seemed inconvenient.

But when a Cajun Red Tintcoat Chevy Bolt Electric Vehicle (EV) arrived at my house and my 2-year old Toby looked at it with an excited smile, I literally started warming up to the idea. This was my chance to see what the Electric Vehicle buzz was all about and possibly dismantle some misconceptions.

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Common EV misconceptions include—

  • Electric Vehicles are a thing of the future and it’s too early to take a chance

  • Electric Vehicles are ridiculously expensive

  • Electric Vehicle charging stations are few and far between and probably hard to locate (why risk getting stuck without a charge!?)

  • Electric Vehicles aren’t very “good-looking”

  • Maintenance on Electric Vehicles probably costs an arm & a leg

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For this post, I partnered with Chevrolet!

The car manufacturer debuted the Chevy Bolt Electric Vehicle (EV) concept in 2015. Three years later, the front-motor, five-door all electric hatchback is the only plug-in electric car with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $50K (more on that in a bit) and it’s capable of delivering an EPA-rated range of 238 miles.

So what does all of this mean?

Read along and I’ll break it down. Each of my previously highlighted misconceptions have been updated to reflect my honest opinion:

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Electric vehicles ARE a thing of the future and NO, it’s not too early to take a chance!

For starters, the Chevy Bolt EV is a smart car. By plugging in your smartphone, the vehicle integrates your phone’s apps into an easy-to-navigate screen where you can answer phone calls, listen to your music lists and even get driving directions using voice commands or with a simple tap on the screen.

The car provides a smooth & quiet drive. I almost felt like I had to double-check that the car was still on. It’s quiet and makes for a very pleasant drive.

Most importantly, Electric Vehicles don’t harm the environment. Investing in an Electric Vehicle is probably the best purchase we can make as parents if we want to lead our children into an eco-friendly & sustainable state-of-mind.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said that more than half of the air pollution in the U.S. is caused by mobile sources, primarily automobiles. Why the heck wouldn’t we consider doing something about this alarming reality!?

My boys were happy and confortable in the Chevy Bolt EV!

My boys were happy and confortable in the Chevy Bolt EV!

Electric Vehicles are actually quite affordable

A 2019 Chevy Bolt EV, for example, starts at $36K. An earlier year model can be purchased for less than that, which makes it certainly affordable, especially when you eliminate gas expenses.

Here are other ways you actually save money when you purchase a Chevy Bolt EV—

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You can get a tax credit for purchasing an Electric Vehicle.

The Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit is the main federal incentive program for electric cars available in the U.S. Under this program, the purchase of a new electric vehicle is eligible for a $7,500 tax credit as long as it meets certain criteria (the Chevy Bolt EV does).

You can charge your car at home.

Yes, it’s true. The vehicle comes with a charging cable (located in a special compartment under the hatchback’s trunk floor) that plugs directly into a wall outlet. Charging your Chevy Bolt EV from home is a Level 1 Charge. This means it will add about 3-5 miles of range per hour. For a full charge, you’ll need to have the car connected for 50 hours.

Note: the higher the charging “level”, the higher the charging power.

Level 2 charging stations can be found at restaurants, retail shopping centers and workplaces. This type of charge can add about 25 miles of range per hour. This means, you can leave the car charging while you go about your errands.

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Level 3 charging

is the fastest charging system which adds about 90 miles of range in only 30 minutes. This type of charge can also fill the battery to 80% capacity in an hour. Level 3 charging is available at certain places, which can generally be located through a number of apps available for smartphones.

Most charging stations don’t require a fee. Those that do only charge a fraction of the national average cost for gasoline.

A Level 2 Charging Station at a Chevrolet Car Dealership in Van Nuys, CA

A Level 2 Charging Station at a Chevrolet Car Dealership in Van Nuys, CA

Electric Vehicle charging stations are located all over the place

One easy way to find them is by downloading certain apps on your smartphone. Apps like PlugShare, ChargePoint, and the Chevrolet app can actually guide you to your nearest charging station regardless of where you are.

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Finally, Electric Vehicles are certainly good-looking

Heck, I’ll even say they’re cute & chic!

The Chevy Bolt EV changed my perspective on Electric Vehicles. With everything going on in our world, I feel as though an environmentally-friendly car is the new luxury.

I loved this car! I certainly recommend the Chevy Bolt EV for anyone who has a daily commute that’s under 200 miles. It’s very easy to drive and provides a comfortable experience that’s also pollution-free!

