Archives for October 2020

Confin, Oct. 29th Pet of the Week!

Confin a 4-year-old border collie mix, has quite literally rolled into his role as a hot dog for Halloween. Your Halloween costume, it must be noted, has to reflect your inner passion and self—and hot dogs are Confin’s! No matter how he dresses, Confin is kind, sweet and gentle and has an easygoing spirit. Be the relish to Confin’s hot dog—make an appointment to meet him and take him home! Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through appointment, so call 562-570-PETS or email PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to meet Confin. Ask for ID# A647182

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Halloween Book Favorites!

Looking for some great picture books? Here are a few of my favorites this holiday! BROOMS ARE FOR FLYING by Michael Rex: A perfect first Halloween book for preschoolers, with all of the fun of every child’s favorite holiday and not too much of the scariness. This is a really fun book for ages 2-5 years old.

TURN THE WHEEL: SPOOKY PANTS by Roger Priddy: With over 30 different combinations of spooky characters to create, parents and children will have lots of fun enjoying this book together–the perfect way to get young children in the mood for trick-or-treating. Young children will really love this fun book!

THE GHOSTS WENT FLOATING by Kim Norman; illustrated by Jay Fleck: Inspired by the children’s song “The Ants Went Marching” and involving early math concepts, writer Kim Norman and illustrator Jay Fleck’s The Ghosts Went Floating is a spooktacular adventure perfect for Halloween. This one will be a hit with children ages 3-8.

POESY THE MONSTER SLAYER by Cory Doctorow; illustrated by Matt Rockefeller: Each pull-tab changes a Halloween character and reveals something hidden behind the acetate window, making this the ideal Halloween purchase for young children. Children will love Poesy!

Here are a couple great choices for Middle school age kids!

THEY THREW US AWAY by Daniel Kraus, illus. by Rovina Cai: THEY THREW US AWAY is the first book in an ambitious upper middle-grade trilogy following a group of teddy bears who come to life in a garbage dump and embark on a journey to fulfill their destiny.   I really enjoyed reading about the teddy bears and their journey! I highly recommend for middle school-age kids!

THE FOREST OF STARS by Heather Kassner: This isn’t just any carnival . . . this is the Carnival Beneath the Stars, a motley mix of magical outcasts who put on a dazzling spectacle complete with a Misfortune Teller, a living tattoo, and a girl who weaves shadows into spiderwebs. It’s the perfect Halloween read.  

These books can be found here and also on Amazon.com.

Happy Halloween!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above books to feature this Halloween post. Images were also provided.

The Witches * Captivating, Intriguing, Perfectly Scary, and Pure Cinematic Joy!

Based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 classic book ‘The Witches’, the story tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven year old boy who has a run in with some real life witches! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “The Witches is probably my favorite film of the year. Is not just beautiful; it is captivating, intriguing, perfectly scary, pure cinematic joy! The Witches is a fantastic tale that grabs you from the very beginning. It is the story of a seven-year-old orphan boy who discovers that witches are real! They hate kids and turn them into mice. I don’t want to tell too much about the story, which is already well known. It is based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 classic book by the same name.” See her full review below.

The Witches 
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

The Witches is probably my favorite film of the year. Is not just beautiful; it is captivating, intriguing, perfectly scary, pure cinematic joy!

The Witches is a fantastic tale that grabs you from the very beginning. It is the story of a seven-year-old orphan boy who discovers that witches are real! They hate kids and turn them into mice. I don’t want to tell too much about the story, which is already well known. It is based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 classic book by the same name. Since I haven’t read the book, I want you to feel as surprised as I was in case you haven’t read it or haven’t watched the 1990 movie, also based on the book. If you have read it, you may love the way the characters come to life in this cinematic adaptation.

It is always inspiring to see Octavia Spencer. She plays any character so well and here, as the boy’s grandmother and the voice of reason, she is fantastic. Anne Hathaway is from another world. I couldn’t believe she could play this wicked character with such a grandiose attitude. She is now my favorite villain – scary, with lots of charm.

Another flawless performance is Stanley Tucci’s Mr. Stringer. You can barely recognize him and he has just the perfect nuances and mannerisms to be a flamboyantly exquisite character. Last, but not least, Chris Rock is the perfect narrator with a totally engaging delivery and Jahzir Bruno, the boy, shines in his theatrical debut.

All the production aspects of this movie are very well done – the sets, costumes, cinematography, sound effects, editing, special effects, music. All together they create a great movie under the direction of Robert Zemeckis, who also wrote the script and, of course we can’t expect less from the director of hits and gems of cinema like Back to the FutureForrest GumpCast Away and so many other films. I also loved the imprint from Guillermo Del Toro who shares writing credits. There’s a quality of fantastical monsters that are delightful, which I am sure has to do with his attachment to this film.

The Witches is a spooky story for our generation, with real twisted characters, gorgeous scenarios and a great story that reminds us of the importance of team work, the courage to face adversities and offers a tribute to the important role of grandmothers in a child’s life.

I give The Witches 5 out of 5 starts and absolutely recommend it to kids 10 to 18, plus adults. Some scenes may be a little disturbing for younger kids, so think about that before taking them to see it. The Witches opens October 22, 2020 on HBO Max.

Halloween Treats for the Pup!

Looking for Halloween treats for your pup? SodaPup.com has durable chewers for dogs even a Pumpkin and a RIP Headstone make a great seasonal gift for your dog to chew while you gobble up your Thanksgiving dinner! Specializing in innovative, American made dog toys for power chewers SodaPup and their targeted collection of products are manufactured in the USA to ensure the integrity of the materials, process and ultimately the quality. SodaPup stands for durability, safety, American made, giving back and sustainability. Check out their variety of chew toys and treats at SodaPup.com. My Pup received a Jack O’Lantern durable chew toy where you can insert treats and he loves it!

SodaPup.com  just released their Halloween Collection of toys, chewers, treat dispensers for dogs here:https://sodapup.com/collections/halloween-collection

My Pup Bink playing with his new

WalkeePaws.com Dog Leggings in Skull pattern will stop trick or treaters on Halloween and walkers daily in their tracks to say “check out that pup’s costume?!” They even offer a matching harness and leash in Skull pattern too! The Leggings are also offered in Cocoa, Confetti, Hearts, Classic, and Camo to deck out your pup with Walkee Paws, an innovative way to keep your pup’s paws clean and protected. These leggings are crafted with the softest, stretchiest material for your four-footed friends and they are both comfortable and durable utilizing four-way stretch fabric and waterproof rubber soles in their design. Nothing beats their effectiveness at shielding your dog from the elements and preventing the many germs, chemicals, and allergens they pick up from irritating their skin or entering your home, which could not be more critical at this time. The leggings come in XS, S, M and L and she shares a video and size chart to help guide you online to get the right fit for your pup. Check out the full selection here: https://walkeepaws.com/collections/waterproof-dog-leggings. WalkeePaws.com Skull pattern Dog Leggings are available for Halloween fun here and more ideas: https://walkeepaws.com/pages/halloween

I love the Skull pattern leash we received to try out! It’s just perfect for Halloween!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Some images were provided except for the image of Bink.

Halloween Treat favorites!

Halloween is almost here and these sweet treats may not be candy but they are sure to be a hit!

You’ll think Savor Patisserie’s macarons are too beautiful to eat—until you’ve experienced their melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness! Made by hand, these yummy Instagram-worthy treats taste like they’re straight from Paris but are made in the heart of Texas by a woman-owned bakery. Just in time for Halloween is the Halloween Collection, with flavors like Rice Krispie Treat, Caramel Apple, Cookie Butter, Sour Patch Kids and Chocolate Orange! Two-piece Halloween favor boxes will also be available, made up of a delicious white vanilla macaron, decorated with a Jack O’Lantern, and a salted caramel macaron in orange that reads, “Happy Halloween.” Each favor box is decorated with a black ribbon, making it the perfect gift for teachers, a fun Halloween surprise from parents to kiddos, or just to treat yourself! No matter which you choose, know that they’re all made from a  perfect mix of almond flour, egg white and sugar surrounding a filling of ganache, buttercream or jam — but less than 100 calories each and gluten free! www.savorpatisserie.com, I had the opportunity to try these melt-in-your-mouth delicious treats and they really are a must-buy this Fall!

Another favorite cookie treat this season are sugar type cookies that you can decorate yourself!

Eat Your Words Custom Cookies – Celebrate Halloween at home having deliciously spooky fun decorating cookies. Eat Your Words Custom Cookies has Halloween-themed Decorate Your Own Cookie Kits. Each kit contains everything you need to have a ghoulishly good time decorating and eating sugar cookies. Choose from Dracula, Ghost & Goblins, Witches’ Brew and Trick or Treat cookies. Each kit contains a dozen cookies, four piping bags of icing and a bag of sprinkles. Price: $28; https://eatyourwordscookies.com/products/decorate-your-own-cookies. I love how these are in a kit and are sealed up so they really stay fresh. They are so easy and fun to decorate and taste delicious!

The kids will love decorating the cookies! I like how fresh both the cookies and the frosting are in this kit. Usually I am not so impressed with cookie kits that are shipped but these were incredible!

Happy Halloween!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the products mentioned in this post. Images: SoCal City Kids.

OC Parks Presents “OC Parks Spooky Series”

A frightfully fun week of virtual Halloween offerings commencing October 26.

OC Parks presents “OC Parks Spooky Series,” a frightfully fun week of virtual Halloween offerings happening on social media October 26-31.

Tune in to OC Parks’ Facebook and Instagram for a daily series including Halloween-themed highlights from county parks and the OC Zoo, along with a bewitching Shakespearean scene filmed at Arden: Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens. The week of virtual programming will culminate with a rock-and-ghoul performance from local cover band, Past Action Heroes on Saturday, October 31 at 4 p.m. PST.

Before the virtual week of frightful fun begins, OC Parks will host a drive-in movie series at Mile Square Regional Park October 23, 24 and 25 featuring “Hocus Pocus.” Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, October 13 at 10 a.m. and will be announced through OC Parks’ social channels and on OCParks.com. 

WHEN:

Starting Monday, October 26 through Saturday, October 31

“OC Parks Spooky Series” social media schedule:

  • Monday, October 26 – Halloween-inspired craft 
  • Tuesday, October 27 – Halloween-themed trivia
  • Wednesday, October 28 – Halloween at the OC Zoo video
  • Thursday, October 29 – Throwback: A post from OC Parks’ past
  • Friday, October 30 – Feature Friday: Scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth filmed at Arden: Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens  
  • Saturday, October 31 – Halloween-themed virtual concert featuring Past Action Heroes

WHERE:

OC Parks’ Facebook (@OrangeCountyParks) and Instagram (@OCParks)

MORE INFORMATION:

Follow along on OC Parks’ Facebook and Instagram pages for upcoming “OC Parks Spooky Series” announcements. #OCParksSpookySeries

Credit: OC Parks.

Fun Creative must-buys this Fall!

Halloween is almost here and it’s always fun to give out candy to the kids but here are a couple of fun creative gift ideas that they are sure to love!

Get in the spooky spirit with OwlCrate Jr.’s “Shivers Down Your Spine” themed subscription book box. Kids 8-12 will receive the scariest book OwlCrate Jr. has released to date, “The Girl and The Ghost” by Hanna Alkaf. This edition will have an exclusive cover and come with a signed bookplate and letter from the author. The September box is scheduled to ship mid-September, so subscribers receive it in time for the leadup to Halloween. In addition to the book, each box comes with a newly released card game from Funko, a second non-fiction book about scary things from around the globe, a tote bag and roll of washi tape designed exclusively for the box. Please note items in the box are not announced before the boxes are sent to surprise subscribers. Available for one-time box, three or six month subscriptions. I like that this is a really great idea for kids especially during this pandemic! It would make a great holiday gift idea too! More information: www.owlcratejr.com.

This next idea is really a lot of fun especially for the kids who love to paint!

Pottery Awesomeness– These super cute new kits from Pottery Awesomeness are the perfect project for kids and families to enjoy together. With themed-subscription boxes, like their fall and Halloween kits, kids will be excited to receive these boxes that come with everything they need to create their masterpiece! Each box includes three cute figurines, acrylic paint, paint brushes, a glossy sealer and an instruction card with QR codes that will direct painters to painting tutorials and instructions. These are fun, screen-free activities created by a mom who owns a “paint your own pottery” studio in the Northeast. Also, for every kit purchased, Pottery Awesomeness donates a painting kit to sick children in hospitals. They work directly with the lead art therapist at each hospital to determine what supplies are needed. Subscription boxes cost $30, or may be purchased individually for $32, skip or cancel at any time, www.potteryawesomeness.com. I love the Halloween themed box but this Gnome themed one (see photo above) also looks like a lot of fun!

Both of these ideas would also make great gift ideas for the upcoming holidays!

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

Halloween Treats To Buy In Bulk on Amazon!

It’s almost Halloween and even though it is a different time right now with the pandemic, Halloween treats are a still a must! I won’t be passing out candy or treats this year but I will be making goodie bags for friends and neighbors. Welch’s Fruit Snacks are a must buy and can be purchased in bulk on Amazon.com. The 110-Count Box combines two popular mouthwatering flavors – Mixed Fruit and Berries ‘n Cherries – making it the perfect box to buy in bulk for any Halloween festivities. The best part? It’s easily available on Amazon.

I like that they are made with real fruit and are fat-free. They are also Gluten-free and have No preservatives! And, I don’t know about you but I have been shopping more on Amazon these past few months. Available on Amazon; 110-Count Box with 0.9oz. Pouches for $24.95.

Now, to put together that treadmill I just bought on Amazon.com. 🙂

Happy Halloween!