Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

16 August 2018

Amazon Prime: Promotional Accounts!

Who doesn't love Amazon Prime? I know I do! And boy was I grateful to be able to get the discounted Prime program for $5.99/month (almost 1/2 off the normal price) this month. Since I had never heard of such a great option for the past 3 years I have had Medicaid, I figured I would share the other options you too might be able to enjoy!

1. EBT and Medicaid cardholders get a discount on Amazon Prime
** updated comments 8/19: forgive me for ever recommending this discount. yes it's a great savings BUT only applies to 1 person in a household so what if you have another member who wants to share your prime shipping. not a chance. and if you ask for customer service help online you'll be transferred to 4 different reps before the 4th rudely says "Even if I connect you to [my supervisor], he will inform you the same" and stays silent as you say goodbye and explain (rant) your disappointment. So disappointing and rude and horrible!! After all the $$ and years I have been a regular Prime member. Horrid!!!**

As an Amazon Prime member, you receive a free 30-day trial that includes Free Two-Day Shipping on over 100 million items, exclusive shopping deals, and discounts on diapers and baby food. After your trial ends, customers who verify with a valid EBT or Medicaid card receive access to all Prime benefits, discounted to just $5.99 per month. NOTE: NO Sharing of household benefits such as shared prime shipping.

2. Amazon Family

Parents of young babies and toddlers can get the following with their Amazon Family membership:

  • Free baby registry welcome box
  • 20% off diaper subscriptions, baby food and more (Subscribe & Save)
  • 15% completion discount on your baby registry
  • Exclusive Coupons and Deals from Amazon Family
  • Amazon Freetime Unlimited
  • Amazon Prime Membership
The membership is $99 annually per family (compared to $119 for a regular Prime Membership).

3. Prime Students

6-month trial courtesy of Sprint, for new members only.
After your trial, Prime student is just $6.49/month or $59/year. Cancel anytime.

24 July 2018

Being Adopted

On 24 July 1984 I arrived in Los Angeles by way of Seoul, South Korea, and Seattle, Washington to meet my adopted forever family. On 4 February 2017 I brought my baby boy, Captain Hastings Alyosha, home from Life Animal Rescue and understood just a wee bit of the joy and wholeness that comes to a parent's heart when connected with their baby. I will forever be grateful and full of joy knowing I was chosen by the King of kings, my family and my baby boy.

Here are just a few of my favorite quotes about adoption.

20 March 2018

Films for Easter: Miracle Maker

Hi friends! Another ER trip but thankfully I am home and ready to share a quick post. In readiness for Easter (1 April 2018) I wanted to share a few of my favorite Easter films worth watching these next few weeks:

#2 - Miracle Maker (Amazon Prime/DVD)

If you've followed my blog for a while you've probably heard me rave on and on about Ralph Fiennes and the fabulous Anglo-Russian claymation/animation feature length film, Miracle Maker.

The stop motion artwork is EXCELLENT with great facial features and scenic detail.
The vocal cast starring Ralph Fiennes as Jesus and Rebecca Callard as Jarius' daughter is top notch delivering realistic emotion and passion. For instance, two of my favorite moments in the film are when Jesus sobs over John the Baptist (not a common scene in many Biblical films) and sighs audibly when the Pharisees call him out of the crowd to ask another loaded question. And lets not even mention the time when Satan (in one of the few hand drawn animated cartoons) tempts Jesus to run away from the Garden of Gethsemane -- goosies!!

The scariest scene involves a demonically possessed Mary Magdalene whom Jesus saves. Again, expect goosies!!
This likely is one of the best depictions of Jesus as Son of Man. There's no "preaching" nor "thumping of the Bible" which means this is a fabulous choice to show your friends and family this Easter season. Instead of focusing on one gospel the story weaves stories from all gospels in addition to creating vignettes showing Jesus' humanity such as laughing over lunch with Lazarus and the disciples over simple day to day topics. And how often do you see Jesus in films laughing and smiling? In this gorgeous retelling Jesus is full of mirth and humor and depth. He is the Son of God sent to die for our sins but he is also still 100% man and that comes through in this great feature film.
So please do yourself a favor and watch Miracle Maker this Easter Season. You won't regret it.

