Archives for April 21, 2017

Science in the Park Comes to Irvine Regional Park Saturday, April 29 Join OC Parks and The Cooper Center for a free family festival celebrating archaeology, paleontology, history, culture, and science.


The County of Orange and OC Parks are pleased to announce Science in the Park, a free family event on Saturday, April 29 at Irvine Regional Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Science in the Park is presented in partnership with The Dr. John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center, and celebrates Orange County’srich heritage of natural history, native animals and plants, local Native American culture, and will explore the fascinating world of science with the community.


Science in the Park welcomes the young and the young at heart to enjoy a variety of activities including archaeological and paleontological demonstrations and exhibits, science experiments, and a volcano eruption demonstration. The event will also feature the Junior Scientist Camp that offers educational crafts and hands-on activities that span Native American rock art, microfossil investigation, mini fossil & artifact excavations, fossil rubbings, and more.

Additional participants for Science in the Park include volcano expert Dr. Val Memeti, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Tucker Wildlife Center, Mineralogical Society of SouthernCalifornia, California State University Fullerton’s Mathematics Club, Chemistry Club and Geology Club, SWCA Environmental Consultants,
and Sea & Sage Audubon.

Science in the Park is presented by OC Parks’ Cooper Center in partnership with California State University – Fullerton. The event will be held at Irvine Regional Park wherethe Orange County Zoo is located, and the Zoo will have a Discovery Cart and Ranger talks throughout the day. Join OC Parks for a day of fun, sun, and opportunities to learn about Orange County’s rich natural heritage.

April 29 – Science in the Park

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Event Cost: FREE

Parking: $5 per vehicle

Zoo Admission: $2

Location: 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869


Credit: The County of Orange and OC Parks.

Autism Awareness Month Here's a list of some great resources!

Autism Awareness during Big Sur!

KultureCity Launches Innovative Program Benefitting Families

With Autistic Children.

NestFresh, the leader in sustainable, local, humane and natural eggs, has pledged to support the charitable efforts of partner KultureCity through the organization’s unique fundraising campaign titled KCFit. This marathon season, KCFit, with the help of caring partners like NestFresh, will attend a number of the nation’s most prestigious marathons. In doing so, KultureCity’s advocates will use the KCFit platform to promote acceptance for all special needs children while fundraising in support of the lifeBOKS program. In launching this exceptional fundraising endeavor, NestFresh has joined the KCFit team, helping to promote upcoming races and educating consumers about both KultureCity and KCFit. The egg producer will support the organization through marketing promotional efforts.


The concept of KCFit was born of KultureCity co-founder Dr. Michele Kong Maha and NFL legend Tiki Barber to merge philanthropy with physical fitness through exercise, diet and community. With the philosophy “We can achieve anything, even the impossible, one step at a time. It starts with having the courage to take the first step,” each marathon attended by KCFit will fundraise for KultureCity’s innovative lifeBOKS program. The lifeBOKS program provides free kits to the families of autistic children to prevent wandering and wandering related accidents. In NestFresh’s current partnership with KCFit, the brand will continue its history of giving back to the communities it serves in meaningful ways.


“NestFresh is proud to support KultureCity and its KCFit program as part of our ongoing commitment to helping those who do good in our communities,” shares Brandy Gamoning, Marketing Manager at NestFresh. “We have been impressed by the work KultureCity does since they were nominated and eventually voted the winner of our first NestFresh Cares contest. This partnership with KultureCity allows us to continue to engage with consumers that care just as much about their communities as we do.”


“KCFit is a fantastic initiative that will continue to support the incredible work of KultureCity and the lifeBOKS program,” shares Dr. Michele Kong, Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer of KultureCity. “We’re proud that NestFresh has joined our team of individuals and organizations that truly care about the vision, purpose and health of KultureCity.”


NestFresh’s support of KultureCity and KCFit pivots on the values upon which NestFresh stands. From the company’s partnerships with family farmers nationwide to its insistence on transparency from farm to grocery store, this year’s giving efforts align with everything NestFresh has worked towards since the brand’s founding in 1991.


About NestFresh

NestFresh Eggs was the first nationally distributed egg line to receive the Non-GMO Project Verified seal from the Non-GMO Project and to offer liquid and dry egg products that are also Non-GMO Project Verified for retail, food service and manufacturing.
“Coding Autism” Launches to Train Adults with Autism How to Code

Program Aims to Combat Unemployment and Underemployment Rates Among People with Autism; Crowdfunding Campaign Launches to Help Fund Program and Provide Scholarships

(Los Angeles, CA) – April 13, 2017 – Every year, the number of people diagnosed with autism rises, however there are simply not enough quality programs designed towards training adults with autism with real-world career skills.  As a result, too many are either unemployed or working in menial jobs below their skill level.  To help adults with autism learn the fundamental skills necessary to secure an entry-level web developer job, LA-based Coding Autism has announced a new program to train those with autism how to code.

To help fund the program, and allow contributors to provide for scholarships so that the entire 15-person first class can attend tuition-free, Coding Autism has launched a crowdfunding campaign at:

Coding Autism’s first web development boot camp is called the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive. This is a 15-week, full-time course where students will be learning the fundamental skills of coding.  The first class will take place at Hub 101 in Thousand Oaks, CA (Greater Los Angeles Area) with online classes planned in 2018.

“It is completely unacceptable that our autistic community is experiencing an over 80% unemployment and underemployment rate,” said Oliver Thornton, CEO & co-founder of Coding Autism.  “As passionate advocates who have either been diagnosed with autism ourselves or have family members affected with autism, we understand that with the right resources, training, coaching and environment that individuals with autism can thrive in the workforce.”

By founding Coding Autism and launching the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive, Mr. Thornton believes that they can create highly qualified, skilled, and eager to work autistic employees to fill job vacancies in the tech industry.

Research has shown that typical autistic characteristics such as attention to detail, affinity for repetitive tasks and introversion are all traits that lend themselves to becoming a successful employee within the tech industry.  With the $50k+ average annual salary for entry-level, full-time web developers, tech is an attractive industry in which to pursue a career.

Over the last decade, companies such as Microsoft and SAP have implemented autism hiring initiatives.  This was done not to combat autistic unemployment, but because they have seen that adults with autism can be exceptional employees and drive innovation when provided the right structure, mentorship and on-boarding.  Students that want to enroll can sign-up to receive more information at:

A video can be seen at:

About Coding Autism:
Coding Autism is a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance, and web development. We also assist our graduates in finding employment within the software and technology industries. We do so by providing services such as immersive programs and bootcamps, resume workshops, career counseling, interview preparation, and coaching/mentorship, all of which is designed around providing an environment where people on the spectrum can thrive.  More information is available at

Self Disclosure: Information was sent to me for posting.

Burke Williams Offers Mother’s Day Gift Card Packages Treat the women in your life to a luxurious spa day that includes the all-new Passion Fruit and Agave Pedicure.


Burke Williams is pleased to announce three special Gift Card Packages to celebrate Mother’s Day and pamper the women in your life with a rejuvenating spa day. Each exclusive package includes the all-new Passion Fruit and Agave Pedicure, a nourishing pedicure that’s paired with a selection of Burke Williams signature services.


Give the gift of renewal this Mother’s Day with the “Relax,” “Escape,” and “For Two: A Special Mother / Daughter Experience” Gift Card Packages. Each package includes the Passion Fruit and Agave Pedi, which uses Passion Fruit and Blue Agave Sugar Scrub to exfoliate, Honey Heel Glaze to nourish the skin, and Passion Fruit and Agave body soufflé to hydrate. Each package is offered at an incredible value, and packages are available now and vary slightly per spa location.


Moms will “Relax” with the Passion Fruit and Agave Pedicure with her choice of a 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage -or- Spa Style facial starting at just $149 ($189 value or higher). “Escape” with a Passion Fruit and Agave Pedicure, a 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage -and- a 50-minute Spa Style facial all starting at $249 ($308 value or higher). “For Two: A Special Mother / Daughter Experience” welcomes mothers and daughters to share in a relaxing experience and enjoy the nourishing Passion Fruit and Agave Pedicure with their choice of a 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage -or- a 50-minute Spa Style facial for just $299 ($378 value).


Guests must be 18 years of age to enjoy a massage. Pedicure services are not available at the Mission Viejo spa and will be substituted with a 25-minute Salt or Sugar Glo for the Mother’s Day packages. Package pricing can vary per spa location.


Mother’s Day packages are available now through May 14. Visit a Burke Williams spa location near you or online at for gift cards and reservations by location. Go beyond the spa with Burke Williams this Mother’s Day.

I recently visited Burke Williams Spa in Torrance and had a lovely visit! I had a 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage and it was simply heavenly! I highly recommend this service and this location! I’m already a big fan of Burke Williams Spa and love to spend half a day relaxing there and being pampered! If you have the time, you should spend a whole day there! I love the staff because they really make you feel special! But, it truly is the whole atmosphere! It’s like an escape from your hectic everyday hustle and bustle and you don’t even have to drive very far! 


Self Disclosure: I received a media-comped visit to facilitate this post. No other compensation was provided.

Red Hot Teen Retailer Five Below To Open Its First L.A. Stores, April 21st! Grand Opening at the Hawthorne location this weekend!


Looking for a really cool store for ‘Tweens and Teens? This is the store to visit!

Starting April 21, LA area teens, tweens and their parents will experience a greater degree of “cool” when the trend-right, extreme-value retailing phenomenon Five Below opens its first nine stores in California.
You may not be familiar with Five Below (after all, the Philadelphia-based company’s closest location to LA is Oklahoma), but it is a hip, high-energy destination for the younger demographic looking for “gotta have” stuff — including backpacks, sporting goods, iPhone cases, books, candy, makeup and hundreds of other items — all for $5 or less.  (  The company currently has nearly 600 stores in 32 states (plus Washington, D.C.).
My 13-year-old son and I had the opportunity to visit the store the other day and were quite impressed! It is already open but there will be some Grand Opening specials this weekend such as hotdogs for 5 cents!
My favorite things were the T-shirts and the Big Pinwheels! My son loved the BIG candy selection!
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Everything there is between the prices of $1-$5. I like that there is such a variety of products. They have a really great selection of Mothers Day cards by the way! 😉
I really think that both Tween and Teenage girls and boys will like the store! I know that my son wouldn’t mind going back to this one again soon!
Self Disclosure: I received a gift card to shop with my son. No other compensation was received. 

Thunderbirds Are Go Season 3 Skyrockets onto Prime Video this Friday!

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Executive produced by Estelle Hughes (Driver Dan’s Story Train), Giles Ridge (Pocoyo), Richard Taylor (The Lord of the Rings), and Andrew Smith (District 9); written by Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, Teen Titans); and directed by David Scott (LEGO Star Wars) and Theo Baynton (The Wotwots); Thunderbirds Are Go is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
Below are what customers have said about the second season on Thunderbirds Are Go:
  • “My kids love this series and we’re so excited when season 2 came out. It did not disappoint. It keeps my 4 year old and my 9 year old entertained which is so rare to have a show that they both enjoy. It’s great having something they can watch together and I don’t have to worry about it being something they shouldn’t watch.
  • “This is my two sons’ favorite show ever!”
  • “Great science and technology information wrapped up in suspenseful adventure for kids and adults alike with a splash of pure, sweet humor.”
  • “We all love it from the 6 year old, to the 13 year old to the parents!”
  • “A show that is an adrenaline rush for both children and parents alike with noble values of selflessness and sacrifice to rescue others and without any bad language.”
Seasons one and two of Thunderbirds Are Go are available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Amazon Prime Video app for compatible TVs, connected devices, including Amazon Fire TV and mobile devices, or online at, at no additional cost to their membership. Prime members can also download select titles to mobile devices for offline viewing. Eligible customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices, visit Thunderbirds Are Go is also available as part of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, the all-you-can-eat subscription service designed from the ground up for kids. FreeTime Unlimited is available exclusively on Amazon devices, including Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets, and a year-long subscription is included with every Fire Kids Edition.
Credit: Amazon Prime Video.

Gifted – Powerful Statement, Outstanding Acting, Stunning Cinematography

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Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Gifted is a story with not a lot of surprise elements, but it wins the audience over with its powerful statement, outstanding acting and stunning cinematography.” Imani B.G. adds, “This film is filled with life stories that I found myself relating to in certain aspects. The film is shot very well and has an amazing cast. I found myself very emotional during certain scenes.” See their full reviews below.

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15


Gifted is a story with not a lot of surprise elements, but it wins the audience over with its powerful statement, outstanding acting and stunning cinematography. Mainly, Gifted has a very dramatic storyline. However, Gifted offers much more then that. Viewers also get a subplot of romance, friendship and strong family values as well as some comedy here and there to keep a dramatic movie light.

The plot begins when Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace) starts first grade. She isn’t like the other kids in her class. Her teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate) soon learns that Mary turns out to be a genius in mathematics. She can easily do equations higher than high school level. Despite her clear giftedness, Mary’s uncle, Frank (Chris Evans) refuses to put Mary in a school for gifted children, trying to keep the girl’s life normal. Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), Mary’s grandmother insists on making her do mathematics around the clock and training her to be a math prodigy. What follows is a custody battle between the two for Mary.

(Premiere / red carpet interviews with Octavia Spencer, Mckenna Grace, Director Mark Webb, Producer Karen Lunder, Write Tom Flynn, Producer Andy Cohen)


My favorite scene really stands out due to remarkable lighting and camera work. The scene really doesn’t contribute to the plot, but the cinematography makes it one of the most excellent in the film. The scene shows Mary riding on Frank’s shoulders. Behind them, a giant sunset completely fills the sky. The lighting from the setting sun comes out stunningly dazzling. Even though it doesn’t add to the complexity of the story, the scene is very impressive and demonstrates the closeness of the uncle and his niece.

One of Gifted’s weak points waters down to the story. Even though the film is unique from other stories about genius kids, by focusing on the family values and relationships instead of Mary’s exceptional mathematical skills, it still comes out very predictable and rather simple. The main conflict never really feels like a major issue but rather, just a side story. Despite those issues, Gifted still entertains through the acting. All the actors deliver outstanding performances. Mckenna Grace, despite being only 10-years-old, completely steals the show.  Never does the acting feel forced and the actors seem to authentically connect with their characters and have a true bond on-screen.

There are a few adult references in the film, but nothing to worry about. I recommend this for ages 8 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars because, although the story needs work, the acting and cinematography make Gifted a very entertaining and memorable film. This opens in theaters April 14 so, be sure to check it out.

Imani Baptiste-Green, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age: 15


My overall thoughts about Gifted are very positive. This film is filled with life stories that I found myself relating to in certain aspects. The film is shot very well and has an amazing cast. I found myself very emotional during certain scenes. I really enjoyed watching this film with my family, and I believe that other families will enjoy it as well.


Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a young child prodigy who is also his niece, Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace). The two live in a coastal town in Florida with their next door neighbor and friend Roberta Taylor (Octavia Spencer). Frank plans for Mary to have a normal school life that conflicts with her mathematical ability. His mother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), disagrees with Frank’s plans and wants to make sure Mary is known throughout history for her mathematical skills.


The relationship between Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace is one of my favorite aspects of this film. The two connect very well on and off screen, which makes the movie come to life. They both represent what a family relationship is like. For instance, Mary is inseparable from Frank at all times and just wants to be around him. I believe that families watching this movie will feel a sense of happiness when learning about their relationship. I also really enjoyed the background music playing throughout the film. It adds a special mood and vibe to the film and made it pleasant to listen to.


The message of Gifted is that family is important and families need to pay attention to the young child’s needs. Often, parents push their kids and that can have a negative effect on their relationship and add stress to their child’s life. Evelyn pushed her daughter, Diane, over the top, which may have been the cause of her tragic suicide. Frank, of course, does not want that to happen to his niece and believes that Diane does not want that for the child either. Thus, a fight for custody between his mother and Frank ensues. To expand on my point, the film makes the point that children should have a voice and must be heard when dealing with their future because it can affect them in either a positive or negative way in the end.
Gifted is rated PG-13 and I recommend it for the ages 13 and up. I definitely encourage parents to see this with their young adolescents because they may be able to learn from this and it may strengthen their relationships as well. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because of its emotional and memorable storyline, the outstanding cast and the wonderful scenes. You can see this film in theaters now so go check it out.