Archives for August 31, 2015

Port Town Available as E-Book and Paperback Vivid new history book tells the story of Long Beach and its Port


Port Town — the epic new history of how the people of Long Beach built, defended and profited from their port — is now available in e-book and paperback formats.

Written by maritime journalists George and Carmela Cunningham, the book debuted on June 20 at the Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s 12th annual “Grape Expectations” benefit fundraiser.

Port Town, which is already getting positive reviews, is available in Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon. The Kindle version is $1.99 and the paperback is $11.89. The book is also available as a free download on iTunes as an iBook.

Limited edition leatherette, hardcover copies will be available for sale for $45 at ”Port Town: A Historical Photo Exhibit” at the Historical Society of Long Beach gallery, 4260 Atlantic Ave., opened on Aug. 7 and continuing through Nov. 6.

All proceeds from the hardcover book sales will benefit the Historical Society.

I received a hardcover copy of this impressive book and I truly am enjoying reading about the history of the port. It is a very informative and interesting book and I highly recommend!

Self Disclosure: I received a free book to facilitate this post. No other compensation was received to post.

ABC Monsters: Starring ABCD – Fun, Creative, Supporting Early Language Skill Building


This DVD from N Circle Entertainment, a leader in children’s entertainment, has compiled four episodes of this charming TV show for your preschoolers. Produced by the French production company La Pompadour, it pairs letters of the alphabet with a corresponding, and not too scary, movie monster.


These four stories follow a crew of big, hairy and not too scary “Monsters.”  Twenty six cuddly ABC Monsters live within the walls of Capital Castle, each representing a letter of the alphabet. Should any of the monsters go missing for longer than a day, all the letters will be wiped clean from every book in Capital Town, so it’s very important to make sure that all the ABC Monsters are safely back in Alphabet Gardens before the sun goes down. This isn’t as easy as it sounds as the ABC Monsters are always curious and happy creatures so they tend to wander off from Alphabet Gardens and get lost in the process.


KIDS FIRST! Reviewer, child development specialist Eli B. comments, “What a great DVD! This title offers singing, dancing, puzzles and lots of character/viewer interactions throughout the DVD. This did supports inquiry and problem solving. The viewer is prompted to participate in phonic skills and word building via puzzles, games and songs. The animation is clear and colorful and fun to watch. This title is all about learning the alphabet. Each episode is centered around a specific letter. Within that episode, there are fill in the blank word games, songs and repetition of phonics. Any child learning the alphabet would enjoy this DVD. This title is visually very appealing! The animation is great and the songs are original and fun. The DVD cover and box are colorful and have a raised image that makes it stand out.”


ABC Monsters: Starring ABCD

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! youth reviewers, ages 4 and 6.

The kids really loved it. They sat there forever and were completely entertained. “ABC Monsters is about some kids who try to find Monster letters like one that looks like a G. They find all the letters so that they don’t disappear. The monsters do things that start with their letter, like practicing arrows for A and looking for a bell for B. They sing songs when it’s the end, and they ask questions. Actually the kids ask the questions in it. The monsters were nice. Kids would learn the ABC song and a little bit of reading and spelling from watching this. The monsters were funny, and I think kids will like that.” “We liked that they were trying to find stuff. It was like a mystery treasure hunt. It was exciting, and we liked all the colors. The people in it were nice, and we thought the dancing and singing was fun! We really, really liked it!



Reviewed by Haley P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12


ABC Monsters helps young children learn the difference between all the letters in the alphabet through a fun adventure similar to Dora the Explorer. It captures their small attention span in an exciting way that children can easily relate to. There are four fun episodes on this DVD for kids to learn from.


This DVD stars letters A, B, C and D with 20-minute episodes about each one of these letters. The ABC Monsters live in Capital Castle along with King Wordy, Queen Scribble, their daughter Alice and friend Brian.  There is also Cherry Berry who looks like a fairy that assists in finding the letters when they go missing.  The hairy ABC Monsters spend all their time happily in Alphabet Garden except when one goes missing.  During the adventures of trying to find the missing Monster, kids learn different words that begin with the letter of the episode.  There is also an ABC book that gives clues to the direction of the missing ABC Monster.  While looking for the missing Monster, the child will also have to fill in the blanks for the clues as a part of the adventure.


My favorite part is when Cherry Berry lines up all the ABC Monsters to see who is missing by singing the Alphabet song.  It reminds me of how much fun I used to have singing that song in preschool.  The name “Queen Scribble” made me laugh so she is my favorite character.  The graphics are extremely colorful which will captures the attention of a child and in each adventure kids learn new words along the way.


This DVD is made specifically for preschoolers and helps with the learning process of the alphabet. Even younger toddlers can benefit from this learning tool. It is a great fit for ages 1 through 5 and both boys and girls will enjoy it because its fun to watch and they can sing along too. I rate this DVD a four out of five “dazzling” stars! ABC Monsters: Starring ABCD is in stores now.


N Circle’s Creed: We believe in the importance of preparing your child for school. Early learning skills empower children for future success. NCircle offers DVDs that engage your child with entertainment while teaching reading readiness, science concepts, problem solving tactics, social skills and environmental awareness. NCircle Entertainment’s award-winning children’s programs offer Entertainment That Educates!


KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions interviews Mary Flynn, CEO, N Circle Entertainment about ABC Monsters.


Trailer for ABC Monsters: Starring ABCD:


Credit: KIDS FIRST!,


GoGlass Glass Baby Bottle is a great baby shower gift!


I really like this and think it would make a great gift for a new mom and baby. It’s really cute and it also seems quite sturdy and durable. The elephant on it is really cute! I also like that it is BPA Free and comes with an extra nipple. I do not have a little one at home but gave this to a friend to try out for me and she says that it is one of her favorite baby shower gifts. She is impressed that it doesn’t leak and is really cute! She also really likes the easy grip handles.



You can purchase on

Self Disclosure: I received a free item in exchange for an unbiased review.

Are you prepared for emergencies? September is National Preparedness Month

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In July, there was a  launch of a new public service advertisement (PSA) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Ready Campaign to raise awareness among all people about the importance of being prepared for emergencies.

While the PSA targets everyone, “We Prepare Every Day” is the first in a series of videos that aim to deliver a strong preparedness message by showing people with disabilities taking charge to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies.

The launch of the new PSA coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, and it precedes National Preparedness Month in September.  The PSA provides equal access to all viewers by including open captioning, a certified deaf interpreter, and audio description for viewers who are blind or have low vision.

Created pro-bono by Free Range Studios, “We Prepare Every Day” shows whole community and individual emergency and disaster preparedness as a part of everyday planning. One of the goals of the PSA is to encourage all Americans to “Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved.” Resources and guidelines on how to do this can be found at

Be Informed
First, you need to be informed about potential emergencies and disasters where you live, work, or visit. Then, you can go about making a plan that fits you and your loved ones.

Make a Plan
Making a family emergency communication plan with your friends and family before a disaster occurs is important.  Why? Because it will help you answer questions: how will you get in touch with each other? How will your family get to a safe place?  It’s important to make a plan now so that you will know where to meet, how to find each other following a disaster, and how to communicate in an emergency that works for your family’s specific communication needs.

Build a Kit
While each person’s abilities and needs vary, everyone can take steps to prepare for all types of emergencies. By evaluating your own individual needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.  For example, if being without access to medications, help, or other services you need to maintain your health, safety and independence for even a couple of hours or days could be devastating, and you need to be prepared more than ever.

Get Involved
People with disabilities are encouraged to take a seat at their community and local government- level planning tables.  Planning for emergencies and disasters with people who have disabilities and others with access and functional needs rather than planningfor them will allow us to understand and address the needs of the whole community in a disaster.

Free guide available for download here:

P.S. Ready is a national PSA campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. Since the launch of in 2003, the campaign has received more than $1.1 billion in donated media.  We hope you will join the thousands of media partners who have donated space to support this important public service campaign.

Additional Resources:

  • Learn how to create evacuation and emergency communication
  • Download printable family communications plans for your children here:
  • Resources about natural disasters in your area: has information about natural disasters including Hurricanes, Floods, Earthquakes, Tornados, Wildfires and Winter Storms as well as tips about how to prepare.

Credit: Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Ready Campaign. No compensation was received.

Ace Hardware’s Miracle Bucket Promotion For Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

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On Saturday, September 5th, customers at Ace stores across the country who make a five dollar donation to CMN will receive a limited edition five-gallon bucket and receive 20 percent off most everything that fits in the bucket. One hundred percent of the donations will benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Ace has been a proud partner of CMN since 1991 and, together with Ace customers, retailers, vendors and team members, has raised more than $59 million for CMN Hospitals across the country. This year, Ace has set a goal to raise $1 million in 2015.
Parker (see photo above) is the third-annual Ace All Star and the face of its 2015 campaigns for CMN Hospitals. He is serving as the face of the campaign, in stores across the nation to support CMN Hospitals. 

