Archives for February 17, 2017

Dana Point Harbor Welcomes 46th ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF WHALES With Family-Friendly Activities March 4 – 12


The County of Orange, OC Parks and Dana Point Harbor invite families to the “Whale Capital of the West” during the Dana Point Festival of Whales March 4 & 5, 11 & 12. Experience this ancient winter to spring migratory ritual with family and friends, and enjoy seaside activities and whale watching excursions.

The 46th Annual Festival of Whales will take place on the weekends of March 4 & 5 and 11 & 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Explore all that Dana Point Harbor offers both on and off shore with a variety of fun and educational activities for the whole family including a parade, the Whale of a Concert and BBQ, sand sculpting competition, educational hands-on activities and more.

The Festival of Whales Parade on March 4 at 10 a.m. will kick off the two-weekend celebration, embracing the festival’s theme of Magical Migration with floats, giant helium balloons and more. The route will run along Pacific Coast Highway, beginning at Selva Road and ending at Golden Lantern in Dana Point.

Whale watching excursions will depart from the wharf every hour on the hour from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the festival weekends, and showcase the abundance of marine life on Southern California’s coast. Prices and trip durations vary.

Wrap up a wonderful weekend of whale watching at the Whale of a Concert and BBQ on March 12 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. This free, outdoor concert at Baby Beach will feature three bands performing atop a floating stage.

Parking will be available in different parking lots throughout the festival and all lots are serviced by free shuttles. The free shuttles will be running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of the festival with extended service hours the morning of the parade on March 4 and the afternoon of the Whale of a Concert on March 12.

Leap into spring this March at the 46th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales and enjoy two fun-filled weekends of marine life and activities. Visit for additional information.

Credit: The County of Orange, OC Parks and Dana Point Harbor.



The new House of Blues Anaheim – the first new House of Blues to be built in the U.S. in a decade – is set to open March 2017 – and will kick off a yearlong 25th anniversary of legendary music halls and restaurants.

The first House of Blues opened in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, in November 1992. Opening 25 years later the new House of Blues Anaheim will represent the ultimate House of Blues experience, combining the best of the past with the most advanced technologies of the future.

“House of Blues Anaheim will embrace our same familiar rock and roll vibe with contemporary flourishes that ensures our musical, culinary and sensory experience fits future generations while solidly representing our historic roots,” said Ron Bension, president, House of Blues Entertainment. “The venue pays homage to the past 25 years and celebrates the next 25 to come.”

House of Blues Anaheim combines 44,000 square feet of space, more than twice the size of the former location, with live music in four unique entertainment spaces all under one roof.

The main concert hall will welcome up to 2,200 concert goers yet still maintain the intimate feel that the House of Blues brand is universally recognized for. Bension said, “The room will offer ‘incredible’ sight lines, state-of-the-art sound and lighting, and an opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with the performers on stage.” All four of HOB Anaheim’s entertainment and food spaces will have the most advanced sound system of any House of Blues, and the location will feature live entertainment every night.

A second live music and special event space, The Parish, will offer an even more intimate musical experience with a capacity of only 400 guests. Designed for singer/songwriters, local artists, smaller touring bands, and intimate showcases, the room can adjust to accommodate lounge seating or a standing-room configuration with optimum sight lines from every angle.

The party will continue in the legendary Foundation Room, a VIP club open to all guests most nights, which includes a spectacular culinary menu, inviting lounge, the hottest DJs, and a unique craft cocktail program. The Foundation Room membership program offers enhanced benefits such as priority ticketing providing advanced ticket purchase privileges; premium seating and dedicated concierge services for the members entire evening experience; VIP tables and bottle service; insider access to pre-concert events and after show parties; and elite status savings on dining, drinks, merchandise, and for reserving private parties.

House of Blues Restaurant and Bar will introduce the ultimate food-meets-music experience. A new menu will present a twist on soulful comfort food. The bar will span from inside to out onto a spacious open-air patio with a robust craft beer menu and a creative cocktail program. The intimate restaurant stage will welcome live music most nights.

“No venue has ever combined all of this under one roof,” said Bension. “Some nights will have four bands playing in four separate performance spaces at the same time. It will truly be a 4-D live music entertainment experience.”

The first performances at House of Blues Anaheim will be announced soon with tickets on sale mid-November.

For more information, stay connected to

Credit: House of Blues Anaheim.

Bake a Batch of Homemade Treats for National Love Your Pet Day! Peanut Butter Bones Recipe from Carrington Farms

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February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day (it’s like the Valentine’s Day for your pets!) and what better way to express your love than with treats! Dog lovers want the best for their furry companions, and that’s really easy to do when you make your own dog treats.

Here’s  A Recipe for Peanut Butter Bones from our friends at Carrington Farms.

Peanut Butter Bones


1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon of Carrington Farm’s Virgin Coconut Oil

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Whisk together peanut butter, honey, oil and chicken broth. In a separate bowl, combine flours and oatmeal. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.


Place dough on flour dusted surface. Roll or press dough out to about 1/4″ inch thick. Use a small bone cookie cutter to cut out cookies. The size is up to you, depending on the size of your dog. Roll out leftover scraps and cut out as many as possible.


Put cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.


Store at room temp in an airtight container for about a week, or longer if you store in the refrigerator.

Credit: Carrington Farms.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood To Feature La La Land


In celebration of this year’s award season, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood will spotlight Lionsgate’s Oscar nominated film, La La Land, as a limited addition to the tour. From Feb. 18 to March 6, 2017, guests can find themselves in a scene from the film as they step onto the ‘Café Sur Le Lot,’ coffee shop set, which has been carefully reconstructed.


Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood was a recipient of Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards and has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Attractions in the United States. A tour visit includes a rare look inside many of the film’s production and backlot areas which were also used in the creation of Academy Award Best Picture winners Argo and Casablanca.


Tour guests will explore the iconic 110-acre studio as well as the innovative Stage 48: Script to Screen. The interactive soundstage offers guests the unique opportunity to explore the full film and television production process and the glory of awards season. Guests explore the Archive, which currently showcases the tour’s latest addition, From J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: The Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Exhibit offering an up-close look at how J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World has been brought to life over the past 15 years. The Archive also includes DC Universe: The Exhibit which pays homage to the origins of DC Comics, including original comic books featuring all seven Super Heroes of the Justice League. Additionally, guests can explore authentic props and costumes from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Guests also stop by the Prop Department, which features one of the largest selections of rare antiquities and modern furniture, rugs, drapery, lighting and hand props from Hollywood’s golden era, followed by the Picture Car Vault, home to some of Batman’s most famous vehicles.


Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is open Monday through Sunday, 9:00AM to 3:00PM, with studio tours departing every 30 minutes and extended hours offered during the summer, spring-break and winter holiday seasons. Reservations are recommended and all children eight years or older are welcomed. Regular tickets are $62 per person and can be purchased online at or by calling 818-977-TOUR (8687).



La La Land received a record-tying 14 Academy Award® nominations and won seven Golden Globe Awards®, setting a record for the most ever won by a single film. Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Damien Chazelle, La La Land tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, La La Land was produced by Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Gary Gilbert and Marc Platt. Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment presents, a Marc Platt production, an Imposter Pictures / Gilbert Films production.


Credit: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood.


Books of the Week!

I love the Picture Books from Sky Pony Press! Here are a few of my favorites:


That’s Not The Monster We Ordered by Richard Fairgray, Tara Black, and Terry Jones (9/6/16, Sky Pony Press, Ages 3–6):The day the Turner family gets their very own monster is a momentous event in the neighborhood. Except, the monster that shows up isn’t the monster they ordered at all. That’s Not the Monster We Ordered is a fun and silly picture book about how something can be pretty great even though it’s not quite what you expected. This book from the brilliant minds behind Gorillas in Our Midst and My Grandpa Is A Dinosaur and newcomer Tara Black is an enjoyable new twist on traditional household pets and is full of enough silly antics to warrant multiple rereads.

Young children will laugh out loud over this story and I love the illustrations!

This one can be purchased at

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See You Later, Alligator by Sally Hopgood and Emma Levey: (9/20/16, Sky Pony Press, Ages 3–6): A departing tortoise has his bags packed and is almost ready to set out on an adventure, but he can’t leave until he says good-bye to each of his animal friends. This sweet and colorful book is a silly story with bright, engaging illustrations and expressive, rhyming text that children will want to read—and giggle through—again and again.

This is such a fun book for young children!

You can purchase on

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Do you have a child that says they are bored? They will love this one! I Am So Bored! by Sally Hopgood and Emma Levey: (9/20/16, Sky Pony Press, Ages 3–6): A departing tortoise has his bags packed and is almost ready to set out on an adventure, but he can’t leave until he says good-bye to each of his animal friends. This sweet and colorful book is a silly story with bright, engaging illustrations and expressive, rhyming text that children will want to read—and giggle through—again and again.

Purchase at

This next one is such a cute story!

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The Beagle with the Magical Nose

Cindy Koebele and Lori Weaver

Illustrated by Michael LaDuca.

The entertaining series of Puppa-naWuppana books is based on the real-life antics of Cindy Koebele’s very own beloved Beagle! The real life Puppa-naWuppana is always having new adventures. Key messages include the wonders of adopting a pet from a Beagle farm for children and families; learning responsibility by having and taking care of a pet and the joy having a pet in the home for a family or individual.

I love how this teaches about the responsibility of taking care of a pet!

It can be purchased on and is also available for the Kindle.

I just love this next Picture book! The illustrations are amazing and so is the story!


NY1’s Pat Kiernan picture book, GOOD MORNING, CITY

From bakers to newspaper deliverers, to traffic controllers and school bus drivers, GOOD MORNING, CITY introduces all the various people who wake up extra early so that you can start the day!


This one is perfect for younger readers!

You can also purchase on

 Looking for a Chapter Book Series for your Dinosaur loving Kid?
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MICROSAURS is a new chapter book series from video game developer and illustrator Dustin Hansen, which combines dinosaurs, skateboarding, and fun gadgets for unforgettable adventures!
In this first Microsaurs adventure, FOLLOW THAT TINY-DACTYL, Danny and Lin follow a tiny pterodactyl to a secret laboratory, and find themselves shrink-ified and surrounded by dinosaurs! Soon, they’re enlisted by Professor Penrod, the paleontologist who discovered the Microsaurs, to watch them while he goes looking for more. Who knew that tracking one tiny pterodactyl would open up such a giant world of adventure?
With punchy illustrations, neat gadgets, and informative backmatter filled with facts about the real-life dinosaurs on which the Microsaurs are based, this new chapter book series is sure to appeal to dinosaur fans, daredevils, and young scientists alike!
I received a copy of this book and enjoyed reading it with my young nephew. He loved the characters and all of the adventure!
 MICROSAURS: TINY-RAPTOR PACK ATTACK also came out this past summer! 
You can purchase both on
Living in Southern California and loving the beach I can relate to this next one!
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But, this is not really a book about surfing at the beach! It’s truly much more than that! This is a one-of-a-kind children’s book series The Tuttle Twins by Connor Boyack, who is president of the free market think tank Libertas Institute and a father of two. This unique series aims to help parents teach their children fundamental American values like free market economics and limited government.
I actually was quite impressed with this book and highly recommend it for children ages 6-11. It’s educational and entertaining! It really teaches an important lesson!
The Road to Surfdom is available at For more information about The Tuttle Twins series and Connor Boyack, visit

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Photos and info were provided. I only feature books that I highly recommend!