Archives for January 2016

Los Angeles events - Valentine's Day

A Dozen Valentine’s Day Ideas

Love is a many-splendored thing, and there are many splendid ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in L.A. Whether you are looking to field Cupid’s arrows as a family, or hoping for a little couple time, your heart’s desires are close at hand. Here are seven Los Angeles events to enjoy with kids, and five to take in without. Hearts and Flowers Family Style 1. Love in the Time of Kewpies If you’re feeling in a retro mood, head to the Grier Musser Museum (403 S. Bonnie Brae, L.A.; from 1-4 p.m. Feb. 8 to explore Valentine antiquities – from vintage cards...

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Pairing Special Needs Families With Quality Providers

Need a restaurant recommendation? Try Yelp. A plumber? Angie’s List. And if you’re looking for a reliable service provider for someone with special needs, you can turn to Love My Provider (, a fee-free website specializing in therapeutic services such as Applied Behavior Analysis; occupational, physical and speech therapy; summer camps and day programs. The nonprofit company was founded by special educator and behavior analyst Sara Gershfeld, who provided special-needs services through schools and Regional Centers – including Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center and Westside Regional Center – for more than 10 years, and noticed quite a disparity in the...

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Eyeing Digital Device Safety

Nearly 64 percent of parents spend more than five hours a day looking at digital screens. And if we’d put down our smart phones and tablets long enough, we would notice that our kids are right behind us, with 65 percent connected two hours a day or more. Those figures are from a recent report by The Vision Council, a vision care industry group. The report, “Eyes Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma,” details how this constant exposure to technology is a shock to our eyes, which are designed to view a variety of objects both near and far in natural...

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The Klub Gymnastics’ Big Time Move

After 9 years in Silverlake, The Klub Gymnastics is moving to a 40,000-square-foot space opening Feb. 1. Not too far away in Frogtown, the big move makes The Klub one of the largest gyms in Southern California. The cornerstone of the Klub’s offerings is its recreational gymnastics classes for toddlers to adults, voted Best Children’s Recreational Gymnastics five times by LA Hot List. The possibilities beyond gymnastics include Kamp, Klub Night Out and birthday parties, and plans to add a swimming pool, preschool and other activities for the entire family. Located between Pasadena, Hollywood, Silverlake, Los Feliz, Highland Park, and...

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Foster Youth on Display as PBS Readies SoCal Initiative

Southern California boasts one of the largest foster youth populations in the country, and PBS SoCal is poised to share their stories. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation recently awarded PBS SoCal a $1.7 million grant for a three-year foster youth initiative. The goal of the initiative is to start a dialogue among stakeholders, such as schools, agencies, and community leaders to find creative solutions to the tremendous challenges many foster youth experience throughout their lives. The Struggle is Real for Foster Youth “The idea for this initiative came out of conversations with our community partners about ways we could better...

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USC Telehealth Offers Free Help For Special-Needs Caregivers

Mary Ann Frattarole thinks it was early 2012 when she started getting desperate calls from parents and caregivers of children and adults with special needs. “I got some heart-wrenching calls from parents that had a special-needs child,” she says, including one mom who also had a husband with a disability for whom she was the only caregiver. “She said, ‘I don’t know how I can make it another day. Can you please help me?’” The state provides many resources for people with special needs, but offers little help to their caregivers. Parents and other family members often find themselves exhausted,...

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products - beauty

Beauty Products We Love

For the last six months, the staff and parent testers at the National Parenting Products Awards have examined and experimented with an abundance of creams, gels, lotions and potions in search of beauty products that actually deliver results. Here are our favorites. (See more beauty product reviews at

Don’t Monkey Around This Lunar New Year

While the Gregorian calendar begins each year on January 1, the Chinese New Year falls this year on Feb. 8. It’s the 4713th Chinese Year, which marks the Year of the Monkey. The monkey represents the ninth animal in the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs. Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year in other Asian countries) will be celebrated throughout Southern California. The first big event is Monterey Park’s free Lunar New Year Festival (on Garvey Avenue between Ramona and Alhambra avenues; Jan. 30-31. Downtown Monterey Park will be filled with performances, a carnival fun zone, food...

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Get Ready For a Cultural Free-For-All

The SoCal Museums is a group representing more than 20 area museums. This collection of regional cultural institutions covers a wide range of interests -- from Tyrannosaurus rex to TV sets, ancient masterpieces to astronauts and the Wild West to wildflowers. For the 11th year, the group has organized Museums Free-For-All Day, Jan. 30, where institutions admit visitors free. Participating institutions range from big names such as the Broad, Getty Villa and Getty Center (timed tickets required; go to, the Orange County Museum of Art, LACMA (general admission only), and MOCA to regional venues including Laguna Art Museum, the...

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Weaving an Inspiring Tale

Whether or not you make it over to The Getty Center for the “Woven Gold” exhibit showcasing the tapestries of French King Louis XIV, your family can enjoy a fun window into the world of the weavers thanks to “Thérèse Makes a Tapestry,” written by Alexandra S.D. Hinrichs, illustrated by Renée Graef and published by Getty Publications. Best for ages 6 and up, the book tells the story of Thérèse, a young girl whose whole family works at the Gobelins Manufactory in Paris, where tapestries were designed and woven to decorate the palaces of Louis XIV. In 17th century France,...

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