A few details on Parker:

  • At 20 weeks into Crysie Grelecki’s pregnancy with Parker, doctors at Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta, a member of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals), diagnosed him with a skull deformity, which would lead Parker to be born with almost no brain matter.
  • A team of neurologists helped Parker’s parents determine a treatment plan, and by the time Parker was 20 months old, he had undergone seven successful surgeries at Children’s and was on his way to recovery.
  • Parker is now a very social 6-year-old who loves to talk, dance and cheer on his Auburn Tigers and Florida State Seminoles.

Credit:  Ace Hardware and Miracle Network Hospitals. No compensation was received to post.

CBF San Dimas Returns with Two Days of Craft Beers, Food and Music

With less than one month until the 2015 California Beer Festival (CBF) in San Dimas, CBF is working hard to book the best bands, food vendors and breweries to perform and serve at their first two-day festival at Frank G. Bonelli Park.

CBF is California’s largest travelling beer festival. As they have done so over the past 4 years, the event will showcase the best microbreweries and ice-cold craft beers on tap from across the Golden State, including Southern California favorites such asAlosta Brewing Company, Angel City Brewery, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Karl Strauss Brewing Co. and the official beer of CBF, Burt’s Honey Wheat.

Other confirmed participants include Eureka! Brewing, Mendocino Brewing Co.,Lagunitas Brewing Company, Einstok Beer Co., Woodchuck Cider, The RePUBlic pouring for Three Weavers Brewery, Enegren Brewing Co., Chaucer Cellars,Fireman’s Brew, Cerveza Mexicali Beer, Wicks Brewing Co. and St. Killian Importing. More breweries will be announced later.

CBF understands that great beer needs great food. Delicious food options will include Burt’s Chicken Fingers & Famous Garlic Fries, Burt’s Bad Ass Burgers, corn dogs and deep fried pretzels. Twisted Foods and TLC’s Sidewalk Café will also be vending for even more variety.

Great music has always been a part of CBF, and this year’s lineup of performers is sure to get the audience grooving as they enjoy brews and food. Bands performing during Saturday’s Craft Beer Heaven include:

Zeal Levin: A dynamic singer and guitarist from Oakland, Zeal Levin draws inspiration from R&B, rock, soul, jazz, blues, world and classical music to create unique musical experiences and performances.

KALYDE: With meaningful lyrics combined with a vibration of reggae and rock, KALYDE is composed of four musicians on a mission to create performances that soothe, excite and inspire.

The Bomb: This band from Santa Barbara comes from R&B beginnings and now features a variety of musical talents to get the audience dancing and moving. The Bomb will also be performing on Sunday.

As the event continues into Sunday’s Hamburgers and Hops Festival, CBF invites the audience to bring their lawn chairs and blankets for the best views of the stage. Bands performing on Sunday include:

Upstream: In a unique musical experience, Upstream has been spreading their message of love and positivity through Caribbean music, incorporating reggae, calypso, soca and steel drums.

DSB, An American Journey: Since 2009, DSB has become the top Journey tribute band in the world, promising to deliver the signature sounds of Journey every time for a nostalgic concert experience that will keep the audience “believin’”.

Foreverland: Enjoy an electrifying musical performance Foreverland, a nationally renowned 14-piece tribute to Michael Jackson, as they recreate the King of Pop’s biggest hits from the Jackson 5 era all the way through the end of his incredible career.

The California Beer Festival in San Dimas will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13, 2015 at Puddingstone Lake in Frank G. Bonelli Park at 120 Via Verde, San Dimas, CA 91773. Tickets are available for purchase online now. Tickets will also be sold at the door while supplies last. Tickets need to be printed in advance and brought to the front gate for entry. All ticket sales are final. Beer sampling will not be available on Sunday, though craft beer will be available for purchase. A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation, which provides financial support to student athletes to assist in their pursuit of both scholastic and athletic success

Individuals must be 21 years of age or older with a valid ID to enter the California Beer Festival on Saturday and to consume alcohol. For more information and a full list of participating breweries, please visit

About California Beer Festival
Since 2009, California Beer Festival has become the event of the year for any beer and food lover. California Beer Festival’s main goal is to shine a light on the craft beer movement and celebrate great beer. For one low price, guests will receive a souvenir tasting cup to sample some of the best craft beers from around the state and watch electrifying musical performances. California Beer Festival offers a chance for guests to expand their minds and educate themselves on new and old styles of craft beer. Individuals must be 21 years of age or older with a valid ID to sample beer. California Beer Festival also holds annual events in Ventura, Santa Cruz and Marin County.

Credit: CBF.