Archives for December 2015

Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts Greatest Hits Recaps Storied Collaboration With Charles M. Schulz Twelve-song compilation contains hits from the Peanuts soundtracks, plus a rare vocal by Guaraldi, with new liner notes by Guaraldi historian Derrick Bang


If you are a Peanuts fan..this one is a must-buy!

While the Peanuts comic strip appeared daily in newspapers across the world, Vince Guaraldi’s music helped bring the gang to wider audiences through his jazzy Peanuts television and film soundtrack recordings. Charles M. Schulz created the world of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and Snoopy from his outpost in the Midwestern city of St. Paul, Minnesota. Meanwhile, westward in California, pianist Vince Guaraldi was helping put San Francisco on the jazz map through a series of early recordings with the likes of Cal Tjader, Woody Herman and Conte Candoli.


In early 1964, when Lee Mendelson began work on a television documentary about the world ofPeanuts, he heard Guaraldi’s GRAMMY® Award-winning instrumental hit “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” on the radio, while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Mendelson knew he’d found precisely the right musical foil for Peanuts. Over the next decade, Guaraldi composed and performed scores for numerous Peanuts TV specials — including the evergreen A Charlie Brown Christmas — along with a feature film, A Boy Named Charlie Brown.


On July 31, 2015, Fantasy Records will release Peanuts Greatest Hits, a 12-song survey of some of the most popular music from the Guaraldi Peanuts soundtracks. It is also planned for a vinyl LP release in September 2015.


The compilation features “Linus and Lucy,” the song that most frequently comes to mind when one thinks of Peanuts soundtracks, as well as “Oh, Good Grief” and several seasonal pieces (“Great Pumpkin Waltz,” “Thanksgiving Theme,” “Christmas Is Coming” and more).


Most selections feature Guaraldi backed by one of his longtime trios: Monty Budwig, bass; and Colin Bailey, drums; or, in later years, Fred Marshall, bass; and Jerry Granelli, drums. You’ll also hear some notable additions to the core trio format: “Little Birdie” features Guaraldi’s own vocals, with the addition of horns as well. Two versions of “Christmas Time Is Here” appear: one by the trio, the other adding the young members of the St. Paul’s Church Choir from nearby San Rafael, California.


Television producer Mendelson, who orchestrated the conversion of Peanuts from comic strip to successful TV and movie franchise, thereby spawning a 37-year collaboration with Schulz, said of Guaraldi: “Vince’s music was so right, and so perfect, for Charlie Brown and the other characters. Something deep inside of me said, ‘This is gonna make the whole thing work.’ Vince’s music was the missing ingredient that would make everything happen.”


Guaraldi died unexpectedly at the young age of 47 in 1976, ending his 26-year musical career. He had just finished recording the soundtrack for It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown. His life is chronicled inVince Guaraldi at the Piano, authored by Derrick Bang, who wrote the liner notes for this and other Fantasy reissues.


Track Listing:

1.   Linus and Lucy

2.   Charlie Brown Theme

3.   Baseball Theme

4.   Oh, Good Grief

5.   Happiness Theme

6.   Little Birdie

7.   Great Pumpkin Waltz

8.   Thanksgiving Theme

9.   Christmas Is Coming

10.  Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)

11.  Skating

12.  Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)

I received this CD and love it! I highly recommend!

Self Disclosure: I received a free CD to facilitate this post. 

The Krispy Kreme Calendar is a great way to start off the New Year!


If you love animals and love Krispy Kreme Donuts, then the Krispy Kreme Furry Friends 2016 Calendar is a real Must-Buy! Prices may vary at different locations but there are coupons each month which includes great freebies such as a Free Dozen Gazed Donuts! Great deals and the animals are too cute! This calendar is a great deal!


I mean…how cute is this little pup?!

You can find them at a Krispy Kreme location near you!

Self Disclosure: I received a free calendar to facilitate this post.

Whole Foods Market Rings in the New Year with Citrus, Greens and $3 Green Smoothies

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It is New Year’s resolution time, a time when many people pledge to eat healthier. This weekend stores in the Southern Pacific Region offer deals on citrus, greens and green smoothies to help shoppers start the year off right, plus recipe ideas and shopping tips.

