Out with Mommy

handstandEvery year when daylight savings time begins and cold weather arrives, kids are stuck indoors afterschool.  When homebound kids start to get stir crazy, let them bounce off the walls, and roll with it, with some safe and energy-burning indoor tumbling.

“Tumbling is a great way for kids to burn off energy and learn new skills,” says Carrie Spender, Education Outreach Program Coordinator for Tumbl Trak, makers of a variety of mats for homes and institutions.

“Kids will bounce on the bed, the couch and sometimes ‘off the walls,’ so set up a place in your house where they can do this safely,” says Spender. “Clear away any unsafe obstacles like lamps and sharp furniture that can cause injury, and use proper matting.”


With a few ground rules and pointers, teaching kids basic tumbling skills can be safe and easy.

First, talk with your kids about key body safe zones.  Gently warn kids of the risks of hurting their neck, head or back, and show them how to move safely while protecting these areas.

Basic moves to avoid injury include tucking the chin toward the chest to protect the neck when rolling, bending the knees slightly to absorb impact when landing feet first, and safe falling or rolling backward with the arms crossed across the chest or above the head, instead of reaching back to break a fall, which is a major cause of wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries.  These safety moves are great for the playground too.

Once safety basics are down, begin with the fundamentals.  Spender suggests playing a pre-tumble game, such as singing “head, shoulders knees and toes” to warm-up the muscles before activity, and also to teach anatomy awareness.  Another warm-up and strengthener is a log roll, where kids lie with a straight body, arms over the head, palms together, and roll sideways.

When muscles are limber and ready, begin with the most common first tumbling move, a forward roll.


Forward Roll

The easiest way to begin a front roll is standing with feet apart.  Next, bend and place hands on the floor keeping the seat high in the air.  Have your child look toward the knees with the chin tucked to the chest.  Then, lean forward, lowering the back of the neck toward the ground.  Continue the roll onto the back and finally to the seat.  Eventually finish the roll on the feet.

“Unless your kid is Olympics bound, perfection is not the goal,” says Spender.  “Pointed toes and straight legs are important in competitive gymnastics, but they are not a necessary focus at home.”


The next move is the handstand, the building block of more advanced gymnastics moves.  A safe handstand begins with strong arms and core.  Have kids start with a push up position to see if they can first support some of their body weight with their arms.  Gradually have kids move feet to higher levels, putting more and more weight on the hands and arms.  Walking feet up a wall, called “spider walk,” with the front of their body facing the wall, is a safe way to gain strength to work up to a handstand.

Handstand mats, which attach to the back of a door, can be used for practice, to protect both the kid and the door.



Once a kid learns a handstand, a cartwheel is a natural progression.  A helpful cartwheel starter is a “tick-tock.” Standing with feet apart and arms stretched outward, the child will lean sideways, reaching one hand toward the floor while lifting the opposite foot up off the floor.  They touch the hand briefly to the floor, then return to standing position.  Once they are ready to cartwheel, they start with hands above head, in a lunge position, and reach forward, placing hands flat on the floor, one hand more forward than the other while kicking the back leg up in the air.   The back leg will swing up and forward, landing on the other side of the hands.  Lift hands off the ground while the second foot lowers toward the floor.

Waterfall Backward Roll

Backward rolls may seem basic but they are difficult to learn and commonly taught too early.  A replacement is a waterfall backward roll.  To learn this skill, a child lies on a bed or couch on his or her back with head toward the edge, with a tumbling mat, or other cushion on the floor.  The child reaches hands above the head toward the floor, and creeps the body backward until hands touch the mat on the floor.  With hands positioned flat, and arms strong and straight, the child raises feet toward the ceiling, then over head to the floor until child is kneeling, squatting or standing.

While teaching this and all tumbling skills, parents should take their time and talk with kids about how they feel every step of the way.  So that kids learn skills and build their strength, parents should avoid the temptation to grab a kid’s ankles and hold them up in a handstand, or, spotting them by holding them while they are learning.  On a safe, padded surface,  parents can help kids learn tumbling skills by letting them practice on their own to help them build a foundation of self-esteem in the sport.


While moms and dads dream of ditching the family car for a more exciting ride, that two-seater hot-rod just won’t cut it in the drop-off line, but parents don’t have to put the breaks on a sexy sedan or convertible that fits the whole family, thanks to two hot-off-the-lien offerings from Audi.

The 2015 Audi S3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro S tronic, developed just for the US market, and 2015 A3 Cabriolet 1.8T FWD S tronic are two beautiful cars that feature seating for four along with Audi’s legendary German engineering and new exciting design lines that make the cars appear in motion, even when parked.

At a recent event at the exquisite luxury retreat Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Sante
Fe, California, the car manufacturer gave a special preview of the vehicles to a rapt audience of lifestyle media writers who also got a turn at driving the cars to and from the resort from Los Angeles.


The S3 ($$41,100) was a pure pleasure to drive, with responsive handling that can be set to the driver’s preference, whether it is dynamic, comfort, or automatically adaptive according to the current driving conditions or custom-tuned to the individual’s style of driving.  The A3 ($35,600) cabriolet was equally thrilling, with the addition of going topless in Southern California’s sunshine, a true indulgence for anyone who loves to drive.

Both cars features the progressive power steering that adapts to type of driving and speed, so that it is as effortless to turn the wheels sharply into a parking spot as it is to change lanes at 65 miles per hour.  Both vehicles also sport Audi’s 6-speed tronic transmission that can be shifted into manual operation for open-road driving — a delight, once you get out of LA traffic.


The Bluetooth programmable navigation/entertainment/media system is loaded with features, including the ability to post to Facebook and tweet through voice command via the car’s built-in SD card reader and Wi-Fi hotspot on AT&T’s 4G network, offered free for six months then at $9 per month. The GPS features Google satellite images, so the driver can zoom in and get a visual on their destination, down to the house number on the front door; and maps can be loaded rom a laptop and saved on the system via a My Audi account.  The cutting-edge technology also features a touch pad incorporated into the dial selector of the navigation system so that a driver can “write” directions using a fingertip as a stylus.


While the Audi is built for speed, these models also abound in comfort features, such as heated seats that hug the passengers and recline and adjust with a myriad of lumbar positions. The cabriolet interior sports fine leather with a special reflective shield that keeps the seat surfaces cool even while driving under the sun.  The convertible top is insulated with an inch-and-a-half thick sound-proofing material making for a quiet rid;, and even while traveling at 30 miles per hour the top can fold away in under 18 seconds into a sleek one-piece molded cover.

While the peppiness of the A3 170 hp and the S3 292 hp engine appeals to Audi lovers who value the race car ride, these cars were also designed for beauty on and off the road.  The designer created a strong, bulked-up rear quarter inspired by the muscular haunches of a wild animal that drives the illusion of movement forward, even when the car is sitting still.


Safety features include round-the-body air bags from the knees up, rearview camera, and automatic functions to close windows and the sunroof and tighten seat belts and move seats into crash positon in the event of an impact.

The Audi reps were enthusiastic about these new cars exceeding expectations of loyal Audi fans attracting many new Audi owners.

At the end of the weekend, the reps headed off in their Audis to the next stop, an 850-mile two-day trek from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to LA on an “efficiency ride” to illustrate how far the A3TDI cars can go on a single tank of gas.  It is hard to believe that a car with such performance is also so incredibly fuel efficient. Go Audi.


galaxys5 In today’s digital age, the most oft-heard refrain in the tech world is, “There’s an app for that.”  Well, there’s also a device for that.  Now there is a phone for the active lifestyle with apps to go with it. The Galaxy S 5 Sport is the smartphone for you if you are a guy or gal on the run; and using the app Sprint Fit Live, you can get instant access to favorite health and activity apps from the active wallpaper or the full screen experience to tailor workouts, music and healthy living content to fitness interests and routine.


One of my favorites is Nudge, which gives you a score, like a Klout for fitness, so you can compare your fitness level to peers. Another is MapMyFitness, which uses GPS to track all your fitness activities and records workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned and route traveled on an interactive map.

At a recent demo sponsored by Sprint, total cutie personal trainer Nathaniel Gosslein showed users how to use the technology to motivate themselves and stay on track with an exercise program. In conjunction with a delicious light lunch nosh provided by Tender Greens, Gosslein explained how he uses the phone and favorite apps for his own program and the clients he trains.