DirectorsDerek Hayes and Stanislav Sokolov


29 January 2018

GIVEAWAY: The Harlem Globetrotters “Amazing Feats of Basketball” 2018 World Tour

It's time --- The Harlem Globetrotters are coming back to So Cal on 17 Feb and making stops in Anaheim, L.A., Santa Barbara, Ontario and Victorville!! For those of you who are not familiar with the group, their one-of-a-kind show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment with incredible ball handling, hilarious comedy and loads of fan interaction, including a post-game autograph signing. This is wholesome family entertainment for all! So grab your tix now and for $7 off your tickets at any venue you can use the PROMO CODE "CALI" on Ticketmaster.
  •        Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario:  Feb. 17, at 2 p.m., and 7 p.m.
  •        Honda Center in Anaheim Feb. 18 at 2 p.m., and Feb. 24 at 1 p.m., and 7 p.m.
  •        UCSB Events Cetner in Santa Barbara Feb. 22 at 7p.m.
  •        STAPLES Center in Los Angeles Feb. 25, at 2p.m.

2017 Tour. Photo by Brett Meister.
And some exciting news for my lovely readers... I have 4 vouchers (thanks to Lisa Carey Public Relations) to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Anaheim Honda Center on either 18 Feb or 24 Feb! All you have to do is enter my Rafflecopter giveaway starting 30 January. I will be picking a lucky winning family or group of friends on 7 February! The winner will receive 4 vouchers that can be exchanged for tickets ($27-29 value approximately) at the Honda Center box office.

Can't wait to crown one lucky family or group of friends the lucky winners of these vouchers!

And yes... there are ACCESSIBLE SEATS at the Honda Center!!
Honda Center provides wheelchair-accessible and companion seating on each level of the arena, including the floor when the event offers floor seats. Guests who require wheelchair-accessible and companion seating are encouraged to purchase wheelchair-accessible tickets as soon as possible. Honda Center reserves the right to take appropriate legal action against guests who fraudulently obtain wheelchair and companion seats. Requests by guests with a disability who have tickets to non-wheelchair-accessible seats to relocate to wheelchair-accessible seating locations will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to availability. Event-day relocations to wheelchair-accessible seats are not guaranteed. 


04 November 2017

Santa is Coming!!!!

Santa HQ 2016 (c) the Joyous Living
Yep, it's that time of year. Santa is heading down from the North Pole to say hi to all the good little children in the Conejo Valley and he's even taking time to see the good dogs and cats too!
Remember how much fun my friend A and I had last November (a year ago today in fact) with Santa who handed out medical wisdom when I told him I wanted good health for Christmas? Hehe. Well, he is coming back! And so is the awesome high tech HGTV Santa HQ from last year that was a hit with kids and adults alike featuring the Naughty or Nice Meter and the Control Center?
Santa HQ - Control Center 2016. (c) The Joyous Living
Santa lands at the Thousand Oaks' Oaks Mall on November 10th for Grandparents' Night (5pm-8pm) and a special "Santa's Arrival" celebration on November 11th from 10am-12pm.

But not to be forgotten are our favorite furry friends and loved ones! As with last year, Santa will be inviting pets to visit on 4 Wednesdays from 5pm-8pm.
November 15 || November 29 || December 6 || December 13
Remember that these nights there will also be children and families in attendance eager to see Santa too. So stay considerate of your pets' needs and the needs and hustle bustle around you of the shoppers and fellow Santa fans. Also the best way inside for your pets will be through the parking structure entrance near the food court.
A and Yours Truly with Santa 2016. (c) The Joyous Living
Since last year I had the pleasure of bringing you a review of Santa HQ from an adult's POV, I am excited to share that A and I will be back on 11/15 but this time with our dogs - Hastings Alyosha and Tigo (the little guy had a name change)!! Look for our photos and their review in a couple weeks' time!!

Joy x

Santa's Visiting Dates: 
November 10-December 15

  • Monday-Thursday (10am-8pm) // Friday-Saturday (10am-9pm) // Sunday (11am-7pm)
  • November 22 (10am-6pm)
  • November 23 (Closed)

December 16-24

  • Monday - Sunday (9am-9pm)
  • Christmas Eve (8am-6pm)

The Oaks, Center Court near JCPenney
350 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Special Dates:
Grandparents Night - 11/10 (5pm-8pm)
Santa's Arrival - 11/11 (10am-12pm)
Holiday PJ Night - 11/17, 12/8 (5pm-8pm)

Giving Back:
Shoppers are invited to bring an unwrapped toy for Help Through Holiday Giving. The Oaks will be donating these toys to the Children's Services Auxiliary of Ventura County.

