Archives for February 26, 2018

Early Man

A plucky cave man named Dug, his sidekick Hognob and the rest of their tribe face a grave threat to their simple existence. Lord Nooth plans to take over their land and transform it into a giant mine, forcing Dug and his clan to dig for precious metals. Not ready to go down without a fight, Dug and Hognob must unite their people in an epic quest to defeat a mighty enemy — the Bronze Age. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Samantha M. comments, “This fantastic, animated film from Nick Park and Aardman Animations had me laughing the entire time. Hands down, it is the best movie I have seen this year.” Morgan B. adds, “Early Man really caught my eye with all the quirky characters, fun scenes and the excitement throughout the film. It is sure to be a film that you will never forget.” See their full reviews below.

Early Man

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

This fantastic, animated film from Nick Park and Aardman Animations had me laughing the entire time. Hands down, it is the best movie I have seen this year. With a unique storyline, exquisite action scenes and a rollercoaster of events, your eyes don’t want to leave the screen.

Set in the Stone Age, when cavemen and wooly mammoths inhabited the Earth, Chief Bonbar and his tribe are driven out of their homeland by a Bronze Age army, led by Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston). Lord Nooth claims the Stone Age is over, and Chief Bonbar’s (Timothy Spall) tribe is forced to remain in the volcanic badlands outside of the new city. A young caveman named Dug (Eddie Redmayne)  tries to attack, but is knocked into a basket heading to the city. He tries to hide, but ends up being mistaken for a football player. When Dug and Lord Nooth finally meet, they make a deal: If Chief Bonbar’s tribe beats Lord Nooth’s team in a game of football, then the cavemen can have their valley back.

Dug looks at every situation with optimism. He cares about his tribe and will do absolutely anything for them. Even though he knows he could lose his valley, he constantly perseveres and doesn’t think about giving up. Hognob (Nick Park) is the funniest character in the film. He is Dug’s pet boar and, although he has no dialogue, he makes the weirdest noises. Hognob is so adorable that I want a pet boar now. The relationship Hognob and Dug share is loving and reminds me of the relationship I have with my pets.

The animation is ingenious, because each character is unconventional. With crooked teeth, messy hair and big eyes, these characters are ones you haven’t seen before. My eyes were peeled the entire time, because I couldn’t stop admiring the unique animation. My favorite part is when Dug tries to steal some balls from the Bronze Age city. Hognob distracts Lord Nooth and has to play the harp for him, while he takes a bath. Hognob tries to sing and play the harp, but it sounds so terrible that it makes you laugh.

The message of this film is to never give up under any circumstances. Don’t ever feel intimidated by somebody, because with teamwork and optimism, you can accomplish absolutely anything. Appreciate your differences and remember that nobody can bring you down.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, because I have never laughed so hard while watching a film. I recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18, and adults would enjoy it too. It is perfect to watch with your family and friends, because it will put a huge smile on your face and show you how important it is to follow your heart.

Catch this film in theaters nationwide on February 16, 2018. Find out what it means to be an early man.

Early Man

By Morgan B. Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Get your footballs out and be ready to time travel back into the past! Early Man has to be a terrific film especially when the award-winning people who brought you Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep Movie are behind it. Early Man really caught my eye with all the quirky characters, fun scenes and the excitement throughout the film. It is sure to be a film that you will never forget.

The claymation in Early Man is terrific. It is astonishing all the different movement these characters make. There is a huge variety of characters, including a giant mega-teeth mallard duck.

Set your time machines to the Stone Age because that is when Early Man takes place. I like that this film takes place in the Stone Age because it helps with the character development, settings and their lifestyles. I love that the characters are different from the people that we normally see in movies and on TV, because they don’t have technology, furniture or much education. Also the setting is very different because there aren’t very many houses, billboards or fast food stands like we have today. Instead, they replaced all those things with trees, volcanoes, hills and a giant palace. Since the characters don’t have all these things, it makes their personalities very lovable and kind. The tribe wants food and a bit of love from the ones they care about. Lord Nooth only wants gold and a winning team of football players. Then he will be richer than the Queen.

