Thursday, December 31, 2015

Free Lego Mini-Build Event at Lego Stores: 1st Tuesday/Wednesday of the Month

The first Tuesday & Wednesday of every month Lego Stores host a free mini-build event. Kids 6-14 years will receive a kit to create a special themed mini model.

Registration, and (free) Lego VIP membership is required to participate. All registration spots fill up quickly, register as close to the open registration date as possible. Click here to register.

There are Lego Stores at the Glendale Galleria, Ontario Mills, and Downtown Disney in Anaheim.

January 2016 Mini-Build: Polar Bear


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Walk for Kids: Ronald McDonald House

This 5K event, held in April,  raises funds to support six Ronald McDonald houses and a camp in Southern California.

This walk is great because there is no registration fee for children, adults pay $25 registration that includes a free shirt. There is also  no minimum donation requirement. It's not as crowded as other walks, only a few thousands participants, making it a great walk for families. There are lots of vendors handing out freebies and coupons. Strollers are welcome, families can walk at their own pace and kids can try to keep up with Ronald, who is very fast, as he makes his way along the course.

Participants can chose one of four locations:
  • Honda Center in Anaheim, Sunday, April 3
  • Central Park, Pasadena, Sunday, April 3
  • Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Sunday, April 3
  • Exposition Park in Los Angeles, Sunday April 3
  • Shoreline Park in Long Beach, Sunday, April 24
Registration is available online or on-site the day of the event.

For more information visit

Monday, December 28, 2015

Montebello Bucket List

30 things you must experience if you live in Montebello....

  1. Ride the bike trails along the Rio Hondo River.
  2. Spend a day at Grant Rea Park. While there get wet in the Splash Pad, pet an animal at the Barnyard Zoo, and hit a few balls at the batting cages.

    Splash Pad at Grant Rea Park

  3. Participate in a team sport, as a player, coach, team parent, parent, or spectator.
  4. Eat at Gardunos, Arry's, Jim's, Golden Ox, or J&S Burgers.
  5. Swim at the pool in City Park.
  6. Run up the front entrance to Montebello Library.

    Montebello Library
  7. Visit the Sanchez Adobe.
  8. Go to a party or event at the Quiet Cannon.
  9. Buy bread at the Bimbo Bakery Outlet.
  10. Ride the Montebello Bus.
    Montebello City Bus.
  11. Window shop at the Shops at Montebello.
  12. Buy a glass quart of milk or eggnog from Broguiere's.
  13. Run or walk up one of Montebello's hills for exercise.
  14. Go Black Friday Shopping.

    Black Friday Shopping in Montebello
  15. Play a round of golf at the Montebello Golf Course, or visit the driving range.
  16. Pick up a stray golf ball from the street as a souvenir from the golf course.
  17. Shop at a Montebello city-wide yard sale.
  18. See the Broccoli tree on the corner of Olympic & Hereford. (My daughter's favorite!)
    The Broccoli Tree.

  19. Order a cake from Amy's Bakery.
  20. Have a membership to the YMCA or L.A. Fitness.
  21. Attend a concert at the amphitheater in City Park.
  22. Watch a movie at the newly remodeled AMC theatres.

    AMC Montebello
  23. Eat a sample at Costco.
  24. Take the Metrolink downtown.
  25. Bowl a few games at Beverly Lanes.
  26. Drive on Lincoln Avenue north past the dam and pretend you live in the country.
  27. Visit or play in all ten of Montebello's parks: Acuna, Ashiya, Bicknell, City, Grant Rea, Holifield, Potrero Heights, Reggie Rodriquez, Sanchez Adobe, and the little known/top secret unnamed mini-park on Arroyo Drive/Lawrence Avenue.
  28. Attend a Schurr vs. Montebello High School football game. (-Nancy J. Vargas, Facebook)
  29. Eat at Rio's, BJ's, or Gina's pizza. (-Marco Cruz, Facebook)
  30. See the cannons from the Mexican-American War, on the corner of Washington & Bluff. (-Mr. Montebello Mom)

Beverly Boulevard in Montebello.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Turnbull Canyon Hiking: Family Fun

My family took a hike together along a fire road at Turnbull Canyon the other day and we had a great time.

If you zoom in along Turnbull Canyon in Whittier on Google Maps, you'll notice fire roads shooting out from Turnbull along the green hillsides.

All of the fire roads are accessible trails for pedestrians, equestrians, and mountain bikers. The trails are maintained and the hillside preserved by Habitat Authority. Trail maps with distance and elevation information can be found here.

There is no fee to hike the trails. Only park your car along the roadway in designated areas, bring along some water, and have fun with the family.

22 cars parked along Turnbull Canyon at Rose Hills No. 3 Fire Road.

