Joey, May 30th Pet of the Week!

Pal Joey: easygoing, affectionate and fun in general to be around. Joey is a 3-year-old male pit bull with a shiny metallic-gray coat. He was brought to the shelter as a stray. The staff soon found out what a sweetheart he is! From playing with toys to watching TV on the couch with you, you’ll have a pal in Joey! Meet him at the P. D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A622689.

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of our friends at the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village.

Lenny, May 23rd Pet of the Week!

Lenny was surprised in the middle of his country two-step lesson by our roving photographer. Like many talented but humble creatures, the little 3-year-old Chihuahua was very shy when he was brought in as a stray. But he quickly warmed up to the volunteers and made a lot of canine friends as well. Come adopt him before he gets them all involved in line dancing! Meet Lenny at the P. D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A625137.

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village.

Local Non-Profit A Window Between Worlds Celebrates the Healing Power of Art at 20th Annual ART IN THE AFTERNOON

Community arts festival packed with performances, hands-on art
experiences, games, activities, food and fun for all ages
Saturday, June 8 at EXPO Center Los Angeles *Tickets on Sale Now*

A Window Between Worlds (AWBW), a Los Angeles based non-profit dedicated to empowering survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of trauma through hands-on healing arts programming, is proud to announce their 20th annual arts festival, Art in the Afternoon, taking place on Saturday, June 8 at the EXPO Center in Los Angeles from 12pm-4pm. Pre-sale tickets for this event are on sale now at awbw.org/aia and is open to all ages. Pre-sale prices range from $20-$55 with all proceeds benefiting the thousands of trauma survivors served each year by AWBW’s arts program. After May 1st, prices will range from $30-$85. Seven out of ten people experience trauma and creating art in a safe atmosphere is a powerful way to process these experiences,”says AWBW founder Cathy Salser. “Our program gives that opportunity to people across the country who wouldn’t otherwise have it, including over 11,000 in Los Angeles last year alone. Art in the Afternoon is a fun way to celebrate the power of creativity hands-on, while raising vital funds to support survivors in their healing journeys.” This year’s festival will be emceed by Wendy Burch, Emmy-winning journalist currently reporting for award-winning KTLA Morning News on Channel 5and her four-year old son Brady Burch. The viral tap group Syncopated Ladies will also appear on stage, along with popular interactive performances by Hoop It Up Kids and LA Dancefit. Admission includes multiple opportunities for festival goers to make their own art, including creating personalized tool kits, modeled after AWBW’s dynamic arts curriculum, to promote creativity and wellness in their daily lives and a special felt workshop hosted by Billy Kheel of NBC’s “Making It.” There will be fun-filled activities for all ages: face painting; flower crown making; a beer and wine garden; carnival games with prizes; a bounce slide; and an incredible silent auction. Tickets include delicious food from Panda Express, Corner Bakery and more. Additional sponsors include Books and Cookies, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Color Me Mine, Cristina Warfield Group, Imperfect Produce, Inner Flower Child Books, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Manly Handz Mobile Spa, ONEHOPE, PathWater, Power Crunch, Universal Studios Hollywood, Zooga Yoga and more. 
Art in the Afternoon, which is now attended by over 600 people, was launched in 1999 as a small gathering to fundraise for 58 programs then providing AWBW healing art workshops across the country. With the community’s continued support, AWBW has grown into a network of over 350 programs, more than 130 of which are here in Los Angeles.
“Art in the Afternoon is near and dear to my heart, as it was the first event I attended at AWBW many years ago,” says Jamie Escoto, Honorary Event Chair and AWBW Board Emeritus. “It’s amazing to reflect on how this event began in the courtyard of AWBW’s Venice Studios with a few art workshops and home-cooked food by volunteers, and now twenty years later, the whole community is coming together to create our most impactful day!”Art in the afternoon Saturday JUNE 8| 12P-4P @ EXPO CENTER3980 Bill Robertson Ln Los Angeles, CA 90037On Site Parking: Exposition Park- Lot 5S Park Dr, South Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90037Metro Stop: Expo Park/Vermont.

Art in the Afternoon. awbw.org. Photo by VenicePaparazzi.com


For more information, sponsorship and tickets sales: awbw.org/aia | #ArtInTheAfternoonAbout A Window Between Worlds.A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Venice, CA. They collaborate with shelters, outreach centers, schools and other human service agencies across the country to incorporate art-making into existing services in an affordable and accessible way. AWBW trains and supports the staff at these partner organizations in facilitating a healing arts curriculum with those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of trauma. Since 1991, over a quarter million adults and children have participated in AWBW art workshops. To learn more visit awbw.org and follow @awbworg

Credit:
AWBW. Images were also provided to post.

La Jolla is the place to visit and Pantai Inn is the place to stay!

  

Summer is almost over but is it really ever over in sunny So Cal? I’m sure that we will have our sunny weather on and off throughout the year! If you love the ocean, sea lions and art galleries then I know the perfect place for you to visit! La Jolla is one of my all time favorite places to visit in San Diego! My family had such a wonderful time visiting this past August and if I could only visit one place in Southern California every summer it would be La Jolla!

If you know me at all..you know that I love Sea Lions! I was a volunteer Education Docent with the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles for a year and am still a volunteer on their outreach program. Even though I am not able to volunteer as often as I would like now-a-days…sea lions are special to me. You can see so many sea lions up close in La Jolla although I do recommend keeping a good distance from them.

                

One of my favorite places in La Jolla is La Jolla Cove. It is a beautiful small (but not too small!) cove and beach surrounded by cliffs.

    

I just love to see sunsets at the beach and sunrises! This trip I didn’t catch any sunrises because it was overcast in the morning but when it isn’t overcast, seeing a sunrise at the Cove is a must! It simply is breathtaking!

So, where should you stay in La Jolla? In my opinion..there is only one place to stay! Pantai Inn!

  

This place is simply an amazing place to stay! The location is perfect and the service is amazing! Every single staff person is friendly and it’s a beautiful place to stay! But, Pantai Inn is much more than just a beautiful place to stay and great service. It’s all the little extras such as Tea and coffee in the lobby and fresh baked cookies in the afternoons to the Chef prepared breakfast in the mornings. They even bring chocolate bars and place them on your bed in the afternoons! We stayed in a 3 bedroom and the design of the place is just beautiful! Pantai Inn’s one-of-a-kind architecture and dedication to creating a luxurious home-away-from-home makes it the ideal getaway spot year-round, a veritable oasis on the iconic California coastline that can’t be beat. Whether for business travelers, lovers of the great outdoors, families, couples, or groups of friends looking for that next great adventure, there is simply no better place to make an autumn or wintertime escape as the temperature cools down.

  

But, like I said ….it’s definitely all the little things that make this place a real gem!

   

  And, you can walk down to the water and to the Village. I loved walking from the Pantai Inn to the shops, restaurants and Art Galleries! Visiting the Art Galleries is a must! My favorites were the National Geographic Art Gallery and Legends Gallery.

    

Such amazing Artwork and Legends Gallery had a Peanuts (Snoopy!!!) exhibit which I’m a big Snoopy fan! They also had a Dr. Seuss exhibit!

   

So although Summer is coming to an end Pantai Inn and La Jolla would be a wonderful place to visit this upcoming Fall! And, if you do visit Pantai Inn…don’t forget to say “Hello” to the amazing Manager Mike!

About the Pantai Inn
The Pantai Inn’s distinct guest accommodations blend a unique Balinese-inspired décor with luxurious comforts and contemporary conveniences.  The relaxing oceanfront retreat offers a lush garden setting with soothing water features and an inviting courtyard to stimulate the senses.
Offering a variety of accommodations from ocean view studios and one-bedroom suites to three-bedroom cottages, the Inn is perfect for romantic getaways or family vacations.  Whatever the occasion, the Pantai experience is completed by the warmth and authenticity of the Inn’s extraordinary guest service.   Ranked as a top hotel in La Jolla by TripAdvisor, the 30 room Pantai Inn is located in the charming seaside village of La Jolla and is steps away from the finest restaurants, boutiques and galleries the area has to offer.  The Pantai Inn is located at 1003 Coast Blvd, La Jolla CA, 92037. For information and reservations call toll free 855.287.2682 or visit www.pantai.com.

 

Self Disclosure: My family had the opportunity to stay at the Pantai Inn to facilitate this post. Images: SoCal City Kids. 

Looking for a place to visit this Summer? San Pedro is the place to take the Family! Fun and delicious food awaits you!

It’s Summer and time to go out and have fun with the family! One of my local favorite places to visit is San Pedro.

The coastal town, with a population of almost 81,000, and former WW II home to the U.S Navy fleet will gain a $400 million dollar 21st-century waterfront complete with a hotel. Now is the key time to understand the harbor city’s transitioning charm and what drew writers Charles Bukowski and Louis L’Amour to the area to live.

During the mid-20th century, San Pedro drew more than a million visitors annually. Today, with the Port of Los Angeles, the largest in North America (“America’s Port”) and Worldship Cruise Center, the 12.5-mile area has almost three million teeming its streets. Over the last couple of years, new attractions have paved the way, starting with the U.S.S. Iowa which, in 2012 sailed into the LA from San Francisco, to become a maritime museum.

There are lots of things to do, things to see and they have some of the best restaurants!  You could easily spend the whole day there doing so many different things but here are a few of my favorites!

Have you been to the Pacific Battleship Center? The Battleship IOWA is a must-visit! I love the history of this amazing place and I love that they have an App especially for the kids! The Battleship IOWA Interactive Mobile Tour allows visitors a first-hand experience to live and serve on this historic ship. On my visit, I downloaded the App and found that this will be something great for the younger kids. The Tours is my favorite part of the App but it also has Maps, Augmented Reality which is really cool to check out when you are visiting the Battleship IOWA. There’s even a cute dog mascot named Victory (Vicky) that children can try to spot on the ship. There’s a matching game with a prize at the end of the tour in the gift shop so check it out!

     

   

U.S.S. Iowa: In the coming year, will put together a new virtual reality flight experience taking off from the ship and then landing wherever you want to go…maybe Paris? How about London? Singapore? And you don’t even have to leave the ship. Now, how cool does that sound?! https://www.pacificbattleship.com/

Download their FREE App by clicking here!
Some upcoming events are the following: 

FREE: July 13, 8:00 P.M.: “Movies Under the Gun”: Justice League (2017). Directed by Zack Snyder. Written by Snyder and Chris Terrio. Starring Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, and Jason Momoa. Fueled by his restored faith in humanity, and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly-awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes in Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash, it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. Bring the entire family for “Movie Under the Guns” on board Battleship IOWA. The unique movie series is FREE and held outdoors on the ship’s fantail. Limited seating is available. Guests are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring blankets and outdoor chairs. Concessions will be available, no coolers or outside food and beverages allowed. All movies will start at dusk. Subject to cancellation due to extreme weather conditions. Donations are greatly appreciated.

FREE: August 17, 8:00 P.M.: “Movies Under the Gun”: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017). Directed by James Gunn. Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell. Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter’s parentage is revealed.  Bring the entire family for “Movie Under the Guns” on board Battleship IOWA. The unique movie series is FREE and held outdoors on the ship’s fantail. Limited seating is available. Guests are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring blankets and outdoor chairs. Concessions will be available, no coolers or outside food and beverages allowed. All movies will start at dusk. Subject to cancellation due to extreme weather conditions. Donations are greatly appreciated.

FREE: August 31 – September 3rd: Third Annual LA Fleet Week. LA Fleet Week® 2018 presented by Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime Video — Fleet Week is an annual, multi-day celebration of our nation’s Sea Services held on the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles over the Labor Day Weekend. Free to the public, the event features public ship tours, military displays and equipment demonstrations, live entertainment, a kids’ STEM Expo, aircraft flyovers, a 100 Years of Navy in Hollywood Film Festival, the 10th Annual Conquer the Bridge Labor Day morning 5.3-mile walk/run over the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the LA Fleet Week 5 on 5 Basketball Tournament, and a Galley Wars culinary cook-off competition between Sailor, Marine & Coastguard teams. The family-fun event is Aug. 31-Sept. 3. More information at LAFleetWeek.com.

FREE: September 21, 8:00 P.M.: “Movies Under the Gun.” Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). Directed by Rian Johnson. Starring Daisy Ridley,  Oscar Isaac, John Boyega. Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force. Her desire to learn the ways of the Jedi forces Luke to make a decision that changes their lives forever. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren and General Hux lead the First Order in an all-out assault against Leia and the Resistance for supremacy of the galaxy. Bring the entire family for “Movie Under the Guns” on board Battleship IOWA. The unique movie series is FREE and held outdoors on the ship’s fantail. Limited seating is available. Guests are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring blankets and outdoor chairs. Concessions will be available, no coolers or outside food and beverages allowed. All movies will start at dusk. Subject to cancellation due to extreme weather conditions. Donations are greatly appreciated.

 FREE: October 19, 6:30 – 8:30 P.M.: “Movies Under the Gun.” Hocus Pocus (1993). A Halloween Trick or Treat will also be available starting at 5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.  Directed by Kenny Ortega. Starring Bette Midler,  Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy. After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal. Bring the entire family for “Movie Under the Guns” on board Battleship IOWA. The unique movie series is FREE and held outdoors on the ship’s fantail. Limited seating is available. Guests are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring blankets and outdoor chairs. Concessions will be available, no coolers or outside food and beverages allowed. All movies will start at dusk. Subject to cancellation due to extreme weather conditions. Donations are greatly appreciated.

FREE: December 1, San Pedro 56th Annual Holiday Boat Parade. Sponsored by The Port of Los Angeles.  Watch the parade route, as it sails by the Battleship IOWA Museum and along the San Pedro waterfront. Iowa visitors will have unobstructed views of the elaborately decorated boats.

About Battleship IOWA

Entering service more than 70 years ago, U.S.S. IOWA deployed to the South Pacific in the uncertain early years of World War II.  The iconic battleship served with distinction in that war, and later during the Korean War.  In the 1990s, U.S.S. IOWA concluded her active duty as the Berlin Wall crumbled.  Battleship IOWA now serves as a historic naval ship museum.  Forged in war, guardian of the peace, the proud ship keeps watch as the proud sentinel of the LA Waterfront. IOWA’s teak decks and steel bulkheads echo the words and deeds of history: three U.S. Presidents, six of the nine American five-star military leaders, countless foreign dignitaries, and most importantly thousands of her own heroic IOWA sailors.  Visitors are awed by IOWA’s proud legacy as one of the fastest and most powerful ships ever to sail the world’s oceans.  Battleship IOWA is open to the public daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our hours are 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. with our last ticket sale. Please visit our website additional information on special events, group tours educational programs and Naval retirement flag service.

Another place you just have to visit is the Cabrillo Aquarium, one of Frank Gehry’s early commissioned architectural buildings and a conservation center. http://www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org/

With its spectacular natural setting adjacent to Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park and the Port of Los Angeles, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is uniquely suited to its leadership role in marine science education, aquaculture research and community recreation. The historic Frank Gehry-designed aquarium displays the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world. Since 1935, CMA has provided visitors with both a natural and interactive approach to learning about the marine environment of Southern California. I love seeing all the sea creatures at this Aquarium! I also love the Tide pools at Cabrillo Beach!

  

3720 Stephen M. White Drive 
San Pedro, CA 90731
310-548-7562
Aquarium Hours
Tuesday through Friday – 12 noon to 5 pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10 am to 5 pm
Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Photo Credit: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
Now, after visiting these truly amazing places you have to check out one of the many fabulous restaurants for lunch or dinner! One of my favorites is San Pedro Fish Market: LA’s Most Instagrammed Restaurant: https://www.sanpedrofish.com/
I was amazed at how big this place is and how clean! There is a sit-down place that I really recommend and the outside eating area is really big!
    
   
I love all the seafood choices they offer and I had the best Shrimp enchiladas ever! But, you really have so many choices! You can pick your own choice of fish at the Fish Counter and tell them how you would like it and add toppings or you can sit down and enjoy a meal from their menu which like I mentioned…they have the best shrimp enchiladas! The Salmon plate is pretty good too! If you love seafood, this place is a must-visit!
    
And, if you have a chance to meet the owner, Tommy Amalfitano, he has quite the sense of humor!
If you have even more time to spend in San Pedro, here are a few other places worth checking out!
The Maritime Museum: www.lamaritimemuseum.org
Crafted Los Angeles, home to nearly three dozen craftsmen and artisans crafting artisanal products such as candles, furniture, jewelry, clothes and art. http://craftedportla.com/
LA Waterfront Cruises: http://www.laharborsportfishing.com/
The Historic Downtown San Pedro First Thursday Artwalk is every first Thursday of the month 6-9 pm and the Farmers Market is every Friday 9 am-2 pm. And, Don’t forget to ride in the Red Trolley and see the Fanfare Fountains! LA Fleet Week is coming to San Pedro Labor Day weekend August 31st-September 3rd, 2018! https://www.lafleetweek.com/
Self Disclosure: I received media comps to visit all of the above. Photo Credit: SoCal City Kids except for Cabrillo Aquarium. Photos were provided courtesy of the Cabrillo Aquarium. 

Monster Jam® Returns To SoCal with L.A.’s First-Ever Action-Packed Arena Event, Monster Jam Triple Threat Series™ Tickets on Sale Now!

**Ultimate Showdown of Eight Extreme Monster Jam Teams

Going Head-to-Head in Seven Endurance Competitions

Driving Three Different Vehicles: Monster Jam Trucks, Speedsters & ATVs**

After five record-breaking stadium events playing to packed crowds at Angel Stadium earlier this year, Monster Jam® is revving it’s way up to Downtown Los Angeles with an all-new action-packed weekend of events for the first time ever at STAPLES Center, featuring the SoCal debut of the indoor arena-based Monster Jam Triple Threat Series™ that will keep motorsport fans on the edge of their seats with adrenaline-charged, high-flying, four-wheel excitement that is fun for the entire family!

     

Unlike any other Monster Jam event seen in SoCal before, the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series features eight of the most intense Monster Jam athletes in a fierce battle for the championship that tests the versatility and endurance of the athletes as they go head-to-head in a points-based format with seven different competitions driving three customized high-powered vehicles:  the larger-than-life 12,000 lb. Monster Jam trucks, Monster Jam Speedsters and Monster Jam ATVs.  These extreme athletes battle for points in challenging Racing and Freestyle events that push themselves and their machines to the limit – delivering what fans want to see the most… more trucks, more racing, more freestyle, more donuts, more wheelies, more action!

Monster Jam Triple Threat Series world-class athletes vying to become champions will be:

  • Grave Digger® driven by Brandon Vinson
  • Max-D® driven by Jared Eichelberger
  • El Toro Loco® driven by Mark List
  • Megalodon driven by Travis Groth
  • Zombie™ driven by Tyler Groth
  • Wonder Woman driven by Collette Davis
  • Pirate’s Curse™* driven by 2017 “Rookie of the Year” Camden Murphy
  • Alien Invasion driven by Bernard Lyght

 

WHEN:           Friday, August 17, 2018                  

  • Event Time – 7:30 PM

 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

  • Event Times – 1:00 PM & 7:00 PM

 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

  • Event Times – 1:00 PM & 7:00 PM

 

WHERE:         STAPLES Center – 1111 S. Figueroa Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90011

 

 TICKETS:      Tickets are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting at just $25 each*

 

Tickets are now available for purchase online at AXS.com, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or visit the venue Box Office.                  *ticket prices subject to change – additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

 Unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable, Monster Jam takes center stage in the world’s most iconic venues, sporting meticulously manicured dirt tracks created with the sole purpose of pushing these perfectly engineered, larger-than-life trucks to the limit.   Monster Jam is one of the only sports where male and female world-class drivers, some generational rivals, are equals competing for the same championship on the same track. New in 2018 across all Monster Jam events, fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the truck winner in the donut, wheelie and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-arena fan voting on their smartphones.

Credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc. Photos were also provided.

Summer 2018 Must-Haves!

Summer is here! Here are some of the Must-Haves for the season!

Build or Boom from Goliath Games is a must for both boys and girls! I love that this one does not have gender stereotypes and Build or Boom helps reinforce STEM skills such as analytical thinking and shape recognition. In addition, eye-hand coordination and deductive reasoning help build foundational skills. The best thing…is that the kids will really think that they are just having fun!

Find out more about this game and others at https://www.goliathgames.us/ and this game can be found at Walmart!

Are you hoping to prevent summer slide and keep children reading and academically engaged this summer? Read on!

The Nocturnals book series and summer reading kit, by film director and author Tracey Hecht, brings a unique opportunity to engage children and their families off their digital devices.  The Nocturnals  is a critically acclaimed middle grade and early reader series for readers who love animals, adventure, and a hint of mystery.  The books combine these elements with real-life scenarios that are relatable to elementary and middle school children, particularly regarding the topics of bullying, confidence, friendship, self-acceptance, and empathy. These books are delightful and I recommend highly!

About the Nocturnals:

The Nocturnals by Tracey Hecht features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint-sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure. The brand is boy/girl and appropriate for kids ages 5-12 years old.

website featuring animated shorts and fun downloadable activities for parents and their children as well as educator guides for teachers and librarians supports the brand. The first book in the middle grade series, The Mysterious Abductions was chosen by the American Bookselling Association as a Kids’ Indie Next List pick. Fabled Films Press is planning a ten-book middle grade and six-book early reader series as well as a merchandise program for The Nocturnals.

Fabled Films Press, the imprint of Fabled Films, a children’s media and entertainment company, is thrilled to announce Grow & Read, a new early reader program for The Nocturnals. Through this series, which was created under the supervision of reading specialists, children will develop confidence for success in reading while being delighted by traditional storytelling. The books are perfect for shared reading and reading aloud in both the classroom and at home.

In The Moonlight Meeting, the Nocturnal Brigade: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint-sized sugar glider introduce their nighttime world to early readers who discover the meaning of friendship and sharing. The book has gorgeous illustrations, which strengthen the understanding of the story while adding whimsy and humor.

Book 2 of the Grow & Read series, The Slithery Shakedown, was released in April, 2018.

The books further engage kids via a free summer reading kit that includes Makerspace and STEM-connected fun activities on NocturnalsWorld.com.  These unique activities include constructing a model crater and volcano, making animal masks, and playing Nocturnals Bingo with fun animal facts. Developed by educators in partnership with Fabled Films Press, the kit helps children learn, sparks their creativity, and makes summer reading more fun – even for reluctant readers.

It’s Summer! Time to head to the beach or the pool! This next product is a must!

  

Toweltails® Towels are a great product for children between the ages of 3-16 – they are 100% cotton, machine washable, and crafted at the highest quality. Our step-in towels are not only posh and fun, they are useful too and retail for $24.99!

These are really cool and the kids will love them! There are 9 fun and attractive styles to choose from and my favorite is the Mermaid one! I wish it was in my size! Our little reviewer just loves it! They have mermaid styles for girls which consist of classic prints and designs. Their classic prints come in 4 styles; pink, aqua, pink and blue chevron, and hot pink and purple stripes, and their designs come in 3 styles; blue seashells, Hawaiian flowers, and stars. For the boys, they offer a gray shark with a chevron pattern, as well as a blue and green dragon. They also come in a stunning retail box which makes them a perfect gift item!

Find them at https://toweltails.com/ 

Currently, for the month of June there is a 30% sale so hurry and order yours today!

I know that Men could be difficult to shop for but I bet they will love the next ones!

At Sunglass Warehouse there are many choices for sunglasses! My husband received the above two pairs (Anderson and Harlem) and they passed his test! I like that they are quite affordable and he says they are comfortable to wear. Whether it’s a pair for golfing or even a magnified frame to read a book better – their glasses will be a hit!

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel has long been a favorite of Kiehl’s male customers, and they now have two new ways to fuel up with Kiehl’s: introducing NEW Eye Fuel and Body Fuel Deodorant & Antiperspirant!

Eye Fuel ($22.50, available now on Kiehls.com): Kiehl’s instantly cooling under-eye formula provides weightless hydration and refreshing relief for tired-looking eyes. With continued use, the formula with Caffeine and Vitamin B3 helps reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles.

This one seems to be working on my husband and he really likes how it absorbs!

 Body Fuel Deodorant & Antiperspirant (16, available for pre-order on Kiehls.com): Their first ever, global roll-on antiperspirant deodorant provides 48-hour protection against sweat and odor. The quick-dry formula with Caffeine, Vitamin C and Zinc glides on easily without sticking. This one really is not sticky at all and is a hit with my husband!

Safety is also an important thing during the Summer!

Keep your kids safe while out and about, playing in the neighborhood or at night with the Personal Alarm with Clip and LED Light. Perfect for any age, this alarm clips on to shirts, pants, backpacks or purses to light up a dark night and alert of impending danger. This weatherproof device will alert of dangers up to 600 feet away. The easy-to-use gadget will help keep your kids safe with the 120 dB alarm and LED lights, with three modes for optimal security in all conditions and situations.

I like that these are easy to use and are great for kids!

These and many more SABRE safety products will help everyone stay safe and keep fun at the forefront of the holiday weekend. For a full list of all SABRE’s safety products, please visit their website at https://www.sabrered.com/.

I always find that I have more time to Journal in the summer and I just love these Journals!

  

Dean Russo, Brooklyn-based artist is currently one of the biggest names in the pop art world. Known for his signature pet portraits, his bold paintings explode with color. He recently kicked off the launch of his new journal series by signing copies of his Dog is Love journal at the NY Stationery Show.

Dean Russo’s journals will be released August 2018 with Quiet Fox.

The story behind Russo’s classic kitties and dynamic dogs is a humbling tale of animal rescue awareness. Russo would visit shelters and ask for photos of adoptable pets to paint. He would then donate proceeds from the paintings back to the shelter. Shortly after this activity, both he and his unique paintings developed an impressive following.

About the Artist:

Brooklyn-based pop artist Dean Russo is a popular animal illustrator with a vibrant graphic style. His work is widely distributed in fi ne art prints, custom commissions, and licensed products. Dean studied graphic design and fi ne arts at Pratt Institute and The School of Visual Arts in NYC. Being an avid animal lover he started his career creating soulful animal portraits in a signature style that has evolved over a period of 10 years. As a professional musician Dean has also been inspired to paint portraits of infl uential music icons.

Keep up with Dean Russo at www.dean-russo.myshopify.com, and connect with Dean on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Looking for a great snack for summer travels?

The leading freeze-dried fruit snack in the nation just got a new look, designed to get your attention and better reflect its wholesome, single ingredient – 100% fruit!  The bold brand color palette and added “focus on fruit” was a collaborative design effort by Crispy Green’s brand and packaging design firms, Fastlane Communications, LLC and Foerstel Design, LLC.

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The brand makeover includes a new logo, logo icon, typography and photography treatments, primary and secondary color palette and supporting messaging platform to support its active, healthy lifestyle positioning.

I had the opportunity to taste these and just love them! I highly recommend for kids and adults!

All Crispy Fruit snacks are available in convenient, single-serving “grab & go” bags (MSRP: $1.49 each) or a “family” six-pack that includes six, single-serving bags (MSRP: $7.99). Each bag provides approximately one serving of fruit and 55 calories or less per bag. For more on Crispy Fruit and nutritional labeling information, visit www.crispygreen.com/products/apple.

About Crispy Green, Inc.

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Fairfield, NJ, Crispy Green, Inc. is the number one freeze-dried fruit snack in the U.S., according to the latest Nielsen research, ending 12/31/17. The company’s category-leading Crispy Fruit line of 100% pure, freeze-dried fruit is made from only the finest, non-GMO fruits available with no sugar added (*not a reduced calorie food). Crispy Green’s purpose is to provide the highest quality, natural food products and inspire others to live a healthy and better life.

Crispy Green’s Crispy Fruit can be found in many major grocery retailers nationwide as well as through Amazon. Crispy Green is a delicious, convenient way to add more fruit to your daily diet. For more information, visit www.CrispyGreen.com or our sister lifestyle site,www.SmartLifeBites.com. For news updates and special offers, you can also follow Crispy Green on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Here are the perfect toys for the Summer! These are from a brand that I am quite familiar with! 

   

The toys many of us grown ups have played with as a kid – Frisbee®Slip ’N Slide®Boogie® boards and Hacky Sack® – are still available after all these years and can bring back some wonderful memories while introducing a new generation to fun outdoor games.

My favorite then and now is their Boogie Board! I received one to try out and I love it! I especially love how lightweight it is! 