Dug (Eddie Redmayne) is a kind of silly boy who loves his tribe. He is my favorite character because when I see Eddie Redmayne playing a caveman after he played the stupendous scientist Stephen Hawking in the film, The Theory Of Everything, shows what a diverse actor he is. Eddie Redmayne has come a long way from playing Stephen Hawking to Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to a comical caveman saving the world.

Goona (Maisie Williams) is the beautiful and fearless girl who saves the day along with Dug. She loves soccer and is the best in her sport. They do indeed need a good coach and she is just the one. Hognob (Nick Park) is the adorable pet sidekick who helps his friend Dug no matter what. He is willing to be a football golly, a spy, a masseuse and most importantly a cuddly friendly pet for his owner. Fun fact: This is the first time that Nick Park will have directed by himself. He is also the producer and a cast member of the film.

Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) is the evil villain who we love to hate. He wants to keep all the land for himself. He also loves bronze coins and uses football games to get people to spend all their money on tickets and things that the games have to offer. One scene that I found to be visually astonishing is the football scene. I love that they spent so much time and effort on this scene and it all pays off in the end. I love the inside jokes that are in this scene and how each of the charters’ personalities shines. Also, when you really think of it the claymation in this scene is just mind-blowing. They had to move each character ever so slightly so they could capture a moment and they do it a million times to complete just this one scene in the entire masterpiece.

I recommend this for ages 5 to 18. Kids will love the silly charters and funny scenes while teens will like the story and relationship that the charters have. This is definitely a film for the entire family because there are jokes and puns for everyone. Also, there is a bit of history so kids will have a bit of education while having a good time. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters February 16, 2018, so be sure to check it out.

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Photo Credit: Aardman Animations.

My Family Loves Ling Ling Asian Food! Special Giveaway Opportunity!

This post was sponsored by Ling Ling, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Our family celebrated Chinese New Year on February 16th with delicious food from Ling Ling Asian Food! I have to admit that it was the first time I decorated for the holiday but I think it will be a new tradition for our family! I know we will continue to enjoy Ling Ling Asain Food at home on a regular basis because it is delicious and it is so easy to prepare!


They also are not difficult to find! I found the Noodles and Rice quite easily at our local Von’s and also saw them at our local Walmart.

You can find out where to find their products by using the Ling Ling Asian Food Store Locator:

You can use this great coupon:   $2 off ONE Ling Ling Entree or Appetizer (20oz. or more) just go to

Ling Ling Asian Food has quickly become my to-go-to favorite Asian food choice! I love the flavor and that the Potstickers can even be made quickly in the microwave and still taste great! I just recently tried the Noodles and they are now a favorite of mine!

I love that they just have so much flavor! The Potstickers are still my favorite but the Noodles are a close second! I still am amazed that the Potstickers are so quick and easy to make! Our family has now had them twice since our celebration on the 16th!

Don’t forget to look for Ling Ling Asian Food on Facebook and Twitter:

I also have some exciting news to share! You can enter this exciting giveaway opportunity!

I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (5).
Ling Ling Asian Kitchen Giveaway (Phase 3)

Prize: One of (5) $100 Walmart Gift Card
Dates: Tuesday, February 13th – Tuesday, March 6th

Books for Black History Month!

BLACK GIRL MAGIC by Mahogany Browne 
  • Recognized poet Mahogany Browne has come out with an illustrated version of her poem BLACK GIRL MAGIC, an anthem of strength for all beautiful black girls.
  • Much of what 21st-century culture tells black girls isn’t pretty: Don’t wear this; don’t smile at that. And most of all, don’t love yourself.
  • In response to these destructive ideas, Mahogany challenges the conditioning of society by celebrating African American women in all of their unique beauty. She has traveled the world sharing her vision of BLACK GIRL MAGIC, and now in collaboration with artist Jess X. Snow, presents her acclaimed tribute in visual form.
  • Raw and empowering, BLACK GIRL MAGIC is a journey from girlhood to womanhood and an invitation to readers to find the magic within themselves.

I found this an interesting and inspiring book that I recommend for girls middle school through high school.

