Archives for December 2014

Annie – A Delightful Spin on the Classic Story About a Foster Girl Who Wins Our Heart


This film offers an updated version of the classic tale about Annie, a foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, who sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. With a stellar cast and fabulous music, this is a lovely film to share with your children and grandchildren this holiday season. KIDS FIRST! Critic Kendyl P. comments, “Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis) is my favorite character because she is a young girl with great character and an infectious personality. She believes a “No, is just a yes that people don’t know yet.” Kayla P. adds, “The movie Annie is a fantastic movie. It is one of my favorite movies of all time.” See their full reviews below.



by Kendyl P., Age 12, KIDS FIRST! Critic



The movie Annie is a phenomenal one! This is a modern day version of the original classic about a young foster girl who is very hopeful that her parents are coming back for her one day. Annie almost gets run over by a van as she is running through the streets of New York, trying to stop a group of boys from harming a dog. Then Mr. Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) saves her life. Someone records the rescue and it is immediately posted all over the news and social media. Mr. Stacks is a businessman running for Mayor of New York, sees this positive publicity as a way to increase his chances of becoming mayor. He and his team decide to bring Annie over for lunch to take pictures of the two of them together. It turns out Annie ends up staying a little longer then they originally anticipate.


Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis) is my favorite character because she is a young girl with great character and an infectious personality. She believes a “No, is just a yes that people don’t know yet.” She has a big heart. When she is given the opportunity of a lifetime, she shares her experiences with her friends.


I really enjoy watching Annie and her friends clean and sing, “It’s a Hard-Knock Life.” Even though they are cleaning a very dirty foster home where the caregiver is not very nice to them, they continue to joyfully sing and dance while they clean.  This is a perfect example of making the best of a not so good situation.


Everyone needs somebody. Will Stacks thinks money, wealth and his successful business is all he needs. He realizes that there is more to life than money and a successful business. Annie really teaches Mr. Stacks how to – live and be happy.


Annie is an amazing movie for the entire family. I recommend this movie for boys and girls ages 5 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is in theaters now, so go check it out!



by Kayla Powell, KIDS FIRST! Critic, Age 12



The movie Annie is a fantastic movie. It is one of my favorite movies of all time. This modern day remake the old classic is about a young foster girl who is trying to find her parents. One day she is chasing after a group of kids who are trying to harm a dog. She trips and falls in the middle of the street. Williams Stacks (Jamie Foxx), who is running for Mayor, grabs her before a truck hits her. The rescue goes viral and Mr. Stacks begins to show favorable ratings in the polls. As a result, Mr. Stacks’ campaign manager thinks Mr. Stacks should spend more time with Annie to continue to increase his poll ratings. Mr. Stacks’ team believes this would surely be his ticket to becoming Mayor. During their time together, both Mr. Stacks and Annie, learn a lot about each other and themselves.


The message of this film is you can be and do anything you can dream of. During the movie, Mr. Stacks encourages Annie to work hard, because “the world is yours, if you dare to work at it.” Annie finds herself in a tough situation and she remembers what Mr. Stacks shared with her about working hard.

My favorite character is Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis) because she is very outgoing, not afraid to face challenges and she is a very optimistic young girl. Quevenzhane also sings very well.


The actors are perfect. They sing, dance and do a marvelous job bringing a modern day twist to this old classic.


This film is perfect for the entire family. I recommend it for boys and girls ages 5 to adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Annie is a must see this holiday season. It is playing in theaters now so don’t miss it.


Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,

A Stocking Stuffer Must-Have! CLn Facial Cleanser is my new favorite Face Ckeanser!


Make sure your loved one is protected at the gym this holiday season!


Did you know the bacteria left behind on your yoga mat (even post wipe down) and the constant wearing of yoga pants or tight clothing can lead to acne and other skin-related issues?


CLn SportWash ($32) is a gym bag essential for both men and women. Designed by dermatologists for gym-goers and those with active lifestyles, CLn SportWash makes the perfect stocking stuffer. Bring it to Pilates to shower with after you’re done working off the holiday sweets! Or, use CLn Facial Cleanser for some post-workout rejuvenation. Teens and kids can use it too!


Traveling for the holidays and have minimal space in your bag? CLn products are carry-on approved! And, they won’t break your holiday budget.

I received the CLn Facial Cleanser to try out and I love how it cleanses my skin and does not leave it feeling dry. My face tends to feel more dry in the Winter months, and this cleanser actually leaves my skin feeling soft and much more hydrated! This really is a Mom-Must-Have this Winter season!

To find these products so to

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this holiday gift suggestion. Photo Credit: CLn.

Boxed Water is a Must-Have for this Busy Holiday Season! Holiday Giveaway!

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The holidays are quickly approaching but being on-the-go while finishing your holiday shopping doesn’t mean you have to compromise your health!

A great way to stay hydrated during the holiday madness is with  Boxed Water !  You will  also be taking part in one of the newest trends that has celebrities buzzing.


In short, Boxed Water is an alternative to bottled water that decreases our dependence on non-renewable resources, reduces wastes and decreases our carbon footprint. Stay tuned! SoCal City Kids will be reviewing next week. To find out more now, check out their website.

