Archives for November 22, 2016

It’s starting to look like the holidays at The Shops at Montebello!

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The holidays are here! It’s almost Black Friday! Are you ready to hit the mall to go shopping?

The Shops at Montebello is the place to go! I just visited there this past weekend and loved checking out the Christmas decorations, Santa and they even had Christmas carolers!

I was also able to tour the New Cotton On store! This is the happening store this holiday season! This one is especially great for the 18-30 range but I also found a few sweaters I loved there so it really isn’t just for those ages! It is great for all ages!

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Cotton On is a fast-fashion retailer specializing in affordable clothing for men, women, teenagers and children. Shoppers can snag the latest in fashion, accessories, home goods, gifts and stationary for unbeatable prices. The new, 5,527-square-foot Cotton On storefront opens Saturday, November 19, and is located on the lower level near Center Court.

You really will love Cotton On!
Black Friday doorbusters for Cotton On have already begun online. They have special sales on sweaters, scarves and other fall/winter essentials. Guests can expect similar Black Friday deals in-store on Friday. Website:
Other participating event retailers included:
    • Forever 21 had a mannequin display with holiday favorites
    • Tabling by G by Guess, GAP, JCPenney

Happy Shopping!



Self Disclosure: I participated in a Blogger invite to facilitate this post.

Moana – An Original and Creative New Disney Animated Film With Heartwarming Scenes


Moana Waialiki is a sea voyaging enthusiast and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mia A. comments, “Moana is a fun and creative movie full of adventure and heartwarming scenes. This is not the typical Disney movie because most of the original plots that are in every Disney princess movie don’t apply here.” Carka P adds, “I like this film because it shows how brave girls can be… Against her father’s permission, Moana has to leave her Village and embarks in an ocean adventure to save her people.” Arjun N. wraps it up with, “Moana is an excellent movie that is a colorful visual treat with lots of creativity. The voice acting, stellar animation and a good message impressed me.” See their full reviews below.


By Mia A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12




Moana is a great movie! It is an original and creative movie by Disney and I absolutely love it. Moana is a fun and creative movie full of adventure and heartwarming scenes. This is not the typical Disney movie because most of the original plots that are in every Disney princess movie don’t apply here. For instance, Moana’s parents are still alive at the end of the movie, and she doesn’t have a boyfriend. It has a very unique plot.


Moana is about a young girl named Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) who lives on an island in the Pacific Ocean. She is the chief’s daughter who loves the sea, but she is forbidden to go beyond the reef. She wants to have a better idea of who she is because she is torn between her village and the sea. One day Moana decides to go on a mission to find Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) a demi-god to help restore their crumbling world.


The animation is right on point. I appreciate the creative and very detailed animation because it helped the audience really get involved in and enjoy the movie. The water is animated incredibly well; it moved and looked extremely real. I also enjoyed the hair because in some animated movies, people’s hair doesn’t move. All the hair in this movie had body and went damp when it got wet. The islands have detailed grass and trees. In far out shots looking at the islands you can see all the trees with their leaves and the ridges on the rocks and cliffs. The animation looks a lot like real photographs.


My favorite character is Moana. Moana is brave and confident. She follows her heart and stands up to people who think she is wrong. She would be a great role model for kids.


I think the moral to Moana is if you believe in yourself you can do whatever you dream. Both Maui and Moana both don’t really know who they are. When they talk to each other and learn to like one another, they develop confidence and they succeed in fulfilling their dreams.


I recommend ages 5-18 to see Moana because almost all ages that like Disney would like this movie. Even my dad enjoyed it and he is 60! There could be some scary parts for smaller kids, but nothing too bad. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars! Go see Moana in theatres near you!



By Carla Paz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12



I like this film because it shows how brave girls can be.  Moana is the daughter of the Chief of a Village in the Pacific Island who’s destined to become the leader of her tribe.  At a young age, Moana was taught by her Grandma to love the sea and she told her stories about how the islands were made.  Moana’s father always told her to not go beyond the lagoon in the ocean since it’s dangerous. He was concerned about losing her.

Against her father’s permission, Moana has to leave her Village and embarks in an ocean adventure to save her people.  The demigod Maui took the heart of the maker of all lands Te Ka and Moana has to find him to give back the heart to Te Ka, otherwise their land is going to be ruined.

Moana is produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios in a unique CG animation style that looks very realistic, like virtual reality.  The voice over actors are all quite wonderful, especially Rachel House. I love how she portrays her character Grandma Tala because her voice delivers such grant emotion.  Also, Dwayne Johnson portrays his character Maui very well with a very adventurous tone.  I like how they animate Te Ka with extraordinary animation effects.  The writers really make this story about an emotional heroine quite a fantastic story. I got emotional when I saw this movie because of the relationship between Moana and her grandma. I commend the directors, John Musker and Ron Clements for delivering such a great film with outstanding visuals and sound.

My favorite characters are Grandma Tala because she has so much faith in Moana. She doesn’t mind that people call her crazy for loving the sea. I also love Moana because she is very brave and courageous. I like how, even though her father is afraid for her she still goes to fight for her people.

The message of this movie is to believe in yourself, follow your heart and fight challenges. Moana believes in herself when only one other person does. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because of its inspiring message. I recommend it to ages 6 to 18. This is the perfect movie to see over the holidays with family and friends. You can find this movie at your local movie theater on November 23!


By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14


Moana is an excellent movie that is a colorful visual treat with lots of creativity. The voice acting, stellar animation and a good message impressed me. However, I didn’t care for the slow exposition. Despite this flaw, this movie is still a fun experience to watch.

The story is about Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), the daughter of the respected chief on Motunui Island, wanting to venture out into the sea. One day, danger faces Motunui Island and Moana must go out to save it. Moana is chosen to reunite the Heart of Te Fiti, which was stolen by the legendary demigod, Maui (Dwayne Johnson). Moana teams up with the arrogant Maui in order to reunite the Heart of Te  Fiti and both face various dangers.

Auli’I Cravalho delivers an excellent first performance and steals the show as Moana showing her adventurous and determined side, distinguishing Moana from the rest of the Disney characters. It is surprising that this is her first performance because of how well she performs. Dwayne Johnson also steals the show in his charismatic and funny performance as Maui. Dwayne Johnson, as usual, puts his best work into his characters. Rachel House delivers an outstanding performance as Gramma Tala, who is important in Moana’s call to adventure.

John Muskers and Ron Clements’s direction keeps the movie flowing from one place to another whether it is a lush island or the windy seas. The animation is some of the best I have seen, particularly the water effects. The bright colors of the various locations also impressed me. I have rarely ever seen a movie with such good use of colors. My favorite scene in the movie is the fight scene between Maui and a giant crab. I can’t spoil it, but it is uniquely creative.  The movie is not all perfect. The exposition showing Moana growing up is a little slow and drags, but this is only 10 minutes of the movie. The rest of the movie is amazing.

The movie has a great message about how Moana never gives up. She is constantly reminded that she can’t perform such adventurous tasks, but she always tries her best to face the challenges. I give this movie 4 ½ out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18 years old. This film opens in theaters on November 23rd , so go check it out.





Yogurtland Introduces Most Colorful Flavors Yet, Inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls ~ Adventure to Yogurtland for 10 Hair Raising Flavors ~


Inspired by the colorful characters of the new DreamWorks Animation film Trolls, Yogurtland, the ever-popular self-serve frozen yogurt pioneer, is introducing 10 colorful flavors, a new fun topping and two collectible spoons, available since October 20th until December 21st.


From the creators of Shrek comes DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls, a smart, funny and irreverent comedy about the search for happiness, and just how far some will go to get it.  This hilarious film transports audiences to a colorful, wondrous world populated by the overly optimistic Trolls, who have a constant dance in their step and a song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomachs.

Trolls arrived in theaters on November 4th, 2016.


”This wonderful family film inspired us with its creativity and optimistic message for young and old alike. Our colorful, Trolls flavors give our fans of all ages something to sing and dance about,” said Phillip Chang, Yogurtland founder and CEO. “Just like the film joins family together on a wild ride, Yogurtland brings family and friends together to experience a deliciously inspired flavor spectrum.”



Ten Trolls Inspired Flavors

These flavors will have Yogurtland fans singing, dancing, and smiling while enjoying one of these creamy flavors inspired by the colorfully fun characters from the film, Trolls, such as Poppy’s White Chocolate Raspberry, Cooper’s Caramel Apple, King Peppy’s Chocolate Covered Pretzel, Branch’s Peanut Butter Caramel, Guy Diamond’s White Chocolate Peppermint, Creek’s Butterscotch Pudding Gelato, Smidge’s Cinnamon Donut Holes, and Biggie’s Frosted Cookie. And for those who prefer a tangier flavor, Yogurtland is offering innovative tastes such as Satin and Chenille’s Blueberry Mangosteen Tart, and DJ Suki’s Cranberry Raspberry Tart.


To complement the flavors, Yogurtland is introducing Milk Chocolate Mini Twist Pretzels as a new topping. These twists perfectly combine sweet and savory in each crunchy bite.


For a limited-time only, Yogurtland has two new collectible spoons inspired by the Trolls main characters Poppy and Branch so guests can bring home the fun from Trolls and the tasty flavor from Yogurtland. These collectible spoons are only available while supplies last.

I just tried the Biggie’s Frosted Cookie tonight and love it! I highly recommend trying this one this week! I love Yogurtland because they have so many flavor choices and so many different toppings! 

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The Yogurtland Difference

Continually evolving the popular frozen yogurt trend, Yogurtland has built a growing business by redefining dessert and delivering the ultimate culinary experience. The Trolls inspired flavors created by Yogurtland’s flavorologists allow the one-of-a-kind flavors to continue to grow beyond basic taste profiles and serve people a variety of toppings to delight every taste bud.


Separating Yogurtland from competitors is the company’s team of flavorologists who develop the proprietary recipes for the brand’s more than 250 different and customized flavors that are produced in the company’s own dairy plant in Paramount, Calif. Whether traditional or exotic, each flavor uses real ingredients sourced from their original locations. By controlling the entire frozen yogurt-making process, Yogurtland has raised the standards for flavors and quality to new heights much to the delight of millions of fans.

All of Yogurtland’s flavors meet the National Yogurt Association Criteria for “live and active culture frozen yogurt” and are produced in a kosher-certified facility. Yogurtland features non-fat and low-fat yogurt flavors as well as non-dairy and no sugar added choices while using milk that does not contain antibiotics or added hormones. As for the sorbet, fruit flavors are fortified with Vitamin C for an extra boost.

Connect with Yogurtland on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, add us on Snapchat at @yogurtlandinc or visit us online at

Self Disclosure: I received a free gift card to check out the newest flavors! Top photo was provided for this post. Other photos are my own.

Local youth wins Nickelodeon HALO Award

It’s not every day that a local 13-year old boy is nationally recognized for his dedication and work in the community, but such is the case for Long Beach youth Jonas Corona!


This Sunday, November 27, Jonas will receive a Nickelodeon HALO Award 2016 awarding his work to start his own non-profit, Love in the Mirror, which provides disadvantaged youth and their families with basic necessities such as food, clothing and learning.


Jonas will appear at a viewing party for the Nickelodeon HALO Award 2016 on Nov. 27 from 6-9pm at Legends Sports Bar in Long Beach (5236 E. 2ndStreet, Long Beach, CA). To celebrate his award, Jonas is asking for people to bring a new, unwrapped toy valued at $5 or more which will be donated to Love in the Mirror. The award show will be simulcast on Sunday on all three networks:  Nickelodeon, TeenNick and Nicktoons.


At the age of six, with the help of his mom, Jonas founded the nonprofit, inspired after he met a homeless child his own age. Since its founding, Love in the Mirror has helped over 45,000 homeless people through fundraising and collection drives for socks, hygiene items, and new toys for the holidays. When asked about why he started his nonprofit, Love in the Mirror, Jonas replied simply: “I just like helping and giving.”


Jonas is able to balance his commitment to his nonprofit, training in competitive tennis and the demands of schoolwork due to the flexibility of online school.  An 8th grader, Jonas is in in his third year at California Virtual Academies, a tuition-free, online public charter school with award-winning curriculum.

Credit: Donna Savarese, Lead Corporate Communications and Public Relations for K12 Inc.

Rigoni di Asiago Cranberry Sauce for this Thanksgiving!


While Thanksgiving dinner is absolutely delicious, it isn’t always the healthiest way to celebrate the season. Rigoni di Asiago is trying to help by offering a better-for-you addition to your cranberry sauce, Fiordifrutta Organic Fruit Spread Cranberry.

I received a sample and I really like it! So far, I have tried it on toast but am looking forward to trying it on a Thanksgiving Turkey sandwich! Yum! It is sweet but no too sweet and I prefer this over regular cranberry sauce. 

I like that it is a healthy option! Fiordifrutta Organic Fruit Spread is organic, non-GMO, Kosher certified, and gluten free. Its ingredients consist of cranberries and apple juice- that’s it! The natural sweetness from the apple juice brings out the rich, cranberry flavor of this Italian spread, making it a delectable and guilt-free way to enjoy your turkey, rolls and even leftover turkey sandwiches.

Look for it at a store near you and on!

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. Photo was also provided.

Burke Williams Announces Holiday Gift Card Packages Give the Gift of Relaxation and Receive a Gift Just for You!


Packages Available Starting Black Friday!

Burke Williams is pleased to introduce three special Gift Card Packages perfect for the holiday season. A luxurious selection of Burke Williams signature services are offered at an unprecedented value, and each gift purchased will include a coveted 3-Day Spa Pass as a special gift just for you. Spreading holiday cheer has never been more relaxing; pamper the ones you love while saving money with Burke Williams Gift Card Packages.


Burke Williams Day Spas are a sanctuary for stress relief and a destination for rejuvenation. The “Introduction,” “Relaxation,” and “Transformation” Gift Card Packages offer the ultimate in relaxation and renewal at a discounted price, packages go on sale Friday, November 25 and vary slightly by spa location. With each purchase you will receive a 3-day spa pass good for three complimentary visits to the spa nearest you and 20% off services booked the same day, giving the gift of relaxation to you and the special people in your life.


Treat the ones you love to a Burke Williams “Introduction” that includes a luxurious 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage or nourishing Spy Style Facial, and our fabulous Spa Pedicure starting at $129 (regular price $169 and up). “Relaxation” is a rejuvenating escape that offers an 80-minute Burke Williams Massage or 80-minute Spa Style Facial with peel and our Spa Pedicure starting at $179 (regular price $239 and up).


TransformationFor Her will allow the ladies in your life to indulge in an 80-minute Burke Williams Massage, a 50-minute Spa Style Facial, and our Spa Pedicure, starting at $279 (regular price $358 and up). “TransformationFor Him offers the special men in your life a chance to enjoy an 80-minute Deep Tissue Massage, 50-minute Men’s Facial, and a Spa Pedicure starting at $279 (regularly $368 and up).


Spa services and pricing for the packages vary slightly per spa location and go on sale Friday, November 25. For information on Burke Williams and to find a spa near you visit or call 1-866-239-6635. Give the special someone in your life the gift of relaxation and receive a gift just for you with Burke Williams Gift Card Packages.

Credit: Burke Williams.

More info about Burke Williams:

For over 30 years Burke Williams Day Spa has been committed to creating an environment of refinement that inspires and provides its guest with a luxurious sanctuary to unwind. With ten locations across Northern and Southern California and the exclusive in-spa skin care line H2V, relaxation awaits with each of our European-inspired treatments including massage therapy, body wraps, facials, manicures, pedicures, baths and an array of signature spa services.


Dunkin’ Donuts to Celebrate National Espresso Day on November 23 by Offering Any Medium Hot or Iced Espresso Beverage for $1.99 Guests can enjoy this offer on Dunkin’ Donuts’ delicious Macchiato, Latte or Cappuccino


This Wednesday, November 23rd, isn’t just one of the busiest travel days of the year. It’s also National Espresso Day, and Dunkin’ Donuts is celebrating the holiday by making it easy for guests to keep on running through the day with an espresso beverage in hand. On November 23, participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants throughout the country will offer any medium hot or iced espresso beverage for the special price of only $1.99.


Dunkin’ Donuts’ menu of rich and robust espresso offerings include Hot and Iced Macchiatos, Hot and Iced Lattes, and Cappuccinos. All Dunkin’ Donuts espresso beverages are made with 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified espresso and are sourced from the finest, high-quality Arabica beans. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Macchiatos, Lattes and Cappuccinos can be customized with a guest’s choice of dairy or sweetener.


Additionally, for the holiday season the brand is offering a sweet variety of seasonal flavors to help keep anyone dashing through their day, including new Crème Brulée Macchiatos and Lattes featuring the rich, creamy taste of crème brulée with a deep, caramelized sugar flavor. Other holiday favorites include classic Peppermint Mocha, which combines cool peppermint flavor with rich chocolate, and Salted Caramel, which offers sweet and salty notes with each delicious sip.


“With National Espresso Day coinciding with the one of the most active travel days of the year, it’s the perfect time to show appreciation for our guests by making it easier to enjoy any of our signature espresso beverages,” said Chris Fuqua, Dunkin’ Donuts’ Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing, Global Consumer Insights and Product Innovation. “We welcome everyone to celebrate National Espresso Day with a medium hot or iced espresso beverage for the special price of only $1.99, and we look forward to helping our guests stay energized with our full espresso lineup throughout the busy weeks ahead.”


To learn more about Dunkin’ Donuts, visit or follow us on Facebook (, Instagram ( and Twitter (

Credit: Dunkin’ Donuts.


Free Lyft Rides – BoxLunch’s Black Friday & Super Saturday Promo


Brought to you by BoxLunch, the pop culture gift store with a cause, and Lyft, now it’s even easier to receive free ride credits to the malls listed below.

With no purchase requirement, you can enter code BOXLUNCH into your Lyft app to receive free Lyft ride credits for two rides, to or from the participating malls, up to $15 off per ride, between 11/25 – 11/27. We hope you’ll stop by BoxLunch and stock up on your holiday gifts before catching your Lyft ride home.


BoxLunch’s civic mission of “Get Some. Give Back” remains constant. For every $10 spent in-store or online, BoxLunch helps provide a healthy meal to those in need via its philanthropic partner Feeding America® and their nationwide network of food banks.

Hours of BoxLunch/Lyft Promo Operation:
· Friday, November 25 – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
· Saturday, November 26 – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
· Sunday, November 27 – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Participating Malls:
· Brea Mall
1065 Brea Mall
Brea, CA 92821

Food Bank: Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
8014 Marine Way, Irvine, CA 92618

· Del Amo Mall
3525 W. Carson St.
Torrance, CA 90503

Food Bank: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
1734 E. 41st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90058

· Glendale Galleria
100 West Broadway
Glendale, CA 91210

Food Bank: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
1734 E. 41st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90058

· Irvine Spectrum
670 Spectrum Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

Food Bank: Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
8014 Marine Way, Irvine, CA 92618

· Los Cerritos Center
239 Los Cerritos Mall
Cerritos, CA 90703

Food Bank: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
1734 E. 41st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90058

· Northridge Fashion Center
9301 Tampa Ave
Northridge, CA 91324

Food Bank: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
1734 E. 41st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90058


Credit: BoxLunch and Lyft.