Archives for May 2018

Vincent Nunes “Move, Move, Move” is a CD of fun songs!

Looking for music that will make your little ones want to dance and move?

Vincent Nunes just released his 10th recording of original music for children, entitled, “Move, Move, Move”. I had the opportunity to check the CD out for myself and highly recommend it for young children because it is fun! I also like that young children will have fun moving to these songs!

Songs on the CD:

1. Celebrate Today, Today 2. Why Do I Move My Feet 3. (I Wish I Could) Fly Like My Dog 4. There’s Always Something in My Way 5. ABC Jones 6. I Wanna Bounce 7. Hello, Goodbye, Hello 8. Rock Star 9. Walking a Tight Rope 10. If You Can Dance, Dance 11. I Love the Moon …plus a “hidden” bonus song!
Run Time: 35 mins

More about Vincent Nunes:

Award-Winning, Curriculum-Based Music for Children His Portuguese father was a professional musician, and his mother was a master elementary school teacher. So it is natural that Vincent Nunes composes and performs original, highly entertaining, interactive music for children. His nationally distributed CDs (listed below) have won numerous awards for children’s music, including a number of ASCAP awards for songwriting. He has performed across the country, and has been featured on national children’s radio. Vincent, who holds a post-graduate degree from Syracuse University, has offered keynotes, featured presentations and workshops regional affiliates of the National Association for the Education of Young Children since 1989. In his performances he is known for engaging the audience with ASL-inspired hand movements. He is dedicated to giving back, having raised thousands of dollars through his music for schools in under-served communities. His newest CD is Move, Move, Move, which is scheduled for release in the summer of 2018. It is terrifically entertaining and continues to reflect Vincent’s commitment to early learners, and their physical wellbeing. “Songs for children should be crafted with intelligence and infused with fun. I call them smart songs for active children,” says Vincent. For Move, Move, Move, Vincent reached out to Dr. Diane Craft, PhD, from SUNY Cortland, an early childhood physical activity expert, to insure that suggested movements are developmentally and age appropriate. .“Among the most rewarding things I do is professional development programs, especially Keynotes and Workshops. I love meeting folks dedicated to nurturing and educating early learners. We understand each other. Our future is in the hands of our children. I can’t think of a more important job.”

Find out more at http://www.VincentNunes.com

 

Self Disclosure: I received a free CD to facilitate this post. Images were also provided. No other compensation was received and I only feature media that I highly recommend. 

Celebrate the Cultures of the Pacific Islands during the Aquarium’s 15th Annual Pacific Islander Festival Giveaway Opportunity!

Discover and explore the rich and diverse cultures of the Pacific Islands at the Aquarium’s 15thannual Pacific Islander Festival. The festival will include traditional craft demonstrations, educational programs, and an ocean of entertainment, including music and dance performances. Enjoy hula, Tahitian drumming, Hawaiian games, and the work of artisans. Hawaiian, Tahitian, Samoan, Fijian, Tongan, Chamoru, Marshallese, Kiribati, and Maori cultures will be featured. Peniamina Sefo Taito will receive the Heritage Award at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 3 in recognition of his dedicated service to the Pacific Islander community.

Saturday and Sunday, June 2and 3, 2018,from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. WHERE:Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802COST:Included with general admission: $29.95 adult (12+), $25.95 senior (62+), and $17.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age three and Aquarium membersPUBLICINFO: (562) 590-3100 or http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/pacific_islander_festival/

Mobile-device and printable coupon

http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/fest10

With coupon, adults receive $10 OFF admission on June 2 or 3. Regular $29.95, just $19.95 with coupon!

The festival schedule is posted at:

http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/pacific_islander_festival/

We have teamed up for a Family 4-Pack Ticket Giveaway! Pls comment below telling us why you would like to go! One winner will win 4 tickets for either Saturday or Sunday!

Deadline to enter is May 31st at noon PST! One winner will randomly be selected.

Photo Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific. 

Solo: A Star Wars Story – An Essential Watch for Any Star Wars Fan

During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion. Described as a space western, the film centers on the young Han Solo and his adventures with his Wookiee side-kick Chewbacca, including their encounter with Lando Calrissian. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “Solo: A Star Wars Story is a perfectly serviceable origin story for the famous titular character. The acting and direction provide an outstanding mix of visuals and characterization.” KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, Kimbirly O. adds, “Howard’s optimistic effort on this prequel doesn’t save the film. He made a good film, but if it was a stand-alone film, I would not predict a plethora of sequels.” See their full reviews below.