Photo Special:
Early bird photo packages are available starting at $39.99 and as an added bonus guests who pre-purchase a photo package can make a reservation with the Big Man at

05 July 2017

Kingsmen Shakespeare: Love's Labour's Lost

Under the direction of Kevin P. Kern, Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's production of the oft not performed Shakespearean play, Love's Labour's Lost, is a hoot! The ensemble cast, boasting many talented members of the Actors' Equity Association, works well together as they sing, dance (hilariously - and not to be spoiled! - choreographed by Jeff Wallach), snog, grope, exude pathos and come together in this hilarious romp of a comedy by the Bard himself.
Even if you have never seen this earlier comedy by Shakespeare you will surely pick up on key themes that made their way into his later and better known plays such as Twelfth Night and Midsummer's Night Dream. And never fret, if you find yourself drowning in Elizabethan English, Kern expertly uses side splitting comedy, campy sequences, and hilarious dance routines (again, not to be spoiled!) to draw the audience in and even breaks the fourth wall inviting audience participation.
The ensemble cast (whom you will also see in John Slade's later production of Julius Caesar) are all Aces! The stand-outs have to be Louis Jerry Kernion (as the comedic Costard) who had me holding my side from laughing so much, Samantha Eggers & Ross Hellwig as the stunning Princess and her adoring Ferdinand, Todd Lanker as the lovelorn Berowne who makes use of some of the best lines in the play, and Jason D. Rennie & Thuy Duong as the ridiculous Armando and his page, Moth.

The story is set pre-World War I with gorgeous costumes by Howard Schmitt and fantasy-esque sets by Brian Reed.

For those of you who have never been to a Kingsmen Shakespeare Company production, you are in for a treat. The professional cast and crew have certainly worked hard to bring us not one but two productions this summer (the comedy Love's Labour's Lost and the history Julius Caesar). Most performers from this month's comedy will also be featured in the second production opening on 21 July.
There are lawn boxes (room for 4-6 adults) available for purchase meaning you'll have front and center seating ($90-110).
For the general public, individual tickets can be purchased on the night of the performance for $20 per person (minors under 18 are FREE).

Everyone is responsible for their own chairs and/or blankets. Low chairs are required for the majority of the lawn boxes and all chair sizes are allowed in the general public seating behind the boxes.

As someone who was in the rear of the general public seating, I could see perfectly well, heard all the actors nice and clearly (I am thinking they might be mic'd) and enjoyed being in the open night air watching some Shakespeare come to life.

Coming Early is Highly Recommended:
The park opens at 5:30pm to the public. I would suggest doing as my friend and I did in preparing or buying some dinner en route that you can enjoy at the festival prior to the show beginning. There is a pre-show presentation (approx. 6:45pm/7:00pm) that might help anyone who is not familiar with the material in grasping an idea of what you are about to see!

I took my walker to the show on 1 July (Saturday) and felt completely comfortable and safe traipsing over the lawn and to and from the parking lot. The website mentions a "hill" that was a bit scary when I read it but thankfully I think it is nothing to dread or be worried about! For those who want to be in the lawn boxes, there are several boxes ($90 each) that allow regular sized chairs for accessible patrons.

And last but not least there are plenty of handicap parking spaces up front of the parking lot and a concrete walk way that leads straight to the entrance of the festival!

Age Appropriate:
I lost count of the number of references to the male anatomy. While there is no sex, violence and language a contemporary audience would find astonishing, there were definitely a great number of sexual jokes and innuendos and Kern made sure to emphasize those jokes with physical props. I imagine those jokes and references might even go over the heads of the young people in the audience but for families it is probably wise to be prepared should your son or daughter ask about a certain character's sword or why a woman's mark "should have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be", etc.

Location (Free Parking):
California Lutheran University
60 West Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Directions from 101-South
Exit Lynn Road
Left on Lynn Road
Continue onto Olsen Road
Right on MountClef Blvd.
Parking is in the first lot on the right.

Directions from 101-North
Take Exit 16 for CA-23 North
Exit Sunset Hills Blvd.
Left on Sunset Hills Blvd
Left on Olsen Road
Left on MountClef Blvd.
Parking is in the first lot on the right.

Love's Labour's Lost continues... 7/7-9, 7/14/16
Julius Caesar plays... 7/21-23, 7/28/30, and 8/4-6
All performances start at 8pm

Disclaimer: My tickets were complimentary in exchange for a review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

24 July 2015

Happy Gotcha Day to Me!

Wow 31 years sure have flown! 31 years ago I was brought home for the first time after being adopted by the coolest and awesomest family. At 3 months old, I flew from Seoul, South Korea, to Seattle, WA, and onwards to LAX where I was greeted by family, friends, and more friends. Truly so much love. I feel so blessed and grateful.

22 May 2015

Tomorrowland is Here!

