Archives for July 20, 2015



The Ant-Man is one of the lesser known Marvel characters and, with this new film, has quickly become a new favorite for many. The storyline reveals his origins and how he develops his astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength. And, of course, like any super-hero movie, how he has to work to save the world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Harmony, age 16, comments, “From Marvel comes the newest superhero thriller, Ant-Man with a mixture of comedy and action that brings pleasure for people of all ages.” Tre’ana, age 11, adds, The technology is so transparent that it is truly believable.  The visual and sound effects blew my mind.” See their full reviews below.


By Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16


From Marvel comes the newest superhero thriller, Ant-Man with a mixture of comedy and action that brings pleasure for people of all ages. The film is about a scientist, Dr. Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas, who gets forced out of his own company and left searching for someone to bravely take on the missions he requests. With his invention of a super suit which provides superpowers, shrinking abilities and the control of an army of ants, Pym finds his talent, Scott Lang, to be the one and only “Ant-Man.” Seeking redemption for his past criminal behavior, Scott accepts the challenge to save the world and fight off enemy scientist, Darren Cross from using his similar suit for evil. Things take a turn when the world is not the only thing that needs saving.

The film’s many wonderful aspects start with the amazing performances from actors including, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll. I always know an acting performance from an antagonist is amazing when I actually believe the person is evil in real life. The acting job from Corey Stoll proves to be great when I find it hard to believe that he can be nice in real life. With his past experience in many comedic films, Paul Rudd easily and naturally portrays the witty character Scott without seeming fake or cheesy.

The movie is uplifting and funny in so many ways. The movie throws out jokes about other Marvel characters and icons, which are surprising and hilarious. The film is authentically different in style from the typical superhero or even Marvel film.

The film does include lots of violence and scenes with foul language which is why I’d definitely say the film is for people 13 years of age and older. Furthermore, I would recommend the film to people of ages 13 to 18. Adults will enjoy this as well. The film guarantees laughter and entertainment to people of all interests, including those who are not fans of Marvel or superhero movies. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Check it out coming to theatres on July 17th.


By Tre’ana H., age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic


Ant-Man is a superhero who will definitely catch your eye. I can’t compare with the other Marvel films since I haven’t seen them but this film is fantastic.  In the beginning there is some drama, but that transcends and goes deep into a sci-fi, action-pack film.  Do you really need the 3-D glasses?  The technology is so transparent that it is truly believable.  The visual and sound effects blew my mind.  The Ant-Man costume is equipped with aero-dynamic illusions that makes you speechless. The cast is swift with hilarious dialogue.


This film is about Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a scientist who wants Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to be Ant-Man. Dr. Hank Pym is amused about Scott past cat burglaries.  He comes up with this outrageous scheme to set Scott up. Scott has just been released from prison and is trying to stay on a righteous path. The only thing he wants to do is spend time with his daughter, Cassie Lang (Abby Ryder Fortson), but he is having a hard time with her mother, Maggie Lang (Judy Greer) and her new boyfriend Paxton (Bobby Cannavale) because he does not have a job to pay his child support. Scott is not confident about being Ant-Man and he feels as though this task is not for him.  Do you think Scott will be Ant-Man? Do you think he will get a chance to spend time with his daughter?  Ant-Man opens in theaters on July 17, 2015.


My remarkable moment is when Luis (Michael Pena) says he does not get scared.  So Scott (Paul Rudd) puts the Ant-Man suit on, shrinks and jumps on Luis’s shoulders.  Luis is so scared he runs around the house like a chicken screaming and bumping into things.  It is so humorous the whole audience starts laughing.


The message of the film is if someone gives you a task to accomplish and you feel in your heart you can do it and make a difference, stay on the mission until you accomplish the issue. The results will be more rewarding.


I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is adventurous and a great Marvel comic movie.

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Upcoming Attractions,


PEANUT BUTTER PRINCIPLES– Maryland based Entrepreneur, Erik Franklin’s book Peanut Butter Principles teaches 47 Leadership Lessons Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids


Great leaders aren’t born. They’re nurtured. – Eric Franklin.

In “Peanut Butter Principles: 47 Leadership Lessons Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids”, entrepreneur, speaker, author, management consultant and parent Eric Franklin has assembled a wealth of wisdom that has stuck with him like peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth—gleaned from his parents, extended family, and the many other influential people in his life.


Organized by topics, including “The Super Self”, “Making Wishes Come True” and “The School of Life”, Franklin’s simple concepts have lasting power to develop young leaders, including:

“Be thankful you don’t get everything you ask for.”

“The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.”

“Your accomplishments should speak for themselves. Don’t interrupt.”

“If you don’t make your own decision, someone else will make it for you.”

“Count your blessings, not your problems.”


One by one, readers can serve up spoonfuls of Peanut Butter Principles to the youth in their lives and make a profound impact to help them grow into confident, intelligent, and successful adults and leaders who make good choices, build healthy relationships, and cultivate another generation of leaders.

I received a copy of this book and I really like that it teaches how to take responsibility for yourself. I think this alone is an important lesson for children to learn. This is an insightful and interesting book to read and I recommend for all parents!  It really is a Must-Read!

Peanut Butter Principles can be purchased on Amazon –

For more information please visit

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to facilitate this post.



Folk Revival Festival Invites Families to the Wee Folk Village Giveaway Opportunity!


The 3rd annual Long Beach Folk Revival Festival invites families and folk fans of all ages to enjoy a pure American jamboree with banjos, crafts, beards, beers and more folk than imaginable. The festival will take place on Saturday, September 19 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the grass lawn of Rainbow Lagoon Park in Downtown Long Beach.

Annually the Folk Festival brings the community together and invites young folk fans to enjoy a day in the interactive Wee Folk Village. The expansive Village will offer folk crafts, instrument making, square dancing, face painting and balloon animals throughout the festival. The Family Stage will present the Hollow Trees “Folk Music for Families” band with sing-a-long songs, stories and more kid friendly folk entertainment.

Kids can make music at the Instrument Petting Zoo and learn to play real folk instruments with members of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.  They even have their own Kids’ Beard & Mustache Contest. Boys and girls alike can craft their own beards and mustaches at the festival or bring their own from home and enter to win prizes.

Adult Folk Festival goers also have the opportunity to enter into signature folk themed contests. The annual Deering Banjo Contest will be a showdown of the best banjo plucking in the west. The winner will receive a custom banjo ukulele courtesy of Deering Banjos. Polly’s Pie Eating Contest will return to determine the first person able to eat a whole pie without their hands. The coveted Beard & Mustache Competition presented by the Long Beach Beard Advocates, anticipates nearly 100 entries in six categories including a female category where the ladies can craft their own beards or mustaches.

The Long Beach Folk Festival brings live music, gourmet food, craft beers, signature contests, the Wee Folk Village and the “Vintage Bazaar” shopping experience to Downtown Long Beach to celebrate community. Tickets are currently on-sale for $20 in advance online. Tickets will be available day of the festival for $30. Admission is free for kids under 12 and seniors over 75. Complimentary bike valet is available, so ride down with the whole family for day of good old fashion folk.

Giveaway Opportunity! One winner will win 2 tickets to the event! Leave a comment below telling us why you would like to win! Deadline to enter is July 30th, 2015 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries via

Self Disclosure: SoCal City Kids is featuring this event. We will be attending for free as Media and covering the Festival. No other compensation was or will be received. 

National Hot Dog Day Just Got Free


With summer in full swing, there are dozens of reasons to celebrate, including National Hot Dog Day. I’m excited to mark the date with Pilot Flying J, which is giving away one free Oscar Mayer hot dog to each customer who visits a travel center on July 23.

And to further celebrate National Hot Dog Day, help yourself to some entertaining hot dog facts courtesy of Pilot Flying J:

  1. Pilot Flying J sells 329,000 Oscar Mayer hot dogs per month – that’s more than 12 million hot dogs per year!
  2. The city that buys the most Oscar Mayer hot dogs from Pilot Flying J is Boron, Calif.
  3. If 8 million Pilot Flying J hot dogs are stacked end to end, they would stretch 1,136 miles – about halfway across the U.S.
  4. It may be National Hot Dog Day, but Pilot Flying J sells the most hot dogs nationwide in the one week leading up to the 4th of July.

To redeem a free hot dog on National Hot Dog Day on July 23rd, simply  share a coupon available on social media, through PFJ’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Pilot Flying J will post on Thursday, July 23rd.

Credit: Pilot Flying. No compensation was received to post.



First-ever COPPA-certified Messaging App Offers Real-time Monitoring, Identify Verification and Safeguards So Young Kids can Learn Valuable Lessons on the Digital Playground

Today’s kids are growing up in a digital world, and the menu of options available – Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Kik Messenger and so on – requires kids to be 13 or older. Younger kids, aged 7-12, are left to either lie about their age or not play on the digital playground. If kids choose to register with mainstream apps, they are set free in a world designed for and marketed to adults. There is a void of legal, safe options available to them for social messaging.

Why are there age limits? The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act(COPPA) aims to protect children under 13. The rule brings strict requirements and stiff fines ($16,000 per violation) so most companies avoid younger age groups altogether.

Parents struggle to keep up as well. The recent McAfee survey, “Digital Deception: Exploring the Online Disconnect between Parents and Kids,” reports that 52 percent of kids spend six hours a day online, but 80 percent of parents say they don’t have the time or energy to keep up with their children online.

One father-daughter software development team is confident that their newly minted app will ease young kids into the world of social media with the help of their parents as digital coaches.  It started when co-founder and then 8-year-old Annelise Schiebler asked if she could chat with her friends online. Her father, co-founder Andrew Schiebler, was surprised that there wasn’t already a range of options for young kids.

After more research, the father-daughter duo developed Marimba Chat, the first COPPA-certified messaging app for kids. Andrew explained, “There are very few social networking products made for this age group. Our goal is to give elementary school kids a safe place to chat with their friends and family.” Marimba is currently free to download in the App Store.

Marimba is designed to be safe for kids and easy for parents. Highlights include:

  • Identify verification of all new accounts using information from a parent’s government-issued ID.
  • Parents review all invitations and friend connections so they can approve people they trust and block those they don’t.
  • Filters and alerts for geolocation, profanity, and overall security.
  • An ability to monitor chat activity from the parent’s own phone in real-time.
  • Time controls so parents can limit chat hours.

Marimba is the first messaging app certified by kidSAFE, an independent safety seal-of-approval program, to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Co-founder Andrew Schiebler notedseveral key areas in which parents can teach their kids “digital etiquette” so they learn and practice safe methods from the start. “We help parents teach kids about online interaction like appropriate language, how to treat their friends, and what to do if they feel threatened. These life skills are just as critical in the digital arena as they are on the school playground.”

Kids and technology are here to stay. According to Marimba, kids should be supported by carefully designed safeguards so that their experience is both fun and age-appropriate.

Marimba – Our Story, by Annelise

My 8-year-old daughter Annelise wanted to chat with her friends and we couldn’t find a safe solution that didn’t require us to lie about her age. We built this together as a daddy-daughter project. This video tells our story in Annelise's words. Learn more at

Posted by Marimba on Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Additional Marimba Links:


About Marimba

Marimba is a mobile messaging platform designed for children under 13. Co-founders Andrew Schiebler and then 8-year old daughter Annelise Schiebler created Marimba to help parents introduce children to social media. Andrew has 20 years’ experience building software products and startup companies. Annelise is currently in 3rd grade and enjoys karate, basketball, and building software with her dad. For more information about Marimba, visit

Marimba is currently free to download in the App Store.

Credit: Marimba. No compensation was received to post and no review was completed by SoCal City Kids.

“Go Little Tokyo” Campaign Uncovers the Events, Dining and Shopping Experiences that Define Little Tokyo Little Tokyo Community Council Enlists Producers of L.A.’s CicLAvia


Go Little Tokyo introduces a new community led campaign that highlights the unique cultural programs, community events, dining and shopping experiences found in one of Los Angeles’ most vibrant cultural hubs, Little Tokyo. The Go Little Tokyo movement is a project developed by the Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) with support from Metro. The LTCC enlisted Community Arts Resources (CARS), the producers of L.A.’s famed CicLAvia and other acclaimed cultural programs, to produce the Go Little Tokyo campaign.


