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Jan, 2010

L.A. Moms Invade Pacific Waters Spa - AHHH!

The Asian Valley Girls Get Their Spa On!
Bern-Baby-Bern, FunnyYellowMom & SweatPantsMom

This mama is RELAXED! I am not usually a spa girl. Spa treatments are pricey and take a lot of time. I admit, I have a hard time relaxing. As a working mom with a really weird career, there is always something more important to do than getting a mani/pedi. However, last night I was lucky enough to be part of a promotional night of pampering at Pacific Waters Spa at the Huntington Beach Hyatt and oh boy, did I take my time and relax!

A group of us exhausted and deserving (hee hee) mothers were given robes and slippers and ushered into the “Relaxation Room”. Then massage therapists and estheticians appeared and one by one called us in for our spa treatments. We received mini neck/back/shoulder massages, hand treatments and facials which were all amazing!
My awesome esthetician, Madea (oh gosh, did I spell her name right?)
We also learned how to make a Coco Mocha Latte Mask and a Peppy Sugar Scrub at home with regular food items from the grocery store. We were given a tour of the entire spa and it was beautiful!
My second favorite part, after the massage, was our own special buffet and a post spa, custom made drink, called the “Momtini“. Yes please.
Seriously, I’ve been to the Burke Williams Spas before and the Pacific Waters Spa puts Burkey-Poo to shame and for comparable prices. Every spa treatment you can imagine is available here including a treatments for men, couples treatments, special soaks, full salon and fitness classes. The staff was professional and capable and the food was amazing.
I can’t recommend Pacific Waters Spa enough and I can’t wait to go back there. NOW, here’s the great news for my friends here in SoCal – become a Fan on Pacific Waters Spa on Facebook and write on their wall, “Referred by Amy Anderson” and they will give you 20% off any 60 minute spa treatment!!! WOOHOO! And if I refer a zillion people to follow/Fan them on Twitter and Facebook, I will get some spa services too! (You didn’t think I did this without a motive, did you?) You have until January 31… GO!

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Jan, 2010

Amy Gets Emotional... and she wasn't even on the rag
I’m originally from the Midwest and people back there always ask me if I’m afraid of earthquakes living in Southern California. Honestly, I’m still more afraid of tornados and lutefisk, but I’m not made of stone…

Being a comedian, I fly the friendly skies for a living. This morning, on board my flight home to LAX, waiting for take-off, I decided to read my complimentary hotel copy of USA Today. The Haiti earthquake, of course, is still the biggest news story and while flipping and skimming through the articles and photos about the devastation and relief efforts, the mom in me just couldn’t be contained – I started to cry. It’s no fun crying in public, but it’s especially no fun crying on a plane. In the middle seat. Between two strange men. It’s down right embarrassing but I couldn’t stop myself.

I, like many self-absorbed Americans and busy single moms, don’t have nearly as much time as I would like to read and watch the news. While I had been hearing all about the earthquake through friends and news snippets, headlines here and there, the magnitude of the devastation didn’t fully hit me until I sat down with the paper today and really absorbed the figures and photos.

One of the poorest of all nations in the world, flattened by mother nature. The death toll keeps rising and we all know nature does not discriminate. Mothers, fathers, children, babies, dying and suffering and with the collapse of major infrastructure, many more will die. I can’t help but imagine my own child in these situations and reading article after article about the devastation in Haiti made me count my blessings. It also made me admit that I am completely unprepared for a large earthquake.

A little over a year ago we had a small, but slightly frightening, earthquake here in SoCal. I was living in Van Nuys at the time and it really shook my three story building. I had felt a few tiny quakes since coming to Los Angeles in 2001, but this was the first one that actually scared me. I yelled to my nanny, who was in the living room with my 1 year old daughter and this is the dialogue we had:

“It’s an earthquake and it’s kind of a big one!”

“What are we supposed to do?!” (she was from Kansas)

“Um… pick up the baby! Maybe we should put on our shoes?”