Date of sale: Friday, January 1 – Sunday, January 3, 2016:  

What’s on Sale: 

  • Juice bars offering $3 Green smoothies (assortment varies by store; offer only valid in stores with juice bars.)*
  • Citrus: Clementine’s – 3 pound bags, 2 for $5, Navel oranges are 4 for $1
  • Organic green, rainbow and red chard, 3 bunches for $5

Promotion: Citrus, Greens and Green Smoothies!

Clementines and Navels are exceptionally sweet, with a juicy pulp, virtually seedless and easy to peel. Take them as a healthy snack on go, try them in a Clementine cocktail, or make them an integral part of a dish, like these recipe ideas:

  • Tangerine-Roasted Tuna Serve this one-pan dish over cooked brown rice for a quick and easy meal. Citrus and green olives give this dish bright Mediterranean flavors.
  • Citrus-Roasted Paiche in Collard Wraps  After a brief roast in a hot oven, the ingredients for this easy dinner are extra delicious, and wrapping them in blanched collard leaves makes the dish wonderfully healthy.
  • Spinach Salad with Adzuku Beans and Satsuma Vinaigrette To make ahead, simply prepare the vinaigrette and satsumas, pack everything separately and toss all together just before serving. For an main dish salad, add raw veggies and double the beans

Chard is a mild leafy green, much like spinach and packed with nutrition.Try it in this simple Get Your Greens Smoothie with just a few ingredients. Don’t feel like making it at home? Stop by your local store this weekend for a $3 green smoothie at the juice bar.

For more healthy recipes, click here.

Pantry Staples – One of the easiest ways to make healthier choices is to stock the pantry with key ingredients for making healthy meals. Here’s a list of items to have on hand. Plus a tip: From January 15 – 17 ALL 365 Everyday Value® products are 10 percent off.

Self Disclosure: Credit: Whole Foods Market. This is a sponsored/compensated post. SoCal City Kids can not wait to try a few of these recipes! 

*Fine print: Prices only valid at stores in Arizona, Southern California, Southern Nevada. Check your local store for specific pricing outside of these states. 


Aquarium Of The Pacific Introduces New Jelly Lab App Discover what it takes to raise a sea jelly through all of its life stages

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The Aquarium of the Pacific has released the new Jelly Lab app on the App Store and Google Play Store. Over the course of a week, players will be able to raise and care for a sea jelly of their own. This includes cleaning, feeding, and circulating water to ensure the development of the jelly. The app takes you through all the stages in the jelly’s life from the planula phase all the way to the full-grown medusa stage.


Along the way users will be able to learn about how the Aquarium takes care of its jellies, the importance of jellies in the ocean environment, and complex and unusual life cycle of a sea jelly. The app is filled with information and is geared to be fun for everyone. Through interactivity, photos, and videos, the Jelly Lab app is educational for all ages.

I just downloaded this app on my phone and really love it!  I recommend for both kids and adults!



WHEN:           Available now


WHERE:         App Store and Google Play Store


COST:            FREE




AQUARIUM:  The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the new Jellies exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. The Aquarium has won a 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for Aquariums, as awarded by TripAdvisor® travelers. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits.

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific. Photos: Courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Roman, New Year’s Eve Pet of the Week

Roman, New Year's Eve Pet of the Week

Ring in the New Year with Roman! This little 3-year-old tan-and-white Chi is a snuggle-bug who loves to be held like a baby and wants to continuously cuddle in your lap. It seems as if he can’t get enough of you! He’d be a great New Year’s Eve date, and you can bet that he’s a keeper! Meet him on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A563024.


(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

A great way to start off the New Year! Fé Fit Women's Workout Program


Are you looking for a fun way to lose weight in the New Year? The Fé Fit Women’s Workout Program may just be your answer! This is great for those who are always on the go and really can’t find the time to go to the gym! It’s great for busy moms!

I like that it is fun and the instructor is empowering. It’s also an easy and not complicated type of program and it is basically a 13 week program. I also like that you do not have to do this every day and that there is a 30-day Risk-Free Money Back Guarantee.

I actually tried this 3 times a week as suggested for about 30 minutes a day. Although I do not really need to lose weight, I do need to tone up and I am finding this a very fun and effective way to do so! It’s is just fun! There are 7 fun fitness genres: Cardio Circuit, Core, Lower Body, Upper Body, Total Body Toning, Barre and Stretch Flow exercises. My favorite is the Cardio Circuit.

You can purchase on
More info:

-Created by moms, for moms. Our program won’t bulk you up like other workout DVDs that aren’t designed for a woman’s body. Designed for women to: Flatten stomachs. Firm and tighten glutes. Push yourself to the NEW YOU. Join a weight loss community of women and stay accountable!
Fé Fit 90-day in-home workout DVDs target full body sculpting for sexy and feminine legs, butt, arms, shoulders, back, and core. A gym membership and personal training sessions 2 times per week can cost up to $600 a month! Follow Fé Fit fitness DVDs as your primary workout program or to supplement other fitness goals. Achieve your weight loss goals by spending around $100 and without disrupting your other priorities

-8Â discs featuring 28 unique fitness videos, free flexible workout calendars to fit your busy life, and bonus tools for measuring and tracking success.

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

L.A. Zoo Lights 2015 is Open Through Sunday, January 3, 2016 Including FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE For All Ages "L.A. ZOO LIGHTS," TOPS 2015 "HOLIDAY TRADITION" DESTINATION LIST WITH USA TODAY'S "10 BEST ZOO LIGHTS" AWARD



L.A. ZOO LIGHTS, which heralds a new standard for nighttime magic at the Los Angeles Zoo through Sunday, January 3, 2016, is named one of the “Best Zoo Lights 2015” in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards.  10Best local experts and editors picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.  L.A. ZOO LIGHTS, in only its second year, was selected #10.  An instant hit when it debuted last year, attracting more than 170,000 people, the dazzling wonderland returned in 2015 to top visitors’ “holiday tradition” destination list with a trove of awe-inspiring new lights and displays for an even brighter atmosphere of wonder and delight.

Upcoming is L.A. ZOO LIGHTS’ FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE on Thursday, December 31, 6 pm, providing an opportunity to celebrate the coming of 2016 in style with “skip-the-line” express entry, dinner buffet, soft drinks, complimentary champagne for adults, sparkling apple cider for kids, dessert, a ride on the Zoo’s hand-crafted carousel, crafts for youngsters, DJ dance party, cash bar and live broadcast of New York’s Times Square ball drop at 9 pm, after which guests are welcome to experience L.A. Zoo Lights until closing.  FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE tickets are $65 for adults and $40 for children, or $60 (adults) and $35 (children) for GLAZA members.  Tickets for this VIP-style experience are limited, so early purchase is strongly suggested.

L.A. ZOO LIGHTS sets the Zoo’s enchanting environment aglow with breathtaking displays unlike anything seen in L.A. before, among them thousands upon thousands of LED lights, flurries of illuminated snowflakes, stunning 3-D animated projections, a musical light-and-water show and glittering light tunnels.  The fanciful menagerie of animal characters brought to “life” include mischievous animated monkeys throughout the grounds, a gigantic glowing snake coiled on a roof, a hillside with “snowboarding” iguanas, 3-D animated elephants wearing colorful holiday sweaters, an origami-type rhino lit from within and so much more.  L.A. ZOO LIGHTS is open every night, except Christmas Eve (December 24) and Christmas Day (December 25), from 6 to 10 pm Mondays through Thursdays, and 6 to 10:30 pm Fridays through Sundays and December 23.

Captivating guests for an ideal family outing, meet-up with friends or date night, L.A. ZOO LIGHTS’ self-guided 60- to 90-minute walking tour through select areas of the Zoo – while most L.A. Zoo animal residents are asleep – offers a unique experience that features the only opportunity in Los Angeles to see real reindeer; visits with Santa Claus on select dates; and steaming hot chocolate, irresistible churros and other holiday treats and goodies for sale.  Last year, the first-ever LA ZOO LIGHTS was established by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) as a festive new tradition.