THE SILENCE OF OUR FRIENDS written by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos; illustrated by Nate Powell 
  • New York Times-bestselling graphic novel based on the true story of two families—one white and one black—who find common ground as the civil rights struggle heats up in Texas.
  • This semi-autobiographical tale is set in 1967. A white family from a notoriously racist neighborhood in the suburbs and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houston’s color line, overcoming humiliation, degradation, and violence to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman.
  • The Silence of Our Friends follows events through the point of view of young Mark Long, whose father is a reporter covering the story. Semi-fictionalized, this story has its roots solidly in very real events. With art from the brilliant Nate Powell (March series) bringing the tale to heart-wrenching life, The Silence of Our Friends is a new and important entry in the body of civil rights literature.
  • “Engrossing narrative about race in America, while honestly dealing with a host of other real-world issues, including familial relationships, friendship, dependency, “other”-ness, and perhaps most importantly, the search for common ground.”
    Publishers Weekly
  • “A moving evocation of a tipping point in our country’s regrettable history of race relations, Long and Demonakos’s story flows perfectly in Eisner and Ignatz Award winner Powell’s graceful and vivid yet unpretty black-and-gray wash.”
    Library Journal

My 14-year-old son is currently enjoying reading this book and we recommend for ages 12-18.

Find out more about the above books here.

Self Disclosure: I received copies of the above books to feature in the SoCal City Kids Featured books. We only feature books that we would recommend. Cover images and information also provided. 

Celebrate National Cherry Month with Welch’s Fruit Snacks!

It’s National Cherry Month! What better way to celebrate than with Welch’s Cherry Fruit ‘n Yogurt ? They are delicious and they are even low fat! Welch’s Cherry Fruit ‘n Yogurt are uniquely delicious and perfect for the whole family to enjoy while celebrating National Cherry Month. I like that they are low-fat and my son even likes how they taste!

Look for them this month at a store near you!


Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. The image was also provided. 

Have you tried StarKist’s newest flavors? They’re bold and delicious!

Looking to add some spice to your lunch? Do you love tuna but maybe a bit bored with the same old tuna? Well…you’re in luck! StarKist has some new flavors and they are bold! I love the new flavors and that these pouches are quite convenient for on-the-go but there are also recipes included and they are easy to make! The new StarKist Tuna Creations are a hit because I love that I can make simple and quick meals and they taste great! The Tuna Creations with Rice & Beans, for example, has a delicious Tuna, Rice & Beans Salad Cups recipe on the pouch and the Jalapeno flavor has a Simple & Spicy Tuna Taco recipe! Yum! My favorite though is the Siracha flavor with red chili peppers, and garlic. I loved the Siracha Tuna Lettuce Wrap recipe that is included on the pouch! I think I could eat those every week!

Here is a list of the flavors:

·         Tuna Creations® BOLD Hot Buffalo Style 

·         Tuna Creations® BOLD Thai Chili Style 

·         Tuna Creations® BOLD Jalapeño 

·         Tuna Creations® BOLD Sriracha 

·         Tuna Creations® BOLD Tapatio 

Look for them at a store near you!


Self Disclosure: I received samples of the above delicious flavors. Images were provided. 

Introducing Sock Problems!

Looking for some really cool socks that also have a powerful message? Sock Problems is the one brand to check out! The brand has just launched this past November and is on a mission to sock the world¹s problems!  The very fabric of Sock Problems is to give when someone purchases, so 25-50% of every sale goes directly to the specific charity partner associated with the problem. The more they sell, the more they give, and naturally, “The More They Sell, The More They Sock!” Now, how cool is that?! I received a pair that shows the cause for climate change! This is an important cause to me personally and I love the socks! I love the color, the quality and the design! I love that they are featuring a variety of different causes!

Sock Problems allows you to support the cause that speaks to you the most. Currently, the company is aiming to sock 9 problemsAutismHateBreast CancerExtinctionCancerClimate ChangeInequalityRacism, and Prostate Cancer, with 9 unique sock designs. 

Check them out today and help an important cause!

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