Archives for October 2019

14th AnnualAltCar Expo Santa Monica Returns Nov 2 at Santa Monica College

The 14th Annual Santa Monica AltCar Expo and Ride & Drive is scheduled for Saturday, November 2, 2019, at Santa Monica College, bringing the latest in alternative fuel vehicles and technology to Los Angeles. The event will be feature two public panels in the morning from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. with the Expo and Ride Drive running all day from 10:30 – 4:30 p.m.


Guests will enjoy free admission and free parking to the Expo and Ride & Drive to test drive the latest battery-electric, fuel-cell electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid electric vehicles and speak with product specialists from brands and manufacturers that are continuing the movement toward alternative fuel and clean car policies.

For guests interested in switching to an EV, AltCar Expo is offering a free EV 101 training session presented by the United States Green Building Council LA Chapter (USGBC-LA) in partnership with ChargePoint, SoCal Edison, South Coast AQMD, and the LA Department of Water and Power, which will explore the different types of charging available for EVs, panning and installation considerations for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), its benefits, costs and rebates. Attendees can also join a free panel, Building Electrification for the Home, to learn how with deliberate planning, homes can be built or retrofitted to be zero-emission. Both panels will be moderated by USGBC-LA Executive Director, Ben Stapleton, and are designed for the public to learn ways to incorporate sustainable technology into their daily life.


●      10:30 – 4:30 p.m. AltCar Expo and Ride & Drive

●      11:00 a.m. EV 101 Training Panel

●      12:00 p.m. Building Electrification for the Home Panel


●      CVRP Hyundai Nexo

●      Honda Clarity PHEV

●      Nissan Leaf EV

●      Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

●      Toyota Prius Prime 

●      VW e-Golf

●      Zero SR/F Motorcycle

●      1992 Mazda Miata Electric Conversion Vehicle


AltCar Expo is a free, family-friendly event. Pre-registration is free and recommended for expedited entry. For additional information and to pre-register, please visit


Saturday, November 2, 2019, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Santa Monica College

Bundy Campus

3171 S. Bundy

Los Angeles, CA 90099

Credit: AltCar Expo.

3 Precautions to Take Before a Family Road Trip

1. Review Your Car Seat Usage

Properly installing and adjusting your car seats to adhere to the manufacturer’s suggestions and your local laws is an imperative step to take. Not only could you be ticketed for this offense, but an officer could technically charge you with child endangerment in some jurisdictions. Check out your state’s car seat guidelines here to make sure you’re not breaking any laws. You may also want to watch a few videos on car seat best practices and spend an hour reading the car seat manual to become a guru at safe car seat usage.

2. Compile a First Aid & Emergency Kit

You never want to be completely empty-handed in an emergency situation such as an unexpected injury, so making a first aid kit is always advisable. As you know, kids have a way of getting hurt in situations where you wouldn’t think there would be any danger. Even something as simple as handling a sheet of paper could cause a paper cut. While there’s no guaranteed way to protect your child from

every possible danger that exists in the universe, having emergency supplies on-hand will at least keep you ready to respond appropriately.

3. Bring Backup Food, Water, and Batteries

Being stranded anywhere without food or water is never a situation you want to be in with kids. Unfortunately, even brand new vehicles can break down on the side of the road without warning, so you need to be prepared for such an event by packing plenty of non-perishable snacks, bottled water, juices, and other emergency food supplies. Likewise, you never want to be in the predicament of not having a phone to contact emergency services, so be sure to bring a couple of extra cellphone batteries and consider investing in a signal range extender if you’re going to be visiting a rural area that has poor cell reception.

Don’t Forget Roadside Assistance!

Finally, one precaution that every family should put in place on their insurance policy is roadside assistance. You’re probably aware of this option already, but it’s a worthwhile reminder for those parents who haven’t added this feature to their policy yet. Be sure to call your insurance provider and opt for the most comprehensive form of roadside assistance possible. This will give you the ability to quickly obtain emergency tow, repair, and hospitality services.

Mr. Lopez, Oct. 31st Pet of the Week!

Beautiful black cats put people in mind of Halloween, but orange cats like Mr. Lopez do, too, right into Thanksgiving harvest! That said, cats aren’t holiday-design accessories—they’re friends and family members. Mr. Lopez is under a year old, and he’s already a big, friendly armful of fluff ready to play and purr all year long at your house. Meet him on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID #A630983.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

October is National non-GMO month and SeaSnax ~ the first verified non-GMO seaweed brand ~ is raising the awareness bar for families about better snacking options!

Since 46% of shoppers deliberately avoid gmo’s when selecting foods at the supermarket, SeaSnax has put together a fun, family game that you are sure to love!

 Spy GMO game.

Directions: Be a food detective and win a prize by crossing out foods that could contain gmo’s. Once your child completes the attached game board, have an adult email: and SeaSnax will send you a special gift.

More info SeaSnax: SeaSnax mission is investing in the future of a new generation by offering access to healthy food choices and igniting leaders in the food justice movement. For over a decade, SeaSnax has been at the cutting edge of the healthy snack food industry and is the most award-winning brand of seaweed snacks in America.

More info: Non-GMO verified project – celebrating 10 years:

Self Disclosure: I received samples and they are a hit with my family!

Celebrate Halloween with Entenmann’s Little Bites Snacks! Giveaway Opportunity!

These are so tasty!

Self Disclosure: “The coupons for product redemption, information, and gift card have been provided by Entenmann’s Little Bites snacks so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Entenmann’s Little Bites snacks. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Entenmann’s Little Bites snacks.” 

Do you love brownies? This Halloween you have to try the Entenmann’s Little Bites Fudge Brownies! They are absolutely delicious! And, you will just love this recipe:

Entenmann’s Little Bites Fudge Brownies are baked soft and moist, using real chocolate – ghouls, goblins and ghosts all agree they are scary good! Available in perfectly pre-portioned pouches, and containing no high fructose corn syrup and zero grams of trans fat per serving, Little Bites Fudge Brownies are a snack “momsters” can feel good about!

For more information about Entenmann’s Little Bites® snacks please visit

And, you don’t want to miss the Little Bites® Visit Myrtle Beach Happy Halloween Goodies Galore Sweepstakes!

  • Entenmann’s Little Bites snacks is giving fans a spook-tastic opportunity to win a family trip to Myrtle Beach! Consumers can enter the Little Bites Visit Myrtle Beach Happy Halloween Goodies Galore Sweepstakes from October 1 – October 31 by visiting
  • Fans will be prompted to complete and submit the registration form to receive one (1) entry in the Grand Prize drawing.
  • In addition to the grand prize, fans can enter for a chance to receive a one (1) week supply of Little Bites product awarded in the form of five coupons, each redeemable for one (1) Little Bites product up to $5.00 in value.
  • For more information and official rules, please visit

Information about Visit Myrtle Beach:

  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is where cherished memories are made along 60 miles of beautiful coastline.
  • Discover stunning sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean, fun days at the beach, lush natural wonders, and grand new adventures.
  • Savor our warm Southern hospitality, fresh coastal cuisine, and our unique flavor of fun.
  • Cherish these moments together.
  • Visit Myrtle Beach — where happiness comes in waves.

SoCal City Kids has teamed up for a fun Halloween giveaway! One winner will win a $25 virtual Visa gift card and three (3) coupons for $5.00 off the purchase of Entenmann’s Little Bites® snacks.  SoCal City Kids is responsible for the giveaway and that Entenmann’s® will supply the prize mentioned above. To enter simply leave a comment below after you watch the recipe video (link is provided in this post!). One winner will be randomly selected from all the comments. The deadline to enter is October 28th, 2019 at noon PST.

Happy Halloween!

Looking for Halloween Treat Ideas that are NOT candy?

These products from OOLY are really great for this Halloween especially when you want to give something more than just candy!

Monster Erasers (Set of 3) ($2.99) – Boo! Mistakes better be on the lookout because there are monsters out to get them! You can swap the scary jaws and arms of these Monster Erasers with the other ones to mix up their colors or to match your other stationery. Keep these colorful monsters near so they can keep their one, three and four eyes on the lookout for any errors.

These erasers are just too cool! I can’t wait to give them as a gift this Halloween!

Monster Pencils ($4.99) – This pencil pack includes 12 No. 2 graphite pencils, each featuring the cutest monsters you’ve ever seen. With silly faces and fun colors, one of these monsters is bound to be your new best friend.

Monster Pals Writing Super Set ($48.99) – Introduce a special person in your life to some super cute monster friends with the Monster Pals Writing Super Set. This colorful set comes with a ton of monster-themed school and stationery supplies and a fun scratch art kit to boot. It also comes pre-wrapped in a cute white box and blue bow for easy gift giving convenience. Includes: set of 12 Monster Graphite Pencils, set of 4  Monster Gel Pens, set of 3 Monster Stacking Erasers, Monster 6 Click Multi Pen, set of 8 Pocket Pal Mini Notebooks, Monster ClickIt Eraser, 3-hole Mighty Pencil Sharpener, set of 6 Mini Monsters Scented Neon Highlighters, Monsters On A Roll, and a Scratch and Scribble Scratch Art Kit-Monster Pals

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Images and information were also provided.

Don’t miss these Limited Edition Halloween Treats!

Halloween is almost here! Welch’s® Mixed Fruit Halloween Fruit Snacks are a fun snack to give the kids! Made specifically for Halloween, Welch’s offers fruit snacks in fun and festive shapes like bats, witches, ghosts, haunted castles, and pumpkins! Welch’s Fruit Snacks Halloween-themed box and pouch have custom graphics with fun shapes– perfect for trick or treating, lunchbox treats or parties! These are sure to be a hit with kids of all ages!

