Archives for June 2017

Universal Studios Hollywood Casts a Dazzling Spell on “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” with an All-New Summertime Enhancement, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.” Inviting Guests to Experience the Immersive Land in a Whole New Light, Beginning June 23rd!

"The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle" at "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Hollywood.

“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood.

I have to admit that I was in awe of this amazing light show! As night falls on the Hogsmeade village, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” will shine brightly with an awe-inspiring spectacle that showcases the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin (Which one is your favorite? I have to admit that Gryffindor is mine!) that culminates with awesome beams of lights that fan into the night sky.

The colorful state-of-the-art light display and special effects projection, designed to dance across the stunning Hogwarts castle, will be accompanied by a special musical arrangement created by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams based on his original scores composed for the film series. The musical arrangement that will emanate in a surround sound environment was conducted by prolific arranger William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London.

"The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle" at "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Hollywood.

“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood.

This new summertime feature will take place multiple times a night during its run. I had the opportunity to experience it earlier this week and was really impressed! It was also my first time seeing the whimsical world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. I truly felt like I was in the world of Harry Potter. It is a wonderful recreation and I loved seeing people of all ages dressed in theme clothes and running around with magical wands. You also have to try the Butterbeer! It is simply delicious!

More information is available at

Also, Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook will host a Facebook Live event to stream the all-new “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” experience at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” on Friday, June 23 at 8:45 pm PST! Don’t miss it!


Self Disclosure: I had a Media invite to facilitate this post. Information was also provided and images were provided. Photo Credit: Universal Studios.



Friends and Family pricing for award-winning and ad-free magazines for kids and teens


Cricket Media is offering friends and colleagues a special subscription deal for their 11 ad-free, Parents’ Choice Gold Award winning magazines for kids, from tots  to teens. Please take advantage of this 50 percent off deal. Here’s the link to your special Friends and Family discount with Cricket Media.
In these screen-saturated times, the unplugged pleasures of colorful and intelligently written magazines make a fantastic gift for the kids in your life.

Also, have you seen the FREE Bug Camp stories and activities this summer on Cricket Media’s “Keeping Tech in Check” page? Check it out:


Cricket Media, Inc. is an education media company that provides award-winning content on a safe and secure learning network for children, families, and teachers across the world.  Cricket Media’s 11 popular media brands for toddlers to teens include Babybug®, Ladybug®, Cricket® and Cobblestone™.  The Company’s innovative web-based K12 tools for school and home include the ePals community and virtual classroom for global collaboration as well as In2Books®, a Common Core eMentoring program that builds reading, writing and critical

thinking skills.  Cricket Media serves millions of teachers, students and parents in over 200 countries and territories through its platform and NeuPals, its joint venture with China’s leading IT services company Neusoft. Cricket Media also licenses its content and platform to top publishing and educational companies worldwide.  For more information, please visit, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Harry Potter in Concert Returns to the Hollywood Bowl

Thursday, July 6, 2017, at 8:00 PM

Friday and Saturday, July 7 & 8, 2017, at 8:00 PM

Harry Potter returns to the Hollywood Bowl with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ – in Concert, the second film in the Harry Potter series, on Thursday, July 7, at 8:00 PM, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ – in Concert, the third film in the series, on Friday and Saturday, July 7and 8, at 8:00 PM. TheLos Angeles Philharmonic, led by conductor Justin Freer, will perform John Williams’ unforgettable scores from both films, while the entire films are projected on the Bowl’s big HD screen.
The Harry Potter Film Concert Series, which is another magical experience from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, began in June 2016 and is scheduled to include hundreds of performances across more than 35 countries around the world through 2018. In July 2016, the Los Angeles Philharmonic performed the score to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone live-to-picture at a sold-out Hollywood Bowl.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, cars fly, trees fight back and a mysterious house-elf pays Harry a visit to warn him of what lies ahead this year in the world of wizardry. Adventure and danger await when writing on the wall announces: “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened.” In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it is Harry, Ron and Hermione’s third year at Hogwarts, where they meet escaped prisoner Sirius Black and learn to handle a half-horse, half-eagle creature known as a Hippogriff, repel shape-shifting Boggarts and master the art of Divination. Harry faces a werewolf and even withstands soul-sucking Dementors.
The incredible music composed by John Williams for these films became instant classics, conjuring beautiful and soaring motifs as we continue the adventures of Harry Potter on his journeys.

This film concert series has been created by CineConcerts, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products. CineConcerts’ creator and producer Justin Freer explains, “The Harry Potter film series is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. It is with great pleasure that we are bringing back this opportunity to experience the award-winning music scores played live by a symphony orchestra, all while the beloved films are simultaneously projected onto the big screen. This will be another unforgettable event.”

Brady Beaubien of CineConcerts and Concert Producer for the Harry Potter Film Concert Series added, “Harry Potter is synonymous with excitement around the world and we hope that by performing this incredible music with the full movies, audiences will enjoy returning to this magical world, and to the many wonderful magical characters that inhabit it.”

Tickets are on sale now at, via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000, or in person at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office.

For more information, please visit:

HarryPotter and the Chamber of Secrets™ – in Concert:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ – in Concert:
About the Hollywood Bowl
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music, offering something for everyone. It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. In February 2017, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the thirteenth year in a row at the 28th Annual Pollstar Awards. For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer.
About CineConcerts
CineConcerts is one of the leading producers of live music experiences performed with visual media. Founded by producer/conductor Justin Freer and producer/writer Brady Beaubien, CineConcerts has engaged millions of people worldwide in concert presentations that redefine the evolution of live experience. Recent and current live concert experiences include Gladiator,The Godfather, It’s a Wonderful Life, DreamWorks Animation In Concert,Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage 50th Anniversary Concert Tour, andBreakfast at Tiffany’s.
Justin Freer has quickly become one of the most sought-after conductors of film music with a long list of full symphonic live to projection projects.  He has appeared with some of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. From full-length movie screenings with live orchestra to music-interactive sporting event experiences to original 3D-environment holiday programming, CineConcerts is at the forefront of live entertainment.
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

Celebrate the 4th at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort


Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is pleased to announce a 4th of July holiday day filled with fun activities fit for the whole family. Celebrate Independence Day on the Back Bay with live music, local food trucks and a dynamic fireworks display from one of the best viewing locations in SoCal. Back Bay Bistro will also host a special 4th of July Buffet dinner with two seatings and a variety of live food stations.


Arrive early and experience all that Newport Dunes has to offer including an inflatable water park in the Back Bay and rentable kayaks, pedal boats, windsurfing, sail boats, electric boats, stand up paddleboards and Surrey bikes courtesy of Moe B’s Watersports. Pirate Coast Paddle also offers on-site rentals including kayaks, stand up paddleboards and multi-person paddleboards for groups of 4-10. For those looking to relax, enjoy a beachside cabana between dips in the calm waters of the gorgeous Upper Newport Bay.



Tuesday, July 43–9 p.m.

Gates open at 8 a.m.



3–3:45 p.m.  Welcome and DJ music

4:30–5:15 p.m.  Southern Rocket Southern and Classic Rock Cover Band

6–7 p.m.  The PettyBreakers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tribute Band

7:45–9 p.m.  Hollywood U2 The World’s Greatest U2 Tribute Show

9 p.m.  Fireworks Extravaganza



Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort

1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, California 92660



$50 per car entrance fee

+$40 per person for Beer and Wine Garden pass. Includes hosted bar from 3–8 p.m. and premier firework viewing.



4:30 p.m.  1st seating, 7 p.m.  2nd seating

$45 for adults, $22.50 for children 10 years or younger


PUBLIC CONTACT: For more information on events and amenities at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, please call 949-729-3863 or visit

To make a reservation at Back Bay Bistro, please call 949-729-1144 or visit




Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is an iconic recreational area featuring a 450-slip marina, private waveless beach and playground that has been enjoyed by families since 1958. The Dunes’ signature restaurant, Back Bay Bistro, is a critically acclaimed dining destination open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring award-winning French American cuisine and stunning water views. Newport Dunes is also home to 24 mobile cottages available to the public and a state-of-the-art RV park.


Phone: 949-729-3863


Instagram & Twitter: @NewportDunes

Baby Penguin hatches at Aquarium of the Pacific

Roxy Floyd Chick

The Aquarium of the Pacific is announcing the arrival of a Magellanic Penguin chick. The penguin hatched at the Aquarium in late May. Parents Roxy and Floyd, residents of the Aquarium’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat, cared for the baby penguin until it was ready to go to its behind-the-scenes nursery to learn to take whole fish from keepers for feedings and to swim in shallow pools. The approximately one-month-old chick will be on public view when it joins the other birds in the penguin habitat sometime in August. In the meantime, the chick can be seen via webcam from the Aquarium of the Pacific’s website. The Penguin Cam is available courtesy of, the philanthropic multimedia arm of the Annenberg Foundation.


Roxy, the penguin chick’s mother, came to the Aquarium from Brazil. She was rescued and deemed non-releasable to the wild. The Aquarium nursed her back to health after she arrived at the Aquarium in 2005, and she paired up with Floyd shortly after. Their new chick will be joining its older siblingsSkipper, Lily, Heidi, and Anderson (also Roxy and Floyd’s offspring) when it is ready to make its home in the penguin habitat. Around that time, the Aquarium expects to know if the baby penguin is male or female. In celebration of the baby bird, the Aquarium is offering the opportunity to adopt the chick through its Adopt an Animal program. Those adopting a penguin chick at the $100 level or higher before September 30, 2017, will have a chance to go behind the scenes for a feeding and training session with the penguins.


Magellanic Penguins are a temperate species native to the coasts of Argentina and Chile in South America. It takes between thirty-eight and forty-three days of incubation before a Magellanic Penguin egg will hatch. Magellanic Penguin parents take turns incubating the eggs on the nest and feeding and raising the chicks after they hatch. The chicks fledge, or replace their downy newborn feathers with watertight adult feathers, after about ninety days. The Aquarium’s penguin chick is expected to fledge in August and join its parents and the other penguins on exhibit in the June Keyes Penguin Habitat.


WHEN:           Starting Friday, June 23, 2017 / Penguin chick webcam (at


The chick will move to the June Keyes Penguin Habitat sometime in August 2017.


WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

Photo Credit: Robin Riggs.


Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific:  The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important topics 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 FROGS: Dazzling and Disappearing, Our Water Future, and Archerfish exhibits. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other benefits. 

YouCam Celebrates National Selfie Day!


With National Selfie Day just around the corner, YouCam, the #1 downloaded beauty augmented reality app,  will let you instantly perfect the art of the “Selfie”. YouCam is the number one interactive platform offering users the complete beauty journey, from selfie expression to makeup experimentation, and empowerment through social sharing.   YouCam launched  in 2014, and in only three  years’ time, they have amassed over 400 million global downloads.


Did you know these “Selfie Stats?”

  • Since 2012, the word “Selfie” grew in popularity more than 17,000%
  • 93 Million Selfies are taken everyday
  • #Selfie has 304 million posts on Instagram 
  • 36% of people use filters and apps to edit their Selfies


In Addition to the above overall Selfie stats, the YOUCAM apps have their own astonishing numbers!


  • Over 400 million global downloads to date
  • More than 16 billion selfies have been taken on the YouCam app since their launch in 2014
  • 30 million Selfies taken daily
  • 800 Million minutes are spent on Selfie Cam every month
  • Over 140 Million users look to YouCam’s beauty circle social platform to discover beauty and fashion inspiration
  • Over 40% of users spend more than 5 minutes per session perfecting their selfie


On the YOUCAM app, the top selfie-taking locations around the world are: 

  • Disneyworld, Florida
  • Top of The Rock, New York
  • Empire State Building, New York
  • Big Ben, London
  • Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
  • Colosseum, Rome
  • Eiffel Tower, Paris
  • Disney Land, Paris
  • Burj Khalifa, Dubai


Credit: YOUCAM.

Sally is Pet of the Week!

Sally, June 22 Pet of the Week

Sweet, shy little Sally is a lovely female (as most calicos are) 2-year-old. At first, Sally’s bashful, but when she gets to know you, she’s affectionate and full of fun. Want to dilly-dally with Sally? Meet her at the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A590031.


(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

Latin Grammy and Emmy Award-winners LUCKY DIAZ and the FAMILY JAM BAND Launch National Summer Family Concert Tour, Celebrating the Release of a New Album MADE IN LA

unnamed (1)

Latin GRAMMY and EMMY Award winners Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band embark on a busy summer of family performances around the nation.  The band, led by Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, present interactive, multi-cultural, mixed language and movement based musical performances for children and adults. Catch details of the tour, celebrating the release of their forthcoming album Made in LA, at, and download the colorful summer tour poster via Instagram.
The tour began in late May with shows in Beijing, China. In July, they’ll play at Madison Square Park in New York, and in August they perform onstage at Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. Then, they return to Southern California to perform at Echo Park, the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena and Grand Plaza (Grand Performances) in the heart of Los Angeles.


                    Highlighted shows this summer:

  • June 9 – 10 – Libraries in OH
  • June 12 – 15: Libraries in Tulsa, OK
  • June 25: Ann Arbor Festival, MI
  • June 30: Land of Nod, Oak Brook, IL
  • July 1: Arlington Heights Fest, IL
  • July 27: Madison Square Park, NYC
  • August 3 – 4: Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL
  • August 6: Echo Park Rising, Los Angeles, CA
  • August 10: Levitt Pavilion, Pasadena, CA
  • August 13: Grand Performances, Los Angeles (“Peter y la loba”)
  • August 16 – 17: Libraries in Portland, OR
  • August 19: City of Shoreline Festival, WA
  • September 17: Wiggle Out Loud Festival, Oklahoma City, OK

More about Made in LA


Incubated in the dreamy sunscape of Southern California, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band deliver their most energetic and eclectic album yet.Made in LA, due out on July 21, features a who’s who of the family music scene in Los Angeles, including Genevieve Goings (Choo Choo Soul), Mike Phirman (SiriusXM), Todd McHatton, Andrew & Polly and Mista Cookie Jar.Made in LA was produced mostly in Los Angeles with scintillating sonic help from Grammy nominee Frances England and Grammy winning producer and multi-instrumentalist Dean Jones.


The sights, sounds and tastes of the city run throughout these 12 original songs, from “Silver Lake Stairs” to “Echo Park” and “Fiesta de la Brea.” The dreamy optimism of “Magic Believers” gives way to the humorous reality of rush-hour themed “Traffic,” and “When It Rained” will resonate with any listener who’s experienced the recent torrential weather in So Cal. The bilingual single “Paletero Man” recently debuted on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Credit: Sugar Mountain PR.