Nathaniel Gosselin, Health Coach, demos Sprint Fit Live

For many of us who juggle family, work and play and in between try to get in some exercise, these health trackers and lifestyle apps serve as a daily reminder to prioritize your program and to monitor your progress, so you can see how your regime is working or change it up if it is not.

As temptation is always present, these health platforms also act like an angel on your shoulder, whispering to do the right thing — put down that hot fudge sundae and pick up that dumbbell.

Since nobody has time for anything these days, it is helpful that these apps make it easy and quick to input your health info and note your status at a glance.  The Galaxy S 5 Sport is built for the busy body in more ways than one, such as a feature that allows users to measure heart rate buy touching the back of the phone using S Health.  Other apps like Activity Zone offer features, including a Barometer, Compass, Flashlight and Stopwatch, from a single screen, so you can hit the trails for a hike, bike or run day or night, time yourself, and not get lost or caught in the rain.

For true multi-taskers, you can get in your reps and keep working, with wireless Google Search, Gmail, and, Google Calendar, and use Quick Connect, which defaults to the best technology to share your content, send files, share your screen or control nearby devices. With Samsung Knox you can protect your sensitive files and not worry about the gym rat on the elliptical next to is stealing your data.

Aside from the heavy breathing in the middle of your cardio routine, the sound quality stays crisp thanks to HD Voice, which eliminates background noise, especially if on a call between two Sprint HD Voice-enabled devices on upgraded areas of the Sprint network.


Sprint’s Heather Wong – Corporate Communications & Amy Johnsonbaugh – Communications Manager

If all these features are not awesome enough, the Galaxy S 5 comes in cool colors, Electric Blue and Cherry Red, and as the perfect gym mate, it can store and play plenty of high-energy tunes, and its textured body prevents slips and it is water resistant, so sweat away.

Book two hotel nights from Oct. 6 – Nov. 14 and receive up to 15% off select hotels and get free admission to L.A. museums


This fall, just prior to the start of the city’s famed red carpet Award Season, Los Angeles puts the spotlight on its cultural offerings with the return of “L.A. Museum Season.”  From Oct. 6 – Nov. 14, visitors who book two hotel nights or more for stays during this time period receive two free admissions and museum store discounts at more than 20 premier Los Angeles cultural institutions. For more information visit http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/museumseason.

“As home to more museums than any other U.S. city, Los Angeles offers permanent and temporary exhibitions for every taste and temperament,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., President & CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism). “From Picassos to pop hits, dinosaurs to diamonds, cowboys to classical sculpture, L.A.’s museum collections span the gamut.”

Institutions participating in the free admission offer include:  Autry National Center; Craft & Folk Art Museum; GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE; Hollywood Museum; Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens; Kidspace Children’s Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Latin American Art; Museum of Tolerance; Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; Norton Simon Museum; Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits; Paley Center for Media; Pasadena Museum of California Art; Skirball Cultural Center; and USS Battleship Iowa.

Additionally, the following institutions offer a discount off museum store purchases: Annenberg Space for Photography Skylight studios; California Science Center; Fowler Museum at UCLA; Getty Center; Getty Villa; Hammer Museum; USC Pacific Museum


-       Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (A savings of $40 on two or more regular adult admissions) – In commemoration of the start of World War I in the summer of 1914, a centennial Posters of the First World War exhibition in the Library’s West Hall through Nov. 3 illustrates how a global war was waged not just by soldiers on battlefields and politicians in offices, but by civilian populations of men, women, and children on the home fronts of combatant nations including Canada, England, France, and the United States.

-       LACMA (A savings of $30 on two regular adult admissions) – Big Quilts in Small Sizes: Children’s Historical Bedcovers features diminutive quilts chosen from the museum’s collection, all of them made for children and presenting strikingly beautiful decorative designs, reflecting the same meticulous stitching and geometric patterns that have been used to create full-size bedcovers in the United States for centuries.

-       Hollywood Museum (A savings of $30 on two regular adult admissions) – Be among the first to enjoy a new collection of sorcery acquisitions from the Harry Potter film franchise including original wands, Harry Potter’s robe, his ultimate broom, blueprints of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and more.

-       Grammy Museum (a savings of $25.90 on two regular adult admissions) – California Dreamin’: The Sounds of Laurel Canyon, 1965-1977, explores the story of the Los Angeles rock scene during this golden age of music, creativity and culture.  See a broad array of items on display including Jim Morrison’s (The Doors) writing chair; Arthur Lee’s (Love) 6 String Flying V guitar; Cass Elliot’s (The Mamas and the Papas) c.1960s, hand painted chair; and original scrapbooks, handbills, and posters.

For more information on arts and culture or all of the endless entertainment options in Los Angeles, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at www.discoverLosAngeles.com, and visit www.facebook.com/LosAngelesFan and Twitter @discoverLA.



Reported by Beauty, Health and Fitness Correspondent Daniel Carrilho

Today at the Andaz Hotel in Hollywood, beauty editors gathered for a special event to learn about the latest beauty products hosted by BeautyPress, the largest international PR network for the beauty industry.

The skincare industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. So when skincare brands come out with new products, they better be extremely effective, novel and preferably devoid of too many chemicals. That’s where Stemology comes in. Made with both human and plant stem cells, Stemology products are infused with StemCore-3™ technology, which is a collagen and elastin boosting complex made of both human and plant stem cells. But that’s not all- the products are packed with skin goodies such as peptides to support collagen, organic aloe to soothe, probiotics, retinol to increase cell turnover, hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate, caffeine to pep and firm, alpha lipoic acid, CoEnzyme Q10 and so much more. It’s a natural but effective line that contains no parabens, phthalates, or GMOs. It’s also cruelty free and uses organic ingredients. This is the future of skincare. Products that are delivered deeply to repair and protect and help boost the body’s own ability to support more youthful looking skin with clinic results.
The line is complete with cleansers, serums, masks and skin polishers.Www.stemologyskincare.com


I’m in love with Cailyn Cosmetics’ new Dezzolv’It makeup melt cleansing balm. It starts out as a balm that turns into a luxury oil as it breaks down stubborn makeup on the eyes, lips and face. Then it turns into a creamy milky lotion by adding a few drops of water. It will take off all makeup and leave the skin refreshed, clean, and hydrated. It also has papaya enzymes to help gently exfoliate the skin. It’s a necessity to use this cleansing balm if you’re going to be wearing Cailyn’s new extreme matte tints, which look like an opaque lipstick but dry matte and stay on all day. Perfect for a date night because you won’t need to worry about getting your lipstick everywhere while you eat, drink and chat. Also perfect for those on-the-go gals who don’t have time to reapply.


Mirabella Cosmetics is launching their new holiday line “Faerie” with- you guessed it- sheen and shine! The mineral formulation of their swirling pearl brilliant mineral highlighter uses a PrismaTech shimmer to add a subtle sheen that is both ethereal and hints at healthy looking skin. They also just came out with their new travel brush set, which includes two face and three eye brushes for perfect application on the go. I love Mirabelle products because they are talc-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free. The high quality pigments are made in Italy and are the perfect holiday accessory.


I love my Microsoft tablet, a Nokia Lumina 2520 , with a foldable keyboard case that can go anywhere, especially if I want full functionality but not a heavy and bulky laptop to take on blogging assignments, etc.  Now Microsoft has their own stores like the Apple store but done better in my opinion.  They have their version of the genius bar with well trained techs who can show you who to use your device to suit your needs.


The new Microsoft Store at Topanga Westfield shopping center is a sparkling new location with a great friendly and helpful staff .http://bit.ly/1uztF1A  #MicrosoftCA #BH #ad

564442_10151135848687480_872468495_nIf you have not already been to the new Microsoft Store at Westfield Topanga check it out. The new location features Surface, Xbox, Windows Phones and more. Friendly Answer Techs can show you all the features, and after you buy you can enjoy worry free technical support and protection. The knowledgeable techs can answer your questions, resolve your problems, and help safeguard your new device. There are also opportunities to learn, create and achieve more with free classes for students, educators and adults at Microsoft. More info at http://bit.ly/1uztF1A

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