Archives for October 21, 2015

Kidgits Boo Bash and Trick or Treating at The Shops at Mission Viejo


Spiders, bats, black cats and more… Let’s see what Halloween has in store! Your favorite little ghosts and goblins are invited to The Shops at Mission Viejo for a fun and safe event at the Boo Bash on Saturday, October 24. Children of all ages are encouraged to sport their best Halloween costume to haunt The Shops at Mission Viejo in search of Halloween fun.

The Shops at Mission Viejo Halloween event, presented by the Simon Kidgits Club, takes place from 10a.m. to noon on the Lower Level, near H&M and Old Navy. Join us for Halloween themed crafts, giveaways, and more. Get ready for spells and potions at an entertaining magic show from magicIAN, which starts at 10:30 a.m.



Families can return to The Shops at Mission Viejo for trick-or-treating at participating retailers on Saturday, October 31from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., though hours vary by retailer. Stop by Guest Services to pick up a flyer with specific store participation and information on candy distribution times, or visit for more info.


Toy weapons and costumes should be worn only during event hours and masks are allowed only on children 12 years old and younger. Come join us in a safe, well-lit environment and grab some goodies from The Shops at Mission Viejo.


The Simon Kidgits Club is a fun and informative program that focuses on health, wellness, education, safety and entertainment for children ages 3-8. The Simon Kidgits Club has kept children and parents alike amused for over a decade with various events and activities while providing incentives for club members, such as special offers, rewards and games.

Credit: Simon Kidgits Club.

Ozeri BP01K CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with Heart Health and Hypertension Indicator is a Must-Buy! Accurate and easy to use!


Looking for a Blood Pressure Monitor?  I received the Ozeri BP01K CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with Heart Health and Hypertension Indicator and love how easy it is to use and that it is portable.  It also stores 180 blood pressure readings (90 x 2 users) with date and time recordings. I also like that it seems very accurate. Actually, I get the exact same readings that I do when I go to the Doctor to check my blood pressure. I have high blood pressure and it is controlled with medication but this is a very helpful product to have.

You can purchase on

Right now they are having a  40% Super Sale.


Ozeri CardioTech BP3T Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor With Hypertension Detection

While supplies last, purchase for only $25.77. No coupon required. Discount applied automatically upon checkout.

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

Los Angeles Zoo Offers Engaging Variety Of Opportunities For Families To Learn About Animals WITH HIGH-VALUE CLASSES FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN OF ALL AGES, INCLUDING ZOO ADMISSION, FROM OCTOBER 2015 TO JUNE 2016


Families enjoying the Los Angeles Zoo
PHOTO CREDIT:   Jamie Pham

Have you ever wanted your family to explore the world of animals, like the many different ways they use their tails?  Or how patterns on fur, feathers, scales, and skin help animals avoid predators?  Or why animals make their homes in unusual locations?  Or which adaptations help certain animals survive extreme cold or heat?  Would you like to get the whole family together for a day of adventure at the Los Angeles Zoo?  The L.A. Zoo introduces four different programs for children and their parents to discover all that and more, including close-up animal encounters, hands-on activities and intriguing talks focusing on the Zoo’s outstanding animal collection, from tiny insects to giant elephants, in a series of classes available now through June 2016.  The TODDLER TOTES series is offered for parents and children between 24 and 35 months old, CRITTERS ‘N’ KIDS is for parents and children between three and four years old,ZOO EXPLORERS is open to children between five and six years old, and FAMILY CLASSES are for parents and youngsters of all ages.  Participants can attend as many or few classes as fits their schedule, and they may choose from several different days and times for each.  All classes include free Zoo admission, which provides an excellent value for a full day of fun.  The complete schedule of programs is available at

“Whether your kids are toddlers or tweens, there’s a class for your family,” says Heather Shields, Los Angeles Zoo Education Manager.  “A main part of the Zoo’s mission is to provide and promote connections between people and wildlife, so our classes are not only engaging and fun, but they also offer in-depth information about the Zoo’s animals, biodiversity, and the world in which we live.”