As Los Angeles transforms and expands its mass transit system and Little Tokyo becomes even more connected through the construction of Metro’s Regional Connector, there is no better time to “Go Little Tokyo” and discover or re-discover one of Los Angeles’ most historically and culturally rich and energetic urban neighborhoods.
Little Tokyo is a cultural melting pot with an abundance of destinations and landmarks in and around the historic walkable neighborhood. Go Little Tokyo will help the public uncover the vibrant cultural programs, community events, dining and shopping experiences that sets this community apart. The campaign will provide visitors and the Little Tokyo community with accessible resources that celebrate the community’s many assets and shares information through a comprehensive website, active social media platforms, self-guided neighborhood tours, dynamic promotional materials and graphic way-finding signage throughout the neighborhood.


“Go Little Tokyo celebrates LA’s cultural diversity and invites the community in to experience one of the most vibrant urban and historic destinations in the area,” commented Aaron Paley, President and co-founder of CARS. “The campaign will help locals and visitors access Little Tokyo and really get to know all that it has to offer.”


For more information regarding Go Little Tokyo, including how to get involved, please email To sign up for the Go Little Tokyo e-newsletter visit

Credit: Go Little Tokyo.

There is Still Time to Sign Up for Adobe Adventures Day Camp! July 27-31

Children will have fun, and learn, at Adobe Adventures, a week of exciting hands-on activities for kids ages 6-10 that focuses on the role of our local clay soil in California history. Children will mix adobe soil with their feet, make sun-dried adobe bricks, and learn how to build an adobe house similar to the historic 1844 Rancho Los Cerritos home. They’ll learn about archaeological artifacts found on the Rancho grounds, and make coiled and pinch pots from clay. They’ll also explore the gardens, paint with watercolors, weave baskets, and learn to tell stories with Native American sign language.


Camp is July 27-31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. The fee is $100 per camper; scholarships may be available. Space is limited, and advance registration is required. For more information, call Jan Shafer at 562-206-2040, or contact her by email at    


Credit: Rancho Los Cerritos.




PINZ Bowling Center, where the stars come out to play, will dedicate a $250,000 revitalization of its 32 lanes on Wednesday, August 5, 2015. Participating in the honorary first bowl, which will “break the ribbon” on the new lanes, will be a host of civic and community leaders, representatives from the Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments and even an appearance by “President Obama”. The festivities at the bowling center, which is located at 12655 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, CA, will begin at 3:00 PM.


“Our new lanes are manufactured by QubicaAMF, based out of Richmond, VA, and feature the very latest technology, allowing bowlers of all levels the opportunity to show their stuff,” said Scott Frager, PINZ’ general manager. The afternoon revelry will include refreshments, mingling with VIPs, and opportunities to win prizes, such as free bowling, PINZ merchandize and gift cards, and Dodgers tickets.


Frager also announced that the August 5 celebration will include the launch of a new community focused program – “Bowling Birthdays Are Best!” – aimed at enriching the lives of less fortunate children and families in the San Fernando Valley. “For starters, we will provide each of our guests with a complimentary raffle ticket and will urge them to buy more, with all proceeds going to our community partner, LA Family Housing (LAFH), which provides much needed shelter for children and families in crisis.” Drawings for prizes will take place throughout the afternoon,” Frager noted. PINZ will also host a complimentary birthday party for children served by LAFH who have birthdays in August, with the inaugural event taking place immediately following the lane dedication. “We will selectively continue to sponsor this free birthday party program during the year,” he continued.

About PINZ Bowling Center

Locally owned and operated since it opened in 1958, PINZ Bowling Center has deep roots in the Los Angeles community. Well known as the premier entertainment destination for celebrities, families, kids – Kids Bowl Free all summer – and adults of all ages, PINZ Bowling Center continues to modernize and improve the facility and customer experience. Often called “The Best Alley in the Valley,” PINZ caters to the needs and desires of the entire Los Angeles community with its 60,000 square feet of entertainment amenities like bowling, a state-of-the-art arcade, a VIP billiards room, a lounge and a full-service food and beverage experience. PINZ is the first choice for private events large and small, including fundraisers.

Credit: PINZ Bowling Center. No compensation was received to post.


About LA Family Housing

LA Family Housing helps families transition out of homelessness and poverty through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services.  Since its inception in 1983, LA Family Housing has become one of the most comprehensive homeless services agencies in Los Angeles. Through community outreach, supportive services, emergency shelter, transitional housing, affordable permanent housing, and permanent supportive housing, clients are provided with the necessary tools and resources to move towards self-sufficiency.  LA Family Housing helps more than 3,500 people transition out of homelessness and poverty each year.