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Friday, April 27, 2012

Beyonce Under Cover – Out and about with Blue Ivy Carter

Beyonce has a new exercise for 2012, lots of walking with the added weight of newdaughter Blue Ivy!
Since welcoming the January 7th arrival of her first baby along with husband Jay Z, this new mom quickly got the hang of transporting her precious cargo in an infant carrier.
To make this change easier she also has started wearing flat shoes for the first time. “I never thought there would be a day when I wouldn’t wear heels,” Blue Ivy‘s mom admitted to People magazine. “Now that I have a child, I walk around holding her all day; I’m buying loafersand oxfords. I love them, because they’re comfortable and shorter heels too.” Said Beyonce.
Apparently husband Jay-Z likes her more laid-back style too “He loves it when I wear flat shoes, which is surprising – he never saw me in flats before!” she says. 
Through the cold winter months Beyonce kept baby Blue Ivy wrapped up warmly and shrouded by thick snuggly blankets but as the weather warms up we look forward to seeing Beyonce break out her 50+ UPF stroller blanket from “Sunny Stroller Shadez.”  Beyonce has a custom blanket in pink with “Blue Ivy” printed with a White Flower Vine design.
The “Light-as-a-feather, cool-as-a-breeze” stroller blanket blocks 99% of both UVB and UVA rays and features stretchy ties on all four corners to easily attach to mom’s favorite Bjorn carrier leaving mom’s hands free and keeping Beyonce and Blue Ivy cool and comfortable, avalable at http://www.sunnysleevez.com/stroller-shades-blankets/
In addition Beyonce will be protecting her little ones delicate arms from harsh UV rays with her new Pink Tie Dye ”Sunny Shrugz.” available http://www.sunnysleevez.com/products/Sun-Shrug-.html
Clearly all this walking  this has really paid off for the new mom, since giving birth just 4 months ago Beyonce has already lost almost 50 pounds and loves that her “waist came back so fast”
She says she had to get her tone back because she is “definitely softer,” she tells People.
“I feel my body bouncing back. Whatever was tight and muscular, like my legs, I’m seeing it come back. You just have to work at it,” she insists.
Beyonce credits her exercise routine which she mixes up  running, dancing and crunches on an exercise ball.
Double Congratulations – People Magazine has named Beyonce as 2012’s most beautiful woman. “I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt because I’ve given birth,” says Beyonce, 30, and adds  “I have never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth.”

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day – Saving Nemo! -Save money, save your largest organ, save coral!

When swimming, some sunscreen can wash off your body into the surrounding waters, potentially affecting marine life
Save money, save your largest organ, save coral!
Did you know?
A 2008 scientific study showed that some commonly used chemical sunscreen ingredients cause coral bleaching.
  • Each year between 4000-6000 metric tons (4400-6600 US tons) of sunscreen washes off swimmers and snorkelers into coral reef environments.
Four common sunscreen ingredients were shown to cause complete coral bleaching at very low concentrations. They are:
    • Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) – Sunscreen with several suspected human health effects.
    • Butylparaben - Preservative with several suspected human health effects.
    • Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) – Sunscreen with several suspected human health effects.
    • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC) – Sunscreen with several suspected human health effects. Allowed in Europe and Canada, not in USA or Japan.
  • Up to 10% of the world’s coral reefs may be threatened by sunscreen induced coral bleaching.
Protecting your skin when swimming and snorkeling is vital.
Chemical sunscreens are not only bad news for coral but must be applied 20 minutesbefore going in the sun,  reapplied EVERY 2 hours, (more often after swimming and toweling off) but Many do not protect against UVA rays.
Instead wear sun protective clothing with a 30+UPF or higher. A regular white T shirt may give only a 15 UPF and this is further reduced when wet.
Sun protection shirts, swimsuits and sleeves are made with fabrics that keep their sun protection even when wet. They give instant, chemical free sun protection you never have to reapply.
Treat your sun protection clothing gently and it will protect your skin for years, saving you time, money, as well as helping to protect you from skin cancer and coral reefs from extinction!
Nemo hates sunscreen!
Sunscreens Cause Coral Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections, and it was published in the peer reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2008, Roberto Danovaro and his colleagues at the Marche Polytechnic University in Ancona, Italy.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

3 Reasons why you should tint for earth day

I just moved a chair to sweep the floor and was dismayed at the damage to our beautifulflooring. The window is screened by a large tree so never gets direct sunlight but just look at the bleaching from reflected UV rays in just 3 years
Imagine the damage to my skin if my desk were had been here instead!
This is a really important issue for anyone sitting in direct sunlight that comes through a window.
Regular glass blocks almost all UVB rays but allows UVA to come through.
Both UVA and UVB rays are harmful.  Remember:
UVB is  the main sunburn ray, it causes skin cancer and wrinkles
UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB ,  it causes skin cancer and wrinkles
UVA It is also the ray used in tanning beds 
Tinting –  Adding sheets of UV blocking film to windows, or when replacing old window choosing glass that includes technology to block UV rays can:
1)        Help to lower your cooling costs
2)      Extend the life of your furnishing.
3)      Save your skin