Happy news. Disney's Tomorrowland has launched in cinemas and promises to top box office charts for the weekend! It is certainly the first film I have been eager to see this year...

20 September 2014

Masters Super Fish

With dad being in town, it seemed only fitting that we help ourselves to some fish and chips. Since we were going to the Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall we Googled for a fish and chips restaurant near the Southbank and landed on Masters Super Fish which received rave reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. 
You enter by way of the takeaway kiosk and find your way to the dining room next door where you are welcome to seat yourselves at any available table. Windows look out on the main street and invite natural light into the room and the wall is partially papered with currency from different countries.
 After ordering from the selection of fish, a plate of bread and shrimp are brought to the table. I found the eyes on the shrimp rather disconcerting and it was amusing as dad and I tried to get to the meat but at least I tried something new.
 Soon our dinners arrived and talk about HUGE portions. The waitress also brought around bowls of pickles and onions for us to choose from if we wished.
The fish was fresh, moist and delicious and the chips were tasty. It was a definite treat and although we have never sampled a large number of fish and chips options in London, we were well pleased and for the price and amount of food we were served I would definitely recommend Masters Super Fish if anyone was fancying fish and chips in the Southbank/Waterloo area.
Address: 191 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UX

Pub Review: Holly Bush Hampstead

Last Sunday, my dad was in town and we had to have a proper Sunday lunch, right? Well we were not disappointed after having The Holly Bush in Hampstead recommended to us by the lovely Collette
While we had made reservations, I am not convinced it was necessary as at one o'clock there were plenty of tables unclaimed. Also, oddly enough you cannot make Sunday reservations on the website but rather you have to go through Open Table.
 Seated at a table inside we were surrounded by lovely panelled walls and there were atmospheric candles on each table with flowers and aqua blue water glasses. While I missed the openness of my favourite pub, the Flask in Highgate, I appreciated the small touches such as the bottle of tap water brought to the table (as apposed to a pitcher). I reckon this would be the perfect place to visit during the Christmas season.
 We each ordered a Sunday roast - Dad got the chicken and I ordered the sirloin. Both arrived quickly along with a bowl of vegetables to be shared family style.
The Yorkshire Pudding was massive (!) and so delicious! The meat was succulent and tasty and the vegetables were plentiful. 
My two complaints would be: one, that the portion of gravy on both our plates was minuscule and I had to flag down our waiter (something of a chore considering he did not look our way nor check on us despite the 1/2 full dining room) but he was more then willing to bring us a small pitcher of gravy when asked. Secondly, the meat might have been succulent and tasty but the sirloin was also quite difficult to cut with the provided utensils.
For the prices (£18.50 for the sirloin and £16.50 for the chicken) you would hope for choicier cuts of meat and better service. But really it was a lovely luncheon and the Yorkshire Pudding was amazing and the manager (?) who greeted us at the door was very kind and gracious in his welcome.
Would I recommend the Holly Bush? Perhaps during the Christmas season as I hear it is lovely all decked out with Holly Bush. And if someone was hankering for some amazing Yorkshire Pudding. But it does not compare to my all-time favourite pub, The Flask, in Highgate where the service, prices and food are great all around.

19 July 2014

Travel: Roman Baths

On a perfect June afternoon, my folks and I visited the Roman Baths and delved into the area's history and beauty. I had been twice before (Autumn 2005 & Winter 2013) and mum once before (Winter 2013) and now dad was ready to enjoy his first visit to the iconic site.
 Being that it was summer and a sunny day, the crowd was intense.
 Everyone was given an audio guide and allowed to wander at their own pace.
 Inside the museum, the crowds were so thick that it was difficult to move around and see the cased exhibits. The larger exhibits such as an ornamental pediment from the Temple were able to be enjoyed be the entire crowd owing to the surrounding open space.
  The day that we visited the baths were being cleaned that allowed for a unique view of the baths.
One of the benefits of going during the summer holidays is that there are reenactments and tours.
Mum and Dad with our tour guide (below)
Dad certainly enjoyed his visit as did mum and I. And he even tried the hot spa water. I kept expecting him to have the same reaction mum and I had last year but nope. ;)
 Aside from the inability to see everything in the walkthrough of the museum because of the crush of tourists, the water faucet was my biggest disappointment. I understand that because of the season it was not practical to have everyone go into the Pump Rooms like mum and I did in January but still -- not very memorable and decorative, yes? And sno cone paper cups?
2013 photos of me drinking the spa waters in the Pump Rooms:
All the same, a visit to the Roman Baths is well worth a visit if you are in the area!