Aromatherapy for Better Parenting by Peter Friis, CEO and Founder, ESSIO aromatherapy for the shower

Take a deep breath—you’re a parent. The same advice also applies to you if you are a grandparent, doting aunt or uncle, babysitter, nanny or manny: deep, slow breaths. Caring for the younger generation, regardless of your specific genetic affiliation, is not for the easily winded. And truly, the experience may often leave you breathless, from both sheer exhaustion as well as sheer exhilaration.


What you may not know is that our sense of scent deeply influences the experience of parenting. Early study into the human brain established that our olfactory capacity was held in reflexive structures which linked aroma to deep memory. Contemporary research has demonstrated that newborns can identify their mothers purely on the basis of smell, before the baby’s eyes have opened or focused.


On an unconscious level, our sense of smell is tirelessly sending us messages. Incorporating essential oils into your daily routine is an easy, natural way to consciously use olfactory cues to affect your own mood, energy and attitude.



Don’t be fooled by cheap fragranced products.  Real aromatherapy products are made with essential oils. Essential oils are botanical extracts made from plants (leaves, flowers, bark, seeds). Synthetic or artificial fragrances are made from nasty petrochemicals for a tiny fraction of the cost required to make essential oils.


Essential oils interact with our bodies on a subtle neurological level, while synthetic fragrances are potentially irritating and toxic. Read the label on every product. If the label simple says “fragrance”, this means artificial fragrance, and it’s not aromatherapy.
Choose organic and sustainable. Remember that not all plants are raised in organic and sustainable ways. For instance, cinnamon essential oil is by definition made from the spicy-smelling bark of the cinnamon plant, but if the plant was raised using agricultural chemicals, some of those chemicals may be transferred to the extracted oil, then to you. Ew.


Carefully choose your experience. Essential oils are potent. They often are too potent to apply to the skin in concentrated form, and should be avoided in general by pregnant women (if you are expecting a baby or breastfeeding, always check with your health provider before using any product). Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin of a child.


With these caveats, essential oils in diluted form can be powerful but gentle therapy for you and your household. Try these techniques:


  • SPRAY : Add a few (3 – 5 ) drops of essential oils to a small, travel-size spray bottle containing purified water. Blend your own custom-combinations of oils for layered effects. Mist around your general area, especially when parenting gets, um, aromatic (like right after a diaper-change).


  • COMPRESS: Add a few drops of essential oils to a clean, folded white cloth. Keep it in your pocket or handbag, and take a deep whiff as needed. Place these instant sachets in drawers and cupboards to keep linens fresh—and skip the synthetic fabric scents.


  • IN THE BATH: Enjoy essential oils in an aromatherapy diffuser when you shower, and in a warm tub.



Each essential oil possesses specific qualities. Essential oils have long histories, dating back to ancient Greece and Egypt. Many folk remedies integrate the use of essential oils in traditions which have been passed on for centuries. Check out these general guidelines, then experiment and see what works for you:


  • PEPPERMINT: Sharp, spicy. Try it when your kid (or you) needs to study, concentrate or memorize. The “mint” relates to the word “menthe”, meaning mind, and Peppermint has been demonstrated to aid in recall. Peppermint also is linked to reducing the perception of pain. If someone gets an owie, try inhaling a bit of Peppermint.


  • CITRUS (Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit): Stimulating and energizing. Universally regarded as a mood-elevator. When baby-blues or other gloom clouds gather, surround yourself with the smell of sunshine. Lemongrass, though not technically a citrus, produces similar effects.


  • LAVENDER: Soothing, calming, peaceful.  This is perhaps the most popular and most familiar essential oil. Lavender’s name relates to the Latin for bath (as in lavatory), and has been used for centuries across continents to cleanse and calm. Floral, yet earthy and not too sweet. When baby is fussy, place a cloth scented with Lavender on your shoulder as you hold the child.


  • CINNAMON: Instant cozy. Imparts a warming glow, like the bright windows of a snug house on a cold, snowy night or the smell of cookies in the oven. When you or your child need a sense of comfort, breathe in Cinnamon for a snuggly feeling. Especially good for making up after a fight.


  • EUCALYPTUS: Yes, this lush, menthol aroma is the one we associate with cough-drops. Refreshing when you are congested with a cold-bug or allergies, many aromatherapists also believe that the aroma of Eucalyptus is good for metaphorically “clearing the air” when there is tension or conflict.

Credit: Peter Friis, CEO and Founder, ESSIO aromatherapy for the shower


Doma Kitchen Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

It’s hard to believe it was only a year ago that husband and wife team Angie and Stan launched Doma Kitchen in L.A.’s beach town Redondo Beach, initially focusing on being an easygoing spot known for fresh, delicious food. This Fourth of July weekend, Doma Kitchen invites you and your readers to join them for their One Year Anniversary! Bar-B-Que highlights include their famous Lamb Burger topped with butter lettuce, tomato, onion and house-made horseradish sauce settled in between a soft, buttery brioche bun. Making a first time appearance on the Doma Kitchen menu is a German Sausage on an “Alpine Roll” from Alpine Village in Torrance, CA and a seasonal pickle plate featuring pickled heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbage created by head chef, Kristina Miksyte. 


About Doma Kitchen

Located in the heart of Redondo Beach, the family-owned café provides delicious, healthy food in an eclectic beach environment. Chef Kristina has created a globally inspired menu prepared with fresh farmer’s market ingredients. Domasupports earth-friendly practices – always serving California cage-free brown eggs, free-range chicken and grass-fed lamb. All dishes are seasoned to perfection with healthful spices and zero trans fat oils. A wide variety of breakfast pastries and artisanal breads are baked daily using the finest and purest ingredients. Organic coffee and teas are brewed fresh and delicious juices and strawberry lemonade are squeezed in small batches to preserve freshness.


Doma means “home” in the Slavic language. Owners Stan and Angie drew inspiration from loving memories of home and their extensive world travels when creating the Doma Kitchen experience. Angie’s design background and Stan’s building experience fed into creating the atmosphere for Doma Kitchen.

Doma Kitchen is located at 420 N. Pacitic Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA and is opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Visit their website for full menu and hours.

Self Disclosure: No compensation has been received to post. Credit: Doma Kitchen.



Click on the image to see the video!
Here are what people are saying about CARRY ON today…
This should anti-bullying video for the world.
-Sarah McDonald (Facebook Comment)
Great video with a strong message.
-Sheri Sterling (Facebook Comment)
Way to bring rock back.
– Steve Michalek (Youtube Comment)
The fact that Colin and his family showing the world first hand what thousands of kids go through everyday is amazing.
-Amy Saponare (Facebook Comment)
Read full article in USA TODAY here
Self Disclosure: SoCal City Kids did not receive any compensation to feature and promote this Video launch today. We strongly support Colin and stand behind anti-bullying. Thank you to the Galvanized Souls and Colin for sharing their video with our readers. We applaud all of you! 

Share Your Dog Photos and Win a Box of Boncora Biscotti Best Chocolate-Dipped Biscotti!

Share your dog’s photo and/or story by July 12th and you’ll automatically entered to win a two-pound box of Chocolate-Dipped Boncora Biscotti. For every entry, Bonnie will donate $1 to her favorite animal rescue charity, Pet’s Lifeline Sonoma.  No purchase necessary to enter or win.

Read more about it here!

Boncora Biscotti sponsored Feature.

LEGOLAND® Hotel at LEGOLAND® California Resort is Officially Open for Bed and Brickfest!



CARLSBAD, Calif. (April 5, 2013) – A knight riding in on a horse, an adventurer arriving in a sidecar motorcycle, a pirate repelling down the porte cochere next to a LEGO® smoke-breathing dragon, and a little girl who figured out how to put a larger-than-life room key together…that’s how the nation’s first LEGOLAND® Hotel at LEGOLAND® California Resort officially opened its doors to the public today in Carlsbad, California.

Created to bring children’s imaginations to life, the 250-room, three-story LEGOLAND Hotel opened its doors after a ceremony showcased the three room themes based on the most popular LEGO toy lines inside the family theme park: Kingdom, Adventure and Pirate. Confetti blasts showered the dragon created out of 400,000 LEGO bricks and hundreds of guests and members of the media as they flowed into the Hotel where they were surrounded by an interactive LEGO world designed for children age two to 12 and their families.

“LEGOLAND Hotel is the perfect complement and extension to the experience guests enjoy when they visit LEGOLAND California , SEA LIFE® Aquarium and LEGOLAND® Water Park, “ said LEGOLAND Hotel General Manager Frank Idris at the opening ceremony. “I am ready to get this adventure started!”

The adventure began years ago when guest feedback showed it took more than one day to explore all the Resort has to offer.  “Our guest feedback is extremely important to us,” said General Manager of LEGOLAND California Resort Peter Ronchetti. “After all, everything we do here is done to enhance the guest experience and help them create memories that will last a lifetime. Now they can extend their experience even further by staying and playing in an entire Hotel that builds on fun.” Construction began in October, 2011 and every detail was considered when creating the unique Hotel where each room is LEGO themed from the carpeting to the walls and bedding and contains at least eight LEGO models. There are more than 3,500 LEGO models throughout the Hotel using more than three million LEGO bricks. Five thousand minifigures line the wall behind the reception desk as a LEGO model of a bicycle riding surfer highlights the individual figures with his magnified wheels.

LEGOLAND Hotel offers themed and premium themed rooms along with junior and family suites. Premium themed rooms have additional LEGO models and décor such as themed wall paper. Suites include an extra TV and doors that adjoin to the next room. Children have their own sleeping area in every room complete with bunk beds, a trundle bed and their own TV. Special amenities in each room are designed with children in mind, such as the lowered peephole and toilet training seats that can be used with every toilet.