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

CicLAvia-100000 smiles take to the streets of LA

I hope some of you made it downtown this weekend. Don’t worry if you didn’t, the next one is October 14th 2012 so plenty of time to dust off your saddle and oil that chain. Here are some pix for those that missed CicLAvia on Sunday
After much debate of train vs. car we decided to drive, it’s only 3 miles and whilst it seems antithetical to the whole biking thing to drive, with 2 smalls and 4 bikes to squeeze into crowded carriages I’m glad we took the car option, especially at the end of the ride when we had 2 tuckered out little people !
For an adult with regular sized wheels it is not a challenging ride but for little legs on little wheels negotiating both the (gentle) hills and the sloping gutter of the street it’s a good workout.
We arrived just before noon and were back in the car at squack on 3pm
They weren’t exaggerating about miles of smiles. Cycling seems to bring out the best in folks. Waves and smiles replaced the usualirritable car horns, and I heard ‘sorry’ more than the morning after a bachelor party!
At times it got quite crowded but everyone did their best to be aware and considerate, lots of spills but people were more likely to be injured from the rush to help a fallen rider than road rage.
I always thought it was the weed that made the Dutch so cheerful, but perhaps it’s thatthey’re all powered by pedal joy!  LAPD Joined in the spirit of the day and showed off some well toned calves.
I got some much needed hope for the future when our five year old the “shouty pink one” turned her fiercely determined spirit to some furious pedaling. A 100000 big people on big bikes and sloping street gutters, that threatened to derail her training wheels, were not going to be allowed to dampen her spirit. She channeled her stubborn streak and gamely kept up for 3 hours without a grumble

 Handy Hints with little ones

*If you live locally drive. We paid $7 for parking and whilst the train is great, it’s hard getting on a crowded train with a bike, as a family you may have to get on through separate doors and once on stay put, so this is unnerving for small  children and can make disembarking a challenge.
*Park around little Tokyo. It’s flat and the beginning ride is uphill which means at the end of the day, you can coast downhill ending in a flat plaza. Bonus-Lots of places for frozen yogurt, bobo and coffee, for an end of the ride treat.
*For a young rider set them on a line to follow, otherwise the curve of the gutter tends to pull them down and it’s hard to get back up the slope and means cutting across bikers.
*When the youngest member says they are done, it’s time to head back. Don’t push it, you still have to get back to the car or train and it’s better to leave wanting more.
Big bike news for Angelinos -We’re all getting bikes!
Angelinos will be the proud new riders of 4,000 bikes located at 400 kiosks throughout the metropolis. Over the next two years stations will be installed in bike-friendly neighborhoods like downtown LA, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made the announcement Sunday morning, saying, “We know it’s what LA needs. As we’ve seen with CicLAvia’ Angelinos are aching for a day without a car,” reports LA Streetsblog.
The initiative is being spearheaded and funded by Bike Nation, a Southern California bike share. Bike Nation’s site outlines the cost to use bikes. Membership subscriptions ranging from 24 hours ($6) to one year ($75). Once you’re a member, every 30-minute trip is free, and a one-hour jaunt starts at $1.50.
There are already similar bike share programs in place that deploy thousands of bikes in San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York and Chicago.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Explore LA, in a way you never have before- FREE – CicLAvia

Happy Friday Folks – Just a quickie as there’s a break in the rain and I have to load up our bikes for a check up with the cycle doc, in preparation for the much anticipated CicLAvia this Sunday.
What’s that you don’t know of CicLAvia?  Well you’re in for a treat.
Downtown LA must be one of the most well-kept yet largest secrets in southern California and CicLAvia allows a rare opportunity to explore car free!
CicLAvia temporarily removes cars from L.A. streets – and the streets fill up with smiles!
This Sunday marks the 4th of these hugely successful CicLAvias in Los Angeles (10/10/10, 4/10/11 and 10/9/11), there will be 10 miles of streets completely car-free from 10 AM – 3 PM on, with new spurs added to El Pueblo/Olvera Street and South LA.
CicLAvia makes the streets  safe for people to walk, skate, play and ride a bike. There are activities along the route. Shop owners and restaurants are encouraged to open their doors to people along the CicLAvia.
Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States
What makes LA’s so unique is for many native Angelinos it may be the only time in the year that they visit downtown. Much maligned but largely ignored downtown Los Angeles boasts world class symphony, theater, opera, dance as well gourmet dining and some amazing shopping.
Downtown boasts a number of wholesale districts where many sores will sell discounteditems to the public too. Divided into districts, fashion, flower, fabric, jewelry, toy, even beads! For movie buffs check out The Bradbury buildings wrought impressive wrought iron interior (Blade Runner)
Kids enjoy a quick ( I do mean quick) trip on “The Shortest Railway in the World.” AtAngels Flight just 50 cents board one of the two orange and black incline railway cars and ride  This funicular which  dates back to 1901, when Bunker Hill was one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Los Angeles As short as it is (298 feet),  it is an essential Los Angeles experience.
The Angels Flight® Railway connects 351 South Hill Street with the California Plaza Watercourt at 350 South Grand Avenue
For five glorious hours on Sunday 10 miles of Los Angeles will be car free, the only gangs roving, are packs of boy scouts & mariachi bands that frequent Olver Street
One of the oldest parts of downtown LA it boasts some of the best Mexican eateries in LA. The restaurants are all delicious & the people are super friendly, we particularly like the El Paseo Inn but there are many to chose from.
There are many historic sites such as the first firehouse and a beautiful church on this street which makes it a great place to learn about the wonderful city in which we live, it’s historic, beautiful and fun.
The rain will have finished washing the streets and left them dust free leaving cool fresh air perfect for a cycle with a Sunday forecast of a sunny high of 67 and 0% precipitation.
What to bring: reusable water bottle, hat/helmet, sun sleeves, bike, skateboard, roller blades, camera and some big smiles and Join us for some fabulous pedal action!
With petrol prices at an all time high the timing is perfect for a bike ride as you won’t need to be burning fossil fuel.
Bike rental options are currently rather limited in Los Angeles. If you don’t have a bike, you can walk, run, skate, scooter – bikes not required. Here are the near-route bike shops that we know of that do bike rental. Call ahead, pay for your reservation in advance, because these rentals sell out.
More info and direction http://www.ciclavia.org/directions/

