Archives for November 2018

Time to send out the Holiday Cards and Invitations! How about going Paperless?

Paperless Post has partnered with several world-famous designers and lifestyle brands, including kate spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, and Rifle Paper Co., and has delivered over 85 million cards to date. It is super easy to design a holiday card with Paperless Post! I love the different designs and how easy it is to simply send them online. No need to go to the post office and buy stamps! What a creative and unique idea for sending out Holiday cards.

I chose the cute design above and sent a card online to my BFF within minutes! What is also really cool is that she can reply back to me within minutes…well, if she is online.  This is a creative way to send out invitations and greeting cards and you don’t have to buy stamps! Now, how cool is that?! You can even track your card to see that it has been sent. You purchase coins online so you can purchase online cards and add premium options like envelope liners and logos. For example, 10 coins cost $5.

Check Paperless Post out this Holiday season at https://www.paperlesspost.com

Self Disclosure: I received coins to use on the site to facilitate this post. No other compensation was received. 

What’s better than a little nostalgia at Christmastime? Concord Music has teamed up with SoCal City Kids for a Holiday giveaway! Winner will win A Charlie Brown Christmas [Doghouse Edition CD]

A Charlie Brown Christmas [Snoopy Doghouse Edition CD] is a deluxe package that includes the remastered CD of one of the most popular and beloved holiday albums of all-time, A Charlie Brown Christmas, with 3 bonus tracks not on the original 1965 recording, a 20-page booklet, plus –the highlight of the package– Snoopy’s colorfully decorated doghouse and cut-out replicas of the PEANUTS gang!

 Artist:                   Vince Guaraldi

Title:                     A Charlie Brown Christmas [Doghouse Edition]

Config:                 CD

Item No:             FAN-34760-02

UPC:                     888072347601

MSLP:                  14.98

Release Date:    10/22/2013

Record Label:    Fantasy Records

Genres:                Holiday, Jazz, Soundtrack, Children’s, Nostalgia

 Track Listing: 

  1. O Tannenbaum 
  2. What Child Is This
  3. My Little Drum
  4. Linus And Lucy  
  5. Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)
  6. Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)
  7. Skating
  8. Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
  9. Christmas Is Coming
  10. Für Elise
  11. The Christmas Song
  12. Greensleeves
  13. Great Pumpkin Waltz
  14. Thanksgiving Theme

 You can find the CD on Amazon.com.  But, it is also available just about any store you walk into. You can find it on iTunes.

Now, for the giveaway! Leave a comment below telling us your favorite Peanuts character AND Your favorite song from the songs listed above! Deadline to enter is December 5th, 2018 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected via Random.org. 

Self Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation to post this giveaway. SoCal City Kids will randomly select the winner and the prize will be sent out by Concord Music. Images and Information were also provided. 

Green Book: Powerful Portrayal Of An Inspirational Journey Promoting Courage, Activism And Always Doing What’s Right

Dr. Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist who’s about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “I absolutely give the film 5 out of 5 stars for its powerful portrayal of an inspirational journey that promotes courage, activism and always doing what’s right in the world… This movie contains a massively wide range of emotions. At times, the story is driven by love, romance and family. At other times, the characters live in racism, homophobia and segregation as it directly addresses and shows the darkness of the 60s in the United States.” See his full review below.

Green Book

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Sometimes being alone means not being accepted. A fact that some have attempted to convey in the art of cinema, but only a few reach the precision and emotional strength of Green Book which shows not only the complex and dark social issues of the 1960s but also demonstrates the power and emotion of feeling truly alone.

This movie contains a massively wide range of emotions. At times, the story is driven by love, romance and family. At other times, the characters live in racism, homophobia and segregation as it directly addresses and shows the darkness of the 60s in the United States. Yet still, the viewer will be surprised by the amount of humor and wonderfully vibrant moments that are portrayed. They will make you laugh in all the right places, without interrupting truly emotional moments.

Green Book follows the highly famous and incredibly successful pianist, Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who takes great risks as an African American man touring through the highly racial deep south. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) accompanies Shirley going from his driver to savior to eventually, his close friend. As the tour progresses, the audience goes through many parts of the south where not only racism was prevalent against African Americans and Italians, but also acknowledge the severe homophobia that existed so terribly in the 1960s.

Perhaps one of the most lovable aspects of this movie can be attributed to the story itself. Every person in the film has a major character arc in which they become completely reshaped and remolded by the end. The entire cast performs with Oscar-worthy emotional portrayals of their characters. Mahershala once again delivers absolutely heart-wrenching scenes as the audience becomes acquainted with the lonesome and depressed life Don Shirley lives in, despite being unarguably talented and highly intelligent. The complexities in the set design, costume design, and overall tone of the entire world never run out of depth as the entire film feels as if it truly belongs in the 1960s, despite being shot nearly half a century later. Director Peter Farrelly may be seasoned in humoristic comedies, but makes sure his background stays separate for this film.  With his lead, the audience experiences bitter reality and, with the help of cinematographer Sean Porter, view a vivid and colorful picture of United States in the 1960s, from up north in New York all the way to down south in Alabama.

Cinema about musicians would be blasphemy without an impressive soundtrack to follow suit. From music considered modern and pop for that era, to classical pieces hundreds of years old, Green Book promises a highly wide and diverse soundtrack that highlights itself as one of the greatest this year. Furthermore, the music tells the story as it begins with 1960s music, but slowly goes more and more towards classical and orchestral as the story unfolds and the viewer learns more about the conflicts of pianist Don Shirley. Furthermore, despite being over two hours long, the film keeps you captivated for the entire runtime and leaves you satisfied with a natural and beautiful ending.

Instead of a favorite scene, I would like to talk about several sequences present in the film. Since they’re on tour, of course, Shirley and his fellow musicians in his trio are shown playing music. Yet, this varies in emotion, strength and passion as real-life events impact Don Shirley’s craft just as the events impact his actual character. The power of his work never dwindles and always leaves you in awe. During the performance scenes, every aspect of the film shines with absolutely masterful cinematographic compositions that seem to isolate the musicians and truly captures the raw emotions such powerful music creates.

Despite the beauty and power that hold true throughout this film, it does have things to concern parents. As previously stated, the film embraces the bitter and blunt reality of the 1960s, from homophobia to racism. This makes it most appropriate for ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. I absolutely give the film 5 out of 5 stars for its powerful portrayal of an inspirational journey that promotes courage, activism and always doing what’s right in the world. It opens in theaters November 21, 2018 so, check it out.

 

Photos by Universal Pictures – ©2018 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved

8 things you can do to show that you love someone

Relationships are beautiful yet complicated and delicate at times. Things may go kaput any moment, especially if you do not give the right amount of time, love, attention, and care to your partner.

Merely loving someone is not enough. You need to show that you love it with your actions and your words. The other person should feel special, otherwise, it’s of no use.

If you’re in a relationship but struggling to show love then you have landed on the right page. Here are 7 things you can do to show that you love someone.

 #1 Cook for Them

This is the best way to show your lover that you love them especially if you’re a guy and don’t cook on a regular basis.

However, it’s not only about the meal but it’s about the environment. Set up candles across the table, close the lights, and surprise her with your gesture.

Also, don’t just enjoy the food but enjoy each other’s company as well. You can play soft, romantic music in the background and dance to its tunes as well.

It doesn’t matter whether you know how to cook or not. What matters is your gesture and work you put in for the night. It will make your lover feel special and loved.

 #2 Cuddle With Them

Intimacy involves more than just sex so think beyond it and make sure to cuddle as often as you can. Even science supports cuddling. According to reports, it can make you happier and also strengthen your relationship as cuddling boosts estrogen.

 #3 Pay Attention to Them

Listen to your partner and be there for them when they need to talk about their problems or vent out. What we mean by being there for someone is letting the other person know you’re there for them whenever needed.

This is very important because partners need to be by each other’s sides through thick and thin.

#4 Plan a Surprise Date

Plan a surprise date for your partner. There are few things as good as surprises. However, you need to plan it intelligent. Make sure to book a date on a day when your partner is free and available so that things don’t go messy.

Also, pick a restaurant or a place keeping their taste in mind. After all, you’re doing it for your partner.

 #5 Give them a Massage                               

Let’s face it, all of us get tired after a long day and need to relax. Consider giving your lover a message. Massages help improve circulation, relax the body, and induce a happy mood. This will make your partner feel loved and cared for.

Plus, massages can be quite sexy as well given that you know how to use your hands. You can turn it into an intimate night and get lost in the moment.

 #6 Prioritize Your Partner

When you’re in a relationship, especially a serious one, you have to prioritize your lover’s needs over everyone else.

Never make your partner neglected as this is the #1 cause of breakups followed by cheating. In fact, a lot of men and women say that they cheat only because their partners are not able to provide them the love and attention that they crave for.

While this justification is not justified it’s a common reason for people to cheat on their partners. If you want your relationship to flourish then remember to always put your partner first.

#7 Do Not Forget the Importance of Gifts

As cliche as it may sound, gifts have a lot of value. They show that you care for the other person and think of them even when they’re not around.

You do not have to buy a gift on special occasions only, such as birthdays and anniversaries. You may get one without a reason as well.

Something like a piece of jewelry with your partner’s name can be quite a good gift or you can go traditional and get a bouquet to surprise your partner for no reason.

 #8 Do the Stuff They Like

Sometimes, it is important to put your preference to the side and do what your partner wants you to do. It will make them feel special and push them to also respect your likes and dislikes.

Follow these simple tips and your bond will strengthen in no time.

 

5 Project To Do With Your Kids This Winter

Winter can be a great time to enjoy different projects with your children. In the summer time, your family focus is probably on getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors. However, once the winter comes around, you’re probably more willing to stay inside and keep warm. However, just because the weather is turning cold doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself with your kids. You just need to change your focus from outdoors to indoors.

With that in mind, here are five fun projects that you can try with your little ones during the winter months. You’re sure to love them and we know your children will too.

1.Cooking Up A Storm

Winter is the perfect time to hit the kitchen with your kids and start a cooking project. It’s never too early to begin teaching your little ones how to cook, and experts believe that children who get hands-on in the kitchen become more willing to try a wider range of foods and will naturally choose healthier options. With these benefits in mind, it’s time to think about cooking with your kids this winter. There are lots of brilliant cooking projects that you can try which will teach them all about healthy eating while also teaching them useful skills that will set them up for life. Hearty vegetable soups are just one thing that is fun to prepare with the children. Weighing, measuring, chopping and peeling are all jobs that you can give your children to do. The best thing is that they’re much more likely to eat healthy food that they’ve prepared themselves!

2. A Winter Collage

Even the youngest children can get involved with an art project, and what could be more fun than making a collage that reflects the season? Winter can be a magical time, so why not create a seasonal collage with different materials that perfectly represent this time of year. Silver glitter to represent ice, paper doilies to represent snowflakes, cotton wool for snow, sticks to represent the bare trees… you can use natural materials alongside man-made ones to create exciting textures. Children will also learn greater creative skills as well as practical ones such as gluing and cutting.

3. Acrylic Pouring Paintings

Even if you don’t think you’re very artistic, anyone can try acrylic pouring. It’s a surprisingly simple art form, and the great thing is that the result is so abstract that you’ll never have to worry about the final product looking nothing like the way you intended! Although it might sound like an expensive project, in fact it’s perfect possible to do acrylic painting on a budget. Just view this link to find out more about how you can use cheaper alternative equipment to get the same effects at a fraction of the cost.

4. Make A Bird Feeder

Remember the birds at this time of year and help to keep them fed by making a bird feeder of your own. This is a simple yet rewarding project that your children can help you with. They’ll also love watching the birds come to your garden to eat the results of their hard work too. There are lots of different bird feeders you can make, but one of the easiest versions involves a piece of toasted bread, cut into the shape of your child’s choice using a cutter, spread with peanut butter and then sprinkled with a topping of bird seed. Really easy, but surprisingly effective!

5. Make Colored Ice Balls

Although this is a messy activity, it’s one that the kids are going to love. You need to wait until the snow comes though! All you need is a few balloons, some food coloring and some water. Drip a tiny amount of your chosen food coloring into each balloon and fill up with water. Tie the end  then freeze the balloon until the water has turned to ice. Once the balloon is frozen, carefully cut the balloon away from the ice. You will have colorful balls of bright ice left to play with. Now take them outdoors into the snow and you can play! Remember to wear old clothes though – food coloring stains!

These five fun projects will brighten up your winter, and your kids are sure to love them!

Kick off the Chanukah festivities at LA’s favorite gathering place

 Chanukah, the eight-day Jewish festival also commonly known as the ‘Festival of Lights,’ begins at sundown on Sunday, Dec. 2, and there is no better place to begin the celebrations than in the heart of the Fairfax District at The Original Farmers Market! The Annual Chanukah Celebration returns to the Farmers Market Plaza with fun activities for all ages.

 

  • The Jewish Federation’s PJ Library, a Jewish engagement and literacy program dedicated to providing free Jewish children’s books to families across the world, will be facilitating Chanukah story time readings and arts and crafts
  • PJ Library will also be inviting attendees to share their favorite Chanukah traditions by contributing to a giant interactive mural where they can create an image of themselves enjoying and celebrating the holiday
  • Kids are invited to participate in the building of a giant LEGO menorah, an annual tradition started by Rabbi Fischer of Miracle Mile Chabad in 2009.
  • Live musical performances by Jewish song leader and acoustic guitarist, Charlie Kramer, who, along with his band Chayut will bring the Jewish world of song to life in honor of the holiday
  • Honor the first night of Chanukah with a special lighting ceremony of the first candle in the LEGO Menorah as led by Rabbi Fischer

 

WHEN:                 Sunday, December 2

                                2:30-4:30 pm: Chanukah Crafts, Stories and Fun on the Market Plaza

                                4:30 pm: The Music of Charlie Kramer & Chayut

                                5:15 pm: Menorah Lighting Ceremony with Rabbi Fischer of Miracle Mile Chabad

 

WHERE:                The Original Farmers Market  @ 6333 W Third St.

                                Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                323-933-9211

                             https://www.farmersmarketla.com/

 

Credit:  The Original Farmers Market:

The Original Farmers Market has been Los Angeles’ favorite gathering place since 1934. With more than 100 grocers, retailers and restaurants—as well as year-round activities for the whole family—the Farmers Market is a beloved place for locals and one of the top tourist destinations in Los Angeles.  For more information, visit www.farmersmarketla.com.   Follow the Farmers Market on Facebook at facebook.com/farmersmarketla, Instagram at Instagram.com/farmersmarketla, and Twitter at @FarmersMarketLA.

Slide Into Season at San Diego’s Newly Reimagined Waterfront Holiday Adventure Park HOLIDAY BY THE BAY November 21, 2018 – January 5, 2019

 Hilton San Diego Bayfront is pleased to unveil a newly reimagined Holiday by the Bay on select nights starting Wednesday, November 21, 2018, through January 5, 2019. The all-new Holiday by the Bay will transform Bayfront Park into the ultimate holiday destination and ice adventure park featuring San Diego’s only two-story, 100-foot ice tubing slide, ice bumpers cars, nightly snow flurries, an interactive light show featuring a 30-foot tall Christmas tree, festive fare, craft holiday cocktails, cozy fire-side lounges, gingerbread decorating, stocking trimming, and much more. A portion of every ticket to the annual holiday tradition will benefit United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) San Diego, supporting America’s military service members.