The Original Gummi FunMix Halloween Variety Pack will be a hit even with older kids! Bring your Halloween party to life with the new, limited edition Original Gummi FunMix Halloween-themed bags feature pouches of GUMMI PARTY and SOUR PARTY! With over 30 sweet and sour Gummi favorites like Gummi Bears, Gummi Sharks and more, they’re perfect for anything from trick-or-treating to Halloween parties!

Look for these tasty treats at a store near you!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this holiday-themed post. Images were also provided.

Yo-Kai Watch, Season 1, Volume 2 * The Invisible Spirit-Like Entities, Yo-Kai Are At It Again

Nate is a just a regular boy struggling to be above average at school. One day when he receives the Yo-kai Watch, he gets the chance to see and communicate with these mischievous Yo-kai. With the Yo-kai Watch on his wrist, Nate starts to form friendships with them and learn of the things that make life so complicated. There’s just one problem… they’re everywhere and they love to cause mischief! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like this DVD because this animation kind of looks like Pokemon.  This show is a combination of anime cartoons and Pokemon like characters, except that a watch is used instead of the red, white and black ball. And instead of Pokemon, the creatures (or spirits in this case) are named Yo-kai.” Elizabeth T. adds, “. The show offers examples of kindness and consideration of others, particularly when dealing with clashing personalities, and there are legitimate examples of love shown, particularly for those closest to young people such as their parents, siblings, and friends.” See their full reviews below.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

I like this DVD because this animation kind of looks like Pokemon.  This show is a combination of anime cartoons and Pokemon like characters, except that a watch is used instead of the red, white and black ball. And instead of Pokemon, the creatures (or spirits in this case) are named Yo-kai.

The Yo-kai Watch DVD includes two disks of Season 1, Volume 2, episodes.  Each disk is approximately 145 minutes long, for a total of 290 minutes.  That’s a lot of cartoons!  Each disk has a variety of different episodes, that are not necessarily in order. For example, disk 1 has episodes 3, 4, 5, 6, 2, 3 and 4, which was a little confusing to me. 

The storyline on this DVD is about a kid named Nate, who is an average boy that struggles to be popular at school.  His parents are somewhat fun, but to him they are also rather weird.  He has a special watch with different Yo-Kai’s, which are invisible spirit-like entities responsible for annoying situations that make Nate’s life to not be the same.  One particular Yo-kai is his best friend. His name is Whisper and he teaches Nate about all the different types of Yo-kai  and what they are capable of doing.

The theme song is catchy and appropriate for this show.  The animation is very neat; the colors are bright and the background is colorful and well drawn.  The episodes are kind of confusing because they don’t follow a sequence.  It’s a mix of different situations. There are also two other story lines. One is about the great (Dog) escape, the other is about two Yo-Kai brothers in the city trying to learn how to live in the city.

My favorite episode of all is Spring Break Present. This episode is about a package that Whispers gives Nate as a Spring Break present.  Inside the package is a card for Nate to use as a Yo-Kai repellent, so he can take a break from all the trouble that these spirits are causing him. The whole episode is really funny; that’s why it’s my favorite.  

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15.  The Yo-Kai Watch DVD is available now.  If you are an anime fan, you might really enjoy this DVD, so look for it!

Yo-Kai Watch, Season 1, volume 2

By Jennifer V, KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

The Yo-kai are invisible spirit-like entities that take many forms and are liable for your daily troubles. Nathan Adams (Nate), is a normal boy who one day receives the Yo-kai watch and is able to see the Yo-kai. These mischievous entities show up unexpectedly and you never know what is going to happen. This series has good production quality and the story lines flow well. It captures the audience’s attention with catchy music, bright colors and true-to-life adventure mixed with imaginative themes. The series highlights the ability to problem-solve as Nate and his Yo-kai have to discover a way out of silly and chaotic situations. Some of the jokes are more grown up and the story lines are more suited for more mature kids. For example, the Yo-kai talk about being hot, as in attractive. An older child would enjoy this series due to its catchy theme songs and familiar story lines. The story-lines flow well, are easy to follow and draw you in. When Nate is overcome by handsomeness, his classmates respond as normal teenagers would and tell him that he is creeping them out. The material is accurate and is suitable for its target audience. The series uses vocabulary that is more suitable for teens with words such as narcissist and sketchy. It’s visually appealing with lots of bright colors, the music is catchy. The DVD cover design is appealing, showcasing the main characters and listing several of the episodes. The series is high in entertainment value and does invite the viewer to question, probe and problem-solve. For example, in The Legend of Dandoodle, Nate is overcome by handsomeness and his Yo-kai must find a way to help.

The message is to be careful what you wish for. Although the Yo-kai Watch allows you to see the Yo-kai, once they are in your life, things can be chaotic. 

Yo-Kai Watch Season 1, volume 2 is a highly entertaining DVD series, totaling 290 minutes of fantastical adventure. The menu offers the option to play all episodes or watch them individually. Each episode has a run time of 20-22 minutes of non-stop action. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is available now, so check it out.