TODDLER TOTES, for parents and children between 24 and 35 months old, take place on Wednesdays, Friday and Saturdays, 9:15 to 10:30 am, and on Fridays and Saturdays, 11 am to 12:15 pm.  Offering educational, interactive adventures to help youngsters discover the ways different animals use parts of their bodies, these classes include WIGGLE SQUIGGLE ZOO (November 4, 6 and 7) focusing on the different ways animals use their bodies to move.  FASCINATING FEET (December 2, 4 and 5) employs hands-on games and outdoor adventures to show how animals use theirs.  EYES ON THE SIDE (February 3, 4 and 5) explores the world of eyes and how animals see the world.  THE NOSE KNOWS (March 2, 4 and 5) explains differences and similarities among the noses in the animal world.  I’M ALL EARS (March 30, April 1 and 2) teaches facts about how different animals hear.  And finally, TERRIFIC TAILS (May 4, 6 and 7) utilizes Zoo adventures, an animal encounter and stories to illustrate the ways different animals’ tails serve many purposes.  Tickets for Toddler Tots classes are $20 per child/adult pair and $18 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.

CRITTERS ‘N’ KIDS, open to parents and children ages three and four years old, takes participants on a 90-minute exploration of the Zoo’s animal collections on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 9:30 amGO GO GORILLAS (November 13 and 14) explores how – and why — gorillas build nests.  SLITHERING SNAKES (December 9, 11 and 12) provides a chance to learn about and observe the colorful world of snakes.  FABULOUS FLAMINGOS (February 10, 12 and 13) includes stories, a take-home project and an adventure in search of the Zoo’s pink, feathery residents.  LOVABLE LEMURS (March 9, 11 and 12) offers an opportunity to investigate the Zoo’s lemur collection and gather fun facts about these furry creatures.  COOL CATS (April 6, 8 and 9) explores the world of felines, large and small.  The series closes with EXCITING ELEPHANTS May 11, 13 and 14) featuring storytelling, activities and a guided tour of the Zoo’s celebrated Elephants of Asia exhibit.  Critters ‘n’ Kids classes are $27 per child/adult pair and $24 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.

ZOO EXPLORERS, a new program designed for children ages five and six, is a drop-off experience similar to a half day of camp that takes place on Sundays from 9 am to noon and teaches youngsters about different biomes around the world, from deserts to mountains to grasslands to rainforests, and the animals that call these unique habitats their homes.  MOUNTAIN MADNESS (November 1) helps youngsters discover animals that live in the world’s rocky and forested areas and the amazing adaptations that help them survive life in the mountains.  GREAT GRASSLANDS (January 31), introduces animals who call grasslands their home and what it takes to live there.  DELVING INTO THE DESERT (February 28) explores some of the planet’s hottest biomes and teaches the adaptations that keep desert residents — from cactus to camels — cool and protected when temperatures climb into the 100s.  And TROPICAL TREASURES (May 1) looks at the many layers of tropical rainforests, where more than half the plant and animal species in the world make their homes.  Zoo Explorer classes are $35 per child and $30 per child for GLAZA members.

FAMILY CLASSES, another new program, is held on Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 11 am, offering family groups with children of all ages four adventures to explore and learn about animals together.  NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T (October 25) uncovers the secrets of camouflage, where stripes, spots, and blotches create the illusion of invisibility, helping participants discover how patterns on fur, feathers, scales, and skin help animals eat or avoid being eaten.  WINTER WONDERLAND (December 20) reveals how animals stay warm in the winter and the special adaptations that help them survive the cold.  BACKYARD BUDDIES (April 17) provides a chance to discover the variety of wildlife that lives all around us and find out how humans benefit from our wild neighbors, as well as what to do to stay safe while enjoying the wildlife.  The program concludes with HOME SWEET HOME (June 12) which illustrates how and why animals make their homes in certain – even unusual – locations, from dens to nests and hollows to treetops.  Family Classes are $20 per adult/$15 per child (ages 2 to 12) and  $10 per person for GLAZA members; children under two are free.

The landmark LOS ANGELES ZOO AND BOTANICAL GARDENS, drawing 1.6 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered.  Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; an Indian Rhino Encounter direct-contact opportunity; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo; one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world; a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants; and much more.  Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife.  The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children.  As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.  The Zoo’s location in Griffith Park ideally positions it as a convenient destination enjoyed by locals and vacationers of all ages who can visit every day of the year except Christmas Day.

Programming subject to change.

All classes include a day of Zoo admission.  Tickets for Toddler Tots classes are $20 per child/adult pair and $18 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.  Critters ‘n’ Kids classes are $27 per child/adult pair and $24 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.  Zoo Explorer classes are $35 per child and $30 per child for GLAZA members.  Family Classes are $20 per adult/$15 per child (ages 2 to 12) and $10 per person for GLAZA members; children under two are free.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.  5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA  90027.  Free parking is available.

For more information and to sign up for classes visit or call (323) 644-4211.

Credit: Los Angeles Zoo.

Bridge of Spies – Legendary and An Immediate Classic


This drama, directed by Steven Spielberg and featuring Tom Hanks, takes place in the late 50s, during the Cold War. Hanks play a lawyer, James B. Donovan who is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “I don’t know how Steven Spielberg (director) does it but, he makes these stories come to life and helps you connect with the characters so that you cry, laugh and almost fall of your seat because it’s so intense!” Tre’ana H. adds, “Steven Spielberg, as a director, is one amazing fellow. He is known for so many films, but this one takes the hat off.  This movie is filled with drama and thrills and will keep you sitting straight up in your seat.” Jorge L. comments, “I strongly believe this movie will be a contender for Best Picture award at the Academy Awards.” Willie J. wraps it up, “It was worth the three year wait. Steven Spielberg has come back with one of his finest films ever, quite easily in his top 10. Bridge of Spies is an engaging journey that entrances you in its story and doesn’t let you go. ”  See their full reviews below.

Bridge of Spies

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13


This film is nothing other than legendary and an immediate classic. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are back together again, to make another incredible dramatic and genius film. With historical facts, a heartfelt and dramatic story, this film is not only bound to be an Oscar contender, but I think this film may swoop any other film this year, and win the film of the year award.

This is a drama. Although it cracks jokes here and there, it really is primarily mainly a dramatic re-enactment of an historical event. The story itself is a large adventure with action and intense scenes filled with various human emotions and unpredictable actions that keep the viewer on the edge of their seat.

The story starts in the middle of the Cold War, in Brooklyn. A man believed to be a Soviet Spy is arrested and, because of American law, he is supposed to get a fair trial. The man responsible for defending him in court starts noticing things and instead of just making it look like a fair trial, he actually tries to help this ‘spy’ get the right sort of action.

I don’t know how Steven Spielberg (director) does it but, he makes these stories come to life and helps you connect with the characters so that you cry, laugh and almost fall of your seat because it’s so intense! The camera shots explore the scene from a variety of angles and go way beyond just showing one element. With each camera shot, you are prone to say, “nice shot.” For example, in one scene, they are on a bridge and, instead of showing a sky high view as you might expect, he shows it from the prospective of the people. It is snowing; you can’t see the other side or the people very well. You can just see a few lights and it is just so perfect. If you are a fan of Spielberg’s work as I am, you will be happy to see some of his famous wide shots which help scenes seem to float into each other.

As for the acting, Tom Hanks has done many roles and this is truly one of his best. He plays a character that does so many dangerous things and does them for a few people that he doesn’t even know. He shows extraordinary skill portraying this character, bringing out emotions we can relate to. Full and heartfelt, with each scene his character gets better and better to the point that you are just sitting there with your eyes wide and forgetting to breathe thinking, “What is he going to do next?”. When he is upset, you’re upset. When he is terrified, you’re terrified. He is perfect for this role and this is easily one of his best work.

