Archives for February 12, 2020

The perfect gift for Valentine’s day!

Are you still on the hunt for the perfect Valentine’s gift for your beloved partner or your children? Search no more – we have a great idea for you. 

The first year of the months is over, but somehow it feels as if 2020 has just started. Nevertheless, Valentines is just around the corner. Although more and more people have a certain perspective on that day and say they don’t need a certain day to show their love to family and friends, in the hectic everyday life this affection can get neglected. 

For everyone else, cherishing the 14th of February and still thinking of it way too late – we have a nice gift idea for you. How about sunglasses? They are trendy, affordable and show your loved one how well you know them, in choosing the right look. 

Designer sunglasses 

There are many great designer sunglasses for men and women out there, in various styles, colors, frames and last but not least, prices. Let’s be honest, not everyone has the possibility and wants to spend 500 bucks on a pair of designer sunglasses, no matter how great they look. Sunglasses have become somewhat of a fashion piece, yet something we use everyday. 

Therefore, they need to be durable too and having an expensive pair of sunglasses might make you think of them as being too valuable for some occasions. Of course, there are some cheaper variants for $10-$20, but let’s be honest, the quality is sometimes not the greatest. 

Sometimes it is a good idea to keep an eye on new innovative brands. One of them is MessyWeekend, a danish startup from Copenhagen. They design their sunglasses in their headquarters and focus on high quality as well as fair prices to make Danish Design available for everybody. Their sunglasses are durable, of high quality and stylish – I have a pair myself and adore them!

Great idea for other occasions 

All in all, sunglasses for women and men are the perfect gift, not only for Valentines. Birthdays, graduation parties or maybe just a nice gesture – you cannot be wrong with them. Everybody needs sunglasses, especially in summer, not only to see better, but also to protect the eyes from dangerous UV radiation. And last but not least, they are after all a great fashion accessory!

Feb. 15th: Jazz and blues concert in the Aquarium’s Honda Pacific Visions Theater

Photo Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

On Saturday, February 15, the Aquarium will present a festival featuring four Long Beach-based jazz and blues bands in its state-of-the-art Honda Pacific Visions Theater. The acts will include The Bernie Pearl Blues Band, The Al Williams Jazz Society, saxophonist Alvin Hayes Jr., and New Blues Revolution. Tickets include Aquarium admission, and the Aquarium will be open until 8:00 p.m. This performance will take place in the Aquarium’s new 300-seat Honda Pacific Visions Theater, which features state-of-the-art audio, visual, and multisensory technology and a 133-foot long and 32-foot high screen with a floor projection disk.

Long Beach Blues Society, managed by Bill Grisolia, celebrates the city’s world-renowned contributions to music and preserves and promotes all styles of blues music with education programs for school children, veterans, and seniors. The organization is a co-producer of the New Blues Festival held each Labor Day weekend at El Dorado Regional Park. 

WHEN: Saturday, February 15, 2020, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

WHERE: Honda Pacific Visions Theater, Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

COST: $48 center section; $40 side sections (open seating within sections). Price includes Aquarium admission. Tickets go on sale January 24, 2020

SPONSORS: Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg, Dennis Poulsen, and Dr. Jerry and Margaret Schubel

INFO: Call (562) 590-3100 or visit

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day Gift? Who doesn’t love popcorn?

Delicious flavors from Popcornopolis® will be a hit this Valentine’s Day!

 There’s no better tasting way to say ‘I love you’ this Valentine’s Day than with gourmet popcorn from Popcornopolis®, purveyors of America’s premium popcorn gifts.  Whether shopping for your Valentine or Galentine, they’re sure to swoon over sweet and savory treats designed to delight! Available online at, this gourmet popcorn company offers an array of Valentine favors and gifts that make the perfect token of affection and are sure to leave hearts and taste buds ‘poppin’ with love this February 14th.

I can’t even begin to choose my favorite! It’s a toss-up between the Zebra and the Kettle Corn. But, this Valentine’s Day you don’t have to choose just one with the Valentine Hearts Mini Cones. These are just the perfect size and you may as well give your special someone all four flavors: Caramel Corn, Kettle Corn, Cheddar and Zebra! You can buy a whole case of 40 which is the perfect size for giving them out to friends, co-workers, children and basically everyone! Don’t forget to check out the Valentine’s Day Gift Shop. There are some pretty great gift suggestions featuring this delicious popcorn!

I love the Valentine’s Day sayings on each cone!

Known for the Cone™, Popcornopolis offers over 20 mouthwatering recipes and is made from American-grown, non-GMO corn. Crafted with big flavor, the company’s treasured popcorn recipes are also certified gluten-free and use only the finest ingredients and cooking practices. For more information, a full list of Popcornopolis varieties, and to place your orders for Valentine’s Day, visit

Facebook: @Popcornopolis
Instagram: @Popcornopolis
Twitter: @Popcornopolis


Popcornopolis was founded by Wally and Kathy Arnold in 2002 when the Arnolds opened their first Popcornopolis retail store at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles, California. Today, the company’s iconic cone-shaped and bagged popcorn packages can be found in grocery and club stores, sports arenas, movie theatres and at

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this Valentine’s Day holiday post.

The Legendary Queen Mary Celebrates the 27th Annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games 2.15 – 2.16

Honoring the Queen Mary’s Heritage with New Women’s Lightweight Championship, Grand Parade of Clans and Bands,
Whiskey Tasting, Live Entertainment and More

The Queen Mary is pleased to welcome back the 27th annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games on Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16, 2020 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. This year’s Highland Games welcome the North American Lightweight Women’s Championship and Stones of Strength Series to the Queen Mary. Amongst the sea of tartan, ScotsFestival welcomes nearly fifty Scottish clans and vendors in honor of the Queen Mary’s Scottish heritage, with professional and amateur competitions in piping, drumming, massed bands, darts, Highland dancing, Border Collie Sheep Herding, falconry demonstrations, axe throwing, archery competitions and more throughout the festival weekend. 


  • Greyfriar’s Pop-Up Pub
    • Back again for its third year, don’t miss the Greyfriar’s Pop Up Pub, open Friday, February 14 through Sunday, February 16. Guests can come aboard the Queen Mary and transport to the backstreets of Edinburgh to grab a pint and experience the cozy atmosphere, games, and live music. Open Friday (5:00 p.m. – 11 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.) & Sunday (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) this area does not require an event ticket, except for Saturday evening after 6:15pm, when the pub has a ticketed Ceilidh event.
  • North American Lightweight Women’s Championship 
    • The top lightweight women in the United States will be competing in all nine Scottish heavy events such as caber toss, throwing the weight, the hammer throw, putting the shot, and the sheaf toss. The Championship class athletic roster includes several World Record Holders, and the competition series will crown the 2019 Champion on Sunday, February 16th. 
  • Stones of Strength Series
    • New to the Highland Games for both men and women in 2020 is the Stones of Strength series, during which athletes are required to lift a number of natural stone boulders onto platforms of varying heights. The competitor who manages to lift all the stones in the fastest time wins – if they fail to lift all the stones, the number of stones and the time taken to load them is recorded.
  • All-American Professional Highland Games
    • Back for its second year, the All-American Professional Highland Games features the highest level of professional Scottish athletes competing in several categories of traditional Highland events, with final scores entered into the North American Scottish Games Athletics database. Those scores generate the invitations to Professional Highland games, which are invitation only and based on success in competition.
      • Highland Athletics Competitor Schedule (subject to change): 
        • 9:00 a.m. Hammer Throw
        • 10:00 a.m. Putting the Stone
        • 11:00 a.m. Weights for Distance
        • 12:30 p.m. Stones of Strength (NEW)
        • 1:00 p.m. Weights for Distance
        • 2:00 p.m. Height Events
        • 3:00 p.m.Heavy Events
        • 4:00 p.m. Caber Toss
  • Wee Athletics
    • The wee lads and lassies can show off their skills and strengths by participating in fun Scottish games and athletics specially designed for kids, including archery, potato sack races and tug o’ war. Schedule subject to change.
      • 9:30 a.m. Archery & Potato Sack Races
      • 10:30 a.m. Caber Toss & Tug O’ War
      • 11:30 a.m. Putting the Stone & Potato Sack Races
      • 12:30 p.m. Lawn Bowling & Tug O’ War
      • 1:30 p.m. Archery & Potato Sack Races
      • 2:30 p.m. Caber Toss & Tug O’ War
      • 3:30 p.m. Putting the Stone & Potato Sack Races
      • 4:30 p.m. Lawn Bowling & Tug O’ War
      • 5:30 p.m. Archery & Potato Sack Races
  • Highland Dance Competitions
    • Watch as the most talented Celtic dancers compete and showcase the skill, athleticism, and precision of traditional Highland Dancing with dances like the Highland Fling, Sword Dance, and Scottish Lilt.
      • Saturday, February 15 
        • 8:00 a.m. Premier Championship
        • 4:00 p.m. Awards
      • Sunday, February 16
        • 9:00 a.m. Pre-Premier Competition
        • 11:30 a.m. Awards
        • 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Competition
  • Piping, Drumming, & Marching Competitions
    • A truly distinct part of Scottish culture comes from the piping bands, drummers, and marchers. ScotsFestival features a wide range of piping competitions, including solo piping, ensemble piping, and of course, the incredible pipe band ensemble. Watch the pipe bands march together in perfect unison while playing traditional Scottish favorites like, “Scotland the Brave” and “Amazing Grace.”
      • Drum Major Competition 1:00 p.m.
      • Pipe Band Competition 2:00 p.m.
  • Whisky Tastings 
    • Overlook the event and sip on several whiskeys as a professional walks through the history & taste of each whiskey during a tasting seminar in the Tasting Tavern. The sessions will take place every half hour starting at 10:30 a.m. Save $5 by purchasing tasting tickets in advance during online checkout.
  • Border Collie Shepherding
    • Watch as beautiful and well-trained Border Collies show off the artistry of Sheepherding. Offered (3) times a day, guests will walk through the history and process of traditional sheepherding. Show times include 11:00 a.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. 
  • Birds of Prey Falconry Demonstrations
    • With more birds than ever, falconry returns for its third-year wowing guests with live demonstrations (3) times a day showcasing the history and beauty of falconry. Learn the Scottish history of various birds of prey including hawks, owls, and falcons during the breathtaking 20-minute performances. Show times include 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. 
  • Axe Throwing & Archery
    • Free to participate this year, guests can try their hand at the Scottish skills of axe throwing and archery.
  • Grand Parade
    • The Grand Parade takes place each day at 12 p.m. sharp and is complete with a new route, more viewing points than ever before, and an amazing lineup. The parade on Saturday, Feb. 15 will welcome Guest Grand Marshal Mark Frances.  
  • Kirkin
    • Join us on Sunday morning February 16 at 9:15 a.m. aboard the ship for our traditional Scottish non-denominational mass, with lovely piano music and hymns. 


  • Greyfriars Pop-Up Pub: Friday, Feb. 14 5-10 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 16 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.  
  • ScotsFestival & International Highland Games: Saturday, Feb. 15 – Sunday, Feb. 16, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.  


The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA., 90802 


Tickets are available now at 

  • Single Day Passes
    • General admission is $25 in advance, $30 at the door for adults and $15 in advance, $20 at the door for children (4-11).
    • VIP admission is $45 in advance, $50 at the door for adults and $35 in advance, $40 at the door for children (4-11). VIP passes include VIP Entry and admission to the 27th Annual ScotsFestival and International Highland Games, Admission aboard the Queen Mary on the same day, Access to VIP-only shaded bar, Nessie’s Nest, with views of the Highland Games athletics field, ScotsFestival T-shirt and Admission to the Ceilidh event (Saturday evening only; 6:15 pm in Greyfriar’s Pub). 
  • Weekend Passes 
    • General admission is $40 in advance, $45 at the door for adults and $25 in advance, $30 at the door for children (ages 4-11). 
    • VIP admission is $80 in advance, $85 at the door for adults and $60 in advance, $65 at the door for children (ages 4-11). VIP passes include VIP Entry and admission to the 27th Annual ScotsFestival and International Highland Games on both Saturday and Sunday, Admission aboard the Queen Mary on both days, access to VIP-only shaded bar, Nessie’s Nest, with views of the Highland Games athletics field, ScotsFestival T-shirt and Admission to the Ceilidh event (Saturday evening only; 6:15 pm in Greyfriar’s Pub). 
  • Celtic Cabanas 
    • Raised above the crowd, the Celtic Cabanas offer premium views of the athletic field and Highland Games competitions, as well as the Grand Parade. Cabanas fit groups of up to 10 people and also include server and security for belongings. Cabanas are $225 per day.  


Self-parking on site at the Queen Mary is $20 per vehicle, and valet parking is $30. Guests can choose to park offsite at the Pike Outlets, and take Long Beach Transit’s free Passport shuttle to and from the Queen Mary.

Credit: The Queen Mary.

Princess Leia, Feb. 13th Pet of the Week!

If you’ve always dreamed of having Princess Leia as your valentine, or at least your BFF, the Force is with you now! This silver-gray bunny is as mysterious and lovely as her namesake. She’s as sweet as a Wookie Cookie and a big favorite in the Bunny Barn. Meet Princess Leia at the shelter in the Companion Animal Village, 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A631428.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.