Archives for October 2022

Halloween book suggestions for younger children

Pumpkins by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, for ages 0–2 years, available now)

Bright, detailed illustrations and easy, kid-friendly text will teach kids all about pumpkins: different kinds, how they grow, and how people use and enjoy them—especially at Thanksgiving and Halloween. Seeds turn into vines and flowers— and soon into round pumpkins, small and large, for people to sell, decorate, and cook! A great gift for curious toddlers or an ideal Halloween party favor, Pumpkins is perfect for very young readers, full of information and a huge helping of fun.

A Friend for Ghost by Suzanne Kaufman (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, for ages 4–8)

For Ghost, it can be pretty hard to make new friends. Some people are frightened, and most don’t seem to realize Ghost is even there. One day when a bright red balloon wanders Ghost’s way, the connection is instantaneous. Together they do everything Ghost had ever hoped to share with a friend, but balloons rarely stick around for long. That’s when Ghost learns that when you’re looking for a friend, a friend might find you.

Boo Stew by Donna L. Washington, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler (Peachtree, for ages 4–8, available now)

Internationally known, award-winning storyteller Donna L. Washington uses her tremendous skill to breathe new life into the classic Goldilocks tale. Curly Locks is a good-hearted girl, but she’s an awful cook. All the townspeople of Toadsuck Swamp know to steer clear of her culinary concoctions. So, when one of her dishes goes missin’, word spreads about how the Scares have been terrorizin’ the town. Can Curly Locks use her smarts and unique talents to help corral those Scares for good? This is a fun Halloween story, especially for ages 6-8! I loved the characters and the illustrations!

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this book post. Cover images and information were also received.

Mabel’s Labels for Halloween!

Such cute labels!

Looking for really cute labels this Halloween for the kids? Mabel’s Labels has the cutest styles! Since I no longer have any little children, I decided to select some for the teaching staff at the preschool program where I work. I was really happy with the cute designs!

For the holiday season, Mabel’s Labels offers a festive collection for gift giving and staying organized. From charming label packs for tucking in stockings to peel & stick labels to make gift-giving a breeze, Mabel’s Labels has thought of everything to help you make the holidays special. The new collection includes Personalized Stocking Stuffers, Holiday Return Envelope Labels, Return Address Stamp, and Holiday Gift Tags. Beyond the holiday season, Mabel’s Labels collection of durable, waterproof labels & more are ideal for getting your kids organized for daycare, school or any other activity. Learn more at $9.99 – $30

Check them out for the upcoming holidays!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post.

Halloween Book choices for the kids!

If you’re already browsing Michael’s and Anthropologie for Halloween décor, if you consider Wednesday Addams a personal role model, if you love gorgeous art and lyrical writing, then you’re going to love BEATRICE LIKES THE DARK.

This picture book so beautifully crafted that it will be at home on any grownup’s coffee table. At the story’s heart are two sisters, spooky Beatrice and sparkly Roo, and their mirrored yearning for acceptance, accommodation, and mutual celebration. After all, no matter how weird and irritating your sister is, you love her just the same! This really is a beautiful book!

As the weather turns colder, there’s no better time to return to Elizabeth C. Bunce’s Edgar®-Award-winning Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery series. In the fourth book in the series, IN MYRTLE PERIL, intrepid and Irrepressible twelve-year-old investigator Myrtle Hardcastle returns to investigate the case of a missing heiress lost at sea… and the search leads her to a Victorian hospital, with her loved ones at great risk. This fantastic fourth installment promises scandal and drama, Victorian rule-breaking, early forensics, code cracking, and a packed cast full of delightful and eccentric friends and foes.

In OUR SHADOWS HAVE CLAWS, bloodthirsty vampires are hunted by a quick-witted slayer; children are stolen from their beds by “el viejo de la bolsa” while a military dictatorship steals their parents; and anyone you love, absolutely anyone, might be a shapeshifter waiting to hunt. Edited by Yamile Saied Méndez and Amparo Ortiz and featuring a brilliantly curated list of bestselling and award-winning YA authors like Julia Alvarez, Lilliam Rivera, Claribel Ortega, and Maritza and Maika Moulite, this cross-genre anthology of Latin American monster stories offers something for everyone. This one is definitley a good one for teenagers and young adults!

For die-hard fans of Stephen King and classic slasher flicks, DEAD FLIP offers an updated take on a classic genre for YA readers. Sara Farizan brings her trademark referential humor and witty narration to this ode to ‘80s horror, featuring stories of marginalized characters not often told in this genre. All that, plus a haunted pinball machine!

Find these and many more at

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Images and info were also provided.

Clothes Shopping Hacks to Save Money

Everyone wears clothes, but how much people spend on their clothes varies from person to person. Some people really love fashion, and they view their wardrobe as an artistic reflection of themselves and a collection as well. Other people just want clothes that are comfortable and functional and won’t cost them a lot. However, even if you just want clothes that fit, it can still be a huge aspect of your yearly budget. On average an individual in America spends around $1,400 on clothes a year, and a lot of people spend even more than that.

However you view fashion, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about how you can save money shopping for clothing. If you want to learn how you can spend less without having to wear clothes that are worn or unflattering, here are some helpful tips.

Sell The Clothes You Don’t Wear

If you aren’t wearing it, you might as well sell it. It can be really easy to hang on to clothes that you never choose to wear because you think you might someday, but the truth is you are just wasting an opportunity to get some money back. Try to take a look at your closet and pull out pieces that you haven’t worn in a while. If you know you are never going to wear something, throw it in a to-be-sold pile.

If you aren’t sure how long it’s been since you put some items on, gather them all in the front of your closet. After about 3 or 4 months, or until the season for those items has fully passed, if you find that you never reached for certain pieces even when they were in the front of your closet, this is a sign that you should probably get rid of them.

Once you have a good amount of clothes you want to sell, there are a few ways you can go about it. The first and easier way is to take them to a consignment store. Depending on the quality of the items and their resale value, consignment stores may offer you a good amount of money for your pieces. If you’re really lucky, the value may have actually increased since you bought it. However, you also may find that they aren’t interested in a lot of your clothing.

The second option, which requires more work but also might give you a better chance of selling things, is to upload your clothes to an online store site. Websites like Poshmark and Depop are used for buying and selling second-hand clothing online. This gives you access to a significantly larger pool of people, so you could have a better chance of selling those things that the consignment store didn’t want.

To sell your clothes online you need to create an account, then upload pictures and descriptions of everything you want to sell. It is helpful to use pictures of you wearing the clothes so that people can get a better idea of what they look like. Selling your clothes online can take a lot longer, but that extra cash can be great if you want to buy new ones.

Shop at a Thrift Store

Thrift stores are places that resell the clothing that has been donated to them. These items are significantly marked down, sometimes as much as 90 percent less than their retail value. You can find really great clothing for a super low cost at the thrift store, and it can be a great place to find a unique style.

People usually buy their clothes from retail stores, and because of this, it is very easy to find yourself dressed like everyone else. However, at a thrift store, you have a ton of unique and even vintage items available as long as you look for them. Thrift stores are a really good place to buy bigger items like jackets, coats, and suits. They were probably not worn very often because usually people use coats seasonally and formal wear for special occasions. This way you are getting something that normally costs a lot of money for a really good price.

Take Care of Your Clothes

One of the best ways to spend less money on clothes is simply to buy less, but that can be difficult when items get worn or torn over time. Some people spend money on new clothes because they like to have something new to wear, but there are also instances where you simply need a new piece because the old one is unwearable. You can wear clothes for as long as you can, but sometimes holes and worn spots make it so you have no choice but to buy something new.

However, if you take good care of your clothes you can keep them for a lot longer, and then you’ll be able to save money in the long run. One of the best things you can do to increase the longevity of your clothing is to wash them less. Washing clothes too often can actually damage the fibers. Try to wear some clothing more than once, if you don’t sweat in them, if it’s something you only wore for a few hours or a sweater you wore over other clothes, you can probably get at least one more wear out of it. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, let it hang outside for a few hours, hang it in the bathroom while you take a shower so the steam can get to it.

Another helpful way to keep your clothes in good condition is to wash them at low temperatures. High-temperature water is good if you have really dirty clothes, but most of the time your clothes probably aren’t dirty enough to warrant that much heat. The heat can damage the integrity of the clothing, in both the washer and dryer, so try to go with the lower temperature settings as much as you can. Overwashing in high temperatures can also cause clothing to fade, so washing everything inside-out as much as you can is a great way to keep the outside of your clothes in better shape.

Repair and Alter Clothes Yourself

One of the best ways to save money on clothes is to teach yourself how to sew. Especially if you are a shorter person, you know that finding pants that are not too long can be extremely difficult, and usually forces you to buy things new. Even when you buy new pants, you might still need to get them tailored which only adds to the amount of money you are paying for your clothing.

