Archives for September 2017

Kids learn music through creative play! TWO PUBLISHING GIANTS -- DISNEY & HAL LEONARD TEAM UP TO CREATIVE INNOVATIVE CHILDREN'S BOOK SERIES: MOANA: THE BEAT OF YOUR HEART A Musical Exploration Activity Book TANGLED: IT'S BETTER WHEN YOU SING IT A Musical Exploration Storybook MICKEY'S FOUND SOUNDS A Musical Exploration Storybook

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Two pillars of the publishing world — Disney and Hal Leonard have pooled their talent resources to craft an irresistible series of picture books with additional online content that help young children develop musical skills and knowledge through creative play. Launching the Disney Learning “Explore Music” series are:

Moana: The Beat of Your Heart – A Musical Exploration Activity BookPrincess Moana, who lives in a tropical island paradise, shares her culture with young readers who discover how the natural rhythms of Moana’s environment are expressed artistically through hand clapping, body rhythm, and drumming. Kids will develop their sense of inner pulse by playing along with the drums of Motonui on percussion instruments that they themselves craft from household objects. This beautifully illustrated book with online musical enhancements serves as a guide for children to explore beat, rhythm, and the sounds of Motonui’s drums through constructive activities and creative play.

Tangled: It’s Better When You Sing It – A Musical Exploration StorybookGraced with the charming familiarity of Tangled-inspired illustrations, this innovative musical exploration storybook integrates thoughtful activities right in the engaging narrative. Rapunzel shows youngsters that everything is better when they sing! Learning about music becomes an exciting adventure with this playful story that encourages children to experience the joy of singing while they discover the qualities of their own unique voice. Along the way, they’ll explore concepts like tempo, pitch awareness, proper breathing, careful listening, using music to express feelings, and much more.

Mickey’s Found Sounds -A Musical Exploration Storybook
The Main Street Parade has been rained out, but Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy, along with Donald and Daisy Duck and all their friends, form their own parade playing musical instruments they have made from everyday items found around the house. Children will follow simple instructions and share with Mickey and his pals the fun of playing music with instruments they create themselves. This exploration storybook combines music making with imaginative play, following directions to create crafts, and experiencing the sounds of different instruments.

Authored by a Hal Leonard team of artists, designers, writers, music educators, songwriters, and music producers, and based on an early childhood music curriculum commissioned by Disney Learning, each of these hardcover picture books includes not only a charming, colorfully illustrated story that’s perfect for ages 4 – 8, but also an array of musical exploration activities. To add to the fun, additional online activities, including video read-alongs, audio sing-alongs, and more, are provided for each title on the Hal Leonard Explore Music website.

Singing and making music are wonderful ways to bond and nurture physical, emotional, and social development. Helpful suggestions for parents and caregivers about incorporating music into the life of a young child are included in each book.

I had the opportunity to check out all three books and I highly recommend them! I like that they will entertain young children and that they teach about making music! I love that you can also go to the Hal Leonard Explore Music website for more fun activities!

Look for Moana: The Beat of Your Heart – A Musical Exploration Activity BookTangled: It’s Better When You Sing It – A Musical Exploration Storybook, and Mickey’s Found Sounds – A Musical Exploration Storybook at fine music and bookstores everywhere or by visiting www.halleonard.com.

Self Disclosure: I receive free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Images were also provided. 

Melitta USA Celebrates Innovation on National Coffee Day

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Melitta North America, a brand well-recognized for exceptional quality in all aspects of coffee and coffee preparation, is using National Coffee Day to look back at an extraordinary 109 years of innovation since their founder, Melitta Bentz, invented pour-over coffee.

 

Melitta Bentz pioneered the two-part filtration system now used for drip coffee at her home in Germany in 1908. Since then, millions of people around the world have enjoyed her invention each and every day when preparing their own cup.

 

“National Coffee Day is the perfect time for us to reflect at how far we’ve come since Melitta Bentz invented an entirely new way of brewing coffee,” said Donna Gray, director, public relations, Melitta North America. “Melitta has led the way in coffee innovation for over 100 years. As we release the latest version of her invention, the Signature Series Pour-Over™, we’re incredibly proud of how we’ve been able to continue that spirit of innovation and perfect the hand-crafted coffee experience.”

 

The original pour-over came to life when Melitta Bentz grew tired of the bitter coffee that was full of grounds and prevalent in the early 20th century. Her search for a better coffee experience eventually led her to punch holes in a brass pot, line it with a piece of her son’s notebook paper, and invent the two-part filtration system we use in today’s pour-over and drip coffee worldwide. The company she created with her invention is still committed to that heritage and perfecting the art of pour-over coffee in the home with premium coffee and coffee accessories.

 

“The transformation of the coffee industry has far surpassed anything Melitta Bentz could have imagined when she started this company,” said Chris Hillman, vice president, marketing. “It’s a testament to her ingenuity that coffee aficionados still view the pour-over as the best way of making coffee and it continues to gain popularity among coffee lovers throughout the world.”

 

For more information on the latest innovations from Melitta, click here.

 

Credit:  Melitta North America


For more than 100 years, Melitta has dedicated itself to providing the ultimate coffee experience with its premium line of coffee, coffee filters and high quality coffeemakers, bringing European indulgence to life. The company was founded in 1908 by Melitta Bentz, after receiving a patent for her coffee filtering system consisting of a filter and filtration paper. The filter system was the first to successfully remove coffee residue in the brewing process, revolutionizing the way coffee was made. Melitta North America, Inc., part of the privately held Melitta Group in Minden, Germany, is headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. Melitta USA—a division of Melitta North America—produces coffee and filters in North America and markets the line in the U.S. For more information, visit www.melitta.comand follow the flavor: @MelittaUSA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Looking to buy or sell a Car? Check out Cars.com!

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“This is a sponsored post.”

Are you looking to buy a car? Buying a car is not always the easiest thing in the world to do!  Have you thought about looking online? I recently discovered Cars.com and I think it is a great site to check out if you are looking for a Car! There is a wide variety of used cars and the website is really user-friendly.  I like that you can get advice on selling your car and you have to check out the videos and reviews. I found the reviews really helpful! This site has everything from researching the car you want to finding a car dealer in your area.

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I also really found “How to Sell Your Used Car” helpful and suggest reading this one on their site! Selling your car is not always as easy as it sounds so I think this advice is really helpful! I especially liked reading about how to write a good ad. So, if you are looking to sell or buy a car, Cars.com is a great resource and I recommend checking them out! I wish I had known about this site before buying my last car but especially before I sold my last car. Selling cars is not an easy task! Cars.com definitely will make it easier!

 

Self Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and some form of compensation was received. Photos were provided to use for this post.

ODYSSEO by CAVALIA – An Equestrian Theatrical Adventure PREMIERES in CAMARILLO on NOVEMBER 11 *TICKETS NOW ON SALE!* PREMIERES IN CAMARILLO ON NOVEMBER 11

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CAVALIA ANNOUNCES THE PREMIERE ENGAGEMENT OF ITS THEATRICAL EQUESTRIAN ADVENTURE ODYSSEO IN VENTURA COUNTY.

#Odysseo – After stunning one million California spectators in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego and Orange County with its original show Cavalia and its second theatrical adventure Odysseo, the internationally acclaimed entertainment company Cavalia Inc. is thrilled to announce the first visit of Odysseo to Ventura County. The world’s largest touring production will be presented under its signature White Big Top in Camarillo, US 101 at Santa Rosa Rd (Exit 52). Performances will start Saturday, November 11, and Odysseo will call Ventura County home through Thanksgiving with matinee and evening shows scheduled until November 26. Tickets for Odysseo in Ventura County are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.cavalia.com or by calling 1-866-999-8111.

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The $30 million equestrian and acrobatic extravaganza expands the definition of performance into an epic, yet soulful theatrical experience. A show unlike any other on the planet, this awe-inspiring production features 65 magnificent horses and 50 talented riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers and musicians.Odysseo is the masterpiece of Normand Latourelle, creator of Cavalia Inc. and renowned for combining different forms of artistic expression and reinventing the scenic space.

 

Odysseo is a heart racing live performance, filled with mesmerizing visuals and live music. Through the magic of digital projection, audiences of all ages will be transported on an epic journey to some of nature’s greatest wonders including the Mongolian steppes to Monument Valley, the African savannah to Nordic glaciers, and from the Sahara Desert to Easter Island.

 

Odysseo’s mindboggling theatrical effects are as spectacular as they are numerous: a state-of-the-art video screen three times the size of the world’s largest cinema screens; a three-story mountain for dazzling perspectives; décor both intricate and grandiose that seems to pull the audience onto the gigantic stage, and a real lake made of 40,000 gallons of recycled water which magically appears for a splashing finale. In sum, the show creates places no one has ever seen before – places where one can feel the deep connection between horse and man.

 

Odysseo’s horses play in complicity and with freedom, in a respectful relationship with their human counterparts, creating a moving artistic and emotive partnership. A liberty number, in which purebred Arabian horses are directed only by the soft murmurs of their trainer, and a fabulous caravan act that comprises people and horses too numerous to count, are amongst the breathtaking scenes that will leave every spectator captivated and touched.

 

Showcasing their extraordinary talents, the acrobats present a mix of force and sensitivity, interacting with the spellbound audience, while the live musicians and a vocalist perform in the most enthralling way to immerse spectators in a beautiful, multi-sensory experience. Whether it is the dexterity of the African acrobats, the enchanting sound of the Kora, or the majestic life-size merry-go-round, the cast and set of Odysseo are inspired and inspiring, delivering crowd-pleasing wonders and stunts.
Wowing critics and audiences alike across North America since its Montreal premiere in 2011, Odysseo will conclude its engagement in Nashville, TN, before moving its signature White Big Top for the first time to Ventura County in November.

 

TICKETS – BUY NOW AND ENJOY “PRESALE” PRICES – FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY, up to 15% discount is applied automatically for online and phone transactions for ticket purchases. The presale ticket prices range from $29.50 to $119.50 + applicable fees. For a memorable outing, the Rendez-Vous package offers the best seats in the house, a full meal buffet dining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and an exclusive visit to the stables after the show. This unique VIP experience takes place in a tent alongside the White Big Top. The presale Rendez-Vous package prices range from $129.50 to $234.50 + applicable fees. Special pricing and packages are also available for groups of 12 spectators and more. Tickets for Odysseo are available at www.cavalia.com or by calling 1-866-999-8111.

 

 

Credit:

 CAVALIA INC. – Cavalia Inc. is an entertainment company that specializes in the creation, production and touring of innovative shows. Founded by Normand Latourelle, the company reimagines the equestrian and theatrical arts. With its headquarters in Montreal, Cavalia Inc. is an integral part of Canada’s cultural heritage, and the largest Canadian-owned cultural enterprise. Its expertise in high technology, multimedia and special effects creates magical, unique, never-before-seen experiences. Its first show, Cavalia, has been seen by more than 4 million people across North America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Asia since its 2003 debut. Odysseo, the company’s second show, has toured to rave reviews and public acclaim since its 2011 premiere. Follow Cavalia’s latest developments at www.twitter.com/cavalia or www.facebook.com/cavalia#Odysseo

Bacon Bits is Pet of the Week! AWWWWWWWW!

BAcon Bits, September 28 Pet of the WEek

Itty-bitty Bacon Bits is a neutered male Chihuahua-longhair mix, absolutely adorable and affectionate. All he needs is a visit to the dentist, and he’ll be a sweet little lapdog. BB has a low-grade heart murmur, but this likely won’t affect his life-span— at only 7 years old, he’s got a lot of good years ahead! Meet Bacon Bits at the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services on the shelter side of the P.D. Pitchford Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A587192.

 

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

 

Credit: Courtesy of the City Of Long Beach Animal Care Services.

50 Cities of the U.S.A. Explore America's Cities with 50 fact-filled maps by Gabrielle Balkan and Sol Linero

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From the team that brought you the 50 States comes 50 Cities of the U.S.A. Explore skyscraper streets, museum miles, local food trucks and city parks from Anchorage to Washington D.C., and discover more than 2,000 facts that celebrate the people, culture, and diversity that have helped make America what it is today.

I had the opportunity to participate in The 50 Cities Blog Extravaganza and I received a copy of this awesome book!

I really enjoyed seeing all the facts about Los Angeles!

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Here are many of the fun facts:

  • BILL PICKETT RODEO This annual rodeo is named for the cowboy entertainer who invented bulldogging a type of steer wrestling.
  • BURRITO This veggie, bean, and cheese-stuffed tortilla takes its name from the Spanish word for “little donkey.”
  • CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER Explore chemical reactions while making glow-in-the-dark slime in the Ooey Gooey Slime Lab here.
  • CHINATOWN A New Year Parade, lantern festival, Moon Festival, and firecracker run and fun walk are some events held here.
  • ECHO MOUNTAIN The Santa Monica Mountains teams with wildlife and runs through LA, giving urban dwellers a unique chance to experience hikes and nature.
  • GRAMMY MUSEUM celebrates the creative process of music with soundboards and costumes, like the light-up suits worn during the Daft Punk-Kayne 2008 GRAMMY performance.
  • HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME Big Bird, Shrek, and The Simpsons are some of the 16 fictional characters celebrated with this entertainment industry star.
  • LA BREA TAR PITS AND MUSEUM Ice Age fossils, like the skeleton of a Harlan’s ground sloth, are found in these still bubbling tar pits.
  • LOS ANGELES FLAG The three stripes of color represent the area’s plentiful olive trees, orange groves, and vineyards.
  • LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM The U.S. won a record 83 gold medals when L.A. Hosted the XXIIIrd Olympic Summer Games in 1984.
  • MEDICAL HISTORY In 1986, ophthalmologist and inventor Dr. Patricia Bath’s made history with her eye surgery patent, becoming the first African American woman with a medical patent.
  • MISSION SAN FERNANDO REY DE ESPAÑA In the 1800s, Spanish Catholics here raised livestock and made rawhide strips, used to build in the absence of nails!
  • MOUNTAIN LIONS Southern California’s largest carnivore lives and hunts in the mountains surrounding LA.
  • MUSCLE BEACH  Before L.A. Had a professional sports team, sports fans hit up the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica to see incredible feats of athleticism.
  • OLIVE TREES High in healthy fats, these veggies have excellent anti-inflammatory nutrients and are healthy for your heart.
  • PORT OF LOS ANGELES LOBSTER FESTIVAL This annual event has won four Guinness records and raises funds for local charities.
  • RAMEN This Japanese noodle soup is made with tonkatsu (pork)- and shoyo (soy sauce)-based broths.
  • SHANE’S INSPIRATION AT GRIFFITH PARK This Boundless Playground is fully accessible to disabled kiddos and has awesome features for everyone
  • SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET The L.A. coroner’s office sells souvenirs, like a beach towel that features a chalk-outline of a crime scene murder!
  • THE GREAT WALL OF LOS ANGELES Chicana artist Judy Baca, 80 kids,10 artists, and 5 historians painted this, one of the world’s longest murals.
  • THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN This 90-year-old sign has its own security system with helicopter patrols and infrared technology.
  • TRIFORIUM Joseph Young’s 60-ton, 60-foot-tall tower with rainbow prisms and bells was unveiled to great controversy in 1975.
  • URBAN LIGHT Chris Burden’s sculpture contains 200 street lamps from the 1920’s and 1930’s, arranged like a forest.
  • WATTS TOWERS For 33 years, an immigrant construction worker built these 17 structures, decorating them with found objects like ceramic tiles and seashells.
  • WHAM-O The first super ball was made here in 1982, by the same people who make Frisbees and Hula Hoops.

Find out more here!

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book to participate in this Blog Extravaganza. Photos and facts were also provided.

P. King Duckling: Seize The Day – A Plucky Duck and His Friends Seize the Day

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Adventure takes flight with the plucky P. King Duckling! Meet P. King, a slightly hapless but intrepid young duck, and his two best friends, Chumpkins (a sarcastic pig) and Wombat (who helps P. King with his schemes even though she knows better)! Together, they work to seize the day: which always leads to wild adventures and hilarious consequences. Created by award-winning Josh Selig (Sesame Street, Wonder Pets!) and featuring music from Grammy winner Marty Beller of They Might Be Giants, P. King Duckling is a wholly satisfying family experience that engages children in problem-solving and creative thinking: all while quacking you up! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “The lessons that P. King Duckling, Wombat and Chumpkins teach are also quite useful. The animation in this show is simple with lots of colors and shapes. It is perfect for kids.” KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror Rachael V. adds, “This is a cute show about a group of friends who take funny adventures and find solutions to problems along the way.” See their full reviews below.

  1. King Duckling: Seize The Day
    By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

 

The fun adventures shared here are creative and quite enjoyable. The lessons that P. King Duckling, Wombat and Chumpkins teach are also quite useful. The animation in this show is simple with lots of colors and shapes. It is perfect for kids. It is easy to follow and understand so you can do some of the experiments that they do in your imagination.

My favorite episode is “Wombats Big Surprise!” This episode is so funny and enjoyable because of the humor and how Wombat doesn’t know about her big surprise birthday party. I also love that Chumpkins and P. King Duckling hide things. It also teaches you about patience, which is a difficult lesson.

My favorite character is Wombat (Courtney Shaw). She is smart, creative and likes to help her friends. Wombat knows how to make lots of fun things such as painting pictures. Courtney Shaw voices Wombat and makes her sound very inquisitive and caring. She fills Wombat’s voice with lots of emotion in all the episodes, which is something I admire.  P. King Duckling (Marc Thompson) is very goodhearted and a silly duck who loves adventure. He finds new fun ways of doing things such as cooling the town he lives in during a heat wave, jogging the Great Wall of China and many more that have great moral values. Marc Thompson’s P. King Duckling has an adorable voice that sounds like a nerd which brings P. King Duckling to life and makes him enjoyable.

Chumpkins (Benjie Randall) is a computer geek and loves technology. Chumpkins is proud of this and wears a shirt with a computer on it. Whenever you need something delivered house right away, have Chumpkins order it online. He also knows a lot about gadgets and gizmos so he is the Pig to call. Benjie Randall makes Chumpkins sound older then he is and that is reflected in his personality and makes you believe he is very smart.

Some of the life lessons in this story are about being a good friend, what friendship really is, how to exercise creativity, using your imagination and learn how to work as a team. The lessons are very valuable, because even I forget how to be a good friend sometimes. It is a great reminder about how to be a good friend for older kids while teaching younger kids the basics of friendship.  It reminds you to use your brains and work with others when trying to solve problems.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 8. Even tweens and teens will benefit from it the life lessons are priceless and everyone will enjoy the characters with their quacky, quirk personalities. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 Quacking Ducks. This is available now on DVD so, check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. King Duckling: Seize the Day
    By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

This is a cute show about a group of friends who take funny adventures and find solutions to problems along the way. P. King is a funny duckling who constantly gets the group into trouble with his big adventures. Luckily, he has two friends that help keep him centered and out of trouble. There’s Wombat who always supports P. King’s decisions and Chumpkins, an attitude-riddled pig who is the muscle of the group. He is my personal favorite because he is funny and sarcastic all the time. This trio deals with the bad guy, Greg the Goose and teaches us that there are many creative solutions to even the smallest of problems. My 19-month-old absolutely loves this program. The art style reminds me of Phineas and Ferb. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. My only complaint is its lack of story depth. Everything is over simplified, which is expected for the target age group, but I wanted more.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

L.A. Zoo Safari Days Select Dates from September 21, 2017 to April 2, 2018 9 am – 4 pm Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

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Each Safari Day offers a fun-filled day of exploration through the Los Angeles Zoo led by an adventure “specialist” that will help create an unforgettable and wild experience for every participant. Instead of working on sight words, young guests will have animal sightings; instead of reading comprehension, children will help others comprehend their discoveries by sharing stories about what they saw and did. Bring a backpack, lunch, and some safari gear to join us at the Zoo. All dates correspond to certain LAUSD unassigned days and/or holidays. Safari Days are for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Morning and afternoon extended care is available for an additional cost. Dates include: September 21, 2017, Thanksgiving week— November 10, 20, 21, 22, 2017, Martin Luther King Jr. Day—January 15, 2018February 19, 2018, and April 2, 2018.

“We’re pleased to present this brand new programming that we hope will provide engaging educational opportunities for youngsters from kindergarten through sixth grade,” explains Education Manager Heather Shields. “Safari Days will complement classroom learning by giving students a chance to exercise their observational skills out in the Zoo, and then take those observations and communicate them with others as stories. We’re looking forward to this new experience as a way to extend our reach to help meet the needs of schools and families—part of our mission as a classroom without borders.”

Please make sure to check your child’s school calendar before registering. Space is limited, so register today at http://www.lazoo.org/education/family/#safaridays. Price is $75 per child. GLAZA members save $5 per child.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered. Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. The Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $21 for adults and $16 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo Web site at www.lazoo.org.

Credit: Los Angeles Zoo. Photo Credit: Jamie Pham.