Archives for October 19, 2021

Looking for wholesome healthy food options? Urban Plates is the place to go!

I recently had the opportunity to review a place I had never been to before and I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing the food was! (The customer service was also wonderful and I have to give kudos to the General Manager, Dean!) Have you been to Urban Plates, yet? I had heard of it but had never been so I was very happy to check out the location in Torrance. They have a great variety of choices to choose from. It was actually tough to make a choice. But, I tried the Grilled Sustainable Salmon plate with Cauliflower & Vegetable Rice and the Roasted Brussels Sprouts. They are both delicious!

Salmon Plate

My friend who went with me even tried the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with turkey bacon and she does not like Brussels Sprouts but she liked them! If you aren’t into seafood, no worries because they have so many other choices. One of the steak plates was a hit with my friend.

The mission of Urban Plates is to have a profoundly positive impact on the way the world eats by making craveable, wholesome, and clean food accessible to all. I think that is a pretty good mission! But, back to the food…we also tried the Moroccan Chicken Braise which is only $10 and it was soooo good, especially with Mashed Potatoes. Urban Plates has $10 everyday meals which really is a great bargain.

This was delicious!

Another great thing is that they do have Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Vegan choices. And, you have to save room for dessert because they have the best desserts! My favorite is the Hummingbird Cake! So, if you are looking for a great place to meet up with a friend or even buy take-out for the family, I suggest Urban Plates. I had a great time there and even went back later in the week. Don’t forget that right now Urban Plates is giving away free Plate Pass subscriptions in honor of their 10 year anniversary. (See the details in my other post!) It’s a great deal and is free for the first month. Hurry though! The offer ends on October 31st, 2021.

Self Disclosure: I had the opportunity to review Urban Plates to facilitate this post. Photo Credit: SoCal City Kids.

Halloween Must-Haves for the Kids!

Candy may be big for Halloween but here are some great alternatives for the kids this Halloween! (Or you can give these and candy too!)

Groovy Glowing Candy Lab from Thames & Kosmos (this one makes candy!)

Set the world aglow with peace, happiness, and good times! Make yummy candies that actually glow in the dark. Mold fun, glowing gummies and sweet, glowing ice cubes in groovy shapes. Then make a batch of hard candy and watch it glow. A small amount of a safe, natural ingredient — riboflavin, or vitamin B2 — causes these candies to glow under the included blacklight flashlight. Learn about the chemistry of glowing materials and pigments, the physics of light and electromagnetic waves, and more science behind these delicious treats. This kit includes all the food ingredients needed for a groovy good time! Made in the USA. For ages 6+ | MSRP $19.95. I really like this one because it’s creative and a lot of fun!

These next two items are sure to be a hit with the kids!

Land Of Dough Vampland  7oz Luxe Dough Cup  from Crazy Aaron’s

Go batty with this FANG-tastic Vampire Dough. Make fangs, bats, a cape, or a coffin, but always, creep it real.  Land of Dough is the most eco-friendly dough on the planet. From plant-based colors and compostable glitters to our paper packaging, we strive to minimize the environmental impact of our product.  All of our Luxe Dough Cups feature multi-layered designs for amazing play value. Each cup is an experience all its own. Land of Dough is made in the USA right here in our own wind-powered facility using reclaimed landfill gas as a heat source. Each batch is carefully handcrafted with the finest natural ingredients and our signature wood play tools are sourced using sustainable forestry practices.  Price: $15.00.

2” Mini Monster from Crazy Aaron’s  

It’s alive! MINI Monster Thinking Putty comes to life with a spooky metallic green sheen, just like that of his preternatural flesh. Hit the lights and you’ll get a shock—it glows an eerie electric blue in the dark, too.  Ages: 3+ Price: $3.00 Avail at .

I really like this next one!

Hallodanglers from Wild Republic

Frankenstein, Werewolf, Witch, Vampire, Scarecrow (Vampire is pictured)

The Hallodanglers are ready to ‘hang out’ on their favorite night of the year. With 100% recycled water bottle fill, hook and loop velcro hands, and cute (not-so-scary!) faces, Hallodanglers will make the spooky season more fun for your little ones. MSRP: $16.99. Find them at

I love this cute new kit from Pottery Awesomeness! This one is Halloween-themed but they do have other themes. It’s a fun crafty item for the kids this Halloween! These are the perfect project for kids and families to enjoy together.  The 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, paintbrushes, a glossy sealer, and an instruction card with QR codes that will direct painters to painting tutorials and instructions. 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. Now, how cool is that?! More information:

Self Disclosure: I received samples of the above items to facilitate this holiday post. Images were also provided.