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

This is a partner post. Chevrolet allowed me the use of a Chevy Bolt EV in exchange for an honest review on this blog.

Anabel Marquez
Running Again at L.A.'s Inaugural DC Wonder Woman Run

#IAMWONDERWOMAN

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Ready, Set, Go Wonder Women!

I had been planning to start running again after a failed attempt at completing my first marathon in Florida at the beginning of the year. But as many of you know, getting in a physically active state-of-mind is easier said than done.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to join KidsEmbrace and Sun-Staches over the weekend for a badass Wonder Woman Run (the first of its kind in Los Angeles)!

Upon crossing the finish line, a shiny gold medal awaited, as did boxes of delicious donuts…but most important was the satisfaction of knowing I had pushed myself to run again!

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The Inaugural DC Wonder Woman Run

took place at L.A. Live. There was a 5K and a 10K option. I signed up for the 5K because even 3.1 miles seemed like a difficult task.

Runners had to pick up their race bibs in front of the Staples Center at L.A. Live the day before the race. Picking up the bib also meant an opportunity to get a fun picture with Wonder Woman herself!

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There was also a great selection

of Wonder Woman swag. I would have definitely bought stuff, except, race registration included a very cute Wonder Woman running tank top and wrist bands too! Sweet Tarts offered candy straws and all event sponsors had adorable things on sale like these Wonder Woman glasses from Sun-staches:

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The 5k race began promptly at 8am.

I started off slow and didn’t really pick up the pace until about mile two. At that point, I jogged a little faster, hoping to beat my personal time goal of 45 minutes.

Guess what friends? I did it! I finished three point one miles in under 39 minutes!

It was a great experience and I’m now motivated to continue my running journey. The goal? To complete my first marathon in the not-so-distant future!

Moments before crossing the finish line!

Moments before crossing the finish line!

As for the companies that sponsored

the run and invited me to join them— KidsEmbrace is a unique child car seat company that focuses on “putting safety first”. Their Wonder Woman children’s car seat has proven to be tremendously popular.

PHOTO: KidsEmbrace

PHOTO: KidsEmbrace

Sun-staches are a new, fun style of sunglasses, devoted to creating the most innovative and transformative novelty eyewear and party glasses on the market.

Both companies offer unique Wonder Woman designs that make you want to put away your fairy wand and bring out the Wonder Woman tiara!

Thanks so much KidsEmbrace and Sun-Staches… what a great way to kick-off year-end activities!

To learn more about the DC Wonder Woman Run, visit the website here.

Thanks for reading, friends and I hope to see you at the next run!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

I received a complimentary race registration from KidsEmbrace and Sun-Staches. All opinions are my own.

Fun and Inexepensive Halloween Costumes from Goodwill SoCal!

The Halloween Boo-Tique is still open

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At Goodwill Southern California You’ll Never Run out of Costume ideas

There’s still time head to Goodwill SoCal and find a costume that’s unique enough to impress all the generous candy-wielding neighbors!

Happy Halloween morning, friends!

I partnered up with Goodwill Southern California this year ahead of the Halloween season because it made perfect sense: Paul and I are trying to be conscious of our spending, our environment and the ways we choose to give our kids a memorable childhood experience.

And if there is a thrift store whose mission I support— it’s Goodwill SoCal:

  • For nearly a century, they’ve transformed the lives of individuals with disabilities, providing careers that transform lives.

  • At little or no cost, they help businesses hire & retain talent as well as provide e-waste recycling, among other services at highly competitive rates.

  • They enrich communities through donation drive fundraisers. Last year, they hosted 648 donation drives resulting in $924,252 to community partners.

  • Plus, they care for the earth by being “Green since 1916”. In 2017, they diverted more than 100 million pounds of reusable or recyclable goods from landfills.

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That’s why heading to a Goodwill SoCal store

in search for Halloween costumes seemed like a great idea— We’d get to re-purpose previously owned clothes and use our creativity to give Benny and Toby new material for make believe.

The Goodwill SoCal store at Fletcher Square is neatly organized, featuring a Halloween Boo-Tique with costumes and clothing items (by the way, there are over 80 Goodwill Southern California stores).

When I entered, I was envisioning costumes and accessories to create a fancy family of cats from the Roaring 20s. Later, I started finding pieces that would make for a great Wizard of Oz family costume ensemble or a DC Comics character family. Ultimately, I opted for creative cowboy costumes!