Executive Producers of The Queen Mary’s “Chill” and “Dark Harbor,” Los Angeles-based EPIC Entertainment Group, has developed an enchanting wonderland experience at Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s Holiday by the Bay, offering an exhilarating winter adventure park packed with inventive yuletide twists among traditional festivities. Visitors will experience breathtaking activities including Reindeer Run, an exhilarating two-story, 100-foot ice tubing slide, Iceberg Bumper Boats, and an hourly interactive dynamic light show called Shine, sure to bring a smile to even the biggest humbug.

Adults can rediscover the cheer of childhood holiday memories while creating new ones with their families participating in time-honored traditions such as trimming stockings in Santa’s Workshop and decorating gingerbread in Claus Kitchen. Imbibe in craft holiday cocktails in cozy Yule Lodge, sip cocoa and toast s’mores at a private Fireside Lounge and gather loved ones on Polar Patio for festive fare from Elven Eatery and sweet treats from Kringle Bakery. There’s something fun for everyone at Holiday by the Bay.

Holiday by the Bay is located at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Bayfront Park, 1 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101. Discounted tickets are available online at Hiltonholidaybythebay.com starting at $20.00 for adults (age 12+) and $15.00 for children (ages 4 – 11). Children under the age of 3 are free. Active duty military saves $5.00 with valid military I.D. Parking is a flat fee of $20.00 with a Holiday by the Bay validation. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.

Credit:
About Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Hilton San Diego Bayfront, a 30-story, 1,190 room hotel is located on the edge of the bay in downtown San Diego and situated on 12.79 acres of Bayfront land. The hotel boasts 165,000 square feet of meeting and event space, four restaurants, a 7,300 square foot health club and spa, 3,000 square feet of retail space, a 2,400 square foot business center along with San Diego’s first heated saltwater hotel swimming pool and nearly $2-million of commissioned public art. Hilton San Diego Bayfront is adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center and PETCO Park, located at One Park Boulevard, San Diego, 92101. For additional information, please visit: www.hiltonsandiegobayfront.com.

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
For nearly a century, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been proudly welcoming the world’s travelers. With more than 570 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts provides the foundation for memorable travel experiences and values every guest who walks through its doors. As the flagship brand of Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to set the standard for hospitality, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests’ evolving needs.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a part of the award-winning Hilton Honors program. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Begin your journey at www.hilton.com and learn more about the brand by visiting news.hilton.com or following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Epic Entertainment Group
Founders Steve Sheldon and Charity Hill launched EPIC Entertainment Group in 2016. The company has been instrumental in leading the way for live event production, themed entertainment, location-based attractions, and brand activations. Epic Entertainment Group is a collective of innovative producers, experiential marketers, and creative designers whose sole mission is to produce unrivaled immersive experiences while having a kick-ass time doing it. This team of fine-tuned experience architects execute every facet of development, production, operation and integration with flawless precision for events of every scope and scale. To learn more visit epicentertainmentgroup.com

About USO San Diego
Since 1941, USO San Diego has been serving active-duty, reserve, guard and military families. USO San Diego strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. USO San Diego is a premier USO Chartered Center providing morale and support services, as well as a home away from home for all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. For more information, please visit: www.usosandiego.org

Shadow, Nov. 28th Pet of the Week!

Shadow is a loving senior German shepherd mix. He was brought to the shelter on two occasions—the second time, his owner didn’t return to bring him home. He’s 14 years old, knows all his commands, and deserves better than this in his late years. Could you bring him home for a holiday dinner and an extended stay, like forever? Shadow deserves his place in the sun. Meet him on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A614577.

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.