Archives for June 2019

The Bravest Knight – Incredibly Charming, Super Cute And Really Fun

The new series The Bravest Knight is breaking boundaries, featuring a household with two dads (Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew), making it one of the first children’s television series with an openly gay main character. Following the inspiring and perseverant former pumpkin farmer, Sir Cedric, now grown and married to the prince of his dreams, “The Bravest Knight” recounts personal tales of his journey. Sir Cedric shares his story with his adopted 10-year-old daughter Nia, on how he transformed from day-time farmer to full-fledged knight. Nia, who is training to become a brave knight herself, learns important values such as honor, justice and compassion; proving that knighthood is much more than slaying dragons. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B.  comments, “This show is incredibly charming, even though there are currently only five episodes available. It’s super cute and really fun.” Sahiba K. adds, “The Bravest Knight, directed by Shabnam Rezaei, is a perfect opportunity for younger audiences to learn important life lessons in adventurous ways! The fairytale setting, featuring knights and trolls, creates a fun and imaginative world for children to become immersed in. Each episode contains multiple messages that are explained as a short lesson at the end.” Will C. wraps it with, “The message of this series is summed up in the theme song: “Be the real you, be the true you, it’s the bravest thing you can do.” There are some positive messages about teamwork, caring for others and avoiding stereotypes.” See their full reviews below.

The Bravest Knight
By Calista Bess, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

This show is incredibly charming, even though there are currently only five episodes available. It’s super cute and really fun.

The show follows a knight named Sir Cedric, who is retelling the story of how he became a knight to his daughter Nia, who wants to be a knight as well. The episodes focus on Cedric teaching Nia important morals and lessons about being a knight. While the main focus of the show seems to be teaching lessons, there is also an overarching story based on how Cedric became a knight.

The animation in this series is very simplistic, but very adorable. The style gives me the vibe of a children’s book. Which fits the fairy tale theme and overall tone. There really isn’t much else I have to say about the animation other than I really enjoy it.

Now arguably the most notable aspect of this show so far is the representation. On the surface it seems like a simple enough kids show, however I was excited to learn about the amazing diversity in the cast. I mentioned that Cedric has a daughter. Well it turns out that Cedric is married to another man and Nia is his adopted daughter. Not only that but Cedric’s husband Prince Andrew and their daughter are both people of color. While Andrew and Nia are the major examples of representation, there does appear to be themes of discrimination with the troll characters. Cedric’s companion on his quest is a troll named Grunt and there are two instances where other characters assume the worst or are rude to Grunt because he’s a troll. I think the theme of discrimination is presented really well and in a subtle way. I’m a firm believer that children are able to handle complicated subjects in media, so I always get kind of happy when I see media treating kids as smarter than most people give them credit for.

However, the representation is not all there is to this show. After all, this show is not mainly about the diversity. Although I must say, I think the characters so far are really fun and likeable. Nia is adorable and fun while Prince Andrew, who kind of plays the role of the straight man to balance out Nia and Cedric rounds out the central trio very nicely. Cedric is a bit of a basic protagonist but it’s clear he’ll develop as the series goes on, which is always a good sign.

I give this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. And episodes are currently premiering on Hulu.

The Bravest Knight

By Sahiba Dogra, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

The Bravest Knight, directed by Shabnam Rezaei, is a perfect opportunity for younger audiences to learn important life lessons in adventurous ways! The fairytale setting, featuring knights and trolls, creates a fun and imaginative world for children to become immersed in. Each episode contains multiple messages that are explained as a short lesson at the end.

The story follows Nia (Storm Reid), a “not-yet-knight,” who strives to learn the skills to become a real knight. Her father, Sir Cedric (T.R Knight) teaches her lessons that are necessary to achieve knighthood. Through his tutelage, Cedric tells Nia stories of his own childhood with his best friend Grunt (Chance Hurstfield). These stories often follow tales of when Sir Cedric was a “not-yet-knight” and the adventures he faced.

The animation made me feel as if I was in a pop-up fairytale book. In the beginning of each episode, trees or hills appear to move in such a way that the focus on Nia or their home becomes clear. The animation resembles the way that pop-up story books become clear when the page flips. This illusion continues throughout the episode as the characters are drawn simplistically. However, the background is more detailed with a wide variety of colors and ornamentation wherever Cedric and Nia’s adventures take them.