There’s also the new ‘square’ Frisbee® called the Frisbee® Sonic. That’s right. Wham-O, the toy company that has been producing some of the most trusted toys in the market for 70 years, has reinvented the way the Frisbee® and all other discs will fly in the future.

Not only is the Sonic a completely unique Frisbee® experience, it actually works better than the traditional Frisbee®. The square-like, sine wave shape mimics many things in nature. The alternating twists and turns of the design resemble a bird in flight as it spins through the air.

The Frisbee® Sonic will also be a hit! It’s easy to grip and I love the new shape!

Find out more here!  You can find most of their products on Amazon.com.

Looking for something to keep food hot when you’re out this Summer? HotLogic has the answer!

I love that this is perfect for on-the-go! You can keep foods hot easily! It’s super compact and really works! It’s like an electric lunchbox! Now, how cool is that?! Check them out at https://hotlogicmini.com/

Absolutely Gluten-Free Gets Creative with Great Tasting Savory & Sweet Gluten-free Snack Options that are great for Summer outings!

 

Absolutely Gluten-free packs a flavor-filled punch with its full line of unique and delicious gluten-free products that satisfy everyone’s craving for sweet and savory snacks, whether they’re eliminating gluten from their diets or not. The company received the 2017 Gluten-Free Trailblazer Award from Grocery Headquarters in recognition of its innovation and impact on the gluten-free and diabetic foods space.

The newest Absolutely Gluten Free product taps into two of today’s hottest food crazes: tahini and energy bars. Absolutely Gluten Free’s ’s 100-calorie TahiniBars™are gluten- and dairy-free, vegan, and made with natural sesame seeds, a.k.a. “super seeds.” These grab-and-go bars are available in Vanilla, Cocoa Nib, and Pistachio flavors, making gluten-free living tasty and convenient.

Try Absolutely Gluten-free Flatbread in three varieties (Original, Everything, and Toasted Onion). These flour-free light flatbreads can be used to make pizza, sandwiches, and lunch for kids, topped with just about anything from melted cheese to roasted veggies and sliced fruit.  They are all soy, corn, and rice-free.

Absolutely Gluten-free Crackers are available in three varieties including Original, Cracked Pepper, and Toasted Onion. They are flour-free with no soy, corn, or rice, and are light, crispy, and delicious. Serve them as appetizers with dips, crumbled atop salads and soups, or in place of breadcrumb coating.

For a perfectly sweet and crunchy surprise, Absolutely Gluten-free Blondie and Brownie Crunch snacks don’t disappoint. Blondie Crunch is available in Vanilla Chocolate Chip and Brownie Crunch in Chocolate-Chocolate Chip flavor. They are packaged in a handy resealable bag to eat on the go. And they are great toppers to ice-cream, yogurt, cakes, and mousse desserts.

For those who love a chewy snack, Absolutely Gluten-free Raw Coconut Chews are a great choice. Choose from Cocoa Nibs with Chocolate Drizzle or Cranberry with Chocolate Drizzle. Made with raw coconut, these all-natural treats are vegan and paleo-friendly, and contain no dairy, eggs, or soy.

There’s even more variety for those with a sweet tooth on a gluten-free diet. Absolutely Gluten-free Macaroons are yet another tasty snack from the AGF line, in Chocolate or Coconut flavors.

My favorite is the Brownie Crunch! They are delicious and not too many calories either!

In the Summer..sometimes easy dinner meals are something to really love and I love MODERN TABLE MEALS®!

Modern Table Meals® has an entirely reformulated product line of protein-packed pastas and meal kits. Sporting redesigned, recyclable packaging, the new and improved product line embodies Modern Table Meals’ ongoing commitment and dedication to providing convenient, nutritious meal options while never sacrificing great taste.

For the first time ever, Modern Table Meals enters the Mac and Cheese category with a fresh, nutritious take on a time-honored dish. Three delicious, complete protein flavors deliver a gooey, creamy cheese experience that’s sure to satisfy those Mac and Cheese cravings without the guilt normally associated with the classically indulgent meal

  • Classic Cheddar Mac and Cheese – (16g Protein) – Elbows and cheddar cheese sauce – GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free

  • Three Cheese Mac and Cheese – (17g Protein) – Penne and three cheese sauce (cheddar, monterey jack and romano) – GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free

  • Jalapeno Cheddar Mac and Cheese –  (16g Protein) – Elbows, jalapeno cheddar cheese sauce (peppers and cheddar cheese) – GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free

All three new Mac and Cheese flavors serve two people and, starting this summer, will also be available in Target, Whole Foods and more nationwide – each for $2.49-$2.99 MSRP.

In addition to the reformulated pastas and new Mac and Cheese flavors, Modern Table Meals is reintroducing its popular meal kit line with six new and improved flavors. Delicious flavor profiles, like Sundried Tomato Basil and Parmesan Pesto, are sure to please those looking for new, tasty meal options but don’t have the extra time to whip up their own recipe:

  • Creamy Garlic & Herb – (18g Protein) – Rotini, garlic, onion, broccoli, carrots and spices – GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free

  • Creamy Alfredo – (18g Protein) – Penne, parmesan cheese and peas –  GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free

  • Creamy Marinara – (18g Protein) – Rotini, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, paprika, and spices –  GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free

  • Cheddar Broccoli – (19g Protein) – Rotini, broccoli and cheddar cheese – GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free

  • Sundried Tomato Basil – (17g Protein) – Penne, garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, olive oil, romano cheese, tomatoes – GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free

  • Parmesan Pesto – (18g Protein) – Penne, parmesan cheese, spices, garlic, peas and carrots – GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free

All six, new meal kits will also be available starting this summer in Target, Whole Foods and more nationwide – each for $4.99 MSRP.

I have tried many of these and my favorites are the Cheddar Broccoli and the Sundried Tomato Basil! I love how easy these are to make!

 

For more information please visit www.moderntable.com.

 

Self Disclosure: I received samples of the above items to facilitate this post. Images were also provided except for HotLogic (my own photo).

 

The Queen Mary’s All-American 4th of July Celebration Announces Action-Packed Day of Live Entertainment Unforgettable Celebrations by Popular Tribute Bands, Dueling Pianos, DJs, Aerialist, Family-Friendly Games, Tours, & More on July 4, 2018 Queen Mary’s Mega Fireworks Display Paints the Night Sky at 9pm

Dress in your best red, white, and blue and celebrate Independence at the Queen Mary’s All-American 4th of July Celebration from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The day-long celebration offers live entertainment from the nation’s top tribute bands including Tom Petty and the Heartshakers, The Long Run (Eagles Tribute band) and DSB (Journey Tribute Band). The popular patriotic celebration is a ship-wide event offering family-friendly games, activities, a 4th of July parade, strolling performers, and multiple stages of live entertainment culminating with SoCal’s top fireworks display.

 

Independence Day revelers will voyage throughout the Queen Mary’s many decks, ballrooms, and salons for a day of multiple celebrations with live music performances, DJs, dueling pianos, dancing, and more! On the Verandah Deck, Tom Petty and the Heartshakers will pay homage to the late Tom Petty as the band lights-up the stage with Tom Petty’s top hits, and the nationally known Eagles tribute band, The Long Run, will electrify the crowd with Eagles hits like ‘Hotel California’, ‘Take it Easy’ and ‘Take it to the Limit.’ Festival goers will Keep on believin’ into the night as Journey tribute band, DSB, rocks the Verandah Deck with a nostalgic concert experience.

 

Stroll into the Queen’s Salon to put your singing skills to the test with Rock Hero Karaoke, or sing along with the crowd as the dueling pianos light up and dazzle the salon stage. Attendees can kick-up their boots with DJ Coral and Kaitlyn Weathers in the Royal Salon for some country fun, and watch in amazement as an aerialist swirls and dances in the air on the Sports Deck.

 

Grab the kids and board the majestic vessel to be greeted by a full day of fun with strolling jugglers, stilt walkers, balloon artists, and more. Traverse the multiple decks and salons to the KID ZONE which will be packed with carnival games, inflatables, face painters, music, food, and much more. Above the Queen Mary, attendees will be treated to a spectacular air-show by the Flight Team of John Collver, professional pilot, and Brad Lang, professional pilot and airline captain. Together the two will demonstrate the sights and sounds of past generations in salute to Independence Day in the WWll era Marine Corps T-6 Texans.

 

VIP ticket holders will have access to premium firework viewing and two exclusive VIP-only parties in the Verandah Grill and Britannia Salon. The Verandah Grill will invite VIP guests to travel back in time to the 1940’s with the Fabulous Forties Band, and dance the night away to California’s freshest swing band, Swing Cats Lil Big Band. The Rock-Pop-Disco band, Blackwells, will have attendees shaking a tail feather, and then enjoying the funky sounds of Rhythm Blues and Motown in the Britannia Salon.

 

Dubbed Southern California’s top 4th of July fireworks display, the 15-minute long mega fireworks show will culminate the red, white, and blue festivities at 9 p.m. as bright colors light-up the Long Beach sky in sync to patriotic music.

 

The Queen Mary’s All-American 4th of July Celebration runs from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tickets start at $24 online for children ($39 day-of) and $44 online per adult ($59 day-of). The VIP-patriot pass is $99 for ages 4+ and includes additional access to Verandah Grill, Britannia Salon, and premium firework viewing. Hotel and cabana packages are also available, guest who purchase a cabana will have additional access to the Capstan Deck. In honor of the holiday, The Queen Mary will offer active, reserved, and retired service men and women free access to the 4th of July celebrations with proof with ID card. Families of active, reserved, and retired service men and women will receive a 20% discount with proof of ID card and ticket purchase on-site. For more information, schedule of activities and to purchase tickets visit queenmary.com/events/july-fourth/.

Credit: The Queen Mary.