For this film, I cannot choose a favorite scene. Each scene is so important in its own way. Each scene is so spectacularly done. Each scene is so entertaining whether it’s funny, intense or dramatic One of the scenes that was most impressive is when we see an American spy flying a plane, 70,000 feet over Russian territory. He is gathering intelligence and hoping to get some information about nuclear defenses. His plane is being attacked and the problem is, he was supposed to go down with the plane. The cockpit shatters and he goes into free fall. I love the scene because it looks like he is falling from 70,000 feet at an alarming rate. The execution of this is outstanding. It is clear and intense, which is why I love it so much.

The subject of this film is rather mature like the scenes near East Berlin during the time the Berlin Wall was being constructed. A part of Berlin is cut off from food and everything else. There are many other scenes featuring the impact of the Cold War. Because of these, I recommend this for ages 11 to 18. I enthusiastically give it 5 out of 5 stars because this film is legendary. It is mind blowing in so many parts and, I believe it is one of the best films I have ever seen.

Movie trailer:


Bridge of Spies


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



Bridge of Spies is a fantastic film that is based upon a true story that took place during the Cold War.  Steven Spielberg, as a director, is one amazing fellow. He is known for so many films, but this one takes the hat off.  This movie is filled with drama and thrills and will keep you sitting straight up in your seat.  You will want to know what is going to happen next because there is so much going on in this film. I got a little lost in the story but, once I got back on track, it was astonishing to watch the government in action.  James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) two-time Academy Award winner is phenomenal.  He is outstanding in whatever role he plays and he always commits and fulfills his obligation with greatness, as well as his sly comments.  The costume is formal and direct.


The film tells the story of an American lawyer, James B. Donovan who is asked by the CIA during the Cold War to represent Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) who is a spy that has been captured in the United States. He does not reveal any information to James because he wants him to have a fair trial. The twist to this involves an American pilot, Francis Gary (Austin Stowell), who is caught when on a mission in the Soviet Union. What a mess?

My favorite part is when James’s son Roger Donovan (Noah Schnapp) is filling up the bath tub and sink with water. He is doing this because, if there was a war of any type or danger, they will always have source of water for drinking and washing. I think that this is very smart and yet hilarious since the war hasn’t even start.


The message of the film is always treat someone fair because you never know when you may have to compromise or make an even exchange.  You should always treat people with dignity and respect.


I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 because it is challenging to follow the storyline and it does contain some violent scenes. I enjoyed watching the film even though I am not big on spy movies.  I give this film 4 out of 5 Stars because it is very informative and  I became more informed.







Making Home Healthier with Frosch Eco-Friendly Products!

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We do our best to keep our homes as healthy as possible for our families, yet we find ourselves using harsh chemical cleaners. Why? Because that’s what seems to work. But now we have a new choice: Frosch, Germany’s Most Trusted Household Cleaning Brand (2001-2015, per Reader’s Digest!) is FINALLY available in the US. And it’s all eco-friendly! These leaders in sustainability have created a product line that provides “Green Cleaning Without Compromise.” Switching from chemicals to Frosch green cleaners is one easy way to immediately improve home health.


I had the opportunity to try out a few of these products and was quite impressed! My favorite thing is that they are eco-friendly but they also clean really well. Some eco-friendly products that I have tried do not suds up or clean as well. This is not the case with the Frosch products I tried.  My favorite is the Aloe Vera Dishwashing Liquid.  it cleans dishes well and also does not dry out your hands!


I also really like the Grapefruit Kitchen Cleaner! It has a powerful formula with natural grapefruit extracts to remove grease, dirt, and encrustrations — even on ovens and grills — yet is gentle enough to be food safe. And so much more. This one I use almost everywhere in the kitchen! It is a must-have!

Find out more information at!

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

Gracie is Pet of the Week!

Gracie, Oct. 22 Pet of the Week

Gracie, age 2, is a gracious, graceful and gorgeous gray cat. As you can see, she’s quite eager to please and would so much prefer an ankle to rub up against instead of a doorjamb. Wouldn’t it be nice to say, “Goodnight, Gracie” as she purrs on your blanket? Meet Gracie on the shelter side of Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A556940.


(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)


Credit: Courtesy of Companion Animal Village.