Archives for December 2017

5 Tips to choosing a good family law attorney if you are going through a divorce

Nobody marries thinking that they are going to be getting a divorce some time later. Going through a divorce takes a great deal of strength and a positive outlook on life to get through the trials and tribulations that come from divorcing your partner. If you have children involved, the situation gets even stickier and can cause a great deal of strife amongst others outside of your nuclear family. It is amazing how many people will be involved in your divorce which means that it is imperative to find a solid and experienced family law attorney to help you with your divorce proceedings. This article will provide some tips for helping you choose the right family lawyer for your situation.



  • What can you afford? This can be a point of contention for many as one spouse may make more money than the other. One spouse may have family members who are also willing to contribute to the cost of a great attorney. When you choose your attorney, make sure that you can afford their services. Separating funds and paying for your own bills and utilities can be stressful and require you to live paycheck to paycheck for a period of time until you get back on your feet. While you want to choose an attorney who will be able to represent you well, you need to choose one that you can afford or you will only create more problems of the financial nature.




  • What level of service will you require? Even if your divorce is amicable, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney to advise you on how to proceed. If you own property together, or you have other assets, you will want an attorney to be able to advise you on how to protect yourself. If your spouse has a great deal of assets, your attorney may be able to advise you on what you have access to that is rightly yours. While divorce should not be about money, it can quickly turn into a financial battleground.




  • Look online at reviews for various firms. When looking at reviews online, it is important to take them with a grain of salt. When was the last time you wrote a review for a service that you enjoyed? Many times only the disgruntled will leave a review so be sure to interview a variety of lawyers first before committing to one.




  • Choose a lawyer who specializes in family and divorce law. While this may seem like common sense, it is amazing how many people hire a lawyer strictly based on how they know the person. Be sure to hire an attorney who specializes in family and divorce law so they can advise you on pertinent issues that other attorneys may overlook.




  • Follow your gut feeling. At the end of the day, you need to feel comfortable with your attorney and believe that they will advocate for you and represent you will. After meeting with several attorneys, it is important to go with your gut feeling and choose the attorney who you think will work best with you.


By employing these tips and checking out, you will be able to find a family attorney that will meet your needs.

Obie is Pet of the Week!

Three-year-old Obie will be the unique party guest on New Year’s Eve. Instead of a black tuxedo and white shirt and hankie, he’s opted for a fashionable gray-and-white tux with black tails, and black details on his cute little ears! He came in to the shelter as a stray, but he’s friendly, gentle, relaxed—and curious! He’s neutered as well. He’ll be great to chill with after the celebration—you know what they say about a little hair of the dog being good for you! Meet Obie at 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#A600878.

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the Long Beach Animal Care Sevices. 

5 Things to do when you find out you are having a baby

Finding out that you are having a baby is just the beginning. After that, you may find yourself having to do a series of steps until your baby is born. For first time mothers, finding out that you are having a baby can be a very anxious moment right after the initial excitement. You may find yourself asking a lot of questions and wondering what to do next.


Here are five things that you need to do when you find out you are having a baby.


  1. Boost your nutrition.


The first weeks of your pregnancy are a critical one. During this time, make sure to eat right. This is the time when your baby’s organs and bones begin to form. Having a well-balanced diet will definitely help them develop properly. It is important that you also take prenatal vitamins recommended by your doctor to have the right mix of nutrients in your body. Your baby’s health depends entirely on your own diet.


  1. Keep moving and exercise regularly.


Exercising while pregnant is always a good idea.  It is a great way to control weight gain and keep your muscles tones. It also helps you in preventing any backaches and is known to help prevent premature delivery too. Exercising daily will help you get that extra strength that you will surely need when it is time to push the baby out. You don’t have to do the strenuous physical activities. Just stick to activities such as walking or cycling three or four times a week. You don’t need to push yourself to the point of exhaustion.


  1. Invest in great baby products.


Expecting a baby is a very exciting and overwhelming thing to a mother. You will need important baby gears such as strollers, car seats, and cribs. While these items can be found easily in the store today, it would be best to find the best brand that you can trust and is known to provide high-quality products. Read some reviews like those in in order to compare and know what other mothers have to say. And if you get to have more children along the way, you will already know where to look.


  1. Write things down.


Throughout your whole pregnancy, you will be visiting the doctor more often for your check-up. It is important that you know what to answer to your doctor’s questions about your pregnancy and the child you are carrying. Try to write things down about whatever you have eaten, or what you are feeling. This comes in handy for any doctor’s appointment.


  1. Stay away from alcohol and tobacco.


A lot of things can do harm to a developing baby especially alcohol and cigarettes. It can potentially cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities to a child. Steer clear of these throughout the whole pregnancy to avoid the risk of harming your baby. You can still drink alcohol but keep it moderately. Ask your doctor how much intake you can drink and make sure to do it only once or twice a week.

