Archives for December 5, 2017

5 Tips to Teaching Your Toddler to Swim

Watching your toddler learn some new skills can be a magical experience, and none is as rewarding as teaching them how to swim. The goal is to help them learn to swim early and avoid a fear of water. This is important not just for your kids’ safety, but also for their enjoyment.

This is one of the main reasons why swimming lessons have become more and more popular. But what if you can’t afford regular swimming lessons or just want to avoid this route? These 5 tips will help you make your home training a success:

  1. Make Water Activities Fun

The first step when teaching your toddler to swim is to help them love being in the water. This might be a bit harder if they already have a fear of the water, but you can still get the job done. Start off by letting your toddler have a lot of play time during their baths, This way, they can learn to relax and get more comfortable in their little “pool”.

  1. Get the Right Floats

There are very many floatation products currently available on the market. So, how do you pick the right one? The best swim floaties for toddlers are those that help your little one learn to relax and enjoy the water. They are designed to ensure your toddler learns early on how to be truly buoyant while swimming.

Also, look for floaties that will roll your toddler over. This safety feature ensures that your child will not be vulnerable to the face down dangers that plague so many floatation devices on the market.

When using floats, your first step will be to teach your toddler how to use them to keep their balance while in the water. As long as you give your child enough space to learn, this step will not take them too long to ace.

  1. Teach Them How to Hold Their Breath

When you get into the focused lessons, it is a good idea to start by teaching your toddler how to hold their breath. A fun way to do this is by blowing bubbles on the water surface. This will help your child get used to having at least part of their face in the water.

You could also simply blow in your child’s face. This easy approach takes advantage of their natural response in such a case – which is to hold their breath. It is also a great way to teach your toddler how to hold their breath without physically holding their nose, which is not recommended for younger kids.

  1. Set Aside Lesson Time for Swimming

Once your child has mastered the key basics, you have to focus on actually teaching them how to swim. To do this, set aside a dedicated time for the swimming lessons. Because children are natural imitators, it is also important to ensure that you are always present at these times. More importantly, make sure that your lessons are short and fun!

  1. Start with Baby Steps

To start your lessons, the only thing you really need is an appropriate pool. This means that it should fill up to your toddler’s upper chest or chin level, but not over their head.

In the beginning, your goal should be to help your toddler learn better swimming techniques. This means your focus will be on teaching them how to move their arms and kick their feet in the water.

You should also help your child out as much as possible. For example, start off by having them hold on to the wall as they swim to you. By doing this, you will give them the skills and confidence they need to be great swimmers in no time.  

CHUT UP Condiments are Healthier for you and they taste good too!


Looking for condiments that taste good and are healthy? Have you heard of Chut Up Condiments?  Beet KetchupApple & Caramelized Onion Chutney and Peri Peri Hot Sauce. I had the opportunity to try them and they are quite tasty! I really like that they are healthier too! They are made with high-quality ingredients and my favorite is the Peri Peri Hot Sauce!

Which one do YOU want to try?

Check these out at



Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. 

Jergens Nourishing Honey Dry Skin Moisturizer is a Must-Buy for the upcoming Winter!

unnamed (4)

Does your skin seem drier in the Winter? I know that mine does! There is a solution! Keep your skin hydrated this winter with the new Jergens Nourishing Honey Dry Skin Moisturizer. It made my skin feel softer instantly and it’s great to use after the shower!

WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Honey is currently one of the most buzzed about ingredients in skincare. Formulated with antioxidant-packed Orange Blossom Honey, which is known to contain potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, the new Jergens® Nourishing Honey Dry Skin Moisturizer softens dry skin and keeps it smooth and hydrated 24/7. Its refreshing, citrusy Orange Blossom scent enlivens and invigorates the senses.
STAR INGREDIENT: Orange Blossom Honey, which is gathered from the blossoms of Florida’s orange tree groves during the spring. Nourishing and natural, honey is nature’s most powerful humectant that continuously pulls moisture in from the air, preserving it deep within the layers of the skin for concentrated, nourishment that lasts all day.
• Contains naturally hydrating, antioxidant-packed honey • Provides all-day nourishment • Retains moisture deep within the skin • Refreshes with an invigorating floral scent
• Softens skin with a smoothing, non-sticky formula
WHAT IT COSTS: $5.99 for 16.8 oz.
Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this beauty post. Images and info were also provided. Any opinions expressed are my own. 

Jack is Pet of the Week!

