Los Angeles Summer Bucket List for August!

Summer hasn’t ended yet! There’s still time to go out and have fun! Hit the beach! Go to all the fun places such as the beach, the Aquarium of the Pacific, The California Science Center and I can go on! Here are a few more options:

  • Visit Adults Only Bar: Grab your friends and experience the best underground bars in downtown LA. Travel through time when you walk through the doors of this neighborhood hangout decorated with VHS tapes and popular movie posters. Just follow the pink neon sign.
  • Take an urban hike at Griffith Park: Home to Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park offers more than 50 miles of trails with amazing views of the Hollywood sign and access to Bronson Caves, a favorite filming location.
  • Get a fish taco (from the birthplace of fish tacos): Voted #1 Fish Tacos in California, enjoy the famous Original Fish Taco from Rubio’s Coastal Grill.

    Tip: Rubio’s is celebrating summer with TGIFF (Thank Goodness its Fish Friday!) deals – every Friday through August guests can get Rubio’s Original Fish Taco Two Taco Plate for $6 and any beer for $2.

I especially wouldn’t miss out on checking out Rubio’s! I love that place and their burritos are my favorite!

 Rubio’s® Restaurants, the brand known for its delicious coastal cuisine and popularizing the fish taco, is adding swordfish to its seasonal menu this summer. The grilled swordfish topped with Peruvian Aji Salsa will be available as a Two Taco Plate and a Bowl at participating locations beginning July 5, 2018. Guests can enjoy an endless summer of unique and delicious tacos because Rubio’s is also introducing the Baja Trio featuring two additional new tacos and an original favorite: Mango Shrimp Taco, Chicken and Fire-Roasted Corn Taco and Rubio’s famed Fish Taco Especial.

Rubio’s grilled swordfish features wild, hand-line caught swordfish grilled to perfection and topped with Peruvian Aji Chile Salsa—a blend of Aji peppers, shallots, cilantro, garlic and lime juice. The Two Taco Plate includes fresh Hass avocado slices, crisp cabbage, cilantro and onion, and Rubio’s signature white sauce on a new blue corn tortilla made with organic blue corn. In the bowl, the grilled swordfish with Peruvian Aji Chile Salsa is placed atop citrus rice and romaine lettuce with black beans, creamy avocado slices, red chiles, and drizzled with chipotle sauce.

We continuously develop recipes with a variety of fish because we want to give our guests the opportunity to experience seafood in new, exciting ways,” said Ralph Rubio, co-founder of Rubio’s Coastal Grill. “Swordfish pairs well with our chef-crafted Aji Chile Salsa inspired by the flavors of Peru. The aji chile is a Peruvian staple, similar to what the jalapeno is to Mexico, and we are excited to offer this unique flavor for our guests to enjoy all summer long.”

In addition to the Peruvian Aji Swordfish and Baja Trio dishes, Rubio’s is celebrating its famed Original Fish Taco® all summer long. Every Friday through August, guests can enjoy Rubio’s Original Fish Taco Two Taco Plate for just $6 and any beer for $2. Talk about TGIFF (Thank Goodness It’s Fish Friday)!

As part of the company’s “Made With a Mission”® commitment – to serve coastal food that not only tastes great, but that its guests can feel great about eating – Rubio’s is also introducing a new grilled veggies blend with cauliflower, poblano peppers, red bell peppers, fire-roasted corn and red onion marinated in garlic, lemon and sea salt. The new veggies blend will be available in Rubio’s Balsamic & Grilled Veggie Salad.

For more information about Rubio’s Coastal Grill, visit www.rubios.com. Guests can also join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rubios, Twitter at www.twitter.com/rubiostweets and Instagram at www.instagram.com/rubioscoastalgrill.

Self Disclosure: I received free meal vouchers to check out Rubio’s and I highly recommend! No other compensation was received. 

 

More Summer Must-Haves! Fun & Games for the Kids! Our last Guide for this Summer! So check out these amazing products!

.Summer is still here and hasn’t ended yet! Here are some more of my favorite products for this season!

Solid Wood Chess – Checkmate! Featuring an attractive game board with the familiar checkerboard pattern accompanied by gorgeous wood sculpted game pieces for everyday and anywhere play. Ages 8+

Solid Wood Checkers – King me! Classic board game that has captivated generations of players, this easy to learn and play game furnishes players with everything they need to capture the enemy and crown their kings. Ages 6+. I love how beautiful the game actually is! I received a sample of the Solid Wood Checkers and this would make a great gift!

Both of these games would be great for travel this Summer and also for those days at home when the kids starting saying they are bored!

Have a child that loves DINOS ?

    

Glitter Dinosaurs from Wild Republic
I simply love the Glitter Dinosaurs! They are so cute! This would make a great gift for both boys and girls!

Wild Republic’s colorful prehistoric beasts come with a rainbow-chrome glitter print that gives them a holographic look. Three different sizes and price points. The line includes a velociraptor, stegosaurus, triceratops, T-Rex, and diplodocus. Large T-Rex and Velociraptor come with plastic teeth!

6-7” range $5.99 MSRP,
12-15” range – $7.99 MSRP, and
18-20” with $14.99 MSRP.
Dino Tego 20Pc Set from Magformers
Watch out! Magformers Dino Tego is ready for action. Click, connect and create this Jurassic beast using new Magformers Tego accessories. This super cool Stegosaurus comes with Magformers squares, rectangles and dinosaur accessories, allowing kids create a moveable dinosaur! MSRP $49.99

Dolce Dinosaur
Dolce Plush Dinosaur is perfect for stimulating your child’s tactile and auditory senses. This cute Dino character has its own Dolce teether, bright contrasting colors in unique fabrics, brightly-colored ribbons, crinkle feet and a dragonfly friend. Designed specifically with newborns and young children in mind, Dolce Dinosaur has a soft velour body that is perfect for cuddling. As your child holds the Dino, they will look at it in a loving and caring way! The waterfall rattle in Dino’s tummy and ribbon neck help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Pull the Dinosaur’s dragonfly friend and feel the gentle vibrations.
MSRP $29.99; all ages

T. Rex Excavation Kit from Thames & Kosmos 

Use the hammer and chisel to go on a hunt for Tyrannosaurus rex, the dangerous prehistoric giant. Excavate the skeleton relief from the surrounding soft plaster block.
$12.95, 7 and up.
Here’s another one great for young children!
Cutie Fruities are the sweetest snack sets that gets kids playing with their food! These scented fruit families and individual slices are the perfect collectors item for any foodie in the making. Get ready for endless amounts of Cutie Fruities fun with over eight full fruit families and 40 individual slices to collect. With two options for your fruit-lover, the Cutie Fruities Basket or Minis Cup, these collectibles are a 100% sweet surprise!

Open the Cutie Fruities Basket for an entire fruit family – Mommy, Daddy, Baby and More! The Fruit Basket comes with four scented plush fruit slices wrapped in a fruit peel, a fruit fortune and sticker sheet. Turn your basket into a fruit themed play set for hours of fruit fun!

The Cutie Fruities Minis Cup is perfect for collectors. Filled with three mystery plush and over 40 to collect – common, rare and limited edition – these cups are the must-have travel sized snack for all collectors!

These can be found at Walmart.com and also Amazon.com. They really are cute and I think that young children will love them!

Celebrate Best Friends with the latest Cutie Stix Collectible Packs!

The older kids will love this next one!

This card game is fun for families with kids 13 years old and older! There is 200 PG-13 friendly (but pretty awful) stuff happens event cards. Yes, there is some messed up stuff on the cards and the idea is to rank them based on how bad they really are. This one is for 2 or more players and would be a hit to take on summer travel with older kids! I find that it is sometimes difficult to find games for kids in this age range and this one is a must! Can only be found at Walmart! Find out more here!

We have teamed up for a Giveaway on this one! To enter, simply leave a comment below! Deadline to enter is August 15th, 2018 at noon PST.

 

Self Disclosure: I received samples of the games and toys listed in this post. No other compensation was received and I only post products that I recommend. The image was provided for Cutie Fruities and Cutie Stix.

 

 

Books for week of August 6th! Books for Summer fun!

The Craft Kingdom is a must-buy!

I like that this one is great for families and summer time! I also love that these aren’t fancy, complicated crafts so it’s not just a tabletop type of book..it is actually one that you will pick up and use this Summer! I also like that you do not have to run out to the store and look for materials that you don’t usually have around the house.  Each project contains a supply list and detailed, colorful, picture-filled tutorial. At the end of the book, there is a section for stencils to trace shapes needed for the projects, leaving no stone unturned as you dive into creating. You can purchase on Amazon.com but find out more at https://www.thecraftkingdom.com/

Eli Maor was raised in a creative home. Her parents owned a publishing house and as a child, she would lose herself in the bright colors and beautiful fonts. Her love for art and creativity continued into adulthood. She obtained a bachelor of arts in media and business management, and went on to study interior design. While obtaining her degrees, she sold handmade crafts at art fairs and booths.

Her first book, The Craft Kingdom, came after years of creating, teaching workshops, and a whole lot of DIY fun.

Maor shares crafting videos on her YouTube channel, The Craft Kingdom. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

For more information visit www.thecraftkingdom.com.

The Craft Kingdom is available through AmazonBarnes and Noble and in select bookstores.

Have a baby or a toddler? This one is a must for you this Summer! HIKE IT BABY: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers BY SHANTI HODGES.

 Hike it Baby presents 100 outdoor adventures across the U.S. that you can take with babies and toddlers (really!), along with everything you need to know about exploring the natural world. Sourced from real families using Hike it Baby’s trail-tested system, this book helps moms and dads get out there in their comfort zone, yet feel like hardcore adventurers! Whether you’ve always wanted to hike part of the Appalachian Trail, splash around in gentle Northwest waterfalls, or scramble up rocks in the desert surrounded by Joshua Trees, this book shows you how to plan a truly memorable journey together.

I love how this really does sound like a fun way to get out and explore with your little ones!

Shanti Hodges founded Hike it Baby, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families with babies and toddlers find each other in the outdoors. In 2016 she began hosting an annual family camping festival  (familyforestfest.com) in Oregon. In 2018 she began hosting retreats in Southern Utah (hikingmyway.com).

Prior to hitting the trail as a mom and outdoor movement leader, Shanti was a freelance writer and a consultant helping small businesses with their websites and social media. As a freelancer she wrote for magazines like Outside, Men’s Journal, Marie Claire, Shape, Self, and also wrote a book in 2007 called, “Women Who Run.”

Shanti and her husband Mark split their time between Portland, OR and La Verkin, Utah.  She enjoys watching their son Mason fall in love with nature on their frequent adventures camping, rafting, biking, and of course, hiking in the outdoors.

The book is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Hike-Baby-Awesome-Adventures-Toddlers/dp/1493033905

Do you like to draw or know someone who does? This one is a fun way to learn how to draw animals! The blank page can be daunting, but Ten-Step Drawing: Animals offers a quick and easy starting point for any doodler, illustrator, or aspiring artist.

I love that this is a fun and simple way to actually learn how to draw the animals! I am not talented in the area of drawing but I even found that I could draw some of the animals with this fun book!

Ten-Step Drawing: Animals

Learn to Draw 75 Animals in Ten Easy Steps!

By Heather Kilgour

$14.99 US / $19.99 US

This next one is such a cute story! I highly recommend for ages 4-10.

Have You Ever Wanted One Thing More Than Anything Else In The World?

In His Illustrated Children’s Book, BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE, Bestselling Author Alan C. Fox Focuses On Perseverance, Dreams, and Letting Go.

Have you ever wanted one thing – just one thing – more than anything else in the world? A toy? A new bike? A computer game? Did you imagine that this one possession would make you incredibly happy – forever? For Benji that one thing is an enormous orange kite. In BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE (Clavis Publishing; August 2018), bestselling author Alan C. Fox tells the enchanting story of a young boy who learns that possessing something is not quite as meaningful as letting it go.

Benji adores kites. All kinds of kites – big or small, plain or fancy, square or diamond- shaped. He loves flying them at the beach, watching them float high in the sky. One day Benji sees a giant orange kite at the toy store. He wants it more than anything else – ever. But his mom explains that he’ll need to earn the money to buy the kite. So Benji buckles down and weeds the garden for the next two weeks – the vegetables in the morning and the flowers in the afternoon. It seems like he’ll never be done.

Finally, the special day arrives, and Benji’s mom hands him the giant orange kite of his dreams. At the beach, Benji lets his kite soar higher and higher with every gust of wind. He watches it rise above the people, the hot dog stand, and even the houses beyond. Soon the kite becomes a distant speck in the sky. Benji is thrilled. But when it’s time to pull the kite down and head back home, Benji can’t bear to do it. He wants to set the kite free to fulfill its destiny among the clouds. Benji lets the twine go and the kite disappears into the sunset sky. The kite may still be up there yet.

Alan Fox explains that like all of his books, “BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE is based on a real-life incident. This one happened when I was a child. I decided to tell the story because I wanted to share the sense of achievement I felt by working hard to obtain something I really loved. But once I saw the kite flying at the beach, I wanted to let it go. My dream had been accomplished. It was time to move on to another, new experience. You must always keep going to fulfill your dreams and aspirations.”

BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE, with illustrations by Eefje Jujil, is the second in Alan Fox’s series of picture books. The first, BENJI AND THE 24 POUND BANANA SQUASH, was named a notable children’s book of 2017 by Booklist magazine and has become a much-loved story for youngsters and parents alike.

About the author
Alan C. Fox is the bestselling author of three books for adults, PEOPLE TOOLS, PEOPLE TOOLS FOR BUSINESS, and PEOPLE TOOLS FOR LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS. His two children’s books are BENJI AND THE 24 POUND BANANA SQUASH (Clavis 2017) and BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE (Clavis 2018). An entrepreneur, philanthropist, and relationships expert, Alan is also the publisher of the poetry magazine, Rattle. He founded a charity that works to maximize the potential of youth as well as an organization that encourages young people to become active in helping others. Alan lives in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit Alan’s website: alancfox.com

SUMMER BRAIN QUEST® series: SUMMER BRAIN QUEST: Between Grades Pre-K & K (Workman Publishing, $12.95) Launched last summer, the Summer Brain Quest workbooks are the most recent addition to the parent-trusted and kid-approved Brain Quest series, America’s #1 educational bestseller. Now, in answer to strong demand from parents and educators for books that address school readiness at the youngest ages, our newest workbook was created for this crucial and underserved age group. SUMMER BRAIN QUEST: Between Grades Pre-K & K will get four- and five-year-olds ready for school in a fun and personalized way.

SUMMER BRAIN QUEST is notable in that it offers a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Because of its innovative format—each book has a tri-fold map with multiple paths where children mark their progress with specially designed stickers—the series makes learning a flexible game that can be approached from different directions (educators call this personalized learning).

Kids feel supported in what they’re doing and excited to choose their next step. SUMMER BRAIN QUEST empowers kids to have a voice in what and how they learn, while ensuring they practice the fundamentals of each grade. Original and adorable cover, map, and sticker artwork by video game artist Edison Yan gives this series major child appeal.

I like that there is so much more than just a workbook! The workbook is set up like a game, with learning that is fun and also personalized. I also really like the map with more than 150 stickers to mark quest progress. There are also 8 outdoor activities and a mini deck that can be cut out and go on trips with you!

It can also be purchased on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Some images were provided. No other compensation was received and I only feature books that I highly recommend. 

 

Your Cat will love Hartz Delectables™ Lickable Treats! Surprise them with a Cat Toy too! They will love them both!

     

Looking for a Treat for your cat? Even my pickiest cat loves the Hartz Delectables™ Lickable Treats! My Cat Titan will not eat wet cat food at all but he loves these! His favorite is the one with Tuna & Shrimp. So, what is this treat for cats? Delectables™ SqueezeUp™ is a rich, thick puree in a lickable tube that your cats can be hand fed or you can squeeze it into a plate, which is the way my cat prefers!

There are New flavors available now..ones with Chicken and ones with Tuna & Shrimp! There are even ones for Senior Cats!

Products span kitten, adult, and senior lifestages.

Hartz also has some really great toys for both Cats and Dogs! They will have so much fun! Look for them at stores near you wherever Hartz products are sold!

    

 

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Images are my own as well as my opinions. 

 

Abbie–August 9th Pet of the Week!

Such a pretty, pretty face has Abbie! We’re not sure why she only has a partial tail—and we’re not sure we want to know—but we don’t care. Abbie doesn’t seem to care, either. She’s happy to be petted and happy to purr on a lap. Abbie’s a 6-year-old stray whose medium-length fur seems to comprise every color pattern that exists: calico, tabby, gray—let’s call her Everycat. And every cat needs a home. Continue with Abbie—meet her on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A609131.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village. 

Summer Beauty Must-Haves from Sally Hansen!

Summertime is a great time for bright colorful nails (and also pastels!) and Sally Hansen has you covered! I love their New Salon Neon because they’re bright, colorful and fun! It makes nail art easy to do at home! This innovative and effective technology takes neon’s to a new level of bright with glow in the dark technology. With the Textual Feeling appliques, you have the unique ability to customize your look! I like the bright colorful words and they are super easy to apply to your nails! Retails for $7.99.

My favorite nail polish is the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure because you simply don’t need to use a top coat and I love the shades! My favorites for the Summer are the shades pictured above: (left to right): Back to the Fuchsia, Jaded, and Material Pearl. You can find these where Sally Hansen products are sold!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this beauty post. Images: Salon Neon-Sally Hansen. Other images: SoCal City Kids.

Don’t Miss Del Amo Fashion Center’s Second to Last Summer Concert of 2018!

Del Amo Fashion Center invites the community to enjoy four concerts of mixed genres for the inaugural Summer Music Series at Torrance’s leading shopping and lifestyle destination.

The Summer Music Series showcases the new Village Park lawn area, just outside AMC Theaters, with a variety of musical genres on the second Saturday of the month in June, July, August and September from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Summer Music Series collection of performances is fine tuned to feature a diverse music styles by local artists from Greater Los Angeles. Guests will enjoy sounds from incredible artists such as Natalie Clark,selected as a Mercedes Benz KTLA “Artist to Watch,” also seen on the most recent season of the Voice. Other artists bring alternative, singer-songwriter and pop music to the Summer Music Series.

“Music is a meaningful way to form connections, and we love that the Summer Music Series encourages our community to linger and enjoy unique experiences with us,” said Del Amo Fashion Center Director of Marketing and Business Development Chris Yates. “Grab your friends and family, bring a blanket and pick-up some food from our selection of top-notch eateries for an afternoon of sunshine and music.”

The complete list of artists and performances includes:

  • Saturday, June 9 – Professional Folk (past)
  • Saturday, July 14 – Natalie Clark (past)
  • Saturday, August 11 – Michael Physick & Band
  • Saturday, September 8 – Lisa Ritchie

Credit:

Del Amo Fashion Center embodies the upscale and outdoor lifestyle of the Torrance community with amenities and events such as the Summer Music Series, making it a leading lifestyle destination. Enjoy leisure time in the new and beautiful Village Park at Del Amo Fashion Center with a pristine lawn and gorgeous garden landscaping.

About Del Amo Fashion Center

Embrace the coastal chic lifestyle at Del Amo Fashion Center, the South Bay’s premier retail destination. Accented by an abundance of natural lighting, exquisite architecture, living green walls, gorgeous palm trees and a new Fashion Wing, Del Amo Fashion Center is a favorite in Southern California. Visit more than 200 stores including South Bay exclusives such as Brooks Brothers, Kate Spade New York, HUGO BOSS, Hanna Andersson and Z Gallerie. The center’s department stores include Nordstrom, Macy’s, Macy’s Men & Home, JCPenney and Sears. Experience the charm of the Outdoor Village with an array of retail and dining options. Other featured retailers include Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Arhaus, Brio Coastal Bar, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Lululemon Athletica, Sephora, UNIQLO, Zara, and more. For more information, visit www.simon.com/mall/del-amo-fashion-center.

 

About Simon

Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development and a S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our industry-leading retail properties and investments across North America, Europe and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual retail sales. For more information, visit simon.com.

Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Junior Art Award Ceremony Sunday, August 12th

A jury made up of Mark Porterfield, Steve Chadma, Emma Patton, Pat Sparkuhl and Stephanie Cunningham selected 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from the more than 300 Orange County students’ work of art on display in the Festival’s Junior Art Exhibit.
Since its inception in 1947, the Junior Art Exhibit has come to be regarded as one of the highlights of the summer show. Selected by art authorities from thousands of submissions representing schools throughout Orange County, works by over 300 students (PK-12) are on display in the Junior Art Gallery. The exhibit has become not only a showcase for new generations of young Orange County student artists but also a vivid testimonial to the value and importance of continuing arts education in our school systems.
WHEN: 
Sunday, August 12
11 am  – 12noon
WHERE:
Festival of Arts Fine Art Show
650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
TICKETS
  • Festival of Arts Fine Art Show tickets will grant free admission to the Junior Art Award Ceremony
    • Purchase tickets online at www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org
    • General Admission: Weekends $15
    • Students & Seniors: Weekends $11
    • Children 6 – 12: Daily $5
    • Free Admission for Children 5 and under, Military, and Laguna Beach Residents.

Credit:

ABOUT FESTIVAL OF ARTS
The Festival of Arts, a non-profit 501(c)(3), has always been a local leader that has helped with the growth and development of the community and the arts in Laguna Beach. Established in 1932, the Festival of Arts’ mission is to promote, produce and sponsor events and activities that encourage the appreciation, study and performance of the arts. For every summer for 85 years, the Festival of Arts has produced two world-class events: The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters. Together both shows attract more than 250,000 visitors into Laguna Beach.

 

SPONSORS
The Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters are sponsored in part by Southern California Acura Dealers, Fidelity Investments, KOST Radio 103.5, Pavilions and the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.