Archives for February 15, 2014

The Little Rockers Band – “Count Me In!” – New CD – Dance Party Action for Kids


With a Parents’ Choice® Award for their 2012 album Playing in the Band proudly in hand, New Jersey’s The Little Rockers Band takes the next step in their rise to national prominence with the band’s third kids’/family CD, Count Me In!, set for an April release.

I received this CD to review and it’s energetic and fun! It’s perfect for young children ages 2-6! Very catchy songs with simple fun lyrics!

It’s a rocking dance party all the way on this album.  Count Me In! stays the course, with The Little Rockers Band remaining true to their commitment to creating music that speaks to children’s real life experiences through songs as varied in style as their subjects.  On Count Me In! families will hear a ’90s rocker, a ’50s style rave up, a honky-tonk country tune, a Motown scorcher, a beachy/acoustic cover of a Paul Simon classic, and more.

Co-founders Chris & Jessie Apple bring a little bit of Broadway (Jessie) and a little bit of rock & roll (Chris) to The Little Rockers Band.  Both worked extensively as performers by night and pre-school music teachers by day before teaming up to create music for kids and their parents as full-time teaching artists and family musicians.

Count Me In! greets listeners with the album’s enthusiastic title track, a spoken word chant used in Little Rockers, cool kids music classes™and at concerts to help kids with counting and rhythm.  “1234 Go!”–  a ’50s style rocker with a nod to Ricky Nelson and The Everly Brothers — is next, followed by still more rockin’ rhythm on “Fortune Cookie,” a tune reminiscent of an early Dinosaur Jr. song.  “Hi, Hi, Hi,” a musical tribute to the fabulous Motown girl groups, features terrific vocal work paired with a driving tenor sax solo that recalls the early days of rock ‘n roll.  Other highlights include “Old Mick Jagger” (a takeoff on “Old McDonald”), an acoustic duet cover of the Paul Simon classic “Me & Julio,” and “Little Deer” (vaguely inspired by The Pixies and The Cars).

The husband-and-wife team of Chris & Jessie Apple started Little Rockers, cool kids music classes™ in 2009, beginning with about 30 families.  More than 500 families now take their classes (35+ classes a week in 13 locations, and counting), and they employ 16 additional Teaching Artists.  Chris & Jessie teach together during the day, deal with administrative matters in the afternoon, and write at night.

The Little Rockers Band, which also began in 2009, was originally conceived as a laboratory ensemble that would design music and curriculum for Little Rockers music classes.  The band has since grown to become the focal point of a number of creative/educational projects, including live shows, webisodes, and school assembly programs.

Count Me In! will be available at,, and iTunes.

Check out The Little Rockers Band website at

Self Disclosure: I received the CD to facilitate this feature.


popchips has a new line of popped veggie chips… and they are delicious!!




I love popchips so I was more than thrilled to check out the New Tuscan Herb veggie popchips! They are delicious and are actually my new favorite of all the popchips! I love that they are now veggie chips! I only sampled a bag and they were gone very quickly! So, stay on the look out for these yummy popchips!

Veggies never tasted this good! @popchips, they popped a flavorful blend of nine veggies to create a tasty chip that’s light, crispy and gluten free- they’re anything but your garden variety snack! With three delicious flavors exploding with veggie goodness in each bite, tuscan herb, olive oit and sea salt. Now available at gelson’s markets.


Self Disclosure: I received a sample to facilitate this post.

Del Amo Fashion Center To Host Health And Safety Festival Festival to feature safety tips, fingerprinting, puppet show, and more


Simon Property Group, Inc.’s (NYSE:SPG) Del Amo Fashion Center is inviting the community to make safety a priority with a free Health and Safety Festival on Saturday, February 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the center’s Outdoor Lifestyle wing.


Del Amo Fashion Center is partnering with Kids Are First, the Transportation Security Administration, California Highway Patrol, South Bay American Red Cross, American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles and the LAC + USC Healthcare Network for the free community event.


“Our Health and Safety Festival is meant to remind the local community of the importance of putting safety first, and having fun while doing it,” said Lindsay Hermance, director of marketing and business development at Del Amo Fashion Center, which is currently undergoing a transformational renovation meant to enhance the customer experience for shoppers.