Octonauts: Season 1 – Selfless and Brave Human-Like Animals That Teach Cool Lessons

Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, medic Peso Penguin and the rest of the crew, as they explore the world s oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats above and below the waves! Based on the richly imaginative books by Meomi, this series combines immersive visuals and submersive humor to transport young children into a world that is both real and fantastic, full of mysteries to unravel and surprises around every corner. So come aboard the Octopod for 52 exciting missions! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “There are multiple different messages throughout this DVD. All are really important and sometimes are overlooked. I love that The Octonauts offer entertainment to young children while teaching them good lessons.” See her full review below.

The Octonauts Season 1

By Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12


The Octonauts have always been one of my favorite TV/DVD series. The Octonauts are selfless and brave, human-like animals and have great teamwork. Aside from the multiple wonderful messages that they teach in every episode, they also have detailed animation.

The Octonauts live in the ocean in their octopus-like structure called the Octopod. Whenever there is trouble in the ocean, the team of Octonauts does not hesitate to help anyone in need. The main characters include Captain Barnacles (the bear who leads the team), Kwazi (the pirate-like cat) and Peso (the timid penguin). At the end of the episode, there is always a Creature Report, a song giving facts about one of the creatures that they saw or helped during the mission.

Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen) sounds like a bear who has everything under control. He has a very deep, commanding and strong voice which implies that he is the boss, and he is. Peso (Paul Panting) has a very soft, sometimes shaky and uncertain voice. Peso is a happy, but conservative penguin, and you can hear that through his voice. You can also easily hear when he is scared.

The animation is detailed and shows the ocean as a beautiful place with the wide variety of colors. Another thing that I like about this series is that on the Octonauts team, there are different species of animals aboard the Octopod. They work together great as a team, even though they are all different. It shows that even though you don’t have many similarities, you can still work together successfully and be friends. This is just one of the great messages taught in this series.

My favorite episode is “Undersea Storm.” During this episode, a storm is heading near the reef where the Octonauts live. A strong current sweeps up a baby lobster, but Kwazi saves it and returns him to its family and they are very grateful. Later, Kwazi crashes and can’t get his submarine to work. The whole family of lobsters shows up to help him out. Everyone makes it safe inside before the storm hits. This is my favorite episode because it teaches the morals of The Golden Rule. It is very clever how they present this moral.

There are multiple different messages throughout this DVD. All are really important and sometimes are overlooked. I love that The Octonauts offer entertainment to young children while teaching them good lessons.

This is an awesome DVD to watch and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 3 to 11. Maybe it could even be for 12 and 13-year-olds, because I really enjoyed watching it myself. It is available now on DVD so, be sure to check it out.


Educational winter camps with animals at the Aquarium for kids and teens

                        For kids ages five and six, the Sea Squirt Winter Day Camp provides an introductory course to the life that exists in the Pacific Ocean. Topics cover the lives and the habitats of wiggly fish, furry mammals, and fluffy birds. Aquarium staff members will guide campers as they participate in crafts, games, and tours. Sea Squirt Winter Day Camp allows young children to explore, interact, and develop questions independently. Children will be able to touch the animals in the private classroom touch pool.

The Aquarium’s Winter Day Camp is for children ages seven to twelve. Day Camp will take children on a wondrous adventure into the depths of the Pacific Ocean through interactive learning at the Aquarium. Students will be able to explore marine life through hands-on activities, including games and crafts. They also get to take a behind-the-scenes tour, meet animal care staff members, and help take care of the animals that call the Aquarium home. Topics for Winter Day Camp include migrations, cold-water habitats, and polar bears.

Teens can dive deep and enjoy a night sleeping with the fishes in this teens-only event. Start the night with a pizza party before becoming an ocean explorer to discover the mysteries of the deep sea. This overnight camp program includes Aquarium exploration, hands-on activities, pizza party, light snack, cereal breakfast, and a souvenir T-shirt.

WHEN:           Sea Squirt Day Camp: January 2-4, 20188:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Winter Day Camp: December 27-29, 20178:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

                        Winter Teen Overnight: December 27, 2017, 5:00 p.m.– December 28, 7:30 a.m.

WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific100 Aquarium WayLong Beach, CA 90802

AGES:            Sea Squirt Day Camp: ages 5-6 (children only)

Winter Day Camp: ages 7-12 (children only)

                        Winter Teen Overnight: Ages 13-15 (children only)

COST:            Sea Squirt Day Camp: $120 per child ($95 per member child)

Winter Day Camp: $150 per child ($125 per Aquarium member)

Winter Teen Overnight: $90 ($80 for Aquarium Members) *Pre-Registration required.


