Archives for July 5, 2024

Aquarium announces new film about their seals and sea lions and the staff who care for them

Photo courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific invites the public to dive below the surface and get to know its seals and sea lions and the staff who care for them through its new film Love & Life Beyond the Glass. This is the first time in three years that the Aquarium debuts a new daily film for its visitors in its Honda Pacific Visions Theater, which features stadium seating and a massive, curved screen. In the new short film, created by filmmaker Chris Stanford, a dedicated team of animal care staff members from Aquarium of the Pacific find their hearts entwined with the playful spirits of the charming seals and sea lions who call the Aquarium home. As the film unfolds, these staff members and animals embark on a journey of mutual understanding, friendship, and, ultimately, a bond that transcends the boundaries of land and sea. As they watch the film, Aquarium visitors are invited to witness the extraordinary dance of love between humans and their marine companions, reminding us that love knows no bounds.  

As a nonprofit education and conservation organization, the Aquarium of the Pacific is committed to setting the standard in animal well-being and welfare to ensure its animals are healthy, happy, and thrive under their care. The Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), meeting or in many cases exceeding all standards.

WHEN:    The official public debut of the new film is July 3, 2024, and the film will be shown daily on an ongoing basis.

WHERE:    Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802


COST:        Included with general admission: $44.95 per adult (ages 12+), $29.95 per child (ages 3-11), $41.95 per senior (ages 62+), and free for Aquarium members and children under age three / Reservations required 

INFO:        (562) 590-3100 or 

AQUARIUM:      The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place dedicated to connecting people to and conserving nature. The Aquarium’s vision is to foster an inclusive community that works together to create our sustainable future. Home to more than 12,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include FROGS: Facing a Changing World, Southern California Gallery, Coral Reefs: Nature’s Underwater Cities, Pacific Visions, and Shark Lagoon. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, including First Wednesdays featuring a variety of guest speakers. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months and other special benefits. To make a donation to help support the Aquarium, please visit To visit, reservations are required for everyone and can be made at or by calling (562) 590-3100. The Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802.

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Addressing the Shortage: The Urgent Need for More Foster Carers

There is currently a severe shortage of foster carers in the UK, which is putting enormous strain on the foster care system and negatively impacting many vulnerable children. With the number of children entering care rising year on year, it is imperative that more people consider becoming foster carers to provide these children with the safe, nurturing environments they desperately need.

The Foster Carer Shortage

The most recent statistics show that there are over 75,000 children living in the foster care system across the UK. However, there are only about 55,000 approved foster families available to care for these children. This shortage means that many children are unable to be matched with an appropriate foster family that can meet their needs. Instead, they end up staying in temporary placements or even overnight shelters while they wait for a foster home.

The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the foster carer shortage. Lockdown restrictions made it harder for foster agencies to recruit new carers, while some existing carers had to step back from fostering if they were clinically vulnerable. There was also a drop in people coming forward to foster as job insecurity grew.

Consequences for Children

The shortage of foster carers is deeply concerning because inappropriate or unstable placements can be extremely damaging to vulnerable young people. Children who frequently move between placements often struggle at school, lack a sense of belonging, and can develop behavioural and attachment issues. Foster children need consistent, nurturing care from carers with whom they can build a trusting relationship.

Without enough suitable foster placements, children risk being placed far from their communities, separated from siblings, or put in shelters. These outcomes go against foster care principles and can retraumatize children who have already had difficult starts in life.

Urgent Appeal for More Foster Carers

With foster carer recruitment lagging behind the demand for placements, a massive drive is needed to encourage more people to consider fostering. Although caring for foster children is challenging, it is also incredibly rewarding. Foster carers have the opportunity to provide stability and support to young people who really need it.

Who Can Foster?

Many people mistakenly believe they cannot become foster carers. However, you do not need to be married, own your own home, or have children already. The most important qualities are patience, empathy, and the commitment to fostering a child.

The Application Process

The process to become an approved foster carer with a fostering agency like may seem daunting, but these agencies provide support every step of the way. The process involves checks, training, and interviews to ensure applicants have the qualities needed to foster. While thorough, the focus is on carefully assessing applicants’ strengths so more can be welcomed into fostering.

The foster carer shortage is negatively impacting thousands of vulnerable children in the UK. With more foster placements urgently needed, it is vital that misconceptions about who can foster are addressed and more people are encouraged to provide loving homes to children who desperately need them. Becoming a foster carer can be daunting but incredibly worthwhile – so if you have the right qualities, please consider this life-changing role.