Halloween Book of the month!

This Cookbook Will Put a Spell on You: THE UNOFFICIAL HOCUS POCUS COOKBOOK

Love the Hocus Pocus Movie? It is definitely one that I love to watch every Halloween! How about watching Hocus Pocus and making some wonderful treats from  The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook: Bewitchingly Delicious Recipes for Fans of the Halloween Classic by Bridget Thoreson [ISBN: 9781646042418; $19.95; Ulysses Press; September 2021]? This is a marvelously spooky cookbook featuring delicious recipes based on your favorite cult classic film from 1993.

I received a copy and am amazed at all the wonderful recipes! I can’t wait to make the French Onion Soup on page 30 or the Ginger-Dead Men on page 81.

Whether you’re attending a surprise rave in town or just spending “a quiet evening at home,” you’ll enchant anyone who tastes these frightfully appetizing recipes, including Baked Witch Casserole; Mischief Night Pasta; Bones of 100 Chickens; Mother’s Scorpion Pie; Life Potion Soup; William’s Wormy Bed Dirt Cake; Dead Man’s Toes, Dead Man’s Toes; Brown Butter Booooook Blondies; Burning Rain of Death Punch; Airhead Virgin Mocktail; and much more!

The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook is the ultimate must-have for fans of all ages! You can find it on

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book to facilitate this post. A cover image was also provided.

Family Fun Announced at SkyPark at Santa’s Village

Southern California Theme Park Offers Fall Guests Mountain Biking, Pumpkins, and Fantasy Fun.

SkyPark at Santa’s Village today announces its Pumpkins in the Pines October festivities lineup. After its busiest summer ever, SkyPark at Santa’s Village welcomes Fall guests to a variety of fun weekend activities, from pumpkin patches to cookie decorating and crafts, to a community sponsored trick-or-treat event and costume party.
“This isn’t your average Pumpkin Patch,” says Michelle Johnson, SkyPark at Santa’s Village’s Creative Director. “We love Fall and it’s reflected in our changing-of-the-seasons Fall decor and pumpkins throughout the park. We’ve made Pumpkins in the Pines the mountain top day-destination, family friendly Fall festival with special characters, seasonal food, and Fall themed activities you won’t find anywhere else!”
The Coachworks Pumpkin Patch will give guests a chance to find the perfect pumpkin. Choose the perfect pumpkin and paint it in Santa’s Workshop. The Monster Mash Light Show will enchant guests throughout the park with colorful lights and Halloween music. In the evening, the Fantom Forest will thrill guests with a unique walk-through haunted hike. Seasonal characters and special shows and experiences will also be featured throughout the park, including Wacko the Magician, the Sleepy Hollow Puppet Show, and much more! Seasonal treats will be available throughout the park.
“We just had our best and busiest summer ever,” says Bill Johnson, Co-Owner of SkyPark at Santa’s Village. “SkyPark at Santa’s Village is all about outdoor adventure in an alpine setting, and we’re providing that experience through Fall and into Winter. Our unique combination of outdoor fun and generally pleasant weather is really resonating with guests who still want to have family adventures. As far as I know, we’re the only park that offers mountain biking, forest hiking, Santa, skating, axe throwing, archery, and pumpkins in a winter wonderland theme park. We even do weddings and forest conservation. If you’re looking for a unique theme park and Fall activities, come check us out.”
When to Experience Pumpkins in the Pines:
Pumpkins in the Pines starts Saturday, October 9th and runs every weekend through October 31st.
SkyPark at Santa’s Village is open Wednesdays through Sundays, please check the website for times of operation.
– Coachworks Pumpkin Patch
Saturdays 10:00 AM – 9:00 PMSundays 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
One of the season’s greatest pleasures is loading up the van (or trendy SUV) with the little ones and heading to the pumpkin patch. Head over to the cozy Coachworks Pumpkin Patch or stop Santa’s Workshop to paint your favorite pumpkin find.
– ParkwideTrick-or-TreatingSaturdays 3:00 PM – 9PMSundays 3:00 PM – 5PM
Make your way around to each original Santa’s Village building for treats! Santa’s helpers will be passing out candy so be sure to bring a bag to collect as many treats as you can!
– Cookie Decorating at the Sky Trading Co – $6
Saturdays 10:00 AM – 9:00 PMSundays 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Hungry for something sweet? Join us for some Fall-themed sugar cookie decorating.
– Pumpkin Painting in Santa’s Workshop – $4 Plus Pumpkin
Saturdays 12:00 PM – 9:00 PMSundays 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Get crafty with a pumpkin and set your creative side free.
– Themed Skate Nights
October 30th Monster Mash Skate Party
Rock n’ ROLL on the Silver Bells Arena with themed skate nights every Saturday night from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM! Join us for a Halloween Contest at the Monster Mash Skate Party. Snacks & drinks available for purchase. Skate rentals are complimentary with park admission, though you’re welcome to bring your own!
– Fantom forest
Saturdays October 23 & 30th only 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
SkyPark’s unique Fantom Forest is a walk-through haunted forest complete with characters and spooky sightings. This short family-friendly hike is a guest favorite, so be sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss it!
– Entertainment and NorthWoods Characters
Saturdays and Sundays (please see Entertainment Schedule upon arrival for various showtimes and character appearances)
Enjoy a puppet show featuring the classic story of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, hear the Stories of the Northwoods and be entertained by Wacko the Magician in the Sky Pavilion. And get your wish list to Santa early when you meet him and the beloved Northwoods Characters at his home.Saturdays and Sundays (please see Entertainment Schedule upon arrival for various showtimes and character appearances)
Enjoy a puppet show featuring the classic story of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, hear the Stories of the Northwoods and be entertained by Wacko the Magician in the Sky Pavilion. And get your wish list to Santa early when you meet him and the beloved Northwoods Characters at his home.
– Monster Mash Light Show
Saturdays 5:00 PM and 8:00 PMSundays 5:00 PM
Wow the family with SkyPark’s one-of-a-kind round-the-park Halloween light show.
– Face PaintingShow your festive side and get your face painted! The talented SkyPark artist will paint faces of all ages, so bring out your inner child and use your face as a canvas for some festive Fall art.
– Halloween PartyClose out what some call the best holiday of the year with a bang! The SkyPark at Santa’s Village Halloween Party is on Friday, October 29th. We’ll be giving out a $100 CASH PRIZE for best costume so be sure to dress your best for a chance to win! Boogie to the sounds of The Sixty Grit Band, who will be playing a special Halloween concert from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Some activities may be subject to change, in order to comply with updated CDC guidelines. Please check the SkyPark at Santa’s Village website for the most recent updates.
To purchase tickets, visit:

Story and photo credit: SKYPARK AT SANTA’S VILLAGE.

Spooky Seas: Haunted Tales at the Ocean Institute (Oct. 29 & 30)

On Oct. 29 & 30, with two ticketed timeframes at 4:30-6 p.m. and 6:30-8 p.m., the Ocean Institute invites visitors and locals alike to join its “Spooky Seas: Haunted Tales Evening Adventure,” for a Spooktacular evening of all things mysterious and enchanting. Families can enjoy a variety of interactive activities, such as: 

  • Spooky sailor myths, legends and superstitions from the day of Richard Henry Dana Jr., whom the beach town is named after;
  • Conjuring with ghost bubbles and fizzing eyeballs at the Mad Scientist Lab;
  • Competing in a sea monster scavenger hunt; 
  • Touching slimy and squishy creatures in the intertidal touch tank.
  • Other activities include story time with a mermaid (exclusively on Friday), ghost pirate school for pirates-in-training (exclusively on Saturday) and much more.

The event is free for children under two, $15 for children and $20 for adults. Learn more and purchase tickets here:

Credit: Ocean Institute.

Temecula Terror Announces 2021 Mazes and Attractions

This October the Inland Empire is offering a hauntingly-good time with the all-new, hair-raising, horrifying haunt: Temecula Terror. Open for 19-days, October 1- 31, Temecula Terror is pleased to announce its line-up of terrifying mazes, scare zones, bars, and more for the first-year event in the wild, shadowing hills of the Temecula Valley Wine Country at Galway Downs. Tickets start at $20 USD for adults and are on sale today at

Dubbed an Indie-Style Haunt, Temecula Terror invites thrill-seekers to visit a creepy, small town, off a back road in the Temecula Valley, and step into a Halloween Harvest Carnival… with a sinister intention. Thrill seekers can test their fears in The Crypt where brave guests will lurk through a graveyard scene and venture beyond the shadows, deep into the damp twists and turns of the forgotten catacombs. Lit only by the stars in the sky and the outside event’s carnival lights, visitors are certain to lose their way in the darkness and experience a brush with a tormented and beckoning afterlife.

Already attracting interest on social media with #HydeOrDie, 301 Hyde Street is anticipated to be a fan favorite for the all-new haunt. Home to fictional notorious social pariah Otis Hatcher, 301 Hyde Street invites haunt lovers to knock on the “haunted house” door this Halloween season for a twisted, dark, game as visitors try to find their way to escape (or should we say hide) in the maze. Seeking twisted revenge on Temecula Terror’s small town enthralled with a new Halloween attraction, Otis will unleash the darkest corners of his mind, luring in trick-or-treaters for a deadly game of cat-and-mouse…Can you make it out alive?

Tiptoe into Butterfield Asylum, a maze named after the real-life Butterfield Stage Trail that runs through Temecula. History claims that in the mid-1800s Temecula hosted a mail stop on the national Butterfield Stage route, bringing messages from home to the brave pioneers forging life in the California wilderness, while prisoners and convicts forged the railroad that would eventually replace the Butterfield Stage route. Temecula Terror is bringing to life the dark side of Temecula history with frights from the “outcasts” of society who have endured hard labor from sun-up to sun-down. At Butterfield Asylum, the victims’ bodies aren’t the only sufferers of the sun’s tireless gaze, but their minds were too lost, eaten away by the excruciating heat, leaving nothing but their most primal deviant inclinations behind for ticket holders to dare to survive.

In addition to the trio of mazes, a fog-filled scare zone will entice ticket holders with the sounds of chainsaws echoing through the secluded wine country valley as creepy carnival clowns await and hide within the depths of the dark hazy shadows. Have youngsters and kiddos who also love a good ‘ween scene? Inclusive of haunt-lovers of all ages, Temecula Terror offers Family Frights starting at 5 p.m. with kid-friendly fare, before the real scares begin at 7 p.m. 

Bringing to life the biggest “haunt” Temecula has ever seen this spooky season, Temecula Terror tickets are on sale today and start at just $20 per adult (12+ years) and $10 for children (Family Fright). Local event production companies Bloodshed Brothers and Clever Coven have banded together to create the first-year haunt with an emphasis on involving local companies, brands, and stories from the heart of Temecula Valley. Visit for more information, to purchase tickets and to stay up to date on Temecula Terror announcements, sales, and more. 


About Temecula Terror

Bringing terror to Temecula October 2021, Temecula Terror was created by the creative minds of Local event production companies Bloodshed Brothers and Creative Coven. Banded together to create an indie haunt with local roots in the heart of Temecula Valley at Galway Downs, the event will bring to life the biggest “haunt” Temecula has ever seen this spooky season. More than just a collection of “haunted houses”, Temecula Terror dives deep into the history of the Temecula Valley and the small-town characterization that many locals and visitors hold dear, to create a spooky alternate reality, a trip back in time to a small-town Halloween experience unlike any other. 

About The Bloodshed Brothers

What started as twin brothers having fun scaring the local kids in their front yard as a Halloween pass-time, has evolved into a full-fledged haunted attraction production company, taking their marquee vintage aesthetic with them everywhere they go. The Bloodshed Brothers delved into the world of professional haunting in 2011 with The Lake Elsinore Storm Stadium. From there, the company has produced two other short-term events: The Hyde Street Haunt at Galway Downs, and Terror in Train Town at the Perris Railway Museum. Now, the company is working behind the scenes on its newest project Temecula Terror, bringing scares to Galway Downs October of 2021.

About Clever Coven

Forged from friendship between three like-minded creative women, Clever Coven is a brand-new Creative Haunt Agency, specializing in Event Conceptualization, Marketing, Design, and Community Partnerships. Hailing from backgrounds in both the Corporate and Small Business Industry sectors, Clever Coven boasts over 25 years of collective experience in Event Production and Marketing.  Join the coven on Instagram at @CleverCoven!

About Galway Downs
Located in the beautiful, rolling hills of the Temecula Valley Wine Country, Galway Downs is a 242-acre premier multi-sport and special event facility located in Temecula, CA right off Highway 79 and a few miles from Interstate 5.  Historically known as a host to international and national equestrian training and championships, it has now become one of the top wedding venues in Southern California and is busy host to sports and special events.  For more information, please contact us at