RSVP:             (562) 590-3100

NOTES:          Pre-registration and pre-payment is required on all classes unless noted. Cancellations made 72 hours before the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations made less than 72 hours before a program will still be charged the full program price. Snacks must be provided by parents for children participating in both camps.



The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges 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 people. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the new FROGS: Dazzling and DisappearingOur Water Future, and archerfish exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. The Aquarium won a 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for Aquariums, as awarded by TripAdvisor® travelers, and the 2017 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort with Boots on the Beach

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is kicking off the new year in country style with a special Boots on the BeachTM New Year’s Eve party on Sunday, December 31 from 6:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.


Bring family and friends for an evening of celebration featuring live music, food trucks, full bars, craft beer and whiskey tasting, a cigar bar, plus country western merchandise available for purchase. Enjoy dinner before the concert at Newport Dunes’ waterfront restaurant, Back Bay Bistro. The VIP Dinner package offers seatings at 6 p.m. and includes a special four-course dinner along with VIP concert seating.


The event will take place in the 14,000-square foot Bayside Pavilion tent and present 

live performances by country favorites Stephen Wesley and Redneck Rodeo. David Bugenske from Go Country 105 will be host and DJ for the evening and Noe Roldan, one of Southern California’s top line dance choreographers, will teach the crowd all the right country dance moves. Stop by the bar for a glass of champagne and join the countdown with a toast to the New Year.


A percentage of proceeds from the event will be donated to ACT Today! in support of autism care and treatment.




Baby Greens with wild berries, candied pistachios, shaved asiago cheese dressed with champagne vinaigrette



Butternut Squash soup with cranberry relish



Center cut Filet of Beef served with Au-gratin potatoes, broccolini with green peppercorn sauce


Chilean Seabass served with Fennell risotto and saffron citrus sauce


*Vegetarian option available upon request



Chocolate Lava Cake

Sunday, December 31



Back Bay Bistro VIP Dinner Seating: 6 p.m.

Event Time: 6:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.



Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort

1131 Back Bay Drive

Newport Beach, California 92660



General admission: $20

VIP Seating: $60

VIP Back Bay Bistro Dinner & Concert Seating: $125


*All ages welcome. Children 7 and under receive free admission.



To purchase tickets please visit:



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.

Visit for more information.

Credit: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. Photo Credit: Photo courtesy Redneck Rodeo.

Urban Commons to Brighten Spirits with FREE Tickets for SoCal Firefighters to the Queen Mary’s CHILL

The world-famous Queen Mary and Urban Commons, the current Queen Mary lease holder, will offer SoCal Firefighters a FREE ticket to the all-new CHILL in appreciation of their efforts in fighting the recent California fires. Featuring the first-ever Ice Adventure Park in the U.S., the newly-inspired CHILL offers a rush of icy family fun with nightly entertainment throughout the park including international cultural celebrations, live music, Rockettes-style dance performances, fireworks, choreographed light shows, DJs, dancing, tasty food, a nightly Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and much more.

“This is a special time of year for many communities and their families,” said Dan Zaharoni, Urban Commons Chief Development Officer. “We wanted to find a way to show our appreciation for the unwavering support and dedication of our local firefighters during these past weeks and current days. We know many towns and houses have been lost, but many more have been saved due to the work of these amazing men and women.”

The Queen Mary’s all-new CHILL celebrates unity while honoring holidays from around the globe as guests embark on an international expedition to six different regions of the world. Experience the 38,000-square foot ice park with one-of- a-kind entertainment, treats, and traditions of Germany, Switzerland, China, Russia, Holland, and the fabled North Pole. From ice tubing to ice bumper boats, and Dutch Pancakes to Chinese dumplings, CHILL invites the entire family to enjoy a cornucopia of activities from around the world along with hand-crafted cocktails, authentic savory bites, and the sweetest of treats.

For the first time, CHILL offers additional parking options for convenient and cost effective festival arrival and departure. General parking is located in the Aquarium of the Pacific Parking Structure for $3/hour or $16 per vehicle. General parking guests can hop on the FREE shuttle bus for complimentary rides to CHILL from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., or board the FREE CHILL Express boat at Dock 4, operated by Aqua Link open 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Premium parking is limited and available onsite at the Queen Mary for $20 per vehicle.

Starting December 24, 2017 all Firefighters can show their badge at the CHILL ticketing booth for a free Grand Expedition pass, and up to 50% off Grand Expedition passes for their families to experience CHILL. CHILL pricing starts at $29.00 for adults (ages 9+) and $19.00 for kids. VIP Ultimate Expedition tickets are also available starting at $79.00 for adults (ages 9+) and $69.00 for kids. CHILL is open Dec. 13, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018, excluding Dec. 31, 2017. For more information, including an entertainment schedule, hours of operation and to purchase tickets online, visit

Credit: The Queen Mary.

Ferdinand – Surpassed our Expectations! Definitely Worth Sharing This Holiday Season!

Ferdinand is a young bull who escapes from a training camp in rural Spain after his father never returns from a showdown with a matador. Adopted by a girl who lives on a farm, Ferdinand’s peaceful existence comes crashing down when the authorities return him to his former captors. With help from a wisecracking goat and three hedgehogs, the giant but gentle bovine must find a way to break free before he squares off against El Primero, the famous bullfighter who never loses. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “This movie has a good amount of star power with John Cena, Kate McKinnon, David Tennant, Daveed Diggs and more. The voice acting is probably one of the best things about this movie. Everyone sounds like they’re having so much fun and that they clearly love their roles.” Sahiba K. adds, “Ferdinand’s compassion is contagious and, with his big innocent eyes and smile, he brightened my day. The animation is visually appealing and adds happiness and joyfulness to every aspect of this film.” See their full reviews and Calista’s interviews below.



By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14



Interview with Gabriel Iglesias and Boris Kodjoe



Interview with John Cena


Interviews with Nick Jonas

I have to say, I really enjoyed this movie. It is definitely much better than I originally thought. I assumed it would be a bit bland, but I was pleasantly surprised.


This is the story about a bull named Ferdinand who dislikes violence. He is taken in by a girl named Nina and her dad. Due to being at the wrong place at the wrong time, he is taken to a ranch where they plan to put him in a bull fight. He is determined to escape and find his way back home. This is an adaptation of an old picture book from 1936, which I think is pretty interesting.


First, let’s discuss the animation. I find the animation to be quite Disney-esque. It is fast, fluid and, best of all, colorful – just the way I like animation. The color scheme is very aesthetically pleasing. The flowers especially look amazing, as silly as that sounds. This movie has a good amount of star power with John Cena, Kate McKinnon, David Tennant, Daveed Diggs and more. The voice acting is probably one of the best things about this movie. Everyone sounds like they’re having so much fun and that they clearly love their roles. That really helps every character feel so likeable. The voices of the horses are an excellent example. Their accents and mannerisms are hilarious.


Speaking of hilarious, this movie is actually really funny, a lot more funny than I originally expected. I assumed the humor would a bit like the general humor in most modern animated movies. Another thing I find interesting is that the movie is surprisingly kind of dark. Considering the whole story is about bullfighting, a few scenes are actually very serious. Certain scenes made me think to myself “this is a kids movie?!” I really didn’t expect that. Honestly, a lot of things surprised me, which I’m really happy about. Since I never want movies to be bad, I love it when a movie surpasses my expectations.

Finally, I love the cast of characters. Lupe the goat, the hedgehogs and the horses are my favorite characters, but every character has something about them that makes them so interesting. The other bulls are likeable characters and so is the bullfighter villain. Even smaller side characters really made this movie. I love the message this movie puts out: peace over violence. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. It comes out December 15, 2017 so go check it out.



By Sahiba Kaur, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Ferdinand, directed by Carlos Saldanha is a spoonful of sugar! Ferdinand’s compassion is contagious and, with his big innocent eyes and smile, he brightened my day. The animation is visually appealing and adds happiness and joyfulness to every aspect of this film. The music adds an exhilarating effect to the action scenes and made my heart pump faster and faster.

The story follows a timid, lovable bull named Ferdinand who loves flowers. He is born a fighter at a ranch, but has no desire to hurt anyone. He runs away and is taken in by a farmer and his daughter. Together, they grow up and through a series of events, Ferdinand is misunderstood and separated from his home and must do everything he can to return to his family.

John Cena plays Ferdinand and keeps a softness in his voice that reinforces Ferdinand’s serene aura. Kate McKinnon plays Lupe, a hilarious, exuberant goat. The way she manipulates her voice made me laugh. The antagonist, Valiente, voiced by Bobby Cannavale, has an animosity against Ferdinand that is clear and terrifying.

The animation is sublime and gorgeous. There are many scenes where Ferdinand is sitting on his favorite hill, gazing into the distance. The landscape is intricately detailed. You can see the cracks on the cliffs and shadows with the pinkish orange sunset with the trees, flowers and grass swaying with the wind. These scenes transcend words and made me feel the peace and serenity that Ferdinand experiences. Ferdinand’s expressions are priceless, revealing his feelings exquisitely. His ears flap when he is excited and his smile is enormous. The animation is excellent throughout.

My favorite part is Ferdinand’s personality. Ferdinand would never hurt a fly and loves everyone and everything. He always does what is right and, no matter how anyone treats him, he considers everyone his friend.

The message of Ferdinand is don’t be afraid of who you are and let your true self shine. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. Ferdinand opens in theatres nationwide December 15, 2017 so be sure to put it on your holiday viewing list.