Jack December 7 Pet of the Week

Noble, stately, dignified, loyal—they all describe Jack, a 6-year-old male boxer mix with brindle fur. Jack knows some commands, loves treats and loves people as well. He seems to be waiting for his people to come back for him—but they won’t. They left him at the shelter and went away. Can you make the holidays happy for him? He’ll return the favor a hundredfold. Meet Jack on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A545759.

 (The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: The Companion Animal Village.

Books of the week!

If you love dogs and stories about dogs, you will love this one!

unnamed (2)

It has true adventure and it is a delightful story about a pack of rescue dogs. The first book in The Unleashed Series, The Adventures of Zooming Zip, is the tall tale of a small, wayward dog that discovers himself, God, and his true purpose in life. Check it out on



I love this one! It’s a very special story with a very special message! This picture book is one that celebrates what makes every child special in their own way! I recommend this one for ages 4+. You can also find it on

Painting a snowman is simple: three circles, black dots for buttons & eyes, and a carrot for a nose. That is, unless you’re Salvador Dali, whose flattened snowmen melt in a desert, or Georgia O’Keeffe, whose snowman sports an antlered skull instead of button eyes. Or Roy Lichtenstein, or Pablo Picasso, or Pablita Velarde, or any number of influential and beloved artists.
IF PICASSO PAINTED A SNOWMAN introduces young readers to many acclaimed painters, but most importantly it shows children that it’s okay to be different, and encourages them to embrace their individuality and unique view of the world.
I loved this book and think it is a great way for children to learn about creativity! You can find it here.
americana_cover RGB
Addicted to Americana by Charles Phoenix is a really fun book to read! I enjoyed reading it and I think even teenagers will enjoy it! I learned new facts and it’s just a really fun book that it tough to put down! With trademark enthusiasm, quick wit, and keen eye for oddball detail, Charles Phoenix has become one of the American Treasures he often discusses. Yet with our sped-up world spinning at record speed technologically, Charles celebrates Americana in his newest book, Addicted to Americana. As a way to keep both memories and relics alive, his latest book takes us on the road, excavating the U.S.A. for fossilized treasures, from a roadside turtle statue in Joshua Tree to a clown-themed coffee shop in Sacramento. It’s part travelogue, part autobiography, and pure fun. As excessive, grandiose and environmentally incorrect as that era may have been, it sure was swell.
5-12 FINAL GATORLAND (biggest file I have can it be a full sq page)_BOOK
You can find this book on and Barnes & Noble.
Fair Foods book cover
Do you love County Fair food? I hate to admit it sometimes…but I do! Now, you can make it at home! George Geary’s Fair Foods cookbook has all the great recipes! The recipes are simple to follow.  The World’s Gooiest Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting is one of my favorites that you can find in the cookbook. There’s even Fried Coca-Cola! This book would make a great gift for the holidays!
Find it on
Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Images were also provided.

LA Travel Destination: Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 10.51.08 AM_preview

Tonight (and every Wednesday) is Arabian Nights (5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.)featuring Disney’s ALADDIN theme skate performance. And a few other fun events going on:

  • Silent Skate Party – Holiday Ice Rink presents its Silent Skate Party on Thursday, Nov. 30 and Wednesday, Dec. 13. Choose from three different channels of music and dance/skate the night away! Costumes are encouraged and skaters of all ages are welcome. Two sessions, 7-8 p.m. and 8:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Polar Bear Skate – One of the city’s most popular New Year’s Day traditions, the Polar Bear Skate is L.A.’s version of Canada’s “Polar Bear Plunge,” taking place from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2018, Skaters are invited to dress in their chicest, wildest and most inventive beach attire. Prizes awarded for theme, originality and overall appearance. Spectators pick the winner!

Credit: Bai Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square. Image and info were provided.

Don’t Miss Santa HQ at Lakewood Center!


Lakewood Center, in partnership with HGTV, is hosting the North Pole’s most prominent resident at ‘Santa HQ.’ Families are encouraged to partake in an interactive, digital experience at Santa’s workshop.

Guests will be engaged during their visit with Santa due to Santa HQ’s incorporation of an augmented reality environment and captivating social media experience. Upon entering Santa HQ, kids will learn if they are on Santa’s naughty or nice list after being “scanned” at the Naughty or Nice O’Meter and spend time at an observatory to catch a glimpse of Santa’s remarkable world through special tablets. Visitors will also be able to take an “Elfie” (a photo opportunity as a dancing elf) and much more.

Early Bird photo packages are also available starting at $39.99. As an added bonus, guests can make reservations with the man of the hour by visiting

Shoppers also are invited to bring in an unwrapped toy and participate in Help Through Holiday Giving.  Lakewood Center hopes to collect and donate several hundred toys to California Highway Patrol Chips4Kids toy drive.

Lakewood Center is partnering once again with non-profit organization, Adopt & Shop for Pet Night events. Guests are encouraged to bring out their furry friends for a fun family photo with Santa. Adopt & Shop will be on site with pets looking for forever families.

WHAT ELSE: Wishing for more jingle this holiday season?

Copy of 20171110_171123

WHEN: November 10 – December 24

Santa HQ is located in the Center Court next to Macy’s. For more information on Santa HQ’s operating hours, please visit:

Pet Night in partnership with Adopt & ShopDecember 11th6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

WHERE: Lakewood Center

Center Court, near Macy’s

500 Lakewood Center Mall

Lakewood, CA 90712.

Credit: Lakewood Center. Images were provided. 



BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – A CHRISTMAS ROSE marks Lythgoe Family Panto’s inaugural production at the venerable Pasadena Civic Auditorium and their sixth consecutive Panto presentation in Pasadena, five of which were presented at Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theater of California. As part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to develop theatre for young audiences, a portion of Lythgoe Family Panto’s proceeds from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will be donated to Pasadena Playhouse’s outreach and education programs.
Previously Lythgoe Family Panto established their reputation with productions including A Cinderella Christmas starring Lauren Taylor, Alex Newell and Morgan Fairchild, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell – A Pirates Christmas starring Sabrina Carpenter and John O’Hurley, Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight starring Olivia Holt and Lucy Lawless, Aladdin and His Winter Wish starring Ben Vereen, Jordan Fisher, and Ashley Argota – and A Snow White Christmas (the original of this production) starring Ariana Grande and Neil Patrick Harris.
Lythgoe Family Panto produces fun, musical theatre the whole family can enjoy. Known for their creativity and involvement in television hits “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” the Lythgoes are dedicated to bringing affordable theatre to families across America. Based on the Grimm fairy tales and others, each story has been modernized with topical scripts for parents and well-known pop songs for kids. The Lythgoes pride themselves on creating a memorable experience a family can share together.
December 13 -24, 2017.
Lythgoe Family Panto (LFP)
in association with Pasadena Playhouse
Book by Kris Lythgoe
Choreographed by Mandy Moore (La La Land)
Music Direction and Arrangements by Michael Orland (American Idol)
Directed by Sheldon Epps
Kelli Berglund (Disney XD’s LAB RATS) as Belle
Jared Gertner (Broadway’s The Book Of Mormon) as Pierre
Jonah Platt (Broadway’s WICKED) as The Beast
James Snyder (Broadway’s IF/THEN) as Gus
John Tartaglia (Broadway’s Shrek The Musical) as Louis Vuitton
Gedde Watanabe (Broadway’s PACIFIC OVERTURES and John Hughes’ SIXTEEN CANDLES) as Marcel
Harrison White (Broadway’s The Lion King) as Dame Chanel
An updated version of the classic tale, in the style of a traditional British family Panto, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – A CHRISTMAS ROSE features family-friendly magic, with a comedic twist, dancing (with “So You Think You Can Dance” alumni), contemporary music and more.
The Ensemble for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – A CHRISTMAS ROSE features Jessica Richens (Top 3 “So You Think You Can Dance”/ “So You Think You Can Dance” All Star), Jennifer Bermeo, Alyse Rockett, Annie Gratton, Wally Pham, Branson Hudson, Darnell Joseph and Mason Trueblood. The Youth Ensemble features Emmanuel Martin Lewis, JD Bering, Caden Miller, Bryanna Fernandez, Madison Han, Yasmine Arya, Cameron Steen, Cody Copley, Joshua E. Guerrero, Layla Krugh, Brooklyn Bustamante, and Lexi Hernandez.

Bonnie Lythgoe serves as Executive Director and oversee the production. Casting is led by Producer Becky Lythgoe.

Golden Ticket: Children ages 4-12 can enjoy a special on-stage experience for $60. (Note: One Golden Ticket requires an admission ticket.)

Winter Wonderland: Audience members can enjoy this FREE pre-show celebration featuring crafts, games, Santa Claus (on select days), photo opportunities, and more! Starts one hour prior to curtain time.

Tickets are available online at or by calling 626-449-7360. Group discounts (for groups of 8 or more) are available by
The Pasadena Civic Auditorium
Credit: Lythgoe Family Panto.