The gate marking the trail.
Rules & warning signs at the trailhead.

The trail is clear and wide enough for two vehicles to drive side by side. The trail is compacted dirt with small natural channels where water runs through. Smooth enough for jogging strollers, but it may be a bumpy ride for infants.
Hikers, joggers, families, people with dogs, and mountain bikers share the trail.

The view from 1.1 miles along the trail. On a clear day Catalina Island is in plain view.
We stopped at the bend in the trail at the viewpoint pictured above. My 6-year old started saying she was tired and that is when we turned back. The trail was uphill most of the way, but it was a very gradual incline, easy enough for beginners and little kids alike.
For more information visit
My family found another great hiking trail today at the Switzer Picnic Area on Hwy. 2. There is a trail that follows a stream in the mountains above La CaƱada.
We hiked in about a mile with the kids, but were told it would be another half mile to the falls. We didn't have time to continue on, but we plan to go back another day.
If you go I suggest bundling up with gloves, hat, and a warm jacket. Wear shoes that are okay to get dirty, or waterproof boots. Bathrooms are available at the trailhead.
The trail crosses the little stream several times which is kind of cool, but our youngest ended up with muddy shoes and I slipped and had to walk back with a wet shoe. It was fun though. Also, dogs on leashes are welcome!
Click here for more information about Switzer Falls.
Switzer Falls Hiking Trail

Friday, December 4, 2015

Harvest Festival Art & Craft Show

Harvest Festival Art & Craft Show
December 4-6, 2015
Fairplex, Pomona, Building 4

Hours: Friday 9am - 6pm. Saturday 10am - 6pm. Sunday, 10am - 5pm.

Admission: $9 Adults. $7 Seniors. $4 Youth (13-17) . Children (0-12) Free! Tickets valid all weekend! Bring canned goods to donate to a food bank and save $2 on admission.

Parking: Pay at lot entrance.

If you love the "Parade of Products" shopping area the fair, then you'll love the Harvest Festival Art & Craft Show at the Pomona Fairplex!

The Harvest Festival features hundreds of exhibits and vendors featuring ceramics, paintings, jewelry, hand blown glass, antique treasures, children’s accessories, hand woven clothing, and more!

We attended this event a few years ago and my kids had fun with the craft activities and entertainment while the adults loved the free food samples down every aisle and browsing handcrafted art. This year's festival features a Home Depot kid workshop & free digital fingerprinting for kids.



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cleaning my Coach Wallet


I may be the only woman in America to turned down an offer of a new COACH wallet.

About four years ago my husband bought me an awesome Coach pink fabric wallet to replace an old pleather wallet that was falling apart. I was hesitant to have something so extravagant, but he insisted that I deserved it.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. As I pulled out my wallet to pay for groceries I noticed that my wallet was filthy, like grossity-gross-ick-filthy. Even my kids thought it was bad.

The "tan lines" visible on my wallet.
You can see the upper part was covered by the flap and remained clean.

That same night I met a Coach store manager; I told her about my wallet. She insisted it couldn't possibly be as bad as I described. When I pulled out my wallet as evidence she audibly gasped and put her hand to her chest. I asked if there was a cleaner for my wallet, she said that Coach carried a fine cleaner, but it may take a few tries to make a difference.
She and a few other women around were in agreement that it was time I had a new wallet. The Coach manager suggested I purchase a leather wallet which was very easy to clean. Once home I showed my husband my dingy wallet, told him of my conversation with the manager, and he agreed I should have a new wallet.

 Clean & Clear. My hero. ♥♥
Although a new wallet would be nice, I didn't want a new wallet. The frugal-mom in me could not justify spending well over $100 on a new wallet when I didn't even try to clean my beloved pink wallet which was in fine shape.

That night after the kids were in bed I cleared off the bathroom counter, grabbed my wallet,  Clean & Clear Essentials Foaming Facial Cleaner, and my exfoliating towel. I held the wallet under running warm water, pumped a few squirts of facial cleaner on the towel and scrubbed away. After a couple of rinses and more scrubbing it looked completely different.

I wrapped a towel around the wallet to squeeze out as much water as I could, then I tucked bits of paper towels in every slot and left it standing up and open overnight.

I didn't clean the inside, but water seeped through.

In the morning the wallet looked great again! I searched every nook and cranny and found the only wear was along the silver leather trim on the flap by the metal logo, other than that small area which was hardly noticeable, it was fantastic!
The wallet was still a little damp on the inside so I turned on the hairdryer and pointed it in the cash and coin pockets. I must have left it in a little too long because the plastic ID window warped a bit. I was a bit bummed, but now I like it because it warped just enough to allow a perfect spot for my thumb to easily slide out my driver's license.
I'm looking forward to another four years with my Coach wallet. Coach products are so well made, it's well worth the purchase price and would make a great Christmas gift!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Donate 5 Canned Goods & Join the YMCA for free!

Montebello-Commerce YMCA
2000 W. Beverly Blvd
Montebello, CA 90640
*This offer is valid for new members 11/1/15-11/30/15, is not applicable to previous purchases, and must be redeemed in person. Monthly membership fees will apply.
Current YMCA members are welcome to donate canned goods to the lobby of the Montebello-Commerce YMCA.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bug Zapper: My Latest Strategy in the Battle against the Mosquitos

My latest round in the battle against the mosquitos is this bad boy right here:

Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
 It's so easy to use I didn't even have to ask Mr. MontebelloMom for help.
1. Attach the included mosquito attractant to the bottom of the unit, hang it the yard, and plug it in.
2. The glowing blue light attracts bugs who like lights, and the chemicals in the mosquito attractant lure mosquitos to the unit.
3. When the bugs touch the light it zaps them, and they die.

I placed a white sheet under the bug zapper and this is what I found in the morning.

I'm fed up with the mosquitos in my backyard. I'm hearing people say there are confirmed West Nile Virus cases in Montebello, and L.A. County Vector Control has verified that there are invasive
"yellow fever" mosquitos in Montebello.

I've taken preventative measures, but my family is covered with mosquito bites. We find new bites before the old ones have healed. I'm hoping that by taking these mosquitos out of the population there will be less eggs laid, and less mosquitos in our backyard.

If you purchase a bug zapper via the links above MontebelloMom will get a small commission (4%) from Amazon, at no additional charge to you. The reviews from amazon of this electronic insect killer are excellent, and I can attest that it works in Montebello.

Click below for more information about the 

Saturday, October 31, 2015



Going back to work part-time, volunteering, and caring for my family has me very busy these days. I haven't had much free time to update my blog. Please visit's facebook page, for the latest Halloween events in our area.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween & the Price of Candy: Are you ready for Trick-or-Treaters?

550. That is the number of kids who come to our door at Halloween. No joke. I count. The kids get bused in from East L.A. and they're dropped off in front of my door. I used to spend around $100 every Halloween. Since I started using coupons and stocking up early I now spend less than $50 for the same amount and quality of candy.

To get a good deal on Halloween candy you need to read the serving label on the back of the package and do some calculations. Find how many candies are inside the package and divide the cost by the number of candies.
How many Candies Inside?
Serving Size
3 bars
Servings per Container
Total Pieces (3x15)
Package Cost
Price per Candy (1.25/45)
2.7 cents each

A good price on candy is 5-10 cents a piece. Buy candy when it's on sale and if possible use a coupon to maximize your savings. I once bought Pixie sticks for half a penny each!

Good Price for Halloween or Pinata Candy
Mini/Fun Size
Chocolate Candy
Kit Kat, Snickers
10 cents on sale / 5 cents on sale + coupons
Mini/Fun Size
Non-chocolate Candy
5 cents on sale / 2-3 cents on sale + coupons

Halloween is also a great opportunity to clear out the cupboards. Last year we accidentally bought Gushers instead of regular fruit snacks and I had about 2 dozen kid-power-bar type snacks that I received as samples that my kids didn't care for. Both of those went to trick-or-treaters.

One year I gave Play-Doh! It was a hit, especially with the older kids. A good price for the small individual canisters is 15 cents a piece.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween Festivities: Montebello

Halloween Festivities
Friday, October 30, 2015
Cathy Hensel Youth Center
236 George Hensel Drive
Montebello, CA 90640

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kidgits Carnival Event: Shops at Montebello

Simon Kidgits Carnival
Saturday, September 19
Center Court, Shops at Montebello
Kids will have the opportunity to play carnival games and win prizes at the Shops at Montebello's Kidgits Carnival event.
Families with children under the age of 10 can try their luck at carnival games, where kids can earn tickets to cash in for prizes: just like an arcade! A clown will also be at the event to play fun games with the kids.
 All kids 10 years old and under will receive a carnival theme zippy cup. Kidgits Club members will also get a fun balloon from our Balloon Twisters and a bag of Magic Cotton candy.
This event is free for all. Kidgit membership is $5 a year and includes membership perks at sign-up and throughout the year. To become a Kidgits Club member sign up online or at Guest Services. More information on Kidgits and memberships can be found at

Friday, August 7, 2015

Montebello Parade & Mariachi Fun Run

Free Vision Screening & Free Eyeglasses

"Is it better now, or now?" The Lions Club is sponsoring free eye exams & free glasses at it's annual Friends in Sight event. For more information please call 909-598-0554.