Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photography Class at the New Children's Museum

Just some cute photos that our "Little Snaps" instructor Amanda Dahlgren took of the boys as we prepared for the Photography With Your Toddler Class at the San Diego New Children's Museum ( Call the Museum at (619) 233-8792 to register for the session - see you there!

THE TIP: My plan is to actually learn how to take better photos MYSELF!

I always take photos of the cutest moments but never do justice... too much shade, bad angle, not close-up enough...

Perfect example below, the photo below of the boys feeding a caterpillar at the Monarch Program, this looks more like a photo of the ground. The photo of Evan feeding a butterfly is a little better but I know Amanda will show me some great tricks and tips!

Have you guys SEEN this list???

OK - the list got so long that I finally had to just add it to the comments for this post. Very sad, but important info -- check the comments.

THE TIP: Plan as if you will be laid off tomorrow and be out of work for six months... thank you to the various readers at SDlookup that posted this info

Tough Times, Don't Give Up

I don't know what got into me the other day, but I had this song in my head... "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel. I had been thinking about so many friends who have been laid off, stressed out as their home values plunge below what they paid, small businesses closing, marriages falling apart, little kids in the middle of it all...

When I finally played the song, I was surprised that it made me cry.... it made me think more of the wives that provide tender support as their men go another week on unemployment or find untenable options before them.

You can hear the song at the link below - is it just me or is it eerie how true the words are today:

Please offer whatever support you can to friends going through tough times... there are so many right now.

We focused our classes at the start of this new year to try to have an empowering attitude to these difficulties. We grouped a Resume Workshop, Career Seminar, Budgeting & Saving Workshop and "How to Launch a New Business" and "How to Get the Word Out" into a "More in 2009" series (click here to check it out

You can take all classes, just one a few -- whatever will help you. Email me if you have been laid off and we'll get you into these seminars at a reduced rate, at least 50% off (

THE TIP: It's time to save more, find ways to earn more and be more supportive of those that just need to hear the words "Don't give up, you still have friends... Don't give up, we don't need much of anything... Don't give up."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Letter from Obama to his girls

Steve mentioned this morning that surely some portion of President Obama's speech would end up as words chiseled in stone, which underscored what a special day we all shared today.

I like to also think of the words my friend Ali emailed earlier in the week, from a letter then President-elect wrote to his daughters and I like to think that those words will be tucked in a special place for two amazing little girls that we will see grow through this diffcult but hopeful time in our history.

Obama wrote: "Dear Sasha and Malia... I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much—although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential."

CLICK HERE to read the full text of the letter, courtesy of Parade Magazine.

THE TIP: The Obama letter to his daughters reminds to take a moment in between emails, work reports, love notes to our spouse or letters to friends and relatives abroad and also write down the words we want chiseled in our children's minds as he too help to shape them to become good people who recognize their important obligations!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More in 2009

Every night on the evening news we hear of more job cuts, a steeper drop in housing values, a worsening economy, and uncertainty about how long this will all last....

Well, it's time to stop reeling from the endless bad news and make plans for 2009 to be better for each of us in our own way. You need to save more, earn more and be MORE EMPOWERED so that your career, household and opportunities are headed in the right direction.

We are very excited about the new series of classes that we have consolidated into the "More in 2009" series. All of these classes tie together into the central theme of getting ahead based on what you earn, how much you can budget and save and creating new opportunities.

Click each link below to see class details in this series led by our favorite instructors - our experts when it comes to jobs, finances and deals. You've seen them on TV, now have them all to yourselves in these dynamic sessions:

1 - Career Workshop: Finding Your Dream Career (Marcy Morrison: 2/7, 4/18 or 6/6 - 10 am to 12 pm)

2 - Resume Workshop: Step #1 to Success (Marcy Morrison: 1/24, 2/21 or 5/2 - 10 am to 12 pm)

3 - How to the Get the Word Out: Marketing / PR Seminar (Gabriela Dow: 4/18 - 1 to 3 pm)

4 - How to Launch a Business: From the Founder of FWClass (Gabriela Dow: 3/21 - 1 to 3 pm)

5 - Budgetting and Saving to Reach Your Goals (Elizabeth Dang Samuel brings Cristen Lebsack, Chris Norita and Stacey Ross for this dynamic four-part session: 2/21, 3/21, 4/18 & 5/2 - 9 to 10 am)

THE TIP: You can take each of the classes individually for $50 each, or CLICK HERE to save $100 by taking all five classes for $150. This will allow you to create you own personal plan that you follow through into the Spring of this great new year!

Rockin' Out at Legoland

Took the boys to Legoland yesterday, it was the sunniest day I think we've ever had in January here in San Diego! We met up with a friend and her son and went on the little storybook boat ride and then to the usual playground there.

My friend reminded us that there was a show starting in the little theater. And although we have passed that theater many times, we hd never gone inside. What a surprise and what a treat it was!

We saw the Journey to the Lost Temple and it was so much fun. There was the evil villain, the trusted hero, the funny mummy and the awesome 80s music (they sang "Walk Like an Egyptian" without the reference to crocodiles snap their teeth "on a cigarette" - very fun and very kid friendly!)

The best part was when you "travel through" space and the theater is pitch black with green stars flashed on eveyone - very cool :)

THE TIP: Lunch can be a little expensive (we have the annual pass so we get 20% off of the food) but a great tip is that you can go to the Garden restaurant next to the pirate splash area and order the tomato bisque in a cup instead of the bread bowl (normally $7.95 in the bread bowl but only $4.95 in the cup -- it is delicious, more healthy without the carbs and a great treat for teh kids).

They also make a good latte at that restaurant!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lotto vs Stocks - A Favorite Find!

FAVORTE FIND: Our friend Amy is hilarious, super cool and one of the most creative people we know. She's not just a great writer but also a great blogger (a talent which we know we lack here at FWTips, but we try!)

So who else but Amy to come up with this hilarious -- yet so logical in way -- idea. And what an awesome, simple and brilliant goal: to make it to Anderson Cooper 360 as a hologram! LOVE IT

Check out the details on the blog URL below, track it, post and share with friends!

THE TIP: No stock tips here, just two tidbits on Mr. Cooper whom I love... most people know he is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt (
click here to see a cute video of him interviewing her on CNN).

But not everyone knows that he is a tried and true journalist who worked his way up TV news.
CLICK HERE to see an ADORABLE video of his mom embarassing him when he was a young pup doing the news :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Classes get creative to help frugal families

Nice article ran today in the La Jolla light...

New Children's Museum tries helping families with affordable fun
Jan 6, 2009- La Jolla Light

Friends With Class has teamed with the New Children's Musem to take its class "Little Snaps: Photography With Your Toddler" into the setting of the new museum. Created by a mom, the class combines the opportunity for parents and caretakers to learn about the fine art of photography while with their toddlers and introducing them to this medium.

Originally taught in local parks, the class has now moved into the museum and moved down in price to make it as affordable as possible for families coming out of a very tough economic year.

"The class began with friends and other moms in my playgroup as we were seeking something interesting that we could learn without having to leave our little ones behind. The museum's requirement that any family be able to participate for under $20 was a challenge but together we found a way to make it work," Gabriela Dow, founder of Friends With Class, said.

The "Little Snaps" class begins Jan. 10 at the New Children's Museum in downtown San Diego at 10:15 a.m. Cost for the six-week session is $100 for parents and their toddler (under age 5), or the drop-in rate is $18. Class is taught by expert photographer Amanda Dahlgren, who is also a mom.Class information and registration is available at

THE TIP: You get the museum entrance fee included in the cost of the class, so this is a great value as you can stay and enjoy the wonderful facily (and tire the kids out!) after class.