Solo: A Star Wars Story
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a perfectly serviceable origin story for the famous titular character. The acting and direction provide an outstanding mix of visuals and characterization. This is definitely an essential watch for any Star Wars fan.

The movie follows young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) on his journey to become the famed hero pilot. As a talented maverick, Solo joins forces with the thief Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his crew to escape poverty and become part of something bigger. However, one of their heists goes wrong resulting in a life or death deal with Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) which will determine the fate of their lives. To rectify this, Solo and newfound friend Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) enlist the help of old flame Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) and the charming Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) to take part in the second heist.

Alden Ehrenreich, as Han Solo, wonderfully portrays his hero’s journey from a poor, oppressed dreamer to heroic pilot. His mannerisms and line delivery excellently match up to the standard set by Harrison Ford. Joonas Suotamo, as Chewbacca, encompasses an extraordinary counterpart Peter Mayhew’s mantle as he perfectly portrays his growing friendship with Han. Donald Glover, as Lando Calrissian, is my favorite character due to his exact interpretations of Billy Dee Williams’s zany parlance. His banter with Solo only forwards the character’s legacy. Woody Harrelson, as Beckett, provides for a flawed yet effective mentor to Solo by guiding him about motivations and how to deal. Emilia Clarke, as Qi’ra, is great with what she is given, but her character falls into the stereotypical “will they or won’t they” love interest loop. Paul Bettany, as Dryden Vos, is menacing with his passive aggressiveness building to volatile outburst when his orders are disobeyed.

Ron Howard efficiently grasps all the characters’ tales by providing great interactions with known Star Wars lore. My favorite scene is the initial train heist as it showcases how unprepared Beckett’s gang was and is intense as regards the fates of all characters involved. Also, there are great displays of special effects with the train’s movement patterns. The one flaw is that it really doesn’t Solo any character transformation as he always remains heroic with the only change being how he goes from rags to riches. The love triangle between Solo, Qi’ra and Dryden also feels uninspired.

The message of the movie is to always abide by morals rather than selfish instinct. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters May 25, 2018, so check it out.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

I was excited to see the origin story of Han Solo, as he has been a character favorite of mine for years. The young man was boosting scams from age 10 and lived a life of adventure, for sure! Learning how his last name came to be was interesting – think passport control questioning. But, I digress.

While the film strives to tell the story of how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca, everyone’s favorite Wookie (Joonas Suotamo) became BFFs after a contentious beginning, it had some stalls and at times, I wondered if Han was attempting to be our hero or villain. I felt the origin story of Han Solo did not go deep enough to show us who he is, and what lead him to be, Solo.

The most interesting character is Becket, played by Woody Harrelson. He is a true team player, but what team does he play for? His chameleon-like persona is wonderful to see and a testament to this talented and beloved actor.

The film begins centered on a bunch of bad dudes who all fear the reptilian and then, our hero Han, who eventually joins the Imperial armed forces to reconnect with his love, Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). Being the rebel he is, Han is kicked out of pilot training and ends up in one of the many Empire wars. His quest to find Qi’ra lands him in the clutches of the dreadful mob boss Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) and a gambler named Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

Long ago, in a vision far-away, original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were off-loaded from the payload and rescued by super Director Ron Howard. Howard’s optimistic effort on this prequel doesn’t save the film. He made a good film, but if it was a stand-alone film, I would not predict a plethora of sequels.

I give this film of 4 out of 5 stars for the performances, which are spectacular, especially Glover, Harrelson and Ehrenreich, along with special effects, creepy wardrobes, action scenes and Star Wars references that any true fan will ‘get’ (like the Kessel Run, the Millennium Falcon and of course, the necklace hanging on the rearview mirror). I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. I caution younger viewing due to adult themes and fight scenes which may be disturbing to younger children.

Photo by Jonathan Olley – © 2018 – Lucasfilm Ltd.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

Hartz® Home Protection™, America’s Leading Dog Pad Brand*, Launches Hartz® Home Protection™ Quilted Plus™ Giveaway Opportunity!