The Health and Safety Festival will feature fun and educational activities including:

  • Fingerprinting and identification kits for children ages 3 and up from Kids Are First
  • Travel safety tips and airport security information from the Transportation Security Administration
  • Free car seat safety checks from the California Highway Patrol. To make a reservation, please contact Gina at Del Amo Fashion Center at 310.542.8525, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Spaces are limited.
  • Puppet Show performances from the South Bay American Red Cross, from 11:00-11:30 a.m., 12:00-12:30 p.m., and 1:30-2:00 p.m.
  • Disaster preparedness information from American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles
  • Stop, Drop and Roll demonstrations and Information on household fire safety from LAC + USC Healthcare Network’s trauma hospital and burn center
  • Crafts, raffles and activities with the Simon Kidgits Club®


Del Amo Fashion Center is located at 3525 West Carson Street in Torrance.


For more information, visit Del Amo Fashion Center on Facebook at, Twitter at or Instagram at


About Del Amo Fashion Center

Del Amo Fashion Center is the South Bay’s retail destination for shopping, entertainment and dining. It boasts more than 200 stores, including Macy’s, H&M, Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble, Coach, and more. Visit the outdoor promenade and enjoy dinner at Stacked or PF Changs before a movie at our 18 screen AMC Theater. The indoor mall offers fashion for women, men and children plus jewelry, footwear and electronics. Del Amo Fashion Center serves the nearby communities of Palos Verdes, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach and Gardena. For a map and store listings, as well as directions, events and job listings, visit or call 310-542-8525.


About Simon Property Group

Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG) is an S&P 100 company and a global leader in the retail real estate industry.  The Company currently owns or has an interest in more than 325 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising approximately 243 million square feet. We are headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employ approximately 5,500 people in the U.S.  For more information, visit


Jenny Packham Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection (Lips & Eyes) Look created by Talia Shobrook for Laura Mercier

Jenny Packham’s Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection was inspired by the 1970s style of Bianca Jagger, the era’s “darling of New York society” who often “juxtaposed the fluid fashions” of the ‘70s “with structured tailored suits, exotic turbans and decadent jewelry.”


The show’s lead makeup artist, Talia Shobrook also channeled the icon in the creation of her look. She noted, “Bianca Jagger’s demeanor was cool, and she always looked fresh. Even when she wore something traditional, she made it very youthful.” In order to emulate a “youthful” look, Talia kept the look very fresh with lots of sheen. She created a modern take on a bitten lip and also modernized the ‘70s glossy lids.

Creme Smooth Lip Colour - Mango         Baked Eye Colour in Cameo

Lips: Modern take on a bitten lip

·        In order to create the “bitten lips” look, Talia mixed Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Palm Beach andMango, ($27).

·        Then, she applied the mixture to a Laura Mercier Pony Tail Brush, ($29), using the brush to press the colour into the middle of the lips, blending it outward.

Eyes: Modern version of the ‘70s glossy lids

·        Talia applied Laura Mercier Baked Eye Colour in Cameo, ($24) on the lid as a base.

·        To complete the look, she applied Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Radiance, ($33) on top of the eye shadow, and in the corners of the eyes to create a glowing, glossy lid.

Self Disclosure: No products were received to facilitate this feature. Photo/Feature credit: Laura Mercier.



California – A Land of Many: The Immigrant Experience & Its Legacy 2014 Lecture Series “Foreigners in their Own Land”

Rancho Los Cerritos’ 2014 lecture series, “California – A Land of Many: The Immigrant Experience & Its Legacy,” focuses on the legacy of key immigrant groups in 19th century California — Spaniards, Mexicans, Chinese, and those who came from many lands in search of California gold.  

The series continues on Saturday, March 8, with the screening of “Foreigners in their Own Land (1565-1880),” episode I of the PBS Documentary Series on Latino Americans.  Professor Vicki L. Ruiz will then lead a lively question and answer session to further explore the legacy of Latinos in early California history.  The program begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Rancho’s sunporch, and reservations should be made by calling (562) 570-1755.  Admission is $7 ($5 for students) and payable at the door.  

The PBS documentary explores the contributions that mestizo peoples, citizens of New Spain (and later Mexico) made as they ventured north — centuries before the famed covered wagons rolled across the prairies and deserts.  Women and men of many colors and backgrounds established presidios, missions, pueblos, and ranchos. Before the U.S.-Mexican War, over seventy thousand Spanish-speaking settlers called the Southwest home. This film relates the history of these mestizo pioneers, their changing interactions with indigenous peoples and European American newcomers, as well as the economic, political, and cultural transformation of their societies following the Texas Revolution and the U.S.-Mexican War.

Vicki L. Ruiz is Distinguished Professor of History and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Over the course of three decades, she has published over fifty essays and one dozen books, including Cannery Women, Cannery Lives, From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America, and the three-volume Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. Ruiz was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the first Latina historian so honored.  She is president-elect of the American Historical Association, the flagship organization for historians across all fields representing over 14,000 members.

Future programs in the Rancho’s “A Land of Many:  The Immigrant Experience & Its Legacy” 2014 Lecture Series include:

Saturday, April 12 at 10 a.m.
“The Legacy of California’s Gold Seekers” by Nancy Hendrickson

Saturday, May 10 at 10 a.m.
“Building Railroads and Transplanting Chinese Food: Chinese Americans in 19th Century” by Professor Yong Chen, Department of History, University of California at Irvine

About the Rancho:
Rancho Los Cerritos is located at 4600 Virginia Road in Long Beach.  Built in 1844, the adobe home and grounds echo with the rich history of Spanish, Mexican, and American California and with the families who helped transform Southern California from its ranching beginnings to the modern and urban society it is today. The two-story Monterey-style adobe is primarily furnished to reflect occupants and lifestyles from the 1860s-1880s. The site, a National, State and Long Beach Historic Landmark, also includes historic gardens and a research library and archives. The Rancho is operated by the Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation in private-public partnership with the City of Long Beach.  For more information please call (562) 570-1755, or visit the website at and like us on Facebook


The Monuments Man – The Greatest Heist in Human History KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,


Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, this film is an action drama focusing on an unlikely WWII platoon, tasked by FDR with going into GErmany to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission with art trapped behind enemy lines and the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell. What a wonderful story to share with your kids and grandkids. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B says, “I loved every minutes of it.” See his full review below.


The Monuments Men

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee

Video review available here.


This is a dramatic film, with some humorous moments, that shows the importance of human achievement and I loved every minute of it. The story is based on true events that center on the ending of World War II, when Nazi troops hid artwork from around Europe for Chancellor Hitler. President Roosevelt lets Lt. Frank Stokes (George Clooney) gather an unlikely squad of museum directors, curators and art historians to enter Europe and save, not only art, but people’s history.


What makes this film strong is its story and how it shows the characters’ passion for their goal. I’m not an art critic, but I recognized some of the artists and their work. But I’m not into art like these people were. However, when you see the soldiers torching the art, my heart broke and my stomach tied in knots. Watching this film reminds me that art isn’t just paintings or sculptures, it’s about people’s accomplishments and, if that’s gone, what do we have?


The screenplay is beautifully written by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, who also directs this movie. This film can be humorous, but it also shows the reality of war. For example, they talk about concentration camps and that’s a risky move. It refers to the inhumanity that happened, but they balance well so it’s not “Shindlers List.” This dream cast includes Bill Murray (Sgt. Richard Campbell), John Goodman (Sgt. Walter Garfield), and more memorable actors that play fantastic people. Just watching them interact is entertaining enough.


My favorite character is Pvt. Preston Salvitz (Bob Balaban). I pick this character because when I see Bob play Preston he becomes a little ball of fire and I love this person’s passion for art.


My favorite scene involves Sgt. Campbell (Murray) receiving a recording from his daughter while he’s fighting in the war. Preston plays the recording on the announcement intercom and your heart turns to mush as Bill sits by himself smiling with tears in his eyes while listening to his daughter’s voice.


The moral of the story is, “Sometimes our achievements are worth dying for.” “The Monuments Men” love art and that’s why they are picked for this team. They are willing to die to protect it.


I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this for 12 to 18-year-olds. There’s some action, blood and language that younger kids shouldn’t experience, however the film shows our human side and how we live to create achievements.
Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions