Archives for November 2014

Light Up Your Hanukkah

This year, Hanukkah (or, if you prefer, Chanukah) commences on the evening of Dec. 16. There are a number of events in Southern California that commemorate this eight-day celebration. Popular children’s musician Doda Mollie, the woman behind the popular Chanukah Pajamikah CD, visits Children’s Book World (10580½ Pico Blvd., L.A.; at 4 p.m. Dec. 2 for a free “mini-pajamikah” party that includes holiday songs and stories for the whole family. The Hanukkah Family Festival at The Skirball (2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.; is entitled “Luz y Libertad.” The celebration brings looks at two important Hanukkah themes – light...

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Enjoying a Special Day In the Kitchen

The holiday season sends most families into the kitchen, and we’ve got a fantastic way to make sure kids with special needs are included. “Special Day Cooking: A Life Skills Cookbook” by Beverly Worth Palomba includes more than 60 recipes designed especially for these special kids. The book covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus vegetables, soups and salads, drinks and snacks and dessert. The recipes are in large type, with a consistent format and easy-to-follow instructions. No sharp-knife handling or heating of the oven is required. All of the recipes can be made with a microwave, toaster, blender and plastic...

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Young Artists Pitch In On Vintage Mural

Once upon a time, driving down Whitsett Avenue in North Hollywood meant a trip through orchards filled with orange trees, with the occasional billboard adding color and excitement. The orange groves are long gone, and for years the stretch of Whitsett between Sherman Way and Saticoy became an area of blight. A lengthy community clean-up and planting effort that began in 2013 transformed the area into a clean and green space, and now the orange groves have returned – in a way. The North Hollywood West Neighborhood Council, the North Hollywood Northeast Neighborhood Council and State assemblyman and L.A. City...

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Toxic Stress and Children’s Health

Nadine Burke Harris, M.D., shows her audience of healthcare workers, therapists and community activists a photo of a bear on the screen behind her to make her point. Encountering a bear in the woods – or other serious threat – makes the human brain pump powerful stress hormones and divert blood to the large muscles of the arms and legs so we can either fight or run away. It’s supposed to be a one-time, sometimes thing. “The problem is when the bear comes home every night,” says Burke Harris, switching to a photo of a child cowering from an abusive...

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Baby2Baby Offers Kids in Need Some Holiday Cheer

I attended my first holiday party of the season Nov. 10 at the headquarters of Baby2Baby, a nonprofit organization that provides low-income children with basic necessities such as diapers, clothing and other day-to-day essentials. The headquarters were transformed into a winter wonderland where 40 tiny guests of honor were treated to an afternoon of holiday magic with crafts, refreshments, music, a performance of The Nutcracker, and even a visit from Santa. Actress Julie Bowen of “Modern Family” hosted the party, and got crafty making paper gingerbread houses with the children. Bowen has been a Baby2Baby supporter since shortly after her...

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The Honest Company Donates $41,442 to the MaxLove Project

The MaxLove Project, a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting childhood cancer and other life-threatening conditions, has received a donation of $41,442 The Honest Company. MaxLove was inspired by SuperMax Wilford, a 7-year-old battling brain cancer. Through a social media campaign, The Honest Company – purveyors of eco-friendly yet affordable products for families – donated $1 throughout the month of September, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, to the MaxLove Project for every Instagram photo, tweet or Facebook post with the hashtag #HonestLovesMax. Twitter received more than 18,000 tweets containing the hashtag and Facebook and Instagram generated more than 6,000 hashtags....

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Panorama City Kids Get a Farmers’ Market Field Trip With a Local Doctor

Panorama City physician Carlos Mendez, MD, led a walking field trip with third-grade students, parents and staff from Ranchito Elementary school to the Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Farmers Market Nov. 19. Along the way, Mendez showcased interactive booths at the Farmers Market and chatted with the families about the benefits of physical activity and filling their plates with fresh fruits and vegetables. The field trip, part of Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) initiative, is one of many ongoing programs to connect with children, parents and educators in the community. Additional programs include: Thriving Schools: These student-focused interventions are...

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Celebrities Doin’ Good

Hollywood actors, recording artists and news anchors gathered Nov. 16 to create a charitable assembly line for kids in foster care during the third annual Celebrity Stuff-a-thon at Hotel Angeleno. The event, sponsored by Wells Fargo, is presented by the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA), which helps connect parents with the best family products. NAPPA partners provided the toys, books, music, DVDs and other essentials that went into duffel bags for My Stuff Bags Foundation, which delivers new belongings, comfort and hope to thousands of foster children each year. "We are so grateful for our toy company partners who donated...

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The Family Room Opens in San Marino

Opened in late October, The Family Room located at 2318 Hunington Dr., San Marino, offers research-based curriculum taught by trained professionals, with classes in Childbirth Prep, a Mommy and Me series called Baby Talk, and workshops such as Prenatal Nutrition for prenatal and postpartum women, their partners and families. Owner and founder Karen Stoteraux wanted to create “a comprehensive offering in a non-clinical setting.” Her mission is to get new and expecting parents out of the house so they can learn from educators and peers while building friendships. In addition to the many classes available, The Family Room offers products...

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L.A. Moms Share Special Friendships

In September, we asked moms to write in and tell us about the important friends in their lives. Then we partnered with Terranea Resort to put together a getaway for one special group of women. Dozens of touching stories came in, and we chose Kristine Willis as our winner. Here’s how she describes her group of mom friends: Getaway Winner: Kristine Willis I have known these amazing women from 20-35 years now, and we have kept each other strong and laughing throughout. I lived and worked with Janet for eight years. During that time, Janet taught me how to listen....

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