Archive for the ‘Claremont’ Category

Best Mother’s Day Present Ever

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Mom. She does so much for everyone else. Isn’t it time she took care of herself for a change?


Fourteen years ago I became a mother in April, and for my first Mother’s Day in May I asked for a membership in an all-women’s gym. I worked full-time. My baby kept me up all night. I was a walking zombie most of the time. I was not sure I would have the time or energy to actually go to a gym. But I needed Me Time. We got a three-month membership to The Spa, Fitness for Women in Upland just to try it out.

What a Godsend the Spa became! When I stepped through the doors I left the hectic world behind. When those doors shut last year due to financial problems, I was devastated, as were hundreds of other ladies who had been going there for years. Some of us started a Facebook Page to connect. We were thrilled when we learned that a former owner was taking back the facility and was going to renew the place and open it up as Shirlee’s Fitness Club for Women.

Workers have been busy for four months improving the place inside and out, and Shirlee’s will be opening soon. The wait has been excruciating for many of us, as we want our exercise oasis back! (You can see pictures of the new Shirlee’s on Shirlee’s FB page.)

My baby girl turned 14 in April, and is now old enough to join the gym herself. When Shirlee’s opens, (hopefully soon), she, too, will be a member. High school brings overwhelming stress for girls her age: grades, extracurricular activities, and social life in the age of FB, for example. I am hoping that Shirlee’s become an oasis for her as well—a place where she can relax, recharge, and be inspired by women of all ages, shapes, and sizes supporting each other.

If you know of a mom who needs some Me Time, let her know about Shirlee’s. Maybe she can ask for a Shirlee’s membership for Mother’s Day.



Spa for Women to Re-Open in January

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Spa for Women to Re-Open Under Former Owner

When the Spa for Women unexpectedly shut its doors last month, hundreds of Inland Valley women were left without a gym. As I posted here, many of us grieved the loss of a low-key, all-female gym that felt like home.

Spa owners shut down the place with no warning to employees or members and with no communication afterwards about whether the gym would re-open and if so, if our memberships–many of which were paid years in advance–would be honored. The Spa did not update its website or give any of us the means to communicate with each other. That’s why I started a Facebook Page, Bummed About the Spa for Women in Upland Closing.

I am happy to let you know that the answers to many questions Spa members have can be found in posts in this FB group. The biggest news is that Gary, the owner of the building and equipment, has announced that he will be re-opening a new and improved Spa in January. The FB page also has lots of offers from local gyms for free trial periods. Some of the Spa instructors have let us know where else they teach as well.

Gary says he cannot afford to honor our existing membership cards at face value as his investors need cash flow, but he is offering discounted rates, depending upon how many years you had left on your card and whether you had pre-paid for other services, such as training etc. He seems sincere about trying to offer members the best deal possible, and he seems committed to re-invigorating the Spa. He is also making an effort to reach out to members to let them know what is going on and to solicit their input. His outreach is a welcome relief after weeks of no information at all about what was going on.

The FB group has lots of information about the Spa’s closing and reopening and about your options. It also offers a way for you to communicate with other members. To join, go to the group  Bummed About the Spa for Women in Upland Closing then ask to join. I think any existing member of the group can also add other friends.

I hope this information is helpful.


Related post: Spa for Women in Upland Shuts Doors: Now What?

SAVE: Daily Deal Site for Inland Empire

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

My Quick Deals Offers Discounts on Inland Valley Businesses

Somehow I stumbled onto a new daily deal site that I want to share with friends and neighbors in Claremont and nearby areas. It is called MyQuickDeals and it is like Groupon and the other daily deal sites only better because all the deals are for local businesses!




Like right now, they have a deal for half off at Mt Fuji Garden center. You spend $20 and get $40 worth at Mt. Fuji! Another deal on now is for $99 you can get an IPL Photofacial and Glycolic Peel at a local Medspa–normally that would go for $400. Another deal was $7 for $14 for of yogurt or gelato.

MyQuickDeals is a local business. And they need more local people to sign up. It costs nothing to sign up. You are not bombarded with emails etc. Just one email a day. The offers look good. And the company is giving part of the proceeds to schools and local charities.

Here is some info about them from an email I got from them”

We are family owned and operated, and based in Upland. We started our business two months ago hoping to do three things: (1) provide truly localized deals to our neighbors in the west end of the Inland Empire, (2) provide local businesses with an alternative to Groupon & Living Social, which both charge businesses more, and (3) give back part of our proceeds to help local charities and school programs. For our business to work we need to get more people knowing about and using MyQuickDeals.

I am inviting you to check them out and sign up to support them and other local businesses that offer deals. You will also be helping yourself because it looks like they have some great deals! Let me know what you think and if you take advantage of any of their offers. Pass the word.

Spa for Women Shuts Doors . . . Now What?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Totally Bummed

When the Spa for Women in Upland, CA, shut its doors unexpectedly last week, many of us members were shocked and devastated. Where do we go now? Although the gym on Foothill near Mountain was not the classiest place, it offered the basics at a reasonable price and fellow members and staff felt like family. Many women have been going to the gym for decades.

Talking to fellow members I hear words of grief. “Devastated.” So Upset.” “Don’t know what I am going to do.” So bummed” “Mad.” “Lost” “That place was perfect for me . . . now what am I gonna do?”

The best thing about the Spa was the people. The instructors: all competent, friendly, and caring. The members: all down-to-earth women. You could go to the gym in your sweats without putting your make-up on and it was all good. I was there 13 years.

So now I am looking for a gym with yoga, step, Zumba, weights, and a pool that is close, affordable and has a clientele that makes me comfortable. I need a gym in Claremont or Upland or someplace close . . . too far and I will end up not going.

Looking on Yelp at reviews and it is not encouraging.

Many of us are wondering why the owner did not at the least try to arrange a discount at another gym for us. After all, most of us paid for multiple-year gym memberships, and now it looks like we are just out the money. I had 6 years left on mine.

With no FB page or email list, we are all just left to find a new gym home on our own. If you were a Spa member, please let me know what your plans are. Leave a comment below. I also started a Facebook group Bummed About the Spa for Women in Upland Closing in the hopes of reaching out to others in my situation. Maybe if we trade notes we can help each other find new gyms that work for each of us. Join it by going to Bummed about Spa for Women in Upland Closing Group.

Please pass the word along. Thank you.

If you want to contact me directly: email kim at


By the way:  there is a great new daily deal site just for the Inland Empire.  Local company that just started up and they need members. Check it out.

How to Save Big with Groupon

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Join the Rush to Save with Groupon


By now you’ve probably heard of Groupon, the company that grew ridiculously fast selling local coupons on the web.

Groupon ads pop up on Web sites like dandelions spring up in grass after a good rain. Even if you ignore Groupon ads on your screen, You can’t ignore the news about groupon.  Groupon just rejected a multi-billion takeover bid from Google. Groupon’s hype is so hot that last week it has raised almost $1 billion on its own, money it will use in its quest to expand all over the world.

What is all the noise about? And should you be signing up for their deals?

Groupon negotiates huge discounts—usually 50-90% off—with popular local businesses all over the country, and increasingly in other countries as well. Businessess scramble to offer deals through Groupon because they hope to gain new customers. Often companies are willing to give a product away or even take a loss to increase customer base. But Groupon’s local deal for the day is only good if enough people sign up for it.

How do you learn about Groupon special coupons in your area? Head on over to Groupon and sign up. Pick the location you want deals in. Then sit back and wait for the deals alerts to come to your inbox. If you see something you like, buy it fast. The offer is usually only good for one day. You can also sign up to see Groupon offers in your Twitter feed or Facebook feed.

You do not have to pay anything to sign up and Groupon does not sell your name all over the place either.

I recently bought my first Groupon coupon and found it really easy.  Groupon lets the average Joe leverage collective buying power in his own neighborhood for all sorts of things.

Last year, Groupon expanded its subscriber base 2,500 per cent! It went from in 2010, from two million to over 50 million. Check it out.

Creative Scarecrow Ideas for Halloween Decorating

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Creative scarecrows can spice up fall decorations. Many neighborhoods hold scarecrow decorating contests. My sister and I have worked together to enter a few of these and have been lucky enough to win grand prize a couple of times. Our best tip? Use old clothes to come up with a scarecrow theme, then pay attention to detail to make a whole scene.

