The Road – Wordless Wednesday

The Road (Photo by Yvonne Condes)

There was no theme this week so I picked “The Road.” I want to go on a road trip in the desert before it gets too hot, but then today was 90 degrees so I may have missed that window.


 


 

Wordless Wednesday: Downtown LA's Union Station

la's union station train station los angeles

When I told my husband that I went to Union Station in Downtown LA for the first time yesterday, he couldn’t believe I’d never been there. He took our boys one Sunday when I was out of town and it was one of the best outings they’ve ever had, he said. He told them it was just like the train station in Harry Potter, which made it magical for them. They toured the station, had lunch, and rode the train out to see the grandparents.

Here are my iPhone pictures from my own mini-tour of the station. The walk through the station was followed up by lunch at Homegirl Cafe.

union station downtown la

union station downtown los angeles
sees candy union station
union station los angeles
homegirl cafe spinach smoothie

Wikets Recs From the Natural Products Expo West

Wikets new app recommendations

The Natural Products Expo West came to Anaheim in March and I was overwhelmed by all of the great products. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get the word out about everything I saw until I realized it was a great way to use the Wikets app for iPad and iPhone.

Wikets let you recommend, or ‘Rec,” products that you love. I’ve been working with Wikets  for a while and I’m still genuinely into it. It’s a way to get real recommendations to and from real people that you know and trust.

Here are my top 5 recs from the Natural products expo:

1)    Lucy’s Cookies –I was able to meet Dr. Lucy Gibney at the show and she was delightful. More importantly, her gluten free, peanut-free, vegan cookies are delicious. My husband, who has Celiac Disease and can’t have gluten, loves the ginger snaps.

lucy's gluten free cookies
Dr. Lucy Gibney of Lucy’s Gluten-Free Cookies

2)    Udi’s Gluten Free – My boys and I devoured the box of Snickerdoodles I brought home from the show in about a half hour. Udi’s does an amazing job making gluten-free breads, muffins, and cookies taste like great.

3)    Emergen-C Kidz – I’ve been starting my mornings with Emergen-C for months now. It has electrolytes and vitamins, which are a great way to begin each day. I know kids (and adults) should get their vitamins through food, but I like to give my boys a little extra help.

emergen-C Kidz expo west
Emergen-C Kidz at Expo West

4)    Luna Protein Bars – Everything from Clif is good to me, but I especially love the Luna Protein Bars. It’s a great breakfast on the go and it tastes like candy. I just need to make sure I don’t eat it as a second breakfast. It has a lot of protein and calories. I also really liked the new Kit’s Organic Fruit and Nut Bar from Clif, which is just fruit and nuts.

5)    Gluten Freeda – I rec’d the gluten-free Oatmeal, but I very much liked the gluten-free burritos. The tortillas were soft and tasted like wheat flour tortillas. So good.

There were many more products like Begley’s Best Environmentally Friendly products and Julie’s Organics gluten-free ice cream sandwich cookies. Not only that, but there were so many products I never even made it to. It was a huge expo this year.

If you’d like more information about Wikets, visit  http://wikets.com. Wikets isn’t just a great place to find out what to do and where to shop. You can earn points by rec’ing and just by signing up you get double points. I highly recommend you check it out.

This is a sponsored post. The recommendations are not sponsored and these are products I really like. 

Wikets new app recommendations

 

Sprinkles Cupcakes 24-Hour ATM

sprinkles cupcakes atm beverly hills

I had only 10 minutes yesterday and I wanted to get a little something for a friend’s birthday. I went to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills and of course there was a very long line. Then I saw it. The thing I’ve been talking about for weeks. One of the best ideas I’ve heard of in so many years; the Sprinkles Cupcakes 24-hour ATM.

It’s fantastic. You select your cupcake on the menu screen. You swipe your credit card.

sprinkles cupcakes atm beverly hills

 

Then a minute or so later, it appears.

sprinkles cupcake atm beverly hills

 

Happy Birthday, Friend!

sprinkles cupcake from the atm

Friends With Kids

I’m very excited to go to a screening of the “Friends With Kids” tonight. The cast is amazing – Maya Rudolph, Kristin Wiig, Jon Hamm – and it’s starring and was written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt who also wrote Kissing Jessica Stein (and who dates Jon Hamm). Here’s the preview.

The movie opens tomorrow and after the Arclight Hollywood’s 8 p.m. show John Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt will be there for a Q & A. https://www.arclightcinemas.com/ticketing/purchase-options/?lid=1001&bid=165643” target=”_blank”>Here’s information about tickets.

Dear Husband, Who Needs Jennifer Lopez?

ryan seacrest american idol party
ryan seacrest american idol party
Ryan Seacrest at the American Idol party at The Grove (photo by Sarah Auerswald, Ryan Seacrest’s new bff)

Dear Husband,

Today is your birthday and I want you to know how much I love you.  As I sit and watch live video of Ryan Seacrest joking around with my friends, I know I made the right decision to stay home with you. It’s your day, your very special day.

I know that it’s very unlikely that Jennifer Lopez will show up at the American Idol party at the Grove, which is I confess is one of my favorite places in Los Angeles (celebrities, clothes, donuts!). It’s just a screening of the show, there won’t be any contestants and no judges. No JLo. No beautiful JLo, in the champagne dress, hair pulled back, diamond hoops. No, no.

Wait, there she is on twitter. It says “JLo was gorgeous!” And yes, she is gorgeous. I can see that from the tiny picture on Twitter. The teeny tiny picture of the larger than life star. My favorite star. Did I mention that? That I love Jennifer Lopez oh so much.

