Archives for September 13, 2016

How does violent media affect children?


How is violent media affecting our children, and what can we do about it to protect them…now and in the future, before it becomes to late.

Dr. Johnson and Dr. Berdahl, authors of Warning Signs: How to Protect Your Kids from Becoming Victims or Perpetrators of Violence and Aggression [Chicago Review Press, August 1, 2016], have written a thought-provoking parenting guide that addresses the following themes:

  • Harmful media influences on youth and how to deflect them
  • How exposures to violent and sexualized media, unproductive parenting, and certain traumas during childhood through early adulthood, when the brain is still developing, heighten the risk of being affected by aggression or violence
  • Keys to building good relationships with your children to promote safety
  • What we can do as parents to protect our children from the harm of entitlement, rage, hate, and extremism

I received a copy of this book and found it very interesting and as a Mom of a Tween, I found it to be a very helpful book with some great advice! I really enjoyed learning how to build good relationships with your children in regards to safety.

More about the Author:

DR. BRIAN JOHNSON grew up in rural South Dakota and received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Iowa. He is a licensed child and adolescent psychologist, parenting expert, and full professor at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) where he has served as the training director of the doctoral program. Counseling youth and their families for over twenty years, he became Director of the Psychological Services Clinic in 2015 and recently brought a community mentorship program for at-risk youth, including those on probation, to UNC in collaboration with the Weld County District Attorney’s office. This is his second book with wife Dr. Laurie Berdahl; their first award-winning title was 7 Skills for Parenting Success. Connect with Dr. Johnson on LinkedIn.

DR. LAURIE BERDAHL obtained her MD from the University of Iowa and did her obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center after which she entered private practice. Sharing her husband’s interest in parenting education, she has published articles in the journals Medical Economics andParenting: Science and Practice. She and Dr. Johnson are proud parents of their two adult children. In 2014, Dr. Berdahl retired from medical practice after almost twenty years due to developing a permanently disabling condition. She continues to write and speak on issues related to parenting and adolescent wellness. Connect with Dr. Berdahl on LinkedIn.

Warning Signs: How to Protect Your Kids from Becoming Victims or Perpetrators of Violence and Aggression [Chicago Review Press] is now available via Amazon and through other booksellers nationwide.

Must-Haves for Back-to-School!

Summer is almost over and it’s already Back-to-School!

Here are some of our favorites for this time of year!

The school year is upon us, and once again, parents everywhere will be packing their children healthy and filling lunch bags to get them through the school day, and Keep Healthy  is the perfect, healthy snack to keep your kids fueled and focused all day long.

What I really love about these bars is that there are many healthy options! There are even choices for Diabetics, which in out house is important since my husband now has Diabetes.


My favorite was the Chocolate Covered Pineapple!

Find out more at  Keep Healthy.

Although Summer is ending, we still have warm sunny days! Keep Your Kids Cool at School!

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I received a variety of samples from MISSION Athletecare  such as the MISSION Athletecare’s EnduraCool towel and am really quite impressed! 

With temperatures still rising and the kids heading back to school, many parents may be looking for easy and innovative ways to help their children beat the heat and stay safe while participating in their after school sports and activities. MISSION Athletecare’s EnduraCool towel may be just what they are looking for.

When the towel is soaked in water, wrung out and snapped, the instant cooling technology is activated to chill the fabric’s surface temperature by up to 30 degrees. The user can then place the towel around their neck and the fabric will keep them cool, comfortable and dry. The towel comes in a variety of colors and patterns to suit everyone’s taste. It is compact enough to put in your child’s backpack or sports bag and is fun to use!

I really love these! I received two so quickly gave one to my son and he uses it all the time now!

In addition to the towel, MISSION Athletecare has an entire line of EnduraCool Instant Cooling Gear and Accessories – specifically designed to keep you and your family cool.  The line includes a full range of instant cooling Hats, Skull Caps, Headbands, Sleeves and more – all designed to enhance performance and recovery.

Besides keeping you cool they look great! I love the bright neon color ones! 

Find out more at  

Tastykake’s Lunchbox Approved Snacks


Looking for a delicious Kid approved snack for lunches? Tastykake has you covered!

Tastykake has a new line of Mini Cupcakes and Brownies that are sure to be the envy of the lunch table.


Tastykake’s Mini Cupcakes and Brownies are perfectly portioned desserts coming in at under 200 calories per pack, making for a delicious guilt-free lunchtime snack. These treats come in three bite-sized pieces per pack, making it easy to share with friends.
I received samples and my favorite are the Mini Cupcakes! I love that they are really bite sized and delicious!
Look for them at a store near you!
Back-to-School means Tote Bags!
I love books and love to read so Gone Reading has been a favorite website of mine for awhile now! They have the cutest Tote Bags and they are a must-have for trips to the library this school year! My favorites are the ones with the Cats on them and I love the one they sent me to review! (See photo above).  I love that the bag is roomy and is made really well! I really love the Cat image and the wording!

Each tote bag measure 16″ wide x 15.5″ tall x 5″ deep, with a handle that measures 22″ long.  Made of gusset natural cotton.

Note: The design appears on one side of the bag; the reverse side is blank.  Made in the USA. Retails for $20.

Check out the website to see all the choices!

Back To School with Trudeau!

Back-to-school means packing lunches and I love these options from Trudeau!

Whether it’s packing school lunch boxes, students heading off to college, or adults balancing meals on the go… Everyone is looking for healthy, easier and more economical ways to pack food and take it with them. Trudeau’s FUEL collection is packed full of food and beverage storage containers offering specialization to match a variety of needs, lifestyles, and food choices.

I love how cool they look, how durable they are and that they are BPA free. These are great for both children’s and adult lunches. I highly recommend!

Check out these Trudeau Back To School Options:

The iconic brown bag lunch gets a trendy makeover with this lightweight, reusable eco friendly Classic Bag. Perfectly sized to carry both food and drinks. Roll down to desired size with Velcro strip to secure shut. Tear resistant, BPA free easy to clean material. #37508288 MSRP $14.99





Fuel’s Snack Pockets are lined with an easy clean, lightweight and tear-resistant material. A set of 2 includes a small and large pocket and is great for snack solutions like trail mix when on the go. BPA free. #37908288, MSRP $12.99.




Snap cutlery Set includes a stainless steelfork & spoon with polypropylene handles that simply snap together to allow accessibility and safety. In Kiwi and Coconut. Dishwasher safe. #38208908, MSRP $5.99




This Stainless Steel Food Jar is a perfect vacuum insulated food container that is great for lunch, snacks or anything needed to keep either hot or cold (up to six hours). Leak proof, eco-friendly design is BPA free. Wide mouth is easy to fill, easy to eat from and easy to clean. #35508288, MSRP $24.99





This perfect sized Condiment Set includes three different colored containers great to hold salad dressings, condiments, sauces, dips, nuts, etc. Each with a 1.5 oz. capacity. Great to manage sized meal and snack portions. Leak-proof and BPA free. #38008908, MSRP $5.99



The 10 oz. Nectar Juice Box is a great accompaniment for beverages on the

go. Juice Box features built in straw and flip spout and is sized to fit perfectly into lunch boxes. #38308288, MSRP $6.99.


I received a few samples and my favorites are the Condiment Set and the Double Wall Sipper Bottle. I like that the Condiment Set doesn’t leak and they truly are the perfect size! I use them all the time in my work lunches. I like how durable the Double Wall Sipper Bottle is and would use it all the time but my 12-year-old son claimed that one!

For the full assortment of products,  visit!

This next item may not be necessary for school but it is a Must-Have for fun bike rides this Fall!


This one is a new bike speaker, the Buckshot 2.0. from Outdoor Tech.!

I love how small and compact this one is! I love that it has great sound and that it is also waterproof and shockproof! I really love that it is completely wireless and although it is small the sound is quite mighty! There is a 20-hour battery life and it is available in the following colors: Black, Red, Blue, Gray and Chrome.

More info:

Secure multi-way mounting and 60-foot Bluetooth® range.

Original MSRP: $39.95

Find it at Outdoor Tech.



Back-to-School with Melitta!


Melitta has the perfect items to survive the pre-k carpool lanes and late night college cram sessions. Equally perfect for those early mornings with the kids or for stocking that new dorm room or off-campus apartment, these are the coffee essentials you’ll need to kick the school year off right:


  1. Pour-Over Coffeemaker: The One-Cup Porcelain Pour-Over Cone looks sleek on any countertop and is the ultimate in indulgence and relaxation. Fresh, handcrafted coffee – just like your favorite shop makes – is ready in just three easy steps: put filter and coffee over mug, pour hot water over the grounds and let great tasting coffee drip below. At $19.99, it’s an affordable must-have for the kitchen – making coffee for just pennies a cup – a great back to school gift for budget conscious coffee drinkers and cash-strapped college students, alike!

I just love this one because it is so easy to use and it is so portable! I even take it to work with me! The first time I used it I was simply amazed that it works so well! It truly is a must-have!

  1. Coffee Filters: Melitta is the world’s largest supplier of coffee filters. Its classic #2 – 40 count white cone filters ($1.99/box) are 100% biodegradable and feature double crimped seams for extra strength and durability – guaranteed not to burst. Melitta filters also feature microfine flavor enhancing perforations, which allow the full flavor to filter through – while keeping oils and other impurities out – for a clean-tasting, richer cup of coffee.

I really like these because the coffee grinds don’t seem to go through and they are very durable!


  1. Gourmet Coffee: Inspired by European café culture, Melitta’s Café de Europa premium, extra fine grind bagged coffee ($6.99/bag) features the world’s best beans – high-grown Arabica beans, which are the top two percent of the worldwide Arabica harvest. The result? The flavor of Europe in every cup, available in: Classique (medium roast), Blanc et Noir (light/dark roast blend), Vienna Roast (dark roast), Espresso Toscana (extra dark roast), Riviera Sunset (decaffeinated roast), Parisian Vanilla (creamy vanilla roast), Caramel Macchiato (buttery caramel and sweet vanilla cream roast) and Hazelnut Crème Brûlée (sweet caramel, rich vanilla and wild hazelnut roast).

Melitta has my favorite Gourmet Coffee! My favorite is the Caramel Macchiato!

Check out their website!


Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above items to facilitate this back-to-school featured post.

Aquarium Receives Grant Funding To Teach The Public About Southern California’s Water New exhibits and programs slated to open in spring 2017


Aquarium of the Pacific President and CEO Dr. Jerry Schubel and San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) Board Chair Frank Colonna announced plans for new Aquarium exhibits and programming that highlight the importance of watershed health and water conservation for sustainable communities and native wildlife habitats. California is entering the fifth consecutive year of a prolonged drought, and a drier climate coupled with reduced water imports and growing demand place increasing pressure on our water system. The Aquarium will be creating new watershed exhibits and programs to provide vital information for guests of all ages to help deal with California’s ongoing water crisis thanks to grant funding from the RMC.


“Because of the leadership and support of the RMC we were able to construct the original platform for this exhibit area, and because of their recent support we are now able to redesign the platform, update the story, enhance existing elements, and add new ones. Telling the story of Southern California’s water in a scientifically accurate way is important, and having the platform to deliver that story in ways that engage, educate, and empower is critical to telling the story,” Schubel said.


RMC originally funded the construction of the Aquarium’s Watershed Exhibit and Classroom in 2003 and 2007. Enhancing the entire watershed area at the Aquarium will include updating information, redesigning signage and the methods of information delivery to include digital displays, enriching the aesthetic qualities of the area, making connections to the new Butterfly Garden and Steelhead Exhibit, and upgrading and expanding the capacity of the Watershed Classroom, Long Beach’s first LEED Platinum building.


“The RMC’s mission is to preserve open space and habitat in order to provide for low-impact recreation and educational uses, wildlife habitat restoration and protection, and watershed improvements. The RMC fulfills its mission and supports premier educational facilities such as the Aquarium of the Pacific for their leading role in engaging and educating the public about our watersheds by funding watershed improvement projects such as this, the Aquarium’s Outdoor Education Classroom Improvements,” said Mark Stanley, RMC executive officer.


Design for the upgrades and additional exhibit components will begin in summer 2016 with installation completed by spring 2017. The newly enhanced exhibit will provide a comprehensive platform where visitors can gain a greater understanding of the importance of watershed health and the impacts of water use on local people and native species. The project will update existing signage and add new signage and exhibit components at the Watershed Exhibit; enhance and expand the capacity of the Watershed Classroom; and enhance the aesthetics of the surrounding Watershed area.


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 new Vanishing Animals and Horses and Dragons exhibitions. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. For more information, visit or call 562-590-3100.



The San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy was created by the California legislature in 1999. We’re one of ten conservancies within the California Resources Agency. Our mission is to preserve open space and habitat in order to provide for low-impact recreation and educational uses, wildlife habitat restoration and protection, and watershed improvements within our jurisdiction.


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

Aquarium debuts new Vanishing Animals film to accompany live animal gallery Vanishing Animals film educates the public on biodiversity and mass extinctions using footage from Alucia Productions


For 4.6 billion years, life on Earth has evolved. Change has been a constant factor for life on our planet, but human activity has accelerated the rate of change, making it harder for nature to catch up. A new film playing daily at the Aquarium of the Pacific explores human impacts on our planet and ways we can help prevent loss of biodiversity and protect the health of ecosystems. The film is a companion to theVanishing Animals gallery, which opened at the Aquarium this summer and reveals through live animal exhibits, videos, and interactive displays how human activity has contributed to animal extinctions and how humans have been able to help species recover. Viewers can learn how factors like overfishing, pollution, and habitat loss put endangered species and threatened ecosystems, particularly those in the ocean, at risk and what can be done to help.


The Vanishing Animals film was produced in house using footage from Alucia Productions and original music by Edward Freeman and Marta Victoria of Icarus Studios. As part of the Dalio Ocean Initiative, Alucia Productions’ mission is to create world-class media that educates and inspires people to connect to the ocean.

Public debut on September 14 at a convenient time (shows throughout the day)

Plays daily starting September 14, 2016.


WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific’s Ocean Theater, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802


COST:            Included with admission—$29.95 adult (12+), $26.95 senior (62+), $17.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age three and Aquarium members.


INFO:              (562) 590-3100

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific.



Aquaculture photo credit: Jeff Milisen-Kampachi Farms, LLC

Keeping the Family Safe while Outdoors with U.S. Organic’s Anti-Bug Spray Provides Long-Lasting Protection Against Bugs and Mosquitoes Outdoors and Indoors


Summer may be ending soon but in sunny Southern California, the sun doesn’t go away!

While choosing a good daily SPF is essential for daytime sun, using a good bug-repellent is equally important for day and night alike. No one wants mosquito bites or any insect bite for that matter, and with Zika Virus on the rise, finding the best bug repellent for your family has never been more important.  U.S. Organic Group Corporation, a manufacturer and marketer of certified organic products, has created a line of Anti-Bug Spray products suitable for everyone.

U.S. Organic’s Anti-Bug Spray line offers herbal-based insect repellents made with nine premium organic ingredients. Its formula provides long-lasting protection against bugs and from mosquitoes carrying Zika virus, Dengue virus and West Nile virus diseases. And since the product is free of DEET and other harmful chemicals, it is perfect for babies, kids, expectant moms and the elderly.  U.S. Organic’s Anti Bug Spray is one of the leading bug repellent brands on the market:

  Certified Organic by USDA

·       Kid Safe

·       DEET Free

·       Does not contain synthetic chemicals or alcohol

·       Made in the USA and not tested on animals

·       Refreshing herbal scented fine mist spray that isn’t sticky


The indoor anti bug spray comes in 2 sizes, 4 fluid ounces and 2 fluid ounces (approved for airplane travel and carryon luggage)

U.S. Organic also offers a 4 fluid ounce indoor anti-bug spray that is perfect for pillows, blankets and more. The smooth and dry formula protects your skin while you sleep.

The outdoor 4 fluid ounce spray retails for $11.99, the indoor 4 fluid ounce spray retails for $11.99 and the 2 fluid ounce travel spray retails for $8.99.
I received samples and I love how well it works! What I like most is that it is Kid Safe! I highly recommend!
For more information, visit:

About U.S. Organic

U.S. Organic uses powerful, healthy and natural ingredients to gently treat and nourish the skin. The company has extended its product line to organic repellents, essential oils, body oils, baby oils and carrier oils such as Jojoba, Argan Rosehip oils. A certified organic products’ manufacturing company, U.S. Organic appreciates what nature has provided us—powerful yet gentle ingredients. Our mission is to provide the best and safest products that are in harmony with nature. More info can be found here:

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

Sara Lovell’s “You’ve Got Me” – Musical Love Letter from Mother to Child


This CD is just delightful and so sweet! It truly is a must-buy for all new Moms and their babies! I highly recommend!

Celebrating the unbreakable connection between parent and child, independent recording artist Sara Lovell takes an adventurous leap forward with her fourth album — her first for kids and families — You’ve Got Me, set for release on September 16.

A professional singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with wide-ranging musical interests and three critically praised albums to her credit,Sara Lovell moved to Berkeley from Los Angeles several years ago with a desire to create a permanent home and become a parent.  She’s now a full-time, single mom of an imaginative six-year-old who loves to paint his face and dance in front of the mirror.

Sara Lovell says, “You’ve Got Me is most definitely a love letter to my son, as well as a love letter to other parents and children: to parents who sing and tell stories to their kids and to the children who flourish with joy and creativity.”

With a vividly perceptive eye, a vast musical landscape, and a voice rich in both purity and nuanced detail, You’ve Got Me follows a day in the life of a child, beginning with a song to rouse even the sleepiest sleepyhead and concluding with a reflective lullaby as the sun goes down.

Furry alligator puppies, runaway socks, musical skeletons and flying ships are just a few of the wonders to be encounteed in Sara Lovell’sfanciful world.  With You’ve Got Me, it is apparent that Sara is not so much singing to children as she is reporting back with love from a magical landscape she inhabits.

You’ve Got Me effortlessly incorporates genres as diverse as ’70s-influenced pop, reggaeton, Afro-Caribbean, klezmer, and lounge.  Album highlights include a great blast of energy on “Dance Like There’s Music In Your Pants,” a deliciously spooky number, “The Skeleton Band,” the driving “I Can’t Wait,” and the Harry Nilsson-esque “Off To Bed We Go.”  Passionate gospel-influenced vocals are featured on the album’s title track, a heartfelt pledge of friendship and love.

Sara Lovell explains, “I’ve been a composer and songwriter for the majority of my life, but I put music-making on hold for a while when I made plans to become a parent. I moved to a new city, renovated my house, set up my recording studio and got on the waiting list for adoption.  My beautiful son came, and for the next four and a half years I hummed and sang little bits and pieces of songs and played one-armed lullabies into my phone recorder.  Slowly more brain cells returned, my son became more independent, I began compiling the song snippets (some for grown-ups, too) and I played a few for my producer, Monica Pasqual.  She suggested I finish one of the kids’ songs first, so I completed ‘Off To Bed We Go,’ and the rest came pouring out!”

You’ve Got Me will be available at, iTunes, CDBaby, and

Visit Sara Lovell’s website HERE.

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of this CD to facilitate this post. Photos were provided.

The Shops at Montebello to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Fun Festivities

 In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, The Shops at Montebello is hosting special events throughout the month in recognition of the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.


Notable components of the celebration include:


  • Saturday, September 24 at 12 p.m. in Center Court – The Mariachi Kids will be performing a special, musical expression traditional to Hispanic culture, including sounds from guitars, violins and trumpets.
  • Saturday, October 1 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Center Court – The Steps of Gold Dance Studio Inc. of the Paso de Oro Dance Company will be performing a traditional Mexican folkloric dance. Their unique and outstanding costume designs are sure to delight.
  • Thursday, October 6, at 4 p.m. in Center Court – The Shops at Montebello will share complimentary churros with shoppers (while supplies last).
  • Thursday, October 13 at 4 p.m. in Center Court – The Shops at Montebello will share complimentary pan dulce with guests (while supplies last).

           Thursday, September 15 – Saturday, October 15


WHERE:          The Shops at Montebello

2134 Montebello Town Center

Montebello, CA 90640

Credit: The Shops at Montebello.


1st Annual We Are La Music Festival to benefit Los Angeles children’s charities


The We Are LA Family Music Festival is a daylong celebration that will feature educational family activities representing major cities and cultures in Southern California. It will take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 11am-11pm.

All net proceeds from the festival will benefit the following Los Angeles children’s charities:

826LA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Ameri-I-Can is focused on enabling individuals to meet their academic potential, to conform their behavior to acceptable society standards, and to improve the quality of their lives by equipping them with the critical life management skills to confidently and successfully contribute to society.

CASA of Los Angeles dedicates resources to mobilize community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children.

Happy Trails for Kids provides enriching outdoor adventures, invaluable mentorships, and opportunities to develop leadership skills and prepare children for life after foster.

Junior Achievement of Southern California seeks to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise, business and economics to improve the quality of their lives.

Richstone Family Center is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse and trauma, strengthening and educating families and decreasing violence in families, schools, and communities.

LA Galaxy Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to helping children through educational, health and soccer based initiatives and programs.

Kevin Costner and Modern West, YouTube sensation and America Idol contestant, Jessica Sanchez, and Reluctant Apostles featuring Katey Sagal are the latest musical talents to be added to the lineup. They will be amongst other artists such as: chart-topping singer Rachel Platten, Ozokidz, presented by Ozomatli, Lisa Loeb, Lucky Diaz and The Family Jam Band, and Rhythm Child. Magician and comedian Justin Willman – the host of Cupcake Wars – will also mesmerize audiences.

Attendees can also play soccer with the LA Galaxy, explore with Kidspace Children’s Museum, kayak and fish with the National Park Service, face-paint with Hollywood makeup artists, visit with animals from STAR Eco Station and many more.

Credit: We Are LA Family Music Festival and agencies mentioned above.