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As you may recall from my previous post,

I saved a ton of money, considering the huge expense that store-bought Halloween costumes can add up to!

Once home, I began preparing Toby’s costume to help him become a Cowboy Mouse, influenced by the Mexican children’s song of the same name. I grew up listening to Ratón Vaquero and my boys love the song too!

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His costume included:

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A pair of cowboy pants (I believe these are from another costume of Toy Story’s Cowgirl Jesse), a lovely red plaid shirt from Zara, a super fun tiny leather fringe vest, a black cowboy hat with a bandana and a toy gun.

By the way, the hat and bandana were brand new. Goodwill SoCal also carries new items to help complement the used clothing shopping experience.

In terms of the mouse ears, I ordered those online even though I could have probably made them with felt fabric and thin wire. The mouse ears were simply attached to Toby’s cowboy hat to appear as if they were sticking out. The result: A super cute Cowboy Mouse!

In the children’s song, the Cowboy Mouse is a blondie who speaks only English and has big feet— in other words, the Cowboy Mouse IS my son Tobias…lol!

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For Benny’s costume,

At first I thought about taking apart this unique fringe outfit and use it to create cowboy chaps. The idea was to have a family of cowboy mice. But as I started looking at the two-piece set, I started imagining the “King of the Wild Frontier”— Davy Crockett.

With this idea came the realization that Benny would ask MANY questions about Davy Crockett, which would actually serve as a mini-history lesson. My husband, who is a history major, was happy to answer Benny’s inquiries. In turn, my son was intrigued and happy to play the part in our backyard.

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In order to complete this costume,

I let him borrow a pair of moccasins and ordered a racoon hat. Once everything arrived, it was the most adorable thing to watch him “hunt and gather his next meal”.

Overall, shopping at Goodwill Southern California, was a lot of fun, friends.

I’m looking forward to working with this cool organization again to offer fun ideas on ways to reuse and recycle stuff.

In the meantime, hope you have a Happy Halloween.

Be safe out there!

Xo,

-Anabel M

Anabel Marquez
Just Float & Chill -- How a Mommy Meet-Up Allowed me to Relax like Never Before

Just Float is a Unique Wellness Center in Pasadena

Photo By   Daniela Rey

Photo By Daniela Rey

Fabulous Float Therapy!

A few days ago,

I spent the first half of my day floating on salty water, by myself, in the dark.

It was a little weird at first, then it got better and an hour later, I was in deep relaxation mode with nothing but meditative thoughts. My arms were raised above my head floating in the water and nothing else mattered…

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I was practicing float therapy

at Just Float in Pasadena, which promotes itself as the world’s most advanced float center. I was invited by a fellow mommy blogger, the lovely Rosie from the Hustling Mama blog, to join a few other mom bloggers and give ourselves a chance to connect and disconnect by experiencing this type of therapy.

Photo By   Daniel Rey

Photo By Daniel Rey

So what is Float Therapy, you ask?

Float Therapy or “Floating” is simply an effortless way to relax. Customers step into a private, oversized tub filled with about 11 inches of warm water that’s saturated with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. The result is the same for everyone— you automatically float with no effort required.

Because the lights are turned off and outside noise is eliminated, you get to unplug and relax.

This kind of therapy was created in the United States in the mid-1950’s by a neuro-scientist named Jonh Lily. Back then, he called the water tubs “Sensory Deprivation Tanks” and through his research, he concluded that Floatation therapy allowed the central nervous system to reduce its workload by as much as 90 percent!

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How it works

is very simple. First you’re encouraged to shower and remove makeup, oils and any other products on your skin. There’s a shower adjacent to each tub, located in individual private rooms. From the shower, you can put on some ear plugs to avoid water entering your ears (plugs are provided) and simply enter the tub, close the door behind you and push the “Begin float” button once you’ve situated yourself in a comfortable floating position.

You will be provided with a swim cap that serves as a pillow of sorts. Once your 60 minute session is over, the lights turn back on and that’s your cue to exit the tub, take another shower to wash off the salt (the facility provides shampoo, conditioner and body wash) and head out to the styling station to blow dry your hair or to the relaxation room to enjoy a hot cup of tea.

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Since I’ve had a pretty stressful

past few months, this mommy blogger meet-up seemed like the perfect treat. And it was!

Not only did we get to know each other and bond over stories about our kids, careers and life journeys, we also bonded over how great Float Therapy made us feel.

