Food, Kids, Southern California

zpizza Jr. Chef Pizza Party

August 31, 2015

#zpizzaJrChef raisedbyculture.comThis is a sponsored post in collaboration with zpizza.

My kids never say no to pizza. It is funny that they say no to a million other things like you know… picking up their toys, cleaning up their mess, eating vegetables but never pizza. This is where I admit to slacking as a parent. I’ve never actually made pizza with the kids. I used to love making pizza when I was a kid so I don’t know how we even got to this point. I know, I’m a terrible, horrible parent but I’m trying and this is how you make up for that. A zpizza Jr. Chef pizza party! zpizza does all the work. You pretty much just place the order, pick up the new Jr. Chef pizza kits (or you can host it at your local restaurant), invite some friends over and let fun happen!

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Family, Food, Kids

Our First Outdoor Movie

August 26, 2015

This post is sponsored by Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn.

#popcornpartytime raisedbyculture.comWalking up to US Weekly’s Family Movie Night at The Grove like … is all this popcorn for me? Seriously. My kid saw the Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn cart and I could see the hearts in his eyes. It was a dream come true. A whole table full of fresh popcorn ready for the taking. You can’t see a movie without popcorn. It’s the rules. After we got our popcorn on, we went to see what else we could get into at our first outdoor movie. There were stations for caricatures, face painting, red carpet pictures and games.

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Food, Kids, Travel

Road Trip Hack: Pack A Surprise Pack

August 24, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripHacks #CollectiveBias #Albertsons#roadtriphacks #albertsons

When Duke was in preschool, we drove from CA to TX. That was our longest trip ever and I’m still not sure how we did it. I’m surprised that after that trip, I said I’d do it again. I would love to do a cross-country road trip to Florida or New York or Chicago or even up the coast to Oregon & Washington. But we tend to stay close to home in our travels, I’d say we have a two hour radius cause California. We don’t really have to travel far. You can be in the beach, city, desert and mountains in the same day. For the longest time, we did San Diego every year but the wanderlust is strong and earlier this year we finally traveled up to Northern California to see my papa. That was Omar’s longest trip and he did so good. My road trip hack: pack a surprise pack. Fill a paper bag (I went with a smaller brown bag) with small bags of Doritos or Cheetos, throw in a Capri Sun and add in a few small toys. That’s it! A few bucks will make your kid super happy. I give it to them about 30 minutes into the trip so they have something to do in the car. I’ve been doing this with all the kids since the now 18 year old was about 5 years old.

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Culture, Food, Travel

Rising Tohoku Food Fair

August 22, 2015


It’s been 4 years since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The world was devastated when we saw the images and videos coming out of the Tōhoku region. Japan has always had a special place in my heart for two big reasons and a bunch of little ones. My papa would try to teach me Japanese when I was a kid. We’ve always wanted to visit Tokyo. Ask my husband, ask our teenagers. I got invited to attend a media event for the Rising Tohoku Food Fair at Mitsuwa in Torrance and I wasn’t going to miss it. Bringing Tohoku to Torrance by celebrating the culinary specialties, culture and beauty with delicious foods, festival & dance presentations, craft workshops and photo opportunities with city mascots.

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Turning A Tantrum Into Teaching

August 21, 2015

#tangletalk raisedbyculture.comI used baby products by JOHNSON’S® to care for my little one as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #johnsonspartners #TangleTalk

Yesterday was a long day for us and I know my kids, I knew a breakdown was coming. My little one was his sweet, cute self when he woke up this morning but after losing a few battles on his favorite game, he started crying. It was a fake, whiny cry at first and it turned into a “you aren’t listening to me mom” cry. You know how I diffuse this situation? A bath! I learned this from my husband actually. It works wonders. The toddler knows a bath would be at least 15 minutes of my undivided attention, maybe 25 if we pushed the fun. But this isn’t about the bath at all or his tantrum, it’s about after. When he gets out of the bath and is a little more relaxed… I comb his wet hair and tell him how cute he is. His attitude immediately changes. He’s feeling good about himself and wants to hear everything I have to say. We talk about rockin’ styles and his straight hair (just like his mama and daddy), I tell him his friends Lily and Sophie have curly hair and he makes silly faces when I show him his new style and runs away. Any way I can turn over a tantrum into a lesson is a win!

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Food, Kids, Travel

3 Tips For Your Snackation

August 21, 2015


We’re heading to Palm Springs next week for an epic end of summer staycation and thanks to a fun partnership with The J.M. Smucker Company, I’m sharing my favorite road trip tips! The drive is only about 90 minutes but in Southern California, you never know with traffic. I like to keep the car stocked up with snacks for the trip, during the trip and after the trip. Bring on the snackation!

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Food, Gluten Free

Love With Food Gluten-Free Box

August 19, 2015

#lovewithfood raisedbyculture.comThis is a sponsored post with Love With Food.

The week I turned 40 was an eye opener for me. Dehydration triggered an ugly episode of vertigo and I was out of commission for almost two weeks. It was then I realized that aging gracefully wasn’t an option unless I started focusing on drinking more water and eating less junk. I’m not saying I’m going to drastically change my life but I’m sure gonna make the necessary baby steps right now. Starting first with snacks, my lifeline. Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Subscribers will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks and for every box sold, a meal is donated to several food banks such as my favorite Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry.

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Family, Food, Movies

Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn + US Weekly’s Family Movie Night

August 18, 2015

This post is sponsored by Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn.

Just about everyone in Southern California is back in school or headed back to school this month, and I’m looking to get into epic end-of-summer fun with my family.

One thing we haven’t indulged in yet this summer is a movie, and the boys are overdue. My friends have all been raving about the outdoor-movie experience—it’s big out here. You bring your comfiest blanket and your favorite snacks and drinks, and enjoy a night out with, and under, the stars. I’m totally surprising the boys next week with Orville Redenbacher’s Movies in the Park series, happening across the U.S. this fall! Come check it out—it’s free!

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Culture, Kids, Shopping


August 16, 2015

We emptied out a storage unit earlier this year after having it for over 5 years. That’s embarrassing to say and I can’t believe we continued to pay for it that long. Only 25% of what was in that storage unit actually mattered to us and the rest was crap. Crap we spent money on when we bought it and continued to spend money on each and every month for five long years. That was almost $8000 in storage fees when I think about it and it makes me so mad. I’m telling you this because we made a decision right then and there to be more conscious of what we purchase. A big thanks to ViVAiODAYS for showing me the way. is a curated collection of high-quality, sustainably sourced products for young families. I’ll tell you why this is important. Young families like ours and yours have open minds and want to bring up a better future generation. I care, you care. And it goes beyond that. It is respect for the environment, respect for society (diverse work force, no child labor) and respect for customers’ wellness.

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Cars, Family, Travel

You The Real MVP, 2016 KIA Sedona

August 14, 2015


When your parents haven’t been home in 8 years and your mama has made it clear that they are only using their hotel room to sleep, you want to know what they have planned for their weeklong California homecoming. See my parents aren’t your typical 60 year olds, they do thangs. Good things. I love hanging with my folks. They know what’s up. I definitely get my love of food and sense of adventure from them. There was no way our five seat SUV could handle our family + all that fun for a week. My friends at DriveShop never do me wrong and I knew they knew exactly what car we needed. A brand new 2016 KIA Sedona SXL. Nothing but the best for my folks! This is not your mama’s minivan.

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