Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart – Tickets on Sale Now!

Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart is coming to Southern California! This year’s ice skating extravaganza features stories and characters from Disney-Pixar’s Finding Dory and Inside Out for the first time in a live production!

In addition to swimming along with the cast of Finding Dory and going on a heartwarming adventure with the characters from Inside Out, audiences will venture to wintery world of Arendelle with the cast of Frozen, see the Disney Princesses make their dreams come true, celebrate true friendship with the Toy Story gang, and more!

Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart performances will run from December 14 through January 8, 2018 in Los Angeles (STAPLES Center), Anaheim (Honda Center), Long Beach (Long Beach Arena) and Ontario (Citizens Business Bank Arena).

Tickets are available now for purchase online, by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or in-person at the venue Box Office. Tickets start at $25, with Discount Opening Night tickets available for as low as $15 each on select seating (not valid for premium VIP/Front Row seating).*

*prices subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

Use offer code MOM20 at checkout, or show the flyer below at the box office for 20% off tickets! (Offer expires 1/8/18)

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern Oktoberfest Menu

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT) recently released their new Oktoberfest menu that includes 3 dishes, a dessert and beer offerings!

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Top Haunt in SoCal: Reign of Terror in Thousand Oaks!

Reign of Terror made the number one spot on our list of The 10 Scariest Haunts in Southern California and we got the chance to stop by this past Friday and check out what was in store for haunt lovers this year. Can you handle the Reign of Terror?

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The 10 Scariest Haunts in Southern California

If Horror is your thing, Southern California is a great place to get your scare on. With a variety of haunts that go from skipping a beat, to stopping your heart completely, SoCal has something for everyone. We’ve listed our favorite haunts in order of slight fright, to unescapable terror. Do you dare visit one of our Top 10 Scariest Haunts in Southern California?

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AMG Opens Their First U.S. All-You-Can-Eat Location in Lynwood!

Disclosure: We were invited to a complimentary media tasting in order to try out a variety of offerings from this restaurant. No other compensation was given in exchange for this post.

AMG recently opened their very first All-You-Can-Eat location in the United States. Located in Plaza Mexico in Lynwood, the new restaurant boasts a huge selection of 45 AYCE items. And their prices are affordable – $20.99 for an adult dinner, and $15.99 for an adult lunch. [Read more…]

Have a High-tech Holiday with Santa HQ at Los Cerritos Center

Disclaimer: We were invited to check out the Santa HQ Welcome Party, a free event open to the public. We did receive a complimentary photo with the big guy as a thank you. No other compensation was received, and all thoughts and opinions are the author’s.

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Los Cerritos Center is bringing a special twist to your typical mall Santa. Everything is upgraded these days, why can’t Santa’s HQ be too? [Read more…]

Take It Back to the 80s & 90s at the Gen X Room!

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Looking like the 80s/90s with the acid wash jacket.

How many of you remember the 80s and the 90’s jams? I’m sure a lot of you do – and those that don’t may have been exposed to that music era of enjoyment. I was able to experience it at The Gen X Room in downtown Los Angeles on Friday May 13th. Get ready to read about all the fun. You will wish you were there by the end of this. Ha!

It was a Friday night free of children, time to dress myself for the theme and then ride in style with the loaned Kia Optima SX T-GDI sporty sedan. I brought along my parent friend April. Her friend, Ana, was going to join us as well. It was a packed car ride but we all were comfortable. Our outfits were on point. I actually had time to blow dry my hair. Yay!

April was dressed the part with her side ponytail.

April was dressed the part with her side ponytail.

The skyline is shining bright.

The skyline is shining bright.

Now when I drove in to downtown the skyline was dark and the lights of the buildings lit the night sky like a glow bracelet or wand. Downtown Los Angeles was all aglow with the interior office lights and more. The lights were bright, the night was clear and my pulse was getting faster and faster with anticipation. I had the 80s/90s satellite radio station going. It was prep time. Get into the spirit. Time to make the floor burn. We all sang along to a few of the tunes too.