But I digress. It’s your birthday and sitting here on the couch with you side by side with our laptops is way better than eating gourmet food and champagne. Better than meeting all of the contestants for the new season.

Actually, it truly is. While it would have been fun to have a few seconds with Jennifer Lopez, I would definitely pick an evening with you.

3/1/2012

 

 

The Cat In The Hat-A-Thon on PBS KIDS

My boys are 6 and 8 years old now and each year it gets harder to control guide what they are interested in. But I think it will be quite a long time before they age out of PBS KIDS. They love the exciting adventures of the Wild Kratts and Word Girl, learning about paleontology from Dinosaur Train, and hearing the informative Seussisms of The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That.

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on Saturday, PBS KIDS is having a Cat In The Hat-a-thon on Friday, March 2. We will definitely be watching (or DVRing) the two new episodes that will be airing, one about seasons and the other about growing up.  You can catch the 2-hour marathon in Los Angeles on PBS Socal starting at 8 a.m Friday and also at 6 a.m. Sunday.

If you want even more The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That, you can enter to win one of two prizes I’m giving away. The prize includes a The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That video plus a 3D book and a $25 gift certificate to the PBS KIDS shop. All you need to do to win is leave a comment with your contact information before noon on Sunday, March 4. I’ll pick 2 winners using Random.org and announce them on March 5.

The winners are Angelike and Shelley. Thank you for playing! 

Disclosure: I received the same prize pack that I’m giving away 

Story Pirates, The Lorax, and Salma Hayek

Story pirates perform in westwood

So many things happened last week, including the PS Vita MomsLA event, but the most exciting was seeing my son’s story acted out by the Story Pirates at the Geffen Annex in Westwood. I wrote about it on MomsLA, but here is the video.

That was Saturday. On Sunday the family and I went to the premiere of “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,” which I also wrote about on MomsLA. Here’s my picture with The Lorax himself, Danny DeVito.

danny devito the lorax

Then on Friday, the fun continued with a press conference at the L’ Ermitage in Beverly Hills where Got Milk? announced its latest spokesperson, Salma Hayek. The video in the MomsLA post includes the two new Got Milk? commercials, both of which are very cute.

Ellie Krieger was also there and she gave us a copy of her delicious-looking cookbook “Comfort Food Fix: Feel Good Favorites Made Healthy.” She was kind enough to talk about Got Milk?’s The Breakfast Project on video and also gave the group of bloggers great tips for making a healthy breakfast.

To read more about events, news, and education in Los Angeles, please visit MomsLA.com.

Latest Wikets Rec: Rockreation Rock Climbing Gym in West Los Angeles

wikets rockreation rock climbing

I posted recently about my latest obsession, the Wikets app for iPad and iPhone. It’s not just because I’m working with Wikets, but it’s because I can tell the world about what products, places, and apps that I’m currently loving.

For example, my latest Wikets recommendation, or “rec,” was for Rockreation rock climbing gym in West LA. Rockreation has adult free climbing, adult classes plus it offers kids classes, camps, and birthday parties. We had my son’s 8th birthday party there on Saturday and it was fantastic. It was $25 per child and the price included the equipment and one instructor per 5 kids. The kids loved it and they got quite a workout. The instructors had them climb walls with varying degrees of difficulty. If the kids didn’t want to climb with ropes, there were walls they could climb side to side.

About halfway through the party the kids took a break and had Fresh Brothers Pizza, another of my Wikets recs. I’m a huge fan of Fresh Brothers because they have excellent spinach and mushroom pizza and the best gluten-free pizza around (my husband has celiac).

Fresh brothers pizza
Fresh Brothers' Momma's Pizza

After pizza we had birthday cake. I can’t rec this cake, but I would if I could. I made it myself and I was extremely proud. I’ll post the recipe next week.

Homemade Rockclimbing Cake

The party was a great success and I was happy to have Wikets to tell people about the great time we had at Rockreation. Wikets is perfect for that because you have the ability to follow people that you know you can trust.

If you’d like to join Wikets, you can sign up here. If you use the promo code YvonneinLA, you’ll get double points. You use the points to buy products.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post and for working with Wikets. My opinions are all my own. (Just FYI – I was not compensated by Fresh Brothers or Rockreation.)

Baby

All of the sudden there were 20 people in the room. I was in labor about to deliver. This should not have come as a shock to anyone because I was induced 10 hours earlier. But for some reason the doctor didn’t believe the nurse that I was ready to push. “I’ll be there in a couple of hours,” she told her over the phone.

Well my baby wasn’t about to wait. After a few minutes nurses came pouring into my room. One said, “We thought it would be fun to watch.”

The nurse who had been with me most of the day checked me again and said, “Don’t push!!!!” and ran to the door and yelled “Someone get a doctor!”

A lovely nurse who had just arrived held my hand and said, “It’s fine. Push if you feel like it.”

I asked her, “Why do we need a doctor? Cab drivers can deliver babies. And you’re all nurses. What are we waiting for?”

“Nothing,” she said. “Go ahead and push.”

“No!!” the main nurse said as she got ready to catch. Because he came out pretty quick. After 3 pushes he was out.

And he was blue. Blue like a blueberry. Thankfully, three of the nurses were neonatal nurses (there was supposed to be just one) and they whisked him away to the other side of the room. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t breath. Everyone was quiet. My husband and sister, silent for the first time that day, were standing over the baby.

Then a few seconds later, a wail. A few minutes later I had my perfect baby in my arms.

That was 8 years ago today. The day my life changed forever.