Last Minute Gift: Vellabox Candle Subscription

My gift guide has only one thing on it: Vellabox candles. 

I first met Vellabox last year and I loved it at first sight. It’s the only subscription box that has come along that I would actually recommend. Clothes, makeup? No thank you. But candles? I burn through candles like crazy. I love their glow and the way they fill a space with the scent of my choice.

The thing is, I don’t actually go candle shopping. Sometimes I wind up in the candle section at a store by accident. So the idea of a box of candles showing up at my house every month sounds like a dream to me.

Also, I don’t really go shopping. So I’ve been ordering gifts online almost exclusively this holiday season, and I’m definitely running out of time. This year we’ll be traveling to see family at Christmas time, so I have to keep everything light and/or shipped to our destination.

vellabox packaging

vellabox candles

That’s why Vellabox is the perfect gift idea for you – it’s only a few days ’til the end of Hannukah and one week ’til Christmas! If you order a Vellabox subscription now, your loved one will get a surprise gift of warmth and deliciousness later. (You can snag a fancy candle from a local store to wrap it up with the printed certificate, but I would just print that and stick in our holiday card.) This is truly a last minute gift that keeps on giving!

vellabox office candle

Vellabox subscriptions are $10-$30 per month. Each comes with at least one candle and a surprise gift, and the boxes at all levels are lovingly hand-packed, making the unboxing experience a delight in someone’s day. This box is the “Vivere” box, that comes with 2 candles and a surprise gift.

I received a complimentary Vellabox. I shared one of the candles and the snack treat with my family, but I kept Granma’s Pumpkin Pie for myself. ūüėČ All opinions are my own.

Winter Wonderfest at Discovery Cube LA (Ticket Giveaway!)

No snow in your town? Pay it a little visit at Discovery Cube of LA!

I’m back with another fun snow-related giveaway (read to the end to enter)! Discovery Cube of LA, that central location for science learning and fun at the Hansen Dam Recreational Center in the Valley, has Winter Wonderfest happening now through January 7. It’s an awesome time to visit the center with the kids on break and you looking for something to do with them, plus, snow!

My boys were born in West Hills and have lived their whole lives in the Valley or the Bubble, so needless to say they don’t get to see snow very often. Last winter we drove up to the mountains, intending to visit the tubing park, but we got stuck in traffic so we never got above the snow line. (Womp womp.)

That’s why I was super excited to learn¬†that Discovery Cube is having this snow event so close to home. It’s hard to imagine lots of snow in a place that can be 70 degrees in late December, so your mileage may vary as to the actual amount of snow when you get there, but rest assured the staff at DCLA has prepared something super cool (get it?) for your kids.

Sledding ramp for the littles

Winter Wonderfest runs now through January 8, 2017, at both the Orange County and Los Angeles locations of Discovery Cube. This event offers kids the opportunity to learn the science behind sledding, weather, and how snow is formed through hands-on activities. There is a 75-foot long ramp for sliding down on inner tubes, a smaller ramp for real snow sledding, and a snow play area.

Like I said, my boys aren’t used to lots of snow, so they were excited by the exhibit here. My 9-year-old said his favorite part was the science, especially the Cloud in a Bottle. The ‚Äúsnow meets science‚ÄĚ learning stations also include Animal Adaptations to the Cold and Three States of Water.

Also, hockey!

Of course, a day at Discovery Cube of Los Angeles also includes the rest of the center too. This is the third time my boys visited and the older one still loves the recycling game where you sort trash into its different types and compete against other kids.

Tickets for Winter Wonderfest are $7 and require admission to Discovery Cube ($12.95 for kids – and adults too for a limited time!). If you visit the center before January 1 you can also see the Science of Gingerbread exhibit, with hands-on activities. The winners of DCLA’s¬†gingerbread creation contest are displayed throughout.

Winter Wonderfest
Discovery Cube
11800 Foothill Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Visit website for tickets and more info

Flash giveaway! I’m giving away a 4-pack of tickets to Discovery Cube LA and Winter Wonderfest! Leave a comment on this post (not Facebook!) to enter by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, December 27. I will contact the winner early Wednesday morning, so you can visit DCLA and get your snow play in before the kids go back to school in January! Tickets will be held at will call under your name.¬†Extra entry if you follow Agoura Hills Mom on Instagram or like my page on Facebook¬†(just let me know in your comment).

Thank you to Discovery Cube for sponsoring this post and for the adorable photos of my imaginary little girls in the snow.

Santa HQ by HGTV Is Already Open at The Oaks

Santa HQ at The Oaks

Curious shoppers asked the staff why Santa HQ was being constructed by The Oaks Mall elves as early as the first weekend in November. It did seem a bit early to see Christmas decor and candy and gifts put out on the shelves of stores that soon. But in this case, while yes, The Oaks is getting into the spirit nice and early, they wanted to provide families a meeting place with Santa soon enough to get those priceless photo memories in the works for holiday cards and gifts.

Seems legit to me.

Santa HQ entrance

It’s no ordinary mall Santa setup, either. HGTV’s Santa HG installation, which appears at 15 locations around the country (so glad they came to Thousand Oaks!), features Santa’s actual workshop where visitors can see the blueprints for toys and an observatory where elves¬†monitor the sleigh’s ride around the world.

Santa HQ kid

Santa HQ Naughty Nice meter

There’s a naughty/nice meter that kids can stand in to be scanned, and then immediately added to the appropriate list. Finally, Santa himself is happily sitting on his sleigh waiting to meet with children and have their photo taken together.

Santa HQ photo opportunity

But that’s not all! There’s an awesome interactive element to this whole situation: Elf-Ray Vision. It’s an augmented reality app that you download for free (luckily the wifi at the mall is strong enough). Then you point your smartphone camera at an “Elf Trigger” to activate hidden delights: elves making toys, the ceiling of the observatory transforming before your eyes, and more.

Santa HQ boy playing app

Santa HQ Elf-Ray Vision

Santa HQ opened last weekend in the JC Penney court (near the food court and kids’ play area) and it will be there until Christmas Eve at 6pm. You can bring your 4-legged pet, too, on Wednesdays through December 7 from 5-8pm. Visit ShopTheOaksMall.com for daily posted hours. Visits to the HQ are free, and photo packages for photos with Santa¬†include 11 prints plus a digital download for a fee, plus you can order photo gifts online.

There will be a charity toy drive and special guests throughout the season, so check it out while you are at the mall getting holiday gifts and supplies, or go there just for Santa HQ alone. It’s a lot of fun, and got my big boys into the spirit of Christmas nice and early. I needed no help in that department!