Updated!! My review:

I received samples and am quite impressed with how fresh tasting this water is! My son even really seemed to like this and usually he prefers flavored water. It’s simply refreshing and great to take along when travelling or out exercising.

In the meantime, we have teamed up for a Holiday Giveaway! One winner will win a Boxed Water Gift Pack! To enter, leave us a comment below telling us one of your ways to stay healthier during this Holiday season! Deadline to enter is December 29th, 2014 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected via

Don’t forget to check back next week to read my review post!

Happy Holidays!

Self Disclosure: No compensation was received to post. Credit: Boxed Water. I will be receiving samples to review.

#Cube makes a great Holiday Gift! from Konnect Labs

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Are you looking for a great holiday gift for someone who loves taking photos? Maybe someone who loves using the social Instagram. Then the #Cube is the perfect gift!  What is great is that it  enables the socially connected to enlarge their viewing experience of photos and videos, from the smaller confines of a smart device. Now, how cool is that?! Actually, it really is pretty cool! I received a sample and love how easy it is to use and I love being able to showcase my favorite photos. I know quite a few on my shopping list that would love to receive the #Cube as a gift for Christmas!  It’s also a perfect size!  It’s actually a large 8” square LCD touch screen display, giving the retro-inspired #Cube™ a modern touch. I love how this is so modern looking and stylish. My favorite things are that it is portable and wireless and it is great to take on vacations. It’s a real Must-Have for all parents!

More info:

Real-time and instant continuous delivery of a stream of photos and video clips, enabling users to enjoy and display real-time social network images from friends, family, and favorite celebrities.
·       Rechargeability and built-in Wi-Fi as well as free wireless software updates that enable new features & application support.

To purchase, go to   the following  website Our readers have been offered a Discount until December 31st!   If you use the code to buy a #Cube directly from their website, you will receive a $15 discount off the $149 retail price.  The code is  CUBE141.

Self Disclosure: I received this product for free via Tomoson in exchange for an unbiased review.

Cork Wines for the Holidays! Wine Gift Ideas for Host/Hostess and General Holiday!

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Curious Cork is a brand
 and importer of
unique, premium, and authentic wines from Europe.

Tuscan Sun Wines:

Tuscan Sun Wines video page –
L’Arte della Toscana: The Art of
Tesori Nascosti: Hidden Treasures
Pensiero: a Little Gift

Olio di Oliva: Olive Oil
Il Giorno del Mercado: Market Day

Passione: Passion
Ispirati: Be Inspired
Della Casa: Of the House
Prima Famiglia: Family First
BaracchiVideo about Il Falconiere,
the Michelin rated restaurant at the Bracchi estate.

Fat Louis
Carlin de Paolo Presentazione CARLINdePAOLO


Self Disclosure: No compensation was received to post. I will be adding a review in the near future and will be receiving a sample. Credit: Cork Wines.

Sweeten Up the Holidays With Seasonal Varieties From MIKE AND IKE® and HOT TAMALES® Brands Perfect Candy For Holiday Recipes and Stocking Stuffers!

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Just in time for your holiday parties is MIKE AND IKE®Merry Mix and MIKE AND IKE® Minion Mix.    Also available during the holiday season only will be the MIKE AND IKE® Original Fruits and HOT TAMALES® Fierce Cinnamon Stocking Stuffers.

MIKE AND IKE®Merry Mix comes in a 14 oz bag, perfect for all your home and office holiday parties.  This holiday favorite includes original flavors Lime and Cherry, plus a seasonal flavor, Holiday Punch.  The red and green colors of Merry Mix add even more festiveness to the season.  SRP for Merry Mix is $2.50 – $3.00 for the 14 oz bag.   MIKE AND IKE® Original Fruits theater box stocking stuffer comes in a 5 oz box making it an ideal stocking stuffer for all candy lovers on your holiday shopping list.  HOT TAMALES® Fierce Cinnamon also offers a 5 oz theater box stocking stuffer of cinnamon candy with holiday themed messaging and graphics on the packaging.  The SRP for the 5 oz boxes of MIKE AND IKE® Original Fruits and HOT TAMALES® Fierce Cinnamon is $1.00 – $1.39. Both package designs include extra space to add a name for the recipient and sender to truly personalize your delicious candy gift.

To celebrate the success of the wildly popular movie franchise, MIKE AND IKE® has created a limited edition Minion Mix that will only be available during the holiday season.

MIKE AND IKE® Minion Mix is available in a 5 oz box and comes with 3 different designs on pack – making it a collectable item for every Minion lover. Made with real fruit juice, fans will enjoy the sweet and tasty goodness of Blue Raspberry and Banana flavors.  SRP for the 5 oz box is $1.00 – $1.39.


“The holidays are a fun time to share sweets and try new recipes,” says Koren Ivie, Brand Manager for MIKE AND IKE® and HOT TAMALES® candy.  “We wanted to provide our fans with fun recipes to enjoy these candies with family and friends!”