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At Just Float in Pasadena,

each Float Therapy Session costs approximately $80 although first-time floaters are only charged $60. The session includes 60 minutes of floating, access to complimentary grooming and styling products and water and/or tea.

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The experience is TOTALLY worth the investment.

Once you try it, you’ll be glad you did.

Thanks again, Rosie! and thanks to the awesome staff at Just Float for hosting us!

Weightlessness Awaits, Friends…

www.JustFloat.com

I received a complimentary float session. All opinions are my own

Anabel Marquez
Benny's Fun Experience at The Industry Dance Academy in Sherman Oaks

A Cutting-Edge Dance Academy!

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Passion and commitment to the art of dance in a world-class dance facility

My five-year-old son Benny loves to dance. And he’s not embarrassed to bust a move!

When I heard about an amazing new dance academy opening its doors in the San Fernando Valley, I decided it was time for Benny take his first Hip Hop class.

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The INDUSTRY DANCE ACADEMY

launched its brand new, 10,000 Sq. Ft. state-of-the art dance studio this summer, promoting a series of themed dance camps for kiddos.

Benny is a cartoon buff and immediately gravitated toward the Trolls Hip Hop Dance Camp (for kids ages 6-9). Since Benny loved the hit movie and soundtrack, Trolls seemed like a perfect fit.

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We arrived at

the sprawling dance studio and were greeted by Benny’s instructor, a bubbly and sleek choreographer with Film, TV and Broadway credentials.

After a few fun, interactive and inclusive warm-up exercises, the kids jumped right into the fun!

Campers decorated colorful Troll hair (Benny opted for green-colored hair!) and began to learn choreography to their favorite Trolls songs. The classes were short and sweet, running from 8:45am-12:00pm and concluded with fresh organic popsicles, generously provided by the Academy owners, the lovely Maia Suckle and Rhonda Notary. Benny literally couldn’t wait for his next class!

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At the end of the week-long Trolls Hip Hop dance camp,

the kids performed their new dance moves with an intimate dance presentation. Watching Benny own the dance floor in his own quirky way made me a very proud mommy. I immediately started searching online for his next dance class.

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The INDUSTRY DANCE ACADEMY

offers a great roster of dance classes taught by top-notch choreographers and professional dancers. They offer everything from ballet and tap to ballroom dancing and even Hip Hop for parents.   

This was Benny’s epic move that landed him on the floor…but he bounced right back up and let the audience know it was all part of his dance number. LOL

This was Benny’s epic move that landed him on the floor…but he bounced right back up and let the audience know it was all part of his dance number. LOL

If you’re looking for

an amazing, creative and high energy dance experience for your kids (or yourself), INDUSTRY DANCE ACADEMY is where it’s at!

For more information, check out TheIndustryDanceAcademy.com

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

This is a sponsored post. We received a complimentary dance camp registration for a review on this blog. All opinions are my own.

Anabel Marquez
A Futuristic Circus Has Arrived in Downtown L.A. and We Love It!

Two Bit Circus is Awesome!

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Fun for play dates or date nights!

The new Two Bit Circus in Downtown L.A. is part retro arcade, part virtual reality center and part circus. It’s quite innovative and offers fun for kids, teens, adults and even senior citizens (we met Granny Potty Mouth there :).

It opened at the beginning of August and recently got the blessing from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti who described Two Bit Circus as a place where “today's young Angelenos (can) create lasting memories of their own -- and glimpse the future of our city in the process."

Benny and I attended a private event this week and had the opportunity to explore 38,000 square feet of games and fun.

Here’s why we recommend it:

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Old School Fun Meets Modern Technology

Millions of dollars were invested to convert this massive warehouse into an “all ages” fun zone in the Arts District. It’s clear where much of the money went— there are numerous state-of-the-art virtual reality experiences available, from bird simulators where you actually lay on a machine belly down and extend your arms to fly — to virtual themed-escape rooms. Nonetheless, there’s also a lot of old-school elements, like pinball machines, a Pac-Man arcade and even Skee Ball stations. There aren’t many attractions for kids under 5, but the place is colorful, spacious and lively enough to entertain the little little ones.

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The circus concept

is always a winner in my book. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t love the big red top? There is a full-bar at the center of the venue where people can take a seat on carnival horse seats and enjoy a drink.

During our event, guests were able to create their own circus name tags. Then a Two Bit Circus employee would add a light using tiny bulbs and real batteries. Benny said his started to get “glitchy” after 10 minutes but that’s probably because he wouldn’t stop running from one experience to the next.

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There are six different zones

They include the Arcane Arcade, which is where Benny and I spent the most time. Just think new-age, multiplayer digital games, together with old arcade cabinets of yesteryear... too fun! Our second favorite zone was the Midway, a nostalgic carnival game area of chance and skill, re-imagined with modern technology. For example, there’s a balloon dart game, where players throw plastic balls, instead of darts, at a digital screen to pop balloon images (think Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney California Adventure).

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The Arena

This area is just amazine. It’s a zone showcasing the best in modern mixed reality. There is multiplayer seated Virtual Reality with haptic platforms, four-player standing Virtual Reality, and the world-renowned Birdly flying Virtual Reality attraction I mentioned earlier. There are several kid-friendly (non-violent) experiences too.

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The one thing I wish

I would have seen in action but didn’t, is a drink machine called Gearmo del Pouro. It’s apparently a giant robot bar that makes drinks and pours them for guests, without the help of a human bartender… Hopefully next time!

Two Bit Circus is open daily from 4pm to 11pm. Fridays and Saturdays close at 1am. If your kids are too young, you should plan a date night here. I couldn’t help but imagine how much fun I’ll have with Paul next time we go! Admission is free but you should budget about $40 per person if you want to maximize your Virtual Reality experience and have drinks and dinner.

You can probably get away with $25 if you eat before you arrive and stick to the more traditional games.

Website: https://twobitcircus.com/

Thanks for reading, friends.

Xo,

-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
How a Stop at The Oaks Mall Became the Funnest Day of the Week

The FUNBOX is a Colorful Pop-Up in Thousand Oaks!

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#FUNBOX Fever

Friends, we found this place by accident. It’s located inside the Thousand Oaks Mall, on the second floor. It’s called The FunBox and coming from someone who’s gone to many colorful Instagram emporiums and interactive Pop-Up museums in Los Angeles, I feel this one is certainly up there in terms of design, execution and overall happy vibes.

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It’s a Pop-Up exhibit

that will be open through October 31. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for kids ages 5 and over. Kids under 4 are free.

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The FUNBOX has 24 art installations,

where guests can take photos of such things as giant poop emojis, A Fort Nite screen, a flower hall, a noodle hallway, an Instagram rainbow wall, a mirror infinity room and everyone’s favorite— A MEGA sized Fruit Loop Swimming Pool, er, bowl, among other fun experiences.

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Here are a few more

pictures from our impromptu family night out. Benny and Toby had a blast and well, Paul did too.

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For more info. and to purchase tickets, visit: www.FUNBOX.com

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Great Food & Great Company at Our End-of-Summer Backyard BBQ

BBQ Highlight: Hatch Chile Recipes from Bristol Farms!

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#HowDoYouHatch

The long days of summer are coming to an end, friends!

Benny already started Kindergarten, the weather is cooling off a bit and we're settling into our new routine with work schedules, school drop-offs and homework nights.

Paul and I were hoping to join my best friend Sheryl and her husband in Vegas before the end of summer for a last-minute getaway, but we couldn't make it. Instead, we invited them over for a backyard BBQ once they returned. We wanted to catch up and enjoy good food, cold beverages and let the kids play.

A picture with the grill master, my cute hubby.

A picture with the grill master, my cute hubby.

A day prior to our BBQ, I visited Bristol Farms in Woodland Hills. The L.A.-based grocery store, known for its quality products, is currently promoting the popular Hatch Chiles from New Mexico (available only 6 weeks each year) with fantastic Hatch Chile infused foods and items throughout the store. Customers can also request to have their chiles roasted on site.

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For our Backyard BBQ, I picked up some Hatch Chile Pork Kabobs, Hatch Chile beef burgers and cream cheese stuffed Hatch chiles wrapped in bacon...yum! I also purchased other items to serve as side dishes, including Hatch guacamole and Hatch salsa.

Paul started the grill while the rest of us talked, laughed and frequently turned our attention to the kids who had constant requests for things (hehe)! We also enjoyed a few adult beverages (By the way, there is such thing as Hatch Chile Red Wine. It's also available at Bristol Farms...just sayin').

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The kids had a blast doing cute kid things, like chase each other around the backyard with water toys and occasionally wander off on solo journeys that could have ended up not-so-fun:

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It was a perfect afternoon.

I was sad when my bestie and her family left because days like these are what memories are made of-- there was no particular occasion, no fancy decorations or dozens of people to entertain. Just a few of our best friends enjoying a summer day with a tasty lunch buffet featuring great Hatch Chile options from Bristol Farms.

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The Hatch Chile Celebration will continue at Bristol Farms through September 8, 2018 with several in-store events including Hatch roasting parties and Hatch tastings. Check out the calendar to see what's available at your nearest store!

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Friends, I see our kids growing so fast and I know it sounds cliché, but I realize life is too short. Let's enjoy our friendships as much as possible and make it a point to make good memories.  I know I'll never forget this impromptu end-of-summer Backyard BBQ.

Thanks for reading!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

Click here for more information on Bristol Farms Mulholland (where I love to shop).

Bristol Farms is Your Hatch Headquarters!

This is a sponsored post. I received a gift card for grocery purchases at Bristol Farms in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Luigi's Real Italian Ice Arrived in Santa Monica to #GIVEANICEDAY

Yummy Frozen Treats!

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Enjoy Italian Ice with the Fam Bam!

The truth is, after a terribly hectic month of July, I hadn't given myself an opportunity to do things I love–– like hang out with the boys at Disneyland or check out a new museum exhibit or walk around the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

Luckily, I had the opportunity to partner with Philly-based Luigi's Real Italian Ice, who's currently in Santa Monica promoting their awesome flavors with a Pop-Up vending machine and super cool activation!

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The invitation was to visit the Third Street Promenade and bring awareness to their awesome Italian Ice!

By the way, Italian Ice was actually created in the U.S. (not Italy). It's known as "water ice" in Philadelphia and shares similarities with American sherbet since it has no dairy or egg ingredients.

On Friday, Luigi's Real Italian Ice offered complimentary refreshing ice cups in three different flavors: Strawberry, Mango and Lemon. They're currently available at your local Ralph's store. Benny and Toby couldn't get enough!

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The boys and I sampled all flavors, spun a prize wheel (which got us coupons for a free box of Luigi's Real Italian Ice cups currently available at your local Ralph's) and the little guys even got temporary tattoos.

Most importantly, we learned Luigi's Real Italian Ice is vegan, gluten-free, low sugar and it's also made with real fruit juice... which makes me happy.

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You wanna try it?

They'll be at Santa Monica Place (next to the Disney store) this entire weekend. If you can't make it out to Santa Monica Place and "Tweet for a Treat" to redeem a refreshing sample cup of Luigi's Italian Ice, I've got good news: they'll be in San Diego at the Gaslamp District next weekend!

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Enjoy Friends and Thanks for reading!

Xo,

-Anabel M

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Anabel Marquez
How I Got to #PassThePizza to L.A.-Based Nonprofit, GenerationHer

Papa John's Pizza Partnership

A photo with Dianna Smiley, founder of GenerationHer & Anabel M.

A photo with Dianna Smiley, founder of GenerationHer & Anabel M.

Papa John's Pizza is giving back by letting People #PassThePizza

When one of the country's largest pizza chains (and my favorite for that matter) wants to do something nice for your community, you know it's going to be a good month. Thanks Papa John's!

June 2018 is off to a great start, friends!

I had a productive weekend that began with a visit to the Coalition for Responsible Community Development Center, located at 28th street in Los Angeles. That's where a bi-monthly GenerationHer meeting was taking place and I was there to serve as the middle person between Papa John's Pizza (who's currently rewarding deserving people and organizations with free, delicious pizza) and GenerationHer, which supports teen moms.

Teen moms at the GenerationHer Meeting in Los Angeles on June 3, 2018, were gifted baby clothes, diapers, formula and enjoyed free Papa John's Pizza.

Teen moms at the GenerationHer Meeting in Los Angeles on June 3, 2018, were gifted baby clothes, diapers, formula and enjoyed free Papa John's Pizza.

Here's how it all happened:

Papa John's Pizza reached out asked if I knew of an organization making an impact in my community to whom I'd want to #PassThePizza.

I know of many organizations but considering my work over at Mommy In Los Angeles® Magazine, I'm particularly enthusiastic about organizations that support moms in Los Angeles.

I contacted GenerationHer and asked if they would allow us to #PassThePizza over the weekend.

Dianna Smiley, the organization's founder graciously agreed to have us there on Saturday, June 2 and share a yummy Papa John's Pizza lunch with the LA-Chapter members of GenerationHer.

FYI, GenerationHer "seeks to empower teenage mothers, ages 13-23, and their children by connecting them to a supportive community of other teen mothers and adult mentors, impacting their future in a positive way."

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Pass The Pizza!

Overall, it was a great afternoon.

Not only was I able to listen to a round-table discussion about effective ways of disciplining a child (trust me, we can all use the tips), I also met some awesome teen parents that are making an effort to give their children the best life possible. They shared stories about life and raising babies, all while enjoying yummy pizza!

If you're interesting in helping GenerationHer with donations and opportunities for local teen moms to succeed in our city, visit www.GenerationHer.com.

GenerationHer Member Tiffany Lopez enjoys Papa John's Pizza during the organization's bi-monthly meeting in Los Angeles on June, 2, 2018.

GenerationHer Member Tiffany Lopez enjoys Papa John's Pizza during the organization's bi-monthly meeting in Los Angeles on June, 2, 2018.

GenerationHer Member Karol Gutierrez, 19, enjoys a warm cheesy slice of Papa John's Pizza on June 2, 2018.

GenerationHer Member Karol Gutierrez, 19, enjoys a warm cheesy slice of Papa John's Pizza on June 2, 2018.

Did You Know You can #PassThePizza Too?

You can request Papa John’s #PassThePizza to deserving friends, families, coworkers, communities, or charities.

Write to @PapaJohns and tell them who deserves some free pizza for all the good they’ve done this year.

Tag the person or organization and use #PassThePizza.

@PapaJohns will #PassThePizza on Twitter to up to 60,000 unsung community heroes. Selected recipients will get a direct message with a digital pizza code for a free large one-topping pizza. For more information, visit www.papajohns.com.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

I was contacted by Papa John's Pizza to participate in their campaign, #PassThePizza. I did not receive compensation for this post but the nonprofit organization I recommended received a generous amount of pizza from the company. All opinions are my own.

 

Paid Opportunity for Kids to Participate in UCLA Anxiety Study!

UCLA Study For Kids Ages 9-13

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Kids Can Learn About Scientific Research and Get Paid Too!

I recently connected with a fellow Los Angeles mom who's a total boss. Dr. Adriana Galvan is the Director of the Developmental Neuroscience at UCLA, whose focus is to understand the developing brain in children and adolescents.

She and a collaborator launched a five-year study funded by the National Institute of Health that's aimed at uncovering exactly why some children begin to struggle with anxiety as they become teenagers.

Now, I know what you're thinking... it's probably because of digital devices and social media, right?

Well, unless we have a dedicated group of researchers, like Dr. Galvan's team, to really dig deep and study all aspects of what's happening with kids and anxiety, we really won't know!

"Anxiety is the number one mental health issue affecting young people today and we aim to find workable solutions to it," Dr. Galvan said to me.

You can support Dr. Galvan's research efforts and give your kids an opportunity to learn about scientific research and get paid too! Each child accepted into the program will be paid $100 for their time and participation. They will also be invited to return the following year for follow-up research! Parents will learn more about their kids' daily habits and how to help them if they are struggling with anxiety. 

If you live in Los Angeles and have kids between the ages of 9-13 visit www.UCLADays.com or call 424-341-3809.

Dr. Galvan says they are eager to recruit Hispanic children for a well-rounded group of participants.

I hope you consider this, friends.

Thanks for reading!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

Bristol Farms in Woodland Hills Has a New Gelato Sandwich and We're In Love!

Croissants & Ice Cream? Yesss!

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House-Made Gelato for the Win!

Our family loves cold dessert– shaved ice, fruit bars, ice cream, gelato, you name it!

However, we hadn't come across too many quality gelato establishments in the San Fernando Valley... until we discovered Bristol Farms' Gelato Bar a few months ago. The local grocery chain operates several stores throughout Los Angeles County, but only the store located in Woodland Hills, which opened last November as a beautiful 25,000 sq ft food hall concept store, offers a gelato bar.

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So let's talk about the gelato bar at Bristol Farms in Woodland Hills aka Mulholland Bristol Farms

Every time I visit the store, I notice the gelato bar because it's located near the checkout registers and features an amazing wall display of 15 antique ice cream hand churners... so, so aesthetically appealing:

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The Bristol Farms in Woodland Hills is the only location with a gelato bar so of course I knew I had to eventually give myself an opportunity to indulge in their frozen deliciousness.

Well the day came last week. After a busy work day and long commute home, I rallied up the boys and suggested we visit Bristol Farms after Friday night dinner.

I explained to my husband that we wouldn't be grocery shopping, as anyone with small children knows how hard it is to keep focused on the shopping list when the kids are constantly trying to jump out of the cart or grab and eat grapes from the fruit section, among other bratty distractions! With the disclaimer, he quickly agreed.

Off we went to a family gelato outing!

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We tried their mango, chocolate and vanilla flavors stuffed in a croissant and drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces.

OMG... so good! Even Toby was overjoyed with the yummy-ness!

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And Benny kept looking at me like: "Don't mess with my gelato stuffed croissant sandwich, Mama!"

Personally, I was obessesed with his chocolate moustache...hehe

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Now let's talk about the gelato bar at the Mulholland Bristol Farms Store

For starters, gelato is Italian style ice cream which is generally denser than American ice cream because less air is whipped into the mixture and it's churned at a slower speed, which in turn makes it contain less air and taste creamier....yum!

At Bristol Farms in Woodland Hills, the gelato bar offers artisanal flavors made with fresh ingredients.

The gelato croissant sandwiches are conveniently priced and if you make it a family outing, there's a fun dining area next to the bakery where kids can engage in activities like coloring and wooden toy games.

My husband and I never looked and felt so happy leaving the grocery store with our two rascally boys!

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I suggest all parents leave their grocery shopping responsibilities aside and either pause for a gelato break at Bristol Farms or consider visiting the store for nothing other than to enjoy dessert and happy smiles from their kids!

We certainly hit the lotto with their gelato!

Bristol Farms in Woodland Hills is located at 23379 Mulholland Drive. | Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Universal Kids' Summer Kickoff Event Was Camp-Tastic!

Camp Universal Kids!

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Must-See TV!

 Universal Kids had a summer kickoff event last Sunday which was full of energy, fun activities, yummy food and impressive attention to detail... pretty much a reflection of the network's awesome show lineup which includes the likes of Top Chef Junior, Beat the Clock and the Big Fun Crafty Show. #CampUniversalKids at Universal Studio's Globe Theater was a wonderfully organized themed event to promote the network's summer show line-up.

It was a reminder that Universal delivers quality productions, both as live activations and network show programming for the entire family!

Giant tents served as lounge areas for guests and food offerings included delicious beef skewers, a S'mores bar, a liquid nitrogen ice cream table, a mac & cheese buffet, a hot dog station and enough appetizers, including delicious bites created by the network's popular and talented junior chefs to make me break my summer body diet!

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There was an awesome DJ spinning kids' favorite jams and did I mention my husband and I enjoyed tasty adult beverages? It was really a bash to let the world know that Universal Kids knows how to throw a good party. But most importantly, it was a reminder that Universal Kids delivers quality productions, both as live activations and network show programming for the entire family!

Carly Ciarocchi, host of the Big Fun Crafty Show spent some time with Toby trying to understand what my 2-year old was doing with a pair of scissors and a marker...lol!

Sitting at a table set-up with a generous supply of crafting items, Toby was too busy (or shy) to meet eyes with Carly and answer questions about his intentions with scissors and markers!

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In the Tie-Die shirt activation, Benny made his first attempt at creating a colorful shirt. He came out with a black smudged t-shirt because he was a bit too generous with the black-colored dye but I'm sure he'll still wear it proudly!

Next to the tie-dye tables Toby and I enjoyed big wigs and colored glasses for a photo opp inside a camping trailer!

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We made several trips to enjoy delightful food bites created by the kids from Top Chef Junior... OMG! Can I just say they put this mama's cooking skills to shame! Every thing prepared by the young chefs was delicious!

Outside the Globe Theater, Toby nearly ruined someone's perfect tower of mega-sized wooden Jenga pieces while Benny delved into the unique sport of archery.

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And who can forget the moments we spent trying to take a family picture with the boys in front of a Universal Kids' backdrop!?

I'll just say it didn't work out too well but we still got some fun shots.

They lesson here was simply to avoid an attempt at a family photo.

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Experiences like this one really make us want to continue supporting an awesome network dedicated to fun, healthy and enjoyable entertainment for children.

Thanks Universal Kids... we can't wait to watch more awesome show episodes.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Xo,

Anabel M.