Buddy, Dec. 3rd Pet of the Week!

Meet Buddy, who is one! This pittie mix is just 3 years old and loves to nuzzle humans—his best buddy so far is shelter volunteer Ricky, but he’s eager to add a forever human to his circle of friends! Buddy likes to greet other dogs in the shelter and would be a pal to any pup in a household. Need a buddy in these tough times? Make an appointment to meet Buddy! 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 Bobo. Ask for ID#A613162.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

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.

Bobo, Thanksgiving Pet of the Week!

You’re seeing Bobo in a rare mood. In the photo, the 3-year-old Akita mix is sedately seated next to one of his volunteer friends at Long Beach Animal Care Services. However, his usual deportment involves rolling on his back, wiggling around, hand-butting for pets, insistence on belly rubs and all-around silliness. Words fail to fully describe Bobo’s behavior, so we’re offering a link to a video: https://tinyurl.com/y3r7gq8y. 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 Bobo. Ask for ID#A624128.(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects

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.

Don’t feel like cooking but want a home-cooked meal? Black Bear Diner has you covered!

Don’t feel like cooking tonight? I had the opportunity to receive a Family Meal from the Black Bear Diner in Torrance and my family was quite impressed! Black Bear Diner has locations throughout California and is currently offering curbside and delivery service of the new Family Meals to make family life easier.

They have quite a variety of meal choices for either breakfast. lunch or dinner. I chose to try the Chicken Fried Steak Family Meal and it was delicious! It’s perfect for a family of 3 or 4 people and included 4 Bear Paw Chicken Fried Steaks with country gravy, 4 housemade cornbread muffins, and a choice of 2 sides. I chose the Mashed Potatoes and the Seasonal Veggies!

This was absolutely delicious!

Black Bear Diner’s specially priced Family Meals are hearty, home-style food for the whole family – including breakfast (helping remote working parents during busy mornings.) Family Meals include Bacon, Eggs & Pancakes and Roasted Turkey Dinner and serve 3-4. You can find the options on their website here: https://blackbeardiner.com/.

I’m looking forward to trying one of their breakfast Family Meals soon! But, I really recommend their Chicken Fried Steak Family Meal which is $34.99. And, their chocolate cake is absolutely divine!

Don’t forget to order a slice of the Chocolate Cake! It’s big enough for 2!

You can find Black Bear Diner locations here.

Self Disclosure: I received a comped meal to facilitate this post but no other compensation was received and I highly recommend! Images by SoCal City Kids.

The Park Comes To Life in Los Angeles & Orange County All-New Unparalleled and Thrilling Live Arena Experience Jurassic World Live Tour Roars into SoCal This Summer from July 9–19

Brace yourself for a new species of live entertainment 65 million years in the making!

Jurassic World Live Tour, an exhilarating and unpredictable live, family entertainment experience that will bring the wonder and thrills of Jurassic World to generations of fans, will be debuting in SoCal this summer playing Honda Center in Anaheim from July 9–12 followed by STAPLES Center in Downtown LA from July 17–19.

  Sign up today to become a Jurassic World Live Tour Preferred Guest at JurassicWorldLiveTour.com to get exclusive access to advance pre-sale code to purchase tickets early starting today Tuesday, January 28 to get the best seats available before tickets go on-sale to the general public on February 4.

With unrivaled arena production quality, Jurassic World comes to life with dinosaurs from the iconic franchise, including fan-favorite Velociraptor Blue and a Tyrannosaurus Rex more than 40 feet in length, taking center stage off the big screen onto the arena floor.  The production features more than 20 film-accurate, life-sized dinosaurs, each custom built with the latest technology, scientific precision and Hollywood studio quality.  With scale, speed and ferocity, the animatronic and performer-operated dinosaurs deliver colossal, edge-of-your-seat excitement that brings the Jurassic World park right to your hometown.

Jurassic World’s unmistakable musical score combined with projection and practical scenery transforms the arena into the dense jungles of Isla Nublar, where real Gyrospheres roll through the valley…but then your trip to Isla Nublar takes a terrifying turn after the Indominus Rex escapes and causes chaos in the park!  The adventure continues as you join forces with a team of scientists to unravel a corrupt plan and save an all-new dinosaur named Jeanie from a terrible fate. 

With pulse-pounding stunts and an original, authentic storyline that takes place between the Jurassic World and Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom movies, this all-new live adventure is guaranteed to to take fans on a larger-than-life immersive journey and make family memories that will last another 65 million years.

“Working with a world-class production team and Universal filmmakers, we have extended the Jurassic World canon with a new story that can only be told through this live, arena spectacular as we bring full-scale dinosaurs to generations of fans around the globe,” said Juliette Feld Grossman, Chief Operating Officer of Feld Entertainment. “We have maximized the power of everything we do at Feld Entertainment, pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation to ensure audiences have an authentic, awe-inspiring experience. Fans will leave with a sense of wonder, as if they’ve boarded the boat to Isla Nublar and literally stepped into Jurassic World.”

USA Today praised the show saying “my heart still races when the velociraptor’s nose is pointed my way. It’s a testament to how well the ‘Jurassic’ movies have instilled an illogical fear of extinct creatures, how true the Jurassic World Live team stayed to the animals from the movie, and how high-tech animatronic puppets have gotten in order to tell stories about prehistoric creatures.”  The New York Times describes the Feld Entertainment production as “the most technically complex the company has ever produced.”

A N A H E I M

WHEN:                July 9 – 12, 2020

Thursday, July 9     7:00 PM

Friday, July 10 7:00 PM

Saturday, July 11        11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Sunday, July 12            11:00 AM & 3:00 PM

WHERE:          Honda Center – 2695 E. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806

TICKETS:      Ticket affordably priced for the whole family starting at just $20*

Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com or in-person at the venue Box Office. *prices subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

L O S   A N G E L E S

WHEN:                 July 17 – 19, 2020

Friday, July 17       7:30 PM

Saturday, July 18        11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Sunday, July 19                 11:00 AM & 3:00 PM

WHERE:               STAPLES Center – 1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

TICKETS:              Ticket affordably priced for the whole family starting at just $20*

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

Credit: Feld Entertainment.

Get Ready for Kickoff as The Aquarium Hosts its Sixth Annual Otter Bowl

Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific

Watch the Aquarium’s sea otters compete for frozen treats and the title of Otter MVP

The Aquarium of the Pacific is proud to present its sixth annual Otter Bowl on February 2, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. Watch as the Aquarium’s sea otters vie for the championship at Otter Bowl VI. The fast-paced action will include collecting footballs made out of frozen clams and retrieving enrichment toys. There will be lots of eating and playing going on during this big game as the sea otters compete.

The game starts during the 4:00 p.m. sea otter show in the Northern Pacific Gallery, and an Aquarium educator will be calling the play-by-play. At 3:30 p.m., the otters will be off exhibit in their “locker room” as the Aquarium’s animal experts prepare the “field” for Otter Bowl VI.

Visitors can receive discounted admission on February 2 after 3:00 p.m. Admission will be $19.95 per person from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

WHEN:           Otter Bowl VI, February 2, 2020, 4:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

                       Special discounted admission offer valid from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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

COST:             Free to Aquarium members and included with general admission for the public.

                       General admission: $34.95 adult (12+), $31.95 senior (62+), and $24.95 child (3-11).

                       Admission is just $19.95 per person after 3:00 p.m. on Otter Bowl.

                       The Aquarium is open until 6:00 p.m.

INFO:             (562) 590-3100 or aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/otterbowl/

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.