This is the 4th year of the Crafting Community family weekend at The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. And this is the 4th year that I have wanted my family to go. It is AMAZING. The Crafting Community creates “immersive design experiences” where families can spend time together, create together and experience art, music, and making new friendships…together. And The Ace is awesome so you know you are going to have a good time just being there. My son still talks about swimming in the pool there. See an example of how the day is structured here. Doesn’t that sound so great! One of these years I will remember to not travel so much during the summer and save up for this family trip in early fall. Someone remind me, OK? In the mean time I have entered every contest I could find to see if I can win us a trip for this year!
*My family was treated to an afternoon of water-ific fun at the new Buccaneer Cove at Boomers in Irvine. All opinions are mine.
To say the boys were excited about getting to try out the new Buccaneer Cove area at Boomers in Irvine was an understatement. They couldn’t wait to get there. We first heard about the new water slide area when we were playing miniature golf at Boomers right after school ended for summer. And, of course, you can see the brightly colored slides right from the 405 freeway. They couldn’t wait to see what it was all about.
Buccaneer Cove has a huge water play area in the center of the enclosed park which is surrounded on one side by cabanas and chairs and on the other side by the water slide tower. The cabanas need to be reserved ahead of time but are a really great idea for those of you who want or need to be in a bit of shade. It was easy to watch little kids play in this area, but be warned it is very easy to get wet here and if you need to chase after your kids for any reason, you most certainly will have to go directly through this area. So wear a suit! Even if you aren’t planning to get wet. You will.
There are 5 water slides, one of which is perfect for toddlers and smaller kids. You must be 36″ tall to ride the other four slides. 3 are covered and 1 is open air. There are no “pool” at the bottom of the slides so being a strong swimmer is not necessary. There are also several workers operating the slides and they are really great about safety and getting kids out of the way of the next rider. I was pretty impressed with them. [Read more...]
*I was invited to Kidstock, a private fundraising event to share the experience with you. All opinions are my own.
A few weekends ago I was invited to a really cool fundraising event in Beverly Hills called Kidstock. Held at Greystone Mansion, this annual interactive arts and music festival is a ridiculously fun family event. Sponsored by Hudson Jeans, this event raises money for an organization called One Voice. One Voice helps kids from inner cities prepare, attend and pay for college, as well as other holiday and emergency programs for deserving inner city families. What I love about the scholarship program is that they don’t just get the kids in school and then leave them to fend for themselves. The group supports the students all the way through graduation.
So I brought along my oldest son (who has been begging me to take him to LA – he hears about it from me and his dad) and carpooled up with one of O’s favorite friends (and daughter of the fabulous Nicole).
The kids were beyond excited. They had no idea what to expect but I knew they were going to have tons of opportunities to make amazing memories. I had seen a list of the sponsors and was blown away at what was going to be available.
Of course we had to start the day off at the step and repeat. I think at this point my son knew he was in for a lot of photos…I have a bittersweet love affair with Hudson Jeans. About 5 years ago, I changed my eating habits and found myself at a size 6, a size I hadn’t been since high school. I bought the most adorable pair of Hudson jeans. Before I could take them to get hemmed, I found out I was pregnant with my second son. Those jeans sat in my closet for years hoping, one day, that I would finally get to wear them. But I have finally come to terms with the fact that I really enjoy food. And those size 6 Hudson jeans had to be let go of. They are on a farm upstate…
One of the ways they raise money at this event is the purchase of kid’s jeans and t-shirts by Hudson. They were awesome!! I’m totally kicking myself for not buying any jeans. Especially since my son asked me for a pair. And he is VERY picky about his clothes. Plus they had a bunch of cool patches you could choose to customize your pants or shirt.
Radio Disney had a photo booth area set up which of course we had to try out.
As we started walking away from the booth, look who popped up behind us. Rodg and Sky Sky. Maj! (He was super gracious when I asked if I could take his photo. His wife is my fave but, sadly, she was not there).
We ran in to some of our favorite artists at Kidstock. Dallas Clayton is awesome. And O got to meet him. He had a booth where kids could color some of his illustrations. O got to meet Stephanie Scott, star of Disney Channel’s A.N.T. Farm. Could she be any cuter! And I loved getting a quick second with Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans. Click on his name and watch the whole video. I love what Peter has to say about his branding and company culture. I pretty much only want to wear Hudson from here on out. So inspiring. He was so gracious and genuinely excited about the event. LOVE that!
And I was SUPER excited about seeing Ziggy Marley with his family. While I tried to not approach the celebs and let them spend some time with their families, I had to get a picture with Ziggy. And share a story with him. Ziggy was the first concert I went to. But I was only a sophomore in high school and the concert was in Los Angeles (I’m from Orange County). So my mom took me. The concert was at the Greek Theater up in the hills. I remember that we left early because I had a migraine. But I also remember that my mom went up to one of the security guards and made sure he knew that people were smoking pot around us. The guard just looked at her like she was crazy. EVERYONE was smoking pot around us. I might have been a bit mortified. I told Ziggy that story and he got a good laugh out of it. I called my mom on the way home from Kidstock to tell her I had a picture with him and reminded her of that story. She said she told the guard because the smoke was giving me a headache. I laughed and told her it probably would have helped the headache.
There were activity booths set up all over the grounds of the estate to keep the kids engaged. I was super happy to see Kiwi Crate was there. My son made a drum in their booth. See that arm around the little girl’s shoulder? Totally a celebrity. Seriously, can’t I just take a photo of my kid without a celebrity being in my shot? Just kidding.
Joann had multiple booths set up with awesome crafts. I was really impressed with the thought that went in to each booth. Most of the activities were music or art themed and really made the event. The materials were super high quality and while the crafts were pretty intricate, they were not too hard for the kids to do with a bit of supervision.
My son’s favorite booth was the SodaStream booth. My son does not get to drink soda very often. But I loved it too. There were tons of different flavors to choose from. I chose a delicious lime flavor that was not overly sweet. And my son favored the Kool Aid Cherry flavored soda. He BEGGED me to get a SodaStream after this. And I considered it. How awesome would this be to have at a party?!
DSW sponsored this rad Converse airbrushing booth. For a small fee, you purchased white Converse sneakers and then picked what you wanted painted on there. Artists from A.M Style Entertainment then painted the shoes. We were able to watch O’s shoes getting painted. SO COOL!!!!!
I was really excited for O to have a chance to see some live music. While his father and I have talked about taking him with us to shows, I’m afraid it might make him prematurely deaf. But I knew the music here would be perfect for the kids. O got to see his fave, Stephanie Scott perform. And later on in the day we watch this amazing family band called Rhythm Child. How awesome to see young musicians putting on a really fun show.
Nicole and I had a great time with the kids but it was also super to run in to Andrea. I stole this photo from her Instagram.
And though my younger son didn’t come with us, I did get him his own shirt and there was a pair of Shwings in the gift bag that he flipped for.
The event was amazing. I was grateful to be invited and be able to share that experience with my son. It encompassed everything that we love and it was just plain fun. I was delighted to see a mention in US Weekly. So glad that Hudson Jeans and One Voice were able to raise a lot of money for a great cause. The event staff should be so proud of what they have put together.
I have a son named Miles who gets mad. About EVERYTHING. He clenches his fists, growls and scowls when we go to school, run errands, mention we are going to the zoo, talk about taking a bath. His first reaction is always anger. Of course, he always ends up enjoying the activity. I mean, what little kid wouldn’t have fun at the zoo? But it is exhausting. When I saw this book, When Miles Got Mad, I HAD to have it. I would have bought it if it was a Matt that got mad but the fact that it was his actual name made it too perfect to pass up. And I love anything from Ruby’s Studio. We have Sally Simon Simmons’ Super Frustrating Day in bedtime story rotation so I knew this new book was going to be great too.
I love how they used photography and illustrations together in this book. Not only is the book a great story about managing your anger, but it is done in a very aesthetically pleasing way too. The story is about two brothers who are playing together and something gets broken.
The book explains that when you are angry, you turn in to a monster (although I think this monster could have been drawn a bit scarier – he’s still quite cute). The only way to make that monster go away is to calm down and use your words. In the end, Miles sees that his reaction was bad and he understands how to handle the situation with his brother better.
Such a cute book! If you haven’t checked out the Ruby’s Studio books or videos you really need to. My family loves them!
*NOT a sponsored post. We love these books and I want you to love them too.
I know this looks like just a photograph but it is so much more! It is actually a postcard that I sent to my husband via Postcardly. I don’t remember where I first heard about Postcardly but I was instantly excited about it. It might be the easiest way to send snail mail. And who doesn’t like to get mail that isn’t bills? My nieces live in another state and while I wish I could see them or talk to them on the phone all the time, it just isn’t possible. So I wanted a way that I could let them know that my and my family were thinking about them.
All you do is set up a quick account and create an email address that corresponds with a mailing address. Then, right from your own inbox, you create an email. You use the email address you created through Postcardly and upload any image. The company will turn the image in to a postcard and whatever is in the body of the message will get printed on the back. How cool is that! There are different plans to chose from. For instance, you can pay $4.99/ month and be able to send 5 postcards or pay $9.99/ month for 10 postcards. Yes you are paying for convenience which unfortunately I need or else nothing gets put in the mail. Take a look at all their pricing info and frequently asked questions here. They do offer a free trial which you should definitely try!
Check out those killer Photoshop skills! Wink. I think this is the perfect way to make someone smile. My husband was super excited to get this postcard in the mail. And I know my nieces will be jazzed to get theirs too.
*This was not a sponsored post. I emailed Postcardly and asked if I could review it because it looked like something I could use. I was given a free trial. All opinions are my own.