Monday, December 31, 2012

Family Friendly New Year's Eve Events: Monday, 12/31

There are three great events tonight perfect for families to celebrate the New Year.

Great Night! Family New Year's Eve Celebration
Irvine, Great Park

Free admission. $10 parking. Live music, dancing, food, rides, games, activities for kids. Alcohol- free. Pay only for the food!

New Year's Eve Party
Old Town Monrovia

Free admission. Live music, kid area with games/activities, champagne toasts, New Year's ball, beer/wine garden.

New Year's Eve in Downtown Long Beach

Rose Parade
Colorado Blvd, Pasadena
Noon Monday - 10am Tuesday

Free. Pack up the sleeping bags, food, and make a night out of staking out a prime spot for the Rose Parade on Tuesday morning.

*New Year's Day*
Autry Museum, Griffith Park

Free admission on 1/1/2013!

Ultimate Free Family Entertainment: The Rose Parade

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Everyone living in the Los Angeles should experience watching the Rose Parade in person at least once in their life. To be among the crowd celebrating the New Year with the whole world is truly an amazing experience. To get the best viewing stake out a space by Monday at noon, and plan for the party. 

Read an article with tips from the Pasadena Police Department here.

My tips:
  • Bring a thick yoga-type or sleeping mat if you plan to sleep on the street. The mat is a great barrier keeping the cold from the street away from your body. At the very least cardboard.
  • Dress as warm as you can in layers. Thermal type shirt/pants, turtle neck, sweatshirt, scarf, gloves, jacket, sweatpants, two layers of socks. The key is to make yourself look like a marshmallow with lots of space for your body to trap air.
  • The north side of Colorado Blvd will be sunny throughout the parade, it helps in warming up in the morning. Bring sun glasses and sunscreen though. Or find a spot on the south side that is free of buildings or trees blocking that could block the sun's warm rays.
  • Bring toilet paper in case the porta-potties run out.
  • If you are close enough, ride your bicycles and you don't have to worry about parking.
  • Chairs helps maintain your family's space as the crowds start to grow in the morning.
  • Noise cancelling headphones can aid in drowning out any noise from other campers if you plan to get any sleep.
  • The parade starts at 8am and is 2 hours long. It can take well over an hour for the parade to reach the end of the route. If you stake out a spot near the end expect to wait. Check the route here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Incredible Christmas Light Displays: Montebello 2011

This list is from 2011. The house on Gerhart is still up and the best I've seen in the Montebello area yet!

Golf Course neighborhood:
  • 355 Gerhart, just north of Beverly Blvd: yard is covered, best overall: MUST SEE!
  • 764 Findlay Avenue, just south of Beverly Blvd: nice music/lights
  • 644 Leonard Street: best use of a penguin
  • 708 Bradshawe Street
  • 3549 Via San Delarro
Cantwell/Sacred Heart High School neighborhood:
  • 400-700 S. Findlay Ave: several homes with nice displays
  • 13032 Via Corona: A+ display
  • 356 Via Miramonte
  • 2440 Repetto
  • 2451 Cleveland: A+ display
  • 417 Concourse: Peanuts display
  • 2401 Via Corona
  • 416 Via Val Verde
Ashiya Park neighborhood:
  • 501 Via Altamira, located on corner of Beverly & Altamira
  • 481 1/2 Hay Street, upstairs apartment: best display for an apartment
  • 2456 Via Nina: unique Noah's ark inflatable
Civic Center neighborhood:
  • 513A 20th street, near McDonald's
  • 617 & 624 Taylor Ave, making the best use of a balcony
Schurr High School Neighborhood:
  • 904 Brighton: Biggest Santa ever!
  • 1405 Westmoreland: Santa in an outhouse
  • 808 Coffman
  • 844 Taylor
  • 1500 Aldea
Racquet Mountain Neighborhood:
  • 845 Juarez
  • 857 Juarez: Ferris Wheel
  • 905- 945 Alfred: a few nice displays on this block
  • 814 Yorktown: adorable

Friday, December 21, 2012

Free Holiday Movies & Fun: Downtown L.A., Saturday 12/22

4pm: Face painting and food trucks
5pm: Giveaway and Prizes
5:15: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, animated version
6pm: Ugly Sweater Contest
6:15: Home Alone, movie

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Free Kid Haircuts at JCPenney Salons Every Sunday!!!

UPDATE:  JCPenney has discontinued this event as of 2/4/13. They will honor all free haircut appointments that have been made, but will not be making new appointments. : (
They JCPenney Salon is now taking appointments for FREE KID HAIRCUTS EVERY SUNDAY!
The haircut does not include shampoo or conditioner, spray bottle to get it wet only. $14 value.
 Available by appointment only! Call now to schedule!

The Montebello JCPenney Salon can be reached at 323-727-7833, at the message press 2.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lalaloopsy Soft Dolls: $15 on Amazon! Perfect for Cuddling!

I was asked to buy several Lalaloopsy dolls for a preschool girls. My 7 year old has a regular Lalaloopsy made of hard plastic, Cinder Slippers, it's fun to play with by it's not well suited to cuddle.

These Lalaloopsy Soft Dolls are perfect for younger girls or girls who want to cuddle with the doll at night.
My 4 year old received one of these soft dolls and I can say that they are constructed of high quality fabric, super soft, and are the perfect size for little girls. They are 10 inches tall and each comes with a friend. There is also a spot to write a name on her bottom, it's a heart shape and says, "Belongs To _____", super cute! For under $15, it's a perfect gift for any Lalaloopsy fan.

Misty Mysterious Soft Doll $14.99
(Free Shipping w/ $25 order)
(Free Shipping w/ $25 order)
(Free Shipping w/ $25 order)
If you are looking for the hard dolls or the small figurine toy sets, JCPenney at the Montebello Mall has them for $15 in the children's department.

Kids Eat Free + 50% Adult Entrees w/ Toy Donation: Zapiens' Sals Grill, Pico Rivera

The Mexican restaurant that has been named the Best in L.A. County by L.A.'S Hotlist,
Zapien's Salsa Grill is hosting a toy drive to benefit children at local churches.
Bring in any new unwrapped toy for donation and children 12 and under get a free meal, and adults get 50% off of their entrees.
This offer is good through December 20, 2012.
Zapiens' Salsa Grill
6702-04 Rosemead Blvd.
Located just north of Washington Blvd.
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stocking Stuffers for Guys, 2012 Edition

This is Mr. Montebello Mom guest writing today's post about stocking stuffers for guys.  These $10 and under items also make great gifts for co-workers, as well as emergency presents for relatives that drop by unannounced on Christmas Eve.  Sure, you can always go with a box of See's, but why not be original?

Flashlights are a must for any emergency kit, tool box and glove compartment.  This pair of LED flashlights goes for $9.88 at The Home Depot.  Let's face it, you can never have too many flashlights!

Like many guys, I have a nice tool set in the garage.  However, sometimes I need a screwdriver to replace the batteries on a kid's toy or to do a simple fix and don't want to spend 5 minutes rummaging through the garage for a 30 second job.  Many years ago, Montebello Mom asked for a multi-screwdriver for exactly this type of situation, and it was indeed a great idea.  This 6 in 1 screwdriver is $2.97 at Home Depot.

This awesome LED worklight includes a stand that folds flat on the unit, as well as 2 powerful magnets in the back and a hook on the top.  It is NOT a flashlight, it is a worklight with 24 LED's that light up any engine compartment or dark corner of the garage.  Pep Boys has it for under $10.

This 5 piece micro tool set is on sale at Costco for under $20, which comes to under $4 apiece.  The cardboard comes pre-perforated so that each unit can be gifted individually.  The tools are small enough to fit in a pocket, and most include a keyring.  People will think of you every time they use their micro tool to save the day!

Although a bit too large to fit in a stocking, this "Homer Box" makes for a great storage solution for tools, crafts, supplies and other stuff.  It's a great buy for $8.97 at The Home Depot.

This Craftsman bottle opener is the perfect addition to any man cave.  Just as with flashlights, you can never have too many bottle openers around.  At $14.99 it's a bit pricier than the other items here, but the cool factor is definitely worth it.

So there you have it, hopefully this list will help you give unique presents without breaking the bank.  Stay tuned for my list of top gifts for guys, coming up in a week or so.

Free admission to Magic Mountain with Toy Donation: 12/8-12/9

Bring a new unwrapped valued at $20 or more to Magic Mountain this weekend: Saturday, December 8 or Sunday, December 9 and get free admission to the park. The park is open from 10:30 - 6pm this weekend.

You can find a great deal on toys at JCPenney. A lot of their toys are on clearance and I have a link to a 20% off coupon here.
I can't find the information on Magic Mountain's website. I found the Toy Drive event in an email from Magic Mountain. For more information call the park at 661-255-4500.

JCPenney Coupon = Great Toy Bargains

Due to JCPenney's awesome Christmas button promotion I've been doing a lot of shopping at JCPenney lately.
They have a lot of toys for Christmas and many of them are on clearance. Earlier this week I picked up Melissa and Doug wooden play sets for under $10, a Hot Wheels track and car for $8, La La Loopsy magnet dolls for $5, and a Dora and Boots play set for $10. They have Minnie Mouse Bowtique, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Big Wheels, Fisher Price Infant Toys, Discovery play sets, and more!
All really good bargains, with this coupon for 20% off it's even better.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Kids Eat Free @ IHOP, Whittier with Toy Donation

Kids eat free at IHOP every night from 4pm until midnight. But now kids can eat free at one special IHOP anytime of day!

The IHOP by the Whitwood Mall in Whittier is giving kids free meals with a new toy donation.

There will be special apperances by Santa Claus every Saturday and Sunday at this location from from Noon-4pm.


Winter Festivals: Pershing Square, Saturday 12/8 & Sunday, 12/9

Winter sledding in downtown LA! Yes, thanks to a truckload of tons of snow when Pershing Square is transformed into a winter wonderland on Saturday, December 8, from 11-7pm. Bundle up for the big chill at the FREE Winter Holiday Festival with outdoor activities like sledding, a visit with Santa Claus, a train ride, children’s crafts, community youth performances, concerts, memento photos, and more.

Celebrate the second night of Hanukkah with a Menorah Lighting Celebration on Sunday, December 9, at 5:30pm.

532 South Olive St. Los Angeles, CA 90013

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Free Gift Cards at the Shops at Montebello: Friday Free Days, 11/30, 12/7, 12/14

Visit the Shops at Montebello mall on November 30, December 7, and December 14 and make the line at Guest Services to get a free $10 gift card! The first 100 people in line by 6pm will get a gift card.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting: Santa Fe Springs, Saturay, 12/1

Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 1
5:00 - 8:00PM

Town Center Green
11710 E. Telegraph Rd.
Santa Fe Springs, 90670

Performances and crafts. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

From the city's newsletter. To see more activities in Santa Fe Springs click here.

Free Photo with Santa at Bass Pro Shops

This promotion is a little way from home, but nearly everyone I know has at least one family member that lives in the Inland Empire. Next time you head out there for a visit make an extra stop at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga.
Everyday from now through Christmas Eve children can experience Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops. Every child takes home a free photo with Santa and can participate in crafts, games, and activities.
Bass Pro Shops
7777 Victoria Gardens Lane
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Join the YMCA by 12/31 and pay no registration fee! Save $75!

Join the Montebello-Commerce YMCA this holiday season and pay no registration fee!

The Shops at Montebello is sponsoring the joining fee of any new member from now through December 31, 2012.

Visit the YMCA Gift Wrapping Center, where you can get your gifts wrapped for free(!), at the mall to pick up a flyer. Take the flyer to the YMCA when you register. New members must be registered by 12/31/12.

Or use the flyer for a trial membership. The same flyer is good for one free week of YMCA membership for individuals or families.

The YMCA Gift Wrapping Center can be found across from the elevator at the Shops at Montebello Mall.

See the calendar below for operating hours. For more information please contact the YMCA, 323-887-9622.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Wishes Tree Lighting Spectacular: Showing Nightly at the Disney Store

You can experience a little bit of Disney magic every evening at the Disney Store's nightly
Holiday Wishes: Tree Lighting Spectacular!
Five minutes before the appointed time an announcement is made and the countdown begins.
The lights in the store dim and the Holiday Wishes show is projected onto the main screen in the gazebo, the upper walls of the store, and the trees within the store.
The show features "wishing" scenes from Disney movies. Near the end guests are invited to make their own wish, blow it toward the trees and the trees are illuminated with Christmas lights.
The entire show lasts about five minutes and is very entertaining for kids and Disney fans.
This event is shown nightly at the Disney Store in the Shops at Montebello Mall. Monday - Saturday at 7pm and Sundays at 5pm. I'm sure it can be found in all remodeled Disney Stores as well.

Coinstar Promotion: $40 in coins = $50 gift card

Coinstar is offering an additional $10 in gift card value with a $40 coin deposit.
Turn $40 in coins into $50 e-gift cards for Old Navy, iTunes, or Dell.
Offer is valid Monday, November 26 - Sunday December 9, 2012.
Visit to find a machine near you.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Guide to JCPenney "Merry Christmas America!" Button Collecting & Game

**There has been a lot of traffic from Russian sites to this page. I'd appreciate it if someone who found this page from a Russian site could explain what is drawing the interest.
These are the 50 buttons featured on the JCPenney "Merrry Christmas America!" web page.
Each button has a code on the back. Enter your email and the code on the JCPenney web page and within moments you'll receive an email if you have a winning button or not.
You do not have to register unless you win a prize. Only an email address* or facebook account* is required to input the code to see if it's a winner. The odds of winning are pretty good. The $5 and $10 holiday certificates have a 1:8 chance of winning. 2 codes per person and email account per day.
*Users of AOL & Hotmail email accounts, and people who sign into the game using their Facebook profile have reported very long delays of 72 hours or sometimes more, in receiving emails from JCPenney for this contest.
If your button is not a winner, this is the email you will receive:

 If you get a winning button, this is what the email looks like:
Click the "Claim My Gift Now" button and enter your mailing address and phone number. You will not receive your prize immediately. The FAQ page says, "The elves are working day and night to get the gift out to ASAP."
If you write a question in to the contact link you'll get a message that says, "You will receive ANOTHER email that contains the certificate with a bar code, via the email you registered with. This is your Holiday Certificate. You will get this within 48 hours of filling out the redemption form."  
After a day or two this is the email you will receive:
$5 &; $10 Holiday Certificates cannot be combined. One certificate can be redeemed per transaction.
FYI: These buttons are not part of the giveaway. They are on JCPenney in-store signage and displays only.
There was a promotion with a large penguin button that was hidden in every store. The person who found the button won a gift card. I heard from people online that the button was hidden in plain view, such as on a mannequin's sweater.
For more information visit JCPenney's "Merry Christmas America!" page.
Happy Collecting & Good Luck!

iPod Touch 5: Best Price & Promotions

I received a call from my sister asking me to look into best prices and promotions for the new iPod Touch 5th Generation, 32GB. I learned that Apple has an agreement with retailers and the prices pretty much the same across the board. $295 - $300 plus an additional $25 or so in sales tax.

I found two promotions. One can get you $60 in free groceries and the other can get you $50 off.


1.  Go to Albertsons and buy $300 in Macy's gift cards. With every $100 purchase of Macy's gift cards you will get a $20 coupon for free groceries. Details about the Albertons promotion is here. After paying you'll have $60 in coupons for free groceries.

2. Visit the iPod kiosk at the Macy's. In Montebello, there is a kiosk in the Macy's Home store in the kitchen appliances section.

3. The kiosk accepts Macy's gift cards along with credit cards for payment. You'll need to swipe a credit card to cover the tax.

4. Remember to go back to Albertsons and use the free grocery coupons within the week. Better yet, save yourself a trip and after buying the Macy's gift cards, turn back around and go grocery shopping right then.

BONUS: The kiosk also sells iPads and accessories.

AMAZON.COM PROMOTION: has a $50 gift card offer if you sign up for an Visa card. $50 will automatically be deducted if you apply and qualify for an Visa Card. You may have to search around the site to get the link, I found the link to apply for the card after I put the iPod into my shopping cart. Free shipping.

Albertsons Gift Card Deals = Free Groceries!

Albertson's is running their awesome gift card promotion again!
Purchase $100 in any combination of participating gift cards and get a coupon for $20 in free groceries. Offer valid now through Thursday, November 29, 2012.
Participating cards are: Applebees, iTunes, Macy's Sears, Regal Theatres, Lowe's, Groupon, Macaroni Grill/On the Border/Maggiano's, Bass Pro Shops, Kohls, and AMC Theatres.
This is a great opportunity to stock up on gift cards for the holidays. Or if you have the funds, buy the cards for later use in 2013.
The fine print says, "Limit one coupon per qualifying and 1 coupon per redeeming transaction." I interpret that as the register will only print out one $20 free grocery coupon at a time. If you want to buy more than $100 in gift cards, you have to make multiple transactions. Also, they will only accept one $20 free grocery coupon at a time. If you have more than one $20 free grocery coupon you may have to separate your order into different transactions, ask the cashier though, sometimes they will override the computer. Also the free grocery coupon expires one week after it's been printed out, don't let it expire, use it immediately!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shutterfly: Free Calendar, pay only $6 shipping!

Shutterfly is offering a free wall calendar with the code CALENDAR2013, simply enter the code into your account and pay $6 shipping. The code is only good through Friday, November 23, 2012.

I love these calendars. Not only can you customize the calendar with 12 large photos or collages for each month, but you can add photos and comments on the date boxes too!

I made one for my in-laws and put pictures of my kids on their birthdays, pictures from weddings on anniversaries, and pictures from this year's holiday on next year's holiday. It was a huge hit! They loved it!

BONUS: Use the code, BLACKFRIDAY, to get 10 free cards!
Code valid through Sunday, 11/25.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Friday 2012 at the Shops at Montebello Mall

The Shops at Montebello is gearing up for Black Friday shoppers by offering great promotions!
Mall entrances open at 10pm, stores open at midnight!
Promotions offered on Friday, November 23, 2012 only unless otherwise noted.

    Spend $200 at the Shops at Montebello and receive 4 tickets to your choice of the Aquarium of the Pacific ($103 value), Universal Studios ($320 value), or Six Flags Magic Mountain ($180 value). Bring receipts to the Guest Services desk at Center Court for redemption. Promotion valid 11/23-12/16 or while supplies last.  Sorry, this promotion has been cancelled. It has been replaced with Friday Free Days.
The first 500 people at Center Court will receive a Shops at Montebello travel mug!
Enter for a chance to win prizes from mall retailers every hour from midnight-8am at Center Court.
 Live DJ entertainment, coffee and pastries at Center Court. Midnight-8am.
Enter for a chance to win one of three 3 day/2 night Disneyland Resort vacations for a family of four, contest sponsored by with  92.3 FM.
Take a load off at the Relaxation Station, midnight-2pm.
Kids can have fun at a Kid's Zone where they can enjoy crafts, entertainment, and snacks. Open 2-6pm.
Get three gifts wrapped for only a $5 donation at YMCA's gift wrapping station. Open 10am-5pm.
Purchase a $50 Visa Gift Card at Guest Services and receive a Free Holiday Teddy Bear. 
Dollars for Scholars Bonus Points, earn quadruple points for your school of choice by logging receipts from midnight-6am and triple points 6am-10pm. Earn 1,000 points with the purchase of a Visa Gift Card at Guest Services.

For more about Black Friday at the Shops at Montebello, visit Guest Services at Center Court or click here.

Waiting for JCPenney to open.

Too much excitement.
Line to enter the Disney Store.
Can't get enough about Black Friday? Read my Top 10 Shopping Tips and my Notes from Black Friday 2011 which includes times people lined up at stores in Montebello. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting: Old Pasadena, Friday, 11/23

Old Pasadena comes alive with holiday festivities on Friday, November 23 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Live reindeer, 20 tons of real snow, a magical tree-lighting ceremony, Santa’s arrival and more!  All activities are family friendly and free!
Everything kicks off at 4:00pm with Old Pasadena’s own winter wonderland, located on Holly Street between Raymond and Fair Oaks. Kids can play in 20 tons of real snow, see live reindeer fresh from the North Pole, create in a kid’s craft area, and enjoy live music in this spectacular children’s winter playground. 
Venture over to One Colorado at 6:00pm when Santa arrives to light the dazzling 30-foot Christmas tree and the 2013 Rose Queen makes one of her first public appearances.
At the Tree-Lighting, everyone is asked to bring an unwrapped toy or book for a toy drive. Children and adults who donate an unwrapped toy or book anytime between 6-8pm will receive a FREE photo with Santa at One Colorado on November 23rd.
For more information visit:

Children's Christmas Event: Homestead Museum, Industry, Saturday, 12/1