In addition to more lights, displays, décor, effects and a larger L.A. ZOO LIGHTS footprint in the Zoo, the event’s biggest expansion this year takes place in and around The LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), which boasts a giant, illuminated snake gazing down from the rooftop, flicking its tongue as guests enter the building.  At an equally stunning next stop, guests encounter a “Lightscapes: Wild Holiday” aquatic show boasting lighted fountains and shooting screens of water with majestic projections of fanciful animations set to music.  In several special areas are unique sound experiences, including music from Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS – Cabinet Of Curiosities (performing December 10-February 7 at Dodger Stadium) as well as an eclectic mix of tunes hand-picked by local NPR station KCRW.  The re-imagined Santa’s Village is in an all-new, glittering setting, the perfect location for magical holiday photos (available for an additional fee).

L.A. ZOO LIGHTS has again been developed in collaboration with art director Gregg Lacy and Bionic League, entertainment-industry partners renowned for remarkable large-scale installations for festivals, stadiums, arenas, clubs, and artists like Daft Punk, Kanye West and many others.

Sponsors of L.A. ZOO LIGHTS include KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities from Cirque du Soleil, Service Systems Associates, 99 Cents Only Stores, Edison International, Paramount Pictures, ScholarShare and Stella Artiois.  Donors include The Georgina Frederick Children’s Foundation, Beth and Joshua Friedman, Larry and Sue Ivanjack, Donald and Susan Rice, The Shultz Family and the Employees of the Shultz Steel Company, The Simms Family Foundation, and The Marc & Eva Stern Foundation.

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.75 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; 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.

Admission to “L.A. ZOO LIGHTS” is $13 for adults/seniors and $11 for children ages 2 to 12 on Mondays through Thursdays (except on December 21, 22 and 23 when tickets are the same as weekend prices), and $16 for adults/seniors and $14 for children ages 2 to 12 tickets on Fridays through Sundays.  Tickets for GLAZA members are $11 for adults/seniors and $10 for children ages 2 to 12 on Mondays through Thursdays (except on December 21, 22 and 23 when tickets are the same as weekend prices), and $14 for adults/seniors and $13 for children ages 2 to 12 on Fridays through Sundays.  Children under age 2 are free.  Tickets are also available for $9 after 9 pm on select nights.  Visit for details and to purchase tickets.

This is something that you must experience! My family had the opportunity to check it out over our Christmas break and loved it! It’s really quite unique! 


Photo Credit: SoCal City Kids.

The Los Angeles Zoo 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 additional information, contact (323) 644-4200 or visit

Credit: Los Angeles Zoo.


Daddy’s Home – Nobody does Step-Parenting like Ferrell and Wahlberg!


A mild-mannered radio executive strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids. Starring Well Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg and Linda Cardellini, this is sure to keep make you laugh through all their silly antics. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ryan R. comments, “One of the things I enjoyed most about this film is the cast. They are really great! I love the message because it talks about acceptance.” See his full review below

Daddy’s Home
By Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11


Red Carpet Interviews: 

Director/Writer interviews:

I really enjoy watching this funny movie directed by Sean Anders. It is pretty hysterical and enjoyable for preteens. I think adults might like this as well. This movie made me laugh because the movie has a lot of humor and the jokes are spot on.

The movie is about the good stepdad, Brad played by Will Ferrell. He wants to be accepted by his family because the kids aren’t happy that he is their stepdad. Eventually, they do accept him, but things change when their dad, Dusty played by Mark Wahlberg tries to come back into their life. Brad and Dusty slowly begin to start a “Dad Off”. They try to beat one another to show the kids who the cooler Dad is. Will they fight until there is a winner or will they make a truce and end up liking each other?

One of the things I enjoyed most about this film is the cast. They are really great! I love the message because it talks about acceptance. I also like the jokes in this movie because they are very hilarious.

My favorite character is Dusty because he is comes off as this mean person but he is actually not so bad. Dusty makes changes throughout this movie and makes many hilarious jokes that will make you like him.

The message of this movie is acceptance. Both of the dads are trying to get acceptance. Brad wants to be accepted by his step kids so they can be one happy family. Dusty wants to be accepted again after the divorce. Dusty wants to have a family, but he can be irresponsible. In this movie, acceptance is a huge thing. It takes a long amount of time since things don’t happen overnight.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this movie for kids ages 11 to 18. It is perfect for tweens and teens but it does contains some inappropriate mild profanity, rude humor and mild violence that make it unsuitable for younger children. I think adults will enjoy this as well. It comes out on Christmas Day so mark your calendars.

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Upcoming Attractions.