‘Tis the Season…Already?? – Calendar of Free Family Holiday Events in Santa Monica

Santa Monica Beach and Pier at Sunset

Hello all!  Welcome to my blog.  I am so excited to finally have started this, it’s been a long time in the making.  I’ve thought about which direction to go with this and finally thought about doing budget related events for the family as well as thoughts and insights on the world around us.

Thanksgiving is still one week away but, the spirit of the holidays is already in full swing in Santa Monica.  Here are some upcoming events that the kids & parents will enjoy!

Tonight:  ICE Grand Opening:  Featuring performances by Randy Gardner, Tara Lipinski, Ashleigh Cahn and Brandon Larcom and the California Gold Synchronized Skating Team. Enjoy FREE community skate, kids activities, DJ and more!  5pm-10pm **skating will open after the performances

11/18 SAMO’s Clubhouse Grand Opening 10am http://santamonicaplace.com/Events/Details/42362

11/19 Santa Photo Saturday Free Photos with Santa on the Promenade (3rd St Promenade & Wilshire) 2pm-5pm

11/19 Tree Lighting and Santa Arrival Celebration at Santa Monica Place -Center Plaza 6pm

11/20 Arthur Christmas Ice Skating Party 2pm-5pm at ICE 1324 5th Street

11/21 Arthur Christmas Craft Day 3:30-5:30pm (3rd St Promenade & Santa Monica)

11/22 Arthur Christmas Ornament Decorating & Snow  3:30pm-5:30pm (3rd St Promenade & Arizona) Snow at 3pm, 5pm, 7pm

11/23 Celebrate Arthur Christmas T-Shirt & Hat Decorating with Snow 3:30pm-5:30pm (3rd St Promenade & Arizona) Snow at 3pm, 5pm, 7pm

11/23 Free ConcertKaty Perry Gives Back at the Staples Center

11/25 For the grown ups =)  Santa’s Little Savers : Shop Downtown Santa Monica, Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place on Black Friday and one of Santa’s Little Savers may surprise you by paying for your purchase, up to $100.

11/26 Downtown Santa Monica Winterlit Holiday Celebration & Concert :  Andy Grammer & Savannah Outen 6pm (3rd St Promenade & Wilshire)

12/3 Breakfast with Santa at The Market at Santa Monica Place 9:30am:  FREE!!  RSVP at SantaMonicaPlace.com 

12/10 Breakfast with Santa at the Food Court at Santa Monica Place 9:30 am : FREE!!! RSVP at SantaMonicaPlace.com

12/17 Cookie Making and Story Time with Mrs. Claus at The Market at Santa Monica Place 9:30am – 11:30am FREE!! RSVP at SantaMonicaPlace.com

I look forward to your comments and feedback =)  Now to get ready for tonight’s opening at ICE…so excited!

Santa Monica Hair Salon: Salon D5 Review

I can’t believe how quickly the holidays are approaching, it seems like just last week it was August.  Ahh, the holidays…ladies, we know what that means: parties and lots of primping.  For all the moms out there, we usually take care of ourselves last.  Most of the women out there today fall into these categories:  Who has time to go to a salon?  I’m sorry, its how much now for a haircut…and color!?!?  I’m scared to find someone new.  Color out of the box is so easy!  I fell into most of those categories.  I was so spoiled by my darling friend Alina who does such an amazing job..I’ll give you her info if you are in the Glendale or Santa Clarita Valley – seriously A-M-A-Z-I-N-G but, I just don’t have time to drive up there anymore…even for a great deal.  I was desperate and in need of a color and cut…I called a lot of different salons, I looked at a ton of reviews (it is so hard to put your trust in someone new).  I decided to try Salon D5 on Ocean Park and 17th, I must have driven by it a thousand times, but never noticed..its kind of a hidden secret.  I took Ella there the day before school started (she was spoiled by Alina as well).  They were so nice to her and most importantly did a great job, plus as an added bonus New Clients get 50% off! I thought $25 was a deal in itself for a kids haircut, so take an extra 50% off…woohoo $12.50

My experience:   I called and spoke to Stacy South.   I was on my way to run some errands and asked if I could stop by so she could give me a quote on my hair.  She was absolutely lovely, totally no pressure, listened and said whenever I wanted to get it done, to stop by.  I said, well how about today…she was leaving that day in an hour, but on a Sunday she said she would stay (scored huge points with me).  The cut was fabulous!  The color…brought out my inner vixen =) and there is an enclosed and locked backyard for my daughter to play outside.  All in all a wonderful experience…but wait there’s more…the price.  I was a little scared to find out the damage, but was more than happy when my bill came out to be for a cut and color $70!  Seriously $70!!  Remember first time clients get half off =)  What I also love is that a portion of the proceeds goes back to a school’s PTA…

I have referred my friends to Stacy at Salon D5, check them out.  It is a salon you will feel comfortable going in to and look amazing coming out of.

Salon D5 is holding their Grand Opening on Sunday December 4th from 5pm-7pm at their location in Santa Monica at 1728 Ocean Park Blvd.  Click on this link for more information Grand Opening Salon D5

A Perfect Rainy Day for a Picnic…an indoor picnic!

Its been a busy past few days for us, new washer & dryer installed, water heater relocated, our first parent teacher conference, and the most exciting news…Ella’s first loose tooth!  As all of our outdoor plans had to be squashed today as the rain was seriously coming down, I figured it was the perfect day for a picnic.  I grew up in Wisconsin, which is not known for its good weather, (its known for the entire state being obsessed with football and cheese…)  So I am quite accustomed to inside activities such as turning the entire house into a “fort”, spa & movie days and my personal favorite…the indoor picnic and the indoor roller skating rink (but that is for another post).

For the indoor picnic, what you need is a blanket, some goods tunes, a board game or cards for after eating, picnic basket if so desired, a good attitude and time.  The wildlife (pets) will most likely join you  so makes sure you have a little nibble for them as well.

We enjoyed our picnic lunch on the floor laughing and enjoying the great indoors.  I’m thankful for these precious moments.  Laughing under the skylight eating picnic pizza as the rain is falling.

I am working on the following posts that will be up soon:  Kid Friendly Restaurants/ Days-Restaurants where children eat free, Recipes, Kids Clothing/ deals, Shopping Deals, Reviews, Salons and Openings…I hope to have a little something for everyone.

On a side note…the Westside Thanksgiving, Community Dinner & Celebration is still seeking donations and volunteers for set up and clean up.   Please check out the link, it is such an incredible organization.  Last year more than 1,200 volunteers served 2,500 meals and distributed tons of clothing and blankets.  They provide hundreds of children’s immunizations, haircuts and free medical consultations.   All by donation!!

The Westside Thanksgiving Community Dinner & Celebration is open to everyone. No reservations are necessary… just come to the
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Thanksgiving day.  Dinner from 11am – 3pm

Stay dry friends and drive safe today!

Jackie’s Free Pick of the Day : Books & Cookies with Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman – Today 11/16

Hi friends! We had such an amazing time last night at ICE in Santa Monica. We skated for two hours…and oh my goodness, I can barely move today…but it was so worth it!!

The elementary school are closed today in the SMMUSD and if you are looking for some FUN and some FREE entertainment, check out my pick of the day…see you there!

Jackie’s Free Pick of the Day: 2pm-5pm :  Drop In, no reservations required =)
Come join celebrity chef Duff Goldman as he reads his favorite ARTHUR CHRISTMAS story and demonstrate his holiday cookie decorating techniques. Kids can decorate their own holiday cookies using Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios products.

Books and Cookies is located at 2230 Main Street in Santa Monica

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