I used my daughter’s old flower girl dress, for example, to come up with a scene depicting “The Ring Bearer and Flower Girl at Frankenstein’s Wedding. I used her old figure skates to come up with “Skate Crow.” I used my son’s old Kobe Bryant jersey and old basketball shoes to come up with a scarecrow shooting hoops . . . (Kobe Die-ant of the LA  UnderTakers.) An old saddle gave me the inspiration to come up with “Ghost Rustler,” a cowboy lassoing a ghost.

Next up: I want to do a hula girl in a bikini to make a beach scene. Got you thinking? What clothes do you have that be used for a creative scarecrow scene this Halloween?

Make your scarecrows pop at night with a blacklight.

I hope my pics inspire you. Let me know if you have other creative scarecrow decoration ideas for Halloween.

Related Post: How to Make A Prize-Winning Scarecrow






Pet Clothing





Please share your creative ideas for cool scarecrows.

view my squidoo lens on Halloween scarecrows.

Amazon has some funny Halloween decorations! Check them out!

Also lots of craft stuff.

Other craft posts:
How to Make a Yoga Mat Tote Bag
How to Make a Tassel
How to Make Bookmarks from a Photo
How to Make Designer Baby Burp Cloths Using Ribbon

Darth Maul Picking His Nose

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Darth Maul picking his nose at Halloween parade.

Darth Maul picking his nose at Halloween parade.[/caption]

My son got a kick out of having Darth Maul pick his nose during the Halloween parade at school.

He has been Darth Vader, a Clone Trooper, and Bobba Fett.  The Super Deluxe Darth Maul costume we got online this year was by far the best. Next year, the mask comes off, we strap on some swords and  . . . voila!  ninja!

We highly recommend this costume. Well-made, easy-to-wear. You actually see out of little holes in the eyebrows, so the eyes look really creepy.  Little kids got scared.

Of course, ya gotta buy the gloves extra as well as the double-sided lightsaber. Darth Maul’s double-sided lightsaber makes the costume complete.

Star Wars Duel Action Lightsaber – SITH

Look for the words “Super Deluxe Darth Maul” when you order if you want the costume pictures above.  The plain old “deluxe” is not quite the same.  He is 9 and fit the size large with room to grow.

The best thing about the costume is that it can be used to make other looks in the future.

Related posts: 
Lego Star Wars A Visual Dictionary Book Review
How to Get Free Tickets to Legoland California

LEGO Star Wars LOOSE Mini Figure Darth Maul with Silver Double-Sided LightsaberShadow Hunter (Star Wars: Darth Maul)

Star Wars Episode 1: Darth Maul’s Revenge: Jedi Readers, Step 3, Grades 2-3

Chaparral Roadrunner T-Shirts

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Roadrunners Rock

Need to add some spice to school spirit day on Friday? Check out creativezazz Chaparral Roadrunner t-shirts. Fun, colorful, retro style t-shirts featuring a roadrunner. A percentage of profits will be donated back to Chaparral Elementary in Claremont, CA. I’m putting the designs on bags, mugs and other items as well.

Let me know if you have other ideas you want me to work on to help support our school.

I have designs up at my Zazzle shop. Zazzle sometimes has coupon codes, so do a Google search or Twitter search using “Zazzle” and “Coupon Code” before ordering. I put up codes on the creativezazz twitter account when I hear of them.

Chaparral Roadrunner shirt
Chaparral Roadrunner by creativezazz
Need to find more roadrunner theme gifts?
Check out the rotating Amazon link at top of post or links below:
Decorated Mouse Pad with greater, roadrunner, bird
Animals Ch-2590 : Roadrunner Charm
Vintage Looney Tunes Wile E. Coyote Authentic WB Roadrunner Acme Cartoon Ringer T-Shirt
Greater Roadrunner – Audubon Plush Bird (Authentic Bird Sound)

How to make a prize-winning scarecrow

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Scarecrows: Flower Girl and Ring Bear for Frakenstein and His Bride. [/caption]

A few years ago our local newspaper sponsored a scarecrow contest each Halloween in our city. In 2005 my sister and I decided to enter and we won Grand Prize. Here’s how we did it.

Be sure to look at other scarecrows I’ve made for more inspiration.

Start with a theme: In looking at old dress-up clothes my kids had, I saw I had a beautiful flower girl dress my daughter had worn when she was 3 and a little tux my son had worn when he was 1.

It is  easiest to start with one or two great fashion items you already have.  If you do not have any old clothes you like, then search through a couple thrift stores: you will see lots of ideas: old bikinis; prom dresses, suits, nightgowns, soccer uniforms, scout uniforms.  You should look for items you can build a whole scene around.

So pretty in her custom gown. Frankenstein's flower girl.

So pretty in her custom gown. Frankenstein's flower girl.

Our Scarecrows: Flower Girl and Ring Bearer for Frankenstein and His Bride.

Make your scarecrows: Take an old pillow and tape it to a hanger with duct tape. Then add a sturdy stick or pole. You can stick the pole in an old umbrella stand, a big pot filled with sand or attach to a saw horse. Hang the outfit over the hanger and then add straw, corn stalk or raffia to make the legs and arms. Heads can be scary Halloween masks or skulls you attach to the top of the hanger.

Isn't he handsome in his little tuxedo? Ring bearer for Frankenstein.

So handsome in his tux. The ring bearer.

Add detail: Look for hats, gloves, scarves, purses, suspenders, jewelery and other accessories that complete the outfit. The details are what gives the scarecrow the WOW factor. Our flower girl has real leather gloves, a hat trimmed in black lace, and a flower basket adorned with a bat. Our ring bearer has suspenders, a cummerbund and a custom-made pillow.

Our flower girl wears gloves and carries a basket of purple flowers.

Our flower girl wears gloves and carries a basket of purple flowers.

Our ring bearer carries a black satin pillow trimmed in black lace. The ring is attached with purple ribbon.

Add Scary: Pick up some creepy bugs and spiders at the dollar store. Use a glue gun or a needle and thread to attach them to the clothes and accessories. My flower girl, for example, has bugs spiders and little rats crawling all over her dress and hat. The boy has lots of spiders.

The wedding trellis is topped by a gorgeous bat.

The wedding trellis is topped by a gorgeous bat.

Build the Scene: These scarecrows are cool, but they might not win a prize on their own. You need few props to set the scene. I used a garden trellis decorated with black and purple netting, purple spider webs, and black flowers to give the feel of a wedding alter.

Yummy enough to eat! Frakenstein's custom cake.

Yummy enough to eat! Click to view larger.

I added the photo of Frakenstein and his bride to a cake topper from a dollar store.

I threw some black material over a small table so we could add a cake and champagne glasses.  The cake is a hat box beautifully painted by my sister.  I got a cheap cake topper and added the heart of Frankenstein and his bride. I used a glue gun to add bats to some plastic wine glasses.

A large spider serves as boutonniere for the ring bearer.

A white hat is trimmed in black lace and spiders on the flower girl.
The back of the scarecrow scene.

The back of the scarecrow scene.

I added a couple crows and a skeleton hanging out on the back of the saw horse as a little joke.

We added a sign explaining the scene.

We added a sign explaining the scene.

The artists with their winning scarecrow design

The artists with their winning scarecrow design

Let me know if you like my scarecrows. We won a couple other years as well with other designs. I’ll try to post those soon. Happy Halloween!

View my squidoo lens on making scarecrows.

I love these black crows from Amazon.

Find great papercraft ideas for Halloween in this book.

Amazon’s Halloween store has tons of great ideas for Halloween!

Other craft posts:
How to Make a Yoga Mat Tote Bag
How to Make a Tassel
How to Make Bookmarks from a Photo
How to Make Designer Baby Burp Cloths Using Ribbon

Math Doesn’t Suck Book Review

Friday, October 9th, 2009

My husband and I got a kick out of watching re-runs of the Wonder Years a few years ago.  One of the best things about the show was cute little Winnie Cooper, played by actress Danica McKellar. So John was excited when he heard she wrote a book aimed young girls called Math Doesn’t Suck.  He ran out and got a copy for our daughter, Shea.

The book is aimed at middle school girls and somehow it makes math fun and relevant for this tough audience. Tonight Danica visited Harvey Mudd College to give a talk and John (who teaches at Pomona College, another of the Claremont Colleges) took Shea to hear her and have her booked signed.

Wow!   They both came home so inspired by Danica.

Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper) and my daughter Shea, 11.

Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper) and my daughter Shea, 11.

I recommend this book for any girl in fifth grade through high school.  McKellar has another book out as well, aimed more at the high school market. And I think a third book is in the works.

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