The Nutcracker is Coming to Town! [+ TICKET GIVEAWAY]

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I have yet to take my girls to see The Nutcracker ballet at the holidays, so I was thrilled to pieces when Ballet Etudes contacted us to share their special Nutcracker performances coming up this December. I plan to take my girlies and hope it becomes an annual tradition.

GIVEAWAY alert!! We have 4 tickets to give away to the Ballet Etudes The Nutcracker 7pm performance on 12/13 – enter at end of this post. Good luck!  Ballet Etudes Nutcracker


Ballet Etudes’ annual production of the holiday classic ballet, The Nutcracker, will take place December 6th and 7th and December 13th and 14th at the beautiful Huntington Beach High School Auditorium.

Ballet Etudes is a non-profit youth ballet company whose mission is to expose a new generation of children, both performers and audience members, to the beauty, grace, and athleticism of ballet, and to offer this experience at affordable prices. 

I am so in love with an organization that strives to bring the arts to families by making it affordable to do so.

About Ballet Etudes’ The Nutcracker

Set to the timeless music of Peter Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara, a young girl who receives the gift of a nutcracker soldier from her mysterious godfather.

During the night, magical events unfold: the Christmas tree grows taller, toy soldiers and little mice become larger, and Clara’s nutcracker turns into a handsome Prince who takes Clara on a magical journey to the Kingdom of Sweets, where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and a celebration of dances.

This full-length, traditional production is choreographed and directed by Ballet Etudes’ Artistic Directors Megan Pulfer and Sean Crawford, and Assistant Artistic Director Sasha Robinson.

Pre-show presentations are held before the 2 p.m. performances, 30 minutes prior to curtain. After each performance, the cast comes out to the lobby and poses for photos with audience members.

Ticket Information and Pricing

Tickets prices are  for Orchestra are $25, Balcony $25. Group discounts are available for scouts, churches, seniors, and home-school groups.


Saturday, December 6th at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 7th at 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 13th at 2:00 p.m.  & 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 14th at 2:00 p.m.

To purchase tickets or more information please call (714) 902-9423 or visit Huntington Beach High School Auditorium is located at 1905 Main St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648.

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

Enter to win 4 tickets to the 7pm performance on Saturday, 12/13/14. Good luck!

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The Learning Toy that Grows with Your Kids!

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This post is sponsored by VTech’s InnoTab® MAX

When it comes to choosing the perfect toy for your child, VTech is the leading expert at packaging fun with learning. With the InnoTab® MAX, your children will get years of learning fun through their fastest tablet yet. On top of an adaptable design that features a tough, kid-friendly cover, the InnoTab® MAX has a 7” multi-touch screen with high-resolution display, and over 600 cartridges, downloads and even carefully-selected educational Android™ apps so your kids will never get bored!

The VTech Kid Connect™ app on the tablet also lets you exchange text and voice messages, photos, drawings and fun stickers with your kids via your smartphone so you’re constantly connected!

Check out the video above to learn more about the InnoTab® MAX and visit to check out how VTech facilitates “Learning that’s Wow!”

VTech InnoTab Max

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Ho-Ho-Holy Moly! Santa Has Gone High Tech!

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lakewood Center and we were invited to attend a special media preview of Santa HQ before its Grand Opening earlier this month.

Santa HQ

This season Lakewood Center and Los Cerritos Center are pleased to introduce a thoroughly modern, extraordinarily high tech visit with Santa – the new Santa HQ, presented by HGTV, which offers an adventure I can guarantee your children have never seen before. I have a Santa HQ photo package *****GIVEAWAY***** to give away to one lucky winner! Please enter at end of this post!

Folks, the magic has been kicked up a notch at Santa HQ. Big time.

Please GO.  It’s a hands-on experience they will never forget. Mine sure haven’t.

Best of all, guests can plan ahead by booking a reservation online at to make the experience easier than ever to enjoy. No more crazy long lines with impatient, cranky toddlers. Thank you Santa HQ.

‘Naughty O’Nice Meter 

The introduction to Santa HQ includes a scan on the ‘Naughty O’ Nice Meter where an attendant enters in your child’s name (or yours, if you are brave enough) and the results are shown on the light up screen for all to see.

My girls both made it on the NICE list. Phew. Now it was time to relax and continue our tour through Santa HQ.

Naughty or Nice Meter

Take an ELFIE Selfie!

Exclusively at Lakewood Center visitors can take an ELFIE selfie and star in their own holiday video.

At the ELFIE selfie display, you take a “selfie” with their tablet and then you can create your very own Elfie video.

Want to see my two daughters and I as dancing elves? Thought so. You can click here to watch and enjoy.

Now if seeing yourself as a dancing elf doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will!

Elfie Selfie

Santa’s Observatory

As we continued through Santa HQ, my girls made a stop to check out Santa’s Control Center and tablets showing ELF-RAY Vision.

Santa's Observatory

A Meeting with the Big Man Himself 

After all of these fun explorations, we turned the corner and got a glimpse of the big man himself.

I am a tad picky about the Santas I see at the mall, as we all know, some are better than others, and this Santa was a GOOD one.

My girls hopped on up and had to share the exciting news that they had made it on the “Good” list.


And I couldn’t resist hopping in for my own SANTA Selfie….

Santa Selfie

Santa HQ Hours

Santa HQ will be open 7 days a week Monday –Saturday from 11am until 8pm, 11am-7pm on Sundays through Dec. 11 and 9am-9pm from Dec. 12 – Dec. 23. Santa HQ is open until 6pm on Christmas Eve. Reservations are encouraged through

Santa welcomes his four legged friends at Santa Paws pet photo nights from 6-9pm on December 1, 8 and 15 at Lakewood Center and December 2, 9 and 16 at Los Cerritos Center.

Santa HQ also features a light show that runs throughout the day featuring “Carol of the Bells” and “Sleigh Ride” – a track on the recently-released Pentatonix holiday album, That’s Christmas To Me - as part of the experience.

Both centers invite guests to enter the HGTV Home for the Holidays Sweepstakes for a chance to win $10,000! To enter, guests can visit or enter at Guest Services.

For up-to-the-moment Santa HQ information visit and

Win a Santa HQ Photo Package!

One lucky winner will win a Santa HQ photo package valued at $46.99 which includes a various number of prints PLUS a downloadable link to your Santa Photos so you can share with your friends or on social media.  Prize can be redeemed at either Los Cerritos Center or Lakewood Center.

Good luck!
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Juicy Holiday Gift Guide – FOR HIM

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Disclosure: We are a part of the Amazon Affiliate program and all links in this post are affiliate links. No difference in price or shopping experience to you, but if you purchase a small percentage goes to support our blog. Thank you! 

Amazon holiday gift ideas for him

Typically holiday gift ideas for him are the hardest for me, but we found a lot of great ideas on Amazon so today’s post is on Amazon holiday gift ideas for him.

Click here for our Amazon holiday gift ideas for her, for little girls, and for little boys.

Links below correlate with the images above top to bottom, left to right. Happy shopping!

Amazon Holiday Gift Ideas for Him 2014 

1. Culina BBQ set 14 pcs Stainless Steel in Easy Stow Aluminum Carry Case

2. #1 Silicone BBQ Gloves

3. Patagonia Chacabuco Pack – 32L Black

4. Casio G-SHOCK 30th Anniversary Collaboration Series

5. Dad’s Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time

6. Dancin Dogg OptiShot Infrared Golf Simulator

7. Herschel Supply Co. Charlie Nubuck Leather, Brown, One Size

8. UGG Australia Men’s Ascot Leather Slippers

9. Jockey Men’s Tall Flannel Sleep Pant

10. SOG EL-10-CP Contractor I Knife

11. Fenix LD12 G2 125 Lumens Compact EDC LED Flashlight use 1x AA Battery with Free Holster, Lanyard & 1 LumenTac AA Battery

12. The Godfather (Widescreen Edition)

13. Brookstone – Perfect Drink App-Controlled Smart Bartending

14. Citizen Men’s AW1361-10H “Sport” Stainless Steel Watch with Brown Leather Band

15. The North Face Summit Series Radium Hi-Loft Jacket

16. Good&god Vintage Pu Leather Briefcase Shoulder Business Laptop Messenger Bag

17. Libbey Craft Brew Sampler 6-Piece Beer Glasses Set, Clear

18. Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-1/2-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black

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Juicy Holiday Gift Guide -FOR LITTLE BOYS

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Disclosure: We are a part of the Amazon Affiliate program and all links in this post are affiliate links. No difference in price or shopping experience to you, but if you purchase a small percentage goes to support our blog. Thank you! Amazon Gift Ideas for Boys

Onward with our holiday gift guide – and we are talking today about Amazon holiday gift ideas for little boys! This year we are trying to help you by providing gift ideas for everyone on your list which can all be found on Amazon to make it easy.

Click here for our Amazon holiday gift ideas for her and here for gift ideas for little girls. Our FOR HIM post is coming soon – stay tuned.

Products linked below correspond with items in graphic, top to bottom, left to right. Happy shopping!

Amazon Holiday Gift Ideas for Little Boys 2014

1. Franklin Sports Competition Goal (4-Ft. x 6-Ft.)

2. EzyRoller Ultimate Riding Machine – Red - My friend swears by this toy and says it has been one of the best toys as far as use and longevity of entertainment. Plus, it just looks super fun anytime I see her kids on it!

3. Mini Micro Scooter – Aqua

4. Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue Piston Peak Trackset

5. Exclusive Minecraft Foam Diamond Sword

6. Zoomer Dino

7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of Books 1-8 + The Do-It-Yourself Book - Big fan of book sets for kids. I think there is something really fun about having a series that you own.

8. VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch, Blue

9. Lifetime Portable Tetherball System

10. LEGO Kids’ Star Wars Darth Vader Mini-Figure Alarm Clock

11. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ninja Control Shellraiser RC Vehicle

12. Fisher-Price Octonauts Octopod Playset

13 .Apple iPad Mini

14. VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels – Train Station Playset

15. Playhut Jake and the Neverland Pirates – Bucky Play Structure

16. PlasmaCar Ride On, Lime Green

17. Kinetic Sand – Sandbox & Molds Activity Set

18. Thomas the Train: TrackMaster Castle Quest Set

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