Have you seen the Hartz Mountain Corporation Hartz® Home Protection™ Quilted Plus™ dog pads? These new dog pads from Hartz® Home Protection™ – America’s number one dog pad brand* – are designed with highly absorbent quilt pockets using unique printed dot embossing that traps wetness in the center to prevent spreading and leaking, unlike dog pads with “standard quilting”, which cause wetness to spread.  Each Quilted Plus™ dog pad contains FlashDry® Gel Technology that turns liquid into gel. The Clean Powder scent eliminates odors with odor-harmonizing fragrance technology.

These are great for upcoming Summer travels! I really like how they eliminate odors and they are perfect for house training too!

Made in the USA (of American & imported materials), Hartz® Home Protection™ Quilted Plus™ is available in 14 count (SRP: $4.99) and 50 count (SRP: $12.99) packages.

Would you like to Take the Hartz® Quilted Plus No Leak Challenge? If so..this giveaway opportunity is for you!

If you would like to try them and see if they work better than other brands you have tried…leave a comment below! One winner will win a free package of the new Hartz® Home Protection™ Quilted Plus™ dog pads! No need to compare them first..just leave a comment letting us know why you would like to try them! SoCal City Kids will randomly select one winner! Deadline to enter is June 1st, 2018 at noon pst.

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. No other compensation was provided. SoCal City Kids will select the winner and Hartz will send the prize. 

 

Droopy, May 24th Pet of the Week

Droopy’s been likened to the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man—he is a big marshmallow!–and described as “a lumpy sort of fellow with a big heart” by the shelter staff. But once he’s out in the play yard, Droopy isn’t droopy! He loves to play with the other dogs in the play yard, is well trained and gentle, and loves walks. He’s a 5-year-old pit bull and, sadly, an owner surrender—he lived with young kids in his previous household, so he’s used to a lot of love and so deserves it. Meet our Droopy on the shelter side of the P. D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A504961.

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village.

Brooklyn’s Beloved Kindie Star Suzi Shelton Releases an Album of Smart Songs for Kids Who Care Hand in Hand Avail now!

 Suzi Shelton, known for her “heartfelt songs that span a lot of childhood territory”(Parents’ Choice) and “hummable, kid-friendly tunes” (NY Daily  News), released her fourth solo album for families this spring: Hand in Hand on May 11. Suzi plans several concerts to celebrate the release, including Friday sing-alongs at JCP Downtown in NYC and a show at Madison Square Park (as part of the Madison Square Kids series) on Wednesday, July 11.

Suzi and special musical guests will present an interactive Facebook Live concert on Thursday, May 10 at about 6 pm Eastern Time.

Inspired by a challenge from her Brooklyn based women’s songwriting group, Suzi offers her signature “catchy, danceable pop-rock songs that connect directly with kids” (BaristaNet), while delving into more sophisticated stylings and production. Hand in Hand includes nine upbeat songs to encourage self-discovery, expression and kindness. Some of the tunes are childlike and whimsical, about things like ladybugs and raindrops and blue fin fish. Others are meant to be inspiring, like “Can You Feel the Power,” “The Grass Is Always Greener,” “River Come Down,” and “We Shall Walk.” The lyrics emphasize inclusion and believing in one’s own power to do good. “I want to encourage kids and let them know that they can be comfortable in their own skin and express themselves joyously,” says Suzi.

GRAMMY winning artist and former Sprout TV host Tim Kubart sings on the tune “Grass Is Always Greener,” and Brooklyn kindie stars Vered Ronen (Baby in Tune), Amelia Robinson (Mil’s Trills) and Katie Mullins (Katie Ha Ha Ha) add vocals to “Can You Feel the Power?” The toe-tapping finger-snapping traditional children’s song “Ladybugs” includes swinging Andrews Sisters style harmonies by Bess Rogers and Hannah Winkler. Hand in Hand was engineered, produced and mixed by Greg Mayo and Dan Weiner, who together with Suzi aimed to create an eclectic pop album with a modern feel. Children’s voices add lift to peppy and positive songs like the first track, “Put Your Hands in the Air,” and Suzi’s 13-year-old daughter Emma wrote and performed on the song, “We Shall Walk.”

 

Suzi Shelton

 More about Suzi Shelton

 

The proud mother of two children, Suzi also works and performs regularly with students at area schools. MomTrends called Suzi “one of our favorite musicians,” and the Brooklyn Spectator noted, “When Suzi Shelton takes the stage with her guitar and her band, you know that something special is about to happen.” In addition to family concerts in and around NYC this spring and summer, Suzi is also working on her fifth season of FREE Sing with Suzi videos on YouTube. She is constantly creating new songs and video content for her preschool fans. Visit www.suzishelton.com for updates.

Connect with Suzi on Facebook: Suzi Shelton Music, Instagram: SuziMusic,Twitter: @SuziShelton , and YouTube: Suzi Shelton.

Credit: Sugar Mountain PR.

Little Hacks That Make Parenting Easier

Being a parent is probably one of the toughest jobs in the world. There are so many responsibilities that you need to take care of every single day, and there is no time off. At the same time, parenting has to be one of the most rewarding activities. There is no better reward than seeing your kids grow up and transform into little humans with personalities that were shaped thanks to your hard work. Even though there is no right or wrong way of raising kids, there are little tricks that parents can use to facilitate their life. Even if you are a stay-at-home parent, you have a lot of weight on your shoulders that needs to be relieved somehow.

Parents are human beings that need to eliminate some stress from their life every now and them. Even if you can’t find time for yourself every single day, you need to make an effort of focusing on yourself at least over the weekend. It might seem hard to change up your routine, but it the right to do for your sanity. Have a look at the tips given below and find some parenting inspiration that will bring some peace in your life.

Make Meal Planning Easier

Every parent wants their kids to be healthy and happy. One of the aspects that can contribute to the health of your kids is obviously the food they are eating. However, cooking food takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you prefer eating fresh foods for every meal. Therefore, you could start preparing meals in advance. This could be done either over the weekend or on a certain day during the week. If you don’t appreciate eating foods that were cooked a few days ago, you don’t have to cook that many meals. By preparing a double portion, you can count on eating some delicious leftovers the next day. Once you heat them up, they will be just as delicious and healthy for you.

Plan Outfits

Time is essential when you are a parent. You are well aware of the fact that you don’t get a lot of time to pamper yourself or change outfits all day long once you become a parent. However, by getting into the habit of planning your outfits in advance, you are able to save a lot of time and energy. You could do the same for your kids. Planning your kid’s outfits at the start of the week or a day in advance is a lifesaver. Since the clothes subject is quite important when it comes to kids, you need to make sure that you only purchase high-quality items, especially when they are young. They will not only last younger and feel better on the skin, but you will also make a good investment. Check out Nickis for some great quality items of clothing that your kids will adore.

Fill out Your Planner

A lot of these tips involve being organized. Planning beforehand is amazing when it comes to giving you some peace of mind. No matter what age are your kids are, it is good to have a weekly planner that you can fill out at the start of the week. Knowing exactly when doctors’ appointments are or when you need to take care of an obligation forces you in a way to seem the good in the week, instead of dreading it. The good news is that it only takes you a few minutes to complete your planner. While doing that, you can also ask your partner about their obligations so that the whole family can stay organized. Last but not least, if you’re thinking about planning any play dates for your kids, this is a good way to take care of that.

Get the Kids Involved

Just because you are the responsible parent, that doesn’t make you the only member of the family. Get everyone involved in every activity or errand that you need to run around the home. Although it might be hard to believe, kids love the idea of helping their parents out. That is because they feel in control. They can organize their toys, put their clothes away and even mop the floor, if they are old enough. Teaching children how to clean the house, how to prepare certain foods or how to complete certain chores is basically a life skill that they have to learn sooner or later. There are a lot of activities that parents need to complete around the house, and it is impossible not to find one that is suitable for kids.

Make a Reward Sheet

Kids throw tantrums many times. Nonetheless, a lot of times parents are not aware of the fact that they actually encourage that kind of behavior. If you’ve had enough of waking up in the middle of the night to a kid who does not want to sleep in their own bed, it might be time to create a sleep sheet. These reward sheets can be easily customized to your personal needs. They are a good help for parents who don’t know what to do to calm their kids down. You might be surprised by how effective they are. Those five stickers that represent a little reward can work wonders.