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Millard Canyon -The Birds & Bees…& Amphibians

In anticipation of the arrival of the giant generous-spirited, diabetes promoting, long earedmammal, an appetite promoting ramble was called for this weekend.
So organic cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers along with packets of sarnies (sandwiches), were packed, reuseable water bottles filled  and we headed off for our first trip of the year up to Millard Canyon.
Located less than 15 minutes from Pasadena, hiking Millard  is a huge favorite with our family. The trail along the stream is both shady and fairly flat with the added bonus that itis teaming with amphibian life that seems largely unconcerned by the curious eyes and inquisitive fingers of our children.
There  are some more challenging hikes that can be reached from Sunset Ridge  going to the old mine entrance and the waterfalls. Unfortunately neither has been reachable from the lower hike since mudslides, which were the result of the horrendous 2009 fires.
A (not so) quick trip to Sport Chalet in La Canada for our annual ‘Adventure Pass” which is $30 for a year or $5 per day.
It’s well worth getting the annual as we will not only use it more than 6 times but it saves a huge amount of time and the risk of expensive shopping at one of the sports outlets that supplies them! Given that we take full advantage of so many of our amazing state parks, and the enormous cost of maintaining roads,  bathroom facilities, rescue and fire prevention/fighting it’s one of the few fees I encounter that I not only don’t mind but actually feel good about paying!
Take the Lincoln exit from the 210, follow Lincoln for 3 miles, right on Alta vista then left at the wall withthe wagon wheel!
Follow the road a couple of miles to the car park.
To the right of the car park is only a short trail to the camp site beyond which is fenced off due to rock fall.
To the left, we follow the stream we criss cross, hopping rock to rock through the  coolshady canyon.  A large number of trees have been felled since last summer, probably as a result of the high winds last autumn, revealing masses of knotty roots. A series of cabins nestle in the woods provoking envy that the fortunate inhabitants enjoy the shady solitude coupled with the soothing babble from the stream.
Not only is this not an arduous hike but before long an obliging colony of amphibian lifereveal themselves to the delight of the squealing children.
Red salamanders get into the procreational spirit of the season which provokes an unexpected request for an explanation of the “birds and the bees….with a twist!”
The conversation threatens to take on an added dimension when it becomes clear that these frisky amphibians have the stamina of Russell Brand. Fortunately I’m spared having to explain “when a daddy newt loves a mummy newt, oh and several of her friends” by the catching of a frog. It does make mewonder if perhaps Charlie Sheen has a little newt DNA!
Several frogs are caught and released, some no bigger than my thumb nail. These make odd croaks that sound much more like a ducks quack than the more common and much deeper “ribbit” of the bull frog.
One in particular,   takes such a shine to my son it willing rides parrot style on his arm!
2 hours later we are back on the road and home to await the impending delivery of blood sugar destabilizing confectionary, but I think we’ve earned it
Note, Rocky pathway wear shoes with a good grip. Poison Ivy alert
ADVENTURE PASS – What many people do not realize is that their recreation activities in the National Forests are highly subsidized by American taxpayers. The Recreation Fee Demonstration Program is testing the willingness of those individuals who derive direct benefit from the forest to invest in their chosen activity, rather than asking all taxpayers–even those who would never visit a National Forest–to pay more.
The Adventure Pass part of the fee program asks individuals to play a direct and supportive role in caring for the lands they use and enjoy; to make a small investment to help ensure a bright future for the National Forests of coastal and southern California
W Loma Alta Dr & Chaney Trl
Altadena, CA 91001
Neighborhood: Pasadena