National Burrito Day: $5 Rubio’s Burrito Deal!

Don’t miss this great deal!

All Burritos $5 at Rubio’s on National Burrito Day

Head to Rubio’s Coastal Grill on Thursday, April 4, 2019, when every burrito is just $5, with the purchase of a beverage, in celebration of National Burrito Day. Simply bring the coupon https://www.rubios.com/coupons/national-burrito-day-2019 to any of Rubio’s participating locations.

Rubio’s Coastal Grill is encouraging eating seafood twice a week to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, based on the American Heart Association’s recommendation. Rubio’s uses responsibly sourced seafood, and features bold, unique flavors in dishes ranging from the Cilantro Lime Quinoa Bowl with Grilled Mahi Mahi to the Ancho Citrus Grilled Shrimp Burrito and Grilled Wild Alaska Salmon Tacos. For more information about Rubio’s Coastal Grill and to view the menu, visit https://www.rubios.com/.

I know where I will be on Thursday! I love the Ancho Citrus Grilled Shrimp burrito!

 Photo Credit: Rubio’s Coastal Grill.

Dumbo – One of the Most Beautiful Films I Have Ever Seen!

From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the all-new grand live-action adventure Dumbo expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “This film is absolutely amazing – a bit dark, but beautiful and the visual effects are very good… This is the perfect tale for the imagination of the great director Tim Burton. Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer adds, “Director Tim Burton’s mind truly is a circus – a beautiful, colorful, vivid and artistic mind. While he adds his dark macabre to this classic Disney tale, it is done in such a way to engage the viewer and bring another dimension to the film. Dumbo is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen…” Arjun N. has another take, “Despite Tim Burton’s flair, Dumbo shows promise, but ultimately fails to take flight. Still, the movie does boast apt direction and talented cast.” See their full reviews below.

Dumbo 

By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This film is absolutely amazing – a bit dark, but beautiful and the visual effects are very good. I was so excited to see this film because Dumbo is such a classic and I really wanted to see it not in animation form. It is a story about outsiders and the beauty in the strange. This is the perfect tale for the imagination of the great director Tim Burton.

The story is about a circus elephant who is a baby. His name is Jumbo but later he is renamed Dumbo. He was born with big ears and people around him think he is weird and worthless. In this environment with lots of extraordinary people, this peculiar elephant shouldn’t be so strange, but people make fun of him and are actually cruel. His protective mother who works in the circus gets really mad and is sent far away for misbehaving. Dumbo is sad because he is separated from his mom. The kids in the circus, Milly and Joe, don’t have a mother either. They are the sons of Holt (Collin Farrell) who returns from war to work at the circus. The kids feel empathy for the baby elephant and try to comfort him. They come up with a way to get Dumbo involved in the circus after they discover he can fly. They think if they make enough money they can buy her mom back and the elephants can be reunited. The flying baby elephant becomes the circus’ main attraction and the owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) receives a tempting offer. The family circus becomes part of a huge amusement park, but they are losing all that kept them united.

The story develops a little bit slowly at the beginning. I definitively love the scenes with Dumbo flying and the scenarios and costumes are gorgeous, but overall it is not as emotional as I expected. The cast is amazing, but the kids don’t deliver as much sentiment as the story requires and they play a key role. Eva Green is charming and believable. Her character Collette Marchant, the girl that “flies” is many the most intriguing one. Danny Elfman’s music creates an ideal atmosphere. 

This film has a very positive and powerful message – even if we are different, it doesn’t mean we should be treated differently, because that’s what makes us beautiful and makes us stand out from the ordinary. We have to accept people the way they are. I give this film 4.5 out of five stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12 and adults as well. Dumbo opens in theaters March 29, 2019.

Dumbo

By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Director Tim Burton’s mind truly is a circus – a beautiful, colorful, vivid and artistic mind. While he adds his dark macabre to this classic Disney tale, it is done in such a way to engage the viewer and bring another dimension to the film. Dumbo is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen thousands of films. What’s impossible is possible when you believe. I believe in Dumbo.

When I heard Disney was creating a live-action version of their classic animated film Dumbo, I was skeptical as Dumbo is one of my childhood favorites. The live-action film I screened brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. It is so BEAUTIFUL –  the colors come alive in every frame, from the costumes to the imagery. Dumbo is so loveable, believable and beautiful. His eyes captivate you from the first time you see the baby to his final frame. For the only character in the film who doesn’t speak, you hear his journey of love and pain purely.