My favorite part is how there is an overarching story that continues throughout several episodes. In Cedric’s stories, young Cedric is determined to help Grunt find the troll who ousted Grunt from his bridge. Every episode contains a clue that brings them closer to achieving this goal. This form of storytelling intrigued me and made me want to watch the next episode. In contrast, there are elements of the screenplay that made me lose interest at times. Grunt and Nia have personalities that separate them from the other characters in the show. Cedric, the main character, lacks such a personality and he is less compelling to watch. Nevertheless, Grunt and Nia’s characters make up for this downside and it will not be noticed by younger audiences.

The messages of the series are about not giving up and that things are not always what they seem. I give The Bravest Knight 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. Be sure to check out The Bravest Knight on Hulu when it launches June 21, 2019.

The Bravest Knight

By Will Chuhta, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

The Bravest Knight is a sweet and fun animated series for younger kids. Each 12 minute episode is funny and entertaining and held my interest even though I’m a little older than the target audience.

The Bravest Knight is about Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew and their adopted daughter Nia. Nia really wants to be a knight like her dad, each episode has a story Sir Cedric tells her about when he was also a “not-yet knight.” Young Cedric has a troll friend named Grunt who accompanies him on his adventures. Together, they save people from a witch, enter a jousting tournament and escape a giant’s vault in the clouds.

My favorite part of this show is the character Grunt, the troll. He gets the best lines and got a few laughs out of me. The animation uses nice colors that will appeal to kids and the music really fits the style of the show. The voice actors, both young and old, are great at bringing their characters to life.

The message of this series is summed up in the theme song: “Be the real you, be the true you, it’s the bravest thing you can do.” There are some positive messages about teamwork, caring for others and avoiding stereotypes. There’s a bearded fairy named Lucy who replies that names belong to people, not genders, when Grunt the troll asks if he has a girl’s name.

I give this series 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Adults probably won’t mind watching it with their kids if they ask them to. The Bravest Knight is available for streaming on Hulu starting June 21, 2019.

Whisper of the Heart – Perfect for Studio Ghibli Fans! Outstanding Animation, Romantic Story

Based on the manga with the same title, this animated film follows Shizuku, an inquisitive young girl and a voracious reader, who longs to be a writer when she grows up. One day she notices that all of her library books have previously been taken out by one Seiji Amasawa. Amid chasing after a large cat, befriending an eccentric antiques dealer and writing her first novel, Shizuku aims to find this mysterious boy who may well be her soul mate. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “Whisper of the Heart is a soulful, intimate look at the trials and tribulations of adolescence and a worthy addition to Studio Ghibli’s film catalog. This is the next film in the Ghibli Fest, a series of Fathom Events returning Studio Ghibli’s films to the cinemas.” Nathalia J. adds, “This 1995 romantic, anime-animated film takes you through the wild high school life of Shizuku. As this film develops, you get see the perspective of Shizuku being a best friend, daughter, sister, high schooler and girlfriend.” Jordan M. wraps it up with, “This film has a very engaging plot and heartwarming characters that audiences will fall in love with. Also, this film is perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli films. like myself. This film has outstanding animation that perfectly captures the signature style of the Studio Ghibli films. The artwork really comes alive in the scenes at the antique shop.” See their full reviews below.

Whisper of the Heart

Benjamin Price, Kids First! Film Critic

Whisper of the Heart is a soulful, intimate look at the trials and tribulations of adolescence and a worthy addition to Studio Ghibli’s film catalog. This is the next film in the Ghibli Fest, a series of Fathom Events returning Studio Ghibli’s films to the cinemas. Whisper of the Heart is director Yoshifumi Kondō’s directorial debut and unfortunately, his only film.

This film follows Shizuku, an imaginative aspiring teenage writer who enjoys reading books and writing song lyrics. She spends her time hanging out with her best friend Yuko. The school year begins and she has an unfortunate series of encounters with a mysterious fellow student. She learns that this name is Seiji and he wants to build violins. The pair bond in an antique store and soon fall in love.They encourage each other to elevate their craft. Seiji leaves to practice building violins in Italy and Shizuku challenges herself to write a story about a prominent antique statue called The Baron, belonging to Seiji’s grandpa, to improve her writing.

Studio Ghibli mastermind Hayao Miyazaki has directed some excellent animated films, but above all, he’s a fantastic storyteller. Every time we get a glimpse at Shizuku’s story, the film gains a sudden magic and wonder. The romantic dialogue between Seiji and Shizuku is more often than not, genuine and sweet. This story has very few of the fantastical characters and worlds that have been a mainstay for a lot of Miyazaki’s other work. Seeing his characters grow firmly in reality shows a different side of his storytelling abilities.

Something I admire about nearly all of Ghibli’s work is that, even when characters are involved in pursuits of mythical proportions, they always bring it back to the human elements of the story. The same goes for this film, although with a more realistic plot. There are some particularly great shots of the city below Shizuku’s town that demonstrate Ghibli’s skill with bringing worlds to life on the big screen.

If you enjoy the work of Studio Ghibli,  in Whisper of the Heart there are Easter Eggs pointing to films like Porco Rosso and My Neighbor Totoro. If you enjoy this film, check out The Cat’s Return, which stars the protagonist of Shizuku’s story, The Baron. I recommend Whisper of The Heart for ages 10 to 18, and adults. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. Fans of Miyazaki will enjoy seeing a new side of his storytelling onscreen.

Whisper of the Heart

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This 1995 romantic, anime-animated film takes you through the wild high school life of Shizuku. As this film develops, you get see the perspective of Shizuku being a best friend, daughter, sister, high schooler and girlfriend. This dramatic film was written by Hayao Miyazaki, Aoi Hiragi, Cindy Davis Hewitt and Donald H. Hewitt and released through Studio Ghibli.

The storyline follows Shizuku and Seiji Amasawa, her fellow classmate, and many more. Their adventure begins with Shizuku’s plan to read 20 books before the end of her week. This plan leads to having to explore for a particular person who seems to pop up in every aspect of Shizuku’s life. This search causes Shizuku to get distracted from studying for her high school exams. As this film develops, the exploration begins to seem more meaningful.

The lead characters are Shizuku Tsukkisima (Yokko Honno),  Seiji Anasawa ( Isley Takahashe) and The Baron ( Shigeru Tsuyuguchi). My favorite character is Shizuku Tsukkisima, not only because she’s the protagonist, but because she cares about others. She always puts others before herself, and thinks about their sensitivity. Another thing I love about Shizuku is, when she wants something, she will do whatever it takes to achieve or accomplish whatever it is.

My favorite scene is when Shizuku’s teachers inform her she has a male visitor and he emphasizes the word “male” in front of her class. She steps outside and talks to him on the roof and her classmates follow discreetly, then Shizuku notices and yells “Hello?”

This film shares an important message, which is to be brave and keep on trying even through hard times.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15, as well as adults. This film plays July 1 and 2 at theaters nationwide through Fathom Events. Check it out. 

Whisper of the Heart
Jordan Millar, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12


This year GKIDS and Fathom Events are back with Studio Ghibli Fest 2019 and the next film in theaters is Whisper of the Heart. Directed in 1995 by Yoshifumi Kondō and written by Hayao Miyazaki, it is a touching yet bittersweet animated film that deals with the realities of growing up.

It tells the story of a curious teenage girl named Shizuku, who is both an avid reader and an aspiring writer. During her many visits to the library, Shizuku discovers that the books she has been reading have all been previously checked out by a mysterious boy named Seiji Amasawa, voiced by Issey Takahasi. Soon enough, she figures out that Seiji is a boy at her school, who she believes is irritating and rude. One day, when Shizuku sees a cat riding on a train, she decides to follow it, leading her to a whimsical antique shop owned by Shiro Nishi, with a magical cat statue called “The Baron” inside. Later on at the shop, Shizuku gets to know Seiji, learning that he dreams of becoming a master violin maker. Both he and the Baron motivate Shizuku to listen to the whisper of her heart and follow the dreams of her own.

This film has a very engaging plot and heartwarming characters that audiences will fall in love with. Also, this film is perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli films. like myself. This film has outstanding animation that perfectly captures the signature style of the Studio Ghibli films. The artwork really comes alive in the scenes at the antique shop. The film score, composed by Yuji Nomi, include references to the John Denver song “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” which is a big part of the movie.

Personally, I enjoy the part where Shizuku first dislikes Seiji, because it’s a funny hint to the audience that shows that she actually really likes Seiji. Whisper of the Heart is very different compared to the other works of Studio Ghibli, because its characters encounter real-life situations that most teens and adults can relate to, such as first love and pursuing your passion in life.

It teaches audiences that, even when you don’t believe it, dreams do indeed come true. Regardless of how old you are, everyone can take something away as you watch the characters experience everyday issues.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. You can see it in theaters on July 1 and 2, 2019 through Fathom Events. 

Sonic Boom, Go Team Sonic! – Be Prepared for Numerous Wild Adventures

It’s a Sonic you haven’t seen before — an ensemble comedy that pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline! Wherever he goes and whatever he’s up against, Sonic the Hedgehog is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. On this action-packed DVD, join Sonic and the gang as they accept a dare from Dr. Eggman. Tag along with Sonic and Knuckles as they enter a game show. And find out what happens when Sonic’s status as the town’s biggest hero is threatened. And so much more! “I like the graphics and the music is intense.  The voice-overs are so cool, especially because it’s the first time I hear Sonic and his friends talk.  They do not talk in the video game, rather than saying “Oh Yeah!”  Each episode is funny and fun to watch, because they are short, so it keeps your attention the whole time.”  Nathalia J. adds, “On this action-packed DVD, you get to tag along with Sonic the Hedgehog and his pals as they escape from the evil enemies, fight for justice, work together as a team, defeat evil and so much more.” Lukas L. wraps it with, “In every episode, there is a funny and creative conflict with one of the characters and their band of friends come together to help them solve it with the main leader Sonic. There is a fully developed plot and each of the characters have their own quirky personality.” See their full reviews below.

Sonic Boom, Go Team Sonic!
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

I love this DVD.  I love any show that has to do with my favorite childhood game characters.  In this case, the DVD is about Sonic, a super fast, blue hedgehog and his friends.

This DVD includes eight episodes and a bonus episode from Season 2, “If You Build it They Will Race“.  It also gives you a choice to watch the episodes in English or Spanish.  Each episode is approximately ten minutes with a total of 90 minutes of fun.  In every episode, Sonic and his friends -Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Sticks – come together to stop crimes against their number one enemy, Dr. Eggman.  Dr. Eggman is an evil scientist who wants to destroy Sonic and his crew.  In every episode something evil happens to Sonic and his friends, but they always manage to save the day.

My favorite episode is “Counter Productive” because it is about Sonic’s friend, Knuckles, fighting a giant robot.  This archaeologist named Charlie meets Knuckles and, from there on, Knuckles decides to help him with his work.  At one point, Knuckles becomes a bit annoying because, instead of helping Charlie, he interrupts his work by messing it up. Knuckles and Charlie do not get along, to the point that Charlie constructs a giant robot to fight big, red Knuckles.  Of course, I am not going to tell you who wins the fight, because you need to watch this cool DVD to find out.

I like the graphics and the music is intense.  The voice-overs are so cool, especially because it’s the first time I hear Sonic and his friends talk.  They do not talk in the video game, rather than saying “Oh Yeah!”  Each episode is funny and fun to watch, because they are short, so it keeps your attention the whole time.  I got to see a sneak peek of the first episode of Season 2.  I like how the bonus episode of Season 2 plays the theme song from the “Knight Rider” show.

The message of this DVD is “team work makes the dream work.”  When Sonic and his friends work as a team, they accomplish their mission by defeating the bad guy, Mr. Eggman.

I rate Sonic Boom, Go Team Sonic! 5 out of 5 stars, because I enjoyed watching Sonic and his friends in a cartoon show, besides playing the game. I recommend this for ages 7 to 18 because teenagers will also enjoy watching this DVD.  The DVD is available now so look for it.  Looking forward to watch Sonic Boom Season 2

Sonic Boom: Go Team Sonic
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Go Team Sonic! This DVD includes eight Sonic-Powered episodes that will take you on numerous wild adventures alongside Sonic the Hedgehog and his pals. This 90 minute DVD also includes a bonus episode. How fun is that!  On this action-packed DVD, you get to tag along with Sonic the Hedgehog and his pals as they escape from the evil enemies, fight for justice, work together as a team, defeat evil and so much more.