In the spirit of the holidays, create and sample some tasty recipes featuring MIKE AND IKE®and HOT TAMALES® candies for your next holiday party.  Try these recipes created by Chef Jamie Geller as part of her recent alliance with the leading candy brands.

HOT TAMALES® Snickerdoodles

Servings: 2 dozen




  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) HOT TAMALES®Fierce Cinnamon candies, coarsely chopped*
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) salted margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) shortening (I use Spectrum Organic)
  • 3/4 cups (5.6 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt (increase to 1/4 tsp if using unsalted margarine)
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon


*The best way to chop it is with a lightly oiled knife. 



  1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the margarine, shortening and ¾ cups sugar. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients (except the candy) into the creamed mixture and mix until just combined. Add the chopped candy and mix until the candy is evenly distributed, a few minutes more.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes (this makes it easier to handle).
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Form dough into balls the size of small walnuts (I use a tablespoon cookie scoop). Roll the balls of cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar.
  7. Place the cookies two inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets in the oven at the halfway point. They are done when they look puffed in the middle and slightly brown at the edges (the tops of the cookies will form cracks). Be careful not to overcook.
  8. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and let cookies sit on it for another minute or so before removing to cooling rack; cookies will flatten out as they cool.
  9. These cookies are best served warm, straight out of the oven, but they can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.



MIKE AND IKE® Crispy Rice Cereal Treats

Servings: 8




  • 1 ½ cups (13 oz) MIKE AND IKE® Original Fruits candies, coarsely chopped*
  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 oz, 42g) margarine
  • 10 oz (280 g) marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup (1.7 oz, 48 g) marshmallow fluff
  • 6 cups (5.7 oz, 160g) crisp rice cereal

*The best way to chop it is with a lightly oiled knife. 




  1. Grease a 9 X 13 pan and set aside.
  2. Combine the marshmallows and margarine in a large microwave safe bowl.
  3. Place the cereal and candy in another bowl and toss well to combine. Set aside.
  4. Microwave the marshmallows and margarine for one minute.
  5. Remove from the microwave and stir to combine. If the marshmallows are not fully melted return to the microwave and cook for 30 seconds at a time until they are fully melted.
  6. Stir in the fluff and mix well. Add the candy and cereal mixture and stir until combined.
  7. Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan. Let cool, then cut into squares.


 Credit: Just Born Quality Confections.

About Just Born Quality Confections:

 Just Born Quality Confections is a privately owned company founded in 1923 and headquartered in Bethlehem, PA, where it manufactures PEEPS®, HOT TAMALES® and MIKE AND IKE® Brand Candies. GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS® Brand Candies are produced in Philadelphia, PA.  All Just Born candies are made in the U.S.A.

For more information on The Return of Mike and Ike™, new flavors and upcoming programs, visit and make sure to “like” us on Facebook by logging onto



Give Bakery Because. It’s Gifting Made Delicious program

easter eggs in basket

The Give Bakery Because. It’s Gifting Made Delicious program encourages people to visit the bakery department of their local grocery store to find a variety of treats that can be gifted to all the special people in their lives. With simple creative packaging, a baked good can become a personalized (and delicious) gift. It’s simple, easy and affordable—no baking required! The bakery department can also help you create the ultimate holiday hostess basket too. A gift basket will give the hostess a much needed planning break and offer him/her goodies that they can enjoy the next morning for breakfast or brunch. For example, the holiday hostess basket could include croissants and cinnamon rolls from the bakery department and a jar of jam, champagne and orange juice…and maybe even a magazine for a little extra morning entertainment. What you choose to include in the basket is up to you. Visit the Give Bakery Because Pinterest page for more unique gifting and packaging ideas! 

This is a fun gift idea! Check it out at

Don’t forget to use #givebakery if you would like to share your creations via social media!

Hi Res CookieJar

Self Disclosure: No compensation are samples were received. SoCal City Kids thought that are readers may have interest in this post. Photo Credit: Give Bakery Because. It’s Gifting Made Delicious program.

Are you feeding Santa the right way?

You’ve trimmed the tree, baked the sweets and all that’s left to do is put Santa’s cookies out.


Picture it on Canvas, the custom printing company that specializes in creating accessories printed and personalized with users’ favorite images, is offering your readers a special code for Santa-pleasing essentials, perfect for adding a festive holiday touch to the goodies you’ll leave out on December 24.  


Serving Trays: Santa White or Gift Green? Leave your gingerbread cookies on one of these customizable trays, available in black or natural finishes.

Pillows/Throws: Equip your little ones with a comfy, holiday retreat while they await Santa’s arrival on December 24.

Mugs: The season isn’t complete without peppermint hot chocolates. Save these for your holiday party or put Santa’s milk in a Gift Blue patterned mug.  

Coasters: Warming up a special beverage for Santa? Rest it on a Snow Man patterned coaster.


These would also make great gifts for the New Year! I received samples of the Coasters and love them! They would make a great holiday gift! Check out website for these and many other wonderful gift ideas!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this holiday gift suggestion feature. Photo Credit: