CAR SEAT SHOPPER’s GUIDE

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car-seatAs a new mom, you will have tons of questions about which products on the market is the best for my child. And one of the top questions asked is, “How do I know which Car seat to buy?”, and this article comes from some research I’ve done when I considered the same thing myself. The first thing you have to know is that when you leave the hospital with your baby,  your car must have a car seat installed properly so that you’ll have a safe ride home. So what type of car seat should you buy?

Some rule of thumb is that the safest car seat is one that fits your child appropriately and it’s installed into your vehicle properly. Note that all car seats on the market “must” past the standard crash tests, so they are all in essence safe for use. However, parents whether the car seat is user-friendly as the buckles, weight of the car seat and additional safety features on the car seat all play a role on how the day-to-day use of this car seat will be for you.

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Ladies night out – Sushi & movies

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Kai Sushi Sports Bar
24215 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance CA

entrance

Happy hour sushi rolls for $6.99, I’m there! A few ladies and I decided to take a break from life and being mommies to relax over sake & sushi and head for a movie in the local AMC Rolling Hills 20 down the street.

On a budget mom still needs to have a good time and what better than to get a bite, catch up and some no interruption movie time. Some of us can’t even remember the last time we were able to enjoy a movie at the theaters after having children. But we all need a “Time Out”, a time to refresh and relax.

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Quality fish for a good price

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Bluesalt Fish Grill
Location: 2515 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach Ca 90278

store-hours-and-menu

Tucked in a little plaza in Redondo Beach is a little restaurant called Bluesalt Fish Grill. Much like it’s competitor, California Fish Grill, their main entrée is grilled fish, but for Bluesalt fish Grill, “their food is little more gourmet,” as my cousin would say.  I absolutely agreed with her opinion. The wine list, the special seasoning for the fish and side dishes and even the free appetizer speaks fancy to me. Although the restaurant setting is very casual, the quality of food is definitely a notch better than California Fish Grill.

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Dave Ramsey Live- “Money Matters”

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Money is a big part of all our lives. We need money to pay for our mortgage, buy food, pay for gas and money does matter. You would think that such an important topic would be covered by our parents or schools. But it’s not the case.

For me when it comes to money, my story starts with “I wish I was completely out of debt!”. Yet, at the very mdave-ramsey-revisitedoment you are ready to work on lowering your debt, “emergency situations” come your way. Your car breaks down, you need new clothes for an event, you got a new hobby and it costs money to buy the equipment, life happens! Guess what, how convenient it was to pull out the credit card that you had in your wallet and thick you can work some overtime to pay it all back. Summer comes around (as it does yearly), you surf online for a good deal on a vacation. Guess what, you found a great deal! I told myself, “I deserve a vacation. I’ve worked so hard, why don’t I put it on the credit card and pay for it with my next pay check.” I always find myself wanting more than I can afford and not enough disciple to say “no”. After all, I felt like I was young and I had the ability to earn more to pay for more things.

A rude awakening comes when you get that bill at the end of the month from your credit card company and there is no way there is enough money to pay it off. Naturally, I opted for the minimum payment. The minimum payment is so low, that it makes sense to continue to live large, all at the cost of the minimum payment. As the years passes, I realize that not only did I have one credit card, I now have 8 major cards and 4 local stores cards and the limits on them are getting close to maxed out. Even at this stage of financial mess, I bought a house with a 100% loan with no downpayment trying to reap the benefits of having the interest on the home as a tax shelter. I relied heavily on the fact that I would could always earn more money to pay for my lifestyle.

Then, I was laid off.

Thank God, the story does not end there for me. I was fortunate in September 2011, encouraged by my cousin, I took the Dave Ramsey Live seminar.  What I loved about Dave is that he presented facts about how Americans are spending out of control.  Many businesses spend thousands of dollars marketing to us, so that we would want more, need more. You know what, Dave made me angry, very angry! I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of my debt. It was time to take responsibilty for the mess and gain control.

Our family took Dave’s Financial Peach University course, a 13 week course that goes through the topics of getting out of debt, real estate, investment, financial planning for your family and children, and so much more. My family now has a plan and as hard as it is we are sticking to it. We had to discipline ourselves. In 2011, we were over $40,000 in debt. This year in 2013, we have just $2000 left to pay off. This is the real deal, it works! I hope that the resources and what I’ve learned can help your family do the same.
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Boys vs. The Wild

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hopkins-wilderness-parkHopkins Wilderness Park- Redondo Beach
Location: 1102 Camino Real, Redondo Beach CA 90277
Hours: 10am – 4:30pm everyday, except Wednesdays.

Guess what? You don’t need to travel far to give your children a great time in the great outdoors. Right in the middle of Redondo Beach, there is a hidden gem, the Hopkins Wilderness Park.

The Wilderness Park is the most picturesque location where you can enjoy an afternoon with your children.  There are two beautiful ponds full of coy fish and ducks perusing in and out of it.  A little stream runs from the top of the hill down to the pond. There is an awesome outdoor amphitheatre. The park is set up for camping with b.b.q grills for rental or an ideal place for birthday parties.

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Making Rice Porridge

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rice-porridge

米粥 Rice Porridge

One of the occasions for making rice porridge, or “juk” in Chinese, is when someone is sick and would like a comfort food. In American culture we make chicken noodle soup as a comfort food, likewise rice porridge is a warm soup with soften rice it in that warms the belly. The styles of preparation vary depending on what flavor you would like it in the soup. The most common is probably using bits of chicken to add flavor. However, I’ve seen other flavors such as, seafood, beef, frog or special cow intestines used for the rice porridge.

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Chic-Fil-A Grand Opening- FREE FOOD

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Official Rules: 100 participants gets Chic-Fil-A Meals for 1 year
(52  meals- Chic-Fil-A Sandwich, Waffle Fries and Drink)

In times of bad economy, what better than to find where you can get some free food.

Chick-Fil-A-100

In order to market new fast food locations, every grand opening of Chic-Fil-A locations offer 1 year’s worth of Chic-Fil-A sandwich meals including the sandwich, waffle fries and a drink if you are the raffle winner of their first 100 spots in line. You must arrive between the hours of 5:30am – 6:00am the day before the grand opening and commit to camping out in their parking lot for 24 hours.
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Family day at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

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natural-history-museum-entrance

Website:  www.nhm.org

My 4 year old absolutely adores dinosaurs.  The Natural History Museum just opened its doors to the Dinosaur Hall last year. In addition, the Butterfly Pavilion was opened (seasonal), for those who want to enjoy the beautiful butterflies in an enclosed greenhouse. This was going to be a perfect family trip.

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626 Night Market a total flop

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626 Night Market – April 14, 2012
Website: http://626nightmarket.com

626-night-market-street-vendors

Thinking of the days of growing up in Hong Kong, my brother’s family and I were thrilled to hear that we can have some “stinky tofu” & “dragon whisker candy” at the first 626 Night market. A street was blocked off in Pasadena, CA, and the market featured over 70 vendors selling products & food.

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Da Maat – Authentic Korean Food Not In K-Town?

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Da-Maat-Restaurant

Location: 2814 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance CA
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am – 9:30pm; Sun 10am – 9:00pm

I LOVE Korean food and after seeing the 5 star rating for Da Maat on yelp, we decided to try it out. You walk in and the dimly lit restaurant is clean and soaked with the aroma of delicious Korean spices. One wall of the restaurant is decorated with a wall full of clay bowls prompting you to order a big bowl of Korean noodle soup. On the opposite side of the room, the walls are remiscent of old times Korean country-side.

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