This DVD follows Sonic the hedgehog aided by his sidekick, Tails and his friends Knuckles, Amy and Sticks. Each episode focuses on a new wild adventure as the whole gang fights their evil arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. As each action-packed episode goes along, you find out how Sonic’s status as the town’s biggest hero is threatened. Not only do you get to fight alongside the leaders, you get to find out what life is like being a hero.

The lead characters are Sonic the Hedgehog, his sidekick Amy, Tails, Knuckles and Dr. Eggman. My favorite character is, without-a-doubt, Amy because she’s very outspoken, brave, fearless and powerful. What I love most about Amy is the fact that she brings excitement to each episode, whether it’s through her ambition to fight, her unexpected plans or even the real truth (which always ends up coming out of Amy’s mouth).

My favorite episode on this DVD is Episode 4, “Fuzzy Puppy Buddies”. I enjoyed this episode more than others, because it has a surprising twist when one of Sonic’s pals becomes Fuzzy Puppy Buddies with their enemies. It brings so much suspense to the table.

There is no bad language in this DVD, no risky actions that younger kids might try to imitate. This film shares an important message about always helping a friend in need.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 16, as well adults. The DVD is available now so, make sure to check it out!

Sonic Boom: Go Team Sonic
By Lukas Loza, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 12

I really enjoyed watching the DVD Sonic Boom: Go Team Sonic, because the characters are super fun. There are a couple of things I found somewhat distracting such as the mouthing of the characters which is out of sync and the characters seem a bit bland, which detracts from the show.

Sonic Boom: Go Team Sonic is a collection of nine episodes from the computer animated Sonic Boom TV series produced by Sega of America and Technicolor Animation Productions based on the video game Sonic the Hedgehog. It stars Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends. In every episode, there is a funny and creative conflict with one of the characters and their band of friends come together to help them solve it with the main leader Sonic. There is a fully developed plot and each of the characters have their own quirky personality.

This series stars Robert Craig Smith voicing Sonic the Hedgehog. His friends are voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey (fun fact, she is the first female to ever voice the character Tails), Cindy Robinson and Travis Willingham. It is created by Evan Baily, Donna Friedman and Sadrine Nguyen. Their voices have distinct personalities, so the lip synch issue is not too noticeable. The characters are very well constructed and you really see their personalities come through. However, the animation gives them very blank expressions, which distracts from what is actually going on.

This series is entertaining and doesn’t have a great moral message, except reinforcing the concept of friendship and solidarity.

I would give this series 3 out of 5 stars with an appealing age range of 5 to 8 years old and you can find this on DVD and at the KIDS FIRST! Film festival.

Summer road trip music roundup! Great for families with young children!

2019 Summer Road Trip Music Giveaway — 4 CDs!

Stream the Summer 2019 Road Trip Playlist on Soundcloud

Can You Feel It? by Jessa Campbell & the Saplings

www.jessacampbellsaplings.com

Available June 7th from CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/JessaCampbelltheSaplings

This golden-voiced singer whose musical career spans from “Dragon Tales Live” to opera to theatrical pop, releases her first album of songs for young people: Can You Feel It. Two years in the making, this 10-song album explores nature and science concepts with story-based lyrics and sing-along refrains.

Canta las Letras by 123 Andres

www.123andres.com

Available May 31st from Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=123+Andr%C3%A9s&i=digital-music&search-type=ss&ref=ntt_srch_drd_B00VQP6TK8

Beyond being able to recite the ABCs, learning to read involves knowing the sounds that each letter makes. Canta las Letras, the new album by Latin GRAMMY winners 123 Andrés, was crafted as a musical learning tool for families who speak Spanish at home, as well as those who are learning it as a second language. The album includes 38 original songs in Spanish to help children learn letter sounds while they dance along to cheerful rhythms and melodies from across the Latin American hemisphere.

Earworm by Sean McCollough

www.seanmccollough.com

Available from CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/SeanMcCollough

Sean McCollough is a Parents’ Choice and NAPPA Award winner and host of the Kidstuff Radio show on WDVX in Knoxville, TN. These 13 stick-in-your-head original and cover songs include several guests including Billy Jonas, Molly Ledford, members of The Lonetones and the Kidstuff Singers.

Under the Big Umbrella by Brady Rymer & the Little Band that Could

www.bradyrymer.com

Available from Amazon.com and other retailers: https://orcd.co/nqjkwp

Three-time Grammy nominee and his touring band, ​renowned for their “instrumentally diverse, harmony-rich rock tracks” (Washington Post) and joyful songs that “go right through the ears and into the heart” (SiriusXM) offers a music-filled place where individuality is celebrated, and kindness wins the day.

This one is my favorite! But, check them all out!!!

Do you want to win this awesome prize package that will include all 4 CDs? To enter, leave a comment below telling us which one you are most excited about listening to! Deadline to enter is June 30th, 2019 at noon PST. U.S. Residents only, please. One winner will randomly be selected by SoCal City Kids. Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above CDs for posting. I also received info and images.

May the Force Be with You During Star Wars Day at the OC Zoo, June 22

STAR WARS DAY RETURNS TO THE OC ZOO JUNE 22

First 100 Kids in Costume Receive Free Gift and Train Ride

Gather friends and family and join the County of Orange and OC Parks for Star Wars Day at the OC Zoo! On Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. guests are invited to travel the galaxy during a fun-filled day of animals and themed activities at the zoo.

Whether you’re a member of the Rebel Alliance or the First Order, there’s something for everyone! Guests will enjoy a day filled with Star Wars fun, kids’ crafts, games and photo opportunities. Zoo animals will join the fun with meet and greets throughout the day and enjoy special treats.

 Visitors of all ages are encouraged to come dressed in Star Wars costumes and attire, and the first 100 children (ages 12 & under) wearing a Star Wars costume will receive a special gift and free train ticket to ride the Irvine Park Railroad.

Activities are free with the purchase of a paid zoo ticket of $2 per person (ages 2 and under are free). Please note that zoo coupons/passes are not valid for this event. Reservations for Star Wars Day are not required, and parking is $5 per vehicle.

June 22 – Star Wars Day at the OC Zoo

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Event Cost: Free with paid zoo admission of $2 per person; ages 2 & under are free

Parking: $5

Location: 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

Website: www.ocparks.com/zoo/events

Contact: (714) 973-6846

Credit: OC Parks.

Felicity and Sophia, June 20th Pets of the Week!

Kate KarpJun 19, 2019, 2:10 PM (1 day ago)
to bcc: SoCalCityKids

It’s a known fact, and not a mere opinion, that orange cats are special. What may not be generally known is that only around 20% of orange cats are female! So, 7-week old Felicity and 6-week-old Sophia are extra-special! Felicity loves to flirt with people and uses her playful wiles on them, while Sophia is a lap cat in waiting and adores snuggles in a blanket. Meet them both on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A628410 for Felicity and ID##A628426 for Sophia.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

4 Benefits to Couples Counseling

There are many couples who shy away from couples counseling because of the stigma attached to it. They believe and consider it to be a last resort to their relationship problems.

You don’t need a serious issue or for your relationship to be on the verge of being damaged to choose couples counseling. There are many benefits to going to couples counseling, some of which are listed below.

1. To deepen your intimacy – For some couples, life can get in the way of being intimate. This is not just about being intimate sexually, but even just communicating with each other, having deep conversations. Too often, couples find themselves too tired after a day’s work. All they want to do when they get home is to have some dinner and then relax on the couch watching TV. For some, they just go straight to bed. It’s not an ideal situation in a relationship where there should be open communication. With couples counseling, you’ll be able to have a set time to just talk to each other and feel that spark come back again.

2. To address issues between your relationship – It’s important to be able to confront the issues you have between your partner, whether it be about something major or even just little arguments such as a disagreement on who needs to wash the dishes. While conflicts are inevitable in any type of relationship, what is not natural is just letting them go without any resolution at all. Unresolved hurts can fester and cause cracks in a relationship. During counseling sessions, you’ll be able to track the reasons for all your arguments and issues and have a direction on how you can rebuild and repair the relationship.

3. To know more about yourself – In some programs, such as those thewellnesscounselingcenter.com also allow for individual sessions with your therapist. During this time, you can be freer to express yourself if you are still hesitating to open up to your partner. Some are not able to do so may be due to past hurts, etc. As you go through individual sessions, you will know more about yourself, and you may even become a better partner. Being able to express yourself freely will allow you to have better communication with your partner too.

4. It is a safe and neutral space for both of you – The good thing about being in couples counseling is that you are in a safe space. Too often when other people get involved, they tend to take sides. This does not do anything good as the arguments just keep taking place and no solution is given. With a therapist, you will get the expertise of someone who is trained for this type of thing. But the good thing is that they will be able to listen to both you and your partner and offer a different perspective. They will not be taking sides but be an observer and offer tailored counseling that fits you and your partner.

Top-Rated Activities for Your Family on a Resort

Resorts are a great place for laying around and not having a care in the world. You might be laying on a beach, a book in hand, listening to the crashing waves and soaking in the sun. But as you may know, kids have the attention span of a flea.  And, when you are traveling with them you need to keep them entertained.

Luckily, resorts offer numerous fun activities for families that won’t disappoint and can release the inner child in anyone.

Waterparks

Lots of resorts have attached water parks where you can pack up your swimsuits and towels and spend a day there.

Slipping and sliding down water slides can be a blast on a hot or rainy day, depending on whether the park is indoors or outdoors. Watercoasters, tube rides, wave pools, surf simulators, lazy rivers, and whirlpools are usually some of the popular attractions included in most parks.

Not only will children be thoroughly entertained, but it’s also impossible to not have a smile on your face when racing down a slide with your family and water is splashing everywhere. Adults can also appreciate the fun that comes along with water parks.

Not everyone has to be an athlete to enjoy a relaxed game of beach volleyball. Beach resorts tend to have numerous volleyball nets set up that are open for anyone to use. Starting up a friendly match can get as competitive as you choose.

Everyone playing also understands that this is all for enjoyment, and mistakes happen. So even the most inexperienced players don’t have to be timid about participating.

This is also an excellent opportunity to meet new people. Asking to join into a game or inviting a family to play allows for a chance to chat and get to know someone from a different area than where you live.

Excursions

Excursions are short little trips or journeys that usually last about a day at resorts. This is probably the best thing to do with your family. You can leave everything behind and travel somewhere of your choosing to explore and adventure.

There are many locations to book, but many include a little bit of hiking or swimming. These brief expeditions can widen your knowledge of the place you’re visiting and allow for new, beautiful sights to be seen.

Examples of excursions may be a beautiful underground cave, ruins of an ancient civilization, a unique city, a tropical island, or taking a boat to tour nature out at sea.

It’s hard to fathom how much joy and laughter a simple getaway can bring. You can be freed of the rustle and bustle resorts tend to have. Not to mention, transportation is also included in the booking and some time of meal and/or snack is usually provided too.

Water sports

Going on vacation can also mean trying new things. Many diverse water activities are excuses to dive into the turquoise sea. Even if you have zero experience, hired trainers are around to make sure everyone is safe, well-equipped, and well-informed.  

Some non-motorized sports include windsurfing, kayaking, pedal boats, stand-up paddle boarding, and more. These are for the more beginner or younger families, where it might not take lessons or small instructions.

Other, more advanced water activities that can be arranged may include scuba diving, fishing, boating, or jet skiing. Families can enjoy these sports while spending time together and learning new recreations.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling is something everyone should try in their lifetime. So why not do it with the ones you love and at a wondrous relaxing resort? It allows you to explore the shallow water and overlook the peaceful and undisturbed ocean.

Even if you have trouble swimming, or have a family member, who cannot, snorkeling does not require much hassle. Since you would be close to the surface of the water, if you have a life preserver, you are perfectly fine floating and observing without much movement.

A misconception that comes along snorkeling is that it has a lot of equipment. Luckily, there is little gear, and it is easy to learn. This is an excellent opportunity for little kids to get up close to nature underwater.   

Entertainment Shows

Many resorts have shows every night that are perfect for watching with your family. They usually have acrobats, comedians, magicians, singers, or musicians that perform amazing acts for everyone.

They offer an array of different enjoyments that are usually never before seen. Families of all ages can sit back and relax as talented people execute artists excite the audience.

This is also a straightforward type of entertainment, considering you do not have to plan the shows and they are almost always free.

Conclusion

You and your family should never get bored at a resort. They have endless activities, and if you take a little time to research, you’ll find the ones that fit all your criteria.

So do not be intimidated by the abundance of fun things to do, and tackle it head first. No one will have a day of disinterest as long as you are open to unique or unusual amusements.