Sweeten Summer with Simply Cakes and Cupcakes in Orange County, CA

Six piece fun assortment of cupcakes from Simply Cakes and Cupcakes. 

Simply Cakes and Cupcakes is thrilled to announce its line-up of delectable summer flavors and offerings, including exclusive collections tailored for graduations, birthdays, summer celebrations, family gatherings, and more. Located in the heart of Mission Viejo, this family-owned shop is sweetening-up summer with delicious cupcakes and cakes that are adorable to give as gifts and even more delicious to eat.

Kick-off the summer season with Simply Cakes and Cupcakes limited-edition flavors including White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake, Fruity Pebbles Cupcake, Ferrero Rocher Cupcake. Indulge in fan favorites like the zesty Lemon Drop, decadent French Raspberry, the popular Hostess, the mouth-watering Cookie Monster, or the Rainbow cupcake which is topped with Rainbow Candy to replicate the shape of an actual rainbow. From classic favorites to fresh summer delights, each cupcake is handcrafted with care and bursting with flavor, perfect for any occasion or sweet craving.

“Simply Cakes and Cupcakes is more than just a bakery; it’s a place where every creation is made with passion and precision,” says Chef and Founder Baturhan Corabatir. “We are here to make special moments even sweeter with our delicious, handcrafted treats.”

Founded in 2016 by Baturhan Corabatir, fondly known as Bart, Simply Cakes and Cupcakes has been a cherished staple in the South Orange County community for years. Bart and his team pride themselves on baking daily in small batches to ensure the highest quality and freshness, using only premium ingredients that shine through in every bite.

The storefront is open seven days a week, offering a delightful selection of over 24 different cupcakes daily. Customers can also grab small cakes ready for same day pick-up or delivery, making the experience seamless and enjoyable. Among the top sellers are the moist and flavorful vanilla and chocolate cakes, along with gluten-free and vegan options available by pre-order or daily for cupcakes. A special “Decorate Your Own Cake” class will kick off this July with more details to be announced soon. Individual cupcakes each come beautifully wrapped for $4.95 or in a box of 6 starting at $27.95. 

Families and sweet-tooth lovers that visit the shop during business hours will be met with multiple tables and chairs provided for ample seating, a kids area offering games and toys for entertainment, and a modern photo wall is perfect to capture those Instagrammable moments. With extraordinary custom cupcakes and cake orders, Simply Cakes and Cupcakes caters to all special occasions. 

Taste the difference that quality ingredients and a love for baking can make. Simply Cakes and Cupcakes is open Tuesday – Saturday from 7am – 5pm, Sundays 10am – 5m, and Mondays 9am – 5pm. The shop is located at 24002 Via Fabricante #401, Mission Viejo, CA 92691. For more information, to view the menu, or to place an order today visit and follow on Instagram at @simplycakesandcupcakes. 

Credit: Simply Cakes and Cupcakes.

 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and Pageant of the Masters Prepare to Impress, Opening July 3 and 6

Photo 1: Pageant of the Masters Costume Director Reagan Foy with cast member backstage working on the Pageant re-creation of a costume sketch of Grace Kelly for the 2024 production of “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion.” Photo credit: Ron Azevedo
Photo 2: Patrons looking at art at the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Photo credit: Christopher Bliss

Get ready for a summer filled with art, music, theater and more! The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach is gearing up for the much-anticipated openings of the 2024 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show on July 3, and the renowned Pageant of the Masters, themed “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion,” on July 6. Both iconic events run for only 8-weeks through August 30 and promise to deliver unforgettable experiences, blending creativity, culture, and community in the heart of Laguna Beach.

As one of Southern California’s most beloved summer attractions, the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, will run daily from July 3 to August 30, 2024. Over 100 local Orange County artists will exhibit their work this summer, with 21 making their Festival of Arts debut this year. The juried art show will feature a wide variety of media including paintings, photography, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, handcrafted wood and furniture, ceramics, glass and more. During its two-month summer season, the Festival of Arts also hosts daily live concerts sponsored by City of Hope Orange County and Yamaha. The Festival’s Art Center, sponsored by Bank of America, will be a buzz with creative energy with art classes for all ages Thursday through Sunday and free drop-in art workshops offered daily. For the full list of artists, special events, activities, and live music schedule visit

Starting on July 6, the curtain will rise on the 2024 Pageant of the Masters, themed “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion,” running nightly through August 30. Inspired by the grandiosity of modern fashion shows and the craftsmanship of historical designs, the 2024 Pageant will feature works by artists such as John Singer Sargent, Edouard Manet, and Thomas Gainsborough, as well as three-dimensional works such as a high heel by Alexander McQueen, brooches and pendants from early 1900’s jewelers, and various figurines by artist and designer Erté.

Set under the starry-night sky of Laguna Beach in the Irvine Bowl outdoor amphitheater, the Pageant of the Masters immerses audiences in a world of stunning tableaux vivants (living pictures) for ninety mesmerizing minutes. These incredibly faithful recreations of classical and contemporary works of art feature real people posing exactly like their counterparts in the original masterpieces. Accompanied by a professional orchestra, an original score, live narration, intricate sets, sophisticated lighting, hundreds of dedicated volunteers, and a few surprises, “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion” is a production not to be missed. Tickets are available at

The Festival and Pageant are proudly sponsored by Volvo Cars, City of Hope Orange County, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club, and KOST Radio 103.5. “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion” will grace the stage nightly from July 6 through August 30, 2024. A Pageant ticket also serves as a season pass to the 2024 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, taking place from July 3 to August 30, 2024 (closed July 4). To stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and Fine Arts Show visit or follow @FestivalPageant on social media.

Credit: Pageant of the Masters and Fine Arts Show.

 Enjoy Free Concerts and Movies with OC Parks this July

Concertgoers enjoy No Duh: The Ultimate Tribute to No Doubt at Mason Regional Park in 2023.

The County of Orange and OC Parks are excited to present the annual OC Parks Summer Concert Series and Sunset Cinema film series. Enjoy summer nights at your favorite regional parks with free concerts on Thursdays and movie screenings on Fridays in a family-friendly atmosphere. July concerts feature Flashback Heart Attack, A Thousand Horses and No Duh: The Ultimate Tribute to No Doubt. July films include Trolls Band Together, Barbie and National Treasure

All events include free entry and parking with food and beverages available for purchase. Sunset Cinema events offer free and exciting pre-movie entertainment for all ages and moviegoers are encouraged to dress according to the theme of each film. For more information about summer events visit


OC Parks Summer Concert Series July Dates

  • Thursdays, July 11, 18 and 25 from 5 – 8 p.m. 

OC Parks Sunset Cinema July Dates

  • Fridays, July 12, 19 and 26 from 6 –10 p.m. with movies beginning around sunset.


OC Parks Summer Concert Series

Mason Regional Park, 18712 University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612

Date: Thursday, July 11

Concert: Flashback Heart Attack with opener Tom Solis

Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869

Date: Thursday, July 18

Concert: A Thousand Horses with opener David Rosales & His Band of Scoundrels

Date: Thursday, July 25

Concert: No Duh: The Ultimate Tribute to No Doubt & Gwen Stefani with opener Cassie B. 

OC Parks Sunset Cinema Film Series 

Mason Regional Park, 18712 University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612

Date: Friday, July 12

Movie: Trolls Band Together (2023, PG)

Yorba Regional Park, 7600 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, CA 92807

Date: Friday, July 19

Movie: Barbie (2023, PG-13)

Date: Friday, July 26

Movie: National Treasure (2004, PG)

Credit: OC Parks.

Maguire, July 5 Pet of the Week


On June 23, Long Beach Animal Care Services began its yearly project of emptying the dog kennels for Foster the Fourth. Fireworks are illegal for private use in Long Beach, but nonetheless, people set them off, and dogs can get frightened and run in terror. Our shelter takes in a goodly number every July 4 season, and they need to make room for them. Maguire is one of them. He’s the only pet we can think of who had a VIP police escort to the shelter! A police officer found him wandering alone and took pity. Maguire is only 2 years old and is a shy, sweet fellow who looks as if he’s saying,”Pleeze, Ossifa, honest—I didn’t do it!” Or maybe it’s just “Please, someone take me home and keep me safe forever.” Submit your Foster Application before visiting the shelter and email to meet Maguire and any of our other fosterable doggies. Our shelter hours are Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 7700 E. Spring St. at the entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for shelter visitors). Ask for ID# A720471.