Dumbo plays homage to a Mother’s love and a quest of survival for motherless children – human and animal. It is so beautifully cast from our hero Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell), to his amazing, innocent children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins), to the nefarious V. A. Vandevere (evilly played by Michael Keaton) and the con-man we come to love, Max Medici (Danny DeVito). In my eyes, the children and Dumbo are the stars of the show. V.A. Vandevere teaches the audience a lesson in greed and Max Medici showcases his desire to make a buck with true transparency! This traveling circus offers many journeys for the cast and audience.

As a true Disney fan, I see the essence of many iconic Disney places and films. The balloons remind me of UP. The pink elephants remind me of Fantasia. Dreamland, a fictionist theme park made me think of Disneyland (I mean, DL…) – and all the theme parks at Walt Disney World and the merch! Plenty of merch to sell at Dumbo’s circus tent. The sublime imagery is seen throughout the film.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. Warning: there are some scary parts (Nightmare Island in Vandevere’s Dreamland theme park, hallucinogenic pink elephants and a SNAKE – not my favorite creature). The casting is great. The costumes are authentic and the music will move you. Danny Elfman is the master of music in film! Could this be another Oscar nomination? Pay attention to a new twist on the classic song “Baby Mine.” You won’t believe who sings this classic song!

Bring your tissues! This film opens in theaters nationwide March 29, 2019.

Dumbo

By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Despite Tim Burton’s flair, Dumbo shows promise, but ultimately fails to take flight. Still, the movie does boast apt direction and talented cast. Any Disney fan may want to check this out, but proceed with low expectations.

The story expands upon the beloved classic story as Dumbo, a newborn elephant with oversized ears, becomes a star. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) to caretake the young one. Dumbo quickly becomes the laughing stock. But, once Holt’s kids discover he can fly using his ears, Dumbo soon becomes the superstar of the circus and gains the attention of beguiling tycoon V.A. Vandevere with his Dreamworld amusement park. Vandevere’s schemes are not what they seem as he wants to monopolize Dumbo and threaten the circus’s goodwill.

First off, Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins, as Milly and Joe Farrier, are absolutely fantastic in their first-ever roles. Nico shines with her scientific interests and discovering Dumbo’s flying capability. Whereas Finley nails his jockey attitude. Colin Farrell, as Holt Farrier, shines as their father who always means well for his kids and the safety of all. Sure, his Southern accent is quite jarring at first, but he grows into it. Danny DeVito, as Max Medici, is my favorite character as he has many scenes in the first half and is truly funny in every scene. It’s a shame that a lot of his screen time is axed by a meandering second half. Michael Keaton, as V.A. Vandevere, unfortunately falters with a comically over-the-top performance. While Keaton’s work is normally strong, here it just doesn’t mesh with the movie’s scenarios. Sure, at times, he sells the role of a tycoon well, but really his character always appears out of place.

Tim Burton aptly directs the movie, but the writing doesn’t do this visually spectacular experience any wonders. Every scene is well produced, but the movie’s pacing is all over the place. The special effects are also quite underwhelming at times. Some moments are impressive, but at times it comes across as artificial and unreal. The movie’s second half also meanders into some bizarre territory, primarily due to its unimpressive villain. In spite of this, Dumbo’s first flight scene is awe-inspiring, and is definitely my favorite scene.

The message of this film is that being different isn’t always bad. It can come to be a true talent. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 due to some intense scenes and mild language. The movie releases in theaters on March 29, 2019 so check it out.

Images © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Become Environmentally Friendly When You Paint!


The Buddha Board is a must-buy!

With Earth Day right around the corner – it’s time to demonstrate your support for protecting our environment. One easy way to stay environmentally friendly is paying attention to your daily activities so that you are re-using and recycling whatever you can, such as opting to reusable water bottles. But here is something you may not have known – you can conserve even when you paint or draw.

I love this product and the fact that you don’t need to use paper when you paint really impressed me when I tried out the Buddha Board! I may not be an artist but I enjoyed painting with this and it was relaxing to watch my paintings magically disappear. If youb paint lightly the painting will disappear more quickly!

The Buddha Board is a mess-free temporary painting board that is environmentally friendly, and requires no ink, no paint, and no chemicals. Simply add water to your brush and paint on the surface – and your creation will come to life in bold design. As the water slowly evaporates, your art magically disappears leaving you with a brand new canvas each time and endless creative options.
Doodling with Buddha Board will help reduce your stress. Journal of the American Art Therapy Association reports that people who doodle or perform any free-form art end up with much reduced Cortisol – or stress hormones. Now, how cool is that?! It’s also great for children! One thing I really like about the Buddha Board is that it is great for all ages!

Buddha Board comes in three different forms: The original Buddha Board, 5” Mini Buddha Board, and the Enso – the enhanced version of the Mini Board. All versions are extremely portable and come with a water tray and brush. Pictured above is the original Buddha Board.

It retails for $14.95-34.95 and is available with various sellers including Amazon.

Find out more here!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Top image was also provided. No other compensation was received to post.

Bubba, March 28th Pet of the Week!

Bubba is lubbable, huggable, and sometimes just plain silly and goofy! He likes to roll around on the grass and chase madly after a tennis ball. Bringing it back is quite another story—you’ll have to teach him that! It’s Pick a Pitty Week at the shelter, and you can pick your own adoption fee, but we think Bubba’s priceless! Meet him at the P. D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A559488.

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village.

Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase – Timeless and Entertaining

A bit of an outsider struggling to fit into her new surroundings, Nancy and her pals set out to solve a mystery, make new friends, and establish their place in the community. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “Now, it’s no secret that Nancy Drew is timeless. The books were first written in 1930 and they have been inspiring women ever since. I believe Nancy Drew is timeless and we all need a little girl power!” See her full review below.

Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

This movie is very entertaining which is why we go to the movies. Even though I have no nostalgic attachment to the Nancy Drew books, I really enjoyed this film.

The story is about Nancy Drew who has just moved to a small town called River Heights. She meets an elder woman named Flora who claims her house is haunted. Nancy decides to investigate with the help of her friends, George and Bess, and Flora’s “mean girl” niece, Helen. My biggest issue with this movie is the mystery. I understand that this movie is aimed at younger kids, yet I feel the mystery is too easy to solve. However, that is my only major problem with this film. Plus, I didn’t mind this that much, since even though the mystery is obvious, I mostly let it slide as I enjoyed the characters so much.

One thing I really like about this film is the typical mean girl character, Helen. At first it seems like Helen is just a stereotypical popular girl. Instead, she’s only mean for a little bit of the movie. Halfway in she actually goes through a character arc. I really like this as I honestly feel mean girl characters are so overdone at this point. So it is nice to see this character done differently. However, my favorite character is hands down Flora. She is a very funny and so memorable. Everyone needs to have an Aunt Flora in their life. Flora had some of the best lines in the movie.

I really like the cast of this film. Sophia Lillis as Nancy Drew is fantastic. She is very engaging and I hope to see more of her in the future. Linda Lavin as Flora is amazing. She brings so much charisma and humor to every scene she is in. Zoe Renee as George and Mackenzie Graham as Bess are also pretty good supporting characters. I wish they were in the movie more.

Now, it’s no secret that Nancy Drew is timeless. The books were first written in 1930 by Carolyn Keene and they have been inspiring women ever since. I believe Nancy Drew is timeless and we all need a little girl power!

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. This film comes out on March 15, 2019 so look for it.

Photos ©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Books of the Week

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. would like to introduce Mega Awesome Notebook by Kevin Minor.

This book is fun and I think tweens and teenagers will love this one!

Late for school, a young cartoonist accidentally microwaves his notebook while trying to heat his breakfast. This releases a radioactive cloud of awesomeness that makes the drawings in his notebook come to life. Now he has to make it through a typical teenage day of schoolwork, bullies, and general awkwardness while trying to hold on to his sanity. Dud, a character he has drawn, becomes the boy’s nemesis as they spar on the page through algebra, English, and art classes. Can Dud help the boy face his real-life struggles—girl trouble, social awkwardness, and divorced parents who work a lot—rather than hide behind his notebook?

Find it here.

This one is a must-buy!

The Book of No Worries
ISBN: 9781912413997 | $12.95

An essential guide that covers a multitude of worries and anxieties that a young person may face while growing up – from peer pressure to puberty and all the worries in between.

This friendly and funny book aims to reassure tweens that their worries and fears are normal and offers practical tips for managing anxiety and stress. From problems at school to relationship woes, body image issues to troubles at home, all worries are recognized and case studies and questions from real-life anonymous readers offer positive tips and advice to help young people survive angst and stress that can bring them down. 

I really think that this one is a must-buy and it will be very insightful and helpful for children especially those ages 8+.

This one is a fun one to read! I love how interesting it is!

How to Think Like an Absolute Genius
ISBN: 9780711239852 | $15.95

Be curious! Be imaginative! Be determined! Develop your talents by drawing inspiration from the greatest of geniuses. In a world that changes quickly, the future belongs to those who have an open, flexible mind: like John Lennon, they will imagine the impossible; like Walt Disney, they will work as a team; and like Copernicus, they will be able to think backwards! If you’re worried you might not be up to the job, have no fear! This fascinating book will show you the way. Meet 27 geniuses from different eras and disciplines –  artists, scientists, thinkers or writers – and learn from their “creative methods”. Packed with facts, games and activity ideas to boost your intelligence, creative, inventive, and critical thinking skills, this book will show you that you can become absolutely awesome at whatever you put your mind to!

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

OC Parks Free Adventure Day Returns To Caspers Wilderness Park, 4/6

Celebrate a world of outdoor activities and discoveries at the return of Adventure Day at Caspers Wilderness Park in San Juan Capistrano.

The event on Saturday, April 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. invites guests to enjoy a day of adventure with wildlife-inspired games of skill, a scavenger hunt, wildlife exhibits, and more!

“We’re thrilled to welcome Adventure Day at Caspers Wilderness Park again this year,” said Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District. “People of all ages can interact and learn about their local parks while enjoying a free, fun-filled day of activities, exhibits, and food.”

Spend a fun-filled day under the sycamores at Caspers with a full schedule of guided hikes, games, storytelling, arts and crafts, face painting, and puppet shows. Families and friends of all ages can partake in numerous activities and learn about bugs, raptors, conservation, and Caspers Wilderness Park’s natural and cultural history.

Participants include Reserve of Mission Viejo, Sea and Sage Audubon Society, Search and Rescue, Caspers Park Foundation, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Inside the Outdoors and many more! Food will be available for purchase from food vendors, including Front Porch Pops.

Caspers Adventure Day admission is free, and adults and children of all ages are encouraged to attend and participate in the fun. Caspers Wilderness Park will be extending complimentary parking to all attendees for this special day. Let the adventures begin!

Caspers Adventure Day 2019

Date: Saturday, April 6

Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park

Address: 33401 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Website: http://www.ocparks.com/caspers

Cost: Free

Parking: Free

Public Contact: (949) 923-2210

Credit: OC Parks.

EXPLORE AND CELEBRATE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S COAST AT AQUARIUM’S URBAN OCEAN FESTIVAL, MARCH 30-31, 2019!Giveaway Opportunity!

The Aquarium of the Pacific will host its tenth annual Urban Ocean Festival on Saturday and Sunday, March 30-31, 2019. The Pacific waters off Southern California host an array of industrial and recreational activities and provide habitat for a diverse group of animals, from seabirds, harbor seals, and dolphins to migrating whales. Visitors to this festival can learn more about and celebrate our urban ocean. The festival will include an art exhibition, the Trashin’ Fashion Show and Contest for designs using recycled materials, mural painting, poetry readings, booths, and educational activities. The Urban Ocean Poetry Cruise will also be available during the weekend at an additional cost.

WHEN:          Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and 31, 2019, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

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

COST:            The festival is free to Aquarium members and included with general admission for the public. General admission: $29.95 adult (12+), $26.95 senior (62+), $17.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age three and Aquarium members. Additional cost for cruises. Poetry Cruise and Urban Ocean Cruises can be purchased in combination with Aquarium admission or à la carte.

INFO:                         (562) 590-3100 or http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/urban_ocean_festival/

We have teamed up for a giveaway! One reader will win a Family 4 Pack of tickets to either Saturday or Sunday! Leave a comment below telling us your favorite thing about the Aquarium! One winner will randomly be selected. Deadline to enter is March 28th, 2019 at noon PST.

Credit:

AQUARIUM: The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the new Tentacles and Ink and FROGS:  Dazzling & Disappearing exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational      programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. Field           trips for schoolchildren are offered at a heavily discounted rate from $7 to $8.50 per student. The Aquarium has won a 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for Aquariums, as awarded by TripAdvisor® travelers. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP           Entrance, and other special benefits.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific.