Archives for November 14, 2020

Don’t Play this game Unless You Want to Connect with your Kids!

Are you looking to get your older kids off the video games for a little while? This game just may do the trick!

WHAT’S WRONG WITH GROWN-UPS? is a question most kids would love to ask but are often too busy with video games, social media, and texting friends. Well now these inquisitive, thoughtful kids can get this question and many others answered thanks to What’s Wrong With Grown-Ups?  a new intergenerational card game from Authentic Agility Games that was created with kids and their crazy questions in mind. Similar to its first two successful card games, What’s Wrong With Grown-Ups? consists of 500 thought provoking, entertaining and often provocative questions designed specifically for curious kids and their family and friends. Available on Amazon, kids and their parents and caregivers can begin to strengthen their bond by asking open-dialog questions to get more than a “yes” or “no” response.

Following the success of her first two games, How Do You See The World? and Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?,” Florida-based entrepreneur Cathy Cranberg says that she developed this intergenerational game to stimulate conversations between kids of today, their peers and kids and adults, and as a fun and engaging way to get everyone involved. “We realized important conversations should not be separated due to age or interests, but rather encouraged at all ages”. What’s Wrong With Grown-Ups? is now available on Amazon.com for $24.99.

The questions included in What’s Wrong With Grown-Up? are fun, inventive, short, and to the point, given the limited attention spans of kids and teens. The rules are simple; the player rolls the dice and then selects the category that correlates with the symbol on the die. The player then asks that related question for all to answer in our own ways and words. The 500 questions are written so anyone can answer, drawing at times surprising and unique answers and fun physical challenges. The game is about cooperative play and is not focused on winning and losing, but rather offering an opportunity to drive conversations as you learn about what kids think about important topics. 

Look for it on Amazon.com this holiday season!

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

MASAMI hair products are a beauty must-try!

Looking for hair products to try? MASAMI is the only clean haircare brand that harnesses the hydrating power of the Japanese seaweed, Mekabu.  After experiencing MASAMI just once you’ll be daydreaming of long walks down a sandy beach and leave with a spring in your step (and hair). Even if Winter is approaching, in sunny SoCal you can always walk at the beach. I really love the shampoo and conditioner in this product line up. You can find all their products here.

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

Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze * Never Fails to Keep You Entertained

The Octonauts are a team of adventurers who explore the worlds oceans, rescue aquatic creatures and protect their habitats – from the bustling eco-system along the Amazon River to the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Octonauts once again never fail to keep people entertained. There is something new to learn for everyone. The animation is very high quality, yet simple, and always has a new landscape to see, even if it is just snow and water.” Eshaan M. adds, “I have a bit of a history with the show Octonauts; I loved it when I was younger and, to be totally honest, still have a soft corner for the super awesome animated animals. Specifically two: the resourceful and level-headed Captain Barnacles who is voiced by the highly talented Simon Greenall; he’s one of my favorite voice actors. And, of course the scaredy-cat Peso who is the first to show vulnerability, but is one of the most resilient characters in the show.” See their full reviews below.

Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze, like so many of their other DVDs, is so enjoyable! It has the cutest animation that has a near stop-motion look and fun adventures.

The Octonuats are a group of animals that explore, rescue and protect. On this thrilling DVD, we join the Octonauts on their numerous exciting adventures to the Arctic and Antarctic (yes, there is a difference). And for those that have watched previous episodes, this DVD introduces some new characters. There are five episodes in this DVD, each running about 13 minutes and include Operation Deep Freeze, Walrus Pups, Emperor Penguins, Coelacanth and Hidden Lake.

Octonauts once again never fail to keep people entertained. There is something new to learn for everyone. The animation is very high quality, yet simple, and always has a new landscape to see, even if it is just snow and water. The voice cast includes Simon Greenall, who plays Captain Barnacles, the leader of the Octonauts, who also happens to be a polar bear and really nails the leader-type voice. Rob Rackstraw plays Kwazii, the adventurous pirate cat, and has a splendid “piratey” voice. Paul Panting  plays Peso, the expert penguin medic, and does a perfect shy but kind voice. My favorite episode is Hidden Lake because I had no idea that red lakes existed, let alone that anything lives in them!

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD, including helping others, protecting the ecosystem and the importance of teamwork. Younger children should keep in mind that they should not be interacting with wild animals in real life. However, this show might inspire them to be a vet or animal researcher.

I give Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Adults will think that the DVD is fun and probably learn as much about different animals as their kids will. This DVD is available now, so look for it.

Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze is a superb, educational DVD that will capture your attention for its entire duration. The intricately-designed characters (both their personalities and outward look) and the unique storylines are wondrous!

This 66-minute DVD follows a team of sea-adventurers (Captain Barnacles the daredevil polar bear, a friendly ex-pirate named Kwazii the cat, a medic: Peso the penguin and others), as they embark upon an expedition to Antarctica to help out marine life. They prevent a group of penguins from falling into an ice chasm, rescue walrus pups with the Captain’s niece and nephew, and discover some microscopic creatures under a hidden lake.

I have a bit of a history with the show Octonauts; I loved it when I was younger and, to be totally honest, still have a soft corner for the super awesome animated animals. Specifically two: the resourceful and level-headed Captain Barnacles who is voiced by the highly talented Simon Greenall; he’s one of my favorite voice actors. And, of course the scaredy-cat Peso who is the first to show vulnerability, but is one of the most resilient characters in the show. He’s played by Wayne Grayson. Also, the animation is absolutely spectacular; the deep colors and super cutely designed characters will surely catch your eye. Overall, it’s a beautifully executed show!

Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze promotes messages of teamwork, helping others, perseverance and resourcefulness. It’s an uplifting DVD that will surely put a smile on your face.

I give Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 4 to 6. Octonauts: Operation Deep Freeze is available now on DVD! Look for it!

Rainbow Rangers: Rangers to the Rescue! * Shows the Importance of Teamwork

Seven girls live a rainbow ride away and whenever there’s trouble, the Rangers zoom into action across the sky to save the day! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Bailey Rae F. comments, “Epic! I recommend the DVD Rainbow Rangers: Ranges to the Rescue! because it shows how important is to help others and work as a team. What I like best is how all the girls are adventurous, have different powers and work together to solve problems.” Alexis J. adds, “I love Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! so much!! It made me smile and laugh the whole time. I kept on watching until there were no more episodes left and watched it again. I am sure this DVD will become every little girl’s favorite one!!” Ethan P. wraps it up with, “Each episode’s storyline promotes the idea of “team work makes the dream work.” All seven Rangers help those who are in need. Each one has their own powers, but when work together they are stronger and their job is made much easier.” See their full reviews below.

Rainbow Rangers: Rangers to the Rescue

By Bailey Rae F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Epic! I recommend the DVD Rainbow Rangers: Ranges to the Rescue! because it shows how important is to help others and work as a team. What I like best is how all the girls are adventurous, have different powers and work together to solve problems. 

This DVD is a compilation of episodes from the TV show Rainbow Rangers. It follows the Rainbow Rangers who live in Kaleidoscopia. They protect nature and the land. Each of the eight girls has different powers. Their home is full of unicorns, trolls and other creatures that they value greatly. The Rainbow Rangers show up to help wherever they are needed. They are strong, kind, thought and smart leaders. The show is full of unexpected circumstances that the Rainbow Rangers are ready to assist and get things back on track. 

Mandy Orange is my favorite Ranger because she always finds a way to keep things positive. I love how the girls solve problems. Rainbow Rangers is full of girl power. The cinematography and special effects are extraordinary. The production uses vibrant colors and engaging attributes in the characters, down to their costuming. What makes this show stand out is how it empowers girls with very different appearances. I like that the show is inclusive of all types of girls and characters.  My favorite part is when the girls fly off to an adventure to protect the creatures, people and the land of Kaleidoscopia. 

The message of the show is to always be considerate and help others. 

I give the DVD Rainbow Rangers: Ranges to the Rescue 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. This DVD is available now, so look for it.

Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue!
By Alexis J. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 10 

I love Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! so much!! It made me smile and laugh the whole time. I kept on watching until there were no more episodes left and watched it again. I am sure this DVD will become every little girl’s favorite one!!    

This DVD is about a group of girls and little cute boy unicorn saving the world!! There are seven main characters, each with different strengths. And there are seven episodes. These girls face challenge issues in each episode and have to use their power to make each other stronger to solve problems.  

The characters include Rosie Redd, Mandarin Orange, Anna Banana and there are many more. They are as adorable as much as their names. My favorite character is Fluff, the magical unicorn. He can magically present yummy treats and share them with his friends. In addition, his hair is awesome like a rainbow. The director Rob Minkoff and the writer Shane Morris have created a unique story as ell as characters. The bright and vivid colors keep your eye on the story every second. And their costumes are just so cute. The main song perfectly matches the characters and stories. It is hard to let it go after hearing a few times.   

The message is of this film is to be kind to others, then others will be kind to you. The Rangers all help each other, make each other more powerful and always care about others. 

I give Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. It is available now on DVD so look for it.

Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue!
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12


I like the Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! DVD because it is an educational and fun animation show, for mostly a girl audience, but boys can enjoy it too.

This DVD is about seven girls who are named Rainbow Rangers. They have colorful hair and space type outfits. Each one of these girls is unique. They each have their own personalities and powers. They live in a place named Kaleidoscopia. The Rangers have wristbands that ring when they are needed. Whenever there is trouble for people or animals on Earth, the Rangers ride a rainbow in their space-type scooters and go to their rescue. They have a unicorn named Floof as a pet that helps them too. This DVD includes eight very exciting episodes filled with adventures. Each episode is approximately eleven minutes long.

My favorite episode is “Bee Safe,” because it is about a mama elephant and her two baby elephants crashing into a farm, looking for food to feed her babies. The Rangers come to rescue their friend’s, Milika, farm. One of the Rangers finds out the mama elephant is afraid of bees so the Rangers use their powers to protect the farm by constructing small bee houses and placing them in front of Milika’s farm. They tie them all together so the mama elephant will trip on them and all the bees will come out and scare the elephants away. Also, the Rangers find a food source for the elephants so Milika’s farm will be safe from the elephants. This show’s animation is digital, which makes it very neat. The graphics are colorful and bright. The theme song is appealing and very catchy. The voiceovers for each character are great.

Each episode’s storyline promotes the idea of “team work makes the dream work.” All seven Rangers help those who are in need. Each one has their own powers, but when work together they are stronger and their job is made much easier. 

I give Rainbow Rangers, Rangers to the Rescue! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18 plus adults. Even though this animation show is mostly for girls, boys will enjoy it as well.  This DVD is available now so look for it.

Aquarium offers Family Art Night Nov. 20: Get creative and learn about ocean animals from home

Photo Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Gather whatever supplies you have available at home, including markers, colored pencils, or paints, to create ocean-themed art work with the Aquarium’s educators

 On Friday, November 20, 2020, the Aquarium’s education department will host Family Art Night, an event that builds on its popular Draw With Me class. For a fee, families will be able to purchase reservations to participate in this fun and educational evening event with Aquarium educators.

The theme for the event is parrotfish and coral reefs. Participants will have the chance to create an art project depicting these colorful fish in their tropical coral habitat with supplies they have at home while learning about parrotfish, where they live, what they eat, and more. This event is recommended for children ages six and older. A parrotfish coloring sheet will be provided for those who prefer to color during the program.

WHEN: Friday, November 20, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., PST

WHERE: This event will be hosted on Zoom. Those who register will receive the link ahead of the event.

COST: $20 per household

INFO: (562) 590-3100 or visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/family-art-night-with-the-aquarium-tickets-127345093603

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

HandsOn Gloves are a must-buy for Grooming your pup!

Looking for grooming products for your pup? HandsOn Gloves are a must! They work so well! HandsOn Gloves are the Revolutionary All-In-One Shedding/Bathing/Grooming Gloves and are Animal preferred.
Horses, Dogs, Cats, Livestock and more don’t even know they are being groomed or de-shed with the patented HandsOn Gloves. HandsOn outperforms traditional curry combs, bathing mitts, shedding blades, metal bristles, and any de-shedder on the market. HandsOn is changing the way we Bathe, De-Shed and Groom all our animals.
I tried these out with my Pup and he hates grooming but he didn’t seem to mind these gloves.

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

California Based Organic Chef Crafted Food Brand Hak’s Launches New “Perfect Side Dish” Available at Costco and is great for the holidays!

Redefining home cooked meals, Hak’s believes everyone deserves a restaurant-quality food experience in their home without the time-consuming prep. Prepared by Chef, CEO and Founder Sharone Hakman, Hak’s products champion adventurous new flavors made from organic, sustainably sourced, and cruelty-free ingredients. Debuting this fall, Hak’s is excited to add another innovation to the portfolio of dynamic, chef crafted foods – Perfect Side Dishes.

A collection of organic chef-made, heat & eat side dishes, these fully cooked, family-sized side dishes are the ideal accompaniment to any dinner time meal. Made with clean, delicious, and quality ingredients, Hak’s Perfect Side Dishes are non-GMO, keto and paleo friendly, and sugar free. Now available in Costco’s throughout the Los Angeles region, consumers can get their hands on Hak’s Roasted Cauliflower with Chimichurri Sauce. With six servings per container, just pop in your microwave for 5 minutes, and this satisfying side dish is ready to serve.

I had the opportunity to try the Organic Rainbow Carrots with Maple Dijon Glaze and also the delicious Roasted Brussel Sprouts and I love how fresh they taste and how quick and easy they are to make. The Rainbow Carrots are definitely on my menu for this upcoming Thanksgiving!

Look for them at your local Costco!

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

Books of the month!

Looking for some new books for the kids to read this Fall? Here are a few of my favorites from Arbordale Publishing. What’s the Weather? is a great book to teach young children about the weather. We know that weather changes daily. Sometimes it can even change from one moment to another-like a sudden storm. Learning about weather and how to dress and prepare for it is an important skill to learn. I recommend for ages 3-7.

I love this next one because I love otters! River Otter’s Adventure is a fun story for ages 4-8. It’s about a young river otter who sneaks into a zoo, and she wonders if she should be more like some of the zoo animals she meets. This one is educational and a lot of fun!

This next one is perfect for ages 5-8. Animal Homes teaches young children about the different homes of different animals. Just like humans, animals use their homes for shelter and to raise their young. Animal Homes might be easy to see, or they may be hidden (camouflaged) for protection. Some animals are great builders and other animals borrow homes that other animals have made. I love how educational this book is!

This next one is a great way to teach young children about human and animal teeth, And That’s the Tooth delivers unique and fun facts about animal and human teeth through engaging riddles. With hints to help solve each riddle, children will be actively involved as they giggle, guess, and learn.

Find all of these and many more at Arbordale Publishing.

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books and images were provided.