Instead of relying on a tailor or searching high and low for clothes that fit you properly, learn how to make alterations yourself. You would be amazed at how much of a difference small adjustments to your clothes will make, and when you can do it yourself you save a lot of money. Now, you can go to the thrift store, and instead of looking for items that fit you perfectly, or settling for clothes you feel frumpy in, you can see the possibilities in items.

Knowing how to sew will allow you to go to a store and choose materials and styles that you like without having to settle for something that is too loose or too long. Not only will you save money on alterations and have more options, but you will also have a wardrobe that is custom fit to your specific size. This is also going to increase the likelihood that you actually wear everything in your closet.

Roni Davis is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She writes for a bankruptcy lawyer in Philadelphia

Roni Davis

Get Halloween Booritos at Rubio’s on Oct. 31st!

Boo! The popular Booritos are back at Rubio’s all day long this Halloween, October 31, when every Rubio’s Rewards Member can get any burrito on the menu for just $7.99. Simply place an order though the Rubio’s app, or scan your phone at the register to get the offer. There’s plenty of time to sign up for Rubio’s Rewards before Halloween. New Rewards members can sign up at, or through the Rubio’s App, place an order, start earning points and enjoying free Rubio’s food and drinks.

Rubio’s Borritos feature responsibly sourced seafood, USDA choice steak, all-natural chicken raised without antibiotics, and vegetarian options. Favorites include the Ancho Citrus Shrimp Burrito, Burrito Especial with all-natural chicken, California Burrito with USDA choice steak or the Bean & Cheese Burrito, just to name a few.

Rubio’s locations across California, Arizona and Nevada are open, and guests are encouraged to order through the Rubio’s app and For more information about Rubio’s Coastal Grill and to view the menu, visit Rubio’sFacebook,  Instagram, and TikTok.

Credit: Rubio’s. Some form of compensation was received to post.

Atlas, Oct. 27th Pet of the Week

Halloween greetings from Atlas! Atlas wants to let you know that he’s more than just a houn’ dog. He came as a stray to the shelter in January, and does not want to be in a situation where he has to say “It’s now or never.” He’s 2 years old, has a tail that’s all shook up, and just wants to be your teddy bear with all that affection he has. He zooms around the play yard like the King himself. Please, can you love him tender? Adoption fees for big dogs are waived until Oct. 31, and you can speed the process to adopt or foster Atlas and any of our other pets by emailing or You can also call (562) 570-4925. Even better, stop by during our new open walk-in hours every Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Our shelter is located at 7700 E. Spring St. Ask for ID##A669744 to meet Atlas.

HOLIDAY LIGHT SPLENDOR comes to COACHELLA VALLEY – Magic of Lights to open at Empire Polo Club from November 18 through January 1st!

This holiday season will be even brighter, merrier and more colorful as Magic of Lights transforms the Empire Polo Club into a vibrant drive-through holiday-themed light display. The festive event kicks off Friday, November 18 and runs through Sunday, January 1.

Produced by Family Entertainment Holdings, LLC, “Magic of Lights” will make its Coachella Valley debut at the sprawling Empire Polo Club, featuring dozens of displays, illuminated canopies, and digital animation, all constructed with millions of individual LED lights to create a memorable holiday experience for the whole family.

“We are excited to bring Magic of Lights to the Coachella Valley community for the first time ever and believe it will become an annual holiday tradition,” says Ken Hudgens, CEO of Family Entertainment Holdings, LLC. “Our innovative creative team has designed a drive-through holiday wonderland light experience that promises to dazzle and delight guests of all ages.”

“Our entire team is excited to bring a fun and festive nightly event to the Empire Polo Club and the entire Coachella Valley region this holiday season. We appreciate Magic of Lights’ commitment to hosting an affordable, one price per carload family-friendly event, and we believe the installation will become an annual tradition for years to come,” says Mark Girton, VP of Operations and Special Events at Empire Polo Club/Empire Grand Oasis.

Inside the comfort of their own vehicle, guests will enjoy Magic of Lights’ classic holiday favorites including Winter Wonderland, the 12 Days of Christmas, Toyland, festive Elves and Reindeer Road. In addition to the 200 foot long Enchanting Tunnel of Lights, there will also be three other brand new tunnels to delight and amaze – the Blizzard Light Tunnel, the Snowflake Tunnel and the Candy Cane Light Tunnel.

Other brand-new displays include the 32-foot-tall animated Mattel’s Waving Christmas Barbie®, Prehistoric Christmas featuring life sized dinosaurs celebrating the season and BIGFOOT® Monster Trucks. Created with over two million sparkling lights, Magic of Lights is a nostalgic and festive event everyone will enjoy. 


·        2+ million lights per Magic of Lights event

·        12.6 miles of light cord per Magic of Lights event

·        3,750 staff hours to set up each Magic of Lights event

·        The steel displays are designed, bent, cut and welded into about 800 frames that are combined in different configurations to create each show’s giant winter holiday scenes. Each frame of each scene is designed using the latest CAD technology and hand built in-house from 15 pages of design specifications each.

·        Each Magic of Lights show uses about 10 miles of steel to build the displays and 10 miles of LED lighting installed inside the displays, there are 10 different colors of LED bulbs used in the shows.

·        Scenes, such as the animated Mattel’s Waving Christmas Barbie, are as high as 32 ft. tall and as long as several hundred feet.

Magic of Lights shines daily from 6pm until 10pm beginning Friday, November 18 through

Sunday, January 1. Tickets for this colorful seasonal event are on sale now and can be purchased starting at just $15 for Weekdays and $20 for Any Day per vehicle.

For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, visit


About Empire Polo Club

Empire Polo Club is a world-class event facility located in Indio, CA in the greater Palm Springs area, just 2 hours by car from Los Angeles and San Diego. With nearly 1,000 acres of lush gardens and pristine fields, Empire Polo Club is an unexpected desert oasis offering four unique venues: The Rose Garden, Hacienda Del Toro, Medjhool Lake and The Forum. The venue’s services range from corporate meetings and private parties, to festivals, concerts and sports-related events.

About Family Entertainment Holdings, LLC

Family Entertainment Holdings, LLC is a diversified, family-oriented entertainment holding company that seeks to develop successful live event formats and other entertainment intellectual property. The Company’s live event formats include Magic of Lights®, an outdoor holiday lights experience displayed at venues throughout North America and Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live™, a Hot Wheels-themed monster truck show presented both in North America and internationally. The Company is headquartered in Medina, Ohio.

For additional information, visit or

New offerings available free to Aquarium visitors with sensory needs

Photo credit: Robin Riggs

Visitors can now look for designated Headphone Zones and Quiet Zones and check out sensory bags with helpful items for those with sensory needs.

The Aquarium of the Pacific has been certified by KultureCity as a sensory inclusive venue. KultureCity is a non-profit organization that certifies venues and events as inclusive for those with sensory needs. One in six individuals has a sensory need or an invisible disability. Sensitivity to over stimulation and noise can create barriers that may deter people from going to public venues and attractions.

“The Aquarium aims to be an inclusive and welcoming place for people to explore and learn about the ocean. Partnering with KultureCity gives us the tools to improve experiences for people with sensory needs,” said Emily Yam, Aquarium of the Pacific director of learning and public engagement.

The Aquarium has designated headphone zones and quiet zones for those with sensory needs. Visitors can also stop by the Member Services desk to pick up sensory bags equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads.

Prior to visiting the Aquarium, families can download the free KultureCity App to view what sensory features are available and where they can access them. The app also features a Social Story on the Aquarium, which will provide a preview of what to expect while visiting.

During the certification process, the Aquarium’s staff was trained on best practices regarding sensory inclusivity. KultureCity defines sensory needs as a common medical condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes through the senses.

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation can be experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other conditions. With its new certification, the Aquarium is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory needs in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible.

You can visit to learn more about the Aquarium’s KultureCity certification and amenities for visitors with sensory needs. These amenities are available free of charge to Aquarium visitors. The announcement comes ahead of the Aquarium’s 20th anniversary of its annual Festival of Human Abilities, which celebrates the creative talents of people with disabilities and will take place on the weekend of January 28 and 29, 2023. The Aquarium also offers events throughout the year such as Autism Families Night and Autism Family Morning, both of which have been held for over ten years.

The Aquarium has had a long-standing commitment to being accessible to those with disabilities. The Aquarium offers a downloadable audio tour, a Braille Visitor Guide, and voice-over technology in its Visitor App for those who are blind and with low vision. It features virtual touch technology in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater as well as Epson smart glass for closed captioning. Sign language interpreters are also available upon request with advanced notice.

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific.