Archives for October 16, 2015

Nordstrom Rack Opens at Best Plaza in Cerritos on 10/22!

Thursday, October 22 – Store Opening “Rally at The Rack”

  • Doors open to the public at 9 a.m.!

RALLY AT THE RACK Starting at 8 a.m. we will kick things off with music, coffee and breakfast treats. Customers 18 and older can enter for a chance to win one of 30 $100 gift cards. One customer will win a $1,000 shopping spree and early access to shop the store. The “Rule the Rack” winner will be drawn and announced at 8:25 a.m.
WHEN: Thursday, October 22, doors open at 9 a.m. (Rally at the Rack begins at 8 a.m.) WHERE: 11111 183RD STREET CERRITOS, CA 90703-5415 PHONE: (562) 565-6025 SIZE: ~34,000 sq. ft.

REGULAR STORE HOURS: Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. & Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.


Customers will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of (30) $100 gift cards. Plus, one lucky winner will win a $1,000 shopping spree through our Rule the Rack sweepstakes (that winner is drawn at 8:25 a.m.).

COMPLIMENTARY TOTE The first 1,000 customers who make a purchase at the new Nordstrom Rack will receive a complimentary Nordstrom Rack tote as a gift.

WHAT IS NORDSTROM RACK:  Nordstrom Rack is the off-price division of Nordstrom, Inc. offering on-trend, of-the-moment clearance merchandise from Nordstrom stores and as well as items purchased specially for Nordstrom Rack. The store offers significant savings on great brands like Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, Trina Turk and Vince Camuto at 30-70% off.


Credit: Nordstrom Rack.


DOGTOLOGY: Live. Bark. Believe by Jeff Lazarus A Must-Read for laughter and to find out if you are a Dogtologist!


I admit it….I am now one of those Dog parents who simply adores her pup!  So, I found the title of this book quite intriguing!

Have you ever bailed on your friends to stay home with the dog? Does your dog own more designer clothes than you? Do your Facebook and Instagram posts boast more pics of the dog than the humans in the family? Than your own human children?! Oh My Dog! You might be a Dogtologist, but don’t worry, you are in great company:

Dog-tol-o-gy (noun)

  1. The belief in Dog
  2. The system of rituals, practices, and behaviors engaged in by Dogtologists

Now, I don’t know if I take more photos of my dog than my son but yes, more than any other humans!

Why are so many humans obsessed not only with having dogs, but also with talking about dogs, watching YouTube videos of dogs, decorating their iPads with dog paw prints, even purchasing an extra cable package for Dog TV?  People devote so much time and income to grooming, training, feeding, boarding, entertaining, praising and exercising their dogs. Why? That’s what Dogtologists do!  With tongue planted firmly in cheek, DOGTOLOGY: Live. Bark. Believe by Jeff Lazarus (Publication: June 2015; Greenleaf Book Group Press; Pets/Dogs/Humor; Hardcover: $19.95) tells man’s longstanding, fanatical devotion to the dog. A whimsical, satirical celebration of the relationship between dogs and humans, Dogtology will resonate with dog lovers because they all engage in the same system of rituals, practices and behaviors personified by Dogtologists the world over.

I received a copy of this book and found it entertaining and  Yes, I found out that I am one of those Dogtologists and I may just have many friends that are too!

Each chapter in Dogtology reveals additional proof that humans have a deep connection to their four-legged furry companions. With nine chapters with titles such as:  The Book of Bones, The Book of Barks and The Book of Hydrants, along with an informative Furminology section and the Sunday School for Dogtologists that serves as the FAQ for the book, readers will undoubtedly see a reflection of their own dog loving behaviors in these pages.

This is such a fun book and would make a great book for gift giving to other Dogtologists during the holiday season. Recommend for adults. And, Yes, I do like saying that word..Dogtologists!

At this moment…I am thinking of gifts I can give my pup when he turns 1 next month!

It’s ok … enjoy your relationship with your dog. Chances are your dog considers you as the pet and most definitely enjoys taking you for a daily walk. In fact, dogs give humans the license to take all the best parts of themselves and unleash them onto the world. The moment a person snaps a collar onto the dog, it gives that person a license to a more enjoyable life with the dog– a playful, free spirit who runs naked in the grass.  A huge part of why humans love dogs, praise dogs and admire dogs is not so much for the qualities dogs possess, but for the qualities they bring out in people. So, chew on that!

You can also find this book

About the Author:

Inspired by his BFF, Roamy, Jeff Lazarus bonded with this stray pup who had the cutest face ever – and a personality to match. Olympic athlete, President of the Canine Mensa Society, the James Dean of dogs, and a performer, much like himself. Jeff notes, “he became my confidant, my sidekick. I found I could be truer with him than with anyone else; so I wanted to hang with him day and night. He became my refuge, my sanity, my partner in crime.”

Jeff has an MBA from Pepperdine and a B.A. in speech communication from Cal State University, Long Beach. With over twenty years of experience in sales, marketing, and scientific consulting at Merck & Co. Inc., Lazarus has been inducted into the Merck Hall of Fame and is a five-time winner of the Vice President’s Award. He has taught public speaking and marketing at the university level, performed in various theater groups, played in a rock band, and coached championship youth baseball and soccer teams. Dogtology: Live. Bark. Believe. is the first in a series of dog-themed empowerment books, with his next title, Listen Like a Dog: And Make Your Mark on the World publishing next year. For more information about his books and other Dogtology-themed products by Jeff Lazarus, please visit his website:

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

Easy, Healthy Gluten-Free Snacks for Kids, Travel and People on the go Wild Garden Hummus is a Must-Buy!

Traditional Hummus-Sea Salt Pita Chips    Traditional Hummus-Sea Salt Quinoa Chips

Looking for healthier option snacks that are great for travel and busy-on-the go life styles? The answer? Wild Garden Snack Box to Go!

Wild Garden offers all-natural, healthy snacks for families on the go as they do not require any refrigeration. They offer a full line of gluten-free hummus and crackers and are perfect to take everywhere: school lunches, work snacks, hiking, triathlons and even some of the most remote places in the world! They can be found at Albertsons, Meijer, Giant, Jewel-Osco, Kroger, Publix, Target and many other retailers across the country.

I love the taste and that it is 25-50% less Calories than other leading Hummus!  It is also All Natural/Gluten Free and so convenient to take Hummus to Go!  You can take it anywhere and it requires no refrigeration before opening.  It is a healthier option and a good source or protein.  I also love that it is low in fat and 0g of trans fat.

New! Wild Garden Hummus Snack Packs: $1.99 – $2.39

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



BODYARMOR sports drink is a Must-Have! Great for taking to the gym and on hikes!



BODYARMOR – a natural sports drink made with coconut water and no flavors, colors or sweeteners, making it a better alternative to other leading sports drinks.

I received samples and was surprised at the great taste! I also like that it is low in sodium and has no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. It is available in 7 great-tasting flavors (Fruit Punch, Strawberry Banana, Orange Mango, Mixed Berry, Grape and Tropical Punch, Lemon Lime).  My favorite flavor is Strawberry Banana! This is the perfect drink to take with you to the gym or on hikes! It is also high in vitamins and potassium. It actually has more potassium-packed electrolytes than other sports drinks.

An Interesting Fact:

  • Pro athletes who drink BODYARMOR: NFL’s Rob Gronkowski, Richard Sherman, Andrew Luck, MLB’s Mike Trout, Buster Posey, NBA’s James Harden, Kevin Love, WNBA’s Skylar Diggins, and US Women’s Soccer Champion Sydney Leroux.

Available locally at: Ralph’s, Target, Stater Bros and Alberton’s, Vons.


Hydration Tips by Rebecca Scritchfield MA, RD, ACSM HFS. Scritchfield is a mom and sports nutritionist who works with athletes of all ages and abilities, including professional and recreational athletes.


Dehydration is the #1 cause of sports performance problems and injuries in youth athletes.  Even mild dehydration will impact your child’s strength, energy and coordination. Preventing dehydration is easy with these simple tips.


  1. Fruits and vegetables are over 90% water. Fill up half of your child’s plate with fruits and vegetables at meal time and include them in snacks to help them stay nourished and hydrated.
  2. Keep a filled water bottle or BODYARMOR with your child wherever you go and drink often, both with meals and between meals.
  3. If exercising after school, pack pre-exercise nutrition like banana and peanut butter or a cheese sandwich and a bottle of BODYARMOR to fuel up for the training.
  4. During activity lasting over 60 minutes, drink water or BODYARMOR every 15 to 20 minutes, if possible, or drink BODYARMOR between exercise bouts.
  5. After exercise lasting over 60 minutes, provide fluids as early as possible. BODYARMOR helps replace electrolytes lost and helps refuel muscles with carbohydrates


Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post.


The World’s 1st App To Help Young Children Fall Back to Sleep – IT’S SLEEPHERO TO THE RESCUE!!!


Sleepless nights for parents with young kids will hopefully be a thing of the past with the new app – SleepHero.  SleepHero came about after a dad experienced what most new parents endure – crying babies and sleepless nights. He tried many techniques, but came to realize that ten minutes of daddy’s singing sent his son back to sleep quite effectively. This of course meant that a bleary-eyed daddy was still required in person to deliver the dulcet tones. What was needed, he thought, was a robot to step in at night to handle all singing requests from the little person. And so began the design of an app that would unashamedly trick his son into thinking that daddy was on night call to recite endless renditions of Twinkle Twinkle and Rock-a-bye Baby. SleepHero allows parents to record their own voices into their iPhone, iPad, or iPod – and the recording of talking, singing, or even just shushing is then automatically activated when the child begins to stir or make noise at night, gently soothing them back to sleep.

Although I didn’t try this one sounds like a must needed app! I do know someone who checked it out and their son loved it! Recommended for younger kids…the younger the better!

Available on the App store.

Self Disclosure: No compensation was received to post.

What Can You Make With A 5-Gallon Bucket? A Lot With This New Book!


Quarto Publishing released the new 5-GALLON BUCKET BOOK: DIY Projects, Hacks, and Upcycles which includes 60+ DIY projects for homeowners, gardeners, tinkerers, and more. This one is a Must-Buy for any adult who loves to do DIY projects. I was impressed with the easy to follow instructions and all the different projects!


The five gallon bucket is an amazing invention –remarkably strong, they’ll hold up to high pressure and heavy loads. They can take a beating with getting bent out of shape.  They can be cut, melted, glued, drilled and more, making them amazingly adaptive.  These simple, handled containers can do so much more than just carry materials from one place to another.  They can be upcycled into a mind-boggling array of new conveniences and handy inventions.


Five-gallon buckets are ubiquitous and cheap (indeed, they are often free). But did you know they can also be hacked, hot-rodded, reengineered, and upcycled to create dozens of useful DIY projects for homeowners, gardeners, small-scale farmers, and preppers? The new 5-Gallon Bucket Book contains 60+ ideas that put these humble and hard-working mainstays to work past their prime and keep them out of landfills. Simple step-by-step instructions, as well as parts lists and images of the completed projects, make sure you will have fun and love the results of your work.


The wealth of projects collected in this book includes inventions that range from useful to just plain fun, and from as simple as it gets to fairly involved. These can serve apartment dwellers (Small-Room Air Conditioner, page 12); homeowners (Cyclone Dust Collector, page 34) and their children (Air Cannon, page 94); small farmers (Chicken Feeder, page 72); hobbyists (Post-Mounted Birdhouse, page 137); and even back-to-the-land homesteaders and survivalists (Camping and Composting Toilet, page 48).  The odds are good you’ll find something to make that’s fun and handy!

One of my favorites is the Child’s Bucket Seat!




Time: 1 hour | Difficulty: Moderate | Expense: $$





Measuring tape

Cordless drill and bits


Carpenter’s compass

Staple gun and staples

Hot glue gun and glue


5-gal. bucket

80-grit sandpaper

100-grit sandpaper

1/2″ pipe wrap insulation

Fabric (16″ square)

Fabric adhesive (liquid or spray)

1/2″ plywood scrap (at least 14″ square)

2″ foam sheet (at least 14″ square)

Loose cotton batting

2″ flathead wood screws


Any toddler would be delighted to have his or her very own bucket seat. It will become a wonderful place to sit at a low table coloring or playing with blocks, and it can even be moved to the living room so that youngsters can have their very own place of honor to sit and watch their favorite TV programs or videos. But given the durability and ruggedness of a five-gallon bucket, you can also turn this into a nice place for your little one to sit outside, enjoy a little sun, and get the daily dose of vitamin D as he or she reads a picture book.

Although the construction of this tiny seat is not difficult, you will have to pay attention to the details. It’s especially important to completely sand all the cut edges smooth. You don’t want a sharp plastic edge cutting your child’s leg or back. There are also a number of ways to add to the comfort of the seat. You can easily increase the seat’s padding to make it even more comfortable and, instead of the rim padding outlined in this project, you can make a fully padded back by gluing down padding across the entire surface and then wrapping it in fabric.

You can also customize the seat to suit the sitter. Pick out fabric with your child’s favorite superhero or cartoon figure, or just use a brightly colored pattern. You can also paint the base to match (see Painting Your Bucket, page 56), complement or contrast the fabric, and stencil it with designs such as stars or even the child’s name. You can even adapt the project to make the seat a bit more useful by making it removable, which will open up the space underneath (see Smart Seat Mod, page 61).



  1. Use the Sharpie to mark a line under the

lowest ridge on the bucket, all the way

around to behind the handles on both

sides. Use a straightedge to draw a line from

this top line, down to about 3″ above the

bottom of the bucket, on both sides.

  1. Measure and mark points around the front

of the bucket, 3″ up from the bottom. Mark

a point every 1 to 2″ around to the opposite

vertical line. Use a flexible straightedge to

draw a line through these marks connecting

the two vertical lines. Draw a gentle curve

at the lower corners where the bottom

horizontal line meets each vertical line.


  1. Drill an access hole at one corner where the

vertical line meats the top horizontal line.

Use this hole to start the jigsaw cut. Follow

the line as closely as possible with the

jigsaw, across the back, down one side,

across the front, and then up the other side.


  1. Sand the cut edges of the seat, starting with

80-grit sandpaper and progressing to

100-grit. Make sure all the edges are smooth

and free of any snags or sharp points.

  1. Cut one piece of pipe wrap insulation long

enough to run up one side of the back,

around the top of the back, and back down

the other side of the back. Cut a long thin

piece of fabric to wrap around the insulation.

The fabric should be wide enough so

that the ends can be folded up into the

wedge of the pipe insulation slit.

  1. Lay the pipe along the center of the fabric.

Apply a line of fabric adhesive along the

fabric edges at each side. Wrap the fabric

up on each side, folding the ends into the

slit, and pressing tightly along the fabric

adhesive. Set aside to let dry.

Measure the diameter of the seat, from the

front cut edge to the back wall. Transfer this

measurement to the plywood scrap, and

draw a circle using the compass. Cut out

the plywood circle with a jigsaw, using the

method described on page 23.

  1. Use the plywood circle as a template to cut

a corresponding foam circle. Cut a large

fabric square for the seat, about 4″ larger

than the diameter of the foam. Glue the

foam to the plywood with fabric adhesive.

Mound cotton batting on top of the foam

and then lay the fabric over the top. Collect

the fabric at the edges, flip the seat, and,

holding opposite sides, staple the edges of

the fabric with the fabric held snug (it is

much easier to do this with a helper).

  1. Snug the seat down level inside the bucket.

Drill 6 pilot holes equidistant around the

perimeter of the bucket, into the edge of

the plywood (A). Drive wood screws

through the holes to secure the seat. Lay a

bead of hot glue along the inside edges of

the fabric-wrapped pipe insulation and

press it into place (B). Let the glue dry

before letting your child use the chair.

1-BucketSeat6    1-BucketSeat8   1-BucketSeat9A


It’s easy to make this handy chair even more useful by making the seat removable so that you can use the space underneath for storage. Instead of screwing the seat in place, measure and cut three two-by-two-inch pieces long enough to run f rom the bottom to one-half inch below the edge of the chair. Place the supports equidistant around the inside of the bucket, and drill pilot holes through the outside and into the wood. Screw the bucket to the wood f rom the outside, using two-inch flathead wood screws. Sew or glue a small fabric handle to the back edge of the seat, and push it down into place over the supports. Now your child can hide a favorite toy or other precious items inside a comfy chair.


Photo Credit: Chris Marshall.  Self Disclosure: I received a free sample of the book to facilitate this post.

Trick or Treat for Pups with Havepaws Jerky Chip Treats!

TurkeyDog   ChickenDog

This past year, I have become one of those new puppy Moms! Yes, I admit that I am even thinking of dressing up our pup (if he cooperates) for the upcoming Halloween holiday. Now, we know that candy is not good and actually can be deadly so that is a definite no way! But, I do feel that furry family members also deserve treats!

Bink (our pup) was thrilled to try these ones out for us!

Havepaws Jerky Chip Treats were a hit! They are available in Talkin’ Turkey and Cheeky Chicken flavors. They are 100% USA sourced and made, designed for pets and made from natural ingredients. They are also free of grains and gluten and are 100% Breast Meat. Bink loved them! I think that his favorite was the Cheeky Chicken. Both flavors are available for cats and dogs in 2 oz and 4 oz sizes.

Find them at the store today! Check out their website for more information.


Bink loves them!

Self Disclosure:  I received free samples to facilitate this post.



October Top Book Selections!

Every month, I receive many books and I will be choosing my favorites!

Here are SoCal City Kids choices for October!

The first one is a really delightful and magical story! The New chapter book Seaside by children’s author Wylde Scott has been available since October 1st! This one is great for ages 6-10. Available on-line and in bookstores and libraries nationwide October 1st.

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Every boy in Seaside wants to be one of Blackbeard’s Boys. From the time ten year-old Robert Grace O’Malley could hold his very first fishing pole, it was all he thought about. Every captain of every ship for generations had been one, and he would do anything to prove he belonged. Bobby sets off to complete a set of challenges put forth by Mario, the cruel leader of Blackbeard’s boys, who seems intent on keeping him out.


Bobby dreams of being just like his idol, Antonio Bonicelli, the most feared and respected captain in the village. Boncelli has faced the worst of the sea and captured just about every beast imaginable, except for one, the giant octopus.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book and it is an exciting and fun story with a great plot! I highly recommend!

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For more information on Wylde Scott visit

Books that Let You and Your Kids Explore the Wonders of Animals and Life Around the World.


This is a really beautiful book for kids of all ages and even adults will love looking at it! Once you open the pages of this book,  you will be reaching out to touch the images that nearly jump off of the pages. Open the gates of the Wonder Garden to explore five of Earth’s most extraordinary habitats, each filled with incredible creatures and epic scenery. Trek through the Amazon Rainforest, travel to the Chihuahuan Desert, dive in the Great Barrier Reef, delve deep into the Black Forest and stand on the roof of the world – the Himalayan Mountains – to see nature at its wildest. Breathtaking, engraved illustrations bring to life Earth’s spectacular Wonder Garden.

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Animals have always been a source of excitment for kids. Their names are fun to say (“elephant!” “hippopotamus!”), their sounds are fun to imitate (“roar!” “ribbit!”), and they come in all shapes and sizes. Creaturepedia is setup perfectly for a daily bedtime story and learning adventure all in one. Meet ‘the architects’, the ‘noisy neighbors’, the ‘homebodies’, the ‘forever faithfuls’, the ‘champions of forgetfulness’ and more in this alphabetically ordered encyclopedia.  This one is a fun book for kids of all ages! I found this one to be quite unique!

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This oversized format is perfectly kid-sized in its ability to inspire a sense of adventure in little world explorers. The full page illustrations include the types of details that make kids want to make pretend passports and pack their bags for an imaginary trip on a plane. Tip: kitchen chairs are great for setting up pretend airplane seating and Atlas of Adventures is fantastic airplane reading material.  This one is great for travel and travel minded kids! I recommend for all ages.

All three of the above books can be found on

This next one is a really wonderful Picture book for younger kids. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Boo's Beard 9781634502078

Boo’s Beard by Rose Mannering (author) and Bethany Straker (illustrator)

Because Tom can’t read facial expressions, he doesn’t understand the other children, and they don’t understand him. Playing at the park can be lonely sometimes, but luckily Tom has his dog, Boo, and Boo is easy to understand. She wags her tail when she is happy and whines when she is sad.


One day, Boo gets her beard all knotted up in the bushes. A little girl named Lydia sees Boo and stops to talk to Tom. Boo’s beard has been tangled into a big smile, and Lydia explains to Tom that it’s the expression that someone makes when she or she is happy. She twists Boo’s beard into a variety of other expressions, explaining each one as she goes. When Lydia invites Tom and Boo to play with the other kids, they join her, and by the end, Tom understands the meaning of his own smile.

I love how this one is informative and is also fun to read! 

According to the CDC, one in sixty-eight American children have an autism spectrum disorder, which can lead to children having difficulty reading facial expressions. With Boo’s Beard (Sky Pony Press; October 6, 2015), children who struggle with identifying facial expressions will be instructed using a friendly dog character, and those who do not will be introduced to and taught tolerance for the fact that some people do have this problem.

I love how this one shows different facial expressions and in such a fun way!

Available on , B&N and IndieBound.

This next one is a Must-Have for any Lego fan!


Bricksy: Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art

by Jeff Friesen

Skyhorse Publishing | September 8, 2015 | 136 pages | ISBN: 9781634504799 | $14.99 | For All Ages


In Bricksy, Friesen gives new meaning to Banksy’s gritty street art by using clean, modernist bricks. Bricksy goes beyond transforming the medium by expanding the scenes it plays on and adding a humorous twist to each one. Each of the eighty-four photographs is wittily captioned, delightful to look at, and appropriate for a wide range of ages. You’ve never seen Banksy like this before! This is the perfect gift for Banksy and LEGO lovers of all ages!

My son and I enjoyed reading this fun, unique and very creative book! It really is a must-buy for all Lego fans…no matter their age!

Available at, B&N and IndieBound.

Self Disclosure: I received advanced copies of the above books to review. Photos and press info supplied courtesy of the Publishers/Authors.