And then it was over. Fortunately, it wasn’t “the big one”, but do you think I’ve learned any more about earthquake preparedness since then? The truth is, a little, but not much. I did learn that you’re supposed to get under something sturdy, not stand in a doorway, don’t run outside – but that’s about it. Having grown up in Minnesota, I can tell you EXACTLY what to do during a tornado, but earthquakes are a mysterious beast to this Midwestern girl.

It’s so easy to put things off without daily reminders. As a single mom, it seems like I have a thousand other things more important to do each day. Much more important than assembling an emergency supply kit of things we will probably never use and devising and discussing a plan with my nanny and my ex. But the Haiti quake – the pictures of orphaned children, sobbing mothers, bodies in the street – made me realize that it IS important. Would I ever be able to forgive myself if my daughter or nanny was trapped in our house without at least a supply of clean water? If they were injured without basic first aid supplies? Never. Getting prepared is on my list of things to do tomorrow and if you’re not ready, then it should be on your to-do list too. I’m not an alarmist, but I am a realist. A procrastinating one, but a realist, nonetheless.

Every part of the country has it’s natural disasters – know your risks and the dos and don’ts for your region. For those of you in earthquake areas, FEMA and MyGreatHome.com are two very informative sites that can help you prepare and maybe even survive someday. Let’s hope we never need to use this information!

I always miss my little girl when I go away on work trips, but I have always been lucky enough to come home to a healthy child and a safe home. I hope she never has to experience the terror of a major natural disaster like the one in Haiti, but I can do my best to be prepared and help her through it in case she does. My heart goes out to all of the people affected by the Haiti earthquake and may those who perished rest in peace. Especially the children.

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Jan, 2010

Valentine's Day Is Coming - Are you Fresh & Easy (& cheap)?
OK, more Fresh & Easy! Since I was so freakin‘ slow getting my post about the holiday treats up, I wanted to get my Valentine’s Day treat post up right away. Why? Because I love Fresh & Easy and I’m pretty sure I can convert you too.
F&E just sent me two boxes of their special V-Day nosh and wines and once again they have some really great treats available for you at amazing prices! Check out these products and the other great stuff they have and you won’t even have to tell your sweetheart you didn’t spend a fortune.
Here’s the loot in order from L-R:
Fresh and Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies – $2.59/8 ct
As much as I hate to admit it, these snickerdooodles are almost as good as mine and I’m a damn good baker. Because of my status as Damn Good Baker, I usually can’t stand store bought cookies. The kind that come from the grocery store bakery are usually the worst – dry and flavorless – but these are really really good! They are chewy and just the right amount of buttery/cinnamony/sugary/sweet. Buy them.
Montcadi Cava Rose – $6.99 (on sale for $4.99)
I haven’t opened either of these bottles yet, but trust me, I will. This is a rose sparkling wine that was a recent Double Gold winner at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Get it while it’s only 5 bucks before it goes to it’s outrageous regular price of 7 bucks. Bwahahaha!
McGuigan Hand Made Barossa Shiraz – $12.99 (on sale for $8.99)
This is an Australian wine that is described as going well with red meats or strong cheeses. I haven’t met a strong cheese I didn’t like, so I have plans for this bottle.
Sweet Boutique Gourmet Swiss Truffles – $3.99/6.3 oz
This seems to be a milk and dark chocolate copy cat of the amazing Lindt Lindor Truffles and the good news is they are almost as delicious and for about half the price. My ball split in half when I bit into it, but the chocolate was nice and smooth and tasty.
Fresh and Easy One Huge Hunk Chocolate Bar w Pecans & Fruit – $4.29/14 oz
OK, this one is pretty self explanatory and how can you NOT buy something chocolate named “One Huge Hunk”? Go for it.
You really should stop in to your local F&E if you live in Cali, Arizona or Nevada. You’ll be glad you did. And if I haven’t raved enough, here’s something else, non-food, that I love about F&E… click here to read about their green building initiatives. Helping the environment and saving you money – ahhhh. Refreshing!

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