Bubs, Feb. 25th Pet of the Week!

This is Bubs. This poor old man was found wandering the streets, skinny as a rail. At 10 years old, that’s no place or condition for a sweet, gentle fellow. He’s gaining weight at the shelter and is enjoying short walks and human company. Can he be your only dog? That would be the best thing for him. Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through appointment, so call 562-570-PETS or email PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to meet Bubs. Ask for ID#A653333.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Koda, Feb. 18th Pet of the Week!

Koda means “friend” in a few Native American dialects. What better name for a beautiful, petite shepherd mix who’s a bit reserved and who sorely needs her own “koda”? Koda was found as a stray—she’s 4 years old and has been spayed. She’d do great in a quiet home as the only dog, with a patient and experienced owner who will provide her with the love and care she deserves. Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through appointment, so call 562-570-PETS or email PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to meet Koda. Ask for ID# A653194.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Rubio’s Adds Impossible Meat for 2021

Unique Mexican Spice Blend Creates New Experience for Rubio’s Customers

The new year brings a new addition to the menu at Rubio’s Coastal Grill. Beginning January 6, the home of The Original Fish Taco® will offer Impossible seasoned meat, made from plants. Rubio’s guests seeking to eat less meat as part of their new year’s resolutions can enjoy it in a new Impossible Taco Salad, or as a protein substitute on all chicken and steak entrées. Impossible meat is more sustainable, using a small fraction of land, water and energy, when compared to 80/20 ground beef.

 “We are using a signature blend of Mexican spices unique to Rubio’s in our Impossible Foods menu items,” said Rubio’s Co-Founder Ralph Rubio. “It pairs perfectly with our coastal-inspired flavors and expands our protein options that guests can feel great about eating.”

The Impossible seasoned meat has all the protein of 80/20 ground beef, does not contain animal hormones or antibiotics, is kosher, halal and gluten-free certified. Rubio’s is featuring the innovative Impossible meat in a new taco salad and two signature dishes:

·                Impossible™ Taco Salad: Impossible seasoned ground meat made from plants, romaine lettuce, black beans, roasted corn, salsa fresca, tortilla strips, sliced Haas avocado and signature pickled jalapeno ranch dressing.

·                Impossible Burrito Especial: Impossibleseasoned ground meat made from plants, handmade guacamole, chipotle white sauce, roasted chipotle salsa, citrus rice, black beans and salsa fresca in a warm flour tortilla. Served with tortilla chips.

·                Impossible California Bowl: Impossible seasoned ground meat made from plantscitrus rice, handmade guacamole, black beans, crisp romaine lettuce, salsa fresca, chipotle white sauce with your choice of salsa verde or roasted chipotle salsa.

About Rubio’s® Restaurants:

Rubio’s first opened in 1983, in the San Diego neighborhood of Mission Bay. Today, Rubio’s uses responsibly sourced seafood and continues to expand its menu with innovative recipes ranging from seafood tacos and burritos to California Bowls and crisp, fresh salads. In addition, Rubio’s offers all-natural chicken, raised without antibiotics, and all-natural USDA Choice steak, “no fried” pinto beans, handmade guacamole, a variety of proprietary salsas, and craft beer beverage options. The award-winning restaurant regularly receives accolades for its famous Original Fish Taco®. It was also recently ranked as one of Fast Casual’s “Top 50 Movers and Shakers” as well as one of the top five most loved fast casual chains ranked by Foodable Labs and Digital CoCo. Rubio’s is headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., and currently operates restaurants in California, Arizona and Nevada.

Self Disclosure: I received some form of compensation to post. Photo credit: Rubio’s.

Holiday gift Idea exclusively at Target! Inklings will be a hit with your little one!

Inklings are a new line of plush toys and book gift pack that are designed to excite children’s imaginations and teach them about diversity and acceptance.  Each Inklings Baby doll contains pops of color and has a rattle belly and crinkly crunchy features.  The accompanying board book, which transforms from black and white to brilliant color, tells the story of a bored baby who imagines a new best friend for “as long as you have your imagination, you’re never really alone.”  This stunning gift set which includes a plush toy + book  in-store and online for $19.99. I received samples and I just love how adorable they are! My favorite is Ollie the Oddball Bird! She’s too cute and babies and toddlers will love her!

Find out more at www.inklingsbaby.com.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples. Photo Credit: SoCal City Kids.

More Holiday Gift Suggestions!

Here are some more of our favorite gift suggestions for the holidays!

Looking for a great gift idea for the little ones on your list? Here are a few of our favorites!

Shape Sorter Xylophone and Piano:

Toddlers will be able to sort shapes while making wonderful music with the Shape Shorter Xylophone and Piano from Hape! This colorful xylophone and piano encourages children to discover color and shape assortment while creating musical notes with every puzzle piece. Children can match the five colorful puzzle pieces to their corresponding holes, by shape or color, and make wonderful Do, Re, Mi Fa, So melodies by pressing down or by tapping them with the red baton!

Age: 12 months + | MSRP: $17.99

Availability: starting in November

Retailer: Target

My First Block Set:

This 80-piece set of sturdy blocks will inspire hours of play and generations of builders!This colorful setencourages children to identify shapes and objects as they stack and build upon their imaginations. The child safe materials and non-toxic finishes are perfect for every little builder!

Age: 12 months + | MSRP: $16.99

Availability: starting in November

Retailer: Target exclusive

DOLCE Primo Kangaroo

This giant Kangaroo is perfect for cuddling! It comes with a bonus, baby Joey, in and additionally, the kangaroo pocket features a shaker egg. Featuring a peek-a-boo door on one of its feet and is also adorned with beads and a teether on its other foot. Dolce stands for Develop, Observe, Learn, Create, Educate. Let your baby DEVELOP sensory skills with a variety of quality textured fabrics. OBSERVE the colorful fabrics. LEARN cause and effect through the activities. CREATE fun, learning and role-play with your favorite Dolce friend. Let the beautiful, interesting and activity rich Dolce toys EDUCATE through play. MSRP: $39.99; ages 0m+

Stick-O Forest Friends 16Pc Set

Explore the great outdoors with The Stick-O Forest Friends 16Pc Set. Kids can use their imagination to build adorable animal friends including an elephant, duck, caterpillar, bunny and more. The Forest Friends 16Pc Set includes 3 Spheres, 3 Sticks, 2 Discs and other magnetic accessories including bunny ears, flowers, cones, flower pots, and elephant ears. MSRP $24.99; ages 18m+

Here are a couple great gift ideas for the older kids!

EXIT: The Game is a new series of party games for up to four players that offers a unique, unforgettable gaming experience. These games allow you to bring the excitement, intensity, and team spirit of an escape room to your living room. In each EXIT game, your team starts out locked in an imaginary room or trapped somewhere. You must solve a series of riddles and puzzles in order to unlock doors and reveal new riddles. Each correct solution brings you to another riddle and eventually to freedom. The clock is ticking: You must solve all of the puzzles as fast as you can because the faster your team escapes the room and the fewer hints you use along the way, the more points you earn. Get ready to test your creative problem solving and logical thinking skills, because the rulebook in an EXIT game doesn’t reveal all the rules like in other games. After the rulebook gets you started, it’s up to your team to discover for itself how the rooms look, what the clues are, how to decipher them, and how to escape. Can you crack the codes and manage to escape the room? EXIT: The Game is constantly expanding with new stories (Dead Man on the Orient Express, The Abandoned Cabin, The Forbidden Castle, The Forgotten Island, The Mysterious Museum, The Pharoah’s Tomb, The Polar Station, The Secret Lab, The Sinister Mansion, and The Sunken Treasure) RETAIL PRICE:$14.95 ◾ # OF PLAYERS: 1-4 ◾ SUGGESTED AGE:10 and up ◾ PLAYING TIME:1-2 hours.

Lost Cities: Rivals: Use your cards to venture down expedition routes that take you to far-flung and mysterious corners of the Earth: to an abandoned mountain temple, a decaying circle of stone, a city sunken under the sea, an ancient Stone-Age settlement, and a town inside of a mountain. Your goal is to plan the routes in such a way that they bring you the greatest possible fame. If you are especially daring, you will also be able to wager on the success of your own expeditions. But watch out: You are not the only one traveling! Which routes will you pursue and how much gold is it worth to you? Plan well and use your resources wisely. Only the player who has collected the most fame at the end of the game will be the winner. RETAIL PRICE: $14.95 ◾ # OF PLAYERS: 2-4 + ◾ SUGGESTED AGE:10 and up ◾ PLAYING TIME:40 minutes.

  Have a Bugs Bunny Fan on your shopping list? They will love this one! “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

BUGS BUNNY 80TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION will surely be a hit!

Three-Disc Collection Features 60 Shorts Along with Bonus Content  Including 10 Episodes of Looney Tunes Cartoons,  A Documentary and Collectible Memorabilia  

This is an amazing collection and I love the bonus content! I also really like that it includes a FULL-SIZE GLITTER FUNKO FIGURE! Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Collection is available to own on Digital for $39.99 SRP in the US and $49.99 SRP in Canada FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT.

Happy Holidays!

Stay tuned! Our final Gift suggestions post coming up next week!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above items. No other compensation was received. Images were provided.

Holiday Gift Guide Suggestions #1!

I can’t believe it’s that time of the year! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it’s time for the Holiday Gift Guide #1. Here are some of my favorite gift suggestions this season!

Little girls ages 6 and up will go gaga over these! GoGo Gachas brings the fashion and fun to toys with its fashionable accessories dispensed in every kawaii capsule! (Available Now at Target, MSRP: $9.99, Ages: 6+) These fashionably charmed vending machines really work! Each is loaded with 4 surprise charms that are totally on-trend. Just press the button to dispense one of the disco balls- then open it up to find out which fashion charm you gacha! Each charm is perfect for accessorizing on the included charm bracelet. Now you’re ready for a glam squad dance party! Collect all 3 machines! 

This next one…well…not sure if it should be wrapped up for Dad or for the kids! If you grew up in the 70’s (like I did!) you may remember Evel Knievel! I know my younger brother had one of these! This definitely is a retro throwback to my childhood days!

The father of extreme sports, the daredevil show man himself—the man, the myth, the legend, Evel Knievel has launched onto the toy scene again with the re-release of the iconic 1970’s Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle.

Imbued with all the charm and high-powered performance of the original, this reissue is ready to introduce the fun of revving, jumping, and crash landing to a whole new generation.  One of my favorite things is that its Low tech design does NOT require batteries, apps, or wifi access!

  • Comes with the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle, signature Red Energizer, and Evel Knievel Action Figure
  • Retails for $39.95

It is definitely fun for all ages and he Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle can be purchased at www.evelknieveltoys.com as well as on Amazon and Walmart.

Looking for a unique gift suggestion this holiday season? MagicWeightedBlanket– The ultimate way to make kids feel cozy and safe is through a Magic Weighted Blanket that makes kids feel like they are getting a hug every time they use it. MagicWeightedBlanket.com is the world’s first and original weighted blanket. The company started way back in 1998 when weighted blankets were a novel concept. Since then, there have been plenty of companies who caught onto the popularity and benefits offered from weighted blankets, but none that compare to the original. Not only do weighted blankets reduce stress and anxiety, but many kids report  that they are able to sleep better with them. Starting at $110; https://magicweightedblanket.com/.   I love how comfy and cozy these are!

Chalk of the Town is a line of chalkboard products ranging from T-Shirt and Long Sleeve Kits to Tote Bags to Patches, allowing both kids and adults to create and design their own wearable fashion using Chalkboard markers. PLUS they’re both erasable and reusable so you can design again, again, and again! I love the creativity! Available on Amazon

Holiday Poppers – Hog Wild brings you your Holiday Poppers as part of its POPular Poppers line! This one will be a hit! Available on Amazon for $9.99.

Marshmallow Blaster – Bow & Mallow Blaster – The big brother of the Mini Bow & Mallow, the Bow & Mallow Blaster continues to bring food and fun together — thanks to its edible ammo! With launching distances of up to 30 feet, your marshmallows will soar through the air! Available on Amazon for $25.99.

The #UpsideDownChallenge Game – This game literally flips your world upside down! Players wear goggles that flip their vision — and then attempt to compete seemingly easy challenges like writing your name and connecting dots. Sounds easy, but it’s a challenge! Available on Target for $19.99.

Pizza Party Throwdown – In this frantic, fun action game players race to see who can fling the most pizza toppings on the spinning pizza pie game board before time runs out! Available on Target for $19.99.

DinoMazing Egg Decorator – DinoMazing Egg Decorator allows kids to color and create their own dinosaur eggs using a mechanism that spins the egg while you decorate! Plus, inside each Dino egg is slime and your own collectible dinosaur! Available on Amazon for $27.99.

Comic World Viona Surprise Set –  PLAYMOBIL is expanding the magical world of EverDreamerz with the new Comic World line!! We’re offering a BRAND NEW Surprise Set where you can search for twelve magical characters from Comic World!  Each mystery box has five surprises inside.  You might even meet Colorista, a new limited edition character! A perfect stocking stuffer. 🙂 Available on playmobil.us

Treemendous Ornament Decorating Kit – From the creators of the original EggMazing Egg Decorator…the perfect DIY craft to embrace the holiday season. Place one of the ornaments included with the kit into the tree-shaped decorator and let the fun begin! The machine holds and spins the ornament while the markers are used to create stripes, line and other designs! Available on Amazon for $19.99.

This next one is great for outdoor fun, especially during this pandemic! Pickup Sports have fun, sports boxes that include everything you and your kids need to learn a new sport. Starter boxes include age-appropriate equipment, access to weekly live virtual coaching with parent-child games, and expert-created curriculum based on years of research. When kids learn from their parents/caregivers they are more likely to have fun, want to keep playing, and more likely to stick with it and stay physically active. Available sports include basketball, flag football, soccer, tennis, baseball & softball, and volleyball. Starter boxes are currently priced at $45. The best part—for every box purchased, the company donates one to kids with limited access. More information: https://pickupsports.co/; also available on Amazon.   I love the Basketball one!


Storymakery
 is a one-stop-shop where kids can create a character, write a story, design illustrations, and print their book – a total hands-on, exciting, educational experience! In addition to customized in-store experiences at their Laguna Hills storefront, Storymakery also offers a captivating assortment of unique virtual workshops and private 1:1 virtual sessions that delight (and educate!) kids 5+ years old. 
For younger kiddos, Storymakery also offers personalized books that you can create online and ship to your loved ones – some of the titles include ‘My Mermaid Muse,’ ‘My Fairy Friend’ and ‘It’s A Pirate’s Life for Me!’
Gift cards can be purchased through their website.

Happy Holidays! Stay tuned! Next week Holiday Gift Guide #2 will post!

Self Disclosure: I received samples of the items above to facilitate this Holiday Gift Guide. Images were also provided.

Percy, Nov. 19th Pet of the Week!

Percy’s plaintive little face may look sad, but trust us—it’s all a ploy! He knows that all he needs to do is to light up when someone walks into the room and ring out with a resounding purr worthy of his 15 pounds. Percy’s 5 years old and very loving toward humans—he could do very well without another animal in the house. Besides, with so much cat to love and to love you back, you wouldn’t need another pet! Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through email, so contact PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to meet Percy. Ask for ID#A574845.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

This Fall Plan a Happy Life!

I’m excited to share that Stephanie Fleming, Co-Founder at Me & My Big Ideas, parent company of The Happy Plannerrecently released a new book Plan a Happy Life. You may remember that I featured her Planners awhile back. These are now the only planners I will use! I recently purchased one for going back to school. But, let’s talk about the book!

Today’s everyday life can be busy, but it doesn’t have to be mundane or chaotic! The creators of the Happy Planner know that the secret to living a happy life is all in the planning. A life bursting at the seams with meaning, fun, and work worth doing doesn’t just happen: you have to plan for it.

Plan a Happy Life includes strategies, systems, and methods for permanently getting organized, prioritizing what’s most important to you, and living intentionally. Here you’ll find great ideas for:

  • Celebrating the ordinary (dance party in the kitchen, anyone?)
  • Discovering new ways to serve others (that will fit into a busy schedule)
  • Finding your happy even on the tougher days
  • Making the most effective lists (hint: it involves stickers)
  • Filling your life with gratitude
  • Controlling your calendar so you can live each day fully–and colorfully! (a step-by-step guide)
  • And much more happy planning (seriously, you have to plan fun in your life!)

Seriously this is the best book for being organized and being positive!

Retail Price: $19.99

Shoppable now at The Happy Planner Website

The book is also available at Michaels Online and at Michaels brick and mortar stores nationwide and in Canada.

There is also a Plan A Happy Life Product Collection! I simply love this collection and it would also make a great gift for your friends! The holidays are approaching! Hint! Hint!

More about Stephanie Fleming:

Stephanie Fleming is a creative entrepreneur, speaker, optimist, and wellness seeker. Most notably, she is the cofounder of me & my BIG ideas, creators of the Happy Planner. The business that began twenty years ago as a tiny garage-based business is now an industry-leading lifestyle brand that offers a wide variety of products that inspire customers to Live Creatively® and Plan a Happy Life™. Stephanie lives happily in her dream-come-true California beach house with her husband (and business partner), Kevin. She has two grown children, two stepchildren, and four amazing grandsons. It is her mission to create a Happy Life Movement by empowering people everywhere to take control of their own happiness by embracing planning, positivity, and all things creative! For more ideas and inspiration for your happy life, connect with Stephanie at on Instagram @stephanie_fleming or check out her Plan A Happy Life podcast here.

Stephanie Fleming

Self Disclosure: I was very happy to receive samples of this amazing collection and the Plan a Happy Life book. Images were also provided.