Put Yourself First

Last but not least, it is essential to mention the importance of focusing on yourself. This will make your life better in no time. Ask your partner to mind the kids for a certain amount of time while you pamper yourself, or you do an activity that calms your mind. Even if you spend that time taking a nap, you will be better off than not doing anything for yourself. If you want to recharge your batteries, you need to do this at least once a week. It is not a big break, but it does the trick. You don’t have to be to feel guilty about it as you deserve to relax.

Parenting can be complicated at times, but definitely not impossible. If you’re still new to the art of parenting or you simply need some inspiration, the ideas discussed above might come in handy.

May is Celiac Awareness Month Garden Lites Offers Gluten-Free, Delicious Veggies In Every Bite

May is Celiac Awareness Month, and Garden Lites offers products that are always gluten-free and made with vegetables as first ingredients. Gluten- free food is especially vital for all sufferers of Celiac Disease, a genetic autoimmune disease which damages the small intestine. Celiac Disease impacts over 3 million Americans, and since the first Celiac Awareness Month in 1987 the number of gluten-free individuals in the US has skyrocketed to over 50 million.Garden Lites is proud to provide great gluten-free options for both Celiac disease sufferers and those who are gluten-free for other reasons such as a gluten allergy or another intolerance. Garden Lites offers portable, nutritionally dense gluten free foods such as Garden Lites Superfood Veggie Cakes, muffins, Chocolate and Blueberry Oat muffins and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Power Muffins.

The line of gluten free products include:

  • Garden Lites® Superfood Veggie Cakes:

 Experts agree that superfoods are incredibly good for you. Garden Lites® Superfood Veggie Cakes Superfood Blend are packed with nutrient-rich superfood veggies like kale and cauliflower.  Garden Lites® Superfood Veggie Cakes with Kale & Quinoa are also packed with nutrient-rich superfoods like kale and quinoa.  The line packs only 100 calories!  Garden Lites® Superfood Veggie Cakes come in a package of 6 veggie cakes for an SRP of $4.99. They are available in both frozen and refrigerated sections.

  • Garden Lites® Chocolate Muffins and Blueberry Oat  Muffins:

 You’ll never believe the first two ingredients in Garden Lites® Chocolate Muffins are zucchini and carrots.  Heat in the microwave to enjoy a chocolatey, decadent experience for only 120 calories.

The first ingredient in Garden Lites Blueberry Oat Muffins is zucchini. Every bite of Garden Lites Blueberry Oat muffins is bursting with plump blueberries.  Heat them in a microwave to enjoy a delightful blueberry packed muffin with only 120 calories.

All Garden Lites Muffins are Non-GMO and deliciously moist and a great source of fiber.  Garden Lites muffins come in a package of 6 muffins, for an SRP of $4.99.

  • Garden Lites Ninja Power Muffins

Perfect for breakfast, lunchtime or a snack, your child will love the fun characters and you’ll love the fact that zucchini is the first ingredient. Only 80 calories each, Garden Lites Ninja Power Muffins are Allergy-friendly; Gluten, Dairy & Nut Free! Perfect for lunchboxes.

Garden Lites has a variety of new products and increased distribution in the freezer section across the country. Some of the best selection can be found at Kroger, Meijer, Target, Costco, Shop Rite, Publix, Stop & Shop, Giant, HEB, Ralph’s, Fry’s, Whole Foods, and many more retailers and online for home delivery at thehealthfoodstore.comThe line also has the Good Housekeeping Nutrition Seal of Approval, which is the first health-conscious, lifestyle-aware seal in the food and beverage industry.

Credit:

About Garden Lites:

Garden Lites® is a Classic Cooking, LLC brand based in Rahway, NJ that produces delicious vegetable snack foods. Since 2008, Garden Lites has raised the bar in healthy foods by delivering full flavor that’s also veggie rich. Garden Lites has the Good Housekeeping Nutrition Seal of Approval and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2016 Cooking Light – The Healthiest Frozen Foods in the Supermarket: Breakfast; 2016 Grocery Headquarters Trailblazer Award; 2016 Parents Magazine 25 Best Frozen Food for Families; 2016 – Gluten Free Digest Chocolate Muffins; 2015 Pioneers of Better For You: Refrigerated and Frozen Foods and 2017 Runner’s World Editor’s Pick.

For more information on Garden Lites products, visit www.GardenLites.com and be sure to “Like” on Facebook and Follow on Twitter!