Queen Mary’s 26th Annual ScotsFestival Welcomes New All-American Professional Highland Games Feb. 16-17

Jon O’Neil, North American record holder in Braemar Stone

The Queen Mary welcomes back the annual celebration of authentic Scottish heritage at ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXVI February 16-17. ScotsFestival will present the new All-American Professional Highland Games to this year’s festivities, welcoming internationally decorated athletes to compete for titles in traditional competitions such as caber toss, throwing the weight, the hammer throw, putting the shot, and the sheaf toss.

This year’s games welcome the highest level of Professional Scottish Athletics to compete in the new All-American Professional Highland Games. Professional, Amateur, and Master Athletes will compete in several categories of traditional Highland competitions with final scores entered into the North American Scottish Games Athletics database. Those scores generate the invitations to Professional Highland games, which are invitation only, based on success in competition.

“The Queen Mary is a fantastic venue to watch local and visiting athletes compete.  It has been our favorite place to begin the Highland games season in Southern California for many years.” shared Catherine Ballard, Athletics Committee Member for ScotsFestival.

Scots have been honoring ancient Celtic traditions with athletic competitions for centuries, testing physical strength, skill and technique. The All-American Professional Highland Games welcomes some of the most acclaimed athletes to the Queen Mary to demonstrate their ancient warrior skill set, including some local stars who are from Southern California.

Growing up Lake Forest, California, Jon O’Neil was an NCAA All-American Shot Putter and Discus Thrower in college before competing in Olympic trials in 2000 and 2004. He won the International Highland Games Federation (IHGF) World Team Championship in 2012 and is the current North American record holder in Braemar Stone, who will be competing in the Professional division in the All-American Highland Games.  

Colin Dunbar graduated from Long Beach State University before becoming five-time USATF national champion competitor in the Olympic hammer throw and an Amateur World Record holder. In his first year as a Professional Athlete, Dunbar will be participating in all nine traditional Highland competitions offered at this year’s ScotsFestival.  

Ballard shared, “We have fielded dozens of international athletes and world record holders over the years, and 2019 is no exception. This year SAAA is very excited to expand the competition with the addition of a men’s IHGF professional class.”

ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXVI welcomes nearly seventy Scottish clans and vendors throughout the festival weekend with professional and amateur competitions in piping, drumming, massed bands, darts, Highland dancing, and the new All-American Professional Highland athletics. The Scottish Highland Games, a precursor to today’s Olympic Games, were designed to test the strength, skill and technique of ancient warriors through faceoffs in caber toss, throwing the weight, hammer throw, putting the shot, sheaf toss and more.

Tickets to the 26th Annual ScotsFestival & International Highlands Games are on sale now and start at $25 online (ages 12+) and $12 online (ages 4-11) for one day general admission. VIP tickets start at $45 online. Upgrades, ticket add-ons, and hotel packages will also be available. Discounts are available to military and seniors. Visit queenmary.com for more details and to purchase tickets online.

Credit: The Queen Mary.

Share the Love with Cirque du Soleil’s Valentine’s Day Deal

Beginning in March, Cirque du Soleil will be bringing not one, but TWO incredible shows to LA – Corteo at The Forum from March 27th – 31st and Amaluna at the LA Waterfront from April 25th – May 26th.For a limited time, Cirque du Soleil is offering special Valentine’s Day pricesso you can surprise your someone special with the experience of a lifetime. Whether it’s for Valentine’s or Galentine’s day gift, take the time to plan ‘Me Time’ with Cirque du Soleil and your favorite people.

Corteo is a joyous procession imagined by a clown that combines the passions and spontaneity of theater, with the power and grace of acrobatics. At times both playful and mysterious, this gravity-defying show will help audiences soar with them in the mysterious place between heaven and earth. Amaluna is a water-born tale of transformation and forbidden love, as a powerful Goddess guides audiences through the trials and tribulations of her island. A powerful coming-of-age story honoring femininity, renewal and rebirth that will surely dazzle all who behold it.

From now – February 15th, plan quality time with your sweetie for Valentine’s or a girls’ night out because no one deserves it more than you. For more information on this deal, head over to our website: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/usa/los-angeles/deals. 

Credit: Cirque Du Soleil. SoCal City Kids will be featuring both shows as Featured events.

Pinners Conference & Expo California Comes to Ontario Convention Center The Pages of Pinterest Come to Life as the Largest Lifestyle Expo Connects Consumers, Retailers, Wholesalers, and Influencers Together

Friday, March 8 – Saturday, March 9, 2019
** Tickets On Sale Now **

For the first time in the Southland, the Ontario Convention Center will host Pinners Conference & Expo California, Friday and Saturday, March 8 – 9, 2019. Pinners Conference is a must-attend event where lifestyle experts connect with those who love to craft, cook, and create.  For two days, guests will have the opportunity to attend more than one hundred classes and presentations covering a variety of topics led by industry leaders.

 “Pinners Conference is the only DIY, cooking, crafting and style expo where the pages of Pinterest come to life,” said Roxanne Bennett, CEO.  “We connect consumers with the top influencers in their fields who offer the know-how needed to start (and finish!) any project.”

Originating as a women’s expo, with a few retail vendors, the idea of a Pinterest-inspired Expo was born. “We were inspired to provide a space for the “everyday” woman to be inspired, try something new, re-discover herself and be educated, as well as shop,” said Bennett.  “Our first Pinners Conference was in Salt Lake City in 2013. We have since expanded to six locations throughout the country, adding Texas and Arizona in 2016, Georgia in 2017, California and Minneapolis in 2018 and moving to Ontario, California for the first time in 2019.”

Expecting an estimated 10,000-15,000 attendees at the Ontario Convention Center, Pinners Conference showcases the best and brightest influencers in one forum to share their knowledge by offering classes that aren’t easily found at local craft stores, community colleges, or boutiques.  Retailers include Michael’s Crafts, Bee Kissed Caramels, Clover Needlecraft, Inc., Discovery Toys, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Jada Rose Jewelry, Matilda Jane Clothing, PB Creates, Petal Salad, She Shed Living, The Cat’s Meow Shop, and Verse Your Hair.          

“Pinners Conference is continually adapting to what is trending now. Whether that is the hottest trends in fashion and beauty, in home decor, DIY, cooking, fitness or crafting.”  said Bennett. “Our classes and exhibitors change every year based on what people are excited about now.” Want to learn the intricoes of Macrame or chalk painting? Enroll in Macrame Plant Hanging or Chalk Painting 101. Looking for a twist on flower arranging? Try Wood Floral Arrangements.  Discover the secret to creating a Japanese Kokedama, at the Kokedama String Garden Workshop. Other specialty classes include Handlettering, styling a customized gallery wall, sewing and quilting classes, photography workshops, party planning, food arts, beauty secrets to even designing a DIY wedding centerpiece.  

“Pinners Conference is truly about the experience. When consumers come, they get to pick and choose which classes they take or if they just want to shop and who they shop from,” said Bennett. “Guests can customize their most fun and creative weekend, ever. Someone might stop by the Michaels Crafts booth and create a free make-and-take before taking a class by a local artist to learn how to watercolor, then find their new favorite outfit from a local boutique.”

Advance registration is recommended (as classes do sellout) however spots are available for walk-ins the day of the event. 

“Come with your friends as a girl’s weekend, or make it day for yourself,” said Bennett. “Our guests are always amazed after trying just one class or buying that something special, they’ve discovered a love for something new!”


Ontario Convention Center

2000 East Convention Center Way

Ontario, CA 91764

Pinners Conference & Expo California
For the latest information, and to purchase tickets visit https://ca.pinnersconference.com  


  • General (exhibits and shopping) – $8
  • Class passes (includes admission) – $19 to $49
  • VIP Pass $129
  • BLOG50  – applies to general admission tickets and will give 50% off.
  • PINNERS10  – receive 10% off on VIP or class pass tickets.


  • Many classes will have optional kits to purchase upon enrolling


  • Friday, March 8th, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 9th, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

We have teamed up for a giveaway! One winner will win
4 general admission tickets (value $32). To enter leave a comment below telling us which class you are most excited about! Deadline to enter is February 22nd, 2019 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected.

Self Disclosure: I received free admission to attend the event and images and press information was provided for posting.

The Original Farmers Market Gears Up for a Year of Festivities at Third & Fairfax

 The Original Farmers Market announced this month its lineup of events for 2019, featuring treasured family-friendly activities, performances, and of course, delicious eats! Locals and tourists alike can kick off the Year of the Pig at the Lunar New Year Celebration, enjoy retro muscle cars at the 25th annual Gilmore Heritage Auto Show, and dive into the autumnal season at the Market’s Fall Festival. Celebrating 85 years as the neighborhood’s favorite gathering place, the Market continues its long-standing tradition of bringing people together in 2019 with events for the whole family.

 Feel the Mardi Gras magic at the 30th annual weekend celebration, dance along to sounds of summer during our Friday Night music series or enjoy delicious bites from our incredible merchants at the Taste of Farmers Market. Whether it is the nostalgic charm of the open-air dining patios or the smiles from the vendors, The Original Farmers Market has created countless memories – with even more to come!”

The schedule of 2019 Farmers Market events can be found below:

Lunar New Year Celebration, Year of the Pig

February 16th,  2pm-5pm.

To celebrate the Chinese Year of the Pig, the Farmers Market will be hosting a day full of activities in conjunction with The Grove. The afternoon will kick off with an unveiling of the handmade pig statue in honor of the zodiac symbol, which will be followed by an authentic Kung Fu demonstration, a magic show, acrobatics performances, traditional lion and dragon dances, and themed craft making stations.

30th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration

Saturday, March 2nd & Sunday, March 3rd, All Day; Fat Tuesday, March 5th, 6-9pm

Party in true New Orleans style at the Market’s 30th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration. The weekend will feature bead throwing, beignets, Dixie beer, face painting, Cajun gumbo and jambalaya from The Gumbo Pot, along with performances by Eddie Baytos and The Nervis Brothers. The Dog Bakery will also host its annual Mutti Gras Pet Parade and Costume Contest for our furry four-legged friends.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Sunday, March 17th, Afternoon & Evening

Get into the Celtic spirit this St. Patrick’s Day by celebrating at the Farmers Market. Enjoy authentic Irish food, such as the famous corned beef from Magee’s, green beer from EB’s and Bar 326, live music and more!

Friday Night Music at the Market

Friday Evenings through the summer, May 31st-August 30th, 7-9pm   

Make the most of LA’s warm summer nights by enjoying live music every week at the Farmers Market. Open and free to the public, the West Patio will come alive every Friday night to feature a range of musical genres from jazz to salsa, rock & roll to reggae and much more.

 25th Annual Gilmore Heritage Auto Show

Saturday, June 1st, 11am-5pm

One of the Market’s most iconic events, The Annual Gilmore Heritage Auto Show will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. The theme will be the ever-popular Muscle Cars! More than 100 American classics including lowriders, hot rods, and trucks will be on display.

11th Annual Taste of Farmers Market

Tuesday, July 23rd, 5-9pm

The tastiest event of the summer is back! Spend an evening strolling through the Market sampling flavorful bites from your favorite vendors, along with live entertainment and friends from LAFD and The First-In Fire Foundation. Ticket information to follow in early June.

Metropolitan Fashion Week

Thursday, September 26th, 6:30 pm

The Market Plaza transforms into a runway in honor of Metropolitan Fashion Week. Come watch the opening ceremonies and experience the costume designers’ competition – attendees can also help pick the winner via Instagram!

Fall Festival

Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th, All Day

The Farmers Market’s oldest annual tradition, Fall Festival, is back for another year of seasonal fun. Featuring live music, a petting zoo, crafts, pig races, and a pie-eating contest, the weekend-long event has activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Christmas Festivities

Wednesday, December 18th – Tuesday, December 24th

Spend the most wonderful time of the year at The Original Farmers Market with festivities for family and friends of all ages. Enjoy cheerful music, holiday crafts, and carolers, all of which are free and open to the public. Be sure to snap a photo in front of the Market Christmas tree!

 Hanukkah Celebration

Sunday, December 22nd, 2:30-5: 30 pm

Kick off the eight-day Jewish holiday known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ in the heart of the Fairfax district. Celebrate Chanukah at the Market with live music, arts & crafts, and special lighting of a giant Lego menorah.

Additional details on these events will be available in the coming months. For further information, visit www.farmersmarketla.com. The schedule is subject to change.


Credit: The Original Farmers Market. 

About The Original Farmers Market
The Original Farmers Market has been Los Angeles’ favorite gathering place since 1934. With more than 100 grocers, retailers and restaurants—as well as year-round activities for the whole family—the Farmers Market is a beloved place for locals and one of the top tourist destinations in Los Angeles. For more information visit www.farmersmarketla.com. Follow the Farmers Market on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Universal Studios Hollywood Celebrates Lunar New Year and the “Year of the Pig” Starting February 2nd Lunar New Year is Included in the Price of Admission to Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood ushers in the “Year of the Pig” as the movie-based theme park celebrates Lunar New Year with uniquely-themed programs featuring beloved global pop icon Hello KittyDreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda masters Po and Tigress and a Mandarin-speaking Transformer’s MEGATRON from Saturday, February 2 to Sunday, February 17, 2019.

This spectacularly-themed Lunar New Year tradition will take place within Universal Plaza, located at the heart of the theme park.  Under a curtain of customary red Chinese lanterns and stunning plum blossom Wishing Trees, the festivities will come to life as guests discover the 12 zodiac animal signs accompanied by their symbolic attributes.

The centerpiece of the Lunar New Year festivities will feature DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda Jade Palace Performance Stage and the exciting Dragon Warrior Training Show based on the beloved Kung Fu Panda franchise. The energetic experience is designed to engage guests of all ages in an interactive martial art demonstration performed by Master Po and friends. The immersive event will also feature seasoned animators teaching guests techniques to draw Po and the Furious Five as keepsake mementos.

DreamWorks Kung Fu Panda’s famous Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop is back by popular demand to serve up delicious culturally-themed food such as Po’s Dumplings, Dragon Warrior Bao, Oogway Eggrolls and Secret Ingredient Stir Fry Noodles. Mr. Ping himself will be on hand to interact with guests and take memorable souvenir photos.

Beloved global pop icon Hello Kitty, created by the global lifestyle brand Sanrio, will further complement this year’s Lunar New Year celebration when she steps out in style wearing her signature red bow and specially-designed Lunar New Year attire.  Hello Kitty will be available to meet guests at the Hello Kitty Shop located within the new Animation Studio Store.

Keeping with Universal Studios Hollywood’s Lunar New Year tradition, a Mandarin-speaking Transformer’s MEGATRON will greet guests at the entry of the festivities. The imposing 12-foot-tall robot leader of the DECEPTICONS will interact with guests, engaging them both in Mandarin and in real time conversation reflective of his persona. A resident of Universal Studios Hollywood, MEGATRON is one of the stars of Universal Studios Hollywood’s thrill ride, “Transformers™: The Ride-3D.”

Illumination Entertainment’s Minions from the theme parks’ popular Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride will also join the festivities, stepping out in style and dressed up in brightly colored traditional Lunar New Year attire.

Uniquely themed experiences offered in Mandarin include the theme park’s signature Studio Tour and the exclusive VIP Experience, both of which provide two distinctive and revealing looks at an authentic movie and television studio.  Featuring expertly-trained Mandarin-speaking tour guides both opportunities provide insight into the world of movie-making magic as guests enjoy a front row seat and behind-the-scenes access to one of the largest production studios in the world.  In-language park maps are also available for guests.

Guests can continue their Lunar New Year celebration at Universal CityWalk’s Dongpo Kitchen restaurant featuring upscale and modern Sichuan cuisine. Inspired by China’s premier restaurant Meizhou Dongpo, Dongpo Kitchen offers the comforts of a casual dining environment with both indoor and al fresco seating and caters to an eclectic palate with a variety of signature dishes.

Universal CityWalk’s newest restaurant, Vivo Italian Kitchen, serving freshly prepared authentic Italian fare in a newly designed modern setting, also invites guests to toast the “Year of the Pig” offering its haute cuisine menu in several languages, including Mandarin.

With so much to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood, the all-new 2019 Season Pass invites guests to experience the fun all year long for $139 when purchased online.  Details and restrictions available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com

More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Mandarin-speaking guests can learn more about the Lunar New Year event at www.ush.cn.  Information is also available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Weibo @好莱坞环球影城.

Credit: Universal Studios.

Something to do this Holiday Season! See the King Tut Exhibit at the California Science Center! Don't miss your final chance to see King Tut's treasures before they leave the U.S.! Extended to January 13th, 2019!

KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh Media Preview on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Casey Rodgers/AP Images for IMG)

Looking for something fun and educational to do this upcoming holiday break? How about seeing the King Tut Exhibit before it leaves the California Science Center?

My son and I checked it out a while ago and found it so interesting!

KING TUT: Treasure of the Golden Pharaoh, an extraordinary and exclusive exhibition celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of his tomb is something you should see! The whole family will enjoy this exhibit!

The exhibition’s curated collection represents the largest assembly of artifacts and gold from Tutankhamun’s tomb ever on public display outside of Egypt, which has historically been limited to approximately 50 items. On display are many items the Boy King himself used in life and in death.

Get tickets here! 

Beginning December 26 and continuing through January 13, the last ticket time will be 5:00 PM and the exhibition will close 90 minutes after the last ticket time. All other Science Center exhibits will close at 5:00 PM. On New Year’s Eve, the last ticket time will be 3:30 PM and the exhibition will close at 5:00 PM The Science Center is closed on New Year’s Day.

Self Disclosure: I received a Media comped visit to facilitate this post. The image was provided. See photo credit above. 

The Habit Burger Grill Serves Up French Onion Charburger October 3rd-November 21st!


Looking for a delicious Burger to try this weekend? The Habit Burger Grill has you covered! Their New French Onion Charburger is absolutely delicious! But, you have to hurry because it is only available for a short time! I usually go for their Veggie Burger or one of their salads but this sounded interesting and so I just had to try it! My favorite thing about it is the sweet caramelized onions and the two perfectly delicious and crisp golden onion rings. It is served on a toasted sesame seed bun, with fresh shredded lettuce and tomato. This one is definitely a must-try!

And, don’t forget to try my other favorite.. the Tempura Green Beans! I simply can not go to the Habit Burger Grill without ordering this delicious side.

 Better burgers are just the beginning at The Habit where the menu also includes hand-cut salads, grilled sandwiches including line-caught, sushi grade ahi tuna, fresh chicken, and hand-filleted marinated grilled tri-tip, and sides including onion rings, sweet potato and French fries, and tempura green beans. Guests can choose from a variety of peppers, lemons, limes, and sauces at a complimentary condiment bar to customize the flavor of their meal.

The Habit is known for its award-winning Charburger which features 100% fresh, never frozen ground beef grilled over an open flame and topped with melted cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, fresh tomato, crisp lettuce, and mayo served on a toasted bun. Their restaurants have been serving the Best Tasting Burger in America exactly this way since the first Habit opened in 1969.

Connect with The Habit on social media at facebook.com/habitburgerinstagram.com/habitburgergrill, twitter.com/habitburger  and youtube.com/habittube.


About The Habit Restaurants, Inc. 

The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade ahi tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit was named the “best tasting burger in America” in July 2014 in a comprehensive survey conducted by one of America’s leading consumer magazines. The first Habit opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. The Habit has since grown to over 230 restaurants in 11 states throughout California, Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Idaho, Virginia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington and Maryland as well as five international locations. More information is available at www.habitburger.com.

Self Disclosure: I received a gift card to try out the new burger and facilitate this post. No other compensation was received. Photos: SoCal City Kids. 

The Los Angeles Printers Fair October 13 & 14 10 am to 4 pm at The International Printing Museum A Celebration of Letterpress, Book Arts & Paper

The Los Angeles Printers Fair at The International Printing Museum in Carson, CA celebrates a decade of bringing the best of letterpress, book arts, and the paper arts to the LA area. With the backdrop of the world’s largest collection of working antique presses, the LA Printers Fair annually brings together 80 artistic vendors and 1,700 visitors to experience the creative worlds of handmade books and beautiful printing.
Exhibitors include many of the greatest letterpress and printmaking artists in the Southwest and beyond, offering custom posters, printings, hand-printed cards, memorabilia, hand-made paper, and antiquarian books for sale. Throughout the Museum’s galleries visitors can print their own keepsakes on antique letterpresses, have their name cast in printer’s type, make paper by hand, or even screen print their own shirt! All proceeds from the fair go to The International Printing Museum, a non-profit institution dedicated to the heritage, preservation, and advancement of the printing arts.
$10 per person
$5 for 12 and under
The International Printing Museum
315 W Torrance Blvd,
Carson, CA 90745
tel: 310-515-7166
Credit including photos: The International Printing Museum.