Archives for January 12, 2016

Jif Bars are a great snack for the New Year!

Jif Bars Crunchy Peanut Butter  Jif Bars Peanut Butter Chocolate Jif Bars Creamy Peanut Butter

Looking for a great tasting after school snack for the Kids? The Jif Bars are a must-buy! I love the great taste and love that they really aren’t messy! They are the perfect to-go snack for kids of all ages…and even adults will love them! I  can’t even choose a favorite! I think it may be the Creamy Peanut Butter ones! But, my son seems to prefer the Peanut Butter Chocolate flavored ones!

The bars come in three different flavors: Creamy Peanut Butter, Crunchy Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter Chocolate, and are a good source of protein.

Look for them at a store near you!

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


“MUST-HAVE” Products To Settle In With Baby this Winter Season

Cerave-Baby-Moisturizing Cream-5oz-New-tube only.jpgsnnn

While being a parent may be the hardest job a Mom will ever love, there are a few preparations she can make to help allow for smooth sailing when her special delivery arrives. CeraVe® Baby Moisturizing Cream is one of our favorites!


Soothe delicate skin:

  • A baby’s skin is his or her first line of defense and because it takes time for their skin to mature, it requires special care.Moisturization is essential in helping protect and maintain their delicate skin barrier. CeraVe® Baby Moisturizing Cream moisturizes for up to 24 hours with one application. Developed with pediatric dermatologists, this “must-have” cream is formulated for babies with sensitive skin or eczema, as it contains three essentials ceramides and dimethicone to help provide intense moisturization to temporarily help relieve chafed, chapped or cracked skin.

CeraVe Baby Sunscreen SPF 45 (Set).jpgsmall

But, Don’t forget about the sun! In Southern California it is colder this Winter but we still have sun!

  • Protecting your baby’s skin during the scorching summer months is a well-known must.

But don’t be fooled by cool, crisp days; sun protection is necessary 365 days a year. Remember to keep infants under six monthsout of the sun. Once baby is slightly older, at least six months, apply NEW CeraVe® Baby Sunscreen SPF 45 to help protecttheir sensitive skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. This formula contains 100% naturally sourced physical sunscreeningredients to provide broad spectrum sun protection and essential ceramides to help repair and restore the protective skin barrier.


Stock up on layer-friendly clothing and blankets:

  • Little bundles of joy can quite accurately be described as “bundled” during the newborn phase, but autumn’s temperatureswings can make it challenging to keep your baby comfortable. And while nothing says comfort to a baby quite like a softblanket, many heavy versions may be too bulky to use in a stroller. Keep layer-friendly clothing and blankets on hand to offerflexibility when fall’s temperature begins to dip.


Keep naptime sacred:

  • Late nights, early mornings and midnight feedings mean naptime is sacred to a new mom.

Tune out disruptive noise with a soothing sound machine to help baby fall and stay asleep.

All CeraVe® Baby products have been awarded the National Eczema Association (NEA) Seal of Acceptance™, which maintainsrigorous standards for approval. The entire CeraVe® Baby line is also hypoallergenic and fragrance-, paraben-, gluten- and phthalate-free.


  • NEW! CeraVe®    Baby   Moisturizing  Cream  ($5.99)  and  NEW!  CeraVe®    Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45($16.99) are available at CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reed, Walmart, Meijer, Babies “R” Us, Buy Buy Baby and Amazon

Self Disclosure: I received a free samples to facilitate this post. Tips for parents and photos were also provided.



Books of the Week! Recommendations for everyone in the family!


Called “informative and gripping” by Booklist and “[a]n engaging middle grade read” by School Library Journal, A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE is the second novel from Beth Vrabel (author of Pack of Dorks, also published by Sky Pony Press).


Before Stinkville, Alice didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. But after moving from Seattle to Stinkville, Alice feels different fir the first time in her life, like she’s at a disadvantage. In Stinkville, Alice finds herself floundering, but when her parents start looking into schools for the blind, Alice takes a stand. And as Alice confronts her own blindness, everyone else seems to see her for the first time. This is a stirring small-town story that explores many different issues—albinism, blindness, depression, dyslexia, growing old, and more—with a light touch and lots of heart.

I really recommend this one for all middle school age readers! I love that it addresses so may different issues and in a way that older children will be able to relate to.

This great book can be purchased at the following:

Amazon, B&N, IndieBound

Do you watch YouTube?  You may have heard of this feline star!

Stampy Hi Res cover

STAMPY’S LOVELY BOOK (Random House Books for Young Readers; available since 1/5/16), the first and only official book by YouTube superstar Stampy Cat. With more than 6.5 million subscribers and 4.1 billion cumulative views on YouTube, Stampy Cat is one of the biggest names in online gaming and family-friendly content today.

STAMPY’S LOVELY BOOK captures the essence of Stampy’s fun personality and contagious enthusiasm. It allows readers to join Stampy on his adventures—including games, activities, tips, jokes and exclusive info about Stampy and his friends.

I received this book and it’s a lot of fun! The games and activities are my favorite and I highly recommend for young readers especially if they are a fan of superstar Stampy Cat!

Joseph Garrett aka Stampy Cat is a YouTube sensation averaging over 47 million views a month. His videos have more hits than the likes of Katy Perry and One Direction and his Stampylonghead YouTube channel was in the top 10 most viewed channels worldwide in 2014. Stampy Cat has been making videos since 2006 and is well known for his Minecraft content. He is also the co-creator, with Maker Studios, of the Wonder Quest YouTube channel featuring three original series attracting 35 million views in less than two months, and was featured in the original series “Meet Me At The Reck” alongside Jack Black and Andrew W.K. Stampy has been featured in The Guardian, BBC News, The Independent, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, Forbes and, among many others, was coined “The Mister Rogers of Minecreaft” by EW. To check out all things Stampy Cat visit and follow him on Twitter andFacebook. @StampyLongNose.

Find the book on

The next one is a wonderful one for the New Year!


“The Planet Friendly Diet” by Cat Smiley.

Your 21-Day Guide to Sustainable Weight Loss and Optimal Health.

2016 will be off to a great start as readers begin a journey to optimum health with a unique, all-inclusive program for a greener, healthier lifestyle based on responsible dietary choices. They will be able lose weight, feel great, and minimize the impact of their eating habits on the environment with leading body-transformation expert Cat Smiley and her simple step-by-step program for a complete detox and reboot which can all be found in her new book.

THE PLANET FRIENDLY DIET [January 2016, $29.95 US / $29.95 CAN] motivates, educates and empowers readers to kick start their change with clean eating and easy-to-follow recipes. Targeted specifically to those who know it’s time to make a change but unsure where to start, the book opens with an all-inclusive 21-day meal plan which enables readers to dramatically cut back on meat and animal by-products while working towards a leaner, healthier self. They will then be able apply all they learned during the program to everyday life using the accompanying nutrition guide to transform short-term success into sustainable, lifelong results. The diet is meat, dairy, wheat and gluten-free, and comes with a weekly shopping list to ensure zero-waste. The book includes all single-portion recipes and every meal shares the following benchmarks:

  • Designed to eliminate food waste
  • Fresh, every day ingredients
  • Costs less than $5
  • Is under 500 calories
  • Takes no more than 20 minutes to prepare
  • All meals fit a variety of healthy lifestyles including diabetic, kosher and halal dietary needs

Fully illustrated with mouthwatering images of each internationally inspired recipe, it’s like having a dedicated nutrition coach and a personal chef while you not just learn how to cook, but also how to understand the science behind your food choices. Whether readers are looking to give their eating patterns a complete makeover or start a change towards a healthier life, THE PLANET FRIENDLY DIET will help them lose weight, get fit and feel great – while contributing to the wider good of our delicate planet as well!

This one is a great one for any adult! What I like the best is that it is simple to follow and uses fresh, every day ingredients. This is not just your average diet book!

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. 



Tina is the Pet of the Week!

Tina, January 14 Pet of the Week

Sweet Tina is a slate-gray-and white medium-size Staffie. At 9 years old, she’s mellow and loves people, walks and snuggles. Tina has a couple of medical issues, so she may have only a little while, or she could have a few years left. No matter the time, would you like to make it quality time? If so, meet Tina on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A563573.


(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

Journey to Space Exhibition and 3D Film Liftoff at the California Science Center This is an exhibit not to miss!

JTS - Destiny Lab(2)

The California Science Center will present an in-depth look at the hazards as well as the possibilities for human space exploration with a Journey to Space:Exhibition and 3D Film, opened  October 29, 2015 and continues through May 8, 2016. The unique pairing of the exhibition and 3D film offers an extraordinary vision of the future for living and working in space.

“The Journey to Space Exhibition and 3D Film explores both the history and bright future of human space travel, along with the risks and innovative solutions involved,” said Jeffrey N. Rudolph, California Science Center President. “Presenting both the exhibition and film together will have a richer educational impact, giving guests a deeper understanding of the space exploration challenges facing the next generation.”

Journey to Space: The Exhibition offers hands-on and multimedia experiences

Guests will get a hands-on, climb-aboard experience at what it takes to live and work in space. The exhibition examines the extraordinary environment of space, including the very real dangers astronauts face during their mission above-Earth and the adaptations that engineers have developed to help them survive. Visitors will learn about the vacuum of space, radiation, meteoroids, and temperature extremes, while getting a look at all of the ways in which the forbidding environment of space can challenge human exploration.

Guests will find hands-on activities to explore the science of getting to space. This includes learning about “weightlessness” and how it affects the body during a long-term space mission. An experiment with water rockets, varying the amount of air and water used as fuel, will allow them to observe the physics of the launch. Another interactive uses drop towers, which lift items up high and drop them in a free-fall, to demonstrate how familiar objects behave differently in the weightless environment of space.

Visitors will experience the sights, sounds, and smells on board an orbiting space station like the International Space Station (ISS), and try their hands at some of the engineering feats that support astronauts who live in space. Through games, multimedia components, and interactive exhibits, guests will find out how astronauts eat, sleep, and even use the restroom in space. They’ll encounter firsthand the difficulties of working in space – from operating a robotic arm like astronauts on the space shuttle, to managing the limited power supply available to keep life support systems running, to discovering why working in a pressurized glove in the vacuum of space is so difficult.

Journey to Space: The Exhibition features a full-scale replica of the Destiny Lab, the primary research facility for U.S. payloads on the ISS. With its rotating mechanism, guests stepping into the Destiny Lab will have their sense of orientation challenged as they get a virtual tour from astronauts who have worked there.

Along the way, they will see incredible footage from past missions of crews living and working in space, as well as interviews in which astronauts reflect on the trials and accomplishments of their unique line of work.

Journey to Space: The Exhibition was designed and developed by the Science Museum of Minnesota in partnership with the International Space Station Office of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the California Science Center and partner museums.

Journey to Space 3D film unveils new era of deep space exploration

Narrated by film and television legend Sir Patrick Stewart, and including extensive interviews with NASA astronauts Chris Ferguson and Serena Aunon, Journey to Space 3D captures the spirit of human exploration and describes how it is at the core of our own DNA. The film explores both the storied past and ambitious future of space travel.

Through visually stunning imagery, and in collaboration with leading space experts, Journey to Space 3D showcases the exciting plans NASA and the space community are developing and the challenges they must overcome to carry out future missions that once seemed impossible, like landing astronauts on Mars. It calls attention to the reality that the space program did not die with the end of the Shuttle Program — it is vibrantly alive today.

“No longer science fiction, a human mission to Mars is in the planning stages, and major steps are being taken to make it a reality within a generation,” said Bob Kresser, CEO of K2 Films “Our goal in making this film was to tie together the actual hardware being built with the tremendous planning under way that will make the next steps in space exploration the most far-reaching in our history.”

Looking ahead to the future, the film explores the newest technology in space exploration:

  •  “Orion” is NASA’s first spacecraft designed to carry humans on long-duration deep space exploration missions. Orion will take humans to interplanetary destinations beyond low Earth orbit and return them safely back home. A round-trip journey to Mars via Orion will take two-and-a-half years, compared to the Apollo trips to the moon, which took 12 days.
  • “Olympus,” an inflatable transportation habitat, is an early concept 45- or 50-feet diameter module that will provide astronauts the work area and living space necessary for long-duration missions. Smaller versions have already flown in space, and a full-scale version is shown undergoing ground testing.
  • The Space Launch System, or “SLS,” is the giant rocket that will carry both of the previously mentioned spacecraft and provides the enormous lift necessary to send them on many historic missions. SLS will also carry the needed Mars landers and ascent vehicles to get astronauts to the surface of Mars and back up to the Orion mothership for their return trip to Earth. SLS will generate over nine million pounds of thrust and can launch hardware into orbit equivalent to the weight of 22 elephants.

Journey to Space 3D gives a fitting tribute to the Space Shuttle Program and the 355 astronauts who flew on the 135 Shuttle missions. This historical chapter in the film reveals how the Shuttle took many of the big steps that helped us understand how to live and operate in space. In fact, the lessons learned during those many steps that have enabled the future missions being planned today.

The film also gives a strong overview of the Shuttle’s last major project – the launch and assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is a joint collaboration of 15 nations, operating 24/7 and providing a true home and science lab in space. While ISS crews’ tours of duty have averaged six months in the past, NASA began one-year duration missions this year. Researchers expect the one-year mission to yield beneficial knowledge on the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges explorers may face as they venture to an asteroid, Mars and beyond.

Journey to Space 3D provides a timely review of how NASA has been transitioning from the end of the Space Shuttle Era to a much more ambitious future that will forever change how we live and operate in space as a species.

Journey to Space 3D, presented by Toyota and Boeing, is a co-production of K2 Films and Giant Screen films, written and directed by Mark Krenzien, featuring a musical score by Cody Westheimer, and cinematography from Director of Photography Sean MacLeod Phillips. It is a family-friendly film with a run-time of 45 minutes.

We had a wonderful visit to the California Science Center this past December. My favorite was the Journey to Space 3D movie and my 12-year-old son thought that the exhibit was pretty cool!  I highly recommend a visit to this amazing exhibition. We are planning to go back soon!


 About K2 Films

Recognized as leaders in Giant Screen documentary cinema, K2 Films, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of K2 Communications (K2), brings a wealth of success and experience in all aspects of production, global distribution and marketing. Additionally, K2’s distribution arm counts more than 65 large screen format films in its library for non-theatrical distribution, plus more than 25 films for digital and large format theater distribution.

K2 also operates the only comprehensive Giant Screen consumer/fan website,  For more information, consult

About Giant Screen Films
Since 1997, Giant Screen Films (GSF) has established itself as a pioneer in the large-format industry, producing and distributing films that push the boundaries of the medium. Through the magic of immersive sight and sound technologies, GSF’s productions challenge the imaginations of children and adults, offering an inspiring perspective on the world and an unforgettable theater experience. Meaningful educational collaborations and partnerships extend each film’s impact far beyond the theater. The company is recognized as one of the world’s leading and most active large-format producers and is based in Evanston, Ill. For additional information,

About the California Science Center and Ticket Information

The California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films.

The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive. The Science Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm. Please check the Science Center web site for schedule updates. Tickets for Journey to Space: The Exhibition and Journey to Space 3D are currently on sale. Guests are encouraged to buy tickets online at to reserve an entry date & time. The general information number is (323) SCIENCE (323-724-7624). Journey to Space: The Exhibition admission prices are $9.75­­­ for adults 18-59; $8.25 for youth 13 to 17, college students with I.D. & seniors 60+; and $6.25 for children 4 – 12. Combo tickets for Journey to Space: The Exhibition and Journey to Space 3D are $16.75 for adults, $13.50 for youth, college students with I.D. and seniors, and $10.50 for children. Member discount rates are $7.25 for adults, $6.25 for youth 13 to 17, college students with I.D. & seniors 60+, and $5.25 for children 4-12. Journey to Space: The Exhibition and IMAX combination ticket prices are $13.50 for adults 18-59, $10.50 for youth 13-17, college students with I.D. and seniors 60+, and $9.00 for children 4-12. Special rates for schools and other groups of 15 and over apply. The special group information number is (213) 744-2019. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.  More information is also available at

Go Metro to the California Science Center. Ride the Expo Line to the Expo Park/USC Station. For the best route, use the Metro Trip Planner at

Credit: Top photo: Guests step inside a replica of the International Space Station’s Destiny Lab as it rotates around them, challenging their sense of orientation and giving a hint of how astronauts feel in space.

Courtesy of Science Museum of Minnesota.
Press info: Courtesy of The California Science Center. Bottom photo: SoCal City Kids. SoCal City Kids received media comps to facilitate this post.