Interactive features include a Castle Play area, a talking and water spraying dragon on the patio, a LEGO play pit in the reception area and a treasure hunt inside the rooms where younger guests search for clues to open a locked safe filled with LEGO treasure! The Castle Play area is the hub for imagination and fun at LEGOLAND Hotel. Based on the LEGO Kingdom, Pirate and Adventure lines, the area features a pirate ship attempting to dock in a LEGO filled moat next to an interactive castle. Young guests can pull on a handle as they enter the castle causing the LEGO ogre above them to roar. Nightly entertainment takes place on the castle stage as a pirate, princess, knight or adventurer interact with young guests to get them ready for bedtime.

A family of four LEGO dragons live within the Hotel: One smoke-breathing dragon at the entrance, a playful young dragon in the lobby sits on top of a handle and slowly spins it to make a LEGO river flow, a baby dragon peers over the ledge of the castle in the Castle Play area and an interactive bubble-blowing dragon named “Bubbles” is taking a bath on the patio as she playfully sprays water and “speaks” to young guests.

In keeping with the high standards of food served within LEGOLAND California Resort, the LEGOLAND Hotel features a variety of healthy and flavorful food options for the whole family. Bricks Family Restaurant serves a breakfast and dinner buffet with a station designed specifically for kids at a height they can reach. Mini’s Lounge is adjacent to the Castle Play area and provides guests an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy some beverages and quick snacks. The Skyline Café features a LEGO city skyline with 35 fun scenes including a woman fighting a turkey that came out of her oven, a man swimming in his apartment being chased by a shark and a woman holding a banana to try to entice a monkey off her balcony.

The outdoor pool area, featuring a gradual incline 5-foot-deep swimming pool and a plethora of lounge chairs, gives guests a place to cool off after a day at the Park. Swim Up movies are shown at poolside Friday and Saturday nights during peak season. Surrounded by LEGO palm trees and views of the Hotel, even this pool area is a LEGO fans dream.

Located right at the main entrance of LEGOLAND California, Hotel guests will have exclusive early morning access to the theme park designed for families with children ages 2 – 12. For more information and to book reservations, visit: LEGOLAND® California Resort includes LEGOLAND California, SEA LIFE™ Aquarium, LEGOLAND Water Park and LEGOLAND Hotel opening April 5 all geared for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. At LEGOLAND California, you’ll find more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including  LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display,  Pirate Reef and LEGO Legends of Chima 4-D movie. SEA LIFE incorporates LEGO® models into a child’s voyage to the depths of the ocean and features play zones, fun facts and quiz trails and the interactive Claws exhibit. For more information, visit or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 94 attractions, eight hotels/two holiday villages in 21 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 50 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 20,000 employees.  Among Merlin’s attractions are  – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park, WILD LIFE Sydney, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK, Siam Ocean World and Busan Aquarium.  All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit  for more information.

Merlin currently has seventeen attractions in the USA including  LEGOLAND Florida theme park with its new Water Park; LEGOLAND California theme park with its exciting Water Park, and SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Hotel opening April 5; Madame Tussauds attractions in New York City, Washington DC, Las Vegas and Hollywood; LEGOLAND Discovery  Centers in Chicago, Illinois; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Atlanta, Georgia; and SEA LIFE aquariums in Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; the Mall of America in Minneapolis, underlining the company’s position as the world’s biggest global aquarium operator.



New LEGO® Legends of Chima™ 4D Movie X-Perience Opens at LEGOLAND® California Resort, March 8 Legoland sponsored Feature

chima-4d-banner-700A heroic new attraction is arriving to LEGOLAND® California Resort as LEGO® Legends of Chima is brought to life in an exclusive 4D movie x-perience. The new 12 minute animated 4-D film, complete with high-impact special effects, will immerse audiences in the fantastical LEGO world of Chima where tribes of animal warriors compete in epic battles for “CHI” – a mystical energy source of limitless power and destruction.

[Read more…]




Radio Disney, the #1 radio network for kids, tweens, and families, rings in the New Year with its annual “Noon Year’s Eve” events for kids and families on December 31. The popular events, taking place in over 20 markets, will welcome kids and families to their favorite locations including local zoos, museums and shopping centers for family-friendly celebrations that give kids the opportunity to have all the fun of New Year’s Eve before their bedtime.  [Read more…]

Happy Holidays!

Christmas is almost here! I can’t believe how fast this week is already zooming by! I love this time of year especially all the activities such as seeing the lights, going to CHILL, decorating the tree…and I could go on! It’s really one of my favorite times of the year! I came across an article that I would like to share with you!  has an an article Top 10 Christmas Carols Kids Should Learn and it was recently published on their blog at ( Check it out! It’s really cool!

Hope you have a wonderful Holiday and a Happy 2013!