 

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Photo booth time with props and the vinyl record backdrop.

So we arrived. We parked a block away from the venue. Just a hop by the famed Orpheum Theater, then a skip down a block and bam! We were at The Gen X Room 80’s & 90’s Dance Flashback Celebration hosted at the Biergarten Downtown LA on Broadway. Yes it was an uber retro building with brick and concrete exposure. A large sized space with ample everything.

What greeted us was a wall full of vinyl records. A photo booth backdrop. Some glow bracelets, necklaces, blinking glasses, feather boas, hats, hair clips and wands. Even a guitar cutout! Just all the swag props to create a fun moment. Here is a photo of what that looked like. None of us were conservative about our accessories. We piled them on.

 

I was there on behalf of Angela Bishop. Thank you darling. What a great chance to have some VIP treatment too. Myself and my guests had some complimentary appetizers and a delicious cocktail. Oh the bar counter was this cool clear broken looking glass. Wow! The VIP mezzanine was nice and had various seating options too. The food was delicious! Veggie or pepperoni flatbread pizzas, crispy chicken tenders and freshly made potato chips. I REALLY loved the fresh potato chips! It was a snackers delight dinner if you will. I ate it up! HA!

A nice green cocktail. I don't remember the name the bartender said it was.

A nice green cocktail. I don’t remember the name the bartender said it was.

Now the music got us going. We danced the night away. So much so that we needed to ask for ice water. It got sweaty. There was freestyle, recognizable 80s and 90s jams. Now my friend April did request a lot of songs. Plus she knew a lot of the words. If my sweat drenched clothes of the night didn’t tell you I burned the floor then you need to get your eyes checked. Teehee!

All in all it was a cool hip fun funky fresh night. I did enjoy seeing some other guys out there on the dance floor moving and shaking. There was even some breakdancing. Seriously good too! I mean man those guys moved! Awesome. I did enjoy being able to take some of the props home to my children. Laser rings and glowing rings. Sunglasses too! Well I had a lot to take. Remember I wore it all, the opening pic of this blog shows that.

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Wearing all the free swag

 

I highly recommend going to the next one which is on June 11th. It will be at the same place, same time and lets make some more fun memories. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/550534238461512/ . There will be great drinks specials, 80s/90s inspired cocktails, raffle prizes this time around and VIP tables available. So who’s coming and theme-dressed in their best!

A Regular Family Went to Au Fudge and This is What Happened

Earlier this week my family and I were invited to attend a special movie screening of the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie in West Hollywood. Usually when someone invites me to drive to LA from South OC on weekday afternoon I have to give them a big nope. However, this screening was being held at the already infamous new Au Fudge restaurant. I had to go. (Disappointingly, we were not greeted at the door by chipmunks holding tiny muffins.)

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

What I knew about Au Fudge prior to going:
It is a restaurant.
It’s owned by Jessica Biel.
It may or may not serve fudge.
It is not for regular people like us.

Since this was a last-minute invite, my personal stylist was unavailable and I didn’t have time to book a driver. So, I dressed everyone in their one nice outfit, and we piled into the minivan. Luckily, it was recently cleaned inside and out, so when we pulled up to the (complimentary, thank god) valet, garbage didn’t fall out of the minivan when the doors were opened. (Yes that is a thing that actually happened to me once. Okay, more than once.)

We didn’t tell the kids where we were going, aside from the fact that it was in LA and it would be fun. So naturally, they thought of all kinds of way more fun places we could have been going. I just kept driving and let them set themselves up for eventual disappointment that was going to happen when we showed up at a restaurant and not a theme park.

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When we finally arrived, about 2 and a half hours from the time we left the house, my seven year old saw the sign out front and yelled “OH YEAH A FUDGE FACTORY.” Once again I had to lay down the disappointment and let him know that it was just a restaurant and that I wasn’t sure they even had any fudge.

The valet situation was a bit of a nightmare, and while we were stopped in the road, where the valet had signaled us to stop, two parking enforcement officers rushed over to ticket our crappy 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan, ignoring the rest of the cars that were also in the way. Thanks, WeHo Parking Enforcement, you’re real swell! Anyway, kudos to the valet who stepped in and took care of that.

Once we were inside, we pretended that we didn’t feel really out of place. We checked in for the event and the kids were herded into the “Creativity Room” which had been set up as a makeshift movie theater. Normally, for $15 an hour (less than most of the entrees on the menu) you can check your child in, and they can explore all kinds of creative outlets while you get a nice buzz going. Today, it was just a big room to watch a movie in.

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

I tried to get my kids settled down on the floor with their popcorn that was served in a fancy pink Au Fudge paper bag, but I was in the way as usual and one of the au pairs kindly suggested that I just leave the room and let her do her job. Okay, she didn’t say those exact words but I think it was implied. But, I wasn’t in the mood to argue, so I headed to the bar because I love free drinks.

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The bar menu is exactly what I expected. A lot of thought was put into the names and descriptions of each $14 drink. You can order the low-calorie, MILF cocktail, with the tagline, “This yummy mummy needs her juice.” Or grab a “Jessica Rabbit’s Rabbit,” or an “Old Fashioned Fawn.” I went for “Claude’s Tonic,” which is described only as “Beefeater Gin. Mixwell Dandelion Tonic. Magic.” I think the “magic” is the fact that it is so strong that you only need a couple of drinks to forget about how ridiculously out of place you feel.

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Two drinks in and I was feeling fantastic. I was brushing shoulders with some of the event’s celebrity guests. We talked about things like, where the bathroom was, and yes you can have that chair, and no I did not order that grilled cheese and soup, I’m not sure why the waiter placed it on the table next to me. I was fitting right in.

Whose grilled cheese is this anyway?!

Whose $16 grilled cheese is this anyway?!

Every so often, one of my kids would sneak out of the movie screening, or be walked out by an au pair when they wouldn’t sit still for five seconds. My kids not sitting still? Imagine that. Since the only way to get my kids to behave in public is to bribe them, we bought them all gum balls (they’re all natural!) and sent them back into the screening. I did peek in on them once or twice and it turns out they were getting talked to an awful lot.

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While the kids were getting scolded once again, the adults were enjoying passed apps. My expectations of the food were a bit low. I heard it was overpriced and mediocre. Perhaps they were just showing off for the event, but everything we tried was delicious. Tiny cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches cut into bars caprese salad on a toothpick, and the juiciest little chicken nuggets I’ve ever tasted. My husband said the sweet potato fries were the best he’s had in a long time. Suffice to say, we weren’t disappointed in the food we ate, but we also didn’t pay for it, so take that with a grain of salt.

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If you have older kids, they probably wouldn’t care about this place much at all. But, someone on the design team thought about that, and so they put some awesome arcade games in the back of the restaurant. In fact, my husband, the biggest kid of them all, spent most of the evening back there. There’s also a fortune telling game and a photo booth. Basically, if you are currently a teenager in the 1980’s, this is where you’d hang out when you visit Au Fudge.

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Au Fudge really loves itself. You’ll find the name of the restaurant all over the place. In the little market at the front of the restaurant, they sell Au Fudge tote bags, and even a book with the title.

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And guess what else I found in that little shop. A variety of actually reasonably priced treats including? Fudge. Now I had to tell my kid that I lied about them not even having it. Or, I could say nothing and hope he doesn’t notice. Spoiler alert: He didn’t notice.

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Aside from baked goods and refrigerated drinks, the little gift shop carried a random variety of other stuff. Products from celebrity BFF Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, candy, packaged snacks, Easter baskets, art kits, hats, dresses, and even jewelry that you can order off of the “Jewelry Menu.” That is a real thing that I did not make up.

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What is a “Dessert Necklace?”

Even the bathroom was thoughtfully decorated. Like a chic farmer’s market bathroom or something.

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Since we weren’t actual paying customers, I suppose we didn’t get the full Au Fudge experience. But here’s what I learned while we were there:

It is a restaurant.
It’s owned by Jessica Biel.
It does serve fudge.
It is not for regular people like us.

If you’re into having a whimsical restaurant experience where you can leave your kids unattended for a little while and escape the perils of being rich and slightly famous, OR you want to pay too much for lunch while possibly running into rich and slightly famous people, Au Fudge is the place to go. If you’re a regular mom like me, it’s a fun experience to try once. If you just want to drink and let your kids run around, go to Chuck-e-cheese. It’s cheaper.

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Youth Theatre – The Hundred Dresses in Santa Monica

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Theatre is a great way to give children life lessons and experiences in a way that keeps them interested and captivated. Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre does this through their Youth Education/Entertainment Series. Also called Y.E.S., the series offers four youth productions each year and one full-length Youth Musical each November/ December; performances are on Saturdays and Sundays. Most Y.E.S. shows are selected to support national and local school reading lists.

Next in the series is The Hundred Dresses, a timeless tale about the power of words and finding the courage to stand up to others. Wanda Petronski just wants to join the fun of having friends like everyone else. But in 1930’s small town America, a Polish immigrant doesn’t easily fit in. When Maddie’s best friend Peggy starts to tease Wanda, Maddie knows it isn’t right. When the teasing doesn’t stop and the Petronskis move to get away from the town’s prejudices, Maddie is wracked with guilt. She soon realizes that allowing her friend to be a bully can be just as bad as acting that way herself. Determined not to let her fear get the best of her again, Maddie braves the scorn of her classmates and stands up to them, making an unlikely friend in the process.
The Hundred Dresses is showing Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 am, January 30th through February 14th, 2016. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $10 for children 12 and under. For more information, visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

Deal alert: Print this coupon before you go for a FREE snack from the concession stand! Valid until 2/14/2016. 

The Alone Experience: A Vague Review

Disclaimer: Free tickets to this haunt were provided for review purposes. No other compensation was received.

Alone Experience

Last week, contributors Angela and Jen ventured into Hollywood to experience a haunt like no other. The Alone Experience is described on their website as “A fully immersive 45-minute walkthrough experience, which you enter alone. Your body will move and be moved through our space.” A mix of theater, horror, and art, it’s exactly what it claims to be – an experience.

the alone experience entrace

There isn’t much detail given, and that’s part of what makes this haunt so…haunting. If you look through the site you’ll find vague descriptions, and testimonials that don’t tell you much aside from how amazing of an experience it is.

The Alone Experience is located in a non-descript building on Seward street, off Santa Monica Blvd. It looks more like an office than a haunted house, but once you pass the doorman and enter the building, there is a distinctly creepy air to it.  Even the bathroom is creepy, lit only with red lighting.

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In the waiting room, you’ll sign the waiver, check your car keys in (they ask that you leave the rest of your belongings in your car), and watch and wait while others enter into darkness. As you wait for your turn, you’ll hear the occasional banging or screaming, but for the most part it’s pretty quiet, and if you came with friends, you’re free to chat until your turn comes.

Once your name is called and you enter the door, you’re enveloped in darkness and all alone. The combination of anticipation and incapacitation sets you on edge, where you’ll continue to remain for the rest of the experience. Inside you might be touched, guided, spoken to, not spoken to, given tasks, and/or left to fend for yourself until you reach the end.

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Angela’s thoughts: “If you like old SciFi Horror Movies you will love this haunt. It feels like a cross between a David Lynch movie and a choose-your-own-adventure book, except the choices are made for you.”

Jen’s thoughts: “The Alone Experience isn’t your typical haunted house. It’s surreal and full of creepy whimsy that will at times, literally have you crawling on your hands and knees.”

jen at alone

This isn’t a haunt where your being chased by a crazed killer through gory rooms and dark hallways. This is a haunt that will make you question your very character.

There are still tickets left for October 30th, and they’re currently discounted! If there’s any way you can make it to The Alone Experience this week, we highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed.

Helpful Tip: Be sure to read the FAQ page. There’s a lot of important info there that you’re going to want to know.

 

If you visited The Alone Experience, leave your thoughts below!