Archives for June 2023

Summer 2023 Must-Haves!

Here are some of our Summer favorites!

PaddleSmash – The perfect mix of Pickleball & Spikeball

The perfect mix of Pickleball & Spikeball, this new backyard game was created to get your competitive blood flowing. Play anywhere, any time of year (think portable Pickleball) – All you need is a flat surface. Enjoy in your backyard, at the park, at the beach, or while waiting for a pickleball court to free up! PaddleSmash is best for adults and teens (ages 12+). Starting at $199.99 – 

This next one is great for road trips and camping this summer!

No kid travel kit is complete without Fandex Kids: Space

The end of the year is marked by many things: cold weather, hot apple cider and, for many families, packing up the trunks of their cars to hit the road. Road trips are exciting, filled with the buzz of going somewhere new and the prospect of a vacation. Exciting, that is, for the first five minutes – until kids realize just how long they’ll be stuck in the car.

Every parent knows there’s nothing worse while traveling than a kid begging to get out of the car. But kids will be begging to stay in with Fandex Kids: Space (Workman Publishing; on sale January 3, 2023; ages 8-12; $12.99). The newest installment in a beloved, kid-friendly series, Fandex Kids: Space contains 50 illustrated cards, filled to the brim facts about the galaxy. The perfect road-trip ride-along, the cards in this deck are bound together, making them impossible to lose.

This deck is for everyone – those just discovering the galaxy, the space-obsessed, and everyone in between. Ever wondered where the word astronaut comes from, or what the Oort Cloud is? We’ve got you. A thoughtful introduction to space, with lively illustrations and text made for kids ages 8+, this Fandex Kids: Space sneaks education into pure fun. Instead of making rockets out of mentos and soda, these cards will have kids dreaming of the Lucy Spacecraft. You can find it here.

This next one is fun for teenagers (who are driving!) and for adults!

Carlashes® are the original, superior-quality eyelash accessory for cars and trucks, thanks to their patented technology and revolutionary design. The next time you look in the rearview mirror, don’t be surprised if a pair of stunning Carlashes® catches your attention! In case you’re wondering if people are into this diva-worthy accessory, they’re sold in more than 100 countries and have a devoted audience of over 340,000 followers on Facebook. This has led to an expansion of more products since the brand’s beginning in 2010, such as crystal dice for the rearview mirror and rhinestone eyeliner to accompany the lashes, of course!

Price: $59.99


Now that school’s out parents want an activity that will keep kids busy for hours! Get them moving outside with the Original Stomp Rocket Ultra, which is celebrating 30 years since it’s release! No batteries required, easy to set up, and it helps teach STEM-based principles such as gravity, motion, and force. Various rocket sets are available from ages 3 and 9+. My kid reviewers had so much fun playing with the Stomp Rocket!

Price: $14.97

Available in Walmart stores and at

Good sunscreen is important for the Summer!

Summer and sunscreen go together like peanut butter & jelly! Kōkua Sun Care Hawaiian Natural Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50 is the revolution in REEF SAFE water resistant zinc sunscreen. No toxic chemicals and no eye sting! Deeply nourishing the skin with rich Hawaiian antioxidant ingredients, it rubs in clear and smooth with high performance broad spectrum protection using the highest percentage of non-nano zinc oxide at 25% as the only active ingredient.  Natural extracts give it a light coconut vanilla scent.  Professionally formulated to go on like a moisturizing lotion and light enough for everyday use, this sunscreen with its superior 80 minutes of water resistance also stays on through sweat and swells and protects you from the harshest UV rays. Price: $28.00. Available on Amazon

This next one is a real must-have for the Summer!

The Adventure Bundle From Gladly Family

The award-winning wagon from Gladly Family just got an upgrade with the NEW adventure wagon. The Anthem2 Adventure Set combines everything consumers loved about the Anthem2 with premium features to make for the ultimate adventure! The cruiser is an all-terrain workhorse with rugged wheels, sturdy frame, two XL canopies, a parent cup holder and more. Prep for your spring adventures with a cooler bag, fitting 12 cans, a mosquito net to keep bugs at bay, quilted comfort seats and a travel bag! Available on Amazon. Price: $649.00

Ditch disposable plastics and head out on your next adventure with Smelly Proof reusable bags. Whether you are camping in bear country or looking to pack snacks for the little one, the 100% odor-proof, puncture resistant bags are perfect for your next big adventure. FDA-approved, eco-conscious and made in the USA, Smelly Proof offers a variety of sizes so you don’t have to fret over having enough storage. Available on Amazon. (Price varies on size)

Clothing is a must for any season but I simply love this next one! Have a toddler? This one is a must!

The Little Lemons Company Toddler Tee

Take your child on the ride of their lives with this fun and adventurous toddler tee! This summer collection is sure to make your little one stand out from the crowd with the words “And So The Adventure Begins!” printed boldly on a soft cotton fabric. Get ready to take a journey – your little one’s gonna look great! The Little Lemons Company is creating heartwarming moments through beautiful and personalized baby and kids’ essentials. Price: $20

Have a Toddler at home? This one will be a hit for the bath and any type of water play this summer!


A new line of interactive and imaginative bath toys helps kids enjoy endless bath time fun! With three new sets, Water Seesaw with Boat, Water Wheel with Baby Shark, and Water Slide with Sea Animals, this playful line encourages a toddler’s fine motor skills and encourages creativity! Available on (MSRP: $24.99 – 19.99)

Puzzles are always a fun way to keep both kids and adults entertained and I love these colorful ones! And, just enough pieces!

WerkShoppe – Modern Puzzles

Great indoor fun with WerkShoppe’s modern puzzles!

250, 500 and 1000 piece puzzles available

Screen- free boredom buster

Eco-friendly and made in the USA

beautifully made puzzles designed to help you press pause, featuring really interesting artists. Price: Starting at $12 –

I absolutely love this one, especially for teens and adults! But, it really can be used for any age!

Screen-free mindfulness tool to help you get in a relaxed state of mind

All you need is water! 

Simple dip your brush in water and paint

No ink, paint, or chemicals – mess free! 

Taps into your creative side

Fun for all ages (even young children!)

2 designs available – Mini and Original 

Calm the mind and relieve tension by redirecting your focus to the art of creating. This is perfect for summer travel too!

Price: Starting at $17.95 –

Little kids need Sunglasses this Summer! Sunnies has them covered!

Sunnies – Kids Polarized Sunglasses

While having fun in the sun, help keep your kiddos’ eyes protected with the polarized, adorable, & affordable children’s sunglasses from Sunnies!   $25

  • Polarized sunglasses for kids!
  • Anti-slip natural to keep them on kid’s faces
  • 100% UVA/UVB Protection
  • Your kids will love them!
  • Protect your kids eyes from harmful sun rays
  • Comes in tons of colors & designs
  • Sunglasses scraps available

Happy Summer! Stay tuned! More Summer products will be featured next week!

Self Disclosure: I received samples of the above products to facilitate this post. Images and information were also received. As always, I only feature products that I recommend.

100 Years of Art History at Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove Conservancy, the nonprofit public benefit organization partnered with Crystal Cove State Park, will continue the century-long tradition of art at Crystal Cove State Park with exciting summer art events beginning June 21. From painting a masterpiece on the beach to meeting local artists, art aficionados will have the chance to take part in the living history of art at Crystal Cove. 

Crystal Cove State Park has a rich art history spanning over 100 years. The tradition continues today, as artists trek down every year to paint the scenic cottages, iconic ocean-side bluffs, and relaxing sandy beaches, setting up their easels to paint en plein air— on site, in the open air.

The Conservancy’s popular Great Plein Air Art Experience classes will return to the Crystal Cove Historic District on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 13 through August 31. Participants will spend the day capturing the beauty of the Cove on canvas, as they paint the beloved seaside landscape. Crystal Cove plein air artist, Debbie Morines, will be an artistic guide, taking participants through the process of creating a plein air painting from beginning to end. All supplies will be provided. Class size is limited to 12 and the minimum age is 18. Pricing is $120 per workshop or $100 for Crystal Cove Conservancy members.

For those who are looking to be an art observer rather than a participant are invited to experience the new Meet the Artist events on June 21 and July 5 from 11:00AM – 2:00PM. Held on the deck of the Crystal Cove State Park Interpretive Store in the Historic District, attendees will have the opportunity to meet some of their favorite Crystal Cove artists as they create a masterpiece right before their eyes. On June 21, Long Beach-based artist Anne Kupillas will demonstrate her impressive watercolor technique. Then, on July 5, Gobind Boyes will sweep attendees away with her beautiful seascape paintings. Each Meet the Artist event is open to the public and free to attend.

For more information about summer art events at Crystal Cove and to register for the Great Plein Air Art Experience, visit To learn more about the Crystal Cove State Park Historic District and the history of art at the Cove, join a free Historic District Walking Tour happening every fourth Saturday of the month. More information about upcoming Historic District Walking Tours can be found at

Credit: Crystal Cove Conservancy.

It’s Time for Summer Reading!

This comic-style joke book is perfect for pet lovers, grandkids, and anyone with a sense of humor

This first one is really fun especially if you are a pet lover! I read through it rather quickly and it definitely made me laugh! It’s an age-old debate that stands the test of time: cats or dogs? The rivalry between cat people and dog people is a tale as old as time, but with Cat Jokes vs. Dog Jokes: A Read-From-Both-Sides Comic Book(Workman Publishing; on-sale June 20; $9.99 paperback; ages 7-11) no one has to choose because in this unique double-sided tête-bêche format, the reader can flip the book over to read jokes from both perspectives!

Start from the beginning as a cat person, reading dog jokes told by a recurring cast of cats — What do you call two dogs talking side by side? Parallel barking! But flip the book over, and it becomes a roast of cats by dog comedians — Why are cats bad with computers? Because they keep eating the mouse!

Fully illustrated with more than 200 jokes, this silly animal book will have kids giggling, whether they’re reading it on road trips, visits to grandma’s house, or even before bed. Cat Jokes vs. Dog Jokes is perfect for every young reader, avid and reluctant alike! You can find it here.

MEET THE MEGAFAUNA by Gabrielle Balkan

Is your child a dinosaur fan?  This one is a must-read! MEET THE MEGAFAUNA!: Get to Know 20 of the Largest Animals to Ever Roam the Earth (Workman Publishing; June 27, 2023; $24.99 hardback; ages 7+) by Gabrielle Balkan and illustrated by Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huỳnh Kim Liê. Interactive and highly visual, it’s filled with 20 supersized animals that once soared the skies, ruled the oceans and prowled the Earth. Gorgeously illustrated with incredible detail, there are 10 fold-out gatefolds that give kids a sense of the enormous size of this mostly extinct class of animals. From a 50-foot-long giant snake that could drown a crocodile to a 20-foot-long giant sloth that could uproot a tree, other new favorite animals found roaming the pages include:

The Giant Turtle (65 million years ago), who grew to be 15 feet long by eating jellyfish and seaweed.

●        The Giant Shark (3.6 million years ago), who used their 7-inch-long teeth to eat 2,500 pounds of meat a day.

●        The Terror Bird (1.8 million years ago), a 7-foot-tall, 330-pound predator that pursued prey at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

●        Plus megafauna still alive today, like the Blue Whale, the largest animal to ever live, who is born weighing a whopping 6,000 pounds and grows to 400,000 pounds.

It can also be found here.

I love these next ones for little ones! Scared Unicorn and Angry Unicorn are baby books for ages 0-3, with simple, repetitive language – we hope it helps babies develop social emotional skills! Additionally, babies can develop motor skills with the lift-the-flap feature. I am under the impression that mot preschool ages children love unicorns! These are sure to be a hit! Both can be found on

Evie, The Small Garden: New Book Highlights the Importance of Nature for Children’s Development in the Age of Gadget Addiction

Written by Giovanna Cicero, “Evie: The Small Garden” highlights how children’s exposure to nature can encourage empathy, creativity, and a deep appreciation and respect for the natural world. With beautiful illustrations, the book will help children engage in physical activity, and imaginative play.

Evie is a curious two-year-old who loves her garden. As she walks around it, she describes all the different things she can see, from an apple tree to the garden mirror. The fun and joy she feels from nature and her surroundings will inspire other children to look, learn, and share her delight in their everyday lives.

“I hope that this book will encourage young children to enjoy and explore their own gardens or outdoor space to create an understanding and recognition of the flowers, plants, and fruit they can see growing,”  explains the author. “It’s especially important right now that children of all ages come to know the importance of looking after our environment, and this can be achieved if they have fun learning about nature and can delight in becoming aware of their surroundings.” I recommend this book to all parents and young children! Evie: The Small Garden is available on Amazon UK:

Kids, Crafts, & Pets Unite for a Mess-Free Activity! Paint by Sticker Kids: Pets by Workman Publishing

Kids, arts and crafts, and pets all have one thing in common: they can get messy. No worries—The blockbuster series PAINT BY STICKER has found a way to combine all three in an easy, mess-free activity! The series welcomes a new addition to the family, Paint by Sticker Kids: Pets (Workman Publishing; on sale June 6, 2023; ages 5-9; $10.99)

Each Paint By Sticker Kids title presents a kid friendly topic. Pets features 10 images to paint of your favorite pets: a puppy, a kitten, parakeets, chickens, a bunny, a betta fish, a gecko, a hamster, a chinchilla, and tree frogs. Painting with stickers creates a perfect opportunity for young readers to engage their creativity at home, at school, or on the go! Using stickers to bring the image to life, this is the perfect any-time activity to keep kids busy. Now kids can spend time with their favorite pet and make art, without the mess! Since I love art and pets I absolutely loved this one! You can also find it here.

This is a fun one!

#1 NYT Bestselling Author Asks Kids “Would You Want A Dinosaur At Your Birthday?”

From #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the How To Catch series, including How to Catch a Leprechaun and How to Catch the Tooth Fairy, comes an exploration into A Very Dinosaur Birthday [Tommy Nelson, an imprint of HarperCollins / June 20, 2023 / $12.99] by Adam Wallace.  I loved this one because it is silly and little children love silly and also dinosaurs! Children will be rolling in giggles as they watch dinosaurs gobble up cake and pizza, jump into the swimming pool and crash into all the presents. This book even includes fun ideas for parents and kids to host their own Very Dinosaur Birthday Party with themed invitations, decorations, snack ideas and activities. Now, how cool is that?! You can definitely find this one on

The next three books are great for babies and toddlers! I love this series of books and am quite excited about the new additions!

 HEAR THE SOUNDS (June 6, 2023; Ages 0+; $5.99) and PLAY IN ANY WEATHER (June 6, 2023; Ages 0+; $5.99), teaching babies key vocabulary words in high color, high contrast format, and BEBÉ, ¡VE LOS COLORES! / BABY, SEE THE COLORS! (June 6, 2023; Ages 0+; $5.99), introducing babies to English and Spanish through the colors around them.

Indestructibles are dedicated to expanding baby’s world through high contrast color, with vibrant colors against a black and white patterned background, these patterned books help babies focus and stimulate their vision, to develop baby’s love of reading along with their eyesight. HEAR THE SOUNDS encourages little ones to hone their listening skills! Babies will learn how to identify their favorite sounds in their everyday environment, ranging from birds chirping, water dripping, to toys rattling.

 PLAY IN ANY WEATHER invites babies to step outside and get to know the weather. This book includes vibrant, high contrast illustrations of different kinds of weather conditions alongside simple phrases to help babies describe their experiences with the outdoors. I think this is one of my favorites!

BEBÉ, ¡VE LOS COLORES! / BABY, SEE THE COLORS! teaches little ones about the colorful world around them in both English and Spanish. Babies will learn to recognize colors in their environment, such as the blue sky, all while discovering the Spanish translation of these same concepts. And as always, all three books are indestructible: mess-proof, rip-proof, and fool-proof. Babies will love these beautiful, bright, and interactive new installments in the bestselling series – and caregivers will love reading along with books built for the way babies “read”: with their hands and mouths. Printed on a unique paperlike material that is nontoxic, washable, and rip proof, they hold up against anything little ones can throw at them, spill on them, or drag them through. You can find them here.

Dance with Amy Wu

The Amy Wu Picture Book series continues with a social–emotional learning story perfect for little ones with AMY WU AND THE RIBBON DANCE (On Sale 5/30/23). When Amy’s dream of ribbon dancing doesn’t turn out the way she planned, she learns that joy doesn’t come from the things you have (or don’t have), but from the people who fill your life.

This picture book is perfect for AAPI Month and Summer Activities with playful, bright illustrations that capture a story about creativity. With step-by-step craft instructions on how to make a homemade dance ribbon included at the back of the book, every reader will be inspired to host their very own ribbon dance party!


When Amy Wu learns about Chinese ribbon dancing, she can’t wait to try it out herself in this charming and brightly illustrated fourth installment in the Amy Wu picture book series.

Amy Wu loves to move. From wriggling to shimmying to toe-tapping, she just can’t keep still, not when there’s music all around her! So when Amy sees Chinese ribbon dancing for the first time, she has to try it out. Only, how can she throw the perfect dance party when she doesn’t have the perfect ribbon for her dance?

A special story from Mom may be just the thing to get Amy moving to the music again. I found this one to be a delightful book with beautiful illustrations! You can find it here.

This next one is a good one for those going into their last year of high school this year (or they just graduated!)

The Advice Book Every High School Senior Needs Right Now

High school teaches you how to determine the area of a room, but not how to navigate the people and personalities you will find in that room. In school, you are exposed to the cataclysmic events of history, but rarely the life struggles you’re bound to experience.

Introducing Everything We Should Have Taught You in High School, But Never Did: The Graduation Gift of Life’s Most Important Lessons by Dr. Richard Gary Shear [ISBN: 979-8987944905; $12.95; April 2023], a new book from an award-winning educator who shares more than 70 lessons that have led a generation of students to become leaders, achieve personal happiness, and live life filled with joy.

Everything We Should Have Taught You in High School, But Never Did is a must-read for new graduates as well as people of all ages, revealing important life insights, such as:

  • Learning the Two Secrets to Success
  • How to Create the Rules of Life So You Win
  • What Happy People Have in Common
  • The Importance of Self Kindness
  • How to Keep Your Dreams Alive
  • A Guide on How to Find the Right Answers
  • The Superpower of a Positive Attitude and Temperament and much more!

It can also be found on

Happy Reading! Stay tuned for the next Summer Reading post in July!

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

Searching for a delicious, kid-approved summertime staple?

Look no further! Jovial, the leading gluten-free pasta brand, has introduced a nutritious twist on an American classic – Mac & Cheese.

Crafted using time-honored Italian pasta-making techniques, Jovial’s Mac & Cheese offers a unique, al denté texture and authentic Italian touch that kids and adults alike will love. The two flavors – White Cheddar and Dairy-Free Vegan Mac – are glyphosate residue-free due to Project Detox Certification. These delightful dishes are now available on, with an exclusive 15% discount on a case (12 boxes) of either SKU. From July, find them at Whole Foods.

I had the opportunity to try it and was impressed with the freshness! I will definitely be buying this over the summer!

Check out Jovial’s website here  

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

Sherwin, June 22 Pet of the Week

Sherwin is a 6-year-old little fellow. Shelter staff and volunteers call him small but mighty! Sherwin came to us in mid-May as a stray, and he’s so unusual looking as well as charming that no one can figure out why he’s still here! He has a huge personality for such a little guy, always charming anyone walking by his kennel by happily bouncing around and asking for pets. His adorable facial markings—one little eyebrow and one huge one—make Sherwin look as if he got out of hand with the eyebrow pencil! Come meet Sherwin! Shelter hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 7700 E. Spring St. at the entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for shelter visitors). You can email to speed the process for adopting or fostering Sherwin. Ask for ID#A69853).

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Yay! It’s Time for the Summer Baby Round-up!

Summertime is finally here! Here are some of my favorites for the season!

goSili silicone bowl with lid is perfect, especially for Summer Travel!

The GoSili Silicone Bowl with Lid is a versatile and fun option for food storage and snacking on-the-go. It can go from baby’s first foods to the office breakroom! This silicone bowl and lid set is 100% plastic-free and seals airtight, keeping food fresh for longer. Simply press the middle of the lid to push out any excess air that can spoil food faster. When you or your little one are ready to eat, pop the lid off and use it as a plate. As silicone is so resistant to extreme temperatures, you can safely use your SiliBowl in the dishwasher, microwave, freezer, with hot items, with cold items – you name it! No need to worry about melting, breaking, or warping. The SiliBowl with Lid is made with 100% European-grade platinum silicone and features an embedded stainless-steel ring which helps provide stability. Silicone is safe for you and your family and does not contain harsh chemicals that can leach toxic materials into your food. Silicone is incredibly durable, yet soft, which means no need to worry about dents if dropped or thrown (by your kid of course!)! Only use the best for you and your family!

Made with 100% European-grade, platinum silicone:

· Silicone lid creates an airtight suction to help keep food fresh – and doubles as a plate!

· Soft, nontoxic, eco-friendly (because we only get one planet Earth!)

· Virtually indestructible and dent proof – perfect for kids!

· Perfect for storing baby food, sauces, herbs, leftovers and more!

· Dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe, wash by hand or boil to sterilize

· Includes one 8 oz silicone bowl and lid.

You can buy it here.

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I just love this next one! It’s one I have never featured before so I am so excited to share their info with you! My Little Zone’s crib sheets are simply the cutest crib sheets!

Yes! Those are sloths!

Amusing and lovely sloths will make your sweet little pumpkin smile. No doubts you will be smiling back. With these fitted sheets the first dreams of your baby will be gentle and calm as a fairytale come true.  Polyester-free, the fitted sheets are made of 100% cotton. The heat will not be trapped and baby’s temperature will be adjusted. This allows the baby’s sleep to have a natural flow without uncomfortable distractions.  You can rest assured while your little one enjoys a secure, comfy, and uninterrupted sleep. The baby will sleep in a cozy French design on comfortable fitted sheets.

This pack consists of 2 high-quality breathable and absorbent cotton fitted crib sheets made specially for the baby’s comfortable and deep sleep.  The fitted crib sheets meet all US CPSC standards. The elastic ensures a safe and secure fit.  The sheets are entirely suitable for the cribs and toddler mattresses measuring 52″ x 28″ and have an 8″ deep pocket.  They wash well and won’t lose their quality and softness.  The fabrics are 100 % and anti-allergic.

These sheets make great gifts for baby showers, birthdays, or holidays.

Brought to you with sincere care and dedication,  My Little Zone was founded by mom Bige Ulusoy.  My Little Zone’s goal is to bring joy to babies, and parents around the world with their unique design of high quality baby bedding sets and nursery accessories.  My Little Zone collection items are selected exclusively with much thought to be functional items and essentials while giving your nursery a dreamy look.  Designed in France, the collection combines adorable muted shades of blues, greens, grays, taupes and browns.  Creative, fun, playful lines and natural materials define the essence of My Little Zone’s design.   The My Little Zone collection includes storage bins, change pad covers, fitted sheets, playmats and a 6 piece bedding set.  For more information visit

website here:

But you can also purchase on

Bamboo Hooded Towels are a must for Baby!

sooo cute!

Wrap your baby up in comfort after bath time with these incredibly luxe towels made from premium bamboo. Ultra absorbent and made for sensitive skin, KeaBabies Bamboo Hooded Towels keep baby snuggly and warm. 

Not just for bath time, the cuddly hooded towel can also be taken to the pool, beach, and more! Pair it with KeaBabies Premium Bamboo Washcloths for the sweetest bath experience for your little one. In addition to the Bear and Lamb, the newest animals to be added to the line are Fox, Grizzly, Owl, Elephant, Polar Bear, Seal, Cat, Dog, Penguin, as well as KeaStory and Rainbow. 

KeaBabies Bamboo Hooded Towels can be found on as well as on

Traveling this summer? This next one is a must-buy! It’s really cute too!

Love the size of this one!

Ready for anything and all-the-things, our Inter-Mix Organizer & Storage Caddy keeps everything in its place and at the ready wherever it goes. Whether storing baby gear in the nursery, toys or snacks in the car, or travel essentials within a larger bag, the oversize, well-pocketed Storage Caddy makes organization simple. (MSRP $99) I keep this one in my trunk all the time!

Keep cool with a 3 Speed Buggy Fan from BuggyGear.  It’s a powerful, multi-functional, hand-held fan with a charge that lasts up to six hours. Easily attaches around strollers, backpacks, car seats, beach chairs, wheel chairs, and bike handles. There’s also a handy built-in flashlight and USB charging port for your mobile phone or iPad. This one will definitely help you and your little one keep cool this Summer! Find it on Amazon. ($34.95)

Have a Happy Summer!

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

An Unparalleled & Thrilling Live Arena Experience Jurassic World Live Tour Roars Into SoCal For The First Time Ever This Summer!

**Playing the LA & OC Area from July 14–23, 2023**

Jurassic World Live Tour, an exhilarating and unpredictable live, family entertainment experience that brings the wonder and thrills of Jurassic World to generations of fans, will be roaring into Southern California for the first time ever this summer playing Honda Center in Anaheim from July 14–16 followed by Arena in Downtown LA from July 21–23, 2023.

With unrivaled arena production quality, Jurassic World comes to life against a backdrop of captivating scenery where dinosaurs from the iconic franchise, including fan-favorite Velociraptor Blue and a Tyrannosaurus rex more than 40 feet in length, take center stage.  The production features more than 24 film-accurate, life-sized dinosaurs, with scale, speed and ferocity, operated by animatronics and performers.  Fans of the popular Netflix animated series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous will also recognize Bumpy, the friendly and food motivated dinosaur, as she goes from baby to adult fairly quickly.

Jurassic World’s unmistakable score combined with projection and practical scenery transforms the arena into the dense jungles of Isla Nublar, where real Gyrospheres roll through the valley and scientists work to unravel a corrupt plan and save a new dinosaur from a terrible fate.  With pulse-pounding stunts and an original, authentic storyline, Jurassic World Live Tour is guaranteed to make memories that will last another 65 million years.

Guests will be able to start the adventure early with a special Pre-show Experience included with all ticket purchases.  By arriving one hour before showtime, audience members can see their favorite Jurassic World dinosaurs and vehicles up close and personal, including fun photo opps with Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Baby Bumpy, and the iconic Jurassic World Jeep and Gyrosphere.

Check out the Jurassic World Live Tour show video content:

Jurassic World Live Tour: An Extended Look video

Jurassic World Live Tour Trailer #1     Jurassic World Live Tour Trailer #2


WHEN:            Friday, July 14                         7:00 PM

                        Saturday, July 15                     11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

                        Sunday, July 16                       11:00 AM & 3:00 PM

WHERE:           Honda Center – 2695 E. Katella Ave. Anaheim, CA 92806

TICKETS:          Family friendly ticket pricing available – tickets can be purchased online at or in-person at the venue box office.

*Ticket pricing is subject to change based on market demand.

L O S   A N G E L E S

WHEN:             Friday, July 21                         7:00 PM

                        Saturday, July 22                     11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

                        Sunday, July 23                       11:00 AM & 3:00 PM

WHERE:  Arena – 1111 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90015

TICKETS:          Family friendly ticket pricing available – tickets can be purchased online at or in-person at the venue box office.

*Ticket pricing is subject to change based on market demand.

Credit: Feld Entertainment.

Elemental * An Uplifting Message And Visually Captivating Animation

Disney and Pixar’s “Elemental” is an all-new, original feature film set in Element City, where Fire, Water, Earth and Air residents live together. The story introduces Ember, a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in. The voice cast includes Leah Lewis as the fiery Ember; Mamoudou Athie as the water-guy Wade; Ronnie del Carmen as Ember’s soon-to-be retired dad, Bernie; Shila Ommi as Ember’s love-seeking mom, Cinder; Wendi McLendon-Covey as Wade’s stormy and Air-Ball-loving boss, Gale; Catherine O’Hara as Wade’s welcoming mom, Brook; Mason Wertheimer as Ember’s admiring neighbor, Clod; and Joe Pera as an overgrown city bureaucrat, Fern.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Sydney S. comments, “I absolutely love the movie Elemental! It shares an uplifting message that’s perfect for the younger generation. The animation is visually captivating, too. The whole concept and plot of the film (and the forbidden love story) is very clever and well-written.” Kendall B. adds, “Elemental has so many wonderful ‘elements,’ such as its detailed animation, playful voice-acting, and hilarious lines.” Emma D. wraps it up with, “Elemental is a beautiful animated film that fills the screen with color and excitement and is a great viewing experience for audiences of all ages. The animation is definitely the highlight of the film; the plot leaves a little to be desired.” See their full reviews below.


By Sydney S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I absolutely love the movie Elemental! It shares an uplifting message that’s perfect for the younger generation. The animation is visually captivating, too. The whole concept and plot of the film (and the forbidden love story) is very clever and well-written.

The film takes us on the journey of a girl from the fire side of Element City meeting a guy from the water side. They try their best to solve a serious problem without conversing much. Who knows what happens when fire and water mix?

The main characters are Ember Lumen (Leah Lewis), Wade (Mamoudou Athie), Gale Cumulus (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Cinder (Sheila Vosough), Bernie (Ronnie del Carmen), Brook Ripple (Catherine O’Hara) and Alan Ripple (Matthew Yang King). The fire people usually stay away from all the other elements, so when Wade starts conversing with Ember, her parents don’t approve. Wade could extinguish Ember, and Ember could make Wade evaporate. All in all, it’s not a good mix. The concept of water and fire mixing is so clever and I applaud Pixar / Disney for this new idea. It represents everyone’s differences and the idea that each element is special. Also, Ember learns to control her anger issues, which is a lesson many people can learn from. This movie appeals to me visually as well as emotionally. The animation is incredible and it looks realistic even for being animated. Element City is beautiful and looks like a futuristic city. I felt like I was in the city with them while watching it. There’s a drastic change between the city and Ember’s hometown solely for fire people. I like the sets and how they relate to the elements. For instance, Wade’s house is mostly underwater, while other elements in the city live in trees. My favorite part of the film is when Wade starts the wave at the air basketball game they’re watching. All the water residents turn into an actual wave! All these pieces come together to make the movie entertaining, emotional, funny and captivating.

The film’s message is to follow your dreams and ignite your passions. It encourages others to do what they want to do with their life, rather than doing what other people ask them to do. In other words, be true to yourself. It also celebrates everyone’s differences.

I give Elemental 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. It releases in theaters June 16, 2023 and is expected to start streaming on Disney+ shortly thereafter.


By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Elemental has so many wonderful ‘elements,’ such as its detailed animation, playful voice-acting, and hilarious lines.

The storyline is about Ember (Leah Lewis), a girl who has lived in Firetown in Element City her entire life and dreams of one day taking over the family shop, run by her father (Ronnie Del Carmen). When a city inspector, Wade (Mamoudou Athie) bursts through the pipes under the shop he notices many violations in the shop and threatens to send notes of these violations to the city. Ember chases him throughout the city to get the notes back but it’s too late. After hearing her story he decides to help her, and the two eventually develop a bond. But can fire and water ever be together?

The best thing about this film is the intricate detail put into every bit of animation. The city has so many different parts and the animation provides a look into every nook and cranny. Also, there are many element-related puns in every scene. This attention to detail and creativity is seen everywhere, but I particularly noticed it in the scene where Wade and Ember go to an air ball playoff game. From the team names to the game itself everything is so well crafted. Leah Lewis has so much emotion as Ember and her personality really shines throughout the film. The chemistry between Wade and Ember is remarkable for an animated film. We only hear their voices but the two voice-actors work so well together. My favorite part of Elemental is the scene where Ember and Wade try to touch for the first time. They don’t exactly know what is going to happen since they are fire and water so the audience is left in anticipation.

The theme of Elemental is that differences shouldn’t separate people, and you should not judge somebody because of theirs. Throughout the film grudges are held against Ember due to her being from Firetown. Water and fire are not allowed to be together, but the love Wade and Ember share overcomes the differences that were supposed to keep them apart.

I give Elemental 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 plus adults. It releases in theatres June 16, 2023.


Emma D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Elemental is a beautiful animated film that fills the screen with color and excitement and is a great viewing experience for audiences of all ages. The animation is definitely the highlight of the film; the plot leaves a little to be desired.

Elemental tells the story of Ember Lumen (Leah Lewis), a fire element who lives in the Element City, where water, land, fire and air residents live together.  Ember lives in the fire neighborhood and hopes to take over her dad’s fire shop, but her anger issues and inability to control her temper is standing in her way. One day, Ember meets Wade (Mamoudou Athie), a water element who tries to shut down her dad’s business. After convincing Wade by explaining what the business means to her family, Wade tries to help her; only it’s too late since the paperwork has already been sent to his boss. Wade and Ember must work together to save her dad’s business, and along the way, they discover more than they ever knew was possible.

Elemental is a beautiful film to watch. The animated creation of Elemental is incredible; every scene is filled with vibrant colors. I love all the elements that they incorporate into the city’s design, especially with the multi-cultural neighborhoods like those that you would find in an actual city. The character animation is also great, especially with Ember; it is fascinating to see her flames become brighter and change shape depending on the weather. My favorite scene of the movie is the one underwater, as those visuals are the best in the film. However, the plot leaves a little to be desired. There are a lot of conflicts that are fixed quickly, so none of them feel that significant. Although I love Wade and Ember together, it is a little confusing since it is shown multiple times that water and fire shouldn’t touch, so it feels counterintuitive to what is being stated in the film. Gale Cumulus (Wendi McLendon-Covey) is very funny and I loved watching her and wanted more. Also, Clod (Mason Wertheimer) is absolutely adorable; it was nice watching other elements to see how they operate, not just fire and water. My favorite relationship in the film is between Ember and her father (Ronnie del Carmen) — it was heartwarming to see the respect the two have for each other and the love they share.

Elemental conveys the message of family, respect and loving others. It also has underlying messages of not discriminating against others, which is important in a world where some people are not always treated fairly.

I give Elemental 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. It releases in theaters on June 16, 2023.